Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Post #300
















This is post #300!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We've laughed, we've cried, and we've shared some moments. And don't worry, the fun is continuing on, but I think it's time to take a look back on what this blog has become.

Back when I started this blog in February of 2008, I had occasionally written on my Myspace profile blog, but it was never that consistent. A few posts here, a few posts there, mostly pertaining to music because I am, of course, a musician. Then I started this site, and initially was in to it, then was wildly inconsistent about posting. After realizing that there was no point to even having this site unless I was going to commit to posting daily, I began the habit of making sure something was up every week day.

Since then, I feel very good about the direction this conjunction junction has gone. I know it's not as focused as most good blogs (I suppose sports and music would be the two main topics, but I'll write about anything if the mood strikes.) I am very aware that there are improvements to be made, but overall I stand by the current, consistent work I've been putting into this site.

So I'd like to present the post #300 awards. There are really no rules, or categories to these awards- they can go to commenters, subjects of posts, or really anything to deserves one.

- Best Comment (That I Can Remember) - This one goes to G$. It only makes sense since he is the most consistent commenter (damn near every day- impressive!) The specific comment is from Tuesday August 25, 2009. I mentioned that I saw Tonic and that they had a woman signing the whole show for the benefit of the deaf people in the crowd. I was confused about how fun a concert would be for a deaf person (I've since been told that it is enjoyable because it is exhilirating for them to feel the beat in their chest/body, but I digress.) G$'s comment was, "Deaf people were there in force because the blind were offended and refused to go. "If You Could Only See" is a slap in the face to them. That was a joke!!!" Excellent work G$. I still think it's crazy that we're back in communication after not seeing/speaking since my family moved away from Northwest Ohio in 4th grade. Love that internet. (For anyone unaware, G$ runs a dominant blog HERE. It's an excellent read.)

- Best Logo Taken From The Internet - THIS LOGO IS HILARIOUS. I know it's because I'm a Bears fan that I find this hilarious, and I did once cheer Sexy Rexy on, but I seriously would not mind owning a T-shirt with this logo on it. You gotta unleash the dragon!

- Subject I Hate The Most, But Love To Rant About - The douche from the gym. This was an easy one. This guy deserves a shout out just for how much I hate him. I'm not sure guys like this should be jailed, but I would be pro-castration for them. At least it would lower the cases of unsolved sexual assault.

- Worst Music I've Ever Mentioned - Nickelback. By far the worst/least talented band to ever sell millions of records. They are dumbing down our society. Nice export, Canada. You should be more careful about what products you send to America- you never know what we're capable of...

- Best Commenter Idea - Clarkster gets the nod for coming up with the Top Ten idea. I don't always write Top Ten lists, but I will admit that it helped me to get in the habit of writing every day, which has ultimately improved the blog. Thanks man.

- Best Commenter Appearence In a Video - I can't find it at the moment, but I absolutely loved Rae's less than sober appearence on the NFL Network's coverage of the 2009 Draft. After Michael Crabtree was drafted she is shown jubulantly celebrating with other 49er fans. At the time, I totally understood, but now the video becomes even funnier due to Crabtree's holdout. He will likely never wear the red and gold, and it makes Rae's celebration a priceless Mastercard moment. I've got to find that video...

UPDATE: I FOUND THE LINK! Check out 1:54 on the video. Excellent work Rae! You're whooping it up like a member of Arsenio Hall's audience back in the early 90's!

- Most Touching Love Story - This blog is not always about sports and music, sometimes I give you a glimpse into my personal life, so this one goes out the Engagment Story blog. That plan was formulated and excuted within a day (though the ring was bought the week before) and it could not have turned out any better.

- The Single Rider Lifetime Acheivement Award - THIS GUY was the weirdest guy I've ever talked to (correction, weirdest guy who ever talked to me), ever. He deserves some award because I have a feeling he is starved for attention at home. Continue to single ride Disneyland rides you Lone Ranger you. Also, I don't mean to bring you to rock bottom, but no one enjoys your Mickey Mouse impression. No one. Your wife might stab you in the neck the next time you do it, unless of course she does a mean Sebastian the crab from "The Little Mermaid."

Thanks to everyone for reading (I know there are more of you who read, but don't comment, and we'll have to work on that...) It's been fun and it will continue on for another 300 posts (hopefully.) I'll see if I can get any filler posts while I'm away from my honeymoon, but otherwise I'll be out from October 5 - 13 or 14. I'll be back re-energized and ready to roll!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Head Coaching Changes In the NFL

I'm going to predict three coaching changes in the NFL that I think will happen before next season. I'd make a fourth, but I have no idea who the hell is going to want to coach in Cleveland once they get rid of the "Man-genius" running up huge catering bills and not winning any ball games.

1. Mike Shanahan to the Washington Redskins. Jim Zorn is done as head coach of the Redskins. The loss to the Lions this week was the final straw. The change might happen in a couple weeks, months, or it could happen by the time this blog entry is published making my post somewhat silly. If that happens, then I don't believe Shanahan will come in immediately. I have a feeling they will stick some poor schmuck in to finish the season, then hire Shanahan in the offseason. The one kink could be if the Cowboys decide to go hard after Shanahan, and then he'll have to decide which crazy owner he would hate to work for the least. That leads me to my next prediction...

2. John Gruden to the Dallas Cowboys. Is it just me or has Wade Phillips been a lame duck coach for three years now? This will finally be the year when he gets canned, and Jerry Jones will go after John Gruden because he will have enjoyed Gruden's Monday Night Football commentary. It's easy to sound like a smart guy, but much harder to actually coach a team. Jerry likes high profile, so that's why Gruden is a perfect fit. Plus, Gruden has already dealt with crazy Al Davis, so dealing with Jerry's botoxed face is right up his alley.

3. Bill Cowher to the Carolina Pathers. I feel a bit bad for John Fox. He's been such a good coach, and will probably get a job somewhere else soon, but Cowher is too a big name for the Panthers to pass on. Cowher showed his love for the Carolina Hurricanes right in the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins:



So we know he'd love to go to Carolina. He's a couple years out of coaching, refreshed and ready to go!

Those are my predictions. Who knows if they will happen, but with teams playing horribly and big name coaches out there, we know there will be changes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Case of the Mondays: Luxury Edition

The first part of my weekend went something like this:

- Played an opening gig for the band Silent Treatment at the G St Pub in Davis. It went very well.
- Saturday morning I brought my suit in to let a half-inch out on my wedding suit pants.
- Got a haircut.
- Worked the rest of the day at the UC Davis football game (they beat "powerhouse" Western Oregon. Read the quotes as sarcasm.)

Sunday rolled around and it was time to drive to San Francisco to watch the Giants/Cubs game from the luxury box. We arrived early and used the extra time to each buy and drink a 24 oz. can of Miller Light in an alley outside of the park (Future Mrs. B. has occasionally been working as a Miller Light promotional girl so I've been trying to switch from Bud Light. Also, it is the only beer approved by the commish of the More Taste League.)













You may ask, you had the luxury suite, so why are you roughing it out in the mean streets of SF drinking out of brown bags? Well, the answer is simple- I had the tickets for the suite, but catering was not included. I initially was going to try get everyone to chip in and split catering but I was having too hard a time pinning people down so it became easier to just let everyone fend for themselves.

Upon arriving to the park, we walked over to the entrance of the Visitor club house and on the way down the hall I saw Cubs' announcer Len Kasper. I saw him and said, "Hey! What's up Len?" He said, "Hey man, how are you doing?" Then he kept walking and didn't wait for me to tell him how I was actually doing. My friends, not knowing who Len was asked me how I knew that guy. I explained that it was the Cubs' announcer and that I didn't actually know him. It was really a weird exchange for two people who don't know each other.

We got to watch Fukudome take batting practice in the underground cages they have below the homeplate area, and we did see Cubs' GM Jim Hendry just a few feet away from us. He didn't look like he was in the mood for any comments about Milton Bradley, so we left him alone.

