Information Leafblower: February 2004 Archives

February 2004 Archives

Page of 3

Leap Day '04

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It's 60 degrees outside, the 7 inches of snow we got late last week has almost melted, I just washed my car and have plans to play some tennis later today. So why the hell am I sitting inside updating my blog? Well, since you asked, it's because I feel bad for neglecting you all for the last week or so. The job hunt down here, while equally unfulfilling, seems to take me away from my computer more than I would like and trying to keep the site running on a dial up connection is really just adding insult to injury. However, I should have a shiny, new cable modem here on Wednesday so it won't actually take me four and a half minutes to log on to the interweb, load my page and check out how may hits I've had for theday(which are also decreasing, but I'll get over it).

Last night was my first real night on the town here in Charlotte (some of the residents, not my friends it should be noted, have started a movement to call the city Crunkville. I think that tells you all you need to know about how far behind the times they are down here) and while unspectacular, it was entertaining nonetheless. I started out the night by meeting my friend Ben, the motherfucking ruthless villain, for a drink downtown before we headed to Tremont Music Hall to catch the heavily hyped Von Bondies. After a few beers at a nondescript sports bar, we headed to the venue right as the band went on. I didn't exactly hype up the band to Ben but told him there was a good amount of buzz behind them and after the show we were both wondering what the band had done do deserve it (I'm talking musically here, not extracurricular activities). Musically, I felt they weren't anything special. Just what the world needs, another garage rock band. woo...hoo. They sounded like a grunged up version of the Old 97's to me, and that is a bad thing. Let's just say I am more of a Sea Ray guy than I am a Von Dursties guy.

After the gig, we headed out to a hoppin' restaurant and met up with some of Ben's friends. As we were walking in, we ran into an old friend of ours, Tommy "Poop Shoe" Sheridan, whom I hadn't seen in at least 8 years. Talk about old times. We chatted for a bit before he left, and it was great to see him again. I imagine there will be quite a bit more of that in the coming weeks down here. Most of the people I knew at school ended up in Charlotte, so I am bound to see them out on the town sooner or later. The night felt like it was starting to pick up but I had a splitting headache so I left around midnight and drove home. Like I said, unspectacular but somewhat promising.

Friday night I stayed in and enjoyed watching the Celtics beat up on the Toronto Raptors on ESPN. Rookie Brandon Hunter had 11 points and 16 rebounds. Watching games on my dad's 52 inch TV is amazing. The players are like 7 inches tall on the screen. Unfortunately the HD offerings around here are less than ideal so we are stuck on the digital cable for now.
grumblegrumblegrumble.
The two teams played again today and believe it or not the Celtics are now riding a modest two game winning streak. It looks like our new starting lineup will see Hunter at PF and Jiri Welsh replacing Ricky Davis at SF. Rookie PG Marcus Banks has lost alot of playing time to new aquisition Chucky Atkins but to the kid's credit, he is saying all the right things about the situation for the time being.

Peter May of the Boston Globe takes into account that as many as three teams with records under .500 will make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

This is not what the Lakers want to hear from Gary Payton as the playoffs approach.

How desperate is Isiah Thomas? Apparantly he feels that his team's current five game losing streak means that the team absolutely must get Vin Baker because he needs a low post presence to balance out his roster. At least Mitch Lawrence of the NY Daily News goes on record saying that Baker won't be able to handle the pressure in NYC. The media seems split over whether Vin signing with another team will help or hurt the Celtics case to have his contract terminated. If Vin signs with another team, that must mean he's fit to play, right? Not so fast I say, look at Eddie Griffin's time with the Nets. He obviously wasn't ready to play basketball but that didn't stop the team from making a six figure investment in this crackhead.

You read it here first...IF Vin Baker signs with another team this year and he signs a new long term deal, that team is confident that he can stay sober and produce for them. If he signs for the rest of this year for the pro-rated veteran's minimum, then the team thinks he has one foot in the bar and isn't taking any chances. That'll be all the proof the league should need.

I'd also like to go on record saying how this whole ordeal really makes me sick. Vin has intimated to some of his fellow colleagues that he would accept a modest buyout of his contract (which would also benefit the Celtics) because he doesn't want his dirty laundry aired in public, however, the union and his new agent, Aaron Goodwin, are determined to take this matter to trial. The effects on Vin could be irreparable. Both his agent and his union don't care one bit about Vin Baker the person, they only care about Vin Baker's remaining contract that will pay him $35 million. The agent will get his cut if the contract isn't terminated and the union doesn't want the dangerous (for them) precedent set where a team can terminate a contract due to the players substance abuse.

But let's be honest here, if I had a job for $13 million a year and kept coming to work drunk, would the keep me around and still pay me?
I think not.

In our "News That Actually Makes Sense" spot today... Is the NBA preparing to make the NBDL their new minor league for all the high school players that need a little seasoning before making the jump to the big time?
God, let's hope so.

Is Morrissey planning a US Tour for later in the year? Will the news be announced next week?
God, let's hope so.


Update your grey matter
Because one day it may matter

Snow Day!

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Man, the snow is coming down right now. Looks like we're going to get a few inches here. Luckily, it's not that cold and the roads are fairly clear. Otherwise there would be a run on bread and milk at every grocery store in this side if the state. NC just shuts down when there is more than one inch of snow on the ground, or even the threat of it.

Random Thoughts:

Is Isiah Thomas still considered the second coming in NYC since his meddling has led to a four game losing streak and newly acquired "athletic forward" Tim Thomas left the game injured last night? Will anyone in the New York media come out and say it was a mistake for him to trade Keith Van Horn?

Has anyone noticed that only three of the teams that the Nets have beaten in their 14 game win streak have had records over .500?

Will UNC faithful call for coach Roy William's head at the end of the season or will the players parents simply stage a revolt like the one that led to former coach Matt Doherty's ouster? For those of you not watching at home, UNC is struggling at 16 - 8 (6 - 7 in the conference) and very much on the bubble for the Big Dance.

I'd like to go on record saying if Stanford was in the ACC, they would be in fourth place behind Wake Forest. Don't even get me started on St. Joe's.

Can Nike sue Sprite for ripping off their Lil' Penny ad campaign?

I went down to the bar last night to catch the Celtics v. Bucks game. Watching my favorite pro basketball team is becoming an exercise in futility but it took today's Boston Globe for me to realize how bad it's been. Boston's largest newspaper informed me that they haven't won a game at the Fleet Center in over a month and back then the Patriots were merely the AFC champions, and Howard Dean was still a viable presidential candidate. Yeeeaaarrrgghhh.

The C's took another one on the chin last night as a last second shot by Waltah McCarty went in the hole but was (rightfully) ruled after the buzzer. So close, but yet so far away. Strangely, I left the bar content as the team put forth their second best effort under new coach John Carroll. New point guard Chucky Atkins paid immediate dividends (and made me fell much better about the trade that brought him here) by posting 14 points, eight assists and zero turnovers in a season-high 43 minutes in his Boston debut. Not bad for a guy that hasn't played in a week.

However, the real story last night was rookie PF Brandon Hunter getting his first NBA start and posting a near double double with 17 points and nine rebounds, all the while holding Keith Van Horn to four points, 16 under his season average. Celtic messageboard posters have been absolutely screaming for Hunter to get some PT and we finally got our wish last night. Hunter still has a ways to go in learning the whole team defensive scheme but the guy is pure energy on the court and it often takes two people to box him out. He pulled down a few one handed rebounds last night and set some hard picks for Atkins at the top of the key. Carroll better not fuck this up and keep giving this guy the PT he has earned.

The Sports Guy gives us 10 ways to fix All Star Weekend in the NBA.

Nick Catchdubs and his evil media empire has some amazing photos from the recent gig by the Sounds in NYC.

Download the whole Eminem v. Apple lawsuit here.

More bad news for my favorite computer maker as Apple's world market share dipped to 1.7%. Ouch.

How to replace your iPod's battery. One interesting tidbit from this piece is that if you send your iPod back to Apple for them to replace your battery, they send you a different refurbished iPod back, not the one you actually sent in for the repair.

[knock wood] My 20 gig iPod is over 2 years old and is working like a champ. No battery issues at all.[/knock wood]

LOOKALIKES
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One of these men got his first NBA start last night and one has The Vapors.


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One of these men finally came to his senses and started Brandon Hunter last night and the other used to scream "hello!" during sports highlights.

I just found out the Von Bondies are actually playing in Charlotte this weekend, so it looks like I won't be totally out of the musical loop down here. The Strokes are coming in March and best of all, Ted Leo is playing in Chapel Hill the day of the ACC tourney final. Hotness.

Lyrics are abundant
Right there I sound redundant

Sorry for the lack of content lately, this job hunting thing is a real hindrance to my blogging schedule!

Even though I am short on time, I will still accept your challenge!

Archers of Loaf – Fashion Bleeds
Paul Weller – Wild Wood (Portishead Mix)
Radiohead – Pakt Like Sardines In A Chrushed Tin Box (live)
The Smiths – Stretch Out And Wait (live)
Primal Scream – The Lord Is My Shotgun
Elastica – Hold Me Now
Weezer – Only In Dreams
Blur – Jubilee
Richard Ashcroft – I Get My Beat
Supergrass – Tonight
The Strokes – Soma
Billy Bragg – She’s Got A New Spell (Peel Sessions)
Mos Def – Mrs. Fat Booty
Grooverider – Super Stylin’
Wu-Tang Clan – Shame on A Nigga
Oasis – Better Man
Luna – Season Of The Witch
Outkast – Elevators
The Sundays – Skin & Bones (live)
Lush - Lovelife

Show 'em my (new) logo!


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Fat Tuesday

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I just got back from the gym (yay me!) and have some errands to run so we're gonna have to go psuedo bullet stizz for today's content:

- This is cool. I am now accepting applications from those interested in becoming my UK counterpart.

- Sorry for bringing this story up and then dropping it like a bad habit. In case you haven't heard the Rasheed trade did indeed go through and he is now playing for the Pistons. Lindsey Hunter's agent was on a plane or something and they couldn't get all of the paperwork done on time, although that didn't stop the NBA from fining Detroit 200k.

- The buzzards are starting to swirl around Danny Ainge. I still trust ya Danny.

- Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban to host his own reality show, with the winner walking away with a cool million from his own pocket. Format and length are still TBD but it sounds like the show will basically consist of people kissing his ass for the $1 million. Can you say EGOMANIAC? PS - 'Toine sux and so does your team right now. People are more scared of facing the Grizz than they are the Mavs.

- The 10 greatest blockbuster trades that didn't quite work out. No surprise Vin Baker is on this list.

- Pats fans = Yanks fans?

- Duke's dynatsy > UCLA's dynasty?

- The iPod Mini is finally available in stores this week.

- The story behind Oasis and their first ever appearance on British TV.

- Johnny Rotten was booked on the Pan Am flight that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland but missed it because his wife took too long to pack.

- I agree 100% and from what I've read, everyone else does too. What a DB.

- It appears that SMILE was worth the wait.

- NEWSFLASH! Bobby Brown is back in jail. Is this even newsworthy anymore?

- Napster = 5 million songs sold. What a joke. Buy an iPod and STFU.

- Motorola says it's new 1.4 Ghz chip would be perfect for the next line of Powerbooks. Drool. Me want a laptop.

- This is the beginning of the end.

I'm hopefully going to update my blog links this week. I inform you of this because I know there are alot of sites out there that have linked to me and I have not returned the favor. If that is the case, please drop me a line with your site's info and I'll try and add you as soon as I can. Cheers.

Biting and witty content is scheduled to return tomorrow. Hope to see you then.

