Monday, December 28, 2009

The Pussy is Free-ee (but the wax costs money!)

Hey, if you haven't checked out the Ministry of Information yet, you're a fucking deadbeat. DJ HSP aka "High School Pussy" aka "Home Slice Pussy" has undertaken a task as ambitious as the Human Genome Project (HGP), which I suppose makes him the James Watson of hip-hop.

No shit, get your ass to Mars and see what the man has to offer. I GUARANTEE you'll hear something you've never heard before and I GUARANTEE it'll be good. From stuff you already know (Main Source, Kool G Rap) to stuff you should already know (Godfather Don, J-Live) to stuff you definitely don't know (Tootskee and the Czar MC, Poison Ladd S.L.R.), HS Pussy gets 'em off every time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SYR to LGA (live in-progress)

I know "holiday delays at the airport" stories are a dime a dozen, but...

December 23, 2009
8:34am - Reported to my gate exactly 30 minutes before scheduled departure. There are no US Air employees anywhere. Screen says "ON TIME".

8:39 - A few other passengers around. Doesn't look good.

8:42 - There are two separate groups flying with dogs on my flight. Each group is headed by an obese older woman with polyester pants. I'm still not sure if the groups are related. The dogs in each group are yelping like the dickens.

8:46 - A smart looking girl just announced from her Blackberry that our flight's delayed at least an hour and a half. An idiot responded, "What does that mean?!"

8:50 - One of the dogs just escaped from its bag. One of the fat ladies chased after it, but the dog's leash got wrapped around one of the other dogs. Complete bedlam... I feel like I'm living inside a P.D.Eastman boardbook.

8:57 - U.S. Air crew finally showed up. The guy's announcing the delays over the intercom while fat dog lady #2 screams into her cell phone that she doesn't know when the flight's leaving.

9:08 - We might be the only gate with a flight in the entire wing-- there's nobody here. At least there's some sort of bonding thing when you're delayed among throngs of desperate holiday travelers; we're feeling like a bunch of losers here.

9:23 - I think I have a BabyRuth candy bar somewhere. Our food options are terrible: an Au Bon Pain with fossilized pastries and a vending machine. Maybe the bar will open soon.

9:27 - Hey, a flight just arrived at our gate! A fantastically gay-looking guy just strutted in from the walkway with rainbow-striped boots and a white puffy hat. Thank god... that's the first evidence of civilization since I flew out of LGA Tuesday morning.

9:31 - Hmm, that doesn't seem to be our plane. Then whose is it? Philadelphia?! We've been lapped by the next scheduled departure from our gate.

9:33 - Awesome! They just paged "Heinie Webb" on the intercom and the girl next to me got up and walked over to the desk! OK, maybe it was "Heidi Webb".

9:38 - Wow, the Blackberry girl is sitting and chatting with fat dog lady #1. I must be a complete prick bastard... I wouldn't talk to any of these people for all the tea in China. I mean, a crazy lady with a dog? She'll never be able to shake her off! Ever!

9:43 - At least I got to watch Sex Rehab last night before I went to bed. Phil Varone looked like he might literally explode if he didn't get some action ASAP. Then he pretty much came out and said, "I'm gonna lose it if I don't jerk off or at least spoon with someone" or something to that effect. An utterly compelling character.

FUCK! The damn airport just cut off my signal mid-post... lost some funny shit about driving on cough syrup and killing dogs. I'm quitting.

...and I'm back with live shit mid-air:
10:48 – Finally getting on the damn plane. Into the tunnel, down the stairs and out into the snow. Propeller plane in a snowstorm. Not sure if we’re flying to LaGuardia or Everest base camp.

10:52 – Might be Everest base camp after all… a family of small Indians are climbing around the seats of the tiny plane as I board. The stewardess is chasing two little kids around, yelling “No! No! Sit!” The mom and dad are equally as clueless, squinting at their boarding stubs muttering “D? F? 2?” Totally weird.

10:54 – Next wave of passengers is a quartet of Asian men in sweatsuit pants. None speak English but all are wearing headphones.

10:56 – The stewardess has the tricky job of communicating that we should really be sitting in our seats but since the plane isn’t even half-full you can actually sit wherever you want. None of the passengers except myself and two women seem to understand this subtlety.

11:05 – Out on the runway, props spinning, plane humming, KAPUT. We’re grounded for at least 15 minutes, minimum.

11:07 – Stewardess comes around for another round of admonishings: “No! No! No music! Sit!”

11:10 (estimate) – I think we’re taking off now…

11:32 – No snacks.

11:41 – “No! No cameras! No!”

11:42 – As I look out over the majesty of the Himalaya and the Annapurna massif, my mind wanders… nope, looks like either Scranton or White Plains.

11:50 – If this plane crashes, it would make a lousy movie.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 8

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries [names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]

WEEK EIGHT: Tequila hijinks, hitchin'

Monday (day 50)
Blew off work again.
Me, ________, and _______ buy a bottle of tequila instead. We get completely wasted before gig. The Nightwatch hates us.


Tougher Than the Rest
Stone Free w/drums
[I assume this means that I didn't play drums?]

We jump in the Kenai River after the gig. Great listen to Soul II Soul in van on way home.  _______ and _______ wrestle in the back of the van and in the dirt at the cannery.

Tuesday (day 51)
Packed freezer trucks for work.
Had beers after work and drank bottle of tequila again. I passed out early. _____ pees in the attic of the cannery. We eat a lot, drunk.

Wednesday (day 52)
Packing for work.
Tequila AGAIN!!! i don't remember much...

Thursday (day 53)
No work today. Got our paychecks-- they suck!!!
I got dicked out of most of my pay, and so did ______.
______ and ______ go down to Homer. We drive van to Kenai to get bulk food and Jack Daniels. No water at all for the night.

Friday (day 54)
No water again at all anywhere! Can't shit or shower.
We hitched to the Nightwatch in Soldotna. Saw Kaboom play their set-- made fun of them.
We put pitchers of beer on our tab for the next gig. Changed the big sign in front of the club to "49% WOLF" and "BAKOOM." We hitch home wasted.

Saturday (day 55)
Worked in the morning with ______.
We hitched to Anchorage, which was fucking far. We played pool at Chilkoot's and walked around town drinking 40s. ______ and ______ told some creepy stories.
We're all completely bombed. I puked my guts out, then we ended up with some guys doing coke. We slept in a Wonder Bread truck AGAIN! We tried to warm up at a laundromat and ________ pissed his pants. Finally we go to Denny's and sleep on a lawn in front of the restaurant. The grass was fucking beautiful.

Sunday (day 56)
We wake up in front of Denny's in the grass. We split up somehow-- ______ and I end up walking over to a mall. We found Robber Joe's record store, which is awesome. I bought Mudhoney, a Defunkt CD, and a PE single. _______ bought a record by Can and maybe Big Star.
We hitch home, which is totally beautiful. Also get sore asses from all the walking and steal Prep H from the supermarket in Soldotna. Me and ______ drink a bottle of tequila right by the river behind the Nightwatch, and are totally drunk just in time to load in and play.
I play drums completely shitfaced-- awful.


My Sharona
Tougher Than the Rest

I jumped in the river again naked and lost my fucking wallet with ID, credit card and at least $100. I pass out in the van totally depressed. Feeling out of control.

week nine: the hours finally come through

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nerd Alert

Holy shit! Ross Ohlendorf got a 1520 on his SATs!

I wonder if any other former Yanks can beat that... does this make Ross Ohlendorf the smartest Yankee of all time?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 7

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries [names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]
WEEK SEVEN: Visiting the family, stoned agin...

Monday (day 43)
Blew off work. Slept until fucking 5:00.

Played at Nightwatch. The club is under new ownership.

Notable songs:
After Midnight
The Ocean
There She Goes Again
Foxey Lady

Way too fucking stoned... I wore a trash bag as my stage get-up. Sang "Lay Down Sally" upside-down standing on my head.


