New England breathes easier this Saturday morning of Memorial Day Weekend – the Celtics closed out the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston last night and now have their sights set on the Finals, whether against the Phoenix Suns or the Los Angeles Lakers is not known yet. Having gone up 3-0 against Orlando, the Celtics couldn’t finish the sweep at home, lost game 4, then lost game 5 in Orlando giving rise to a region-wide sports anxiety attack – Gulp! What if the Celtics, storied in so many ways, became the first NBA team to lose a series after being up 3-0? That terrifying prospect seemed possible, collectively spooked as everyone was given the Bruins’ collapse just two weeks ago (they, too, had been up 3-0 and then lost four games in a row and the series against Philadelphia).
But all is right this morning, the long weekend that inaugurates the beginning of summer commences with the stars in alignment and the sports headlines all trumpeting the Celtics’ triumph. Four victories are all that’s now required to claim banner # 18.
The Giro D’Italia continues, Ivan Basso now in the pink jersey as the race attempts the last mountain stage, the Passo di Gavia – if, that is, the weather cooperates and snow doesn’t fall. Snow plows have allegedly cut swaths through the massive piles and opened the way for the riders. I haven’t paid near enough attention to the Giro this year, I’m saving myself for the Tour in July, a Tour once again shrouded by scandal. So much is written about cycling and doping however, that I intend to avoid the topic throughout the rest of the racing season. Lescaret’s incipient coverage, the Bonques On Tour postings, will focus on other, more interesting subjects such as food, wine, and the Lantern Rouge.
Finding time for dedicated sports-watching is now complicated by the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a sporting event of such awesome global proportions that it will be impossible not to be completely swept up the frenzy of that mad spectacle. Occasional dispatches from viewing stations in North America (read, the TV in the living room and the now-and-then ethnic cafe or bar in Boston) will, of course, be necessary.
In literary developments, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony has added blogging to their website, though no entries as yet. The blogs are organized by Fellows, Workshop Attendees, Faculty, Staff, Miscellaneous. I considered the idea of contacting fellow workshop-goers via email or blog postings but then thought again. I don’t want first impressions, either others’ of me or me of others, to be formed by cyber communications. My preference is to meet people face-to-face and go from there. Perhaps others feel the same way. Or maybe the new blog options on the Colony’s site just haven’t been discovered yet.
Lastly, happy 50th birthday to a fine photographer, cyclist, epicurean rustique, and all around honest soul, Ben Barnhart. A loud and gustatory dinner party tomorrow at his hillside compound in Conway, MA, champagne on the deck, a table laden with Turkish slow-cooked lamb, grilled whole red snapper stuffed with tropical fruit compote, fried polenta cakes, various salads, breads, cheeses, and numerous bottles of wine including luscious Rombauer chardonnay, a favorite of this crew of celebrants. Huzza!