Friday, April 28, 2006

First Impressions: Powder Burns

Three weeks before its physical release, the Twilight Singers have released their new LP Powder Burns on iTunes. I love early Christmas presents. After three days of listening only to this album here are my first impressions.

As a whole this album feels like a culmination of Dulli's previous work. There are hint of Twilight and Blackberry Belle, but then it's also more of a rock record than the two previous albums. There's also a stronger feeling of hope in this album than the previous albums. The first song, "I'm Ready" being a prime example with its chorus: "I'm ready to love somebody." Actually, the whole album feels like Dulli has seen a light and crawled out from a dark haze. This is evident not only in songs like "Candy Cane Crawl," (Which is Dulli's R&B classic) but in the music as well. Both "There's Been an Accident" and "Bonnie Brae" build to a gospel like climax with soaring background vocals and Dulli belting out his conviction. I think this is the strongest Dulli's sounded on any of his albums. The only hiccup in this album I think is "My Time (Has Come)." It doesn"t seem to fit this album to me. It feels like something from the Afghan Whigs' 1965 album. Maybe it's just the vampire lyrics.

So, where does this fit among the previous two albums? I think in the middle. I like Blackberry Belle better, but I also have a strong personal attachment to that album. I think it's better than Twilight. Again this is all personal opinion. The fact is that this is better than most albums that will be released this year. But then I'm severely biased.

I put five of my immediate favorites from this album in the player to the right.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Holding Pattern

Sorry guys, but this blog will be in a bit of a holding pattern this week. We are in our last week of production, which means we will be heading into our hiatus. Well everyone else will. I will be working. This week will be dedicated to finishing this season's bible. That's basically a recap of each episode along with all the forensics used in each episode and any character points that are brought up. Thankfully, Tamara did half of them and I only have to write 13 of them. Still, it will take awhile. I will most likely be back with you in a week, after I watch 13 hours of Ronald removing and replacing his sunglasses. Suhweeeet.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I'm a Great Uncle! The Great Brother Part Is Debatable.

So my niece Evie turned four this month. Being the wonderful uncle that I am I sent her a couple birthday gifts. There are two things that Evie loves: the color green and zebras. This makes gift giving easy. Since the green thing was done for Evie last Christmas, I decided to go the zebra route. I happened to find an adorable little zebra flashlight. Perfect. I shipped it out and got an email and picture yesterday claiming how much Evie likes her gift. See, I'm a great uncle.Today, I got another email saying she got the other present. I also got some other news: the flashlight makes noise. The zebra apparently goes "Doo doo doo doo doo doo over and over again." Whoops. I swear I had no idea. Evie it seems woke up in the middle of the night and started playing with her flashlight. So her poor sister was woken by the Doo doo doo's. I guess I'm a great uncle right only in Evie's eyes. I'm sorry.

This quickly reminded me of Christmas many many years ago. I opened up one of my gifts to see the Han Solo Blaster! I was so thrilled. I quickly ran and got batteries. I pulled the trigger and a piercing "blaster" sound emitted, deafening the family. I remember Mom's first words, "It makes noise?" That was my response when I heard the flashlight went "Doo doo doo." Again, I'm sorry.


I knew I shouldn't have gone to the game. I sat on my couch tonight and turned on ESPN. Two minutes later the ticker scrolled that Lee had fractured two bones in his wrist and will be out 8 weeks. I know people are going to try to be upbeat about this, but it's not going to work out. Lee is the heart and soul of this team. He's the MVP at the plate and on the field. What would people say about the Cardinals if Pujols went down for 8 weeks.?If it was a fractured leg or something I could see him returning and having a decent finish to the season. This is the wrist we are talking about. It might be out of a cast in 6 weeks, but how long till it completely heals. There aren't many players that have returned to form after a broken wrist. Griffey in Seattle was the only one Bob could come up with. So, that's it. I'm not saying we won't play decent, but we aren't playoff bound. Not with this lineup. Not without Lee. Even in this mediocre NL my hopes are somewhat shot. I think that's the problem. Watching the team play early in the year, got my hopes up. They were playing solid ball, and scoring runs without the HR. Now everyone is going to overcompensate. Now we have to rely on Walker as our defensive 1B. This is the same Walker we were begging for someone to take because of his shoddy defense. Man, this blows. I know you non-sports fans don't comprehend, but this sucks. I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Oh What a Night! Mid of April back in 2006.

