Friday, October 28, 2005


I read this just as I was digging in to a nice bowl of chile con queso dip...and lost my appetite for some reason...

"There was a lot of stuff in there, and most of it was gooey."
Alan Alda, on efforts as a youngster to preserve an owl's carcass after getting a mail-order taxidermy course.


Thanks to an observant & dedicated reader/friend, I can now give you Scooter's explanation as to how Tim McCarver still has his job !

Thursday, October 27, 2005


At least Troy Aikmen understands the need to speak good. I mean to not talk bad.

Say It Ain't So...Part Deux

Oh no. I think that I just started to hate ER. Serena Williams will be guest-starring on the show. No freaking way. I'm going to watch it just to see how pathetic she is, and then I'm never watching again.

In case you didn't know, I'm the biggest anti-fan of the Williams sisters. Ugh.

Say It Ain't So...

I'm so upset that West Wing is going to have a live episode, too. It doesn't work for prime-time shows like that.

Maybe they'll follow my advice and tape the episode first, so that when the live episode bombs after 5 minutes, they can show the taped version instead.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

World Series Branding 101

Making The Connection Posted by Picasa

Gotta give MLB credit...if there is someone out there that doesn't know what the World Series logo looks like, then they are probably blind or live in a cave. Not that there's anything wrong with living in a cave...just that you probably don't know what the logo looks like.

This is what I have found funny since the first time I saw the logo. My immediate thought was "It took MLB this long to make the connection between WORLD Series, a globe and a baseball combining to form a graphic."

My second thought during this series, the WS logo on the side of the Houston players' caps should NOT be bigger than the star on the front. But, alas, it is.

Oh they didn't...

Timmy and Joey just said that the middle of the plate is the "loneliest place in the ballpark tonight." Wonder how long they have had that gem of a comment written down somewhere, just waiting for the perfect night to use it.

And now from in-game...

* So why did Julia Roberts leave Lyle Lovitt? Better question, why did she get together with him?

* MLB has about 6 sponsors in the playoffs. These sponsors get great coverage during each and EVERY inning break. I now have commercials from AOL, Wal-Mart, Chevy, Ford, Schick, Sprint and 3 different movies memorized.

* The Houston clubbie needs to learn how to patch pants better. Biggio's stripes on his knee don't line up. I know the guy won't get new pants because he's superstitious, but the least the clubbie could do is line up his stripes. If they come back and win it all, do you think he'll get new pants next year?

* I betcha that if Houston didn't have electronic scoreboards, they would have had to spend a lot of money buying extra "Bs" for the line-up board.

* Did Podsednik's caddy replace his divot?

Thoughts from watching Game 4 pre-game ceremonies...

* Does anyone else find it funny that the Latino Legends Team is sponsored by a company named Chevrolet?

* Baseball players wearing suits with baseball caps look really silly.

* Why did they have to put the players' names on the ground to tell them where to stand in a line on the field? They couldn't just say "Go stand next to the guy that was introduced in front of you?"

* Why do all of the celebrities in these low-budget "MLB supports Habitat for Humanity" ads look like they are so run-down that I should build a house for them? And why are none of the celebrities in the "MLB supports Habitat for Humanity" ads MLB players, coaches or personnel?

* Why is Chicago up 3 games to 0?

Crazy Old Cat Lady

There's a crazy old cat lady that lives in the apartment building next to mine. I have to walk by the building to get to my truck, and she's not in the doorway when I walk by, but by the time I get to my truck and glance up as I pull away, she's standing in the doorway with the door propped open. She never says anything, never waves. One time she asked me if I lived there years ago cause another girl lived there that had the same truck. Ummm. Ok.

Here are two other strange things about her. She didn't used to have the cat. She just got it a couple of months ago so it's only a little kitten. But it's a mini version of the full-grown cat in the apartment across the hall from hers! I know this because both cats sit in their windows all day long.

Well, except for when strange thing number two happens...sometimes Crazy Lady's kitten escapes from the apartment and stands at the glass door leading into the building watching people walk by. Why doesn't she care enough about "Little Kitty" (the name I gave him - his older likeness is "Big Kitty") to make sure he doesn't escape?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Doogie all grown up...

Have you seen the show How I Met Your Mother? I've watched it several times without having a clue what the title of the show is til tonight when my sister said that's what she was watching and I said "I'm watching some show with Doogie Howser" and she said "That's the show I'm watching." In fact, I still don't even know what it's about. But it has Doogie Howser and the band camp girl from American Pie and some decent writing, so I find it very funny.

Speaking of Neil Patrick Harris, I have a great idea for a new TV show...called "Douglas Howser, MD." Basically, the same as the original, but now he's all grown up and is just like everyone else in the hospital because he's no longer a boy wonder doc. He's just an insignificant MD filling a slot in the weekly schedule. So, now he struggles with his feelings of insignificance and losing his identity and his lack of a real childhood. I'm not sure yet if it's a comedy or drama - could go either way.

St. Paul, MN = Small Town, USA

Warning Note: The following statements regarding my opinion of St. Paul are serious...they are actually not sarcastic! So I don't want any locals sending me angry emails about me making fun of their city - I am being serious!!

This is what I love about St. Paul - despite the fact that it has a population of nearly 280,000 people, and is part of a great metropolitan area that (including Minneapolis on the "wrong" side of the river) nears a population of 1 million, it is still very much "Small Town, USA."

This isn't new news to me - I have seen this evidenced many, many times by the small town connections that I see between people when I'm out at bars, restaurants or the grocery store. Don't ever go into a small, hole-in-the-wall bar with someone who grew up there - if you want to talk to them at all that night. Because they will know EVERY SINGLE PERSON THERE...and somehow not have seen them for 5 years. I love it though - because that's the type of town I grew up in. Only our population was about 1/80 that of St. Paul.

But here is the best evidence that St. Paul is makes the local news when the national news shows up to report on something here. This is a metropolitan area with major league sports, traveling Broadway shows and giant Snoopy statues all over. (That last fact has nothing to do with anything, I just think that my non-Minnesotan readers should know that.) But this morning, the Today show was here doing live remotes about St. Paul's participation in the Habitat For Humanity project that sent new houses down the Mississippi to New Orleans. It was one of the leading stories on tonight's news.

One more note on the Habitat For Humanity project locally - the great thing about what they did in St. Paul is that they not only built houses to send down the river, but they kept two of the houses locally. This is effective in bringing attention to the fact that we still need to remember people in our own communities that need help, even though we all want to help everyone in the gulf region (with good reason!), also.

Way to go, St. Paul!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Cue for Fox: Catcher Throws Down

I just can't understand why Fox can't get back from commercial breaks in time for the first pitch. I understand they can sell more ads during the playoffs, and have to get them all in, etc. But you know how long a break typically takes, stop trying to cram them in there, get back for the first pitch. Here are your cues, Fox, just in case:

During Inning Breaks: Catcher throws down. You have a few seconds after that. You should be back by the time the pitcher gets the ball back.

Pitching Changes: The signal for 1 more warm-up pitch.

This is not difficult. How many thousands of games are played during the regular season? Figure this out for the playoffs, please.

Memorial Day & July 4th...ONLY

Why does Major League Baseball insist on playing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch so many times, still? If it still has to be a part of baseball...then I say do it ONLY on Memorial Day and July 4th.

People accuse me of being unpatriotic because I get upset when "God Bless America" is played at baseball games now. On the contrary - I'm extremely patriotic. I love the National Anthem at sporting events, it is one of my favorite parts of being at a stadium and I get upset if I'm not in the park at my seat for that moment when I go to a game. I enjoy going into schools to talk and being there when they do the Pledge of Allegiance. I get tears in my eyes when I see stories about servicemen and women and their familes, etc. But here's my thing with "God Bless America" - it's not our national anthem or anything like the Pledge.