So here I go, I'm still scratching around the same old hole
My body feels young but my mind is very old
So what do you say?
You can't give me the dreams that are mine anyway
You're half the world away / Half the world away
Half the world away / Half the world away
I've been lost, I've been found but I don't feel down.

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"This is the best album I've ever done."
    - Morrissey, on You Are The Quarry


You Are the Quarry, the first new solo material in seven years from Morrissey, is to be released May 17th in the UK and May 18th in the US on Sanctuary's revamped imprint, Attack. Recorded in Los Angeles and London, Quarry is an album of extraordinary original songs using keyboards interwoven with crunchy guitars that work to create a lush, musical backdrop.

"There are no links to the past. This is a much brighter sounding album, than much of my previous work. We've turned the page with Quarry. It's a dynamic album and I couldn't be any happier."

"America is Not the World," "I Have Forgiven Jesus" and "The World is Full of Crashing Bores" illustrate that Morrissey's genius and wit haven't waned a bit. On "America", Morrissey personally pleads with the U.S. of A to hold on to its humility and to cease its heavy-handedness but, make no mistake, "America" is not an anti-American song. "I love you/I love you/America/ but you are not the world," Morrissey sings in a melancholy voice while a thunderous guitar strums and a drum beats heavily in the background. "I'm Not Sorry" shows that Morrissey has no regrets. "I'm not sorry for the things I've done" he sings to the sound of a droning guitar and the beat-beat-beat of a drum loop as Morrissey warns "There's a Wildman in my head." Morrissey lets his detractors know that harsh words have helped his career in "You Know I Couldn't Last," "the critics can't break you/they unwittingly make you."

"The song is my response to the negative press I have endured over the years," Morrissey says.

Instead of firing back at his detractors, however, Morrissey takes the criticism in stride. In fact, "Last" sounds more like a thank you note to the nay-sayers what with the song's powerful drum beat and hummable chorus making it an irresistible foot tapping piece of pop poetry.

From mandolin to flute to harp to moog keyboard, Quarry's richly textured musical layers see Morrissey exploring new musical territory. The album crosses many genres, incorporating subtle elements of dance, jazz, world and rock. Morrissey said the combination will definitely appeal to his core fanbase and will also reel an audience that may not be familiar with his earlier solo work.

Quarry was produced by Jerry Finn, one of the most in-demand producers working today, who was behind massive selling hit albums by pop-punk rockers such as Blink-182, AFI and Green Day. It may seem strange that a producer who is best known for breathing new life into the punk rock movement would be twisting the knobs for an artist like Morrissey. But to hear Morrissey tell it, theirs is the perfect marriage.

"I wanted a louder sound for this record," said Morrissey. "I was introduced to Jerry by a mutual friend. He made me feel very confident. He's not easily pleased and he's not prepared to be overwrought. He knows exactly what he wants to do. He was able to help me create the sound for this album that I had already been hearing in my head."

Finn said he set out to create an organic "creamy" album with Morrissey and the outcome is much better than even he anticipated. "This is one of the best records I've produced," said Finn. "It's just purely organic and it sounds incredible."

Finn recruited acclaimed keyboard player Roger Manning, a founding member of the seminal pop band Jellyfish who has also worked with Blink-182, Air and Beck, to the fold. Manning's contribution to Quarry is nothing short of spectacular. His keyboard and synthesizer work gives the album a somewhat vintage feel but still manages to sound current and blissful behind Morrissey's dynamic vocal arrangements. Morrissey is backed up on Quarry by his longtime band: guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte, bass player Gary Day and Dean Butterworth on drums. You Are The Quarry marks the first time in Morrissey's solo career that he recorded his vocals with the band in a studio, Finn says. On his previous albums, Morrissey would record his vocals first and the band would record the music later.

"Having everyone in the studio at the same time made the creative process much easier," Finn said. "Instead of trying to create the music around Morrissey's vocals, which is how it used to be done, we were able to create a much more listenable album because everyone was in the same room at the same time and it made the album much tighter. I think Quarry is Morrissey's best work because of how it was recorded."

There's no denying Morrissey's impact on pop music. As lead singer for The Smiths, arguably the best alternative act of the 80s, Morrissey blazed a trail for dozens of modern day alternative rock acts including The Strokes, The Rapture and The Shins amongst others.

Morrissey has sold millions of records worldwide both as a solo artist and during his time with The Smiths. His concerts sell-out in minutes and in 2003, despite the fact that Morrissey hasn't released an album of new material since 1997; he played two sold out nights in Anaheim to three thousand ravenous fans. .

"My audience believed through the years that I've never received the recognition I deserved on my records," Morrissey said. "I have an incredibly loyal following and they have made it their mission to support me when ever I play a concert. I'm grateful for that."

Prior to signing with the Sanctuary family, Morrissey said he met with the label's chief executive officer Merck Mercuriadis in New York and expressed interest in reviving the Attack label. "They had a drawer full of labels that they bought and Attack was part of the Trojan family," Morrissey said. "I've been a fan of the Attack label for quite some time. I have a Gregory Isaacs seven inch on my refrigerator. Well, I told Sanctuary that I wanted to re-launch the label and have Quarry released on Attack and they agreed."

Attack was launched in 1969 and became the breeding ground for dub and reggae artists including Gregory Isaacs, Family Circle and The Monkey, many of whom at the time had no place to showcase their talents. The label became part of the legendary Trojan Records in the 1970s. Trojan itself is wholly-owned by Sanctuary.

Morrissey will also sign new talent to the Attack label. Morrissey said he's already found three bands to work with and has written a song that was recorded by legendary chanteuse Nancy Sinatra, who will release an album on the label in the near future.

"This is the album that I've wanted to make for quite a while. I believe You Are The Quarry has something for everyone." Morrissey said. "I didn't want to do the same thing over again. That's so boring."

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information leafblower would like to wish Chuck Palahniuk, my favorite living writer (with apologies to the inspiration for this site), a very happy birthday today. Here's to many more!

To celebrate, here's a selection of some of my favorite quotes from Chuck's vast body of work.

If our fathers were our models for God, and our fathers fail, then what does that tell you about God.

The first step to eternal life is you have to die.

You do the little job you're trained to do. Pull a lever....Push a button...You don't understand any of it, and then you just die.

I've met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas handing on the wall behind him, and God asks me, "Why?"
Why did I cause so much pain?
Didn't I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?
Can't I see how we're all manifestations of love?
I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God's got this all wrong.
We are not special.
We are not crap or trash, either.
We just are.
We just are, and what happens just happens.
And God says, "No, that's not right."
Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach God anything.

You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake... This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.

Reality Means You Live Until You Die. The Real Truth Is Nobody Wants Reality.

The first time you meet that someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground.

A guy's calling to say he's failing Algebra II.
Just as a point of practice I say, Kill yourself.
A woman calls and says her kids won't behave.
Without missing a beat, I tell her, Kill yourself.
A man calls to say his car won't start.
Kill yourself.
A woman calls to ask what time the late movie stars.
Kill yourself.
She asks, "Isn't this 555-1327? Is this the Moorehouse Cineplex?"
I say, Kill yourself. Kill yourself. Kill yourself.
A girl calls and asks, "Does it hurt very much to die?"
Well sweetheart, I tell her, yes, but it hurts a lot more to keep living.
The same as if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, you realize, if no one had been there to witness the agony of Christ, would we be saved?

And if Christ had died from a barbituate overdose, alone on the bathroom floor, would He be in heaven?"

Here are condoms lined with a topical anesthetic for prolonged action. What a paradox. You don't feel a thing, but you can fuçk for hours. This really seems to miss the point. I want my whole life to be lined with a topical anesthetic.

When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?

Only when we eat up this planet will God give us another. We'll be remembered more for what we destroy than what we create.

When we don't know who to hate, we hate ourselves.

No doubt, this is the kind of stress the constantly mutating AIDS virus must feel.

The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.

Your parents, they give you your life but then they try to give you their life.

I figure, the bigger the mistake looks, the better chance I'll have to break out and have a real life.

Day and night, the future keeps coming at you.

No matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.

All around us, erosion and insects are just chewing up the world, never mind people and pollution. Everything biodegrades with or without you pushing.

Game shows are designed to make us feel better about the random, useless facts that are all we have left of our education.

Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.

My point being, is that you cant escape the world, and you’re not responsible for how you look, if you look beauticious or butt ugly. You’re not responsible for how you feel or what you say or how you act or anything you do. Its all out of your hands.
The same way a compact disk isn’t responsible for what’s recorded on it, that’s how we are. You’re about as free to act as a programmed computer. You’re about as one of a kind as a dollar bill.
There isn’t any real you in you. even your physical body, all your cells will be replaced within eight years.
Skin, bones, blood and organs transplant from person to person. Even what’s inside you already, the colonies of microbes and bugs that eat your food for you, without them you'd die. Nothing of you is all-the-way yours. all of you is inherited.
Relax. Whatever your thinking, a million other folks are thinking. Whatever you do, they’re doing, and none of you is responsible. All of you is a cooperative effort.

Whats burning down is a re-creation of a period revival house patterned after a copy of a copy of copy of a mock tudor big manor house. Its a hundred generations removed from anything original, but the truth is arent we all?

If we cant find something to fight for, well settle for something to fight against.

She said when a boy and a girl dog copulate, the head of the boy's penis swells and the vaginal muscles of the girl constrict. Even after sex, both dogs remain locked together, helpless and miserable for a brief period of time. The Mommy said this same scenario described most marriages.

For sure, even the worst blow job is better than, say, sniffing the best rose... watching the greatest sunset. Hearing children laugh.
I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a hot-gushing, butt-cramping, gut-hosing orgasm.
Painting a picture, composing an opera, that's just something you do until you find the next willing piece of ass.

I spent my life attacking everything because I was too afraid to risk creating anything.

Nothing is EVER as good as you imagine.

The Mommy, she used to tell him she was sorry. People had been working for so many years to make the world a safe, organized place. Nobody realized how boring it would become. With the whole world property-lined and speed-limited and zoned and taxed and regulated, with everyone tested and registered and addressed and recorded. Nobody had left much room for adventure, except maybe the kind you could buy. On a roller coaster. At a movie. Still, it would always be that kind of faux excitement. You know the dinosaurs aren't going to eat the kids. The test audiences have outvoted any chance of even a major faux disaster. And because there's no possibility of real disaster, real risk, we're left with no chance for real salvation. Real elation. Real excitement. Joy. Discovery. Invention.

information leafblower never sleeps.
At least not while there is basketball on.
Tonight was supposed to be Rasheed "Smoke Weed Every Day" Wallace's and Mike James' debut for the Detroit Pistons on national TV against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the duo did log some minutes for Detroit in the first half. However, at halftime a league spokesman informed the team that all the required paperwork had not been turned in to the league by all the teams involved in the trade and none of the players could suit up for their new teams. To make this matter even stranger, Larry Brown went on record in the pre-game press conference saying all the players had been cleared to play for their new yeams. Hhhmmmmmmmm......

It appears Chucky Atkins physical with the Boston Celtics was taking longer than anticipated. Messageboard posters are posting that Atkins has a "hot spot" in one of his legs and did not pass his physical, therefor this trade will be nullified.

However, take this with a grain of salt because yesterday on the same messageboard someone else posted the topic with the title of "Terrorists just hijacked the NY Knicks Plane!!!! - No Lie, Turn on the TV". In the message of this ominous post, the author then went on to add "Celtics Sux!!!!!! Pistons rule 4ever!!! Go Detroit!!!!!" so take this with a grain of salt. Also, when Raef Lafrentz took his physical after being traded to Boston, the doctors there found a similar "hot spot" but the trade still went through even though Raef went on to have season ending surgery a few weeks later and we have basically sucked big time ever since.

