Saturday, April 30, 2005

1:05 PM -- B-Jays v. Yanks

Pitching probables: Bush v. Wang.

That's anatomically awesome.

Friday, April 29, 2005

What, No Chitlins?

Oh man, this is gold, Jerry, gold. I don't know what this is promoting or who is supporting it, but check out this page about child nutrition.

Does anyone notice anything hysterically hysterical about the picture of these children on the top of the page?

Notes From Lukas

A guest post? Sure, why not? The first item is interesting for the pushbroom moustache factor, the second two are direct assaults on the beliefs espoused by the Ace Cowboy. Behold:

1. Bagel tosser
"Former West Virginia quarterback Jeff Hostetler has shut down a bagel shop he owned a few miles from his alma mater." [Article]

Why did Jeff Hostetler have a bagel shop? And what was so wrong with his bagels that he had to shut down? He must be commended for taking The End like a man: "It's just time to do it," he said. "This was the way to do it."

Most people in West Virginia survive on a steady diet of Salisbury steak and tater tots; trying to introduce fancy Jewish food into their meal plans may have been difficult.

[ed. note: If bagels and schmear is considered "fancy Jewish food," I'm the upperest-class motherfucker on the planet. I eat bagels all three meals a day at least three time a week.]

2. Podcasting
Is it just me, or is this just a fancy term for "downloading a really big mp3 to put on my iPod?" I like free music as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure if this deserves phenomenon status, or even its own term.

It shouldn't be called podcasting until our iPods are equipped with wireless technology, and people can push audio streams to us on request. THAT would be podcasting...this is just downloading either streaming audio (which has been around forever) or a big mp3 file.

[About ten minutes after sending me this e-mail, Lukas IMed me the following]: Shit, I was wrong about podcasting. "Users subscribe to podcasts using 'podcatching' software (also called 'aggregator' software) which periodically checks for and downloads new content." So it is a little different in that it automatically downloads stuff, but I still say, it's not podcasting 'til we have wireless pods.

[ed. note: The phrase "wireless pods" freaks me out in a Soylent Green kind of way. And even though I think it's cool, Lukas has a point.]

3. Ryan Adams
You hated him at the Jammys -- and I wasn't there, so I can't defend the man. But before you write him off as only good playing Dead covers, listen to To Be Young here and tell me it's not an excellent song.

[ed. note: Yeah, that's pretty good, but mainly because it reminds me of the intro to Old School. I maintain that Ryan Adams is a wanker, even though I've heard his Jammy's performance sounds better on disc than at the show.]

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Slack.

I Heart Press Conferences

Contrary to what many of you expect, I'm not gonna bash the president following last night's press conference. In fact, I'm gonna do the opposite: Mr. President, you were great. So please, pleeeease Eddie, do some more primetime press conferences. For me. For all of us. I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard at such a serious presser.

I thought this guy used to be a Texas oil-man or something...but he gave the most atrocious answers to questions about energy strategy I've ever heard. He stumbled and bumbled through that part as if English was really his second language. The president couldn't answer even the simplest queries about his energy plan, so he did the only thing he knows how: bring up the military.

"But, listen, the energy bill is certainly no quick fix. You can't wave a magic wand. I wish I could. It's like that soldier at Fort Hood that said, 'How come you're not lowering the price of gasoline?' I was having lunch with the fellow, and he said, 'Go lower the price of gasoline, Mr. President.' I said, 'I wish I could. It just doesn't work that way.'"

What's Fort Hood have to do with the price of gasoline and/or apples? I mean, you gave an answer to some question, Mr. President, but I don't think it was the answer to that reporter's question. You can't just mention the military and expect to get out of having to give an answer. Well, I guess you can, and you just did.

On a night when the president said "hard work" three times and "work hard" twice, here were my two favorite quotations of the night:

"We should have a active nucular energy policy in America." -- the only thing that could have made that sentence better would be to substitute "strategery" for "policy."

And "Gas can only be transported by ship, though, when you liquefy it, when you put it in solid form." -- how exactly would that work? How could you possibly liquefy something and put it in solid form? Maybe he knows better than I do, being a real-deal oil-man and all.

Regardless, I couldn't have enjoyed that press conference any more, and was genuinely sad to see the networks cut him off at 9 for their May Sweeps programming. We want more.

Staying true to yesterday's proclamation, here's the Slack Song of the Day: The Benevento/Russo Duo with Mike Gordon playing Yes' Roundabout at moe.down on 9/4/04. And just because I'm feeling saucy, here's the Trio with Becky on 12/28/04.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Podcasting

Never heard of podcasting? What are you stuck in the early 2000s or something? Ignorant bastards.

Podcasting, for all intents and porpoises, allows someone to publish audio files on the ol' Internets and an end user to download said files and listen to them wherever they want (on the computer, on their iPod, etc). The beauty of podcasting is that software can actually download a podcast automatically for the end user to listen to at their convenience.

This is great for amateur radio dudes, struggling bands, anyone who wants to get their audio stuff out there. But it's even better for the end users, who can use their mp3 players (hence the name pod-casting) to listen to whatever they want at any time. This thing's gonna catch on real quickly, just you watch...

Slack reader offpeak34 and his buddy have started a Phish Podcast called "Trapped in Time," and I'm definitely going to take advantage of that site. Other jambands are putting stuff out on their own -- Umphrey's McGee (who seems to be all over Slack lately) put out a couple of Best Of podcast compilations from 2004 and February 2005 on their own website.

For other podcasts not related to music or hippies, feel free to go to this site and search around the "Popular Pages" box in the upper left hand corner.

Lesson over. Podcast it up.

Five Morning Items

1. JRH's blog pointed me in the right direction on this one...here's a nice, clean blog about wholesome family issues: I Fucked Ann Coulter Up The Ass, Hard.

2. Apparently I wasn't the only one impressed with the Jammy's the other night. Intrepid reporter J-Cantor informs me that ?uestlove posted some fine remarks about the show on the okayplayer.com website under the subject "Great night for jamming!":

1) me, phil lesh (the dead), john mayer and buddy guy jam at MSG/nyc -- awesome!!!! awesome!!!! awesome!!!!

2) then me keller williams and nelly mcckeye messed around on some dylan shit and improv shit. awesome x 4

3) me burning spear, the antiballas horns, medski martin and wood, and sinead oconner do the encore (lively up yourself/crosstown traffic) awesome x 19

the jammie awards at madison square garden. such a great night!

You're 100% right, ?uestlove, I thought the encore was "awesome x 19" as well (and now I have to steal the "awesome x [number]" bit, 'cuz I think it's cool as hell). I really can't get Huey Lewis singing She Caught the Katy or Mavis Staples doing I'll Take You There out of my head.

If anyone's interested in listening to this awesomeness and have BitTorrent, feel free to click here and download this mother (warning: show may not hold up so well on disc, but it was simply fantastic in person).

3. I've been on such a live music kick lately that I feel compelled to share with all of you...so for as long as my memory allows, I'll be posting a song of the day every morning for your enjoyment. Yesterday I put up the great Umphrey's tune In the Kitchen, today it's Robert Randolph and the Family Band covering Billie Jean from the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor (2/28/04). Enjoy.

4. Earlier this week we discussed the new fad known as "happy slapping," the awful practice of London teenagers performing violent acts on random, unsuspecting innocents -- often adults, sometimes women -- while their friends capture the attacks on camera phones with video technology.

Well, in that post I said that I would watch the videos if I saw 'em on the Internets...and now that I found those vids, I changed my mind. That's not true, actually. I just can't get the page to load, must be too much traffic right now. In any event, you can find them here.

5. Finally, here's the CNN news story of the day: "Publicist: Cruise dating actress Katie Holmes" -- I hope the president talks about this tonight during his live press conference about energy and social security. CNN should just change its name to OMG.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wow. Just Wow.

I don't even know what to say about this:

Peruvian virgin turns down $1.5 million

Hot Licks and Good Vibes

I'm trying to come up with a clever or funny way to start this review, but my brain is just fried today. Cerebro frito! I think I actually punched my alarm clock right in the proverbial tits when it went off way too early this morning. I said Goddamn.

Despite having no real introduction to this post, let's get down on it. What a show we saw last night, what an incredible night of music. An eclectic mix of arteestes treated the small crowd at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden to nearly five solid hours of unique musical combinations and, in most cases, unbelievable performances.

Legendary Grateful Dead bassist and supreme nerd Phil Lesh -- the only man Bill Gates can accurately claim he's cooler than -- and Jambands.com head dork Dean Budnick hosted the 5th Annual Jammy Awards, aka the Patchouli Grammys, aka the One-for-Three & Two-for-Fives. Luckily for the crowd, in addition to dropping those bass bombs, Phil treated the audience to such fantastic phrases like the one in the title above: "This band is here to bring you hot licks and good vibes."

They gave out a bunch of awards last night, but aside from Phish taking home Best Tour for their worst tour ever, I'm not even really sure who won those awards. In honor of the show last night, though, I'm gonna give out the first ever (Non-Cable) Ace Awards.

