The Krafty One is Watching & Other Blog News
I was so pleased to read today a little note from my current blog-crush, Sacha, of Shes-Krafty.com. I sent her an e-mail touting her mighty blogging goodness and requesting a link and she was kind enough to e-mail back. You really should read her blog. Very cool stuff and a great look. Were I a bit more krafty I'd strive to make this place as hip. Thanks, Sacha. I made all the links in this post PINK in your honor.
MissyMae is having a bad day. Not only is she a bit upset with my article in The Cheers, but there's another blogger out there blasting her for what she writes.
Now I have professed nothing but undying love for this queen of the under-sexed blogging world and I most definitely didn't write anything bad about her in my piece. I guess she's a bit upset that I brought up the possibility that Missy "Mae" not be a girl at all. But if you read the article, you'll see that I only posed the possibility and also stated that whomever is writing the work, it is just great fun to read and a must-see if you like blogs.
As for the other blogger breaking bad on my girl, I made sure to go and post my thoughts about MissyMae and all the good that comes out of the Small Town Sex Blog. However, I think the kid can use a little pick-me-up. So why not e-mail MissyMae and send her some good cheer!
She says there's been only about 5 or 6 hits from The Cheers leading to her site. I've gotten quite a few e-mails from folks who've claimed to check out the link I posted so, if you've been enjoying MissyMae's ongoing struggles, drop her a line and cheer the gal up.
This is a whole new world to me. I see that BLOG WARS might need to be examined some other time.
Labels: Blogs, Columns by Andy Martello
Gapers Block & The Cheers
With all the excitement and fun I had yesterday, I forgot to mention a few little goodies about my writing. Thank goodness I can rectify these matters...by blogging some more!
This week at The Cheers you can read my commentary & partial review of various SEX BLOGS out there. It has not sky-rocketed to the top of the most read list yet, but I am confident that it will once you see all the disturbing links I included for your enjoyment. If not, hey - it is not about the fame and fortune, right?
More importantly, This FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1 you can read "My Dinner With Gacy" in the virtual pages of Gapers Block, a most excellent net-zine that is very Chicago-centric. It is my first time being published outside of my little world with The Cheers and Eklektikos. Please check it out!
Labels: Columns by Andy Martello, John Wayne Gacy
"$100.00? Quit Your Bitching!" aka, Why Bill Kurtis ROCKS!
Well my virtual friends, I have returned from my day working for peanuts, looking like a Capone-era tough guy for the cameras, & perfecting my Bill Kurtis impersonation. It still needs work, by the way.
I promised a review of the donuts. They were Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins, so how bad can that be? Of course, those were NOT served at the gig...they were in the offices of Kurtis Productions. AT the gig we were all treated to complimentary meals from the fine kitchen of the Green Door Tavern in Chicago. Being fed REAL FOOD at a film shoot - ALREADY a better gig than I'd expected. To Hell with the donuts, let's talk turkey about my gangster day with the Kurtis crew!
First off, the entire crew of Kurtis Productions, including da man himself, are arguably the nicest and easiest people on Earth to work for or with. They couldn't have made us "featured extras" feel any more comfortable or important if they tried. Great people with fine dispositions & senses of humor. Always a plus!
The work itself? One of the best film shoots I've ever done. I wouldn't have minded one bit if this were a $50.00 gig. I was mentioning the crap that actors put themselves through before. See, because of the way the biz is and how easy it is to replace an extra, most actors time is not as valuable as mine from a money for services standpoint. I can make $400.00 for a 45-minute juggling show or work for 12 hours for $50.00. You do the math. Today, I had nothing on the old calendar so why not make money instead of NOT making some? I am very glad I went.
We shot a few establishing scenes that will be accompanied by the dulcet tones of a classic Bill Kurtis narration. This is a project about the I.R.S and how they took down the legendary Al Capone. Our scenes were to add some color and action to this documentary. I found out that this program (Title to be printed when available) will be airing on The History Channel on October 25, 2004. So mark your calendars if you don't want me to make orphans out of yer children!
Among the reasons I had so much fun, I got to watch Scarface Al bludgeon to death two gangsters with a baseball bat. I even got to smoke a good cigar during the scene. What's not to like about that? I also got to drink elderberry wine at 11 AM, hit on a very attractive young lady dressed in flapper attire, and watch Bill Kurtis traverse the set wearing my hat...which I'm selling on eBay soon! "The FAVORITE hat of TV legend Bill Kurtis! Starting bid: ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!"
The best parts...I was in two great scenes that featured me prominently. The first was where a couple of thugs had to drag my dead body across the floor of a meat locker and drop me at the loading dock. Not bad! But even better was a scene where I got the crap beaten out of me until my face was rendered a bloody mess. Lots of action & drama, and I got to be all bloody on screen. Big-time fun! Sure I'm a little sore from all the tossing about and crashing into brick walls & my suit may never recover...but it was terribly fun to do!
This was not your typical boring day as an extra on set. Better food, more to do, fun people to work with, chicks in flapper dresses, wine, blood, Bill Kurtis operating his own camera, Bill Kurtis directing me to hit on my own personal flapper (in Kurtis voice: "Move in closer. Touch foreheads lightly. Slowly bring up your glasses and drink. Joanna, stroke his face lightly.") - do I gotta say it - Bill Kurtis ROCKS!
Stay tuned, kiddies! The episode will air in less than a month. Maybe if I blog about the show I can be a Blog of Note! Next stop - SUPERSTARDOM!
