Friday, April 28, 2006

Blue Canary

On Wednesday night I saw They Might Be Giants at the 9:30 Club. It was only the second time I had seen them and the show was surprisingly packed. A near sellout I would guess. The band is a lot of fun and my roommate is a huge fan so it's amusing to see him getting fired up for some of the really old material they pulled out that night. One of the cool things about a TMBG show is the crowd; it is so typically un-rock n' roll. My roommate refers to the crowd as " a bunch of dorks just having a good time." I think that sums it up nicely.

The main reason I wrote about the show today is because my favorite TMBG tune, "Birdhouse In Your Soul," has been running through my head almost constantly. It's a fan favorite, comes off great live, and they played it magnificently on Wednesday. The more I hear it I am more and more convinced that it may be a truly brilliant pop song. The combination of the song's strange lyric imagery, the circular/modal progression of the verses, and the big big hook in the chorus add up to something almost sublime. The first time I heard the song I was almost confused by the opening minute and then when that chorus came in I was just so...happy. That's one of the few songs I can actually remember hearing for the first time.

If you've never heard it, do yourself a favor and check it out and play it LOUD.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Random Aside

Is Ryan Adam's to the 00's what Evan Dando was to the 90's? Discuss.

Trade Secrets

For some reason I'm feeling very forthcoming today so I've decided to give away a piece of intellectual property that will more than anything, simply make me look like a fool. But hey, that's what the near-anonymity of the internet is for. Here goes.

A little background first; I have no game. Check that. I have narrow game. It only works in certain situations when the right confluence of events creates a tiny window of opportunity. In the parlance of modern hoops, I have a quick drop-step move to the right when posting up under the basket. It works well until you figure out that all you have to do is force me left and it's Game Over. However that one little move keeps me in the game long enough to warrant a spot on the team so I will pull it out every now and again. By the way, I probably should have mentioned that this is all a metaphor for dating -- more accurately, pre-dating. The move doesn't help you meet women, it creates an opportunity to meet women. So what the hell am I talking about.

Well for starters, I would say that I am an Average Joe of sorts and by that I mean that I do a lot of the things that the typical American male of my age and background does. That also means that I don't have a lot of standout stories or features to brag about. I wasn't a good (or even passable) athlete, I don't have any crazy college tales involving midgets or destruction of public property, I don't own a boat, and I don't know a guy who knows a guy. Essentially, in a lineup of regular dudes I would blend right in. This is not a good thing when travelling among a pack of people while attempting to interact with the opposite sex. So for me, there's only one thing I can do to distinguish myself; to break away from the defender and at least get an open look for a shot at the basket...the old drop-step.

All sports analogies aside, what I do is pull the Dork Card. (It's so simple yet so effective in the right situations. ) The Dork Card refers to the fact that I was a dork in high school (and for all practical purposes am still one to this day). My most notable extracurricular activity; band. The two high school "letters" I earned; one for Marching Band and another for Math Team. What I did after school everyday for six years; watch two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and go to bed. Number of dates I went out on; zero. Activity most likely to be found doing late on a Saturday night; playing Dungeons & Dragons or Robotech. It was a patehtic celibate existence, not without its charms, that I have somehow managed to work into the Ultimate Icebreaker. Here's how I now make all of this work to my advantage:

Setting Up the Board
If 10 years out of high school you are still blatantly a dork then this is not going to work for you. The Surprise Factor is crucial. I've actually managed to clean myself up over the years, shed a few pounds, wear clothing NOT purchased at JC Penny's or Kohl's, and generally present myself as a respectable guy (which I am, no subterfuge here). This is important because when you pull the Dork Card, you need people to be taken aback. Ultimately this is about bringing focused attention to yourself.

The Scene
OK you're out with a large group of people, some of whom are good friends and others who are new acquaintances. Among this group of people is a young lady who catches your eye, to whom you have not been introduced, and she really hasn't bothered to notice you because several of your friends and others are all subtley competing for her attention. What you need is a "large" conversation where everyone is participating. What you need is an opportunity to focus the attention on you so that a certain someone will now become aware of who you are. Who you need is to be able to hook that person just long enough so that at some point later in the evening you will have an opening to casually move in for a one-on-one conversation. To accomplish all of this, you need to pull the Dork Card.

