Sunday, September 27, 2009

One Day Get Away to the Bay

I knew I had to be up at 6a.m. but I decided to watch Schindler's list and as a result got no sleep. What made the morning even better was last night's decision to pack in the morning. I grabbed three Dodger t-shirts, (one can never have too many on a road trip), my laptop, and a couple of apples and was on my way. After a brief stop for some smokes and some gum, the conclusion was made that we were making excellent time. I mean, we had reached Gorman and it wasn't even 9 a.m. yet.

Yup, it was too good to be true. Got pinched for doing 89 in a 70. At least the officer wasn't a dick about it. Other than that, we arrived in Frisco without a scratch. At first glance AT&T Park is impressive. But more on the stadium later. After attaining game tickets from an automated machine we decided to pay the thirty bucks to park in the lot behind the ballpark and use their vastly superior public transit system the "muni".

To be honest I thought I had somewhat of a grasp on the city's massive transit system. Boy was I wrong. As a result of neither of us wanting to ask for directions our only option was to silently follow an elderly couple who shared our destination. (I must take time to give a shot out to Mayor Gavin Newsom. Great decision to use those "old thyme" light rail cars.) When Tarantino's, off the world famous Fisherman's Wharf, has a dry erase board promising a spectacular view of the bay upstairs don't buy it. Well, a small section does, but the side we were seated on offered a view of the street and the antennae and flagpoles of the small boats attached to the dock. It might have had something to do with the LA hats we were wearing. Oh well.

After lunch we decided to explore some of the city and hopefully find a drinking establishment that was showing the Dodger game. What awaited us was a classic case of zigging when you should have been zagging. We ended up in Frisco's version of 6th Street, the Tenderloin. While others were panicking at the thought of being surrounded by the creme de la creme of Bay area hobo society I kept a level head. Granted there were too many massage parlors and daytime crack deals for my liking but we persevered on. Finally we reached Market St.

Game time was fast approaching and more than anything I was anticipating the shit talking that Giant fan would unleash on me. But to be honest dear reader, nothing happened. I mean there were scattered boos and hisses but nothing too bad. At the Ravine Giant fan is lucky if they can make it out of the Ravine without getting stabbed.(The Passion Bucket does not condone violence towards Giant fans but do what you got to do.) Since they always miss out on the division and the playoffs, Giant fan can find solace in the fact that they have a beautiful park to play in.

Even before the game even started I was impressed by the beautiful brick pillars and their use of rod iron trusses. Plus the unlimited food options had my stomach dreaming. The park also has beautiful sight lines and this was only amplified with the watery arms of the bay hugging the ballpark. The only bad thing is the park has no passion or vibe to it. Giant fan lacks passion and a sense of ownership with their team. I mean when you have to make up a lame ass rally gimmick like "K-ville"(Plus you have to buy the "K's"), you shouldn't feel too proud of your marketing department. This not only reeks of Scum bag Anaslime Rally Monkey douchery,it might very well supersede it.

All in all it was a good trip, minus the scary fog, my fear of heights, and the Berkeley side trip. (trying to find our way using Rancid songs, really?) I had fun and as always can't wait to go back. Until next time Bum Town, er I mean Bay area...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This Time it Might Matter

Don't get me wrong, I'll always watch the All-Star game. But this year is different. The Dodgers stand (at the time of this post) at 43-23, which is the best record in the Majors, and are 8.5 in front of the hated ones. Now thanks to one of the many good ideas that have come out of Selig's office, the Dodgers and their fans will have to sit and watch a a meaningless game knowing that a small portion of their postseason fate (provided they make it that far) will be determined by players and coaches who really have nothing to do with the organization.

Anyone else see anything wrong with that?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Children’s Book Proposal

For my interdisciplinary project I have chosen the title: My Grandmother Was a Catcher. It basically tells the story of Tomas' a young nine year old living in 1981 Los Angeles. Tomas' has been raised by his Abuelita Marta' due to fact that his mother died while giving birth and his father passed while serving in the Vietnam War. Even with a very loving grandmother, Tomas' still feels lonely and he tries to feel that void with baseball. Even as his community and favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are swept up in "Fernandomania", he still feels lonely wishing his parents could be there with him. Then one day his grandmother reveals to him her love of baseball. She tells him that she joined the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. She joined the league because she missed her husband Luis', as he died while serving in World War Two. She also tells him that she understands how it feels to miss someone and presents him with the gift of her old glove she used while playing. She said as long as you have this glove you will never be alone. Tomas' then forms a special bond with his grandmother and from there on in Tomas' and his Abuelita share a lifelong love of baseball together.

