Formerly Felines for Anarchistic Green Democracies

A Bostonian at the University of Michigan.

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Spelling rant
Yankee Star Wars
A Tigers Comedy of Errors
How bad is Keith Foulke really?
Harry Potter and the Boston Red Sox
Bellhorn vs. Graffanino vs. Lamprey
Critiquing team slogans
Joey Harrington blogs a baseball game
Jason Varitek gets injured
Winter meetings fashion report
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8 Days of Jewish Baseball
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Tuesday, February 28, 2006  
Ah, Spring Training. Where we see old, familiar faces again after a long winter. Where we realized we recognize absolutely none of the new guys. Or when we realize, much to our horror, that we do recognize way too many of the minor leaguers and we need to stop being so obsessed, seriously.

I understand. Everyone looks the same in those shiny red shell jacket things, and it's hard to tell with this team, where things like this happen all the time. There's chaos. The people are in confusion.

In an attempt to make things marginally clearer for you, the dedicated yet mildly confused Red Sox fan, I have created this incredibly crappy primer of

Oft-Confused Red Sox and How You Can Tell Them Apart

Mike Lowell; John Halama
Confusing, I know. Both have the fuzzy catepillar thing going on with their eyebrows, both have the ability to grow out graying goatees of generally the same configuration. Both have longish faces. What you need to remember here is that, despite your nightmares to the contrary, John Halama is no longer on the Red Sox. Lowell might remind you of him, but he will not be climbing the pitcher's mound any time soon, so you can stop sobbing into your stuffed Wally the Green Monster at the mere sight of those eyebrows.

Besides which, Halama's eyes are blue and terrifyingly piercing, whereas Lowell's are brown and much less scary.

Dustan Mohr; Kevin Youkilis
Last year, this would not have been a problem. But last year, Youks was still laboring under the illusion that he wasn't balding that quickly, and he was cleanshaven. As of right now our beloved Greek Jewish God of Walks is bald and sporting a dark goatee that looks like a bad transplant from the buttchin of Trot Nixon. Dustan Mohr, hopeful backup outfielder, is also bald and begoateed.

Youkilis' face is much more angular than Mohr's, though, and the general overall impression, when you get past the facial hair, is still one of overwhelming dorkiness. Mohr has the overall look of a guy who was cruising along down the highway at a nice fast speed and suddenly hit a giant cement elephant in the middle of the road. Or, in his case, the dugout fence.

Jon Lester; Jon(athan) Papelbon
Here's where it gets trickier. They're both pitchers, they're both under the age of 26, they're both named Jon, even though one of them insists on having the -athan tacked on. And they look rather alike. Roundish faces, awkward smiles, low 90s fastballs, "holy shit there are a lot of people watching us warm up" fear in their eyes. Papelbon's a righty while Lester is a lefty, but if they're just standing around watching John Flaherty cry as he attempts to catch Tim Wakefield, you can't tell that.

To try and emphasize the facial differences, I've highlighted them, like so:

From the red you can see that Lester's ears stick out a bit more than Papelbon's do. The purple line indicates that although both do have broad faces, Papelbon's is more round, Lester's a bit more square about the jaw. The blue showcases the fact that Lester's eyebrows are thicker and more angular than Papelbon's are. The teal shows that Lester's nose is rounder while Papelbon's is more upturned and triangular (although still round), and the green shows that the bridge of Lester's nose is much more narrow than Papelbon's, although Lester's eyeline looks longer... this is mostly because the bridge of his nose is thinner, so it makes his eyes appear less close-set than Papelbon's are. This is mostly an optical illusion.

Your best bet, until you see them often enough to recognize them readily, is just to watch them pitch and see which hand they're throwing with. But if they get significant playing time in the majors this will cease to be an issue. Just like mother and father penguins can recognize their own chicks in groups of thousands even though they all look alike to an outside observer, Red Sox Nation will recognize their baby pitchers with enough exposure even if they all look alike to Yankee fans.

Alex Gonzalez; Alex Cora
I've been told that this is the most confusing thing about Red Sox Spring Training this year, although personally speaking I have significantly more trouble IDing the rookie pitchers than I do these guys. Both can play shortstop, both have their hair close-shaven enough to count as bald, they're basically the same size (Cora's listed at 6'0, 200 lbs; Gonzalez at 6'0, 202), both named Alex (although Cora's real first name is Jose). Cora bats lefty, Gonzo righty; Cora is 30, Gonzo 29; Cora is from Puerto Rico, Gonzo, Venezuela. They look something alike.

