Alex’s All-Childhood Team

August 10, 2013

For one day in 2013, 90s baseball was alive and well. Ken Griffey Jr was honored in Seattle, while Hideo Nomo, Eric Karros, and Tommy Lasorda shared a laugh pre-game in Los Angeles. All this got me thinking, what would my All-Childhood Team roster look like? Of course, it’d be a bit biased towards Dodgers. But besides that, who would it be? So here we go. This is strictly based on how I will remember baseball during my childhood, who I followed, and players who, to this day, stand out in my memory. 25 man roster.

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Catcher – Mike Piazza

1st Base – Eric Karros

2nd Base – Craig Biggio

Shortstop – Derek Jeter

3rd Base – Chipper Jones

Outfield – Ken Griffey Jr, Tim Salmon, Shawn Green

Starting Pitching – Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Hideo Nomo, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz

Relief Pitching – Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Eric Gagne, Troy Percival

Bench – Cal Ripkin Jr, Tony Gwynn, Todd Helton, Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Raul Mondesi, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra

Manager – Tommy Lasorda

These players couldn’t make the 25 man roster, but they deserve a shout-out.

Honorable Mention: Eric Young, Chan Ho Park, Tim Wakefield, David Wells, Mark McGwire, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Larry Walker, Tom Glavine, Mark Grace

Not mentioned above, but worth mentioning just because 13 year old Alex thought they were awesome…these guys:
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Dear Class of _____

June 17, 2013

Dear Class of  _____,
On June 18, 2012, the Class of 2012 walked in the graduation ceremony at the University of Oregon with great pomp and circumstance. It was a (typical) cloudy/rainy day in Eugene. We were surrounded by our friends and family. We had our education behind us and the world in front of us. Today, you all joined the us, and the many before us, as alumni of the University of Oregon. Many congratulations are in order.

When I put on my cap and gown that day, I knew that I was not really graduating. I was going to finish school in December. Celebrating the fact that I was almost there seemed weird to me. It was important to me to go through the ceremony and have the experience, the pictures, the memories. However, as I saw the pictures and postings by the Class of 2013 on various social media sites from their graduation one year later, I couldn’t help to feel a bit of regret. I didn’t have time to really celebrate, as I was starting my job the next morning at 6am. I didn’t want to go take a picture in front of a cool University of Oregon sign because I wasn’t going anywhere. You can look back on my post from the week before my graduation ceremony. I didn’t appreciate the day. I didn’t soak it all in. It felt like a charade to me, and I shouldn’t have let it. Don’t get me wrong. I had a big smile on my face and I felt very accomplished. But when you start summer courses exactly one week after you “graduated,” it feels a bit strange. In retrospect, I should have soaked in the day a bit more. I should have thrown the idea that I wasn’t really done out the window and appreciated the day for what it meant.

I am writing you this (open) letter so you can take the time to reflect on everything today. I am writing this letter so that you, the Class of ____, can take the time to stop, look around, and soak in the accomplishment that you have achieved. The ceremony. The day. the caps. The gowns. The sound of your name being called as you walk across the stage and into the next phase of your life. Let it all soak in. Have fun. Celebrate. So what if you have a little extra time to go. It doesn’t matter if you are actually graduating today or in a few months. Today, you are graduating. That’s all that matters!

Congratulations to the Class of ____! This day belongs to you!

Alex Horwitch
University of Oregon
School of Journalism and Communication – Public Relations
Class of 2012


Dante Didn’t Even Know The Half Of It!

March 8, 2010

Dear Dante,
Your inferno was missing something. I think somewhere around the 4th, 5th, or 6th level of your hell is a little something called J202 Information Gathering. Haven’t heard of it. Maybe you know it by its moniker, Info Hell. Ringing a bell now? Hell’s Bells? Yes, punny, but I digest….

Dante, my dear friend, I know we haven’t spoken since Senior year, but if you could help me navigate out of this rung of hellish activity as you did when I was stuck in a boring ass classroom (H216 if my memory is correct) with a terrible teacher (not related to Roman) I would greatly appreciate it.