That was perhaps one of the more interesting baseball games I've gone to. It started off innocently enough with me getting some nice seats in the Lodge level behind home plate. Cub's rookie Marshall pitched well for a rookie. He struggled with control the first few innings and gave up a two run bomb in the second. The Cubs scrapped out a run in the first. Then the whole night went kind of haywire.

The point of change all happened when a foul ball was actually hit in my direction. For the first time in my life I had a chance to catch a foul ball. The ball glanced up off a guy's hands and was heading straight at me. Sweet! I couldn't believe my luck. I dropped my pencil and scorecard in anticipation. I had flashbacks to little league, and my father yelling, "Use both hands. Both hands!" In slow motion I watched the baseball close in on my hands. Then out of nowhere the jackass in front off me throws out his arm and deflects it to my left. I say arm because he was on his cell phone. Since he didn't have a hand free, he tried to use his arm to knock it down. Moronic LA people and their cell phones. So the ball went left and down my row. I closed in on it just as another guy's hand snatched it up. I looked up into the face of a guy I'm pretty sure had never been to a baseball game in his life. He looked like some waif artist guy who smokes his Parliaments and leaves Nietzsche on his coffee table when ever dates come over to his apartment. Dammit! So close. At least I know where I'm getting tickets the next time I go. There were at least six foul balls hit to my section. Section 108 rows A through J for those who want to know. Wait for the right handed bats to foul them back about once an inning.

After the foul ball fiasco, I was graced with the sound of the moron behind me immediately grab his cell phone and call his friend to see if he was on TV. Of course he was so close to catching it. During the rest of the game he kept saying how he could've caught that foul ball or that foul bal. When he wasn't blathering on about his unfounded foul ball catching ability, he was explaining the game of baseball to his date. Of course everything he told her was wrong. I offer up two examples. First it's the top of the fourth and the Cubs have men on second and third. The Dodger pitcher doesn't give Cedeno, the number eight hitter, a pitch to hit. It is often called the unintentional intentional walk. The walk loaded the bases. The moron then proceeded to comment on how dumb the pitcher was. Now the Dodgers were in trouble because the Cubs can break this wide open. The game was tied 2-2. Now any baseball fan knows the pitcher always bats ninth in the "real" league. And anyone that was watching this game would've seen that the Cub's pitcher hasn't even come close to hitting a pitch. The pitcher promptly struck out on three pitches, and the inning was over. The second moronic moment happened at the top of the eighth. He explained that if the Cubs didn't score in this inning or the ninth that the Dodgers could score a run in the ninth and win. If nobody scored then they would go into extra innings. Which is technically correct. The problem was the Cubs were up 5 to 4. I don't know what game he was watching. Thankfully he left at the middle of the ninth.

That brings up another point. Dodger fans suck. The first wave left after the 7th. The Dodgers were up 4 to 2. The next wave left after the 8th with the Cubs up 5 to 4. They left with their team down by one run. What the hell? By the top of the ninth, the stadium was nearly all Cubs fans. The only Dodger fans left were the really drunk ones who couldn't make it up the stairs yet. My final thing for the Dodger fans: Stop bitching about Piazza. That was eight years ago! It was one trade. If you want something to bitch about, become a Cub fan.

The last crappy thing that happened was watching Derrek Lee collide with Furcal at first base. Watching your MVP collapse to the ground and grab his arm can put a scare in you. You immediately heard every Cubs fan in the stadium gasp. Then you heard the Dodger fans heckling. They have no idea what pain is.

There though some good things that happened. After the injury to Lee and pitcher Eyre, the Cubs came back to score three runs on a few two out hits and a couple errors. The Cubs of last year would've folded. Also, Amy and her boyfriend were sitting in the section next to me. Amy plays the aggressive news reporter on CSI: Miami. I actually talked to her for the first time at the wrap party last weekend. Turns out she has season tickets at Wrigley about five rows behind home plate. Her boyfriend then commented on how he could never break up with her now. I thought, "Break up? I would've married her day one. I would bust my ass to make that relationship work." Still, they are a nice couple, and it was a great coincidence.

Overall it was a nice night at the ballpark, and proves that you never know what will happen in baseball. The Cubs have yet to lose two games in a row. So, the Cubs kick ass right now too.Here's my mess of a scorecard. After the second double switch because of the injury it became almost hopeless. I'd like to point out that I took both of these picture with my cell phone's camera. My cell phone kicks ass.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

Am I in danger of being a GRUP? Are you?