It was then time to go up to the suite and turn on the 49ers/Vikings game. We were able to watch football the entire time we were in the suite. They had one TV inside, and one outside for maximum football enjoyment. Most of the people there were Giants/49ers fans, so they last minute Favre touchdown pass was a crushing moment. Even I was mad as I hate Favre and want the Vikings to lose for inter-divisional reasons. Everyone was hoping the video review showed something different, but Greg Lewis made a great play and perfectly dragged his feet in the end zone for a touchdown. The video only confirmed that fact and the Niners and their fans were left with a dramatic loss.

The actual baseball game was fine. Matt Cain pitched very well, and the Giants won without much fight from the Cubs. I'm not sure if I expected much from the Cubs. Sweet Lou gave them the day off from regular batting practice as if to say, "Hey guys, we're out of the playoffs and you have taken the first 3 games in the Giants' home park- don't worry about today."

The weather was great, and the view was awesome. It was also fun to not miss football while still enjoying baseball at such a great park (AT&T Park is an awesome yard- get there if you've never been.)

On the way home, I could still taste the garlic fries that I had had an hour and a half earlier. I could also still taste the Bears' victory which I was unable to watch, but kept close tabs on throughout the day. Both were delicious! It was a pretty great Sunday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It Ain't Over Until...

Before I get into the subject today, I'd like to be clear that I did not visually see one second of the Cubs/Giants game last night. I did, however, listen from the 8th inning until the end of the game on my way back from Tahoe City (I played a private gig up there, and it was a lot of fun!)

While driving back, the Cubs are down 2-1 and it's obvious that Brad Penny was absolutely shutting them down. It's amazing that a team with an anemic offense like the Giants only needs to play the Cubs to find a team with a worse offense. After the Cubs got out in the 8th inning, I received a text message from commenter Clarkster's brother. It said simply, "Go Giants."

As far as shit talking goes, this was quite mild, and I think he was more saying, "Hey man, I'm watching the game, looks like the Giants will gain a game on the Rockies." At the time though, it stoked the fires of competition within my belly, and I decided to really let my inner fan out for the 9th inning.

I did not text him back immediately because I figured a) we'll see how this plays out, and b) I'm driving on a desolate highway that could turn me off into the movie "House of 1,000 Corpses" any minute. I continued to listen to John Miller's call of the game (Bay Area AM radio near Tahoe City? Great reception!)

The Giants were retired in order by Aaron Heilman in the 8th, and then my fantasy team closer Brian Wilson came in to close the game out (I was wrong yesterday, I'm playing for $40 and 3rd place currently.) He walked Derrek Lee and my first thought was, "Nothing good ever comes from a lead off walk..."

The next two guys pop out, so that leaves the final at bat to former Colorado Rockie Jeff Baker. Uh-oh...

John Miller threw out the stat- "Jeff Baker is 0-3 with three strikeouts against Wilson, so he's never even put the ball in play against him." There's a radio jinx if I've ever heard one.

Wilson gets ahead in the count 0-2, then misses with two sliders. He must have gotten impatient because his next pitch was a fastball that was properly struck. Baker immediately turned his career numbers against Wilson into a respectable 1-4 with a homerun. Cubs up 3-2, and his ex-teammates are probably contemplating buying him a new car.

You could hear the Giants fans booing through the radio. This time, I couldn't help myself. With no pressure on the Cubs, I needed to risk driving into a bank of trees to text back, "Go Cubs!"

There was nothing coming back my way until several minutes later. The buzz of the phone went off and all it said was "God dammit." Well said.

Carlos Marmol came in and was clearly thinking about blowing the save, but in the end, he retired the side and the Cubs won. This effectively eliminated the Giants from the playoffs- but wait, maybe I shouldn't speak to soon... If we've learned anything from this story, it's that it ain't over 'til it's over, right?

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be at the Giants/Cubs game on Sunday, so I'll be back with a full report on Monday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thank You Cards























I must admit, the thought of Jimmy Fallon hosting a late night TV show seemed to be about as good of an idea as hanging for three hours in a room with children that are contagious with the swine flu. However, I will say that I've watched the show, and to be honest, it is a lot better than I expected. One skit they do is where Jimmy writes out thank you notes to random people, groups, celebrities, etc. Today, adding to my own series of thank you notes:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for birthing me. On this day, Happy Birthday to you!

Love,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Milton Bradley,

Thank you for showing me how a professional athlete can be least professional when it matters most. By releasing a half-hearted apology through the media rather than facing your team like a man, you have sunk to a new low and have pretty much guaranteed that you won't return to the Cubs next year. In fact, you probably don't want to return because you have the Cubs on the hook for $21 million. It's great to see how you reward the only team who has ever offered you a multi-year contract by creating tension and unrest within the clubhouse. The Cubs need you about as much as Magic Johnson needs his AIDS. Similarly, at least the Cubs can throw lots of money at you to make you go away.

Happy trails,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Horrific Full Tilt Poker Players,

Thank you for being stupid enough to assume I'm bluffing when I make a large bet. You see, I'm a pretty tight player, so you tend to pay me off most times. My favorite instance of this was when I was playing tight for sometime, then someone bet at me during a hand, I re-raised them having completed an Ace-high flush, and they called me with King-high. That's right folks- not even a pair. It makes it a lot easier to be a profitable player when folks like you all are throwing away their money.

See you soon,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Florist for our wedding,

Thank you for being the only vendor that we've worked with that has made our wedding planning difficult. Usually when you sign a contract and state things that you're going to do, you have to follow through with those promises. I guess in this case, you're above written documents. Changing our contract to try and put in cheaper flowers and less service is really not a great way to earn future business. Don't worry, I won't even mention your name if you actually end up doing a good job on the 3rd, but rest assured I'm calling you out if you don't.

It was also a nice touch that you tried to change all the terms so close to the wedding.

Regards,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Facebook,

Thank you for allowing me to keep up to date with/stalk other folks with relative ease. It's much more efficient to pass on human contact or phone calls, and just read the News Feed. If we're lucky, we may soon just go without human contact all together!

Seriously though, thanks for letting me look at entire albums of photos that belong to people that I'm not friends with. The access given because one of my friends gets tagged is sweet!

Poke,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Back of my Vizio TV,

Thank you for only having one Audio/Video input and two HD A/V inputs. At the current time, I don't own an extra set of HD cables, so I can't hook up my DVD player and Wii at the same time. I'd love to buy the extra wires, but I'm lazy and short on cash at the moment (not to mention it's a pain in the ass to get access to the back of the mounted TV.) I guess the movies will have to wait, so thank you for keeping me from watching any of the Thumb movies or old Lost DVD's. (I know I will really thank you for this later, but right now it's annoying.)

Best,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Baseball Season,

Thank you for getting out of the way early so I can concertrate on football. True, we'll have one more fling on Sunday at AT&T Park, but let's be honest, I'll be checking my phone for the Bears' score the whole time I'm there.

Until next year,
Tony B.

----------

Dear My Own Office,

Thank you for not having windows. It keeps me from knowing what I am missing out on.

Yeah, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. I'm crazy like that!

Sincerely,
Tony B.

----------

I'm off to play a private show in Tahoe City in the afternoon, but I'll be back in Davis tomorrow and playing at the G St Pub tomorrow night. Come on out if you can!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Killers - 9/22/09 ARCO Arena




















Future Mrs. B. and I attended the Killers concert last night at ARCO Arena. It was a well deserved and needed break from wedding planning (oh, florist- get your crap together... I won't rip you just yet, you still have time to redeem yourself.)

The best aspect of the concert was that we were hooked up by a friend, so I paid a solid $8.50 for both tickets (even when tickets are free, Ticketmaster gets some money, right?) You can't beat that price- unless of course, the tickets were absolutely free.

After our leisurely dinner at Chili's near ARCO, we drove up at least an hour late. This was on purpose to make sure we missed both opening bands. Timing-wise, it had one extra benefit that was completely lucky for us. The parking folks were closing up their charging stations just as we arrived. The worker who clearly didn't want to accept/deal with any more money said in a gruff tone, "Just go on!" Well, that saved us the $12 in parking. Almost free tickets and free parking? Stewart Scott would be quoted as saying "BOO-YAH!" right about now if he was in our position.

