Monday, May 29, 2006
  I'm Just Saying...
Sitting on the back porch of my house in Rhode Island, watching NESN, and enjoying a tasty beverage...yeah, it's alright.

Hope you're all having a nice weekend as well.

Friday, May 26, 2006
  Tadpoles! Tadpoles a winner!
(title line comes from an old "Deep Thought by Jack Handy")

A winner like Bruce Jenner? Not so much for me. Not for Ben Folds tickets at least.

Milwaukee's claim to fame in the summertime is a thing called "SummerFest." It goes on from the end of June through the first week in July, with concerts all over the city every night.

There are some headliners, like Pearl Jam, and others like Keane and Susan Tedeschi, which are can't-misses for me.

To kick off SummerFest, Ben Folds and MKE's own Violent Femmes are playing a "free show." Free in the sense you don't pay for the tickets, but not free in the sense that you have to go to a bar and purchase Miller products in exchange for an entry form.

You may enter more than once, which roughly translates to "binge drinking."

Now, I've seen Ben Folds about 12 times, including this past March at the Eagles Ballroom here in the BrewCity. Each show was great and there's no doubt that this one will be too. But he's only got an hour and a 10 minutes on stage, because the Violent Femmes are the headliners.

Yeah, the same Violent Femmes that will play "Blister in the Sun" if you give them 10 bucks and a PBR tallboy.

So I didn't win. Whatever. I had fun entering the contest six or seven times.
Saw that the NFL approached Jeb Bush about their commissioner vacancy.

Yeah, think about that...but limit yourself to just 45 seconds, or else blood will pour out of your ears (apologies to Lewis Black).

The Bush family has such a good track record of running professional sports franchises (and states and countries, for that matter), so let's give them the most powerful and popular organization in sports today - the NFL.

Do they implement a system of bugging and monitoring the conversations between the coordinators and head coach? Just checking.

God, that's such a shampooing stupid, awful decision I had to check to see if it was April 1...or if it was The Onion.

It wasn't. That sucks.
Um, wow. That's a big kid.
Um, wow. Eighteen times the legal limit. Eight-teen. 1-8.

This story is staggering...and apparently, so was the driver of the rig.

I do love his justifcation for the morning pint before getting behind the wheel. Bite the dog that bit you, big fella. I ain't mad at cha.
In case you just returned from hibernation (in which case, you'd be a bear and it would be amazing that you're reading this because bears seldom use the internet on account of their large paws and claws damaging the keyboards), or lived under a rock (in which case, it would be very odd that you'd be using the computer now because most of your internal organs would have been flattened and your bones broken, as rocks are very heavy), you know the story about the Duke men's lacrosse team.

I don't plan on re-telling it. But I do wish to make a point about the Duke women's lacrosse team.

The Women's Lax Final Four is in Boston this weekend, and the Blue Devils are in it. As a show of solidarity with their fellow lax student-athletes, the team plans on wearing wristbands/armbands/headbands with the word "Innocent" on them.

I applaud this. And it's not a male-female issue, a right-wrong issue, or institutional-student issue.

It's because speaking up, taking a stand, and protesting is something that this generation does not do enough of.

My parents' generation burned their draft cards, marched, protested, had the National Guard open fire at Kent State...and they made a difference. They were the voice of their generation. They're in every history book. They paved the way for our sit on their asses, play video games, and get fat.

Bob Dylan wrote protest songs, people listened, and paid attention. Now, Britney Spears is followed around, 24-7, as she fumbles through motherhood and the only attention that is paid is that of attention deficit disorder.

You can argue whether or not it is the right stage....whether or not it's appropriate...whether or not they should be doing it. But those arguments are part of the problem. Not everything can be P.C.

You need a Tommie Smith & John Carlos. If not, it'll be a fart in the wind. A press conference that's forgotten 35 seconds after its conclusion.

The Duke women believe in something. They're going to take a stand. We owe it to them to pay attention.
With that, I wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Should be nice weather here in the Midwest, even nicer in God's Country, so fire up the grills and get outdoors.

And lest I forget - Memorial Day is not some commercialized, contrived holiday. It's a day to remember all those who paid the ultimate price so that slapdicks like me get to blog and write nonsense and whatnot. Please take

I leave you with this YouTube offering: Black Gallagher.

It has nothing to do with anything, except being Chappelle and being funny.

BLACK GALLAGHER, BITCH! (I got warrants!)

And I would be remiss not to mention the 90k mark. It never ceases to amaze me. Thank you all very much for reading. 100k is close!

To the next step, I am forever humbled.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
  Happy 65th Birthday, Bob Dylan
In honor of Bob's 65th birthday, I thought I'd make today's YouTube video one of his best all-time performances: "It Ain't Me Babe" from 1975's Rolling Train Revue.

I also fondly remember singing/borderline yelling this tune at 3 a.m. at a party just before Christmas on my first night home in Rhody, from MKE.

What that has to do with anything, I dunno. But enjoy the song, have a piece of cake for Bob, and enjoy what's left of your Wednesday. Only two more work days till the officially unofficial start to the Summer.

To the next step.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
  Tunes for Tuesday
Trying a new TLBR feature: Tunes for Tuesday.

Basically, it's a Shampooing Kick-Ass Tuesday playlist (FKATP 1) made by yours truly, available by clicking on the link below and saving the .zip file (90 mb).

It's just a random grouping of a bunch of stuff I like to listen to...just in time for the bevy of Memorial Day cookouts and roadtrips y'all will be making in a few short days.

And today's YouTube artist of the day is Neko Case (track 12 on FKATP 1), and her song "Hold On, Hold On." Not only is Neko gorgeous, but her voice stops me in my tracks.

