Friday, April 29, 2011

Not Much Today

Since band practice last night turned into having a beer at Hooters (which was only for the beer as the girls were not in top form), I don't have much in the way of discussion.  I watched a bit of the NFL draft, but not enough to give expert analysis.  I guess that didn't stop John Gruden, though. 

Seriously, did you see when the Browns traded up and he started raving about how they were going to take Andrew Daulton?  Chris Berman looked at him puzzled and said, "They already have Colt McCoy.  It's the Browns."  Then there was a couple seconds of silence.  Hey, I even hate Boomer, but in this case, he was absolutely correct.  It probably even helps my tolerance level of Chris Berman that there is someone worse on the panel.  Much like a DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) would make a decent looking girl look smokin' hot.

Can someone explain to me what the hell was going on with the Bears and Ravens?  It sounds like the Bears were dumb- I just don't fully understand what happened as I was not watching during that stretch of the draft. 

I am glad the Bears ultimately decided to draft an O-Lineman.  However, I'm surprised it wasn't Derrek Sherrod.  And guess who will now have an axe to grind every time he plays the Bears while being part of the Packers?  That's right- Derrek Sherrod. 

Last, I heard a good joke about Jay Cutler's engagement to Kristin Callavari on sports talk radio the other day:

"When Jay Cutler proposed to Kristin Callavari and attempted to give the ring to her, it was intercepted by D'Angelo Hall four times." 

Last, the buyer on the house we bid on fell through, so we're back in the game!  I'll keep you all update.  In the meantime- have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thank You Notes

Jimmy Fallon's idea made much worse by my mediocre writing.  On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like these posts, ?uestlove?





















Damn.  I figured as much. 

---

Dear NFL Draft,

Thank you for allowing the Bears to pick in the 1st Round for the first time in a few years.  I can't wait to see what they do with the 29th pick.  What's that?  There are rumors that they will trade down and still not have a 1st Rounder?  Ah crap.  Well, maybe next year. 

First!
Tony B.

---

Dear House Hunting Process,

Thank you for sucking away my soul.  When this started, I was just a bright-eyed and ignorant almost 30-year-old who was excited at the prospect of owning a home.  Now that our first bid was rejected and I more fully understand what I'm getting in to, the reality of the process is seeping in like rain water into my apartment's ceiling.  I suppose it is good to get a kick in the nads every once in a while to keep me motivated and moving forward. 

Down but not out,
Tony B.

---

Dear Chicago Cubs,

Thank you for making me feel like the season is already over.  Besides Starlin Castro's offense, what else can I look at in a positive light?  The answer- nothing.  The pitching staff is atrocious.  The offense is sputtering.  The defense straight up loses games.  And the relief pitching is ok, but is left with ZERO room for error.  Now I get to debate which is worse- my real life team or my fantasy baseball team.  It's a toss up.

C'mon Quad-ee,
Tony B.

---

Dear Bartolo Colon,

Thank you for being a free agent in my fantasy league.  I remember you used to be good.  I remember you won a Cy Young Award.  And I remember you throwing a great game last night.  Please don't make me look like an idiot. 

Regards,
Tony B.

---

Dear Royal Wedding,

Thank you for creating something covered on television that I care less about than "Dancing With The Stars."  I needed a new least favorite/most pointless thing on TV to be exposed to like a carbon monoxide leak.  I appreciate being dumbed-down in a slow, subtle manner. 

Must resist...,
Tony B.

---

Dear Oakland Raiders,

Thank you renaming your stadium Overstock.com Coliseum.  As the Yahoo author I linked to mentioned, I'm sure there will be a number of references to O-faces or "The Big O" and things of that nature.  The Raiders have become such an embarrassing franchise.  Also, thanks in advance for making it too dangerous for me to physically attend the Bears/Raiders game next year in Oakland AND for making sure it will be blacked out on TV.  It's not like I wanted to watch the game or anything.

Too bad "The Black Hole" isn't an actual black hole,
Tony B.

---

Dear Movie Theaters,

Thank you for making me realize that it is pointless to go to the movies as often as I had in the past.  I mean, it's probably not the theaters' fault, but rather the studios' fault for putting out awful movie after awful movie.  And hey, if I want to watch an intense Oscar-worthy drama, I'd probably rather pursue that activity in my own home rather than in public anyway.  I hate walking out of a theater dazed from watching some depressing indie flick.  Basically, I want the best of both worlds, an entertaining pop corn flick that doesn't have plot holes the size of the black hole I just wished upon the Raiders.  Is that asking too much?

