Wednesday, April 30, 2008

25 and . . . . oh.

Last night the Mets played their 25th game of the 2008 season. They won, in extra innings, by a score of 5-4. Those who listen to me rant about the Mets on a regular basis (particularly Mrs. Side Bar), are aware of my frequent complaints: "the Mets suck," "why do the Mets hate me?", "can you believe that Willie Randolph called me at work the other day to tell me that the Mets are losing on purpose solely to irritate Open Bar and me?" "I am going to shoot Aaron Heilman in the face with a gun and I will be acquitted by a jury of Mets fans on the grounds of justifiable homicide." And things of that nature.

Yet all is not lost for the 2008 New York Mets, and at 14-11 they are only .5 games out of first place in the NL East. To assess the state of the Mets, and to try and make some sense of what has been an odd season to date, I submit the:

2008 New York Mets Report Card Through 25 Games As Presented By A Completely Knee-Jerk-Reaction-Prone And Superlative-Abusing Fan

Jose Reyes, SS. Grade: D-. Why does Reyes swing at every pitch that is thrown to him? Reyes even swings at pitches that are not thrown to him. Damion Easley struck out on two pitches the other night, and the umpire explained that Reyes, who was on deck, was so aggressively swinging at the incoming pitches while in the on-deck circle that the ump was crediting Easley with an extra strike. I was going to go with the "F" here, but Reyes did get on base six times last night (3 for 3, 3 BB), raising his OBP from .272 to a whopping .312. This guy is supposed to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game, and he is, to date, arguably the worst leadoff hitter in this division. He is beginning to show some patience at the plate, but his production across the board in April has been a half-step above miserable. And, as we all know (because Gary won't shut up about it) - "As Reyes goes, so go the Mets." (side note: is it really that surprising that when your leadoff hitter gets on base and scores runs your team generally wins more than it loses? Is this unique to the Mets? Are the Phillies better when Jimmy Rollins goes 0-for-5?).

Luis Castillo, 2b. Grade: C. Castillo's knees and legs are being held together by pretzel rods, and I know that Open Bar is furious that Ryan Church is not batting second (with good reason: the Mets win when Church bats second), but this guy has performed pretty well in the past week or so. In fact, six stolen bases is tied for the club lead, and he is pretty sure-handed in the field. That said, the one thing he is supposed to be very good at, bunting, appears to have totally escaped him this year, and he is about as likely to hit a home run as Mr. Met. In any event, this guy is an awkward slide away from the 60-day DL, so let's keep Easley loose.

David Wright, 3b. Grade: Heart. (Glancing upwards, sighing contentedly). [Insert doodles here of my first name and David Wright's last name over and over again].

Carlos Beltran, CF. Grade: Die. Here's a fun fact: Beltran has 19 hits in 2008 and has struck out 20 times. Beltran does a great job of drawing walks (20 of them this year), but refuses to try and steal (only twice this year), which is why he has that ridiculous record for most successful base stealer of all time. Hey dumbass, if you only steal when you are guaranteed to make it safely, you will have two things: (a) a meaningless record, and (b) my scorn and contempt. Ass. Get that thing removed.

Ryan Church, RF. Grade: A. Talk about coming out of left field (or right field, as the case may be). Church has performed better than I think anyone could reasonably have expected. It certainly appears that the Mets picked up Church at the right time in his career, just as he was maturing into a solid every day player. If we can get .290, 25, 95 out of this guy this year, not to mention continued spectacular defense (he has made some sick catches this year), that trade with Montreal (yes, I still call them that) looks brilliant. My bad, Omar.

Carlos Delgado, 1b. Grade: F. .194, 3, 12 (19 K's). To quote David Spade, who was in turn paraphrasing MC Hammer: do-do-do-do. do-do. do-do. It's over.

Raul Casanova, C. Grade: whatever. I like this guy, but, you know, whatever.

Angel Pagan/Endy Chavez, LF. Grade: B-. I don't have anything funny to say about either of these guys (which assumes, I guess, that I have had something funny to say about others, which is debatable). Both have been good, not great; Pagan perhaps a bit better than expected, Chavez perhaps a bit worse (but hitting his stride). I think the platoon in left makes sense here for the rest of the year (Alou is done): solid defense, great speed, and acceptable offense. I have no idea why Willie felt the need to shit on Pagan the other day, but whatever.

