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Gentlemen, start your wagering. To buck tradition, I'll start with the NL Central. Because I'm cawaayzee like that.
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals. Pujols will kick the opposition in their poo holes.
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers. Strong pitching and weeeeeeeak ass division will take this one. Arizona is starting to turn around, but not this year.
NL East: New York Mets. The offense could be killer and Pedro will return around August just in time for a playoff run.
NL Wild Card: The Chicago Cubs. That's right, I'm picking the Cubs. One of the worst teams in baseball last year will make a miraculous run into the playoffs... and then fail miserably due to injury-prone pitching.
AL Central: Cleveland Indians. If I keep picking them, one of these years they're going to make me look smart.
AL West: Oakland Athletics. They are the kings of the late August/September run and they just won't stop making the playoffs. I won't pick against them until proven otherwise.
AL East: Boston Red Sox. J.D. Drew has made me a believer!
AL Wild Card: New York Yankees. Even when they suck, they're still pretty fucking good.
Wild, shot in the dark completely ridiculous World Series picks: Mets over the Indians.
There. Done. I'm taking Monday off for a nice long Opening Day weekend. It's the greatest day of the year! Have fun! Wear a condom!
Some amongst you are sick of baseball talk. I like to call those people "jerks." It's Opening Day on Monday and I'm excited. So F you all.
Before I make my preseason predictions, let's take a look back at how I did last year with my 2006 Opening Day predictions
AL East: New York Yankees (CORRECT!)
AL Central: Cleveland Indians (WRONG! Correct answer: Minnesota Twins)
AL West: Oakland Athletics (CORRECT!)
AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox (WRONG! Correct answer: Detroit Tigers)
NL East: Atlanta Braves (WRONG! Correct answer: New York Mets)
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals (CORRECT!)
NL West: San Diego Padres (CORRECT!)
NL Wild Card: New York Mets (WRONG! Correct answer: Los Angeles Dodgers)
World Series pick: Oakland over New York Mets (WRONG! Correct answer: St. Louis over Detroit)
If I give myself credit for picking the Mets to get in the playoffs, I did pretty well. My two World Series picks were in the divisional championship series. And really - who could have called the fucking Tigers?
My point? The much-anticipated 2007 pre-season playoff picks are coming tomorrow. Contact your bookies and wager accordingly. That is all. (Hint: I'm not picking the Yankees to win the AL East).
Since we're talking about baseball, I just wanted to point something out for those of you who didn't know:
The Yankees suck.
To be clear, I don't mean that in a boring "Sully, Murph and the other Sully getting drunk and chanting 'Yankees suck!' at the Cask 'N Flagon in the middle of February before they try to date rape the leather-skinned waitress with the gross Tara Reid smoker voice" kind of way. I'm so over that. My irrational hatred of the Yankees magically disappeared on a glorious October evening back in 2004 while watching them lose four games in a row.
No, from a completely (ok, somewhat) objective point of view, this year the Yankees actually really do
You know who the Yankees Opening Day starter is? Carl "I Had Exactly One Good Season That Just Happened To Be In My Free Agency Year" Pavano. While it isn't fair or accurate to judge the entire pitching rotation on who happens to be Opening Day starter, this is the first year in a while the Yankees have begun the season without a bona fide ace on their staff. On a team that has always boasted strong rotations, we've got the geriatric combination of Andy Pettite and Mike Mussina along with Chien-Ming Wang and their copycat version of a Japanese import Kei Igawa. Not shabby, but certainly not intimidating.
On offense, they don't look all that improved. The major 1-2 run production combo is Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi - again, not the shabbiest duo in the world, but both are streaky and unsteady. Robinson Cano is an impressive young player, but the lineup just doesn't have that "We'll kill you from 1 to 9" feeling that Yankee teams in the past have had.
As they usually do, I'm sure the Yankees will spend whatever it takes to get the most premier arms and bats on the market to fill out their roster of all-stars. But for now, as of this moment (and you know how it pains me to say this) - boy oh BOY do the Yankees suck.
And Jeter licks A-Rod. Or something gay like that.
