Friday, August 27, 2010

I Can't Believe It's Been 25 Years

August 28, 2010 marks the 25th anniversary I walked into the doors of Sloane House to start my new life in Manhattan as a student of the School of Visual Arts. It was the first time I was to live away from home. I had with me only a small suitcase and a gym bag full of my things. After I registered downstairs I got the keys to room 1075 (my bed room) and room 1077 (a shared studio I would barely used). I opened the door to see a tiny room with spartan furniture. A small bed, A yellow distorted trapezoid desk, and a yellow wardrobe with small drawers. I sat down on the bed, Did the best I could in setting up my stuff, Looked out the window to see "the pit" and decided to venture in the hallway and meet some folks.

The first two guys I met were named Brendan and Lennie. They were upper classmen who decided to walk around the tenth floor and allowed me to tag along. It was then I met two women, One whom was really friendly, the other not so much. I was hanging out with one of them and enjoying her company when I met someone reading a comic book I had just read that week. I foolishly brushed off my female companion to talk comics with a guy named Al. My love for comics were at their peak at this point and by the time I left SVA after having dozens of people to talk comics with, My love for them waned substantially.

Anyway, I convinced Al to walk around the SVA part of Sloane House to see if we would meet more people. We were admiring someone's rendition of Bloom County's Bill The Cat when the door burst open and I met Steve P. At the time I didn't realize it but both Steve and Al would become lifelong friends.

The day was exciting, Meeting our RAs, Getting free passes to Yankee Stadium and clubs downtown. I don't remember getting drunk but I know I had a good time partying that Wednesday before Labor Day. My life would change, I would embrace Manhattan for all its worth for the next four years and develop a new persona that was more lively and less naive than the persona of my high school years. I was quite innocent that day but I wouldn't be for long.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Steinbrenner

Even before George Steinbrenner died I was interested in reading his biography "The Last Lion of Baseball" by sportswriter Bill Madden. Steinbrenner was a fascinating individual and the book was an excellent read. It goes into detail about the early years of his Yankee ownership thanks to detailed notes and recordings by early general manager Gabe Paul. The anecdotes about Steinbrenner are priceless. You see how he treats those who worked for and even to the people who liked him, It's humorously appalling.

I would have loved it more if I had not spotted some factual errors throughout the book. The first one I spotted was when Madden mentioned that Rich "Goose" Gossage signed a contract worth 25 million dollars over 5 years with the San Diego Padres in 1984. I thought that that money was way too high for a post peak closer signing for a medium market baseball team back then. 5 million a year would be more than double the highest paid player of the era. So I checked and sure enough, It turns out he signed a 5 million dollar contract over five years.

The second mistake I spotted is my nitpicking on history. Madden writes that The Yankees had beaten out the California Angels by one game for the Al wild card in 1995. In actual fact it was a one game playoff between the Mariners and the California Angels that knocked the Angels out of the running. Nitpicking to be sure, But I like the idea of giving the Mariners their due.

A third mistake was more problematic. Madden points out that the 2000 New York Mets had "...crept into the postseason as a wild card, had beaten both the NL West champion Arizona Diamondbacks in the Division Series and the NL East champion Atlanta Braves in the NLCS to advantage as the Yankees' opponent in World Series."

Okay, a few things were wrong with that. First of all the Mets played the Diamondbacks and the Braves in the playoffs in 1999, And second of all the Mets LOST to the Braves that year in the playoffs. The teams the Mets beat in the playoffs in 2000 were the Giants and the Cardinals.

The fourth mistake was a typo maybe but I think Madden just had the year wrong. He mentions the gathering of the Yankee executives in what to do with Joe Torre after his last season managing the Yankees. Madden says the contentious meeting which would lead to Joe Torre rejecting the Yankees contract offer as happening on October 17, 2008. That was a year off, At that point both Joe Giaradi and Joe Torre had finished managing their first seasons of the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers respectively.

There may have been other mistakes I missed and I look forward to the book being published in paperback to see if the mistakes were corrected and a chapter dealing with Steinbrenner's passing.

I recommend this book for both Yankee fans and Yankee haters. It's also a fascinating biography of a volatile but savvy businessmen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Words you'll never hear from my mouth.

This a list of sentences that I'll never utter unless it's for sarcastic purposes.

"Let's order Pizza!"

"Oooo, there's a sale at Wal-Mart!"

"Lady GaGa is HOT!"

"Hi! Grandma!"

"Put extra cheese on my burger!"

"Oh Boy, Jersey Shore's on!"

"I get along with all my ex-girlfriends"

"Boy, that Hannity is one smart cookie!"

"Let's Go Yankees!"

"Sure, Honey! I'll pick up some tampons for you!"

"Cooool Tattoo!"

"I'll watch any movie with Julia Roberts in it!"

"Boy, that Kate Goslin is such a good mom!"

"I'm glad Regis replaced Katie Lee with Kelly!"

"The referees made good calls during Super Bowl XL!"

"Reagan should be on Mt. Rushmore!"

"Jay Leno is funnier than David Letterman!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


As a 43 year old straight white man it may come to no surprise that I'm not a fan of Lady GaGa. The music is vapid, generic, boring, and familiar of at least from what I've heard and that's a lot. anytime I'm in malls and hanging out, I'll hear it.

However, I'm told she has a lot of talent and has a great voice, But I have yet to hear any examples of either.

I love how the people who worship and defend GaGa by saying that she can play her own instrument and writes her own songs.

It's as though we never heard of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Billy Joel, Elton John, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Roger Waters, Syd Barrett, Adam Ant, Chrissie Hynde, Jack White, David Crosby, Gram Parsons, Eddie Vedder, David Grohl, Chris Cornell, Tori Amos, Jewel, Ian Anderson, Beck Hanson, David Bowie, Joe Jackson, Bono, The Edge, Sting, Mike Scott, Karl Wallinger, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Teddy Pendergrass, Prince, Stevie Frickin Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Freddie Mercury, Pete Townsend, Don Iris, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Marc Bolan, Glenn Tilbrook, Liam Gallagher, Thomas Dolby, Sammy Hagar, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehely, Peter Criss, Jerry Cantrell, Bob Dylan, Michael McDonald, Patrick Simmons, Emmylou Harris, Wayne Coyne, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Justin Haywood, Todd Rudgren, Tommy James, Van Morrison, Barry Gibb, Richard Manual, Barry White, Billy Preston, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Phil Lynnott, Jerry Garcia, Stephen Stills, Mike Nesmith, Roger McGuinn, Ben Orr, Rik Orcasek, Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Lionel Ritchie, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Curtis Mayfield, Issac Hayes, Gregg Allman, John Phillips, Mark Arm, Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Paul Simon, Paul Westerberg, Geddy Lee, Sly Stone, Billy Corgan, Donald Fagen, Robert Smith, Mark Knopler, Darryl Hall, Jim Croce, Ray Davies.

All triple threats. It will remain to see how she would compare. But suffice to say, When her career is over, She will not be on the top of this pile.