Don’t know what to do with free time when I have it

I could’ve written this last night.  Or the night before.  But instead, I’m writing it now, under the challenge of wanting to knock out something before I have to go wake up my child from the first nap of the day, because I’m feeling like I haven’t really accomplished anything productive over the weekends that I pine for during the week, but have no idea what to do when they finally arrive.

So I close my work laptop on Friday afternoon, and spend the rest of the afternoon playing with my daughter until it’s time for her to go to bed.  Bath time, and then bed time, and after she’s asleep, I finally have some free time for myself for a few hours, before I go to bed at a conservative hour because I’m up at 6:30 am every single day and I don’t want to bone myself just because I want to stay up late just because it’s the weekend.

I don’t really do anything at all.  I sit at my laptop watching random YouTube clips of chiropractor cracking, Initial D, and the seemingly endless parade of rehashed Parks & Recreation clips.  Actually, I take that back partially, I watched the first two episodes of WandaVision, which I think it’s too early to tell how I feel about it, except that I’m able to stay in the game with it unlike Legion, but both episodes combined were about 45 minutes once you factor in the 14 minutes of ending credits in the first two episodes.

Before I know it, it’s 11:07 pm, it’s too late for me to watch anything else, but it’s still a hair earlier than I’d rather go to bed, so instead I lay in bed playing Fire Emblem Heroes or doing surveys for pennies on my phone until it’s time to go to bed.

Saturday was a pretty good day, as I like to tie in little excursions amidst caring for my child throughout the day and in between her naps, so that we can all feel like we’re actually leaving our house, even if it the vast majority of places are contactless or curbside pickups.  We tried a new restaurant, ran some errands with no complications, and I heard from a friend that had been on my mind lately.  I felt in such good spirits, I felt as if I should capitalize and buy a lottery ticket, since the Powerball was up to $640M, and why the fuck not.

Baby goes to bed, and then it’s really more of the same – I don’t really know what to do, so I end up sitting at my laptop dicking around, feeling like I should at least watch something, hemming and hawing for way longer than most people typically do, and then watching the last two episodes of Lovecraft Country that I hadn’t seen, except my heart’s not really into it, and I ultimately end up thinking it’s just kind of okay.  Now it’s 11 pm, and I’m thinking of retiring so I don’t kill myself at 6:30 the next morning.

Which brings us to today.  Instead of the one nap I give myself while baby naps (that was done on Saturday), I go ahead and get my every-other-day run out of the way.  I pre-prepare a recipe that mythical wife and I hope will be baby-friendly, and now I’m sitting here thinking that I’ve let a large portion of the weekend go to waste, and musing at the simple fact that I don’t really know what to do with my free time whenever I do have any.  I could watch television or movies and chip into the queues that have bloated to gargantuan proportions, but then I often times get choice paralysis and then end up shutting down from overstimulation, and instead wishing that there were just more 90 Day Fiance or My 600 Lb. Life to watch instead, which are the only shows that I really truly stay up on top of.

But that’s where I’m at now.  I just don’t really know what to do with my free time, and that alone is enough to make me anxious and wordy but not do anything about it.  It just becomes a topic for me to mindlessly brog about to consume 25 minutes in a manner that doesn’t feel like completely a waste.  Then soon will be time to wake up my child, and proceed with her day, and if she’s fussy or cranky, then I’m guiltily counting down the clock until the next nap to when I can have some free time that I don’t know what to do with, and then the cycle continues until it’s time to go to bed and then a larger cycle continues.

It sounds way more depressing than I actually feel, but when I try to look at things objectively, that’s really how it kind of looks.  But at least I hit the Powerball three times, so I’ll get back a whopping $12 on my $20 investment.

I wish for the 2.5 hours I lost back

My job put me in a shitty mood today, which sucks, but for the sake of writing out a post of criticism, it’s actually kind of advantageous.  I tend to believe that intent is sharpest when paired with an emotion that rides along the same wavelength, so when I’m in a pissed mood, lighting into something might be the right mindset for doing such.

Frankly, I knew what I was getting into when I sat down to watch WW84 because making a title card “Wonder Woman 1984” would have been the hardest thing to do for this day and age where people can sparsely be expected to use vowels when writing their shorthand bullshit, even in a professional working environment.

