Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mr. Schaible Goes to Washington

Emily and I were in D.C. this weekend. We were attending the nuptials of her boss. It was the first time I’ve been to our nation’s capitol and needless to say, 2+ days doesn’t really cut it. Nonetheless, we had a great time… here is a recap:

(In the interest of keeping this post a reasonable length, I will refrain from posting all my pictures… I’ll post some more later).

Day One: Friday
What We Did: Made the 8+ hour trek from Northbridge, MA to Sterling, VA (my travel agent, Emily, found an affordable hotel there). Went to dinner with a Mr. Mix and the Misses… it’s been like two years since I last saw them. Friends from our Great California Adventure (circa 2006-2008), I credit Evan with the following two life developments: interest poker and collecting LPs. The two crashed at our hotel room.

Highlight: Seeing friends you haven’t seen for a long time is always nice… especially when it’s not awkward.

Tour Guides: Evan & Courtney.

Day Two: Saturday
What We Did: The four of us took the Metro into the city. Due to our overwhelming social schedule, we had approximately seven hours to see everything D.C. has to offer. We arrived at the National Mall and went to three museums: The Air and Space Museum, The National Gallery and the Museum of Natural History. Did you know they’re all free? That was awesome. The Natural History museum was definitely the coolest (and most crowded).

We then bid Evan and Courtney adieu and met some of Emily’s coworkers for a BBQ. The three ESPN editors talked shop and we wives gabbed. Joking aside, it was nice to put faces to some people who until then were only Wii avatars to me. We had a few beers and Emily and I accounted for roughly 70% of the conversation.

Highlight: Emily mistook the Capitol Building for the White House. We all had a good laugh at her expense… In her defense, it was misty and her eyes don’t function.

Through the Mist: The Washington Monument
(in all its phallic glory)

Day Three: Sunday

What We Did: The wedding was at 11:30am, so we carpooled over to the venue (which freed me up to treat the open bar and passed mimosas as a drinking competition). The ceremony featured a James Carville look-a-like as the pastor and a three-piece band… they played Pachelbel’s Cannon in D, which I enjoy and made me think of this. The reception kicked off and Emily danced.

After that we went back to the hotel for a breather and went out to dinner with Brett and his wife, Kim. In true Jeff-fashion it took roughly two minutes to inhale a chicken parm. And again, Emily and I kept our new friends from getting a word in edgewise.

Highlight(s): #1 Mimosas = liquid candy; #2 A tragic shoe accident. I won’t go into details in but to summarize: where once there was a shoe, now there is dust.

Cast: Jon, Steve, Emily, Brett & the Groom (Matt).
Not Pictured: Me

Day Four: Monday
What We Did:
Slept in some. Drove home.

Highlight: No traffic issues.

--fin--

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gone Commercial – Mixtape #3

“Advertising is legalized lying.” – H.G. Wells

Beatnik: “You’re in advertising… How do you sleep at night?”
Don Draper: “On a bed made of money.”


Good songs used to mislead people into buying shit they don’t need… (a long playlist)



Track Listing:
  1. Bob Dylan – Forever Young (Pepsi featuring Will.i.am)
  2. Joe Purdy – Just Can’t Get It Right Today (Kia Spectra)
  3. Tim Myers – A Beautiful World (Target)
  4. Rare Earth – I Just Want To Celebrate (AT&T)
  5. David Bowie – Suffragette City (Rock Band)
  6. The Kinks – Starstruck (Converse)
  7. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – Can’t My Eyes Off You (Planters)
  8. The Who – Sparks (Gatorade)
  9. The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger (Amstel Light)
  10. Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (Miller Light)
  11. Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side (Gatorade)
  12. Kings Of Leon – Red Morning Light (Ford)
  13. Band Of Horses – The Funeral (Ford)
  14. The Spencer David Group – Gimme Some Lovin’ (Ameriprise Financial)
  15. Marvin Gaye – A Funky Space Reincarnation (Dior)
  16. Herbie Hancock – Rockit (Visa)
  17. 1990’s – See You At The Lights (Payless Shoes)
  18. Bob Marley & The Wailers – One Love / People Get Ready (Converse)
  19. John Lennon – Real Love (JCPenny)
  20. The Shins – Sleeping Lessons (Zune)
  21. The Flaming Lips – The W.A.N.D. (Dell)
  22. Joey Ramone – What a Wonderful World (Ratchet & Clank)
  23. Europe – The Final Countdown (FedEx)
  24. Buddy Holly – Take Your Time (Visa)
  25. Oasis – All Around The World (AT&T Wireless)
  26. Shiny Toy Guns – Le Disko (Motorola)
  27. Chairlift – Bruises (iPod Nano)
  28. Coldplay – Viva La Vida (iTunes)
  29. The Submarines – You, Me & The Bourgeoisie (iPhone 3G)
  30. Of Montreal – Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games (Outback Steakhouse)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pick 5: Television Shows