We entered ARCO and heard literally the last 25 seconds of the second opening band. Jackpot! (horrific Jim Breur reference.) This could not have worked out any better! Little did we know that the treats did not end there...

We went to our seats and saw the roadies setting up all of the Killers' equipment. As the house lights were still up, and we had seats rather than the general admission area down where the basketball court would normally be, we could see the crowd below. We began to hear people from different parts of the arena cheering. I initially figured it was just your run of the mill stupid crowd folks cheering because the roadies added a piece of equipment ("Yay! The band is coming out!" Uh, no they're not- the house lights are still on. There's no excuse unless this is your first concert.) But oh no, there was something happening on the floor below. A dance circle had formed, and one young man was showing off his dance moves.

Now I'm going to explain this the best I can, without leaving out anything. The guy was wearing a red shirt, blue jeans, and what looked like Converse Chuck Taylors. He began moving in a bit of an awkward fashion. Some of his dance moves looked like goofy white guy, but there was clearly something odd about it. I turned to FMB and asked, "Does this guy have MS?" To which she replied, "I think so."

At some point, the house music turned on "Let's Hear It For The Boy" and the red shirted MS guy broke into what can only be described as a wildly erratic attempt at bad break-dancing. He spun on the ground and stopped with his elbow on the ground and his hand holding up his head. Classic!

But that wasn't the end. A somewhat overweight blond lady decided she needed attention as well, and she came over to freak-dance with the break-dancing fool. At one point, she stuck her rear end into his crotch and started grinding him. With the obvious green light in his favor, the MS break-dancer began slapping the blond girl's ass. Wow. This was almost better than Curt Schilling's retirement (almost.)

Additionally, another girl (and then another) played out an act where they all dance fought over the red shirted B-Boy like they were in a Michael Jackson concept video. It was entertaining, but by the end I was glad when the house lights turned out to cue the Killers to the stage. However, this display of dancing proved to me once again that people will do ANYTHING for attention (especially in front of 10,000 people) and that these folks were most likely more entertaining than the opening bands.

The Killers opened up with "Human" and launched into a great set of all their hits. The stage was massively set up with a bright array of lights and some well placed pyrotechnics. Brandon Flowers was very robotic in a good way, and I thought the band was very charismatic. They missed out on a couple of songs that I would've loved to hear ("I Can't Stay" and "Uncle Johnny") but overall it was an absolutely entertaining show.

The line of the night was when Flowers encouraged the crowd to make sure they were standing and having a good time because, "We're not at a Fray concert." Hilarious!

They closed the first set with "All the Things That I've Done" and finished with an encore of "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" followed by "When You Were Young."

Did we get our $8.50 plus gas worth out of the night? Absolutely.

UPDATE: Found a video of the red-shirted guy. On second thought, he may not have MS, but I'm telling you, there was something going on with him...



I also found a video of "All These Things That I've Done" from last night. Not the best quality, but here you go none-the-less:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rehearsal Dinner Debacle

We're less than two weeks away from the wedding, and I must say, I'm ready for it to be over. It's like having a large project in the most important college class, and by the end you are just ready to turn it in and graduate. This is not to say that the journey hasn't been enlightening and sometimes fun, but it's definitely more work/stress than I ever thought it would be.

That being said, I've been trying to think of how to occupy myself the night before, and the day of the wedding before the ceremony. I began thinking back to last year, and what I was doing on October 3, 2008. My buddy Mike was getting married and I was a groomsman. His wedding was actually on October 4, and the 3rd was the rehearsal dinner located at his parents' house. Include a massive amount of Blue Moon and scene:

The group was already excited as I had to pick up another groomsman at the airport. JP was coming up from the San Diego area, and he, Mike, and I used to do a fair amount of partying in our younger years. It was like a reunion concert- that is, if our music was drinking and our instrument of choice was alcohol.

JP and I picked up our tuxedos near Mike's parents' house, then cruised over. Upon getting there I remember two things- 1) they had a large spread of BBQ food and 2) the Blue Moon was flowing like water. To this day, I don't remember everything about the night. I've heard multiple versions, but here is what I know for sure.

- I definitely said some inappropriate things around many people at the party. I don't have quotes, but I was told I was being an ass.

- I told Future Mrs. B., "I can probably drive home, but I'll let you do it just to be safe." Then I proceed to give her (probably bad and loud) directions on the way home.

- We were in Vacaville, so the freeway ride back to Sacramento goes Vacaville, Dixon, Davis, then Sacramento. It takes about 30 minutes. At about minute 25, I felt an uncontrollable grumble in my stomach.

- In the passenger seat of my own car, I yell to pull over, and I begin throwing up all the BBQ food out the window. Obviously, some got in the car.

- JP was passed out in the back seat, and witnessed none of this.

- Once we got home, I was not done, and I promptly threw up all over the bathroom that FMB had cleaned earlier in the day. She helped me eventually get to bed, then cleaned- again.

- The next day, we did not use my car, so it sat in the sun all day.

- My head was absolutely obliterated. Horrible hangover. But I did have to wake up to go golfing at 9am with Mike and the groomsmen. It was surprisingly theraputic.

- On Sunday I spent upwards of $100 to get it cleaned and detailed. It was necessary.

- A week later, we still found a few chunks on the ceiling of my car. That either means that the detailers didn't do that great a job, or my impression of the devil from "The Exorist" was very accurate.

Why even bother to tell you this story? Well, to start, I want to remind myself of it so I don't do anything stupid on October 2 of this year. Waking up on my wedding day with the worst hangover of my life would not be helpful.

Second, to this day, FMB points to this moment as stone cold proof that she really, truly loves me. Cleaning up after someone's wretched and unholy regurgitation is definitely one way to prove one's love- though I don't recommend it.

Third, since it is coming up on the year anniversary of this happening, I can now look back and laugh at the situation. Do I plan on repeating this? Not at all! But sometimes you need a rainy drunk time to enjoy a sunny drunk time- or something like that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

That was an interesting weekend to say the least. It started with me playing from 9:30pm-12:45 at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville. The show was a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes, and I think we did pretty well!

I drove home, went to bed, woke up, and was in Vacaville to start playing again at 9am. This was a tough turnaround, but it seemed to work out fairly well. Once I was finished at 10:30-ish, Future Mrs. B. and I went to San Francisco to pick up our wedding rings. They were perfectly done by Edwards Jewelers. They've been awesome during the whole process (I also got FMB's engagement ring there.)

After returning home, FMB and I took one of the greatest naps of all time. If I had to guess, I would say it was from 3:30 to 7:30. It was well deserved after two shows and running a quick errand in SF.

After napping like a champion, and checking on some college football scores (I care even less this week than the last) it was eventually bedtime to prepare for NFL Week 2:

- What can I say about the Bears? Their field was torn up, they were reeling from last week's loss to the Packers, they have many injuries on both sides of the ball, and they beat the defending Super Bowl Champs? What an awesome game! Granted, they were helped by Jeff Reed doing his best Jay Feely impersonation. Not one, but two missed field goals by the Steelers kicker? Yikes. Jay Culter looked much more in control as he did not turn the ball over at all. This may not be a lost season after all...

- I was listening to the national radio broadcast of the Bears game, and when Matt Forte fumbled and Greg Olsen recovered, the announcer said, "Matt Forte owes Greg Olsen a Samuel Adams Lager!" First off, Sam Adams is horrible. Second, what ridiculous product placement within the game! I hope Sam Adams paid him/the radio station a pretty penny for that one!

- The San Francisco Mike Singeltaries look fundamentally sound. They look like men on the field. They are, dare I say it, contenders. That might be a stretch at this point, but I'm sold on them winning their terrible NFC West. I've been impressed with the poise they show, and how can you not be impressed by Frank Gore? His second TD run was even more impressive than the first!

