Thursday, May 30, 2013
It was a good month... one to usher in a transition from one home to the next. A move from LA to Santa Monica.
These are good days... the Kings are about to enter the West Final in the NHL against Chicago. The NBA East Series showed some excitement. I'm due to eat a glut of free tacos on Saturday at my cousin's graduation party.
Man! Does it get any better?
It does, peaches are back in season, do the dance!!
I had one over the last two days, so two total. Man are they good. Welcome back peaches!
And the oranges I got too, both items from the Kosher market. So good.
It's hot, but that's a small price to pay for my favorite time of the year. Spring... ah and the glory of spring with its playoff games and good weather. Soon it will be summer with dull boring middle of the year baseball and oppressive heat, but for now, I savor these good moments.
Should be a good weekend and I'll have much to share with you all, but for the moment I had two companion pieces I wrote with this entry, they're shown below, down the page. Enjoy! See you all on Monday.
You know how in baseball, back in the cookie cutter days, so 70s and 80s, they had these walls that looked like they were 15 feet tall? They were just so high, and I thought, "Man! Why are the walls so tiny today compared to back then?"
Well today, I think I figured out what was going on. The walls at the Cookie Cutter places were always the same height as what we have now -- the difference is the *players.* All of these guys are like 6'2" or 6'5" in the outfield today. All of them are such good athletes too, they can jump so high. They used to be less than 6 feet tall in the old days. Well -- no wonder! That would always make the outfield walls appear taller.
But, in the end, they were always 10 feet tall. Who knew??
When someone asks you to join in an event, it's a good thing. Happy Hours, parties, sporting events, all sorts of things. What happens if you become "Add-on" guy though? You know what I mean: You're talking with a friend about something and then the topic of something the friend is already doing comes up. He asks "you can come and join us if you want."
Intriguing, no? Why didn't he bring up this event with you in the first place? Did he really have you in mind to go from the beginning? You've just entered the world of "add-on" guy. An existing affair for which friends only after the fact casually invited others.
Now, this depends on what the event is and the circumstances, but I think if you get recruited as the add-on guy you can take it multiple ways. Maybe you weren't really in the mood to do anything that night so you're happy to be acknowldeged at all but don't care enough to follow through.
You're bored enough, and don't have anything to do so you opt into the event, being the "person of addage."
What tends to be the common thought -- "What is this friend doing waiting until I brought up the idea to invite me? How come he didn't want me to go in the first place. If he came up with the idea, why wasn't I invited right away?"
That's when you really start to think. What would have construed this oversight?
Maybe one just forgot about it... he had an idea to go somewhere but wasn't pondering the group to join him. It happens, and I doubt it's personal.
Maybe one didn't want to oversaturate a week with a specific person and opted for a different change of pace, assuming the other friend had plans. This can be the case sometimes.
Then there's a whole lot of other possibilities.
Whatever the case may be we've all seen both sides of the "Add-on guy"... either you or I have been the "Add-on" guy or we've BEEN the one to recruit a wayward colleague as the add-on.
It's a very deep thinking process, many layers, isn't it? That's all I have for now.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
but this is going to be FUN! If it's 5 games, I am going to go balls to the wall and make the most of 'em. Go Kings GO!
One more note before I go...
Penguins in 6.
Heat in 6
Heat by 20 tonight but no more fake money bets.
Coffee today, first full coffee since my flu, do the dance!
I think that's all this day. Happy Thursday!
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Mother of Meatballs... the Kings survived a thrilling, agonizing, incredible, breath taking, nerve wracking, unbelievable Game 7 against the Sharks. They really did survive that series. SJ gave them everything and the kitchen sink. It was a flat-out miracle that Quick kept the Sharks from tying the game. Justin Williams got two big goals after doing nothing the rest of the series, and the Kings held on by the slimmest of margins to win 2-1.
I was at Tony P's Dockside Grill, in the sports bar, watching this affair with Coach. Unlike most trips there, we drove separately. It was great times. Tony P's is so cozy... really nice with all the decorations and the football helmets, signed jerseys, flag pennants, and so on, with a wall of 8 flat screens showing the action. The TV's were split between the Hockey game and the Heat/Pacers Game 4 on alternating screens. We really got to see all the big moments in both games. GREAT win for the Pacers, although that block by LeBron in the 2nd half was unreal. What a great block!
Tonight -- my menu was pretty simple. I believe it was just a Diet Coke, Water with no ice, two slices of Coach's 10" pizza, and chicken nachos. No other appetizers or so on. I couldn't even EAT once the game started. My recovery from the flu played a part in that, but that game had me on edge, the hockey game did. I would take a nibble during TV timeouts and during intermissions, but during the game, no food. Just stared and watched. I had nachos left over and boxed the rest.
I *promised* not to scream during the game but I did anyway along with the others... by the time the game ended most of us were exhausted. I was elated but more relieved than elated. Almost like meeting the face of death and seeing the next day. Most of us were exhausted from that intensity. It was a Game 7 for the ages!
I feel a little badly for San Jose fans this day but not precisely. The Sharks have nothing to frown upon. They really had the Kings beat in a lot of areas throughout the series: faceoffs, power plays, the forecheck in the Kings zone, puck possession, and other situations. Even Antti Niemi was playing so phenomenally. The difference in this series was Quick. Quickie had a Michael Jordan-esque performance in terms of sheer amazement. I've seen great goaltending before: Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek, among others, but Quick is currently on equal ground with both of them.
It was an incredible night... a night which also saw the Pacers fight back in the series. Glad to be a part of it. Time for quickies.
Today's Quickies, in honor of Jonathan Quick:
The Heat should be pretty damn lucky to not be down 3-1 in the series. You look at all of these games and the Pacers have out played the Heat in all of them except Game 3. I figured they'd be a game opponent when the series started, but what I did *not* forsee was that the Pacers would be able to *take* the punch and fight back stronger (I did actually after Game 3, but I was referring to Game 1's theatrics). Some kind of letdown of that nature was going to lead to a Heat sweep. That was my line of thinking. It's similar to actual outcome of the Grizzlies/Spurs series. So I thought... but not so. Instead, it's tied at 2-2. At this point, it's anyone's series, but I still think Miami takes this in 6. Game 5 will be a BIG watch on Thursday night.
The Kardashians are one group I do *not* want to keep up with. Those guys need to keep up with basic education. Geez.
Another big game 7 tonight: Wings/Blackhawks. I teased the possible Red Wings/Kings matchup, but in truth I have the Hawks completing the comeback. McChickens here I come!
There is a server lady at Tony P's who's a huge Red Wings fan, real cutie, and nobody at the bar knew just *how* huge a fan she was until last week when the Wings won their game against Chicago. She was really whooping it up, cheering and yelling. It was pretty cool! Last night, after the Kings game, with Detroit's future still in doubt, I went over to ask her if she was nervous about the Wings in Game 7.
She proceeds to give me a complete break down of Detroit's Game 6. Man, she was not just a "rah rah go team" fan at all! In fact, she's from Michigan... she had the accent and everything. She knew her stuff! Needless to say, if the Wings advance (they wont) I'll see about heading back for one of the games to see about getting some game banter back and forth. GOOD STUFF!
What are David Beckham and Tom Cruise doing at a hockey game? Hahahahaha, that is a hoot! Has it gotten so bad for the Lakers that their displaced "look at me!" celebs are looking for exposure behind the glass at Kings hockey games? That was a scene all right.
..We have some famous fans of the Kings, we went over them last year, but they're lifers -- Matthew Perry and Al Michaels both have been here for the long haul, and when you factor in the Kings previous history of futility, that makes these fans true.
What team is Taylor Swift a fan of? ...she's worn jerseys of EVERY TEAM IN THE NHL. Lady, pick a lane!
During the 70s and 80s, a lot of Network Sitcoms used opening sequences that were exactly 50 seconds long. How'd they arrive at exactly 50 seconds? Not even a whole minute? It's neither here nor there. I thought it was odd... but it was consistent.
I spent the last 20 minutes trying to come up with the next line. I failed. Sigh... I think I'll wrap it up here. Have a good day everyone! Go Kings!
Monday, May 27, 2013
and you know what? That could be a good news!
Long long story... first let's set the scene... the Kings went up 3 games to 2 after a Game 5 win on Thursday. On Saturday, the Kings went to San Jose and played Game 6. San Jose won the game 2-1 setting up tonight's game 7 at Staples.
Lots of nervous energy in the air in this one. I was not immune, not at all. I flipped out after the Kings lost. I really shouldn't have... it's still a Game 7 on the Kings' home ice where they've played very well.
The last time the Kings were in the Semis, roughly a year ago, a massive flu struck me. Some of you who follow me regularly might remember it: remember the day Junior Seau died? Then I was posting about it and I was shaking a little bit.. then I started to shake violently and I couldn't even move! The entire staff went over to my office to help me out. Very scary moment. I had to go to immediate care at the UCLA Medical Center and everything.
