Monday, June 30, 2008

Aaaaargh!!! But Yaaaaaaay!!!!

What a variety of emotions I'm feeling tonight! First, I see (not directly but through mlb's "gameday" feature) our Rangers hang on and beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium!! Feldman took a no-no into the 4th inning, which is something for Rangers pitching. Josh Hamilton picked up his 80th RBI for the season, and the Rangers beat the Evil Empire 2-1, putting them TWO games over .500 for the first time this season.

Then I learn, on the way to work, that the bloody Sunbeams held on to their lead to beat the Sox 5-4 and move 1.5 up on them in the AL East. It was 4-2 'beams when I laid down for my pre-work nap. This series has come at a very bad time. The Sox struggle on the road as it is, but now they have to contend for the leadership of the division, and it's not against the usual nemesis.

I wonder what it's like to be a Yankees fan right now. Wait. I think I know. Remember the '06 season?? Yeah. It must be a lot like that. I feel no pity. I laugh at their pain. Hah. The only run they got tonight against the Rangers was an A-roid homer.

So...does anyone think that Mark Teixeira will actually wind up with the Red Sox?? While we definitely don't need a first baseman, we sure need a replacement DH. Tex is pretty good from both sides of the plate, too. I would love to get to cheer him in a Red Sox uniform against the Yankees later this month. The problem is, he is still going to be a free agent at the end of this season, and his agent is the worst thing that ever happened to baseball, the devil himself, Scott Boras.

I have to go wash my hands just from typing that name.

I seriously dislike that man.

Well, I guess that's all I can come up with tonight. By the way, just so everybody knows, I would have just died if they had told me that I was singing at one of the Red Sox games in September. I'm so glad I drew a Phillies game. I honestly think I might have sung "root, root, root for the Red Sox..." Sheesh...

TTFN, y'all!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Take Me Out...

Well, I did it. And it was a blast.
My wife was taking the video on our Canon PowerShot S1. It's a little crazy at the end. She was trying to find me walking back up the steps after the song, so you might get a little dizzy there. But it was all pretty cool. I almost got rained out. It was still sprinkling a bit while I was singing. We decided earlier that she could get a better shot if she recorded the video screen on the scoreboard instead of trying to get a good shot of me on the dugout. And it's a good thing! Because they took me to the THIRD BASE dugout!! Egad! I had to sing to Phillies fans! Pft. Pft. And what the heck happened in Houston??? It was 9-6 Sox when I left my seat to for the singing. By the time I sat back down, it was 10-9, 'stros. Then it was 11-9. What a slugfest. So both my teams lose last night. But, fortunately, the Sunbeams lost as well, right? So we're still half a game up. Whew. Rangers tried to rally at the end, but just couldn't make it. Left the bases loaded in the bottom of the eigth, and two men on in the bottom of the ninth. Oh, well. They just can't seem to make that jump to TWO games over .500!

Oh, and one more thing. When I sing "Root, root, root for the Rangers," I'm pointing over to the Rangers dugout, since I'm standing on top of the Phillies.

TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fun At the Ballpark

Stephanie and I went to the Rangers/Phillies game last night. It was fun, and an interesting experience.

One thing I've begun to wonder. Shouldn't the beer vendors have enough sense to know when someone has had enough? There were two people that sat a couple rows in front of us that I swear were already at least two sheets to the wind before they even sat down, and they came in with beer in their hands. AND, they bought another one from the beer vendor who just happened to be on our aisle at the time. The guy couldn't even stand up without having something to lean on to steady himself. And during the time we were there (Steph got tired so we left after 5 innings), they bought at least two more each. I'm glad I wasn't on the road with those people.

Then there was the guy next to me, across the aisle. I looked over once, and he was pouring something from a metal flask into styrofoam cups for him and his wife. EGAD! Metal containers are illegal in Rangers Ballpark, AND it is also illegal to bring your own alcohol into the facility. Somehow, he snuck that thing in in his little "lunchbox." But I'm sure he just had, you know, orange juice in it, right? Right.

Then there was the guy behind us that, at some point, decided that he needed to stand up for the rest of the game. It took half an inning, but his friend finally got him to sit down. But it made him mad, so he refused stand up later when the Rangers hit a home run and everybody around him stood up.

