Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chapter XXVI: My Top 5 Songs To Sing at Karaoke Nights

Okay, I'm going to admit to this. I'm a huge fan of karaoke nights, and of subsequent, the Rock Band video game franchise. Why? Because I LOVE to sing, and I'm one of those who'll go out, remain sober, have spent the drive over to wherever something's going on where I can get up and sing warming up my vocals, take the spotlight and upstage everyone. No, it's not because I have an ego (I do in some respects, but not when it comes to singing). I do it because I feel these songs that I love, and find to be just awesome, need to be done the right way, with the right pitch (or as damn-near close to it).

That's why I'm having fun with today's blog entry. I'm going to give you my five favorite songs to sing, but for this entry, it's going to be at karaoke nights, because my list is actually different when it comes to Rock Band because there's different songs available.

So, without any further delay, let's start the countdown with some commentary.

5. "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" - Train - Drops of Jupiter (2001)
This is just a fun rock song that always gets people going, and singing along during the ending. I always enjoy doing songs that'll get people going. Enjoy the song.



4. "Elegantly Wasted" - INXS - Elegantly Wasted (1997)
One of the last videos to feature original singer Michael Hutchance before his tragic passing. Oddly enough, this is the first song I ever sang karaoke to, and got a standing ovation from the crowd for it. I had to go and choose a song where you're holding long notes several times through the chorus. Still, a fun song that plays with held notes and pitches. A pure joy to sing. Sadly, the last couple of seconds are cut from this video, but still. Great song! Enjoy!



3. "Misunderstood" - Bon Jovi - Bounce (2002)
Bon Jovi has always been one of my favorite bands, and thankfully over the past 15 years, they don't go as high vocals as they did at the end of Livin' on a Prayer. Still, this is a fun song to sing, and one I always look for in a song book. The video for this song is oddly funny, and having read the story of the extended version, I kinda wish I could find that one. Oh well, here's the video everyone's probably seen.



2. "Slide" - Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy Up the Girl (1998)
Regardless of where I am, it always happens that I sing this song. While it's not my favorite song by the band, it always happens to end up in my little set list. Not much to really say about it. It's a great track from a great album (isn't it funny that while there are two lead vocalists in Goo Goo Dolls, only the songs sung by John Rzeznick get selected as singles?). Enjoy!



1. "Smooth" - Santana feat. Rob Thomas - Supernatural (1999)
Not only my favorite song to sing karaoke to, but it was also my favorite song to play in my high school jazz band. We'd get pretty crazy during the solo sections. Me on drums, my cousin on bass, two guitarists, several trumpet players, and anyone else who dared to do a solo. If I recall correctly (it's been about a decade...), one performance went over 10 minutes just because of how many people we had doing solos. Being on drums, you have to start getting creative during these long solos so you don't get bored or tired. Still to this day, it's an amazing song. Enjoy!



This wraps up my Top 5 list for songs I love to sing karaoke to. Hope you've enjoyed it. I'll be along sometime soon with the Top 5 Songs I Love to Sing in Rock Band...trust me, it's a different list than what you might expect.

On a side note, I'm sure you can tell from the number of music-related blogs I've done, music is a huge part of my life. In most cases, it's saved it. I just want to share it with you. While my tastes may differ slightly or greatly from yours, all music is worth appreciating, as long as the content and message is good.

Take care all,
BMW

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chapter XXV: A Fun Little Post

Alright. I admit, I'm stealing this from a friend. Hope said friend doesn't mind. However, this might give you more insight into me, and how I tick. Feel free to post your own version of this in the comments section. Enjoy!

10 REALLY RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME

1. I have glasses, and wish I didn't so I could get some really kick-ass sunglasses and take an even better picture than the one I have on this blog.
2. I'm single, and don't mind it. If someone comes along that peaks my interest, I'm open to it.
3. I love pop-opera, and often use various tenors to warm up my voice.
4. I've had 2 pets. A dog (miniature German Sheppard named Blackey) and a cat (a gray Persian named Misty)
5. I enjoy veggies, but as long as they're raw. I HATE almost all cooked veggies.
6. The best pizza I ever had was in 1992 when my parents and I visited an Italian restaurant in New York.
7. I love Mafia movies. The whole command structure and dedication to loyalty is very appealing.
8. I'm a huge fan of science fiction. I read it, I watch it, and I write it.
9. Music and sports are passions of mine.
10. I have an awesome family.


9 WAYS TO WIN MY HEART

1. Don't smoke or do drugs
2. Be honest. Trust me, I can take the truth. It may hurt, but I'll respect you more for it.
3. Be intelligent.
4. Have a sense of humor. Trust me, I have a wild one.
5. Understand that sometimes, I do like to be on my own and do my own thing. Know that it isn't anything to do with you, it's just how I am.
6. While it's great to have things in common, I don't want us to have too much in common. There's got to be some things we disagree on, and thus work out to a compromise.
7. Have an open mind to the world.
8. I like going out every once in a while. Whether it's for a walk,dinner, a movie. Anything! Don't be afraid to suggest something. (hockey games don't count, because I'm always up for those!)
9. Can get around the fact that

8 THINGS I CARRY/WEAR EVERYDAY

1. Wallet
2. Baseball Cap
3. Car keys
4. Portable Sirius Satellite Radio
5. Some money
6. Driver's License/ID
7. My glasses
8. Clothes

7 THINGS THAT ANNOY ME

1. People who take too long to get to the point
2. People who talk behind other peoples' backs
3. Extremely cold temperatures
4. Being ignored
5. TV shows that are good, but get canceled early
6. People who bash things without either trying them, or giving it a chance
7. The telephone ringing

6 PLACES I'VE VISITED

1. Montreal, Quebec
2. Halifax, Nova Scotia
3. New York
4. New Hampshire
5. Vermont
6. Maine

5 THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE

1. See U2 and Dave Matthews Band in concert
2. Get a great job where I can be completely financially stable
3. Record a CD of my own music
4. Find someone to spend the rest of my life with
5. Travel overseas


4 THINGS I'M AFRAID OF

1. Bees (was stung as a young child.)
2. Heights
3. Dying Alone
4. My car breaking down.

3 THINGS I DO EVERYDAY

1. Take a shower
2. Listen to music
3. Use the computer for at least 10 minutes

2 THINGS I'M TRYING NOT TO DO NOW

1. Become completely bored
2. Pass out at the keyboard

1 PERSON I WANT TO SEE NOW

My cousin

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chapter XXIV: The Grand Opening

***WARNING: THIS IS A PICTURE HEAVY POST***

Wow...just...WOW!

What an awesome afternoon. Great (extremely hot) weather, clear skies, great food, great people, and a lot of fun! Almost 3 years in the making, Victoria Park in the small city of Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada welcomed neighbors, friends and everyone with 2 and 4 legs to the Grand Opening for the park!

Everything turned out great. We had a good crowd that was entertained with conversation, a BBQ, drinks, some cake, and a ribbon cutting ceremony (I didn't get pics of that, as I was in that photo). The good thing about today is that while it was really hot with the sun beating down, everyone was able to remain hydrated, and there was a nice, cool breeze blowing.

Overall, the event was a great success, and I'm really proud of my parents and all the other volunteers involved with the park.

Alright. Without any further ado, I'm going to show you what you want to see: pictures! Because of the lame formatting on this when it comes to pictures, I'm going to have to give you captions before the slew of pictures. If you want to see larger versions, click on each pic.

Pictures 1-3: My father (right in pic 1) giving his Park Opening Speech; Picture 4: Look at how awesome the sky is, today!; Pictures 5-9: The Mayor of Bathurst giving a little speech; Pictures 10-11: A couple of crowd shots; Picture 12: CAKE!; Picture 13: A close-up of the burgers (there's hot dogs, too...but we all know: burgers > hot dogs); Picture 14: My uncle manning the grill; Picture 15: Another crowd shot; Picture 16: The Victoria Park sign, looking all decorated; Pictures 17-19: More crowd shots; Picture 20: My 6 month old little cousin, Loïc. Isn't he cute?  :)


Enjoy the pics!
BMW









Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chapter XXIII: Random Musings

Wow, I didn't think it had been this long since I last blogged. I apologize, everyone. I didn't mean to ignore this blog, and anyone who reads. It's just been a crazy week and change.

