Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Weather

I hate this weather. It's cold and rain and snowy and sleety (if that's a word). It's nasty. I don't know a single person who enjoys this weather. I'm looking forward to warm weather again. It sucks, I don't want to wish time away but seriously enough with winter.

You know how bad it must be if I'm writing about the weather. I usually tend to hold off until I have something meaningful to write about but it was like today was just awful. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to go to work. I would have been content just hanging on the couch. From the moment the snow turned from snow to rain the day just seemed to go downhill. So many things have been falling into place lately and I just have to strange sense of ying and yang and balance because it seems for everything that seems to fall into place something else somewhere falls apart or gets knocked around.

I guess what I'm looking for is some consistency and some sun. I watch Lost and I see how crazy things are with the time warps and whatever is going on (if you've figured it out, please let me know). And sometimes I wish I could go back in time. Not that I would change anything, but to go back and enjoy something that I took for granted. Maybe be more aware of my surroundings. We are really lucky to be able to look back learn from the past and reminisce about things that you did.

I used to be a yes man. I would say yes to anything, I used to be the good cop, I feel like I used to be fun and I'm not anymore. I'm constantly saying no, or constantly have to be the bad cop and the hard ass and I hate it. I prefer the go with the flow, kick back and relax, take things as they come attitude. Lately I'm so tense and annoyed and short. It's not fun to be the responsible one. I can't possibly go to the gym anymore. Maybe I need yoga or something. Maybe I just need to have a social life. I've been going back to Conor's the past couple weeks and it's awesome. I thought I'd be the creep old guy back at the college bar, but the great thing about NU is that I'm definitely not the oldest guy, and the best thing about Conor's is I'm definitely not the creepiest. I guess I want to go back to being fun me. I don't feel like I'm fun anymore and that sucks.

This past weekend I will say I did go to a Chinese New Years party and had a really great time. I laughed harder than I've laughed in a really long time. It was at Sarah's house and she has an 8x11 photo of Liz and I at a prom on her night stand. Well I don't think it's prominent enough in her room, so I took down the cross over her bed and put up our picture. Before I left, I made sure to point it out and we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. But then I missed the last train in the city, so there is that balance thing again.

I think while coop was awesome and I had a great experience it kind of messes with your head. Or at least mine. I had this idea that you work your ass off to prove yourself for 6 months, you make some great connections and great friends and then you go back to class. I think it's finally sinking in that there is no going back to class. This is it. I'm in the real world. I've never really done well staying in one place for an extended amount of time and it's getting that time and I'm getting the itch, but now I don't have that freedom I had in school. I have responsibilities and obligations and people that rely on me. Sometimes that really sucks

Also I need boots, because my feet are wet and have been since I got to work. Today sucked.


(Sorry I used suck so many times Mom. Sometimes it's just necessary.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

REVIEW: Ryan Cabrera and Jesse Ruben at The Red Room @ Cafe 939 1/22/09

The first girls arrived at noon and they were also the last to leave. "But Ryan always does load-ins at 2PM". This was a sign that the night was either going to be a disastrous mess of teenage crazed fans or that it was going to be die-hard fans provided the background for a great show. It was definitely the latter.

While most casual fans might know him as the former boyfriend of Ashlee Simpson, Cabrera has tried hard to shake himself of the Simpson clan (including manager-dad Joe) and get back to making catchy pop-rock, which rang true on Thursday night. A mix of old and new, Ryan came out to the stage having cleaned up from his recent longer hair goatee look with just a his guitar and friend/opener Zach Hexum. Zach provided some backing vocals, guitar and sax support, but it was all eyes on Ryan. Hits like "On The Way Down" "True" and "Shine On" were sing-a-longs and most of the crowd knew more than that. The energy was high for a stripped down show and you wouldn't know that this was only the second night of the tour. On a cover of Paul Simon's "Call Me Al" Ryan brought out friend G. Love (of G. Love and Special Sauce) to play some harmonica. After the show, Ryan stayed and signed something and met everyone who wanted to meet him. When I first saw Ryan in 2004 opening for Jewel he did the same thing. In a cutthroat business, it's nice to see an artist who still appreciates and respects the fans.

