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Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

For the good of all, Celtics and Bulls say no to regulation length games

In The Sporting Life on April 30, 2009 at 11:19 pm

There is only one word to describe the Celtics vs. Bulls series.  EPIC.  Or Legendary.  Or dominating.

We are headed to Game 7 after a 128-127 Chicago win in a ridiculous game that needed 3 overtimes to settle.

I’m toooooo excited to sleeeeep, but I must try.  If only to have dreams of Larry Legend coming out of the tunnel for Saturday’s Game 7.


Jacoby “The Jet” Ellsbury and the mad dash at Fenway

In The Sporting Life on April 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm

“They say The Jet’s lost a step or two… but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some fireworks here… The Jet’s got a suicide lead and… And there he goes! He’s stealing home! I don’t believe it!… He’s stealing home!…. He’s stealing home, and they don’t see him! The pitch!.. He’s hit the dirt! He’s safe! Safe!… Safe! Safe! Safe!… I don’t believe it! The Jet stole home! The Jet stole home!”

That prophetic Scotty Smalls call of Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez stealing home for the Dodgers in The Sandlot was not repeated tonight, but the play described was, when Jacoby Ellsbury stole home against Andy Pettite and the Yankees.  With a 2-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the 5th inning and a J.D Drew, a lefty, at the plate, Pettite was pitching with a full windup.  An audible roar went up from the crowd, which usually means a streaker is on the field, but this time it was for Ellsbury streaking for the plate, ultimately diving in ahead of catcher Jorge Posada’s tag.

Also, because the entire process took about three seconds and this was real life and not a movie, announcer Jon Miller really didn’t have a shot to top Smalls’s call (“You’re killin’ me Smalls!).  But it still felt like The Jet was back, especially because Ellsbury is pretty much a dead ringer for Rodriguez.

Classic life imitating art

Classic life imitating art

Having Ellsbury steal home on Sunday was up there with Kevin Youkilis hitting a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 11th on Friday night.  The steal helped propel the Sox to the win that clinched the 3 game sweep of the Yankees and of the 9 game home stand.

As for the Yankees getting swept, that’s what happens when “you play ball like a girl!”

The debut of Darius and crushing beers in the garden

In Jesse, the Rippers, and their contemporaries on April 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Because productive Saturdays are for wienies, a large group of my friends and I took a ride on the N train this past weekend to celebrate the beginning of summer (and my 26th birthday) with a visit to Astoria’s Bohemian Hall Beer Garden.  The day was gorgeous.  The Hall was packed.  Our livers were scared.

Immediately after stepping off the train for a rare appearance in Queens, there were signs that the gods were behind our mission.  Not only was it it 70 degrees out, but when we stopped to buy a pack of cards at a bodega next to the Hall, there was a 50 cent claw game outside with a stuffed prize bear just hanging out at the bottom of the receptacle.  Bonus bear!  I couldn’t have dreamed up a better start to the afternoon.

This visit marked my second time at Bohemian Hall Beer Garden, which according to its website (which is apparently down right now), is the last remaining Beer Garden in New York City, where there were once hundreds.  Please note I am capitalizing Beer Garden in accordance with the Law of Awesomeness.  It’s a feel good place where the pitchers are a very reasonably priced $15 – yielding 4 pints at under $4 each- and while lackluster service and long beer lines were the norm this Saturday, we chalked it up to the staff working out their beginning of the season kinks.

Among the hundreds of people in the garden was the semi-recognizable Lonny Ross of 30 Rock.  If you don’t believe me, check out the evidence (by evidence I mean a picture of two models we hired to make my party more attractive, with Ross in the background, barely visible.  Just follow where the model on the right is covertly pointing)


I think he knows . . .

For the first hour and a half or so of our visit, Lonny Ross was the most recognizable person in the garden.  But that was soon to change with the sounding of a pipe and the appearance of a man in a kilt.  Straight from the highlands of Scotland (or Queens as his business card says), Darius marched into the garden with a clear goal in mind.  And that goal was to dominate.

And dominate he did, playing the holy hell out of “Happy Birthday” for yours truly before asking for requests.   I then learned that by requests he meant classic Scottish songs when he couldn’t play my request, “Baby Got Back.”  Darius, however, completely redeemed himself by playing the hell out of “Can’t Touch This.”


Oh you didn't know? The 5th Beatle played the bagpipes

I’ve had some good birthday presents in my day, but I’m hard pressed to think of a better one than a personal bagpiper.  True, without his pipes he was just the awkward guy in a skirt trying to hit on one of our friends, but with the pipes he was a dream come true.

