Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Music

It's Halloween's Eve and what better way to get in the spirit than talking about Halloween music? In case you're not quite in the mood for giving out candy to heathens or going to a costume party that has 75% of the people dressing up as their favorite vampire, you can listen to these tunes to help you get there.
  • "Ghostbusters Theme" by Ray Parker, Jr. - Let's forget for the moment that Ray Parker, Jr. was actually sued by Huey Lewis for copyright infringement (the song was too similar to "I Want A New Drug" by HL & the News.) This song is a happy go lucky song about busting ghosts and figuring out who to call when you have a paranormal emergency. Plus, it's highly danceable as Bill Murray and crew are demonstrating in the above picture. Busting makes me feel real good!
  • "Thriller" by Michael Jackson - Hopefully this song wasn't actually about MJ's darkside (AKA his pension for child molestation) but as far as Halloween themed songs go, this one is at or near the top. The extended version with Vincent Price at the end (the original version) is 100% better than the edited/abridged version. Vincent Price is one creepy dude.
  • "Nightmare On My Street" by The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and DJ Jazzy Jeff - Oh yeah! Haven't listened to this song in a solid 15 years? Well bust it out and enjoy Will Smith rapping about his experience with Freddy Krueger. A solid beat and excellent sound effects coupled with Will Smith's late 80's rap style is a great, yet cheesy combo. Oh, and this is song number 2 on the list that was sued for copyright infringement.
  • "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield - Now you all know this song as the theme song from "The Exorcist." If this doesn't help you get in the mood for some ghouls, ghosts, satanic demons, and horrible/unoriginal costumes then I don't know what will. This is one chilling song.
One last one, and this one wins for worst Halloween song ever. "Purple People Eater" by Someone I Don't Care To Look Up Or Recognize On This Blog. This might be the worst song I've ever heard. Literally.

So hopefully that helps you get in the mood for Halloween. Have a fun weekend and please people- don't try drinking anyone else's blood. It's not good for you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're Going With #6

The time has come in my ESPN Fantasy Football League to go with Jay Cutler for a week. You see, Mr. Thomas Edward Brady, Jr. has the week off, and my only QB option is my favorite diabetic, Jay Cutler. This makes me a bit nervous because I have watched #6 play the last two weeks and the results were less than thrilling. The passing yards are there (300 and 251) but the touchdown to interception ratio is not (2/2 and 1/3.)

Things aren't all bad, though. The Bears are playing at home against the inept Cleveland Browns. The Browns have scored in single digits four out of seven games and are the only team in the NFL that uses their own helmet as their logo. The Browns can't decide on which terrible quarterback to start, traded their best wide receiver after he fought with LeBron James' friend (what!?), and Eric Mangini looks to be a calm, cool, stress free 450 lbs.

As far as fantasy football goes, I'm feeling ok about starting Cutler this week. As far as being a Bears fan, I'm a little hesitant about the extension the Bears gave Cutler. He's now locked up through 2013 and he will now receive $20 million more in new money. Don't get me wrong, I think he's very good, and the Bears might as well lock him up based on all the draft picks they gave up, but I'm worried about his erratic play.

His occasional fits of multiple interceptions remind me of another quarterback near and dear to Bears' fans' hearts- Sexy Rexy Grossman. The Sex Cannon was amazing at times, and then was down-right amazingly horrible at other times. It's a little hard to figure out how Grossman was playing for the Bears just last year, and all the fans hated him because of his lack of ball protection, so the Bears cut him. Almost immediately, the Bears trade a quarterback who does protect the ball (Kyle Orton) and many draft picks for a guy who seems to be quite similar to Grossman (Cutler.)

Do I think Jay Cutler is better than Rex Grossman? Of course I do. Am I behind the contract extention? Yes I am. But does it worry me to see that #6 already has 10 interceptions through six games? You betcha.

Here's to hoping it all works out- this week and in the future.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why Hate The Yankees?

I've already pissed off everyone except G$ with the title of this post. But I was talking this over with Clarkster's brother the other day and I explained rationally why it is ridiculous for people to have the amount of hate that they do for the Bronx Bombers. Being a Cubs fan, I could care less if the Yankees or Phillies win the World Series. However, I am glad that the match up brings a Fall Classic with some serious drama.

So back to the point at hand. Why hate the Yankees? Well, the obvious answer is because they "buy championships." This goes all the way back to when the Yankees purchased Babe Ruth from the Red Sox. Even back then the Yankees wanted to win at all costs.

But can the Yankees buy championships? Yes and no. They obviously have an advantage over teams from smaller markets, but that doesn't prohibit the Diamondbacks or Marlins from defeating the Yankees head to head in the World Series in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In fact, while the Yankees have been spending the most money of any team in history during this decade, they haven't won a World Series since beating the Mets in 2000. They did make the playoffs every year except one, but let's be clear: money does NOT equal guaranteed championships.

Many San Francisco Giants' fans hate the Yankees with the passion of the 1989 Earthquake. But if you ask a Giants fan about who they would like the Giants to sign in the offseason, you might get a Yankees-esque answer. Matt Holliday? Jason Bay? Trade for Adrian Gonzalez? And what would happen if the Giants ownership ponied up the cash to sign these players? Well, they'd have a payroll closer to the Yankees. They would have purchased players like the Yankees. Is there a little bit of jealousy of the Yankees from other fan bases? Absolutely.

