Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Don't Still Got It

There was a time in my life when I was considered fairly athletic. That time has passed. I played three sports in high school, one of them well enough to move on to the college level, kind of. There was a time when I would go to track practice in the afternoon, follow that up with an off-season lifting session for baseball, play a few games of pick-up basketball and still wake up at 6 the next morning feeling great, ready to do it all again. That time has passed. Now I play one 40 minute game of coed flag football and I hobble around like Kirk Gibson in the ’88 World Series for 3 days. Only with less fist pumping, except at the bar afterwards of course. PS I probably could have used a much better analogy but I wanted a reason to link to that clip, because it’s awesome.

From the age of 5 when I started playing baseball to the age of 24 I sustained exactly two injuries that required a doctor’s attention and they were both freak occurrences. The first was when I was 12 and my brother and I both went for a loose ball in my backyard and he threw an elbow knocking my bottom front tooth out. I had to have a root canal in the morning before playing in my Little League game that night, which in my opinion is pretty badass for a 12 year old. That tooth ended up being pulled 2 years later when I got braces, I was pretty pissed. I still think my brother did it on purpose also, that dick. The second injury happened when I lost a fly ball in the lights and it hit my bare hand bending my fingers in directions fingers were not meant to be bent. I thought I broke something so I went to the emergency room. Turns out it was only a “severe sprain” so the doctor tossed a splint on it told me to sit out two weeks, but I had a game the next day so I just took the splint of and batted with that finger off the bat since it wouldn’t bend. All in all in the hundreds of baseball games, track meets, cross country races, road races, and pick up games I’ve been involved in I missed a grand total of three innings due to injury.

Then this year happened. It’s like I turned 25 and became frail and brittle. You get old fast apparently. I’m a threat to fall down and break a hip at any point. So far in this calendar year I’ve pulled a hamstring causing me to have to sit out about 3 weeks, got drilled in the chest resulting in the inability to breathe with out pain for at least a week, dove and fell on my wrist, that one really sucked, I couldn’t turn a doorknob with my right hand for a while, and totally destroyed my shoulder, I can’t throw with any velocity without feeling an intense pain (this one scares me the most, I don’t want to find out what’s really wrong, I don’t like surgery). That is just the big stuff, there’s a never ending list of minor aches and pains. For example, my left big toe has been hurting for a while now, causing me to walk flat footed so I don’t bend it, this, I think, is the cause of the hip pains I’ve been feeling. What the hell happened to me, I was so glorious, now I’m a shell of my former self.

There are obvious reasons for my slow decay into unathleticism. The major one being that a year ago my new job resulted in a move from D.C., where I had easy metro access to the gym, to the suburbs of Baltimore, where I have no access to anything. Also I went from walking a half a mile to and from the metro to a job where I was on my feet all day to a job where I spend all day wallowing in front of a computer eating. I can actually hear myself getting fatter as I type this.

This is a light on the horizon though. My roommate’s girlfriend is moving in soon, signaling that it’s time for Eric to move out. The first order of business after the move is to join the gym two blocks from my new place. Then the former, in shape Eric can rejoin society saying goodbye to fat Eric forever. Well maybe not forever, but at least postponing the inevitable. Also I have a bet to win. A few months ago Jake and I got into an argument about how fast I could run a marathon. Based on past glories (see: High School) I grossly overestimated my abilities and proclaimed that I could run one in three and a half hours. Jake was so confident that I couldn’t that he bet me his house. Seriously. The problem is that he doesn’t doubt my ability to run it in that time; it’s that he thinks I’m way to lazy to ever train hard enough to achieve that goal. He’s probably right but I intend to at least try and prove him wrong. I would never actually take his house of course but I certainly would take the $1200 Frese said he would give me if I pulled it off, so get ready to pay up friends. Ok so I’ve only run approximately 10 times in the last few months, but there’s still time to turn it around.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I'm enacting a new rule of thumb effective immediately. From now I will make sure to always have a spare set of clothes at work just in case. I'll save a drawer in one of my filing cabinets specifically for this purpose, it will henceforth be known as the spare clothes drawer. I think I'll use the one that has only had a bag of Doritos in it for the last year or so.

