Friday, May 18, 2007

El Lay

So I live a couple miles from the CBS lot on Fairfax and Beverly. There have been people camped out by the lot for more than a month looking for tickets to the final Price is Right with Bob Barker. I drove past there the other night and the line stretched for more than a block. I can't even fathom having that much blind devotion to a TV show.

I take a right on Beverly, and there's another gathering of people lined up for blocks. And blocks. And blocks and blocks and blocks. This time it was for a Linkin Park in-store appearance. I had no idea Linkin Park had this many fans left, total, much less in one city.

*LA has Vermont and New Hampshire avenues running parallel. At first, it seems like a nice little touch by a city planner with a sense of geography. But one night I was walking between the two I realized New Hampshire is actually a block west of Vermont.

*I had a betta fish named Eddie for more than a year. Anyone who has ever had a betta basically knows the drill ... they are some of the hardiest critters on the planet. They're indigenous to swamps in Southeast Asia. I once ran out of betta food and it was three days before I got to Petco to buy more and Eddie didn't even flinch.

Last week, I went to change his water. And I forgot to add the couple drops of tap water purifier you're supposed to use when you change your fish's water.

The unpurified LA city water killed Eddie dead within 24 hours.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


*So I was making a bag of Trader Joe's Orange Chicken the other night, right? And I grab the towel off the oven handle, open the oven, and reach into the 450-degree heat to get my food. And as I'm manuevering the tray out of the oven, the towel sort of shifts and next thing I know my pinky finger on my left hand hits the tray.

And I pretty much howl in pain, and run my finger under cold water under the faucet, but don't feel anything. I basically spent the rest of the night with my finger throbbing and occasionally pain shooting down towards my wrist.

Seriously ... the tip of your friggin pinky finger should not cause so much pain that you end up a blubbering wuss. I don't get it. I've ignored some major stuff in my life, like the time I was 18 and had a horrible asthma attack, but insisted on finishing the game of Super Mario Bros. 3 I was playing with my friend Luke at the time (and I did better on that particular game than I ever did before or after) before going to the hospital; and one day I covered a Patriots game and my lower back was in so much pain I could barely move. But I graze a hot tray for a nanosecond with my finger and I'm done for the night.

*If you're one of my MMA readers, you can usually see me on UFC PPVs. I'm usually in the octagonside press row directly behind what's usually the challenger's corner for title fights. When the hard camera is focused in that direction you'll usually see, the fighters, the fence, and my big bald head. The first couple shows I went to, I'd get 2-3 calls from friends per night, but then the novelty wore off.

*We had an In 'n' Out Burger 18-wheeler pull up to the office yesterday and there were free double-doubles for everyone. And while I'm on the subject of food that will send me to an early grade, there might be no sandwich on the planet better than the pastrami rueben's at Canter's on Fairfax.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Every four years ...

*It happens once every four years. You know they're coming, and yet there's nothing you can do it about, like gypsy moth caterpillars or wisdom tooth removal. The World Cup grabs the entire planet's attention every four years, and with it comes …

… the onslaught of tired, wheezing crap cliché columns from the same old sports columnists lecturing us about why Americans don't like soccer. Complete with snarky references to nil-nil draws and borderline racist jokes about countries that don't often get much ink.

Nevermind the Americans have worked their way into the picture over the past two decades, from the point their inclusion was considered a joke in 1990 but now, you can make a case for the USA reaching the semifinals with a straight face. Nevermind MLS, though I personally don't find it very entertaining, has entrenched itself to the point that in several cities they outdraw the local NBA or NHL entries. Nevermind that everyone I know is talking World Cup today, dwarfing the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup and Sox-Yankees. Nevermind crowds of 50,000 and more in major cities for international friendlies and major foreign club team appearances.

Nope, no matter how much evidence to the contrary, no matter how many people enjoy soccer and how many people turn out for matches, the vanguards from another generation will continue to crack wise and look down on soccer and tell us why Americans allegedly don't enjoy the sport. Then, in their next train of thought, wonder why no one reads newspapers anymore.

*Seems like everyone's doing a big mixed martial arts overview piece these days. Most of them, of course, focus on the "dangers" of the sport and ignore the studies that say MMA is safer than boxing because there are few punches to the head and thus less long-term trauma; and that the sport has a track record of competitor safety that boxing, football and hockey can't match. Anyway, simple request for my fellow reporters: If you use my Growth of UFC piece from March as a template for your own story, as some already have, can you please credit the source of your material? All you have to say is "according to" at some point along the way. Don't even need to use my name. Thanks!

*Awesome night spent at Chavez Ravine with the visiting Bucknell Jared on Tuesday. One of those nights that reminds you why you started watching baseball to begin with. Dodgers vs. Mets. Pedro vs. Lowe. Nomar takes Pedro deep on a first-pitch fastball. Pitcher's duel develops. Until the bottom of the sixth, when the Dodgers strike for 6 runs and 6 hits in the 6th on 6/6/6. Then Grady pulls Grady move No. 1 and yanks a cruising Lowe for Andre Ethier. Then pulls Grady move No. 2 by keeping Ethier in the game and putting him in JD Drew's cleanup spot. Then pulls Grady move No. 3 by leaving Lowe's replacement in long enough to nearly blow the six-run lead without retiring a batter. (In 2003, Chile Hidalgo of Chile's Corner emailed me and said "Who would win a battle of wits, Grady Little or a peach tree?" Score Tuesday night: Peachtree 3, Grady nil). Then the game finishes with Eric Gagne's first save in a year. Great times. All this for $14. I suppose I should break down all the Red Sox-related significance to the evening, but, I'm not in the mood.

*College World Series is on. *PING!*

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Oh I, ohhhh I'm still alive

Alright, time to kick it old-school with a Dave's World post. Or sumthin' like that.