And let's not forget my beloved Cubs. With about $135 million in payroll, how did the Cubs do this year? Well, they underachieved and were barely over .500. Their highest paid player, Alfonso Soriano (who looked like a great signing for the first two years), was a HUGE bust this year. Once again, sometimes money doesn't always equal great performance.

There's also SF Giant Barry Zito. Zito rebounded a bit this year, but we can all agree he's overpaid. Hell, there's also Carl Pavano who the Yankees purchased for 4 years/$40 million and was one of the biggest bust signings of all time. My point is that the Yankees were at their best with players named Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius, Tino Martinez, and Bernie Williams and have not done quite as well with big ticket players like Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez (well, A-Rod's doing great this postseason, but up until now he hasn't done much.)

Besides the money, I absolutely hate when fans will cheer FOR their team's rivals when the rival faces the Yankees. A's fans are horribly guilty of this practice. I understand A's fans think there is a magical rivalry with the Yankees from the early 2000's, but let's be honest, the Angels are the A's main rivals right now. You should hate them above all else.

There is ZERO chance I will ever cheer for the Cardinals or White Sox over the Yankees. If either series ever presents itself, I will literally turn into a Yankee fan for a series. Watch me sing "God Bless America" and "New York, New York." In fact, if you ever see a Blue Jays/Cardinals World Series- consider me on the Toronto bandwagon. Insert any team against the Cardinals and I will cheer against St. Louis. That is what being a fan is all about.

So if you want to hate the Yankees, have at it. I really don't care. But let's be realistic about why you hate them. Come up with a better reason than "because they buy their players." Hate them because you can't stand Jorge Posada's ears. Hate them because Johnny Damon was once a Red Sox and now is a Yankee. Hate them because Mariano Rivera just seems too polite and it's hard to believe he can be such a nice guy, hard worker, and fierce competitor all at the same time. Hate them because George Costanza used to work for them on a fictional TV show. All of these reasons are better than the unoriginal and weak reasons that I hear over and over and over.

So comment away and feel free to disagree. I'm not really cheering for either team in the World Series, but I do hope the games are exciting and well played. But I refuse to have an irrational hate for a team that plays by the rules that baseball has set up which enrages other jealous fan bases.

By the way, what happens to all the luxury tax that the Yankees pay every year that gets split up among the other teams? Oh, that's right- most owners pocket the money rather spend it on new, better players. Now that is something you should hate.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Post Today

Due to an illness in the family (me), there will be no post. I won't 100% tell you what the problem is, but I'm guess it's some form of food poisoning and the culprit restaurant rhymes with "Smapplebee's."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Las Vegas Bachelor Party

I'm back in the completely respectable state of California, and to sum up the trip- it was a great time. It was also expensive (at least for my newlywed budget) but luckily I played some pretty solid poker and still came home with money. To start this post, though, I'd like to say two things:

1) DON'T EVER PLAY BLACKJACK. Just don't do it. It goes too quickly, you almost never win, and dealers seem to be able to hit to 21 in the most soul crushing ways possible. You don't need to go watch Criss Angel or any other magic show; just stand by a blackjack table and watch the tricks of the amazing blackjack dealer! The shows run 24/7 and are in every casino!

2) THE BEARS ARE HORRIBLE. For all you folks who drafted Matt Forte between third and fifth in your fantasy draft, congratulations! You're team is losing! The loss of Brian Urlacher has clearly affected the team's defense in the worst way, and they are just not a hungry team. They let Cedric Benson talk crap all week and then run for 190+ yards on them. Have some pride guys. Oh, and watching the game at the Mandalay Bay Race & Sports Book was really painful. Imagine people betting on the Bears to push the line from -1 to -2.5 during the early games (because that's what happened.) It made for many unhappy Bears fans who inexplicably were wearing the ugly orange jerseys that the Bears most times don't/should never wear.

As for the details of my trip, we'll go with a quick list as to save time:

