Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Brewers

I can't stop getting spam from the fucking Milwaukee Brewers. The madness needs to stop. I decided to write a letter to the guy at the top...


Jim Bathey
Vice President Consumer Marketing
Milwaukee Brewers
One Brewers Way
Milwaukee WI 53214


I made a grave mistake this May I would like to tell you about. Foolishly, I purchased four (4) tickets to see your organization play my beloved San Francisco Giants on Memorial Day weekend at Miller Park. Through the technological marvel that is the World Wide Web (a.k.a. “the internet”), I was able to have the tickets sent to me via email. What a world of convenience “the internet” has given us. Why, just the other day I purchased a novel, downloaded a free song, and bought a rare Bordeaux all while sitting in my couch in a pair of torn army cargo shorts. It’s a wondrous age my friend, a wonderous age!

The problem is now I find myself on the Brewers Team Shop email list, and I am unable to get off of it. Sure, I followed the directions on five (5) separate occasions to “unsubscribe”, but this has failed to do the trick. I imagine that some young whippersnapper at MLB Advanced Media has dropped the ball. But what can you expect? The young man probably spent a fortune on an education in either Graphic Design, Information Systems, or maybe even the greatest waste of money, a Sports Marketing degree. He thought the world would be his oyster with that college degree I’ll bet. Next thing he knows he is sharing a 75 square foot apartment in Brooklyn with a man named “Horse” that he met on Craig’s List. Even if he can somehow fall asleep while Horse watches German S&M videos, it has to be hard to be vibrant and enthusiastic the next morning at work entering J.A. Happ video highlights on the MLB.com sites for $12 an hour. Why would this young man care about me? His spirit has already been broken.

While I feel for this young fella, ultimately it’s just not my problem. I just want to stop receiving emails every single morning asking me if I want to buy some Milwaukee Brewers crap. I don’t live in Milwaukee. I don’t like the Brewers. In fact, at this point when I receive a Brewers email, it makes me wish a cobra would bite Rickie Weeks in the eye. I laugh when I think about Prince Fielder (or Mo Vaughn 2) eating himself out of the National League in 18 months. I’m glad Gallardo can’t find the strike zone. It makes me happy that Manny Parra is a bust. I hate those stupid interns that race in those sausage costumes for the delight of the pasty doughy crowds at Miller Park. I’m sick of the whole thing.

So tell me my friend, how do I get off of this email list? What do I have to do to make this madness stop? Do I need to send the Brewers a never ending stream of offers to buy the various crap I can sign them up for? Cialis offers? Mexican Viagra? World War II relics? AOL subscriptions? Do we really need to engage in a war of spam? Who wins then? Who I ask you?

I hope you can finally remove me from this list, and this chapter of my life can finally be closed. When you have done so, please do me the courtesy of letting me know at cwsling@gmail.com .

Warmest Regards,

Greg Miller

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nurse the Hate: The Petting Zoo Story

When I was a kid, I went to the Zoo with my grandparents and mother. I was little, probably about four or five. I never seemed to go to the Zoo unless my grandparents were around. As I reflect back to that time now, I realize that the main reason for that was to find some activity to do while also simultaneously keeping the grandparents out of the gin bottle until at least five. My grandfather was kind of an old school blowhard. I think my father had warned my mother that he would lose it if old Grandpa went on a four martini bender and analyzed all the ways my father was coming up short as a man. I was one of the ground troops in the war for relative sobriety at dinnertime. That led to walking miles and miles at the zoo. It's a perfect day for two elderly people and a pre-school kid. Good times.

I remember one time I was taken to the petting zoo where vindictive looking goats and disinterested looking sheep wandered around a smelly gravel pen. I was walked though a gate, and then my grandfather walked me over to the gumball style machine that spat out little food pellets into a cone. The idea was that kids like me would have a fun and educational time bonding with the animals while feeding them. What actually happened was I was swarmed by angry goats that were as tall as I was, each one nipping me trying to get more of the pellets. It was scary. These goats knew the score. Bully the kids, take the food, and move on until the next victim came through the gate.

