Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Get your Chicken b-day photos here!
It's Karen again. The Chicken is a little bummed, as am I. But I'd like to point out this little tidbit -- losing game one isn't the same as losing the whole series. I just posted this on the Yankee board (something I do like twice a year) because everyone was so gloom and doom. I got lots of grateful replies:

1996 Lost game 1, won World Series
1997 Won game 1, lost in 5 games to Cleveland
1998 Won game one, won WS
1999 Won game one, won WS
2000 Lost game 1, won WS (team had a 14 less wins in regular season than current team)
2001 Lost game 1, made it to WS, lost
2002 Won game 1, lost to the Angels in 4

Now, this doesn't mean the Yanks can rest on their laurels and hope it gets better. Um, no. But unlike last year where they collapsed against Anaheim, their pitching didn't suck today, and the offense showed signs of life. The Yanks aren't much of a day game team anyway, so let's hope turning the lights on Thursday coupled with this loss today spurs them back into the team that won 101 games this year.

That is my rah-rah chant for the day.
Chicken here. I'm noticing that the Yankees aren't exhibiting patience of any kind while facing the Twins pitching. It's called work the count, fellas. You did the same thing last year against the Angels. Even I, the Yankee Chicken, know that you don't swing at the first pitch, and every pitch offered to you thereafter. The Twins have an exceptional pitching staff, but they can be cracked. Just wait a little bit at the plate and see for yourself.

Thanks to Bernie (not Williams, but a Yankee fan all the same) for the birthday wishes. If only the Yanks could pull out a 9th inning victory on my birthday. Sigh.
Hello, it is me, The Chicken. It is my birthday today, so I get to blog. I want to thank those who sent birthday greetings (Hollis, Janet and Bob) and let everyone know that I will not let my celebration get in the way of my bringing the Yankees luck today.

Speaking of, with this afternoon start, people seem to think that means the Yankees are not the favorites in the playoffs. Take this comment by Tim McCarver in Bob Raissman's Daily News column:

'From an on-field perspective, the field is wide open in both leagues. Tim McCarver, Fox's No. 1 baseball analyst (he'll work Twins-Yankees Game 2), said the Bombers are far from being the favorite to win it all.

"They are certainly in the mix and could win it, but I don't see them as even favorites over the Minnesota Twins," McCarver said.'

If not being the favorite means the Yankees don't have to deal with Tim McCarver as much, I am all for this, my friends. Because I am just a Yankee Chicken, but his commentary makes me want to attack the screen and peck his eyes out.

Besides, the Yankees don't have to be a star, baby, to be in my show.


Sunday, September 28, 2003

I seriously hope the NY papers put off mentioning Eddie Layton's retirement because they figure he's still doing the post-season. The man deserves a big ass feature in at least one of the NY-area newspapers, and today being the last regular season game for him, I figured there would be one today. No such luck. I really, really, really hope they pick up on this, because 37 years as a Yankee organist is nothing to sneeze at.
OK, now that I see the Red Sox/A's first game isn't being played till 10 p.m., I can deal with 1 p.m. a little better. Still, Fox/ESPN, whoever, needs to get their ass in gear and make sure this doesn't happen again. Talk about alienating two big TV-viewing markets.

I find it funny that I went to Tonya and Ken's swingin' soiree with two packs of Mike's Hard, and returned home with 6 bottles of Coke, cups, and a bag of chips...

Saturday, September 27, 2003

There's a rumor that the Yanks are going to have to play at 1 on Tuesday because Fox wants the Cubs in prime time. While I have no problem with a 4 p.m. game, which is kinda fun to get to run home and check the score in every bar I pass, 1 o'clock???!!! We don't even get a.m. radio reception in our office!! And the office TVs, even if they had ESPN (which they don't) have to be tuned in to soaps at all times. I don't want to take the day off because I'm worried they'll make Game 2 at 4 on Thursday, and I'd have to take a half day for that. Ugh. I love the idea of afternoon ball, but this is a tough one... Don't want to sound like I'm whining here, but you know what I mean.

And can I tell you how much I love the EnergyStar commercial where the guy buys a pony with the money he's saved? It cracks me up...which reminds me, Fox always has a supply of extra-annoying ads during the playoffs, so I'll be ready.

