Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun, fun, fun, fun

By next month, I will experience something for the first time in 28 years that most people experience every single week.

I will experience a weekend as everyone else knows it.

My hours are changing at work. For the first time since I started my career in sports journalism, I will be off on Saturdays and Sundays. I know this is no big deal for most people, but in my job, you just don't get Saturdays off. Unless I've been on vacation, I've worked just about every Saturday for the last 20-plus years.

If you throw in the part-time jobs I worked after getting out of high school -- all of which required you to work most Saturdays -- then I haven't enjoyed Saturdays off on a consistent basis since my senior year in high school. I tried to pinpoint the period when I enjoyed a weekend as about 80-90 percent of the country does. I came up with early July of 1983.

That's the last time when Saturday didn't mean one of the busiest days of the week.

So, this, obviously is huge.

I don't know how I'm going to react when my new schedule actually begins. I feel like I'm going to have to get up that first Saturday and watch Saturday morning cartoons and eat Cocoa-Pebbles. Do they still have Saturday morning cartoons? Do they still have Cocoa-Pebbles? I don't know because I've been WORKING.

I've always viewed the rest of society's weekly celebratory ritual of the weekend with amusement. Friday happy hours. Friday night bar-hopping. Saturday mornings at the Home Depot, Saturday ritual lawn mowing, endless Saturday sporting events or endless Saturday hours staring at sports on TV. People getting out of work early on Fridays to get a jump-start on the weekend. Massive Saturday crowds in restaurants. Packed malls on Fridays and Saturdays. Constant odes to Friday or the weekend in song (don't worry, I will not link to that video).

People act a little loopy when the weekend is arriving, and I have viewed it all in a detached manner. Part of me wants to join in, part of me is glad I don't have to fight the crowds. I've never liked doing what everyone else is doing anyway.

But since I am going to be one of y'all sometime soon (although I will still be working night hours during the week so don't worry that I'll lose my night owl tendencies), I figured I'd do something celebratory to learn how this "IT'S THE WEEKEND!" ritual works.

I'm going to show my winnings from a couple of blog contests I entered.

Um ...


Sorry, I'm a little rusty. Twenty-eight years and all.

I was in a couple of contests put on by Dan of The Other World and Adam of My Cardboard Mistress. I didn't win either contest, but I still ended up with some cards. I don't know exactly how, although if I thought about it a little, I'd figure it out.


OK, I'm just getting obnoxious.


The first set of cards are from The Other World. Dan supplied a couple of unopened packs, which is always welcome. The Opening Day pack featured all dupes, which is next to impossible because I do not have a lot of 2008 Opening Day. So I beat the odds in the worst way possible there.

The 2007 Topps pack was slightly better. I enjoy this photo of Kelly Johnson swinging in the stands, because that happens all the time in baseball games. It's called "crazed baseball player just entered the stands with a bat and he's SWINGING IT!!!"

On to some Dodgers. This guy follows me around a bit. I thought I had this card already, but it's just one of several parallels of Austin Gallagher, who is in High A ball near as I can tell. One day, when I'm in a real self-loathing mood, I'll count up all my Bowman cards of players who never made it the majors. Maybe I'll do that on a Monday, since Mondays are going to be awful again under my new schedule.

Ah, one of the corniest sets of the '90s, Emotion. This is an insert set that doesn't feature the pseudo-emotions on the front like "Pensive" and "Disfunctional." (actually Emotion didn't use "disfunctional," but they could have).

Fortunately, the back saves the day. The beginning reads: "The man L.A. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda calls 'my wild stallion'..."

And we move to the next card ...

More shiny parallelness from 1998 Bowman. The entire back is in Spanish, so I can tell you nothing else about this card. I'm not looking it up either. Because IT'S THE WEEKEND!!!!

I have several 1980 Topps Dusty Baker cards but I'm showing this one because it looks better than a card that came directly out of a pack. It's not the most centered card in the world, but the corners are sharp, it's not faded, it's a lot better than all my other '80 Baker cards. I don't know how Dan did it.

Also, Dan wrapped my card prizes in electric green tape. Because that's how prize winners roll.