Labels: Bill Kurtis, Investigating History - Taking Out Al Capone
"Hey Look, I'm on TV!" aka, Why Actors Suck
I'm off to play a gangster in an upcoming TV production detailing the lives of Al Capone & other famous Chicago mobsters. This is likely to be on A&E as it is being produced by none other than Mr. Bill Kurtis, whom I've worked with in the past.
I took the job because a friend of mine is the casting director and he needed the bodies to fill the screen. Plus, I had nothing else going on today other than the usual marketing of the biz, MAYBE cleaning the apartment, and playing online. I did not take this gig for the money.
Why? The money is AWFUL!
I know I'd be getting paid much better if I were someone with actual lines or clout of any kind, but for this job, I'm mostly one of the guys in the background, shooting Tommy-guns at cops, looking good in secret meetings, etc. So I'll get a fantastic $100.00 for my day, which will start at about 10AM (to accommodate the drive into downtown) and end around 10 or 11 PM (also allowing for drive time back home).
Now, here's the shitty part...any actors that are reading this are going crazy saying, "$100.00? Quit your bitching! I'll work twice as long for $100.00!" See, they're used to doing extra work for even longer days and making MAYBE $50.00 for the whole day. Actors lap that shit up as if it were mother's milk and they do it because they think it is going to lead to their big break. It won't. It never does.
IF you can make a living sustaining yourself with extra work, God bless you! Fill out your resume and enjoy the donuts. I like making my living getting paid for my comedy, juggling, corporate gigs, etc. I take the extra gigs for fun and fun only. The $700.00 I made over the weekend for a couple of juggling shows is much better than the hundo I'll pull down for this thing today. But...today I'll get to hang with Bill Kurtis, and be able to say, "Hey look, I'm on TV!"
I'll have more about the shitty life of an actor down the road. I'll also report on the quality of the donuts at Curtis Productions later.
Labels: Andy on Entertainment, Bill Kurtis, Investigating History - Taking Out Al Capone
Pyrat XO Reserve - The Greatest Damn Rum on the PLANET!
Both gigs I had to day were great! I got some time in the sun. I made many people happy. I got PAID! Seemed like a good night to crack open one of my stash of Pyrat XO Reserve!
Greg the bartender at the Rum Jungle in Las Vegas got me turned on to this stuff a couple of years back and I have been crazed for it ever since. I have a rule in the house: I will ALWAYS have at least one sealed bottle in reserve before considering opening up a bottle. I NEVER want to be without the stuff so long as I live, it is THAT GOOD!
Seriously, if you have EVER done anything good in your life, you OWE it to yourself to have a straight snifter of Pyrat XO Reserve in your glass. If something were to happen to me where I couldn't have the stuff any more I'd probably off myself without hesitation.
Some people even consider mixing this rum with ...other ingredients! Seems like a waste of good rum to me, but go ahead and give it a whirl. It won't make your drink taste BAD.
In other news...Tomorrow at The Cheers, my review & commentary article about SEX BLOGS! I gave the most positive review of my favorite, Small Town Sex Blog. I hope you enjoy!
Aw, fuck all this crap! I want more RUM!!!
Labels: Blogs, Columns by Andy Martello, Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Rum Jungle - Las Vegas, Sex-Drugs-Rock and Roll
And The Winner Is...GLOBEOFBLOGS.COM!
Once I decided to create a blog I decided to submit to various blog search engines, hoping to attract traffic and gain readers. Having no hit counter installed and no comments from readers I can't be sure if I've managed to do either of these things. But I can say that I am able to do some very unscientific research to see which of these engines really is indexing me and bringing me up in the searches. So...
After a little basic ego-surfing on Google I have come to the conclusion that GlobeofBlogs.com wins the contest for being the first to pop up (after the Blooger Profile and my own site) when typing the simple phrase, "andy martello."
Now bear in mind that when I did the actual search I did not use the quotations, widening the results even further. Regardless, GlobeofBlogs had me listed on the second page of the results and they have earned the right to be the first blog search engine I blog about. I suppose I'll have to add them to my list of buttons now that they've "won". I'd have done it sooner if their damned buttons were easier to find on their site. But the fact I showed up without it makes me all squoozy inside!
If anyone else wants such a lovely write-up touting your greatness then you'd better start earning that freakin' button & link I've given you and get my name out there!
So Long Oktoberfest. Hello Pumpkin Fest!
Well, the Carol Stream Oktoberfest was a smashing success! OK, MY part of it was a smashing success. I heard that the attendance was bown a bit from last year for the beer & brats. BUT...this is only the second year for the darned thing. You've got to expect a little fluctuation in the results when building the traditions.
All I know is that at 3:00 PM there was NOBODY THERE. By 3:15 PM, thre were 200 people in front of my stage waiting for a show! I gave away a lot of souvenir cards and made some good contacts and friends along the way. I can't complain one bit. Plus, there was BEER afterwards for me to enjoy and that makes everything better!
Tomorrow has me working in Castaldo Park for the Woodridge Park District and then off to my favorite gig of this or any other year, the St. Anne Pumpkin Festival!
tried to find a link to give you for the Pumpkin Fest...but this town is SO small the best link I could find was the one in my own website where I list them as a good reference. That's small-town America!
Anyway, this will be my 13th or 14th consecutive year performing at the festival and every year I am happy as a clam to be there. They just make me feel like family and it is so damned charming a place I can't believe more people don't go check it out.
