Friday, January 29, 2010

The Opposite of Preference

Initially, I was going to talk about plagiarism (accidental and purposeful) today because this was found yesterday: CLICK HERE. It is awfully similar to the post I put up 8 days previous: CLICK HERE. Now, as the second commenter mentioned (on the CBSSports.com post- which happened to have a link on the homepage), Bill Simmons apparently did something similar at the beginning of the playoffs. I haven't read Bill Simmons' stuff in quite sometime, so I have no idea if I ripped off his idea. Anyway, I don't know if these guys came across my blog and ripped the idea off, or if they are just as genius as I am and came up with it on their own. Feel free to check it out and draw your own conclusions.

Now- on to the daily topic: Andre Dawson is the man. "The Hawk" was recently voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and I'm pumped for him. I know that not everyone gets two of their favorite players from their childhood into the Hall of Fame (with a third on the way in Greg Maddux) so I couldn't be happier. What is interesting, though, is the Hall of Fame selecting Andre Dawson's Hall of Fame bust's hat instead of having him select it for himself.

Essentially, the Hall of Fame is going to immortalize Dawson as a Montreal Expo rather than his own preference of being a Chicago Cub. Players used to be able to select their own team until Wade Boggs was reportedly going to get paid loads of cash to select the Tampa Bay Devil Rays hat for his bust. Upon hearing that, the Hall of Fame stripped the players' ability to choose and mandated that they will choose for them instead.

And I do get that rationale to a certain degree. I mean, Wade Boggs was a legendary Red Sox player who ate chicken all the time and always had a batting average higher than Snoop Dogg's normal state of mind. Then Boggs went to play for Red Sox' bitter rival New York Yankees only to be on a World Series championship team and ride a horse around the stadium. It's obvious he was no stranger to trading out on his old team, so why not wear a Devil Rays cap in the Hall of Fame? I mean he did play for the Devil Rays for two whole seasons (though only a total of 213 games.) Hell, he played for the Yankees for 4 seasons and won a World Series with them. There's more of an argument for him to be a Yankee than a Devil Ray.

So, the Hall of Fame stepped in and immortalized Boggs as a Red Sox (or is it a Red Sock- what a stupid team name.) Andre Dawson is a completely different case, yet the Hall of Fame is stepping in on this situation as well. Dawson played 11 years in Montreal and was very good winning 6 gold gloves there and finishing second twice in the MVP voting. However, in his six years with the Cubs, Dawson won two more gold gloves and had a monster MVP season in 1987. "The Hawk" said his preference was to go into the Hall as a Cub. One would think, "Wow, this is pretty close, why don't we go with the inductees preference?" Yeah, why don't you?

The Hall committee explained that for historical purposes, they're going to put him in as an Expo. Since the club no longer exists, they want to have a few members in the Hall to represent the now defunct team. Awesome. I can't believe the Hall is concerned with memorializing a team that never won a championship and was completely annoying. Also, the best chance they ever had to winning a championship was 1994. What happened? Baseball went on strike! The season was truncated and there was no World Series. Is any of this Andre Dawson's fault (or Gary Carter's for that matter)? Nope. But the Hall won't respect Dawson's preference.

Here's a novel idea. Have a Montreal Expos exhibit and talk about all the great things they did while they existed. Here are a few things to include:

- Their stadium was basically asphalt with carpet over it. It ruined and shortened many players' careers by tearing up their knees- including Andre Dawson's.
- They once had Felipe Alou as their manager.
- Dave Dravecky's arm pretty much fell off while on the mound in Montreal.
- Tim Raines' nickname was "Rock."
- The Expos were named after the Expo 67 World's Fair. It is an even worse team name than any team name that ends with an "X." In fact, in the history of baseball, it is the worst team name ever.
- With players like Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, and Moises Alou, the Expos were so annoying to play. However, I do like the fact that the Cubs clinched the NL East on their home turf in 1989.

So as you can see, the Hall has plenty of reasons to force their decision on Andre Dawson. Why not immortalize a horrible franchise that couldn't stay in business?

I really believe the Hall should rethink their decision making process and at least take player's requests more seriously. We're going to run into this situation more and more with the increase in play movement due to free agency. They should start re-evaluating the whole process now to avoid mistakes like this in the future.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Video Melting Pot

First off, I had a very vivid dream last night that confused/amazed/frightened me. I didn't watch much in the way of sports last night, so my dream revolved around the fact that I just found out that LeBron James was traded to... wait for it... the Boston Celtics (yes, this was a completely unrealistic dream.) It felt so real. I was watching highlights of LeBron in a kelly-green jersey and I was so confused. Why would the Cavs trade King James? Why would they trade him to the Celtics? I literally was thinking of business scenarios of how to justify such a boldly stupid move.

Then I woke up and realized that the world hadn't gone crazy and LeBron was still with the Cavs. I mean, I'm no fan of the Cavs, but trading LeBron would definitely shatter my belief in a rational world. If he was traded, I'd probably think I was in The Matrix and just try to jump off a building because there's obviously no way we were in the real world.

Here is a hodge-podge of cool videos:

Tom Dwan wins the largest televised poker pot in history:



LOST fans are about to get really annoying- this is probably more true than I'd care to admit:



Final Season Of 'Lost' Promises To Make Fans More Annoying Than Ever

I saw this on Tosh.0 last night. It's a guy who deadlifts 300+ pounds, then has a problem afterward. Notice, he uses all back when lifting the weight- just like you're supposed to, right? Yikes.



Oh, and can we please put to rest all the "Hitler Finds Out About ____" videos. Yeah, the joke works in multiple situations. But I already know that Hilter feels the same way about the new iPad as he does about T.O. signing with the Buffalo Bills. The joke is old. Retire it. Hang it from the rafters. It was once funny, but now, not so much.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Money For Nothing?

