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Little League, big lessons

So the armchair quarterbacks are complaining about the results of the 14-year-old 12-year-old pitching star from the Dominican Republic. I saw one of those "man on the street" interviews with three shmucks who said the children shouldn't be penalized because what's done is done, they're kids, what's the harm.

This, you see, is why morals in America keep on breaking down. I just turned off the local ABC newscast where the anchor finished his report by saying nothing would be done to Danny Almonte because he, too was a victim.

No, he wasn't. He was in on this all the way. He's 14 years old, and he knows it. There isn't a 14-year-old child in the world who wants people to think he's 12 unless there's a great reason for it. And in this case, the reason was being able to outpitch his rivals with the superior strength that comes from being two years older, and coming to the attention of the media, and ultimately baseball scouts. His parents had his, and their future in mind. The Dominican Republic is not known for it's financial opportunities. It is, however, known for its baseball stars.

And Danny boy took advantage of the other kids. There's a huge physical difference between a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old. One can throw 70 mph fastballs. None of the other pitchers in the league came close. Almonte is not a phenom, he's a fraud. And he should be punished. He should be banned from any more organized baseball for some period of time. But I'm betting that as soon as the kid is 17 or so, a major league team signs him for their Class A team. Because American sports owners and promoters think nothing of hiring and promoting criminals, be they convicted rapists being allowed to box again for millions, or football players cleared of murder conspiracy charges because they lied for each other. So they won't even blink at hiring a boy who perpetrated a fraud on the Little League, and on the American public.

In the meantime, there are quite a few truly 12-year-old boys across the nation who are pretty pissed about having lost to a team with an illegal pitching star. And I don't blame them. All we can do is hope that they came out of this with the right lesson learned. For once, winning wasn't everything.--MAY



What a difference a week makes

So last week, I wasn't writing because the events of the past few months finally kicked in and, well, felt like they were kicking me. The walls were closing in and the bills were starting to pile up.

And I didn't write the last couple of days because I was too busy during the day and too tired in the evening.

And the end result of it is: I rejoin the working world next week, after the holiday, doing what I love to do: Web work. It was the fastest interview I ever had. I was hired today about five minutes into the interview.

Some of you might be wondering, "How does this affect us? Does this mean she won't blog any more? Does this mean we'll be staring at the same words day after day, wondering if she'll ever update them? Does this mean she'll stop ragging on John Edward? Does this mean the Fish Heads theory is no longer in effect?" (Ooh, look. I used "affect" and "effect" in the same paragraph! Correctly, even.)

And to all of the above I say: Nuh-uh!

I'll try to keep on blogging on a regular basis. I'll try not to blog at work, but I suspect the temptation to use a T1 instead of a 56k modem might make me forego that pretty soon. There's always lunch hour and after hours.

And I will never, ever stop ragging on my favorite fraud and musical hack.--MAY



Shameless Plug, the next chapter

My friend Kim Fryer just had a story, "In a Mirror," published by Strange Horizons, an online SF magazine. Check it out, it's a great story. Timely, too. I recently read an article on a quantum theorist who insists there are billions of alternate universes.

Just one more thing

Nah, that's all I wanted to say.



Of human bondage

I wrote two blogs in my head this afternoon. Or at least, started them. And now I have completely forgotten what they were. Humph.

I think one of them had to do with broken promises. I hate it when someone breaks a promise to me. It's a major sore point. My father used to say, "My word is my bond." But it wasn't. If he made a promise that he didn't really want to keep, he'd change the terms of the promise afterward. Or add strings to it, if there was money involved. The event that comes immediately to mind is when I was accepted into the Clarion writer's workshop. I had enough money for the room and board and tuition, but then I had no money to live on for the six weeks I'd be there. So I asked my dad for a few hundred dollars to help me out. He said yes, then two days before I was set to leave, he changed the terms of the loan to "Yes, but you have to quit smoking". I told him to keep his money and spent the next 24 hours hustling bank loans. When he found out I was willing to pay 17 percent interest rather than submit to his terms, suddenly his terms became, "I didn't mean it. Here, take my money, interest-free." He threw in a New York Marathon t-shirt that I had admired for ages and had begged him for. It was his guilt-gift, his way of saying "I'm sorry."

One of the main reasons I quit smoking--besides the fear of cancer--is because I gave my word. My cousin and I had a deal: He'd go on a diet and I would quit smoking. Every other time I'd quit before that, the only one I'd promised was myself, and I realized years ago that the only person I can break a promise to is me. But this time, I shook hands and gave my word to another person that I would stop smoking. So every time I wanted to walk into a convenience store and get a pack of cigarettes, I'd hear the echo of my father's words. And since I loathe hypocrisy, I'd fight the urge to smoke. It was the element I'd needed all along. Three and a half years next week, and I've kept my word.

But it's a two-edged sword. I've blurted out promises that I never should have made, and kept them even though I really didn't want to. Gotta watch that in the future. It might get me into trouble some day.

But then again, I can say in all honesty: My word is my bond.--MAY



I still OU lots of weblogs

That sounds like the sequel to a slasher flick. Wow. What a great dictionary Microsoft Word has. It doesn't know the word "slasher". But then, I've always known how much word processing dictionaries and thesauruses suck, and it's been a recurring theme with me. I suppose that's because I seem to have a larger vocabulary than the Microsft dictionary. Come to think of it, I do know more words than the Microsoft programs. That's what comes of reading from the time I was three years old.

Oh. So the promised weblogs. Well, I was going to do them tonight, but then instead of sitting down and writing, I wound up at my neighbor's son's birthday party, which was a lot of fun, what with there being about half a dozen kids aged two to thirteen, and noise, and ice cream cake, and Jiffy Pop (which I popped, and which proved that I've still got it: Not a single burned or unpopped kernel. You didn't know that my brothers used to demand that I make the Jiffy Pop every time, did you? They knew that I was the expert in the family. Ha!)

But I did do the site maintenance earlier today, so now all I have to do is get some time to write the blog I was going to write, instead of--hey. This is a blog. So what are you complaining about, huh? As we say in New Jersey: Shaddap already!--MAY



IOU lots of weblogs

I know, I know. It's been nearly a week, and I've written nothing. It's been a rough week for me. I'll take a bunch of time tomorrow to do site maintenance and write up something good. I think I'll give you that blog about search engine phrases I promised you a while back. I've been getting some interesting hits via Google, and I'm extremely proud to say that the words "John Edward fraud" are the top phrase that leads people from Google's search engine to me. I hope they also click on my links for proof of his Fraudwardness.

Hm. I'm starting to think that bashing Edward isn't as much fun as it was in the beginning. Maybe I'm doing it too often.


If people read my blog and then determine for themselves that he's a joke, I call it a job well done.

Regarding Gracie

To update the blog from last week, Gracie's just fine after getting her latest steroid shot, and yes, I did wind up getting very little sleep Sunday night due to waking up every hour or two to check that she was still breathing. And Roxy is extremely happy his family is back home. And so am I. He practically stopped eating his cat food the last couple of days, but this afternoon I saw him sitting under a tree, eating something. When I went to investigate, I discovered that he was eating a mouse. A dead one. That he had obviously captured and killed. It was truly disgusting. I was truly sorry I saw it. But it did make me realize that Roxy will never starve. He may be fourteen and nothing but skin and bones, but he can still hunt with the best of 'em, apparently.

Next time I see him eating something outside, though, I don't believe I'll move in for a close-up.--MAY