Friday, June 30, 2006

Why Mets Fans Can't Stand Yankees Fans
(And It's Not What You Think)

The Mets lost last night. They got swept in a three game series by the Red Sox and I couldn't be happier. Why? Because it messes with the Yankees chances of making the playoffs. And with the Mets maintaining a healthy lead on the wife beaters, the only thing sweeter than the Mets making it to the World Series would be having the Yankees not meeting them there because they couldn't even sniff October.

Do you want to know why Mets fans can't stand Yankees fans? It's not because of their arrogance. Every team has arrogant fans, and there are many arrogant fans who wear orange and blue. Maybe I'm arrogant.

The real reason Mets fans don't like Yankees fans is because we don't respect them. When you see a person wearing a Yankees hat or shirt, they are most likely:

A) A fourteen year old girl who never watches games but thinks Derek Jeter is cute

B) An out of towner who never watches games but wants to glam on to New York in some way

C) A bandwagon jumper who couldn't tell you the starting rotation or who played 1st base before Tino Martinez (or Jason Giambi for that matter).

Are there real Yankees fans out there? I mean real fans, who can actually recite the 25 man roster and wax poetic about the Jesse Barfield days? Yes, of course. But even most of those fans are in complete denial about their scarcity. Yankees fans think everyone should be Yankees fans. They look around and see a sea of pinstripes and think everyone else must be crazy. They'll welcome any clown and accept him or her as a "true" Yankees fan, just like George Steinbrenner will accept any enemy (Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, Wade Friggin' Boggs) into pinstripes and annoint him a "true" Yankee. Well, except for A-Rod. Gotta love that.

Mets fans are different. We feel very confident that when we see a dude with an orange and blue cap that he's a real fan. That he can cry with us about The Worst Team Money Can Buy, about Juan Samuel or Gregg Jeffries or Generation K. That he'll agree that Keith Hernandez should be in The Hall and that Mex was the best first baseman in New York. When it comes to real baseball fans, the Mets own New York. We don't crave quantity. Yes, the Yankees have won more World Series and sell more hats, but the Mets lead the world in Grand Slam Singles, losing last place, and balls that Get By Buckner!

When an impartial observer is around, a typical Yankees fan will tell him or her "You gotta be a Yankees fan. You gotta be. Look at all the rings and look at all of us!" Meanwhile, a typical Mets fan will say to the fan on the fence "I don't care what team you pick. If you don't care, you might as well pick the Yankees. It's a good time to jump on their bandwagon because it's moving real slow right now. You should only be a Mets fan if You Gotta Believe"
Note: Of course this applies to anyone besides the Mets fan's girlfriend or wife because we don't need no stinkin Yankees games playing in our house. So if your girl is on the fence it just makes life easier if she develops a crush on David Wright.
So there you go. The Mets did their job of screwing over the Yankees by laying down for the Red Sox. If we have to, we'll beat the Sox in the Series. Surely fans remember how that went last time? Now, it's time to turn it on. It's the back end of our rotation (El Duque, Trachsel, Soler) head to head with the back, I mean front, I mean is this seriously the Yankees rotation?

Lets Go Mets!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Minnesota Envy

My two favorite bands are on tour together. I have never before in my life wished I could be in Minnesota...

6/29/6 - Tom performs with Eddie Vedder and more from St. Paul

By Doug Miller / excerpt of full-length article on

... the tour moved into overdrive June 26 with the first of two nights of non-stop music and fun from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Pearl Jam. It's tough to put all the backstage sights, sounds and experiences into words, but here's a rundown of some of the highlights:

Tom and Eddie together: This evolved over the course of the two-night stand at the Xcel Energy Center and eventually paid off hugely for everyone in the building.

Tom and Heartbreakers manager Tony Dimitriades confirmed to me that Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and Heartbreakers lead guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench met in the corridor outside the Heartbreakers' dressing room 15 minutes before the Heartbreakers were due on stage Monday night.

They went into the dressing room, where they did a quick run-through of "American Girl." It seems that Eddie, who already knew all the words, was invited to join Tom and the Heartbreakers on stage for the encore to sing the lead vocal of the second verse, and a quick run-through was obviously all that was needed.

The show featured incredible sets by both Pearl Jam and Tom and the Heartbreakers and both bands were accepted by the other's fans as if they were their own. But when Tom brought Eddie on stage for "American Girl," which was to be the last song of the evening, the place erupted.

Most people probably thought Eddie would sing the choruses with Tom, so when he took the lead on the second verse and nailed it, everyone -- the audience, the musicians on stage and the road crews of both bands -- was beaming in the presence of something unique and special.