- Arrived, ate at the House of Blues in Mandalay.
- Went to the Poker Room, played for a few hours.
- Finally got into our room, where we had a very nice suite in Mandalay Bay. Our main TV was in a separate entertainment room and it was +60".
- Threw on our custom pink t-shirts and took over a Craps table. I won about $75.
- We then went back to the room where I promptly got into a UFC fight with my friend Kevin. He almost choked me out, but I turned the tide on him, created a wound on his chin (no idea how) and we both got blood on our shirts. It was awesome. PS: I did get him to tap out.
- Got bottle service at the Cathouse. It was more reasonable than some of the other clubs and was overall pretty fun.
- Eventually left and ate a Big Mac.
- In no way should I have played Poker in my state at that point, but I went to the Poker Room and played until 5:15am. I won around $400 which was amazing because one of the guys saw me down there and said he could barely tell if I was awake/alive.
- After a recovery breakfast, we went to the Mandalay Bay pool and lazy river. I highly recommend it- very classy to have a beach style pool in Vegas.
- Somewhere in there I played Craps and Blackjack with bad results. -$220.
- Steak dinner at Strip Steak. It was very good steak. One of the guys also ordered cow bone marrow. It was served in a section of bone. I didn't try it, but other people said it was good.
- We went big and got bottle service at XS in the Encore hotel/casino. That club was ridiculous. The dance floor was huge (and too crowded), it opened up to the pool (our VIP table was by the pool), and they have Blackjack and Craps inside the club!
- A bachelorette party came over to freeload off of us hang out, and that was pretty fun. Best part, one of the friends was wasted and tried to get closer to the middle of the group. She didn't see the edge of the pool and tripped. Half of her body went in the pool and her head was destroyed by the concrete. She seemed to be ok after a few minutes, but the smack made a really loud popping noise. Hopefully it was just her pride that was hurt, but let's just say she ended up ok so we can laugh about it now.
- I ended up back playing poker and I won back my previously lost Blackjack and Craps money. +$208.
- After a solid 3.5 hours of sleep, we went down to watch the NFL games. That Steelers/Vikings game was so enjoyable. I can't stand Brett Favre and I loved the fact that he lost Minnesota the game.
- The Bears game was another matter. I'm so glad I had to leave to catch my flight because there was no way I could stand watching another second of that game.
- The guy next to us won a 5 team parlay for $1000. Good for him.

So that was the main list of our activities. Feel free to ask for more info on any aspect, though be aware of the "What Happens In Vegas... (you know the rest)" rule.

Enjoy some Monday Night Football tonight. It should be a barn-burner.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vegas Tomorrow...

So I'm headed to Sin City tomorrow for my buddy's bachelor party, and the early returns say it's going to be a great time.

We have extremely outlandish custom t-shirts:

We are more than likely going to PURE on Saturday where the incomparable Mr. Boombastic Shaggy will be performing (God, I hope this happens!)

We are staying at a savage suite in Mandalay Bay.

I haven't been to Vegas in over 3 years, so I'm definitely looking to have a great time.

But let's catch up with the what else I've been doing since getting back from Jamaica...

- Due to technical difficulties at the venue, I was not able to play my show at the Boxing Donkey on Saturday. I showed up, set up, and then the amp that runs the venue's sound was cutting in and out. Being that they are extremely well run, I was still paid, but I was bummed to not get to play. I need to get some of you Sacramento/Davis folks to come up to Roseville to hang out. The Boxing Donkey is a great place to hang out, eat, and drink cocktails until your drunk enough to fight a guy wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt.

- I've been playing the Wii a lot. Between Beatles Rockband and Wii Fit, I don't have much time for anything else. I am getting quite a legitimate workout with Wii Fit, and I'm not sure if that means it's a good program or if I'm horribly out of shape. I have a feeling it's somewhere in the middle.

- I found time to play some poker online at Full Tilt. Before the wedding, I turned $30 into $214+. I cashed out $200 to pay for some wedding expenses, so I was left with just over $14. The other night I bought into a cash game for $10. It slowly dwindled to $8 and I got involved in a hand with some Russian dude. The betting was sizable relative to my $8 stack and I was on a draw. By the turn I had a double belly buster straight, with a flush possibility. In other words, a lot of cards could help me. I called whatever the Russian bet and hit my straight on the river. I completely doubled through him and he was irate. "Kill yourself," he told me at least 5 times. He went on about how much I suck and blah, blah, blah. I needled him a couple times, but then eventually said, "This is ridiculous, it's over $8." One of the other players told him to chill out and then said, "From Russia with love."

Anyway, I cashed out with $22 in the end, then bought into two $10 sit and go's (9 person tournaments.) I got second in both, so all of a sudden, I have $54 in my account. Not too shabby.

- Hey! The Phillies won the NLCS... aaaaaaaaaaand nobody cares.

- Most entertaining story since getting back? No it's not the fake balloon/attict boy. It has to be: ESPN's dark sexual underbelly. What the hell is going on over at the Mothership? It's like a damn bath-house/brothel over there. I'm now creating a new goal besides keeping my future hypothetical daughter off the pole- she will also not be allowed to be an intern at ESPN!

I'm unsure if there will be a post tomorrow, but I'll try to squeeze one out. Oh, and if there are any folks with College Football bets I should get in on, let me know. I don't usually bet on College Football, but since I'm in Vegas on a Saturday, advice would be appreciated.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Quck Plug and Video

I hope everyone's hump day is rolling along swimmingly. I have a couple items:

1) Go Visit - [Identity stricken from the record] is putting herself out there in a major way. She's single and ready to mingle fellas, so if you don't mind having your dating moves written about then sign up for one of the dating sites she's on and ask her out. Otherwise, just get in on this on ground-zero and enjoy the fun!

2) This is a video from Pepperdine's midnight madness. Nice dunk young man!

Honeymoon In Jamaica Part 3

On this final installment, I'll wrap up some of the good stories and experiences that we had on the honeymoon. I would probably be impossible to squeeze in every story because there were a lot to be had. However, I'll do my best...

- Ziplining - Being somewhat scared of heights (I'm working on it), I was a little nervous to go ziplining in the rain forest. I essentially just looked around at the rest of the group and thought "if these folks can do it, so can I." Then I stopped thinking about heights and just decided to go for whatever challenge was placed in front of me.

