After many years and many memories, an historic baseball stadium is finally being demolished.
Of course, I'm talking about Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, which is going to be bulldozed after 51 years. In their final game in the old stadium, fans threw inflatable pink dildos through the air while the Hiroshima Carp beat the Tokyo Yakult Swallow. Personally, I think while Hiroshima's Crap, the Tokyo Yakult Swallow!
No, I'm talking about the 44-year old Shea Stadium, the multi-purpose monstrosity that has finally closed its doors today. There's nothing special about this dump; it was ugly when I first went there in the late 70s, and it's ugly and outdated now.
Is that it? The 2008 Mets (a team some say "underachieved" but I say "wasn't that good") are done putting the finishing touches on their second straight September collapse? Great. No postseason ball in NYC for the first time since 1993? Beautiful.
Is everyone out of the building? Piazza and Seaver have symbolically closed the center field gates? Yogi finally made it out to his car? (God, that awful pun reminds me of that awful Bon Jovi song "Never Say Goodbye". Thanks for that, idiots.)
Good. It's time to BLOW UP AT SHEA. What? City laws prohibit imploding buildings? Goddamn politicians. Don't they know I need an explosive catharsis? Okay then.
Wait, is that Doc Gooden and Straw together for the first time since, well, forever? No, I mustn't be swayed by pointless nostalgia. This place is an ulgy ass eyesore.
No one really cares about it. The stadium housed teams that won IN SPITE OF IT, not because of it. Seriously, get rid of this massive hunk of shit. I don't want to talk about it again.
(I wonder if Yogi knows which stadium farewell party he's at.)
Aw shit, I thought those explosions meant they were about to level the building. Alas, it was only fireworks.
Photos courtesy AP/Al Bello-Getty Images
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Yes, the Christopher Walken SNL sketch that this references is over 8 years old at this point, but that doesn't make the MORE COWBELL site less funny. The idea is simple: you upload an mp3, adjust the sliders to add cowbell and Walken quotes to it, and the computer "cowbells" it (nice verbification), with sometimes hilarious results. To wit:
We'll start off with Back in Black (Cowbell Mix) by AC/DC.
The Arctic Monkeys might want to consider a full time cowbellist, so they can perform The View From The Afternoon (With Cowbell).
There's always Cowbell Queen by ABBA. Wow, Gene Frenkel really explored the studio space on that one.
It's time to Get The Led Cowbell Out. Wow, that surprisingly rocks.
I used to think Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen was a perfect rock song, but that's before it was cowbelled. (Though Walken puts his pants on at an awkward time, this is fantastic.)
Naturally, there's always room for More Cowbell on this one: Unknown song. You've just been Rick Cowbell'd!
Three's Company with Cowbell!
Tom Waits says, Make It Rain Cowbell. Or maybe Singapore?
Flight of the Conchords say it's Cowbell Time and too many mutha'uckas are 'uckin' with their shi'.
Maybe Elliot Smith wouldn't have killed himself if he knew the joy of Cowbell In the Hay.
Here's Kris' FAVORITEST SONG OF ALL TIME! Stick with it, the finale is fantastically cowbellriffic.
Slayer + cowbell = hilarious. Angel of Death or
South of Heaven are both great.
And of course, they added more cowbell to a song that already features the cowbell: Don't Fear The Reaper. Careful: listening to this might create a black hole like the Large Hadron Collider.
I like what I'm hearing.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
pretty very cynical about most things. Most of the time when some actor or another dies, I don't feel much, but I just saw that Paul Newman died yesterday at 83.
Not only was Paul Newman a great actor, Slapshot still being my favorite sports movie of all time (and there's a couple of Lukes and Cassidys in there too), but an interesting guy (he raced the 24 hours of Dayton at 70 years old), and a very charitable person.
There will never been a better hockey coach/manager-player than Reggie Dunlop.
(Update: Puck Daddy has a much better obituary/send off to Paul Newman/Reggie Dunlop.)
