Close Calls, Close Words and Clothes Mullets

Justin August 30, 2011 0

There was a quake on Tuesday and a hurricane on Sunday. Wow. On behalf of all of us, I’d like to say, FUCK YOU, EARTH.

There are a few things no one likes to hear about. No one cares about your fantasy team. No one cares about your poker hand. And no one wants to hear your story of how you made it through a natural disaster.

Here’s my Hurricane Irene story:

I live uptown. My office is downtown. When Mayor Bloomberg announced that the subway would be shut down during the storm, I was out of luck. I had to be at work during the buildup to Irene and, essentially, stay through the height of the storm. So, it looked like I would be stuck at work the entire time, even during the few hours when I wouldn’t be on the clock.

But, I had a wildcard. My brother and his girlfriend live downtown, within walking distance of my office. He was more than happy to let me crash there. Great. That was 11am Friday.

By 3pm, it turned into “I’m leaving keys for you with my doorman, but we’re getting out of town.”

Why? Turns out his girlfriend’s mom was nervous. The apartment is on the 14th floor of their building and has a lot of windows. All day, meteorologists had been saying the impact of Irene’s winds would be felt two or three-fold if you were above the 10th floor of a building. So, they decided to get out. There was a real chance that a strong gust could blow out a window. There was also a very high probability that floodwaters would force Con Ed to cut electricity to the building, thus deeming the elevators useless and forcing them to evacuate down 14 floors through a dark stairwell.

I learned this from my mother, who said she she agreed the two of them leaving wasn’t such a bad idea.

“But, Mom,” I said, “I’m going to be staying there.”

“Whatever,” she replied, “You’ll be fine.”

Sports Illustrated, August 29th, 2011.

Ryan  Braun, Baseball, Milwaukee Brewers


It’s never a good sign when Sports Illustrated publishes an out of season photograph in the “Leading Off” section. It invariably means the photographer has died. That’s exactly what happened this week. I spotted a picture of the Washington Capitals celebrating a victory, and before I even looked at the caption, I knew what it meant.

Steve Rushin’s exhausting to read writing style returns with a piece on genetic prediction techniques. Here are a few annoying examples:

Not long ago, when my five-year-old daughter called a passing butterfly a “flutter-by”—a far better word than the original—I took it as a sign that she’ll one day be a great etymologist (who studies words) or entomologist (who studies insects).

Get it? Because etymologist and entomologist sound similar.

 America has a predilection for predictions,

Get it? Because predilection and prediction sound similar.

This explains the famous Tiger Mom (Amy Chua, who forced her daughter to play piano at age three) as well as the Tiger Dad (Earl Woods, who had his son playing golf at age two).

Get it? Because Tiger Mom and Tiger Dad sound similar.

That’s just from the first three paragraphs. You get the idea.


16 Years Later, It’s Time To Get Real by Alexander Wolff

Wolff follows up a 1995 open letter calling on the University of Miami to drop football with a new argument for the same outcome. It’s coincidental that the Hurricanes would be in the headlines on the same week that Hurricane Irene made news. It also gives me another chance to share a Hurricane story:

One of my favorite part of working in the news during major weather events is that it gives me an excuse to show up looking like a retarded person picked out my outfit. On Sunday, I showed up for work in laceless converse lowtops, nylon running pants and a dress shirt. I told SCP commenter BHersk (aka Douchymcgee) about it, and he came up with the perfect description.  I was wearing a clothes mullet. It was business on top and party on the bottom.  We’ve also decided that, if the meaning of an email or text message is altered drastically by an unintended autocorrect, it’s called “getting Dykstra’d.” This comes from a theory we’ve developed that Lenny Dykstra’s recent arrest for exposing himself to a woman he hired off of craigslist is all due to a hilarious misunderstanding. He meant to type “I want a handjob” in his ad.. but his phone changed it to, “I want a housekeeper.”

Student of History by Phil Taylor

Jim Harbaugh has one great season at Stanford, thanks in large part to a once in a generation quarterback, and, all of a sudden, he’s a genius savior.  It’s nice that he’s watching videos of Bill Walsh conducting practices. That will add a grand total of zero wins to the 49ers season.

They’re Coming Right At You by L. Jon Wertheim

I’m psyched up for this year’s US Open. This article does a good job of summing up why. There are a lot of exciting players out there these days. Djokavic is fun to watch. I’m not particularly concerned with the lack of Americans.

Strange Brew (But It’s Working) by Lee Jenkins

Let’s get one thing straight. This Tony Plush routine that Nyjer Morgan pulls is a complete rip-off of Clinton Portis. It makes sense. Morgan was on the Nats while Portis was wowing the Washington Press Corps with his stupid characters as a Redskin. I like the Brewers. I’m rooting for them to win the National League. So is John, from 200 Miles From The Citi.

The Day That Damned The Dodgers by Lee Jenkins

Jenkins does such a good job giving both sides of this story that it actually eliminates any point of view. Fans say the situation was bad but now the security is too tight. The Dodgers say they’re doing the right thing. Some people blame Frank McCourt for cutting security spending. The team says that’s not the case.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

The intro into this book excerpt got me excited. It was essentially, “Once in a lifetime, a book comes along… This is that book.”  But the actual story is nothing special. The prose is simplistic to the point that it reads like a high school kid wrote it. The references are forced. There’s no nuance. I do not walk away thinking this is a great American novel. I walk away thinking it’s a mediocre creative writing project.

Point After by Joe Posnanski

I like the 162 game season. Its what I have always known. I don’t want it to change.

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