What It Is
Somehow, someway you need to find an appropriate hole in the conversation where you can jump in and off-handedly drop some reference to your lowest dorkiest moments in high school. Something that will grab everyone's attention and have them demanding setails so they can taunt you endlessly. For me, I find a way to work in marching band or Dungeons & Dragons. People are always fascinated by these subjects and even more so when the individual in question never before appeared to have such pathetic roots. Immediately all attention is focused on you and you have only two minutes to run with it. From that point on you have to jump into one of the most self-depricating stories of your life and sell it with conviction. These are all true stories but you may have to embellish a little to keep people amused and hanging on to every word. But the key is to make your mark and get out. Don't linger too long. Once you're done you can walk away confident that now everyone, especially HER, knows who you are. The rest is up to you to pull your ass out of the fire and reassemble what's left of your shattered persona. But at least now you stand out from the rest of the crowd and have a fighting chance.

The reason I bring this up is because I pulled this crap several days ago and it actually worked. I'm not bragging, in fact I feel really lame for having done it but it was the only way I could work my way through a table full of dudes in order to get someone's attention long enough so I could then "accidentally" bump into her outside of the bathrooms and strike up a conversation. I don't consider this a pick-up maneuver or a sleazy scam. It's an honest if not calculated way of finding your "in." It's just sad sometimes when you think of the lengths that we will go to...

Friday, April 21, 2006

The DC (area) in me

I don't know if I'm going to stay in this area forever but no matter what, it seems like this will always be the place that is most "home" to me. I was thinking about places to live in the area and in other cities and I sprialed off on this train of thought about how appropriatey I am for DC (and the surrounding metro area). As a disclaimer, I don't live in DC. I live in Arlington which is in Virginia just outside of DC. And I didn't grow up in Arlington. I grew up in Herndon which is in the 'burbs outside of Arlington. But as the crow flies, I was never more than 10 or 15 miles outside of The District so whenever I am on travel and meet new people I refer to DC, instead of Virginia, as my home.

The reason for this is because when I say "DC" its meaning is a little more nebulous than the municiapl bounds of the city. Like any other region it's a collection of attidues, states-of-mind, philosphies, lifestyle choices, and even language. Given the things I've seen and the people I've met during my various travels, I see Washington DC as being a singular place and me being a part of it. So I came up with a mental list of why I feel at home in the "DC Metro Area" and why I am not a part of any other metropolis' culture. First, the "nots."

What a beautiful city. I think it helps that when I was there the weather was nothing short of perfect because I didn't once feel in any way encumbered by the whole depressing rain mythology there. But for all its physical charms and wonders, Seattle is not the city for me. I've said this before, but the people there are just too damn nice. When you grow up in a place as jaded and cynical as the nation's capitol, you don't trust anyone (especially strangers) who offer assistance, compliments, or idle chit-chat. Seattle had that in spades and I was constantly waiting for someone to try and sell me something. Anyway, I would feel bad living in a city where I mistrusted everyone solely because "back home we don't do friendly."

New York
Admittedly I've never visited the place, save for driving from East Rutherford to JFK, but the Big Apple ain't for me. For starters I drink beer. The thought of paying upwards of $10 for a beer is beyond absurd. I will never comprehend how people manage to go out drinking in that town. And I have no need for a place with such a superiority complex, especially a place where "the city" means Manhattan. Plus, it's not the baseball town people claim it to be. No doubt everyone loves the Yankees but that is the extent of it. I think people are more concerned with the success and institutionalism of the team than the game itself. Not that I'm shitting on NYC (although I'm sure it reads that way). It's just not me.

San Francisco
This is one city that certainly has a lot of allure for me. My father went to school at USF, there's probably a decent indie rock show every night of the week, the surrounding areas are incredibly beautiful, and who doesn't want to be able to drop the line "when I was living in San Fran." But we've got a "friendly situation" similar to that in Seattle, it's one of the few places where the real estate market (buy or rent) is even more obscene than DC, and I have to believe that my cynically ironic witticisms would be seen as obnoxious and gauche. Don't think I could pull it off.