Labels: Andy Martello Collector's Cards
You Can't Go Home Again
I grew up in a small town called Marengo, IL. It is near Rockford, IL and about 60 miles west of Chicago. A girl I once dated, and occasional Andy Land reader, once made describing where Marengo is in the simplest of terms. Since most people have never heard of the place it became necessary to often explain where to find it, unless you were fine with just saying you were from Rockford. She said that, "Marengo was half-way between Garden Prairie and Union". Small towns are not without their humorous folks!
The other night I went "home" to perform at the annual President's dinner for the Marengo-Union Chamber of Commerce. The fact that they even have a website for me to link to still shocks me! Marengo is a small town comprised of mostly farmers, and Chicago suburbanites looking to avoid to suburban sprawl by ADDING to the suburban sprawl of another town. I learned how to juggle there. I became a performer there. I found out the other night that I was too hip for the room when I lived there and I was too hip for the room today!
It was a good show, but it was not the liveliest of crowds. The fact that I was a home-town guy should have lent a little more generosity towards me, or at least gotten a few more laughs. That's just how these things work! But it was a crowd where the older folks who didn't understand what the hell kind of anarchist I was as a kid still didn't understand who I am now.
The folks I knew in the room were divided by whether or not they thought I was funny or a smart-ass back then. Strange night!What was strange was seeing some folks I went to high school with being productive members of society. There were folks in the room who bought me my first package of condoms, folks who's children I babysat for, folks whom I tried to date, folks who wanted to kick my ass, folks who had no idea who I was nor could they figure out why I had such long hair.
My personal favorite moment? The event was held at Donley's Wild West Town, then known as Seven Acres Antique Village, and it has always been the ONLY PLACE WITHIN 40 MILES to hold any sort of special event. Marengo used to have a nice restaurant called the Cloven Hoof and a theatre called Shady Lane Playhouse, but for all intents and purposes, any nice event would have NO CHOICE but to be held at Donley's. Sure you could have some kind of reception at the American Legion or maybe even at the high school, but then everyone would know you were poor! Naturally, every damn prom ever held in Marengo's history has been at this place. I went to 4 of them in the same very place.
In the audience was my old high school principal. I couldn't resist taking the time to make a joke about being back in the old prom location (new room, same property) and talking about having myself a Jack & Coke while I was waiting to go onstage. I followed the set-up with, "Wow. I was just thinking. I haven't had a Jack & Coke in this room since my senior prom." Got a laugh, but of course, it may be causing controversy at this very moment in my absence!
I had fun. But it was a VERY STRANGE NIGHT! If you were there, drop me a line and let me know how the town is taking my madness!
Labels: Andy on Entertainment, Don;ey's Wild West Town, Marengo IL
I don't really have anything to add to this. I just came up with the word, "skullfuckery" the other day and I've been dying to use it somewhere.
I'm working at the Carol Stream Oktoberfest tomorrow. Must remember this year...work FIRST...get drunk AFTERWARDS.
FINALLY! Gorilla Porn is HERE!
I can't believe it took until the year 2004 for the world to finally answer life's burning question, "What would happen if a man wearing a gorilla suit and toting an 18 inch black dildo went to Mardi Gras?"
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...GorillaGras.com
Labels: Blogs, Sex-Drugs-Rock and Roll
Asians for Martello, Pt II
Well, I posted a reponse to Kyoko's post about my lack of structure and sub-structure at The Cheers, as illustrated the other day. Today I read this in return...
Added 2004-09-24 11:42:18
asians for martello
Is that you, Mr. Martello? True, true it is that one man's open structure is another man's style. You are just different than any of the writers I normally read. Yet, I like your writing quite a lot! So funny!I wondered what would it be like if you wrote as a columnist in a regular, more traditional print paper? Because you are better than all those guys and the form would only help you get through more easier to the masses. Then again, I am liking youre writing better than most of those other guys in bigger papers. Maybe youre different structure's the reason!Anyways, thank you for that, and I am definately already telling most all my friends.
As my good friend Pat McCurdy says, "All is right with the world tonight. All is right with the world."
Unfortunately, I've been exceedingly depressed lately. Not becuase of the post at The Cheers or anything. I can't really say what's bothering me becuase of this being such a public blog. I've been writing an extremely depressing blog entry about it, but I can't seem to pull the trigger on posting it for fear that someone will call the police and send the anti-suicide squad over here to lock me up without my shoelaces. For now it is a saved draft which may or may not see the light of day.
Kyoko's post did make me smile though. Thanks for that.
Labels: Asians for Martello, Columns by Andy Martello
Go to The River Walk Journal!
I just found out that my Writing Prompts article has been included in the home page of the prestigious River Walk Journal. This is a most excellent writer's resource run by Elizabeth Ross and I am quite honored to be listed on her pages. I am so pleased I thought I'd plug every damn one of her websites right here for ya. Click the living daylights out of these links!
River Walk Journal
Sabina's World - Home Page
Sabina's World Editing Group
The Philosophical Mother
And of course, to read what Liz calls, "A fresh (honest) look at theworld of writing prompts," click HERE!
Labels: Andy Martello on Writing, Blogs, Columns by Andy Martello, Liz Ross
M.S.O.E., Writing Prompts, and Asians for Martello
Had a great show the other night at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. College crowd, Greek Week, pizza - how could it be anything BUT a good time? I love working college crowds. I get to let my hair down a bit and amaze people with a show I can only describe as "not your typical happy juggling show."
I got to hit on a student named Abby and torture another student named Randy. It was one hour of dark comedy, somewhat skillful juggling, and the grateful feelings I have whenever I realize that I am one lucky sonofabitch for being able to make a living as an entertainer. I can only hope to get more shows like that down the road.
