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Friday, August 26, 2005

At Least I Don't Have to Negotiate Contracts

This does not bode well. I'm trying to prepare for the big fantasy football draft I have tomorrow. It's been years since I've managed a fantasy team, and I was shocked to learn recently that LaDanian Tomlinson is generally regarded as the top fantasy points producer. I assumed quarterbacks were the way to go. But now I know running backs are good, which makes me feel good that I'm privy to this bit of information, but at the same time nervous that there are other fantasy philosophies I'm not in tune with. Like when is it okay to take a tight end? I have no idea.

I'm also worried that I won't be thinking in terms of fantasy points, and instead base my selections on real-life skills. For instance, I'm a huge Rod Smith fan. Excellent receiver, excellent runner, but I love him because he blocks the shit out of people. I realize that particular skill-set has no bearing on fantasy statistics, yet I see his name and immediately think "oh, that guy's great." And I fear at least a couple times this will lead to a knee-jerk selection that I'll soon regret. Though I'm not so stupid as to take Daimon Shelton or Sam Gash.

I'm worried I'm going to make a Michael Oliwakandi-esque pick.

Arubian Knights

I had a longer, better-written post on this, but what it all boils down to is this: I don't care about Natalee Halloway and I'm pissed off at Sidney Ponson for drinking and driving... again. The Orioles should dump Ponson, and the Aruban knight (literally) should use his knightly powers to solve the case as part of his probation just so:

a) As an Orioles fan be done with Sidney Ponson;
b) As someone who is not deaf, dumb, and blind be done with Natalee Halloway updates.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

When The Phone Does Ring / How You Gonna Go / WIth Your Hands On Your Head / Or On the Trigger of Your Gun

I just called a friend's cell phone and instead of ringing, a woman's voice told me to "enjoy some music while they try and reach the party." And then "Guns of Brixton" by The Clash played. Eventually my friend's voicemail picked up.

I don't know how to respond to this.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Why I Like Baseball Redux

Some people made their own suggestions and took issue with some of my own reasons for loving baseball, so I will add:

- Triples
- Tim Wakefield. The delivery, the fluttering knuckleball, and his chill demeanor.

Someone else mentioned the fact that ball parks are like America's cathedrals. Not being religious at all, I'd have to agree. I got the same feeling walking into Yankee Stadium for the first time (and I hate the Yankees) as I did walking into Notre Dame in Paris for the first time. Hush and awe.

And this got me thinking what about the game itself is so compelling. It's the idea that each pitch is so dramatic and represents... anything. Detractors decry the slow pace of baseball, but to me, that only adds to the drama. A guy steps into the box, the pitcher takes the sign and sets. He starts the wind-up and tension builds, more and more. He ball leaves his hand. Will it be a strike or a ball? Will he swing or take? Crack! Fair or foul? Grounder or fly ball? At a fielder or a gap? All of this in milliseconds and it starts all over again. It's maddening and wonderful. Like the momentary pause at the top of a roller coaster hill; the lean-in and nanosecond before lips touch in a first kiss; the split second before your mouth closes on that slice of pizza. The anticipation of these moments is almost more than you can handle -- even better than the moment itself. The difference is after you've gone down the hill and you've kissed those lips and you've eaten two slices of pizza already, there's nothing else to anticipate. But in baseball, there's always another pitch coming and your heart is racing and you want to vomit all over again.


I used to be fast. Really fast. This made me quite the athletic foe, despite my lack of strength. To wit, I used to play tennis against my neighbor, the Jimmer, who was a good tennis player. He knew "tennis theory" and had gameplans. He put spin on the ball. He played at the net. He could even serve! But what he couldn't do was hit a ball out of my reach. Because I was fast. Sure, I may hit it out or into the net, but dammit if I didn't get my racket on everything. And that pissed the Jimmer off. So I fanned the flames and trash-talked. If he won? So what? He played tennis more and I sucked. But if I won, oh boy that made the trash-talking even sweeter because I knew he was so much better.

But I'm not fast anymore and I get winded 10 minutes into a basketball game.

Which leads me to this past weekend when I played tennis. The court next to us was occupied by 3 old men and a younger guy. One old man in particular was hunched over and moved slowly. He had a feeble old man voice. And he used it to trash-talk. He was slow, but he was always where the ball was. After putting away a shot and ending a long rally, he yelled, "who do you think you're messing with?" Then he returned to the service line, bounced the ball twice, and asked what the score was. Someone told him it was 40-15, match point. The old man bounced the ball once more, raised it to his racket, and said, "Say good-night Gracie" and let loose a serve.

