Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ripping Off the Band-Aid

Okay, so we're going to try the whole Wordpress thing.

kabsy77.wordpress.com

This blog will remain, but new posts will go at the new place. Ya dig?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Private! Keep Out!

So for about two seconds today, I set my blog to private. I was going to invite all of you longtime readers and my friends and family and close it off to others, but, alas, blogger will only let you see a private blog if you have a gmail account. And I didn't think that was cool.

But I'd like to ask some of you smarter people out there if there's a way to password protect Blogspot blogs by post. I know you can do this on Wordpress, but I'm not too keen on its templates and whatnot, and the idea of vacating this address after seven years is daunting, considering some of you have actually been reading it here for seven years and know to come here.

However, it is something I'm considering (and I'm using the whole "I could be a published YA author someday and don't want parents of minors coming after me for dropping the F bomb" as an excuse). Suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

When I Wish Mystery Science Theater 3000 Was Still On

Well, New York City has been destroyed by virtually every natural disaster God can dish out - in the movies - and I think the only thing missing was a tornado terrorizing the ol' Big Apple. UNTIL NOW.

Dudes, I have hit the mother lode and found the baddest of bad movies. I give you: NYC: Tornado Terror.

What did I learn from this magnificent Sci Fi production?

-- Random tiny tornados can lick the isle of Manhattan, and then form several killer tornados, and no one will even think to leave the area. No, they'll still hang out outside, having brunch and walking dogs in the "West Village" and "Central Park."

-- The main female character (named Cassie, of course. I've come to the conclusion that every lazyily named woman in a movie is either a Cassie or Kate), calls 911 to report - wait for it - people getting frozen to death inside a tornado "outside the 59th Street subway station." Because there's, like, only one of those and the rescue squad will know EXACTLY where to go when you tell them that.

-- You CAN blow up the weather. All it takes is some dry ice and a crazy scientist based out of the super-secret....

-- ...Garden State Spaceport (I laughed. out. loud.), which, judging by the views, is somewhere in the vicinity of my apartment.

-- St. Elmo's Fire is just one of the hazards of a tornadic activity. When it starts licking the Empire State Building? You DIE. Let me repeat:



+



=




-- "NASA doesn't own the atmosphere." You guys, I was so glad to learn that.

-- Stray lightning bolts can sneak into NYC buildings, hover around menacingly, kill someone, and come back to life to kill some more.

-- When you are trapped under the arm of the Statue of Liberty (don't ask) and someone is rescuing you, and there's a sign above your head, the word "center" on that sign will be spelled "centre." Because you know Canadians New Yorkers just love to bust out the British spellings of things when they can.

-- If you are the mayor (the lone American in the cast -- because you know an Ohio native is going to do the NYC accent better than a Canuck) and you don't listen to the underdog but do listen to the NASA "government" guy, you will DIE.

-- The tornados "moving east to Brooklyn" and moving off Manhattan is cheer-worthy. Because apparently no one cares if hipsters and Russian mobsters and Italian grandmas die or anything.

And now I'm bummed because my DVR failed me and I missed the first half hour. It doesn't appear to be on Netflix or Amazon (gee, I wonder why?) and Sci Fi isn't repeating it anytime soon. This means this quality film is going to have to wait to be shown at a Bad Movie Night, which is a major bummer, because I didn't even highlight the funniest parts -- seriously.

Come back to me, NYC: Tornado Terror. Come back to me.

Shop Wrong at the Shop Rite

So, earlier this evening I was waiting in a very long express lane at the local hugeantic supermarket that seems to attract every single one of Jersey City's citizens whenever I am there. Since the little supermarket across the street doesn't have things like beef marrow bones and acini pepe pasta, I had to force myself to go to this place on a Saturday, which was just basically asking for an aggravating experience. Especially on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. But it had to be done if I wanted my soup to come out right tomorrow.

Anyway, at one point, the line comes to a standstill, with about four people ahead of me. Something's gone wrong that requires a manager, but the place is busting at the seams with people and problems and a manager can't be tracked down. I'm just all "Of. Course." but I keep my cool because what else am I going to do? Whine and complain, loudly? Like the self-righteous bratty woman in front of me? Yes, she gets all "This is ridiculous, do you know how long I've been waiting? I'm late!" to the cashier, who, god bless her, stays cool and is all "You are more than welcome to complain to the manager or call the number on your receipt." This quiets our self-entitled friend for just a bit, but a few minutes later she's huffing and puffing and throwing her giant-diamond-ringed hand in the air and whatnot about how this is SO not the way to run a business. Like it's going to make the line actually start moving or something.

My whole theory, after having worked in retail, is that the loudmouth obnoxious customer is rarely -- if ever -- truly right. If they're bitching about something in "look at me" fashion, and doing it in a way that makes them sound important, they're just someone who probably gets off on being an asshole to people they deem to be "below" them. The customer who IS right? That's the one who does their complaining in a way that doesn't demean anyone or make it sound as if the fucking Shop Rite and the rest of the world OWES them a snappy shopping experience ON THE SATURDAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING and god forbid a computer system fail and not let you buy your 10 frozen pizzas and such in less than two minutes. Like, don't hold the Shop Rite responsible for your lack of time management skills. If you were late, you should have come to the store earlier in the day. It's as simple as that.

Anyway, the manager finally gets to addressing something in the lane next to ours and starts bitching out his cashier, who starts bitching at him back, and then the angry self-entitled lady in my line starts going off on the manager, who starts going off on her from the other lane (which, MAN, if he isn't getting fired...). It was insanity, and I didn't know who to root for because the manager was a total ass to his cashier in front of everyone and the lady was being the Customer I Hate. This takes up another few minutes, and finally, FINALLY, the line starts moving again.

So what happens when the angry lady gets up to pay? Does she bag her close to 20 items herself to save some time while her credit card is being swiped and processed? NO. Of course she doesn't! She makes the cashier (who had been nothing but nice and sympathetic to her during the whole ordeal) do the whole damn thing after she's completed the transaction, while she just stands there. I almost said something, but then I didn't.

Instead, I bagged my own groceries, and the cashier actually thanked me, like it was some kind of evil task she made me do.

God, I really hate people sometimes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vampire-Themed Quotes of the Day

"She should've just created another creature. I mean, this isn't like Frankenstein...no wait, that's old too. [Pause] This isn't Frankenberry." -- Jason, on Stephenie Meyer not following true vampire lore.

"So you get a girl and you make her 17..."
"Oh, that'll get the tweens."
"...and then you cut her head off."
"Oh, that'll get the boys!"
-- Jason and Production Guy Jeff write a young adult novel.

Hee

Man, I usually roll my eyes at most NY Times reviews for being holier-than-thou (perhaps the writers are richies? And only two of you just got that...), but this opening for their Twilight review? I bow down:

Based on the foundational book in Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling multivolume series, “The Twilight Saga” (four doorstops and counting), this carefully faithful adaptation traces the sighs and whispers, the shy glances and furious glares of two unlikely teenage lovers who fall into each other’s pale, pale arms amid swirling hormones, raging instincts, high school dramas and oh-so-confusing feelings, like, OMG he’s SO HOT!! Does he like ME?? Will he KILL me??? I don’t CARE!!! :)

Perfect.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seriously, Office?

Man, I so loved about 85 percent of tonight's episode of The Office (The microwave note? Spot-on workplace behavior. Michael's "drugs"? Awesome. Creed wanting to hang out with Jim and "throw things" down the quarry? YES. Dwight's monologue at the end? Priceless), and then they had to eff it up with Pam not even being the SLIGHTEST bit upset that her fiancee bought a house without telling her. I get it, they're SOUL MATES 4 EVA and what woman doesn't want her man to pick the place they're going to live in without taking her feelings into account? Please. Jim and Pam used to be so achingly real when they were "just friends" and they even seemed believable at the early stages of their courtship. But now? It's like the writers take a break during every show to slide in some JAM fan fiction. And high school fan fiction at that because I'm not sure I know one adult who would be totally DELIGHTED that they were left out of such a huge decision, no matter how good the intentions of their partner. And tonight said fan fiction sullied an otherwise excellent episode for me because they've gone from totally realistic to totally nauseating in their "perfectness" for each other.

I mean, God forbid this couple actually, you know, get upset with each other every now and then.

Excuse me while I go find my Pepto Bismol.

ETA: This deleted scene is made of awesome.



We get Pam admitting to the passive-aggressive note and thus saying she's not going to be the office maid, her co-workers being annoyed with her for it, an excellent exchange between the whole office, Jim being worried that he may be trapping Pam in Scranton (see, like, real, non-fakeout relationship drama) and some actual funny tension. I could've done with more of this and less of the "OMG, Pam and Jim are so in synch"

You Were Expecting a Partridge in a Pear Tree?