Friday, September 26, 2008
This poor girl ended up on the NBC show "Heroes" last season, which after its promising Season 1, turned completely craptacular during their horribly muddled Season 2. Previously she had been the star of something called "Veronica Mars", a show which had amassed quite a cult following, no doubt due in part to her pulchritude. I honestly don't know what the show was about, so I'm just going to imagine it featured Victoria's Secret models on a space mission to the Red Planet. I think of it as a 21st century version of Barbarella filled with babes like Kristen Bell who utterly despise their pants.
I'm serious: this show has gotten so bad that I've completely given up on watching Season 3 (here's the Hulu.com site--help yourself).
That's right, this hot chick (who apparently can shoot lightning out of her ass or something--on the show, not sure if she can in real life) AND Hayden "Barely Legal" "Cup Licker" Panettiere are both on THE SAME SHOW, and I still refuse to tune in. That's when you know a show truly sucks.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
In a decision sure to please music and file sharing fans everywhere (and give Lars Ulrich a rash), the judge in the Jammie Thomas vs. the Recording Industry Assholes of America (RIAA-holes) tossed out the verdict that sentenced her to pay $222,000 for having mp3 music files on her computer uploaded through the infamous KaZaA software.
A federal judge dealt the Recording Industry Association of America and record labels a setback Wednesday by throwing out a $222,000 verdict against a mom who was convicted of illegally sharing music over the Internet.
U.S. District of Minnesota Chief Judge Michael Davis ordered a new trial for Jammie Thomas, saying the jury's punishment was "unprecedented and oppressive." Davis said that the term "distribution" does not apply to simply making music available. It requires actual dissemination, he said.
A jury convicted her of putting 24 songs on Kazaa's file-sharing network and ordered her to pay $9,250 per song.
24 songs at $9,250 per, which is "more than five hundred times the cost of buying 24 separate CDs"? This was a ridiculous case with an even more ridiculous verdict, and the overturned verdict is a crushing blow to the RIAA and its slimy lawyers, who no doubt wished to make an example of the Minnesota mother.
It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of backwards-thinking, price-fixing, copyright-changing, money-grubbing assholes, who incidentally won the coveted Open Hockey Blog 2007 Dicktards Of The Year Award.
The website RIAA Radar is fantastic, and allows you to search for music acts and songs that are NOT affiliated with the RIAA, so you can purchase with a clear conscience knowing that your money is not lining their greedy pockets.
As a basic rule of thumb, most independent labels (Sub Pop, Merge) and indie rock bands are usually not part of the RIAA, whereas the big labels are (Sony, Geffen). Hence, the early albums by the Black Keys are not RIAA-affiliated ("Rubber Factory") where the newer ones are ("Magic Potion"). The site also has great charts (including an Indie Top 100 list) and is directly linked to the AMAZON.com store for purchasing discs and mp3s. Sure, most major artists are RIAA members, but you can find some decent new bands on here. I think I'll be buying that Robyn Hitchcock collection and Fleet Foxes EP I've been meaning to add to my mp3 collection. I already picked up Black Mountain's "In The Future".
SUCK IT, RIAA!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
As you might have heard the New England Patriots had won 21 games in a row (regular season, obviously--we all know what THE WORLD CHAMPION GIANTS did to them in THE SUPER BOWL), before losing to Miami this week. So how did the fans show their appreciation once the streak inevitably ended?
(AP) "Fans booed the Patriots. Many left early. The record winning streak of their favorite team was ending with a stunning domination by the lowly Dolphins."
Monday, September 22, 2008
It's been a long time coming, but the U.S. finally wrenched the Ryder Cup from the Euros' greasy little fingers, 16.5 to 11.5. I have to say, it was pretty damn sweet. (You can't say you didn't see this coming, especially if you read this blog.)
WOO HOO! IN YOUR FACE, EUROPE!