- Hey, Tony Romo- just because T.O. is gone doesn't mean you're going to throw for career highs in yards every game. In fact, it's not every week that you get to face Tampa Bay. When facing a good team this week, you threw 3 picks and lost the home opener in your new stadium. Oops!

- The Raiders won? Cool, I guess. They didn't look all that impressive doing it, though.

- Oh, Tom Brady. I'm a moron for picking you over Drew Brees in one of my fantasy leagues. Were you that affected by Wes Welker not playing this week? How in the world do you let Matt Sanchez and the Jets knock you off like that? It's questions like these that I can't answer.

- Speaking of my fantasy teams, it is a requirement that the person I play against (in one league) must have a running back go for 35+ points. Week one, Adrian Peterson. Week two, Frank Gore. This is just getting silly.

- Am I excited for the Colts vs. the Dolphins tonight? Nope. Not at all. Colts by 14. Should be boring.

I'm just really excited that the Bears pulled out a victory this week. It shows that they are resilient and probably ready to man-handle Seattle next week.

Lastly, goodbye Milton Bradley. I'm convinced that you are the reason the Cubs tanked this year. Whether it was with your terrible stats or your bad attitude, you get to own the futility of the Cubs this year. Enjoy your suspension and I hope the Cubs find a way to sue you and get your contract money back.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, assuming you don't have Milton Bradley's contract on your books...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Failure

The week is not over, but we're in the first round of playoffs for the Pete Rose Gambling All-Stars league, and my 1st place team is getting annihilated. I clinched a playoff spot about 5 weeks ago, and I'm not sure if I rested on my laurels, or if my guys all of a sudden suck, but this is just embarrassing. This is not the dominant 17-6 team that I've witnessed all year.

Right now I'm losing 164 to 83.67. Ouch, right? My one good thing is that King Felix Hernandez and Chris Carpenter still have starts this week, so that may help me to make up ground. How about my other players? Well, the weakness starts and ends with my pitching:

Brian Wilson - Hasn't even pitched this week, let alone to get a save.
John Papelbon - Has 1 point. No save opportunities.
Andy Pettitte - Scratched from his start. He's not pitching this week (although it's weekly line-up changes so I can't take him out.)
Derek Lowe - Injured during his start and got me 0.5 points.
My highest scoring pitcher this week? Kevin Correia. Yep. This is bad.

My hitting is doing a bit better, but there are still holes.

Todd Helton - -2 points on the week.
Ryan Zimmerman - 0 points this week.
Miguel Tejada - Rocking 5 points so far.

So after a year of absolute domination, my team is most likely going to choke it away in the playoffs. No payout whatsoever.

I love to rub a little Bears-win-dirt on the open wound my Fantasy Baseball team has created. Enjoy football this weekend because baseball season has officially been a bust.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Upcoming Shows

I really didn't do much yesterday, or concern myself with too much other than work, the wedding (making music playlists and transferring the music to my computer) and online poker (1st, 3rd, and 4th in three sit and go's last night.)

I wish I had more hilarious stories about mall cops, but unfortunately, I'm fairly uninspired today. I do have a couple shows this weekend to look forward to, so come out if you're in the area:

Friday: 9:30pm @ the Boxing Donkey in Roseville, CA. 300 Lincoln St. NO COVER!

Saturday: 9am @ the Farmer's Market in Vacaville, CA. 300 block of Main St. ALSO FREE (Besides the food you'll probably buy.)

So come on out for the last two public concerts I have before the wedding!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009





















I must admit, the thought of Jimmy Fallon hosting a late night TV show seemed to be about as good of an idea as hanging for three hours in a room with children that are contagious with the swine flu. However, I will say that I've watched the show, and to be honest, it is a lot better than I expected. One skit they do is where Jimmy writes out thank you notes to random people, groups, celebrities, etc. Today, I'd like to write some of my own thank you notes.

Dear Patrick Mannelly,

Thank you for direct snapping the ball to a running back in punt formation, up 2, with a 4th and 11, in your own territory, you've shown me that it may not be a good idea to give instructions to employees like "always direct snap the ball if you see someone running off the field so the other team might be called for a penalty, no matter what the situation is." You completely changed the momentum of the Bears/Packers game by treating this instruction as black and white, and not using your head to take into account the game situation. What was the upside? A penalty and then a re-kick at 4th and 6?

Regretfully,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Jimmy Fallon,

Thank you for coming up with this sketch idea. True, I'm ripping it off, but I feel this is making up for all the sketches you ruined on SNL by not being able to control your laughter. Hey, at least I gave you credit for the idea, I'm doubting many people watch your show at this point.

Sincerely,
Tony B.

----------

Dear ESPN First Take,

Thank you for your watered-down sports coverage mixed with Skip Bayless. This provides the worst entertainment I can think of. It really helps give me motivation to find better sports coverage, and reminds me of what a douche Skip Bayless is.

Best,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Rough Toilet Paper generally in public bathrooms,

Thank you for being so uncomfortable that it gives me huge incentive to only use public bathrooms during an emergency. The lack of clean up and pain you provide really reminds of how good I have it when I purchase the 2 ply soft cotton TP for my own personal use.

Regards,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Adrian Peterson,

Thank you for handing me a fantasy victory in one league, and a fantasy loss in the other. You make me feel great and awful at the same time. At least it keeps me grounded.

Also, go easy on the Bears this year...

Your fantasy manager (in one league),

Tony B.

----------

Dear Future Mrs. B.,

Thank you for being determined and getting this photo. It depicts the fine mall cop at the Arden Mall in Sacramento hitting on the Build-A-Bear employee in front of the store. Your determination is just one of the reasons why I'm marrying you! Enjoy the glory of this photo, it's not like either one of them had anything else to do...

Yours,
Tony B.
















Dear Patrick Swayze,

Thank you for giving us such hits as Point Break, Ghost, and the Chippendale's sketch from SNL. I hope you do come back as a ghost, but only to rob banks in ex-Presidents' masks, find extreme rushes, and to haunt Keanu Reeves. Here's to you showing all the angels in heaven how to dirty dance (and if you're in hell, at least you can dirty dance there too.)

All the best,
Tony B.


Gotta run, maybe I'll add a few more later!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Subway and Paul Blart

I have two individual things to mention today. No, I was not watching Monday Night Football last night, and I know there were two very good games (let's be honest, I didn't think they were going to be all that entertaining, and I have some serious work to do before the wedding.)

On Sunday, I decided that I will no longer be eating at Subway. I'm officially boycotting them. Why you ask? Well, because I've continued to fight the good fight. Check out their new commercial:



That's right, in conjunction with concert industry giant Live Nation, Subway has prominently used a guy wearing a Nickelback t-shirt winning their new peel off game. Not only do all of your stores amazingly smell the same (not in a good way), but you're now actively promoting music that could be the favorite among members of the future society in the movie "Idiocracy." This is no good. It's a great reminder to not eat at your terrible sandwich shop. There are plenty of fine deli shops that beat your product and don't promote the most evil and dumbed-down band in the history of music. (Note: since writing about Nickelback a week ago and linking to their album on Amazon, Amazon now thinks I'm interested in buying their album and they consistently show up on my front page. It's killing me.)

The only reason I'd eat at Subway now, is to actually win the contest, go backstage at a Nickelback concert, and punch Chad Kroeger in the face. This is not a good enough reason to still eat there because it's unlikely that I'd win and if I did win and successfully accomplished this mission, it would land me in jail.

On to my second item of the day. I went over to the mall yesterday because Future Mrs. B. and I were looking for some wedding stuff. We passed the Build-A-Bear shop and saw quite the scene. The mall security guy, on his two-wheel scooter was gentely rocking back and forth in front of their store while talking to/hitting on a female employee of the Build-A-Bear shop. It was one of the most wonderful/ridiculous/blatant misues of time I've ever seen. FMB and I were immediately cracking up. She said, "We should take a picture." I kind of brushed it off (though I should not have) as I didn't want to be obvious about how much we were snickering behind their backs (in fairness, there was nothing subtle about these two.)

