Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hate Mail

If you have ever sent me hate mail, congratulations, you're about to get your moment in the spotlight. Just assuming that you need attention if you're sending people ridiculous messages. 
Whenever I tell people that I receive mean messages or comments, people tend to not fully believe me. I mean, come's women's softball. Who could be that passionate about the sport to send a rude message to 20-something year old girl??? I mean, I guess it's kind of good that people are paying attention and feel passionate enough to send the message......(looking for positives here, people).
Anyways, internet trolls have become far too abundant and it seems to be a sign that our generation is in a slow decline of proper social interactions. Far too many people can hide behind a computer screen and never have to face their victim face-to-face. (Ok, maybe victim is a bit strong of a word, but you get the point). People who lack social skills and any sort of guts to say what they want to an actual person can easily sit and type their attacks out. 
So, this post is dedicated to you! Congratulations!!! I mean, it's obvious that you're bitter about some things. Maybe you got cut from your JV basketball team in the 5th grade. Maybe you were the kid that was consistently picked last for dodgeball. (Don't worry, that was me too!). Hell, maybe you even got dumped by your internet girlfriend/boyfriend, who you never met in person because you didn't feel like talking to him/her in person, in fear that you wouldn't have the time to think up your clever responses that you do when you're typing on your computer. 
It honestly takes a lot to get me upset. You have to really know me in order to get a true reaction. Only my friends know how to stab me in the heart, and luckily I have really really good friends, so that never happens. So, for anyone who sends these messages, I'm sorry but you only provided me with some fleeting entertainment.
I only picked a few because, to be honest, a lot of them are just really stupid and pointless. Many of them have to do with me and my illegal pitching, which unless you are an avid softball fan, have no idea what that entails. Basically, I was the poster child for "crowhopping" during my junior year at Michigan. My drag foot comes off the ground by just a hair, which is illegal. Honestly, it doesn't give me any real advantage (why it's illegal). I actually started pitching faster when I changed my motion to drag.  However, umpires cracked down that year and I became the ring leader in circus softball games. The worst one was Michigan vs. Texas where I was called 38 times for an illegal pitch. Illegal pitches lead to a subsequent ball on the batter and if there are runners on base, they get to advance. The fact that we only lost that game 2-0 was a miracle. Anyways, a lot of the messages I got involved this illegal pitching and old men telling me I should be ashamed of myself for not correcting it. Just to quickly address them: I pitched the same way since I was 12 years old. That's millions of pitches thrown. And you're asking me to correct it within a couple of weeks??? Clearly you have zero knowledge of how muscle memory works or just how difficult (if not impossible) that is to do. So, thanks for the branding of being the illegal pitcher, y'all. Glad to be the first one there was (complete sarcasm).

Let the fun begin!!!

This first one was a comment left on a YouTube video (that was not made by me). If you haven't seen the video of a young man, named Thomas, nervously make his way through a date proposal, I think you should find the time to watch it:

First things first. No, I did not go on a date with him. I've been called heartless by some of my friends for not following up with him. But, I'm not up to turning him down. He seems fragile as it is. So, I just kind of let it fade out. He never contacted me directly - I found out we were Facebook friends after I had the video sent to me by one of my Twitter followers. 
But, one of the comments left for the video was:

"Jordan Taylor looks like a dude. I'll bet she doubles as a LB for the football team. If you're going to ask out a girl on least make it a hot one."

Well, damn sir. With a username of "moreNLIGHTENDthanYOU" I'm going to have to assume that he is, in fact, more intelligent than I am, so there is really no use arguing. Although, I will point out the fact that you misspelled "enlightened." You're missing a few E's. I will also point out that I would make the most pathetic linebacker that the sport of football has ever seen. Trust me, I know I'm a big girl. I have curves and enough ass to spare for 3 people. AND DAMN PROUD OF IT, thank you very much. But a linebacker? Have you ever seen a football game?! Those guys are huge. If you're truly comparing me to that, than you're just a douche. And you would probably be the worst recruiting scout football has ever known. But, I'm going to assume since you are so intelligent and enlightened, that you spend many hours in the library and haven't actually ever seen a football game. I would make an awful excuse for a football player. Although, I will still gladly kick your ass.
And p.s. word to the wise, so obviously you, mr. enlightened, making fun of a girl's weight is just plain dumb. Especially an athlete. 