So the latest Facebook thing seems to be these "Pick Your Five" posts. Again, I'm not going to spam people there... so here are my Top 5 TV Shows:

1. Seinfeld
Bold statement: Easily the comedy ever. There are plenty of great comedies but none have the re-watchability as Seinfeld. Perfectly casted, Seinfeld is probably the only show in the world that can still make you laugh after seeing each episode 20+ times.

2. The Office (UK)

With all due respect to the American version (which I love), the original, Ricky Gervais version is head and shoulders better. The biggest difference? It was only 12 episodes plus a special feature length finale. If you haven’t seen it, rent it! The finale is one of the two or three best I’ve seen; from David Brent’s music video to the moment everyone was waiting for (no spoilers), it’s impossible to not enjoy it.




3. Extras (UK)
Gervais again. In the follow up to The Office, Gervais and Stephen Merchant again tackle issues like frustration and desperation for fame. Both geniuses play twisted versions of themselves. Big celebrities have cameos in each episode and are good sports, making fun of themselves.

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm

From the co-creator of Seinfeld, comes a similarly-themed, foul-mouthed HBO comedy. Larry David plays a fictional version of himself. With Law and Order-esque, cookie-cutter regularity, each episode goes something like this: Larry’s self-centered and impatient neuroses create awkward situations… everything falls apart in the end.




5. 30 Rock

The best comedy on TV right now, 30 Rock is legitimately the only show I will not miss. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan are all hilarious. A true story: a couple weeks ago Emily and I watched 30 Rock at the gym… it was the scene where Jack was naming the pocket microwave. When the scrabble tiles spelled “Hitler,” Emily burst. Everyone stopped to stare at the schmuck on the exercise bike. 30 Rock = Laugh out loud funny.

Also considered: The Office (US), The Simpsons, Arrested Development, Six Feet Under and Lost.

Little Mac is Back!

(and so is that pink sweatsuit)

I'm not going to lie, I got a little excited watching this...

Monday, March 23, 2009

What the F&*% is Andy Rooney Talking About?

This was from a while ago but like so many things, I've discovered it late:





Courtesy of MedlinePlus:

Dementia (Also called: Senility)
Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.

Key Changes – Mixtape #2

I’ll again remind my readers, I’m no musical savant. I took one music class at Northeastern and that was “Introduction to Jewish Music” (it filled a diversity requirement).

Anyways, key changes, as I understand them, are those oft-used, power-balladesque devices used to prop up a boring song. Intended to provide extra oomph, often they come off as cheesy (I’m looking at you Lionel Richie).

Emily’s take: “a key change makes any song 22 percent better.”



Track Listing:
Here are some of my favorite songs boasting key changes (some cheesy, some just awesome):

  1. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
  2. Radiohead – Paranoid Android
  3. The Beatles – And I Love Her
  4. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Oliver’s Army
  5. The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??
  6. The Foundations – Build Me Up Buttercup
  7. The Beatles – Penny Lane
  8. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Accidents Will Happen
  9. The Guess Who – These Eyes
  10. Chicago – You’re The Inspiration

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jeff’s Movie Review: I Love You Man

At long last, I give you the return of my regular segment, “Jeff’s Movie Review.” The subject?

I Love You Man

Quick Synopsis:
Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a successful real estate agent (Really? Still have those?) who needs a Best Man. After a series of awkward “man-dates,” Klaven connects with Sydney Fife (Jason Segal). Fife is fun-loving and self-assured. As the two get closer, Klaven’s relationship with his fiancĂ©e, Zooey (Rashida Jones) suffers.

My Thoughts:

I should disclose (in the interest of unbiased “journalism”) that I’m an unabashed admirer of Mr. Paul Rudd.

That said, Rudd was fantastic. He was funny and original as a guy who is awkwardly out-of-place everywhere and anywhere. I’m a sucker for “awkward funny”, see The Office (UK) & Curb Your Enthusiasm and Rudd's character certainly fit in that mold.

Jason Segal, who was real good in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was great. I wish I had a friend like him.

I Love You Man also had some funny performances by people I didn’t even know were in the movie: J.K. Simmons, Andy Sandberg and Jamie Pressly.

The end was a little corny and left something to be desired but on the whole, it was definitely worth the matinee price.

