Saturday, March 26, 2011

Random Thoughts: When My Dreams of Being a Writer Were Crushed

When I was growing up, the only thing I ever thought about was being a professional baseball player.  I had dreams of being the starting shortstop for the San Diego Padres, make millions and then spend the rest of my life partying.  However, when I realized that I could not hit, and I was a sloth in the field, I figured it was time to pick a new goal.

I was one of the few 10 year-olds that read the sports page and Sports Illustrated cover-to-cover.  The more that I read, the more I realized that this was the profession that I wanted.  On career day, I told everyone that I would be a beat writer for the Padres, and have several articles published.  Everyone else wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or movie star.

Fast forward to 2001, my sophomore year, at Grossmont High, in La Mesa, CA.  I stepped foot into my journalism class, excited to become a "published" writer.  I was in the class that was responsible for producing our schools newspaper.  I had many ideas about articles that I could write for the sports page.  2,000 people would see my sports opinions, and it would be the start of a great career.

Our first assignment was to come up with ten story ideas from the paper.  Naturally, all of the ideas were about sports, some about professional sports, and a few about the teams at the High School.  The teacher rejected them all.  I was assigned to write a story about our school's poor attendance.  A quite compelling read.

After I submitted a riveting 500 word feature, it was cut down to an anonymous 134 word opinion piece, relegated to the bottom of page 4.  A little discouraging, but perhaps I just needed better ideas.

So I sat down at my desk and tried to bang out some new ideas.  The NFL season was fast approaching, and I figured a preview of the upcoming season would be a good read.  I even submitted a few ideas about news around the school.  Seven more ideas, all were rejected.  Again I was assigned a story about teenage drinking.  Blah,blah,blah,we have all heard that before.

After six long, discouraging weeks, I was finally assigned a story about sports, although it was about surfing.  Anyone who has seen me with my shirt off, knows that I do not have the slightest interest in this sport.  However, it was a sports article, so i tried to be enthusiastic about the article, and I feel I did a good job on it, researching the sport, and talking to a few avid surfers; the article was never published.

My next sports assignment was to write a story on our school's placekicker, who happened to be a female.  I figured this would be a great story, it is not every day that you see a woman on the gridiron, even if she was just a kicker.  The teacher set up a time for me to interview her after practice one afternoon.  While conducting the interview, this girl was a complete bitch, and actually made fun of me a few times.  The tone of my article completely changed.

I went to the sports editor, a kid named Robbie, and told him the teacher had approved my article; I left out the part about the teacher never seeing it.  The article I wrote was about how it is was fitting that our female player was a kicker, since kickers are barely football players anyway.  I also ripped her for missing two extra points in a game our school lost, 21-20.

When the article came out, the males complimented me, the girls thought I was a sexist, and a female kicker, wanted to attempt a field goal on my scrotum.  More importantly, the teacher ripped me and Robbie a new one.  He also gave me a zero, and I barely passed the class because of it.  The teacher also gave me random fluff pieces, and didn't allow me to write any more opinion pieces.  My writing passion was effectively neutered, by one sci-fi nerd who hated sports.  This same teacher, who was at at least 50, dressed up as Spider-Man all four years of my High School career.  The only balls this guy played with, were his own.

Partly because of this clown, I gave up writing, and decided to think about pursuing a different career.  I always dreamed of majoring in journalism at UCLA, instead I was a business major at Grossmont College, a JC that was four miles from my house.  My dream effectively died that day in 2001, and I took the safe way out.

This blog that I started back in August was just a way for me to express myself, and goof on people.  Slowly, I am starting to believe that I can make a living by writing.  I wish I had more of a backbone then, instead of letting some nerd tell me I had no talent.  Anyway, I believe that everything happens for a reason, and my path will be a little different that I had planned as a child.  Bottom line, do not let people dictate your life, do the things you want to do.  Don't let the opinions of idiots control your every move.  You will be much happier that way.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Douchebag of the Week: Cameron James Spurlock

This story, brought to my attention yesterday, is one of the more disturbing things I have seen in a while.  Spurlock, a 21 year-old volunteer at the Lowry Park Zoo in the Tampa Bay area, was arrested yesterday, for lewd acts with a child.

