Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Madness

I had band practice for the majority of the night last night, and I have a massively busy day today with work, packing, a show in Roseville at the Boxing Donkey (no cover- come out!), and then I'm driving from there to South Lake Tahoe for my friend's wedding tomorrow. I've been trying to think of something to talk about, but today is just one of those days that would forced and I'd probably end up frustrating myself and anyone who happens upon this blog.

Have a great weekend, I'm hoping to bring back an awesome Craps story. At the very least, I'm hoping to NOT run into Ben Roethlisberger at Harrah's because we all know what he does in that place- and it ain't good.

PS: This is a pretty COOL STORY.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thank You Cards























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

Dear Fantasy Baseball,

Thank you for putting me in check so quickly. I might have written a similar note to you in the past, but after scoring the most points in the league last week to move to a 2-1 record, my excitement was immediately squashed when all of my active players (save Matt Holliday who went 0-3 with a Run) scored negative points on Tuesday. I have never seen such an impressive display of inept hitting and pitching (yeah, I'm looking at you, Ben Sheets). You have taught me not to get excited about anything, ever. That excitement might have jinxed the team for the week.

Sincerely,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Jeff Ireland,

Thank you for asking the tough questions during pre-draft interviews. I know that your make or break decision of whether or not to draft Dez Bryant hinged on the possibility that his mother is a prostitute. For a team that just rewarded Brandon Marshall's antics and still employs Ricky Williams, it's good to see that you are only signing moral pillars of the community. Great job bud!

Best of luck,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Scrabble,

Thank you for recently changing the rules to include proper nouns as legal words to use in the game. This will give less intelligent people a better chance of winning and will provide more fights about whether or not a particular word is legal. Note to possible future competitors: if you can play the name of the erupting Icelandic volcano (Eyjafjallajökull) then I will concede the match to you immediately.

Enthusiastically,
Tony B.

----------

Dear California,

Thank you for lacking the motivation and drive to send back the Census. I mean, it's not like it matters if we lose Congressional seats because people are too lazy to send back the easiest 10 question test one could possibly take. They even made a pseudo-rap song to encourage you to "mail it back!" Lest you forget, here it is:



Ok, so it's a horrible song that probably did cause people to not mail it back out of spite, but seriously, let's not lose any Congressional seats or possible tax dollars over laziness. That's just stupid!

Embarrassed,
Tony B.

-----------

Dear Terry Crews,

Thank you for always making random appearances in movies or Old Spice commercials that involves you either yelling, dancing, singing, flexing, or intensely talking. While your persuasive yelling hasn't gotten me to buy Old Spice body wash, it is pretty impressive that you can gyrate your pecs just like Super Macho Man from Mike Tyson's Punch Out!



Over and out,
Tony B.

----------

Dear THIS GUY,

Thank you for helping me lose all faith in humanity. Not only is the graphic ridiculous, the Confederate flag outdated, and the license plate apparently has racist code in it- you also parked in a handicapped spot! Ridiculous!

Disgusted,
Tony B.

That's all for today. Have an above average Thursday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

LOST: Week Off

There is no new episode of LOST this week, and despite my mild panic attack, I'm doing ok. Only five total hours left in the show, and honestly, I have no idea how it's going to end. Will it all be a dream? Will we literally find out where the island is between Heaven and Hell? Is it a purgatory type place, and if so, what the hell are commercial airlines doing plotting a course over it?

So instead, let's combine my love of LOST with my love of baseball and field a team:

1. Miles Straume - RF - Maybe it's because he's slick and talks to dead people, or maybe he's just Asian like Ichiro, but Miles is hitting leadoff for me. Considering the amount of times he's narrowly escaped sure fire death traps (the Incident, and the Smoke Monster in the Temple to name a couple) I have to imagine he's wily enough to steal a few bags for the team.

2. Jack Shepherd - SS - I'm pretty sure Matthew Fox played WR in college, which leads me to believe he'd be another decent table setter who is also athletic enough to handle short. Think of him as my Derek Jeter. A born leader who occasionally allows others to have the limelight, but everyone really knows who the real leader and star of the team is.

3. Sayid Jarrah - 1B - Sayid is a torturer. He will find your inner most fears and inflict pain upon you- just like Albert Pujols. As a Cubs fan, and can say I've taken my fair share of punishment inflicted by Fat Albert, and I'm pretty sure it feels similar to the pain Sayid's victims experience.

4. James "Sawyer" Ford - 3B - Sawyer is hitting clean up for me. He seems like the kind of guy who will come up in the clutch, psych other teams out, and pretty much use any tactic necessary to gain an advantage. I'm fairly certain he would walk across Dallas Braden's mound as well.

5. John Locke - LF - Ok, obviously we're talking about him "on island" because, while I am all for equal opportunity, I don't believe a guy in a wheelchair is going to be fielding very well in Left Field (well, unless we get Joe from Family Guy who plays a mean infield as well.) John will be right at him in the lush green outfields, and it will be his "destiny" to take as much HGH as possible and break home run records.

6. Kate Austen - CF - Kate is a badass tracker who loves to "run." I'm banking on her "running down" some long fly balls to sure up the defensive outfield. I'm hoping that she's up for hitting line drives or laying down a sacrifice ever so often. She is a beard-less Johnny Damon with a much nicer rack.

7. Michael Dawson - 2B - I'm going out on a limb on this one. I like Michael's commitment (i.e. he'll shoot two innocent women if they get in the way) but if his fielding breaks down to him yelling, "WAAAAAAAALT!" then our team is screwed. C'mon Mike- keep your head in the game!

8. Hugo "Hurley" Reyes - C - Pudge Reyes might be double the size of Bengie Molina, but I think he'll bring a calming presence to the team, and by default might truck someone trying to score at home plate (which would be awesome.) I won't expect much from him offensively, but as long as he keeps the team light-hearted and motivated, I think he'll succeed in this position.

9. Martin Keamy - SP - Look, I know what you're thinking- "This guy murdered Alex, and blew up the freighter- what is he doing on your team?" This guy is crazy in the head, will not take crap from anyone, and might take the phrase "he has a rocket arm" literally. It's this kind of crazy that's going to win us ballgames. As long as he doesn't try to shake down Sayid's brother during the game, we'll be fine.

BENCH (Quick rundown)

Charlie Pace - No drug addict is going to be effective (or legally playing.) Kick the habit and we'll talk.

Desmond Hume - Love his heart, but he keeps losing concentration and thinking he's somewhere else. He's only good for a pinch hit here and there.

Sun and Jin - Still trying to work out a deal with their Korean team... we'll see if we can sign them without Sun's father trying to murder the entire executive team.

Charles Widmore - This fool drops bombs! He's in!

SETUP PITCHER - Ana Lucia. I don't know why, but I just have a feeling that she would not allow any runs to score. If they came close, she'd find them in a dark alley and kill them.

CLOSER - Mr. Eko. If this guy isn't going to be a power hitter for me, then let him be the closer. He'll close the door on not most, but ALL games. Note to manager: remind Mr. Eko NOT to bring machetes to the mound.

MANAGER - Jacob (duh?)

Opposing Manager - The Man In Black (unfortunately he's left with Ben Linus, Mr. Friendly, Claire, Rose and Bernard, Richard, and Phil from Dharma security to make up his team. Good luck broseph!)

So there you go, that's my line up. This is what happens when LOST isn't on... God help this blog after the show is over.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Pretty Crappy Story

Yesterday I mentioned that Mrs. B. and I went to the restaurant Bandera, then saw "Kick-Ass." Well this is the filthy continuation to that story. Feel free to share your own experiences in the comment section.

Near the end of the movie, Mrs. B. was coming down with a borderline migraine headache. It was not good. She enjoyed the movie, but by the end, she was spent because this headache was coming on strong. We left the theater quickly and got into my car. She reclined the seat and wanted the radio turned down. I felt bad for her, and yet I also was getting awfully bored by driving in silence.