Also, my Writing Prompts article at The Cheers is being read by MANY people and I am very happy to see the comments and hear that people are responding well to the work. In just a couple of days, over 165 people have clicked on to read the article and while I know it is not a gargantuan number in internet terms, it is one great number to me. As always, thanks for reading!
Of course in the forums today someone went to the "Comment About Your Favorite Author" section to write a most unusual post. I can't decide if I'm being praised or having my balls busted. I'll save you the time looking at the link and quote it here.
Topic: Asians For Martello, Unite!
Author: KyokoAdded 2004-09-23 10:18:10
Asians For Martello, Unite!Would it not be the most absolutely amazing thing if Mr. Martello wrote in a truly traditional article form?His terrific wit, with more structure and sub-structure to it, would make the masses of Internet people come running to www.thecheers.org.
What the hell does that mean? I have no idea if I should be flattered or pissed off! Of course, it is one more person actually reading the work so who the hell cares if I should be happy or not?
Labels: Andy Martello on Writing, Asians for Martello, Columns by Andy Martello, Milwaukee School of Engineering
The New Partridge Family - What the FUCK?
Next Blog - The Bermuda Triangle of Embryos???
Has anyone stumbled in here by hitting the "Next Blog" button on the nav bar? I've only started hitting that thing to satisfy my curiosity. While I can't say that I've found any blogs that can claim my avid readership, I can say that I've found some with unusual titles.
Come on, wouldn't you take a second look at a blog titled, Bermuda Triangle of Embryos? You'd almost HAVE to look. The subtitle is even better, "My uterus: a place the embryos go, but are never seen again....the mystery continues....." Then to find so MANY uterus-related blogs after further inspection...fascinating!
Unfortunately, most of my "next blogging" has resulted in foreign language blogs that I can't read. I found one on knitting, and some religious columnists, but so far I haven't been able to randomly find that ONE killer blog - WAIT! The Magic Eight Ball shows promise! I'll have to report back with a review.
Anyway, if you've found this place randomly let me know. I really have no idea how many people (if any) have read this crap and the comments are scarce. I've not added a hit counter to the thing yet as I'm sure my fragile ego wouldn't be able to accept a low number of hits. Sure I could exaggerate my starting number, but why lie?
One Thing that SUCKS About Having a Cold...
...eventually, you get to LIKE the taste of TheraFlu.
The new issue of The Cheers is up. Please check out my latest, "September Writing Prompts". Anyone who has ever tried to become a writer is likely to be familiar with these stupid little exercises. If you are one of those people, this article is for you.
Labels: Andy Martello on Writing, Columns by Andy Martello
We've got some yahoo posting to the Cheers Forum about wanting news satire stories. There are only about 3 posts in the entire forums section right now and two of them are about news satire. I like that we have at least ONE reader that is interested in our magazine enough to make a suggestion, but really, aren't there enough news satire places out there to keep you occupied?
Isn't The Onion the reigning king of this field? We have some good writers on staff at The Cheers, but we also have some LOUSY ones. I'm very confident that when someone finally does tackle the news satire it will be from one of our LOUSY contributors. Few things are worse than BAD SATIRE. I think this guy is actually one of the staffers trying to stir the pot a little.
I'm in the middle of a busy weekend of gigs and, of course, I have a fucking cold! It is hard enough trying to make geriatrics laugh without making their respirators freak out, but to try and do it with a swollen and sore throat is too much to take. I'm on so many damn cold medications right now I'm amazed there aren't more typos in this post.
Anyway, Monday has new issues of The Cheers and Eklektikos. With those new issues will come some new articles from yours truly.
The Cheers will feature a very funny article SATIRIZING the writing prompts sent out by Writer's Digest.
Eklektikos will be publishing an article about the O.J. Simpson verdict and why I didn't care one iota the bastard was acquitted.
I got an e-mail from MissyMae at Small Town Sex Blog! I'm so pleased. I'm still too chicken-shit to ask for a link exchange. Look for an article in The Cheers Sept. 27 about sex blogs.
More later. Must drain and medicate right now.
Labels: Andy Martello on Writing, Blogs, Columns by Andy Martello, Sex-Drugs-Rock and Roll
The Cheers & "Curses! Cubs Again!"
Well at least 100 people have clicked on my "Fun With Ego-Surfing" article at The Cheers this week. I should be much happier about that. Unfortunately it tells me that there are ONLY about 100 people reading The Cheers. We need more readers! Ah well, you've got to build a mountain from a little hill according to some old song I know.
I was just asked by a friend of mine to tape a show on ESPN about the curses of the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. I wrote a piece about the Cubs and their many curses for The Cheers and I thought I'd reprint it here for you. I was going to wait until after they were eliminated from the Wild Card Race, but what the hell?
Incidentally, just a short time after this piece ran, the Cubs were placed right smack-dab on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which paved the way for the Sports illustrated Cover Jinx to demolish the Cubs. Unbelievable!
Curses! Cubs Again
By Andy MartelloRecently, here in Chicago, a big to do was made about the destruction of the now infamous “Bartman Baseball.” For those who are unfamiliar with this relic, it is the foul ball that was blamed for causing the Cubs to lose the National League Championship Series last year. Steve Bartman made an attempt to catch the ball and have a fantastic souvenir from a rare Cubs playoff appearance. That’s all he did. His action may or may not have made Moises Alou miss the ball and lead to the demise of the Cubs. Regardless, “Bartman’s Curse” was born.
