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BLOGS FROM ANOTHER TIME
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Johan Santana threw a no hitter on Friday night. I should have been ecstatic. I should have been jumping up and down in my living room. I should have been texting and Tweeting and Facebooking all of my Mets friends. But instead I was hoping the Cardinals would get a base hit. Because I should have been at the game.
Thursday night, my cousin asked me if I wanted to go. My lady and I had plans to do some wedding planning, so I chose not to. In her defense, she told me I should go. But since I've been kind of shitty in the wedding planning, I thought, No, I'll stay home and go through the guest list and do whatever else we needed to do.
Every time I think of going to a Mets game, or have been offered tickets to a Mets game, I usually have a thought of, "Well, I should go because tonight could be the night." Whenever I decline to go to a game, I'm secretly happy when I see that they've given up a hit. I still have a chance.
The bigger fear for me, though, was to miss it completely. To come out of a movie theater or something, turn on my phone and see texts from friends like "NO HITTER MOTHERFLUBBER!" To completely miss it, I thought, would be the worst thing to happen.
Now I'm not so sure.
For some reason, the thought of missing the no hitter never even occurred to me this time. Maybe it was because they were playing the Cardinals, not the Pirates. Not a team you expect to no hit.
We got back from dinner tonight, I turned the TV on, and looked at Twitter. I saw a Tweet that said something like, "The last time a Met had a no hitter through the 6th was..." Holy shit. It's going into the 7th inning and Johan has a no-no going. It's okay, I thought. These are the Mets, and they are going to Mets the shit out of this.
But then Mike Baxter made that catch, and I realized something special might very well happen. And I'm not going to see it live, like I should be.
At this point, Tania said to me, "So we're watching this until it's over, right?" Yup.
So I'm watching this game. One part of me rooting for a Cardinals base hit. The other part of me giddy at the fact that there might be a no hitter, and at the very least, my cousin is there and he will get to see it. So good for him and the other fans there. But still. This is about ME! And my Mets hat. Look at this thing. It looks like I'm wearing a duck that was in an oil spill.
Tonight was the weirdest moment I've ever had as a sports fan. I know at some point I will be happy. But right now I'm just mad at myself for not going.
Tania has been great, though. There was that Beltran "hit" that was called foul. So, if there was instant replay, this would have been a one hitter. Every time she passes by me and sees me looking sad and shaking my head, she yells, "ASTERISK!"
So yeah, asterisk. The next time they do it, I'll be there. Or I'll at least be watching it on TV, when it's a game I had no intention of going to. I'm just glad I wasn't sitting in a movie theater or on an airplane (those are the only two places you shouldn't have your phone on, right?).
But still, I should have been sitting in section 516 with my cousin. Not sitting on my couch silently hoping Rafael Furcal would get an infield single (he's on my fantasy team).
In the end, this is kind of the perfect way to witness a Mets no hitter. The Mets have filled me with joy and disappointment ever since I was an 11-year-old kid who watched them win the World Series. It's only fitting that the second greatest Mets moment in my lifetime is a perfect combination of joy and disappointment.
I realize this makes me seem selfish, but rooting for a sports team is selfish. You root for the team that you chose to root for when you were a kid. Sure, you're happy for that grizzled veteran who has played his whole career and finally won the big one, but you're mainly happy because you feel like that team belongs to you, and them winning makes you a part of it. You picked the right team. You won.
Tonight, the Mets won, and I had a smile on my face here and there, but the whole time I was imagining myself jumping up and down at Shea (I know), taking pictures, sending texts, high-fiving strangers, riding the 7 train home and not caring that it's crowded and smelly and drunk.
And then I thought of Bob Murphy and Gary Carter and my grandfather. I hope there is an afterlife, and I hope they watched this game, and they all had a Rheingold. It made me a little happier. But it's going to be tough to get over this one.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Of course, I knew the Beastie Boys, but I didn't really listen to them. I knew the hits, but that was all. My friend, Mike, convinced me I was an idiot for not listening to them. So I bought Ill Communication when it came out and I listened to it pretty much every day. Then I bought every other album and tried to catch up to all this amazing shit I missed.
