Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Taco Tuesday!

In case you didn't already hear, everyone in America gets a free taco today at Taco Bell. Repeat: everyone in America gets a free taco today at Taco Bell. Thanks to the stolen base of famed womanizer, Jacoby Ellsbury (or as dewy24 dubbed him, Tacoby Bellsbury), you get a free taco. That's a taco, and that's free. Get on it.


2:55 - I head down to the local neighborhood Taco Bell for my free taco, wondering about the timing of the promotion - from 2 to 5 PM. How are all the hard working 9 to 5 Americans going to get their free tacos?

3:02 - Arrive at Taco Bell and realize who the target audience is - school children.

3:17 - After 15 minutes in line with unruly adolescents, I get my free taco.

3:18 - That was tasty. Not as tasty as a Taco Town taco, but tasty.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

One of them days

I had an extremely sufficient night's sleep after dipping into the whiskey a bit last night at the Field. When I awoke in the early afternoon to the sounds of a Roc marathon blaring from the tv that had been left on all night, I felt a touch hungover but nothing too severe. I decided to take a look at the old internets to check up on my European soccer teams, West Ham and Athletic de Bilbao, and to see if there were any interesting emails in the old inbox. I couldn't seem to get any connectivity going but that's not unheard of with our crap modem, though it usually only happens on hot days. Another thing that usually only happens on hot days here in Area 4 of Cambridge is the old power blackout. I soon noticed that Roc was no longer dishing out his familiar brand of tough love common sense comedy in the other room and realized that the sound of Roc's rambling had been replaced by the hum of the generator from the old folk's home down the block. Blackout! Fortunately it was the middle of the day, so I didn't have to blindly search for my headlamp. After a half hour, it was clear that this might take a bit, so I decided to head down to Mass Ave Restaurant for coffee and a turkey club to wait out the power outage. Would that this were to be the most irritating electricity problem of my day...

It was raining, but not too bad. No big deal. A minor annoyance. Tito's Tropical store appeared to be open but the door was locked so I couldn't get the gatorade that was going to replenish my electrolites for the long 2.5 block walk down to Mass Ave. No matter. I decided to cut through the Harvest Co-op parking lot to check on the progress of the graffiti street artish mural (there's a lot of collage wallpapering stuff along with the spray can graffiti stuff) that some local (and non-local) artists are doing in the walkway alley. I'll post some pictures of it when it's done, but suffice it to say that I'm ambivalent about it. On the one hand, some of it looks pretty cool; on the other, there's something a bit irritating about a bunch of white kids moving to the city and getting permission to do their well practiced urban artwork under the supervision of the police who shoo away the black and brown homeless and addicts who usually hold court in the alley and the street and parking lot that it connects. Isn't that actually antithetical to the idea of street art? Or maybe I'm just a jealous white artist who moved to the city and isn't included in the collection of cool artists doing a cool project in my neighborhood. Any which way, the above considerations were an added irritant to the day. But it's easy to channel that into my own work. Like Michael Jordan, I always work better with a chip on my shoulder. And I've got lots of work to do learning how to paint acrylics on black velvet in preparation for my newest commission.

On the walk down to the diner, I stopped in the somewhat intimidating Sandy's Music shop to see if they had any 78's that I could buy for the old Victrola Talking Machine. The owner said that he did and we arranged a time for me to check out his Big Band selection next week. On the way out he mentioned that he could sell me needles too and I said that I had about 50 so that should be plenty. He responded with the information that you're only supposed to use one per play of a record - the shellac dulls the needles which then degrades the record. ... fucking what!?!? What kind of bullshit is that? Irritating.

Fortunately, the turkey club was great and the waitress adorable and receptive to my witty banter. So that was good.

When I returned home, the electricity was back on so I was able to resume watching Roc and checking my email and the scores. West Ham had pulled a scoreless draw on the road against a good Portsmouth side behind rising star Robert Green's save of an injury time penalty kick. Nice one. It seemed as if the day was taking a turn for the better. After a couple hours of college football, it had turned dark and I decided it was time for a shower. And a shower I got. But it wasn't soothing drops of hot water that cascaded down upon me. It was thousands of shards of glass that showered down on my naked body in total darkness as I stepped into the bathtub. The lone light bulb had burst at the most unpropitious of times.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jacoby Ellsbury's Girlfriend

In response to the nearly 50 hits a day VTK is getting from people googling "Jacoby Ellsbury's girlfriend", I decided to do a service to the community, to my new readership, and I did some of my own research. And guess what girls (and boys) - success. I found her. Nice score Jaco.

