Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bloggy Mountain Breakdown

DANNY FEDERICI, 1950-2008
Man, it seems like we've lost more than our fair share of music people so far this year, as E Street Band stalwart Danny Federici passed away on Thursday after succumbing to his battle with melanoma.  While I'm not a huge Springsteen fan, I was well aware of "Phantom Dan" (great nickname, btw) and his contribution to Bruce's music over the years on the organ and even the accordian.  Former Pat Benatar keyboardist Charlie Giordano filled in for DF on the current E Street Band tour, although Danny appeared sporadically, including his final appearance on March 20th.  R.I.P., Phantom Dan...

SPLATTERED ALL OVER MANHATTAN
More bad news from the Jersey side as my boys the New Jersey Devils went down in a heap to the New York Strangers last night in Game 5 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  The Devils used to own the "Blue Shirts" in the postseason, but this year was different, for some reason.  Wait 'til next year, I guess...

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW...
Speaking of New Yawk, I thought I'd share a couple cool pics of the new beisbol emporiums under contstruction in the Big Apple.  Click these pics to enlarge themthey're both pretty detailed.  At left is the Mets' new joint, Citi Field, which is modeled loosely after Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, being built adjacent to Chez Shea.

And this would be the new (and now-shirtless) Yankee Stadium going up in Da Bronx right next door to the old one.  One thing I'm pleased to see is they're bringing back the old fa├žade from the original configuration of the House That Ruth Built, ringing the top of the stadium like it used to be prior to the mid-'70s renovation.  I can't wait to see these behemoths in person when I invade Gotham City in August.


MY LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER!
Regular readers to my blog may recall a few entries about a rather unsavory female co-worker of mine who struggled with her personal hygiene in the vaginal region.  Well, I'm delighted to report that she is no longer my co-worker, as the powers-that-be at my employer finally rid us of this office cancer on Wednesday.  While I normally don't rejoice over anyone losing their job, this was a long time coming for numerous reasonswell beyond just the obvious olfactory benefitsas this person was given numerous second-, third-, and fourth-chances to get her collective shit together and failed to do so.

Just to recap, this person is 31 years old with three kids by three different fathersnone of whom she ever marriedand the oldest child is 15 (do the math).  In just under two years of working with us, she and her kids had to move at least three times because of evictions caused by her youngest son, who apparently is totally out of control.  Same said child has also been kicked out of school numerous times as well, and recently this boy was involved in a tussle that resulted in another kid having his front teeth knocked out.  But of course, his mother refused to take any responsibility for his actions and didn't help pay the other kid's dental bills.  Meantime, this woman had the nerve to try to mooch off the government by applying for Section 8 government housing because she recently broke up with her live-in boyfriend/sugar daddy and had no place to stay.  Yet, she could still afford to maintain her funky fingernails and shellacked multi-colored hair extensions, not mention her monthly $500 cell phone bill.  Basically, we're talking human train wreck, here...

Okay, if her personal life didn't interfere with her performance at work, then I wouldn't be writing this, but she was chronically late for work (always claiming that the time clock wasn't working that morning), and exceeded the allotted number of excused absences within a six-month period because she constantly had to take time off work to deal with her incorrigible kids getting in trouble at school or for her numerous court appearances involving her various car accidentsshe was NOT an excellent driver.  And even though she's an able-bodied person, she thought nothing of parking in the handicapped spaces all day long instead of walking her lazy fat ass another ten feet to park in the regular spaces.  For that last reason alone, I have no respect for this woman whatsoever!  Good riddance to an asshole, I say...

CLASSIC MISHEARD LYRIC #77
"Mexican Radio"WALL OF VOODOO (1983)  "I'm on a Mexican Radio..."  I originally thought Stan Ridgway was singing "I bought a Mexican Radio..."  Is there such an animal?!?

"WHAT NOT TO WEAR"VH-1 EDITION
What can brown do for you?  It can make you look like a bunch of disco gingerbread menjust ask the dudes from Heatwave in their "Boogie Nights" video!  I have to admit, though, that this is one of the better disco songs of all-time.  Every time I hear it, it reminds of the big 1977 flood here in Kansas City, because that song was high on the charts as I was squeegee-ing water out of my basement bedroom...

