Tuesday, May 20, 2014

8 Down, 22 to go

One of the items on my bucket list is to watch a game in all 30 active MLB stadiums. So far, I have done 8 of them (DC, Baltimore, New York Mets, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago Cubs and most recently Oakland).

I went out to Oakland on May 9th. I couldn't sleep the night before (combination of a night class and being excited for the trip). Flight was uneventful but late. It was delayed a little bit because they were voluntarily bumping people. United was giving people $500 in vouchers for people that wanted to be bumped so if I wasn't meeting a friend, I would've been all over that. I could've used that to finance a trip to Seattle or another stadium next year.

Once I landed in San Francisco, I headed straight to the BART Station to get to O.Co Coliseum ASAP because my friend Kevin was waiting. If you know the system, BART isn't hard to use, but for newbies it is. Maps are not widely available in the stations, I really didn't find the trains or stations well labeled and everything runs on the same line. I got lost twice going the stadium. On the plus side, I did hear multiple announcements that every single elevator and escalator was working in their system (This is something DC's Metro will NEVER be able to claim).

I got to the Coliseum with plenty of time before first pitch, and met up with Kevin. We were splitting a hotel room nearby but we decided just to go to the game since it was closer. Once inside, we met up with Liza and Taylor; some twitter friends who are die-hard Oakland Athletics fans. We hung out and talked by the Nats bullpen, since Liza is a Gio Gonzalez fan. We were able to get his autograph, as well as Jerry Blevins. The game didn't go as well though. This was Doug Fister's first start all year, so he got hit pretty hard. I was impressed that he did not walk anybody though. 

We had really awesome seats, Mike Rizzo, the General Manager of the Nationals sat 1 section over from us. I was able to get his autograph as well. I came fairly close to getting an Anthony Rendon foul ball but the guy behind me got it. Ushers were very strict considering the stadium was halfway full. They gave 1 guy a hard time because he was in the correct section and row, but not the right seat (in a mostly empty row). Met a woman from Germantown that was out here for a conference. (I never say I'm from DC when I go on trips because I've never actually lived in the city and I don't wanna be called out if I actually meet someone from there). She didn't believe I traveled from the East Coast just for the game until I mentioned I was from Germantown. After the game, Kevin and I tried to go to In-N-Out burger but they don't serve walk ins after 1030. We ended up just going to the Jack-In-The-Box and the beer store across from our hotel.

The next day, we went to Lightning Tavern for brunch. I had a Living Social deal for them, and bottomless mimosas are always good. The breakfast burrito I had was definitely in the top 3 (Ely's Pancake House and Deluca's are 1&2) and loved that the mimosas were 90% champagne and 10% orange juice. After the meal, we went to Bullit. 

We had 40s there (9 bucks but they come with condoms so I feel that it's worth it. I think I had a couple of beers there but I don't really remember). After Bullit, Kevin and I went to the Mission Area of San Francisco for the Kink.com porn tour.

This was probably the best non-baseball part of the trip. For those of you not in the know in the porn world, in 2006 Kink.com purchased the San Francisco Armory, which is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Our tour guide was a guy named Dane, who actually does porn for Kink.com. We saw the props, some of the room sets and even learned some history. Star Wars shot some of its scenes here. Technically, I was on a porn site, because the lounge upstairs has cameras streaming for their site. I even got some DVDs and a shot glass to remember my visit, Dane cut me a deal and only charged me for 1 DVD.

Tour ended around 4:30 and since the game started at 6, Kevin and I went right around the corner to Taqueria La Cumbre. They were on Man vs Food (that's pretty much how I choose where I eat when I travel, do I have an internet deal for you or were you on TV). La Cumbre is supposedly the first place to make Mission Style burritos (overstuffed like Chipotle). We took ours to go. I wish I took a picture because my carnitas burrito was as big as my forearm.

