Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Big Ego Plug

I've talked about Jim's Big Ego before. They are a 3-person operation straight outta Somerville. Punky Folk Rock with a little bit of Funk. An excellent blend, indeed. Anyway, Jim Infantino - JBE front man - is a song writing genious. I hardly miss a show of his, when in the area. Even when I lived in Philadelphia, I caught him at The North Star Bar and The Point in Bryn Mawr. His songs are thoughtful and his stage presence is truly (I never use this word, but I will) captivating.

He just redesigned his website and is releasing a digital EP with a bunch of G.W. protest songs.

He is playing in the round with other local song writers tonight at The Sky Bar in Somerville. Show starts at 8PM.

Racism in Your Fascism

Occasionally, I watch SCAT (Somerville Community Access Television). What can I say? I get a kick out of some of the programs. There is a karaoke show taped in a local bar. The lighting is horrific, as are most of the performers. The host, a middle-aged woman in tight sweaters and skirts, mc's each show with a bouncy feminine voice, similar to that of Teresa Ganzel. You just know that some of the folks look forward to this night with great anticipation, probably practicing at home before debuting a new song.

Then, there's the holiday classic I will call "Christmas Triple Deckers." Someone drives around and tapes the most festive looking apartment houses in the city and splices them together into a 30-minute feature, crowning a winner at the end. A true delight, never to be missed.

Last night, I was drawn into Finding the Truth, a working class documentary of sorts, describing the woes of the blue collar residents in Somerville and how they've been impacted by its gentrification. Obviously, its directors worked very hard on this project, conducting interviews with teenage "experts" (their friends) and creating an impressive soundtrack. Basically, the documentary consisted of a group of "we know everything" white kids regurgitating all the belly aching they've been subjected to by their moms and dads regarding "the problems with Somerville." One guy talked passionately about how unfair it is that his buddy and their family of five can no longer afford to live in Somerville so they had to pack it up and move to "the slums of Brockton." Another guy sat on his back porch and complained about how Somerville used to be a haven for immigrants, but it is no longer a place that can sympathize with them because its real estate is untouchable. He described days of ole (mind you, he looked about 20) when the Somerville community consisted mainly of Irish and Italian immigrants and now there are "Haitians and Brazilians - lower class citizens." Do they review this stuff before they air it? They used a Bob Dylan song in the background as the credits rolled. Are you kidding me? The worst part is that these guys naively thought they were creating a piece that identifies with the poor. I feel like contacting Bob Dylan's agent to let him know that one of his respectable anthems is being used in such an ugly way. Horrible. Two thumbs down.

On a lighter note, I am psyched about SCAT's 6PM offering tonight: Bitchin' About the Movies. This ought to be good.

Hey, I hear that Manny and his wife put their $6 million + place up for sale. A subtle sign? Oh, and our left-handed side arm specialist is on his way to the Bronx, according to the NY Post (but, supposedly, there were no sources to support this).

Another Celtics loss last night, in what was a pretty close game. Doh-eth.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

I trust that you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving break. It's the beginning of the holiday crazy train ride. Buckle up and avoid Walmart, if at all possible.

This year, the RARHOF will be inducting the following:

Black Sabbath
Miles Davis (uh, about frappin' time)
The Sex Pistols
Lynyrd Skynyrd

It's always a treat to watch the ceremony. The last time I tuned in, Keith Richards kept moving his head around, as if it were caught in a massive swarm of mosquitos. Years of drug abuse can do this to a person. My theory about Keith Richards is - and has always been - that he will be the first human being to fossilize upon his last breath. I would be willing to bet that some of his innards have already started this process. I believe that he has already defied the laws of nature by escaping death. Once a person gets beyond this point, there's just no telling what they are capable of.

I secretly hope that John Lydon doesn't show up. It will surely be another awkward "why am I here and what does all this mean?" type of moments. The urge to humiliate the Hall of Fame and pee on the event will be far too tempting for Johnny, though, so expect strangeness if you watch. (Wait, isn't this unpredictable, challenging authority stuff why I love him? Either I've aged or ... no, there is no "or" ... I've aged.)

