Sunday, August 31, 2014

I've Made a Huge Mistake: The Worst Ball Player of All Time Returns

On Friday, an announcement was made that rocked the sporting world to its very core. A proclamation that had people rioting in the streets in some towns where folks had a little too much time on their hands prior to the long Labor Day weekend.
                After a nearly 14-year long hiatus, one of the worst, nay THE worst baseball/softball player of all time would be returning to the field in the comeback attempt that literally no one asked for and most would have preferred to avoid.
                Myself. Me. I.
                That’s right, on Friday, I decided to pick up my glove, place it back on my head, which is where it goes if I remember my time in little league correctly and join my company softball team.
                I’ve had a powerful and wholly inexplicable hankering to get back out on the diamond in recent weeks. Part of it may stem from seeing my girlfriend coach a grade school girls softball team this past spring. Part of it may stem from seeing her play in a league of her own like two summers ago.
                So I can’t say with any level of certainty what’s driven me to this state, but I do know that even though I’ve been traditionally an at-best Hiroshima-scale disaster of a ball player, I’ve always enjoyed the idea of playing the game.
                Running around outside in nice weather. Throwing the old ball around. Swinging a bat. Munching sunflower seeds. What’s not to love?
                Just when it comes to physically trying to do those things, the wheels tend to come flying off in a spectacular display of sheer ineptitude and failure the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Judas’ ill-advised April Fool’s prank on the big J.C. all those years ago.
                My last time on an organized baseball/softball team – and for the purposes of this entry, I’m just going to go ahead and treat those two sports like they’re the same thing – came in the Spring of my 7th grade year. Or as I noted earlier, about 14 years ago.
                By then, I’d managed to suppress my natural urge to wear my glove on my head, but it hadn’t made me any better of a ball player.
                I was relegated to left field (Editor's note: I now realize I was playing right field that whole time, a good indication of my mental state/awareness during that era), which is where the coaches had correctly deduced I’d be able to do the least amount of damage. I don’t remember catching any balls that year, but if one rolled slowly my way, I did almost always manage to pick it up on the very first try.
                That uninspiring defensive effort was trumped only by my legendary lack of success at the plate. I reached base exactly two times that season. Literally every other plate appearance was a strike out or ground out.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ice, ice no money: The Burger King does the ice bucket for charity thing

Your commitment to the ice bucket challenge isn't even close to his

I’m a week into my new job but I’m not going to talk about that since this is the internet and the only thing the internet cares about right now is the ice bucket challenge.
                Well, ice buckets and Ferguson, but I can honestly say I have no idea what’s going on there because I'm a horrible person. Ice buckets, though. I’ve had my eye on those.
                In case you’ve only been following real stories which also means you probably don’t have access to the internet, the ice bucket challenge goes like this: you donate money to ALS research or you dump a bucket of ice water on your head. Then you nominate three people to do the same.
                If it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s basically just a souped-up version of this past May’s cold water challenge, which was supposed to raise money for firefighters.
                The ice bucket challenge is sort of like the “Silence of the Lambs” to the cold water challenge’s “Manhunter” in that it raised the bar astronomically, it’s way more popular and few if any folks remember that the original, the cold water challenge, was even a thing.
                I guess if we’re going to continue along with that analogy we can expect a rehashing of the cold water challenge in a few years led by Ed Norton which I will be banned from participating in due to my age. Reference explanation: Movie theater personnel wouldn’t let me see “Red Dragon” because I wasn’t old enough. My parents took me and some friends the following week.
                I was challenged to do both the ice bucket and the cold water deal.
                I ignored it when I was challenged to do the cold water challenge for a couple of reasons, none of which are that I hate firefighters. The biggest one was that I don’t like chain letters and I saw that as a live action chain letter. Instead of me forwarding your typo-filled nonsense to all of my email contacts under penalty of seven years bad luck now I have to dunk myself in cold water and force three others to do the same or risk what? Internet scorn? Not scared.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Robin Williams and the Mystery of Township Day

I almost met Robin Williams.
                It wasn’t one of those situations where he showed up at an open mic night that I was supposed to attend but didn’t because I thought one of my cats was sick but it turned out to just be a fur ball, either.
                No, this incident occurred during Township Day in my hometown about ten years ago. If you’ve not familiar, Township Day is basically a yearly picnic with games and music and clowns and so forth.
                I was probably about 16 or 17 at that point and I was halfway through my first ever summer job: a counselor for a local day camp. I’m still not the best person to have around your kids, but at that time, I was almost certainly about as low as you can get on that list without having done – or desiring to do – something illegal.
                You see, I was a bit of a weirdo. I still am, but I was moreso then. I showed up for my paying camp job with my nails painted black, anarchy logos scribbled on my “Staff” t-shirt. One day at camp, all the kids were getting their faces painted, so naturally I decided to paint mine up like Brandon Lee in “The Crow.
                The amazing thing was the kids loved me.
                I worked with two giant, fun-loving high school football players and for whatever reason the kids often seemed to gravitate away from them and towards me. That face-painting day? After I painted my face, all of the kids began to request The Crow look. The lady actually doing the face painting gave in and did it, but she refused to get too close to the kids’ eyes with the black, so it ended up looking more like they have parentheses on top of bottom of their eyes than eye liner.
                In addition to working at the camp five days a week for like two months or so over the summer, I was also required to work at the annual Township Day festivities. I was assigned to run some of the game booths and let me tell you something, I ran the poop out of those game booths.
                I was cracking wise, I was helping kids win prizes they didn’t really deserve. In short, I was doing my part to spread among the younger generation the local government equivalent of extreme nationalism with nothing more than some dime store prizes.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Leaving my job as the crowned prince of hell for greener, less fiery pastures
Wednesday will be my last day at my current job, bringing to end a three and a half year long adventure in the world of business-to-business informative writing.
                Since this was my first, honest to god, on the books job post-graduation, naturally the process of leaving has awakened many a-feelings.
                Part of me, the part that likes routine and complacency, is in a full-on panic over the prospect of leaving a job I know inside and out to do something completely different, somewhere completely different, with a lot of people I’ve either never met or have only briefly met.  
                The side of me that skews towards the negative has already began prepping itself for me to try something new, totally fail and then have to either a) go crawling back to the job I’m leaving now or b) spend the rest of my days cooking boots over open fires near train tracks.
                There is small section of my subconscious that is also super excited to try something new, but that’s the section that all of the other sections pick on and dunk in toilets. I know that section is absolutely 100% right and change is good, it’s just sometimes hard to hear the logic over all the wailing and fearful sobbing coming from the other sections.
                One area that’s been working overtime lately has been my nostalgia center. It’s gotten to the point where every time I do anything at work I think, “That might be the last time I borrow that spoon from the kitchen,” or “After this, I may never have to clean mandarin orange juice off this desk again.”
                I’ve spent a decent block of time lately thinking about all the things I’ll miss about that place: the people, parts of the job, taking walks around the building to clear my head.
                I’d go into more detail, but this is the Internet and an abundance of positivity is just about the only thing the Internet frowns on.