Except it very much is

The other day, I was passing this gas station, and I saw this bigfoot truck waiting to pull out.  It looked like a classic orange guy supporter truck, except for the fact that it was a Toyota, but import vehicles haven’t really stopped idiots from being racists all the same.  In my rear view mirror I saw it make its turn, and naturally they were headed in the same direction I was.  The upcoming light had two left turn lanes, and I took the right, and I looked forward to when they’d pass me on the left, so I could anticipate just how ironically hilarious of an array of stickers they were going to have on their back window.

Much to my surprise, there weren’t any really inflammatory stickers on their vehicle, but they did have this one (not the actual vehicle): Street racing is not illegal

And then I immediately was amused, because just the very phrase “street racing” has implications of at least like 2-3 illegal actions.  Public endangerment, reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding come to mind immediately, and I’m sure those more versed in the law could probably rattle off some more.

Unless this person’s definition of street racing is racing another person to see who can get to the posted speed limit the fastest, while being of no risk to anyone else around them, I’m confident that every other form of street racing is probably illegal as shit.

The funny thing is that when I was looking for a reference photo to use with this post there are no less than seven other “creators” who have made similar stickers, but with taglines at the end that are all like “okay it is but we don’t give a fuck” or something along those lines.  But this one, without the acknowledgment of law breaking seems to stand alone, which leads to believe that the people who actually run around with this sticker, might actually believe that doing impressions of The Fast and The Furious in their Hyundai Sonatas and Chrysler 300s is totally legal.

Hard to tell who would be dumber between these clowns and orange guy supporters . . . unless they just so happen to be overlapping, to which the query answers itself.

RIP the DeVanzo Shift, you bunch of one-dimensional pussies

Ain’t that a crock: MLB votes in favor of several rule changes that will be implemented starting in the 2023 baseball season, which includes effectively, the banning of the shift

In all fairness, some of the other rule changes are fine.  The pitch clock, limiting pick-off attempts and widening bases.  The gradually increasing ADD nature of humanity can’t sit through three hour games anymore and are demanding change, and adding three inches to bases won’t really be that noticeable except to players who might not get their ankles kicked in or stepped on as much.

But the banning of the shift?  Now that’s booty.  Such a cop out.  Result of a bunch of bitches being, bitches.  The supposed greatest baseball players on the planet all suck so much at baseball and are incapable of hitting the other way so they collectively complain so much that it forces MLB’s hand to outright ban the defensive strategy that has owned them for the last decade.  Total bullshit.

I dislike this immensely.  Instead of trying to raise and develop players to spray and hit to all parts of the field, MLB has basically doubled down its catering to power hitters and is instead modifying rules to benefit them instead of telling them to suck it up and evolve their skillset back to when they were kids and probably told to use all parts of the field.

This is why on a global level, Japan still ranks above the United States in pure baseball talent.  When it comes down to it, they might not have guys who will clobber 50 homers in a season, but pretty much everyone in NPB is capable of hitting the ball to opposite field, and their collective batting average is probably noticeably higher than MLB’s collective batting average.

I still remember back in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, there was a Japan vs. US game; Roy Oswalt started for the US, and he absolutely got slaughtered by Team Japan who hung like six runs on him, without a single home run.  The Japanese hitters were basically just consistently plopping singles the other way, and Team USA just had no answer for it, and ended up losing 9-4 in an embarrassing elimination.

This, is the power of being able to hit to all parts of the field, but this is also something that we’ll probably never see in MLB, because instead of challenging players to adapt to a staunch defensive strategy, they’re just prohibiting the strategy and making it easier for players to remain fat talentless sluggers.

But most of all, I’ll never be able to proclaim “the DeVanzo Shift” again whenever an oaf like Joey Gallo steps into the box and gleefully watch a third baseman position themselves on the right side of second base, before he stupidly clubs a grounder into the teeth of the shift and gets thrown out at first with minimal effort.  In fact, Joey Gallo is probably the odds-on favorite to win an MVP award next season with the shift being neutered, and guys like Brian McCann and Jay Bruce are probably back in the cages right now, getting ready to make a comeback, knowing they won’t have to face the shift starting next year.

