Tuesday, October 28, 2008


“ ‘Remember when...’ is the lowest form of conversation” Tony Soprano

It’s been almost a month since I have posted my last blog. Not for lack of effort; I have sat down five or six times and attempted to write a music blog. I have tried different styles: an analysis of the “Recently Added” playlist on my iPod as an insight to my soul; my love letter to Hip Hop; my confession of unlikely songs that I listen to (notable mentions were Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” and Tori Amos’ “Leather”); I even watched Almost Famous for inspiration. But lord help me, none of them were very good.

Meanwhile my sister has outperformed me by writing 5 blogs about such interesting topics as text message etiquette, hostile bread baking, her friend Katie, light-bulbs and ex’s, and her various phases (For those who read that blog, I would like to state for the record that I had a better name for her “angry female singer-songwriter phase” I called it the “Anorexic Hippie Chick Rock Phase”, and whether it was the Anorexic Fiona Apple or the Curvaceous Jewel, if it was chick rock it was lumped in the category).

Either way, I need to step my game up and write a blog.

Gabi suggested I use a childhood memory to spark inspiration. Which got me thinking about all of the memories I have created. These are the PG-13 edition of some of the best memories I’ve ever had.

There was the most I’ve ever tortured my sister; which was actually accidental. I was five years old, and we were on vacation in Lake Tahoe. In the middle of the night I had to pee really badly. I got up in the dark and tried to navigate through the first hotel room I’ve ever been in. After five minutes, my bladder began to win the battle, so I opened the first door I found and let it go. That door happened to not be the bathroom, but the closet containing my sister’s suitcase. The rest of the trip was less than pleasant for her.

There was my first bad experience with alcohol. I went to my friend Myk’s house on a saturday night when I was 16 years old. Myk’s mom Kathy was out; not out of town, simply out. Myk, Adam, Eli and I deemed this to be the perfect opportunity to consume a handle of Ancient Age whiskey along with the pizza that Kathy bought us. Around 10:30 Kathy returned to us playing Madden 2001 and trying to act sober, which we pulled off until the alcohol kicked in for me. I was on the top bunk about to throw up and I couldn’t find anywhere to let it go, so I let it go on the first place I could find (I’m sensing a theme here)...on Eli’s Head. However, being the clever boys we are, we were able to convince Kathy that we hadn’t been drinking, that I was lactose intolerant and had a bad reaction to eating too much pizza. Whenever I went to Myk’s house from then on, Kathy warned me not to overeat every time we got pizza.

Trying to find a moment alone with Shan during a party at Oceana's house, only to have my friend Mike walk in, laugh, and announce to the party loudly “Jeremy’s getting his ***** S*****!!!!!!”.

The Friday Morning Club and sending my mom the infamous text.

Chasing Adam around Oceana’s house yelling “I got it in my holster!” only until Jolinda saw us and said “You better put it back!”

An interesting breath holding contest in Myk’s hot tub.

LP3...If you want to know what that is, ask me, it's not fit for print.

Shan’s parents finding out we were having sex, and taking me out to Applebee’s and surprising me by saying, “We think you’re too young, but don’t worry we’ll raise the baby while you are at college.”

Breaking up with Shan a week later.

Going to Orientation for college, and my mom picking me up on DP while disposing of a bowl of my own vomit.

Discovering how easy girls at UCSB are with the douchiest line I’ve ever uttered: “Hey baby do you want to bake a pie for me?” Response: “Ohhhh my god! I am such a good cook!”

Moving in with a skinny, long-haired kid from the Valley named Aaron Schiff.

Irish Girls.

Tijiuana with the Rugby Team.

Rosarito with the Rugby Team.

Tijuana with Ese and Josh.

Rosarito with the Frat.

Ese begging me to go with him to the Neverland Ranch following the Michael Jackson verdict.

Votto the Pizza thief: "Do I even know YOU?"

One word: Cowden.

Keefer’s 21st birthday. And the subsequent drunken, all-male shirtless dance party that resulted.

Working at Michael Jordan’s Flight School, and how it changed my life.

Graduating College, yet having one last gasp by living in the frat house with all of the freshman.

While working for a touchy-feely non-profit in college, I was praised by my boss Jordan for my ability to create memories. I didn’t fully grasp it at the time, but looking back I have had some incredible memories with my friends. The Tony Soprano quote is the sentiment of a man who is coming to grips with the fact that he has peaked. Well to quote Dennis Reynolds “I haven’t even begun to peak”. Maybe I’ll feel different when I get that age, but for now I am going to look back fondly at all my memories, and use them as inspiration, along with my friends, and usually some Patron shots, to create new and better ones.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Because that's what fans do....

This weekend was by far the best weekend of my life.

A lot of S’s in my weekend.

My weekend contained: Super Mario Kart live on the Streets of San Francisco, my friend June’s boyfriend Sean, my Sister, a Sista, Seagram's 7 Swigged Straight out of the bottle by my mother, the Simpson’s arcade game, the Simpson’s Season premiere, Strawberry cake, and most significantly Sports.