The Verdict:

3 1/2 Schaibles



A very good rating for a comedy. Emily thought it was the best comedy since 40-Year Old Virgin. I’m racking my brain here and I think I agree.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bold Predictions: MLB 2009

AL EAST

  1. Boston Red Sox (96 wins)
  2. New York Yankees (94 wins – Wild Card*)
  3. Tampa Bay Rays (93 wins)
  4. Baltimore Orioles
  5. Toronto Blue Jays


AL CENTRAL

  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Chicago White Sox (first in 2008, last in 2009)


AL WEST

  1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  2. Oakland Athletics
  3. Texas Rangers
  4. Seattle Mariners


NL EAST

  1. New York Mets
  2. Florida Marlins (Wild Card*)
  3. Philadelphia Phillies
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Washington Nationals


NL CENTRAL

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Milwaukee Brewers
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Houston Astros (worst record in baseball)


NL WEST

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. San Francisco Giants
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Colorado Rockies
  5. San Diego Padres


AL Champion: Boston Red Sox
NL Champion: Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2


AL MVP: 1B Justin Morneau, Minnesota
NL MVP: OF Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles (N)

AL Cy Young: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston
NL Cy Young: LHP Johan Santana, New York (N)

AL Rookie of the Year: C Matt Wieters, Baltimore
NL Rookie of the Year: RHP Jordan Zimmerman, Washington

Other Random Predictions:
  • The Angels will elminate the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs (again).
  • The Red Sox will have the best Team ERA in the AL.
  • Carl Pavano, now with the Cleveland Indians, will win 10 games (or one more than he did during his tenure in NY).
  • Bud Black (San Diego) will be the first manager fired.
  • The Cubs will lose in the first round of the playoffs.
  • No player will hit 50 home runs this season (but Pujols will come close).
  • In spite of all the injury talk, A.J. Burnett will make 30+ starts.
  • Jake Peavy will not be traded... but Roy Halladay will.
  • Kevin Youkilis will finally punch Joba Chamberlain.
  • Jeff will win his ultracompetitive fantasy baseball league.

Friday, March 20, 2009

About My (Future) Wife – Facebook Note-thing

I’m going a little crazy with the blog posts, I know.

Like a week ago, Emily did one of those Facebook chain letter things: “About My Husband” … I’ll reciprocate (but I will not spam a bunch of friends by tagging them on Facebook. I hate that).

So… about my (future) wife:

1. She’s sitting in front of the TV; what is on the screen?
Chances are Seinfeld… but depending on the night/time, she might be watching Lost, The Office, 30 Rock, various HGTV programs (My First Place or Income Properties are popular selections) or some sort of wedding-related show involving bitchy brides and crazy families.

2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does she get on her salad?
Italian or Blue Cheese.

3. What’s the one food she doesn’t like?
Instant mashed potatoes.

4. At a bar, what does she order?
Riesling or a Cape Cod… never beer.

5. Where did she go to high school?
Cranston East (R.I.)… the second best high school in town.

6. What size shoe does she wear?
I don’t even remember what size shoe I wear… I have no idea.

7. If she was to collect anything, what would it be?
Movie ticket stubs from the 1990s, notebooks full of interviews with various Massachusetts’ high school athletes conducted while working at The Boston Globe (those could be valuable one day), and dusty cook books. =) kidding!

8. What is her favorite type of sandwich?
Buffalo chicken… is bagel & lox a sandwich?

9. What would she eat everyday if she could?
Brownie sundae? She does have a small Dunkin Donuts’ toasted almond iced coffee with cream and no sugar everyday.

10. What is her favorite cereal?
Not really a cereal eater… but she’ll snack on my Honey Nut Cheerios if we don’t have any suitable snacks.

11. What would she never wear?
Uncomfortable clothing.

12. What is her favorite sports’ team?
She’s a New England girl… Red Sox, Patriots & Celtics.

13. Who did she vote for?
She would have voted for Obama, had she gotten her butt to R.I. (but she would have voted for Hillary in the primary).

14. Who is her best friend?
Me. But Katie O. is her maid of honor.

15. What is something you do that she wishes you wouldn’t do?
Yell… like Will Farrell before me, I often have difficulty controlling the volume of my voice.

16. What is her heritage?
Polish Jew and German protestant.

17. What is her favorite color?
She’s fond of black and white dresses.

18. You bake a cake for her on her birthday; what kind of cake?
Definitely chocolate… maybe ice cream.

19. Did she play sports in high school? What did she play?
She was a band geek (flute). She was a cheerleader but that’s not much of a sport.

20. What could she spend hours doing?
Sleep, sift through the celebrity gossip in her Google Reader or play Mario Kart for our new Wii.