It goes without sayin what a fiasco it would be for the teams and the league as a whole if the trade was nullified, although I wouldn't complain. Most likely the paperwork will be complete tomorrow and Rasheed will officially be a Piston. However, right now he is still an Atlanta Hawk. The funniest thing about this is yesterday everyone in Detroit was ready to give Danny Ainge the key to the city and now he is back to being public enemy #1. Gotta love Danny Boy.

More info as this develops.

I just wanted everyone to know that I go to this site just about every day and it ALWAYS (repeat, ALWAYS) makes me laugh out loud. Why The Daily Show or someone like that hasn't picked up on this and run with it, I'll never know. It's so perfect for them.

Cheers buddy.

Obvs in '04 all over your tees.

Ahem...Now about my cabinet position...

Man, I was in the WORST mood last night after I contemplated the big trade yesterday. There are two ways of looking at it but I'm really feeling like we got hosed. Still, I've said from day one that I trust Danny Ainge with the fate of my favorite pro sports franchise so I am going to be patient and hope for the best. It's evident from this trade that we have all but given up on this season. Last night on TV, Danny reasoned that if we don't make the playoffs our draft poisiton moves from 15 to 7. Unfortunately since there are so many other crappy teams in the East, we will get no higher than 7 unless the ping pong balls fall our way. For those of you that have no idea what I am talking about, the NBA, unlike other pro sports leagues, holds a lottery that will determine who gets the first pick in the upcoming draft, so having the worst record in the league doesn't mean you are guarenteed the top pick. The last time the Celtics had the worst record in the league, the freakin' Spurs got the top pick which turned out to be Timmy Duncan. Instead we got Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer. Let us never speak of that day again.

Perhaps the Detroit deal was a last resort as off the record reports have Danny turning down a deal with Seattle that would have exchanged Chris Mills, Jumaine Jones, Mike James and Jiri Welsch for Calvin Booth, Brent Barry and Vladimir Radmonivic. That's a horrible deal for the Celtics as Jiri is easily the best player involved and Brent Barry is a free agent this summer so the team could just sign him outright. Calvin Booth's salary is off the hook and would have ruined any financial flexibility we might have had, so good call Danny.

Personally, I think Danny did the Detroit trade as a big EFF YOU to Isiah "I Am So Smart Because I Have A Blank Check To Work With" Thomas and the Knicks. In this mornings ESPN Insider column, one GM went on record, albeit anonymously, to say:

"They're morons," claimed another executive referring to Danny Ainge and Billy Knight. "I can't believe they just did that."

I'd be willing to bet that quote came from an office in NYC, although the Hawks are dummies for basically giving up Sheed for a late first round draft pick in, depending on who you ask, figures to be a weak draft. One good thing about the draft, for which the C's will have 3 first round picks, is that it is loaded with big men even if most of them are 18 years old. A look at the likely candidates:

Emeka Okafor (6-foot-9), Dwight Howard (6-11, 18-years-old), Pavel Podkolzine (7-4, 19 yrs), Kosta Perovic (7-2, 19 yrs), Andris Biedrins (7-0, 18 yrs), Peja Samardzski (7-0, 18 yrs), Ivan Chiriaev (7-1, 18 yrs), LaMarcus Aldridge (6-11, 18 yrs.), Robert Swift (7-1, 18 yrs), Rafael Araujo (6-11, 23), Ha Seung Jin (7-3, 18 yrs.) and possibly big guys like Colorado's David Harrison (7-0) and Michigan State's Paul Davis (6-11).

Work some magic Danny. Oh, and the reported deal with the Spurs for Malik Rose never came to fruition. I'm guessing the Spurs wanted Chris Mihm, whom they have had ineterest in before and Danny told them to piss off.

Mark Stein has a great column today on how hard it is to be a fan of the NBA today with all the wacky trades made due to salary cap implications, most of which make no sense from a pure exchanging talent for talent viewpoint. Fans want their teams to win, not save money.

Join me now as we look back over some past trade deadline deals including the 1990 blockbuster that sent center Uwe Blab from Golden State to San Antonio in exchange for center Christian Welp. Ah, good times.

Good news today for Apple as they have been named the top computer maker in a Consumer Reports satisfaction poll. Also, Business Week has reported that Apple earned the largest profit increase for a tech company for the last calendar year. Put that in yer pipe and smoke it!

In today's I TOLD YOU SO, SO NOW I AM GOING TO GLOAT corner I give you the myriad of problems faced by Napter 2.0. Remember the big hubbub around the time of their release last year. Pffffffffffft. Buh-bye. The company lost $15 million in its first two months of operation, has seen several executives depart, and the latest data shows Napster 2.0 only holding 12 percent of the online music business, compared to Apple's 56 percent. If that wasn't bad enough, after initially agreeing to install Napster software on all their new machines, HP decided to reverse course and sign up with the iTunes Music Store. Ahem....hahahahahahahahaha.

Anyone else hear about what the band The Alarm did for their latest single? Recording as The Poppyfields, the band, from north Wales, are at number 28 after selling more than 4,000 copies of 1970s-style punk single 45RPM. In its accompanying video The Alarm are replaced by teenage Chester rockers The Wayriders who mime along to the song.. Yo, image is everything. Obey your thirst. Show 'em my logo!

Tonight I'll be forced to drink myself to sleep after reading this quote from Paul Pierce:

"We've made three of the five worst trades in the last 20 years," Pierce, 27 in October, groaned to me several days ago in L.A., pinpointing the acquisition of Vin Baker and the gift-wrapping of Walker to Dallas and Joe Johnson to Phoenix. In all fairness, Ainge was only responsible for Walker; Chris Wallace choreographed the other two monstrosities.

"Yo," wondered the dumbfounded Pierce, "how old was Michael Jordan when he started to win titles?"

In the interest of keeping my what's left of my dwindling readership I won't go into the nervous breakdown that was right on the horizon as I tried desperately to keep up with today's 3 PM trading deadline in the NBA with a dial up internet connection and no ESPNEWS. Right now ESPN has snowmobiling on and The Duece has drag racing. Dammit people, the whole dynamic of the (L)Eastern Conference just changed and I have to hear about it on the freaking sports ticker at the bottom of the screen!!??!! Argh. I just added a cable modem internet connection to my HDTV order. I can't take it anymore. But I digress...

While there were a few other minor deals that went down today, the grandaddy of them all involved the Pistons, Hawks and my beloved, although increasingly crappy, Celtics. The trade breaks down thusly:

Pistons get: Rasheed "Smoke Weed Every Day" Wallace and Mike James
Hawks get: Chris Mills, Zeljko Rebraca, Bob Sura and a first-round draft pick (from Detroit via Milwaukee)
Celtics get: Chucky Atkins, Lindsay Hunter, cash, and a first-round draft pick (from Detroit)

This deal is great for the Pistons because the get the premier free agent on the market right now and still have enough cap space this summer to resign Memet Okur. The Pistons have to be the favorite in the (L)Eastern Conference right now as Rasheed just might be the best post player in the conference (but only if he quits playing on the prerimeter and shooting 3's all game long). This deal really was a slam dunk for Pistons GM Joe Dumars and he is to be applauded.

However, the Pistons have seriously comprimised their backcourt depth with this trade. Atkins and Sura were their guards off the bench. Now they will only have newcomer Mike James and his forte is big shots late in the game, a time he figures to be on the bench in Motown. If Rip Hamilton or Chauncey Billups goes down for an extended period of time, the Pistons are in big, big trouble. Still, it's easy to see them in the Finals now and their big front line theoretically can match up with the big boys out West.

The Hawks are basically collecting ending contracts so they will have cap room this summer to take a run at Kobe or any other big free agent avilable. Although why in the fuck would Kobe sign with them now that Rasheed is gone. At least they got a decent draft pick that they should have tried to get in their earlier deal that brough Rasheed to town. Basically instead of one big expiring contract, they now have 4 smaller ones and a draft pick. Ho hum. Doesn't salary cap management make for good reading?

As for my beloved Celtics, this deal is a mixed bag. Earlier reports of a deal with the Pistons had Scoreless Williamson being involved (somehwere in NYC, Coolfer is laughing) and deals for Juwan Howard, Brent Barry + Vladimir Radmonivich or Kelvin Cato/Maurice Taylor + Bostjan Nachbar were also making the rounds on the internet. For salary cap reasons that I won't go into because I'm already boring you to death, the C's had to deal Mills and his $6.6 million salary so that they can spend that money on someone else this summer. Earlier this week Danny Ainge said he wanted to get a tall veteran point guard and a young banger to help on the boards. Instead we got 2 small point guards and a late draft pick. Ummmm...Woo Hoo? Atkins started for the Pistons two years ago when they won 50+ games so he isn't a stiff but he sat the bench in Detroit for a reason. At the same time, Mike James was starting for the C's and he was better suited to come off the bench so that's a wash.

What's good about this deal for the C's is that they basically gave up someone who never played for them and their starting PG who would have been a Free Agent this summer for Lindsay Hunter and his expiring contract as well as the $3 million the Pistons sent along to pay half of Atkins salary. We also get an extra 1st round draft pick this summer, making a total of three for the team. Danny will be looking to move up by trading all or some of those picks. Dukie Luol Deng is rumoured to be a traget.

The bad aspect of the deal is that it did nothing to shore up our already weak frontcourt. Waltah freaking McCarty is our starting power forward! He averages exactly 3 rebouds per contest. This is bad. If Ainge could have turned Hunter into Melvin Ely or something, this trade would have been better. Unfortunately people will knock this trade for what it isn't as opposed to what it is but that's the nature of the game today.

And that is why Trade Deadline Day is often so exciting and excruciating at the same time. 90% of the deals you hear about don't go down but that never stopped anyone from talking about "What If...".

**BREAKING (although unconfirmed) NEWS** / 4:19 PM
Damn I'm good. ESPN is reporting that the Celtics are speaking with the Spurs about acquiring PF Malik Rose and possibly another first round draft pick. That's my boy!! NBA rules permit teams to consumate trades past the 3 PM deadline if they were on the phone working out details of the trade when the deadline passes. This trade would make sense for both teams as Rose is the doghouse in San Antonio and the C's need someone that weighs over 140 pounds to act as their PF. Stay tuned....