Since this story is being written primarily with Mexican American characters it would fit into the Mexican American genre. This book will also contain some of the themes that are familiar with this genre and one would be family. The bond between a grandson and a grandmother can be strong especially when both are sort of alone in this world. Another would be tradition. The book's setting will be around the time of Cinco de Mayo to coincide with Fernando's 6-0 start to the baseball season. Pride for one's country, will also be included. Mexican American's have a proud legacy of defending the United States. In many families a proud military tradition is often present. Finally and perhaps the book's central theme, would be the love for the game of baseball. Combing these themes with certain words and phrases of the Spanish language will certainly be familiar to most Mexican American children. For the illustrations I plan to enlist the aid of my cousin Erika Vasquez-Taylor who is an art student, (and a very good one in my opinion) at Los Angeles' FIDM Fashion school. Throughout the book there will be illustrations of Mexican American culture as well instances of Mexican American daily life. Events such as making Tortillas, working in a garden, and the feeding of chickens might also be familiar for some children; or they might simply become interested after viewing these events. The characters will also be clothing typical for that area and period of time. Hopefully the book will meet the requirements and be an enjoyable read for young children and anyone who is a fan of multicultural literature.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ten Years Ago

(I'm reflecting on the first time I heard this artist.)

It was around this time. Well, anywhere between April and June if you want to get technical. I was still going to high school and, as was the style of the times, up to no good. I think I was ditching one day, and the girl I was with at the time (those close will know who she is) had a girlfriend whose grandparents lived a block away. After using said girlfriend's friend's fake i.d., we would walk to her grandparents house and take advantage of the situation and drink ourselves stupid. Well one time I was going through her Cd's and I liked what I saw for the most part. (Totally hated the Pep Torres) I saw the back on one of the cases and it said " Batman theme". A rockabilly version of the Batman theme? I just had to check this out.

After the song ended and feeling somewhat intrigued, I started the disc from the beginning and "Rumble" played. (I didn't know it yet, but I would later designate that song as my entrance music for if and when I make the majors) The dirty style of the guitar filled me with all sorts ideas. Most of them being deviant and sleazy in design. Not many songs back then could make the hair on the back of my head,and give me goosebumps as well.

What followed was a long and still standing appreciation for the genius that is Link Wray.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cue the Organ

It's almost time. The weather's changing and the days are growing longer. Scully's voice draws closer and I can almost taste my first Dodger dog of the season. Time to finalize the rotation and get the bench straight. So much work has been put into building the roster and soon enough we'll see if it at least brings us the west. On paper the 09 version of LA's finest looks to not only improve on its eighty four win season, and league championship highs from a year ago, but to move on and win this beloved franchise's seventh world title.

First the big news is we signed Mark Loretta. (Just kidding) We got Mannywood for this year at least and he brings that long overdue bat we have been trying to acquire ever since we let Tommy's godson away. As always, the big question with Manny is will he be worth the headache. His antics have been well documented in the media, his defensive skills are lacking and you got to wonder when he gets bored. Hopefully Torre can keep him in line and focused on winning a title. This year should be the year Kemp finally breaks through. He has the size, strength and potential to break 30/30 this year. Ethier should continue to improve and Martin returns behind the plate as the game's best catcher. Furcal should continue to be one of the game's best leadoff hitters and hopefully he can provide the organization a full and healthy season. Casey Blake will be holding down the hot corner this year and hit for average while providing the best beard in the majors. Taking him off the free agent market was in this opinion, the organizations best move this winter. Anchored by a supporting cast that includes the aforementioned Loretta , the newly signed starting 2nd baseman O-dog, DeWitt, "Mr. Ronrey" James Loney, and various comers and goers from Albuquerque, this team shouldn't have a problem producing runs this year.

