Saturday, March 05, 2005

Resident Evil

Lady gets taken hostage. Lady gets freed by hostages. Lady gets shot at by U.S.-led forces while driving to safety. Agent-dude who escorted her out is killed.

Terrible job by us.
Why isn't this a bigger story? This should be a reminder of what a ridiculous war this is. (Oh wait, we're not at war, the "Mission" has already been "Accomplished," how could I forget?)

1,500 soldiers dead. Thousands more wounded. Tens of thousands (modest estimate) of innocent Iraqis dead. ("Liberated," but dead.)

And people claim this is being done to liberate the people of Iraq. If people really cared about that, we'd see Iraq flags on bumper stickers. Or "Support the People of Iraq" flags. But I haven't seen one of either of those things.

Resident Bush is a monster. With a little smirk-mask to cover his true face of evil. And not the cool, Iron Maiden-type evil. The actual innocent-women-and-children kind.

And if you're saying, What does the Italian hostage lady have to do with Bush and the war, well, I'm saying that the whole situation could have been avoided. Just like how my friend Nate wouls still be alive right now if it wasn't for this war.

And these people that shot at the car--they couldn't have shot at it without killing someone inside and wounding the freed hostage? That's what happens in a poorly planned war with poorly trained personnel.

In Red Sox obsession news, I got my Jacobs Field tickets for June games against the Native Americans. Six bucks. Sweet. My usual logic applies: "The Red Sox are playing in Bhopal? How much are tickets? Three dollars? Let's see, a thousand dollars for plane tickets, a couple hundred for meals and lodging...but for THREE bucks, what a bargain! I'd be stupid not to go!"

Whenever I think of the Indians, (alright, 35 to 40 percent of the time) I think of that Anthrax song of the same name. Wow, Anthrax and Maiden in one post. Speaking of anthrax, how's that investigation going, Mr. Bush?

[This post is dedicated to Giuliana Sgrena, and true Italian hero Nicola Calipari, whose names will be forgotten in the U.S. within the hour, if they were even remembered in the first place.]

Friday, March 04, 2005

Parlez Vous

Do a Yahoo! search on "yankees choke," and my site comes up fifth. What a proud day this is for me.

The Red Sox won 17-0 and pitched a no-hitter. Too bad it's spring training. And they were playing a college team. But still...actual baseball games are back again. The circle of life continues.

When I saw this picture of Kevin Millar, I thought, What, is he having twins?

Yes, he is.

Seahorse-boy Up!

Before I decided not to, I had kind of wanted to drive to Florida and see some spring training games. This would have been the week. So I saved a whole lot of money and I avoided the apparent north pole-like climate of Ft. Myers. But our boy Wrong Dog Silva is down there, and he's keeping us up to date with dozens of pictures of concession stand workers and empty bleachers.

Have you noticed that every year around this time we hear about how cold it is in Florida? The crops always freeze, the space shuttle always gets de-iced. Terrible job, Sunshine State.

Last night, and you can stop reading here if you're only here for baseball stuff, Pat & I drove up to one of my favorite places in the world, Northampton, Mass, to see Lou Barlow. This show easily made up for the fact that the Sleater-Kinney shows in NYC sold out before I even checked for tickets, and I couldn't get anybody to go to Le Tigre at Toad's Place in New Haven, strictly because nobody (myself included) wanted to go to the crap-a-rama that is Toad's.

But again, Lou Barlow and Northampton both rule, so it all worked out. Lou, of course, is the dude from Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh. And Sentridoh. And the Folk Implosion. The music was great, it was him and an acoustic guitar, and a drum machine type thing. He also went back and forth (within songs) between a regular mic and a mic that makes it sound like he's on the phone. The dude has perfect pitch. Find out more about him at his website, (you'll be able to tell why big kids like myself enjoy this guy). Click on the cat picture, and see his reasoning on why he's a cat person. I agree with his logic 100%.

