The St. Louis Cardinals played very badly in Game 2 of the NLCS. I'm sorry to leave you with such insights, but Tuesday night I am learning again that it is a bad idea to trust a public university—even for a little bit—to provide stable internet access to its lowly on-campus grad students when it could spend a ton of money on enterprise-y network security software and build a cargo cult ISP instead.
As of this moment the network's been down about five hours in this apartment complex, which I share mostly with Asian and Middle Eastern exchange students who are studying useful and rich-making things like engineering and physics and all the other things you hope your kids go into. I spent an hour, as is my custom, stewing about my degree in English. Then I spent a few more stewing about my inability to update the other blogs for which I am responsible, and I composed a long, eloquent e-mail outlining the frustrations of being a Web 2.0 Knowledge Worker in the New Media when your landlord can't keep the lights on, and suggesting that the camel's back had broken somewhere this side of the Rubicon, or something. And I spent the last few stewing about the way the Cardinals were outplayed in Game 2.
Because they were—they were outplayed in a way that doesn't even require that the other team play very well. Chris Carpenter was undermined by balls in play and poor defense, but all that mediocrity took because he couldn't find then strike zone; his command, the very skill that makes him Chris Carpenter, wasn't in evidence, and he couldn't continue pretending he had it indefinitely.
Obviously the very skill that makes Ryan Vogelsong Ryan Vogelsong is his hard-won ability to make other teams look terrible for being unable to hit Ryan Vogelsong, and that was in evidence. Teams can't come back from five and six run deficits every game, but Vogelsong was able to make this look like a team that could never do that sort of thing.
So I stewed about that, too. Reader, I had a stew going. Eventually—this was after midnight—I realized the only way I was going to get anything posted at all involved walking down to the lobby of the International House and using their aging, locked-down computers. I dug out my USB drive and I walked down there.
There was a very frustrated-looking Asian student stewing in front of one of them, still wearing his jacket. That's when I realized the network was down all over. So I watched him, for a second, as he angry-typed URLs into Internet Explorer 7. And then I saw him open up a new Microsoft Word document, change the font to Arial 128, and write the following, with more satisfaction than I'd felt all night:
The INTERNET is SUCK today!!
He maximized the window and walked away, and I went back to my apartment.
You can complain about feeling like you have an IT team embedded permanently within your apartment. You can insist on being treated like an adult who knows not to download torrents or install Bonzi Buddy. You can write, in perfectly formed paragraphs, a persuasive case for why the network's new policies have been counterproductive and constitute an overreach on the part of a department that can only be available during banking hours.
But sometimes you're just writing your way around the obvious fact. The Cardinals were SUCK yesterday. Let's hope they're better in Game 3.