More rumors of Manny to the Mets abound. Oh, and Shaughnessy thinks that the Sox ought to re-issue Clemens number to Beckett. I think he might be jumping the gun on his comparisons.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hump Day Mishigas

First and foremost - my KISS checks arrived yesterday. And they kick butt. Finally, I can pay those parking tickets. You know I was chomping at the bit to do that.

Secondly, you have to check out Jere's take on the Hanley Ramirez trade. I'm sort of jealous that I didn't come up with this myself. That's because he's wicked smaht and I'm just silly. At first, I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about the deal - you know, the whole giving up of TWO+ prospects instead of one thing, but starting pitching is so important to our club, I got over it pretty quick.

Now my attention has shifted to what's going to happen with Manny and how the hell we are going to make up for the big hole in home runs and RBIs without his almighty bat.

In an interview with Papi on Monday, he went on the record with the following:

Manny is not returning to Boston ... Manny lives a difficult situation that only he and his family know about, and he does not want to play there ... I spoke with him last week before he left for Brazil and he told me that he wants to go to a team in the West.

The Angels. To join the beloved O.C., the talented Chone Figgins, the coveted Guerrero and Colon (and who can forget Peter Brady looka-like, Lackey?). Who wouldn't want that? I'd put up with Scioscia and his Rush Limbaugh face for this. I am curious, though, to see how front office is going to deal with the massive no-more-Manny abyss. We'd better get something unbelievably good for this. I hope we aren't all left sitting around the day of the trade going, "Who did we get? Who are they?"

Celtics are stinking up the town. Crap loss to Cleveland last night. They play Atlanta tonight. While the entire country travels.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, folks. Try not to be too distracted by all the radio stations pushing holiday music much too soon. I don't want to hear the Hanukkah song yet! Alice's Restaurant comes first. What's the deal with all festivities slowly inching their way backwards on the calendar, year after year? Did they think we wouldn't take notice?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pirates Get More Money

I check in on the Pirates every now and again, mainly because a very special person and I share a passion for the game and he happens to live in Pennsylvania and is a life long Pirates fan. I just noticed that the Pirates have increased their payroll by about 20 million bucks. This isn't a lot compared to some teams. But, hey, Pokey Reese was also a life long Pirates fan and look at how important he turned out to be for the Red Sox. Also, Kevin Millar and Tony Clark are among the names being tossed around for potential 1st basemen for the Pirates. Argh, matey.

Stop the Insanity (Before It's Too Late)

Well, I wonder how long Theo and Larry/John are going to flounder around and pretend that they don't need each other. It's getting pretty silly now, with Theo talking to Japan about baseball consulting and whatnot. Also, Larry/John are doing a poor job veiling their knowledge of the fact that although there are options available out there, no one is better for the Red Sox than Theo Epstein. And as far as I know, he is still available.

I think that Larry and John are setting a new record for stubbornness, and they are doing it at the expense of the organization and its fans. I don't know what Theo's conditions were before he made the ultimate choice to leave, but I am sure they weren't unreasonable and hey - where the hell are John Henry's balls, huh? Would Steinbrenner sit back and let everything collapse like this? No. No, he would not. And I'm not saying that I prefer the Steinbrenner way of doing things, but come on, Henry! These are not times to be dreamy and contemplative! Go out there and get your GM back! POST-FREAKING-HASTE.

Ok, I know I said that I was going to move on and all. And I would totally do it if I thought that each of the two recently separated parties were coasting through to brighter horizons. They aren't, and it's foolish. Enough already. It isn't too late.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Birthday Crunch

I have always been a fan of Captain Crunch cereal. When I was a kid, I used to weed out all the crunch berries, put them in a bowl with milk and call it breakfast. My mom was not always happy, as I had a tendency to get tired of cereal quickly, or, in this case, leave the peanut butter part in the box until it got stale and had to be tossed. (I was not one of those kids raised on "whole grain, organic whatever" type foods. My parents pretty much let me eat whatever I wanted and since I got off my duff and ran around like crazy, my weight didn't suffer. I bet, though, if they checked my cholesterol at age 10, it would have been through the roof. It's in my genes. Anyway ... )

So, imagine my pleasant surprise when I sauntered into work today and discovered that one of my co-workers left a giant ziplock bag full of just the crunch berries on my desk as a birthday gift. She picked them out, all by herself. It's the little things in life, people. The chocolate cake and cards were also pretty cool. I predict that I will be sugar crashing on route 2 tonight. Drivers, you've been warned.

