Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Loose Lips, Sink Ships . . .

“You sunk my battleship,” is what Suja Lowenthal would be saying right now if she were playing the classic game by Milton Bradley Co., Battleship. Luckily for Suja, she’s not playing Battleship, and her campaign for the council seat for the Second District hasn’t begun in earnest yet. When it does, I suggest keeping a tighter lid on things.

Until the Press-Telegram article appeared on February 25th, the worst kept secret in Long Beach politics for the last two weeks was that Suja Lowenthal was going to drop out of the Long Beach Unified School District campaign in order to run for City Council. Last Wednesday, I even received an e-mail telling me that Ms. Lowenthal had decided to run for City Council and was opening a campaign office. I’m sure the e-mail was inadvertently scattered around town, or maybe it was a little balloon to gauge public opinion.

I already know the local media will have their knives out on Ms. Lowenthal’s decision to run for City Council (check out this LBReport editorial). More importantly, though, will be how the voters will react to Ms. Lowenthal’s decision to serve on the City Council with her mother-in-law, Bonnie Lowenthal, from the First District. It would be politically naïve to believe that at least a few voters won’t have their eye-brows raised. But, in a “first-past-the-post” election, a few voters with raised eyebrows might not matter.

Kosher Ham

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Best In Town . . .

My favorite basketball team is the Los Angeles Clippers, and whoever is playing the Lakers. Tonight, the Clippers happen to be playing the Lakers. I happen to be going. It should be a great game. If you can’t make it, tune into KTLA Channel 5, at 7:30pm, and hear the best broadcast duo in the NBA, Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith.

Kosher Ham

PS – This will conclude the unintended ‘sports week’. Can’t say it won’t happen again, but next week I’ll be commenting on the apparent lack of ethics at the local, state, and federal levels of government.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

One Fine Messi . . .

If you don’t like soccer, stop reading.

If you do, Asier Del Horno (in blue, on the ground) deserved his red card. Leo Messi (in yellow, just been knocked for a loop) may have played-acted to draw a stronger reaction from the referee, but if he did, he learned from watching Chelsea’s own Arjen Robben's (in blue, finishing off Messi) play-acting get Liverpool goalie Pepe Reina sent off a couple of weeks ago.

Aside from Messi’s reaction to being bowled over by Del Horno, that tackle was just plain horrible. Del Horno looked like an NFL player trying wipe out a wide-receiver. Since when are tackles made that high in soccer?

Aside from that major flashpoint, it was a great game. The return leg to Barcelona in a couple of weeks will be a classic. Don’t miss it.

If you are following the wager between my barber and I, well, I would give myself the advantage at this point. 3 of his teams lost the first leg, the other tied. 2 of my teams won, 1 tied, and 1 lost.

I think I’ll be going in for a clip soon.

Kosher Ham

PS – All apologies for the super-cheeky title, but I just couldn’t resist. You’d think I work for The Sun or something . . . wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Football Haven . . .

For those of you who are wondering how I keep my hair so cool looking, I’ll let you in on my little secret. I get my hair cut at the “too cool for school” salon Sanctuary. My wife had been going there for a few years, and just before our wedding, she demanded I get a real haircut. It seems it was time for me to graduate from Supercuts . . . especially for the wedding.

So, I went in and got an amazing haircut from a really cool guy named Alonso (that’s him in the picture). He’s been cutting my hair ever since. It didn’t take long for us to realize we were both soccer fans. Now, every time I get my haircut I can look forward to arguing about soccer (sometimes literally, and if he didn’t have a pair of scissors and a razor at his ready, I wouldn’t back down on the quality of South American defenders so easily).

Today, the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League begin. The Champions League is the crème-de-la-crème of European Football competition, and possibly some of the greatest games in the world. Alonso and both chose four teams we thought would reach the semi-finals:

Alonso - Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool
Josh - Lyon, Villareal, Barcelona, Liverpool

Don’t worry . . . no money will change hands . . . just bragging rights. Of course, he’ll always be the guy with the razor.

Kosher Ham

Friday, February 10, 2006

Under The Banyan Tree . . .

If you have nothing to do tonight, an you're not as tired as I am, go to diPiazza's. Tim Grobaty, of the Press-Telegram, tells us:

"Mike Watt, from San Pedro's legendary Minutemen, has, as one of his side projects, the super-ish group Banyan, which also includes percussionist Stephen Perkins, from Jane's Addiction; guitarist Nels Cline, currently of Wilco; trumpeteer Willie Waldman, who blows the horn for Snoop Dogg, when the need arises; and painter Norton Wisdom, on canvas.