Friday, September 26, 2003

I never expected to find the Village Voice to be the voice of reason. They point out how it seems the media (especially in NY) is out to get the Yankees, merely for trading and spending money to win, and how the Yanks are damned if they do and damned if they don't. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I read it. They make valid points in the malaise of the team itself, and though I don't agree the entire team is desireless, the rest of the article makes complete sense.

You know, I promised myself I wouldn't complain about other teams during the playoffs, but it's not the playoffs yet, so I'm going off a bit. Excuse me karma gods.

Last night in the Red Sox jubilant we-just-won-the-World-Series-whoops-I-mean-Wildcard celebration, one of the players, I think it was Walker, said "We're going to whip some ass!" against the A's. Now, if this had been uttered by a Yankee it would be posted everywhere so everyone could know what cocky bastards they are. It would be just part of the Yankee "arrogance" that everyone wants to believe, in the sports fans need to have a bad guy. I guess my problem is that if you can fault a team for having a huge payroll, how can you root for one that won't give it's opposition any credit? When the Red Sox have a worse record than the A's? But because a scruffy "blue collar" Red Sox player says something like this, it's just plain delightful!! So, since no one else is going to call BoSox cocky or arrogant, I'm going to. And I hope the A's kick their collective ass all the way back to Beantown, just for that comment alone.
I'm so freaked out that Robert Palmer died. Because last night, as I was eating dinner and unsatisfied with anything on TV, I turned on the Party-Music channel and "Get it on" by the Power Station was playing, with all these little factoids about Robert Palmer. I mean, how many things are on about him per year, and the night before he dies I manage to see something. Creepy...

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Let me use this Yankee off day to discuss something close to my heart -- assumptions about Yankee fans:

1)That we're obnoxious -- Oh, yes. They are out there. I'm not denying that. When you hear one screaming on sports radio, or see one talking trash on TV, know this -- their obnoxiousness is what got them on the radio/tv. A radio producer would much rather put a grandstanding blow-hard on, to stoke the fire and have all the people who disagree with said blow-hard call in. The annoying guy you see on television, all painted up screaming "YEAH! DA YANKS ARE GONNA BEAT THE SNOT OUTTA DOSE TWINS! YEAH!" is probably drunk, and the TV reporter who interviewed him knew this would make for compelling viewing.

2)That we're all NJ-based and Republican, and Met fans are all LI-based and Democrat. That's because the Mets are a bunch of loveable, rag-tag guys who'd play for free and attract the earnest fan, while the Yanks are just a bunch of spoiled, rich assholes whose fans match those qualities. You don't think this is what people believe? It's as huge stereotype in these here parts.

3)That we only know winning -- Au contraire, mon frair. Between 1978 (when I was 1) and 1996 (when I was 19) the Yanks didn't win a damn thing. Yeah, Cubs and Sox fans have suffered longer. But that's 18 years when there were 18 other World Series Winners. And everyone who only knows the Yanks of recent times and whines about their constant winning should console themselves with the notion that they also haven't won the Series in the past two years, and during that time, they've become more hated than they were in, say, 1998. I don't know what made people start getting really bitter about the Yanks, but methinks Bud Selig and his bucket o' lies has something to do with it....

4)That we only root for the Yanks when they're winning -- That would be celebrities and other front runners, thank you. Don't you DARE lump me in with that lot.

5)That female fans are only rooting for Derek Jeter -- If you must know, when I got the 1993 Yankee yearbook and looked at the pages with up-and-comers and saw DJ's photo, I thought "Wow, he's cute!" Since he came up for good in 1996, it's his playing that has solidified him as someone to cheer for. I do get a kick out of seeing all these teenage girls come all dressed up to the Stadium, thinking Derek will see them from his position at shortstop, and fall instantly in love with them. Oh, and Bernie is my fave player, by the way, and he's not exactly an object of lust in my book, so there.

6)That we never see anything wrong with our team -- Uh, then you should see me scream at them when they swing at the first pitch, ground into endless double plays, stare at their home runs, grab their manhood, etc. If they weren't flawed, they wouldn't be human.