They like to hang out together and confuse the hell out of photographers.

See, I find the differences here much more pronounced and easy to see than the differences between the rooks. In any event. Cora is much more triangular of face than Gonzo (purple line), and his eyebrows tend much more towards straightness than Gonzo's highly arched little brows do (blue). From the teal you can see that Gonzo has a broad semicircle of a nose while Cora has a compact nose, and from the green you can see that the bridge of Gonzo's nose is much, much wider than Cora's is. Gonzo's eyes appear to be much more widely set than Cora's are, and this isn't much of an optical illusion.

The easiest rule of thumb, though, is the red. Cora's ears are much, much bigger than Gonzo's, and they stick out. He also has a bigger forehead and higher hairline, but you can't tell that when they've got their hats on.

Beth also told me that not only does she have trouble distinguishing Cora from Gonzalez, but she also has trouble distinguishing either one of them from Adam Stern, to which I say, sorry kids, if you have trouble with that one you're on your own. Cora= 'scrappy' Puerto Rican utility infielder. Gonzalez= defensively flashy Venezuelan shortstop. Stern= Jewish Canadian utility outfielder.

Go forth, Red Sox fans, and tell your friends, "Hey, I know who that guy is!"

11:07 PM

Sunday, February 26, 2006  

Things learned while watching NESN coverage of Spring Training today:

-Three days of the Red Sox/Yankee rivalry spent sitting on the bench back in 1992 struck JT Snow as more intense than 9 years of Giants/Dodgers rivalry.

-When the Red Sox play the Yankees, even West Coast National League teams are aware of it and sometimes have the game on in their clubhouses.

-Even though a high number like 84 is very much not a fashionable thing to be in baseball (So Taguchi and his ilk excepted), Snow will be wearing it this season in memory of his father, who wore the number during his pro football career, and who passed away this offseason.

-John Flaherty will still be referred to here as the Albino Cave Elf, because he still looks like one. I want to say it fondly these days, but he makes it awfully hard by emphasizing how he's from New York, and all his family is from/in New York, and how he only came here because he's chasing a ring, and he thought he'd get it in New York, but whoops, that didn't happen.

-The Albino Cave Elf likes gettin' down and dirty. When asked about the rivalry between Boston and New York, he mentioned that there were a few brawls, including "some fights in the bullpen that I happened to be involved in." As he said this, his eyebrows shot up, giving him more expression than he showed throughout the entire rest of the interview. Clearly the prospect of beating the shit out of other players excites him. This, at least, is something I can get behind.

-The only thing Matt Clement will admit changed after getting beaned in the head is that it killed his stamina, for some unnameable reason. He said that, after that incident, he was bizarrely back to early-Spring-Training-like stamina, and had to painstakingly work his way back up. He also likened it to a car accident: you don't forget it, but you have to get back in the car and drive again.

-Clement already has a hint of goatee on the top of his chin. Tell us it'll stay like that, Matty. Please.

-Clement wants his pitching to be more consistent. Last year he thinks that "3/4, 7/8 of [his] starts were consistent." Matt Clement can do math. How do we know? When he was thinking about how many of his starts were consistent, he started to say, "six...," then he stopped, backtracked, and went with "3/4 or 7/8". How many baseball players off the top of their heads know to reduce 6/8 to 3/4? Color me slightly impressed.

-The best part of coming back to Spring Training with a team you know, as opposed to a new team you haven't been on before is, according to Matt Clement, the fact that "you know where the bathrooms are."

1:38 AM

Friday, February 24, 2006  

Oh my god.

Flying home on Friday, so I'm a bit frazzled right now, but oh. my. god.

David Ortiz, whatever it is you do to be you, please just never stop.

12:13 AM

Tuesday, February 21, 2006  

This image here, should you choose to click upon it to view it in its full-sized glory, explains in part what has been keeping me, your lightly informed sarcastic blogger from imparting words of entirely irrelevant baseball wisdom to you, the dedicated if misguided reader.

Do we all remember last year? When I had a crappy little computer model tiger in a show at the WORK gallery, and I mentioned it, and specifically said that it was a crap show because they couldn't get any work for it, and what they had got was not so great? And Ian, against all odds and laws of reason, went to see it anyways? Even though I don't know him at all? Even though this was way back when, before he even had started Sweaty Men Endeavors, a blog so thorough, intelligent, and well-written that it was profiled in the Detroit Metro Times, mostly because the reporter liked the homoerotic connotations of his title.

