Saturday, October 08, 2011

Of Course I Went Down There!

Was gonna leisurely make my way down to NYC today and check out the Occupy Wall Street action. At 11:45, though, I found out that Anti-Flag would be playing there, in Zuccotti Park, at 3:00. I'd be cutting it close, but I went for it. Got to the Triboro Bridge from Providence in record time, and was all the way down the FDR just before 3:00. One stupid move cost me a few minutes, but I finally parked about a 7-minute walk from the park.
You can see all the sleeping bags and stuff. The place is packed with occupiers, but there are paths for everyone to walk around. It definitely smelled like weed/incense/b.o. But it has a positive vibe. Like a big sleepover. I'm so glad something like this is finally happening. A year or two ago, I wrote an e-mail to some friends suggesting that "we" (the 99%) do something like stand at the driveways of mansions. No violence, just let 'em know there are a lot more of us than them. Well, we are finally standing at their proverbial driveway! The way people decided to do it is to go to their places of work, not their home. Good call. My idea was clearly flawed.

I knew Anti-Flag would only be playing an acoustic set, but I still figured there'd be stage. Or at least a microphone or two. Turns out it was just Justin Sane, the singer, and his guitar, surrounded by a small crowd. I actually almost walked by this group--you could barely hear anything. I'm not complaining, I'm glad the dude went down there on his own time and played a few songs.

Their "backdrop" was a pizza box (at left). Sweet! He had at least one other band member with him, and they sang the last song together. I only caught the last few songs. It seems like yesterday I was buying their first album. Turns out that was 1996.

This girl likes cheese; does not prefer warring.

Mine, too, buddy.

Bonus: check out this sign I saw on the way down. Cold! But funny.

(Rule: You're not allowed to comment here if you're going to spew the media's bullshit non-issues of "they have no leader," "they have no clear message," or "they should dress better if they want to be taken seriously.")

Your MLB Playoffs Bracket

With my guaranteed predictions!

Friday, October 07, 2011

'82 Revisited? (But The Visit Would Be At A Less-Fancy Hotel)

If the Brewers and Cardinals win today, it will be the first time ever that an LCS is a rematch of a World Series.

(Note: if, by the time your read this, one of them loses, just change everything to the "would have been" tense in your mind. Thanks.)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Last 11 Years: Red Sox 2, Yanks 1

(If you've been paying attention to baseball for a lot longer than 10 years, you know how much that means.)

That Tigers squad was gutty tonight! Lots of chances for the Yanks, but their squibbers and walks just weren't enough tonight.

The comical-yet-offensive part of these Yankees postseason broadcasts is seeing the Yankee fans with their hands in the prayer position. As if they know what that feeling of true desperation is like. Wait till a team takes all their players, goes on to win 26 championships over the next 80-something years, and beats them in horrible ways along the way as they have their hearts broken repeatedly--then they'll know what it's like to have to invent new gods to have to pray to. But you know they'll put their hands in that same position the next time the Mets are in the playoffs and the Yanks aren't.

And the celebrities--Jimmy Fallon made a conscious choice to play a character who was the number one Red Sox fan, but then stands there rooting for the Yankees like his life depends on it? As if you needed proof of the phoniness, you know a person can't really feel that strongly about a team if you're flip-flopping between loyalties all the time.

Don't you love how Jeter ALMOST won the game? Speaking of him, I realized tonight that if I did want to document the egregious shots of him doing nothing next year, it would mean my blog would consist of about 15 videos each post. It's just not feasible. There was one really good one tonight--but then again, there were so many. I may add it to this post, but then I quit that job.

If my calx are correct, only two 97-or-more-win teams post-2003 haven't made it at least to the league championship series, until tonight. Terrible job by the Yanks. And Rays. They both lasted the amount of time the Red Sox would have (minimum), had we went limping into the playoffs.

Sleep well, everybody, I know I will.

Bonus: Okay, here's the final egrJetegious shot of the year. This is the 4th inning. Announcer talking about Swisher, and how he needs to do something in this spot. Camera cuts to--you know who.

