Monday, August 31, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Coffee House

Sometimes I feel like I just don’t fit in. I never have understood why club DJs say they are “playing” a club when, in fact, they spin someone else’s music on a sound system. I have never understood why people in the hip hop community think it’s cool to wear the price tags and brand stickers on their baseball caps. Or why these caps must be worn askew in some fashion. (I always knock off at least 15 points off someone’s potential IQ if I see them wearing a baseball cap with the bill turned sideways. Is this fair? Probably not, but I assume if you look like a slow witted little boy you should be treated as one.)

However, the biggest thing I just don’t understand is the behavior of the coffee server. Why is it that whatever coffee place I go to (Starbucks, Caribou, Arabica, etc), the same basic art damaged geek is standing there with drink in hand? They always look like they just picked their musty clothes off of the floor of their stinky apartment, put on their hemp pullover, and rode over on their ironic retro bike. Perhaps they left their girlfriend lounging in the funky smelling bed, arms behind her head smoking a clove cigarette. The smoke curls casting strange shadows on her ample armpit hair, as the sounds of a used Mercury Rev CD waft out of the stereo. That in and of itself is fine. We all need a scene. Maybe if I had made a wrong turn, that would be me in that stinky hoodie making you a double tall latte. Hey, I walk around in cowboy shirts for God’s sake. But why does it have to be such a production when the double espresso mochachino frappa mist vente is made?

“I GOTTA DOUBLE ESPRESSO MOCHACHINO FRAPPA MIST VENTE HERE!”, the excited employee screams across the tiny coffee shop. Why do they have to yell this out as if everyone wasn’t standing waiting for their order to come up? Clearly, it is one of the 3 people standing 36 inches away in the staging area awaiting their drink, no? Is it really necessary to scream this out proudly and defiantly as if saying “I HAVE JUST FUCKED YOUR SISTER LIKE A VIKING AS A SHOW OF DOMINANCE!”?

It’s all in the packaging of the job. I think the main issue is that the coffee “barrister” thinks they are of a higher order than the people doing basically the same thing at say, Subway. It is this pecking order that brings the artsy employee into the fold, where they look down at disdain at this menial task they have been forced to perform. “Yes my friend, I will give you this coffee, but remember, you would swoon if you saw me in the on campus performance of Equus at semester’s end!”

I hate the employees. I hate the Norah Jones music piped in from the sound system. I hate the ubiquitous sleeve tattoos on the sullen guys working in the back of the house. I hate the cute ethnic mixed CDs like “Sounds of Cuba” and “Salsa Party” that are nothing but cheap reissue packages from the depths of major label vaults. I hate the people sitting by themselves typing into their laptops. What, you don’t have coffee at home? Get your little muffin and get out of here… I hate that it’s a “vente” and not a “large”. Listen Fuck-O, you’re not in Florence, you’re in Strongsville. Make mine a large.

Random Notes: I love the Under 7 wins on the Browns. This team will be lucky to go 1-5 in their division. That means they have to go 6-4 against everyone else. Take the under and collect in time to pay off your Xmas bills…It seems impossible that the Chargers don't win the AFC West. That's a lock...I like Miami on the over 7 wins. The Public has decided the Dolphins are doomed. The Public, as we have seen time and time again, is always wrong. Take the over.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate Rock Music

In the Summertime, I tend to do a lot of reading and a lot of listening to music. I have been very resolute in tracking down some obscure music of late, and really gaining an understanding of what's going on with such relatively meaningless things as Merle Haggard's 60s catalogue, the New Riders of the Purple Sage's live shows in the early 70s, Roger McGuinn's solo work, and completely unknown Mississippi blues artists that were field recorded in the 60s. After you spend time with that sort of thing, you find it's time to make some generalizations about other music... Now that you have your bearings and all... A point of perspective if you will....

Here's a few things I have not said this summer:

* Wouldn't it be great if The Firm got back together and recorded a third record?

* I think The Strokes will be back and better than ever in 2010!

* What's my favorite "make out record"? Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" on disc? What's yours?

* Sometimes I think Nickleback may have sold out, but then I see their Wal Mart commercial and know that they are legit.

* "Oh, that girl is the coolest! She's a Parrothead don't you know!"

* My desert island Rolling Stones record? That's easy! Bridges to Babylon!

* I think the Arctic Monkeys, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, and Vampire Weekend's best years are ahead of them, don't you?

* I love to crank up the car stereo and get the road trip started to Iron and Wine.

* The Supersuckers are wayyyy better now then they were 5 years ago!

* That Don Henley guy seems pretty cool....

* Yes, I do want to go with you to see Dave Mathews! And yes, please bring your sister!

* Man, is that new Bruce Springsteen record good, or what? Let's just bring that with us on the drive to Fresno!