Listed below is the tracklist for FKATP 1:

Ohio 3:05 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Handle with Care 2:58 Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
Solsbury Hill 4:22 Peter Gabriel
Ballad Of Bitter Honey 3:34 Eef Barzelay
The Gas Face 3:49 3rd Bass
Like A Rolling Stone 6:08 Bob Dylan
History Of Lovers 3:09 Iron And Wine / Calexico
Born to Run 4:30 Bruce Springsteen
Straight Outta Compton 4:19 N.W.A
Banana Pancakes (Live) 3:08 Jack Johnson
New Slang 4:42 James Mercer
Hold On, Hold On 2:46 Neko Case
Mr. Telephone Man 3:58 New Edition
Love Will Tear Us Apart 3:11 Joy Division
I Predict a Riot 3:56 Kaiser Chiefs
Don't Go Back To Rockville 4:32 R.E.M.
Try A Little Tenderness 3:51 Otis Redding
Johnny and Mary 3:55 Robert Palmer
A Message To You Rudy 2:53 The Specials
Good Life 3:22 Francis Dunnery
The Bucket 2:55 Kings Of Leon

So without any further ado, here's FKATP 1.

Monday, May 22, 2006
  Quick Monday Hitter
(as opposed to "Rick Monday, hitter")

Why? Wha? Why?
Wow, the Force is strong with this one.

Memo to W: The public is also weary about gas prices. And some folks are scared of spiders.
On an aside, how much does the Sopranos suck now? Ok, we get it...Vito's gay. And Carmela's shampooed in the head. And AJ is a shite son. And Meadow isn't much better.

So can we get to the point? Whack someone? Go to the mattresses? Meeting of the five families? Just no more Springtime in Paris and Love in the Granite State.
Yeah, I'm not a doctor or anything, but this can't be good.

Can't be normal. Or natural.

The one thing it does do, however, is eliminates one of the major cogs of the "you men don't understand, you don't have to go through this..." argument.
Read the first bit, although, don't do it right after a meal or you'll lose it.

When I think "Paris Hilton," it's true...I don't think of a hotel in a French city. If that were the case, I'd think of the Four Seasons or the Intercontinental.

Instead, when I think "Paris Hilton," I think of a spoiled, overblown, walking chlamydium (single-possessive for "chlamydia") who is the face of the multitude of reasons people around the world hate America.
Prediction for tonight's box score:
SCHILLING, C. (W, 7-2) IP: 7.2 H: 8 R: 2 ER: 2 BB: 1 K: 4 PC: 117
Today's YouTube video features Ray LaMontagne.

His music has been chronicled here on TLBR and he's stil a huge mainstay on the official iPod of Throws Left, Bats Right.

Saw him live in the MKE last Fall and his live stuff is truly a moving experience, esp. his song "Burn." (on an aside, the first time I heard "Burn," I had to pull my car off the road and gather myself. Seriously. It's that strong.)

So enjoy Ray's radio-friendly tune "Trouble."

Enjoy the rest of your day. Four more left until Friday.

To the next step...and may that include Trupe screaming "Way back!" for the one and only Big Papi.

Saturday, May 20, 2006
  The Return Home 360
Sitting here in the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia, a bit early for my flight back to O'Hare...enjoying watching the sight of Mets 3B David Wright hitting doubles over the head of a feeble-looking and foible-fielding Johnny Damon in straightaway center.

Sitting next to me is CNN's Anderson Cooper. I nodded, as to say: "I know who you are, enjoy your work, and don't really want to make a big deal of it."

He nodded back, as to say: "I read TLBR everyday and it's where I get many of my ideas for my top-rated TV show."

Or something like that.
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver - they're sort of the Punxatawney Phil of baseball commentators - when you see your shadow during Fox's first Saturday afternoon baseball game of the year, you know there's only five more months of weekly ineptitude and suckitude thanks to these two shampoowads (and Kevin Kennedy on the pre-game show...Jeanne Zelasko gets a free pass 'cuz she got a real purty mouth...)
Can't even begin to tell you how tough it is to get back on this plane.

Would love to be on the 2:30 departure to Boston, rather than the 4:10 to Chi-town. Oh well.

Whatever is whatever.
Saw the Texas Double Whopper/"I Am Hungry" commercial from Burger King. It's a play on Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman."

Dumb funny, yo.
Good weekend in NY. Can't say there are any crazy stories, because there aren't. I guess I can thank shampooing Delta or whomever cancelled my flight and threw a monkeywrench into the plate glass window that is my circadian rhythm. Last night, I eschewed a night and subsequent early morning in Manhattan for about 11 hours of sleep.

Old man, here.
Alright, that's all from here. Enjoy the sunny day.

To the next step.

Thursday, May 18, 2006
  Good Morning! (from O'Hare) - or - Come On Feel The Illinoise!
"You know what the Midwest is? Young and restless... "~ Kanye


That's airport code for S.O.L.

Delta 6466 was cancelled last night. A teeny bit of an inconvenience.

Delta gave me a "voucher" so that I could spend $40 to take a cab to a hotel, spend $100 to "sleep" for four hours, get up at 3:45 a.m., and then take another $40 cab back to O'Hare.

I kinda wish Delta had just kicked me in the groin. It's not terribly far away from where they just smacked me (the front-pocket wallet) and it would have been slightly less painful. Shampooers wonder why they're hemorraging cash.
I see many of the same folks, from last night, who were also very displeased with the cancellation news. Some are still wearing the same clothes (like me...but with crisp new skivvies), so are wearing new spiffy threads.

Some look travel-weary (like me...but with new skivvies!). And some clean up pretty shampooing well (ostensibly also with new skivvies).

There is the African woman whose brother was arriving in NYC at 6:45 a.m. ... she's on the 6:10 a.m. with me. There's the deceivingly beautiful businesswoman who, like last night, has her fingers flailing away at her BlackBerry, getting more done from 5:30-6:10 this morning than I probably do in a year's worth of pre-dawn awakenings. There's the tall dude who looked like he slept in a dumpster, but still manages to rock the old school Converse.

People do this shit everyday. I don't envy them. I also now appreciate the joys of flying charters.
The iPod is keeping me calm. A little Ray LaMontagne, a little Jay-Z, and little Bob Dylan, and little Robbie Williams.
I'm working on gigantic diet coke #1 of the day. There will be many more.