Johan Santana. Grade: B-. I don't want to hear it from the Johan supporters, the bottom line is that this guy has been good but not great, and has been a bit of a disappointment so far. This is not Brandon Webb or Jake Peavy or any of the other lights out pitchers in the National League. Maybe when the weather warms up things will pick up for him, but he gives up way too many home runs, has lost a mile or two of his fastball, and is not unhittable. None of these things are unreasonable, except for a guy who just got signed to a multi-year deal worth north of $20m per year. At that level, we should expect 1998 Pedro, 1986 Doc, etc. Stay tuned.

Oliver Perez and John Maine. Grade: C+. Throw some strikes. Both of you. (side note: I swear on whatever you want me to swear on that I wrote this before this afternoon's debacle for Perez, which merely reinforces what I wrote).

Nelson Figueroa and Mike Pelfrey. Grade: A or C. If the criterion is "how good are they compared to what you expected", these guys both get A's, no question, especially Figgy (side note: can we end this nonsense with his family being at every game and the camera cutting to them every time he throws a strike? We get it. He was out of American baseball for a while, is a local guy, and is now pitching at a very high level for his hometown team. It's a nice story. Let's move on). If it is, how good are they going to be in August based on what you have seen so far, they both drop off. These guys have pitched well, but the league is going to figure them both out and start hitting them(especially Pelfrey). Hard.

Bullpen. Grade: D. See my Heilman comment above. There have been four grand slams in the NL this year, and the Mets bullpen has surrendered three of them. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Music Soothes The Savage Beast Part II: Lola Meets Natashka


Five years ago, I was working in downtown Manhattan at an insurance brokerage and was fairly unhappy. One day I got totally fed up, walked into my boss' office and quit - giving her like four months notice - I said "Listen, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself but I just don't want to do this anymore". In the following few months I lined up a job at a summer camp in the Catskills in upstate NY.

I got up to Frost Valley Summercamp as a 25 year old camp counselor, and I must say it was one of the better decisions that I have ever made. When I first got up there, I met this 23 year old Moldovan girl. Natashka. She was very hot, with an ass like J-LO and spoke very softly, if at all. You could tell she was kind of a tease - she knew mad dudes checked her out but acted like she was oblivious. She also claimed to be engaged but didn't wear a ring and, if pressed, sort of (but not really) admitted she wasn't.

Anyway, the summer went on and we became kind of friends. I definitely wanted to hit that but resigned myself to the unattainability of the ass. We continued to talk on a regular basis and flirted but I didn't really think much of it.

Toward the end the summer, the counselors played a secret valentine type thing and almost everyone joined - except me. While sitting by a campfire one night, my boss (who was my age and I was friends with) sat beside me and said, "Guess who is my secret valetine". It was Natashka. We briefly discussed her hotness and he said I could have the secret valentine thing if I wanted it and I decided, "Fuck it, I'm going to give this a real shot".

What followed was a high school courtship and romance, which even at 25 was quite enjoyable.
Over the next week, I left Natashka little presents - I picked some flowers and left them on her pillow, made a little clay person holding a note that said, in Russian, "Will you be my valentine?" and even broke out a bead ring proposing marriage (in Russian). During the week she repeatedly asked me if it was me and I denied it. On the last day, I revealed my identity and she was quite smitten. Later on that day I went by her 'village's' campfire - she was on duty so she had to sit there until 2 am. We talked for a while and after about an hour I made my move.

She was receptive and we - again, very high school - made out. It was dope. I proceeded to tell everyone that worked for me, my friends and boss. We all reveled in my attaining the seemingly unattainable.

Anyway, this little romance continued for about a week and I returned home to my parents house in Teaneck, NJ - an unemployed, close to broke 25 year old. Natashka was up at camp for another week for this other program but had asked if she could stay with me for a week after that and, I of course, agreed to have her stay with visions of wild Moldavan sex in my head.
She came and stayed and we had many makeout sessions with over the clothes groping. It was great for a while but I began to get frustrated with the limits she was imposing - claiming the 'boyfriend' excuse. This dance continued for the week and I began to be quite annoyed - annoyed that I couldn't bang this chick but at the same time, what I had wasn't that banging this chick. She, on the other hand, seemed to be very satisfied. She liked the attention, liked that I was trying to go further but also liked saying no.

Anyway, as many of us guys have felt, I felt like I was kind of getting played but at the same time still wanted to hook up and try to fuck her.

The sexual tension built.