Picture 1

Want to find the Yankee Chicken in your mailbox this holiday season (or at least his image in an envelope)? Then send me your addy at kabsy77@yahoo.com, and you too can get your card on with everyone's favorite Pinstriped-loving fowl.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What, You Didn't Think I'd Go There?

OK, so you know how I was peeved about the Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers list? Well, I’ve gone and devised one of my own. But I only did 25, because I can’t be sitting here all night, yo.

This isn't a list of the most influential artists or the best songwriters, which I think may have tripped up some voters in the RS list. It's a list of who I think are the best SINGERS. Like, I'm sorry, I know he has a distinctive sound, but when I think Elvis Presley, my first thought isn't, "Wow, that dude could SING." (I think some of you just threw something at me in your head.) Same with John Lennon and Bob Dylan, and yes, Bruce Springsteen. And Mick Jagger. Michael Jackson can hit some high notes and made some seriously catchy tunes, but does he blow you away with his vocals? Not really.

I don’t really know what Rolling Stone’s formula was, but my measure of singing ability is if I can’t sing your stuff in karaoke. Like, Billy Joel? Sorry, I, who suck at singing, don’t exactly have too much trouble with your songs, so that doesn’t make me think of you as one of the artists who belong in the pantheon of good “singing.” You will not be on this list. (But thanks for "Miami, 2017")

Anyhow, since Rolling Stone seemed to exclude singers of standards (The Rat Pack, etc.), I won’t include them here, either (Frank Sinatra would've been in the Top 5, Judy Garland, Top 10, just so you know). But my additions, you will notice, have a * next to them. Enjoy, and don’t hate me too much.


25. Jackie Wilson – I had Steve Winwood and Jackie fighting for this last spot. And then I listened to “Lonely Tear Drops” and, sorry, Steve…

24. Mariah Carey - I didn't put this on here to make Ken happy. I think she's one of the most talented vocalists of my generation who gets overshadowed by the divaness I (and many people) loathe. She's also a genius at picking ridiculously catchy songs, but that's another list.

23. Tina Turner – All you need to hear is “River Deep, Mountain High” and you can’t deny her admittance onto this list.

22. Elton John - Have you ever tried to karaoke "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"? Yeah, good luck with that.

21. Janis Joplin - I get the feeling there were a lot of, uh, sources that led to her gravelly soulful voice, but all the same, she could wail. And awesomely.

20.Robert Plant - Two words: Black Dog. I kinda hate the song (even if the title was apparently inspired by a black Labrador), but it really shows off his raw, kind of crazy range-yness.

19. David Bowie - His voice is sex. Seriously. I know Mick Jagger had the strut and the attitude that women lost their panties over, but Bowie's voice is all he probably needed to get laid back in the day.

18. Stevie Wonder - I’m not talking “I Just Called to Say I Love You” Stevie, I’m thinking more of “ “If It’s Magic,” which is a slow, quiet song, but so nuanced that only people who can seriously carry a tune can tackle it.

17. Frankie Valli - Because I think my father would probably never speak to me again if I didn't mention him. Also, you can't underestimate a dude with the ability to hit high notes better than a woman.

16. Bono - While I appreciate Bono's charity work, I just can't warm up to his personality. His voice, however? Thick with feeling and honesty and awesome.

15. Etta James - "At Last" has become maybe the most cliche wedding/love song of recent years, but it still is chill-inducing due to the rich, sharp voice bringing you the lyrics (the vocal equivalent of high definition, I think). Her “Stormy Weather” kicks ass too. But that's a standard and I shouldn't be talking about that if I can't mention people who may have sang it better...

14. Patsy Cline - "Crazy" is one of the simplest songs you'll ever hear someone eff up in karaoke. Why? Because if Patsy had worn a jockstrap, no one would be able to carry it in terms of oomph in her voice. Just when she gets to the "Worry..." part of the song, you're like "No, I can't do that. All you, Patsy."

13. Little Richard - I'm listening to "Keep a Knockin'" as I type this -- he's out of control and all over the place range wise and it WORKS because he's not afraid to embrace his inner freak.

*12. George Michael - A head scratcher from the original list, in that he wasn't mentioned. He may have the corny Wham! cloud hanging over him, but if you listen to "One More Try," you'll be hard pressed to NOT admit that he is one of the best singers to come out of the 80s.

11. Sam Cooke - Every song he sings seems to have just a little extra-sounding joy slipped in there. I don’t know how you do that, but he did.

10. Karen Carpenter - She may get written off as corny, but she had one of the purest, most haunting voices you'll ever hear. "Merry Christmas, Darling" is proof positive of that.

9. Otis Redding - "These Arms of Mine" is one of my all-time favorite songs, mostly because Otis infuses it with longing in SOUND. I’m not sure I can think of a modern dude songster who can do this.

*8. Jay Black - Like Freddie Mercury, his range was damn near operatic. That he was left off the original list shows some serious ignorance on the voters' part. My guess is they've never been subjected to "Cara Mia." It's the only thing I can think of.

*7. Levi Stubbs - How he didn't make the real list is beyond me. Dude threw every bit of emotion into the vocals on all the Four Tops' songs. His voice made you think everything they were singing about was important, man. "Bernadette" much?

6. Steve Perry - I’m sure you’ve all heard “Don’t Stop Believin’", no? Think of him as a cheesedick all you want, but he will slay you vocally.

*5. Ann Wilson - Um, hi. Have you heard the woman sing, Rolling Stone voter people? Does she get forgotten about because Heart is a sister act? I don't get it.

4. Roy Orbison - If I never have to hear "Pretty Woman" again, it will be too soon, but dude could belt (and make you wish you never even attempted to sing "Blue Bayou" at your birthday party).

*3. Harry Nilsson - That he was omitted on the RS list is mind-boggling to me. Did the compliers of this list never hear "Without You"?

2 Aretha Franklin - I'm not a fan of divas in general, but she has to be up this high because I'm not sure any woman can get near her sheer vocal power and make it sound so effortless.

1. Freddie Mercury - Dude had a seriously sick range. Have you heard people try to karaoke "Bohemian Rhapsody?" Yeah, his voice is kind of untouchable.

So there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shut Up, Rolling Stone

I'm sorry, Rolling Stone, but you can't declare yourselves as having named the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time....and not include Frank Sinatra. Or Nat King Cole. Or Tony Bennett. Or Ella Fitzgerald. Or Judy Garland. Wait, what's that? They weren't of the rock and roll era, which is what your mag covers? Then drop the ridiculous "of all time" from the title. And while you're at it, remember that the word "Singer" is in there and not "Performer," which I think got confused several times on this list....

Also, check out which way current singers voted, and note that, as you suspected, James Blunt, Sebastian Bach, Courteny Love and several others are complete douchebags (all voting themselves number 1).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Whatever You Say, Blogger

Uh, have any of you used the sight-challenged "listen" feature when you go to type in a code to post a blog comment? You hit the handicap symbol, and all of a sudden, numbers are coming at you, along with a garbled semi-satanic sounding background noise. I'm convinced if you de-garble it, it's some evil message, encouraging you to lean on subway poles or play your music loud or become an obnoxious hipster and move to Jersey City.

You have my permission to leave nonsense comments on this post just to try it out for yourself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ah, Sunday Morning.

Want to know what it's like to have my neighbors? Here ya go:

video


The music (that the video doesn't quite do justice to)? Is coming from next door. As I type, my bed is actually vibrating (and no, not in any way that would be beneficial to me, so get your mind out of the gutter) from their stereo's bass, which I guess means they assume either everyone in the building is 1) deaf or 2) as in love with their choice of music as they are.

Now you're probably all "Why don't you just go and ask them to turn it down?" And that's when I tell you "Um, because it's my super's apartment." And that's the last person I want to start shit with. Even if it is kinda nuts that I can't even hear my television over their music.

But I think I do need to come up with a title for my neighbor luck, since all I ever seem to get near are people who either have issues walking in a normal manner, or the capability to speak at a regular level, or like to ring my apartment to let them in because they are too lazy to have an extra front-door key made (that was the neighbor I had for a month before they moved out and the super moved in, thus leaving me with a vacant apartment next door for two months -- two of the best months of my life). Maybe KB Karma? I don't know...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

If You Lived Here, You Wouldn't Be Home By Now

So for the last few months I've been subjected to these two apartment complex ads in the PATH stations. I didn't really give them that much thought until I noticed something....:

1112081853

1112081852

Do you see that these ads have one striking similarity -- and I'm not talking the lack of, you know, actually showing what the apartments look like. Because what is it you want in a living space? A gourmet kitchen? A window in your living room? The ability to touch foreheads with your significant other? Especially if it involves the woman draping her arms around the man's neck? Yes, that must be it!