At some point in life, if you're a Beastie Boys fan, someone asks, "Who's your favorite Beastie Boy?" (It happens mostly in the early part of life when people ask shit like that.) From the first time I listened until today, my answer was always MCA. I'm not sure if the reason for that is because when you first listen, he stands out the most. He's easily recognizable. It's easy to confuse Mike D and Adrock if you don't listen to them on repeat for hours on end.
(Unrelated, no one ever asked, "Who's your favorite REM?")
He also seemed smart. I didn't listen to a lot of hip-hop, but as far as I knew, there weren't a lot of dudes rapping about Buddhism, how respect to women was long overdue, or how White Castle fries only come in one size. Okay, that last line might not be the best example of his smarts, but that's why he was awesome. He was smart, funny, handsome, and sounded like a bad ass.
And he was, by all accounts, the nicest guy in the world.
After 9/11, the Beastie Boys put together a charity concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I was lucky enough to get a ticket. It was a great show, a long show, which had a bunch of bands before the Beastie Boys came on. It was a lot of standing (not that I'm complaining... The Roots, N.E.R.D. and a surprise performance by Moby, Michael Stipe and Bono made it all worth it), so when they came on, I was feeling lame and tired. But they fucking brought it. It was one of the best shows I've ever witnessed.
Getting to see them at such a small venue after only seeing them at arenas or Lollapalooza was amazing. At one point, MCA started talking about how going to war might not be the best option and how we should not discriminate against Muslims, which was not a very popular opinion that soon after 9/11. He got booed. I saw them soon after at Madison Square Garden, where he said the same thing, and got booed heavily. One guy in front of me held up his middle finger, and repeatedly just yelled "FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!". And then he cheered when they did Sabotage.
In 1994, I randomly got to go to the MTV Video Music Awards. Roseanne hosted it. So that part sucked. But you might remember it as the video awards where MCA in Lederhosen ran up and spoke how it was a robbery. Skip to the 2:20 mark.
"I had all the ideas for Star Wars." I mean, that's some funny shit. Also, that clip has all of my favorite things from 1994: Mark Messier, Daisy Fuentes, REM, and the Beastie Boys.
So the weirdest thing about all this is that on Wednesday, a co-worker Tweeted this. On Thursday, I asked her if anyone replied and she had gotten a reply from someone who told her that MCA wasn't doing well. It made me sad. Later, this was our conversation:
Kellie: i heard 'fight for your right to party' on my stepdad's classic rock station just now
i'm really nervous now.
i will need a day off if he dies
Kellie: i'll let your boss know
me: thank you
Today, when I was at work, I checked Twitter pretty much at the moment TMZ and Rolling Stone reported his death. I thought I was hallucinating. No way was this happening the day after I talked about it with someone.
It wasn't until I left work and went to a bar until I heard a Beastie Boys song. And I wanted to cry as soon as I heard MCA's voice. There's no other voice like that in rap. You could argue that Eminem is an Adrock/Mike D hybrid. But there's no one like MCA. He's one of a kind. I don't think we'll hear someone like him ever again.
For some reason, a year ago (to the day, if you don't count Leap Day) this was my status on Facebook. I'm going to miss MCA. And as this is the end of the Beastie Boys, I'm really going to miss one of the most influential bands that I feel shaped my youth. This one hurts.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
http://michaelroger.tumblr.com/by mike 10/15/2011
This blog will still be here for your stalking purposes and of course for historical records, but I'm going to be doing my blogging at Tumblr. That is all. Thanks for reading this blog. Hope you read the next.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
bama who was president when Osama was killed. As a person who is TERRIBLE with remembering names, I know it will not be easy for those who didn't live through this era. I mean, it's hard enough for folks now, so imagine being a kid who is reading this in history books. Or history memory robot brain chips or whatever they'll be reading in the future. Or even if they will be reading.by mike 5/03/2011
Helpful hint, kids: Obama - remember the B for first Black president. Osama - S for son of a motherless goat.
