Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Book Review/Pizza Night: Batting for the Other Team (Yikes)

Yesterday we went to our first book club meeting (missing the first one due to weather... booooo) and it was so great. I mentioned that I want to join 4 more book clubs and the Beard said, very wisely,

"Book clubs are to you what fantasy baseball is to me!"

And you know what? He's right. So anyone else that wants to start a book club with me - please let's? Email me. I'm totally down.

We read "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach. It's a book about the intertwining lives of various characters at a small university in the midwest - including/surrounding the university's baseball team. I had high hopes when I began the book - it was all about this amazing shortstop Henry Skrimshander. The book is so fun for the first couple hundred pages! But, alas, it cannot last. Tragedy strikes and all of their lives fall into disarray. Heartbreak, death, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and terrible conduct ensues.

You can imagine the Beard's reaction when I tricked him into reading the book "It's about baseball!" only to have the baseball emphasis dwindle and the gay love affair emphasis swell about 200 pages in. Lolzies. Ryan is a homophobe, for all you new readers out there. Also, Ryan is obsessed with baseball and takes it INCREDIBLY SERIOUSLY. So to have his baseball paradise infiltrated with a gay love story - it was kind of the perfect storm.

At dinner we concluded that the story was good and the characters were interesting, but so many sections of the book were just wildly unrealistic and almost designated to become a screenplay. Overall, I would give the book a 7/10. I loved the baseball, the team esprit-de-corps, even the love stories before they fall apart. But the pain and guilt and trauma was too real, too long and too unsatisfying. Try it if you are interested in baseball, gay relationships, the internal personal struggle, or Moby Dick (a huge theme/inspiration in the book).

By far the best part of the book was discussing it at Pizzeria Limone - wow. We've heard great things but man, were we impressed. I got the Viola - a delicious pizza including proscuitto and blackberries. BLACKBERRIES!

We took the Trax because we take the Trax literally anytime we are able because we're obsessed with it. Can't wait until the Draper station opens up in August because it's seriously 3 minutes from our house. Yahtzee.

Shirt: AE, Skirt: Banana Republic, Boots: Forever Young, Bag: Coach, Coat: Old Navy

On the train home, while we were still in downtown SLC two kids climbed onto the train. They were probably about 13 or 14 and were very rowdy. The Beard was convinced they were high, although when I deny things like that I have to accept that I have never been good at noticing those things. They were bugging passengers, giggling furiously, swearing, and just generally being teen messes.

It was after 9 pm. On a Monday night. Downtown SLC. These boys were just riding the Trax around for fun, according to their conversation. And everyone just rolled their eyes at these little punks.

But I couldn't. It hit me in the heart. These were just like so many of my students. And they WERE freaking annoying. But what is your life like if riding around on Trax at 9 pm on Monday nights in downtown semi-sketchy SLC is better than being home? I just felt so responsible and sad for them.

You can take Danica out of her classroom, but I guess you can't take the classroom out of Danica.

Make good choices, sketchy Trax boys! Somewhere a random History teacher is thinking about you in a non-creepy way!


  1. First, yes, when I am back in Provo, I want to be in a cook club with you. So, hook a sister up. Also, when I taught preschool, I felt responsible for all children under the age of 7, whether or not they were actually in my care. So, I get you. And I imagine it's only going to get worse once I start teaching high school.

    1. And by that, I meant 'book club.' But, I won't really turn down food, so I could go for a cook club, too. You choose.