Looking the Other Way

STNY6066.JPGYou don’t want to hear about my fantasy team.

I know.

It’s cool because I don’t want to hear about yours either.

But give me this, give me this one paragraph, because quite frankly, I’m in the midst of one of those Why the Eff Do I Play Fantasy Effin’ Football weeks.

It started last Sunday, when two of my starting running backs went down with injuries- Steven Jackson, who is out for 2 to 4 weeks and Ray Rice, who likely won’t miss any time, but will miss some of his ability to be productive. The silver lining was Vick Ballard’s injury, which at the beginning of the week, meant that Ahmad Bradshaw (my third running back) would get a bump in playing time- something I needed. Of course that went out the window when the Colts’ promptly traded for Trent Richardson, effectively squashing any uptick in Bradshaw’s productivity and value. Then, just to add insult to injury, my main wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe, left last night’s game with this stat line: 1 catch for 4 yards.

It’s been a lot to stomach.

As a result, I’ve been forcing myself to think about things besides fantasy football.

My Top 10 Fantasy Football Distractions This Week…

1.) This New Jack Johnson Album

The last time I listened to something new from Jack Johnson was 2007’s Sleep Through the Static, which at the time, was deemed a slight departure from his previous albums. I’m still not sure how. Sure, Johnson plays an electric guitar on one or two songs, but not nearly enough to resemble anything close to a slight departure. Johnson’s last album was 2010’s To The Sea, but by that point, I was good with Johnson. He had become one of those bands/singers that I was fine with what they had produced already, I didn’t see the need to listen to anything new they did. His first couple albums were all I really needed.

But then on a whim this week, I checked out Johnson’s new album From Here to Now to You. Let me to tell you, it’s wonderful. It’s an evolutionary step up album for Johnson. His core sound remains, but all the songs are just slightly better, as if a little more thought had gone into each one and Johnson was no longer resting on his laurels; content to get by with some strumming and mid-tempo, beached out crooning. The songs on From Here to Now to You vary in tempo and there’s an energy to it that hasn’t really reared it’s head on a Johnson album since his first one, Brushfire Fairytales. Highlights: “Tape Deck,” “Shot Reverse Shot” and “Radiate.”

2.) How ‘Bout Those Boston Red Sox?

Playoffs, baby! I’m not going to lie, I am very excited to watch baseball’s playoffs now that the Sox are back in it. And this team? I love ’em! Love the beard thing, love the hustle, love the fact that games are never over for them until the last out. I feel like they can win every game they play. It’s a great feeling, especially given the absolute dumpster fire the past two years have been.

I don’t know what to make of the A’s and the Tigers scare me. I want no part of the Rays and hope the Indians get in. But I kind of, sort of think the Red Sox might make the World Series.

Which would be delightful.

3.) Another New Pearl Jam Song!

First there was the barn burner “Mind Your Manners” and now “Sirens,” a rock solid ballad off of their upcoming album, Lightning Bolt. Love this song. Totally love it. I can’t wait to blast it in my car.

4.) And Speaking of New Music, Mike Doughty Has a New Album…

Soul Coughing. What a great and original band. Sick grooves, tight songs and such a unique sound. Once they broke up, lead singer Mike Doughty ventured out on his own, producing one good album after another. It’s the opinion of this blog, that his first two solo albums, 2004’s Skittish/Rockity Roll and 2005’s Haughty Melodic are his best. Kind of like with Jack Johnson, Doughty’s more recent albums have fallen by the wayside for me.

This week though, Doughty released Circles, an album consisting of Doughty’s reworkings of thirteen Soul Coughing songs. I’ll always prefer the originals,  but the updates work. According to an interview with NPR, Doughty tried to get these songs to the place he would have wanted them to go to if he had been calling the shots back in the day. While I’m totally cool with the decisions made by whoever was calling the shots for Soul Coughing back in the day, I’m also totally cool with Doughty revisiting them.

5.) Oh and You Were Right, America. Breaking Bad is Amazing.

My darling wife and I are currently ten episodes into season two. We’re hooked. One hundred percent. I now get why Bryan Cranston wins Emmys this year and why people mention Breaking Bad in the same breath as The Wire and The Sopranos. I get it all. I don’t totally get how it’s possible for Hank, a veteran DEA agent in Albuquerque, to not be able to speak a lick of Spanish, but I also don’t care.

I love Hank. I love Jesse. I never realized that Krysten Ritter was so flippin’ good lookin’ and I love Breaking Bad.

6.) This Tweet From President Obama…

I agree.

7.) One Week Until Parks and Recreation is Back!

From top to bottom, the best show on television comes back next week. Literally.

In the meantime, there’s this Tumblr to pass the time and there’s this clip of the emotional range of Ron Swanson…

8.) This Louis CK video…

9.) Yeah, The Bridge…I’m Just Not Sure Anymore.

The Bridge Butcher is locked up and I feel, eh…fine I guess about it. More importantly, I feel that my greatest fears about The Bridge were realized this week. Around the third episode, I started to shift from completely liking the show, to worrying that it was going to disappoint me. That concern grew as the show drifted away from a sprawling drama about life in the towns of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico and hitched it’s wagon to the diabolical, revenge-driven serial killer, David Tate. All this because his wife and kid were killed in a car crash? It’s almost a slap in the face. And while I don’t feel as strongly as Grantland’s Andy Greenwald, I am pretty bummed. I’m still going to finish the season out, but they’re on borrowed time. They have two episodes to convince me that The Bridge is more than just another show about chasing wizard-like serial killers.

Clock is ticking, folks.

10.) This New Dry Cleaner Has Hours That Just Don’t Work for Me.

I’m trying a new dry cleaner. The last one I went to repeatedly torched buttons. So I’m trying another one and keeping my fingers crossed. But in my mind, they’re already in the hole. They’re hours are 8:30am to 6pm. That’s wildly inconvenient. Shouldn’t it be required for all dry cleaners to be open until at least 7pm? I think so.

Red Sox photo: Matt Stone/Boston Herald

The Bridge photo: FX

Categories: Current Events

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2 replies


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