The good news is, I've survived the return to my old shift time of 11pm-7am (Atlantic time), and I couldn't be happier. I'm greatful and thankful that my boss at the hotel was willing to let me fill in on some shifts, and give me a few more here and there. The staff at the hotel is (and always has been) awesome, and they're a great bunch to work with. When I finish my shift, the Front Desk Supervisor is always thanking me for being there. Really, I'm not the one who should be thanked. It's them for being so open to me working there despite not having worked a shift since Christmas due to college. Spoken words can never express my gratitude to the manager and front desk supervisor, along with the rest of the staff for putting up with me.  :)

So let's see. What else has been going on besides work? Well, the new season of Big Brother has started on CBS/Global, and it's the first season since Big Brother 8 that I haven't ordered the online streams. With the crappy service I got last season (feeds being too choppy, feeds having a hard time to connect, etc.) I decided I'm going to skip on this season and watch it like I used to watch it. Just a warning to anyone who wants to spoil me on stuff concerning the show: Spoil things for me, and I'll make sure you get tonnes of Spam Mail, because I'll be signing your e-mail up for everything I can find. Deal?  :)

The Major League Baseball All-Star game happened, and for the first time in 14 years, the National League won, which means they get home-field advantage in the World Series. About time! Although I wish the American League would have won. Why? Because the team I've always cheered for, the Toronto Blue Jays play in the American League. Oh well, can't win them all. This year's Home Run Derby was okay. Had some nice shots, although I don't think anything will ever replicate the 28 Home Run-round Josh Hamilton pulled off in 2008. I still have that on video, and it's just epic. ESPN analyst Chris Berman is just hilarious on commentary.

This weekend, the big project my parents have been heavily involved in, the resurrection of the neighborhood park, sees the grand re-opening of the park. It's taken them about three years to get to this point, and I couldn't be more proud of my parents. The get-together is supposed to go down this Saturday, and that's where I'll be. I'll be taking a few pictures, for sure. It's just awesome that my parents, along with others involved in the non-profit organization set up to remodel the park (to which my father is the chairman) is finally getting its big moment after the city condemned the park, and was going to let it be sold and re-zoned for housing. I remember when the city gave a damn about that park. There were activities every summer, a really good swing set, and some other good things. The field was perfect for a pick-up baseball or soccer game, and you could just enjoy a nice day in the shade. Again, I'm so proud of my parents, and the others involved with the park.

Well, I suppose that's it for the update on what's going on. I'll probably do another blog this weekend with pictures from the park event.

Take care, everyone!

BMW

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chapter XXII: Didn't Think I Could Pull It Off...

I'll be quite honest. I didn't think I would be able to pull off last night. For the first time since the Christmas break, I returned to my old job working the front desk at a local hotel. For the first time since August 2008, I found myself working my old shift, being 11pm to 7am (Atlantic Daylight Time). At first, I was trying everything to try and get my body and mind to stay awake until at least 5-6am so that I could end up sleeping later and later into the day.

Nothing worked.

So, early Sunday morning around 2:50 am, after the post-fight press conference for UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin ended, I suddenly felt this HUGE wave of fatigue fall over me. Pulling myself off the couch from which I had been comfortably stretched out on, watching the event since the Spike TV prelims began at 10:00 pm, I dragged my ass to all the lights that were still on, switched on the Satellite Radio (as I can't seem to sleep right without music playing) and then finally crashed into bed. I woke up around 11am, and I was still feeling tired. Weird, after 8 hours of sleep, I was still tired. So, I mulled around a bit, and around 2pm, went back to sleep until approximately 6:30-7:00pm.

It was the best thing I could have done. I was wide awake the entire time, at least I was until 7am the next morning arrived. Man, when my replacement (the Front Desk Supervisor) arrived, I could hardly stop yawning. Fighting them back wasn't easy. Needless to say, I was hoping to get either some TV or computer time in before I went to sleep, but instead I crashed right away. Needless to say, I got about 7 hours of sleep. After I have a bite to eat, I'll probably grab a quick nap for a couple of hours.

What's hard for me right now is trying to remember how everything was done on that shift, because a few things have changed. Also, I'm trying to remember how I did things at home when I lived that shift. I just hope people can be patient while I adjust to going back to this timetable. After being up at 6am for the past year, it's a bit of a shock to the system. I'll get over it, though. I always do.

Regardless, it felt good to be back. And in a few hours, I'll be back to the grind.

BMW

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chapter XXI: The Music That Inspires Me: The Podcast

In the first episode of the Podcast version of "The Music That Inspires Me," I give some background on some new and old music that I listen to, or even grew up on. Some of it may surprise you. What I DON'T do in this episode is give you EVERYTHING. Gotta save stuff for future podcasts :)

Length of this episode: 1 hour, 12 minutes.
Warning: Explicit Language & Loud Music!

If you'd like to download this podcast, Click Here. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chapter XX: I Don't Cook Often...

...which means my menu choices are usually quite limited.

However, when I do cook, it often turns out great. However, I tend to leave a bit of a mess. Tonight, I decided to cook some hamburger, as it's something I really haven't had in a while, and it's one of my favorite meals. Yes, I'm a meat eater. Got a problem with it, well, I suppose I could say deal with it. Well, I just kinda said it. So...ummm...there?  :)

Now, here's the fun part. I decided to take some pictures of the progression of the cooking, and am going to give my own little captions and commentary on each photo as I go.

Photo 1: "This is your brain..."


Yes, I enjoy being funny with uncooked hamburger based on a scene from the film Hannibal where Anthony Hopkins takes a piece of a guy's "brain" (which is really hamburger), fries it up, and eats it. I wonder if the title character felt any smarter? Hmmm...oh well. This is what the hamburger looked like before I set it to cook.

Photo 2: "Starting to cook..."


As you can see here, the hamburger is starting to slowly lose its redness, and become cooked, and edible.

Photo 3: "Now we sizzling!"


Yup. Starting to look more and more cooked, don't you think? Usually, about this time, I throw in some oregano leaves for added taste. I don't know what it is, but I love how oregano leaves bring out the taste in things. I always get it on my subs at Subway, that's for sure.

Photo 4: "Smoke is rising now that the onions are in..."


As usual when the onion bits are thrown in, lots of smoke rises up from the pan. I don't mind. It enhances the smell of the cooked brains - er - meat.

Photo 5: "More smoke! Thankfully, no fire."


My laptop makes a cameo in the background as the screen is filled with monster smoke.

Photo 6: "A clearer picture of what I've created."


Almost complete. Just needs to have something added.

Photo 7: "...this is your brain on my plate."


There we go. Just had to add corn. Why? Because I wanted to, that's why  :)  Gotta have your veggies with your meat, right? Trust me, this tasted sooooooooooooooooooo good going down. Oh yeah, almost forgot. Enjoyed a nice glass of Pepsi while eating this. Best part is, I made enough so I can enjoy some more later.

I hope you enjoyed cooking with me, because I enjoyed it, too. Don't expect it too often tho.

Take care, and remember...brains are good!

BMW

Chapter XIX: Violent Protesters Are A Human Joke

WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE

Wow...just...WOW!

Are you seriously kidding me?

Has anyone seen the complete idiocy going on in Toronto?

Yes, I get that there's a bunch of bullshit related to the G8/G20 summit in Toronto, but violent protesting is beyond stupidity. I'm talking invading a country on the unproven discovery of weapons stupidity.

I'm posting some pictures taken from various people and uploaded via Twitter below as to what's been going on. Judge for yourself.

Really, this shit sickens me, and makes me ashamed that I'm not only Canadian, and likely share Canadian citizenship with some of these idiot protesters, but this makes me ashamed to simply be HUMAN, and living on this planet.

People are getting hurt. Innocent people are being targeted by these protesters. How innocent are the people being targeted? People that are at their jobs, or just minding their own business. The fact that there's a need for Riot Police makes this even more idiotic.

What's worse about all this? The CIVILIZED people of Toronto are the ones who are going to pay for all this when all their tax money is forced to be diverted from the important things like education and health care funding to the repairs.

My heart breaks as this continues.

To the peaceful protesters that kept things civilized, thank you for making a great statement, and thank you for keeping things cool. I hope your message is heard.

To the violent protesters, fuck you. I hope you all die slow, painful, excruciating deaths, whether it's one at a time, or all together. You are all a bunch of fucking cowards, and have no business being on this planet. Fuck off and die. kthxbye.

To those in the war zone covering this, I pray for your safety.

And now, to the horrible images gathered while writing this.

