Trump, Brexit, and personal loss

Meandering thoughts on the news…

Donald Trump is running for president. Britain just voted to exit the European Union. And my brand new custom made baseball bats were stolen off my stoop. Which is these is the most awful?

Donald Trump’s presidential bid appears fraught with interminable weakness. He seems painfully disinterested in learning about – or at least talking about – actual issues and policies. To be fair, some of this is surely strategy. The less specifically he speaks, the less his opponents can specifically ridicule. So he speaks almost entirely in fuzzy non-specifics, choosing instead to rail against this group or that. Hate is in right now, and he’s got no shortage of it. Can it be enough to spring him to victory? A lot of electoral math says no but the Brexit vote should provide some pause to those who say it cannot happen.

Speaking of Brexit, holy shit it happened! On Thursday the Brits voted out of the EU, and on Friday they practically broke the Google server trying to educate themselves as to what the f*** they had just done. If the news is to be believed, it would seem that voters wanted to express the seriousness of their plight through the ballot box but either didn’t expect the initiative to pass or didn’t expect the world to take it so damn seriously. Like a romantic partner telling you “it’s over” and then re-appearing the next morning to apologize, only to find all their possessions strewn about the front lawn.

Okay, now onto the story that actually matters to me: my baseball bats. My buddy and longtime teammate Eric bought a bat lathe a couple years ago and made me a great bat last season. Sadly it broke toward the end of the year when I hit a long fly ball that landed just foul. (Despite the fact that my personal wood bat broke on a long foul fly, and despite the fact that the guy on deck actually had the same name as the batboy in The Natural – Bobby – and despite the fact that Bobby was the one sifting through the bats to find an adequate replacement for the remainder of my at-bat just like the batboy in the film, I failed to think to say, “Pick me out a winner, Bobby” until the moment had passed. It instantly and permanently became one of the great regrets of my life.) Upon hearing the news, Eric resolved to create two new personalized wood bats for me from scratch.

The man worked on them for weeks. He made them slightly different from one another and called me regularly from his home in San Francisco to report on their progress. One had a larger nub on the end than the other. One was slightly fatter than the other. They both had personalized logos and my initials. He polished and finished them. Excitedly, he put them in the mail.

Returning from a few days away, I saw the long tall box leaning against the entrance to my apartment. It looked perfectly intact. My wife approached and opened a flap in the cardboard to find that it had been tampered with and the bats were, in fact, gone. Stolen! My heart sank and has remained sunk.

Look, there’s no question that a Donald Trump presidency would impact my life on a day-to-day basis. I live in Washington, D.C., so I’ll be constantly reminded of the mean bastard. I follow the news, so I’ll have to keep listening to his stupid horse voice as he murders critical thought and upends (once common) decency on a daily basis. And I share many people’s concern for the urgency of issues like climate change, gun violence and human rights, all of which he thinks are fiction. On top of that, the Brexit vote appears poised to mess up the global economy, the effects of which will surely find their way into my own checking account, maybe even pushing the pause button on my meager effort to buy my first home. But I’ll tell you right now: the vanishing of those beautiful bats – of which I didn’t even so much as see a photograph – surely surpasses both of these struggles in the area of personal tragedy.

Okay, tragedy is a strong word. Anyway, I’m tired. I need more coffee. Obviously. That’s the news. Are you happy?

Beauty and the Beast, OnePlus, Anthem and Cigna, Shameless Effort at Optimization

Here I unpack and explain the top 10 search terms on Google as of 11am EDT today, so you don’t have to.


1. Beauty and the Beast‬, ‪Beast‬, ‪Emma Watson‬, ‪The Walt Disney Company‬, ‪Belle‬‬

Apparently there are still some fans of the old Linda Hamilton TV show, as Emma Watson will star in a remake (yes, another remake of something… isn’t that awesome?) of the classic Disney crapola, Beauty and the BeastCheck out a preview of a movie I hope I’m lucky enough to never see.

2. ‪‪OnePlus‬, ‪Virtual reality‬‬

OnePlus, which is apparently a Chinese smartphone company, announced that it is releasing a new headset for virtual reality. Or something. I don’t really understand or care but here’s more info.

3. ‪‪Caltrain‬, ‪Burlingame

This one is actually really sad, as a man got hit by a train in California.

4. Death of Freddie Gray‬, ‪Baltimore‬‬

Shocker: a cop got acquitted. The death of Freddie Gray sparked riots in Baltimore last year but justice is elusive as is so often true.

5. ‪‪Stan Wawrinka‬, ‪Marin Čilić‬, ‪The French Open‬‬

A dude won a tennis game. It wasn’t even that big a game.

6. ‪‪Anthem Inc.‬, ‪Cigna‬‬

Two of America’s largest health insurers are trying to merge. What could be the downside?! Oh, well, they’ll get richer and you’ll get poorer, but other than that it’s great.

7. ‪‪Narendra Modi‬, ‪Iran‬, ‪India‬‬

This one is particularly boring to me. A development deal was struck in India. Amazing. Go capitalism.

8. ‪‪Blake Shelton‬, ‪Gwen Stefani‬, ‪Billboard Music Awards‬‬

OMG, like, Gwen Stefanie and her boyfriend sang a cute song and then, like, she tweeted about him.

9. ‪‪Eva Longoria‬, ‪Marriage‬‬

Eva Longoria got married! Let’s all dive into the private lives of people we’ll never meet.

10. ‪‪Tornado‬, ‪Texas‬‬

Everybody stay the f**k out of East Texas!

Sweet, that’s it! Nothing else is going on.

SEO01 Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyle Lowry, Tyronn Lue

Today I debut my brand new web series, “S.E.O.”, which is a series of short monologues intended to bring you up to date about the top trending keywords on Google. Each video will discuss what the top keyword is and the story behind that keyword. The best part is that, because I’m so out of the popular culture loop, it will be just as educational for me as for you. Maybe more! I really don’t know very much about almost anything!

Here I present my very first episode, called “Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyle Lowry, Tyronn Lue”, which is the top keyword on Google today, Sunday, May 22, 2016. Apparently, Toronto and Cleveland are cities, the Raptors and the Cavaliers are basketball teams, Kyle Lowry is a basketball player, and Tyronn Lue is a basketball coach. Let’s discuss the nitty gritty.

Obama interview!

I sort of interviewed President Barack Obama recently on the issue of National Comedy Day, which my small company of comedians, known as Grassroots Comedy DC, has been “campaigning” to enact on May 12 (George Carlin’s birthday). Enjoy the glory:

The baby is crawling… into chaos!

Headphones Baby

I’m a stay-at-home dad these days. The baby is six months old soon. She started crawling two days ago. Here’s what’s happened since:

  • She crawled over to the plant and knocked it over.
    • I moved the plant to a higher surface.
  • She crawled over to a dust bunny and put it in her mouth.
    • I pulled the dust bunny out of her mouth and vacuumed the whole house.
  • She crawled over to the wooden chair and started suckling on one of the legs.
    • I put the chair on a table.
  • She crawled over to the table leg and started suckling on that.
    • I moved all the furniture to the second floor.
  • She started chewing on the (still plugged in) vacuum cord.
    • After briefly considering allowing her to continue, I unplugged the vacuum and put it away.

“I’m going to wait til I’m a stay-at-home dad to write my screenplay.” – Guy who had no idea what he was talking about