Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving NFL Action?

I say "Action?" because these are some bad games, people! Sometimes I wonder what the NFL thinks when they are scheduling Thanksgiving games, but I have to believe it's something like, "People are going to watch no matter what, so let's get these games out of the way." Now, I was looking forward to the nightcap rematch of Super Bowl XXI, but that was before the Broncos went on a four game losing streak and the Giants just broke their streak of futility in overtime against the Falcons. Am I complaining? A little. Am I still going to watch? Oh hell yes!

Packers @ Lions - Green Bay -11:

I have to believe that the Packers get the job done on this one. Matthew Stafford is proving himself to be a savage, but he may not play due to his separated shoulder. I'll be cheering for the Lions, but as I said, I'd be surprised if the Packers don't get the "W." Would I take Green Bay with the points? Uhh... I wouldn't bet it personally, but if I had to, then yes. Yes, I would.

Raiders @ Cowboys - Dallas -14

Really? You're going to favor a team by 14 points that has scored a combined 14 points in two weeks? In the battle of the two least lovable NFL franchises, I am (I can't believe I'm saying this) taking the Raiders to cover. I don't think Oak-town is going to win, but I do think they can cover now that JaMarcus is on the bench.

Giants @ Broncos - New York -6.5

Is Kyle Orton playing? ESPN says yes, so I'll take the Broncos at home to cover against the Giants. Both of these teams are shaky at best, so I really have no idea how this will work out. I'm going with the Broncos because they are at home, and the Giants have to play on a short week in the thin air of the mountains.

Enjoy Thanksgiving- especially if you have one of John Madden's "turduckens." Then you know you'll have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Honoring a Legend

I'd like to make today Cornholio Day today here at Second Rate Blog. Let's take time to remember your favorite Cornholio moment. Look back on the greatness and cherish the good times. Maybe even use some TP for your own bumhole.


Update: I was wrong about Monday Night Football last night. My apologies to Vince Young and Kris Brown.

After the game, I practiced some music and then made my way over to the Wal-Mart in West Sacramento. It was a freaking circus. In fact, it always is. It doesn't matter what time you go there (I happened to be there at 10pm), it is always filled with interesting folks.

A stressed out African American woman yelling at her two of her childern- one named Kobe and the other named Shaquille? Check.

Two gay dudes- one overweight with a mohawk- holding hands and looking at cookware? Check.

A worker who was carting pallets around while singing at the top of his lungs about his "baby that left him, and one day she'll be lonely, too?" Check.

So without further delay, I'm recommending this site:

I'm fairly certain that Wal-Mart experiences vary by region. Having said that, most experiences at Wal-Mart are probably quite similar.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mangina on CBS Sports?

In a hilarious typo, this picture shows the website (my favorite website to get sports info) had a story up about Eric Mangini and Jim Schwartz disagreeing about whether or not the Lions faked injuries to slow down the Browns' no huddle offense.

It's initially hilarious because these two terrible teams are bickering about their close game. It's even more hilarious that Mangini is referred to as "Mangina." So awesome.

A Case of the Mondays

This weekend was completely backwards. I went to bed pretty early on Friday night only to wake up and participate in the Davis Turkey Trot. Our group walked the 5K but of course ran the very last bit and crossed the finish line. We were completely unofficial (as in, we didn't pay for our t-shirt or our official time) because that money was going to be put toward breakfast.

Of course, last night, Mrs. B. and I went to hang out with my best man, Sean and his lady, Trish. It was a lot of fun, but it doesn't make much sense as to why I was in bed early on Friday night, yet stayed out late on Sunday night. In between, here's what happened:

- I've been learning a few new cover songs. In fact, I think I mentioned all of them earlier last week (Cheap Trick, Beatles, Bob Marley.) They all are sounding pretty good and I'll play them in Roseville at my next show 12/5.

- On Saturday, Mrs. B. and I went to our favorite yogurt place, Mochii. As we were leaving and just about to reach my car, a dude in a white molester van yells at us, "I know you're not going to be greedy and eat all that!" I chuckled and kept walking. His van was still at the stop light, so he yelled, "I'm serious! Gimme some of that!" I looked at him puzzled and just shook my head. The light turned green and drove off. I thought for a second I was going to have to throw down over yogurt that I purchased. I guess that's an example of just another day in downtown Sacramento.