BMW

UPDATE @ 8:00pm EDT - Looks like they took the photos I was using down. Best go to www.cbcnews.ca for all the info on this insane bullshit.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chapter XVIII: Music That Inspires Me, volume three

Alright, time for another installment of "Music That Inspires Me!" Before I get to it, I want to let you know that I've decided to shelve the idea of the podcast. I can't seem to find the time to get it done without being interrupted by something. So, I'm just going to continue blogging periodically. I apologize that I'm not blogging as much this month as I did last month. Nothing that exciting has gone on this month. Next month is when things get fun as I have a few concerts coming up.

Until then, let me invade your earspace with some tunes that I enjoy.

1. "21 Guns" Green Day feat. the cast of the Broadway play American Idiot
Man, Green Day has been in my blood for a very, very long time. I'll never forget the day I first saw the video for Basket Case. Back then, as a kid still learning about drumming, I was scared shitless wondering how I'd pull that off. It's amazing how over the years Green Day has evolved and become more than a punk band that has faux-British accents on the lead singer. One of the crazy things Green Day did recently was turn their American Idiot and parts of the 21st Century Breakdown albums into a Broadway musical. This is one of the songs re-worked for the production. I have to say, it sounds great. Enjoy.




2. "Alive" by Pearl Jam
Okay, anyone that was a kid-turned-teenager in the early 90's who hasn't heard of Pearl Jam, please slap yourselves silly? Thank you. Pearl Jam was one of the few, shining moments of the 90's before all that gangsta rap and bubblegum pop started to take over near the end of the decade. You had intelligence, great stories, awesome solos, and probably one of the easiest singers to sing along to with this band. To me, this was an anthem to the entrance of my double-digit years. Funny thing is, I didn't know the actual story behind this song until much later when I did some research. Still. It's one of those songs always worth rocking out to, no matter the occasion.




3. "Ants Marching (live at Folsom Field)" by Dave Matthews Band
I've been a huge fan of Dave Matthews Band since I first heard The Best of What's Around back in 1995. Next thing I know, here's a video for Ants Marching, and I was hooked. It's so hard to find bands with such passion and such musicianship. Sure, there was a time where they almost broke up, and they lost their sax player Leroi Moore, but they still carried on. They're probably one of the few bands that truly split things right down the middle. Here's a live version of Ants Marching that has some sick improv before the song even kicks into gear, and then some when the song is in gear! Enjoy!




4. "Your Hand in Mine" by Explosions in the Sky
For those of you who pay close attention to music in both film and television, you'll recognize this as one of the songs in the film Friday Night Lights, and also a re-worked version of this song serves as the theme song for the television series of the same name. When I first heard the music for the film, I was captivated. Here's this rock band that does completely instrumental music, and does it well, and with a lot of creativity. This is the full version of the song that appears on their album The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place. Enjoy.




5. "Nautical Disaster" by The Tragically Hip
The few times I've been fortunate enough to find this in a karaoke song book, I've purposely rocked this song out to the absolute best of my abilities. Back in college at the Atlantic Police Academy, a couple of classmates and I would do acoustic renditions of Hip songs for fun. Sadly, this wasn't one of them. Still, The Hip are Canadian icons, and have been putting out great album after great album since the 1980's. This song is off their 1995 Day for Night album. They were actually invited to perform this on Saturday Night Live by guest-host Dan Aykroyd. Here's the music video for this awesome song.




Alright. That does it for this third installment. Hope you enjoyed it.

Until next time,

BMW

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chapter XVII: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz/Franklin Finale Live Blog

Hey everyone. I've decided I'm going to blog tonight's UFC event that's airing on Spike TV/Rogers Sportsnet. I'm going to be giving round-by-round thoughts, along with a scorecard. My view is my own, and nobody else's. I won't be doing anything for the prelim fights, only the main card fights.

Here's the line-up:

Preliminary card
Heavyweight bout: James McSweeney vs. Travis Browne
Middleweight bout: James Hammortree vs. Chris Camozzi
Middleweight bout: Kyle Noke vs. Josh Bryant
Middleweight bout: Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski
Lightweight bout: John Gunderson vs. Mark Holst

Main card
Middleweight bout: Jamie Yager vs. Rich Attonito
Lightweight bout: Spencer Fisher vs. Dennis Siver
Middleweight bout: Chris Leben vs. Aaron Simpson
Light Heavyweight bout: Matt Hamill vs. Keith Jardine
TUF11 Middleweight Final: Court McGee vs. Kris McCray
 
Bookmark and refresh throughout the night. I'll be updating at various points when the prelims start with results, and round-by-round once the event starts at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT.
 
------------------------------------------------------
 
UFC: THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM LIDDELL vs. TEAM ORTIZ/FRANKLIN FINALE
 
TRAVIS BROWNE VS. JAMES McSWEENEY
Travis Browne def. James McSweeney via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 4:32.

CHRIS CAMOZZI VS. JAMES HAMMORTREE
Chris Camozzi def. James Hammortree via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

JOSH BRYANT VS. KYLE NOKE
Kyle Noke def. Josh Bryant via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 3:12.

SETH BACZYNSKI VS. BRAD TAVARES
Brad Tavares def. Seth Baczynski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

JOHN GUNDERSON VS. MARK HOLST
John Gunderson def. Mark Holst via unanimous decision (no scores given).

------------------------------------------------------

Intro thoughts: It's funny that in the intro video, they're still showing Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz, when Ortiz was removed from the show, and it was renamed Team Liddell vs. Team Franklin for the last episode of the season. Oh well. Also to note, gotta love the commercials (not).

MAIN CARD

RICH ATTONITO VS. JAMIE YAGER

Pre-Fight - Yager looks like a fucking Chia-Pet.

Round 1 - Yager starts with a kick that catches air. Both are dacing around, and exchange punches. Yager moves in, and lands a hard kick to the knee. Yager looking for punches, hits a couple. Yager has a huge reach with his stance, and lands a hard series of puches, backing Rich to the cage. Rick tries to take Yager down, and Yager is looking for a standing kimura when it comes to the takedown attempt. After about 10 seconds, Yager is finally taken down, but scrambles to his feet. Nice knee by Yager to the face of Rich. Yager's problem in the series has been his gas tank, as his fights don't go long. Yager throws another kick to the front leg that lands. Now he lands a punch. Rich misses a kick. Yager throws a kick, but has it countered with a hard punch. Yager lands a two punch combo. Both are starting to relax and find a rhythm. Rich with a nice left to the cheek, but does nothing. Rich catches Yager and back Yager up to the cage, attempting a takedown, but he's eating elbows to the side of the head. Yager with an elbow out of the clinch and tries for a kick. Rich eats a right, but answers with a kick. Yager is throwing kicks, both high and low. As the round closes, nothing more happens. Round 1: Yager 10, Attonito 9.

Round 2 - We start, and both exchange punches. Yager is trying to work the left hooking uppercut. Rich tries to fly in with punches, but ends up being the bull to the evasive mattador. Rich throws a head kick that doesn't land. Yager is being fairly elusive. Finally, Rich lands a kick. Now they trade at the centre of the Octagon. Yager lands a hard left hook, and Rich comes back with a kick to the legs. Yager lands a combo to the head, but it just polishes Rich's dome. Yager is slowing down, and is starting to take punches against the cage. Rich blocks a head kick. Yager tries a jumping knee, but airs it. Rich lands a hard right, again. Yager looks gassed as he eats some shots. Rich throws a few punches and then takes Yager down, and quickly takes the back. Rich going for a rear-naked choke. Back to the back-mount. Rich keeps working and is now raining blows like a fucking madman. Finally, referee Steve Mazagatti calls a stop to the fight. As they stand up, Yager and Rich embrace, showing good sportsmanship. Rich Attonito def. Jamie Yager via TKO at 4:25 of Round 2.

Thoughts: Jamie Yager really needs to work on his conditioning and not trying to finish the fight early. After dropping the first round, Rich Attonito had an AWESOME second round. Bright future for this guy if he can remain injury free.

Between-Fight: We get to see the TUF 11 finalists getting their hands wrapped. I wonder how Court McGee fights seeing as he's a heavy glasses wearer outside the cage. Hmmm. Yay, commercial. Anyone else excited for July 3rd? Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship. I'll be honest, I'm going with Brock. Woot! Rock'em Sock'em Lightweights time! But first, another commercial, but this time, a preview of TUF 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck. If there's one thing GSP could give to his team, it's closed captioning.


