Tuesday, May 30, 2006

And big kudos to the fans down at the HSBC who were there to rumble.


Ay Dios mio! Fitzpatrick the Fool had no stick for the last minute of regulation as time seemed to slow down during the chaos that ruled the last gasp of regular time.

Now it's overtime. Katie Burd called from the HSBC and she said it: THIS IS IT.

Let's Go Buffalo. Let's Go Buffalo!
No! Focus! It's not over.
Hold your breath. Clutch your chicken bones or Sacred Relics tightly. Purify your thoughts and intentions. Focus your chi. Ponder your karma. Love unconditionally. Keep the faith.
Right now we're just warding off the evil spirits. 9:10 second period.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Glorious Suspension of Disbelief

Chuck at the comics store read the blog and came through big time Thursday when I ran in the store after work and out of the store on my way to the wedding rehearsal: 2 DVDs of vintage Doctor Who and they are a hoot. I can see why I could never have tolerated them as a child being a child of and ruined by Star Wars, but now I can appreciate this sort of stuff. The apparently classic 1972 Carnvial of Monsters featuring Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning (LOVE THOSE BOOTS!) is absolutely cheesy and they knew it but they didn't care: they cooked it up with a wink and a straight face and everybody disbelieved and therefore believed it into art for an English audience at home glad to suspend their disbelief with a nod and wink themselves. The half hour episodes digest well and I can't wait to finish them off. I actually regret not giving them some time when they used to show them on Channel 17. And why are they not on all the time now? On BBC America or SciFi? A bloody disgrace.

The Tom Baker disc I haven't finished yet but that doesn't appear to be THAT cheesy at all and appears to be a Sherlock Holmes riff of the highest order, and as a Holmes reader in my youth I can't wait to finish The Talons of Weng-Chiang.


I am an Anglophile. I like Radiohead. The BBC. 2000 AD. Monty Python. Pink Floyd. The Beatles. Zeppelin. The Stones. JRR Tolkien. The Office. Bass. Harry Potter. Fish and chips. Judge Dredd. English soccer. Sky Sports. Luther Arkwright. Black Sabbath. The Police. The Beach Boys were huge in England for years after America deserted them and Brian Wilson is venerated over there the way I venerate him myself. James Bond. The new Doctor Who. The old Doctor Who as portrayed by Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it but I caught the season finale of Lost yesterday morning with my coffee and internet, not because it was forgettable, but because it blew my mind in so many ways that it's just not funny, a culmination of not one but two seasons of TV and a classic tossing up of the pieces to see which and where they will fall next season. Satisfying.

When ABC splices together another Peter Coyote narrated clip show before next season I strenuougly recommend you give it a shot for shits and giggles.
I am golfed out. I am partied out. I have sweat more sweat in the last three days than you could possibly imagine. They had no food anywhere at Tan Tara today so I had to golf on an empty stomach and I'm pretty sure I was almost hallucinating out there in the sun. I can still smile at the memory of being introduced at the reception Saturday (God did I sweat) to the glorious strains of the Sabres Dance. It's been a weird week, but everybody is where they are supposed to be and all is well.

Happy Memorial Day! And to all our servicemen and women, thanks*.

* Except for the ones who don't deserve it. Read the papers.

Another Fine Shindig

Congratulations and thanks to the Higgins family of Kettering Ohio, yes my relatives from Ohio, for the swell shindig yesterday at the Higgins/Parks casa up in Canada. The food was excellent and everything was great. It was a good wind-down from the big wedding and another fine excuse for the Parks/McElroy/Higgins/Fry clan to party down.

The Schnide

We're on it folks. But think about people... this is the FIRST TIME we've been in this situation throughout 3 rounds of playoffs. It was a heartbreak, but they played well and that's the way it goes sometimes.

But we've gotta persevere and go for it. The fans at the arena tomorrow night will have a Herculean challenge before them, but they too will have to do what they will have to do. Go Sabres. Go Sabres fans.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Happy Day

Brother Kevin and Mary's wedding was very nice: the ceremony was lovely and the reception a righteous shindig with probably the best wedding DJ I've ever seen (I don't think any of the music was MY music but I didn't mind), the food was excellent, and the bars multiple. The food was great, the booze plentiful, and instead of clinking glasses for newlywed smooching we made everybody chant "Let's Go Sabres" or "Let's Go Buffalo" and clap the clap we all know. One table of cousins even got up and did the Sabres dance. All very nice. Hopefully that mojo does something.

The reception also featured the best Chicken Dance and Hooky Pooky's I've been gotten down to in a long time. Congratulations Kevin and Mary, and on behalf of Brother Tim and myself I apologize for fucking up the runner. What a cock up that was.

Now if only my GODDAMNED neighbor wasn't running all of his yard tools at 9 AM today...

