Still waiting on Frito Lay

Short story shorter: Truck carrying tens of thousands of pounds of ice cream overturns on Metro Atlanta highway.

I don’t really know why these stories amuse me so much, but add ice cream to the buffet of carnage that has occurred on Metro Atlanta highway intersections over the span of the last 12 months.

With turkeys, hams, eggs and beer already accounted for, and dessert now added to the list, I still contest that the roads are still awaiting a good accompanying food, like some chips or maybe a produce truck full of potatoes or something, and then we can call it a party.

That being said, not that I want to hear about people incurring serious injuries or anything, but I think I’m going to subconsciously be wishing that any Frito Lay or snack company’s trucks I see on the highways, meet some unfortunate conflicts with physics and gravity within the next month.

Derailing tradition, much to my dismay

Well, if I felt that my recent lack of angst and anxiety were reason for having difficulty finding things to write about, consider it my brog’s lucky day as both angst and anxiety have returned with but just a few mere phone calls with my family, to put me back in a state of mind where I want to vent to people around me, but don’t really want to burden anyone, so it turns into ultimately a great big vomiting of words onto whomever wishes to read them.

I won’t get into extensive detail, but I’ve made no secret about my parents getting divorced, and as much as I’d have hoped it would have been an amicable and clean separation, naturally it was and is not, and suddenly my plans over the Thanksgiving break that I had leisurely looked forward to have turned into a period of time in which I am basically dreading.

Why?  Because I’m going home for Thanksgiving.

I do not have any genuine problems with my family and extended family, but there’s no denying that I’m kind of a black sheep in the family by proxy of my choice of career, general life’s choices, the fact that I live far away, and that I’m the youngest of my generation that is still unmarried and therefore has to have his life in disarray.  Needless to say, I’m often prime target for lectures, unwanted advice and prayers, and criticism in general, all things that I really don’t ever want to listen to.

Such are large contributors to why I’ve generally had an aversion to going home for the holidays, because it just seems like everything’s going to be a greater headache than something enjoyable.

However, another large contributor to why I’ve not gone home for the vast majority of past Thanksgivings is that I’ve basically got my own annual Thanksgiving holiday traditions established, and I don’t have any need to go anywhere.

Our doors open up for those friends and acquaintances of Jen and myself who are in a similar boat and live in the greater Atlanta area devoid of local family, whether by proximity or choice, and we have a massive Thanksgiving dinner like the vast majority of Americans.  But instead of judgment, pissing contests and lectures, it’s a more relaxed atmosphere of food, board games, and trashy television.

And then the remainder of the evening, into the AM hours is typically spent doing shitloads of online shopping and/or strategizing braving the nightmarish battlefields of retail for Black Friday.  Usually, thanks to the advancement of online shopping, I can tackle some of the big ticket things I want to purchase online, leaving the actual Black Friday itself for Jen and I to go out and leisurely clean-up duty of retailers, and seeing what’s left from the ransacked shelves and racks of clothing stores and random miscellaneous shops.

Capitalistic?  Sure.  But it’s still something I’ve enjoyed doing over the last few years, and something that I’m actually quite sour about knowing that I’m going to have to forego it this year.  I typically purchase a lot of clothing and accomplish a good bit of Christmas shopping during this time as well.  I’m still likely to be glued to my tablet or laptop on Thanksgiving, but Black Friday itself isn’t looking too promising for my agenda.

It’s the fact that I’m kind of being forced to walk away from my traditions and into a proverbial wolves’ den is what makes me upset the most.  My family is my family and I have unconditional love for them sure, but the circumstances this time around are not necessarily the most appealing, and despite the fact that I will still be going up, it will be under obvious protest.

MLB sucks, too

Piggybacking on to the thoughts about how the Braves suck and how I now hate them, I remembered something over the weekend that drew a little bit of ire and angst that felt like it could ignite some words to be blurted out onto the ‘ol brog.

Long story short, a team consisting of 90% B-team Major League Baseball scrubs got no-hit in a game against a team of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball all-stars.

Let me rephrase this: MLB All-Star team gets no-hit by NPB All-Star team.

Now let me rephrase it again to be more accurate:  MLB scrub team gets no-hit by NPB All-Star team.

Suffice to say, this is something that should be perceived as absolutely embarrassing.  If I were the NPB All-Stars, I wouldn’t even take joy in this beyond the fact that they pitched a combined no-hitter, because even they had to realize that they were playing against MLB’s B-squad.

I can’t say that I’ve been a real follower of the MLB vs. NPB series that occurs every two years, but I can’t imagine that there’s much debate that this is something that MLB excel in, given the fact that baseball was invented in America, despite Japan’s general dedication and advancement in the game, throughout history.  The numbers back up this claim too, as MLB has gone 15-6 against NPB over the last ten years, excluding this iteration of the series.

Basically, for all intents and purposes, MLB should be winning these series with regularity; provided they don’t get so arrogant and send a roster full of B-scrubs, and take it with a modicum of seriousness and nationalistic pride.

Unfortunately, MLB didn’t get that memo, and sent a squad full of B-scrubs, and the inevitable happened.  At the time I’m writing this, MLB finally won one of the five scheduled games, but sits at an embarrassing 1-3 against the NPB All-Stars, including the one game in which they got you know, no-hit.

