Tag: Baseball

Tribute to well-worn clothing

Tribute to well-worn clothing

I wound up lingering around the house today in lieu of some planned activities because of unexpected car troubles.

Instead I did some chores around the house.

Mainly blowing through this mountain of laundry I’ve avoided for too long.

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While doing so I had to confront that age-old question of what you do when something you’ve worn for a long time is pretty much beyond repair.

That white shirt I featured up above has been one of my pajama shirts since 2014.

I can tell you that specifically because it was a promotional gift I got at a baseball game in San Diego with a bunch of my old High Tide coworkers.

The game (and I couldn’t say what game it was because I was terrible about using Facebook — he said as though he’s any better now) was played up as an event to coincide with the Journalism Education Association conference happening that week.

We were in the city for that conference’s write-off competition, where I happened to win this award that’s still hanging up in my room:

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Good times.

Somehow that shirt continued to be huge on me for the next five years, but it has served me well in the realm of Dream Land.

Until about two weeks ago.

A small hole in the seam just underneath the shirt’s armpit tore far wider than I could have anticipated. Not just along the seam, but inward toward my sternum. My family leveed some complaints but I mostly dissuaded them under the conviction that it shouldn’t matter for something I’m just sleeping in.

Now that I’ve had time to mull it over, however… The shirt is not the most flattering thing in its current condition. Pulling it out of that pile of clothes really hit home.

So that means it’s about time I got rid of it.

By all accounts it’s just a shirt, and the objective part of me has no problem tossing it aside.

Yet I think it’s worth taking a moment to archive the story behind the shirt. Because it may just be sewn-up pieces of fabric, but it’s sewn-up pieces of fabric with a backstory that I recall with a certain amount of fondness and nostalgia.

If you can really consider five years a truly ‘nostalgic’ period.

Hopefully writing up this little account can give all of you at home the chance to reflect on some fond memories toward your possessions as well. Because if you ask me, it’s important to remember that it isn’t really the goods that make us happy.

It’s the tales behind them that do.

So if you have any good memories you want to keep alive about innocuous goods, let me know. I think it’d be a fun little conversation to start.

Graduation hardware

Graduation hardware

It’s honestly not an exaggeration to say that I might pass out at graduation this Sunday from some heat-related illness due to all of the things I’ll be carrying.

That sounds like I’m looking for an excuse to brag, but I swear I’m not.

The Department of Communications commencement is going to be held out on the Cal State Fullerton baseball stadium, which means it’ll be three-ish hours in the sun. On top of my cap and gown I’ll have the college’s stole and my Comm Awards winnings; the Honors stole; and now a Kappa Tau Alpha tassel, medal and pin.

Dr. Rizzo said she’ll be able to pick me out of the crowd with a magnet, and I don’t doubt her on that.

Induction into the Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society for Mass Communications happened this morning, giving me those trinkets you see in my Featured Image.

However, while that seems like a subject I’d have a lot to say about… I kind of don’t?

It was a lovely luncheon that Dr. Andi Stein and other members of the Comm Department put on, where I joined 25 people being inducted on account of their “excellence in academic work.”

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It’s a sweet little resume filler, and I got to say hi to a few faculty members while I was there. Plus, there was food:

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The enchiladas weren’t special, but they were free!

So who am I to complain?

Unfortunately, the luncheon was kind of downplayed because I had to leave within the first fifteen minutes.

It’s not that I wanted to just dine-and-dash, but my Cognitive Psychology final happened to be scheduled at noon on the same day where I had a fancy event at 11:30 a.m.

As soon as that final ended, I had to cross campus to finish the arc I established yesterday by picking up parking passes for graduation.

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Everyone understood my need to scram, but I still felt bad about it. When there are only 24 other inductees it’s not easy to slip out unnoticed.

It all worked out by the end, however. I got the tassel and my psych final wasn’t horrible (I self-calculated getting an 80 percent at the lowest), which means I’ve officially completed my psychology minor requirements.

Though that doesn’t mean I’m done with school just yet.

My online final for Comm Law — the class I’m worried about — should be opening soon.

Once that’s out of the way, I’ll dive headstrong into my Gaming in American Culture paper.

So there are still a few steps, but I’m that much closer to getting my degree.

Unless of course I die of heat stroke at the ceremony, in which case I suppose this will all have been for naught.