Tuesday (day 44)
Wednesday (day 45)
Thursday (day 46)
Ridiculously stoned every night this week. Played bridge and cribbage and that's about it.

Friday (day 47)
Finally worked this morning. We drove to Kenai-- got kicked out of "The Place."

Me, ______, and ______ drove to my Uncle Howard's place right there in Kenai. Me and ______ ate stew with his family for dinner while ______ was passed out in the back of the van. Howard was cool to us... he looks like my grandfather.

We left and bought a case of beer and a bottle of Bacardi 151. Flaming shots all night (almost burned my beard)! ______ puked. Crazy night.

Saturday (day 48)
Worked a lot-- packing freezer truck.

Sunday (day 49)
Worked full day and played our Nightwatch gig.
The gigs are getting weirder/worse.

Notable songs:
You May Be Right
Stone Free

Suzie Q. (upside-down vocals again)
_______'s new song
I Can See Clearly Now
________ is completely wasted. ______ makes out with some chick.

week eight: tequila marathons, hitchhiking


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Knicks 98, Nets 91

I was all fired up to watch and make fun of write about the epic battle between the Knicks and Nets yesterday afternoon. Too bad I had to work, although it doesn't look like I missed much.

1. Apparently we're passing on Iverson. I was rooting for this one, but I always go for the "bad idea" trades (Albert Belle, Manny, etc.). I like sports to be fun, and bad ideas are usually more fun.
I imagine the Knicks are giving the "we like where we're at right now" excuse, which is ridiculous. Reminds me of the guy that turns down the ride home from the bar at the end of the night, saying, "Nah, I'll just walk. It's nice out, anyway."

2. Nate Robinson intentionally shot (and scored!) at the wrong basket. It's bad enough when he shoots on the right basket after the buzzer, which he does all the time. Kinda like Johnny Damon almost chucking the ball into the bleachers with two outs last season, except Johnny didn't actually do it.

3. Who the #%$@ are these guys? I originally came up with what I thought was a good trivia question after the game: Name five of the six Knicks scoring in double-figures in today's 98-91 victory over the Nets. I immediately created a far more difficult challenge: Name anybody who played for the Nets today. Go ahead!

4. Are these guys really moving to Brooklyn?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Top Five Cthulhu Bad-Asses

I've been flip-flopping between two lists for the past week or so: "Top Five Reasons Yankee Fans Shouldn't Feel Bad About SHIT!" or "Top Five Creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos." Let's go with the fun stuff first.


1. Cthulhu
STR: 25 INT:20 WIS: 23 DEX: 20 CON: 25 CHR: -7

This motherfucker is a 100-foot tall scaled octopoid head that lives in an underwater city of non-Euclidean design. He teleports himself at will, and is immune to the effects of most major elements. Oh yeah, if he ever makes an appearance within 100 miles of your area you're going completely batshit for a number of months equivalent to your intelligence. Any questions?
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wagh'nagl fhtagn. Or, "In his house in R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." Y'heard?

2. Azathoth (the center of the universe)
STR: 25 INT:-- WIS: -- DEX: 20 CON: 25 CHR: -7
HIT POINTS: 400 ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral

Well, he may not be the smartest guy on the Cthulhu block, but who needs clever when you're a "blind, mindless, amorphous mass the size of a star"??? He's surrounded by horrifying amoeba-minstrels that "provide an eerie music, like the sound of idiot flute players." Basically, you're trapped inside a black hole that only plays Brian Jones's Joujouka album for all of eternity.

3. Yog-Sothoth (the key and guardian of the gate)STR: 25 INT:25 WIS: 23 DEX: 20 CON: 25 CHR: -7

At 25-25-23-20 he's kinda the Albert Pujols of Cthulhu, to say the least. Yog- Sothoth exists on the astral plane, which means he's not subject to conventional laws of space and time and can exist in two separate points of the universe at the same time. Wow, imagine if Pujols could play first base for five different teams in each league in the same night?

4. Hastur the Unspeakable (He Who Must Not Be Named) "Master of the Air"
STR: 25 INT:22 WIS: 23 DEX: 21 CON: 23 CHR: -4

This guy's about twice the height of Godzilla and doesn't waste his time sloshing around Japan kicking tanks. In fact, if anyone in your campaign even mentions his name, there's a 25% chance he'll send a few of his servants (the "Byakhee") to get all non-Euclidean on your sorry ass. And if that doesn't work, Hastur himself might pay a personal visit and crush the life out of you. Not a popular topic around the water cooler at work.

5. Shub-Niggurath (black goat of the woods with a thousand young)
STR: 24 INT:25 WIS: 20 DEX: 19 CON: 25 CHR: -4HIT POINTS: 400 ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil

Also known as the "Fountain of Uncleanliness," Shub-Nig is a 100-foot pool of filth inside the caverns of Mount Voormithadreth. Imagine the men's room trough at Fenway Park, but much worse. Creatures, limbs, pseudopods, and god knows what else spurt forth from the pool every few seconds or so... imagine the bleachers at Fenway Park but not quite as bad.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 6

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries
[names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]

WEEK SIX: Wiffleball and cribbage

Monday (day 36)
Worked! Welded...

We play at the dock in front of Trans-Aqua:
Wild Thing
Crazy Train

Then we played that night at the Nightwatch:
After Midnight (beer commercial version)
Old Man
Long Haired Country Boy
Piano Man
Light My Fire
(no idea what this is)
For What It's Worth
Crazy Love
Higher Ground

The bartender sings a song with us. The "Into the Music" chick hangs out with us. _________ is totally wasted and pukes. I get drunk and call _______.

Tuesday (day 37)
Short day of work.
______ and I go to a local bar that has cribbage night (contest). Totally out of our league. They play without even looking at their cards at all.

Wednesday (day 38)
Medium day of work.

Thursday (day 39)
Really long day of work. Played wiffleball outside the huts.

Friday (day 40)
More welding. Made some sort of fish chute.
Keg of beer! Lots of cribbage.

Saturday (day 41)
Short work in the morning. Went to do laundry out by Kenai. Stood around in my one pair of underwear.

Gig at The Place? Cancelled.

1st night of packing frozen fish! Totally great. Went to Pizza Hut afterwards. Nobody tipped so I had to go back in and leave money.

Sunday (day 42)
Full day of work.

We head down to Nightwatch. Car is shaky.
Sabrina gets kicked out of the club. Angela told on her! (no idea)

Notable songs:
Pale Blue Eyes
songs with full backing vocals (we took their mics)
Drivin' South/Magic Johnson
Can't Get What You Want...
(Joe Jackson)
Billy Joel (?) just _____
Crazy Love also just _____

I drank Robitussin again and smoked pot this time too. TOTALLY fucked up all night. I blabbed on and on to ________ all night.

week seven: visiting my great uncle, getting too stoned too often

The Knicks are now 1-9.

It's been a while since I talked about the Knicks.

I've barely watched 'em at all this season, in fact. I got so used to not having cable that watching basketball just isn't a thought. Plus, the Isiah era's over, so there's not much to write about anyway, right?

I watched some of the Atlanta game the other night, and boy do they suck. Possibly the worst 10 minutes of Knick basketball I've ever seen, and that's saying something. They missed open layups on back-to-back possessions, played defense like they'd been given double-dose lethal injections, and seemed to have absolutely no idea what the hell they were doing.

Seriously, they must be seen to be believed. HOW COULD THEY BE WORSE THAN THEY JUST WERE?! I used to make the same drunk bet every September with somebody that the Knicks would have a winning record after their first ten games. Then it became 5-5, and pretty soon I was just going for 3 or 4 wins. The Knicks are now 1-9, which I never even considered possible for my 10-game bets.

