Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seperating Sox in the News Cycle

Here is your puppy link, as promised.

It has been a tough few days in Red Sox nation. We lost Youk.  This hard-nosed, ass-kicking, Jewish infielder and killer batsman who helped secure the first and second championships for my Boston Red Sox in eons was traded.  His age, diminished speed, injuries, and the presence of a new guy hitting about .375, all mean that this super star is off the Chicago White Sox.  It was sad.  He will be forever loved in Boston and throughout the Red Sox nation.

Then to make matters worse, the President of the United States made a joke about this trade.  The President, an ardent White Sox fan, is excited about having Youkilis on his team.  Obama struck a cord when he joked about it at a fundraiser in Boston.  It was a bit too soon to make a joke at the expense of a team, my team, so soon after loosing a hero.  You could say, his joke stung just a bit.

You know, reading back over that last paragraph I note the excessive use of the word JOKE.  It was pretty funny, a bit mean, but pretty funny.

But not to the Romney camp:
“Last night in Boston, President Obama went to the heart of Red Sox nation and committed an error by taunting fans over the Kevin Youkilis trade to the Chicago White Sox,” [Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea] Saul wrote in an email. “And he was booed for it. . . at his own event! The Red Sox have suffered many setbacks over the years – the Babe Ruth trade, the ball through Buckner’s legs, the Bucky Dent home run. Maybe the President should have congratulated the team for winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007. Instead, he chose to mock them for trading away one of its favorite players at a time when the team is struggling.”
Oh, for sake of something people!  There has been an entire news cycle dominated by this silly comment.  The President is a White Sox fan. He was digging at Red Sox fans. That is what sports fans do.  And when politicos pretend to care about the team for votes, nothing good happens. I remind you of an interview with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in which he said on Meet the Press that he liked the Red Sox and Yankees.

This non-issue should have been left for the sports guys on ESPN to talk about not the Romney camp or the Obama guys.  Sports are fun and totally meaningless, and that is what makes them fun. 

Come on now.  I will forever distrust this front office for canning the best (with his own set of problems) manager the Red Sox ever had for this blowhard and for showing Theo the door but I know my life will go on after the Red Sox don't make it to the play-offs.  Also I hate the Yankees (had to get it in).  But that is for Sports Center debates and bar room conversation with like-minded fans.  Just a thought, the presidential campaigns could talk about the economy or healthcare or foreign policy or seniors or education or anything else...

SPORTS ARE FUN.  Making fun of an opposing team, when done for fun, is fine.  Now. SHUT UP and try to make the country better.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Report: Everything is Illuminated

It has been a long time since I finished a book and there are good reasons. One is that this book was not easy to read. Another reason was that I left this difficult to read book in New York after my last trip back to San Francisco.

However, after entirely too long, I have finished Everything is Illuminated by the formidable and unbelievably self-centered Jonathan Safran Foer.  Again, one of the had never, but knew I had to read books from my list, Everything is Illuminated didn't disappoint me and was worth the wait.

I did not know the story at all.  I did not even know that the book was made into a movie, which I can't imagine does the book justice. 

I enjoyed this book, Nazis, Jew killings and all.  It was lyrically written, both in the truly English sections and in the broke, Russian-English sections. The stories were woven expertly and I would read another Safran Foer book, as long as it was not about being a vegetarian.

5 out of 5 Stars.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Why No One Can Have it All

Or Why Anne-Marie Slaughter is wrong.

While a number of very smart women have chimed in and written great articles about why this interminable essay was bad, missed the point, is dangerous, or simply stupid, there aren't a lot of men who have or will.  I grew up in a household were my mom went to work and climbed the corporate ladder.  My dad stayed home, ran his own business, and waited until both kids were in or done with college to have what you could call a traditional career.

Arguably you could say, my home life was very much a product of the feminist revolution. I have been called on occasion a feminist.

But before going on to my thoughts on The Atlantic article, I asked two people who also lived in my house to comment on the article:
“Jesus, I got to the end of the first page and saw there were six more pages. No wonder she couldn't get her work done. Fucking academics -- they don't know when to shut up. – Mother, 58, Senior Executive at a Fortune 50 Company

“Ugh. This has been floating around all day and I've been avoiding it, because I don't give a shit why The Atlantic thinks I'm going to be barefoot in the kitchen.