But you all know I can’t die at the ceremony. If I did, there would be nobody to write a cringe-filled blog post about what an amazing time I had celebrating my academic achievement to bury deep-rooted fears about transitioning into the professional world.

We can’t have that.

Hitting the books, hitting the sauce

I was a little lukewarm about writing something for the ol’ blog today. Pretty much my whole arc of experiences has included doing homework and recovering from staying up so late to watch the 18 inning Dodgers/Red Sox game last night.

Because yeah, I watch sports once in a while. Luckily I just happened to be watching a sport when a record-breaking game did its thing.

But even if I like baseball more than pretty much any other sport, I don’t think I can write about that for extended periods of time.

Pretty much why I’m not a sports writer.

In terms of homework, I did an assignment about infographics for my Visual Communications class, read a few pieces on the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education court case for my Evolution and Creation class, sent out some emails to professors (alongside some work emails for Gladeo) and spent some time trying to come up with a title for my Honors project.

None of that felt particularly enlightening to write about here, though.

So my only other real option was possibly writing about the fact that I’m going to be getting an award real soon as I found out via Twitter and the Daily Titan advisor Bonnie yesterday.

Yet even there it doesn’t feel like the right time to go around and say ‘hey go check out the thing that’s getting an award.’ I’ll probably do that around the time when I actually go to an awards ceremony.

Assuming that’s a thing that will happen sometime soon.

With all those dead ends in mind, I took a break, ate some food, went to the gym and showered. As always, going to the gym seemed to spark some inspiration on what to write.

Guess I’m as much of a proponent of the gym being a good chance to relax and clear your thoughts as anyone now? For as weird as that is to say.

But to be fair, it wasn’t actually the exercise itself that brought about some inspiration. Rather it was the homework that I continued to do while I was power walking on a treadmill.

Because you know. I’m lame like that.

One assignment I’ve been pushing off is picking an image to examine for my Visual Comm class’s final paper. The professor gave us a pre-determined list so I had to pick something off of it. While looking through the list of images at the gym, I stumbled across this gem that will definitely be what I write my paper on:

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Just look at this 1950s 7-Up ad. It’s phenomenal. I’m not even sure where to begin talking about it.

Actually that’s not true, the obvious place to start is with the giant baby, an 11-month-old kid drinking a soda bottle as though it were milk. Not only is it a funny image, but it’s also a pretty striking one thanks to the color contrast.

Oh but that’s not all. I hope you read through the text on this sucker too, because if you did I’m sure you’ll see why I love it so much.

First off there’s an ad for a totally different T.V. show just slapped in next to the baby’s arm for some reason.

Then on the bottom-left corner, where the bottle is among a collection of other children’s toys, the advertisers recommend you “avoid imitations,” completely lacking the foresight to know that in the future everyone just calls everything of that nature Sprite anyway.

But most important is the larger block of text which advocates for, and I quote, “Add(ing) 7-Up to the (toddler’s) milk in equal parts” because it’s a “wholesome combination.”

That’s fucking astounding in just how genuine they are in advocating such a disgusting act for new mothers to immediately get their children hooked on shitty flavored carbonation water.

And I absolutely love it.

It’s just such a product of its time that I’m actually really looking forward to writing about the image for my essay. So much so that I thought it would be worth writing my blog post today about it so I can spread the gospel to you, my loving readers.

As an additional note, I did also want to point out that if I wasn’t picking the 7-Up ad, I would have gone with this ad for fancy ties:

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I don’t think I really need to say why. Just the idea that getting a nice tie is justification for obscene misogyny (and making your wife love that same misogyny because it’s a ‘man’s world’) is such a great little time capsule.

Plus there probably would have been a lot to say about exactly what the implications are when you have your wife get down on her knees for something as innocuous as handing off breakfast in bed.

Because come on, look at his face. You know what he’s thinking.

But I digress, because soda baby spoke to me way more and I’m going with it.


P.S. — Just consider this post an open call for any other crazy old ads that could never have been made today with this kind of 50s aesthetic, because I think they’re amazing and would love to see more. Kay? Thanks.

Stealing from Sports’ Traditions

Stealing from Sports’ Traditions

I may not be a very sport-y person, but if there’s anything I enjoy about sports it would be the team naming conventions.

Yeah I know that’s a strange thing to latch onto. But trust me, there’s a through-line to this conversation. Which, spoiler alert, is video game related.