For game 2, we sat with Liza in the right field bleachers. I talked to a Nats fan living in San Francisco, and she said that we would get eaten alive up there but it was fine. I guess it helps when you're friends with one of the bleacher crew, happen to be a 5'10" 300+ lb male wearing a bacon hat and have a 6' 7" 230+  male with you. This was a heart breaker. First time I'd ever seen an opponent walk off. Rafael Soriano gets a lot of the blame for blowing the save, but I am more mad at Danny Espinosa's 2 base error that chased Tanner Roark from the game with only 95 pitches in 7.2 innings. Also, bringing in Tyler Clippard (one of your best relievers) for 1 out was kind of questionable. I would've let him pitch the 9th unless he got into any trouble. Being that it was firework night, and it was still very light out after 9 innings, it was probably good that this game went into extra innings. Fireworks were actually kind of fun to watch. They were set to the music of Journey. I kind of want to go to the next firework night, it will be set to the music of Super Mario Brothers, but I don't have $ to fly to Oakland just for baseball (again). After the game, I went back to the hotel and crashed because of a long day of  jet-lag/shower beers/bottomless mimosas and 40s.

Sunday, Kevin and I finally went to In-N-Out Burger. I had a 4X4 animal style with animal style fries. Loved the burger, fries were meh. These fries were made fresh, and I don't think my body is used to that so I did not appreciate it. After food, we went to Wal-Mart to buy beer (classy I know). I figure I'm probably never going to have the opportunity to buy beer at Wal-Mart ever again, I might as well. We went to the game, sat in Right Field with Liza again. I'd like to forget this game ever happened but I loved how the fans chanted "Werth You Suck" at Jayson Werth (only because he was playing RF and not because of his actual abilities) but Jayson seemed to be into it.

After the game, Kevin and I ventured into San Francisco to eat at King of Noodles (I had an Amazon.com coupon for it and it had been on Anthony Bourdain's The Layover). I had dumplings and soup. Usually that's just an appetizer for me, but these soups are LARGE. 

I couldn't even finish it. The dumplings were good too. And prices were great. With the Amazon deal, our bill was $5 for 2 beers, 2 soups and 24 dumplings. Afterwards,we barhopped and then returned to our hotel to pack for our early morning flights.

Overall, Oakland/San Francisco was fun. O.Co Coliseum gets a lot of criticism for being a dump, but I didn't think it was that bad. The seats seamed to be new and in working order (something that could not be said for RFK). The tarping of  most of the upper deck gave it more of an intimate feel (which could be good or bad) but if the stadium is a sellout (like it was Saturday), they should untarp and sell those seats. My major criticism was that you could hardly see the field from the concourse. The Coliseum is built for you to sit in your seat and watch football/baseball. I regret not eating much of the stadium food. I had a novelty sized corndog on Friday but I heard their barbecue is pretty good.

Not sure what my next new stadium will be. I will be in Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks but I had been there already. Most likely my next one will be Yankees, Tampa Bay, Houston or Atlanta.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

An "All Music " Lineup

Blog muscles were atrophying (would've done one on my trip to NY, but I didn't have pictures) and with the past couple of losses, I figured we needed a fun blog post.

During one of the games, I thought about what would be my favorite Washington Nationals lineup of all time based on their walk-up music. And I even decided to take it a step further and create a balanced 25 man roster just based on this.

Here's my list

C - Ivan Rodriguez - Check Yo Self - Ice Cube
1B - Matt Stairs - Stone Cold Steve Austin Wrestling Entrance Music
2B - Alex Cora - Don Omar and Lucenzo -Danza Kuduro
SS - Christian Guzman - How We Do - The Game (I also loved it when the Nats would have the ZZZZZZZZ on their digital display for Christian GuZman")
3B - Anthony Rendon - Still D.R.E. - Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (or Lion, whatever he's calling himself these days)
LF - Bryce Harper - It's Tricky - Run DMC
CF - Jayson Werth - Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin 
RF - Ian Desmond - I Wear my Stunna Glasses at Night - The Federation and E-40 (Yes, Ian Desmond played 7.1 innings in Right Field in his Nationals career, which makes him eligible for Right Field in my All Music Roster)

2B/SS - Danny Espinosa - Turn the Page - Bob Seger
LF/RF/1B - Adam Dunn - Turn the Page - Metallica
CF Nyjer Morgan - Blow the Whistle - Too Short 
C/1B/LF/RF Robert Fick - Dear Mama - Tupac
1B/LF/RF - Michael Morse - Take on Me - A-ha