It was cool right after 9/11, it was patriotic, it was unifying and it made me proud to be an American when I was at a game and heard the whole stadium singing. But I'm no less proud of being American - I just think that life needs to go back to "normal" at some point in time. We don't still do stuff because of the loss of life at Pearl Harbor at every game. How many years before we stop playing "God Bless America" at every game?

I am also bothered when announcers say that you should stand up and remove your hat and face the flag during "God Bless America." I was taught in elementary school that you do that for the National Anthem and the Pledge. What is the protocol for "God Bless America?" Do you really HAVE to stand and remove your hat and face the flag???

And yes, I do realize that this infatuation with "God Bless America" started in my birth state of NY with my beloved Yankees...that still doesn't mean that I like it. And don't blame it on me because the Yankees started it and keep doing it! I'm just a Yankees fan...I didn't come up with this stupid idea.


In a game of inches and where 1 pitch can make the entire difference, Fox comes back from a commercial late and misses showing Ensberg's HR. I will be very upset if Houston wins this game 1-0 and the only run scored was shown as the ball went over the wall very quickly as they came back from commercial break.

Recipes Built for One

I like to cook dinner when I have time and am at home. Not just reheating leftovers from a restaurant, heating up TV dinners or warming up a can of soup. I like to make meals from scratch. But I live by myself and I have noticed that it is nearly impossible to find a recipe that doesn't leave me with 47 meals worth of leftovers.

Have you ever noticed that all cookbooks are for meals that serve 4-6 people? Where are the cookbooks or recipes that serve just 1-2 people? I love leftovers...don't get me wrong. But only for 1 or 2 meals. I don't want to be eating some ham casserole for breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire week just so I don't feel bad wasting the food.

I know I could just halve a recipe sometimes...but it never comes out quite the same. Plus you usually have to buy a whole of whatever it is in the recipe in order to do that. So you wind up wasting the rest of it anyway if you don't put it in the recipe...which brings you back to your original problem because the recipe just grew.

And while I'm on the topic, while one of you out there is writing the cookbook for single people called "Meals for Me" (see I gave you a run with it), keep something important in mind. Us single people probably don't have all of the weird and strange exotic ingredients sitting around our house that people think that families of 4 have, just ready to stick in their monstrous meals. Remember this hint that my tennis instructor used to say: KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

On a different, completely unrelated note - why the heck is Scooter STILL trying to teach me about a curve ball?? Didn't Fox read my first blog about this?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hurricane As A Second Language

Well, the 2005 hurricane season has entered new territory - the Greek alphabet. Which makes complete and total sense, because all kids these days are learning Greek in school. Why the Greek alphabet? What did the Greeks ever do to us that we decided that we would butcher their alphabet by making it a symbol for a horrific and terrible natural occurance? As it is, kids with names like Andrew, Katrina, Charley, Rita, and Hugo (ok, that kid has issues anyway without hurricane season) will fear the jokes that come from their home insurance agents.

To apologize to the Greeks for this unfortunate decision by the National Weather Service to bring shame to their alphabet, I have decide to come up with a list of great Greek things:
1) Salad
2) Party houses on college campuses
3) Mythology
4) Alexander the Great (just cause of his name, no other real reason)
5)Chicken gyros at 2am
6) Olive branches
7) Kalikantzaroi (little elves - 'nuf said)
8) My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Alright, I'm out of ideas. And I had to google Kalikantzaroi.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Party time! Excellent!

I've neglected to post about the biggest story to hit the Minnesota sports scene since, well, who knows. Has there been a big story on the Minnesota sports scene? But the more and more I think about the big news that the Vikings hired a former FBI agent as the full-time security head in response to the infamous party boat incident, the more and more hilarious the situation becomes to me.

Recap of what happened: A bunch of Vikings players went out on two party boats to Lake Minnetonka during the bye-week, had a raunchy party, "sex boats" were turned around and brought back to shore. Vikings, at the urging of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, hired a new security director in order to tighten team discipline in response.

Although the Vikings haven't released exactly what this new tough-guy on campus will do to tighten team discipline, here is what I envision his actions to be:

1) Put a tap on all Vikings players' phones so he can monitor exactly who they are calling in to "service" their teammates.

2) Force all Vikings to fill out expense forms, and get them approved, anytime they spend money out of their checking accounts.

3) Force all Vikings to keep their "partners" arms-length apart while "dancing."

4) Move all Vikings out of their million-dollar pads into a dorm with a sign-in sheet so that they can keep track of where they are and what they are doing at all times.

Seriously - hiring a security director to fix the team discipline problem? Why hasn't anyone brought up the fact that this isn't an issue of outsiders breaking into the stadium or players getting attacked in the parking lot? It's just a matter of football players being football players - and getting caught this time. Maybe Zygi should just hire a chaperone for all of the Vikings social gatherings. Or Donovan McNabb's mom...she's doing a great job with the Eagles. They don't seem to be getting in much trouble.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Red Cross Training - Part Deux

Red Cross Instructor Extraordinaire Posted by Picasa

So the next step in being ready to do Red Cross Disaster Relief stuff is to take the Intro to Disaster Relief and Mass Care Course, for which you get a certificate! (And it gets mailed - so I bet my name will be typed on it - that's cool.) Well, that 4 hour course was tonight. Here is what resulted:

* I learned that cookies are important to disaster relief efforts. In all of the videos, that was one of the first thing that the disaster responders made sure was on the ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle - not creature from Star Wars).

* It is really, really, really hard to pay attention to (and take seriously) an instructional video hosted by William Baldwin. Yes, the one and only. And the video actually starts out with a scene from "Backdraft" where he is in an apartment saving a little kid. But it doesn't tell you that that is what the scene is - it just starts all dramatic. And I'm sitting here (as a member of the "Backdraft" generation) thinking, "This looks really familiar! Either this was a famous fire, or this is 'Backdraft'" - but I was joking. I didn't think that the video would actually start out with a scene from "Backdraft." Then the clip ends and up pops Billy, in a blue oxford shirt, jeans and the same haircut as he had in the movie. "Hi, that was a scene from 'Backdraft,' in which I played a firefighter. Disaster volunteers like yourself will respond to emergencies such as that." I hope he won't be at every emergency I respond to, because his hair is probably a real fire hazard with all of that gel in it.

* There was that one woman in the class who took the "Active Listening" class at her local "Learn how to look like you care about what people are saying" center. You know exactly the woman I am talking about. Every single thing that anyone says, she makes the appropriate noise or little comment to show that she is paying attention. "Oh, yeah. Yep. Uh oh. Oh wow. Sure. OK. Yeah." But it's not just like I was sitting next to her and heard her do it under her breath...she was at the other end of the table. It was almost like she was having a one-on-one conversation with our instructor and Billy Baldwin, and was showing her attention to every word they said.

* The Orientation class last week, as you will recall, was 2 hours long and we got a 10 minute break and free "pop." (That's "soda" for all of you from places where they speak English and not Minnesotan. The biggest challenge since I moved here has been finding the soda aisle in the grocery store.) The Intro to Disaster Stuff class was 4 hours long with a 10 minute break and a soda machine where you could purchase refreshment for $1.25. I guess they hooked us with the free soda the first night.

* One woman in the class wants to volunteer to go overseas for disaster help. The instructor asked her what her training or background is. She said, "I have a passport and an international drivers license. I'm good to go." Then he asked if she spoke a second language. "No. Well, no. No, not unless you count toddler!" (Ok, by now it's time to stop being distracted and get back to the topic on hand and press play so we can watch Billy's next segment.) Then he asked if she had any specific training or skills that would help. So she said, "I raised 5 kids by myself as a single mother, if that's not disaster training, I don't know what is." Do her kids know she thinks about them this way? I say, "Ship her off!!"

