Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

take me out to the honkbalveld (your guide to dutch baseball terms)

March 11, 2009

If you’re watching the World Baseball Classic you are aware that the plucky Netherlands has pulled off the upset of the year by knocking off the Dominican Republic not once but twice to eliminate the perennial powerhouse, if I may use the term perennial for the second ever WBC.

I wondered what the Dutch papers thought about this, so I surfed over to De Telegraaf, an Amsterdam newspaper. I have long sympathized with Dutch sports ever since they fielded a World Cup soccer team full of names like Wim Jonk and Jaap Stam in the 90s, which names were even more fun to hear pronounced by the Spanish-language commentators because in those days not all games were available in English.


So I had to scroll way the hell down the page to find any mention of the story but I am eternally grateful that I did. This was the headline.


You have got to be fucking kidding me. This is too good to be true. The Dutch word for baseball is HONKBALL? HONKBALL? Techinally turns out it is honkbal, one L, but nuts to that.

I wanted to confirm that this wasn’t just some sort of folksy nickname for the Dutch team so I checked out Wikipedia in Dutch (de vrije encyclopedie) and sure enough, honkball. The article was surprisingly easy to semi-translate based on context clues and pretending that it was written by this guy:


My first discovery after HONKBALL was the Dutch word for HITTER, which is SLAGMAN. This is particularly great if you are familiar with the British sense of “slag.” The slagman uses his mighty KNUPPEL. Did you know that in Holland, honkballknuppels zijn van hout of een harde soort lichtmetaal, aluminum? Now you do.

I learned about various locations in the ballpark, like third base which is DERDE HONK, as in I would like to get to derde honk with Rebecca Romijn.

Pitchers are WERPERS. They are always trying to hit the SLAGZONE which as you know is directly over THUISPLAAT between KNIE- and ELLEBOOGHOOGTE.

I am pretty sure my favorite word is one I got from the original article about the game. That word is TWEEHONKSLAG which I am fairly positive means double.

While I’m in a honkball mood, here’s a video which I saw a while ago and then was removed but is now back. It’s about a famous derde honkman who kak in his broeken: George Brett would like to tell you about the time he shit himself.

As the year goes on, Cubs fans will want to keep an eye on the health of linksvelder Alfonso Soriano. Will Carlos Marmol keep werping well? Will Carlos Zambrano hit a grand slam, thus scoring all three honklopers? Only time will tell.

May de partij met de meeste punten wint. But then, they always do.


lessons from vegas

October 27, 2008

photos temporarily crappy. i will fix them later, until them check out my flickr.

  • If you get a girl hooked on gambling enough, she will forget about wanting to go to clubs, and instead find herself plopping down $25 hard way bets routinely.
  • Northwestern is not a “mortal lock” to cover an 8-point spread over Indiana, and the $50 bet I put on them to do so was not, as it turned out, “easy money.”
  • You can hit two 4-of-a-kinds and still not make money playing holdem.

  • As my companion and I leave a hold em game, we are stopped by those still at the table to settle a side bet which is how do we know each other? Loser postulates that we “just met.” Girl believes this means that he thinks she is a hooker; I believe this means he thinks I managed to get a girl to leave with me by cracking jokes at a poker table.
  • Knockoff casino names for my Las Vegas-themed Las Vegas casino: Smellagio, Skeezer’s Palace, Mandalay Gay, Suxor, Lamingo, Slopicana, MGM Crappy.

bill roentgen appreciation day

August 26, 2008

Went to the hand doc today who took x-rays and it looks like I won’t need a pin. I am now in something they called a clamdigger cast, which is great, because nobody digs clams like I do. The only bad thing about this cast is it will not get through my suit coat sleeve, so I have to go to depositions with one sleeve on and the other side draped over me like I am a crippled soldier or fucking James Brown doing the cape routine.

Before that I was at a new dentist. They also took x-rays (of my teeth). I have not been for two years. That is because my last dentist was a eastern European stone cold bitch who made me feel like a periodontal Pol Pot because of the bad shape my gums were in. She told me i had ACUTE NECROTIZING ULCERATIVE GINIVITIS which had led to bone loss and scared the living fuck out of me. When I told my new dentist that he laughed. “You’ve never had it. You would have had pus coming out of your mouth and your breath would smell a mile away. In 7 years at this location I’ve never seen a case of it. That’s ridiculous. Your gums are the same as 9 out of 10 people out there.” So I have some mild gingivitis but they gave me some chlorhexidine mouthwash to take care of it.