In an odd move yesterday, the Oakland A's signed Ben Sheets to a 1 year/$10 million (+ incentives) deal. Sheets did not pitch last year and, while he's expected to be healthy at this point, has been injury prone his entire career. One might ask why the A's would make this signing, and the answer is pretty simple:

- If it works out, they think they have a chance at making the playoffs.
- If it doesn't work out, they will trade Sheets, save on the remainder of his salary, and gather prospects.
- If he plays the full year with them, they can offer him arbitration and receive draft pick(s) when he signs elsewhere.

Now, all of these scenarios don't include Sheets injuring himself in April and not being able to pitch the rest of the year. Oakland must feel that Sheets is quite healthy, otherwise, I have no idea why they would sign him.

On the other side of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, the Chicago Cubs sign Xavier Nady to a 1 year/$3.3 million (+ incentives) deal to theoretically give the Cubs more outfield depth. Nady played a whopping seven games with the Yankees last year before going under the knife for his second Tommy John surgery.

This signing is pending a physical, but I imagine Nady will be on the Cubs' roster this year. That creates an outfield of Soriano in Left, Marlon Byrd in Center, and Fukudome in Right, with Nady filling in as needed.

If all of these guys are healthy, I can see this being a decent outfield. The problem is that Nady his injury issues, Soriano slumped all of last season and is also injury prone, and the other two guys aren't exactly on my list of top outfielders.

My main point is that I wish I had a job where a company would pay me millions of dollars after I have been out for a year. I mean, it's already cool enough that they get to play baseball in front of thousands of people every night (well, at least hundreds since Sheets will be playing in Oakland.) But to get injured, be out for a year, and then return to a contract of $1 million, $3 million, or even $10 million is just amazing. I have a hard time believing many other companies would do something like that, but I suppose I could be wrong.

So good luck Sheets and Nady. My your brittle bodies make it through the season and bring some value to the teams that overpaid for you. Is it still too late to become a left handed pitcher? Ah yes, I'm right handed and haven't played organized baseball since age 12... Damn.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Prank Gone Wrong

Some of you might be familiar with the Prank War on CollegeHumor.com. If you haven't seen the prank where Streeter makes his friend Amir think he's made a half-court shot, then check it out here:

CLICK HERE (No embedding allowed on this video)

The basic deal is that Streeter brings his buddy to a Maryland basketball game, and during halftime, rigs it so he gets to shoot a half court shot for $500,000. That catch is that he's blindfolded. The crowd is in on the gag and regardless of result, they will cheer as if he made the shot. He misses, but believes he has just won $500,000. Then Streeter comes out and Amir realizes he's been pranked.

Anyway, some high school students attempted to copy this prank by offering their high school girls' basketball coach (and former Kansas player, Joel Branstrom) tickets to this year's Final Four. This prank doesn't work out quite as well...



Yes folks. Coach Branstrom sunk the half court shot. Nice prank, kids. Obviously, the didn't have Final Four tickets, so they got him a gift certificate to a Mexican restaurant. Totally weak. How in the world are you going to promise top college basketball action and one of the world's best sporting events, and instead, give the poor guy diarrhea? It doesn't seem fair.

Apparently, there have already been some offers of people who want to donate Final Four tickets to the coach, so he may get to go after all. Moral of the story: be careful when you prank someone because the joke may end up being on you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

I've got three things to talk about today-

1) I finally saw Avatar. While we were unable to make it out to an IMAX viewing, we did see it in 3D which was quite amazing. I'm used to watching 3D stuff with this paper glasses that have one lens of deep red and the other lens is blue. This was not the case at all for Avatar. The movie's colors were not distorted and the field of vision was amazing to watch. The movie itself was very good, despite the storyline feeling like it's been done before (Ferngully, anyone?)

A pretty funny sidenote: Spencer Hawes of the Sacramento Kings admitted he was cheering for the humans to win the final battle during Avatar. So let me get this straight, Spencer- you wanted the characters that were portrayed as money hungry and ruthless militarist a-holes to rape and pillage the foreign planet that they (the humans) had no real reason to be on in the first place? Are you planning on also mentioning that you were watching the History Channel World War II documentary series and that you had to admit that you were cheering for the Nazis to come out on top? Let's file this one in the "keep it to yourself since you are a professional athlete and not a blogger who can say whatever he wants."

2) The Colts and The Jets - I really enjoyed this game. I figured the Colts would win, but the Jets played a very good first half. It really made the dynamic of the game more interesting. Had the Jets got down early, the whole game would have been ruined. As it stood, it was 20-17 going into the 4th quarter, which helped to keep my attention. Peyton Manning (as annoying as he might be) proved why everyone thinks he is such a great QB. He was getting pressured early, yet made some adjustments (that includes his O-Line as well) and he looked much more comfortable in the second half. It was a well-played mental game where the better team won. For the record, I wanted the Colts to win this game, but in general, I hate them and hope they lose in dramatic (like Brett Favre-disaster) fashion.

3) The Saints and The Vikings - Now this was a great game! The Saints' defense took the Ivan Drago "If he dies, he dies" attitude into this game against Brett Favre and it wore him down to the point where he threw across his body for another crushing interception at the end of a NFC championship game. Look, the guy is obviously tough. He took some serious punishment and managed to stay in the game (at age 40!). But let's keep it real, it was his choice to comeback and that's part of the game. If you can't take the heat, then stay out of the place where it will be extremely hot. I hope Favre finally walks away, but knowing him, this loss could restart the exact scenario that brought him back two years ago. Seriously Brett, just retire. It was uncomfortable watching you get carried off the field and then FOX panning to your wife who looked like she was worried for your life. Walk away now, while you still can.