More Tom and Eddie: It got even better Wednesday night. The seeds were planted in the wee hours of that morning at the hotel bar. Still adrenalized from the collaboration during "American Girl," Vedder shared a nightcap or two with Tom, Ben Tench, and Heartbreakers multi-instrumentalist Scott Thurston and drummer Steve Ferrone.

Somewhere in the early hours of the morning, all agreed that Eddie could sing on a second song in the set, "The Waiting," which the Heartbreakers had not performed live for some time.

This led to an acoustic rehearsal session in the Heartbreakers' dressing room Wednesday night about 10 minutes before Pearl Jam began their opening set.

You could tell Vedder loved the song because he sang out all the words without hesitation while the signature finger-picked intro riff to the song rang through the hallway.

A few hours later, right after the ninth song of the set, the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care," Tom introduced the band and then brought Vedder back on stage for what seemed to me to be a rousing rendition of "The Waiting."

I was standing at the side of the stage and I could hear Eddie's strong vocals through the stage monitors, which is how the musicians on stage hear themselves. What I and the musicians did not know until later was that there had been a microphone/computer malfunction and Eddie's vocals were not coming through the PA.

It was a bitter disappointment to everyone, I am sure, but I am also sure they will do this again and I am looking forward to the Milwaukee and Denver shows, when the audience will get to hear it the way they should...

But redemption came when it was time for the encores.

Vedder came back out and stood at the side of the stage, dancing and singing during "You Wreck Me" and "Mystic Eyes."

Right before the final number, Vedder came back on stage and seemed overwhelmed to be in Petty's presence. He clasped his hands together to greet Tom and nailed the second verse and the harmonies once again.

But that wasn't all. When Campbell blistered through the solo at the end of "American Girl," Vedder ran from the back of the stage, did a knee slide right next to the guitarist, and saluted Campbell with a repeated "We're not worthy" bow.

The song ended and Tench grabbed Vedder to join the Heartbreakers in their bow to end the evening. Fantastic stuff.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mookie Of The Month - June 2006

Finally figured out why it's bad luck to stand under a ladder....

At least when there's a person on top of the ladder, painting, it's a bad idea to stand underneath.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Prince Performing Fury on SNL - .mp3

I haven't watched Saturday Night Live on a regular basis in ages, but I did tune in this season when Steve Martin hosted and Prince was the musical guest. Prince's performance of "Fury," of his new album 3121 was unfrigginbelievable. Download the .mp3 of the performance here, or the video on YouTube here.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Some commercials that annoy me:

On the radio, the commercial that really burns me up is the one for UPS. They have a 60 second spot about how boring baseball is. This is the commercial they run during baseball games, with an audience of baseball fans. I guess this is why I always use FedEx and the good old U.S. Postal Service for me shipping needs.

This really shouldn't get under my skin, but the television spots for Verizon are really stupid. It's a bunch of guys supposedly filming a documentary about Verizon customers. They stop people on the street, or invade their home, and ask them how they like Verizon. This would actually be a funny idea, if it wasn't completely, and utterly obviously, fake. Why does this annoy me so much??? It's not even an original concept. I remember radio ads for some other company that did man-on-the-street interviews. I remember they were much more realistic, but since I can't remember what the commercials were supposed to be advertising, it goes to show how innefective the ads are. Lame.

Can you believe they are still running ads for Craftmatic adjustable beds after all these years? The ads I remember best are when they gave away a free camera just for trying a Craftmatic. Old people saying "I Got My Free Camera!"

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Links I've Visited Lately

How can a guy go into the R&R Hall of Hame three times? As a solo artist and with two bands, like Eric Clapton.

Jay-Z is a dummy.

The end of the (Times New) Roman Era

As blonde joke's go, a pretty funny one.

Pat Burrell's wife. Pat Burrell's daddy.

A house mysteriously explodes on Long Island.

Songs under one minute.

Games under four seconds.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Beware The Eyes Of Mash

Are the eyes of potatoes poisonous?

Last weekend we were at a friend's house, and said friend was peeling potatoes for dinner that night. I was shooting my mouth of as usual and told her to make sure she got all the eyes out because they were poisonous. I said that "if you ate a bowl ful of potato eyes you would drop dead."

Some nincompoop once said that to me in a former life and I thought it was such a funny notion that I now repeat it as fact. But are the eyes of potatoes poisonous?

I did some web searching and found two links that support my idiotic statement:

When potatoes were first introduced to the Europeans, they were recognized as belonging to the nightshade family along with eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, and tobacco, and were considered poisonous. In fact, potatoes do contain poison in the form of glycoalkaloid enzymes which are always present within 3 mm (1/8 in.) of the surface of the potato, with the highest concentrations in the eyes or sprouts.... Light causes potatoes to turn green and accelerates the production of solanine... Grocery store fluorescent lighting can induce potato greening in 12 hours to 5 days, with potato greening occurring most quickly at room temperature (68° F). When potatoes are exposed to light and UV radiation, the rate of solanine formation can increase tenfold.

the leaves of rhubarb, tomatoes and potatoes are poisonous if eaten. Not just the leaves of the potato, but if the potato is green or has spouts, do not eat it. The sprout is the beginning of a new potato plant - new poisonous leaves will come from these. The sprout is also known as the eye of the potato.