7)That it hurts us when you say "Yankees Suck!!" -- Nope, it's taken as a compliment.

Just to note, that I've had many non-Yankee likers say I'm the coolest Yankee fan they've ever met. I'd hate to see who they are meeting that makes them so bitter toward us, but what can you do. To be a good fan, one must be classy. I can't say that for half the people who have tried to engage me in fights over the Yankees by taunting me, but I guess they are fans in their own, overly-aggressive way.
Am I the only one who thinks ABC scouts for brainwashed women when finding Bachelorettes for The Bachelor?? These women are freaking nuts with their "All I've ever dreamed of is getting married" or "This is all I've wanted since I was a little girl" crap. Did their parents seriously raise them to have marriage as their only ambition? It's creepy. When I was a little girl, I was more concerned with riding my Smurf bigwheel and playing with my Weebol people than imagining my wedding day (Ewww. An 8-year-old "dreaming" of this is wigging me out.). My friends were the same way, so I know this isn't just me having a weird childhood or something.

But with the nuttyness comes great television. Because these women aren't simply delusional. Some are manipulative, psycho and/or just there to get famous (and married. Who says you can't have everything?), and deserve whatever they get in the editing room.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Well, I'll never be voting for Howard Dean. Anyone who uses the Roger Clemens incident of 2000 to break away from rooting for one's favorite team (did Tino, Jeter, Bernie and company hold Piazza down while he was thrown at? Uhhh...no) only to root for the BOSTON RED SOX has serious issues. Plus, I think he's only saying it to get the New England vote (and using Clemens as an excuse is a pretty sneaky way to do that). Remember folks, I didn't buy that Hillary was a Yankees fan and that lie about being a Yankee devotee sealed her fate in my time in the voting booth. My theory is: If you're going to lie about something as simple as what team you root for, what else will you lie about?
It's always a little easier to wake up in the morning knowing your team has done well the night before. Especially when your team wins the division, not four weeks after it seemed like every sports writer was planning your team's demise to the Red Sox. And while the Wild Card is big to most baseball fans, I am so relieved the Yanks walked away with the division title because I loathe, detest, spit on the idea of celebrating second best. Both times the Yanks made it that way, I felt extremely icky.

Last night, however, Joe Torre got all verklempt in a post-game interview and The Chicken and I got all teary-eyed at the sight of it. The players all looked so relaxed, but kept saying it's not over yet, which is what I like to hear. You don't take this stuff for granted because it's only the first step.

The first of many, I hope.





Monday, September 22, 2003

Woo-hoo! The combined genius of Tonya and I has scored us tickets to two Yankee playoff games! She used her computer mastery and managed to get Game 2 of the ALDS via ticketmaster.com, while I used my cunning and a family secret to score tickets for Game 2 of the ALCS via telephone. I was a little wary of trying for the second round because I don't count my Yankee Chickens before they hatch, but I figured what the hell. Speaking of, my feathered friend will be more than a little jealous. I will have to ease that on him gradually.

It pisses me off, though, that tickets went so quick. All those front runners probably jumped at the chance to look cool. The scalpers too. And let's not forget Fox needing seats to show off their stars. Though I wouldn't be to disappointed if The OC is getting advertised one night and Adam Brody happens to be there.
With all due respect to Lou Pinella (who used to be my fave Yankee back when I was a kid and who sometimes made cameo appearances in fairy tales my dad used to read to me), why the hell is he calling the Yankees cry babies when, to use a term I haven't uttered since I was like 10, the Devil Rays started it? I'm sorry, but you hit two Yankees on Saturday, Nelson retaliates only once, and then Jeter gets hit again. Then they try to smash Posada in the face and successfully hit Johnson yesterday. And for once we can't fault Roger for starting the whole mess. Like, this is the only occasion where I'd be like, go get 'em Roger because, Jesus H. Christ, it's like the Rays are trying to do the Yanks bodily harm for their own amusement. Pitching inside my ass.

I'm not a big fan of the whole macho mentality with "you hit one of us, we'll hit one of you" eye-for-an-eye thing in baseball. It's called grow the hell up, boys. Yes, that includes the Yankees. But when you see BERNIE WILLIAMS, the poster child for low-keyness, getting all angry as he did yesterday, you know it's bad.