So, as predicted, we have a Colts/Saints Super Bowl. I can't wait to see what storylines develop and it should be a pretty good game. Why do we really have to wait 2 weeks for the Super Bowl? I know everyone needs to be healthy, but c'mon! It's way too long! (At least this isn't College Football, though...)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bathroom Ediquette and Brett Favre

I've been drinking a lot of water recently, I went to the restroom near my office yesterday to relieve myself (number 1.) Normally, it is completely peaceful in this particular bathroom because the outer doors to the building are normally locked so no passer-bys can come in to use it. However, they are doing some construction in the building, so there are construction workers wandering around doing work (hopefully.)

I walk into the restroom not expecting anyone to be in there. Unfortunately, my expectations were dashed immediately. I heard a rustle in the far left stall. I found this odd because out of my peripheral vision, I could see that all the stalls were open. To my extreme disappointment, a construction worker was using the stall (number 2- I could see his feet facing out) with the door wide open. Luckily, I did not have a straight line of sight in to accidentally scar my corneas permanently, but still, close the damn door!

I thought, "He had to have heard me come in- why wouldn't he just shut the stall?" Initially the door was completely open. Because of the way the door is set up, I'm assuming he moved his legs to close the door, however, he did not close it all the way. He left the door a quarter of the way open. It's not like these stalls are the most roomy stalls ever, he could have easily leaned forward and closed it completely, but I suppose that would be too much effort.

My next thought was (and this was mid-urination), "There's no way he's going to come out until I'm done. He's not going to want to show his face." How wrong I was.

I moved to flush the toilet and I hear his toilet flush simultaneously. Damn. I walk to the sink and try to wash my hands and escape before he walks over to the same area. I look in the mirror as the burly construction worker emerges. He makes eye contact with me and walks right out the bathroom door. The nasty dude did not wash his hands. Even better, he placed his newspaper on a bench right outside of the bathroom. How thoughtful! Someone can read your paper and get your fecal germs on them at the same time!

I looked directly to my right and saw a sign that says, "HAND WASHING PREVENTS DISEASE." Why yes it does, but this guy had no regard for combating disease whatsoever. Maybe he's trying to spread the swine flu. That seems like something Brett Favre would do. Speaking of Brett Favre...

Here are my predictions for the weekend:

Saints 38, Vikings 31

Colts 20, Jets 13

You'll get the Saints vs. the Colts in the "Archie Manning Bowl," which is much better than the "Brett Favre Bowl." I'd rather shake hands with the aforementioned construction worker than watch that crap.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

LOST Synched Up

In preparation for the Season 6 opener, watch this excellent video that puts together the timeline of the Oceanic 815 plane crash. This is very well made and even splices in the "24" counter:



Pretty sweet, eh?

K-Ci & JoJo Youtube Comments

You might be familiar with many of the internet sites that have the general public write witty comments or send in ridiculous photos and then the webmaster is the only person who profits from it. Great examples of these sites are:

FML.com

PeopleofWalMart.com

TextsFromLastNight.com

Well, I have stumbled upon one that really doesn't exist except on YouTube.com. My employee, Brian keeps mentioning that my Live Band Karaoke band needs to cover a K-Ci & Jo-Jo song- preferably "All My Life."

First I laughed at him. But then I thought about it, and realized maybe it's not a terrible idea. Being the savvy internet user that I am, I went to YouTube to remind myself how the song goes (I know, you're shocked it's not on my iPod- I have limits people.) Anyway, I began to read the comments below the video and it entertained me for quite awhile. In fact, I contend that the comments below this video are the funniest I've seen on YouTube- ever. See for yourself:

K-Ci & JoJo "All My Life"

Since I don't like sitting on the sidelines, I decided to get involved. Here is my comment complete with grammatical errors:



















You may have to click on it to see the whole thing. I'm urging everyone to go make a comment on the K-Ci & JoJo video. Try to rile up another YouTube user on the board. Say that you were cheated on and that this song makes you cry gallons of saline. Hell, say that you were a long time groupie and that JoJo gave you the clap. Whatever works for you.

All I know is that these comments are hilarious. Check them out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Jersey Shore vs. The NFL

If you're a reader here, you know that I love the NFL. However, I love other things, too. I love sweet house beats, fist pumping, and watching Jersey Shore. Well, at least one of those things is true.

In order to properly combine two great things, I decided to think about the NFL equivalent of each character on the Jersey Shore. It seems like a funny idea, and truthfully, my other idea was talking about my transaction at the Wendy's Drive Thru yesterday, so we're going to go this way for now.

Angelina = The LA Raiders - Angelina seemed promising at the beginning when she showed up with her stuff in plastic bags. She was pretty cute and was ready to take the Jersey Shore by storm (just like the Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII.) Unfortunately, Angelina missed out on her chance to become a huge (if not, mocked) celebrity because she was too hungover to go work a T-shirt shop?!? Really? She moved out and is currently in relative obscurity- just like the Raiders!

J-WOWW = The Carolina Panthers - J-WOWW just seems like she's a panther. On the prowl, ready to pounce and not afraid to climb all over a guy like he's a tree while grinding in the club. Like the NFL Panthers, J-WOWW always seems to be confusing as how good she'll be. Sometimes, she looks pretty good. Other times, she looks like the queen of the busted. It's like when NFL experts are ready to jump back on the Panthers bandwagon, but then Jake Delhomme fires off 5 picks for a destructive loss. The Panthers and J-WOWW are both hard to figure out.

The Situation = The New Orleans Saints - The Saints have traditionally been a team that couldn't get it done. However, with a new coach, a daily workout regiment, a recent confident swagger, pressed uniforms and a tanning bed, the Saints look like they could get it done this year. The Situation is clearly overcompensating for his past rejections, but his new celebrity could lead him to the promised land of "cool chicks." The Situation has things under control.