There is a very good reason for my new rule. Generally when you show up to work late, looking like someone unleashed hell on your face, it would be helpful to not being wearing the same thing you wore to work the day before because you got to shitfaced the night before to make it home and change. Smelling like booze is not very professional. I really could've used the spare clothes drawer this morning. Now if only there was a shower at work too.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

No More Pizza

My whole world is in a tailspin today. Or do I even have a world? I'm not sure. I feel like everything I thought I used to know has been turned upside down. Up is down, left is right. What could be the cause of such inner turmoil and chaos you ask? Pluto is no longer a planet? One of the first things you learn in science class in elementary school is that there are nine planets. My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. You couldn't even read or pronounce the word mnemonic but you some mnemonic device to remember all the planets. Well moms not serving pizza ever again and frankly this upsets me. How can you just have a vote and decided to change something like that? Oh plutos is large enough to pull itself into a round object but not large enough to be called a planet. Whatever astronomer, I hope happy for ruining my childhood. Whats next, are you going to cancel Christmas?

Here's the consolation for poor old Pluto, it gets to be put into a new catergory called dwarf planets. That just seems insulting. You're a midget, you can't be a planet. Don't astronomers have better things to worry about? How about instead of having week long conferences about whether Pluto is a planet you make sure nothing crashes into Earth and wipes us out like the dinosaurs. That seems like a much better use of your time, and I'm sure most people would be very appreciative of those efforts.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

John Gibbons: American Badass

John Gibbons, manager of the Toronto Bluejays, is awesome. He has been known to describe himself as a "players manager" and loves to prove that point. It's hard to argue against him being the best manager in all of baseball today, if not the history of baseball. Lets look at the facts, after being hired as a bullpen catcher in 2002 he mediocre, I mean metoeric, rise to interim manager in 2004 after Carlos Tosca was fired. Taking over full time in 2005 he led the team to an 80-82 record. Not quite underachieving, certainly not overachieving, lets just saying achieving. This offseason general manager J.P. Ricciardi went out and spent wildly on free agents putting together a very talented team to compete with the likes of the Yankees, White Sox, and Red Sox. And Gibbons has managed the hell out of that team to the tune of 66-59, 10 out of the division, and 7.5 games out of the wild card. He seemed to be doing just enough to give the impression of improvement while still not quite living up to expectations. Some people call that underachieving, I call it a survivor. Keeping hope alive is a skill you can't learn, you just have it.

Really though it's not like you can lay any blame on John, look at the collection of pussies on his roster he has to deal with. Shea Hillenbrand, team cancer. Gibbons dealt with him the way any of the true greats would. The Bluejays have a chalkboard in the clubhouse that the players like to right jokes on from time to time. A good way to keep things light and loose in the clubhouse. After the team hit a bit of a rough patch Hillenbrand wrote, "the ship is sinking." Most would just take this for the lighthearted joke that is was. Not Gibbons. He sees through those sort of antics and knows that Hillenbrand is a team deserter, and he's not going to let that loser bring everyone else down with him. He dealt with it Gibby style by calling a team meeting, calling him out in front of everyone, and challenging him to fight. Hillenbrand naturally backs down, some might say showing a bit of maturity and professionalism. John on the other hand knows that this is the perfect motivational tool: he shows everyone whos boss, lights a fire under their asses, and proves that Hillenbrand is weak. After the that he runs Shea out of town by threatening to resign if the team doesn't trade him. Sure at the time he was hitting .300 with 12 hrs and 40 rbis but who cares the teams better off.

Now there is another incident. Ted Lilly had a bit off a rough outing yesterday. Not enjoying the way he was pitching Gibbons went out to remove him from the game. Obviously this guy knows how to deal with players, and one of those ways is to start an argument with them on the field in front of 30,000 people. Lilly fought back for a while before finally leaving the field and walking down into the tunnel to the clubhouse. John Gibbons is from Great Falls, Montana. A heartland badass like him is not going to put up with that kind of insubordination. So he followed Lilly into the tunnel and started a fist fight. Not exactly a big risk, the guys name is Lilly after all. Apparently it resulted in a bloody nose for John, but he doesn't care, it had the effect he wanted. Lilly, a very solid #3 starter, is a free agent after next year and thanks to Gibbons' mastery of player/manager relations most likely will not resign with the team.

