Tuesday, December 18, 2007


As my dad and I were walking back to the car after my grandfather's funeral dinner today, he gave me one of those father/son talks.

"You know you're really the man of the house now, right?"
"Yeah, I know."
"You can't say things like 'I'm too young.' or 'I want to stay a kid.' because you'll be a man before you know it."

"I know, dad."
"One day you'll have to make these arrangements for me too you know."

"Yes, dad."
"You'll be a good man."
"I know I will."

I really love my dad a lot more than I thought I would when I was in High School. The patrimony he's given me is so much more valuable that anything Astor's son could be chasing. He taught me what it is to endure and persevere. How many Bible Studies have failed at teaching that? How many children grow up without ever knowing that? But my father, a atheist limo-cab driver, weekend plumber, electrician, carpenter, has taught me that.

He taught me that there are times when costs must be paid. So many people fail that I talk to, so many people that I have considered mentors at one point or another, do not understand that. There are things that I would gladly pay for with health, career, even so much as life. There are things that are so much more important than any of those three and even all of those three together. My father helped me learn what it meant to be like Jesus.

As my discipleship group was talking this Sunday about the future, about becoming husbands and fathers, Dennis, newly-engaged to Cindy as he is, spoke about the worries he had about how his yet-to-be-children would turn out. Would they be Christians? Would they be faithful? Will too much church make them cynical?

Who knows? All we can do is be faithful ourselves. From my father, I see that for the things that truly matter in life, example is the best teacher. I saw how faithful he was to my mother all these years, how he always honored, respected and loved her. He taught me how to treat women well. He taught me how to spot thieves, crooks and scams. 20 years of being harassed for nothing more than being Chinese has given him sharp eyes and a sharp mind. He has given me such unimaginable wealth.

I'm confident that I will raise good kids one day too. But I want to give them even more than my father has given me. I want to teach them how to love Jesus, how to live for Him and if I have the privilege, how to die for Him.

My life is a resource, nothing more. It's not very liquid and it continually depreciates. If I do not use it, I will lose it. I am going to spend it wildly and wisely. I am going to pour all that I am into the work of the Gospel and Kingdom advancement.

In retrospect, I am not a typical Asian man because I did not have typical Asian parents. They told me that they would be fine if I were a pastor (anathema!), a missionary (blasphemy!) or if I never made a lot of money (apostasy!). My father never had an obsession of gadgets or things as so many Asian men are afflicted. He never felt the need to impress other people with fine clothes (not that he knows what fine clothes are) or cars. My father, surprisingly enough, gets along fine with the Mexicans and Pakistanis at the garage unlike I suppose the majority of Asians who cloister themselves in their own homogeneous communities. Looking back, I guess it should be no surprise at all that my closest friends come from the world over. IV-Baruch, I love you guys.

My father may still be living these days but sometimes I feel as if I'm a prodigal son already living out his portion of the inheritance. I am very blessed. I have some big shoes to fill.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Andy Pettitte: Yankee Hero

He came out and admitted to HGH use today.

"Everything else written or said about me knowingly using illegal drugs is nonsense, wrong and hurtful," Pettitte said. "I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. I wasn't looking for an edge; I was looking to heal.

"If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication.

"I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true."

I hate the NY Sports media.

They've painted Andy Pettitte as a cheater, a liar and a hypocrite. What exactly did he lie about? HGH is not a steroid. The effects of the two drugs are worlds apart. The fact that they are often taken in conjunction with one another means little. That's like accusing someone who drinks Red Bull of being an alcoholic. Just because Red Bull and vodka is a popular drink doesn't make Red Bull the same thing as vodka. The NY media does not understand this.

Anabolic steroids are illegal drugs and to move them across states and to sell them for non-medicinal purposes is a federal offense. HGH is not illegal.

Andy Pettitte took HGH in 2002. HGH was banned in MLB in 2005. When did it become OK to retroactively say that someone cheated? The only advantage it can confer is shedding fat and possibly speeding up recovery time, although that has yet to be proven in clinical trials.

I hate the NY sports media.

Andy Pettitte, you'll always be my hero. You'll always be one of my favorite Yankees.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What A Joke.

Not only are the inmates running the asylum. They're doing a pretty crappy job about it.

Bud Selig is a terrible commissioner of baseball. This is a case study in terrible leadership qualities. Hire one of your friends to use tax-payer dollars and baseball revenues to cover up your mistakes, play favorites, push your personal agenda...

What hurts a civilization more? Performance-enhancing drugs or poor character? I'd rather cut off my male organ than be a coward like Selig hiding behind the self-righteous pretense of an independent investigation. May as well have asked Soviet Russia to undertake an independent investigation into the presence of missiles in Cuba during the Cold War or have McDonald's conduct an independent investigation into the health effects of trans fats. Really? A Boston Red Sox director conducting an investigation? Really? What a joke.

