This post is a couple weeks late. Sue me. I have a series of better-late-than-never posts I’ll be blasting out this week, some going as far back as last October, and take it mind it is now the following August. Derp.
I’ve gone to OTL (Over the Line) a few times before but this was the first time I have ever actually played in the official event on Fiesta Island.
For those of you not from San Diego, if I had to explain OTL or Over the Line in a nutshell, it’s basically poor man’s baseball, played on the sand, with a smaller field, just 3 players per team, and with no gloves. Your own teammate pitches you a ball, which you then attempt to hit over the line to get “a man on base”. Hit the ball over the last fielder’s head fora home run. For the official rules in all their splendor, go yonder.
Now, that’s just the official part. The cultural part, or the uniquely San Diegan part of the sport that makes participating so much fun is the drinking involved, the decked out wagons, and the outfits. But best of all are the outrageous team names people give themselves which are so vulgar, raunchy, and hilarious it makes Deadpool pale by comparison.
I had the honor of being asked by my good friends Brett and Ryan to play on their team this year when a spot opened up, and our team name was “Any Hole’s a Goal”. Which is true. However this was Disney-rated compared to some of the other team names out there. Most memorable to me were:
HA HA HA I gave you AIDS
If everyone has herpes it’s like no one has herpes
That’s not bird shit in your wife’s hair
You can’t make this shit up. Well, I can’t. But San Diego is clearly home to some of the funniest people in the world. It’s what makes us American’s finest city.
I’ll be honest, I was super nervous about playing. For one, I suck at sports. Yeah, I can just admit it. I didn’t play a whole lot of sports growing up and to this day I can hardly make contact with a golf ball to save my life. So a week before the event we had ‘team practice’. They say you’re supposed to practice the way you play, so naturally the three of us had to bring a couple dozen beers. After straight up missing the ball like 10 times I finally made contact and from there it was like riding a bike. I wasn’t gonna Mark McGwire anything out of the park but I could consistently get the ball over the line and away from fielders. Good enough. Hey, any hole’s a goal, right?
A couple possibly broken fingers later and I think we were all ready to dominate next Sunday.
Well next Saturday I had a wedding. Not only that I was in the wedding, so I was in for a long haul. I had to walk that fine line between getting trashed at a wedding and not drinking so much I couldn’t wake up at 4:50am the next morning to drag my ass to the playing field. I managed.
So… how did we do? We dominated! No we didn’t. We lost 2 for 2 but we sure as hell went down swinging. I think our first game we lost by one point, something like 4-5. And… I won’t even share the score for our second game.
But either way I had a blast. I would definitely do it again, and I even have some ideas for a kick ass OTL wagon I want to get started on for next year. Brett and Ryan, thanks for the invite! Looking forward to OTL 2017!
BTW, I realize I have no photos of our actual team on here. We suck at taking pictures. Will try to see if anyone else took any and add later!
Two days ago on Friday, May 27, 2016 I attended a Donald Trump presidential rally in San Diego, California at the Convention Center. It was a big deal for me because although this will be the fourth presidential election I’ll have had the opportunity to vote in, this is the first time I have ever done something remotely political aside from express my views online. None of the other elections really mattered to me like this one does, and I was surprised to find out that in this regard, I was not alone.
I’m 29 going on 30 this October, and almost none of my friends had ever been to a presidential rally, or political rally or protest, including my friend Brett who invited me and is the same age as me. That’s not so shocking. But I was shocked that people twice my age had never been to one. A guy I spoke to at the trolley station was in his mid 50’s and this Trump rally was the first time he’d ever ‘gotten involved’ in politics if you would call it that. A dozen or so other people I chitchatted with while I was in line shared a similar experience. Something about this election has awoken a sleeping populace of people who normally would be content to stay in the bleachers, but this time around felt inclined to get on the field.
The media narrative is that republicans are all white, racist, straight men. This is the narrative I’ve been told for years and even thought I always considered it bull, it’s been drilled into me for so long that I can’t help but admit I’ve come to believe the lies the media propagates, even the one’s they’ve said about me. So I will again admit I was surprised at the diversity of the crowd at and around the Trump rally and people donning Trump gear. I saw signs depicting Veterans for Trump, Hispanics for Trump, Women for Trump, Gays for Trump, Chinese Americans (heart) Trump. I knew I should have brought my “Secular Jews for Trump” sign, damnit! I saw (what my bigot eyes believed to be where) a lot of Hispanics, Asians, Filipinos, whites, women, young adults, and seniors. Admittedly not a lot of black people but there were some. Granted, San Diego is only like 6% black.