During my search for end of the internet yesterday, I came across a video game designer referring to himself as a GRUP in his blog. "A what?" I asked myself. Hating the possibility that I could be ignorant of an inane pop culture reference, I did a little research. (It's what I do.) I came across this lengthy article in New York magazine. Is it New York magazine or The New York magazine? Can I not use the "The" because it makes it too close to The New Yorker? Just wondering. So the writer, Alan Sternbergh, helps define what a GRUP is:

If being a Grup means being 35, and having a job, and using a messenger bag instead of a briefcase, and staying out too late too often, and owning more pairs of sneakers (eleven) than suits (one), and downloading a Hot Hot Heat song from iTunes because it was on a playlist titled "Saturday Errands," and generally being uneasy and slightly confused about just what it means to be an adult in these modern times-in short, if it means living your life in fundamentally the same way that you did when you were, say, 22 then, let's face it, I'm a Grup
I turn 35 this year. I'll be honest. I think I might be a Grup. Much of Sternbergh's interviews are with married Grups who have kids. I obviously don't fit in that category. Also, the examples all live in New York and have high paying jobs. Again, that's outside my category. I guess I am a poor Grup. Here are a few of my examples of why I might be a Grup.

1. Even if this TV thing doesn't work out, I can't see myself taking a job where I can't wear jeans and a ball cap. My jean to pants ratio is 4 to 1, and some of those pants still have tags on them.

2. If my little sisters are any example, I probably am going to attempt to force my musical tastes on my kids. (Not that it works. They still gravitated to show tunes. I blame the Kessler side for that.)

3. I take pride in shaving only once every blue moon.

4. I save money for video games.

5. I still buy toys.

6. I keep ridiculous hours.

Here are some of Mr. Sternbergh's examples:
Let's start with a question. A few questions, actually: When did it become normal for your average 35-year-old New Yorker to (a) walk around with an iPod plugged into his ears at all times, listening to the latest from Bloc Party; (b) regularly buy his clothes at Urban Outfitters; (c) take her toddler to a Mommy's Happy Hour at a Brooklyn bar; (d) stay out till 4 A.M. because he just can't miss the latest New Pornographers show, because who knows when Neko Case will decide to stop touring with them, and everyone knows she's the heart of the band; (e) spend $250 on a pair of jeans that are artfully shredded to look like they just fell through a wheat thresher and are designed, eventually, to artfully fall totally apart; (f) decide that Sufjan Stevens is the perfect music to play for her 2-year-old, because, let's face it, 2-year-olds have lousy taste in music, and we will not listen to the Wiggles in this house; (g) wear sneakers as a fashion statement; (h) wear the same vintage New Balance sneakers that he wore on his first day of school in the seventh grade as a fashion statement; (i) wear said sneakers to the office; (j) quit the office job because-you know what?-screw the office and screw jockeying for that promotion to VP, because isn't promotion just another word for "slavery"?; (k) and besides, now that she's a freelancer, working on her own projects, on her own terms, it's that much easier to kick off in the middle of the week for a quick snowboarding trip to Sugarbush, because she's got to have some balance, right? And she can write it off, too, because who knows? She might bump into Spike Jonze on the slopes; (l) wear a Misfits T-shirt; (m) make his 2-year-old wear a Misfits T-shirt; (n) never shave; (o) take pride in never shaving; (p) take pride in never shaving while spending $200 on a bedhead haircut and $600 on a messenger bag, because, seriously, only his grandfather or some frat-boy Wall Street flunky still carries a briefcase; or (q) all of the above?
Those items in bold are ones that I agree with. Actually, I only spent $125 on my messenger bag, but I agree about the suitcase. The other non-bold items I would hope I would never do or think. $250 on a pair of jeans? Snowboarding? Misfits T-shirt? Hell no. I'm actuasurprisedised he mentions Bloc Party numerous times in the article. I would think a Grup would consider them "sooo 2005." This article was written this month.

So, am I a Grup? Yes I am. In fact I would say I am more of a Grup than those featured in the article. At beginningning of the article, the writer adds the synonyms: yupster, yindie, and alterna-yuppie. I'm going to claim that a Grup is different than those other terms. A Grup has nothing to do with the yuppie sect. I may be wiser. I may have a little more stable job. I may be more financially responsible. I may date more, but I am living my life pretty much how I lived as a 22 year old. Actually, I'm probably living my life like I wished I lived my life when I was 22 year old. But I still hold to that mindset. I am not really growing up, which seems to be the main point of being a Grup. I am not participating in those things that are associated with being a grown up. These yupsters just seem to-

Ah screw it. I found this article interesting, which is weird because I hate labels. Anyway, I decided to write blindly about it and see where it went. I now hate the way this has turned out. I'm not worried that I might become a Grup. I know I won't. I listen, wear, and do what I like. For everything that someone does or has that puts them in a certain defined box, there is something else they do or have that takes puts them in another group. I have Grup tendencies. I have MOL tendencies. I have geek tendencies. You know what that makes me? That makes me Brad. You're you. I like you. I like me (usually). I'm sorry I wasted your time with this.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I Watched This Movie in Honor of Bobby

My favorite moments was this:
I love afternoon cable and I love having Good Friday off!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I Hate to Admit it...