I plan on spending my birthday with the cat, chinese take out and the Celtics. Groovy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

KISS Checks

I am so excited. My friend, Lyn, referred me to a link offering checks with various pictures of one of my all-time favorite bands, KISS. I've seen all those cutesy checks - the waterfalls, the bunny rabbits, the horses. But KISS checks? Be still my beating heart!

In about 10 business days, I'm going to the proud owner of these bad boys. For the first time, I'm looking forward to paying my bills. I'm going to save the scariest one for the parking ticket I just recently got.

Monday, November 14, 2005


It's like getting kicked in the gut after slipping on a piece of ice at the foot of the bus thus becoming the brunt of all jokes - wait, that really happened to me. 9th grade. Well, except for the kicking part. Anyway. It really stinks - this losing out to A-Rod business. It's like the knock out punch. Does anyone know CPR?

Papi will always be the real MVP to me. At the end of the day, pitchers would probably rather face A-Rod than David, and I think having that edge is more important than the MVP award. Although it would have been a nice consolation prize.

That's right, David, show A-Rod your dazzling bling.

No Sleep 'til ... Somerville!

I'm back and rested. Well, not exactly rested, but I am definitely back.

California was surreal and picturesque and smoggy and all the things that California is supposed to be. It's lovely enough, but I am an east-coaster. Through and through. I will post a few pictures from beautiful Altadena later. The wedding party was very nice and my friends did a wonderful job with the food and decor. Also, I got to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the plane and it was as good as friends had declared it to be. Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka was a cross between Jack White from The White Stripes and Michael Jackson, when he was going with the pageboy doo. I really wish I had seen the movie on the big screen, though.

I guess not much has changed in the world of the Red Sox since before I left, except more bogus rumors about Theo's return. Let's face it - Epstein's departure was the biggest bag of crayons we have recieved since .... game 7 of '03. And though I secretly wish that he and Larry come out and say that it was a huge put on to get the best of the Boston media, I know that he's gone. And he's not coming back.

Is it too soon to simply surrender the 2006 season? To lay it on a slab and sacrifice it to the baseball gods, along with Ramirez? Probably. But, I'm having a little trouble locating the silver lining right now. A good start would be Papi being named AL MVP. We will know later today.

Meanwhile, the Celtics enjoyed a huge win over the Rockets last night. So, they are currently 3-3. Maybe I'll treat myself to a game on Wednesday night (they play the Sonics at home). It's the big 3-4 for me. I made the leap from Jason to Papi. Not a monumental birthday - just a jabbing little reminder that I'm not getting any younger. I deserve a basketball game, don't you think?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Going to California

Well, I am off to Smell-A in about ... 6 hours or so. That's right. I'm taking off at 3:45 for a 5:00 flight to Cali. Love the red eye. Good times. I just called the cab company to reserve a ride at 3:45 and the woman said (I swear) "WOW! I don't think we've ever gotten a reservation THAT EARLY!" To which I replied (Dean's Home Furniture style) "I don't wanna talk aboot it." I already feel exhausted and I haven't gone to bed yet.

So, I'll be back in business on Monday. At some point.

Slam Gram

I rarely blog about work. And I'm not stupid enough to do it in a negative way. In fact, my other blog is about my profession, and even in that one, I am careful not to mention anything incriminating.

That said, I'm going to take a moment to complain about one of my clients. He's a weasel of the worst kind. Recently, he lied to his teammates by publicly blaming me for one of his oversights. I am aware that he uses me for as the fall guy (girl), so I try not to take it personally. It is hard, though, because it's my job to ensure that our publishers are happy with our work and I represent my company, so I must be professional and helpful at all times. Privately, though, this guy really steams my clams. From my stewing, though, came an idea.

You know how there are companies who send "people grams"? Folks who dress up in silly costumes and spring a "happy birthday" or "congratulations" song and dance on the (supposedly) pleasantly surprised recipient? (Michael Jeter played one in The Fisher King - see image below). Well, imagine that you can call on a company to send the opposite type of message. Melodies like "Bite Me" and "Thanks for Being a Dick" and "Someone Wants You to Rot in Hell" could be part of the offering. I would most definitely send a "slam gram" to this jerk.

