Saturday, September 30, 2006

Baseball Fever...Catch It!!!

The baseball playoffs start in just a few days and there's good news everywhere:

1. Not only have the Yankees won the AL East, but they also won home field advantage throughout.

2. The Red Sox were destroyed by the Yankees back in August and didn't make the playoffs.

3. The Dodgers made the playoffs and I've got tickets.

The bad news:

1. Randy Johnson might be out of the playoffs with a herniated disk.

2. I don't know any bar in LA that caters to Yankees or fans of New York fans. I know bars that are Boston/New England-friendly (Sonny McLean's), Philly-friendly (The Shack), Pittsburgh-friendly (Champs), but no big Yankees/NY bars around town. I would love to go to a bar where I'm surrounded in people wearing the pinstripes and Jeter jerseys. But I do have a friend (Dolder) with HDTV, and he happens to live next door, and he might be up for watching some Yankee-ball...even if he is an Orioles fan.

Friday, September 29, 2006

"The Office of Tomorrow"



Over at cnn.com, there's an article about the Capitol Records building being sold off. The story says that Capitol will remain in the building on a long-term lease. This has been a rumor for a while, but it's still disappointing to hear.

I've gone into the building once, about ten years ago, when a friend who was interning there, took me on a tour late one night. I saw some of the studios, tons of offices and gold records. Despite my discomfort with heights, we went onto the roof, and the view was one of the best I've ever seen of Hollywood.

A little trivia: there's a red light that blinks on the needle atop the building. It blinks "Hollywood" in Morse code.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nuts and Honeys: Game 2 Recap

NUTS ‘ROCK’ED
BY CONTROVERSY

UMPIRE’S BOTCHED CALL ENDS GAME;
COSTS NUTS AND HONEY WIN


Montez, clearly safe, slides into first on the controversial play.


NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Coming off the high of their comeback win in the opener, Nuts and Honeys were on the cusp of winning their second nail-biter in a row. But it was not to be, as a game ending blown call at first base, one that rivals Don Denkinger’s missed call in the 1985 World Series, forced the Orange-clad warriors into a 2-2 tie with the Schoolhouse Rockers

The Nuts took the field atop the first, and it became apparent quickly that the team had matured from their opener, as they looked more calm, focused, and comfortable. With Doug Weyek starting the game on the mound, the Rockers barely made a dent, and were clearly shocked and awed by the highlight-reel catch by Dustin Montez, who grabbed a screamer that was barely off the ground.

In the bottom of the first, the patient Corey Wish walked to lead off the inning, and moved to second on Sam Kraft’s force out. A single by Montez pushed the leadoff runner to third. With only one out, Nuts pitcher and resident big-basher Weyek came to the plate and blasted a ball deep into center and between all outfielders, driving in both Wish and Montez. As Weyek tried to stretch the hit from a triple to a homer, the Rockers threw the ball at his legs. The umps called Weyek out, claiming that the ball hit him on the heels. But neither Nuts, nor Honeys saw the ball make contact, and argued the questionable call, but the umps held their ground. Despite the call, Nuts and Honeys had raced out to a 2-0 lead over the Rockers.

With a flurry of hits and some misplayed balls, the Schoolhouse Rockers came back in the top of the second to tie the game. But the Honeys were anything but rattled, as they stood strong behind their second pitcher, Brian Buller, who got out of the inning without giving up another run.

Both teams struggled offensively: the Rockers were prone to the double play, and the Nuts had runners in scoring position in the second, third, and fourth, and each time, failed to score a run.

In the bottom of the fifth, Nuts and Honeys came to the plate with the threat of a tie looming. With one out, and no one on base, Corey Wish stepped up to the plate and legged out a tough single. Captain Sam Kraft’s clutch sacrifice pushed Wish to second base. But, with Web-Gem nominee Dustin Montez coming to the plate, there was a sense in the air that the Comeback Kids were at it again.

Dustin kicked the ball to the left side of the infield, where the Rockers’ shortstop fielded the ball. As Corey rushed from second to third, the shortstop threw to first. Dustin slid into first, easily beating the throw; very clearly safe on the play. As the first baseman struggled to hold the ball, Corey rushed around third and crossed the plate, scoring what appeared to be the winning run for Nuts and Honeys, who rushed out in celebration of their last-second win.