Before I get to that, we have some Pheesh dirty laundry to sort out. The popular rock band Phish took home the award for Best Tour and bassist Mike Gordon came out to accept it. And he was a little salty, but as always sported that Mike sense of humor. First he said "This proves my old theory that we could have played for a few more decades. My new theory is play and have fun." The crowd liked that one quite a bit. Then he talked about the band's rules through the years and said something like "The first one was, don't piss off Paul, the sound man. The second one was, don't analyze. The third rule: don't die. And last year, we came up with the fourth rule: don't play."

He smiled after that one...then the last thing he said was something like, "Hey, at least we're still best friends," and to me it sounded like he kinda snickered at that. Way to go, Mike, sellin' Trey out like the redheaded fuckface he is. Now, onto the Ace Awards:

The Back to the Future Award (in more ways than one)
At one point I looked to the stage and thought I was watching a Farm-Aid concert from the mid-to-late '80s. Is that Huey Lewis? And a rare appearance by Sinead O'Connor? And Mavis Staples? What fucking year is this?

I'm a big fan of Umphrey's McGee, an up-and-coming band with a ton of potential. For one night only, though, they weren't UM, they were "The News." They backed up Huey on blues staple She Caught the Katy and then Heart and Soul. And I gotta tell you folks, this was brilliant. Huey's still got the pipes and the man plays a mean harmonica.

Then the group added Mavis Staples and Sinead O'Connor for Mavis' kickass version of The Weight (as accurately predicted by yours truly), which she sang on The Last Waltz with The Band. Finally they ended the set with Staple Singers Staple I'll Take You There.

Let me tell you...Mavis Staples and Huey Lewis (and Buddy Guy, too) stole this show. Especially Mavis, she was a barrel of fucking energy and coolness wrapped in a fat, black package.


The Flava Flav/Brigitte Nielsen Award
This one goes out to the strangest combination of people playing together...and it actually worked out pretty well. Chicago blues legend and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (and star of an awesome scene in Festival Express) Buddy Guy played with resident pretty boy John Mayer, Phil Lesh and The Roots (the non-Kunta Kinte kind) drummer ?uestlove.

Buddy Guy was incredible last night...he also played a tune with the North Mississippi All-Stars to start the show, but this foursome really had some magic. Buddy won the Lifetime Achievement Award, made a highly unintelligble speech with the words "aajfhif" and "ijrsafdi" and then jammed his bluesy ass off with three willing colloborators. By the way, John Mayer is pretty fuckin' good. Buddy Guy practically sucked his balls straight out of the sac on stage last night, so that endorsement ain't just mine.

The "Needs More Bass" Award
This segment alone was worth the price of admission...the three greatest living bass players all on the same stage, backed by the incomparable Benevento/Russo Duo on keys and drums and a Japanese chick with green hair on the sitar.

First, Mike and the Duo played two excellent instrumentals that I could have just eaten up with a spoon. Arghh, I can't even begin to describe how much I like these guys. After those two songs, out came former Primus tall-man Les Claypool in a pig mask with a cool stand-up bass I'd never seen, Phil Lesh and his tallness and the green-haired slipples chick with the sitar. They played some non-sensical Les tune called Dee's Diner that fucking rocked, all leading into a cool jam where all three bassists went to town. Not sure I can stress enough how cool this was.

The Sheer Coolness Award
Maybe I'm a bit late to the party, but Keller Williams might be the greatest musician in the universe. Solo, with people, with a lot of people, it doesn't matter...every performance I've seen has been off the charts. We need new charts for Keller. After playing acoustic guitar by himself for a couple songs, K-Dub called out some awful sounding chick on the organ -- Nellie McKay, I think -- who did a tune that sounded like a combination of bad dinner theatre and a Dennis Miller rant.

Thankfully she left, and Keller picked up the bass as ?uestlove came back out to hit the drums. Another note: You haven't lived until you've heard Keller and ?uestlove play a bass and drums jam while Keller makes horns sounds with his mouth on Stevie's Superstition, the O-Jays For the Love of Money and Cameo's Word Up, among others. In fact, I'd go so far to say that this was the ultimate musical highlight of the night for me. Watching these two guys go at it was practically jaw-dropping.

The They Should Do This For Real Award
Bruce Hornsby and the Yonder Mountain String Band played together near the top of the show, and it was a great way to get things going. I mentioned Hornsby's greatness in a February post and he did not disappoint last night by any means...plus YMSB is an incredibly talented group of musicians, and I see no reason in hell these guys shouldn't tour together and play together. None whatsoever. Do it.

The Lone Disappointment Award
We have a tie! Well then, it wouldn't really be a "lone" disappointment then. I see.

Ryan Adams sucks. I couldn't have been less impressed in my life by an artist I heard was good and tried to like. His band featured a dude with a pony tail and sideburns and a mustache in a black suit with a white guitar. I mean, that's bad enough. But Adams really sucked. First of all, he didn't even play Summer of '69. Big disppointment. Actually, the only part of his mini-set that i liked was when he begged Phil to come out and they played Wharf Rat and Bird Song (although the Wharf Rat ended abruptly).

Then the Disco Biscuits played with Travis Tritt. Country superstar Travis Tritt (sans cowboy hat)? That was weird to say the least. But more importantly, it wasn't great. The Biscuits are good, but their drummer, who is leaving the band, wasn't there and that took away from their performance. But that was 20 minutes of my life I could have done without.

The Best Finale Award
Well, there was only one finale...but it was the best one. For the fourth time in 2005, I caught John Medeski in action, always an Ace favorite. Medeski, Martin and Wood played with the Antibalas Horns, reggae dude Burning Spear (ja, rastafariii) and new reggae dudette Sinead O'Connor, who I think ripped up a picture of Pope Benedict XVI. Their set was decent, although Sinead and Burning Spear dude had to stop and re-start a song in the right key ala Trey in Flubentry. That was kinda embarassing, but it was late and only half the crowd was still there.

At the end of the set, Marco Benevento came out to play the keys with Medeski and Aron Magner of the Biscuits, ?uestlove came back out, Bisco's Jon Gutwillig joined the group, a handful of other folks too, and they all jammed to Bob Marley's Lively Up Yourself. But the icing on the cake, they finished off the show with a 20-person rockout of Crosstown Traffic, and they all nailed it. A perfect ending to a fucking awesome show.

The one letdown was that Warren Haynes was in the building and yet never took the stage to play...what's that shit all about? That was offset by the fact that the real life Dude, Jeff Dowd, the character Lebowski was based on, presented an award and threw one of Leftover Salmon member Vince Herman's joints into the crowd. That was very un-Dude.

Since we missed the Umphrey's late night show that started at 1 AM, I'll leave you with their Jammy Award-winning Song of the Year: In the Kitchen. Now go get a job, ya hippie.

(All photos courtesy of Jambands.com, who provides comprehensive coverage of just about everything they cover.)

Assault On Baseballs and Strippers

So apparently Alex Rodriguez does know how to play baseball. Wow, three dongs and 10 ribbies is somewhat okay. Have you theen my baseball?

I missed the whole thing, but I've got a good reason: The 5th Annual Jammy Awards. We'll be back with a little review of this five-hour show of unique musical combinations shortly...

In the meantime, a big kudos bar goes out to Slack informant EB, who helped break this story nationally about a football player and his bid'ness. Tsk tsk, Al Harris, no sex in the champagne room. Wait, that's not a real rule. I'm with Harris.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bush Came On Splash Day

God bless the Drudge Report.

---------
President Bush raised eyebrows on Tuesday when he asked locals in Galveston, Texas: "Do you still have Splash Day?"

"Splash Day" is the annual "adult oriented enormous beach party" celebration on the Gulf Coast.

BUSH: Do you still have Splash Day?
(LAUGHTER)
BUSH: You have to be a baby boomer to know what I'm talking about.
(LAUGHTER)
BUSH: I'm not saying whether I came or not on Splash Day. I'm just saying, Do you have Splash Day? (LAUGHTER)

Bush was unaware "Splash Day" is now a fully gay and lesbian event on the beaches.
---------

I bet he came. In other news, Hoobs just passed along this funny tale of race and ice cream.

Kindness of Strangers

Sorry for the lack of postage today, Slackers...in yet another episode of my surreal life, a mad Irishman who lives in Tokyo took me out to breakfast this morning to talk about why China shouldn't be the United States' biggest economic threat in East Asia, how we should be concentrating on breaking into the Japanese market and levying protective tariffs on the rest of the world's imports.

Um, I don't know what you heard, buddy, but I'm a 25-year-old stoner that majored in laziness and self-aggrandizement in college. I'm clearly not your guy. Sadly, I am his guy. Well, How did I get here?

Anyway, here are two stories I saw upon returning to my desk that scare the living bejesus out of me:

1. There's a new fad sweeping the British Empire, a youth craze straight out of Kubrik's Korova Milk Bar. "Happy slapping" refers the practice of London teenagers performing violent acts on random, unsuspecting innocents -- often adults, sometimes women -- while their friends capture the attacks on camera phones with video technology.