- I didn't attend the game, but UC Davis was beat for the second year in row by Sacramento State. Pretty embarrassing stuff for the match-up that UCD considers its rivalry game. UC Davis was up 14-3 at half, and then ended up letting Sac St.'s benched QB come in for the second half and torch their secondary. Final score 31-28. Horrible.

- I watched many National Geographic shows on Saturday. I learned about the Codex Gigas (narrated by Dominic Monaghan)- otherwise know as the "Devil's Bible." It's a 165 lbs. Bible that was written by a single monk during the monk's medieval lifetime. The most distinguished feature is the full page drawing of the devil on one of the pages. It was pretty interesting.

The other show that was fairly interesting was about prehistoric crocidiles and theories about how they were able to hunt dinosaurs and survive when dinosaurs did not. The best part is when they animated a re-enactment of Boar Croc and showed how it would have hunted dinosaurs. Savage!

- Where do I start with football? I think the Bears have made me a worse person this year. Their losses on national TV put me in a horrible mood. I'm probably at my least tolerable as a human after a Bears' loss.

Besides the last interception, I thought Jay Cutler played better. True- he did miss three different throws that would have all resulted in touchdowns, but his usual array of multiple primetime turnovers were absent for most of the game. The only thing that made me feel ok about the game was when Donovan McNabb talked with Cutler for a couple minutes after the game. It was actually impressive how long McNabb was in his ear. I can only imagine what he was saying to him:

"Hey Jay, stop throwing interceptions! You're leading the team I grew up rooting for- make better decisions!"

As a much maligned quarterback himself, I'm sure McNabb had lots of good advice for Cutler. We'll see if it makes a difference later on.

I'm not excited about Monday Night Football tonight. Texans vs. Titans? Am I wrong in thinking the AFC South is the most boring division in football? I know the Colts are great, but I'm still bored by AFC South inter-divisional match-ups. No idea why.

Enjoy the beginning of the week- thank goodness it's a short one!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Music Recommendation

Fact. There is too much horrible music out there. Another fact. There is also too much great music that is not listened to by the mass population. With this in mind, I'd like to sway people away from Nickelback and move them toward a higher quality listening experience. Here are some recommendations that will make your Friday much better and it might even improve your quality of life in general.

(I'm not assuming that people reading this have never heard of all the artists I recommend, but if you haven't- then give these a listen and see what you think!)

Cult hero Jeff Buckley passed away FAR too early. As it stands, he still influences tons of musicians and his truncated but amazing catalog is worth a million listens. Here is him performing "Lover, You Should Have Come Over" live in Chicago:

Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers are not as well know in California, but on the East Coast it is another story. They are practically local celebrities in Boston. I recently went to see SK6ers and unfortunately all I got were the Sixers (Stephen Kellogg was sick.) Here is them playing "Such A Way" live in Virginia.

Last on the list today is Okkervil River from Austin, TX. I saw them this past summer because they opened for Wilco. At the time I thought they were pretty good, and I've listened to them more since the concert with growing enjoyment. Here is them playing "Singer Songwriter" off their most recent album:

I hope you like the selections today. Feel free to comment about whether or not you like the songs, other songs people should check out, or just about how much you hate Nickelback.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NL Cy Young

Zack Greinke won the American League Cy Young award for his absolutely sick 2.16 ERA. Even though he went 16-8, the writers managed to stay out of their own way and still award him the top honor in the AL (Justin Verlander was 19-9 and Felix Hernandez was 19-5.)

So who will win the NL Cy Young today? There are three favorites:

Chris Carpenter: 17-4, 2.24 ERA, 3 Complete Games, 192+ Inning pitched, 144 K, and 1.01 WHIP

Adam Wainwright: 19-8, 2.63 ERA, 1 Complete Game, 233 IP, 212 K, and 1.21 WHIP

Tim Lincecum: 15-7, 2.48 ERA, 4 Complete Games, 225+ IP, 261 K, and 1.05 WHIP

This is pretty close to a pick 'em. They each have categories where they beat each other. For instance, Carpenter missed about a month with an abdominal injury, but still managed to get 17 wins and 3 complete games with a WHIP of 1.01. Tim Lincecum led the league in strikeouts, had 4 complete games, but got little run support, so he has only 15 wins. Wainwright pitched a ridiculous 233 innings and has most wins. However, Wainwright also has the highest ERA and WHIP of the group.