I, now, must convey two things that occurred during the week that seemed insignicant at the time but are, nevertheless relevant:
  • I took her to Manhattan almost every day in my parents 1999 Saturn and we often listened to the radio. One day the song "Lola" by The kinks came on and I sang along - even after the song ended. As we were walking down the street she lost it (now keep in mind she spoke very softly and infrequently as well as in this cute eastern European accent): "STOP IT!!! STOP IT!!! STOP SINGING THAT SONG!!!! I stopped for a while but would continue later on, she'd get annoyed - this continued all day.
  • I don't think they have seat belts in Eastern Europe. My wonderful girlfriend who I love dearly and is much hotter and better in every way, Ioana, is from Romania (I seem to like Commies) and I often debate the merits of wearing a seatbelt in the backseat of the car. Natashka questioned the good of front seat seat belts, claiming that sometimes they do more harm than good. Please take a moment to scoff along with me.
I had a job interview in lower Manhattan on a Thursday morning and I left my house at about 7:30 AM with Natashka by my side. I gave her my cell phone and said, I'll call you at about 12 and we'll meet up and she agreed. She was to meet up later on that evening for a little while with this guy she was friends with (yes, I was sort of being bitched) but I would hang out with her beforehand, go to my Angry White Dave's (my former roomate, that again became my roomate and is now, once again, my former roomate) and then we'd go back to Teaneck.

My interview ended, and I called - she didn't answer. I went by my old job, hung out. I called again an hour later - no answer. I went by another place where I knew former colleagues and hung out - called again to no answer. Over the afternoon, I placed at least six or seven phone calls with no answer. I went from a little worried, to annoyed to irritated at this time.
I sat at AWD's apartment at about 7:30 and discussed the situation - I was pissed she had completely played me out but, at the same time, didn't want to leave her in the city. Eventually, AWD said to me "Fuck, you can't sit around here forever, let's just go back to Teaneck". I agreed and we left.

AWD and I took the bus back to Teaneck and I drove us to the local watering hole, Vinny O's where we met up with three friends whose names I, in the sake of maintaining their closely guarded anonymity, I shall change and if you don't know all of us it won't be funny. There was
The Angry Young Man, The Invisible Man and Beer on the Girl. We hung out and discussed the situation, agreeing that Natashka was a hot chick, but nonetheless was still playing me.

At about 9:30, she called Dave's phone. He handed it to me and I proceeded to have the following conversation:
  • Natashka: Hi Luke it is Natashka
  • LJT: Hey
  • Natashka: I am in the city with John (I don't remember his real name).
  • LJT: OK, so I assume you're staying there tonight.
  • Natashka: No, I want to come stay with you.
  • LJT: Well, you're there and it's late so just stay there.
  • Natashka: No, I want to come home with you.
  • LJT: Natashka, just stay there.
  • Natshka: Please, I want to stay with you. Please come get me.
  • LJT: Where are you?
  • Natashka: Twenty Third Street and Third Avenue.
Now, understand that Teaneck is like 5 miles west of the George Washington Bridge, it's like an hour and twenty minutes from Vinny O's to 23rd and 3rd and back again.



I was not happy, but felt somewhat obligated and, I admit, still wanted to fuck her despite my gripes. Adding to the situation, my friends could see I was considering getting her and began to taunt me. They said things like "You're a bitch!" and "Don't be a bitch!" and "I can't believe you're going to go get her, you bitch!" They were right. I knew they were right but my catholic guilt and my libido conspired against me.

  • LJT: Take the four train up to 86th and Lexington, I'll pick you up there?
  • Natashka: What? Where is that?
  • LJT: John can tell you.
Apparently this was a tall order for someone who lives in a country that had only recently discovered the wheel.

  • John (get's on the phone): Hey
  • LJT: Hey
  • John: Can't you just pick her up here, it's right off of the FDR.
  • LJT: No, tell her to get on the train.
  • John: Please, just pick her up. It's not that far.
  • Friends: YOU FUCKING LITTLE BITCH-ASS PUSSY!
  • Inner self: YOU FUCKING LITTLE BITCH-ASS PUSSY!
  • LJT: FINE
I hung up and justified my actions to my friends who, rightly, asserted once again that I had no testicles.

I walked out and got in the car and made my way to the car.

I recapped the whole situation in my head: this hot chick is hooking up with me but she's a fucking cock tease, she left me hanging ALL DAY, is hanging out with some other guy while I'm trying to have sex with her and now, NOW, I'M GOING TO PICK HER ON ON 23RD AND 3RD!!!!

"I AM SUCH A BITCH!!! I AM SUCH A FUCKING BITCH!!!", I screamed as I pounded my steering wheel and drove eastward on Route 4 toward the George Washington Bridge at about 85 miles an hour.

My anger built, I arrived at 23rd and 3rd much more quickly than is reasonable and called - "I'm pulling up, be outside", I told her.

I pulled up and there stood John and Natashka. We all knew I was very angy. They stood there with little smirks on their face, privately laughing at the situation.

She got in the car, gave me a little smile and softly said "Are you mad?"