I wish Babe Ruth would rise up out of the grave, walk up to Bud and demand that he step down from his position on national television.

Bud Selig, you are more of a disgrace to this game of baseball than the steroid era that you're fighting against.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Beautiful

On my Mac's dashboard I have the Astronomy Pic of the Day widget and that picture above is today's pic. Its description is as follows:

Explanation: The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts. Pictured above is one of several striking dust pillars of the Eagle Nebula that might be described as a gigantic alien fairy. This fairy, however, is ten light years tall and spews radiation much hotter than common fire. The greater Eagle Nebula, M16, is actually a giant evaporating shell of gas and dust inside of which is a growing cavity filled with a spectacular stellar nursery currently forming an open cluster of stars. The above image in scientifically re-assigned colors was released as part of the fifteenth anniversary celebration of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.

I've wondered for awhile whether there is such a thing as the "religion gene" or a "religious instinct." What is it that caused men to feel reverence and awe and then create a wood or stone object to encapsulate that feeling of humble smallness? When I think about those sublime moments that have seized me in wonder and admiration, speckles of cosmic light against a purple-black sky, the sun as it sets, the sun as it rises, wisps of frozen crimson clouds awash in the rays of a fading day, I imagine that's the most religious feeling a person can get.

I don't have the same emotions as others do during a loud and noisy service. It is my personal preference to avoid services that are advertised as "fiery," "energetic," "charismatic," etc.

I sense that the divine is nearest when things are quietest, least expected, stillest. It passes briefly but its impression is unforgettable, the lingering warmth of a meaning-rich embrace.

How, I wonder, is it possible to go from that sentiment of reverence to idolatry, I'm not sure. When the sublime, the Beautiful is near, the last thing on my mind are hawk-headed men or feathered serpents. I don't understand how visual portmanteau's of cows and goats, lions and men can express that feeling. In fact, if a priest or shaman unveiled even the best made figure of such I would only be able to feel a deep and bitter sense of anti-climax. What a buzz-kill.

The Romantics viewed art as the memory of beauty-long past, felt in an instant, composed in the future. I suppose that helps me understand a little better but those images are what they felt in that moment? Is it I that lack the religious instinct or they?

How could one image inspire such vastly different effects? I suppose that my positivist, hyper-rational, modernist sensibilities agree with my Judeo-Christian ideology. Don't mummify it. The more real, the more tangible, touch-able, a thing is the further it is from true beauty. Pictures are perhaps good but 3x5's rarely inspire heart-rending beauty. Words are better. Silence and awe is best, when beauty dwells in the camera obscura behind a lidded eye.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Taking out the trash.

The above is my opinion of most sports journalism.

This is why.
Problem: This entire article is speculation. The whole piece is devoid of confirmed facts. It's completely predicated on hearsay.

This is another reason.
Problem: This is yellow journalism. Derek Jeter donated $2 million, less than 1% of his contract and an infinitesimally small sliver of his total net worth to his own foundation (which are for the most part, tax exemption schemes and goodwill events) but A-Rod gets reamed for $30,000? Derek Jeter commits tax fraud and it's swept under the rug but A-Rod is a slum lord and gets crucified. Populism and pedagogy.

An idiocracy in Sports News.
Problem: To write for ESPN you must 1- Hate objectivity, 2- produce an article a week even if there's nothing to report, 3- use terrible metaphors and tropes, 4- be as large a hypocrite as possible.

The worst offender of all. NoMaas nailed it with their 12/5/07 post.
Problem: Peter Gammons is the worst "homer" in all of sports journalism. He has always railed on the Yankees for their free-spending and economic bullying of the rest of baseball. The Red Sox added nearly $80m in payroll committments for 2007 to win the World Series. The Red Sox have the distinction of being the highest paid and second highest paid teams to win the World Series. Not a single mention of that fact. Not a single mention. After the aneurysm he had, I'm pretty sure he can barely pronounce the word "objective" anymore.

Ugh, what happens when the only well to draw water from is the sewer?


And now this!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Joba Chamberlain will be at the Circuit City in Midtown (43rd street and something) signing baseballs at 7:00pm. He's going to be on the cover of ESPN Magazine.

Great story, here.
Unbelievable track record, here.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Cost of Greatness

I want this guy so bad that I'm actually in an emotionally disturbed state right now.

Why is that? Because to get him, I might have to lose this guy.

Johan Santana may be the greatest pitcher of our generation. Phil Hughes may be the greatest pitcher of this coming generation. I want both on my team. I can't bear to be without either one. Phil Hughes represents to me, a new day in the Yankee Universe. He is the face of a new age in Yankee baseball, where we have dominant pitching for pennies. Johan Santana represents to me what is great about the Yankees. The need to have greatness no matter the cost. I wish I can have both. I want so badly to have both...


I feel so ashamed I could feel this intensely about a stupid game...

Please, Brian Cashman, find a way to have both Santana and Hughes pitch for the Yankees in 2008.