What is the right choice? I'm inclined to say Lincecum, but that's only because he plays in my local market and I know what a savage he is (it also hurts the other candidates that they happen to play for a certain team in St. Louis...) I also would pick Lincecum because I'm a huge fan of the strikeout. Timmy led the league in strikeouts and that leads me to believe he needs to rely on his defense less than the other to pitchers. There are a lot of variables in baseball that create a great season for a pitcher (defense, run support, etc.) but Lincecum limits the luck by striking more batters out than the other guys (though it still only got him 15 wins this year, and 17 wins last year.)

Tim Lincecum for Cy Young! We'll see if it happens. I wonder if Giants fans want him to win? It will only mean that the Giants will have to pay him even more in arbitration this year. Any of these three pitchers deserve the award. I'm looking forward to the announcement.

(No weed jokes?! What is going on today?)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So a Bear and a Rabbit...

Yesterday, my co-workers and I went to lunch at the Black Bear Diner in Davis. I had never been there since it was switched from Bakers' Square over to the Bear. It's essentially the same premise (a place that has all-day breakfast, pies, lunch and dinner food) except with much bigger portions. Being that I did not eat breakfast earlier in the day, I was starving and it was time to eat Mark Mangino [pictured] style!

Since none of us had exact change, my boss began to ask if we could have separate checks. The acned ginger waiter said in a very dry, but seemingly joking way, that he didn't want to split the checks. Eventually he agreed to it, and we figured that we had a decently funny/tolerable waiter with a very dry sense of humor.

The service was fine as we got our food and drinks in a timely manner. I ordered an omelette that came with a tortilla, salsa, avocado, jack cheese, tomatoes, some other stuff, and diced potatoes. I absolutely crushed it and it was quite the satisfying meal. But does this story have a point? Why yes, it does!

After getting our separate checks, we went to the front to pay. We waited as each of the five of us paid, and our server came up to say bye to us. Over the course of the meal, we had joked with him, so I guess he felt overly comfortable with us. Comfortable enough to step over the line.

"You guys want to hear a joke?"

Us: "..."

"Ok- So, a bear and a rabbit go into the woods to take a shit..."

Now, after just destroying my meal, and being full, the only shit I want to think about is my own- not anything coming out of a bear or a rabbit. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have cared if he was actually telling a) a funny joke and b) one I hadn't heard before.

"The bear asks the rabbit, 'Hey, do you ever get shit stuck to your fur?'

"The rabbit says, 'No.' So the bear wipes his ass with the rabbit."

It was a trainwreck delivery, not original, and got no laugh. After a five second delay, there were moderate smiles to try and make him feel better, but I think he realized he stepped over the line of appropriateness (not only with us, but with the family behind us waiting to be seated.) He slunk back into the inner area of the restaurant like one of those vampire things from "I Am Legend" during the daylight. The person at the register remarked, "Yeah, I'm really sorry about him."

Our group finished paying, and went back to work having had a filling meal, and a lasting memory that will live on forever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who's Time Is More Important?

Because I worked on Saturday, I had the day off on Monday. I went over to the Capitol Casino to play in their morning $25 poker tournament (I finished 34th of 85 due to King/Jack getting defeated by Queen/10- Ugh.)

Anyway, I was doing other productive things after the tournament and one of which was going to the local Ace Hardware to get super strong Ant traps. We've had a little infestation at Casa de B. and the ants need to get dominated worse than Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. I did a quick Google Map search of where said Ace Hardware was and I was on my way.

Google Maps sent me to the back of the Ace store which was surrounded by razor wire and looked like what I imagine a back alley drug ring to look like. Luckily, the fence was open to the gravel parking area and I sauntered toward the back door.

Upon entering, I was fortunate enough to immediately find the aisle that contained the orange box of ant-death that I was looking for. I picked up the box, walked straight to the register only to find a line that was at least six people deep. Only one register was open, so the wait was at least a few minutes.

I could sense that the people behind me were growing restless. In particular, the woman behind was pacing a bit and leaning over to see how the cashier's transaction was going. All of a sudden, I see her pass me on my left and go to the front of the line. She walks up to the guy who was second in line and says, "Can I go next- I have to get back to work."

Well, well, well Ms. Impatient! My first thought was to check my phone for the time. It was, in fact, 12:59. If you had to get back to work by 1pm- why in holy hell are you shopping at Ace Hardware at 12:59 (or even 12:55!)

My next thought was, why does the guy up front get to decide? I mean, shouldn't the woman have to ask each person who was in front of her before going up to the beginning. I was in line before she was, but now I don't get a say in this? Seems wrong, don't you think?

