Softball Write-Up For Today:

Both of my teams' (Section J and RELLS) games today were canceled because our opponents did not have enough to field a team, as was my game tomorrow. May I suggest that you do not register a team unless you have enough members to actually play once an a while.

Me In A Pink Tree

Me in a pink tree. No explanation needed.

You may have noticed the t-shirt I am wearing. Yes, it does say Westlaw. And yes, this means that just like this year’s Libel Show, I have officially sold out . And do you know what? I doesn’t feel as bad as all those hipsters make it out to be. I mean, while all the cool kids are going out and spending hundreds of dollars to advertise for companies like Lacoste and Abercrombie and Finch, I am advertising for free. It just makes more sense to let the people who benefit from the publicity front the bill. In fact it makes such sense that I, in my usual fashion of taking my arguments to its ultimate and often absurd conclusion, have decided to completely overhaul my entire wardrobe with free clothing. That is right, if your organization is giving out free t-shirts, let me know, and I will gladly pick one up. I already have a good start, what with my ‘Hoo Crew shirt, my Diversity Pledge shirt, Section J’s softball jersey, and that shirt I got for volunteering for the Admitted Students Weekend. The plan is that by the end of my three years here, I will not have a piece of clothing that does not have the words “University of Virginia” on it or otherwise sport that oh-so-fashionable orange V. I don’t think the plan is to far-fetched either, considering how eager groups are here to give me free shirts.

The one disappointing exception was the libel show, which did not provide their volunteer ushers with those red tops that were on display for so long. Instead, they gave us the opportunity to buy the shirts for three dollars. $3? Please don’t insult me. Ok, $3 is pretty cheap, but lets look at the competition: Admitted Students Weekend Volunteers—free shirts, North Grounds Softball Volunteers—free shirts. Sorry Libel Show, nice try.

Speaking of the Libel Show, despite the high price for volunteer shirts, I greatly enjoyed the program. It really was quite funny, and almost met the standard of UVa humor set by this very blog. If I were to award a “Best Actor” award to someone in the cast, I would have to give it to Socially Insensitive Girl: her performance was so convincing, and I felt so akin to that guy who received no call-backs that I actually felt a well of hatred for her boiling up inside of me and I had to consciously remember the mediator’s reminder to not throw things at the stage. Moving. The one complaint I do have (besides the shirts), is that I was really long. Three and a half hours? come on. Oh sure, it was funny, but a skit show that long, much like making an over-inflated double album (a’hem RHCP), is bound to have some filler, such as that Buddhist Biker Bar Song. I mean, I got that The Buddhist Biker is a bar just like “Cheers” in the first 10 seconds. I didn’t need the whole song. Ok, but now I am getting too critical. The Libel Show was great. 4 1/3 stars out of 5.


Juiced v. Ligers, 10-7

Section J’s second softball game went down today against our Con Law rivals, section I who, in a show of not only terrible spelling, but also the inability to realize that it is no longer 2003, is named the Ligers. Although the Ligers started off strong with four runs in the top of the first, Section Juiced was able to quickly snatch back the lead by the end of the inning. After a few more innings of back and forth runs and an umpire who defended this assertion that even pitches (not mine, of course) that hit our batter were still strikes, Juiced emerged victorious with a final score of 10-7. This win vaulted us into first place (we are the only team in the league who has had 2 games so far). I am also pleased to announce to all of those who think I am merely a defensive player or that pitchers shouldn’t bat, I am still batting 1000.


What Does Mexico Have To Do With My Week?

Now that the deep and cold winter lassitude has lifted from the slumbering hamlet of Charlottesville, UVa is becoming more and more active. Unfortunately, most of said activity revolved around a group of highly-stressed 1Ls frantically scrambling to get those library printers to create their red title pages so they could finish their brief on time, and in my case, also included this particular 1L frantically scrambling to finish his genetics paper on time—even though, the words ‘highly-stressed’ and ‘frantic’ did not really apply in my case for, I coming from a place where the winter lassitude never lifts, I have developed the ability to adopt a wonderful sense of apathy towards a great many things.

Other activities this week include softball, which I have already mentioned, admitted students weekend, where I got to stand in the rain for an hour at 8:00AM, just so I could tell a couple of misdirected students that, “no, you are not allowed to park in this lot,” and our wards “Many Nations” party, where members all brought food from all over the world and we gathered together to happily gorge ourselves on the tastes of the globe (and gorge ourselves we did). Concerning this last activity, I could not help but be reminded of the last such activity, where I was commissioned by my ward in Edmonton to design and man the Mexican table. Sufficiently nostalgic, I looked back trough the dusty files of my computer and was able to find the poster that I created for that event, which I thought was quite clever. (I pretty much think that everything I write is quite clever—hence this blog) Anyway, I have reproduced it below in Internet form, so that you all can enjoy with me my wit and intelligence:

Fifteen Mexicans You Should Know (In Case You Ever Meet Them)

Name: Quetzalcoatl
AKA: The feathered Serpent
Important Dates: Born, ~947 AD
Is Famous As: the white and bearded God that outlawed human sacrifices, much to the dismay of the Aztec priests who believed that without daily human sacrifices, the sun would go out. Often confused with Spanish conqueror, Hernan Cortés.

Name: Montezuma II
Important Dates: Born, 1466
Is Famous As: the last Aztec emperor. Conquered many rival tribes and had a penchant for looting, taxation and murder in the name of religious sacrifices to his favorite God, Huitzilopochtli. He mistook Cortés to be a God and invited him to stay in his fathers palace. Died of stoning, either by the Spanish or Aztecs (depends who you ask).

Name: Eagle
Important Dates: Founding of Tenochtitlan, 1325; Appears on Flag, 1821
Is Famous For: helping the Aztecs found their city. According to Aztec ledged, the Gods told the people to settle where they see an eagle standing on a cactus eating a snake. Unfortunately, they saw the sign in the middle of a lake, but they built their city (present day Mexico City) anyways.

Name: La Malinche
AKA: La Chingada, but don’t call her (or anyone else) this to her face
Important Dates: Born, 1505
Is Famous As: the native princess who betrayed the Aztecs and joined Cortés, serving as his interpreter and mistress. Is the mother of the first Mexican (born of both Spanish and Native parents). Feel free to call any Mexican who betrays you Malinche to leave a powerful impression.

Name: The Virgin of Guadalupe
Important Dates: Appeared, 1531
Is Famous As: the patron saint of Mexico who represents the blending of Spanish and Aztec cultures. Appeared to the native, Juan Diego and, in an innovative printing technique, used rare Spanish roses to imprint her image onto his poncho, which can still be seen in La Basilica de Guadalupe.

Name: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Important Dates: Born, 1651
Is Famous As: one of the most important Mexican authors, who composed hundreds of poems, stories and plays. Was a gifted child became a nun because of the limited carriers available for women at the time, but spent her days reading, picking fights with world-famous theologians and generally infuriating her superiors.

Name: Miguel Hidalgo
Important Dates: Began War of Independence, Sept 15, 1810
Is Famous As: the father of Mexican Independence. Called the peasants to arms by ringing his town’s church bell, thereby beginning the long struggle for independence and making the bell a national symbol, (for which Taco Bell is grateful).

Name: Benito Juarez
Important Dates:Elected President, 1858
Is Famous As:the most loved president of Mexico. In an amazing display of progressiveness, Mexico elected Juarez as the first Full-blooded Native President in America. As President he reformed the constitution and defeated the French in the battle of Puebla, which we now celebrate on Cinco de Mayo.

Name: Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
Important Dates: Elected President, 1833, 1841, 1847, 1850 etc…. (total. 11 times)
Is Famous As: the most hated president of Mexico. The villain of the Alamo, the scoundrel who sold over half of Mexico to the USA and an all-around nutcase (for example, he lost his leg in battle and had an elaborate—and expensive—military funeral for it).

Names: Emilano Zapata and Pancho Villa
Important Dates:Mexican Revolution, 1910
Are Famous As: two of the most important Mexican revolutionaries. In the North, Villa lead a poorly equipped army of mercenaries and criminals and in the south, Zapata lead an army of peasants with machetes. Surprisingly, both were defeated, but not before they were able to make a profound impact that led to more peasant-friendly laws.

Names: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Important Dates: famous, ~1920s
Are Famous As: Mexico’s most famous husband and wife artists, although the term “marriage” should be used loosely because both had more affairs than famous paintings. Were quite eccentric and active communists. They hosted Trotsky during his exile and he was killed in their house with an ice pick (presumably imported from Russia).

Name: Subcomadante Marcos
Important Dates: Beginning of EZLN uprising, 1994
Is Famous As:the mysterious spokesperson for the Zapatista National Liberation Army. A masked, pipe-smoking, lyrical, philosophical, web-savvy, post-modern revolutionary who uses more ink than bullets to fight for indigenous rights in southern Mexico, and has recently began publishing children’s books.

Name: Chivas Vs. Club America
Are Famous As: The biggest soccer rivalry this side of the Atlantic. If you thought the Oilers and the Flames were rivals, most games between these competitors usually ended in a riot and at least one death. So next time you’re the lone fan wearing an Oilers Jersey in the Saddledome, be glad you don’t have to be worried about being beaten with a corner flag.

Name: Felipe Calderon
Important Dates: Elected President, 2006
Is Famous As: The current president of Mexico, whose election was so controversial that he was rapidly sworn in while the legislatives were (literally) duking it out in the National Palace. Succeeded President Fox, whose landmark election ended over 70 years of corrupt, single-party rule

Name: Randal Miller
Important Dates: Mission, Mexico City South, 2001-2003
Is Famous As: the creator the Mexican Booth at International Flag Day, 2005. OK, maybe he isn’t actually Mexican, but, aside from being the best looking on this list he’s probably the only one you will actually meet.


Softball's Back

Spring is in the air. The temperature is rising (to a whole 26 degrees Celsius yesterday), the trees are budding and North Grounds Softball is back. That’s right—its time to dust off the ‘ol Juiced Jersey, import that glove you have been using since little league from Canada, grab a six pack of beverage with whatever alcohol content that you deem appropriate, and head over to Copley Field for some slow-pitching action. I know I’m ready, and have been working on my “Corner Gas” style pitching—especially Brent’s signature pitch: the Fried Green Tornado.

Section Juiced sailed to a comfortable victory over their first opponent of the year, Lobster Clause, a team who, believe it or not, actually drinks more than Section J. I do really have to commend them for their amazing spirit, which even included theme songs for all of their players. I am going to say though, that they should be glad that our team decided not to hang a big K every time I struck one of them out, as they did, or they would have been mighty embarrassed.

Oh, am I every glad that softball is back—it’s like my blog has regained something that it had lost last November. A special piece of its soul nestled close to its heart.


Spring Break!!! Party!!!

Spring Break, Wooooo!

Time for sun, sand and drunken women mindlessly flashing passerbys, and the occasional cameramen shooting videos that include in their titles the words, ‘girls,’ ‘wild,’ and usually some sort of verb to connect them. So, being the wild type myself, I took my newly arrived wife off in search of topless women, or at least a few skimpy bikinis (and maybe some thongs for the misus). My search lead me to Colonial Williamsburg with my Grandparents, where I was hoping there might be some sort of “Hotties of the Eighteenth Century” colander being shot, but much to my dismay, it turns out that women in the 1700s had a tendency to not flash or wear bikinis, but rather suit up in floor-length dresses and bonnets. Not willing to let this temporary setback deter me, I started throwing beads at suitable patrons, hoping that, although it was neither Tuesday an I am not particularly fat, the ‘ol marti gras trick would be universally recognized enough to secure my desired results in the largest of the thirteenth colony. It isn’t. In a last ditch effort to see some action, I took the lead myself and started flashing tourists at the blacksmith and outside of the wheel maker’s shop, trying to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, my public display was not well received and I was escorted at the point of a couple of plastic bayonets to the public goals, and tired alongside a suspected witch. The witch was found innocent when she was tossed into nearby lake and sank like a stone, but I found guilty creating a public mischief and indecent exposure of an ankle, wrist or midsection and was sentenced to three weeks in the stocks. Theresa was also found guilty of attempted conspiracy with a captured prisoner. The tale of my escape is a long and adventuresome one, but a magician never reveals his tricks and I will leave this part out of this tale. (And yes to all those who have picked up the references, I have been watching Arrested Development.)

Needless to say, by quest was never accomplished, and I was unable to appear in any videos with either ‘girls’ or ‘wild’ in the title. Some of my other failed attempts this week included trips to the downtown mall art galleries and used bookstores, playing Bocce at McIntire Park, Shopping at Short Pump and Target, hanging various pictures and artwork in our apartment (for some reason, Theresa preferred wedding pictures and framed art to tattered posters of Che Guevara) and Dining at The Cheesecake Factory and that Mexican place that I tried to convince Section J to try a few months ago. (And yes, it is by far the best Mexican food in Charlottesville—it’s called “Aqui Es Mexico” for anyone interested and is kind of tricky to find). Other than these notable bursts of excitement, spring break has been a pretty low-key holiday for the Miller household that involved plenty of lounging and absolutely no journal tryouts. (Why? Because I didn’t want to). As for school, I’m still plugging away. I am happy to announce that my summer plans are no longer a big, scary question mark in my future, for I have been offered a position as a research assistant with Professor Riley, whose research interest is in bioethics—the very field I am most interested in. So I’m very excited about that.

Good night and good luck,