I got the call today about the new house; approved! Signed and sealed with a move date and all. Yee. Friggin’. HA! Now it’s time to start making the lists of everything that the new place needs…which is like…oh…everything.
See, I travel light kids. I don’t have lots of stuff and I really never wanted it. That has kinda sorta changed…I want stuff, man. I’ve got a great job that pays well, a beautiful house, a great girlfriend, and a grin on my face. So, it’s time to go shopping. On the list;
A new amp (to go with the new guitar)
And the list goes on and on…
What’s that? The new guitar? Oh, did I forget to mention that? He he…funny story. My company bought me a new Les Paul Standard in Honeyburst. Oh yeah, baby. IT was an “atta boy” for 2007. How cool is that? Sadly, and of course, I picked the one finish that simply doesn’t exist. No one’s got it. From here to LA and back again it simply ain’t there. So, I had to order it and we’re still waiting but who cares? I mean, this thing is worth whatever the wait!
New place, new guitar, life is good, baby. Life is good.
To that end, I’ve been reexamining all sorts of things lately, and I’ve sort of realized that I’ve always been a little afraid of success. I do very well in all kinds of things, but then I start wondering if I deserve it…am I going to screw it up? How am I going to screw it up? When am I going to screw it up?
But this time…right now? I feel amazing. I feel strong and I feel like things are falling in to place. Like I’ve worked hard and that I do deserve to succeed. Even writing this, I’m wondering if I’m jinxing something. But then I think; hell no. FUCK no. There’s this life that I want and by god I’m going to reach out with both hands and grab it.
It’s one hell of a feeling, kids. I highly recommend it.
If the first few weeks of ’08 are any indication, this year is going to kick ass. I mean, it’s really starting to look friggin’ fantastic. A lot of the changes that happened at the end of ’07 are paying off in big, big ways and I’m grinning from ear to ear.
It’s no big secret that I’ve been MIA. Well, that’s because my work load and even my entire job description changed in the last few months. I’ve been busier than ever and it’s been really great (except for my blogging gig, that is) for my life. A busy INPY is a happy INPY. Well, yesterday I was called in for my yearly review and given a substantial raise to go along with the new set up, as well as some other bad ass tweaks.
And today? I’m looking at a house. That’s right damnit you heard me. A 3 floor, finished basement, fenced in back yard, house on the hill. No more crackheads in CoHi for this cabron. No no. Like the Jeffersons, I’m a movin’ on up. Now, this was set up before I got the raise. It’s just that the raise is going to help. A LOT. Oh, and I’m not buying this place. I’d be renting. Even still, it’s a hell of a lot better to have a house is Cap Hill than an English Basement in Columbia Heights.
Next on my list is a car. I’ve fought it and fought it, but I’ve decided that it’s time. I sort of kind of have to have it for my job anyhow…I’ve just been trying to fudge it and make due but that’s not cutting it anymore. So, yeah. Now it’s a car. I have no idea what make/model I’m going to look for except to say that it will be (1) used and (2) ….well, there is no “2” so far. I used to buy cars based on the “Grrr Factor”. I liked fast and fun. Now? Not so much. Now it’s more about gas mileage and comfort…and OK, yeah, a good 0-60 (and 60-90) number.
So along with cutting out the smoking, lots of the drinking, the eating of meat (had I mentioned that before?) and the Russian call girls, I’m adding more “stuff” to my life. I’m not generally a big fan of “stuff”. I don’t like being weighed down by lots of things. Possessions. Who needs ’em? All it is really is more junk that you’ve got to deal with…
…but, that’s kind of giving way to a feeling that I’d like to be a bit more rooted down and a bit more…umm…stable? That might be the word.
Either way, hello 2008. You’re lookin’ mighty fine this evening.
While I was away, the long awaited Mitchell Report came out. For those of you who don’t follow sports or who are reading in France, this was an $20MM investigation headed up by former Senator (and Red Sox employee) George Mitchell in to the use of steroids in Major League Baseball and it hit like an Atom Bomb. There were names, dates, and accusations galore. And ESPN and CNN both ran those big names in a non stop loop at the bottom of their screens. And understand, these weren’t just any old names. These were huge names like Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. America was shocked. Stunned. How could this be?!