There really is nothing like the match play/team format, because it brings out the best (and worst) in the players. It encourages players to take a gamble if they're down, because if they completely crap the bed on one hole the most they can lose is just one hole against one opponent, not a handful of strokes against a full leaderboard. Most of all, they're allowed to let their emotions loose, something that golf tradition normally frowns upon. Jim "Hitch" Furyk high-stepping after a putt swirled around the cup and dropped in? Steve Stricker pumping his fist like Tiger Woods? I never imagined I'd see those things happen, but they did.
Here are some highlights/thoughts from a fantastic weekend of golf at Valhalla Golf Club.
The Four Rookies of the Europocalypse. As I blognosticated, Hunter MAAAA-HAN! (2-0-3, a team best 3.5 points) and Anthony "You Don't Mess Around With" Kim (2-1-1) played out of their minds. The latter only lost once because FIGJAM! (1-2-2) is a chump (there's a reason he's been on 5 losing Ryder Cup teams--he has no killer instinct). J.B. Holmes was a questionable pick in everyone's eyes, but he ended up rising to the challenge, hitting a killer drive/wedge within 3 feet to win his singles match on the 17th hole. And Boo Weekley's homespun redneck routine actually seemed charming since he won his matches.
Captain Paul "Zinger" Azinger. He suggested to change the Ryder Cup qualification process, opting for 4 captain's picks instead of just 2, and it certainly paid off. Kentuckian J.B. Holmes played excellent golf (2-0-1, 2.5 pts.) as did the Mahan; Chad Campbell, the lowest ranked player present, shockingly knocked off Padraig Harrington on the final day.
Sergio "Los Pantelones Feos" Garcia. I have to honestly say that I like all the Euros, except for this annoying little swarthy douche. Back when he was just a talented kid, his impetuous and cocky attitude made him endearing; now it's just pathetic and irritating. Every time he hits a bad shot, he doesn't suck it up and hit the next one; he's forever looking for a loophole in the rules to get free relief. He's the slowest player on the course and excruiating to watch play. Anyway, I was happy to see his flawless foursomes record finally broken along with his will, as he succumbed to the driven Anthony Kim Possible in the singles on Sunday. SUCK IT SERGE! I'm glad we didn't let the Spaniards back in the pantry.
There might be one other Euro who etched his name into my shit list: Lee Westwood. Not satisfied by being completely ignored after finishing one stroke behind Tiger and Rocco at the U.S. Open, he declared today that the Kentucky crowd were full of "boorish hecklers" and the "worst I've encountered" despite being from the country that invented hooliganism. Why didn't these guys complain when they were winning all those Cups? Surely someone must have said something derogatory towards Monty or Sergio, or either of their mothers, since 2002. And I guarantee if you were wearing an American flag in Ireland last time around that you got heckled, possibly with some expletives thrown in for good measure. GO HOME AND SHUT UP. YOU LOST. GET OVER IT, YOU SISSY.
Ian "Silly Pants" Poulter. He was the lone highlight for the Euro team, garnering a team high 4 points, the most ever for a first-time captain's pick. He always seemed like a bit of a wanker, but I really respected his competitive fire at Valhalla, and his graciousness in defeat. So he's officially been upgraded to "tosser" in my book, but still has a way to go to reach "chap" status. (I still think his having his own clothing line is silly, though. It's also funny that the same guy who once made fun of him for it, Nick Faldo, was his captain.)
Unsung hero: Jim "Hitch" Furyk, who won the clinching singles match, and went 2-1-1. When Miguel Angel "The Mechanic" Jimenez paused and turned to shake his hand on the 17th to concede the hole and bring the Cup back to the U.S., the crowd went nuts and I actually got chills. (Yeah, I know, I'm a softie that way.)
Mystery man: Padraig Harrington, winner of two majors this season, all but disappeared, going out with a whimper (0-3-1, 0.5 pts.). His game has actually trended downward since winning the PGA, and he didn't even qualify for the "playoffs". He's he's either hurt, drunk, or starting to feel the pressure (or all three).