On stage, he reminds me, in a way, of the comedian Stephen Wright, only not as over-the-top-melancholy. (Under the bottom, I guess.) When he would talk between songs, he'd tell these fairly depressing tales, and compound them by accidentally hitting himself in the face with the mic, or knocking his guitar into a mic, making an ugly noise. And he'd just laugh it off. What I'm trying to say is he had a good stage presence, in a Stephen Wright kind of way. At one point he told a story of a cat he took in. After a while, the story went, the cat just disappeared, but then it returned. Then he played the song he wrote about the situation, only to shake his head at the end and say, "It ended up running away again. And it never came back."

He also said he's gotten 25 good haircuts in a row, always telling the barber to take off a half an inch, since his hair is curly. So with that streak, he got cocky on his most recent haircut, and told the barber to take a full inch off, leaving him with way-too-short hair. The way he told these stories were much funnier when he told them, you know how life is.

I saw him play with Sebadoh last year, but I don't remember him being this funny. Maybe it was because last night he had the stage all to himself.

Oh, and he covered that Ratt song "Round and Round." Hilarious. He told the story of Dinosaur Jr practicing in J's basement with MTV on with the sound down (in the eighties), and every time Ratt would come on, they'd turn the sound up.

Northampton-style famous types we saw milling about at the show: J Mascis.

We were going to parlay the trip into a viewing of the Sox game, since we knew we'd be in NESN territory, but the logistics didn't allow it, and we were sure the game would be rained out anyway. So the plan was "Parlay: View and Barlow, Lou." But we only got the Barlow, Lou.

As Bill Hicks would say, "Get off your 'we hate puns' high horse."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Facts Of Life

A quick note on the White House visit: Look at this line, shown here exactly as it appears on, from Ian Browne's article:

"The Red Sox brought about 18 players to the ceremony, and they stood, dressed nattily, while the [resident spoke to the crowd."

I know that the open bracket ([) is right next to the "P" key on a keyboard, but still, it's hard for me to believe this wasn't done on purpose. And if it was--AMEN! Because he's not the president, just the guy who lives in the White House. God, I hope they don't fix that.

And what's this about dressing nattily? I guess if Mindy Cohn is naked, you dress her. Same with Mrs. Garrett. However, Jo Polnacek can stay naked, even though she did wear a yankee hat in that paint-fight scene, which was used on the opening theme for a while. I know what you're thinking. He'd probably like to see Blair naked, too. Terrible job. Blair Warner is not part of this fantasy.

Also, what's with Johhny Damon being pro-Bush? Come back to us, Johnny, you're drifting.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail saying that I, for joining anti-Dirt Dog Nation, aka the Official Red Sox Nation Mindscan Club, would get a chance to buy tickets to yankee games today. (With a one game limit.) Naturally, I'm still desperately looking for Opening Day tickets, so I was psyched to get this chance, after I'd thought there would be no more. Chances.

So today, at the pre-determined time for we with the logo branded on our backs to go to the secret link, I entered the virtual waiting room once again. An hour and a half later, starving, I decided to go to lunch, leaving the VWR open at my desk. (I was at work.) It was like playing the Range Game on The Price Is Right. I knew I'd have to go to lunch eventually, i.e. miss twenty minutes or so of waiting and watching, but I had to wait long enough to give myself a chance of getting through. But if I wait too long, and come back to find out that I'm already through, well, the page might time out, and if it didn't, I'd know that I was wasting time at lunch while I could've been ordering tickets. (And while other people are buying them all up.) You may be asking, "Why didn't you just bring your lunch and eat it at your desk?" What are you, a wise guy over here? I don't know, because A. They don't let you eat meals at your cubicle and B. That wouldn't look good, considering I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be ordering baseball tickets at work.