But I watched a full hour of American Idol on Tuesday night. There is an American Idol semi-office pool this year. I'm sort of the commissioner, so I have to keep up with who is booted. This usually means checking the last few minutes of the show, or checking the message boards. For some reason I decided to watch a whole episode. That reason was Queen. Now I'm not a huge fan of Queen, but I was intrigued to see if anyone could possibly pull off one of their songs. I don't know what I was thinking because clearly none of them could. I'm slightly disappointed that Queen even involved themselves in such things. Actually I'm not. They did agree to the "musical" We Will Rock You. (sigh) The thing is none of the "singers" were bad enough to be enjoyably bad. The only highlight was watching gAce trying to tell Brian May and Roger Taylor how he wanted them to play their song. I was really hoping May would just take a guitar to his head. So here's a little recap from a first time viewer and first time caller.

The show begins! Wait! The number one show in America has this for an opening? Four seasons and you can't come up with something better? Tron looks better than this. The Barbie video game looks better than this. Bobby could make a flip book cartoon better than this.

Anyway, some guy appropriately named Bucky comes out and does Fat Bottomed Girls country style. This season's crop must be awesome if Bucky made this show. He's properly lambasted by Simon. I don't understand why people hate this Simon guy. I mean other than the two sizes too small T-shirt.

Then my whipping boy for the evening gAce comes out to sing We Will Rock You. Um...cop out. I don't even consider We Will Rock You a song. It's more of chant to a riff isn't it? Either way, gAce blows. Once again I'm glad I have tinnitus. gAce is clearly the male version of the stupid blonde stereotype. He gets by on his smile and hair. I hate him.

Next up: Lita Ford! Sweet! I can't believe they let Lita Ford on. And can I say that Lita Ford looks fantastic for her age? Why does everyone keep calling her Kellie? Anyway, Lita goes on and attempts Bohemian Rhapsody. Lita seems a little more happier and bouncier than her "Kiss Me Deadly" days. Lita sucks it and yet the judges all like it for some reason. Even they don't know why they like it. Nice try Lita. "If I close my eyes forever!"

One question: If Randy Jackson and Stewart Scott were in the same room, could you technically say there were still no African American's in the room? It's like watching a real life Don "No Soul" Simmons.

Curly takes to the stage. His Queen song for the night is Innuendo. Whaaaaat? When Queen says they've never played a song live, perhaps you should choose a different song. Curly sticks with it and does a rocking cover of a Scott Stapp cover of Queen. Which in the real world means it sucks, but in American Idol world is apparently good. Awful song choice.

Next some cute brunette is going to sing "Don't Stop Me Now." Finally, a good Queen song. This the first since Fat Bottom Girls in my opinion. I admit now that I will always picture pool cues and zombies when I hear that song. The brunette though changes her mind, and does the theme song from Highlander. She clearly didn't pick this song by herself. There is no way she even heard of this song or the movie Highlander. She must have just asked for one of their slow songs. She actually does ok for American Idol. Still I feel like she copped out. She must only be able to do slow songs.

This just in! Apparently that wasn't Lita Ford singing. It was just some girl named Kellie dressed like Lita. I apologize to Lita Ford and the Ford family.

I'm going to give this next guy a little credit. First off he does a great Queen song, and it's a bitch of a song to sing. He's passable too. He does get big points deducted for that DJ intro. You should never have admitted that…never. Unless you do a blog.

Now here comes the fan favorite. El MOL...I mean Taylor Hicks! He changes his mind too on what song to sing. He decides on Crazy Little Thing Called Love because he wants to get back to the dancing Taylor. Suhweet! Two minutes later. Suhuuuck. Somebody shoot him, or me. Are you serious? People love this guy? You know on second thought I can see why people like him. He seems nice. He's obviously just having fun. I just don't see this guy ever being an American Idol.

