Saturday, March 20, 2010

Celeb Guess Who/The Jersey Game

I've been thinking lately about making a master list of "celebs I've seen." Because I seem to see a lot. Every time I go to NYC, I see one. I go, and I think, Okay, the streak has to end, I can't expect to see one every time. But then I see one. (I also realize that hearing which celebrities someone else saw is about as boring as listening to someone describe a dream they had, and I realize that people who never see celebs sometimes get pissed when you tell them just how many you've seen, so, I guess when I write about this, feel free to not read it.)

So this time, it was the guy in the pic above. He was sitting at a restaurant right at the window, and I spotted him as me, Mike, and Chan walked by. I didn't bring my camera but Mike had one in his phone, so I did a walk-by and shot from the hip. I'm surprised at how good this came out, but...I know who I'm looking for, and you don't, so I figured I'd see if any of you can figure out who it is before I say it. [Update: fc was the first to guess and got it right--it's the first comment, I won't say it here if you still want to play along.]

Frisbee in Central Park today. 75-ish degrees. The awesomeness continues. Except for the part when Reb left me a comment that said "Alan Embree. Yikes." I figured either he had a drug overdose, killed someone, or was signed by the Red Sox. Turns out it's only a minor league deal. Whew.

I also came up with the best game ever. Okay, 340th-ish best. As we walked around New York today, anytime someone spotted a player tee or jersey, they could take that player for their "team," or pass him on to someone else. It was like a draft. I spotted Mickey Mantle and took him with my first pick. Mike got Tom Brady, and Chan got A-Rod to complete round one. We figured it would go nine rounds, and at the end, you rate the teams, based on total talent. Chan said it would take all day to finish the teams, but we did complete 5 2/3rds rounds. Then we named the teams....

My team (Washington (State) Deer):

Mickey Mantle, [the celebrity above--he's actually not an athlete but we figured we'd allow celebs as long as they were seen in person)], Yao Ming, Derrek Lee, T-Mac.

Mike's team (Utah Elks):

Tom Brady, Marcus Allen (great moment here as Mike said Yes to Allen, only to have the guy wearing the Raiders 32 jersey turn around to reveal "Calderon" on the back), Patrick Ewing, Chauncey Billups, Cal Ripken, Kobe Bryant (I spotted Kobe but didn't want him on my squad--Mickey Mantle I probably also should have let go, too, but I figured I'd get my team off to a solid start by taking him)

Chan's team (Northern Iowa Deer Ticks--obviously influenced by my Deer squad and the fact that we watched Northern Iowa upset Kansas at that Irish bar): A-Rod, Tino Martinez (who Mike passed on out of loyalty to Don Mattingly), Kevin Garnett, some hockey player named Toews, Hideki Matsui, Mark Teixeira

Players we all passed on: Matt Garza, and probably others that I can't remember. Also, I had someone else that we forgot, so I took....well, you get the picture at this point. This whole post feels extra-lunatic-rant-y....

[Update: I've been watching that April Yankee series like a hawk for weeks--finally, today, the day I'm out all day, they put the little Ts up there, so tickets are available, not for Opening Day, but for the next two games. These could have been up all day for all I know, but they're up now, and you can even get two together in the grandstand. Check it out.]


Arrived at Chan's apartment at 7:30 last night, after finding a parking spot within a block. As we walked toward the subway, the faces flipping past us, I turned to Chan and said, "This is like some kind of real-life Chat Roulette."

The smell of the city reminded me of San Juan--but I think I just associate being outside in a city at but having it suddenly be warm with San Juan. The smell was quickly replaced with another anyway. Then another, and on and on.

Got to Saigon Grill where we hoped to see some of the NCAA games. The place was packed, but somehow there were two open seats at the end of the bar under the TV. My magical weekend of awesomeness continues. Gotta go outside now--supposed to be 75. You should do it too. Seriously.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New One

New slogan added to the list. Scroll down to White Sox. They've improved from their previous one, but don't get too excited. They also, like the Pirates and various Yankee teams of the past, now sport pride and passion.