With my luck, a company like this already exists.

Yeah, baby!


114 BOS
100 NY

They were riveting in overtime.

Like Nomar, Paul Pierce has a name that was made for the Boston accent.

Pau Peas (in this case, you leave out the "l" in Paul and go straight to the P in Pierce)
Nomah Gah see a pah rah (I still miss you, numbah 5)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Day of the Dead

November 1 - November 2

How fitting.


An interesting article (Thanks, Taylor, for sending me the link).

I am lucky. I love my boss. He backs me up - in my presence and when I'm not around. I trust him, one hundred percent. And I appreciate him because I've had bosses that weren't so trustworthy.

The GM job is a tough one. Trusting your boss is not only invaluable, it's a critical success factor. Who wants to pour their entire being into a job, only to privately worry that your boss and his partners are planning to have you wacked? Or to do something that compromises your reputation?

Sometimes, I wonder if the key here is jealousy.

You were an aspiring young student at an ivy school
When I met you.
I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around
Turned you into someone new.
Now twelve years later on you've got the world at your feet
Success has been so easy for you.
But don't forget it's me who put you where you are now.
And I can put you back down too.

(Please don't tell me that dirtdog has already done this.)

Shaughnessy Report

Like some of you, I listened to Dan Shaughnessy defend his column this morning on EEI. To be fair, I have to agree that there is a slight possibility that he is being singled out as the one and only reason behind the fizzling of the deal. I hardly think this is the case, but I am angry about the article for other reasons.

He claims that there is nothing in the article that hasn't been written before and that he is having trouble wrapping his head around the notion that a "smart guy" like Theo could be swayed by his piece to the point of putting the kabash on an all-but-done deal. Both of these comments are valid, but don't think for a second that he doesn't have an agenda here. The problem is, I am not sure what that agenda is, exactly. To stir the pot? To douse an already volatile situation with gasoline? Why? Does Dan get off on this? Was it not tense enough without him making Theo out to be nothing more than some schleppy kid who needed the guidance and power of Lucchino in order to achieve?

Excerpt 1 (on Theo's perceived advantage)

Lucchino and Dr. Charles Steinberg are a pair of Red Sox executives who ''discovered" Theo when he was a student at Yale. They picked him out of thousands of wannabe interns. They hired him in Baltimore and then took him to San Diego with them. They held his hand and drove him places during his Wonder Years. They urged him to get his law degree. And when they set up stakes at Fenway Park, they fought vigorously to bring him home.

Excerpt 2 (Larry vs Theo: Who is the real baseball guy?):

Let's start with Theo being a ''baseball guy" while Larry is a lawyer with a lofty title (CEO). Granted, Epstein is a student of the game, but it's a mistake to say he knows more about baseball than Lucchino or anyone else in the Red Sox baseball operation. Theo is 31 years old and did not play baseball past high school. He spent four years at Yale and three years at law school. That hardly leaves time for much more than rotisserie league scouting. He can read the data and has a horde of trusty, like-minded minions, but we're not talking about a lifetime of beating the bushes and scouting prospects. Lucchino was a good high school baseball player and made it to the NCAA Final Four with Princeton's basketball team. He came to baseball as an executive in 1979, when Theo was 5 years old. That doesn't make him George Digby or Ray Boone, but he's not Les Otten, either.

Then, this morning, he talks out of the other side of his mouth and says that he can't believe that the deal went bad and he prays that Theo announces that he is staying at the 1:00 press conference. Hmmm ... feeling guilty? Just a little? Oh, Theo, I didn't mean it. Come on, can we still be friends?

Why on earth would a journalist who wants Theo to remain in the organization publish (or in this case re-publish) such demoralizing things about him at a sensitive time? This is my question. What can be gained by doing this?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bombs are Gettin' Bigger

Did you know that insurgent bombs in Iraq went from being the size of Coke cans to the size of huge beer kegs since the U.S. has been in occupation? We are talking 600 ell-bee's. That's big enough to take out an entire military tank. Simply insane. Meanwhile, we lost another soldier today.