I tell ya, there are many disadvantages that result in moving from the Big Apple to podunk, NC but last night after I got back from running an errand, I looked up at the sky, which was perfectly clear, and saw all the stars in their twinkling glory and I realized that I hadn't really seen them in quite some time. It was a good moment.
I'm not exactly experiencing culture shock down here but I do feel like Homer Simpson once or twice every day, particularly whenever I try and make a local call. I am so used to dialing phone numbers the NYC way, which is 1+area code+phone number. Here, you just dial the local number without the prefix. Remember that Simpsons when the phone company in Springfield made everyone dial the 11 digit number to make a call and Homer says "I'm not going to take this! I'm calling everyone I know to complain." and he dials a phone number and gets the recording on the other end of the line telling him to dial 1+the area code and he curls up in the fetal position? Good times.
Another huge plus of moving back in with the 'Rents is my judicious use of their hugendous 56 inch screen TV. You haven't lived until you've watched basketball on a screen that big. And yes, the cable company is coming to install HDTV next week. Boo Yaa!
Last night was the big Duke v. Wake Forest match up in Winston Salem, NC. I debated making the 90 minute trip to Winston to try and score tickets but then I remembered that I am flat broke and living with my parents. Oh well. The TV it is. The game was back and forth throughout. I was a bit unhappy with the refs. They let the physical play get away from them in the first half and the teams had to be separated more than once in the first half. However, this seemed to pump up the Demon Deacons and they just would not lose on this night and earned a well deserved W. The Devils area bit banged up and it showed last night. Duke has now lost two straight games but that's life in the ACC. Wake frosh Chris Paul, aka the Mayor of Winston Salem, is the fucking man and battled Chris Duhon to a draw. If he didn't wrap up ACC freshman of the year last night, I quit. I've had nothing but good things to say about the Wake program under new coach Skip Proesser and after last night it's easy to see why. The night wasn't a total loss for the Blue Devils as NC State lost as well so Duke is still in first in the ACC. Like I told my Dad, let's get these pesky losses out of the way now so we can beat that ass at tourney time.
One person that must have been grinning ear to ear last night is Lorin, my new Super Furry friend and Wake alumnus. I had the pleasure of meeting Lorin last week in Chapel Hill at the Super Furry Animals show there. We had a great time watching the gig, hanging with the band and drinking as much beer as we could while still being able to drive at the end of the night. The show wasn't the best I've seen the Furries do, but an average show by them blows away most bands. It started a little flat but picked up during towards the end. It was nice to have someone to talk to after driving 7 hours to catch the show.
Meeting new friends = good
Meeting new friends that are Super Furry Fans = better
Meeting new friends/SFA fans that read my blog = BEST EVS

Here are some pictures from the night in question:
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Wipe your windscreen with a chocolate cake
To see you / to see you / to see you / nice to see you
Count your pizzas before they bake
To see you / to see you / to see you / nice to see you

Ya Heard...

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Soccer hottie Heather Mitts has been named Page 2's Hottest Female Athlete for 2004. Faithful information leafblower readers will remember first reading about Heather in this space. I even beat Grambo to the punch on this one!

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Even though we are past the half way point in the NBA season, I decided to wait and do my mid season report cards until after the All Star break as the trade deadline is looming. One big deal already went down and I’m sure more will follow before the deadline at 3 PM EST on Thursday. Nonetheless, lets see how right and wrong I was in my NBA Preview:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Boston Celtics:
What I Got Right: Don’t be surprised to see him (Paul Pierce) average 7 assists and 8 rebounds this year as the offense will flow through him.
PP is hovering around 5 assists and 6 boards but is also averaging just as many turnovers.
What Was I Thinking? I predict at least 44 wins for the C’s and a playoff spot.
We were SOL as soon as Danny made Raef shut it down and have surgery on his knee. Things have gone so wrong in Boston this year that's all I'm gonna say, lest I incur the wrath of the Basketball Gods.

Atlanta Hawks:
What I Got Right: Traded a 20 point per game scorer in Glenn Robinson for the injured Terrell Brandon, who promptly retired and will come off their salary cap. Enough said.
That's been their season in a nutshell.

Cleveland Cavaliers:
What I Got Right: How many GM’s regret passing on former Dukie Carlos Boozer now?
Boozer is averaging 15 and 10 easily the second best player on the team. Many felt he belonged on the All Star team.

Chicago Bulls:
What Was I Thinking? This might be the year the Baby Bulls break out and make it to the second season.
Not even close. Stay tuned for this year's rebuilding plan.

Detroit Pistons:
What I Got Right: #2 overall pick Darko Milicic is still a year or two away.
Donnie Darko has played all of 54 minutes this year. The reason? Well, one time he tried to dunk it but couldn't get the ball over the rim and ended up falling on his ass.

Indiana Pacers:
What I Got Right: Larry Bird rightfully fired Isiah Thomas and brought in buddy Rick Carlisle as head coach.
Carlisle's squad has the best record in the East and a legit title contender.

Miami Heat:
What Was I Thinking? Can a team win consistently with 3 shooting guards, one small forward and one power forward on the court at all times?
Well, I'm still not convinced, but they are within striking distance for the 8th seed in the East. Lamar Odom has played great.

Milwaukee Bucks:
What Was I Thinking? Cupboard isn’t bare with Redd, Mason and new PG Ford but they are years away.
Redd was an All Star and Kukoc has been playing inspired ball. They will definitely make the playoffs and scare the shit out of whoever they play. The addition of Van Horn can only help them.

New Jersey Nets:
What I Got Right: Zo is half the man he used to be. No lift will make rebounds hard for him. Should have spent free agent money on outside shooter to help teams anemic half court offense in the playoffs.
Mourning played all of 12 games before being forced to shut it down because of health issues. He was only averaging 8 and 2 so he was not a factor.

New Orleans Hornets:
What I Got Right: Star players Davis and Mashburn are just too brittle to take this talented team to the promised land.
Mashburn played his first game of the season 2 weeks ago. Davis started off hot but has faded recently. With three All Stars on this team, they should be head and shoulders above the rest of the conference. But they aren't.

New York Knicks:
What I Got Right: Team is stocked with undersized forwards (7 at last count). No PG to speak of. Injuries have left Dice a shell of his former All-Star self. Why does GM Scott Layden still have a job?
Layden is out and Isiah is in. Thomas has been given a blank check from the owners to reshape the team and he's brought in 8 new players including PG Stephon Marbury. They are a lock for the playoffs and could very well do some damage.

Orlando Magic:
What I Got Right: Spent free agent money to bring in Juwan Howard, who plays same position as young stud Drew Gooden. Why? Helped Celtics on draft night by selecting Reece Gaines instead of Marcus Banks.
Ganies agent has asked for his client to be traded so he can get some PT elsewhere but he's stunk every time he's stepped on the court. They can't trade Howard fast enough. Gooden has regressed big time this year.

Philadelphia 76ers:
What Was I Thinking? Could be surprise of East if Iverson shares the ball like he did for the US National team this summer. Well, they are the surprise of the East but only because they are a horrible team. Expect McKie and Snow to be traded by tomorrow if at all possible. There are even some AI trade rumours out there as well. Just a mess.

Toronto Raptors:
What I Got Right: Rookie Chris Bosh will be counted on heavily. Antonio Davis wants out but has a huge contract.
Davis was traded to Chicago and might be moved again. His knees are shot and he's done. Bosh has played extremely well this year but much like Dwyane Wade, you wouldn't know it because of the Melo/LeBron hype. Don't sleep.

Washington Wizards:
What I Got Right: ...team goes nowhere until former #1 Kwame Brown becomes a player.
The Wiz are still a few years away but they have an exciting young team and Brown has been vastly improved this year after a slow start.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Dallas Mavericks:
What I Got Right: How does the Big 3 react to the new additions? For all the credit Nellie gets for being a great, unorthodox coach, he hasn’t won shit.
'Toine has been dominating the ball to the detriment of the rest of the team. Mavs fans want him gone pronto. Publicly the team will say everything is fine but it's easy to see they were a better squad last year.

Denver Nuggets:
What Was I Thinking? Going to be awful again this year but future is bright.
The future is now in Denver. Camby has played great and Nene is cleaning up down low. Melo has been as good as advertised. Once they get a decent SG, they will be money.

Golden State Warriors:
What I Got Right: Boneheaded front office decisions continue to haunt this team.
Think they'd like to undo that Van Exel/Jamison trade right about now? Lotteryland for another year, if not more.

Houston Rockets:
What I Got Right: Whoever plays D will get the PT.
The Rockets have the best D in the league. Francis will be traded this summer for a real PG.

LA Clippers:
What I Got Right: Expect a big year from Maggette.
Corey is averaging 20 and 6 and is only going to keep improving.

LA Lakers:
What I Got Right: 4 Hall of Fame players on team but Kobe and Shaq are already arguing over whose team it is.
Injuries have played a big part as has Kobe's rape case, but most of the press is worried whether or not Kobe will opt out of his contract at the end of the year. Lakers go nowhere unless Malone is healthy. His injury has hurt them more than you realize.

Memphis Grizzlies:
What I Got Right: Could be playoff bound.
Much like the Bucks in the East, would be in the playoffs if the season ended today and will definitely scare the shit out of whoever they play. Look out.

Minnesota T’wolves:
What Was I Thinking? Team is obviously improved from last year but still 5th best team in the West. Primed for a meltdown.
With all due respect to the Kings, the TWolves have been the best team in the L all season. KG for MVP.

Phoenix Suns:
What Was I Thinking? Could probably win the East.
Injuries and bad chemistry forced management to blow up the team and send Marbury packing, essentially scuttling the season. Great young nucleus though. In 3 or 4 years might be the best team in the West.

Portland Trailblazers:
What I Got Right: 21 year streak of making the playoffs in serious jeopardy. Time to blow it up and start over?
Rasheed was traded to Atlanta for Shareef Abdur Raheim. More trades might be on the way. Playoffs are a pipe dream.

Sacramento Kings:
What I Got Right:All-Star year from Peja if healthy.
Currently 3rd in the L in scoring, Peja is being mentioned as a candidate for MVP.

San Antonio Spurs:
What Was I Thinking? Has an NBA Champion ever improved as much in the off season as the Spurs did?
The moves the Spurs made haven't worked out as well as they hoped. They are trying to trade Ron Mercer and Malik Rose and gear up for another title push. Still a team to be feared. No one can stop Duncan.

Seattle Supersonics:
What Was I Thinking? Going to be a long season in Seattle.
The Sonics aren't as bad as I thought they would be. Flip Murray carried them at the start of the season and now Jesus Shuttlesworth is back and healthy. Look for them to make a move and try and get some big bodies with a pulse to help down low. Playoffs are a possibility.

Utah Jazz:
I think it says alot that I left the Jazz of my season preview and no one noticed. Let's mark it up as a "What Was I Thinking?" for arguements sake as I most likely would have written that they would challenge for the worst record in NBA history. Instead Coach Jerry Sloan has them playing near .500 ball. If he doesn't win Coach Of The Year this year, I quit. He is simply the best coach in the NBA and has been for quite some time.

A quick side note, thanks for your patience with the site. It's taken me longer than I thought to get up and running here and no buzz for dealing with dial up. Hopefully I will have DSL by next week and everything will be back to normal. That being said, it's great to be back.

Why didn't I think of this first?

OK...Seriously...What's the big deal? Yes the team with the biggest payroll in baseball just traded for the best player in baseball, who also just happens to be the highest paid player in baseball history. For those counting at home, the Yankees now have 4 players that will make over $100 million over the life of their contract. I wonder how this will affect ticket prices in the Bronx?
But here's the thing - I'm not so sure this makes them THAT much better. Yes they will be improved but the Yanks still have alot of problems to deal with.
Let's make no mistake, Jeter can't hold ARod's jock at shortstop right now. This will become a major issue before the year is over.
Who's going to play second for the Yanks?
It's not like the Yanks didn't give up a major piece in this deal. Alfonso Soriano was close to becoming only the second or third player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same year. Dude is in his early 20's. He's going to get even better. Will ARod?
There are alot of baseball games to be played and alot of angles for the media to chip away at the Yanks with. This is Joe Torre's last year and it will easily be his most pressure packed.
Boston still has a better pitching rotation!! Curt Schilling will pitch more games than Kevin Brown this year. Book it.
Last night on SportsCenter that fat ass Jason Whitlock was complaining about the Yankees payroll (he lives in KC) and was ready to give the Yanks the title. Lest we forget, the Yanks have been the favorite going into the season for the last 7 or so years but they haven't won the World Series since 2000. Baseball is unlike all the other major sports in that the best team doesn't always win the World Series. Think Florida was the best team all year last year? Was Anaheim the year before that?
But lets get one thing straight. From a pure personnel standpoint, Yankees GM Brian Cashman is to be applauded. This was an amazing move for the franchise. They basically used the salaries from Drew Henson, Aaron Boone and Soriano and went out and got ARod. It was a brilliant move and that's why the Yanks are always the team you love to hate. It's also the reason that Cashman will be unemployed for about 2 hours once he quits or is fired by Steinbrenner this year. He's the best in the biz right now.

