Sports Are Better Left Unheard

I guess it started here.

Few things are worse than listening to national news people talk politics. Except maybe listening to pundits talk sports.

I have a bat in the car so whenever some genius on ESPN mentions something brilliant, I drive up to Safeco Field and smack one out of the park. Needless to say it’s never happened, but a guy can dream.

Sports announcers are at the top of the heap when it comes to driving me to climb up on the roof, tear the satellite dish from the shingles and drop it in the driveway where I can wheel out the blowtorch and melt myself an ashtray because these guys just made me pick up smoking again.

It’s never the play-by-play guy, it’s always the mouthy know-it-all puppet next to him. Or it’s an absolute brain damaged oaf who has cute quips and a snarky tone. The same guy who rambles about pointless statistics and anecdotes that just divert from what’s happening in the game, not so much enlightening as much as just depressing. It’s the guy who never shuts up long enough to muster up a decent or interesting thing to say that hasn’t already been said thousands of times before by thousands of people just like him.

My hope is to one day develop a sports channel that allows me to just listen to the crowd, the cheers, the boos, the sounds of the arena, not the nonsensical, endless prattling of former athletes (let’s face it, athletes ain’t always the most interesting speakers) or coaches (basically people who love the sound of their own observations) who continue to assume we lazy-boy spectators want to hear their gems of useless factoids they can’t wait to drop on us.

To hear nothing but the sound of the crowd and the game is the only way to watch sports. If we want stats and stories to make us feel good or if we want to bend over so a blowhard can spend every second regurgitating drivel up our beer mugs than I guess we’ll always have the studio analysts.

I Love Cheese

The only people who don’t love cheese are people who can’t eat it. Or won’t eat it because it’s the dairyful drippings of a living, breathing animal. I’m a living breathing animal and I say cheese is good.

But not for me anymore.

I used to drink cheese. Like a savory and salty beverage, fondue was a cocktail before the meal. Of all the product slogans in the world, few are as timeless and truer than “Everything tastes better with cheese.” It really is. Better and more better, until you realize that pasta or burgers or pizza or a sandwich are naked and homely until draped in luxurious cheese.

Dairy as a whole was part of my daily diet before I left the country but once I returned my body’s biology has changed to a point where when I eat anything from the dairy section of the store I feel ill. I left a cheese hoarding pigface and came home lactose intolerant.

My affinity for milk and cheese will never abate but it’s time to realize that faux-gurt and soy cheese may not be as hilarious as I once thought. The science of foods, however advanced with good intention will forever struggle to find an item that tastes as good as something that comes from a tit.

A Year And 6 Days

After a year-long trip I’ve returned and been home for a total of 17 days.

It only took me 6 days until I delivered a public tirade to a poor woman on the phone who works for AT&T. 6 days. It takes 3 of their employees to lose me $150, 2 hours of me going from shop to kiosk back to shop again and less than 5 minutes for my outrage to burn the place down. If I remember correctly, there was even motioning for the security guard. A teenage clerk with a little corporate smirk gave me a phone to call the national office about an issue that apparently, no one on the West Coast could help me with. Boy, I let good ol’ American Telephone and Telegraph have it. I screamed and stomped my feet, sarcastically remarked that Verizon and T-Mobile were far superior companies, bellowed how AT&T mysteriously hires retards and kids who are inept at everything except costing me extra money and all the while my head was buzzing with that angry adrenaline that hides all year long waiting for this exact moment.

Sadly, all my energy and good spirit was given to a giant multinational corporation in a matter of seconds. Once the heated exchange subsided, I left there cursing under my breath, onlookers either grimacing or grinning, realizing that I just totally lost my inner zen ninja. To be calm in the face of conflict is the greatest weapon of all. The only way to survive happy is to accept certain things as nature and move on. When you let the wrath of your frustration take control you surrender all that is great inside you and making people feel untoward doesn’t help anyone. That sweet feeling of unleashing a day’s worth of red-tape frustration upon some witless phone operator or snide store clerk only feels good for a few seconds. Then you spend the rest of the day thinking about it and how you’re still in no better position than when you melted down.

A year in the tropics does wonders for the spirit but a week dealing with a pack of incompetent corporate rodents is enough to make you wonder what brought you back.

Besides donuts and good music.