But for all that I make fun of these classes...they are great. They provide universal training for all Red Cross volunteers across the country - allowing everyone to help anytime, anywhere, and ensuring that everyone "speaks the same language" when they get into a disaster zone. And I have great admiration for what the Red Cross does, as well as their volunteers and staff. And despite how much I make fun of the people that are next to me in class, at least they are there for the right reasons and all have huge hearts and just want to make a difference. But, WOW, they are freaking hilarious!!!

Duck Tales

Missing: White Duck. Last seen near Chinatown. Really. Posted by Picasa

I am not even sure what to say about this. It is just too freaking funny. I'm still not too sure if this is a real story, a joke or a combo. It's too hilarious. I may print this out and hang it up.

For those of you that are still too lazy to hit the hyperlink and read the's a teaser...the story is about a stolen duck, and the quote of the day is:

"I am distraught. I found it too upsetting to walk through Chinatown afterwards in case there was any recognition."

Playing the Association Game

Have you ever noticed how everyone knows exactly 1 thing about everything? And I'm just as guilty of this trait as everyone who is reading this posting. You know what I mean. When you meet a new person for the first time, and they say "Oh, I'm from XYZLand" or "I work for ABC Industries," you have that one default comment to make about that job or location. Here are some examples from my travels:

1. I say: "I grew up in NY."
New person says: "Oh, the city!! That's so cool."
I say: "No, north of there."
NP says: "Oh! I wouldn't want to live in the city anyway."

2. I say: "I lived in Florida for a while."
NP says: "Oh, did the hurricane affect you??"
I think: "Ummmm...which hurricane, where and, no, cause I currently live in Minnesota and there are no hurricanes here!"
I say: "No, we were lucky."

3. I say: "I moved here from Texas."
NP says: "Is everything really bigger in Texas??"
I think: "That's really personal to ask someone you just met, isn't it??"
I say: Nothing, I just laugh.

4. I say: "I live in Minnesota."
NP says: "Wow, it's cold there."
I say: "Not this week. Today's July 4th."
NP says: "Whoa, your football team is in trouble."
I say: "Yeah, sucks that Griese got hurt."

People are so predictable. I love it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

1) Batteries 2) Batteries 3) Batteries 4 )Energizer Bunny

Boomerang Hurricane Posted by Picasa

Well, the official end to hurricane season isn't until November they are still brewing. At this time, with my family's coast of Florida apparently in the path of Wilma (named after everyone's great, great, great, great aunt), it's time to review the all-important hurricane preparedness checklist!

Sidenote: I don't want anyone to take offense to my joking - this is all tongue-in-cheek, and yes I realize hurricanes are dangerous, and can be horrific, etc...but there are still humerous observations to be made chill out and have fun until the winds tear off the plywood.

1) Buy batteries. Any size. It doesn't matter, because you're not sure what you are putting them in because no one has "battery operated things" on their checklist. Nor does anyone own anything that would be both useful in a storm and is capable of being run on batteries. But they have batteries on their shopping list, and as a result, there are none in the store. I think it's a reminent from the 1986 Hurricane Prepardness Guide. They don't get updated very often.

2) Buy bread. That's always on the list. But just bread. Apparently all you need to survive for 2 days without fast food is bread.

3) Buy water. You will be thirsty.

4) Buy lots of snacks and stuff. Do that now, though. Don't wait until the day before landfall. And it doesn't matter if they are perishible or not. You are just going to go straight home and eat them while you watch the week of coverage leading up to the actual landfall of the hurricane. By the time the hurricane hits, you will have stored up plenty of body fat to make it through any crisis.

Alright, if you're in the path of what you normally do. If you're not...keep watching the internet news from the safety of your house in tornado alley.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Oh my gosh. No sooner do I praise Fox commentators for shutting up during the Astros' HR do they go on for an entire 3 outs about every freaking piece of information you could possibly want to know about the Astros and their stadium(s) history. And then proceed to tell us about Busch Stadium. If Houston wins, these idiots have at least 4 more games to talk about this stuff...if they lose, they have at least 1 more game. Couldn't they use those 9-36 innings to talk about it?

BTW - thanks to Eminem for selling out to iPod finally. Go with society rather than fight it. You and Bono rock together.

Home Run Silence!

Thank you to the Fox commentators for letting the excitement, sound and insanity of Berkman's 3-run HR take over the moment. Their silence was the best TV moment of the playoffs, and belongs on their highlight reels. (Makes up for a stupid comment in the 5th inning or so when Pujols grounded out to Ensberg and someone said something to the effect of "Get the married guys out of the infield." WHAT?? I hope I heard that wrong. What does that mean?? Am I that ignorant that I didn't get that comment? Or am I deaf? I hope one of the above.) Gosh, I wish was at Minute Maid Park right now. That place rocks.

Diamond Cams...

They just gave a "shout-out" to the grounds crews at both NLCS stadiums for helping the Fox crews put in the diamond cams for these games. I don't really think those grounds crews did us a favor, to be honest. The camera quality sucks, the point of view makes me nauseous, and this camera angle does nothing to add to the game other than show the pitcher's package. Is this broadcast "R" rated?

Great idea...

I just came up with a brilliant idea. When the Astros-Cardinals game went to commercials during the inning break (stupid Cardinals just scored 2 runs to go up 2-1, I'm not worried though), I had the sudden urge to flip to NBC to catch the status of Las Vegas. You know, like on Sundays when you're flipping between football games? Then I realized that I would have NO clue what was happening on Las Vegas. So I think that sitcoms, or dramas, or whatever is on opposite of any sporting event (so all shows except for those shown on the day before and after the MLB All-Star Game), should run status reports at the top of the screen, similar to scoreboards during baseball or football games. Instead of inning, score, pitch count and outs, it would tell you who is where and what the status is of the investigation or excitement. It would necessitate a whole new language of abbreviations (instead of K, STL, little arrow pointing down 3rd, etc.), but that's no different than the cyber language created recently (LOL, CYA, BTW, BBL8R, etc.). Gosh, that is a great idea.

A Tribute To BNL...and the Power Ball.

If I had a million dollars, or $340 million... (yes, I'd be rich, but also...)

I would give enough to my parents and sister to take care of them forever.

I would buy a new car. (My parents and sister can buy their own with the money I give them.) I would buy cars that get crappy gas mileage 'cause I'm a millionaire and can afford the gas, but then I would be supporting our current president's buddies. So, maybe I'll convert all my gas guzzlers to electric and get a really long extension cord. Like Strong Bad's.

I would stay here in MN until next August to finish the community service committments I have started and enjoy one more summer up here.

I would buy the land on either side of my parents' house so they don't become an island in the middle of a strange development.

I would host a light switch rave.

I would pick a couple of (public) elementary schools to which I have a personal connection and that don't currently have art or music classes for the kids (that's a whole 'nother blog topic for later, but I'm maxed out on my criticism-of-school-stuff-for-the-week blog posts), and I would set up a fund that adds these programs to the schools for upcoming years. Every kid should have a crappy, clay, glazed ash tray sitting on their (non-smoking) parents' mantel.

I would buy a horse. Or two, so that the first one isn't lonely.

I would travel to Europe..all over. And take my sister and parents for part of it, and then do the rest by myself. Because traveling by yourself is fun because you don't have to answer to anyone or ask if they want to do something. You just do it!

I would buy the house in NY that I grew up in. And possibly the house and land of our neighbors - and then blow up their buildings. Not knock them down - blow them up. That is much cooler, and hey, I'm a millionaire, remember?

I would build a pool at the high school I attended, and possibly fund a traffic light at the exit to the school, just so that the town can say they have TWO lights.

I would buy 6 Bucs and Lightning season tickets. Or the teams. Depends on how I feel that day.

