'Lincecum was obviously shooting for his fourteenth no-hitter," Jock theorized, as he threw back a shot of whiskey and snatched up a handful of salted peanuts to munch on.
"Damn! Missed that," Colby groaned, without skipping a beat.
"I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Golden Gate," he fumed.
"Some asshole ran out of gas in the middle of the bridge and caused a huge traffic jam.
"Times are tough, 'ya know. A lot of folks can't afford to just filler 'er up, these days like they used to. Not at $4.50 a gallon. Five bucks, here. Ten bucks, there. Fortunately, I have a gauge on my dash that keeps an eye on the gas and mileage. Talk about a guzzler! But, at least I'm not running-on-empty."
"So, do 'ya bet on the Giants, or what," Colby quizzed with a sly grin on his face.
"Got any action 'ya can turn me on to?"
Jock considered himself a bit of an amateur sports writer when it came to America's favorite pastime - and the Giants – of course.
Shortly after he caught the black and orange bug a few months ago (just before the rag-tag team was thrown together by Bochy and roared on to nab the World Championships) Jock launched a blog on the internet to keep track of each glorious hit, homer, and nasty slide.
The California transplant liked to think that he was actually fanning fan frenzy, egging the ballplayers on from the sidelines, and boosting morale.
The blog was gaining momentum - which was gratifying – because he’d tinkered with the concept quite a bit to get it up-and-running.
On occasion, Jock would glance up from his laptop – a bit weary-eyed and worse-for-wear – and be taken aback when he spied the two hands on the antique Grandfather clock in the hall spelling out some ungodly hour at the crack of dawn.
"Spare time on my free evenings is gobbled up just like that," he bluntly noted to Colby, as he snapped his fingers to accentuate the fact.
If he wasn’t careful - he’d be sucked into a vortex – beyond this dimension inside the computer screen.
"So, 'ya getting many hits these days?"
"Uh-huh," Jock beamed, with smug satisfaction, as he double-checked the score for a hockey game on the wide-screen TV overhead running on muted mode overhead.
"The college kids want iTunes – pop chart stuff - when they're cruising the bimbos and letting off steam," the owner fessed up.
"Hitter's Paradise” had all the look and feel of a gritty New York sports bar - except for the lack of sports anchors droning in the background - in the dimly-lit watering hole.
"I installed this really cool tracking software. It's amazing, when 'ya think about it. Every day when I check the stats, I'm blown away. I have followers all the way down the coast, and North up to Alaska - even overseas in Germany and Italy - you name it!"
Once the traffic started to rev up, Jock was keen on fathoming ways to jazz up the web site, with the hope that he’d attract more dedicated fans.
By analyzing the numbers, Jock – a newbie, when it came to computers - was able to figure out which of the Giants were snapping up the most attention and why.
Yeah, it was turning out to be a popularity contest, like it or not.
Some folks may fear the beard – or think he’s downright wacky – but golly.
Wilson had quite a following, it was undeniable.
So, at the suggestion of an advertising exec he played golf with, Jock started posting action shots of Wilson, Tim Lincecum, and Buster Posey in ubiquitous hot-spots on the site.
If the featured players passed the litmus test – got a few hundred clicks or two – the images were left to grace the homepage.
Right now, Jock was trying to rustle up sponsors to generate some moolah, too.
Ultimately, he was anxious to expand and develop his sports blog and - in particular - a highlight he kiddingly referred to as the - "baseball web of fame".
"Heh, maybe I’ll tell my boss to take the job and shove it one day,” he cackled gleefully one raucous night, after he had a few mood-altering cocktails under his belt.
Lincecum was the player he admired the most.
"It’s uncanny. That arm of his is a gold mine, alright” he boasted on Tim’s behalf to his pals just prior to the start up of a match on local turf at AT & T ballpark over the weekend.
“And, sometimes - the way the sunlight falls on his face in the middle of a play - it's awesome, really."
"Sheer poetry in motion. Yup," an older gent, down-in-his-cups, uttered up from the shadows near the back door.
"Sometimes, you have to wonder – what’s he thinking under that baseball cap - once it's so tightly screwed down over his forehead."
Is he shy, or what?
"Modest, just betcha. It’s important to cut the bullshit and focus on the task at hand,” Jock added, matter-of-fact.
"The way Lincecum takes command on the pitcher's mound after they've been biting the dust. It's – well – mesmerizing!”
"Well, they don't call him the freak for no good reason, eh?" Colby teased in jest.
"Hard luck for Zito, though. What - he's out a month - that right?"
"Sprained his right foot," Jock uttered up in disgust.
