Friday, December 31, 2004

2-0-0-5

Can't believe it's been exactly a year since this happened...

Happy New Year everybody, from your friends at Slack LaLane...only good things in 2005.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Cheese

Short post...then I'm off to meet the Fockers.

I've been in a little bit of a live music funk since Coventry, seeing only small bands in small bars, hanging out in Grand Central to catch 20 minutes of the underground dudes playing for change, generally neglecting my previous enjoyment of good musicians with a decent following. So with New Year's Eve comin' around (y'all), that's my resolution for a new me in 2005: See. More. Live. Music.

I got a head start last night, taking in the second night of String Cheese Incident's stand at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Flanked by my friend Jeff and what seemed like six or seven guys named Dave, we arrived in our seats exactly as the house lights went down and the band pranced on stage (and they're was a little prancing). I hadn't seen these guys live since the 2002 show at Radio City, back in the days when Phish was on hiatus. And that show was pretty solid, but it really only got me feeling nostalgic for what I was missing at the time: four god-dorks taking a break from 17 brilliant years together, re-charging the batteries "for another 17 years" (Anastasio, 9/30/00). Well, last night's show had the same effect, only it was a bit magnified by the fact that this isn't just a hiatus for the boys. They is gone.

The SCI concert itself was pretty good, two sets of well-written tunes and entertaining jams, all played to a happy crowd who seemed to dig the show. We stood next to a crew of college guys who were fairly loud and obnoxious about their enjoyment for what was comin' their way...but I kept thinking that I really can't complain because that used to be us, just a few years ago with that other band I've mentioned once or twice. These college guys are currently living the experience that I would give just about anything to have back, especially this time of year. We should all be in Miami right now, waiting for Auld Lang Syne and a million balloons falling. Ahhh, nostalgia, human nature's cocktease. Anyway, though these guys were hooting and hollering over some of the best jams, muffling the aural goodness, I couldn't help but smile and reminisce about the similar experiences I have in the annals. And that's always nice.

Leave it to snobby d-bags like me to turn a post about SCI into a post about Phish. I know, typical asshat. I should get on the record that I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night, that it was a good time despite my musings here. And I'm glad I went, a good show of faith that I'll keep my resolution of seeing more shit come next year. So if you've got any suggestions for me, feel free to throw them ol' Ace's way...

Focker time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Ridiculous

I love how difficult it is to earn induction into Cooperstown. It makes being a baseball fan that much better for some reason...

So Dallas Cowboys veteran safety Darren Woodson announced he will retire at the season's end, and the NFL Live crew just debated for a few solid minutes whether he would make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wait, what? Darren Woodson? We're not talkin' about Rod? Or Charles? We're honestly, seriously, debating whether Darren Woodson is going to make it into the Hall of Fucking Fame? Dear Lord, all that institution's legitimacy is gone.

Bagel time, I'm out.

RIP Jerry Orbach

Nobody puts Brisco in the casket.

Law & Order, Dirty Dancing, by far the best Northwestern alumnus out there...we liked Jerry lots. The list just keeps on growing this week, people need to stop dying. Please.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

For The Curious...

...three clips of the tsunami rolling into town.

The first two are pretty good shots, but the third clip is INSANE.

Clip #1

Clip #2

Clip #3

And here's a sick before and after shot of Sri Lanka.

***It's come to my attention that the video links might not work...if not, check this website and see if they work from here.***

Roll Back This

Does Wal-Mart know they sell this book? That's awesome. (ed. note: This post was created because this book was up on Wal-Mart's site today...maybe it was a hacker, but the site was definitely selling it, as this Google search will illustrate.)

Regardless, the book makes a pretty good point. With more than 3,000 stores, a million-plus employees and annual sales topping one-quarter of a trillion dollars, Wal-Mart is undoubtedly a dominant economic force. And to many Wal-Mart shoppers, the prices are so low that you'd think the company can only be a giant plus for our economy. But it's not. It is for some, but not for everyone, especially its workers and suppliers.

I don't quite think Wal-Mart's going to destroy America by any means, but it's definitely fucking some shit up ala Vincent and Jules at Jimmy's house. I'm not gonna fuck with this capitalist machine we have here, so I'm not stumping for government intervention or boycotts or anything like that. But what these guys are doing is just completely fucked up, and I thought I'd point it out.

Wal-mart is accelerating the race to the bottom more than anyone who has come before it...The company tells its suppliers that if it can't meet the lowest price (read: Chinese imports) by lowering wages here in America and reducing the benefits of their workers, they should shut down production here and open factories somewhere else (read: China). In the meantime, Wal-Mart pays its employees shit wages and gives out lesser benefits than its rivals to begin with. And that results in a drain on public funds, in addition to ensuring the only placeits employees can shop is in its own stores! A recent study from U.C. Berkeley Labor Center, admittedly an institution with inherent bias, concluded Wal-Mart's wages are so far below other retailers, more of its workers rely on public assistance programs. The Berkeley study estimated that Wal-Mart's employees cost taxpayers in California alone $86 million a year in health care and welfare.

Wal-mart obviously disputes this claim, saying many of its workers are students, senior citizens and second wage earners with coverage from other sources -- total health care coverage is 90 percent, it says. But students, seniors and others don't comprise all of the company's employees...it also allegedly hires thousands of illegal immigrants to take advantage of cheaper labor and was recently the target of a Justice Department probe into the matter. It also employs and has employed millions of women, and 1.6 million of them recently filed the largest class-action discrimination lawsuit in the country's history. The lawsuit claims that Wal-Mart systematically pays women less than men in the same jobs and pushes them into the lower-paying jobs. Anything to ensure that the Whistling Smiley Face can do his job and roll back those fucking prices.

And for those of you who foolishly think we might have to pay back our deficits some day, Wal-Mart is doing its part to drive up that trade gap. The company imported at least $15 billion (that they admit to) worth of goods from China last year, its inventory of stock purchased this year is expected to hit $18 billion, and the company plans to grow that number by 20 percent each year. Our trade deficit with the world is rapidly approaching $600 billion, which would be nearly $200 billion greater than last year's record, and our growing gap with China is a big part of that increase. Nearly three-fourths of the crap sold in Wal-Mart stores is made in China. Depending on who you ask, if Wal-Mart were a country, it'd be either China's fifth or the eighth biggest trading partner. That's nuttier than elephant dung.

And now Wal-Mart's banning books too! Jon Stewart, George Carlin, here we go...say what you will about Target, but at least it's not a bookburner, you Nazi cow.

Ultimately, Wal-Mart's future is up to its consumers. The company has obviously been so successful at giving customers what they want that they're market share has dwarfed its competitors. If you like low prices and greetings from retahded senior citizens as you walk into a store, by all means go ahead and shop there. You're more than entitled. But these fuckers are putting their own suppliers and smaller stores out of business, they're forcing the consolidation of the retail industry to the point where big box retailers will be the only game in town, they're setting us up with higher deficits to be paid down later and they're compensating their employees like second class citizens. I just don't think that's too cool.

Shit, my boss is rubbing off on me. I was getting rusty, figured I'd slip into work mode briefly to stay fresh. I don't believe a word I just wrote. But maybe I do. I don't even know anymore.

RIP Eddie Layton

We met once. You were old. But you were cool, and you laid the hammer down on that Hammond. Enjoy the great organ party in the sky. The Stadium will miss ya, Eddie.

Duh duh duh duh da duh, charge.

Slip Him the Tongue

Pentagon: Rumsfeld misspoke on Flight 93 crash
Defense secretary's remark to troops fuels conspiracy theories

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A comment Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made during a Christmas Eve address to U.S. troops in Baghdad has sparked new conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the speech, Rumsfeld made a passing reference to United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to stop al Qaeda hijackers.

But in his remarks, Rumsfeld referred to the "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania."

A Pentagon spokesman insisted that Rumsfeld simply misspoke, but Internet conspiracy theorists seized on the reference to the plane having been shot down.

"Was it a slip of the tongue? Was it an error? Or was it the truth, finally being dropped on the public more than three years after the tragedy" asked a posting on the Web site WorldNetDaily.com.

Some people remain skeptical of U.S. government statements that, despite a presidential authorization, no planes were shot down September 11, and rumors still circulate that a U.S. military plane shot the airliner down over Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

A Pentagon spokesman insists Rumsfeld has not changed his opinion that the plane crashed as the result of an onboard struggle between passengers and terrorists.

The independent panel charged with investigating the terrorist attacks concluded that the hijackers intentionally crashed Flight 93, apparently because they feared the passengers would overwhelm them.

--CNN's Jamie McIntyre

Monday, December 27, 2004

McLean and Ze Samaritan

Nothing I love more than a good samaritan...this guy rocks.

I've given out hundreds of dollars to homeless people on the city streets over the past couple of years, and that makes me feel pretty good. I can only imagine how this guy is feeling right now. So whoever you are, sir, hopefully instant karma's gonna git you...and hopefully some instant coffee's gonna git you too.

**And speaking of good deeds, if you can swing it (and only if you want to, I don't want to pressure anyone), please make any donation large or small to the Red Cross or UNICEF or your charity of choice for the victims of this weekend's tsunami disaster. I just hit up this site here, it'll take only about 90 seconds out of your day.

Worst. Marathon. Ever.

