Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my pride and joy this Halloween:

the Conan O'Brien O'Lantern! (Pattern here) Enjoy all your candy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fuck You, A-Rod: Part Deux

I suppose I should elaborate on that last post a bit, now that my anger has died down a bit. As you likely have heard, A-Rod has decided to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. The Yankees said that if he were to opt out, they would not pursue him as a free agent and so Alex is a Yankee no more.

I should be celebrating this. I loathe the ego, douchebaggery, and general asshattery Rodriguez has brought to the Yankees for the past four seasons. But in typical A-Rod fashion, he managed to make his departure even more loathsome than anyone could have imagined. He announced his decision (or, rather, Scott Boras did) just as the World Series was drawing to a close.* He neglected to tell any of his teammates of his plans, nor did he even have the courtesy to return calls from team brass regarding his status. He used the uncertain status of other team members as his excuse for bailing even though he had ten more days for their status to be resolved before he made his move. Baseball might be a team sport to most players, but to A-Rod, his only concern is his own stats and his own huge-ass contract.  

So, to clarify, after finally having an amazing season in pinstripes, overcoming the fact that you got booed at BY YOUR OWN FANS last season, and giving us a heartfelt speech about how you really belong in New York as you sprayed champagne on your teammates (yeah, remember those guys?), now you say (to, frankly, the only team that can afford your overpriced ass), "Eh, thanks but no thanks, I'll take my chances on the open market."


You know what, Alex? I don't give a fuck what you decide to do. All I know is that you better fuckin' be prepared to get one hell of a round of boos when you show up in New York next year. And I hope I'm there contributing to the sound and the fury. And I really hope that with you gone, the boys can go all the way while your money-grubbing ass is sitting at home in October thinking how it could've been you.

Oh, and your agent? Is the devil incarnate. But we already knew that.

So maybe the anger hasn't subsided in the last 24 hours. Oh well, it's more interesting that way.

*I'm a die hard Red Sox hater and even with that in mind, I can't say that what he did was in any way reasonable. 

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fuck you, A-Rod.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reason # 17... go to California:

It's "cold" in NJ now. Forgot that I am not a fan of that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good Morning, Christina

Even though the New Pornographers' latest album came out in August and I bought it in September, I hadn't really gotten around to listening to it too much. But I've changed that and I must confess that I got waaaaaaay too excited when I heard the track "Go Places," because
  1. Well, it's a good track (the album on the whole is quite good), and
  2. My name is in it!
For someone with a fairly common first name, you'd think it would show up in more places... but it really doesn't. Not in the music I find myself listening to. Although it should be said that I often imagine substituting my name for "Theresa" in "I'll Work For Your Love" off Magic. I mean, come on, "Pour me a drink Christina, in one of those glasses you dust off..."

It just sounds so right!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On a rare serious note, the situation in SoCal sucks right now. The fires haven't hit LA yet, but I'm glad I decided to put off heading out there for a little while. Just seeing the minor brushfire near Warner Brothers/Universal was scary enough; I can't even imagine what this is like.

My thoughts are with all my friends out there. Stay safe, guys.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


From Sars at Tomato Nation:

At times like this, I wish there were a formal designation in English to distinguish between the Yankee fans who only give a crap about winning, and the rest of us. I get the feeling it's the first group that influences some of the choices the Yankee brass make, and I like it fine when the team wins, but mostly, I just like it when the team plays. Plays baseball. Because that's the point.

So long, Joe Torre. You will be missed.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I'm doing NaNoWriMo! That's National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated. What it boils down to is spending the month of November driving oneself to the brink of insanity by attempting to write a 50,000 word novel. I don't know if I'll actually finish, or if I'll actually write anything that's readable, but I'd like to finally complete something for once, regardless of whether it's any good. I've got more unfinished stories and screenplays than I know what to do with. I've got a few ideas rolling around in my head, so we'll see where that takes me.