When the day is over, I haven’t paid hardly any attention to the game since my children have been born, but I still keep my ear to scuttlebutt.  And it bugs me that rules are being changed in this manner, not just in defiance of change, but because of the sentiment that bad behavior is being rewarded instead of inspiring improvement and betterment of the players’ skillsets, and that’s just pathetic.

Thoughts from a much-needed weekend off

Paris – my #2 favorite place in Las Vegas

As mentioned in the fanny pack post, I was actually in Las Vegas over the Labor Day weekend.  This was effectively the first real, multi-day, kids-free breather that mythical wife and I have had since, before the arrival of #1 back in March of 2020, right before the pandemic shut the world down.  Since then, we’ve literally never had longer than a single day where we were both not without children.  We obviously love our kids and our budding famiry very much, but we’d also be kidding ourselves that having gone through such a stretch has been difficult at times, and it’s amazing we’ve gone this long without a true break and not ended up going insane in the process.

Needless to say, the highlight of the trip was without question, simply getting to sleep in for two straight nights.  As in, turn off all alarms, pin the blinds shut, and go to sleep, only to wake up naturally, once our bodies deemed it no longer necessary to remain asleep.  I know we were in Las Vegas, the city that never truly sleeps and we’re supposed to be out gambling, drinking and being total shitheads all night every night, but damn if it wasn’t so refreshing to wind down the evenings knowing that we could sleep as long as we wanted.

To any of my zero readers who might be under the age of 32, I can imagine just how depressing of a paragraph the preceding one was, as a glimpse of what life after the age of 40 and with multiple kids can await but I really do love my famiry I really do.

As for Las Vegas itself, it was a good weekend to get away from the grind of daily living, but I have to say I had a lot of thoughts about not just Las Vegas, but the experience of traveling, and the state of the world itself.  And not to shit on what was a very welcome weekend to relax some, but me being who I am, of course these aforementioned thoughts are quite critical.

If I could get right to the point, I would have to say that I feel like there is a pretty wide disconnect when it comes to the world of business and the people of the world, and where they stand on how “re-opened” everything really is versus how re-opened everyone thinks it is, or should be.

Case in point: travel to Las Vegas is expensive as fuck, due to supposed demand and inflation.  What should be no more than really a $350 RT give or take anywhere in the continental United States was like an $800 RT per person, resulting in mythical wife and I settling with Greyhound Spirit Air in order to not get to the casinos already broke.  Except when you get to Las Vegas, casinos and restaurants all over the city are operating at less than pre-pandemic capacities, almost all of the buffets are either shut down or completely impossible to get in on account of them being the only ones left, table minimum bets are way higher than they used to be, and it’s basically impossible to be spontaneous or do anything substantial on short notice anymore.

Aside from sleeping the fuck in, two things that I wanted to do at my first time in Vegas in like 5-6 years was to eat at a buffet, and visit Ellis Island.  Neither of which happened because pretty much every buffet in Las Vegas was either closed or required a massively advance reservation, and nobody in my party wanted to go to Ellis Island and even if we did go, there’s no doubt that their restaurant would’ve had a massive wait and been impossible to get in at.

Not that they were that bad by any means, but we had several meals at places I probably wouldn’t have gone to if there were buffets available, not to mention that they were all way more expensive than good Vegas buffets were.

But due to the general feeling of restrictions and handcuffs here and there, I found myself breaking a couple of my own neurotic rules in Las Vegas, out of a feeling that I didn’t have any choice.  Two of them, at the same time, which was no playing where you stay, and no playing at tables with robotic female Asian dealers, because to me, both are omens of horrible luck.  But I did both anyway, and found myself down a good bit in short order, and going to bed feeling agitated and dejected.

Fortunately, a positive gambling session at Paris the following day helped salvage my gambling exploits, but I still left the city an overall net negative in the process, not that such isn’t always the case when it comes to going to Las Vegas, but the point is, there’s a noticeable disconnect between how much the city wants to operate versus the demand of things from the people who are visiting, leading to a lot of obnoxious waits, crowds, rushes and rejections.

Such sentiments weren’t limited to Vegas itself, just the traveling experience in general, is very similar in the sense that airports want to operate in these pandemic-era manners with skeleton crews, early closures and basically taking away all seating from travelers, but not taking into consideration every single flight is basically oversold, because of the reduced number of flights is making every ticket a hot one, and all these people are stacked on top of each other, sitting wherever there’s floor space and an outlet on the wall.