I think my Comedy Central is broken: Every time I hit the TiVo guide to see what's on that channel, it always fuckin' says "Mad TV." What the balls, man, what gives? Comedy Central gave up old re-runs of Saturday Night Live so it can ram this dreck down our laugh-holes? For real, yo?

Now CC is finishing up its "50 Greatest Episodes of Mad TV" marathon, which is right up there on the scale of great ideas with all of Juwon Howard's contracts and raw-dog sex with that Phillipino hooker named Tim. Fifty greatest episodes? C'mon, let's be real here, let's just call this the "50 Not as Fucking Terrible and Humorless as the Other 50 Episodes We Were Lucky to Make" marathon. I think even the Olympian who got attacked by the defrocked priest in Athens this year would consider his marathon experience a bigger success than this nonsense.

Does anyone in the world without a severe mental handicap or pick-axe in the cranium find this show the least bit funny? I tried to watch one episode recently, and honestly, the fucking "Amazing Grace"-backed commercials that feature starving and dying kids in Africa were much funnier than the show itself. Fuckin' suicide bombers get more laughs than the awful recurring characters in these dreadful sketches. Damn, CC executives, just pull the plug already. Comedy Central should go to penalty box and feel shame for unleashing this plague on society.

Samsonite

I was waaaay off on the Jets/Pats prediction this weekend...fuckers.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Eureka!

I did it once and I've done it once again. I've created the perfect mix, even better than my first perfect mix (Redrum Grammar) from the spring of 1998. The other playlists on my iPod are all jealous now, fighting for time. But they got nothing on my latest creation...behold, I give you "New Feeling":

1. New Feeling > A Clean Break, Talking Heads -- I cannot plug The Name of This Band is Talking Heads enough. It is sheer beauty, one of the greatest live compilations ever released, or re-released for that matter. Perfect way to start off any mix, be it for your daily commute, summer lover or high school steady. I wanna kiss David Byrne on the mouth.

2. The Punk and the Godfather, The Who -- This is the little known gem off Quadrophenia that rocks my socks off every time I hear it. Sometime last year I got really into this album, and then really into The Who, mostly because of this song. I defy you to listen to this and not fall in love with the Godfather's "I'm the guy in the sky flying high flashing eyes no surprise I told lies I'm the punk in the guttttter" declaration in verse. (In a related note, the rock opera that is Quadrophenia: Unfuckingreal.)

3. Sailin' Shoes > Hey Julia > Sneakin' Sally Thru the Alley, Robert Palmer -- Yes, the recently deceased Palmer actually made good music before the Addicted to Love/Simply Irresistable era. Actually, that phase was pretty cool too. Anyway, backed by members of Little Feat and the Meters, this trilogy is as sexy as something that's sexy as shit.

4. Time Loves a Hero, Little Feat -- Folks, I'm that damn creative. Palmer featuring Little Feat perfectly segues into Little Feat's best tune. I rule. More importantly, this song rules. And it's message is fairly important: I'm pretty sure the narrator is commending his uncle for ditching his nagging aunt in the States and bummin' round the beaches in Puerto Rico...days in the sun, nights in the casino. Now that frickin' rules.

5. Golden Years, David Bowie -- I feel like disco dancing with an I-tal chick when I listen to this, and that's a good thing. This one's a Fiedler Find, a dynamite number. Often times in 2003 this was the first song I played after leaving the office, a real pick-me-up.

6. Under Pressure, Queen w/ Bowie -- Self-explanatory. For chrissakes, Freddie Mercury has four straight lines that go like this: Ee do ba bup, Ee do ba ba bup, No wo, Baylup. What the fuck is Baylup? Must mean "awesome" in queer.

7. Don't Do It, The Band -- The last song these guys ever played. Sentimentality aside, the song kicks ass, Danko kicks ass on it, The Band kicks ass always, go rent The Last Waltz, and eat my fucking shorts.

8. You Can't Blame the Youth, Bob Marley -- On Dec. 8th, I wrote the following about Marley's Talkin' Blues album, so I'll just cut and paste rather than provide original thought: "Talkin' Blues -- A Hoobs Special, this was probably the most listened to disc in our room (Cloud City) throughout junior year. After putting it down for awhile, I picked it up again and haven't been able to put it down again. To me (and Hoobs and others), this is Marley at his finest, a sound unlike much of the music on Legend or any of his other works. A strong recommendation, especially for Walk the Proud Land and You Can't Blame the Youth, two songs prominently featured on WNUR's Block Party radio show (hey, we had a few listeners, including a nice old lady who recommended "Fire" by the Ohio Players)."

9. Get Up Offa that Thing, James Brown -- Warning: JB at perhaps his funkiest, so wear your best dancing shoes. Your gaggle of family pets can commit ritual suicide in your living room and this song will still put you in the toe-tapping mood.

10. Think, Medeski, Martin and Wood -- MMW's Shackman is just an incredible album, some of the trio's finest work. I got nuthin'.

11. Bra, Cymande -- Another Hoobs special...neither of us know all that much about this band, other than the fact that they're fucking awesome. Listening to their self-titled album, there are times when you can't actually tell if there are four, fourteen or forty members of the band. Here's a little bio (apparently Spike Lee and Hoobs have the same taste in music)...

12. Jack Rabbit, Greyboy Allstars -- These guys don't play much anymore, having split into a few separate but awesome groups (Robert Walter's 20th Congress and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe), but if you can get your hands on their 5/1/04 Jazzfest set, I'd highly recommend it. Every time I hear Denson's sax I think about the time junior year in Evanston when he played outdoors in a 20-degree chill on the lawn outside our house right after I lost to one of his old band members in NCAA Football 1998 on a last second hail mary. Ahh, college.

13. Sweet Jane, The Phish from Vermont -- Every bit as chirpy and melodic as the Velvet Underground version but with a jam at the end that even Lou Reed could never have envisioned. Phish's 10/31/98 show gets largely overlooked in the pantheon of Halloween covers (especially since the Dark Side of the Moon show took place two nights later), but the boys covering Loaded always gets a smile from me.

14. I Got a Woman, Ray Charles -- Big fan of the man, but I'll admit I think most of Ray Charles' songs sound similar. This one, however, always stood out from the rest, my favorite of the lot. Again, I got nuthin' really.

15. Caravan, Van Morrison -- I nominate Van the Man for the Biggest Discrepancy Between Voice and Looks Award. The guy sounds like a million bucks, looks like a buck-fitty. If you can actually put this playlist together, try to grab the version off The Last Waltz, a balding Van crooning in a purple jumpsuit with Bedazzled rhinestones backed by some of the greatest musicians of all time. Nothing like an obviously coked up Morrison doing these air kicks in a purple suit while tilting his head to the side and shouting "And a one more time" before walking off the stage like a prize fighter.

16. Dance to the Music, Sly & the Family Stone -- Possibly my favorite song of all time, by any band, from any era. I have zero musical talent and I can't sing for shit, but somehow I performed an impromptu version of this tune at my brother and sister-in-law's wedding in front of nearly 300 people a few years ago. Live karaoke with a real-life funk band in a tux minutes before your best man speech: try it some time.

17. Shattered, The Rolling Bears -- The coolest song in the Stones' repertoire, not even a comparison. I can't give it away on Seventh Avenue, this town's been wearing tatters.

18. Black-Eyed Katy, Pheesh -- White guy porno funk at the height of the white guy porno funk spectacular that is Fall Tour '97...'nuff said.

19. Push On Til the Day, Trey Anastasio Band -- I'm not one of those boycott fools, I never said "freedom fries." But I did say to TJ in OH right after the break-up announcement that if I ever go see Trey's solo act, he can fly to NYC and kick me in the teeth and junk as hard as he can. And that guy's got a mule kick. That was foolish, because Trey can really play, and the man's new band can play all night long. I've always been disappointed by TAB because they're kinda Yoko-esque and they're just not Phish...but now that the latter is officially out of the equation, I think I could probably sweat my balls off while dancin' to the horns. This song especially, an incredible number.

20. Faithfully, Journey -- Quick anecdote: The night before my buddy PB's wedding this June, about six of us were sitting in his apartment, and this song came on the stereo. With the most serious face in his facial arsenal, PB looked at everyone and said, "They just don't write songs like this anymore." PB's always been a smart man. I mean, am I the only person who gets a semi when Steve Perry belts out "They say that the road ain't no place to start a family..."? I don't think so.

Well, Merry Christmas to all...although it's certainly a shitty one, this is my gift to all of you. Enjoy your holidays and we'll see you right back here next week. Smell ya later.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Wade Miller

Best signing of the offseason? Could be, could just be. I'll tell you this: It scares me into wanting Randy big time now.

Schilling, Miller, Clement, Arroyo, Wells? Wakefield for long relief and spot starts? Damn, that's no gouda. Solid, if you ask me. The Sawx swapped out Pedro and Lowe for two quality lefties and the could-go-either-way Clement -- if I'm a fan, I'll take that every time.

Yeah, I'd say we need the Unit at this point. Sheeeet. Fuckin' Yankees, how could we let this happen?! Step up and sign Miller like I told you to in that offensive letter I wrote you with my wacky typewriter. And would it kill HBO to throw Who's Harry Crumb on at all? Sheeeet.

Done and Done

Goin' back to work for a one-time engagement today...should be fun.