21. What is the one unique talent she has?
That’s a tough one… she’s not much of a dancer, that’s for sure. She can read a Jeopardy clue, have a snack and answer it before Alex Trebek finishes reading it.

Not sure how interesting all this was… but honey, how’d I do?

Late to the Party: Girl Talk

While browsing YouTube yesterday at work (my boss wasn’t in), I found this:



Now I’m not the biggest fan of mashups (I’ll blame that Jay-Z / Linkin’ Park fad a while back), but I love this. For those of you scoring at home, “Play Your Part (Pt. 1)” featured samples from: Roy Orbison, UGK (featuring OutKast), The Spencer Davis Group, TTC, DJ Funk, Cupid, Pete Townshend, Unk, Twisted Sister, Huey Lewis & the News, Lil Mama, Ludacris, Jurassic 5, Temple of the Dog, Birdman, Rage Against the Machine, Aaliyah (featuring Timbaland), Birdman and Lil Wayne, T.I., Edwin Starr, Sinead O’Connor, Shawnna, Jay-Z (featuring UGK), Keleis (featuring Too $hort) and Young Jeezy (featuring Bone Crusher) – thank you Wikipedia.

Wow.

I had never heard of Girl Talk. Maybe I should have… the album Feed the Animals (2008) was widely recognized as one of the best albums of 2008:
  • Rolling Stone - #24
  • Time - #4
  • Blender - #2
  • Evan Mix -#2
So obviously I’m late to the party… but since some of you are probably sleeping on Girl Talk too, I’ll consider this post a public service announcement.

Want to know the best part? In similar fashion to Radiohead’s In Rainbows the whole album is available via the fantastic “pay-what-you-like” system. You can download the album here.

I’ll leave you with this… who is Girl Talk? This dude:

Not what I expected.

Spring Fever: Mixtape #1

Spring has sprung! Yesterday I actually played a little basketball… it was a strange experience, being outside; playing sports without a Playstation/Wii controller in my hand.

In honor of the season, for the first time in a few months, I’ve published a new mixtape at 8tracks. You can listen in below.



Track Listing:

  1. The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
  2. Oasis – Morning Glory
  3. Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky
  4. Wild Light – California On My Mind
  5. Belle & Sebastian – Another Sunny Day
  6. Ida Maria – I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked
  7. Slightly Stoopid – 2AM
  8. Katrina & The Waves – Walking on Sunshine
  9. Nena – 99 Red Balloons
  10. Tom Petty – Wildflowers
  11. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Road Trippin’
  12. The Rolling Stones – She’s A Rainbow
  13. The Velvet Underground – Who Loves The Sun
  14. Weezer – Island In The Sun
  15. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love
  16. The Lonely Island – I’m On A Boat
  17. Sugar – If I Can’t Change Your Mind
  18. Brandston – Earthquakes & Sharks
I wanted to add two more tracks, but 8tracks wouldn’t let me. So here are some YouTube links.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bold Predictions: NCAA Tournament

I better post this now because it will likely be irrelevant in a couple of hours.

My Bracket:

(click to enlarge)

Highlights:

  • Final Four: UConn, Kansas, UNC & Pitt
  • National Champion: UConn (and I'll go out on a limb and predict the women win too)
  • Round One: Siena (go Saints! the pride of Albany, NY) over Ohio St, USC over BC, Utah St over Marquette, Maryland over Cal, Butler over LSU
  • Texas over Duke in Round Two.

Where is Jeff?!?!?

I would apologize the hiatus but hey, I warned you. You knew what this was. Don’t be so clingy. Get off my back.

So why has it been so long? Let the excuses begin:
  1. In addition to the nine hours I put in each day (in front of a computer screen, mind you) for Thermo Fisher Scientific, The World Leader in Serving Science, I have been doing plenty of extra work… law websites, high school gymnastics stories, etc. So my reluctance to get back in front of the laptop and flex my already depressed creative muscles is hopefully justifiable.
  2. Emily and I have seen only one new movie, The Watchmen. I know some of you have been anxiously awaiting my review but I’ve been unable to muster the strength. So here’s my take: It’s shit. How many Schaibles? One – for the soundtrack.
  3. I got a BONU$ a couple weeks ago (even in a down economy, everything comes up Schaible)… so with Emily’s permission I made two purchases: 1. MLB 2009: The Show and 2. Baseball America’s 2009 Prospect Handbook. Between the two, pretty much all my free time has been spoken for. Again, sorry.
I could go on but I’ll spare you.

Be comforted, I’m back (until I lose interest again). We’ll speak again soon.