Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Update Your Blog

Update your blog. So I have been commanded and so I shall.

I had many ideas recently of what I wanted to write about : Baseball etiquette, the DIY (do it yourself) network and their awesome show about making photo albums and hot gluing sparkly stuff to things, the genius of Tomato Nation, the annoying articles Stephen King writes in the back of Entertainment Weekly (which Tomato Nation beat me to and, quite frankly, did it better than I could).

But work, school and life in general has kept me away. I have ten million things to read, a paper to write and a really big paper to get started on. One of the things I have to read is Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby. It supposed to be a great novel about the "other America" those living in the slums/ghettos in the 1950's. The book is written with very little structure at all - I'm sure it's meant to be a reflection of the turbulent and chaotic world the characters live in - but it gives me a migraine. I mean, first of all the subject matter is naturally disturbing. These are "ethnic" people - Italians, Greeks, Jews - who have nothing to look forward to in life. Most of them are unemployed and trapped in a vicious cycle of crime and violence. There's a gay character who is harassed, raped, and eventually hit by a car, the first scene involves the horrendous beating of an army guy trying to return to the base (who, it must be noted, was not completely innocent, but also not deserving of the severe beating he got). It's hard to read. It isn't the life I've been exposed to. But it's also just hard to read. There is no punctuation save a few periods and commas - no apostrophe, no quotation marks no "Vinnie said:" so, it's hard to read. You don't know what's going on, just that you don't want to know about it. So, it's taking a while to get through. Mostly, I want to give up and say I can't - as my professor has admitted his wife and children have done. But I feel obliged to read it.

I also am taking a class in the history of English prose style and am analyzing grammar and structure from various periods in history. This is tough because I am not good with grammar. I can read something and tell you if it is incorrect, but I can't identify absolute construction in a sentence. Because absolute construction requires knowing what a participle is and, quite frankly, I can't remember. Even looking it up doesn't help too much because, I don't identify parts of speech while I'm reading. I just read. So, that's a challenge. It's a challenge I have to overcome tonight because I have a paper due tomorrow.

So, I'm not going to write about all those things I thought about.

But, I will make a somewhat brief statement on Baseball Etiquette, though the season is already well underway. It should first be noted, for full disclosure, that I am a White Sox fan. My dad was a White Sox fan, and I was raised to love the Sox. Now, I was also raised to love baseball in general. In 1989, or thereabouts, my family moved from the suburbs of Chicago to the suburbs of Atlanta. My dad was very good about taking us to baseball games whenever possible. This was easy to do since, in 1989 the Braves were one of the worst teams in the major leagues. Fulton County Stadium was always empty and we took full advantage of that - buying cheap seats and moving down to the better ones in the third inning. Eventually, the Braves got good, my dad got season tickets and we still got to go to games. Only now it's in "The Ted," as Ted Turner would like you to call Turner Field, and Dad likes to hang out in the 755 club. So, there was a long time there when I wasn't really paying close attention to the White Sox. But I was still a fan. I went to Braves games because I could, and I rooted for the Braves because they were the home team. But I wasn't necessarily a Braves fan. I didn't have a crush on David Justice or Greg Maddux and certainly not Chipper Jones, who I hate. I don't know why, but I do.

Anyway, upon returning to Chicago after college, I rediscovered my love of the White Sox. I also discovered that, unbeknownst to me, my deep love of the Sox was countered by a deep and irrational hatred of the Cubs. I didn't know I hated the Cubs. I lived in Wrigleyville and my El stop was at Addison - Wrigley Field. It started with game days. I was trying to get home from work and I would be crushed by sweaty stupid cubs fans who came in from the burbs and didn't know how to ride the train or where to get off. But it was more than just the people in my way. It was Sammy Sosa and his big stupid face. It was Dusty Baker and his ardent belief that the media was out to get him. It was that jackass Moises Alou. Don't even get me started on the continued harassment of one Mr. Bartman. Regardless of what he did (which at least 100 other people were trying to do), he did not give up EIGHT MORE RUNS (they were up by 7 or 8 runs when Bartman caught that ball) and he did not lose the next game for them. THERE WAS ANOTHER GAME!

Sorry, I digress. The point is, I might use Cubs fans as an example from time-to-time, as they tend to break a lot of the...

Rules of Baseball Etiquette.

1. Root for your team. You love them, you want them to win, cheer for them, and wear a team shirt or a jersey or whatever. You can even wear an anti-whatever-team-they're-playing shirt. If the Cubs are playing the Cards and you want to wear a shirt proclaiming your firm belief that the Cards suck, go ahead. DO NOT show up to Wrigley Field, when the Cubs are playing any team except the White Sox, wearing a SUX shirt or anything else. It's bad form. Pay attention to the game at hand, people. When the red line series is in full swing and the Sox are kicking your ass, feel free to express your discontent, but unless we're actually playing each other, leave us out of it. This goes double for Sox fans. Do not stoop to their level. If you show up the Comiskey -excuse me - "The Cell" wearing a Cork shirt (funny though it may be), you're an asshole.
2. Watch your mouth. Baseball is a family game. I spent a good part of my childhood in a ballpark, and lots of people bring their kids to the park. If you're unhappy with a call or a play and you want to yell at the field, I guess that's your perogative. But call the guy a bum or come up with something more creative. No one is impressed that you called that guy a shithead, but somebody else just learned a new word.
3. Watch your beer. Sometimes, I bring a purse, sometimes I put my purse under my seat. If you spill your beer, it is going to flow according to the laws of gravity and get all over my purse, someone's nachos and who knows what else. Just give the people in the rows ahead of you a heads up. Or, better yet, don't spill your beer.
4. Watch your kids. Bring your kids to the park. Explain the game, buy them a polish, take them to the bathroom, whatever, it's a fun place. Don't let them explore on their own, for several reasons: A). No one likes your kids like you do. B). There are bad people out there. C). Your kids are annoying. D). I worry. I worry unnecessarily, and if I see your kid wandering around unsupervised, I will worry about him/her. Keep an eye on them. Do the fun stuff WITH THEM.
5. Take your hat off during the national anthem and shut the F up. This should be self-explanitory.

That's about it. Be nice. Think about someone other than yourself, and things will be hunky-dory.

No comments: