D12

To wrap up music week, I bring you the artist who saved me, who helped me make sense of the hardships in my world, who explained the dark feeling I have in my soul, when nobody else could.

As much as your pride tries to hide it
You’re cold, your touch its like ice
In your eyes is the look of resentment
I can sense it, and I don’t like it
(How Come, D12)
 
So many of us in Gen Y were raised on Eminem, with his pushing-the-limits material about taking drugs, getting drunk, sleeping with girls, and basically causing mayhem.  Related to this musical movement, but with more serious topics and deeper meaning, was D12, the rap group containing Eminem, Proof, Kon Artis, Bizzare, among others.
My love of this dark music is often seen as paradoxical to my outward life of mascots and stuffed animals.  I try to find happiness where I can, and try to look happy on the outside, but inside, am decently broken.  This is not a request for sympathy or a cry for pity; rather a proclamation of reality.  We are not always as we seem.
My wish is for people to be as D12 was: free to openly express their feelings within, to not always pretend that life is good and happy and positive when really there’s pain and downfall all around.  Upset and together is better than upset and alone.
Mascots bring people together and put smiles on their faces, if even for only the 3 hours of the game.  I see this as one of the best things that can be done in the world, and am thankful for such.
From Detroit itself, the home of Eminem and D12, is Paws, of the MLB’s Tigers.
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Paws loves blue and orange, eating stadium food, and taking vacations to Lakeland, FL (home of Tiger’s spring training.)
He looks like a weird version of Tony the Tiger, from Frosted Flakes, but hey, both are happy, so why not keep them both around?!
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Paws, Roaryof the NFL Lions, and Hooper of the NBA Pistons, are bffs!  Isn’t that cute?
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Prince

Last Thursday, we lost an artist much bigger than I had ever imagined.  Prince was always big in my mind, but he was born where I was born, and therefore I assumed it was just a Twin Cities kind of thing.  But the mayhem in the music world since his death is shocking- I mean, MTV is playing music, in 2016!

Prince Rogers Nelson reminded us all that to be weird, to be absolutely-do-not-fit-in different, is not bad, and should even be celebrated.

Never let that lonely monster take control of you

Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind

Free to go ‘most anywhere, anytime

Glad that you are free, there’s many a man who’s not

Be glad for what you had baby, what you’ve got

(Free, Prince)
Easier said than done, of course, because loneliness is quite the ailment, but be proud, and stand tall.  Be authentic in life, no matter what people say.  If we were all as strong as Prince, the world would be much brighter, more colourful, and full of smiles.  The remembrance of such a musical hero has brought wondrous things out of his hometown, with thousands coming together to sing his songs, rainbows being photographed with smiles, and the Minnesota Twins (MLB) sponsoring screenings of Purple Rain at Target Field.  Good move, TC Bear.
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TC Bear has been with the Twins for 17 seasons, batting and throwing left, and just being all-around cute.
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The Twins also did this at Target Field:
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Goodnight, Sweet Prince.  But you’ll always be alive and well in Minnesota hearts.

Tap the Rockies

It’s Friday, which means that in 5 short hours, you get to go home, put on elasti-pants, turn on the TV, and crack open a cold brew.  Like perhaps this high class ‘banquet beer’:

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Yeah, you think that’s some cheap sh*t, don’t you?  But this yellow swill makes enough money to build a $300 million stadium called Coors Field, home of the MLB’s Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies formed in 1993, and since then have had a rough time, making it to the World Series only once back in 2007, and never winning it.  But don’t worry, they always have a big triceratops fan named Dinger.
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The mascot was chosen because Coors Field was built atop land where dinosaur fossils were once found during a dig.  Those are his relatives!
Dinger receives a lot of criticism for his likeness to Barney, as well as how he is not tough or cute looking, but I think he’s pretty adorable.
Trust me, you do not look as good as Dinger in cardboard 3D glasses.
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You’re not as good at psyching out the competition, either.
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<3's For The Baseball Giants

Hello, Mascot followers!  If once again you are thinking I’ve gotten lazy by neglecting  the importance of these cute characters, you’re wrong.  Is it lazy to have to boil water for absolutely everything?  No!  Is it lazy to spend your unpaid storm-days online shopping and watching Maury?  Yes?  Oh okay, then yeah, I’ve been lazy.