Friday, May 26, 2006

You've got to love the ballsy talk coming out of the battered but unbowed Sabres lockerroom.

Go Sabres.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And what does this say about American Idol's audience? To heck with the 15 year old girls- apparently this show also caters overwhelmingly to middle class white women burning up their phone lines to vote for roly poly gray haired 30 year old men.

Sweet victory. Buffalo 2 up to Carolina's 1, and it is good. Alternately a humdinger and nail-biter it was a great game, the crowd was in excellent form (we shook off Carolina scoring first, and so did the Sabres), and all is well. Let's go Buffalo!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The season finale of 24 was awesome, sweet, shocking. An awesome show, with the best cliffhanger I've seen in a long time. Keiffer deserves another Emmy and Jean Smart deserves one too.
"The next game's at home and that's a whole new gear for the Sabres to play in."
- Bob DiCesare (I think) on 550 AM this morning.

"I love singing and frequently, and cheerfully, on my own, too frequently and too cheerfully for those who live with me. But from age fifteen on I had lost the ability to lose myself in the spell of a group song. For me every meeting was revivalist, and hence impossible.
What pleasure then, at the Bentigodi, to rediscover the crowd and it's choral pandemonium. I could, even, after a while raise my hands at the appropriate moments. Like church, the curva (curve of stadium) embraces all comers. In particular, I love the ragged end to almost all the songs and chants; you launch with great gusto unto something inanely repetitive- nella pioggia e sottio il sole, nello stadio ci sarooooo ('in rain or sine, I'll be there' - the tune is 'La Marseillaise'). You sing it once, you sing it twice, then all of a sudden it breaks off, there is predetermined end, you can never know when it is going to stop, so that someone will be left with his arms in the air when all the others have sunk away. That person looks round, amazed, faintly embarrased. I remember one time in particular a man in his forties on the station platform when we arrived in Vicenza. Bundling out of the train, the fans were yelling Vicenza Vicenza vaffanculo! and so taken with the excitment of yelling fuck off into the faces of people he didn't know, that he went on a good thirty seconds after all the others stopped. His voice at last trailed away. His face was the picture of embarrasment. Then he burst out laughing. In the football crowd one moves constantly in and out of the spell, in and out of the group, in and out of the law. Singing together you are all-powerful, singing alone you are a fool. People are aware of this. And however stupid they may be, at least the songs are not addressed to God. They are not that stupid. Then, once in the stadium, they have a definite purpose: to incite the team, to raise these mercenaries' adrenaline levels. Dark eyed, sharp-nosed, chinless and turkey necked, Captain Leo Colucci says: "For us the fans are like the motor in a car, without them we wouldn't get any mileage. It's they who give us the drive when things get tough, and if it wasn't for them I don't know how we would manage."

- Tim Parks (no relation), from A Season With Verona: Travels Around Italy In Search Of Illusion, National Character and... Goals!

Our work is cut out for us tomorrow night people: in bars, in your car, in your homes and at the game itself- we gotta make some noise. This is what we do.

The Breaks

That's the way it goes. Carolina was tighter and kept Buffalo from getting their game going, and hey that's what happens after all in the EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS. Jon Davidson is right: this series is going the distance, and so will us fans if we're worth anything. The only thing I will say is that Buffalo needs to win the games when the other guy scores first because too much karma and mojo has been attached to the "when Buffalo scores first..." mantra and we need to get beyond that.

Go Sabres.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dreams Continue, Dreams Die, and Dreams Begin Again

Of course the real dream continues... you know what I am talking about people. Unfortunately my PS2 FIFA World Cup* dreams ended in bitter penalty kick defeat at the hands of the Netherlands (yes, the Netherlands) in my first and only knockout stage game. After seemingly endless qualifying matches and a dodgy group stage (draw + win + loss = group stage advancement miracle) it ended because the computer outwitted me. Call me crazy but you kinda get invested in these things, especially because I was doing it with and for THE STARS AND BARS, and to have it end like that, without even getting to the quarter finals is a damn shame, and shameworthy.

Now let's see what the Republic of Ireland can do...

* One of the best videogames ever. Seriously.

Bulletproof Eyeball

Behold the Bulletproof Eyeball!

Is this the movie of our dreams? If the original made us "believe a man can fly," will this one make us believe that a man can really be that super?

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Tense. I spoke too soon. I did the counterjinx and held my breathe for 2 minutes and lo all is well. 3-2 Sabres. And now we can breathe. Lindy Ruff is a goddamned genius. His adjustment, whatever the hell he did during the 1st intermission was pivotal, and his team pulled together and pulled it off. This is what we signed on for, this is why it's our game and they are our team.

Monday night. 7:30 PM. Game 2.
Do you feel it? That sense of possibility?