Snooki = The New York J-E-T-S - A stout defense that is begging for more national media to recognize them. Am I talking about Snooki or the Jets? How about both? Snooki took a punch in the mouth and was back on the prowl the next day. That's a tough girl- just like Rex Ryan's Jet defense. The Jets have been talking about how they've been "disrespected" and should be "getting more attention." If that doesn't scream Snooki then I don't know what does. Also, they play their home games in New Jersey, so that works too.

Pauly D = The Washington Redskins - This is purely based on Pauly's bronzed skin and slicked back hair looking similar to the Redskins' logo. Let's take a look:










A reach you say? Well, then maybe DJ Pauly D will drop a beat instead to make you fist pump and not worry about it. My second choice was the old Tampa Bay Bucs mascot.

Ronnie = The Baltimore Ravens - The way Ronnie is going, he's going to end up on trial for murder just like Ray Lewis. Ronnie is emotional and hard hitting much like the Ravens Defense. Also, much like the Ravens, his offense (in this case I'm referring to him backing down to Sammi on every argument) is inept. I mean, did he really have to apologize and cry about telling Sammi that she had a "Fred Flinstone big toe?" That seemed a bit unnecessary- just like the Ravens putting up 3 points against the Colts.

Sammi = The Indianapolis Colts - Since I made Ronnie the Ravens, I'll make Sammi the Colts. A sleek and sexy pick to go all the way, and one that can easily defeat the Ravens. However, when you inspect the team thoroughly, you realize that they're really, really, really annoying and you can't stand them. Yeah, I'm talking about both Sammi and Peyton Manning right now. I'd rather stab myself in the ears before hearing either one of them give a press conference.

Vinny = The Houston Texans - Vinny is the youngest in the house and he barely appeared during the first few episodes. The Texans are the youngest NFL franchise, but have improved recently and are currently very competitive. When they would roll the intro to the show I would wonder, "Who is this guy and why is he never on the show?" Recently, however, Vinny has been hilarious and has been gaining momentum. The Situation did commit a robbery by taking his girl (much like the Texans were robbed by the Jets of their playoff birth) but that's the way it goes when you live with a powerhouse like The Situation.

So there you go. Feel free to make your own suggestions about which teams I should have picked for each person. Fist pump!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Case of the Mondays: Tuesday Edition

I not only love Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message, I love the fact that I (and many other people who don't work for racist companies) got a three-day weekend this past weekend. Did I do great things with my extra time this weekend? Eh- no "I Have A Dream" speeches, but it was fun and fairly relaxing.

- I finally got around to watching "Land of the Lost" with Will Ferrell and Danny McBride. Danny McBride is literally the only funny aspect of the movie. It was an oddly paced movie with Will Ferrell playing a bumbling scientist that was more stupid and less funny. I suppose it is worth watching once, but overall, I was not impressed. Luckily, my copy of "The Hangover" came from an unnamed website that gives great discounts, but until they sponsor some ad space on this blog, they are not getting a mention! I'd obviously seen "The Hangover" before, but it was a nice antiseptic mouthwash for the halitosis that was "Land of the Lost."

- Another thing I finally got around to was cleaning the bathroom Saturday morning. I was joined by Mr. Clean, AJAX, and Windextor to create a spotless and organized bathroom. Worst part? Our fan in the bathroom is broken so the fumes helped turn the room into a gas chamber. I escaped before passing out- barely. It would have sucked if Mrs. B. came home to find me passed out in the bathtub with a bottle of Windex and me bloody and naked. Why naked? I have no idea, but that just seems funnier.

- After watching an entertaining start to the NFL playoff weekend (and I'm literally talking about the first quarter of the Saints/Cardinals game) it was downhill from there. I ended up skipping the second half of the Colts/Ravens game as we went to our friend's birthday party. It seems like that second half was totally boring and that my choice of drinking gin and playing Rock Band 2 was a much better decision. Spoonman! Come together with your hands! Save me! I'm together with your plan!

- I hate the Cowboys. But let's keep it real, I can easily express my level of hate for the Cowboys with this simple mathematical inequality:

[Editor's note: the original post was somehow corrupted, sorry for any typo confusion]

My levels of hate -->

Scabies < Nickelback < Cowboys < Vikings < Favre

Yes, I hate bugs that burrow under the skin less than Nickelback. Here is my list of like:

Levels of like-->

Gibson Guitars = Chicago Cubs = Chicago Bears < Getting Laid

I might be married, but sexual activity is still at the top of the list!

What the hell was my point? Oh, I hate the Cowboys, but I was definitely cheering for them over the Vikings and Favre. You can see clearly that I hate Favre and the Vikings more individually than I do the Cowboys. Put them together and it's not even a hard decision. Some people might think about cheering for a division rival of their favorite team in order to say, "Well, the NFC North (in this example) was tougher than the the NFC East this year." I'm here to say that those people are stupid. One must always cheer against their rival or risk getting their "True Sports Fan" card taken away like Liam Neeson's daughter in the movie "Taken" (yes, that means it would be sold into an underground sex slave ring and you would have to murder at least 50 dudes in order to get it back.) I was massively disappointed that Favre and the Vikings triumphed, but I'm hoping for them to take a beating by the Saints. Will Smith should not be afraid to go all "Wild, Wild West" or maybe "Bad Boys II" on Favre and give him a career ending hit. He's had enough time to make up his own mind about retirement, so feel free to not give him a choice after this week.

- The Chargers game was just a huge let down. I did not want to see the Jets advance any further. It's not a cute underdog story when the underdogs are cocky about winning games when the Chargers should have had at least 6 more points (and that should have been 9, Nate Kaeding, but I'm being nice about your inept kicking.) You know, I can give myself the itinerary to playing music at Madison Square Garden, but that doesn't mean it's automatically going to happen (Coach Rex Ryan gave the Jets players the schedule that goes all the way up to Super Bowl Sunday.) I can't believe I'm going to have to cheer for the Colts next week. Ugh. Best case scenario: Saints/Colts in the Super Bowl. Worst case scenario: Brett Favre vs. His Old Team. Ouch.