And there's even some video of her in action here. (thanks Tom Smith)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Forever Blowing Bubbles

I had a chance to visit old Compound resident Paul G, aka The Handsome Plumber, at his new residence yesterday to watch a couple games featuring our favorite football teams: my non-American football team, West Ham United, and then his American football team, the New England Patriots, aka the best offensive passing attack in the history of the game. West Ham played host to the dreaded Black Cats of Sunderland, coached by Irish legend, Roy Keane. Well, not dreaded really, but an at times dangerous team that could prevent us from picking up the 3 points we needed to stop our 3 game losing streak and put us back up in the top half of the table. The Hammers controlled possession in the first half, but only managed to bulge the old onion bag (to borrow a phrase from Tommy Smyth) once, on a nice acrobatic twisting header from Carlton Cole. This failure to dominate led to major change in momentum early in the second half, when Sunderland equalized and then was robbed of its own lead by a great diving parry by Hammers' keeper (and possibly England's new keeper) Robert Green. Fortunately they were able to survive the Sunderland surge and a lucky own goal by the opposing keeper put West Ham back in the lead at 2-1, where the score would stay until Craig Bellamy punctuated his return from injury with a fine side footed tap in to the near post in extra time. Not a spectacular goal, but good strikers know where to be and how to capitalize on their chances, and this was a perfect example of that. Unfortunately, youtube seems to pull down any footage of English Premier League action due to copyright infringement, so I can't show you the goals. But, I did find this quality footage of a fan singing West Ham's anthem:

Right on, Ashleigh! I love you.

As for the Pats game, they are who we thought they were! I was more than a little tempted by the 16.5 point spread to take the Dolphins at home, but then I came to my senses and remembered that the Pats are incredible and the Fins are horrendous. This was confirmed and rewarded in the first half when Tom Brady absolutely dismantled Miami's defense with 5 TD passes. One of them in particular, at about the 2:20 mark of the video below, was unbelievable. It really seemed like Randy Moss pulled in this 55 yard bomb in double coverage in the end zone with his elbow. I'm not even sure he used his hand to catch it. Wow. 42-7 at the half. Despite this total domination, the Dolphins somehow had a chance to cover the spread on the last possession. But they suck. So they didn't. After the Steeler's choke job last night against Denver, it seems clear that the only team that is even remotely in the Patriots' league is Indy. And I'll change my mind on that if they lose in Jacksonville tonight (a possibility).

In non-football sports news, I've been hearing rumors that the baseball season is not over yet. If that is in fact the case, I suppose good luck to VTK sports fan readers with their respective teams. I'd also like to welcome the 10 new readers a day, every day, I get from people googling "Jacoby Ellsbury's girlfriend". And it's almost certainly unnecessary, but I'd like to reiterate to Jacoby anyways: DUDE! Get out there. You can have your pick.

UPDATE: 25 hits from inquiries into Jacoby's status so far today (and one hit from an inquiry into his johnson).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So Long, Joe.

Time to go, Joe. While I've been advocating this for a while, it's still a sad when it actually happens. He's been all class at the helm for twelve years. A true beloved Yankee legend. He was definitely the man for the job in the late 90's / early 00's. A perfect fit for that time/place/team. But he's just not the guy for the job anymore and a change has been overdue. Sometimes baseball teams just need a change. Sometimes they need a manager whose bullpen management is slightly better than atrocious. The current media Torre worship would have you believe that he was a saint and a baseball genius who has never done wrong and the contract offered to him was an inexcusable insult by the Evil Empire. He's unquestionably a nice, classy, good man, and will be missed, but give me a break. Without the confluence of young Yankee home grown talent and veterans purchased with the Steinbrenner bankroll, they don't win those 4 World Series. Torre or no Torre. Right now we're witnessing a similar situation of young Yankee talent emerging alongside Steinby bought veteran talent and Torre's not getting it done. Time to try something else. This was the right decision. And I have to give the Bomber's Brass credit for setting up a situation in which he could walk away on his own terms rather than being released or retiring.

Who's next? The good folks over at Bronx Banter have provided a comprehensive analysis of the candidates. Almost everything I've read puts Mattingly - Girardi 1 - 2 as the likely selections, which is good because they're my number 1 and 2 choices, though reversed. No one loves Donnie Baseball more than me (I wear my 23 shirt on a regular basis), but his inexperience scares me a little. As dewy24 pointed out, "I don't care who you are, your first managing job cannot be the New York Yankees". True that. I think Mattingly will be a great manager, hopefully a great manager for the Yankees, hopefully a few/several years down the road. If they fall short of playoff glory in his first and/or second year, he may not survive it and may not get the second chance when he reaches his managing prime. Speaking of managing prime, everything points to Joe G being on the precipice of his managing prime. He's a young, smart, experienced baseball mind, who won NL manager of the year in 2006, pays attention to the modern baseball reality of sabermetrics, and has a Yankee pedigree himself, as the catcher of the 1996 World Series Champions. He's widely considered to be a managing star in the waiting. The knocks on him are that he might be too much of a taskmaster for this veteran crew of players and that it might be a difficult dynamic managing former teammates, batterymates, proteges. There's also the question of how he'd be able to navigate the choppy waters of managing the New York Yankees, which is not for everyone. Keeping an even keel amidst the storms of management and media is a tricky task, one that Joe Torre was masterful at. If Joe Girardi can handle all the outside and inside pressures, I think he could be the guy to lead the Yanks to Number 27.