One clip described in the article shows a kid walking up to a woman at a bus stop and punching her right in the face. In another, a teen assaults a bank customer while his friend steals the money the man had just withdrawn. [More...]

In general, I've always subscribed to the idea that if we're all ridiculously kind to strangers and save our rudeness and intolerance for our friends and family the world would be a much better place to live. I truly believe this. I try to be a Good Samaritan in public because that goes a long way -- if you smile at someone, they'll smile at the next guy and so on. I've carried bags for old ladies, given street directions to tourists/immigrants with my knowledge of elementary Spanish, swiped my transit Metrocard for a lady with no money on her...ya know, good deeds and such. Now, if a friend needs a favor, they're on their own. You know I loves ya, I really don't need to help you move boxes, dude. Sorry, but I've got bingers to take and couches to sit on.

This new fad is the complete opposite of that Samaritan premise. They make people bitter at the world, they promote casual violence and they will mostly go unpunished. Such a shame. Would I watch these attacks if I saw them posted on the Internets? Most likely, yeah. Would I laugh? Sure, why not. But that's just human nature. What if that was your mother that got hit at the bus stop? Is is still funny? I say we all stand up today and agree to be nicer to strangers (and complete dicks to friends/family). After all, a little instant karma never hurt nobody.

2. Welcome to Florida, official state of the absurd. Brother-Gov. Jeb Bush today signed a new law that lets Floridians fire at will in self-defense, or as this article calls it, a return to the days of "shoot first and ask questions later."

According to the article, "The Florida measure says any person 'has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.'

"Florida law already lets residents defend themselves against attackers if they can prove they could not have escaped. The new law would allow them to use deadly force even if they could have fled and says that prosecutors must automatically presume that would-be victims feared for their lives if attacked."

But Ace, people who are attacked should be able to defend themselves, right? In theory, sure, if someone comes at me I should be able to defend myself any way I see fit (my defense is usually soiling myself and hoping the stench will be unbearable enough to drive away would-be attackers).

What about the gray area, though? What if it's dark, I hear a loud pop, I see you in the distance with something in your hand and think you're coming at me with a gun? Instead of running, I sack up and shoot you with my concealed weapon, which is legal. You die. Sorry, dude, I feared for my life. I thought you fired your gun and started coming at me, so I shot you first in fear I'd be attacked too. Am I wrong in assuming that you're dead and I'm protected under law? 'Cuz if that's right, that's fuckingggg scary. That poor guy could have been coming towards me with a Pez dispenser and some sweet, sweet candy. Alas, I'll never get the Pez, but I'll always have my freedom.

Here's a top-notch idea: Let's give Panhandle rednecks and senile old bats the right to shoot first and ask questions later. I can't wait to see how this one turns out. Welcome to Deadwood, cocksuckers.

Oh, and one more thing...nobody is as psyched as I am to see the Steven Tobolowsky movie I posted yesterday? You people suck.

Monday, April 25, 2005

RIP Scott Larned

What a strange and eerie coincidence...

On the same weekend that I saw the Phish cover band Phix for the first time ever, the greatest cover band in the history of the tribute genre -- Dark Star Orchestra -- lost one of its co-founders and top musicians.

Apparently the curse of Grateful Dead keyboardists is so strong that it extends beyond the band to its best cover band. I know someone who went to the band's show on Saturday night and they said DSO was on fire, especially Scott. Well, he went out with a bang then, which I guess is the best way to go out. But Scott wasn't only a supremely talented musician, he was also one of the nicer guys I've ever met.

I stumbled upon DSO by accident, really. One of my friends got thrown out of this bar called Matilda's for not having a good enough ID, so we all left and went to Brother Jimmy's down the street for a few beers. And there happened to be a power outage at Martyr's that night, so DSO played at an alternate venue. Fate, that's the only explanation as to how both groups ended up there. Fate, and love at first sight. I fell in love with the band that night (in the spring of 1997) and dragged people downtown a few weeks later in June to see these guys play. We were instantly hooked.

Throughout sophomore year, and then occasionally during junior year, Donnie, Starbux and I used to jaunt down to Martyr's every Tuesday night to meet TJ in OH and occasionally Tits McGillicuty for three hours of the closest re-creation of a Dead show you could ever imagine. The resemblence was uncanny, and it cost just three bucks (later five, later ten, then much more on the road). This band wasn't just a trite cover band...they played an entire Dead show from tuning to encore, complete with a long setbreak, a half-hour Drums > Space and a Donna Jean when doing a 70s show.

These guys would change their sound completely when playing different eras, and they were damn good at it too. They never once put forth a half-ass effort, you always got your few bucks worth. I'd even go so far as to say, over the past few years, they were better than the current incarnation of The Dead. It's weird to say, but by the end, DSO was a better band than the band it was covering. And Scott on those keys was the driving force.

In October of 1998 I hung around until after the show ended and I approached Scott. I had to write a long feature piece for my Newswriting and Reporting journalism class, and I thought of nothing else to write about than DSO. They were the perfect feature. Scott agreed instantly, despite the fact that I wasn't even doing this for a real publication (I didn't even have a fedora with a white piece of paper saying "Press" on it).

We met in at the Unicorn Cafe on campus -- DSO's headquarters are actually located in Evanston -- and he talked to me for well over an hour, probably closer to two. He went through his history with the Dead, the band's philosophy, his and the band's work ethic, the desire to start touring nationally, the strengths and weaknesses of the band, how they picked a show, how they rehearsed for the show...for everything I asked he explained away in detail. This was like a student of magic interviewing Copperfield. This guy was telling me how he made the Statue of Liberty disappear. As we were finishing up he let me in on some inside info, that Phish's own Johnny B. Fishman would be sitting in after the 11/98 Phish shows at the UIC Pavillion. Of course, due to a campus wide blackout and torrential shitstorm, that was the one Tuesday we missed all semester.

But Scott was amazing. Here was a musician taking hours of his time (and hours of follow-ups via phone and e-mail) to help out a 19-year-old kid with his school project. This wasn't even going into print (yet) and here he was doing all he can to make me look good. In fact, it turns out that I wrote the eighth article in history about these guys, of the hundreds that have since been penned. And that's pretty cool! Eventually I got that story into a short-lived NU campus magazine, 3 AM, but it still resides on DSO's press page under "Northwestern University Journalism Assignment (don't make fun, this article isn't good at all!)."

Years later, when DSO came to New York last year I paid $25 for a ticket. I e-mailed Scott to jokingly tell him what an outrage that was. Scott then volunteered to put me on the list free of charge the next time they came to town, an offer I'd clearly take him up on. DSO was supposed to play here next month, and I was literally about to e-mail him this week. I thought about it this morning even. That's just plain weird.

So here's to a great guy that got me closer to the Grateful Dead than I ever could have imagined. Here's to a great guy that, along with the band he helped start, gave me hours of of solid entertainment in the most fun years of my life. Here's to a great guy that gave me his time and helped me out when he clearly didn't have to. And here's to a guy that kicked ass at what he did.

We bid you goodnight.

That Guy

Chipotle Bob this weekend sent over a pretty funny trailer for a documentary hitting the film festival scene. And it looks glooorious.

In my first ever post on this here blogaroo 11 months ago, I sung the praises of the ultimate That Guy. Looking back, the post isn't very well written, but it does show my affection for a man that will soon be on top of the world.

"I answered a burning question this weekend: Just who is the ultimate That Guy? Is it J.T. Walsh? Is it Dan Hedaya or Peter Stormare? Occasionally some of these folks will come along and transcend the phenomenom altogether. Somehow you'll never bother to learn their real name, but you'll always call them by the character's name with which they're most associated. Classic example: Shooter McGavin. Who the fuck cares what this guy's name is? Shit, Shooter McGavin thinks his fuckin' name is Shooter McGavin. But after thinking about this for like eight or twelve hours, I discovered there really is clear-cut champion here. And that man is Stephen Tobolowsky. Raise your hand if you can accurately identify Stephen Tobolowsky. Exactly.

But Tobes is actually the King of the That Guy realm...he's Shooter Times Three. Some people know him well as Ned Ryerson. Ned! Ryerson! Needle-nosed Ned, Ned the Head. Case Western High, Ned Ryerson! I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show. Bing! But other people know him as the strangely sexy Mary McDonnell's prey in the underrated film Sneakers, Werner Brandis. Hello, my name is Werner Brandis. My voice is my passport, verify me. And then there's the cult of Memento, who consider Tobolowsky's Sammy Jankis character one of the keys to deciphering the movie's meaning.

Personally I'm a Ned Ryerson guy, it doesn't get better than that character for me. He's one for the ages...just thinking about his well-delivered dialogue makes me smile downstairs. I don't really know what my point is here. But I do know that Stephen Tobolowsky should be a celebrated man, in a freakishly popular Christopher Walken kind of way, and I'm just trying to get the ball rolling. (Also, check out the man's the IMDb trivia page -- he turned down the role of Al on Home Improvement and he was almost murdered twice in one week by different people. Classic Ryerson.)" --AC, 5/29/04

Apparently someone else got the ball rolling on making Tobolowsky a celebrated men. After reading this little description of the flick and then watching the trailer (below), I'm predicting Tobolowsky will be a household name by the end of the year. And I couldn't be happier. The trailer doesn't give too much away, but I'm betting this thing's gonna be fucking awesome. After this project, I just need to get the guy who says "Chester A. Arthur" and "the water aquaduct" in Die Hard With a Vengeance to become famous and then we got it made.

