Showing posts from March, 2012

Classic card of the week

Jeff Kaiser, 1989 Fleer

Like me circa about an hour ago, you may think you know everything about former Major League Baseball player Jeff Kaiser. Sure, there are the jokes like, “No, not the composer and trumpet player Jeff Kaiser, who can be followed at—the baseball player, dummy!” Honestly, that joke is so clichĂ© and hacky at this point, I won’t even go there.

What I am here to tell you is: set your ego aside for a second because, no—I don’t think you know everything there is to know about Jeff Kaiser, a.k.a. the Kaismeister. For example, did you know he was called the Kaismeister by his close friends and relatives? Oh, you did know that? Well guess what? You are a lying sack of doo-doo because I made that up. See? That’s what I’m talking about. Work with me here.

Let us begin.

DID YOU KNOW? Tied for lead in saves with Colorado Springs farm team…

Okay, yeah well, that is a bad example. I mean, everybody knows that. I don’t even know why they included this tidbit. T…

Egg-straordinary circumstances; egg-straordinary measures*

Note: This column appears in the 3/29 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/30 issue of the Peoria Times.

People often ask us why we’re vegetarians as opposed to vegans. The honest answer is laziness. The well-kept secret of the self-righteous vegetarian is that giving up meat is not nearly as difficult as people think. And while we agree with veganism and wish we could be part of the club … I mean, c’mon. I have always maintained it’d be infinitely more difficult for me to give up cheese than meat, and while I’m fine putting cheese on my fake burger, I am not cool with putting fake cheese or (gasp!) no cheese on my fake burger. I have to draw the line somewhere, and my line is made of cheese.

Yet something happened over the weekend that nudged us ever so closer to the vegan side, and it has me concerned there’s no going back.

Like many Americans, I have frequently enjoyed eggs. Last week’s column was about eggs, which is something that just now dawned on me, and which has proven somew…

No explanation

Classic card of the week

Karl Malone, 1998 NBA Hoops

It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge that this, right here, is the last 1998 NBA Hoops card that I own. But let us never forget the good times we had, frolicking happily down the road of inane, nonsensical and uninformative street talk. If anyone out there has more cards from this series and would like to see them featured, please send them to me and I will do just that because I love this series of basketball cards more than I have ever loved anything in my entire life. But, if this is indeed the final installment, let’s make it count.

Let’s, as they say on the street, run a power move on them.

Run a power move on them.

“I don’t know what this means. What is a power move? Who is them?” These are things stupid idiots from suburbia would say. Ha, stupid idiots. Let me break it down for you. It’s like, hey, Karl Malone, do that thing you do where you finish a layup after contact, or belittle a subordinate in the effort of emphasizing your authority. GET ME…

Wake up and smell the embarrassment

Note: This column appears in the 3/22 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/23 issue of the Peoria Times.

I’ve had some embarrassing moments as a parent. There was the time our then foster daughter spit on her teacher at daycare. There was the time recently when our own daughter pointed in the face of the male cashier at Safeway and asked, “What’s her name?” And of course there are the many times I’ve been forced to leave the premises—church, restaurant, bank, playground, grocery store, party, Nickelodeon-themed show, whatever—carrying said child like a football, her screams gradually fading into the distance for the curious onlookers.

This is certainly not to say our daughter is more prone to such outbursts than any other 2-year old. Well, okay—maybe a little more prone. Still, a more recent outburst proved especially embarrassing, not so much because of how it went down, but where, and what it said about us.

I’ve documented our affection for a particular coffee place that also, apparen…

The chief of hankers

"I am going to blow my schnoze into this thing and then I am going to put it back into my pocket and then I am going to blow my schnoze into it again later."

This is the general thesis of the handkerchief-owner. Isn’t that amazing? I find it amazing.

I have had a bloody nose for the past three months because moisture levels in the atmosphere here are at a record low negative 30 percent, and I have found myself frequently imagining what I would do were I forced to resolve this matter via handkerchief. My conclusion is that I would not do that because that is disgusting.

I have always marveled at the ol’ hanky, mostly because of the paradox between its utter crudeness and how it also manages to represent some formal and high-status means of emergency nose-maintenance. Congratulations on your wedding! I have dressed properly for the occasion by exposing my handkerchief, see? Should my nose run, I will use this to wipe away the boogies. Oh my, I do apologize! I speaketh as though m…

Back to school, like we never left

Note: This column appears in the 3/15 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/16 issue of the Peoria Times.

