Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Huh?

2009 really will bring some surprises and it started this past week:

- Bears miss playoffs - I saw this one coming, but c'mon guys! Losing to the Texans? You jump out to a 10-0 lead and the Bucs and Cowboys lose which would have given you a rematch against the Vikings. Instead you let the Eagles into the playoffs and now you're off to the club to make sure more pictures of you end up on drunkathlete.com (I'm looking at you Kyle Orton!)

It's probably a good thing. I don't want a sorry team that has holes on defense and an inconsistent offense thinking they are good enough. Get to work and enjoy watching all the beatable teams in the playoffs (gotta love parity.)

- Cubs trade Mark DeRosa - OK, so my fiance's favorite player is traded and I was never even able to get her a "I'd go to Second Base with Mark DeRosa" T-shirt. Oh well. But hear me now Cubs- YOU MUST GET JAKE PEAVY NOW. There was fan backlash when the initial report came out that the Cubs were thinking of trading DeRosa to complete a deal for Peavy. Think about trading DeRosa and NOT getting Peavy. Don't do it.

As a side note - the Cubs should no longer give interviews to people major sports magazines that want to do mid-season stories on "Breaking the Curse." Sports Illustrated did not one, but TWO stories on the Cubs' Curse last year. Just play the game and stop worrying about mumbo-jumbo. Hire Serrano to pray to Jobu before the first game and never speak of it again.

PPS - Bye Jason Marquis. Hope your ERA doesn't suffer too much at Coors Field.

- Speaking of Colorado- Mike Shannahan fired? As Eddie Murphy would say, "What have you done for me lately?" Who the hell are you going to hire that's better? Can't wait to see it.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2009 is great year. On my agenda, I have a record release, find a legitamite band to play shows with, and a wedding. Sounds like a lot, but I think it will get done.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Yankees Cash In

In a move that was not totally expected, the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira for 8 years- $180 million. Their line up and pitching staff is now unbelievable and barring any injuries, they will be making a return trip to the post season. Instead of breaking it down, I'm going to write what fans of particular teams should be thinking:

YANKEES - "Oh my Lord in Heaven- in return for one year out of the playoffs, you have give us an unbelievable bounty of excellent players. For this we give thanks." (note: It is unclear if the Steinbrenners pray to regular God, the Baby Jesus, Allah, Tom Cruise or the Devil but somebody somewhere is getting it done.)

RED SOX - "The stupid Yankees are at it again. Don't they realize that signing players like this is ridiculous. You guys can have Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi. Old overpaid players aren't worth it. We'll keep scrawny guys from Woodland, CA who win MVP Awards."

NATIONALS - "Phew, that was close. Despite Tex being a great player, he wouldn't help us win, so there is no point in signing him. We remember what happened to the Orioles and Miguel Tejada and it didn't get them into the playoffs. Let's keep building like the Rays."

ORIOLES - SEE NATIONALS & "Great. Now we have to play 15 games a year against hometown heroes AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira. Awesome."

ANGELS - "Seriously? We're going to get beat this year by the real-life version of Major League's Cleveland Indians (AKA the Oakland Athletics)? We were the best team in the Major Leagues last year and we have done NOTHING this off-season. I'm angier than Lou Ferrigno's Hulk. Oh well, at least I'm not a Dodger fan."

CUBS - "Who cares? We didn't get Jake Peavy and I'm bummed. Anybody have an Old Style?"

Ironic statement of the day was a Red Sox fan on the mlbtraderumors board- "I had hoped the Sox would sign Teixeira, but oh well. This sport really needs a salary cap!" Aren't they typically over the luxury tax amount every year also? I get a smaller market team fan complaining about the Yankees, but a Sox fan? Give me a break!

PS: Did you see that Bears game last night? They're not good, but it would be awesome for the Bears to knock the Vikings out of the playoff eligibility. Go Giants this week!

Friday, December 19, 2008

G Street Pub January 9th

The guys from Automatic Rival just sent me the poster for our show and I thought I'd put it up here- check it out!

Come out and check out the show!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Living Color

One of my favorite shows when I was younger, In Living Color was a great sketch comedy show that is truly underrated. Here are a few sketches to show you what I mean:

Jim Carey's Grim Reaper:



Carl "The Tooth" Williams:



The Monument to Wilt Chamberlain:



Homey D. Clown battles Chuckles:



And for the Holidays... Fire Marshall Santa:



On a side note, these all came from hulu.com which is a great site to find old SNL videos as well as full episodes of other shows.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Morning Back Up Quarterback

The NFL playoff picture becomes a bit more clear after this week of games:

Exciting Finishes: Bears over Saints in OT, Chargers beat Chiefs with an on-side kick and a Rivers' TD drive, Jets win on a fumble returned for a TD versus the Bills, Atlanta triumphant in overtime at home against the Bucs, and the Steelers win their division on a reviewed TD pass from Big Ben.

Awful Games: Bay Area football is put in check by the AFC East, Carolina rolls a terrible Denver team (that will win the AFC West), Bengals/Redskins is unwatchable, The Cowboys dominate a team that once was thought to be the best in the league but no looks awful (NY Giants), and the Vikings put one nail in the coffin of the Bears by beating the Cards.

That's about all for the NFL. I'm less and less interested as I realize the Bears won't be going to the post-season.

The Yankees Have Cash to Burn-ett: Don't you hate lame sports story titles that think they are clever? Me too- I apologize for just typing one moments ago. The Yanks have now spent $243 million on CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett. That's $60.75 million per initial. If I was a Yankees fan, I'd be half pumped, and half worried that the Brewers wrecked CC's arm and that AJ's was never fixed to begin with. We'll see how it goes...

BREAKING NEWS: Reggie Theus is out as Sacramento Kings coach. I didn't think he was doing a bad job with what he had to work with, but I've also heard the team was very disorganized and management did not like that. I imagine a coach should be pretty hands-on with a young team, so maybe it's a good move. You know what's not a great move? Firing Rick Adelman. Oops!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Cupboard is Bear

I watched the Bears' game yesterday during my show at Pyramid in Sacramento (1029 K St) and I have to say- they are not good. They won in exciting fashion with a field goal to tie the game at the end of regulation and two field goals win the game in Overtime (I HATE it when coaches call time out and make the kicker kick twice.)

But during their win, I had to resign myself to the fact that they are not good. Even if they squeak into the playoffs, they are not a contender. Here are some reasons that I believe prove that the Bears have some serious improving to do:

- Their pass defense is atrocious. The Bears are known for being the "Monsters of the Midway." However, they have been carved up by the likes of Brian "I'm not good enough to be on the Bears" Griese, Kerry "I'm the luckiest man in the NFL to be in my situation" Collins, Matt "Inexperienced stud" Ryan, and Aaron "My team is good, why are we 5-8?" Rodgers. I would seriously pass 70 times against this defense, and they would do nothing to stop it.

- They have no idea how to finish games. I've watched my fair share of games this year, and the Bears typically score on their first drive, have a decent second quarter, and do NOTHING in the second half. Does Lovie Smith give them reverse pep-talks? I can only imagine him at the blackboard like Ben Stein boring the team to tears. Lance Briggs needs to spear him into a wall or something. Too bad Braylon Edwards isn't on their team to hook them up with 5 Hour Energy- although I hear a side-effect of that is the "dropsies."

- Terrible play calling. Their offensive coordinator Ron Turner is pass happy. He literally calls games like he's playing "Super Playaction Football" for Super Ninetendo. In that game you can call deep bombs all day and rack up the yards. Unfortunately for Ron, he's in the NFL, he has an average quarterback with below average receivers, and one of the best running backs. Why in the world do you pass so much when you have the lead? And Lovie, what the hell was that fake punt all about? It's like they were trying to lose the game.

These are enough flaws to make me realize that my hopes of a Super Bowl redemption are ill-conceived. I think they have some good pieces, but will need to have a good draft to complete the puzzle. Until then, enjoy close losses and underacheiving.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday/Friday Shows

I'm playing tonight and tomorrow at Pyramid in Sacramento (6:30-8:30 and 8-10pm, respectively) so come on out and enjoy some fine ales and food. As always, tell your server you're there to see me and get 30% off your check.

Here's an EXAMPLE of what you can see. It's amazing I could even play at that point because I had witnessed James Loney hit a grand slam off Ryan Dempster literally minutes before stepping on stage. I still rocked the Cubs jersey with whatever pride I had left.

Speaking of the Cubs- why are you not getting Jake Peavy? It would make total sense, and I described exactly how to make it happen in the last post. Now, it seems that the deal is dead and I'm disappointed. Peavy is one of my favorite players, despite not being on the Cubs. You would think the Cubs' brass would sack up and get it done, but I suppose I don't know what goes on behind the scenes. Oh well... what could've been...

I really like the Killers' new album. It is their third (or fourth, depending on your count) major label album, so it's about time for the haters to surface. However, I still like what they're bringing to the table.

Anyway, come out to Pyramid if you can and have a great early weekend!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back In The Game...

Sorry I've been so lazy... well, actually, I'm not that sorry. I've been busy!

