Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What's Old Is New Again

Welcome back, everybody. It's kind of nice to be home and, let's be honest, I didn't give such good narrative over at PokerWorks. I know it. You know it. The American people know it. The fault lies with me alone. I have suspiscions why, but it doesn't really f-ing matter, seeing as it's in the past and as my former(?) readers know, I don't mind making mistakes as long as something can be learned from them. So let's chalk it up as another in a perpetual line of educational mishaps. I should be ready for my Ph.D. sometime in my 80s.

And to those of you who followed me over there and read faithfully, sincere thanks. I'm not being specious when I say I feel like I have to "earn" people back here at the friendly confines of The Obituarium. It's also true that I'm a little excited about it.

Enough recriminations and ball-tuggin'. It's good to see y'all.

Aside from getting Mule Kicked by every internet donkey on the planet this summer, I spent a lot of time watching TV. "Wow Joe!" you say. "How very fucking exciting!"

Not just any TV, though. Three seasons of "Rescue Me." Two seasons of "Weeds." Season Two of "Deadwood." Seasons One and Two of "Oz." "Friday Night Lights" Season One. Pretty much a murderer's row.

I had watched "Deadwood" faithfully when it first began on HBO, but lost the thread of it early in the second season due to the Mrs. having sex with someone else. As I couldn't concentrate long enough to spell my own name, I couldn't watch that show because it demands too much attention. Just deciphering some of the dialogue is an intellectual exercise and graspng the plot nuances is like a game of charades. It's pretty brilliant all the way around, but I admit my energy level drops a bit when Al Swearingen isn't on screen. Greatest dramatic character ever? I don't think there's any doubt. He makes Tony Soprano look like Corey Haim.

I'm two episodes into Season Three and will be killing a few airborne hours with the cocksuckers on my way to Key West.

"Rescue Me" is a little ridiculous plot-wise, though I'm willing to concede that might be because I watched three seasons worth in less than a month, which should give an accurate indication of how much I liked the show. I think it was Jordan who first recommended this 'un to me, so thanks for that Counselor. Tommy Gavin? Another classic character.

"Weeds" also got pretty silly toward the end of Season Two. I'm up to date on the currently running Season Three and it is just about to lose me; in fact, I'd like to club its bloating corpse with "Californication," which is a one-note pile of gorilla shit. As if having Kevin Nealon as a regular wasn't bad enough, the current run has Matthew Modine and one of the Olsen twins. But the first season was sheer genius and I don't think I need to remind anyone that it stars the incomparable Mary Louise Parker at the height of her minx-like powers.

I was persuaded, much against my initial will, to give "Friday Night Lights" a try. I stand before you contrite. I loved it, even when I realized my $29.99 was wasted money since NBC is offering the entire season for free on their website. I dunno, maybe I'm just a sentimental fool, but I enjoyed every goddamn bit of it, even the cliche parts. Coach Taylor is note perfect and his wife (the always lovely Connie Britton) kicks ass, too. Season Two starts Oct. 5. Get there while you can, though recall that I also loved the first season of "The O.C."

And that's really how I spent most of my summer. Sure, there was wagering. Poker continues to hate me like a woman scorned, but I've crushed the Sportsbook the first three weeks of the NFL season. And I've made a little scratch at Fantasy Sports Live, though that run is clearly coming to an end with the advent of gridiron. I am beyond mediocre at Fantasy Football and the results prove it. Hell, even when Carson Palmer throws 6 TDs, I can only get 3rd.

Then there's AJ. He's growin' up awfully fast. I've kept pretty close tabs on him on the internet over at Offsprung and most of those tales will continue there. You parents out there should really take a look at the site. I'm amazed at all the learned opinions that can be found there. You can now create your own profile (with a link to your own site) and "host" conversations in The Playground. It's become a valuable resource for myself and a lot of people. No matter how unique your little bundle of joy is, someone out there has been through what you're going through and can offer advice, for you to either take or throw away. I've been aided quite a bit as far as the whole co-parenting (work in progress) thing goes.

That'll probably be all you hear from me until next week (if I live that long). I'm off to join the southern-most bacchanal in all the contiguous United States. Pray for my safe passage. And welcome back.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How 'Bout This One?

Now go
Stand up to a giant
Said that I'm a fighter
Too drunk to remember
Too drunk to…

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


We're not here to make your children bleed

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oh Well...Whatever...Nevermind

I have been on a quest lately to find out why Kings of Leon aren't the most popular band in the universe, a crusade which was fermented by their show last Friday night at the Greek Theatre I attended with Betty and 6000 of our closest friends.

Seriously people, what the fuck?

It's an issue about which I am admittedly emotional, considering how much I love their latest album, "Because of the Times." So, I am trying to put that away and logically come to some sort of reasoned conclusion as to why people aren't humming KoL songs at all times.

I went to the most music geeky guy I know, Salk, and we walked through it. Basically, it went like this. He said,

"Haven't heard the new ablum. First one was okay and I heard the second one sucked."


KoL's first release, "Youth and Young Manhood," was a fresh piece of finely-cut meat with several jangly, catchy songs. It was basic, but enjoyable, and I wore grooves in the CD listening to it frequently. Tunes like "Molly's Chamber" and "California Waiting" gained some radio (and commercial jingle) play and were pretty representative of the rest of the release. They provided a contrast to the stock rock of today's "alternative" bands, cookie cutter outfits like FallOut30SecondsTakingBackYellowcardSundaytoMarsBoy, but neither were they breaking any ground. Just some good, primative songs with the southern/gospel influence seperating them from the dyed-black hair, shag cut, Emo pack.