Well, fat nosed Brooklyn Joe, It's been great. It really has. All the best.

Mukasey Being Mukasey

Ah, the Attorney General confirmation hearings. I don't seem to be mustering up the anger and outrage about the Michael Mukasey hearings that I felt during the Ashcroft and Gonzalez hearings. Is this because he's receiving general approval from Democrats suffering from battered wife syndrome and their support is good enough for me? Is it not a big deal that Mukasey thinks it's legal for the president to detain American citizens without charge or that he doesn't recommend the closing of the detainment camps at Guantanamo Bay or that he thinks torture is wrong but won't define what is categorized as torture (not that the Dems pushed him on this)? And he's "not familiar" with the program of warrantless domestic eavesdropping? Shouldn't I be morally opposed to such a man being the top law man in the US? Or should I just not rock the lame duck president boat and wait for Hillary to get elected and then not rock that boat either? It's starting to look like I'm the one who's suffering from battered wife's syndrome as far as politics is concerned. One good thing about the confirmation hearings is that it allows me an opportunity to post this old classic:

(also, while I'm on a politics post, am I losing my mind or is the FCC really revisiting relaxing regulations on media consolidation? really? are we back with this bullshit again? didn't we already fight and win this battle within the last couple years? arrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Manny Being An Asshole

Dear Manny,

You're an obnoxious idiot.


p.s. Dustin - you're a bush league cheater.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Funniest Song Of All Time

from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

Day Man.
Fighter of the Night Man.
Champion of the Sun.
Master of karate and friendship, for everyone.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Victrola Talking Machine

[Administrative Note: if you're thinking of commenting on recent sports events, please see the previous post.]

Check out the Nolan Fam Heirloom that I brought back to Cambridge from Pittsfield this weekend:

The Victrola Talking Machine, aka the approximately 100 year old wind-up record player that was in our basement when I grew up,

but was more recently serving as a bumper stop for my mom's car to let her know when she was all the way in the garage:

and there are 3 volumes of records too:

I love this thing.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Seriously. Don't.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What's it gonna be, Alex?

That's the question. What's not the question is this: Alex Rodriguez is the best player in baseball. I won't accept any debate on that. You may not like him, you may hate him, but he is the best player in baseball. It's insane, but he's worth the $25 million a year he earns in his contract. So much so that he's going to renegotiate his contract so that he gets paid $30 million a year. And someone's going to pay it. He's a no-brainer MVP this year and many people will tell you definitively that the Yankees would not have made the playoffs this year without him. I'll give that a no comment, but it's not a crazy assertion. Many people will also tell you that Yankees fans would be stupid to call for his head if he has another bad offseason. That is a crazy assertion. Debatable maybe, stupid - no way (here's a great article on the A-Rod question). 5-for-46 (.109) in his last 13 postseason games, which led to 3 straight pre-World-Series exits from the playoffs. If he bats .100 in this year's playoffs, I have only two words: fuck him. Sorry, Alex, but this is it. Can you get it done when it counts? You've done it all year, but what about the playoffs? What's it gonna be, Alex?

Aside from the A-Rod question, I'm pumped for the playoffs. I'm off to upstate New York tomorrow to watch the playoffs in friendly territory. Go Yanks!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blove (round e?) - Back On Top!

I was watching a few episodes of hair-band has-been Bret Michael's reality show, Rock of Love, earlier today. Right now I'm watching an Animal Planet special on the African crocodile. Both creatures have pretty fascinating (and apparently successful) mating rituals. The crocodile impresses through its territorial dominance, its ability to take down a wildebeast, and its intense muscle tremor and jaw snapping dance in the water to attract its mates. The bret michaels impresses through his overbearing cheesiness. and shortness. Me? Well, I can photoshop myself into other people's photos until they are charmed/scared. It's no peacock's plume or lion's mane, but it's my way. And in the mysterious world of The Blog of Love it might just be paying off.


(also, I think I might be the only contestant who is actually trying. yes. sad.)