Week 14 of the NFL: I have to be honest, I didn't watch a ton of the games- and for good reason. I won't watch the Bears because they literally are 0-"every time I watch them." I couldn't watch the Giants/Eagles, Niner/Jets, or Steelers/Cowboys because none of the games really entertained me. Some were interesting if you're a fan of those teams, but overall they were very boring, slow paced games. Same with Ravens/Redskins on Sunday night. I will say this though, NorCal talk radio is going to be on fire today with people thinking the Niners are on their way back to greatness. For example:

A caller on Murph & Mac (KNBR 680) called up this morning with a metaphor- I'll paraphrase: I see a strong correlation with history and the Niners. Coach Singeltary is General Lee and Mike Martz is Stonewall Jackson -

[Murph interrupts- "The only problem I see is that Confedercy ended up losing." - caller continues]

Hold on there buddy! WE ran out of men! I'm not saying it wasn't a good thing the North won, but that was "The War of Northern Aggression."

Awesome. What have we come to in the Bay Area? Honestly, keep on holding to that metaphor, buddy. There's no way the Niners are going to end up winning this war.

MLB Hot Stove Update: I'm truly addicted to checking updates on baseball signings. It's truly great if the team you root for has the ability to go out and make big moves. It feels like winning the World Series when your team makes a big trade. Oh wait- I have no idea what that actually feels like so I can't be saying such silly things. But what I will say, is the Cubs don't really have an excuse to not get Jake Peavy. Here's how:

- Trade Jason Marquis to the Mets. Preferably for Aaron Heilman, but if not, just take whatever prospect and have the Mets eat a large portion of Marquis' salary.

- Next, swap Felix Pie for Garret Olson (Orioles). The O's have wanted Pie forever. They still think he's good. Take advantage of that. They took Sammy Sosa and Corey Patterson off your hands, I'm sure they will take another bust outfielder. Sidenote: I know Pie's last name is pronounced Pee-A, but wouldn't it be awesome if his jersey number was the Pi symbol? Ok, I'm a dork...

- Throw Garret Olson on his way to San Diego along with Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Josh Vitters, and Mike Hart. GM Kevin Towers wants five players in return for Peavy, so give him five players. He'd love to have those particular five players. You don't give up Jeff "I'm going to have to look up how to spell" Samardzija. You don't give up Mike "I hit pinch hit homers all day" Fontenot. You don't give up Micah "I won't play until Derrek Lee is gone, but I still hit .400" Hoffpauir. Heck, if Brian Giles would waive his no-trade clause, I'd even throw in some of these players to get him as well.

So what? I'm a greedy Cubs fan. But seriously, that trade would get it done- and with reasonable payroll. It's like I majored in Econ and should be a GM (well, at least one of those things is true.) I don't think that scenario is unrealistic, and if the Cubs end up getting Peavy, check out the framework- I bet it looks similar to the above.

The BCS - I hate the BCS. I'm not a fan and never will be. It disgusts me that Texas does not get a shot to at least redeem themselves against Oklahoma (in a tournament, perhaps?) Which is why I'm going to anger even myself when I say this- I think the two best teams are playing for the National Championship.

I understand that Texas beat them earlier in the season on a neutral field. Even when I was watching that game, it felt like Oklahoma was better. I actually think if they played 10 games, OU would win 8 out of 10 times. And you can definitely disagree with that, but we can't prove it because there is no tournament.

With that being said, does a tournament even solve anything? I've seen teams get upset in the NCAA basketball tournament that are clearly more talented teams than the eventual champions. Many underdogs can pull of a 3-14 or 4-13 upset and then immediately get bounced in the next game (e.g. Santa Clara (15) beat Arizona (2) in the first round of the 1993 tourney only to lose to Temple (7) in the next game.)

Maybe eliminating the tournament also sets up the ideal match-up. It eliminates all those great moments that everyone lives for where the underdog beats the powerhouse. No George Mason No Kent St. No (wait for it G$) Miami of OH. No Gonzaga.

Sorry, I can't jump on board with a system that eliminates those great moments. Regardless if these are the two best teams in College Football, they both have losses to Texas and Ole Miss (making them good, but not automatic championship game good). There should be a tournament where the winner EARNS their championship game participation by beating the other best teams in the nation.

Go Texas and USC. Blow out your Big 10 opponents (Ohio St and Penn St, repectively) and cause a massive problem for the BCS.

Phew! Sorry for being absent. I'll try to raise my game a bit in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The End of Defining Rock Anthems?

I was looking through the list of Rolling Stones 500 Best Songs, and many of those songs are more than just good songs. They define their respective generations hopes, fears, thoughts, and generally mean more to society than just being a decent song on the radio. But have we seen the last of the defining rock anthems? I can't think of anyone who has successfully pulled one off in years. I even consider myself a pretty good songwriter, and I have never attempted to write a song that captures a special meaning to society (I'll get right on that...)

But what am I even talking about? What qualifies? Well, off the top of my head:

The Beatles have many of them. "All You Need Is Love" would be one. "A Day In the Life" would be another one. "Revolution" also counts.

Bob Dylan has a few as well. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and "Like A Rolling Stone" both qualify.

Basically, it needs to be more broad than just a love song, cover a societal feeling, and be really, really popular. U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)" is the most recent song I can think of that covers this criteria. There could be more that I'm missing (comment away) but realistically, songs have been getting more complex and in one sense, better- but maybe it is our society that does not easily grasp onto songs anymore. Here are some candidates that might be able to pull it off:

Radiohead - so many great songs! Not one of them meets the above criteria. They have been called this generation's Pink Floyd, yet I'm not sure any of their really popular songs can be called a defining rock anthem. "OK Computer" is full of almost anthems, but none of them quite cut it. After that, they went fairly electronic and lost enough of their audience keep them from producing a true anthem. Their music may be better because of it, but that is not my argument here.

Coldplay - "Viva La Vida" is so damn close to what I'm talking about. It is catchy, a huge hit, large sound, strong meaning behind it but Chris Martin is talking in metaphors that refer to medieval times. You could make an argument that he's talking about modern issues (perhaps President Bush's imminent end to his presidential term?) but it's easier to argue against it. I'm not ruling Coldplay out though- they have potential to pull it off.

U2 - While having written anthem songs in the past, they currently flounder with songs like "Elevation" and "Beautiful Day." Pop hits? Yes. Anthems? No. Bono might have one left up his sleeve, but we haven't seen him reach his potential in years.

John Mayer - "Waiting on the World to Change" is even closer than "Viva La Vida" to anthem status. I'm disqualifying John because I once heard him rant at a concert about how it is "inappropriate for musicians to preach about their own beliefs..." etc., etc. In fact, it's a musicians duty to preach about their beliefs. It is when a musician's own beliefs galvanize a song that relates to the masses that creates a great anthem. I might be being picky though- this could be an [whiney] anthem.

Bright Eyes/Wilco - Both write very relevant and poetic songs, but neither are popular enough to create a full blown anthem. Both are loved by critics and smart people, but neither have enough popular appeal to create the anthem society is looking for. I suppose they could accidentally become hugely popular if they wrote an anthem, but I'm not sure if that means the chicken or the egg is coming first...

Look, I know this blog could get turned into a term paper for an awesome History of Rock class. I'm oversimplifying this whole thing and did not mention a lot of musicians that could be capable of writing/performing an anthem. However, the overall feeling I have is that the Rock Anthem is dead. The musicians capable of making one are not popular enough. The ones on the radio seem pretty watered down and singing about "Californication" (seriously, RHCP? You guys made that up, and that song is ridiculous.)

I guess because I was born after John Lennon was killed, I'm looking back and longing for a time when our popular musicians were also counted on to not only put out great music, but challenge and summarize modern society. It seems like the 60s and 70s had lots of bands and artists like that, and now you can only find those bands on College Radio Stations, if at all. The biggest question is: Are the musicians or society worse? Who knows? Yet, I think you can argue that both musicians and society are better as well...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Back-Up Quarterback

Who's excited for the 49ers to face the Cardinals tonight? Anyone? Seriously, somebody has to be excited... Really? No one?

Oh well. Let's talk about the rest of the league, starting with my favorite inconsistent team:

The Bears lose to the Titans in a frustrating game. So why is it that every time I watch the Bears on TV, they frustrate me? If they lost in a way that was less maddening, I swear I could deal with it. However, the Titans (who totally rely on the run) had 20 total rushing yards. 20! Yet Kerry Collins had 289 yards passing. Compare that to the 251 total yards the Bears earned on offense and you have a terrible football game. With Brian Griese throwing for over 400 yards against the Bears defense, and now Kerry Collins throwing for an effective 289 yesterday, the Bears have officially allowed two members of AARP to look like young Joe Montanas.

And I haven't even gotten to Sexy Rexy. I think I've been his biggest Bear fan supporter throughout the years. Guess what Rex? I'm off the bandwagon. I may have jumped off after your wagon began it's decent down a canyon, but at least I'm not hitting the ground with you. Rex looked good in the first drive, the proceeded to throw for no passing yards for the rest of the first half. Just terrible.

