Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweeps and Swept

The Dodgers are riding high off their most recent sweep of the NL East leading Mets. So much for not being able to win outside of our division or without Manny. The team has been on a tear of 1st inning runs and it continued yesterday. Casey Blake was honored with a bobblehead and proved he's worthy in Tuesday's game when he cracked a 3-run homer to win the game. I have thoroughly enjoyed this season's home games, especially since I've only seen them lose once and my hilarious game buddies: Gin, the Oz man, and bearded friend. I can't wait to see the Dodgers take on their cross town rivals this weekend. Also, last night marked the first time play-by-play was announced by a female! Although, it was only online and not TV or radio, it's pretty cool to hear a woman's voice announcing the action. It's been a recent dream of mine to be a Dodgers beat writer, but given the recent cutbacks in journalism, maybe I should switch to Dodgers announcer. I mean Vin is going to retire soon right? (Note: I will cry and mourn when this man steps down from the mic. He is a golden god.) Why not make it the Juice?

On the same day my Dodgers were kicking the Mets' error proned butts, California went to the pools and told the Governator and the legislature NO to any taxes, changes in spending and basically swept away all hope of balancing the budget. What will come next will be severe cuts combined with some bad borrowing, which will result in even more political gridlock and chaos. What's next? Constitutional Convention!!! At least I can only hope that is what's next, because "this aggression cannot stand". (10 points if you recognize where that quote is from.) There were so many good articles about what happened but check out the one from the NYtimes and this column from the LATimes.

Oh and if you want to see what our President looks like from about 291 different angles, check out the White Houses's flickr album of the first 100 days. Nothing like a handmade suit, a starched white shirt and a nice tie to make you look Presidential.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Old Friends Good Times

I had the opportunity to spend some time last night with my friends from elementary school. Most of these girls I haven't seen in over 10 years! I left my grade school after 6th grade to go to an all-girls school (much to my dismay) and didn't really keep in good contact with most of them since then (probably due to my inability to drive, use the phone at my convenience, etc. at the age of 12). But one of my friends from my past is getting married and all of our Moms who really miss hanging out with each other wanted to get together to celebrate. It was so much fun seeing all of them and it wasn't until I got home and showed the bearded man my elementary school yearbooks did I realize how instrumental all of them were in making me who I am today.

I've always found it unfortunate that there are people in your life that you are no longer as close to as you once were. There were years when I spent the majority of my waking moments with these lovely girls. We did everything together from selling girl scout cookies to getting detention together in 5th grade. I've also found that as you get older it becomes even more difficult to keep all the people that once were close to you in that same reach. The bearded man is very lucky seeing as his two best friends he's known since the age of 3 and is still very close to both of them today. I hope one day that I'll reestablish my relationships with a lot of these wonderful women and my other high school/college/grad school/past coworkers who I've lost touch with.

p.s. My friend Monica has a really cool blog about eating healthy and running. Two things I've been trying to do more regularly, and she's MUCH better about updating it than me. Check it out here!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I have joined the dark side

I decided to get a Twitter account a few days ago, mainly because I didn't want to be the very last person on the face of planet earth to join. I don't really get the point, other than being able to know what's going on with everyone in your world at that very moment. Between Facebook, text messaging and Twitter there is literally no reason to ever call/e-mail/meet up with anyone in real life. Maybe that's the real goal of all this technology we won't need our real selves, just our online personalities. There was even a recent NPR article about what happens to our online persona once we pass away and the different services that exist so you can determine what happens to your Facebook/Twitter/Gmail accounts. That seems like a lot of planning and I don't know how I quite feel about planning your afterlife on the Net, but it's something to think about.

In other news, the LA Times has been running an excellent series exposing some of the darker side of LAUSD. I recommend reading all of the articles as they discuss how difficult it is for the District to fire teachers regardless of the reason (including sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior that borderlines on criminal) to what happens to teachers who are deemed unfit to be in the classroom, but cannot be fired. I know these cases are the exception to the rule in a district with tens of thousands of teachers, but it's important for the public to understand this does go on and could lead to large potential savings if dealt with properly. More than anything, I feel these articles are a wake-up call to the teachers' union that it is not just ALL the Governor, and bad administration there are things they could do to ensure this does not continue in the future.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Say it ain't so Joe...