That was what I heard, too. “INPY…how can this be?!” “Do you believe it?” “What should the punishment be?!” Until now, I resisted the urge to post my thoughts. I kept thinking that someone, anyone, would step up and express exactly what I was feeling. I waited…and I waited.
And then I waited some more.
I read the coverage diligently, and found it full of words like “shame”, “betrayal”, “outrage”…I saw the “how could they do this to the children?” and “what is wrong with these people” headlines. I read the calls for Roger to be banned from the Hall of Fame and saw the interviews and now I’m here to tell you what I think.
You have got to be fucking kidding me. I mean, are you even remotely close to serious with this shit?! I don’t even know where to begin with all of this because I have such utter and complete contempt for this report and the general public, not to mention the sports writers of America who’s sole responsibility is apparently to make sure that everything can become as close to an episode of the OC as humanly possible.
Here’s where I’ll start;
Do I believe that this report is accurate?
Hell yes I do. My question to you is “why did you need this report to begin with?!” You honestly didn’t think that professional athletes were using performance enhancers? Are you slow? Did you ride that short bus with seatbelts and harnesses to school? You do know that the tooth fairy didn’t actually put that money under your pillow, right? And, consequently, there is no “rejuvenation fairy” that has come along since the 80’s and extended the careers of athletes in the world. Roger Clemens is in his 40’s and throwing a baseball at over 90 miles per hour. Are you kidding me?! My grandfather wasn’t all that much older before he had trouble passing the mustard across the table, but this guy is firing fastballs and you didn’t know? Come on, who are you kidding. You didn’t care then, and you wouldn’t care now unless someone decided to tell you that you’re supposed to care.
But, suddenly, somehow, you are righteously indignant about all of this. “How DARE they?!” And as if that’s not enough, you want to hand out punishments…
Let me put it to you like this; if there were a bar in DC that said to its patrons “hey guys, you can smoke in here….yeah, yeah, I know what the law says but really, it’s all good”, that bar would be full of smoke in 30 minutes. And as the patrons and workers and everyone there benefited from it in their own ways, they’d get more and more creative in their attempts to hide it. The bar is making more and more money, people are loving it, and it’s just kickin’ ass. Then, fast forward a bit…someone spills the beans. Probably some tool who got thrown out (Cough cough CANSECO) for being a douche bag and everyone wants to act surprised. Forget, for just a minute, that there was smoke BILLOWING out of the doors and windows…forget that they are emptying ashtrays out the back door…suddenly, there needs to be retribution…
So, who gets punished?
In this case, it’s the people serving your drinks. Not the owners. The workers. And then, just to make matters a bit more murky, the owners of this bar say “hey, we’re sorry buddy. In fact, we’ve hired our corporate accountant to do some research in to this situation and find out who’s responsible”…and he comes back with a list of who was working in the bar.
That’s the Mitchell Report.
Anyone in baseball that says they didn’t know is lying to you. From Bud Selig to the managers and all the way down to the bat boys. But somehow, the only names in that report, and the only people thrown under the bus, are the athletes.
What a shock.
So you ask me, do I believe that there’s a problem? My answer to you is “grow up”.
My other problems with this whole thing are, in no particular order;
1) How in the name of God did a man who works for a baseball team get the gig doing an investigation in to baseball?! The powers that be have the audacity to say to me and to you, well, he’s a former Senator! His integrity is beyond reproach.”
Umm…what?! Are you high?!