The Sports Guy agrees with me and puts it much more eloquently. I only wish I could've got my shit together and on here first so it wouldn't seem like I am straight copying him. Trust me, I wasn't.

I'm not standing on the ledge. Not even close. I like this stuff. This escalating Red Sox-Yankees feud was already the most compelling storyline in sports. Now it's even better. This baby is ON.

Fuck the Pixies reunion and their grab for cash.
Fuck Brett and Bernard getting back together.
If reports out of the UK are true, the rulers are back and all the pretenders to the throne better hit the highway.
That's right ladies and germs...The La's, the band I called the greatest of our generation might be reforming.

Over the last week, rumours in the band’s hometown of Liverpool are that founder members Lee Mavers and John Power had been seen out together and are collaborating again.

One fan, emailing NME.COM wrote: "Met them at the The Zutons gig at Liverpool Uni the other day, sound fellas. Lee said they’re best mates again, drinking and going out together. Interestingly, Lee said they were working together on new material and to look forward to gigs within the next few months and material within the next year or so!"

A source close to the band has since confirmed that the pair are working together again, but said there are currently no definite plans. It is not clear whether the other members of the band are involved.

It’s All Star weekend in the NBA, which is fine and dandy, but that means that the trade deadline is next week and that's where the real fun and intrigue is. The rumours are already hot and heavy. Some of the proposed deals I have read about include:

Steve Francis for Allen Iverson
Keith Van Horn for Tim Thomas
Marcus Fizer for Melvin Ely and Keyon Dooling
Fizer for Corliss Williamson or Chucky Atkins
Nazr Muhammed for Michael Doleac
Rueben Patterson for Shandon Anderson
Aaron McKie for Jerome Williams
Eric Snow for Gordon Girecek and Tyronne Lue
Girecek for Carlos Arroyo or Jarron Collins
Brian Grant for Juwan Howard
Christian Laettner for Michael Curry, Mo Pete & Michael Bradley
Keon Clark for Tom Gugliotta

Antoine Walker is on the block as well. Jamal Crawford and Juwan Howard are considered the players most likely to be traded.

As for the floundering C’s expect them to make a deal that includes Chris Mills and his expiring $6 million contract. They need a PF in the worst way. Danny Ainge set his sights on Atlanta’s Shareef Abdur Rahiem but the idiots in Atlanta’s upper management decided to give him to Portland for Rasheed Wallace and Wesley Person, both of whom are free agents at the end of the year, thus cutting roughly $20 million from their payroll. Boston’s deal wouldn’t have included as much cap room but would have given the Hawks draft picks in this year’s draft. Instead, they get nada. Suckers.

As far as the coaching carousel goes, rumours have Jim O’Brien going to Portland at the end of the season, with Mo Cheeks leaving for Philly and Paul Westphal getting the Celtics gig. Personally I’m hoping for former Celtic guard and current Minnesota assistant Jerry Sichting to get the nod in Boston. Dennis Johnson's name has also been mentioned.

Saturday February 14th
10:56 PM

Back at (my temporary) home and my crazy week is now at an end. The change I have been asking for for so long is finally here and it is hard to deal with it. An examination of how it has affected me thus far will have to wait, instead, a recap of the least week:

MONDAY – My last night with Molly Wizzle and kitty. Needless to say it was emotional. I will say no more on this subject out of respect for Molly. We decided to skip the Super Furry Animals show in New York and stay at home and enjoy our last bit of time together. I couldn’t be happier with that decision.

TUESDAY – Woke up at 8 AM, ran some errands and then went to pick up the moving truck. Took advantage of alternate side of the street parking and got the spot right in front of my apartment. Molly and I loaded up the truck in under 2 hours, much quicker than my estimates. A quick lunch later and I was on the road by 1:30. Walking out that door for the last time was easily one of the most difficult and most emotional things that I have ever had to do. I was in a daze for most of the day trying to cope with what was happening. I had planned to drive about 6 hours and stop for the night in northern Virginia, but made it all the way to Blacksburg, VA around 10 PM and stopped for the night there. Unofficially, that’s the most I have ever driven in a single day. I stopped at a Days Inn (only $40 for the night), went across the parking lot to the gas station, bought a 40 of Budweiser, came back to my room, called Molly, wished her good night, drank my beer and pretty much cried myself to sleep.
MILES DRIVEN: 400

WEDNESDAY – Woke up at 9 AM. Went next door to Denny’s for breakfast. Got on the road around 9:45 and finished the trip to Hickory, NC. Got in around 1 PM. Unloaded the truck. Got in my parents hot tub to ease my aching back. Went to bed around 9:30 PM.
MILES DRIVEN – 175

THURSDAY – Couldn’t sleep in, no matter how much I tried. Got up and ran some errands. Unpacked my computer. Resisted the urge to veg out and catch up on what’s been going on and read everyone’s blogs. Mailed Molly’s Valentine’s Day present. Started out on my trip to Atlanta. I had two job interviews there on Friday. Spent most of the day driving. Left NC around 3:30 PM. Arrived in Atlanta around 8 PM. Checked in to a La Quinta Inn and tried to find a sports bar to catch the Celtics / Bulls game. No joy. Ate dinner at Denny’s. Went back to my hotel room and passed out watching Dateline after speaking briefly with Molly.
MILES DRIVEN – 260

FRIDAY – Got up at 9 AM. My first interview was at 10 AM. The job isn’t what I really want, but it went well and I’m in no position to be picky right now. They will contact me next week. Went to Waffle House and ate breakfast. Made my second interview at noon. That one was with a headhunter and she told me I was perfect for the job she had in mind but it was on hold for right now and she would be in touch as soon as she knew what was going on. Not what I wanted to hear but still encouraging. As I am a glutton for punishment and borderline stalker, I drove to Chapel Hill NC to catch the Super Furries play the Cat’s Cradle. A full report on that show later. Said my goodbye’s to the band around 2 AM, drove 10 minutes and got a hotel for the night. Finally got to sleep around 5 AM.
MILES DRIVEN – 400

SATURDAY – Got up around 9 AM. Curse my non ability to sleep in. Drive to Lexington, NC to see a good friend I haven’t hung out with in over 3 years. Watched some college basketball and even some racing. Ate lunch, tried to combat my hangover and lack of sleep. Left his house around 3 PM, finally arrived back home at 4:30. Walked straight up to my room and slept until 7 PM. Got up, ate dinner, went back to bed. Woke up in time for the slam Dunk contest. Started writing.
MILES DRIVEN – 170

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So you lost your trust
And you never should have
And you never should have
But don't break your back
If you ever see this
But don't answer that

In a bullet proof vest
With the windows all closed
I'll be doing my best
I'll see you soon

In a telescope lens
And when all you want is friends
I'll see you soon

Today's post is gonna be a long one, so settle in before you begin.

Last night began with my sparsely attended going away dinner at Two Boots down on Avenue A. I wanted to go there becuase 8 years ago when i started my internship in NYC, the first place I went to in the city (besides the office) was Two Boots where I met a really good friend of mine for the first time. After we ate, we all went to Coney Island High on St. Marks Place ( I remember being really confused and thinking we were actually going to a high school on Coney Island) to see the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I remember that night like it happened last week.
DSCN0594.JPGAnyways I was joined by Redboy, Shane, Nina, Molly and Anna (pictured). We had numerous pitchers of Stella and some great pizza (best in the city in my humble opinion) and life was good. Nina gave me a Spongebob Squarepants mouse pad that I am using at this very second. Cheers. So we ate, drank and were merry and then Redboy had to go off to his Dj gig. We all went up to Tracy J's on 19th street to catch the Duke / UNC game which, needless to say, is one of my favorite nights of the entire year. Tracy J's is owned and operated by Art Heyman a former Duke All American, 1965 National Player of the Year and #1 pick of the New York Knicks. It is Blue Devil Central in NYC. I was in heaven. And what a game! Big play after big play from both sides. That was the Duke / UNC rivalry that I remember. UNC deserved to win the game, but Chris Duhon, playing a majority of the second half with 4 fouls, would not let the Blue Devils lose. His reverse layup in the waning seconds of overtime gave Duke the W. I'm obviously biased but Duhon has to the front runner for ACC player of the year right now. He is owning pople at the PG spot. DSCN0626_1.JPG
With about 5 minutes left in regulation, Coolfer, (pictured) who had joined us at the bar for drinks, asked me what I thought the final margin would be. "Duke by 2" I replied confidently. I am so money. A sincere thanks to everyone that came out last night to send me off. Cheers!
ESPN also had some great stuff on the percieved lack of success by the Blue Devils in the pro's and how some recent Coach K disciples are changing that image. Good stuff.
Also, Danny Ainge is looking to make a trade before the deadline. Not exactly breaking news but at least he's gone on record saying further changes need to be made.

Alright, for the main even, I humbly submit my TOP 15 CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS WHILE LIVING IN NYC. Let me preface this by saying I'm sure other pople could come up with better lists from their experiences and I'm not trying to drop a bunch of names here...This is more for me so I can come back and read this years from now when I am senile and have blocked my time in NYC out of my mind. That being said, I thought it would be cool to share some of my fun with everyone. Here goes.