But I had already heard that this movie wasn’t good, and I’d seen the memes, my favorite of them being the title of this post because I felt the exact same way after watching it.  However, out of one part morbid curiosity and another part simply because Gal Gadot is gorgeous and I could probably put up with watching Boys Don’t Cry or The Boy With the Striped Pajamas if had Gal Gadot in it, I decided to watch it anyway.

Despite knowing that it probably wasn’t good, and despite knowing that it was 2.5 hours long and I could have done a myriad of things with 2.5 hours instead of watching WW84, I did something stupid and watched WW84.

And it sucked.  Unsurprisingly.  Frankly, in spite of the praise of the original Wonder Woman received, I didn’t think it was particularly close to as good as the praise it was getting, and I hate to sound completely sexist, but I think films like it and shows like Jessica Jones get a bump in credit solely for the fact that they’re stories about strong female leads with mostly female production crews.  Frankly, the gender of casts and crews are irrelevant to me, and I’d rather not know it at all as long as captivating and entertaining stories and presented to me.

Regardless, it goes without saying that the original Wonder Woman was easily the strongest DC property film since the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, and easily the best DC flick in the supposed Justice League universe they’ve tried to cobble together with most notably a Ben Affleck Batman.

But ultimately, that’s like saying the least stinkiest turd in the punch bowl because for whatever reason, DC Comics can’t seem to get their shit together when it comes to translating their properties into film.  Wonder Woman was alright, which makes it the strongest DC film in their respective universe, but honestly, I’d rather have watched episodes of the lowly Iron Fist or the fairly mediocre Defenders shows than DC’s top film.

I kind of feel bad for DC comics.  Because in the actual world of comic books, DC has plenty of quality properties and capable writers and some legendary stories told.  Batman alone carries DC comics way more than any single Marvel property can take credit for carrying Marvel Comics.  But no matter what, they just can’t seem to make good movies, and it’s almost as inevitable that a non-Batman DC movie is going to suck as much as the Braves will always collapse in the most embarrassing or heartbreaking fashions possible.

So needless to say, a sequel to a marginal quality film was bound to be a downhill ride no matter what, and to WW84’s credit, they basically lived up to expectation.  Thank goodness this never made it to theaters, because I already want my money back for it wasting 2.5 hours of my life, despite watching from the comfort of my own home on HBOmax.

Bust or World Series

It still doesn’t mean anything to me: the Atlanta Braves sweep the Miami Marlins, advance to the NLCS for the first time since 2001

Big whoop; if it were any team other than the Marlins, then the Braves would have guaranteed lost in the NLDS, continuing their streak of getting bounced in the (real) first round of the playoffs.  The Cubs would have undoubtedly throttled the Braves, if they could only have not choked against a plucky Marlins squad that shouldn’t have been a playoff team in any ordinary season.

It doesn’t really matter though; awaiting the Braves is most likely the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were one of the odds-on favorites to win the World Series when this hackneyed season even began, and are only not already in the NLCS because of an upstart San Diego Padres team whom is being willed to success by Fernando Tatis, Jr.  But the Dodgers are a team that is playing mad, and playing like they’re owed a World Series, seeing as how they lost to both the Astros and the Red Sox in 2017 and 2018 respectively, with both teams known or likely to have been cheating in order to beat them. 

Yeah, now that the Braves have gotten rid of the pretender scrubs and will be put up against a real contender, it’s only a matter of time before reality comes crashing down on things, and the Braves get swept by the Dodgers, an organization who has bounced them out of the playoffs in 2013 and 2018 and seemingly always has their number, but more importantly, Clayton Kershaw, one of the best pitchers in history and owns the Braves historically.

It’s really cute that the Braves are defying reality and have gotten some stellar starting pitching from kids like Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright, but it’s only a matter of time before their inexperience and the overwhelming pressure of the playoffs cave them in, and then it’s another sad pathetic October sob story is written, and Braves fans are left saying aw shucks, maybe next year, naively dismissing shit like free agency and elevator salaries, that will undoubtedly change the face of the roster by next March. 

Either way, I refuse to have any hope in the Braves, in spite of their current standings.  I know what awaits them in the NLCS, which will be a real contender, and the Braves will fold like bad poker player who thinks they belong at the big table, and I won’t be disappointed by it, because it was always the expected outcome.  Baby magic has carried them this far, and at the time I’m writing this, in the American League, the also-charmed Yankees have stretched the Rays to five games to see who will advance to the ALCS, and if Baby Magic is correct, then the Yankees will advance to the ALCS where the Astros await them.