- 24 is back! So far, it seems promising. It was funny to see Jack Bauer try to get out of being involved, but of course, they have a show to put on so he was eventually roped in. If stopping terrorist plots were sexual exploits, then consider Jack Bauer Tiger Woods. He's addicted to torturing lowlifes for information and pushing the buttons of the incompetent people in charge of government agencies.

- Top three songs that found their way into my iPod over the weekend: Sponge "Plowed," Faith No More "Epic," and the Presidents of the United States of America "Lump."

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Jr. Day

Hey, folks- I have the day off today, so instead of writing about how bad my Sunday NFL predictions were, I'm going to leave you with the recent MacGruber sketch. It sucks if you have a racist employer that doesn't recognize today as a holiday, but then again, you probably get paid more than me (I'm talking about private vs. public institutions, yo!) Catch you here tomorrow:


Friday, January 15, 2010

Fox & Goose 1/14

My show last night went very well! It's interesting, as I play more shows, I've found that I've become much more dependent on cover songs. It's like a drug addiction where the musician becomes addicted to easily grabbing people's attention with songs they know, rather than pushing to get people interested in their own original songs. At least, this is the trap I've found myself in recently.

When I accepted the gig at the Fox & Goose in Sacramento I thought, "Great! An opportunity to play some original tunes!" I told myself that I'll play a lot of songs from my first album and from my upcoming second album and see what happens. It was odd, but I actually had to practice up on some of my original songs, which had never been the case before (I was always playing originals rather than covers- now I play tons of cover gigs. You gotta get paid and laid if you know what I'm sayin'!) This was not helped by my sore throat on Tuesday, which limited my practice time this week.

I wrote up a 16 song setlist comprised of only original songs. I dedicated myself to not stray from the list no matter what. As I started playing, I was a little self-conscious of the fact that I was playing so many original songs in a row, however, the people that were there seemed to like them, and I kept chugging along through the list.

A couple times, I would look at the next song on the list and think, "Um, I can probably skip this one." It was like being at the gym and thinking, "I can probably do sit-ups tomorrow" knowing full well there is no chance you will do sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts or any other kind of ab workout tomorrow. I powered through all of it, stuck to my original setlist and played all 16 songs in the order that I wrote out earlier in the day. In the end, it felt great to accomplish that. In fact, I should definitely make more of an effort to book at least a gig a month where original songs are accepted and encouraged. Obviously, gigs like that don't pay the bills as well, but I think it would help in the long run. Also, once the new record is in hand, I'm hoping to play a lot more gigs with a band where we play my own original tunes, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I'm quite pleased with how the show went, and thank you to everyone who came out. The support is much appreciated! Onward to the weekend and playoff football!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let's Try This Again

My playoff predictions were terrible last weekend. I gave into my hate for the Cowboys, my manlove for Tom Brady, and my assumption that the Packers would keep winning just to spite me. I doubt my predictions are any more lucid this weekend, but I will say 1-3 is probably good enough to make me an "expert" analyst on any given network.

I'll take a mulligan for last week and here are my picks this week:

Arizona @ New Orleans - This one is a tough pick. One would think it will be a track meet between these two teams probably resulting in a similar game to the Green Bay/Arizona game. I have no idea what to think of New Orleans since they were man-handled by the Cowboys, then got beat by the Bucs before tanking a game to the Panthers. However, I'm going to assume that Drew Brees can rally the troops and get it done. This is a scary prediction because we all know that Kurt Warner is God's favorite player. New Orleans 42, Arizona 31

Baltimore @ Indy - This ain't the fading New England Patriots that the Ravens are playing. I have to believe the Colts will throw up a solid win. That's not to say the Colts' offense won't be stunted to some degree by the Ravens staunch defense, but in the end I'm going with both #1 seeds to advance to their respective conference championship games. Indy 21, Baltimore 17

Dallas @ Minnesota - This one is so tough to pick. I hate both the teams. I hate both the quarterbacks. I hate both the coaches. Dallas seems to be on a hot streak and yet, at times, the Vikings have looked like the most balanced (read as: best) team in the NFL. In the end, I'm going to factor in two things: 1) the Vikings are in the Bears division and I hate them and 2) the Cowboys have a quarterback with an awesome first name. That settles it, I'm going with the Cowboys. Dallas 24, Minnesota 21

NY Jets @ San Diego - Playoff games in the "Whale's Vagina" are always fun. Remember the game that the Chargers should have beaten the Patriots if not for some very stupid decisions on the Chargers part? That was great TV! In regards to this match-up, everyone keeps talking about the Jets' defense as if it was the second coming of the total hysterectomy to birth control (ok, so that might have been an over the top comparison, but you get the point.) It's my feeling that the Jets don't have enough consistency as a team to advance any further. They were lucky to have played a Bengals team that was spent emotionally and truthfully, played a horrible schedule to get where they got (for example, had the Steelers beaten the Raiders, Chiefs, Bears, and Browns the Bengals would have been a wild card and lost anyway- the Bengals capitalized by beating those weak teams.) Anyway, I think Phillip Rivers has a solid (not huge) game and the Chargers "Electric Glide" all over the Jets. Chargers 27, Jets 17

We'll see how these predictions work out this week. I'm just hoping for a better weekend of football this weekend than last weekend. By the time the Cardinals were up on the Packers 17-0, I was ready to throw in the towel on watching horrible football games. Luckily that game turned around and ended up being exciting. Seriously though, let's have some competitive games and big hits (preferably in the Vikings/Cowboys game.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Ever Happened To... Mark Prior?

