As time passes and faces grow nameless in my memory, I wonder how I’m going to hold my life together. When I was a youngin during our time in the States, my mother frequently took me and my older siblings to a nearby park to play. At the time, I didn’t know why. I mean, it’s not like we couldn’t play at home. We had a swing set, a jungle gym/playhouse, a sand box, and, of course, grass… driving to a park for the same amenities seemed a bit foolish. Aside from that, at this point in time in the ’80s, we sufferers of ocular albinism were forced to wear sunglasses outside lest our retinas be scorched like the fires of hell. I preferred to stay home and read.
We always arrived at the park just past lunch. My brother usually ran off to play baseball while my sister and 10 other girls convened near the swing sets to engage in Barbie Dream World or whatever it is little girls do with anatomically incorrect plastic dolls that possess neo-archetypal beauty. I joined the group once at my mother’s insistence and upon not being able to get Barbie into her Dream Car, I removed Barbie’s legs and threw them in the Dream House. She fit perfectly… three minutes later I found myself kicked out of the club. So, I stuck to playing make-believe in the area around the bench my mother occupied. On some days, she’d put her book down and play with me, on others she’d try to get me involved in a game of tag with other children, and occasionally, she would simply let me be. But this all stopped the day a boy arrived at the park with his grandfather. With hair like auburn crescent moons and a nape the color of the midnight sky, his appearance captivated me. It wasn’t often that I felt connected to someone. It wasn’t his peculiar confidence or his somewhat wry inner amusement, as he danced merrily to the songs his grandfather would sing. It was that he, like me, was a study in sharp aesthetic contrast. His curls flopped whimsically against his dark skin much the same way that my albinic curls fell against my dark bronze shoulders. I was never close enough to see his eyes and couldn’t tell if they were like mine but I knew that at the very least, he didn’t “match.” I felt an instant bond with him but was far too shy to ask him to play… I remember the way he giggled when I crept near. I remember his grandfather speaking to my mother and her telling him how cute we were together. It made me blush. And though other little kids made fun of us, it didn’t seem to matter as much anymore. We continued on, day after day, rarely as a duo but always within a stone’s throw from one another, exchanging occasional smiles of reassurance and comfort. And then, one day, he wasn’t there. I spent most of the afternoon on the bench with my mum awaiting the arrival of the sky blue station wagon but it never came.
A year passed. I was gearing up for the day when I’d permanently ride my bike without training wheels. To practice, my parents took me to the park. Upon arriving at the all-too familiar bench, I spotted a couple close to my parents’ age at the nearby table where his grandpa used to sit. It was my mom that spotted him though, near the sandbox, dancing to music that wasn’t there… at least, I couldn’t hear it. But it didn’t matter. For the first time I ran around the park with someone that I could call a friend. We played on the swings.. I taught him how to do handstands and he showed me where to find worms. As the sun went down, he picked a dandelion and put it in my hand, called me a princess, and said I was funny. His eyes were a pale grey. I made faces at him and he kissed me on the cheek.. right on top of my dimple. Our moms cooed… he laughed; I blushed.
I never saw him again after that day but I think of him often. I wonder if he thinks about me. And now, his name, a name I’ve said to myself a billion times in my dreams and memories, has somehow slipped away. It’s nearly sunrise as I write and I’d guess my body’s need to sleep is contributing to this random bout of memory loss but that’s no consolation. He was my first friend and at 6:12 AM, I can’t remember his name… I can’t help but feeling a bit sad that I don’t.
“When is your head gonna get better so I can go back to giving you rough sex?”
Let this be a lesson to you girls out there… if you want to avoid rough sex, concussions, ironically, are the ticket to freedom
Welcome back, Spring Breakers. I’d like to trust that you’re all returning sans police records, pregnancies, baby mamas, and featured segments on Girls Gone Wild but I’m just not that naive. To those of you who became statistics in the last week, I’m sorry and I’m sure there’s a support group for it.