This is basically the 2004 US Olympic Basketball team all over again, where they cobbled together a group of random NBA players and told them to go bring home the gold medal, but completely didn’t account for the fact that around the world, national teams have been practicing and working together, and were growing less and less afraid of the big bad American basketball juggernaut, and completely embarrassed themselves on a global stage.

The MLB “All-Stars” completely figured they could throw whatever MLB scrubs they could find onto a 25-man roster, and compete against NPB’s All-Stars, who actually take this shit seriously, since it’s the perfect stage for them to try and upset the big bad Americans.

And not only did they succeed this time, they also had a giant fuck-you moment, when they no-hit the MLB B-squad.

Man, MLB sucks.  There’s a reason why I’ve grown to like the minor leagues more than the major leagues, and it’s shit like this that sure as hell doesn’t help the cause for MLB’s supposed superiority in the Great American Game that the Japanese are determined to become better at than us.

I think I hate the Braves now

Impetus: The Braves trade homegrown superstar outfielder Jason Heyward to the Cardinals for pitcher Shelby Miller.

Sports fans are fickle creatures.  Some let every single action determine every single mood they have.  Some let the outcome of every single game determine whether or not the remainder of the day or week is worth being chipper or sore about.  Then there are others, like me, that like to believe that they’re capable of viewing sports fandom in a more comprehensive and big picture kind of way, and do their best to maintain a façade of indifference and maintain a cool head to no matter what happens, because we silently have the teams that we support and cheer for, in the privacy of our own homes.

Over the span of the last eight years or so, I think I’ve been every possible sports fan, especially when it came to baseball.  There was a time when I watched every single pitch in every single game I could, and my mood would elevate and deflate with every called strike, force out, double play hit into, and of course, every run scored.  When the Braves won, I was relieved, and sometimes happy.  When they lost, I was miserable and crabby.

Then came a period of time in which such things didn’t bother me as much, and ultimately all I really wanted was to see the Braves win games.  Who was on the roster began to concern me less, as long as they contributed something, whether it be stellar offense, solid defense, or even being a mentor on the bench and helping create the myth known as “team chemistry.”  Sure, this didn’t mean I was devoid to the emotional roller coasters such as the retirement tours of Braves legends like Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones, but ultimately, I just wanted to see the Braves succeed, and fantasized about what it would be like to live in a world where the Atlanta Braves were world champions.

Eventually, my general fandom of baseball has waned throughout more recent years, and I’ve gone to referring to myself as the “worst baseball fan on the planet.”  I watch fewer games, attend even less, and have prioritized collecting baseball bobbleheads over just about anything else other than my ultimate pursuit of visiting all 30 MLB ballparks, and as much minor league baseball as possible in between.  However, amidst this stretch of supposed ambivalence, I’ve still been able to maintain that I was a Braves fan, and I still enjoyed wearing my Braves cap whenever I visited new parks, and kept an ear to the ground at what the Braves were doing, and what their chances were to make, and ultimately fall out of the playoffs each successive year.

However, over the course of the last year, the Braves have made it really, really difficult for me to continue liking them.  I get that when the day is over, baseball is still a business, and businesses’ goals are ultimately to make money, but I’m also in this naïve old school camp that believes that business can successfully be conducted with a modicum of integrity that doesn’t leave people scratching their heads and thinking “was that a scumbag move?

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Part social grace, part opportunity

With the velocity of a Jamie Moyer fastball, my iPad hit the asphalt, face first.  I didn’t think much of it, since it had a cover, but when I peeled it back, I was surprised to see that the screen had cracked pretty badly. Most of the damage incurred at the right- top and bottom corners, but at the right angle, light reveals a crack that goes across the center itself.

Functionality is intact, and from what I can tell, nothing seems to be a dead spot or any spot where touch is no longer detected.  And the fact that my screen had a film cover atop of it additionally, there’s only a tiny corner where any remote feel of jagged is possible.

The thing is, this folly had happened in the company of other people.  I know for a fact that if it had happened while by myself, I probably would have yelled at least one profanity and felt pretty miserable and pissed off.  But I certainly didn’t want to be the guy that flipped out over something that was ultimately my own negligent fault, and I have to say that I was kind of surprised with myself at my sheer lack of concern for what was essentially now a dinged-up (once) $400 piece of electronics.

The presence of people had something to do with my emotional restraint sure, but at the same time I wasn’t really heartbroken, because as much as I like my iPad, I actually had been thinking about switching it up, and pursuing an iPad Mini.  It’s hard to justify getting a new iPad when I’ve got a perfectly fine conditioned iPad3, but with the ugly crack now tainting it, it’s now suddenly an inadvertent opportunity…

Sure, I’m a little bummed that I jacked up my own iPad, but I realized really, really quickly that it wasn’t a big deal.  Yes, they’re like $400 a pop, but when the day was over, it was still just an iPad, something that can be replaced.  It was more imperative when it happened, to not be a social buzzkill, and that I realized that the door to the iPad mini I eventually will want, has been opened up a little bit more now.