Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Rants and Raves

OK it's that time of the month folks!

So let's get this started and you all try to follow along without getting too deeply offended. Mayor Dick Murphy resigned yesterday effective July 15th. He had been named by TIME magazine as one of the three worst mayors in the United States of America. Well yes that's true. I heard someone say that if Donna Frye hadn't thrown her hat in the ring at the last minute before the last election Ron Roberts would have won and we wouldn't be in this mess. I have to disagree. This mess was here long before that election and long before Dick Murphy even stepped into office. He simply didn't do anything to slow the downward spiral. He just sat and watched as it picked up pace. For that I'm glad he's leaving but I'd also like to call for the heads of Zucchett, Frye, Madaffer, Maienschein, Atkins, Young, Aguirre, and Inzunza. That's right 7 of our 8 council members and our district attorney who apparently believes he's the 9th member of the council and it's head chairperson.
OK that's off my chest and now let me move on to something a little happier. The Padres recently held a ceremony for the late Padre third baseman Ken Caminiti. It was a video and some clips shown to fans and family so we could all see him for his strengths as a player, his great moments as a father and the great things he did for the community. This was a guy that I could have gotten very emotionally attached to if I knew him. He was about as selfless as you could be. He gave wherever he could. Problem is he never felt he did enough. He felt he was a failure as a father, a husband, brother, son, ballplayer, human being. So he drowned his sorrows in alcohol and cocaine in an attempt to drive those self-loathing thoughts from his mind so perhaps he could just enjoy one day of happiness. Unfortunately that caused problems in his health and his marriage. His wife left him after Cammy numerously went into rehab and came out as what seemed at the time to be a changed man only to fall back into the drugs and alcohol again. He lost his wife, his kids, and around the middle of 1998 he lost his health for good. For years he had used steroids as a crutch to keep his limbs moving. He got them working well enough to win the 1996 National League MVP award, and a decent post-surgery 1997 and 1998. I saw drawings in the local paper showing a normal shoulder, then Ken's. Cammy's shoulder looked like it had exploded from the inside. How could that guy move his arm let alone throw and hit like he did? If I had to go through that much pain I very well might just cut my own arm off. What do I think he should have done? I think someone should have told him early in his childhood and throughout just how much what he did for others helped. He should have been told that he WAS good enough but should always strive for more. When he got injured he should have gotten it repaired and taken a year or two off instead of shooting steroids. He should have found more constructive ways to deal with his demons. He didn't and he's gone now. What he left behind was pain, doubt, and fear. What would the girls do without their daddy? How would the parents deal with losing their son after doing all they could to help him through his pain? How would the woman that still loved him, loved him the way he used to be, deal with the bell being rung and her realization that now there was no hope for sure. Any glimmer that she held onto that he might come back and be the old Kenny had finally passed into darkness. For years he punished himself and in return gave others all the joy he had to give. One more night he tried to find some joy for himself and in return he punished everyone who ever loved him. Everyone that continues to love their memories of him, even if he never knew them on earth. Ken I admired you as a baseball player. I admired your grit and hard play. I admired how soft spoken you were and how much my cheers touched your heart in the most sincere way. I was there the night before Jack Murphy Stadium closed and I was there for the last ballgame played there as well. I cheered and cried when I saw you waving then and I cheer you now. I just wish you could have found some other way. I wish things had gone just a bit differently. Dammit Ken I miss you.
You see folks I grew up with drugs and alcohol around me nearly at all times. I saw how this affected those around me. It tore families apart again and again. How is that possible, you say? Well, you see there'd be plenty of words, physical confrontations and the next day when they sobered up they'd apologize, all would be well for a few days or weeks then it would all happen again. Someone slept with someone's significant other. Someone stole something from the apartment for drug money. Someone didn't like that someone else was shooting up in the same room with kids. Someone left searing hot crack pipes on a dresser in reach of young kids like 4 years old. There was always drama. People got hurt, lives were scarred, people died, others seriously injured, and still others were those rare cases that turned out just fine after the partying had stopped. People that I had thought would never make anything of themselves.
Just thinking about this a lot lately and felt I should get some of it out. Still a lot of feelings left inside but I feel even when I let it out perhaps it's better left between the people it involves and not the whole world wide web. My life may look like a bed of roses but remember roses have thorns. I have a lot that many don't. I have a good job that I like a lot. I have a beautiful and loving wife that I have no doubt will be my companion for eternity. We have a lot of the material things that others can't afford but there's a ton that we still want that others can and you know what, I don't care. I don't covet. I'll get it when I can get it. Until then I'm happy with what I have. I have sisters, parents, and family that loves me. I was blessed (and at times cursed in the case of the drugs and alcohol bit) to have step families to love me. I love them all. Many I haven't talked to in a long time and to be honest I think of them a lot and I miss them much more but I just don't know how to get ahold of them. So if any of you are reading this, email me.
Anyways, my rant is fizzling so I'll take off. More to come!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Bowling goes underground