I don't see any reason to continue searching, do you?

So, if anyone ever puts a bowl ful of potato eyes in front of you - don't eat it or you'll drop dead.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tom Petty's Streaming His New Single

Listen to Tom Petty's new single, "Saving Grace" at or right here (wmv).

Tom's new solo album Highway Companion drops July 25th.

Joey Bag O' Donuts

Last week I had lunch at Moe's Southwest Grill for the first time. If you've never been there, the menu is simialr to Qdoba, Baja Fresh, or, in New York, Green Cactus. You know the type of place I'm talking about: made-to-order southwest style burritos sold as health food. Promoted as using all fresh ingredients, with no frozen foods, no canned goods, no preservatives, no microwaves and no lard or animal fat.

So anyway, the offerings at Moe's are a bit more extensive, with quesadillas and fajitas as well as frozen margaritas, but what really makes Moe's unique is how they name their menu items. I have to be honest here and admit that there's few things a restaurant can do to appeal to me more than creatively naming their menu items. Moe's menu is hilarious! It's filled with jokes and pop culture references - for Seinfeld fans there's a burrito called the Art Vandalay and a salad called the Close Talker, for Friends fans there's a taco called The Ugly Naked Guy. For fans of the movie Fletch, order the John Coctosan, the Fat Sam or the Alfredo Garcia. There's also the I Said Posse quesadilla, and a hilarious fake menu item called a "Cup Of Fat" for $9.99.

But what had me cracking up the most was a burrito called the Joey Bag Of Donuts. I thought this was the funniest thing in the world, even though I wasn't sure I completely "got it." Almost everything else on teh menu is a pop culture reference, but what movie or TV show had a character called Joey Bag O' Donuts? Sounds like a mob name, but I don't remember it from Goodfellas or The Godfather. Is it a Sopranos reference?

So, the question: where does the name Joey Bag Of Donuts come from? I did some searching, and have so far been unable to come up with a conclusive answer. For instance:

- Remember the commercial for the classic rock radio station where there's an obese guy dancing in front of a brick wall? This exact same film clip ad was run against various songs for many different stations around the country, but the original use is credited to a station in Chicago called The Loop (WLUP) and the character name of the guy dancing (actually actor Eustachio Robert Marena, or is it Robert Miranda?) is supposedly named Joey Bagadonuts. Sorry, but that nickname seems to have been attached retroactively to me, since the ad has no mention of a character name.

- Wikipedia says it's a reference from My Cousin Vinny, but I think they're wrong.

-A rapper named Joey Bags claims he got his nickname from a doughnut shop in New York called Joey Bag A Donuts. I can't find any restaurant with that name. By the way, Joey Bags Productions allegedly brings REAL hip hop to the table. Judge for yourself.

-South Philly's "Waffleman" Joe Sbaraglia calls himself Bag-a-Donuts for some unexplained reason.

-There's a "set dresser" who works in Hollywood named Joe Monaco who, when he worked on the memorable Keanu Reeves film The Watcher, was credited as Joey 'Bag O' Donuts' Monaco.

-Seems like a lot of other people are wondering the same thing as me.

- The most likely origination is that it may have come from one of stand-up comic's Dom Irrera's routines. I've never seen his act but apparently part of it is telling stories about the old neighborhood and one of his old buddies was nicknamed Joey Bag O' Donuts. Irrera says that John Madden nicknamed Frank Winters "Frankie Bag of Doughnuts" after seeing his act, but comics always seem to claim that everyone is stealing from them.

Well, wherever the name originated, it seems to have seemed into our collective consciousness. Any stereotypical Italian guy, especially an overweight one, might be stickered with the moniker. In fact, if it's YOUR nickname, you can now even buy a T-Shirt with the phrase. I still think it's hysterical and will be laughing to myself when I order it at my next trip to Moe's.

Where Does The Phrase, "Cool Beans" Come From?

A freind of mine asked me this question yesterday - if I had heard of the phrase "cool beans," and if I knew where it came from. It turns out we both had the same experience with the expression: We heard someone else say it, thought it was a dumb thing to say, and then caught ourselves using it occasionally and hating ourselves for it.