So thanks to all of you who came to Queens last Saturday, thanks to the fantastic friends who hired Darius (an idea that was the brainchild of the Chaz Bone), and thanks to Robert Goulet for just being you.

Human Easter eggs and the art of being a MASTER

In The Sporting Life on April 12, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Many championships have been decided in the last 12 hours.  Last night the Illustrious Mr. Beads and I frantically switched between the NCAA hockey championship, which BU won over Miami (OH) in overtime, and the match-up of storied women’s bowling programs from Nebraska and Central Missouri as they battled for their own title.  In matching uniforms and black shorts and red polos.  With coaches in ties and short sleeved dress shirts.

The format in which they compete is different than your everyday bowling, however, which frustrated Beads to no end.   Instead of having two players face off against one another, different players alternate turns, making it necessary to have a solid “closer.”  In the case of Nebraska, this was an angry Goth.  While at first I assumed her look of distaste was actually a mask of competition, but there is always the chance that she was upset about the next day, when millions of Americans would dress up in their colorful Easter best.

Or in the case of the crowd at Augusta National, the site of the Master’s, dress up as actual Easter eggs.  The type with the white shell, of course.

Congrats to Angelo Cabrera, who won the tournament in a double playoff.  He’s the one in yellow below, in front of the sea of pastel:

2 second challenge: Circle the non Anglo Saxons watching Cabrera win.  Set go!

2 second challenge: Circle the non Anglo Saxons watching Cabrera win. Set go!

The peaks and valleys of Hollywood

In What? This isn't a documentary? on April 10, 2009 at 12:33 am

Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!

That classic quote from Dumb and Dumber pretty much describes exactly how I have felt this week about what is coming out of Hollywood.

Sure, we may live in a time when a studio can remake a shitty movie from 8 years ago, drop two “the’s” (someone, anyone- how do you write the plural of “the”?), change the word “and” to a symbol and laugh their way to a $70 million opening weekend.  Yes, that is a really complex sentence; yes, the movie described is Fast & Furious; and yes, America can be a really, really dumb country sometimes.

Vin Diesel wears a cup not to protect himself, but to protect the players on the other team.

Random Vin Diesel Fact: Vin Diesel wears a cup not to protect himself, but to protect the players on the other team.

Despite the rough start with F&F’s weekend triumph, Hollywood has in fact redeemed itself as the week has passed.  At least with me, for during the course of the week, I have come across two trailers of upcoming films that I am beyond excited for.

The first of these just so happens to feature Sacha Baron Cohen, the king of awkward situations and star/creator of Da Ali G Show and Borat.  And if the red band trailer is any indication, Bruno, in which he plays a gay Austrian, will easily surpass Borat on the scale of ridiculousness.  (To even write that about a film that featured two men, one severly overweight, running roughshod through a hotel while stark naked is somewhat shocking).

After watching the trailer, you’ll be hard pressed not to agree.  (“Dolce and Gabbana.  Hello!”)

Any other week and Bruno would be the trailer that I can’t stop watching.  But not this week.  No, that honor goes to the movie version of one of the best books ever written.  I’m talking about Where The Wild Things Are.

This movie is pretty much a can’t miss.  The book it is based on, by Maurice Sendak, is ridiculously good.  It has one of the best directors in Hollywood in Spike Jonze.  It was co-written by Jonze and the great Dave Eggers (of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and McSweeney’s fame).

And the trailer, featuring the music of Arcade Fire, is unbelievable.  Sit back, check it out, and get ready.  But don’t get too ready, because October 16, its release date, is six months away.

Which, of course, is a month after Fast, Furious is set to come out.

A JSF Hit List: The Lonely Island and We Are Scientists

In Jesse, the Rippers, and their contemporaries, Just absolutely dominating people, Uncle Jesse's Favorites on April 5, 2009 at 11:24 pm

I had been a fan of The Lonely Island way before they made me jizz in my pants.  (Note: if you have never seen the video for “Jizz In My Pants,” that sentence is exceedingly awkward.  Almost as awkward as when I was hanging out with some high school friends around Christmas time and one of the girls said, “I just ate a grape,” to which I obviously asked without hesitation, “And jizzed in your pants?”  Silence ensued.  She had not seen the video.)

The Lonely Island, consisting of Andy Samberg, Avika Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, are behind, well, pretty much anything funny on SNL in recent memory that doesn’t involve Sarah Palin.  In addition to “Jizz In My Pants,” they are the masterminds behind the following gems (*warning* explicit language):

Lazy Sunday (It’s the chronic(what?)cles of Narnia)

Dick in a box (Still the best present I have received from Justin Timberlake.  Wait, what?)