Heyyyy, congrats to Donnie Feedbags on finishing his first year of law school. Kid knows his shit now. And he's been scopin' out the "talent" all semester...you the man, Donnie, relax for a little while. I'd say go get drunk, but Lord knows you were already full of the piss and vinegar yesterday.

So it's nice enough outside that I walked to the B/D subway, instead of taking most of the trip underground like I do in the winter. On the way, I saw this septagenerian IndoChinese man hangin' out in front of a towncar wearing a puffy Starter-type jacket. The front of the jacket said "Players" written in script like the front of a uniformed jersey, and on the back, it had "69" written in yuuuuge block-numbers. You think he missed the point of that story, Brian?

Feels good to be at work. Not really.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Random Nuge

Last day of the mini-break for this week, back to work tomorrow...So here are the first things on my mind this afternoon:

--Is there a weirder looking villain in cinema history than Jeremy Irons' character in Die Hard With a Vengeance when he walks into the Federal Reserve? The guy's wearing a tight, seemingly aqua tanktop and painted-on black denim hiked up to his nipples, all with a bleach-blond, middle-aged surfer 'do and the posture of a coat hanger. Am I supposed to be afraid of this guy? I think, if it's possible, he's actually less physically imposing than Count Chocula.

--Staying with the third installment of the Die Hard trilogy, is there a reason the truck driver who delivers the "Chester A. Arthur" and "Nooo, the waaater aquaduct" lines didn't win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor? I'm serious, I'd have his babies right now if I were capable. The Boys of Jericho, New York have appreciated his work for quite some time, but it's time for him to go mainstream, albeit a decade after the fact.

--How come sometimes when you get stoned you feel the need to sit on your ass and loaf around with your hand in your pants, but other times you feel the need to obsessively clean your apartment/room, re-organize all your stuff and attempt to fix everything you've ever broken? What goes on there? Do the THC particles gather in your system and take a vote as to how you should spend the next 20 minutes? Because if that's true, I'd be surprised.

--If you see one movie this year, make it Christmas With the Kranks.

--The retro craze is everywhere, and that's cool, I don't mind it. But keeping up with the retro craze, would it kill the Gatorade folks to re-deploy the "Gatorade is thirst aid...for that deep down body thirst" ad campaign? I sing this song to myself thrice a week at least. Just fuckin' do a modern version of this, do it well, do it with Mikey Jordan, have him wink at the camera as the sweat pours off his glistening dome, c'mon, do it already. (And while we're at it, let's bring back the Beggin' Strips classic mersh of the dog repeating the word bacon over and over again, finally leading up to the crescendo of "Ittttttt's baaaaacon").

--I just read another Son Seals obituary that said he was survived by his sister and 14 children. Good for him, man, good for him (although at first I thought that meant he had 14 kids with his sister, which would be...hot). I have the use of two working legs and I only have three or four kids out there.

--The timewasting game of the day: How far can you Slingshot Santa?

--Seriously, there's no reason Phish couldn't retire 360 days a year and play in Miami for five fucking nights to close out the year? Makes no sense to me. I should be on the beach, in the lots, at the show, suckin' down balloons, stumblin' home to an economy hotel not far from the venue...but I'm not. Thanks, fuckers.

--Fuck you all, I'm out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

RIP Son Seals

I'll never forget the night during senior year when we all went to see Son Seals in ghetto blues bar on the south side of Chicago. It was our friend Jason's birthday, and someone secretly arranged for Jason to get up there and courageously sing Funky Bitch (one of the popular rock band Phish's finest covers) with the song's creator. We all had a good laugh and shook a mean leg as he mumbled through Son's indecipherable lyrics, and I always thought that would be a ridiculous once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have in one's annals. Good times.

Well, aside from a two-song encore Son played with the boys at the 10/3/99 Rosemont show, that was the only time I saw the man perform. But dammit if he wasn't badder than hot those nights. So here's to you, Mr. Son Seals, thanks for composing Funky Bitch and thanks for a rockin' good night.

Son Seals' Obituary.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Freeee!

It's hard for me to sit here and entertain you sorry-ass worker bees today...see, I took a few days off this week (and next) for the first time since Coventry, and that shit was hardly a vacation. That was hard goddamn work.

This mini-break, however, will be the ultimate in sloth: several days of waking up according only to my biological clock, which like Mona Lisa Vito's is ticking like this (read: stomping motion with the extended left leg), loafing around the apartment in my fudgies with two fresh jars of delivery service doje, watching movies on demand and classic sports 'rounds the clock, re-watching Stop Making Sense and The Last Waltz for the hundredth time each, catching a second showing of the newly purchased Festival Express, scratching myself incessantly, eating an endless supply of Oreo pudding, Cade Cod Dark Russets and thin pretzel twists, and maybe, maybe if I feel up to walking out right that front door, running only selfish errands that yield fantastic gifts for myself. Yes, I live a productive and meaningful existence. And you're so jealous of my idle bliss.

I did just run two errands actually. Somehow I convinced myself to leave the apartment twice this morning, or as I saw it, a sign of good faith to myself. Perhaps you do this too, but I have to make deals with myself to get anything accomplished or to stop myself from doing something. So I had to get out this morning, had to. Otherwise, there's a slight chance had I not exited the building this morning, the next time I'd emerge from this cocoon of indolence would be Thursday morning at the earliest. And by slight chance, I mean a virtual guarantee, and by Thursday morning, I mean January 4th. First, I went to the bagel store to procure a half-dozen of those fuckers, which will most likely serve as my next six meals, as well as a tasty fuckin' Nesquik, ultimately returning home to the warmth of indoors for my breakfast. Feeling good, feeling good...

Then I decided to trek across town to Best Buy, with an impromptu stop at the Bed, Bath & Beyond down the street. Apparently I strictly shop at stores that feature alliteration using our alphabet's second letter. Best Buy was a somewhat miserable experience, but keeping in view my rule about selfish presents this week, I gleefully skipped out of there with a sweet little portable DVD player, the Two-Disc Anniversary Edition of Field of Dreams and Forrest Gump for $170. Peace, love, doooope. That's a score. I don't treat myself presents like that often, but after a nice gift like that, I'm definitely gonna get lucky tonight. Good thing I bought new sheets at Bed, Bath & Beyond. C'mon, that's funny. And true.

Best Buy wasn't too packed, but for a Monday at noon it was annoyingly "cozy." This one pregnant lady kept accidentally hitting me with her bag while we both perused the DVDs, and after about the fourth time I considered strangling her and gutting...okay okay, I'll stop there before I get in too deep. A-G-Uno tells me it's still officially" too soon" on that front. For the record, that pregnancy story makes me think the absolute worst about mankind. I almost threw up twice while reading it. Let's just move on...

Actually, I'm gonna leave it here for now and go enjoy some time off away from the computer. Well, I'll probably be sitting here all day since it's colder than Ted Williams' decapitated head outside, but I just don't feel like writing any more. I'm about five hours into this thing and I've already taken about 16 bingers. It's days and weeks like this that once led me to publicly proclaim myself the Wilt Chamberlain of Bong Hits.

The Arrested Development line of the week: "Maybe I'll put it in her brownie." Or, a close second, "Like the guy in the $4,000 suit is gonna hold the elevator for you, c'mooon."

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the Jets are fucking awesome. Fuck you Patriots, you're walkin' into the Meadowlands this Sunday, but you limpin' back. Seventh second half shutout of the year, seven. Curtis and LaMont running for more than 200 yards. And Chad Sexington, welcome home. It's gonna be a great week of optimism.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

How 'Bout That Curtis?

Curtis Martin:

330 carries
1511 yards
4.6 yards per rush
107.9 yards per game
12 touchdowns

League's leading rusher.

To Mulgrew and the rest of the doubters, here is your plate of crow.

Friday, December 17, 2004

A Box of Craisins

SAN ANTONIO -- The City Council on Friday approved an ordinance requiring strippers to wear their permits while they are on stage. City Councilman Chip Haass pushed the measure, adopted unanimously by the 11-member council, as a way to make it easier for police to identify dancers.

But Jim Deegear, a lawyer for several strip clubs in the city, said it would put strippers in danger by making it easier for an obsessed customer to find out a dancer's real name and where she lives. He said the measure is part of an effort to drive strip clubs out of business, and he said he will fight it in court.

Wait, what? Is that for real? Are the police in San Antonio routinely walking into strip clubs and wondering which ones the dancers are? Because if that's the case, I think it might be best to repeal this law and replace the police force with a group of folks who aren't complete retards. I work with retards.

Officer 1: Hey, Callahan, this one's naked over here, but I'm really not sure if she's a stripper or not.
Officer 2: Well, McClaskey, does she have a permit or not?
Officer 1: Oh, yeah, there it is, she just snatched her permit out of some guy's mouth with her labia.
Officer 2: Maybe we should take her in.
Officer 1: I think I'm in love.
Officer 2: I was in love once...with my cousin.
Officer 1: That's weird.
Officer 2: She's dead.
Officer 1: That's cool.

Anecdote of the Year

...from TJ in OH about his four-year-old little lady:

"Harper had her Christmas pageant thing for pre-school last night. Her class did a poem and song. At the end of the song, as the crowd was cheering the performance, an excited Harper gave a spontaneous, unprovoked Trey fist-pump to the crowd. And the best part is that I got it on video. Some are born into rock & roll, and some have rock & roll thrust upon them."