In other news, I’m now in a fantasy baseball league, which means that I’m now developing an ulcer. I’ve played in many fantasy leagues but all were for football and futbol, two topics of which I have a large amount of knowledge. Fantasy baseball, however, always seemed like the venture of the ultimate stathead… the guy that could not only name the starting lineup for every club in the game but the hot AAA prospects ready to receive the call; the guy that understands why on base percentage trumps batting average; the guy that was willing to commit 6 months of his life to the daily ins and outs of Major League Baseball because he loves the game that much. I was certainly not that guy. But Matt prodded me a little and in time, I agreed to join up. In doing so, however, I failed to consider how much this decision would change my life.
As most of you know, I have a frightful case of OCD and an addictive personality. I’m not Monk… I’m functional in regular society. But all the same, I have some issues. For those of you who alphabetize your cds and dvds and therefore think you can identify with me, just put it away… you can’t compete. In any case, Matt explained everything that I need to do in preparation for MLB draft day, the most intense of all fantasy experiences. I listened intently, developed a written plan of attack, and then immersed myself in the game with maniacal researching, examining, organizing, and compiling information on nearly 550 baseball players and the sleepers in their midst. I rank ordered the players by position and then again by every applicable category before creating an overall wish list. These 20 sheets were printed, 3-hole punched, and placed in a binder. I was going to own this 25 round draft… I mean, all of that should have been enough, right? When I snapped the clasps shut late Saturday night, I felt exhilerated. It was like having a great week of practice before a huge game. But as I kicked back with my Coke and Cheez-Its, fear and doubt crept in. When have any of you had a great week of practice that fully translated into results that weekend? How many times have we heard our coaches excited about the upcoming game simply because we had a great week getting ready only to watch the basketball team or the football team embarrassed to no end. Who knows why it happens. Maybe things go so well in preparation that you get too comfortable and fail to get in the right frame of mind for competition… maybe the week wasn’t as good as you thought. Either way, too much success in practice seems to often result in a mediocre product on the playing field. I remember a week of practice before the Classic junior year that was easily our best to date. Everything was fluid and crisp, the flow was strong, and frankly, I thought I’d been infused with a bit of The Force. But when the game started that Friday night, we had our arses handed to us in a shutout that still causes my brain to swell. Could this happen to me in the draft? Surely there were factors that I missed. Had I prepared long enough? Was there a website that I didn’t see? A mock draft whose results I’d failed to consider? Needless to say, I spun out.
Eventually, I regained my composure and decided to engage in a little snooze. Sadly, the snoozes never came. Resigning myself to insomnia, I sat through a positively abysmal Dolly Parton movie on HBO. She was honest and straightforward Shirlee Kenyon, a small-town bird that chucked her loser boyfriend in a Jerry Springer moment and went to the big city (Chitown). In a fluke mixup (of course), she ends up hosting a Frazier Crane type call-in show and becomes the toast of Chicago. Disregarding Shirlee’s objections, the station insists she call herself “Doctor Shirlee,” and as her popularity grows, this smarmy local reporter (James Woods) starts digging for the truth by trying to romance her. Problem is, the more he is around her the more he fancies her. Naturally, by the time he has the whole story, he’s completely in love and there’s the whole ethical dilemma.. Well Lenny from Law & Order was his boss and was not down with Woods’ newfound sense of ethics. It was gripping drama … easily on the level of that crap the people on the TNT commercial are always yapping about. What is drama? Drama is Straight Talk starring Dolly Parton, James Woods, and Lenny. Interestingly enough, this craptastic nonsense took my mind off my draft concerns, as I realized worse things in the world DID exist than the possibility that I wasn’t completely prepared for a fantasy draft – namely, Ms. Parton’s acting career… and the shame involved in voluntarily watching Ms. Parton act… and the late night oinking on ice cream, molasses-sugar cookies, jars of Gerber’s apricots, and cherry Kool-Aid… and perhaps the additional shame felt in admitting to the above activities.
In any case, draft time arrived and aside from a computer freezing incident where I foolishly attempted to open 20 Excel files at once, things went relatively well. I could use a couple closers and another starting pitcher, but on the whole, I’m pleased. I started with Johan Santana, Adrian Beltre, and Eric Gagne and finished with Erubiel Durazo and some nice sleepers. I was pleased for about 12 minutes before remembering that though the hard part was over, I have 26 weeks of 24/7 attention to give to transaction sheets, waiver wires, and box scores…
My fantasy ulcer is beginning to sting mightily.
