Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Despite the enormous stadium plonked down in the middle of my city nine years ago like some impossibly gaudy concrete-and-purple UFO, I had somehow managed to live my entire life without once attending a professional football game (probably something to do with having only a very cursory understanding and appreciation of the game). But last night. M & T Bank Stadium. Monday Night Football. A hard-fought loss to the underdog Kansas City Chiefs. Thoughts: football fans are some loud-ass people, on some serious Gladiator shit. Baseball and basketball fans are some pansy-ass tea-sipping New Yorker readers in comparison. In the upper deck, dudes high-fived total strangers even on only-kinda-good plays. (I need to work on my high-fiving technique.) 90% of the people around me rocked the purple jerseys. I felt like a total douchebag in my argyle sweater. It's really hard to tell what's going on a lot of the time without the benefit of TV announcers and graphics and whatnot. Football players do a lot of work to convince their opponents that someone has the ball who really doesn't. This might work or might not work on said opponents, but it definitely works on mark-ass fair-weather fans up in the cheap seats. The best part: fireworks! I had fun!

David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is a sad and gorgeous book. It brings the narrative pyrotechnics with a weirdly effective symmetrical structure, a whole lot of barely-intertwined short stories that doubled back on themselves. I'm not sure why these stories, how exactly all of them are supposed to interact with each other. But I really, really loved it.