Without further (Freddy) ado: Steven Tobolowsky's Birthday Party

Friday, April 22, 2005

Sports Sports Sports Sports

The NFL Draft is tomorrow. Normally this is my favorite day of the year next to Opening Day, but this year the Gods decided to make Passover on the same day as the draft.

So instead of the Ace Cowboy reclining on the couch all day long in his boxers with a constantly packed bong and a million cigarettes, I'll be doing all those things but remaining sober enough to get on a train after a few hours to go home to the Gisland (despite the fact that I'm a heathen that doesn't believe in religion). Actually, now that I think about it, this development won't affect my day at all. If there's one thing I'm better than anyone at, it's being stoned in front of my family and other people of import. A decade of practice made perfect.

This year's draft is going to be memorable, as nobody knows who the best player is, nobody knows who is going to be selected first, nobody even really wants the number one pick, and none of the pundits have a clue what they're talking about (although if you wanna read a good mock draft, Dr. Z to the rescue). If I were San Fran and Miami at #1 and #2, I'd trade for more picks and get the hell out of Dodge.

If I'm the GM of the team with the #1 pick, I'm taking either Michigan WR Braylon Edwards, former USC WR Mike Williams or Auburn RB Ronnie Brown. Those are three can't-miss prospects, whereas the top two QBs on the board being bandied about are garbage. Auburn's Jason Campbell and Akron's Charlie Frye will be better pro QBs than Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers, you can mark those palabras.

The J-E-T-S stunned all their fans this week by trading their first-round pick (#26) and a seventh-rounder for Oakland tight end Doug Jolley, a second round pick (#47) and two sixth-rounders (#182 and #185). And to that I say, "Great move." Slow clap for the underrated move. Now we had a legit NFL tight end (maybe) and two picks in the second round where we can pick up some defensive backs and linemen. This is a draft that is deeper than it is stacked, and I salute Terry Bradway for realizing that fact.

I know I sound like an idiot sometimes (sometimes?), but the Jets have made INCREDIBLE moves so far this offseason, and as our rookies and free agents from last year grow with defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson and new offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, we're gonna go on a serious run. You want some more palabras to mark? We're going to win the fucking Super Bowl this year. Yeah, I said it.

Either way, this is going to be an unscripted draft like we haven't seen in years. Trades, surprise picks, Kiper's hair, Boomer's tired shtick...I can't wait.

The NBA Playoffs also kick off this Saturday. And let me be the first to say, "Who the fuck cares?" This league is trash, and while I admit it is getting much better than in years past, it's still garbage. I watch the playoffs and I follow the sport, but I don't understand for the life of me how this sport is fun to watch and hockey sucks. The NHL Playoffs are only about 1,000 times more exciting than the NBA's.

But, I'll give my predictions for the first round anyway:

The East
1 Miami over 8 New Jersey, 4-2
I love watching this New Jersey team, but they're out of gas after that incredible run to the playoffs. Plus, the Heat swept the season series 3-0 by an average margin of 21 points.

2 Detroit over 7 Philly, 4-1
So it's official, Chris Webber sucks, right? I like Philly...when I look back at the last decade of the NBA, I'll remember how fucking awesome it was to watch A-I play basketball. Guy's five-foot nuthin', a hundred and nuthin', and he dominates. Dominate.

6 Indiana over 3 Boston, 4-2
Obviously, I despise Boston. I have nothing against the Celtics really, as I kinda hated the Knicks growing up, but I really detest Boston. The 80s band is awesome (Foreplay > Long Time is one of the best tunes ever), but the city is atrocious. Let's move on.

4 Chicago over 5 Washington, 4-2
The Bulls are easily the coolest team in the league not named the Nets, Nuggets or Suns. And any team that features both the Mazda "zoom zoom" kid all grown up playing point guard and a head coach that still gets the adjectives "gritty, gutty" gets my support.

The West
1 Phoenix over 8 Memphis, 4-0
How cool are the Suns? Seriously, how cool are the Suns? Nash, Amare, Marion, Q, some role players...they're not losing. They should sweep easily.

7 Denver over 2 San Antonio, 4-3
Yeah, I see it happening. Denver's just been way too good in the second half of the season while San Antonio has show me nothing. Maybe they have shown me nothing because I don't watch NBA games regularly, but that's a discussion for another time. I'm not sold on Melo, but I love any team Marcus Camby plays for.

3 Seattle over 6 Sacramento, 4-1
You have to root for the Sonics in this series, you just have to. They're a European basketball team playing in a sports city that might as well not exist to us East Coasters. As Donnie Fiedler likes to say, "Do you really know anything about the Seahwaks or Sonics?" The answer is no. that's enough to root this team on.

4 Dallas over 5 Houston, 4-1
So this must be Planet Hooston. The Mavs are so much better than the Rockets it's scary. No contest. The only reason they won't sweep is because T-Mac is the greatest player of all time.

Let's get our sports on this weekend, Slackers. But before that, I'm going to see a Phish cover band tonight, Phix. If anyone wants to meet up, it's about 11 pm tonight at the Lion's Den. Gonna be a good time. Full report on Monday (hey, don't roll your eyes at that).

Have a great weekend, ya jackasses.

Where Have You Gone, Jonny Liebs?

I was as dead-set against letting Jon Lieber escape from New York as any Yankee fan out there. Seriously, what a terrible decision by The Boss, Cashman & Co. Terrible.

Despite the fact that he looks like he may have Down Syndrome, Jonny Liebs turned into the best pitcher on our roster at the end of last season. He's my favorite type of pitcher, and he's the type of pitcher that most major league fielders adore and play hard for: He gets the ball, he throws it right away and he throws it for strikes. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Instead the Yank'ums signed Jaret Wright for the exact same three-year, $21-million contract that Jonny Liebs signed in Philadelphia. Fast forward a few months and the Phillies look like the wicked smaht guys while Jaret Wright looks more and more like a big pile of dog doo. I still have faith that Wright will get it together, but I'm growing more and more frustrated with our decision to let Jonny Liebs get away.

So far this year, the stats are as follow:
J-Lieber: 4-0, 29.2 IP, 2.73 ERA, 1.079 WHIP, 9 K
J-Wrong: 2-1, 14.1 IP, 10.05 ERA, 2.302 WHIP, 10 K

Not lookin' good for the Yanks, eh? I thought it was a brilliant move for the Yanks to sign him to a two-year contract while waiting for him to recover from reconstructive arm surgery. From brilliance comes awfulness though...we got one good year out of him and then "fucked it up" ala Walter spreading Donnie's ashes. Now we're stuck with Mr. Wrong, and we're all just praying he finds last year's Wright form.

More importantly, I miss watching Lieber work. I've always enjoyed watching Corky Liebs pitch, dating back to when we went to school in Chicago and he pitched for the Cubbies. Like I said, he gets it, he throws it, he throws it over the plate -- you really can't ask for more from a pitcher.

I remember watching him with Mitchell VergerDartz III at the end of our senior year (May 24, 2001 to be exact), when Lieber one-hit the Red-legs in a complete game effort, driving the Cubs to a 3-0 victory. The guy threw just 79 pitches -- 55 for strikes -- that day! I'm pretty sure the game took less time to play than the two hours of rain delays.

Interestingly enough, the next day Kerry Wood one-hit the Brewers in a 1-0 complete game win, taking a no-hit bid into the 7th and striking out 14 men. That was easily the coolest two-day stretch of regular season baseball not involving the Yankees I've ever seen. Great stuff, just great stuff.

Long story short: Get the shit in gear, Jaret Wright, I'd hate to see Jonny Liebs wipe your ass all over the floor for the exact same contract. Did I just say "wipe your ass?"
--------

An unrelated story: I got in the elevator with a woman in her 40s or 50s, a weird lookin' lady that kept glancing over at me. We were both watching the little TV in the elevator that was showing a commercial about diarrhea medicine. She looks at me and says, "These commercials are getting more and more ridiculous. I just saw one with someone shaving their pubic hair."

Okay, what fucking commercial is this bitch talking about?! And secondly, that is not even remotely appropriate elevator conversation with a stranger. C'mon lady.

V-Card Mary

We're living in a theocracy. Well, we might not be quite there yet, but we're close. I'm thinkin' that by the end of the decade, three-quarters of our country will be as ridiculously devout as the Muslims we lovingly refer to as extremists. Part of me really believes that.

First, the growing army of zealots flocked to the polls on November. Then they butted into the Schiavo Family Circus, and now they're coming in droves from miles away to see a fucking salt stain that may or may not resemble the Virgin Mary on the wall of an expressway underpass in Chicago.

