Sunday, December 24, 2006

My Last Two Weeks: A Recap

It’s been a little while since I’ve written (besides the Guns N' Roses review), so here’s what's been going on:

-The Rodney Drive Christmas Tree shined brightly, but sadly, it dried out real fast. When we left the other day, it was really droopy and kind of sad looking. But before it got droopy and sad, here's what it looked like:
-Erin (my sister) was in town for a few days. Our first stop, naturally was In-N-Out, where she learned about the happiness known as Animal Style Fries. We did some Christmas shopping and witnessed the Griffith Park Christmas Light Extravaganza Thingy.

One of the highlights was the night Erin made dinner for us – a fabulous Chicken and pasta dish with homemade tomato sauces with pine nuts and turkey bacon. So good, and I ate the leftovers all week. Erin is welcome any time…as long as she promises to cook.

We also hit the annual “Dirty Santa” party at the Knauffs'. We had a $25 limit, so I gave “Arrested Development” season 3 and Yahtzee, Heather gave an emergency flashlight/lamp with a TV and AM/FM radio (which was what I gave her for an honorary Hanukah gift), and Erin gave the Amy Sedaris book along with a Margarita mix. Heather ended up stealing a box of cranberry lotions that smell really good. I ended up with gold: a $25 gift card to Best Buy. Second year in a row I ended up with exactly what I wanted. Not too shabby. Erin got a few martini glasses, a book of X-rated drinks, and an air freshener that says “I (heart) My Penis," which really, I hope she doesn't.


-Guns N’ Motherfucking Roses!! (Please see previous post)

-Work has been busier than ever. We’ve had a major (and somewhat insane) deadline to hit because we had to do a major re-tooling, and against all odds, I think we hit that deadline. It was really tough at moments, and we’re certainly “not out of the woods yet” (that’s an inside joke for those who may read this and may work with me), but we’re getting there. Now, if I can just survive the first week of January…

-Lots and lots of late night Christmas shopping. Wow, that kinda isn’t so fun. I started in early November this year, and I swore to myself: “I’m going to get this done early.” But, guess what, I didn’t. But at least I got everything done before I left town. And, to be honest, I think I did well with the gifts this year. I didn’t do a mad scramble around Best Buy and just grab DVD’s, CD’s, and other gadgets that I thought looked cool. I actually put some thought into my gifts. Well done, me.

-Heather and I exchanged our Christmas gifts, and Heather nailed it: she gave me this jacket I was looking at, as well as a guitar!!! A guitar, people!!! I’ve wanted a guitar for as long as I can remember, and now I have one, plus one guitar lesson. This is up there on the list of all-time Christmas gifts…maybe, the top of all time. Now, Patry and I are one step closer to getting our band, “Otto’s Jacket,” signed and touring.

-And the traveling began: we left the other day for NY and spent some time at Heather’s home. It was a short visit to NY for me (a day, basically), but, I got to play Nintendo Wii (I don’t want to brag, but I am very good at bowling), helped buy the Christmas tree (for a bargain price of $20) off a local farm-like place...

...went Christmas shopping, and met up with Heather and her friends for a few cocktails. It was a whirlwind tour, but a great time. As I write this, I’m at Laguardia, getting ready to fly to Charlotte for the rest of my Christmas vacation. The airports are calmer, my shopping’s done, and I’m ready to relax with a cocktail or two.

Guns N' Roses

Last Sunday night, I went to see Guns N’ Roses at the Universal Amphitheater. I know Patry already posted about it, but it was so good, I had to write about it. The openers were Helmet and Sebastian Bach. Helmet weren’t my cup of tea, but Bach was really fun – I was never a huge Skid Row fan, but he really did put on a good show, and I forgot how good “Youth Gone Wild” and “Slave to the Grind” were. They might have to be added to the ipod.

But really, let’s face it, the only reason I wanted to go was to see W. Axl Rose in person, and he really didn’t disappoint. I mean, there were rumors that they were coming on at midnight, maybe not at all, but they showed up at 11:40 and played a 2 hour and 20 minute set, which, on a Sunday night, is really late. But it was so worth it. They played most of Appetite for Destruction, a few off of G’N’R Lies, a few off of the Use Your Illusions, and, somewhere between 4-6 new songs off the forever-delayed Chinese Democracy, which all sounded good, but not great. Actually, it doesn’t matter what they sound like, I’m still buying that album. One of the cooler moments was when Izzy Stradlin showed up and played with the band on a bunch of songs. I guess he’s popping up around the tour and playing a few songs here and there.

Patry mentioned that it was like seeing Axl with a Guns N’ Roses cover band, but they were one hell of a band (and it’s basically the same thing Roger Water is doing on his tour. Either way, they were both great shows in very, very different ways). The new G'N'R just totally rocked. I mean, I threw up more devil horns towards Mr. Rose and crew that night than I think I ever have in my entire life. The show was so loud I had to wear ear-plugs the whole time – a first for me. Despite the ear plugs, my ears were still ringing later that night and into the morning.

Axl was in great shape (especially compared to that appearance on the MTV Video Awards a few years ago). He ran around, controlled the stage, had the crowd on their feet the whole time, and changed outfits about 4-5 times. (no kilts or bandanas!) He definitely had a chip on his shoulder – in the good way – he’s out to prove that he can still do this without his old bandmates, and he certainly proved that to me.

We had great seats, so good in fact, I could actually watch Axl turn his back to the audience, grab a tissue from a box on the back tier of the stage, and blow his nose. Nothing humanizes a rock icon like watching them blow their nose.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Laughing Baby

This kid would be a good audience for anyone telling jokes:

(Thanks, Erin!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Truthiness: Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster recently named "truthiness" as the word of the year. Yes, that's right, Stephen Colbert's influence continues to make the world a better place!

But there's just one problem: in the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "truthiness" is nowhere to be found. So Mr. Colbert and crew have created a new version of page 1,344 of the dictionary - the page where "truthiness" should be found - and posted it on their website so you can print it out and paste it over the old page 1,344. (Note: In Colbert's version, they've removed the word "try" from the dictionary - who really needs that word)

Well, you don't have to go to Colbert's website to get the page. You can get it here:

Let's fix this problem, friends, and spread "truthiness" around the world.

Meet the New Ball...Same As the Old Ball

Okay non-sports fans, stick with me for a moment...

The NBA pissed off a lot of players when they changed their ball from the classic leather ball to a synthetic model that looks like this:
The ball looks like it was designed for a basketball scene in some crappy movie about the future. But that wasn't the only problem. Apparently, all the players in the NBA hated it, not just because it didn't feel like the old ball, but also because some of them were also getting cuts on their hands from using it. The NBA put a lot of time in effort in introducing it: Commissioner David Stern felt like it would take some time to get used to and defended it strongly.

Until two days ago. Out of nowhere, Stern decided that they're going to go back to using the old ball in a couple of weeks. This was a total change from every public statement he had made since the start of the season.

Why does this sound so familiar? Because it reminds me of what happened with the introduction of New Coke.

I'm pretty fascinated with the whole New Coke fiasco. I mean, one of the biggest brand names in the history of the universe decided to mess with their product to try and keep up with the times. But damn, didn't they just screw it up. I mean, at the opening press conference, here's what the CEO of Coke, Roberto Goizueta, said:

"[It's] smoother, uh, uh, yet, uh, rounder yet, uh, bolder ... it has a more harmonious flavor." Not quite the inspirational words you'd want to use to describe your supposedly delicious, new, soda.

You can see it in this clip from a 1986 CBC report:

Two quick questions on the video: 1) Was that the older brother from the Wonder Years? 2) How can you motivate your company by comparing selling New Coke to storming the beaches at Normandy?

Here's where the basketball and New Coke mirror each other:

-David Stern said everyone would get used to the ball. Coke's marketing research noted that people who reacted positively to their new formula would still need time to get used to it.

-Every player in the NBA hated the new basketball. Everyone hated New Coke

-In just a matter of months, the NBA went back to the old ball. After three months, Coke re-introduced Coke Classic to please everyone they pissed off.

-Both were public disasters that could've been avoided. Both amuse me.