SPENCER FISHER VS. DENNIS SIVER

Round 1 - We have a lovely female referee named Kim Winslow taking charge of the cage for this fight. Figher and Siver are trading air kicks. Figher lands an outside kick, and then throws an inside kick to the nuts. We have a break, and a replay. After a minute, we're back to action. Figher lands a hard punch, and now a kick while avoiding a counter punch from Siver. Another kick from Fisher, and a couple return including a front kick to the face by Siver. The two clinch, and Siver pushes away landing a punch. Another kick by Siver, but Siver has a cut over his eye. Trading punches at the centre of the cage. Fisher lands a kick to the body. Blood is really coming down the side of Siver's face. Fisher is really moving around, while Siver keeps the centre of the Octagon. Siver with a leg kick and some punches. This is really turning into a strong kickboxing match. Ouch! Hard kick to the body by Fisher. Both are trading punches, and Siver's left side of the face is really bloody, mostly from dried blood. Both continue to trade standing kicks, and Siver lands a hard punch. Fisher with a kick to the knee. Fisher tries a side hook kick, but misses. Siver throws a spinning back kick, but takes a light head kick. Round over. Fisher 10, Siver 9.

Between rounds: Wow, that cut is DEEP! And we get the copyright riot act from Mike Goldberg.

Round 2 - Siver again in the center to open the round. Fisher circling left, into Siver's power hand. Fisher kicks low. moves in but eats a counter. Siver now kicking low again. Patient attacks. Fisher lands a nice straight left, then follows with a firm low kick. Fisher continues to circle into Siver's power hand, and Siver just misses a big right. Siver works a pair of low kicks. Siver catches a kick and lands a right hand that sends Fisher down. He pops back up, but Siver looks energized. Fisher has a high kick blocked, but he then lands a 1-2. Fisher with a Superman, then a follow straight. One minute left. Both fighters still firing shots, though the action comes in spots. Siver lands a kick to the body. Front kick lands for Siver, but he's too close on another spinning strike. Close round. Siver 10, Fisher 9. Tied 19-19 after 2 rounds.

Round 3 - Siver opens with a high kick. A low kick then catches Fisher in the groin, and we have a short break. High kick from Fisher answered with punches from Siver. Fisher's corner wants him to press. Siver still has the center of the cage. Siver lands a few punches and whiffs on a kick. Siver really starting to become the aggressor and looks much more comfortable than he did in the first. Siver lands a jab, though Fisher slips the right. Front kick from Siver. Two minutes in. Fisher starts to open up with punches and kicks, and a knee lands clean. Siver closing the distance now. Looping shots fired by both, though Siver throwing with more frequency. Fisher slowing down again. Siver slips a Fisher attack and fires back counters. Both guys willing to trade, but Siver seems to have the timing down at this point. Straight punch for Siver. Less than a minute. Siver wobbles momentarily. Front kick from Siver. Spinning backfist from Fisher. Siver shoots at the bell. Siver 10, Fisher 9. Final score: Siver 29, Fisher 28.

Denis Siver def. Spencer Fisher via unaminious decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Post-Fight: This was a great kickboxing fight. Loved it! Siver definately moves up in the rankings, and is probably in the top 7 or 8. Give him a televised PPV fight, please. Oh, and referee Wilson has a nice smile.

Between Fights: Wow. Ummm...Epic. Fucking. Promo for The Expendables. August 13 can't come fast enough. They're recapping the hell out of this past season of The Ultimate Fighter, which was WAY better than last season's Heavyweights. Basically, this is a commercial-fest right now, as they probably want to get them all out of the way so they can show a couple fights with little-to-no commercials. If that's the reasoning, I don't blame them. But then again, UFC = money.


CHRIS LEBEN VS. AARON SIMPSON

Round 1 - Referee Josh Rosenthal oversees this middleweight affair. Simpson rakes the center and stalks. Leben circling. Smpson fires the first flurry and immediately moces on fore th takedoewn. Leben hits the deck, and Simpson takes side control.L eben scrambles up, but Simpson controls the head and lands a knee. Simpson looks like he's tryin for the choek, but he lands another knee and moves away. Leben presses into the clinch and works in a few footstomps. Simpson circles off the cage. Nothin gin the clinch, and they reset. Simpson lands a stiff left, followed by a right Halfway through the frame. Simpson pushes in again. Simpson lifts LEben and tosses him to the floor. A few punches score to the face before Leben can scramble up. Leben fires of a few big lefts, but they miss. Simpson counters with a few stiff straights. Leben looks a bit winded moving forward, but he fires off shots when he has space. Simpson avoiding well and moves into the clinch. Less than a minute. Simpson throws a few knees, and Leben answers with some short punches to the head, but the round ends. Round 1 score: Simpson 10, Liben 9.

Round 2 - Leben opens on the attack, and Simpson tries to counter with a takedown. Leben shucks it off and fires in the pocket. Simpson absorbs a few shots and fires back. The pair resets and moves across the cage, and it's a firefight. Simpson's back to the cage, and Leben firing hooks. Simpson slows things down with a clinch. Leben breaks and chases. Simpson tries for another takedown, but Lebe remains upright. Leben lands a nice jab, but Simpson looks unfazed. Two minutes left. Simpson against the cage, and Leben throwing front kicks and left hands. Simpson firing back when he can, but his punches starting to tire. Leben firing off sots, and Simpson is rocked. He falls, and Leben pounces. Leben fires off punches as Rosenthal watches. Simpson crawls back to his feet and tries to scamper away. As he does, another pair of shots land, and Simpson stumbles to the canvas. Tough to tell how hurt Simpson was versus being well off-balance, but Rosenthal has seen enough.

Chris Liben def. Aaron Simpson via TKO at 4:17 of Round 2.

Post-Fight: Wow, this was a great finish. A Chris Liben special, if you will. Man, this guy's matured. Still loves to have fun, though.


MATT HAMILL VS. KEITH JARDINE

Round 1 - Herb Dean the third man in the cage for the evening's co-main event. Hamill misses with a left hand and Jardine flurries. Into the clinch, but no real offense. Hamill works in a few jabs with Jardine's hands low. Jardine kicks low. Hamill jumps in and eats a low kick. Jardine landing and moving. Hamill kicks low but eats a right hand. Now Jardine kicks and catches a left counter. Jardine lands a kick to the midsectionrion. Halfway through. Jardine rushes forward with punches, though Hamill blocks most of them. Jardine lands a slapping low kick. Hamill shoots in, but Jardine saw it coming and defends. Traded jabs. Another low kick for Jardine, who follows with a combination that ends with an uppercut. Hamill getting thought in spots, but Jardine landing more shots. Jab for Jardine. Hamill blocks most of a combination. Jardine misses on a big right. Very close round. Jardine 10, Hamill 9.

Round 2 - Hamill’s corner instructs him to take Jardine down. He attempts to do so in the round’s first 30 seconds, but Jardine easily defends it. Hamill tries to box with Jardine and he gets pelted with three low kicks. Hamill attempts to kick the head and Jardine checks it. Hamill catches a low kick, but he can’t drag Jardine down. The Greg Jackson product is picking Hamill apart. Hamill jabs and finds some success with a right hand. Jardine goes right back to the legs with low kicks. Hamill charges forward and glances the face of Jardine, who’s now bleeding from a cut near the left eye. Hamill lands a head kick and the momentum has changed. Hamill with uppercuts from the clinch and then he goes down. Hamill covers his face and complains of an eye poke. Replays show a thumb accidentally connect with the right eye. Herb Dean takes a point regardless. The fight is restarted and Jardine bulrushes with punches and Hamill gets the best of an exchange before getting a takedown. Jardine stands and Hamill pours it on with punches from the clinch. Jardine is now cut over his right eye. Jardine is a bloody mess. Hamill 10, Jardine 8 (Jardine was deducted 1 point). 19-18 Hamill after 2 rounds.

Between Rounds: Blood on the camera lense, blood on the body, blood on the trunks...Got blood?

Round 3 - The fighters pick up where they left off, though with a bit less zip. Hamill lands the stiffer shots, though Jardine returning fire. Hamill pushes in and secures the takedown. Jardine's reddened from the blood, and he tries to stand. A second effort gets him back standing, though Dean wants doctors to check the cut. It's over the right eye, but they let Jardine carry on. Jardine lands a nice right that pops Hamill's head back. Hamill tries to shoot, but Jardine scampers away and resets. Jabs from both. Jardine has abandoned the low kick. Hamill popping jabs, though Jardine not going anywhere. Two minutes left. Jardine's face a mess. He's retreating, but Hamill in control. Dean calls for a break as Jardine has lost his mouthpiece. Hamill shoots in on the restart. Jardine defends, but he's blasted by a knee to the face. Jardine lands a right. Hamill shoots again. Jardine defends well and resets. Less thana minute. Both fighters justifiably tired. Jardine more active in the closing second. Overhand right lands for Jadine, but the bell sounds to end the fight. Hamill 10, Jardine 9. Final Score: Hamill 29, Jardine 27.