It was the worst flu, possibly, that I ever had. I had another one the previous December that was plain ugly. The May 2012 flu might not have been as long lasting but it hit a lot harder. Anyway, while all of that was happening, the Kings went out and swept the St. Louis Blues in the Semis. Game 4 took place on a Sunday afternoon while I was just starting to get better. I remember getting the kebab at the Kosher Market and brought it over watching the Kings blow out the Blues. I think I had a Diet Coke too. Don't quote me.
So today, I have either a cold or a mild flu, but nothing as serious as last time. Still, I'm sick. Apparently it's history repeating itself in every respect except the potential outcome of the game: Game 7 tonight -- Sharks vs Kings.
Seeing how the teams traded wins on each others home ice, with nary a road victory between them, this was the only logical conclusion for this series. I was really frustrated though after Game 6... I really let out a big moany/whiny rant on facebook. I was letting out my frustration over all the chance the Kings had in the Sharks zone and how all the bounces went for the Sharks. One sure goal hit the post. One other seemingly sure goal was blocked. Still another chance was ended by a miscalculated pass. The Kings had their best road effort of the series. Anyway, that facebook rant was in bad taste, and I apoogize. Game 7s are fun!! I should be enjoying this/reveling in it.
And today, I am. After all, one of two teams is going to advance from this matchup. It's either the beloved Kings, or a team I have a hell of a lot of respect for in the Sharks. Boy have they proven a lot to me over the last three years. Gone are the years of playoff chokejobs and efforts that came up short. There's not much to hate about them, and one possible target of hatred isn't even in the series (Torres).
So maybe my flu points to a Kings victory tonight, as it did for the Semifinal Series a year ago. Now, if this completely fails for LA and the Sharks advance, it isn't all bad! Let me explain:
Why the Sharks Winning the Semis Wouldn't Be So Bad
First of all, the Sharks have a pretty good organization. They have had some heartbreak and some triumphs in their time, and they represent a hard working group. I enjoy the games the Kings and Sharks play against each other. Lately, San Jose showed a lot of heart for its fans. It's really great to see, and the team is fun to watch. Even that guy Thornton, who annoys me but only because he's so good. Dude is pushing 50 and still finds his way to the crease as the greats tend to do.
Secondly, the Sharks will prove to be a very tough matchup for either the Blackhawks or Red Wings in the West Final. There are so many guys on a roll right now between Couture, Stewart, Thornton, Boyle, Burns, and so on. The one guy who hasn't done a whole lot in the series is Pavelski, but he's due to have some moments down the line. Throw in Marleau and that's just waves of good forwards coming at you. No wonder they do so well on the Power Play.
Thirdly, it preserves the magical run for Antti Niemi. Well I completely blew this one! I gave Niemi no shot and instead he proved me wrong and just ate other offenses *alive*. He's had some saves that are out of this world. I can't say enough about how well Niemi played in this year's 'offs.
Lastly, it keeps my intrigue with a lesser known but interesting stat: The last three teams to win the Stanley Cup beat the Vancouver Canucks on their way to the title. First it was the 2010 Hawks who beat Vancouver in the Semis. Then, a year later, the Boston Bruins beat Vancouver on the road in the Cup Final, Game 7. Last year, the Kings ousted the Nucks in the first round. Guess who beat Vancouver this year -- the Sharks. When it happened, I thought "Sharks fans could *really* get excited right now if they knew this!"
Ultimately, it might be San Jose's turn to end some long running frustration. I'd give them just as much shot to win it all *now* as opposed to my feel for them a month ago. Pretty much everything I thought they couldn't do, they *have* and they've done exactly those things consistently through three weeks. Hard to really write them off after they proved so much.
It all hinges on tonight. Both teams' seasons are on the line. It'll be exciting the whole way, we hope.
Other Thoughts and Quickies
When the Red Wings went up 3 games to 1 over the Number One Seeded Blackhawks, the *last* thought I had was "this series was over." If you go back through the archives and the podcasts I never said anything to that effect. It just seemed to me that if Chicago could get *one*, the other two were right there for them. For that reason alone, I didn't think the Hawks were finished. In the NHL, 3-1 series leads are the furthest thing from a lock. Not only have they been blown before, they tend to get blown at least once every two playoff years. Lately, I've seen it occur every season. That doesn't mean the team who blew the lead blows the series in that Game 7, but as we all know, anything can happen in Game 7.
Coach offered me ten McChicken sandwiches if the Blackhawks came back to win the series. He really had a good feeling about Detroit. Fellas.... Coach is going to owe me a lot of McChickens.
I gotta be honest: the Wings got hosed in Game 6 last night. In what universe was that stick on Frolik a penalty shot? The Wings player wasn't even all the way behind him and the stick did nothing to actually interfere with the intial breakaway shot! There were some other calls that just didn't seem to add up. That's too bad for Detroit, but no going back now. Frankly the Wings had their shot in other areas too so I doubt many NHL fans will hold much sympathy for Detroit.
The Spurs won the Western Conference *already?!* That was the quickest West Finals I've seen in quite some time, and this is even when you include the three or four day delay the NBA imposed on the series between games 2 and 3. Boy did the Grizzles lay a huge egg, but it was to be expected. Lesser coached teams with mediocre to bad outside shooting and a one dimensional offensive attack were bound to be picked apart by the Spurs. I gotta give Coach Pop and San Antonio all the credit in the world.
Can one argue that the West had a down year? Absolutely, but that's where the Spurs thrive.
The way it went on Saturday, the Heat might be on their way to the NBA Finals as well.
It could get *really* interesting if the Spurs were to, say, go up 2-0 on the Miami Heat. The Spurs, by the way, are undefeated in NBA Finals, all time. If the Heat mean business, history is going to change next month. Miami would have a really easy time reacting and retracting between the Spurs three point shooters and the inside guys (Ginobli/Parker/Duncan). Most of the Spurs role players are STATIONARY. They sit, they camp, they shoot. The Heat are that unique team that could make life miserable for such stationary players. Pop will have quite a challenge beating that Heat defense.
...assuming, of course, the Heat make the NBA Finals.
Gandolfo's New York Deli... I thought it was worth a try in my home town of Oxnard, so my sister and I gave it a look. It's not terrible, but it's a lot of hype. Some creativity with the sandwich names, but at the end of the day another wanna-be gimmicky New York Deli. We've all had the real thing.. you can spot imposters from miles away.
I hoped they'd at least have good roast beef but not so. It's "good" but not the kind of roast beef you come back for akin to the one at Jersey Mike's or Izzy's.
I had, for a long time, followed the age old rule that "if you're not in New York and you see a restaurant with 'New York' in the title prepare for disappointment." If they over-do it with the New Yorkiness, the joint is trying too hard. But! You get some exceptions. For years I avoided the aforementioned "New York Bagel and Deli" in SM for the same reason! Come to find out -- it's been a venerable well lauded Bagel institution for over 20 years!
Hunan Garden in Oxnard -- Chinese Food, they deliver... STELLAH BRO. Try their Sweet n' Sour Pork.
What would be a woman's turn ons for Christopher Mad Dog Russo?
I honestly don't know of many, if any, Olympic level swimmers who went to Arizona State. Tangentially related, the nation's greatest female swimmer, Missy Franklin, is now enrolled at Cal.
GOOD OLE CAL. They tend to be disappointing in all of sports, but swimming is their beacon of hope. They've had great success with swimming lately and Missy will be another boost for 'em.
I visited my sister at her apartment this weekend, in between other family engagements, and while I was waiting for the Kings to play the Sharks, they had this game on Big Ten Network called "BIG TEN GREATEST GAMES." The game was this extremely, and I mean *extremely* boring game between Michigan State and Michigan from 2004. I saw a total of one completed pass in the 20 minutes that I watched.
If a Michigan game from 2004 is a "BIG TEN GREATEST GAME," then the Big Ten isn't that great... are you kidding me?
My aunt made bacon wrapped hot dogs for a birthday party we were at in Palmdale on Saturday night. Boy were those good! Bacon Wrapped hot dogs is this street developed food... you wrap a hot dog in bacon and grill the thing. It's very Chicano in nature -- think of it like a Chicago dog, but instead of the weird sport pepper and salt, use a jalapeno pepper, mayonnaise, some ketchup, and grilled onions. It sounds weird, but trust me, it's amazing. It's edgy too because most of the time when you go to get them you're out on the street near a ballpark and the carts that roll around are not on permit. You feel like a real renegade eating those hot dogs, but damn they're delicious!
--in this case, it was my Aunt who made them in her own house so the meal was entirely legal.
That's all I got... I might still be sick by the time you read this. GO KINGS! Have a good Tuesday.
Friday, May 24, 2013
This week's been grand.
And now, the weekend! Do the dance.
You can't really say "Happy" Memorial Day per se... I think we still do, but there's a part of that that's inappropriate from this standpoint:
Memorial Day was developed to honor the people who served in our military who died in action, among others. Veterans Day (those who served and are now civilians) is another holiday.
