Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Huevos rancheros. I'm typing this with one eye because I had a little work done on my right eye today. Nothing serious. I just had a little infection that caused some blocked pores, so I had to get them unblocked in a 10-minute procedure. But I have to wear a patch over the eye until tomorrow morning, so that's a bit of a pain.

A warm welcome to Dr. Doobs to the world of blogimafying. Both he and Senor OJ have launched MP3 blogs, which is a cool way for me to check out music I haven't heard before or in a while. Dube's got a music collection that puts mine to shame, something my wife would have a hard time believing, but it's true.

I stumbled across this the other day, a preview of a new movie coming out from the great minds that brought us "Dude, Where's My Car?" As my brother wryly noted, maybe we should be glad that dumb Asians run counter to the normal stereotype.

Well, the UNH-Michigan game last Saturday was a big disappointment. The seats were great, even though part of the fat guy next to me hung over into my airspace. The place was packed with UNH fans, but the Wildcats were just outclassed by a fast, strong and smart Michigan squad. It put me in the unfamiliar position of having to root for Boston College in Sunday's final, which I watched on TV. Now that was a great game. BC was all over Michigan but was trailing 2-1 after two periods. They tied it up with a few minutes left and then won in overtime on a sweet goal by Ben Eaves. Now they're in the Frozen Four against hated Maine, while Denver plays Minnesota-Duluth in the other pairing.

The NHL regular season wraps up this weekend, setting the stage for the best postseason in all of sports. I can argue this for hours on end, so don't even get me started. NFL and MLB playoffs are both fun to watch, but for me, nothing tops the pitched battles that ensue in the chase for the Stanley Cup. And it's such a grueling road: you have to win four best-of-seven series to be the champ. Once again, the Leafs have a supremely skilled group that shows up some nights and is horrible on others. Steve and I saw them shut out a hot Bruins team 3-0 last Thursday, two days after they got totally smoked by Tampa Bay. We saw an unbelievable scrap in the stands after the game; two drunk nitwits were beating some fat guy who we think was a Leaf fan. The cops and security personnel stepped in to break it up and the whole mass of them were driven into the next row of seats below. One of the cops broke his leg and the young punks who were still fighting the cops were dragged off and hopefully beaten silly. I'm no fan of jack-booted thugs, but I'm even less of a fan of drunken idiots.

All right, enough of this. I think my other eye's getting tired.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

But wait, there's more! Apparently, Van Halen has reunited...with Sammy Hagar. Well, I guess it's better than reuniting with Gary Cherone, but I was hoping they'd patch things up with David Lee Roth. Not that they could come close to matching what they did in their heyday of 1978-84, but it would be fun to see, wouldn't it? Still, DLR isn't totally hiding in the shadows, even if it isn't by his own choosing. Sho' nuff, he's doing a cameo on "The Sopranos" this weekend. Well, I guess it beats "Yes, Dear." Sorry, Kevin Smith.

I love it when the Brits get serious about their cliches. Well, at the end of the day, it's not rocket science, to be honest with you.

It's a bad week for groins around the world, as evidenced here and here. Yowch.
Hoo-ah! It's been a week and I gots lots of kabloggin' to do, so let's get to it. Our little nukular (George Dubya pronunciation) family is doing well. Deb's feeling better, Lily's eating well, and Hannah's having a blast. Lately, Hannah's has spent the first 30 minutes or so after we put her to bed chatting away with her stuffed animals. It's hilarious. "Hi giraffe, how are you? Good night, Dora. See you tomorrow." Deb's taken to listening to the monitor like it was a transistor radio with a Sox-Yankees game in mid-July.

My first official night out since we had Lily was last Saturday with my bro-in-law Steve. We went to the Hockey East finals at the Fleece Center. I was hoping to see UNH play Maine, but my Wildcats choked Friday night against UMass, blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 5-2. So I decided to root for UMass, since they'd never gone that far, and besides, I hate Maine (the hockey team, not the state). Saturday's game didn't disappoint. It went three freakin' OTs, with Maine finally winning 2-1. Both goalies were amazing, but Maine's Jimmy Howard made some simply ridiculous saves. UMass really poured it on with 64 shots on goal, and forward Greg Mauldin and d-man Thomas Pock were impressive. Pock seemingly played forever and was smooth setting up chance after chance for the Minutemen; turns out the New York Rangers agreed, because they signed him this week and he scored in his first NHL game last night. It was by far the longest and best game I'd ever seen. Steve managed to score tickets to the NCAA regional tourney in Manchester, NH, where UNH plays Michigan on Saturday. I hope they win, but I'm not sure if they have the horses. We'll see.