Anyway, Sunday night was a nutty thing, huh? I had to work at 6 in the morning on Monday, so I was about to go to sleep when this Tweet got all Tweety in my Tweet Tweet. So I thought, Well, that's some weird shit for a Sunday night. Probably aliens!
So of course I was going to wait up for that alien shit. Then the announcement was delayed... and delayed... and delayed. And by the time the President announced it, everyone knew bin Laden was dead. So his speech was anticlimactic. And I was tired. But I couldn't go to sleep.
I stayed up and listened to the talking noggins. I tried to be funny on Twitter. But at no point did I really feel like running outside and jumping up and down. Celebrating a death seems wrong, no matter who it is.
NOW LET ME BE CLEAR.
I am completely fine with Osama bin Laden being dead. I am glad he is dead. But did it make me want to go run outside wrapped in an American flag whilst chanting USA! USA!? No. No it didn't.
When they showed the people gathering outside the White House, I thought, Well, that's kind of cool that people are just going down there.
But then it turned into a fucking frat party. I think I was watching MSNBC, and there were two guys doing chest bumps. CHEST BUMPS. Like, violent high fives and chest bumps. It was weird, and it didn't feel American.
Honestly, after I was trying to make funny hahas, I had that moment of every awful memory from 9/11 coming back. And then I saw these kids out there celebrating, and realized most of them weren't older than 13 when 9/11 happened. It was like they were out there to get great Facebook photos and to have a better story of where they were when bin Laden was killed.
Man, I'm a grumpy old man, I guess. I just don't think that this is a moment to be celebrating in the way it was celebrated. It doesn't bring 3,000 people back. It doesn't make 9/11 any less awful. I hope that it does help to destroy Al Qaeda, but even if it does, something else will sprout up. Osama is a martyr now, and there will be people who rally behind that.
I wrote this way back in the stone age of 2004, and I don't think my sentiments have changed.
I guess, in conclusion, I have some cautious optimism about this whole situation. I mean, I hope we made sure he was really dead. I've seen this movie before. The bad guy goes under water, everyone thinks he's dead, then a few bubbles float to the surface and TO BE CONTINUED??? shows up on the screen.
Whatever. Sorry for babbling. Hope he gets raped by sharks.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Sure, at first, I thought it was amusing. Talking about his Tiger Blood and his fists on fire. But it just keeps going. And it keeps getting crazier and crazier.
It's like being at a party and everyone's drinking and having a good time. Then someone shows up and they have some weed. Okay, fine, yeah, pass that around. Then someone else shows up with cocaine, and you're like, "Well, sure, but just do that in the bathroom." Then a few more people show up and they're all about pouring vodka in their eyeballs or something. Hey, not my eyeballs.
But then some dude shows up with a horse, and he's like, "Hey, let's all fuck this horse!"
Everyone knows at that point that it has gone too far. Charlie Sheen has entered horse fucking crazy. Let's not fuck this horse.
Inspired by Sarah, who once talked me down off a horse.
Sunday, February 06, 2011
An old person started talking to me and a friend today while we were walking outside. It was snowing. He was all, "Global warming, right? They are getting snow in Texas! And they call it global warming!" I miss when old people just told stories about being old or crazy stories about when they were young. I said, "Obama's a Socialist" and kept walking. It was better than getting in his face and being like, "It's CLIMATE CHANGE, MOTHERFUCKER!"
Anyway, come see me and my new band, CLIMATE CHANGE MOTHERFUCKER at the local bar on Thursday.
So I'm rooting for the Packers. I have a lot of Steeler fans who are friends, so this isn't an easy decision. I saw a lot of these friends last weekend and I let them know of my rooting intentions. I found myself saying, "The Steelers have won enough. I would like to see someone new win."
It was at that moment that I realized I turned into my mom. That is a total "Mom reason" to root for a team. I am okay with it. Although, my friend Chaz called me a "typical Socialist, wanting to spread the wealth."
I actually don't know who my mom is rooting for. Probably whoever is less conceited looking.
