Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up: Hammer Pants, Baseball Cards & Real Baseball

This weekend I dropped by H&M and picked up these pants with the remainder of my gift card. Initially, I didn't like these "harem," "drop crotch," or "MC Hammer" pants that everyone is wearing, at least in Internetland, but then I started to realize the roominess might be comfortable if the fabric is right. I was also inspired by CC Sabathia and Prince Fielder's enormous uniforms. If only they'd wear knee-high socks like Ichiro but over those billowing pants.

I was a little apprehensive about these pants so I kept the tag on but wore them out. But then I couldn't stop wearing them all weekend. They are so comfortable, you must take my word for it. You can't really tell in the photo above but the have a slight shimmer to them. But looking at these pictures, I'm starting to realize how ridiculous they really do look. Oh well!

On Saturday, Mordecai and I went baseball card-hunting in the afternoon and then we picked up Joe to eat some damn good orange beef at Shanghai Inn. We then went to Meijer and were initially disappointed by the regular card aisle, but then discovered a display of many blasters on sale. I cleaned out their 2008 Topps Series 1 blasters as they were $5 each. I also got a 2008 Topps Chrome blaster, not at all on sale, but worth every penny. Looks like I'll be collecting 2008 base set as well. And yes, that is a GOP John McCain card on the table.

On Sunday, Mordecai, Sean and I went to see the Red Sox sweep the Yankees at a Red Sox lovers' bar, Monsignor Murphy's in Lakeview. I went to the bathroom at one point and when I came back, all "tu tu ru"-ing to myself, I turned to my left and checked to see how the game was going, and that was when I witnessed Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home. Perfect timing! Joe had told me about Kenji Johjima stealing home once, but I had totally forgotten about it. Jose Reyes was recently talking about stealing home, but I'm starting to become wary of him, even with that million dollar smile.

On schedule this week: more baseball and baseball cards!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Yesterday weatherpeople were threatening snow. It was cold and it drizzled, but no snow. People were prepared, however:


The man above looked so comfy when he sort of withdrew into his coat. I don't think either of these coats were real because the quality of their fur reminded me of my own fake fur vest.

I transferred to the red line and waited for the doors of the train to open. I saw a young woman waiting to get out, and then I saw her look to her right and she made a disgusted face. "Urine, maybe?" I thought. But it didn't smell particularly bad when the doors opened and I entered. I only noticed what the young woman had grimaced at when I was about to get off, only two stops later. CTA NEVER DISAPPOINTS.


After lunch with Mordecai, I went to the Harold Washington Library to get some work done. The 60-minute time limit on public computers forced me to get some real work done. Also, it helped that the earliest baseball game that day started at night. Anyway, I looked over to my left and saw a young woman on a computer. One of her books caught my attention. THE HWLC DOESN'T DISAPPOINT.


The Basics of Pistol Shooting. I suppose I don't have every right to be talking myself, with nonsensical Hegel at my computer.

I love Chicago.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up


On Friday, Mordecai, Joe and I visited Nickel City. Three more Poppersteins were collected. I need three more to have a complete baseball team! I'm like "the crazy cat lady" but with stuffed penguins instead.


On Saturday, the three of us again investigated baseball card shops. AU Sports Memoribilia moved, but has yet to open in Skokie's Village Crossing. Big John and Little Debbie's was nice, but they don't seem to carry 2008 Stadium Club. Meijer was not an option on Saturday because we went to Long John Silver's for late lunch/early dinner, which meant we'd go home afterward to shrivel up like rasisins from astronomical sodium intake. I had the chicken and fish basket with coleslaw on the side. I couldn't eat the hushpuppies, and I'm not sure I would've if I could've. I don't understand their existence.