I love it. The mere thought of that makes me grin uncontrollably.

Too Hot on the Hot Stove

I went to bed and Randy Johnson was pretty much a Yankee. I woke up, and now not so much. At first, when the three-way dance seemed all but certain, I was squarely in the corner of those against the deal. But then I took Miles' advice to Joel Goodson: Every now and then say, "What the fuck?"

So who cares if we're giving up a pretty good pitcher who had a down year under Do-Nothing Melly Stotts in New York, who cares if we're giving up two of our top prospects, who cares if our payroll jumps above $200 million...we're bringing in the most dominant lefty since Sanford Jewfax, and that's gotta count for something.

For the record, though, I don't want to give up on Javy by any stretch of the imagination. And I don't think it's a good idea to trade a catcher (D. Navarro) and a third baseman (Duncan) that most people think have something special, especially when the former used to be the kickass guitarist for Jane's Addiction. You need good rock and Carmen Electra in that fuckin' clubhouse.

But my objection to this deal was overruled. I then said I strenuously object, which was noted, but all that did was start a fight with my co-counsel. So now I'm just resigned to saying I understand this is the way my team operates and I have to like it...I'll just get on board and root for the Large Unit if the trade ever gets done. Can't fight City Hall. Can't fight Anthony Michael Hall either, guy's got a good left hook.

Now let's finish this off like an Asian massage and then let's go get 'Los Beltran and Delgado. I always wanted to see what it's like to really have an All-Star at every position...even if it costs Big Stein most of his revenue. Now get the hell out of my office.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Sawx Below, Socks Here

What's the deal with Grape Nuts? You open it up, no grape, no nuts. And for real this time, what's the deal with people wanting famous people's socks? I'm baffled:

"Bids for a pair of unwashed socks worn by rocker Bryan Adams have so far reached a staggering £530. The black Armani socks he wore during a Children in Need gig in Wrexham were placed on eBay to raise much-needed money for a local hospice. The site has received 1,024 hits and 28 people have made bids, taking the socks from a £25 starting price to £530."

"WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) - Smelly socks worn by Ed Harris during the filming of "Empire Falls" were among the treasures snatched up by fans during a weekend sale of props and costumes from the HBO movie. On Saturday, about 300 people bought a variety of items used by Harris, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Helen Hunt during last year's filming in the Waterville-Skowhegan area."

Seriously, even if you're into smelly socks or have a foot fetish, which is cool no doubt, what's the appeal of Bryan Adams and Ed Harris? And for Bryan Adams, that's more than $1,000 US dollars! I don't see how that's any different from the time I spent a grand on Annie Lennox's brassiere. Then I sang: "Purchas-ing, purchas-ing, Annie's braaaaa, doo da doo doo oooooooo-oooo-ooooo" all fuckin' night long.

May I assist you with your sock change?

Kid Ray to Shea?

How silly is this fuckin' Pedro character? He says he tried his hardest but didn't feel the respect from Sawx management, and both sides just couldn't get the job done. Funny how respect is measured is dollars these days...you suck Pedro. Finally, Yanks and Sawx fans agree on something.

I hope Larry Lucchino gives Pedro a warm handshake, looks that Soul-Glo motherfocker in the eye and says, "You'll be dead in a year, son. Hear what I'm saying? You'll be dead in a year."

Then in August when the Mets are fighting down the stretch and Pedro throws a beanball at, say, Adam Dunn, Wunderkind Theo can run into Lucchino's Fenway office and say, "Mr. Larry, look at the teevee, some guy's beatin' up Kid Pedro." Can this please happen? I'd like this to happen. Do it for Ace. I am the Head Blogger in Charge.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Re: Hussein al-Haji Simmons

My buddy Dorsey Levin with the e-mail point of the day (and since my e-mail is either broken or everyone's working real hard today, this had very little competition...regardless, great point):

"So I finally figured out this afternoon why I dislike Bill Simmons so much and find his opinion regarding all things baseball useless at best. Reading his articles is like reading a Palestinian's take on events in the Middle East."

I generally find Simmons' fanboy Sawx articles to be pretty entertaining in a weird way. I think, keeping with the Middle East analogy, that it's almost the equivalent of a member bin Laden's network reading CNN.com for news on the American war perspective. I like hearing what's inside the most vocal opposition leader's head, what the other side is thinking and feeling, especially as it relates to my side. But today I gotta agree with Dorsey...this one kinda made me want to puke. Puke, that's a funny word.

But as Yankee fans, today's column should get to us, a few spots were meant to get to us. Any time a Sawx fan brings up the choke job, it's going to sting and sting badly. Regardless, or irregardless as the kids say, click here for today's Sports Guy piece.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Coulda Been Worse

The New York Jets Road to the Super Bowl hit a minor snag this weekend, but I'm not worried. We're still gonna win the whole fuckin' thing, and people will still bow down before me for my excellent prognostication skills. And hopefully while bowing, someone will attempt to lick me in my place of business, leading to my boasting headline "Handsome Blogger Fellated by Area Jet Fan; Gender Unknown."

I mean, for all that went wrong, we were a trick play and a long pass away from greatness. We took 12 penalties for a total of 84 yards, most of which came in the first half and most of which came in really crucial spots, Chad Sexington threw three interceptions and still looks less than 100 percent in the shoulder region, we fucked up that downed punt, we didn't use LaMont Jordan enough in a physical game...and still we held the game close against one of the league's best teams. There are a lot of "if"s from that one yesterday, but if we get our discipline back, if Chad gets healthy, if we keep our heads in the game, we're 10-3 and the pundits are talking Gang Green all day.

To put it another way: If Becht doesn't get called for that bullshit hold on LaMont's long run and Fuckface McGee doesn't kick the ball into the endzone on the punt we should have downed inside the 1, we're talking about the Jets all afternoon. I happened to be on the phone with Snackowitz as the latter play unfolded, and I said, "This is how you lose games, right here. This is the fucking game." Instead of a 99-yard drive under intense pressure from a sick Jets defense and even sicker front four, the Steelers had some room and drove right down the field. That changed the whole game. That killed our Uncle Mo'. You killed Uncle Freddy. Uncle Freddy died? Uncle Freddy's dead!

So I don't feel all that badly about losing this game. Sure, you play to win the game, Jackie Childs/Herm Edwards said that once. And I desperately wanted to pull out a victory like I pulled out from your mom last night (ooooooh!). But maybe this is the wake up call we need to kick it up a notch and compete with the elite teams like Pitt and New England. Let's see what happens this weekend -- now we need to roll over Seattle like Tracy Gold's family SUV...

Hoobs and I went to see an early release of the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou this weekend, in a crowd of people that clearly loved Wes Anderson the way we do. Since I hate any and all movie reviews, here's a brief reflection from Ace: The acting was great, Murray gives a stellar performance and Willem Dafoe should win an Oscar for his role as Klaus; the cinematography was beautiful, something Anderson has become better and better at through the years as his budgets increase; the storyline kept me interested, but it also led to scenes that were nothing short of "boring"; funny at times, serious at others, much like all four of his movies. Basically, I walked out of there saying it was better than 95 percent of the shlock out there, but compared to Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, I'd put it at the bottom of the list. In fact, my preference for his movies is the same as their order of release -- I'm not saying his skill is declining, I just think I'm liking his movies less as his fame grows. That's, however, more of a testament to his early work than a dig on his later stuff. So to sum up, "Life Aquatic: Better than Shlock." Go see it and decide for yourself, you'll definitely at least enjoy it.

Everyone's favorite Internet quasi-celebrity Jason Mulgrew's got a new site...check it out by clicking on the old link to his site. Movin' on up.

Clearly we tackle diverse topics on this here blog...here are the last seven Google searches that brought people to Slack (not that funny, but I always enjoy seeing what brings random people here):

1. Peyton Manning Cut That Meat
2. Converted to Islam in August of 2001
3. Ned Ryerson
4. Jeannie Zelasko, Beltran, Yankee, Comment
5. Geico Commercial and Caveman
6. House of Flying Daggers, Ann Arbor
7. Dayquil, ecstasy

(And check out the return of Donnie Fiedler below.)

Pot to Kettle:

You're black, and you're a homewrecker.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Fourth Quarter of the Last Crusade

1st and goal from the 9 yard line. 47 seconds left on the game clock. Arkies trail 26-20 in this epic battle.

Jones drops back to pass, he spots Brody over the middle. Complete at the 6, he's got a block via a punch through the newspaper from Sallah at the 5, but, OH NO! Nazi-Agent tricks Brody into looking for the museum of antiquities. He's fumbled into the back of a truck made to look like a bazaar stall. It's the worst-case scenario for the Arkies.

Now, with the ball on their own 4 yard line, the Nazis look primed to run out the clock.

But wait, looks like they've decided to show the Arkies how "ve say goodbye in Germany." Nazi Commander Vogel drops back to pass and it's complete down the right sideline to Despotic Tank Commander. But wait, he's been shot in the eye from a ricocheted bullet. It's a fight for control. There's a pile-up. And it's unbelievable. Old Henry Jones squirts ink in the eye of another Nazi Soldier and claims the football. The Arkies have new life with 34 seconds remaining. What a terrible blunder by the Nazis. Perhaps they should have consulted their playbook instead of burning it.