So... undoubtedly, this comes with some deep thought and gentle meditation. Eventually what I do is appreciate all the freedoms we have now and then hit the barbecue.
So yes, Memorial Day is also "barbecue day"... and the freedoms our country affords us makes it so. I love this place. America.
Gosh, you know? With all the excitement in the NHL I just noticed the Dodgers have a home game tonight. Might be a good fun trip to check out. A couple of weeks ago I *finally* saw the Dodgers win a home game in person. Kershaw was the reason.
My intended breakfast today is a couple of donuts and milk and/or coffee. It's the proper way to celebrate a good weekend.
The Kings won last night... big game by both Slava Voynov and Jonathan Quick. Nobody has won a road game yet! Ultimately, I'm anticipating that to parlay into a Sharks victory on Sunday. The Kings fought like warriors last night, and controlled the puck most of the game -- it's what you want to see.
I had a *feeling* the Red Wings were going to give the Blackhawks a hard time! Yet... there's a side of me that insists the Blackhawks could make this interesting... Just incredible to see the Wings go up 3-1 in this series. The Hawks were *the* best team in the NHL -- far and away. Suddenly they get into a particularly bad matchup like Detroit and they're fighting for their lives. It is *incredible* that the Kane and Toews line has been held scoreless. Can you believe that?!?!?!
That's all I've got today. Short entry but I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
This was the conference finals schedule just last year...
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Not feeling amazing as I write this... it's possible by the time you read it I will be down with some form of small illness. Probably just a cold. Or it might be nothing at all. I felt a soreness in my throat all afternoon yesterday and carried on with it during the podcast. Everything seemed ok.
but it's hard to judge how it will carry into tomorrow. I'll have a ruling one way or another by tomorrow's blog.
Actually that's about it for today. I didn't even see the NBA game last night while I was doing the podcast. I should be banned! BANNED!
I would be hot to trot for this series if Indiana offered some juice, and last night, they absolutely did. Now I wonder if the Pacers shot their wad, and I lean towards "yes."
I did however find one way to make it fun. I am hypothetically wagering money for each game straight up. I will bet on the Heat every game and if they win I will increase the bet. Essentially it's like when you play craps, then hit a number, and let all the money ride on the next point.
Last night I bet 20 imaginary dollars for the Heat to win the game, money line, so -450. That means I won nine dollars! My imaginary gambling account now has 29 bones. For game 2, I'm betting all 29 bones on the Heat to win... wagaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiin.
I'm eager to see how well this goes. I might consider betting the other team in specific circumstances, but not right now. I'll have to check the money line for Game 2 that night to see what the return on a Heat win will be.
This exercise would have been more useful if i tried it from the beginning of the playoffs and *then*, after the heat lose, I would just take the amount that was wagered previously and try it a second time (so, a double or nothing scenario) as the playoffs rolled along.
I feel foolish for not thinking of this idea three weeks ago!
The Dodgers just won a series... BUT THEY DIDNT SHOW ENOUGH FIRE. FIRE MATTINGLY!
I think that's all for now. Have a great morning everyone!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
But, as was alluded to, I returned to the Penalty Box Bar for the game last night. A much more somber affair than in months past. This was a middle of the series game in the middle of the week in the middle, between some other big events at Staples Center. There were zero events schedule at the arena tonight, no thanks to the jokers who are the Lakers and Clippers. Put all together, it was a much much lighter crowd at LA Live's ESPN Zone than we're used to.
Within this trip to LA Live, we had some highlights...
First of all, getting there was always an adventure and I took Olympic Blvd this time out. Weird shifts of bursting speed followed by dead stoppages. Most of that was dictated by the traffic signals. A good commute though and a nice way to get downtown.
The Spinach (and not advertised artichoke) dip at ESPN Zone is still VERY tremendous. I went after this during most of the game and even for some of the Bruins/Rangers game beforehand.
Beer specials were cut and dried -- I went for the Sierra Nevada on tap. Boy is that good beer! Is that good beer? For a stock level, mid grade beer you can get at any store, SN on tap is the pinnacle. Stupidly, I realize now that Sierra Nevada is brewed in NorCal: *NOT* a good show of solidarity for the Kings. This is akin to pounding barrels of Budweiser during the last series against the Blues.
Spinach dip was ON... beer was ON... Kings were far from on, but again more on this on the podcast tonight.
The games room, akin to those carnival games or Chuck E Cheese games, had all the machines set to free play tonight! It was *on*... I went over to the full size basketball hoop game and started pounding jumpers. I steadily worked my way to a 20 point game. It took many attempts during the second intermission, but I got it! You really have to jump for those hoops in the regulation size version of the shoot-out game.
I also tried the NFL passing contest game... you know the one? It has the three holes and one hole is smaller than the other one, etc. The little hole was 50 yards, the bigger one was 30 yards, and the biggest one was 20 yards. I started off with around 80-90 yard scores for each 2 minute drill. Then I hit a zone, and got the 30 yard hole a lot. Aaron Rodgers would dominate this game, I know it!
The crowd was pretty good, but sparse. It got rowdy as the Kings were finally getting scoring chances in the 3rd, including the well received but still cautious cheers for their first goal which cut the Sharks' lead in half.
Then, the Sharks finished off the Kings and won the game. The Penalty Box was deadly silent. Just staring at the TV going "damn, we lost again" but without saying a word. I don't think any of us were crestfallen or anything... well, most werent. I was, big time.
I was depressed as all hell... but I went back to the NFL machine anyway and kept throwing tiny footballs into the machine's cubby holes. I had a high score of 270 yards. Good times. I was so depressed that I wanted to stay at the machine and throw the little footballs until they kicked me out, but as it was Tuesday I thought better of it.
So I drove home and even parked in the driveway, when I realized I only ate chips and dip for dinner. That's not much of a meal! Earlier in the morning, I discovered, get ready for this, a WINGSTOP location only blocks from my house! Do the dance!!!!! I had been trying to eat wings at a wingstop for years, and their commercials are all over TV. At last there's one within reasonable driving distance.
So I called the Wingstop, because it was 10:30 at night and I thought there was no chance they were open... but lo and behold, somebody answered!
Then I thought "but its already so close to their closing time of 11pm that they wont even want to take my order" so I said to them "Ah don't worry about the order, I dont want to keep you waiting so I'll try tomorrow."
Then! The guy on the phone enthusiastically said "Oh we have time! Go on ahead and make an order."
So..... I made an order. I ordered a half dozen wings combo, all with the standard hot buffalo sauce, and fries, and a drink. Affordably priced. GREAT wings.
Could not even believe how great the wings are... I was more depressed than I'd been in months due to the changing tide of the Kings' season, but those wings were a major pick-me-up.
I have a friend from Buffalo who says Wingstop is his favorite wings outside of Buffalo. Strong words!
I'm serious though, Wingstop is PHENOMENAL... completely made my otherwise depressing somber night.
What do they do with the fries? It feels like they're sprinkled with crack cocaine. They use some seasoning I can't describe but it's phenomenal. I was still pretty full so I just had a few and saved the rest.
It's nice to know that the convenience of Wingstop is now at my fingertips. Do the dannnnnnce...
Why is Hellman's mayonnaise no longer called "Best Foods?" Have they conceded themselves as ordinary?
Deep Dish in Los Angeles is my latest obsession. Not to eat, just to find. I'm still surprised to see Deep Dish nowhere to be found, and let's face it, BJ's doesn't count.
The sauce is very good at Wingstop -- its not a vanilla (so to speak) buffalo style sauce. Much more involved, with more seasonings.. its amazing, and it feels non-corporate.
Good stuff... why is my throat sore and scratchy now? Uh oh...
Chat with you all soon! Have a good one.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Well look what we have here! Detroit is leading the West Semis 2-1 over the 1st seeded Blackhawks! I had a feeling they'd make it interesting. Is this a wake up call for the Hawks? Is this a sign of other things to come for the Red Wings? This series has so many layers, it's full on excitement. Loving every second...
I'm poised and ready to go -- to the penalty box, at ESPN Zone, or someplace similar for tonight's game.
One place that seems to sound so right to me is the Buffalo Wild Wings in Burbank but it... is... so... far... to get to on a Weeknight. Doesn't seem to add up.
I might consider Tony P's give the Westside some extra love, as it is my homeland. We'll play it hour by hour and see how it goes. It all -- as you know -- depends on traffic.
Why in the heck did I eat 20 Chicken McNuggets last night? How could I be such a big moron? Ten was good enough. TWENTY? Oiiii....
I'm going to be lugging around those extra ten mcnuggets in my belly all day. Hopefully I can swim some of it off. Yeesh...
This was bad to wait so long to write this but unspeakable tragedy over in Oklahoma with a monstrous tornado that's decimated entire neighborhoods and claimed dozens of lives. Just awful... I feel terribly for the people of Oklahoma this week. I hope everyone out there can get through this somehow.