It's about to become a shared sense of possibility. That is all we ever wanted.
McKee!!! Whooooa! The patience of Buddha and the sharpshooting of Robocop.
The NBC coverage of the game is solid, almost as good as a CBC feed.
Slice and dice! Admire the adjustments. Respect the adjustments.


A big goal. "It happened so fast." Ken Hitchcock, if he's even watching shivered and hugged himself. And those proud Sabres fans made some serious noise.

Even Better Than The Real Thing

From the Real Deal radio show blog:

09:31:09 am, Categories: Radio Show Updates, Corporate "Responsibility", 126 words

Even Better Than The Real Thing

A huge thanks to Michael Blanding from The Nation and Barry Crimmins for joining us this morning. heartily The Real Deal recommends:

http://www.michaelblanding.com/ for more from Mike.


http://barrycrimmins.com/ for more Barry Crimmins stuff and his excellent, excellent Blues in the Key of W online album.

The Real Deal also wants to thank Ed from Buffalo for alerting us to the http://www.cokekills.net.org.com/ hoodwink that alas does direct you to a Pro Coke site so foul that it actually comes off as being anti Coke reflexively.

Gail also had a great story about the Sabres that we didn't have time to get to but trust me folks- it is a fine piece. Thanks Gail!

Hell, thanks everybody. Go Sabres!

09:33:52 am, Categories: Radio Show Updates, Arts and Crafts, 70 words

Odds and Sods

And for those who care, the music from today's show featured:

"After the Garden" Neil Young, off of his new album Living With War.

"Coke" Flickerstick, off of Welcoming Home The Astronauts.

"Even Better Than The Real Thing" U2, off of Achtung Baby.

"We're Gonna Win That Cup" sung by Maria Sabastian.

And yes yes, the new Neil Young album is amazing:raw, honest, spiritual, and wise. The record of 2006 because frankly it's a time capsule of 2006, of an age that hopefully /ideally we'll look back on in a few years and scratch our heads over.

Late Night Pre Show Ramblings

The new Doctor Who is the best. It made me want to go to Cardiff. In Wales. I know, unbelievable (although not really- I was a young Fleetwood Mac fan by osmosis and thus a lifelong fan of the Welsh Witch herself...). I think I'll have to get that boxed set in July and maybe see if Chuck has any old Doctor Who's on VHS he can lend me (in fact, Chuck takes partial credit for getting Doctor Who on Channel 17) to bone up on the original article.

I am an Anglophile. I like Radiohead. The BBC. 2000 AD. Monty Python. Pink Floyd. The Beatles. Zeppelin. The Stones. JRR Tolkien. The Office. Bass. Harry Potter. Fish and chips. Judge Dredd. English soccer. Sky Sports. Luther Arkwright. Black Sabbath. The Police. The Beach Boys were huge in England for years after America deserted them and Brian Wilson is venerated over there the way I venerate him myself. James Bond. The new Doctor Who.

U2, The Flaming Lips, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Wilco, and R.E.M. are huge in England.

I also like sinking ships. I read A Night to Remember in grade school. I think the original Poseiden Adventure is magnificent. The book in my uncle's Time Life collection about ships that was my favorite was the one about the sunken ones. I couldn't wait to find out what was in the Andrea Doria's safe. I liked Titanic. I had to see Poseiden on the IMAX. Actually I don't know what that's about.

The Parallel Universe (aha! a DC Comics trope!) Al Gore bit on last week's SNL (I figured I'd fast forward to the Paul Simon stuff) was great, the Seinfeld curse bit even better (almost joyful? serendipitous?), and the new Paul Simon stuff sounds amazing- I had a Brian Eno moment (OVERCOME BY SOUND!) as I watched it, and the lyrics resonate (why is it usually the old guys who can produce such resonant art?).

I'll have to add it to my list. The rest of SNL I fast forwarded through except for peyote gag and the end credits when everybody hugs (the Al Gore Paul Simon embrace was nice, real, two soldiers). Al Gore is and always will be the shit. Just when you think the man is kaput you see the glimmers of a second coming and you start to wonder "hey- the current asshole has certainly fucked everything up- ya never know"....

The Real Deal's in 8.66 hours and Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in in 13.66.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Something for the Sports Nuts

From Stefan Mellarme via A Season with Verona by Tim Parks (no relation):

"Yes, I know we are nothing but vain forms of matter- yet sublime too when you think that we invented God and our own souls. So sublime my friend! that I want to give myself this spectacle of a matter aware, yes, of what it is, but not throwing myself into the Dream that it knows it is not, singing the Soul and all those divine impressions that gather in us from earliest childhood, and proclaiming, before the Nothingness that is truth, those glorious falsehoods!"