First and 10 at the Nazi 26-yard line. Jones takes it on the bootleg. And what's this? Old Henry Jones is clearing a path through the Nazi Blitz by opening his umbrella, quoting Longfellow, and scaring birds into the path of the oncoming defenders. It's an 8-yard pick up for Jones.

Second and 2 at the Nazi 18. Jones takes, keeps and dives over the line for the -- oh, no. He's been hit by Nazi Commander Vogel and the two have tumbled over a gigantic cliff out of nowhere. It's a mess down there. Old Henry Jones looks despondant. But wait, Brody is signalling. The Arkies still have it. Jones is OK! We thought we'd lost him, boy. Unfortunately, Nazi Commander Vogel seems to have gotten the worst of it.

Third and 1 at the Nazi 17. Jones pitches to Old Henry Jones. The Nazi pursuit is all over him but, OH MY! A crushing block from Armenian Guy who protects the grail with a weird-cross tattoo on his chest springs Old Jones loose. First down Arkies at the Nazi 12. What a block! And to think, he was nearly killed with Armenian Olin and Armenian Crews back in Venice.

Old Jones splits out wide left. Sallah wide right. Jones back to throw. Complete to Old Jones at the 6, cuts back at the 5, he's lunging and, oh MY!. He's shot in the abdomen by covert Nazi Walter Donovan. It looks painful. He's being carted to the sideline where he's laid to rest on a stone floor. His old man skin is pale in the eerie cave-light. Jones is going to have to go the rest of the way without his father now.

Can he do it?

Jones drops back at the 5. Rolling right. Looking, looking. And here comes a blade up out of the ground, Jones dodges it. Another comes out of the sideline. He dodges it again! Oh...what penitence by Jones! He steps out of bounds at the 4. A smart play.

12 seconds left. 2nd and goal at the 4. Arkies lining up in the "J" formation. Jones comes to the line. But wait, the ground beneath his offensive linemen begins to crumble. He calls time. He's thinking it over now. Realizes, he needs the I-formation. In the 4th quarter, the spread offense begins with an "I". Crisis averted.

Still 2nd and goal and Jones comes to the line. Gut-check time. Jones takes. It's a draw, he steps forward with a sudden faith in the lord that he never had before and lands on a stone bridge that he should have seen but it blended into the background. He's through before being brought down at the 1. Arkies call time.

1st and goal at the 1. 5 seconds left. Jones barks out signals. He drops back. Fires. And it's intercepted by Walter Donovan in the back of the end zone. Donovan is taking it back the other way. He's got a clear path to the endzone. Oh no! What a horrible way for this to end. But wait. The 900-year old official has thrown a flag. Let's get the call...

"Illegal cupping, number 1 on the Nazis. He chose poorly. Half the distance to the goal. First down."

The Arkies have new life. Donovan is devastated. And he's aging at an incredible pace and becomes a skeleton before being smashed into a pile of bones against the wall. Incredible!

Time has expired but on the Nazi penalty, the Arkies have one last play. Jones takes the snap. He starts off left, then moves back to the right, he's clearly scrambling. He finally sees his opening: the shabby, modest and moralistic opening of a carpenter. He goes for it. Drinks. TOUCHDOWN!!! The official raises his decrepid hands and signals: "He chose wisely!!!" Pandemonium. Tie score, 26-26.

Now for the extra point. Old Henry Jones, revived by the everlasting touchdown, will come on to hold. But an earthquake ruins the field. Dr. Elsa Schneider wants to go for two. Jones won't hear of it. He demands her other hand but she slips into a giant cravasse. Somehow convinced by the late Dr. Schneider, now Jones wants to go for two. But it's Old Henry who is the voice of reason on the sideline. "Indiana," he says. "Let it go." Jones does. Snap, spot, kick is up it issssssssss...Good! Arkies win, 27-26! It's pandemonium as the stadium crumbles to the ground. Oh man, the official is slammed on the head by a falling pillar with a lion on it.

But the Arkies are OK. Brody says he knows the way to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville. He takes off at a demented pace, clearly not in control of this team. Sallah laughs and the Arkies live to see tomorrow.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Cigarettes are Killing Our Troops?

Here's an interesting little story:

The American Lung Association is denouncing radio host Mike North's cigarette collection drive for soldiers.

Listeners on Thursday donated 5,031 packs in response to North's Smokes for Soldiers drive. The cigarettes are going to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

"When that cargo door opens, they'll be ecstatic when they see those cigarettes for Christmas," North said.

But Joel Africk of the lung association's Chicago office said there are better ways to support troops "than by sending them a product that, when taken as directed, will kill them."

North's response: Butt out.

"The last thing on a soldier's mind is catching lung cancer," said North, a onetime soldier himself. "It's a little twisted that they would want to deny our guys cigarettes."

Click here for the rest.

Clara Wonka Zappa Camera

Princess Clara
Earlier this week I extolled the virtues of Comedy Central's new animated reality show Drawn Together. Having TiVoed Tuesday night's episode, I sat down to watch last night in great anticipation. And, once again, it did not disappoint. Two absolutely classic and hilariously disturbing lines to report:

1. Princess Clara is talking to her father, The King, on the house's communal phone when she tells him that she thinks something is missing. The King replies: "Did you check the colored girl's room?" But the princess meant something missing in her life, so she tells her father that she "longs for so much more." To that, the King replies: "Oh course you do, that's what princesses do, they long for more. Or die in a car crash in France."

2. With Princess Clara on some spiritual search for self, Spanky Ham lets her in on his prank with Foxy (which involves defecating onto a pizza to torture the delivery man, by the way). But the princess messes up a key element in the plan, leading Spanky to say in the video confessional, "That was a huge mistake...Not as big a mistake as when I converted to Islam...in August of 2001, but still pretty big."

Man, do I love irreverent comedy. I don't want to bite on Governor Arnie's style here, but this show is faantaaastic. It's just faantaaastic to waaatch a show of this calibah. Those two are just a couple highlights, there's so much more (like flamingly homosexual video game warrior Xander asking Captain Hero "Do you know what would be fun right now?" and Captain Hero answering "Elder abuse?"). So please, pleeeeease Eddie, for the sake of the children, start watching this show, you won't be sorry. UNO, back me up here.

Willy Wonka
I have no idea why Tim Burton would want to re-make Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There's such a nothing-to-gain factor in play...I mean, how can you top Gene Wilder and the emsemble cast of the 1971 version? These fucking people are messing with sheer brilliance, I tell you. All I know is, they can change the look of the movie if they see fit, and that's all but guaranteed with Burton at the helm, but if they take out any of Wonka's dialogue there's going to be some hell to pay. I better hear "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams," Charlie and Grandpa better be some ugly ass motherfuckers and there better be some fucking snozzberries in this new one.

Well, just as I had suspected it looks dark, Depp looks freaky, Burton is at it again. Introducing, the trailer for the new and most likely unimproved Willy Wonka.

Frank Zappa
Someone alerted me to the presence of the following clip last night, and I'll be damned if I didn't sit there for 20 minutes watching the whole thing. I don't expect the lot of you to watch this, but if you've got a third of an hour to spare, I give you the incredible, inedible Frank Zappa on Crossfire from back in 1986. Zappa takes on such a right-wing fascist about the decency of lyrics in music and the idea of government censorship that Bob Novak looks like a fuckin' centrist. At least watch a little bit of it, I'm 100 percent shocked that Frank didn't beat this egghead about the face, neck, chest, breast and head.

But the best part about the whole clip is that some of the things Zappa says about the Reagan administration 18 years ago are heard on Crossfire today about the current party in office. There are quite a few quotes that resonate just as much today as they did back then...give it a shot, Zappa makes some sense. He also rocks. And kinda looks like Borat.

Frank Zappa on Crossfire 1986 (fourth clip down or so)

Work-that Camera
No introduction necessary: Pictures of the Year 2004

Miscellaneous
--Say what you will about T-Mac's heart and his defense and his inability to carry a team, but last night's performance was nothing short of legendary. McGrady scored 13 points in the final 35 seconds against possibly the league's best team, including a running 3-pointer with no time on the clock. McGrady brought Planet Hooston back from down 10 in the final minute, giving the team its first three-game winning streak of the year. I think T-Mac is the best offensive force in the game, and I love that he looks like he's coming down from four or five bong blows at all times, so here's to you, bud...

--Jeff Kent signs with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Great move by both sides, nothing negative to say at all. A two-year contract is perfect for both sides, the salary is worth it for both sides...I like this move a lot. The only thing I'd question is the break-up of the double play combo of Cora and Izturis, but ChiptoleBob tells me that they'll move Kent to the hot corner if they lose Beltre, to first base if they lose Green, or keep him at second if Cora leaves. So, they've got options, and I'm sure they'd like to hear those options, so they could weigh them, whatd'ya say?

--The GEICO commercials with the guy insulting the cavemen...have you seen it? Great stuff. Great stuff.

--Here's a funny article about the top ten bands or artists who never recovered from releasing a Christmas single. I am especially partial to number four, the popular rock band Slade's "Merry X-mas Everybody."