I am so pissed at that former dentist, and my wrath is threefold:

  • I do not like being lied to,
  • I missed a week of drinking because I was on unnecessary antibiotics including metronidazole which will KILL YOU IF YOU HAVE ONE SIP OF BEER while on it. Allegedly.
  • My dramatic blog post about that dentist visit, from my last blog, which I thought was very clever, is now completely vitiated. However I reproduce it here, in the hopes that somebody will finally enjoy my Phil Niekro joke:
Cheerful Update
Went to the dentist, finally. I have what’s known, colloquially, as “trench mouth,” which is not to be confused with “gutter mouth,” with which I am also afflicted. Any kind of excavation-mouth, I have it.

Trench mouth sounds better, to me, than “acute necrotizing gingivitis” which is what the dentist called it.* Apparently the condition is caused by stress. Severe stress. The kind of stress you might experience if you were sitting in a trench in WWI and shells were exploding and limbs were falling off and your buddies were rotting in the mud next to you, hence the name.

I’m trying to figure out where this particular stress in my life came from. People who know me know I worry about just about everything but really the worrying has been better than it used to be. I’ve had this gum problem for months now. I must have been more stressed in Virginia than I thought, even though I didn’t basically do anything for the whole time I was there. Including brushing my teeth properly, I guess. I don’t know. Is a general malaise = stress?

The best part is, it’s the first time in a while where I’ve already booked myself two social events in one weekend, and I can’t drink because I’m on antibiotics.

*Not to be confused with “acute niekrotizing gingivitis,” in which you start to develop knuckles on your gums.

So then the third big thing today was the first of my two fantasy football drafts. This year I did something different, which is, actually prepare for the draft. Usually I just sort of have a loose list in my head based on faulty memories of last season and watching Bears preseason games. Not this year. This time around I cooked up a massive spreadsheet that calculated both the 2007 actual player value based on my fantasy league’s scoring, and the projected 2008 value based on professional predictions. I then took the 2007 value, and ran a sort of ghetto mean regression based on the values found on this site.

I didn’t stick to it rigorously, because of issues like bye weeks, subsequent trades, intuition, contrary conventional wisdom and naturally the latest injury reports, which of course once again involve x-rays, and thus I have my theme for this post.

This was a keeper league where you could keep up to 4 players but I only kept 2 due to some fucktarded trades at the end of last year, including Jamal Lewis for Vince Young, which as you can see, I remedied:

The keepers were Westbrook and Hoshamazoli. I am feeling optimistic about Witten, who I had, in my spreadsheet, as ranked even above Gates, Kellen Winslow, and Tony Gonzalez (who went surprisingly low). I would have liked to have gotten Rashard Mendenhall but I am happy about Rice. Anyway. The other league is 14 teams which is much deeper than I’m used to; that draft is next week.

EDIT: For the first time ever I have drafted a team with NO BEARS on it. This was on purpose.

blog clearinghouse

June 10, 2008

i have 16 draft posts that i haven’t completed. some of them eventually may turn into something, but most of them are dead ends. they are presented herein, with minimal editing and no transitions. on a dvd, this would be called bonus material. here it’s just shit.

[post #1 – untitled]

A girl I talked to Friday night told me I’m a hater. I started to disagree with her but given that on Thursday I changed my facebook status to “Pete is a hater” I felt mildly insincere in my argument.

Let’s embrace it. Here’s some things that I’m hating on currently.

Bob Howry – [ed.: at this point i passed out while searching for pictures evidencing my claim that Howry looks like the guy who played Frank Nitti in the Untouchables]

[post #2 – untitled]

I am sort of obsessed with the “List of Demands” song (“I got a list of demands, written on the palms of my hands.”) which is in this Nike ad now. It’s not so much that I like the song — I guess it’s fine — it’s just that I am generally anti-Nike (for no good reason) and I’ve really gotten into the “i got a list of X, written on the [subpart] of my [thing that rhymes with X]” meme. Today while dealing with privilege logs at work, for example, it was “I got a list of privileged docs, written on the toes of my socks.” This is the sort of thing I do to provide me some fleeting amusement as I pass the grimly hollow moments of my life until the pallid green hand of Death pulls me into the abyss. (I was this close to titling this post “I got a list of complaints, written on the base of my taint,” but in light of the Gravitas Initiative I held back.)