With Opening Day only six (six!) days away, the Red Sox are looking pretty strong. But there are a few lingering questions left to be answered in these last few days of training camp:Curt Schilling: Pregnant?
While medical science has yet to discover a case of the elusive "middle-aged male pregnancy" (midliphus knockedupicus), it appears from photographs that our #1 starter may in fact be sporting a bump that would make Angelina Jolie blush. How will this affect the Red Sox playoff run as he reaches his third trimester in October?
Dice-K: still pissed about Nagasaki?
Sure - laugh it up, Hirohito. The rest of the city may be embracing your good nature and traditional work ethic, but I'm a stone cold racist, my friend. I remember a little thing called Pearl Harbor and also this really bad batch of sushi I had like a year and a half ago. I'm keeping my eye on you.
Tom Brady: does he just keep getting dreamier?
I know technically Tom Brady isn't on the Red Sox, but still... I know he's bad for me, but no matter how many supermodels the guy knocks up, I just can't stay away.
This morning, I'm going to address two seemingly unrelated questions that are quite frequently asked of me: "Brendo, can you tell us a little something about bald eagles?" and "Brendo, why do you insist on repeatedly whipping out your junk during Scamper rehearsals?"
First, let me tell you a little something about bald eagles. Bald eagles build their nests in a really interesting way. The mother eagle puts down three layers: a soft layer of feathers and gook, a middle layer of jagged thorns and the top layer of comfortable downy goodness. When the baby eaglet is first born, it is too small to feel the thorns. But as it grows, it gets heavier and heavier until sitting in the nest becomes uncomfortable. You know what it does then?
It spreads its wing and flies.
This idea brings us to the aforementioned second question regarding my mysterious penchant for self-exposure during band rehearsal. Well, sometimes things get a little too comfortable down in the proverbial nest of my Somerville basement. Sometimes you need to jab your little eaglets with a proverbial thorn.
Why bring this up now? In short, our boy Nate
is spreading his wings and flying solo tonight at the Abbey Lounge
pub stage. It's 7pm and its free. The show also features two of my favorite human beings on the earth: Dave Mirabella
and Jon Gorey
, as well as Dan Cray
who I don't actually know, but I hear is nice.
So as you watch Nate soar like an eagle on that pub stage, just remember: you have my thorn-covered penis to thank. And my thorny balls.
In the long ugliness that is this lousy Smarch weather, it almost feels that even venturing outside to make the short trip from the house to the car is some sort of Puritan self-immolation ritual. The whipping sub-arctic winds cut through the useless layers of wool and denim like so much wet paper mache, making a harsh beeline for our collective cold-sensitive scrotal tissue. And maybe it's encoding in my maternal side New England-bred DNA, but after a while, I start to kind of like the meteorological punishment. It sort of gets me off, in a sick, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" kind of way.
But then a day like today happens and you remember that the universe is not some sort of personal medeival torture chamber. Sometimes, the sun comes out and there are nice days and the hibernating bears of winter start to stir from their slumbers. And they report to spring training.
That's right - Opening Day is a week from Monday.
The latest news out of Red Sox camp is that Jonathan "Big Papi" Papelbon has been converted from starter back to the closer role in which he was so dominant last season. Personally, I think Papelbon would be much more valuable to the squad as a starter. The idea of a "closer" is at best an overrated role, at worst a completely fictional marketing creation based more on perception than anything to do with reality. But Big Papi loves the role and asked the team to return him to the bullpen. And I feel it's my duty to point out that this is the team's own damn fault.
Look at what they did to the poor guy. They hooked the kid on coming in to the game in tense situations with the crowd going apeshit and Drowning Pool screaming "Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor..." over the loudspeaker. Essentially, they created an adrenaline addict. Seriously - who would want to give that feeling up? They created a monster and now they've got to live with him.
More baseball talk in the upcoming weeks and months. I'm happy to hear your opinions, although they are most likely wrong. Have a good weekend all. And most importantly, a big happy birthday tomorrow to my girl Arielle.