In the meantime, please make sure you properly place J202 in your Divine Comedy and let it sit and rot there. Again, greatly appreciated!

Give my best to Virgil,
Alex


Leadership

February 15, 2010

Your entire life, you always hear leadership talk. You can do this, you can do that. Some is inspirational (“Somewhere in the world right there is someone your age that will one day change the world. Why not you? You can do whatever you want to!” -Rick Horwitch). Some not so much (“Study hard, play hard, but no throwing chairs!” -Steve Wilkos).

Tonight I got the opportunity to listen to 3 amazing speakers at the University of Oregon Presidential Leadership Symposium. Starting with President Richard Lariviere, the speakers all urged the 200 to be the best we could. Then, Ana Maria Merico began her speech. She started by having everyone close their eyes and envision a 21 year old immigrant, not speaking English, pregnant, with $400 total dollars. She came to America from Argentina and sought greatness. People told her she couldn’t do it, she asked why. Her message rings true with the quote from my dad above. You can do whatever you want! Just don’t let anything get in the way!

Finally, Rev. Jesse Jackson took the stage. Starting slow and quiet, as he has thousands of times before, he slowly grew into a heated, fast paced, passionate, loud speech. His message? Champions play through pain. “You must bloody up the uniform some times! Champions play through pain!” He spoke of Dr. King’s famous speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Yet he said that while the famous message of having a dream was what was taken away from the speech, that it was not the message delivered. “Dr. King looked to the statue and said ‘Mr. Lincoln, you gave the proclamation, but did not grant emancipation!'” He gave a timeline of change, starting in 1948 and ending on a November night in a Chicago park. How did we, as a country, go from WWII African-American veterans not having the same rights as White veterans, to having an African-American President? Students. We have the power. We are the most powerful demographic. We need to “Democratize Democracy!” Make Democracy a Democracy. We all need to have our voices heard!

“When Rosa Parks sat down on that bus, she broke the law. The driver needed to save his job. The police were called.” There is a difference between moral right and legal obligation. Which do we go by? Which do we choose? The US Government allows the free speech that the Pacifica Forum is participating in on this campus right now, but that does not make it right. Moral right, legal obligation.

He then continued on about students. He asked who in the crowd was on some sort of aid at the University. When a few hands went up he corrected everyone. “Surprise, you all are! This is a government funded facility. You are all being aided by the government. You are all on some sort of aid!” He told a story of a man who had a MediCare card in one pocket, a Social Security in the other, driving down a major US highway. “The man said to me ‘I do not want the government aiding and funding my actions.’ Then how are you going to survive?”

Finally, he turned his speech to the welfare of the students. “You can get a car with 0% interest. You can get a bank [account] with 0% interest. But when you take out a student loan, after you graduate, you’re in debt. You get married into debt, and your first mortgage is payed by an IOU. We must get rid of interest on student loans. We must allow our students to graduate and be free!”

The final thing he said to the crowd was during a Q&A session. He was asked if people should be Color Blind. His response, “Do not deny who you are. We are all black, white, yellow, red, brown. Do not be color blind, be color tolerant. Be aware. Thank you. God bless you. I love you Eugene!” And he walked off the stage.

What did I take from this? Everything. Do what you want. Why? Why not?! Do what is morally right, not necessarily legally mandated. We, the students, can make a difference. “Democratize Democracy!” Don’t let things get in the way. Achieve greatness. “You can do whatever you want to!”


I’m With Coco

January 14, 2010

Watching The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien the past few nights really has been something else. We are all watching a man who works harder at his job than most people do, and who truly loves his job, slowly turn into a comedic-one-man NBC wrecking ball. He is taking shots at NBC, Leno, and everyone else involved with the current situation like his job isn’t on the line. He wrote a sketch from Jack McBreyer tonight in which he blatantly took a HUGE shot at all NBC executives. McBreyer was the voice of Conan, calling a network who would change times on someone a “monster.” “Fun Fact: Conan and other members of the Tonight Show staff uprooted their families to move to Los Angeles to produce this show.” Ricky Gervais then came on and told Conan to get drunk, have fun, “go mental. What are they gonna do? Fire you!?”