Because hey if you wanted to see me spend an entire post talking about sports alone, you should have been around for this discussion I did a while back about watching the behind-the-scenes goings on at a baseball game.

As a home-grown Southern California kid I do have some interests in sports teams that come from some semblance of nostalgia. Namely the Dodgers when it comes to baseball and the Lakers when it comes to basketball. I’ve gone to see them many times over the years, so there are fond memories there even if I’m not as much of an avid follower of their games as I am Nintendo games.

However neither are striking examples of the kind of naming conventions I enjoy when it comes to sports teams. Like… What even does the name ‘Dodgers’ stand for? If anything, you wouldn’t want to be good at dodging a ball when you play baseball. Don’t you get to walk when you’re hit by the ball while at bat?

Come on Dodgers, get your act together.

Granted there is something interesting about them specifically. The fact that both the Dodgers and the Giants were originally East Coast teams before coming to California.

Inherently that brings up some questions about the permanence of a name if it can be so easily uprooted and moved around. Like yeah now we always associate the Dodgers with Los Angeles, but they weren’t always so closely linked with the culture here. That’s kind of fascinating, honestly.

Though according to official records by Major League Baseball themselves, the only reason those teams moved were simply to bring baseball to the West Coast. Which is a kind of underwhelming answer to an intriguing question.

But hey that’s a long tangent isn’t it? What I was going to get at was the fact that I enjoy seeing sports teams that are named after singular entities which could potentially duke it out.

The phenomenon tends to be more prevalent in high school and college sports, in my head. At my high school the main rivalry was the Sea Hawks versus the Mustangs. Though I did have some school spirit, for the most part I couldn’t care less which campus actually won. It was just kind of cool to imagine some kind of battle between a vicious hawk (which my biology teacher told us was actually based on a real life bird known for crushing bones) and a majestic hoofbeast.

I imagine the same thing could be said for many small-town sports rivalries. Certainly the idea of two forces of nature going at it is much more exciting than some other team names. Like the Patriots. Or the Redskins.

Much less racist too.

As I already mentioned, I’m not just bringing up this idea because I have a sudden passion to talk about sports. Or racism scandals. There was actually a spark that got me thinking about the subject of sports team names.

Unofficial Pokémon battle tournaments.

Yeah you heard me right. Bet you didn’t think anyone would be relating competitive Pokémon battling to actual real life sports in your daily blog posts today. Well I am, so you best be ready for it.

There’s actually a healthy amount of comparisons one can make between the two. When preparing for a Pokémon battle, trainers are restricted to six members, much like sports teams are limited to X number of team members on the field. Those six Pokémon fit different roles, be them wholly offensive, defensive or supportive. Or they could be some combination of the three.

It’s not hard to say that my hyper-offensive glass cannon Mega Beedrill in a battle is comparable to a football team’s leading quarterback, or that my heal-passing Audino is supportive much like a shortstop on a baseball team that quickly gets the ball from base-to-base for multiple outs.

I don’t know, I think it’s a pretty easy comparison to make. Maybe you disagree, but it’s all just an unapologetic segue anyway.

The reason I’ve come to think about this subject is because of the lengths I’ve seen certain Pokémon-playing YouTube personalities go to when establishing battle leagues that are steeped in the traditions of real life sports.

There are about a billion examples out there, but the one that’s most impactful to me is the United Championship League (UCL). There’s no real specific reason why other than the fact that most of the circle that competes in it are a close-knit group of Pokétubers that I tend to watch fairly often.

Which yes is possibly one of the nerdiest things I’ve said around here. But does it look like I care?

The UCL started about three years ago and carried an interesting aesthetic:

It comes to mind today specifically because the draft for Season 3 happened over this last weekend. Based on the video that was put up by TheKingNappy not too long ago, it took five hours just to get teams assigned to each competitor.

Yeah that’s right. This is a Pokémon battle competition with an extended team draft and a classic branching tree tournament board. On top of that, each team tends to do a pre-game discussion where they determine which members they’re bringing based on the opponent’s overall draft and how they’re building their teams up as a result.

It’s kind of crazy to thing that that’s almost exactly the same thing as a real sports league, but I adore one and can’t bring myself to seriously care about the other.

I think part of the reason I do care so much about the UCL — other than the fact that I’m a Pokémon junkie in general — is the fact that another real life sports trope they use so well is the naming convention.

