It's the end of the world as we know it...

Politics, philosophy, the law, current events, left leaning debates, religion, baseball, football, pop culture, growing up Greek, random events in my life...whatever hits my mind at the time.

1.9.04

Why last night was the best day ever - and a few other random observations

You know it’s sad when 19 out of 20 of the last Google searches are on this (Which, by the way, I presented to you on the 25th - seven days ago! I feel like I was in the loop, for once. This is a great accomplishment for me. I just realized on Friday the 27th, when all the secretary’s were wearing jeans, that it was the last Friday of August. If you would have asked me, I would have told you with great certainty that it was the second Friday of the month. (Hey, at least I knew it was a Friday.) I’m ALWAYS behind on the times. Aren’t my stonewashed jeans awesome? They go so well with my florescent pink socks over them.)

But, to your burning question (and sorry to keep you in suspense)...why was yesterday so wonderfully brilliant? Yesterday was historic! And not just because I managed to bill only 45 minutes from 9-5 - thanks Jen and Susan. ;-) (BUT, that 45 minutes was rounded up to 48 minutes, since we work in 6 minute increments. So there!) The sad thing - I finished the month of August with over 220 hours - despite my absolute refusal to work yesterday.)

Where was I? Oh, yes, historic! The Yankees, they of the vaulted $180 million dollar payroll, the creation of Mephistopheles' himself (the demon, not the band. AKA "The Boss" George Steinbrenner, who is the one man in the country more obnoxious than Donald Trump. Though less so than John Ashcroft, obviously, who is Lucifer, and Dubya, the anti-christ), those Yankees that we know I can’t stand, as evidenced here, here, and here (among other places) were EMBARRASSED by my lowly $34 million payroll Indians. Two words. 22. 0.

My best friend asked me this morning, "Is it true that the Indians spanked the Yankees 22 to nothing? And if so, why isn't this posted on your blog?? =) I heard it on the radio and immediately assumed that The End of the World As We Know It would have all the answers and just a weeeee bit of gloating."

Whee...I will have MUCH gloating. Not a "wee" bit. Please. Am I that polished and reserved not to gloat muchly over this? Do you not know me at all people?? ;-)

This was the Yankees worst loss EVER. This was the biggest MLB shutout since 1900. I wasn’t even born then. The Red Sox AND the Cubs have won the World Series in that time. I mean, that was a LONG time ago. Last night was just a thing of beauty. Just simple beauty. It was like David and Goliath all over again. Does it matter if the win the next two? Nope. Because the mighty have been embarrassed in a way that no team has since 1900. And like I said, no one remembers that game because it was a long time ago. Before tv even.

I have enjoyed this all morning long. Would I be as smug if the Indians had thrashed, say, Detroit. Absolutely not. (The important question is, would have been just as smug if Detroit thrashed the Yankees 22-0? Just about.) Why? I hate the Yankees. I hate the Yankees jerseys. I hate the Yankees players. I hate the Yankees ball boys. I hate the Yankees’ owner. And more than any of those other things, I hate the Yankees fans.

As ESPN writer Bill Simmons said, "The mystifying thing about Yankee fans? Their improbable sense of superiority, as if they're better people because they root for a baseball team only because A.) they grew up within two hours of Yankee Stadium; B.) they jumped on the bandwagon as a kid because they wanted to be associated with a winner; or C.) they have no soul. As one of my readers wrote last year, it's like rooting for the house in blackjack."

Yes, Yankees fans believe that they deserve to win the World Series every year. "We have an owner willing to spend money on his team." No, you have an owner in a market where he can demand $250 million for a television contract. No other team can demand that. The market won’t bear that. Let’s agree to this - all teams will share the revenue brought in by the media. Then let’s see how much of HIS OWN money your owner is willing to put up. Give me a break! Is your grasp on reality really that flimsy? That pathetic? Oh, wait, I forgot. You’re a Yankees fans. Yes, yes it is.