So now you have 3 reasons to be reading Ian: 1) his blog, it be good; 2) he actually took time, real time, out of his real life, to see what is the single most depressingly pathetic art show I have ever had the shame to be entered into without my knowledge; 3) Sweaty Men Endeavors could be the name of a gay porn video. But it would star Joey Harrington, so it would all be OK.

But the point here is not to plug a blog I like, although I should definitely do that more often because I have Irrational Fears that you people are lazy and lack knowledge of the extensive blogosphere of Detroit sports and might therefore miss out on such glories. No. The point! The point is that I am in an art show opening this week and this one is actually good.

It's Evolution semester at U of M, and, not to be outdone, the art school had to get its grubby little turpentine-stained mitts into the pie. Endless Forms is an evolution-themed show, and I've got a piece in it, and it took me for-frikking-ever, and it's being run by some very cool and insanely dedicated grad students who are spending David Wells-loads of time organizing and setting it up, and I helped set it up on Sunday and oh my goodness some of the stuff in there is good.

There's a lot of work (unlike the previously mentioned show) and some of it is amazing (unlike the previously mentioned show), and I actually heartily recommend going to this one (unlike... well, you know). Nay, if you are in the area, I demand that you go, because it's such a neat show that I would be showing up anyways even if I didn't have a piece in it.

It opens Februrary 24 (that's this Friday), but because that's the start of spring break (spring-ish break) for Michigan the actual opening reception is not until March 10 (which is also a Friday). If you are in Ann Arbor or the general Ann Arborish area, it is my humble opinion that if you do not show up for the opening, or if you do not get out to see the show at some point between Feb. 24 and March 24 (when it closes), then you are a filthy Yankee fan and we will have to coat you with pine tar and stick you to a bench so you can't move while Barry Bonds spends 10 hours explaining the psychological games he plays with himself to you.

Details are in the image at the top there, but those are the dates, and it's at the WORK gallery, which is right on State Street, and is the one that has the word "WORK" on the windows.

As for baseball! I've been so busy with that, and trying to get into prison (don't ask, it's for class), and deranged photography projects, and biopsychology research, and painting (although I did do a baseball-related painting, I'll have to get photos of that online at some point), that I haven't had time to upload the rest of Zito's gloriously mediocre photography. Eventually. In the meantime, have some fun things that we have learned from the Boston Globe's photographic coverage of Spring Training.

Coco Crisp: he understands that babies are the other, other white meat.

Theo looks good handlin' wood.

Jason Varitek is such a good team leader that he can even coax the Albino Cave Elf (scroll down to Flaherty, John) out of his dark, granite abode.

Jon Lester in the sky-y-y-y with diamonds, doo doo doo doo. Also, I am taking Photoshop away from whoever wields it at the Globe staff headquarters. You, sir or madam, are not allowed to use the Burn/Dodge tool anymore. I can see what you're doing. Stop it.

Keith Foulke: awkward. Sorry Beth.

Tim Wakefield: graceful like a Canadian ice dancer. Oh wait.

Jon(athan) Papelbon: how can you not love this kid? Seriously. You people should see the Jonathan Papelbon: Argyle Rockstar Pitcher desktop image I have of him.

Kevin Youkilis: No. Just. No. I refuse to even look at him anymore. Are you trying to punish us for signing Mark Loretta, Youks? Please, I beg of you. There are better ways.

Johnny Pesky: he loves the Jews!

Matt Clement had better watch out. Look at the face of that girl in the front row with the red bat. Matty, she's thinking totally impure thoughts! Guard your loins!

Jason Varitek welcomes you, female and thus-inclined male Red Sox fans, to spring training. Indeed he does.

OK, kids. I'm going to try to not let the ol' academia drag me down this much again. Expect more regular posting, even if it's just a bunch of short posts to say things like, "TODAY I SUDDENLY REMEMBERED MARK LORETTA HAS A FETISH FOR WATCHES HA HA WOO IT'S 5 AM!" So there's that to look forward to. That, and David Wells' simmering anger at having to show up for Spring Training still a member of the Red Sox. I bet that makes for some real nice and relaxed conversations.

2:18 AM

Tuesday, February 14, 2006  

I think Manny and Papi say it all, don't you?

