As those who’ve been reading this blog for awhile may remember, Santa Barbara was hit by a major wildfire in November and friends of mine lost their homes. Today, at about 2 p.m., another fire flared up. By the time the Yankees-Sox game started at 4, Pacific Time, it had burned 160 acres and planes were battling the flames and high winds.
So there I was on Saturday night, having dinner at Sly’s Restaurant in Carpinteria, eating the best meal in Santa Barbara County, maybe even in the entire state of California. (Yes, it’s that good. If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favor and order a steak, some mashed potatoes, their famous hot fudge sundae, anything on the menu. Chef James Sly and his wife Annie will make the experience a memorable one, trust me.)
My husband and I were joined in our food and wine gluttony by literary agent Angela Rinaldi and Joseph Parent, the author of “Zen Golf,” “Zen Putting” and “Golf: The Art of the Mental Game.”
Joseph is a pro golfer’s pro who’s worked with champions like Vijay Singh and many others. The truth is, I couldn’t care less about golf. I never play it, never watch it, never read about it…..except that I’ve been glued to the Tiger Woods story. Why was he leaving his house at 2:30 in the morning? What made him drive onto a neighbor’s property? How come his wife supposedly came running out with a golf club and smashed the car window? Inquiring minds want to know what was going on with those two.
I tried to worm some information out of Joseph, but he was maddeningly discreet. I was about to give up on him as a dinner conversationalist when he said, “Oh, by the way, how about the Yankees?” I immediately reached into my handbag and whipped out the She-Fan Cam. (You never know when you’ll meet up with a Yankee fan, so it’s important to have it handy at all times.) I told Joseph to get ready for his close up and he put on his Mr. Magoo glasses and here’s our interview.
No structures were in harm’s way at that point, but the smell of smoke and ash was awful and it was hard to breathe. I turned on the game, figuring I’d forget about what was going on outside my window. I saw Joba’s early ineptitude, followed by a few innings of his remarkable turnaround.
And then the power went out.
It stayed out for awhile – long enough for me to miss the Yankees’ own power outage. When it came back on, I had many, many questions about the 7-3 loss.
* Could the Yanks not figure out a way to score a few more runs against a less-than-stellar Beckett?
* Did Melky have to go for that triple instead of being satisfied with a double?
* Was Pena’s error the latest evidence that the Yankees can’t win a game in which they don’t field the ball cleanly?
* Did Melancon forget where home plate is?
* Shouldn’t 12 strikeouts from a starter be enough to get a “W?”
Way to rally, boys.
Speaking of rallying, the firefighters are amazing here; they don’t have an easy task, given that the fire season doesn’t usually start this early and there have been so many fires in Santa Barbara County over the past couple of years. But the conditions are incredibly dry and the winds are howling. As of 9 p.m., the fire had burned 420 acres, and 1200 homes were evacuated.
Do I wish the Yankees had won? Obviously. But right now I’m more concerned with how this night will go. Paradise can be a scary place.
(Fire Photos: Santa Barbara Independent)