And I love baseball. Fewer things make me happier in life. Sadly, I believe that the Yankees payroll is ruining all of baseball. The reason football is great is because a team like Cincinnati can go from worst to in the running for best in a single year. They may not make the playoffs that next year, but it’s possible. In baseball, the best Tampa Bay can ever hope for is mediocrity. In March, in spring training, they know that they have no hope of making the playoffs. None. What’s the point in being a fan? Buying a jersey? Watching games? It’s pointless. And that encompasses more than half the teams. Baseball will die, mark my works. It will die, and it will die soon. You say that baseball has survived for well over a hundred years, and aren't I just being melodramatic as usual? No. And bite me.

This problem really got worse in the last ten years or so with the strength of the baseball union. Can baseball withstand another ten years at this rate? No. The market is going down after the huge contracts to A-Rod and Manny, you say? That’s true. However, that's still more than most teams can afford to spend. While the Twins and As are good b/c they make smart trades and have a great minor league system, the Yankees use the Twins and As major league roster as their minor league system (and consequently don't have to make smart draft choices. Or trades.)

Mephistopheles: "Oh, wait, the As developed a great player? Well, we better get him then. Let’s see, he’s a free agent next year? Let’s offer them a can of Spam for him. They won’t take it? Do they know who I am? Remind them he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year, and if they don't trade their best player for a can of spam, they will lose him for nothing."

Then, if that doesn't work (and it might not, those srubborn mid-market teams believe the "I want to finish my career here" hype sometimes), they will just wait three months, and then offer him $5 million in the off-season more than a mid-market team can afford. Yes, that’s what’s wrong with baseball.

My current favorite photo. Work with me - I’ve never posted a picture before. It may not work. (If it does work, historic moment number two, and MAJOR props to Melyssa, who shows why she works for Mensa. If it doesn't work, know that the idiocy is mine, not hers.)



You know, Christmas would come early for me this year if somehow the Red Sox would catch up to the Yankees, and the vaulted Yankees would not make the playoffs. Yes, I'm still somewhat realistic, and I know it won't happen. But hey, I know that Santa doesn't exist, and yet, I still get all warm and fuzzy in December when I see an old man in a red suit. Oh, and I like seeing Santa too.

Oh, and speaking of baseball, I know that not every team has a mascot, but for the cities that do...do you have the Mascot Olympics right now? I've seen the gymnastic ring event, and the track event where they run and jump over the horse (that triangle thing, not the animal). So far, I've seen those two events, and Slider has won the gold in both. I'm hoping that other cities have their mascots win, otherwise, that sucks for them. "Rally, yeah, see another mascot win. That's gonna get me cheering for the win." But here's my real pressing question, and any assistance on this would be greatly appreciated: What the heck is Slider anyway?



Is he supposed to frighten small children? Be the poster...thing...for what too much beer can do? I just don't get it.

* * * * *

So I’m currently debating whether I should change the blog colors. I went with this tan, orange, and brown thing b/c it reminded me of the Cleveland Browns colors. But I wonder if I should go with black something or other. Do I strike you more as a Cleveland Browns colors girl, or a black color girl? It would match my hair. Kinda. But darker. And without the attempt at purple (which came out somewhat red) that I put in two months ago. (It was temporary, but it’s sticking. For someone who struggles believing in permanent things, it’s somewhat ironic that I have temporary hair dye that is making itself permanent.) So...stick with my hometown pride, or go with the black? According to Sports Illustrated, the Browns are picked to come in last in the AFC North. Go us!

1. Ravens 11-5 (oh, God, help me.)
2. Bengals 9-7
3. Steelers 8-8
4. Browns 5-11

Just thought you should be aware that I’m supporting a bunch of losers here. Oh, but that would somewhat make me happy. I abhor Butch Davis. He gives me hives. And so if they go 5-11, with his entire handpicked players and coaches, maybe THEN Lerner will realize that Davis is a schmuck with no business being an NLF coach. (Lerner the son, not the dead one. Oh, that was crass.)

