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Our Little Corner of The World

minute-maid-exterior-crowd

Come along with me
To my little corner of the world
Dream a little dream
In my little corner of the world
You’ll soon forget

At the moment, comparing the Houston Astros franchise to the Texas Rangers is a good way to make yourself depressed. Against all odds, the Rangers seem to have recovered fully from the franchise’s brief fallow period between their back-to-back 2010/2011 World Series appearances to last year’s playoff berth. As of this writing, the Rangers are 8.5 games ahead of the Astros in the American League West, thanks to a 75-53 record that is the second best in baseball.

They’ve been helped to that record by a number players acquired in pretty frustrating fashion. Ian Desmond was signed for a song after apparently no other team could use a very good shortstop, then became a “surprise” All Star. Jonathan Lucroy almost went to the young and exciting Cleveland Indians before exercising his no-trade clause (which he was well within his rights to do) and being sent to the Rangers. Last season, Cole Hamels was almost an Astro before exercising his own no-trade clause (which he was within his rights to do, but I’m much less sympathetic). Continue reading

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Fandom

Crying In the Juice Box

Empty Astros Game

You saw me crying in the chapel
The tears I shed were tears of joy
I know the meaning of contentment
I am happy with the Lord

Over nearly 10 years of being legal drinking age, when I was trying to think of places to go get drinks, I had a different set of criteria than a lot of other people my age. For most folks in their 20s, they’re looking for the hippest, trendiest bar in town where they have a chance to see and be seen.

I tended to seek out the place with the least amount of people, while still being among the sort of people I felt comfortable with. In Houston, this meant avoiding Midtown at all costs. Big Star had a cool back area and the best jukebox in town. Lola’s was cheap and seldom crowded, but perhaps too dive-y. Once Cecil’s Monday night prices for wells and Lone Stars skyrocketed from $1 to $1.50, enough people stopped coming to make it comfortable. Plus, it being an old haunt of Bill Hicks lent it an extra bit of allure.

There was another place in Houston I could go during that time, that I always knew would offer me a peaceful, quiet evening. No exorbitant door charge, no packs of annoying yuppies elbowing me out of the bartender’s field of vision. Beer prices were a bit high, but at least you got to keep the neat souvenir cup it came in. Continue reading

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