The Isiah Knicks were usually funny-bad, or at least tragic-bad; watching them brought you through an emotional journey of one kind or another. Now they're just weird-bad, which is the worst kind of bad there is. Almost supernaturally bad. I was putting away Jr's bath toys last night, and I missed his bath crate with a rubber duckie four times in a row from about 15 inches away. I was clearly channeling the spirit of Chris Duhon in my very own bathroom. As I watched Danilo Gallinari stagger down the court, I made some stupid joke to myself (aloud) about Darko Milicic showing up, and he did!!! He did because he actually plays for the Knicks (which I'd completely forgotten), but that doesn't make the whole thing any less eerie! The team is fucking haunted.

I wanted to "live blog" tonight's game, but I was so into taking drugs and reading Dr. Seuss to my son (in that order) that I completely missed the game. I'm making a point of covering one of their next games. I'd love to do the Nets next Saturday, but it's at friggin 1pm! I'll keep looking...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 5

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries
[names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]

WEEK FIVE: Working for a living

Monday (day 29)
First real day of work. I loaded bags of salt.

We went shopping for food. Hung out in the huts after "dinner"... talked about smoking mugwort and taking belladonna with a weird guy.

Tuesday (day 30)
Second day of work. Loaded more salt and cleaned some walls.

We played in one of the trailers tonight:

Wild Night
I Wish
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Roadhouse Blues
Brown Eyed Girl
L.A. Woman
Proud Mary
Pale Blue Eyes
Needle and the Damage Done
Higher Ground
Foxey Lady
Voodoo Chile
Lemon Song
Can You See Me?
There She Goes Again
Stormy Monday
Further On Up the Road
Sunshine of Your Love
Manic Depression

Some guy played acoustic too. "Jimbo" & ______ squared off. I broke the ride cymbal. ________ is a sick bass player.

Wednesday (day 31)
We painted. ___________ got a complaint on the job.

Our Land's End gig is cancelled.

Thursday (day 32)
Celebrated Summer Solstice at a cool place called "The Crotch." Rasta camp? ________ crashes.

Friday (day 33)
Regular day of work. We go to a bar called "The Place" afterwards. Good jukebox and bar shuffleboard. Free tacos!

Saturday (day 34)
We go back to "The Place" again. Free BBQ! Undefeated in shuffleboard! I piss off people when I play "Venus in Furs" on the jukebox.

Sunday (day 35)
I'm promoted to "Assistant Welder" for $12 an hour.

We play at Nightwatch -- great show. _______ gets totally wasted.

Notable songs:
Stone Free
Bad Case of Loving You
(with new guy)

The new guy Ryan is a great singer and guitar player. I'm exhausted.

week six: wiffleball and cribbage

Monday, November 2, 2009

I don't like Mondays

[just got to the TV at 8:20 after a non-stop day of logarithms, meetings, Jr's music class, veggie soup dinner & "The Hall-o-weiner." Game is joined in progress.]

8:21 - Looks like the ballgame's been pretty busy too. Burnett's such a damn wack-job!

8:23 - Joe Buck: "Teixeira just literally took a hit away from Ibanez." How else could he take it away?

8:25 - A.J. Burnett must've stepped in dog shit... someone just ran out to the mound with what looks like a gardening spade so he can scrape the shit off his shoe.

8:32 - Cliff Lee looks kinda like an indie rocker... maybe a one-off member of the Unsane or something.

8:41 - JB awkwardly mumbles something about ALS to the effect of "if you've ever experienced the disease, or know anyone who's experienced it..." I sincerely doubt that someone that actually has ALS will feel their spirits lifted by this effort, Joe.

8:52 - Damon works the walk!

8:55 - Can you imagine if Kate Hudson sat in the bleachers (I guess they have bleachers??) at Citizens Bank Park tonight? You could make an entire film just on that.

8:59 - I can't get over Utley without his hat on... total greaseball. He looks just like Gaear Grimsrud!

9:10 - That's it for Burnett. Might be it for Lee, too. What time is the replay of Mad Men tonight?

9:15 - David Robertson should just walk around with a bomb strapped to his chest...

9:18 - Hmmm... how can I make it through this game? Spider solitaire? The nine beers left over from our party on Saturday? The quarter bottle of Delsym in the med cabinet? Hang out with-- shit, she fell asleep. Maybe I'll scrub the kitchen floor. On Ambien.

9:21 - I know!! I'll add some more crap to our FreshDirect order!

9:32 - That was kind of a bust. All I added were some pineapple chunks; I was unable to order the Chipotle-lime chicken w/rice for tomorrow's delivery.

9:33 - Hilarious dugout interview with Joe Girardi: (on Burnett) "Yeah, he didn't have the command he had last game... his fastball and breaking ball weren't working..." He sucked.

9:37 - What a snooze-fest! No, really. My wife's snoring, and I can sorta hear Jr. rumbling away in his room. That Delsym's sounding mighty smart right now.

9:42 - Hmmm... what's in the fridge?

9:48 - OK, I've decided on a tab of Ambien, a shot of Jager, an old Saturday puzzle and a bag of Goldfish crackers. I'll call it The Missouri Compromise.

9:52 - Nice foul-up by JB: "In comes Alfredo Aceves, who hasn't pitched since game 2 of the ALCS on October 17th. Except, of course, when he appeared in game 3 on October 19th and was charged with the loss..."

9:54 - Youchhh! Gardner just slammed into the wall. Swisher came over and checked on him, like "You OK man? Not that we have anyone to bring in for you if you're not, but... you sure you're OK?"

9:59 - They should run a crawl at the bottom of every game with a computer-generated stream of stat-based factoids. Stuff like "no team has ever blown a 5-run lead at home in game 5 while trying to repeat as World Series champs in an odd non-leap year against a team employing a 3-man rotation containing two lefties..."

10:04 - I'm watching baseball at 10pm in goddamn November!!! What the hell has happened to this country??!!!

10:06 - Speaking of civic outrage, I'm officially boycotting tomorrow's election. This shit that Bloomberg pulled is outrageous. The guy he's running against seems even worse, so I'm refusing to vote. I ALWAYS vote (I even voted twice in a single election once... as both a male AND female!).

10:27 - Just wandered around for about 20 minutes. Did a few dishes, had a few laughs. I also ate a giant handful of candy corn out of a bowl in the foyer-- not recommended.

10:30 - God, I hope I don't stay up until 11:30 just to watch us lose by 4 runs. That's just not something I can afford to do anymore.

10:33 - So Utley's gonna hit like 20 home runs in this Series.

10:36 - Cool! Phil "Spruce Goose" Hughes is warming up.

10:37 - Once you have a 3-1 lead in a series, your best bet really is to talk as much shit as humanly possible. In the unlikely event that you actually blow the series, you'll be so utterly devastated that people thinking you're an idiot is the very least of your worries. I learned this lesson in 2004... I skulked around for a week, terrified, when I could been insulting dimwits in varying conditions of vulnerability and having a great time.

10:49 - Whoa... starting to fade a little bit here. I just woulda swore that Mark Teixeira was Ralph Macchio.

10:51 - Some more A-Rod magic! We're only down by 4!

10:54 - My battery's about to go. If you lose me unexpectedly, it could be due to many things, probably all at once. I'm going to get a popsicle.

11:04 - Wow, this Ambien/Jager combo's awesome. I'm calling it The Roadmeister.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 4

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries
[names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]

WEEK FOUR: Arrival at the Cannery

Monday (day 22)
We plan to leave around 9am--NOPE! Van won't start.
We have to get car towed to Tok, Alaska. They work on the van for a while, costs $80. We drive van back to pick up the rest of the guys and things seem fine.

We turn the car off, and it won't start up again. _______ has to get ride from crazy looking guy back to Tok, and comes back with the mechanic. He starts the car, but we need a new starter.

He puts in the new part while we go buy MUCH beer and a Penthouse. We get totally wasted on 16 oz. Hamm's and hang out at the garage. The guys at the garage give us salmon to cook. Car runs, but doesn't have much power. _____ drives it to the nearest campsite. I pass out drunk and miss the salmon dinner.

Tuesday (day 23)
I start off with a good shower. We leave the campsite.

Still no power driving up hills. ______ & _______ actually have to get out of the van right on the highway and push while we go up a steep hill.