Yes, it is,
Tony B. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

90s Music: Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots "Purple" was the first CD I ever owned.  I got it in 7th grade and listened to it over and over and over... To this day, it is still a phenomenal album that I love to queuing up from time to time.  STP is still going in between Scott Weiland's drug episodes and while their music is definitely not as strong these days, their old hits from the 90s crush most of today's rock music.  Let's examine their 90's collection (focusing on their first 3 albums.)  As always, I may include the singles or I may not- I'll do what I want!

"Wicked Garden" - This song just straight up rocks.  I know it was a single, but it probably doesn't have the same notoriety as "Plush" or "Creep."  The build up to get to "Burn, burn, burn- burn your wicked garden down" is candy to my trick or treating ears.  This song has serious balls.



"Plush" - One of my favorite songs to play myself, this is such a well written song. The acoustic version I'm posting is so sweet (with an intro by Riki Rachtman!) It really shows how versatile this song actually is.



"Piece of Pie" - Picking a non-single is tough, but this song is so dirty that I had to go with it. It's as if this song should've come from Alice In Chains. Here's a live performance from 2000.



"Meatplow" - And we're at the "Purple" album. I love the singles off this record, but you will find none on this list. There are three songs that need mention that were never released as singles. This is the first. I actually played this song for the Craigslist buyer of my old guitar amp. He immediately recognized it and bought the amp. He probably got good value too, but the point is that this song has magical powers.



"Still Remains" - This is one twisted love song. One of my favorite songs of all time. I always find this line funny: "Take a bath I'll drink the water that you leave." Nothing says love like drinking someone's used bathwater. At least, that's what STP taught me.



"Army Ants" - The drum solo around 3:20 is one of my favorites ever. "Fall in those single file lines, like army ants." So awesome.



"Big Bang Baby" - This album is where the choice of guitar distortion gets a little weaker, in my opinion. However, this song is a lot of fun and it's definitely worth a listen.



"Lady Picture Show" - It was between this one and "Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart." I chose this one because it's a little softer and the use of 7th chords is agreeable to the ears. Check out this performance from '97.



"Down" - No. 4 made it out at the tail end of 1999, so it barely makes the cut. This was the first single off the album and it brings back the dirtier guitar distortion. This song keeps it real.



I know there are plenty of other great songs from this great band. What say you? Was STP one of your first CDs too? Ever shoot heroin with Scott Weiland? Feel free to leave your favorite STP songs or memories in the comments.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top 10 South Park Episodes

Both the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks can win a game today and advance to the next round of their respective playoffs.  With that said, it is obvious that I should post about something completely different than my favorite NBA and NHL teams, right?

South Park returns tomorrow with the first episode of their 15th Season.  I've loved the show from the very beginning and would consider myself highly equipped to make a list like this.  Going in though, I'm sure that you cannot break this show down by only 10 episodes, so many deserving episodes will be left out.  Feel free to make mention of your favorite episodes in the comments.

I'll embed a few clips of the episodes I talk about, but you can go to SouthParkStudios.com to watch any episode you want. 


10. Chinpokomon - Not only does South Park make fun of the (at that time) growing Pokemon phenomenon, but it also gives commentary on the possible Japanese take over of America! Wait- that's not right. It gives commentary about fads that children like and how parents need to stay involved with their children's interests. But of course, South Park manages to accomplish this in an over the top manner that only they can.


9. Butters' Very Own Episode - I love Butters. I think a lot of people out there do. In this episode, they give Leopold Butters Stotch the spotlight and his own theme song! His dimwitted innocence and love of Bennigan's leads this episode down a road where they call out the Ramsey's and OJ for their likely crimes of the past.


8. Timmy 2000 - I remember being in college and LOVING this episode. Wheelchair bound Timmy joins a band and has a rivalry with the evil Phil Collins. Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld are a hilarious yet oddly rocking band. This Season 4 episode showed the route that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were about to go down.

7. Hell On Earth 2006 - This episode is crazy. It has Satan play the role "Sweet Sixteen Girl" while his minions attempt to throw him a party. From Butters dealing with Biggie Smalls to the "Three Serial Killers" attempting to get Satan's Ferrari Cake to the party, this episode kills. Of course, there is also the awkward appearance of Steve Irwin at the party...

6. Go God Go (Parts 1 and 2) - The very next episode of season 10 shows Eric Cartman impatiently awaiting the release of the Nintendo Wii. He is so impatient that he gets Butters to help freeze him, but then he accidentally wakes up 500 years in the future. In the future, the idea of God has now been rejected, but there are three groups of Atheists that are at war with each other- one of them being a group of Otters. Sound ridiculous? It is. But it's also hilarious. Especially when Cartman calls himself in the past, tries to reason with his past self to no avail, and then admits, "I hate that guy!" So awesome.