"AM I MAD? I AM A FUCKING MAD? YES, YES NATASHKA I'M FUCKING MAD", I replied.

I slammed on the gas and we sped toward the first intersection - we stopped shortly at the light and she put on her seatbelt.

In total silence, with the exception of a very very low radio playing the local classic rock station, we pulled onto the FDR I drive.

I drove incredibly fast as I bobbed and weaved in and out of cars in a reckless manner.


She said not a word and I just continued to rage silently.

Then, something happened - "Lola", by the Kinks started with its recognizable opening guitarr riff.

I turned stereo up to full volume and she remained mute. We drove up the FDR not speaking at all with "Lola" blasting. Even in my rageful state, I found this situation quite hilarious and that really calmed me down. I took the car from close to 100 to a much more reasonable 60something and we drove back to Teaneck, still not speaking.

As we pulled off of Route 4, I pulled the car over and said "Look, I'm going to the bar with my friends you can either come or go home and sit with my parents - what do you want to do?" She said nothing, barely containing tears. "You can come with me or go home, what do you want to do?" Nothing. "Natashka, what do you want to do!" She mumbled something. "What!?" "I will come with you", she replied.

She was quite obviously shaken.

I didn't even remotely care.

We drove to Vinny O's and parked. As I was getting up, I saw she wasn't doing the same?

"Are you coming?" I asked. "I will stay here", she replied. "What??" I asked again. "I want to stay here" she said, again. "ARE YOU GOING TO GO ANYWHERE?" "No", she said.

"FINE", I shouted and slammed the door. After about five steps I remembered I had left my cell phone in the car. As opened the door, I saw her sitting there, crying quietly. "I forgot my cell phone" I said, tersely as I grabbed my phone out of the center console and again slammed the door.

In the bar I relayed this store to the group and, in doing so, reclaimed some of my masculinity even though we all agreed on my bitch-hood. After about twenty minutes, Beer On The Girl, said he wanted to go check on her.

He went and a few minutes later I decided I should go talk to her.

I passed BOTG on the way out - he was returning from the car I was going to and he laughed and said, "I told her to come in the bar and she was she couldn't because I am being punished". We both laughed and I continued on to the car.

I got in the car and said "Listen Natshka, I'm sorry about losing my temper just like I'm sure you're sorry for not returning my phone calls for seven hours today."

She agreed to come in the bar and stayed for a few hours.

Later on that night and the rest of the week we continued our making out and that Sunday, I drove her to JFK and put her on a plane back home.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Let's Bring This One Back - aka Waste Some Time At Work

Someone, most likely Joe, introduced this game to a few of us a couple of years ago. I just thought about it again today and searched for it on Google.

The point is that you have to use mirrors and prisms to get a laser beam to light up some lights. Be warned, it is addictive. Also be warned, you will spend at least at least an hour trying to beat level 17. If I remember correctly, the only person who was able to beat level 17 when I first played this was Dabney. If I didn't steal his solution I would never have figured it out. Play the game, so long as you have a couple hours free.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Been Quiet, Let's Kick It Old School

I'm pretty confident this happened in 6th grade. Back in 6th grade we had a class called "cycle" where we would rotate an elective course every 6 weeks. If I remember correctly (and I can't believe this was in 1989, by the way) we would take Spanish, French, Latin, Health, Computers, and a Music cycle.

Anyway, back before I was the fashion maven I am today, I could not have cared less about fashion. In elementary school Notorious and I essentially had contests over who could come up with the best combination of sweatpants and t-shirts. In order to win the contest you had to have the brightest sweatpants and the best pop culture reference on your t-shirt. Matching or coordinating the colors did not make a difference. For example, I would win on the days when I would wear my bright orange sweatpants along with my "avoid the noid" t-shirt. As Diesal will tell you (whenever you're making fun of him and he wants to deflect the attention away from himself) I didn't even own a pair of jeans until 7th grade. I was generally sweatpants all the way through then, although I did have some of those interesting Bugle Boy pants with the zippers and stuff all over them '80s style.

So this happened in 6th grade, during middle school, but before I decided to actually put any thought into my outfits aside from which company's witty t-shirt expressed my mood that day. If I'm remembering correctly on that day I was wearing cargo sweatpants (because really I was just way ahead of my time, rather than a fashion misfit) and a t-shirt that said PennState-asaurus (do you remember those -asaurus t-shirts? Those were weird.) that was most likely an XL size even though I think I was 5'1" at the time. The shirt came down to my knees, which for some reason was also fashionable back then, or else I was just a huge dork. Probably both.

