Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Game 7. The Dodgers. The World Series.

This World Series has been absolute magic.

These two teams have gone head to head, back and forth, trading leads, emptying out their tanks every night and it has been euphoric to watch as a fan.

I have been a Dodger fan all my life. I'm not going to pretend that I have this wealth of baseball knowledge, I'm not going to pretend I can recite stats, or whatever. But I can tell you that much of my childhood is colored by Dodger blue.



My grandpa, Larry, was an avid baseball fan. He had season tickets to Dodger games and he and my grandma, Donna, would take my brothers and I often. When we were in fifth and sixth grade, discovering music, we would try to sneak AM/FM Walkmen into the game to try to liven it up with Power 106 or 92.3 The Beat. His rule was, if you're listening to anything but Vin Scully while watching the Dodger game, it's getting turned off.

We didn't think he'd actually check. But he did. And he turned it off often.

This is not a bad memory. This is a good memory. He wasn't religious but he understood the merits of boredom. You have to be present for life's moments. You also don't want to get hit in the face by a foul ball in the orange lodge seats, right field side.

Just how often my grandparents picked us up for games is astounding when I think about it. So much of our young lives were spent at Dodgers games. I'd get ice cream malts and peanuts, Dodger dogs and more peanuts, cotton candy and more peanuts.

My favorite players moved from Orel Hershiser (that one was easy, I was 2 when he was the hero and the glow never left him), Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, and Raul Mondesi over the years. I saw myself as a catcher when I was a kid even though I never played the position. I was a wimp. I couldn't handle the stress of guarding the plate. I was so untalented defensively that I was relegated to right field or left field where I would just throw my mitt in the air out of boredom. That's why I chose Raul Mondesi as my favorite player as my Little League career stagnated. I was a decent hitter, though. So was Raul.

When my grandpa was killed by a drunk driver in August of 1998 while my brothers and I stayed at his house, the Dodger game attendance slowed down. We no longer had season tickets but we continued to watch on TV and listen on the radio. Every year was our year. And we came close a couple of times. We continued to go to Dodger games as often as we could which wasn't very much.



When my wife and I first started dating in 2011 on our very first trip back to California to visit my family, we went to a Dodger game. I remember saying to her jokingly, "I am okay with you not being a Lakers fan but please, please, please be a Dodgers fan." I bought her a Dodgers hat before that trip.

We're married now and she regularly updates me on the score when I'm at work and don't have time to devote attention to games. She's become quite the Dodgers fan.

This year my mom texted my brother to tell him she bought plenty of beer for game 1. He didn't have to buy any. If you know my mom, you know this is crazy. She doesn't drink and she certainly doesn't buy beer for anything. When my brother got home to a house filled with 10 people, my mom had purchased a 6 pack. Baby steps.

This World Series is different. This World Series is exciting. When I'm watching the Dodgers and the Astros go toe to toe, I'm filled with excitement and I can just imagine being a kid and watching this series. I can just imagine how my grandpa would feel. I get glimpses of his spirit here and there through pictures of my dad and my brother attending game 2.


When I was in college, the bunny ears would be tuned to Dodger baseball constantly. James Loney was group favorite at the time. We were good in those years, too. Those years felt like our years. Elizabeth, Jack, and I watched a hell of a lot of them in our apartment on 10th and Stanley in Long Beach with our friends coming in and out to drink cheap beer and play ping pong. Shortly after college, I remember my friend, Mark, calling me to tell me to turn on the game. The game was already on, duh. He was behind home plate waving at the camera. I don't know how the hell he got those tickets but I know I took a picture of it on some janky digital camera that is lost forever. 

This year, I went to a Buffalo Wild Wings for the NLCS because I couldn't be sure any local joints would care about the Dodger game nor could I be guaranteed anyone knew how to change the channels. I'm positive that's part of the training course at Buffalo Wild Wings. Nina and I were the only people watching the biggest screen as the Dodgers put away the Cubs.

Now picture this: a man freshly shaved with a brand new devastating mustache with his wife over four or five empty baskets of chicken wings wearing Dodger blue as the rest of the crowd watches the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Raiders. Picture this man weeping in joy at a gosh darn Buffalo Wild Wings. It's pretty sad, right?

Now picture this same man in his Dodger blue pajama pants, hunched over a keyboard, weeping in joy at the mere thought of tonight's game 7.

Win or lose, this series has been incredible. This series encapsulates why baseball is America's sport.

Go Dodgers.

Post-script: one of my first decent stories featured Orel and Kershaw, named after two Dodgers from different eras. Read it here

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Deerman, Digital Media Ghost, Quizzleboon

Hey!



Deerman, Episode 5 is live for patrons right now. Next week, it'll be live for the whole world.

Will Viharo asked me a few questions for Digital Media Ghost. Read it here! You should also buy Will Viharo's latest book here.



I'm currently reading Quizzleboon and it is hilarious. You'll love it. Trust me. It's great. Go get it.




Thursday, October 12, 2017

Deerman Spooktacular: VOICE OF GOD is live!



October is the spooky month. October is the month to revel in horror. Welcome to the Deerman Spooktacular.

Our first story, on the eve of Friday the 13th, is VOICE OF GOD. Enjoy! You can purchase the chapbook it was included in here.

Please consider becoming a patron! You get early access to all Deerman episodes and Inbetweeners!

Listen to Voice of God on Patreon or listen on PodBean or YouTube below.




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Post Office is terrible

Allow me, friends, to vent.

The US Postal Service wants to ruin my life.

A little while ago, a month to be exact, my mailbox was broken into. This should strike you as odd because there's no reason anyone would ever want to break into my mailbox. I have nothing that is useful to anybody. This blog should be resounding proof of that. Well, my neighborhood has these mailboxes that are really everybody's mailboxes. It's a locker system. It stinks.