In effect, the woman was saying to the person up front and to the rest of us, that her time is more valuable than ours. She assumed she was the only one who was going back to work or had something else important to do. She might have been correct in this- however, that would also mean she was the only one stupid enough to shop at a hardware store 1 minute before she needed to be back at work.

Right as the guy was about to tell her, "No" (he was about to do it- it would have been sooo sweet!) another register opened up and she rushed over there to get taken care of. Ironically, the guy in front of her beat her to the other register and was first to check out. Other people left as well, leaving me next in line.

In the end, I checked out and left the store before the impatient woman making sure that everything was still right in the Universe.

Also, I passed on the free Popcorn that Ace Hardware had at the register. It didn't seem like it would have been a good idea to eat it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

My weekend was almost non-existent. Friday I had a headache, took medication for it, and then said medication made me dizzy, queezy, and help ruin my Friday night.

I woke up Saturday to work the final UC Davis home football game. The Aggies won 28-20 which somehow gave them a conference championship (3-1 in the made-up Great West Football Conference- exciting, right?!) So you might ask yourself, how are there only 5 teams in UCD's conference? Well, because we are in the Big West for most sports, yet almost none of the Big West teams have football programs, we've been forced to align ourselves with other universities in the biggest hodge-podge of a conference ever invented. Cal Poly, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Utah, and UC Davis. I can't imagine recruiting kids by telling them- "Ya know, we get to go to North Dakota or South Dakota every year!" I'm not sure if this gets us into the playoffs, but I do know there is no chance of another home game.

Directly after I left the game, I went to my co-worker's daughter's quinceanera in Woodland. In telling the DJ to play "dinner music" during dinner, he chose Latin/Techno remixes of "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry, and "Careless Whisper" by some Latin artist (originally by the greatest of WHAM!, though.) A more in depth review may have to wait for another day...

Then I went directly to Roseville to play a show from 9:30 - 1. The show went very well, though I need to learn some new songs for my own sanity. "I Want You To Want Me," "A Little Help From My Friends," and "Three Little Birds" were all requested, so those seem like a good place to start. Thanks to everyone who came out, danced, and sang along.

Sunday, after watching the Field Goal Bowl between the Steelers and Bengals, I went into the studio, did one back-up vocal track, four tracks of bass, and officially finished recording on my next record! Now it's up to my producer to mix and master it. There is some possibility for me to go back in for touch-ups, but it is a great weight off my shoulders to have it finally done!

Oh no! I just remembered the Browns are on Monday Night Football tonight! What a horrible selection! Come on NFL/ESPN- you're better than this!

Friday, November 13, 2009


So my predictions/fears of last night's game being "competitive" and "not betting on the Bears to win" were fairly accurate. But to all those Niner fans that want to talk smack today- how about you don't? Your team sucks too. On a short week, at home, when the opposing QB has already thrown four interceptions, the Bears were still driving for the win in the last minute. Guess what? The Bears and Niners are now both 4-5 after last night's game, so seriously, I don't want to hear any gloating about how slightly less terrible your team is than mine. Oh, and make fun all you want- you would still rather have Jay Cutler over Alex Smith, Shaun Hill, or whoever else your team might want to throw out there.

After the game was over, it took me a bit to get back in a good mood. In some respects, I'm still not in a good mood after watching that supposed "NFL" game. However, #1 item that helped me feel a little better was this dunk by Dwayne Wade:

They may have lost the game, but that was one of the sickest dunks I've ever seen. I remember when I used to dunk on people like that- oh- what's that? That never happened? Oh, right. Well, have a great weekend- and I'm playing at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville Saturday night at 9:30pm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bears vs. Niners Preview

I have been like a battered woman this year watching the Bears in the sense that viewing their games is like a sick punch to the gut each time, yet I still keep watching. I think, “They mean well- they’ll play better next week!” Inevitably, they top their inept play each week and bury me and the rest of Bear fans in a coffin of football depression.

That being said, tonight will be a competitive game. Why, you ask? Well, the Niners also are inept and inconsistent, and they will allow the Bears to hang around. Mike Singletary is “not into moral victories” except I heard him on the radio earlier in the week after the loss to the Titans saying “There were things that football people can see going on with our team that were positive despite the scoreboard not going our way.” That sounds like a moral victory, Coach. I respect the hell out of Singletary, and he is doing a good job for the Niners, but let’s be honest, the NIners don’t have the complete talent to be a true playoff contender. Remember the Bears lost to Atlanta 21-14- the Niners lost to those very same Falcons 45-10. I know common opponents don’t always equate other results, but that seems to be a significant difference in score.