We started guessing what their conversation would be like:

"Yeah, I was just promoted to assistant to the assistant mall security guard. That's why I get this mostly neon green with black trim outfit. And this tricked-out two wheeler."

"Oh, that's cute! Maybe when I get off work you can take me for a ride."

"Sorry sweetness. This scooter only stands one- and I'm a lone ranger on this hog."

"How exciting!"

"Yeah, well not everyone gets to be in public service and help people... I guess I'm one of the lucky ones..."

"Definitely. So you should come by and "Build-A-Bear" sometime, on one of your days off."

"Honey, crime here at the mall never takes a day off- and neither do I."

As you can see, this goes on for awhile as we were thoroughly entertained by this scene. After about 20 minutes in Macy's, we started back. As we passed the Build-A-Bear shop they were still there! Flirting it up and ignoring their jobs right in front of the door. It was awesome. FMB refused to lose at this point. She decided to take a picture with her phone (I'll put it here when I get it.) She took a couple snaps, and that's when we realized we weren't the only ones who thought this was hilarious. A group of 3 guys all had their cell phone cameras out and were getting shots as well. I think there was even someone on the opposite side of the Build-A-Bear door that was taking a photo as well! It was good to know we weren't alone in appreciating this once-in-a-lifetime (read as: anytime this two people work at the same time) occurance.

To recap: Boycott Subway because they promote Nickelback. Mall security cops flirting with Build-A-Bear employees is hilarious. And for good measure, let's boycott Build-A-Bear too. No one needs a stupid Build-A-Bear!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Case of the Mondays: NFL Week 1

























What a painful one day weekend that was (I had to work on Saturday.) Stress over wedding coordination (all aspects) is mounting, I feel less than recharged from the weekend, and I got to watch the Bears lose a completely winnable game (come to find out Brian Urlacher is most likely done for the year with a dislocated wrist.)

- Watched a little College Football. Oklahoma State getting beat by the Houston Cougars and UCLA beating Tennessee were the two biggest shocks of the weekend, in my opinion. I can already feel my interest going out the window, but I'm trying to stick with it. It was easy last week when there was no real NFL games, but now...

- There are real NFL games! The games I saw consisted of Minnesota/Cleveland, Denver/Cincinnati, Niners/Cardinals, and Packers/Bears. I was wildly impressed with Adrian Peterson- that guy is a stud. Brett Favre was annoying and underwhelming. No one impressed me in the Broncos/Bengals game. It's almost a waste that the game ended with a fluke 87 yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Brandon Stokely because neither team deserved to win that game. Shaun Hill improved his record as a starter to 8-3, and no one can figure out why. And then there are my beloved Bears...

- Jay Cutler's debut did not go quite like the Chicago Faithful would have hoped. 3 of his 4 interceptions had massive impact on the game. First, there was his interception near the goal line on a lazy screen pass. True, defensive lineman John Jolley (horrible name) made a fantastic play to grab it, but Cutler could have made a better decision at that moment. The next impactful interception was down field and was returned to the 1 yard line. Following a failed challenge, the Packer put it in the end zone for 6, giving them a 10-2 lead at the half.

Cutler's last pass of the game was also horrid. True the receiver took a bad route making it easier for Charles Woodsen to jump the pass and intercept it, but Cutler could have made a better pass in that situation. Let's say Cutler played about as bad as possible and still ended up with 277 yard passing. I can see potential in that, but I'm going to be skeptical until he realizes his potential fully.

I also would argue that the Bears' biggest mistake was not on the shoulders of Cutler. It was on long snapper Patrick Mannelly. On 4th and 11, with a 12-10 lead, this guy decides to direct snap it to Garrett Wolfe because Mannelly thought the Packers had 12 men on the field. This seems to me like a horrible decision. Best and least likely scenario, Wolfe runs and gets a first down. I'd give that a 1% chance success rate (or less) given the fact that Wolfe himself was not prepared for to receive the ball. All other outcomes go from neutral (there actually is a penalty and the Bears re-kick) to mind-numbingly horrible (the actual outcome of giving the ball to the Packers so that they are already in field goal range.) Add in a failed challenge by Lovie Smith, and you have the makings of a massive shit sundae, with a cherry on top.

It was a pretty awful way to end my one day weekend. Hopefully next week against the Steelers goes better. Oh, wait. Probably not.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NFL Predictions (Part Deux)





















"Don't worry girl, you can tell I'm not a sexual predator."

It's looking more and more like the rape charges against Ben Roethlisberger are bogus. I mean, when there's a record of the woman bragging about having sex with him via text message, you'd have a had time convincing me of his guilt. I do wonder if it will be a distraction, but based on his performance Thursday night, let's assume not. Onwards with the AFC predictions:

North:

1) Pittsburgh Steelers - It's tough to bet against the defending champs. Their defense is outstanding, and their offense is led by Big Ben. Their running game looked less than impressive Thursday, but we'll chalk that up to Week 1 rust.

2) Cincinnati Bengals - Did Hardknocks brainwash me? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. I think they edge out Baltimore for the second place position and a Wild Card. Carson Palmer has to stay healthy though.

3) Baltimore Ravens - I'm very interested in Joe Flacco's sophomore season. I think he comes back to earth a bit and maybe loses a few games for the Ravens. However, I'll already predict that he bounces back next year. Teams will adjust to him this year, and he'll adjust next year.

4) Cleveland Browns - The Dawg Pound is going to need some serious divine help to have a winning season. I see them praying to any god like that Benny guy from the first Mummy movie. In this case, no mythical mummy will respond to the Star of David by saying "The sign of the slaves, you shall serve me." What a weird line (and comparison), right?

West:

1) San Diego Chargers - This is the only team worth mentioning in this division. The only argument you could make to say this isn't the worst division in football (over the NFC West), is that the Chargers are the best team in both divisions. They should do just fine this year.

2) Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos - They all go 1-1 against each other, and all finish 2-14. Ok, so that may not realistically happen, but if it does, I don't think anyone will be surprised. These teams are all tire fires in the land of the NFL.

South:

1) Indianapolis Colts - I'm not ready to give up on these guys just yet. True, I hate them, but they'll still win the division this year. They are about to get usurped by the Texans in the years to come though.

2) Tennessee Titans - Jeff Fisher is too good of a coach to let these guys miss the playoffs. Once again though, if they're not on their game, the Texans will take advantage.

3) Houston Texans - One year away folks. One year away... I love the defense, and the offense- they just need a little more experience.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars - Hello Jaguar! What in the holy hell happened to these guys? One year they were beating the Steelers in the Wild Card Round, the next they look like the most inept team in the league. Seems odd, but they aren't ready to compete this year.

East:

1) New England Patriots - Tom Brady's back like Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. He Who Shall Not Be Named is going to absolutely ruin this division and win it by 4 games.

2) Miami Dolphins - I see them coming back down from last year's surprise season. Plus, I don't pick teams to go to the playoffs when I can't name their #1 receiver. Is it Ted Ginn? Whoever it is, they are not a huge Fantasy force.

3) New York Jets - Like the defense, don't like the offense yet. New coach, and new QB leads to a rough year.

4) Buffalo Bills - Good luck with all that...

Playoffs:
WC Round: Steelers over Titans, Colts over Bengals
Divisional Round: Patriots over Colts, Steelers over Chargers
AFC Champioship: Patriots over Steelers

Super Bowl: Patriots over Eagles in a rematch of a Super Bowl that I'm fairly sure I fell asleep during the 3rd quarter. Will McNabb puke in the huddle again? Will Tom Brady dominate? Will PETA protest the Super Bowl? Yes, yes, and yes! Should be a great year!

Friday, September 11, 2009

NFL Predictions (Part 1)




















"Hey Greg Olson, either this drink is strong or I've just decided to make a fart noise! Let's win our division this year!"

"No problem, Jay Cutler. This picture we just took might be embarrassing, but at least you don't look like a bearded hobo like each and every one of Kyle Orton's drunk photos!"