Matt Hamill def. Keith Jardine via Majority Decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28).


TUF11 FINAL: COURT McGEE VS. KRIS McCRAY

Round 1 - Referee Steve Mazagatti in the cage with the "TUF 11" title on the line. McCray gets the best of an early flurry, and the two move into the clinch. Nothing doing, and they reset. McCray reaches on a punch and nearly gets caught with a counter. Battle for the trip in a clinch, and McGee sets up on top. McCray has guard. Fight moves to the cafe, and McCray works himself back to his feet. Not there long as McGee sucks him up and back on to the floor. McCray's head against the cage. McGee postures and lands a shot as he passes into half-mount. McGee lands a few shots and tries to get a headlock as McCray stands. McCray fires off a few shots on the feet, but it's McGee who lands the cleaner blows. In the clinch, and McGee again drags the action to the mat. McCray works free when McGee looks for a choke, and it's back to the feet. McCray throwing his hands, but it's again McGee who lands the better shot.McCray lands a stiff right in the closing seconds. Round Score: McGee 10, McCray 9.

Round 2 - McCray fires off a few powerful punches, and he's looking a bit more active than round one. McGee wies him up and lands a knee. A scramble as the two hit the deck, and McGee is on top. McGee tries for a side choke from mount, but McCray slips out. McCray not absorbing any damage underneath, but he's still mounted. McGee lands a few left hands to the ribs. McCray rolls to escape, but McGee stays on the back. McCray spins free, and they're back on the feet. Traded shots on the feet, and McGee drives through for a takedown. McCray trapped, and McGee presses in and moves to the back. Left hook is in, and McGee sinks in the choke. McCray tries to relent, but he's forced to tap with no room to escape.

Court McGee def. Kris McCray via submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:41 of Round 2, and wins the Ultimate Fighter 11 Middleweight Tournament.

Post-Fight: McGee is a true success story. Someone who came back from battling his addictions and demons to win this big fight. Congrats!

Goodnight, everyone!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chapter XVI: Music That Inspires Me, volume two

I've received some great comments over Twitter concerning the first entry into this series. So much in fact, I'm going to give you another few songs. Now, I warn you. Some of these may seem totally random. You may be left thinking "What is wrong with him?" because I can assure you, like the last entry, some of these songs are in the "deep left field," and some are ones you probably know. Sit back, and enjoy the wild trip through my musical mind! Just so you know, most of these songs are being taken from Youtube, so I can't promise they'll be of perfect quality, because Youtube likes to mess with things.

Let's start things off with one of my favorites to sing along to.

1. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey (Revelation version with Arnel Pineda on vocals)
There's a lot of reasons why I prefer this version over the original Steve Perry version. One is because of the slightly longer break before the third verse (giving you a chance to breathe). Two is because the vocals go a little higher than the original (and I love singing outside my normal vocal range, which tends to surprise people how well I can hit the notes). A third reason would have to be because Arnel is a great fit with the band, and isn't being prickish with the band like Steve Perry has been. Anyways, enjoy.




2. "Night Train" - Bouncing Souls
I'm starting to guess that in this day and age, doing a ballad of sorts is the norm for punk rock bands. Bouncing Souls are one of my favorite punk bands that I was introduced to over the past few years. This was actually the first song I heard by them, by chance, while watching a Ring of Honor (pro wrestling) DVD where current WWE wrestler CM Punk had the song play after his surprise match. It's a great song that talks about having to leave what you love and what you know behind. Something I've had to do in the past in order to better my life. Enjoy.




3. "Rise Up" - Cypress Hill feat. Tom Morello
Okay, I know I'm Straight-Edge and everything, but if there's one thing I am that superceeds this, it's a music fan. Cypress Hill are one of the few rap groups that are still groups. I still remember the day Insane in the Brain came out. It had my friends and I going nuts trying to immitate B-Real's voice on the song during the chorus. This is the first single off their latest album, and I love the fact they're inviting other artists outside the rap game to perform with them. And let's be honest. Who better than Tom Morello, famous for playing in Rage Against the Machine? Enjoy. Warning: Strong Language.




4. "The Right to Go Insane" - Megadeth
Okay, I'm going to be insanely honest. I'm a HUGE Megadeth fan, and I'm looking forward to seeing them live this summer. I really only chose this song because it's their latest single. Sure, I could have gone and put one of their more famous hits, but I wanted to go with something more recent. The video is loosely based on a true story, to which I'll let you search for yourself. Interesting to note, this is the first video to feature original bassist David Ellefson since he rejoined the band earlier this year (which brought great joy to many). Video aside, enjoy the song...as you do have the right to go insane every once in a while.  :)




5. "Coming Back to Life" - Pink Floyd
Kind of funny that quite possibly my favorite Pink Floyd song of all-time comes from the last studio album the band ever released. This song was always fun to play on drums for me because I would literally throw on the additional challenge of the secondary percussionist while drumming. I love the guitar solos in this song, too. It's hard to really put feelings for these songs into words, but I'm trying. :) David Gilmore has always been one of my favorite writers, singers and guitarists. This version is from the Pulse concert that has since been released on DVD (thank God, because the VHS was impossible to find back in the 90's). Enjoy this one.



Alright. That's going to do it for this second installment of the Music That Inspires Me series. I was planning on doing the first podcast last night, but a movie, UFC 115 and gaming with some friends came up. I'll probably get it done sometime today or tomorrow. Stay tuned to the blog for more information. Until then, enjoy your Sunday!

BMW

Friday, June 11, 2010

Interlude II: Updates

Update 1: I've finished my first year in the Business Administration course at college. It'll be nice not having to do 900+km's of driving a week for a while. My car will be thankful for the break, too.

Update 2: I'm planning on doing a weekly podcast where I'll feature some music I enjoy, share some thoughts and opinions on various subjects (likely to include various sports, movies, tv shows, and any other news I come across during the recording). Expect to see the first episode possibly this weekend.

Update 3: I'm happy to say I predicted 14 of the 15 LOSERS in this year's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The only miss was picking Vancouver over the eventual Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. I went on a round-by-round basis for picks. Funny thing is, I even picked AGAINST my own team.

Update 4: I still hate the submission system in the UFC games, and I'm seriously jazzed for Rock Band 3 later this year. Gonna be interesting throwing the keyboards into things!

Update 5: UFC 115 should be fun tomorrow night. Won't be blogging it, tho.

Update 6: There is no update 6  :)

Update 7: Summer is almost here! Continue to support Sundress Month!

Update 8: Listening to "The Morning Jones" with Bomani Jones on Hardcore Sports Radio in the morning when on the way to class is sometimes hazardous. I often end up laughing so hard I nearly take the ditch.  :)

Update 9: The end.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chapter XV: Music That Influences Me, volume one

It's been a while. How's everyone been? I've been busy wrapping up the final weeks of college, Year 1. It's weird, I've never committed myself to more than a year of schooling since I graduated high school. As Year 1 comes to an end, I'm looking forward to enjoying myself, and hopefully earning some coin.

I've often made mention of my diverse taste in music. Well, I thought I'd share some with you. I'll even go ahead and give you some insight as to how each perticular song influences me. I'm going to do a series of blogs where I'll give you 6 or so songs that I'm really into. Some may surprise you.

Speaking of surprise: Let's start off with a surprising choice, shall we?

1. "Nella Fantasia" - Russell Watson
This one is taken from Russell Watson's Live in Australia DVD, and is featured as the opening track on his debut The Voice album. Yes, I'm starting this off with an opera song. Got a problem? Hope not. I'll be honest. I first heard of Watson when he remade Rod Stewart's Faith of the Heart and retitled it Where My Heart Will Take Me for use in the opening credits of Star Trek Enterprise. I've always been a fan of pop-opera, and when I discovered he had a great voice that I could fit into my vocal range, I really got into him. Enjoy.