As far as the Titans go, I'm going to have to cheer for them to go undefeated now because I still hate the 1972 Dolphins. Especially Mercury Morris. When is that guy going to rear his ugly face on TV. Shove it Mercury. An 8-8 team today would destroy your Dolphins and their 13-0 regular season record (16-0 total.)

PS: Jevon Kearse's 9-0 jersey thing was pretty funny. Even I can appreciate that.

Giants are the team to beat in the NFC East - Thank goodness I'm not an Eagles fan as well. There's another frustrating team to watch. Donovan McNabb never seems to get the job done.
Whether he is losing NFC Championship games, throwing up in a huddle during the Super Bowl, or allowing his team to flounder in mediocrity- McNabb just doesn't seem like the championship caliber quarterback people once thought he could be.

The Raiders are going to get their NFL team status taken away. Seriously, they are that bad.

Other notes: Patriots are still pretty good without Tom Brady, the Lions are AWFUL, I can't believe the Colts beat the Steelers at home, the NFC North is lucky the NFC West exists, and the Jets are overrated.

It's also good to have the NBA back, except the Cavs have already proven that they are way better than the Bulls, and with the trade of Allen Iverson to the Pistons, the Bulls have no shot in that division this year. It's exciting to see Derrick Rose out there, but it is a buzz kill to know your team is an 8 seed at best. Oh well, let me sooth myself with memories of 6 championships from the 1990s.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Funniest Tip Ever

Last night I played at Pyramid Alehouse in Sac as I do every Thursday. There was a lady at the bar clapping along to my songs, enjoying herself (and why wouldn't she?) Then, all of a sudden she was wearing a witch's hat. It became more obvious that she was getting trashed.

She came over to me and was standing to the side as I was about to take a break. She began rifling through her wallet, presumably looking for some money to tip me with. Instead of cash (or change, I suppose) she pulled out some stamps. She said, "These are more valuable than money- write your mother a letter!"

I beg to differ drunk lady. However, it was pretty damn funny, so I'll let her slide. After all, would I even be writing about this if she had tipped me with money?

Happy Halloween everyone. If you want me to use my new fortune of stamps to write you a letter, feel free to leave your address in the comments. Have a great All Hallow's Eve.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Evening Back-up Quarterback

Sorry for the lateness of this blog. The Bears had a bye week this week so I was not as interested in the NFL this week. HOWEVER- Mike Singletary had the best post game news conference of the year. I liked it so much, I'm posting it now:



My fantasy football team won because the Reggie Wayne Campaign was completely unproductive tonight. I was up 7 points, so if he had caught a touchdown, I most likely would've lost. 3 catches for 29 yards is a beautiful stat line.

The Phillies/Rays game was postponed tonight, so the World Series will not be decided tonight. They will resume tomorrow and play the game from the 6th inning with a 2-2 score. I guess it's better to decide the World Series during regular weather, but it was fun to watch them roll around in the mud for an inning-and-a-half.

Besides all that, here's a non-sports story. Leaving my future in-laws place tonight, I was driving down Madison Ave in Carmichael, CA. I was being tailgated by a beat up Ford sedan. I tapped my breaks a couple times, but they would not stop. We finally got to a light where they wanted to turn left and they shot ahead of me and screeched their brakes at a red light (that I'm not sure they saw initially.) I shot them a bad glance, and they were giggling. I debated reporting their license plate number, but low and behold there was a Highway Patrol car right behind me once the other car had gone left.

I figured he would head that direction, but NO. He stuck right behind me, basically tailgating me as well. He drove behind me for about 3 blocks, then went around me and cut me off to get ahead of me. What kind of an alternate universe is this?! I'm getting tormented by stupid drivers, one of which is supposed to lay down the law. The Highway Patrol in that area is awful and they need to seriously get re-trained as to how to uphold the law.

Other headlines:

NBA starts this week
Titans rule, Colts drool
Saw V, really similar to Saw II through IV
Bay Area Football Worse Than Ever
Big Ben Destroyed By The Giants
Cowboys Beat Bucs, Prove Nothing
Heroes Is Still An Awful TV Show

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Evening Back Up Quarterback

It's a good thing I waited to make this entry because I can start by mentioning the 49ers coaching situation:

Mike Nolan is out, Mike Singletary is in: Mike Nolan's disastrous tenure as Niners' head coach is over. They've been a non-factor in the NFL for many years now, and Nolan has done nothing to change that. In fact, his manner of dodging questions at press conferences and making inept in-game decisions has only fueled the fire of the Niners' futility. Luckily, he's being replaced by one of my childhood heroes- Mike Singletary. If nothing else, this guy is going have awesome pregame and halftime speechs. I would hate to be a player making a mistake and have Singletary staring me down. Direct gaze from his eyes can make small woodland creatures scatter.

It is interesting that they did not choose Mike Martz to take over. He has been running the offense and is a more experienced (some vs. none) coach in the NFL than Singletary. I'm also surprised they did not wait until the end of the season. I feel like Mike Holmgren might be available to bring back to the Bay Area. The other option might be Bill Cowher, but he has no shot at the job because his name is not "Mike."

Raiders beat the Jets - The Raiders squeak out a victory over the Brett Favre led Jets. I couldn't help but cheer against them at the end because of head coach Tom Cable calling a time out right before the Jets kicked a possible game tying field goal. Jets kicker Jay Feely missed the kick, but got a re-do because of the Raiders calling timeout. He, of course, made the second kick and sent it into overtime. I wish teams would stop such shinanigans, but I know they won't.

Sebastian Janikowski ended up kicking a 57 yard field goal in overtime to with the game for the Raiders. I text messaged my friend, Phil, to congratulate him on the Raiders win and this is what he had to say: "F*** ya! They must have given [Janikowski] double the amount of blow than he normally does before a kick..." Truer words may have never been spoken.

The Rays are going to the World Series - That's cool. I like the players on the team. But come on, it's hard for me to take all of these expansion teams seriously. If the team didn't exist when I was born, I lose a little bit of interest if they make it to the World Series. D'Backs, Marlins, Rockies, Rays and I'll even throw in the Nationals. I can't believe the first four I named have won or at least gone to the World Series. As a Cubs fan, am I jealous? You bet I am. (Side note: How great would a Cubs/Yankees World Series have been in 2003? Can you say HIGHEST RATINGS EVER?)

So far the Pats are playing well and up 13-0 in the 2nd quarter. If Tom Brady was playing, this game would be over already.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Papelbon?

The Red Sox made a great comeback yesterday against the Rays. The result of the game was cause for excitement from the Sox players, but...

This picture was on the front of cbs.sports.com today. Papelbon looks ridiculous. So I have to ask- Does Jonathan Papelbon think he is:

a) a Black Panther from the 60s
b) a Nazi from the 40s
c) a band conductor in a parade
d) James William Bottomtooth III

Great closer, but a weird dude. His celebrations don't ever look normal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pros and Cons

Right now, life is going pretty well. I'm pretty sure I just jinxed myself, but all and all I can't complain about the majority of life. Here's a quick run down of some positive and negative things that you can (or maybe not) relate to:

Con: Heroes is an awful TV show: These guys have lost their minds. Doc Brown frowns upon the multiple gaping holes left after Heroes has now had multiple futures. The time traveling is out of control. There is absolutely no way that Hiro could've traveled back in time in the first season to tell Peter "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" when we've now seen multiple future realities. On top of that, why was it so important to "Save the Cheerleader" [SPOILER!!!] if she ended up getting her power stolen by Sylar, anyway. Also, they are blatantly reversing roles of "Heroes" and "Villians" just to get a reaction out of the audience. Here's a reaction- your show is terrible.

The show is a joke and has become a parody of itself. I'm barely still watching. I think I played an online poker tournament during the episode on Monday (which normally wouldn't happen for something like, say, an episode of Lost.) Do something quick Heroes, because I am losing interest fast!

Pro: I'm engaged to a great girl: She's EXACTLY what I've been looking for and I can't wait to be married. I think some people (hopefully less than I imagine) get to a certain point in life and just settle. They get married because they are in their mid to late 20s and figure "I should get married, so I will." I guess that would be what some would call getting married for the "wrong reasons." Anyway, I'm totally confident that I'm getting married for the right reasons and it feels great!

Con: Being a former athlete and watching teams I'm a fan of fold up in critical spots: Look, obviously I'm not a good enough athlete to play professional sports (and it's stupid that I didn't play college basketball, but that's a story for a different day...) but watching the Cubs and Bears fold up when the pressure is on is maddening. I've made a couple game winners in my day (that's right Coach Carter- why don't you cry about it!) and I'm sure I've missed a few shots as well, but watching the Cubs infield boot balls around like Little Leaguers, or seeing the Bears blow a one point lead with 11 seconds left in the game just pierces my heart. I HATE getting emotionally involved in teams that I'm not a part of. At least if I lose, it's on me. When these guys lose, I have nothing to do with it (yet, I'll start to get superstitious and think I should've been wearing a different shirt or jersey.) Maybe my "fan-ness" needs to readjust, or even better- maybe my teams could come up in the clutch and win some championships (see: 1990s Chicago Bulls.)