Also, I highly recommend a BBC Documentary about the New Coke debacle called, "Trouble at the Top: The People vs. Coke." If you ever see it on the Tivo, check it out.

And for some more flashback enjoyment, here's a couple of New Coke commercials.

Max Hedroom:

And Bill Cosby:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Miss Arrested Development

One of the reasons I miss the show, no more chicken dance:

Concert Etiquette For Hippies

I went to a show last night with Patry, and it was for a band who shall remain nameless. Anyway, the show was pretty good, but the band is a bit of a jam/hippie band and attracted a hippie crowd, something I hadn't seen since I was in college.

While I enjoyed the show, I was distracted by the crowd of hippies who really don't care about fellow concert goers. So, here are some lessons on concert etiquette:

1. Shower: Please don't be afraid of taking a shower. It won't hurt you - it's only water streaming down to make you clean. Seriously, it's just common courtesy, people. There were a whole lot of people with that bad B.O. smell and at a small-ish club, that's unacceptable.

2. Dancing: If you're a hippie and dancing, I'll let you in on a secret: you dance like an asshole and you're taking up 10 feet of valuable space because you're dancing like an asshole. An example:

Stop dancing. Now.

3. Shoes: Dancing hippies, please put on shoes. I was wearing shoes and sticking to the floor. Pretty nasty. Some hippie dancers were barefoot and dancing around on the same floor that my shoes were sticking too. That's just wrong!

4. Quilted Pants: There is a reason that no store in the history of successful commerce sold pants that are quilted together: They look stupid. Just plain idiotic. Please don't wear them.

5. Crowd Courtesy: If you're 6'4", stay at the back of the crowd. If you're standing in that spot before I got there, I won't stand behind you and bitch. But in mid-concert, don't move in front of me because there's an opening. I'm 5'10" - I'm not in your way. Maybe you could stay out of mine.

Now please, stop dancing like an asshole and put some shoes on.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models: Heather Keller

My blogging has slowed this week due to a hectic time at work - it was so crazy, I actually forgot about the internet for a few days.

Anyway, continuing on with the "Live From Rodney Drive Blogging Series on Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models!" (which is incredibly popular amongst those from Finland and France who have stumbled upon the page when googling the words "Corkey Bucheck" or "Big Star")

Our latest entry is from my favorite actress in the world, Heather Keller, who can be seen early next year at Theatre West in "Dancing at Lughnasa." Anyway, here's Heather's thoughts on an actress who has been very influential to her over the last few years, Jennifer Garner:

When "Alias" aired, I began to look up to Jennifer Garner. Partly because she was so good in her role as Sydney Bristow, but also, because she wasn't anorexic-thin and didn't appear fake in her interviews. She seemed a bit dorky, but that only made her more human instead of seeming like a robot under the influence of a publicist.

Her interviews have gotten more publicist affected, but her body is curvy and athletic. In this day and age of more and more kids becoming paranoid about food and entering eating disorder facilities, I think we need more role models whose main goal isn't to be as skinny as possible.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models: Dave Willer

The 3rd installment of the "Live From Rodney Drive Blogging Series on Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models!" has been slightly delayed due to my hectic week. But, since you've all been waiting so patiently, here it is!!

Our next up is a friend I met in second grade and became fast friends with after talking about our love of Knight Rider. Here is TV News Director and fellow new blogger, Dave Willer, who gives some love to a director who was kind to him years ago, Ross Kestin:

I was inspired by Ross Kestin, who was a director at KABC-TV while I interned there in 1997 for the spring semester (January - May). I saw that he had a lot of respect, but at the same time was easy going, good at his job and seemed to enjoy it. Seeing that he could make a career out of TV news helped me realize that I could as well. He also answered all of my questions and let me sit with him a lot and just asked that when an intern asked the same of me, that I oblige, which I have always done.

We've emailed a few times here and there, but I wouldn't say I keep in regular touch with him. He did make fun of me when I was complaining about using 3/4" tape in our rented truck in Binghamton (when the tornado hit our building), saying how they thought it was the greatest thing when 3/4" came out, that it made life so much easier!! Can't believe it. (ED. NOTE: This is amusing to those in TV. If you don't get it, chuckle briefly, and move on)

(ED. NOTE 2: Since I don't have pictures of Ross, that's a picture of a control room for Dave to enjoy.)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

One Hell Of A Band

The "LFRDBS on II&RM" will continue tomorrow, but first, here's a BBC Radio commercial with, what could be, one of the most amazing bands ever:


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models: Erin McCarthy

It's time for the second ever "Live From Rodney Drive Blogging Series on Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models!" The popularity of yesterday's entry had people coming by the, let's just say it was the biggest day ever at Live From Rodney Drive.

Today's entry takes a more personal turn, as my sister, cell biologist and über-nerd Erin McCarthy drops some wisdom on us about her role model, our dad, Jerry McCarthy:

As part of a family that actively avoided having to learn about science, at first glance it wouldn't seem like I was inspired to become a cell
biologist from my family....but I was. I am blessed that both Mom and
Dad were huge supporters their nerdy daughter, but I would have to say
specifically that Dad really let me see the beauty in understanding how
things work.

I remember always asking him how things actually the plumbing in the house let us shower, how our bank receives our checks, how the rocks in rivers get smooth....anything. I think a lot of the time he may have made up an answer, but I couldn't get enough....I wanted to see how these things worked first-hand. Dad would be my first checking account holder at the fake bank I set up in the basement. Dad bought each of my 3 Rock Tumblers (they were pieces of crap, but I loved them!) so I could see how rocks became smooth. The list goes on but I know Brian's memories of my experiments make me out to be more annoying than inquisitive. Fast forward to now and my drive to figure out how things work isn't any different. In thinking about how a cell lives and divides, I just think about things on a smaller scale as my dad taught me, but obviously, Dad can't help me figure it out now. Somehow none of this rubbed off on Brian....he just wanted to figure out a way to make things funny.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models: Blake Levin

So, it is time to begin the first ever "Live From Rodney Drive Blogging Series on Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models," which can be shortened to: "LFRDBS on II&RM." Nice and tidy!

First up is from TV Producer and Master of NHL '93, Blake Levin:

It might seem cliché since you know me well, but my biggest inspiration has always been Wayne Gretzky. Although he doesn’t work exactly in my industry, I have always been an admirer of his and I keep a early 90’s Gretzky poster in what ever office I’m working in to remind me.

I have patterned the way I approach projects and my career in a manner that I would hope is similar to the way he approached the game of hockey. As a hockey player, he had the perfect combination of pure natural talent and raw emotion, but what really set him apart from the rest was his intellectual approach to the game. He was always thinking one step ahead of what was happening on the ice and anticipation was the most important part of his game. I feel that to truly succeed in the world of reality television, you have to bring this approach to your work environment. We all can get far working on instinct, on that rush you get when you are shooting something great or figuring out a way to approach a script that you hadn’t seen before, but it’s the constant flash in your mind of what happens next that will allow you to truly succeed in this industry.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Inspirations, Influences, and Role Models: The Intro

This week's Entertainment Weekly is entitled "The Inspirations Issue," which is basically celebs and artists talking about the people who inspire them or were role models or influences in their careers.
As I was reading it, I thought, "No one ever asks my friends about their influences in their professional life." And then I added, "There are also no magazines about my friends." Well since I'm not a multi-millionaire who owns a publishing company, I can't make a magazine about my friends (although if I could, my magazine would be called "B" and I would be featured every month on the cover looking incredibly skinny).

So instead, I asked a number of people about their inspirations, influences, and role models. Here was the question I posed:

Who has influenced/inspired you to get to where you are?

I've gotten a number of responses and so far, they've all been incredibly different, and interesting. I'm still awaiting more, and anyone else who reads this and wants to add their influence/inspiration/role model, please send me an email.

I'll be posting each of these individually. Coming tomorrow morning: TV Producer extraordinaire, Blake Levin.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Blogging IV: The Quest For Peace

Thanksgiving is over!! All that just for one meal. Next time, we're just getting some Panda Express and serving it buffet style. So much easier.