We finally make it to Anchorage. Van is terrible! _______ gets an AmEx advance on his card and we eat at "Eatery." We literally roll the car into Firestone (right as we tried to leave the city).

We leave the van at Firestone and get a ride in the back of a pickup truck with a totally hot girl to Chilkoot Charlie's. We play pool and drink whatever beer we can afford. I get wasted and call ______.

The bar is huge and totally unreal. We see two bands playing at the same time in different parts of the club-- "Kaboom" and "Fear of Flying"... Fear of Flying performs completely insane covers of "Mr. Roboto" (with costumes), Journey, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Genesis and "Cars" by Gary Numan. Great place.

We stumble out of the place and sleep in the back of a Wonder Bread truck parked nearby. Freezing cold!!! The rest of the guys get high and sleep at a church, get busted, and walk around forever.

Wednesday (day 24)
We wake up in bread truck. Buy coffee and rolls at 7-11.

We see the rest of the guys back at Firestone. They all fell asleep in the showroom while me and _____ walked around. We got _____ and went to Denny's across the street for hours. Then we went back to Firestone to sleep some more (______ slept in the tires display).

The van was fixed by noon, but I wasn't approved for a Firestone credit card. The bill is $412! The car still doesn't have a lot of power - lots of trouble on hills.

We got to the Trans-Aqua processing plant in Kasilof today. Nice place! We apply for jobs & hang out with a bunch of people. Took a nap. We ate lots of food and drink lots of beer.

Thursday (day 25)
We get up early and drive to Soldotna for our audition at the Nightwatch. The car needs to be jumped.

We play "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "Sneakin' Sally...", "Lay Down Sally", "Roadhouse Blues", "Drivin' South" and "Firefly". _____'s bass breaks during the set. We get the gig! Half-price food and free beer.

The Nightwatch guy (Ira) gets us completely stoned. HIGH! We drive down to Homer to find more clubs. We eat raw Ramen noodles in the van. We stop at a gas station and _______ buys everyone two candy bars each.

I sleep. And sleep. ________ snores really fucking loud. Everyone sleeps.

Friday (day 26)
I wake up late. Clean out the van... it won't start again.

______ is already working here at the plant. We sit around and play pitch.

Trans-Aqua has an opening season party tonight. The party is nuts! Huge spread of food and beer. ______ gets totally wasted immediately, and so does everyone else. _______ kicks a chicken across the floor and gets yelled at.

We set up the equipment and play:

"A" Jam
Sneakin' Sally
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Dead Flowers
L.A. Woman
Roadhouse Blues
Heard It Through the Grapevine
Suzie Q
Lay Down Sally
American Woman
Voodoo Chile
Stone Free
Good Times Bad Times
Shotgun Blues
Long Train Runnin'
Brown Eyed Girl
Blues (?)
The Lemon Song

Drivin' South

We're billed as "Pro Motorcycle"... the drums completely fall apart during the set. ________ makes out with some chick at the party. Our boss hooks up too.

A guy named Marty sings "Purple Halibut" and other weird songs. He also calls _______ a "dildo" at the party.

We get crazy high and ________ sprays a fire extinguisher everywhere.

Saturday (day 27)
I missed work. ________ bikes to town (on what bike?).

It's cold and rainy today. We play pitch and get high.

Later we drive down to Homer. We eat pizza (lots of it!).

We audition at the "Land's End" club.

We played:
Gimme Three Steps
Sneakin' Sally
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Dead Flowers
Roadhouse Blues
Lay Down Sally
"A" Jam
Brown Eyed Girl

We got the gig! $300+ on Thursday nights. I slept in the van the whole way home.

Sunday (day 28)
Father's Day. I slept late! Played cribbage.

Tonight we play our first gig at the Nightwatch for $200. We eat lots of half-price food.

Stone Free
Sneakin' Sally
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Dead Flowers
Wild Night
Roadhouse Blues
Lay Down Sally
"A" Jam
Brown Eyed Girl
L.A. Woman
Heard It Through the Grapevine
Proud Mary
Fortunate Son
Bad Moon Rising
Funk You
Shotgun Blues
Pale Blue Eyes
Needle and the Damage Done
Can't Help Falling in Love
Drivin' South
Honky Tonk Women
Further On Up the Road
Long Train Runnin'
Bad Case of Loving You
I Wish
American Woman

WASTED! Me, ________, and _______ get kicked out of the club. "Isis" is kinda hot.

We all rolled around in the back of the van on the way home (dangerous!). _______ pukes back at the cannery, and _______ falls over.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yankees 4, Angels 3

I had my doubts about this game even being played at all. I mean, I knew they'd eventually play the game, but probably not Saturday. The fact that they were so wrong about the weather for Friday made me worry even more-- perhaps the rain was just "saving up" for a Saturday typhoon.

Well, the weather pretty much held up. I was absolutely exhausted by mid-afternoon, after getting up at the crack of dawn with Jr. with a head-splitter and a bottle of expired Advil. I got him down for a nap somehow at around 1:30, and worked for a few hours. The kid woke up at around 4, literally "screaming for vengeance." He had one of those night terror wake-ups where he's absolutely inconsolable for 15 minutes or so, which is a lot like me when FreshDirect delivers a broken six-pack of beer. The kid was completely calmed down by the time the sitter arrived.

Mz and I made the bus in decent time, and descended into the bowels of 125th St with what seemed like ample time to make pre-game ceremonies. Few stations in the system deserve to be described using the word "bowels" more than the 125th A/B/C/D station. I'll just leave it at that.

Bowels or no bowels, the platform was totally packed. Like, "something's wrong" packed. We didn't even bother trying to board this train, which Mz accurately ranked a "5" on the five-point crowd scale. We got on the next one pretty easily, and Mz even got offered a seat by a nice young girl. The girl's mom (sister? aunt?) immediately retracted the offer, barking, "No, she was sitting there!" Our simultaneous two-headed reply was:

MZ - "she offered me the seat..."
LEE - "my wife's six months pregnant!"

Mz got the seat and we made it in just in time to see Tino toss the first pitch. I really liked our seats, even though we were in extreme right field. The Terrace seats at the new Stadium are kinda awesome, no matter where they are.

Too bad I was sitting next to an enormous woman (wedged in would be more accurate). She was like a beanbag chair stuffed into a small garbage can, but with big arms sticking out the sides. She seemed nice enough, but the angle I was forced to sit at crimped my sciatic nerve to the point of agony. The woman also ate at least two sausages, which I easily could have taken bites of without her noticing.

It was very cold. I talked the beer lady into letting me keep the cap of my plastic beer, with hopes of being able to carry the beer around in my pocket. Our seats were right in line with the supposed "jetstream" to right field, so wind was certainly a factor. We ended up seeking shelter in the Yankees Museum, as did other wussies. I saw one funny guy standing outside the Museum slurping two 20 oz. beers while his kid stood inside trying to get warm.

I guess we saw a few funny things. Some lunatic was walking around in a green spandex bodysuit, totally straight-faced. Mz said she thought she saw him getting kicked out; I figured he probably had to take a piss and got caught half-naked in the restroom.

Also caught a hilarious "incident" brewing near our seats. Some totally drunk girl had apparently been asked to leave the game (kicked out), and was screaming "I didn't do nothing! I didn't do nothing!" A few minutes later it escalated into an APB situation with about a dozen security guards involved. The legendary "Angel of Death" was among the first responders, and seemed to be an escalating force in the developing chaos. In fact, she herself had to be physically restrained and removed from the fracas.