So last night Butch calls. He's got a poker game, hoping it will happen, was thinking of heading downtown for some club hopping. That got me thinking. I'm not a club guy. I don't dance and for a guy that doesn't dance or drink, $10 and $20 covers plus large crowds and trying to find parking downtown on a Saturday night isn't really something I think I'll ever be into. So thinks I, how about getting Tony to join us and maybe the 4 of us can go shoot some pool or something instead. Victoria and I were on our way to the Bartletts for they had found a great little Italian place in La Jolla and were willing to pay for us to try it out. NICE.
SO, off we get to the house and we wait a bit to leave and so I give Tony a call. Sounds like he's down with it. He wants to bring along his girlfriend and I figure that's not a problem. More fun. So I talk about shooting pool and perhaps a club or something since I don't dance but Tony, his girlfriend, and Victoria love to dance. I wouldn't mind spending some time watching them have fun so long as I got a bit of pool in. So I call Butch and ask if perhaps we can play some pool instead. No go. Dude wants to get his dance on, so I bow out gracefully and say maybe we'll get together for something next week. Then we head to dinner.
WOW. Great place. Piatti is an awesome restaurant. The Pescatore is good. The seafood is ultra fresh and they cook the calamari perfectly and that's not easy to do. I had the Ravioli du Limone. Ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach all drowned in a lemon cream sauce. WOW was that awesome. For dessert, a key lime pie infused with raspberries and surrounded with some raspberry puree. Great food all around and for four people it was $133 after a 20% tip. So about $31 a person for an appetizer, entree, dessert, and soda. Not bad for a place that looked upper class even with the guy that comes around with the parmesan cheese and the dude that keeps your water glass filled at all times. Felt like it should have cost three times what it did. Did I mention I was impressed?
So we get home and I figure I'm feeling in much more a bowling mood so I call up Tony and see if that's fine. It is and so we head to the Brunswick Bowling Alley in Chula Vista for a night of bowling. Alejandra is a great girl. Tony's found a winner or so I got out of one night of bowling. Poor girl had a left hook on her ball all night. Everytime it was headed right towards the head pin at that angle that always produces strikes. every time it would curve left just before it hit the pin and she'd miss the jackpot. She finally got hers on the very last frame of the night. Me? well after he 155, 98, 113 that I laid down on Butch I added a 123, 128 last night on my friends. I know, bowling afficienados are saying "that's it?" Yes that it jerk, now lay off! This coming from a guy that had problems reaching triple digits most of his life. Now not to get there is a disappointment so at least I'm improving and not sitting there with my smug self. You're a bowling afficienado. Don't confuse that with athlete, jerk.
Alright I type this while watching hilights of the Red Sox brawl with the Devil Rays. David Ortiz should have been ejected? This coming from a guy that gets in fist fights with his players on a regular basis, constantly and loudly in the locker room asks why the GM isn't giving him better players and how can he win with these horrible players and then wonders why he can't motivate his team. EJECTED? The pitcher threw at his head. What would you do? Wait I remember your tyrades with the umpires and as a player with pitchers. I know exactly what you'd have done. exactly what Ortiz did. So shut up Pin-thetic.
OK now that it's all out of my system. So five bowling games and I'm on a 122 average. I only missed 130 on that last game because I goofed off in the last frame. tony and I competed to see who could throw the ball farther down the lane before it hit the ground but making sure it's not so high that it gets us kicked out for good. Can't remember who won but who cares, I got a zero in the last frame and missed out on 130. Oh well it would have only bumped my average by a pin or two.