Actually, we had a great time. Our friends Christa, Jenny, and Asa came over and we ate like kings and queens.

Here's the spread:

The ladies begin the meal:

The party:

The dessert table:

The leftovers:

The turkey was great. I enjoyed it, but was a bit worried that people weren't into it. But when Heather, who isn't much of a fan of turkey, loved it and couldn't get enough of it, and even had after everyone left and we had cleaned up. That was a sign that the turkey was a hit. The sides were seemed really good. I was a bit nervous that no one liked the food, but everyone seemed to enjoy it all.

The desserts were definitely huge - the marble cheesecake and the peanut butter eyeballs I made are favorites of Christa's, so I couldn't go wrong. Christa's apple pie, despite being a bit liquidy, was a big hit.

I have to pat us on the back for holding, what appears to be, a successful Thanksgiving meal. It was a bit of hard work, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Thanksgiving Day Blogging: Part 3

Preparations continue as we only have 15-20 minutes until guests arrive.

The mashed potatoes are done and Heather's making her broccoli and cheese dish:

The candles are lit:

The table is set:

And the cat is ready to eat:

Thanksgiving Day Blogging: Part 2

Well, the cleaning is just about over, and there's still some last minute shopping to be done. Overall, I think the place looks great. Here's some quick pix:

The dining room/office

The serving table

The living room

Also, Erin and I have been testing out a new Thanksgiving tradition: we've hooked up our webcams and left them on as we clean and cook. It's pretty cool - makes it feel a little more like we're hanging out today. I highly recommend it for those of you across country from the rest of your family.

Thanksgiving Day Blogging: Part 1

Okay, so I'm going to try and post a couple of times today with little updates about turkey day..

I went to sleep later than I planned, but I woke up earlier than I wanted to, but only because our neighbor, whose bedroom wall is up against ours, leaves their alarm going off every morning. This has been going on for the last two weeks or so, and usually it's fine since we need to get up for work. But today I needed the extra few minutes of sleep, and it woke us up a little bit after 8:30am. What makes it even worse is that not only are we up and cranky, but everyday, we have to listen to the alarm go off until it shuts itself off. The good news is, the alarm finally shut itself off after ringing for 40 minutes. I was not thankful for that at all.

But I'm awake now and it's time to start getting this day going. I'm off to help clean some more of the apartment, and then start working on the side dishes.

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving...

Ah, turkey day is finally here...It's just after midnight here and I've finished prep for the night. I raced through gridlock to pick up the deep fried turkey from Spring Street Smoke House . I've made three desserts: a marble cheesecake, peanut butter eyeballs, and non-dairy pudding (which isn't quite becoming pudding; I think because of the soy milk we used). Heather cleaned a most of the apartment, and Winnie, as usual, sat around and licked her crotch.

Anyway, I wanted to share an amusing memory from about 12-13 years ago. A little set up: we still lived in New Jersey, and for those who don't know, my Mom was Jewish. It was just before Thanksgiving and my Mom was at some sort of school function for me. She ran into a classmate's mother. This other mother was a big part of her church and very religious.

The woman jabbered away about her Thanksgiving plans, and then asked my Mom, "Janice, you're Jewish. What do you do for Thanksgiving?" My Mom, obviously, was taken aback by the question, but she didn't miss a beat, telling the woman, "We don't celebrate Thanksgiving. We fast and pray all day." The woman left, satisfied with her answer. Hopefully, she never found out the truth and asked another Jew about their Thanksgiving day of fasting and prayer.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Corporate Tunes

I guess MBNA and Bank of America merged and they had some sort of big meeting/pow-wow to talk about the merger. Well, some guy named Ethan Chandler, who I guess works for Bank Of America and also is a singer/songwriter of some sort and a BIG Counting Crows fan (see his website for more great info) performed a MBNA/Bank of America merger version of U2's "One." I guess this was going around on Friday, but I missed it:

Awful. If you're doing a parody, you should be doing it with a smirk, but clearly, the guy (and the audience) are taking it very seriously. This guy does NOT mess around with his U2-based songs about business mergers.

Over the weekend, David Cross was performing with Modest Mouse and did his own performance of the song:

This whole U2-butchering reminds me of a song that was passed on from, what I'll call for the sake of their innocence, an acquaintance. This person once worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and told me that there was a corporate theme song, which he then played for me. It is amazing. Judge for yourself:

PricewaterhouseCoopers' "Your World/Our People"

powered by ODEO
I thought about the singers and session musicians who were forced to make this crap and I felt half-bad for them, but I'm guessing they got paid a ton. Based on my experiences, I imagine the execs gave them a ton of bad notes on the song like: "Can you add more whammy bar on that guitar, please?" or "We'd like an acapella section that inspires our employees to clap along!"

These are just more reasons why corporate America should never be running music labels. Oh wait, too late. I guess that explains a lot.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Itunes Randomness: The Back Seat

The other day, I was listening to some music on itunes, and The Arcade Fire’s “In the Backseat” came up on the shuffle. And I thought for a moment, “Hmm, a peanut butter cup would hit the spot right now.” Then I thought, “There’s a few songs on my itunes that share a common theme: the back seat of a car.”

Why would musicians write about back seats of cars? Maybe they all rode to gigs in their best friend’s Pinto, and simply were amazed at the amount of room they had in the back seat, right? Or, maybe it’s simply a statement about the carnal desires of horny rock stars? Or, maybe it's none of the above?

So I did some research and here’s the three songs and some thoughts:

Song #1: “The Back Seat Of My Car” by Paul McCartney

powered by ODEO
The final track on McCartney’s second album, “Ram,” is a bit of a mini-suite: It’s slightly bombastic and a bit over-the-top with the orchestra and McCartney-wailing at the end, but I think that’s partially what appeals to me. (Criticize McCartney all you want for being a bit sugary during his solo years, but despite "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," “Ram” is damn good album that isn't too sweet or sappy!)

We all know that McCartney has a bit of a weird history with cars and sex (please see: “Road?, Why Don’t We Do It In The”), so it’s a bit telling that McCartney appears to be re-visiting the subject. Maybe he’s telling us that he’s got a fetish for back seat sex? Should I now go back and look at every McCartney lyric and assume that he’s thinking about making love in the back seat of a car. This means you should substitute "back seat of a car" for the “end” in the line “And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take." Dude, that totally ruins Abbey Road!

But according to allmusic's analysis of the song, “In his autobiography, ‘Many Years from Now,’ McCartney explains that all of these car songs (which he would go on to write well into the '70s, with singles like "Helen Wheels") had their genesis in the long, random road trips he and new wife Linda McCartney used to take in the waning days of the Beatles, on which they would deliberately get themselves lost.” I guess I was wrong. Whoopsie! Paul’s reading this right now and asking, “Who’s the perv now, beeyotch?”

“Ram” is McCartney’s second solo album, so the declaration of “We believe that we can’t be wrong,” seems to be a message to the rest of the world - he and Linda are on their own and giving themselves a self-affirmation, but they’re doing it in song form, as opposed to going to a counselor of some sort.

But, according to wikipedia, John Lennon believed that, “the protagonists who sing ‘we believe that we can't be wrong’ in "The Back Seat Of My Car" were directed at himself and Ono. The former song was, in fact, intended as a message to Linda McCartney's ex-husband. Nevertheless, Lennon would respond in kind later in 1971 with the searing "How Do You Sleep?" on his Imagine album.”

On a side note, Lennon also mocked McCartney on the "Imagine" album when he placed a photo inside the cover of him grabbing a pig - a straight up parody of the cover for “Ram.” I think it’s safe to say that things between the two were bitter at the time.

Song #2: “Back Of A Car” by Big Star

powered by ODEO
We go from McCartney to a band heavily influenced by the Beatles: the great and underrated Big Star. Originally on their 1974 album “Radio City,” you can now find "Back of a Car" on the “#1 Record/Radio City” combo CD. If you don’t have it, lie to me, because it’s way too good not to have and I’ll question your taste otherwise.