Here's the actual story. This is one of LJT's favorites, so I hope he will add or amend the story as necessary. We were in the music cycle and in the music room with Mr. Streckfuss. This was before he nearly killed our bass drummer for playing the song incorrectly. And also this was just a introduction to music class, so he couldn't be all that mean. I had taken my 3 years of piano lessons and so when he asked if someone could play some notes on the piano in order for him to demonstrate something or another, I volunteered.

So I'm wearing my cargo sweatpants, and my shirt that comes down to my knees, and I had been sitting, and most likely fidgeting in this chair for a while now. I get up to walk to the piano and wouldn't you know it, the now famous mother of all embarrassment, the shirt wedgie. I had a wedgie so big, that not only my underwear, not only my sweatpants, but also my XL t-shirt had jammed its way all up into my buttcrack. All I really remember is the 6th grade Notorious LJT, who was only slightly more uncouth than he is now and who had been sitting next to me, laughing hysterically as I tried to play off the nonchalant wedgie pull as I walked to the piano. I like to think that I redeemed myself by playing the notes on the piano correctly, but in retrospect, that probably just made me look like an even bigger nerd.

It was awesome.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Does This Really Warrant All This Attention?

Here's the news all week:

"Ok, there's the Pope getting off the plane. He's walking down the staircase. Oh my good ness, look at that walk. This guy walks like none other. Ok, and he's at the bottom of the staircase now. And look at him go. Ok, wait, wait, he just shook some guy's hand. Oh my, we are lucky to have the Pope here in America. No one shakes a hand like him. Doesn't his dress look fabulous. I wonder what Stephen Kojocaru will have to say about it. And, ok wait, he's walking again. My word can that man walk."

"Ok, so there goes the Popemobile. And the Pope is in it. See, the idea here is that the car is fashioned so that you can see the Pope while he rides inside it there except you can't like run up and shoot him or anything. Look at that Popemobile go. And the Pope is waving. Can you believe that, folks? He's waving. During his stay here not only will the Pope be waving, but we already saw him get off a plane and walk and shake some guy's hand, and also on his schedule is giving a speech somwhere and then riding in his Popemobile again and them meeting some other people and then giving mass on Sunday. This just could not be more exciting."

Dude, I get it. The Pope is here. It's like the guys who sit outside Starbucks waiting for Britney Spears to get a macchiato just all picked up and turned into the Pope-arazzi. Get it, Pope-arazzi? Maybe it's just because I'm not Catholic, but I could not possibly care less that the Pope is in town except to the extent that it messes up traffic.

You Catholics out there (I just felt like Keith Hernandez saying, "you kids out there"), is it really that important to you what the Pope is doing every second of the time that he's here in America? Do we need to interrupt regularly scheduled programming just to find out that the Pope is "en route" somewhere? If so, why is this only a story when the Pope is in America? We don't get hourly updates when the Pope is in Rome getting his Pope on. Or when he goes other places in the world. Are Catholics even that big a percentage of the American population?

When world leaders come to America and do stuff we don't get this kind of coverage. I don't understand the fascination with the Pope.

Crazy ass Catholics.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Classic Video: Swedish Chef makes hot dogs

The recent onset of the baseball season brings to mind many things. But is there a "baseball cuisine"? It's hard to say, but if there were a baseball cuisine, certainly one item at the top of the list would have to be hot dogs. Like baseball, hot dogs are a purely American creation. I've read somewhere that hot dogs are basically made of pig intestines and other gross stuff, but I don't really care because they taste great. Fuck you, Jules Winfield and your "pigs sleep and root in shit" nonsense, I don't fucking care. I'm with Vincent "Pork chops taste good" Vega, and so are all the baseball fans who enjoy a good frank at the ballgame.

I look forward to scarfing down a good many dogs at Shea this season. And another thing about why hot dogs are awesome? The simplicity in cooking them. You can throw them on the grill and turn them once, and in five minutes they're ready to go. But for whatever reason, I still prefer a boiled hot dog. Every now and then, I buy one from a street vendor, and it always tastes awesome. I'm glad to see the Swedish Chef agrees with the boiling philosophy.



How 'bout that Miss Piggy appearance?

And not to perpetuate an anti-woman stance or anything, but I must honestly say that the funniest thing I saw this week was this little animated GIF called "Cunt Punch." I really don't mean to offend our hordes of women readers by posting this, but I have to say, every time I watch this, I laugh. For any guy who's ever been hit in the balls (and not just by Side Bar), you'll get it. And I'm not saying that women can't get hurt by a random shot to the groin, but if this were to happen to you, it would hurt a lot more if you had testicles.