The following is a transcript of a conversation between Arielle (my esteemed lady) and myself, recorded in secret by Valerie Plame (who by the way has unexpectedly rocketed to the front of the class as my new "celebrity" crush. I mean, come on - she's a real life spy! How smokin' hot is that? Move over, Megan Mullally.):Arielle:
So do you know what you're going to write your journal about tomorrow?Me:
No, not really.Arielle:
Well... the first season of Bosom Buddies
came out on DVD.Me:
Maybe you could write about that.Me:
Generally when I write about something, it helps when I have some sort of opinion about it.Arielle:
Your opinion could be "The first season of Bosom Buddies
coming out on DVD is awesome."Me:
That sounds a lot more like your opinion than mine.Arielle:
You could also write about how Holland Taylor who played Kip and Henry's boss at the ad agency in the first season and their "not so silent partner" in the second season was later on the show The Naked Truth
with Tea Leoni on which Tom Hanks guest starred in the second episode.Me:
Shouldn't I save great material like that for my novel?Arielle:
OR you could write about how for the DVD they didn't spring for the Billy Joel song, so there's some weird imitation theme song for the show now. Can you imagine how jarring that must be?Me:
I'm sorry, I just don't see how I could write something interesting about the DVD release of Bosom Buddies
Sure you can. I believe in you.
See? I was right. The lesson to us all: never believe in me again.
Folks, an unusual happening is... uh... happening this Monday at the Abbey Lounge pub stage at 7pm. Our boy Nate is all grown up. He has a solo show.
When I first found out Nate was planning to do a show without the backing of his loyal pals in Scamper, I naturally went through several stages:Denial:
This is all a cruel joke. Nate would never play without us. It must all be part of an elaborate plan to get me to show up at the Abbey Lounge on Monday for a surprise "You're Awesome and We Love You and Here's Some Cake and Please Enjoy This Prostitute" party. Gosh, Nate loves me. What a swell guy. Hooray for Nate!Anger:
That motherfucker better
not be playing a show without me. I swear, if I see him go anywhere near
that stage on Monday night, I will beat his ass with diaper full of curry fries. That boy's in for a world of stink. Bargaining:
Okay, Nate - if you don't play the solo show, I'm ready to make this offer: I won't
beat your ass with a diaper full of curry fries. No? Need me to sweeten the pot a little bit? How about this - I also
won't beat you with a diaper full of mango salsa-covered marbles. Deal or no deal?Depression:
Nate doesn't need us anymore. I'm so bummed. Ah well - at least I can look forward to another season of LaToya Jackson in Armed and Famous
. What? Cancelled? Nooooooooooooooooooo!Acceptance:
Nate's really going to do a show without us. And that's okay. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm a svelte woman trapped in a doughy man's body. My name is now Gigi O'Hallorahan. God, it feels so good to finally be me!
Man, that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross really knew what she was talking about, huh? Gigi will see you all at Nate's solo show on Monday night (with Dave Mirabella, Dan Cray and the delicious Jon Gorey).
In case you didn't notice, we've done a little housecleaning around these parts. That albatross of a message board is now cast from around our weary weather-beaten necks, thank heaven and Buddha and Jebus. I was getting so worn down by deleting all that spam that I was actually starting to consider using my Viagra stock to refinance my house and filling it with hot horny teenage ducks.
"But Brendo," you may be saying to yourself, "I have opinions coming out the proverbial poop shoot! Where am I supposed to express said opinions?"
Well, now you have three options: you can a) shut your pie hole, b) continue to bless me with your presence or c) visit Nate over on the newly blog-ified Scene
. So, in the immortal words of Nelson Mandela, "Quit your bitchin', hoss."
Hope everyone had a fun, fruitful St. Patrick's Day weekend. The Stomach Bug That Just Won't Go Away sidelined me for the majority of the weekend. Anyone have any wacky drunken stories to share with the group?
Sorry for the unexpected absence. Apparently, even my legendary immune system (about which many songs have been sung by the children of the villages of Borneo) occasionally takes a day off. Beware the Ides of March, Romans! If it's not 23 stab wounds, it's nausea accompanied by fatigue and deep muscle aching.