For real, if I didn't have to be subjected to these things on a daily basis I would think they were ads for a dating service. Especially The Thread, which is all "The chemistry was good...the setting was perfect" I know sex sells and all, but WHAT does CHEMISTRY have to do with plunking over $300,000 on a CONDO? Especially since you aren't showing me "the setting." And I know Union City might be a hard sell to the yuppies they are so obviously courting with this thing (especially since what it doesn't tell you is that UC is only serviced by bus, which stops service at 2 a.m. -- I'm not sure that's, like, cool for someone who wants to partay it up in NYC) but why can't you show just a little bit more than just a plank or two of the wood floor? Makes me think that your apartments are fug or something. Why would I hike all the way out to Union City to see it? Because, I'm sorry, The Thread, you can pretty much get nookie anywhere. Your living space is not the issue.

And the Exchange is just as bad -- although they CAN tout that it's a quick ride by train into the city (but what they don't tell you is that NJ Transit trains ALSO stop running at 2 a.m. -- you're gonna take a cab From Manhattan all the way to Secaucus? Good luck with that, since cabbies are pretty loath to take anyone to the dreaded other side of the Hudson, and also charge at least 40 bucks.) But what, exactly, is an evolved commute? Yes, you will be standing upright on the crowded train bound for the lower Manhattan (because they also neglect to tell you that on the way into NYC, you will be the last stop on a suburban commuter train)? And what does "forward living" mean? You get a view, as the (doctored?) photo implies (that looks like Weehawken's view, right across the river from Manhattan. Secaucus, which is more in land? Um, no.)? But why would you need a view when you can touch foreheads and stare at your lovah?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shut up, Reporter Guy

If there's nothing I hate more than hearing about a serial rapist on the news, it's having the "man on the scene" whipping out his thesaurus to find new ways to describe such a person. Like, I expect it on Fox 5, but Channel 11 is usually a little more in check. For example, tonight's newscast had the reporter use the terms:

"Serious sicko"

"Degenerate"

"Vile serial rapist"

Maybe it's just my journalism course training rearing its ugly head, but, COME ON. I don't need the reporter trying to prove to me that "OMG, Rapists are BAD. I am so on your side, ladies." A rapist is a vile sicko degenerate? No shit, Sherlock. But just call him "the suspect" or "the man involved." It's called not editorializing. The story in itself is enough to tell me that I need to watch my back because an evil fucko is on the loose, and shaking your head in disgust via words isn't going to solve the crime. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Am I Just Missing Something?

OK, has anyone seen the British Airways commercial where an airport is somehow transformed into a computerized aquarium, complete with seals and whales and other sea life flitting around to (a verrrrry snoozy version of) "The Good Life"?

What does it all mean? I'm serious. It has NOTHING to do with flying. In fact, what goes on under the sea is the very antithesis of what goes on above the clouds. And I'm a little freaked out because how can the whales and seals (mammals, y'all) surface to get actual oxygen if they are trapped in an enclosed watery grave?

Really, British Airways, WHAT are you getting at with this ad?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Um, He's Not For Sale



I didn't realize everyone was going to be wanting their very own, personal Chicken...

Shut Up, California

If there's one thing the passing of California's Proposition 8 has taught me this week, it's that I should be very, very disturbed that people STILL can't separate church and state. It makes me wonder what else people will head to the polls for in the name of God (who I highly doubt is such an intolerant being, since He created everyone and everything, but whatever). Don't get me wrong, what you believe is your right and you are guaranteed that right under the Constitution. But if you bring that belief into a CIVIL matter, and think your religious beliefs should deem what is right for ALL? Man, I am more creeped out by you than you are of the thought of two dudes kissing.

Also, I say this as a straight single woman who kind of thinks it's a tad unfair that dual-income married couples (of any gender) without children to support get tax breaks, where as little old broke-ass me, who doesn't have any financial help from a spouse (to split bills, health insurance, rent, groceries, etc.) is probably more in need of a tax break than they are. If I can be behind more people getting what I consider an unfair advantage, then I don't get why others, many of whom already receive this gift from the government, can't.

Maybe these people should wonder why California is such a breeding ground for acts of God. Perhaps He's just trying to knock some sense into you with those earthquakes...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ain't That America

Tonight, at around 10:57 EST, I was fact-checking my Facebook status like the big dork I am (I just had to make sure Luke did appear in hologram form in Return of the Jedi, like Ken said...we were using it to relate to CNN's bizarro use of holograms, which, seriously, what the hell was that about?) at Ken's apartment, when suddenly Charlie Gibson got all impending-sense-of-serious-announcement and we all froze. He came at us with the calling of California for Barack Obama, and with that, declared him the new president of the United States. It was quite a moment, what with all the whooping and cheering, but I was all "GET ANOTHER NETWORK TO DECLARE IT TOO" because I don't trust Charlie Gibson all that much for some reason, and we went to CNN where they were calling it for Obama, and then I felt safe enough to take it in.

A few years ago, I remember reading about this Senator Obama, that he had a biography out where he actually admitted to experimenting with drugs in college. The state of politics in this country should tell you something when I was blown away by the fact that he was, like, honest about his past. None of this "I did not inhale" crap, just coming clean and owning up to it. I remember wondering if he'd someday run for president.

Yeah, I didn't think it would come this quickly.

Needless to say, this was a historic night and I'm proud it happened in my lifetime -- that people in this country finally grew the fuck up and looked past skin color (I mean, for real, people) and picked a candidate for what he stood for and what he could bring to the political table. I don't know that I can judge any president and get all excited about them before they actually do anything in that post, but I know that I'm willing to sit back and give him a shot, just like I have every other president. Especially one that doesn't lie about his past, seems like he can keep his dick in his pants, is actually smart and respectful, and has a family that doesn't make me want to hurl. And could maybe be a role model for kids if all of this isn't too good to be true. What a concept.

Oh, yeah, and speaking of historic -- GO BLUE HENS!!!! I think the old alma mater is going to ride the whole "vice president of the United States is a Delaware grad" wave for as long as they can. State schools! Holla!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Non-Political Rant of the Day

So while watching Monday Night Football last night, I was subjected to the Heidi Klum Guitar Hero commercial, where she comes out in an oversized shirt and no pants (like the guys did), but her bra is exposed. I was like "Oooookay, I guess they have to sex it up a little, even if it shows no regard for its origins...." and then she RIPS THE SHIRT OFF and proceeds to writhe around with the guitar in nothing but her bra and undies. WHAT THE HELL? I'm sure some of my straight-male contingent of readers wouldn't mind something like this, but it was so blatantly objectifying her (though I guess she went along with it, so she's partially to blame), that I'm not sure I want to buy Guitar Hero should I break down and get the Wii.

I mean, if Tom Cruise (or the sports dudes in the last ad or Davids Cook and Archuleta in the one before that) had stripped down completely, I'd be fine with it, since it was just following in those footsteps. But you finally introduce a woman to the mix and she has to completely discard of her clothes in order to sell the product?

Ew.

I Lied. Another Rant.

OK, so, I have to complain about something quite a few (and that's putting it mildly) friends of mine on Facebook are doing (and since my friends are open enough to put their political beliefs out there, I hope they are understanding when it comes to my right to kvetch about it here.) There's this way you can "donate" your status to tell people to "get out the vote," or vote for McCain or vote for Obama with an automated message reminding you to do so every few hours. So when I log on to see my friends' statuses, I am bombarded with more than 20 messages on who they are voting for. None of the funny, classic or yes, thought-provoking thoughts that I log onto Facebook for.

Here's the thing. On a day as historic as this, I want ORIGINAL commentary on the election, not a canned automated spam-like response. If you're bold enough to declare your political stance to everyone in your Facebook pool (knowing that some are voting for the other guy) want to know who you're voting for in your own words. I understand the eagerness to make sure everyone goes out and votes, but at this point, I'm not sure this is the ultimate motivator. So I'd rather hear who your supporting and why, rather than a pre-thought up message that just tells me who to vote for and not why.

So there.

ETA: So those of you who aren't on Facebook can see what I'm talking about (names cut out to protect the innocent):

Monday, November 03, 2008

KB's Last Great Big Political Rant of the 2008 Election

In 2000 I stepped into the voting booth in Astoria, Queens, and voted for who I thought was the lesser of two evils. I swore I would never do it again.

In 2004, I stepped into the voting booth in Hoboken, New Jersey, and voted for who I thought was the lesser of two evils. I felt dirty and disgusted with myself afterward.

Let me say it for the billionth time: I effing hate the two-party system.