Oh well. Looking forward to hitting them long, straight, and not very often.

(hole in) One.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
  On Further Review
Crimes committed in airports are now Federal crimes.

Jermaine Dye of the White Sox went yard.

Hawk Harrelson and his douchebag sidekick did the "You can put it on the booooooooard...YES!" schtick.

I had an empty glass.

I weighed the fact that I'll probably be sleeping here on the floor vs. sleeping on some sort of cart, with a permanent record. I also weighed in that I would be a first-offender and that it would be expunged from my record if I stayed straight for a year.

And I decided not to throw it.

But heaven help Effy the waitress if AJ Pierzynski takes Seth McClung deep.

  Blogging the Fox SkyBox from O'Hare (angrily)
Disclaimer: I am not just going from terminal to terminal, airport bar to airport bar. There is a plan.

Delta flight 6466, which was supposed to go non-stop from Chicago O'Hare to New York/LaGuardia at 6:10 p.m. is now delayed to 9 p.m. When flights are delayed for three hours, and you approach the "curfew" time, there is a very, very good chance you'll be sleeping at terminal L-10, or whatever.

So, there. Whatever. I probably could've left Milwaukee in my car and got to NYC by the time this flight will land.

So rather than just sit and do nothing, I found a spot at a table in the crowded-to-slightly-less-than-the-gills Fox SkyBox.

Just as Lloyd Bentsen admonished Dan Quayle in the 1988 Vice-Presidential debate with the immortal "You're no Jack Kennedy" line, (would anyone argue that the only thing that could've been harsher in that debate is if the senior Senator from Texas had followed up that comment to the junior Senator from Indiana with the "You Effing-C word?" Just a thought...),

I admonish away: Fox SkyBox...I knew Chili's, Too...Chili's, Too was a friend of mine. You, Fox SkyBox are no Chili's, Too."

The music at Chili's ranged from Kanye to Josh Groban (like my trusty iPod). Fox SkyBox gave me "mmm'bop," followed by the almost-as-annoying "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies. And then closed it out Mariano Rivera-style with "Mambo #5" by Lou Bega.

I've had beer farts smell better than those last three tunes.

On top of that, I have to now listen to Hawk Harrelson and the other slapdick who are the worst baseball commentators this side of Deeeeeewayne Statts and Joe Magrane.

I swear. I swear to all of you TLBR readers and to my almighty witness...if anyone other than Jim Thome hits a home run, and those two dickwads do their "you caaaaaan put it on the boooooooooard....YES!" schtick, this pint glass is flying like I'm Russ Springer and some random folk is Barry Lamar Bonds.
Ok, since it's Fox...they show Fox News. Which really isn't news, it's more like a cartoon. Cartoon news. (yes, W hired a Fox News host to be press secretary...the job I would kill to do, and it's some Snidley Whiplash GOP mother shampooer...but I digress). And Fox News just showed a story about a college...presumably in the South (or Pennsyltucky, which in this case it is...Gettysburg College)...that requires "consent" before students kiss.

Apparently, the higher-ups at this fine institute of higher learning think that their students will get confused between a hug, a kiss, and drug-fueled monkey sex.

Um, why is that news? It's a given. You always asked before you kissed a girl in college. It was cute and the seemingly right thing to do after 12 keg stands. Now, if they codifed a "clumsy attempt to unhook a bra" or "sly unbuckling of a belt maneuver," then that would be news. Dudes always try that on the sly. Never works.
One more Sam Adams down. That's the only universal similarity betwixt the Chili's brand and the Fox SkyBox brand.
Is it me, or when you go to an airport, doesn't it seem like folks have infinitely more exciting lives than you?

They came to whatever town in order to close a deal. Or meet someone important. Or do something fun. Or they're connecting from doing some deal or something fun or some fun deal or ...

And something else about airport bars...they're different. No matter how many Howie Long autographed jerseys you have up, your airport sports bar will not have any atmosphere.

It's sterile.

If this bar is on 2nd Avenue...Wells Street...Thames...etc...then maybe. But good luck ever having a regular at this place. It's a transaction. It's not a relationship.

And dammit, maybe it means I'm high-maintenance, but I need the relationship part of this when I'm having more than one.

I want to know how many sisters you have or why the hell you left Altoona. I need you to tell me that Bob Dylan's "One too many mornings" changed your life, too. Or that you once had a guilty pleasure that involved Zima and grenadine.
Quick check of the ESPN Gametracker shows me that the Sox (the REAL sox, not the White Sox, even though they're not exactly an expansion team) are up 1-0 in the third.

And ESPN is showing the Cardinals and the I don't have to watch just the Pale Hose anymore.

I like the Mets. Yes, I'm part of Brewer, um, Region, and y'all know about my ambassadorship to Red Sox Nation (and there is no such thing as Yankee Universe, because that's shampooing stupid...), but I like the Mets.
Ok, will update this in a bit. Time to focus on some of Jim Koch's finest.

"To the next step, and may that step be a masculine step. " ~ Luca Brazzi

  Blogging the "Chili's, Too" from O'Hare
Well, I made it to O'Hare International Airport with much less drama than my last some of you loyal readers may recall the X-Mas time post, I made it to my flight back to God's Country with about 4 minutes to spare, dropping my bags with some guardian angel Continental ticket agent, and then dropping moves through the terminal that would make Reggie Bush blush and say "god damn."

(Ok, take a second, take a break if you need it...because that was one hell of a run-on sentence. Get a drink of water, relax, and I'll be back momentarily.)

This time, I get to ORD (that is O'Hare's airport code, on account that the land used to be an apple orchard...and that's your Cliff Clavin moment of Zen for the day lads and lassies.)

And when I check the bags at the skycap, I'm informed that my flight to New York/LaGuardia is delayed an hour. Wah-hoo. Time to eat.
The Fox SkyBox, which is usually pretty good airport fare, is packed to the gills. The Chili's, Too only slightly less packed. And, it's Chili's.