SP Ross Detwiler - Wherever I may Roam - Metallica
SP Stephen Strasburg - Seven Nation Army - White Stripes (I know, this is Baltimore's anthem but I love the beat)
SP Gio Gonzalez - House Party - Meek Mill and Young Chris
SP John Lannan - My Own Summer (Shove it) - Deftones
SP Jason Marquis Run this Town - Jay Z, Rihanna and Kanye West

RP Chad Cordero - King Nothing - Metallica 
RP Drew Storen - Bad Company - Five Finger Death Punch
RP Tyler Clippard - Ready or Not - Fugees
RP Todd Coffey - Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Entrance Music
RP Matt Capps - Final Countdown - Europe 
RP Ryan Mattheus - Firework - Katy Perry
RP Michael Gonzalez - Cracks - Freestylers (I needed a situational lefty in my All time Musical roster)

I don't know how many wins this roster would put out, but I would love to see (and hear) this 25 man roster play 162 games.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Celebrity Deathpool

Kevin B., Matt D, and I decieded to create a celebrity deathpool for money. Here are the rules.

1. Have your pick in by 11:59 PM Sunday May 12 Eastern Time. You can make a pic by leaving a comment in the comment section of this blog. Be sure to include contact info (email or twitter handle)

2. Cost is a penny a day. For example, if the pool lasts 30 days, all the losers should PayPal the winner 30 cents. (Please don't be a flake)

3. Anyone alive is eligible but coma patients are a case by case basis, decided by the Deathpool Committee (Me, Kevin and Matt)

4. Each person can only make 1 pick. At the end of 6 months if no one in our celebrity deathpool has passed, then everyone is required to make totally new picks.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Opening Day 2013: 6 In A Row

This was probably the 2nd most hyped Opening Day for the Washington Nationals that I have ever been to. (Note, I did not attend Opening Day before 2007). The most hyped (2008) was hyped because of the grand opening of the stadium, this time the hype was based on the product on the field.

Getting tickets was kind of strange. Last year, I was able to buy a 5 game plan that included Opening Day. This year, my 5 game plan did not have it included. There was a presale for opening day for full and partial season ticket holders back in February, so I was able to have my friend Jerry, who is a partial season ticket holder snag two tickets for me and my friend Jesse.

I got to the area around 830 AM and walked by the stadium and saw that there was already a line for $5 tickets. Those tickets weren't going on sale for another 2 hours. Jesse and I ended up starting pregaming at my friend Kim's house with bagels and beer and later on at the new Gordon Biersh. It was actually nice to go to a place in the area that served beer and had decent food. The Bullpen/Fairgrounds area is fun but with no decent food and only beer (no liquor) it's only so much fun.

We eventually made it into the stadium and onto the Scoreboard Walk where we saw some familiar people in friends and beer vendors. I'm glad that the Nationals still do $5 beers before first pitch, but I am disappointed that they no longer serve Pilser Urquell. At around noon, Jesse and I got to our seats so we can see the full introductions of the roster of both teams. Our seats were in left field, section 107. These were the best seats I have ever had for Opening Day.

This was the third time in six home openers that the Nationals won. Looking at the box score, with only 2 runs scored the whole game and the Marlins only getting to 3rd base once, it looks like a boring game but it wasn't. Bryce Harper hit a home run in his first two at bats of the season and fellow budding superstar Stephen Strasburg took care of business in 7 innings on the mound. After Harper's 2nd home run, I started doing the "We're not Worthy" bow from Wayne's World for the rest of his at bats.

During the 7th Inning Stretch, the Nationals played "Take on Me," which used to be Michael Morse's song. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, that is kind of cold-hearted to trade a player and still use his song but I like that the Nationals found a song that the fans have gotten into and it has meaning to DC baseball fans. It beats trying to rip off the Red Sox and play "Sweet Caroline."

During the game, I got a Shawarma from Shawafel, one of the new stands. I like that the Nationals go out of their way to include local food in their stadium (Ben's Chili Bowl, Hard Times, and formerly Mayorga Coffee and Five Guys), but they did not do a good job of hyping of the new stands this off-season. The shawarma was okay, but logistically the stand was a nightmare. The food was made quickly but checking out, there was only 1 register (there were 2 registers there but only 1 worked). Luckily the guy who looked like the manager of the stand saw that I was paying cash and had exact change so he took my money so wouldn't have to keep waiting in the register line. Hopefully, everything will be working more smoothly for the next 80+ games.