Anyway, “Back Of A Car” is a pop gem that gives what McCartney didn’t deliver: a song about someone having a naked lambada party in the back seat of their AMC Pacer. Thank you, Big Star! Just read the opening lyrics and you know what’s happening:

Sitting in the back of a car
Music so loud can’t tell a thing
Thinking bout what to say
And I can’t find the lines

On the website, they note, “Anyone who hears this is ‘there’ at a stadium Rolling Stones show with a bottle of Jack in one hand, and a bong in the other, listening to blaring Zeppelin out of distorted Jensens. For those with a drug-free past, substitute anything very exhilarating here.” Even if your idea of getting high is overdosing on Pixie Stix and Moutnain Dew at a Yanni concert, you get the picture.

On first listen, you’d think that this is a sweet love song, but reading the lyrics, it’s more about a relationship on the ropes; a couple who probably shouldn’t have done what they just did. These two should be basking in the afterglow, but there’s some sort of tension between the protagonist and their lover. It appears that they’re in a rough spot and trying to figure out what their relationship is and if they should stay together:

You know I love you a lot
I just don’t know should I not?
Waiting for a brighter day
And I can’t find a way

I'll go on and on with you
Like to fall and lie with you
I love you too

Baby I’m too afraid
I just don’t know if its okay
Trying to get away
From everything

Why don’t you take me home
It’s gone too far inside this car
I know Ill feel a whole lot more
When I get alone.

What’s also interesting to me is that the song could be either a back-and-forth between the couple or just purely from the woman’s perspective.

Wow, I’ve never been so bummed after two fake people had fake sex in a car.

Song #3: "In The Backseat” by The Arcade Fire

powered by ODEO
But leave it to “The Arcade Fire” to take sexuality out of the backseat entirely and make a beautiful and haunting song about people dying. I guess between 1971 and 2004, a lot of things happened.

So The Arcade Fire were the darlings of the music world two years ago when “Funeral” came out, but I half-ignored it for about a year, and even then, I didn’t really get into it until a few months ago. Silly me for ignoring "Funeral" – it’s pretty damn good.

“In the Backseat” is the album closer, and, it’s a bit of a comedown from the rest of the album, kind of a like a nice glass of Grand Marnier after one hell of a meal and dessert. In their review of the album, allmusic says that the protagonist “dissects her love of riding ‘In the Backseat’ with the radio on, despite her desperate fear of driving.” I think that’s safe to say, but there’s a bit more to it. She sings:

I like the peace
in the backseat,
I don't have to drive,
I don't have to speak,
I can watch the country side,
and I can fall asleep.

Despite taking lead vocals on the track, it’s obvious, that someone (the lead singer on this song) is not a leader. She’s much like Buster Bluth, who learned to blend into the background of any situation from the Milford Academy, the school that excels in teaching kids to be neither seen, nor heard.

My family tree's
losing all its leaves,
crashing towards the driver's seat,
the lightning bolt made enough heat
to melt the street beneath your feet.

Alice died
in the night,
I've been learning to drive.
My whole life,
I've been learning.

On an album named “Funeral,” you expect to get some talk of death, and the Arcade Fire certainly does oblige here. Taken literally, I guess our narrator doesn’t have pleasant memories of driving since she’s killed Alice when she learned to drive. It's probably a bit deeper than that, but I just don't have the energy to try to analyze this any further.

But, I do have advice for any budding/aspiring rock stars: If you're writing about cars, you should stick to sexual themes when writing about the back seat because it's got much more potential to be uplifting, although that appears to have it’s problems as well. (See: “Star, Big”)

Maybe just stay away from the backseat altogether and sing about your 22" rims. I like it when they spin.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Magic of Editing

This guy's got a bunch of videos on youtube. This is pretty damn cool:

Nuts and Honeys: First Round of Playoffs Recap


Captain Sam Kraft’s game-saving catch

Under the lights at the North Hollywood Rec Center on Monday Night, the Pregnant Cheerleaders were hoping to “Rah-rah-sis-boom-bah” their way past Nuts and Honeys and into the second round of the playoffs. But Nuts and Honeys were ready and armed with the “morning after” pill, as well as an intensity and fire that reminded many of the high school football star who accidentally forgot to “pull out” and impregnated those Cheerleaders. As the two teams waged a war of kickball against one another, it appeared that the battle would continue long into the next day. But Nuts and Honeys ended the night earlier than expected as they scrapped and scraped their way to their most important victory of the season, beating the Pregnant Cheerleaders 4-3, and advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

In the top of the first, with the aid of a wild strike zone and some questionable calls, the Preggos were able to strike early, scoring two quick runs. But huge catches by Chris Nye, Captain Sam Kraft, and Dustin Montez ended the inning and prevented a flood of runs from coming in and holding the score at 2-0.

To lead off the bottom of the first, Nuts and Honeys sparkplug Corey Wish continued his stellar play when he bunted his way onto first. Dustin Montez took advantage of the small strike zone and walked, and Doug Weyek followed with a single to load the bases. With only one out, Steve Niel kicked a single to drive in the first run of the game, cutting the Preggos’ lead in half, 2-1.

But controversy surrounded Brian Buller when he kicked a blooper that landed just inside fair territory at third base and bounced wildly into the outfield, scoring what appeared to be the tying run. But the Cheerleaders protested, claiming that the ball had popped on the kick, making it a dead play. The umps agreed, erasing the second run, forcing the runner to return to third and Buller to re-kick. Frustratingly, on the next pitch, Buller fouled out, and it appeared that Nuts and Honeys were affected by the call. But Captain Sam Kraft re-focused the team with a single, driving Montez home to tie the game at 2-2.

The teams remained deadlocked through the third, but in the top of the fourth, the Preggos broke the tie when they scored their third run of the game. Once again, it appeared they might break the game wide open, but huge catches by Montez and Kraft, slowed the momentum, and a huge play by Brian Buller, who fielded a bunt and threw to first, ended any chances for the Cheerleaders to score.

In the bottom of the fourth, Nuts and Honeys struck back. Steve Niel lead off with his second single of the night to begin the rally. Brian Buller pushed Niel over to second with a single, and as the Preggos were slow to field the ball, Niel sprinted to third and Buller swiped second. Captain Kraft bunted for a single, loading the bases and re-energizing the squad.

Brian McCarthy then booted a mile-high pop up between first and second, but the Preggos’ fielder wasn’t able to make the catch, allowing Niel to score the tying run, and McCarthy to reach first safely. Due to the dropped ball, Kraft was tagged heading to second for the first out of the inning. With runners on first and third, Travis Greene kept the rally alive with an infield single. After Captain Cindy Bautista popped out for the second out of the inning, Chris Nye stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. Nye had preached patience to his teammates all night, and, at the most important time of the game, was able to demonstrate that patience, earning a clutch walk to push the lead run home, giving Nuts and Honeys a 4-3 lead.

With the slimmest of leads, Nuts and Honeys took to the field for the fifth, hoping for an easy 1-2-3 inning. But the Preggos weren’t giving up that quickly and put the pressure on when their first two kickers of the inning got on base. With no outs, the Nuts and Honeys defense dug in as they had all season. Travis Greene made a running grab near second to earn the first out of the inning. Second baseman Eric Staskiel smoothly fielded a grounder and threw to Kraft at first for the second out of the inning.

With the runners now at second and third and two outs, the Preggos needed a single to tie the game and keep their season alive. Their next kicker knocked a bloop that was driving past first base and appeared as if it would fall into fair territory, just between right fielder Tia Ayers and first baseman Kraft. But Kraft sprinted into the outfield with her back to the ball. As the ball sailed into the grass, Kraft turned her gaze skyward and watched the ball return to the earth. She extended her arms and grabbed the ball, making, what some would call a Willie Mays-like catch. “The Catch,” as it is now known in North Hollywood circles, ended the game, closed the door on the season for the Pregnant Cheerleaders, and allowed Nuts and Honeys to live to play another day.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


The other day, Sony released the Spider-Man 3 trailer, and it's pretty kick-ass, but there was no image of Venom in the trailer. Over the summer, at Comic-Con, they showed a rough version of the trailer and it had a shot of Venom in it. Well, it's now on youtube and looks really cool:

I cannot wait until May 4th!