--And Chuck B from San F passed along this little Jewbag video...if ever I was to use the word "cute," this would be it. My grandmother would absolutely love this. Now I know that's not a ringing endorsement, but it's Friday, it's a slow day, and you've got two minutes to watch some candles play "My Menorah."

Thursday, December 09, 2004

We've Reached the Top

Go to Yahoo! and type in "Ashlee Simpson Gangbanged" (or just click here, it's safe for work, no worries, hakuna matata). There it is, folks, the Ace Cowboy can now die in peace.

King and Duck (or Jon)

OK, I can't tell if there is someone whose real name is Jack Mehoffer or not, but it appears Bill O'Reilly got seriously punked. Crap, did I just used "punked" as a verb? I suck. Anyway, fortunately for O'Reilly he mispronounced Mehoffer's name as "May-a-hoffer," otherwise conservatives around the country would be writing in to the FCC with a plethora of form letters (and a plethora of pinatas).

Jon Stewart was on Larry King last night, and of course, nobody under the age of 78 watched. But I did just see a funny clip on CNN of King trying to pry some Crossfire stuff out of him, with Stewart resisting a bit. Here's the comment, which of course is funnier on television than in the blog universe:

"It was only, like, 15 minutes. It was 'Crossfire.' I thought it was supposed to be -- it's named after what innocent bystanders get caught in during gang violence. I thought it was supposed to be that. Apparently the only people you're not supposed to put in the crossfire are the hosts of the 'Crossfire.'

(totally deadpan) But I will say this...I think the issues that were brought up finally started a discussion within the media of whether or not I'm too big for my britches, and I think that's the important thing."

That's great stuff. Sorry folks, I got nuthin' today, unless you want to hear about intelligence reform and the immigration provisions that failed to make it into the final bill. Yeah, we're a barrel of laughs over here...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The O.D.B. Pinata

Story of the day from the good ol' NY Post:

"Even after death, wildman rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard is full of surprises — the Wu-Tang Clan founding member died with a white powdery substance hidden in his body, a law-enforcement source said yesterday.

During an autopsy of the 35-year-old rapper, a doubled plastic bag containing a white powder was discovered in his stomach, said the source.

ODB, who was born Russell Jones, collapsed and died on Nov. 13 in a Manhattan recording studio.

The cause of his death remains a mystery as the Medical Examiner's Office awaits the result of toxicology tests. But a source said the white powder leaked from its plastic container and seeped into the rapper's body."

Click here for the rest (although that's all the pertinent shit).

My Eyes and Ears

Gonna be a busy day for yours truly...I desperately wanted to call in sick, can't believe I actually made it in. Drunken times with the family at a marathon dinner last night doesn't necessarily make for a good morning.

So here are three entertainment-related items I've been watching or listening to lately that I highly recommend (and in some cases, again):

1. Drawn Together -- Donnie recommended Comedy Central's new animated reality show to me a few weeks ago, and I haven't missed an episode since. For those of you with TiVo or those who may be home tonight at 10:30, do it. Highlight of last week's episode: After Captain Hero bangs Princess Clara's retarded cousin Duh, they wake up in bed together the next day. Princess Clara bursts in, sees the pair entwined and orders her slow cousin to go back to her room. As she runs back to the room, Spanky Ham (played by Adam Corolla) is overheard yelling in the background "Ooooh, looks like someone's doing the limp of shame." Simply classic.

2. The Name of This Band is Talking Heads -- I mentioned this in a post a few months ago, but I must do it again. I'm still obsessed with this album, months after purchasing it. And that never happens. Basically, if you don't have this 33-song live album, you're really missing out. David Byrne and the rest of the band are at their absolute best in this compilation, especially on the first disc from the late 1970s. Get it, check out New Feeling > Clean Break and Who Is It? > The Book I Read and tell me these guys aren't fucking insane musicians. And those are just four songs...trust me, they're all incredible.

3. Talkin' Blues -- A Hoobs Special, this was probably the most listened to disc in our room (Cloud City) throughout junior year. After putting it down for awhile, I picked it up again and haven't been able to put it down again. To me (and Hoobs and others), this is Marley at his finest, a sound unlike much of the music on Legend or any of his other works. A strong recommendation, especially for Walk the Proud Land and You Can't Blame the Youth, two songs prominently featured on WNUR's Block Party radio show (hey, we had a few listeners, including a nice old lady who recommended "Fire" by the Ohio Players).

Also, here's a funny little article about the real-life Slater, Pink and Wooderson taking on Richard Linklater 11 years after the fact...screw these guys, lookin' for a quick buck. Eat shit, real life dudes that I loved on screen. You're ruining my perception of Dazed and Confused. Stop it.

And lastly, a hearty welcome to the Yankees goes to Jaret Wright and Officer Tony Womack. Womack is a great signing, nothing bad about that. Wright can go either way...I'm gonna take the optimistic route on this one and say maybe he found something last year that he can keep going in the Bronx. I just hope he doesn't need any coaching, because what he got in Leo Mazzone he will certainly not find in Melly Mel Stotts. But I'm going to be half-full here and say I like it. I like it a lot. Well, that was more of an online Lloyd Christmas impersonation, I don't actually like it "a lot." I like it a little.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Canadians and Beisbol

A clever way to take advantage of the losing 48 percent of America:

An American T-shirt company has a solution for their fellow citizens who want to vacation in Europe without having to answer questions about U.S. politics -- pose as Canadians.

For $24.95, T-shirtKing.com offers the "Go Canadian" package, full of just the kind of things an American traveler needs to leave their country and its politics behind.

There's a Canadian flag T-shirt, a Canadian flag lapel pin and a Canadian patch for luggage or a backpack. There's also a quick reference guide -- "How to Speak Canadian, Eh?" -- on answering questions about Canada. Click here for the rest of article.


And now a brief rant on something I don't understand at all...Why would anyone in their right mind be in favor of the government passing legislation aimed at curbing illegal drug use in baseball? For those who missed it, Sen. John McCain the other day claimed Congress will require changes by law if MLB doesn't act on its own.

Now it appears that baseball's brass and the players' union will eventually come up with a deal on its own, but how weren't McCain's comments just laughed off and the man immediately shown the door? Everyone took the guy so seriously about this, people actually thought it made sense. Are we still letting him say whatever he wants because of the whole P.O.W/second head thing?

Look, I like my government like I like my women: really big, very mouthy and always wanting to do the right thing even if it means butting in. But even I think this is an egregious waste of time, and more importantly, a dangerous precedent to set. Who's to say that Congress won't then rule, say, journalism an all-important profession that kids look up to and people spend their money on and require mandatory drug tests for everyone in the industry? Do we really want to move toward a society that allows government to infringe upon my right to smoke drugs just because it views my profession differently than others? That makes no sense to me.

I have a pretty feeble mind and maybe I'm not grasping the entire concept of why Congress has an "in" with baseball here...maybe I'm missing something (MLB's anti-trust exemption, perhaps), but I just have no idea why Congress would be allowed to stick its dirty nose in baseball's business. Baseball will figure this out, and if it doesn't, fans may walk away, and if they do, revenues will dwindle, and then everyone on both sides will come back to the bargaining table. That's the way it works.

Then again, I have zero faith in MLB and the MLBPA meeting to put the sanctity of the game and the welfare of the fans before anything else...so let's just blow the whole thing up and start over.

Drug are bad, stay in school.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Complain About This, Assfaces

Goddamn, I fuckin' hate these people:

"In an appearance before Congress in February, when the controversy over Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl moment was at its height, Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell laid some startling statistics on U.S. senators.

The number of indecency complaints had soared dramatically to more than 240,000 in the previous year, Powell said. The figure was up from roughly 14,000 in 2002, and from fewer than 350 in each of the two previous years. There was, Powell said, 'a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes.'

What Powell did not reveal—apparently because he was unaware—was the source of the complaints. According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003—99.8 percent—were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group." Click here for the article.

The PTC can eat my balls. Indecent enough for ya? These people need to be silenced immediately. I first clashed with the PTC when they began their assault on professional wrestling, and I actually respected their belief that kids were watching some questionable programming. I didn't agree with them for very obvious reasons, but I respected their right to be bookburning nazi cows. But that was confined to the wrestling world...now these fuckers have gone mainstream.

It's these Billy Ripkens that are leading the networks to self-censor themselves, leading to week-long uproars like the one concerning T.O. and MNF, who will eventually lead the FCC to crack down on what we can and can't watch. Fuckers, you know those two knobs on the radio, or those buttons on the television remote? One changes the channel, another turns it off. Use 'em, and stop fucking everyone else's shit up. I'm gonna leave it at that. Now don't make me come up there.

Craisins?

Sunflowers for everybody.

Wedding Jets Cal Urban Cheesy Holmes, Et Al

As previously declared on Friday, I love weddings. No matter what, they're always a good time. Always. Even if your mother is there, she gets wasted, does shots with your friends and subsequently hits on some of them, they're still a good time. Even if you're already a bit tipsy, go outside to get ridiculously baked with a couple of random kids, one of which was just hit on by your mother, then come inside and your wasted mother is right there with some friendly conversation before you can hit up either gum or eyedrops, they're still a good time. As long as there's a little cart parked on the side of the dance floor, with a Jager Luge of sorts and many bottles of horribly flavored vodka, everything's gonna be just fine. I mean, you know it's a good time when you have to look your father in the eye and make sure he's okay to drive. "Are you cool, Dad?" If he answered, "Like, how?" I would've just started a slow clap and cried tears of joy.