Jesse Ruben's set kept the audience captivated with his melodic tunes. A Berklee alum and no stranger to the stage at The Red Room, Jesse hit the crowd with humourous chatter and songs "Lack of Armor", "Impossible to Find", and my personal favorite "Advice". If I was a gambling man, (and if you don't know that I am by now you obviously don't know me) I'd say Jesse is going somewhere and you should check out his music on his myspace or catch him on tour.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barack and Roll

So this past week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Sunday before I left New York City we sat and watched the inauguration concert on the National Mall and there was something about it that just moved me. The performers were all coming out to show their support for Barack Obama. Maybe it's because I'm old enough to vote and appreciate it. Maybe it's because liberal Hollywood knows how to celebrate, or maybe its just because the change deserves celebrating. I can't help but be excited for what is going to happen over the next few years.

I was sitting today watching the first press conference and I can't say I've ever been so interested in politics. It's truly all eyes on Barack. I think now that the celebrations and balls are over it's really going to sink that he is now in charge of our country, all of it. I just hope that people realize that he isn't going to change anything over night. The shit on his plate is huge and all encompassing, from war to economics to equal rights. He is going to have to start at the bottom and work his way up. He signed the order to close Guantanamo Bay. He's working on another economic bailout, but everything is going to take time.

On the actual inauguration day, I think peoples hopes were so high that his speech seemed underwhelming. He had set the bar high with the speech on election day and this time he was more realistic, more serious, and very straightforward saying that it isn't going to be an easy road. He has his visions and goals, but he didn't rally the troops or expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon. Instead he, in my humble opinion, was asking for support but more so patience. He was setting the tone and the map for what is going to be a long 100 days. It took 8 years to bring the country to where we are today and we can't expect that to change overnight. It may take another 8 or so years to rebuild it.

Here's hoping it's up from here.


NYC (Part 2)

Okay. I have a ton to write about, but before I get to the new stuff let's recap the rest of the GREAT evening in NYC. Ok so after a long day of seemingly not accomplishing anything, Jaclyn and I sat down on the couch and started searching for a good Mexican place. Here's the problem, we couldn't make a decision for the life of us. We had it narrowed down to either near the comedy club or near the East Village. We keep looking at MenuPages and Yelp and TimeOut and every restaurant guide there was. Good food bad drinks, great drinks okay food. We kept going back and forth. Then about 4 hours later Emily walks in from the gym and goes how about we try this place. We go "Sure". Get dressed, head out and have a delicious meal. I got the Chili Rellenos which were stuffed chili peppers. Delicious with just the right amount of spice. This was the start of the good luck (although we didn't do too bad waiting at Corner Bistro). We walked into the restaurant and it had at most 12 tables. Almost all of them were full. We told them party of 3 and it was like we were VIP or someone farted, but the restaurant basically cleared out.

We had a couple drinks with dinner and then it was off to R Bar where Jaclyn was supposed to meet her friend Tracy. So if I had to choose, my choice of bar is more low key, sports/college bar, but every once and a while I enjoy a nicer bar. If anyone from Boston is reading, R Bar is very similar to Saint or Gypsy Bar. Normally I would hate this but tonight it was a blast. Again there was no line when we walked in and we stayed for a drink or two and waited to see if Tracy was going to make it. It got closer to the comedy show time so we decided to bail. Turns out Tracy was in line which was at least 50 people deep. Our timing and luck was changing considerable.