I salute you John Gibbons, total hardass, thanks to your brash managerial style you've managed to run out of town a .300 hitter and a good starting pitcher thus ensuring that the Bluejays won't be challenging the Yankees for the division title any time soon. Job well done.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Few Other Things That Happened Recently

* Our BSSC softball team won five games this week to take home the championship. That makes two championships this year, we won football a few months ago. Apparently Don't Stop Believin' (our team name, because Journey is awesome) is the first team in the history of BSSC to win football and softball. I think that can mean only one thing; we are obviously the best athletes in Baltimore and the surrounding counties. That's the only real conclusion I can draw.

* We bet the new guy at work that he couldn't eat a Taco Bell Grande Meal for lunch. In case you were wondering what that consisted of it was 4 Original Tacos, 3 Soft Tacos, and 3 Bean Burritos. Needless to say he lost that bet. He finished 8 1/2 of the 10 items, but in the end the Taco Bell Bean Burrito is just to disgusting to ever have completed the task. We did surmise that he could put down 15 to 20 regular tacos though, which is impressive.

* I realized this week why I never played football. In the third game of our championship run I had a little colision. I hit a ground ball to the shortstop, I was hustling because I thought I could beat it out. The throw led the first baseman into the baseline and I had no time to react and ran through them. I took an elbow or shoulder square in the chest and breathing has been painful for the last few days. What I mean by that is that every time my lungs expand I feel a sharp pain in the vicinity of my heart. Not good times. I definitely bruised or possibly cracked a rib. In my defense though that was a pretty big girl playing firstbase.

* I discovered two delicious treats on Saturday that might have changed my diet forever. The first one being this. Are you serious? I love sausage, I love pancakes, and now you've combined them and put them on a stick. I can't think of anything that could be better than that. Jimmy Dean may have just changed my life forever. The other is something I can't believe I hadn't thought of before. Just think, what is the most fool proof way to take anything already totally appetizing and make it even better? Answer: deep fry it. I was watching a cooking show and the woman deep fried ravioli. That is awesome. I had to try this, and as suspected, it was divine.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Here is some things that have happened recently...

I was walking back to work from lunch yesterday and had something fun happen. I work in downtown Baltimore, we often eat lunch right in the inner harbor. There are a lot of tourists there, especially in the summer. Tourists walk very slow, often stopping at random points to look around without any regard for who is walking behind them or who they are blocking, i hate this. I walk at a fairly brisk pace, if I have somewhere to be I don't mess around, so tourists cause problems for me sometimes. On the way back to the office we get stuck behind a group of extremely slow walking people, obviously we're going to have make a pass. When we get to the point where can make this pass it happens to be the same spot in the sidewalk with two fairly large planters cause it to narrow. We can't all get through at the same time, but since we were already passing them we continue to pass (which I didn't think was in anyway rude) but since the sidewalk narrowed they had to stop for a few seconds while we went through. Did I mention that this group happened to be a group of middle age and elderly black women. Well i was the last one to walk by and I said excuse me but as I walk by I hear this, "why you stopping from a bunch of white boys, I wouldn't let no white boys through. I wish my grandson D were here so he could kick there ass." Thats a direct quote by the way. This was totally unbelievable to me. How racist is that? She wasn't mad about having to stop, we hadn't affronted her in anyway by our actions. She was just pissed that she had to stop walking at her ridiculously slow pace because of a few white people. And apparently because of our whiteness we deserved to be beat up by her all-world, ass kicking grandson D. I can't believe that there are people in the world that still think like that. I feel like there is a huge double standard in this country also, because had I turned around and told her how absurdly racist she was being it would somehow be turned around into me being racist. Oh well, when things like that happen you have to just let it go and realize it's really difficult to fight ignorance of any kind, it's something that is really independent of race.

I realize that the title of the post says things that have happened recently, it was my intention to talk about some other stuff, much lighter stuff, but I rambled on longer than I thought I would about this so I'll save it for the next post. Save you from having to read one of my way to long posts. I guess I was a little more fired up about that than I thought.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Name

I changed the title of my blog. There is no real driving reason behind it. I just didn't like the name anymore. I'm very fickle, it's a personality flaw of mine, I change my mind a lot. I still hate a lot of things, and I still enjoy talking about why I hate those things, but I didn't like the name anymore.

You're probably wondering why I chose the new name, what is the meaning of this title (actually I'm certain no one is wondering this but I think I need a second paragraph.) Well I mentioned to Mike that I wanted to change the title and asked if he had any suggestions. In usual Mike fashion he had plenty of suggestions. They all kind of sucked, which is also in usual Mike fashion. To the point were I said, "Can you just stop thinking of names, I'll think of something." That's when the lightbulb lit over my head. That's gold. It has absolutely no meaning, although I'm certain I could make up some sort of metaphor and maybe I will in the future. I just think it's kind of cool name. It sounds like something a blog should be named so I'm going with it.

