Life on the Sub List

The musings of a Twenty-Something substitute teacher, written while baby sitting kids for teachers to lazy to make decent sub plans.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Opening Day Haiku

Spring brings virgin hope

Everyone is in first place

Ice cold beer; right here

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hangin with Mr. Lanzoff

This article was run by the AP in most of the papers around the country. After reading it, I started to revisit my own views on the “confederate battle flag.” Let start with a little bit of flag history.

The first confederate flag:

This was used for the first two years of the war and was done away with because it looked to much like the unions flag during battle. Which I find halirious when you think about the fact that the Confederacy knew they’d be battling the union in the their early stages why not go for something that looked at least a little different. Also notice the number of stars, 7 stars for the 7 seven sates (South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Louisiana) that secede in the winter of 1861. Keep in mind, this flag was used until the summer of 1863 just before Gettysburg. Despite four more states Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee joined in the spring of 1861.

The next flag had its issues as well:

When the wind wasn’t blowing it looked like the rebels were surrendering, I guess function was not as important as form. The huge white space was supposed to represent "the unspotted virtue and honor of Southerners and their fight for independence from the tyranny and aggression of northern states." The UNSPOTTED VIRTUE of those fighting to keep an evil institution which the rest of the western world had abandoned almost a half century earlier. This time we have thirteen stars. And yes there were only 11 sates in the confederacy, making the presumptuous move of including Missouri and Kentucky. I know there some abolitionist in just across the Ohio from here that probably got ticked off by that.

To dispel the surrender confusion this red bar was added in March of 1865. This is the flag the Confederate Army fought under until Appomattox, one month later.

So what’s with this flag?

Ya know that one that many claim is about heritage and not hate. The one that flies in shadow of the South Carolina State House, sharing the grounds with a statue of the eminent segregationist Strom Thurman. Well this flag was that of the Confederate Navy The they 5 or 6 ship only really used to shuffle troops back and forth along the South Carolina and Georgia’s coastal Islands. So during the war this flag was really insignificant.

The real significant use of that flag was by these fellows. That’s why the flag is about hate. That’s why there is no real reason to display it or hold it with any sort of respect. It is a symbol of a group founded in the North (Indiana, a state not even included in presumptuous 13) for the sole purpose of spreading bigotry hatred and continuing a system of oppressions which left a mess we are still cleaning up today.

And then there is the Georgia.

Notice they added the battle flag during the civil rights movement, clearly backlash. And even their current flag has overtones from the first confederate flag.

Now it know that many who fly this flag or slap on their bumpers or my personal favorite, a little Google search turned up this one (the irony almost hurts), don’t really understand all of these issues especially white suburban kids on real knowledge of the Klan and segregation comes from empty history lesson and textbook pictures. But the fact remains that flag is a symbol for many in a ideology and campaign of dehumanization. And that weight that it carries will never be lifted.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

we'll see what happens

Monday, March 12, 2007

sweet buys on the web...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

whats new?

good question...

Chasing jobs mostly. Four jobs I qualify for in the Mason District and one at a tech/career school in the county of kings, all popped up in the past two weeks. (Fingers Crossed)

In other news Erin is going to be working in Carlstadt, NJ for the next 4-6 weeks. Yeah 12 hour drive, shadow of the skyline, stones throw from exit 16w, Carlstadt. Yeah that Carlstadt.

Basically, One of her company's partners needs engineers and drafter because they are swamped and hiring new people or even temps from jersey would be more expensive then flying her and one other guy out there every week putting them up and paying them mass overtime in the process. So poised to make some serious scratch in a matter of 6 weeks she's going. She’ll be home for the weekends. and she'll be out there during spring break, which also happens to be the first week the Mets are home, so I MAY, be headed out. :-D.

So my next month and half will be fraught with a great deal of jealousy mixed in with loneliness. But the money is worth it and the remote possibility of catching some Aprilness at Shea is not so bad either.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

how cool would that be?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Anybody forget this?

In his state of the union address Tuesday, Mr. Bush did. I don’t want to place blame specifically with the president because I do think Katrina has faded from most of our consciousness. I fortunately have reminders everywhere. On my left hand ring finger, sits a ring a first wore on the street of the French Quarter seven months after the storm. But I know my life is not nearly as affected as so many others. There are kids who are still on waiting lists for school. For most in New Orleans proper the FEMA trailer or downtown hotel is the place of residence. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve devoted my life to helping the people of that city. But I expect my government to take care of its citizens. Bush did not write his speech Tuesday, I know that. Therefore the omission is even further proof that the administration as a whole has neglected the victims of the storm. It be easy to push this aside as a idiotic snub by a man most of us have come to accept as an imbecile, but it goes deeper than that it speaks to the fact that our government has nothing new to report on the recovery effort because very little has occurred, which in and of it self is sad.

On a more positive side Bush did not mention a ban on same sex marriage, preach against stem cell research, nor did he press for tougher abortion laws. He avoided this topic because for the first time in his presidency he delivered his annual address to a majority Democratic Congress. And that friend is sweeter than the powder sugar still tossed on beignets all over New Orleans.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

If the thunder don't get you than the lightning will

So Erin and I made the usual new years resolution. Eat better and exercise more.

I don’t smoke we barely drink, aside from the aforementioned guitar hero addiction, sloth and gluttony are my only vices. So we’re three weeks in and I feel like we’re making progress and yesterday we took a huge step towards sustaining this habit. We took our first spin class at the Union Center Gold’s Gym, which is by the way a freggin palace.

For those of you naïve to the world of spinning, it boils down to a stationary bike race. A stationary race is exactly what I just said. I know that sound ludicrous. How can one have a race that doesn’t move? Well I guess it’s not really a race but more of a non-competitive struggle. Basically, like any other fitness class the instructor is prompting you in your work guiding you through different moves set to music except in spin you’re on an exercise bike and the moves are visualizations for a real bike race, like hills and sprints and so on. This entire experience takes place under a black light so all the self-conscious baggage that goes with working is gone cause no one can see you. As torturous as it sounds, its really fun and we’re going again on Wednesday.