And then we have Vernon Davis. Last year, he was kicked off the field for not giving good enough effort. This year, he is a captain, playing very well, and shooting off his mouth while the Niners are in the midst of a 4 game losing streak. Davis said, “We will destroy the Bears defensive line.” Really? Because the last time I checked (and I check often as I listen to the Bay Area’s KNBR 680 THE Sports Leader every day) the Niners have one of the worst offensive lines in the entire NFL. Their best offensive lineman is Joe Staley and he is injured. As long as Tommie Harris doesn’t punch Vernon in the face and get kicked out of the game 1 minute in, I think the Bears will be fine tonight.

This leads me to the biggest disadvantage the Bears have tonight- the travel. In a short week, they had to spend one of their days traveling from Chicago to San Francisco. The Bears will be less prepared and less energetic and that worries me. They have proven to be the least resilient team in the NFL, so why would be Bears be able to overcome these disadvantages this week?

I think we will get a competitive game tonight, but I’m not sure who will win. I will say that one of my friends offered up a $10 bet where I would take the Bears and he would have the Niners and I declined. This is not a game I would bet on and that speaks volumes about where I, as a fan, perceive the Bears place in the NFL is.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Verteran's Day

Hopefully, you're like me and have Veteran's Day off. But what is there to do with your random Wednesday off? Here are some suggestions- some I'll also participate in, and some I won't, but it's all in the spirit of honoring our troops (ok, so maybe some of it is in honor of your American right to sleep all day. Speaking of...)

You could sleep 24 hours straight - Just pretend that there is no day off, but that this day is an opportunity to catch up on all the sleep that is missed during the normal work week. I try to not use a regular weekend day for this purpose, though it happens occasionally (or at least I sleep on the couch and/or watch HBO movies and the Discovery Channel all day.)

Complain about the state of your current favorite teams - Everyone has something to complain about. While one team may be winning a championship (for example, G$'s Yankees) there could be another beloved team that plays like a horrible grease-fire and has the upper management worse than Enron (G$'s Redskins.) So I'll start it off: The Cubs want to improve on their underachieving 83 win season, but they have almost no payroll flexibility. It seems as if their whole team is either eligible for arbitration or already has a ridiculously inflated guaranteed contract (I'm looking at you Alfonso Soriano.) The Bulls are playing well, but they got a BUZZER BEATER WAVED OFF THE CLOCK IN THEIR OWN BUILDING! The refs looked that shot over for many minutes and could barely tell if in fact the ball was still in Brad Miller's hand when the buzzer went off. It was the closest one of these I've seen in awhile, and honestly, I think the tie should go to the home team. The Bears are so bad right now, that Vernon Davis feels comfortable talking public shit about them! An underachiever most of his career, V. Davis has had a couple good games even though the Niners have lost 4 in a row, and this homeboy thinks it's ok to talk shit?! Last time I checked, the Bears also have a tight end capable of scoring 3 TD's in one game.

Play in a poker tournament - I might go over to Capital Casino in Sacramento to play in their daily tournament. We'll see how it goes.

Be productive - Maybe go work out? Write a song? Practice some bass guitar parts to finish up my album? The world is my oyster on this glorious day off.

Enjoy the Reno Peppermill website - The Peppermill's new website is hilarious! For example, here is the PARTY link/video that they have up. This video has a group of people cheers-ing, leading into one guy with two girls at a craps table, then to two girls walking down the hotel hallway in lingerie with a champagne bottle, and it finishes off with the grand finale of one guy and two girls in their underwear pillow-fighting. That pretty much sums up my experiences at the Peppermill as well.

Well, I suppose no matter what I do, it's going to be better than my decision to catch up on "Flashforward" last night. I watched 3 episodes, and I keep waiting for it to get good. Ugh.

Enjoy the day off!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I honestly thought long and hard about what to write about and I've got nothing. I'd rather not write about how the Steelers beat the Broncos last night. Or how the Golden State Warriors managed to score 146 last night against the Timberwolves. I was pretty sure the W's were going to go 0-82, so I'm pretty impressed with them right now.

I'd also not want to write about my massive back cramp that I experienced last night while exercising via the Wii Fit last night. Yeah, it was an all time low in my athletic prowess.

