Archive for July, 2008

Zzzzz….what inning is it?….zzzzz

Thoughts that occurred to me after watching the All Star Game this past Tuesday night/Wednesday morning: 

I stayed up on Tuesday night this week and watched the American League defeat the National League in the All Star Game, 4 to 3 in 15 innings.  The game ended at about 1:40 AM, and I might have dozed off during the 14th inning, but I woke up in time to see the end.  Overall, it was a very good game.  There were stolen bases, runners thrown out at home plate, pressure situations, and a very high level of play.  It once again showed that the Major League Baseball All Star Game is head and shoulders above the all star contests for every other sport.  The players seem to legitimately care whether they win the game, and at the very least they don’t want to look bad, whereas in the other all star contests the players’ primary concern seems to be avoiding injury. 

So, it was a great game, the stars of baseball were on display, everybody wins right?  No.  Because the game was played on a Tuesday night, and the pregame festivities didn’t begin until 8pm EDT, no kids got to see the whole game, and wouldn’t have, even if it didn’t go into extra innings. This is an old argument; that kids (and people on the east coast who have to get up in the morning) don’t get to watch any of the big pro sports games any more because they are all played during the week and late at night (see:  The NBA Finals, the World Series).  When I was younger, at least the NBA playoffs would be played on Sunday afternoons, but now every big game is on a school night, and, at least in the NBA playoffs, weekends are very obviously skipped in the schedule.  The powers that be in the league offices of these sports might argue that their west coast audience is important, and that TV revenue demands that the game be played at night during the week. 

Why, then, is the NFL able to pull off having playoff games during the day, or at least the early evening, on Saturdays and Sundays, early enough so that every fan should be able to watch them?  Sure, the Super Bowl is on a Sunday night, but at least it starts before 7pm eastern time, so everyone gets to watch it.  Perhaps the ability to schedule events during family-friendly times exists because the NFL is so popular that it can afford to dictate terms to the TV people, but perhaps the NFL is so popular (and therefore valuable to the TV people) because they don’t alienate their young fans… 

…Speaking of sporting events and television, I saw the Heineken commercial where different people bring Heineken to complete strangers as some sort of “peace through beer” initiative.  After watching the ad about 736 times, I began to think about the people in the commercial who were not receiving beer. 

For example, a woman brings a tray with three bottles of Heineken into a steam room where there are at least 5 towel-clad gents celebrating her arrival by cheering and clapping.  Now, unless I’m mistaken, two of these hairy guys are not going to get any beer, so why are they so happy?  Is the very idea of such kindness in the world enough to motivate their elation, or do they think that the presence of a beautiful woman in their steam room is the beginning of some sort of bachelor party?  I wonder about these things.

Sports Tim 17 Jul 2008 No Comments

Just a Bad Day

My friend Duke didn’t have a good day. 

“It just wasn’t a good day,” he told me. 

“I was scheduled to take a 6am flight out of Logan to California for work.  I wanted to get an early jump on things, so I drove to Alewife T-Station at 4am.  I parked my car in the Alewife garage and immediately realized that I had left my cell phone at home, which, thankfully is about 5 minutes away from Alewife.  So, I drove out of the garage; luckily for me the guy at the booth was understanding when I told him that I had just gotten there and he let me out without paying. 

“Got home, grabbed my cell phone; drove once again to Alewife; parked the car, grabbed my bag; and walked down to the train, only to find a rather large gate blocking my entrance into the terminal.  It was 4:30am, and apparently the trains just don’t run that early.  I don’t know what I was thinking…perhaps that I lived in a real city where the trains run all the time, but it was at this moment that I first began to become angry.  The cell phone was merely an annoyance, but this really ticked me off. 

“Lugged my bag up the stairs; got back in my car; explained to the saint of a parking attendant that I had just gotten there and that the trains weren’t running yet – again he didn’t charge me – and drove to Logan Airport.  Thankfully there was almost no traffic and I arrived, parked, and was in the USAir terminal before 5am.  I felt better at this point, since there was plenty of time for me to check in to my flight, and since I was only staying for the day I didn’t have to check any luggage.  I’ve pretty much soured on checking luggage since a few weeks ago when I took a trip and checked my laptop, only to have it stolen.  That airline security is airtight. 

“Anyway, back to the story.  The USAir e-ticket self service kiosk couldn’t find my flight.  I tried it again.  No flight.  I looked at the itinerary I printed out from the web site where I purchased my tickets and, sure enough, it said USAir, but there was no flight to California with that number.  I asked a customer service person for help.  She looked at my itinerary, then looked back at me with pursed lips and said that my flight was being ‘handled’ by United.  The “you idiot” at the end of her statement wasn’t spoken, but it was there.  I’m not sure why I was the idiot in that scenario, since my itinerary said USAir and nothing at all said United, but apparently I should have just “known.”  She then informed me that I was in the wrong terminal.  United is terminal C.  It was 5:10am, and my anger was no longer hidden safely below the surface.  I’m sure that my face was red and I might have been shaking, just a little. 

“I ran out to the front of the terminal and tried to hop a cab, but the first three cabs refused to take me.  They said it was because it wasn’t a long enough trip, but thinking back on it, I guess the fact that I was in a state of rage didn’t help my chances.  The fourth cabbie finally agreed to get me there for five bucks.  I got into the terminal, got my ticket, did the security thing and made the flight; but the story doesn’t end there. 

“I had just settled into my seat, and the anger had begun to drain out of my system when a beautiful woman slid into the seat next to me.  She had long black hair, blue eyes, and was tanned like a lifeguard in August.  Once she got settled, she looked at me and smiled, just a beautiful smile, and my anger was but a memory. 

“We chatted for the first couple hours of the flight and really seemed to hit it off.  She laughed at my jokes and I laughed at hers, and the conversation was really easy and fun…and that’s when it started.  I noticed that I simply could not keep my eyes off of the woman’s feet.  I’m not usually someone who is attracted to feet, but I just couldn’t pull my eyes away from hers once she slipped off her flip-flops. 

“Her feet were perfectly tanned and her toenails were painted to perfection with red polish.  I’m not sure why I had to continue staring at them, but every time I tried to focus on my book my eyes just kept stealing back to her feet.  I became somewhat afraid that I might have a problem. 

“Suddenly, she moved her head closer to me, looked at me with almost an impish grin on her face and asked in a very seductive, yet playful voice, ‘Are you looking at my feet?’ 

“I have been waiting my entire life for an opportunity like that.  Any sort of witty response would have worked.  I’m sure of it.  Anything at all.  I could have said something like, ‘Can you blame me?’ or even played dumb with ‘You have feet?’ 

“Instead, I froze up.  I’m not sure if it was the shame of being caught doing something that could be considered a bit strange, but I just looked at her in horror for what felt like an hour and then I began to worry about not saying anything, so I blurted out, ‘Mblvkd?’ 

“She raised her eyebrows and her eyes widened as she slowly turned her head to face the seat in front of her.  I think.  I’m not completely sure, because I think I might have blacked out briefly.  What I do know is that when I came to, she was wearing wool socks and she was studiously ignoring me. 

“Like I said, it was just a bad day.”

The Day to Day Grind Tim 02 Jul 2008 1 Comment