If you see this league starting to take over my life, please confront me. If/When I yell at you for daring to suggest that I have a problem, feel free to knock me around a little. [If you are use fantasy baseball as an excuse to knock me around without consequence, I will know it and I will hurt you.] I’m also open to intervention and other methods of deprogramming… they won’t work but I’ll appreciate the effort. In short, please save me in the event that I cannot save myself. Fantasy baseball is a demanding mistress.
As usual, our house is hosting an NCAA Tournament league at ESPN. If you’d like to join, send me an email or IM one of us and we’ll send you the group name and password.
When I was 4 years old, my grandfather had his old clubs cut down to size so I could learn. I was re-fitted for new clubs whenever I grew and figured I was on the path to junior greatness. But when I turned 15, I got new clubs. Left-handed clubs. Though a lefty, I’d played righty golf for 11 years with no cause for complaint, but swinging the club left-handed always felt so much more natural for me. The transition was a smooth one.
So as you can probably figure, I remember when Phil Mickelson first came on the scene. Like any person under 25, I was/am a diehard Tiger fan, but as a lefty, I was eager to support anyone standing on the “wrong side of the ball.” This guy was young, left-handed, and the most obvious foe to Tiger’s greatness. I awaited with great anticipation the back-9 battles soon to come; head to head duels between once and future champions that would define an era. Woods-Mickelson would become synonymous with Borg-McEnroe, Palmer-Nicklaus, Chamberlain-Russell, Ali-Frazier, hell, even Fischer-Spassky.
But alas. Choke after choke after choke. Mickelson exposed himself to be the master schmuck of the PGA Tour, one of the greatest chumps of all sports, and the only athlete out there that could get a sponsorship sporting Frank Costanza’s mansierre. And though Lefty eventually won a major, I maintain that he only found his game after Tiger lost his. How can you respect that? Further, how can he truly think he has emerged as one of golf’s greats if he can only do so amongst lesser competition? As such, I’ve waited patiently for Tiger to return to form. I had full faith that if forced to match Tiger stroke for stroke, Mickelson would wilt like a morning glory at noon. And on Sunday at Doral, I got my wish.
While all the articles spout off about this great titanic battle on the Blue Monster, I saw two things: the return of Sunday Tiger and the return of Sunday Mickelson. Mickelson entered the final round with a 2 stroke lead and managed to lose by one. He simply couldn’t hang. Sure, he didn’t collapse like Greg Norman or Nick Foldo, but when it mattered, he tightened up like a sorority girl in a bucket of ice water and got the wood put to him.
Welcome back to reality, Phil.
[Picture provided by Matt Geiger]
Aloha all. Since quite a bit of you are heading out today, I bid you all a happy farewell Remember not to talk to strangers if they are driving paneled vans, sex safely, try to refrain from passing out at least 2 days that you’re away, remember that there are drug tests next week – keep the substance abuse to a minimum, and COME BACK
This concludes Flash’s be safe for Spring Break message.
Meet the two of the four presenters for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing at the Oscars last night. Now the inevitable reaction of me posting this picture is that around 60% of you will have the urge to emote profuciously in the comments about any one (or all) of the following: Salma Hayek’s – tits, ass, face, lips, eyes, jaw, neck, back, legs, arms, hair, accent, and smile. Boys, please spare us. We all know how devastatingly sexy and beautiful Ms. Hayek is and how much she makes you want to box the Jesuit. But if anybody is gonna be greasing up Salma Hayek around here, it’s gonna be me… suckas!
But moving on..
On a normal day, I have class in the morning and then head to the office for work. I don’t know if it’s fair to call what I do work but I think it’d be accurate to label this place a certified office. Passing through the doors, the first thing I usually see is the plate of tasty delights that Pam has on the corner of her desk – donuts, brownies, cookies, streudel, whatever. If it packs on pounds, it’s on her desk. Usually Pam moves these treats to the kitchen around noon after spending 2 hours lamenting another failed diet.. but I’m not on a diet. I don’t know why I can’t keep these yummies on MY desk. … but moving on. I say hello to all the secretaries (a collection of women that refuse to believe I’m older than 17), stop in the kitchen for some Sprite, wave at Omar at his desk of scouting futility, and then head down the hall and into my own office. By the time I sit down and kick my feet up, something has gone wrong and I’m either in the hall discussing an issue with a player or being lectured on virus updates by the OIT guy, Stan – a Rastafarian that drives a red-paneled child molester van, wears dashikis (hat and all), and reeks of patchouli. I get a contact high every time I run into him. I don’t know what’s going on with this guy but I don’t like it.