5. Scott Tenerman Must Die - Cartman has proven that he is one sick, evil bastard. No episode proves it like this one. He is bullied the entire episode only to get his revenge in the final seconds of the episode. Moral of this story? Don't f*** with Cartman.


4. The Coon 2 Trilogy - The comic book art is phenomenal and Cartman getting kicked out of his own superhero group is hilarious. I give this trilogy extra bonus points for revealing how Kenny dies every episode and continues to come back. Commentary on BP is great and Cartman teaming up with the evil Cthulhu is a perfect touch on this series of episodes.

3. Cartmanland - At this point in the list, I realize that this exercise is futile. I'm missing too many awesome episodes. That doesn't stop me from enjoying the fact that Cartman inherited a million bucks and bought his own amusement park. At first he tried to allow only himself in, but eventually had to allow in the public. It became profitable, but he hated that everyone else got to enjoy his park. Classic Cartman.

2. Hooked On Monkey Phonics - Phonics Monkey alone makes this episode go to the top of the list. Phonics Monkey even kills Kenny! Hilarious! Not only that, but they even have Dio play at the elementary school dance at the end of the episode. "Holy diver- you've been out too long in the midnight sea..."


1. Gnomes - That's right. My favorite episode of South Park ever involves the Underpants Gnomes. Want to know how I came up with this conclusion. It was easy.

1. Pick the best episode.
2. ???
3. Profit

I live my life by this very equation/motto to this day. Never question the Underpants Gnomes! Within the hilarity, South Park also makes fairly valid points about big and small business. Over the top comedy mixed with social commentary is their staple, and it is the reason why they've been able to make it all the way to a 15th Season.


I know I missed a ton of episodes. This is an impossible task. If nothing else, my list is filled with funny episodes, but let me know what your favorites are.

Can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

You know the drill- weekend recap now.  Do you think that is a good idea K-10? 

















"Yes, Tony B. Bark! Bark!"

Alright, then let's do this. 

Friday:

Friday was pretty crazy.  Mrs. B. and I were trying to get an offer on a home before end of business Friday.  We are looking at houses in the West Sacramento area and are really excited about not only having our own grown-up house, but also to get out of our hell-hole apartment.  Yeah, there's an actually portal to hell forming in our ceiling.  Not surprisingly, it leaks dirty devil juice (rain water) into the area that used to be my music area (I had to move my stuff out of that area unless I like wet instruments- which I do not.) 

I digress.  Our realtor and lender did a great job to get an offer on the table, so now we'll just wait to see what happens.  In the meantime, we're going to continue looking at other homes.  It's a pretty fun process, but it would be nice if we get this house we bid on (obvious statement of the day, I suppose.) 

After squaring things away on that front, Mrs. B. and I went to the gym, then rushed home to shower and go out to Chili's with Katrina and John.  I'm not sure why, but that tall Bud Light I ordered was more refreshing than usual.  I'm assuming it was just some extra unwinding from the week of work and the house hunting process. 

Once dinner concluded, John and Katrina came back to the hell-hole and John broke out his recent purchase: a bottle of Jack Daniels Honey.  I was interested to try this stuff and it did not disappoint.  We first tried it on the rocks and it was pretty solid.  Very drinkable by itself.  After that, we tried it mixed with Root Beer.  I'm fairly certain the resulting drink should be called "A&W Hard Candy" because that is exactly what it tasted like.  Definitely give it a try if you're down with Root Beer.

My only complaint is a mild one.  The drink is awfully sugary, which might be a plus for some people, but I find that excessive sugar mixed with alcohol can lead to ridiculous hangover headaches when abused.  It was fine for our couple drinks, but if you drink it all night I think it could lead to some crushing pressure on the old temples.

Saturday:


Not much went on during the day.  Mrs. B. drove over to the house we bid on and saw that a realtor was showing it to other people.  We scowled and hoped that the people's "feet were clean" as to not mess up the carpet.  I love being territorial over something that isn't even ours!  After driving around a bit, we headed home because I had to get ready for a gig that evening. 


The gig was an interesting one.  I was playing at a guy named Travis's house in Roseville.  He had seen me at the Boxing Donkey and hired me to play on his rather large property during his bonfire party.  It was a blast.  Playing private events and house parties is always a trip because you never really know what to expect, but Travis and his friends were awesome.  They made great requests, rocked out, sang a long, and even bought some CDs (MUCH appreciated!)  Of course, I still couldn't get away from someone yelling out "Freebird" but hey- I may never escape that curse.