Lots of music stuff to talk about. I found some good stuff online that I've been checking out. Queens of the Stone Age, one of my favorite groups, is currently on hiatus and mastermind Josh Homme just had a falling out with bassist Nick Olivieri. But Homme has a fun side project (one of a seemingly endless list) called the Eagles of Death Metal in which he plays drums and sings backup. The band's first album comes out this week, but its official web site has a live show available for free download that rocks. They've got a hard rock-boogie thing going on and I likes it.

The White Stripes have managed to remain awesome despite unrelenting hype, although Jack White is dating Renee Zellwegger and putting on rock star airs, including the nasty beatdown he administered to former friend Jason Stollsteimer of the Von Bondies (whose latest album absolutely slays, BTW). Just last week, Jack jumped on stage with Bob Dylan and played a killer version of the Stripes' "Ball and Biscuit." Find that and a bunch of great Peel Sessions material here. Thanks to Burned by the Sun for the tip.

I've got more, but it'll have to wait because Lily's crying and it's my turn to feed her. Later.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Greetings. Welcome to week 2 of the Kumar four-person family experience. All is well. Lily's eating and sleeping and pooping, as babies are wont to do. Hannah seems to enjoy having a sister, and likes to "feed" one of her baby dolls when one of us is feeding Lily. She's also turning into quite the joker, getting a kick out of calling me "Uncle Daddy," which she picked up after hearing cousin Danny calling me "Uncle Jay." She also throws out the occasional "Uncle Mommy" just to see the reaction it gets. That kid's a pistol, I tells ya.

It's March Madness time and that means filling out the office pool. Deb just did hers and chose to go blind, making her picks without the benefit of any additional research other than knowing the seedings. I may follow suit, since research has never gotten me anywhere and I don't really follow college hoop anyway. I'm more interested in the Hockey East tournament this weekend; on Friday, my UNH dawgs face off against UMass-Amherst, while hated Maine plays hated BU (who knocked off overwhelming favorite BC last weekend). Me and bro-in-law Steve are joining some other guys to see the championship game Saturday night. Hopefully, UNH will be there, but whoever plays, it's always good hockey.

First day of spring is this Sunday. So naturally, we got about eight inches of snow since yesterday afternoon.

Hard to believe an entire community is this backward, but it's true.

Still haven't seen "The Passion of the Christ" and don't feel the need to rush out and see it, but its success is still an interesting phenomenon. Not that he needs the money, but Mel Gibson stands to make a mint when all is said and done. Now he's talking about the story of Hanukkah. He hasn't said he'd do a movie about it, but one wonders if he's just saying it to get the critics who say his current movie is anti-Semitic off his back. Goshdarnit, I'm so cynical.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Well, we've had Lily home one night and I don't want to jinx things, but last night was great. Deb got up to feed her at 12:30 and I got up at 5:30 to feed her. Not bad. I remember getting little to no sleep last time around with Hannah. Things could change quickly, so I'm not getting too excited about this. But it's great to have her and Deb home with us. Hannah's dealing fairly well. She thinks Lily is cute, but definitely gets jealous when Mom or Dad spends what she considers too much time with Lily. She doesn't seem to blame Lily, which is good. So far.

I had to admit I was rather shocked when I heard the Boston Herald was hiring former Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnicle, who left his longtime Globe job in 1998 after it came out that he fabricated some of his columns and ripped off some others from other writers. It wasn't so much that he got another job--he's been writing a column for the NY Daily News and doing a talk show on Boston radio for a while now--but that the Herald would hire him after its gleeful coverage of his downfall six years ago. For the Herald to announce his hiring without so much of a mention of his past transgressions seemed rather odd. Check out Dan Kennedy's Media Log in the Boston Phoenix for some good coverage of this and other media issues. I haven't worked for a newspaper in almost nine years, but I still love reading about all this stuff.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: George Carlin's the man. Always a keen dissecter of BS, Carlin has a great take on the bogus outrage over Janet Jackson, Howard Stern, et al. There's new legislation in the House that would raise indecency fines from $11,000 to $500,000. Change the channel, folks. Sheesh.