Either way, I don’t regret the trip, and I’m grateful to have gotten away from ordinary life for just a few days, and could sleep in and feel like a self-absorbed adult for that time.  By the time it was time to pick the kids up from grandma’s, I couldn’t wait to see my girls, and give them big hugs and kisses again.  But obviously me being the headcase that I notoriously am, nothing goes by without me overthinking about it, even good shit like small vacations.  But I would wager that I’m not the only one who feels that it’s kind of obnoxious that the commercial world is trying to have their cake and eat it too when they try and use the pandemic as an excuse to operate at 75% when the consumer world is ready and itching for things to be operating at 110%.

Dad Brog (#095): An unsustainable pace

I write because I can’t really talk to anyone anymore.  My wife doesn’t need to hear any of these diatribes, and frankly I really don’t think anyone can relate, as ludicrous as it sounds to single myself out as a special little snowflake in a world of several billion.  And if anyone can, I don’t know them so it might as well not be anyone. 

My family that are all parents and have multiple kids, the age gap between us all is practically an entire generation.  Of all my parenting friends, almost none of them have more than one kid.  The ones that do, their kids are spaced out in age way greater than mine.  And there’s nobody else I know with two kids born during coronavirus-era as close apart as mine.  I’m not trying to say that my problems are greater than anyone else’s like some sadistic internet pissing contest, but COVID really is this difficulty multiplier that stands at the end of every factoid, ready to make everything worse than it might have been for anyone else who didn’t have to deal with things during a pandemic.

But I have been living my life at a fairly unsustainable pace for a while now, as far as keeping my shit together goes.  I try really, really hard on a daily basis to do such, and I have good days, but I definitely am the first to admit that I have some bad ones too, where it just feels like a lot of shit just piles up all at once, and I’m left standing there while my kids are screaming, clocks are ticking, I’m late for school drop off which makes me later for work, and there’s no end in sight.

I’m 99% sure my eldest is sick again.  There’s a small chance that she just never recovered from the cold she had a week ago, but the frequency in which she’s sneezing and her nose is runny again leads me to believe that she’s just plain fucking sick again, which means some more fuckface parents of the kids in my daughter’s school are continually sending their kids to school with plagues.

The problem with that, aside from their selfish and inconsiderate behavior that I can only hope for some divine retribution for, is that when #1 gets sick, it’s basically a death sentence for #2 that she is going to get sick 2-3 days later.  And then my sitter will nope out because they don’t want to get sick which means I’ll have to call in sick because mythical wife’s career is rigid and can’t call in at the drop of a hat, which makes me look even flakier and unreliable, and I have to deal with days of dad double duty, and working after hours.  And then it’s back into the toilet bowl of despair of how much life can suck because of the actions of other people.

Days like today, I’m just burnt out.  I’ve been on baby duty for what feels like an endless length of time, due to the fact that we had two kids in such rapid succession.  #2 is always wanting to be near big sis, and moving them apart is like trying to keep magnets apart, based on how she will rubber band back to wherever #1 is, accelerating the inevitability of transmission.  #1 is frustrated and fussy because she’s sneezing like crazy and her nose is running like a faucet and doesn’t understand why I have to try and isolate her on the other side of the room but can’t trust her with markers or Play-Doh, and I just want to jump off a bridge.

I haven’t had a break in a long time.  A day in which I can wake up on my own without any alarms or dog or kids, no long-ass car rides to retrieve kids, or anything that’s remotely time sensitive.  A single day where I can wake up as not a dad, have a day where I can leisurely do the shit I want to do without any clocks looming over my head, and have the ability to sit and stare at a wall if I wanted to.  There have been some mini-breaks, some afternoons or evenings without the kids, but I’m still having to do one of the above tasks on them regardless.

I just can’t recharge or unwind, and haven’t been able to for well over a year now, and I don’t know if that’s really unhealthy or uncommon, or if I’m just being a melodramatic parent who needs to be made aware that there are millions of dads in similar boats that I just don’t know personally.  But today is definitely one of those days where just enough bullshit has been added to my bags to drag me under and leave me feeling drowning again.