Last time I checked, the biggest problem in this country’s government is (arguably) special interest. Why? Because these Senators and Congressman and mayors and whoever else can all be bought and sold!!! Yet there you sit saying to me with a straight face “this guy’s too honest to be on the take”. W. T. F?! If he’s so honest, why aren’t there any names of owners in there? Or managers? You’re going to tell me that despite the fact that these men are the face of your business, and you see them constantly for months on end, day in and day out, you have no idea if they are up to something? You can’t see them growing exponentially or look at their numbers going up and up and up and say “Hmmm”? Give me a fucking break. And no one seems to care that Georgie couldn’t find ONE person outside of the players and 2 trainers that was at all responsible or guilty?
The fix was in the minute they pulled a guy from the payroll, and there was no way that he was going to nail anyone but the talent. Oh, and just for good measure, how about the fact that there’s not ONE failed drug test among the 80 something players he found, and yet…he decided to name names?
Gee, I can’t imagine.
2) Another issue I have; you think this is baseball’s problem. Here’s where I’m seriously going to blow a gasket. The NFL handed out suspensions to Shawne Merriman and Rodney Harrison for the same thing; PED’s. The Carolina Panthers had a Dr. supplying Christ only knows how many of them INCLUDING THE KICKER with PED’s. Does anyone care? It’s an afterthought. There have been stories about golfers (GOLFERS!!!!) taking Steroids. The entire Tour De France is sponsored by BALCO. Track stars are rotten with it. Boxers and Ultimate Fighters fail tests and yet…it’s just baseball that gets more than a passing mention?!
Professional athletes don’t do anything like normal people. They don’t live like you do. They eat different. They work out different. They sleep different. Their doctors treat them with drugs and therapies that you’ve never heard of…everyone single one of them. And there are millions and millions of dollars on the table. Of course they are taking PED’s!!! You can’t be this naïve America. If I offered you a way to make far, FAR more money at your job by taking something that everyone else was taking, too, you’d jump at it. Don’t lie to me or to yourself. For a fraction of what these people are paid you’d do all kinds of things that you wouldn’t want made public. I’m talking to you and you and hell yes you. Get off your high horse, folks.
3) Wanna know why you’re reading all of this all of the sudden? Because sportswriters are trying to sell you something. These guys who are now writing all these pieces about baseball? These are the same guys who, a few years from now, will be doing the same thing to the NFL, NHL, NBA and whoever else and acting “shocked”. But none of them are saying it now…there’s no groundswell for any sort of universal testing across all pro sports…just more BS from the same guys who wouldn’t dare say anything until someone else does first. These are just the Johnny Come Lately’s…all of them telling you how horrible these people who cheated the game and cheated you and blah blah blah…what a crock. Where were they even a few short years ago? I’ll tell you where; they were calling Mark Maguire and Sammy Sosa heroes for saving baseball while pretending not to notice that Big Mac had grown to 150% of the size he’d been as a rookie. Please. You know who I respect? I respect the guys who wrote Book of Shadows (Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams) about Barry Bonds. They said “this guy is using Steroids” and they went after him. The rest of these writers are no better and no different than the View. They sit around clucking like hens clamoring for attention in shrill hysterics about the issue of the hour. None of them actually report anything…they just cluck and crow for your dollars. They don’t care about the game. They don’t care about the players. And they damn sure don’t care about integrity. If they did, they’d have been saying this years ago.
4) This one is the big one. Are you ready?
You don’t know you’re being conned.
You really don’t. Last year baseball surpassed the $6 Billion mark. Think about that…$6 BILLION DOLLARS. In fact, from now on that will be in all caps because that much money deserves no less. Not one less ticket was sold in this country when this whole thing started and not one less ticket is going to be sold. Why? Because at the end of the day baseball can say “we have the Mitchell Report, we are now testing for Steroids, please buy more tickets”. And we alllll will because we got to learn the names of 80 something players that George caught. And what’s the reality of this whole thing? That there is no test for the Drug du Jour, HGH, there isn’t going to be one any time soon, and everyone will go right back to business as usual. From day one, the whole point of the Mitchell Report wasn’t to clean up baseball, it was to create a big splash so that none of you would ask the real question.
The question isn’t “do people cheat?” because for a few million bucks, of course they do. (and as I’ve said, so would you for a lot less) The real question is this;
“Does America’s pro sports empire condone and encourage the use of PED’s?”