I've been digging the new Von Bondies album, Pawn Shoppe Heart, as well as the Shins' latest, Chutes Too Narrow. I also picked up the Mars Volta's debut CD because I was a fan of At the Drive-In, but I haven't gotten into it yet. Very prog-rockesque, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the 12-minute song times and pretentious song titles ("take the veil cerpin taxt" and "inertiatic esp" are but two examples) are a bit of a turnoff. Still, I need to listen to it a little more.

It was nice to see my Indian homiez easing up tensions with neighboring Pakistan enough to stage a cricket tournament instead of their usual round of nuclear brinksmanship. I still don't really get cricket, although I do have a cricket bat as a souvenir of my last trip to India 24 years ago; I have a ton of relatives over there, including my grandmother and tons of uncles, aunts, and cousins, but the logistics (cost, vacation time, etc.) just don't work right now. My parents would take us out of school in January for six weeks to go over because weather-wise, it was the best time of year to go, but I can't do that now. One of these days we'll figure something out.

Some British rock mag is reporting that Kurt Cobain wanted to leave Nirvana and join his wife's band Hole. Apparently he said it in an interview just before his death. That totally would have been like John and Yoko all over again. Still, the Plastic Ono Band stuff John Lennon did after he left the Beatles was pretty great, as opposed to McCartney's Wings output, which was okay but definitely missed the acidic counterbalance of Lennon. As for Kurdt and Courtney, there were rumors that Cobain wrote much of Hole's Live Through This, which was released a week after he blew his brains out in '94.

Okay, time to get some sleep while everyone's actually sleeping.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Hey. Lily's three days old and she's just getting cuter, if that's possible. She's definitely got a different personality from Hannah, who was quite noisy right from the get-go. Lily's a lot mellower, either snoozing or just gazing at you with those dark eyes. So far, she seems to have the opposite of Hannah's personality. It will be interesting to watch these two develop, especially once Lily starts really forming a personality. After all, she's only three days old.

She and Deb are still at the hospital until the end of the week, so things are pretty quiet around here. I went back to work today and took Hannah to daycare, and then we went to visit Deb and Lily in the evening for a few hours until Hannah started bouncing off the walls. After putting Hannah to bed, I got Sandy from next door to come over while I went to visit the hospital again for a few more hours.

So it's not fair to describe Lily without also showing her off in digital image form, so I slapped together an Internet home page with some photos (as m'dawg Mike Powell would say) using the Comcastian bandwidth at my disposal. Check it out here. Remember, it's a work in progress and I basically did it in about 20 minutes, so ease up on the web design criticism, aiight? The photos in the gallery are freakin' large, so be forewarned.

The NHL trade deadline came and went yesterday, and the Leafs managed to make their team of graybeards even older by adding 41-year-old Ron Francis and 37-year-old Calle Johansson. Unfortunately, they didn't address their needs for a decent backup for Eddie Belfour or a physical d-man, but they still are a formidable contender if they can stay healthy. Judging by the sick bay this year, that's a big if.

The Todd Bertuzzi cheap shot on Colorado's Steve Moore is quickly becoming this year's Marty McSorley incident. Of course, this is much, much worse. Bertuzzi sucker-punched Moore, who gave Bertuzzi's teammate Markus Naslund a concussion last month, and then jumped on Moore, breaking his neck. Looks like Moore will recover, but at the very least Bertuzzi needs to be suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs. Possibly longer. The NHL hands down its decision Thursday. Bertuzzi's one of the best players in the league, which makes this different than the usual thuggery perpetrated by rank-and-file goons. It also makes this the perfect time for the NHL to show it has some spine and really punish this guy, despite the devastating impact it will have on Vancouver's playoff hopes.