2. "Paper Sun" - Def Leppard
One of my favorite bands of all-time will always be Def Leppard. I'll never forget being in Newfoundland, Canada with my parents and grabbing the Euphoria CD the day it dropped. I was so excited to throw it in and give it a listen. I went through all the songs twice and realized three things. 1) It sounded WAY better than their previous album Slang. 2) It reminded me of a mixture between Hysteria and Adrenalize. 3) I was going to have a lot of fun playing these on drums. Here's a live version of one of my favorite songs off the album, Paper Sun. It's actually the album's "epic". Enjoy.




3. "Symbolistic White Walls" Matthew Good (Band)
I put "Band" in brackets because Matthew Good continues to perform to this day, just without the "Band." This was the first song I ever heard from this iconic Vancouver rocker. Often mixing in political views into his music, Good has always taken a fun, yet serious approach to things. What makes this song so awesome is the simplicities in the actual music, and the fact that you get to hear Good's two vocal levels. Because this was my introduction to Matthew Good, hopefully this is your introduction, or even better, re-introduction.




4. "Another Minute (demo)" - Sahaj Ticotin
For those unfamiliar with Sahaj, look for the song Do You Call My Name by Ra. He's the lead singer for that band. I decided to go with a solo track of his from his forthcoming solo debut expected to be released this summer. I heard this and I knew I had to go with this. Even as a demo, it's an amazing song. I, for one, will be working my ass off to try and find a copy of the CD. You should, too! Support the good artists. Enjoy this one! Also, I apologize for the lack of volume control on this song.

<a href="http://sahaj.bandcamp.com/track/another-minute-demo">ANOTHER MINUTE DEMO by SAHAJ</a>


5. "Rusty Cage" - Johnny Cash
Quite possibly one of my favorite cover tunes. And this is coming from someone who HATES most cover tunes. However, in the last decade-and-a-half of his life, Johnny Cash had been putting out a series of records on Rick Ruben's American Recordings. He took each of those songs that he covered and made them his own. Look what he did with Trent Reznor's Hurt! I've always been a Soundgarden/Chris Cornell fan, and when I first heard this, I was amazed. I'm sad to know that Cash isn't around anymore. I never truly associated him with country music, because he's gone from one genre to another. Regardless, I give you this song to enjoy.




6. "Don't Be Afraid to Run" - Greg Graffin
When you listen to this, keep in mind that this is the lead vocalist for the legendary punk rock band Bad Religion. Dr. Greg Graffin, Ph.D. (yes, he has a legit Ph.D.) is quite possibly one of the most versatile punk rock musicians out there. In addition to what I've listed above, he's an author, university professor, and one of the funniest men to see on stage fronting a band. I love putting in Bad Religion's Live at the Palladium DVD when I'm completely devoid of anything to do during the day. This song is from Graffin's second solo CD, Cold As the Clay which has a lot of acoustic/electric folk songs. Check it out. You might really like it.




Well, that's going to do it for the first installment of the Music That Influences Me series of blogs. Leave some feedback. I'd like to know what you think of some of these songs. If you think there's something I should check out, post a link. I'll give it a listen and give my thoughts in a future blog.

Take care,
BMW

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chapter XIV: UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans

I've decided to blog again for a UFC event. I had fun last time. However, I promise it won't be as insane as the last time.

Let's start with the preliminary card. These fights aren't scheduled to air, but may in case of needing to fill time on the Spike TV/Rogers Sportsnet card and the PPV card. I'm only going to do the full round-by-round blogging for the PPV card.

PRELIMINARY CARD


Middleweight bout: Jesse Forbes vs. Ryan Jensen
Jensen defeated Forbes via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:06 of round 1.

Lightweight bout: Aaron Riley vs. Joe Brammer
Riley defeated Brammer via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Light Heavyweight bout: Luiz Cane vs. Cyrille Diabaté
Diabaté defeated Cane via TKO (strikes) at 2:13 of round 1.

Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard vs. Waylon Lowe
Lowe defeated Lowe via TKO (strikes) at 3:28 of round 1.

-------------------------------------------

SPIKE TV/ROGERS SPORTSNET CARD

Lightweight bout: Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon
Result: Efrain Escudero def. Dan Lauzon via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27). Escudero had a point deducted in the 3rd round for a low blow.

They aired the Luiz Cain vs. Cyrille Diabate prelim fight.

Welterweight bout: Amir Sadollah vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Amir Sadollah via unaminous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
 
-------------------------------------------
 
UFC 114: RAMPAGE vs. EVANS PPV CARD
 
Welterweight bout: Diego Sanchez vs. John Hathaway
 
Pre-Fight - Hathaway is using "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones as his walk-out music. Good start! Diego Sanchez comes to the cage with some hip hop music. Entrance music win goes to Hathaway.

Round 1 - Referee Herb Dean calls the night's first pay-per-view bout. Both fighters rush to the center. Early punches from Sanchez up top before he looks for a takedown. Hathaway sprawls against the cage, though Sanchez maintains pressure. Hathaway spins off the cage and throws an elbow.Sanzhez uses the moment for a quick takedown, but Hathaway pops up and they move away. Sanzhez walks into a straight. Right hand from Hathaway scores. Sanchez rushes in with a show and wipes at his eye as he moves away. Sanchez shoots, and Hathaway times a knee perfectly. Sanchez drops, and Hathaway follows. Hathaway pounding from the top, adn Dean watches closely. Sanchez somehow survives the onslaught and pulls guard underneath. Hathaway postures up. Elbow scores from the top and stuns Sanchez. Punches follow, but Sanchez agian regains his defense. Hathaway's reach problematic on the floor. Less than a minute. Sanchez rolls underneath. Another left hand lands sharply from the top. Sanchez appears to have landed an illegal upkick, but action carries on to the bell.

Round 2 - Sanchez moves forward again to open the second, but Hathaway is there to deliver punishment on the feet. Trade shots from both fighters, though Hathaway clearly landing better. Left hand from Sanchez lands. Sanzhez lands another left and avoids a counter. Hathaway kicks low, and Sanchez seizes the moment to take the fight to the floor. Hathaway works to his knees and then his feet, but Sanchez wraps up the left leg. Can't get a takedown, and he backs away. Two minutes left. Hathaway jabs. Right hand from the Brit. Pace slowing a bit as both look to pick their shots. Left from Hathaway. Sanchez moving forward but missing. Big right from Hathaway to the face. High kick from Hathaway blocked. Right hand again from Hathaway. Traded shots in final seconds in a nice flurry from both. Closer round.

Round 3 - Sanchez still pressing, but the range is really an issue. Both land in a flurry. Sanchez misses with a combination, and Hathaway lands a low kick. Sanchez rushes forward but doesn't land. Hathaway counters and does. Methodic pace. Sanchez searching for holes, but Hathaway hands are quick. Sanchez shoots, but Hathaway stands him up and lands a knee. Right hand from Hathaway. Sanchez unafraid to throw, but he eats counters each time. Sanchez shoots, and Hathaway defends agin. Two minutes remain. Left hand from Hathaway. Right follows. Hathaway picking Sanchez apart. Hathaway's face bloodied from Sanchez's advances, though he's giving as much as he gets High kick from Hathaway. Sanchez moves forward with another stiff combination, but he eats return fire. Hathaway looks for the takedown, and the two hit the deck shortly before popping back up. Sanchez short on a high kick. He rushes in and Hathaway redirects him to the floor. End of the fight, and Hathaway has turned in a masterpiece.

BMW's score: 30-27 for John Hathaway

Result: John Hathaway def. Diego Sanchez via unamanous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
 
Light Heavyweight bout: Antônio Rogério Nogueira vs. Jason Brilz

Pre-Fight - Brilz comes out to "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise. The punk in me is going nuts right now! Little Nog comes out to some hip hop. Brilz wins on entrance music.

Round 1 - Referee Yves Lavigne returns for the evening's second pay-per-view contest. Distance between the two early. Brilz misses on a soft low kick. Nogueira's hands chest-high. Nogueira rushes in with a knee that lands. Brilz shoots, but Nogueira pushes down and scampers away. Low kick from Nogueira, but Brilz catches it and pushes the fight down. Nogueira pulls guard underneath. Nogueira looks to set-up a triangle choke, but Brilz pulls away and lifts his left leg into half-mount. Nogueira pops out the back door. Brilz looks at a choke briefly, though Nogueira turns and moves to his back. Nogueira again scrambles out the back and looks to secure a leg as he does. Instead, the two stand, and Nogueira scores a trip and takes the back. Nogueira pulls away with nothing there, and the pair resets with less than two minutes. Brilz kicks low and shoots, but Nogueira moves away. Brilz shoots a single. Nogueira defends with his back to the cage. Moderate pace at end. Nogueira lands a right hand at the bell.