I would travel to the Gulf Coast after my year in MN is over and help build houses and stuff, or at least plant flowers at the new houses (because I know that I can do that well).

I would have a really, really good dinner. By myself. With a glass of wine. And then pay the tabs of the rest of the people eating by themselves in the restaurant at the time, and leave, quietly.

And then, I would wake up!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Everybody's a winner

No, actually, they're not! So why do schools and children's programs these days try to trick kids into thinking that? Last Spring, I learned in some interactions with public school child development experts that some public schools now want all games or contests to end in a tie or without a loser for the betterment of the educational experience of the children. This topic came up at dinner with a couple of friends, so that is why it is on my brain right now!

How can a "game" or a "contest" end without there being a loser? There has to be a loser! My good friend Webster says that a contest is "a struggle for superiority or victory." So in order for one person to be superior or victorious, the other must be inferior or a loser!

Well, apparently this verbiage is what is causing the problem with these education experts. They all have this warm, fuzzy, feel-good-about-yourself rationale for this innovative approach to learning. They say that kids feel bad enough about themselves because they are overweight, or slow, or don't speak the language or once had to eat the crust on their sandwich at lunch. Oh, wait, that last one was just me. Sorry. So "education expects" don't want these kids to also be labeled as "losers," in addition to "fat," "stupid" or "ugly." Rather, what is happening is they are being labeled as "the kid that isn't good at sports so we can't play and win trophies anymore so he/she doesn't feel bad about himself...that's what my mommy said."

Here are my not-based-in-anything-scientific-just-not-being-a-completely-messed-up-person-based-on-my-numerous-losses observations and thoughts on the matter:

1) Kids need to learn how to lose, because someday they are going to have to do something that is either graded, evaluated or judged...and if they don't succeed then, they are not going to know how to handle it because they never lost in Monopoly, tennis, marbles or 50 meter dashes.

2) Kids need to learn how to win, also. Because there is such a thing as being a poor winner...and that's not any better than being a bad loser. They will never get the chance to learn how to be a good winner if there can't be losers anymore. And there's nothing that will make you a good winner faster than your mom hitting you in the head with a frying pan when you make fun of her for losing to you in dominoes. Ooops. I shouldn't share all of my Christmas memories in this one entry.

3) Winning, losing and learning the ability to do that and still be friends with your opponent all lead to the development of positive social skills. I don't have much more fluff to say about that...I just truly believe that sports and competition is a great way for kids (and adults) to learn and develop their social skills.

4) Kids are smart enough to realize what is going on. They know when they are being humored and just coddled. Is that supposed to be any better for their self esteem? What are they going to think when they realize that the adults around them don't think that they are good enough to win at the game, so they are going to change the rules just so that they don't lose? Also, is it really special to any kid to get a trophy when all 27 of his little league teammates also get one? That's a waste of money on trophies...and the 847 hours spent coming up with the stupid awards to go on each one. "Least likely to eat the laces on his glove before the 4th inning." "Most likely to have his parents show up on time with the ice cream for after the game." "Best at pulling apart the twin popsicles without having one fall on the ground."

5) Maybe, just maybe, losing will give kids motivation to get better at what they are doing. Perhaps this will lead to such evils as working hard, discipline, understanding the value of a good teacher or instructor...and imagine this...through hard work, maybe these kids will lose weight and get better at their skill. Which may possibly lead to a victory, and increased self-esteem and a better feeling about who they are.

6) And as my friend pointed out tonight, are these experts really reading too much into the psychological effect that the loss of a board game or a playground game is having on a child? Come Friday, is Billy going to remember that he lost in tetherball to John? (Well, maybe, if he watches Napoleon Dynamite and has flashbacks. Bad example.) Kids move on and find something else more pressing to worry why their lunchbox is missing dessert and only contains fruit. Oh shoot, bringing up my childhood AGAIN.

Well, as you can see, the following facts may be surmised from this post:
A) I don't have kids.
B) If I did, they would all be winners because I don't like losers.
C) I managed to turn out OK despite losing sometimes.
D) I'm not bitter about my childhood losses. Not at all. Damn it.
E) I have nothing else traumatic from my childhood that comes up and haunts me in adulthood. Except for the small woodland creatures that lived under my bed and the ghosts that lived in our house.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Instant Replay. In the playoffs, at the very least. Human error or can't be decided or impacted this way. Welcome to the 21st century.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Excuse ME!

Americans are rude. If you have been to a grocery store, sporting event or on the road in any type of vehicle in the last few years, you know this first hand. Now the AP has verified this in a news report.

Have you noticed how rude people are in grocery stores these days? They block any opening to an aisle with their cart (which are now the size of tractor trailers at any new store), they stand in front of entire sections of shelves chatting with friends and then glare at you when you try to get something that they are blocking, they pull out of aisles without looking and run into you with their carts and then they leave their carts perpendicular to the shelves while wandering around so that you can't drive up the aisle! Is it really that hard to be courteous in the store? Has everyone forgotten how to say "I'm sorry," or "Excuse me?"

I'm a native New we're known for not being soft and fuzzy. However, we aren't just plain rude. When I returned to NY earlier this year for a visit, during the 3 days I was there I talked to more random strangers, had more people actually apologize for cutting me off in the store and more drivers thank me with a simple wave of the hand when I yielded the right of way to them as a courtesy than I have in the last 4 years. It's not a matter of being warm and fuzzy vs. cold and heartless, it's just simple courtesy. I don't think that one driver in Minnesota or Florida has ever nodded or waved to thank me when I let them pull out of a driveway or side road in front of me.

So, anyway, screw all of you out there reading this!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

No bottled water at the Red Cross

Tonight I went through the first step in the certification/training process to join the volunteer Disaster Action Team at the local Red Cross chapter. For those of you that are surprised by this...don't be! I have wanted to do something like this for a while, and just have never had the time to go through the training or do the actual volunteering. So when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it.

But I'm not here to talk about doing good things for the community or saving lives or anything...I'm here to talk about how no matter what you are doing, there are the funny (and some people will think that I am sick for finding one of these things funny) aspects to every serious situation. Here is a run-down of my observations in a simple 2 hour Red Cross orientation class:

* No matter whether there are only 5 people or more than 50 people in a room for any kind of class or presentation, if those people are allowed to speak in an open forum setting, there is always that 1 person that you want to tell to shut up. You know the one I'm talking about - and some of you may be that person! The one who asks stupid questions (and that stuff about there being no such thing as a stupid question is CRAP), asks questions that have NOTHING to do with the topic at hand, just says stuff to show that they think they are smart or just basically wants to hear themselves talk. Some day, in one of these classes, I may just tell "that person" that they are stupid and to shut up. I bet I get a standing ovation!

* All presentations come equipped with a lame evaluation form. Tonight, for the first time ever, I felt compelled to be honest in the "What was the part you liked the least?" space. I actually said, "I didn't like the participants that asked questions that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand." Not that they can control that, but I guess I was just feeling honest!

* And here's the "sick" observation I made...they had beverages for us in a cooler because, of course, we can't make it through sitting in a room watching videos and listening to some guy talk for 2 hours without getting dehydrated. But here's what I found hysterical, and I didn't have the guts to crack this joke to anyone in the room...they only provided us with soda. I'm guessing that relief organizations helping with Hurricane Katrina relief sent all of their bottled water to the Gulf Coast?? Maybe that's not funny to anyone else, but I really just figured there would be bottled water in that cooler!

Ok, enough with the silly observations. I'm going to get a glass of wine. Not because I'm an alcoholic, just because I'm out of Coke and water. Gosh, I'm funny.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Instant Replay?