I got to thinking about baseball and curses. We all know about the curse on the Red Sox involving the trading of Babe Ruth to the Yankees. But the Cubs seem to have the corner of the market on curses. To some fans, these curses explain why the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. If you ask the average Cubs fan if he believes in curses, he’ll always say,
“NO! CURSES BAD DON'T BELIEVE CURSES.”
However, whenever something bad befalls the beloved team, the fans take on a rather selective belief in curses.
There’s the famous “Goat Curse” put on the Cubs by the owners of the Billy Goat Tavern after their goat was denied access to a ballgame. I must say, since that curse didn’t come along until 1945, I can’t see how that explains the Cubs not winning a World Series since 1908.
The 1980s provided a couple of good seasons marred by the “Curse of Steve Garvey“ & “Leon Durham‘s Curse”. A home run and a Buckner-esque bobbled ground ball made all the difference in the world to the cursed Cubs.
Not only do the Cubs have their own Red Sox/Babe Ruth-style curse, but they’ve got two of them. In 1964 they foolishly traded future Hall of Famer Lou Brock for future Trivial Pursuit answer, Ernie Broglio, creating “Lou’s Curse.“ The late 80s provided a GREAT pitching prospect in Greg Maddux. He won his first Cy Young Award in Chicago and things looked great for the Cubbies until the team’s owners made little or no effort to retain this future Cooperstown resident. Maddux went to Atlanta and “The Great Greg Maddux Curse of 1993“ was born.
In 1969, there was the famous "Black Cat Curse," where a fan actually smuggled a black cat into the park and threw it out onto the field, where it crossed paths with Ron Santo. Many believe that it was the cat that caused the Cubs to give up a seemingly insurmountable lead in the National League and lose everything to the Mets. Isn't it funny how nobody blames the cat for Ron Santo’s absence in the Hall of Fame? Hmmm…The deaths of legendary broadcasters Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse spurred a minor curse of their own. In 1998, Harry Caray, Cubs broadcaster for 16 years, and Jack Brickhouse, Cubs broadcaster for 30+ years, passed away. When the time came for fitting tributes to these great baseball men, Harry got a statue raised in his honor outside of the park, as well as the continuing tribute of the 7th inning stretch guest conductors at the park. There are frequent ceremonies and photos honoring Caray to this day. Brickhouse was honored with signs in the outfield that simply said, "Hey Hey", honoring his famous home run tag. Supposedly this upset the Brickhouse family. The newspaper writers as well as WSCR radio personality Mike North felt that the lesser display of respect for Jack Brickhouse resulted in “Jack's Curse.“ Whether this naming of yet another curse was serious or joking, the Cubs lost to the Braves in the divisional series. Greg Maddux and Jack Brickhouse’s ghost were no doubt amused.More recently, the Tribune company (owners of the Chicago Cubs) wanted to make plans for rennovations on Wrigley Field that included putting up opaque windscreens on the outfield fences. These screens blocked the view of the rooftop viewers and Wrigley neighbors, angering them so much that “The Rooftop Curse” was born.
My favorite tale of Chicago Cubs curses came in the 1989 season (another rare playoff appearance). A fan sent a silly little poem he'd written called "The Hex" to WGN radio. It was a rhyming incantation whereby the reading would temporarily jinx the opposing team and lead to a Cubs victory. DeWayne Staats, the Cubs radio announcer at the time, would bring out The Hex at opportune times and oddly enough, the Cubs would occasionally win. THIS was exactly what the Chicago Cubs needed; a curse they could use to their advantage. It seemed as though the Cubs had it all. That is, until complaints came in from the listeners about how using any sort of spell or hex was black magic and invoked the favor & wrath of the Devil himself. They would not stand for such childish embracing of daemonic arts and demanded The Hex be removed from the broadcast. One complaint letter claimed that "Cubs fans do not condone the black arts and more importantly do not believe in the notion of curses." The Hex was removed. The team went to the playoffs and lost in five games.
Clearly, the Cubs fans have proven one thing to me.
YES. CURSES REAL. MUST BELIEVE IN CURSES!
Now, what would happen if Steve Bartman’s goat jumped off of a Chicago rooftop, landing on a Lou Brock rookie card owned by Greg Maddux? I bet Jack Brickhouse would be pissed!© 2004 Andy Martello, All Rights Reserved
Labels: Baseball, Columns by Andy Martello
Into Every Life, A Little Rain Must Fall
That rule applies even to Minor League Baseball. My game got rained out. I can't say I didn't have fun anyway. It was still much better a time than a Cubs or Sox game.
Being game 2 of a best-of-five championship series, tonight's game was suspended and will be made up tomorrow night. My ticket stub guarantees me a spot in the stands if I can make it. I called my brother to let him know he can see a game this Friday in Grand Rapids.
Kind of a let-down after a fantastic summer in the sun, but I didn't expect it to be grand or historic. How could I top my previous game?
During the rain delay I actually got a little teary-eyed. The Cougars were playing a tape of This Week in Baseball (NOT the same without the late, great Mel Allen) and one segment featured Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and the story behind its tradition at Wrigley Field.
I used to loathe Harry and his asinine comments & his singing. Ever since the day he died I've missed the bastard. This year especially,I hear that stupid song and I miss being a kid, playing catch with my dad or my brother, & living a simpler life without so many complications.
I hope I can go to one last game before it all goes away for the winter.
Without reserve, I love the game of baseball.
One Last Baseball Fling!