1. I'm doing better than Obama in the NYT NCAA pool.

2. I hate it when local companies make a product for their local team, but then make one for the rival team. Example: Those Red Sox wines. Remember how they came out and it was like, Oh, cool, local company makes unique Red Sox product. (Even though I don't drink alcohol, but, a good gift for my drinkin' Sox fan friends/girlfriend anyway.) They even signed their press release "Go Sox." Well the other day, Kim was in the wine store and told me she saw Jorge Posada wine. Oh begins, I thought, as I went to the web site and saw that sure enough, it was the same company. It's like when you see that shirt that says "I root for two teams, the Red Sox and whoever plays the Yankees." Fine slogan, of course, but then when you see the same shirt, but a Yankee fan version, designed the same way, same font, etc., you know it's not "a Red Sox fan making a shirt showing their loyalties," but a "money-grubbing whore who'll gladly go against everything they stand for as long as they get paid."

With the wines, at least some of the money goes to charity, but you can always give directly to a charity without giving money to Yankee-loving whores. And you know my policy, they could make wines or whatever for every other team if they want, but to say Go Sox and then turn around and say Here, Yankee fans, buy our Dumbo Vino, that's a boycott right there. For me anyway. Obviously a "sporting goods" company is going to make apparel for every team, but that's a different thing--and if that bothers you, you can always buy locally made Red Sox clothes made by Red Sox fans.

3. Red Sox (Beckett) v. Pirates, 1:05.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Awesomest-Laid Plans Often Stay Awesome

I've been planning something on this coming Saturday for weeks now. Ever since that day popped up as the tenth day in the 10-day forecast, I've been watching it. I do that a lot. But I have to say, this has been the most rewarding 10-day-watch in history. It started in the 50s with showers on the Sunday, meaning that in ten days, the showers could move to Saturday. Eventually it hit 60. A few days ago, my day made a huge move, going from 60 to 70. We're now two days out, and it's up to 74, with no rain nearby. I would have settled for 50.

It's also one of the best weekends of the year--first two rounds of the NCAA tourney. I almost lost my champ in one of the first games of day one today, but 'nova held on, and I'm off to a 3-0 start. And it's currently over 70 degrees right now. So, Most Things = Coming Up Milhouse.

Raq 'N' Roll

I saw an interesting documentary last night. "Heavy Metal in Baghdad" is about a group of Iraqi guys who play in a metal band. The only metal band in the city. The filmmakers brave danger to follow them around, though they only actually play about one performance a year, and risk punishment for looking and acting "western." Of course I can relate to "guys in a rock band" aspect of it, but I think I was more fascinated by it because I rarely get to look into the lives of people of my generation, who speak English, wear band T-shirts, and say "dude" all the time, who happen to be from Iraq. I didn't even know that existed there, but some people risk death to do it.

Gunfire is just another background sound to these people. The city has a 9 p.m. curfew, but these guys know to be in by 5 or 6 just to be "safe." At one point, their practice space is hit by a missile. Again, the "band" aspect aside, this is an incredible look at what your average, innocent citizen of Baghdad has gone through since the U.S. decided it was going to be the ultimate terrorists and turn the place into hell on earth.

Finally the guys all end up in Syria, where millions of Iraqis have fled to. (The film also points out just how many Iraqi refugees there are in the surrounding countries, while the U.S. has let in less than 500 of them as of 2007 or so.) They decide to play one more show there, at a pool hall which has never held a concert before. The show goes well, and you can see it in their eyes after they leave the crowd of 25 people cheering--they just wanna rock! And so they decide to keep going as a band, whatever they may mean.

We also see the band as they react to what the filmmakers had shot up to that point. It's great to see them react to seeing themselves as "stars," before the whole feeling changes as they see footage of their destroyed practice space.

I haven't even gotten into the personalities of the members, and honestly, I missed the beginning, so I could be leaving out vital information, but just go see the thing, eh?

Oh, and there's an update...I searched it online and found out that this band just recently was allowed into the U.S.! They were able to find jobs in the NYC-area and actually played a show in Brooklyn. I loved seeing the picture of them with the long hair they're now allowed to grow....hopefully they do a tour, that would be fun to see.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Sox lose 4-2 to the Pollies. All pitchers did fine except RamRam 1: First Blood. Lackey threw four solid innings. No huge offensive news.