I liked that the crowd was pretty much Nationals fans. There were a couple of jerseys from other teams. The Marlins are probably the only team in professional sports that can win 2 championships in 7 years and then 10 years later have no semblance of a nationwide fanbase. Another great part was that there was no wave. I hate the wave and was very disappointed in my fellow fans when someone tried to start the wave last opening day during extra innings. Experts predict that the Nationals could make it to the World Series this year. I'm not even going to try to stress myself a prediction. I will just relax and enjoy the season.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I visted a Psychic last weekend

I visited a psychic last weekend. I'm not really into the paranormal; I believe in ghosts and aliens but it is not a serious belief. I don't really believe in psychics but I kind of believe in good omens and bad omens.

The psychic I visited was by the 6th and I synagouge in Chinatown, DC. I noticed it on New Years Day and wanted to check it out but it was closed even though the Open sign was on. (Now that I think of it, I was probably nervous and pushed the door when it was a pull door so I didn't get in). But today, I was determined to get a reading.

I come in around 5, there is a staircase right in front of me, but the psychic was on the bottom floor to the right, and you had to ring a doorbell for her (odd because she is a psychic, she should know who and when her customers come in). It smelled a lot like weed in there. (I am not a purveyor of the wacky tobaccky but I do know its smell). A very attractive and racially ambiguous woman answered the door. I thought the psychic since she was in Chinatown would be some middle aged chinese woman but this woman looked like she could've been Italian/Hispanic/? and probably no older than I am. (I'm 27). She had no accent, brunette with a dash of red and a very nice rack for a skinny person (sorry, I'm a guy, I notice these things) I asked for a reading but she said that I should come back around 20-30 minutes from now or schedule an appointment for a later date. No one else was in there, so I found that odd that she would request that I come back later. If this was anything else, I probably would've gone home but for the sake of the blog and for intelectual curiosity, I walked around the block for 20 or so minutes.

I get my reading. I ask for the 2 palm reading that costs 10 bucks. We sit down in the front and she asks for my name and my date of birth. I wish I was recording this because this is all off of my memory and even though I have a good one, it can be distorted. She was a fast talker too.

The reading started off with her asking my name and my date of birth. She said that she could detect some romantic feelings between me and one of my female friends. (kind of true but lets be honest, every 20-something unmarried straight male probably has some unresolved romantic feelings to their female friends) I kind of denied this by saying "isn't everybody in love". She also asked me if there was anything traumatic in my childhood because she couldn't really see anything before I was 10. I had an awesome childhood, but my house did flood during a trip to Nigeria around that time and we spent more than a year living in a hotel paid for by insurance. She also asked me to make a wish outloud and a wish in my heart. My outloud wish was about doing well in my accounting class this semester and my internal wish was about having a fun time in New York on Tuesday. Also, during the reading she said that I worry about my parents and that my mom might be depressed. As far as I know my mom isn't but I don't really think about my dad. I haven't seen him since 2007, and we've emailed each other 4 times since then. She also mentioned that I have a lot on my plate, but what 20-something in the city doesn't have a lot on their plate? She mentioned that I trust to easily. That's probably true, but it is possible that she watches NBC 4 and saw me talking about the Redskins Catfish stoory. And that I look for comfort in the wrong places. That is true. I internalize a lot of stuff, don't really ask people for help and as a result I'm a glutton with food/booze.

During the reading, she said that I am going to have a long life and live until I am 84. As an obese blackman, the odds that I live that long aren't high but, all 4 grandparents I have had lived until their 80s so hereditarily it is possible. I didn't ask how I'll die but since I know I'm not going to die until 84, part of me wants to try some autoerotic apyxsiation right now since there's no risk of me accidently dying. She saw creativity writing as something I do. (I ship stuff for my job, not really creative or a lot of writing, maybe she saw the blog or my attempts at comedy)

At the end of the reading, she said that I could ask 3 questions. The first question was would I get a job this year. She says that in the next 4 to 6 months, I will get a new job and it will be a defining job.(Good news, its a job, bad news, it means I might have wasted 2 semesters taking accounting classes at Montgomery College or maybe my classes lead to my job)

The second question I ask is if the Washington Nationals win the World Series. I don't know if she's right, I doubt it, but I don't want to spoil the season for people. If you want to know her answer, email me.(I kind of regret asking this because if the answer is yes, I've spoiled the season for myself. If the answer is no, then no matter how good the season is, I won't be able to enjoy.

