God, the Others and James Geier

When I was about eight, I was made to audition for a school choir, just as everyone else in my class. The difference was that, unlike other kids, I was told to “leave the room and go play football or something” prior to making it to the the third word of the revolutionary evergreen “Through the Mountains and the Forests of Our Proud Land”. And my musical abilities only went downhill from there.

Now, here I am, forty and still more likely to carry an ox on my back than a tune, so what better task could I embark on than to review a CD?

The fact that I know nothing about music doesn’t mean that it’s not a huge part of my life. You know, not being an expert in the field never stopped people from having strong opinions on the matter. I love music, I’m just not smart enough to explain how or why a certain tune turns to be pleasant or not. I can’t even tell you in what musical category or subcategory a song that I just listened to belongs.

So, let’s get this out of the way quickly – I love the sound of James Geier’s new CD “God, the Others and Me”. Why? No clue. It’s comfortable, engaging at times, reassuring, relaxing and positive. It’s just – very nice. With such an expert description, you’d never have guessed that professional audio critic I’m not, right?

But — unlike the conclusion you might reach if you watch MTV or listen to the majority of the radio stations — there is more to a song than just a tune. To me, every good song is a journey, the one where you are taken on a path you knew not existed. It’s a story, a short odyssey into a mind of a gifted storyteller. It’s a trigger to temporarily escape the repetition path we pace day in and day out, it’s a calling to stop and smell the flowers, if you will.

For a stranger to sing the words that you’ll find engaging, you have to feel honesty and there is more self-honesty oozing out of the 13 songs on Geier’s album than you, I and your three best friends had courage to amass in our lifetimes. Let him sing you a story and you will feel love, hurt, insecurity and commitment and you will believe him. Let him sing you a story and if you listen carefully, you will hear that he is not singing about himself, but rather about you and your life.

I know diddley about music, but I know words and these are as good as you will find in a song. Try them and you might learn something about yourself you knew all the time, but you just couldn’t formulate as well as God, the Others and James Geier do.

Chasing a dream

A few days after winning the 1994 Amateur Baseball World Series, Jimmy Summers entered the house in Eastern Ohio alone. He was about to negotiate his first baseball contract and all he brought to the meeting was a six-pack of beer, a burning desire to play ball and an open mind.

As he reached the cellar, he saw that Kruno and Damir Karin, the representatives of Baseball Klub Olimpija Karlovac, were already there. The brothers K were standing between the bar and the Ping-Pong table, flashing broad smiles and holding a bottle of vodka.

Jimmy looked at his beer and realized that he had brought a knife to a gun fight.

Continue reading Chasing a dream

Hvala, Didier

U prvoj utrci protivnici su mu bili Marc Girardelli, Günther Mader i Luc Alphand. U posljednjoj – Marcel Hirscher, Beat Feuz i Alexis Pinturault. U gotovo dvadeset godina između, Didier Cuche mjerio se s generacijama i generacijama vrhunskih skijaša, redovno osvajajući bodove, ali i – srca navijača.

Što donosi skijaško sutra?

Ne tako davno, sport je pripadao sportašima. Tradicija, sportski duh, traženje najboljeg među najboljima – sve je to bila bit koja je vukla natjecatelje u vječnu borbu protiv još jedne sekunde, metra ili kilograma. Danas? Danas smo gazde mi – vi i ja – svaki sa svojim daljinskim upravljačem, a sportaši su svedeni na zabavljače čija je svrha postojanja nastup u predstavi koja nas mora zadovoljiti.

Welcome

Glad you dropped by. Seriously.

What you are looking at is a mixture of a personal archive for works published on various outlets and what just might turn out to be yet another blog. I hope it will.

In the meanwhile, feel free to go through the archived articles. If you care for baseball statistical analysis, there is plenty of that, highlighted by the study I did for The Hardball Times on how efficient the catchers are when blocking pitches in the dirt. If you like baseball, yet couldn’t care less for the numbers, you might enjoy a cool story about Jeff Francoeur or a thorough interview with Mike Piazza.

If you, like me, think that sports is about more than just winning and losing, then the story of Moshi Ants might be for you. Or the one about the right to play.

Continue reading Welcome

Of six bulls and an idiot

First thing that crossed my mind was that I was an idiot. Honestly, how else can you describe a man whose alarm clock starts shouting at five in the morning. On a vacation.
Continue reading Of six bulls and an idiot

Outfield assist of another kind

In a sense, there has been an air of spring training atmosphere around September baseball in Oakland for a while now. Only without the hope part.

The weather is great. The games don’t really decide anything. And not too many watch them to start with.

So, when Jeff Francoeur and his 59-83 Royals rolled into town to take on the 64-77 Athletics last September, the world wasn’t exactly holding its collective breath.

Continue reading Outfield assist of another kind

The unspoiled continent – Part VI – Time to go home

It wasn’t fear.

It was a growing realization that I have made a challenge to something very powerful and that it was going to show up in its best shape. Now the question was – was I up to it?

Continue reading The unspoiled continent – Part VI – Time to go home

The unspoiled continent – Part V – The party at the glacier

So, yeah, that whole thing with the Ukrainians was pretty surreal. A pub in Antarctica? Are you kidding me?

I mean, what’s next? Being woken up by a dinghy with a crazy dude in a kilt in it, playing bagpipes and inviting everyone to a party on board British marines’ sailing boat, where I’d meet an expedition trying to conquer Forbidden Plateau, National Geographic Antarctica-kayaking-crew and arguably the best solo sailor of the world?

Exactly.

Continue reading The unspoiled continent – Part V – The party at the glacier

The unspoiled continent – Part IV – Ukrainian vodka and Highland fling (nsfw)

There are many things one envisions about Antarctica.

A pub is not one of them.

I thought it was going to be cold and it was. I thought I might see the whales, the seals and the penguins and I did. I thought sailing might be tough and it was going to be. But, it never, ever crossed my mind that I could spend an evening in Antarctica drinking vodka and playing billiard, translating small-talk from Russian to Spanish to German to English to Russian, all while listening to The Sundowners’ Colonial Classics.

Yet, there I was.

Continue reading The unspoiled continent – Part IV – Ukrainian vodka and Highland fling (nsfw)