Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day

First off, I'd like to wish all of my fellow Fathers a Happy Father's day. I'd also like to wish those of you and specifically my good friends that have lost their Dads a Happy Father's day. We wouldn't be who we are without having the love and guidance of our Dads, Papis and Old Men. Thank you for everything you've done for us. Thank you Dads for showing us what it is to be men. From our way of dress, to our mannerisms, to how we are supposed to treat all people with respect (especially the ladies).

Most of all I'd like to thank my Dad for without him, God knows where I'd be today. Thank you for instilling in me the idea of a positive work ethic, the idea of knowing who you hangout with to how their actions reflect on you both positively and negatively (and vice versa), and the idea of getting an education to being the main way in order to advance myself in life. I know that raising a boy in these last few years can be tough (As I know with the upcoming challenges that Brigette and I will face with not only our son but with both of our little ones). Outside influences as drugs, alcohol and crime can easily lead a young man down the wrong path and to keep one from going down that path proves to be often a daunting challenge that not only my father faced but both of my parents in raising me. I know that the path was full of head butting, arguing and resistance but thanks to their persistence, love and strict upbringing, I've been able to enjoy a fruitful life and hope to be able to provide the same to my children.

Thank you Papi, and Feliz Dia De Los Padres. Love you.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Heat Is On!!!

Well, the oppressive and brutal NYC heat is upon us and like the weather, I am steaming hot. Not only am I always swampy due to the heat, people out there have managed to piss me off in about 3 days of heat. This rant is for all of those morons out there that need to discover a simple beauty aid called DEODORANT.

We live in the modern ages where even though water prices have risen it's still cheap to take a bath or a shower. After doing so, slap on or spray on some Secret, Brut, Axe or any of the hundreds of DEODORANTS that are out on the market. Now if you can't afford the high end products, head over to your local .99 cents store and buy the cheap stuff. It works just as well but you may need to use more. In this day and age there is no excuse for you smelly people out there to be stinking up a packed subway car at 9am. For the "rare" instance that you start to smell later in the day, carry a travel size DEODORANT and apply some after washing your pits in the bathroom at work with soap and warm water. Come on people, show some pride in yourselves and get on the ball.

Secondly, this isn't so much a rant but a curiosity. What's the deal with the tight pants on guys with the whole back of the boxers or tidy whities showing. Not that I'm looking but damn it's hard not to notice when they stand with their back to you on the iron horse while you're sitting down. Now the style of baggy pants down past your ass is not new, God knows why its still popular. What I have to ask is this, how can you guys run with you pants so low. How comfortable can that be. I mean if you're being chased by a group of guys wearing their pants in the same fashion then the field is even. You have a bunch of dudes running after each other holding up their pants. Go figure. Any input would be appreciated.

Staying on the topic of men's fashion. My local Key Food has been in the news lately. Seems like the landlord, Vornado Realty is trying to jack up the rent to an amount that would drive the market from its location. Its a shame if they were to leave since its really not a bad place to shop and the nearest markets are a few blocks further in various directions. You may be asking yourself: What does Key Food have to do with men's fashions. Here's my rants. Let's go.

The management has required all male employees that work on registers to wear ties. Simple enough, except that they have not mandated that they wear a uniform shirt to accompany their ties. So what you have is a group of young guys that were any shirt with the ties. I mean if they wore a simple white polo shirt with their tie I might be open to letting the fashion slight pass, but no, these young dudes wear (Literally) any shirt with the ties.

Have young men simply forgotten how to dress like professional young men? When asking one of the young men as to why he (and his fellow cashiers) don't wear a simply white or solid color shirt, tucked into their pants with their ties I was pretty much told that since they are made to wear the ties they wear them with whatever shirt on purpose. It's "Their Style" he said. Honestly and no offense young man, you guys all look like clowns. Simply ridiculous. Boy he's lucky I don't manage that place.

I partially blame the management for this one. If you're going to mandate that they wear ties you need to mandate the matching shirt and pants. Give them a stipend to buy the clothes if they don't have the money. How do you expect the general public to take you seriously in your plight to avoid eviction against a greedy landlord if you won't show any professionalism when it comes to your male employees. And young men, there's nothing wrong with looking crisp and professional at work. You'll lose no street cred or status because you're looking like a professional while at work. Dress how you like outside of work but do yourself a favor and learn to be a professional at work. A little pride can go a long way. Well this has been a hot trip...Thanks for taking it with me. Hasta Luego.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What Makes A Real Baseball Fan?