I cringe trying to address subjects like that, because it would be so easy to sound trite and derivative with such sentiments. I always wonder how sincere other radio and TV hosts are when they express sorrow or regret for a national/international tragedy. Sometimes you wonder if they say "what unspeakable tragedy and horror" because they feel they're obligated to say it or if they mean it. It's hard to judge because, they're hosts after all, and sometimes a little acting is involved. Hopefully it's sincere.
It's always nice, in moments like this, to see big names like Matt Kemp, a Oklahoma native, step up and put his money where his mouth is. He's donating 1000 dollars to the victims of the Oklahoma tornado for every home run he hits until the All-Star Break. He just hit one last night, so already, he's 1000 bones in. Wow! Good for Matt Kemp! He's really practiced more goodwill out of his own heart without any prompting at all. Who could forget the spontaneous moment at AT&T park where he gave a Dodgers fan his cleats and his jersey and some other goodies. Incredible!
It doesn't happen often in sports, cherish these moments.
It's too bad Kempsie isn't hitting much for home runs *this* season. He got the one, but how many home runs would he really hit between now and then? Five? That's still not bad, but doesn't say much about his HR totals so far.
Grizzlies... a lot of people are counting on you to make something of your first ever West Finals appearance. Don't blow it! I spoke very highly of the Spurs yesterday, but while true, I would expect the Grizzles to at least put up a fight. Let's *go*, let's go!
I am determined to complete the fifth star in SongPop for "Classic Rock." It looks so close, yet so far. I will not rest until I get it. Classic Rock gets really repetitive after a while anyway... I gotta get this over with!
I think that's all I got. Have a good one America!
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Rome has been big on the Sharks since the playoffs began, evidenced by his CBS Sports Minute. Would you believe, Rome does his *own* blog on his website? They are carbon copies of the segments he does on his radio show. If you were listen to a show, record it and then play it while reading one of these blog entries it would be the same script.
That sounds *exactly* like something he'd say on his show. You guys thought Ozzie in Woodbridge was staged! I got to read it before the "pay wall" kicked in, but your fate may be different. I *refuse* to pay Rome a dollar for that rubble.
So! Point here is, don't expect that little lemming to deliver anything objective regarding a Sharks playoff series.
My only concession so far is that the Sharks have outplayed the Kings in Game 2 and 3. I feel extremely nervous about the Kings' chances now, but Game 4 is ahead. The Kings have two more days to prepare and then we'll see what happens. I would *absolutely* give the Sharks a chance at winning four straight games in this series.
It would be really hard to do, but it's possible. The Sharks took down Jarret Stoll and the Kings' stability in keeping the puck out of their own zone took a bigger dive after the fact. Worse yet -- Stoll is done for the series. He can't shake his concussion symptoms. Sad news there.
Onward, because nobody else in America cares about this series, as judged by the lack of comments on it.
Would they consider putting sporting events on PBS? The major advantage here is that the games won't need commercials. They can start with smaller events, like judo, or wrestling and equestrian, but I would hope they can move up to bigger sports like baseball, horse races, and others.
I really think this is the Blackhawks' year. They lost on Saturday but I really like that team. It's also an easy team to root for. If they survive Detroit, I don't see anyone else stopping them.
Great win for Ottawa last night! I was listening to the Senators' broadcast of the game on radio, and it was full of unintentional hilarity! Those guys really thought the whole NHL was out to get them. It was such a riot. Great news for them, the Senators gutted out a tying goal with 30 seconds left, then finished the deal in double-overtime.
How long can a cookie keep? I bought a cookie for a friend on Tuesday, but it's Monday now. Is the cookie still good? I didn't refrigerate it.
Yes, sports fans, I washed my lone dish tonight. I'm keeping all the dishes clean this time, opting for the paper plates and cups as I prep my move to Santa Monica.
Congratulations to my cousin for graduating with a Bachelor's in Psychology. Way to go!
The Counter's ideas with building one's own burger are inspired, but the patty itself almost never is. Yesterday, my parents, my family, and I met at a place called "STACKED" in the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks. They executed the same customization techniques as the Counter, but flame broiled their burgers, and allows its customers to order with an ipad.
I think it's a neat twist with technology but pretty damn confusing. How would you tip such an operation? Nobody's actually taking your order. Nonetheless, we allotted the 15% tip and thought nothing of it.
Anyway -- the patty at STACKED is tremendous, and the burger overall was great! Highly recommended if you like the Counter but want something more out of your customized burger.
You ever get a backlog of gift cards? Those are good days. I still have to spend a $10 Target card and I just received a $10 Starbucks Card as an early birthday present. Can't wait to dig into both!
I got a haircut yesterday. I gave up all of my Kings-related superstitions. I thought, this whole thing is silly. I don't need the Kings to win a championship this year, and I may as well give the Sharks an equal chance at it. What the hell? I gave up the kebabs a week ago, and went with the haircut yesterday. I feel a lot better! That hair was weighing me down. Nice to have proper equilibrium again.
When hair starts to grow out, it gets in your ears and suddenly your brain is thinking "how do I manage with all this hair getting in my way? How will I hear?" I'm not cut out for long hair long term.
Don Mattingly is done, isn't he? Well jokers!! You guys are finally getting what you want. The Dodgers will play with the exact same ineptitude that they did with him but ohhh it's so much better because you get your rah rah guy! What a joke fans and media can be....
That's all from here. Enjoy your day...
Grizzlies beat Spurs in 6
Heat beat Pacers in 4 straight.
My simple question for Indiana is this: Where are they going to get the points? Where??? Against the Miami Heat? I can't see them getting any kind of momentum. Grizzlies on the other hand should be the better team in this matchup vs San Antonio primarily because of their toughness, length, and both Gasol and Zach Randolph in that front-court. That is a *tough* frontcourt. Grizzlies already have beaten the Spurs in a playoff series a few years ago. I see them doing it again.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Can you believe the Kings' comeback last night?! See for yourself: http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2012030242&navid=nhl:topheads
Vlassic giveth and Vlassic taketh away. If the Sharks held on, there would have been so many Vlassic pickle puns used in the headlines today. Instead, the Kings leave SJ flabbergasted.
I'm shocked as well... I still don't know how the Sharks could give up two goals that late that quickly. With that said, the Kings had some amazing shifts after the 10 min mark of the 3rd period. Tyler Toffoli in particular had a MONSTER 3rd period. Who knew that a rookie could show so much poise and heart in a big playoff game? Big moment for Toffoli.
Kings now up 2-0 in the series, but as we saw last week with St. Louis, the series is far from over. Games 3 and 4 are critical for the Sharks, and if they get Game 3 they're on their way to making this a series for the ages. I know I said the same thing the previous two games but *this* game I really think San Jose is going to win. If they're losing these games, they really aren't losing too much. And frankly, it looks like they figured out Jonathan Quick too. Scary stuff, long term, for the Kings.
We also need Stoll back... Brad Richardson hardly did anything last night in relief of him.
Toblerone chocolate is the best. THE BEST. It's a triangular shaped roll with little pieces of chocolate that do wonders in your moth. Try it!
Would you eat a hamburger if it had a piece of chicken on it?
The season is over but congratulations to the Warriors for a tremendous season! Great effort and heart against San Antonio in the Semis. Now the Spurs move on and face the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies beat the Spurs in the offs several years ago and I think this year's team is much better, and more experience in a sense. Should be a fun one between SA and MEM.
Maybe this would be a good day to go get that cookie I talked about so much last week from NYBD in Santa Monica. Oh to think that I'll be a little closer to that place in a few weeks. I'm excited just thinking about it!
What club would have invented the "Club Sandwich?" It had to have been a specific one unless a bunch of places independently just came up with the same sandwich. That would seem impossible.
Does that club also have the Club Potato Chips and Club Soda.. WAIT A SECOND!
I mentioned it on tmf.com yesterday but have you all noticed that Quiznos, the sandwich shop, is slowly dying? Store locations around me are closing too. It's just not good enough at being anything. The sandwiches ARE good but other places make them bigger and better. The prices aren't through the roof but other places give more value and cheaper prices. The ingredients ARE fresh but other places do their 'wiches more nutritiously and with better meats, veggies, and cheeses.
Quiznos is essentially in no-man's land. For years I never could motivate myself to go to a Quiznos because my need that day was filled by another nearby sandwich shop. Say, I wanted to go Italian... Bay Cities handled that well. I wanted cheap... Subway was way cheaper than quiznos. Say I wanted the oven roasted/meatball treatment. A local Italian place called DiVita's makes them better AND cheaper.
I don't know how much longer Quiznos has as a company. It's a little sad, but not terribly surprising for me to see them go this way. There was one location, in particular, that was in Santa Barbara for over a decade. There is *no* way its still there now; I wouldn't think so.
DROID X2 is the worst phone decision I've made yet. Android is not the error here... Andriod is TREMENDOUS... the hardware is the problem. I intend to get this rectified during the fall when I switch to a Samsung Galaxy S4. Do the dance!