Also, at the Bruce Springsteen show last night in Ottawa, THE ARCADE FIRE came on stage with Bruce and the band and played a few songs ("State Trooper" off "Nebraska" and "Keep the Car Running" off Arcade Fire's latest album) during the encore. I am so fucking jealous of you Ottawans right now (even if I did get to hear "Incident on 57th Street")!  I love love love Arcade Fire. Off to search for that bootleg now...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Goddamn bugs...

Well, fuck.

The baseball season ended a bit earlier than I had hoped. But still, coming back from a 21-29 start to end up with 94 wins is pretty impressive in itself. I'm not really in the mood to talk about it too much other than to say, "Please come back, Jorge and Mo."

On to next season, boys...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

One great rock show can change the world.

Oh man. Oh man. Oh man.

Where does one begin to describe the sheer awesomeness of last night's Bruce Springsteen concert?

I suppose the beginning is as good as any other place.

Through some sheer dumb luck, I found tickets online on Friday night for Bruce's Saturday night show in Philadelphia. Even more incredible, the tickets were general admission floor seats. Needless to say, I was beyond excited for this. So Saturday afternoon, I made my way to Philly, linked up with my sister, and we headed over to the Wachovia Center around 4 so we could get our wristbands.

If you're unfamiliar with how Bruce Springsteen runs the floor section for his shows, there is front GA - known as the pit - and back GA. In order to prevent people from camping out at the arena to get the best spots, numbered wristbands are handed out, and then a random number is drawn. The person with this number is the first to get into the pit, and the rest of the line follows until the pit is full. The rest of the people fill in the rear section.

Anyway, to omit a lot of long, boring details that no one cares about, I was 696 and the number they pulled was 528. Not only were we in the pit, we were among the first 200 people in the building. That may sound like a lot until you think about the fact that there are probably close to 22,000 people in the building for a concert. And once we walked down onto the floor and saw how few people there actually were... man oh man. Perma-goosebumps. I remember somewhat dazedly holding up my duly-wristbanded wrist to the security guard at the entrance of the pit and looking at the sheer amount of space that was there... and the sheer amount of space that WASN'T there between myself and the stage.  We staked out a spot between Bruce and Clarence with approximately three rows of people between us and the stage. Yeah. Kind of a big deal.

Everyone around us was super nice (Bruce fans are such a nice change from the annoying hipsters I usually go to shows with even though yeah, I am one sometimes), and I got tons of comments on my '84-'85 world tour shirt (thank you, eBay!). The guys in front of us in line for the pit seemed genuinely stoked that two people as young as my sister and I were genuine fans of Bruce. All in all, it made the four hours between arriving at the Wachovia Center and Bruce's first notes on stage fly by.

When the band finally came out, we seemed even closer than I originally thought (I know, I'm an idiot). It was like my brain couldn't possibly process the idea of being that close to Bruce Springsteen until he was actually there, 15 feet away. We were so close to the stage, we couldn't even see the giant screens on either side. The show opened with "Night," and you couldn't wipe the goofy smile off my face for the rest of the show. He played 3 songs off "Darkness On the Edge of Town," "Prove It All Night" - during which there was eye contact* between myself and The Boss - "The Promised Land," and "Badlands," three of my all-time favorite Bruce songs. And people, HE PLAYED "INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET." This might not mean anything to you if you're not a Bruce fan. But trust me, it's a big deal. And it was amazing to hear live.

I've been up relatively close at comedy shows and some small club shows, but this is the closest I've ever been (and probably every will be) at an arena show. And just being able to see how the band members interacted with each other - and what a good time they seemed to be having - was priceless. The expressions on Bruce's face when he took a solo - particularly during "Prove It All Night" - were so intense (and I'd be lying if I said they didn't make my mind... wander... a bit). And that's something that you'd never be able to see from the other end of the arena without the help of the giant screens. Every time someone pointed to Clarence, he'd grin and point back at them and the whole group of us standing by him would cheer.