Anyway. There's no swearing or nudity or anything, so feel free to click here on this link, even if you're at work. (The title is a little off-putting, I imagine, to some of your IT guys, but they're just nerds, so screw them.) Anyway, have a good weekend!

[Cunt Punch first seen on FilmDrunk, which is a funny site!]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Music Soothes The Savage Beast Part I: Kodachrome


Recently, I've been assigned to the Northern New Jersey Zone by my job and not exactly by my choice and part of this job requires driving out on Route 78 in beautiful NJ (The Greatest State in the Union).

Problem is, I don't have a car and I'm not buying one just to drive out on Route 78 twice a month (at least not without a massive raise - and if you're reading, and you know who you are - ahem).

In lieu of buying a car, I rent a car. I use Enterprise Rent-A-Car usually, because they're here in Jersey City and they'll pick you up.

This morning, I was headed to a meeting to out on 78 at 9 AM sharp and so I rented an economy car from Enterprise. When I called at 7am for my 7:50 pickup they instructed me to just call when I was ready. I called at 7:40 and they assured me they were on their way.

Now, mind you, E.R.A.C. is like maybe seven minutes away from me. Let's go to the video tape:

Now, I really hate being late to meetings and things that there is a definite start time you really should be there for (general work days don't count, however for those 9:15 is a good day) - and so when 8:05 rolled around I called and was like, "hey, I just want to make sure you're coming". The "yeah" was all I needed. Then, at like 8:10 - the "he'll be there in a second" placated me.

But, by 8:15 I was annoyed and the "well, there's a lot of traffic" set me off. "NOT BETWEEN COMMUNIPAW AND HIGHLAND!", I corrected. (Oh, my meeting was at 9 and I takes like 40 minutes to get there.) So when the car pulled outside, I was upset.

I stormed out, opened the door and without saying a word, I sat down. He either knew prior to meeting opening the door that I was pissed or the palpable tension clued him off but the kid that showed up was like, maybe a 21 year old black kid with baby braids in his hair and he had on like hot 97 or whatever on and we're driving back and I'm just stewing . There's silence and we're just sitting there with hot 97 on and I can tell he's a good kid and all but I'm just fucking pissed off that I'm going to be late. So, about half way there in the midst of this tension, the kid changes it from 97 to 101.1 - CBS FM, the 'Golden Oldie's Station' for what must have been an attempt to accomodate me.

I'm sitting there like, "Motherfucker - you are late and now you're treating me like an old white guy - fuck you". (You really have to know how my irrational anger can crescendo to really appreciate the situation here.)

The thing - the fucking thing - is it worked. It totally worked. (Damn, maybe I am an old white guy.)

While I was sitting there a song came on that I thought maybe I had heard before but didn't quite recognize. It had a catchy first line that was followed by, like, a hbouncy and fun bass.

Trying to catch the lyrics distracted me from my anger and, by the time I got there I had calmed down. I was still pissed, mind you, but I didn't want to flip out.

I got the keys and the car and pulled out the lot in JC at 9:27 and calmly did 95 miles an hour in a Kia Spectra and got to work at 9:03, just a few moments late to my meeting.

The song has been in my head all day and I didn't really hear the lyrics. All I could rememeber was think back/girls in high school/imagination.

So, since I got home (I walked home from Enterprise) I've been trying to find this song and I just did.

It turns out the song is off of the 1973 album "There Goes Rhymin' Simon" by Paul Simon and the song's name is "Kodachrome" and it's a great little happy song and I hope you enjoy it.



(This made me think of another instance in which a song made me take a much needed chill pill and that story will be saved for Part II of this thought.)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oh jeez, Barack, you damned elitist!

"In a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long," he told the donors. "The jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
I don't know how much this will hurt Obama or for how long, as a lot of that will depend on how he handles things. But sheesh, he really couldn't have said something much stupider politically, short of "Rural folks are dumb and backward, and their belief in God, love of guns, and hatred of foreigners is due to the fact that they are inbred. And in a related topic, I'm a gay homosexual man." And the first sentence is pretty much the way the right is going to portray what he said.

Add to that the fact that he said it in San Francisco, the liberalest, "elitist" of cities, and you've got conservatives salivating.

Obama's biggest challenge even before this was connecting with rural white voters. And boy oh boy has he made that harder. Granted, most of them were gonna vote McCain anyway. I'm not saying it'll be impossible for him to recover from this, but it certainly won't help him win over Republicans frustrated with the past seven years of Bush incompetence who might have been considering voting for a guy preaching unity and postpartisanship. We'll have to wait and see. I don't think this will prevent him from winning the Democratic nomination; he's got that mathematically sewn up. But come October, if people are still talking about this, will it affect the fight for the swing voters whom McCain and Obama will be wooing?