And, for the $6 BILLION that baseball alone represents (plus the revenues of the NFL, NHL, NBA, and every other pro sprot) the answer is you’re god damned right they do. They do it because you, the spectator…the common fan, DEMAND that they do. That’s right, you heard me. Think about it; we market these men and women as super human. They can run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than anyone else. But you don’t want to know what goes in to making them that way and you’re damn sure not interested in seeing the game played for the purity of it. You don’t care about singles or the perfectly executed relay throw. Fuck no! You wany home runs and triples! You know what pays their salaries and buys their Ferrari’s? Excitement. You know who knows that better than anyone? Owners. KNow what else they’ve figured out? A team and a league full of average guys who work hard doesn’t create the excitement that a team and a league full of enhanced athletes puts out. You want home runs! Sacks! Spectacular hits and crushing blows! They want your money. And the athletes? They want it, too, but they only get a short time to get a fraction of it. They have to compete with all those younger guys, and those younger guys are doing whatever they can to get that spot, too. There’s greed and ego and all kinds of things involved that you’d like to pretend you’re above, but you aren’t.
Do the math, genius. For $6 BILLION you’d be amazed what you’d condone. And pro sports? They condone highlights above all else. That’s the real issue. But you don’t want to hear that because it’s not as exciting and it damn sure doesn’t sizzle. Those players named will be replaced by others that will cheat just like those before them and those before them. THink this is new? Then ask someone why the investigators were told not to include Amphetamines in there search. Little hint; because all of those guys that played in the “pure eras” were wired for fucking sound…hell, teams used to provide candy bowls full of them!
But Steroids and HGH? Oh yeah, it’s like they suddenly got moral and ethical.
The whole thing stinks, and the only people getting the shaft are the players. And America, you bought it hook line and sinker because of the splashy headlines and the big names. It never even dawned on you to you to ask the real question. Hell, it never even dawned on you to ask the easy questions.
So, what do I think of the Mitchell Report? I think George Mitchell can kindly go fuck himself along with Bud Selig and the other owners who used it to pull the wool over all of our eyes.
Happy 2008, Kids! Where do I even begin to get you caught up?
I just got back not so very long ago from the frozen North East, having spent Christmas with my family. Seriously, it gets better and better every time I’m up there. Maybe I’m getting old or something, but the feeling I get of being connected to my family is, quite simply, better than absolutely anything else I have in my life. Seeing my brother and his wife and their three gorgeous (and growing) daughters is better than sipping Jack and Coke all morning I kid you not. And my dad? My dad is doing great. Really, really great. This trip was just what I needed, and being up there in the cold, quiet expanse of Maine was just what the Dr. ordered. I cleared my mind, tickled my nieces, and generally just felt relaxed and at peace with the world…
For New Year’s Eve, I did NOTHING. Not a god damned thing and you know what? It was awesome. I contemplated hitting some bar or a house party and getting blotto. But you know what? After a whole week+ of not drinking and being with my family? Eh, I just wasn’t feeling it. Instead, NGF and I hit the couch, ordered some Chinese, and watched the ball drop. Oh, and I watched the Twilight Zone marathon on Sci Fi. THAT was some great TV, kids. (The Howling Man is my personal fav episode)
I realize that this might sound lame, boring, and underwhelming. I assure you, it was not. It was nice to just BE instead of feeling obligated to DO. And after the year that I had, a little quiet reflection was in order.
