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Soup of This Day #183: How Many Notes In A Saxophone

May 23, 2012

Called cantaloupes by some, we call them rockmelons in Australia. Whatever you call them a good slice served with prosciutto is brilliant. Actually they’re pretty bloody good by themselves too. Unlike watermelon – Photo: Toby Hudson, 2009. Toby Hudson is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

Lately I’ve been having dizzy spells. This is not a metaphor – I’ve just been having to concentrate very hard to maintain my equilibrium.

And I’ve been having anxiety attacks, which is a bit worrying.

That may sound a little ironic – Me being worried about anxiety attacks. The thing is though, and look away now if you’re a trained mental health professional, I classify anxiety attacks as me being worried with no good reason to be worried. For instance, being anxious because my foot had turned into a watermelon would not really be an anxiety attack – It would be bit scary and bloody weird and therefore a fair bit of anxiety could be reasonably expected.

Also I don’t like watermelon.

If however I’m anxious because I think my foot might spontaneously turn into a watermelon for no apparent reason then that’s an anxiety attack – My foot just planted there, not even looking like it’s about to turn into a watermelon, is not a bit scary or bloody weird at all.

To be clear – I have no expectation around the sudden conversion of my foot to a watermelon – I was just using it as a hypothetical example. My foot is fine. Which is nice because I really don’t like watermelon. Contrary to the popular slogan, I believe cantaloupe is the money melon.

Concerned about this (The dizziness plus the anxiety attacks – Not the melons) I went to see a doctor today. While sitting in the waiting room my wife handed me a magazine. It was a Time Magazine and she got bored with it because Time is about current events and this edition was mostly around how the Bush presidency was winding down.

To be fair it was the 2nd Bush so it wasn’t as outdated as it could have been and also my wife may have been put off a bit by her husband reading over her shoulder.

Figuring that a nearly 5 year old Time was still worth a look I flicked through it, with 3 elements catching my eye. The 1st was about how Rudy Giuliani was taking a run at the Presidency. The 2nd was about how Benazir Bhutto might face fall-out from breaking with Pervez Musharraf. The 3rd was some guy commenting about how, that even though he’d given up smoking, women still find a guy who does light up to be cool and sexy.

In case anyone has missed the last 5 years and was wondering how that all played out:

Badly, really badly and… Let’s face it, that smoking guy was a @#$% back then and he possibly still is now. In case he’s reading this and hasn’t been brought around to the bald truth about cigarettes – Women don’t find it cool and sexy when you smoke – I asked 1, who happens to be the coolest and sexiest in the world, and she said a. Smoking isn’t attractive and b. Why are you reading over my shoulder?

All of this got me thinking about hindsight. See, this magazine was issued in June of 2007 – The Red Sox would go on to win the World Series in 2007. Could you tell at that point in 2007 that the Sox were on their way? And if so could you apply the formula to 2012?

There’d be a nice synergy if I matched this up with the date of that magazine but I think that it was the 12th of June and that’s still some weeks away so instead let’s compare the Red Sox world on the 22rd of May, 2007 and 2012:

In 2007: The Red Sox were at Yankee Stadium as Tito Francona battled wits with Joe Torre. Julien Tavarez took the mound for the Good while Mike Mussina was on for the Evil. Happily it was to be a day that Good would triumph, with Julio Lugo (1), Kevin Youkilis (1), David Ortiz (1), Manny Ramirez (3) and Mike Lowell (1) batting in runs. In response the Yankees could muster RBIs from just Derek Jeter (1) and Jorge Posada (1) as they went down 7-2.

The win solidified a great start to the 2007 season for the Boston outfit – They ended the day at 31 and 14, 1st in the AL East. The Yankees by contrast were at 20 and 24, 2nd in the AL East but a whopping 10.5 games out of 1st.

The Sox would go on to record a 96 and 66 record, edging the Yankees by 2 for the Division title. At the end of those 162 outings the collective Sox ERA ranked 1st in the American League (AL), with 3.87, conceding 657 runs (4.06 per game). On offence they ranked 3rd, notching up 867 runs (5.35 per game).

As a footnote, the Baltimore Orioles finished the season in 4th in the AL East with a 69 and 93 record. I’m referencing the O’s because…

In 2012: The Red Sox were at Camden Yards for a May 22nd date with the Birds. In the Manager’s duds were Bobby Valentine for Boston and Buck Showalter for Baltimore. Feliz Doubront had the start for the Stockings while Brian Matusz responded for the Birds. Sadly it was to be a day that Birds would triumph, with Wilson Betemit (2) and Steven Tolleson (2) batting in runs. In response the Sox could muster just an RBI from Kevin Youkilis.

The loss solidified a pretty ordinary start to the 2012 season for the Boston outfit – They ended the day at 21 and 22, 5th and last, in the AL East. The Orioles by contrast are at 28 and 16, 1st in the AL East and a fair old margin of 6.5 games clear of Boston.

At the end of 43 games the collective Sox ERA is ranked 13th in the AL, with 4.63, conceding 214 runs (4.98 per game). On offence they rank 2nd, notching up 230 runs (5.35 per game).

Keen eyes will spot that the runs scored per outing are identical. The ERAs are not – In 2012 the ERA is 0.76 greater. It’s a small sample size for sure, but taken with a game by game breakdown and the 2012 Red Sox clearly have a pitching issue that they need to fix to go the distance. The good news is though that if they do get the stuff coming off the mound right then they are in with a real shot.

Oh and Kevin Youkilis is somehow a key factor.

Meanwhile the doc did a whole battery of tests and couldn’t pinpoint a problem beyond I’m tired and run-down. He did say that he figured that whatever the issue is it is probably fairly benign. Nonetheless I got sent for some blood tests and I booked myself in for some counselling to handle the anxiety stuff.

Which is going to be useful.

Since we were on a medical roll we followed my visit to the doc with 1 for my wife. This time it was the obstetrician – We’ve made it to 36 weeks and we’re getting ready for the arrival of a new package of wonderful chaos.

That concept really does make me dizzy and anxious but I wouldn’t miss it for the World Series.

How Many Notes In A Saxophone

  1. You have had…and are having…some major life events going on simultaneously. I would be worried if you weren’t a tad anxious. Personal note about dizzy spell. It was a near-fainting dizzy spell back in October of 2006 that first sent me to the doc. It wasn’t until late January 2007…after having a really rough go of it in the interim…we all finally learned of my neck herniation. If you continue to feel unwell physically, do look for patterns and keep pushing for answers. By the way, another entertaining post and your writing is indeed inspiring to me also. Thanks for the kind words in a prior comment.

    • The advice to keep pushing is well taken – Fortunately the wife is skilled at asking the right questions and not letting go – Interestingly the last doc had a play around with my neck, looking for signs of nerve problems there, but luckily with no indications.

      Maybe it’s the head-spinning activities of my favourite baseball team that’s causing the problem…

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