But, the celebration was short lived when first base umpire called Montez out at first, and the home plate umpire agreed with the call. The game was officially over, and the teams were deadlocked for good at 2-2. The controversy raged on as the replay (courtesy of Nuts and Honeys videographer, Adam Avagliano) clearly showed Montez was safe. The Honeys went Nuts, hoping that someone would listen to their cause. While the home plate umpire refused to watch the footage, the first base umpire watched the replay, and openly admitted that he missed the call.

As of this printing, Captains Sam Kraft and Cindy Bautista are taking the team’s case to WAKA’s board, in hopes that someone, somewhere, somehow, will say “I’m sorry,” and award the game to the real victors.

GAME NOTES: 19 Nuts and Honeys were active for the game…Before kickoff, only three of the Honeys (Captain Kraft, Captain Bautista, and Tia Ayers) were at the field, ready to play. N&H faced the possibility of forfeiting the game if there weren’t four females on the field. But, just moments before the game time, Cheri Ota arrived to fill out the roster. As the game began, Karen Agnes arrived, making it five Honeys available to play…Scott Miller, in his N&H uniform, made his first appearance at the North Hollywood Rec Center since breaking his arm…Tod Purvis made his first appearance of the season as a Nut after missing the first game due to an ankle injury… Injury List: Gwen Mesco was out with a toe injury; Chris Roach was out fighting a nasty flu/cold; Steve Niel played through a pulled quad muscle and is day-to-day; Tom Fiscella pulled his oblique in the second inning and is day-to-day…Not only was there controversy over the umpiring, but also a conspiracy theory: the umps were from Wonderballz, the team that badly stumbled against Nuts and Honeys last week. The first base umpire who botched the call at first was Jake, the Wonderballz pitcher who was devastated by the onslaught of Nuts and Honeys, and also got mocked openly in last week’s recap. Okay, let’s face it, no one reads this thing, so I highly doubt the recap had much of an affect on Jake, but for my ego’s sake, I like to think it did.

Nuts and Honeys: Game 1 Recap

VICTORY SUNDAE COVERED
WITH NUTS AND HONEYS!

ROOKIE TEAM COMES BACK FROM BEING
ORANGE PULP TO ORANGE CRUSH
IN HISTORIC FIRST-EVER WIN!



NORTH HOLLYWOOD – What started as an ugly “Opening Day” for Nuts and Honeys, took a dramatic turn that was both sweet and crunchy. The newest addition to WAKA’s Studio City League could be re-dubbed “The Cardiac Kids” after their pulse-pounding comeback win against the Wonderballz.

The expansion-team, decked out in bright orange shirts, camouflage pants (and a few in full camouflage face-paint), took the field atop of the first inning, but, despite an energy that was infectious, the team looked nervous and slightly overmatched by the Wonderballz, who started strong.

In the first, the Wonderballz struck with a flurry of singles, both deep flies and bunts. Nuts and Honeys showed their inexperience in the field, as multiple defensive miscues allowed a number of runners to get on base and score. Very quickly, the Wonderballz jumped to a 4-0 lead.

Wonderballz, over the course of the next two innings, continued their bunt-first approach and added two more runs to their lead. But Nuts and Honeys chipped away, knocking in runs in both the second and third, making the score 6-2. Despite the gap, what became apparent as the game wore on was that the Honeys had calmed down, and dug their cleats into the dirt, determined to win.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Nuts began their Everest-like climb, scoring quickly on a number of singles and bunts, bringing the score to 6-3. With Larry Curtis on first, Brian McCarthy drove the ball into center for a single and Walsh slid hard into second to avoid the tag.

When Matt Taylor stepped to the plate, the Wonderballz pitcher, Jake, was clearly rattled. The flustered pitcher quickly walked the patient Taylor to load the bases. Then, Captain Cindy Bautista stepped up and, hit a smash to the right side, but with a few timely errors, both Walsh and McCarthy scored. The momentum had clearly turned in favor of Nuts and Honeys, who still trailed the Wonderballz, 6-5.

With Bautista on first and Taylor on second, Michael Ching stared down the Wonderballz and drew a clutch walk to re-load the bases. Then, Captain Sam Kraft befuddled Wonderballz pitcher Jake with her dazzling switch-hitting/dancing moves, forcing yet another walk out of the clearly frustrated pitcher, and scoring Matt Taylor to tie the game at 6-6. With the bases loaded again, Doug Weyek came up again and smashed a single out to the outfield, scoring Bautista, putting the Honeys ahead, 7-6.