Random Notes: Those two long shot bets on Texas and Colorado to win their divisions look pretty interesting right now, don't they? I don't care if you don't know anything about sports. You should get a bookie, and let me make you money. Both of those are at 10-1+ It's got to be better paying than your crappy job... Last year I went 3-1 on my win totals bets in the NFL. I will release those wagers next week. Let's see if anyone gets hurt this weekend... I would like to once again bring your attention to the Trainwreck Riders from San Fran. I just got their first CD, and really like it. It's like the Meat Puppets meets Neil Young circa "Tonight's the Night"... I have been working my way through Gram Parson's catalogue. He's either great or a total sham. I'm still not sure which, but I am working on it... I highly recommend Southern Tier Brewery's seasonal "Harvest Ale". I drank a few last weekend with their master brewer, and he's a good bloke making damn good beer. Look for it in bottle or on tap if you are in NW New York State... I like USC minus the points in an early lay vs Ohio State. USC wins that game. They have too much... The only thing stopping you from doing what you really want to do is yourself. Don't be a pussy. Gofor it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Tricky Grounder

I was scanning the sports info looking for some kind of edge in tomorrow's action. It was then I saw on the injury list the most horrifying injury I have ever seen on a baseball transactions list. Sure, I've seen guys hit in the eye socket. That probably doesn't feel good. I was sitting in Tropicana Field next to a creepy cracker divorcee woman that was trying to lure me back to her cinderblock hut when James Baldwin got hit with a line drive in the chest. It sounded like a sledgehammer hitting meat. Was it bad? Yes. Was it as bad as the one I read about minutes ago? Not even close.

How about when Joe Theisman has his leg snapped by LT on Monday night football? Hell, I saw that from 5 different angles in slow-mo. That still wasn't as bad as the injury I saw described in the IR today. Are you ready?

Adrian Beltre: 15 day DL Severely contused right testicle

Ye Gods! Can you imagine getting hit in the Boys bad enough that you couldn't go to work for over 2 weeks? Wow... That's not good. There must be ice packs, morphine, and prone positions in bed for him. Wow...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nurse the Hate: We're In This Thing!

"If every four or five years we can have a shot at the World Series like we did in 2007. And compete for a playoff spot like we did in 2005. That's as good as it gets in this market."

-Paul Dolan, Indians President

I've had some backlash from people on my abandoning the Indians. Fuck 'em. Read that statement from Paul Dolan again. Why would you emotionally invest in anything with that low expectation level? I don't need that.

Entering into this season, many "experts" picked the Indians to be a team to compete for the World Series, and at worst, to compete for the AL Central crown. Sounded good to me. I have been a season ticket holder since 1999, the last years of the Dick Jacobs big payroll/big success era. Since the 1997 World Series, there has been mostly unmet expectations, falling apart under pressure, and just plain bad teams. Once again the white flag of surrender proudly flies over Progressive Field, and the team has sent all the core players packing, unable to pay them what the market will pay in upcoming seasons. It's hard to believe really. Six months ago the organization was talking playoffs. Now two of the top three in the pitching rotation are gone. Plus, the set up guy, and four of the starting position players have been dumped for minor league players 2 years or more away from possibly playing at the Big League level..

The truth is just brutal. The only way for the Indians to possibly win a World Series is to sign a core group of young players to long term deals and pray they all become what the organization thinks (or hopes) they will become at exactly the same time. Even when it does actually happen, like these last few years, it still might not matter. For example, the Indians have produced the last 2 Cy Young Award winning pitchers and really have nothing to show for it. Both Lee and Sabathia moved on to big markets, and the Indians were left with a few minor league players that may or may not become legit MLB players. This is the fucked up world of major league baseball.

The question I have as a ticket buyer is why do I have to keep shelling out for this bullshit? The answer is, of course, I don't. And neither does anyone else, as the Indians attendance has slipped to 27th out of 28 teams. I am stuck with 5 more games in my season ticket package at $50 a game to watch minor league players audition for next year's team. Not to worry though, as a customer I am very excited to hear from the head of the Indians organization that once every ten years they might be able to compete. Where do I sign up for my 2010 tickets! Whoo!

Having a smaller market is a huge handicap to compete. There is no doubt that smaller secondary revenue, and less market advertising dollars to compete for are an issue. However, this current ownership can't just lay like a passive dog on the floor with their legs in the air permissively exposing their nut sacks. If you can't sign big money free agents, you would think you would be really good at identifying young talent and drafting them into the organization. That's what the Marlins do. The bad news for Cleveland is that's not what they do. The only pitcher they have drafted in the last 10 years that has done anything is Sabathia (unless you count Jeremy Guthrie who the Indians gave to the Orioles for a snuggie and rechargeable Dirt Devil).

In theory, in the last few weeks the Tribe dealt away the core of a potential Playoff team, and restocked their farm system. The thinking then goes, in four years this team will be really good and compete for a championship when these players ascend from the minors. And it will work too! ...If every guy they traded for works out. ...And if no one gets hurt. ...And if the fans keep coming to the games and spend money at the stadium to fund this little pipe dream. Oh yeah, and if it all comes together, they will have to trade away all the good guys after that one year window because they won't resign them for fair market value.