The Clock King is most definitely the worst villain ever

A long time ago, I posed the question if The Clock King really was a villain, in the grand spectrum of things.  That he really was just a punctual and time-considerate individual in a world full of shitheads that don’t have such qualities, and he’s the one that gets painted to look like the bad guy, and eventually a member of Batman’s rogues gallery.  Back then, it didn’t really seem fair to me that he was considered a villain and I wanted to open that discussion to my then-six readers.

But after a weekend like this past one, and 2+ years of parenting, all I can really think of now is that not only is The Clock King most definitely a villain, he’s without a shadow of a doubt the greatest evil in all of comics.  Worse than Darkseid, worse than Doomsday, worse than the Joker.  Worse than Thanos, worse than Kang, worse than Onslaught.  Shit, it transcends comic books, and The Clock King is the greatest evil in the history of, history.  Worse than Hitler, worse than bin Laden, worse than Trump.

Obviously this goes into the obvious notion that there is no greater force in existence than the passage of time, and how it’s unfeeling, unbiased, impervious by nobody, and never ending.  Which means those who wields it to greatest effect, like The Clock King, are basically the worst people ever.

At this current juncture of my life, there’s seldom any time in which I am not up against a clock on a fairly regular basis, and there are times in which it becomes absolutely maddening and fills me with despair and levels of stress that I have a hard time coping with.  By individual nature, I am a punctual person who believes in punctuality and adequate lead time; I hate to rush, I like getting to my destinations early, and as a worker I believe that 15 minutes early is on time and on time is late.

But since I’ve gotten older and had kids, my agenda is always packed full of things for other people, I’m routinely stretched past capacity, and I’m way more prone to being late to things, and I concern myself that I’m developing a reputation of being flaky and unreliable.  Or just a typical parent maybe.  Regardless, it goes against everything that I’ve always put a lot of conscionable effort into maintaining, and I have a hard time dealing with the seemingly endless stress that comes with being up against the clock.

Continue reading “The Clock King is most definitely the worst villain ever”

Kind of one of the worst days ever in a long time

[transcribed on my phone while I was laying awake in a sweltering house at 3 in the morning]

  • Couldn’t really work due to all sorts of conflicting appointments to do
  • Work team building function sucked up even more time in which I would have preferred to have gotten some actual work done than swing golf clubs when I don’t golf
  • Had to rush pack and head to the airport to which of course there was hellacious traffic because Atlanta
  • Atlanta’s airport logistics are never the same each time you visit and my risk of missing my flights due to being unable to check bags increase with every passing minute
  • Successfully getting our baggage checked was probably the only good part of the day
  • The plane ride from hell where #1 pissed herself during the taxi time in which nobody can access restrooms and then 30 minutes later, shit herself, requiring me to change her out of soiled clothes and into a spare outfit in the confines of a tiny airplane lavatory
  • Also #2 was a squirmy handful the entire flight because she was bored, hungry and past her bedtime and I’m pondering how much I hate air traveling with an infant and a toddler and never want to do it again
  • My dad’s house turned out to have turned into a house of horrors with no working refrigerator, no hot water from certain outlets and worse off, no working air conditioning. It was literally 84F upstairs, resulting in numerous people to sleep in the dungeon of my old basement to have any chance at staying sane

I went to bed after a cold shower feeling dejected, embarrassed and miserable at the circumstances of my surroundings and that I had to subject other people to them, much less my wife, kids and mother-in-law.  Need to figure out how to salvage the rest of this trip’s lodging situation even if it means relocating to a hotel or my mom’s place.

Thoughts on my first ever AEW live event

Despite the fact that I don’t shy away from criticizing AEW, when the opportunity arose for me to get to go to an AEW taping for free, I was excited and didn’t hesitate to commit to it.  When the day is over, going to a live wrestling show with good company is always welcome, and I was hoping that the live experience would be different in-person than what I see on clips of the internet because I don’t have the time to watch AEW or any wrestling for that matter anymore.

I’d heard from those who have gone to them before and general internet scuttlebutt that the events had the tendency to become long-winded, depending on the nature of the agenda; AEW has been known to tape multiple shows in one evening, and contrary to popular belief among wrestling fans, I do believe that there is such a thing as too much wrestling, especially the older one gets with responsibilities commensurate to age and state of life.  But at the same time, if the show(s) were going good and the quality of the matches were strong, then it shouldn’t feel like such a drag, and considering AEW had made much of their name throughout the years of being a place where surprises and highlight matches happen fairly regularly, I was hoping that I would be privy to seeing some cool shit in person.