So combine that with a more veggies and less ice cream and we may be pedaling down the road to salvation, even if the bike isn’t moving.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just one more Free Brid before bed mom...

I know I know. Its been a while. Life’s been busy. No excuse, but get over it after a two month hiatus I’m back. To fill you in on life related stuff: Dewey’s is pretty sweet I’ve learned a lot about the operations of successful restaurant and get a chance to experiment with ingredients to pricey to mess with at home on a regular basis or to unusual to find at the Cincy grocers. Finished off the season with the Bengals ( if my life makes any improvements in the coming year it will be not working there). Thanksgiving went well, so long a go. We had a new years party the party went well the food not so great. I tried to make some beer butt chicken three ways and the grill never got hot enough I’m still having some charcoal issue but when the temp does get hot enough the flavor is so superior to gas its worth it. At our New Years Party, a friend brought over the greatest game ever. The next day we purchased our own and have been rocking out hence forth.

And that’s really what I’m here to talk about. How effing sweet Guitar Hero is. For years I’ve shunned rhythm based games like Dance Dance Revolution and Donkey Konga. Mostly because I felt it was not about the music but only a small piece, the rhythm. I’m a percussionist not a drummer and I need some tonal changes every once in awhile. Guitar Hero gives me that, all be it simulated, I feel like I’m actually making music not just reacting to it. The other thing about the game that makes it so much fun is the controller (yes that’s a whammy bar). Having it shaped like a guitar is one thing. Adding a tilt sensor brings it to a whole new level of sweet buttery rock goodness. You use it to activate a bonus mode so that when you go from this to this everything is worth more points.

The best thing about this game is its overwhelming universal appeal. The weekend after we got it, we brought it up to in laws place mostly for her brother to enjoy. Little did we know everybody would be in on the act including the Erin’s parents. And even Erin’s grandma seemed interested on the phone. Who hasn’t thrown up a little air guitar and maybe had just a glimmer of a dream of rocking out for real. This is the chance. And with set lists that boast tracks from the Stray Cats (Brain Setzer) to Anthrax to the Police to Black Sabbath (of course the invetiable Lynrd Skynyrd), everybody can rock out in the manner they see fit. The sequel which is what we own offers the best co-op mode I’ve ever seen in a video game. While one player takes the lead guitar line another plays their way through a bass or rhythm guitar part. Its great for parties cause novices can play on the easy level while a seasoned vets can work through a more difficult level simultaneously and no one will get bored or frustrated. So I extend an open invite, come play this game, I’ll make gaming appropriate snacks. You’ll rock out and your life will be changed.

One draw back…

Erin kicks my ass in it, which makes me feel like less of a man.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We should go back to New York. At least there are no Jews there.

Wonderful article here. Defends the Sacha Baron Cohen, a British Jew, and his film.

My posting ofthis stems form the slight dig at the film on my boys blog.

PS: the title is one of the quotes from the film that only erin and I laughed at as the rest of the Cincinnati audience sat confused.

Idle hands spend time on the blog

And mine have been anything but idle. I’ve busy with two weekends and a week and a half of subbing. First it was a weekend of two movies Stranger than Fiction and Borat. Both great films the former maybe the best I’ve seen all year. Also that weekend we caught GE’s playoff struggle with St. X, the purple curtain could not contain the goyim enough to pull off a victory. The game was at Nippert, which allowed the usual expectations of Erin and I leading the band around, because it’s of course our old stomping grounds. In addition we hit up Pappadeaux, to celebrate the end of marching band and just to get out. Intern, using up our one nice meal per month really early in the month. The food was divine as usual but the pre-dinner experience was a mess, don’t call them “reservations” if when I get there I’ll be waiting for 30 minutes.

The following week I subbed nearly everyday in places with out computers (we’ll let that be the excuse for not writing). This allowed me to start a new novel and get pretty well into it enough to say that it lives up the hype. During last week I also got a little bit a lot a-bit fed up with Sears and there HR department and the run a round I had been getting with orientation and the like. So I started looking elsewhere the first and only app I filled out was to work the kitchen staff at one of Cincinnati’s best contribution to America’s restaurant landscape, Dewey’ s Pizza. I got the job and started yesterday, shaping up to be pretty cool.

Then last weekend we headed east for some hot dogs. Oh yeah, and my little cousin’s Bat Mitzvah. I guess Allyson and I are the same generation in the family but I expected the 11 years the separate our entry into the adult realm of Judaism to change the experience a little. Of course the theological end of it had not changed a bit. But I expected the party to be a little different than the 20+ I attended between the 1994 and 1996. Nothing was different, the typical fare, the corny ass DJ, with Oriental Trading prizes for games like Coke and Pepsi and a Hula-Hoop contest, and the awkward feeling of a party that must simultaneously entertain 13 year olds and 65 year olds. But it was worth the drive out there to see the family and such. Plus I got the watch the Bearcats knock down the Knights on garden state soil.

So now I turn to making Thanksgiving dinner. Prep tonight. Whole shebang tomorrow. Full blog version of that experience to come, complete with pictures. Wish me luck, in my first big entertaining undertaking. If all goes well I will be coming for you as my next victims.

Friday, November 10, 2006

America Has Awakened

forget our electoral victories this week, forget rummy stepping down, for get britany dropping k-fed like one of her kids, forget the return of founders of college football to greatness...

the best sign from the past week of better things to come for our nation came last night on the OC as Rachel Bilson character, Summer, rocked an t-shirt with this image....

Friday, November 03, 2006

how'd we ever live with out it???