GET 'EM WHILE THEY LAST!
Only in Raytown would you see something like this.  Ah yes, those spiritual blank t-shirts are just sooo uplifting!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm Just a Blogger (In A Rock 'N' Roll Band)

SHOW ME "SAND THE FLOOR"!
My blog entries have been (and will continue to be) rather sporadic lately because I am in the midst of remodeling my bedroom, a project that has been long overdue.  I’m replacing the sheet rock on the exterior walls, behind which I discovered there was no insulation all this time—no wonder I’ve been freezing my hiney off in there every winter!  In addition, I’m repainting the ceiling and interior walls, replacing all the trim and resurfacing the hardwood floors.  I don’t suppose Mr. Miyagi could spare Daniel-san for a week or two—I could use the help!

JUST AN OBSERVATION
Please allow me to point out something that was lost in all the flap last week over Barack Obama’s poorly-chosen words about frustrated voters in Pennsylvania who "cling to religion and guns" that got him in some hot water:  He’s right, you know…

I'LL GO OUT ON A LIMB...
...and predict that two NFL streaks will continue next season.  The 2008 NFL schedule was announced yesterday, and Kansas City gets to open at New England, thus virtually guaranteeing that the Chefs’ regular season losing streak (9 and counting) and the Pats’ winning streak (19 and counting) will continue for at least one more week.  Then again, there’s a reason why they play the games, so who knows?  Maybe there’ll be a Malaria outbreak in Foxborough that week…

OVERDUE PROPS…
…to Boston Red Sox fans for finally letting Bill Buckner off the hook they’ve had him on for 22 years.  Last week during the Sox’ home opener, Buckner threw out the first pitch, and he received a standing ovation which moved him to tears during a subsequent press conference.  This poor guy has been hated in Beantown almost as much as Bucky Bleepin’ Dent all these years, and has been so unfairly blamed for blowing the ’86 World Series for Boston when it really wasn’t his fault.  It’s a shame that’s all most people remember Bill Buckner for because he was a damn good ball player.  He was a consistent hitter (.289 career average) and a scrappy player, and had some great years for the Dodgers and Cubs in the ‘70s and ‘80s.  And the thing I always remember him most for was when he tried like hell to scale the outfield fence in Atlanta so he could snag Hank Aaron’s 715th home run ball in ‘74.  If only his arm had been about eight feet longer…

As for ’86first off, Buckner was on the team strictly for his bat because his knees had shot craps on him at that point his career.  He shouldn’t have even been playing in the late innings of Game 6, as he normally would’ve been removed from the lineup for a defensive replacement by then.  Secondly, if you watch that pivotal play where the ball went through Buckner’s legs, even if he came up with the ball cleanly, he probably wouldn’t have gotten the runner out at first base anyway because there was no one covering and Buckner never would have beaten Mookie Wilson to the bag.  Thirdly, everyone forgets that the Red Sox had a whole ‘nother game to play during which they could’ve still won that series, but they failed to do so, so get over it already, folks…

Just as an aside, Game 7 of the ’86 World Series at Shea Stadium was postponed because of rain on Sunday and wound up being played on Monday night—right up against the "Monday Night Football" game at the Meadowlands between the Redskins and Giants.  At the precise moment the Mets made the final out, the Giants Stadium crowd suddenly erupted in celebration and caused the Redskins to jump offside just as they were about to snap the ball!  This was the one and only time the World Series and "Monday Night Football" have staged games simultaneously in the same city, a feat that could’ve been duplicated last year if the Rockies had gotten the World Series to a fifth game in Denver, as the Broncos played Green Bay on that Monday night.