For the finale, straight out of prison it's Lil Kim! Apparently, I'm wrong again. Her name's Paris and she will be attempting The Show Must Go On. The song's too big for her, and I still have no idea what I actually saw. I'm sure she must do better on other songs.

Thankfully we are finished. I give my vote to the brunette and to the guy that looks like the brother of the guy who played Gollum. My one disappointment was that nobody did a song from the Flash Gordon soundtrack. That would have blown Simon's mind. They could even do some of the dialogue to the movie. Flash! Aaaaah! Somebody could have sealed this beauty pageant up if they did Flash Gordon.

Also, has nobody figured out that the judges are all animatronics? It's like the Country Bear Jamboree only with fewer words programmed in. And that's being kind. Since this is my first real viewing, has the crowd ever booed a contestant? That I'd like to see. But I assume every audience believes the contestants can do no wrong.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I am now a Pill Popper

Yesterday I decided to take advantage of this thing called health insurance. For the first time in six years I stepped into a doctor's office. I will say I take a little pleasure in listing my history of past and current ailments for new doctors. The best is when you go to the emergency room. All the doctors in training gather outside your door like you are a celebrity. If only I wasn't lying on a table in my skivvies and a paper "gown." I've thought perhaps I could rent myself out as a walking specimen to local hospitals. There's the problem of always being in the "gown."I don't have the legs or ass to pull off such a revealing outfit. Also, my scars aren't the sexy kind of scars.

So, my new doctor asked the standard question: "Have you had any previous health problems?" I gave my list, pausing for the doctor when his hand cramped. My current problem has been the recent onset of an arthritic hip. I knew it was coming. Since I have one leg shorter than the other it was unavoidable even with the shoe lift. The real problem with this ailment is that I now have to take pills. Again, I knew this would eventually happen but I thought I had a few more years. No such luck.

I realize I'm writing a post in which I'm bitching about taking pills, but you should understand this is coming for a guy who took chewable aspirin through junior high. I crushed the adult aspirin up after that. Eventually I learned to take pills, but I still hate it. Now I'm stuck taking four a day. I should say four types. Two of them I have to take multiple times a day, and they are huge. I even have to go buy one of those pill containers that breaks everything down into days. I thought for sure I had four or five more years till I had to buy one of those. I realize I have a no room to complain. I just hate taking medicine. There will never be spoonful of sugar big enough.

For those who don't know, here's the short list of ailments.

1973: Wilms' tumor
1974-current: Scoliosis that resulted in me wearing a back brace from 1985-1988. The back brace was actually kind of fun. Except that it tore holes in all my shirts and began to stink. It was then somewhat corrected in 1988 when they fused two rods to my spine.
1988: The scoliosis correction led to it being noticeable that my left leg was an inch shorter than the right.
1993-5: Ulcer-eh not that bad really
1999-current: Psoriasis (suck!)
2003-current: Tinnitus (great excuse when in boring conversations)
2006: Arthritic Hip (NEW!)

It's funny you take aways the first ailness and the most of the rest go with it. Wilms you bastard.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

All Done!

I Eat This Orange in the Honor of Mandy

Monday, April 10, 2006

ESPN Might Get Me Fired!

Today has been a little rough at work. I kind of dropped the research ball, but was able to pick it up on the first bounce. The problem is I dropped it right in front of the boss. Cut to a few minutes later, and I'm watching an old "This Is Sportscenter" ads. Because it was a particularly funny one I let out a chuckle. Little did I know but the boss was talking to another employee to make sure that my research got into the next revision. Sure enough she sees me chuckle. Her response, "Brad's laughing at me." What? No! It was ESPN! But of course I can't say that. So now the boss thinks I was laughing at her, after I already dropped the ball on the topic she was discussing. Thank you ESPN. Thank you.

Ramblings (Weekend Recap)

Saturday was one of those days. By one of those days, I mean double-feature day! Hell yeah! After getting my hairs cut, I booked it to barely make the next showing of The Inside Man.

Side Note: When you go in for a haircut, how much time must elapse between sitting in the chair and the actual haircut before you can change your mind and realize you don't want this person to cut your hair? Are you locked in once you sit down in the chair? Or is it once the apron is on? How rude is it to say you don't want this person to cut your hair? Does the conversation go like this? "Look, I'm sorry I'm just not confident with you cutting my hair. It's not you. It's me. I'm certain there will be someone else walking through your door who would love to have you cut their hair. They will probably have an even better head of hair. It's just I can't understand a single word you say." That conversation never happened. I spent half an hour hoping I understood what she asked, and she understood my answers. Luckily I always wear a hat and I don't have a whole lot of hair left. Another question, how come the population of balding people still have to pay full price for a hair cut. One third of our head you don't even need to touch, yet we still pay full price? Don't we suffer enough? You have to use less electricity for the razor. You have to use your scissors less. Our haircuts don't last as long. All I'm asking is a third off the price.