When summing up My Baseball Summer I was certain I was done going to games. All the seasons are essentially over. All that is left are Major League games, which as I've stated before, are not as much fun if you live in Chicago.
My last game had fireworks, The Lansing Lugnuts, and I caught a foul ball! How could I end a summer of baseball any better than that?
How about this? CHAMPIONSHIP BASEBALL!
Yes indeed, I have one last chance to watch a Minor League game and to make it better, it is a game for the Midwest League Championships. We rarely ever get to see championship baseball around these parts so I am still amazed at the prospect.
My local Kane County Cougars are playing their last home game of the season against the West Michigan Whitecaps. I haven't checked the standings, but I know that this is their World Series so I am very excited! I am sure it will be a nice epilogue to a great summer. I'll give you a report later.
While I'm gone, send more people over to The Cheers to read my latest article. I'd like to get the total number of readers over 100 before I leave.
Labels: Baseball, Columns by Andy Martello
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly - SEX BLOGS!
It is inevitable. You go online, you eventually look for porn. That trend carries into the blogging world. You start a blog, eventually you look for a sex blog.
Actually, sex blogs are finding me. I regularly check the updated blog list from Blogger and when I see a title of one that intrigues me I click on it and hope to find something interesting. Do I ALWAYS click on blogs that are quite obviously about sex? Well yeah, but that's NOT the point. The point is that sex blogs are something of an added bonus to becoming a blogger.
As with all blogs or the creating them you may or may not be getting the real story. You can be anyone online and nobody really seems to care if we're lied to so long as we're entertained.
Currently I am fascinated with the Small Town Sex Blog. I trust that this woman's tales and exploits (or lack thereof) are genuine, but wouldn't be surprised to find out that it is all bullshit. Regardless, I like the stories, the human drama involved...aw hell, I love hearing chicks that may or may not be hot talking dirty!
Having gone to a few different sex blogs I have to list this one as "The Good" because it seems so much more genuine and not just someone putting on a good show. Most sex blogs are either bad links to other sites or really horrible attempts at erotic literature. This blog is a great read and were I to be writing a sex blog I'd want it to be like this one. I'd love to ask this gal to do a link exchange but she seems to only be interested in other sex blogs so I will just sit and enjoy.
"The Bad" & "The Ugly" were made one the day I stumbled upon Lawrence's Ladies - Diary of a Porn Star. I'm not saying I wasn't entertained by this as it is too damn funny for words. Well, "funny" may not be the right word. How about "sad" instead? You'll check it out and see for yourself no doubt.
This horribly pale, poorly-tattooed guy won some sort of contest where he would get to BE a porn star for a day and maybe launch a new career. The catch? He must make it to the final pop-shot on film or suffer the consequence...get banged in the ass with a strap-on. At least its the hot porn chick doing the banging IF you fail to perform. That's still something, right?
How did it go? Well you can click on the video link at his blog - Oh wait! Let me just add this one HERE for ya.
I'm sure I'll find more fun stuff during my blogging career. I am still not quite certain why anyone would publish their sexual exploits for all the world to see. But then again, creating any sort of blog where you share a little or a lot of yourself is somewhat odd. I am sure that there are psyche students everywhere working on a thesis about this very thing.
Besides, who am I to talk? Check out this story I wrote for The Cheers about an experience I had after Prom Night called, "Hair of the Dog."
Labels: -Rock and Roll, Blogs, Columns by Andy Martello, Sex-Drugs-Rock and Roll
Berkeley & Me
WOW! Already 50 or so people have checked out my latest article at The Cheers. Sure, with the vast cavernous expanse of the internet, 50 people may not seem like much. But the site is still quite new they have only word of mouth advertising right now so it makes me feel good knowing that SOMEBODY is reading. Thanks to all for logging on and reading my work.
I've received a few e-mails from people new to my work regarding my little barb at cartoonist, Berkeley Breathed, found at the end of my recent piece. Rather than waste a lot of time explaining the whole stupid story, I'll direct you to the columns that started it all.
My Own Little Opus
Opus II, The Penguin Hunt Continues
Labels: Berkeley Breathed, Columns by Andy Martello
"Fun With Ego-Surfing", This Week at The Cheers
Well, the new look of The Cheers Magazine is up and running. New features, new games, new cartoons, same pay rate!
I'm still quite frustrated that they do not have a "sort by author" feature or at the very least, by-lines for the featured articles on the sidebar, but I can't complain. It is a very cool new looking site that should only get better and better. If enough people read and send complaints to the editor maybe these things will change.
Head on over to read and comment on "Fun With Ego-Surfing" . I'm sure all the articles this week are quite good, except one written by a back-stabbing comic that's just coming to The Cheers to piss in my pool. So don't read that one.
Labels: Columns by Andy Martello
Summer, Football, & The Cheers
This is always among my least favorite times of the year. I don't really buy into the whole "dog days" thing, because there are many beautiful days to enjoy towards summer's end.
No, I get sad for a few reasons.
- The amount of bookings decreases. This is a temporary thing but I ALWAYS end up believing I'll never get work again.
- Most Minor League & Independent League baseball seasons come to a close and I am forced to pay a little more attention to the Majors, which in Chicago is NOTHING but a bad time!
- The worst of all games, FOOTBALL, becomes the prevalent televised ball-handling activity.
I've never liked the game. It is filled with convoluted rules and too much of the game can be affected by the presence of ONE great superstar as opposed to the hard work of several good no-name players. This is not a team sport nor is it an entertaining one.
