Thursday, August 31, 2006

Best in Class

A simple post to make sure everyone is aware that the greatest gum in the world, a gum so good that even if you don't chew gum it might make you start, is Orbit's Sweet Mint. Hadley tipped me off to this stuff a few months ago and I can't say enough good things about it. It tastes like an Andes Candy.

Keep On Rockin'

Finally, we'll wrap it up with Neil Young and Pearl Jam doing Rockin' In The Free World from 1993....

MJ, Lance Bass & Co.

Next up, MJ performing with NSync back in 2001. Hilarious on about, oh, 500 different levels...

How the Mighty Have Fallen

The good old days when Britney still had her fastball. Plus a curve. And a slider. And a splitter. And a circle change. You name it. You could make the case that this performance was the absolute apex of the Britney era...

"Do you know where you are?"

In keeping with the VMA theme let's comb youtube for some classic live performances from VMA's past. First up, Guns 'N Roses, 1988....

A Little VMA Trivia

Apparently, the MTV Video Music Awards are airing tonight. It has to be a sign that you're getting old and out of touch when the VMA's completely sneak up on you. It's still worthy of Tivo status, especially with Jack Black doing the hosting, but at some point in my late 20's I realized MTV and I suddenly had very little in common and things like this are barely on my radar at this point.

At any rate, in honor of the VMA's I thought it might be interesting to look at the list of all-time award leaders. I posted this on the Barstool Sports forum last year (actually did it as a trivia question) and people were flabbergasted at the results.

The All-Time VMA Leaderboard

1)Madonna-20 (No big surprise here. She's #1 and it's not really close.)
2)Peter Gabriel-12 (Now, there's a suprise. Sledgehammer killed in '87.)
3)R.E.M.-11 ("That's me in the corner....")
4)Aerosmith-10 (No surprise.)
T5)Fatboy Slim-9 (Thank you Christopher Walken)
T5)Gwen Stefani-9 (5 with No Doubt. 4 solo awards.)
T8)Green Day-8
T8)Janet Jackson-8 (More than her brother in a minor upset)
T8)a-Ha-8 (Behold the awesome power of Take On Me.)
T12)NSync-7 (Before Lance came out)
T12)Michael Jackson-7 (Surprisngly low in my opinion.)
T12)Smashing Pumpkins-7 (Had a big year in '96)
T12)En Vogue-7 (Free Your Mind in '93. Whatta Man in '94)

Cocoa is for cobblers

>Always Be Cobbling

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ari- You're Fired

So what did everyone think? The season started off on the wrong foot in my opinion. The Dom character was a complete disaster. He took to much time away from Drama and Ari, and by doing that basically swept the knees out from under the show. Once he left, things started to turn around. I thought that Vince and Turtle were much more tolerable this year and even Eric stepped up his game a bit. The problem with this season was that the major conflict and ultimately the climax seemed to be forced. Ari telling a lie is nothing new. That is the premise of his character. He is a conniving, backstabbing, two-faced asshole, but for all the right reasons. In the end, he does want Vince to succeed. But he understands the nature of the business, he understands that the wants and needs of the studio will greatly differ from the wants and needs of his clients and that is why he is such a good agent. He possesses a chameleonic ability to change the way he represents himself depending on his audience. However, Vince fires him because he would not say sorry and he stooped to the level of his competitors and he lied. Really? Was Vince and Eric that surprised by his actions? As Gob Bluth would say, Come On. That was the end of the season and it seemed forced. They needed a cliffhanger for next season, I understand that. But Piven is not going anywhere, so the anticipation for next season lies in how Ari will end up with Vince and the crew again? I think they could have done better. The episode was great and there were some phenomenal lines, but I just think the ending could have been better. Two people make this show work and as long as Drama and Ari are part of the cast I will watch the show. They could film 20 minutes of complete garbage and I would still tune in for their performances. They both are that good.