UPDATE: Sony's made youtube take down the video. But you can still find it here, or here.

Awful Video Alert!: The 1986 Dallas Cowboys Christmas Special

I was searching around youtube for that fantastic video of the irate Dallas Cowboys fan that spread around last week, but instead, I stumbled onto the 4-part trainwreck known as "The Dallas Cowboys Christmas '86." As a Giants fan, I hate the Cowboys, so this was a fantastic find. It might take the title of "Worst Christmas Program" away from "Star Wars Holiday Special," and that's saying a lot.

There's four parts - I was able to make it through part 1 entirely, but the other three get worse and worse - it's pure torture. Each chapter is some sort of music video, and the first two have nothing to do with Christmas.

If you watch, you'll see:
-Herschel Walker rap and turns into a cartoon superman that doesn't fly
-Air guitar and air drumming. That's right, air drumming. Lots of it.
-Roger Staubach singing
-Tom Landry rapping

I do want to warn you: these videos will make you hate Christmas as much as you hate the Cowboys.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

I sent these off to - we'll see if they post them.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Cat vs. Dinner Update

Nearly 30 minutes after Winnie settled down on my leg, she finally meandered off my leg to go eat some food and lick her crotch. The timing couldn't have been any better as my foot began to fall asleep. Now it's time to eat some food!!

Dinner wins!!!

Cat vs. Dinner

There's a major debate going on in my head right now - let me set the scene:

I'm on the couch, listening to some music, checking my email. Our cat, Winnie, not known to be a lap cat, leaps onto the couch, makes her way onto my lap, and settles down on my right leg, resting. This is a very rare thing.

Imagine this, but on my leg:

Here's the catch: I'm hungry. I need to eat dinner.

Who wins out?

Right now, it's the cat, because she put her head down to sleep and she just looks too damn cute. Also, this will make Heather jealous that I'm getting attention from the cat.

If only I had a camera on me right now...or a remote control within reach to switch stations on my Sirius radio because I'm not a real big 10,000 Maniacs fan. Oh, the song ended and it's old-school R.E.M. Nevermind.

I guess I won't be moving any time soon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I've kept this blog a secret since day one. But today, my privacy was compromised. My secret was no more. I was blog-outted!!!

I was at my desk, eating lunch, and editing my post on Thanksgiving when Gwen walked by and spotted me writing on She said, "Are you blogging?" I replied, "No I'm not...well maybe." Gwen, along with Patry), were both pushing for me to do this shit. So when she spotted it, she became very excited, and clearly proud that the peer pressure had gotten to me.

I thought I had covered up my screen well enough so she couldn't see, but apparently, she saw the title of the blog, then, spread the word to Afsheen who then searched and found it. I asked Gwen not to read until I told Heather. My guess is that both of them have already read it due to impatience.

This is not the way I planned my blog-outting. I was warming up to the idea of telling people, going slowly, explaining that, "Yes, I blog." It's not easy, people. If I were a motivated person, I'd take the "People" magazine cover with Lance Bass that says "Yes, I'm Gay," and photoshop it with a picture of myself and the caption, "Yes, I blog!"

So for those of you reading...welcome. And for those of you snooping around my desk...STAY AWAY!!!

PS: Gwen and Afsheen, you're both on notice!!!!

Nuts and Honeys: Game 8 Recap


Captain Sam Kraft says, "You stay classy, Studio league!"

NORTH HOLLYWOOD – After two heartbreaking losses, Nuts and Honeys came to their final regular season game with one goal in mind: finish the season strong and storm into the playoffs. But the Mean Girls and Boys Next Door were looking to take advantage of the Honeys’ recent losing streak and jump in the standings for the playoffs. With so much on the line for both teams, it was quite a surprise when Nuts and Honeys bullied the Mean Girls and Boys into submission and then sent them home for dinner, winning 10-0, clinching the 4th seed in the playoffs and sending a message to the rest of the league: We’re back!

In the top of the first, Corey Wish led off with a single, and Tia Ayers pushed Wish over to second with another single. When Dustin Montez singled again, the speedy Wish sprinted from second to home to score the first run of the game. Doug Weyek booted a single deep into the outfield, pushing both Ayers and Montez home for a 3-0 lead.

Brian “Bullet” Buller kept the rally going, kicking the fifth consecutive single of the inning. Travis Greene put a-hurtin’ on when he kicked a bases-clearing triple, bringing the score to 5-0. With first base open, the Mean Girls walked Steve Niel. Brian McCarthy drove in the final two runs of the first inning when he kicked a towering pop up that the fielders couldn’t handle. Greene and Niel took advantage of the gaffe and scored on the play. With a 7-0 lead, Nuts and Honeys were clearly in control.

The scoring continued for Nuts and Honeys in the second, when Tom Fiscella led off with a single. Fiscella went to second on Gwen Mesco’s first kick of the season. In the controversial play of the night, Cheri Ota kicked into the infield. As they threw to get the force at second, Mesco unintentionally ran over the rover who fielded the ball, knocking her to the ground. Fiscella took advantage, running all the way home, scoring the 8th run of the night. Mesco was apologetic for knocking over the helpless fielder, but has now earned a reputation for being violent, and quite possibly, a threat to the physical well-being of all teams out there.

In the third, Corey Wish singled and moved to second on Dustin Montez’s single. Doug Weyek kicked a grounder to the rover, who forced out Montez at second. Wish took advantage once again and scored for the second time of the night, giving N&H a 9-0 lead.

Nuts and Honeys continued their offensive show in the fifth, as Chris Nye led off with a single. Captain Sam Kraft singled and drove Nye to second. Tom Fiscella kicked his second single of the night and drove in Nye for the 10th and final run of the night.

But it wasn’t all offense for Nuts and Honeys. Weyek and Nye pitched a dominant shutout and had help from a defensive front that was stellar, including great plays from Tia Ayers, who made a huge catch to preserve the shutout in the fifth, Dustin Montez, who made a huge double play in the fourth, and Tom Fiscella, who, in the third tipped a screaming line drive into the air, and bobbled the ball until finally, he was able to control it and catch it.

It was the first time in weeks that Nuts and Honeys looked strong both offensively and defensively. But in order to continue their season, N&H will have to double that effort against the dangerous Pregnant Cheerleader’s squad in the first round of the playoffs. “The Pregnant Cheerleaders may be dangerous,” Captain Sam Kraft noted, continuing confidently, “but we have our Cadence, and the best defense in the league. Bring it on!”

GAME NOTES: 17 Nuts and Honeys were active for the game…The 10 runs scored were more than Nuts and Honeys had scored in the last three games combined…Captain Cindy Bautista was able to kick, but due to her finger injury, will not be in the field for the rest of the season. Both she and Chris Roach will be designated kickers for the remainder of the playoffs...And one last note for the regular season: Dustin Montez would like to say, in honor of Steve Niel, “Shakalaka Mutha Fucka!”

Thanksgiving Prep

I found out last night that Heather and I are having people over for Thanksgiving. This will be the first time that I'm co-hosting and responsible for a Thanksgiving meal. There's a number of things I'm already planning in my head and need to solve soon:

1. The guests: We've got a few people coming over, but have to figure out a final head count for food prep. I don't know how big we can go because we have a small apartment and not a ton of furniture. CONCLUSION: This requires much thought and discussion.

2. The turkey: I've never cooked a turkey before, but more than willing to learn how to. But Heather brought up a good idea: we'll get a deep fried turkey. We've bought a deep fried turkey at my dad's house at Christmas and Thanksgiving, and they're delicious. Since they're deep fried, they're also incredibly easy - you just have to heat it up. CONCLUSION: This sounds both delicious and convenient.

3. The side dishes: This is where the guests can help out, so I'm not as worried, but, I do make a mean bowl of dirty mashed potatoes. Heather will probably make a broccoli/cheese dish. We'll have to get some sort of rolls, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. But beyond that, I'm a bit stumped. We have to be prepped for all types of appetites and dietary concerns. A salad? A soup? I'm not really sure. CONCLUSION: This is where we'll need some help.