We wanted to stay for this little show, but the cold was becoming too much to bear. Funny how being really cold is a lot like being really drunk-- we kept getting split up, buying weird foods, wandering around... finally we just had to leave. We made it through the bottom of the ninth, and just couldn't do it any longer. I imagined all the things I might miss: more heroics from A-Rod? (yep) Bullpen jitters all around? (totally) Ronan Tynan storming the field, hobbling around and screaming about "the damned conspiracy"? (not that I know of)

We figured we could still catch the bottom of the tenth in a cab home from 125th, and possibly even catch some at home if we're lucky. The D took for-fucking-ever, so we were a bit behind our plans. We just missed the Angels scoring in the top of the 11th, but made it home in time to see A-Rod's dong right in our own living room. Things got kinda sloppy from there, but obviously turned out alright.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 3

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries
[names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]

WEEK THREE: The Watson Lake junkyard

Monday (day 15)
Cost estimated at $1800 to $2000 to fix van. Will take 3-4 days.
We go to library, take nap, play more pitch.
________ calls - they're coming back to get us (?).
We eat kidney beans with honey & mustard.

Tuesday (day 16)
More Watson Lake...

Wake up late. Steal 5-Alive from gas station.
We finally play bridge. Visited the "signs" park down the road by people on Al-Can.
We eat split pea & ham soup and play more bridge. Raining! Tent gets wet.
_________ steals tobacco from gas station.
We have to get the hell out of here...

Wednesday (day 17)
More Watson Lake...

Wake up earlier today. We haven't showered in a while.

________ and I jump in the filthy muddy lake. Bugs everywhere.

________ and _______ call. Plan is to meet them in Whitehorse.

I tried to steal fries from someone's plate at the diner. We played a lot of bridge. Stole license plates.

Thursday (day 18)
We may leave today!!! The drive shaft needs to be fixed too.

We didn't leave today. More bridge in tent.

I called _______ and my Mom at home. I got a 3.4 for the semester!

We're leaving tomorrow!!! We eat mac & cheese. Our fifth night in the junkyard.

Friday (day 19)
We are leaving soon.
We took down the tent and cleaned up the area this morning.

After many hassles (flames coming from exhaust pipe, lady tells us story about car exploding, other problems...) we finally left Watson Lake.

After a couple of hours, the drive shaft falls off going 60 on the Al-Can.

We end up in Swift River, and meet some really nice guys. We need a U-joint for the van, which is being shipped in from Whitehorse. We set up our tent in front of the gas station.

Saturday (day 20)
4:00 - our part should come in.

The wrong part comes in... but we still make it back on the road!

We're now in Whitehorse with _______, _________, and _________.
_________ just got his haircut.
I feel much better.

Sunday (day 21)
We have to jump the van twice before we leave Whitehorse.
No hassles at the border.

We camp only 300 miles from Anchorage. Eagle Lake/River?

I drank a bottle of Robitussin that was in the van. NUTS! Listened to AC/DC on headphones and played bridge in the tent. "The Larvas!"

week four: arrival at the cannery

Friday, October 9, 2009

American Top 40s

A good friend of ours is coming up to NY to celebrate her 40th birthday with us in a couple of weeks. When my wife asked me what I thought we should do, I immediately answered, "Let's drink a bunch of 40s!" Has there ever been a more obvious answer to a question?

Seemed like a good time to throw together a quick top ten list:


1. Colt 45
G. Heileman, 5.9% alc.
The undisputed king of the parking lot. I lost a bet once (Monday Night Football, I believe) and had to drink two 64 oz. Colts in 20 minutes. I ended sprinting and shrieking across my college campus (not streaking, but it was actually "the Quad") in the middle of the night. I was supposedly studying for a French final exam and was cold busted by my girlfriend at the time, who actually heard me from inside her dorm room at least 200 yards away.

2. Midnight Dragon ("Special Reserve")
G. Heileman, unknown alc.%
One of the great mysteries of the malt liquor pantheon. The label contains a Latin inscription, which a friend translated as "To sip and tip is hip..." We once put out an ivy fire with about a dozen Dragons.

3. Olde English "800"
Miller, 5.9% alc.
Immortalized by Eazy-E and countless others. Probably the coolest beverage on Earth.

4. Crazy Horse
City Brewing, 5.9% alc.
The bottle alone inspires sheer terror. Jager-esque myths surround this brew, as well as P.C. watchdogs pissed off about the hatchets and scalps that used to adorn the label. I was whooping it up with a few of these one night, blind drunk-- one of my roommates just shook his head and muttered, "Strychnine... he's drinking fucking strychnine..."

5. St. Ides
Pabst, 8.0% alc. (high gravity)
As Guru once said, "This shit'll blow your mind, son." I dismissed St. Ides drinkers as wannabes back in the day, for reasons unknown then and now.

6. Country Club
G. Heileman, 5.7% alc.
My vote for "worst malt liquor of all time." I drank one on Houston St. one time and puked all over the curb. I guess it's a classic, but Jesus!

7. Laser
Falstaff, 5.9% alc.
I only ever bought these as a joke-- kinda like buying a really raunchy mag along with your tank of gas. Great label.

8. Magnum
Miller, 5.9% alc.
(see Laser, but without the great label)

9. King Cobra
Annheuser-Busch, 5.9% alc.
Bud's foray into the netherworlds... getting pulled over with one of these in your lap just might land you in the slammer.

10. Colt Ice, Cool Colt
G. Heileman, 7.5 % alc., unknown
Twin abominations.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yankees 3, Red Sox 0

Can't remember the last time I walked into a Yanks-Sox game with this much swagger. Stagger, maybe, but not so much swagger. It's good to be the fucking king.

Had a particularly tiring morning at home, and then headed up to the Stadium super-early with Chuck S. My old buddy from LI was working the scoreboard for the evening and invited us up for a quick tour. Pretty insane control room-- or as they say in the biz, totally fused up.

So we got a 10-minute crash course in digital sports production, which left us a bit dazed. I was only able to muster up one lame joke about VHS porn tapes, which wasn't even acknowledged. We were spit out into the 200-level hallway at 2:30 with 90 minutes to kill before game time.

Seemed like a perfect chance to check out Tommy Bahama's, the Stadium's full cocktail bar. I can't recommend this move highly enough for all you fans out there. An $11 T & T is a splendid way to kick off a ballgame. We felt classy, refreshed, and even a little tipsy. I advise getting out before further rounds of drinks.

Justice Sotomayor threw a marginal but acceptable first pitch, and we were underway. Chuck and I beefed up our usual "dollar game" by picking two Yanks apiece and two Sox for each other. I got stuck with Ellsbury and Baldelli, along with my own picks of Teixeira & Matsui. Not a great money day for Lee, but I did benefit from a bizarre A-Rod double-play.

CC dominated to the point of numbness. We spent most of the game discussing absurd music lists like "bands that had two different eras of success with two completely different lead singers" and "drummers that subsequently fronted new bands and played an instrument that wasn't the drums." This was obviously a complete blast.

At one point my buddy in the booth had me and Chuck on the giant scoreboard camera for something like 10 seconds, which we were completely oblivious to. The non-existent audio track was "OK, I can see Genesis but Gabriel and Phil were actually in the band at the same time, so it really doesn't compare to AC/DC or Van Halen. There has to be some criteria separating the different eras, or else we're looking at a lot of gray area..."

Not much else to report, although I did find the "HUUUUUUUUUUUGHES!!!" chants absolutely ridiculous. I get "MOOOOOOOSE!!!" and even "YOOOOOOOOOK!!!" but this just sounds stupid.

The humiliation of Billy Wagner was quite enjoyable. I suffered through a terrible game at Shea a few years ago where "Sandman II" out-closed "Sandman" in brutal fashion. Wouldn't it be fun if like six different closers in the majors came out to "Enter Sandman"? I'd still like to see Mariano experiment with Slayer's "Angel of Death" a few times, just to shake things up a bit.

Almost tempted to throw back a few at the Dugout afterwards, but we thought better and headed right home for more music lists ("bands that are named after a member who isn't the lead singer") and other silly stuff. I was barely conscious for today's 1:00 sports bonanza, which the City of New York swept in majestic fashion. It's good to be the fucking king.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 2 (part II)

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries
[names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]

WEEK TWO (part II)

Friday (day 12)
Shower! We eat at J.J.'s. We're playing tonight again.