You would think my grandfather, grandmother, and mother would have been concerned seeing a young boy overwhelmed by angry goats. This is not the way the Miller family worked, and I was left to survive as best I could with whatever hand fate dealt me. It's every man for himself in the Millers. I vividly recall looking into the eye of one of those nasty ass goats as he repeatedly rammed me with his horns in the shoulders, shoving me backwards with the force. Thinking quickly, I dropped all the pellets on the ground with the idea of running for the exit. It looked like I would have a chance until a few of the goats realized they were going to be left out of the banquet I had dropped, and zeroed in on me either out of hunger or just plain spite. I was getting smacked around on all sides as my grandparents and mother roared in laughter.

To put it in perspective, this would be like if you got caught by the bulls in Pomplona or the Plaza de toros en Madrid. Sure, now I could teach that goat a valuable lesson, but as a spindly little four year old, I was outmatched. Those things were heavier than I was, and coming from all sides. The laughter from my caring family wasn't much for the old morale either. That's when my grandfather bought more food pellets, and reached over the fence to hand them to me back in what had become The Octagon. The madness ratcheted up another notch or two, and I tried to fall back to the gate, dropping pellets in front of the angriest of the goats. It was my childhood Waterloo. It was a retreat filled with shame. I eventually got out, bruised head to toe.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate BMX Man

Maybe I am missing the boat on how fun those BMX bikes are, but every time I see a guy old enough to have facial hair pedal by on one I think, "What a loser." First of all, if you have a beard, you really should have a car. I mean, you don't see guys with mustaches on pogo sticks or Big Wheels, unless of course you are at Burning Man battling a massive dose of magic mushrooms. Even then, there is no reason to be on a children's bike. The pogo stick is probably the way to go if you are going "children's transportation". That's only if there is no Green Machine, but I digress...

Now I am not down on bikes. Far from it. Bike it up I say. Let's say you are a real slacker, or maybe idealistically "green". Fine. Have that bike as your primary transportation, but have one where you can sit and not have your knees around your head. The kind of bike where you can sit atop your little throne seat and fuck traffic up while wearing your special little bike pants and shoes. One that sits high enough so all can look upon your beret or backwards turned Euro Bike Hat. One where you can assume the Moral High Ground on the way to your $7.00 an hour bike messenger job or coffee barrista gig.

I don't know who these men, and let's be honest, they are men, are on these bikes. They are generally wearing giant jeans with very exciting stitching on the giant pockets. These are offset by the white wife beater shirt, or even better, the skinny white trash shirtless look. The smaller, paler, and less developed a poor white kid's chest happens to be is directly proportional to his likelihood to not be wearing a shirt while on a busy downtown intersection. Let's call this the "Insane Clown Posse" effect.

Where in the world can a skinny pale shirtless kid be riding a children's bike to in the middle of the afternoon in a business district of a medium sized American city? Is he going to see his broker to short some bank stock? Perhaps working on a merger and acquisition of a chemical company? Or maybe just looking to see if he can break into my car and steal something for meth money. It's really hard to say for certain.

The path to adulthood is fraught with many perils. There comes a certain time to say goodbye to your little trick bike, and maybe think to yourself "Hey, I look like a clown on this. I should get a job and buy some new pants that fit."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Benefit

Someone I work with asked me to attend a benefit dinner for a woman that was suffering from some unbelievably horrifying disease. I received the quick pitch as I walked by. "Greg, will you come to the benefit we are having on Saturday? Kathy is a friend of my sister's brother-in-law that had to have her leg amputated up to her butt cheek because of bone cancer. The doctors don't think they got it all either. It's really sad."

Now I am not a heartless beast. I agree that this is a terrible situation. I assume that this woman that had half of her ass chopped off is an all-around good egg. Conceptually I can get my arms around having a benefit for her. However, it is hard for me to attend a benefit for someone that I don't know personally, much less the person that invited me doesn't appear to even know either. Since there is a detachment here, can we take a closer look at this idea? Can we start to really think about this "benefit" idea with a cool distant head?