So I lazily drove home at midnight, in silence, and we had gone to a movie theater that was a little farther away from our house than the one we usual go to, making this drive that much longer (read as: probably an extra six minutes.)

After a few minutes, I felt a little rumble in my stomach. I didn't feel any stomach cramps or even that a bathroom break would be somewhere in my near future. I thought to myself, "Hmmmmm... looks like a fart is coming- no big deal." So I flexed my stomach to let the fart come out, and low and behold- it felt like I crapped my pants a little.

"You gotta be kidding me," I said aloud.
"What's wrong?" Mrs. B. said quietly.
"I don't want to talk about it," I said in a slightly embarrassed tone.

To Mrs. B.'s credit, she is a mind reader. I'm certain she specializes in mostly just my mind, but it's possible she's a clairvoyant. Out of nowhere, she asked, "Did you shit your pants?"

I was stunned- how could she possibly know? I have never crapped my pants before and I couldn't smell anything (and I didn't think that it would be much even if it had happened.) Sheepishly replying like I was Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, I said, "Yeah, I think so..."

She just started laughing. I suppose slight relief for the headache was good, but laughing at my crapping my pants- pretty damn funny. At that very moment, we hit traffic. There was an accident three exits before ours, and it slowed traffic up quite a bit.

Just so we're clear on the situation- it's midnight, Mrs. B. has a migraine, I just think I crapped my pants, and we're in stop and go traffic just miles away from the freeway exit that we need to get off at. Only one word can describe this situation: shitty.

There is a happy ending though! Upon arriving home, Mrs. B. was able to go to sleep and her headache was gone in the morning. I went to the bathroom to check the damage, and I, in fact, did NOT crap my pants! It was a glorious win for me, my pants, my bowels, and possibly my car driver seat. And the moral of the story? I could probably crap my pants, and Mrs. B. would laugh it off and love me anyway- and that's a pretty great feeling.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

Nothing like a Cubs' sweep over the division rival Brewers to get me back into baseball season! I didn't think this move of Carlos Zambrano into the bullpen was a great idea, but now I'm thinking it might just be crazy enough to work- especially if the Cubs' starting pitching continues to pitch the way it has. It's great to have Ted Lilly back in the rotation. He knows what he's doing. With the Nationals coming in to the Friendly Confines today, let's hope the Cubs continue their trend upwards.

Friday night took Mrs. B. and I to Bandera. I had never been there, and Mrs. B. had been wanting to go there for quite some time. I decided that Friday night was the night to get it done. She kept telling me, "It's a pretty nice place." Considering that it's in a shopping center with a parking lot that connects to a gas station, how nice could it legitimately be? The answer- really frickin' nice [read as: expensive.]

We had a 25-30 minute wait, so we went to the bar to order drinks. She got a Mai Tai and I got a 7 & 7. Total was $17.40. I left the remaining $2.60 as a tip to make one round of drinks an even $20. It was like buying beer at a sporting event [again, read as: expensive.] However, I decided to take Mrs. B. out, so I was going to roll with it and not be bothered by cost. You can't really enjoy the whole experience if the dollars and cents are bothering you.

We were seated and we started with an order of their house made cornbread. This stuff is unreal. They clearly put jalapenos in there somewhere, and there was a soft, yet crunchy crust on the top. It was served in a deep dish pizza pan. Solid.

Next up were the main courses. I ordered their Chicken Enchiladas which came with rice and a Mexican Cucumber Salad. Mrs. B. ordered a Thai Chicken Salad. Both were delicious, however Mrs. B.'s salad was awfully spicy. She continued to eat it because it tasted good, but after awhile she was visibly having a tough time with the spiciness. The waitress came over to see how we were doing, and it was obvious that the dish was too spicy and, despite Mrs. B.'s best efforts, was overpowering. The waitress immediately told the cooking staff, and they actually took the salad off the bill. This unbelievable customer service. We really didn't complain, but they went over and above what was necessary, and that spoke volumes about what kind of restaurant they are running over there.

Long story short, the expensive meal ended up being quite manageable which was nice. I do recommend Bandera as a nice night out though.

Since we had some extra savings from dinner, we went to see "Kick-Ass" afterward. The movie was pretty damn good. I had seen good reviews, but I had also seen that it was under-performing at the box office. With relatively no expectations, Mrs. B. and I enjoyed the movie a lot. As far as overly gory comic book movies go, this one is definitely a fun time at the theaters. The best character, by a mile, is Hit-Girl who is played by some 13 year-old whose name I don't really feel like googling. If you like comic book movies, definitely check this out.

Saturday, Mrs. B. and I traveled back to my Mom's house for my brother's graduation party. Nice work, Tim! I had a great time, and while I would've preferred a different keg than Coors Light, I actually put on a decent display of drinking from 4pm until midnight. A group of us went to downtown Walnut Creek where Mrs. B. and I immediately felt bored and realized that we were too old to be hanging out at Crogan's (or maybe that it's not quite as fun it wants people to think it is.)

On Sunday, we made our way back to Sac-Town. As an Easter present, Mrs. B. had got me a massage which was scheduled for 6pm. It was at Mellow Me Out and it was just what the doctor ordered. Well, to be honest, the doctor ordered Physical Therapy, but since I was recently diagnosed with a bulging disc in my L5 vertebra the massage was quite helpful. I'm a little sore, but I definitely feel loosened up. I wish I had the cash to get regular massages- now that would be awesome.

That pretty much sums up my weekend. It was quite busy, but fairly productive (if going to the movies and drinking for 8 hours is productive- I say it is.) What's that, no NFL draft coverage? Yeah, I honestly have no idea who the hell any of the Bears' picks are (except that they needlessly drafted that QB from CMU, thanks for giving the media something to talk about in regards to the Bears' lack of confidence in Jay Cutler.)

See ya tomorrow...

Friday, April 23, 2010

LBK and NFL

With Live Band Karaoke happening last night, there really isn't much I have to talk about. The night was pretty uneventful, decently fun (from my perspective, it looked like people were having too much fun), and just another good night for our little operation.

The NFL Draft was pretty interesting last night. I'm not sure if I'm sold on the Thursday night move, but it did seem to add wrinkles to the whole thing. It looks like the Niners went with some pretty solid picks to beef up their O-Line and the Bears stunned everyone by not making a bad pick in the entire first round. Highly unusual for them.

So which is better? ESPN or NFL Network's coverage? I'm going to go with NFL Network, but barely. This Mike Mayock guy is LAME with his horrible side comments. Unfortunately for ESPN, no one is as awful as Chris "Burning Man" Berman (see Chris, punning nicknames aren't cool- that was the dumbest thing I've ever written on this blog, but it was to prove that point.) The best thing I saw on their coverage was after the draft was over, Chris Berman mentioned that no one had picked Sergio Kindle, but instead he said, "No one picked Kindle, do you guys have a Kindle?" Tom Jackson let out a huge, annoyed sigh and said, "No. Uh, yeah. I have one. I mean, we have two of those." It was like he couldn't take it anymore and his brain checked out. After years of Berman-isms, TJ couldn't take it any longer.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the rest of the draft.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thank You Cards























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

Dear Cat Hair,

Thank you for sticking to every single piece of clothing I own. Any article of clothing could be washed, dried, dry cleaned, pressed, and immediately sealed in plastic and it wouldn't make a different. You will find a way to cling to whatever I wear. Your resiliency is matched by only the most competitive high class athletes... and Ben Roethlisberger when he's looking to have sexual relations (consensual or otherwise.)

Your servant,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Lou Pinella and Jim Hendry,

I'm not sure who to thank on this brilliant move, but thank you for helping the Cubs reach another low point in their history. Never in my lifetime did I think I'd see the Cubs pay their Opening Day starter almost $18 million a year only to have him go to middle relief just three weeks into the season, and for that- I thank you. The crazy thing is that this might actually work, and which case I thank you for the even crazier moves that will succeed this one. Alfonso Soriano at catcher? Why not? Derrek Lee being better suited as the bat boy than in the field? Sure. This seems like this season is going well already.