Back in the summer of 2003, I have to admit that the highlight for me was going to Wrigley Field and watching Mark Prior throw a 2-1 complete game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Watching him throw an absolutely masterful game was about as good as it could get for a Cubs fan- nay- even a baseball fan.

However, after a number of things going wrong (colliding with Marcus Giles on the basepaths, being overworked by Dusty Baker, hurting his ankle and then compensating with too much shoulder action, and even being loosely linked to steroids) Mark Prior hasn't pitched in the majors for many years now. Where has he gone? We know he was trying to rehab and pitch for his hometown San Diego Padres as of a year ago, but even they released him and let him walk away.

So where is the once phenom now? Here are my top predictions for where my former favorite MLB player is right now:

- On His Couch - I mean, he's a multi-millionare. The Cubs paid him $10 million as a signing bonus when he was drafted. If he wasn't able to keep that money around, he still stole $3-$4 million in 2005 and 2006 from the Cubs and he got an extra $1 million from the Padres in 2007 when he was rehabbing. I have to believe he has a home theatre with a nice couch where he can just relax and do nothing.

- At Church - I once saw Prior and his wife at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. Since nothing else has worked to heal his pitching arm, I have to believe he's putting his faith in the heavens above. Last ditch effort plan- sell soul to the devil for a new arm.

- Doing The Electric Glide With LT - Prior resides in San Diego, so why wouldn't he join local legend LT in some good ol' fashioned dance moves. If you haven't seen it, here it is in all its glory:



- He Crashed On "The Island"- On a flight back from Australia to LAX, Prior's plane crashed on a mystical island with Polar Bears, Smoke Monsters, and plenty of sexual tension. Hopefully for his sake there is time travel as well because that might be the only chance of him regaining his career.

And the winner is...

- Mark Prior is in a Pumpkin Patch!




























Hopefully he gets done picking out pumpkins to carve, so he can get his baseball career back on track. Honestly, I don't have much hope of that happening, but I do miss watching him pitch.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nine Inch Nails 2005


















I don't talk about work all that often in this blog, and for good reason. Most of what I talk about only pertains to either my music career, my sports fan-ness, my personal opinions, or stuff that I joke about. This story combines my work with music so we'll dive in a little bit in the 8-5 grind.

This particular day, was not an 8-5 schedule- it was more like 8am-11pm. You see, I work as a the manager of a ticket office and on this day, we were doing the ticketing for an already sold out Nine Inch Nails show. Now, there is not as much to do when a show sells out, though there was still will call and guest list passes to take care of. In fact, sold out shows are great, but they do bring the tension level up a few notches for the people attending (most of the time this is due to people building the night up in their head as the perfect night only to have their high expectations ruined when they can't get the perfect spot on the floor or something else of small significance that gets blown out of proportion in their mind.)

Now, this particular show was essentially one of three warm-up shows that Nine Inch Nails was doing on the West Coast before they went on a national tour (and this was after being on hiatus for six years or so.) I was very excited as I had never seen them live and they were one of my favorite bands growing up (I was a good kid but I had to rebel somehow, right?)

Usually bands soundcheck around 4 or 5 when they are playing an 8pm show, so I was determined to check it out. From my office I heard the first chords go off and ran into the hall. Now, the venue I'm talking about has a wall of bleachers blocking anyone from seeing the stage when they first walk in to the main hall. You have to go around the bleachers in order to get a good look at the stage. I have to be honest, I was a little nervous because there were not many people in the hall (read as: it was basically empty) so I didn't want to show myself as an obvious lookie-loo and make the band angry. I walked just to the left of the bleachers and watched Nine Inch Nails soundcheck to an empty hall.

I saw four songs. "The Wretched" (which included "The Frail" intro), "The Fragile," "The Day The World Went Away," and last was "The Big Comedown." Now, "The Big Comedown" is one awesomely rocking song. Trent Reznor turned to the rest of the band right before they played the song and said, "Let's rock the f*** out of this!" And they did. I couldn't believe I was lucky enough to see it. They were definitely giving full effort and you could see they were hungry as a band.

Soon after finishing this song, a concessions lady who was carting supplies from behind stage to the back of the hall told me (and my friend and then assistant manager, Sean) that the band was getting pissed off that we back there watching. We immediately left. There was no reason to piss them off any further- especially after seeing four songs that might as well have been a private concert for us.

I must say, it was still one of the coolest things I've seen live. I suppose working at concerts and playing music often tends to dull my excitement when it comes to watching concerts. This moment, however, did not disappoint.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

Well, that was a weird weekend. I had a show and worked out both days, but I still felt wildly unproductive. No idea how that works, but let's get on with the Monday blog entry anyway:

- So the last playoff game of the weekend was very good. But let's be honest, the overall weekend of NFL games was pretty terrible. Seriously. My predictions were horrible (though, I'm delighted that the Packers ended up losing in such crushing fashion- I can almost taste the tears of the Green Bay faithful.) Let's just hope next week's slate of games lives up to the hype.

- On Saturday night I witnessed a car accident. Mrs. B. and I were going to get yogurt at Mochii in downtown Sacramento. The block was pretty busy, but we saw someone pulling out of their spot so I threw on my blinker and waited patiently. Unfortunately, the car behind me decided to be the opposite of patient. They came up on me quite quickly, and I'm not sure they understood that putting my blinker on is the universal sign for "I'm waiting to take this parking spot." So they zoomed around me on my right (it was a one way street and I was on the left side of the street.) This would have been ok if they didn't decided to cut me back off. Obviously, he crashed into the car that was pulling out of the space. Mrs. B. and I were stunned for a second, then we took the spot and got out to talk to the people who had pulled out of the spot. I gave them my name and number in case they needed a witness for insurance purposes. Yogurt outing ruined.