* * * * *

And if I can for a moment, can you believe this? A brief portion: "One smoker threatened to lynch a black Clevelander who coordinates the Clean Indoor Air campaign. Elijah L. Wheeler Jr. received threatening calls after I wrote about his efforts to get restaurants to go smoke-free. He got more threats after Cleveland's mayor endorsed the Clean Indoor Air campaign. . . Police are looking into the threats, especially the one from the caller threatening to hang him from a tree." (Oh my gosh. I’d say that I was ashamed to be a Clevelander today if I felt this was a Cleveland issue.)

Now, I am a non-smoker, and other than one drunk night "pomping" for homecoming my senior year in college and one (more sober) night at a rave in law school (the former which I don’t remember at all but have seen photographic evidence, and the latter which...well, I was pissed off and boy, did I prove my point), I’ve always been a non-smoker. But I don’t think that smokers are to blame for these threats because some crazy psychos are resorting to threats of violence in response to a move to make restaurants smoke-free for those of us who hate smelling like an ashtray and actually DON'T want to kill ourselves with second hand smoke but would rather choose another vice to kill themselves with, like, say, alcohol. (And now I've offended all the smokers here. Ah, well. My alcoholism only kills me. Your smoking is killing us both. Keep your vice to yourself and I'll keep mine to myself.) But seriously, I can’t believe that it’s gone so far.

* * * * *

Dick Feagler on swing voters:

"We were talking about the swing voters," Mike said. "Where are they?"
"I told you already," Jack said. "They're not going to vote."
"Why not, do you think?" I asked. "Is it because they can't separate the truth from the lies?"
"No," said Jack. "I just think they're lazy. They've had it too good for too long. They don't want to know the world has changed. They don't want to hear it. But it has."
"And they are the swing voters?" I said. "The ones who may decide this election?"
"Yeah," said Jack. "And they don't even care who's pushing the swing."

The scary thing is, he’s hit the nail on the head. First, as Peter pointed out, how in the heck are there ANY undecided voters right now anyway? Second, Feagler is absolutely right. Many of these people have no real opinions. They don’t care. And most of them *won’t* vote anyway. Bush was in Ohio this past weekend, today (Wednesday) and will be again on Saturday, and for what? These people aren’t going to vote. They don’t care who is in charge. They are the worst kind of apathetic, b/c they don’t even think they ARE being apathetic.

* * * * *

And my political moment of the day (hey, if you want entertainment - [read: a sense of relief that my life isn’t your life], read today’s earlier post. This post has PURPOSE.) [Jen(nifer), as my sole Republican friend, just skip to the next set of * * * * *s]

"The Case Against Bush" - Michael Kinsley (from Time Magazine)

What do we know about George W. Bush that we didn't know four years ago, when most of us voted for someone else? We ought to know a lot more. Never has anyone become President of the United States less pretested by life. And never has any President been tested so dramatically so soon after taking office.

He was born at the intersection of two elites—the Eastern Wasp establishment and the Texas oiligarchy. He gimme'd his way through America's top educational institutions. In his 40s, he was still a kid, hanging around his father's White House with not much to do. A decade later, without actually winning the most votes, he was President himself. The average gas-station attendant struggled harder to get where he or she is than did George W. Bush. Then came Sept. 11.

The heroic saga writes itself, with help from Shakespeare's Henry V and the life story of Harry Truman. This small man, this wastrel youth, finds himself leading his nation as it faces one of its greatest challenges. And in the fire of great events, he finds the fire of greatness within himself. Take it away, Peggy Noonan.

It's a swell story line, but it won't wash. Against a backdrop of great events, even a mediocrity can seem great for a while. After Sept. 11, there was certainly a great flurry of activity. War on terrorism was declared. An actual war was started in Iraq and still goes on. A Department of Homeland Security was founded. Various American freedoms have been suspended. More than $100 billion has been spent. At the rate things are going, the toll of American lives lost responding to 9/11 may exceed the toll of 9/11 itself. The toll of innocent foreigners is higher already.