The first few ziplines were no problem. They would hook up your harness, then tell you to sit down. Your weight would naturally carry you across the line. One guy in our group was not paying attention when they told us how to break, and he destroyed one of the guides as he arrived on the opposite side of the first line. It was like a free safety crushing a helpless receiver. Our guide Bobby was tough, though, and he kept on going.

Then we arrived to the zipline which was "the reason we paid money for the trip." 1000 feet across, 320 feet high, and over a river that the Jamaicans called "The River of Doom." It was a little nerve-racking, but once again, I tried my best to just do it and not think about it. When they hook your harness up they say, "Make sure you run, jump, and cannonball or your momentum will not carry you to the other side." Noted. So with that, I ran, jumped, and cannonballed across a massive ravine in the rain forest. It was awesome!

- Casino Night - Sandals had a Casino Night which mostly consisted of a few of the workers running a psuedo-poker and blackjack tables. I played poker and Mrs. B. played blackjack. The game was not set up like real poker, and let's just say it was an easy game to succeed at. I easily doubled my chips, yet some of the more naive guests did not do as well. At the end, Mrs. B. and I combined our chips and had the most, by far. Then they had a prize auction where we won a wooden giraffe, maracas, and a bottle of Appleton Rum. The dealers, Dwayne and Jason, were also really cool guys that we got to know from then on.

- Jamaican Trivia Night - During the day, we had just gotten back from riding on a paddle-cycle in the ocean. By the pool, Jason was helping us learn about Jamaica. We listened, and then found out that there was a Jamaican Trivia night that night.

We showed up a little late to the main hall, but that did not stop us from dominating Jamaican Trivia. Mrs. B. was killing it and I had to go on stage as part of a game to translate Jamaican-speak into English. In the end, we won and received another bottle of Appleton Rum. Another Jamaican activity runner (they were called "The Playmakers") Micheal then helped us cash in our activity points. We had accumulated 260 points. In awesome Jamaican fashion, Micheal rounded up to 400 and we found ourselves with another bottle of Appleton rum (we otherwise would have gotten a necklace that neither of us would wear.)

So we left Jamaica with our three bottles of rum, maracas, huge wooden giraffe, and lots of great memories. It was a great honeymoon and I highly recommend Sandals Negril to anyone thinking about going to Jamaica. It is a really fun place with lots to do and really great people. The one downside- mosquitos! Watch out for those suckers!

If there are any follow up questions about Jamaica or the honeymoon, feel free to ask in the comments. I probably forgot to mention many details, but I have a feeling you got the overall jist of things. Tomorrow I'm back to talking about all things American, and on Friday I leave for a bachelor party in Las Vegas, so I'm sure there will be much to talk about.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Honeymoon In Jamaica Part 2

After waking up after all the restaurants had closed, we decided to once again trek to the Beach Grill. After eating a Jerk Burger and Fries (yeah, it's as good as it sounds) we went to the bar for drinks. We also played pool and ping pong. It was somewhat fun, but because of the timing of our travel, we were feeling like our activities should be a bit more exciting. In reality, we hadn't realized how to participate in the activities available to us.

In the morning, we stopped by the Beach Grill to talk to Julian (awesome Jamaican dude who seemed to work there every day) because Mrs. B. had inquired about getting some breadfruit the day before. Julian had told us to come back at 11am and he would see what he could do. Breadfruit, as it turned out, was out of season so Julian could not get it. Instead, he told us to come back around 12:15 and he'd have lobster grilled up for us. Since lobster was not on the Beach Grill menu, this was especially awesome of him. It was very good, and of course, served with fries.

For her wedding gift(s), I had gotten Mrs. B. three things. One was a bracelet to wear with her wedding dress. Two was a private beach dinner during the honeymoon. And three was a couple's massage during the honeymoon. In fact, the argument could be made (if you're a dick) that my gifts were not that great because I was involved in the beach dinner and couple's massage, but let's be honest, while I had fun at both I could have gone without both activities. When you go on a date and take a girl out to dinner, she doesn't call you selfish because you got to eat too, right?

Anyway, fast forward to us being naked in a dark room getting rubbed down by two Jamaicans (man for her, woman for me.) Minutes in, the massage lady starts whispering about other treatments that I might need. Apparently I have pimples on my nose that could use a facial, and that I need extra massage sessions to work out tension in my shoulders and lower back. Do me a favor lady, can you let me enjoy my hour massage without you whispering in my ear like a stripper trying to talk me into "extra service?" There's also nothing like being naked on a table and being told about small pimples on my nose that are maybe visible to the scientists at NASA but no one else.

The massage treatment, overall, was good. So good, that we decided to take an afternoon nap. We made this a habit for pretty much the entire trip. It also worked out because if I didn't feel like napping, the baseball playoffs were typically on so I could either nap or watch baseball. Part of the honeymoon is relaxing as well, right?

That night we ate at Chef Adrian's Barefoot Cafe. I ordered the Seafood Jambalaya and was ready to get after it. When it showed it, I was a little hesitant. You see, besides the usual shrimp expected in jambalaya there was some more exotic seafood included. The headliner were the two inch tall octopi that were here and there. I couldn't bring myself to eat the octopi in full, though I did eat some of the legs that had fallen off the main body of an octopus. There were mussels and something else that I'm forgetting. The dish as a whole was very good, and it helped me completely clean out my system of Beach Grill if you know what I mean (we're talking about clogging a toilet here people!)