After realizing that we hadn’t watched much HBO since Entourage ended Erin and I we decide to look in to dropping in and maybe adding something cool in its place to our cable package… the thought immediately turned to DVR or “Tivo” as its branding name. So I didn’t miss the Office last night because of band. I won’t miss Top Chef or the Daily Show casue they're on so damn late. Oh the best part, Erin got the laundry done last night despite the OC season premier; thanks to the pause live TV feature! Screw chemistry, Better living through silicon!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


So as marching season draws to a close I have turned to the prospects of getting third job one to bring in more income and utilize all the new found “free time” that I will have. I started my searching process on Friday and because I’m such a valuable commodity in the labor market was hired yesterday, less than a week not to shaby. That’s a pretty sweet turn around. I’m the newest member of the sales team at Sears of Eastgate Mall. I will be in selling these and these on week nights and Saturdays for next few months. Yes, it’s a totally commission job. But I’m really confident about all this and I am ready to sling some appliances. The two guys who interviewed me were pretty amped about my demeanor, saying I may be a natural salesmen. Apparently, even fridge and stove sales go up during the holidays and they need more seasonal help. So I’m going to be a salesmen, and I will work my hardest not to be a sleazy one. At the very least it should make for interesting blog entries.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

kinda cool huh?

Monday, October 30, 2006

back in the game

worked my first bengal game since getting back on my feet and noticed this during warm ups...

not present at game time.... none the less pretty sweet....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Candiate X apply directly to the forehead, Candiate X apply directly to the forehead

Political adds are in the news more than ever, mostly because they are getting more and more out of hand. With the Michael J Fox add:

the yet another reason to hate Jeff Suppan add,

this add from Tennessee the candidate its attacking Harold Ford, a black man, who happens to have attend a Playboy hosted 2005 Super Bowl party.

NAACP got real pissed that the chick in that last one was white, cause in the south white woman/black man is still a button for people. My favorite part of this story is Ford’s response; “I like football and I like girls”.

Having suddenly found a new interest in a network TV shows (Heroes and Studio 60 mostly, that’s another entry though) and watching Jeopardy whenever I can I’ve been barraged with OH/KY adds lately as I’m sure most of us have. Jeopardy is the worst because its biggest viewing demographic is the voting demographic, 45-85 year olds. I see adds for 4 different congressional districts two in OH and two in KY, plus countless local races and Ohio ballot initiatives and state office races. I swear there are some breaks that are nothing but political adds. I much rather have Alex Trebek underhanded sexist comments interrupted with commercials for Fixodent and Perpetration H than some these adds. None of our ads are as controversial as the ones above but with two weeks left and supposed closetedly gay gubernatorial candidate, I won’t be surprised.

I really don’t see how any of these adds change people’s minds about how they will cast their vote. This country is so sharply divided because we make up our minds well before any real debate occurs, I know these spots are not real debate but they are all most American get before an election. If people listen to political talk radio they either listen left ward stations or rightward ones. People choose their political allegiance early and very rarely switch. Real shifts in allegiance occur once a generation, if that often. And it take a radical change in thinking by a party to cause that shift, i.e. Democrats running on a civil rights ticket and loosing southern support in the 1960s. I know political scientist want to act like there are masses of swing voters out there and that campaigning makes a difference. And it does but not to change peoples minds, it may only slightly get people out to vote who normally would not. So would it not serve to channel the billions of dollars spent on these adds into campaigns to simply get people to vote.

Oh I know why, because then maybe there would be real reform and progress in our government. And no body wants that on either side of the aisle, so the real tactic hear is to disenfranchise voters in order to maintain the traditional powerbase.

Sorry, Bob I’m going to have to cut you off…

Went up to Detroit again last weekend. We were treated much better this time around mostly because our actual supervisor tagged along. The World Series is a very electric atmosphere buzzing with excitement, pretty exciting despite the lack of blue and orange. This electricity seems to act as a magnetic force on people’s wallets as the tips were flowing both nights. The best tip I got all night was 15 bucks for 24 dollars in beer, that 3 24 oz. cans expertly border to a very low foam to beer ratio by yours truly. The coolest tip I got was from Steve Yzerman, two dollars for a single beer. Adding to my short list of celebrities served which includes him and him (the middle of course). The coolest part about being up there is that our locker room was literally inches from the visiting changing rooms and caddy cornered to the rooms set aside for players wives and kids. So needless to say lots of player traffic right around where we would kill time prior to the gates opening. The Coolest thing was, before game one, seeing Leyland and Larussa having a four way chat with two women who I believe where their wives. My uniwatch astuteness noticed Leyland is one of the few managers that wears cleats as if he may have to pinch run him self for Pudge in the late innings.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Powerlessness and the Backwards K

Powerlessness, that’s the word of the week. It the sentiment I received from my vending supervisor at the beginning of the week regards to they way I was treated by management in Detroit. And it’s the feeling I had all week long as I rode the blue and orange roller coaster. Powerlessness may not even be a word (Parsons? Jake? anybody…). But it certainly sums it all up very well. Its the emotion that brings a rational scientific man to believe a batters success depends solely on the angle in which one is sitting in a chair watching the game as is unfolds 600 plus miles away. It’s the emotion, which had me busting my ass to help co-workers after being cut off from sales myself. Powerlessness is why people turn to god ( I admit I said a prayer or two last night, but only during Shawn Green’s at bats), refusal to admit powerlessness builds social and behavioral disorders (a learned a lot to teach 10 weeks of psych), powerlessness is why people love sports.

People need to give themselves up to something bigger, to cling to the outcome of something so dearly and then let go of the power to effect that outcome just as adamantly as they clung to it. When giving yourself up to be part of something bigger your able forget about all those things in your life you do have power over. Finally a decisions you don’t have to make. You can let Willie Randolph make it for you. And even if you leave it up to a guy and he doesn’t take his bat off his shoulder, its ok because you can absolve yourself the moment things are over. Yeah your crushed, yeah your angry, but when you wake up the next morning you realize that it had nothing to do with you. It was something greater than you something that meant more to people other than you.