Also, the whole "The Yankees think they're better than everybody" line from a very 8-year-old-sounding Jeremi Gonzalez, here's a newsflash -- they ARE better than everyone in the American League right now, recordwise. I'm so sick of the Yanks being used as the focal point for everyone's anger in MLB right now. If the Devil Rays want to be pissed off for their lowly state, blame the ownership. It's called Tampa Bay didn't need a team (as my dad said, retirees can't afford ballpark prices. My argument is that they have all the Spring Training teams, and most retirees who move there already have a favorite team) and now the players and managers have to pay the price. That's the Yankees' fault? Um, no. Go suck on a binky, Jeremi. You too, Pinella. Because it's obvious that the biggest crybabies in the stadium yesterday were yourselves.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

So help me, if the Yanks can't make it to Florida for tomorrow's game (rumor has it they're trapped at Camden Yards because a bus driver is refusing to drive to the Philly airport), I am totally going to conspiracy theory that Bud Selig is trying to keep the Yanks down. The Phillies/Marlins game HAD to be played -- there are playoff implications at stake. The Yanks/Os, so did NOT have to play today. Especially when a state of emergency was declared in Maryland, which means fans wouldn't have been coming to the ballpark in droves, thus making the Orioles miss out on a great money-making opportunity. It's just so stupid. But this is Bud Selig and Peter Angelos we are dealing with here...
So, Tonya and I were just joking that it would be pretty awesome if Mike Mussina came out to "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by the Scorpions for today's windy affair. Then we busted out the lyrics, which so totally went over my head the first time I read them, but Tonya figured it out right away. And while I'm sure Mussina likes to, um, rock his wife like a hurricane, the entire Orioles squad might make him a little tired, and the playoffs are starting soon...

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

People!!! The french in french fries refers to the cut, NOT THE COUNTRY. Not only was the changing of the name stupid to begin with, the fact that not one member of congress paid attention in home ec. really pisses me off. We are a very unculinary savvy country, which is not cool...

Speaking of, the cast iron dutch oven I got for my b-day will be put into use sometime this month. The first dish? Yankee pot roast. I'm sure you're all surprised!

And the Yanks had better make it far in the playoffs because they'll be the only thing distracting me from the fact that The O.C. isn't back till the end of October. Where will I get my Seth fix now?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Wow. For the longest time I thought I was like the only independent voter out there. Everyone I know is either staunchly Democrat or staunchly Republican and I feel stupid for trying to see things from all sides of the story (and wishing there were more choices out there, but that's a rant for November). This NY Times editorial makes me feel so much better -- the writer gets that rah-rahness from both sides could dissuade the independents like myself. I'm just glad somebody noticed that. And double wow for me actually agreeing with an NY Times editorial...

I love the Daily News front page today -- the headline about Hurricane Isabel reads: "Thar She Blows!" Anytime you can use the word "Thar" in a sentence, let alone a headline, it's awesome.

And I wonder why whenever Magic Number time comes around for baseball I get all fidgety. It's like my body is prepping for the possibility* of no sleep in October again. What a nice feeling.

* I am not going to be labled as a cocky Yankees fan. I know October isn't a certainty -- ever. I know winning in October isn't always a certainty, either. So I've now guarded myself against bad karma and jinxing by openly explaining myself with an asterik. So there.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Two things irking me today that has led to me considering boycotting these products:

Tonya pointed out that in a commercial for Downy Ultra, there four women fussing over the product, and they're all married (all have wedding rings on) because, you know, only married women care about laundry products. The rest of us just wear dirty, un-soft clothes all the time. Not that I use fabric softener (I go with dryer sheets), but still. No Downy products for me. And I really should give up on the Clorox stuff because they still insist that Mama's got the magic, and I ain't no mama, that's for sure, but I still need to clean my bathroom.

And J Crew can kiss my ass. That's a big statement for me because I usually love the place. They are now charging more for tall pants, something they weren't doing a few months ago. It's not my fault I'm 5 foot 9 no more than the person who weighs a lot or is big-breasted needs an extra large (which has no extra fee) in T-Shirts. I think I'll write them a letter. I hope they change their ways, though, because those pants fit so darn good...

