Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mail Call!

The past few days have been full of activity. While the PS3-HDMI business gets taken care of and while we get real games and while I finish my paper(s), let's review the recent contents of my mailbox.


First, I received some Topps World Baseball Classic cards from the generous Grandcards. As I type, I am listening to the Tigers vs. Twins game, and Granderson just robbed Joe Mauer of a home run in a tied game, bottom of the ninth. Granderson seems to be pretty good at this. I can see him with his GAME FACE on saying, "JOEL I GOTCHU" with fire in his eyes. Anyway, Joe pointed me to Grandcards' funny story about bear-like Fernando Rodney's '09 Series 1 card, which has a picture of a non-bear like pitcher, who turns out to be someone who hasn't pitched for the Tigers since '07. Grandcards points this out to Topps, who says thanks and offers the "2009 Topps World Baseball Classic Cards with Fernando Rodney in it as compensation" for their mistake. But Rodney isn't in the set! Grandcards offered most of the cards to readers, and I asked for NY Mets'/Puerto Rico's Carlos Beltran, Tokyo Giants/Japan's Abe Shinnosuke, and Tampa Bay Rays'/Japan's Akinori Iwamura. I have absolutely no way of repaying Grandcards, but I will cheer on Granderson for the rest of my life. Thank you sir!

Added bonus that evening: when we got our PS3 at the South Loop Target, we stopped by the baseball cards and I noticed a few Goudeys that were scattered about. Looks like someone wasn't pleased enough to take them after opening them without paying. These cards need a good home, I thought, so I walked around with them in my hand to show I was not stealing, but saving the cards, and we walked away with a good PS3 deal and some bonus Goudey cards.

Then early this afternoon, I got my "hot" Goudey packs from eBay. I am attracted to the unattractiveness of Goudey cards. I guess they're Upper Deck's response to Topp's Heritage cards, which I initially didn't like. But now that I've seen the hot mess that is Goudey, Heritage cards look like museum-worthy works of art. So, what did I get? Aramis Ramirez jersey, Joe Mauer jersey, and Gary Sheffield jersey. NOT EXCITING AT ALL. That's what I get for technically cheating, or fueling demand for hot packs, I figure. I don't think I'll get these on eBay again; I'll just get boxes that guarantee something.

And then later this afternoon, the UPS man dropped off my 2008 Stadium Club box and Joe's 2007 Rookie Edition box. The Stadium Club box is laughably light, even though it's much larger than Joe's Rookie Edition box. The number of cards explains this, but it's still funny to actually feel and see. I'm pretty sure that I asked for five packs of Upper Deck 2008 Series 2 as my bonus free stuff from, but they gave me four packs of 2007 Rookie Edition, which is yes, what Joe got. But in one of those packs was an autograph from JOE SMITH, then a pitcher of the Mets, and according to Joe, now injured with the Indians. Anyway, I am waiting to open the box in the presence of both Mordecai and Joe, so that I can share my experience of pulling autographs and base cards that I already have.

Last note: My mom and I went to Assi on Dempster and Milwaukee, a Korean Mitsuwa-like supermarket. They have a satellite bakery in there, Crescent, which according to my mom is the underdog to Hippo at Mitsuwa. Crescent has some MAD SOFT sliced bread; I'm surprised the slices don't crush themselves. At the supermarket, I picked up some Pocari Sweat, a slightly salty, Gatorade-like drink, packaged in this tall, skinny, steel can that I remember from back in mid-90's in Japan. I also got this snack, which I recognized as the Korean version of Japan's Ottoto (o-to-to). I can report that both versions are equally addictive (I ate the entire content of the box in about five minutes after taking the photo above).

This is a text-heavy post; I hope I made sense.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

2009 Jenni, Series 1


I was immensly pleased to discover a small package of baseball cards from Jenni in our mailbox yesterday. The wrapping was very nice, with a personalized touch. Initially, I wanted to wait until we saw Joe again so that the three of us could open the packs together like we often do when we go card hunting. But I knew I couldn't wait that long, so Mordecai and I opened ours last night. Sorry, Joe.