Go Sabres.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And yes... Superman Returns looks cool, based at least on the trailers and commercials. And yes... I will go set in IMAX 3D, most likely opening day.

Definately the small things.
Seth Cohen was reading a book that I devoured almost two years ago on this week's OC finale! Nice. Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is indeed the shit, and yes it will catch on in this country eventually: a fucked up adult fairy tale with an acute comedy of manners and the best fake footnotes ever. It's also the best debut novel I have ever read.

OK, I admit it... it is the small things....

And regarding the actual OC finale: holy smokes. I didn't that coming.


FIFA has issed complete lineups for this year's World Cup. Behold.

Check out how many Americans from the US squad are playing in the English Premiere League next year! Marcus Hahnemann (Reading)! Tim Howard (Everton)! Carlons Bocanegra (Fulham)! Cory Gibbs (Charlton)! Eddie Lewis (Leeds)! Bobby Convey (Reading)! Claudio Reyna (Manchester City)! Brian McBride (The Pride of Fulham)!

I'm very proud of these dudes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Arsenal Fan Responds

The roommate deserves a word:

It was a great Champions league final despite a lose for Arsenal which I've been a fan of for 13 years. It was just a shame that the referee was just a complete asshole as well as his 2 assistant referees, who were complete fuck ups. They really gave Barca all the help they needed and more. Don't think that I was disappointed that Barca won because I am a fan of them but just wished that it was refereed fairly. The referee(shithead of the year) should have called more fouls on Barca than he did. But obviously he must have liked Barca more than Arsenal. If it was called more fairly the outcome might have been more different, like an arsenal win. This didn't happen but Arsenal will be back and will be better than ever. That I can truly say will come to light . Long live" ARSENAL" forever.

I should have had him write that earlier when he was really angry. Now he's more boozed up and mellow.

Fuck Arsenal. Barca forever!
I was grossly negligent in not mentioning the stellar play by play work of Derek Rae and fine voice of Tommy Smith on today's ESPN 2 coverage of the UEFA Champions League final. I really hope we get to hear more from them during the World Cup.
Poseiden on the Imax made me want to go the bathroom real bad. Entertaining, but nothing profound or mind blowing. Irwin Allen's legacy is safe.


The WNY Progress Report blog is out. The Real Deal Blog is in. My thoughts about important stuff...


Barcelona has claimed their second European Champions title and all is well. Sir Henrik Larsen will be honored forever at the NouCamp for his play tonight- setting up both of Barca's goals. Yes controversy will hound this match over the red card for Arsenal keeper Lehman, but fuck that- it was Larsen's night.


Samuel E'to scored off the brilliant thru pass from Sir Henrik Larsen, in his last game in a Barcalona jersey before his pleasant retirement to his native Sweden. Beautiful redemption for E'to in the driving Parisian rain! And now the Brazilian Biletti scores! From Larsen again! Joy!
At the start of the half I can now say that at last THE TIDE IS TURNING, so much so that the old standbys of guns, gays, and immigrantes might not be enough to save the day- but only if the Democrats decide to do and stand for something. Maybe hope is on the way.

Go Barca!
Arsenal up by one at the half because the El Jackass made a last ditch save on E'to. Fear not, Barca's got 45 more minutes.


Sol Campbell scores off a set piece and Arsenal is up by 1 inspite of being down 1 man. Off a fucking dive, a dive that was actually praised by American commentator Marcello Belboa to the shame of all Americans. Ugly. Fuck Arsenal.

Bad Omen? Not!

FIFA 2006 pre-game match between Barcelona FC (me) and Arsenal FC (roommate) ended with Arsenal on penalty kicks. A brutal, hard fought match.

And now the real deal.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cliff's Club Football Breakdown

In honor of tomorrow's Champion's League final between Barcelona FC and Arsenal FC- the first game that I can honestly say I really, really give a shit about (I've watched and rooted for teams sure, but this is different) I give you my end of the season European Football wrap up:

Barclay's English Premiere League:
The odious Chelsea and Manchester United took the two top spots, due most likely to their assorted bullshit. Liverpool tried (gotta root for the Beatles' hometown), Arsenal poisoned Tottenham* to clinch the final Champions League spot for next year, and my north country Bolton Wanderers crapped out near the end enough to miss European cup play altogether. I always root for the newly promoted teams and amazingly enough Wigan and West Ham (The Hammers!) landed in the top 10. Sunderland however died a horrible death along with Black Sabbath's Birmingham, both of which got relegated along with Birmingham neighbour West Bromwich Albion. No doubt alcohol consumption in that region of England has tripled...

I don't give a shit about France or Germany. Lyon and Bayern Munich always wins that shit.