Apple promised the next big announcement, and they still cannot get the announcement *out* yet. Can you imagine?
Would you be in position to memorize your credit card number? The entire thing, all the digits... imagine if you knew that information and the security code on the back. You could go and buy from any online shop out there and still be protected from pick-pockets. That's exciting to think about.
Does your laptop ever get the blue screen of death from time to time? Scary feeling. I've had it twice, maybe three times in the last five months. Scares me to death!
I've been to a Dodgers game now twice this season. This would be a good time to check out the jokers of the OC, the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles. In due time...
Feeling a little spent but remember this: any presentation you make today will be automatically better than the "Star Wars Holiday Special." The more you know about it, the more awful you realize it is or was. How did they get *all* of the principal talent to agree to joining that program? Who puts Bea Arthur in a Science Fiction program? You wouldn't get these kind of train wrecks on the Jerry Lewis telethon!
That's all from here... Happy Friday!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
What an exciting game at Staples last night! Up and down hockey, great saves on both sides, and the Kings emerge victoriously 2-0. 1-0 lead they take in the Semis against the Sharks, but it's still so early.
I have more analysis, but I'll save it for the podcast tonight at blogtalkradio.com . Instead, here's some more quickies...
Dodgers game... my Dad and his friend invited me to a Dodgers game last night, so I didn't get to see much of the Kings game, but I kept getting updates on the phone. This isn't the first time this happened:
Remember Game 2 of the Quarters against Vancouver? I was at a Lakers game that night too. You get invitations to go see a game and it comes before you even know when playoff games will be played in the NHL. I had to take the chance... the Dodgers vs the Nationals was an interesting matchup and they were great seats.
So I bit the bullet and hoped the Kings could get the W, and they did! Do you believe it? San Jo will get one back in Game 2 however, I'd just as much guarantee it.
I got to Dodger Stadium *very* early this time. I was fortunate to get an early release from work yesterday and left at 4pm. Then, seeing the 10 freeway was backlogged with traffic, I took a very unusual route that got me to the park in just 55 minutes!
I took Sunset Blvd east from UCLA, then made the turn at La Cienega to get to Fountain... of course, the jokers who make the maps don't give you any intication that it is IMPOSSIBLE to turn into Fountain Blvd going Southbound on La Cienega. So I motored all the way to about SM Blvd, but not quite, turning at a side street, then turning again to get back to Fountain. It was weird, but worth it.
I took Fountain all the way to Gower, and then went north on Gower, made a right on Franklin then followed that to Western. Turned on Western which became Los Feliz road, followed the sign to the 5 freeway, and who *knows* what the heck street it was by then, I just followed the sign. I nearly missed the onramp too, but fortunately there weren't very many cars on the road so a car saw me struggling and pulled a *solid* to let me onto the ramp. Whew! I took the 5 south, hit 110 south, got off at Academy, meandered through tight neighborhood streets and made the Academy Gate into Dodger Stadium.
See how easy that was????? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahaha
Bear in mind, those 55 minutes also included the walk from my office to the car, and an extra couple of minutes I spent parking the car at the Stadium.
I should tell you, the Dodger Stadium Club is terrific. The original premium lounge at the park, and still pretty good. They boast a big buffet spread for $36.50, but I took a look. They had some good items there, but it wasn't a spread worth the price, so I passed. My pop and his friend and I ordered some fish tostadas and we split a hamburger. Good times.
Stadium Club did have the hockey on but we only got to catch a few minutes of Sharks/Kings as the game started. Then we went to our regular seats on Field Level. The seats were great, and the stadium was packed! I told you guys about those Bobblehead nights... automatic sellouts. I could not believe how many fans showed up early! It felt like a World Series game in there.
Just incredible! And I tell you, something about Clayton Kershaw, whenever I go to see him pitch he does something amazing. One time I went and he shut down the Giants. Another time I went, and he got his 20th win (maybe this was against the Giants too.). Tonight, I went over to the stadium and he struck out 11 batters, 7 of them in the first three innings! He nearly pitched a complete game but missed it by one out.
Lest we forget, Kershaw pitched against the N a t i o n a l s. Pretty good lineup, I think. I know the Dodgers still don't have much to offer this season but between this and the return of Zach Grienke tonight, there's at least something to get interested in with the Dodgers this year. Expectations are still low but I can say that there's something *to* watch.
"Finding things" was the theme of the night at Dodger Stadium. The camera guy lost his lens cap during the game and everyone around him was frantically looking at it. Then I saw it in the next row in front of us and retrieved it for him. In the 9th inning, my Dad was *freaking out* because he couldn't find his sunglasses cover and once again I looked in the row in front of us and found it sitting there on the floor. He was so happy to get it back too.
The Dodgers seemed to find their groove.
The Kings found a rare home playoff Game 1 and won the thing.
Dave Strader may have found his voice after nearly shouting himself hoarse in that Leafs/Bruins Game 7.
San Antonio found their mojo and blew out Golden State.
It was quite a night.
It took a little longer than usual, but still a reasonable amount of time, to get home. My neighbor comes up, and it's 11pm by then... she apparently had a long day at work, but fun story, she's chatting about her day and one of her cats runs all the way down the stairs to the ground level at our apartment building. Our apartment doors are set up outside, akin to a Motel. It was funny to see the cat scamper all the way back... poor lady had to go down just to get her cat and finish the conversation. This is why I don't own cats. They're pesky creatures!
Our apartment building is true to its good characters. I will miss the place once I move out to the new apartment in SM.
Ooh... these are not quickies are they? Ah well, the mind works in mysterious ways. Catch you all again tomorrow!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Fifteen Years ago today, the NBC Hit Sitcom "Seinfeld" aired it's final episode across the country. I remember the mixed emotions about the way they finished the program. It was... very strange. Very unexpected, perhaps underwhelming. I was sad though... that was my favorite show growing up, and it really had its moments through the very end.
Seinfeld really did have a big impact in our every day lives. ...and it was so funny! Who couldn't get a kick out of those jokers?
Oh baby, you wouldn't believe it... last week I spoke with my Dad on the phone and he invited me to see a Dodgers game against the Nationals. I thought it was a great idea, even though the Dodgers were terrible (are terrible, what am I saying?). What I forgot to do was think ahead to the schedule in case the Kings made the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now if you remember, this was after Game 1 of the STL series and I thought they were done anyway.
Well! As luck would have it, the Dodgers game and the Kings game, are BOTH tonight. Oiii... bad job on my part, but I don't want to let my pop down nor his friends who are going to the game. So, I'm going to head out to Dodger Stadium unless someone else decides to take my place. I prepared myself just in case -- I drove the car to UCLA instead of taking the bus, and even got a perfect parking spot. I'll be ready to go.
Wow huh? I was so hyper about that Sharks/Kings Game 1 and I won't even get to see it!! Instead, I'll bring my DROID X2 and *hopefully* find a radio broadcast of the game to tune into while I watch the Dodgers get blown out by the Nationals.
Dodger Stadium would win some major brownie points if they used one of their two giant scoreboard screens to broadcast the Kings game while the Dodger game was in progress. It'll never happen -- I bet 75% of the people at Dodger Stadium could care less about hockey anyway. I bet they could care less about baseball too ZING!
Hahahahahahaa, I don't usually tweak fans of my own team but let's face it... a good percentage of people who go to Dodger Games don't even go for the baseball. They go for the hot dog, the beach ball, the peanuts and the cotton candy and the organ and the "take me out to the ballgame" song. They also go for the promotions.
What are the top three things that draw people to the Dodgers game?
1. Bobblehead Night -- Grade A number ONE reason you see people go to Dodgers game. If it was in a survey of "things most likely to draw fans to a Dodger game" it'd be #1. You throw a bobblehead out there, even of the peanut guy at the stadium, guaranteed sellout. Incidentally I try to avoid the stadium on Bobblehead nights -- it is a zoo during those games. So busy!
2. Blanket Night -- Just in case you thought Bobbleheads were the only draw, not true. Blanket night is big time amongst the Dodger Stadium faithful. This is actually good value too. If you were to get to a Blanket Night at Dodger Stadium, you'd get some quality fleece. Those blankets are really tough, durable, warm, everything at once! Yet, not that thick... very good blankets and you get to go see the game too.
3. Almost anything else other than the baseball -- Beach Ball hitting, the "guess where the ball is under the three caps" game, the 7th inning stretch, the anthem, chatting with friends, the Dodger Dogs, nachos, the Wave, trivia contests, and a whole lot of other little things I probably missed.
Now, EVENTUALLY, after all these other items set in, the Dodger Faithful key in on the Dodgers game on the field. If it's tight late or if there's a big rally, Dodger Stadium can get riled up. At its best moments, Dodger Stadium can be louder than any rock concert or monster truck rally. Playoff games, for instance... I remember being at the ballpark with my Pop to see the Dodgers eliminate the Cubs in 2008. That final at-bat against Alfonso Soriano where I believe Saito (not sure) struck him out was as electric as any game I can remember.