The Marxist Madman

Von Kaisar

Berlin, Germany
144 lbs
23-12 w/ 10 KO’s

-Background: Von was born on Dec 8, 1942 in Berlin. This was, to say the least, an incredibly tough time to be in his nations capital. With the Nazi Party coming to Power in 1933 and the second Great War beginning in 1939, Von was born into an unpopular race. Just after he was born, his neighborhood was crumbled by the air raids during the Battle of Berlin. His parents however, remained proud and loyal to their country, raising Von with the same enthusiasm toward their flag. His family ended up falling with the Marxist movement and, at the age of 19, Von helped build the Berlin Wall. Soon after that he joined the military, and at some point along the way started to pick up the gloves. When, where, and why… No one really knows.

-The Scoop: Von is a poor boxer for the same reason that he would be a poor poker player. His tells are outrageously forthright. Before ever single jab and hook he throws, he does some ridiculous head shake that is not only pointless, but must limit his vision and focus. Go ahead, sit there at your computer and start repeatedly and abruptly shaking your head side to side. You can’t read the words on the screen, never mind catch a jab or land one. On top of this, he gives up the most stars in the game, yes.. even more than the glass jaw. Secondly, after repeated punches to the abdomen, he gets phased and if you can spot this situation, you can knock him down with 1 star punch. The problem for Von is, you always know when this circumstance occurs because his frigging mustache starts glistening and twitching. Lastly, He is ranked #1 in the minor circuit, which seems to be a resume builder. However, upon further investigation we see that Glass Joe is ranked # 2, which leads one to believe that either A) there are only two fighters in the circuit or B) the minor circuit bouts are held at nursing homes, dungeon and dragon conventions, and Brian McFadden concerts everywhere.

-Stereotype: Look at the picture above, enough said.

-Shave your mustache. If you can’t get rid of the head banging, than for the love of god shave your mustache.
-Once again, a trainer would prove to be a great investment. Let’s start with his uppercut/hook. It takes 5 seconds to get off. There is no need to squat down to the ground and hang out there for a few before coming back up. Secondly, if every time you try to throw a punch, you are getting pounded in the face, try to stop for a second, regroup and do change your attack method. You just keep trying to throw the same punch and you keep getting socked in the face giving up stars. It’s absurd.

-Questions still lingering: He is 42 years old. Yet he has only fought in 35 fights? Let’s compare him with some other boxers his age:
Lennox Lewis: (40) 42-2-1
Evander Holyfield: (44) 42-8-2
Mike Tyson: (40) 50-6-0

Now this is their professional record, disregarding their amateur record. You may say that it is not fair to compare these guys with Von, I mean Von is not in the same federation, hell Von is not even real. Well if Von at 42 only fought 35 times, where the hell did Joe get the time to fight 100 bouts? Keep in mind that Joe needed some amount of time to recoup and let the after effects of his 99 ass beatings heal up. Maybe we did not give Joe enough credit.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Red, White and Black

It's time to drag the Stripes into the Freeze Pop world. Jack White is just a brilliant menace. You get to the show and there are 15 different instruments on stage. Meg works the drums, Jack everything else. That's it. Just a powerhouse band to see in person.

Here's a cool clip of My Doorbell from Daily Show. On stage in Brooklyn, Jack was going absolutely bananas, but this is a bit more reserved yet still a rocking good time. Machon and I were bombed at this show, which is nice, but I'd love to see them again very soon with my wits about me.

Plus, you get a little Stewart-Colbert banter to kick it off.

Keeping the Gloves on

Until Machon posts the next segment in The Punch Out Chronicles tomorrow, we found this short film on Little Mac. Enjoy.

The Return of Little Mac

Hunt With Catfish

There's nothing quite like a great email list, especially one that has all kinds of people bringing different things to the table. In a list that the great Moses put together, I am able to play the role of sabermetric Sox fan who is a little less angst-ridden than when the list started, with a sub-role as a Springsteen fanatic who likes The Office, Arrested Development and the media industry. We have the Canadian Hockey guy who hates Jeffrey Loria, the guy who does a comprehensive NFL rankings every Monday, the Howard Stern Is Lord guy, the Mets-Boxing-Horses-WWE Mash Up Guy, the Sabres Diehard Who Also Hates ARod And Is A Great Yankees Fan and the Guy Who Went To School With a Certain Sox GM And Can Divulge Incriminating Stories. Meanwhile, Moses, the organizer is a lightning rod who roots for about 215 different teams and hears about it every 120 minutes or so. Great list. Very addicting.