Pro: My new iPhone: This things is ridiculous. I don't use it as my regular iPod because it can't fit the 10,000 songs I would need for it to be a suitable replacement, but having my pictures, some songs, the awesome applications, internet browser, and email all at my finger tips is absolutely euphoric. If anyone has recommendations on other applications I should get, let me know!

Con: Impatience: I can't elaborate too much on this one because I do NOT like talking about my day job on this blog, but if people could please understand that if you were hypothetically going to a college football game, you should get your tickets ahead of time, or show up early on game day. If you wait until 10 minutes before kickoff to arrive, get your tickets, and get through the gate, there's a good chance you'll miss opening kick off. In fact, be early for any large event you're going to attend (i.e. athletic events, concerts, etc.) It's good advice- trust me.

Pro: Playing Music: I'm actually pretty successful at playing music every week. I continue to have shows every Thursday (Pyramid Sac) and Sunday (G Street Pub, Davis). On top of that, I won "Downtown Vacaville Performer of the Year 2007" last March. I play often in Walnut Creek and get to open for awesome bands like Honeyspot, 2ME, Lantz Lazwell, and the Pinder Brothers. I've also opened for Matt Costa (Harlow's in 12/05) who is pretty big time these days. Anyway, it's a lot of fun and going pretty well. I really need to get my 2nd record done, and then I'll really be rolling, but until then, it is just excellent that I get an opportunity to go what I love.

So that's the general update what's going on these days, in the present. No I haven't traveled to the future making this blog completely irrelevant. That would be stupid.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Squib Kicks

This week of NFL action had multiple games come down to last second field goals, touchdowns, and an overtime.

Bears/Falcons - This was a crazy game. To be honest, the Bears were completely outplayed and almost won the game. They were as good at stopping the Falcons at third downs as Hugh Grant is at stopping himself from cheating on Elizabeth Hurley (and we know how that worked out.) Yet, Kyle Orton led the Bears down field and scored with 11 seconds left in the game. They squib kicked to the Falcons, which was as good of an idea as fourth installment of Indiana Jones. The Falcons subsequently got the ball on their own 45 yard line. With 6 seconds left, Matt Ryan completed a 25 yard pass to Michael Jenkins out of bounds with 1 second left on the clock. Jason Elam kicked a field goal and that was that. Game over, Bears.

As a side note, former Ravens coach, Brian Billick, was announcing the game and he called Kyle Orton "Kyle Boller" at least three times. I wonder if Billick wakes up out of a nightmare, sweaty, yelling "BOLLER!!!" I bet he does.

Houston/Miami - The Texans won their first game of the year by beating the Dolphins on a last second QB sneak by Matt Schaub. I didn't watch the game, but what the heck is up with QB's named "Matt" getting it done today?

Minnesota/Detroit - Vikings beat the Lions on a last second field goals. This leads to two questions: How the hell are the Vikings tied for first in the NFC North? (ANSWER: That division is awful.) AND How on earth did this game get decided on a last second field goal? (ANSWER: Both the Vikings and Lions are also awful, but the Lions are just a little bit more of a pathetic football team than the Vikings.)

Cowboys/Cardinals - Easily the best part of the game was when Cardinals' coach, Ken Wisenhunt, called timeout right before the Cowboys last second field goal. The Cards blocked the field goal and were running it back for a touchdown as the refs blew the whistle and informed everyone that the Cardinals had called timeout. Cowboys try again, and kicker Nick Folk makes the kick. For a split second, I actually wanted the Cowboys to win. That wore off quickly and I'm glad they lost on a blocked punt returned to the end zone. The Cardinals are for real (pause... NOT! Their division also is awful!)

Bay Area Teams - give me a reason to talk about you, and I will. Until then, you're out of the blog. Do something about it Al Davis or Mike Nolan.

Baseball is trucking along with the ALCS at 1-1 and the NLCS at 2-1 (advantage Phillies.) I really don't care who wins, I guess maybe the Phillies or Rays, but let's be honest, I can hardly watch baseball without seeing flashbacks of the Cubs kicking the ball all ove the infield. Ahhh... I just felt a shiver up my spine...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Busy Week

I'm part of the way through the busiest week I've had in quite awhile. As most of you know, I play every Thursday at Pyramid in Sacramento 6:30-8:30pm. Well, last night, I also played a show after my regular gig at Old Ironsides in Sacramento (awesome venue!) I was opening for Honeyspot (I'm so glad they are back playing shows.) Benton Paul and Megan Slankard were also on the bill and both were very impressive.

My setlist from Old I was as follows:

Neon Sign
This Time Around
Saturday Boy
Second Rate Song
50 Stories

Today, I have another show at Pyramid in Walnut Creek (7-11pm.) Tomorrow I actually have to work in Davis, and Sunday I'll be playing at the G St Pub in Davis. Needless to say, it's going to be tiring, but I've already had a lot of fun. I'm really lucky to be friends with the guys from Honeyspot, rarely would you see a solo acoustic act at a non-open mic night at Old Ironsides, and I've done that twice. It makes me feel like I'm doing something right...

Stuff I'm listening to:

Ryan Adams "Love Is Hell"
The Streets "Everything Is Borrowed"
Oasis "Dig Out Your Soul"
Bob Dylan "Essential Collection"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Week In Review

Well, Sports Fans- I don't know what to say. The Cubs looked like a Little League team versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was awfully frustrated and disappointed with their performance. The fact is that the Cubs have scored 12 runs in their last 6 playoff games. They have not won a playoff game since they were up 3-1 in the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. I had a lot of fun enjoying this season, but the end was anti-climatic. I don't have any other in depth analysis other than to say that "Next year is the year... it's always the year"

On to happier topics, the Bears dominated the Detroit Lions. Kyle Orton threw for over 300 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Go Bears.

The 49ers couldn't come through against the short-handed New England Patroits. The offense looked great initially, and looked like the Cubs' offense in the second half. No points=loss almost every time.

To be honest, I was a groomsman in my friend, Mike's wedding this weekend so I was not able to watch too much sports this weekend (including the Cubs final playoff game) but I'll end this with my two extremes picks of the week:

Most Impressive Performance: (besides the Dodgers who I will completely ignore) the Washington Redskins. Once again, I was sure they would let down this week (I picked against them in Week 2) and they played a GREAT game against the Eagles. They are making me a believer. You never know- we might be on a collison course for a Bears/Redskins playoff match-up.

Least Impressive Performance: (besides the team from the North Side of Chicago that I've already mentioned) the San Diego Chargers. This team is SOOOOOOOOO talented and Norv Turner is clearly not getting the optimal performance out of his players. They start slow EVERY game. The underacheive every game. LT is coming off as a powdy whiner. I like the Chargers, but I can't stay on the bandwagon if they keep choking in games they should win.

Basically, this was a depressing sports week for me, so it's hard for me to get very excited about much in the way of athletic contests. I will leave you with quick predictions:

World Series: Red Sox beat Phillies

Super Bowl: Dallas beats Steelers

NBA: Sacramento Kings make the 8 spot in the West (bold, ain't it?)

NASCAR: I'll pay attention the day Cole Trickle and Ricky Bobby show up and actually race in a race.

Lastly, I'd like to make everyone aware of something that is a big deal in America. It's something that 1 in 12 Americans may not have heard. It's about a certain ornithological topic... oh Ba-Ba-Bird Bird Bird! Bird is the word! Ba-Ba-Ba Bird Bird Bird! Bird is the word!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Not You It's Me...

I don't have the heart to write much. I just played two hours at Pyramid in Sacramento from 6:30 - 8:30. The Cubs game was on the huge screen right in front of me. Imagine trying to play music well to provide a fun, entertaining environment while having a massive movie screen of your favorite team embarrassing themselves over and over.

Look, I'm not conceding anything until it's all over. However, tonight was pathetic. The only comparison I can come up with is that the Cubs' (especially their defensive) performance was similar to Jon Favreau's game in Swingers. If you recall, he was broken hearted and down on his luck with the ladies. He hadn't dated for six months after a bad break-up where his girl cheated on him. Anytime he even sniffed that a girl was into him, he'd freeze up and either start talking about his ex, or call the girl whose number he had just gotten only to leave 25 messages. The end result was always bad because he smelled of fear and desperation.

The Cubs played tight and I can't expect them to win if they continue this. And as far as the Dodgers go, I hate them. I can't recall me hating anything from Defiance, OH more than Chad Billingsly since the weird dude in the red jacket that used to prowl the Defiance Mall near the arcade. I'm not sure if it was ever confirmed that he was a child molestor, but I was always on guard while playing Skee-Ball.

Leave a message after the beep...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Had a Great Day...

...except for the Cubs. And guess what? I'm not in a great mood. They got worked over against the Dodgers and it does not feel good.

