Thursday, July 31, 2003

The following exchange happened on two cell phones, between two Yankee fans in New Jersey and Iowa around 7:15 this evening:

NJ: Ring ring ring
IA: Hello?
NJ: Tonya? It’s Karen.
IA: Hey, what’s up?
NJ: Have you seen any sports related news today?
IA: No, why?
NJ: Well, I’ve got some bad Yankee news.
IA: Uh-oh, let me sit down. OK, I’m sitting.
NJ: They traded Robin to the Dodgers.
IA: Are you kidding me?!

And so, that’s how I let Yankee/Tino/Robin-lover Tonya know that her beloved third baseman was no longer with our team of choice. I should’ve known something was up when the Yankees signed Aaron Boone, a.k.a. Sleepy’s Brother (my dad and I refer to Bret Boone as Sleepy, because whenever we see him play the Yankees, he looks like he’s about to pass out from exhaustion), and he’s an everyday third baseman. I just figured, dumbly, that they would platoon Ventura and Boone. I know Robin’s been slumping lately, but he’s not a cancer in the clubhouse like Mondesi was. Tonya now wants to love a Yankee who is garaunteed not to be traded for a long time, like Jeter. Sigh. I wonder how this Boone dude is going to do.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Some random stuff from this weekend (I am now on vacation, not going anywhere special, but means that I am away from the office for a week, which is just fine by me):

1) The parading of St. Ann through the streets of Hoboken. Oh man, it was sooooooooo Italian, I felt in touch with my roots. The Saint Statue however, is quite frightening. It's gigantic and they carry it around, and while she and I share a middle name, it still creeped me out, big time. But it wasn't as serious as you see on TV -- nobody was moaning and chanting or anything. The band in front of it played "That's Amore" so I think it was more about celebrating Italianness over religiousness. I half expected to see a young Robert De Niro running across the rooftops, in search of his murder weapon. Oddly enough, the Godfather II was on the next day...

2)Vicki's birthday party -- great, great fun, as always. Quote of the night went to Dexter, when, while dancing, someone came up to him to ask him something and his response was "Mutha, not now. I'm dancing." And Vicki declaring the opening of her gifts as her "Shower" was quite amusing. The sangria was great, the conversations way excellent and the music festive and sometimes old school (Bobby Brown made a few appearances, which is cool). It's a shame Vicki only has a birthday once a year.

3)Today, while I was enjoying NOT being in the office, I watched "Signs" and it taught me an important lesson -- if Alfonso Soriano strikes out a lot, it's OK. He may end up saving the world from aliens someday because of it.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

So office karaoke night was way funner than last time. I didn't get up and sing (I reserve that only for close friends and loud Sasquatchian neighbors), but many of my co-workers did and a few of them were actually really good! And some were really bad. And some of the other singers were pretty good, even if they were a little, um, strange. This one guy sang Dancing in the Dark like Sinatra. Now, I'm all about busting out the Jersey guys for singalongs, but Bruce and Frank don't mix well, and that's not just because I saw the real deal last week. OH! and I forgot about the scary karaoke tent at the beer garden at the street fair. I know there was a reason for sticking the karaoke stage where the alcohol is freely flowing, but man are Hobokenites tone deaf when smashed! This one drunk old guy did Kansas City and he sounded like Tom Carvel, reciting the lyrics and reciting them all wrong. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time...

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

DIATRIBE TIME! Dexter has found the only thing that could take my mind off some crazy gunman lurking the streets of Manhattan: A Yankee Hater With Pompous Thoughts.

I'd like to know where this dumbass was three years ago, when people all over the country said they wouldn't watch an All-New York World Series just for the sheer fact that it involved two New York teams. So are they any less of a baseball fan because of that? I'm sorry, but I refuse to waste my precious time rooting for two teams that I invested no love in over the course of a season. I'm not going to go to a party I wasn't invited to and sit by the window and watch everyone else have a good time. So sue me. If it were a team I was interested in, however, like 1993 World Series, when I really wanted Philly to kick Toronto's ass, I will watch. But an, UGH, wild card team that defeated my own beloved squad and cocky-beyond-likeable Barry Bonds? No thanks.