San Diego
Another good one. It's on the beach, the weather is PERFECT, and it's cheaper than LA. The problem with this town, the people are way too pretty. It's a surreal place to visit when you look around and every single woman you see is incredibly gorgeous. And they're walking around in droves so who wouldn't want to live there, right? Unfortunately that wouldn't do much good for me because I look better with my shirt on rather than off, my hair is to thick too get that matted down shaggy peaking out from under a trucker hat thing happening, I'd rather wear shoes than flip-flops, and oh yeah, I'm not that young. It seems everyone there is 22 and just graduated from SDSU. It's kind of similar to when H.G. Wells travels into the future in The Time Machine and the human race has become cherubic and childlike. Very bizarre. Again, to reiterate, I'm not shit-talking these cities. These aren't supposed to be negative qualities so much as reasons why a lot of other cities just aren't right for me. (And these assertions are of course based on the narrowest of experiences and a lot of extrapolation). So after going through all of that, here's why I think that no matter where I end up I will always think of DC as home.

And then there's DC...
For what it's worth, I at least know the town: I know that there is a difference between de facto Southeast DC and de jure Southeast DC. I know that riding the Metro and transferring from the Orange Line to the Green Line will tell you everything you need to know about race and class in the city. I know the difference between a city with a substantial gay population and a "gay town." I know to never drive in the left lane of a two-way street because there are no turn lanes and even fewer turn signals. I have yelled out "Stand to the right!" I curse tourists that somehow wander off of The Mall into other parts of town. I know that DC-proper residents curse me when they see my Virginia tags. I know that the term "DC" really means The District of Columbia plus four counties in Virginia and Maryland. I know where the cab zones begin and end and that there is nowhere in North Arlington that costs anything more than $19 to get to when leaving Northwest or Capitol Hill by cab. I know that even though DC has a later last call, the blue-laws in Viriginia are far friendlier. I know that the term "frontier neighborhood" means there will be a baseball stadium or Whole Foods built there soon; buy now. I know that the best place to hear a live show is the 9:30 Club but the best place to "see" a show is at The Black Cat. I know that the huge bouncer with "all the shit in his face" at every 9:30 Club show is actually a very nice guy. I know who you're talking about when you say "Famke Jansen was working at the Cat last night." I know that anyone in a bar wearing a suit and their Congressional ID badge is an asshole. I know that you shouldn't believe a word anyone says because irony is a dialect in this town. I know that distance is measured in units of time and everywhere takes 45 minutes. I know that upon meeting someone new (male or female) the subjects of my residence, occupation, and educational background will all come up within the first 120 seconds. I know that no one is impressed by anything anymore and that someone always has a better story. I know that there are bars to drink in, bars to dance in, bars to find casual sex int, bars to hear bands in, and bars that only serve as drinking calisthenics for trips to other bars. And I know which one is which. I know that last call doesn't always mean last call and I know never to open a tab with a credit card. I know that everyone is in law school, just got out of law school, or is thinking about going to law school since working as a HR manager isn't as fulfilling as they had expected. I know that Georgetown Law School is a very good school and that Georgetown undergrad students aren't very good people. I know that Redskins will always be the most important sports franchise in this city and that DC will never be a baseball town. I know that DC could be a great baseball town. I know that we're not as lame as people from New York say we are and that we're not as cool as we tell people from Cleveland we are. I know that for all of its cycnicism and whining the DC area has a lot of good people to meet and spend time with. I know that purporting to know everything about an area and teh people in it makes me the biggest asshole of all but at least I know where I stand.

Because of all of that and more, DC is home.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I want to write a book

I want to write a book but I have nothing to write about. I want to write a book because I someday want to have my thoughts referenced and analyzed in the same fashion I treat the thoughts of others. It is a pure exercise of ego that has more to do with the post-benefits than anything literary, romantic, or true. I have no idea what this book would be about but I know how I want it to read.

I want to write word upon witty word and sound like Nick Hornby or Chuck Klosterman or Hunter Thompson and fool people into thinking that I am an ironic and original voice. I want to have a paperback novel with interesting cover art and my name in the bottom right-hand corner with ambiguous praise qouted from the Washington Post Book World and The Onion AV Club printed on the back underneath an air-brushed picture of me looking cool in a place I could never afford to be. I want to be able to refer to myself as a "writer" because typing on the internet is a far cry from writing. I want to have my imagination optioned so that I can travel to Los Angeles, sit in on casting calls with empty-headed waitress-actresses and have a studio executive tell me that "Phillip (Seymour Hoffman) loved the book, really sees himself in the lead role but is currently committed to Wes's (Anderson) next project."