Round 2 - Early low kick, and Brilz shoots in. Nogueira grabs a guillotine and cranks it, but Brilz pulls his head out after a few tense moments. Brilz locks in his own Guillotine from the rop and cranks, then rolls over while maintaining the hold. Brilz's corner yells that Nogueira is out, though he keeps his hands raised. An athletic commission official actually opens the cage door momentarily. Nogueira somehow survives the scare, though Brilz keeps top position. Brilz tries again for the guillotine, but this time Nogueira scrambles out easily and is now in north-south position. Nothing there, and the two stand. Nogueira throws two punches on the feet, but Brilz shoots in again. Both look to be tiring. Nogueira pulls away. jab scores for Nogueira. Brilz land s nice overhand right. Brilz shoots another single, though Nogueira simply pulls his leg away. Brilz shots have run out of steam and he misses another. He does score with his hands. Knee lands for Nogueira. Brilz teeing off and lands several wild shots, though he doesn't rush in to follow. Round ends.

Round 3 - Brilz takes the center. Nogueira paws a jab. Brilz shoots in, and Nogueira grabs a guillotine as he falls, but there's nothing there. Nogueira sweeps beautifully to the top and tries to throw a few ground-and-pound shots. Brilz scrambles up and offers another exhausted shot. Nogueira sprawls out. Brilz drops down and Nogueira eventually pulls away. Nogueira lands left hand that staggers Brilz briefly. Halfway through, and Brilz shoots in. Nogueira sprawls out, but Brilz chewing up clock time. Brilz turtles, and Nogueira stalled out to the side. Nogueira looks for D'arce choke from the position though lets it go. back on the feet Knee from Nogueira, then a left hand. Brilz looks spent and in survival mode. Another takedown. Nogueira sprawls again. Brilz turtles with a minute left. Nogueira has a crucifix underneath, though Brilz scrambles out. Slick transitions form two tired combatants, Brilz rolls to top, but Nogueira sweeps easily. Time running out. Brilz tries to scramble away. Nogueira tries to pound from the top until the bell.

BMW's scorecard: 30-27 Brilz

Result: Antônio Rogério Nogueira def. Jason Brilz via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Post-Fight Thoughts: This was a complete highway robbery. I totally agree with the crowd chanting "Bullshit!"

Heavyweight bout: Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow
 
Pre-Fight - Rossow comes to the cage with Shinedown's version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." Good choice, but the original owns all. Can't make out Duffee's entrance music. Nevermind. It's some song from the "Walk Hard" movie. Rossow wins. Duffee looks like Brock Lesnar, only 40 pounds lighter.

Round 1 - Heavyweights in the cage, and Josh Rosenthal will be the third man in action. Duffee moves forward quickly, but Russow avoids a Hague. Russow lands a few shots up top, but Duffee explodes and wobbles his foe. Duffee doesn't overcommit and resets. Hooks and uppercuts in abundance. Duffee scoring, but alertly backing away to avoid a counter. Russow shoots, but Duffee shrugs it off. Right hand and left straight land for Duffee. Two minutes in. Duffee patiently attacking. Right hand lands. Uppercut narrowly misses. Russow showing a capable chin, but Duffee seems momenths away from landing the on shot he needs. Right hand again from Duffee. Two minutes left. Duffee backs away and resets. Russow jabs and misses. More jabs and straights from Duffee, but he backs away and resets. Right iuppercut lands from Duffee. High kick blocked by Russow. Blood trickling down Russow's torso at the bell. All Duffee.

Round 2 - Duffee again stalking early. Duffee's hands a bit low, but Russow hasn't shown he can strike yet. Russow shoots briefly, but Duffee just moves away. Russow backs up to the cage, but Duffee returns to the center. Russow lands a right that catches Duffee's attention. Duffee lands a few of his own before shrugging off another takedown. Russow with a left. Duffee wings an overhand right that misses. Duffee patient, almost too patient. Duffee switching stances and looking for openings. Russow has yet to show that he'll threaten, but Duffee only wants to fight in the center of the cage. Duffee's attack slowing. He's winning, for sure, but crowd wants more pressure. Duffee lands a stiff counter on a Russow punch, then resets. Stuffed shot from Duffee. One minute left. Boos from the crowd. Russow shoots in and Duffee moves away. Right for Duffee, then a left. Duffee fighting safe, and crowd doesn't approve.

Round 3 - Duffee jabs and backs away. Duffee looks fresh and Russow looks tame, but the youngster is disciplined in his plan. Right lands for Russow. Duffee returns favor then scampers away when Russow charges. Russow shoots, but Duffee is a brick wall. Duffee landing straights, but he refuses to unleash completely. Two minutes in, and Duffee opens up a bit as Russow moves to the cage, but the shots largely miss. Russow scampers away. Back o the center. Right hand from Russow lands on the button, and Duffee is out before he hits the mat. Astonishing come-from-behind win.

Result: Mike Rossow def. Todd Duffee via KO at 2:34 of the 3rd round.

Post-Fight Thoughts: Okay, I did NOT see that coming! Rossow was getting owned, and lands a one-punch KO out of NOWHERE! OUT. COLD!

5 minute break as they air the Melvin Guillard vs. Waylon Lowe prelim fight. That's the second time Guillard stops a fight with a viscious blow to the body...this time, KNEES!
 
Middleweight bout: Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller
 
Pre-Fight - Miller is using CCR's "Run Through the Jungle" for his walk-in music. Gotta love the classics. Bisping enters to "Song 2" by blur. WOOHOO!  :)

Round 1 - Referee Steve Mazzagatti in the cage for the night's co-main event. Delay in getting the fighters in the cage as Bisping received a finger to the eye while having Vaseline applied to his face pre-fight. It definitely bothered him, though he doesn't appear to have any issues as the fight starts. Nose-to-nose on the pre-fight staredown, and Miller pushes Bisping away. Miller punches first. Chants of "U-S-A" early. Low blow from Mille, but they pause only seconds. Bisping lands a right straight. Miller looks content to box early. Bisping jabbing well. RIght hand catches Miller's chin, but he absorbs it. Miller working the body with a few punches. Right straight for Bisping, but Miller answers with an uppercut. Bisping finding a home with his right. Miller continues to work the body and chest. Bisping getting the better of the boxing early. miller yet to look for the floor. Another right from Bisping. Miller kicks low. Miller lands a right hand, but Bisping counters immediately. Two minutes remain. Both fighters scoring in exchanges. Bisping pressing the action and landing a bit more frequently. Nice right from Bisping, but Miller takes it. Miller lands a nice left that snaps Bisping's head back. Flurry at the bell.

Round 2 - Bisping lands a few early jabs. Miller continue to work the body, but he has yet to look for a takedown. Miller kicks low again. Bisping answers with an inside leg kick. Bisping continues to press the action. Miller kicks low and Bisping nearly catches the attack. Miller's back to the cage, but Bisping lets him out. Right hand for Bisping connects. Miller's head pops back, but he's in there. Bisping boxing continues to prove effective two minutes in. Miller still looks content to box. Miller proving he can take Bisping's best shots, but he's letting rounds slip away. Bisping kicks high. Miller finally shoots, and Bisping scampers away. Another stiff right from Bisping. Bisping continues to find a home for the right hand. Miller's face showing the obvious wear with blood from the nose. One minute remain. Miller still light on his feet, still willing to engage, but he's far behind. Bisping shuffles and bobs and weaves. Miller lands a nice right at the bell.

Round 3 - Hug to open the final frame. Miller still game to fight, but he has yet to implement his preferred attack. Bisping lands a right. Miller scores with one of his own. Bisping backs away to regroup. He wasn't wobbled, but it stung. Miller blocks a high kick. Miller lands to the body with a right hand. Miller still pressing forward, but Bisping is quicker on the draw. Still no sign of a takedown from Miller. Finally on the ground with 2:45 left after a double-leg from Miller. Bisping with a closed guard. Bisping wall-walks back to his feet, and that's that. Miller continues to score to the body. Carbon copy oif the entire fight with the boxing. Miller to the body, Bisping to the head. Miller shoots, but Bisping spawls well, spins off the cage and moves away. Straight right for Bisping. Time winding down. Miller pushes in with the necessary desperation, but Bisping up to the challenge until the final bell. It's a shutout for Bisping.

BMW's Score Card: Bisping 30-27.