Jumped in a cab and headed over to MacDougall. While we had reservations for the comedy show we still wanted to get there relatively early to get a good seat. The early show was still going so we went to the bar upstairs for a couple drinks. The bar upstairs is where all the comics hang out before and after the shows. So we walked in and Ben Bailey of Cash Cab was there hanging and Godfrey of 7-Up commercials and other things. Both of these guys were doing our show as well. One of the guys that was a friend of the comedians was Mike Magee a soccer player who played for the NY Red Bull before switching to LA Galaxy (with Beckham). So I over heard that he was a soccer player and heard people talking about Beckham. When Jaclyn came back from the bathroom I was telling her about him and was like that guy over there is a soccer player. Apparently I wasn't whispering though because he yelled across the room, "You can only talk about me if you know what team I play for." I ordered another round to hide my embarassment and made friends with the bartenders who hooked us up with some sweet seats. Show was starting up so we headed downstairs. Not only did we get a great seat, but we prob had the best seats in the house. Right up front on the right side of the stage. Best part great seats, worst part right up front. Apparently my cream polo sweater screams make fun of me. EVERY comedian except one decided it was pick on whitey night. I went from the Whitest kid in the room, to sweater, to "I bet you were the president of your frat" (I was). The funniest guy of the night was Sherrod Smalls. He really gave it to me and I seemed to be his go to guy when something went really well or really bad. Definitely check him out if you get a chance. It was all in good fun and I liked to play along and I just kept the drinks coming. Show was over we headed back upstairs to the bar and got to chat with the host and Ben briefly. Apparently Gerard Butler (300) was in the crowd too, and he took pictures afterward for people who went out the front exit. Overall it was a really great night. Comedy Cellar never fails me.

We stopped at Mamouns go get some Shawarma and Falafel for a late night snack (recommended by the one and only Barbara Dang) and headed back uptown.

Next day we went to brunch and laid low. I headed out for the 6:30 bus back to Boston. The bus leaves from a random street corner in the city so it's always a little chaotic figuring out what bus we need to get on. A girl behind me was on my bus so we kind of stuck together until we were on the bus. She sat down across from me and goes, "This is going to sound really weird but were you at the Comedy Cellar last night? Did they all call you sweater?" If that isn't a small world story then I don't know what is.

Snow meant the roads were terrible, and a 4 hour 15 minute trip became a 6 hour trip. It was totally worth it though and I cannot wait to get back down to NYC. Maybe this time we'll get our ass out of bed and get SNL tickets.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why I love NYC (part 1)

Home is where your heart is and there is always a part of me that will be in NY. Some people step off the bus or train in NYC and are immediately overwhelmed. Not me, I step off the bus an am suddenly very calm. I get lost among the tall buildings and on the crowded sidewalks. People talk to themselves, people sing and dance in the subway stations, and naked people spinning trench coats above their heads are about as ‘normal’ as rats or pigeons. All kinds of people take the subway. Homeless people trying to warm up, wealthy people taking their children to the Met or themselves going to the Opera. Socialites dressed to the nines on their way to Meatpacking and cheap college kids going to the Big Easy. You can watch people for hours and see some of the most unique people in the world and everyone seems to fit in. Only in New York.

This trip was no different than usual. My soul had been craving the city for months. The last trip was a couple months before for a Subway Series double-header which was awesome and we did a lot of the touristy things, but I didn’t really get to see any of the people I knew who still lived there. This trip was planned just for that and while I didn’t get to see as many people as I would have liked to, Jaclyn and Emily showed me a great time. I got in Friday night around 9 and heading up to their digs on the Upper East Side. We hung out for a bit and caught up before heading out for a few drinks. We made our way around the corner to The Big Easy. It felt that I was back at freshmen year of college. There was beer everywhere and beer pong in the back. The even had an ice luge and tons of awkward white people dancing. Jaclyn and I did surprisingly well on two games of beer pong, but as usual the last cup was the death of us. There was one older gentleman who stuck out luck a sore thumb. He was clearly by himself and had been wandering around but came back to a stool that apparently he had been using earlier in the night. He very rudely moved our stuff of the chair then moved our pitcher of beer across the table because it was apparently intruding on his personal space. I didn’t know personal space existed in a crowded bar on a Friday night at 2am, but this guy was very put off by us and stomped and huffed and puffed several times to make us aware, like some bull whose pasture we stepped onto. But like I said earlier, I guess this could be construed as normal in NYC. Afterwards it was off to the diner for some gravy fries. There is nothing better than NY diner gravy fries after a couple pitchers of beer. Hands down best late night snack. If only Boston would wake up.