Italy's Serie A:
Juventus (a team I used to root for before I found out they are considered "odious" by everybody else in Italy) and AC Milan (Berlusconi's AC Milan) are under investigation for all sorts of wrong doing and just might lose their championship in disgrace. Gotta love that Italian soccer. The "best" fans in the world (ie crazy).

Spain's La Liga:
My Barcelona FC took the top spot and beat Real Madrid (Franco's Real Madrid) down. Of all the European Leagues I confess that I like Spain's the best, and the best soccer moment of the year had to be Espanyol's heroic avoidance of relegation with an extra time goal that sent Gol TV's Scotsman and the Espanyol faithful into paroxyisms of joy and disbelief.

And no I don't watch soccer all the time... just TiVO'd highlight shows, which alas will be ending until August. But now it's time to get ready for BARCELONA FC and the Champions League.

And then... THE WORLD CUP.

* Okay, it was an airborne virus and not food poisoning (although who's to say Arsenal didn't pull some James Bond shit? The Champions is muy, muy importante).

Monday, May 15, 2006


The U2 commercials for the 2006 World Cup are fucking brilliant, wonderful, inspired. Of course the global themes of the ads and global appeal of the World Cup, an event that unites the majority of the world in relative peace for 1 month will probably fall on deaf ears in our soccer ignorant nation but it matters not. U2 did the ads, the ads are magnificent, and they didn't sell out doing it. I mean shit folks, it's the FIFA World Cup we're talking about here.

Also, the Internet is back ON for me. Hot damn. The PC Medic is the MAN.

The new Doctor Who BBC imports on the Sci-Fi Channel are also brilliant. While I doubt that I'd ever find a woman attractive in a US flag t-shirt the sight of Bille Piper running around London during the Blitz with a lovely Union Jack on her chest is something I will cherish forever. The sight of all that other fucked up shit in that episode I will not: a genuinely freaky zombie nightmare that simultaneously reminded me of Pink Floyd's The Wall and a Sigur Ros music video until the cathartic end.

The White House fucking up El Presidente's televised speech was not brilliant. Ay carumba. And just you wait for the Conservative outcry even though I'll bet you dollars to donuts that some dingus in the Oval Office pushed the wrong button on the camera at the wrong time. Whoops! Gotta get that practice speaking in sir!

Sunday TiVO Blowout!

The Simpsons was brilliant: science vs. religion vs. America vs. our common sense and American decency. Whether it was the useless history exhibits with absolutely no educational value (TLC, Discovery Channel), Helen Lovejoy telling Reverend Lovejoy that the creationism vs. evolution controversy would pack the pews before they got it on, Larry Hagman as the southern Clarence Darrow attorney or the pro creationism scientist with a "phd in truthology from Christian Tech," it hit the nail on the head. Sharp and hilarious.

Gay mobsters in love. Carmella recognizing once again the moral quagmire she's a willing participant of. The pain of Ginny Sack. Gay mobsters losing it because they can't deal with the button down, rural handyman life when they'd rather be back in Jersey breaking legs, and because they lost their battle with their wristwatch and the long boring work day. Tony recognizing that Dr. Melfi is right about his relationship with his sister Janice and by extension his relationship with his mother all equals another killer Sopranos.

I'll miss Jed Bartlett and his staff, and I wish them well. Watching the President of our dreams, the President of the country of our dreams end his adventure on last night's West Wing finale was profound, touching, and very sad. All the gracenotes were there: Charlie, Lily Tomlin giving tips to the incomming Executive Secretary, Josh and Donna, Sam, the ghost of Leo, and the beautiful relationship of Jed and Abby. It was good, beautiful, graceful, and sweet.

America and NBC are the poorer now that The West Wing has ended. That said, the commercial for Sorkin's new show this fall looked awesome, and I cannot wait.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


NBC might have been pinching pennies to screw The West Wing out of a retrospective by showing the pilot, but oh the sweet cosmic first episode / current events irony: the Christian Right acting the fool, illegal immigrants questing for a better life, and a stark reminder of the President of our American dreams and the jackass we are currently stuck with.

And now the finale.

In Brief

- Windows Service Pack 2 was the worst download I have ever made. Totally cocked up the ole computer. Thanks a lot Bill. Posting is thus screwed. Sorry.

- Smallville's season finale was boffo and the best use of computer effects on TV I've seen in a while. Serenditpitous. I can't wait for the conclusion, even if they haven't officially announced that it's been renewed for next season....

- The Champions League Final.... Barcelona FC vs. Arsenal FC... live from Paris France Wednesday May 17... the capper of the club football season before the soccer world (ie the rest of the world) holds it's breath in anticipation of the World Cup. Profoundly exciting.

- Tonight: the finale of The West Wing. The smartest show in the history of network TV reaches it's end and I'm sad, and you should be sad too... trust me.