4. Desert: My specialty! Usually, Heather and I spend Thanksgiving with our good friend Christa, and it's my duty to make a marble cheesecake, as well as peanut butter eyeballs. I'll have to add to that list: pumpkin pie, apple pie, and probably some ice cream. CONCLUSION: We'll start baking a couple of days early and maybe even buy some of these already made.

5. Entertainment: We're fine with that - music, movies, football, board games, booze. Actually, we could have a Boggle tournament...or a Yahtzee tournament...or a Cranium-off. CONCLUSION: Let's get ready to BOGGLE!!!

6. Cleaning: Ummm...yeah.

There's a lot of pressure to make this Thanksgiving good - hopefully, with a lot of booze, they won't notice our rookie mistakes.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nuts and Honeys: Game 7 Recap

Normally, yours truly, Brian “McNutCaster” McCarthy would write up some sort of witty recap here about “Nuts and Honeys.” But due to our two straight losses, I’ve checked myself into a mental facility to treat my acute depression, and I won’t be able to write a recap of our loss to Valley Girls, 5-0. I’m so despondent that I’ve cried for a week straight – my longest stretch of sadness since the first time I saw “Titanic” in the theaters. But, I was able to ask a journalist friend of mine to step in and do a write up, so here, to help me out, straight from Kuzcek, Kazakhstahn, is BORAT SAGDIYEV.

Jageshemesh! I am Borat! In America, there is game called ‘kickball’ that is very similar to Kazakh game ‘kickdog,’ only in America they kick ball, not dog. Very strange! I went to game in North Hollywood, California.

In game, I see two teams. The team who did not kick ball enough was Honey Nuts, which in Kazakhstan means ‘a man’s testes satchel.’ The other team who kick ball more was Girl Valley, which in Kazakhstan means ‘a woman’s Vazhïn.’ I would like to make sexy time with Girl Valley. NICE!

In game, they make womens play next to big strong mens. In my country, if men allow women to play in game, they must play naked. But in ‘kickball,’ women make plays with pants and shirt on. There is much less sexy time and liquid explosion on field in American game.

Also, when people go to kick ball, they play songs, but I no hear favorite song of Corkey Buchek, “Bing Bong.” It is #1 hit in Kazakhstan.

Part of game is that when ball is kicked, the people in field catch ball. This similar to another Kazakh game where we throw gypsies and must try to catch before they hit ground. I like you, do you like me?

At end of game, Womans Vazhïn beat Man’s Testes Satchel, 5 kicks to 0 kicks. I want Man’s Testes Satchel to win because they nice. Also because Woman’s Vazhïn remind me of my ex-wife. She dead now. HIGH FIVE!! She was borrrring!

At end of game, there was no sacrifice of goat. Why not?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Baseball Hibernation

The Cardinals beat the Tigers in the World Series last night in a really boring World Series...I should clarify, boring if you're not a fan of the Tigers or Cardinals. The games were close, but not dramatic. There was no big moment besides the Kenny Rogers/Pine Tar incident. A Subway Series would've been so much better than this. Too bad it didn't happen.

But now, it's the long off-season. I do enjoy the Hot Stove season, but I'm a little nervous about what the Yanks can and will do. They, as everyone, need pitching, but I don't think the free agent market is great, and I certainly don't want them trading any good prospects away. And, really, A-Rod should stay unless you can get a #1 or #2 starter and a big-time starting third basemen for him. Oh yeah, and Gary Sheffield's being a pain in the ass because they signed his one year option and might trade him. Big surprise.

Since the Yanks got eliminated, I've found comfort in the NY Giants, who, for the first time in years, seem like the real deal. When they made their Super Bowl run in 2000, they were a pretty bad team early in the season and happened to get hot at the right time. Last year was a pleasant surprise since Eli was still, theoretically 'a year away,' but this year, they're supposed to be good. After starting out 1-2 and dealing with the Jeremy Shockey/Coughlin criticism, the team has played incredibly well and are now 4-2 and sitting in first place in the NFC East.

Even thought the Giants are playing well, and the NFL is endlessly entertaining, it's not baseball. I love watching football and Sunday is a holy day of sports, but in the winter, I really long for nine innings, Vin Scully, and a hot dog and a beer. When I was a kid, I dreaded the off-season, mainly because there were so few articles on baseball and there were no baseball stats to follow. I used to look forward to opening the Star Ledger to find an article about the Yanks or about a big trade happening somewhere in MLB. At least now I can surf the web and read all the random trade and signing rumors to keep me busy.

As with all baseball fans, I'll now be counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Nuts and Honeys: Game 6 Recap


NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Depressing! Horrifying! Downright ugly! Those were the words used to describe the state of the field where Nuts and Honeys battled Uno Mas on Monday. Despite the poor field conditions, Nuts and Honeys and Uno Mas locked horns in an epic battle that pitted #1 vs. #2; the undefeated upstart versus the powerful vets; two titans looking to leave it all on the field. And when it was over, and the dust finally settled, Uno Mas squeaked out a 3-2 victory, giving Nuts and Honeys their first loss of the season, and changing the leader board dramatically, as Nuts and Honeys fell out of first place for the first time since week three of the season.

After holding Uno Mas silent for the top of the first inning, Nuts and Honeys took their place at bat and struck quickly. Speedster Corey Wish singled easily and was pushed to second on a sacrifice grounder by Captain Cindy Bautista. Dustin Montez singled, pushing Wish to third. Doug Weyek popped out to the short stop, deep enough for Wish to tag home, and score the first and only run of the inning.

In the second, Uno Mas struck back, quick and hard, kicking a number of singles, and, with some incredibly aggressive base running, were able to manufacture two key runs in the inning, taking a 2-1 lead.

Uno Mas tacked another run in the third, taking a 3-1 lead, and in the top of the fourth, they threatened to blow the game wide open. With a runner on board, a kicker for Mas booted the ball beyond first, but right fielder Tia Ayers sprinted to make a spectacular catch, getting the first out, and preventing the runner on first from advancing. Uno Mas put another runner on board with their second single of the inning, and the next kicker tried to drive the ball into right field. The ball was driving fast and far, and looked like it would clear the outfield, but once again, Ayers made an even more spectacular, leaping catch, surprising Uno Mas, and preventing both runners from advancing.

Nuts and Honeys struggled offensively in the second and third, partially due to the great defensive play and pitching of Uno Mas. But in the fourth, the slumbering Nuts and Honeys offense finally woke up. Ayers, who single handedly re-energized the team with her defensive stardom, lead off the inning with a single. Chris Roach, kicking for the first time since his finger injury, followed with another single. Michael Ching singled to load the bases. Tom Fiscella, inspired by the Detroit Tigers, singled, and drove in Ayers, bringing Nuts and Honeys within one run of tying the game.

With no outs and the bases loaded, Karen Agnes popped a bunt deep beyond first base, in hopes of bringing in the tying run. Chris Roach left a half-second before the catch was made, and was called out after Uno Mas threw to third and stepped on the bag. But with two outs, and Fiscella and Ching on first and second, Corey Wish knocked a single into right field. Ching sprinted around third and made a run for home. But halfway home, Ching tripped and fell onto the baseline. Uno Mas threw the ball in and tagged the bloody, fallen Nut for the final out of the inning.

In the top of the fourth, Uno Mas dug in and tried to widen their lead, but the Honeys were ready and waiting in the field. The leadoff batter unwisely kicked to Tia Ayers, who once again, made a fantastic catch to earn the first out of the inning. The second batter bunted directly to shortstop Montez, who threw to Captain Sam Kraft at first. But the ball bounced off of Kraft and, luckily, into the runner, who was called out. The third batter lined between second and third, and Travis Greene made a running catch to end the inning without allowing a runner on board.

Nuts and Honeys needed a miracle comeback in the bottom of the fourth in hopes of earning a win. Captain Bautista lead off with what should’ve been a single, but when running to base, she slowed down after badly pulling a muscle in her leg, and was thrown out at first. Montez followed with a bunt, but the pitcher fielded the ball quickly and threw Montez out for the second out of the inning.