I find Chili's to be the best chain restaurant in the history of man. Founded by the Germans in 1902, Chili's is German for "Really shampooing good hamburgers."

In fact, loyal TLBR reader and consigliere TP was so bold as to proclaim that a Chili's big mouth burger would be the first meal he would seek out after his six-month educational enrichment to Holland during his 3L year. (on an aside, TP, a phone call before September would be swell...I ain't mad at cha, nothin' but love.)
Well, ORD is the busiest airport in the World for a reason. There are lots of folks coming and going. The first goal is to see someone I know, or at least three people that look like people I know.

The second goal is to beat an order of boneless buffalo wings and a 20 oz. Sam Adams like they stole money.

So far, so good.
I did get carded when I ordered the tall frosty Sammy. Even at virtually 31 (t-minus 25 days...) I still have the boyish charm and the baby face.
If/when I hit Powerball, I'm just gonna fly a whole bunch of places. Where did that come from? I haven't a clue. I'm sweating out of my eyes. I love Chili's boneless buffalo wings.
ESPN is trying its damndest to run the World Cup ads with Bono and U2 music into the ground. But they're so damned good. Add that to the fact that the Marquette men's basketball team uses "Where The Streets Have No Name" during its lights-out-in-the-arena-prior-to-starting-lineups, and, well, there's no point to it. Just that U2 friggin' rules.
I just used the phrase "good lookin' out" for the first time in real life. My waitress noticed my jumper on the floor (some people call it a sweater, I call it a jumper...) and pointed it out to me. I responded "good lookin' out, it's tied to my bag."

When I get the check, I'm going to ask her if she'll "pop that thang."
Going to be back in New Rochelle until Saturday. There is only one rule regarding this weekend: no Celtic at 4 a.m.

Beechmont is fine. Rory's is fine. Even Sue's is ok. But no Celtic. A loyal Bostonian reader once pointed out to me, in Buffalo, NY, that "nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m." It multiplies quadratically (if that's possible) after 2 a.m.
Kanye's "Thru the Wire" is on the Chili's, Too speakers. Great debut single. Maybe the best rap debut single ever?

Forever ever? Forever ever?
Ok, that's all for me. Done with the boneless (A-plus as always), almost in need of another Sam, and Lika the waitress is trying to get me up on outta here because the line to get into the C-to the-H-to the -I to the-L-to the I-to the apostrophe-to the s extends from the American terminal to the Delta.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
  More Reason to Love YouTube
In addition to loving carpet, desk, and lamp, I also love YouTube.

It brought me (and you, the valued TLBR readers) the Bobby Knight golf instructional video, which I will be putting into action on Thursday at Van Cortlandt Park G.C. - the oldest public course in the United States.

It also brought all y'all jive turkeys the video to The Standell's classic "Dirty Water," among other related music videos.

And YouTube done, done, done it again (oops?)

Here is a video from The Johnny Cash Show, where he and some other guitar-playing, dope-smoking hippie sang one of the most wicked awesome-est songs, like evah.

Turn it up. Close the office door if you have to. Break out the earbuds and plug it into the laptop. Bottom line: enjoy.

Monday, May 15, 2006
  WMP - Weapon of Mass Production

"WMP" is a three-letter acronym for Wily Modesto Pena, the newly acquired Dominican masher for the Boston Red Sox.

In the second inning, WMP cracked an opposite field homer off the end of his bat.

He hits bombs. He needs to play everyday.

That is all.

Friday, May 12, 2006
  Quick Friday Thought
As was linked in a previous post, former Cub pitcher and current ESPN baseball analyst Rick Sutcliffe is taking some shots (he sure was...) in the press.

Big Red was apparently Big Drunk when he joined the San Diego Padres television broadcast Wednesday night, giving coming off as incoherent when he talked about everything from his daughter's acceptance to Harvard Medical School, George Clooney and all he's doing "up there," and how Pads pxp guy Matt Vasgersian is a hot commodity.

But if Sutcliffe is catching flak for being incoherent during a live baseball broadcast, should (Hall of Famer) Joe Morgan be the subject of Congressional hearings?

It was bad enough on Tuesday night, that I had to suffer through well-known Yankee shill Michael Kay on the YES Network. The only thing that kept Eraserhead from being completely over-the-top obnoxious was the fact that the Yanks were trailing by more than a touchdown and a field goal for much of the game.

On Wednesday, and again last night, I had the treat of listening to Chris Berman and (Hall of Famer) Joe Morgan. The two of them talk about baseball the same way Courtney Love and Steve Howe (whoops, he's dead, lets try another former Yankee junkie), er, I mean Dwight Gooden talk about sobriety.

Sutcliffe, with boozin' partner Bill Murray riding shotgun, is only guilty of making an ass of himself. And probably embarassing the shit out of his daughter. At least he didn't claim not to care about Super Bill Hall and/or Geoff Jenkins and tell Mark "Mud" Grant that he wanted to kiss him.

Because that'd have been weird.

More later.

Thursday, May 11, 2006
  BOS 5, N.Y. (AL) 3 - Final
W - Wakefield (3-4); L - Villone (0-1); S - Papelbon (13)

Now, at the end of every home Yankee game, they play the old classic "New York, New York."

After a win, it's Francis Albert Sinatra's version. Really, really loud. Over and over.

After a loss, it's Liza Minnelli's version. Not quite as loud. Not quite as much.

On behalf of 2B Mark Loretta (4-for-6, 3 RBI), Terry Francona, and J-Malls (who was nice enough to call from the Shithouse that Ruth Built so I could hear her belt it out) I bring you Liza Minnelli.

Four down, 15 to go, three in the left hand column.

Off topic: You say "to-may-toh," I say "to-mah-toh." You say "po-tay-toh," I say "po-tah-toh." You say "animal cruelty," I say "what's the big shampooing deal?"

60 dead cats found in one apartment.

