Friday, July 29, 2011
I love ball parks. I have books about ball parks. There's nothing like a ball park, an old ball park. You know, the kind of ball park where you have to walk up the cow chute and see the fresh grass when you emerge. That sight is as good as it gets. And that sight is disappearing as these new ball parks spring up.
The cookie cutter ball parks built in the 70's were hideous concrete tombs. Three Rivers, Veterans, Riverfront, Busch, The Metrodome, The Kingdome, Fulton County were all spawns of hell. Shitholes. They destroyed the baseball experience. Oh, they were fine for football since most football fans are closet fascists bent on jailing anybody to the left of Ayn Rand (look it up gridiron guy).
But a couple of places from the past remain. Wrigley Field is one of them. I haven't been to Wrigley Field for a ball game since the early 1990's. Back before the 1984 season it was easy to walk up to the ticket window on gameday, plunk down $5 and sit by the bullpen and chat with the relief pitchers. I once bought Dickie Noles a hot dog while Lee Smith blocked Manager Charlie Fox's view from the Cubs dugout when I gave it to him. There ya go, a good 1983 Cubs reference. Nowadays, it'd cost ya $100 to sit there, and you'd be stuck next to some "young professional" eating sushi and sipping a nice merlot. Fuck that.
We went to Wrigley on Sunday and sat in seats normally reserved for poor people. High up and on the aisle under the overhang out of the sun. Heaven! For $50 each, it oughta be heaven. Oh it was. Old Style Beer, Vienna hot dogs, and baseball in a stadium built in 1914. 23 skidoo this was the bees knees! All we needed was Rudy Vallee shouting Go Cubs Go from a megaphone.
The game, ah who cares. The Cubs won in 10 over the Astros. The two worst teams in baseball duking it out into extra innings at a 97 year old neighborhood baseball park. A yawner to you football folks. The best day ever for us national pasttime people. But it's not the same as when I was younger because the Cubs have become trendy and the ownership couldn't care less if they win or not because 40,000 idiots will show up to see the Astros, a team nobody should want to watch. The place only holds 40,000 so what is the incentive to win? None. No wonder it's been 103 years since that team has won a World Series.
But I have to admit. Wrigley is falling down. The cement is old and cracked. The bathrooms still have troughs. But it's still Wrigley Field, the place my Dad took me in 1964 for my first major league ball game. A moment that hooked me for a lifetime.
Hey, the new ball parks are super. Target Field is the best stadium I've ever been in. The remodeled Kauffman Stadium In KC is wonderful. Our new stadium here in Omaha is phenomenal. Saw Journey there two weeks ago. But nothing will ever ttop Wrigley Field, if for no other reason than it reminds me of the July day in 1964 that Dad took me and my brother to see the Giants. Thanks, Dad.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Faith is a very personal thing. It's just that, faith, usually unrewarded but still an important part of human existence. Faith in God, or Jesus, or Allah, or The Chicago Cubs. It's really all a waste of time but come on, who wants to believe in nothing?
Somewhere outside Green Bay lies some out of the way burgh called Champion, Wisconsin or New Franken, Wisconsin or Al Franken, Wisconsin and for some reason, The Virgin Mary decided to appear here back in 1859 to some little girl from Belgium. Well that's the Vatican's story and they're sticking to it.
We visited this little place last weekend. Me for my I'll do anything once attitude and Max's Mom's I'm living with this agnostic idiot and maybe I can save his soul attitude. Pulling into this gravel parking lot at the Our Lady of Good Help, I fully expect my 20/seeing eye dog sight to immediately become 20/15. Unfortunately my faith went unrewarded. But I did find a bathroom off to the side. Small victory.
Just as we went into the small church to check it out, yep, Mass began and I was stuck there for the first time in months. You see, despite my 12 years of Catholic education, I got over it about a month after I got out of it and I only attend Mass when somebody dies, a child gets confirmed, or I really really want to get out of the house for an hour.
I can tell the Catholics are still all hung up on that fetus worship because they mentioned it numerous times. At the end of the Mass, in the true Catholic tradition, they attempted to guide you not to a better life by serving others, but to the gift shop. Chaaaaa ching!
The gift shop, you know, the place where the mother of Jesus took time out of her busy day back in 1859 to scare the shit out of a little Belgian girl, was full of Chinese made statues and cards and books and a pile of anti abortion bumper stickers so high it may have been what Mary ascended back into heaven on.
To the "crypt". This is the place where Mary actually showed up. In the basement of a church? Surrounded by candles and plastic rosaries which can be yours for only a dollar. I lit a candle for both my deceased parents though my Mom may have been screaming at me from the great beyond to not bother. My Dad may have appreciated it, especially if he hasn't been sprung from Purgatory yet. Hey, I'm hedging my bets, folks. It only cost me a couple of bucks. The beer at Titletown and the slot machine at the Oneida casino cost me twenty times that much an hour or two later when in the fine Irish Catholic tradition we went from kneeling and worshipping the Lord to furiously drinking and gambling. Thanks, Mary!
No,as I said, faith is your own personal superstition, errrrrrr, belief. Whatever brings you peace in this world is a-ok with me. I wish I had that blind allegiance to something that makes no sense. Like rooting for the Bears. But Our Lady of Good Help, the only place in North America where Mary visited, other than under a bridge in Chicago or a tortilla in Mexico, is a peaceful enough place. It was quiet and it was interesting to flash back to the 60's and see the old school Catholic women with head covers and ten kids.
Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin. Hey it's cheap entertainment. Thanks for comin', Mary!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I am so sick of this debt ceiling shit I packed up the Prius and left town to the garden spot of the nation. Green Bay, Wisconsin. Why Green Bay? Don't ask. Hey, its on the way to Chicago if you're directionally challenged.
The family has always wanted to see Green Bay, well at least one of us did. So off we went to Scott Walker's coming hell hole. Wisconsin.
The drive to Green Bay is just about the longest 12 hours you can ever spend for no payoff. Stuck in a Prius (46 MPG yay!!) and in an endless loop of cornfields and windmill farms is really not what Henry Ford had in mind. He was more the Hitler was great guy type. But after 12 hours and about 16 Mountain Dews, we arrived in the city by the bay!
Oh I kid Green Bay. It was a perfectly fine town. In the summer, all two months of it.
For all my doubts about what lay ahead in upper Wisconsin, I gotta say. The people in this city by the bay are the friendliest people I've ever encountered. Gawdam, they make Minnesota Nice look like Satan's workshop. These folks were cheery as all hell. It made me uncomfortable. What exactly ARE they up to???
A trip to Green Bay has to include a tour of that huge stadium on Lombardi Avenue and Oneida that houses the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, otherwise known in Chicago as we found out later, the Green Gay Fudge Packers. Chicago has a lot of class. Green Bay residents would see that and say oh you darn Bears fans, to heck wit all of you and dat is kinda funny.
YOu pay your $19 to see the Packer Hall Of Fame and the tour of the stadium. It was a fun time. I know I'm a Bears fan and I'm supposed to piss on the Lambeau frozen tundra, but it was impossible to hate these people. They were constantly telling you that bullshit story of how the citizens of Green Bay "own" the team and they are just the poor little team down the street with the used equipment and how Packer women have weddings at the stadium and how hard it is to "compete" with Ziggy Wolf and the McCaskeys. You almost forget they WON THE FUCKING SUPER BOWL! I fell for all of it. They take you into the bowels of Lambeau and lead you through the tunnel that the players use to run onto the field complete with fake crowd noise. God this is cheesy. Get it? Haha. You shout Go Pack Go and hear the echos. You see Packer fanatics kissing the field. You see a luxury box (the crappiest seats in the house by the way) and you buy into the whole Packer nonsense. My Dad would have loved every second of it being one of those Packer lunkheads. I hope he was watching.
So there ya go. We wanted to go to the City By The Bay and we did. Just in the wrong direction I guess.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Eric Cantor is a complete fraud. While this nerd is fucking with the nation by pontificating on debt limits and spending cuts and insisting on protecting his corporate and wealthy masters, what is really going is obvious. Eric Cantor is interested in one thing and one thing only. Eric Cantor.
Eric Cantor, aka Millhouse Cantor, wants John Boner's job as Speaker of the House and will do anything, including turning the United States of America into the world's biggest deadbeat dad. What a tool. Now I have no love for the Boner, trust me, but the Boner needs to man up and hang this pencil necked geek from the Capitol flagpole, take him down and present him to some dimwitted constituent as a souvenir. If the Boner doesn't, he deserves to get sand kicked in his red face.
This whole deficit thing is such bullshit. It doesn't take fucking economic whiz kid to figure this out. The humongous deficit began about 10 years ago when after being left a surplus by the Big Dog, President Nitwit proclaimed something about "eh eh eh if there's a surplus, yer payin to much in taxes, eh eh eh" and proceeded to ramrod a huge tax cut through the Republican controlled Congress cutting taxes for everybody. You know, $100 for you, $100 million for me and my friends. That's fair, right? Well it is to the Republicans and their useful idiots, otherwise known as $35K a year Republicans. The deficit grows and grows and grows and jobs grow and grow and grow, in China, Vietnam and anywhere else American "job creators" can get away with slave labor and unregulated squalor.
This policy continues for 10 years and the current band of Kochsuckers, along with a pussy whipped band of Democrats unwilling to stand up to their abusers, want this to continue because its working so well. You have to be a complete imbecile, a complete liar, or a complete self centered opportunist like Millhouse Von Cantor to buy into this economic carnage.
Go ahead Republicans. Bring the hammer down on the United States in your blatant attempt to get that black guy out of your White House. It's not going to happen, the default thing. Only the most rabid of moon bayers would want default and the utter destruction it would bring. Only the most irresponsible oafs would work to ruin an economy the world looks to for guidance. Only the most anti-American traitors would work to give China the #1 spot. But there they are. The 2011 Republican Party. Moon baying irresponsible traitors. Who would have ever thought one skinny black man would cause such self destructive behavior? To paraphrase Samuel L Jackson, I'm sick of these motherfuckin Republicans in my mutherfuckin country!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Did anybody change the password after Glenn Beck left the building? Did Sean Hannity just tweet normally? Was O'Reilly trying to impress Ann Coulter with his technological expertise? Is Bret Baier gunning for Beck's old slot? Was it Weiner's hackers who broke through the Fox News security? How tough is it to crack the "fuckobama" password everybody uses to tweet at Fox? How many Fox News viewers popped open a PBR when that one came through? Is Andrew Breitbart accounted for and under what barroom table was he found? Is Judge Andrew Napolitano readying a defense for the "shooter" already? Is Jared Loughner really pissed? Did Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson finally lock lips? Has Steve Doocy finished looking up the word "assassinated"?
And finally, Fox News keeps its 100% error rate intact!