Who uses it: College coaches and athletes
What it means: A college athlete who spends a year practicing with the team but not playing, either because of academic requirements or because the student has transferred from another school.
How you can use it: To describe someone who's training, but not playing yet.
Redshirted players don't actually wear red shirts, which has always puzzled me. And "redshirt" should not be confused with "red card," which is a soccer penalty. (I don't watch soccer; do officials actually hand players a red card, or is that just metaphorical?)
I seem to be alternating between good days and bad. Yesterday was a bad day, so I'm counting on today being a good one. I need to get some things done. In the meantime, here's
What I Read This Week
Karen Olson, Sacred Cows. Meeting Karen Olson was the highlight of last year's New England Crime Bake for me; at one point, we were the only women at our table who weren't knitting. (Don't get me wrong: I admire people who can knit well, and I knit (poorly) myself -- but you will never see me pull out a set of needles at a professional meeting, even if the sponsors are a group called "Sisters in Crime." Come on, ladies.) Anyway, it took me way too long to read her first novel, but it was worth the wait. A Yale student falls to her death from an apartment balcony; reporter Annie Seymour soon discovers that the student had been working as a high-priced prostitute, and that her death is tied to a scam that reaches the highest levels of New Haven's elite. Annie is a great character with a sharp, funny voice, and I look forward to her next adventure.
Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation. Sarah Vowell follows the historical trails that led to three Presidential assassinations: Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. It's funny and enlightening, showing how the patterns of American history repeat themselves -- and how our current President really ought to be reading more about the McKinley Administration.
Herman Wouk, Youngblood Hawke. When I feel bad, I reread my favorite books; it feels like hanging out with old friends. I bought a used hardcover of this book in college, and read it until it fell apart. It's 783 pages; the spine split, the boards fell off, and eventually even I had to throw it away. Then I bought a paperback edition, and passed it around to all my friends in Los Angeles until that copy fell apart, too. This copy belongs to the Gardiner Public Library, and I am returning it in the same condition it was in when I checked it out. It's a sprawling epic about a gifted writer who seems bent on self-destruction; it's also a cultural history of American publishing and filmmaking, circa 1950. It is one of my all-time favorite books, and if you've read it and disliked it, you can't be my friend. Sorry.