The rest of the Zito torment as soon as school slows up a bit and I stop wanting to simultaneously lie down on the floor and die and scoop my eyeballs out with sporks.

For more festive photoshoppery, you can check out the appropriately sugary greeting I whipped up for the Tigers site. Scrumptious, as they say.

12:24 AM

Thursday, February 09, 2006  
I'm sure we all remember the excitement of spring training last season. I don't mean the return of baseball after a long and happy (for Boston) offseason. I don't mean the thrill of watching the most storied players in the game today share the field with kids who may not ever get above the AA level.

No, I mean the joy of Barry Zito sharing his spring training photographic exploits with Sports Illustrated, and the aforementioned photos getting posted online in a photo album of supreme gloriousness. According to SI, Zito is an 'aspiring photographer', and I am currently in a class with a whole load of aspiring photographers. A very big part of the photographic process, for those learning, is getting critiqued by other artists and/or photographers. The crits are occasionally harsh, occasionally pointless, but ideally they're constructive and useful and helpful in teaching you how to take better photos (or paint better paintings, or draw better dead sea lampreys, whatever).

Poor Barry Zito, I found myself thinking. The boy's got all these photographic aspirations, but he's probably not getting any critiques at all from artists or photographers, and if he is they're probably his friends and tell him he's doing great even if he isn't. How will he ever learn? That isn't at all the way to go about it.

It is in this charitably concerned frame of mind that I decided to revisit the images of yesteryear, and give Zito a proper photographic critique, in the voices of various kids I have had critiques with over the years here at Michigan. I won't use their names, because there is no need, but you can get a sense for how in every class there's always at least one person who finds something wrong with every photo, one person who sees something good in every photo, someone making the most unconstructive pointless comments ever, and so on.

Oh, and I think I'm breaking this up into two parts, because it's pretty long.

Click on the images to see them larger.

ZITO SAYS: I took this at about 7 a.m. heading to work, to the field. I was driving south and getting sunlight on my face. I try to do self-portraits in creative ways. Here I held the lens up to the mirror while I was driving.
CLASS SAYS: --I really appreciate the depth of field (hereafter referred to as DoF) here, how your face is the only thing in focus. I think it really works with your intentions for the photo.
--That’s a lot of overexposed crap at the top of the image. You couldn’t have cropped it down some? It really detracts from the rest of the photo.
--But the blown-out palm trees are cool, they pull that whole ‘California’ vibe into the image. And the reflection in your sunglasses does the same, it adds a lot.
--Does the ‘California’ vibe involve endangering other motorists by paying attention to your camera as opposed to the road?
--I think you could’ve cropped the left side of the image too. Crop it down at the top and in at the left, you have a lot of useless space there. It’s good to keep some of it, to keep from centering your main subject (law of thirds!), but there’s just too much here.
--The quality of light is really nice!

ZITO SAYS: This is [outfielder] Eric Byrnes in the training room. That's an everyday ritual for a lot of players. I'm not one to use powder. I like the moist sensation.
CLASS SAYS: --Not one part of this shot is in focus. The whole thing is slightly blurry.
--I think part of the problem is that all your highlights are way blown out and overexposed. What’s up with that huge white space over the All Sport bins on the right? You should’ve darkened that in postproduction.
--The whole thing is cheaply composed. The figures are central, there’s no attention paid to surroundings… why didn’t that hint of garbage bin or whatever get cropped out of the left? That’s just lazy. And your central figure is very close to being cropped at the knees, which is a huge no-no. You just barely missed doing it, but I don’t think it was on purpose, you probably weren’t paying attention at all and just got lucky.
--It’s a great spontaneous gesture! C’mon guys! The bent-back pose of your friend there creates a great line along his back, and the tension in his jaw really draws your eye up.
--Or it would if the highlights weren’t so goddamn blown.
--Points for capturing an intimate moment of, uh, baby powder being poured into undershorts, but technically this is a very shoddy photograph.
--The moist sensation??

ZITO SAYS: We're at Sugar Daddy's, a club in Scottsdale. Guys on the team go there, and I go once a week. I did a time exposure because there wasn't much light.
CLASS SAYS: --This is making me seasick.
--Are we supposed to be impressed that you noted the low light and thought to do a time exposure? This to me looks like you’re saying, “I know enough about photography to know that low light requires a longer exposure, but not enough about photography to know that long exposures require a goddamn tripod.”
--I appreciate the spontaneity of the shot, and I guess it’s not likely you would have brought a tripod with you if you were out clubbing. But you couldn’t have braced the camera on a table or something? There’s more than one way to make a tripod, you know.
--And you really fucking need one here.
--The colors are intriguing, but there’s nothing in the composition or (lack of) focus to draw my attention to any one part of the photo over another.
--Aspiring photographer my ass. You’ve got enough money, buy a freaking tripod.