The nuts are gathering. They're kneeling with rosary beads, they're praying together, they're leaving flowers and candles...Basically, they're delusional. My friends, my nutbar friends, it's a stain, a gross, unsanitary fucking stain on the grimy wall of an underpass that homeless Chicagoans piss on daily. A stain!

My question is: Who are the people that take off work and go view this thing? Just like, who are the people that took vacation days and pulled their kids out of school to go down to the hospice where Schiavo was idling?

Say, Mr. Boss, I know I just took a week's vacation to hold up signs threatening the life of a highly respected judge while trying to help re-insert a tube into a woman I've never met, but there's a big stain on a wall in Chicago that may be the image of the Virgin Mary...so I'm gonna need another couple of days to go and check that out. Thanks, and God bless.

I'd like to be the millionth customer to say, "You're all fuckin' nuts."

[ed. note: There's a movie or a TV show where the character looks at everybody and says "You're all fuckin' nuts" before walking out of the room, and I feel like it's Nicholson but I'm not really sure. Can anyone help me out? What is that from? I can see it so clearly and I'm drawing a total blank.]

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Me Chinese, Me Make Joke

Me have just as large a wang as any of you other jackasses...

Wait, that's not the end of that little rhyme. Well, either way, a new study shows that Chinese men have no reason to feel inferior about their penises. [Click on this article]

"A group of scientists in Hong Kong spent five months from October last year measuring 148 ethnic Chinese volunteers aged between 23 and 93. The average length of their flaccid penises was 8.46 cm, which compared favourably with similar studies on other men overseas.

Germans have average lengths of about 8.6 cm, Israelis 8.3 cm, Turks 7.8 cm and Filippinos 7.35 cm. Italians were the longest at 9 cm and Americans averaged 8.8 cm. The study did not measure the penises when they were erect."

But the best part about the article is kinda tough to pick out. The picture in the article is of Italian soccer fans waving an Italian flag. Why? That's right, they have the longest flaccid penises. Wave that flag, I-tals, your countrymen's average dong is slightly bigger than the rest of the world (or at least the ones in this survey).

Slack Public Service Math Help: If you're concerned, a centimeter is 0.39 inches. So the average American cack is about 3.43 inches when soft. I thought it sucked to be Jewish, but today I stand here glad I ain't no Filippino.

Deadication

There are times when I look at my CD collection and my stacks of tapes and just shake my head. All that time, all that money...was it really well spent? Do I have obsessive compulsive disorder? I've always thought the answer to both of those questions is yes, although you can't always take stock of your own time management and mental defects objectively.

Then I read shit on public messages boards about how insane other people are about this stuff. Is it dedication to a hobby or just complete craziness? Take this guy for example (and it probably stands to reason that the guy's profile has this hilarious cartoon in it):

"Project one was a duplication of 2,400 of my top GD CDs for 8 other people. Everyone chipped in and we shared all the expenses including the cost of the CDs, getting them direct from Taiyo Yuden. I remmeber the day the 'pallet' of CDs were delivered to my house. The project was started in July 2003 and finished this week. 19, 200 CDs fully labeled and in Cases. American Digital loves me as do 8 other friends.

"Project two was the downloading of the entire GD from Archive.org and transferring all other GD shows to SHN/FLAC and storing digitally. Then mirroring the digital collection for 2 other souls. The collection fits on 9 300 GB Hard drives. IN addition, I ended up with an extra 500 GB HD that Jaystraw picked up from me and was fillled with 500 GB of his favorite shows. The last of the HDs went out today also. The project was started in May 04 and finished last week."

Some of you may read that and just shake your heads. But for some reason I think of this guy's two projects as completely normal behavior and something I would definitely try if I had the time and the hard drive space. It probably cost the dude a lot of time and money, but I file that in the "well worth it" category. I can only hope this collection won't go up in a fire some day so he has it forever.

I don't know where I'm going with this or what point I'm trying to make...basically, I'm just pointing out to you guys there are people out there nerdier than me with more OCD issues when it comes to live music than me. And that makes me feel good, I guess.

So in honor of the completion of this dude's simultaneous projects, click on this link of the 12/26/79 show in Oakland to listen to the greatest version of Shakedown Street, and what I consider to be the best jam in the Dead's long history. About nine minutes in, Brent Mydland just takes over...and it's a thing of fucking beauty. And, to me, it justifies burning and celebrating the band's entire catalogue.

You just gotta poke around.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Yenta Intelligence

One of the main failures of the Central Intelligence Agency in assessing the real threat to the United States before 9/11 and in accurately assessing whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was on the lack of quality human intelligence.

And one of the 9/11 Commission's principal conclusions in its final report was that, despite stellar technological improvements in intel-gathering, the United States must improve its human intelligence on the ground in the Middle East.

After consulting with Slack LaLane's chairman of frivilous ideas, the Ambiguously Gay Uno, I have come up with a viable and, frankly, excellent solution to our nation's intel problems: Send every Jewish woman in the country over there for the good of the United States.

Here are a few examples of their work:

--Last night AGU stopped off at La Pizzeria for a slice and a salad. In the process he bumped into one of his girlfriend's best friends, who proceded to call AGU's girlfriend immediately after exchanging goodbyes and report that he was eating pizza for dinner. The very second AGU came through our apartment door, the phone rang, and AGU's gal inquired about his poor dinner selection.

--In the winter of 1999, my buddy Lukas came to town for a day before the two of us picked up Donnie Fiedler on our way to the Phish shows in DC and Hampton, VA. Lukas and I went to pick up dinner at a restaurant for my parents and the two of us, and we ran into a friend of my mother's.

On the way home I joked to Lukas, who hails from Wisconsin and isn't familiar with the Lawn Gisland Yenta Spy Scene, that this woman would call my mother by the time we got home to say she saw me in the restaurant. Bear in mind this woman and her husband hadn't even gotten their entrees yet, but I knew she'd call right away. That's how it works. Sure enough, the second we waked in with the food, my mother came downstairs and said, "N.P. just called, she said she saw you picking up dinner." Yes, she did. Breaking news.

--When all my high school buddies started smoking the pot sophomore year in high school, my parents found out through the network and confronted me one night. The Regional Director of Yenta Intelligence had grilled her son and gotten the necessary information about our dabbling in the greenery. She then put out a stealth all points bulletin to parents everywhere. The exact same thing happened when we started drinking and smoking cigarettes. Our business was everybody in town's business (and yes, you probably shouldn't be doing these things at 14/15, I think we're all in agreement on that, I'm just tellin' a story here).

There is no doubt whatsoever in my clouded, feeble mind that Jewish women are the greatest clandestine spies on the planet. They're always on the job, never taking a night off. They're always stationed in the right place at the right time and they always know the best way to report the gossip they've just attained.

They rapidly fire questions at you incessantly until you reveal the exact information they need and do not cease or tone it down until you crack and crack hard. If you won't give up what you know, they'll change the question and catch you in a lie. That could go something like this:

"Do you have any WMDs, Muhammed?"
"No."
"Where are the WMDs, Mistah, I know you have 'em?"
"We don't have any, I promise. I'm not dumb enough to be fooling around with that stuff."
"My girl friend's cousin's butcher said she saw you and Maqtada running around behind the shed last night in the middle of the night. Is that where the WMDs are?"
"Please, lady, I don't know."
"Well, Shirley's uncle's dog-groomer's housekeeper Rosalita's immigration officer also told me that there's a good chance she saw you from 300 yards away when you were locking up the shed a few nights before that. How do you explain that, Muhammed?
"Okay, leave me alone already, the WMDs are in the fuckin' shed. Holy shitballs, woman, stop torturing me. I'd rather be in Abu Ghraib."

The Yenta Spies also know exactly when you walk through your door, as if they've installed secret motion sensors. They know when you go away, who you've been talking to, what you talked about, how many times you go into REM sleep at night...You cannot escape them, you cannot hide from them and you most certainly cannot maintain a shred of privacy nor dignity when dealing with these women.

And if safety is an issue, I wouldn't worry. Ever cut in front of one of these women in line? If so, you know the vengeful ire that spews forth from their lips. If you think you have 'em cornered they'll turn the tables on you faster than you can keep up. "You're arresting me? I'm arresting you, buster." And if they really get in trouble, as in a physical violence, I'm sure they can utliize their many Throwing Stars of David.

This is a no-brainer. It'll improve our national security here at home and ensure we never invade a country over faulty intelligence. Plus, think about all the newfound freedom you'll enjoy in your everyday life. You can thank me later.

And since this is a political speech of sorts, I'll sign off with, "May God continue to bless the United States of America."

Who's Got My Aunt Hazel?

I don't know why, but this is one of the funniest things I've seen lately. From the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, I give you, "Street Terms: Drugs and the Drug Trade."

I mean, how many fuckin' terms are there for heroin? And are people really walkin' around begging people for some Bart Simpson, or some he-she or a little hero of the underworld? Say brotha, could you hook me up with a nice amount of Old Steve?

My favorite: Serial speedballing is defined as "Sequencing cocaine, cough syrup, and heroin over a 1-2 day period." Sounds about right.