Regards,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Yahoo.com's Main Page,

Thank you for putting 90% fluff pieces as your main news "headlines." You've helped me store imagines in my brain of a cat that only uses two legs, the Redskins cheerleader that got the flu and can no longer walk or speak properly, and the [spoiler alert for today] 94 year old woman who has less than a year to live but wanted one last waltz. This news is way better than so called "real" news, obviously, since I keep going back there.

Best,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Pants Stores,

Thank you for never carrying my size. I understand how 38/34 is probably an uncommon size, and at least you've made me settle for shopping on the internet rather than wasting my time in a mall. Sometimes, I do wonder who the people are that wear 42/28 and why that size would be so much more common than my size. I suppose it just means there are a lot of fat mofos running around. In either case, your physical stores are dead to me.

So it goes,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Apples to Apples,

Thank you for providing blank cards where the owner of your game can add in their own red and green cards. The game is definitely spiced up by adding "Jenna Jameson," "Optimus Prime," "Michael Vick," "My Penis," "Hall & Oates" and "Jenny McCarthy's right boob" as red cards and "Stuff White People Like," "Porn-tastic," and "Boner-rrific" to the green card pile. Even better, you can bring that game box to work and play with co-workers. It's like Russian Roulette with cards!

Excited,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Nada Surf,

Thank you for writing the song "Popular." I'm not sure if I'm supposed to love the song or hate it, but after hearing it recently I can definitely say it's still pretty original. I'm not sure whatever happened to your band, but I'm thinking a little State Fair action would be pretty awesome this coming August.

If you can get Wheatus to open for you- even better.

Let's do this,
Tony B.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LOST: The Last Recruit

Thank Heaven for LOST because otherwise I might have to focus on the fact that I have a buldging disc in my lower back, or possibly on the other fact that the Cubs simply might not score another run for the rest of the season.

I honestly have no idea what to expect with this episode, so I'll just sit back and let it wash over me like the waters of Lake Tetonka with no expectations. I'm not sure if that last sentence made sense, but the Lake Tetonka reference was from the Prince Chappelle's Show sketch where Prince beats down Charlie Murphy's crew in basketball. That was hilarious and we are officially off topic!

- Opens on the island, Locke gives a creepy "Hello Jack." Aaah, just like the good ol' days. Pretty soon they'll be pushing buttons and hunting boars.
- Jack agrees to catch up with Locke alone. Finally Matthew Fox is earning his cash money.
- MIB gives Jack a little bit of the background on how things work. I have no idea if he's being honest, but he did admit to being the ghost of Christian Shepherd.
- FLocke calls the real Locke a "sucker." Pretty crazy line right there.
- That weird guy who used to have a prank show on Comedy Central is a EMT for Sideways Locke's ambulance. I wouldn't trust him.
- Sun sees Locke and says, "It's him!" Wow, I guess she's recognizing him as the MIB.
- Claire's in the bushes and admits to knowing that Jack is her brother. Great, just what Jack needs. Another crazy relative.
- Claire seems to acting sane- though I don't by it. Uh oh- crazy Claire is making a comeback, just like Michael Jordan with the Wizards. Yeah, that was a perfect analogy whether you think so or not.
- Really? Claire thinks Jack is infected already? I've got to believe Jack is stronger than that, but I guess he hasn't proven much this season.
- Hurley tells Claire she looks great. LOL. This was after Sawyer told Hurley about the sub.
- Back in LA X, Sawyer is now talking to caught convict Kate. That's alliteration.
- Kate claims she's not a murderer. Hmm. Sawyer points out that they were on the flight from Sydney.
- Sawyer is playing cute with Kate, but Kate points out the obvious point that Sawyer didn't want anyone to know that he went to Sydney. Puts him in his place... at least a little.
- Jack and Kate sitting on a log, T-A-L-K-I-N-G. Then Zoe walked into camp to ruin the scene. Great.
- Zoe fires a missle of some sort near the camp. FLocke looks like she might as well have blown on a dandelion. This man would not lose in a flinching contest.
- Desmond and Claire are all up in the adoption agency building. He's trying to show her what's up with the other timeline. It's pretty creepy that he's following her and offering her legal council. Damn it!!! Ilana's back. I thought we were done with her when she blew up on the island. Honestly, let's blow her up again!
- FLocke is gathering the troops and doling out jobs. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Jack are having awesome conversation about double crossing Locke.
- Now FLocke is getting Sayid to go and kill Desmond. What a douche. He can't do anything for himself and he's made one of the coolest characters, Sayid, into a bland zombie. No way he ends up killing Desmond.
- Sayid is carrying his gun like a villian from the 1940's. And now he's down by the well, which looked a lot deeper last week.
- Desmond is having a heart-to-heart with Sayid. Who knows if it will melt his zombie heart.
- Back in the sideways, Sayid is in Nadia's house and now cops, Miles and Sawyer are at the door.
- Sawyer trips him with a garden house as he tries to escape out the back door. No badass neck breaking this time, Sayid.
- Sawyer is telling Kate the plan, and Kate is none too happy about leaving Claire behind. Kate seems like she is going to do something stupid in the very near future.
- Jack is trying to talk with Claire rationally, but she's not in any state of mind.
- Jack gets the group and bolts, but Claire sees them- that ain't good.
- Sayid totally just lied to FLocke- no chance he killed Desmond.
- Wow, for once a plan worked. Everyone's at the boat. Well... everyone and Claire. Who is armed.
- Kate's trying to explain everything to a crazy in the head beeotch, Claire. Claire is running her mouth filled with a whole lot of guilt for someone who wandered off into the jungle and abandoned her child.
- Of course, Claire needed to say one creepy thing before the commercial break. Ugh.
- Jack looks like he's at the adoption agency... shouldn't he be at the hospital taking care of business? Oh, he and David are going to have Christian's will read.
- I guess Claire and Jack will find out they are siblings. Cool, I guess.
- That's a pretty heavy piece of info for Jack to take in. Luckily, he is called in for a Locke emergency.
- Sawyer's plan ain't have bad. I like putting a gun in someone's face and making them drive the sub off this damn island.
- Jack says it doesn't feel right to leave the island. Sawyer is going to toss this mofo off the boat. For sure.
- There he goes. Jack willingly jumps off the boat. This is awesome. Jack is trying to complete a hero's journey. There is something quite different about this Jack.
- Back at the hospital, Sun is stable, but how is her baby? Jin wakes up and tells her the baby is fine. He's says, "It's over. We're going to be ok." Yeah, good luck with all that.
- David and Jack are best buds now. Nothing like some father/son bonding time.
- Prep this fine doctor for some serious surgery. The dural sac again? Jack has proven he's good with those.
- FLocke immediately confronts Jack on the beach.
- Moment that totally caught me off guard... Jin and Sun's reunion! Damn- that only took a few seasons and some time travel. And look at that, Sun got her voice back.
- Zoe continues to ruin the show by pointing a gun at Sawyer and now they're shooting shit at the other island. Jack gets hit and Locke carries him off.
- "It's ok Jack, you're with me now..." Creepy. That's how Claire was infected, so maybe it could be that Jack has gone bad.

Not a bad episode. The ramifications of the ending are huge, so we'll have to see what happens next. It will be horrible when this show is over. What am I going to do with myself?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Songs That I'm Learning

Whether you've come out to a show of mine or not, you probably know that for particular shows I'm supposed to show up and pretty much play cover songs the whole time. I always find it interesting to see what songs a cover band or singer sings. I don't know why I'm interested, but I do know that half of the fun of seeing anyone play (for me) is seeing a set list in action.

Anyway, I have been learning some new songs, so I figured I'd go over them now. I mean, it's not like I have anything else to talk about, and since I spent about 2.5 hours last night working on some of these (AKA well past the point of Mrs. B.'s patience) I say let's get into them.

"Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates - I have multiple friends who have wanted me to learn a Hall & Oates song, so this one is coming down the pike. If you think I should've learned "Maneater" instead, then you should never be allowed to add in your opinion about music ever because you obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

"Kiss From A Rose" by Seal - The one thing that jumped out at me is that without all the harmonies and strings at the beginning of the song (you know, "Ba da da bah da da etc.") is pretty much a rip off of a hymn from Catholic mass. I forget the exact part, but as I was learning the song, I felt the extreme need to genuflect and pray for forgiveness. This one is going to need a lot of practice to make sound decent. There is so much going on in the recording that boiling it down to one vocal and an acoustic guitar might be tough. But I'm up for the challenge.

"Uprising" by Muse - This song just kicks ass. I don't know if I'll be able to break this down to a solo song for me, but if I can manage to talk my Live Band Karaoke cohorts into playing this it would rock the house (any house, anywhere.) The middle breakdown is way to much fun to play and even guys like me enjoy busting out the electric guitar from time to time.

"Closing Time" by Semisonic - It is pretty odd that I haven't learned this one previously, and it seems like it might be a good song to end a set with (duh.) I've always like Semisonic, I wonder whatever happened to them? Maybe them and Better Than Ezra are playing a long game of Monopoly right now.

"Tiny Dancer" by Elton John - I'm not totally sure on this one. It's been requested at a number of shows by multiple people, but I don't know if my heart's in it (the song is hard enough to require some effort, unlike "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band.) I'll work on it a bit and see what happens but it may end up on the scrap heap.

"21 Guns" by Green Day - I had a kid request this on Saturday, and I wasn't able to play it for him. I said, "I have another Green Day song for you." I played "When I Come Around" and I'm not totally sure he's ever heard that song before. This is when I realized 1) I'm getting old and 2) I need to learn some more current hits.

As always, feel free to make suggestions. Put yourself in my shoes and think about what might go over well in a crowd of tipsy folks at a bar or restaurant. I have in fact learned a few of the suggestions made in the comments before, and I'm open to doing that again- well- as long as the suggestions are good. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

That was a pretty decent weekend, though it did fly back at record pace. Let's start with Saturday as it was the most interesting day by far.

First, I woke up and finished "The Stand" by Stephen King. I'm not a huge reader, but now I can say that I've read "Lord of the Rings" and "The Stand" both of which are 1100 pages plus. I wouldn't recommend "The Stand" to everyone, but if you think you might like it and don't mind reading a lot, then I say go for it! Also, if you're into male on male violent sex that seemingly comes out of nowhere in the middle of the book, then this is definitely the book for you! I kid because it's funny, but seriously, it's in there for a page.

After finishing the book, I got ready to go to UC Davis to play a Campus show for Picnic Day. In the past, I've only played Picnic Day once because a) it is too damn crowded to load equipment to Campus and b) they usually only let you play for 20 minutes. If I'm bringing equipment to anywhere, I'm going to need more than 20 minutes to make it worth it (unless a Late Night talk show wants me to play on a major network.) This year, I got to play for an hour, so I agreed to do it.

The night before, my drummer had texted me and told me that he was playing with another band from 12-1, and since I was playing from 1-2, he figured he'd stick around and play another set. I thought that was a great idea! So that's what we planned on...

Unfortunately, there was a scheduling mix up and some Indonesian music group from the Music Department thought they were scheduled from 1-1:30. It's odd because the schedule that I had, the sound guy had, and the person running the stage had all said that "Tony Bataska was playing from 1-2pm" but apparently the "Director" of this group felt otherwise. He began to throw a hissy-fit immediately.

Honestly, had he been polite about the whole situation, I probably would've said, "No problem." However, took the route of escalating the situation up 100 steps by dropping, "I HAVE TO LEAVE AT 2PM AND IF WE DON'T PLAY THE DEAN WILL NOT BE TOO HAPPY!" So I decided to say, "I have a show that I have to get to in Walnut Creek and I can't stick around either!" I figured the Music Department group would probably end up getting their way, but since they were being rude, I could at least be difficult about it.

Basically, they rudely continued to set up their stuff on stage and eventually got their way. Once the jerky Caucasian guy wearing a ridiculous Rex Kwon Do bandanna got his way, he in passing said, "Sorry 'bout that." Yeah, I get it dude. You got your way so now you're doling out the most insincere apology I've heard since Ben Roethlisberger's recent apology.

My drummer had to move all his equipment off stage, and then we waited in the hot sun while we were put to sleep by Indonesian music that used many hand drums and xylophones. They had another two white guys do a martial arts demo in front of their musicians. It would've been good except it looked not quite as good as this:



The best part was when one of the guys pulled out a fake knife and came nowhere close to fake stabbing the other participant. It was pretty much just a saccharine version of Indonesian music- though I'm probably biased against them after having their rudeness directed at me.

After they were done, my drummer and I finally got on stage and played our set. It was decently fun as we had a pretty loose and casual set list (as in, I would say, "Let's play this particular song" and he'd say, "Ok.") I had a couple people come up and get my website, so that makes for a successful show. In the end, it took me over 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot, so my original feeling about playing Picnic Day is still that it would be more fun to drink a bunch and enjoy the day rather than worry about playing a set on Campus. Playing in downtown Davis might be a bit different, but Campus seems to be more of a pain than it's worth. Here's a picture anyway!
















I then began my trek to Walnut Creek to play at Pyramid Alehouse at 7pm. I was a little drained from being out in the sun longer than I expected, but it was time to give a good effort for my first WC Pyramid show of 2010.

It went great! I played a decent amount of originals within the 4 hour set (yeah, if you're thinking that it's a long time, then you are correct, it is!) I had a number of groups of people come out specifically to see me, and for that I want to thank people in a huge way! People were having a great time singing a long and drinking which is exactly what they should've been doing. One funny moment came when the group up front said their friend who had recently moved back to Columbus, OH was requesting "Brown Eyed Girl" over the phone. I replied that if she put something on Twitter about how people should follow me, and I get visual confirmation of this, then I'll play the song. Her tweet was as follows (the highlighted part, but I included the aftermath as well):













Tele-commuting musical performances to the midwest! Who knew?!

Once it got to 11pm, I played one more song (I just learned "Counting Blue Cars" by Dishwalla, so I played that one to close it out) and everyone gave me a standing ovation! It felt great and I want to thank everyone for making my night! Hopefully we'll keep up the great crowds in Walnut Creek and expand the whole thing further!

Sunday was less exciting as Mrs. B. and I ran some errands and then our Sunday Men's Basketball team got absolutely crapped on for during our last game. I never thought my back could be in so much pain, but I guess that's getting old, right? It's definitely affecting my consistency from game to game, and it's quite frustrating as I'm relatively sure I used to be pretty good at basketball. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment and get it checked out. Something is not quite right with it, and waking up with back pain every morning sucks.

So there's my eventful weekend. Back to the grind of the week, but we do have Live Band Karaoke on Thursday at the G St Pub for anyone who is interested in singing their little heart out. Until tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Music Update

Had a pretty fun show last night at the Fox & Goose. That place doesn't have as much of a built in crowd as other places, but some folks came through and it ended up being a pretty fun, very informal show. Here are all my current upcoming shows that are scheduled: [I have no idea why the formatting of this post sucks. Just scroll down...]











































































































































Date:City:Venue: Address:Time:Cost:
4/17Davis, CA UC DavisAlumni Center 1:00pmFREE!
4/17Walnut Creek, CA Pyramid Alehouse1410 Locust 7:00pmFREE!
4/30Roseville, CA Boxing Donkey300 Lincoln 9:30pmFREE!
5/8Vacaville, CA Farmer's MarketMain St8:30amFREE!
5/8Walnut Creek, CA Pyramid Alehouse1410 Locust 7:00pmFREE!
5/21Walnut Creek, CA Pyramid Alehouse1410 Locust 7:00pmFREE!
5/29Roseville, CA PrivateEvent ------
6/5Roseville, CA Boxing Donkey300 Lincoln 9:30pmFREE!
6/11Walnut Creek, CA Pyramid Alehouse1410 Locust 7:00pmFREE!
6/15Vacaville, CA Jewelry FairMain St1pmFREE!
6/19Walnut Creek, CA Pyramid Alehouse1410 Locust 7:00pmFREE!
6/26Walnut Creek, CA Pyramid Alehouse1410 Locust 7:00pmFREE!
7/3Vacaville, CA Farmer's MarketMain St9amFREE!
8/14Vacaville, CA Farmer's MarketMain St9amFREE!
9/5Vacaville, CA Art, Wine & BrewMain StTBAFREE!
9/25Vacaville, CA Farmer's MarketMain St9amFREE!