"The Pitch" Posted by Picasa
Umpires aren't going to be perfect, and there's nothing wrong with that. They are human...and they can't see absolutely everything. I'm not putting 100% of the fault on the umpires in these bad calls. But here's my take on it:

I just think that in this age of great technology and with the 800 high-quality cameras all over a ballpark, games should not be decided by a human error in which they don't properly see the play. Not to mention, you know that all of the MLB officials are watching that replay over and over again in the comfort of a suite or office somewhere while their umpiring crew fumbles around on the field - and they are powerless to do anything under the current rules.

Especially in the playoffs. I have not watched every game...but I have seen at least 3 or 4 cruicial mistakes made by umpires in just the few games I have watched. All of these mistakes I believe could have, and would have, been reversed if MLB had instant replay.

Instant replay works in the baseball, we just need to figure out a way to "punish" coaches for throwing out the red flag when the call is not overturned. In the NFL they are "punished" by losing a timeout, they are "rewarded" with the correct call.

And yes, I know that baseball is a slow sport as it is...however, isn't it better to give up a little bit of time to let the athletes play the game out on the field? Perhaps they just use instant replay in the playoffs (OK, and the All-Star Game, since "It Matters").

The fact of the matter remains...we should be watching the 10th inning right now.

Python: The Sequel

This is what happens when pythons get too macho. I have the feeling we'll be seeing A LOT more stories like this in months to come! I also see a great mini-series or made-for-TV-movie developing. Instead of being the "Plywood State," Florida is turning into the "Python State."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Scooter...Spare Me

Why did Fox bring back "Scooter," the stupid talking cartoon baseball that teaches you about pitches, for the 2005 playoffs? He wasn't cool in 2004, and one of the oldest tricks in the sales handbook - putting a piece of inventory into action to prove to a potential sponsor that it's worth the money - didn't work. "Scooter" doesn't have a sponsor in '05, so what is the point? I'm not 6 years old (and I'm guessing that the majority of the at-home spectators aren't, either). Even if I didn't know the difference between a slider and a fast ball, I would rather have a human show me how the ball is held and actual footage of the two pitches in action. Not a crazy, joke-cracking cartoon.

Shoot some b-roll and stick one of the 26 pitching coaches or hundreds of pitchers that aren't working in October on a mound somewhere to talk about the pitches instead. Give me a reason to have a connection to a coach or player, that way when I see them in 2006 I have a reason to think that they know what they are doing. Use the MLB players and coaches, rather than a pathetic graphics team.

By the way, I turned off the volume on my TV set when Tim McCarver, Joe Buck and Lou Pinella started their love fest in the booth.

Yes, I know.

The Yankees lost. I know. The IMs. The phone calls. The emails. The away messages of my friends who are BoSox fans. I watched the game. Just a few hours after my post about how much I love October, I remembered how quickly October can punch you in the gut and take your breath away.

My favorite part about this...Red Sox fans, who after they somehow win in 2004 after an 86 year drought, suddenly jump all over the Yankees' payroll and their inability to win a championship since 2000. Do these fans forget that they had the second highest payroll - and they got SWEPT in the ALDS? Hey, Boston...I just have two digits for you, and they aren't the ones on my hands...26. That's all Yankees fans have to say :)

And the best part about being a Yankees fan...we lost on Monday, we'll take the crap from our BoSox friends on Tuesday, we'll watch tonight's game and move on with life. In 2006 we'll suck in Spring Training, the critics will say that the Yankee mystique is gone, we'll field a high-paid team and be criticized, we'll lose two games in a row and be "out of it," and then suddenly we'll be in the playoffs again "to everyone's amazement after a horrible June." As long as the end result is that Yankee Stadium is open for business in October, that's a horrible pattern that I'll keep repeating. In the meantime, Boston fans are lamenting their bad luck and crying at every barb thrown their way...they need some New York toughness up the coast there!

Just remember...26. And go Astros.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Heart October

Last night I remembered how much I love the month of October. Not for the weather or fall folliage or anything poetic like that. I hate the cold and I wish that the trees stayed green all year up here and flowers could bloom in December (outside), but I'm in Minnesota - so that's just a dream.

Yesterday was the ultimate in playoff baseball. An 18 inning marathon to take the Astros to the NLCS, and an extremely exciting Game 4 of the ALDS that the Yankees won to bring the series back to California for the deciding game. Is there anything more fun than the entire month of October for baseball? 4 divisional series, followed by 2 league championship series, followed by the most exciting 7 games in sports.

But that's just the start of what makes October great for me. The NHL starts back up - and I love hockey. Especially since we missed all of the 2004-2005 season. I'm glad it's back.

Sidenote: I also happen to be living in the State of Hockey, whatever that means. How can you claim that? Do they mean state as in "a member of this country" or do they mean it as in "a condition of mind or temperment?" And I thought Texas was a self-centered state!!

And if there wasn't enough entertainment during the week, Saturday in October brings some great conference match-ups in college football, and Sunday (and Monday night) brings the NFL to bars and living rooms across the country. (Maybe I'm just happy because my fantasy team is kicking butt right now.)

Then, for those of you that like this kind of thing - and I do - NASCAR comes down to the wire with the Race for the Cup or whatever it's called. It's fun, fast-paced and has some great personalities.

But October is not just great for the sports that I can watch on TV, it's great for the league that is lacking from play this month. The NBA! Does anyone really still genuinely follow professional basketball? There is nothing that I can't stand more in professional sports than the NBA. It drives me nuts. I love college basketball and think that March Madness is great. But I'm happy my favorite sports aren't competing for airtime with the NBA right now.

So the tenth month of the year is here and I'm happily parked in front of my TV, pulling for the Yankees to win this Game 5 and take on the White Sox tomorrow night in the ALDS.

Gosh, I hope I didn't put the link to this blog on my resume that I dropped off at the Target Center last week.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I figured it out!!

Same Guy? Posted by Picasa
It's been driving me nuts forever. I have been trying to figure out who Mariano Rivera reminds me of...and it hit me while he was warming up in the bullpen tonight versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the State of California in the United States of America in North America. He and Tiger Woods are long-lost brothers. Same toothy smile. Same fist pump. Same gritty, determined look when they are in the middle of their motion. Do they know this, though?

Cool Locomotives - I found them!

The cool steam engines! Posted by Picasa
I just heard the whistle of one of these engines (I think it's the top one that is pulling the trains by my apartment) and remembered to look for the pictures again! I found them! Aren't they cool?!

Yes, I know I'm easily amused. And I'm OK with that.

Cool Train, Part II

My favorite engine... Posted by Picasa

Hey, The Steph, cool train!

Soo engine on top, passenger car on bottom Posted by Picasa
My cousin just made fun of me because I had to jump up and open my blinds in my apartment to look at a train that was going by - just because I recognized the train whistle. Here's something you have to understand though...they don't use these really cool passenger trains all the time here! At least not running on the tracks near my apartment. They have some old diesel and steam engines that they run for tourist trips to see the fall folliage or when they have historic events, such as last summer's Mississippi boat event with all of the steam and paddle boats - the Excursion I believe it was called. The one pictured here is a diesel engine...I can't find a picture of the steam engine I want to show.

The trains above are examples of some of the cool engines and cars that are used on these trips - but I just can't find a picture of the engine that I really want to show.

Last summer, a couple of these trains went by on the tracks behind our stadium (the set of tracks that runs by my apartment) and a co-worker called it "The Coolest Train Ever." And he was right...big puffy steam smoke, smelly train, and very, very noisy!! Plus it had cool passenger cars. Normally we are just fascinated with the engines, but these old trains' cars are colorful and fun.

