Friday, September 14, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters: Late But Not Forgotten

Sorry these are so late. Never forget that I suck.

Your questions...

The Brewers can't make the playoffs, can they?

Playoff bound?

The quick answer is no, they can't. They're 2.5 games back of the Cardinals but the Brewers only play one of the three wild card teams above them the rest of the way (three versus the slumping Pirates next week). The Cardinals, on the other hand, finish up with three games each against the Cubs and Astros, two of the three worst teams in baseball, and then three against the Reds and Nationals, both of whom should have their playoff seed wrapped up by then. The Cardinals are probably going to get that wild card, which makes the fact that the Brewers (and Phillies) are playing so well now even more infuriating.

At multiple points this year, when the Brewers bullpen was imploding again and again, I texted my fellow bloggers that I was through with the Brewers, but I never really gave up on them. Now, I actually can't because they're at least nominally in it. They have three (or four, if Shaum Marcum turns it around) solid starters and they've scored the most runs in the NL. Unfortunately, in a recent game the Brewers threw five straight relievers with ERAs over 5.00. That's their downfall, but at least I have some hope for next year.

Also, Ryan Braun for MVP. He was exonerated from steroids charges and he's far and away the best player in the NL. It would not surprise me if he doped, and I know he got off on a technicality, but 1. we should never have known about his test because the proceedings were all supposed to be anonymous and 2. it's possible that the test was still in error but that his best defense was procedural (OJ Simpson is a terrifyingly exaggerated comparison). It's a shame we'll never know the whole truth, and again I admit that he probably doped. It'll go to Buster Posey though.

What's your feeling on tattoos? Personally, I'm not a fan. Also, if you get one in your 20s, what are the chances you'll still think it's cool when you're 45?

I think the chances are roughly zero that you won't regret a tattoo later in life, so long as it's in a public area. If it's like on your upper back, maybe it could be a reminder of wild days of youth, but somehow the thought of old people with tattoos just makes me sad. Especially if it's like a '70s band that everyone now loathes, like Seals and Croft. Although, actually the thought of someone having a Seals and Croft tattoo is kind of funny. ROCK ON!

My personal thoughts on tattoos are that I'm a huge pussy and would never let that needle near my body. If forced to get a tattoo, I'd go the ironic hipster route (I know, I hate myself too) and get something like "Ceci n'est pas une tattoo." Yeah, feel free to mock.

Which do you think is more likely to exist, ghosts or aliens?

Aliens. In fact, I kinda think aliens exist, or at least it wouldn't surprise me if we're not alone in this universe. I think when you're dead, you're dead. 

I always wonder what would happen if a legit alien came to earth and either foretold our future (presumably to warn us of coming apocalypse) or acted as a messiah. I have a hard time believing that people would accept it, and I include myself in that group, because I'm skeptical of everything. Also, I think I've read too much Vonnegut.

Which do you think is worse... Having to sit next to someone with body odor, or having to sit next to someone wearing too much perfume?

The theme of this post is rapidly becoming that I'm a bitch, but I really do get a headache around sweet perfume (or sweet incense). That said, I knew a guy in high school who could literally clear a room he smelled so bad. One time, his friends resorted to actually hosing him down because it had been so long since he showered. I'm getting that weird retching feeling on my tongue just thinking about it. So... yeah.

Best Jewish holiday.

It's obviously one of the holidays with drinking. I know Yom Kippur is about spiritual wholeness and atonement and beautiful things like that but not eating all day is BULLSHIT. Wearing white to signify a fresh start and fuck-all! Passover is out because, while seders can be fun (ALCOHOL), you have to go a week without bread or beer or pizza. Matzah-pizza has some virtues, but not enough to make up for the absence of three of my favorite things. 

Basically we're down to Purim or like Simchat Torah (mmmm candy apples), and I'm going Purim. You're supposed to get black out drunk. I don't even like being black out drunk, but I'll do what I'm told.

Also, who doesn't like booing people? 