The Tiger factor. Okay, I'm not going to say that they won because he wasn't there, but they clearly seemed more focused and composed without the Red-shirted Swede-shagging Nike Spokesman. The ultimate competitor, Mr. Woods is excellent at taking his focus and internalizing it to perform at his best, but he may not be adept at pointing that focus outwards. When it's Tiger against the world, the world is usually his bitch. When he's part of a team, it's possible that the rest of his teammates simply force their game to try to impress him, or wait for him to lead them to victory. He's hard to beat individually, but he may not be a good team player, as he tends to brood and sulk instead of being open and encouraging. However, the best thing about his absence was that it forced the commentators and media to pay attention to the entire team, and not just one superstar.
Note to ESPN: after endless buildup to your Friday broadcast, you can now go back to completely ignoring golf. You know, just like last week.
Note to NBC Sports: despite the interminable commercial breaks, and incongruous Michael Jordan interview (which added nothing), and missing every final tee shot on Saturday, overall even you guys couldn't screw up this broadcast! Congrats!
Note to those at the PGA who schedule the Ryder Cup: next time around, how about you NOT schedule the final day's matches on an NFL football Sunday? How about you do this on Labor Day weekend (or earlier) instead, so maybe someone might actually get to watch it, and bars will devote at least one TV to it?
Well done, guys. You are officially the best U.S. team that virtually no one paid attention to (because the Seahawks/Rams game was so compelling).
USA! USA! USA!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
There are many things to be thankful for, and at the top of my list is not being a socialist European sissy. Although Scotland "claims" to have invented the sport (ask the Chinese what they think of that), it just so happens that the USA has 8 of the 10 best golf courses on the planet. This year, the Ryder Cup will be defended by the Euros on our turf, which gives the US the edge as the gallery has promised to ramp up the obnoxiousness (though it won't be as bad as the Brookline Masshole Massacre of 1999, which the Euros are still crying about). There's been little to no talk about this match (Europe winning 5 of last 6 + the asinine decision to hold the event during football season - Tiger Woods = low mainstream interest) but I think it's going to be one for the ages. At least that's the phrase the NBC announcers hope to say 54 times during the weekend (unless Jim Nantz has it patented).
Here's the skinny on the 37th Ryder Cup Tournament.
Name: Valhalla Golf Club
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Yardage/Par: 71/7,496 yards
Course record: 63, Jose Maria Bobloblaw, 2000 PGA Championship
Signature hole: The 13th, a 350-yard, par four, requiring a tee shot to a small landing area, then an approach shot over water to an island green.
Origin: Louisville businessman Dwight Gahm was the driving force behind the creation of the club, commissioning Jack Nicklaus to build the layout on 486 acres of rolling terrain in Kentucky horse country.
|Chad Campbell||Captain's Pick|
|J.B. Holmes||Captain's Pick|
|Hunter Mahan||Captain's Pick|
|Steve Stricker||Captain's Pick|
|Miguel Angel Jiménez|
Sunday, September 14, 2008
A few months ago, I planted three small plum tomato plants. I only got a few tomatoes here and there, which is what I expected. I took a picture of the plants on Wednesday afternoon to show their progress.
As you can see I had about 4 ripe tomatoes, and another 6 or 7 green ones on the way. I was looking forward to picking them and throwing them into a salad, or maybe eating them with some fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. However, this is what I found on Saturday morning:
All of the tomatoes are gone. Some asshole stole my tomatoes.
My apartment faces the back of the house and no one ever goes back there except those who live in this house, the neighbors (who are all families with small children), the occasional UPS man, and the lawn service people. Since the lawn was mowed on Friday, this leads me to the conclusion that one of the workers probably took them.
This doesn't rank up there with my golf clubs being stolen out of my car 5 years ago right before Xmas (the one time I left it parked out front and not in the garage), but it pisses me off nonetheless.
To the (probably illegal immigrant) lawn worker who took my tomatoes, I hope you die in a fire. Or at the very least, may you get crippling diarrhea from the tomatoes.