The Real Deal

Yes! The Sabres are on to the 3rd round, the Eastern Conference Finals, and THEY ARE THE REAL DEAL. Adversity- they've dealt with it: shitty refereeing that borders on a conspiracy, two losses in Philly, doubts about Miller, the number 1 team in hockey, jackass hometown fans, you name it. They've seen it. They've triumphed.

THE REAL DEAL is also the name of the radio show. Things have changed. We have changed. We now speak for ourselves. Tune in next Saturday at 9 AM on News Talk 1270.



Mom. Grandma. Katie. Gail.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Out of Body Experiences

Once again my home computer has been laid up, this time thanks to the damnable Windows XP Service 2 Pack, so I am way out of sorts in more ways than one. Sufficeth to say what is going on will make for a fascinating chapter in my autobiography, and more info will be forthcoming when I am able. It's been a wild 48 hours.

I am crosseyed and painless. Born under punches. The bags under my eye have bags. But me and my people, my tribe, are strong.

That said, no matter what happens the Sabres have been there for me, been there for us and it is time to show how much we love them. Their wins have been OUR wins- they're joy and resolve has become our own. Tonight's game is going be HUGE, and yer man here will be there. Game 4. Sabres up 3-0 in the series. The moon was brighter last night and the air had a wonderful scent upon it... the scent of JOY JOY JOY. Go Sabres.

Real quick:

- The 2nd season finale of Veronica Mars was cold, hard, and brutal; and this season has been one of the best tributes/homages to the LOOONG, dark crime fiction sagas of James Ellroy.

- Brad Whitford's mojo was surging last week on Real Time With Bill Maher, his keen moral logic and eloquent moral outrage trumping the conservative tomfoolery of the former governor of Virginia and member of the Foundation for Readiness and Preparedness. Bully for him.

- The new Neil Young and Flaming Lips albums have gone into constant rotation. These records... folks... these records give you something to chew on, to draw on, to see yourself and your philosophy in... and they are good.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Sabres UP TWO GAMES IN ROUND 2!! ON THE ROAD!! IN OTTAWA!! Have no expectations, avoid disappointment and occasionally be pleasantly surprised the Office Buddhist always says, and tonight was no exception. Wednesday's going to be AWESOME. My phone is ringing, everybody's going nuts, it's great. NOW we can talk about a sweep.


Game time. And MSG's got the game so that means no OLN dingleberries tonight! Rick and Jim all the way! Yes!!!

Go Sabres!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The latest Sopranos was another out of body experience- an exercise in hightened artistic awareness: Christopher and Tony sharing Oprah moments, Paulie having a total meltdown, Christopher and Tony's Dazed and Confused interlude. The Italian Festival bit was ever bit as familiar as it was totally weird (the idol with the dollars, "where's his hat?"), and Tony's "you're doing a heckuva job Brownie" to a damage control deficient Paulie was the icing on the cake. Not since Twin Peaks has a show so consistantly created such hightened realities, and I'll even say that The Sopranos goes one better by conjuring such tones and textures out of observation and mundane moments magnificently captured on film instead of Lynch's inspired and hypnotic weirdness. And Paulie's hallucination made me jump up.

People also shouldn't do heroin. Bad shit.

Why oh why did NBC choose to:
1) air the pilot episode of The West Wing before the West Wing finale instead of a dignified clip show as originally planned?
2) air the pilot episode at 7 PM and the finale at 8PM instead of it's 9 PM timeslot?
3) not air the pilot at 7 PM, the clip show at 8 PM, the finale at 9 PM, and whatever the hell the show at 10 PM?

I like that Gatorade commercial honoring the US National which is getting ready as we speak for the World Cup in a little over a month. It really was a bitch qualifying, and based on my efforts with the new FIFA game I can say based on my woes with the US Team that qualifying campaign is long and it is hard with one pivotal game after another for 2 years running. USA!

Oh yeah, I finished listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince audiobook on CD and the finale is wonderfully evocative and painfully emotional. Jim Dale is truly a magnificent performer. Damn, Rowling really has crafted an intriguing saga and jim dandy popcorn book, dense both with plot, and emotion; a modern mythology/pop culture touchstone in the making.

Game 2 and 24 tomorrow night with the fellas, and at some point this week when I get a chance, my wrap English Premiere League wrap up.


Can somebody, anybody explain to me why Rockin' at the Knox booked Blondie?!? Does Blondie even tour anymore, or are they hauled out of storage for special occasions? Going from modern alt rock gods Wilco to Blondie the next year... I don't know what sort of pedigree the Albright Knox is going for but I can tell you that they chose poorly.