Dodger Stadium, it's one of a kind...
Now speaking of "Monster Truck Rallies", are you guys getting a load of that clown who DOES THE PA ANNOUNCING for the Memphis *GRIZZLIES!*? Every damn play is announced like those Monster Truck SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY Promos. Hell, maybe it's the same guy that does the Monster Truck promos!
Guy goes to the line for free throws. "TONY ALLEN **STEPPING TO THE LINE** FOR TWO *FREE THROWWWWWS*!"
Guy makes a routine jumper. "***ZACH RANDOLPH!!!! FOR TWOOOOO!!***"
There was *one* time I remember the guy using his regular voice. It was during a replay review when the Grizzles played the Lakers. He went "The play is under replay review..."
Then, after the review...
"...after the replay review, the ***officials rule THAT THE PLAY STANDS AS CALLED, GRIZZLIES BALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!***"
but, as my colleagues all said to me, this is still only the second worst PA announcer in sports when compared to the Miami Heat "Dos Minutos" PA Announcer.
Why is it that every time I try to watch a Grizzlies playoff game I start to fall asleep? That can't be a good sign. The exception was the Clippers series.
I'm really really sorry for the City of Toronto... I don't root for anyone to lose that way. My goodness, that was heart-breaking.
Eastern Conference Predictions...
Last night I was being a joker and claimed the Bruins would beat the Rangers in 5 games. That's a little over-the-top. I have the Bruins winning in 7 games. Would it go any differently for those opportunistic jokers who call themselves "Bruins?"
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa: Ottawa really showed me something in the first round. I was dead wrong about Craig Anderson, at least this year. I also am not convinced by the Pens defense nor goaltending at ALL, but, with that said, Vokoun slotted into Goal for the last game or so and really showed some improvement at the spot. Really, anyone would over Marc Andre Fleury. I think this should be a good series, and I think I'll go with the Sens in 6. This would hardly be an upset. I just don't like the Penguins. I am SHOCKED to see them with a #1 seed. They do *not* look that good. Their defense isn't that good, and they have better goaltending, but it's not that great even with the 'koun.
So to summarize, Bruins in 7 and Senators in 6.
A blockbuster album is rare these days, but Justin Timberlake's new album is IT. Pretty good... I suspect it's doing well on the charts too.
I haven't watched an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" in weeks. I missed an episode a few weeks ago and it's been a struggle to catchup. I may, at some point, but the show has gotten so conventional lately that I haven't been motivated to keep pace.
It's become... The Big Bang and a Half Men.
Or, the Two and a Half Theory
Or, Four Guys, a Girl, and A Laboratory
Something like that.
It's too bad the Bulls couldn't give more than they did against the Heatles. Ah well.. I liked their energy, though. I think they're out of gas, though.
One thing I like to get at In-N-Out: Double Meat (or Double Double), Animal Style, Extra Pickles. Did I mention this already? Ah well, it IS that good!
Stop the Presses! ESPN is Talking about *hockey!* Whoah!!!
I think that's all I have. Stay cool my friends. See you all tomorrow.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The ODDS it takes to get the Sharks to play the Kings in the second round of the playoffs.
The IMPROBABILITY of giving the Kings home ice advantage in *any* round! The Kings haven't had home ice advantage in any series since 1992!
How many meltdowns, playoff chokes, and other unforseen circumstances had to take place to bring the Kings into the second round to meet the Sharks?
We spoke about Vancouver already in depth. What a joke of a franchise they are. None of this happens if they do their stinkin' job. PLAY YOUR GAME. WIN YOUR SERIES. The whole playoffs is now on its ear because of this.
...but... how about we broach the topic of the Ducks too? What kind of a joke franchise allows that meltdown to occur after going up 3-2 in the series to the Red Wings. The Wings aren't a bad team at all, and they have a fun offense, but for goodness sake, was it really that hard to get one win in two tries? Worse -- they looked absolutely lost out there in Game 7, as if once the Wings got the first goal, they received the proverbial punch in the face and couldn't fight back. Think of all the talent on the Ducks, including the aging wonder Teemu Selanne. THAT team could not advance a round?! Think about that!
It really is unbelievable. Ducks fans and Kings fans alike were so excited to meet each other in Round 2. A series between both franchises would have been BEYOND epic. A game in each other's arena over two weeks with only a stretch I-5 between them. But no!!!!!! The Ducks had to choke and fly south like the quacks they are and spin circles instead of mounting a good attack. Eventually they got in some pretty sick scoring chances, but by then it appeared to be too late. It almost seemed like they were fully unaware of the urgency *of that game.* Unreal.
Instead, we're now looking at another big California Rivalry: Sharks/Kings. Feisty rivalry at that. Already I'm getting salvos from my Bay Area fans calling their shots at the Kings. See what you did Vancouver? Now you're making Sharks fans act like they're the Miami Heat for chrissakes.
Just as badly, this whole series puts me in a difficult spot. As you know, I selected the Sharks as the "most likely team to get blown out of the playoffs" and now they're going to play *my team!*
I should be happy about this, but I'm not. You all know my mush well. Now the Kings will have to beat the Sharks *and* the Mush because there is *no* way I'm going to pick San Jose to win the series. No way, none.
I'll give the Sharks this-- they'll be in every game. In fact, with the series starting in LA, I would pretty much guarantee the Sharks to win game 1. Then, LA Takes game 2 at Staples, and we see a split of the next two in San Jose. It will be up to games 5 and 6 to decide it, and I'm hoping, maybe clinging to hope, that the Kings can do enough to win them both.
Just to reiterate, Sharks *will* win game 1 at Staples when it starts. Kings will still be worn out from the STL series, and I don't think our boys will be prepared for SJ's energy, but I also think the Kings are coached well enough to bounce back. Overall, I have it: Kings in 6. I still don't think the Sharks are that good but they got a break getting a familiar opponent who they've played very well (us).
One interesting silver lining to this affair is the series forthcoming between Chicago and Detroit. During the regular season, the Blackhawks and Red Wings were at each other neck and neck. Those were some *amazing* games. Now, thanks to the Canucks' and Ducks' ineptitude, we'll get to see a very very LIVE 7 seed in the Red Wings. The Wings still are very weak at goal with Howard, but I think they could at least out-score Chicago in one or two of those games. Most likely I'd go Hawks in the full 7. The Blackhawks would be hard pressed to put away Detroit in any particular game or stage of the series. It's going to be a great one!
Two game sevens tonight in the East for the NHL, but is there any doubt the Caps win Game 7 tonight? The Rangers have had no traction offensively in this whole series, and, let's face it, the Caps don't exactly scare anyone defensively. As has been happening in almost all the games in Washington, the game will go into over time and the Rangers will make yet another bonehead play to give up the game. In theory, one would think the Rangers are outplaying the Caps, but not really. How much of that game has been played in the Rangers' zone? Hernrik Lundquist seems to be making up for a lot of other team deficiencies, but to be fair I haven't watched enough of each game to get a full read on them.
The one with a ton of intrigue is Leafs/Bruins where the Leafs finally got a home playoff win to force said Game 7. Toughy. I haven't watched much of this series at all, so I can't offer an accurate prediction, but one gets the feeling that the Bruins will win anyway.
It's been a phenomenal Stanley Cup Playoffs so far. onward...
So a few quickies to balance out all the hockey talk. There's a donut chain in LA called "Yum Yum Donuts" that's all the rage. I'm happy to report that the donuts there are worthy of the name. Tremendous donuts! Nothing unusual, just good old fashioned no-nonsense donuts. It's a winner.
Whoof! So hot this weekend. It's about that time for the weather to strike it hot, so I'm not surprised or even disappointed... but it's a work in progress acclimating to it all.
Mimi's Cafe still continues to kill it for breakfast. The family and I went out to Mimi's Cafe in Ventura for Mother's Day. I had a dish called the "Cinnamon Brioche French Toast" breakfast with eggs, bacon, and the french toast. The Cinnamon Brioche French Toast was quite engaging! It was like a cinnamon roll but instead of just the roll it was french toast shaped like the cinnamon bun. Really good!
We don't have Mimi's Cafe in the LA metro... the best I can come up with is one in Los Feliz or near there in Atwater Village, but that's so far on the East Side of LA I might as well go all the way and head up to Pasadena for breakfast. There's also a Mimi's in Northridge near where my sister's going to school. In essence, I leave Mimi's as a "Ventura County" option. There's a ton of other good breakfast spots in LA anyway.
Frankly, it's tough to get up early enough to eat out for breakfast anyway. Isn't that a tough spot? You get up and it's usually around 9:30 or even 10:30 by the time you're ready to leave home. By then, it's so close to lunch one would rather just eat lunch instead of attempt a breakfast with only about an hour between that and lunch time. I wind up, more successfully, prepping breakfast at home or just picking up a bagel or small item with some coffee.