Rather than run through a profanity laced tirade that would make Full Metal Jacket look like an episode of Care Bears, I'm going to sit on it. I'm censoring my blog like Q*bert does when he gets caught by a Squiggly Thing. #@%&!

Big Z versus Billingsly tomorrow. The Cubs better come to play or you might be talking me off a building tomorrow.

Ok, so the odds of me killing myself are slim, but it will not help my blood pressure or acid indigestion.

Oh, and by the way, Lee, Ramirez (Aramis NOT Manny), and Soriano- please live up to your paychecks. Hit the freaking ball. Please. If James Loney can, you can.

Monday, September 29, 2008

NFL Week 4

Ouch. My picks below were terrible! I got about 50% right (or wrong if you want to be a jerk about it.) I guess NFL betting may not be for me, but here is the rest of the week in review (covering only the stuff I care about):

My first mistake came when I started Phillip Rivers over Drew Brees in Fantasy Football. Ouch, Brees had arguably the best week of any QB (save Favre) and Rivers tried to let the Raiders win their second game of the week (that seems like the only way the Raiders will win games is if the other team allows them to get the W.)

The Bears beat the Philadelpia Eagles on the Sunday Night Game of the Week. To be honest, I watched the last two minutes of the game because I had a show in Walnut Creek during the game. Coincidentally (or not if you're superstisious) the Bears are 2-0 on days when they play on Sunday Night Football. They are also 2-0 when I play at Pyramid in Walnut Creek during the game and 2-0 when I wear a particular long sleeve t-shirt. They are 0-2 when I watch the game or put more effort into following the results, yet when my effort is going towards entertaining- they win. Well, I guess I need to put as much focus on the Bears as I do the Tyra Show, and they'll play better.

The Redskins upset the Cowboys in Dallas. They played a great game and I was especially impressed with the Redskins defense (besides their Prevent defense at the end of the First Half.) Great win. The NFC East is the toughest division in football.

Current undefeated teams left: Titans, Ravens, Giants and Bills. Odds of any of those teams winning the Super Bowl: 100 to 1

I'm totally spent. I played the fore mentioned show in Walnut Creek (4 hours), packed up my stuff, drove back up to Sac, but on the way stopped at the G Street Pub in Davis to play a quick set. I managed to squeeze in two shows in a matter of 6 hours. I'm either nuts, or I really like playing music- the answer is obvious isn't it? It's both.

Friday, September 26, 2008

NFL Predictions vs. The Spread

I've never gambled on the NFL before, so I figured I try predicting some games vs. the spread and see how I do. I'll put my predicted winner in BOLD.

9/28 1:00 ET Denver -9.5 At Kansas City
9/28 1:00 ET At Cincinnati -3.5 Cleveland
9/28 1:00 ET At Jacksonville -7 Houston
9/28 1:00 ET At NY Jets -1 Arizona
9/28 1:00 ET At New Orleans -5 San Francisco
9/28 1:00 ET At Carolina -6.5 Atlanta
9/28 1:00 ET At Tennessee -3 Minnesota
9/28 1:00 ET At Tampa Bay -1 Green Bay
9/28 4:05 ET Buffalo -8 At St. Louis
9/28 4:05 ET San Diego -7.5 At Oakland
9/28 4:15 ET At Dallas -11 Washington
9/28 8:15 ET Philadelphia -3 At Chicago

Monday Night Football




9/29 8:35 ET At Pittsburgh -5.5 Baltimore

I guess we'll see how it works out. Please feel free to tell me where I went wrong. Also, check out this ridiculous video:


Monday, September 22, 2008

A Case of the Mondays

Cubs Win NL Central! - This is the 100th anniversary of the last time the Cubs won the World Series. Regardless of whether they win or lose in the playoffs, the Cubs have already had an amazing season that have seen a couple first in my lifetime:

This is the first time I've ever seen the Cubs win their division two years in a row. The last time they did this was actually three in a row (1906, 07, 08).

This is the first time I've ever seen the Cubs go to the playoffs two years in a row (once again, 06-08).

Carlos Zambrano threw the only Cubs no hitter I've ever seen. Milt Papas threw the last one in 1972. Apparently every year at the Cubs Convention, Milt would tell Zambrano, "You're going to be the next one to do it." Good call, Milt. You are correct, sir!

Week 3 of the NFL - There were many great games this weekend, and here's the quick recap:

The Bears blew another 4th quarter lead - For the second week in a row, the Bears have the lead going into the 4th quarter, and they leave the game losers. Luckily, this week I didn't go out of my way to watch the game. On the negative side, the Bears were beat by Brian Griese whom they traded to Tampa Bay in the offseason. Griese had over 400 yards passing. Way to welcome back your former teammate. A nice gift basket of fruit would've been sufficient, but letting him march up and down the field in overtime was a little too nice of the defensive unit.

The Giants beat the Bengals in overtime - The second overtime game of the week found defending champion NY Giants beating the hapless Cinncinati Bengals. Each week I'm more and more impressed with Eli Manning. He looks to have found his identity in the NFL.

Oakland loses to the Bills on last second field goal - I watched the large majority of this game and it wasn't half as bad as I thought it was going to be. The Raiders looked a lot better than the sorry, ridiculously terrible team they were in Week 1. The Raiders running attack looked great and their defense was tenacious until the end. On the flip side, the Bills are 3-0 for the first time since the early 90s.

Other games of note:

Jags beat Colts, Niners destroy Lions, Cowboys beat Packers, and Vikings beat Panthers.

US wins Ryder Cup for the first time since 1998:

I'm not a huge golf fan, but since the US hadn't won the Ryder Cup in a decade, I figured it was worth a mention. U-S and A, U-S and A! Phil Mickelson is terrible.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Over/Under

On National Talk Like A Pirate Day, I thought I'd start Over/Under. Take your pick, over/under:

Number of times I've played "Ignition (the Remix)" live. O/U 43.5

Number of times I said the F word under my breath during the Bears game on Sunday. O/U 146.5

Number of times I saw "Jurassic Park" in theaters. O/U 3.5

Amount of points I averaged senior year in high school (basketball). O/U 15

Number of guitars I own. O/U 4.5

Number of Rex Grossman jerseys I have. O/U 0.5

Even better, number of Mark Prior jerseys in my closet. O/U 3.5

Number of shows I've played since 2004. O/U 200.5

Number of bums that ask me for change (on average) when I'm loading music equipment into Pyramid in Downtown Sacramento. O/U 2.5

I'll get some better lines up next week- AAAAAARRRRRRR!

Rex vs. Aaron

Is Aaron Rodgers the second coming of Brett Favre? Maybe. But I'm not sold just yet. I did a little research on:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/

and found some interesting numbers that compare Rex Grossman's 2006 Week 1-2 numbers with Aaron Rodgers' 2008 Week 1-2. The results might tame a Packers fan's over-enthusiastic reaction to their team's first two weeks this year. (But Tony, why would you want to bum out a Packer fan? Because the Packers are awful and I hate them.)

Grossman's Stats 2006:

Week 1 26-0 Win over Green Bay: 18-26 for 262 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT - 98.6 Passer Rating

Week 2 34-7 Win over Detroit: 20-27 for 289 yards passing, 4 TD, 0 INT - 148 Passer Rating

Rodgers' Stats 2008:

Week 1 24-19 Win over Minnesota: 18-22 for 178 yards passing, 1 TD, 0 INT (1 rushing TD) - 115.5 Passer Rating

Week 2 48-25 Win over Detroit: 24-38 for 328 yards passing, 3 TD, 0 INT - 117 Passer Rating

So Grossman had more yards and touchdowns than Rodgers in his first two starts. Both teams beat division rivals, and both QBs looked to have a very bright future as stars in the league. I'm not saying that Rodgers will turn out the same, but I'm also saying that all the Packer fans who think Aaron Rodgers is their savior, they should slow down, take a breath, and realize that they might be jumping the gun a bit. By the way, green and gold are awful uniform colors.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Album Update

I thought it would be interesting to post this. I emailed this to my drummer and producer earlier today stating what is left to do on the new record. A bass player would be helpful, but otherwise it is just tweaking somethings and laying down drums. As you can see, we've getting things done.

As You Wish - 2:25 acoustic guitar late hit, re-do drums? (maybe just first half of the song?), back up vocals

Astronomy - bass, re-do vocals (due to distortion in the track), drums, defining stamp (guitar? synth? other?)

Neon Sign
- percussion solo? 1:40 (during first lines of the second verse- seems like there is room for extra pecussion- any ideas?), stand up bass?