Back to the movies. I saw Inside Man first. It was fine. Nothing bad, nothing spectacular. Just a solid movie. My one question, and I don't think I'm ruining anything here. When Denzel holds up the ring to Plummer, is that the worst special effects ever in a big time motion picture? I realize Lee wanted Denzel's face and the ring to both be in focus, but did you have to make the hand out of cardboard and a popsicle stick?

Leaving the theater, I realized I didn't want to go home and listen to race cars buzzing my apartment. I also didn't want the hassle of finding a parking spot. So, I went and saw V for Vendetta. Probably not the wisest choice. After reading Jiff's 3CT post, it took a good thirty minutes till I could stop picturing V shopping at Best Buy. Once I got past that it was ok. I recommend reading the comic book instead. I wish Brick was playing closer to Long Beach.

The rest of the weekend was baseball, baseball, baseball. Here are a few things I made note of during the first week of baseball.

The Cubs will not be as bad as they were last year. That is if they keep playing like they have been. I've noticed three big differences between this year's Cubs and last year's.

  1. The Cubs haven't had this strong of a bullpen in years. The Cubs might have paid a lot for Eyre and Howry, but it seems to have been the right move. I still don't feel comfortable in the late innings, but it's not a complete sense of dread. This also affects the ability for the Cubs to come back. The last few years any time the opponent had a lead you knew whoever they brought in would just give up a bigger lead. Now, the Cubs have come behind in the last two games in the eighth and ninth innings because the bullpen kept them in the game.

  2. Speed and Hustle. With Cedeno, Pierre, and Jacque Jones the Cubs now have some legitimate legs to run the bases. Seeing Cedeno take an extra base last night on a single, I was bewildered. The Cubs don't hustle for extra bases. At least not the Cubs of the last few years.

  3. Clutch hitting. Usually if the Cubs weren't ahead by the 6th or 7th inning they were done. It always seemed like they mailed in the last few innings or everyone tried to hit home runs. Sure in the last three games the Cubs scored all their runs via the home run. But men got on base by taking walks, and being patient. This probably won't happen the rest of the season, but it's good to see a glimpse of it in a series.

Other Non Cubs observations:

Watching the Cubs, I also realized that the Cardinals need help in the bullpen, and I still hate La Russa.

The AL is a lot stronger than the NL.

With the Brewers, Tigers, and Indians being able to build a team from within, do the Pirates, Royals, and Reds have any excuse?

Why do people keep giving Clemens standing ovations where ever he goes? Why? Is that how he's going to decide which team he goes to: the Clemens Applause-O-Meter?

Did anyone see the Darren Daulton interview last night? He had those Andy Kaufman "Who's Driving" eyes going on.

Will baseball ever see teams again like the 93 Phillies, 86 Mets, or 90 Reds? If we won't, why?

I like the new baseball card graphics of ESPN's Baseball Tonight. I still hate the Trifecta though. ESPN can give me a full hour of cheerleading, but I only get 40 minutes of Baseball Tonight?

What incriminating evidence does Stuart Scott have that ESPN allows him to do those dumb poetry readings? It was ridiculously funny at first. Now that I realize how serious he is about it, it's just sad.

I love baseball season.

Oh. I also picked up Ghostface Killah's new album, Fishscale, (Stop laughing). It's the front runner for rap album of the year.

Friday, April 07, 2006

For Your Information

Since at least MOL Jr. and Wunderkind have asked more information about the Twilight Singers, I put up the old list of favorites in the music player to the right. Click play. I should also say when played live the songs are cranked up to about 11. There are also a couple new songs on their myspace page. They aren't my two favorites from the concert I went to last month, but they are solid. I also figured why stop at the Twilight Singers. Here are the links for Jeff Klein's myspace page and The Afterhours. They will both be opening up for the Twilight Singers. Dulli actually helped produce both their albums.

Twilight Singers myspace
Jeff Klein myspace
The Afterhours

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I tried quitting Lost, but my Tivo won't let me. I missed a couple episodes. Or so I thought. Checking my Tivo I discover it recorded the episodes I missed. Sure, enough I'm kind of hooked again. I mean the blacklight map was a nice little gift to the viewers. I will also say I came up with the idea of there being a supply drop about a year ago. I know Brian will say he came up with it, but he's wrong.