The other big deal is that my album is basically done. I'm waiting on the final mixes, and I'm trying to figure out some ideas for the cover art. Should I have a picture of myself on the cover? Should I find someone to draw a stylistic metal animation? Should there be a theme? What should it be?

Once I get the final, locked in mixes, it will take about a month to press the album and then I'll schedule a CD release and eventually begin selling them at various online stores (iTunes, CDBaby.com, etc.)

It should be an exciting year and feel free to send suggestions of album cover art. Hell, if you design something, I'll probably consider it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thank You Cards























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

Dear Escape Club,

Thank you for gracing the world with you hit "Wild Wild West." After randomly hearing it on the radio I was reminded of three things. 1) It's a damn hard song to get out of your head. 2) Your entire band wore neckerchiefs in the video. 3) You also had freakish pairs of arms and legs (but nothing else) playing tambourines and snapping their figures. Here's a lyric that will make sense in another 75 years- "Heading for the 90s, living in the wild, wild west!"

Great stuff,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Chicago Cubs,

Thank you for coming back and beating the Brewers yesterday. I figured you might be the kind of team that just lays down when behind by 3 runs, but you proved that you have some fight in ya. Now slow down! You wouldn't want expectations to get too high!

Curbing enthusiasm,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Ben Roethlisberger,

Thank you for once again getting involved in a sex scandal. I used to fully enjoy people telling me I look like you (back in 2005-2006 when we both had longer hair and goatees), but now that most people assume you're a rapist (or at the very least a sexual deviant) that comparison is no longer fun. Keep in mind that you're only allowed to have as many sex scandals as Super Bowl rings so you're even at 2-2. You better win another championship before cornering another woman in a small bathroom. Here's to keeping your nose (amongst other body parts) clean.

Sincerely,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Milton Bradley,

I've written to you before, but this will be the last time (could be a lie.) Thank you so much for flipping off the fans in Texas. It easily validates the Cubs' trade of you to the Mariners for 800 lb. Carlos Silva. It probably also validates the fact that Jim Hendry should be fired as Cubs GM for even considering signing you.

Good riddance,
Tony B.

----------

Dear King,

Thank you for your crazy ass Burger King commercials. You once woke up next to a guy in bed and offered him breakfast. Now you're barging through an office wreaking havoc only to deliver a burger to a conservatively dressed office woman. I haven't eaten at a Burger King since 2004, but I still enjoy your extremely creepy commercials. Didn't you also have a cheap XBox game where you just crept around the neighborhood looking in windows? The next step for you is to buy a white van with no windows and register with the Meghan's Law folks.

Stay away from my hypothetical kids,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Chicago Bulls,

Hey buddies! Thanks for getting into the playoffs! Unfortunately, you're about to get dumped easily by the Cavs and end up with a worse draft pick than you could've had otherwise. I literally have no clue what your business plan is going forward (I can't tell if you were trying to dump payroll for the offseason or go for a playoff spot, and now you've seemed to split the difference and not go either way.) More to the point, thank you for the 6 championships during the 90s- it makes anything you do right now much less depressing.

Best regards,
Tony B.

----------

Phew. Got through those for the day. It's always polite to send out thank you notes when you can. Catch ya later.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

LOST: Everybody Loves Hugo

Fresh off our men's league basketball overtime victory and finding out that Ricky Romero is an absolute savage (I saw him pitch against UC Davis in college and have been partial to him ever since- hence why I drafted him this year.)

This week's episode might not be as good as last week's, but I have a feeling it will advance the plot in a more definite way. This will be a good thing. I guess they better advance this thing quickly because they are running out of time! Onward...

- I hear Dr. Chang's voice... he's talking about how everyone loves Hugo. Hugo is pretty awesome. I too love chicken.
- Apparently Hurley has been awfully charitable. Now he needs a woman to be charitable and get busy with him.
- Dinosaurs! LOST and paleontology? Add in Transformers and you've got a geek hat trick that would make me extremely interested.
- Hurley is now on the island, and back at Libby's grave site. At least, I'm guessing that is the case. Ilana interrupts Hurley's moment. Ease up you militant beast. Put on those boots you were wearing when you first met Sayid. Way better...
- Michael is back up in the hizzy! He came back to stop Hurley from killing everyone, to scream "WAAAALT!" a couple times, and continue to enhance negative absent Black father stereotypes. C'mon Michael- get your shit together in the after life!
- Staring contest- Hurley vs. Michael- GO!
- Jack asks the same question for the last five episodes he's appeared in, "Hurley, who are you talking to?" It's getting old...
- Hurley is at a Mexican restaurant- Spanish Johnny's. It looks delicious!
- Libby joins him at the table. She saw him from across the room and came over. She thinks they are soulmates. And then she gets carried away by the Senator from X-Men 1. Didn't that guy turn into water because of Magneto's machine? Wait... we're getting way off base.
- Ilana has dynamite. What a crazy broad. Hurley makes a serious (yet funny) remark about blowing up the plane and then being stuck on the island with an angry Smoke Monster.
- The TV Gods have answered me! Ilana suddenly blew herself up with dynamite!
- FLocke and Sawyer's camp are "waiting." They need Sun, Hugo and Jack.
- Sayid wants to speak to FLocke in private. No good has ever come from private talk.
- Sayid tied Desmond to a tree- he apparently learned that trick from the weird LSD torturer back in 1977. I'm waiting for Sayid's eyes to turn red and get killed by a shirtless Cillian Murphy. Give yourself a pat on the back if you know what I'm talking about.
- Hurley is now snooping around... is he fulfilling his killing destiny that Michael was just talking about, or doing the right thing? Only Jacob knows.
- What's in the bag? Probably a rock collection. Hurley, do you have quartz and granite?
- Hurley has got a plan of some sort. I know this because he said, "Trust me Jack." That seems to be his catch phrase on repeat.
- Desmond is now stalking Hurley in the Mr. Cluck's. Can't wait to see what Desmond is going to "show" him.
- Hurley is going on about how he's made about his situation with Libby. Desmond encourages him to "go for it!" He should be on a motivational poster.
- Order "42." Sweet.
- Desmond is now tied a tree. FLocke unties him and they have an awkward convo.
- Notice Desmond grabs FLocke's hand. He's the only one to do so thus far. Then again, the "rules do not apply to him." It's all good.
- Ben is now realizing how serious the situation is after Ilana just blew up.
- Hurley blew up all the dynamite and with it the Black Rock. Well, that's one way to finish a mystery.
- Richard freaks out because of Hugo destroyed all the dynamite.
- Miles and Hurley are talking about talking to dead people. Pretty sweet.
- Hurley in the Sideways is now trying to see Libby. Evil doctor is trying to get in the way. Hurley does what anyone would do. He bribes the doc with $100,000.
- Is that Leonard playing Connect 4? Maybe not.
- Libby is saying that she remembers Hurley from the other life... like the on island kind of life.
- Wow, she remembers quite a bit of detail. It's an obvious conversation of awakening... though Hugo says he doesn't remember. But gives her credit for having guts. Easy there Romeo...
- Hurley asks Libby out on a date- I think the producers felt peer pressure to close the Libby story.
- Desmond is not scared one lick of FLocke. But then they see a creepy kid.
- Ben goes with Richard and so does Miles. Apparently they are the "New Others."
- Jack, Sun, and Frank are going to go talk to Locke. Good luck with all that guys. I guess they have to confront him to advance the plot, but I doubt it's a good idea.
- How do you break the ice with the Smoke Monster? I don't know, fish? A carafe of wine?
- Jack now admits that he's feeling guilty, and he's going to let go. Excellent moment for Jack.
- Hurley thinks he knows what the whispers are. Hey, it's Michael. He's stuck on the island because of what he did. The whispers are the ones who can't move on. Mystery solved.
- Michael apologizes for killing Libby. Another excellent moment this episode.
- Awww... Hurley and Libby are finally getting their picnic. Libby seems to remember the picnic they were supposed to have on the island.
- Hurley doesn't to realize that a girl could like/love him. Libby kisses him and he starts to remember the island and all the experiences from it. I dig it.
- Desmond is creeping... fulfilling his destiny. Desmond, if you end this timeline, you're going to be poor, without those sweet shades, and end up on an island for three years pushing a button every 108 minutes. There's no way you can get a good night sleep with that thing going off!
- FLocke has a torch- maybe that ends my "Smoke Monster is deathly afraid of fire" theory.
- They are at the Orchid, and Locke is explaining the donkey wheel in very general terms. FLocke is freaked out about why Desmond isn't afraid. Then he pushes Desmond down the well. Looks like Desmond is going push the donkey wheel... I like it.
- Hurley walks right into Locke's camp and says they have to talk. They make a pact that no one is getting hurt. Locke symbolically gives Hurley his knife.
- Creepy stare down to end the episode. Oops- I guess we have another scene in the Sideways.
- Ben confronts Desmond in his car. I guess Desmond was really just waiting to run Locke over with his BMW! Locke is effed up!!! I wonder if he'll be headed to Jack's hospital.