Things are still really weird here. They make us learn tunes from cassette by Trooper and the Kentucky Headhunters, like "Girl Don't Know," "Working Like a Dog" and "Dumas Walker." Dumas has hilarious lines like "We'll get a slawburger, fries, and a bottle of 'ski," and "he takes his orders down one at a time; he don't need a pen, he's got a photogenic mind." I sang "Girl Don't Know."

Hey Joe
Sneakin' Sally (country style)
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Gimme Three Steps
"Lonesome" Blues
Honky Tonk Women
Brown Sugar
Dead Flowers
L.A. Woman
Roadhouse Blues
Break On Through
Little Wing
Higher Ground (remix)
Further On Up the Road
Dumas Walker
Girl Don't Know
Proud Mary
Bad Moon Rising
Heard It Thru the Grapevine
Suzie Q
Fortunate Son
Lay Down Sally
Sunshine of Your Love
Bad Case of Loving You
There She Goes Again
American Woman

_________ almost gets in a fight with a guy who claimed to be a Cree Indian. Some other crazy guy named "The Chief." We scored hash and smoked it out of a beer can. __________ got nickname "Death Row." [I have no idea what that was about]

The club refuses to pay us our $200 because of our huge bar tab. We settle for $100 and take off.

Saturday (day 13)
We all woke up late. Another shower. _________ drives and gets a ticket for going 102 in an 80. We stay at Iron Creek & smoke lots of hash.

Sunday (day 14)
SHIT HAPPENS! Van breaks down on road while listening to Marquee Moon. The transmission and engine are completely blown. Sounded like death.

We hitch a little bit down the highway, and get van towed to Watson Lake. ______ & _________ take off for Skagway in a mobile home for Skagway, leaving the four of us stranded in Yukon. We smoke hash, have rock-throwing contests and play pitch (card game).

We live in a fucking junkyard.

We make a pasta dinner.

week three: surviving on porn & beans in a tent

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 2 (part I)

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries
[names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]

WEEK TWO (part I)

Monday (day 8)
We left the Tetons today. It smells awful in the van.

Made our stop for the night in Polson, Montana. The place is called the Rocking C Ranch.

_______ is elected to talk the campsite into letting us play music at their bar for the night. He tells the guy the name of our band is "The Tommyknockers" or maybe "Tommy Knockers." We're warned "none of that acid rock shit" by the bartender.

Sneakin' Sally / Opening Jam
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Little Wing
Hey Joe
Suzie Q
Lay Down Sally (sung as "Lay Down ______")
Can't Help Falling in Love
Firefly (acoustic)
Gimme Three Steps
Red House
Drivin' South

We ate a whole giant jar of beef jerky at the bar. _______ gags and almost throws up outside. My earring rips out of my ear while wrestling out in the grass. We took real showers.

Tuesday (day 9)
We enter Canada. It sucks! We're hassled big time at Customs. _____'s pipe gets taken by officers, and ______ is questioned for half hour about a DWI on his record.

We stay at the WASA Provinical Park in British Columbia, which sucks. It rains the whole time. Me and ______ walk over to bar and buy fries and onion rings. We buy a "case" of beer, which is only 12 beers in Canada and still costs $20. We're bummin'.

Wednesday (day 10)
Woke up soaking fucking wet. Exchange money, and check out Banff Park.

"2 for 1" pizza deal in Prince George totally sucks. Prince George is weird-- we met a guy who's headed up to Alaska too, who tells us we'll never make it across Alaska Highway in our van with our tires.

We camp at Hart Highway park and sleep in the van.

Thursday (day 11)
Shower. Shitty gravel road. I saw a black bear. We find out the Al-Can is flooded out and closed.

We pull into Dawson Creek to get more info on the Highway. There's a huge parade in Dawson Creek-- it's "Mile '0' Day." We finally get in touch with ______, who we're picking up in Skagway. He has $10.

We're stuck in town for the night, so we look for a gig. The first place we ask lets us play! This time ________ does the talking.

The place is called the Trucker's Saloon. Rocky is running the place. Here's our deal: we're booked for two nights, we get three hotel rooms with showers, and free Molson on tap for both nights. We're also paid $200. INCREDIBLE!

We just fucking set up and play. It's a cowboy-type place.

SET LIST (not in order):
Jam (x2)
Hey Joe
Sneakin' Sally
Shotgun Blues
Highway Chile
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Suzie Q (x2)
Lay Down Sally
The Ocean
Gimme Three Steps
Fortunate Son (x2)
Honky Tonk Women
Brown Sugar
L.A. Woman
Roadhouse Blues
Break on Through
Little Wing
Stone Free
Higher Ground (remix)
Funk You
Tush / Further On Up the Road
Sunshine of Your Love
"A" Jam w/guy on harmonica
Red House
Long Train Runnin'

Lots of characters at bar: Lonnie from Detroit, "Judy" dancing drunk with ______, and ________ is completely shitfaced. Judy keeps yelling "Go for broke, you brats!" Some guy is selling ice (the drug)-- we try to avoid. The drums are completely falling apart. Rocky's girlfriend is HOT. Everybody is drunk.

Things are really weird- Dawson Creek is a fucked-up place.

week two, part II: the gig continues!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A-Rod "Man of the Year" Caption Contest!

Imagine my delight when I re-stumbled upon this fantastic photo of A-Rod taken by the Mz!

In honor of A-Rod's nomination for the Marvin Miller "Man of the Year" contest, let's have a little contest of our own! Comment your funniest caption for the photo below, and I'll choose a winner to be proudly displayed at the top of my blog for the rest of the season. Hell, maybe for the rest of eternity!

Captions are due by Sunday, September 20th. I reserve the right to choose my own idea if I deem it funnier than anyone else's.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Alaska Diaries, week 1

Six of my friends and I got in a van one morning and drove 4500 miles from Poughkeepsie to Kasilof, Alaska. Most of our friends are sick to fucking death of hearing about it, and most of us that went on the trip don't even talk about it much. In one of my brighter moves, I kept a detailed journal of our epic adventure.

Last week I decided to dig out the diary and pimp it out as a series of entries for Lee's Steez. I read about three pages and threw the idea out the window. Something about today made me think about it again, so here goes nothing...

Pukers Die!!! The Alaska Diaries
[names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent]


Monday (day 1)
(Harrison Lake campgrounds)

Tuesday (day 2)
Second day of trip.
This book was stolen today. It's getting very hot and _____'s feet smell awful. Last night we played hacky-sack. We went through Chicago today. Visited Field of Dreams.
Stayed at Beed's Lake camping grounds, complete with man-made waterfall.


Wednesday (day 3)
Bought fireworks.
BADLANDS- S. Dakota... INCREDIBLE! Me & _____ got pretty fucking lost; scared. ______ finds his fossil teeth. We play guitar and sing. Good rock climbing. Stayed in Custer State Park (?).
I miss ________ & _______.
Great shower. I SMELL!

Thursday (day 4)
Found more rocks. Climbed in Keyhole State Park.

Friday (day 5)
Continental Divide. SNOW! Mostly just driving.
1st day in Tetons. Got shitfaced on Jim Beam.

Saturday (day 6)
Climbed mountain in Tetons- probably not allowed to just walk up there. Jumped in freezing cold fucking lake in park.
Drove in to town-- listened to Tonight's the Night. Drank lots of Schmidt beer. _________ pierced my ear with a stud and a potato. Drank tons of Rainier beer. _________ walked across campfire in bare feet.

Sunday (day 7)
11-mile hike. Drank more Rainier and Busch beer.

next week: our first gig!