That's right, I heard someone quote George Burns to talk shit to his opponents during a doubles tennis game. One court over and I'm yelling "take that" and "eat it" and other various witticims like that, and this guy is referencing vaudeville not out of irony, but because he remembers vaudeville. And he wasn't sweating as much as I was.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Why I Like Baseball

- Camden Yards
- John Olerud's swing (still)
- The double-play
- Jose Reyes' speed
- Dontrelle Willis' wind-up, delivery, and... well, everything about him.
- The hit-and-run executed properly
- Someone trying to hit the ball past Cesar Izturis
- Torii Hunter at the wall
- 7th inning stretch
- Barry Zito's curveball
- Johan Santana's change-up
- The Yankees haven't won the World Series lately, but having said that:
- Taking the 6 up to Yankee Stadium
- Old ladies who keep score in their programs
- The ivy at Wrigley
- The Green Monster
- Cubs-Cardinals; Yankees-Red Sox; Dodgers-Giants

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hey Paul! The Girls Are Here!

A friend of mine moved out here to Los Angeles a few months ago from Manhattan, the same move I made 4 years earlier. He provides a nice comparison for me to gauge just how Californian I've become these past 4 years, as well as a way to see how valid my memories of New York are. A lot of our conversations recently have revolved around the differences between the two coasts. And to me, this is the funniest one we've had:

HIM: I missed New York for the first time last night.
ME: Why is that?
HIM: I was watching Letterman.
ME: Oh. (BEAT) I hated LA for the millionth time last night when I watched Leno.*

*I don't really hate LA.... anymore. At least not constantly.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Not Real Sports

I really don't like fantasy sports, and I dislike them for individual reasons. Fantasy Baseball is just too long a season and I inevitably go a week or two at different times in the summer where I don't pay attention, and therefore my teams plunge down in the standings faster than Rafael Palmeiro lost his Hall of Fame consideration. Fantasy football just grates on my nerves. There are television shows and actual jobs based on analyzing fantasy football. How pathetic is that? Such desperation to hold on to your dreams of the 20-tackle game you had in the State Championships. And this is it, not even season tickets but a fake team. And then you get those people at the bar next to you: "I need Willis McGahee to have 150 yards but no touchdowns because I have Miami's defense, but I like the Bills so I want them to win the game... 10-7 would be nice because I have Chris Chambers and if he could catch that touchdown, I might have a chance depending on if Edgerrin James has a bad game against the Saints since my opponent has James..." It's maddening. And no one plays fantasy hockey. Hell, last year no one played regular hockey. I've heard fantasy golf is fun, but, um, no.

But having said all of that, I think I'm playing fantasy football this year. I'm going to try and be a Mike Brown-like owner and manage my team with heartless determination. No sentimental picks. Also, if I have Tom Brady on my team, I'm still rooting for Takeo Spikes and Nate Clements to rip his shit up all afternoon. I said there'd be no sentimentality on Team Kevin -- there is, however, ample room for it on the Buffalo Bills. This way if I'm losing I can tell all my friends I don't really care, yet if I'm winning I can talk shit, which to me is the only good part of Fantasy sports. Oh, the ego. Like somehow this will prove my machismo since I can no longer run and keep up in a flag football game.

Like Benjamin Grimm, Clarke Kent, Bruce Banner, and Gabriel Kelly

One of the conversations that I had at the drinks avec bloggers get-together involved the use of pseudonyms. I had one (Slappar) which is a silly, nonsensical name a friend gave me one day and I thought would be a weird name to use here. But I've used my real name plenty of times as well, I have no reason to hide my identity (except this blog is the way my mother found out I was mugged twice... ugh, what a phone call that was), and, well, being introduced as Slappar is just ridiculous. So, from now on, I'm just using my name, Kevin.

Also, if anyone can figure out who Gabriel Kelly is, I'll give you something.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

This is What a Lot of People Will be Writing About

I'll be wearing a red hat and holding a yellow rose in one hand and a copy of Le Monde in another.

Nothing like that happened.

A bunch of LA bloggers got together for drinks is what actually happened. And I'm friends with two of them already, so I knew who to look out for when I showed up at the bar. It was an event put together by Hilary who I actually didn't get to meet. But it was fun to meet the people who I did, and I'll be adding their links on the sidebar.

Also, I saw some members of a vespa gang(!) at the bar, so we weren't the biggest bunch of nerds there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Worst Post Ever

Ugh. I have nothing to write. I mean, I do, but somehow forgetting how smelly NYC is in summer doesn't make for interesting blogging.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sorry for the Lack of Posting

I was in New York for a wedding the past weekend. I'll write something later.

Monday, August 01, 2005

While My Guitar Violently Struggles

What do "Here Comes Your Man" (Pixies), "Death or Glory" (The Clash), "The Bucket" (Kings of Leon), "Allison" (Pixies), "3rd Planet" (Modest Mouse), "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan) and "Blitzkreig Bop" (Ramones) have in common?

I can shred those tunes up on my axe, baby! Man, being a self-proclaimed rock star is sweet.