Unwelcoming Faces, Stigmatized Places and Basket Cases

Justin October 23, 2011 0

My face has apparently become a problem.

I woke up Wednesday in a perfectly fine mood. It was raining and I didn’t sleep well the night before, but, all in all, I was feeling pretty good.

That’s why I found it a bit odd that, when I got to work and went over to say hi to a friend, she looked at me and said, “Oh boy, what’s got you so angry?”  Nothing. Nothing had me angry. Yet, she told me I had an unhappy look on my face.

“Well, chock that up to one person’s opinion,” I said to myself, as I walked down the hallway towards another office. And then it happened again. This time, it was another friend with whom I’m pretty close. She didn’t cushion it, either. “Jesus, you look like you’re going to punch someone in the face.”

A few hours later, it happened a third time. Someone asked me what was wrong. And the weirdest part is, despite everyone insisting that I looked like an angry maniac, I was in a perfectly fine mood.  That finally changed at the Subway. Not on the subway. My commute home was fine. It happened at the Subway. It was late and it was raining and I didn’t feel like cooking, so I stopped to grab a sandwich for dinner. And, during the 40 seconds it takes to “toast” a turkey sub, the “sandwich artist” behind the counter decided to make some conversation. “You look like you had a rough day,” he said.

I know I’m not a particularly handsome man. And I know I don’t always let a smile be my umbrella. But, I always assumed my default expression settled at bemused indifference (I see what’s happening, I know it’s dumb but I don’t really care that much.) Apparently, though, my face gives off more of a “Michael Douglas in Falling Down” sort of vibe.  And that’s too bad. It kind of puts me in a shitty mood.

Sports Illustrated: October 24, 2011

Nelson Cruz, Baseball, Texas Rangers

PREGAME:

Last week, I commented on the fact that it seems like no discussion of this year’s baseball playoffs can exist without some sort of shot at the Yankees, Phillies and other supposed “big market” teams. That trend continues in the relatively new section “Feedback,” which now accompanies SI’s letters to the editor. The magazine puts out the beginning of a sentence and followers on Twitter and Facebook finish it.

This week:

The best part of the Cardinals-Rangers World Series will be …

the first few answers are stupid, but relatively inoffensive.

Shawn Thomas Owens: The massive amounts of offense that will be put up by both teams. Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, David Freese and Matt Holliday vs. Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli? This could be a real home run derby.

Joseph Dennhardt (@JosephD_19): Cruz going yard. Dude hit six home runs in six games during the ALCS. There’s no one hotter with the stick right now.

Kevin J Maldonado: Watching Pujols hitting more homers than Cruz and Beltre combined.

And it goes on like that for a little while longer. The last answer, though, made me mad.

Ryan Tyndall: That there will be no Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies involved.

Eat a bag of dicks, Ryan Tyndall.

(Though, I agree it’s fun that the Red Sox aren’t involved)

THE ARTICLES:

Boom Or Bust by Tom Verducci

I’m not quite ready to watch baseball yet. I need about two and a half weeks after the Yankees season ends before I can sit and watch a game again. And this matchup doesn’t do much for me to begin with. Tony LaRussa makes the Cardinals unlikable. The Rangers are kind of boring (though Josh Hamilton is still something to see.) Even the colors of this series are a turnoff. It’s a lot of red. It’s just not visually appealing. I’ll probably watch once one of the teams is on the verge of clinching. I always like to watch teams win championships. That pileup at the end of a title run, in whatever sport, is still an amazing thing to watch.

So, What Were You Expecting? by Stewart Mandel

I read this article two days ago. I have absolutely no memory of what was said in it. That’s probably not a great sign.

Moore With Less by Austin Murphy

What caught my attention most in this profile of Kellen Moore was the recruiting  trip he took to Oregon State, when the coaches paid attention to all the QB’s who were physically impressive and sent the rest of the players to a back field, never to be heard from again. When I was a freshman in high school, I got up the nerve to try out for the baseball team. I didn’t make it, but some of my friends who did told me I had played well at the tryouts and should give a shot again the next year. The Freshman team coach told me the same thing. And so I did. Sophomore year did not go as well. On the first day of hitting, the JV coach made me the first guy in the box, had me face the team’s top pitcher for about 10 pitches then sent me to shag flies on the side field with all the kids who showed up for tryouts in jean shorts and work boots.  Well, you know what? It sucked. FUCK YOU, COACH G! I HOPE YOU CHOKE ON A MEATBALL!

Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 by Lars Anderson

There were two facts that I focused on while watching coverage of Dan Wheldon’s death. First, I’m the same age as he was. That creeps me out. Second, Wheldon’s two sons are named Oliver and Sebastian. That makes them sound like, perhaps, the most British set of siblings in history. And I’m truly sorry that they’ll grow up without a father. It’s heartbreaking.

The Jagr Hockey School by Brian Cazanueve

Is drinking really such a huge problem in the NHL? This article doesn’t come out and say as much, but it sure hints at it.  I really liked Jagr as a Ranger. I have no ill will towards him. Obviously, I hope the Flyers fail miserably this year, but I’ll be ok if they do it while he has a good season.

Basketball Was The Easy Part by Gary Smith

HOLY SHIT! Where do I start? I spoke to John about this article before I sat down to read it. He told me it would remind me of an episode of WTF? with Marc Maron (If you haven’t listened to WTF, I can’t recommend it enough. Truly one of the great pleasures in my life. Last week’s interview with Norm MacDonald was absolutely fantastic.) John was sort of right. The Marc Maron conversations sound like people undergoing therapy. Jerry West’s inner-dialogue sounds more like someone who refuses to let anyone else in. I had no idea this seemingly smart and pleasant man was so tortured.   I read a lot of books. The last few have been about pretty serious subjects. I was hoping my next book would be something light. Jerry West’s autobiography was one of things I was considering. I still want to read it. But, it sure doesn’t sound like the light-hearted fare I’ve been looking for.

Point After by Phil Taylor

Taylor talks to Doug Flutie about Tim Tebow. That’s just about perfect. I think Flutie may be the only person in football who had even close to the sort of career that Tebow’s in the middle of. Until Kellen Moore, of course.

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