Tag Archives: 2010

A Special Scratchbomb Thank You From Scratchbomb

thanksbuzz.jpgThe rapidly impending New Year brings with it many things to look forward to. For instance, Twilight Zone marathons, and bowl games I could not possibly care less about. But it also is a time to reflect on this year, which turned out to be a pretty good one at Scratchbomb HQ.

It didn’t start out well. We had another death in the family, the latest and hopefully last in a string of them that’s hit my extended family in the last five years. I was not enjoying my job very much, and then I was not enjoying it all because my entire department was eliminated. The novel I’ve been working on for years remained on flatline.

In general, I was in the same creative and personal funk I’d been in for years, one that made me feel like not only did I have no time to work on anything meaningful, but that I never would have any time. I had this self-pitying, self-fulfilling dread that the deck was stacked against me and nothing was ever going to get better. It wasn’t fun.

And then, out of nowhere, things got fun.

Most importantly, I got an amazing amount of support and help from tons of friends–online and off–during my unemployed period. Amazingly (considering the economy), I found a new gig in less than a month, one much better than my previous job for a multitude of reasons. I was honestly inspired by how many people helped me–from people who sent along my resume to folks who offered a “that sucks, dude,” it was a total George Bailey moment.

With the knowledge that I had so many people behind me, I made the biggest, most life-changing decision of my life: I would not be negative, at least about myself. I would pour myself into work and not get bogged down in the self-defeating mire of Who cares? Who am I doing this for?

The amazing thing was how easy it was to give up being negative. It’s my default setting, something I just lapse into when I have no other reaction. Getting rid of this was like taking off a heavy winter coat drenched with snow once you come inside. I feel 50 pounds lighter, in my head.

So I poured myself into my writing, and the results speak for themselves. This year, readership on this site EXPLODED, killing, I mean, reaching hundreds of thousands of folks. I started to do some regular Mets-centric writing over at Amazin Avenue, and that has been extremely fun and rewarding–as will the Amazin Avenue Annual, which should be available in your local book shoppe by Opening Day.

Speaking of books and baseballing, I’m pulling together something based on the two exhaustive look-backs I did on Mets seasons: The 1999 Project and In the Year 2000. Based on reactions to these efforts, I think there’s a book to be written/sold about them, and I would like to do that writing. (Someone else can do the selling.)

I’ve also ramped up work on the novel again and should have a shoppable draft ready in a few months. And I wrote a pilot for a thoroughly hypothetical sitcom, which will definitely change television once someone decides to actually make it. (Well, it’ll be funnier than Outsourced, anyway.)

Will all of these things bear fruit? Will any of them? I’m not even concerned about that right now. I’m doing the work, rather than wondering and wallowing in the wasteful space of Should I bother? It’s my belief that notice and success will follow, and the early returns on this belief are good. So while I’m apparently one of the very few people sorry to see 2010 go, I’m looking forward to more awesomeness in 2011.

Everyone who read Scratchbomb this year, commented on it, linked to it, recommended it on Facebook, tweeted about it–I can not thank you enough. You bought low on Scratchbomb, and I hope someday you all get to say you were on board when nobody was here and you can complain about all the newbies that ruined the site.

Onward and upward!

Scratchbomb’s Thoroughly Compromised 2010 MLB Preview: AL East


2009 record: 64-98

Local weather: Crime-filled, critically acclaimed

Namesake: John McGraw’s turn of the century squad that cheated and fist-fought its way to dominance. Ah, the good ol’ days…

What was McNulty thinking with the whole “homeless biter” thing?: I don’t know. It’s always bugged me.

Perpetually overused team-related headline: Flippin’ the Bird!

Best name on 40-man roster: Cla Meredith, striking a blow for unclear long vowels everywhere

The That Guy’s on This Team? Award: Garrett Atkins. One bad season and the Rockies kicked him to the curb. A cruel business, baseball is.

Spring standout: Felix Pie. And when Felix Pie is your spring standout, a long season awaits.

Probable Opening Day starter: Kevin Millwood, also not a good sign.

Biggest question for 2010: Who will take over Camden Yards to a more annoying extent, Yankee fans or Red Sox fans?

Advantage to start the season: I dunno, nobody’s died yet? That’s a plus.

Semi-serious assessment: There’s some young talent on this team, like Nick Markakis and Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, but virtually no pitching. Not to mention they play in possibly the toughest division in baseball. Yet another tough year in Charm City.
Continue reading Scratchbomb’s Thoroughly Compromised 2010 MLB Preview: AL East

Death’s Record First Quarter Profits Raise Eyebrows

cemetery.jpgAt a time when most sectors of the economy are suffering, Death reported record profits for the first quarter of 2010, prompting surprise from the world of finance and resentment from the general public.

“I think we all knew this was  a good year for Death, but no one dared dream it was this good,” said Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. “The smart investor who bet on Death this year is now reaping the rewards.”

“I believe if you look at it in aggregate, Death’s profits aren’t that much larger than this time last year,” said Harold Long, economics professor at Columbia University, upon hearing the news. “But a few high profile acquisitions paint Death as this greedy, heartless entity. Even I was taken aback when Death acquired Teddy Pendergrass, Alex Chilton, and Jay Reatard all within the span of two months. It just comes across as overkill.”

Death’s diversified holdings have expanded to acquiring assets in all fields. Its film department was enlarged by the addition of Erich Rohmer, and its literary department by J.D. Salinger. The arrival of Bea Arthur added to Death’s already considerable actress and gay icon divisions.

While this embarrassment of riches has delighted Wall Street, it has led to resentment on Main Street. Such excess seems especially galling to unemployed workers like Frank Renfro of Detroit, recently laid off from his job at a decorative candle manufacturing company.

“Enough is never enough with these people,” Renfro said. “All they do is take, take, take. It’s not good enough they got one former child star when they picked up Boner from Growing Pains. No, they gotta grab Corey Haim, too. And to top it off, they gobble up Art Clokey! I didn’t even know he was still around! What are they even gonna do with the guy who created Gumby? Put him on a pile over at the big ol’ Death mansion, I guess. Makes me sick.”

In response to the criticism, Death called a press conference, where CEO Grim Reaper pointed a bony finger at the assembled host, as the faint but unmistakable sound of scythes being ground against enormous wheels screeched in the distance.