Anyway, a list member, who shall be known as Catfish in these parts, is The College Football Guy. He makes watching college football enjoyable and his weekly picks are great. I'll be putting one a week up here to educate the dozens of people that frequent Freeze Pop Land. We'll start it off with a shot at the bow of media darling West Virginia...he's not on the Mountaineer Bandwagon, to say the least:

Saturday Marshall @ No. 7 West Virginia -24 (48)
Everyone remembers West Virginia rolling over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl and that has led to lofty expectations for WVU. People forget that the team barely eked out a lot of the regular season. Wins by 8 versus Syracuse, 5 versus ECU, 13 versus Rutgers, 14 versus USF. WVU did not just run away with the season. Marshall went 4-7 last year, but their coach was a first timer who didn't take control until after Spring practice. It was also Marshall's first losing season in over 20 years. Marshall will be up for this game, and WVU will be basking in their hype. WVU wins, but doesn't cover. Pick: Marshall

Two For One

I really wanted to post an Arrested Development clip today but I couldn't decide between Gob and his suit ("Come On!") and the combined Gob-Lindsey chicken dance so you get both...

Top 5 Entires in the Swampscott Police Blog (8/24)

11:22 p.m., A noisy group of young people was reported outside on Whitman Road.

8:50 a.m., A loose dog was reported on Humphrey Street.

3:04 a.m., A driver got a verbal warning on Burpee Road.

1:52 p.m., A blasting explosion was reported at the Aggregate Industries quarry off Danvers Road.

2:17 a.m., A report of suspicious activity on Burpee Road led to two arrests.

A Quick One While He's Away


This is what it has come to:

CF Crisp
SS Cora
DH Loretta
LF Youks
3B Lowell
RF Hinkse
C Lopez
1B Pena (Carlos)
2B Pedroia

SP Kason Gabbard

The best remedy is to call Ace Tickets and laugh at their September Fenway prices. That's about all we can do at this point.

Monday, August 28, 2006

"12 Years of Football in 1 Minute"

His name is Sean Calcagnie. He walked on to USC this spring after scoring 35 touchdowns his senior year in High School.

The Boy with the Glass Jaw

So Machon's been playing a lot of Punch Out. We go through the phase every two years it seems like, and it always lasts a month or so. There is plenty to say about the game, including its jaw dropping stereotyping of ethnicities. With out going into their appearance and the dialogue during the game, the names alone are enough evidence: Piston Honda, Soda Popinksi, Don Flamenco, etc. Over the next week or so, we will go in-depth and explore the lives of a few of these fighters. So consider this a micro True Hollywood Story of Punch Out.

Glass Joe
Paris, France
110 lb’s
1-99 w/ 1 KO

-Background: Joe grew up 17 miles outside of Paris in Versailles. He spent the majority of his childhood alone. With no brothers or sisters, he was always looking for his niche. He found it in archery. At the age of 14, Joseph was quietly making a name for himself in the underground Archery Circuit. However, because of his small stature and lack of confidence, Joe found himself being the butt of ridicule in archery circles and his self esteem took a good ole’ French pounding. He retired and became a recluse. Then at the age of 30, he said enough was enough and decided to pick up the gloves. Looking back, he feels he may have rushed into it, 8 years later he is the doormat of the federation and has only 1 win.

-The Scoop: the obvious is his remarkable weak jaw, which landed him his nickname in the first place. Joseph does little to protect it and is in dire need of a manager to at least get him to keep his gloves up. Despite all of this, he feels that stepping back and talking trash before he throws a punch is necessary. Unfortunately, this move renders him hopeless, and and will land him on the canvas 100% of the time

-Stereotype: Well, let’s see now. He is from Paris, France, he is a complete coward to the point of being defenseless, and he weighs 110 pounds. He is the mockery of the federation. Not that we have anything against the French...we are just reciting the script.