One funny thing, at some point, a guy came over who looked an awful lot like Stone Cold Steve Austin.  He grabbed the mic and started yelling at the people in the party to tip money and/or buy CDs.  Since he was telling people to give me money and because I didn't want any trouble, I just let him get it out of his system.  I almost told him to tell the rest of the party that if they don't give me money, that he would Stone Cold Stunner them one by one.  I decided against it because I was literally on a very rural street which might as well have been in the middle of nowhere.  I did not need the guy to take a comment the wrong way and, worse case scenario, kill me and feed me to the goats! 


In all seriousness, everyone at the party was awesome and I was happy to meet everyone.  Their support made the gig easy.  If anyone is interested in booking me for a house party, please inquire within


Sunday:


Mrs. B. and I headed to her Mom's house for a pleasant Easter brunch.  We ate and then I spent time coloring in a coloring book with our niece.  I'd like to think I was spending quality time with our niece and yet, coloring was pretty fun- even if it was in a Barbie coloring book.  I was definitely rocking Burnt Sienna. 


Now how about those Chicago Blackhawks?!?  I wish I could give some good analysis on the game, but I'm such a novice when it comes to NHL hockey, I really have no idea what to say.  I'll do my best:


Frolik is a savage.  Do I know his first name?  No.  Do I think it is amazingly awesome to score a penalty shot and injure the Canucks' goalie on the same play?  Yes.  That dude was working his tail off and the Blackhawks force a Game 7 because of it. 


Robert Luongo's name is hilarious.  From now on, whenever I hear it, I will think of the Chicago Sports Talk I've been listening to every morning (670 the Score.)  Apparently a caller called in and said early in the series that the Blackhawks need to "Swat Luongo" in order get back in it.  The hosts were cracking up and I'm sure you have NO IDEA where they took this.  I'll give you a hint- it rhymes with "schmasterbation." 


Luongo's fall from grace has been amazing to see.  Coming out of the locker room in the 3rd period cold was definitely not helpful for him, but he did have a full intermission before coming back out for OT.  Win or lose, the Blackhawks are providing fine entertainment and not giving up the defense of their title easily.  That is fun to watch. 


Last, I'm finally all the way caught up on "The Killing."  Gotta love AMC programming.  They are "killing" it these days.  Bad pun closer!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thank You Notes

Jimmy Fallon's sketch made much, much worse by yours truly.

Dear Fantasy Baseball,

Thank you for crushing my soul each and every week.  My team is awful.  However, this week, they are doing pretty well- only to be slaughtered by my opponent (commenter Brandon) because he is, of course, scoring the most points in the league.  Awesome.  Just awesome.

Sickeningly,
Tony B.

------------

Dear Extra Day For This Post,

Thank you for actually giving me something to talk about.  Not only was I busy yesterday, but was there really anything to talk about?  I would've had as much to talk about as Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe

...,
Tony B.

-------------

Dear Indiana Pacers,

Thank you for coming guys, but it's cool- the Bulls will take it from here.  Danny Granger- did you still want to face the Celtics now?  In all seriousness, the Pacers are a pretty decent #8 seed (now as opposed to how good they were earlier in the year) and I think the Bulls will benefit later on for having a decent challenge in the first round. 

Better luck next year,
Tony B.

--------------

Dear Chicago Blackhawks,

Thank you for putting the SMACK down on the Canucks the last two games.  Keep this rolling and maybe you can dig yourself out of that ugly 3-0 hole you made for yourself.  Punch those Canadians in the nuts!  Yes, I'm aware that not everyone on the Canucks are Canadian. 

Go 'Hawks!
Tony B.

-----------

Dear NFL Season,

Thank you in advance for not getting canceled.  IF you in fact you get canceled, I don't know exactly what I'm going to do on Sundays in the Winter.  California may not be that cold, but I'm fairly certain my heart will turn to ice.  I will write a depressing song each Sunday and release an album in the Spring.  Maybe it won't be that bad an idea... unless I write a ballad about missing Jay Cutler- then you'll know I've gone insane. 

Get a deal done,
Tony B.

-------------

Dear Amazon.com,

Thank you for letting me a part of your Associate program.  All these links may not amount to any extra change in my pocket.  However, I do enjoy trying to find the most random links to place in certain spots.  Also, I'm quite aware that the only qualification I have to be in the program is that I run a blog that posts somewhat regularly.  It feel great to be part of such an exclusive club.

Rock on,
Tony B.