Thursday, October 16, 2008

Memorable Sports Events

Two Grand Slams in one inning

One of the worst ideas I ever had was to get Dodger season tickets. Somehow I convinced myself that they would go to the World Series that year and I would get all of the money back. Of course, they never made it above third place. It was one of those awful teams with Dreifort, Karros, Mondesi, Todd Hundley, Ismael Valdez, just typing those names makes me queasy.

Anyway, Chan Ho Throw it in the Dark was pitching, and in the third inning of another meaningless game, he gave up two grand slams in one inning to the same batter—Fernando Tatis. On so many levels, this has got to be one of the most amazing things ever! Who stays in the game to give up two grand slams in the same inning to the same guy? Chan Doh! managed by Davey Johnson.

I was also at the game when he kicked this guy for no reason.

Boston Pedro!

I went to a 1999 game at Fenway Park. I sat right next to the Green Monster and saw Pedro Martinez lose to Tim Hudson of the A’s. The whole game a person sitting right behind me screamed the word “Pedro!!!” over and over again. The whole game-- “Pedro!!”...wait a few seconds.. “Pedro!!!” Pedro never answered him. It was weird.

Baroid at Dodger Stadium

The year that the greatest cheater ever slimed his way to the record books, he came to Dodger stadium with a chance to do it there. I bought seats right next to his left field position and witnessed some of the clever and lewd insults directed at him the whole game by the fans. It was great. They had so much hate for him.

Chargers games

Every year my friends and I get some tickets to a Charger game. We drive down there drinking copious amounts of beer, then we tailgate, and then we sneak as many beers into the game as we can. I can never remember what happens at the game. But I keep going back.

Angels playoffs 1979

Some rich neighbor had tickets to a key playoff game. I was 11 years old. The Angels first playoff appearance ever had the fans chanting “YES WE CAN!” so loudly in the last inning that the Orioles fell apart. The players admitted later that the noise of the fans had caused the outfielders to not be able to hear the bat which resulted in some key errors and the Angels won the game. The fans stayed after the game for an hour chanting. Then the next day the Angels lost the game and the series was over.

Memorable Concerts

I have seen many concerts but the ones that stand out for some reason are these.

Devo Earth Day

The first celebration ever of Earth Day happened in San Francisco in 1990, and a huge concert was planned down at a field by the bay with Devo as the headliner. Unfortunately, the day was ruined by awful bands, including one Jefferson Starship who sang what could possibly be the worst song ever recorded—“We Built This City on Rock n Roll.”

In the afternoon, Devo took the stage and began playing while thousands started circle-dancing and slamming. The hippies and cops were horrified and shut down the band after one song. The singer for Devo took the microphone and asked, “How can we save the earth if we can’t even put on a concert?” This resulted in the audience chanting “Fuck the Earth, Fuck the Earth!” until the police made everyone go home.

Editor's note:  A witness (Dave S.) to this concert responded with the following....
"devo never played a song...they strummed, maybe, a chord or two...i remember jim jagus' friend, the tall chunky redheaded extrovert with the goatee arguing what song they were gonna go he thought he "could name that tune in one strum" of the that show the worst act of the day, starship, were dodging projectiles throughout their "set"...towards the end of the show i ran into some acquaintances who told me that they had taken off their socks and had filled them with dirt and mud and chucked them at the band members of starship."

Grateful Dead and Santana

1987 Calaveras County. I had seen the Dead many times, well, actually I rarely saw them because they were boring, but I sure hung around the parking lot sampling the goods. Anyway, I got into this show and in between bands, these two stunt planes flew over the concert doing crazy things like going into dives and flying right towards each other and veering away at the last second. People were freaking out! Their acid trips turned into a bummer man! It was great!

Editor's note:  A witness (Dave S.) to this concert responded with the following....
"the dead show...remember the hells angels riding their bikes in the restricted area behind the stage...a perfect skies...big puffy clouds...santana had a stageful of musicians with him...15 dudes or more on bongos and other percussions...deadheads were dancing so vigorously that they had kicked up a huge dust cloud...the stuff was good that day my friend.  woke up in a tent that i had climbed into with no it had it was a sleeping bag..."

Yep.  Thank you. It was like that.

La street scene Ramones

From 1978-1986 Downtown Los Angeles hosted the LA Street Scene. In 1986 a bunch of punk bands were scheduled. There were thousands of rowdies, it was free, and you could drink, what could go wrong? At about 11:00 a.m. Agent Orange began playing surrounded by people who began throwing bottles. This was not a good beginning and the violence began to get worse. Being somewhat of a provocateur myself, I was excited to see how bad it could get. As night fell and the thousands of people waited for the Ramones, it became obvious that they weren’t going to play. People jumped up on the stage and began destroying the equipment and then cops on horses charged out from behind buildings swinging batons and running over the drunk gutter punks. It was crazy but unforgettable and probably why downtown events now cost so much money.