- Get yourself a decent trainer. The complete absence of blocking and dodging punches borders on being suicidal. At this point, it does not have to be a certified trainer, but someone, anyone to tell him that taking that many punches is going to have long lasting effects on his health. Come on Joe, sign up with some internet chat board and get some advice… but if this continues, we can guarantee it will not end well.
- Quit the trash talking. You’re in no position to be mouthing off. At your best, you may drain some of your opponent’s energy hearts away, but it doesn’t matter with all the stars you give up. Your star to heart ratio is piss poor and frankly, weighing a buck 10.. you may want to look for work else where.

Questions still lingering: Where the hell did Joey land that 1 KO? He couldn’t go two rounds with a cub scout, we demand some explanation here.

Some Like It Hot?

Overheard on the radio last night while driving home, from a woman that called in to request a song...

"Yeah, my girlfriend's moving away to Virginia next week. This is kind of our last big hurrah before she goes. Can you play "Some Like It Hot" by Robert Palmer for us?"

Overlooking the fact that someone wanted to hear "Some Like It Hot" because one of her friends was moving out of state (and, I grant you, that's hard to overlook) my larger question is this....

Who calls in a request to a radio station at this point? I mean, seriously. You don't own the song? You like it that much but you don't own it? And you can't download it? Doesn't make sense to me. I can't imagine a single scenario where I'd need/want to call a radio station to request a song.

Random Fact: "Some Like It Hot" was not a Robert Palmer solo-project. It was credited to Power Station, the band he fronted at one time in the 80's. It does, however, feature these lyrics...

Some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on
Some feel the heat and decide that they can't go on
Some like it hot, but you can't tell how hot 'til you try
Some like it hot, so let's turn up the heat 'til we fry

Think about that the next time a friend of yours moves to Virginia...

Emmy Finally Gets It and Paris Is Funny

How about the Emmy Awards! All it takes is Frasier Crane to pack it in and all of the sudden it all comes together? The Office wins Best Comedy, Kiefer and 24 take Best Actor and Drama, Piven wins for Ari Gold and Elaine wins for Seinfeld. (All kidding aside, I'll have to give her new show a TIVO 3 episode arc trial.) All in all, just a lot of very solid choices. Good work, Academy, although at some point you are going to have to realize that nobody watches Monk. I'm sure it's good. Just let it be.

On a more humorous note, take one of the funniest people on the planet and imagine him getting insulted by one of the stupidest people on the planet. Please, Ricky, come out with a public rebuttal. Not to save face, but for the comedy that can be generated from this:

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Move Those Baseball Links Down

What's the best medicine for Viral Javy Lopez disease? How about a 41-0 spanking of the Skins in the always important 3rd preseason game for the Pats. It's crucial to temper your enthusiam or depression from preseason NFL results, but that was an absolute blast to watch. A September of Dustin Pedroia and Tom Brady...things could be worse. At one time it was Mike Greenwell and Marc Wilson.

They're slightly less bad

In case you missed it, the Yankees are getting served on the West Coast. This Sox team is so pitiful that we can't even enjoy ARod's continued journey to hell. Hope you enjoyed the WBC, Mike Timlin.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wha' Happened?

Am I Missing Something?

Can someone explain to me why the United States is favored in the Ryder Cup? I just checked a few different sites to see what the odds are and all of them have the US as a slight favorite. Well, I don't see it. I don't see how the Euros can win 4 of the 5 Cups, including an absolute shellacking two years ago on US soil, and not be the favorites to win in Ireland.

The combined record of the guys on Team USA is previous Ryder Cups? By my count, it's 40-52-16. Team Europe isn't set yet but, taking 6 key guys that are definitely going, their record in previous Ryder Cups is 57-26-14. Enough said.

Now, none of this is to suggest the US can't win. The absolutely can. Tiger and Phil need to play like TIGER and PHIL for a change. Phil's been decent in the Ryder Cup but something a little better than decent (like a 4-1 record) would help. Tiger? I mean, what can you say that hasn't already been said? The fact that he has a 7-11-2 record all-time is just mind-boggling. If he's going to keep getting stomped by guys that he eats for lunch at majors (and don't underestimate the psychological boost that gives the Euros) then we've got a problem. If he decides to step on everyone's neck one of these years? Then we're in business. Obviously, he's more than capable. But until he does it? He still has to prove it.