I thought it was about time I chimed in on the whole Tom Brady issue. In Week 1 this season, NFL's Golden Boy QB had the ACL and MCL in his left knee torn asunder, knocking him out for the rest of the season. Just allow me to say one thing: AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
After his team was caught cheating last year he became Bill "Bully" Belichick's bitch, gleefully running up the score on every team (except the stellar Giants D in the Super Bowl, of course), which makes this injury sweet karmic retribution for everyone involved. If the Super Bowl XLII loss was the icing on the cake, this is the cherry soaked in bourbon and dipped in fine dark chocolate.
The best thing about it is the whining of New England fans. Their tears taste like drops of the finest Belgian abbey ale, and their cries of "the NFL won't be the same!" (god, I hope this is a joke, but I fear it's not) are like a sweet Mozart violin concerto to my ears.
Boston.com blog - Tom Brady Injured
Boston.com blog - Brady Out For Season
Brady out: This one really hurts
Curt Schilling, speaking on behalf of all Masshole douchebags, claims that NY fans are happy about Brady's injury because they're mad that the Yankees stink this season and are jealous of the Boston teams' success. Nope, that's not it, jackass! While I respect Brady's talent, I hate everything that he represents. In my opinion, the NFL can only improve with his absence, as their joyless (and unsuccessful) crusade towards an undefeated season last year sucked the fun out of the game. Now we can see what the other teams in the AFC East are made of, and if that mumbling prick Belichick can coach a team to victory without his smug, supermodel-shagging poster boy. (Bill's career regular season coaching record with Brady is 86-29, and without Brady: 42-58. Staggering.) Also, we'll see if they're a real "team", whose leader is now RANDY freaking MOSS, who conveniently claims to have hurt his back on the SAME PLAY as Brady's knee injury. Yeah, sure.
I wouldn't really feel this way if Pats fans weren't the most insufferable, arrogant fans on the planet--but they are, and I do. And you KNOW they would have raised their doucheiness to all-new levels had this happened to Favre or either Manning. No, it's not schadenfreude, it's just that warm gleeful feeling I get when I realize that there might be some higher justice in the world. Hey, at least it gives Pats fans a built-in excuse if they don't do well this year.
Whatever. Now Tommy B. gets to rehab his knee just like Tiger did: while banging smoking hot chicks on a bed made of money. Let's stop crying and play some football.
Of course, The Onion knocked this one out of the park as well: Female Fans Out For Season With Tom Brady's Knee Injury:
Unfortunately for the NFL, Brady's loss seems to have affected more than just the Patriots and women. Many Boston-area fans of both genders, claiming that the team isn't worth watching without Brady, have concentrated their attention on the waning and somewhat disheveled Red Sox season or the attractive upcoming Celtics' NBA title defense. The sports media has likewise gone into shock, with columnist Bill Simmons saying he will no longer watch football this season, Sports Illustrated canceling large Brady-themed sections of this years' upcoming swimsuit issue, and NBC Football Night In America analyst Cris Collinsworth bursting into tears and collapsing into Peter King's arms upon receiving the news.
"No one else in football has Brady's unique talents—the physical gifts of build, height, arms, cheekbones, piercingly sultry field vision, the combination of arm strength and accuracy with a sense of tenderness, the combination of smirk and pout—along with the intangibles and the ability to look good in everything," said Tom Chiarella, who scouted and evaluated Brady for the September issue of Esquire. "It's impossible to estimate the impact of his loss, but it will almost certainly mean the loss of most female fans, many Boston-area fans, fair-weather fans, and the majority of mainstream media fans. The NFL is really looking at a worst-case scenario here, one that it never wanted to happen: A football season that's only watched by actual football fans."
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Generally, I avoid blogging about things that bug me on a day-to-day basis...oh, wait...no I don't. Generally I blog about the things that bug me on a day-to-day basis.
Anyway, I was just flipping through last week's Time and came across this wonderful article: Wanted: The Perfect Song. What tune captures the summer of 2008?. Now beyond the obvious fact that some dickhead named Josh Tyrangiel of Time Magazine has a different definition of "perfect" than me (his being "wrong"), he lists what may be the 10 worse songs ever made. Would you believe me if I said I hate every one? You'd better.