Shallow Water Blackout - bass, drums (add sticks in spots, keep the brushes), vocal harmonies

50 Stories - bass (but I'm comfortable playing bass on this one), harmonies, possible vocal change 2:15

What's Inside - re-do vocals (distortion), light drums (brushes), bass

So Far Away - re-do drums, bass, vocal harmonies, re-do some main vocals at the end of the song, guitar solo 2:23 and light electric detail work

Saturday Boy - bass, vocal harmonies, and a guitar part that stands out (palm muted? octave? some sort of a hook)

This Time Around - add sticks to parts of the song, guitar hit 3:36 (but Karl fixed it in his mix down), bass, melody line with guitar/piano

Kids Playing Guns In the Street - patch vocals (re-do?), drums, bass (this one is actually pretty close and has good character)

What's the Past Got In Store? - electric guitar background fixes, drums into Middle 8 (2:27), acoustic guitar hit 3:10 (fix timing), vocal harmonies, bass (I can play bass on this one as well, if necessary)

Second Rate Song - back up vocals, bass, main vocals 3:48

You're Not Just Another Girl - nothing (light drums/percussion if anything, maybe just a shaker)

Week 2 NFL

Ok. I admit it. I was beyond mad at the Bears game and couldn't confront the situation by way of Blog until now. The Bears absolutely choked away their game against the Panthers. They were up 17-3 in the 3rd quarter and couldn't get it done. But why? Well, Greg Olsen's two fumbles didn't exactly help the situation. Both killed solid Bears drives, and I believe the second one resulted in Carolina points.

But let's not stop there. Oh no, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The play calling was atrocious. "Hey, let's run with Matt Forte on 1st down, gain decent yardage, and then try to surprise the defense with our awful passing attack!" I'm so glad Ron Turner loves to pass deep every play, even though the running game works perfectly well (and would take MORE TIME OFF THE CLOCK.) And seriously, we obviously know neither Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman are hall of fame quarterbacks, but if you want to pass deep every play, the Sex Cannon is better selection at QB than Orton. Orton was 1 of 9 (maybe 10) on passes over 15 yards. If Rex does anything well, it's throw the ball deep. Ron Turner is calling plays like he's playing a game of Madden. The funny thing is that even a Madden player would get dominated with play calling that bad.

I was so mad about the Bears loss, that I barely enjoyed the Carlos Zambrano no-hitter. Imagine that, the first Cubs no-hitter in my lifetime, and I was still bummed out about the Bears. That's either naive commitment on my part, or the Bears, as usual, raising my expectations in order to crush them.

To be honest, I think the worst part was that I went out of my way to go to a bar and watch the Bears game, saw them dominate the first 2 and a half quarters, then come crashing down in a waterfall of mediocrity.

Other Game Headlines:

Terrible Raiders Beat An Even Worse Chiefs

Refs "Hoch" A Loogie On The Chargers

Redskins Elimate Me From Survival Football

Niners Beat Seahawks In Unwatchable/Exciting Game

Bills Beat Jags- Are Maybe Decent

DeShawn Jackson's Actions Are Unexcusable, But Eagles Gives Him "Daps" Anyway- Eagles Lose

Honestly, I'm still mad about the Bears. Choking away a game in that fashion tells me that I can expect more than a decent season where they maybe sneak into the playoffs. Tomorrow: Grossman vs. Rodgers - Is Aaron really that great?

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Cubs Will Win Because Bernie Mac Is Dead

There is a case to be made that Bernie Mac is bad luck for the Cubs and possibly Dusty Baker. This was once discussed by my roommates and I a couple years ago, and I thought about it recently after Mac's passing. Here goes:

Life long Chicago White Sox fan, Bernie Mac, was asked to sing "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" during the 7th Inning Stretch of Game 6 of the NLCS in 2003. My first question is, "Do the Cubs not have famous enough fans?" What's wrong with Bill Murray? John Cusack? Billy Corgan (who incidentally sang at Game 7)? Jeff Garland? What about old Cubs legends? Ryne Sandberg? Mark Grace? Ernie Banks? Billy Williams? RON SANTO? C'mon- he's already in the press box! But NO- they get a White Sox fan because he's moderately funny (I'm being generous) and was filming Mr. 3000 where he portrays a Brewer. Nice choice, Cubs.

As if that wasn't bad enough, where one would normally sing "Root, root, root for the CUBBIES" he sang "Root, root, root for the champs." At the time, I immediately was angry saying, "If he jinxes us I will be so pissed off." Well, as the opposite of luck would have it, with 5 outs to go, a 3-0 lead, and Mark Prior on the mound, the Dusty Baker-led Cubs started to unravel. We all know the rest. Moises Alou doesn't catch a foul ball because of (or not because of- I can't figure it out) a fan named Steve Bartman. Alex Gonzales boots a double play ball. By the end of the inning, the Cubs are down 8-3 and they eventually lose the series.

So you have the obvious Bernie Mac jinxed the Cubs because he sang the song incorrectly connection. However, my old roommate was watching the 2002 World Series on ESPN Classic about a year later. If you recall, Dusty Baker was managing the SF Giants against the Angels. The Giants were up 5-3 and 5 outs away from a World Series Championship, when they were lit up by Angels hitting. If you watch the game over, an ad for the Bernie Mac Show is clearly posted on the backstop. While FOX was advertising their TV show, they inadvertently (or maybe it was on purpose) cursed Dusty Baker. Dusty brought the curse with him to Chicago and the Cubs fell prey to the same fate as the Giants.

Now that Mr. Mac is gone, the curse dies with him and the Cubs are free to win a World Series. There's no Dusty, no Bernie, no Bartman, and don't let any Goats into Wrigley to make up for past altercations (Goats don't even like baseball)- the time has come to forget about all these stupid superstitions and win 11 games in October.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Memoirs of a Cubs Fan

The Cubs sit at 87-58 today with the best record in the National League. Why am I not more excited? Probably because the Cubs are 2-8 in their last 10 games, and their schedule from here on out is Cardinals, Astros, Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, and ending with the Brewers. On top of that, there is the question of health- as in: will Rich Harden and Carlos Zambrano be healthy enough to finish the season? Kerry Wood is healthy but he's serving up runs like Nutrisystem Meals. The offense is helping the team about as much as a bystander who watches someone else get mugged.

With all this gloom and doom I just mentioned, I still believe the Cubs will win their division. I still believe they will do well in the playoffs. And why is that? Well, because I'm a Cubs fan. Look, no matter what any team has done in the past, if you pick your favorite teams when you're a kid, and you stick with them through all of the ups and downs, why hate yourself (and your team) for it? I'm obviously going to be a Cubs fan for the rest of my life, so I might as well enjoy it. I don't think I've ever been more excited as a sports fan than I was when the Cubs beat the Braves in the 2003 NLDS. I can recognize that heartbreak is inevitable if the team you root for doesn't win it all, but why not enjoy the ride?

So with the Cubs coming down to the end of the season, I really hope they get their act together. Really, there is only one scenario where I don't end up punching a hole in the wall, but at least let's make it entertaining- alright Cubbies? And if by some chance, the Cubs make it to the World Series and lose to another Florida expansion team- well, I guess I'll just have to bathe in the cruel irony and "Wait 'Til Next Year" again and again and again.

Tomorrow: The Cubs Will Win Because Bernie Mac is Dead- Stay Tuned.

Monday, September 8, 2008

WEEK 1 OF THE NFL

The NFL is back and it was an awesome Week 1. Here are some of my impressions from the games:

Two TVs: I watched the 10am and 1pm games at my Mom's house. My little brothers have the two TV set up which I utilized to watch the Jets/Dolphins and the Eagles/Rams at the same time. Once the Eagles cemented themselves as really, really, really, ridiculously better than the Rams, I changed that TV to the Cubs game. From the Jets/Dolphins, Favre's first touchdown pass was pretty cool, and his second was a winning throw from his version of Three Flies Up. At least reckless quarterbacking will not affect the Bears anymore.

(I'm now glazing over the fact that the Cubs seriously choked away a games against the Reds. Get this out of you system now guys, because I'm going to lose my mind if you all play like this in the playoffs.)

Payton's Boys vs. Peyton's Boys: Speaking of the Bears, that Sunday night game was something great. I actually had come to terms with about a 6-10 season already, until the Bears absolutely dominated the Colts to open their new Blah Blah Corporate Oil Field Stadium. Matt Forte looked like the running back the Bears thought Cedric "I Take Great Opportunities For Granted" Benson would be. Kyle Orton managed the game very well. For once Bears fans didn't have to watch the game with a box full of Tums. Look, I'd rather have the Super Bowl XLI championship, but if there is one way to exact some revenge, it is dominating Peyton and crew in the first game at their brand new stadium. Awesome.

SF vs. Arizona: This game was awful. After watching the first 3 quarters, I gave up and went to out to eat. I'm torn between knowing JT O'Sullivan is an A-Hole, and wanting someone from UC Davis to succeed. Really, it doesn't matter what I want, the guy is pretty good- for an NFL Europe QB. I played at Pyramid Alehouse at 6pm where I set up and watched the beginning of the Bears game at the back bar. One of the waiters saw I was cheering for the Bears. He said, "Do the Bears still have Rex Grossman- he's horrible." Turns out he's Niners fan. C'mon my brother, making fun of the Sex Cannon is fine, but your options are JT, Alex Smith and Shaun Hill. You're not in a current position to make fun of the Bears quarterback who at least got to a Super Bowl.