"Zito dove to catch a pop in front of the mound in the 2nd inning. Risky, didn’t pay off, in the end."
"He left the clubhouse on crutches with a swollen ankle. Nothing broken, though."
Colby laughed out loud.
"It gets my goat, the way some of the ballplayers – Bumgarner, for example – lick their wounds in public.”
"Today was a huge step for me from where I've been. I started getting confidence back and to believe in myself a little more," Jock mimicked, at which point Colby cracked up, and slapped his buddy on the back in agreement.
"But, on occasion - when he reveals his sensitive feminine side - it gives me a roaring hard on.”
"The kid is too touchy-feely. He needs to beef up," the bartender quipped as he strode by in the direction of a table of lugheads with a half-a-dozen brewskies frothing at their mouths on a silver tray.
"Pump some iron, at least," Colby joked, as he unloosened his tie and rolled up his sleeves.
"Time to get down and get dirty."
It had been a tough day down at the stock exchange.
When a reporter announced on the local news that there was a shift in management at one of his top-sellers the stock took a nose dive.
"Didn't lose my shirt, though. Never have, yet!"
One of these days, he vowed he was going to get out of the racket.
Time to unwind!
“Party-time,” Colby cheered a bit shit-faced.
"One round on me, Frankie," he belted out to the bartender, as he slightly slurred his words.
"You're cut off," the struggling actor kidded, as he spun on his heel - tossed a bottle in the air - and on the rebound ceremoniously poured out a couple of shots with style and pizzazz.
"No, this one's on me, bud!"
"Fag," he barked out jokingly.
"Takes one to know one," he goosed back.
About this time of the night, the bawdy locker room antics of the locals, usually revved up.
Ah, life was sweet.
He gulped down a tall glass of ice wate and popped a couple of aspirins.
That little cautionary act on a night of boozing usually prevented a splitting headache from rearing its ugly head the next day.
"Quite a turn-out," Candace whispered under her breath to her husband, as she maneuvered her way through Wilsey Court, in search of an obliging waiter with a tray of champagne in hand.
The one-hundred-or-so Balenciaga designer gowns on exhibit at the de Young Museum were simply exquisite.
"Anna loves the show, but with a laugh noted it was time for Hamish to get back to work," she overheard Sloan Barrett joke, as she flitted off to get a glimpse of Gwyneth Paltrow.
"Oh, she's posing for photographers with Juliet de Baubigny. You know, the hot-to-trot blond who pushes venture capital at Kleiner Perkins," one of her bridge buddies cooed with a slight dig in her voice.
The Balenciaga Gala brought out the power elite, that's for sure, one excited interior decorator gushed to his bottle-blond boyfriend in an aside.
Anna Wintour, the Editor for Vogue, was holding court in one corner.
In another alcove, Maria Bello and Mia Wasikowska – two talented actresses out-on-the-town – chatted each other up oblivious to the showy goings-on raging on all around them with gay abandon.
Mayer (Google) and Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) – both dressed-to-the-nines in sparkly pricey frocks – talked tech shop.
A tastefully decorated tented patio was the place to schmooze - if a guest was capable of finagling his or her way inside the canvas gate – and likewise - manage to locate a plum perch.
Stanlee Gatti’s dazzling purple banquettes - festively adorned with eye-catching floral centerpieces topped with ornate black branches and sprigs of orange rinds - were a hit with the chic set in attendance.
"Did you get his card, dear," one socialite decked out in heavy artillery - a dazzling array of precious and semi-precious gems draped around her thin elegant neck - pestered her escort.
Former Mayor, Gavin Newsom, was seen glad-handing supporters as he flirted with a pretty lady or two.
His wife didn’t appear to be miffed at the glaring slight.
Was that really Orlando Bloom looking nonchalant and sporting a designer tux?
“He’s more of a stud in the flesh,” Candace mused to herself.
On screen, he came off a little bit too pretty - effeminate, in fact - Candace giggled to a handsome lawyer who was a Senior partner at the Meagan, Flom, and Del Toux.
After gently nursing a couple of glasses of bubbly down, Candace felt a little tipsy.
The pretty ball gowns adorning the svelte frames of the tony elite tonight signaled that black was the hue and cry of the fashionistas this season.
Pastels occasionally made a splashy entrance – and thus - managed to brighten up the sumptuous but staid - environs a smidgen.
Individual style – buoyed up with subtle romantic flourishes - was still in vogue.
“Timeless in appeal,” one up-and-coming dress designer sniffed in an arrogant snotty tone of voice.
Candace’s ankles were killing her.