Have no fear though, I may have changed the title, but with the help of Justin Timberlake, I'm still bringing sexy back.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

China Can I Talk To You For a Second

A few years ago there was a problem in a few ponds in the Crofton, MD area with the snakefish. An alien species, native to China, had invaded and was killing all the fish. My friends and I were riveted, a fish that breathes air and walks on land. What kind of magical dragon fish have you released upon us? Seeing as the snakefish can walk on land there was worry that it would migrate to other bodies of water, eventually making its way to the rivers and Chesapeake Bay. Fear of the snakefishs' effect on our fragile local environment got so out of hand the decison was made to just go ahead and poison the entire lake where the fish were spotted, killing everything. This seem to have the desired effect, quelling our concerns that the snakefish would breed like rabbits and kill every fish on the eastern seaboard.

Now this is happening. Seriously? Mitten Crabs? That doesn't even seem like a real animal, but apparently it is. The fear no is that the mitten crab population will grow eating up all the oysters and other small shellfish like ceatures and leave nothing for the precious bluecrab.

What's up China? Did Maryland offend you? If so we're sorry. Is this some sort of weird Chinese terrorism, or are you just try to mess with people. Can you please stop releasing crazy, viruslike animals in our water. We'd appreciate that. I'm not sure you realize what would happen if Maryland didn't have anymore more blue crabs. The entire state would implode. For real. That's their entire identity. I'm not kidding. You've seen Wedding Crashers, crabcakes and football, that's what Maryland does.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Let Me Tell You Why I Suck

I've discovered a new trend in my life. Well that's not true it's actually a very old trend that I just realized was happening this weekend. For lack of a better term I'm going to steal a name from Brian and call it Mack Syndrome. Mack Syndrome is when you take a perfectly good, enjoyable situation and make it suck somehow. Not sucky enough to ruin everything mind you, just enough to make it not nearly as fun as it should have been. Also by situation I don't necessarily mean big things like relationships, or jobs, or cars (although my track record with those is pretty awful too). I'm talking about smaller things like a night out, something along those lines. This weekend I was 3-3, the Mack Syndrome came into effect all 3 days.


Friday I agreed to play in a poker tournament that a coworker had put together. It seemed like a pretty good time, $50 buy-in, no-limit hold 'em tournament. He predicted there to be enough people to have a 3 table tournament meaning the prize pool would be decent. Well we got there and only 10 people showed up so instead of the tournament it was decided we would play a regular cash game. This was fine with me, I consider myself to be a pretty solid poker play, and in any regular cash I like my chances. As predicted I was doing fairly well about an hour or so into the game, I was up just about twice what I bought in for without getting any thing close to a decent hand, just outplayed a few people in a few key pots. Then Mack Syndrome kicks in. All night my left contact was really irritating my eye, and getting progressively worse because I'm an idiot and I keep rubbing it even though I've worn contact lenses for almost 10 years now and know the worst thing you can do is rub it. Eventually it gets to the point where I have to take them out becuase I can't stand it anymore, the pain is unbearable. Luckily one of the guys had an extra case to store them in, and Brian brought his glasses and he wasn't using them so I thought things would be cool. They weren't. I don't think I've ever realized how bad my vision is until now. I think Brian's glasses actually made things worse. I couldn't see a thing, I'm like Mr. Magoo blind. I had to hold my hole cards literally 2 or 3 inches from my face just to see what I was dealt. After that I was done, I couldn't even see the flops that I dealt directly in front of me. Eventually I just had to stop. Playing poker is much more visual then I thought, it's hard to get a read on someone you can't see, and it's even hard to think about your next move and the moves of others when you're constantly playing catch up because you have to have someone calling play-by-play for you just to know what is going on. Night 1 of the weekend, botched because of contacts, dagger.