One of the most difficult things about being a Met fan for me is the fact that I don’t see other Met fans every day. And applauding the amazings requires a certain level of commiseration. The powerlessness means nothing with out others whom share it. In 2000, being eliminated was so much rougher. I was surrounded by sports fans yes living in all guy freshman residence hall but they were all understandingly was apathetic toward the series as was most of the rest of country out side of the region between the Raritan Bridge and the Conneticut River. No one was really there with me. And i had to suffer through tales of the SUNY dorms in whihc residents litterally drew down hall ways. Yeah I had my ‘rents but I was down at school and commiseration with you parents just doesn’t count for some reason.

This year was so much different. I saw it her eyes as she walked Asbury when I left for practice last night, she was excited and nervous about game seven. Just like, I knew it in her brother when he referred to the Mets as “we” in Pittsburgh a month ago. Erin is now my commiseration companion and now she really knows what is like to be a Met fan. You can buy a jersey and look really hot in it. You can suffer through some nasty weather (oppressive heat at Shea, and cats and dogs at GABP). You can develop your own in game rituals. But until you suffer through a loss like last night your not a Met fan. Now, baby love, you’re a Met fan. Until last night, your tried veil it as your love for me and his hotness as the motive behind you devotion. But when Carlos watched that curve ball drop right through the strike zone and you were as visibly upset as I, if not more, then I knew you actually cared about all this.

By caring, Erin has given me someone to commiserate with. I can’t Show up, at Shea. I can’t ride with mobs on the seven train (imagine how quite that train was last night). I can’t grab a knish in the 5th inning or some sushi during BP. But I can when, circumstances permit turn on the TV cuddle up with a bowl of ice cream look across the couch and see another Met fan. If Erin had a pre-existing baseball devotion, I would still love her as relentlessly as I do right now. This just makes my own sports experience more meaningful and thusly more enjoyable. Bottom line is I LOVE BASEBALL, but more importantly we love each other and now WE love the Mets.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

stuck inside of sixth grade with 7 train blues again

I'm still buzzin from last nights game. I was tired as all get ou yesterday and not looking foward to possibility of being called in today. And 6:05 come around and the phone rings. I'm ina the messiest most unorganized sixth grade classroom today. Everything about today sucks; the lesson plans are awful, the kids are out of controll, i only have comp access right now during lunch; the ancipation of game 7 is the only bright spot and that makes my stomach turn in knots more complicated then the ones we had to make when climbing this at eisner. I know the crowd will be electric and i know that will spur the Mets bats, just hope we can hold off the cardinal bats like last nights first 8 innings.

I believe and so should you.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

some else throw a black cat on the field...

Read this then buy this and send it shea care of albert puljos... ASAP

a miracle is out there

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

i'm offically a uni geek

i got props on paul lukas's blog... i sent in the stuff on kings' helmets.

Monday, October 16, 2006

6 more wins and getting colder

I know, I know 11 days with out a post… Get off my back

A couple reasons why I’ve haven’t posted in a while. For a stretch I was truck with classroom with out computers or poorly placed ones. With no series of tubes to search and nothing else to do I was forced to read, god forbid. I borrowed a novel from one of my pit kids, I’m half way through it and its really good. I recommend it. I was weary cause it was something this girl was required to read for school but I’m feelin it now. Other reason is that I’ve been busy getting this thing off my foot, rehabbing my ankle and searching for the perfect high top in which to slang suds at PBS. That’s right I’m back in the game of getting folks drunk as the they enjoy sporting events. And I became so just in time for a trip to the COPA for the ALCS as run by the company I work for at GABP. I wont go in to details but the folks in Detroit really did not want use there despite the fact that they need us because the local vendors suck ass, and I took the brunt of that inhospitable attitude and during wound up not getting to work most of game four. At least I got to see Magglio’s shot. (after which I thought about that’s city’s history of celebration gone civil unrest, and wanted to get our bus immediately)

Obviously, I’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster Mets wise especially not being able to watch most of Friday and all of Saturday night’s debacles. But I watched every pitch last night especially the ones the Cardinals bull pen gift wrapped for Carlos^2. So the pond scum are slowly rising to the top. They just need to play their brand of baseball and maybe they will be headed to the COPA themselves. And I hope the Mets will be able to make the Detroit PD’s job a little easier, and perhaps i will make the trip for games 2 and 3 as well. Although with forecasts like this and this maybe the games will never be played.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"we have a boy teacher today"

SIXTH GRADE is a whole different world from where I started in education (12th grade Sociology). Almost like going from this to this. But strangely the kids are no different. They want your help. Just with different problems. I know that’s vague but I think that’s another blog another time...

More importantly, Its fall and I got a game to reflect upon. I forgot how exciting playoff baseball was. The ebb and flow of baseball is gut wrenching and the playoffs. the first big gut wrench was certainly paulie's double play. Solo shots make me made but not when they they knot it up and put you in the lead in a tight playoff games. Mota is sure scary sometimes and Wags like any Met closer will make you sweat. It only one game and the road is long, but if the Mets keep playing with this swagger and that damn jew in right field stops being a dead spot in the order we should be in good shape (I'd knock on wood but I’m teaching a metal trailer ::dueling banjoes intro::)

Monday, October 02, 2006

And Muhammed Hates Duke...

Best T-Shirt EVER!!!

ps: still hungry

the animal crackers taunt me from afar

Well the bulk of the fast is done but the hard part is covertly slinking around the bend. I feel no effects yet. But I know I will by the time the next set of kids rolls through the door. And my schedule today it the worst possible. The teacher has actually asked that I do some real teaching which normally I’d be all for and kind of amped about, its 7th grade math so at least its kind of brainless stuff. Plus I've been asked to do a lunch duty. So I get watch the little 6th grader munch there hot dogs and slurp there chocolate milk that should be fun. The cherry on this fasting Sunday (maybe i should avoid food analogies) is that there is a huge jar of animal crackers on this woman's desk. I hate animal crackers but I know by the end of the day they will look like a rutts hutt ripper or slice of Joey’s.