Here's the only story worth re-telling in this here space, though: It's about 7:45, the wedding's scheduled to commence in about 15 minutes or so. I'm standing with my pops and a few friends when this family walks in, a couple from the neighborhood and three kids around my age. Good people. Standing near us, by the way, is the bride's 85-year-old grandmother, who just got finished saying how all the dresses were being cut for the younger audience. Anyway, the daughter of this incoming couple walks in, and immediately turns a shade of red my buttocks turn after a good shpanking. She's wearing the same exact dress as the bride's grandmother, and now they're standing right next to each other. Nervous laughter ensues from most, outright hysterics from me. What's worse though, and this is saying something, the grandmother actually looked much, much better...I'd have taken a hummer from the octagenarian over the college coed any day of the week and four times on Wednesday. I gave an audible "awwwwkward" and sauntered away.

After Saturday's festivities, I was hungover like balls yesterday. Thank goodness for football in December, an excuse for men everywhere to never leave the couch. And after a first half in which I got up to dry heave a few times -- the Ambiguously Gay Uno reportedly reversed the path of Peristalsis Trail several times in his lady friend's bathroom -- the Jets went to halftime of a really-need-to-win game down by a point, but it could have been worse (our noses could have been gushing blood). The Return of Chad Sexington was going okay, but we needed touchdowns, baby, not field goals. It was clear something would have to give in the second half. Hackett would have to open it up or something...

But while the offense did put some points on the board, it was the Jets defense that continued to step up and provid the spark they've grown to provide week in and week out. In the 23-0 second half at the Meadowlands, the Jets defense looked like a force that could give other teams' offenses trouble come January. This was the sixth game this season in which the Jets defense hadn't allowed a second half point, the SIXTH!, which to me indicates that new D-Coordinator Donnie Henderson is making better adjustments than Oprah's tailor (zzzzing!). I've been a fan all year of the new look D, they're fast and agile, they tackle well, they adjust very well, they have great instincts on the field, and most of all, they have completely bought into what the coaching staff is selling. Sound familiar? We've stolen the Gaytriots' recipe for success...hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? I'll take it. Bring on the Steelers, bring on the Pats, let's get the offense straightened out and let's continue on the road to the Super Bowl. Incidentally, I saw a stat yesterday that in Chad Sexington's career, he's thrown 35 touchdowns in the red zone as opposed to zero interceptions. Say what you will about Chad, but that is sickening. Welcome back, kid.

In other football news, whoooooa boy did the Cal Bears get screwed. I mean, as pissed as Auburn has to be right now, I think Cal might have an even bigger gripe. Hey, at least Auburn is getting the $14 million check or whatever the BCS pays. Cal went from the fourth-best team in the nation with only one loss to playing on December 30th in the Holiday Bowl versus the 7-4 Texas Tech Red Raiders. Yikes. See, to me, this is an outrage, and I'm more pissed about this than the national championship fiasco.

ESPN Daily Quickie writer Dan Shanoff, a guy who I actually like, said this: "Sure, they were aced out of the Rose Bowl by Texas, but no sympathy: It had a chance to beat USC and get to the Orange Bowl and fell short." Eh, that's bullshit, Danny. First of all, they had the same 10-1 record as Texas, and probably looked better in its victories than the Longhorns. But more importantly, and speaking to Shanoff's point, in that USC-Cal game early in the season, Aaron Rodgers threw a 20-yard pass on 3rd down to the endzone with not much time left that went right through his receiver's hands. It was a contested play, but it could have been caught. A completion would have given Cal the victory and perhaps an undefeated season, even knocking USC out of the title hunt. But I guess by losing 23-17 to the nation's top team, Cal simply fell short and deserves to be left out of the BCS altogether in favor of 10-2 Virginia Tech and 8-3 Pittsburgh, which is ranked 21st in the final standings. This sytem doesn't need work, it needs to be fucked up beyond all recognition. FUBAR the BCS, I say.

Best point I've heard on the Notre Dame situation, on how the pundits are saying ND's program is dunzo after losing Urban Meyer: Greeney of the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio put everyone in their place, saying it's a bloody joke that people are calling for the downfall of college football's grandest tradition all because a coach with only four years of head coaching experience that most avid fans couldn't even pick out of a lineup picked another school over ND. And he's right. If his name isn't "Urban" and the media weren't so little guy crazy, there's no way this is blown so far out of proportion. Good point by one of my favorite dudes...And also, Urban Meyer's got nothing on Urban Shocker.

The BBC polled viewers as to what are the cheesiest lines in movie history -- most of 'em make sense that they're on this list. But #2 "Nobody puts baby in the corner" should probably be #1, even if it is one of the greatest lines ever uttered in cinema. Check out the full list here.

And caution at work, but this must be checked out immediately...please verify the authenticity of this Katie Holmes flashing her breasts moment. Is it her? I say yes.

Coincidence Rocks

I walked into the deli this morning for a bagel and some juice, my typical morning ingestables. My iPod was blasting Sly and the Family Stone's Dance to the Music, one of my favorites and the 15th song on a brand new playlist I've been running through this weekend. To order my food from my buddy behind the counter, I pressed pause on the iPod, but the music kept playing. I shook the iPod, pressed some more buttons...what's the big f-in' deal, bitch? Then I realized, the deli was playing the exact same song through the speakers, most likely from the radio. And it was at the nearly identical spot I was at. Now what are the fuckin' chances of that? I seriously love when this happens more than anything in the world, and I'm really not kidding. Freaky and cool.

More to follow when time permits...on deck: a wild wedding weekend, the Jets beautiful victory to go to 9-3, Cal getting screwed like Cassandra's career (Wayne, you screwed my ca-ree-ah), Urban Meyer and Notre Dame, and the cheesiest movie lines ever. Stay tuned...

Friday, December 03, 2004

Giamba Juiced

And now Bonds too! New shit has come to light, man!

Whoooa boy, we got a real pressure cooker going here...this is it, this is the real deal, this is not a drill. Whether they own up to taking steroids on purpose or not, two of the game's premiere sluggers have officially admitted to desecrating their bodies, which led to the ultimate desecration of the national pasttime. While both juice monkeys divulged information to a federal grand jury that they took the designer drugs, Giambi fessed up to it whereas Bonds took the easy way out, most likely lying about his reasons for taking such drugs. Neither is really worse than the other -- both men are complete d-bags that did to the image baseball players and baseball what the Enron and Worldcom brass did to corporate executives and corporate America. It's not as if this was a real surprise, but still, I'm slightly shocked that there's now bonafide proof in that pudding, Rudy.

Giambi is finished, done, over...so let's focus on the greatest hitter of our generation, perhaps of all time. Barry Lamar Bonds didn't know he was taking steroids? He thought it was flaxseed oil and arthritis cream? C'mon, that excuse is about as believable as OJ's "night-putting" or Kobe's "She told me she liked it in the bum." I hope he's proven to be a liar and the feds indict him on charges of perjury. I like Barry, I'm one of the 17 people outside SF that actually likes the guy, but now that the cat's out of the bag, I'm turning on him faster than Mr. Fuji on Demolition at the 1988 Survivor Series (fuckin' Powers of Pain, you'll get yours). And we'll see what Victor Conte says on 20/20 tonight...if he implicates Bonds, the ballgame is over.

Here's the real question though: How do we proceed with Barry's assault on the all-time homerun record? I mean, isn't it officially tainted now like Soft Cell's love? I think my man "Dorsey" Levin said it best yesterday, before the Bonds bombshell broke: "I wouldn't be surprised if Bonds retires once his name is officially linked to steroids. Who in the world is going to give a rat's ass if he breaks the record once it's proven not only that he took 'roids, but that he lied about taking them? Are they really going to stop the game and have a ceremony for him on the field when he breaks Aaron's record? I wonder if Aaron would even show up to congratulate him."

Those are my sentiments exactly, Dorse. How the hell can we celebrate the breaking of the most coveted record in all of sports when we know for a fact that at least some of those homeruns were due to cheating? I'm very interested to see how MLB handles this, because this is a multimillion-dollar pursuit of a record -- there's plenty of cash to be made here: by Bonds, by baseball, by the Giants, by the home teams when Barry visits, by apparel vendors, by the fan who catches that ball, by kayak rental companies in SF, and the list goes on. This is a PR nightmare for baseball, but it's also an economic one. I don't envy Bud Selig...but then again, I hate Bud Selig, so I hope this ends up taking him down as well.

One point that has to be made, though, is that as bad as this is, what Pete Rose did was much worse. Much, much worse. These guys may be taking years off their lives for the pursuit of the longball, and they can affect the game with this new power...but Rose controlled the entire team when he was gambling, he had 25 players at his disposal to ensure wins and losses. He was the face of the league, he was Charlie Hustle, and the media and fans loved him. Bonds is viewed with constant disdain by the media and fans, and the schadenfreude this morning is off the charts. Like the 12/2/99 Gin, we need new charts (and thanks for indulging us Phish dorks yesterday!). What the dopers do is inexcusable, but gambling with the game's integrity is a far greater sin.