- I am right now listening to a rough mix of my new album. It sounds pretty damn good. I am a little self conscious with a couple parts of the album, but overall I'm very excited to get it out officially. I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more about the record in the coming weeks because the updates will be happening here.

- I enjoyed this skit from the Charles Barkley SNL:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Live Band Karaoke

I was up until the early morning hours last night because our Live Band Karaoke band played at the G St Pub in Davis. It was by far our best show as a band. The place was packed, people were singing, drinking, and dancing a ton. I've never seen the dance floor so crowded at the Pub.

On top of that, we have been practicing more, but hadn't totally seen results until last night. Last month, we worked on a bunch of songs, and no one requested them, so we stumbled through some of the less practiced train wrecks and didn't feel great about it. Last night was a different story. We smoked some of our new songs ("Light My Fire," "Billie Jean," and even busted out a "Hey Ya" which we really hadn't practiced.) It felt really good to play in a band that knew what it was doing. We were much more confident (and coherent.) Oh, and G$, we played Danzig "Mother" last night and I literally thought during it- "I bet G$ would sing better than this dude." Who knows if I'm right, but the challenge is out there if you make it back West.

So, to be honest, 4 hours of sleep is not good enough for me to write a decent blog, so this is going to have to be a mail in post, but remember- I'm playing Saturday night (tomorrow):

1/9 Boxing Donkey, Roseville, CA - 300 Lincoln

1/14 Fox & Goose, Sacramento, CA - 1001 R St

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quick Picks

I don't have much inspiration for today, so let's look at some amusing things that don't need full posts:

- Gilbert Arenas is suspended indefinitely from NBA action: Good. I'm fairly certain most people would lose their job if they brought a gun to work, let alone brandishing it (joking or not) to get a gambling debt from a co-worker. Arenas might need to find a line of work- I imagine his skill-set and references would lead him to be a bookie or a nihilist (not a real nihilist- more like the ones from "Big Lebowski.") All I know is that Washington needs to have a retro-night soon- wear those Washington Bullets jerseys with pride.

- Ochocinco's Rehab: Apparently he said that he tested his injured knee not with conventional tests, but by having sex to see if it would hold up. After the NY Post ran the story, he now says he was joking. I've got to believe the truth is somewhere in the middle, not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things. I do wonder if Chad's thirst for attention gets in the way of his drive to win football games, but I guess will find out this weekend.

- Roberto Alomar was not inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: For as great a career as he had, Alomar's spitting incident seemed to keep him from being a first-ballot HOFer. He'll have to wait until next where he will most certainly get in. It's weird how voters seem to relish in making people wait for years until they finally vote them in. I guess numbers can look differently depending on the landscape of the game at the time (currently steroids are affecting numbers and legacys) but either they are or aren't a Hall of Famer. A quick look at a stat sheet and an eye test should be easy enough to figure out if someone belongs in or not. But I suppose my opinion means nothing because I'm not a voter.

- Lost is almost back: Less than a month now... I'm ready to put Lost back in my crack-TV pipe and smoke it! I don't know if that was the approriate metaphor, but who cares? It's about time for this thing to get rolling. The one thing I'm not looking forward to- Lost ending. After it's gone I'm going to have to find a new show to obsess over. Or I guess I could just be a more productive human... Nah- that would never work.

- I finally watched the new Star Trek movie: It was good. The problem is the quality of the Star Trek movie was definitely better than the Star Wars prequel triology, and yet, I'd still probably rather watch Episodes I-III. How can this be? Well, let's keep it real, Star Trek is not now, nor could it ever be, as cool as Star Wars. "Beaming people up" is cool and all, but lightsabers will always be better. Time travel is ok, but compare that to using the force or becoming a blue glowy ghost and we know who the winner is. If you like Sci-Fi stuff, definitely check out the new Star Trek, but realize that the brand is just inferior to Star Wars- and it will always be that way.

- Live Band Karaoke Tonight! G St Pub in Davis at 10pm. Come sing your favorite song that we can play!

- Also, I'm playing Saturday at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville. If you missed out on New Year's Eve, it's now your chance to make up for that. 9:30pm-12:30-ish.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

THE HAWK IS IN!




























Cubs' legend Andre Dawson was just inducted into the Hall of Fame. That is awesome. "The Hawk" had one of the most demolishing swings of all time. He played the game hard and overcame serious knee problems to become a Hall of Famer.

Congrats Hawk- you're the man!

(Now we'll have to figure out if Mark Grace can get in as well...)

I Watched Wrestling On Monday?





















Back when I was younger, and again when I was in high school and college, I enjoyed me some Wrestling. I'm not talking about the version practiced by Will Ferrell's character from "The Ladies Man" who was a "Greco-Roman Master"- I'm talking about "real" Wrestling. You know, the one that involves intrigue, prestige, and the most exciting athletes in sports entertainment. I mostly watched WWF (now the WWE) but that's not to say I didn't catch my fair share of WCW (now defunct.)

Well, on Monday there were two Wrestling shows worth watching. Monday Night Raw featured the return of Bret "The Hitman" Hart to the WWE ring. This was truly amazing because, as G$ mentioned in his post today, Bret was screwed over by Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon in 1997 in an event that is now referred to as the "Montreal Screwjob." (side note: G$ also put this link up, and it is hilarious that the Montreal Screwjob has its own Wikipedia page.) Seeing Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart bury the hatchet was quite cathartic. The audience thought they'd get the same thing from Mr. McMahon and Bret, but in true Vince fashion, he raised Bret Hart's hand in victory to all four sides of the ring, then kicked Bret in the balls. Classic! Bret Hart's contract is for four months so they obviously are going to start some sort of rivalry between him and Vince on the show.