I know this post will piss some people off. Frankly I don't care. Two discussions at Bleecker Street Bar this past week set this one in motion. The second one created the bulk of the idea that I am presenting.

This next Sunday, June 9 were are giving away a set of Yankees tickets via Yankee trivia. Harper asks me to come up with a series of questions for the quiz. Here is where my issue is. The questions that I came up with, being a Yankee fan, were deemed to be too difficult. Now I thought that the questions were not too hard if you were a true Yankee fan answering Yankee trivia. So what makes up a real fan?

Does buying a #2 Jeter shirt and a new hat, while watching a few games on the big screen during the season or even attending some live games make you a fan. In my opinion, No. It makes you more of a casual observer. A real fan puts more effort, time and investment into his team than just new gear and the occasional game. Can a casual observer become a true fan? Absolutely, but it takes time, patience and research. Allow me to elaborate.

You would think in today's age of instant information and constant footage, becoming a true fan would be easier. I mean there are more ballgames on the tube each night than when I was a kid. There's baseball on ESPN at least 4 times a week, plus at 2 games on TBS, plus YES, SNY and the games shown on FOX. Multiply that with the games on the baseball package and that's a lot of ball. I remember the Yanks on Channel 11, the Mets on Channel 9, Monday Night Baseball on Channel 7 and the game of the week either on Channels 4 or 2. For my highlights we had This Week in Baseball and on the late Sunday nights George Michaels Sports Machine. Much less viewing availability.

I learned about the ballplayers I saw on tv through baseball cards, baseball sticker albums, baseball magazines such as Street and Smith's Baseball Annual (Still get it once a year) and the box scores in the paper. Now if you want to see the career stats of the most obscure player you google the player and hundreds of pages come up with complied stats for almost all known situations (And it really comes in handy with the Blackberry in the middle of debates with Harper on slow nights). Plus in NYC there is so much more available in terms of entertainments that baseball is not your only option on tv. So why do I feel that there are many people that aren't real fans when there is so much available to them to view and use.

I guess it's just that, there is too much information without much effort. I feel today's fan doesn't have to work hard enough to keep up with his team for it to be meaningful. If you know your team (for example The Orioles) will be on at least 3 times during the week you really don't have to watch or hear them to know what happens. Unlike my friend Bryan, who used his am radio to tune in Cleveland Indians games before radio games were made available of the internet (and I believe that he still gets the radio feeds online). I just don't believe that the passion is there.

There's nothing like running to the local magazine shop and looking through the plastic sleeves of the 3 card baseball packs to see who were the 6 player cards that you knew you were getting (the 3 in front and 3 in back). Running home and laying your cards out by team and pouring over the stats on the back and reading the short quip about the ballplayer. Here I go waxing poetically again but I can't help myself. It's easier to be a casual observer who rides the success of a team when it suits them than the real fan that would sit in a near empty stadium when his team is 20 games under .500 and in last place. A real fan keeps score in the program or score book and teaches his kids to do the same at games. A real fan reads books on not only his team but on other players and teams to get a complete idea of what the game was and is. A real fan can sit and say where he was when so and so debuted, did this or that and when he stopped playing. A real fan not only knows his team's player but other players though out the years. Real fans remember moments like who rode the police horse in celebration after the 1996 World Series and the name of the kid who reached over the wall in the ALCS against the Orioles in 1996.

It's people like Pete Sophy, Dave Sirosi, Dan Corvino and Manny Aguirre who can pull random stats about random players from thin air during conversations about baseball that make up what real fans are. And like the guy who cried into his pint at Bleecker Street Bar when the Cubs lost to the Marlins in game 7 of the 2003 NLCS, that's what makes what a real fan is, not just a new hat and shirt.

So before I step off of my rant box, let me say something about the 1st conversation I alluded to in my opening paragraph. Under no circumstance do you as a Yankees fan ever root for the Mets and vice versa. Cubbies fans do not root for the Chi-Sox and South-siders never root for North-siders. Real fans never root for their arch rivals no matter who they are playing. For me, Mets vs. Red Sox in the World Series is a neutral and objective affair. Do I hate the Mets and The Red Sox? No, hate is too strong a word plus in the grand scheme of things I have more important things in my life that hatred for a rival professional baseball team. But I do have passion, love, and excitement for my team that translates into elation when the win and sorrow when they lose. I only root for one baseball team, and that's the New York Yankees. That's where my allegiance lies as a real fan.