Rick James 4 City Council

Story of the day: "An aspiring Mississippi politician who shares the same name as the late 'Super Freak' singer has been fighting an uphill battle trying to keep his campaign signs from being stolen or defaced by fans of a popular sketch on Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show." [More, bitch...]

That's a pretty funny story...even funnier considering I just saw him interviewed on CNN and the anchorette was pretty much laughing in his face the entire time.

Here are five more interesting items of note this morning:

1. Chipotle Bob, this one's for you -- midget jokes. "The two were testifying against their longtime neighbor, Joseph Izzo, who was busted last week for spray-painting a yellow line leading up to their house and telling them to 'follow the yellow brick road.'" You gotta read this one.

2. Winner of the Way To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is When It Comes To Papal Websites Award: this guy.

3. Dude, you're a lawyer? What a fuckin' schmuck. This guy looks more like Bull Hurley than an accomplished attorney, no?

4. Who owns the Ice Capades? Shakespeare's Sister tells us we'd be surprised which gay-bashin' conservative owns and operates the sequined club of "heterosexuals."

5. More from Shake's Sis...what kind of English do you speak?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Meet The New Pope, Same As The Old Pope

Breaking news:

We've got a new Pope, folks! The bells are in motion! This thing's pretty fuckin' cool, people in the Square are going apeshit. Apeshit.

These proceedings are just begging for a WWF-style double cross. Get Roddy Piper on a plane to the Vatican right now...

Update: It's Ratzinger! From Germany! Unemployment and Jew-hating for all! Would you welcome please, Pope Benedict XVI. Is it just me or does this dude look like an evil Nazi in papal disguise?

Ice Cream and Old Negros

Happy 30th Birthday, Red Cowboy. My gift to you, brother, is a delicious Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone. You know what, I'm feeling saucy, let that be my gift to all of you. Free ice cream cones for everyone, on me, at participating stores of course.

Here's another gift to all of you, for being such good people: a film not by Ken Burns called "The Old Negro Space Program." It's a handful of minutes, but it's worth watching if you got spare time and you don't feel like shitting in a box. Plus I'm Foreman-guaranteeing that you'll get to hear great lines in context like "If you we're black, and you were and astronaut...you were outta work."

In light of the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship that got douched with 70-foot high waves just days after the anniversary of the Titanic going down, check out some of these awesome huge wave pics. After a faulty cruise senior year in college and countless horror stories, I have since adopted a similar transportation policy to BA Baracus': I an't gettin' on no boat, Hannibal.

And lastly, how great is beisbol season? Despite not having Extra Innings or DirecTV, I watched four televised beisbol games in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area last night. And three of those games featured starters on my fantasy team, two of which pitched absolute gems (Hudson and Wolf, well, until Wolf imploded in the ninth). The third, Jaret Wright, should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell.

What a night, too -- there was a scoreless pitchers' duel between Hudson and Clemens down in Planet Hooston, the Yanks opened up an industrial-strength can of whoopass on the Rays, A-Rod finally woke up with a serious night, Randy Wolf shut down the Mets while NY releiver Felix Chlamydia pulled a Rick Ankiel with three pitches to the backstop, and the Reds tied up the homerin' Cubs and eventually took the lead 7-5 in the 8th on a Jason Larue doubled following an incredibly weird 5-2 double play > E-2 in which the runners advanced (too tough to explain here).

Good to have you back, baseball. O ye beautiful sport.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Bush League Psyche Out Stuff

Take a look at who has been pitching for Toronto today...no wonder they're gettin' beat around so badly.

Bush League amateurs, man.

Get Arrested

The best comedy on television signed off for the season last night. Pure genius, pure hilarity. Sadly, it might just be the series finale as well. We'll most likely find out next month whether Arrested Development lives or dies, when Fox announces its new fall schedule.

Take the loyalty oath today and say you'll protect the show!

Here's a great line from last night, after the family comes together following a great brawl outside the courthouse. To set the scene, G.O.B. had just ruined his black ventriloquist dummy by putting him in the spinning laundry dryer.

Michael : We're brothers who shouldn't be fighting. We cannot afford to lose each other, okay
G.O.B. : I can't. I already lost a brother today.
Michael : Franklin?
G.O.B. : Well, I didn't lose him, but he's all puckered and white.
Michael: On the plus side, you can take him to lunch at the club now.

Quote Of The Weekend

The high school friends and I went out to dinner for a couple birthdays on Friday night, which included special guest poophopanonymous. Birthday Boy QLRM started explaining to poophop and me about his trip to Best Buy, where he bought some games for his brand new PSP.

Now, it's important to note that Q is an uncontrollable giggler, a kid that loses it in hysterics the second he sees a midget, anyone either physically or mentally retarded, any guy that shaves his arms, Goth kids, anyone with a FUPA and, basically, anyone that's slightly abnormal in any way. So he's talking about this young guy that helped him pick out some games and mentions that he was in a wheelchair.

That led to this quote: "The guy was soooo funny, but he was soooo disabled."

Runner-up goes to PEACE D, who was talking about a girl in the elevator that had just come from the gym: "Her ass was just so hot and also so sweaty, I just wanted to eat it." He, of course, yelled this pretty loudly....we were seated next to a table with no less than six kids under the age of 10.

And while we're discussing obscene language, someone took the Deadwood challenge and began keeping track of how many times the characters say "fuck" and "cocksucker" in each episode. Cursing aside, if you're choosing to watch shows like Desperate Housewives over Deadwood, well then you're just a fuckin' no-good cunt. Last night's episode was pure greatness. Here's the fuck count.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Fun With Voicemail

Jacob Eli sent this my way last week, but I don't know how to post a file on here, so I made like Ralph Malph and Potsie and sat on it. Now I see it's hosted online somewhere, so here you go...

The scene: A guy on the way to work witnesses an accident and describes the scene. Some people might not think this is all that funny, but I was in absolute hysterics.

Old ladies get sideswiped and take revenge.

Hey...It's Enrico Palazzo

By now everyone has formulated their own opinion of last night's severely overblown non-event. As always, I'll throw in my two pennies. Here's my elementary six-point analysis:

1. The idiot fan didn't throw a punch or anything, I'll concede that, but he did take a weird and unnecessary swipe at Sheff. He was clearly wrong, but not totally to blame.
2. The Hitler-'stached bohemoth was not wrong to react the way he did, as many of us would have done the same. Not me, though, I'm a total pussy. I would have cried to the ump.
3. Sheff showed excellent restraint by not cold-clocking the fan after confronting him. Anyone who disagrees with that needs to re-watch the tape.
4. That fan sucks and should be wicked banned from the pahk...he looked like he was gonna pee his pants ala Miles Davis when Sheff came back at him. But once the security guard hopped in between them he started to talk trash. Total d-bag move.
5. The security guard that hopped in between the two men should be promoted and fellated by a gaggle of fine ladies. He's the MVP. The MVP. Talkin' 'bout practice.
6. The man and woman that spilled their beers on Sheff...I agree that was an accident, the beers spilled in the heat of the moment. But it was the bottom of the 8th inning, and I doubt any ballpark in this day and age sells beer after the 6th inning, or the latest, the seventh inning stretch. So I think those people got called out on national television for nursing their beers. C'mon, ya pussies, drink it. That's what happens when you nurse a beer, people bump into you and you spill. Take it from me, I'm Captain Nurse. Wait, that nickname sucks.

But the main problem I have with the Sheff/Fan controversy is that the night's craisins-ness overshadowed one of the funniest games I've seen in a long time. Well, the first five innings at least. Pure hilarity.

It all started in the second inning, when one of the Yankees lined a pitch into the lower level stands in right field along the first base line. The ball was caught by a lucky fan with a glove that made an incredible catch...and upon further review, that fan turned out to be Doug Flutie. Rumor has it the diminutive quarterback sold the ball to his son for $300, or what his son thought the going price of the ball would be. OK, that's just a terrible yoke. Who's comin' to hell with me? I got dibs on top bunk.

But then the fun really started in the fourth, and at about that time, home plate Greg Gibson probably started to wish he never got out of bed yesterday morning. This guy proceded to pull off one of the greatest imitations of all time, tranforming himself into Frank Drebin/Enrico Palazzo with two outs in the top of the seventh trying to stave off the Queen's assassination.

Gibson/Drebin had been calling terrible balls and strikes all game up to that point, but then it escalated. With the bases loaded and two outs, Gary Sheffield clearly got fooled by an Arroyo off-speed pitch that crossed right over the heart of the plate. Strike three. Not so fast, my friend. Ball four, take your base, run scores and Matsui coming up. This was the point in the Naked Gun where Angels pitcher Dave Spiwack throws a strike right down the middle, Drebin/Palazzo calls it a ball and the manager looks on in disbelief before incredulously yelling, "Ball?" Well that was the Sawx reaction, and it was justified. Francona & Co. were just puzzled.

Out of nowhere, Gibson/Drebin tosses someone on the bench out of the game, which drives Francona out of the dugout to ask who it was that got thrown out. Turns out it was the Sawx hitting coach, Unknown Black Guy. Francona starts screaming, not necessarily the best health-related decision for someone with a serious heart defect that was discharged from the hospital just days earlier. Unknown Black Guy comes out and starts flashing what can only be construed as gang signs, points to the ump, points to himself, flashes more signs and ultimately storms off. I'm in tears I'm laughing so hard.