That night Mrs. B. wanted get organized and figure out all the trips and activities we would participate in. We settled on:

- Ziplining through the rainforest (pretty much the coolest thing I've ever done.)
- Snorkeling with a dude that looked like a Chappelle's Show character. If someone told me that Dave Chappelle had escaped the US once again and was working in Jamaica as a snorkeling guide, I would not have questioned it because this guy looked exactly like him- only with silver hair.
- A sunset cruise that has booze and cave swimming (it ended up getting rained out, so we never ended up going)
- A trip to Rick's Cafe where Mrs. B. went cliff diving. I didn't because my thirst for thrill seeking was quenched by ziplining, and I didn't feel like my body would react well to a 70 foot drop into the ocean. The sunset there was amazing.

Part 3 tomorrow will wrap everything up on the honeymoon.

The Broncos are really 6-0? Damn. Maybe Kyle Orton wasn't so bad after all...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drunkest Dude Ever

My buddy Phil has this up as his G-Chat status, and I can't help but find this hilarious.

Worst Shopping Run Ever - Watch more Funny Videos

Yeah, that was bad.

A Case of the Mondays

You know, I'd love to finish the Jamaica Honeymoon story- and I will soon enough, but right now I'm just a tad bit peeved about the Bears' Sunday Night Football Performance. Note to self: Don't even consider watching the Bears when they play on national TV- they apparently aren't good in big games. Especially on the road.

The good news? How in the hell did they even have a chance on their final drive to tie that game up? By comparison, the Niners got snapped off by a very good Falcons team last week, yet the Falcons let the Bears stay in the game until the end. So which way is it? Are the Bears a terrible team that manages to stick around or a pretty good team that underachieves and looks extremely lost at times?

Last thought on the Bears. They had their BYE week last week. One would think there would be extra time to strategize and be prepared for a big Sunday Night game. Not to mention, this game against Atlanta gave them an opportunity to exact revenge for the game last year where Matt Ryan and the Dirty Birds ripped out Chicago's soul with an 11 second field goal drive. It looked more like they spent two weeks going to strip clubs and falling asleep during Lovie Smith's pep talks (probably easy to do.) Definitely a disappointing loss, but a more disappointing effort.

Anyway, here are more NFL notes:

- The Raiders beat the Eagles??? I'd love to give analysis, but the game was blacked out because no one goes to Raiders games anymore, which was probably for the best. Great piece of news though- my friend from high school saw Donovan McNabb at the Gold Club in San Francisco late on Friday night (Saturday in the AM.) Apparantly McNabb was a complete gentleman- which is completely expected since he was at a gentlemen's club. Overlooking the game on Sunday? Maybe...

- Poor G$. I feel for you man. The Redskins are 2-4, and have yet to play any team with a previous win under their belt. The offense looks anemic. The coach is clearly going to lose his job sometime soon. The owner probably keeps $100 bills in his First Aid kit instead of gauze and band aids (get it? He throws money at the problem rather than actually fixing anything.) Look on the bright side, the Eagles just lost to the Raiders, so maybe there is a chance for the 'Skins on Monday Night next week.

- Tom Brady is the man. My fantasy teams have been struggling a bit, but not this week. This week I annihilated the competition and Brady had a lot to do with that (at least in one league.) His 380 yard, 6 TD performance was legendary. I was feeling some drafter's remorse after choosing him ahead of Drew Brees, but this game made me feel much better (though, in hindsight, I still should have taken Brees.) To top it all off, Brady did all that in the snowy weather! Take that, Mark Sanchez!

- I hate Brett Favre. I don't know how many more times I'll get to say that, but it might as well be infinity. This guy doesn't go away, and whether it's with the Packers or Vikings he always seems to make things difficult for the Bears. Stupid Ravens' kicker...

- The Saints are ridiculously awesome. They are built to win and have to be the scariest team in the NFL. It's like the Saints take other teams into a dirty room, wheel out a creepy puppet that tells the other team that they are "Going to play a game," and then the other team inevitably gets it's head smashed by two huge ice blocks (like Donnie from the New Kids in Saw IV!)

By the way, that Yankees/Angels game was ridiculous the other night! A-Rod coming up in the clutch? I never thought I'd see it! Looking like a Phillies/Yankees World Series. That's ok, I guess. I'd almost rather have the Dodgers in there (for what reason, I have no idea), but I guess it doesn't matter. It should be entertaining either way (the worst possible WS would be Phillies/Angels- that would suck.)

I'll be back with more Jamaica stories tomorrow. Enjoy Kyle Orton inexplicably beating the Chargers tonight.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Honeymoon In Jamaica

Let's start this story on the airplane. We took a flight from SF to Miami leaving at 11pm, getting to Miami at 7am. I had an aisle seat which I believe I requested. In my experience aisle seats have the most leg room for my 6'6" legs. This plane ride changed my thoughts on the matter.

For one, I needed to sleep, yet this didn't happen. I physically need a window seat to lean my head against the window side wall. I had a hard time sleeping with my head directly back or forward.