All The Other Games: What? Tom Brady is hurt. Colts lose. Chargers lose. Jags lose. The AFC looks wide open now. Also, it is crazy that Matt Cassel hasn't started a game since high school (he got caught behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinert at USC.) The Packers and Vikings played an awful game furthering my thoughts of a Bears Division Championship. The Broncos dominated the terrible Raiders.

Worst Performance of the Week: The Detriot Lions. That team is so terrible. How do you let the Falcons run all over you? Not that I'm complaining due to my ownership of Michael Turner in Fantasy, but are the Lions going to be terrible forever? Somebody bring Rodney Peete and Barry Sanders back. Hell, I think they might settle for Erik Kramer. (Note to the Browns: you're lucky the Lions exist because you're a close second.)

Quick predictions based on no knowledge what-so-ever: USC over Ohio State, UC Davis over Portland State, Notre Dame over Michigan, and LSU over North Texas.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shows This Week

Pyramid Alehouse Sacramento on Thursday 6:30 - 8:30pm. It's free and if you say you're there to see me, you get 30% off your bill! They'll have the Giants/Redskins game on as well.

Downtown Vacaville on Saturday at 11am. Playing close to the old theater on Main Street. Come on out for the Farmer's Market and music.

Pyramid Alehouse Walnut Creek on Sunday from 6 - 9:30pm. This was a last minute add, but it's free and what better time than drinking, listening to music and watching the Bears/Colts game?

Listening to: Every Oasis Album - they have a new one coming out on October 7. They might be jerks, but their music ain't half bad.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Went Wrong?

My fantasy baseball team "Thuganomics" has been completely terrible for years. We're in a keeper league that has been going since 2003. I've had a couple decent runs, but never a championship and I truly thought this year would be different. My keepers this year were Jake Peavy, Brad Penny, Jon Papelbon, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, and Adrian Gonzalez. I had a decent draft selecting Ichiro in the first round (seventh round if you count the six keepers) and I thought I was ready to roll.

I was even in first place until right around the All-Star break. First place! Even with Brad Penny pitching Henry Rowengartner after his magical arm ligaments loosed up and Troy Tulowitzki getting injured twice and I was still at the top. Since the All-Star break, my team has lost 7 (count 'em 7!) weeks in a row. This would be the equivalent of a Major League team losing 45 games straight.

Am I an awful fantasy baseball manager? I really don't think so. I typically do research, regularly peruse the free agent market, read MLBTradeRumors.com, and set my line-up (the same could not be said about my free Yahoo league this year, but I digress.)

Obviously, Jake Peavy hasn't been as good as he was last year, and some of my keepers have underachieved, but other players I picked up have over achieved. Matt Garza, Joakim Soria, Brian Wilson, and Gavin Floyd have all been solid. I'm not sure if anyone would've predicted great seasons from that bunch.

My track record makes me look like I manage a team about as well as Warren from There's Something About Mary, but I really feel like I'm better than that. I'll do my research, try to make a trade or two, and get ready for next year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tidbits

Here are some quick thoughts for the day:

FantasyFishing.com - one of my employees, Steve, won a Chevy Silverado playing Fantasy Fishing on FantasyFishing.com. Yes, I'm totally serious. It's free, and he was two places away from $1,000,000. Wow.

Nine Year Old Jericho Scott is Banned From Little League - Jericho Scott throws 40 mph and has been banned from pitching in the New Haven Youth Baseball League. In fact, the other team left the field when he took the mound. Are we really going to start banning CC Sabathia or Rich Harden from the Majors because no one can hit them? Remember kids, don't get too good at something- you might get banned from it.

Shawn Merriman Needs Surgery - And yet, he's looking for a 43rd doctor's opinion to tell him that he doesn't need it. Shawn, get the surgery, stay off the juice, and turn the "Lights Out" on your stupid dance.

Peyton Manning Activated - And with the activation, I've deactivated my hopes of a Bears opening week win.

Retirement? - First Favre, now Strahan. I realize that the end result is different for both players, but I get the feeling that the media likes to stir up retirement stories as much as possible. When someone gets older, they need to announce if they are in or out immediately after each season- and if you waiver at all it becomes a story. If a player in your position gets injured after you retire, it becomes a story. Seriously, if Brian Urlacher retires tomorrow, I'm letting him go and not looking back. The media clearly enjoys these stories (and apparently so does the general public.) One person who doesn't enjoy them: Me.

College Football - I have to be honest, I'm not a huge College Football fan. Maybe it is because I didn't go to a big conference college, or because I moved around when I was young and never stuck with a team, but I just can't get into College Football. One thing that could happen to make me watch more: A Bracketed Tournament To Decide The Champion.

What a Dream! - Last night I had a dream that I was back playing high school basketball for my old coach Frank Allocco. We were wearing our road uniforms, but I had my road jersey, but home shorts. On top of that, I had forgotten my socks. I was freaking out, because errors like this not only get you benched for the game, but have fun trying to live through the next few practices. Luckily, I woke up before I had run any lines.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Comedies

This summer has been one of the best (if not the best) summer ever for great comedy movies. I would say the average comedy movie disappoints me because I'll get excited to see it, and my expectations will inevitably be higher than the actual product. That could not be further from the truth from the last three comedies I've seen in the theater. Throw The Dark Knight in there and you have a very entertaining summer at the movies.

Step Brothers: Probably the funniest of the three. I love Will Ferrell (not a very original opinion, but true none the less) and enjoy most of his movies. I was getting a little tired of all of his sports spoofs (Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory, and Semi-Pro) where Ferrell essentially plays the same character over and over in different (but similar) situations. This was a breath of fresh air. John C. Reilly was also on top of his game and these two childish 40-year-olds beat each other up (or get beat up together) and play pranks the likes of which haven't been seen. Horatio Sanz's cameo as the '80s only Billy Joel cover band singer was too much as well.

Pineapple Express: As far as stoner movies go, this one goes straight to the top (well, near the top.) Seth Rogen and James Franco are both hilarious as they run from killers and the law while still managing to stay high the entire time. James Franco especially deserves some credit on this one, as he normally plays more dramatic/serious roles (yes, I did just consider Spider-Man a more dramatic role.) While he's not known for his comedic roles, he does a great job playing a stoner drug-dealer. James Franco's foray into comedy reminds me of when Matt Damon was in Dogma and proved that he can also play comedic roles.

Tropic Thunder: This movie is ridiculously funny. The cameos by themselves are worth going to the movies. I won't say who they are, but one in particular is so funny that you'll be laughing like Caesar Romero's version of the Joker. Let's just say it's one of the biggest movie stars in the world and it has not been advertised at all. To be honest though, the show is absolutely stolen by Robert Downey Jr. He plays a character within a character, and the things that come out of his mouth are comedy gold. Even from the very beginning, they have fake previews to introduce you to the characters in the movie. Downey Jr.'s is by far the funniest of those.

You really can't go wrong with any of these movies. They're all really funny, so grab your 100 oz. re-fillable soda and mini-swimming pool of popcorn and enjoy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Already?

The title is massively sarcastic. I'm drained from the week. Lots of things are going on, and yet I'm frustrated because I haven't had much time to continue work on my next album. I won tickets on the radio last week to Sunday of the Outside Lands festival in San Fran (Wilco, Rogue Wave, Jackie Greene, Jack Johnson, etc.), and I'm so drained I don't know if I can make the trip.
I'm my own worst critic, but I don't feel like I gave a great performance last night (though I know a few people enjoyed it) at Pyramid in Sac. By comparison, I played very well last week, but something was off this week. I played a few new songs I learned, so I can take a mulligan on those, but even some of my traditional favorites were not great.

Now, I do admit I was a bit distracted by the Bears/49ers disaster of a game that was playing on the TV during the show, but that's no excuse. Just because those teams are as bad as Jason Kidd on a SAT test doesn't mean I have to go down to their level.

It is just one more reminder that every time you think you have everything figured out, you realize that there's more to learn or improve. Anyway, here are some albums I've been listening to in case you're interested:

"The Boxer" by The National - Sounds like Interpol but way better. Key tracks: "Fake Empire," "Racing Like a Pro," and "Mistaken for Strangers"

"Have You Fed The Fish?" by Badly Drawn Boy - This dude can write some seriously awesome songs. I hear his live shows suck, but I've never seen him myself. All in all, this album is his best. Key tracks: "40 Days & 40 Fights," "You Were Right," and "What Is It Now"

"Ghosts I-IV" by Nine Inch Nails - All instrumental and completely awesome. Trent Reznor has always done a great job composing and arranging twisted songs, but this really shows off how great a musician he is. Keep tracks: "28 Ghosts IV," 4 Ghosts I," and "13 Ghosts II"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who Is Worse?

As I have been listening to KNBR 680- "the sports leader"- there has been a lot of talk about the San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation. And in the battle for the starting job we have the following candidates:

J.T. O'Sullivan - former UC Davis Aggie and regular A-Hole. While it was fun watching my college football team destroy other teams by scores that would make the 1999 St. Louis Rams feel proud, it was ridiculous seeing J.T. on Campus treating everyone he could like shit.