ZITO SAYS: We're in [manager] Ken Macha's orientation meeting. He tells us about the new guys on the team. And we give props to guys who won awards last year.
CLASS SAYS: --It’s sort of in focus? Your highlights are blown again, though.
--Maybe it’s the lighting of the clubhouse. But just like there are ways to compensate for low light, there are ways to compensate for bright light. You might want to look into that. A quicker shutter speed may give you sharper focus, too.
--The low perspective is interesting and the splayed posture of the guy right across from you draws your eye up and across the shot horizontally. But I wish you’d curled up and removed your own feet from the shot, or cropped it to get rid of them. They add an unnecessary visual element and just distract the viewer.
--What’s going on at the edges here? Are you using a fisheye lens or something? I’m not sure this is the best composition for whatever it is… it’s distorting the guys at the edges something fierce. I’d like to see them all straightened out and interest generated with a cleverly applied DoF instead.

ZITO SAYS: Fox was shooting promos for the All-Star Game. They always do that in spring training. That's Jason Kendall on the right, Eric Chavez on the left.
CLASS SAYS: --Snapshot. Throw it out.
--The grain in the background is really annoying. Maybe it’s only because these are compressed images on the internet? If it isn’t, I’d tell you to up your contrast, but if you did you’d only get worse glare on those already glarey lights and you’d probably lose Chavez’s face entirely.
--There’s nothing in the composition here. Their feet are randomly cut off at the bottom, and pretty much everything has equal focus and visual weight, including the guy with the tape measure, who should presumably have less of both.
--It’s just not very interesting. The image doesn’t speak to me. Probably because your lighting is uninspiring to the point where nothing of particular interest comes across in the expressions of either one of the main subjects, where I think the focus is supposed to be (not that I can tell, because you haven’t specified a focus). A zoom on their heads would have been better. Maybe.

ZITO SAYS: That's Z-Man, [A's team photographer] Michael Zagaris, on the ground. We were doing a shoot for A's Magazine, and I always bring my camera with me. Z's always behind the camera. I wanted him on the other side.
CLASS SAYS: --OK, where’s the focus here? The photographer on the ground, or the long shadow? Cause those are two objects of interest, and you’ve given them equal weight, but little or no interaction.
--Again with the fisheye-esque distortion.
--The half circle of the mound at the bottom of the picture is an interesting visual element. But the haphazard arrangement of the equipment on the infield, the casual placement of the figures, the whole composition just looks, well, snap shottish. Again.
--It's an admirable aim you have here, and it has potential to be a really good photo, you know, taking the photographer and making him the photographed. But you've done it in such a pedestrian fashion here. All you have is the concept. Give us some content.

ZITO SAYS: Outfielder Bobby Kielty, the funny guy on the team, can get super serious. You'd think he's an ax murderer.
CLASS SAYS: --Basic centralized composition. Should have cropped or cloned out that bit of metal or whatever it is on the right. This is starting to sound like a broken record.
--The subdued color palette here is really nice. The pale walls, pale floor, and pale skin really make the bat, towel, and hair pop. It's good how you have the main components all of differing textures, too... the velvety look of the towel at this focus, the shiny bat, and the soft-looking hair.
--It’s a very, um, confrontational image.
--For once you actually seem to have some vague grasp of the focus, i.e. his head and upper body are in focus, and his feet are lightly blurred. The lack of any dark shadows is a little disconcerting, but I think that’s more the fault of the clubhouse lighting.
--The verticality of the main subject and the bat makes for a nice contrast with all the horizontals in the wall.

ZITO SAYS: People stopped me for autographs, and I took this while I signed. Being surrounded by fans you get a feeling of "Oh my God." You can get overwhelmed sometimes. You put your game face on.
CLASS SAYS: --Again with the distortion at the edges! I really wish you didn’t have it here, as it’s throwing the people out of whack, and it’s really the people and their expressions that make this shot.
--The role reversal is sufficiently noteworthy to make the photo at least a little bit interesting. Usually it’s the fans taking photos of you.
--Signing with your right hand?
--Are you trying to make the overexposed sky a signature part of your photos? Congratulations. You’re succeeding.
--The expression on the face of the kid in the front is priceless. It’s like he both idolizes you and thinks you’re a huge dork. Lucky capture.