So as it turned out, I played the Range Game perfectly. As I ran back from lunch, I opened the window to see the thirty second clock at about "4". So I figuratively did the Marty McFly, where he bangs his head on the steering wheel in total frustration, as if to say, Come ON, Delorian, you have to start right now, I can't take this anymore. And sure enough, as the clock hit zero, I watched as the VWR let me in to the office of the good Dr. Ticket.

I looked at my choice of yankee games: All available. Except Opening Day. Damn. But at least I can get any other one. Since I'm already going to Game 2, and the October Saturday game, I picked the July Saturday game. Chose best available. Got 4 Standing Room. $20 bucks a pop, plus $3.50 per ticket plus 7 dollar fee. (But they already got my $9.95...) As you may recall, I recently purchased two tickets to three Mets games for a TOTAL of $7 per game.

Not a bad deal, though, considering the demand. And my extreme love of the Red Sox and extreme hatred of the yanks. Bittersweet, knowing I got pretty close to Opening Day. But that July game rounds out the summer nicely. I've got every home Saturday in July, which is my favorite month to see baseball games, because it's hot and sticky. August is good, too. But it's got those "dog days" goin' for it, whereas the underrated July has to get by with no nicknamed days. But they're both good. And don't leave out my birth month of September--two thirds of it are part of summer, but it's considered a fall month. Terrible job, society.

All that's left now is getting tickets to see the Sox in Cleveland, on sale this Sunday at 10 AM, and then rob a couple of banks to get some money back into my account, and I'm squared away for the whole season.

I could have used my vacation time to go to Florida. Or Paris. Or the pyramids of Egypt. "Nah, you guys go ahead, I haven't seen the Sox play in Cleveland yet, so..."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Big Oh-One

Welcome to Smarch. I am pysched. For baseballs flying over the Green Monster all summer long. I really love watching the Red Sox hit home runs. Home runs, people. Home runs. I guess I'm one of these people they were trying to cater to when they juiced the ball and the players, but screw home runs in general, they're only good if the Red Sox hit 'em. I never understand when people say "I like pitchers' duels," or "I love the long ball." I'll tell you what I love: The Red Sox pitchers pitching no-hitters and the Red Sox hitters walloping dongs. That sounds like an Australian Rules football team. The Walloping Dongs.

Alright, if it's a neutral game, or whiffle ball, I guess I can say I'm a hitting person. No, I take it all back, pitching's cool, too.

But still, when I'm listening to a game on the radio, and suddenly, say, the neighbor needs to borrow some Electrasol dishwasher detergent, but says it's no rush, am I gonna wait til the commercial after the Sox hit or after the other team hits? I'm gonna wait til after the Sox hit, because I want to, no, I feel I need to be there when they're up, because that's when they have a chance to score. Maybe this is my problem: Listening to the radio all my life, I've realized that pitching on the radio just isn't the same as hitting on the radio. I've never said the words, "Aw crap, I missed a fly out thrown by Bruce Hurst and caught by Dwight Evans!" But if you miss a home run by a Red Sox player, even on the radio, you feel you really missed something.

In real life news, the Supreme Court has made it illegal to execute people under 18 in the U.S. Hey, whatta ya know? We actually took a little step toward becoming a civilized nation...

Moving on, there's this thing in New York City, near the many Starbucks of Astor Place, that's, like, a 12 foot tall cube-statue. And at it's base is a flat, circular piece. If you push on the thing really hard (one person on each side works best), it starts to spin around on its base. Which looks really cool, if you didn't know it could spin, because the thing looks like a huge, immovable piece of stone. So me and Chan will always (alright, once or twice) charge at the thing when we're walking in that area, and start pushing at each side of the thing, spinning it around, and then casually walking on. I'm convinced tourists think I'm the coolest person in the world when we do this. And Chan, 2nd coolest, I guess. Well, terriblejobfully, the city has put rope around the "thing." You can't spin it anymore. Come on now. TJ. Maybe it got spun one too many times by people who thought they were the coolest person in the world. Also, I bet it has some special significance other than being "the thing that spins." But I'm not aware of what it is.