And one other note: I applaud ESPN for their coverage of this story. They're putting together great packages from their top guys, doing interviews with the right people like Tim Kurktjian and Buster Olney and talking to the SF Chronicle reporters who Woodward and Bernsteined this story. I've actually never been more impressed by the network's coverage of a hard news story. Finally, ESPN does right by me.

We all know steroids were part of this glorious game. But maybe now MLB has the right impetus to wipe the 'roids out of the sport once and for all. Eh, who am I kidding, I really don't even care. I don't. Or maybe I shoukd say, I don't want to care. I'm the opposite of most fans -- I love this game too much to let this get me down. I don't care that Gaylord Perry and others scuffed the ball, I don't care that Rose (and probably others) bet on baseball, and I don't really care about steroids. There are bad trends in the world, there are bad people in the world...you know what we do? We iron out the wrinkles and we move on. We've had some of the best postseasons in history over the past few years, and that momentum is too important to let this situation fuck with that. So let's just move on, shut up about it, pretend it never happened and go to the ballpark to see the greatest game ever invented. Tickets for all, they're on Donnie.

A few unrelated notes:

1. I haven't been seeing enough live music lately. I came to this realization as I was standing in Grand Central for 30 minutes yesterday, watching Carolina Slim and two other dudes play some amateur blues outside the Shuttle. I stood there, really into it, kicking my feet a bit in a dancing motion...it wasn't great, but it did the trick. Lately I've been getting all my live music from the subways -- that's gotta change. Umphrey's McGee next Friday anyone?

2. Another wedding this weekend. People my age need to stop getting married. That shit is not cool, and it only serves to make my mother want to pry into my personal affairs. "Listen honey, the waitress in this restaurant the other night was gaw-geous, I got her numbah, you should give her a call." So if you're 25 or younger, no more engagements. None. Weddings rocks though, as I've said on here before, so I'm psyched for the weekend.

3. I think I'd like to move out of the House of Flying Daggers and move into the House of Sand and Fog. Seems like more safety to me. Less visibility in all that fog, probably more boredom, and I fuckin' hate sand, but all those flying daggers would scare the shit out of me.

OK, I'm done here. Out from Alcatraz.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Good Day

Well, it's December 2nd again. I feel like it happens every year.

I always look forward to December 2nd, since the final one of the last millenium. The date's a reminder of those carefree college trips, a throwback to the salad days of youthful exuberance and lust for life. Today marks the five-year annversary of the best Phish show these eyes hath ever seen, but more importantly, the anniversary of the night that kicked off the greatest month of my life.

With a planned millenium celebration in Toronto (eh?) just a month away, and the popular rock band Phish kicking off a 16-show holiday run in Detroit, Donnie and I packed up Bart Starbux's red Chevy Blazer and headed east for a three-night stand in both the Motor and Queen Cities. The three of us set out for greener grass and higher times.

Everything seemed to work out for us that day, that weekend, that trip. The Karma Gods smiled down upon three gents looking for fun with the good ol' hippie folk. First order of business was clear: As was typical before extended holiday breaks, Northwestern campus was somewhat dry and little green bags were hard to come by. We made do with what we had on the road, but questioning whether it would be easy to buy in the Shakedown lots -- sometimes it is difficult to score a bag at a Phish show -- we decided to stop off in Ann Arbor to see a guy about a thing.

I called up an acquaintance at the University of Michigan and had him on the lookout for some doje. After about an hour in his place, with time quickly becoming a factor, we cut our losses and decided to depart for the show. Our gracious host, in a truly kind gesture and one not easily forgettable, gave us most of his personals for the ride and the show, just in case. We said thanks, surely did some awkward hand pounds and shoved off towards the Palace.

As soon as we pulled into a spot -- the very second we parked -- we opened the car doors and this tour wook immediately asked, "You guys need headies, brahs?" Suuure, step into our office and let's do some bid'ness, sir. We were having that kind of night, all luck.

We trudged to the venue through frigid Midwestindecember weather, and I thought two things upon our entrance: spacious arena and tour opener. This could be a weak show. Boy, was I wrong.

The building turned out to be rockin', and the acoustics were simply amazing for an arena that size. The three of us found some Page-side seats together in the lower bowl, even though we had maybe three different seats scattered around the 300s. And seeing how the ushers actually did their jobs on this night, the first set was a large crowd of musical chairs, quite literally. People were constantly moving, shuffling to find other seats as the rightful owners got kicked out of their fake seats and had to find their real ones. The chain of events was high comedy, but we were worried we'd lose our dynamite view of the stage. The band played a standard tour opener first set, but they were definitely on. You could feel it.

Setbreak came, the house lights went on, and all of a sudden our good friend TJ in OH stared up at us from the floor. We were only about 10 rows up, so he hopped the boards and joined us for a bit. Always great to see TJ when it's planned, but it's even better to randomly bump into him at shows (UIC '98, Cleveland '00, Chicago '00, Cincy '03, etc). TJ's the Seinfeld to my Banya, my guru and mentor, a guy who just gets it. In a cool move, he decided to give up his floor seats and hang with us for the second set, which was the latest in a string of positive events in our favor. The lights went down for the next phase of the show, and the four of us stood up and waited for the second set's first note.

I have two favorite Phish sets of all time, and the next 80 minutes was certainly one of them (11/19/97 II in Champaign being the other). The Boys opened with kickass versions of Stevie's Boogie On Reggae Woman and Gotta Jibboo, but then the fire really started. The Bathtub Gin that followed was off the charts...I mean, we needed new charts that night. It's my most listened to Gin to this day, the band striding in an all-for-one and one-for-all take-no-prisoners jams. At about the 11-minute mark, Trey lays down something mean and Fishman hits a stellar drum beat, and the house almost came tumbling down. The Palace was seriously rocking harder than at the recent Artest-incited brawl there.

The band faded into an uber-industrial version of 2001, aka Also Sprach Zarathustra, a fantastic bridge to the most unique You Enjoy Myself in history. It may not have been the best YEM ever of the, what, 500 versions?, but there's never been a version quite like this. It's unreal, just awesome. There's a grinding jam after the trampolines section that just builds and builds as if someone were winding them up with a crank. It reminds me of a Jack-in-the-Box, getting wound up 'til the pressure can't build no longer. Perfection, sheer perfection. The band was on, the band was tight, the band was together. The vocal jam even concluded with Fishman singing an a capella Little Drummer Boy, a great finish to an unbelievable set.

This was the night...the Gods smiling, the Boys rocking, Donnie and Bart and TJ in tow...can it get any better than this? Oh yeah, that's right we needed a place to crash. TJ suggested his then-bachelor pad in Dayton, giving us free shelter and getting us closer to the next night's Cincy shows. "OK," Donnie said, "since we don't know where you live, we'll meet at the first Denny's in Ohio." Would it work? Would we be stranded and need a hotel?

Remember, this is before anyone had a cell phone and I didn't know how to get in touch with TJ outside of e-mail. Sure enough as the three of us devoured our grand slam breakfasts (one of us may have had a Rooty Tooty Fresh n Fruity) TJ's car pulled up and, sure enough, the whole thing worked out.

We woke up in TJ's then-bachelor pad, watched Bottle Rocket and then began our trek to Cincinnati for two more incredible shows, two additional days of laughter, music and wholesome fun. The inside jokes from those two days still make me chuckle even now, and they're still discussed to this day.

But as Chubbs sings to Happy Gilmore from beyond the grave, "We've only just beguuun." The sickest month of my life was just getting started. Over the course of one month (December 2nd through January 2nd), I was blessed with the time and the Honda CRV to travel nearly 5,000 miles across the upper right quadrant of the United States, driving 3,500 of them and flying 1,250.

Along the way I got to see 11 U.S. states, one Canadian province and the District of Columbia, hung out and slept in random houses and apartments and frat houses and hotels and met up with probably eight or 10 different groups of friends spanning all corners of my past: family, home friends, school friends, camp friends (that's kinda like Gitmo's "unit, core, God, country").

And like any good 20-year-old, I was severely wasted in some capacity just about every single night, often times waking up and having no clue where I was or what I was doing there. A trip that starts in Detroit with some of your best friends seeing your favorite band in the world and ends in Toronto rolling face at the CN Towerwith some of your other best friends as fireworks light up the night sky and the calendar rolls over to 2-0-0-0, with parties and dope and concerts and gooballs and rolls and fake rolls and nitrous and highway bong hits and good friends and close family and seeing the country all sandwiched in between...now that's a great fucking trip, that's a great fucking month. That's not, however, a great fucking sentence. Wow, that's a serious run-on.

These days I'm just another member of the working world who complains too much. Where have you gone December 2nd, 1999?

Epilogue: On New Year's Day 2000, TJ informed everyone he would be a father shortly. A little girl was on the way, a new member of the TJ clan...the then-bachelor pad was gone, but a new era was beginning, and not just on the calendar. It's growns up time.

New Champ
(Many predicted this would happen, but Jeopardy! Ken officially got Buster Douglas-ed. Nancy Zerg, the surprised lady in the red puffy shirt that defeated Ken Jennings, lost in her first defense of the title after beating the unbeatable champ. Maybe now Ken will be become the craziest man in the world of trivia, vowing to stomp on the testicles of Wink Martindale and eat Bob Barker's grandkids.)