Plus, if you live in the Chicago area you become very aware of the fact that we have NO "professional" sports teams at all, much less a football team. Chicago has had a few championships to boast about, but for the most part, being a fan of a team in Chicago is a little like being a closeted masochist. You LOVE the pain, but don't want anyone else to know about your obsession.
Tomorrow SHOULD bring about the BRAND NEW LOOK of The Cheers! I'm looking forward to seeing how the new look and more enjoyable features will affect the readership of the magazine. I have one article in the issue, "Fun With Ego-Surfing" which talks about internet fame and the fun of Googlism. I hope you enjoy it!
Labels: Baseball, Columns by Andy Martello, Football
In My Life...
I've only learned a few things that are almost always true.
- If you meet a woman who REALLY HATES The Who, Led Zeppelin, or any other iconic "classic rock" band, it is almost certainly because she used to date (and was later summarily FUCKED OVER by) a guy that REALLY LOVED The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc.
- About the only time you can truly get away with calling your wife or your girlfriend a "filthy whore" is when you have your cock in her ass.
- There are some purchases that I will never stop paying for.
Labels: Words of Wisdom
A Stupid Post
I just noticed that "blog" is "glob" backwards. Made me chuckle most of the day. Of course I had a few cocktails. I guess I noticed this when I realized that everyone these days must have some bizarre need to create a special twist or clever name when creating their blog.
My personal favorite...Captain's Blog. But I'm always ready to laugh at a good Shatner joke, even if everyone else in the world has thought of it already.
Good Stuff to Read at TheCheers.org & Eklektikos.org
The last few days of the "Best of The Cheers" are this week. It was nice to see seven of my articles selected for reprinting. I like that they have the comments and ratings features in the magazine. I get a better idea as to how many people are reading and hopefully enjoying my work. It is funny to see how even within the confines of a "best of" issue, articles like "Parting Gifts" and "Good Show" stay among the least read of the works, even though they're ones I'm particularly proud of. Ah well. Next week, look for a BRAND NEW look for The Cheers as well as another little entry from your's truly called, "Fun with Ego-Surfing".
Readers are also heading to Eklektikos in large numbers. While the mag is new and not as flashy as others out there, it does have some excellent articles to read. They've got my new "Welcome to Andy's World" piece up there this week, as well as a continuation of my "Pass the Soap, Wilbur" story.
I'll have another new piece up next week. I'm not even sure what it will be yet. I'll probably leave my special little story about where I was the day the infamous O.J. Simpson verdict came down. Who knows?
Labels: Columns by Andy Martello
Everybody's First Poem
Everybody's First Poem
By Andy Martello
"Did ya hear the one about..."
"When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen."
"I hear singing & there's no one there."
"Listen...do you want to know a secret?"
"See me. Hear me."
"Listen my children and you shall hear..."
"Hear ye! Hear ye!"
"Listen to the music."
"I heard it through the grapevine."
"Listen to me now and hear me later."
"Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another you've been messin' around."
"Listen to your heart."
"I hear ya knockin' but you can't come in."
With so many people listening, why can't anybody hear me SCREAMING?
© 2004 Andy Martello
My Baseball Summer
I just got back from Battle Creek, Michigan, where I enjoyed a Minor League Baseball game with my brother and my wife. The Battle Creek Yankees lost UGLY to the Dayton Dragons. I've been to many Minor League & Independent League games all summer and will likely see my last one of the summer today when I watch the Kane County Cougars take on the Lansing Lugnuts.
I've written a few articles about baseball for The Cheers and I'd like to reprint one today about my love for the lesser-known teams of America's Minor Leagues. TRUE baseball fans will understand. Enjoy!
UPDATE! 10:21 PM CST, While at the Cougars/Lugnuts game (the Lugnuts winning 11 to 8) I caught my first foul ball! It actually landed behind me, hitting a lady as it fell. She missed the ball and it rebounded my way. Not quite as heroic as my catching it on the fly, but at least I didn't reach over and knock some gal out of the way for a stupid baseball. For one brief moment I thought about giving the lady the ball to make up for the large bruise whe was going to have for missing the thing...then I said, to hell with that!
Minor Leagues, Major Enjoyment!
Finding the BEST in America's Game
(originally printed in The Cheers July 23, 2004)
In my part of Illinois, I am fortunate enough to have no fewer than five professional baseball teams within an hour’s drive and I am not including the Cubs or the White Sox. Really, given their records of mediocrity for nearly a century, can you still consider those teams professionals?
Independent & Minor League Baseball is making a huge splash of popularity across the nation, creating an atmosphere where fans can enjoy a game played by professionals. The stadiums are intimate & the level of play on the field is great. It allows the game of baseball, professional baseball, to find homes in parts of the world that might not be able to support the high salaries, exorbitant ticket prices, and outrageous fees for food & souvenirs that are inherent with the more popular Major Leagues. Seeing the game played by people who are playing for the love of the game as well as the hope of making the big time is refreshing if not vastly more affordable.
Recently, my younger brother Matt came to town for a visit. He’s also a huge baseball fan and we have shared many memories associated with the game. From competing against each other in Little League, to getting autographs from the players at Wrigley Field, we both thoroughly enjoy baseball. He even treated me to a Minor League game last year by taking me to see the Toledo Mud Hens, a Minor League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
Before my brother’s visit, I’d seen a few Minor League and independent league teams play back home. Matt had only seen Major League games before and the Mud Hens were the sum total of his Minor League experience. We’d talked about the state of the big league game and how disillusioned we’d grown with our favorite teams. I decided to return his kind gift of a game with a trip to Alexian Field, the home of the Schaumburg Flyers.