As for the game, we had the privilege of seeing Rangers noob Chris Davis hit his first major league home run, getting the lead back for the Rangers in the bottom of the third inning. That was exciting. They went on to win 8-7, putting them one game over .500 for, I think, the sixth time this season. Now, if they can only win tonight, which they should, because tonight is the night that I will be singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the seventh inning.


I plan to get a video taken, so I will post it if we are successful.

One other I the only one who has noticed the "evolution" of the strike zone?? Has anyone else noticed that umpires no longer call a strike at the letters? I'm pretty sure the zone has never been officially changed. It's supposed to be from the armpits to the knees. Lately, anything around the armpits is considered "high." Just wondering...

TTFN , y'all!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Paste Sampler No. 44

Warning. This is not about the Red Sox. Sorry...but I thought I would throw something different in for a change. And they didn't play tonight, but they did win the series from the D-Backs. Yay.

Here's something new. Well, not really so new, but new for my blog.

I've been a subscriber to Paste magazine for years, now, and each month, they send out a sampler cd in their magazine, chock full of new music that they have found. It's usually indie stuff or just artists that aren't well know, yet. The subtitle of the magazine is "Signs of Life in Music, Film and Culture." I highly recommend the magazine.

So, I decided that, starting with this issue, I'm going to give my opinions of the tracks that they chose to include on their sampler. This cd is number 44 and has 21 tracks on it. So here we go!

1. "Red Wine," by Izza Kizza. Honestly, this was almost enough to cause me to throw the cd out. I wish they wouldn't put a track like this as number one on the cd, but I also realize that it's all a matter of taste. There are probably some who will like this. Just not me. I'm not even sure what genre it's supposed to be. Some kind of weird reggae, I guess, and I'm not really a fan of reggae, anyway. stars for the first song. I guess I'm using a five star system for rating, here. Kind of going on the fly.

2. "I'm Amazed," by My Morning Jacket. I'm pretty sure this band is featured on the cover. I've heard of them, but this is the first time I've heard their music. The cover says, "Ferocious Concerts. Die-Hard Fans. A Fearless New Record. MY MORNING JACKET Can't Be Stopped." Hm. Bet they can. However, I really like this track. It's good rock music, in my opinion. Album is Evil Urges. There's even a guitar solo toward the end of the song! 4 stars.

3. "Always A Friend," by Alejandro Escovedo. Upon my first listening to this track, my initial thought was, "Did Bruce Springsteen change his name??" We already have a Bruce Springsteen. We don't need another one. Honestly, this song sounds like a clone of Springsteen. Even the music behind the song sounds like one that Springsteen would have written. The album is called Real Animal. If the rest of the tracks are as unoriginal as this one, I would change it to Cloned Animal. No stars.

4. "Hologram," by Katie Herzog. I've never heard of her before, but I like this track. The album is called Apple Tree. Nice sound, and I like the song. I want to hear some more of the songs from this album, so I'll be checking to see if she's on Yahoo! Music Unlimited or 3 stars.

5. "Two Ways Out," by Darker My Love. from 2. I really like this band. I've got their first cd on my laptop from Yahoo! Music Unlimited. Singer has a rather deep voice, most of the time. Nice harmonies in this track. I'm anxious to hear the rest of the cd. There's another band that they resemble, but for the life of me, I can't place it right now. 4 stars.

6. "Inside A Boy," by My Brightest Diamond. From a thousand shark's teeth. I haven't heard of this group before. Female lead singer. Musically, it's not bad. But I'm not sure about the vocals. Sounds like she has too many teeth. Does that make sense?? Probably not. But there's a particular way that the "s"-s come out. Ok. I've just done a little research. The lead singer, Shara Worden, is classically trained, with an opera degree from, of all places, the University of North Texas! Right in my back yard, eh? I need to listen to some of the other tracks on the album to have a better judgment, here. Again, musically, I like this track a lot. I'd like to hear some more of Shara's singing. For now, it's 3 stars, with a potential of more if it grows on me.