15) MATT DILLON – As reported last Sunday.
14) HARRISON FORD –I saw Han Solo making his way uptown on Broadway, around 18th street, as I was on my to Paragon Sports to buy some snowboarding gloves. He had shades on and was walking very fast I spotted him a ways off, it was hard to miss him.
13) DICK CLARK – The ageless one was spotted in the crowd of the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy.and trying not to draw attention to himself.
12) HELENA CHRISTIANSON – I can name about 400 more people I saw on June 7th, 1997, the night that Radiohead played Irving Plaza, but she just stood out. It was a day after the NYC Tibetan Freedom Concert ended and I swear everyone that played the festival stayed around to catch Radiohead the next night. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen the venue as crowded as it was that night. I can also say without a doubt that it was the single greatest concert I had ever seen or will ever see in my life. Describing it as powerful doesn’t do the gig justice. OK Computer had yet to come out but they were playing the songs that would be on that album as well as a majority of The Bends. They opened with Lucky and ended it with Black Star (the only time I have heard that song ever played live) but only after Thom aborted a solo try at Been Thinking About You. I heard that u2, Oasis, Blur, Madonna, REM, and a host of other celebrities were there. I stuck around after the gig by the secret back door that the stars use to exit the club and was amazed at the people I saw. Helena wasn’t the most famous, but she was easily the most beautiful. Like Woah. Wicked game indeed.
11) WINONA RYDER – I had just gotten a beer at the Seahorses / Mansun gig at Irving Plaza and was walking back to the front of the venue when mizz Ryder passed me on her way to the bar. She was incredibly tiny and looked like you could knock her over by sneezing on her but was still captivating. I couldn’t help but stare.
10) LIV TYLER – One of the last things I got to do at my first music industry gig was hang out with a client of ours that had just done some work with Spacehog. The group were playing the Bowery Ballroom and he asked me to tag along. I did and we ended up in the band’s dressing room before they went on and everyone was just shooting the shit, catching up, etc. The room upstairs in Bowery is tiny and has an L shaped couch. I sat down. She sat next to me. Out of respect, I tried not to freak out. We spoke a bit and she was very nice. And very, very hot.
9) DAVID BYRNE – Not really a fan at all, but I got a kick out of seeing him in the crowd when the Super Furries played Irving Plaza in support of Rings Around The World.
8) EDDIE IZZARD – CMJ, many years ago when Placebo and a few other Virgin acts were playing some hotel ballroom in Midtown, I spotted Mr. Izzard, dressed in jeans and a coat (no makeup), in the crowd, casually rocking out. I knew who he was and that he was a British comedian but hadn’t ever heard any of his material. His face had been plastered all over London the last time I was there so I recognized him right away, even with his beard. I went up to him and said “Hi” and he just looked at me weird. After an uncomfortable silence he said “You’re American right? How the fuck do you know who I am?” It was fucking hilarious. I wish I would have busted out something like “Tea, Cake or Death?” but I didn’t see Dressed To Kill until 2 years ago.
7) DIANA ROSS – The Queen of Motown came into the office at my old job on 22nd street one day as she was looking to purchase the floor above us. Her hair was bigger than Ben Wallace’s. She was extremely polite and asked to have a look around. I took her on a quick tour of the premises. She thanked me and went on her way. For the record, not once did I call her “Miss Ross”.
6) GWYNETH PALTROW / CHRIS MARTIN – Some randon Sunday night a year or so ago, Molly, Anna and I decided to meet up in the city and go get dinner. We decided on Mary’s Fish Camp, on West 4th street. Unfortunately, it’s closed on Sundays. Molly and I got there first so we were going to call Anna and tell her the dilly. Molly sat down on the stoop outside the restaurant to dig her cell phone out of her purse and make the call. While she was preoccupied doing that, I spied a lanky blonde with long hair walking toward us with some scruffy looking dork by her side. As the duo got closer, it dawned on me who it was. As they walked by us, I kinda stared at them wide-eyed (I have no idea why, although Gwyneth was very pretty). Chris nodded to me as they passed and I did the same to them. And off they went. Molly missed the whole thing.
5) BEASTIE BOYS – Like I said earlier this week, there was one particular summer , the Beasties were everywhere. You couldn’t go to a decent show without seeing them. I have seen each Beastie on their own at some point in the city but two particular times stand out(not including getting my picture taken with Ad Rock). The first was one day at work when I had to go run an errand for my boss that took me all the way across town. I was pissed off that I had to do it, so I took my sweet time getting back. As I was crossing Lexington Ave on my way back to 5th Ave, I saw this middle aged guy riding a low rider bicycle lazily making his way up the street. This looked too strange to be true so I walked toward him to get to the bottom of it. Turns out it was Mike D on his way to Capitol Records New York offices. The lyrics popped into my head immediately:
My crew is shining just like and icicle / I ride around town on my low rider bicycle
The second was seeing Blur on their tour behind 13 play at the Roseland Ballroom. I was with a few friends on the VIP sidestage and the entire Grand Royal family was there, all grooving out while Damon was singing Trimm Trabb.
4) JIMMY FALLON / JACK BLACK / JOHN MCENROE – At my last gig, I worked with a NYC rock band that got the opportunity to open a show at the Roseland Ballroom. Everyone was really excited about the opportunity, but the after show was amazing. While the headliners were still on, I was hanging out backstage with Jimmy Fallon and Mick Rock, the famous photographer. I will be the first to admit that Jimmy ruins too many skits on SNL with his incessant laughing, but in real life he is sincerely one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. Dude got me beer after beer and kept offering more. He was DJ’ing on a crappy boombox with his iPod. Then Jack Black walked in and the two of them started going at it. It was so funny I was spitting beer out of my nose. Just fucking hilarious. Then Jables went away for a while and things returned to normal until I looked over and there he was. My hero. John Patrick McEnroe. The greatest tennis talent America has ever produced. Some of the people I was with didn’t even know who he was but I was hyperventilating. I was trashed by this point of the night but still had the ability to talk without slurring too bad so I went up to him. The timing was bad but I figured I’d never get another shot to talk to the tennis legend. I went up, introduced myself, and told him how he inspired me to play tennis as a kid and that try as I might, I could never copy his service motion even though I worked on it endlessly in high school. McEnroe could not have cared less. He said like 3 words to me and then disappeared. I didn’t care. I gave it a shot. I don’t begrudge him for not talking to my drunk ass. He did lose cool points for his outfit though. Some long trenchcoat, a dark blue button up, black leather pants and a Mets cap. Ugh.
3) PAVEMENT – Possibly my best night ever in NYC. And it of course involves the Super Furries. They were opening for the Olivia Tremor Control at the Bowery Ballroom. As I briefly described before, the Bowery has one big dressing room upstairs behind the stage for the headliner. The supporting acts have to use these two small areas with velvet curtains upstairs on either side of the bar. After their set, we were all chilling in the Furries little area when Bob and Steve, the rhythm section from Pavement, dropped in and started drinking everyone’s beer. They were being really loud and boisterous and drinking up a storm. I’m a huge Pavement fan so I was just trying to take the whole scene in. I was seated opposite the Pavement guys, talking to Bunf, the Furries guitarist about football and bullshit. One of the guys from Pavement, Steve I think, busted out some weed but had nothing to smoke it in. I happened to have my bowl on me and offered it up so everyone could have a smoke. We all did and continued on talking, drinking, etc. Anyways, after the gig, Steve puts my bowl in his pocket and is getting ready to depart with it in his possession. Bunf looks at me to see if I saw what he was doing. I was cool with him taking it. Hey I like Pavement, I have no problem sacrificing my bowl to them and told Bunf the same. Bunf was having none of that. I told him I didn’t want to make a scene but he went over to Steve and said “Alright, give it back you wanker” or something like that. Steve was acting like he had no idea what was happening. Bunf wasn’t budging. “Hand it over” he said a little bit louder and finally Steve did and apologized. It was very surreal, even more so after the 37 Heineken’s I drank during the show.
After the show, we went with Gruff, some of his extended family who were in town, and a bunch of other people to a huge loft party/rave over by the main Post Office on 34th street. They had DJ’s and kegs and there were a ton of people there. Coolest of all was this huge balcony outside that was overlooking the Post Office, which was lit up on all sides by these huge lights. It was very picturesque. I distinctly remember being there drunk out of my gourd listening to Gruff talk to his cousins in Welsh for like 20 minutes, thinking what I was hearing, whatever it was, was the coolest thing ever.
Also at the party was one of my company’s clients, a record producer that has helped launch the career of more than one very famous metal band. Like the rest of us, he was plowed at this point in the night. We were talking to each other but he kept wandering around the balcony picking up the half empty cups of beer that were left out there. Then all of a sudden he starts throwing them off the balcony to the street below. Keep in mind we were about 25 floors up. It was fucking hilarious for a few seconds then I realized that someone may be down there and what kind of damage a half empty plastic cup of beer could do after falling from 25 flights up. I tried everything I could to talk him out of it but he kept doing it. “Someone could die”, I was pleading with him thinking what would happen if/when he hit a car that was passing by. Some of the other people on the balcony went to get security and tell them what was going on. I finally got him to stop and hid him in a corner behind Gruff and all his friends right before they came running out there to see what was going on. When they didn’t see anyone throwing things they went away. It was a close call. We decided to call it a night after that. Gruff and his posse went to yet another late night afterparty but I was dead tired(it was like 4;30 AM at this point) so we decided not to join them. That night showed me that there is plenty of things to get into in NYC if you know the right people. It also proved my theory that nothing good happens after 2 AM.
2) ROBERT DINERO – I had the distinct pleasure of riding in the elevator with Bobby D. not once but TWICE when I worked at my old office on 22nd street. I think his publicists or someone like that were in our building. I didn’t speak to him either time other than to ask him what floor he wanted and press the appropriate button. Both times he was totally incognito with hat and glasses and just had this “I am NOT Robert Dinero” vibe, so I decided not to bother him. But it was still cool.
1) The number one celebrity sighting that I had the pleasure of having in NYC is a doozy. It was Sunday morning and Anna was in town (she still lived in Boston at the time) and we decided to take our hungover selves up to 14th street for some brunch before Anna had to catch her train back to Beantown. We exited the subway at Union square and crossed the street right by Shoe Mania on our way to a diner on 12th street. As soon as we crossed 14th, a sleek black town car with tinted windows pulled up right beside us and a driver got out to open the door for his passengers. “Oooh, who might this be?” I thought to myself. I had to do a double take (and so did Molly and Anna) when none other than SIR PAUL McCARTNEY and Heather Mills popped out of the back seat and started across the sidelwalk not two feet from us. Macca turned to us, nodded his head, and winked in a way that seemed to say “Yes it’s me. Please don’t freak out an alert everyone else around here or it will be a madhouse.” We didn’t and off they went on their merry way into one of the buildings nearby. All three of us were on cloud 9 for the rest of the day. We told our waitress in the diner that we had just seen the most famous person alive. Her first guess was the President, McCartney was her second.


That’s all for me this week folks. I have to pack up the remaining odds and ends laying about the apartment and go pick up my old computer from the shop. I’m off to Boston early tomorrow to get my Super Furry fix. I should have time for a quick post on Monday but that will likely be it until the following Monday, the 16th. When I return, I should have lots of pictures and stories to tell so please come back. Hopefully none of you will hold the fact that I will no longer be a NYC blogger against me. I've had alot of fun this week recounting some old stories and memories. I hope you enjoyed it too.

In pitch dark I go walkin' in your landscape
Broken branches trip me as i speak
Just 'cause you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there
Just 'cause you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there
There's always a siren singing you to shipwreck
Don't reach out, don't reach out

But right now I'm feeling like a millionaire. Lots of things on the verge of popping off around here. This is a good thing. I'm feeling more positive nowadays than I have in quite some time. Sorry to be so vague but all will be revealed in time.
It's offically Day 4 of Get The Fuck Outta Dodge Week and things are starting to come to a head. I'm 85% done with the packing but I have to be finished by tomorrow as I'm off to Beantown this weekend to see the Super Furries. Still no set lists reported on the internet mailing list. Unacceptable. Somehow, methinks Grambo and Peabs didn't make the gig in D-town last night. Their loss.

Tonight is my going away party / dinner as well as the obligatory drink session aferwards. It goes without saying that I will be watching the Duke v. UNC matchup as well. Good times ahead. UNC is gonna be looking to take out #1.

Before I get to today's picture, I have to share this story. Yesterday, I went to Tekserve to drop off my old iMac to fix it's broken internal CD drive. After unexpectadly seeing Redboy inside and yapping with him for a bit, I walked outside to go run some errands in the city before heading back to the mighty BK. What happened next put a big ol' smile on my face.
Walking around on the sidewalks of New York, all manner of people will come up to you trying to ply their wares and get some money from you. I have been offered all sorts of items; weed, cocaine, mushrooms, E, smack, acid, uppers, downers, whatever....but the item I was offered yesterday took the cake. As soon as I was about 3 steps out the door at Tekserve, this somewhat shady looking black guy came up to me and said in a very hushed tone:
Powerbook G4, CD burner with airport card baby. You know you want to pick this machine up
Classic.
Yes, I am a mac geek.