Result: Michael Bisping def. Dan Miller via unamanous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Light Heavyweight bout: Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans

Pre-Fight - Feud recap video lasted like 5 minutes! Rashad enters to some lame rap music. (yawn). What the fuck was Rashad doing when he entered the cage? Is he watching Anderson Silva tapes? Rampage enters to a song I don't recognize. Then again, if it's not rock, I usually don't know it. And we have the Rampage Howl! About time we see a return of that! Twitter post says Rashad entered to "Shook Ones, Part II" by Mobb Deep.

Round 1 - Referee Herb Dean in the cage for the evening's highly anticipated main event. Crowd on their feet for the entrances, though they are unquestionably favoring Jackson. Jackson moves forward quickly. Evans wobbles Jackson with a right hand and charges in. Jackson looks to have recovered as they clinch against the cage. Jackson's back against the cage and Evans works a few short punches and knees. Jackson hanging on with an overhook on the left side. Jackson throws a few short knees inside. Evans drops for a double, but it's not there. Dean finally calls for a restart with a little less than three minutes. Jackson's eyes look clear. Jackson in the center, and throws two punches as a distraction before landing a takedown. Side control for Evans. Jackson gains hafl-guard then works to his feet. Evans presses Jackson into the cage. One minute left. Jackson can't escape off the cage as Evans works the body quickly. Not enough, and there's another restart with less than 30 seconds. Evans leaps in with a right, but Jackson counters well. He can't follow before the bell.

Round 2 - Distance to open the second. Evans moving quickly, changing levels. Jackson in the center looking to pounce. Evans moves in and avoids a few powerful Jackson hooks while clinching and working the fight to the cage. Knees traded inside. Crowd doesn't like the tactic, but Evans persists. He backs away and catches a Jackson right but resets. Evans leaps in with a left and again works for a takedown. Jackson backs up to the cage for another clinch. Halfway through the round. Boos from the crowd as Evans works the clinch game. Dean restarts again. Two minutes left. Jackson misses with a big left. Evans changes levels and avoids a Jackson right. Jab for Evans. Combo for Evans and into the clinch. jackson knees inside, but there's little zip as he moves backward.Evans drops for the takedown. It's not there, but he moves to the back. Jackson spins out, and they clinch until the bell.

Round 3 - Jackson jabs early, but Evans still changing levels with his head and remaining at a safe distance. Jackson leaps in with a right, but Evans avoids and looks for a takedown. Jackson shucks it off and they reset. Jackson lands a left and stuns Evans. He sets up on top and continues to deliver damage. Dean rushes over and the crowd goes insane. Evans rolls, scrambles and ties Jackson up, halting the onslaught. Evans sits up and works back to his feet. Evans controls the head as Jackson looks for a takedown, but Evans scampers away. Halfway through the frame. Jackson stalking, but he's not exploding. Evans throws a combo and moves away. Jackson misses a right hand, and Evans scores a takedown. Jackson with the butterfly guard. Jackson trapped on the cage and Evans lands a few punches from the top. Jackson rolls, but Evans continues to apply pressure from the top. Jackson turtles, and Evans moves to the back. Jackson stands with 40 seconds left, but Evans dumps him again. Left hands from Evans. Time running out for Jackson. He works back to the feet, but Evans scampers away at the bell and seals the win.

BMW's Score Card: 30-27 Rashad Evans

Result: Rashad Evans def. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson via unamanous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Post-fight notes: Rashad Evans now gets a shot at Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for the UFC Lt. Heavyweight Championship. I could see this happening in November or December.

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That does it for the coverage. I'll probably do another post tomorrow giving my overall thoughts and some aftermath notes.

One note to make, Ryan Jensen got the Submission of the Night in the only match to end in a submission tonight, sadly, it didn't make air. Mike Rossow is probably getting KO of the night. Either him, or Melvin Guillard.

Goodnight, all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chapter XIII: Say Goodbye

It's funny, I was going through some old CD's and I stumbled upon Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee's last solo album Tommyland: The Ride released in 2005 in conjunction with the book he wrote and released around the same time. I remember one of the songs on the album always had me singing along. Say Goodbye featuring (of all people) Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter on acoustic guitar and backing vocals (despite the group he's associated with, he does lend his vocals nicely to the song during the chorus).

Now, you can knock me for liking a song featuring a member of a boy band, but this is a rock ballad. Different genre.

Regardless, this song really brought to mind some thoughts I've been having. I'll try to go in order, but in order to get to the exact thought that was at the root of it all, I'll have to take you on a journey. Who knows, this may be the most I feel comfortable in terms of opening up.

When it comes to my life, I've always been (for a lack of a better term) a loner. I do fine by myself, and rather enjoy my time alone. Because of this, it's also become hard for me to open up to a lot of people, and thus I live my life rather guarded. What you learn about me is what I allow you to learn. Growing up, there were always a lot of rumors concerning the finer aspects of my life, and I would always say to those who would hear such rumors that if they ever wanted to know the truth of something to ask me, and I would provide them with the truth if I felt they needed to know it.

Needless to say, once I graduated High School, I chose to cut myself off from nearly everyone I knew. The only people I really associated with were a couple of friends, and this girl I dated for (technically) four and a half months following my high school graduation. I put technically in there because for the last few weeks of our relationship, I moved to a town an hour away due to a job I had taken. We didn't see each other in that time until I came home for a weekend in which we went to a wedding for one of her family members, and promptly broke up afterwords.

With the breakup, I continued working in that other town for another couple of months before transferring back to my hometown. After I moved back, I would see her once or thrice at local hockey games. Talk about awkward moments. It's funny how we got together, at least I find it that way looking back. She was sitting at the same table the gang I used to hang out at sat about a week and a half before prom, and I made mention that I wasn't going to be going as I didn't have a date. I was going to ask my boss to work that night. She quipped up saying that she would go with me, so not only did I have 10 days to find a suit (had to get it custom made, too! Damn thick neck), I had to figure out all that dumb flower/corset crap.

On the way to the prom, she dropped the line "You do realize this kind of makes us boyfriend and girlfriend, right?" Me, being the dumbass I was, simply said "Cool." If anything, I lost so much money on her, that I was lucky I had money for myself...especially after my boss cut me to 5 hours/week after I said that I could work full-time again. Honestly, the move was a breath of fresh air.

The thing is, while I'm not the same person I was in high school, there are still some things the same. I keep my inner circle to a limited number of people, and if you plan to break into it, it takes A LOT of work. I might let you in a little bit, but I'll keep you at arm's length when it comes to the deep stuff. There are many layers to me, my personality, and my being. I don't often use this phrase anymore, but it still holds true to me. "To know me will take a lifetime. To understand me will take forever."

To date, I truly feel only two people understand me. My father, and someone I deeply, truly love and respect on a level that goes beyond any label of friendship. Going to the layer above understanding to knowing, including the two that I feel understand me, I add my mother, my surviving grandparents, a couple of cousins, and a few friends. While I love my mother more than I could ever put into words, there are little traits in both our personalities that keep her from moving into the understanding category. I hope she doesn't take offense to this, because none is meant. She and I both know that there are times where both our personalities clash, and it's because we both lack a deeper understanding of each other.

Now, we get to the reason I decided to write this blog entry. When I become friends with someone, I'm someone who'll be there for that person. If I can help them, I will. However, I do have my limits, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, or otherwise. The friend I mentioned in the understanding category above asked me for a major favor. I couldn't give a response right then and there, because there are so many factors I'd have to work out. Would I be working? Would I be able to afford it? Would my knee (which to this day, six years after seriously injuring it still bothers me) hold up? Would I be able to handle travelling back alone? I can't answer those right now, and thus I haven't given my friend an answer.

That, and the fact that some of the people I've befriended over the past year have brought me to a feeling that they don't give off the feeling as though we're still friends brought me to completely distance myself from them, and depart from their lives so that our respective lives may continue down whatever seperate paths they may lead to. Should our paths converge again in the future, I'll still treat those people as a friend. They've done nothing to deserve nothing less. I just feel that for now, our lives are best spent apart. I wish those people who are walking those paths away from the one I'm on nothing but peace, happiness, and prosperity. One only knows they deserve it.

However, no matter how we look at it, there's a time when the chorus to that Tommy Lee song Say Goodbye ring true. I'll leave them with you.

Every time I walk away I see a picture of a face
It's a photograph that makes me wonder why
Now I stand here on my own
And I'm finally letting go
Its time to say goodbye