*If you used to follow the old blog, you know that friend and general tag-team partner in mischief Chris Forsberg is one of the biggest camera hogs in the sports journalism business. Lo and behold, he just HAD to get a picture of himself in a recent bowling story in the Fitchburg Sentinel. Couldn't get a photo of another bowler, or the person he was bowling with. I'm pretty sure sometime this summer I'll get an email from him saying "Dude, they were looking to run a men's swimwear spread in the paper, and I just happened to show up to work today wearing a bathing suit, so my picture's in the paper again."

*My buddy Dan Sally shot a standup bit that will air on Comedy Central this summer, but Comedy Central's already got a clip available online. Check it out here.

*My boy Dan Boucher's band Neptune was featured in the Boston Herald recently. They're on a U.S. tour now. I'd link to the Herald story, but they'd already archived it. So I'll link to their website instead.

*Want to venture a guess to which of my friends would write a column defending on Barry Bonds if given the opportunity? Did you say Andy Nesbitt? You're right.

*If you're wondering why I enjoy writing about mixed martial arts, it is in large parts because I love the way the fighters just tell you what's on their mind straight up. Here's one quote from one prominent UFC fighter about a fight in which he bulled his way to victory after almost getting choked out. I'm not going to name the fighters because the guy on the receiving end is a good guy and I haven't gotten his side of the story: "I was p***ed. "(That fighter) is a p***y. He kicked me in the n*ts and kept fighting. If I did that to someone I would have been gentleman enough to back off and let him recover, but he's a p***y. So I just got p***ed and I kicked his a**."

That's a whole lot more fun than going out with the pack at an average pro sports event and listening to someone recite the same rote "We just take things one game at a time" stuff over and over and over.

*Do Red Sox fans have the right to boo Johnny Damon? Yup. But let's can the "Boston's fans are so much more intelligent and sophisticated" jibber-jabber for awhile, at least.

*$3.39 for gas down the street from me. And it is one of those independent dealers too, the ones that used to be about 30 cents a gallon cheaper than the big name places, but suddenly cost the same as everyone else. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Song Remains The Same

*On the TV right now: The Song Remains the Same, the Led Zeppelin concert video. I need to get a pair of those bell bottoms with the moons and starts all over them like Jimmy Page.

*Alrighty, so as you've probably figured out by now, I generally only drop by here these days when I feel like plugging my own work. I mean to post more, it just never seems to work out that way.

So the latest is this take on the growth of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the sport of mixed martial arts. This was particularly gratifying to work on because I've read one too many ignorant stories on MMA over the years, the sort that make you embarrassed for your profession, so it's nice to get a chance to write about the sport and get it right.
I also worked on a sider on UFC competitor Alex Karalexis, who hails from Whitman, MA.

*A few thoughts on UFC 58. The fight that had the biggest buzz beforehand -- Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn -- is also the fight that has the biggest post-show buzz.

I was sitting about six feet from the octagon for the show and I gotta say, I think the judges got it right in giving the decision to St. Pierre. I was surprised it was a split decision. Everyone sitting around me in the press area thought GSP won.

Penn took round one, no doubt about it. He cut St. Pierre open early and looked strong. Round two was close, but St. Pierre was more aggressive and did more damage. Final round (and it was a shame this fight was only three rounds), St. Pierre again was the aggressor, scored a couple takedowns, and granted he couldn't put Penn away, but Penn didn't do much noteworthy in the round. The thing that struck me the most sitting that close to the action was how much stronger GSP looked as the fight went on, and how Penn never really took it to St. Pierre in the last two rounds. Visually, the notion that St. Pierre bled for almost the duration of the fight might have given the impression that Penn did more damage than he actually did, but the cut was the result of one punch early on and doesn't detract from GSP winning rounds two and three.

It was pretty disappointing hearing the fighters get booed by each other's fans when they were interviewed afterwards. GSP has never badmouthed anyone that I know of and has been a model for what an MMA competitor should be; and Penn is a legend. Neither deserved such disrespect.

Penn should get a rematch was GSP at some point, and also deserves another crack at the welterweight belt he never lost, but St. Pierre absolutely deserves the next crack at the belt after the May 27 Matt Hughes-Royce Gracie fight.

*The non-PPV match between Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher was every bit as good as people are saying. I was really impressed with how Stout worked his way out of a couple jams on the ground where it looked like he was a few seconds away from having to tap out. Hopefully UFC decides to air this one at some point.

*You've got to see how LA reacts to rain to believe it. We had a cloudy day with drizzle and off-and-on showers on Monday, the sort that wouldn't get much notice in Boston and wouldn't register a blip in Seattle. In LA, though, that required the evening news to lead with their "Storm Watch," with a reporter stationed downtown standing out in the rain, and another in, I think, Ventura, also outside, to confirm the fact it was indeed raining. They then interviewed several drivers who said things like "It's slippery out there," and "It's hard driving in the rain." That's a sentiment shared by most of SoCal, apparently, since Angelinos drive in the rain like most back East would drive through a snowstorm.

*I’m becoming a wuss about the weather after only three months in Cali. I was gassing up the car in Vegas on Friday night and there was a wind and I though "man, it's cold." Then I looked at the bank sign across the street and it said it was 48 degrees.

*LA's own Mike Grimala should be bestowed an award of some sort, like a Grammy or an Oscar. The quiet ones are always the most dangerous.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Alright. This here is the new blog.

If you want to read the old one and re-live the glory days of Dave's World, just click on this sentence.

This is where I should say something like "I promise I'll post more!" But I'm not promising that.

I suppose it would be impolite of me to laugh at all my friends back in the Northeast who are getting clobbered with a blizzard just days after I spent an off-day at the beach, but then, I'm not often accused of politeness.