I share this not to gain sympathy only to vent and keep record of the event. Its a ritual I actually enjoy and find valuable in the end, however, working during it sucks. Hopefully someday I won't have to do so.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

crab bisque and other developments


With a the coldness creeping in... chez lanzoff is looking to expand its repertoire to soups and stews... so the spouse and i spent yesterday acquiring the necessary hardware to embark on such a culinary endeavor. This included the following:

Stock Pot
Emersion Blender
Cook Books

We then came home and I worked on crab bisque which could have been a huge success if I had given it one last stir before plating. It seem the white wine I used settled at the bottom or rose to the top and all ended up in Erin's bowl much to the chagrin of her pallet, which inncidentally srtuggles with the acidity of wine. My bowl was passable put upon tasting Erin's I realized my mistake. I pretty sure learned from the mistake and next time the bisque will be blissful, and sans wine. I feel like soups are the next step in my culinary development. It will take time but I will "make it work"

On other fronts, Fusion got a shaky performance off on Friday night at Amelia's homecoming. Muddy conditions pushed my pit to the track which created this weird sound delay which the kids adjust fairly well to. But there where lots of other problems musically and visually. We got 2 weeks until the next time we see judges and lots of work to do. But tons of, the that dirty word, potential, the question is can we make something of it.

Well its football/dog park time and then off to a big pre-fast meal. A fasting entry will come tomorrow.

Friday, September 29, 2006

whats in a name part 2

Its gridiron time. Below i take on the NFL naming gods. Enjoy

AFC East

Buffalo Bills – 7
Roots in the old city’s old AFFC team with the same name. I like the historical tones and it is a deviation from the norm in team naming. But it should really have four Ls now after the consecutive super bowl defeats.
NY Jets – 5.5
The Jets used to share a field with the Mets. And if you’ve ever watched a game at Shea on TV you’ll know why they are called the Jets. About every four or five minutes a plane from near by LaGuardia Airport flies over the stadium and I’m sure the noise effected the play QB’s calling in the 60s. But the team doesn’t play at Shea anymore so the name loses luster. Plus THEY PLAY IN JERSEY.
Miami Dolphins - 5.5
Probably the first in the new generation of animal names. I just think if you’re naming a football team after an animal it should be more fierce. A friggin dolphin you gotta be kidding be. Strikes little to no fear in my heart and I’m sure the same goes for opponents now a days. Plus the popular shortening (fish) is lame, not to mention biologically incorrect.
New England Patriots – 9
Local connection, Check! Originality, Check! Cool shortening (Pats), Checks! Simple but effective name. And, I love the use of the a region as geographical identifier, it says to the those lonely folks in Vermont and New Hampshire the Patriots are your team too.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers – 9
Team was originally named the Pirates when it joined the league in 1933. I assume because it was owned by the same folks as the town’s baseball franchise. In 1941 the switch was made, to reflect the city’s blue collar ethic and as a tribute to many of the teams fans. I love the local appeal and the tribute to fans. Quality name.
Cleveland Browns – 6
At first, a fan contest was conducted to determine the name of the team, with the most popular choice being "Browns" after its first head coach, Paul Brown. Brown was uncomfortable with the idea of having the team named after him, and the second most popular "Panthers" was then selected. However, a semi-pro team was using that name and threatened to sue if the AAFC club used it as well. Thus, Paul Brown reluctantly agreed to use the "Browns" name, but stated publicly that the new team was named after boxing champion Joe Louis who was known as the "Brown Bomber." That’s some rasisct shit. The name has never sat well with me kinda boring, kinda pointless.
Cincinnati Bengals – 3
Ok so many may know that the above mentioned Paul Brown was also involved in the founding of the Bengals. After an angry split with then Cleveland owner Art Modell, Brown looked to start a franchise elsewhere in the OH the ‘Nati was his choice. Legend has it Paulie B wanted to piss of Modell by making his new team look as much like the Browns so he figured he’s just take the brown out of the unis and add black. Orange with black stripes meant tigers to most. But Tigers was already taken by a baseball team north on I-75. At the time the Cincy Zoo’s biggest attraction was white Bengal tiger. Hence the name. Ridculous naming history and make little sense to anyone so I just can’t give it a good score.
Baltimore Ravens – 6.5
Modell moved the Ravens away from Cleveland but the city sued to keep the name browns and won. So they were forced to be creative, and it turned out for the better. Edgar Allen Poe is from Baltimore. He wrote this. Thusly a clever team locally connected name. While I often rail against bird names, but this one is cool.

AFC South

Houston Texans – 1
Straight from the Department of Repetitive Redundancies Division. You’ve got to be kidding me. Its ridiculously uninspired. Not much more I can say.
Indianapolis Colts – 2
Ok so the Colts used to be in Baltimore, a big horse racing town. But this another one of those cases of not taking advantage of a move. Its especially disappointing in that the way the Colts moved was shameful, and they should have left the name behind. How about the Indiana Jacksons?
Jacksonville Jaguars - 3
No idea where this name came from except for the alliteration aspect. I can’t find anything on the meaning behind the actual name. What I don’t like about this animal name is that it is again not indigenous to the region. I understand Gatros was already taken but that would have been so much better. I do like the shortening (jags). Props for the team’s drumline, we need to start one at Paul Brown.
Tennessee Titans – 7.5
The Titans used to be the Houston Oilers when the ownership group moved the team to Tennessee the team held on the Oilers name for two years. Mostly to screw over a potential new team in Houston (mission accomplished). Finally, a committee was from the rename the team. Titans was chosen for its representation of power, strength, leadership and other heroic qualities. Plus its has connection to Nashville’s Greek heritage.