I actually had an idea for a film once but it is so lame I think I'll save that for another post.


I find the development/revitalization/gentrification of the so-called U Street Corridor in Northwest DC to be absolutely fascinating. Despite what some may think, I don't believe there are any "bad guys" and it's hard to say who the winners and losers really are. One the one hand you have to feel for a traditionally black working class neighborhood that is essentially be marginalized by an influx of commercial development catering to the young and upwardly mobile. The idea of longstanding DC residents being "costed" into PG County is certainly not pleasant. One of the interesting aspects of that neighborhood is its ecclecticism with gay, straight, black, white, working class, and middle class residents all living near one another.

However if the "preservation" of a certain area means that it has to languish economically while retail and residential spaces remain vacant or run down, is that really doing anyone any good? My usual gut response is to let the free market work itself out but this one is going to be painful.

The latest debate as reported in today's WaPo.

UK Import

Always looking for new and exciting ways to wastefully spend my money, I've been poking around the web in search of a copy of the recent UK release of The Wrens' incredible album, The Meadowlands. If my copy were vinyl I would have worn out the grooves by now. But I NEED to get my hands on the UK release because it has 2 bonus tracks and I am that big of a tool. Anyway, I bring this up only because everytime I think about that band I have to go back and read the lyric sheets again. Amazing stuff:

Check out "Everyone Chooses Sides." The lyrics are here and an mp3 is here. So f'ing good.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Love to Hate

Hating on things, mostly popular culture-related, is something I love to do and I think I'm pretty good at. Two of my favorite Haters right now are The Onion AV Club's Amelie Gillette who has her own hater blog on the site and the Washington Post's TV columnist Lisa de Moraes. There's something about a female touch to hating that makes it even more enjoyable.

Anyway, with all of this hating going on in the public sphere I thought I would jot down some of my thoughts on the Art of Hating.

What does it take to be a Hater? I don't think there are any hard and fast rules but some of the key elements are, I believe, a good sense of humor, an even better sense of irony, a cynical/pessimistic disposition, a strong platform of opinions from which to spring forth your hate, and an ability to reference and juxtapose cultural phenomena at a skill level somewhere between adroit and masterful.

Subject Matter:
What does one "hate on?" Mostly pop culture and the people within it. All hate is derived from the initial instances of celebrity popular culture but it does work its way down into the masses. Myself, I don't spend a lot of time hating on the likes of say Paris Hilton or "American Idol." These are extremely hate-worthy topics but there are a lot of good professional haters out there covering this material. My beat is mostly the local scene; hating on the everyday absurdities I get to personally witness. It's more personal and I'm highly qualified to cover them since it is my life.

Why Hate?:
Why not? Hating makes us feel better about ourselves. Hating amuses others in our company. Hating is fun. Sure it is rooted deepy in a yawning chasm of inadequacy and self-loathing, but why go there. Keep it light, keep it topical, and it's all just fun and games.

The Irony of it All:
We (yes, I am lumping myself in with the Haters) are iconoclasts with no real icons. It's sort of silly to tear down people and things that will fizzle on their own soon enough, but who cares. It's fun and it makes us feel better about themselves.

So anyway, that's my taking on the activity of Hating.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Players' Wives

I have noticed an interesting little social phenomenon to which I will from now on refer as The Players' Wives. Back in the day (who knows, maybe it is still in practice) baseball stadiums used to have the Players' Wives section where all the wives and girlfriends of the guys on the team could sit together. The one common bond that these women had was that their menfolk all played for the same team so there was an immediate comraderie of sorts.

I have a few circles of friends all of whom have been together for a long time. Some of us go as far back as elementary school but the main feature is that we all spent our formative years together in one way or another. Fortunately as we've gotten older we've managed to stay friends and hang out on a regular basis. One of these circles in particular (guys I've known since college) is particularly interesting because almost everyone in the group is either married or very near to it. The result is that there is a core group of fellas who have known, loved, and dealt with one another's bullshit for the longest time and each of them has a woman in his life whom he has brought into the social circle.