Second, the guy in front of me was easily the biggest douche I've ever come across on a flight. Upon seeing me, he sat down, immediately leaned his seat back, then continued to rock in his seat to get every millimeter back the seat would allow him to have.

Skipping forward, at the end of the flight, he didn't put his seat in the upright position for landing, he did, however, flick his dandruff filled hair back a few times. He tried to cut someone off by jumping in front of them in the narrow plane aisle, and I'm pretty sure he kidnapped a kid in the airport. Ok, so I made the last one up- but it seemed like something he would've done. I hope Dexter got a hold of him in Miami.

Having never traveled outside of the US, I am happy to say that the process of getting in and out of the country was not awful. It took a little patience, but overall, it was speedy and no one really hassled us.

Off the plane in Jamaica, you could tell immediately that we were not in the US. There were performers, musicians, and rouge street vendors around the airport which clearly would not fly in the US. We were directed to the Sandals lounge where they had complimentary Red Stripe and other drinks. After one beer, our taxi was ready.

We had an hour and half drive from Montego Bay to Negril. The lush greenery was fun to look at, but being placed in a car on a road with Jamaican drivers was a little nuts. They drive on the left side of the road, everyone tailgates, and almost all the roads are barely enough for one lane each way. Everyone passes each other in the oncoming lane, and as a bonus, drivers get to dodge people walking, riding bikes, and generally wandering around. Luckily, we had safe travels throughout the trip.

Our driver had us stop on the side of the road at a store that had a guy BBQing jerk chicken on the patio, also looked like a drugstore, and sold beer. The sign above the shop said, "We fully intend to apply for an alcohol licence the next time they are available." And yet I purchased another Red Stripe from them. Love the lawlessness of Jamaica.

Upon leaving the store to drink and get some fresh, humid ocean air, two things struck me. One, there were dogs just roaming around. The seemed friendly, though a little underfed. Hopefully the BBQ dude was going to hook the dogs up with some jerk chicken.

The other thing that was obvious, was the guy around the corner where the restrooms were who was whistling at us. No, dude, we're not buying drugs from you. Yes, I understand you have good stuff. No, we're seriously not interested.

Once we finally got to Sandals Negril, we were immediately give Rum Punch and a ice cold towel. Our bags were taken to our room and we got a mini-tour then also went to our room. The key to the room was not working properly, so they called maintenance. A friendly guy named Stanley helped us out by spraying WD40 in the lock. We found food at the Beach Grill, which was essentially the resort's fast food grill that is open any time the other restaurants aren't (for example, it's open from 11pm - 6:30am.) I think I got Jerk Chicken and fries during the first sitting. During my first bite, I had a vision of angels in heaven singing the most glorious harmonies about how good Jerk Chicken is.

Since we hadn't slept for an entire night, it was time to take a nap, then get our bearings together. Part 2 tomorrow...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Wedding Adventure

I don't even know where to start with this post, and I know at points it could ramble or be too brief, so I'll try to balance everything as best as possible.

On the morning of October 3, I woke to find my friend Woods getting up to go work out. He, my other friend Kevin, and I had gone out after the rehearsal dinner and bar hopped to each and every bar in Downtown Vacaville (sounds impressive, but it was only 3 bars, all within a block of each other.) I thought working out would be good, but I also thought extra sleep would be helpful, so I opted for the latter. Unfortunately, my brain was already too wired to go back to sleep so I laid in bed for an extra hour without getting anymore sleep.

Kevin and I went to get the surprisingly excellent complimentary breakfast at the Hampton Inn & Suites (every aspect of the wedding was just blocks from everything else, so everything I mention is in the town of Vacaville which is about a 30 minute drive from Sacramento.) Breakfast was excellent as Kevin and I talked about fantasy football. He mentioned that he had Matt Forte on his team the year prior along with a bunch of other savages. A woman at the next table over interrupted our conversation.

"Are you talking about the music software 'Forte?' My sister uses it and likes it very much."

Then we had to explain to her and her cowboy-hatted husband that, no, in fact we were talking about Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. To which she said, "Oh, I thought you were talking about the software."

Now this begs the question, why were you listening in on our conversation? Why would you interrupt us after listening out of context? Last, why would you reiterate that you thought we were talking about something that we weren't? On the way back, Kevin made a good point. "You could start any conversation like that- 'Oh, you're using a fork. My sister eats her pancakes with a fork.'" People can be annoying sometimes (and by sometimes, I mean A LOT!)

After that weird interaction, I got ready to go on a hike. Woods, my best man Sean, and I were going for a hike in the Vacaville hills around Lagoon Valley Road. Kevin was invited, but did not have proper shoes so he passed. The hike was excellent. I needed to get some fresh air, do something active, and generally not sit around to wait anxiously. We went to the parking stop and accidentally stumbled onto a local Fun Run's finish line. McGruff the Crime Dog was walking around and I got my picture with him. I haven't gotten the pic from Sean just yet, but I'll make sure to post it once I have it. He was taking a bite out of crime, even with his human legs and tennis shoes.