You see, to me, voting is one of the most personal decisions a person can make, and when you're forced to (or feel you're forced to, as I did. I mean, no one was pointing a gun at my head, but it was sooooo imperative that I pick one or the other in that last election that I didn't want to "waste my vote" on a write-in) pick a candidate out of fear of the other guy, that isn't democracy to me. It's just gross. I say this as someone who has never declared a political party, as I don't think my beliefs can be all found in one place. And for that reason, I am beyond annoyed that we are a country that is 232 years old and as diverse as we are and are still working with only two major parties.

Think about it: We have 30 Major League Baseball teams to cheer for, God knows how many different religions (no pun intended) to participate in, hundreds of television channels to watch, hundreds of choices for higher education, ten different movies in the theater at a time. I mean, we have more choices for toilet paper, and that just wipes our friggin' asses. And you're going to tell me that the entirety of 300 million people's political beliefs can be summed up in one of TWO parties (or at least two parties with a real shot at winning)? It's just mind boggling to me.

So, yeah, here it comes.... I can understand someone who doesn't want to vote, if they don't like either major candidate and feel they aren't being heard by voting for one of the lesser-knowns. And I don't think they should be vilified if they have educated themselves and STILL don't agree with either guy's stances and are therefore abstaining. I'm far enough removed from both parties, where I can walk around in someone else's shoes to see why they would be disenchanted with the candidates and not feel comfortable casting a vote for them. Throw tomatoes at me and chastise them all you want, but just as it's your right to vote, it's also your right to say "I'm not comfortable with entrusting either of these dudes with the future of this country."

And now that I got off my chest, I will say that I am voting tomorrow because I actually like the candidate I am voting for (who knew?). But I'm not doing it out of fear of the other candidate or because a bunch of know-it-all celebrities told me to (or NOT to...you're so clever with your smarmy irony, Hollywood!), or because Starbucks is promising me free coffee and Ben & Jerry's free ice cream (but the homeless who can't vote and actually NEED free food... do they get anything?), or because several of my more politically minded friends would kill me in my sleep if I didn't or because women fought for my right to vote (the argument I hate the most, because it should never have had to have been fought for to begin with since it's my right as a HUMAN not as a woman. And seriously, there is no equivalent way to guilt-trip a guy into voting, and I'm all for equality, yo) or because Facebook "invited" me to.

No, I'm voting because I want to.

God bless America.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Can the Swamps of Jersey be in the Pine Barrens?

So Steph informed me today that Bruce Springsteen has a free downloadable song on his site today called "A Night With the Jersey Devil." I was hoping the Jersey Devil would be working as a gas station attendant who is down on his luck -- but eternally hopeful -- and then would maybe take a trip to the boardwalk with the other kids who are feeling the strains of teenage rebellion. Of course, they would take their motorcycles down some highway or another, but not before picking up the Jersey Devil's girlfriend, who is a sassy kind of bitch (but lovable) with strict parents who don't understand. A new day would dawn with a beachside sunrise, after an evening of some beers and mild debauchery. In New Jersey.

But, alas, this night with the Jersey Devil is juuuust a little different.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quotes of the Night

I don't know if was the delicious pot roast Liana prepared or the drinkage provided or the fact that we sat around an actual dining room table - with matching chairs - and china with silverware (and lets not forget Eric's treasured cognac glasses), but the quotes were in full effect tonight.

Liana: "The caterer charged us because they were missing eight napkins. We don't know where they went." Vicki: "Well, one of them caught fire."

"Can we get back to discussing Sarah Palin's wardrobe?" - Dexter, when the conversation turns to nitty gritty financial aspects.

"I'd wish my name on you like I'd wish you a case of diarrhea," Eric reassuring Liana about not taking his oft-mispronounced last name.

"There was the Great Migration, the Great Depression and...the Great Thing." - Eric, paraphrasing Dexter

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hmm

I'm not sure one should sing "Oh Sherrie," "Oh, Darling!" "Everybody's Talkin'" and "We Are the World" back-to-back but I suspect my throat will forgive me in the morning. It was all in honor of Production Gal Amy's b-day anyway. And on a Tuesday, no less.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

KB: Not a Fan of the Kindle

So my mom was telling me that yesterday Oprah was ravvvvving about the Kindle. I mean, of course she would. She loves every newfangled thing out there that you have to have money to spare to buy. Anyway, I just wanted to go on record as saying I don't think I will ever warm up to the idea of this contraption. I mean, it's fab for text-book reasons (as my mom said, kids won't be all hunchbacked from having to lug extra books around), it sounds like books would be cheaper (but this is bad news for writers, and since young adult writing is already a crappy paying field, I guess I can forget paying off my student loan right-quick if I ever do get published) and it does save some trees in the process. But I've seen this thing on the subways and stuff and...I don't want to curl up with it. Or do anything with it, for that matter.

Here's the thing -- I sit at and read on a computer ALL DAY at work. I come home and use a laptop to write and surf the internet. When I read a book, it's for pleasure, to ESCAPE the computer, and I cannot imagine having to look yet ANOTHER screen to get my fix. Also, I like having my books I like on display on a bookshelf. And I like taking them outside without having to worry about the elements damaging them. And I like bookstores and libraries, which I fear may become obsolete if this thing suddenly becomes all the rage (because you'd be downloading this stuff online, like music...which I guess means you won't be able to easily loan books to friends anymore). Basically, I like books.

I remember one of the speakers who came to my writing class said she'd read an article about how these things were expected to take off and be the next big thing. I remember my classmates (all lovers of the written word) thought they would still prefer a solid book in front of them. I'm firmly in this camp.

I wonder what you, blog readers, think?

Um. Wow. I Mean.



Is Michael Phelps even wearing shorts? (And is there a longer clip of this available? It's just...too much to take in one thirty-second span)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I don't want my VP to shop at Chicos." -- Minju the Freelancer (I think Tonya will agree).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spreading the Yankee Chicken Love on the Interwebs

Dudes! I got The Yankee Chicken on Facebook! Yes, after months of telling me "Yankee Chicken" didn't sound like a valid name (tsk!), they finally accepted... Yanqui Chiken. Many of you probably received emails asking to befriend this "person". So do it, unless you want to give him a complex. And if I didn't email you (it only allowed me to suggest 20 peeps), do a search for him! Just do it!

In Which They Were ALL Wrong

Now, I know it's pretty pointless to predict a 162-game baseball season and then the playoffs on top of that, especially when Ms. Cleo isn't among your psychic baseball analysts. But this World Series? No one on ESPN.com saw coming:

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Picture 2

I just thought it was pretty awesome that the Phillies and Rays weren't even on the "experts'" radar six months ago, is all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I'm seriously going to get bumped off the road by a bale of hay." -- Tonya, as she's driving in Iowa.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Office

I have to say that I've really enjoyed your first three episode efforts thus far. However. Can you kindly knock-off the fan-wanking with Jim and Pam? I mean, I know the JAM fans will be calling for your head on a platter if you don't show them being all gooey with each other at least once an episode, but tonight's simultaneous voice-mail-leaving was corny and fake-sounding as fuck and this show has always done their relationship (and all relationships on this show, for that matter) better than that, rough patch or not. It's like you took some fan-fiction and made it into an end tag -- please never do this again.

But please DO keep up everything else and don't listen to the bitter JAM fans who are now about to throw themselves off roofs because they think the couple is on the verge of a breakup. You're a wonderfully smart show and shouldn't be catering to the wants and needs of a few thousand psychos.

Love,
KB

Shut Up, Fox

So I just heard about how Fox asked MLB if they'd mind pushing their start time back to accomadate Barack Obama's half-hour political ad during what could be Game 6 of the World Series. I see people blaming Obama for this, but, seriously, the blame lies squarely with Fox, who knew their schedule (or you would hope they did) and what it could possibly tangle with. And don't give me the whole "It's only 15 minutes" because...well, I'll get into that in a minute.

None of you are surprised by this, because you see what network is involved here (except that they're actually carrying something from a Democrat on their major network). They put MLB on the spot -- because, seriously, what are they going to say? If they say they don't want to move the start time back, they look like 1) They are anti-Obama (although I'm sure this could seem like a pro-Obama move, which is problematic when you consider a sport SHOULDN'T HAVE TO TAKE A POLITICAL STANCE) and 2) They aren't in support of the more "important" doings of the election (I'd actually agree that it was more important if it were a debate or something of that ilk, but an ad that's being aired on two other networks? No.) I guess they figured dealing with the ire of the fans is easier to take than being dragged into the political headlines.