The Dolan family overpaid for the Indians when they bought the team. Then their core media business fell apart on them, and their cash flow isn't what it needs to be to play in The Big Boy's sandbox of MLB. "Why, they should sell the team! Let's get a new ownership in here like Dick Jacobs that will spend money to win it all!" That would be great, but because the Dolans spent so much money on the team, they can't afford to sell it now at the price it would be expected to fetch. The loss would be too great. This team can't afford to compete now, and they won't be able to compete in the future. That's all there is to it. For the foreseeable future, Indians fans are stuck with the Dolans.

It's a smaller world today than it was even a decade ago. I can turn on my TV and watch any team I want to on my Direct TV package. The transition over to the Giants has been, surprisingly, very easy. I dig these guys, plus I know they have an ownership capable of signing the good players like Lincecum and Sandoval to future deals to keep them in the Bay. With the Indians trading away almost all the players I have watched develop over the last few seasons, rooting for Cleveland is just like rooting for a shirt. I don't know those guys out there. Really, do you think I give a shit how Chris Jimenez or Trever Crowe play? I know more Giants than current Indians, and I'm an Indians season ticket holder for God's sake.

Read that Dolan quote again. Now, get on board with me and the Giants. It's like the promo on Bay Area Fox Sports says..."We're in this Thing!".

Random Notes: I have become increasingly interested in the hippie country rock from the early 1970s. That Flying Burrito Brothers "Guilded Palace of Sin", New Riders of the Purple Sage "8/27/72 live", and later Byrds records are in very heavy rotation for me. I'd look for some new fucked up Daredevil version of country tunes in the near future... In the studio where we have been recording our new record, they have the board used on Zeppelin's "In Through The Out Door". Sometimes, if you listen hard enough, you can hear Robert Plant's voice say "Are we really going to let John Paul Jones put another keyboard on this track?"...I went to a really good microbrew festival in Erie PA a couple weeks ago. I became a big fan of Lancaster Brewing, and also am more convinced than ever that Great Lakes Brewing makes the best beer in the region...You should never trust anyone that doesn't have a Lou Reed record... Check out the Trainwreck Riders. They are a mosh up of Meat Puppets/early 70s Neil Young/Uncle Tupelo/Six String Drag. I stumbled onto their latest release on Alive Records and really am a big fan of it..I have been losing unspeakable amounts of money betting against the Washington Nationals this week. They can't win 8 in a row, can they? Can they?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Three Things

Here's a few quick things that have sucked this week...

1) I saved a bottle of 1997 Viader and opened it this week to discover it was corked. Is there anyway I can go back in time to get my $65 back from wherever I bought this in 1999? Slowly but surely, I am moving away from cork as the only way to close up wines. Sure, it's cool popping the cork. However, when that wine you have held for a decade tastes like a wet newspaper because of a trace chemical compound on the cork, maybe it's time for the screwtop. That wine would have been really good. If Delia Viader reads this, could she shoot me a bottle of the 97?

2) We played an event at the Rock Hall this week for a taping of the Food Network show "Dinner Impossible". (Yes, you read this correctly. No, I'm not sure how it happened either.) The people at the Rock Hall were awesome to us. It was a well run event with a very attentive staff. They have outstanding people working there top to bottom. I cannot say enough good things about the Rock Hall staff. My issue is with these suburban stiffs that attended this particular event. They think that they are "rock n roll" cause Mom stuffed herself into cheetah pattern pants and Dad wore his Tommy Bahama shirt with the guitar on it. The majority of the people attending this event have a very different version of "rock n roll" than I do.

- They think rock n roll includes: Watching limp wristed Eric Clapton play "Tears In Heaven" on acoustic guitar while drinking a Coors Light in a Suite at Quicken Loans Arena. "Gold circle" seats at an Eagles concert. Wearing a shirt that says "Harley Davidson". High fives. Corporate sponsored events that go off according to the posted schedule on the Pepsi website.

- I think rock n roll includes: Watching the guy from the Black Lips abandon his solo to punch a guy in the face, and then return to his solo. Small sweaty clubs that are too loud and too dirty to bring a portly Suburban Mom in cheetah pants. The place where you would never consider drinking beer from a glass and ONLY drink bottles/cans. Hoping the band turns up. The potential for chaos, total disaster and disgrace.

I forget what people become when they stray too far from the flame...

3) Why can't I find anyone to give me a good massage? Please note, I am not referring to a hand job by an Asian teenage sex slave or hillbilly in a cinderblock building off the Turnpike. I mean a legit massage. I try to keep it all together by running, swimming, and generally working out. Sure, you would never know that by looking at me, but imagine how bad it would be if I didn't do anything. So now and then, Grandpa needs to get his back worked on by a pro. Why is it I can't find someone that knows what the hell they are doing? I think my problem is I keep getting cosmetology school dropouts and not enough New Age crystal power zen masseuse types. I'll tell you this, if those Asian girls that are kept chained to the water tanks in those joints off the highway worked on my back right, I'd pay up and live with the guilt.

Quick Note: If I were you, I'd bet your ass on my Giants this weekend against the Reds. The Giants have only lost two series all year at home and the Reds are a disaster right now. Aaron Harang has not won in his last twelve (12) starts. Ye Gods...Bet big on the first game, and hedge on game 2 if you have to...