It IS Brain Surgery

Good to see Ryan Westmoreland is out of his surgery.

Red Sox-Mets on NESN today for the dayjobless. Lackey goes for us.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Produced By Flood

Kim stopped at the supermarket after work today and told me the whole parking lot was flooded. She wasn't kidding! (You just have to believe me that those first few shots are of the store.) Crazy flooding here in RI.

Borin' Stories Of...

Click the pic to see it clearly.

This is from the Norwalk paper, 1988. My Ridgefield Little League All-Star team was destined for glory that year...until we gave up 11 runs in one inning to Norwalk. Several of those were given up by me, in relief. But I did bat leadoff, so I had that goin' for me. And please note, no walks given up. I had control if nothing else. Looks like my friend Mike and I, who I'll be seeing this weekend, both had rough outings that day. But Mike may be the sliding kid in the picture--I know he wore #5 for his regular-season team, but Jason Landon could have...well...I'll stop there.

The point of this is that searching old newspapers on Google is really fun. I never thought to check for myself in the archives until the other day. My dad asked me why he can't see his local paper from when he was a kid. I told him how a lot of papers are in Google now, and you can scroll through actual images of them. I decided to look him up, and found an article proving once and for all that the story he always told us about almost being on The Ed Sullivan Show is really true. (He won some kind of essay contest for Pop Warner football and went to New York to be on the show, but Teresa Brewer ran long and he never made it on the air.)

So then I checked for myself, and there was this one story from the '88 Ridgefield-Norwalk game at Aldrich Field. I don't think I knew at the time that the Norwalk paper reported on this game. If Google ever archives The Ridgefield Press, that'd be like the holy grail--I was in the game stories every time, and not just because my mom often penned them. But we never had boxscores, like this Norwalk paper did! I think this is the first time I've seen my name in a printed boxscore. Or Matt Suffoletto's, for that matter.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Montreal Expos August 1984 Scorebook

The Expos are cool. Let's have a look at one of their 26-year old publications. (Note: I picked this up at a flea market a few years ago; I never attended an Expos home game and I've never been to Montreal.) On the cover, Tim Raines, before he officially became "Rock."

When you need a break from that Georgia heat....

Smokers in the 80s liked their water sports, I've noticed.

Shouldn't there be deux hot dogs in this picture?

In '84, in Montreal, Tim was already Rock. And shouldn't you have to, at the very least, win a Cy Young award before you get called "Cy"?

Looks like some kind of card set. Collect them Stuart?

A closer look at Youppi from the same ad.

What was the deal with that little dagger in the Expos logo? It only appeared sometimes. I feel like I once knew the answer to this.

Sure, you know how to score a game. But can you do it in French?

What is it that fascinates me about seeing something that's usually in English in another language? Regardless, I really like that green....

Anybody know what's going on here?

A closer look at the lil' Yum Yum stereotype girl. If anybody has info as to whether any of these Canadian companies exists today, please share.

A CD player ad from way before I heard of CDs.

I really hope this vehicle is not in motion.

My favorite person in the whole magazine. (I also hope this vehicle is not in motion.)

When you woke up today, did you think you'd ever see a Jeff Reardon centerfold? "My love runs cold, my jewelry store has just been stole'd"?

Wow, the Canadian version of Triple-A. (Kinda like the Expos, zinnnnng!)

I don't know what this guy's going, but I have a feeling a talking dog told him to do it.

More nickname shirts. I'll give two Red Sox tickets to the first person to send me one of these shirts. Wait, cancel that--I just found one on ebay. Cy! ($50!)

Love the Direct Film logo!

It's colllld at the Expos game!

All the ELB merch you can imagine. Including a blow-up doll.

Cross-country rivals Gary Carter and Dave Steib working out together. Canadian mustache pride! (Gary's 'stache is gone here, but appears on the page with the baseball cards above.)

So there you have it. ELBos Forelber!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Joey, Have You Ever Been In A Turkish Prison?"

Peter Graves, aka Captain Oveur, is dead.

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