Thanks, Dan!

All right, next on my prize patrol is Adam of My Cardboard Mistress. Again, not quite sure how I landed these cards. But me likey.

Collectors are trying to get me hooked on Baseball Heroes parallels. I had planned to walk down parallel lane for Andre Ethier only. But now I have four or five James Loney parallels and what am I to do?

This is what your Series 2 Rafael Furcal card will look like. Furcal turning a DP in San Francisco. By the time Series 2 arrives, Furcal will have been on and off the DL seven times. I just love head-first slide injuries. Can't get enough of them. We're already almost halfway to an All-Star team of players DL'd by head-first slides.

Has anyone come up with a way to peal and remove the coatings from these '90s Finest cards without slightly dinging a corner? Leave it to me to not care enough about the card to leave the coating on but caring about it enough to worry about dings. Yes, I know. Make up my mind.

I reached a new low today by asking for a gold Bowman parallel of Juan Pierre over at Cards on Cards. Self-loathing enveloped me and I had to go to sleep for three hours. Not a good way to start the WEEKEND. WOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Matt Kemp is starting the year exactly as I thought he would. Leads the league in batting average, on-base percentage and stolen bases. He also appears to be the only Dodger that can hit home runs. Some of this is due to the new first base coach of the Dodgers, Davey Lopes. And I salute him by showing Babe Ruth as a Dodger coach. Because it's the weekend, which has already become my excuse for everything.

Ah, a Conflict Card. Do I put this in my Dodger binder or do I banish it to the cardboard boxes where all other pre-pro ball cards go? It'll probably go in with the Dodgers where I will continue to be conflicted every time I see it. I'm hoping that by having Saturdays off I will be more stable about such things.

Here's another Jackie for Jackie Robinson Day. I've already forgotten what these are. I know they come from Walmart.

Every time I watch baseball games on Jackie Robinson Day I think of how they could never play a game in which every player was wearing the same number in, say, football. The sport is confusing enough as it is.

Anyway, those are most, but not all, of my prize winnings from those two fine bloggers.

A few more weeks on my old schedule and then I'll be enjoying the Saturday-Sunday ritual. There will probably come a day when I'm told there's an hour wait for a seat at, oh, say, the Olive Garden, and I will wish I had Tuesdays off again. It'll take a while to adjust to all of that.

But I'll get there. Wooooo! A real weekend!!!!! Bring it ON!

I so excited.


  1. And yet they didn't spell his first name "Dennys" on the front?!

  2. Let's see if this post gets 100 million page views based on the title alone.

  3. "They" will see how happy you are and take it all back. You'll be working Saturday's and Sundays on the road. You just poked the bear.
    Sorry about your luck.

  4. Sorry, finished reading what you wrote. You'd better run for the hills. You are so f'd. "They" are reading this.

  5. "They" couldn't give a %@#$@$ what I write here. But that aside, "they" are even more in favor of this move than I am.

  6. Steelehere ~

    You may be right. Titles seem to be the only thing that drives page views.

  7. For some reason, this made me think of Frank the Tank:

    "Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time."

  8. Thank you for not linking the video you referenced.

    It is horrible, horrible, horrible, and should only be thrust upon the worst of enemies.

  9. 90's Finest - bring the cards to New Mexico and you might be able to peel off the coatings in a year or two. The air is so dry here that a lot of adhesives fail with a few years' time (like labels I put on my card boxes so I can repurpose them instead of writing on them in sharpie and not being able to reuse it if I wanted to for something else). In a year or two, I bet the adhesive on the edges of the Finest will dry out and the edges will start to work a little loose such that you can grab it and finish removing it.

    P.S. baseball is another sport where everyone shouldn't all be wearing the same number. How can you tell from the official scorer's table a late game replacement or who the reliever is - you know there is a new pitcher based on motion or how he wears the uniform or what handed he is, but if it's not one of the obvious veterans, you might have a tough time figuring out who it is unless you can come to a consensus with the beat writers or broadcasters or others to figure that out without having to wait until the end of the game to clear that up.