February 26, 2017



What a Fantasy World

March 16, 2009


I would like to discuss a personal experience. I consider it personal experience, not in the sense that it was private or for that matter solitary event. In fact, we are dealing with quite the opposite here.

You might be thinking, “What are you getting at here Max? Why the pseudo-cryptic bullshit?” Which is, indeed, a fair enough question. But when you are dealing with the social wear-and-tear of being a fantasy baseball owner (which is what we are tackling here today) nothing is ever that straightforward or simple.

I have participated in fantasy baseball leagues for the last few years and I am not embarrassed to say that I buy into the stat-based hoopla. And I think I am pretty darn good at it. I make the right trades, I waive the excess baggage, and I pick up undervalued studs. I was born with a competitive streak and fantasy baseball is as good a place as any, on the Internet at least, to channel this type-A energy.

Like knitting, calligraphy, or actual baseball for that matter, fantasy baseball at its core is a hobby. But unlike more traditional hobbies, loved ones rarely care to hear about your fantasy baseball experience. I guess bringing up the fact that you snagged Carlos Delgado in the fourteenth round of your draft (oh how the once-mighty have slipped) isn’t considered an acceptable dinner conversation. Or pillow talk for that matter.
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Weather, Revisited

March 3, 2009



When I first moved to New York, I was shocked at how frequently the weather was brought up in daily conversation. It didn’t matter if rain, snow, or even frogs were falling from the sky above; weather always seemed to be an “in-conversation.”

I didn’t get it. I considered weather-talk as the lowest common denominator of human interaction. I assumed that when you had nothing else to talk about, you resorted to weather. (“I think it’s supposed to snow next week,” “I blame this on global warming.” “I blame this on W. Bush.”)  

At the risk of resorting to sweeping generalizations, it seemed like everyone on this coast memorized the windchill factors and ten-day forecasts. Not because of an intellectual passion for climate science but this information was essential for all interpersonal functions.

I should note that I didn’t hold a disregard for weather in general. Just weather-talk. (I am an east-coast transplant. I am going to miserable during extreme weather cycles.) But instead of talking about humidity percentage, I figured my social interactions should be about more pressing topics such as Iraq, the economy, or  the evolution of my facial hair. That was the distinction between me and everyone else. Or so I thought

I subscribed to the “weather-conversation-is-fluff” school of thought from September 1, 2007 to March 2, 2009. The external circumstances concerning my conversion shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise to anyone that pays attention to the weather, which as I assume is the vast majority of New York’s 8 million residents.  

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