The Flyers are a relatively new team, being part of the Northern League of independent teams. They are not affiliated with any Minor or Major league system. The teams in the Northern League have a few former and future Major Leaguers on their rosters. Regardless of their miniscule links to the big time, baseball is being played!
We had an outstanding time and Matt was most impressed with the quality of play, the beautiful stadium, and of course, the low cost of a ticket. We sat behind home plate, extremely close to the action, and bought our tickets the day of the game. Even being late for the game, we procured these great seats for the low price of $10.00 per seat. Add in a few excellent plays on the field, a hit batsman, and a fine argument between player & umpire and our trip to see the Schaumburg Flyers defeat the Kansas City T-Bones was a very memorable experience.
The seed was planted and a crazy idea was born. Why not take in a game the next day? We could go see the Kane County Cougars, an A-level Minor League team near my home. A quick check of their website and we were poised to see more professional baseball.
This time we got great seats down the first base line for $5.00 each and enjoyed a game in the sun played by a few future All-Stars! The Cougars have a few current Major Leaguers included in their past and who knows if they’ll have more. Thinking about it, who cares? The Cougars gave the Burlington Bees a Father’s Day they, and the Martello brothers will never forget.
Four teams and two different leagues in two days. Now we recognized our mission: see as many consecutive local professional baseball games as we could. We frantically searched the internet for schedules.
Sticking with the Northern League, we went to Joliet, IL the next day to see the majestic Silver Cross Field where the MIGHTY Joliet Jackhammers took on the St. Paul Saints of Minnesota. Even though the Jackhammers fell on this day, this was possibly the nicest of the new local stadiums and for a variety of reasons, we had the best time. Everything from the team uniforms to the silly promotional games played in between innings provided Major League entertainment.
The next day found us witnessing an extra inning contest. The Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier League, another independent league, defeated the Richmond Roosters to the delight of a small but proud group of fans. This game provided a few memorable moments, not the least of which being the Roosters properly executing the famous “hidden ball trick” and tagging out an embarrassed RiverHawks player. THE HIDDEN BALL TRICK FOR GOD’S SAKE! You can watch a million Major League games and never see anyone try the same play that had previously only been successfully attempted by the Bad News Bears! THIS was AWESOME!
Our last day of baseball found us on our only out of state trip. We went to Gary, Indiana to watch the Gary South Shore RailCats get trounced by the team that stared our ridiculous journey, the Flyers. Once again, the cost of baseball and the quality of the field, the players, and the fun far outweighed any former alliances and emotions we had for Major League baseball.
When it was all over we’d seen 9 teams & 5 stadiums in 5 days. Four of the games had us sitting a few rows behind home plate and all the tickets were purchased the day of the game. I’d acquired quite a nice assortment of baseball jerseys and Matt started a collection of baseball hats. Not including food and souvenirs, we’d spent LESS than $50.00 a piece for 5 days of professional baseball and entertainment. We didn’t even have to pay for parking.
We’d have seen six games together had another local team, the Windy City Thunderbolts, not been out of town that week. I made the trek myself a few weeks later and saw them endure a loss to the Springfield Ozark Mountain Ducks. I even took my mother-in-law since the field was so close to her home and tickets were buy-one-get-one-FREE. Two tickets behind the plate for a mere $8.00. I did have to fork over an outrageous $2.00 for parking, but I forgave the local heroes.
Matt extended his baseball holiday by one day when he discovered he could watch the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of Appleton, Wisconsin. I game him a little grief about not staying in Appleton an extra day to see the “other” team in town, the Appleton Legends. He could have at least watched the Oconto Justice, the DePere River Bandits, or the Green Bay Billys by heading a little farther north. Quitter!
What I’ve discovered in my own back yard was my favorite sport and a piece of Americana. I know that the game is alive and well. Sure, every one of the players in these small-time leagues would gladly trade in their home-spun values and love of the game for the big-time dollars and hero worship found within the Majors. I don‘t care. For now, at this level, the game is once again perfect . I can afford to watch the professional sporting competition I love. PLUS, I have the added benefit of watching these games without the heartache associated with devotion to a Major League team when your team loses. If you live in Chicago, there’s NOTHING but heartache! I have no emotional attachment to any of these independent teams and while I root, root, root for the home team out of respect, I don’t care who wins. I just want to watch and enjoy the game.
Thinking back to Barry Bonds and the Home Run Derby, I am reminded of something I saw at my Windy City Thunderbolts game. After P-Nut Williams cracked a towering home run over the outfield wall I was asked to contribute a few bucks to the “home run bucket.” This is an old-school baseball tradition where a home team player is rewarded with donations from the crowd for hitting the big hit. The money collected goes directly to the player. Since these guys rarely make more than $850.00 to $2,500.00 a month for their play, a few dollars for a home run seemed more than reasonable. Two home runs were hit that night and I gladly paid to watch players hit them. It made perfect sense to me.
© 2004 Andy Martello All Rights Reserved
Labels: Baseball, Columns by Andy Martello
You've GOTTA love a woman riding a big cock!
So I'm trying out the Hello Bloggerbot thing to add a picture and while I'm not terribly happy with everything, I am very pleased to bring you a photo of Milly from Milly's Orchid Show & Milly's Musical Hootenanny AND write a stupid "dick joke"!
Labels: Milly's Musical Hootenanny, Milly's Orchid Show