Security was super tight. SDPD and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department had one hell of a show of force outside the convention center. We had to show our tickets to, and go through three levels of security before even being let into the building. Once inside the building we had to wait in line once more, this time going through a metal detector, with security being performed by the Secret Service and TSA.
Side note here, and please excuse my French: Here’s a big FUCK YOU to the mustached, douchebag, fat shit of a TSA agent who was a total asshole to me when I was emptying my pockets before going through the metal detector.
While I was waiting in line and once we got into the main event I got the tail end of Sarah Palin giving some speech about who knows what. I am not a huge Sarah Palin fan. She kind of reminds me of a 4 year old dressing in their parents clothes pretending to be a grown up, and her speech was no better. I had no idea what she was talking about. Something about snakes and lions and boots up asses. She kind of sounded like a seagull. Listen to her screech of a speech here.
There were A LOT of people inside. About 15,000. There were a couple rabble rousers but they were quickly ousted. Most of Trump’s speech was pretty on beat with his normal stuff, except for about 30 minutes where he droned on and on about some lawsuit he’s involved with right now concerning Trump University. I started to doze off. But aside from that I really enjoyed his speech. I can see how it’s a little easier for Trump to wander off topic than past presidential candidates. One has to remember that he is really the only big ticket candidate in decades who has a great deal of business going on outside the world of politics. Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, John McCain, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, these are all people who at the time of running were pretty much, solely politicians. When all you do is eat, drink, breath, and bleed politics it’s probably pretty easy to keep the conversation to politics. But remember, Trump isn’t a politician and other aspects of his professional life are bound to occasionally seep through in his speeches.
One of the things I liked about Trump’s speech is despite that fact that he might not have the favor of everyone in the country I get the vibe he legitimately wants to help everyone in the country, not simply his constituency. I feel like the typical left pander tactic is “vote for me and I’ll tax the shit out people who voted for the other guy and use their money to fund things my constituents care about”, whereas Trump plays more to the tune that our nation as a whole – and everyone in it – is getting taken advantage of on a global scale, with the exception of the political elite on both sides who have rigged the system.
Trump was quick to call attention to the media booth and rally scorn and boos in their direction. Which I kind of liked. He called out a federal judge by name. He called out other politicians and wheels of the system. He doesn’t allow people to hide behind their position, or their title, or the party, or their affiliations or status or prestige or privilege. He is not afraid to point fingers and name names. I loved it, but others consider it un-presidential. The irony is that for years and years the same people have done nothing but complain about how Washington politics are corrupt, how both political parties are in cahoots and playing the American public for fools, how we’re tired of these career politicians who have been in office for decades. And America got what it asked for. Someone with no political experience, who isn’t beholden to any political party and low and behold, he isn’t particularly presidential. Unlike most of us he has actually changed his registered political party several times over the past couple of decades showing that he votes according to issues, not according to party.
Once the event was over, organizers purposefully had the Trump attendees exit from the north end of the convention center to direct them away from the group of Anti Trump protestors at the south end, in an attempt to curtail any inter-group commotion.
I will admit that I was a little curious about the prospect of there being a counter rally. For months now I’ve heard of anti-Trump groups creating disturbance and inciting violence at or around Trump rallies. Just a few days prior to the San Diego rally, things got pretty out of control in Anaheim, another Southern California city just a hopscotch a way from San Diego. Just as I had never been to a political rally before, I also had never firsthand seen a riot or protest, and certainly never seen civil unrest. It definitely crossed my mind that something might go down.
Local law enforcement had different plans. Unlike me they had no interest in seeing any uncivil commotion and pretty much had the area surrounding the convention center on lock down well in advance of the event itself. Law enforcement closed all roads immediately in front of the convention center as well as several trolley tracks. This was coupled with hundreds of those portable event fences that link together, and those large orange traffic barricades. There were members of the San Diego Police Department as well as the Sheriff’s Department. In terms of actual manpower, I think there were in the neighborhood of 150 SDPD, and another 50-70 from the Sheriff’s department.
The SDPD were wearing their signature all black uniforms. While some were in street attire with modest equipment like batons, others were in riot gear, with the riot helmets, riot vest, shin guards, zip-tie cuffs, and the occasional AR-type rifle. The Sheriff’s department in their version of OD green was almost entirely decked out in full battle rattle. A couple of them had those paintball guns with the chili powder balls.
I’ll admit I was kiiiiinda looking forward to seeing some crazed protestor hop the fence and get pelted just for the novelty of the experience. I suppose if I want to see that I need to go to LA County.
The next day when I read the news online, there were reports saying there were 1,000+ violent protestors. Uhhhh. The most I spotted were like 120 people crammed into an area the size of my 1400 square foot house, right before the event started, and they were totally outnumbered by the pro-Trump people. Perhaps we missed some action while we were inside the event itself. It was actually pretty pathetic and a bit of a let down. I wanted to see some action!