7. "Around the World," by The Death Set, from Worldwide. After three hearings, this song still sucks, big time. Sounds like it's mostly keyboard-driven, with minimal sounds. I think there's only one chord in the song. Oops...there's another one. Two chords. The lyrics are completely unintelligible. Sounds like several guys all going "yahyahyahyahyahyah." It's boring, unimaginative, and unoriginal. In fact, I can't find anything good to say about it at all. Except that it's finally over. No stars. Wait. -5 stars. I can do that. It's my rating system.

8. "You, Me & The Bourgeoisie," by The Submarines, from Honeysuckle Weeks. Hah. I love this song. It's so happy! And it sounds very late 60's early 70's! Female lead singer sounds with nice vocals. It has a nice message, too, about choosing love and choosing life. It's a duo, male and female, made up by John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard. I'm guessing Blake is the girl, since I don't know any girls named John. Apparently, they used to be a couple? Are they again? I dunno, but I love this song, and want more. My first 5 star vote for this sampler!

9. "Where & When," by Hayden, from In Field & Town. This song has an unusual beat to it. It feels like 4, but the snare hits every three beats. It just feels weird. I'm not really crazy about his vocal styling, either. It's not bad. But the voice a little weak. It's "folky sounding." Oh, there's a trumpet solo. Wait, two trumpets. That's not a solo, is it? I don't like trumpets in folk music. And they're just kind of "wandering" around. Kind of random. And the song just kind of stops. It doesn't really end. Just stops. Meh. 2 stars.

10. "Hard Livin'," by Railroad Earth, from Amen Corner. This is a nice track. How do I describe it? It's kind of, wow. Bluegrass, southern rock? With horns. I like it. Yeah. The vocalist has a bit of a Skynyrd sound to him. Yeah. I like this track. I'll be looking for more from this band. 5 stars.

11. "Freeway," by Aimee Mann, from @#%&! Smilers. Ah, Aimee. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Aimee has been plugging along with these solo albums since her early days with Till Tuesday. I kind of like her, but my real gripe is that all her stuff sounds the same. This song sounds just like all the songs on the previous two albums of hers that I have. She just doesn't change at all. But I guess she doesn't have to. It's not a bad sound. But it's always pretty disgruntled. I'm thinking Aimee is a pretty unhappy person, if you listen to her songs. I do remember one scene where she was brought on to play a gig at The Bronze on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. She had the honor of being the first (perhaps only) musical act on the show that ever got to actually say a line. Her line? "I hate playing vampire towns." But I digress. I will give this track 3 stars, just because I still respect Aimee.

12. "Dream," by Priscilla Ahn, from A Good Day. This is a nice piece. It's quiet, relaxing and zzzzzzzzzzzz....just kidding. But it is that kind of song. Very acoustic. Lots of strings. Mellow voice, very soothing. Calming. I like it. This seems to be very positive. 4 stars.

13. "Listen," by Amos Lee, from Last Days At The Lodge. With a name like Amos Lee, how could it be anything but country? It's not bad, though. (I'll try not to offend any of you that like country music...) This songs has a pretty good sound to it. Whoa! Doyle Bramhall, Jr. plays on the album. Does that make it blues? There is a little bit of bluesy flavor to it, I'll admit that. I'm kind of unsure about it at the moment, and would like to hear more of his stuff. 3 stars.

14. "Testify," by Carney, from Nothing Without You. Starts out sounding suspiciously like "Run Through the Jungle." Then this husky female voice comes tearing through it. Yowzah! Found the website...heh. The girl looks rather Goth. But the music. Wow. It's kind of hard to describe. There's this really distorted guitar solo in the middle. It's definitely rock. I like her voice. Holy crap! I don't think that's a girl! Man. I haven't been fooled like that since I heard Kill Hannah. I guess the girl on the front page of the website is just a picture...I'm so confused...My apologies to the lead singer. Well, whatever, I still like the band. This song is kind of eerie. Like I said, the beginning and ending riffs are reminscent of Creedence and "Run Through the Jungle." 5 stars. Plus a bonus star for tricking me.

15. "Bang My Drum," by Daniela Cotton, from Rare Child. Black country singer. Unusual. At least it sounds country to me. And the title refers to what she is going to do, not an invitation to bang her drum. It's kind of a "survival" song. You can push her down, but she'll keep singin' her songs and bangin' her drum. I kind of like it, actually. She's got a good, strong voice, and the message is pretty positive. And she plays a Rickenbacker!! Wow. That gets her an extra star in my book. 5 stars.