I'm not quite sure how different or crazy these predictions are, but I might have a few gems (or potential grease fires) but either way- let's do this!

NFC-

North:

1) Chicago Bears - This is definitely a homer pick, but let's just agree to let me enjoy our new franchise QB, OK? If he proves that he was a bad acquisition by season's end, then I'll own up to me being blinded by his rocket arm and flippant attitude in press conferences (which I find hilarious.) I actually think the Bears' defense is a bigger question mark than the offense. They'll be fine if they defend.

2) Green Bay Packers - These guys are good. They'll be a challenge for the Bears. I'm not sure who gets the advantage in their Week 1 Sunday Night Football game, but I suppose I'd prefer this game to be a few weeks into the season. As it stands, the Packers offense is very good and their defense should be as well (though they may have some growing pains transitioning to Dom Capers' 3-4 D.)

3) Minnesota Vikings - How I wish I could put the Lions at this spot. In the end, I can pick that because of Adrian Peterson. Brett Favre may be ok to start, but this team is ready to tear apart at the seams. Their defense could win them a couple games, but their offense might lose a couple for them as well.

4) Detroit Lions - You'll have your day... someday. Matthew Stafford needs to grow, and Calvin Johnson is a savage. That's about it.

West:

1) Seattle Seahawks - I'm not picking the Rams, or the Niners, or the Super Bowl hangover-prone Cardinals. That leaves only one team left. I hate having to make this pick.

2) Arizona Cardinals - Could be good, could be bad. Best case scenario, the farthest they'll go is the first round of the playoffs.

3) San Francisco 49ers - I like their coach, but I don't much else about this team. I could see them go 8-8, but I could also see 5-11.

4) St. Louis Rams - Wasted letters typed...

South:

1) New Orleans Saints - They have an explosive offense, and their defense looks improved. Drew Brees is an absolute savage.

2) Atlanta Falcons - They'll come back to Earth a bit this year, but they still have Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, and the recently added Tony Gonzales. Damn, after typing that maybe I should rethink my prediction...

3) Carolina Pathers - This team always overachieves, but I'm not sure Jake Delhomme has enough left to lead them toward a playoff charge. I really like their tandem of running backs and Steve Smith is still as talented a receiver as there is in the game.

4) Tampa Bay Bucs - They should have to wear the original orange/white/red uniforms this year because they will be that bad.

East:

1) Philadelpia Eagles - I honestly just spent a few seconds thinking about this division and I can see it going any which way. I'm going with the Eagles because they should have an explosive offense, and their defense will still be good. This division has been the most difficult to predict.

2) NY Giants - I don't like Eli, especially not as the richest QB in the land, but the Giants have a great defense and excellent running game that will balance out Eli's lack of consistency.

3) Washington Redskins - Their defense is probably the best in the division, but I have no faith in Jason Campbell. I have a feeling 'Skins fans are still wondering if he'll be the franchise QB that they want him to be. It feels a bit like when I wanted Rex Grossman to finally step up and be the gunslinger he was touted to become. That day never came, and I don't think Campbell's day will either.

4) Dallas Cowboys - Are they better without T.O.? Maybe. Would I bet on it? No chance, No chance in hell!

Playoffs:
WC Round: Packers over Seahawks, Giants over Saints
Divisional Round: Bears over Giants, Eagles over Packers
Conference Championship: Eagles over Bears (I can't always pick the Bears, right?!)

If nothing else, this is a plausible scenario, and I'm trying to be as unbias as I can.

The AFC predictions will be along later...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank You Notes






















I must admit, the thought of Jimmy Fallon hosting a late night TV show seemed to be about as good of an idea as hanging for three hours in a room with children that are contagious with the swine flu. However, I will say that I've watched the show, and to be honest, it is a lot better than I expected. One skit they do is where Jimmy writes out thank you notes to random people, groups, celebrities, etc. Today, I'd like to write some of my own thank you notes.

Dear Milton Bradley,

Thank you for completely under-performing for the Cubs this year. I don't particularly like people of your character on my favorite baseball team, and you've made it extremely easy to root against you. Had you performed well, I probably would've cheered you on and blocked out your arrogant, yet overly sensitive ways (what a weird combination by the way!) You playing the race card against the fans was by far the clincher. You've shown me how easy it is to make excuses for personal mediocrity.

Sincerely,
Tony B.

-----------

Dear Arthritis Cream,

Thank you coming into our household as a joke gift for Future Mrs. B.'s bachelorette party. I believe you were meant to be used "as we grow old together." Well, well, well... the time is now! Not only did you smell like spearmint Breath Savers and burn like fire, but my left knee and lower back feel much better today! Is this an indictment of me getting old? Maybe. But did it make me feel better? Yes it did.

Best regards,
Tony B.

----------

Dear San Francisco Giants,

Thank you for clearing my head of any rogue thoughts about cheering for you on September 27th. You see, I'll be at the game in my Ryne Sandberg jersey cheering for the Cubs like usual. I was feeling a bit like this: "if the Cubs are eliminated, why not be ok with the Giants winning?" After your last two games against the Padres, not only do you not deserve to go to the playoffs, I think you may have eliminated your chances (I doubt the Rockies will lose the rest of the season with the way they are playing.) You've made it all too easy to cheer against you.

Respectfully,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Date Obsessed People,

Thank for you helping me realize how ridiculous this is. Yesterday was 09-09-09. So what? Someone long ago decided on time and dates, and depending on what part of the world you live in, the date might be different. My point is that you've made me realize that date/time watching is for astronomers, people with birthdays coming up, and people with deadlines. If you're watching the clock for the exact second that shows 01:23:45, 06/07/08, then you're clearly not distracted enough by your real life.

0010001101,

Tony B.

----------

Dear NFL Season,

Thank you so much for coming back today. I've missed you so much.

Your friend,
Tony B.

-----------

Dear Kevin Gregg,

Thank you for pitching so poorly that there is no way the Cubs will retain you. I cannot wait until your goggle-glasses and lacksadaisical pitching motion are gone from the North Side.

Gratefully,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Jay Cutler,

Thank you for crying your way out of Denver. Many people think you're a headcase and a bad teammate. As long as you throw lots of touchdowns, lay off also throwing pick 6's, and don't trip over white yard markers painted on the ground in the Super Bowl (I'm looking at you, Sexy Rexy) then we will be just fine. Enjoy your first game as a Bear!

Beat the Packers,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Full Tilt Poker,

Thank you for always putting me in my place. Just when I'm feeling really great, you never fail to help someone defeat me on the river with a 1 or 2 outer. It keeps me from becoming cocky or getting too ahead of myself.

Graciously,
Tony B.

----------

Dear 24 Hour Haircut Place in Sacramento,

Thank you for being open anytime I might need a haircut. I've never used your services, but just knowing you're there gives me piece of mind.

All the best,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Applebees,

Thank you for consistently making me sick after eating at your establishment. It doesn't even matter which location I eat it, it is always bad. It makes me realize that 1) Chili's is way better, and that 2) there's no way I'll ever eat at your restaurant ever again unless I'm horribly constipated and need a fast acting diarrhetic.

Be well,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Person Who Yells For "Freebird" At Every Show,

Thank you for reminding everyone that no one wants to actually hear that song. And no, it's not ok to exchange "Freebird" for "Stairway To Heaven." No Stairway- Denied!

Party on,
Tony B.

----------

So there we have it. I just wanted to make sure I got a chance to thank a few folks that really have made my life better in small and large ways. Enjoy your Thursday, and if you're in Walnut Creek tonight, stop by the Pyramid Alehouse after 6:30pm. I'm playing until 10pm!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Men's Basketball League

Our Men's League team, Sham-Wow, had another game last night. This time, we only had five guys, and we're the only team in the history of the world to have too many big men, with not enough guards. It's a problem.

The other team started out on a 16-3 run. We called a timeout with 9+ minutes left in the half. Upon returning to the court, we had new life. In fact, we were winning 18-16 at halftime.