You say "deplorable." I say "a good start."

To the next step...One.
  A Year and a Day
It's back.

My back. Back pain.

It was diagnosed two years ago as "acquired L4/L5 lumbar stenosis." In English, it's "dull lower back pain that really sucks when you sit all day long."

In its extreme, the narrowing of the spinal column could cause numbness, even paralysis and loss of extremities. It's not that extreme. In its middle frame, it's what Vladimir Guerrero and I suffer from.

There's an easy cure - "work on my core."

There's a phrase that corresponds with working on my core: "good idea on paper."

I love stuff that I can control, but choose not to because I'm lazy. But that will soon be a thing of the past.

In a day or two, maybe today if the US Postal Service decides not to suck, I'll get my new New Balance 991's in, and I will commence with the exercise and jogging programme that I put together for myself.

And then maybe I'll be less concave on the lower front, so that I'll have less pain on the lower back.

Of course, it's all a theory.
Great, the government is making a database of every phonecall placed in the United States of America.

The President wants us to know that he's not "trolling through our personal lives." Good. Heaven forbid we look through his. Might look a lot like "Less than Zero" or the end of "Scarface."

Well, the closest they'll get to cellphone controversy from me is a string of drunk dials during the summer of 2003. Enjoy those, boys. They're actually quite entertaining, if you have an analyst on the staff who is proficient in deciphering "incoherent."

Sometimes I get the feeling the Government is looking for terrorists like Osama bin Laden with the same vim and vigor that OJ is searching for the real killers of his ex-wife.
Well, I'm all about "thinking outside the box," but there is a line.

And when that line - which separates creativity from a class B misdemeanor - is blurred, then it's probably bad.

Might be time for this guy to give up the Metrocard and just go hang around bars late at night. Maybe try Craigslist or something.

But the subway toe-sucking? Not so much.
Rick Sutcliffe was bombed last night. Probably not news, unless you hear him ambush the Padres radio broadcast.

I personally think the re-telling of the Padres clubhouse stories, involving Mark Bellhorn and Brian Giles, are infinitely funnier - especially if you try to imagine it. (Don't spend too long on the reenactment of the Giles bit though, or else I'll think you're weird.)
That's it for today.

To the next step.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
  365 Days Ago... a little town called New Rochelle, NY 10801, Throws Left, Bats Right was born.

And, one year later, in a little town called Milwaukee, WI 53233, TLBR is all growns up.

In the time since May 10, 2005, the site has received more than 81,000 hits - an average of 221 per day. Sure, it's not readership, but to me, that's staggering. It's like eating a whole block of cheese and then pooping in the refrigerator. (I'm not mad. That's amazing. When in Rome.)

So you keep tuning in, logging on, and reading and I'll keep writing and trying to make TLBR not just the most important and influential four-letter word on the internet, but in the whole entire world.

Hey, you gotta have goals.

To the next step, wherever it is and however long it takes to get there.

  I Love Francis Albert Sinatra...
...but I hate this fucking song.

NY (A.L.) 7, Bos. 3 - Final.

Liza Minnelli's version is SO much better.

Oh well...I guess Josh Beckett's the Ace early now.

Whatever. Sleep time.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
  BOS 14, N.Y. (A.L.) 3 - Final
Mark Loretta was 3-for-6. Alex Gonzalez pimped on a 3-run HR. JT Snow got a hit. Willie Harris got a hit.

Cue it up, Dick Clark...

One. (But 2-for-2 in 2006)

  This Is an Upgrade from the "Derek Lowe Face"
  Cheers and Boos...
That was a legendary page two section of The Mirror - the official newspaper of Fairfield University.

All you did, back then, was compose your "Cheers" list, for stuff you liked, and "Boos" list, for stuff you didn't. I'm sure these days, with the kids and their rock n' roll music and their internet, they just e-mail it. But it was good stuff.

That, plus the following link from another blog, as to which former Red Sox deserve the Fenway fans' applause or ire got me thinking: I haven't made a list in a while.

So here goes...the Official TLBR Former New England-based Pro Athlete Cheer/Boo List:

We'll start with a mock conversation between me and myself, regarding Johnny Damon. Do you cheer for Johnny at Fenway? No. Why? Because he's a Yankee, he's in the Division, and he sets the table for the team we most need to beat. Didn't he play hurt and make big hits and grow his hair long and have women from Stowe to Stonington swoon? Yes. Doesn't that matter to you at all? No. What about Millar, he's in the Division, too...and Hillenbrand... Are the Orioles in the Division? Do they even play baseball in Baltimore? Are they mathematically eliminated yet? And I'll get to Hillenbrand later.

Orlando Cabrera: Yeah, sure, why not. But if it's the ALDS, game five, top 9, game tied, and he's up with the bases loaded and one out, he's an asshole. If he leads off the fifth, with the Sox up 7-1, ah what the heck. O'C baby!

Kevin Millar: His batting average is just slightly over the legit limit to operate a motor vehicle under the influence. And he single-handedly had six LOB the other night against the Sox, allowing them to cruise to a 10-3 victory. So whenever possible, I root for Kevin Millar. Especially if he can hit cleanup.

Dave Roberts: I'd like to buy the man a beer and just say thanks. You cheer for Dave Roberts. In fact, when the Padres play the Brewers out here, I'm going to try to purchase that beer for the man. Also in the NL, so it doesn't affect the Sox.

Derek Lowe: Yes, you cheer for him. He gave a lot to the Sox. And while I don't de-cry Johnny Damon, or Pedro for leaving...remember, they were not really welcomed back...D-Lowe was basically non-tendered at the end of the 2004 season. He only came into the ALDS because the Sox had run out of pitchers b/c Tito had stupidly pulled Arroyo too early. D-Lowe had his issues, thankfully none with my girlfriend or wife, so what the hell. Cheer him. And he's NL.

Pedro: Oh, you mean the guy who took us from Kevin Kennedy to George Bush in the Rose Garden during his career? Yeah, I think you shampooing take your hat off and cheer him. This one I feel strongly about. NL as well.