ZITO SAYS: I'm a big breakfast guy. I'm having ham and eggs Benedict, and cottage cheese with tomato. I drink tons of decaf. I end up getting the caffeine equivalent of one cup of regular coffee.
CLASS SAYS: --It really doesn’t matter what the lighting is, does it? You always find ways to blow out the highlights.
--The “I’m holding the camera up so you can see my entire arm in perspective to take a photo of myself” crap is overdone and, quite frankly, amateurish. They make cameras with self timers now, you know. If you’re going to hold it down at table level anyways, you may as well set the timer, put it down on the table, and shoot it that way.
--Your colors are really working well… the warm shade of your hat is reflected in the breakfast foods in front, and your sweater is the biggest dark form in the shot, really grounding it nicely.
--That out of focus coffee cup in the front left corner is incredibly distracting. I wish you’d moved it, because it really breaks up the symmetry of the shot and adds... uh, exactly nothing.
--Are you stoned here?

ZITO SAYS: For this, I was thinking the red hair was really standing out. Kielty's growing out his hair. We both have a thing about growing our hair out.
CLASS SAYS: --Oh my god! Sharp focus! I never would have thought it possible! There’s a workable DoF here. Applause.
--Could’ve used a tighter crop. The fluorescent light up there is unnecessary and intrusive. I don't know why this concept is so difficult for people.
--For once your stated purpose tallies with the actual photo. The pale, cool, desaturated colors make that red hair stand way out. The staggered barriers going back in space and the lines of the bricks in the walls direct the eye towards him too. Probably your most successful photo in this group.
--Please tell me this is not actually a shot of your teammate at a urinal.

Next time, the rest of the shots. Vast excitement, I know.

1:41 AM

Monday, February 06, 2006  

And the skies did open up and pour down yellow and black confetti upon the hysterical masses, and behold, the Steelers have won the Super Bowl.


Oh, I know the party line here in Michigan is all concerned with the Bus and the Bus coming back to Detroit and the Bus being seen wearing a jacket with a Detroit D on it and a Tigers hat (in public!!) and the Bus retiring, and he's from Detroit? Have you heard? It's true. Bless the Bus and his Detroity-ness, for without it the fair city would have been cold and lifeless and with no human interest stories whatsoever for the Super Bowl. It's true. Touchingly, heartwarmingly true.

The Lions fan in me couldn't care less about this game either way, but the Patriots fan in me rejects this deibusification. I'm sorry, I know it's just me being an irrational Massachusettian. But I frigging hate the Steelers. I hate Troy Polamalu's hair and Antwan Randle-El's versatility and their goddamn injury-causing gorgeous fucking stadium. I hate Bill Cowher and his elephantine jawbone. I hate the Burger and, well, OK, maybe hate isn't the right word there. It's hard to truly hate someone who looks that bad in a beard, and who is as in love with their dog as the Burger is with his Zeusy-poo. And it's hard to hate someone who writes things like this in their blog:

If your having a party, stock up on some of my BBQ sauce or Beef Jerky. You can buy them both from my site, and their the best you'll find. At least I think so. Gotta go. Your friend, Ben

"you're", "they're". This is how you know he writes the stuff himself. Although it's effective advertising... generally I just read his blog for the dog pictures, I had no idea he has his own line of Beef Jerky. BurgerJerk? Roethlisbeefger? No, hate is not the right word at all. 'Hysterical pity' may be more apt.

I tried to take some notes on the actual Super Bowl, in between taking notes for my biopsych test this week (an exciting life I lead!). This is all I was able to come up with.

-a strong reminder of how much younger football is than baseball. they've got mvps from every superbowl ever played walking out. all the way back to number 1. in baseball, all those dudes are dead, buried, and rolling in their graves at the thought of how much cash they could be making if they were alive and playing today.

-this is the saddest national anthem ever. you can almost see their vocal chords decaying right there on the field. stop it before i cry.

-brady doing the coin flip. booed by steelers fans, i have free license to be a bitter pats fan all i like. coin flip called by seattle, won by seattle. ha ha! tommy's got the magic hands. bite our frozen new england asses, hines wardians.

