Friday, December 25, 2020

What I Still Miss About My Pre-Covid-19 Life

A Dark Journey by Craig Cloutier

I still miss going to Sulphur Creek Nature Center with my wife, Maria, and our son, Miguelito.

I still miss our weekly father-and-son grocery store shopping trips.

I miss having father-and-son time because it rarely happens now that he’s become even more attached to my wife during this pandemic.

I still miss our libraries.

I miss seeing my nephew smile when I come over for a visit.

Friday, December 18, 2020

2020-2021 NBA Season Predictions

Ready or not, the NBA, its writers, analysts, and fans are in for a tumultuous ride. The league is about to embark on its craziest season ever since…last season’s. In 2020-2021, the NBA is attempting to play the most games of any American professional sports league during this historic pandemic. At this present juncture—because it’s the only view we’re afforded—it seems like a bold, defiant move on the part of the league and its players, but money fucking talks. If the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has taught us anything in this country, it is that.  

Last season, LeBron James led a third different franchise to a championship, triumphing over his former team, the upstart Miami Heat. On December 30th, he will turn 36. He has climbed to 9th on the list of All-Time Minutes Played Leaders, and is expected to soon pass Kobe Bryant. In his storied career, he has yet to miss a single playoff game, which is probably his most extraordinary accomplishment, especially since he has gone to the NBA Finals a whopping 10 times, including 9 out of the past 10 Finals. At this point, I humbly believe there is no question that James is one of the greatest athletes ever. Can he continue to defy peerless Father Time? Can he lift the Lakers to confetti-laden glory again?

The novel coronavirus will undoubtedly have a huge effect on this season. Players, coaches, and their families will be infected. Vaccines are literally on the horizon, and its not inconceivable to believe that an NBA team—or multiple teams, owned by billionaires—will secretly procure vaccines for their teams to give them a competitive edge throughout the season.

It’s going to be wild.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Clown Without Pity’s Quick & Dirty 2020 NBA Playoff Predictions

The NBA just successfully pulled off two weeks of seeding games that surpassed my highest expectations. One of the three hotels in their Orlando bubble has now been vacated since 6 teams have left. On a recent Lowe Post podcast with guest Pablo Torre, ESPN's Zach Lowe shared that he spoke with a number of league officials who privately thought the riskiest juncture in the entire NBA restart were the seeding games when there would be more teams in the bubble and more players who could potentially become disengaged and partake in activities that could get them and others infected with the novel coronavirus. Before the NBA bubble was set up, I thought they had a less than 5% chance of pulling it off, but now I’m realistically hopeful that they can keep their Covid-19 bubble intact and that we will ultimately see an NBA champion crowned. There’s so much that is still horribly wrong with our country, so I’ll take this good sports news and run with it. 

I feel especially grateful to have the opportunity to again put down some predictions for the NBA playoffs. This time around, I’m going to start each conference by highlighting the series I’m most interested in following. As usual, the Western Conference matchups look significantly more interesting, so let’s start there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Thoughts on the NBA Restart

On March 11, 2020, everything went to shit: seconds before tip-off between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder, a member of the Thunder’s medical staff sprinted onto the court and spoke to the officials. The game was eventually postponed. The Jazz’s All-Star center, Rudy Gobert, had tested positive for Covid-19, which prompted the league to “suspend” its season. For many of us ‘Muricans, the NBA’s shutdown is when we undoubtedly knew shit got real with this pandemic.

Although it was four and a half months ago, it feels like that date was at least half a year ago. This pandemic and our country’s subsequent unfuckingconceivably horrific response has a way of warping our collective sense of time. So much can change in a matter of days, and something two weeks out viscerally feels much longer than that because so many bad turns can and have happened in such a minute time frame. Since early March, so much has happened in this country and I’m not even going to try to begin to talk about that mad whirlwind because once I get going I’m not sure where I should conceivably end.

Instead, for one of the few times since early March, I’m going to try to focus my attention on something that isn’t related to SARS-CoV-2, the Black Lives Matters movement, police brutality, and the death spiral of the American empire we are witnessing in real time. Although this pandemic and the correlated destruction resulting from American hypercapitalism is far, far, far from over, I want to share some of my thoughts on the NBA’s 2019-2020 restart.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

2020 (in Words)

Words, terms, and acronyms I’ve learned in 2020 (and we’re only halfway through):

community spread
social distancing
The Rona
respiratory droplet
cytokine storm
COVID cliff
qualified immunity
gypsy cops
Cocoa Puffin

Saturday, April 25, 2020

What I Miss About My Pre-Covid-19 Life

I miss going to Sulphur Creek Nature Center with Miguelito.

I miss going to the farmers’ market as a family.

I miss our father/son grocery store shopping trips.

I miss going to parks and playgrounds with Miguelito.

I miss our libraries.

I miss going to the Castro Valley Library with Miguelito.

I miss seeing Miguelito and his cousin play together.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Tango Doctor

At the foot of Montaigle Castle by Eric Huybrechts

There was once a young man who was dying and terrified of never waking to see his beautiful face in the mirror again. His wavy golden-brown hair was reminiscent of a lion’s mane though he lacked such kingly vigor. Instead, his fair skin was palish with a sickly tinge of yellow. Over a year’s time, the poor man had been afflicted with a mysterious ailment that left him more and more exhausted although he slept plentifully, did not suffer from hypothyroidism, ate a nutritious balance of food, exercised sound hygiene and was not clinically depressed. As the months passed, his spirits caved. His eyes developed a distant, far-off quality to them. It was from staring down Death, his loyal wife swore. A beautiful specimen herself, she accompanied him everywhere throughout that vexing, difficult time. When they first married years before, the man often marched home across the town’s cobblestone streets instead of waiting for the tram. But once he became sick for months on end, merely flipping off his bed sheets to trudge down the hall to the bathroom took every ounce of energy he could muster.

The man and his wife sought every trusted medical means to diagnose his malady. All of his bodily faculties seemed in good order: his lungs, heart, mind, and cardiovascular and digestive systems were normal for a man of his young age. They were confounded. On a lark he sought a psychotherapist to help him conclude that the symptoms were not psychosomatic, nor that he secretly wished to be ill so his wife could shower him with attention. His therapist assured the man that he had not subconsciously manifested his illness to sabotage his lucrative business. Quite the opposite, his therapist deduced.