Again, he wasn't doing anything, he'd done nothing recently, and the announcers were talking about someone else. Kim even suggested that on this one, he was actually sick of being shown, so he was trying to hide, actually not standing on the top step, but was still caught, among the legs of the players who were. I know that sometimes these networks show players' and fans' faces in dramatic moments. But this was a one (of many)-time(s) cut-to-Jeter cam deal. Usually when they would show something, it had some relevance. I'm convinced one guy has the job of staying trained on him so they can cut to him immediately in the case of....him doing more nothing.

I think the all-time best is a tie between every Yankee home run where they show him in the dugout while the guy who hit it is rounding the bases, as if he was the one who made it happen, and the 2009 World Series, when they actually had two screens going at once, one trained on Jeter's face in the field, and the other one showing, for those who preferred to watch it, the fucking World Series!

[Edit: Title of post fixed--11 years, not 10. I actually short-changed myself. Terrible.]


Two classic egregious Jeter shots from the last month. Please note that A. he was doing nothing, B. he'd done nothing in the game recently, C. the announcers weren't talking about him, and D. neither of these were from the Yanks' own network. I really should have been documenting these from the beginning. (I love how on the NESN one, it backfires on them as he turns around, so we get the back of his head.)

Go Tigers tonight. Make it the last time we see Derek in 2011!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Court Update

Went in at 8:00. First stop, the Yankified office, of course. And guess what? The Yankee thing wasn't there anymore! At least the not the one in the window facing out. On the office wall, though, I could see the A-Rod one, which is now joined by a Mariano "602" newspaper cutout. I am glad the one right in the public's face is gone--and I really hope complaints are what took it down. (Better: that somebody ripped it right off.)

From there I went into the courtroom. As always, I was on time, and the judge was very late. My name was called pretty quickly, and I again went outside with some others to do the stand-and-wait. And again beefy cops stared me down solely for the reason that they are all assholes. This time, though, I saw one cop who I was pretty sure was the one who pulled me over. In this procedural prom, neither he nor I had found a dance partner yet, so I think we both kinda knew we were there because of the other. The guy is big--but not workout big like the others. More like Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Like he'd crush the pretty flower while trying to pet it. He also seemed to be a loner. He went into the little room, then peeked out, and motioned to me to come in.

There I was with the inspector again, only this time my cop was with me, along with a woman who sat and did nothing. Inspector asked me if I'd been there before. Uh, yeah dude, twice. He again said that I should be able to have the ticket thrown out due to the good driver thing, especially since it's now been 3 years since my last ticket. I explained that I didn't get my old driving record as requested, but he said it shouldn't be a problem. When he asked if pleading guilty and having the ticket tossed was what I wanted to do, I asked him to explain the other option, since of course I still wanted to take this dirty cop down. He said I could plead not guilty, "but then this would be on your record." (Your permanent record!)

I don't understand this. If I get ticketed for doing nothing wrong, have a trial, and win, I still have a "record"? Wouldn't this "record" state "DID NOTHING WRONG ON MAY 28, 2011"?

At that point, I didn't ask. It sounded like the ticket was getting tossed so I just went with that. I was told to follow the officer back to the courtroom. As we walked toward the front, he motions with his hand to sit down. Guy had no interest in being civil, and never made eye contact with me after peering out from the room, nor did he ever say anything to me.

I pled guilty (While the court butt-boy yelled at me for having my hands in my pockets! Can anyone in the entire building NOT be a dick, for maybe a second? Maybe at that point I should have said, Yeah, let's try to get here on time, mmkay?) and left that stupid courtroom, hopefully for the last time. Had to go back to Yankee Central to pay my $35 court fee, though. Had one more chance to say something about it, but failed. Maybe I would have if the one thing was still up right in my face.