But today I’m here to give you as many smiles as possible, because so many of you are victims or know victims of the flooding in the midlands and lowcountry of South Carolina.  Best wishes to all of you on the rebuilding process- stay strong!  And smile, with the help of this guy:
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This is Lou Seal, and he cracks me up in every single photo!! I mean, look at him!!
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Lou’s full name is Luigi Francisco Seal, and he was born on the Farallon Islands near the Golden Gate Bridge.  He currently resides under the Lefty O’Doul Bridge in the China Basin District because it is close to where he works.  Born in 1996, he has 19 successful mascot seasons under his belt. He has decent stats as a player, too- batting and throwing right flipper- Lou stole home base 5 times, and did 19 headstands behind home plate.  Not bad!
Though the team missed this year’s wild card game by that much, I’m sure Lou is optimistic about next year.  After all, why wouldn’t he be?  He’s a superhero, and knows the people who create superheroes:
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Fighting & Feminism

Aight, I’m gonna go in a direction that’s a lil more feminist than usual, so if you’re all for women being ‘barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen’ so to speak, just stop reading now.

Since Saturday night, the biggest trending topic has pretty much been Ronda Rousey being freaking amazing at what she does.  She is tough, she is serious, she is driven, and she is freaking kickass. It has taken her like 2.5 minutes to beat her last 4 opponents.  4! In less than 1 round total!
It’s not just that she wins every single fight, no matter how bad the hype.  It’s that her press conferences involve her saying things that are not absolutely idiotic.
Ronda has continued to say that she will never fight a man, because domestic violence is something that she can in no way condone.  When the press continues with the ‘could you beat a guy?’ she has the freakin lady balls to say ‘It’s certainly possible with my skills, but we’ll never know for sure.’  And when teased by males if she will fight them right now, she sticks to ‘you’re better off not having that happen.’
As an aside, I want to make it very clear that I am not telling you that you should think it is wrong for a man to hit a woman- I will in no way tell you how to think.  I am solely giving her maaaad props for actually standing up to the press when they ask her the dumbest, most unnecessary questions, that they would never ask a male.  Speak your mind girl!
The only really bad thing about MMA is that they do not have any mascots, instead those bikini wearing girls with signs.  Okay, would you rather have a hilarious costume, or a bikini model?!?!  COSTUME, DUH!!! Characters are fun!
So since this is a Rousey post, we are going to the mascot of her favourite team, the LA Dodgers.  Living in the area, and often watching with her father, she loves going to Dodgers games!
And since this post is incredibly long, and this mascot is incredibly terrible, let’s just dive right in with it:
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That’s freaking scary.  SCARY!  He has no name, no story, they just made him one day.  Alive since mid-season 2014, I can see why they haven’t really continued to advertise him.  He’s just…. ahhh.
But this team does have some cute stuff, lest this post be only of fightining and scaries.
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This is their old logo!  How perfect is that!!! Bring it back!!!
And they have a lot of Hello Kitty nights, which is amazing too!
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It’s a big deal in LA, I guess.  I want that bobblehead!!!
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Baseball Team or Drugstore?

Does nobody else see a problem with this?
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They are almost the same, but relate to very different things.
The one on the left is Walgreens, which was founded in 1901 by Charles Walgreen, became the popular new place to shop during the prohibition era because they agreed to supply “prescription whiskey,” and is now a massive conglomerate who owns beauty.com, drugstore.com, Kerr, Boots, and other health and beauty related brands.
The one on the right is the Washington Nationals, a team created in 2005 after the Montreal Expos ran into some contract issues with the MLB, and agreed to rebrand and relocate from their home to one of the various cities bidding on the team.  One of the front-runners in the bids was Puerto Rico, where the Expos played 22 games in both 2003 and 2004.  But in the end, they took the safe route, and it went to DC, and took the same name they had from 1905-1956, the Nationals, and went with the most predictable mascot, an eagle.

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This is Screech, who looks like he works at Walgreens, but doesn’t.  He considers himself to be the team’s 10th man (wouldn’t that mean if they had an away game against an AL team, he’d DH?)  His favourite band is The Eagles (sorry Will), and his favourite song ever is “Fly Like an Eagle,” which still makes me think of that old USPS commercial.
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Sure, his cartoon version is creepy, but the real version of him hatches at each game, and that’s pretty cool.
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And baby Screech- he looks adorable and fun, but think about it, if your kid is so loud that you name him Screech, that’s gotta be a rough parenting time.
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Plastic Fish

As the mascot queen, I’ve been writing a lot lately about the wonders of the characters, the logos, and their actions.  But I’ve never really acknowledged that there are people in those costumes.  Real, normal, lame people, just like the rest of us, are behind those awesome façades.  Those people are walking around in a scary darkness- with just two meshed eye holes to see the world.  There are people running up to you and hugging you or hassling you- people you’ve never seen before, and you’ll never see again.  And it gets really hot in those things, like 100+ degrees.  The NBA states thatmascots are to take off the head portion of their costume every 15 minutes as to not overheat.