So Tiger and Phil need to man up. Throw in Dimarco, Furyk and Toms (and maybe Campbell) and that's basically your Ryder Cup right there. Everyone talks about the rookies, and in a close match it's a concern, but they're not going to amount to a lot of points won or lost either way. The big guns decide these things for the most part. And the big guns on their side have outperformed ours for years now. Simple as that.

There's no doubt in my mind that the US can win. But favored? Not in my book. I think the smart money's on Europe. Again.

"I think you do, mon"

Ouch, My Finger Is On Fire

I hate to say it, but I think this Josh Beckett puzzle goes right back to the original concern when the trade was first made: it's the fingers. We can listen to Verducci play Sigmund Freud (Bill & Ted was on HBO this morning) and claim that Beckett's head wasn't made for Boston. Not buying it. I'm totally convinced that he changed his grip to avoid blisters and it a) flattened his fastball b) took bite off his curve and c)funked up his command.

Look what happened in Anaheim: he says "screw it, I'm doing it the way I know how". He dominates for 6 innings. He prompty leaves in the 7th with a cut on his finger.

There must be a way to get a new finger. People are scorching their eyeballs and getting 20/10 vision...let's get on this technology and fast.

Jeff Tweedy Solo DVD

The good news is Wilco has been taping footage of live shows over the past year in hopes to release a DVD this coming fall. The bad news, they have decided not to release it. Instead, Jeff Tweedy will release his first solo DVD, Sunken Treasure: Live in the Pacific Northwest, on October 24. Machon is not really sure how to take this one. We love Tweedy and I am sure the project will be great, but one has to wonder how much of this decision was Jeff’s and how much was the bands. The DVD was shot over 5 nights and was directed by Christopher Green. Tweedy is well known for not having set play lists for his solo shows, but instead picking and choosing from his 200+ song repertoire. Machon is hoping that, while it encapsulates “how the tour felt”, it concentrates on the music. Unlike Wilco’s 2002 release I Am Trying To Break Your Heart.

Track List:
Sunken Treasure, Theologians, The Ruling Class, How to Fight Loneliness, Summerteeth, The Thanks I Get, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, ELT, Shot in the Arm, In a Future Age, Laminated Cat, (Was I) In Your Dreams, Airline to Heaven, Heavy Metal Drummer, War on War, Acuff Rose.



Friday, August 25, 2006

Wes Anderson's Amex Commercial

Being a fan of most of his endevours, this does not disappoint. Rushmore's Jason Schwartzman makes a cameo at the beginning and the ad is filled with all Anderson's signature shots and angles. Most notably the long dolly shot. It's by no means new, but great none-the-less.

Should've gone with 54

It's really a crappy day to own a Deion Branch jersey.

The Missed Opportunity

I figure that I best get a sports post up before people think this is a blog revolving around grade school spelling bees, which clearly can't be good for anyone involved.

Lots of people are lamenting how the Sox are wasting these prime seasons of Manny and Papi. Frankly, it's not bothering me all that much for two reasons: 1) 2004. 2) I know what a true lost opportunity is in sports. Cam and Ray. As Bruins fans, watching the prime years of 77 and the unreal ability of Cam Neely to be the perfect hockey player for Greater Boston was great until the moment you realized that Cam was done at such a young age and the chance to win the Cup was over. Cam scored 50 goals in 44 freakin games when he couldn't play back to back nights! Only Gretzky has scored 50 goals faster. When we got to 1996 and saw the Panthers wipe them out fast and furious, you knew the window had closed and it was all done.

Now that, kids, is a lost opportunity.

Dumb America

Okay, let's kick this sucker off. Just rented the documentary Spellbound. It's about spelling bees. It's well done, but the most intriguing/depressing thing is that the Indian and Asian families/kids in this country are absolutely no nonsense. They gobble the dictionary up like you wouldn't believe. A teacher goes on the record to say that no Indian child has even been a slacker in her class, and Cath concurred. They refuse to lose.

Meanwhile, youtube and MySpace are the absolute mothership for the standard Anglos of America. So while they are all engrossed in the life of lonelygirl, the Indian and Asian kids are taking over the world. Should be interesting come, say, 2030.