This one actually got me. It was sent to me after my last game in a University of Michigan uniform. After our #10 ranked team was upset by Kentucky in Regionals. It was one of those upsets that was just flat out, not supposed to happen. We were way too good of a team to not make it through to at least Super-Regionals. Alas, that's what happened. And much of the reason for us not making it to the next round can be placed on me. I was pitching one of the best games of my life. We had a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 7th. The first batter battled for about 12 pitches before putting a change-up an inch fair over the right field line. Apparently that was the last "game-worn" ball and I was issued a succession of brand-new softballs. For anyone who doesn't know softball, pitching with a brand-new ball is really difficult. It's slick and hard to grip. What happened from there was 3 walks, a strikeout, and 1 seeing-eye blooper from a girl who was batting a buck 70 on the season. This was one of those moments where everything was working against us, against me, and I simply didn't rise to the challenge. After that catastrophic 7th inning and end to my career, I came back to this message:

"Well at least you made Michigan semi-proud. Then again you were kind of like the rest of the sports, a glimpse of hope, then you crash and burn. If only you hadn't choked, you could've been one of the best. Sorry your last game in a Michigan uniform had to be a failure."

To say I was a hot mess after the loss would be a severe understatement. I didn't make it off the field before tears started to roll. Luckily Hutch was there to meet me after the chalk, because my knees basically gave out. To me, I had let down my entire team and not only broke their hearts, but shattered my own. I was not consonable. No one could get me to stop crying. It took me about 30 minutes to even gain the courage to walk through the courtyard of all the fans. I was offered to be escorted around the back of the building by our coaches. However, I knew that I owed these amazing fans a huge debt of gratitude and thank them one last time. Once in the lockeroom, my planned out apology to the team just turned into speechlessness. I had no words that could make up for what I hadn't done for them. If you think you could cut me any deeper than I already was, than you are sorely mistaken. Criticizing athletes usually has no impact, because we are our biggest critics. Unfortunately, since we are in the "entertainment" department, people find it necessary to project their opinions onto us. Even more unfortunate is that I was called a "choke artist" by a fellow Wolverine athlete. Not anyone on the softball team. For this one special person, I reserve my most deathly of the stare downs. Level 10 stare down - a you-would-be-obliterated-in-a-million-pieces-if-looks-could-kill type of stare down.

This last one was a message that was sent to me following Team USA's most recent World Cup win. Our team was brand new to each other and even younger than the year before. The median age is 23, with over half of our team still playing for their college teams. We have a lot of fun together, constantly making light of situations in the dugout. It's just who we are. We have a bunch of goofballs - mainly Sam Fischer, Amanda Chidester, Jackie Traina, and Keilani Ricketts. Just because we have fun does not mean that we aren't focused, or take our positions on the team seriously.  


The caps lock really made me feel your passion. Really, as soon as I saw those caps lock, I sat straight up in my seat and came to attention like I was being commanded by a drill sergeant. Great touch. Now, I'm going to assume by some random spaces and misspelled words that this caps lock was not by choice. Rather, I'm going to take a wild guess and say you were drunk when you wrote this message. Somehow, the caps lock got hit and maybe the keys wouldn't stop moving for long enough for you to focus and find the button again. I'm also going to assume you were drunk because who in a sober mind decides to send an angry, all caps locked message to a girl who just won a World Cup title. A girl who pitched 1 inning of this game. Not sure why I was the target of your aggression. Perhaps my name was the easiest to remember (shoutout to Marge and Johnny for a great name!). Maybe you just saw my face on TV and thought that girl needs to be yelled at. RIGHT NOW! And as for our team lacking looks......really sir? You don't find a single person on our team to be attractive. I seriously doubt you have Playboy bunnies or models running around your apartment (or your double wide). Our team definitely doesn't consist of these types of girls, but we are in no way ugly. Thanks for the attempted self-esteem dip, though. Like really??? A 7?! You wouldn't give any of our girls a 7??? Might I remind you, too, that we are PLAYING SOFTBALL. Aka, were sweating our asses off in the Oklahoma heat and diving around dirt and grass. You try to keep your make-up and pony tail in perfect shape. Let me tell you, sir, it's REALLY DIFFICULT!

We're all so ugly, I can't handle it....