This is Fox hedging its bets and kind of screwing over the fans in the process. It's Game 6, which may not happen, so therefore alternative programming has to be scheduled. But you are committed to the World Series, which I think means you have a responsibility to put that first, so why even involve yourself with this when two other networks are already carrying it? This isn't like Fox is showing some great political integrity here, giving the public its only access to this political happening. Can't you just throw in a re-run of House or something if the game doesn't air? Oh, no. You have to have the big ratings! And you have to look "fair and balanced" (which...don't even get me started if this is their version of that)! Silly me.

Also If this were any other network (i.e. TBS, who did a wonderful job this post season), I'd be a little less pissed about this. Except Fox is famous for its 22-minute pregame show, which means, unless they suddenly sport some mental clarity, they go on air at 8:30-8:35 and the first pitch gets thrown somewhere around 9 p.m. Now, it remains to be seen if they will do the pregame, but let's be real here -- starting it at 8:22 over 8 p.m. is already ridiculous. This is going to be an all East Coast World Series. The teams involved start their games in the regular season at 7 p.m. If Game 6 DOES happen and Fox DOES do its pregame show, that's TWO HOURS LATER than these baseball fans are accustomed to, all because it has to be in "prime time." 9 p.m. is NOT the time you start an important post season baseball game. I'm sorry.

Maybe whoever scheduled this had good intentions, but it just smacks of stupidity. Again, with this network, I am not surprised.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And Now You Can Flip Off Mother Nature With Me!

OMG! Blogger now has a feature where you can add live doppler radar to your blog! I know Erica is very psyched to hear this! Check out my sidebar, and in April, you too can see if I'm getting rained on at Yankee games. That's if we get approved for tickets at the new Stadium...but still.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Shut Up, L.A.

I understand that the Dodgers are up by five runs in the 8th inning, but you've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME with the amount of empty seats around Dodger Stadium right now. I mean, it's only 8 PM out there -- you can't even use the "it's late" excuse. And don't give me that bull about the traffic -- your team is in the playoffs? You stay for every out and sit in said traffic with the joy of knowing you saw all 27 outs of a winning PLAYOFF game.

Ingrates.

Friday, October 10, 2008

From the Mountains, to the Prairies, to the Diamond

So, I have to say, I'm a little confused about "God Bless America" being sung before the bottom of the 7th inning in these playoff games. I don't get why the Yankees do this 81 games a year and then the rest of the League only does this during the All-Star Game and the playoffs. It's like they're saying "Hey troops watching overseas, we really do think of you!" When in reality it just comes off as big phony show precisely because the troops are watching.

People get on the Yankees (who I think are the only team still playing it regularly) for playing this, acting like it's some fascist agenda on their parts to keep the memory of 9/11 burned in everyone's brains to keep people from moving on or whatever. The thing is, and most Yankees fans who go to games on a regular basis will know this, the announcement before it is played has nothing to do with 9/11 and everything to do with honoring "our troops who are stationed around the globe." And while I'm not too keen on people being kept from going to the bathroom while it's going on, I do think that until we aren't in wartime anymore and the troops are safely home, you have to keep playing it -- start what you finish. And I'm not some frothing-at-the-mouth far-right wing flag waver, either. Quite the opposite. This has nothing to do with being for or against a war or being a conservative or a liberal. I just think that taking a minute and a half of my time at a baseball game isn't such a hardship considering the people we're remembering are doing something far more precarious than carrying six or seven beers into the upper deck.

I do, however, think it's a little fake to trot this out only during widely-watched games. I understand that it is to honor the troops who get these special broadcasts, but acting like they are always in Major League Baseball's memory, when they are only remembered in big-game scenarios is a little gross. You either do it all season long or you don't. And if MLB wants to remember the troops and honor the country in a more organic way, then actually SHOW the national anthem instead of letting Fox get away with their 22-minute long pre-game show that always cuts into "Star Spangled Banner" time.

Ok, getting off the soap box now...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Jamie hit me up for this one, and I'd spread the love but nobody's blogging anymore. Except June, but I think she's a busy woman. Ah well.

1. What do you usually wear to bed, PJs or boxer shorts? Neither? Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. I wear a tank nightshirt in the summer and a T-shirt and PJ shorts in the winter. I get too hot for regular PJs. (Again, retrieve mind from gutter)

2. What do you do before bedtime? I read books (currently, The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta.) I'm kind of burnt out on magazines.

3. What's your favourite colour of ink to write with? Not so much the color, but the texture -- I hate ballpoint pens and prefer awesomely inky ones like fountain pens. Color is not a problem.

4. What is the city of your dreams and why? I'm not sure a city would be my "dream" place...

5. Who is your guy crush? I've realized recently that I kind of have a thing for The Soup's Joel McHale.

6. When was the last time you checked out a book from the public library, and what was it? It was back when I was trying to do the responsible thing and save money, my first year in Hoboken. It was a bio on Gene Kelly.

7. Ever cheated on someone? When someone sneaks around on you, it's an utterly craptastic feeling, and I've therefore never done it because I'd never want anyone to feel that shitty because of me.

8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do? Nothing. It usually doesn't turn out like it does on TV, and since I don't like being cheated on, I don't like thinking someone is going to cheat on their significant other (and make them feel shitty) with me.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? Agitated, yes, unhappy, no.

10. What is your best quality? I'm as constant as the north star.

11. What do you wish you could eat right now? Chicken and waffles in a maple-cream reduction. MMMM.

12. What are your guilty pleasure shows? Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew

13. What is one of your biggest pet peeves? Hypocrisy. And also people who lean on the subway train pole, so no one else can hold onto it.

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is? She's far better at constructing sentences than the person who made up this meme! And she "gets it."

15. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head? "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens. I don't know why...

16. What’s your favourite item of clothing? My J.Crew T-shirt dress.

17. How do you see yourself? Just trying to get through it like everyone else.

18. What's the first thing you notice in people? Hair, unless they are leaning on the subway pole and then I notice how rude they are.

19. Would you bungee jump from the Empire State Building for $10,000,000? No -- I'd work myself up into too much of a state before hand and probably say a lot of things I shouldn't for fear of dying or something. No money is worth that humiliation.

20. What were your parents going to name you if you'd been born the opposite gender? Robert (after my dad) Hanlon (great-grandfather).

Quote of the Debate

"Why is that woman giving him a baboon face?" -- Eric, (whose sharp Canadianness allowed him to be declared the winner of the night) on one of the really dour-looking question askers.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Note to Self

Start stockpiling metaphorical artillery. Because apparently other people have it at their disposal.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I LOL'd at SNL. For Real.

Last night was maybe the first time in, oh, years that I actually enjoyed more than one sketch on SNL. Maybe they got lucky because the debate (Sarah Palin's a comedy gold mine) and the bailout (the skewering of the greedy was awesome) happened in the same week and thus made for spot-on mockeries, but there was one other skit I am almost ashamed to admit I enjoyed: Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals. It was extremely ridiculous but short, and Andy Samberg does a great imitation. Also "A lot of people want to eat you. I just want to talk to you, okay?"



DId I mention it was short? I think that's been SNL's big problem -- the skits go on for way too long. Most last night actually ended before they got old. Which is always good.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I'm Weird, I Know

So, do you remember in the late 80s when those sun/moon watches were really popular? (I mean, they still kind of are available now, but mostly for men, and if they are available to women, they are like $6,000.) Anyway, when I was in the 7th grade I asked for one for Christmas and when I got it, I wore the shit out of that thing. It looked like this:



I don't know if it's because the sun had a really creepy smile on its face (the fact that it had an emotion alone is kind of creepy in and of itself) or if I just liked having a watch that allowed me to look at something else than the time, but I loved that thing. I still have it, but it's been beat up bad, beyond being wearable.

I started getting nostalgic for it recently, and have been searching online for one. Since most were either fug or way beyond a copy editor's salary, I pretty much gave up my search. Then, when I was at Target today with Rana and Ken, I remembered that I had seen one on their web site -- it had a gold rim, which I wasn't wild about, but it wasn't too much of a fashion faux pas. So I looked in their watch section, and lo and behold, there it is. For $12.99.



Yeah, I know it ain't really the most fab of watches, but for 13 bucks, it will satiate my need for solar/lunar happenings on my wrist. Even if it seems like the sun and moon and stars are going to rotate coming up every few days, instead of, say, when they are usually out in a 24-hour period. But I digress. I have my wearable piece of nostalgia and get to feel like I'm in the 7th grade again, minus the whole adolescent angst thing.

Now if only they'd start producing Speak & Math again...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Really, Channel Guide?

The description for tonight's House Hunters (with maybe the corniest, attention-seeking dude I've ever seen on the show, but that's not important right now):

"Finding a Home Before the Wedding," A betrothed pair look for their first home.