The final summary: Did nothing wrong. Paid 35 dollars plus 10 dollars in parking fees, and spent 5 hours in court, mostly with my thumb up my ass. And worst of all--for me--had to GET UP EARLY three times, and wear formal clothes with shirt tucked in three times. Had hatred of ALL cops confirmed. Learned the legal system makes no sense. All that adds up to worse than the $85 I could have paid for the ticket--but I do admit having it thrown out is better despite it all. In closing: terrible job by everyone involved, except me.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Stupid Tigers. They could have let me get a good night's sleep before my court date tomorrow morning.

Fine, I'll tell you the whole story. In May, I was driving with Kim to a Waterfire. We were on the east side of Providence. City streets, on a main road with lights/stop signs, but not at every intersection. All of a sudden, rollers. Kim and I immediately start wondering what I'd done to get pulled over. I thought back a half a minute. I do remember NOT slowing down when some fuckwad decided to cross mid-street while absent-mindedly (Is there any other way? This shit has to end.) talking on his phone. If anyone should be getting stopped by a cop, it's this guy. Anyway, the pig finally comes up to my car. And he stares at me. Like I've just branded his grandmother's ass with a hot iron. He's actually got me thinking I may have committed a horrible crime. Had I tied Aunt Edna's dog to the bumper and forgotten about him?

The guy's still staring. I finally just said "hi." He asks Question 1 of the Pig Handbook: Do you know why I pulled you over? I looked at Kim as if to imply the two of us were both wondering that ourselves, before turning back and telling him I honestly didn't know. He says, "that four-way stop back there?" I tell him that I was unaware that I went through it, that I didn't know how I could have. I wasn't a dick about it or anything, I was kind of putting my hands up to let him know that I certainly wasn't intending to do anything wrong. But he says I went through it. He asks if I knew the sign was there. I tell him I take this road all the time and don't see how I wouldn't stop at a stop sign. He finally goes back to his car and tells me to wait.

Then a funny thing happened. While all these other cars are slowly going by, each driver staring at me since I'm the pulled-over asshole on display, an older ex-hippie type guy in a jeep almost comes to a stop and starts talking to me.

"The stop sign," he asks.


"Did he get you for going through that stop sign?"


Guy says, "he's been doin' that all day!"

At that moment, the cop happens to be walking back to my car, and buts in to the conversation: "Where's your seat belt?!," he asks the guy, who then drives away. So now we're thinking that's proof right there that this isn't about us, but that this asshole cop has decided he's gonna pull over whoever the fuck he wants, stare them down to make them think they must have done something wrong, and give them a ticket. Which he then gives me. $85. He tells me to plead not guilty and that the judge should throw it out provided I haven't had a ticket in a while. At this point it was almost like he realized that he pulled over someone who's completely innocent, wearing a seat belt, familiar with the area, and therefore shouldn't be getting a ticket. He'll just have me go fight the ticket, while meeting his quota (or getting his rocks off, or having his nice power trip--I don't know why he was pulling people over who didn't break any rules).

So I thought back to make sure I hadn't gone through that damn sign. I remember seeing two pedestrians approaching the crosswalk from the left, thinking I'd have to let them go, but they turned. And I thought about how there's a building on the right blocking that side street, so even if there wasn't a stop sign, I'd be almost stopping there anyway, as not to risk someone flying out of there and crashing into me. I even went back the next day and noticed there are actually TWO stop signs, one on each side of the street. There's no way I didn't stop at that intersection. But I still don't know where that cop came from. Maybe he was behind that building, and didn't see my car emerge until after I'd stopped, making it appear as if I blew through it? I don't know.

So in late June, I went in for my plea. Got to the clerk's office and saw a big fucking Yankees newspaper fold-out taped to the window, and pictures of A-Rod in the office. As if I wasn't pissed enough. I go into the courtroom, and wait a long time. I got there on time. The judge? Not so much. He finally gets there and tells us that all we'll be doing is entering a plea, and that any trial will take place later. He says that if we meet the "good driver" standards, we can plead guilty, the ticket will be thrown out, and we go home for good (after paying a $35 court fee, woohoo!). To meet the standard, you have to have not had a ticket in 3 years. Damn, I thought, I know I had one somewhere around October 2008, a few months shy of 3 years earlier. So I figure if by chance he says I do meet the standard, I'll reluctantly plead guilty just to have it thrown out and get the hell out of there, and if I don't, well, good, I get to have a trial against that crooked cop.