And I ain't just saying that because they didn't choose the Lips. I even have a Blondie "Best Of" in my cd collection, but Blondie man... Blondie.
The penultimate episode of Justice League Unlimited was just swell: Lex Luthor and Gorilla Grodd debate leadership philosophies while their Injustice Society goes to war with itself (like they always do) with nary a superhero in sight. The voice casting is brilliant: Clancy Brown, Powers Boothe, Juliet (Druscilla) Landau, Daniel Dae Kim and Michael Ironside; and as always it's fun watching classic archetypes (classic archetypes if you grew up in the 70's) spout sharp quasi Tarrantino dialogue. It's fun stuff and it's a shame it ends next week with a super duper super hero super villain cosmic evil space god blowout.

The real question now is whether the run of stellar DC Comics cartoons that began almost 20 years ago with Batman The Animated Series is coming to an end. It'd be a sad day indeed if that's the case. Hopefully they'll do The Legion of Superheroes next...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I Am An Ass

Today was "Free Comic Book Day" throughout America and I totally forgot to mention it here. Chuck, I apologize. I should have been all over it. To make up for this I heartily encourage you folks to head over to Seeley's Comics on Delaware Ave. (or to your local shop) and pick up:

OFF THE MAIN BAR: Civil War #1 (Marvel Comics)- the Marvel Universe goes to war with itself over the individual rights of superheroes in the Post 9/11 WMD age; Infinite Crisis #7 (DC Comics)- the universe shattering conclusion to DC's most recent superhero orgy blowout. Sad, inspiring and profound. I totally should have known it was "Free Comic Book Day" when both of these comic book company humdingers came out in the same week.

OFF THE TABLE TO THE LEFT: Infinite Crisis #1-6 (DC C0mics). Excellent stuff. Dense but strangely readable because hey, you know the archetypes.

OUT OF THE BOOKSHELF AT THE END OF THE BAR: Alan Moore's Watchmen and V For Vendetta tradepaperback collections (Vertigo). Books that have kicked our popular culture up a notch in and of themselves and the artists and writers they have influenced in the realms of literature, film and television.

ASK CHUCK FOR: Astonishing X-Men #1-14 (Marvel Comics)- Joss Whedon's verisimilitudinous take on the ubiquitous Marvel heroes; the last 4 issues of Superman and Action Comics respectively, which features an excellent jumping on point for the revamped and rejuvenated Superman titles and some of the best writing The Man has seen in a while (which is saying something because they weren't bad before they got rejuvenated); anything good. Chuck knows his stuff. His Good Stuff rack has never let me down.

You really can't go wrong with this stuff.

Oh Glorious Day!

- The show today went well.

- Ron, from PC Medic is a wizard, a true star. The PC is back.

- The Sabres are magnificent, glorious; profound. To come back 5 times and take that game on their ice is a tremendous accomplishment, and the oppurtunity to lock it down and play confidently Monday might be the difference against a potentially desperate Ottawa. Mike Grier is my hero, Joe Vip's hero, yes, he is moving up the list. What a game for Grier. And Drury, and Roy, and Connolly. The defence needs to tighten up however and people need to lay off Miller- the guy can't be expected to stop 3 and 4 point blank shots over and over. The kid made the big stops and that's what matters.

- Monday night is going to be sick: Game 2 and 24.

- Live Barcelona vs Espanyol while I go through a week's worth of e-mail. Thank God. And the TiVO will catch what I really want to see: the celebrations at the Camp Nou having won La Liga Wednesday. What a show. The GolTV coverage is also excellent, far better than OLN's coverage of last night's game.

- And the new Neil Young album is titanic; a record for RIGHT NOW, a record that sounds like it was recorded yesterday- and sounds like you are in the room with Neil and the band and the big choir. Yes, a choir... a choir that makes this rocker a bonafide sing a long about living in a country that's gone a wee bit off the rails. Sweet, honest, sharp, loving and a little wise.

- Is a road trip up to Toronto in the offing to see CSN&Y at the Air Canada Centre? A CSN&Y that could beautifully translate the choiral parts for songs off the new Neil album? Hmmmmm.

- Tickets for Radiohead in Toronto however are a bonafide no go, sold out before I could get on it 25 minutes after the tickets went on sale.

Friday, May 05, 2006

- Last night's OC was an exercise in entropy and karma and a magnificent maelstrom of lies and biting tension. In case you were wondering the band who got no props from Fox for the music last night was Bloc Party.

- Bloc Party is the only new new wave band that actually matters beyond being a new new wave band with nice trousers.

- Ya hate to say it but god doesn't The Office perfectly skewer office life, office tension and conflict, and the madness of mangement? Last night's episode, an ode to conflict management, was brilliant. Painful.

- Enjoy yer Cinco De Mayo.