16. "Oh No," by Kaisercartel, from March Forth. The name comes from the two members, Courtney Kaiser and Benjamin Cartel. I kind of like that. It's cute and clever. Musically, this track is very indie sounding. I'm a little unsure how much I like it, but it is interesting. Has a bit of folky sound to it. I guess they are a couple, too. At this point, I'll give it 3 stars, but it could grow on me some more.

17. "Beyond the Pale," by Scott Kempner, from Saving Grace. This track begins with a single electric guitar and the vocalist, who has a slightly deep, husky voice. Nice vocal, though. Very folky, if not country, but the vocal doesn't sound country. The song builds, texture-wise as it progresses. Has a guitar solo in the middle. I think I like it. 3 stars.

18. "How Am I To Be," by The Watson Twins, from Fire Songs. This is a debut release from a pair of identical twin sisters, Chandra and Leigh Watson. It's kind of hard to categorize, genre-wise. Kind of folky-pop. I'm not crazy about it. 2 stars.

19. "Carbon-Dated Love," by I See Hawks In L.A., from Hallowed Ground. First of all...that's a really dumb name for a country band. I'm sorry. It just is. This is way too country for me. The vocals aren't bad, and they harmonize pretty well. But this is full-blown country, complete with wailing fiddles and steel guitars. Nice steel solo, I'll give them that. I'll give them 3 stars, not because I like them, but because, as country goes, it's not bad. (Trying to be a fair reviewer, here...)

20. "Saint C3cilli4," by Sunlight in Architecture, from Sunlight in Architecture. I don't know about this. They sound drunk. And they put numbers in the name of their song, which makes me expect to hear rap or hip-hop. It couldn't be much further from rap or hip-hop, thank God. But I don't think I like it very much. It's sloppy. There's not much to it, musically. On the other hand, it's kind of trippy-folky. The sloppiness of the vocals makes the lyrics hard to understand. 2 stars. I want to hear some other music by this band, though.

21. "The Poor House," by The Boxmasters, from The Boxmasters. Argh. More country. This one even starts with what appears to be another recording (you can hear the record-scratches) of a steel guitar solo. Then the real song starts with, surprise! A steel guitar solo. Not a good track to finish the cd with, in my opinion. I See Hawks was better. 2 stars. And the final note of the track is kind abruptly cut off.

There you have it. At some point, I might try to listen more intently to the lyrical content of these tracks to see if there is some wisdom in the lyrics. Some songs seem to be deeper than others. I don't know if anyone will find this to be of any value or not, but, hey. That's what we do on Blogspot, anyway, isn't it? We write stuff and hope that somewhere, someone will get something out of it.

But, as always, there are quite a few really good tracks on this sampler, and I will seek out more songs by the same artists with which to populate my mp3 player (which, by the way, is an iRiver, rather than an iPod).

So, now I guess I will do some work (if I can find any to's really slow here on Thursday nights) and listen to the new Coldplay album, Viva La Vida.

TTFN, y'all!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gloom, Despair, and Agony....

By now, I'm sure all of you know the tragic news. Curt Schilling will not pitch this year. I'm very depressed by this.

All good things must come to an end, eventually, and Schilling's pitching career is no exception. I just thought I would get to see him pitch one more year.

I'll be in mourning for a few days.

On the bright side, the Sox actually won a series on the road. And hopefully, they can pick up tonight where they left off in '04 with the Cards.


See y'all later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Phillies 8, Red Sox 2

Well, that was depressing. Right from the bloody start. Colon just didn't have it, and Hamels did. Oh, well. Today is a new day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ex-Sox Makes Good For Rangers

David Murphy continues to be the best trade that Jon Daniels ever made in his piddly little existence.