On Sunday, Mordecai, Sayaka and I went to Mitsuwa. I had ramen and natto (fermented soy beans) for lunch. I previously underestimated Santouka's ramen, which is reportedly famous in Japan. This shit is good! Will I return to udon next door? Also, Gabutto Burger is going to open soon in Mitsuwa's food court. I'm not sure what they're up to, but it looks fun. Meijer was an option after Mitsuwa, so off we went. Heritage packs were nowhere to be found, and being unable to leave empty-handed, Mordecai got the $4.99 pack of Topps '09. I got my Stadium Club pack, which yielded a David Ortiz Yankee's Stadium Slice and a Chris Perez auto that I had to redeem online. I also got a regular pack of Topps '09 for the sake of it. I love Topps.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Focusing FAIL, Distraction SUCCESS

Today was kind of a long day. Towards the end of class around 5:30PM, I became unable to focus. I stared at the underlined sentence below, trying to read and understand:


Instead of reading:

"You practically have to wait for what are called the neo-classical economists, Walras and Pareto, to see the more or less clear emergence of what is understood by homo economicus."

I swear to the Gods of Baseball I saw:

"You practically have to wait for what are called the neo-classical economists, DAVID ORTIZ and JORGE CANTU, to see the more or less clear emergence of what is understood by homo economicus."

I was quite concerned about Jorge's hand (today's performance indicates he's recovering) and I think I was so impressed by Jenni's move to drop Ortiz for Nick Swisher that the wallpaper of my subconscious became this image, which Joe showed me yesterday:


Big Papi looks like our landlord in this picture.

I had a lot of dreams last night about baseball too, and possibly Stat Tracker and/or the At Bat app, but I can't remember the details. I am kind of going crazy but I'm not gonna lie, I'm loving it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Poppersteins, part I

Back in I think 2005, Mordecai, Joe and I made a trip to Nickel City in Northbrook, Illinois. Half of their games require nickels and give you tickets as rewards, like at Chuck E Cheese's, which you can redeem for various crappy prizes, like at Chuck E Cheese's. The other arcade games cost many more nickels but are played for pure pleasure, like music simulation games, sports arcade games, and fighting games. There's a corner of free games, which are generally kind of pathetic, but it's a nice touch anyway. I have to go in the free corner every now and then to play Pac-Man just to force myself to take a break from spending money.

I won a bunch of tickets by playing this game:


I'm glad I have this old photo from my previous cell phone, because it's hard to explain. Basically, your nickel is supposed to cause a chain of reactions where in the end, lots of nickels fall off. At arcades in Japan, I've played this where you end up with more coins. (It's kind of like pachinko.) Here, you get tickets. I get hooked on this game pretty badly each time I go to Nickel City; Joe pointed out to me something along the lines of, "You'd probably like casinos" or "You should go to casinos." Given my addictive nature, the answer to that is, I should stay away from casinos.

Joe won a ton of tickets by playing the Speed Demon game, which I will not and cannot attempt to describe. All you need to know is that Joe is really good at this game, and that he won a lot of tickets and then graciously donated them to me. I fed these tickets into the counter machine thingie while little children watched with awe and envy. One day, you too can be in your twenties, freely spending your own money on arcade games at Nickel City!

So, what "prize" did I redeem? I had never had so many tickets. My eyes went to the stuffed animals. I'm pretty sure I was thinking, "Damn, what a sad selection." I picked a stuffed penguin and in the parking lot, named him "Carleton" after Carlton Banks of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Not sure why the "e" is there, but there it is. I wanted to give him a last name of his own, "Popperton" or "Pepperton," but Mordecai insisted that he was Jewish and that his name should therefore be "Popperstein" instead. And thus, Carleton Poppperstein was born. I like how the philosopher Karl Popper's name is somehow contained in Carleton's full name.

I can't believe it's been almost four years since acquiring Carleton. I'm pretty sure that I take better care of him than many people take care of their children and/or live animal pets, and this is a sad fact on all kinds of levels. Anyway, his belly can no longer be called "white" and he's gone through a number of small "maintenance" operations. Above all, the tag on his cute little toosh has disintegrated, and his exact origins can no longer be discerned from this tag. All I remember is that he's made in China and that the company is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

When I named my fantasy team "The Poppersteins," I became curious as to whether there were still more Carletons being made. I made Mordecai contact Nickel City and ask about whether they knew of a stuffed penguin with orange and yellow cheeks that they once got, and the lady refused to give distributor names but said she'd contact him if they got any stuffed penguins in the future. Two weekends ago, the lady called and left a message saying that they got a stuffed penguin with yellow cheeks, available for redemption. She always seemed kind of moody, but I was very happy that she had followed through.