With a crammed premiere episode, Thief hadn't exactly won me over. Mr. Braugher was dynamite as always, but there was something missing. This week's episode though got things going. You can see the conflicts more clearly, and really it's great just watching Braugher act.

I think 24 has blown it big time with their huge reveal at the end of this week's episode. Doesn't that completely negate the first half of the season? They've always been somewhat ridiculous and overboard with their twists and turns. That's part of the fun of the show. I think this is too much though. They have a crap load of explaining to do to make it even possible work.

Dom and I finally worked out a fantasy baseball trade.

The Twilight Singers announced the dates of their official tour. I put in bold the dates when they play close to most of the readers here. Now I really don't expect any of you readers to go (except Bob). I simply puts this up to make you think about it. Maybe you have nothing to do that night? Maybe you'll be in a particular mood to hear some rock n roll in the month of May or June? I'm just saying this is something you could do. The Italian rock group Afterhours and songwriter Jeff Klein will be opening up. Don't you want to hear some new music?


18 Minneapolis MN - Varsity Theatre
19 Chicago IL - Metro
20 Newport KY - Southgate House
21 Indianapolis IN - The Vogue
23 Columbus OH - Little Brothers
24 Cleveland OH - Grog Shop
25 Detroit MI - St. Andrews Hall
27 Toronto ON - Lee's Palace
28 Montreal QC - Cabaret du Musse Juste Pour Rire
29 Boston MA - Paradise Rock Club
30 Philadelphia PA - Theatre of Living Arts (TLA)


01 New York NY - Irving Plaza
02 Washington DC - 9.30 Club
03 Carrboro NC - Cat's Cradle
05 Atlanta GA - Smith's Olde Bar
07 New Orleans LA - One Eyed Jacks
09 Austin TX - The Parish
10 Dallas TX - Gypsy Tea Room
12 Denver CO - Larimer Lounge
13 Salt Lake City UT - Club Sound
15 Portland OR - Doug Fir Lounge
17 Seattle WA - Neumo's
19 San Francisco CA - Great American Music Hall
21 Hollywood CA - Avalon

Speaking of the Twilight Singers. In case you didn't notice, the new guitarist commented on this blog. Yes, that might be the highlight of my blogging career. Yes, I'm a nerd.

PLW, have you seen Slither yet? It satisfied that "monster matinee" jones I often have.

A few people have asked me if I have high hopes for the Cubs this season. My response: Glendon Rusch is our #2 pitcher. Glendon Rusch! That means no.

Finally saw Fever Pitch on HBO. Many people have suggested it because I'm a Cub fan and I guess I'm supposed to relate. You know what? It sucked! If I was a Red Sox fan I'd dislike that movie even more. First of all, the baseball aspect wasn't even used well enough to disguise the fact that it's really a chick flick. Second, that is not a die hard fan. That's a nut.

Finally it's that time again for the Long Beach Indy car race. This means a couple things for me this weekend. First of all, there will be absolutely no parking. Second, the race will be less than a mile from my apartment. You might be thinking that could be cool. Yeah, I'm real close to an Indy car race. My problem. Have you heard these cars. It's like the Swarm is buzzing my front door every five seconds. Third, there will be no parking.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

You Can Trust Me...maybe.

I admit I lie sometimes. I admit that I sometimes have the smile where it looks like I'm up to no good. But, I think on the whole I'm honest and not that sneaky. Right? Then why won't Dom accept a fantasy baseball trade from me? I offered him 2B Marcus Giles and closer Chad Cordero for speedster Chone Figgins and closer Keith Foulke. I know I'm overpaying for steals. Bob knows I'm overpaying for steals. Does anyone think Foulke's 90 year old knees are going to hold up through the year, or even this month? When I told Bob that it was declined, he was confused as well. So, why did Dom decline? Apparently, I'm a sneaky bastard that is always trying to pull something over on people. It could be his baseball knowledge is inferior and he's afraid to let it show. (But that doesn't really add to the theme of this post.)

This is part of the internal conflict between Good Brad and Evil Brad. When I say "Evil Brad," I mean more in a rebellious cliche "bad boy" way than a keep me away from sharp instruments and puppies way.