In the fifth, pitcher Doug Weyek re-entered for the Honeys to close out the game, Mariano Rivera-style. After getting a quick single, the Wonderballz couldn’t get another ball out of the infield, leaving their runner marooned on first.

When Nuts and Honeys ran out into the field in celebration of their first ever game, they could no longer say they were unproven. After this win of epic proportions, Nuts and Honeys could say they’re unbeaten.

GAME NOTES: 22 players were active for Nuts and Honeys…The game was started by Doug Weyek, but Chris Roach pitched well in relief in the 3rd and 4th innings to earn the win, before Doug re-entered the game to close it out and earn his first save…Controversy surrounded the umpire crew, who were questioned both teams. The controversy began quickly when the second batter of the game for Wonderballz double-kicked a bunt and the call was nearly missed. The first base umpire was struggling to make timely calls, as well as mixing up signals for safe and out…Every player wore the initials “SM” on their arms in honor of fallen Nut, Scott Miller, who broke his arm in his first practice and is out for the season…There were a few minor injuries as Gwen Mesco got a stinger in her left hand attempting a catch in the first, and centerfielder Steve Niel pulled his groin in the top of the first, but both remained in the lineup…Smoke from the Helicopter Ninjas game briefly bothered some players, but really, it went away pretty quickly…The theme music for each of the Nuts and Honeys seemed not only to entertain the team, but also their opponents, who were caught singing and dancing to “We Built This City (On Rock and Roll).” I’m guessing their big fans of Jefferson Starship.

Nuts and Honeys

I joined a kickball team with a bunch of co-workers. (Yes, it's the game you played in 2nd grade with the big red ball) I did it because I thought it would be fun and there were rumors of cheap beer after the games. Well, even without the beers, it's been a ton of fun.

I'm on the team "Nuts and Honeys" in the Studio City League of WAKA. We're 1-0-1 and I'm one of the left fielders. Somehow, I got roped into becoming the team's official re-capper, so I'm posting the recaps here, for the hell of it.

We practice every Wed. (yup, practice), and we have games every Monday at the North Hollywood Rec Center. I haven't played on an organized sports team since intramural floor hockey in college, so it's been a little different being a part of a "team." Hell, I even bought cleats for better footing.

So anyway, when you see the recaps that I'm about to post, you'll understand.

Rough Riders

I briefly mentioned that I was at a bachelor party over the weekend for my friend Adam. On the 2nd day of the party, we went ATV'ing on the sand dunes at Pismo Beach, which, was pretty amazing. I thought we would just be riding around on the shorline, but these dunes went on for miles, and the hills were pretty amazing.

To give you an idea of how big it was (courtesy of Tim):




And here's a video clip, courtesy of Tim, as well:



I can't wait to go and do it again!

Just About A Moonlight Mile

Before you start reading, hit play:


powered by ODEO

Sometimes, I hear certain songs, and I become obsessed with them; obsessed to the point that I must listen to them over and over and over and over again until I've heard the song to death. Then I must hear it again. Heather gets like this with certain TV shows. I do it with songs.

So earlier this year, while watching the disappointing season finale of "The Sopranos," I found my new obsession: "Moonlight Mile" by the Rolling Stones. The only part of the finale that really worked for me were the two scenes that used the open and close of "Moonlight" to bookend the episode. Other than that, I don't think anything happened in that show.
"Moonlight Mile" was a song that had mildly obsessed me before, but it was more of a flirtation than full-on-creepy-stalker obsession. But after seeing it on "The Sopranos," I became focused on it.

"Moonlight Mile" is the final song of "Sticky Fingers," which is pretty damn close to a perfect albums; from the first chords of "Brown Sugar" to the final guitar strains of "Moonlight Mile," the album never stops. (If you've never heard the album as a whole, I suggest you stop reading, go buy it, listen to it a million times, become a huge fan, then come back and read this)

I began to listen to "Moonlight" non-stop: in my car, apartment, at home, walking around. I even used my ancient cable box with "InDemand" to re-watch "The Sopranos" scenes with the song in it.

Then I focused on the lyrics and found the following:

1. In the song, Mick sings about his "head full of snow." Between this and the "Brown Sugar," I'm guessing Mick and Keith might have been using some drugs. Might. Please note my sarcasm.