So, what is the etymology of the phrase? The jury is out, but here's the best theory I could come up with doing a web search:

In Boston, where baked beans are famous, the phrase was used to announce when the beans had cooled down enough to enjoy. The phrase became popular in the eighties, when Bush Baked Beans had a talking dog named Duke in their commericials who used the phrase. The flaw in this theory appears to be that Duke doesn't say "Cool Beans" in the ads - his famous line is "Roll that beautiful bean footage." Odd. And anyway, why would you announce that beans served hot, were now cool? Who wants to eat cold baked beans?

A second theory is purported here:

Known to of first become common in the US during the early 1980s (mostly among teens), made up of two terms: the pre-existing cool (which became common slang earlier in the 20th century, though was based off a term from one of Chaucer's poems), and the late 20th century American teenage habit of combining slang/common words together. Hence bean (slang for head/hair) or beans (gumption, toughness, balls), was in use to say someone was cool, in a tough/good looking kind of way. And is the nature of slang it evolved and came to be associated with the actions of said individuals. Some report that it was a way of differentiating between describing someone as cool vs the action (or proposed action) as in: being 'cool with it'.

I personally have never heard anyone use the word 'beans' to describe a person's toughness, but you can make up your own mind.

Now I feel even dumber about using the expression.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Recipe for Thai Turkey Burgers - Spicy!

Thai Turkey Burgers with Coconut-Mint Mayo
Makes 4 burgers

1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

1 lb. ground turkey (85% lean)
1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup peanut sauce
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teasoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce

4 hamburger buns



Mix together mayonnaise, coconut, and mint. Cover, and refrigerate for an hour.


In a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, panko crumbs, Thai peanut sauce, curry paste, green onion, parsley, soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce. Be careful not to over-mix. Divide into 4 equal size balls. Flatten into patties about 1/2 inch thick.

Grill or fry burgers at medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until well done.

Serve on toasted buns with Coconut-Mint Mayonnaise.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My Review: Tom Petty In Charlotte, NC

This was my first time attending a show at the VerizonWireless Ampitheatre in Charlotte, and probably the 13th time I've seen Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers perform live. Charlotte's amphitheatre is nice - the atmosphere of an open air concert is always great on a nice night - but I could have done without the roof overhead. I'm sure it's great for when it rains, but part of the fun of looking up at the stars during the concert was lost.

Tom and the gang are touring in celebration of their thirty years as a band. Except for the drummer, Steve Ferrone who replaced Stan Lynch about a decade ago, and the addition of musician extraordinaire Scott Thurston, the band has the same lineup as when they made their first eponymous record way back in 1976. Mike Campbell has a new look, donning facial hair and deadlocks (picture a skinny Adam Duritz), and Tom isn't quite as bony as he used to be, but that Heartbreakers sound is unmistakable. The huge crowd was really into the show, with an inordinate amount of young hippies in the crowd probably there to see Phish's Trey Anastacio open up.

The band rolled through many of the hits they've amassed throughout the ages. They opened with "Listen To Her Heart" from 1978 and followed it up with "You Don't Know How It Feels" from '94. The songs I've heard him play countless times, "Free Fallin," "Mary Jane's Last Dance," "Refugee," "American Girl," sounded great, but Petty had some real treats for this leg of the tour. Besides playing some new songs "Square One," and "Saving Grace" from his new album Highway Companion which comes out next month, and the unrecorded as yet "Melinda," he also brought out Stevie Nicks to sing on "Stop Draggin My Heart Around" and "Insider," songs I've never heard performed live before. Stevie also took over vocals for "I Need To Know," and sang backup for "Learning to Fly." This was the first show of the tour, and Stevie and Tom haven't quite gotten the harmonies down yet, but it was still a terrific performance to see. It's interesting to note that no songs from the last two albums "The Last DJ" or "Echo" made the setlist.

Part of the Tom Petty concert experience is hearing fantastic versions of cover songs. Van Morrison's "Gloria" was part of the encore, The Yardbird's "I'm A Man" was mixed in, but most interesting was a kick-ass version of "Oh Well," an old Fleetwood Mac song that predates Stevie Nicks joining the group.

It's difficult for me to rank this concert with all the other times I've seen them, but I'm so glad I went. My wife had surprised me with the tickets, and it was the first time I've caught them live in several years. We don't get as many big acts down here in N.C. as we did in N.Y., and it was a great night for some great rock and roll. Tom Petty's still got it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spreading The Love

I'd like to give a few props to some sites around the web...

John is regularly updating V Photos again. Check it out if you love photography. This one is my favorite of his more recent shots.

Len and Murdertron_3000 have launched a Denver Broncos and New York Mets blog called Orange and Blue 2. Len takes a break from the sports talk to opine on other subjects such as tennis, Boston Terriers, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on his solo-blog called Manhattan Mutts.

Brian Sack continues to deliver at Banterist. His latest Grammar Cop entry is hilariously enraging.

...happy surfing!