Awesome episode- the preview for next week looks badass as well! A few surprise moments made this a VERY entertaining hour. We finally have most of the group together so we can begin to concentrate all our time in one camp (with a little side camp of Richard, Ben and Miles.) Til next week...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Craziness

Things got a little crazy, and I don't have enough time to put in a great effort today. However, feel free to check this out:




Yeah, that's right. It's Color Me Badd at the Peach Pit. You're welcome.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

That weekend passed more quickly than ever. I'm not sure exactly why I feel like it was over with such speed, but I'm going to guess it was because I decided to watch multiple Cubs games. Saturday's game was a scrappy win (read as "ugly") against the the Reds, and Sunday's game was a choke job and a half. When Tom Gorzelanny gives you six solid innings, you damn well better win that game. I'm sure the dominance of Mike Leake in his major league debut is just too much for the veteran Cubs hitters to handle (and his debut was impressive, to be sure.) Regardless, once the games were over, I just tried to pretend those hours didn't happen which lead to 6-7 hours removed from the weekend.

The highlight of the weekend was definitely the show at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville. That place rules. It seems to get better and better. The crowd is always solid (friendly and big on participation) and the staff there treats me really well. Most places I play on a regular basis treat me well, but the Donkey folks really do go out of their way to make sure I'm taken care of which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

There were about 18,000 birthdays being celebrated which set the table for an easy night. The crowd was primed to want to have a good time. I was like a solid hitter up with the bases loaded and one out- easy RBI opportunities (well, this wouldn't be the case if I were on the Cubs, but currently I'm not, so let's roll with the metaphor.) It also helped that I was able to field most of the requests that were thrown at me. Some nights I will only know 1 in 20 songs and that makes me feel like crap (though, come on people- did you really expect me to know some random b-side off of some crappy band's only single in the 80's?) Saturday night I was closer to the 70% clip which makes me feel pretty damn smart. Like a human jukebox.

Being a musician is pretty rough stuff because there are a lot of highs and lows. Crappy gigs, writers block, and a weird schedule is enough to make someone go crazy, but having shows like Saturday's at the Donkey is a pretty good medicine for any bumps in the road. One extremely nice comment came from a middle-aged woman who seemed to be having a great time. On one of my breaks, she came up and said, "You're doing a great job. You're very good, but there's something more about you. There's something else there." That was a pretty awesome compliment. Good musicians are a dime-a-dozen- it's that something else that can put someone over the top. I suppose I can temper my enthusiasm a bit because this woman is also the same woman who was mouthing "NO!" and waving her arms like someone just slid in safe to home plate while I played "Friends In Low Places." It's a great song to get everyone in the bar singing (and drinking), but on second thought, maybe this woman is extremely wise...

Sunday was kind of a blur. I've been deep in the reading of Stephen King's "The Stand" which I started quite awhile ago, but I'm burning through it now. I spent much of the day just reading and trying to escape the haunting memories of the Cubs/Reds game from earlier in that morning (yes, that game was more frightening than a Stephen King novel- that's what I'm going for.) Anyway, the producers of LOST have admitted that "The Stand" is a big influence on their show. I definitely can see the influential themes and even a few noticeable similarities (the use of dynamite, characters questioning free will vs. destiny, good (God) vs. evil (the devil), and picking sides to play out a game much like a chess game.) If you're jones-ing to read a 1100+ page novel, feel free to give this one a try. If not, just stick to something by Dan Brown... or Stan Lee.

That's about all I have from the weekend. I didn't really watch the Masters (I'm just not that into golf, I guess) and I don't think much else happened. Off to begin the work week...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quick Predictions: MLB

I realize I forgot to put these in, so I figured I'd throw them up here quickly. Here are my predictions for this year:

AL East- Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Blue Jays

I can't envision this division any other way. Let's assume the Red Sox will win the Wild Card.

AL Central- Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Royals

Both the Indians and Royals should be improved, but they will still not be any good. I would have picked the Twins if Joe Nathan was healthy.

AL West- Angels, Rangers, A's, Mariners

I like the Mariners' moves in the offseason, but they are counting on Cliff Lee to get healthy soon, then they need Erik Bedard to get healthy, and then they need Chone Figgins to hit 40 home runs. Oops- no power ain't going to help ya! Should be a tight, low win total division.

NL East- Braves, Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Nationals

The Braves are badass. Correction- Jason Heyward is badass. The Phillies and Braves are going to have absolute wars on the field.

NL Central- Cardinals, Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Astros

It hurts so bad. These are my predictions and I can't pick the Cubs to win the division. I still hope they do, but they just don't instill a sense of confidence in the fans. This whole division is improved- except the 'Stros. They are terrible.

NL West- Giants, Rockies, D'Backs, Dodgers, Padres

Don't make me look bad Gigantes. I'm going with the Giants due to their excellent pitching and the fact that Edgar Renteria's offseason training involved bathing in the Fountain of Youth. If this offense is half decent, they are going to win 90+ games. The Rockies are good, too. Dodgers? Not so much.

ALDS- Yankees over Tigers, Red Sox over Angels
ALCS- Yankees over Red Sox

NLDS- Giants over Phillies, Braves over Cardinals
NLCS- Braves over Giants

World Series- Braves over Yankees

By my calculations, that means we have a possible playoff match up this weekend here in San Francisco. Don't get too excited over any of these predictions as they will most likely be wrong. It'll probably end up being Rays vs. Pirates in the Series. Wouldn't that be interesting?

I'm playing on Saturday at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville. Stop by and have a few drinks- it should be a good time! (300 Lincoln, Roseville, CA)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fantasy Baseball Conundrum

The first few days of baseball season has already brought my blood pressure to a new level. Nothing is going right for me or my team. My post two days ago brought up issues that I have with the Cubs, and while they seemed to have played better yesterday, I don't know exactly what went on because my MLB.TV wouldn't work for that game! Damn you technology!

Instead I watched some of the Yankees/Red Sox game. Realistically, how could I miss it because those games typically take at least 4.5 hours to finish, so if it's on TV, you're bound to watch at least some of it.

Anyway, I have Jonathan Papelbon and the guy I'm playing against this week has Mariano Rivera. Not a terrible match-up, but I wouldn't ever claim to be getting the best of that one. If you watched the game, you know that Papelbon pitched a great 9th, only to blow up in the 10th and get the loss. At the same time, this gave Rivera the opportunity to come in and close out the game- Yankees win 3-1.