On paper Saturday looked to be a perfect day. Frese got his companies' Orioles tickets for the game that afernoon. Four tickets a few rows behind home plate, pretty sweet. Add to fact that the Yankees are in town, even sweeter. My favorite team is only in town a few games a year, and I can't get to all of them, so when I get to go, for free, with some of the best seats in Camden Yards I'm pretty pumped. The weather was perfect too. It had all the makings of a good day. Three of my favorites in the world are: going to a baseball game, drinking outside on a beautiful day, and gambling. Well I already had to out of three so I thought, why not mix in the third? Mack Syndrome thats why. I actually haven't bet on sports in a fairly long time, I'd say it's been about 2 months, so I decided to reload the sportsbook.com account just to place a few wagers on the game. It couldn't have been more of a lock, the Yankees are playing well, a rookie pitcher on the mound, this will be great. Wrong. Yankees get one hit, I lose 6 seperate bets, I'm pissed, day botched, I suck. It was somewhat salvaged though by the girl at the bar later calling Frese the scum of the earth, that was funny.


Most Sunday's during the summer everyone gets together and hangs out at our friends pool. It's a great time, 15 or so friends just being lazy, playing random sports and the like. Well this one was a double Mack Syndrome. The first wasn't so much a Mack Syndrome because I think it happened to everyone. When it's been floating around 100 degrees for about 2 weeks straight the ground is going to be pretty hard. And by hard I mean like concrete. Playing soccer barefoot on said ground is not a great idea. The result is that my feet still hurt today and I have a mystery hip injury that causes me to have to use my arms to lift my leg up and put it in my pants when getting dressed in the morning. The second thing is a little more obvious if you know me. No suncreen, now I have a wicked sunburn. Which is just plain stupid, I'm a pale, Irish, super freckly, redhead, who has lived at the beach his entire life. You would think I know better at this point, and I do, I've been to the beach/slash pool a bunch of times already this summer with no sunburn to speak of. Sunday I just never even thought about it, because Mack Syndrome kicked in to cloud my thoughts.

There you have it, a whole weekend's worth of examples of my suckiness. Please don't let Mack Syndrome affect you and your loved ones.

Friday, August 04, 2006

It Speaks For Itself

Read this and then try and tell me it isn't awesome. I dare you.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


On Sportscenter this evening it wasn't mention that two brothers who recently quit the USC football team have tested positive for steriods. It's not really an earthshattering story to hear that two players that no one outside of southern California has heard of took steriods, I've seen The Program, I know what goes down. So I wondered why they bothered talking about it on Sportscenter. Then this little tidbit was thrown in, the players father is a prominent orthopedic surgeon in the area, and one of his former patients is, guess who, Barry Bonds. I loved this, Barry gets implicated in ever steriod story possible, as if he's some drug pushing mastermind whose only goal is to get as many people as he can as pumped up as possible. Like he get kickbacks from steroid manufacturers?

Subsequently I heard that Barry's wife used to babysit Justin Gaitlin, and Floyd Landis does their landscaping on the side.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Our softball team won last night, running our record to 7-1. We didn't play particularly well, committed quite a few errors, didn't really hit well at all, but none of that matters since our team is sick. If everyone on the roster could make it for all the playoffs games I don't see any reason why we wouldn't win it all. That would make for a pretty banner year for a lot of us, a quarterfinal run in the kickball playoffs, then winning the football chamionship, a softball championship would be a nice cap. Unfortunately I doubt we will have a our full squad in uniform for the playoffs considering we haven't had everyone show up to a game this year. I imagine we'll run into some problems against the stiffer postseason competition. Last nights game wasn't all positive though, there were two things that went wrong.

The first negative would be me eating it, hard. While trying to leg out a ground ball to the shortstop, I caught my foot on first base and took a bit of spill. Normally that would be just embarassing, but since we were playing on a crappy public park field that was rock soild due to the 100 degree temperature I added injury to insult. My left forearm is pretty much a streak of pus oozing out of the massive rasberry. It's pretty gross and doesn't feel that great. I did beat out the throw though so it's all good.

The second bad thing is me losing my bet to Aaron. I went 1-3 in the first game of the season and Aaron got all high and mighty, thinking he was awesome/better than me, so I bet him that I wouldn't record 5 more outs during the regular season. This was a pretty ambitious, and wholly unrealistic goal, but I really wanted to beat Aaron. And I almost did (we only had 1 more game left this season) but it at all ended last night. It shouldn't really count because 3 of those 5 outs were line drives that were smoked right at an infielder, and only getting 5 outs in 4 games is pretty solid I think, even if it is softball, but I let him have this one. I'll just continue to make fun of him for how many passes he dropped during the football season.