I cleaned the kitchen and bedroom of my humble Sacramento apartment yesterday, and that would be horrible to write about. I also played some songs that will probably be on my next next album, but I'm not really excited to write about those either!

My point is, I've got nothing interesting to talk about today. I wish I did. I'm trying to continue the streak of being a consistent blogger, but when you've got nothing, there's not much to do about it.

Hopefully inspiration will strike me tomorrow.

Instead- I hope you enjoy this iTunes review of my first album "Tonight I Confess:"


That's really the only word that comes to mind when searching for an appropriate adjective to describe this masterpiece of an album that makes the work of musicians such as U2, Dave Matthews, Coldplay, Beethoven and Back PALE in comparison. Tony's music has a way of changing you... inside and out. Quite literally. For example, inside my chest I used to have a heart... but after listening to Tony's music for 48 consecutive hours with no sleep and very little food or liquid... I now have two! So buy this album people; see what new organs you might grow!"

Thanks Ribeye24...

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Well that was a short and busy weekend! And if you think I'm going to talk about the Bears- well you would be wrong. There's a chance I might kill myself mid-post if I decide to wri-

That was close. Stopped typing just in time. Saturday was quite the busy day. I had to work early in the morning at the UC Davis/Cal Poly football game. The game sold out completely and UC Davis got the big win over the rival Mustangs 20-10. I left around half time because I had to...

Go to Harrison and Vanessa's wedding in San Jose. Because of work and since it was a two hour drive, we rushed to get there right on time for the reception. Upon arriving, I changed into my suit outside in a public park. I figured I wouldn't be the only bum in my underwear, so no one would care.

I fully enjoyed the entrance by the wedding party. Harrison had purchased personalized San Jose Sharks jerseys (do hockey people call them sweaters?) for each groomsman and one for himself. For the bride and groom introduction, they had the actual San Jose Sharks entrance music- which was a nice touch. I could've used an appearance from Sharky the mascot, but he was busy at the Sharks/Pens game down the street.

The buffet was really good. Salmon, beef, three types of pasta, two salads, regular and garlic bread. Very solid. Nothing more enjoyable than stuffing yourself full at wedding (unless you're drinking yourself full, I suppose.)

And of course that brings us to the live band. Take 2 was a very good cover band that was perfectly suited for the event. They played a wide variety of music. Journey, Bon Jovi, and Van Halen on one end of the musical spectrum- Gwen Stefani, Duffy, and "P.Y.T." by Michael Jackson on the other. That shhh- was bananas! They ended the night with "Don't Stop Believin'" by Harrison's request, and I believe there is a video floating around of it- so if you can find it- good for you! It was a fun sing-a-long and a great end to the reception.

The next morning I was excited to realize that the Bears and Cardinals were on local TV- but not for long (I just can't help myself can I?) Just awful. Words can't describe how hollow I think Lovie Smith's message is coming across to his players.

The Niners looked a little better, but not much. Can't wait for that monster Thursday Night match-up this week, right?! It might be time to give up on the NFL season already.

Sunday night, Mrs. B. and I decided to meet up with some of my friends from high school at the Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers show at Marilyn's in Sacramento. My friend Adam was doing sound and informed us that Stephen Kellogg had come down with laryngitis and would not be performing. The Sixers, however, still went on without him and were actually pretty entertaining. It was a bummer to not get the full show as SK6ers are from Boston and don't come around the left coast all that often.

The highlight came when bass player Kit Karlson stripped down to his underwear to dance around. Their final song was done completely acoustic with the band standing in the crowd (and yes, Kit was still in only his underwear) where they sang "See You Later, See You Soon." I still would've prefered to see Stephen there, but overall it was a fun show and I do recommend checking out their records.

So there was the not-quite-Bear-free recap to my weekend. I am so pumped for Veteren's Day on Wednesday. I might sleep all day (or record music all day- who knows?!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

On This Friday

Another successful night of Live Band Karaoke was last night and some of our new songs kicked ass! "Man In The Box" by Alice In Chains, "Sober" by Tool, "Longview" by Green Day, and of course we still rocked Danzig's "Mother."

One of the highlights was when a guy named Adam came up to sing. Adam is a little guy who is in a wheelchair, and he requested Creedence Clearwater's "Travelin' Band." We truly hadn't played this song ever, but we worked it out quickly and Adam killed it on the vocals. It was a highlight of the night!