One of the mysterious realities of life is how little we change from grammar school, no matter how much we change.

Sure, we mature, gain perspective, grow physically and emotionally … all that crap. But when reintroduced to the classroom setting with a teacher and desks, we might as well be 10-years old again.

I was reminded of this over the weekend. My wife and I, as criteria for renewing our adoptive license, embarked on an all-day training session in Scottsdale. Is there a better way to spend a gorgeous Saturday than inside of a classroom learning about why kids are nuts? No way! One way that is certainly not better is “going to the zoo,” which is how our friend treated our daughter, texting us pictures throughout the day that weren’t meant to taunt, but did. At one point I found myself looking at a picture of my daughter happily watching the camels while a woman wearing a hat that…

Classic card of the week

Michael Chang, Sports Illustrated for Kids

It’s pretty safe to say I was the only kid on the block with a Michael Chang tennis card, which, obviously, gave me quite the confidence boost as I biked around the neighborhood in search of worthy adversaries and also my soul mate. “Whatchu know about Michael Chang?” was a common phrase I could be heard condescendingly tossing in the direction of an unsuspecting sucka, while the surrounding kids laughed at this person’s lack of Michael Chang knowledge and memorabilia. It’s also pretty safe to say I am now one of the few people in the world that owns a perforated Michael Chang tennis card, and that’s not to brag. Well, kind of. Sorry, haters.

Chang me.

In 1989, Michael became the youngest man ever to win the French Open and also the first American man to win it since 1955. He was just 17 years 3 months old!

First of all, exclamation point! Second of all, seriously, that is ridonk. A 17-year-old winning a Grand Slam event is absurd. And what the h…

Tanger Outlets to fulfill hopes, dreams of more clothes

Note: This column appears in the 3/8 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/9 issue of the Peoria Times.

When I was a kid, and before I actually ever went to one, an “outlet” was an entity of mysterious retail dreams. For the longest time, I was under the impression—because, I think, one of my idiot friends told me this—that the outlet was a place to find not only merchandise unavailable at its regular store counterpart, but also for considerably less money. The outlet, you see, eliminated the middleman. No more insane markups; these would be direct-from-the-manufacturer purchases. This was like a real-life infomercial, and I was never prouder to live in this land called America than when I spoke of the outlet store.

Finally, by my senior year in high school, I was presented the chance to go with some friends to “the outlets” somewhere in north Jersey. I think the town itself was called “The Outlets” because that’s the only thing people went there for. The streets were paved with jeans an…

Classic card of the week

Willie Randolph, 1980 Topps

Willie Randolph never got enough credit. I mean, from me he did. But not from you guys. You guys are jerks.

It wasn’t Willie’s fault he had to share the limelight with the Greatest Baseball Player in the History of the Universe, or Mr. May, or Rickey being Rickey (man, how did those teams suck so bad? Oh yeah, pitching). All Willie did was go out there everyday and play second base and … boy, how awesome was Donnie, amiright? I miss him so much.

Even when he was managing he didn’t get enough respect. When the stupid Mets collapsed in 2007, everyone was like, “Blame Willie! What’s up with Willie? He’s just sitting there! Willie should do something! Willie!” and I was like, “Hold up, morons! The Mets are stupid! It’s not Willie’s fault the Mets are stupid!” This is a sentiment that was later proven correct, thus redeeming Willie, even though he had already been fired a long time ago. Now Willie is the third base coach for the freakin’ Orioles, and it’s like, LOO…

Arizona's linsanities

Today, Channel 12 here in AZ, in an attempt to capitalize on the linsanity craze that peaked like three weeks ago, ran a segment called, “Arizona’s Top Five ‘Linsanity’ Moments.” Indeed, it would be mega-interesting and newsworthy to unveil the Valley’s top five occasions that were most similar to when an Asian-American basketball player began playing basketball really well in New York. There was no way this wasn’t going to be completely dumb, but it somehow managed to exceed expectations.

No. 5 was when Jordin Sparks of Glendale won American Idol. I wasn’t here yet when that happened, but it was actually the number one reason my wife and I decided to move to Arizona. Watching the pure linsanity of someone from an American state win an American talent show, we just had to get to that state and see what all the fuss was about by living there permanently. When we arrived, it was impossible to escape the Jordin Sparks madness. Jordin Sparks this, Jordin Sparks that, hey, is that Jordin Sp…