Banyan plays tonight at 9:30 at diPiazza's Restaurant & Bar, 5205 Pacific Coast Highway."

I won't be seeing you there, though I must say, seeing Nels Cline might be worth the trip. Oddly, I've seen all these musicians perform before with other bands (I think even the dude on canvas, he'll be painting, not playing drums in case you wondering)

Kosher Ham

Thursday, February 09, 2006

O' Danny Boy . . .

"O Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountainside
The summer's gone and all the roses falling
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide."

Frederick Edward Weatherly (from the song O' Danny Boy)

Kosher Ham

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bye-Bye Baker

Dan Baker is out as Long Beach City Councilman from the 2nd District.

Kosher Ham

PS - Waaaaaaayyyyy more on this later

Friday, February 03, 2006

Bohemian Rhapsody . . .

Does your City Council Member have a "gay owned and operated" hotel in Costa Rica? Long Beach City Council Member Dan Baker does. And to think, I thought this guy was boring.


I wonder if there is a discount for
Long Beach residents?

Kosher Ham

PS - That is not Councilman Baker pictured above. That's "Brian" and the picture was taken from the Council Member's website.

[Update 8:35am] It should be noted that Councilman Baker is openly gay, and there's nothing wrong with owning a hotel.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gogol, Elijah, Tegan, and Sara

On Tuesday night my wife and I headed to Los Angeles, to the Wiltern Theater (I just can't bring myself to call it the Wiltern LG as it's now known). The headlining band was Cake, but if I'm being honest, I don't think I could name a Cake song to save my life. My wife says they are one of those bands that once you hear a song, you say to yourself, "Oh, that's Cake." So, if you're catching my drift, I wasn't really there to see Cake.

What turned me on to this gig were Tegan and Sara, the twenty-five year old identical Canadian twins. I had heard about Tegan and Sara when I was listening to KCRW, and heard Nic Harcourt mention their names. Sounded sort of interesting to me. A few days later I found Tegan and Sara again, when I was looking for the lyrics to the song "Walking with a Ghost". I had heard White Stripes play the song on KCRW earlier in the day. Much to my surprise, the song was originally written and performed by Tegan and Sara. So to complete the tri-fecta, I found out Tegan and Sara would be playing in LA real soon.

Fast forward to January 31, 2006 . . .

The drive up to the Wiltern was pretty easy, and we made it there just before 8:00, the stamped on the ticket stating when the show would begin. However, it seems as though show had already started, with a stand-up comedian, (who would serve as the evening's emcee) Jeff Mermin. He was pretty funny, and he got some good laughs out of us. He played a call he received from a Christian Conservative company selling Christian long-distance telephone service.

Next up was Gogol Bordello, self-described Gypsy Punk. There could be no better description. I'm a bit biased here, as I actually own a Gogol Bordello album. Gogol Bordello was loud, and outrageous, and in many ways reminded me of Frank Zappa. The lead singer even looked like Zappa. I had been anticipating hearing this band and seeing them live, and they didn't disappoint. I would suggest using ear plugs if you should go see Gogol Bordello, they are a very loud band.

While waiting for Tegan and Sara to come out, we had a star sighting. Standing in front of us for about 10 minutes, talking to a group of friends, was Elijah Wood. I was just spacing out, when my wife nudged me, and I said, "What?"

"Are you serious?" she replied. So, I looked a little harder, and there he was. Elijah was definitely having a good time, as he seemed to be pretty excited. I'm not sure who he was there to see, but if I was guessing, I would say Tegan and Sara.

Tegan and Sara are new, hip, and some fresh faces to rock. There songs are great, and their voices remind me a little bit of Steve Nicks at times. On this night, maybe my expectations were a little too high, but the performance just didn’t do it for me. I would like to see them on there own for a full show, instead of just the 45 minute set. There voices were really good, but the music was a little too loud, and kind of drowning them out a bit. Don’t worry, I’m still high on T&S, and plan on getting their album.

After the Tegan and Sara set, we decided to bail. We weren’t the only ones, but at the same time, there were people just entering the door. To each their own, and that’s what makes us special.

Kosher Ham

Highlight of the night: Having security open my lip balm to check for pills. I was flattered that he thought I was cool enough to try and sneak in drugs to the concert.

Lowlight of the night: Watching the usher scurry away Elijah Wood and his friends. I was having fun watching that scene.