Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Other Archives - Twin Letters

I re-found these again two weeks back, as I was cleaning up the junk that's accumulated upstairs.

You're going to wonder what motivated me to do this, but I don't have an answer for you. I guess it was a time in my life where I felt like strange and wonderful things were there for the taking, maybe, possibly -- probably not, but possibly -- if you took a shot in the dark.

Anyway, here's the letters I wrote May 26, 2001 to Doug Mientkiewicz and Joe Mays, care of the Minnesota Twins. A similar letter to Matt Lawton (or Tom Kelly? I can't recall.) is lost to the ages. This will go without saying, but neither letter prompted return correspondence.

* * *

Dear Mr. Mientkiewicz,

Hello. My name is [dn]. I'm a 21 year old student from Kansas.

It's hard to believe I was only 11 years old back in 1991, but mathematics are certainly hard to argue with. Perhaps it's so hard to believe because my memory of that Fall seems so vivid. Sitting on an old but well-kept brown sofa, I watched the Twins take on the Braves for seven games in the World Series. I watched from my grandparents' basement, and when I wanted to jump up and cheer in response to Kirby Puckett's amazing defense or Brian Harper's collision with Lonnie Smith I couldn't, lest I wake my sleeping grandparents. Weeks leter, my dad bought me a T-shirt proclaiming the Twins championship, which I wore proudly until its many holes rendered it unfit for its purpose.

This was the beginning of my life as a Twins fan. Now, a decade later, I find myself drawn to Minnesota once again, this time as an aside to baseball. In the fall, I will begin graduate school. [...] These past few weeks since I learned of my acceptance into the program have been exciting and anxious, as I've tried to sort out moving plans, where to open a bank account, and, most importantly, where to live in the Twin Cities. It was while I was searching for apartments on the internet that I realized just how near each other the Metrodome and my new school actually are: this was my inspiration for the letter you are reading now.

It makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it -- why not ask Doug Mientkiewicz if you can live at his house? He seems to be a down-to-earth guy; and sure, he doesn't have a high-priced major-league contract, but he's got to have a house, right? When you think about it, really, it's more stupid not to ask Doug Mientkiewicz if he has a spare room available for rent.

I could help around the house! I could do the dishes. I could take out the trash. I could buy the groceries or do the laundry. I'm a young, able-bodied college student, and if you could find me a place in the Mientkiewicz home, I'd be at your service. Plus, I'm happy to pay rent. An alternative plan may be to find me some living arrangements in the Metrodome; I could run your fan club from one of its offices!

I realize this is a lot to ask a person, which is why I'm sure you won't find it surprising that I have taken the initiative to write some of your teammates as well. This is simply to increase my odds of getting a response, and I hope you will not feel that it detracts from the sincerity of my request or the genuineness of my appreciation for you as a player.

Finally, I want to thanks you for being a part of this 2001 Twins team, a team that has given fans like myself reason to cheer once again. I truly hope that you will continue to enjoy your career as much as the recent article in ESPN the magazine indicates you are presently, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future.

Thank you for your time,

* * *

The letter to Joe Mays is identical, save for a few choice moments:

I won't lie to you, Mr. Mays. I knew nothing of you before this season. As luck would have it, however, I joined a fantasy baseball league with some friends, and I was looking for a solid pitcher one day a few weeks into April, and there you were. Joe Mays is the ace of the [dn]'s Destroyers pitching staff, and as a Twins fan I couldn't be happier.

Granted, I know you owe me nothing, even if I had enough faith in you to pick up your contract in the fake, computerized baseball world. Nevertheless, I appeal to this faux relationship between us when I ask: Can I live at your place?

...for all I know, you live in a house with a few extra rooms and may be intrigued by my request. Please be assured I would be happy to pay rent -- not only that, but I feel that I would be a real asset to the household by mopping the floors or running errands and so on.

* * *

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shady Beach 5.1

Poor job by me on the previous post. I failed to mention several trip highlights.


Kim, Gav, and I were the first to arrive at the campground. As we used the phone book I always keep in my trunk to start the campfire, we suffered through an entire Nickelback CD, courtesy of adjacent rednecks. Part of that same crew would wake us up late that night with screams of "WHY DON'T YOU HELP ME FIND MY FUCKING INHALER?!", etc.