And as for never knowing defeat, where has this idiot been the past three seasons? I know, I know, we haven't been mired in long-term losing and we certainly have enough World Series memories to live off. But losing, especially in such a way to an EXPANSION team in the 9th inning with 2 out still hurts, and always will, even if more come our way.

And the Bronx Rat Trap? Hold me back, hold me back!!! As Tonya just put it, if this guy is such a "purist" wouldn't he be against these fancy shmancy stadiums where you can sit in a freaking Jacuzzi, and therefore wouldn't he like a place where, gasp, your only entertainment is the game going on in front of you? And my question to him, if he's a "purist" -- he doesn't mind a wild card team making the World Series?

People, I am way tired of the sour grapes of others. If you hate the Yankees, that is your right as an American. But stop acting like Yankee fans are a bunch of spoiled, evil assholes. I love this team, this game more than, god, I don't know what. You wanna know why I'm a Yankee fan? Well, in the 1950s, when the Dodgers and Yankees were playing in the World Series, my grandmother asked my dad's older brother, my uncle, what team he'd be rooting for. He said Brooklyn. My dad, wanting to do the exact opposite of his brother, rooted for the Yankees. And it stuck. He passed his favorite team onto me (and the Yankee Chicken, of course), and that is how I became a baseball fan. Not because of Derek Jeter's face, not because of a few more pennants flying. I've loved this team when they sucked, when they were 76-86 and 4th in the American League East. I love them now. I'll love them when they suck again. Because I'm a real fan.

Put that in your Yankee Bitterness Pipe and smoke it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

In Which I Talk About Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I apololgize if you need to wring out this post, as my tears have probably drenched the entire damn blog by now. I'm not sure if it's mental exhaustion (reading a 759 page book in two days may do that) or the fact that I'm going to miss Harry Potter so effing much, but DAMN YOU, JK ROWLING. Damn you and your lovely magicky children's books!

She didn't kill off the main three, Ginny or Hagrid, which would have left me prostrate on the floor with grief a 30-year-old should not be experiencing over fictional characters, but those she did kill: SIGH. I couldn't believe she'd go there with Hedwig, which damn near floored me when I was all excited and curled in bed with the book on Friday night. I mean, blowing up your own owl? GOD THAT'S MEAN. I saw the Lupin/Tonks deaths coming once they had a kid, kind of figured Snape would get it at some point (though his backstory was what really made me teary), and I had no attachment to Mad-Eye, but Fred and Dobby? Man alive, I had no idea how much I liked them till they met their ends. During Harry's near-death moment, when for a few brief pages I thought Rowling was really going to go there I was actually numb. I know some people think killing Harry would've been the only way to complete things, but I always held out hope that, because it's at heart a kids' book, she wouldn't pander to the adult need for shock value at all times. There was enough bloodshed to make the battle of good and evil seem realistic enough. Killing Harry just would've been...not cool.

But the saddest part for me was when it was over. I'm not sure if I've ever cried like that over the mere finale of a book, and I really don't care who knows it. I am upset that I only experienced the book over the course of a weekend, though. Had I not been so concerned with getting spoiled in some stupid manner, I would've taken my time with it. But my paranoia drove me to finish it too quickly. I didn't want to be wrenched from Harry and his friends, who I've been following for seven years, so soon but I can't avoid the internet and TV either.

Ah, well, there's always re-reading.
Ebert and Roper have given Seabiscuit two thumbs up, so I'm very hopeful. I read the book last year, and it was the best non-fiction book I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Go out and get it, if you haven't. And not just because I'm a sports fan -- it had some of the best description I've ever seen. I've been hoping they don't muck it all up on the big screen, and from what I'm hearing, they haven't.

And whatever happened to Billy Ocean? I've had Loverboy stuck in my head for the past two days and I'm very curious about where he went...