Down to the final out, Doug Weyek stepped up and kept hope alive by singling to left. Brian Buller continued the rally with a single that went beyond second base. As Uno Mas continued to field the ball, Weyek sprinted beyond second and took a risk, hoping to take third. But as he was running, Weyek looked over his shoulder to see the ball coming right at him. Weyek tried to leap, but the ball clipped his foot, and the game was over: Nuts and Honeys were undefeated and in first place no more.

GAME NOTES: 18 Nuts and Honeys were eligible for the game…the entire Nuts and Honeys team were given a prescription for Prozac to prevent post-loss depression from setting in. Actually, let’s face it, I’m really the one depressed and need help. I can’t write about losing any more. This team needs to win next week so I can stop crying as I write. Please. (Sniff, sniff!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

First Month Anniversary

Wow, the blog is officially a month old, and how we've grown in a month. Remember in high school, when you were "dating" someone and a month was a big enough anniversary to warrant flowers or some sort of gift? Well, instead of a gift, I'm giving myself a blogging grade. I'm going to critique two qualities and then give a cumulative grade:

1. Content: I'd say the content is okay. I'm still struggling at times, trying to figure out what to write, and I think it shows. There's a lot of things I've thought about writing about, but still not comfortable enough to write them. The kickball recaps are pretty big and meaty and take up a lot of time. Youtube videos can seem lazy, but they're fun. And I did have a few too many music/Rolling Stones blog items, at least in my mind. GRADE: C+

2. Quantity: This is the 23rd post, which, after a month seems pretty good, but I got off to a roaring start. Things have slowed lately, but I'd say that's because I've been damn busy lately and haven't had a lot of time to do much blogging. To be honest, I never thought I'd be able to keep up as much as I have, though, and would've tired of this after two days, but I haven't. And I kind of enjoy it. So, for the first month, I'd give me a GRADE of B.

That puts my overall GRADE at B-, not bad for my first month. Maybe now, I'll buy my blog flowers. Now, at some point, I should tell someone that I'm writing this crap...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Beat Box

A few months ago, I went to see Gnarls Barkley at the Avalon - good show. Anyway, the opener was a band called Peeping Tom, who were fronted by Mike Patton, the former lead singer of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More. Anyway, Rahzel, the Godfather of Noyze, was part of the band. If you don't know who Rahzel is, he's best known for his beat box work with the Roots. Well, he did a solo bit at the Gnarls Barkley show I saw, and I had been searching for it, and finally stumbled onto it on youtube:

Before he did his spot, the band cleared the stage, so you knew it was only Rahzel making the music. It's kind of hard to hear the "bass line" at first, but it's "Seven Nation Army." Pretty amazing.

Here's another clip from some festival he performed at:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Skateboarding Dog

This one kind of speaks for itself:

Nuts and Honeys: Game 5 Recap



On Monday, Nuts and Honeys were looking for redemption: the disappointment of three straight losses in the Regional Tournament over the weekend took its toll on the team. To regain their swagger, N&H had to deal with the ferocious Rhino Stampede, who hoped to trample Nuts and Honeys in the jungles known as the North Hollywood Rec Center. But before any Stampede could begin, Nuts and Honeys took aim, and poached the Rhinos, in a 1-0 victory that kept N&H undefeated in the regular season and continued their stay atop the standings.

Nuts and Honeys took to the field in the first, but unlike their previous games, there were no jitters, no nerves, no tension. Clearly, after a weekend of kickball, the team was oiled and ready to go. There was a slight concern that pitcher Doug Weyek, who pitched all three games during the regional tournament, could be fighting a tired arm. Weyek quickly put those fears away, throwing heat early and often. Weyek got out of the inning with a little help from Brian Buller and Chris Nye. Buller made an impressive finger-tip catch of a pop bunt to get the first out of the inning. With runners on first and second, Nye, playing left-center, caught a pop fly for the second out of the inning. The Rhino runner on second hadn’t seen the catch and left for third. Nye quickly threw a laser to second, completing the first impressive double play of the night.

Nut Corey Wish continued his stellar work in the lead-off slot, starting off with a bunt single. Dustin Montez followed with another single, and Wish took advantage of lackadaisical fielding, advancing from first to third on the kick. But N&H weren’t able to take advantage, as Doug Weyek kicked a worm-burner to third baseman, who caught Wish slightly off-base and tagged him out. The Nuts threatened again, when, with two outs, and Montez at first, Weyek at second, Brian Buller singled to load the bases. Cheri Ota tried to push the run home, but her bunt attempt went right to the Rhino catcher, who got the force-out at home, ending the inning.

With the Honeys on the field again, Rhinos threatened to score in the second, but were stymied thanks to the continued defensive wizardry of catcher Brian Buller. With a runner on first, and only one out, the Stampede kicker popped up a bunt. Buller sprinted out from behind the plate, made his second spectacular catch of the evening. The runner at first sprinted towards second without tagging up, not realizing the catch had been made. Buller threw a bullet to Captain Sam Kraft at first to complete the double play and end the inning. Buller had sent a message: ‘Do not bunt on me!’ The Stampede got the message loud and clear, as they didn’t bunt for the rest of the game.

The Nuts came to the plate in the second, and Chris Nye got the party started with a one-out single. Captain Kraft pushed him over with a perfect bunt single. Brian McCarthy stepped up and kicked a drive to left field. The Stampede left fielder made a desperate attempt to catch the ball, but missed it, allowing Nye to score from second. Kraft landed at third and McCarthy at second with a double. The Honeys would end the inning with both runners stranded in scoring position, but had taken the lead, 1-0. It was all they would need for the rest of the game.

The strong defensive play continued for N&H in the third. With runners on first and second, and one out, Tia Ayers and Brian McCarthy combined to catch a deep fly in right. Just one batter later, Weyek forced the Stampede kicker to ground to shortstop Montez, who threw to Tom Fiscella for the force at third to end the inning.

In the bottom of the third, the Nuts were, once again, in a good position to score, but couldn’t push any runners home. Michael Ching, Tom Fiscella, and Corey Wish loaded the bases on consecutive singles to start the inning. Captain Cindy Bautista kicked a grounder to the Rhino second baseman, who threw home to force Michael Ching at the plate. With the bases still loaded, the Stampede got a lucky break, as Montez kicked a blooper just inside the first base line. The Rhino first baseman grabbed the ball, stepped on first for the second out, and threw the ball at Batista to end the inning.

The Rhinos went down one-two-three in the fourth, and Nuts and Honeys couldn’t push another run home in the bottom of the fourth. With an uncomfortable 1-0 lead, the orange warriors took the field for the final frame, hoping to turn around their fortunes from the weekend in Fullerton. Nuts and Honeys got two quick outs, but the dangerous Stampede second baseman stepped up to the plate, hoping to spark a last second rally. As he kicked a grounder to Montez, the second baseman tripped and fell to the ground. Montez cautiously carried the ball over and tagged the fallen runner for the final out of the game.

Their record now at 4-0-1, the orange warriors have steadied themselves. But with 3rd place Uno Mas on deck and a target on their back, Nuts and Honeys continue their toughest stretch of the season. “We have to bring our rock solid defense that we’ve been using,” Captain Kraft said, “and step up our offense.”

GAME NOTES: 14 Nuts and Honeys were active for the game…In the regional tournament, Nuts and Honeys struggled, losing all three of their first round games. There was hope, briefly, that Nuts and Honeys could make the second round on a wild card, but the Pregnant Cheerleaders lost their game, costing N&H a shot at redemption…Despite the losses, a number of the team remained in Fullerton to drink heavily. Doug Weyek and Steve Niel also managed to get food at a Carl’s Jr. Drive Through despite their lack of a car…At practice on Wednesday night, Cheri Ota suffered an ankle injury and is day-to-day.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Rolling Stone 500

Rolling Stone recently published their "500 Greatest Albums" list...again. They do this every 5-10 years, and it's a silly list as there's little change from the previous list. The good thing is, though, that it introduces people to albums that they've never listened to. Of course, the list is totally arbitrary, but I had some issues, mainly that some of these albums should be higher on the list:

151. Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen: At #151, this is high, but not high enough. Maybe the people who made the list feel it's more like 'Born To Run 2,' but, in some ways, I feel it's better than 'Born To Run.' I think this should be in the top 100, easily, if only for 'Racing in The Street.'