Speaking of waking up. The game plan was to get up at 530am and head down to Rockafeller Plaza to grab stand-by tickets for Saturday Night Live. Two years ago on a whim, Jaclyn and I camped out and were the last two people let in for the season premiere of Dane Cook and the Killers. Although we weren’t super excited to get up and stand in the cold or even for Rosario Dawson or Fleet Foxes, we committed to setting our alarms and doing it for old times sake. I was in charge of getting us up, so I set about a half dozen alarms. Well let’s just say we either had too much to drink Friday or our bodies were just too warm in bed, because 10 minutes before they were going to distribute tickets I woke to realize I had slept through all of my alarms. I looked at the clock thought the chances of getting there and getting tickets were slim to none, rolled over and went back to sleep…until noon.

Fail. So we showered and got ready to go out and about in the city. We swung by NBC just to see if by chance they hadn’t handed out all the tickets. It was super cold out and a long weekend and the holiday tourist season was over in the city so maybe, just maybe. We walked up to the counter and I asked the page if there were any tickets left for SNL. He politely said no and said they had all been handed out earlier that morning. In his mind I’m sure he was shaking his head saying, “Really? Did you think there would be tickets 5 hours after they were handed out? Really? Dumb tourists” From there we swung through Times Square. Normally Jaclyn would avoid Times Square like the plague because it’s like the black hole for locals. Me I personally love Times Square. So we cut through not really sure where we were headed. We saw TKTS and thought maybe we would try to see a matinee. She really wanted to see Spring Awakening which had just sold out, and Chicago discounted was still $70 and she had seen it once before. We were now 0/2 and getting very hungry. I guess the early bird really does get the room.

Jaclyn suggested the Corner Bistro down on the West side for lunch. Cheap delicious burgers and McSorelly’s beer. I was sold so we jumped on the train and made our way down there. We walked in and waited a few minutes before we were seated and were chowing down on a tasty chili burger. This is where our luck started to change. Within about a minute of getting our food there was a line of about 30 people trying to get seats. So we sat chatted and people watched. The one woman next to us had been coming to the Corner Bistro since she was 17 and was now in her late 30s. Louis our little old server had been there since before she had been and he ran a smooth operation. It’s one of those old school joints that only takes cash, doesn’t take reservations, has a total of 7 items menu, and has a real local feel to it. The orders are all still hand written and Louis got people in and out without feeling like he was rushing them.

Now even though we were stuffed, Jaclyn was craving some sweets and I’m always up for cupcakes. We were going to go to Magnolias, just around the corner, but it was a little crowded and there was no place for us to sit and enjoy our cupcakes without freezing. “I’m going to have to shove it my face” – JC. So we decided to brave the weather and hike it cross town to Jaclyn’s favorite spot in the Lower East Side. We walked into this tiny bakery and grabbed two of the last seats in the tiny hole in the wall bakery and enjoyed the delicious cupcakes and warmed up with some coffee.

We walked around a bit more and checked out Jaclyn’s old neighborhood before heading back up town to relax and get ready for the second half of the day. Although we didn’t get SNL tickets we decided to go to a late night comedy show at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. I had been once before and had an awesome time so decided we’d go for a later dinner some drinks and then head to the 12:45 show. What followed was of epic proportions.

To be continued.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The power of television

In a world where Virgin Megastore and Circuit City are closing their doors, it seems the answer of whether or not the CD is a dying technology is just around the corner. No longer can these big box stores afford to stock CD's because they just aren't selling. In 2008 the top selling CD Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter III" sold 2.88 million albums (June 6 release). In comparison in 2000, NSync's "No Strings Attached" with 2.4 million albums sold IN THEIR DEBUT WEEK.