The secretaries at the office all have tvs… there’s no cable, mind you, but they have antennas, which means soap operas and talk shows all day, every day. Ellen, Montel, Passions, Dr. Phil, that soap with the serial killer and the rich people, and Oprah. Always Oprah. Entertainer, business woman, middlebrow book critic, dieter, and director of your soul’s salvation, her daily siren song beckons women to gather ’round the tele-pulpit and absorb the gospel. Ah Oprahism, pass a hymnal please. So as you all know, I’m laid up with a concussion and a burst eardrum. Aside from my ear leaking and my stitches giving me a Frankenstein’s monster vibe, I don’t have too many complaints. But due to my “condition,” I wasn’t permitted to go about my usual responsibilities and as a result, found myself trapped in the office with a pounding headache and the sounds of twelve secretaries hopped up on a day’s worth of pastries, coffee, and daytime talk. Dr. Phil was coming to a close, a riveting episode about men that are addicted to porn… since when is this an epidemic? Since when is this a problem? If my man likes to flip through a Playboy and it gets a rise out of him, I’m not gonna complain. I’d rather not be around when he does it but I’ll survive if he’s a “reader.” I can think of worse things than a Playboy spread to which a man can be addicted. But if my man is addicted to amateur or low rent porn, we may have a problem. The first thing I’d be doing is re-evaluating MYSELF. If watching some crack ho with snaggle teeth, acne, and breasts the size of casaba melons take it through the egress does more for him than I can, then I’m in trouble! I must not be as spectacular as I thought. It’s either that or my man is completely jacked up. Either way, I don’t need Dr. Phil to solve it for me. But I digress… Though I’d had the distinct pleasure of talking to super man, Matt Geiger, for quite a while (the only real thumbs up on the afternoon), even that had to end. I got off the phone and headed to the conference room… in the chicken scratch mess of lettering, I decipered what appeared to be, “Postponed. 15 minutes.” Now what? I walked to Omar’s area to hang out and steal some candy. While passing through the main foyer, I heard, “Suburban Teens, The New Prostitutes.” Very refreshing. Was this really the Oprah for today? Oddly enough, no. Sandy, another secretary, was watching an episode that she taped. See, she thinks a girl on her street may very well be a prostitute and she wants to bone up on the warning signs and tactics for confrontation before discussing said issue with the young lady’s parents and then call the police. Thanks Oprah. Vigilantes run rampant in our midst. But the real episode today was Oprah’s post-Oscar bash complete with Hilary Swank and God knows who else. Did it really matter though? Oprah could have an episode about how she blows her nose and ties her shoes and 40 million women would tune in just to see her unlock the magic. Including the office women. They would then incorporate Oprah’s skills and habits into their daily routines and openly bash those who chose not to follow.
Typically, the Oprah talk raises my blood pressure, as I am certain that she is the devil.. or at the very least, one of his minions. It’s not that I don’t respect Oprah. She is a brilliant business woman that has overcome tremendous adversity to parlay her intelligence and acument into a billionaire commercial empire and status as one of the most powerful, influential women in the world. She commands respect… but let me tell you something – Oprah’s meteoric rise from the female equivalent of Geraldo to saint is something that has gone unnoticed for far too long and I plan to expose the madness.
If you’re still reading this post, that means Oprah hasn’t gotten to you and you’re still thinking for yourself. Congratulations. Now let’s continue.