I was going to regale you with tales from the studio, but it's all just a hazy memory at this stage. I'm pretty sure I took my shirt off during my harmony session for some unknown reason. The time change must have thrown me off, causing me to think I was still in my bed experiencing a beautiful shirtless man-dream. I'm still not 100% sure if this happened.
Ok, my little leprechauns - have a Happy St. Patrick's Day or as the Irish like to call it: "Amateur Hour." A little clue for you from a guy who knows: if you find yourself on Saturday night standing in line for a half hour to suddenly pay a $10 cover just to get into the local "Irish" pub that's free the other 364 days of the year, you're just an asshole. A stupid, stupid asshole. Pog mo thoin!
The much-anticipated highlights from the kawayzee weekend of playing a show, recording and not sleeping very much at all:
- When Keith was en route to the venue on Saturday night, we had a lengthy discussion about whether he would like us to greet him with a hug or a more traditional handshake. He opted for the disco-style hip bump. I've got to admit - it struck a nice balance between bandmate intimacy and manly aggression that we've been looking for in a greeting. Hip bumps are all the rage in '07!
- The show sold out about an hour before we went on... leading to the inevitable round of cell phone calls and text messages begging us to pull some strings. For the record, friends - at that stage, there's not generally a lot we can do to help. Venues care a whole lot more about currying the fire marshall's favor than pleasing the opening band.
I usually deal with this inevitable situation by turning my phone off and shoving it somewhere cold and dark, preferably where the sun don't shine. On the other hand, Mike (being a much nicer guy than me) frantically returns phone calls and texts, begs the doorman to help him out and generally freaks the F out. The number of my friends that I get in with my "turning off the phone" technique: zero. The number of people Mike gets in with his stressy doodly dandy behavior: zero. As in all things, I win.
Apparently, this isn't a problem for Keith and Nate, probably because they have no friends.
- The show itself was kind of weird. The sound on stage was great, but clearly the audience had very little interest in us. We were interrupting their conversations as they waited for the Mudhens
reunion to start. It was the 2nd largest group of people I've ever been ignored by (the first being my parents.)
After working our little behinds off by dancing like monkeys, throwing in a few covers by Crowded House, Fleetwood Mac and Journey, and generally acting the muthafucking fools for an hour, people started to warm up. By the end of the set, I feel like we had won the place over. It's really a great feeling when that happens.
- After meeting and greeting with a few new fans and friends, Keith and I made a hasty exit before the Mudhens hit the stage, leaving Nate and Mike to sit around the club and wait to get paid... until 3:30am. Ah, the premature daylight savings time. That's ok - at least Nate didn't have to wake up early the next morning and record vocals at the studio.
And on a final note, when I was typing "where the sun don't shine" earlier in this journal, I accidentally made a typo and wrote "where the sun don't shite." I thought it was pretty funny and debated keeping it. This paragraph was my compromise.
Tomorrow... stories of the evil daylight savings morning studio recording session. Ooooooo!
Our deepest and most sincere apologies to all of those folks who were shut out of the Harper's Ferry show on Saturday night. Thanks to scores of rabid drunken Mudhens fans, the venue sold out a lot quicker than we thought it would. Sadly, quite a few of you arrived at the door only to be turned away. We're very sorry about that.
As a token of our regret, please enjoy these two complimentary passes to the Harper's show a week from Sunday: Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block fame. Here's the write-up on the Harper's website
:Please put any prejudice aside before entering: Danny Wood is a Kid no longer. For one thing, he's matured; for another, his new solo album,
Second Face, is a soulful mix of R&B, pop, and alternative-tinged tunes that any serious musician would be glad to claim as their own. But getting a proper hearing hasn't been easy when your past pedigree includes having been part of that 80s phenomenon, New Kids On The Block; it's been more of a Stumbling Block. Despite NKOTB's achievements (record-breaking live show attendance and sales; superstardom on a global scale), the 'manufactured boy band' image continues to linger around the former members, which is a source of frustration for the talented Wood. "I will never complain about the ride and what I learned from it, but musically it definitely wasn't what I wanted to be doing," he says of that time.
And from the man himself's website
:It will be Danny Wood Alone and Acoustic. The show will be set up storytellers style with Q&A. If you want to hear any of Danny's solo record goto itunes and type in Danny Wood.