BETROTHED? I'm sorry, but I don't think they had house hunting in the 1400s, you know? (But I'm sure if they did, the house huntees would feel entitled to a huge kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances and be turned off by other perfectly serviceable kitchens even though they don't cook. Or something.)

Quote of the Day

"Why does everyone else's kitchen table get to host such serious financial discussions? It's not fair." -- Chris, on my Facebook status lamenting the candidates' focus on middle-class families and not singles, retirees, etc.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My "Sharp" Observation of the Night

Does anyone believe that the guy in the Sharp Aquos "How do you see the game" commercial is REALLY a baseball fan? I've been pondering this all season. You know the guy -- he looks like the love child of David Silver and Ryan Seacrest, and then the producers of the ad totally told him to grow some scruff because he looked too pretty to be an actual male sports fan or something. And we all know facial hair = sports cred. I still don't buy it, beard and all. I mean, this guy is SO obviously an actor, not some diehard sports fan dude off the street who just wants to talk about how close you can get to the game with his flatscreen television -- even if they do, ooh, have him don that especially manly piece of wardrobe the hoodie. Nay, he pings your douchedar the minute he sets foot on screen, which is why I feel compelled to write about this.

I get that Sharp is trying to appeal to the 20something male, and many of them are indeed douchey, but if they are trying to sell this guy as your everyday dude who likes watching sports in high def (that'd be the undouchey majority), well then it fails miserably. I mean, he's wearing really dark-rinse (and possibly skinny) jeans and I think low-top converse -- like, he's trying to look way casual for his night in with his fave sports team, and still manages to look like he's on his way out to some pretentious Williamsburg bar. Also, his apartment is WAY too put together. In short, he's an effing (incredibly douchey) hipster trying to tell me how awesome it is to watch the game on this TV. I don't buy it, because I don't know many hipsters who actually give a shit about sports. I mean, maybe if he was trying to sell it to me ironically it might make more sense. But I think he truly means for me to buy it, in the sincerest way possible.

I don't know. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But it doesn't make me want to buy their product because of how clearly they DON'T get the average sports fan. But then I'm not a dude, so maybe I'm missing something. God, I wish I could've found this on YouTube so you could decide for yourselves...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Jimmy Fallon? I think that doofy guy and that bitch actress with the wonky eye did more for the Red Sox than Kevin Youkilis ever could." -- Jason, on his disgust for the stars of Fever Pitch and Red Sox Nation.

Because What Would This Blog Be Without Him?

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KB: Oh my god, Chicken!

The Yankee Chicken: moves head slightly Mmshp

KB: Did you go on a bender?

The Yankee Chicken: I may have.

KB: But why? It's almost your...

The Yankee Chicken: dramatically brings wing to forehead Don't say it! That I'm turning another year older and it means nothing.

KB: But you always enjoy your birthday.

The Yankee Chicken: Sigh. What is a birthday if the Yankees haven't made the playoffs?

KB: God, you've been listening to Derek Jeter too much.

The Yankee Chicken: Don't you see? This is the first time in my existence that the Yankees have not made it to the big show. Like, I am totally and completely useless now.

KB: Do you think that this is somehow your fault?

The Yankee Chicken: Well, isn't it? I mean, my sole existence is to bring the Yankees luck and this year? That kind of wasn't the case. Or haven't you been watching?

KB: Chicken, I hate to tell you, but the Yankees can't make it to the playoffs every year...

The Yankee Chicken: BLASPHEMY! Go do penance, woman!

KB: ...And this may be a good thing. Maybe they'll take a look at all their weaknesses and assess and do what they have to do and make moves that make the team better. I felt this way after 1995, and good things happened.

The Yankee Chicken: Looking thoughtful And I wasn't alive in 1995...

KB: Yes, the Yankees did win before your time, Chicken. And they also lost some too.

The Yankee Chicken: So I'm not getting kicked out of the fanhood?

KB: Well, there isn't exactly anyone lining up to do the Spring Training Countdown, so I think you're still relevant.

The Yankee Chicken: And I can still have a birthday party?

KB: It will be even easier since we don't have to plan it around a game!

The Yankee Chicken: Good. And will all the blog people wish me a happy birthday too?

KB: That's entirely up to them. Here, offer to share this ice cream with them as a bribe, since you can't coerce them with your winning ways anymore.

The Yankee Chicken: Gives the look of death

KB: Kidding!!

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So, is this enough for you to forgive? You'll have to get your own spoon, however. The Yankee Chicken is a bit of a germaphobe.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

If Mike Mussina is Indeed Done...

...there is one thing I would really, really, really like to thank him for: his relief performance in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. It may be one of the most overlooked parts of that game, but for real, if he doesn't come in and be a complete bad-ass on the mound (down 4-0, runners on first and third, no one out --THANKS ROGER CLEMENS -- and he proceeds to get out of it without a run, and then pitch two more scoreless innings ) I don't know if that crazy comeback gets a chance to be significant. Considering Roger was on his way to letting the Sox score like 13 runs.

So thanks, Moose. You may be a Cosby-sweater-wearing cantankerous MF, but you sure did pitch pretty.

Why I'm Rooting for the Brewers

You know, aside from the Red Sox, I have no problems with any of the teams involved in the playoffs this year. But since the Yankees are out of it, I still feel the need to pull for somebody and that somebody this year is the Milwaukee Brewers.

Was that the sound of a record scratching to a halt that I just heard? You're like "The Brewers?" And I'm like "Hells yeah!"

So here's why:

-- Out of all the teams involved this postseason (save the Rays -- I forgot about them initially), they are the only one to never win a World Series. ESPN and all the media outlets can force on us the Cubs and their curse and long stretch of title-less years, but they at least won it in 1908. The Brewers? 19never. It's time.

-- Their stadium is corporate named, but at least the name can apply to the team. I can be okay with them playing in Miller Park, since they are the Brewers and all. The production of beer is also crucial to Milwaukee's economy and is a deep part of the city's history. Unlike, say, QualComm. Or PNC Bank. Or US Celluar. And I'm sure when I say Houston, you all automatically think "frozen concentrated orange juice." Anyway.



-- I like the old-school logo. Call me stupid, but I didn't realize the ball in the glove was actually an M and a B until LAST YEAR. I know! And the Brewers used to be in the AL, so there is no excuse for this ignorance on my end. Except that I was never good at those Magic Eye Posters, either. But still. Even before I recognized this, I liked the logo. And colors.

-- The nurse at Miller Park was really nice. When we made our stop here during the Great Midwest Excursion of 2006, Tonya ended up not feeling so good before the game. Her stomach was hurting, and she actually had to lie down in one of the Stadium's sitting areas. I went in search of the infirmary to score some kind of antacid or stomach soother, and when I found the nurse, she very nicely doled out some Maalox and said Tonya could come back for more if needed. That woman deserves a championship.

-- I kinda dig Bernie Brewer. As far as mascots go, Bernie is the most intriguing. He has his own digs out there in left field (though I preferred his County Stadium Chalet to the new tricked "dugout") and I suppose he hangs up there making his own sort of good-luck beer or maybe pipe bombs or maybe he's concealing a meth lab up there, but there it is: he owns his own home and it isn't up for foreclosure, so he's doing something right. Also, when your Wikipedia entry says this about you: Bernie was brought back not as just a mustachioed man in lederhosen, but a full-body costume of a man, including large foam head how can you NOT be made of awesome?

Robin Yount's Stache Rules

-- Robin Yount's mustache. And he's totally the interim, this-season-only bench coach. It's like having Shannen Doherty back on 90210 -- it's not long-term, but you know the influence from this person's (awesome) presence alone is far-reaching in its throwbackicity. And you can always hope he'd pull out a The Fonz-like motorcycle ride around the stadium again.

So there you have it. I mean, if they lose to the Phils, I won't be upset, since I have several Phillies Phan friends, and I have no problems with the Angels, Twins/White Sox, Cubs and Dodgers. But the Brewers? Yeah, they're my horse.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quotes of the Day

Production Guy Jeff is en fuego today, with baseball-themed quotables.

"Go on Saturday. Then no one can see you crying in the rain." -- To Mona the Mets fan, on the next game she's going to.

"The Rays are going to win...because they love to play ball. -- On the playoffs

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So Let Me Get This Straight...

Because of some people's greed, be it those who just HAD to own a home because they "deserved" it -- even if they couldn't afford it -- developers who kept on building too many unnecessary McMansions and luxury condos (rather than actual affordable homes), and the banks having way too much faith in both of the above, I, who am responsible with my money and realize I can't afford a mortgage, have to worry about my own economic status? And have to endure the president practically wagging his finger at me and trying to scare the crap out of me when I just want to watch the American Masters on Warner Brothers movies?