But what has it all amounted to? As the most powerful nation in the world, we have managed to track down and kill a few members of al-Qaeda. No more airliners have been flown into skyscrapers in the three years since 9/11, but then that was true in the three years before 9/11 as well. Are we safer from terrorism than we were before?

The only honest answer is, Who knows?

You may approve or disapprove of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, but it is clear beyond dispute that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. By turning the world in general and the young people of the Muslim world in particular against us, the decision to respond to al-Qaeda by toppling Saddam Hussein could have made future terrorism more likely, not less.

Subtract the war on terror, including Iraq, and the Bush presidency looks small indeed. Buying short-term prosperity by goosing the economy with heavy borrowing is no trick at all, yet it's not clear that Bush has pulled off even this (except the borrowing). His party has controlled Congress for most of his term. Aside from the traditional Republican wealth-friendly tax cut, can you name a single major successful legislative initiative? O.K., prescription drugs for seniors. Starting in 2006. If it works, which many experts doubt.

And what have these four years taught us about Bush as a person? Some fortunate folks whose lives do not require struggle have used the gift of ease to become better people: wiser than if they had had bills and laundry cluttering their minds, kinder and gentler—in the famous formulation of George Bush the Elder—than if they had needed sharp elbows to get somewhere. Bush the Younger never seemed noble in this way. But as we got to know him in 2000, the ease of his life had seemed to make him affable, undogmatic and pleasantly underinvested in anything as vulgar as an agenda. And then there was all that amiable chatter about "compassionate conservatism." The forecast was for a laconic, moderate presidency.

How wrong this was. Bush's obvious lack of interest in policy issues makes him more dogmatic, not less so. Intellectual laziness stiffens the backbone as much as ideological fervor does. Hand him his position on an issue, and he can cross it off his list. Bush's intellectual defenders compare him to Ronald Reagan, who was simpleminded (they say) in the best sense. Reagan whittled down the world's complexities into a few simple truths. But Reagan pondered those complexities on his way to simplicity. He stopped thinking only after a fair amount of thought. Bush's advisers deliver ideas to him like a pizza. His stove has never been lit. And four years have not illuminated the meaning of compassionate conservatism. It remains an insult to conservatives and a mystery to everybody else. On every big social issue that has arisen during his term (gay marriage, for example, and stem-cell research), Bush has been steadfast in taking the hard-conservative line.

The Wasp graciousness, the good-ole-boy affability, even the obviously sincere religious conviction run about a quarter-inch deep.

In four years, this small man had two historic opportunities to reach for greatness, to lead this country to a new and better place, and he passed up both. The first was when the Democrats patriotically bowed to a Supreme Court decision they believed to be wrong, if not corrupt, so that the U.S. could avoid a further constitutional crisis. What a moment for bipartisanship! Maybe put more than a token Democrat in the Cabinet? Not a chance.

George W. Bush's second opportunity came on Sept. 11, 2001. Past grievances suddenly seemed petty, current disagreements seemed irrelevant, and, even among Bush's opponents, desperate hope replaced sullen doubts that our nation's leader would be up to the task. Bush got this gift from the opposition—the suspension of dislike and disbelief—without doing anything to deserve it. He could have asked for and got anything he wanted in the weeks and months after 9/11.

And he decided to invade Iraq.

For once, George W. Bush was tested. And he flunked.

* * * * *

Two things: (1) When I first read oiligarchy, I thought "he misspelled "oligarchy." Then I got it. Yes, I’m that slow and pathetic. (2) Any article when you can use the word "gimme'd" just rocks.