So after waiting for about 50 other people to go before me (everyone goes up before the judge to plead one by one, forced to do it in front of dozens of others), and struggling to hear everything the judge was saying since he refused to speak on mic, I finally hear my name called.

I approach the bench. Judgie Boy says "Jere...citation...May meet the good driver tickets in 3 years...guilty plea means we'll throw the tick do you plead?"

"Guilty," I say, despite, again, being innocent.

"Bla bla bla, ticket thrown out, step to your left...."

Whew. At least I'm done. I sit on a bench and wait. Then I hear the judge say something that sounds like my name. Nah, couldn't be. I'm done. Must be the next guy. He starts talking...and then gives me this signal--with his eyes--to come back up to the mic. Huh? Okay. I go back. It seems that only now has he noticed that ticket I had in 2008 while going through more papers. I wanted to be like "Dude! Too late, I already said guilty!" But I listened as he asked about the ticket. I told him I was living in Rhode Island but still had my Connecticut license at the time. He said that because of that, I did not meet the standard, and how did I plea. Oy. "Not guilty," I said, simultaneously pissed that he fucked up and happy that I'd now get a chance to stick it to that filthy cop.

So that was 2 hours of my life. And in late July, I went back for more: "the trial."

Again, I go to the Yankee office first, and again, the judge is late. I wait. Finally a guy calls me and a bunch of others. We trial people are supposed to be taken care of before the new plea people. So we're taken outside the courtroom door, and stand in a haphazard "line" while a bunch of uniformed cops with big biceps hover nearby. I figure these are the cops who are having trials against us real people. But I don't see "my" cop.

At one point, a woman who came back from the bathroom asks me "where everybody went." Some people went to the bathroom, one guy was in with the inspector, other officials (lawyers?) have taken other people away--so I tell her I don't know. I'm just waiting for somebody to tell me what to do. She's shocked and in her rudest voice asks, "You didn't see where people went?" I'm like What the fuck, I don't know and I don't care. This fucking woman. I feel like the same asshole who put up the fucking Yankee posters also threw this person into the mix just to punish people. She ended up placing the book she'd been reading on her head while she waited. So at least I knew she was just a crazy person. But man was I close to going up to one of those cops and saying I wanted to do a citizen's arrest on her ass, loud enough so she could hear.

Eventually an inspector takes me into a little room. He reviews my paperwork. Asks me about some weird thing, like Did I have some trouble in January '09 or some shit. I say No, and that I switched states so that notation was just to say that I obtained a Rhode Island license at that time. Okay, he says, then basically tells me that since my last ticket was almost three years ago, the judge should let me go because they're usually are nice about that stuff. At this point I'm under the impression I'll go back in, the judge will say I'm fine, I'll plead "guilty," and I'll go home. Looking back, I should have said at this point, Wait, I don't want to do that, I want to have a trial, where's my cop? But the thought of just being done with it is why I agreed to what the inspector said.

I get back into the courtroom, and the judge's butt-boy starts telling me he'll "get me a new trial," and asking when my last ticket was exactly, so that he could make the new trial be closer to 3 years after it. This is going on while the judge is talking to other people ten feet away. I have no chance to really talk to someone and ask them what's going on and tell them what I want. So now apparently I'm agreeing to a new trial date! Then I have to sit there and listen to all these other people make pleas while they type up my paperwork. Oy again.

After watching dozens of people say they did nothing wrong, before watching themselves doing something clearly wrong on a huge video screen, the butt-boy finally says I'm ready to go. Then he tells me I need to get my driving record of May 2008 through October 2008 from Connecticut DMV and bring it with me when I come back! What the fuck?

So let's recap. I've done nothing wrong. I'm now setting up a THIRD court date, and I'm told to do a chore? Fuuuuuck that.