Upon returning to the hotel. I needed to run a few errands. My shirt was a local dry cleaners, and I needed shaving supplies. I got my shirt, shaving supplies, and on the way out of the parking lot saw a Little Caesar's across the street. $5 for a large pizza on my wedding day? Yes, please! I brought it back to the hotel where Woods and I demolished the pizza. We both agreed we hadn't had Little Caesar's in years, so this was a good treat.

So the story has been tame so far- ready for some drama, yet? Ok...

As I mentioned in a comment before I left, our photographer was in a horrible motorcycle accident just days before our wedding. He is currently doing better and I've been told that he and his family will be in San Francisco for the next three to four months so he can complete a rehibilitation program. This came as a shock, and we wish nothing but the best to him and his family. He's a great photographer and a very cool person.

On Friday morning (the day before the wedding), the once future and now current Mrs. B. sent a message to her blog madam (that sounds bad, but Mrs. B. was/is blogging for a site called Wedding Chicks and she is a "Real Bride Blogger" there.) The Wedding Chicks lady sent out an email and a tweet about our situation and we had six photographers to choose from by noontime. We ultimately chose Mariea Rummel who ended up doing a fantastic job for us. Back to the story...

Mariea shows up to introduce herself and to get a few shots of me getting ready. She was great and very calming in the midst of everything else. In the meantime, our florist came to drop off all the flowers a few hours too early, so I had to take all of them to my room. A small meaningless detail, except when you start factoring in everything else. I really don't know, or care to get into the whole flower story except to say that I would NOT recommend Visual Impacts in Sacramento to anyone looking for a florist. The process was difficult, stressful, and culimnated in the owner yelling at my mother-in-law right before the wedding. As a vendor who relies on wedding business, you must be out of your mind to yell and add stress to a wedding. Your job is to follow directions that you didn't follow (wrong color flowers, you used cheaper ones to try and give us less value for what we paid you for, and you set up stuff incorrectly when we had another person who was supposed to set up everything for the ceremony) and that's pretty much it.

So I was finally ready to catch our limo and go a few blocks to the ceremony site. My brothers, Sean, and I were out front ready to go, and we had to wait as the limo driver attempted to overcharge us as well. You see, the limo service we hired told someone (not the correct person) that they couldn't make it, but they would send someone from their sister company. That sister company costs basically double and they sprung that one us right before they were supposed to drive the groomsman literally three blocks to the ceremony site. We waited for a few minutes while appropriate arrangements were made, and without warning, the limo driver jumped in his limo and drove off! Sean immediately thought it was hilarious, and I was pissed, but figured I would find it hilarious someday. Today is that day. Who just leaves a situation without even acknowledging the situation? That would be like you going into the return an item at a store and the clerk gets frustrated, leaves the counter and just walks out of the store. Who needs their stupid service anyway? We got in cars, drove 45 seconds to the ceremony, and started taking pictures.

Upon arriving, the wedding coordinator was freaking out about the limo and her inability to reach my almost mother-in-law (try calling her cell phone, rather than her house phone maybe?) I pretty much relayed to her that what's done is done, and we are now going to take pictures. Little did I know of her confusing plot to stress everyone out as the ceremony neared...

Mrs. B. had drawn up a detailed diagram of how everything was to be set up. Seats, seating placement, aisle runner, etc. Our set up guy, Zack (who is the man) had everything under control until the wedding planner and florist started telling him what to do. For instance, to make it more comfortable for everyone, we did not want to put either of our biological parents next to each other. Both our sets of parents are divorced, and why make things more uncomfortable, right? Oh, no. The wedding planner put the seat cards for our Moms and Dads to sit next to each other. Right next to each other. On top of that, as I found out yesterday, she told my mother-in-law to "put her emotions aside" and that "the groom's mom requested it." She told my mom that "the bride's mom and requested it." Hmmm.... seems a bit fishy that no one requested it, so why are both sides of the family being lied to just to make things more uncomfortable. If we wanted a more traditional set up and less freedom in the set up, we would've gotten married in a church (I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but many churches trump the bride and groom when it comes to some details.) As it stands, we were in a park so that WE could control every detail.


As it stands, the wedding coordinator did set up a nice walk down the aisle for everyone, but really that's all she needed to do. In fact, she stayed through the reception (which was fine) and for reasons unknown, kept telling our DJ what to do (and consequentally rushed us through the cake cutting, garter toss and bouquet toss.)

Back to some fun details:

- I played the song "Sugar" by Tonic at the ceremony.
- I wrote an original song called "Are You Serious?" about us getting engaged and married which I played at the reception.
- I also managed to squeeze in an acoustic version of R. Kelly's "Ignition (the Remix)" (by request, of course.)
- During the toast portion, Mrs. B. made a wonderful toast thanking all of our family and friends, then missed her seat on the way back down completely falling backwards! I was worried, but since she is currently ok, we can laugh about it now.
- My friend JP was blasted, tied his tie around his head, and was creating quite a buzz throughout the wedding. JP's the man!
- My friend Phil gave me a lapdance. I'm certain there is a video on Facebook, so if you have the time you can see it there.
- We had a signature cocktail called "The Cosmo and Juliette" which was named after our cats. Everyone loved it (maybe a little too much.)
- I really tried to enjoy every moment, but it does seem like it flew by!
- After the wedding, Mrs. B. and I went back to the hotel to, ahem- consummate the union. We then went back out and met up with people at Cheers in downtown Vacaville (no, Woody, Cliff, Norm, Sam Malone, Shelly Long, and fat Kirstie Alley were not there.) There were however, many drunken heart to heart conversations between everyone.
- Our night ended at IHop. I think I got a waffle. Kudos to the group that stuck it out to the end!

The next morning, we gathered everything and got ready for our Jamaican honeymoon... more details on that soon.

Overall, the wedding was a success and we had a lot of fun. Like any big event, there were probably a few things that could have been improved, but all things considered, we had a lot of fun and I think most everyone else did, too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm Back!

Many of you already knew that I am back, and to be honest, I haven't quite returned to the swing of things. I got so used to eating as much as I wanted, drinking as much as I wanted, going on adventures through the rain forest, and taking naps every day around 3pm that being back in California has shocked my system. Not to mention coming back to work today and trying to play catch up.

Fear not though, I will start a series tomorrow talking about the wedding and honeymoon (maybe for my own record, but you're allowed to enjoy as well.) Right now, I'm still trying to comprehend how Jamaica is in the Central Time Zone (same as Chicago and Dallas) yet it takes about 7 hours to get there from SF (we did not have direct flights, so I'm sure the lay overs added to tiring traveling.)

I will leave you with this- what happens to two fantasy football teams when you don't change your line-ups and then leave the country? Well, that's easy- they lose in horrible spectacular fashion. They played like the St. Louis Cardinals versus the Dodgers last week (how awesome was that?)

Sorry for the slow start, my brain is running in place like a cartoon character right now, but hopefully it will eventually shoot forward into productivity.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Final Countdown

Cue the song by Europe- it's the final countdown before I hitch my trailer to Future Mrs. B., as the NWO would say, "FOR LIFE." While my days as a single man were fun, I'm 100% ready settle down with the absolute right woman for me. I don't really think much will change once we tie the knot, but here are somethings I'm looking forward to as I get married and grow older.

- Opening Beer Bottles With My Wedding Ring - Now, I'm not 100% sure I'm actually going to do this, but commenter Clarkster and his brother have both showed me how it's done and it does look pretty fun! You use the side of the ring closest to your wrist and pop open the top. Great party trick...

- Finally Figuring Out What To Do With My Life - My job has been very good to me, and my musician life has been great too, but it's time for me put my career goals in Drive rather than cruising in Neutral. This could involve having my new album blow up and me become a full time musician. It could involve going to grad school for something (who knows what, but something where people will eventually call me "Master" or "Dr. B.") It could involve me starting my own business (probably would involve music entertainment on some level.) I need goals, and I will work tirelessly to get them done!

- Getting A House - Can't do it just yet, and while living in a one-bedroom in Sacramento sounds extravagant, Future Mrs. B. and I are over it. We're outgrowing the space, and if we ever decide to add to the family we obviously will need a bigger space. Speaking of...

- Emotionally Damaging My Own Gene Pool - You have to figure it'll happen sooner or later. While we're not ready yet, kids are only a few years away. All parents damage their kids emotionally, but some do it in a successfully productive way to better them, and others just plain create serial killers and strippers. Keeping our hypothetical daughter off the pole will be goal numbero uno if we ever have one!

- Breaking The Stereotype By Not Making Lame "Ball & Chain" Jokes - No one twisted my arm to get married, and to be honest, my almost wife is pretty damn cool. I wish she liked football a bit more, but she's cool with sports in general, supportive of my music, she's really funny, and she helps me improve at things I would be otherwise bad at. There's no need for me to complain and make tired stereotypical jokes about "having to tend to the wife" or using her as an excuse to not hang out with my friends.

- Wearing A Ring - This may save a few awkward situations at shows. Like I've said before, I definitely don't get hit on all the time at shows, but it's enough to make for a few weird moments that I would prefer to avoid. Maybe they'll see the ring and avoid me. On the other hand, maybe I'll be that much more unattainable and stoke the fires of envy in the loins of skanks. One can never be sure...

- Never Having To Say "My Fiance" Ever Again - How snoody does that sound? Can't we come up with a better word than "fiance?" This is America! The land of Freedom Fries and we can't come up with a better term for your significant other during an engagement? Sorry, Lee Greenwood. I am not proud to be an American right now!

- Not Having To Worry About Wedding Planning - I wasn't sold before, but now I am fully aware that planning a wedding is a lot of work! There are so many aspects to it, and when you (and all financial backers involved) shell out thousands of dollars for one day, it better be perfect! That's a lot of pressure when you think about it. It will be nice to enjoy our relationship without all the time and energy it takes to plan a wedding cutting into our daily lives. It will be glorious!

- Miscellanous Upside - There might be perks I haven't even thought of yet! You married folks can let me know some of your favorite aspects of being married (or even things I need to watch out for.)

Overall, I'm excited to get married and then travel out of the country for the first time. It's on to Jamaica, mon! Where's my steel drum at? Feelin' hot, hot, hot...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

To Catch An International Jewel Thief...

I was reminded of this skit from Loveline and it is so damn funny. Will Arnett used to do professional voice-work for trailers and commercials and he and Adam Carolla take it to a whole new level:

Way too hilarious. I hope that starts your day off right!