Sam, about what I was saying about Torre: I agree that they did a great job of getting to a position where they could win. My point is, doesn't going only that far go against everything the yankees stand for? At this point, they're just not gonna get any credit from me or anybody else for "almost winning."

Did the Red Sox try to take any credit for being one strike away in '86? No, and they actually could have, considering it was the closest they'd come in 68 years. Like in '75, we always did get credit for at least playing in one of the greatest Series' ever, and even Pete Rose, a member of the winning team, said that "there were no losers" in the '75 Series.

Whereas the yankees don't get any mulligans. Especially when they totally blow a series they should have won--as is their new tradition: '01, '04.

And when you say the odds are against the yanks, as in, they have a better chance to lose/blow a series because they're in the playoffs so much, well, I know what you mean, but the odds of a team blowing a 3-0 lead were about infinity to one. I wrote about this about a year ago (Torre talking about the team's great "near-win" in '01), see my post, brilliantly titled:
"Michael Puts the Kay In WeaKness." It's toward the end of the post.

Speaking of about a year ago, this blog turned 1 yesterday. You know I was 18 minutes shy of starting this blog on February 29th, 2004? Had I done that, it's first birthday would not have been until 2008. I always thought it would be cool to have your birthday be on Leap Day. The closest I've ever been to even knowing someone who had this anomaly was: I was standing in an elevator in college, and a girl in there was telling her friends, "We're taking my grandma out for her birthday, because she's turning eighteen." Nice.

So anyway, I thank all of you who have read my ridiculous writing over this past year. Me and a lot of other Red Sox blogger-types definitely picked the right year to start documenting this stuff. It's really cool how you can make friends over the internet, but I still think some of you are just figments of my imagination :) To all the other Sox bloggers, I'm glad we have this little fake, I mean "'net" community, and I'm proud to be a part of it, even though a lot of the time I feel like Brandon Fraser's character in Airheads, when he lamented about what it's like for your band to play show after show to audiences made up entirely of the other bands and their girlfriends. But, hey, I've been in that situation with my band, and those can be the coolest shows. So it's cool. And thanks to the non-Red-Sox-bloging readers who I've made friends with, all because I strted writing my thoughts on a screen: That lady who lives in my town who got proposed to on the Fenway scoreboard, that Sox fan dude who moved to Chicago ("Chicago Land"--how did that term ever catch on? "Okay, everybody, this is now Hartford Land! Just start calling it that."), that dude from Jersey who was literally the first person to contact me about this blog, the Rhode Island native who's out west, everybody. (Names withheld to protect against stalking.) And one of the smartest, weirdest, most interesting people ever to live in the same town as Hammer. Write me again someday, man! Oh right, thanks to my "real life" friends for reading, too. It's always weird when I start telling you something that I've already written on my blog, so I have to say, "I don't know if you saw this on my blog already, but..." and it's really awkward, and I feel like a big phony for sometimes skipping that disclaimer and just pretending I'm saying something I just thought of.... Okay, I'm done. Nobody gets thanked again until next year. I'm too busy trying to come up with stuff that no one could possibly care about except me.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Go, Gadget, Go

If you're a left-wing commie Red Sox fan like me, you gotta love Bill Lee. He's got a new book out. I loved the last one--The Little Red (Sox) Book. This one's about the end of his career with the Expos. As usual, he came out with some classic quotes in this article. The "Manila Folders," I love it! Thanks to Singapore Sox Fan for the link.

Dirt Dog actually came out and, in his special way, apologized for a bunch of things. In fact, these things pretty much make up a list of things I called him on recently. I'm shocked. Actually, he didn't apologize. More like "clarified." And even though his logic was twisted in some cases-- "We just said 'Nomar named,' we didn't say anything about steroids!", and "We knew the calendar was updated" (So you misled us on purpose?)--I give him credit for, kind of, just kind of cleaning up a little of his mess. Curbing himself, if you proverbially will. But then he sneaks in his 60,000 readership number in a not-so-clever way. And we'll never know if Nomar really said he doesn't want the ring. Dee-Oh-Single-Gee should give us actual proof that he said that or not talk about it at all.

