The Songs, v1.0

Jill and I caught "The Corpse Bride" on Friday night. I'm fairly certain I enjoyed all the parts for which I stayed awake.

Last night it was "The Forty Year-Old Virgin," humor of the lowest of brows, which was hilarious, thanks in part to the flask of whiskey we shared in the handicapped seats in the front row.

I haven't had a soda now in three weeks and ten hours. In the absence of Dr. Pepper and Pepsi, I've rekindled my love affairs with water, wine, beer, Southern Comfort, and Sambuca.

Most importantly, check out the new songs list on my Geocities site. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.



The last time the Y***ees didn't win the AL East, I was studying for my road test. A democrat was President, gas cost 88 cents a gallon, and Bob Dylan hadn't won Grammy yet.

The last time the Braves didn't win the NL East, they won the NL West. Barry Bonds was a Pirate, the New Kids on the Block were popular, and Windows hadn't been invented yet.

F baseball.


Spatula of the Month

I'm sure you've read all about this weekend's festivities on someone else's blog by now, so I'll just thrill you with stats and fun facts.

Saturday's homerun derby produced two especially memorable moments. In the final round, Joe and I went head-to-head, trying to hit the most homeruns before we got ten outs (any swing that is not a home run is an out). Joe started fast, hitting three homers before his third out. Two outs later, he hit another one to left, several feet over the fence, but I make the day's first robbery, a catch at full extension that could only have been made with my first baseman's glove. That combination of luck, skill, and serendipity took the wind out of Joe's sails, as he froze at three homers and I took the crown without breaking a sweat, 11-3. I won't venture a guess as to how many of the guys tanked the second round on purpose to let the birthday boy (as I was called several times that day) win his own event, but I'll offer a special thanks here to anyone who did.

More impressively, after cranking five homers with just five outs, including three straight bombs that clinched a spot in the second round, Rob decided to offer at an up-and-in pitch from Eric. He turned towards left and lofted one straight into the stadium lights, sending glass cascading to the top of the ground as if he were re-enacting the end of The Natural.

Homerun Derby Results
Round One
(ten outs)
6 Anonymous Contestants, 0
Brad, 1
Jeff, 1
Joe, 3
Pat, 3
Eric, 4
Rob, 6
Me, 7
Mike, 10

Round Two (five outs)
Pat, 2
Eric, 2
Rob, 2
Mike, 2
Joe, 3
Me, 5

Final Round (ten outs)
Joe, 3
Me, 11

In the ensuing baseball game (played sans deathguard but with tennis balls instead of baseballs), Joe's team rode solid defense and a giddy derby champ throwing meatballs dead center to an 11-7 lead, but couldn't touch Rob's consistent regimen of change-ups over the alst four innings and lost to my team, 19-11. Rob and I each homered in a 7-run last inning off Matt, who had been solid over the first seven innings, possibly not having yielded a single earned run.

For details of the evening events, you'll have to speak to me or another participant directly, but I'll offer a few teasers. Jaron threw change where change shouldn't be thrown, mentioned Gee when Gee shouldn't have been on his mind, and made creative use of a Fritos Scoop. Joe instisted that he'd always wanted to beat the Moynihans in darts despite having met the Moynihans a night earlier. Mike browned out through the Fritos Scoop incident, so it's probably best to leave him in the dark about that part.

Meanwhile, let's direct all prayer towards the Red Sox, White Sox, and Indians, who can make this postseason the best since 1993, when Joe Carter walked off with a memorable homer and baseball's innocence.


Help Me Find My Proper Place

This will be a feature at my geocities site within a few weeks, but I can’t go any longer without commenting. Not satisfied with just two QHS lists a year, Pat and Mark decided that we need to name our top 50 songs of all time. An elite group of seven gathered in the greater Saratoga region this weekend and nominated 25 songs apiece, developing a ballot of 174 gems ("A Day in the Life" was named twice). In the five days since the great summit, I’ve listened to every song at least once and every song I hadn’t heard before at least twice, and what do I have to show for it?

56 “in”s
79 “out”s
39 “maybe”s
18 songs tentatively ranked 1-18

While I won’t divulge my top 18 or anything that will or won’t make my list (this list is way too unpredictable for me to spoil anything anyway), I will list the nominated songs that rank at the top of a few important categories:

Three songs that make me want to dance in my underwear:
“Victoria,” The Kinks
“I Saw Her Standing There,” The Beatles
“Daydream Believer,” The Monkees

Three songs that make me want to cry in my underwear:
“Imagine,” John Lennon
“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” Otis Redding
“Lover, You Should’ve Come Over,” Jeff Buckley

Three songs that make me want to dance in someone else’s underwear:
“Love and Happiness,” Al Green
“It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World (live),” James Brown
“Get Gone,” Fiona Apple

Three songs I hadn’t heard that blew me away:
“Songs of Love,” The Divine Comedy
“Vitamin C,” Can
“East St. Louis Toodle-oo,” Duke Ellington

Three songs I had already heard that still blew me away this time:
“California Stars,” Billy Bragg & Wilco
“Country Feedback,” REM
“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” Neutral Milk Hotel

Three songs that would be better if they were four minutes shorter (read: Rob’s list):
“Why Can’t I Touch It?” The Buzzcocks
“Marquee Moon,” Television
“How Soon is Now?” The Smiths

Three songs from my list that, sadly, have no chance to make the top 50:
“Spottieottiedopaliscious,” OutKast
“A Design for Life,” Manic Street Preachers
“Gone for Good,” The Shins

Three songs I can’t imagine naming one of the 25 best ever:
“Wild World,” Cat Stevens
“Fear,” Sarah McLachlan
“Amoreena,” Elton John

Three Kinks songs that are almost indistinguishable in their excellence:
“Sunny Afternoon”

Three artists I’ll have a hard time limiting to three songs (a self-imposed limit):
The Beatles
Stevie Wonder
The Velvet Underground

Three songs I love despite their titles:
“Le Pastie de la Bourgeoisie,” Belle & Sebastian
“Jesus,” The Velvlet Underground
“Mayonaise,” The Smashing Pumpkins

Three songs at the top of my list: