Cliff Gardner

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I still get carded too

Yesterday I was waiting outside the Internet cafe a block away from my school, hoping it would open only 15 minutes late today instead of the usual 30, when I had an interesting experience. An old woman walked slowly by and stopped, looked up at me, then continued. After a few more steps, she stopped again, turned to me and angrily started shouting. The following conversation ensued:

Old Woman: Y vas yest yroke? (Do you have a lesson?)

Me: Shto? Izvinetye? (What? I'm sorry?)

OW: *looks at watch* Devit-pitnatsit chesso. (It's 9:15)

Me: Da, ya znayoo. Ya hochy internet. (Yes, I know. I want to use the Internet)

OW: Eta ochen ploha! Esli est yroke, tebya shoit bil tam, ha scholy! Idti! (This is very bad. If you have a lesson, you should be there, in school! GO!)

Me: No Ya Ychitel! (But I'm a teacher!)

OW: *looks me up and down* Seriousna? (seriously?)

Me: Da! Ya prepadayu angleski yazik na scholu nomer choteri, tam. Ya tolka est treti yroke subodna! (Yes! I teach the English language in school number four, there. I only have the third lesson today!).

OW: *looks me up and down again* Ya tak ne dumayoo. (I don't think so)

I turn 25 years old on Monday; I guess I should take this--my apparent ability to pass as a 16 year old slacker--as a compliment. I guess.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Go Sox!

I'm switching my baseball allegiance from the Atlanta Braves to the Boston Red Sox. I know how this looks and believe me, I didn't arrive at it lightly. My reasons for making the switch are as follows:

1) Justin Pedroia is from Oregon, led the OSU Beavers to the college world series title as a senior, and is a once-in-a-generation star from my home state--and we don't have that many. I want to follow him and in order to do that, I really should be following his team.

2) The Braves have made a series of really not great moves that I just can't defend--like letting one of the five best defensive center fielders of all time (Andruw Jones) go because of his batting average which, while low, still doesn't take into account his 90+ RBI's every year, and not re-signing Edgar Rentaria for no good reason. Plus, not signing up with TBS again really annoys me since the biggest reason I cheered for them as a kid was they were on TV all the time. I can't take it anymore. BTW, this all started when they let Leo Mazzone go a few years back, a great move since he's the best assistant coach of all time.

3) Jess is from New England and loves the Sox. Her whole awesome family does too, and they've shown me, along with Bill Simmons (whose book I've read about 8 times now) how much fun it is to be a Red Sox fan, even with all the baggage that comes with it. I think I'll enjoy baseball more if I'm a Sox fan.

4) The Braves hate the Yankees. The Sox hate the Yankees. At least I'm being ideologically consistent.

5) Since I never really had a good reason for liking the Braves in the first place (Oregon doesn't have a baseball team and all), this doesn't feel like that big of a betrayal, if one at all. Granted, the Braves haven't made the playoffs in two seasons and the Sox just won the World Series for the 2nd time in the last 4 years, so I still feel a little weird about this and that discomfort probably won't go away until the Sox miss the playoffs for a few seasons and I'm still rooting for them. However, I feel like this is the right move for me.

I worry that some Sox fans won't be willing to accept me into the fold, but I hope I can win them over. LET'S GO SOX!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Go Blazers!

The Portland Trailblazers are 25-17 right now, first in the division--and half way through the season. The number 8 seed last year made the playoffs with a 42-40 record, so to match that, the blazers only need to win 17 of their next 40 games--well below .500 and a seemingly easy goal, especially considering that lots of those games (at least 11 by my count) and against teams that are just terrible, like Seattle, Minnesota and New York, and 20 of them are at home, where we've been GREAT this year. So, all we need to do is win 6 games against teams that are as good or better than we are, and we should be able to do that considering how well the team's been playing lately. Our schedule in April is BRUTAL, but I still think we'll make it in as the 7th or 8th seed, and I can't overstate how excited I am about this development. This season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Blazers without Greg Oden to fill the void left by Zach Randolph, the team's leading scorer and rebounder last year (seriously, name another team that could lose their best player and IMPROVE from one year to the next, I dare you), but instead they've been playing great, and with Oden back next year in the paint against talented big men (the reason we keep losing to teams like Boston and Toronto), we'll be even better--and I'll be able to watch games! RIP CITY!