Every team in that league names themselves the same way. City name (or some other location) followed by a Pokémon name that matches in some way.

Tucson Terrakions.

Pittsburgh Pichus.

So on and so forth.

Though of course it would be a terrible mistake for me not to mention my absolute favorite Pokémon sports league name:

The New York Mankeys.

Shout out to ShadyPenguinn for coming up with literal perfection. That’s the kind of name I wish I was clever enough to come up with on my own. Not only is it a solid team name, it’s a great reference to an actual real sports team too.

I just love it man. I basically wrote this whole post just so I could say New York Mankeys out loud. It’s just the kind of name that makes me giggle whenever I hear it. More of the world deserves to hear about it even if it couldn’t give a damn about Pokémon.

Now before you ask. Yes. I have had moments where I’ve tried to figure out what my Pokémon sports team name would be. Though I haven’t exactly come up with a good answer as of yet.

Incorporating my favorite Pokémon Gardevoir would be tough without stretching my location to Gardenia (though Gardenia Gardevoirs is a cool name).

I do like the sound of something like the Manhattan Beach Mimikyu, though again that requires relegating my location to somewhere I’m technically not, a city that’s my city’s rival if nothing else.

Unfortunately I’m just not sure which ‘R’ Pokémon I would use to go with Redondo. Ralts sounds a little not intimidating, though they fit the Gardevoir line love. Roserade also doesn’t seem right, despite being one of my favorites.

Also let’s be honest. As much as the Redondo Rayquaza sounds dope, I’m not sure I’d want to use a Legendary. It seems a bit cocky.

The Redondo Rhydon might work well. I have a pretty strong affection for him too, and Rhydon certainly sounds like the kind of Pokémon that could fit a sports team.

I guess if you want you can leave your suggestions in the comments below. Or you can say what teams you might be able to make using your home region. That’d be cool to hear!

In the meantime, I’ve got a five-hour livestream recap to catch up on. So I’m going to go off and do that.

In the meantime, I suppose I should come up with some kind of moral for today’s post.

Uhh…

If you’re a sports guy, don’t make fun of nerds that like Pokémon. Because we do wacky competitive things too.

And if you’re a Pokémon guy, don’t make fun of nerds that like sports. Because they built up a cool structure that we can do stuff with.

Let’s just all live together in harmony. Liking weird things that we all like without judgement.

Yeah, that’s a good lesson. Nailed the ending.

The old ball game

The old ball game

I may not be the biggest sports fan in the world, and that extends to my general lack of interest writing about sports for journalistic purposes…

But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good game of baseball. Hell, it’s hard not to enjoy America’s pastime, especially when you grow up going to games with your Dad, taking in all the clichés. The first pitches and national anthem. The seventh inning stretch. The acceptance of normalcy that comes with the potential of being hit in the back of the head by a rogue beach ball. The sheer scale of the stadium and mass of people all sharing the same experience you are.

And, of course…


The food.

Can’t go wrong with a dodger dog and a bag of peanuts. I’m also partial to having a frozen lemonade toward the latter half of the game, that’s something of a tradition for me.

It’s been some time since I’ve gone to a game, and I definitely have to thank our family friend, my uncle David Liebling for getting us in to this Dodgers/Mets showdown (with some pretty good seats at that).


Since it has been some time, and my interests have been developing continuously, I’m definitely noticing different things around the stadium this time around.

Namely, the interesting interplay between the sport and my area of focus, the media.


In all the times I’ve gone to ball games, I’ve never noticed the pre-game reporting being done on the field. It’s actually pretty hilarious to see the two anchors in a fancy suit and dress contrasting with the sea of jerseys and colloquial game-attending attire. Plus they set up and took down the desk and camera equipment real fast, so that was interesting to watch.

On top of that, if you’re really paying attention, you can catch some of the interesting shots that help make the game a media sensation but might not be so easy to understand the scope of from behind a screen.


Not sure why I thought this was so interesting, but something about the intertwining of being live and seeing media being created spoke to me today. Figured I would share that little observation.

However, I’m going to cut things short, because I am still in the middle of a game, and as much as I enjoy writing I probably look a little stupid. Plus, the Dodgers just caught a fly ball in the outfield and managed to throw it to home for a double play that ended the top of the second inning.

It was pretty hype, to be completely honest.