Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Suite Afternoon

Courtesy of KTSW's luxury suite and PEMCO's good relationship with the local broadcasting network our department had the chance to take the afternoon off and go and catch a day baseball game. It wasn't just any day baseball game either. The Boston Redsox were in town and the Mariners were going for the sweep. Diasuke Matsuzuka was pitching for the Redsox and was facing off against the other Japanese uber-star Ichiro Suzuki, so with Japanese paparazzi and American junk food in tow, it was meant to be a memorable afternoon.

Elle (My Guru), Kansas (The One Who Hired Me) and I all left the office together around 12:30 to make sure that we had plenty of time to find parking and to gorge as much food as possible before the 1:35 start time of the game. Everything was going swimmingly until we got to the gate to scan our tickets to enter the ballpark. When our tickets were scanned, the only message the staff's handhelds gave was "reprinted". They were as flummoxed as we were so as a result we were instructed to walk to the opposite side of the ballpark and to address the problem at customer services. After standing in line a good fifteen minutes the reward we got was a stumped look from the customer service rep. His computer told him that the tickets had been reprinted a couple of days ago and that our tickets were no good. He looked dubious when we explained our story to him. After a couple of calls to various supervisors, and with no explanation to us he wrote out this little sheet of paper and told us to go to the concierge's desk at the Suite Level.

Well, thankfully the whole episode ended anticlimactically when we were just able to walk right into the suite level with no problem at all. A couple of KTSW reps dropped by the suite around the 3rd inning and explained that they had double booked the suite and had had the tickets reprinted on Tuesday, thus making our tickets void and utterly retarded. Luckily they were able to move the other group to a different box. So, though the episode was very very lame we got to eat the other groups food as well as our own.

(There are 3 pizzas, beer, wine, soda, water, hot dogs, sausages, chicken breasts, hamburgers, popcorn, peanuts, and a pile of cookies that are not shown)

After wolfing down 2 plates of food in record time I finally sat down with a glass of lemon water and took in the beautiful view of the Seattle skyline from our suite.

As the first inning wore on I noticed, much to my delight, that those working in or on Qwest Field across the way were watching "People's Court" while plied their respective trades.

It must be nice to watch daytime television on a 40' screen at work.

The game went along at a pretty nice clip, but Elle and I found that it was much more boring being at the game without our better halves and usual social counterparts. Many of our coworkers ended up staying inside and just watching the game on TV while eating and drinking. What enthusiasm.

To make an exceedingly boring post short, the Mariner's ended up winning in extra-innings 2-1. Thus, the Mariners gloriously swept the Redsox, Ichiro won the Japanese smack-down by hitting an RBI single in the 3rd inning off of Dice-K (but sadly by not engaging in a martial arts showdown), and I won a Mariners jersey in a department drawing. Overall, between the food, the sights, the Mariner's win, and lack of work made this afternoon a splendid one after all.

(Ichiro just before getting his RBI single off of Dice-K)

(Myself and Elle - My, doesn't my face look gargantuan?!?!?!?!)

(From left to right - Jacque, Kansas, Gawain, K-Dawg)

(The fact that MySpace is Mr. Betancourt's favorite website is simply proof of the psychological horrors that take place in Cuba. Apparently he still thinks he's a 14 year-old girl in a training bra.)

(The Mariners jersey I won...lady luck was on my side)

(Raghu and his ridiculous amount of bling. Maybe they just do things differently in India.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Oh, My God!

I would like to preface this post (It has been a very long time by the way.) by stating that I am a Christian. I love being a Christian. I volunteer at, and go to my church every week. In this post I will be mocking art and artist, not the Son of God.

A couple of weeks ago Vesper and I were doing some Father’s Day/Birthday shopping down at the SuperMall. We were well wearied and eager for some rest so we spied some of those tacky massage chairs and splurged for a 3 minute back rub. Across from the chairs was the Christian Outlet Clearance Center. Always curious to see the wares of such stores Vesper and I wandered over. To my initial horror, and later delight, this is the first thing that we saw.

It was quite simply one of the most ridiculous pictures of Christ that I have ever seen. Here is a clearer version of the same picture.

The cacophony of religious symbols is enough to overwhelm the unwary viewer. Vesper and I stood gazing awestruck at the painting for a good 2-3 minutes. Then, the laughing kicked in. I don't think I stopped snickering and guffawing for quite some time. Then, we spent the remainder of our time trying to figure what on EARTH the artist was attempting to say.

- Mallet and Nails - These artifacts point to the fact that this man is a sinner. Apparently his sins have crucified Christ anew, or he's doing his darnedest to.

- River of Blood - The Blood of the Lamb is what saves and cleanses all from sin. So, I suppose that having the hooded Christ dragging the man of sin up the river of blood signifies that he is attempting to redeem the man of sin through his efforts.

- Dirty Jeans - He has rolled around so much in mammon and the earthly things of this world that he is simply filthy. In need of a good blood bath, if you know what I mean.

- Purple Shirt - This one was a bit tricky for us. Colors can symbolize many different things. But for the sake of this religious painting, let’s take a look at how purple is used in the Bible.

Royalty (Mark 15: 17, 20, John 19: 2, 5)

Decadence and Abomination (Rev. 18: 12, 16, Rev. 17: 4)

Holiness and Service of God (Ex. 39: 1-3, 5, 8, 24, 29, Ex. 28: 5-6, 8, 15, 33, Ex. 35: 6, 23, 25, 35, Ex. 26: 1, 31, 36, Ex. 36: 8, 35, 37, Ex. 38: 18, 23)

So, either this man is: A) Of the royal birthright and has fallen into wayward paths B) Immersed in his decadence and all that is worldly and revels in his abominations or C) A humble servant of his master that his been caught up in the vicissitudes of life and despite all of his earnest efforts is in need of the grace of Christ. I vote for B.

- Christ's Hands - Notice Christ's hand clutching the man's sternum. Christ's hands are also a symbol of his redeeming love and ultimate sacrifice for creation. Through clutching the man so fervently with his hand, he is beginning to lift the purple (read sin/abomination/decadence) from the body of this man. This is the hand that is being used to pull the man along the river of blood to who knows what. Christ's other hand is supporting the weight of the unconscious man.

- Unconsciousness - Apparently he is so deep in sin that he is also unconscious from lack of the living water of Christ.

- White Lilies - Symbol of the resurrection. Pretty straightforward.

So, in the end, after analyzing all of the symbols, we were still confused. Do the lilies mean that this is the resurrection for this man? That all of us have done this to Christ, and this is the payment he makes for all of us? Is this simply a wayward soul who is being helped back onto the path of righteousness? I nominate this picture of Christ as the worst of all time, at least of those who are trying to be serious and worship and pay homage to God. Simply atrocious, but good for a laugh and a bemused headshake. Poor guy. He tried hard, but ended up making a creepy painting in which Jesus could pass for a vampire. Am I wrong for missing the blunt guilt paintings of Christian yester-year?

(The caption on this picture reads, "If you have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me." Nothing like a good stab of guilt, or heroin.) (As an aside, I have a couple of observations about this painting as well. 1) That junkie has a lot of meat and muscle on him for being a junkie. Also, Christ has quite the gun. 2) Would that injection of the sauce really hurt the Post-Resurrection Son of God? He has a glorified and perfect body by the 20th century. That needle isn't going to phase the Creator of heaven and earth. 3) Dude, a skull? 4) Are those nun chucks on the door? 5) There are many others, but haven't we dissected enough cheese ball paintings for one day, month, and year?)