AFC West

Denver Broncos – 7
A animal name with a local nod. Works for me. Side note: team wore originally brown and yellow. Bring it back!!
Kansas City Chiefs – 6
In 1960 the team was stolen by the city of Kasas City from Dallas where they were known as the Texans. The name, "Chiefs" was selected by a fan contest, and is derived from then KC Mayor H. Roe Bartle, who 35 years prior, founded the Native American-based honor society known as The Tribe of Mic-O-Say within the Boy Scouts of America organization, which earned him the nickname, "The Chief." It is said that team ownership actually considered keeping the team name as it was, and playing as the "Kansas City Texans."
Oakland Raiders – 5
Another "name the team" contest was held by a local newspaper, and the winner was the Oakland Señors. After a few weeks of the fledgling team (and its owners) being the butt of local jokes, the owners changed the team's name to the Oakland Raiders, which had finished third in the naming contest. Señors is rediculous but more localy connected I’m on the fense here cause I love the name for what it represents in toughness and grit of the NFL, but it makee no sense.
San Diego Chargers – 5
A result of a name the team contest in which the winner won a trip Acapulco. I’m on the fence here because it’s a cool name but I don’t know its real roots.

NFC East

NY Giants – 1
Essentially as proof that I’m not playing favorites here. A result of a shared ownership with the New York Baseball Giants. I take a few issues with this name: A.) THEY PLAY IN JERSEY B.) The “G-Men” is really annoying especially from Chris Berman C.) Why double up on a name that really means nothing D.) THEY PLAY IN JERSEY
Dallas Cowboys – 8.5
No complaints here well thought out has nice ring and a solid local connection. Only looses points for the presumptuous designation of “America’s Team”
Washington Redskins – -2
They used to play in Boston and were owned by the same folks as the baseball Braves, thus the roots of the name. Regardless, the team that plays in our Nation’s capital playing our Nation’s most popular sport. Has the most racist name ever. Redskins is worst than braves, Indians, and the like because of direct relationship to skin color. Plus that dude on the helmet is ridiculous. Negative points for not taking advantage of the move.
Philadelphia Eagles – 7
A bird name with legit local connections. But not fear factor here. I know eagles can wreck shit up for some reason I’m not afraid of them.

NFC North

Chicago Bears – 3
Directly inspired by the city’s baseball franchise which also has no history that’s known to me. So I can’t give it a legit score. But the animal reference here is classic enough to endure.
Detroit Lions – 3
Did not find much out about the origin of the teams name but did find it interesting the franchise used to play in Portsmouth, OH where they were called the Spartans. They took on the name Lions when they moved to Detroit during the Depression so I can only assume it was to honor the Tigers in some way. Again no lions roaming Motown. LAME.
Green Bay Packers – 8
The oldest team name in the NFL. Named for the teams first sponsor the Indian Packing Company who gave $500 to the non-profit team for the purchase of uniforms. Great history and strong sense of history here and therefore there is a good local connection.
Minnesota Vikings -7
The real first white folks to hit these rocky shores, the Norse sailors settled in what is today Minnesota. So the lutefisk eating folks deserve some props names wise. But do they really deserve those hideous new unis.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6
The NFL loves those name the team contests. This one is in honor of a local Pirate Festival. It’d be like Cincinnati having franchise named the Tallstacks or the Circleville Pumpkins. A little ridiculous but I’m sure there is an actual chance real pirates docked in Tampa so I give them some credit.
New Orleans Saints – 8.5
A city close to my heart. The religious marginalization saves it from being a straight 10. The city’s got a huge catholic heritage of course and there’s the song. It works real well. Side note: the arena team’s name is the VooDoo so I guess the religious thing is evened out by that.
Atlanta Falcons – 4
Guess what lets play NAME THAT TEAM. I’m sorry but leaving it to the fans has yet to turn out all that great. The name Falcons was inspired by a school teacher from Georgia who won a contest in 1965, she wrote "The falcon is proud and dignified, with courage and fight. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition.” Some points for giving it to a teacher but enough with the birds for crying out loud.
Carolina Panthers – 7
Interestingly enough the city of Charlotte were the Panthers play has a cat fetish. The city’s rail system is known as the CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System) the NBA team the Bobcats and an old ABA team was known as the Cougars. I’m feelin it for some reason. Its an odd tradtion but it works for me and I love the use of Carolina incumbusing both states.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals – 3
The franchise started in Chicago and the St. Louis and now Phoenix. And kept the cards name all the way through. But witched it to Arizona not Phoenix in ’94. I like the more general geographical portion. But the bird name makes no sense still.
San Francisco 49ers – 10
Its got it all originality, local connection, shortening (9ers), really can’t think of anything better except maybe this (second from the bottom). I love all of those BASEktball team names.
Seattle Seahawks – 5
NAME THAT TEAM again. With little to no originality the Emerald City fails here. I’m sorry I’m not afraid of birds. All for god sakes Cheney hunts them how dangerous can they be. And birds that hang out by water are less intimating its like they never evolved enough to move in land and live in tress like birds are supposed to.
St. Louis Rams – 4
Another itinerate team with no real identity. Started in Cleveland and then LA. I can’t really dig this name to much cause it has no real connection to the city. I do like the tough football image the animal it invokes.

Friday, September 22, 2006

L'shana tova

Tonight at sundown the Jewish new year begins. I will celebrating as it seems in some way have every year since the fall of '95 with marching band (holy crap I’ve been doing this thing for 11 years that’s almost half my life), replacing the shofar with on of these.

This years apples and honey bowl is between Glen Este and Amelia which is a rivalry on par with that of Islanders and the Devils in that. The Isles have not been a real threat to beat the Devils in years, but I still hate the fishsticks. In this case the Amelia Barons are the Islanders. Tomorrow we have our home competition which is an all day affair of hosting other bands and hopefully if the rain allows raking in lots of dough for the band so we can get these kids some decent equipment.