On WWE's rival show, TNA, they had the arrival of another legend- Hulk Hogan. Hogan showed up with Eric Bishoff to shake things up. It was fun to watch Hogan, Bishoff, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, X-Pac (whatever his real name is?), and others wreak havoc during the TNA Monday night show. They obviously were trying to take on WWE's Bret Hart appearance and they did a good job competing. They brought out Jeff Jarrett to get lectured by Hulk. They brought out Ric Flair who was lurking about. Mick Foley was causing a scene. The Nasty Boys made an appearance. It was quite a nostalgic show. In fact, my one complaint, if I was a loyal viewer of TNA, would be "where are all the guys that brought this brand to this point?" The normal mainstays that TNA developed seemed to be a sideshow compared to bringing back legends of the ring to make appearances.

The best match I watched out of all of them was the main event on TNA. Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles was awesome. Those two guys kicked each others' asses all over the ring and then some. It was crazy. In the end, AJ Styles beat Angle fair and square and retained his title. It was quite a match.

While I doubt I'm going to keep watching, or go back to my former tradition of getting a Carl's Jr. Bacon Swiss every Thursday to watch Smackdown (I guess I couldn't do that anyway because Smackdown is now on Fridays), I did enjoy watching wrestling on Monday night to see a legend welcomed back to WWE, and another legend put his stamp on TNA. Good stuff, brother.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NFL Playoff Predictions: Wild Card Weekend

The NFL is a strange game. As soon as you think you've figured it out, weird upsets will happen or teams will tank games to rest players and everything gets thrown out the window. This week, 3 of the 4 games are re-matches from last week. Yet, I'm not sure how much those games mattered in the grand scheme of the playoff picture. Here's how I see it breaking down:

Saturday-

NY Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals - In an odd scheduling move, the NFL is making the first playoff game a rematch of the last regular season game. In addition, I don't understand why you wouldn't play both AFC games on one day (Saturday, for example) and both NFC games on the other (Sunday, in this scenario.) Then neither team would have an extra day of rest for their game the following week. Anyway, I'm not exactly sure how to go with this game. The Jets defense is obviously very good, and they demolished the Bengals on Sunday night. However, the Bengals definitely gave up on that game very early on (maybe as early as Chad Ochocinco hurting himself in warm-ups) and I can't imagine that will happen again. Also, Cedric Benson didn't play which drastically changes the Bengals' offense (yes, that sentence hurt to type as a Bears fan.) After doing diligent research (pause... NOT) I'm going with the Jets in a closer game- Jets 23, Bengals 20.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys - Another match-up from last week, though this is the one that I look at to go differently. True, the Cowboys have been playing much better. Their defense has dominated and Tony Romo is beginning to look like a very good quarterback. However, I can easily see the Cowboys not staying focused after throttling the Eagles last week. The Eagles know how to get it done in January. We've seen it over and over and over. I have a feeling Andy Reid will do a better job teaching his team how to deal with last week's loss than he taught his kids to say no to drugs. Eagles win- Eagles 27, Cowboys 21.

Sunday-

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patroits - How will the loss of Wes Welker affect the Patroits? Probably a little, but I'm not willing to throw the towel in on the Patroits just yet. I am skeptical of the way the Patroits have played all year, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt here. Plus, I'm not sure the Ravens have enough of a passing game to attack the Patroits' weakness in the secondary. Patroits 17, Ravens 16.

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals - Being a Bears fan, I hate the Packers. Even in a poor season, I love when the Bears beat the Packers (didn't happen this year...) However, as a football fan, I can recongize when a team is on a roll, and the Packers might be the most dangerous team playing in the Wild Card weekend. Their 33-7 thrashing of the Cardinals was a preview into this week's game. It might not be quite so pronounced, but Aaron Rodgers has been impressive and the Packers' defense has been even better. Packers 31, Cardinals 17.

Now that it's down to the Playoffs, I won't be shocked by anything. I mean, the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl last year! If that doesn't scream "Anything can happen" I don't know what would. I know it will be entertaining and I can't wait for it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Case of the Mondays: 2010

It's the first Monday of 2010. I'm back to work, and I couldn't be less excited. I've enjoyed leisurely burning days away by playing Mario Kart Wii, watching college of pro football, playing music, or watching Lord of the Rings on TNT. But now it's time look back at the break that was:

- I still haven't seen Avatar. We're going to try to get to an IMAX 3D showing, but they keep selling out. Anyone seen it? Is it worth this much trouble?

- Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears provide me the best fan experience of the season with their win against the Vikings last Monday. This goes squarely in the category of "Too Little, Too Late" and disappoints Bears fans even further to see what happens when the team actually plays well. Did you know, Jay Cutler threw for 8 touchdowns and 1 interception in his last two games combined? Hopefully he can carry that momentum into next year.

- New Year's Eve was fun. I played a show at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville and I'm proud to report that no women were punched in the face during the time I was there. In fact, it was relatively packed and the crowd was pretty good about singing along and having a good time, in general. I had never played on New Year's Eve before because I figured it would be a mess, but this experience has changed my perception of the night (to some degree- however, it is still quite an amateur night for drinkers.)

- I managed to get the gym many times during the break, so I guess I was productive in that regard. The best part was that I never ran into anyone weird at the gym. Everyone was on the best behavior and not having any 'roid rage episodes.

- The Cubs signed Marlon Byrd. Another ex-Ranger with the initials "M.B." to play the outfield in Wrigley? Yikes.

- That Sunday Night Game was awful. How in the hell did the NFL scheduling people manage to create three re-matches next week of three blow out games (Cowboys/Eagles, Packers/Cardinals, Jets/Bengals)? At least one of the results from yesterday will be different next week but we'll get to that tomorrow.

Until then, Happy New Year...