Later.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Well, it's official. I will be outnumbered in my own home by women for at least the next 21 years. Today at 8:58 a.m., Deb and I welcomed Lily Rachel into the world. She's 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and 20 inches long. And she's cute, according to big sis Hannah. Nothing else matters.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Yo ho ho. Another week come and gone. Just watched "The School of Rock" on DVD. Verily, a fine flick. As Troy McLure would say, "It's the role Jack Black was born to play, baby." No rocket science, just a fun movie. And it's about rock.

So it's Kerry vs. Bush for prez this fall. Let the mudslinging begin. Well, it's already begun, but now it's gonna get muddier and slingier.

This is the world leader with the coolest name ever.

Martha Stewart was found guilty today in her insider trading trial. Normally, I would find this amusing because she's a pompous pain in the arse, but the fact is this kind of stuff happens every day without consequence. She really is being persecuted because of who she is; the government hopes to make an example of her. Just like the Winona Ryder shoplifting case.

McDonalds is doing away with supersized meals. Maybe they're hoping people will just order twice as much stuff to make up for it. Oh wait, they're all about healthy eating now. Right.

Lots of big trades in the NHL. The Leafs got Brian Leetch from the Rangers, the Bruins got Sergei Gonchar from the Caps. Trade deadline is Tuesday, so there may be more to come.

Don't click on this link if you've got a weak stomach. Suffice it to say, I'm never eating in a restaurant again. Well, at least not in that restaurant, anyway.



Monday, March 01, 2004

Yep. So the Oscars came and went and the Lord of the Rings squashed the competition with 11 trophies. Still haven't seen the third installment, but I will. Seems as though the Academy made up for snubbing LOTR the first two times around. I was disappointed that Bill Murray didn't win Best Actor, but he seemed like a longshot, anyway. At least Sean Penn's a good actor. I also need to see "Mystic River," which looks pretty good even with the bad Bahstahn accents. Honestly, they should just stop trying to do the accent because if you get it wrong, it sounds awful. Besides, it's not like everybody talks like that around here. Just 75% or so.

Warning: hockey talk. The NHL trade deadline is coming up next Tuesday and there could be some big deals swung by the usual suspects: Colorado, New Jersey, Toronto. Detroit already landed the league's leading scorer, Robert Lang, to a pretty good offense. The rumors have been fierce that the Leafs will get Sergei Gonchar from Washington, but I'm hoping the latest rumor about them landing Chris Pronger from St. Louis happens. That would just be sick, and it would finally make Toronto a Cup contender.

The teams with big bucks seem to be going for it, since it's not looking good that there will be a season next year because the league's collective bargaining agreement is up after this season ends. Unlike the last work stoppage in '94, which cost half a season as the league was riding an unprecedented wave of popularity after the Rangers won the Cup, this time the NHL is a hurting puppy. Former SEC chairman Arthur Levitt was commissioned by the owners to do a financial analysis of the NHL and his report was shocking: the owners lost $273 million last year. Of course, the players' union says the report is bogus as they fight to prevent a salary cap. Whatever. The NHL will lose a good chunk of its dwindling fan base and possibly a few franchises if there's a prolonged work stoppage. For its part, the NHL launched a new web site to update fans on the exciting CBA rhetoric. The league should be doing all it can to avoid a lockout, which would be catastrophic at best.

For you music nerdz out there, one of my favorite things to do with my iPod is listen to it in shuffle mode. To give you a sampling of the 1,750 songs I've got on the sucka, here's a list of 20 consecutive songs I heard this afternoon at work:

1. Since You've Been Gone--James Brown
2. Come as You Are--Nirvana
3. July Jones--The New Pornographers
4. Black Jack--The Hives
5. Man's Best Friend (live)--The Pursuit of Happiness
6. Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1)--Yo La Tengo
7. Vague Space--Stephen Malkmus
8. Footsteps (live)--Pearl Jam
9. Dumbells--Mission of Burma
10. Happy Sarong--The Pattern
11. Born Into a Mess_The International Noise Conspiracy
12. The Air Near My Fingers--The White Stripes
13. Holiday--Papas Fritas
14. Still--Heatmiser
15. This Hip Hop--Summer Hymns
16. New Orleans is Sinking--The Tragically Hip
17. Femme Fatale--Bea Arthur's Revenge
18. The Same Boy You've Always Known--The White Stripes
19. Thanks for the Night--The Damned
20. European Son--Velvet Underground

All right, that's enough typing for one night.