Butthole Surfers

1987 Variety Arts Center. The Hickoids opened for them. The first song they came out and busted their guitars up and one of the pieces cracked open the skull of Dick Miller. They didn’t care…they were playing huge movies of surgeries behind them. Everyone was throwing up and bleeding or running for the exits crying. It was the worst trip but the best show.

Editor's note:  A witness (Dave S.) to this concert responded with the following....
"were you in the car when we got pulled over on the way to the buttholes? open containers, unopened case of beer, half ounce of something in somebody's pocket, and of course the lengthy ticket i recieved...lets see: tailgating, speeding, reckless driving?, pulling over to the left side of a freeway, open containers...the cop wanted to arrest me...i still cant figure out why he didnt...i passed the sobriety test...he didnt give me a breathalizer..."

Yep...I was there.  That's why it was a memorable concert....that was the ride from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles.  The stop was in Malibu.  One stop resulted in 5 citations.  I had forgotten. Thanks.


I saw Flipper in San Francisco and it was a typical show for them. Afterwards, I was hitchhiking with a friend and they picked us up. When we asked to get out of the truck, they responded, “You’re with Flipper now. We’re not letting you go.”


This guy called me up and said, “Hey do you want to see Springsteen at Dodger Stadium?” I went and observed the cult of Springsteen fans. The concert was surprisingly good….he puts on quite a show, but I was more amazed with the multitudes of middle class Americans singing along with every word at the top of their voices with tears falling down their faces.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Evil Things

There are agreed upon evil things in the world—famine, President Bush, war, disease, etc. Then there are the not-so-obvious, but just as troubling, evil things in the world. Here are a few….

1. Computer Solitaire

This is the opiate of office workers. People who play computer solitaire are lame. It’s like staring at a wall. It means you have nothing to do and you need to take a look at where your life has ended up.

2. Feeding Pigeons

This is like solitaire but worse because it makes a mess and attracts dirty seagulls that shit all over. If you engage in this behavior, it means you are crazy and probably don’t have friends, not that you care about animals.

3. Passwords

There are too many passwords and user names required in this new tech society. And now the computer wants more than six characters, a number, a capital letter, a symbol, etc. At my job, we have to change our password every six months! I have taken to tattooing my many passwords on my arms and chest.

4. slow walkers

Is it just me or is there a huge problem with people, especially teenagers and crazy homeless people, deliberately going really slow when they cross the street in front of cars? It’s like they finally have some power over someone else and they are going to use it by making you wait while everyone watches them do their slow walk to the next curb.

5. Potholes

What’s the deal with the craters in the ground in L.A. lately? Especially on the right hand side of the road. And more noticeable in the poorer areas of town. I’m waiting for these holes to trap cars and small children, not just ruin wheel alignment and jar drivers. Is it too much to get the city to fix these things? Poor some gravel in there!

6. Pledge Drives

A couple of times a year NPR does a two week pledge drive and the radio voices have to ask for money. Annoying and Evil!

7. Instant Messaging

This is not as big of a problem in recent years. In the past, I would be on my computer surfing inappropriate websites and some other computer user name would pop on my screen and type to me. Don’t bother me friend-o! I’m busy!

8. Online petitions

Every once in a while a do-gooder with time on his hands sends me an email that is a petition to urge congress or some other entity to take action. Impeach President Bush! Please sign your name and email to everyone you know. Can you imagine a White House Aide bursting into a presidential briefing saying, “Sir, we have a situation! There is an online petition to impeach you. It must be stopped before it brings the whole regime down.”

9. Setting clocks wrong on purpose to be on time

I have a roommate that does this. Ironically, she is still late everywhere and I end up being even earlier to places than I should be. How does this work? Does the person forget that they are lying to themselves? No, they adjust and keep doing the same thing and impacting everyone else. I mean, should I set my scale back 10 pounds to make it seem like I am skinnier? Or set my speedometer ahead 20 miles per hour so that I won’t speed?

10. Driving to Dodger Stadium

It takes 2 hours to drive to the ballpark to watch a game. Then you have to pay like 20 bucks to then walk a few miles to the game. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are behind by seven runs in the third inning and another night is wasted. Very Evil!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Some Assembly Required

This is one of the most evil phrases known to mankind. From IKEA bedroom furnishings to toys for kids, “some assembly required” is a one way ticket to hell. These days you can’t buy anything without building it yourself at home with the wrong tools, directions written in every language in small font, with at least 25 steps, and of course some pieces missing. I’m a fairly good handyman, but “some assembly required” strikes a chord of irrational fear in me that causes me to avoid buying certain items. In fact, if I buy a bike for my kid I have a choice—“some assembly required” or pay 10 bucks extra for the model that has already been built.
On Christmas Eve and Day people around the nation suffer as they struggle to build the hot wheels set, bedroom furniture, medieval castle, skateboards, etc. Sometimes it takes hours of frustration, minor back pain and eye strain to assemble the item. It seems like a scam to me. The prices aren’t cheaper; they just do less work for the consumer. In the future, will we go to a store to buy a shirt and walk out with some fabric, thread and a needle? How about building a flat-screen t.v. on Christmas Eve in the garage after a few egg nogs? Or walking out of a furniture store with one piece of wood and some instructions. “Some assembly required” translates to “A huge amount of frustrating bullshit is demanded to use this product” or “ripoff.”

