Archive for April, 2009

Still Long for the Days When Ollie was Just a Hilarious Pet Name

April 26, 2009

Thinking a lot about Junior High today. For me, and presumably most of you, 7th and 8th grade were the launching point to my Awkward Teen Phase (which I’m hoping to grow out of very, very, soon).

While I had a solid core of friends, I was always concerned how I appeared to my peers. I thought I was a pretty righteous 13 year old: starting First Baseman for my little league team, enterprising neighborhood lawn mower, and reciter of EverySimpsonsLineEverWritten. But still, I found it not enought o simply be happy with being myself. Awkward Teen PT had a goal that eclipsed all my afrementioned accomplishements: I wanted to be fucking cooool.

What constituted ‘being cool’ in the eyes of the 7th grade me: A pair of Airwalks, unbuttoned Plaid flannel accompanied by ironic t-shirt (ironic tee could be switched out for a Kurt Cobain RIP shirt), JNCO jeans, and a low-hanging backpack.

These were the fashion choices of the skater crowd, whom after school, would hangout in front of the skate shop The Green Gecko just down the street. Rumor had it, they would go behind TGG and SMOKE CIGARETTES, which absolutely terrified me.

The problem was, I looked nothing like this. Junior high was the first time I started being concerned with what I wore to school. A majority of my clothes were purchased by my mother at fine outfitters like Montgomery Ward or Mervyn’s. Obviously, my fashion apathy simply was not going to cut it at Ramsey Junior High. I had a desire to fit in and look the part, even though a) I didn’t hang out with these kids, and b) had no idea how to skateboard. Looking back, a reason for my desire to fit in could have been that the skater look was exactly that, a LOOK. A Prergogative. What did my clothing choice say to the world? It said, “I don’t know, ask my mom.” It was time to forge my own (their) style, I thought. hulkhogan5

So, I made a style change. That Thanksgiving break, my mom and I made our annual trip to Omaha to spend the holiday at my aunt’s house. During our stay, one day we ventured to Crossorads to buy some clothes. I strolled inside the mall’s Gadzooks, pulled out my Lawn-mowing savigs and bought a pair of JNCO’s, which at $45 were the most expensive item of clothing I had ever owned.A couple more stops throughout the mall, and I was ready to (look I was going to) skate with best of them.

What happened the following week at school is akin to the scene from Freaks and Geeks when Sam wears his new Parisian Night Suit to school. My new threads brought on the exact opposite attention I wanted. While he entire school wasn’t glaring at me, every friend and acquaintance I had welcomed my new look with very confused and slightly amused looks.

While I didn’t immediately retire the jeans as Sam retired his night suit, they definitely didn’t make many appearnaces following that day.Pretty sure I rocked the flannel-and-tshirt look all the way through Freshman year of high school, though. My fave t-shirt I wore under said flannel was grey with THIS:

229551714_a5b4f7bc431GARY LARSEN = GRUNGE GODDD!!!!

never forget:

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Connecting the IndieDots: or, My Life Completely Revolves Around the Media, Vol. LCMMMXXXVIII

April 7, 2009

Today, 5:30pm

I’m speedwalking home so I can catch the beginning of the first Twins game of the season…

Let me guess: right now you’re thinking,”But PT, how in the world are you able to watch the Twins? Did you go to a bar and spend a million dollars? Did you buy The Concorde and take a 30 second flight in Minneapolis?? Gah, howww? TELLMEINEEDTOKNOWNOW!” Well, Fair Readers, earlier in the day AllysonD and I went in on mlb.tv together. It’s so amazing! I wont have to miss a single Dome home game all year! I’m sure my new streaming tv toy will be blogged about quote heavily in the upcoming months.

…when the song “Dying” by XTC comes a-shufflin’ onto my iPod.  I just recently procured Skylarking, so I’m almost positive this was the first time I’ve heard this song.  I was really enjoying the song, and at about the halfway marker it dawned on me, “Aww shit! I’ve heard this song before! They’re totally ripping off Grizzly Bear. Twenty years… before… Grizzly Bear existed…(cough).”

I’ve blogged about Grizzly Bear in the past. I really, really like them. And the fact their song “Shift” sounds eerily similar to “Dying” doesn’t piss me off or anything. Zillions of bands wear their influences on their sleeves. I think more than anything I was just surprised GB would listen to/ be influenced by XTC. They’re both such different bands; and granted, it’s a dark song, but XTC has a general sound more akin to say the  New Pornographers, or my favorite band, Decemberist Cab for Shins-y. I know it sounds stupid, but discovering this made me feel like I found some sort of link in the Grand Musical Universe that would have otherwise gone completely unseen.