After yesterday's turn of events, I can only imagine what it was like to be a Chicago White Sox fan in 1920 when their top player Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from baseball for life after being found guilty of throwing the World Series. Even though Manny might not have been banned for life, 50 games is no drop in the bucket. Plus, it was kind of like being told there would be no Christmas this year or that vacation hours were being canceled at work. Another friend of mine used the analogy of finding out your ex has a STI and not knowing when she/he got infected. No matter what listening to the news unfold about Manny and his suspension made me sick to my stomach. Not because the team can't win without him, and not because the season is over. Not even because I'm naive enough to believe this isn't going on throughout all of professional sports (and in a lot of Colleges), there's just too much money involved to prevent it. What really makes me bummed out is I like Manny. I like the way he winds up to bat like a caveman, slamming his black bat down at the end of the batter's diamond. I like the way he knows when he's hit it out of the park and takes a nice long look as the ball disappears into the stands. I even like those commercials and billboards proclaiming "I'm Baaccccck!".

Because in the end this is L.A. and we love superstars. We want big sports' personalities that match our egos and our self-importance. We don't want to be a team of really good rookies and few vets patched together through a relatively inexpensive team salary. It's why we loved Darryl Strawberry in right field despite his affection for illegal drugs, and why we'll never fault Gagne for taking whatever he needed to make sure it was "Game Over". It's also why this couldn't have happened to a better team, because Manny may change the dynamics of the way Dodgers will play for the next 50 games, but it won't change the team or their fans. On July 4th, Dodgertown will claim its independence not only from one player, but from the rest of the country who believed our success only depended on Mr. 99. And to that end, I'll be there still rooting for a homer from the man in dreds, because what it comes down to, he was just not savvy enough to avoid getting caught.

So tonight I return to the stadium and will not mourn Mannywood, because he didn't build that stadium or this historic run of games. No I leave that to Kemp, Blake, J. Lo, Furcal, Andre and even J. Martin to pull us out and keep us above .500. And as for Pierre I say "Vamonos Juan!"

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu, Souter and Silliness

I went on a brief trip to the Bay to visit some friends and partake in some Bacchanalian activities, but was instead forced to stay inside all weekend due to the flu. I still don't know if what I had was the infamous H1N1 virus or not, nor do I really care, because either way it was the flu which meant I had to drink lots of liquids, eat clear food and rest. Plus, seeing as the symptoms of swine flu and regular old fashioned flu are the same I don't know how one would go about determining which one they have. Unless of course everyone visits this gem of a site. There's just something about pandemic flu, that really gets my snarky, sarcastic juices flowing, or is it just that I realize how much the human race loves to blow things out of proportion? We manage to gloss over such real problems like HIV/AIDS, homelessness, or world hunger, because those are just not sexy enough and don't have such easy fixes as washing your hands, and not blatantly sneezing on people in confined spaces.

The other big piece of news is that Justice Souter is planning on retiring. He's staring down at 70 and realized he doesn't want to spend his "golden years" stuck in a stuffy black robe in D.C. And who can blame him? 19 years is a long time to spend at any job, especially one as intellectually taxing as being a Supreme. I applaud him for wanting to hangout in nature in New Hampshire. But what does this mean for the President? He has to appoint a new Justice and so early in his term. It's not a big surprise, there's been a short list floating around since the campaign and considering Specter just made the big leap to the Dems, it doesn't seem like confirmation will be difficult. But on the other hand, Obama should be careful what he wishes for, Souter was appointed by Bush the First and has been a thorn in the conservatives' side ever since. Who knew these amazing legal minds would have the nerve to think for themselves and not be swayed to party politics? I love the system of checks and balances.

Finally, just some general silliness that has been bothering me. First, the Dodgers' catcher Russell Martin has changed his jersey to read J. Martin in some sort of ridiculous homage to his Canadian roots. He has not been hitting like he used to and I'm starting to think there's some kind of bad Canadian mojo on him. If this is what happens when MLB players play in the World Baseball Classic then I say cancel it! Also, in addition to the traditional Take Me Out to the Ball game at the 7th inning stretch, there is a mandatory singing of God Bless America. I really hope this is gone soon, otherwise I'm definitely utilizing the facilities during this time. Don't mess with the 7th inning stretch, it's like apple pie and well, uh, baseball. Finally, the McCourts need to buy another two houses in Malibu, so they've shamelessly named a section of the Stadium, Mannywood which includes two tee shirts with the name splashed across it and two tickets for $99. Eee-gads, isn't it bad enough that you're insisting on calling the Stadium, Dodgertown?!