The following Monday, we went out to Nickel City to check these penguins out.





Each one cost about $12.50. I consider this a big bargain! However, there seems to be no consistency in producing these penguins. "As long as you can recognize that it's a penguin" seems to be the company principle or motto. In addition, they are significantly smaller than Carleton. RECESSION MODEL! Can we get back on the Excess Model?


We are a happy family.


I have been sort of neglecting this blog, mostly because I'm obsessed with baseball and also because I have other duties, like giving a presentation on Hegel. Yikes. But now that we got that out the way...

I have been toying with the idea of starting my own baseball blog even though I occasionally contribute to Third Base or Bust. Baseball has taken over my life, and I feel my heart and head will soon implode if I don't channel this energy properly. I don't want to impose my nonsensical and rather selfish fantasy ramblings on the audience of Third Base or Bust (namely my hatred towards the team "arbitup" and my anger at their manager, ANDY). But I imagine that what I post on this other baseball blog of mine would not be all that inappropriate for Third Base or Bust, either. I'm not quite sure what to do yet though, so I'll still think about it. Afterall, there are still twenty-something more weeks of fantasy baseball. This is only the second week of the season! It feels like ten seasons went by last week.

In the meantime, I will work on my post about the real Poppersteins.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Our league's floating manager heads and their respective first picks.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Birthday Party Highlights

I am technically no longer on Spring Break, but my mind is still in break mode. Here are some highlights of two weekends ago, one of the best but least remembered weekends of all time. Thank goodness for cameras.

Thug mugs abound. Somehow mine got inflated a little.

Jeffrey Campbell MEL in action! Excuse the toes, they're kinda squished. But really, who has sexy toes?

Nar looks nonchalant about the wetness of parts of his pants and the state of his seat. I think the expression on Mordecai's face best captures his condition throughout the evening: despite being unable to see/recall anything, he's still extremely cheerful.

No one remembers this. Somehow, Joe ended up on passed out on the floor, I ended up sitting and sprawling on him while brushing my teeth, and at some point, I got my own camera to take photos of Nik climbing up our hallway walls. I like how Amit is framing the picture on the right, his hands exclaiming "WHY?" How does he have the capacity to attempt making sense of insanity as it's happeing? This must have been Amit, pre-UV Lemonade chugging.

There was only one other female present at this party, and she was designated driver. All others had to decline the offer to join us. Why do girls gotta be ambitious and hardworking? Or not in Chicago? What does that say about me? Thus, we end up with slapping matches and wrestling rumbles. Notice Joe injured on the sidelines.

I think Amit is yelling at Joe about "cheating" in Fantasy sports, though really, it's just meticulous stat tracking that no one else cares or knows enough about to do. As far as I understand the people in this picture, I think it depicts everyone and their personalities quite accurately. Shirtless but pleased; seemingly angry but really, just destroyed; disgruntled; chill. Mordecai is passed out at this point, and notice that Shaun is also MIA.

The night/early morning ended in vomit, lettuce, snow, and Meijer. The next day I was greeted at the door with a gas bill and the lease renewal.

Some other important cameos and events to note: Jamie sprinkled the kitchen counter with candy for me and I think there's a Blue Raspberry Mad Dog 20/20 for Joe in the fridge as well; his roommate Toru sat in the corner reading "Nana," absorbed as anyone ought to be if they got caught up in that story; and Sean graced us not only with his presence, but with an EXTREMELY CHOCOLATEY cake and goggles from the future. They deflect bullets futuristically, but not hangovers and post-Spring Break blues! Damn, summer where are you?