Fuck this shit.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ho Canada

Roughly a year ago, a few weeks after Eric and Liana got engaged, they told us the wedding was going to be in Eric's home area of Quebec City. I was way excited because 1) How could their wedding NOT be cool and 2) I'd never been to Canada before. I'm not sure if it's because the price of flights was pretty high or if we were all just feeling drive-y, but all of the Hoboken Crew took cars up there, a good 9 hours away, which means...Rooaaad Trip!

The road to QC, Upstate NY

Vicki, Dexter and I headed up on Thursday afternoon, ready for five fun-filled days in Quebec (which went exceedingly quick). And here are the things I learned on my first trip into our neighboring country:

The homeless are very...persistent in Montreal. We stopped in Montreal on Thursday night and since I had never been there before, Dexter and Vicki thought it would be nice for me to see the Old City. We walked down Rue Saint-Denis (home to more hipsters than I've ever seen in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side combined) and the bustling nightlife gave way to a more quiet, businessy area. Then, just before we get to a corner, this homeless guy straight out of central casting (scraggly white beard, dirt-smudged face, dirty hat and clothes) starts smiling and gesturing at us and talking in French. We do the New York thing and keep walking and ignoring him (even though the NYC homeless are more polite and don't follow you), but he won't stop talking to us. Like, he wasn't scary or anything, but I was beginning to wonder if we'd shake him before we crossed the street or if I'd have to invite him as my date to the wedding. Finally, Dexter gives him some quarters and the dude is all majorly happy and I think he realizes we're American at that point because he starts singing "We Are Family" and then goes into "We Are the World" which made me wonder if I should invite him to next year's karaoke b-day party. Then, just as the light's changing and we're about to cross the street, he makes us high-five him. For real. We waited a few blocks before Vicki busted out her Purell, as we didn't want to appear rude...

The Yankee Chicken, like me, has French-Canadian roots.

The Yankee Chicken's Cousin, Maurice

This is Maurice, The Yankee Chicken's cousin from Montreal. He was hanging in a kitchen-shop window and I could read his thoughts, even though they were in French. He was still lamenting the loss of the Expos, but was content with his life because this is his view every day:

Old City, Montreal

Quebec City is seriously one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I know I haven't been many places in the world, but this 400-year-old town is simply delightful in its quaintness. Well, aside from the steep winding hill that almost killed me when I walked up it in my überfast New Yorkish way, not realizing it was meant to be taken at a slow pace. Anyway, it made me pissed off at places like Disney World that try to recreate this kind of beauty, because for a long time, I had to keep reminding myself that this place is authentically old and historic and cute, not built just to bring in tourists. Like, these buildings were exactly the same 300-400 years ago. Which is insane.

Old City, QC

IMG_2699

Old City, QC

Le Chateau Frontenac
This is the Chateau Frontenac, which is apparently the most photographed hotel in the world. So I got in on it, even though it had insanely overpriced crepes.

Grooms AND brides can be glowing on their wedding day. The night before the wedding, Liana and Eric hosted a tapas dinner gathering in our hotel. When we got there, the two of them just looked absolutely radiant and happy -- Liana kept saying how surreal it was to have all these people she knew in one place, especially in a place that was foreign. They also managed to stay out pretty late considering the early hour they had to be awake the next morning, but they made themselves completely accessible to their guests, which is awesome. And they were STILL glowing the next day. We spotted the dapper Eric first and talked to him a bit before the ceremony and then when Liana, projecting calm and gorgeousness all at once, started walking down the aisle, the Hoboken Crew got all verklempt. It's so weird how that happens, but I think it has something to do with being able to share in such a joyous moment with someone (and in this case two people) you genuinely care about. Ah, weddings.

Off into the sunset

When called upon, the Hoboken Crew assembles like Voltron, and kicks more ass. About a week before the wedding, Liana and Eric asked if the Hoboken Crew would be willing to assist in a few last-minute preparations of the reception hall, as they wouldn't be able to see to this stuff themselves. Of course we jumped right in, honored to be entrusted with the tasks of setting out the place cards (Christina and Jesse), arranging the family photos (Vicki and Dexter) and getting toiletry baskets ready for the bathrooms and decorating the bathrooms with the flowers from the church (yours truly). I said I wanted all of us to get a special set of rings so we could put our fists together and be all "Hoboken Crew, Activate!" when setting about our tasks, such was the important nature of the event.

This required that we scope out the hall (a former Catholic church) before the 5:30 reception began, and when we did, we set into action like a bunch of superheroes on a mission. Which was interesting because at first the guy who ran the hall didn't know what baskets I was talking about (he, according the superhumanly organized Liana, was supposed to give them to me, and I wasn't going to doubt the bride on this one), there appeared to be less tables than indicated on the place cards and none of the tables were numbered (setting Dexter into "track down the groom via phone" mode, and thus ensued a game-show like run-around of placing numbers on the tables), the caterer, whom I was supposed to give some super-secret orders to, had yet to arrive, and then the hall guy tried to convince me to put the baskets (which he thankfully found) in the bathrooms Liana specifically said NOT to put them in (but I stood firm -- no one was getting the way of the bride's wishes on my watch). It was the most adrenaline-pushed half hour of the weekend, such was our determination to get this stuff done before the 5:30 cocktail hour.

But we managed to get it all together, and when we were through, we had tons of empty bags and nowhere to put them. We scoped out some corner areas, and I joked that we should put them in the old confessional, and lo and behold when we opened the door to it, it was already being used for storage! So we threw everything in there and pushed the door shut before it could all come tumbling back out. I still don't know if it was a sacreligious gesture or not. But afterward, when we were enjoying our well-earned drinks (and the bride and groom made their gratefulness to us known, which made it totally worth it), I made sure to capture our superheroness (sans rings, but what can you do?):

Hoboken Crew Activate!

French-Canadian weddings are action-packed! I've only ever been to your standard American wedding, so I wasn't prepared for the DJ making most of the tables gather together to sing -- acapella -- a verse from a love song to the bride and groom. I then figured our table would be the bestest because we had a ringer, Nancy, who can actually sing, and we are well-practiced in group singing thanks to karaoke. Not that this was a contest or anything, but we did have pride on the line. So we sang the chorus of "Endless Love" and Eric and Liana tried not to look toooooo horrified from their table of honor, because aside from Nancy, we were all over the place. I'm going to blame the church accoustics for this one.

There was also the Nancy-choreographed first dance for the bride and groom (to Bill Withers' "Lovely Day", an awesome pick for a first-dance song if ever I heard one, though I had been secretly hoping they'd come out and dance to some serious song at first and then bust out with "You Shook Me All Night Long," complete with bride and groom air-guitar. Liana did this later, though, when the song came on around 1 a.m., so I am content), and a reception version of the (literal) Newlywed Game...

Literal Newlywed Game

...and Eric's family busting out some serious dance moves, and caribou-stuffed chicken (delicious, in case you were wondering), Ah-Ha's "Take on Me" drawing out a crazy amount of people to the dance floor (and everyone dancing like the characters from Peanuts in A Charlie Brown Christmas) and...man, there was so much! Especially since the reception went until almost 3 a.m. Another thing I have never seen in the States.

At one point, "New York, New York" came on, and it made me all sorts of wistful. Seriously. I'd been trying not to think about what I was missing down in the Bronx over the weekend, and then this happened and I felt like I'd been kicked in the gut. For real, man. But that was all taken away when someone passed the bread basket over to Nancy and Ray's side of the table and the napkin hanging over the basket caught one of the table's candles and THE WHOLE THING WAS ENGULFED IN FLAMES. It kind of happened in slow motion, with all of us looking on, horrified, thinking about how Table 6 was going to be responsible for burning down the reception hall and thus ruining the wedding. This, I thought, is what we get for stuffing things in a confessional. But Ray awesomely remained calm, and busted out his water bottle to douse the flames and all went on as normal. It did give a whole new meaning to "wedding toast," however. I don't think Christina and I stopped laughing over it (because it was all good and we weren't going to be wedding ruiners after all) for a good hour.

Bread basket flambé

All in all, it was a way excellent weekend. I think I spent more time in the car than sleeping in a bed, but for a few days that's not such a bad thing. Especially when you get to be part of such a special event in a beautiful location with some of your bestest friends. What else more do you need?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bonsoir, Bitches

ESPN, or shall I say RSN for carrying ESPN, rocks my world, because I was able to watch the game from Montreal this evening, and holy crap was that a beautiful thing. I didn't expect the whole team to come out there and be all thankful to us and whatnot, but there it was. Jeter being all taking the reins with the mic (I would've liked if he'd busted out with "Because You Loved Me", but his speech will do), A-Rod looking like he was actually enjoying himself, the players scraping dirt into baggies -- in that moment you totally knew that they feel exactly the same about that place as we do. And Marino declaring that our love is "Unconditional" is especially awesome. I know he was really directing that at Friday night season-ticket holders, because of all the crap we've sat through lately, so it was nice to hear, yo.