Worse for heat than the NBA’s costumes that have a thick-cloth-like head is the head of the Miami Marlin.  Named Billy, this guy has a fully plastic head- completely unbreathable and non-absorbent.

But before we go any further with this mascot, I just want to address my issue with this MLB team.  From your opening season in 1993 to 2012, you were the Florida Marlins, and then you decided to become the Miami Marlins.  Why would you do that?  Why would you want to decrease your area of fans?

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Now, back to the mascot.  Billy is an 8 foot tall, 250 pound marlin who loves eating tuna and sardine sandwiches whenever possible.  His favourite movies are Flipper (cool), and A Fish Called Wanda (does he know how politically loaded that movie is? Wow).  Also on their bio site, “this fish could very easily be the leader of the “untouchables.”  Does this have another meaning, or are they alluding to the lowest caste of some cultures?

Maybe Miami has more of a dark side than I thought.  But, they typically make him happy, colourful, and fun loving, like any other mascot.  He’s pretty athletic, too.

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And omg the baby version.

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Orbit Forever

Today we’re just going to jump right into the awesomeness of this team’s mascots, because there are three of them.  And that’s just fun.

The MLB’s Houston Astros have their main mascot of Orbit, which is a huge improvement from when they were the Houston Colt .45s.  Orbit claims he’s been to the moon, and now has a love for everything dealing with space- tube food, E.T., Star Trek,  Orbit’s favourite musical artist is Michael Jackson- he likes to dance along with the videos and do the infamous moonwalk.  He often challenges the security guards to dance offs, probably just as an excuse to show off his moves.
Also, he’s pretty dang cute.
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But there was a dark time in Orbit’s life.  In 2000, when Orbit was just 10 years old, the team decided that with the move from the AstroDome to Enron Field, they would get a new mascot.  Orbit was retired, and replaced by Junction Jack.
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No story, no introduction; he just appeared one day.  But if you remember anything about Enron, you’d understand that Houston wanted to wipe their hands clean of ever interacting with that company.  So, in 2012, when the park was finally sold to Minute Maid, they got rid of Junction Jack, and brought back Orbit.  Hopefully Orbit gets to stick around for a long time.
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Also unofficial mascots, the racing hot sauce packets.  Who hasn’t eaten Taco Bell and enjoyed the hilarious hot sauces with the funny phrases on them?
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These guys race at every home game, and really make you want to eat Taco Bell, despite your knowledge that your entire digestive system will be mad at you.  I hope Mild wins- simple, predictable, but still has some flavour- that’s my kind of man, I mean sauce.

Canus Manta Whatthefluffalus

Legend has it that long ago (1998) a group of baseball scouts went on fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, only to find a strange creature appear on their boat after being attracted to the smell of food.  He was a big, fuzzy, mythical creature with long arms.  He liked to flap his fins and slide around the deck, and the team found his energy and excitement endearing, so they immediately offered him a mascotcontract.  The pay?  All the hot dogs he could eat.  He of course accepted.

Soon, scientists began wondering, what is this creature?  He has the build of a manatee, the hair of a walrus, but the fins of a sea lion.  Still the only ever seen by humans, he was officially tagged a Canus Manta Whatthefluffalus.  This loosely translates to… a sea dog.
Raymond, of the MLB Tampa Bay Rays, is this one and only of this infamous species.  He likes the movie ‘Monsters Inc.’, enjoys reading the ‘Harry Potter’ books, but wishes his name was spelled ‘Hairy’, and practices belly dancing in his spare time.

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He’s just overall a big adorable hairball of fun. And he’s a pretty good player, too.
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Stocking Colour

What year did #tbt become a thing?  2008?  I’m not sure why I am just jumping on the bandwagon now, but it’s quite enjoyable.

Today we will visit the oldest professional sports team, the Chicago Cubs, who began back in 1870, as the Chicago White Stockings!  What?!?  But the White Sox!  And fun fact, the second oldest team, the Braves, used to be the Atlanta Red Stockings.  Man, sock colour was a big deal back in the day.
The White Stockings changed their name to the Colts, and then the Orphans, before landing on the Cubs in 1903.  I’m sure you understand what is going on in my mind about the name “Orphans.”  It’s just weird.
Often known as the Loveable Losers, they have not won the world series since 1908 (that’s 107 years, omg!). Maybe it’s because theirmascot looks like this:

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This is Clark, created in 2014.  He is supposedly a descendant of Joa, the real bear the team used to have in 1916.  Clark has not been very successful, and some even say he looks like a ‘pedobear.’
While I agree that the mascot is not so great, I have to say, they may have one of the best logos of all time (cue it Kanye.)
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Runner up, because this one of theirs from 1908 is pretty sweet, too:
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He’s a lil bear with a bat!!! ❤