Pitching is another story. After losing two solid and very ungrateful starters in Lowe and Penny, this latest incarnation of the Dodger starting rotation is shaky at best. Chad Billngsley returns as the staff ace after a shaky 08 post season. Kuroda is being elevated to a number two while Wolf and last season's darling Kershaw round out the top four. The battle for the five hole is between Macdonald, another one of the heralded youngsters, a returning Jeff weaver, a rebuilt Jason Schmidt, and a cavalcade of rising stars and tired retreads. If anything this will be the weakness of this year's Dodger club. With lack of a star pitcher teams traditionally rely on a strong bullpen to keep them afloat. This year Broxton is being thrown into the fire as this season closer. It will be interesting to see if he can hold down that role over the entire season. Few doubt that he'll fail in this new role; it's more the path to Broxton that worries everyone. Uncertainty surrounds Kuo, and the newly signed Will Ohman. At least we got Joe Beimel. Oh wait…

In summation, the Dodgers should win the West this year. The rest of the division is weak with the Padres rebuilding, the Rockies losing Matt Holiday, and even though the hated ones have some pitching prospects the Giants have no bats in their lineup. (Ha ha!) The only real competition should come from the desert and those pesky D'Backs. After winning the West, the Dodgers should do some damage in the playoffs (when was the last time anybody said that?) and make their way towards the World Series. It's been twenty one years since the magic of '88, and it's high time the Dodgers take their place at the top of LA's sports landscape. Dodger dogs anyone?

Projected record: 98-64

World Series: Dodgers over Red Sox in 7


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random Thoughts

*Can shoes be a deal breaker?

*St. Patty's is coming up

*Cigarettes cost way too much at school ($6.25 a pack)

*Oh yeah, I started smoking again

*Must remember to do a Dodger preview before the season starts. Sucks that they open on the road.

*Twitter is losing it, fast

*Big Love has been upping the ante this season

*A-Rod, you're a fucking fake and nobody loves you.

*I think I saw OctoMom once at Monkey's To Go

*I kind of got in trouble in class on Tuesday because I laughed as soon as prof. said the word "Girth" ( which immediately recalls visions of Homer's flag, and many drunken nights with the Narc)

*Hope the Kings make the playoffs this year (probably just jinxed them...way to go)

*I think I'll take Pop's advice and try to get into My Name is Earl

Friday, February 20, 2009

Part 2

Four events over two days continued...

(Way late in posting the conclusion. Too busy to write these days)

February 4Th was a day of high and lows. I woke up early that Thursday because the Home wrecker and I planned to go a Dodger event that was being held at Canter's Deli off of Fairfax. The organization promised a cavalcade of stars both current and former but truthfully, everybody came to meet Russell Martin, serve lunch to everyone that was there during lunch hour. After that you could take pictures and get autographs as well. We started the day as we normally do and enjoyed a nice and short drive. As we did the requisite drive by to check out the scene we noticed that there was a a line of about five fans. Seeing as there was no rush, she decided to park on a side street and do her make up. Time passed, and we headed to join the line. The highlight of the wait was when a homeless person started tripping on Dodger nation for crowding the side walk. Soon after that the line started moving and we were shown to our seats. After a bowl of delicious chicken noodle soup, and a awesome introduction to potato pancakes, the boys in blue finally arrived. everyone except Russell. I think he was ushered in enclosed in a glass case or something because he had more security with him than the pope. I know it's because he's the best catcher in the NL, but I think it had to do with the fact that there were a heavy constituency of female Russell fans in the house. As we waited for him, I had my picture taken with James Loney. Not the most personable of fellows, but nevertheless one of my favorites. Then, the man of the hour arrived. Home wrecker and I were among the first to approach him. He signed my shirt and then signed her arms. Things couldn't be better right?

Like a good little geek, I turned on my laptop as soon as I stepped into the door. I was horrified to learn that Lux has died. For those that don't know Lux was the lead singer of the Cramps, a very important band for anyone who likes good music. The Cramps were responsible for connecting me to my cousin Cynthia. She had the "Bad music for bad people" poster. I was about five when I saw that poster and was intrigued by it's weird and intriguing message. The Cramps also introduced me to the concept of Newcastle in a can. The Narc and I went to see them one day and were awestruck by this strange and fascinating concept.It's a story that still gets told in certain circles to this day. And finally the Cramps are going to forever remind me of the most tumultuous relationship I've ever been in. Just as recent as that morning, the home wrecker and I were blasting Garbageman (like the good Cramps fans that were are) on the 101 and when we got off we discussed about which dead celebrity we would love to have a drink with. We fired back and fourth the usual names and we couldn't come up with an answer. (It was then that I also learned that she wasn't a fan of Sinatra but that's a whole other story for another day.) I was the one who broke the news to her and later on that day I got a text saying "Well now I know who I'll have that drink with."