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Everyone, I need you to go to capitalonebowl.com and vote for my alma mater's mascot (and that means you fellow UD buds). Because the only thing that can compete with my Yankee Chicken is A Blue Hen Chicken. You have till Dec. 22 to help us beat out the Gamecock and Brutus the Buckeye. Vote early. Vote often.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Can I tell you how upset I am that John Ritter died? Jack Tripper was like my first TV crush (along with Richie Cunningham and Mork. Shut up. I was 4.) and I watch Three's Company now and still find it funny. His comedic timing was excellent. Melissa told me the news first thing this morning, as I was bleary-eyed and making toast. I turned on the TV and they were showing clips of Johnny Cash, and I was like "Holy Crap! Johnny Cash died too?!!" Not a very good way to start the day.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

So far, today isn't as hard as it was last year. But it's still deeply sad and even haunting, especially when the weather is eerily the same exact way it was two years ago. I'm only glad that everything I heard coming out of politicians' mouths on TV this morning was sympathy for the people who lost loved ones, rather than the finger-pointing that's been going on recently. It's not a day to advance one's political career. Let the day be what it is, and point the finger tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

So, Sasquatch is up to something. For the past few weeks, packages have been piling up in our lobby and outside our apartment building for the one and only Sassie. Some have sat by our mailboxes since mid August, and he has yet to come down to collect them and I know he's not dead or anything because the stomping has yet to cease. And dude, he has roommates who could probably tell him "Yo, Sas, you got stuff in the lobby."

Anyway, one box says "sleeping bag", another "fragile, glass product" and another "brochure rack" among several unmarked boxes. These aren't the tools of world domination or anything, so I'm not freaked out, but what the hell is he doing? And is he sitting in his room growing a beard refusing to come out to even collect his mail? Weird.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I don't get it -- I've developed Sunday night insomnia. I think it's because I get to bed late on Saturday night, sleep in on Sunday and am not tired enough to sleep later. Couple this with a bit of a stomach something-or-other and I slept maybe an hour and a half or two hours last night and am now exhausted. I get a lot of quality thinking time in, though, and one of those thoughts I had last night was "Why Do People Always Ask Me: 'Why Are You So Quiet?'" Because this has happened a lot lately and I thought the answer is obvious -- Dude, I have nothing to say! If I'm not speaking in a large group setting it's because there's nothing I can contribute to the the conversation and I'd rather listen. Or something has been said that pisses me off and I'd rather stay quiet than blow up. If it's a one-on-one thing, it's just that I'm a really boring ass and unless I really click with someone, I can't force a conversation. It's just not me.

Now, I have a lot of good friends and family members that I can talk to till the cows come home. And it's not that I don't like the people that I'm "being quiet" around. Unless it's strangers who I ask lots of questions of to get to know them, and they don't bother asking any in return. Then I'll tune them out because I have no problem being rude to people who are rude themselves.

So, if I am being quiet, it's not necessarily a bad thing. And jeez, it's not like I'm a chatterbox all the time that people should be worried when I'm NOT speaking.

Oh, and I have one-degree of separation from Don Mattingly and Mickey Mantle. The place where I get my hair cut is like this big hair cutting warehouse/emporium that does a good job really cheap. Famous people go there, athletes among them. The woman who cuts my hair has a poster up with pictures of people who give her autographs and thank yous, and one of the photos/thank-yous is of Donnie Baseball and the Mick. Perhaps it's time The Chicken got his hair cut....

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Just a note before the Yanks/Sox game. The loss itself yesterday didn't irk me as much as one of the Red Sox players (I can't remember who at the moment) saying his team was a bunch of "blue collar" guys -- this is usually a hit at the Yankees who everyone likens to big rich bastards or something. Just to note, the Red Sox have the fifth highest payroll in the MLB. And even the lowest paid player on the lowest paid team is richer than me, and a hell of a lot of other people. My point? There is no blue collar in baseball. I wish everyone would just realize that and move on. If you want to say a team is laid back, say that. Duh.