This is over a 20 point swing in my head-to-head match up (and that is dreadful for me.) Not to mention, that in a separate game, I have Billy Wagner and my opponent has Ryan Dempster. Dempster pitched quite well yesterday and was in line for the win. This I could deal with because at least the Cubs would get a victory. But since even when I win, I lose, Cubs' reliever John Grabow gave up a two run homer to Larry "Chipper" Jones and the Cubs lose 3-2. At least Billy Wagner got the save, right?

My point here is that the real season and fantasy season are colliding already and it doesn't feel good. My number one priority is for the Cubs to win, but I've already had my resolve tested by fantasy baseball.

One thing is for sure. I'm getting my ass kicked and the Cubs are 0-2, and neither feels great at this point.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LOST: Happily Ever After

First off- for the benefit of sports fans, how terrible is Angel Hernandez as a home plate umpire? I'm fairly certain he's the worst in the league. Floating strike zones and odd calls are quite common with Mr. Her-nan-DEZ.

OK, so back to LOST. I believe we're rocking a Desmond-centric episode this week. Desmond-centric episodes have been exciting, ground-breaking, and just overall entertaining, so here's to hoping that's the case with this one as well. WHOOSH:

- Starts with Desmond coming to and first sees Zoe then sees Charles Widmore. That's like seeing a horrible actor followed by the devil. He keeps calling for Penny, but she's in LA filming "FlashForward."
- "The Island isn't done with you yet." We've heard that before only, it was previously told to Desmond by Eloise Hawking.
- They have some machine that they need Desmond to test. The scientist is freaking out. Is it because he looks like Ricky Gervais? Nah- they just turned the machine on with some other dude inside. Sorry red-shirt, you's a goner.
- The rabbit likely symbolizes some sort of Orchid-type machine.
- Now they're putting Desmond in there. I have a feeling he'll be ok. I mean, they're not going to drag him back to the Island just so he can die.
- Widmore is so sure Desmond has survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event, and so he turns the machine on. The screen turns white and now Desmond is in the airport after Flight 815 in the Sideways world. He runs into Hurley and Claire. It's like one big sick reunion that seems to be surreal.
- Minkowski is his driver. Cool little touch since they were in the locked room at the bottom of the freighter.
- He goes to see Charles Widmore and they're awfully chummy. A regular Burt and Ernie.
- How did Widmore acquire his wealth in the Sideways world? How did he acquire it in the Main Timeline as well?
- They share the scotch that Widmore wouldn't give him a few seasons ago. And Desmond is off to babysit Charlie Pace of DriveShaft. Charlie immediately walks into traffic to get to the nearest bar.
- Desmond has a great job and lots of money. No Penny, no son though.
- Charlie recounts his almost death. He tells Desmond that he was in deep, conscious altering love when he almost died on the plane.
- That whole interaction was quite good. One of the best conversations. Charlie is almost insinuating that "You All Everybody" is about Desmond. Of course, he then grabs the steering wheel and drives the car off the dock.
- So awesome. Charlie puts his hand on the glass and Desmond sees a flash of the Main Timeline in the Sideways world. LOST... you are so crafty.
- Desmond must have been a junior lifeguard. He pulls Charlie to the edge of the pier.
- Desmond is at the hospital and the nurse ask him about hallucination. He's now going for a CAT scan. Any bets that he's going to flashback to the Island? He's getting hooked up...
- My quick prediction didn't come true, but Desmond did see flashes of Penny and his baby boy. Then he runs into Jack. Then Charlie runs into them! They discuss a number of things, but most importantly Charlie tells Desmond to look for Penny.
- Charlie also says, "None of this matters." Don't temp me LOST, I will point out the obvious that the Sideways world hasn't really mattered and fans patience is running thin...
- Widmore is angry about Charlie being gone. Now Desmond gets to go see Mrs. Widmore- Eloise?
- I guess Eloise is married to Charles in this world... does that mean Penny doesn't exist in this reality?
- Eloise isn't angry... that doesn't seem like her. She immediately changes her tune and yells at Desmond and tells him to stop looking. She was pretty much sent to Desmond to be a buzzkill- in this life or the next.
- Enter Daniel Widmore- I mean Faraday- or do I mean Widmore?
- Daniel asks him "Do you believe in love at first sight?" I can only imagine he's talking about Charlotte.
- Daniel wrote down quantum mechanics equations in his journal. And this leads him to the conclusion that he already set off the nuclear bomb. He believes Desmond also felt love in his other life.
- Daniel says Penny is his half sister. Desmond finds her running stairs in the stadium. I'll just bypass the ramifications of what this could mean for the Widmore's family drama and just enjoy them meeting. They shake hands, and after meeting Penny (his constant) he goes back to the Island.
- Desmond is awfully nice to Widmore and says he understands and wants to help.
- Sayid busts into the scene and snaps one guy's neck. He gets Desmond and tells him they need to go. Desmond seems aloof and ready to oblige at this point. I guess he knows no matter what things will end "happily ever after" in this life or the next.
- Oddly, Desmond and Penny are now meeting up in their Sideways world. It doesn't seem like his consciousness is there any longer, but maybe the show can shed some light on that. LOST making things clear? Maybe I'm hoping for too much.
- Desmond is going to start seeking out the passengers of Oceanic 815 to show them something. Finally the Sideways world gets really interesting!

Now that was a hell of an episode. Desmond episodes rarely disappoint. They also don't completely make sense, but they always represent the most interesting aspects of the show.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Opening Day Baseball

I was going to do something far more fun and light-hearted today, but unfortunately the Cubs went and crapped out a horrible opening day game against the much improved Atlanta Braves. The Braves impressed me and it looks like Atlanta fans will have a lot to cheer about this year. Jason Heyward is L-E-G-I-T. Not that I didn't think he was before, but his first at bat home run was RIDICULOUS. But let's get back to the Cubbies...

Carlos Zambrano is such an ass. I am so sick of this guy. True, he's been good in the past, but has he ever done anything of such merit that I, as a Cub fan, should give him a free pass on such a horrific outing? No. He has not. I've seen him get lit up on opening day a few times before. I've seen him say he's ready to retire after his current contract is up. Hell, I've even seen him deny my younger brother an autograph during an event where fans were allowed on the field at Wrigley (this was before he was even a starter.) I've seen him throw temper tantrums over and over and over, and I'm sick of it. Today he looked like he didn't give a shit. Can I get somewhere in the middle? One extreme has him not caring, and the other extreme has him breaking open a Gatorade machine with a bat. Average the two out, and let's rock and roll.

(I'm beyond mad that he's on my fantasy team- thank you for wrecking my week, asshole.)

Jeff Samardzija is absolutely horrible. I'm sure the Cubs wanted him to be good. They thought, "Hey! We can probably sell tickets to Notre Dame fans if we get this guy." And sickeningly, they are probably right. However, after one outing his ERA is 108.00. So Samardzija is either a huge fan of the LOST magical number of 108, or he's a God-awful pitcher. Maybe both?

Soriano sucks. Good luck breaking the strikeout record this year, buddy. You are Pedro Cerrano incarnate. And I don't mean that you hit game tying home runs against the Yankees.

By the way, UMPIRES, I have a HUGE problem with you blowing the call where Nate McLouth dropped the diving catch in center. Instead you called an out and a double play. When a request for instant replay comes up, I'll remember that play and realize that you obviously aren't trying to actually watch a damn game (or maybe you just legitimately need instant replay.) Either way, it was a terrible call, and you all can burn in hell. I can't believe Sweet Lou didn't pitch a fit worthy of him getting tossed. Unacceptable Lou!

I have to stop now. My blood is boiling and it's only day one of baseball season. Yikes, I'm probably going to need therapy after this season.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

You can check my Saturday post to see how the show went Friday night. Needless to say, I had a great time! It was as much as watching "The Condemned" starring Stone Cold Steve Austin (if not even more enjoyable.)