Everyone be sure to wish Vicki a happy birthday today. She's reached the quarter century mark and can now rent a car without an extra fee in any state she chooses!



Monday, July 21, 2003

Shut up, Reggie Jackson. Mattingly was more beloved than you despite your three-homer game and two rings to Don's zero. That is probably why it was chosen for him to be introduced late in the Old Timer's lineup. Attitude has a lot to do with that. Look into it.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

So I got to sit through my first ever rain delay last night when the roomies and I headed out to the Stadium for Bernie Williams CD Night. That's a pretty good run considering all the games I've been to. We made the most of the delay, meeting up with Carolyn's sister Erin and brother Jimmy, who were lucky enough to be sitting in the loge section and not getting soaked. Erin and Carolyn declared that Yankee Stadium must be my Happy/Safe Place, which is so totally right. Anyway, we got to see Benitez pitch after the delay, and man did he get a lot of, um, boos....holy crap where's Mattingly's moustache?(I'm watching Old Timer's Day, forgive me)....but it was mostly from the drunken, bitter fat guys that seem to inhabit every section of the Stadium. Don't get me wrong, I didn't show any love for Mr. Drill Tino in the Back, but I didn't bust a blood vessel booing him, either. He did well which actually got a pretty appreciative big roar from the crowd. He's going to have to do a hell of a lot more than get three outs with a 4 run lead if he wants my respect, though.

Oh, and the funniest moments of the game: 1) Danny Aiello (who I'm VERY suprised that there are so many people who don't know who he is) was sitting in one of the box seats, and they showed him on the scoreboard and the people who haven't been trapped under a rock cheered. Then they showed him again after the delay, and what should the Stadium crew decide to play on the PA system but Papa Don't Preach, which cracked me up because he's Madonna's dad in that video. 2) the uncool, front-runner fans in the bleachers who tried to start the wave, and the Bleacher Creatures in Section 39 giving them shit for it. Needless to say, the wave didn't make it very far.

The Feast of St. Ann street festival starts today three blocks from us and goes all through the week. This means we probably won't have to cook for a full week because we can just get great Italian food to go. Oh, and the music promises to be good too, with South Side Johnny there tonight, the B-Street Band covering Bruce tomorrow night (for those of us who can't get to the real deal) and the Nerds on Monday. I wonder if we'll see our landlord...

Thursday, July 17, 2003

I only have four words about Armando Benitez: I. Don't. Like. Him. Although, he did start one of the most entertaining brawls in Yankee history...

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Holy crap. I went to visit Delaware for the first time 9 years ago today. Don't ask how I remember this stuff, it's just my overactive memory working here. It was the first school I visited and I wasn't in love with it on first sight, though the feel of the campus made me happy. I mean, it's a gorgeous piece of real estate for those of you who've never seen it. Anyway, it took a trip to a few other schools to make me see the light. I'm sure glad I did.
OK, so major shout out is in order for cousin Joe Clark for scoring us 50 yard-line, front row tickets to see the Boss, who was in the endzone, but still way close enough. And the concert was kick-ass. Probably the best I've ever seen. The show went on for 3 hours (26 songs) and he even did Rosalita, much to the delight of the mostly-Jersey based crowd. I only hope I have half the energy Bruce and his pals have when I get to their age. Great stuff.

I'm hearing the All-Star game gimmick worked and that people actually cared this year. Please don't tell Bud Selig that. The man already thinks he's the baseball messiah...

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I'm glad Giambi didn't win the home run derby. He won it last year and Tino won in 1997, and look what happened to the Yanks in the post-season in those years. I just felt bad for the guy who Jason was trying to win for. I mean, I'd be pretty disappointed if my major leaguer couldn't win a house for me.