162. Ok Computer, Radiohead: Wrong! This should be in the top 30, maybe even top 20. Easily the best album of the last 10 years. Wow, it's almost 10 years old, that's insane.

254. Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston: While Whitney Houston was a talented singer, this album does not belong here. I mean, my sister owned this album when she was six-years-old, and any album a six-year-old owns does not belong on this list.

316. Rock Steady, No Doubt: 'Rock Steady,' isn't bad, but it's just not that good. Does it really deserve to be this high on the list? No way. This is candy - sweet going down, but it won't last for long. I'm guessing this will be much lower on the list the next time they make one.

379. Greetings from Asbury Park, Bruce Springsteen: Yeah, another album by Bruce is too low. Maybe because I listened to this as a break up album, or the childhood memories of my dad playing it in the car, but I just love this album. Should be higher than Whitney Houston's crap at least.

403. Radio City, Big Star/438. #1 Record, Big Star: I put these two together, mainly because they sell them together now. Big Star is one of the most underrated bands ever, period. This should be in the top 250.

437. All Things Must Pass, George Harrison: Wow, I can't believe this is so low on the list. Yeah, it could use a little bit of an edit, but this is probably the strongest solo effort by a Beatle. Yeah, better than 'Imagine' and 'Plastic Ono Band,' which are both much higher on the list.

443. Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963, Sam Cooke: No complaints here. This is a phenomenal live album, and if they were to do a 'Best Live Albums' list, this would be up there with the Who's 'Live at Leeds.' Just listen to his medley of 'It's All Right/For Sentimental Reasons,' and if you don't get the chills listening to him pull the audience into it, then you have no soul.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nuts and Honeys: Game 4 Recap



NORTH HOLLYWOOD – When faced with a challenge from the scurvy-ridden pirates of Blackbeard’s Ball Busters, the sailors on the USS Nuts & Honeys looked somewhat seasick. But with some motivation from their Captain, Nuts & Honeys turned their ship around, straight into battle, and sunk the Ball Busters handily, 13-3, forcing Blackbeard to walk the plank, dropping them down to Davy Jones’ locker.

Nuts and Honeys got off to a strong start for the second week in a row. New Kid on the Block Corey Wish was “Hanging Tough,” as he legged out a leadoff single. Cheri Ota pushed the speedy third basemen over on a fielder’s choice to first base. Dustin Montez followed with a single, moving Wish to third. Clean-up kicker Doug Weyek kicked a long single, scoring Wish for the first run of the game. Travis Greene continued the barrage with another single, moving Weyek to second and Montez to third. But the rally was short lived as Captain Sam Kraft hit a laser to the third basemen, who made a spectacular catch, and doubled up Montez, who was heading for home on the play.

But the 1-0 lead was short lived for Nuts and Honeys, who took the field behind pitcher Doug Weyek. But instead of a confident, relaxed team, these Nuts looked uptight in the field, allowing Blackbeard to score two easy runs. The uneasiness continued into the top of the second, as the Honeys seemed to be pressing too hard and failed to score, leaving the game at 2-1 after an inning and a half.

Sensing a building tension that could build up in these Balls, Captain Kraft pulled the team together before taking the field again, and reminded them to have fun and relax. With a new attitude in the field, Chris Roach settled the team down, pitching an easy, scoreless second inning.

If the top of the second was an indication that these Nuts were in calmer waters, then the top of the third would prove that they were in for some smooth sailing. The Nuts began the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles by Chris Roach, Tod Purvis, and Eric Staskiel. With the bases loaded, Michael Ching popped out deep to the outfield. In a heads-up play, Roach tagged up from third to score the tying run of the game, and more importantly, gave these Nuts a shot of well-needed energy.

Corey Wish stepped up with two outs in the inning, Karen Agnes on first, and Staskiel on second. Wish launched the ball deep into left field for a double, scoring Staskiel. The two-out rally continued as Cheri Ota, Dustin Montez, Doug Weyek, Travis Greene, and Cap’n Kraft all singled in consecutive at-bats, and, in the process, drove in five more runs, bringing the score to 7-2.

In the bottom of the third, Blackbeard gained ground on the Honeys, scoring a run, but what was more damaging to N&H was the injury sustained by relief pitcher Chris Roach. When a Ball Buster kicked a pop fly in-between first base and home plate, Roach sprinted to make the play, but the ball curved towards the foul line and clipped Roach’s index finger. As the finger dangled like a dead-flower, it was apparent that the injury was severe, and Roach was taken out of the game, replaced by starter/closer Doug Weyek. After further examination, Roach was diagnosed with torn extensor tendon and has been placed in a long-term splint, landing Roach on the defensive DL for at least six weeks, but will remain on the team as a Designated Kicker. This is just the latest injury in a series that could have a long-term affect on Nuts and Honeys.

Despite the injury to Roach, the team continued their onslaught. To start the fourth, Steve Niel dropped a bunt down towards third base. As Niel sprinted to first, the Ball Buster pitcher grabbed the bunt and threw at the runner. But Niel, with cat-like reflexes, sensed the throw, leaped into the air, and stomped onto first as the ball skipped wildly past the first baseman. Chris Nye followed with a single, advancing Niel to second. Tia Ayers pushed both runners into scoring position on a perfect sacrifice bunt. When Matt Taylor then kicked a grounder, Niel took off from third and bravely slid safely into home. With one out, Chris Nye tagged up on Brian McCarthy’s sacrifice fly to score the ninth run of the game for Nuts and Honeys.

While Blackbeard was held scoreless for the bottom of the fourth, Nuts and Honeys continued to pile on atop the fifth. Eric Staskiel walked to lead off the fifth, and Michael Ching followed with a single, but when the Ball Buster’s fielder’s held onto the ball too long, Staskiel jumped from second to third base. With two outs, Cheri Ota stepped up singled Staskiel home. Dustin Montez followed up with his third single of the game, scoring Ching. Weyek, not to be outdone by Montez, singled for his third time of the game, bringing both Ota and Montez home for the 12th and 13th runs of the game.

Blackbeard made a last attempt to comeback in the final frame, but could only manage a single, as Weyek blanked the Ball Busters for the second consecutive inning. Now at 3-0-1, Nuts and Honeys remain atop the standings for another week, but face Rhino Stampede next week in a battle for first place.

GAME NOTES: 17 Nuts and Honeys were active for the game…Captain Cindy Bautista sat out the game due to a leg injury. Get well soon, Cap’n…Cheri Ota once again continued her Gold Glove fielding in left, making a spectacular catch to rob one hitter of a sure hit in the third. In the fourth, a ball dropped in the no-man’s land between third-basemen Corey Wish and Cheri Ota. As a runner tried to advance from second to third, Ota pegged the runner with the ball before he could reach third…In the fourth inning, the Ball Busters had a man on first and two outs. The kicker drove a ball towards Nuts and Honeys second baseman Brian McCarthy. As the runner advanced from first to second, the ball knocked into him, giving N&H a very easy out. Thanks for the help, kicker…This fine recap apologizes to Chris Nye for not giving him an RKI last week that he totally deserved. Sorry, Chris…The “Beach Patrol” team continues to be victims of the “Curse of Kickball,” with three of the six “Beach Patrol”-ers (Scott Miller, Gwen Mesco, and now, Chris Roach) are out due to injuries. Those who pray before bedtime, please pray that Captain Sam Kraft, Tia Ayers, and Brian McCarthy remain healthy. Otherwise, their EP, Sue Seide, might kill all of them…For the second week in a row, the game time was delayed due to the length of the earlier game…In a furious battle of Flip Cup, the Valley Girls squeaked out a 5-4 victory against Nuts and Honeys. In the individual matches against Valley Girls, Dustin Montez lost to Lorenzo, but Captain Cindy Bautista beat the shit out of Kelly. She might be too hurt to kick, but she can still flip with the best of them…Nuts and Honeys will be playing in the Western Regional Championship in Anaheim this Saturday, October 14. Rock on, Nuts & Honeys!!