B.F.D.!
Much ado about nothing this week after a brazen Boston fan/construction worker buried a David Ortiz Red Sox jersey—and a cheap-looking one at that—in the concrete at the new Yankee Stadium in da Bronx.  Construction was immediately halted and they spent five hours jackhammering said concrete to surgically remove the offending garment, as if it would really make any difference anyway.  Now if the guy had buried Ted Williams’ cryogenically-frozen head in the concrete, then we’d have something to talk about…

THROUGH THE PAST, DARKLY
I rented the new DVD "John, Paul Tom & Ringo", featuring the late Tom Snyder’s "Tomorrow Show" interviews with three of the four Beatles—Tom never interviewed George, evidently, hence the title.  The John Lennon segment was far and away the most riveting and poignant, as they included the entire "Tomorrow Show" broadcast from December 9, 1980, during which Tom replayed his 1975 interview with John at the height of his immigration hassles with the U.S. government.  No one knew it at the time, but this turned out to be Lennon’s final TV interview.  The remainder of the 1980 broadcast included Rock journalist Lisa Robinson—who was very close to John and Yoko—and Lennon’s producer Jack Douglas, who was clearly shaken (as we all were, I think) by what had just happened the night before.  Douglas remarked about how Lennon had a fresh outlook on life at the time and was full of optimism for the ‘80s (not just for himself, but for everyone) with songs like "Starting Over" and "Cleanup Time".  Then all that optimism was suddenly shattered by one misguided moron.

Ironically, Snyder’s interview with Paul and Linda McCartney was taped in the aftermath of another Rock ‘N’ Roll tragedy just a year earlier on December 4, 1979, the night after the Cincinnati Who concert debacle (which they discussed briefly), although the show actually aired a couple weeks after that.  I loved Tom Snyder to death, but interviews with musical figures were an Achilles heel for TS, as he often asked inane questions and/or was very unfamiliar with their music.  This was also the first time I’d ever heard Linda McCartney speak at length, and it was funny to hear her half-baked psuedo-British accent.  I thought it was kinda cheesy that they contrived to make this a two-DVD set when there were only three hours’ worth of material that could’ve easily fit onto a single disc, especially since the Ringo Starr interview from 1981 wasn’t anything earth-shattering.  I’d have felt screwed if I’d actually paid for this set, but it’s totally worth renting for the first disc alone.

CLIFF DAVIES, R.I.P.
I just read where former Ted Nugent drummer Cliff Davies committed suicide yesterday at age 59 in Georgia.  Daviesno relation to Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks or Rick Davies of Supertrampalso produced for Nugent during his heyday, and he and guitarist Derek St. Holmes were the only two who seemed to be able to rein Nugent in when he got too carried away with his histrionics.  It's no small coincidence that the quality of Nugent's records diminished after Davies left the band in 1981.  Cliff was apparently distraught over mounting medical bills and shot himself in the head.  Very sad...

A MOVIE I CAN’T REFUSE
I find myself strangely-drawn to The Godfather movie trilogy these days, especially the first two installments.  I watched them for the first time about a year ago—and wasn’t really all that blown-away by them initially—but now every time I stumble across them on TV, I’m glued to the tube.  What’s more, I’m usually not all that big a fan of excessively-violent shoot-‘em-up flicks (let alone Marlon Brando and his terminal mumbling) and I don’t give a rip about the Mafia, but for some reason I’m fascinated by the Corleone clan.  Maybe it’s Al Pacino’s charisma that somehow makes Michael Corleone a sympathetic character, even though he was cold-blooded enough to have his own brother offed.  Hell, next thing you know, I’ll be watching "The Sopranos"…

CLASSIC MISHEARD LYRIC #76
"In The Air Tonight"—PHIL COLLINS (1981)
  "I can feel it coming in the air tonight, Oh Lord."  Not sure if it was the agnostic in me or not, but I always thought Phil was singing "Hold on" instead of "Oh, Lord".


THE JOYS OF IPODULARITY
Another cool thing I’ve discovered about Ipods—they make one’s trip to places like Lowe’s hardware much more pleasurable, as they drown out the inevitable screaming children in the store, as well as the incessant overhead pages for customers needing assistance in the "wire-cutting area".