Which got me to thinking as I was looking for pictures of my favorite engines...whatever happened to cabooses? I used to love them...they were my favorite part of the train...mostly because there was one just parked at the entrance to a tennis club I used to play at in Rhinebeck, NY. (It has since been removed I discovered when I was back in NY earlier this year...that was a sad discovery.) But trains don't have cabooses anymore...and they were cool, too. That's a sad progression in the history of trains.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Minnesota "Prizes"

The "Little Brown Jug" Posted by Picasa

Today, in an amazing upset...and much to the surprise of even Minnesota fans, the "little brown jug" (which is neither little nor brown), was returned to its state of origin when the Golden Gophers finally won their annual match-up against the University of Michigan after an insane number of losses in a row.

Now, I am a huge fan of collegiate football rivalries. Florida-Tennessee (2005 - UF!), Florida-Georgia (Cocktail Party!), Florida-Florida State (It's ours in '05!), Florida-Miami (Well, let's not talk about that one.) But what I just don't get - all of the special "trophies" that Minnesotans have for all of their rivalry games. (And my second thing - why is EVERY game they play a rivalry game. Isn't that called a SCHEDULE?)

Here's a short list:

Minnesota vs. Michigan: The Little Brown Jug
Background: A janitor named Oscar basically stole it from Michigan's lockerroom following a tie. That's right, a tie. Minnesota was sooo excited about a TIE that they kept the visiting coach's water jug. According to the University of Minnesota Gopher sports website: "It is the most famous of all college rivalry trophies, and no other inanimate object comes close to the aura of tradition like the Little Brown Jug." Thank goodness for that! But congrats to the Gophers for bringing back that little brown jug. Although I would take that old crock and sell it at an antiques store...take all of those years of paint and stupid scores off, I bet that thing would be worth a lot of money now - have you seen how much they fetch these days?!

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Paul Bunyan's Axe
Background: Apparently the oldest rivalry in NCAA Division I-A football needed a symbol, too. In 1948 the axe came about, thanks to the forward thinking of the W Club at Wisconsin. Now, they are on their second ax. The first one was donated to the College Football Hall of Fame a few years back. It even necessitated a press release: "It had become 'somewhat unstable,' according to a press release from UW" that referenced the old axe. I guess the handle was falling off. Either that or it had emotional problems. OK.

Minnesota vs. Iowa: “Floyd of Rosedale.”
Background: The Gophers' website calls this "one of the most emotional rivalries in the country." Sounds like someone needs some counseling. Especially since the "Floyd of Rosedale" is a bronze pig statue. The pig came about in 1935 when, following some tense words and fear of a savage game in Iowa, Minnesota’s Governor Floyd Olson stepped in to keep the peace. Minnesota folks are excited over your statement about Iowa crowds lynching the Minnesota football team. I have assured them you are law abiding gentlemen and are only trying to get our goat...I will bet you a Minnesota prize hog against an Iowa prize hog that Minnesota wins.” Now, there is nothing, in my eyes, that encourages fair play and a strong rivalry like a prize pig. Minnesota won the first pig, it was named after the Governor (is that a compliment??) and was promptly delivered to their neighbors to the north. The story actually gets better, includes a 14 year old winning the pig in an essay contest and then the thing kicking the bucket. But you have to read it yourself...The Story Of the Floyd of Rosedale.

I don't know about you - but I would hate to have to be the person in charge of not losing these sacred trophies at each game. I'm glad that most of the rivalries I care about just focus on wins and loses. Because I would never be able to remember what strange thing we're playing for this week.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Sports as an Analogy for Life...#47

Working in baseball is like being in an abusive relationship. When it kicks you and brings you down, you know it's bad for you and you should get away as fast as you can. But the good times are soooo good, and mean so much they can bring tears of happiness to your eyes.

It doesn't matter what your friends and family say that try to pull you away from the abuse, and it doesn't matter how bruised and hurt your feelings are...all you can think about are the good times. And then, because of that, everyone who hasn't been there doesn't understand it. And they tell you that you are wrong for loving something that can hate you back.

"Advertising" Job Interview

I'm warning you...this is LONG...and I'm not apologizing for it!

Today I went on the "2nd interview" for a job with an "advertising/promotions" firm that shall remain nameless. This "2nd interview" consisted of job shadowing a current employee as they visited "clients."

To give you some background info - in the "1st interview" I was told that this company creates promotions to drive traffic to places such as local sports teams, restaurants, etc - their "clients." These promotions involve things like ticket deals, etc...and "they" put together the marketing materials for these promotions. The manager I talked to asked what I was looking for and thought appealed about the job, and I said that I was excited to be on the creative side of the promotions, etc...and that I had writing samples if he wanted to see them, etc.

So as I leave the 1st interview, I think, well this sounds kinda cool. And a lot of the appeal to me was that they worked with sports teams. Well, today, I found out how NOT cool "the company" is.

This interview is supposed to last from 11-7ish, when we go back to the office to sit down and talk, etc. We leave for Eden Prairie at 11 - get there around noon.

(For those not familiar with the Twin Cities - 30 minutes away with no traffic, 1 hour with minimal traffic - you get the point. This little suburb is south of Minneapolis, note to anyone moving to the Twin Cities. DON'T MOVE TO THE MPLS SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI - it takes hours to get anywhere.)

The person that I was shadowing and I were riding down with another person in the same position as me and another employee of "the company." Imagine my surprise when we get dropped off at the end of a street in a residential area and the car leaves...the "advertising" being done is door-to-door coupon sales!! You know the kind...for $30 you get cards for $50 worth of pizza, steaks or whatever the particular promotion is that they are working on at the time.

So we go door-to-door for a while, I'm just standing there, my escort is doing the selling. One person says "I understand what you girls are doing..I sold door-to-door for a while, too." Apparently he sold dishes. But one thing that guy has going for him now - a really cool cat. He has an American Shorttail, which was pretty neat - it was only about 15 weeks old. Google it - it's neat. (To which my escort asked "Is it legal to own bobcats??" Ummm - listening skills not there, apparently. He said American Shorttail - not a bobcat! I just shook my head.)

But as we walked away from that door, my escort said to me "Well, that's nice he sold door-to-door, but we don't do that...we are doing direct advertising." Then she went on about why what she did isn't door-to-door and how it differs, then said, "Do you see the difference?" I said, yeah, sure. Whatever...STOP TALKING.

So then we meet up with our "friends" that had left us at the end of the street weeks ago (or two hours...same thing) and went to Burger King for lunch. Now, by the time we reached to doorbell of the first house, I had decided that this job was not my cup of tea. But I figured I was stranded with them in Eden Prairie until 7, and I wasn't going to say anything because I wanted to make the process as painless as possible. After we got done eating, we had little one-on-one meetings with our escorts, who told us about the 4 levels of promotion within "the company," how you can make $150,000.00 a year within 6-10 months of being with "the company" and etc, etc, etc. I kept expecting Tony Soprano to walk out of the bathroom.

Then she (and I noticed that the other "escort" did this with his prospect, too) "went to the bathroom" and said she would answer any questions I had when she got back. She returns and sits back down and I said "Which level in the company is the one where you work on the creative and help put together the promotions, etc." She said "Oh, we don't do that. We just distribute the advertising and promote the client."

Sidenote: Keep in mind the two ways "client" is used here. 1) Today we were visiting with clients as part of the job shadow (All we did was walk door-to-door in a residential neighborhood) and 2) Chains that are selling something.

So then she said, "Is this something you are interested in and would like to continue to see how the rest of the day goes?" That's when I realized...I may not be trapped here until 7!! Maybe I can get out!! I said "Nope. This is really not what I had in mind. When I talked to "Bob" yesterday, I told him I was interested in the creative side of advertising and promotions, so I'm a little taken aback that he didn't tell me that there is NO creative involved here." She gave me a bunch more company lines about advertising, owning your own company, etc. I said, "No, I really don't think this is for me." So then she says, "Ok, we have a couple of options. Maybe we can get "Joe" to drive you back up, or do you have any friends down here you can convince to come pick you up and take you home?"