The power of television in music has changed greatly as well. TRL once seen as the ideal jump off for up and coming artists went filmed its final show in 2008. While MTV has moved away from music VIDEOS, there is still plenty of music within the shows it airs. Shows like the Hills and Real World have soundtracks that have helped to break artists. One show that has done this greatly has been Grey's Anatomy. As music supervisor, Alexandra Patsavas and Chop Shop Music Supervision has perfected the art of pairing images with sounds. Since her days working on The OC, Patsavas has been a divining rod for some of the most talented acts around. Their placement in some of the country's hottest TVs with scores of consumers watching has provided a key portal for these artists to break into the mainstream.

One such band that benefited greatly from television placement is the Fray. In 2002, Isaac Slade and Joe King got together and started performing and writing together. The band filled out with Ben Wysocki on drums and Dave Welsh on guitar. The band first broke into the scene after "Over My Head (Cable Car)" was played on Denver radio station KTCL. The single was later released on their debut album How To Save A Life in the fall of 2005. It was the albums title track however that made its way into the second season of Grey's Anatomy and the fifth season of Scrubs. Even though it was yet to be released as a single, these two appearances resulted in "How To Save A Life" entering the Billboard Hot 100. It was later released as a single and used in the promotion for the third season premiere of Grey's Anatomy.

The Fray's "Look After You" and lastest single "You Found Me" have also been feautured prominently on television and movie soundtracks. "You Found Me" is the debut single from their latest self titled studio effort to be released on February 3, 2009. In preperation for the album's release the band did a small club tour of which I was able to attend the Boston show. (Thanks Stephanie, you rock)

The show took place on Wednesday Jan 14, 2009. It was the first time I had ever been to the Wilbur Theater and I was pleasantly surprised. The show was sold out at 1100 and the floor was standing room and had enough space that I didn't really feel crowded. I found a spot about center audience 20 or so feet back from the stage and settled in. The stage was covered in lamps of all different sizes and shapes and there were even a few chandeliers. It provided a really cool ambiance for the room (which is almost 100 years old). The band came out and went right to it. On the first song Isaac's vocals were a little muddled, but it didn't take long for the sound engineers to straighten that out. They cranked through some of the new songs and a majority of the songs from their debut albums. Hit "Over My Head (Cable Car)" made an early appearance and a few songs later "How To Save A Life" was given an acoustic treatment, and dedicated for a friends birthday. "You Found Me", "Syndicate", and "Say When" were all played of the new album and can be previewed on their Myspace page.

Overall it was a great show and I'm sure will mean success for their new album. Whether that success will mean number 1 on the charts or even a million albums sold? Who really knows, but almost every date on the promotional tour sold out, I"m sure a full blown spring/summer tour will do the same.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

You're not gonna believe this, but Rod Stewart is white!

I'll eventually get around to writing about The Fray show I lost night, which was excellent, but right not it's kind of too cold to think so instead I'm going to regurgitate some great quotes from the one and only Little Steven. Quotes come from an interview in Esquire magazine by Ryan D'Agostino. Enjoy.

Raised on the Jersey Shore, the E Street Band guitarist played Silvio Dante on HBO's Jersey-based The Sopranos.

You gotta have cinnamon in your coffee. Pour it on.

The Super Bowl — they ask us every year, literally for twenty-five years. Since Born in the U.S.A. You can only do it once, I guess. You want to save some things.

Here's the wonderful thing that Bruce Springsteen and David Chase are capable of: Those two guys have the remarkable talent of transporting you to their own time zone, to their own rhythm, and slowing things down. That's an extraordinarily important talent these days, when everything is temporary and disposable and going by at a hundred miles an hour. In the old days, they would have been called wizards, because they control time.

Scandinavia is another planet. They get health care, education, there's no homeless, they barely have a prison system. We joke about how they're overtaxed, but it's the same fucking 50 percent I'm paying.

Art is not a luxury.

I remember when flying was fun. When did we become a Third World country? What day was that?

February 8, 1964, there was not one single rock 'n' roll band in the country. February 9, the Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show. February 10, everyone had one. In the garage. "Garage rock" is traditional rock 'n' roll. If you think of it as the early Stones, you're fine.