I received a few Miguel Cabrera cards that I don't have yet, because my Miggy collection is mostly from when he was still with the Marlins. There were also a few Bobby Jenks cards, only one of which I already had. And finally, there were two of what I consider to be *bonus* cards: 2008 Allen & Ginter of creepy pitcher AARON HARANG of Reds and star pinch-pitcher NICK SWISHER of the Yankees. I picked up Aaron Harang for my fantasy team only to drop him; Joe and Nar brought his Yahoo! profile picture and the development of his disgusting facial hair to my attention. His picture now is not so bad, but there was one before that was pretty horrific. I guess he's not a bad pitcher though. I have problems with ugly on my team, but I was willing to make an exception if he pitched well. For better or for worse, it turned out I specifically needed a relief pitcher to replace José Valverde while he's on the DL getting hematoma-related fluid drained from his calf (gross), so I had to let Harang go for Frank Francisco of the Rangers. I have to say I'm partially relieved since Harang looks so scary, kind of like Death personified, but I will root for him and his ugliness from here on anyway.

Thanks again, Jenni!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Koyie Hill @ AU Sports, Skokie IL

This post could also be called, "Reason #23984 Why I Should Be a Cubs Fan." (More details on that in the hopefully near future.)


Mordecai, Joe and I first encountered Skokie's AU Sports on Dempster before it moved to Village Crossing. I think I was a little bewildered by the disorderly state of the Dempster location but looked forward to the new, near-Chili's location. Aside from Meijer and AU, I have no place to purchase, in person, pricey hobby packs of 2008 Stadium Club with a chance to pull a rookie autograph I already have or what I would consider the haunted Nick Adenhart autograph. Mordecai and I dropped by AU's new location last weekend for its "pre-grand opening." Joe went a few days later, and while the store was closed, he noticed a sign at the door saying that the Cubs' backup catcher Koyie Hill would be doing a signing at AU the following weekend.

We weren't particularly committed to going until the very last minute. The three of us are White Sox fans anyway, and I think our combined knowledge of Koyie Hill was rather minimal. I was kind of curious though, and at this point my love for baseball is so enormous that I'll take any active player's signature and a photo with him. So, along with cards, Mordecai and I got a photograph of Koyie and Joe got a baseball for Koyie to sign. He arrived in a white SUV with his daughter, which was quite endearing, and was very pleasant to everyone. I don't like speaking to strangers unless I have to, so naturally, Mordecai did all the talking. He asked for it to be signed to "Kei and Mordecai." My theory is that as a result, Koyie thought I was absolutely foreign. He also wrote "Go Cubs Go!" which I didn't see on other people's signed things, to the extent that I could see them. On all kinds of levels, I probably am absoultely foreign. Anyway.


Joe said that Koyie reminded him of Dustin Pedroia. I saw a picture of Pedroia without his helmet recently, and I started to see what Joe was saying. But I think it went more like this: the baseball gods made Koyie Hill and they were like, "Not bad. We'll keep this template." And then they made Dustin Pedroia but something didn't go exactly right, at least visually, along the line. But it was good enough, so they moved on. I don't know if Pedroia has nice teeth, but Koyie had some nice pearly whites.


Here is Joe with Koyie. Joe admitted to being star-struck.

I don't think I'll ever be a Cubs fan, but I think I'll always be somewhat sympathetic. I have too many connections and I can't seem to evade them (again, more on this later). Andy has Geovany Soto, and I probably won't ever have an opportunity to meet Geovany Soto, and Geovany Soto's shoulder is "sore." Perhaps it will get sore-er. So, I will forever root for Koyie to be the Cubs' starting catcher. Go, Koyie, Go!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Flannel + Docs


Thursday and Friday I wore similar outfits but varying in color. Both shirts are Mordecai's, and they happened to match my two pairs of Doc Martens, which pleased me a great deal. On Thursday it was warm-raining, which I don't particularly mind. At the Jackson train station, a young man approached me on the platform and remarked, "Damn, you lookin' kinda sexy in all that purple." I had to break it to him that I'm engaged to be married. I'm also pretty sure he was over five years younger than me. But anyway, what was so great about this moment in my life was that at the station platform nearby, a man was playing his bass with some background music and I realized that the song was "PURPLE RAIN." I think there were purple fireworks in my head!


Today I hung around the office, met with a couple of students, and later met up with Mordecai to go downtown. I noticed more logic notation on the office board than usual. Since it was so orderly and covered the whole thing, I decided to document it using PhotoBooth. It's Sean's work, presumably for his 210 students. I really ought to retake 210, and probably with Sean, but for now I will just pose with it.


In other news, I started up another blog exclusively for Fantasy purposes: MARAUDERS OF TIME. Here is Carlos Peña, the unofficial spokesperson for our new blog. He leads the MLB with 10 home runs thus far into the season. Somehow he currently surpasses all other proven sluggers. He's my utility player hero!