  • “If it is not broke, don’t fix it” is a phrase that somebody needs to pass along to the sloped-foreheads at Coca-Cola. The Coke people have recently implemented a new cap on their 20 oz products. It is smaller and not as ridged as the old one. My clumsy fingers slip and slide all over the damn thing.

[post #3 – jobs i think i might be good at]

2. antipope

[post #4 – untitled]

gold card.

And just to balance the vibe a little, here’s something I don’t hate: an Aronson Furniture commercial from the 80s. Here is what you need to know about Aronson Furniture:
1. It is was the home of the credit connection.
2. It hasd the catchiest jingle this side of Rockenbach Chevrolet, which will probably be featured soon on this blog.
Aronson went tits-up a couple of years ago – perhaps Aronson’s subprime furniture loan crisis triggered our current economic woes? We may never know.

I think I heard the Aronson jingle for the first time in the late 80s, on my way back from a Cub Scout meeting with my dad. It was probably on WBBM Newsradio 78, during a Blackhawks broadcast (not really news radio, are you, you lying scum). It has been stuck in my head for about 20 years.

[post #5 – untitled cubs post]

Every year there are a number of Storylines when it comes to the Cubs. Here are this year’s Storylines:

1. The first storyline isn’t specific to this year. Every year the #1 storyline is that the Cubs have not won a World Series in X-1908, where X is the current year on the Gregorian calendar. This storyline is particularly poignant this year, when performing the X-1908 calculation yields the number of fingers that non-mutant, non-table-saw-abusing humans have, multiplied by the number of toes such humans have. (This does not apply in Ethiopia, where it is only 2000, and accordingly I am telling my parents that I am not going to be a pre-med anymore. Political science? What is this political science? I would be more proud of you if you was prostitute than if you were in politics*).

2. Another important storyline is the arrival of Kosuke Fukudome. The most fun part of this storyline will be attending a game in mid-August with a girl who figures out that Fukudome looks kind of like “Fuck you dome” or, if she is gunning for the Nobel prize in literature, “Fuck you, do me” and thus catching up with what every man in Chicago figured out last December.

* verbatim quote. Mom actually busted out the English for this one.

a tale of two tags

May 21, 2008

I was tagged twice tonight.

The first tag was by Damsel in Digress, who tagged me in a meme. This is the first time I have has this happen to me, but as with my first sexual experience, I’ve seen enough of the internet to know what I am supposed to do. (In further parallel, it will probably take a long time (i was drunk), and I won’t do it that well, but I’ll be pretty proud of the results).

The second tag happened in my softball game. I was rounding second with two outs in the second inning when it became apparent that the throw was going to beat me to third by a good margin. I figured I should slide just for show even though the play was going to be well in front of the bag. I never really got to think about it because yes, the third baseman caught the ball, and yes, he applied the tag, but he applied it squarely to my package. I say package and not nuts or dick because identifying one would mean he missed the other, and that just was not the case. I went down and apparently “barrel-rolled,” to quote a team-mate, onto third base. The good news was my junk had knocked the ball out of the third-baseman’s glove (*points at the ladies and winks*), and I was safe. I actually managed to score on the subsequent hit. Then I collapsed in a heap and almost vomitted

It was not a good outing overall. My other two at-bats were chopped foul for strike-outs, the second to end the game. Added to that, n the bottom of the inning following the groin-tag incident, I took a ground ball to the shin in right field. I didn’t feel it much at the time because I was still recovering from the assault on the boys but apparently everyone including the home plate ump heard it. An hour later, I am starting to appreciate the pain.

Anyway. Let’s see which of these two tags ended up making my night suck more.

Eight Things Meme

Eight Things I Am Passionate About

Right off the bat we are in trouble. Young Pete was a passionate guy. Old Pete has mellowed and thinks that passion is for jihadists and fruits (passion fruits, not gays).