Today's picture:
meandRadiohead.jpg
THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE:
The Date: 08/17/1996
The Place: Some unknown upscale hotel bar; New York, NY
This picture was taken on a typical New York day for a music industry professional. Earlier in the day I had seen big, fat Greg Dulli in the lobby at the Sony building. Later that night I took in Rage Against The Machine at Roseland Ballroom with the rest of the Epic staff. While I am not a huge an of Rage, their live show was pretty legendary and it's always great watching a show at Roseland from the VIP sidestage. Anyways, we were at the Rage show and got beyond drunk and decided to continue the debauchery at a venue after the gig. A bunch of us jumped in a few cabs and went to some chi chi hotel bar to have some overpriced drinks. I tagged along because their was more than one VP with us which meant anything and everything would be free.
It should be noted here that around this time, The Bends has taken hold of me. And by that I mean the album, not the disease. The first time I listened to it I distinctly remeber saying "this record is total crap...except for that High and Dry song." Let's just say it grew on me and at this point I am talking to everyone and everyone about how monumental this record is. In the group with us at the hotel bar are Kristen and her friend(whose name escapes me). Both of them are young, extremely attractive, wearing skimpy clothes and being very flirty. I mention this because after about 15 minutes. Kristen's friend comes over to me and says "Hey Kyle, come over here and talk to this guy. He's in Radiohead." Thankfully, I didn't drop my beer when I heard that. So I walk to the other side of the bar and sure enough, Ed O'Brien is standing there drinking with another guy who apparently works for Parlophone. Radiohead were in town because they were supporting....Alanis Morrissette.
I proceed to gush about how The Bends is going to be looked back on as one of the greatest records of all time and how amazing it is. Then I went into "Start Naming Obscure B Sides To Impress The Brits" mode and dropped all sorts of knowledge on Ed, who was undoubtably impressed. He was extremely tall and as nice as anyone could be. After a while, I realized I was rambling and very drunk so I left him alone.
Soon after we all left to go to our next destination, which turned out to be Scores. The night gets to be a bit hazy from there but lets just say you haven't lived until you've been at Scores with a corporate charge card revved up and ready to go. Especially when the person it belongs to disappears for a while and you have free reign over it. And keep in mind this was before Giuliani's 60/40 rule took effect.
Good times.

Last night while I was with TK at The Gate (probably my favorite bar in Brooklyn), he gave me $5 to go crazy on the jukebox. While I of course played the requisite amount of Brit-pop, I also put in alot of stuff that reminded me of New York. It was then that I realized that even though I was moving, all it would take to take me back here was the right album. There are so many New York-centric records out there, I tried to think of some so I can have them at the ready. Unfortunately, as my entire CD collection is packed up, this was harder than it seemed. This is what I came up with off the top of my head. And by New York-centric albums, I mean albums that specifically name certain places or landmarks in the area or really sum up the experience of living here. These criteria obviously lend themselves a bit more to the hip hop genre but it doesn't matter if the band is actually from the area or not.

PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea - For You Said Something if nothing else...
On a rooftop in Brooklyn / At one in the morning / Watching the lights flash / In Manhattan / I see five bridges / The Empire State Building / And you said something / That I've never forgotten
That's Brooklyn in a nutshell for me.

Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique - Beyond Obvs. I can honestly say without a doubt, this record has taught me more about NYC than any book could ever hope to do. I figure out something new on this record every time I listen to it. This thing has lyrics for days and days, especially B-Boy Bouillabaisse.
Bust into the conductor's booth and busted out rhymes / Over the loud speaker about the hard times / Sat across from a man readin El Diario / Riding the train down from El Barrio
They should make everyone that moves to NYC listen to this record until they get it. It's essential.

Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Shaolin stizz. Again, obvs.

Luna - Penthouse - I'll explain this one below

Mos Def - Black On Both Sides - Brooklyn represent!
Cuz it's the B the R the O the O K / L Y N is the place where I stay / The B the R the O the O K / Best in the world and all USA
If I could pick up Brooklyn and drop it somewhere else in the country, I would be moving there no doubt.

Ted Leo - The Tyranny of Distance - It's pretty obvs to all my faithful readers that Ted Leo is my favorite NYC band (even if he lives in NJ). This record came out near the end of my tenure at my first (and best) music industry job and it was the one record that every single person in the office (all 20+ of us) liked and agreed upon. We always fought over the stereo but whenever anyone put this on, it made everyone happy.


I know I'm missing some good one's here, help me out.

Before I get to the Luna story, here is today's picture:
meandAdrock.jpg
THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE:
The Date: Some time in either 1997 or 1998
The Place: Back bar, Irving Plaza; New York, NY
When I was in college, I absolutely worshipped the Beastie Boys. Along with the Archers of Loaf, they were easily my fave American group. There was one particular summer (I'm guessing 1997 as it was right after I moved here and it was before Hello Nasty was released) when the Beasties were EVERYWHERE. I literally couldn't go to a good gig without them being here. I was in heaven. This picture was taken at a Supergrass concert when I was drunk enough to go up and talk to him. He was with a guy from Capitol, their label, that used to work with my friend at Epic Records. A plan was devised and my friend went up and talked to the Capitol dude and I slid in and started talking to Ad Rock who is without a doubt my favorite Beastie. He was extremely shy, in fact he's the exact opposite of how he sounds on record. Very reserved and soft spoken. Still, he was really nice and finally agreed to pose for a picture with me. My only regret is the pic really doesn't show his hair, which was really long and blown out into an afro. Sweet.

Right, as for Luna...Picture me buying underwear at Century 21 after a particularly hard and long day at work, ready to go home to my nearby apartment and collapse on the couch and try and put the day behind me so I can get on with my worthless little life. So as I walk out the side entrance on Church St and start back home, I hear some music that sounds like it is coming from one hell of a boombox. I think nothing of it and start home. After about 10 steps, I place the tune.
23 Minutes in Brussels.
Someone is totally rockin' out to Luna! This seems strange to me so I stop for a second. I listen a little bit longer and then I realize that this song is being played live. Like Woah. I run across Cortlandt Street and when I make the turn into the small plaza that lied between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, I see a big stage and Luna totally tearing it up, as only Dean and Co. can do. I almost fainted. Where the hell did this come from? There are chairs set up for everyone to sit in and there are about 300 people all chillin' and grooving to the band.
I went right up front and started taking the whole scene in. It was beautiful. Bankers, Wall Streeters, janitors, random people, hot dog cart guys, everyone was hanging out and just enjoying themselves with a huge smile on their faces. A few people even brought some wine and were sitting on the ground indian style having an impromptu picnic. And the band were in TOP form that day. When I got there, they started busting out the hits, Sideshow By The Seashore, Rhythm King, Bobby Peru, Moon Palace, Beautiful View...it was just unreal. I had just had the shittiest day ever and now I was absolutely floating on air. And the twin towers are providing the most magnificent backdrop ever. They just go straight up for what seems like miles and miles. The sun was still out. It was beautiful beyond words. My whole outlook had been changed by a stupid little band playing some pop songs.
I looked around, took the whole scene in, smiled and thought to myself "THIS is why I live in New York."
Years from now, when I think back on my experiences in New York and what it was like living down by the World Trade Center before and after 9/11, the first thing that pops in my head won't be what I saw on 9/11, it will be how magnificent and perfect that day was and what it meant to me.

Thanks Luna.

**UPDATE** Many thanks to the venerable web presence that is Lockhart Steele for pointing out some pictures from that day. This one is the best and really gives you the idea of what it looked/felt like.

Words you don't understand / are all makin' sense tonight
It's hard to think straight / when you're feelin' so great
Only wanna get out of your head

The teams for this year's NBA ALL STAR Game have been announced:
EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
Head coach: Rick Carlisle (Indiana)

C-Ben Wallace
F-Jermaine O'Neal
F-Vince Carter
G-Tracy McGrady
G-Allen Iverson

C-Jamaal Magloire
F-Kenyon Martin
F-Ron Artest
F-Paul Pierce
G-Michael Redd
G-Baron Davis
G-Jason Kidd


WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
Head coach: Flip Saunders (Minnesota)

C-Yao Ming
F-Tim Duncan
F-Kevin Garnett
G-Kobe Bryant
G-Steve Francis

C-Shaquille O'Neal
C-Brad Miller
F-Dirk Nowitzki
F-Andrei Kirilenko
F-Peja Stojakovic
G-Ray Allen
G-Sam Cassell

A quick glance says I'm shocked neither LeBron nor Carmelo made it and two Nets and two Hornets? No one from the Detrizzle Pistons made it and they have the second best record in the East. Ben Wallace made it, duh. (thanks Peabs) Has Ray Allen played enough games (21) to really warrant inclusion?
I'm happy for Brad Miller and Sam Cassell, both are having great years and deserve to play All Star weekend.
The results above show you how the talent is divided in the league now. Would Steve Francis and Ray Allen even get close enough to sniff a birth in the East where Stephon Marbury and LeBron were left off the team? Likewise, KMart and Magloire wouldn't have a chance in hell to make it in the West when Shawn Marion and Zach Randolph can't make the squad.

Day 2 of Getting The Fuck Outta Dodge Week and miles to go before I sleep or should I say shit to pack before I leave. Maybe I should contact Peabs about getting some crank....

- Most important news of the day has to be that the one and only Super Furry Animals kicked off their 2004 US tour last night at the Fine Line in Minneapolis, MN. Unfortunately there have been no updates on the internet mailing list as to the set last night but I assure you I am all over this one. Slack motherfuckers. Tonight is Chicago so tomorrow we should hopefully see some review buzz. FYI, the set they did at a gig in France last month:

Slow Life / (Drawing) Rings Around The World / Golden Retriever / God! Show Me Magic / Do Or Die / Hello Sunshine / Demons / Run! Christian, Run! / Cityscape Skybaby / Liberty Belle / Bleed Forever / The Piccolo Snare / Juxtaposed With U / The International Language Of Screaming / Hermann Loves Pauline / Receptacle For The Respectable / Out Of Control / Calimero / The Man Don't Give A Fuck

At first glance this isn't the set I want, but then again, they never are. The highlight has to be Herman Loves Pauline, one of my favorite SFA tunes of all time and until their UK tour last year, had only been played a handful of times.

Other SFA gossip brings us the news that the band is planning to release a CD in April on their own Placid Casual label consisting of the remixes available on the DVD version of Phantom Power. And that is not all! Apparently after their short UK tour of last year, the band went into their newly built studio in Cardiff and laid down some tracks for release as an EP. It hasn't been decided which label will release said EP but this news is very promising as one of the Furries best ever releases was the Ice Hocky Hair EP featuring the double A side goodness of the title track as well as the Parliment-esque classic Smokin'. Hot to def I tell you!

- Ryan Adam's punching bag, Jim Derogatis has a short chat with SFA singer Gruff Rhys.

- Ha! Janet and Justin might get canned from the Grammy's. Also, AOL wants to get a refund on some of the $10 million they laid out to sponsor the event.

- Pixies tour - confirmed. Tour dates should be announced any day now. Hopefully. Gossipers are gossiping that former tour manager Ken Goes has demanded a huge cut of the profits from said tour and that not all of the band are on board yet. Developing...

- Peter King calls this year's Superbowl the best ever. A good read if you're not already sick of the game.

- Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was suspended for one game without pay for cursing on national TV after a win in Toronto. After the game ended Shaq was on live TV when he said:

My message to David Stern is get some people in there that understand the game and don't try to take over the fucking game because people pay good money to see good athletes play.
When reminded he was on live TV, O'Neal responded by saying
I don't give a shit.

- Houston Rocket Steve Francis was suspended for one game because he would not take the team's charter to Phoenix in order to stay in Houston and attend the Superbowl. Look for him to be traded any time now. Seriously.

- New Jersey Net Eddie Griffin is back in jail for violating his probation. Officals are looking into acquiring video tape from a hotel security camera that shows Griffin involved in a sex act in the hotel's pool. Despite the allegations, Nets President Rod Thron says the team will not release Griffin. Unreal.

- And what news of the Boston Celtics? Apparantly they are after Seattle guard Brent Barry despite his recently injured right ring finger, which should keep him sidelined for 5 weeks.