For the record, I went on the youtubes and watched at least a few seconds of every video. That's martyrdom right there...
10. I Kissed a Girl: Katy Perry (ooohh! Lesbianism is popular, let's try that)
9. Viva la fucking idiotic Vida: Coldplay
8. When I Grow Up: Pussycat Dolls
7. A Milli: Lil Wayne (an exceptionally bad song even by corporate rap standards)
6. Bleeding Love: Leona Lewis
5. No Matter What: T.I.
4. American Boy: Estelle (I hate this song the least)
3. Love in the Club: Usher (as Jeff pointed out, there are versions of this song that rock out...)
2. Disturbia: Rihanna
1. All Summer Long: Kid Rock. Kid Rock didn't just rip off (don't give me that 'sampling's done all the time' shit) one of America's great singer-songwriters in Warren Zevon, he also usurped the reigning Red State Anthem in "Sweet Home Alabama". I hope Zevon and Ronnie van Zant are waiting in Hell with sharped spears for Kid Rock's arrival.
Here's the original version of "Werewolves of London"
Fuck Kid Rock. and fuck Time magazine.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Until earlier this week, the trifecta was "in-play" and then I realized that NNEKA (kick ass word on scrabulous BTW) has officially scored the Afro-German Hat Trick.
I don't know what to make of this. I didn't know that Germany was a bastion of west African imports and I didn't know that Nigeria had any specific connection with Germany, but yet, it does.
First along came Patrice. Patrice started with serious reggae licks
and has recently moved on to...more reggae! But for the masses. Now with more German!
Next on the Afro-German circuit was AYO (who is the mother of Patrice's kid and his current bedmate) (in french no less!)
But...but...the trifecta needed its third wheel. And that's where Nneka comes in. I just happened onto her youtube videos (for some reason the repetitive beat is pleasing to me) and lo-and-behold she looks kinda like Ayo (same pale skin, same funky hair) and she's from Nigeria and she has some links to land of the Deutsch.
I don't know why this is weird to me...it just is. I just find it curious that there's these three [currently] popular singer being produced in Germany via Western Africa.
You can probably find better versions of all these songs on the youtubes, but I just want to take this opportunity to give a big "fuck you dickheads" shout out to the little pieces of dog-shit who disable embedding. You dumb motherfucker, you're trafficking in copyrighted material, yet you want to protect "your work." The irony will never leave me...never!
So the US celebrated Labor Day yesterday to officially put the bullet in another summer and New Orleans almost ceased to exist (if you missed it, don't worry, it'll happen next year, and the year after and the year after...). France doesn't have a holiday to celebrate this; but that doesn't stop one from drinking on 1pm on Monday afternoon.
Generally the end of summer sucks. Back to work, more traffic and less "Meh, it Wednesday afternoon, fuck this I'm going to the beach." However, the death of summer this year does not upset me. Why? One reason: students, particularly of the female persuasion. I don't know why I'm only really noticing it this year (probably just a normal step on the dirty-old-man road), but holy shit, the students all came back to town and although it takes twice as long to do my food shopping, it's twice as nice. Only 20-year olds can pull off the slinky tank-top and sweatpants and make it better looking than a tailored mini-skirt.
One downside of the end of summer; now the War for the White House is kicking into high gear. I try to ignore it, but from what I can understand John McCain impregnated his VP's teenage daughter. That seems strange, but you know what they say, life is stranger than fiction. And the Onion is reporting that McShame is losing his grip on the "Grizzled Ornery Old Man" demographic to Joad Cressbeckler
Old, Grizzled Third Party Candidate May Steal Support From McCain
"Cressbeckler seen as more decrepit than McCain"
"Cressbeckler's views on steam power, "Orientals" attractive to many McCain Supporters."
from the crawl: "Election analysts formalize the use of the term "Rural Voters" as replacement for "Ignorant Hick Voters"