I assume that having your ass chopped off is expensive. The medical bills must be absolutely staggering. It has to be something along the lines of the gross national product of Ecuador. I think it cost me $892 to have someone give me sinus medicine this Spring. The ass chopping procedure has to be killer. Additionally, the Insurance Companies are probably fighting tooth and nail not to pay anything, and I like their odds against a woman that has cancer in her remaining bones. The stricken family probably isn't much help either. Do you think they are outfitted to deal with those hedgehogs on the phones at State Prudential Medical Trust Insurance? "Sorry ma'am, but this illness was pre-existing. What's that? Give you an example of a non pre-existing illness? I'm sorry. The connection just got bad. Hello? I can't hear you. Gotta run. Ta-ta." Those fuckers will grind you. So how do we pay for the medical bills? Let's put a show on at Spanky's Barn! We'll all cook up some food and get a band! Let's help this poor woman! Good intentions, bad probable ending.

The benefit was a home spun effort. Some sort of Lodge Hall was rented out. People chipped in and baked pans of lasagna. Someone cooked pork and cabbage or some shit like that. Keg beer and well liquor were served. Plastic plates and utensils were placed in front of the steam table. A horrible cover band played. The front man made awkward announcements. "We are so sorry to hear about Kathy having half of her ass chopped off, but let's all dance the Watusi!" In the end, $5000-$7000 was probably grossed, with a net of about $3800. What the fuck good is $3800 going to do against $782,000 of medical bills and the never ending "therapy" keeping the meter running until her demise in 2-6 months? It just seems like a colossal waste of time and energy to try and fix the financial situation.

Why not just get all of her close friends together, and have a "We Love Kathy" dinner? If Kathy is up to it, people she actually knows can pay homage to her while she is still able to appreciate how much others care for her. It would be a good way to get a circle of people together and connect for maybe the last time in that way. Why go through the mirage of trying to solve the medical bills? Write that shit off. You can NEVER pay for it. The family and loved ones have enough of a burden with her failing health than to worry about mammoth bills that can't be paid. Why hammer that point home with everyone they know trying to pull together with all their resources and then the result is to come up 97% short? If there was a truckload of money in Elks Halls and local rock bands, wouldn't you see a lot more sports cars drive in to load in gear at clubs as opposed to beat-to-shit cargo vans?

I don't know this woman, and me spending $50 on a plate of ziti in a gloomy Elks Hall isn't going to do her a bit of good. Does Kathy really need some stranger sipping a Bud Light in a plastic cup looking her over and swaying his head back and forth in the "isn't it a shame" gesture? If I had half my ass cut off, I wouldn't want to see some stranger trying to clumsily explain the six degrees of separation of why he/she is here to eat my neighbor's shitty three bean salad and slap me a fifty. The real "benefit" is to avoid that kind of awkward situation for Kathy. I'll give you $50 to get her friends together for strictly a good time though. Forget the bills. Leave all that behind for a night. That's a real "benefit".

Quick Note: I couldn't have been any happier to see LeBron James come up short again. As I have said for years, that guy can't win anything. Bring him on in Space Invaders, checkers, or poker. I will beat his ass in anything but basketball. (I wouldn't be fair for me to play him in hoops, or him to compete vs me in writing a stupid song. Let's keep it fair.) I feel so happy to see a guy that is an obvious dildo not have his schemes come through. Even better, the entire population now considers him as a guy that not only can't play in the clutch, but totally wilts away. Then he lets loose with that "tomorrow you are all losers but I am still me" rant? Awesome! Let's stop all that "He's just a kid" bullshit too. He is 26, and put a giant tattoo across his back of "Chosen One". He refers to himself as "King James". He considers himself above you because he can put a ball in a hoop. Doesn't it feel great to see that kind of guy take shit from all corners? I love it, and I hope he continues to humiliate himself for years to come.