I know why that's there. It's Texas. It's hot. Going door to door will cause a person to sweat through their own personhood. It's being controlled by a Congress that is inept. Many of the problems that face USPS today are not of its own making. I understand.

I do not understand the USPS system to report a broken into mailbox. You call the postal inspector at 1-877-876-2455. You have to speak your answers into the phone. You don't hit a number like the good old days. You don't speak to a human like the gooder old days. You have to speak to a machine that is wet-brained. The machine understands 10% of the time. This happens.

But do you know what happens when the machine doesn't understand? It HANGS UP on you after saying, "I didn't understand your answer. Goodbye." It doesn't start from the very beginning. It doesn't keep trying in an endless loop. It doesn't give up and call a human. It just fucking hangs up.

I was so pissed after the fourth time this happened that I shoved my phone down my throat and tried to see if shitting it out would help me. A bowel obstruction and an anger management class later, I'm still drinking smoothies with no help to my lack-of-mail situation.


It's been a month and the mailbox still hasn't been fixed. I go once a week to pick up my mail at the post office. This would be great if the post office was a mile away. It's 20-30 minutes away in Austin traffic. Nobody knows when the mailboxes will be fixed. There's a spate of mailbox theft going around in Austin.

To make matters worse, my HOA is charging a late fee for a bill that was sent during this period. It is the only bill sent to me in my name but we're apparently a year behind. I figured out that they'd been sending bills to the old owner but a bureaucracy never admits fault and only doubles down.

The HOA is worse. The USPS has to exist. The HOA is there to take money and not protect your mailboxes.

What have I become?


UPDATE: 




New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest: Please define chode edition

It's that time that nobody waits for, nobody desires, and nobody yearns: THE NEW YORKER CARTOON CAPTION CONTEST! It's a contest that is open to the public that I never enter but I give you my captions as if you don't have better things to do with your life!

Yeah, I'm just watching some guy try to prove how much he hates God by taking a shit on a church. In a way, his non-belief in God and his dedication to it is its own religion. He has erected a throne to nothing and participates in public displays of zealous devotion to nothingness. I hope he dies. 

Dude, this day fucking sucks. 

This is just traditionalist propaganda trying to get me to accept the notion that I must escort some stupid fucking kid across the street as if I don't have better things to do with my life like LISTEN TO FUCKING DEERMAN. 

Thank you for suffering through that with me. Yesterday was ninety degrees. Today it's sixty. I'm sneezing my taint away. I needed this.

Oh, hey! Joe Lansdale, my hero, retweeted the most recent Inbetweener episode with Zach Chapman. Give it a listen. We talk about Joe Lansdale some.

Support the Deerman project on Patreon if you're so inclined.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Pence doesn't kneel but bows out

Ol' human Chuck E. Cheese animatronic machine that became sentient and started ruining everybody's life, Mike Pence, bowed out of a football game because he couldn't stand the sight of free speech at a football game.



Thank you for spending all that money on a security detail and a seat just to walk out like a spoiled little brat.

That's the Trump administration for you. Symbolic gestures that amount to nothing but costs the taxpayer a hell of a lot. Let people kneel, dammit. Who gives a shit? Go fix something, you empty-eyed son of a bitch.

I respect the military, I respect the flag, I respect your right to get up out of your seat and walk out of a game after spending at least a hundo on your ticket. That's your right. I respect an American citizen's right not to put his hand over his heart. I respect his right to make a statement about police brutality. We are a police state for black men and women. That should make Americans uncomfortable. If the most offensive thing about their protest is kneeling for the national anthem - you should get your head out of your ass and start being enraged at what caused this whole thing.

Contrary to popular dogma, black Americans are just as American as anyone else even the orange colored skin bag that happens to be President. Black Americans have the same right to express themselves as white folks. White folks are free to show up at political rallies with guns but any time a black man is practicing his right to open carry, people lock their doors and call the cops. Or, this incident from 2008 when a black man wore "paramilitary" garb at a polling place and white America shat its diapers.



Let's be clear. It wasn't the uniform that the black man was wearing that caused Fox news to send the cameras. It was the combination of his skin color and what he was wearing. If it was just his clothing, we'd have cameras in Ted Nugent's face every time he left his house to find cat scratch fever medicine.


While we're at it, if the sight of people kneeling during the national anthem bothers you but the above photo of Ted Nugent wearing a US Army uniform does not you are a moron. A fuckin' moron as Rex Tillerson would say. Ted Nugent was so brave that he shit his pants to avoid the draft during Vietnam. Now he goes around playing dress up in a uniform that so many braver men and women died in.

President Trump avoided the draft by getting a doctor's note for bone spurs. But please, let's shit on some football players for understanding their constitutional right. I guarantee you they pay more taxes than any walking teratoma in the Trump family. 

Hey, you're an American. I'm an American. Can we just go back to debating fucking concussions or something? 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What a week. Deerman, Episode 4: Pee Pee circles has breached the gates.

Broken River Books has relocated to El Paso, Texas and I was able to go to Rios de la Luz's reading at BookWoman for her debut novella, ITZA. The book is wonderful and I'm sure as hell glad that Texas could gain and reclaim such talented folks. I first med J David Osborne at the New South Festival a few years ago. He consistently publishes great fiction. It's a friggin' talent to have such an eye for great talent. This is a Texas writer family down there. I stole this photo from Gabino Iglesias. 


I have many stories to tell about this week. It was the week from hell. I have a new arch-nemesis. Mold in Central Texas wants to kill me. But who cares? There's a new DEERMAN episode out. Check it out.






I'm planning a big October for my little Deerman podcast. There will be a whole slew of spooky stories being uploaded this month. They'll be the spooky story inbetweeners.