She was tempted to slip the heels right off her feet, and stroll barefoot on the cool expensive marble floor, but decided against it.
It was silly to have tossed the pricey designer footwear on in view of the fact the Museum was packed to capacity.
For starters, some slightly inebriated fool might step on her toes, or - at a minimum - spill an exotic cocktail all over her spanking-new shoes.
On the other hand, the soiree was so packed, that it was doubtful anyone would be able to catch sight of her dainty beautifully-crafted high heels below the hectic fray.
Besides, as they say in Hollywood - if they're looking at your feet - you're in trouble.
For 39, she was still a looker, thanks to the skillful handiwork of a precise plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills.
No nips and tucks, not for Candace!
Who wants to end up with a ghastly stretched face mirroring that of Joan Rivers?
Dr. Logan diligently extracted a bit of fat drooping at the eyelid, for starters.
Then, expertly dealt with the crow’s feet.
Injections – fillers, as they’re referred to – triggered a magical transformation.
Within minutes, her skin was as smooth and as wrinkle-free as a baby’s virgin bottom.
In her youth, the seductive bombshell often engaged in a daily ritual, which just about ruined her skin permanently.
Every day around noon, she’s slip out to the pool – don a skimpy bikini – then slather on thick baby oil mixed with iodine.
For the next hour or two, the New Yorker would bake in the sizzling hot sun, unaware of the devastating damage she was causing.
Today, Candace recoils in horror at the mere thought of punishing her skin in that senseless fashion.
The former top model wised up.
What was the worst time of day to saunter out for some rays?
At peak hours – when the sun beat down in all its intensity – between 11 o’clock in the morning and 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Just twenty minutes in direct sunlight can cause irreversible permanent damage.
Yes, slapping on skin block and moisturizers was of the utmost importance to ensure radiant healthy skin prevailed.
But, it was also essential to remain hydrated, and likewise, feast on delicious fresh fruit and raw vegetables rich in vitamins and nutrients.
In addition to a nourishing diet, a full night’s rest was key, too.
“Oh, Ms. Whitney is so high maintenance,” her nanny used to giggle to all within earshot.
You get the face you deserve at 50!
She always had this strange idea that a person’s thoughts, their feelings – even their attitude about life – influenced the process of exterior aging (and ultimately shaped first expressions and the overall attitude of a face).
Hard rockers like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were not only perfect examples of what happens with skin care negligence - but illustrated the horrors of what happens when an indiviudal pursues a wild party lifestyle with a vengeance.
At least her husband didn't stray - and hot-blooded males still made a play for her – alright.
She wasn’t a cougar by any stretch of the imagination.
On the contrary, Candace was elegant, and stylish, and carried herself well.
"Oh, Candace, there you are!"
She turned, as Armistead Maupin came into view.
"There’s someone I want you to meet,” he gushed.
After he gave a little bow, a broad smile swept across his face.
Not a bad writer, either.
It wasn’t always wise to open up too much to Maupin, though.
Without intending to – and certainly not with any malicious forethought – friends and acquaintances (the shells of them at least?) often turned up between the hard-bound covers of his bestsellers.
On occasion, the guessing game became party fodder, alright.
Candace needed to lighten up, relax, and savor life more.
Some days, it was difficult to let her guard down, though.
A wall - a mask she hid behind - separated her from the rest of the world.
Unknown to many, she’d suffered through the school of hard knocks, though.
She raised herself up – when no one else would lend a hand – which was good on her.
A deep dark secret lurked beneath the surface, and sometimes gnawed away at her very soul, though no one else was aware of it.
Consequently, hooking up with her husband was a Godsend, in many respects.
While he waas out of town - usually on business - Candace was often left to her own devices.
Indeed, she was left to indulge in her new-found independence - and most importantly - pursue her interests in the Ballet, Modern Art, and flower arrangement.
Orchids were her favorite.
The name - Orchid - came from the Greek "órkhis" which literally means "testicle" because of the shape of the root.
In most cultures, the exotic flower has been seen a symbol of beauty, royalty or love.
In Europe, orchids were used as a main ingredient in love potions.
Ancient Greeks also associated orchids with virility and fertility.
It was believed that if the father of an unborn child ate the largest and newest orchid stems and roots, then their child would be a male. But if the mother ate small orchid roots and stems, then she would give birth to a girl.
Today, the pink orchid is commonly designated as the 14th wedding anniversary flower, symbolizing affection and love.
That reminded her, they'd be celebrating their 13th, next week.
Maybe they should take a relaxing cruise to Hawaii?
(to be continued)