Gervais is exactly right, and Conan has not been shying away from it. I noticed this for the first time last night, when he entered for his monologue doing the same old shtick he did on Late Night (the jump, spin entrance, followed by the “strings attached to hips” routine). Conan is having the time of his life, due to the fact that he doesn’t know how much longer he has for his dream job. I’m with Coco. I will follow Conan wherever he goes; if that be to FOX, staying at NBC, or anywhere else. Conan is a comedic genius, writing some of the best Simpsons episodes of all time (Monorail ring a bell for you Simpsons fans? All Conan) and SNL. Tonight’s monologue said the following:
Hi, I’m Conan O’Brien, and I’ve been practicing the phrase, “Who ordered the mochaccino grande?”

Hosting “The Tonight Show” has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me – and I just want to say to the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life. Unless Jay Leno wants to do it too.

According to a new TV Guide poll, 83 percent of voters want me to stay at 11:35. When he heard this poll number, President Obama asked, “How can I get NBC to screw me over?”

I’m getting a lot of support out there, especially from an online group calling themselves “Team Conan.” It’s very exciting-it’s the first time in my life I’ve been on a team where I wasn’t picked last.

Last night, the new season of “American Idol” started on the FOX Network and it was watched by an audience of 30 million people. When they heard that, NBC executives said “That’s not true, there’s no such thing as an audience of 30 million people.”

I’m starting to ramble, but in short, Conan is gaining the support NBC never allowed, or thought he would, get. NBC has, for a lack of a better term, fucked up…..BIG TIME! Congratulations to Conan for standing up to the bully named NBC. It’s the Tonight Show, not a sitcom. You have to allow time for an audience. And when Conan is elsewhere (as Letterman joked, “Replacing my job on this [CBS] network”) getting bigger ratings than Leno and becoming the new “King of Late Night,” the NBC executives will look across the board room table and say “What did we do!?”

Max Gaspin…..FIX THIS MESS!


A Quick Reflection

January 6, 2010

As I was at dinner this evening with Sam and Drew (Papa’s Soul Food!), I came to a sudden realization. I could not be happier with my decision to come to the U of O. Eugene is such a unique place; the people, the restaurants, the businesses, everything. The weather sucks at times, but it’s nice to get something different than the same 70+ degree weather I’ve had for the rest of my life. The atmosphere, the trees, the setting, completely different than Calabasas…in a great way! The education I’m getting is quality. The friends I’m making are awesome. My fraternity is great. My a’cappella group is great. My football team is great! My basketball team is getting better, as is the baseball team.

I have now lived 19 years. I now have 19 years of knowledge built up in my mind. I made a decision 2 years ago to come to Oregon. At the time I chose, in part, because it was different than Los Angeles (unlike Arizona, which is very much like LA). I said that I was going to be living in LA post-college, so I might as well live somewhere different for 4 years. My decision to come to Eugene was the perfect decision I could ever make. THAT is my 20th birthday gift to myself. *Pat on back* Well done. Good choice!

With 40 minutes left in my teenaged life, I also can’t believe that my adult life is truly about to start. I have learned a lot in my 19 years, and am ready to learn more. 20 years is a milestone. As I am sitting in Bronstein’s room, he is humming “New Slang” by The Shins. I have always thought that was a good reflection song. It’s fitting that as I sit here, about to become “an adult” that that is the song that should come up. I’m ready to start this next part of my life, and accept all the challenges with ease and an open-mind. Here’s to the next chapter…


Christmas Movies

December 25, 2009

It’s Christmas. Some of the best movies ever are Christmas movies. My Christmas tradition? When everyone in the house is getting ready to go to sleep, I stay up for a good while and watch some movies. Tonight? Christmas Vacation and Elf. Why the hell not!? So here, in the holiday spirit, are some of the best quotes from those Christmas movies.
Merry Chirstmas to all, and to all a good night!

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