-seattle touchdown nullified by penalty. i dunno, clearcut? not very. what the hell do i know. i've got paint on my glasses. fucking photo project.

-oh boy a field goal. way to settle, seattle. they'll probably regret that later on.

-joe jurevicius is a great name. it would be an amazing cat name if i wasn't already going to name my first cat dave roberts.

-budweiser ad with the shorn sheep as streaker was good until sheep got up and started dancing on two legs. taking the joke too far, bud. it was funnier when it was more understated. i realize their target audience is 'morons', but still, c'mon guys.

-burger intercepted by some dude named bowlware or something like that. earlier we were told by madden that they change the balls on every play and a new ball is a slippery ball. insert joke about the burger and slippery ball handling here.

-john madden on the quietness of steeler fans in the 2nd quarter: "i wonder if these are really steelers fans, or if they just handed out a bunch of terrible towels somewhere."

-this game is really fucking boring.

-john madden quoting someone else on the elusiveness of the burger: "guys just drip off him." funny, that's what TO used to say about jeff garcia.

-realize that i've written 'schwann cell' as 'schwam cell' 5 times in my biopsych notes. i hate chris berman so much sometimes.

-blech a steelers touchdown. wave your towels, you insane people. john madden doesn't think you're real anyways.

-is this gillette fusion ad the most overdramatic ad for a razor ever in the history of mankind? probably. topped only in sheer inexplicable showmanship by those deranged pseudo-artsy tire ads with people doing saucy ballroom dancing. TIRES. RAZORS. get a grip, ad world!

-some nfl network ad using some words blah blah and the 'dreamers' bit is illustrated by lions fans. sob. thank you, nfl network OH MAN TEDY BRUSCHI AND HIS CHILDREN BRAIN ASPLODEY

-what the hell are the seahawks doing? end of the half. seriously what the hell was that. i mostly expected donovan mcnabb to emerge from their sideline and dry heave onto midfield.

-god the rolling stones are old. also their tight pants frighten me.

-someone in the fake stage crowd has a terrible towel. i didn't think they let actual fans down there. maybe they snuck in. no one would notice so long as they were wearing vaguely 'hip' clothing and a vacant expression.

-no i would not expect that seattle feels too good about going into the lockerroom down after dominating most of the first half. they were kicking ass and they're still losing. that is not a good feeling. analysts. ugh.

-so that was the longest run from scrimmage in superbowl history or something and the steelers score again. only 75 yards? i would've thought it would be longer.

-i'm never registering anything with go just on the basis of these ads.

-burger intercepted in the 3rd! guy runs a long way back, burger gets shoved on his kiester. ha ha, excellent. longest interception return in superbowl history, 76 yards. that's it? this is kind of pathetic, or maybe it's all about the quality of the defenses in previous superbowls. or something.

-seattle touchdown. i wasn't really watching. hey, some of us have a test and a huge fucking project due next week.

-john madden on someone on the sideline with an injury: "what d'you think they were looking at that they made him take his pants off? i'm not sure that you check a hamstring that way." hall of fame, ladies and gents.

-they're calling that a penalty on hasselbeck? really? a low block? uh, ok, whatever you say, officiating crew. dare i say the words 'sun belt'?

-antwan randle el just threw a touchdown pass. i would applaud the versatility of him and compare him to troy brown if i didn't think his team deserved the crispiness of a close encounter with the surface of the sun.

-boring boring boring.

-and the steelers win. well, the bettis boosters will be happy, and seattle can sink back into obscurity, saving sportswriters everywhere the problem of having to think about it. i really did not need to ever see cowher pumping his pale arms into the air while his soaking wet tshirt gets plastered to his middleaged coach torso. i'm in for some nightmares tonight.

-if i have to hear 'one for the thumb' one more time i'm going to jam my thumb into my eyesocket.

That was about the sum of it. If we got Animal Planet in the dorms, I totally would have watched the Puppy Bowl. I'm also very glad that I avoided Detroit this week... some kids from my hall went downtown on Saturday. I saw one of them at around 3 am on Sunday morning and all he would say was that it took them 4 hours to get down there. He had a haunted look on his face and promised me details later, when he could handle them. I assume there was horrific traffic, or road closings, or at the very least a soul-scarring Steven A. Smith sighting.

Back to baseball talk now, thank cats. I've got some bad analogies I'd like to make, and if I can find the SI link to Barry Zito's photo album again I'm totally doing an art school critique of them. So there's that to look forward to.

2:51 AM

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