Just show up at the venue on Sunday and tell them Scamper sent you. All we ask in response is that you do one of two things:
a) during the Q&A session, ask Danny what is was like to be the only good-looking one amongst all those other ugly, monkey-faced motherfuckers in NKOTB.
b) request "This One's For The Children." Repeatedly. Even if he plays it, ask him to play it again. And again.
I've got a little business to take care of tomorrow (read: Mafia-type shit), but I'll be back later in the week to recap some backstage hijinx from the Saturday night show as well as an early Sunday morning recording session, a combination that led to a hilariously cranky Nate. More to come...
In the words of Sir Elton John: "Saturday, Saturday, Saturday! Saturday, Saturday, Saturday! Saturday, Saturday, Saturday night's all right! Woo hoo! I love cock!"
Sir John's passion for his rooster collection aside, this Saturday night really will
be all right at Harper's Ferry
with the reuniting Mudhens
. We go on at 9:30. It's been a good many years since the Mudhens have graced the local stage, so there is a chance that this one sells out as the evening goes on. But the Scamper Educated Guess (SEG) department made a ruling late last night that if you arrive by 9 or so, you'll probably be right as rain.
Some other rulings that came out of last night's emergency session of the illustrious SEG dept.:
- With the early start time, Nate and Mike may just enjoy a beer or two after the show.
- Despite being almost 400 miles away and having only one working appendage, Joe
(don't bother clicking, he doesn't update anymore) will somehow obtain the high score of the evening on the Harper's Ferry "Big Buck Hunter" machine.
- Ann Coulter will call us all "faggots" to the riotous applause of the capacity crowd.
- As is his oh-so-charming tradition, Keith will forget to bring his neck tie to the show. He will be forced to borrow one... from Martin Luther King's grave!
- Enraged that Scamper is not covering a Kenny Loggins song, Hogg will wring his hands and laugh maniacally for 52 straight minutes and then read the first few chapters of Wuthering Heights
to his cats. He's kind of a weird dude.
- The domestication of the dog will go on, unabated.
See you all tomorrow night. All of you!
For those of you not familiar with the Mudhens (who are reuniting Saturday night at Harper's Ferry
right after our little ol' Scamper set), you can check out their shizznit hnyaw
. Should be a really fun show. There are only two bands on the bill, so our set should be looooooooong. Like really long. I might grow a beard during it.
And now, some observational "humor":
I saw one of those "Where You At?" commercials for Boost Mobile cell phones advertising a new feature in which people can keep track of each other's locations via global satellite. Apparently, you look down at your phone and see a little red dot representing your buddy walking down the street. So you know where your friends are. All the time. Creep city.
The commercial has two urban (read: "black") males keeping very close tabs on each other with this space-age spy technology. What I want to know is - how does this sort of arrangement come to pass?Urban Youth #1:
I think we should buy these new Boost Mobile phones together.Urban Youth #2:
You think we should buy phones... together?Urban Youth #1:
Yeah, that way we'll always know where each other at. You know... 'Where You At?'Urban Youth #2:
You want to know where I am all the time?Urban Youth #1:
No, not where you are
. I want to know 'where you at
?' You know, like those commercials. They're geared toward urban youth like us.Urban Youth #2:
Why in the hell do you need to know where I am all the time? What am I, your heart surgeon?Urban Youth #1:
No, I just thought it would be cool if we...Urban Youth #2:
It's not cool. It's just weird! What the hell is wrong with you, man?Urban Youth #1:
I'm sorry... sometimes I just get so lonely... ever since my dad left and my mom started shacking up with the ice cream man...[breaks down in sobs]Urban Youth #2:
Man. I had no idea how much you were hurting inside.Urban Youth #1:
I can't get the smell of toasted almond bars out of my hair...Urban Youth #2:
Come here, man.[They hug]Voiceover:
Boost Mobile: We can get the smell of toasted almond bars out of your hair.
Line up, advertising agencies. I'm ready to go to work.