Bronson Arroyo: As long as he promised to not make any more CD's, yeah, why wouldn't you cheer him? Also under the "he's in the NL" category.

Doug Mientkiewicz: So he "stole" the final out ball. Whatever. Cheer him.

Keith Foulke: Oh, you say he's still with the club? Oh, right, sure, I knew that.

Bill Mueller: Yes. You stand up and you cheer. The man hit two grand slams in the same game, from both sides of the plate.

Nomar: Yes, you cheer him. He gave the Sox his best years, no matter if he also gave them his worst.

Shea Hillenbrand: No.

Carl Everett: Who is this Carl Everett? He is not in the Bible, hence, I do not recognize him. Although booing him is as old as Joan Rivers' act. He's in a category worse than "boo" - he's on the pay-no-mind list.

Edgar Renteria: Considering I didn't really cheer for him when he was one of the hometown nine, I'm going to stay consistent. He's not worthy of boos, but if he were a bunch of beers, I certainly wouldn't break the seal.

Ok, it gets easier for former Patriots. Everyone except Terri Glenn, Lawyer Milloy and Adam Vinatieri gets cheered.

(other self-conversation) Why does Adam get booed? He plays for the Colts. But he won two Super Bowls for the Patriots. I'd argue that it was Tom Brady, but I will reiterate - Adam plays for the Colts. But... He plays for the Colts. The Patriots have to go through the Colts to get to the Super Bowl. The Colts had a shitty kicker the last few years, missing key field goals in key games. They now have a clutch kicker. You now have to boo that kicker, or else you're cheering against the Patriots.

Lawyer gets booed because he's a Bill. Terri because he's a douche.

But what about Ty Law? Well, let's wait to see who the Pats issue #24 to in training camp...

You root for every former Bruin, because their lives are infinitely better now as former Bruins.

And former Celtics make up roughly 60% of the league, so whatever. I kinda miss Ricky Davis.

Ok, that's it from here. Hope the rain holds up enough to get the game in.

To the next step and to Beckett mowing them down. Oh, and I was going to comment on Mike Vaccaro's stupid shampooing column this morning, but I'll hold off.

One (two... three... innings for #19).
Monday, May 08, 2006
  In Preparation for Tomorrow Night, Wednesday, and Thursday
I no longer live in the shadow of the Toilet, instead I'm stuck out here in Milwaukee. And I know it's only 2, 3, and 4 of 19...but Beckett/Johnson, Schilling/Mussina, and Wakefield/Chacon are three of the best mid-week, regular season pitching matchups you'll ever see, no matter if it is the best rivalry in American professional sports.

So in honor of Red Sox/Yankees, enjoy the following video. And if you're a loyal, try not to cry by the end (yeah, I can't do it.)

  Blogging Chicago

Welcome to the “Chicago Blog.” It’s very similar to the Oz Blog, except it’s not set in Australia, and is about 20.5 days shorter in duration. And it’s probably eons less interesting. (How’s that for a hook in the lede? Maybe it’s reverse psychology as you’re thinking “how much is this going to suck?” There’s only one way to find that out…)

Basically, I woke up terribly bored this past Saturday and decided that sitting on my couch, watching television all day in between perusing, como se dice, my “bookmark” list, was not going to be terribly exciting.

So left the apartment, pressed play on the iPod, bought a pad, caught a train, and walked around Chicago on a sunny, yet slightly cool day. The rest of the day is in bullet points:

*** On the walk down Wisconsin Avenue, with a turn down 4th St., there was a blind man sitting on the corner, selling pencils. That, along with seeing pink elephants when you’re drunk, had always seemed like such a cliché to me. But indeed, there he was. And it was the best dollar I spent all day. I would’ve used his pencil to chronicle the Chi-blog, but it was neither mechanical nor sharpened.

*** Now, in seeing my “generosity” from afar in the parking lot which was located just behind where the blind man sat, another man thought he too could benefit from my right pants pocket. This fella, dressed in a neon green windbreaker and sunglasses pulled up beside me like the two of us were making a break from the pack on lap five of a 3,000m run. Generally, it’s not accepted sidewalk etiquette, so I looked over at the guy as to figure out two things: “what the shampoo are you doing?” and “are you going to try to do something shampooing stupid?” While the former might have crossed his mind, he chose the latter.

In typical panhandling style, he began with a rhetorical question: “Excuse me sir, can I ask you something?” (sure, right after I ask you why the hell you were drafting me as I walked down Positively 4th St…) I take the bit: “Yeah, what is it?”

He mentions the fact that he saw me give the “bum a dollar.” Surmising that I wasn’t about to win a humanitarian award, I ask him what he wants. He wanted a dollar.

I said no. He then skipped ahead in the book “How to Ask People for Money,” straight to the chapter that details what not-to-do. Don’t call the person a "MF’er," don’t call him a “faggot,” and don’t call him a “white boy MF.” My man was in serious need of a Dale Carnegie course. And something a little less iridescent.

*** As I mentioned before, I took the train to Chicago. And for several reasons: gas is about 10 bucks a gallon now (I’m lying, it’s only $3.06); I don’t know where I’m going; and finally, I like trains. Used to take them home in college when I was without a car, I used to take them to NYC when I lived in New Roc, and I find them to be very therapeutic and enjoyable. I love looking out the window at the landscape passing me by.

About a minute or two pulling away from the MKE station, and watching the old mills and factories that make up this town, I saw a circle of horses around a big bale of hay, chowing down. Kind of a strange place to have a horse farm, in the middle of the barrio, next door to a big lot with abandoned and broken-down taxicabs. But they were police horses.

*** Just five minutes into the trip and already the trusty iPod sidekick has brought its “A” game. Jack Johnson’s “We are Gonna Be Friends” and the Cowboy Junkies’ classic remake of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane.”