What do you think? Decide for yourself:

XTC – Dying – 1986

Grizzly Bear – Shift – 2007

A Big, Beautiful Mess

April 5, 2009

HOT DAMN

Twenty-four hours from now the 2009 baseball season will be upon us. I can’t wait!

The beginning of the six month long marathon of fandom holds additional significance, in that, with baseball comes warm weather. And with warm weather come those beautiful,  life-affirming few months in Chicago that Mother Nature doles out as reward for your patience through yet another dark, blustery winter. Gah! Hate winter. Even though i come from a state that prides itself on not letting the tight-clenching grasp of winter get in the way of ahem, “fun winter activities“, I’ve never been one to embrace the cold. I merely tolerate it.

Long story short: good times are on the PT horizon. Nothing but long bike rides, movies in the park, and meals eaten alfresco. And, of course, baseball. In fact, Easter Sunday will be spent in the nosebleeds at US Cellular Field with AllysonD.

I wanted to take a little time to write about the building that is home to a majority of my baseball-related memories. After years of playing host to over two thousand Minnesota Twins home games, 2009 marks the final season the Twins play in the The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

metrodome-roof-view

It’s hard to believe a stadium only one year older than I am is so incredibly unfit for baseball  the Twins felt it necessary to build a new ball park just down the street for hundreds of millions of dollars. But, if the DomeFan in me takes a step back, I realize the Metrodome was never fit to be a baseball stadium. Either way, growing up, I love going to the Metrodome. Even though it’s ugly as sin, it’s such an incredibly unique space, one can’t help walking through passageway from the concourse to the seats, looking around at the vast green, blue, and (dirty) white area and say “Huh. Really? Baseball? Here? Sweet?”.

I have no scintillating tales of catching foul balls, witnessing  no-hitters, or getting my favorite player’s autograph; but with every ho-hum game I’ve attended throughout the years comes a distinct Metrodome Memory.

I attended my first Twins game–and a bulk of my early Twins games– with my dad (side note: my parents divorced when I was young and I rarely saw my dad). I remember 8 year-old me, nervously spewing every baseball player name and accompanying statistic to fill the awkward silences between my father and me. After one game, we went out to the parking lot to try and get player’s autographs. All I really wanted was Kirby Puckett to sign my glove. No dice. The only signature i came up with was that of then-current WCCO News Sportscaster Ralph Jon Fritz. My dad had loudly and embarrassingly flagged him down (the only person to do so in the crowd of fifty or so) and got him to sign some piece of paper from his pocket.  He gave it to me, and I was as confused about having RJ Fritz’s autograph then as a child as I am now as an adult. Pretty sure, it’s still in a shoebox somewhere.

metrodome1When I was about 10, my neighborhood friend Peter brought his birthday party guests to a Twins game. It was the first experienced the thrill of sitting behind home plate.. from one of the last rows in the upper deck. Either way, I thought it was SO cool to be able to look over the whole field form that angle. On the way home, Peter’s dad surprised him with a few packs of baseball cards to open on the ride back to Saint Paul. Even though it was Peter’s birthday, I remember feeling pissed at this fatherly gesture. Each one of us in the card seriously collected baseball cards; and for us kids to be crammed into the back seat of a red Subaru station wagon, forced to watched Peter open pack after pack of baseball cards, was borderline torturous.

In seventh grade, my mom had scored tickets to opening day through her work. I took 3 of my friends along for the afternoon. We promptly went to the very top row in the stadium and timed how long it took to walk around the entire Metrodome.

My most recent venture to the Dome was two years ago. My friend Dan, who’s mother gets amazing seats for games through her business, invited me to sit in like the seventh row. The Twins played an awful game; but the night wasn’t completely lost. We all headed over to the amazing Nye’s Polonaise Room after the game.

Although I can’t wait for the Twins to open their sweet-assed new outdoor ballpark next year, I’m going to miss the shitty confines of the Metrodome. Minnesota Twins baseball to me has become ingrained in paying $4 for nosebleed seat which leaves you with a vicious neck ache. It’s hard to know how to react when a home to so many childhood memories becomes a such a relic. Even if said relic is the biggest eyesore in professional sports.

RIP, Buddy.

metrodome-803711