Folks, it looks like early pre-sales on the Scamper show/Mudhens reunion show at Harper's Ferry
this Saturday are pretty strong. But don't worry - you can buy tickets directly from the website to ensure that you don't get shut out. We're doing a longer-than-usual set this time around, so don't miss hearing our first-ever free-form jazz odyssey.
In case you didn't know, Harper's Ferry is sort of a big site in Scamper history. In September 3, 2004 those clever chaps in Scamper held a "rotating bassist" show at the end which a new bassist was announced: li'l ol' me. On that stage, the current lineup of Scamper was formed. Like Charles Manson's yearly pilgrimage to Sharon Tate's house (what - too soon?), this is our first trip back to that historical venue. We are very much looking forward to reliving the magic.
Also on that fateful night, I had my car keyed up in the Harper's Ferry parking lot for stealing someone's precious space and stood at the bar with a ringside seat while some asshole in a Red Sox cap tried unsuccessfully to punch out some asshole in a Yankees cap. Remember those pre-world championship days? Memories... light the corner of my mind...
So come on by and see a new chapter in Scamper history (perhaps the pants-less chapter?) written at Harper's Ferry in Allston on Saturday night. 9pm start.
By popular demand, we turn once again to our friend Hogg:
Good Day Scamper Nation,
I hope you've begun hoarding those presidential dollar coins... they'll be necessary when the rapture comes.
Brendo mentioned that he was looking for something to pop into the journal today and wondered if I had anything sticking in my craw I'd like to share. My response of course was a resounding: You better believe it!
So without further ado let me get straight to the point:
I was sitting at home the other morning, enjoying a big hearty bowl of cinnamon apple oatmeal and listening to the radio, as I've been known to do, when I heard something that made me projectile vomit oatmeal all over my pregnant wife and cats. What I'm about to tell you might just change the way you think about music, the world, and your own sexuality.
Before I share what I learned let me pose a question: what do the movies Caddyshack
, Top Gun
, Running Scared
, and Footloose
have in common? If you answered that they all directly or indirectly contributed to the early death of Gregory Hines, you'd only be partially
The other thing they all have in common can be summed up in one word: LOGGINS! That's right folks, Kenny "I'm alright, Nobody worry 'bout me" Loggins has a new album coming out!
My first reaction was to yell "Holy Crapanoli this is the best news I've heard today!"* The next thing I did was jump up and down and look for a venue to spread the Loggins gospel - bringing me to your computer screen.
My excitement stems partly just from how enjoyable Kenny Loggins' music is. It's music that's both timely and timeless. I know that's a paradox but if anyone can pull it off, it's the Loggins.
I'm also excited because, as any good Scamper fan knows (and if you didn't know this, pack your bags and go home. NOW!), Kenny Loggins is one of Scamper's BIGGEST influences (only the music from the movies, though - none of that Loggins and Messina crap or the artsy fartsy shit he did with Ravi Shankar). And if I know Scamper, they'll celebrate the release of Logman's new album by "Riding into the Danger Zone" and covering one of his biggest hits at an upcoming show.
"Which hit?", you ask "...there are so many that would be perfect for Scamper to play." Well, I can't tell you that yet, but if you have one in mind that you think is the best, please voice your opinion here to help Scamper decide which of the many many hits they'll play as an homage to the Logmeister General.*technically my first reaction was the vomiting, as outlined above.
Happy birthday yesterday to our own Keith Daddy. This one's a big ol' birthday, too. One with a giant gaping maw of an "oh" at the end of it. That's right - our friend Keith is 110 years old. But his scrotum doesn't look a day over 90.
Last night we had a little surprise get together dinner for him. There were babies and toddlers, pitchers of sangria, nature vs. nurture debates - you know, your typical rock and roll birthday party. After dinner, we all got into an RV and circled the city while watching the Robin Williams movie RV.
You know how the birthday boy loves that sweet, delicious irony.
If you want to wish him a belated happy birthday yourself, stop on by Harper's Ferry in Allston on Saturday night for yet another Scamper show. Wait, didn't we just have a Scamper show? It's almost like I'm in a real band or something.
Just to one-up us, the Mudhens will be reuniting. 9pm start.