Which lends itself to the other half of the equation: breakfasts at a restaurant are so big they preclude a hearty lunch later in the day. Given the choice, wouldn't most of us prefer to eat a big lunch rather than a big breakfast. There's more going on with lunch.
Breakfast winds up having limits... eggs are involved... sugar is involved... sometimes sausage and bacon is involved, and you can get potatoes involved too. At the end of it all, you're getting at least one of the above in your meal. I don't see the same restrictions on lunch.. much more to choose from.
Beware of MSG... you eat a bad chinese food meal with too much MSG and your'e out like a light, even if you slept well the night before. Dangerous!
I think I'm going to get a lot of enemies this week. Between the usual tweaking on the internet and the upcoming feistiness against the Sharks in this big playoff series, I'm going to annoy a whole lot of people. I'm sorry.
The Dodgers really hit rock bottom. It wasn't until the Marlins came to town when the Dodgers finally won a series. It got so bad that I conceded the Giants were not a hateable team nor franchise. I even said to other Giants fans "I don't hate the Giants any more -- they are everything that's right with baseball."
At this point the only reason I actually "hate the Giants" is *because* they are the "Giants." If they were a team with a different name and played somewhere other than San Francisco, I'd probably be a big supporter of the Giants.
Well, this is now changing. I am now going to support the Giants whenever the Dodgers aren't playing and hope that they do well too. IT's blasphemy, its pathetic, its clownmanship, its a lot of things, but it's also important to support the teams that do the right thing, and right now the Giants are that. So I won't be quite as vehemently rooting *against* them, although if the Dodgers play SF I'll still pull for the blue.
This is where we're at now with the Dodgers... they've been stuck in mud thanks to their own stupid mistakes. Throwing a lot of money at players is not how to win. They just don't get it, do they? Player *development* has been worth beetle dung ever since the Mid 2000's. No question, there were some real diamonds in the rough in between including Kershaw (Kemp doesn't qualify as he was part of that Early 2000's farm renaissance).
Thus, I haven't shown much emotional involvement with the team. If they can Mattingly, they can Mattingly. I think it's stupid, but whatever makes the people happy, I guess. I don't see how Mattingly is the problem anyway. Pitching is where you win. The Dodgers presumably "had 8 starters to start the season" but in all honesty only about 3 of them were legitimately good starters in the rotation. The other 5 were "fifth spot in the rotation" filler. And! The Dodgers are currently operating without two of the three good starters.
So honestly, what did we expect here? Nobody's going to go 90-72 with one useful pitcher in the rotation.
and... as part of this "limited emotional involvement" I decided I may as well endorse the teams that do it the right way i.e. the Giants, and maybe the Rockies too to an extent although it is still early. I also fully endorse the Cincinnati Reds for all the great talent they've had in their system over the last few years.
but, as far as being an LA sports fan, life is pretty good. The Dodgers are underperforming but it's easily counteracted by what the Kings *are* doing and what the Lakers *could be* doing down the road. The Lakers will eventually turn things around but they'll be bad for another year or two. Long term-- that's exciting because it is finally time to rebuild and re-tool the team for good. More on this later.
No Kebabs since that thrilling game 4 Kings victory, but I'm interested in trying a Filet Mignon kebab very soon. Stay tuned!
Lastly, I have plans to return to my alma matter, Cal Lutheran, to watch my cousin graduate this coming weekend. Exciting, no? I look forward to it, both the ceremony and the return to campus. That's all from here. Have a good Monday!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
That was a lot of Mothers Day shopping at Target last night. It was good... productive. Much longer than I thought it would be. Five mothers! I'm not cursing, I shopped for five relatives for Mothers Day. My mom, my Grandma, my Sister, my Aunt, and my other Grandma.
I thought I was going to have that all figured out in a half hour but it was challenging to find all the things I wrote down from the Target website. I have to be more careful. Some of the products at the Target website are not available at the store. I finally figured it all out, but two hours at the store solid.
It's all worth it! Tonight is a big sports night whereas yesterday was a dead sports night. Kings tonight to (possibly) win the series. Warriors at home on ESPN to take command of the Semis against the Spurs. Lots going on in sports.
You ever hear the commercials for Mothers Day? They all say "get her flowers!" I'm not a "get her flowers" guy. Oooh look at the purty flowers! Then, three days later they're all wilted. I like to go after something more tangible which lasts longer.
This year: a bunch of cool little gadgets, CDs, and other fun presents. I think our Mothers of the family will really enjoy them.
One of the gifts is a new CD from Justin Timberlake. Pretty good disc they say! Glad to have found it at the Target.
As you know, I can't get through a trip to Target without the requisite popcorn and soda. I went over to the counter to get one before I continued shopping, saw the guy about to wrap up work at the counter, disinterested, and I checked with him to make sure there was still time to get the popcorn. He said there was so I went after it.
Oh it was good, but when you get the popcorn and the soda together it takes up both of your arms. How do you push the cart? I worked out a system: the cart was pushed with my elbows and then I would just use my tongue to stick to the popcorn kernels and put them in my mouth from the bag. I would *never* do this if I was sharing the popcorn with someone else, but on my own it's a good time-saver.
After I got all the gifts I got to my car and left Target. I drove by the Sizzler restaurant once again, channeling memories of my youth. They used to have Sizzler all over California -- then they went bankrupt. But, in the days I was there, I loved going to their unlimited salad bar. It had the taco stand and the shrimp and the chicken nuggets and the Mac and Cheese. Those were good days.
Does anyone remember the really thick slice of cheesy garlic bread at Sizzler. I'm too scared to read the nutritional info on that thing. I'm estimating 800 calories and 92 grams of fat? Ohhh but it was *goooooooooood.*
My buddy John aka "Bread" is in town this week! He's having a blast with his pop, who's also in town. Yesterday, they went to Disneyland. He sent me this line by text, it was a riot!!
"Why does california adventure have a fake hollywood? Real hollywood is like an hr away!"
Hahahahahahahah, I never thought of that!
Well here it is -- Game 6 tonight at Staples Center. What's my move? Penalty Box Bar at ESPN Zone? Go to the game at Staples? Go to a Buffalo Wild Wings or Tony P's sports bar? or, Stay at home and watch the game there? Any one of those moves are good moves. I will let my conscience be my guide.
One thing I'm dying to try, Kings or no Kings, is the kebab selection at this place that's been around a year or two called "Flame International Cuisine" right on SM Blvd. near my place. It looks tremendous *and* they said that the steak there is phenomenal. Worth a shot.
Have you been noticing this weekly tradition on Twitter called #throwbackthursday ? Feels like a ruse to me, fellas. As if, some guy found a lot of old pictures sitting around on his computer and was bored enough to post them on twitter. Then he said "It's Thursday! I'll call it Throwback Thrusday." Now all sorts of people post old pictures on Thursdays. Let me tell you: when Thursday rolls around, the last thing on my mind is old photographs. To be fair, the first thing on my mind is cookies.
Anyway, as a joke, I invented #todaythursday . I posted a pic of myself from zero minutes ago. I wrote that what I was getting for lunch *that* day. We may have a hit on our hands...
The others are big on their old pictures, but I wouldn't mind some *new* pictures from the likes of Katy Perry. Let's make it happen, America.
I gotta settle down with some of the things on my mind. I'm only one bad turn and several decades away from being another Andy Rooney. Nobody wants that.
"DOESNT IT ANNOY YOU WHEN YOU HAVE THE LACES OF YOUR NEW SHOES ALL SET UP? I LIKE TO TIE THEM MYSELF TO MAKE SURE THEY GO ON THE RIGHT WAY. ISNT THAT ANNOYING?"
Ooh, I know what my breakfast will be on Saturday: a bagel with lox spread at NYBD. That is a good time waiting to happen.
Speaking of "good times..." I might go crazy if the Kings win this thing tonight. Cookies for everybody! Wild drinks... maybe some dancing. --now they'll lose. I'm extremely worried about what happens if they lose.
If the Kings lose tonight, I bet game 7 is as good as a loss too. Don't sell the Blues short!
I learned what a "chode" was last night by looking it up. Oi.
Incidentally, does that constitute a unit in the upright position or the rested one?
Next time you go to In-N-Out Burger: Double Double (or Double Meat), Animal Style, Extra Pickles. It's the best, try it!
I applied for an extra job at In-N-Out. Why I did it, well, I thought it'd be a fun idea, and a good way to spend extra evenings. I could use the money too. I don't know if they'd want to hire me though... I could only work nights and some weekends. There's an In-N-Out location adjacent to the UCLA Campus, so if i really had to, I could fit it into the schedule. I'm intrigued. I've not worked at a fast food restaurant before, but it's not as if it's glamorous work, am I right?
I swear, this would only be a summer gig. Once football season starts, I'll quit the job, in theory.
Friday is indeed here. Enjoy it everyone! Catch you all after the weekend.
NBA Games... maybe I put it on another tiny window on the computer, but usually it's off the screen.