The third question I asked was about a female friend, who I will refer to as X, if there was any romance there. She asked me her name and date of birth. Didn't have X's  date of birth but I told her X's name. She said that there was something there. X has feelings for me but is afraid to act upon them because X knows I have a lot on my plate. X isn't the one but X will remain a great friend and she also mentioned that I would meet my soulmmate in 5 years. The psychic said that I was on the right path and stuff will become more clear at the end of the year and in the next 4-6 months my true friends and who cares about me will be revealed. Mentioned that a have a smile on my face but pain in my heart.

I feel like I could've stayed and she would've answered more questions, but since I don't know Psychic Ettiquite, I paid and left. I didn't tip (are you supposed to tip psychics, when do you officially leave? I did get what I paid for but it seems like she was willing to keep going so should I have stayed or should I have left). Let's see how right/wrong she is.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bobblehead Speculation

So, my favorite time of the year is up. The Nationals have released their promotional schedule. I'm all about the bobbleheads, I own somewhere between 70-80 of them. The Nationals have 3 bobblehead giveaways, they haven't announced who they were , and I just felt like speculating on who they would be.

10. Brad Wilkerson -The original face of the franchise who was eventually traded for Alfonzo Soriano. Doubt it happpens, but it would be nice to see another historical bobblehead (the team did a Frank Howard Senators bobblehead in 2009).

9. Ryan Zimmerman - The longest tenured National, face of the franchise and a $100 million contract. He already has 3 bobbleheads out (2008,2010,2012), so a fourth one isn't too out of the question, but they probably won't release a Zimmerman bobblehead in back to back years.

 8. Roger Bernadina - He isn't a starter but as a very good 4th outfielder who has been in the Nationals organization since its Montreal days, a catchy nickname, an odd fanclub, and a "Sharkarine" coming to Potomac, a bobblehead is possible.

7. Kurt Suzuki - Aside from LaRoche, the only starting position player who does not have a bobblehead. Process of elimination puts him on this list.

6. William Howard Taft - The newest racing president. At some point, they will come out with a Taft bobblehead. I do not know if they will re-release all of the racing presidents at one point or if Taft will be released by himself. I know the year they released the racing presidents bobblehead, the team was expected to be historically bad, so maybe they might wait for a really bad season to have a Taft bobblehead.

5. Jordan Zimmermann - The longest tenured starting pitcher. He's been a good young pitcher, just doesn't get a lot of wins. I would say he is also due for a bobblehead. I kind of feel that he is the "forgotten" starting pitcher. He doesn't have the first round draft pedigree of Stephen Strasburg or Ross Detwiler, the flair of Gio Gonzalez or the newness of Dan Haren.

4. Adam LaRoche - Like I said before, all the returning starting position players except for Suzuki have bobbleheads so he is due. Especially since he is returning with a new contract and a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award.

3. Tyler Clippard - There is a compelling case for Taft, Zimmermann, LaRoche or Clippard to be a bobblehead, so I'm going out on a limb by saying Clippard will be one of them. Even though as a set-up guy, he doesn't have a sexy position, but he did a good job as a closer when Drew Storen was out last year, he has been an all star in the past. Also, the last bobblehead given out for a reliever was Chad Cordero in 2006, so I would say that this position is due. Also, is the second longest tendered National.