Back to baseball, where Slipples Matsui knocks in two runs, followed by a bloop single from the A-Rod Machine that scored another. 5-4 Yanks, even though the Yanks should have been down 4-1 (although the first base ump got on his knees and blew a call on Womack's lead-off at-bat, so it all evens out I guess).

Throughout the next half-inning, the ump starts blowing balls and strikes calls against Randy Johnson and the Yanks, and Torre takes time out from his nose-picking schedule to glare at Gibson/Drebin. Finally, the glares work, and the Yanks get a called strike at the knees (I can't remember who was hitting), which draws some ire from the Sawx bench again. Francona can't believe it at this point, so he starts to come out of the dugout...

In the major leagues, you cannot argue balls and strikes by rule. Unknown Black Guy already paid that price. So when Francona leapt out of the dugout, Gibson/Drebin had seen enough. He starts to make the motion of throwing Francona out and then aborts the move...he balked! He looks at Francona and says, "Are you comin' out to argue balls and strikes?" Francona nods affirmatively and Gibson/Drebin immediately throws him out, but not before the Sawx manager gets his money's worth. I'm sure Unknown Black Guy, some Zocor and an Asian massage waited for him in the home clubhouse.

I've probably seen thousands of baseball games at every level in my life, and I've never seen such a poor game called by a home plate umpire. He easily missed 10-15 obvious calls. And he knew it, because every close pitch after that inning was called a strike, which either received derisive cheers from Sawx fans or angry boos when the Sawx were hitting. What an incredibly funny game for a while. All that was missing was Mel Allen saying, "Now it appears the umpires have Crishone in a rundown."

Then it turned to shit. Did you even hear the score of the game this morning? No, it was all Sheffield, all the time. Crap.

In a side note to the game, I'm currently writing a letter to the Diamondbacks customer service representatives. It apeears our purchase of one Big Unit was damaged in shipping.

He Ain't Sexy, He's My President

"He may be leader of the free world and Time magazine's 'Person of the Year,' but a new international survey of women makes certain that US President George W Bush is far from being the sexiest man alive.

In a recent online poll conducted by Esquire magazine, 11,000 women in 15 countries were asked to rate Bush's sex appeal on a scale of one to 10, and America's commander-in-chief failed to register much more than a two." [More...]

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Outback Snakehouse

Check this shit out, people: a snake eating a Kangeroo.

I mean, it looks staged, a cameraman just happened to be there...regardless, though, that snake is legitimately eating that fucking 'roo.

Help On The Way?

CNN.com, giving new meaning to the phrase hard news...

Study seeks standard for sexual disorder
Rearchers: Premature ejaculation affects 20 to 30 percent

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Premature ejaculation occurs in just under two minutes, as opposed to about seven minutes for men able to stay the course, according to a U.S. study aimed at setting some standards for the disorder"

"...A man with the condition took 1.8 minutes to ejaculate after beginning intercourse compared to 7.3 minutes for most of the men."

But here's the best quote of the whole piece: "The researchers timed ejaculations by giving stopwatches to the sex partners of more than 1,500 men."

Hey man, just act natural...and whatever you do, don't pay attention to the fact that your lover is constantly checking her watch. Sounds like a typical romp in the sack to me.

Sodomizing Scalia's Wife

Aside from that being an incredible band name -- Hey, brah, you seein' SS-Dub tonight? -- it also might get Donnie to come by and post a comment about how he's in law school and how he reads Scalia's decisions and how big the books are and dissents and stare decisis and oyez oyez oyez...

Band names notwithstanding, check out this story about Scalia's speaking engagement at NYU yesterday, courtesy of today's NY Post:

WHEN U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke Tuesday night at NYU's Vanderbilt Hall, "The room was packed with some 300 students and there were many protesters outside because of Scalia's vitriolic dissent last year in the case that overturned the Texas law against gay sex," our source reports.

"One gay student asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up: 'Do you sodomize your wife?' The audience was shocked, especially since Mrs. Scalia [Maureen] was in attendance. The justice replied that the question was unworthy of an answer."

Yesss, that is awesome! This kid's gonna be able to tell his grandchilden (assuming he's allowed to adopt a baby one day and then that kid has a baby of its own) that he asked a Supreme Court Justice in front of a packed house if he sodomizes his wife. Fantastic stuff.

Moving on...For all the NYC Slackers with nothing to do tomorrow night, the incomparable Beck is playing a quasi-surprise show at the Hiro Ballroom in the Maritime Hotel before appearing on SNL this weekend. Tickets go on sale today at 5 pm, right here.

And lastly, we've had at least a hundred people come by this here blog lately looking for the "Boom Goes the Dynamite" world's worst sportscast. But here are some of my other favorite Google or Yahoo! searches that brought people to Slack yesterday:

--sexy black babies bcs 4 ree video (um, what?)
--Zoloft recreationally
--weekend woody -"the decision" cal cock
--Mary McDonell's costume
--Larry David, scrilla
--history of muffins
--"Hey you scumbag, suck it, oh yeah, Mom says hi" (this might be my all-time favorite search, greatest movie ever made)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Road to the Super Bowl

Here's the path. This is our year.

The N Stands For Needles

Northwestern University, home of the weird and wacky scandals. Yaaaay, we're in trouble again! I mean, aren't we supposed to be, um, wicked smaht or something?

First, our basketball team in the mid-90s shaved points, apparently in an attempt to re-create the whole Get-Tony-some-prophylactics fiasco at Western U. Only instead of Happy and his friends of the program pulling the strings, we shaved points to benefit a former Notre Dame place kicker. Woo woo!

Then, in a scandal that to this day still impacts race relations in the Breezy City, the Chicago Police mysteriously shot and killed NU defensive lineman Robert Russ after pulling him over one night for driving erratically.

A white supremacist then proceded to shoot and kill former head basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong -- of course, we did nothing wrong here, but it's still not good for the school. Not good at all. And it also kicked off a ridiculous chapter in campus life involving everybody's favorite Neo-Nazi, Matt Hale, which we've discussed here before.

Several years passed before the time to besmirch the name and reputation of the university presented itself again. But NU certainly rose to the occasion when our coaching staff effectively killed our senior starting safety Rashidi Wheeler on the field during conditioning drills in early August of 2001, just days after the Vikings' Korey Stringer died of similar causes. A genuine tragedy in every sense of the word (and Heaven forbid we fire the coaching staff after that sad incident).

Today we found out that NU has jumped right into the heart of the steroids mess. We're in the shit now:

"Northwestern defensive tackle Luis Castillo acknowledged in a letter to all 32 NFL teams that he took steroids following the 2004 season, league sources said. Sources also added that Castillo tested positive at the Indianapolis scouting combine in late February." [More...]

That's our alma mater, bitch. To quote Glen Quagmire, "Allllllright."

Flares For The Dramatic

"MILAN, Italy (Reuters) -- The Champions League quarterfinal between Inter Milan and city rivals AC Milan was abandoned after 73 minutes on Tuesday after Milan keeper Dida was struck by one of dozens of flares thrown down from the stands." [More...]

And they say Americans are crazy fans...hey, at least the only things we throw at our players are paper cups (and sometimes batteries, chairs, beer bottles, sneakers, snowballs and soda).

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Big Time, Bill, Big Time

Good evening, we welcome you...on behalf of the group...we should introduce:

On the piano...we have Mr. Keith Godchaux.
On the drums on stage left...Mr. Mickey Hart.
On bass and vocals...Mr. Philip Lesh.
On rhythm guitar and vocals....Mr. Bob Weir.
On the drums on stage right, Mr. Bill Kreutzman.
On the vocals...Mrs. Donna Jean Godchaux.
And on lead guitar and vocals...Mr. Jerry Garcia.

Would you welcome please...the Grateful Dead.

I bought the Dead's One From the Vault live double disc in either 1994 or '95. And that purchase changed my life forever. Okay, that's a bit overdramatic, but it's partially true. I'm pretty sure that was the first time I had ever really heard the Dead perform live, and they were fantastic. They ripped it up. A ridiculous Help > Slip > Franklin's, a great Music Never Stopped and one of the bestest Eyes of the Worlds I've ever heard, still to this day. Gorgeous.

But it was also the first time the name Bill Graham landed on my radar screen. He is the orator of the Dead's introduction that I re-printed above, and both he and it are flat out awesome. I used to recite that thing non-stop in Graham's weird accent and made old campers of mine memorize it. It was the perfect lead-in to the Dead's 4/13/75 show at the Great American Music Hall, segueing right into the first song of the night.

At the time I had absolutely no clue who Bill Graham was, other than the fact that he had the same name as the WWF grappler and the televangelist. As the years unfolded, though, I began to learn what Bill Graham was all about: He wasn't just the emcee...he was the man that created the scene that paved the way for my favorite bands to become big time.

