All posts by Matthew Callan

Peanuts, Cracker Jack, Etc.

scoreboard.jpgYesterday I attended the Mets’ first ever Workout Day. Turnout was surprisingly enomrous, or perhaps not, considering the high hopes most fans have for the upcoming season. This is how bad I’ve been fiending for baseball: I took about 12 thousand pictures of absolutely nothing. Whether it was stuff I’ve seen a million times before, or guys just standing, or stretching lightly, or tossing balls slowly, or coaches I couldn’t even recognize slouching in front of the dugout–forget it, I went Japanese tourist at this event.

The links above are but a small sampling–I have a bajillion more blurry, indistinct photos on my hands. If I put them together, I could probably make a flipbook of the whole afternoon. Got a pic of Delgado taking first base for the first time, though I didn’t get any shots of the monster homers he hit off the scoreboard in BP. Got some cool pics of Mr. Wright taking BP from behind home plate, here, here, here, and here, And of course, The Wife got to fulfill a dream.

I heard nearly every fan in attendance say the same thing: “I thought it was just gonna me and like five other guys here!” It resulted in a lot of beer and hot dog consumption (for the assembled host, not for me) and some questionable fashion choices. Forgive the man, it’s been a long winter.

A Bright Big Shining Star

If you came out ot last night’s WYSIWYG Talent Show, hey, thanks dude. Truth be told, I didn’t have too many allies in the audience, but that’s okay because it gave me a truer gauge of how I did–which I believe was pretty good, if I do say so myself. I knew I wasn’t getting too many pity-inspired “we’re laughing ’cause we know him!” laughs.

So I made strangers laugh. I had a feeling I did that. Now, it’s on purpose.

The Quare Fellows

Hey, it’s time for my annual anti-St. Patrick’s Day rant!

I actually didn’t want to write anything on the subject this year. Having just returned from the Emerald Isle, I’ve had enough of pubs and shamrocks and whatnot for a while. And I really wanted to move forward with the recounting of my trip overseas. Then I heard this:

“In the Irish Times interview, [NY St. Patrick’s parade chairman John] Dunleavy said, ‘If an Israeli group wants to march in New York, do you allow Neo-Nazis into their parade? If African Americans are marching in Harlem, do they have to let the Ku Klux Klan into their parade?'”

Continue reading The Quare Fellows

Panic on the Streets of London

The magic of air travel meant that we would leave Newark at roughly 7pm Tuesday and arrive at 6:30am Wednesday. What hath God wrought? In order to ensure good sightseeing, I should have fallen asleep on the plane. But I can’t fall asleep on planes, not really–to paraphrase Patton Oswalt, plane sleep is sleep robbed of all its nutrition. The best I could manage was a few fitful nappy-time moments while I listened to game 5 of the 1999 NLCS on my iPod. Every few moments, I would wake up to find out that still no one had scored after 10 innings, 12 innings, 15 innings… All told, my actual asleep time totalled approximately 45 seconds.

When you get to London/Gatwick, you are faced with a number of transportation options into London herself. You can take the Gatwick Express, which runs nonstop to Victoria Station and serves overpriced snacks and drinkage. Or you can take the cheaper Southern Rail, which makes lotsa stops on its way into Blighty. Always looking to save a quick buck, I went for the latter.

What I didn’t fully realize is that Southern Rail is a commuter rail. So the seats weren’t equipped for people with baggage and carry-on items. The Wife tried to put one of her bags on rack above the seats, but it proved unsuitable for any luggage that couldn’t be carried by a Barbie doll. Not only that, but by the time we’d gone four stops, the train
was completely packed. Initially, I’d put my enormous luggage on the empty seat next to me, but before long all seats were taken. I pondered moving the bag to the floor so someone could sit, but all available floor space was taken by grim looking commuters holding on to handrails and completing the Times cryptic crossword with one hand.

Continue reading Panic on the Streets of London

At Home He Feels Like a Tourist

I’m sorry Florida, I can’t front no more. I straight up hate you. I feel like I’ve been to enough of you, over a sufficiently long period of time, to be able to make that statement. Granted, I haven’t been to Miami, which I imagine has its own thing going on–a random person said to The Wife the other day, “I wasn’t born in America, I was born in Miami.” But me and Florida ain’t grabbing a beer together any time soon.

I had to go down to Boca Raton for bidness, which in itself was okay. The folks I dealt with were extremely nice, the working environment was pleasant, no complaints there. And even though I’m not a warm climate person, around this time of year I can appreciate the allure of 80-degree weather.

But here’s the thing: Florida has zero local culture of its own. None. Everything is a strip mall, everything is a chain store, everyone drives on horribly cluttered highways to get to and from work. Everyone lives in a pseudo-Caribbean-looking Miami Vice-colored faux terracotta condo. Everyone shops in places that look the same. It’s Everywhere, USA, except for palm trees, hurricanes, and highway snipers.

Continue reading At Home He Feels Like a Tourist