Now, as guys are wont to do, they'll get together to get into some kind of trouble and the ladies often come along. Making the best of things, the women have become good friends over the years thus enabling the guys to still get together and not worry about catching grief from their women (although I'm sure that still happens from time to time). What I find interesting is that the ladies, The Players' Wive, have become social for the singular reason that the men in their lives happen to be the best of friends. I know this isn't a unique phenomenon but it only seems to occur among women. I have never heard of a group of guys who have begun hanging out because their girlfriends/wives are all old friends. I wonder why this is.

I do have some theories about this but they all make me sound like a chauvinistic misogynist so I will keep them to myself.

Monday, April 10, 2006

What's your move?

One of the cool things about dating, and by dating I mean going out on a string of dates with the same person, is that no matter how old you get those first moments of intimacy still feel awkward and childish. I was out with some friends on Saturday night and we got to talking about when you are dating someone and it has taken a very tradional arc of the "dinner get-to-know-you date" followed by the subsequent "I actually want to spend time with this person" dates which somewhere, depending upon how good your game is, ends up at the Sex Date. The Sex Date is not merely some night when you get laid but rather it is a point in the relationship when both parties know that they are going to have the sex.

What's awkward (and cool) is that it often is this 400-pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about because, well, it would be kind of tacky. So instead you both go on pretending that nothing is out of the ordinary all the while knowing that you're going to get laid. For you sports enthusiasts it is akin to not talking to your pitcher during a no-hitter. Anyway, we thought that this was a cool little dating phenomenon which ultimately led to the next topic of dicussion: What's your move?

So, you are on the Sex Date and traditionally you end up back at one of either parties' residences. What's your move? If the 400-pound gorilla is still in the room you may end up having a drink and making chit-chat before things get serious so again, what's your move? What do you do to move from making out on the couch to getting jiggy in the boudoir? A couple of anecdotes and preferences were reported and here were some of the opinions:
  • Jump the gun. One friend prefers to dispense with the charade of prudence and simply get down to busines. Don't leave any room for error so as soon as you walk in, make the STRONG move - I don't know if this one really counts because to me it seems to involve a lot of booze and stumbling through the front door already half in each others' pants. The gorilla is long dead at this point.
  • Another, predictably, went with the proposition approach. "I'm so hot for you...yadda, yadda, yadda." - I wouldn't be able to pull this one off with a straight face but I guess it works for some.
  • The above person's girlfriend thought she might like to be literally/physically swept off of her feet in this situation - A little too 'Pebbles and Bam Bam' for me.
  • The strong and silent move. Stand up, take her by the hand, and lead her into the bedroom. No babbling, no excuses, just the direct approach - This one is my preference and I'm sticking with it until something better comes along.

So what's your move?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Feeling Guilty

Last night I could have been a better roommate. I was sitting in the living room banging away on my laptop when my roommate came home with his girlfriend. They were extremely excited as they had just gotten back from ring shopping and had a really good experience talking with their jeweler. On top of which I think they were generally amp'd up about moving closer to getting engaged and all that good stuff. So of course they wanted to tell me all about it when they got home but in retrospect, I think I was a little aloof and should have shown more genuine interest. Part of it had to do with jewelry not being at all exciting to me but for them this was about much more than a piece of jewelry and I should have recognized that. Bad move on my part.

There was one funny moment however when they both said, "Well, when it comes time for you to buy a ring you should definitely talk to this guy." This was pretty hilarious given the fact that when they got home I was composing an email to a guy about building me a custom multi-loop switch for routing my various guitar effects. Something about that activity screams single and staying that way.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Let's Rock

I've been to two shows the last two nights and they couldn't have been more different. I love the variety of shows the city offers on any given week.

On Tuesday nigth I had the good fortune of seeing Josh Rouse at the Birchmere. He was in town supporting his new album, Subtitulo, which just came out a few weeks ago. The last time I saw Rouse was at the Black Cat and given the size of that room, the turnout was predictably thin. Although I would always rather see a show at the Cat, this time around the Birchmere seemed to be the perfect size for one of his shows. The floor area and the surrounding tables were packed and much of the crowd was surprisingly into the show. I've been following Rouse over the course of several albums but never hearing any local buzz about him, I'm awlays surprised that there is a strong fan base out there (especially in the attractive female department). Anyway the show was great and while he played zippy off of my favorite of his albums, Under Cold Blue Stars, there was a good mix of material and the band was into it. It was one of those shows where you feel blissed out after an hour of really really good pop music.