What Obama said didn't really rile me up (and if you put it in its full context, you get a different idea of what he was trying to say). But lately, I've gotten quite riled up at something, and this Obama thing is clearly about to inflame that.

Terms used in politics such as "soccer moms" or "Nascar dads" arise every election, and are almost universally stupid. They vastly overgeneralize the people they are attempting to describe. Some of the political labels currently getting tossed around piss me the fuck off. Three of these include "elites," "regular people," and "lunch-bucket voters," and we will certainly be hearing those terms an awful lot in regards to this issue.

"Elites" (and its bastard grammatical cousin, "elitists") bothers me the most, specifically when paired with the angel to its devil, "regular people." "Elites," apparently, all live in Manhattan, San Francisco, Cambridge, and Beverly Hills, and they absolutely despise the morlocks who all live in flyover country. "Elites" literally all own ivory towers from which they look down upon "regular people" and "lunch-bucket voters" (the aforementioned morlocks), judging their meager existences and wishing that they would all just admit how primitive their small brains are. "Elites" don't hunt because they hate guns and gun-owners. They never, EVER go to church because they're all atheists or God-haters. And every day, all they do is sip chardonnay and congratulate themselves on being brilliant and earning their fourth Ph.D. while opining on the tragedy in Darfur (about which they do nothing).

And what the fuck does "lunch-bucket voter" mean? I suppose this refers to a rural citizen of voting age who works a manufacturing job where he brings along something called a "lunch bucket." "Lunch-bucket voters" seem remarkably similar to "regular people," who apparently are the salt of the earth. They care about their families way more than "elites," and their faith is awesome, like God Himself. They're mostly good-hearted farmers and manufacturers, and their natural decency is so beautiful it's like they literally sprang forth from a Frank Capra movie. They don't make much money, and they honorably struggle each month to pay the bills. And when they die, their sons inherit the family farm, which they will eventually pass on to their sons. As I said, salt of the earth.

I live in Manhattan and I went to college. I suppose, therefore, that I'm an "elite."

Sigh.

I wish so bad I were a "regular person." Being "elite" sucks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Canceling Flights

This just in, American Ailrlines sucks as a company. Now most of these flight cancellations, as best as I understand, are based on something dealing with bundling wires so that they don't chafe together. Also this is something that American checked themselves about two weeks ago and determined to be in good condition. As it turns out, apparently *every single plane* of a certain class of theirs was assembled incorrectly. That being said, these wires were used to support the backup systems of the airplane in case something goes wrong, which is rare. In a worst case secnario, the wires could chafe, give off sparks, and blow up the plane. This, again as best as I can tell, has never happened.

Isn't this pulling the whole fleet of planes off the circuit all at once a bit of an overreaction? Couldn't they just pull one or two planes off at a time and fix this? In order for this to be an issue and cause a crash (which hasn't happened since 2001 for an unrelated reason) several things would have to go wrong. There would have to be some kind of malfunction in the main system and the wires in the backup system would have to chafe to the point of malfunctioning. I get the feeling here that the probabilities here are infinitesimally small. I know if something happened and they knew about it that would be bad, but it just seems like an overreaction.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Friday Classic Video: God, it would be cool to be a British actor

First of all, I'm watching the Mets-Phillies game at the moment, and Damion Easley just came to the plate with two outs in the 11th in a 3-3 game.

His entrance song? 2 Legit 2 Quit.

And no, he didn't do the hand signals. Color me disappointed.

Anyway, where was I? So the other day, Nerve and IFC came together to produce a list of the 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time. Faith, who is now my mortal enemy, beat me to this over on her blog, where she did an excellent job explaining things and even included a smattering of awesome clips, so go there and read it.

These guys actually did a damn good job with this list. There are, obviously, a few personal favorites not there (No Bill Brasky? Dumbasses don't know that the whole Chuck Norris thing blatantly plagiarized Bill Brasky, but people who read the Internet are dumb. No offense if you happen to be reading this on the Internet.), but I watched just about all of them, many of which I hadn't seen and occasionally hadn't even heard of. On the whole though, it's a damn good list, so credit where it's deserved. I owe you a drink, Nerve and IFC. But you have to share it, for dissing Bill Brasky ("who hated Mexicans. And he was half-Mexican...And he hated irony!").

Think of a classic sketch, and I'll bet you can find it on there. And you'll laugh your ass off watching all the other ones you had forgotten about. And, as I mentioned before, you may find some that you've never heard of.