He operated the Fillmore in San Francisco, where he booked groups like the Dead and Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service to play. He opened the Fillmore East in New York and brought groups like the Allman Brothers to prominence. He flew to Woodstock, NY to persuade The Band to hit the road for the first time ever. He even staged the Watkins Glen festival in 1973, for which more than a half million people showed up.

Last week I picked up Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out, a 550-page book about the man's life. It's one-part autobiograpy and one-part biography, chronologically weaving together interview transcripts from Bill and everyone involved in his remarkable life. And it's not just his word against everyone else, if there's a discrepancy in his story, the other side is told right then and there.

It's fucking amazing what you'll find in this thing. I never knew he was a Jew that fled Nazi Germany as a seven-year-old and lost some of his family to the Holocaust. I never knew he grew up blocks away from Dad Cowboy in the Bronx, that he worked in the Catskills at the Concord and Grossinger's. I never knew he was a wannabe actor that volunteered to drive Buddy Hackett's car from NYC to LA in two and a half days by himself, then stole the car when Hackett refused to meet him in person to pick it up.

I never knew he discovered Santana when the 17-year-old Carlos tried to climb through his window to get into the Fillmore, that he was responsible for getting Santana on the bill at Woodstock. I never knew he found the Allmans, that he delivered Otis Redding to white audiences, that he put on the first all-stadium tour ever (CSNY '74). I never knew that a member of his crew was viciously assaulted by Zeppelin's manager, Peter Grant, resulting in the arrest of Grant, John Bonham and two other Zep-dudes, leading the band to decide never to play in the United States ever again.

And now I know. I know it all. There's so much more too, and the stories are incredible. This book is un-fucking-believable. It should be given out as a textbook in any and all music classes at liberal arts colleges. This is a MUST READ for anyone that loves the good ol' rock and roll music. The history conveyed in this book is off the charts.

The best chapter in the book, or more accurately my favorite part, talks in detail about The Last Waltz. The Band decided to call it quits after 16 years on the road and commissioned Bill to put on a concert in the city that started it all: San Francisco and the Winterland. They invited so many musical guests it almost didn't seem this could really be happening and brought in some dude named Martin Scorcese to document the marvelous night.

Rent or buy the concert film, it's one of the cooler music DVDs you'll ever see in your life. For real, b. You'll be blown away by Muddy Waters, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Paul Butterfield, Dr. John, The Staple Singers, The Lucious Bobby Dylan, the greatest performance of all time by Van Morrison (clad in a purple, rhinestoned jumpsuit doing air kicks and looking wasted)...and so many more.

Between the concert footage and the behind-the-scenes interviews with The Band, you'll think The Last Waltz is spectacular. But until last night, I had no idea how intricate that night really was, how fucking amazing Bill Graham performed his job day in and out. They pretty much re-did the whole venue, erecting the opera-like set from La Traviata on stage to go with the theme, putting up a $15,000 facade over the dirty balcony, sparing no cost to deck the place out to look as elegant as possible.

And since the event took place around Thanksgiving, Bill catered hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of turkeys and stuffing and potatoes and vegetarian dishes and whatever for the 5,400-person audience, setting up white-clothed tables on the ballroom's dance floor and ushering people in to eat. They fed the whole place in short order. Then they cleared out the tables one by one and had ballroom dancers to go out and waltz with patrons around the room, keeping with the theme as well.

The atmosphere was set and the show was amazing. As Bill says in the book, the show you see on stage and on the film explains only half of what went on that night. The people got their money's worth. And Bill says he lost $40,000 on the show, which in those days was a ton of money. But the people walked away happy. Nay, ecstatic.

That's what Bill Graham was all about, giving people the best show possible. Sure he was the capitalist that made his money, and that's talked about in great detail, but he wanted people to have the time of their lives for the money they were paying. Someone in the book describes him as a great supporting actor, the guy who provided the venue and the atmosphere for the stars to shine and be their best. That seems about right to me.

Big time, Bill, big time.

Old Balls

The Youth find religion and the Old find lap dances:

A group called Reboot released a study yesterday called "OMG! How Generation Y is Redefining Faith in the iPod Era." I don't care what this thing is or what it says, that's a horrendous name for a report and I'll never take it seriously. It could tell me to watch out for that tree I'm about to slam head first into, and I don't care. I'm Jimmy Fucking Crack Corn on this one. Terrible name for a report, just terrible.

Not to be outdone by her younger counterparts, the 79-year-old Margaret Thatcher made a rare public appearance at a Tory fundraiser...at a gentleman's lap dance club. That is fucking hot. Failing health, schmailing health -- give Maggie some poon.

This post sucks. I'm out.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Ceremonial First Pitch

The Sawx just got their World Series rings. Good for them. Seriously.

I'll never forget when the '94 Rangers finally broke through and won the Cup...what a moment for a fanbase so accustomed to coming up short for decades. Then our little banner ceremony was marred by the NHL lockout that immediately followed the playoffs, eating up half the season. That kinda sucked. So I'm all for today's ceremony. That concludes the Gracious Ace portion of our program.

For the ceremonial first pitch, the organization trotted out Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour to throw four simultaneous pitches to Varitek, Schilling, Foulke and Terry Francona.

Bruschi threw out his pitch to Francona. I'm pretty sure that toss was sponsored by Zocor. What, Dick Cheney wasn't around to officiate?

Series #2, folks, let's get it goin'.

Round Balls

We'll get to the Masters in just a second...but first, there's this under-reported story that Donnie and I were screaming about yesterday:

Giambi broke Pavano! That fat fuck fucking broke Pavano's fucking cranium! What a dipshit!

While you may have heard that Carl Pavano got drilled in the head by a Melvin Mora comebacker yesterday, you might not have heard why it happened, unless you were watching the game. With a man on first and no outs in the top of the third, Mora popped one into foul territory by the first base bag, a routine play for anyone above the age of seven with no history of vertigo and/or blindness. You honestly could have been in a Hawkings-chair and made the play easily. An armless schoolgirl most likely makes that play.

Giambi, however, sucks serious bullocks and predictably dropped the can of corn. Next pitch, you guessed it, a lined shot off Pavano's oversized noggin that forced him to leave the game and check into the emergency room. Even worse, now there's speed on the corners and no outs, instead of just Brian Roberts (this one is for you) on first with one out. Exit the dazed Pavano, enter bee-stung-lookin' Sturtzey into a shitty situation...Yanks exit any chance of winning this game and the three-game series against the O's. Fuckin' Giambi. I'd rather have Tino's defense than Ruben's offense any day of the week and especially this Sunday.

After the O's broke it open in that inning, I flipped over the Mets/Braves game for good. If you missed the Smoltz/Gaydro duel yesterday, you really missed out on what may actually turn out to be the best pitchers' duel of the season. Smoltz just mowing down Mets hitters left and right, striking every single starter out at least once, racking up 15 total through a little more than 7 innings on the day. Pedro matched him in brilliance, allowing only two hits in a complete game win. This thing was really a thing of beauty. But it's a crying fucking shame that my Even Wider Slider squad didn't get the Smoltzy win. Crap. Crapmunchers.

Last note about beisbol: When the Red Sawx get their new and exciting jewelry today, keep this pic in mind.

And then there was the Masters...what's left to be said that you haven't heard already? Nothing. Not a thing. The chip on 16, lovely. The bogeys on the last two holes, awesome. The playoff hole final putt, exhilirating. We all know it. My only real original thought on this whole thing is -- why all the hate for Tiger? Why do people not like Tiger Woods? I'd honestly like to hear it in the comments why you dislike this dude.

One friend compared him to Kobe -- calculated, robotic, shows no emotions, assrapey, whatever. I couldn't disagree more. When Tiger's involved, everyone knows it. There's a buzz on the course. You can feel it in the air. Everyone gets to a TV for the final round Sunday and all the spectators on the course follow him around. He gives any tourney instant credibility. He gives the players on the final round leaderboard a feeling deep inside their loins, and then they either elevate their game or shrink from the challenge.

But no personality? C'mon, he shows more emotion on the course than ANYBODY else out there, and this is not debateable. He constantly throws out the fist pumps and the air uppercuts. He curses very loudly when he messes up, almost to a flaw (and an indecency fine by the gov't). He shows so much emotion out there, and then everybody forgets and says he's a robot. Sure, he may not give the best interviews after the tourneys are over, but neither did MJ and neither did Gretzky after their games.

I love the underdog too, and I rooted for DiMarco at times. But I'll never understand the blind Tiger-hating. It's petty jealousy and insecurity at its finest. So stop it willya, you just look more foolish than a golfer in plaid pants. Recognize greatness and appreciate talent. You're watching history, enjoy it.

The Slack LaLane Luke Donald Watch: Third place finish, five under par after two ridiculous eagles on 13 and 15 and an impressive birdie on 16. That's good enough for $406,000, bringing his 2005 earnings so far up to $1.77 million. That totally skews the Northwestern '01 grads' average annual income statistics, no? I don't make quite that much. Close. (By the way, there was a Google/Slack search for "Luke Donald naked" last week...far out, man).

Another great Sunday in the wide world of sports. I can't take much more of this, I need to get outside once in a while.