Words Is Like Money

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Sometimes you got lots, other times you ain’t got squat.

Blocks. Not like the little ones little ones play with but more like an  irrefutable dam, a rippling inferno of blank pages and pens full of ink just sitting idly on the table. Keyboards completely empty of ideas, reasons, or purpose. Pencils are dull or broken, Ticonderoga blues, back in the swing to find a phone and a dance or a license to work. Wondering when this economy will provide me an opportunity of immense proportion. Or at least let me feed the dog and squeeze out a check for the mortgage.

How the luxury of cafes on the other side of the world dangles itself before me.

Saving The Environment Is Ugly

Barracuda, Fury, Comet. Yeah.

Yaris. Prius. Insight. Huh?

Oh, how times change.

Why do green cars have to look so, well, green? (green = ugly) Just because I’m conscious of the environment means I have to tool around town in a car that advertises that I’m a tool of my environment? My dream is to have a monstrous V8 with dual carbs and a 10-foot hood whose low rumble shakes little boys’ little knees and makes little girls almost cry. And have it all run on french fry oil or some cow turd-diesel. Good for the earth and fun as all get out.

Ever see someone having fun driving a hybrid? Looking content and feeling self-satisfied is one thing, but to be able to lurch the front end of a car nearly off the ground while waiting for the red light to turn is terribly FUN. Is there any way we can get one of those that runs on a bio-fuel with exhaust that smells like cinnamon rolls or something?

Today’s enviro-cars are so ridiculously unsightly I’m surprised there isn’t a  manufacturer’s rebate for rolling such ugly, lifeless little cars off the assembly line. If this were a playground these dainty things would get you pummeled dearly.

Why does being green mean having no style? Why can’t people save the earth while packing some semblance of courage or individuality, a brash sense of self that has a backbone, a toughness that actually makes us closer to the dust and grime of this big blue marble?

Thus making us more “earthy”.

I can only beseech the car gods to someday make the roads full of steel and chrome once again, fueled by plastic bags or those little six-pack thingies because if we can land stupid little remote control cars on Mars, this oughta be a cinch. You’d think.

Video Games and Crack Cocaine

“Video Games Ruined My Life. Luckily I Have Two Extra Lives.”

I saw that on a t-shirt in Vietnam and almost bought it but wasn’t sure if every other schmuck in America already had one so I passed. There is little difference between crack cocaine and today’s video games. Except maybe for participants having no weight control and their overall lack of proper hygeine. Wait. No, there is no difference. One makes you skinny and the other most likely won’t.

If people could hit a dirty crack pipe with any sense of moderation, then said narcotic could beinternet-kidsconsidered a recreational activity much like bocce ball or bass fishing. If people could just control their input of desired poisons they could have a daily and relaxing Miller time instead of skittering around street corners and alleyways at all hours of the night. If kids could just limit their time in front of the Atari (or whatever they call it nowadays) and still make time for activities within the realm of reality, then our glazed-over and bloodshot youth might not be heading for the devastating discovery of how life isn’t measured by how many levels you reach or how many kills you have. Not in typical social and employment circles, anyway.

I can only imagine the amount of hours children (and grownups) squandered in front of the computer or console just wasting away trying to beat a bunch of flashing lights. Where is the satisfaction in knowing a computer has been challenged or some kid in Iowa is owned in some interstallar war? What kind of accomplishment is there when the only real prize is showing a prepubescent in Des Moines who’s boss? But it’s just a hobby, right? Like blogging? Then I video-game2see kids who win loads of money in video game tournaments. Those conventions might as well be organized crack-lympics, ceremonies that enable using instead of scheduling interventions. They should line up crackheads and have them compete in who can hork down the most amount of rock and still complete tasks like balancing a checkbook, cooking a meal, changing a diaper, etc. That would be much more entertaining than watching these little nerds break a sweat and high-five each other because they just slew some 5-headed dragon or reaped vengeance on a faction of terrorists in brown skin.

(video game box courtesy kNeil)

So Long, Saigon

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Snow berms and wide open parking lots. Houses sitting on double lots with yards and fences, mailboxes and space between the neighbors. Automobiles, pickup trucks and SUV’s, rose gardens and dandelions, fir trees and front porches. Things I haven’t seen in a year are things that have become such a nice touch living in America. The houses of Vietnam are pretty cool, too though.