About Tuesday of last week it became apparent summer really needed to start. With this blog, work, the screenplay I am currently commissioned to write and a fairly packed band calendar, I felt like I had been heads down since 2009 had began. I knew technically summer had began and it seemed really important to jump start the vernal season.
Friday I went to see the Dodgers with my father. I got out of work a few minutes early and enjoyed the slow ride down Jefferson through the lesser travelled spots of the city, rolling through afternoon light all the way past Rodeo (like cowboys, not Beverly Hills) and Crenshaw and Normandie. I went all the way east until I spotted my college dorm, the giant white “H” shaped building called Fluor Tower. I remember so many little details about that place from the girl who was at the mail room (and like hot enough for you to look forward to going downstairs) to the way the elevator floors sunk to one point which usually was filled up with beer or urine late on Thursday nights after the row parties got out.
I stop and Cal Mart just off Figueroa to shotgun a beer for old times sake. All the orange light in the smog is making the world look like old photographs and I am so, so guilty of nostalgia. There are homeless people I recognize, but they do not remember me. I used to talk to them a lot. After all, I like to talk a lot and my ex-girlfriend lived in an alley off the Shrine, which is Spanish for “homeless people were everywhere”. Homeless people can teach you a lot also, in a strange way. They used to haunt my late night walks to the Pantry after I moved downtown, before LA Live and the Edison and the Standard. Man, I heard all kinds of stuff.
The game is a lot of fun. Andre Ethier (who still hasn’t agreed to eat at Roscoe’s with me) hit 3 home runs and the Spartan (Casey Blake, check out that beard) went long as well. An easy drive home and another fortunate night of watching baseball with my father, who should be Commissioner. You heard me Selig. We will do away with Interleague play and save the sport.
Saturday, we got up pretty early and hit Will Rogers to get a hike in. Despite it being hazy, I was pleased with the weather and the lack of horseshit on the trail. Sometimes it’s horseshit city there. In the parking lot after we hiked, I witnessed a long-haired blonde woman who looked like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. It was pretty intense. I couldn’t figure out her deal with the two people she was with, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Then I felt all guilty for judging another human being. At least I was quiet and didn’t do anything but smile when they walked away. Until I blogged about it. Woops.
There was a pick up football game going on at the polo field like there usually is on Saturdays. I don’t know if these are kids that go to Pali High or what, but this is the Douche Circus. These kids definitely decide in advance who are shirts and skins. They have the flag football flags. They have a playbook. They shout all kinds of shit at each other throwing in the proverbial “yeah, baby!” and the “atta kid”. They get in arguments over calls in a non existant league that no one outside of them cares about. These guys definitely have never seen a girl with her pants off. I am so sure of it. These are the kinds of guys that if you told them, “I bet the closest you have come to getting laid was renting American Pie”, they would respond with something like, “Fuck you bro, I roll ten deep”. Ten deep in fantasy basketball maybe. Tool.
Later, we made our way to the Trancas Market and got knee deep in some sandwiches to take down to one of our favorite beaches that will remain nameless as I will be there all summer and it isn’t that crowded. If you have figured it out, you probably go there anyway.
Took a nap in the sand, caught a strange sunburn, played some smash ball with my lady. Felt summer for the first time. If you close your eyes all you heard was waves and a few kids screeching at the cold Pacific water chasing them up and down the shoreline. It was the kind of afternoon that made you committ to going every Saturday all summer, only you won’t. Plans will get the best of you.
Stopped over at the Vital Zuman farm to see what was going on there. Passed on the opportunity to help them farm, but did pick up a bottle of Balsamic Lemonade. My girlfriend can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t stop thinking about pouring vodka in it. Electric Lemonade is fun in the summer and is a nice change up from whiskey.
Slow jaunt over Kanan-Dume to my hometown through the three lonely tunnels where locals hold their breath, lift a foot and hand in the air out of childish superstition. Drove past Calamigos Ranch and a vinyard on a hill that I never remember the name of. Later in the afternoon I made time to run around the lake like I used to in high school. I took my time with it and tried to slow the world down as much as was possible.
On Sunday, caught the day game with my father. It was really hot and the Dodgers didn’t seem to know that hitting the ball was the best way to score runs. They have been getting sloppy lately and it is kind of frusterating. I think it is just pre-Manny jitters. I get it. At least interleague play is over and we can return to normal campaign action. Other than getting to play the Angels, I can’t really get fired up to play the Seattle Mariners, although it was a pleasure to see Ichiro hit again. I think if I had such a meticulous approach to urination as he has to hitting, I would never hit the seat even if the lid was closed. That guy is a machine.
The heat was not the biggest detraction from my enjoyment on Sunday. The losing effort of the home team was not either. It was the moron parade sitting nearby. I recognized one of the guys from an unnamed extracurricular sporting league played by drunken professionals. That’s all I will say. These guys went through a number of topics that were painful. I do not claim to know as much about soccer as I do about baseball. In fact, I’ll go toe to toe in baseball with anyone and I feel pretty solid about college football, but some sports, I exert caution before speaking. One of my least favorite experiences in life is talking at length about things I do not understand.
These guys shouldn’t be allowed to sit so close. Well, that isn’t fair. They can sit there, just don’t circle jerk each other with your statistical vomit masquerading as wisdom. After I spent five innings shaking my head like an elitist, they began to discuss girls at which point I became sure that they all were paying for sex. Either that or they were all dating women they ordered from Russia in exchange for freedom and non-bootlegged Levis.
Soon, I had to start writing down some of their dialogue, which I will now list and set the record straight. I fear nothing as I could have sat anywhere in the stadium, perhaps we sold our season seats, and I could be talking about anyone in any direction. So, here goes and fellas, you may want to write this down:
- Mastros is not the best steak in Los Angeles.
- Matt Kemp is, in fact, a good center fielder. His .990 fielding percentage puts him a little over our team average which is 4th best in the show. He only has 2 errors. He has 7 outfield assists so far. That leads the majors. So yes, dipshit. He’s a good centerfielder.
- Just because it is a wheat beer or Hefeweizen, just because it has a slice of fruit on it, doesn’t automatically make it a Blue Moon. Blue Moon was on tap at Barney’s effing Beanery five years ago. It’s not new. Also, it is not a microbrew. It’s owned by Miller. I know you said five times to your friend you love microbrews. That may be true. I am just fairly sure you wouldn’t know if and when you are drinking one.
- Ken Griffey does have a beautiful swing in its own way. Is it the most beautiful ever? No. He takes his hand off the bat. Watch some old Ted Williams or Mickey Mantle footage. Also, when you say his swing is the most finesse swing ever, what does that mean? That’s the kind of thing a guy who thinks Blue Moon is a new, indie microbrew says. Oh, wait.
- When you say “that guy has good stats”, what do you mean?
- I could go all day, but just one more question. Do you guys have a fantasy baseball league? I could really use the easiest 200 bucks I have ever made.
The only thing that saved my day was the new “fat guy dance off” on the Jumbotron. These guys both went for the gold, and I am pretty sure no one loses during a fat guy dance off.