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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Latina Fetish

I've always had a thing for latinas.

There was something about the roll of the "r." Or about the skin and thick curly hair.
Or about the way everything sounds sexier in Spanish, even if they're cussing out your
mother. (Go ahead, ask a Spanish girl to do it. I'll wait.)

I was listening to my mp3 player on the drive home from work, and finally -- finally --
I realized the source.

Yes, that makes me cheesy. I'm a huge fan, always have been. Don't get me wrong, I
know she's married, and by now she's in her late 50's. But she still looks like this:

Thanks to her, I've dated a lot of latinas. I've openly stated that I would lick Salma
Hayek's shadow off a hot sidewalk. A lot of old girlfriends were pissed at me for
that. But I'm saying. I've had her image burned into my head since I was five. Can
you blame me?

All seriousness now, I have to say I have nothing but respect and admiration for
everything the woman has accomplished. I mean, she had a very successful decade in the
90's after she BROKE HER BACK and was told she would NEVER WALK AGAIN. Props to the
ever-lovely, ever youthful Gloria Estefan. Buy her new album.

People aren't always what we think they are...

I never would have believed it, but there's a mildly compelling argument that my favorite ballplayer is a major league douche.

I went to a ballgame with my brother and his wife, an awesome experience in a pretty cool ball park.  Now I'll leave out the particulars (names, places, etc.) so as to not put anyone on blast -- Lord knows I don't want to influence negative opinion on this dude, or the team -- but the people who know me best will know the whos, whats and wheres of this little story.  We went to pregame batting practice, and as my team was the visiting squad, we were fortunate enough to come in after the home team did their thing.  Players took batting practice, fielding practice, stretched and whatnot, generally giving the fans a show.  As they returned to the dugout they were showered by the screams of the fans that came to see them on the road, as well as the requests of autograph seekers.  As always with this kind of situation, some requests are more obnoxious than others and I'll be the first to admit that upon entering the ball park, my inner 12 year-old came out and I was easily one of the more obnoxious fans.  Some players stopped and acquiesced to the wishes of these autograph seekers, stopping for 20, maybe 30 minutes and signing literally hundreds of baseballs, programs, ball caps, even t-shirts.

One player in particular, my favorite, was conspicuous by his absence in the autograph session.  now of course, the more obnoxious adult fans like myself deserve to be ignored by these guys.  However, children -- actual 12 year-olds in some cases and in most cases much more tolerable than myself -- were also denied this player's attention, save for the one kid he flipped a baseball to.  He ignored them for the most part.  No signatures.  no high fives with the kids.  Nothing.  It shocks me because this sort of thing is in direct contrast with public perception, that of the very approachable, seemingly nice-guy superstar.

I don't claim to know what goes on in this man's personal life, nor do I care.  Quite frankly, the daily life of most athletes does nothing for me, and my only interest in them is in their ability to entertain me with their talents and to further the goals of the team I follow.  I don't know if he's a nice guy -- I mean, he may just be -- and honestly, that sort of thing doesn't concern me.  And it is perfectly within his right to ignore fans.  He is, after all, preparing to go to work.  It's just that I didn't expect the indifference to children.  I mean, there was one kid in particular, confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, who was collecting autographs from both teams, even the scrubs.  This ballplayer walked right by him.  It didn't make me rage against the guy, but it did make me say "huh."

It doesn't change my opinion of the guy.  He's still a phenomenal talent, and I would still trade my best 24 hours for his worst.  I just don't expect him to kiss babies.

And who knows, maybe I'm just annoyed because my team lost.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Best Revenge/RIP Andy Whitfield

Before I begin, I must over a very strong RIP for Andy Whitfield, star of the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand.  I was a huge fan of the show, and quote many Spartacus-isms in my own speech ("Gratitude." "Apologies."  "Take hold of your c**k and be a man!").  He attained the success we all want in the final years of his life, and will always be remembered as the iconic character for our age.  Cold beers in the air, have one for the road.  May you kick ass with double swords in the afterlife.


I no longer live in fear.

This may have as much to do with the fact that I no longer live and work in New York as it does with the fact that there is nothing more the terrorist threat can do to me, but I am no longer afraid.  Perhaps that is the best revenge.  I don't worry about the next hijacked plane, or flying again, or any of it.  I've already looked into the eye of the storm.  I know what's there.  and it's not so scary when you've already seen it.

I was scared ten years ago.  The World Trade Center was my favorite landmark in my favorite city, and seeing it in rubble was deeply scarring.  Same as anyone, there are things I saw, smelled and felt that will be with me the rest of my life.

I remember the footprint my size thirteen Nike made in the wet ash along Rector and West, two blocks away from the towers.  I recall the first time the N train passed Cortlandt Street/WTC station, and how everyone got silent, as if the next move someone would make would bring the whole thing crashing down on their heads.  I remember seeing the iconic shot of the arches alone the entrance way, broken and on its side, atop all the rubble and burning stuff.  The smell of burning glass and steel, with a hint of charred human flesh. The dust on all the windows.  The posters.  All of it is so very easily recalled.  I wonder if this is what the people who talk about the Kennedy assassination mean when they say they know where they were.

I do not live in fear however.

I refuse to live in fear anymore.

I will never forget, and I will never again fear.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First days of Fall/Black dude singing country

Okay, I hate to admit it, but I was the weirdo that absolutely loved the first day of school.

Back home, the air had a certain smell to it.  Leaves started to change colors, and the big yellow cheese buses rolled by with much more frequency.  Early-morning and late afternoon chatter of children seemed to highlight the weekdays.  My favorite season was rolling in, and it was in this in-between time during the first few weeks of school that I absolutely loved life.  I mean, sure homework got old before the calendar turned to October, but the first few weeks of September always had and always will have a sensation of newness to it.

And then there's baseball.

Over the last decade and change, I've come to view playoff baseball as my natural-born right, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, the Yankees are once again poised for an October run (eat it, Mets fans!).  The years in which the Yanks go deep into the playoffs always seem shorter than the ones in which the get sent home from the dance early.  No matter when it's over, the first few days of fall always seem to gear up that sense of anticipation in me.

I anticipate good things for the rest of this year for my friends, my family, and myself.  It seems like that last barrier that a lot of people that surround me have is about to break.  I can feel it for others because I see it coming for me as well.  Let's make this Fall a classic, shall we?


The other night, I reminded myself why I stopped drinking.

Monday night was karaoke night in a local bar, and for some god-unknown reason I felt it was appropriate to make my singing debut.

Thankfully, though, due to the fact that there was no appropriate recording device, I will not post the video evidence of my interpretation of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."

Either my best friend was looking out for me, or he wasn't.