Anyway, if you don't know who you are rooting for just yet, keep in mind that Ben Roethlisberger decided that this would be a good haircut to have right after he was accused of being a rapist.
To be fair, though...
Anyway, if the Steelers win 8-4, I will be okay with it, since those are the numbers I have in one of those box bet things. I will be rooting for safeties and two point conversions.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday, y'all. Hooray for advertising and concussions and farts.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I had a professor back in college, and it pisses me off I can't remember his name, but he was awesome. He was kind of a prick, smart, funny, and made a great effort to challenge the class every day. He was one of the few teachers I had that really gave a damn. One day, he gave his whole reason of why saying "God bless you" after sneezing isn't necessary. Not only can I not remember his name, but I can't remember the reason he gave. But I remember thinking, Damn, saying "God bless you" is stupid.
Whenever he did sneeze in class, someone would of course bless him out of habit. And he would say, "Completely unnecessary, but thank you." I might start using that.
Being in China made me also lean towards not blessing people. When you sneeze there, no one says anything. I liked it. Took a while to get used to, but it made sense. Why not bless people after coughing? What about someone's stomach growling really loud? Should we bless that?
Anyway, my office lately is a cesspool of sneezing and coughing and SARS. And I work with a lot of people. There's just too much sneezing to be blessing. I ain't got time for that shit. So if I work with you, and you're within earshot of me, just know that I'm not going to be blessing you.
I am, however, applying random religious sayings to other bodily functions. Whenever someone farts, I'm now going to say "Lord, hear our prayer."
The best argument I have heard for saying "God bless you" comes from Milhouse:
Milhouse: When you sneeze, that is your soul trying to escape your body. Saying "God bless you" makes it go back in. Once you die it flies up to Heaven.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I got drunk - really, really drunk - on this crap last night. I forget what it's called. But imagine Jagermeister had sex with Satan. This would be the afterbirth. It's gross.
Wise words, China. Wise words.
I've posted this video on Facebook a million times (LITERALLY) for no reason, but now it actually makes sense.
Can't wait to get home, just in time for the most gluttonous of American days.
Sure hope my plane doesn't crash! I feel like that should be a more common saying. Like when you're going on a flight, to just say, "Can't wait to see you. Sure hope my plane doesn't crash!" Or the people who check your boarding pass. "Have a good flight. Hope it doesn't crash."
Anyway, I really hope my plane doesn't crash.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I mean, I have been sleeping with them for the last three weeks. It's about time they gave me something.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Anyway, it's all loaded with history and all that. Hey, to get people interested in history, they should call it "historray!". So much more fun.
Anyway, for real this time, there was lots of historray. My favorite part of the whole thing was the Hall of Clocks and Watches. I know. I'm as surprised as you are. But it was awesome. There were some serious clocks. I am pretty sure I have never said the word "magnificent" out loud. I still haven't, but I thought it when looking at some of these clocks. It was crazy how much detail went into some of these.
I can't imagine anything from my generation inspiring this same kind of awe. The Hall of iPods, maybe? "And in 2006, they came out with a smaller one! Then, in 2007, they came out with one that was smaller!"
This was my favorite clock, because it would be a great alarm clock. I'd be so freaked the fuck out every time it woke me up, I'd never hit snooze.
Actually, I guess I'd never fall asleep.
I want this tree.
I took a dump on this sign.
I liked these little guys on each building.
I had a beer at this place tonight. My friend, Lee, said, "It looks like they boiled a Gremlin."
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Turns out it was all legit. This Great Wall was a pretty sweet wall. The only problem was I decided to hike up to the bastard.
I went with this hiking group, Beijing Hikers, and I would never do it any differently. But. Next time I will remember to bring my hiking shoes. The last thing I saw when I left my apartment were those shoes, and I was like, "Eh, I'm not doing any hiking in China, right? Fuck it."
This was half way up. HALF WAY!