2. "Moonlight Mile" is their "road song" - touring is endless, I miss you, I'm lonely, etc. We can all relate - business trips and location shoots can be a bitch and there's too many mad mad days on the road.

I researched further and learned the following tidbits from allmusic.com:

1. Keith wrote the initial guitar part, and it was known as "Japanese Thing." But, it sat incomplete until Mick Taylor turned it into this song. This just adds to my belief that Mick Taylor deserves more recognition for his time with the Stones.

2. The song was recorded without Keith.

3. It's Mick Jagger playing the acoustic guitar throughout.


So, why do I bring this up months after "The Sopranos" ended and the song once again becomes a semi-forgotten gem for the rest of the world? Well, as I was driving home on Tuesday night, I turned on my Sirius and caught the second half of "Moonlight Mile" - the dramatic build to the end with strings crescendoing, Mick singing about riding down the Moonlight Mile, and Charlie Watts pounding the shit out of the drums.

It reminded me of "The Sopranos" ending - how it felt like it was the ending of something big - a comedown from a high - much as it is on "Sticky Fingers," which is why it's such a great album ender. As I was driving and listening to it, I thought about how I was 29 and turning 30 the next day. I don't think of my 30th birthday as much of a change, but, symbolically, I thought to myself, this is a good way to end my twenties, feeling like the music was telling me it was the end of something big. And so went my twenties, riding down the "Moonlight Mile."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Word of the Moment: Fusty

This weekend, I was in a mini-van, on a road trip with a bunch of friends for a bachelor party. During the three-plus hour drive to our destination, my friend Colin had noxious gas, which he described as being "fusty." We all instantly fell in love with "fusty," and used it throughout the weekend, but believed it was a creation of Colin's fertile imagination. To our surprise, "fusty" is in the dictionary, and this is definition #1:

having a stale smell; moldy; musty

So, now that we all know the definition, please use "fusty" around your home and workplace. You'll thank me later.

Some examples:

"I need to clean out my lunchpail because it's gotten a bit fusty."
"With the windows closed, the apartment's smelling fusty."
"Someone dropped a fusty one in the men's room."

And to answer your question, yes, Colin's farts were fusty.

Breaking Down

This is my first post on my very first blog, and I'm a bit nervous. For a couple of years, I've been hesitant to blog, but since it's not going away, here's what held me back:

1) I was scared to jump into the blogging thing?: I've felt peer pressure from a number of people (including Gwen and Patry) to get into blogging. My main concern was that I've never been able to keep a journal regularly and was sure that there was no way in hell I'd ever keep this thing up. But, Patry did mention something that made sense: blog secretly for a little while and if it work and I keep up with it, gradually make it public. So, here is my secret blog. Please don't discover it until I've gotten this thing down.

2) Who would want to read about my boring life?: Seriously, who would? But I have to tell you, I'm entertained by all sorts of blogs on the inter-webber-nets, and not all of them are super-exciting. And if their blogs aren't exciting, maybe someone out there might just find this half-amusing (or perhaps, just a time-waster at work).

3) What the hell would I title this thing?: I sat here for twenty minutes, trying to come up with some sort of witty name, and, to be frank, I didn't think a pun-based title would remain amusing beyond tomorrow. I searched through the ipod for some inspiration and the best I could come up with was "Everyday I Write the Blog," based on Elvis Costello's "Everyday I Write the Book," but A) it fell into the category of a lame, pun-based title, and, B) As much as I love Elvis, I don't really like "Everyday I Write the Book" (and if you agree, check out the alternate version on the "Punch the Clock" bonus disc, which is much better than the album version). So, I settled on a simple, home-based title. (For those who can't find it, head here and look for Rodney Drive in Los Angeles) It's not a sexy title, but let's face it, neither is "Law & Order," and they've snagged a shitload of viewers.

4) What should I post first?: I've gone through a number of potential posts, and most of them are music related. Ideas have included: songs that defined my twenties, Beatles music you should know, why the Beta Band's "Dry the Rain" sounded really good on my headphones at work, and, of course, why my fantasy football teams suck. I'm back pocket-ing those for now, mainly because they're too much work for tonight, so instead, it's a break-down of why I'm doing this. It's my intro, my cold open, my super tease, but with a lot less flash and a lot less fast music and more explination than you'll ever really want.

So, with that, I'm beginning my blog. Now that I've got my first one done, I'm ready for my second.