One sketch comedy show with which I was, until recently, unfamiliar is called Smack the Pony. It's British and, since I'm American and foreigners are to be feared and ignored if possible, I've obviously never seen any of their stuff. But one day, these awfully funny limeys came up with a sketch called "Saying Goodbye." It came in at No. 37 on the list. [By the way, METS WIN! Jose Reyes was (allegedly) safe at home on a single by Angel Pagan (my all-time favorite guy who's been on the Mets for eight whole games with a name that is delightfully kinda oxymoronic. It's a fairly short list, yes, but he's at the top. Until tomorrow, when he goes 0 for 5 with 3 K's and 2 foul pop-ups.) in the bottom of the 12th!!!! This just happened, that's why it's in brackets.]

You know those awkward situations where you're leaving a party and saying goodbye to the host, and the conversation goes on a bit long and you just want to leave? Add to that some other awkwardness which I won't reveal and you have a really, um, awkward situation. Anyway, just fucking watch already.

(This is a bit raunchy, but in a comedic way, so it's safe for work. Oh, and no swearing, so feel free to have the volume on.)



(Sorry about the "limeys" thing to our extensive British readership.)

Hello, McFly!

(3rd item in Google Image Search for "Delinquent,"
as in what our blogging has been lately.)

Hey assholes. Somebody post something. The blog's getting goddamn boring. We did OK in March, fucking great in February by posting 28 out of 28 29 days. But lately we've produced as much as El Duque will all year.

Hey Side Bar, how 'bout a Mets update? Chuck, do some research on a bizarre animal you were watching on Nat Geo the other night. LJT, what about a review of the Petraeus hearings? As for me, I'm pooped after expending all my energy finding that picture above. Plus, I'm out of beer, so no inspiration.

Random comment section topic: Best Nintendo Game Ever.

(And I mean the original 8-bit one.)

My pick: The Legend of Zelda.

Look at that map. Click on it for a larger version, and tell me that you don't immediately remember how much cool shit is crammed into that game. Every individual board holds a memory, doesn't it?

Yes. A memory of awesomeness.

And bonus points to whoever can remember how to get out of the Lost Woods. (Without Googling. No cheating. No way, shit's wack. [That's a hint!])

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Classic Video: Swedish Chef making eggs

I love the Swedish Chef. Definitely my favorite Muppets character. I'm sure I could do something clever like link up something I've cooked recently with a Swedish Chef clip, but I didn't do that here. Though that's a good idea.

Anyway, I'm gonna start posting more frequent Swedish Chef bits because he's so fucking awesome. I might even move to Sweden and live beside a fjord. Hopefully next to Bjergen Kjergen, who was played by the then-hot Drew Barrymore in the esteemed (and way underrated) picture Wayne's World 2. In the following dialogue, you must imagine Drew Barrymore using a terrible Swedish accent in order for the jokes to work. Or you could've just seen the movie and recall it using your brain and memory and stuff. Whatever, Chuck knows what I'm saying:
Wayne: Wow I love your accent, where are you from?
Bjergen Kjergen: I am from Sveden.
Wayne: Oh really? Whereabouts in Sweden?
Bjergen Kjergen: Kneurgen, near the Joergen Fjords.
Wayne: Well, nice to meet you, Bjergen Kjargen, from Kneurgen, near the Joergen Fjords. Hmm. Kneurgen, that's in the Klargen Province, near the Biburgen River.
Bjergen Kjergen: Yah hah.
Wayne: Now correct me if I'm wrong. Your annual rainfall varies from about 40 inches in the winter to about 200 inches in the summer, and your chief export is modular furniature. I did a report on Sweden in the eighth grade.
Bjergen Kjergen: Well I am impressed with your quest for knowledge. Educated men are rare.
Wayne: It was really hard, I stayed all night on it. Then the next day, in gym class I was on the minitramp and I got diarrhea. I really wish I hadn't told you that.
Anyway, if you don't like the Swedish Chef, you probably like to torture puppies or something, so I'm not all that worried. The cops are on to you, asshole. Your therapist snitched.

In this particular clip, the Swedish Chef simply wants to make some eggs, but this goddamn chicken is PMS-ing or something and gives him a hard time. Fucking chickens, man. Something's gotta be done.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

One Last Chance

The Knicks today are going to name Donnie Walsh the president or something of the team. He's basically gonig to be in charge of every aspect of the Knicks and will report directly to James Dolan. All of this is well and good, but this is the last chance I'm giving the Knicks to keep me as a fan.

If Isiah Thomas is still with the team next year, then I'm done with them. If they don't have enough goddamned sense to get rid of him, then they don't care about me and I, therefore, can no longer care about them.