So on their site, for this hike I did, it said, "Can you climb up three flights of stairs without getting winded?" Which I was all, "Hells yeah! Maybe!" But it should have said, "CAN YOU CLIMB UP THE SIDE OF A FUCKING MOUNTAIN!?!?!?"
Because then, I would have said "Hells yeah! Maybe! But maybe not, too!"
So it was rough. They also said it would be chilly, so bring layers! Everyone was disrobing about five minutes in. It was around fifty degrees. And I am not sure what the translation is to Celsius, but I think fifty Fahrenheit is like 400 Celsius. Again, I'm not sure, but it was warmer than I expected.
One thing that was annoying was that it has been sunny the entire time I've been in Beijing. Which is not expected. You see, Beijing is almost always covered in soot, and haze, and poo, and ash, and whatever pollution you can think of. Somehow, I hadn't experienced that (too much). Of course, I wake up yesterday, open the curtains, and there's the soot, haze, poo, ash, etc.
So that was a bummer, because the visibility was crappy. And all of the photos look cloudy and bright.
All that aside, it was amazing. If the world ends in 2012, I'll be happy I saw the Great Wall of China. We hiked a part of the wall that has not been all fancied up by China, which was cool. Not one person tried to sell me a postcard or a DVD (that's because we didn't see anyone else the entire way).
I only asked someone to take a photo of me once. And I made the mistake of not looking at it after. I call this my "Hey, who farted on the Great Wall?" face.
This was on the way down. You can see where we climbed up to in the background. Nice job, China.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Anyway, I am off to the Great Wall of China tomorrow, so I will most likely post some photos. In the meantime, here is what I will be giggling about the entire time I am hiking the Great Wall of China.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
So remember when I said Chinese people here stare at white people? Well, I do the same thing now. It's weird to see a white person, and I stare. And when Chinese people don't look back at me, I'm like, "HEY! Look at me! I'm a fucking white FREAK!"
I don't really do that, but there is sort of a "Hey, white person!" thing that goes on. You know how people with Jeeps or VW Beetles honk or wave at each other? White people do that with eye contact in China. Even if you speak French and I speak English, we're kind of like, "Hey, whitey." Or, "Bonjour, blancy."
I got an email from a guy named Johnny Wang today. First, I assumed it was spam. It was not. Second, if that's your name, how do you not legally change your name to have an exclamation point at the end of it?
"And your name?"
I imagine he points at the person each time he says it. With both hands.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I didn't order it, but if I had, I would have thrown a fit if they didn't bring a bunch of poor people out of the kitchen with some fireworks and a chicken. Or maybe ask for alternatives. "Do you have something in an elitist family punching a cow?"
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
yesterday's post where I joked about "Privacy" being in quotes, I'm starting to think I really am being watched by my hotel.by mike 11/09/2010
This note is specifically telling me to put on more clothes. If I get a note tomorrow that says something like, "Try touch privates with left hand. Feel more like stranger," I'm really going to get suspicious.
Monday, November 08, 2010by mike 11/08/2010
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Now, if you asked, "Do you feel super white there?" Well, that's a different story. And the answer is yes.
People stare at me here. Let me rephrase that. People STARE at me here. And they aren't shy about it. You know how when sometimes you feel a person is looking at you, and you look back at them, and then they look away? Yeah, not here. I can tell someone is looking at me, so I look at them, and they keep looking. Like, right into my eyes. They don't care. It's like they've never seen a white person, and they want to see if I will disappear if they look hard enough.
It's odd. I expected that in the Philippines. I was in some pretty rural areas, so a pasty white guy is reason to stare. But in Beijing, one of the biggest cities in the world, it feels kind of odd. You'd think people have seen white people before, at the very least on TV. Granted, I am VERY white, but still. They just stare. Now I know how hot chicks feel.
When I was leaving the Temple of Heaven the other day, these girls were walking near me and kind of being all giggly. I could tell they were talking about me, but didn't know exactly why. Was it because I am insanely handsome? Maybe.
Turned out they wanted me to take a photo of them. One girl came up and gave the international sign for "Can you take a photo of us, white boy?" So I did. Then after that, she said, "Now you." So she wanted to take a photo with me. There were three of them, and they all got their own photo with the white guy who is five foot ten and a half. Now I know how New York firemen feel.