Alex Smith - Mr. Smith also made an appearance in Davis over a year ago, where I saw him at a local bar. He was getting drunk and making out with some girl. I'm pretty sure it wasn't his girlfriend, and to be honest she was about a 7 out of 10. When I saw this I thought, "I know I can get a hotter girl than that [and since then I have gotten engaged to her], and that guy has $50 million!" C'mon Alex, don't underachieve at everything!

Shaun Hill - No Davis stories for Shaun Hill, but this guy just doesn't have arm strength or athleticism. If you need someone to hold a clipboard, I will totally do it.

Anyway, back to my listening to 680- a caller called in and said "At least the Niners don't have the Bears' QB situation."

Now look, I'm not saying either situation is great (or even good), but are you serious? So you'd rather have two quarterbacks that have been paid a lot of money (Alex Smith got around $30 million guaranteed and Shaun Hill just signed in the off-season for extra cash) who both ultimately get beat out by a lifetime NFL Europa player rather than two quarterbacks who both have over .500 career records, neither are getting paid tons of money, and both are only signed through this year. Rex Grossman [shown below training for this season] is probably the most talented of the bunch if he could ever stop making stupid decisions with the football and Kyle Orton seems to win most of the time for no reason at all.

I really can't even believe I'm making this argument, because as I said before, NEITHER team has an enviable QB setup, but I just thought it was funny that people would call in and rationalize their team's terrible predicament. Niners fans are getting desperate to find something they can hang their hat on. Well, I'll be a gentleman and give you something- their defense will be very good this year. Whether their offense can keep the D off the field and fresh is another point entirely, but look in that direction Niners fans if you need encouragement.

Both these teams will probably go around 6-10 to 8-8 because of wins they'll steal from division rivals. Neither team will make the playoffs. But you know what the best part is? We get to see these two teams match up, tomorrow at Soldier Field. My final score prediction is 5-2. Watch out for that gem of a game.

For the record: I'd like to see Alex Smith and Rex Grossman eventually win the jobs and turn into the quarterbacks they were drafted to be, but if that's not in the cards, I won't lose any sleep over it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Orton, Grossman, Moxon, Grenouille, Anybody Else?

The Chicago Bears named Kyle Orton (shown training for this season) their starting quarterback today. I really don't have an much of an opinion on it. I always liked Rex Grossman (or more specifically I gave him the benefit of the doubt more times than most other Bears fans) but he really hasn't done much grab hold of the first-string position. And really, neither has Kyle Orton. But considering the options, I'm just going to roll with it and hope for an 8-8 type season. But I have to wonder, who would be a better option for the Bears?

Gee Grenouille - I believe he might be a good choice because the Bears win with defense and the QB just has to "manage the game." Grenouille relied 100% on Bobby Boucher to attack offenses. This was exemplified by other teams kneeling the ball down and punting back to Gee's team. The difference is, in the Waterboy, they didn't have Devin Hester returning punts.

Jonathon "Moxy" Moxon - The Beak once led the West Canaan Coyotes to the district championship after their first string quarterback busted up his knee. He showed commitment and focus (turning down the Ali Larter whip cream bikini) and had an inspiring speech to rally the team at the district championship game.



Joe Kingman - The Rock will not let anyone down on the football field. Though he may look like a defensive lineman or linebacker- I'd trust the Rock with an eight-year old daughter that I've never met, so why not trust him with the Bears offense?

Radio - Better decision making than Grossman, more athletic than Orton- I really don't see where this could go wrong.

There are many other good candidates (Jamie Foxx, the blond dude from Remember the Titans, Michael Vick) but for now I guess we're going with Kyle Orton. I'm very open to direct snapping it to Devin Hester and seeing what happens, but until then- let's complete some 5 yard out patterns!

* NOTE: In thinking about it, this is actually pretty similar to an entry over at The Money Shot from January 10 of this year. You can read that one HERE. G$ talks about the Redskins finding a coach by going the Hollywood route. Respek.

Baracky II

I'm not as much into spreading political messages as I am talking about sports, music, and pop culture, but here's video that combines Rocky and Barack Obama. Make sure you watch for McCain's mohawk as he makes an appearance as Clubber Lang:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Domination

Argue if you like (and if you're Skip Bayless, you probably will) but Micheal Phelps is the most dominant athlete I've ever seen (I was born in 1981). Now before I say why, here are the other athletes I think you can make an argument for (please add more if you want):

Michael Jordan

Tiger Woods

Lance Armstrong

Barry Bonds (you could do it, but the steroids issue will ruin your argument)

I couldn't think of a football player that stands out as truly this dominant, so I figure there probably isn't one, but again, argue if you want.

I have NEVER seen someone dominate the competition like Michael Phelps. He isn't even racing against other guys who've been training tirelessly for their Olympic moment- he's training against his own personal bests/world records. And let's keep it real- I know NOTHING about swimming. I had to look up distances of various pools I've swam in to see if they were 50 meters in length or not (incidentally, they were not.) But what I do know is the feeling I get when watching Micheal Phelps. I know that each race, he brings so much focus and competitiveness that no one else has a chance. He gets mad when he wins a gold medal, breaks the world record, but doesn't get underneath the time that he thought he could get (getting under 1:52 on the 200m IM is the race I'm referencing, I believe.)

Phelps in the pool reminds me so much of when Michael Jordan would tear people up on the court. There were points where Jordan could obviously not be stopped, and Phelps gives spectators that same feeling. You know he can't be beat. I love watching athletes when all of their talent comes together with hard work and focus.

Keep on rockin' Michael Phelps- you might be a bit goofy, but you're competitive drive is second to none. Finish it off and complete the greatest athletic performance I've ever seen.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

XKCD.com

I'm digging this guy's webcomic. I recommend checking it out. There's a link in the sidebar.

Monday, August 11, 2008

50 (Quick) Stories

Ok, so probably not 50, but here are some quick things that caught my attention:

Fukudome - I just read a story that Lou Pinella is thinking about benching his high priced Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. Why you ask? The answer is simple- a steady decline in batting average. He hit .305 in April, .293 in May, .264 in June, .236 in July and .107 in 28 August at-bats. Here's a segment from Cubs.com:

Fukudome said Piniella has not expressed his frustrations with him face-to-face.

"It doesn't bother me at all," Fukudome said. "Maybe that's the American way of doing things around here."

Well, since I've seen Mr. Baseball starring Tom Selleck, I clearly know everything there is to know about Japanese baseball- and I'm pretty sure that when a guy hits around .200, you're getting benched in whatever culture you're in. Especially when two guys on the bench (Mike Fontenot and Reed Johnson) have recently been hitting around .400. C'mon Fukudome, Cubs fans love you and voted you into the All-Star game when you had no business being there on statistical merit- don't cause a problem in the clubhouse. Better yet, start hitting.

Jason Mraz - I almost never talk about work (in fact, I say almost because this is the first time I've ever done it) but this one was a pain in my rear and I'm going to drop knowledge for those who want to listen. Jason Mraz is coming to Freeborn Hall in Davis on November 3 and tickets went on sale on Saturday 8/9. We also had a student presale limited to 100 tickets at $20 on Thursday 8/7. They also saved 100 tickets for another student presale which will happen in late September/early October.

For the student presale- people camped out as early as 5am and we had about 400 folks in line. Some people cut in line and I know of a few people that camped at 6am that didn't even get tickets. Of course, a few people were less than nice to me (coincidentally, if you want to tell me how bad a person I am, why wouldn't you confront the people who cut in line?) but many people were nice about it and listened for better ways to get tickets. Here's a quick cheat sheet:

- Have someone go online, buy at the window and call on the phone. For a very popular concert, the worst thing that can happen is that you don't get tickets- getting extra is no problem because you can sell them to some desperate soul who was not as resourceful as you.

- If you miss out, buy tickets on StubHub or eBay. DO NOT buy tickets on Craigslist. It works sometimes, but if you get scammed, there are no repercussions for the scammer like there are on StubHub or eBay- I find them much more reliable.

- Have realistic expectations of the show you are going to see. Too many people get so excited about a show that they can't possibly have fun. Any little thing that isn't perfect will set someone off so their night will be as fun as watching Art of War II on DVD (thanks for that one Wesley Snipes- the first one wasn't bad enough?)

- Lastly, this is for the students- if you can get your $20 presale tickets, great. However, buy the $35 if you really want to go. If you wait for the second presale, the rest of the ticket will be sold out and no one will have much sympathy for you. The odds of you getting student tickets the second time are slim. Buy tickets now and resell them later if you happen to get lucky and get student tickets.


Enough about Tickets! - The Olympic 400m relay in freestyle swimming was absolutely amazing. I was actually on stage when it was going down, and you can imagine that more people were paying attention to the race (including me.) Jason Lezak came up huge overtaking the cocky French-man in the last 15m of the race. He was able to help Michael Phelps win another gold medal and keep him on track to break record for most gold medals won (held by Mark Spitz.)

I watched it a couple times after I got home on my DVR and I still can believe he was able to pull ahead and win by 8 hundredths of a second! Absolutely insane! Congrats USA, this is why the Olympic Games are awesome!