I wish I could say I was making these up. I promise I'm not. I really do receive messages like this. Hopefully you found as much entertainment as I did out of them. Obviously, the alternative would be for me to get upset and that would just be letting the writers get what they want! I'd rather not let that happen. It's just way too much fun to stay happy and ruin their plans ;)

So, if you were planning on sending a hateful message, I'd avoid wasting your time. Or do. Either way, it really makes no difference to me!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dentist Trip

If someone had told me a year ago that I would be living in Japan, I would have thought they were crazy. If that same person had told me that I would not only be living there, but going to the dentist to get operated on, I probably would have slapped that person across the face. 
But, here I am. Living in the Japan.....and going to the dentist....
To say I was petrified would be an understatement. The pain in my tooth, however, was not something I could delay any longer. So, basically against my will, I was dragged to the dentist. I would say dragged kicking and screaming, but I think as soon as I hit the age of 10 it became socially unacceptable, unfortunately. 
Arriving at the dentist, however, I was in complete shock. It was by far the nicest building I had ever been in for any sort of medical reason. It looked brand new. I immediately had to hide a quick laugh at the assistants uniforms. As in the hospitals too, the nurses and dental assistants wear a similar uniform. Think World War II nurses uniform: apron, double-pointed hat that's bobby-pinned on, all white. I was led back to the room through various sliding doors - sort of scary, actually - and into an even nicer room. Everything was beyond any technology I had ever seen. I felt like I had actually time-traveled to the future. I'm not exaggerating. If I have to go again, I'll try to sneak a picture. 
Obviously, the dentist did not speak a single word of English. I have since taught him "OW," "rinse," and a few expletives here and there (whoops). My poor translator had to sit in the room and witness the entire operation, which was pretty painful. She also had to translate for me, which was probably not very pleasant with me hating the dentist with a fiery passion. Before we had even started, the dentist showed me, on a jumbo screen TV, exactly what he was going to be doing. A graphic, cartoon version of all the drilling, ripping out of roots, cleaning, and filling of the tooth. Oh, yeh, forgot to mention...this "toothache" in fact needed a root canal. The dentist did not understand this terminology when I asked him if that was what he was going to be doing. So, in my slow panic and realization of what was about to go down, my translator had to look up how to translate the word. After I got confirmation on the translated word, I basically cried like a 2 year old. A slight temper tantrum may have occurred if I hadn't just come from an all-day practice and was completely exhausted. 
Obviously, the worst part is the novacain shot, and things are typically good-to-go from there. I have an extreme fear and hatred for needles. I'm pathetic and I will fully claim & accept that. Every time I have to get a blood test, I almost pass out from working myself up so much. I somehow put myself through getting a tattoo on my foot. Still not quite sure how I did that. Although my friends that were with me still make fun of me to this day for almost passing out and for some reason yelling to get me a Diet Coke. Why I thought a Diet Coke would help, I really have no idea. At least I provided entertainment for the lovely man covered in face tattoos and piercings who did my tattoo. 
So, I was bracing myself for this painful stabbing of my mouth, when something magical happened. With my eyes squeezed shut and pinching the skin on my leg (trying to trick my pain receptors. Never works), I suddenly heard a song start playing. And I recognized it immediately. "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Sleeping Beauty was being projected out of the needle and into my eardrums. Disney my worst enemy, the needle. Amazing. I was in such shock and awe, that I completely forgot that I was being stabbed with a small sharp object. I looked at this playing of Disney music as a sign that this was to be my best dentist experience ever. Then when my translator told me about 45 minutes later that I was done, I was positive that I was right. That lasted about . 2 seconds. I was quickly informed that I would have to come back to finish the procedure. Wait....what?? 
"You mean they don't do it all at once?"
"Uh, no. We have to come back."
"Ok....what are we doing next time?"
"Well, next time they will clean it. Then we have to come back.."
"Makiko! How many times do we have to come back?!"
"Umm, I'm not sure. Probably like 4 or 5"
"I hate Japanese dentists."

7. That's how many visits I ended up having. Some were as good as the first one. Two memorable trips, I left crying and in a lot of pain. These would be the times that I accidentally taught the Japanese dentist a few American cuss words. 
For 7 visits, and clearly a huge procedure, I paid under $200. Seriously. That's ridiculous. And, he did a much better job that any dentist I had back home. I'm going to chalk it up to the overall Japanese cultural trend of being precise, very thorough, and overall obsessively clean. He even offered to fix a filling that I already had. He said he could do much better. Okay, cocky bastard, we get're way better at your job that Americans. 
Obviously, I'm going back.
Sorry American dentists, but y'all are getting beaten out by the Japanese. Who would've thought?!