Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for May 12th, 2012

Just Reviewed “The Outsourced Self” at SBR

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Folks, you owe it to yourself to read THE OUTSOURCED SELF  by Arlie Russell Hochschild.  Hochschild, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has an interesting and often trenchant take on the current trend of personal outsourcing — where we pay someone else to do something we used to do ourselves, like organizing a child’s birthday party, or finding a name for an infant, or finding someone to meet and marry (as in the case of  This is an interesting book with many laugh out loud moments, but it’s the power of its argument that eventually won me over.

Know, though, that this isn’t a perfect book; Hochschild mostly deals with the American upper middle class, and in these tough economic times, that really seems nonsensical.  (When we do see low-income people, they are almost always foreigners, which seems really strange.)  We have plenty of poor people in the United States; why didn’t Hochschild interview a few?  Didn’t she think they would advance her argument, considering that this whole idea of “outsourcing yourself” seems prevalent now among all classes and cultures in the United States, for one reason and one reason alone — that is, “if you pay for it” (whatever it is), “it must have more value.”

While I disagree, and disagree strongly, with that idea, I’ve certainly seen other people who espouse it.  That’s why Hochschild’s book is both topical and relevant — and it’s why I believe every writer should read this book.

Here’s the link to tonight’s review:


Written by Barb Caffrey

May 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm

May Baseball: Brewers in Extras, Rottino Sent Back to AAA

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Currently, as of 11:56 PM on Friday, May 11, 2012, the Milwaukee Brewers are tied with the Chicago Cubs, 7-7.  They’re about to go to the thirteenth inning; all position players and all non-starting pitchers have been used, with the only two players available being starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo (who pitched two days ago) and Marco Estrada (who’s supposed to pitch Sunday), which leaves Brewers reserve pitcher Vinnie Chulk as the pitcher of record . . . this is a game, believe it or not, where the Brewers were ahead, 1-0, until the top of the seventh inning.

All of that sturm und drang, though, pales in comparison to the latest twist of the Vinny Rottino saga.  Rottino was called up by the New York Mets on May 4, 2012, played in three games, went 0 for 4 during that time, and now has been sent back to AAA Buffalo.  The main reason Rottino was sent down is that Mets IF Ronny Cedeno was reinstated from the 15-day DL.

Some of what Rottino is dealing with has to do with being the 26th guy on a 25 man roster; that is, he’s good enough to play in the majors, though probably not every day, and the Mets know this or they’d never have called him up.  They also have to know that Rottino is a guy who does better if he plays every day or every other day — that doesn’t mean he’ll never stick in the majors, but the timing has to be right for him. 

Rottino’s career, thus far, seems to be plagued by bad timing.  This, of course, is entirely out of Rottino’s control.  All Rottino can do is prepare himself, persist, and hit the cover off the ball at Buffalo.  If he does this, let’s hope the right opportunity will finally arise as Rottino truly deserves it.

By the way, the Brewers are now batting in the bottom of the 13th inning.  The game’s still tied, 7-7.  The Cubs are now out of relief pitchers and have used their very last player, catcher Geovany Soto, off the bench.  Rickie Weeks got hit on the left wrist and may have hurt himself badly; he can’t get the batting glove off his hand and is wincing in pain.  Ryan Braun is about to bat; let’s hope he can end this game so the Brewers can find out what’s wrong with Weeks already.

UPDATE:  Braun, too, was hit by a pitch (in the back); the Cubs final reliever, Lendy Castillo, was wild and didn’t get warned.  Aramis Ramirez lined a single into center, then came the hero of the day night — Corey Hart.  Hart had already hit a 2 R HR in the 9th to tie the game at 7, then hit a seeing-eye single that drove in the eighth and final run for the Brewers.  Brewers win, 8-7; Hart goes 4 for 7 with a HR, double, and two singles, and drove in 3.  Chulk gets the win (his first win since August 19, 2007 in the majors); he’s 1-0.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 12, 2012 at 12:11 am