I’m On a Boat (Next time I have the opportunity to be on a boat, I am going straight tux.  Good things happen when you wear a tux)

Macgruber (While it is almost blasphemy to make fun of Mcgyver, it’s also damn funny)

But none of these are the reasons I first heard of The Lonely Island.  No, that has to do with the brilliant directing by Schaffer in four music videos for one of my favorite bands, We Are Scientists. Sure, I love their music, but their ironic back and forth banter during live shows is what really does it for me.  You can click on the link above to hear the band’s music, or you can just take them at their word and imagine what their sound is:

According to their myspace page, the band sounds like:  The Chipmunk, the Grouse, the Peacock, the Tiger, the Condor, the Hawk, the Pegasus, the Turkey, the Cougar, the Hedgehog, the Penguin, the Turtle, the Coyote especially, the Heron, the Phoenix, the Unicorn, the Cow, the Hippopotamus, the Pigeon, the Vulture, the Crane, the Horse, the Porcupine, the Weasel, the Cricket, the Hummingbird, the Prairie Dog to a lesser extent, the Wolf, the Crocodile, the Hyena, the Quail, the Whale, the Crow, the Jaguar, the Rabbit, the Woodpecker, the Deer, the Kingfisher, the Zebra, the Dog, the Dolphin.

That’s right, the Coyote especially, and the Prairie Dog to a lesser extent.  But to summarize, they sound great.

Schaffer takes four of their songs and pairs the music with lasting images that are hilarious, beautiful, and, well, hipster-iffic:

1.  “The Great Escape“, off 2005’s With Love and Squalor.

Remember that kid who moved in next door to you in middle school and all of a sudden was over at your house all the time, at the bus stop with you every morning, and hanging around with all of your friends?  Or maybe you were that kid?  Either way, that’s what this video is like.

2.  “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt,” from Love and Squalor.

Because being chased by an upright person dressed as a bear is almost as terrifying as getting chased by a real bear.  How big was the bear you ask?  This big.

3. ” It’s a Hit,” from Love and Squalor.

It was a hit.  Great song, great video.  And who said hipsters don’t like sports?  Or violence?  Or anything?

And my personal favorite, the ridiculously good song, and better video,

4.  “After Hours,”  off 2008’s Brain Thrust Mastery

Who hasn’t been a double date where one of the girls is less attractive than the other (and ages seven times as fast)?

Creep, Creeper, Creepiest: A threesome for the ages

In Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, People are so weird on April 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm

In one fell swoop during a five minute span of True Hollywood Story: Jenna Jameson, E! unveiled to the world the guys behind the scenes of the porn world.   Parading three men who commented on Jameson during the early years of her career, the show’s train started with the co-CEO of the Vivid porn empire, moved on to the stylist who prepared Jameson for her first scene (thus becoming the answer to a trivia question), and then finished with the Senior Editor of a little publication called The Adult Video News. That’s right, senior editor.

Without further adieu, let’s start from the top. . . and move quickly to rock bottom.

The Creep:

Steven Hirsch, Co-CEO of Vivid Entertainment Group

Steven looks a lot like one of the Maloof brothers, the freewheeling billionaire playboys who own the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.  And the similarities don’t stop there: in order to get signed by either the Kings or Vivid, being a good ball handler is key.  You saw that one coming, didn’t you?

Odds of a Steven Hirsch / Paris Hilton wedding in the next ten years?  100 t0 1.  Odds of Steven signing Lindsay Lohan to a film deal? 25 to 1.  Odds of him being connected to organized crime? 7 to 1.  Odds of him doing enough cocaine to kill an elephant? 3 to 1.  Odds of him giving me the chills? 1 to 1.

"Daddy, how did you win that trophy?"

"Daddy, how did you win that trophy?"

The Creeper:

Lee Garland, makeup artist

It’s amazing what a stencil and some black spray paint can achieve.

Cha Cha Cha Chia!

Cha Cha Cha Chia!

The Creepiest:

Mark Kernes, Senior Editor of Adult Video News

According to wikipedia, Adult Video News is a monthly publication with 40,000 subscribers that consists of 80% ads.  According to the below picture, Mark Kernes makes the principal in Billy Madison look attractive.  Even without his lofty title, this is the kind of man who obviously knows his porn.  And his suspenders.

You like porn? Shocking

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