What I’m going to say may be very shocking to you: Oprah Winfrey is the Josef Stalin of Soccer Mom USA. Whether she’s fat, skinny, or in-between, women between 18-65 are lead like lemmings to the sea, as she legislates what to eat, drink, read, and wear. But not me. I hate her show and that bloody magazine. I hate her treasury of cookbooks and self-help guides that she didn’t even write. I hate it when she sings that she’s “every woman” while throwing down ill-advised dance moves in front of America. I hate trying to find my spirit and and I hate her whole bloody empire. And let me tell you, I really hate her bloody book club.
Sisterhood, adversity, abusive husbands, and feel-good tales about the ties that bind. Pick your poison. Oprah’s self-actualized, co-dependent army is full of so many mindless followers that every Book Club Selection, immediately causes a tidal wave of rampant consumerism. And so this literary jetsam washes onto the New York Times Bestseller’s list and into our lives. Why? She’s not a respected author nor is she a respected literary critic. Like it matters. Oprah speaks; the masses read. And I know what you’re thinking – have you even read her books? Yes, I have. I wrote a 35 page essay about Oprah, her dreadful book club, and its impact on literacy. I base my vitriol on 18 book club selections – all touching stories about a woman struggling through adversity only to discover that the true blessings in her life lay in her blah blah… blah. And yet the formula works every time. I don’t mind that she has increased the literacy rates – I applaud her for it. But at the same time, I can’t help but be at least slightly spooked by this reality. One woman with the power to make the millions read?
No matter who you are, Oprah is not like you. The fact that she can co
nvince you that she is should make you even more afraid of her than I am. I’ll probably have my legs broken by angry mobs of women sent by Harpo Productions tomorrow but I don’t care. She is the Pied Piper of the female species. She is leading us down the primrose path right to the damn river with her siren song of book clubs, spirit searching, and her favorite things. She will not drown me, dammit! The rest of you lemmings can follow her every whim but not I! I shall not submit. I shall conquer. I shall rise. One of these days, boys and girls, she and I will do battle…
and the heavens will shake.
It’s been a pretty shitty run of days for my teams. First, Arsenal goes out like a rabble of bitches to Bayern Munich. Score? A not completely disastrous 3-1, which means that thanks to a VERY late rebound goal by Koulo Toure, we’re not completely out of the Champions… YET. We have to win 2-0 at Highbury in a couple weeks in order to advance into the quarters. A daunting task given our play of late all season but my hope springs eternal. Something has to go right for once.
Missing Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole in the back was incredibly painful but it made no difference as our big names were completely silent on the night. Henry hardly touched the ball, Vieira kept giving the ball back to the other side, and Ljungberg and Pires both looked like they were playing out of position, which, of course, they were. On top of that, the FA slapped Reyes with a 3 match ban for gettin a little rowdy and Bergkamp’s red card appeal went nowhere. Ah well. Hopefully the boys will really wrap themselves around the classic cliches and be ready to give 110% and leave it all out on the field from whistle to whistle next time out.
And then, the infantile antics of Minnesota Viking receiver Randy Moss have frustrated the American tundra so much that my Raiders are trying to answer the call with Napoleon Harris and a couple draft picks. I don’t know what to make of this. As much as I wish that Moss would a) poke his eye out with, b) be killed by [or c) both] his pick in some freakish afro shaping incident, we really, really, really need him. The Raiders roster is simply devoid of playmaking talent right now and maybe with Moss’s leaping ability, we won’t have to worry about Kerry Collins throwing 3 of every 5 passes 8 yards too high and to the right. Well, we will. But at least we’ll have a receiver that might be able to go-go Gadget his way to the ball.
But… well… it’s just that I hate Randy Moss. Randy Moss is a snatch. And if he scores 4 TDs a game for the next 4 seasons for the Silver and Black, he’ll still be a snatch. I don’t mind people who cause trouble. I mind whiny bitches who don’t try, and Moss is the epitome of that type of athlete. What makes me so nauseated is that if he had half the heart and desire of Tim Brown, he’d be the greatest receiver to ever play the game. But I suppose this is how it has to be. I hated Roger Clemens and A-Rod before they were Yankees. They arrived and though I had no problem appreciating the good they Clemens did for the organization, my hate continued to live strong. So… go Snatch go.