2. Gio Gonzalaez - He is the Nationals only 20 game winner at the moment, finalist for the Cy Young and a bubbly personality. Ladies love him, men like is hairstyle ( I LOVE his hair). If it wasn't for his alleged connection to PEDs, I would be willing to risk 10 chairshots to the head. (For the record, I believe Gio is clean. The WBC has stricter drug testing than the MLB so why would he voluntarily pitch for the US if he was dirty)

1. Bryce Harper - I think this is a no brainer. This guy has been hyped up since he was 16. He's been on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Rookie of the Year and even has his own catchphrase (clown question, bro). If there is not a Bryce Harper bobblehead night this year, I will gladly take 10 chairshots to the head.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Catfishing With Sidney Ackerman: Sidney, you're a Crazy Cooter, just stop

DUDE! I totally thought I was done with this Sidney Ackerman shit but nope. She keeps at it. Hopefully this is the last entry because this is just becoming a parody of itself. Last night, a bunch of Redskins fans on twitter found that Sidney was catfishing AGAIN.

The screen names in question? SportsfanInWV and his "wife" MrsP_Tricia. They followed me in December and since both of them were Redskins fans, so I followed back. I talked to them, but we weren't really close. The funny part is that you were outed 3 times in December and January as a catfish by the Redskins fanbase, it became a national story, and then you decide to create 2 more profiles to fraternize with the same group of skins fans that outed you.

January 17, 2013 - I'm randomly tweeting stuff about Sidney, about how we need to get Nev Schulman on her ass and how I still have questions, and then SportsfanInWV DMs me saying that I seem angry at her and I should probably contact her. (I really don't like DMs but I replied back and we talked and he talks about how an avi that was a pair of gloves was DMing his wife trying to get her to leave him) Don't worry, there was nothing damaging to anybody in my DMs.

January 27, 2013 - I notice MrsP_Tricia unfollowed me(yes, I have an app that lets me know who unfollows me, no I'm not an asshole that tweets about it like most of those who do) I don't do anything but I notice she follows me right back as soon as I started tweeting my "Catfishing With Sidney Ackerman" blog entries. She commented that I was in love with her, I wasn't but I kind of found it weird that someone who I wasn't close with and wasn't on twitter for most of the Sidney story was putting her 2 cents in.

January 28, 2013 - I got a text from a random Texas number asking if I was involved in the Redskins fan catfishing. I said yes. I get a reply that they want to send someone to talk to me about my story and wanted my address. I reply, "That's fine but before I give out my address, I'd like to know what news organization this is." The texts stop. I'm almost positive that was Sidney or someone associated with her. (really now, did she actually think I would give out my address to a random phone number?)

Later on January 28, 2013 - I get a DM suspicious of SportsfanInWV and MrsP_Tricia how they came out of nowhere and have all these followers that is possible that it is Sidney. I kind of laugh it off, either way its not like I was close to them or was trying to get to know them. (Unless they are into cuckolding, I have no reason to go out of my way to befriend a random woman and her husband)

 February 5, 2013 - I unfollow the couple earlier in the day just because of the rumors flying around. I figure I don't know them, so if I piss them off by unfollowing, who cares. The situation gets hot and someone actually accuses SportsfanInWV and MrsP_Tricia of being Sidney. I do not say anything.They deny but eventually they are asked to take a picture with their twitter handle on a piece of paper to verify their identity. They don't and both delete their accounts
People accused ToriBelle4 of being a catfish and she posted this. Some people when asked that question delete their accounts.

Catfished Again. I always found it kind of odd that MrsP_Tricia would ALWAYS make a comment whenever I tweeted out my blogs chronicling the Sidney experience. Also, I found it interesting that SportsfanInWV deleted his twitter on Superbowl Sunday but he reactivated it Tuesday and his first tweets were about the Sidney chronicles

 Today - Sidney creates an Instagram with snarky captions about some Redskins fans on twitter. I'm on there. My caption is how I beat off to her avi and text pictures of my cum. (I don't beat off to pictures and I certainly don't text pics of my cum, and besides, I don't use Instagram so I really don't care about what she says about me on there). Other skins fans weren't so lucky(she attacked people's kids. I'm not going to pretend like I'm a nice guy on the internet and I've told people to kill themselves on here but don't fuck around with pictures of peoples' kids). Sidney, just stop. You're being an attention whore. I'm willing to just walk away and just forget about you but you keep giving me reasons to call you a crazy cooter. I find it hilarious that you block me, then you create 2 new accounts to follow me with and then post hilariously inaccurate shit about me on Instagram.