The title of this post refers to the fact that I have the Inspector Gadget theme stuck in my head. Good tune, actually. But it's gotta go. Maybe some time out in the blizzard getting a head start clearing snow off the car will help. I will report back on this urgent matter at an unspecified time.

Back Bay/Kay/Ray

My new favorite New York weather person, Lee Goldberg of Channel 7, said to expect 8 to 12 inches of snow tomorrow night. Cool. I can't wait. I still haven't gotten any sledding in this winter. I'll sled til I'm 100, I can guarantee you that.

Here's why this dude is my new favorite:

On Michael "Backwards" Kay's radio show last week, Goldberg came on to give an update on a storm that was coming. (Slow day, Michael? But then Sid and Joe of the FAN had a different weather person on their show the next day. Maybe they were trying to keep up with the "hip" ESPN Radio's weather-includin' sports shows...) So, Goldberg was telling Kay about the snow, and I heard him say how, for that storm, there would be less snow up north, where we usually get "those jackpawt amounts." It was subtle, but it was there. This guy's gotta be from Boston, I thought. So as Kay's wrapping it up, he says, "Now Lee, I know you're a big Red Sox fan..." and then asked him about the ring ceremony. I knew it. Tonight I came across his weather report, and I listened for further Boston accent -isms. They're hard to catch with this guy, but there are some syllables he just can't hide. Like the way he says "Manhasset." Just un-imitatable. I've tried it, it doesn't work unless you're from Boston. (Or you're my cousin Mary-Ann, who moved to Boston and gained the accent!)

Speaking of that, did you notice the sign someone had in St. Louis before Game 4? It's message was that the series would be going back to Boston, so "Don't Pawk Your Cawr." What's wrong with this sign? That's a New York accent. It's "pahk," "cah." That's the one of the most famous accent imitations in the history of the world. How do you mess that up?

Tonight I also saw a Joe Torre interview on Mike'd Up, which was not hosted by the now father-twice-over Mike Francesa, but by fill-in Bruce Beck. Beck asked the zombie-like manager if he ever second guesses himself about the ALCS. (Which they first showed a nice slow motion montage of. I feel like some of the New York media gets a perverse thrill out of rubbing this in yankee fans' faces. Fine with me.) Torre said the same thing he said about the '01 World Series: "We got it to the point where we had a one run lead with three outs to go and Mariano on the mound." I still don't follow this logic. Yes, you did, and...? You gotta close those out, Joe! You don't just get to that point and let fate take over. Whatever he means, I think it's just his code for "Can we please stop talking about this?"

I watched a lot of the "Normal People Movie Awards" tonight. Mainly because Chris Rock was hosting. Good job by Rock. But The Life Aquatic and I Heart Huckabees weren't mentioned once, and I watched almost the whole show. Terrible job, Oscar. Oscar needs to Gamble more. Alright, for the young kids: Oscar needs to De La Hoya more. The Fever Pitch trailer is funny. I like the first scene they show, where Barrymore is telling Fallon he needs a cell phone. As a non-cell phone person, I thought it was great. A Sox fan and a non-cell phone dude...this movie speaks to me.

The Jamie Foxx best actor speech was pretty cool. There was a great shot from behind Foxx where, right after he said something about "The African-American dream," you see Oprah in the crowd raise a fist among the otherwise reserved crowd. First good thing Oprah ever did. (That middle class audience of hers does NOT need any more cars.)