Much to the chagrin of my boyfriend, Valentine’s really isn’t my day… he’s this hopeless romantic and i’m on the opposite side of the extreme. Ah well. Why can’t things be how they were in elementary school when you bought Transformers valentines and candy hearts with all the writing on them, and went to school the next day knowing that you’d spend the entire morning creating a box out of construction paper and aluminum foil.
That said, this was the precursor to the inevitably traumatic Valentine’s Day party.. the two hours when some of us found out how unpopular we were when we got a Valentine and it turned out to be from our parents and shitty little girls like Amy Cook racked up on cards from everyone in a 3 mile radius. Nah, I’m not bitter. I’ll admit it. I’m harboring a lot of repressed anger from childhood. Another part of my problem is that I hate Hallmark and 1-800-Flowers telling my man when he should be good to me. In my humble opinion, if he’s acting right on the other 364 days, I don’t need a special “holiday” reserved for him to express to me how special he thinks I am. And apart from ALL those things, I don’t like chocolate anyway.. unless it’s in brownies and we baked a whole batch of those yesterday.. YAY!
That’s enough of my rambling because I have to get to work but Happy Valentine’s Day to all. Boys that are proposing today – good luck. Girls that are expecting things (or aren’t), don’t be so hostile if things don’t go perfectly. In the end, you have to remind yourself that he’s a man and though he’s doing the best he can, muck ups are bound to occur. And to my man – baby, I love you, I love you, I love you. You are the best thing to ever happen to me and I can’t imagine life without you. Oh and one other thing – Rest up…
Okay, my pre-playoffs prediction went nowhere since the Patriots made the Colts look like a team put together by the Special Olympics. Luckily, my Mascot Style may prove itself an accurate judge of the ultimate winner, though it erroneously tabbed the Vikings to defeat the Eagles in a Man vs. Beast Division extravaganza.
Super Bowl Prediction, Mascot Style:
Eagles. These graceful killers of the sky are equipped with skull-crushing beaks and sharp talons three times stronger than a Rottweiler’s bite. The chilling ferocity of their attack is one of the most impressive scenes in nature.
But what good is an aerial attack against the Minutemen – a hand-picked elite force of farmers, fishermen, and tradesmen selected by their commanding officers for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength – when your only experience is against fish, game birds, and small mammals? Though they are a hodgepodge of skills and backgrounds, these men are smart, prepared, and quick. They have mastered guerilla warfare, smooth strategies, and the musket. I highly doubt they’ll struggle to defeat an aerial assault from a bunch of birds; it’s a pigeon shoot.
In my humble, non-mascot prediction considering opinion, I don’t think the Patriots can lose unless, with the score tied 0-0, they spontaneously combust en masse immediately after McNabb has hiked the ball. From there, McNabb will have to either manage not to trip over himself or O-linemen in a mad scramble to the the end-zone or he’ll have to complete a 2-yard toss into the middle of the end zone to a stick-um-covered T.O. And even then, I’d challenge the call.
I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m rooting for the Pats. Sure, I want to see Coach Weis and Big Dave snap up another ring but I’d take more joy in watching the Iggles spend yet another year in the no-championship abyss. I hate them. I hate their organization. I hate the obnoxious, uneducated, slobbering, drooling, annoying pile of crap fans. If God descended in Jayville in a Pats jersey, Filthy fans would throw batteries and cheesesteaks at him. I hate T.O. and his “God has cleared me” bullshit. I hope God clears Rodney Harrison to snap him at the knees. I hate that crackass Freddie Mitchell and his 90 receptions in 4 years shit ass career. I wish Chuck Bednarick would suit up in his 1960s body and blast TO and Mitchell into unconsciousness the way he viciously took out Frank Gifford’s face. I wish Donovan F. McNabb would realize that no amount of cornrows or bowls of Campbell’s can disguise the fact that he’s a big fucking dork better suited to throwing a 20-sided die, wearing chain mail, and swinging a boffer.
It’s only too bad the Iggles didn’t lose to the Falcons and cement themselves in history as one of the greatest assemblages of choke artists in the history of team sports. But maybe it’s all for the best. In 15 hours, the Philadelphia Eagles will have created a brand new category of futility in the annals of sport’s greatest chumps; a category lower than the Bills, the Cubs, and Phil Mickelson. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Patriots - 34
Iggles – 17