Then came their second album, "Aha Shake Heartbreak," which I didn't like nearly as much of the first. It still was in regular rotation, but was less stark than its predecessor and didn't seem to have a clear goal or identity. The thing about it is, the album makes sense only in the context of the third, as you can see the metamorphisis of the band's direction. They didn't achieve anything with "Aha Shake Heartbreak," but they planted the seeds that would grow full-fledged. It's transitional and I'm guessing the band found what worked, and, perhaps more importantly, what didn't.

Which brings us to "Because of the Times," a quantum leap forward. On Friday night, the band played 11 of the 14 songs from the album (and played the shit out of them) and the contrast between those and their older songs was like comparing mono and stereo. "Black Thumbnail" is a vital piece of anthemic rock. "Knocked Up" is a seven-minute meandering epic of soulful defiance. "On Call" is guts opened and blood spilled, all of them punctuated by Caleb Followill's unique voice and occassional yelp and twang. The musicianship is amazing, the songwriting daring. If you gave KoL a try a few years back and didn't connect, do yourself a favor and give them another chance.

I'll tell you what. Buy the whole album for $9.99 from iTunes. If you hate it, legitimately hate it, I'll buy you into a Mookie. That's how fucking serious I am about how good this band is.

Also, if you legitimately hate it, you're an idiot who lacks basic common sense and even the slightest good taste. But you'll get a buy-in our out the deal, which I assume you'll use to suck out on someone. Because you're just not very bright.*

(*Joe Speaker is not affiliated with, nor employed by anyone employed or affiliated with Kings of Leon.)

Joe Speaker's Week I FSL Results

Bad. I told you.

Four contests entered. One third place finish and three also-rans, none of which gave me much chance for cashing after...oh...the first quarter of the morning games. I picked badly.

Seemed a lot of new faces in there, which was awesome (although on 24 of you competed in the BFFB. Really? That's it? Some degenerates you are). And I was nowhere near as bad as some. Basically, it was a blast keeping up with the contests.

(By the way, in case you don't believe I am fucking cursed in fantasy football, I had the second highest total in my league yesterday. Guess who I played? Yep. That's a big 0-1.)

If you've not yet gotten your FSL Freak on, what the heck are you waiting for?

Bonus Code: Speaker

Update: I even bubbled for the BFFB points. Funny.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hot Off The Presses

Hey everybody! It's me again! Thanks again to Anonymous for the two-part guest post.

It's a big week for a couple of the pies in which I have stuck my thumb and I'm here for the edumacation.

Offsprung v2.0 has launched and the site is bigger and better than ever! Here's the announcement of some of the new features, including Reproduciness, which will feature original parent-themed humor, like comics and videos; a new blog from Dr. Rob, Offspurng's own pediatrician and an expanded Playground, with complete profiles and the ability to upload pictures in a "family album."

And I am still pounding out AJ Tales at Don't Forget to Flush.

I implore you to check out the changes, tell your friends, design homemade t-shirts, pimp on your blogs and, if you like what you read, please Digg your favorites.


That goes for this, too. The NFL starts THIS SUNDAY. Football. Gridiron. Pigskin. I'm going to be sitting on my couch all day (hello NFL Sunday Ticket!) monitoring my parlays, eating wings and shouting at the television.

I'll also be refreshing Fantasy Sports Live every couple of seconds. If you're like me, being able to play single-day fantasy football contests is a godsend. My full-season team sucks (as always) and I'll lose interest by Week 8. I'm bad at it and can't be bothered to read newspapers every day. So you might want to enter an FSL contest with me in it (unlike baseball where I pwn each and every one of you). Just sayin'.

In addition, Blinders has set up an extra challenge for Bloggers. The info:

Announcing the first annual Blogger Fantasy Football Battle (BFFB) sponsored
by FantasySportsLive.com!

The BFFB will bring together poker bloggers from around the country to compete in MTT style Fantasy Football contests that will run each week of the football season. $500 minimum will be added to the prize pool by FSL.

Each week starting September 9th, FSL will run 10-player $10 fee contests with BFFB in the title. Each contest will pay out $90 to the top three finishers that week. The results of all bloggers will be pooled together each week to determine the weekly BFFB results. Points will be awarded to the top 50% of finishers each week based on the PokerStars TLB formula. Points will be accumulated throughout the season to determine the overall champion. Added prizes by FSL are listed below. Also, any weekly overall winners will be invited to a Tournament of Champions at the end of the season.

1st Place Overall $100
2nd Place Overall $50
3rd Place Overall $25

1st Highest Individual Weekly Fantasy Score $100
2nd Highest Individual Weekly Fantasy Score $50
3rd Highest Individual Weekly Fantasy Score $25

Tournament of Champions
$150 minimum added to prize pool.

Results will be posted weekly on Blinders's site and more info can be found here. You can chose to compete weekly for your best chance at the season title, or just enter as many as you can. Even with a single weekly entry you are eligible for the highest score prize or with a win an entry in the tournament of champions. What we are doing with the BFFB has never been done before, and would not be possible without the daily contest format that we use. This format allows us to apples to apples compare 100s of fantasy football entries, which is impossible with standard fantasy offerings. Please help us make the BFFB a success, and spread the word about FSL.

Bonus money. Bonus bragging rights. Bonus opportunities to make fun of other bloggers.

And, as always, Bonus Code: Speaker gets you even more free cash to play with. Hope to see those BFFB slots filled up with y'all this Sunday. Maybe I'll shout at you in addition to my television.