The authorities had the place on lock down from the get go – the really nipped any plans for violent protest in the bud. There were still a couple dozen or so protestors but at least while I was street side it was pretty harmless. They were so severely outnumbered by the pro-Trump rally members that even their chants were drowned out by the opposing pedestrians. Proving what we already knew, that San Diego is still America’s finest city.
All in all it was a fun experience. I am glad I did it. I can certainly see how going to these types of things is energizing. You can feel the excitement in the air as people waited to see him. The organizers did a fantastic job with security and herding the crowds around the event. Law enforcement did an amazing job keeping the peace. Trump’s performance was routine, and as expected. If Trump gets elected this will be the first time I ever saw a U.S. president. I’ve never seen Obama in person, or Bush, or anyone else for that matter so this might turn out to be quite the experience.
My interest has been piqued lately by a resurgence of the wage debate. Unions and labor forces across the U.S. have been staging protests over how much fast food workers should be paid per hour. This wage debate is nothing new. It’s been going on for years, decades, even centuries. See the French Revolution. In the U.S. this debate seems to flare up every couple years, and not coincidentally before election season.
A friend of mine recently posted on a link on Facebook about a recent San Diego fast food workers’ protest, which prompted a quick and furious online argument on his wall about the issue. But I am not here today to talk politics, or weigh in on this issue.
What caught my attention was that in the midst of all the arguing, my friend made a peripheral point that if people cannot afford to live on their current wage, that there are a number of solutions to their problem. If they cannot increase their wage, they can decrease their expenses, proposing that they move to an area with a lower cost of living. Mind you, this protest took place and my friend and I live in San Diego, California, so that narrows down the list of “Cheaper Places to Live” to practically everywhere else on the planet.
He was instantly hit with backlash. A friend of his shot back at him with, verbatim, “wait, living in San Diego is a privilege? that’s fucking ridiculous – if you were born there or your parents just ended up there before you, yanno, grew up, that’s a privilege, and you should move?”
I didn’t reply. But my answer to him is “Uh, yeah dude.”
He asked the question as if the rhetorical answer was “Well, um gee, when you phrase it that way, no I guess not.” But the answer is apologetically YES, YOU SHOULD MOVE.
This guy’s thesis is: Once you are born somewhere, living there indefinitely is a RIGHT, not a privilege.
Which is total bullshit, and let me break down why. I won’t use numbers and figures and charts and stats. Let’s break this down using real world practicality.
I for one have always wanted to live by the beach. The cool weather, the quick job to the beach, the smell of ocean, the drunk college kids puking on my front lawn. Okay, aside from that last part, I’ve always wanted to live by the beach, but I couldn’t because it just wasn’t practical. Okay, you only live once, blah blah. But at the end of the day, paying an extra $200 per month on rent just wasn’t financially practical in my college years. By the age of 24 I had already learned that living where-ever-the-heck-I-want is not a right, was is in fact a privilege.
On a very micro-level, every responsible person chooses where they do and don’t live, based on what is financially feasible. If you have ever been on the market for a new home, and been hunting for the right house with a real estate agent, you know what I mean. One house is perfect. Maybe it has the big garage you’ve always wanted, it’s got a great view of the canyon, a pool, it’s in a good school district, or maybe it’s a 5-mile commute from your office. But reality kicks in. “Honey I’m sorry, it’s just out of our price range.”
Now, shit’s about to get real. Show of hands, whose ancestors were born in the US? Most of our relatives at some point or another migrated here from abroad. Every year thousands of people leave their countries and migrate to the United States to call this country their new home. Some come from as close as Mexico like my grandparents did. Some come from as far as Russia, Asian, Africa, and the Middle East. Why do you suppose this is?
I don’t suppose they moved here because they thought the U.S. would offer them a worse life. They moved here because they thought they had more opportunity, could get better pay, land a better job, go to school, send their kids to school, or maybe avoid ethnic persecution. Whatever the reason, they all have something in common: They moved from A to B, because they thought it would bring them a better life.
These people quit their jobs, packed their bags, uprooted their families, moved thousands of miles, across oceans towards a new country, said goodbye to friends, relatives, neighbors, and their homeland, all of whom they’ll probably never see again, all for the shot at a better life. Some of these people cross treacherous deserts and risk death to illegally get hear, which albeit illegal still shows guts, determination, and sacrifice.
These immigrants can do all this, and yet some entitled U.S. born assholes still think living in San Diego, or this city or that city, is a right? Some people still think moving 300 miles out of state, or just to another city with a lower cost of living is unconscionable?
Excuse my French, but that, oh friend of a friend, is in fact fucking ridiculous.