Huh, seems like the respective championship series will truly be putting Baby Magic to the test, as the Astros have historically owned the Yankees over the last few years in the playoffs similarly to how the Dodgers have owned the Braves.  But in the grand spectrum of things, there’s something fucked up and appropriate if the World Series happens to be an Astros vs. Dodgers rematch too.

Welp, better get ready for the intrigue of that matchup, because that’s probably how it’s going to be.  Yay doofy baseball season that really shouldn’t have happened in the first place!

Surely, this doesn’t actually count

It doesn’t mean anything to me: the Atlanta Braves defeat the Cincinnati Reds, win their first postseason series in 19 years*

*it only required a global pandemic to wipe out 102 regular season games, Major League Baseball to reconfigure the entire playoff system, and adding a third round to allow for even lesser competition into the postseason in a best-of-three, played entirely in Atlanta for this to occur

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always happy to hear when the Braves win baseball games (except in those years where I was rooting for them to lose 100 games), and it is still a life’s want, to see the Braves win a World Series.  But as I’ve documented throughout the years, there is just too much history, too much failure and just well, too much Atlanta, for the Atlanta Braves to have to overcome in order to get to the top of the mountain, ever again.

But make no mistake, this barely counts as a breaker of history.  In an ordinary season, the Braves would have been paired up against the #3 seed Cubs, who are notorious chokers in their own right, but have actually sniffed success within the last decade, and the last time these two teams met in the playoffs was in 2003 when the lower-seed Cubs upended the 101-win Braves in five games.

The Braves winning a hackneyed, made-up playoff matchup surely doesn’t, and shouldn’t really count as breaking history, as much as ESPN was careful to word their phrasing as to make is accurate as possible.  Sure, the Braves won a postseason series, but again, missing from the statement is all the context that I was gracious enough to provide.  It doesn’t really count to me.

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Should we get excited about the Braves?  Fuck no

SS;DY – Braves clinch the NL East, for the third consecutive year

Doesn’t have the same ring as winning 14 consecutive division titles, but it’s still pleasant to hear that the Braves are back on top of the NL East as if it were the 90’s again.

But ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, because the Braves are basically dead in the water already.  As I’ve posted about numerous times throughout the years, and as history has proven, the Braves making the playoffs means absolutely nothing except another first round bounce.  The Atlanta Braves are the new Buffalo Bills.  Atlanta is now the new Cleveland, if you’re the type to not acknowledge an MLS championship as an actual championship.  Atlanta is undoubtedly the most insufferable, prone-to-choking sports town there is in the country.

To make matters worse, the way the playoff picture is shaping up, there’s a very good chance that the team the Braves will be lined up against is the St. Louis Cardinals.  The same St. Louis fucking Cardinals who bounced them out of the playoffs last year, the same St. Louis fucking Cardinals that bounced them in the bullshit infield fly Wild Card game in 2012, and the same St. Louis fucking Cardinals that swept them in 2000.  Needless to say, the Braves are shit against the Cardinals in the playoffs, and if such matchup is locked in, the conclusion is already forgone.

If they don’t get the Cardinals, then they’ll probably end up getting the San Diego Padres, who in spite of their own historic ineptitude, have been playing like a season of destiny, and in spite of their wild card positioning, they actually have a better record than the Braves, but unfortunately share a division with another team of destiny, the Los Angeles Dodgers who are playing mad because they’ve lost two of the last three World Series to teams who were basically cheating, and are determined to make things right this year.  But the Padres would absolutely annihilate the Braves because if it’s not the Cardinals or the Dodgers knocking them out of the playoffs, it’s the lightning-in-a-bottle teams like the Padres that will 100% sweep them out of the playoffs.

Admittedly, I thought it would be funny if the Braves would find success in another shortened season, seeing as how they won the World Series in 1995, the last time there was a shortened year.  But that was still over 100 games, and not 60* games.  Plus, this was a great year to put baby luck to the test, since it was finally my turn to see if a team that I favored would win a championship in a year where a baby was born, but since mythical wife is a goddamn Yankees fan, she’s still in contention now and more likely to cash in than Braves will since they actually have some starting pitching.