Saturday I managed to get up and run a number of errands. I got a haircut, went to Jamba Juice, hit up Best Buy, Guitar Center, Target, and then to 24 Hour Fitness. Best Buy and Target errands were exclusively to build Mrs. B. an Easter basket, while Guitar Center was to pick up a power source for my tuner pedal.

Upon entering GC, I thought to myself, "Don't go back into the expensive guitar room- you'll just end up thinking about getting a new guitar." I didn't listen and ended up playing a number of Gibson acoustic/electrics that would be wonderful additions to my collection. In particular, there is a Hummingbird cutaway that sounded absolutely amazing. It looks like this:


















I was quite impressed, but resisted the temptation. I need to sell some of my old equipment, see how much money I have, and then go haggle with the sales person. So if anyone is interested in a MARTIN MC-16 GTE in great condition, then let's talk.

I got home from all the errands at 2:52pm, just in time to catch the tip of the Butler/MSU game. I watched nearly the entire game, and it was fairly entertaining (no thanks to Michigan State.) I was cheering for Butler all the way. One thing I didn't get though was how many horrible shots Shelvin Mack took for the Bulldogs. When Butler would actually run an offense, they would do ok, but more than a few times Mack would just bring the ball up, drive the lane without passing, and get blocked. I think this led to Gordon Hayward standing on the perimeter a bit too much. He needed to be more active if only to make sure the guy defending Hayward couldn't just sit in helpside without consequence.

Butler prevailed, and I couldn't be happier for them. They play the game the right way and are a lot of fun to watch. To be honest, I didn't watch much of the Duke/WVU game. Duke got up and I lost interest quickly. The game tonight should be pretty good, but since there is an outside shot of Duke running away with it, we'll have to hope that that doesn't happen.

Sunday I had Easter brunch at Mrs. B.'s mom's house and it was quite good. There was Egg's Benedict, breakfast potatoes, blueberry scone-type things, cinnamon rolls, and mimosas for all to indulge in. Afterward it was time for a nap (I had also gotten up early and went swimming at 24 Hour, so I was pretty tired) but don't worry, I was up in time for two things (oddly both related to commenter G$):

- Donovan McNabb to the Redskins?! Wow, I didn't really see this one coming. I mean, I get that the Eagles wanted to trade him, but to trade him to a division rival who will almost certainly beat them at least once during the regular season seems silly. Nothing like a motivated veteran to help out a team that's been down on it's luck recently. Biggest question of the trade- what about Sexy Rexy?! The Sex Cannon was currently the back up to Jason Campbell in Washington and now looks to be relegated to third string. What the hell? You can't hold back that kind of talent for long- look out Campbell and McNabb... the former NFC Champ is coming for you.

- Opening Day (Night) Baseball pitched off (is "pitched" proper for baseball?) Sunday night with the Yankees and Red Sox facing off at Fenway. I could care less about the eventual outcome (though the game was awesome) but what I do care about is fantasy statistics. Youk and Papelbon killed it for me last night. I'm already winning 23.5 to -2 (a-thank-you Jacoby Ellsbury!) I'm liking the balance that my team brings to the table. They should be awfully tough.

That's pretty much it for the weekend. Monday always seems to come so quickly. There's got to be a way to slow weekends down.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

G St Pub Last Night

Thanks to Automatic Rival for letting me (and Bart and Dusty) open for them last night! It's always awesome to play with those guys, and they rocked a ton (great originals and I loved their cover of "Plowed" by Sponge!)

Here was our set from last night:

Saturday Boy
Box of Photographs
A Girl I Know
Something (by the Beatles)
Billie Jean (impromptu jam originally by the late Michael Jackson)

(Dusty joins us on stage from here on out)
Neon Sign
Shallow Water Blackout
Second Rate Song
As You Wish
50 Stories
This Time Around

I had a great time and felt really comfortable up on stage with Bart and Dusty. I'll let everyone know when we'll have another full band sampling, but make sure you come see it. It's nice to have a more full sound during my songs (I know everyone's used to/tired of my solo shows at this point, so it's a great change of pace!)

Also, today marks Mrs. B.'s and my (that can't be great grammar- let's replace with "our") 6 month anniversary of marriage! Crazy! It seems like just yesterday I got to wear my custom Converse, Scrabble cuff links, and Men's Wearhouse suit to marry the greatest girl ever.

That also means in two days it will be the 6 month anniversary of us getting introduced to the Beach Grill in Jamaica! Which reminds me... it's time to go work out!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Live Band Karaoke Thursday

Another successful night is in the books. People were getting after it once again, so G St has decided to add another night per month of you, the band, and lots of Jager Bombs. Our next night there will be April 22nd. Come on out and sing with the band!

New songs recently added to the list:

"Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard
"Song 2" by Blur
"Lump" by Presidents of the United States of America
"Afternoon Delight" by Starland Vocal Band
"Plush" by Stone Temple Pilots
"Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground

If you're not down with that then you can Suck It! (Unnecessary WWE reference for the day completed!)




















Also, I'm playing original songs tonight at the Pub starting at 10pm. I'm opening for Automatic Rival, so make sure you get there early! Have a Good Friday, and a great weekend!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank You Cards























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

Dear Tiger Woods,

Thank you for your sexual escapades that have a legend that grows faster than William Wallace's legend in Scotland during the late 1200's. Not only are your stories getting more ridiculous, you've also managed to give married celebrities the ultimate trump card- rehab! Rather than taking responsibility for your actions, one is now allowed to say they have an addiction and go to rehab! Brilliant! The irony is that rehab is supposed to teach you to take responsibility for your actions, so I guess you eventually get there.

Sincerest wishes,
Tony B.

PS: No one with an addiction could win that many major golf championships. Well, unless that addiction is golf.

----------

Dear Lower Back,

Thank you for making me feel old each and every day. I'm not sure if the pain is from hunching while playing guitar, my recent foray back into men's league basketball, or a lack of core work at the gym (hell, probably all of the above) but every morning I'm reminded again and again that I'm no spring chicken anymore.

Let's go see a chiropractor,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Gordon Hayward,

Thank you for finishing the most awkward alley-oop in the history of basketball. In true white guy fashion, you laid the ball in and finished off the game against Kansas St. Between you, Toby Gerhart, and the Duke Bluedevils, you are giving white athletes hope all around the world that they too can compete on the top level. Good for you fella!

Best regards,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Nature Valley Oats 'N' Honey Crunchy Granola Bars,

Thank you for being the greatest snack during the day. You're almost certainly not as healthy as I think you are, but there are two of you in a package so that gives me double the amount of enjoyment. Work may be tiresome at times, but when the time comes that I can snack on two granola bars- well- that's just about the best point of the work day.

Your friend,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Giant Isopod,

Thank you for haunting my dreams forever. You look like you will one day evolve into either the creature from Alien, or the creature from Cloverfield. Either way, it's not going to be good.

Terrified,
Tony B.

----------

Dear April Fool's Day,

Thank you for making me feel less creative and more lazy each year, while also ruining websites for a day that feel like they need to fool their readers. Not to mention, if I actually go through the effort to pull a gag on someone, I'll probably end up feeling like a jerk.

It's your day,
Tony B.

----------

Dear SF Parking,

Thank you for giving me huge incentive to not go to San Francisco more often. I mean, after driving over an hour to get to the City, it's totally great to either spend another 45 minutes looking, or pay upwards of $40 for a spot.

All the best,
Tony B.

----------

Dear Jesse James,

[See Tiger Woods' note above.] Oh, and thank you for making a complete ass out of Sandra Bullock at the Oscars. It's not like she waited her entire life for that moment, and you shattered the whole thing a few short days after.

Faithfully,
Tony B.

----------

There you go. Tons of thanks going out to all who deserve it. Enjoy the day and come out to Live Band Karaoke tonight at the G St Pub in Davis... if you dare!