SAY WHAT???? Did she really ask that? I laughed at her and said "No, take me back." Well, "Joe's" prospect wanted to keep going, so "Joe" lent my girl his car and she took me back to the office. Wow. Awkward drive. Especially since I told her not to go back the way she was going because of the traffic and convinced her to take my way back. I normally wouldn't care about sitting in traffic and wouldn't say anything...but I wanted to get rid of her! And I know she hates me now for making her drive all the way back...cause then she had to go back and get "Joe" and his prospect. And she lost out on nearly 3 hours of selling her pizza promo door-to-door. She probably lost $22 in commission. Oh wait, it's not commission - it's "profit sharing." But I'm really quite OK with that. Especially after she asked me if I could call a friend that lived in Eden Prairie and make them drive me home. You have GOT to be kidding me.

I'm going to go buy a Power Ball ticket. I think it's up to $205 million. That's a lot easier than these stupid job interviews with fake companies.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Who won?

Only in Florida... Posted by Picasa

Gosh, this makes you feel safe while navigating the muck of the Everglades, doesn't it? My only question is similar to "Which came first - the chicken or the egg?" Who won - the gator or the python? Both are now dead...but did the gator tear apart the python while still alive or did the python kill the gator but bite off more than he could chew?

For those that can handle gross stuff, the two leading theories seem to be that either A) the python failed to kill the gator, and he was still alive after being swallowed and tore through the belly of the giant snake or B) the python successfully killed his prey, but the gases created in the digestion/decomposition process by the giant gator were too much for the python and essentially blew him up. Either way, that had to have been rather fascinating to witness.

There are lots of scary things in Florida: big poisonous snakes, chomping alligators, man-eating sharks, ugly spiders, horrific hurricanes and now, loose pet pythons?? Why do people do that - release unwanted pet pythons into the wild? Although apparently, overall, pythons in Florida are reportedly going against nature - which normally dictates that "domesticated" animals don't fare well in the wild. They can fend for themselves, and have become an unexpected predator in the Everglades, throwing off Mother Nature. Well, most of them...with the exception of Pedro the Python above who is all broken up over his lost home.

Orbitron - bet this makes the incident with the little scorpion in your mom's house look like a friendly encounter!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Roseville, MN Just Moved Up A Notch

Super Target is open! Super Target is open! I've been waiting since January 9th for this date. That was the day that they closed the doors on the most convenient Target to my apartment in order to tear it (and the nearby Perkins) down to build one of the most beautiful sights in the Midway area of the Twin Cities. And today, the day arrived. As I walked into the clean and bright new store, I pushed a sparkling red cart and thought, "I bet I'm the first person EVER to use this cart! I'm special."

I gotta tell you, Roseville has it going on now! Between the Rosedale Mall, Outback Steakhouse, BW3's, Famous Dave's and now, Super Target - you have nearly everything you need there. If only they would build that Costco that is rumored to be entering the area.

And one observation that I made while driving home from my visit to the meca of super shopping: It cracks me up when the first car in line to go straight at the traffic light lets his/her foot off of the brake when the left turn arrow lights up. It cracks me up because I do it, too! You're just so poised for that green, and when it comes, you want it to be for YOU. And then you try to act all cool, like you meant to do that because you're just preparing because you know that your turn is coming sometime soon. And then you just hope that your car doesn't roll backwards into the gigantic SUV behind you because your pride won't let you put your foot back on the brake. Or is that just me?

I decided that if I win the Power Ball tonight, I'm still going to shop at Super Target.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tribute to Orbitron...

Here's to you, attempt at glogging tonight...

Why does Joe Buck love Chone Figgins of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (abbreviated as ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ) sooo much? As the lead off batter in the 3rd inning of tonight's game against the mighty Yankees, he grounded out. During his short at-bat, and during the entire at-bats of the next 2 batters, we learned several "interesting" things that normal male commentators don't tell you about a utility player:

* He has a radiant smile.

* He played 6 positions this season, used 4 different gloves and only averaged 2.5 errors per glove.

* That previous fact would have been ok, if not for the enthusiasm and then the graphic of the 4 gloves. Which would have been ok, too, if we didn't have to be shown how nice it was that his nickname "Fig" was delicately stiched into each glove. Suddenly, "Michaels Crafts" became a sponsor of baseball gloves?

* And Joey wants to invite him over to watch a movie. I'm not kidding. Apparently Fig's favorite movie is Rocky V - further proving that he doesn't deserve this much discussion because any player whose favorite movie is Rocky V should not get more coverage than "And the lead-off batter is out. One away." So Joey boy wants to invite him over to show him Rocky I.

* Fig was born in 1978, 2 years after Rocky I came out. Why is that fact on a sheet of paper anywhere in the press box? (The year Rocky I came out, not Fig's birthday...I understand that one.) But that means that someone had to plan ahead by reading Fig's bio, seeing that he liked Rocky V, thinking that was monumental, then saying "Oh, he might have liked Rocky I. Oh wait, he wasn't born yet possibly. Wonder what year Rocky I came out?" Oh, and then I'm assuming he had to Google that fact. And yes, I'm assuming that the person who does research for useless stuff for Fox broadcasters is male. Cause women wouldn't care about something as stupid as this. Only about making fun of something as stupid as this. :) Does Sly really deserve this coverage for a movie like Rocky V?? This is already way more sentences than I ever thought that I would dedicate to any Sly movie.

Oh, by the way, GO YANKEES!

Jay Leno's Headlines: "Karma Cheats Death, Again"

Current mood: Amused

The quote of the day comes from my friend Kendra. "Karma, you're one lazy bastard!"

Background on how this came about...we were chatting about people who will one day "get what's coming to them," yet for some reason or another, haven't yet. It centered around a former boss that we had in common years ago, who somehow STILL has his/her job. And extended to other people we have come across in our professional lives that haven't met the same fate yet. How does that happen? Or more specifically, not happen?

Karma is defined by my dusty blue Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary - copyright 1965 - as: "the force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical conequences to determine his destiny in his next existence." (Sidenote: Wow, they just don't make dictionaries like they used to, betchya don't see "perpetuate" and "transmigration" in the same sentence in the latest 87th version of Webster's!)

I guess this means that I have to wait until our next lifetime to see them get what's coming...but that's no fun. I prefer instant gratification. Also, it seems to only apply to men. Which would ruin many of my karma wishes. Hopefully that is just a indication of the decade in which this dictionary was written. If anyone has a more recent version of Webster's, let me know if the definition is now more gender neutral!!!

Monday, October 03, 2005


Current mood: infuriated some people have to create controversy when there is none? Or feel that they have to know everything that everyone else is doing when it has nothing to do with them? Or think that everyone else actually cares about what they think just because they made eye contact with them once? Or believe that their preducial points of view make an impact on those around them? Or have to be so damn two-faced that they turn themselves around and almost look faithful and honest to those closest to them? Or not keep to their own damnselves and worry about their own issues rather than issues that don't even exist in other people's lives? Or have to be sooo self-conscious that they always think that people are not on their side when other people don't even care about that?


Moving over here...

I'm moving my blog here, from So here is a run-down of my archive from there (it's not long). Then I'll start anew on my next post for today/tonight. Sorry the format for reading my little archive really sucks here...but if you already read it on my other blog, don't bother here!! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 02, 2005
What would you do... Current mood: calm

A good friend of mine recently took a job in marketing with an MLB team (that needs a lot of help with marketing -and he's just the guy to do it, they also need a lot of help with wins - don't think he's the guy to do that)...and he's been conducting a straw poll of his blog readers, so I'm moving it over here to get your responses to help him out, too! So all 4 of you (including my family) that read this, answer for him!