After Melissa's and Shirley's b-day parties yesterday, I am wiped out. Why is the weekend only two days long? Sigh.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Jim Abbott threw his no-hitter for the Yanks 10 years ago today. It was crappy outside and he'd had a few bad outings leading up to it, so I wasn't expecting much that day. The Yanks jumped out for a few runs, and I started baking chocolate chip cookies during like the 4th inning and Randy Velarde hit a home run and I was all jumping up and down with my wooden spoon and cookie batter and my mom was like "Karen calm down, you're dad's trying to take a nap." But Randy was like my fave player back in the day, and I was much more crazy in my enthusiasm back then. Anyway, the no-hitter progressed, and one of the Yankee announcers on MSG, I think it was Tony Kubeck, said "Call your friends and neighbors, Abbott's got a no-hitter going." So I figured my dad would want to be woken up for such a thing, and he did, and Jimbo got his no-no and at the time I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever see as a Yankees fan. Little did I know...

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I may have to read this just to see how my hometown was portrayed, considering I was actually living there pre and post-9/11. Many of you know how the media's portrayal of Middletown pissed me off in the wake of that day. They called a 40,000 people community a "Small Town" or a "Wealthy Suburb" which is only partially true. It angered me because the loss of all those people from just my town alone was story in itself, and yet media people felt the need to make where I grew up this, geez, I don't even know what. In short, I hope the author lets the stories of the victims tell themselves, with no embellishing on the town itself.
It's one thing to find the "dorky high school guy" cute on TV, especially when actor portraying is only three years younger than yourself (a la Adam Brody) in real life. It is quite another when you are walking through your hood and see cute, dorkyish guy walking with a group of similar guys, and then realize that he attends the local college and is probably undergrad and quite possibly 19 and you are now a twentysomething Mrs. Robinson. And while Stevens is a school for smart dudes, at 26 I cannot afford to think 19 year olds are cute. I mean, I'd be stuck buying the keg for all their parties and who wants that, really?
Melissa turns the big 2-6 today. Happy b-day, roomie!

The O.C. continues to rock. I so hope they find a way to save it when it moves to Thursdays.

And would you be afraid of a Hurricane named Fabian? I wonder if it will head up this way. The Chicken survives a hurricane. Hmmm....

Monday, September 01, 2003

Holy crap. Bruce Springsteen has made my entire summer. The roomies and I trekked out to Giants Stadium tonight for some tailgating and, more importantly, to see the Boss for the multiple time this summer (Me and Melissa, 2 shows each, Carolyn had 3) and when I bought the tickets we were simply hoping for Jersey Girl, as the three of us are Jersey Girls. We know it's a rarity -- he played it like twice since summer of 99 -- but we were hoping against hope that he'd trot it out for the last night in NJ. So we got to hear usual stuff, some rarities, the sing-along stuff, and then he gets to his usual final encore of Dancing in the Dark, and no Jersey Girl. I looked at Carolyn dismally -- we so thought it wasn't going to be played. And then, and then...Bruce comes back with a new guitar and launches into it!!!! I literally jumped up and down, Carolyn and Melissa were screaming. You see, when you hear a song like that from the time you're six, and you're female and from the Garden State, it's hard not to love. And if you're like me (and my roomies) who have always wanted to have a big singalong to that particular song, it's soooooooooo cool when it happens with like 40,000 other people. Wow. Amazing.

Other highlights from the night: Badlands comes on and Melissa and I jump out of our seats and we all sing/scream along. Carolyn says "The roommates are rockin' out."

When "Mary's Place" comes on, Car and I are psyched to sing our new lyrics 'Meet me at Sasquatch's place, he's gonna have a party" because we heard our favorite loud footed neighbor playing the Rising album on Friday and it was kinda weird because he's all about "makin' sweet love" type music when he's getting ready to go out.

Melissa breaks her toe when falling down the stairs to get to the bathroom. We're not absolutely sure it's broken, but if I can have a broken Yankee toe, she can have a broken Bruce toe.

Of course, the day is made way better because the Yanks take two from Boston this weekend. And it didn't rain!! We didn't need the ponchos I'd procured, but what the hey. We got Jersey girl. Wheee!