So I'm off to see Bruce tonight via my cousin Joe Clark (we use last names on both sides of my family because there are a lot of duplicate first names). I've never been to see the Boss, and I'm amazed I was never kicked out of New Jersey for that. My first memory of music is the Born to Run album playing on our record player (and Dionne Warwick), which was complete with an 8-Track player. And we'd sometimes drive by his house on the way home from the beach, which my friends and I thought was really cool, especially after the Born in the USA album came out and we were like "Wow, Bruce Springsteen grew up in Freehold and he still lives nearby!". And of course, everyone in Monmouth County has some kind of Bruce story/siting (My Aunt Kathy rode the bus with him when she was visiting my parents in the 70s, my Uncle Richard rode the ferry with him, Carolyn's old science teacher went to school with him). It's a Jersey thing I don't expect people outside the Garden State would understand, but trust me, it's kinda neat.

Monday, July 14, 2003

So much for a relaxing weekend. While it was way fun, I didn't get much sleep and I so want to nap right now. I don't think that would make a good impression on the new boss, though...

There was traffic on the way down to LBI, but not because of a car accident or tolls. No, people just can't deal with going around slight curves on the GSP, and that causes a traffic jam. But then it all cleared up after the Toms River toll and I just beat a massive downpour to Carolyn's house. Her family fed all of us, then we were off to see Jackie and Paul, who were just as fun as last year and we sang along to such songs as "Piano Man" and "Let's Hang On" and "Sweet Caroline" and all your other bar faves. We also got to use the men's room with men because something was wrong with the ladies room, and I'd have to say, men seem kind of uptight about peeing infront of the womenfolk. The other ladies and myself were all about to bust a bladder, fellas, so we weren't exactly interested in your, uh, manhood.

The word of the weekend was "abacus". Don't know what that is? Ask Carolyn.

Friday, July 11, 2003

I found my dream guy on the bus to the PATH today. He fulfilled the Casually-Dressed, Not a Fashion Plate element, the Reading the Post Sports Section, Especially a Yankees Story element and Just Looks Like A Cute, Nice Guy element. I'll probably never see him again, but what is it with me and guys on public transportation, and why don't they work in midtown? Sigh.

I'm not looking forward to the traffic that awaits me tonight, despite the fact that the beach is on the other side of it. I hate venturing over to the dark side of the WEBS force. Double Sigh.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

I'm appealing to the weather gods now -- please let it be sunny this Saturday. I'm going to be a bad-ass WEB at Carolyn's beach house for the annual girls' weekend in LBI, and since it rained last year and since I have yet to get to the beach this year I'd like to see Mr. Sun. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be nice on Sunday, when I have to go home. Ugh. At least we're going to see Jackie and Paul, the fun singing dudes from last year. I need me a good sing-a-long after this crazy month.

And I'm the only person who could hurt their wrist while cleaning. I was scrubbing my bathroom floor last week and reaggravated this strain in my right wrist that originated during the same cleaning situation in January. It now hurts to type, and the left wrist is throbbing a bit from the old break of '92, but that's weather related. I can deal with that.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, SI picks the 50 greatest atheletes from each state (and a few other bits of trivia). Glad to see the alma mater mentioned a few times in the Delaware section...
What is it with some people? I was just rounding the corner to my office (half blind because I got no sleep again last night and couldn't put my contacts in this morning. Sasquatch decided to bring roller derby back into fashion. Either that or floor hockey) and I pass this old man handing out flyers to some store, nothing out of the ordinary. Well this cocky son of a bitch in front of me acts like he's going to take a flyer, but instead whacks the entire stack out of the old guy's hand. I was so shocked, I barely got the "what the fuck?" out of me. I was torn beacause part of me wanted to chase after the asswipe screaming at him, that it's hot as hell and this poor old dude is just trying to earn a living. But I ended up helping the old guy pick up his flyers. He just looked at me and shook his head and muttered something about ignorance. I swear, I want to find that guy...

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

I love the male mind. Not one sports writer has bothered to wonder if maybe George has something else going on in his life that made him burst into tears after yesterday's game. I know he's a bit, um, high-strung, but something must be eating the guy to turn on the waterworks after a good, but mostly normal win. All the papers want to turn it into "George is doubting the team will get to the Series and everyone better watch out in October." Wouldn't that be the case even if he hadn't turned into Niagra Falls yesterday? There's a time for conspiracy theories and a time for wondering: Is the man all right?