Tonight, he put the Rangers ahead with a grand salami in the top of the 7th in KC. Once again, just like Tuesday night, the Rangers were down 5-1. Once again, they battled back. This time with no outs in the top of the 7th. After the dust cleared in the 7th inning, it was 8-5 Rangers, Byrd scoring on a sac fly. Not content with that, Murphy hit another home run on the very next pitch he received. Heh. Final score was Rangers 11, Royals 5. And our good friend Josh Hamilton seems to be back on the swing again, and...what a catch he made in foul territory over there in right field. Not sure what he was doing in right field...but, hey! He jumped really, really high and snagged a fly over the top of the fence. I thought Eric Nadel (radio broadcaster for the Rangers) was going to have a cow. His voice just kept getting higher and higher.

And our Sox did better tonight. 1-1 in this one so far, which is not bad on a road trip.

I'm not quite so hard on our boys for their road record, though. I was looking at the standings yesterday, and there are only, I think, three teams that have a winning record on the road. And there are a few who are quite a bit worse off than the Red Sox. Oddly, the Rangers, who are now (again) one game over .500, are almost exactly even in both areas, home and away. That's kind of funny. They don't do so well at home, because the idiots that designed that ballpark made it a very good park for hitters. That's why the Rangers can go in there, score 9 runs and still lose the game. Pft. Everybody blames the pitching, but I think it's really the ballpark's fault. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful place to watch a game. But it's a really bad place to pitch.

I guess that's all for now. See you later. I'm getting all butterfly-ey in my tummy...our trip is getting closer and closer. I just got goose bumps thinking about it. Little over a month. If we get to see a sweep in July, I may never come down off of that cloud!

Oh, and Stephanie told me that Mr. Papi became an American citizen yesterday? Congratulations to him!!! That is way cool!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Huzzah, Mr. Griffey!!

I know this is usually about the Red Sox, but when a man does this, I have to acknowledge it. Congratulations, Ken Griffey, Jr.!

I'm still wondering what Coco was thinking. But that was a great dodge of Shields' girly punch.

I'm also still wondering how the second worst team in baseball managed to shut out the Sox 8-0. But seems like I remember Hernandez giving them fits in the past.

Today was boring in the world of baseball, except for Griffey's historic smash. I'm glad to see that, too. I've always respected him.

Later, guys.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Roller Coasters, Anyone?

Yes, I've been watching. I guess I really haven't felt like writing much lately. Until Saturday night, that is. And darn the luck, I wasn't looking. I was playing 42 with my wife and kids. Bleah. Stephanie yelled at me from up at the front computer. It's still great, though. Wish he could have done it at Fenway, but there were plenty of fans in Camden Yards to see it, too.

Before the Baltimore series, I was whining and moaning about why Boston can't win on the road. Seriously. It's pretty horrible. But now, they've won the Baltimore series. Maybe it's a west-coast thing. I dunno. But it's maddening.

Who would've ever thought we'd be battling it out in the AL East with the bloody Tampa Bay "Sunbeams???" And I know for sure I heard some screams from Tampa when Lugo was muffing those plays at shortstop and getting thrown out of the game in Seattle. By the way...did anyone ever hear what exactly he did for that idiot umpire to toss him?

And I also have a very serious question for Mr. Terry. When you have two outs in the top of the ninth, score tied 3-3 against one of the worst teams in baseball, and your batter is 0-6 against the current pitcher, WHY DON'T YOU PINCH HIT????? Why the bloody heck do you put Youk in to pinch run instead of pinch hitting??? Sigh.

We're all perfect managers, aren't we?

Ah, well. We're back in the winning column for now.

And look at the Rangers! Our home team was actually over .500 for one day this weekend, and were it not for the 7th inning, they would have won Sunday, too. But for now, the remain at .500, 1 1/2 games behind Oakland in third place. And they've won another series. All things considered, even as disappointing as Sunday's game was, they are playing really well, right now. Better than most of us expected. And to make it even better, they have won more games than the Evil Empire and are ahead of the Evil Ones in the standings!

And our good friend Josh Hamilton hit a grand slam home run on the day his picture appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine!! HAH!! Take THAT, Sports Illustrated Curse!! Still leading the MLB in RBIs.

In non-baseball news (What did he say??), I just finished one of the best books I've read in quite a long time. It's called Look Me In the Eye: my life with asperger's, by John Elder Robison. It's an amazing biographical story of the author's experiences with his Asperger's syndrome. I highly recommend it.

Gotta go eat lunch. Bye for now.