Well it seems that I have been punching keys at THAT for three plus years, since I am very late with this post, still blog birthdays (and a real birthday this week, though not the same as Willie Mays’ sadly…) are still worth posting about if only so that I can count how many of my best years have been wasted watching cartoons. I wish I could say that work was the sole reason for my lack of motivation but in truth it’s largely because I have recommitted myself as a sports fan and baseball has started again at a time when I have regular cable. Also this year’s NBA Playoffs might be a sort of changing of the guard with regards to the Western Conference as the Lakers seem to look less formidable after Chris Paul and the Hornets beat the Lakers twice after the big stink about how the Hornets were an easier match up than the Trailblazers due to a depleted roster and the rest of the Hornets being just some dudes. Also we might finally have a true heir to His Airness Michael Jordan, in Derrick Rose, as Kobe and LeBron have fallen so short on the likability area. Lastly I now have the means to actually attend sporting events that I never could have dreamed of attending as a kid. With my Coast to Coast trip and another one to go I felt it was best to make the most of it and watch other teams play in their natural environment. It’s also one thing I can cross off on the bucket list since this chance might never come again. So on with the “I AM OLD NOW ORZ” post.
While there is a well-defined line between Sports fans and Anime fans being both I can say that both have similar habits. Both spend ungodly amounts of money on their interests and there is a clear line between fandom tiers. Anyone who thinks that sports if for some big dumb jocks is pretty much an idiot who doesn’t participate in the most mainstream hobby of them all. ANN might be the most well-known news source in the English speaking fandom but their organization pales in comparison to ESPN. So I was watching the PTI program one day and Michael Wilbon (those who live in Chicago might know him) commented on the retirement of long time Kentucky Derby announcer Tom Durkin retired from his job citing how after 25 years of doing the most exciting 2 minutes in sports the stage fright got to him. Wilbon then talked about how some of the best writers in the industry who could write much better than he can, resigned because they could not handle the pressure or meet deadlines when writing prose.
While it is a stretch to say that the average anime blogger can match the aptitude of professional writers, it does make me reflect back on how many better bloggers have gone quiet over the years. Along with the demise of the Duncan/Parker/Ginobili San Antonio Spurs it seems that a decade really has passed. I am not talking about blogosphere time per se but some of my favorite bloggers have undergone production declines. I have slumped recently as well but it does affirm my own sense that I am not going to be as artful with prose as the more talented bloggers. Conversely it means that since my posts are mediocre at best I guess that means I have more in the tank than say IKnight. Lastly it makes me feel especially old considering the attrition this site seems to have. It’s great to have new bloggers but I do miss my old comrades who have been lost to real jobs, family, or simply a lack of ongoing interest in anime. To be fair I do think that as time goes on less and less will seem new or interesting the longer you watch. Unlike sports anime is all scripted and fiction has more constraints than the innate craziness of real life.
New Meetings, Renewed Hate
So in desperation I sought out fellow bloggers for a face-to-face meeting, in a bid to do something other than go to the mall. I have nothing against my former colleagues, but being married seems to be no fun, especially if you have to get permission from the wifey to spend money. I would like to express my gratitude to Hinano and JP for spending some of their time to show a poor abandoned serviceman marooned in Boston without a Celtics ticket around. Hopefully when we next meet it will be for more than a day. I also would like to thank Foshizzel for accompanying me to a Magic game against the Lakers despite the likelihood of a Laker victory, not being a fan of Orlando Basketball (he is now though), and shitty Laker fans flashing their replica Kobe jerseys, to demonstrate how they are unwilling to commit to Kobe by getting a swingman or better (because by getting a swingman or better you show that your faith in player and team will not fade with time as a replica jersey will nor is your fandom worth the paltry 20 USD from Ross nor is it second hand or a fake bought in a parking lot). Fortunately Orlando won and it was a good day, perhaps it was made all the more magical since the Heat lost to the Celtics the same day.
While I do hold people in LA with sneering contempt I was glad to meet with Shinmaru, who is one of dem bums who root for da Dodgers and the Lakers. Shinmaru would not be able to go to Opening Day (probably the smart decision considering how a visiting fan was beaten into a coma in yet another incident of Dodgers fan violence), but was willing to go watch a Lakers game with me. Of course being a Lakers fan he did not want to risk watching the Lakers lose to the Trailblazers, nor did he want to watch any of the Clippers games despite the Thunder being in town, so we settled for the Suns game (you know the most winnable game for the Lakers). It was a good time and was one of those rare games that went into triple overtime, not bad for Shinmaru’s first Lakers game in a long while as it was hard to argue we did not get our money’s worth. All in all it was a great time and gave me more bragging rights over ghostlightning who has yet to go a single game of his beloved Lakers.
In the end there was not typical anime day out like going to Karaoke, going to the beach, or going to a theme park on a day off. Either way I suppose it was in the end more riveting than Slam Dunk! and H2. Besides nothing reinvigorates the haterade like a heated sports rivalry, makes me ready for another shipping war once I find one worth waging to better employ my excess haterade for the LA Dodgers. Hopefully on the next trip I can con some people into watching baseball or shelling out money for a NBA playoff/finals game in the nose bleed sections. Besides hopefully my efforts created a day to remember so when Foshizzel is old and gray he can proudly say that he went with me to a Magic game to watch Superman play and Kobe lose. When Shinmaru has 16 grandkids he can say he saw one of those rare triple overtime games when the Lakers were good with some no good Giants fan whose name was not worth remembering.
In total this also marks two years and 29 days of active service for Uncle Sam, and while I did enjoy going around the country coming back home again is difficult. I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side as during my student days I had a much more relaxed atmosphere, but now I have more income to do stupid things, but less time to do said stupid things. It’s so much easier on the road as a young adult, because when you get home the obligations start reasserting them-selves and in my case I have to walk my dad through traffic school. I also made the mistake of getting one of those newfangled Sandy Bridge i5s early and had to replace the chipset and the case. My personal project to transfer all the anime eps from discs to portable hard-drives is still far behind, mostly since organizing all the stuff I threw in the back log over the years is rather tedious and like my other piles of shame are decidedly large. If I had the time I would follow JP and Hinano to watch and toss, but unlike both of them I do have a reason to watch TV since neither of them are one of the NYC faithful who cheer for those no luck Knicks or those overpaid Yankees.
Oh and a few public service announcements, with regards to New Orleans, Mardi Gras is a fucking SHAM perpetuated by creepy middle aged and very aged people with expensive cameras to lure in the young to a stinking cesspool that reeks of urine, beer, and shit. The parades vary wildly with only the older krewes worth seeing as they have enough money to put a damn train on the streets. Other than that the food is great and while the South gets a bad rap for being all of America’s ills at least Hornets fans are much more polite and friendly than the pig disgusting drunk “fans” in LA who come late, steal your seat, spend 4-5 innings/1.5 quarters waiting in line for beer and nachos, and leave before the 7th inning stretch.
Dodgers Stadium is in truth all the bad things you may have heard about, rowdy confrontational drunk “fans” who steal seats, lax security, long concession lines, nightmarish and expensive parking, and arguably the worst baseball stadium in both the American and National Leagues since it isn’t exactly sacred ground like Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. AVOID and just watch the game at home, the entire franchise is on the decline ever since the O’Malleys sold the team to FOX News who sold it to some miserly bum named Frank McCourt who over charges on everything and refused to remedy the parking situation. Even with the MLB takeover of the Dodgers it will take a couple seasons for them to undo all the damage and then it will all hinge upon the next owner being savvy enough to punch the municipal government of LA in the mouth to renovate the place and bring the area into the 21st century.