And like Thoreau, I want to move to the woods. But not to live deliberatley -- just to get a good night's sleep.

Monday, July 07, 2003

I'm beginning to hate the NY Times for its pompousness alone. Twice today, I've looked away from stories in disgust -- especially the one discussing the All-Star selections that says Yankee fans are probably pissed off that the Mets' Armando Benitez was selected and not Mariano Rivera. Um, no. They play in different leagues. I'd be pissed if Benitez was still with the Orioles or another AL team, but this is completely different. Stop trying to create controversy, it's very transparent.

Then, I just read a hoity-toity OP/ED piece on adults' fascination and willingess to gobble up Harry Potter books. I'm sorry, but let's not overanalyze this. It's a fun read. Nuff said. Maybe as a huge reader and a lifelong writer of children's stories, it appeals to me differently than others, but I don't think it's that much of a difference. Anyway, after reading this part, I got EXTREMELY put off:

Ms. Rowling's magic world has no place for the numinous. It is written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip.

OK, to someone who majored in English Lit, who is constantly plotting stories in their head, who hates most reality television, who dresses up a fake chicken for photo-stories, I am VERY insulted. I have one of the most hyperactive imaginations out there, AND I read and enjoy Harry Potter. So shut up, lady.

And Childish???? Can I smack this literary snob?
Ah, I love getting a good guilt-trip every now and then...(note the sarcasm here)

And if the story of Curtis Pride isn't an inspiring one, I don't know what is. I was fascinated by him when he first came up to the majors, and now he's a Yankee. Very cool indeed.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

So ESPN.com is doing this report card of all the major league ballparks and at first I thought it was a cool idea -- then I saw what they were rating. I completely understand the need for seat comfortableness, hot dog decency and audible PA announcing, but things like "Fun Stuff (i.e., swimming pool, rock-climbing wall) and "Signature Food"? And giving a stadium a poor mark for not living up to that sort of thing? I'm sorry, but if you come to a baseball game and expect to have grade-A sushi, you're soooooooo not a real fan. A real fan goes to the game to enjoy THE GAME. A real fan doesn't need distractions, or games to play or French cuisine.Yuppies and little kids with no interest in what is being played out in front of them need that sort of thing. I'm almost surprised they didn't rate cell phone reception, because to me, that's what I equate with a fan who's looking for a rock-climbing wall behind centerfield....
Oh no. It's the worst WEBS day of the year. And judging by all the giant suitcases on wheels I saw on the PATH train today, it's going to be hell getting down to the House of Bischer for Ka-Boom 2003 (a.k.a. the Red Bank fireworks). Now, some of you may be saying "Well Karen, aren't you a WEB?" and I'd have to say no, because ground rules state that to be a WEB you have to 1) be obnoxious when traveling to 2)Your house on the beach or 3)Your day at the Sandy Hook/Belmar/Pt. Pleasant. My parents are about 6 miles inland, so there you go. So no, Tonya, Ken and Julianna will not be WEBS this weekend either, as they are going to their friends' in Little Silver.

But Ka-Boom should be all the cheezy fun it is every year. It's not NJ's biggest fireworks display for nothing. And it's cool seeing all your neighbors when walking into RB from River Plaza and laughing at all the WEBS stuck in the obscene traffic on West Front St.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Shout out to Heather for sending me this story on the popularity of having chickens as pets. And while a fake Yankee Chicken is nice, a rooster that wakes your upstairs Sasquatchian neighbor up at 5:30 a.m. might be nicer....

Speaking of, The Chicken has dug through his mailbag once more.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

The first and second seasons of Little House on the Prairie are coming out on DVD. My inner 6-year-old is so psyched! I only hope the episode where Carrie falls down the hole (before Baby Jessica) is there, and the episode where that snot Nelly recorded Laura spilling her guts about her latest crush and played it in front of the whole class. They lost me at the Shannen Doherty years, though...