* * * * *

And the one thing I forgot to mention from the wedding shower Sunday - the glasses were full of Hershey Kisses, but red and white ones. (Sorry, if I color coded it white, you wouldn't be able to see it.) They say "Strawberry" on the kiss string. I’m not sure if they are any good, b/c I still don’t like chocolate, even if it is disguised in pink and silver foil and the little nubs sticking out are white. That sounds much dirtier than it is.) But anyway, I think it’s fantastic that the Hershey Kisses are exploring, breaking out of their comfort zone. Seeing what else is out there. This is a true Hershey Kiss story, but a comment to a friend of mine. Without the chocolate, of course. Or maybe you want the chocolate - I’ve heard of weirder things...

* * * * *

Oh, I have great news. Elvis is alive. I read it in a tabliod magazine. But lest you think that it's a tabloid and it's not true, rest assured, it is. I saw a photo. 'Nuff said. He's really old now. It was a double in the coffin. And we were all convinced.

* * * * *

To the cashier at Tops who told told me that I was the rudest customer he's had all night. Bite me. It's 10:00 at night. I'm sorry you work the overnight shift. Sucks to be you. But really, you ask how I am. I'm not in the mood for small talk b/c I'm irritated and upset having nothing to do with you. Rather than snap at you (as I wanted to do, simply because you were breathing, because yes, I was in that type of mood, and go ahead, I'll admit that it's PMSy, though it's early for that, or yes, I'll admit that I'm just a bitch). But again, rather than snap at you, I just give you a tight smile. No, I didn't say anything in return. No, I didn't ask how you were. You're sarcastic, "Glad to hear that, I'm fine, thanks." wasn't necessary. At all. Guess what? I don't care how you are. I am bitter than people ask a question that they don't really care the answer to. Case in point. Is your life any better or worse if I don't tell you how I am? Just ring up my OJ and leave me alone. And really, if someone not answering your, "how are you" and returning the question was the rudest you've faced all day - your day was better than mind. Geesh.

* * * * *
From Katie, who somehow always finds the best quizzes, it's The George W. Bush Loyalty Quiz:
Your score is 0 on a scale of 1 to 10. You hate Bush with a writhing passion. You think he is an idiot, a liar, and a warmonger who has been a miserable failure as president. Nothing would give you greater pleasure than seeing him run out of the White House, except maybe seeing him dragged away in handcuffs.
Sweet...

6 Comments:

  • At 11:50 PM, Blogger Curtis said…

    With your writing I sometimes question whether you are truly Russian? :)

    Anyhow, a few points, I think that photos can be quite fun on blogs. I might be starting to overdo it though. Second, the Yankees sometimes make me rethink my opposition to the death penalty. Third, I want that Bush quiz would go to the negatives.

    Fourth, a slider is when it literally slides away (both down and away). It depends on your batting and their arm. Normally if you're both right handed then the slider will probably break down and away. A left-handed pitcher would have it break towards you. The curve ball just has a different break to it. Instead of it sliding out of the strike zone, it'll show itself high then break down towards the bottom of the streak zone. It doesn't break towards or away from a batter like a slider does, but it has sharp downward action. Randy Johnson has a sweeping slider. It's great.

    Finally, the rudest customer all night? You should have said thank you to that.

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger melyssa said…

    yeah! you got your photos to post!

     
  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger G. Cornelius Harris said…

    Yanks got that ass whooooooooped...I'll keep you posted

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Curtis said…

    I just read that Scalia is a Yankees fan. Is that a stronger reason to hate Scalia or the Yankees more?

     
  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    I am neither an Indians fan nor a Red Sox fan, and I say Fuck the Yankees. I hate their payroll, their attitude, and how they have tainted baseball. That is why I'm a much bigger football fan. And I'm not a Browns fan either, and I hate Ravens, too.

    That was a great article about Bush. I don't know any undecided voters, but if I did, I'd send it to them. *kicks uninformed swing voters in the ass*

     
  • At 9:59 PM, Blogger Katie said…

    Oh, such smart people... fuck the Yankees (go mets!) fuck Bush, fuck Scalia... la la la... I like like minded blogs :)

     

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