So needless to say i will not be hitting up any shul this high holiday season. I know I know I know, I'm such and bad jew. But ya know what, I'm still spiritually connected to my jewishness. I still regard myself as a jew and I always will, its just the past few times I've gone (all be it all high holidays) I really find myself struggling connecting to the act of group prayer. I will still fast for Yom Kippur, light candles for Hanukah and avoid the leaven products for Passover. But going to temple and getting all jewish just doesn't sit right for me and it hasn't for a while. Probably since 9/11, I guess I've kinda gotten turned off by organized religon in general. So i guess you could call it a mini and uneventful crisis of faith. But that really is what Judaism should be one big crisis of faith.

Oh well I guess I've gotten a little to deep for my readership (what readership? No one has commented in a while!!).

On other fronts I actually got an email back from Paul Lukas, of uniwatch, he seems interested but we'll see.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

i'm such a band geek

ok so i've been reading this sports uniform based column and blog for a couple years now. And I was wondering if the guy would be interested in writng about band unis so i sent him this letter:


I discovered Uniwatch like most, right around the time started to publish your work. And since then I’ve been brewing up this email in the back of mind and have been waiting for time to write it. I was wondering if you’ve examined or even have any interest in marching band uniforms. I’ve searched through your site and only found limited banter on this subject, mostly about the U of Oregon’s uni’s in relationship to the football team, so I thought I’d and email on the subject in order to perhaps in encourage a blog entry.

I’ve been part of the marching music actives for years now and I’ve study uniforms in the activity for as long as I can remember. There are a couple reason I think you’d be interest in band uniforms.

For starters, they are directly related to the aesthetics of the sport which the band is supporting. Imagine a game at assembly hall with out seeing
these or and OSU/Michigan without this image. And of course, as seen with Oregon, the branding virus has spread into halftime. Some bands have had their uniform’s horribly disfigured because of logo changes (why could the athletic department buy the band new uniforms? that looks awful).

The cool thing about band unis that they are the first visual impression you get from a group whose goal is to impress you visually and musically simultaneously. Lots of the design aspects exist to enhance a groups performance. This is especially true about
Drum and Bugle Corps. DBCs are highly competitive national marching groups that perform in the summer months and are usually featured on ESPN2 in the early fall. These groups uniforms tend to slant toward the futuristic with some traditional stand outs. But each piece is designed so that moves on the field look better and more standardized from player to player. Gauntlets on the forearms help with horn posture, different colored uniform backs make turn-arounds more impactful and so on.

I’m sure you remember the turn-ahead the clock games the MLB ran in 99, well one of the
guys responsible for designing most of these drum corps uniforms did the beloved “Mercury Mets” uniforms for that year.

Now I know, this may be taking the athletic aesthetics obsession a little to far but I think there’s a lot to be learn for bands and potential plethora or aspects to explore. Just a thought.

I any event I love reading your blog and column, keep it coming and don’t give up the fight against purple.

Matt Lanzoff

I'll keep everyone posted if he writes back could be cool to spread a little bit of Marching Music Love.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

we del-got it

Monday, September 18, 2006

back from p-town and woodstock

For starters, I'm not worried or rattle in anyway by the weekend’s baseball events. Here's why.

The trip to Pittsburgh was still well worth it. For starter seeing my 'rents was a great thing. And adding another stadium to my belt was a definite plus. But probably the highlight of the weekend was hearing my hearing my 13 year old bother-in-law, who up until now has been ambiguous about his baseball allegiance refer to the Mets as "we". He's getting a jersey for Christmas, no doubt.

The stadium is nice along with the surrounding area. One regret in that department was that I didn't get a real chance to explore the game had me glued to my seat and there was lots of the stadium i could not take in but the first impression is a good one. Definitely want to go back.

I know the Mets will clinch tonight in front of a sell out in crowd at Shea with their most consistent starter, Trachsel, on the hill.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

spontaneous baseball road trip

After the met failure to clinche the NL East tittle last night against the pirates... We're headed to the steel city to watch El Duque throw a no hitter (way wishful thinking) and celebrate the first NL East pennant since '88... Which is really the first year I remember knowing what was going on at Shea.

So we're going to root on my bother in law in his cross country meet then heading out. My review of this highly touted stadium will be coming shortly after.

Friday, September 08, 2006

whats in a name part 1

Erin and I where having this conversation a couple weeks ago about sport teams nicknames. I believe ours was specifically about baseball teams and more a game of me testing Erin’s knowledge of teams’ names. But it got me thinking about the origins of some of the names and how I appreciate the attempts made be original and appropriate in naming a team. So I figured I’d hash out my feelings here. I’m going to go through each of the four major sports and give each nickname a score on a 10 point scale based on its originality, and general impression and appropriateness. This will be a four part series. I will start with baseball.

AL East

New York Yankees - 6
- My beef with this one is in no way influenced by my hatred for the team. Its more the fact that when I think Yankee, I think New Englander not New Yorker. The root is of course and British pejorative, which actually scores it points for boldness. I think New York has so many potentials for nicknames that this almost a waste.
Baltimore Oriels - 8
- the first in a long line of bird names for me to review. The Oriel is the state bird of Maryland which gives it points for appropriateness. The bird has really stunning orange and black markings hence the teams colors. It loses some points casue I don’t really dig the bird name thing as you’ll see as we go on
Boston Red Sox – 1
- I have zero tolerance for uniform derived names. I understand the tradition involved but there are teams of the same age that did not do that. No excuses. The only saving grace is the shorten version, BoSox.
Toronto Blue Jays – 4
- this came from a “Name the Team” contest in the 70’s when the team was formed. My beef is by the time the Jays where formed there were already multiple birds in the league. According the Blue Jays website they had 4,000 suggestions I’m sure they could have came up with something better.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 6.5
The new generation of names is hit or miss. I think this is a near miss. Sting rays are native to region and there is a ferocity to the animal that makes it a good sports name. Plus they can have some nice crocodile hunter promotional tie-ins (to soon?)