(Also not fitting the alliteration Credit Card Roulette, Pork Chops, the Dirty Bird, and Burn Before Reading).

This weekend, I got to go see my two favorite sports teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Raiders with two of my favorite people in the world my Dad and my best friend Adam.

If you can’t tell where this is going, this blog is going to be me doing my best impression of Bill Simmons before Boston started winning every damn sport there ever was. But as this is my writing, its going to be about the Bay Area.

Yes, this was pretty much a perfect weekend. Except for one thing.

My two favorite sports teams lost in possibly the most painful way ever.

The Giants game was what the weekend was scheduled around. Ever since I was a kid, going to Giants games have been a bonding experience my dad and me. When I was young we’d brave the cold at Candlestick Point whenever he got tickets and I’d watch Will Clark and Glenallen Hill hit dingers. I have fond memories of Matt Williams starting a fight after swinging on an 3-0 pitch making it the 2nd year in a row that there was a bench clearing brawl at “Til There’s a Cure Day”. Then, once Pac Bell/SBC/AT &T Park opened, he got season tickets and there was nothing I looked forward to more than watching games, heckling visiting batters and stuffing my face with Shaboygen Brats, Krispy Kremes, and root beer or once I turned 21, over-priced cups of Gordon Biersch. I even went to Game 4 of the 2002 World Series, an exciting win before the epic collapse.

So why was this Giants loss so painful?

The Giants lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1. Matt Cain pitched a good game, but he was given terrible run support. As someone who grew up during the Barry Bonds Era (and I support him 100 % but that’s another blog), zero run support was never in our vocabulary. As long as Bonds was in the lineup, we knew that run support was coming. Say what you want about steroids, watching a player like Barry Bonds was an exciting experience that we in the Bay Area are lucky to have experienced. Seeing the Giants as a limp offensive team is like seeing Muhammed Ali get knocked out by Larry Holmes, sad and confusing.

That wasn’t the saddest thing though.

It was sad because it didn’t feel like a Giants game. I felt like I was at a Dodgers Game.

The crowd was 1 Dodgers fan for every 2 Giants fans but they were cheering like it was a 5 -1 Dodgers to Giants fan ratio. I was bombarded with chants of “Let’s Go Dodgers” and it made me sick. When I heard this I would boo and eventually a weak “Beat LA” chant would get going, but it was ineffective. The Dodger’s fans dominated the crowd and it was disgusting because they came into our house and they got away with it.

Afterwards, my dad has a simple but sad explanation for it:

“The team hasn’t been performing, and the fans are deflated and less enthusiastic because of it.”

That may be true. But c’mon Bay Area, where is the swagger? No matter how the team is performing, that is your team! You have got to go hard for your team when you are in the stadium. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S A RIVAL GAME!!!!! It’s just a point of pride.

This was not the issue at the Raiders game. Say what you want about the Raider Nation. You will never be able to criticize them for being a meek crowd. The Raider’s fans were going nuts throughout the entire game, and it was awesome.

No, what happened this week was the same thing that happened last week. The Raider’s lost, and they lost in the most heartbreaking way because they made me think they were going to win.

The Raiders defense was absolutely dominant...for 3 quarters.

They chewed up the clock, played the field position game, and were able to make up for their lack of any semblance of a passing game....for 3 quarters.

They made me think that they had corrected mistakes of the week before and there was some chance that they could be better this year.

Then the 4th quarter started...and it just all went to hell.

The defense caved

They let LT run like he was LT.

And the offense still sucked.

And they lost 18-28.

As we filed out of the Stadium, I let out a deep sigh, and looked so noticably sad, that a couple I don’t know came up to me.

Man: “Man, you took that hard.”

Me: “I made the classic mistake, I thought it might be different this time”

Man: “Don’t worry brotha, it will get better. It was nice having Lane Kiffin as our coach”.

As this guy correctly predicted, Al Davis did the Al Davis thing, and he fired Lane Kiffin today. And I am just sick. Al Davis is singlehandedly fucking up the team and I think it trickles down.

The cycle goes like this:

Al Davis is old. Super old. And he wants to “Just Win, Baby” before he dies. Understandable. He also has dated ideas about how the game is played, again understandable because he is old as fuck.

So he spends too much money on one-dimensional players and the team sucks. The team then gets high draft picks, who have potential, but he doesn’t let them develop and they burn out. He then pressures everyone, starters, coaches, waterboys, and no one wants to play for the organization. So we continue to suck.

As we were walking out, buzzed from over-priced stadium beer, providing analysis of the Raider's situation to each other in a manner similar to the previous paragraph only in a more spiteful and profane manner. Adam said something a little bit inspiring.

“The Raider Nation will never die.”

This served as a stunning counterpoint to my experience at the Giants game. Both of these games were rivalry games, which despite the futility of both teams should have mattered. It did for the Raiders, it didn’t for the Giants. And it was disheartening.

It doesn’t matter though. No matter how bad these teams get. I will still be there, stuffing my face, over-paying, and most of all enjoying my team with the ones I love.

Because that is what fans do.