Foxx also was doin' some Ray Charles "Heyyyyy" "Hooooo"s. I didn't see the movie Ray. But Ray Charles, besides doing that great song "You Don't Know Me," which played over the best scene in Groundhog Day, said one of my favorite lines of all time. In Blues Brothers, Charles played Ray of Ray's Music Exchange. When Murph tests out an electric piano, he turns to Ray and says "There's no action left in this keyboard." Ray walks over to it and says "Excuse me, I don't think there's anything wrong with the action on this piano," and proceeds to play the shit out of the thing, sparking a neighborhood-wide sing- and dance-along to "Tailfeather."

That line is, like, my motto in life. I don't care if my guitar is a little out of tune, or the strings are too high or low off the neck, or if it's in two pieces, for that matter. Anything you do with an instrument comes from inside you. Hence the term instrument. Sounds idealistic, maybe, but I saw Nirvana play live, and I'm telling you, Kurt Cobain could have come out on stage with a fucking triangle, and still would have sent us home limping.

So here's to you Ray Charles, maybe someday I'll see that movie about you. (But terribe job doing that Pepsi commercial a long time ago--you know, "You got the right one ba-bayyy, Uh-Huh." Coke rules.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Unbe-goddamn-lievable (in A Good Way)

The Mets are in a sad state. Even with the whole "New Mets" theme goin'.

I will explain.

Mets tickets went on sale this morning. Now, I've decided that I'd like to see Pedro at Shea this year. I've also decided that it's not that important that I do this, so if it works out, fine, if not, fine, too. Yesterday, I looked at the Mets schedule, did a little math, and figured Pedro's first weekend game at Shea might be the second Saturday of the season, which is the first home weekend for the Mets (against Florida). Eh, not likely I'll be able to get those, probably a pretty popular weekend, I thought. And I'm not gonna pay a lot of money for a game in which there's an 80% chance Pedro won't pitch, anyway.

So this morning, I roll out of bed at the crack of noon-thirty, groggily turn on the computer, expecting to be in a virtual waiting room as all the games sell out.

Well, I guess I forgot just how bad the Mets are, and just how many of their fickle fans are currently on the yankee bandwagon. Because not only did I get through right away, but seats were available for all games, except yankee games and Opening Day.

But get this: I click on that Saturday game I wanted, and I saw what I thought was a misprint. Upper deck seats for TWO (2) dollars each. Whaa? I guess they're offering those for "kids opening weekend."

So I nab two of those, for a total of 6 bucks, including all tax, and whoopidee-whee, the seats are also right behind home plate. Upper deck, but still a good view. FOR TWO DOLLARS.

Then I thought, at these free-ish prices, why don't I just get tickets for the WHOLE weekend! That way, I just wait and see what day Pedro pitches, and go on that day! And the other games that weekend, I don't know, scalp 'em for, what, $2.10, $2.15? Ha!

Total price for six tickets, two for each day of the April 16th weekend at Shea, including all taxes and fees: 21 dollars. Paying less for six tickets to see Pedro pitch at Shea and get two other games for a quarter of the price of ONE game at Fenway? Well, not priceless, but pretty effin' sweet!

To take part in this legal scam, click here. We need to all be there with huge to signs to thank Pedro!

Speaking of tickets, Dirt Dog is saying there was some "magic number" to call for Green Monster tickets yesterday. I hope he didn't mean 877 REDSOX9, because that wasn't magic, it was given in the press release that announced the three different ticket lotteries. In fact, I called it for two hours starting at the given time of 3 PM, only to get busy signals. So I hope the Big Dingo was referring to some other truly secret number. I also saw on Craigslist last night a message that said to go on Red tonight (last night) at 11:55. I did, but no Monster seats went on sale. Just keep your eyes open, everybody. I'll let you know if I ever get any secrets. Which I never seem to.

Edit: I'm such a moron. I've already got tickets to a Red Sox game for April 16th. I guess that game got overshadowed in my mind by the yankee-Red Sox game I'm going to at Fenway on the 13th. So I have to hope for Pedro to pitch on the Friday or Sunday of that weekend. Still a 40% chance. Still 2 bucks per ticket.

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