Meal Music

After a summer that can only be described as inconsistent, Jr.'s eating habits seem to be returning back to normal. Choosing the right breakfast/lunch/dinner soundtrack is important-- the music must be calming for both child and parent. Here's our top five:
1. Stone Flower - Antonio Carlos Jobim
2. Bright Size Life - Pat Metheny Group
3. Wave - Antonio Carlos Jobim
4. Greatest Hits, Etc. - Paul Simon
5. The Mollusk (tracks 1, 2, 7, 10, 13) - Ween

Careful when branching out, even within genres... Weather Report's Black Market was working splendidly until I jumped out of my seat during "Gibraltar," sending a bowl of mac'n cheese flying across the room. Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman was even worse-- the boy chewed a one-inch square off the corner of his bib.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yankees 10, White Sox 0

For at least the third time this season, I wasn't all that jazzed about hiking up for today's game. My original plan was to bring the boy for Calculator Day, but he's been kinda croupy (croupie?) lately. Plus, I just bought him a flip-style calculator at Staples the other day.
I was still home twiddling my thumbs at around 12:30, occasionally clicking weather forecasts and nursing a Diet Mountain Dew. Finally I said "Fuck it," and headed up to the Stadium (as opposed to saying "Fuck it," and staying home).

My only ideas for dealing with the boredom/agony of a Sergio Mitre start and potential rain delay were (1) taking two Ambiens and working on the Saturday puzzle, or (2) keeping a running account of things and working on the Saturday puzzle. [I'm only now realizing that choice (3), namely both (1) and (2) at the same time, would have been by far the best idea.]

Here's option (2), at least for a few innings:

1:20 - The usual lady at my beer booth greeted me this time with, "Another Guinness?" even though I just walked into the Stadium.

1:23 - I'm nurturing a tiny little "Hey, who knows what might happen up here today?!" feeling in my gut, even though I ended up taking two Advils instead of sleeping pills. Teixeira and A-Rod strike out to end the inning.

1:32 - I love this kind of weather for baseball: cool and misty, like Niagara Falls. Reminds me of so many blissfully drunk baseball games with my wife, even though I don't think we had such a great time when we went to Niagara Falls.

1:35 - Just noticed that the team pennants (in order of standings) are completely different than they used to be at the old Stadium. Now they're arranged semi-cirularly around the top along the home plate side (I think they used to be along the very top of the bleacher wall). They may have also added some new flags-- The first four I see are (1) the United States flag, (2) a black P.O.W. flag, (3) a purple flag of some kind, perhaps an Excelsior state flag, and (4) the Italian national flag. I'm not sure about (4); I'll look into it at some point.

1:37 - Again, the rainy weather's totally reminding me of the Mz... I hope that's not weird.

1:40 - I'm sitting next to a guy (Yankee hat) with his girlfriend (Red Sox hat)-- he's got that embarassed-but-hey-we're-both-just-really-big-baseball-fans look on his face. Not to be confused with the why-the-hell-did-I-ever-agree-to-any-of-this look.

1:41 - Cano gets a well-deserved round of applause before his first at bat of the game.

1:44 - I've always been fascinated by White Sox fans, mainly because I'd never in my life met an actual White Sox fan until a few years ago (a little before their championship). Kinda like being fascinated by Pygmies or hammerhead sharks, I guess.

1:46 - I may have been wrong about the Red Sox girlfriend-- she's been fiddling around with what appear to be brand new (and uncomfortable) sandals for the entire game. Now she's eating an ice cream sundae out of a little plastic Yankee hat. Bandwagon fan!!! Assholes!!!

1:47 - Jose Contreras is getting whacked around a bit here in the 2nd inning. Having this guy pitch for your team is like having a light fixture in your house that only works 15% of the time (which we happen to have in the back of our apartment).

1:50 - Here comes the second Red Sox hat of the afternoon, this time on the head of a small child. Children under the age of six, the elderly, and the severly disabled are the only Boston fans I excuse from harassment. I once spit on the back of a female college student wearing a Sox hat on Broadway. Gimme a break, it was the morning after game 7 of the 2004 ALCS...

1:55 - Hilarious... Alex Rios hails from "Coffee, AL" according to the Yankee scoreboard, as in
"Coffee, Al?"
"Sure, Flo."

1:58 - A guy sitting next to me (not the Sox girl's boyfriend) just asked me who I'm reporting for-- I guess I've been scribbling on scraps of paper. What I should have said was, "I write for I'm cataloguing the underage titties in the Stadium today." What I actually said was, "I write for a sports blog."

2:03 - Robinson Cano... he's so hot right now.

2:05 - The guys next to me asked if I'm "writing in shorthand." Nobody can read my note-taking handwriting, occasionally including myself.
2:10 - I came to the rather embarassing realization yesterday morning that EVERY pair of white socks I own contains at least one major hole. This is like finding out that your entire CD collection is scratched; first sorrow, then suspicion. How could this possibly happen?

2:12 - Can we now safely say that Mitre is pitching brilliantly? Maybe I'll loudly exclaim, "Mitre is pitching brilliantly," to no one in particular.

2:13 - No reaction at all from anyone.

2:16 - Absolutely no doubt in my mind that Jeter's astounding season is a direct result of the anti-Jeter sentiments expressed by Bill Simmons near the beginning of this season.

2:20 - Man, that was funny-- might be tough to explain. The guy sitting right behind me (not from NY) just responded to a vendor's cry of "Peanuts!!!?" with a query of his own, "Are the peanuts salted?!" The vendor let out a sideways "Nah," and winged a sack of nuts at the guys from about 10 rows down. The bag was way short and splashed into a puddle of water/beer/soda two rows in front of the customer. The transaction came to an awkward halt, until the guy crawled down and retrieved the nuts. He then paid for his unsalted snack.

2:30 - I just saw a "Different House, Same Result" t-shirt... isn't it a bit too soon for that one?

2:32 - Well, there goes Mitre's no-hitter. I'm going to take a piss.

I left pretty much right after this. Yes, I'll forever be known as the guy that left early during the Mitre-Gaudin one-hitter. I think I can live with that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"In play, run(s)"

As many of you already know, the Mz & I have been without cable for (almost exactly!) a year now. Our decision to "snip the wire" sprang from several events last summer:

1) It became apparent that the Noggin channel provided Jr. with pacification and stimulation far superior to anything we could possibly provide. I was also showing signs of addiction to the program Oswald.

2) We had brunch with some friends who cancelled their cable years ago. They seemed perfectly happy and normal.

3) There was no way the Yankees were making the playoffs.

So we did the unthinkable. TV was officially and irrevocably out of our lives. It took me about 7 minutes to completely catalog the channels we still got from Time Warner (not bad, actually: the basics plus TNT (long gone), TBS (lost it about two weeks ago), CSPAN2 (?!), and other odds & ends).

So how does one get by when one roots for the best team in Major League Baseball and can't watch the fucking games? Of course I see the games I actually attend, plus the channel 9 games and the dreaded Fox games, but that don't add up to much. How exactly does one get by?

Like a castaway developing a taste for raw starfish, I actually enjoy the MLB Gameday service. Pretty much all the major sports have something like this going on, but this one really might be the best. It certainly beats the hell out of ESPN's awful MLB Gamecast, which is about as exciting as watching a ballgame out the window of an airplane.

Here's an example of how Gameday expertly builds suspense for the viewer: note the "In play, run(s)" in Jeter's result column. We don't really know what happened now, do we?! I mean, we know Jeter knocked in at least one run, obviously (I sure hope so-- bases loaded, no outs), but was it a single? Grand slam? Double play? Those 5 or 6 seconds of anticipation are indescribable-- you know something good has happened, and the only question is just how good is it? Quite different from the 5 or 6 seconds of anticipation you get when you're tuned in to WCBS 880 and Sterling's not sure if the ball's out of the park, foul, or caught.

Here's another one. "In play, no out" is good, but no run(s) were scored or else it would've said "In play, run(s)"... get it? If symbolic logic wasn't your strong suit in college, you should probably just stick with Michael Kay.

Gameday also allows you to control the perspective of the "camera" on the "batter." The first shot here gives you the best possible view of Derek Jeter's ass available to the general public.
I prefer this next one, which I developed one stoney night at the computer. Here, our sight line originates about fifty feet underground somewhere out past second base. The brown disc-outline is actually the pitcher's mound, as seen from beneath. In this particular case, I saw the mound as a giant spaceship visiting Yankee Stadium with the sole purpose of abducting Nick Swisher before he could strike out or hit into a double play.