*if a team was lucky to not get any games cancelled on account of coronavirus AND remain mathematically viable to playoff contention

The point is, just because the Braves clinched the division, there is absolutely no reason at all to be excited about the playoffs.  There is too much history, too many complexes, and most importantly the fact that the Braves have NO STARTING PITCHING, to believe that there’s any chance for success, and that a conclusion that isn’t a catastrophic failure isn’t a guaranteed result. 

Although it will be impossible for me to not pay attention to the Braves in the playoffs, or be annoyed when they inevitably get bounced in the first round, the one thing that I won’t be when all of this comes to fruition is, surprised.  And that, is nothing to get excited about.

When the day is over, you just have to do the shit yourself

Because my mental being can’t handle loose ends, I decided to take it upon myself to put back up my own fucking fence, so that it’s one less thing that I’ll have to dump money into when it comes time to (hopefully) finding someone competent to fix shit around my house.  As mentioned before, in the process, I fucked up my finger pretty bad, but fortunately it wasn’t in a state where I couldn’t just bandage it up, wear gloves and not be able to continue working.

To summarize, among the shit that the clown of a “handyman” I “hired” to fix my window did, was not just remove several fence panels,  but also damage the posts in in the process of fishing the $450 scissor lift rental I made on his request, off of my backyard, which also tore the shit out of my turf (photos below).  He claimed that he would take responsibility for the damages, but shocking nobody, he’s been as evasive and vague as an extreme cheapskate when the bill shows up, about when he’s actually coming to do anything, and frankly I don’t actually believe he’s going to do anything, and I’m going to light him up on the internet and hope it hurts his future business, because an asshole like this doesn’t need to be out there pretending to be a respectable handyman.

During the days of ghosting, I would step outside and just look at the unfinished job of the fence, and get madder and madder, and I realized that this was not good for my mental state.  Just because I didn’t want to do it didn’t mean that I wasn’t capable of doing it, and considering the sloppy nature of this guy in the first place, it would probably be in the best interest if I did it myself, to ensure that it would be done well.

So janky finger injury aside, I assessed where things stood, and came to the conclusion that this was one of those situations where I would just have to do this shit myself.

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A 2020 MLB Arizona-only short season: greed personified

I know that over the last few years, baseball has definitely fallen pretty hard in terms of priorities in my life, but it’s still my favorite sport, and I’ll always have an ear to the ground in regards to it.  I’ll also include that the lack of the pomp and circumstance of the Opening Day that didn’t happen is mostly lost on me, because of the whole, having a baby owning my life from here on until the indefinite future, but it’s still a sad state of affairs that this is the time of the year in which baseball should be shining the brightest, but thanks to coronavirus, is nowhere to be seen.

Naturally, within the inner workings of baseball and their respective organizations, there are massive repercussions to not having a season; fans don’t get to enjoy watching the national pastime, ballparks all across the country sit dormant as the beautiful spring days and nights come and go, and of course, there are billions of dollars being lost all across the board from there being no baseball.

Ballparks large and small, major league, minor league, semi-pro, etc, make no money on parking, concessions and tickets when there is no baseball.  The local economies that house and surround said ballparks also feel the pinch from there being no focal point to draw traffic to them.  People who work in the ballparks and any businesses that rely on baseball to bring in money, end up suffering and worse, jobless as a result.

And when everything culminates, above all else, the owners, investors and other partners who run baseball organizations and the teams themselves, aren’t making money when there’s no baseball being played.

What’s kind of messed up is that baseball players, are still getting paid in spite of the shutdown.  For doing jack shit nothing at this point, as they can’t really train, since the places they’d go train at are all also shutdown.  Sure, the Bryce Harpers and the Manny Machados aren’t going to be getting their full $30M+ salaries for the year, but it’s reported that quite a few players are making up to $143K a week for doing the aforementioned nothing.

But anyway, the point of this post comes from some news that’s been bubbling over the last few weeks about how Major League Baseball is kicking an idea around, that would attempt to get baseball back onto the field as soon as possible, even if it had some really extreme guidelines about it.

Basically, in this proposal, the entire 2020 MLB season would take place over the span of 4-5 months starting in July or August and go through presumably November.  But here’s the real crazy part of it: all 30 teams would be playing in various stadiums all across Arizona.  And possibly Florida.  Or maybe just Arizona.  The point is, MLB wants to play as much of an entire season as possible in either just Arizona, or they’ll do Arizona and Florida and use the Spring Training Cactus and Grapefruit leagues as two divisions and then mash together a World Series at presumably a neutral site.

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