- The NHL and OLN are off my Fecal Roster.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Hot Diggity List

- Barca! Barcelona FC has claimed the La Liga title two years running, and has an excellent chance to go for the Double by beating Arsenal FC in the Champions League Final. Booyah.

- The original versions of Star Wars, Empire and Jedi are coming out on DVD. While not overly obsessed with the original versions like some of the fans I will still absolutely grab them up because they are the movies I grew up with. Nostalgia ya know. What will be interesting however is seeing how the match up with the prequels. Personally I think some people might be suprised...

- Are people with superpowers WMD's? And if so, do they still have individual rights as American citizens? These are the questions driving Marvel Comics' new extravaganza mini series Civil War that just started the other day, and it is hot stuff. Traditional superheroes and traditional superhero tropes have never been presented in such a thoroughly modern way, and yes, it is cool that Captain America has chosen to take the side of superhero rights. Good stuff.

- Round 2 starts tomorrow night. No rest for the wicked. Get ready people.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More Profanity Laced Blogging

Fuck Ottawa for being stupid enough to schedule Dora The Goddamned Explorer On Ice! during the first weekend of May during the NHL Playoffs. They don't deserve to have home ice advantage over that bullshit, and if the NHL schedules back to back games over this shit they can go fuck themselves too. A pre-emptive FUCK to the NHL for potentially fucking Buffalo out of the televised 2nd round games by signing a deal with NBC and OLN. Hell, the games might not even be covered by OLN, which means they MIGHT be on CBC, which isn't even on DirecTV. Fuck DirecTV for offering multiple programming packages for Indians (Ghandi not Sitting Bull), the Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans etc. but not one channel out of Canada, where they speak our language. Fuck Rupert Murdoch for owning DirecTV, screwing us out of Canadian TV and using DirecTV's Newsmix channel to hype Fox News, the least newsworthy channel on their service. Hell, fuck corporations- I am tired of their shit in general.

OK ok... I'm a bit riled up.

But seriously, somebody better be working out the television rights to these games or there's going to be problems.

Yes! No! Maybe!

Yes! The Sabres can absolutely take Ottawa. It ain't going to be pretty or easy but it can be done, and judging from last night I have a real good feeling. That was a great game and I really want to thank the team and all the folks in the Sabres organization for it, and I want to thank the rest of us folks who gave it their all and did their part.

Bring on ROUND 2.

No! On one hand I really wanted to coin an expression based on Kaavya Viswanathan's remarkable reversal of fortune but frankly that would extend her pop culture shelf life and that's just not fair to the pop culture.

Maybe! Actually there is no maybe about it- if we get hit with a bird flu pandemic we are totally fucked.

And I will be holding Bush voters responsible. I got a sock full of doorknobs earmarked for them.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fuck Those Beeyatches

6-1 Buffalo.Fuck Philadelphia. Fuck their artificially amplified crowd noise. Fuck those Philly fans- if it got any quieter in the Wachovia Center you'd hear the urinals flushing. Fuck Ken Hitchcock and his dirty bullshit, and fuck Peter Forsberg too.

Lets go Sabres.

God So Brief

- Sabres. Game 6. Huge. Get your karma together people.

- I have absolutely no sympathy for this chick, whose chick lit meltdown appears to be one for the books. How many books has she been bogarting from? Do we need a Congressional investigation? They sure as hell ain't investigating anything else.

- Tickets for Roger Waters in Pittsburgh this September have been obtained. Booyah.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Briefer Still...

- A certified witchdoctor has been contracted regarding the pc issue. Keep your fingers crossed people.

- 3-0 Sabres yesterday. Huge. You could tangibly feel the tension in the HSBC Arena release after the third goal was gotten. Tomorrow night's game... you guessed it... HUGE.

- Yes it isn't just you... those draft beers at the HSBC do pack a wallop. Damn!

- No Blue Pres and Red VP on West Wing last night! I gotta say, I was worried.

It's still a fantasy, but not that big a fantasy.

- Oy vey with the Brokeback Mobster in love on The Sopranos. Gay motorcycle riding firemen. You gotta love it. AJ's panic attacks are also hilarious.

- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PS2 is the shit. Trickier than FIFA 2006 with way trippier graphics and even more intense gameplay. Yowza, And I gotta say that you really have to respect the US team for even qualifying for the World Cup based on the paces the game is putting me through to get the US into the actual tournement. 147 teams vying for 32 spots. Jesus.

- If it's FIFA's plan to turn me into a soccer nut thanks to FIFA 2006 they friggin succeeded. If the plan was to get me Copa Mundial crazy they've succeeded, and with this game that crazy just might get worse.

- How dare the AP omit Glen Ford's legendary turn as Pa Kent in the 1978 Superman movie from their article celebrating his 90th birthday. Disgraceful.

Go Sabres.