Other than the previously mentioned setlist selections, one of my favorite moments of the whole night had to be when Bruce played a wrong note during "Thundercrack" and tried to pretend it wasn't him. He yelled out "Who did that?" and laughed with this silly sheepish grin on his face (which I could see... from where I was standing... without looking at the screen). We might treat him like a god, but he's human. And he's cool with being human. The pairing of "Born To Run" and "Dancin' In the Dark" in the encore was another highlight, with the crowd going absolutely nuts. He closed the show with "American Land," which I thought would disappoint me because it wasn't an E Street Band song, but I actually really liked it - even though that meant the show was over.

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a more amazing experience for my first Bruce show.  I'm sure the two guys we waited in line with wondered if "the two rookies" realized what an awesome show they had witnessed. Oh, we realized. We most certainly realized. And more importantly, I'm wondering when I can go see another show, even though I know it's near impossible to have another perfect combination of an amazing setlist, amazing spots in the pit, and amazing weather for standing outside waiting for the lottery.

And because I couldn't go the whole post without mentioning it, it goes without saying that for 58, Bruce looks damn good. Age appropriate? What?  Heh heh heh.

Thanks, karma, for finally coming through.

*Maybe I imagined this, maybe I didn't. But it's one of my favorite songs, let me have my delusions, goddammit!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sometimes, good things DO come to those who wait...

This blogger is beyond psyched because she just managed to snag a pair of GA tickets for the Bruce Springsteen concert tomorrow night in Philadelphia (and she didn't pay a penny above face value).

I am squealing like a little girl right now. And I think my sister's away message says it all:

"so my sister = amazing...cause we are totally going to see bruce springsteen tomorrow night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and clarence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Open your ears/this is a story/it isn't clear/is he a fool or is he a god?

I know that I'm about four years late on this bandwagon, but, wow, The Wire is an amazing show. I've just finished the first two discs of Season 1 (thank you, Netflix), and I'm absolutely hooked. I'll be the first to admit that I've got a not-so-secret obsession with cop shows (Law & Order, Homicide), but that being said, I wasn't fully prepared for the sheer awesomeness of what is probably HBO's most underappreciated show.*

The Wire has a lot in common with Homicide: Life on the Street, of which I have previously extolled the virtues. David Simon, creator of The Wire, wrote a nonfiction book, also called Homicide, which served as the basis for the television series. On The Wire, he shows all the gritty things network TV wouldn't allow (and lets cops talk like actual cops, dropping all the f-bombs they need) and sets up complex, intricate, season-long story arcs that would have a broadcast network executive shaking in his or her suit. As if that weren't bad enough, the show dares to show the good and bad sides of the cops and the dealers. It's not a show to watch passively while you make dinner or do some writing. It demands your attention and frankly, it deserves it. I've only seen the first half of the season, but I know the rest of it won't disappoint me.

Season 5 of The Wire starts in January, which means that you have plenty of time to catch up on the first four seasons before then. And if you need any more convincing other than you're really missing one of the best shows on TV right now, well... British actor Dominic West, who plays Detective Jimmy McNulty, is pretty hot, even if he hasn't quite achieved Hugh Laurie-level command of the accent.   

As for postseason baseball, well it is a cruel, cruel mistress. Or master, I guess, since I like boys. The Yankees got nothing from their pitching staff and failed to capitalize on all the walks that Sabathia gave up, and my non-Yankee love** Chase Utley of the Phillies is... uh... 2 for 9 and the Phillies are down two games to the Rockies heading to Colorado. Ouch. But the Yankees are far from done. On the bright side, Magic, the new Bruce Springsteen album, is really quite excellent. 

*This is certainly not true in terms of critical reception, but it certainly doesn't have the general-TV-watching-public recognition of The Sopranos or Entourage.  Also, it could share this title with Flight of the Conchords, but I'm not entirely certain how that show's been received in the real world.

**The boys in the blue pinstripes come first, but I'll admit to checking out a few on the side.