*** I’m in Amtrak’s “quiet car.” Signs hanging from the ceiling inform passengers that loud talking, cell phone usage, and audio or video games were not permitted. In one sense, it was like 5th grade reading class and I felt compelled to raise my hand and ask the conductor permission to use the lavatory. In another sense, it was bliss. No loud and pretentious people squawking on their cells, nor little rugrats playing their PSP’s. My cell was on vibrate, in order to keep the peace and limit the noise, especially after this one terribly annoying person (who still has not gotten the shampooing hint) kept text messaging me.

*** The iPod had not played Frank Sinatra’s classic tune “Chicago,” but I did get Sufjan Stevens’ tune with the same name.

*** Was just thinking, in light of there having to be a quiet car, that cellphones, text messaging, Blackberrys, email, and iPods are killing civility, sociality, and the art of conversation. I’m guilty of it, to some extent, but I try never to lose the human touch simply because of technological advances. The more it might make things simple, the more convoluted it becomes on the back end. To me, the opportunity costs just aren’t worth it. (and yet, I’m blogging. Contradiction, party of one, your table is ready…)

*** Bob Dylan’s “Don’t think twice, it’s alright” came on the iPod. Gee, kinda of prophetic.

It was followed by John Mayer’s “Comfortable” – a song that got me through some real miserable times a few years back. Thankfully, those times have passed and while they didn’t end with some storybook or Cusack ending, I’m proud to say that we’re still good friends.

*** Times now have a similar sort of miz to them, but for completely different reasons. Sometimes past doldrums can be a good way to forget about present ones – an antidote to the present. That seems very odd, dunnit? Is it comfort in misery? I hope not. Misery is certainly not something you ever want to take comfort in, or be defined by. It’s not my identity, nor is it my intention to make it seem as such.

*** Next up on the iPod is Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Not only is it a good tune (yeah, I said it), but the scene in “High Fidelity” where Jack Black deconstructs the dad who came into the record shop was priceless. The movie was also set in Chicago.

*** Ok, we’re here in the Windy City and I haven’t a clue where to go or which way to get there. First stop: the Sears Tower. To get to the SkyDeck, overlooking the city and where Ferris Bueller, Sloan, and Cameron spent some time, you cough up $12.95 and proceed to a waiting room with two vending machines, two of those “Make a Souvenir Penny” devices, and lots of impatient, annoying kids. Like Amtrak’s “quiet car,” the Sears Tower needs a “quiet waiting room.” Time to turn up the iPod and tune out the annoying kids.

*** The Sunday’s “Here’s where the story ends” – another old school tune that I haven’t heard in ages. And text message girl still hasn’t gotten then hint. If eight unanswered texts don’t make some sort of light go on…

*** The view from the SkyDeck is amazing. Well worth the money and the test of patience 110 stories below. As I’m looking out on the cityscape of Chicago, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Only Living Boy in New York” comes on – yet another tune that brings me back in time. The line in the song “I’ve got nothing to do today but smile” is a much-needed optimistic view on things.

*** Looking down on some of the other buildings from up here, I noticed a 5-on-5 soccer game going on the rooftop of an adjacent skyscraper. Needless to say, if the ball goes over the edge, I would not be chasing it…nor would I want to be on the sidewalk.

*** I like Chicago. I’m not going to give it the “I’d live here” stamp of approval quite yet, but it’s refreshing. Doesn’t make me feel like I’m in the shampooing Midwest. And like home, you can’t go a corner without either a CVS or a Dunkin Donuts.

*** In my travels down to Michigan Avenue – also known as the “Magnificent Mile” - I noticed that many of the pedestrians were wearing Polish t-shirts or were dressed in red, carrying Polish flags. As it turns out, there was a Polish parade down by the Lake. I’ll withhold any comments, especially for those Polish TLBR stalwarts (not a big demographic, but a demographic nonetheless...)

*** Spent some time at the Art Institute of Chicago. I have to think it’s a different affiliation than the Art Institute you see advertised on MTV in a sort of infomercial kind of way. They had a real nice outdoor garden, too, where I took a seat and rested my feet and legs. Did I just say that? I sounded like a Grandma.

*** “Know Yourself First, Change the World Second” was a slogan on a bus billboard for Loyola University of Chicago. Nothing like a little Ignatian “magis” on the local jitney.

*** You know how I said I’d hold off the Polish jokes? I can’t. On the corner of Michigan and a crossroad (whose name I cannot recall) that was blocked off with barricades, there was, like every other corner, a Walk/Don’t Walk sign. When I approached the corner, it was on “Don’t Walk.” Many of the parade goers stood there waiting for the sign to change.


*** One of the prettiest girls I’ve seen in months was stopped at a red light – actually one of those left-hand lane/left arrow sorts of things. She was wearing a VERY short skirt. She was riding a Vespa. I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t take a longer look in case there were any, um, comment dit-on, “accoutrements” visible.

*** And that was pretty much it – took a subway back to the Union Station area – entered on Canal Street and went down the same stairs where the famous shootout from “The Untouchables” took place. No Kevin Costner or Andy Garcia. Just me. And a diet coke, my iPod, and the quiet car, heading back to MKE.

That's it from here...hope you're all having a great day. To the next step and may it come soon...One.

Friday, May 05, 2006
Just a quick "wow" from game six between the Wizards and the Cavs...

I'm no NBA fan, but these games in the first round have been nothing short of spectacular.

It almost makes me want to stay tuned.

Oh well. Back to making my pros and cons the next step.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006
  Beware of Entangling Alliances
Saw this t-shirt on one of those sites that always sends out spam and whatnot.

There's only one thing to say about that.

And you know who's spouting this disgusting, inaccurate, and completely nonfactual representations, right?


So my fellow citizens of the Biggest Little State in the Union - or as the shaggy-haired prophet J-Malls likes to call it, "The Smallest State with the Biggest Heart" - I say we climb into our cars and vans...we pile into our trucks and SUVS...we mobilize and unify and drive down 95 S, through Connecticut, New York, over the George Washington Bridge, down the New Jersey Turnpike, over the Delaware Memorial Bridges (and don't pay the tolls, beeatch)

I say we march into Wilmington with the force of 500,000 proud and strong Rhode Islanders and burn all the credit card bills that seem to originate from this city and this city alone!