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Today I woke up at 5:15 a.m. I walked to the kitchen and flipped on the coffee pot, which I had loaded up last night with 1 and a half cups of coffee. I went into the bathroom and put in my contact lenses and then put on the shaving cream. I left the bathroom with the shaving cream on my face and put two eggs along with a tablespoon of salsa in the frying pan and turned it on to low heat. I returned to the bathroom and finished shaving.

After shaving and contact lenses, I put the scrambled eggs on a plate with two tablespoons of cottage cheese; I grabbed my coffee and sat at the table and ate breakfast.

I put the dishes in the sink and walked to the bedroom where I turned on sportscenter. The time was 5:40. I did 20 pushups and then 45 sit-ups—three sets of each and then turned on the shower to get the water heated up. At 5:53 I entered the shower, so that I would get out at 6:00 to catch the beginning of sportscenter.

I put on deodorant and some cologne and eye drops while watching television. My selected clothes were hanging on the door and I put them on. At 6:15 I began tying my tie. It took me approximately 10 minutes to get the right knot and length so that it hangs to my belt and is symmetrical at my neck. After making sure that it looks acceptable, I unbutton the top button so that my neck can breathe. A free-range human neck is always preferable to an uptight choking shirt collar. I headed to the bathroom to take my vitamins. Every morning I take aspirin, multi vitamin, saw palmetto, vitamin c, glucosomine. I brush my teeth and put moisturizer on my hands and face. Finally, I comb my hair, grab my man purse, walk out to get the paper and get in the car. Before leaving, I make sure that I have my sandwich in my purse and my cell phone. It is 6:45.

At work I eat two handfuls of roasted, unsalted mixed nuts at 9:45. At 12:30 I eat the same sandwich that I have eaten for the last 9 years at my desk. 6 slices of turkey, 2 slices of Swiss cheese on low-carb bread. At 1:00 I go to a café and read the paper for my hour lunch break.

At 4:20 I get up from my desk and walk to my car. I drive home and change from my office zombie clothes to more comfortable clothes. I pick out my outfit for tomorrow and begin planning dinner and what sports I will watch that night. At 6:30 I have a glass of red wine and begin making my lunch and coffee for the next day, along with dinner. At dinner I have another glass of wine and then I sit on the couch and read until 8:45.

At that time, I take off my contacts, floss my teeth, take my natural sleep aid pills and pour my nightcap. I check the Internet for a few minutes and then go to sleep at 9:30 and wake up at 5:15 a.m. to begin another day.

I do this same routine every day. Isn’t life wonderful?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The King of Federal Agents

In 1970, Elvis Presley wrote to President Nixon asking to be made a Federal Agent-at-Large in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. He was concerned with the “hippie elements” and their “drug culture.”

Imagine, the biggest drug addict in America asking to be made a federal agent in the war on drugs.

Nixon gave him a federal agent’s badge and a few years later Fat Elvis added the “at large” part, and then he died of a massive drug overdose while sitting on his toilet, causing him to fall face first and suffocate in his two inch shag carpet. Classic. Irony.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hey You! Watch the Road.

As you drive east on Venice Blvd in Western California, you probably will take your eyes off of the road to look up at this sign. This is one of the greatest examples of irony ever. Whoever dreamed this up is a genius. Can you picture someone reading it and rear-ending the car in front of them and a huge chain reaction accident developing? Sweet!

And speaking of driving in Los Angeles….there are big problems. The lack of public transportation fiasco has crippled this city. People can no longer go anywhere for a good portion of the day. I would love to go to Hollywood from the Westside, but it has become impossible! Want to see the Dodgers? Get ready to sit in your car for two hours before and after the game. Clubbing in Hollywood? Get ready for packed streets, with people walking faster than you can drive…again for hours. Want to go somewhere on a Friday afternoon? Sorry, you can’t.

It is a quality of life and public health issue that should have people filing a large class-action lawsuit against whoever is responsible for the people of L.A. sitting in their cars every day for hours breathing in car exhaust.

Los Angeles is a great city but the transportation disaster is turning it into a dysfunctional mess and it doesn’t look to be fixed anytime soon.