Not much else besides Tim Lincecum getting caught with weed. All of his starts will be at 4:20 next year (ba-zing!) Seriously, I could care less. Keep on pitching well and no one will care either.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Benefits of a Yankee Championship

The Yankees are champions once again. Mariano Rivera said that the others were special, but this championship is the best (I'm paraphrasing, of course.) While many people are grumbling in distaste about championship number 27 for the Bronx Bombers, let's think about the good things that can come from a Yankee championship.

  • It puts Red Sox fans back in their place - For awhile, Red Sox fans were starting to scare me. They broke "the curse" in 2004, which I found encouraging because as a Cubs fan, I'd like to think it can be done. When they won in 2007, I heard more than a few Sox fans say, "This one's ok, but it's not as good as 2004." They got one championship and all of sudden they're content. Well, this will once again stoke the fires of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, and puts the Red Sox and their Nation back in the passenger seat.
  • The Phillies don't win back-to-back titles - I don't run into too many Phillies fans, but stereotypical Phillie fan is really annoying. It's not ok to let Philadelphia win two championships in a row, so I think we can all be glad that a repeat didn't happen.
  • Joe Girardi can afford braces - Did you see those things? I didn't realize he had them until the post game show. I'm suprised he couldn't afford them back when he was a player. Next mission for Joe- teeth whitening.
  • Capitalism works again! - It may not always work, but it's nice to know if you spend the most money, that once every 9 years you can be the best.
  • It's ok to hate the Yankees again - Even I was soft on the Yankees last week. Now that they've won championship, it's completely ok to hate them again! I have a hard time hating a team that donates money to the charity of the MLB luxury tax when they don't win a championship. However, when they do, well, it's ON!
  • You can win without steroid use - Unless there's some new drug that no one knows about, or the Yankees players are dumber than Charlie Manuel sounds, I have to believe this is a clean championship. A-Rod can't be using. Neither can Petitte. I know Jeter wouldn't and Rivera has no need for performance enhancers. I can't see a scenario where steroids were involved with this team, which is a positive thing for baseball.
So good for the Yankees. I'm glad it's over so we can start focusing on the Winter Meetings and next year!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Christmas Carol- Really?

Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis has been in the biz for a long time. He's made classics like Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future trilogy, and Forrest Gump. Recently, however, he's fallen in love with 3D animation as his last two movies were the Polar Express and Beowulf and his upcoming A Christmas Carol follows right in line with those.

For being clearly expensive and "cutting edge" technology, these movies just look boring and dry. I don't know about you, but when I see the preview for A Christmas Carol I think, "I wouldn't see that movie even if Jim Carrey showed up to my house and personally asked me to go see it with him." There's just no way you can get me to buy into this crap (am I being Scrooge-like? Ironic, I suppose...)

I think the main problem is that Zemeckis has gotten so comfortable with this 3D imaging, that he's forgetting that a good story that is well executed is more important than any animation or CGI that money can buy. The best example is Beowulf. A story that is so good, that no one truly knows who wrote it because it's that old (there's debate about who the author is, but I don't believe anyone knows 100% who wrote it.) Obviously, we're looking at a classic tale that was passed down from long ago. However, I was bored out of my mind during that movie. To this day, it might be the worst movie I've seen with Mrs. B., and let's keep in mind that the first movie we ever saw together was Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween. Ouch.

After A Christmas Carol, Zemeckis is on to re-making Yellow Submarine. He's ruined a childhood classic (Polar Express), a classic legend (Beowulf), and a Charles Dickens' novel (A Christmas Carol.) Now he's going to ruin the Beatles??? If we could only send Mr. Stickland from Back to the Future on a hunt for Zemeckis- I know Strickland would love to rid the world of one more "slacker." Oh, and I'm talking about the gun-toting version of Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future II.