A bull carcass, half submerged, was stuck in the Elk River opposite a popular sandbar. No one noticed it at first, as it blended in well with the rocky shore. Just one example of the animal and human waste that ends up in that river.


Saturday, among other things, I consumed:
two small cans of spicy V8
half a bag of Oberto Southern BBQ flavored beef jerky
4 Ball Park hot dogs
a third of a bag of garden salsa flavored Sun Chips
The total % daily sodium amount of those items:
20% (estimated, thanks for nothing, Oberto website)
So that's 180% of my daily sodium. Add some other snacks, and the ? beers I consumed, and you know why Shady Beach is best experienced only once per year.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Shady Beach 5: Shady Beach Salvation

Saturday was my fifth consecutive Memorial Day weekend at Shady Beach in southwest Missourah. If you click the "Shady Beach" label at the bottom of this post, you can read about previous years' racism, nudity, homophobia, and various drunken exploits.

This year, the float trip had a different feel. The bus ride upstream was slow and steady rather than fast and terrifying. The people we met along the way -- the older couples distributing jello shots, the pale and skinny youth (who was apparently just released from the hospital) who sung the praises of his old pit bull/dachshund mutt -- were kind and strangely "normal".

In a disappointing flip of circumstance, the awful folks we have become accustomed to seeing near the Ozarks were not on the river. They were in our campground. Yelling. Cheering a passing truck with a rebel flag flying from the bed. Shouting, "WHY DON'T YOU HELP ME FIND MY FUCKING INHALER??!!" in the wee hours. I can't recall all the horrible conversations that kept me up at night. Perhaps they'll be noted in the comments.

But aside from our bad neighbors, the river was good to us. Brian was happy to be back at Shady Beach.

And happy to be enjoying Red Grape MD20/20.

But terribly disappointed in the Bush's baked beans.

Gav and Jessica were happy, too, as Gav gave his signature fist pump after a flawless first float.

But Jessica was less happy after sampling the MD.

Grant was loving life, even though his beer of choice was Keystone.

There before any of the cooking utensils arrived, we improvised a hot dog turner from a wire hanger that had sat in my trunk for the last 5 years, waiting for such a need to arise.

And we looked fantastic.

Our pale bodies were unscathed. No one in our group was sunburned. No one got sloppy, pass-out drunk. Rather, we all got fun, stumbly drunk. Like responsible, mature adults. Surrounded by assholes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Work Week - Encore

Some press dropped in way back on a May 1 Casual Friday, and this is the first evidence I've seen.

Have you ever seen someone handling paperwork with such DRIVE? Has anyone outside of fictional Agent Jack Bauer ever meant so much BUSINESS?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Flight Test

I haven't shaved since I fell ill. This toy has been resting next to the TV for some time, taunting me, so:

Air Wolf from chester reboulet on Vimeo.

The RC car I mentioned? It was okay. It could go forward in any direction, but you couldn't turn when moving in reverse. I always thought that was strange.

[Inspiration credit to Annie, whose rare videos are more entertaining and well edited. To wit: this one.]

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I am #1 for "Snoopy Incident". I haven't been this proud since that Googler found me by searching for "I felt a nice penis slide into me".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No Work Week

I'm sick. I spent Monday and Tuesday underneath a blanket, watching:

Many, many commercials the FDA forced the makers of Yaz-brand birth control to broadcast.

Many commercials for the upside-down tomato plant thingamajig, which I refuse to mock, because I do love a fresh tomato.

An episode of Hogan's Heroes where the POWs foiled yet another Nazi plan for dominance.

The new Onion video

Pentagon Reports Army Mascot 'Liberty' Killed in Iraq

Every episode of Party Down available via Netflix's instant streaming. Recommended. I mean, I recommend Hogan's Heroes, too, and the episode of Bonanza I just sat through was fine, but you'd probably be more interested in Party Down.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Work Week - Working 'Til The Weekend

Tomorrow was going to be my first full day off since 4/19, but I'm going to spend a few hours with statistical analysis software. Then Saturday I'll be off for realz.

Myself and a billion other authors were credited in a new article.

Whatever poor sap(s) wrote the thing have to be pumped about their practically anonymous effort.