1. Photography – I have stuck with this for about a year now which means it is a much a passion as anything I do. The output is low, but this is mainly because I am very anal about the quality of the shots and what I can do in post-processing, and until I get it the best I can do it, I don’t want the picture printed or posted on the web. A lot of the time, I am not even satisfied with the best I can do, and the picture is chalked up to a learning experience, with the hopes I’ll get it better next time.

2. Beer pong – not really, but sort of. The answer is actually NOT LOSING. I really hate losing. That’s why a performance like today’s softball outing will eat away at me.

3. I don’t like this category. I have things I like. I don’t use the word passionate about anything. I quit. Next.

Eight Things I Want To Do Before I Die

1. Visit Japan, China, Australia, Brazil, and Norway. Fuck Sweden.
2. Play guitar or drums on stage, with a band, and do OK.
3. Take some decent pictures.
4. Figure out why I’m here.
5. Kids? Marriage? I guess I could put it on here. Let’s face it though.
6. Score another goal in soccer, to bring my lifetime total to 2.
7. Improve my personality.
8. Beat fucking Foreplay/Long Time on Rock Band drums Hard. God damn it. DONE (Run To The Hills is now my Waterloo).

Eight Things I Say Often

1. “Anyway, the point is . . .” Hence the URL.
2. “if you will” / “as it were” / “so to speak”
3. fuck and its derivatives. I never realized how much I peppered my speech with profanity until I started working as an attorney. “Your honor, plaintiffs’ legal arguments are fucking retarded” does not curry favor with the court.
4. “sorry about your cat”
5. “Good win.” This is a recent one that I’ve found myself saying after every Cubs win, like there is such a thing as a bad win or good loss.
6. “You dropped your _____” When I was in junior high George Carlin had a short-lived sitcom on Fox. In one ad, an old lady carrying two grocery bags is walking past Carlin when she drops her bags. Instead of helping her pick them up, Carlin says “Lady, you dropped your groceries.” To this day I think this is about the funniest thing ever and say it whenever somebody drops something, which makes me look like a real dick, so I feel bad, and pick it up for them, and explain what I have just explained to you. Even worse is when somebody slips and falls and I say “Down goes Frazier!”
7. Going along with #3, when I feel I’m overusing fuck for its most literal meaning, I switch off to words like “pork” or “shtup” or “boink.”
8. “Pitcher of Bud Light.”

Eight Books I’ve Read Recently
I almost never finish a book. Here’s eight I actually made a dent in recently.
1. Chances Are…
2. IV, Chuck Klosterman. That’s “four” and not “eye-vee,” as a friend of my friend apparently thought.
3. Gary Friedman’s Guide to the a100, my old camera; and my old Black and White Photography textbook from high school. The next book I read will likely be about Photoshop.
4. The Fabric of the Cosmos – Brian Greene. I started reading this after The Elegant Universe (which I actually DID finish), but then I stopped to go back to reread The Elegant Universe to see if I could actually understand any of it. Hasn’t happened yet.
5. God Is Not Great- Christopher Hitchens
6. I am America And So Can You – Stephen Colbert
7. The Alan Coren Omnibus
8. Critical Mass – Phillip Ball.

Eight Movies I Have Seen Eight Times
I’ll start with movies I’ve seen on cable recently that I’ve seen a trillion times.
1. Dr. Strangelove
2. Braveheart
3. Ghostbusters
Numbers 1 and 3 are two of my favorite movies ever. The next three are movies that are not my favorites ever, but I saw about a million times in college instead of going to class.
4. Blast From The Past
5. 10 Things I Hate About You
6. My Father the Hero
Let’s round out the list with two comedies that we all love.
7. Tommy Boy
8. Billy Madison

Eight People Who Should Do This Meme.
Should is such a strong word. That said.
1 & 2. My Drunk Friend And Me.
3. Kenny Havok
4. Gyttja
5. My Pink Shoe
That’s all I’ve got.

guide to wrigley field

May 2, 2008

Would you like to go to a baseball game in Chicago? Do you find the thought of visiting the South Side repulsive? Then this guide to Mars Wrigley Field is for you.