I say we take over Newark and give it to the fine folks of Maryland, as a token of appreciation for crab cakes and, um, the numerous other things that Maryland does!

I say we storm Rehoboth Beach and then, I dunno, have a sandwich and get a tan...but like conquering heroes and not Beltway tourists!

That'll show those Delawarians. You can't shampoo with Little Rhody. Ocean State WHAT?!?
  Skyrocket's In Flight...
...a little afternoon TLBR delight for all y'all jive turkeys.

*** "My Favorite Mistake," albeit a "pop song" by a "pop artist," is still a bad-assed tune.

The twang of the guitar, Sheryl Crow's throaty, bluesy singing in the non-refrain parts - it's got emotion that still draws me in.

And then when you think of her - still dumb hot these days - as eight years younger, frolicking with Eric Clapton (and then not, hence the song...)...that's equally as bad-assed.

*** Listening to WMVY now and the tune is the Pretenders "Hand in Pocket." Great song.

But the original is nowhere as good as Charlotte's version in "Lost in Translation." Oh yeah.

Cause I...wanna make you see. Nobody else here. No one like me.

I'm special (ooh!). Soooo special. I've got to have some of your...attention. GIVE TO ME!

(sorry. got a little ahead of myself there.)

*** John Daly claims to have blown $60 million in gambling the last few years.



He tells of one particular episode, after winning $750,000 golfing (and beating Tiger Woods), he drove right to Vegas and blew it, plus another $850,000 ($1.6 million total) playing slot machines.

$5,000-a-pull slots!

Considering that one pull would be about 1/8 of my annual salary, depositing that one credit and pulling the lever might make me want to repeatedly vomit.

*** If I told you that a guy in the Red Sox/Yankee series, who is making about $20 million this year, followed up a badly played pop-up in shallow left center in the 7th with a terrible baserunning gaffe off second base in the 8th, the first thing you'd say was "Manny Ramirez, he just never seems to have his head in the game" right?

Nope. Sorry, Tim McCarver. It was Derek Jeter (of the Cooperstown Jeter's). You know, the Derek Jeter that a fielding sabremetician called "the worst fielding shortstop in the game."

No fist pump for the Captain.

*** I like it when Wily Mo Pena uses two-hands to catch fly balls. It's a big sigh of relief, as the path he takes to get under the ball is not the most geometrically efficient.

*** Joss Stone's "Fell in Love with a Boy" is also a god-damned sexy song too. And so is Ms. Stone.

Spend the .99 cents on this gem on iTunes, grab your significant other, and turn it up.

(that is the closest that TLBR will ever come to being a love/advice you'd better listen to me because I was pre-med).

*** Didn't tune into WEEI today, because I didn't want or need to hear more about Johnny Damon.

But I did mull over calling in to see if Doug Mirabelli's arrival at Fenway last night mere moments before the first pitch rivaled another Doug's seemingly tedious athletic play: the Flutie dropkick.

Ok, enough from me. Maybe more later; to the next step.

Monday, May 01, 2006
  One More Quick Question
Hey New England Sports fans: do you throw dollar bills and chant "traitor" to Adam Vinatieri?


Same thing. Great player while he was here, team opts not to resign him, he takes the most money, and ends up with the "bitter rival."

And same opinion - thanks for your time, you were great, now go out there and shank a few kicks, jackass, you're not one of us anymore.
  A Quick Note on My Feelings on Johnny Damon
"Cheer or boo?" is a prominent question media folk are posing to Red Sox fans.

My stance is simple: if he's not hitting or fielding for the Sox, I don't care much for him. Doesn't mean I'd be hurling objects at him, or yelling the old familiar suggestion at him, separating it from his name with a comma. (if that was too wordy for you, I meant "Shampoo you, Johnny.")

Did I cheer for Orlando Cabrera when he came back to Fenway? No. Did I boo? No.

Would I cheer for Johnny Damon? No chance in hell. Would I boo? No, probably not.

All this is too much for me - too much media hype for two games in May. I'll have the game on in the luxury apartment, while I perform a few household tasks like tidying up, some ironing, and cleaning the brown circle from the inside of my toilet bowl...with my versatile cleaning rag.

And that's all I have to say about that.

To the next step - which I hope is two straight wins which kicks off a nice streak...


Few tidbits for the ESPN opener - I do have MLB Extra Innings, but they're using the YES feed the next two nights. And the only person worse than Joe Magrane is Michael Kay.

In hell, when they show games, Kay and Magrane do the voice-over. If given the choice of fire & brimstone, or Kay & Magrane...well, make it london broil for me.

A few other things on my mind:
*** The hot shirt out by Fenway, where bandit shirts are quite prevalent, is a Johnny Damon shirt that says "Looks Like Jesus, Acts Like Judas, Throws Like Mary." Very creative.

Not as good as the "Posada is a Little Bitch," "Jeter Drinks Wine Coolers," or my favorite from the 2004 World Series -- "Yankees Suck(ed)"

*** Enough Johnny Damon. More Erin Andrews. More more more!!!

*** No Doug Mirabelli in the lineup tonight. Puzzling.

*** Ok, he is back. He landed at 6:49 p.m. at Logan. It's 7:11 now. Have you ever gotten from Logan to Kenmore Square in 22 minutes? How the hell did they get him there, the Star Trek teleport?

*** Onto the game. Enjoy. 1/19 almost underway.

A daily - or every-other-day - account of all there is in my head
that's dying to get out, via my fingers.
(I vow to attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.)

05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 / 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 / 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 / 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 / 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 / 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 / 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 / 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 / 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 / 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 / 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 / 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 / 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 / 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 / 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 / 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 / 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 / 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 / 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 / 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 / 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 / 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 / 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 / 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 / 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 /

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