With Notre Dame coming to the Atlantic Coast Conference despite being in Indiana the geographic names of college conferences have continued their trend of making no god damn sense. Please tell us how to remedy the situation or even better, rename them yourself.

Well clearly the names are stupid. For one, the Big 10 has twelve teams and the Big 12 has ten. The Big East includes Marquette. These conference names haven't made sense in a while. The answer is obviously to dissolve the NCAA because it's a corrupt relic of an era where amateurism made some modicum of sense. If that's not an option, just make four (or six) super-conferences with 16 teams each. I know you'd have to cut some schools out of major conferences but Duke football ain't adding that much for me. I don't care what they're named (as in, I'm too tired to come up with good enough ones). 

The Atlanta Braves, we should never forget, were once members of the NL West. Americans and sports fans are not great with geography.

Would you wipe your ass with baby wipes if they cost the same as toilet paper?

Yes. And I think, if it really cost the same, no one would think twice about it. I assume it would feel like a dream. The question would be the scent. I think I'd want as neutral as possible, since that baby powder smell gives me a headache too. I have issues.
What percent better is a chair that swivels vs. a chair that doesn't?
That's a tough question because the type of chair I want is totally contingent on the situation. Like I love a swivel chair, but I want a recliner in my living room. No swiveling necessary. However, when a swivel chair is called for, like at a desk, it's like 500% better. I sit at a desk all day, and being able to move back and forth even just a little bit is a huge help.

Totally with Paul Rudd in this scene.

I'm also assuming swivel chairs automatically include wheels, as I could entertain myself zooming around hallways and spinning around for hours. I'm a man of simple tastes.

How many cheese balls do you think you could fit in your mouth? Don't test it. I want your estimate.
Five? I don't know. How many could you fit in your mouth? 

If you could see one athlete's penis, which would you pick and why? You must pick one.
Brett Favre. I kid, I kid. I'm told by sources close to the situation that Ryan Braun has herpes, so I'd stay away from that one. I was tempted to go with one of my favorite athletes (though the stench around Prince Fielder's crotch would probably be overwhelming) but I think I'd just go with like a rando player I like, like Donald Driver.

No screw it, I wanna know why Randy Johnson is called the Big Unit.

What's a good name for a trivia team?

Your Mom Sucks At Trivia. 

Also, I hear T-Rex Laserbeam Explosion!!! is good. 

I was talking with a friend about how muscular Serena Williams is. (No, I don't have a triceps fetish.) My friend has no doubt that she's juicing. I wasn't sure, since her head size seems unchanged. (No comment on testicles.) Do you think she's juicing? Does pro tennis test for performance-enhancing substances? And if she is juicing, don't you think that with a little more testosterone she could become an awesome free safety in the NFL?

Pro tennis does test for PEDs (any Olympic sport has to, at the minimum, comply with the International Anti-Doping standard. According to this Deadspin article, that standard is causing a problem in the world of chess.) It is very possible that Serena Williams is doping. It's also very possible that many of the athletes I cheer for are doping, especially football players. Dopers, as a rule, stay ahead of testers (see: Lance Armstrong). 

It also wouldn't bother me. I tend to think that athletes can do what they want to their bodies. If I could take drugs that had pretty minimal long term risks but made me 30% more successful, I'd do it in a second. I know that it destroys the sanctity of competition and blah blah blah but let 'em do what they want.

Marathoners I know are rather obsessed with their times in races. That said, do you think Paul Ryan honestly forgot that he ran a 4:01 marathon rather than the 2:50-something he claimed in an interview? What does this discrepancy tell us about him?

I think it just says that he is both a self-mythologizer (as any Randian who gets a government paycheck must be) and plays it loose with the facts. It wouldn't change my vote, as I kind of knew all these things independent of hearing about Paul Ryan's marathon falsehoods.

A recent study claims that marijuana consumption during the teenage years can reduce one's IQ in adulthood. Wait, what was my question?
I see what you did there.

We'll try and get back to regular blogging next week. Send questions to Sean.

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