Now last night's show was a whole other beast. Beats, being a very appropriate way to describe a Dinosaur Jr show. They were back at the 9:30 Club once again doing round 2 of this unexpected reunion tour of theirs. The show was pretty much identical to their last stop in town but who gives a shit because it was fantastic. There is something about listening to J play that turns me into a complete screaming little bitch. As a guitarist and a somewhat of a gear slut I am in awe of the back line of amps he utilizes on stage. For an idea of what I'm talking about, here is what he was using back in '96. There have been some modifications but the size and scope are nearly the same. Anyway my ears are ringing loudly this morning as I refused to put in my plugs at this show. There is something about the ferocity yet subtle melodiousness to J's playing that completely knocks me on my ass. Listening to it live dialed up to 11 is even more unreal. Seeing this weird old man with his long gray hair playing as if he were completely oblivious to the fact that the band's watershed albums came out almost 20 years ago gives me hope for the aging process. I hope can rock that hard in my 40's.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On the Border

Fareed Zakaria is one of my favorite talking heads when it comes to international affairs because he appears to be one of the more pragmatic voices on the Sunday morning news shows. He wrote an excellent op-ed in today's WaPo about citizenship and immigration which couldn't be better timed for me since I recently had blowup with my parents concerning immigrant workers in my hometown.

I grew up in Herndon, VA which has been in the news a lot because the town voted to use public funds (about $75k, I believe) to establish a "Day Labor Center." In the last 20 years Herndon has seen a large influx of Slavadoran, Honduran, and Mexican immigrants many of whom make a living as day laborers. As a result informal day labor recruiting sites cropped up around town, most notably at a 7-11 on one of the main thoroughfares. The sheer number of people at this 7-11 alone was causing the town logistical problems and that coupled with continued loitering throughout the day, incidents of petty and violent crime, and a general parnoia experienced by the town's "original" population brought many different groups calling for many different solutions to the problem.

The solution that won out was to create an official site where day laborers could be recruited efficiently, activities could be monitored, and would eliminate ovecrowding in commercial parking lots. As was to be expected several in the town went apeshit and started talking about booting all of the ilegals. Even the Minutemen (those bored whackos who run their own vigilante border patrols in the southwest) established a chapter in good ol' Herndon where they could write down license plate numbers of contractors who hired any of the day laborers.

All of this makes me glad I don't live in Herndon anymore because I don't want to be around a group of people who want to prevent labor from entering the market. The fact of the matter is that there is a high labor demand in the service industry, most notably the construction industry. All of these McMansions, strip malls, and condo dvelopments shooting up around the metro area are being built by immigrant labor. Affordable immigrant labor. I wonder if those people supporting the most radical of anti-immigration rhetoric (like building a fence/wall around our southern borders) have given any thought to the impact on our economy that a major reduction in the labor pool would have.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Live TV

I'm watching the Giants/Padres game on ESPN and just listened to Joe Morgan (calling the game) open a snack wrapper, stuff his mouth, and comment on a play with half a mouthful of food. I'm a Joe Morgan fan but come on, a little more professionalism please.

By the way, the San Diego crowd is booing the shit out of Bonds. Good stuff.

Spring, Rebirth, Opening Day

Lats night officially marked the end of Spring Training and the beginning of the 2006 MLB season. Thank god. With the Nats home opener only 8 days away, I finally have some sports activity to be genuinely excited about.

The NFL and NBA have lost their lustre for me but baseball has only grown in stature. Much of that has to do with finally having a local team with endless games to attend but it goes deeper than that. For one thing, baseball commentary is the only sports broadcasting I can listen to anymore. Whereas in the NBA it's all overly-excited superlatives about some stunning one-on-one play, and the NFL is awash in mindless hyperbolic chatter, baseball talk (when not obsessing over scandal) is simply about baseball. Mechanics, strategy, statistics, it's a geek's wet dream.

The biggest reason however is that baseball is the first sport I ever learned. Not to play, but to watch. Spending summers watching the Cubs on WGN with my grandfather is how I learned about baseball and all the minutiae the goes with it. As I get older, baseball is the one direct link I have back to being 8 years old and that's pretty cool.

So I am psyched that in 8 days I will be back in the ballpark eating dogs, spitting seeds, knocking back a few frosty malty pops, and enjoying the most American of experiences. Thank god for Opening Day.