That third date is tomorrow morning. Of course, I never got that bullshit from CT DMV. That's not my job. A fucking court of law wants to know my driving record so they ask me to go get it for them? Plus, now that it's October, and they know my last ticket was October 2008, there's the three years, right? Wasn't that the point of moving the trial to October?

I'm going in there tomorrow, and hoping this guy just looks at the facts again, and lets me off. However, if he doesn't, well hey, I go right back to pleading not guilty, and get a trial against that cop. In fact, I may just do that anyway! They've wasted plenty of my time, it's time I start wasting theirs. And when I go back the fourth time, I'm gonna find out where that cop is, and if he isn't there, I should win, right? I should have won last time when he wasn't there! I feel like they knew he wasn't there, so they covered up for him by saying, "oh don't worry, we'll get this thrown out," only to have the butt-boy have no idea what was going on, thinking I needed a new date, even though I've already pleaded not guilty. After pleading guilty thanks to the judge's screw-up.

So wish me luck, I guess. (This will be the first time I'll remember to bring something with me to do during the inevitable 2-hour wait. So I've got that. Oh, and if I do have to go in a fourth time, I am bringing a Red Sox sticker and slapping it on top of that goddamn Yankee sign. Man, how sweet would it have been to approach that asshole in that office tomorrow morning if the Yanks had been eliminated tonight?! Stupid Tigers.)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ys Lose

Watched Ken Burns's "Prohibition"--then flipped on the Yanks and it was 2-2 in the 5th. So I went ahead and watched. Tigers took a 4-2 lead, gave 2 back, then a Delmon dong in the 7th made it 5-4 Tigers, a lead they held till the end.

We lead, two games to one.

Lapre For Us Sinners

Don Lapre is dead! If you were staying "UP....all night" in the early 1990s, you know exactly who I mean. Maybe not by name, but surely you remember the infomercial:

"By placing tiny classified ads in hundreds of newspapers all across the country...."

In other words, ask people to pay you to tell them the secret of how to get someone to pay you. That secret? Getting people to pay you for the secret, of course.

All these years later, he'd gotten into trouble with his "best vitamins in the world" idea, and was about to enter a $50 million fraud trial. So he killed himself in his jail cell. He claimed he did nothing wrong till the end.

If you still don't remember him, check out one of the original infomercials here:

David Spade did his own version of Don on SNL, too, as I recall.

Oh and look what else I found. Lapre with Alan Thicke pushing his "Incredible Products Store." This guy basically created a physical Internet before the Internet! "Walk into this crazy world at the mall and browse around for the product or services you need!" I wonder if Al Gore saw this and thought "There has to be an easier way!"


So the Tigers got their asses kicked in G1, but today in G2 they won 5-3. Glad I didn't watch the end of this one as the Yanks had a 9th-inning comeback, which included the Tigers not catching a pop-up with two outs that could have cost them the game and me an ulcer. Two games in Detroit starting Monday. If they can win G3, they get to face AJ in G4 with a chance to win the series.

It's funny how it works when the Yanks are in the playoffs and we're not playing. Which has happened...let's see...twelve? Twelve goddamn times in the post-'80s era? No wonder I'm so used to this shit. The was it usually goes is: I say I'll ignore them, while hoping with all my mental might that they lose in horrific fashion. If they go ahead in the series, I continue along this path, while still of course getting the results. If they go behind, I start to tune in more often. Then if they're on the brink of elimination, I'm glued to the set. But wait, Jere, isn't this what you make fun of Yankee fans for doing: only paying attention when things are going well? First of all, I know it's you typing that, me, so don't try and pretend a reader is suddenly writing on your own blog. Second of all, it's not like the team playing the Yanks are "my" team (they are 1B, though)--I'm allowed to give up on some random team playing the Yanks but then jump on board again if they start winning. It's not like I'm looking to take credit for a non-Red Sox team winning, and it's not like I stop rooting for them when they're behind, I just want to see the Yanks lose, and I should be allowed to NOT watch them spray Champagne should that occur because fuck them.

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