Check out the graphic display of tension here for Hairston's epic 12-pitch at bat and eventual walk. I'll take this over the idiotic "pitch-by-pitch" garbage they peddle on TV any day of the week (except Saturdays, when I usually get to watch the game on TV).
Plus you get the awesome spattering of red strikes & green balls. My main complaint here is that you don't get a special graphic when the batter is drilled by a pitch... some kind of splotch or throbbing circle would be great. Might be enough to make me want to watch Joba Chamberlain pitch on MLB Gameday!

Gameday isn't without its quirks and annoyances. Circled in blue down below is a shiny, juicy button that no human could possibly resist pushing, especially when it promises to deliver digital footage of Mark Teixeira driving home two runs. All you get is a prompt asking you to sign up (and pay) for Gameday Premium service.

Under that, circled in red, is an "Injury Delay" update message. Who got injured? What happened?! Usually we never know.

Underlined in green is a perfectly clear, unambigous and unsurprising piece of news.
Sometimes Gameday does weird shit, like this message "Pitcher Change: Jason Jennings replaces Jason Jennings." If I had a dime for every time I wanted to replace a pitcher with a better version of himself!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Win Some, Lose Some

Another one of those fun-filled blog diaries of Fox's Saturday afternoon coverage. I don't think I'll last too long here, as Jr. should be waking up somewhere around the 4th inning.

4:10 - Well, Junichi "Lunchmeat" Tazawa is off to a somewhat shaky start. Fox's Sprint Pitcher Profile didn't have much info except "must have pinpoint accuracy" or something like that.
4:17 - Tim McCarver just made the first of what will surely be many dumb Japan jokes.
4:22 - They're talking about Burnett's rocky relationship with Jorge... have any of our good pitchers actually gotten along with Jorge?
4:24 - Well, A. J. Burnett's off to a somewhat shaky start. I'm guessing 15+ total runs today.
4:27 - PLEEEEEAAAAASSSSE nail Ortiz in the fucking neck... or at least the ribs. Don't ask questions, just do it!
4:29 - Ortiz slaps a double into left. See?? Just do it!
4:31 - I was really hoping Jeter would show up in a Manny-style wig for his first at-bat today. Jim Rice is such a fucking idiot.
4:36 - I read somebody talking about Pedroia and Youkilis being real "throwback" players. Evolutionary throwbacks, perhaps? A small tidepool was struck by lightning, filling the prehistoric cave with ion-charged ozone...
4:40 - Figures-- the one time Jorge actually goes 1st to 3rd, Cano lollygags his way on and off the basepaths.
4:42 - Eric Hinske's kind of a neanderthal version of the King of Queens guy, if that's possible.
4:48 - I'm reading The Bad Guys Won! by Jeff Pearlman (great material, lousy writing)... the PE consumption of the '04 Sox was probably a miniscule fraction of the booze, coke, speed and nicotine swallowed up by the '86 Mets.
4:55 - Carl Crawford better steal a few tonight.
4:56 - McCarver just shared some dumb anecdote about Pedroia having the "look of a winner." How about the look of a scumbag?
4:57 - Man, Burnett's tough to watch when he stinks like this. Can we please win one of these stupid fucking Fox games?
5:00 - Jorge's "conference" with Burnett really seemed to work... Youkilis just ripped one ovah the Monstah.
5:01 - Wow, that makes eighteen runs allowed by Burnett at Fenway this season.
5:10 - Shit, Jr.'s up.

The boy made it pretty darn clear that he didn't want to watch this crappy game, and I agreed. We watched Peppa Pig and did some word processing instead. This was one of Jr.'s more inspired works; reverent yet open to sudden bursts of inspiration:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"The wheels on the bus go... BLEECCCCHHH!!!"

Our trip down South in July pretty much obliterated any talk of further vacations this summer. Not that it wasn't fun (it was!), but it was just, um... exhausting.

One would think that a jaunt out to Long Island to see the folks would be peanuts compared to our Memphis trip, right? Hardly a "vacation" and barely even a "trip."

Let's analyze this one the way they do with other disasters, like Three Mile Island or Chernobyl:

1) I didn't pack flip-flops or sunscreen. In fact, I didn't even pack socks or an extra t-shirt. You could say that I didn't bother to pack at all.
2) I forgot it was Wednesday, which means there are no alternate side parking restrictions on our block. This is bad, because I timed the trip to take advantage of late morning spots right before street cleaning.
3) The Mz. took the boy up to Starbucks right before we left, causing him to become sweaty and irritable, or "hot and bothered."
4) The ZipCar we rented was littered with old snacks.
5) Totally unconfirmed, but it's possible that I fed Jr. expired yogurt that morning. I don't think so, but it's possible.
6) Since I was double parked, the Mz. & boy had to watch the car (they really fucking ticket on our block) while I sherpa'ed our gear out.
7) I hadn't even touched the new car seat since Memphis, so it still fit the boy as poorly as it did then; probably worse.
8) It was about 145 degrees outside.
9) I put the seat in behind the passenger side, instead of the driver side. This meant that Jr. caught the sun right in the face the entire trip.

OK, not exactly a perfect storm, but I'm just trying to understand what exactly happened here. Nothing out of the ordinary to start with... we wrestled and stuffed Jr. into the car seat and drove away. He didn't seem real happy, but who could blame the kid? He basically bitched and moaned from Harlem to the Northern State.

Musta been around exit 38 when Jr. started puking his fucking guts out. This kid hasn't really puked since his onesie days, so it was a bit startling. As we all know, babies "spit up," which is absolutely no big deal at all and not much different than dabbing up spilled salad dressing at the steak house. I am in no way averse to cleaning up my son's spit-up.

This was a completely different thing-- "big boy throw-up" you might call it. I call it "your asshole friend from college blew chunks all over my fucking back seat." I almost thought I could smell buffalo wings and Bacardi, but that's obviously impossible. The shit was everywhere, and it smelled like death itself.

Of course the kid's bawling his eyes out, and Mz. is scrambling for anything absorbent. I was busy making mistake #10:
10) I got off the Parkway and made a beeline for a stretch of road with unspeakable traffic and nowhere to turn off whatsoever (Jericho Tpk next to the Oyster Bay Golf Course).

After sitting in dead-stop traffic for the temporal equivalent of seventeen panic attacks, we balied out and turned off into a very rich and very private little cul-de-sac. We set up a mini-camp on somebody's exquisite side-lawn and stripped the boy down. I was on "brain detail," sopping up puke particles off the car seat and elsewhere. When the dust settled we had a reasonably clean kid, a backseat that stunk to Gehenna itself, and a huge pile of baby wipes on somebody's perfect lawn. I snuck around the side and dumped it in what was seriously the cleanest, nicest garbage can I've ever seen.

The car seat was unusable at this point, so Mz. held the kid in her lap as I slalomed down Jericho and tried to remember all (or any) of the good shortcuts we used to take when we drove drunk in high school. I stuck with the one easy one and got us home in reasonable time. We pulled in to my folks' place late for lunch and smelling like puke (also like high school). Our Pulp Fiction tribute continued as we hosed off and made wisecracks for a while.

The rest of our visit (which was really the visit, since all the sicko shit happened before we even got there) was pretty uneventful, highlighted by tasty porkchops and a late-night snoozer of a Yankee game. The boy walked right into the side of our car door (perpendicularly), putting a dent right down the middle of his face. He also pitched a fairly violent fit when we tried to drive him over to Sunken Meadow park this morning, which I completely understood. Continuing with the "drunk college friend" analogy, putting that kid back in his pukey car seat would be like making the fictional puker a Tabasco & 151 omelet for breakfast the next morning. We were lucky to get him home at all today, especially when you throw in a mandatory Ikea stop mid-voyage.

I'm supposed to take Jr. to next weekend's game for Calculator Day, although I'm having second thoughts. Maybe September's Soup Bowl Night will be a better fit.