However, it would be just my luck that the show I went to was kind of a clunker, with no title matches save for one FTW Popeye’s Championship defense by Ricky Starks, despite the fact that the company has about 17 belts floating around.  There were no trademark Tony Khan surprises at all, no shock debuts, no mind-bending swerves or former WWE guy appearances.

Mind you, this particular evening featured a taping of Dark: Elevation, followed by a live episode of Dynamite, which was then followed by a taping of Rampage, so there were plenty of opportunities for some interesting shit to happen, but like I said, it would be my luck that I would be at a show where basically nothing of any importance happened.

If I had to name any particular highlights, it was probably the really drawn-out squashing of Darby Allin, at the hands of Brody King; I kept telling my friends that Brody was getting all of the offense so he looked strong, but would still job to some surprise defeat because Darby is one of the protected pillars of the company, but then Brody would just beat the shit out of him and then pin him after a brutal looking Greetings From Asbury Park-looking driver move.  And as someone who’s never been impressed with Darby or his accused deviancy, I was satisfied with that match.The main event of Dynamite was a painfully predictable blow-off match between Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston, and I knew in two seconds after not seeing Sammy Guevara get put into the Discovery® Shark Week™ cage, that Jericho was 100% going to win with the assistance of Sammy.

I was really hoping to see guys like Pac and maybe a defense of the not-Intercontinental title, but nope no Pac.  Cesaro Claudio Castagnoli cut a promo on Jonathan Gresham but didn’t wrestle.  No Thunder Rosa and the women’s title, Jade Cargill and the TBS title were mired in tag-team action to further hide Jade’s green-ness, Keith Lee and Swerve the new tag team champions were in a comedy segment and didn’t wrestle, and the AEW interim champion Jon Moxley was also mired in tag team action, teaming with ROH Pure Champion, Wheeler Yuta.  It really was astounding that a company that has so many titles in play managed to chew up four hours with not a single one of them actually defended.

And much like many have opined before me, by the time we got to the taping of Rampage, a third of the crowd had left, and my company was getting tired or bored or concerned over the time in which the show would be over, and we actually ended up leaving early.  We stuck around for one more match as we were planning on leaving because it was Britt Baker, and she’s still relatively in a class of her own within the company as someone who can work, entertain and have presence, and it was a pleasure to see her live, but then we bounced immediately afterward, because most of us were dads, and we all had jobs, and staying out until midnight on a school night just didn’t seem like a very good idea.

One amusing-to-me observation I made, was that it really seemed like the event stacked all of the women’s action into Dark: Elevation, as the first three matches we saw that evening were all the women performers, working on their D show, even quality talents like Toni Storm.  Owner Tony Khan got into a little warm water with accusations of his misogyny when he threw a poor-optics hissy fit over the money he invested into NWA: Empowerrr the women’s-only event, and front-loading his taping with all the women’s matches as if to get them out of the way doesn’t help the optics of his perception of women’s wrestling.

So overall, my thoughts on the AEW live experience weren’t that impressed.  I think I caught a real dud clunker when the company has set a general bar that every episode of Dynamite should expect some surprises, bangers, and/or title matches.  Either Atlanta isn’t as AEW rabid as the company hoped the home of WCW should have been for them, or they just got unlucky, but when I left that evening, I was kind of disappointed.  Sure, the injury bug has hit AEW pretty hard, taking guys like Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole and ReDragon, Kenny Omega and other notable names off the table, but the promotion has a roster of nearly 120 talents, that someone should be able to grab a ball and run with it.

I was hoping that my friends and I would’ve experienced a killer show, to where I could gain a little better perspective of the charm and appeal of AEW, but as I walked out of the arena and to my car, I was left with no real change in opinion, and for a company that so many on the internet think is this savior of the business, I think they’re nowhere near as mistake-proof as the WWE is.

Would I go again if they’re in town and I’d have a hookup for free tickets again?  Absolutely.  But I definitely would temper my expectations a little bit lower, because even the fresh and supposedly mistake-proof AEW is more than capable enough of throwing up a clunker too.