Spurlock, was just finishing his shift as a volunteer at the zoo, when he took a trip to the bathroom.  While there, he allegedly pulled down the pants of 9 year-old boy, and fondled the child, then fondled himself.  The kid escaped from the bathroom, told his parents, and Spurlock was promptly arrested.

Normally this story, while horrendous, wouldn't be a national story, yet it is for one reason:  Spurlock suffers from elephantiasis, which is obvious from his mugshot, which makes him look like a cross between Rocky Dennis and the mask of Michael Myers.

I love making fun of people, but making fun of someone with a physical deformity is not my style, although when it comes to pedophiles, all bets are off.  The guy deserves to suffer the same fate as all child molesters in my opinion:  castration.  Can you imagine the therapy bills this kid is going to have now?  Not only was he molested at the zoo, one of my favorite places to visit as a child, but it was done by a Rocky Dennis look-alike, making the event that more traumatizing.

Hopefully Spurlock will do some time, and maybe meet an eligible in the slammer.  Then again, judged upon that mugshot, I'm guessing that Spurlock's sphincter will not be a hot commodity in the shower.  Hopefully for his sake, they allow paper bags in jail.

Cameron James Spurlock, pedophile, circus freak, and now he is the Douchebag of the Week!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Case for Tim Stauffer to Start Opening Day

As baseball season inches closer to the start of the regular season, the San Diego Padres are one of the few teams that have yet to name an opening day starter.  Last year's Opening Day starter, Jon Garland, is now pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Chris Young, who started the second game of the year, is now a Met.

While the Padres lack a true "number one," their rotation should be very good.  With their top two starters missing from last year, the Padres will have a new opening day starter in 2011.  The obvious choice is 23-year-old Mat Latos, who put up a solid 2.92 ERA and won 14 games in 2010.  However, Latos has struggled this spring, and having him start Opening Day, may put added pressure on the young pitcher.

Newly acquired Aaron Harang has the most experience, as he has started the last five Opening Day's for the Cincinnati Reds.  But Harang, is coming off a terrible 2010, and looks like he will start the opener at Petco Park.

However, if I were Bud Black, I would hand the ball to Tim Stauffer.  Stauffer, still just 28, has been through a lot in his young career.  He was written off a few years ago, after injuries and ineffectiveness looked poised to list him in the long category of Padres draft busts.  When injuries dogged the rotation in 2009, he pitched well, putting himself back in the Padres plans.  His 2010 solidified his place on the Padres rotation.

When the Padres placed Stauffer in the rotation in August, he was arguably their best pitcher down the stretch, putting up a 2.57 ERA.  His last start was an absolute gem, as he gave up just 1 run in 6 2/3 innings against the Giants, allowing the team to play a meaningful game on the final day of the season.  His spring stats have also been quite good as well.

Stauffer has overcome so much in his young career, and taking the mound March 31st in St. Louis would be an ultimate victory for those who never quit grinding.

Bam Margera Gets Beaten by a Woman....Again

Jackass star Bam Margera was in the news today, although not for getting branded, or eating cow shit.  Nope, Bam was attending the SXSW festival in Texas, when a group of drunken idiots(I'm assuming) began to harass him.

Bam then targeted a fat girl in the group, and called her a "sea otter" and "beached whale."  He also said that she should "be in Alaska, and not in Texas, because she is a whale."

The woman's friend knocked Bam to the ground, and the beached whale delivered the knockout blow, sending Bam to a seven minute nap.  However, this is not the first time Bam got a beatdown from the hands of a lady.

Just last year, Margera was attacked by a 59-year-old lady brandishing a baseball bat.  The attack led to a trip to the intensive care unit.

Over the years of television, and the three Jackass films, Margera has hurt himself dozens of time.  Crashing into buildings, having his ass branded, being shot with marbles, no matter what he always gets right back up and takes more abuse.

In the last two Jackass films, the other members of the idiot clan have had a good time with Margera's serious phobia with snakes.  If there is a fourth film, the most comical thing to do, would be to put Bam in a pit with a fat chick, and a crazy old lady holding a baseball bat.  The scene would be a big hit!