- Sacramento is the new New York

- Let me preface this by saying I still love the website, but I think it's wrong for Gothamist to take down the comments from this post yesterday after we all had a pretty lively debate going. If Jake is going to open his mouth and say things like (and I'm paraphrasing here since I can't cut and paste) "Any job that won't allow you to blog at work isn't woth having. You should quit that job immediately on principal" he deserves to take any lumps that come his way. I'm the first person to admit I climb up on my high horse quite a bit in this space but i always welcome someone to come along and knock me off. Jake claims to be a student and that would make sense as he has no idea what the job market is like nowadays. My unemployment ran out last week, that should give you a good idea. The whole debate started after Jake claimed that anonymous bloggers are cowardly and you shouldn't write anything that you won't sign your name to. While noble in concept, it's just not a very realistic view in light of today's workplace. As many readers pointed out yesterday, you can get fired for a whole lot less than blogging at work. Above all, I think it's funny everyone is trying to out Scott Lapatine. Is it really that big of a secret? It must not be if I know what blog he runs. Still, his wishes to remain anonymous are safe with me.

Now for today's feature photo!
meandWeezer.jpg
THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE:
The Date: Some time in 1997(can't find a Weezer gigography)
The Place: Backstage at The Ritz; Raleigh, NC
Unfortunately there is no great story with this picture(other than my bleached blonde hair). I went to see Weezer with Atom, one of the DJ's at WZMB, on their tour behind Pinkerton. We stuck around the club after the gig and snuck backstage looking for Rivers so we could get some station ID's from him. We finally found him trying to sneak out the back door of the venue with (you guessed it) his asian girlfriend. We asked him for a station ID and he refused. "I don't like the way my voice sounds when it's recorded" he told us, to our amazement. Instead he offered to take a picture with us and we agreed.

That's all for right now. Unfortunately the Hip Hoptionary has been packed away so no more slang words until I get to NC next week.


We have ways of making you think
We have ways of making you think
We have ways of making you think
They told me over a drink

Alright people....We are going to celebrate my last proper week in NYC in style here at information leafblower. Who knows maybe I will keep the whiney, self serving posts to a minimum now that I've got them all out of my system. Fucking kicker. He's a free agent you know...
On Friday I will reveal my Top 15 Celebrity Sightings In NYC and reminisce on some of my better days and nights in the Big Apple. Leading up to that I will drop the hotness on you all in the form of some pics I found while I was packing/cleaning up for the move. Enjoy.
For Day 1 of Getting The Fuck Outta Dodge Week (I know, I have a potty mouth) I give you a pick from what was one of the greatest nights of my life. Seriously.


meandOasis.jpg


THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE:
The Date: October 10, 1996
The Place: Backstage at Hammerjack's; Baltimore, MD
It's been seven days since the release of (What's The Story) Morning Glory? and to promote it, Epic Records brings The Greatest Band On The Planet (Radiohead has yet to take the mantle from Oasis at this point) over for a short tour to promote the album. They are still playing medium size clubs (remember this is pre-Wonderwall) and I have the hook up from the label as I am employed as Music Director of WZMB, ECU's own radio station. The gig is on a Thursday and I have an exam the next day. I know that if I drive from NC to Baltimore, I won’t make it back in time for the exam. I don't think twice about skipping it. I had just broken up with my girlfriend at the time so I rope my cousin Bryte (pictured above) into making the trip with me. She happily agrees and offers to pay for the hotel room in B'more. Done!
We make it up there and see a very raucous gig with the band in top form. They are brilliant beyond words. I bought 3 shirts that night and still have two of them. After the gig, I went about looking for the regional Epic rep who would be our ticket backstage. I found him, dropped the appropriate names and he told us to wait around and he would be back.
15 minutes later he returned and told us it was on. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I had met Liam and Bonehead in Virginia Beach on the last tour (I cancelled my Spring Break trip and went to VA Beach to see the group by myself) and was excited beyond words at the prospect of meeting Noel. So Mike, the Epic rep, led us upstairs into the dressing room to meet the band. There were about 10 of us going backstage and we all lined up so Mike could introduce everyone to the band. When he came to me, I shook Liam's hand and told him I had met him on the last tour, he looked at me and said "Oh yeah, I remember." "No you don't", I replied. "THE FUCK I DON'T!", he screamed at me. I was shocked. Did I really piss him off within one sentence? Then Liam burst out laughing, slapped me on the back, handed me a Corona and told me to make myself at home. Wow. Intense.
I went around meeting Bonehead, Alan Whyte, and Scott McLeod, the bassist who was filling in for Guigsy who was home in the UK with a bad case of nervous exhaustion, until i finally got to meet Noel. I shook his hand, blathered something about Slide Away being the greatest song ever written and he just kinda grumbled. It was easy to see he wasn't into the "meet n greet" phase of the night. I tried not to take it personally.
The band signed some autographs for everyone and then we took some pictures. I tried not to freak out when I was positioned next to Noel for the photos. As soon as we were done, Noel dashed off never to return. I stayed and chatted with Bonehead and tried to get some liners for the radio station but they all kept telling me to ask someone else. It must have been how they dealt with radio people.
Before I knew it, we were ushered out of the room and had to make the trip back to the hotel. I walked out of that club on air that night. I literally could not have been more excited.
As if that wasn't enough, getting the picture proved to be quite a task. Mike ended up moving a few times and packed away the pictures and couldn't seem to ever find them. Then I went to NYC the next summer to intern at Epic Records (little did I know the one and only Jen Chung was interning at Epic at the same time, only in a different department) and I asked him about my picture every week for three months. Finally on my last day at Epic, it showed up. I am not the most photogenic of people and was very apprehensive to open the package, lest I look like a complete idiot and have my one chance at photo stardom ruined. When I saw how the picture came out, I literally jumped out of my seat. I stared at it for what seemed like hours. In case you were wondering, yes, I am a huge dork.
It was only then that Mike told me the story behind the meet n greet from that night. It turns out that was the only meet n greet that Oasis did on that tour and the only reason they did it that night was that Mike had bought them a pretty large amount of cocaine in return for their guaranteed participation. Sweet.
That made me like the band even more.

I hate Tom Brady!

Let me preface this by saying I don’t want to sound like an out of touch middle aged prude but someone has to take MTV, AOL and CBS to task for that pitiful excuse for entertainment that was called “The AOL Top Speed Superbowl Thirty-Eight Halftime Show”.

First of all, what was up with the performers? If the haftime show features some of the world's greatest artists, why are they lip syncing? Who would have thunk Kid Rock would be the show's saving grace for being the only participant to actually perform live, even if the songs he performed (like much of the other material aired during the show) were about 5 years old?

Second, where the fuck does Janet Jackson get off singing a song rallying everyone against illiteracy and other such causes (funny how she didn’t mention child abuse) and then having Justin Trousersnake rip off half of her bodice, exposing her breast to millions of people around the world?

First the Britney/Madonna/Xtina kiss and now this? MTV and the parties involved, from the artists to their management to the show's producers should all be ashamed of themselves. Is nothing sacred? I realize we are talking about the Superbowl here, the mother of all corporate interests, but this is a freakin’ football game! I am a big fan of boobies (as evidenced in this space before) but there is a time and place for them and the Superbowl Halftime Show is not one of them. There are millions of little kids watching this game, there is no reason, no reason at all to expose them to something like that.

Janet, your brother is fighting for his life against allegations of child abuse, maybe that stunt didn’t have the best timing in the world.

The always respectable Phil Mushnick expands even further on this topic, calling out Puffy and Nelly (and his stripping cheerleaders) and wondering if Justin should be charged with sexual assault. It's a great read. Adam Buckman called the production a 15-minute celebration of crotch-grabbing, sexual simulation and stripping. Sounds dead on to me.

Two years ago we witnessed u2 give an uplifting and inspirational performance reminding everyone of the tragedy of 9/11 and this year we got Justin and Janet Gone Wild. Incredible.

And don’t try and tell me that CBS didn’t know this was coming. They most certainly did. CBS was running promo’s promising “shocking moments” and the like. Drudge has the full details.

In the interests of full disclosure, I had a picture of the incident in question on this site last night but decided to remove it as I don't want to help MTV and their quest to keep raising the bar on shock value.

And where does CBS get off my refusing to air moveon.org’s commercial about the increasing national deficit? Many have said that the network doesn’t air political commercials by advocay groups, but that’s not true. By my count, there was an anti tobacco commercial by thetruth.com aired, as well as a voter registration commercial featuring stars like Julia Roberts. Last year during the Super Bowl, the network aired White House ads linking drug use to support for international terrorism -- a claim that certainly generated a fair amount of controversy. Did they feel any pressure from the White House?

Maybe they will form a committee and look into it. Last night the news was comparing this to the Warren Commission. Great, that worked out pretty well, right?

If I sound mad, that’s because I am. Our fucking kicker lost the fucking game on a fucking kickoff! A Fucking Kickoff!!!!!!!

At least the Sports Guy didn’t gloat too much
Delhomme caught fire in the no-huddle; no matter what happens from now on, he's permanently removed from the "Shaky QBs" group. The guy wouldn't let the Panthers quit. Seeing him slap pads on the sidelines and improvise broken plays was downright inspiring, and three times more improbable than James Van der Beek leading the way in "Varsity Blues."

In the upcoming days, I will have to take refuge in rivalry week.

I can't believe our fucking kicker lost the fucking game on a fucking kickoff!!

What was up with Janet and Justin?.

So last night Molly, Anna and I finally got to see Mystic River. The secret of going to the movies in Manhattan is going to the theatre in Battery Park City. Nobody but the local residents dare venture down to the hell hole that is lower Manhattan. Too bad I learned this with 10 days left in my Manhattan residency. The film was grim and emotionally taught with lots of highs and lows. I enjoyed it a great deal but didn't think it was worthy of winning the Oscar for Picture Of The Year. I wonder if the grim subject matter will affect the voting? Tim Robins was great and Sean Penn was his usual solid self. However, I would still cast my Best Actor vote (if I had one) for Bill Murray.
singles.gifAfter the movie, we hiked it uptown for some post movie dinner. Suprisingly, it wasn't too cold out so the walk uptown to Soho wasn't as bad as it could have been. We had no discernable plan and wandered around for a while trying to find a place to eat. The cold air outside made an Italian place seem like the best bet and we finally settled on Mezzogiorno on Spring Street as it wasn't very crowded and the decor inside looked very inviting. When we stepped inside, the waiter at the door tried to get us to sit up front near the door, but we asked for a table in the back, away from the draft. He abliged and on our way to the back of the restaurant, who do we see having a pow wow of some sort? None other than Cliff Poncier himself, Mr. Matt Dillon. He seemed to be in a meeting of some sort with another individual so I resisted the urge to go up to him and say All this negativity just makes me stronger!. He was wearing jeans and a blue thermal underwear type shirt with a spiderweb on the left shoulder. When he got up to leave, he put on a big puffy white jacket and a blue and red skull cap. He looked pretty damn good for someone that is gonna celebrate his 40th birthday in a few weeks. Our meal was excellent in case anyone was wondering.
I had been thinking of a way to sum up my NYC experience before I move the hell out of here, so next week I will drop my Top 15 Celebrity Encounters While Living In NYC, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

Weekend Shorts:
- Foxy Jess is everydamnwhere. I gotta switch agents or something.

- The Celtics are as bad as the Blue Devils are good. Looking forward to UNC / Duke next Thursday.

- Top 10 Superbowl commercials ever. Personally, I thought that Levi's ad sucked big time.

- The Sports Guy meets Paris Hilton and says Cindy Crawford is better looking in person.

Lastly, let me apologize for falling off my slang duties here for the last few days. Here are three words for you to make up for it:

fifty one: mixture of marijuana and cocaine, aka cabby

FYBISLM: an acronym, "fuck yo bitch if she let me in"

If I say it's platinum: you have my word

4.5 hours until the big game!