Hollywood will always make crappy movies, but I expect more from a filmmaker that has proven he can make good movies. Right now, it appears he's choosing not to.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

World Series Observations

To be completely honest, I've been casually watching the World Series (which was far better than the 5-10 minutes I spent watching last year's Fall Classic.) I must say, for better or worse, this year's Series has been very entertaining. There has been plenty of drama and plenty of intestinal fortitude on display. Here are some of the highlights thus far:

  • Chase Utley for MVP -Seriously. The Phillies could've lost last night and I could still see him as the MVP of the series. He's set the World Series record for home runs with five (tying Reggie Jackson's 1977 record) and he's absolutely proving that he's one of the most dangerous hitters in the game. 100% Grade A Savage.
  • Mariano Rivera is the best closer ever - I didn't need this year's Series to tell me that, but he proves it time and time again. I could also see him getting the MVP if he closes out Game 6 or 7. His 39 pitch, 2 inning save was undeniably great.
  • Ryan Howard is a flawed hitter - Really?! 11 strikeouts? Is Howard going to break the strikeout record for a World Series? Well, he's only one away, so yes, he is. He's horrible at hitting left handed pitching. It seems like Howard has been feasting off of average pitching and folds up against good/great competition. He's been wildly exposed in this series.
  • Johnny Damon is killing it - Just when you think this guy is irrelevant, he comes into a contract year and is nails. His steal of second and third in Game 4 was a great heads-up play and he's been coming through in the clutch over and over. It's impressive.
  • Giants fans still can't figure out how Pedro Feliz hit a clutch home run off Joba Chamberlain. Can any of you?
  • The Series gets even better tomorrow when Pedro Martinez takes the mound against his old buddies. Pedro vs. the Yankees does make the Series a bit more interesting, doesn't it?
Playoff baseball can be an amazing thing to watch, and so far this Series has not disappointed anyone. Hopefully there's more excitement to come.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

After a great show on Friday night at the Pyramid Walnut Creek (thanks to everyone who came out!) it was on to San Francisco for a night of drunken Halloween-ness. Since the Bay Bridge is closed based on its instability, we took BART to get into the city. We stayed at the Westin Hotel, which was very nice and fairly cheap.

Once we were settled in the hotel room, it was time to start getting ready. Luckily, I literally had to do nothing as I had the easiest costume of the night. We were Dharma Initiative workers from Lost. The extent of my costume was a beige jumpsuit and that's pretty much it. Mrs. B. had a simple enough costume, but she needed time to do her make up and hair. Here is the result:

It was a great costume for being comfortable, not having to take too much time to get ready, and it still stoked the fires of occasional Lost nerds that we ran into throughout the night. Here are the players for the rest of the night and what they were dressed as:

Sean - The chef from Ratatouille
Trish - Penguin
Kevin - Papa Bear w/ a blow-up Goldilocks in tow
Lydia - Mama Bear
Kat - Baby Bear
Woods - A Yak (though it was also possible that he was a Bull or a Viking)

Sean, Trish, Mrs. B. and I caught a cab out in front of our hotel. The cab driver didn't know where Woods' apartment was (yes, I gave him the address) so we ended up giving him a cross street that was still only half way there (our hotel was approximately a mile from Woods' place.)

So we paid the cab driver $6 to drive us about 3 blocks. Stupid, I know. But I was 7 drinks deep at this point, so I'm not sure how rational my plans were at this point. Sean forgot the alcohol bag, so he actually ran back to the hotel to get it (on foot.) Mrs. B. and I stayed put at a Starbucks.

The Starbucks closed a few minutes after we arrived, so we waited out on a corner. Two funny things happened at this point. One, a homeless guy eyeballed Mrs. B. and was none too subtle about it. "She lookin' good!" To which I agreed, but then I told him to move it along. I think he made another comment, but it didn't escalate too far.

The second funny thing was when a couple came walking by my right side. My back was turned to them, but the guy was curious as to what my jumpsuit said. He leaned around me to read the patch and name on my left side. I didn't notice that he was there. Just then a sneeze came over me, and since I didn't think anyone was there, I cocked my head to the right and sneezed into what I thought was the night sky. What really happened, was I sneezed directly in this guy's face who was a solid 10 inches from my sneeze. It was a facial! He just walked away without saying anything. The look on his face was priceless though!

We finally arrived at the party and it was really great. They had a lot to drink, some snacks out on the table, the World Series was on, they had a separate projector that was playing "The Shining" and they even had a photobooth for guests to take ridiculous pictures (here's to hoping they don't end up on Facebook...)

At this point, much of the night is hazy, so I'm not sure how to describe it, but I do know we eventually ended up back near our hotel, we ate at Mel's, then eventually passed out safely in our hotel room. Completely successful Halloween weekend!

Other things of interest:

- I hate Brett Favre.
- Bears beat the Browns. Who cares?
- Yankees win again, this series looks over.
- Colts resort to a trick play to beat the Niners.
- Tom Cable beat his former wife and girlfriend. Anyone shocked?