“I just think [the concept of the article is] so stupid. Men make the same choices, it's just that they don't care as much -- or maybe they do! And then they step down too! Like, cool the fuck out; life is full of compromises…obviously you have to make compromises. I just think this is so dumb and backward ...  You can't be a traditional stay-at-home mom and a high powered executive in the same way you can't be a high-powered executive male and coach all your kids’ sports teams. There are 24 hours in a day, regardless of your sex.” – Sister, 25, Ivy League Graduate and Third-Year Medical Student at a Top 10 Medical School
My mother went on to say that the unbelievably long essay was a "six page cop-out" of the ideals that the author allegedly still supports and was riddled with hypocrisy and contradictions. 

And I agree.  The issue at the heart of this essay should be what do you value you more, not finding a way to have everything at once.  Feminism, as I understand it, was (and is) a fight for choices, not a fight for women have the same life as men.

Everyone, as my sister notes, must make choices in life.  This does not mean that society couldn't shift slightly to help make those choices easier.  And there is no doubt that because of women (and men) who came before my sister, she is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate and is well on her way to earning her M.D. at one of the best medical schools in the world.

The only thing she has to thank them for is opening the door.

And while that door was a real pain to open, she had to learn, study, lose sleep, sacrifice health, and make many other CHOICES to make it to where she is today. You cannot take away the fact that my sister -- not some conceptual fem-ubermench -- worked hard.  There were real sacrifices that were and continue to be made. 

The entire concept of work-life balance is a myth.  You either work more or you "life" more. There is never a perfect mix if you are racing to the top. Something has got to give.  And the sooner you realize that, the sooner "having it all" becomes just as meaningless as an essay written by an academic who had to live through two years of what every female executive at a large or growth company deals with everyday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Generational Swings

A little over a month ago, I put down the Dustbuster in our New York apartment after cleaning up what seemed like the millionth dust bunny we had found while getting ready to move, and I tweaked my back.  This was problematic for a number of reasons -- chief among them was the fact that our movers were coming in an hour.

I had been running a lot, trying the 100 pushup challenge (I was up to 45ish pushups) and flying all over the country for work.  Oh yeah, and moving.  There was a lot of pent up stress and I suppose the Dustbuster was the straw that broke my back.

Anyway, after about three weeks of letting it get better, I was on the bus coming to work and the bus stopped very short.  The entire bus load of Financial District Bound San Franciscans whipped forward, and hard. I called a chiropractor when I got to the office.

Over the past week, I have been stretched and cracked and such, and I am feeling much better thank you for asking.  But the really wonderful part of this story is that today I was given homework.

True, homework is never fun. But this homework has some history.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The choices aren't tough

When I haven't been blogging about running, food, or other fun stuff in my new city, I have been talking about why I am sick of political discourse.  This is another installment in my multi-part, ever-developing series exploring my disgust of the political space.  So if you too are sick of politics, are one of my friends who makes his or her living in the space, or just don't care what I have to say about the issue, here is a link that will take you to pictures of puppies.  (Future installments will always have an early exit puppy link.)

As you know, 2012 is an election year.  This year we will be faced with plethora choices of very stupid candidates promising all sorts of craziness. Local, state, and Federal elections will dominate the news outlets for the next five or so months. These news outlets will break news that will sound freakishly like this:




Two things come to mind when I read these kinds of headlines:  
  1. I think Greece actually got this one right.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Long Run

A few months ago this ridiculously photogenic guy photo-bombed his way  on the meme and running scene.  I am more of the belief that if you are running a road race and look really good in your pictures, you aren't working hard enough...and I am not alone.

Not to knock the really good looking dude, but races should be hard.  After months (or weeks depending on your distance) of training, you toe the line and push your body to do its best on that day.  That is what makes racing fun.  It is hard, it is challenging, and you may look like that kid who likes turtles, but you run hard and win.  That is the best part of racing.

Before the end of the year I have three important races on the calendar, and while the NYC Marathon is clearly the biggest of my year, the other two might be more fun and, in the longer term, more important.

SFRRC's 1st Annual 5K Race
In August, my running chums with the SFRRC will be hosting a 5K.  This race is filled with local favorites, cool prizes, and a flat course (which is nothing to sneeze at in San Francisco).  But most importantly, it will be our little club's first race.  We are really excited to host the runner's of San Francisco and around the Bay Area.  So, as a member of the planning committee, a SFRRC member, and just a runner, I invite you to join us on August 5th for your opportunity to have really ugly pictures for your race collection.