Bleachers – First things first – where do you want to sit? If you are feeling like you might want to get particularly sunburnt and particularly drunk, the bleachers are for you. The bleachers not only offer knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans, they also provide meaningful entertainment when the game is a little boring. For example, when the game is dull, if you are in the left field bleachers, it is customary to yell “Right Field sucks!” If you are in right field, do your best to brush off the stinging criticism, and turn the tables by chanting “Left Field sucks!” If you are sitting in center field, continue to lay low, as nobody has pointed out that center field sucks to date, even when Felix Pie is playing.

Beer – The traditional choice of Cub fans is Old Style. I’ve never really understood why Old Style is the official beer of the Chicago Cubs, as it is brewed in Milwaukee. I mean, come on, their team is called the MILWAUKEE BREWERS. Fortunately, you can sidestep this conflict of interest, as many beer guys also offer Budweiser products, which are brewed in St. Louis, where no major league teams exist.

Urinals – After you’ve rented enough Old Styles or Buds, you’ll eventually feel compelled to give them back. The traditional place to do that is on the wall of any apartment building in a three-block radius of the stadium, but if the game isn’t over yet, you will have to settle for the troughs. That’s right, Wrigley field features a lot of good old fashioned trough-style urinals – the kind that these folks are having so much fun with. Even these mass receptacles can’t prevent huge lines, though. One wonders if the troughs will someday give way to a simple grated floor that will sluice waste products away to Waveland Ave. That hydrant that’s always open in front of the fire station can wash the street down.

The men’s bathrooms may be bad – but don’t even get me started on the women’s troughs.

Scoreboard – The Wrigley scoreboard is manually operated by Tribune Co. employees who have been convicted of embezzlement. This punishment is severe. Changing the numbers in the brutal summer heat is bad enough, but at least there’s a ballgame to watch. Trust me, the guys in the scoreboard are BORED AS HECK all winter.

After games, a flag is raised over the scoreboard. It is either a W or an L. The “W” flag stands for “water” and dates back to the 1760s, when the War of 1812 was going on. The “water” flag meant that British Redcoats were coming to Chicago (then a major railyard) through the St. Lawrence seaway and the Great Lakes. This flag is still raised from time to time just to keep neighborhood residents on their toes. An “L” flag stands for “land” and is customarily flown whenever Kerry Wood has a save opportunity.

Ronnie Woo-Woo – Wrigley Field is a magical place. It is the only place where North Siders will voluntarily touch a whooping homeless man. Ronnie Woo-Woo likes to keep up a steady stream of encouraging banter, mostly along the lines of “Cubs, WOO! Cubs, WOO! Pinella, WOO! Cubs, WOO!” It is obnoxious as all hell. All Cubs fans think so. However, each Cubs fan thinks that all other Cubs fans cherish Ronnie Woo-Woo, and thus each Cubs fan refrains from speaking out lest he be branded a pariah. Clearly a product of the same groupthink mindset that allows Cubs fans to convince themselves that they have been watching a team with the capability to win the World Series, every year for the last century, when deep down, they know they are hosed from day one.

Seventh Inning Stretch – In the middle of the seventh-inning, a local has-been will lead the crowd in a song. This is done mostly to celebrate the memory of a beloved sportscaster, Harry Caray, who became more beloved with each successive stroke he suffered. He’d sing the seventh-inning stretch and then he’d go back to pronouncing Jeremi Gonzalez’s first name as “Jerem-EYE,” and giving birthday shout-outs to Cubs fans who were purportedly watching somewhere outside Peoria, but were more likely figments of Harry’s imagination. “Happy Birthday to Ethel and Stanley Smorgasbord from Decatur. Stanley’s turning 95 today and he met his wife when she tried to rustle a sow from his uncle’s pigpen! Lifelong Cubs fan.”

Anyway, the deal is, just sing along, and if you are from out of town, you substitute “Cubbies” for “home team.” If the Cubs are losing at the time of the stretch, the song is followed by an exhortation: “Let’s get some runs!”

If you’ve eaten enough food from Wrigley vendors, that won’t be a problem for you.

Actually the WGN guys singing a SECOND stretch, in the 15th inning of a game last year