So after that, I said, "OK, now YOU." I had to take a photo with the girls who wanted to take a photo with me. But out of context, it just looks like I'm going around taking photos with young Chinese girls. Which, I totally am. But this one was totally IN context.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Temple of Heaven today. I did not really know what to expect. I knew there would be some structures that have been there since the Ming dynasty and I'd get all historical up in this shit, but I had no idea I would end up walking through an elderly Chinese hip hop dance party. For realz.by mike 11/06/2010
Before I get to that, I will try to give you an idea of what this place is like. It is basically a big park with buildings, gardens, etc. throughout. It's kind of like Central Park, but there are things on the map like this:
Just so you know, the building is shuttered and they no longer kill animals there. I mean, they're killing animals on a regular basis everywhere else around here, but they are smart enough to not call it the Animal Killing Pavilion.
Anyway, it was a lovely fall day today. The first thing I heard when I walked through the east gate, though, was the most god awful singing I have ever heard in my life. There was a lady with a karaoke machine screeching some awfulness. I can tell you now that she is not getting into heaven if she plans on doing that when she gets there. So I walked on.
I walked through a section (simply called the Long Corridor) of older people playing cards and yelling at each other in Chinese. It was incredibly entertaining to watch, and I would match rather watch this than any World Series of Poker garbage on ESPN.
Then I walked through a much quieter and serene section where this guy was singing, and he had a great voice. He was one of my favorite people of today, because he was singing his heart out, even though no one was watching him (I was behind him and eventually said Ni Hao to him, so I wasn't a total creeper).
So now I am walking and really enjoying the weather, the trees, the history and all that. I walk down this pretty little path.
Then I went through some gigantic gate. And I heard some very loud music. The kind of music you'd expect to hear in Central Park, not in the Temple of Heaven. So I was thinking, Wow, someone here is totally blasting some hip hop music, and I can't imagine that these old Chinese people around here are going to stand for this.
I turn a corner to where the music is playing, and there is a quarter mile stretch of about 100 old Chinese people dancing. It was amazing. They were ballroom dancing, salsa dancing, some were just doing some old school Tai Chi moves. And they were all doing it to Kanye. I repeat. It was AMAZING. I am here for two more weeks and I am pretty sure this will be the highlight of my trip.
This lady was my favorite.
I walked around for about three hours after this, and before I left, I came back to see if this was still going on. And while there were less people there, it was still going. And that lady was still going strong. Check out the dude in the background. That's how everyone was dancing. It was serious. I might go back tomorrow.
I feel like recreational dancing on TV has really had a void ever since Club MTV went off the air. Might I suggest Club Eldery Chinese Hip Hop Dance Party. Or Dancing With the Old Chinese Ladies.
Anyway, the rest of the temple was cool, but no Ming Dynasty relics could hold a candle to the 20 minutes I spent watching those people dance. Yes, 20 minutes. I kept starting to leave, but it was so difficult. It was too much fun. If heaven is actually like this, then sign me up.
Tomorrow I will blog about how I am a white person in China. A very white person.
Here are a few more photos from today (you can click on them for a better view).
This dude was conducting a band and a choir at the same time. He was also pretty awesome.
Friday, November 05, 2010
I ate duck blood. It wasn't as good as it sounds.
I got stuck on an elevator with two Chinese girls. They flipped their lids. We were stuck for about a minute. If it went for five minutes, I'm pretty sure they planned on killing me and using my skin as a blanket.
A homeless man patted my belly, then tried to sell me a tiny dog. I would have bought a gremlin, but I don't need a dog.
I saw a sticker on a car that I think was supposed to say "Baby On Board" but it said "Baby On Road."
I went to a restaurant that had "Braised Belly Hill Bacteria" on the menu. You haven't had bacteria until you've had it braised.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
But I got a pretty sweet photo with Chinese people wearing Texan clothes. So, you know, I am a winner.