In the end, our lack of subs did us in and we lost by 3. I must say, our effort was better than last week, but it still makes me mad that we couldn't get it done.

It also makes me mad that my lower back severely hurts now- it must be a sign that I'm getting older. I either need to stretch and strengthen my back (likely) or I'm doomed to live a life of back pain no matter what I do. Being 6'6" is pretty sweet, but it definitely comes with a price (of pain?)

So if you have any back stretches, leave them in the comments. I'll be back tomorrow with something way more interesting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tim Lincecum Does Not Start

Today Tim Lincecum missed his start. The ESPN Bottomline read:

"Tim Lincecum Scratched (Back)"

I got a chuckle out of that because a) it was funny and b) it reminded me of this Family Guy episode:

Top Ten: The Beatles' Gems




















With the release of Beatles Rockband* and a re-release of all 14 Beatles albums (with enhanced audio) coming tomorrow, I decided to do a different kind of Top Ten. I read an article in Entertainment Weekly about the "Top 50 Beatles songs of all time." While I liked many of their choices, the act of picking the Top 50 songs is pretty much an exercise in futility. You could ask 50 people what the best Beatles song of all time is get 50 different answers. Today we'll go a bit deeper into the Beatles' catalog. I'm going to pick out 10 of my favorite less recognized tracks by the Fab Four. Feel free to add any gems that I miss in the comments.

*As the Nintendo Wii was just purchased off the wedding registry, I will be looking into Beatles Rockband as well. Getting married is awesome!

10. Sexy Sadie - Seemingly lost on the second disc of "The Beatles" (White Album), just before Helter Skelter, this song uses an absolutely sick piano riff to drive it to the heights of songwriting. The backup vocals give this song quite a dreamy quality about it. One of my favorite John Lennon compositions.

9. You Can't Do That - From the "Hard Day's Night" album, this song could have easily been a single. As it stands, I've never seen it on a Greatest Hits record, or really ever seen it get the recognition it sorely deserves. In fact, I did see it get absolutely butchered on American Idol two season ago (by that woman with the man-voice.) Any other band would have taken this song to the top of the charts- the Beatles didn't need to because they were already there.

8. Think For Yourself - I had to put a George Harrison number on here because he is highly underappreciated when it comes to the Beatles' catalog. George was a key compenent to making the Beatles as great as they became. This song fits in perfectly with the vibe that the "Rubber Soul" album puts out there. The fuzz bass is quite a highlight for this tune.

7. Your Mother Should Know - Off of the "Magical Mystery Tour" album, this tune is somewhat cheesy, but I love the piano riff quite a bit and the three-part harmonies really soar. It perfectly sets up the next four songs (I Am The Walrus, Hello Goodbye, Strawberry Fields Forever, and Penny Lane- that's pretty strong stuff right there!) It's easy to see why Your Mother Should Know gets forgotten about!

6. Rain - The B-side to the Paperback Writer single, this song has a solid groove with amazing harmonies. I keep talking about the harmonies, and realistically, the three part harmonies is what set the Beatles apart from many of the other bands of their time. Either way, this song is a gem that rarely gets the credit it deserves.

5. I've Just Seen A Face - What a great ballad off the "Help!" record! This song has gotten a bit more of it's due since being featured on the "Across the Universe" trailer a few years ago, however, in no way would anyone classify this as a "Greatest Hit" of the Beatles, nor was it ever a single. Once again though, it probably could've been!

4. Two of Us - Off of the tumultuous "Let It Be" record, this song feels like an earlier Beatles song that happened to come near the band's end. It is one of my favorite songs that Paul wrote, and it also makes me feel like getting in a car and driving towards an adventure. It is amazing they were able to make songs this great while bickering and fighting the way they did. (Also, I highly recommend the version of this song that apprears on the Let It Be... Naked album. In fact, every song on the Naked version is better than the way it was originally released.)

3. I'm Looking Through You - Another gem from the "Rubber Soul" album, this song's guitar riff inbetween the verses and chorus is 100% catchy and aiming to please. Everything about this song screams "classic Beatles."

2. And Your Bird Can Sing - Revolver might be my favorite album by the Beatles, but even that is too difficult to really declare and stick to. I will say that this song has an amazing guitar hook, the descending minor chorus works in perfect correspondance with the poppy major verses. The harmony vocals at about 1:20 of the song sound like they were crafted in a blacksmith angel's shop in heaven. (Well, that is the weirdest similie I've ever written.)

1. Hey Bulldog - Apparently John was angry that this was not used as a single. Instead, they went with Lady Madonna. Ouch. I'm all for Lady Madonna, but this song is way better, rocks harder, and is absolutely buried on the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack. That's like taking a superstar basketball player, sending him to the Sacramento Kings, and benching him. Dust this song off, you'll thank me later!

So there they are. Some of the lesser known Beatles tracks that deserve an extra listen. I'm excited to hear the improved audio on the re-released albums tomorrow. It's just another excuse to dive back into the phenomenal catalog of the Beatles.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Case of the Mondays: Labor Day Edition

It's already been a relaxing weekend, and- bonus! there's still one more day! But what has been going on so far?

- Friday, Future Mrs. B. and I went out to dinner (which has been rare these days as the wedding budget dominates us.) We went to R15 which is appropriated located at R & 15th streets in Sacramento. Had a delicious stir fry and promptly went home and passed out because I was on 3 hours sleep from the night before.

- Saturday, I watched more College Football than I might watch all season. I am trying to get into it more, but the mythical/magical/theoretical National Championship turns me off quite a bit. Here's what I understand from what I saw:

- Ohio State was never really put on upset alert, but how they hell did they only beat Navy by 31-27? For a team that is supposed to be a Top 10 program, it seemed like they are either still shaking off some of the rust, or they are just plain overrated.

- OSU's opponent next week, USC, also looked a bit rusty early on, but eventually put a hurtin' on San Jose St. This is no surprise, and if they go into Ohio State next week and beat OSU, they will answer questions about how good their Freshman Quarterback Matt Barkley can be this year.

- I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Syracuse/Minnesota game. Admittedly, I was cheering for Greg Paulus to complete the upset. This is odd because I didn't care for him all that much when he was a basketball player at Duke. A poorly thrown ball into the end zone by Paulus basically sealed the fate of the Orange, though it seems like they'll be better off with Paulus than they would've been without him.

- Cal killed Maryland. They looked better than I expected them to look.

- UC Davis went down to Fresno State in the largest game they've ever played. They lost 51-0. Ouch. Worst part- they still have to play Boise State on the blue turf on my wedding day, October 3. Good luck with all that.

- Moving on from College Football, how funny was Prince Fielder's walk-off home run stomp yesterday? Giants fans may disagree, but that's only because Fielder's home run puts them one more game behind the Rockies for the Wild Card. Biggest hope for the Giants: they still play the Rockies for three more games in SF.

- Does anyone want Milton Bradley? He recently accused Cubs fans of being racist. Now, I don't disagree that some of the Bleacher Bums are douche bags, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say he'd be a loved figure in Chicago if he hit .300 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI (stats he's definitely capable of.) Cubs fans are "horrible-performance-ist." He's a head case and needs to be gone. What is with Cubs that wear #21 and play right field???

- I watched Point Break yesterday. Keanu Reeves underacts to mediocrity and Patrick Swayze is in perfect pike position when he jumps out of plane. Fully ridiculous- and I enjoyed the whole thing.

I'm likely going into the studio to finish up some bass tracks today. Fingers crossed... enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lost Jitters

We seriously have to wait until January? This is ridiculous. It makes me this depressed:
















It doesn't help that Dexter is coming back, and my cable package is Showtime-less.

Live Band Karaoke

Another successful edition of Live Band Karaoke happened last night. This one was made more successful by the fact that it was my first time on stage with an electric guitar since high school. I was actually pretty nervous as showtime became closer. Here were the highlights:

- My amp and effects pedals are by Line 6. I clearly have no idea how to harness the power of Line 6 equipment. However, the people at Line 6 also decided to make their preset effects VERY treble-y. I tried my best to get two decent tones (clean and distorted) and I think it ended up sounding alright. If I decide to go electric again anytime soon, I'm going to have to improve the effect presets- and that my friends, will take a large time commitment.