A good job all around. Someone write this down, because I don't know when I'm going to compliment ESPN again.

Full wedding/Quebec wrap up upon my return. After I've caught up on all the pregame/postgame stuff, of course.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

"It's you two… and a bunch of sex offenders." -- Production Guy Jeff, to Rana and me, on why he won't join Facebook.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Top Yankee Stadium Moments

I'm sure you've seen all these lists lately, about which, exactly, were the best moments at Yankee Stadium. Of course, the stuff you expect to be on them is there. I think of the games that I've seen via TV, which account for not only some of the best sports moments I've seen, but some of the best moments of my life: Game 6, 1996; Game 7, 2003; The 2001 World Series; Leyritz's playoff homer in 1995. Abbott's no-hitter and Cone's perfect game (I missed Wells' perfect game and Gooden's no-no thanks to higher learning, when webcasts didn't even exist) the sick Yankees/Red Sox game (aka, Jeter Dives into the Stands) from July 1, 2004; that 9-run comeback from two years ago; And that's just the top of the list -- so when people say "Ah, it's not the same thing as the place where Ruth played (ie, "Tear the history-less fucker down")," I say, hell no it' s not. But it's got a crapload of big-time memories just from the past 30 years -- more memories than some franchises have had their entire run. But I suppose that wouldn't matter to someone who just wants some sushi to go with their martini while they sit in their air-conditioned luxury box while watching....what is it again? Oh, yes, the men on the field run around those base things to score some points.

Anyway.

I've had some good times at the games I've actually been at, and I'd like to add my two cents, even if they don't really stack up in the rest of Stadium History. So here are my top moments from games I've attended, complete with the original blog posts (save the 1994 memory, because blogs were still a good few years away). It was an interesting list to compile, because I have gone to some WAY sucky games (Bloody Sock, anyone?) and some pretty decent games (though not enough to warrant a "Top Moment"). So, here you go. And I promise you won't get to hear me make "Arr, stupid new Stadium" comments till next season.

No. 6 - Jeter's 2000th hit It was a losing effort, but earlier in the game, the air was popping with anticipation for the Captain's 2000th. The way it happened was pretty awesome, what with it being a questionable hit, and having to watch the hits column on the scoreboard change to get confirmation. When the number changed, the Stadium erupted in celebratory fashion, yet I don't think Mr. Jeter himself was too psyched. I mean, he didn't smile until he got 2001 (a legit hit). Still. Awesome.

No. 5 - The Yanks rally for five runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat KC 8-7 I got to attend this game via Carolyn and Rick's season-ticket package. Of course, this was a SATURDAY game, which, of course, means magical things happened. Which included that non-clutch, no-good Alex Rodriguez getting the game-winning hit.

No. 4 - The Yankees hit 8 home runs in one game Ken's family from Pittsburgh are huge Yankees fans, and this was their first Yankee game. Their last name? Homer. I swear to god. I remember his aunt actually wondered if blasting home runs left and right while I was at games was commonplace. If only...

No. 3 - A-Rod hits 500 It was beyond swealtering (to the point where they were giving away free water at the Stadium) and it was seriously the most uncomfortable weather I'd sat through, despite the lack of rain and freezing temperatures. Thankfully, A-Rod came through early, and I got to see a bit of history through the haze of impending heatstroke.

No. 2 - I get a great birthday present from Don Mattingly, 1994 It was my 17th birthday. All I wanted was a home run from Mattingly. I got one. And it was personalized. For reals, man.

No. 1 - 2004 ALDS, Game 2 This was a wacky game, the score see-sawed many times, Mariano blew it, the game went to the 12th, the Twins went ahead, and then the Yankees came back (with that non-clutchiful dickhead A-Rod tying the game with a double that was about a foot from being a game-winning homer). Looking back now it's kind of bittersweet seeing what followed in the next round, but that game, from everything going on on the field to the charged-up crowd atmosphere, was pretty damn awesome. Also, it's one of my most favorite posts ever on this blog. So there.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Time it was
And what a time it was it was,
A time of innocence
A time of confidences.
"Bookends," Simon & Garfunkel

In May of 1988, my dad took me to my first Yankee game. I don't remember who they played (I know), but I do remember I wore my River Plaza Elementary School sweatshirt, sat on the third base side close-ish to the field, was taken aback at how lush and green the grass was, was super excited at seeing Dave Winfield and Don Mattingly up close, and had to endure the woman behind us debating if she should bring a purse to an upcoming Bruce Springsteen concert or not (still a joke between my dad and I to this day). I was way psyched to be there because for a suburban kid, NYC was where things happened, and I knew that Yankee Stadium was like a microcosm of that. Even though it was the dirty 80s, I still knew it was somewhere that important things went down and that there was a sacredness to it that other sports venues couldn't really match. The Yankees won. It was a Saturday night.

Fast forward 20 years to yesterday -- my last "old" Yankee Stadium game. On a Saturday night. A nice bookend, of sorts (which is hard to do, considering there haven't been many Saturday night games in the Fox era). Yes, because my dear friends Liana and Eric are marrying in Quebec City next weekend, I'm missing the last Friday game. So it was kind of important that I got to see a good game, and not the normal suckage that's reserved for Fridays. Also, my goal was to take something from the Stadium. Nothing big -- I didn't want to get arrested and screw up our chances for Friday tickets next year (though I appreciated Jen trying to figure out if my eyeglass repair screwdriver would help us get the seat number off my seat) -- but something.

The game itself had a little bit of everything (except for Steph, which, wah, wah, wahhhhhh to the nth, man) with a comeback (Yeah, Sidney, thanks for the grand slam that made me think Friday night karma had made a surprise guest appearance), a few nifty fielding plays, a home run from Betemit, the soon-to-be Stadium hit king Jeter going 3 for 3, Joba making an appearance and Mo getting the save. Marlboro Man was there, and even high-fived Erica, Sound Man was awesome, though a repeat (Lionel Richie, which, speaking of bookends, was the first Sound Man to open up the newest Yankee Journal, and since I'm starting a new journal next season for the new Stadium, he is the last Sound Man as well), and my hot dog, as always, was inexplicably delicious (I've always found that the dirty water dogs were better than the roasted ones. I worry about how they will be prepared at the new place -- they will probably be organic and topped with watercress and Grey Poupon or something. Sigh.).

In the 8th inning I started to make myself take it all in -- how 1970s-esque the scoreboard looks in its simplicity and how that's all you really need (because I expect the new one to be fulls of bells and whistles), the placement of the advertisements, the faded blue of the seats. I even took some deep breaths to get that Stadium smell -- hot dogs, stale beer, a hint of popcorn and paint -- that I fear won't be in the new place (I imagine it will have a scent that is akin to new-car smell). I listened to the way "Enter Sandman" sounded when Mo came out, the way it bounced off the back walls and roof of the Tier. And I took in how marvelous Frank Sinatra sounded as he suavely told us to start spreading the news, as my last view from my beloved upper deck was of all the Yankees on the field, congratulating each other on the win. White pinstriped uniforms against that lush green that dazzled me 20 years prior.

I thought I was going to get all crazy teary on my way out, but I was too busy being all "Goodbye, Tier 5! Goodbye, shady ladies' rooms! Goodbye, pretzels that were never quite warm enough!" When I said goodbye to the field, my last view of it was from the right field Loge. I could only see the field itself and the seats immediately surrounding it, which I guess is appropriate because from what I hear, that will probably be the only remaining part of the Stadium when all is said and done.

On the way down the ramps out, I spotted a hole in one of the cinder block walls. I reached into it, much to the "OMG WHYs?" of Jen and Erica (I guess I really didn't know how the hole got there, but it did look a bit, um, man-made and was eye level, so it seemed sanitary enough), and dug out two small chunks of cement -- my own little piece of Yankee Stadium that I have yet to figure out how to display in my apartment.

And when we got to the bottom of the ramp and the exit was looming, I kissed my fingertips and pressed them to the nearest pillar as I passed. Because for all the crap I've had to endure there (a losing record on Fridays. Drunken assholes. Rain. Subzero temperatures. Rain and subzero temperatures during the Bloody Sock Game. With the flu. Boos. Getting knocked out of the playoffs) it is the dearest place to me after my childhood home. The new stadium will have all the conveniences of a 21st century park and may do its best to honor the deep history of the team. But it will never be the place where I saw my first Yankee game. And it will never be the place where I learned what being a fan is all about.

No wrecking ball nor watercress-topped hot dog can take that away from me.



Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you