Last year at this time I had just started planning my wedding. This year I’m knee deep in a new relationship. The good news is that I didn’t need a lawyer or an annulment to get a new girlfriend. I’m taking that as a good thing. A big plus. And since that day in March (St Patrick’s Day for those of you keeping score) I’ve gone all kinds of up and down and evened out somewhere on the high side of “good”, with a whole lot learned. Chief among my shiny new list of lessons learned is this;
Once you’ve been kicked, you toughen up. It’s never going to hurt as much as it did the first time, really…so think of it as a good thing when you’re licking your wounds by realizing that you’ve just made yourself a bit stronger. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to care…but it does mean that the punch you don’t see coming isn’t going to drop you the way it did before. You learn, you live. Seeing yourself get up off the ground makes you less afraid to try again because you’ve already lived through the Uber Bad so really, what’s there to be afraid of? It’s like a kid getting a shot. Sure you cry and wail and scream the first time, but hopefully you realize that it’s just a little pin prick and next time it’s not so bad…
Unless you’re a total friggin’ baby about it.
Some other thoughts on and lessons learned in 2007;
-Super Bad was super good. Anything with the Seth Rogan/Paul Rudd et al crowd in it is a movie that I’m seeing.
-I hate Hate HATE the musical stylings of John Mayer, and listening to him speak is almost as bad. I find him, like Butterstick, to be smug.
-The Mitchell Report was a joke. A total, complete joke. There will be much more on this to come.
-I might need a baseball rehab. Losing to Cleveland and watching the Red Sox win was like having a knife embedded in my rib cage. Really.
-If there was a baseball rehab, I wouldn’t go. I’m already jonesin’ for my next fix.
-Smoking cigarettes makes me feel absolutely nasty. My hangovers are doubly bad if I smoke even a few during the night, so I need to cut out even the occasional puffs. I went from being a full time hard core smoker to the “Just when I drink” guy…I have to knock that off in ’08.
–Heroes? You shot your wad half way through season 1. I won’t be watching you any more. You had your chance. Peter Petrelli taking his shirt off does nothing for me, and I’ve decided that I want to drown the cheerleader to save my Monday nights.
–Dexter, on the other hand, is brilliant and just keeps getting better and better. If they did a Christmas musical episode, I’d make popcorn and watch it.
-DC has an amazing blogger scene. I’ve made some great friends and met some hip cats through it…you know who you are.
-DC Blogger Happy Hours are like keg parties when I was in highschool; no matter what, I’m going to be there. It’s just too much fun to even think about missing it.
-Blogging is addictive. HIGHLY ADDICTIVE.
-Contrary to my belief that I am bulletproof and don’t need to be careful with my body, I can wind up in an ER just like everyone else.
-I will be seeing every Govt Mule Show that I can get myself to in 2008.
-After almost 8 years of whining and crying about GWB, the best the Democrats can come up with is Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama? Are you kidding me? Someone pass me the paperwork to join the Libertarian Party, please.
-After almost 8 years of watching GWB run roughshod over everything your party believes in, the best you Republicans can come up with is Giuliani and Huckabee? Are YOU kidding me? Here’s the paperwork to join the Libertarian Party.
-I’m happiest when I’m being creative. In any way.
-The Gillette Fusion Power Razor is the BOMB. I was convinced this was a gimmick. I stand corrected. Just make damn sure that you hide it from your (N)GF, becasue once she gets her mitts on it, you’re going to have to double your razor cartridge purchases.
-For all the whining people do in DC about how they’d rather be anywhere else, somehow they don’t ever seem to go anywhere. Me? I love it here, but I’m still looking forward to the day when I head North. But I’ll always love the time I spent here. Always.
-Even when you know she’s going to say “yes”, proposing is terrifying. I learned that in 2006. However, more terrifying is the feeling that you have to climb in to an empty bed even after you’ve mustered up the courage to ask anyhow. I learned that in 2007.
-That goes away and gets replaced by a feeling of “que sera, sera”. Well, if you let it, that is.
-I don’t look good in a moustache. Period.
And a few New Year’s Resolutions;
-Somehow in the last 2 years I have gained weight. This simply put, must be reversed. Now, granted I gave up all kinds of things over the last 2 years, and that certainly lead to this…but by god, this has gone on long enough.
-Drink less, live longer.
-Play guitar, damnit.
-Write, write, write.
-Volunteer. It’s good for the soul and it’s been too long.
-Be good to the people that are good to me, and be thankful that I have them in my life.
Yeah, that should do it.