Evil Brad has always existed. He would sneak a Pepsi late at night when everyone was asleep even though he had his parental designated limit of two for the day. He drove too fast on the three wheeler when he was on the other side of the lake and nobody could see him. Evil Brad would try to string together as many swear words as possible even though it ended up making no sense at all. Evil Brad would ask to borrow a step-uncle's recording of some crappy move knowing that Porky's was recorded on the tape as well. He would buy Boston's debut album and hide it in his dresser. Yes, I realize that last one is actually lame as well as evil. During those days and on into undergrad Evil Brad may have existed but nobody really saw his face. Good Brad easily dominated Evil Brad those years.

The last couple years of undergrad Evil Brad began to surface. It occurred because of the old familiar teen movie problem that "I was tired of being so nice." I was tired of being viewed as always the nice guy. It would still be a few years till nerds and nice guys actually became viewed as studs. That's when Evil Brad started to surface. Evil Brad became the shell to protect Good Brad. Because Good Brad couldn't say "no" to people, Evil Brad would show his face so people wouldn't ask in the first place. Rather than shy Good Brad sitting at a party looking like a recluse, Evil Brad would show he didn't care if he was talking to anyone or not. Good Brad still at that point controlled everything.

Now Evil Brad might have a little too much power. Evil Brad controls the tongue a little too much. Evil Brad has shortened Good Brad's tolerance of morons considerably. Evil Brad can really be a prick sometimes. Good Brad is still the core. I help my friends and family when they need it. I always over tip. I am still a nice guy. It's just the shell is maybe a little too thick. Now I'm seen as cold, a little sneaky, and sometimes mean towards those that irritate me. So maybe this whole Evil Brad shell has back fired a little. But could anyone have predicted that Emo and nerds would take over the world?

Perhaps the real problem is that Good Brad was never allowed to mature and grow. Maybe the real question is why I've associated Good with being a wuss. Clearly I have no idea where I'm going with this post. I just wanted to vent that Dom turned down two trades I offered, because he didn't trust me. Sorry I wasted your time.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Patches, feline. A cat barely alive...

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic cat. Patches will be that man. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. Well, except for the tail. We can't do shit about the tail

Browsing through my photos last night for a picture of Mandy as a tyke, I came across this photo misprint that I kept. The cat in the one half of the picture is Patches. Over the years, we had many animals pass through the hallowed Kessler halls. We had cats, dogs, a bunny, and the meanest parakeet this side of the Ohio River. You have to figure there's a reason a bird is named Nipper, and it's not a good reason. Back to Patches. I don't remember how we got Patches. We lived on a nice piece of land, so most likely Patches just let herself in the front door.

Patches wasn't the friendliest cat. Though, what she lacked in interspecies skills, she made for by being a bad ass cat. She sassed. She killed for us and left their tiny carcasses on our doorstep like sacrifices. While that not really cute, it was disgustingly endearing. She also climbed really tall ladders. That's where the ladder comes in. At least once a day she would climb that ladder to sleep up in the rafters. Yes, that's pretty tough for a cat. Along with toughness though comes stupidity as well. The stupidity was that she often slept in the fan area. You see where I'm going with this? Yes, one fateful night the fan was turned on with Patches sleeping. The next morning Anne Marie ( I think) found Patches lying at the bottom of the unfinished pool. So, not only did Patches get pureed by the fan, but she basically fell the full length of the ladder plus another six feet into the bottom of the pool.

Patches though would be rebuilt except for the tail. Does anyone know what happened to it. Ok, so she didn't become a bionic cat. It's still pretty amazing that she survived. She did have a slight limp, but she still brought sacrifices to the doorstep. She was still ornery.

Happy Birthday Amanda Michelle!

Another baseball season is upon us. Yes, this is one of my favorite times of the year. There is though another reason I love the beginning of April. Amanda Michelle Kessler was born on this day. The youngest sibling of us all. It seems just a little while ago I was giving you a ride on wobbly merry-go-round in a shirt from the Michael Jackson collection. Now you're 20 years old and finishing up your first year of undergrad. I don't know how you managed being the youngest of seven. Perhaps that's why you could always be found with your nose in a book. I remember you hiding when I wanted to take your picture. I remember the late nights watching TV, working on the computer, or just talking. I may have always been that last to go to bed, but you were always the second to last. I remember you hugging me when I first walked in that door at Maine. I thank you for trusting me enough to be a confidant. I thank you for being the first sibling to visit me in California. I thank you for our little IM conversations. You make work go that much faster. I thank you for wanting to be a Cubs fan. Most of all I thank you for being the best littlest sister anyone big brother could ever have. I love you Mandy, even more than baseball season.