Baseball? HAH! Forget it! The jokers who call themselves "Dodgers" aren't doing anything to earn viewership anyway. The rest of the league, well it's early they can wait.
When Kings playoff hockey is on, everything else is off. Laundry? It can wait. Phone calls, leave a message, they can wait too. Neighbor knocks on the door? Hasn't happened yet so I don't have plan for it. I'll leave fb on. I'll leave twitter on to share an occasional thought or two.
Hockey is the sport where you gotta go all in or you're out. Remember, a goal can happen at literally any second of the game, from second number one to second no. 3600. All the while, it is exhilarating! It's also frustrating.
Boy was that intense last night. Kings. Blues. Tie game from the 2nd period on. Then, the Kings took the lead to start the 3rd period. THEN, with less than a minute left, the Blues tied the game on an Empty Net attack. Looking back, turnabout was fair play because the Kings did the same thing in Game 1. Nonetheless, I was going nuts! I thought "oh here we go again! They blew the game" blah blah etc.
Overtime session begins, and numerous scoring chances on both sides. It was everything you could hope for in an overtime. Then, very quickly, the Kings got a contested 3 on 2 set up by Dustin Brown way in the corner of the Kings' zone. I think it was Williams/Kopitar/Voynov. Voynov separates (very slightly) from his man because Jaden Schwartz ran out of gas for the Blues. Pass goes in and Novsie has a clear line of sight with the goal.
IN THAT HALF SECOND, I could freeze time and just look at the space between him and Goalie Brian Elliott. I said right there, in my mind "He's got a shot at this!"
Unfreeze time, Voynov shoots and it slips under Elliott to win the game. I was going crazy! I was like "HIGH FIVE........ [nobody]" All right so the rest of LA was waiting on Lakers offseason news but for *ME* and all the other scattered Kings fans in town it was a major thrill!
Meanwhile in Anaheim, the Ducks went toe to toe with the gutty Red Wings and also won in OT, with the game winner scored by Nick Bonino, I think that's the name. Bonino sounds like "Benigno" as in "WFAN's Joe Benigno" and the game winning puck told Jimmy Howard "Nick B sent me".
Here's the thing: Neither the Blues nor the Red Wings are out of their respective series by any means. They're a game from elimination but one win sets the dial right back to zero. Anaheim *and* LA really need to be careful not to fall to overconfidence.
Most Kings fans can't stand the Ducks and vice versa, but at least for this round, I hope the Ducks can finish the job. A Ducks/Sharks series would be phenomenal, but if you can believe this, I'll be rooting for San Jose! I mean, there's *no* way they'll win with the Ducks' incredible depth of offensive talent, but San Jose is an extremely likeable team.
I'm purposely going to leave out NBA commentary today, to balance the POS coverage ESPN is giving to the NHL. What a disgrace by ESPN spending 90% of their time on NBA playoffs and exactly zero percent of their time on the Stanley Cup playoffs. ESPN is not even trying to cover sports anymore. They want to cover individuals and themselves... it's been that way for a while but it's getting more and more obvious with each year. --and they wonder why athletes have had a trend of being such self promoters.
That's true, isn't it? No wonder ESPN doesn't cover the NHL -- it is the ultimate team sport. All for one and one for the cup. Oh, but they'd cover it if ESPN broadcast a few games.
I don't even have a problem with extensive NBA coverage, but they could at least acknowledge other sports exist. Mike and Mike today spent multiple segments on a BS HOME RUN CALL IN A BASEBALL GAME. You can bet by October 189 million of 189 million people will forget about that game. There are so many baseball games out there -- a topic like an individual call in an individual game is a clear "time killer" subject. Ah well.
I did not have a kebab last night, due to a lot of circumstances including bad traffic. The Kings have won two of their three games without the aid of the kebab. In conclusion, superstitions are just that -- personal traditions to keep the mind balanced. I suppose their actual impact is not that significant, hey?
If the Kings win a series this year, HUGE IF, in fact, the odds of them losing the series are still about 60/40 (consider that game 7 is in St. Louis), but IF they win, I might go for it and get the porterhouse steak again. Early birthday present, let's call it. We'll see.
Maybe I'll settle for a porterhouse kebab -- do they have one of those?
Oh, and I don't know if I mentioned it in this space: I'm doing the playoff afro again. I really thought I'd get a haircut this weekend. Now I'm not so sure.
People in my family find my playoff afro annoying. I start to look like a hippie a month in. Ah what can I say? it's worth it.
Most people do playoff beards... I gave it an honest to goodness try, growing a beard, but I can't grow a beard. My partial Filipino heritage prevents it. I get almost no sideburns. I was trying to go ZZ Top but I barely got a surface working. Wouldn't grow out at all.
It's almost Mother's Day. I love my Mom... I mentioned how much she means to me, but now I wonder: are all of these "Days" a giant ruse to buy more presents? Corporate America is very sneaky, downright sinister, with these extra holidays. You don't get a day off! Oh, but it's mandatory to spend oodles of dollars on extra presents to show appreciation for people or occasions. I'm more than willing to make the commitment, but any time it happens it makes me think about how we came to these traditions.
When did the thought occur that "OH I LOVE MY MOTHER I NEED TO BUY HER A BLENDER?" Are material items the clear indicator of one's love for his or her Mom? I think that's a little unfortunate. If I could control these things, I'd purposely ask all my friends and family *not* to give me a present for my birthday or Christmas. I don't need material items for appreciation, honestly. All those extra things take up space in my apartment. What for? Love and gratitude is enough for this goofball.
Now, having made this admission about my Mom, it's established that Mothers Day presents are the "social convention" (as noted on "The Big Bang Theory"). I'd love to get her tickets to Bruno Mars, so long as they're not expensive. I can't stand Mars, actually I LOVE Mars, but not "Bruno Mars." My Mom, however, is a huge fan.
I know why this is. Bruno Mars is such a Michael Jackson wannabe that he reminds his fans of the original King of Pop. Personally he's a giant Xerox to me. Nonetheless, dude is immensely popular and I can respect his command of his audience. Think: MJ without tact (or talent [runs]).
I think I have other ideas, but I am out of time. Have a good Thursday!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
What else is there to say? When you get swept in the playoffs, there's really no where else to go. What a fantastic joke. I hope the whole team gets decimated. That franchise has no idea what it's doing. Blow it all up. They need to get some character on that team. It's a woeful underperforming organization.
They made the *Sharks* look good! That's all you need to know!!
I don't bet. It's well documented why I don't bet on anything. Any time I try to bet on anything with sports it fails. Remember when I went to Las Vegas and bet on four games and blew all four or them?! One of them was a major upset (Stanford over Oregon). It's just not safe.
Kings tonight. I think the Blues still have control of this series, but I'm just glad to know this won't be the final Kings game of the year. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst, are they going to drop the bomb or not?
Forever young, I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever, forever, forever young..?
I just quoted some lines from Alphaville's "Forever Young." It's a really cheesy song, not very well written. When you repeat the same word three times in a row, there's not much there, but what can you do? It was a big hit at proms apparently.
Whole lot of pressure today to eat that kebab for dinner... can the good luck karma of the chicken kebab carry over to Game 5? Let's watch and see...
Souplantation was just awesome last night. I felt like some readers may have taken my recent comments on Coach and unfairly labeled him an ornery guy. Not true... while he did get unnerved about fights in the NHL and other sports, he's a pretty jolly dude normally. We extolled the virtues of Katy Perry last night over salad and soup. Good times.
You wouldn't believe how good the southwest pasta salad is at Souplantation. Brownie bites too, and the biggest surprise of all, slices of sourdough bread to go with the whipped butter. It took me by surprise, and it was tremendous.
This blog entry is off to a good start. I'm going to pause here and write the next paragraph next Thursday.
...I am not actually going to do that. Now, who in their right minds thinks such a move would be a good idea? It would ruin the momentum of the blog post. People might even forget the whole thing and move to other blog feeds. Who would want to lose market share like that?
I still can't believe a dunk only equals two points! Boy the things you learn from the NBA playoffs.
Couldn't believe how quickly this week went. Can you believe it?
I'm a happy clam though, because soon it will be Mother's Day. I love my Mom. I'm always so happy to see her. She's so nice. I wish I could be young again and just play with my toys and not have to worry about anything. Days like that will never come again. Sigh.
I'm a tired clam too. I hope to catch up on rest soon enough. Been a busy week at work, but rewarding.
I think that's all for now. Check out yesterday's podcast if you can at blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity . We spoke about the Sharks impending upset of Vancouver, had on A Couple Quickies, then Mawquis, and the usual Random Questions with Kevin on the Cape. It's a fun listen. Catch you all tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Even with a more limited team, I thought at least there'd be the heart. How wrong I was! Well, you may now go back to catching fish or playing golf, things that Vancouverites love to do. Stanley Cup championships are clearly not among them. Oi...
Still, I could have been more helpful by not annually selecting the Nucks to do something. Hope you all can forgive me. On to the next one...