- Fun: A drunk guy who clearly was the only one at the G St Pub who liked the sound of his own voice, was screaming "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer. While I was playing, I thought, "say it ain't so that I have to listen to this fool." Then he slipped and did a trust fall to the wooden floor below the stage. Awesome! He dusted himself off and was fine. After the song was over, our drummer told him, "Hey man! Nice stage dive!" I don't think the drunk guy realized our drummer was joking.

- Not Fun: We played "Santeria" by Sublime 3 F-ING TIMES LAST NIGHT! It was awful. We had to make an announcement that our band would physically fight the next person who requested to sing it.

- In fairness, we always have veto power, but then again, we were sure we knew how to play "Santeria" so I suppose we acquiesced in an easier fashion than we should have.

- Fun: I actually had fun playing "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran. I knew the chords. Easy guitar riff. I got to sing back on the "Do do do do do do do do do do" part. It was all good! (Feel free to question my manhood anytime now.)

- Not Fun: No one requested Danzig. I practiced for nothing! I was looking forward to that one, and it didn't happen. I felt like LeGarrette Blount, except I'm not an idiot so I didn't punch anyone in the face.



- Fun: Our first set brought about a number of talented singers. I thought our first set really sounded great.

- Not Fun: After that, the singers were subpar (at best) and I can't imagine it sounded great to the people in the crowd. Then again, were the singers bad because they were that much more drunk (and inherently the crowd was drunker as well) or were they just bad singers?

- Last, a shout out to the guys who came up to freestyle rap on stage. You both reminded me of THIS GUY [video: My New Haircut], and just so we're clear that's not a good thing. I felt sleezy for participating in your freestyle jam, even if my participation was limited to playing the E7#9 chord over and over. Popped collars and Ed Hardy shirts are not cool- The More You Know.

Overall, I thought we had a successful night, and I'm happy to say it was a lot of fun. Anyone who hasn't come out to a Live Band Karaoke should definitely try to make it. We're in search of people who can sing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday Nonsense

On this Thursday, I have don't enough on one topic to make a full post. I'm not qualified enough to write a College Football Preview and nothing full post worthy happened to me yesterday. So let's just throw some stuff on this webpage and see what sticks:

- Brad Penny's debut with the Giants was stellar. 8 innings pitched, 0 runs allowed. That's one way to ensure that your new teammates like you. It does beg the question, did Penny need to get released by the Red Sox to refocus himself, or is he just not tough enough to pitch in the AL East?

- Yesterday I was thinking back on my days as an employee of Tower Records in Davis and I remembered that Nickelback's first album actually was released on September 11, 2001. Coincidence? I think not. (PS: Check the product details HERE- it proves I didn't just make this up.)

- I've decided that the Cubs are at the height of their mediocrity right now. They are 6 games out of the Wild Card as of today. That means they are just good enough to give Cubs' fans a sliver of hope, and not bad enough to sell off some of their veterans for young prospects. Great work guys!

- Isn't it looking more like Alfonso Soriano's contract is worse than Barry Zito's? Which player would you rather have for the remainder of their contract?

- Many people say you can't put a price on love. The County Recorder's office says love costs $84.50.

- I'm playing electric guitar on stage, with a band tonight for the first time in over 10 years. Granted, it is the Live Band Karaoke gig, but I'm still hoping that everyone at the bar is so bombed that they don't realize how inept my playing might be.

- Peter King predicted the Bears and Patriots will face off in the Super Bowl this year! Even better, the Bears will start the playoffs with a bye, then beat the Vikings, and then beat the Packers in the NFC Championship game. Sound unrealistic? Well, yes. Yes it does.

- As unrealistic as King's Super Bowl prediction might be, he also predicted the Lions to win 3 games, and the Buccaneers to win 4 games. I'll take the under for both.

- I used to want Michael Crabtree to sign with Niner so I wouldn't have to hear about him every day on the radio. Now, I hope he vanishes into obscurity like former USC Trojan/Lion/Raider Mike Williams.

- Speaking draftees from 2005, is Maurice Clarette in jail? If he's not, he should be.

- Who in the world approved the new Grand Theft Auto game? Here's an official graphic:





















Yeah- luckily this came out now, rather than when I was in high school or college. While I won't be playing the game, I at least hope Gay Tony is a savage. What's that? He's probably not? Damn.

Well, there's my quicklist today. Hopefully I'll soon write a fully fleshed out research paper about why I feel Nickelback was involved in the 9/11 attacks, but until then, enjoy your Thursday- and feel free to come out to the G St Pub tonight. Your singing will likely be better than my guitar playing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sacramento Men's League Basketball

Well, we had our first game last night and the results were not up to par. In fact, I may end up running a few liners tonight to pay for missing a free throw near the end of the game.

Our opponents, "Sons of Kemp," were not the most athletic bunch, but they did have a couple guys who could shoot. While I would not have said that after the first half when we were up 18 points, I would definitely say that after non-athlete #37 drained 6 threes in a row. I'm not sure if I'm exaggerating because it felt like he hit 15 in a row. This small hairy white guy was shooting like Craig Hodges (love the Craig Hodges reference, don't you?)

We still had multiple chances to win, and it didn't happen. Missed free throws and missed opportunities were a common theme near the end. Eventually the game was tied 70-70 with .9 seconds left. They were taking the ball out under our basket. After throwing the ball the length of the court, the ref (you know, not the one next to the play, but the one on the other side of the gym) called a foul on us. After missing the first free throw, their most athletic player #30, hit the second shot for the win.

There is no way we should have lost the game, but we became run down and stopped giving the same effort that we did in the first half. Hopefully, everyone used this game to shake the rust off, and we'll play better next week (if I had to predict, I'd say we will.)

Now we have to wait until next week to redeem ourselves, and I'll be haunted with visions of the "Sons of Kemp" draining three after three after three after three- AAAAAH!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Marriage License

So Future Mrs. B. and I went to get our marriage license from the County Recorder's Office. Pulling into park we realized we were going to have to pay to park in the 30 minute metered parking. That kind of parking setup seems like the equivalent of a speed trap. So I have to pay to park, but I can't pay for more than 30 minutes? Do I also pay for my ticket now or later?

FMB said she had change and went to pay the machine that prints out a sticker that one would ultimately post in the street-side window to let the parking enforcer know when they are allowed to ticket you. This is a genius scam that eliminates the chance of ever pulling into a meter with time left on it.

I was by the car when I notice a homeless bum walking by the parking machine. He looks FMB up and down twice then decides he's going to stand behind her as if he was going to buy parking time with his non-existent money for his non-existent car. I walked over closer to make sure this guy didn't do something like shank my future bride. Then I'd be without the love of my life, and I probably end up getting in some sort of trouble for murdering a homeless bum.

After we posted our parking time in the window, the bum decided he was going to go back the way he came. I suppose he has no place to be, but it's weird that he was walking aimlessly one way, stopped to check out/creep out FMB, then walk back in the opposite direction. City living is great!

After looking at four different buildings, we finally found the County Recorder's office (on the corner of F & 8th for anyone else who's looking for it.) We were a bit late for our appointment, but the jovial African American lady that greeted us told us, "Ah, don't worry, you guys are on time! Just go into the next room then down the hall!" I love that kind of confidence. I didn't even tell her when our appointment was for, and she assumed it was all good!

After getting the info, I was told it was going to cost around $80 to get the marriage license. I knew it was going to cost money, but I had forgotten my check book. I asked if they took credit card, and they said they did, but not all of them. In fact, the credit card they don't accept is VISA. Really? The most widely used credit card in the world, and you don't take it? I thought Visa was "everywhere you want to be." Apparently not. Luckily, I had a Master Card on hand, so after a small fee, we left with our marriage license.

On the way out, the friendly lady from when we entered looked at us and said, "Look forward to the day after!" We definitely are [tired sigh.]