AL Central

Minnesota Twins – 9
- I love this one. It takes the national identity of the region, every one knows it’s the Twin Cities and makes it into a name nearly flawless. My only issue if the lengthening of it to Twinkies.
Chicago White Sox – 0
- Same issue as the Red Sox with no cool abridged version
Detroit Tigers – 2
Why, Why, Why? There never has been and never will be tigers anywhere in Michigan. - - The two points are for not going with a uniform derived name
Kansas City Royals – 1
- I couldn’t find a real origin for this name which bothers me and it seems like it could be derived from uniform decisions. They were in an expansion class with the Mets and Astros so I expect better, as names are often a result of the time which they where chosen. The one point comes from keeping you guessing
Cleveland Indians – 6.5
- a pretty cool history the team was around for a little bit before they too the names which was given kind of organically by the fans due to a 1915 star player named Sockalexis, who happen to be a Native American whose skin was light enough to play in the white leagues. However, I do have big issues with the Chief Wahoo logo. But I’m only rating the names here.

AL West

LA Angles of Anaheim– 8
- Almost a no brainier. The city of angles must have team with this name. Only draw back is the ever changing nature of the local nomenclature
Seattle Mariners – 7
- Another thoughtful one with strong roots in the cities’ history. Drawback comes from its six syllable obstruction to sports discussions.
Oakland Athletics – 0.5
-Originally in Philly, then Kansas City. This name has no significance and no meaning. Duh they’re athletes but so are the other 29 teams. They had two opportunities to change names when the organization moved, completely unacceptable. The half point is for shortening it just save some embarrassment
Texas Rangers – 7.5
- I love the fact that this something that was already in our culture’s phraseology. And it keeps with the states rugged image. Has Chuck Norris ever thrown out to the first pitch? Probably not for fear he would break the catchers hand.

NL East

New York Mets – 8
- this complete unbiased, I swear. When the National league decide to give new York back a team the new ownership wanted to market the team to the entire region not just one borough as the pervious baseball situation allowed. They wanted to reach the entire METROPOLITIAN area. They took that and immediately shorten it the Mets. The loss of points is due to the fact that any metropolitan area could use that name and it would make sense. It also has some history a 19 centruy American Association team was called the Metropolitans
Atlanta Braves - 2
- I real convoluted history of names and cities from Boston to Milwaukee to Atlanta, form the Red Stockings, to the Beaneaters, to the Doves, to the Braves. All of those names where in Boston by 1912 they where the Braves and that was it. Which means the move afford name change opportunities not taken. I like bean eaters, should have stuck with it.
Florida Marlins – 6.5
- Same score as the Devil Rays cause it basically the same name. I have a place in my heartect for the native creature concept but it lacks orginality.
Washington Nationals – 9
I love this one. There used to be team in Washington named the Senators when they moved to Texas they became the Rangers (pay attentions Athletics and Braves they took advantage of the move.) So when Washington got the expos to move there they wanted bring back the name. Rangers Owenership wouldn’t give up the legal rights. So they had to think new and like what they came up with. It fits and it shortens well to Nats.
Philadelphia Phillies – 5
A very mediocre name. Nice for its shortening ability (Phils). But its kind of blan and of course repetitive. Has roots to the city but they are artificial roots. I’m not sure if a name has to be masculine to be good but this one certainly isn’t.

NL Central

Cincinnati Reds – 3
- again this name is week because of its roots in the uniform. Common misconception is that the original name was the red stockings. Not true the first name official name was the Reds. It became fashionable early on the call them the red stockings which stuck through the 19th century. Then briefly its was again shorten to Reds in the early 1900s but was quickly changed back to Red Stockings during the first red scare of the 20s. Only to be changed back to reds during the depression. I think that’s right but I’m sure some Cincinnatian will try and correct me. Either way the name leave a lot to be desired.
St. Louis Cardinals – 5
- The story goes that the St. Lois Browns where bought and renamed the Prefectors(awful name) were replaced along with their brown unis. The new uniforms had a red piping and when a newspaper reporter asked a female fan what she though of these uniforms She said it was lovely shade of cardinal the stuck. Actually a uniformed derived name I can live with because of the story.
Milwaukee Brewers – 10
They don’t get much better. With local pride and national understanding this one has it all. Plus even the lengthening of it, (Brew Crew) is cool.
Pittsburg Pirates – 7
- at first examinations the name makes no sense. They were originally the Alleghenies, which I love. They became known as the pirates after the stole a player away from the Philly A’s in the 1890s. It still loses point because you have to know that story in order for it to make sense.
Houston Astros – 9.5
Local connection, check. Originality, check. Cool abbreviation (‘stros), check. Lost half a point because its not there original name, which was the Colt 45s.
Chicago Cubs - 5
Can't adequatly score cause I can't find a real histroy of nameage here.

NL West

LA Dodgers – 5
- Here I’m torn. Because when the dodger where in Brooklyn in was a great name of all time. Named for the dodging of street cars fans had to get to Ebbets Field. But when they moved they should have changed the name because no dodging happens on LA freeways just a lot of sitting and Californians are ridiculously nice to pedestrians.
San Diego Padres – 7
- While the religious connotation does marginalize non-christians I love the fact that this name is not in English and gives a shout out the to Spanish Missionaries who found the city. I’m on the fence about its shorten version, Pads.
Colorado Rockies – 8.5
Like Texas Rangers, the phrase was already in our vernacular, which gives it points. It has got obvious local appeal. It losses points because it can’t be shorten effectively.
San Francisco Giants – 3
Originally named the Gothams during their early days in Manhattan. After winning a pennant the manager is quoted in the press as calling them Giants and the name stuck. I hat it Gothams would have been great. Now when they moved they could have changed but elected to keep the nonsensical name. Laziness
Arizona Diamondbacks – 6.5
Same feeling as the Marlins and Diamondbacks. I like the name and the local appeal but the animal things gets old quick.

Well that’s baseball, other three sports will come in time. If I have offended any one or gotten anyhting worng please comment.