1) What was the coolest souvenir you got at a sporting event?
2) Why do you root for the teams that you do?
3) If you had an empty ballpark at your disposal what would you do with it?

My answers:
1) What was the coolest souvenir you got at a sporting event?
That would definitely be an uncut card set from the Kannapolis Intimidators. I love uncut card sets and they are great for display. They are great conversation starters, too.

2) Why do you root for the teams that you do?
Have you ever been to Yankee Stadium? That place is awesome! But more seriously - all of the teams I root for in any sport I have lived near and for nearly all of them, been able to go to a home game. The only local teams I haven't gotten into are the ones here in Minnesota. But I have enough favorite teams in my pocket, I don't need the ones up here!! My strongest loyalties lie with the teams whom I have gotten to see play in person. In NY we were never able to go to a home Giants or Rangers game - too hard to get to, too expensive. So I'm probably a stronger fan of the Bucs and Lightning now, as much as it pains me as a native New Yorker to say. I have loved the Florida Gators since I was young (before I even moved to Florida) simply because their tennis coach taught at a tennis camp I played at in like 8th grade. The only reason. I fell in love with them instantly...cause it was one of the, if not the, top tennis programs in the country and they were in Florida! Gator fan for life.

I think the best way to get someone to be a fan of the team is to give them 1 personal connection or experience that they never forget. Like the coach at tennis camp. Or at a minor league baseball game when the kid got a ball from a player. But can you do that for 40,000 people a game at a major league stadium? I think so - but it's not easy!

3) If you had an empty ballpark at your disposal what would you do with it?
The only thing that would be natural to a baseball game. Not creative...but passionate. It might be cool to have a high school prom there, if you were into that type of thing.

Friday, September 30, 2005
Stan Musial

I never realized that batting a little ball around could cause so much commotion. -Stan Musial

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Live Premiere...Bad Idea...

Ok, when the cast and crew of Will & Grace rehearsed tonight's live premiere, do you think that someone actually sat in front of a screen and watched it? Because this is playing out like a 5th grade play in the gymnasium. Even after 1.5 glasses of wine - it's not working for me. There is a reason why TV shows are filmed in advance. Because it doesn't work live.
If I was stupid enough to try to do a live premiere with one of my shows, I would do a taped version (that would be good) and if about 2.5 seconds in I realized that it SUCKED, I would switch to the taped version and LIE.
All of the characters on this show are NOT good at live stuff. Debra Messing looks incredibly uncomfortable and unnatural, and Eric McCormick looks like he is trying to hard. And Megan Mllllllahahahaha (whatever her name is) is just too much of a "laugh hog." As is the guy that plays the other gay guy...Jack.
Bad idea, all around. Go back to pre-taped shows, NOW!!!

And the shoe dropped...

I learned the truth behind the mystery earlier today, and then it was officially unveiled this afternoon...and it surprised me!! I had a whole scenario planned out in my head. With scenes, acts, sequels, everything. Of course I did it off of two facts...but my story was really good. And it got squashed. Squashed like a june bug in August. (Good saying, I just made that up.) Hmmm. Interesting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005
ARGHHHHHH! Current mood: hyper

And to repeat the subject line...ARGHHHHHHHHH!! I hate waiting to find things out, I hate not knowing things, I hate knowing someone who knows something but won't tell me, I hate coming up with a million different scenarios as to what is going on and not knowing if any of them are correct. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!!

I don't think I'm going to sleep tonight. And I have an interview in the morning. If 10:30 is still considered morning if you have been up all night!!!!!

(Hmmm...maybe people are on to something with this blogging thing. It's a good place to vent...and no one really has to know what is going on when I vent about it!! Especially since I don't know what is going on - only that something IS going on. AHHHHHH - or as I said earlier...ARGHHHHHHHH!!)

Waiting... Current mood: curious

...for the other shoe to drop. Or the next this a centipede's closet?

"Train" Current mood: contemplative

For those of you not familiar with my most recent employer, the St. Paul Saints, we had (well, "have" - I just don't work there anymore) train tracks that run behind the left field wall (and technically center field and right field too, but it's closest to the left field wall and everyone says "The train is behind the left field wall.") Traditionally, when a train is approaching or passing, the PA announcer just says "Train." Nothing fancy, just stating the obvious, but a funny little quirk at Saints games.

When I worked in Texas, we had trains everywhere. I think we figured out that there's not a town in Texas that doesn't have a track. However, I don't remember them being cool. I remember being irritated when they crossed my path and I had to wait, because unlike here, you couldn't get around them. Here there are alternate routes that can usually (and in a timely manner because most of our trains are LONG) get you around the obstacle. Sometimes I just sit at the railroad crossing and watch the train, though. There's something peaceful about sitting in your car and knowing that every other person sitting there stuck with you is fuming as the train slows down, leaving the last car stopped in the middle of your lane. And knowing that they don't care that some graffiti artist spent a lot of time putting the same signature on every freaking car on the train. And then getting even more angry as the train slowly moves backwards for 5 minutes because it has to get into position to switch tracks - and then finally moves forward again and leaves.

Anyway, here, from day 1, and despite the fact that I have lived here for two years, I still look to see what engine is pulling (or pushing) the train that is approaching. I live almost right on train tracks and can see the trains...when the leaves fall off the trees. (Not as close as the midget in "Station Agent" lived, but close enough. Great movie, by the way. I need to add it to my movies list on my profile page.) Fortunately for my viewing pleasure, that will happen in a day or two and will last until MAY when the trees finally thaw out. But I was just realizing how pathetic that is because I heard a train outside my apartment and I looked to see the train, and was upset that the leaves were still on the trees. I found myself wishing that they would fall off so that I could see the engine. Sad. So sad.

But while I'm on the subject...everyone here has a favorite engine. Mine happens to be the blue & yellow Santa Fe engine. Santa Fe engines come in other colors. But they are insignificant to me. I don't care for BNSF engines or any other kind. My favorite is the yellow & blue Santa Fe engine. But I think that if you ask anyone that has spent a significant amount of time at Midway about their favorite engine, they would be able to name it!

I suppose it is the silly little things that bring us pleasure...even seeing our favorite train engine barreling by our apartments.

Monday, September 26, 2005
"Fall" in Minnesota

Ok, for those of you who have never been to Minnesota in a month other than July...don't bother. So Fall officially started a few days ago here. There was even a countdown to the actual minute that it began. Which was pointless, because the temperature had already dropped into the 60s and the leaves had started changing days before!!! I think that the start of the seasons should correspond with the actual weather in the state in question. For example, if I were to set it up in Minnesota...this is what it would look like:

Spring: May 28-July 4
Summer: July 5-August 28
Fall: August 29 - October 1
Winter: October 2 - May 27

I'm pretty sure that is what it actually is, anyway. I don't know if there are any Minnesotans that would argue with that. They love their ice fishing, anyway. This season schedule gives them an excuse to put up their ice castles (have you seen these things?? "Ice House" my butt...they are nicer than most people's primary homes!) a little earlier and leave them up a little later. The lakes are frozen that long, anyway!

Sunday, September 25, 2005
And the start... Current mood: chipper

So this blogging thing is supposedly really cool and fashionable. I have to admit, I log on every morning to read the blogs of a couple of my's amusing. And gives me one more thing to make fun of them for! This is my first attempt, and will probably be really lame. I will probably include hilarious (possibly only to me) observations on this for example:

Why is it that at a sporting event, when the video board reads "Make some noise!" the fans in attendance read that to mean "Stand up in the way of the people sitting behind you that are smart enough to just clap and not stand up at the same time." Don't these people realize that standing up is a very quiet action and doesn't really obey the video board?

Alright, enough for now...for those of you not scared off yet, check back in later for more astute observations! L8r.