My life began on February 9, 1964.

To have impact in two minutes and thirty seconds — that's very hard to do. It's much easier to write Pink Floyd's The Wall than it is to write "Louie Louie."

The history of rock 'n' roll is the history of America in the twentieth century.

Bruce wasn't gonna get a third shot. His first record did like ten thousand, second one did like twenty thousand, and they were just done with him. And somehow, by sheer willpower, that song got done — four or five months recording one song. Turned out to be worth it. They sent it out without the record company even knowing, and a couple of big rock stations picked up the song, the "Born to Run" song.

People got upset when we'd start playing bigger places. But you can either play sixty nights in the club, or you can play the arena. Hmm, let me think.

I modeled the role on The Sopranos after my real role in life with Bruce. You'd see Silvio have to deliver bad news, Tony Soprano would get totally angry, and guess what? That's part of the job of being the consigliere, or being the best friend in real life. The main job of a producer is telling the artist the song's not good enough yet. You try to be as truthful as you can be without being insulting. And then you get past it. I enjoy doing that.

Every successful person needs to have at least one person in their life who's not afraid of them. That you gotta give Bruce credit for, because it's easy to surround yourself with people who don't know your character flaws and you can pretend to be God.

Nebraska was written and recorded as a demo. He played it for me, and I said to him, I think you should put it out as is. He said, What are you talking about? It's just demos. I said, Because you didn't intend to put it out makes it extraordinarily intimate. Eventually, he agreed and they put it out.

We have no place for greatness in our society anymore. Is there no talent, or is there no infrastructure to support talent?

I remember a kid running into band rehearsal one day, in '68 or so, and saying, You're not gonna believe this, but Rod Stewart is white! We said, Get outta here. We didn't believe him. There was just not that many places you could see pictures of people. There wasn't MTV. And we never heard any white person sing like that. We knew he was black.

Immediately upon working for fifteen years to make it, as soon as we make it, what do I do? I leave, right before the Born in the U.S.A. tour. Everybody bought houses off that tour. I'm in Africa with an eleven-piece that I'm paying for, using my little money to keep a band on the road talking about politics.

I learned everything I know from leaving the E Street Band. And of course, one of the things I learned is, I never should have left.

The Beatles were a band, which we had never seen before. Four guys working together. Brothers. I had no interest in being Elvis Presley. We thought the Beatles were best friends. We thought the Stones were best friends. We bought the illusion, and it's the illusion that matters sometimes. That's what makes art work; that's what makes religion work.

Believe me, your parents would have preferred that you be a criminal — anything more respectable than a rock 'n' roller.

We are all suffering from a terminal time-deficit disorder. What'd you do today? I don't know, but I had no time for it.

I believe that hundreds of years from now, history will be divided into pre-1960s and post-1960s. Questioning things as a regular part of normal life — that didn't exist for my father's generation.

I ran out of money every year for the last thirty years.

Little Richard opens his mouth, and out comes liberation.

In Europe, everybody in the audience has the new record before they come to the show. Why? Because that's the script of the stage production they're about to see and participate in. They come, and they all sing every word of every song. They don't move, they don't go to the bathroom, they don't order hot dogs.

I've had offers through the years to write a book, but I don't feel that I've quite done enough yet. I got some big ideas left.

Interviewed by Ryan D'Agostino, August 12, 2008

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Maybe this year will be better than the last" - Counting Crows "A Long December"

Wow. Where has the time gone? It's 2009. It's been a month since I've last updated which is good, because it means that I've been busy and I've been happy and I've been focused. It's not a bad thing that I'm writing again, don't worry. I've been under the weather this past week and today I woke up with a renewed energy and have been blasting through a ton of stuff at work, but thought I'd take a few minutes to blog.

2008 The Year That Was.
The title might suggest that 2008 was bad and that I want to forget it, but in fact 2008 was a good year. In fact it was a great year, I only hope that 2009 will top it. 2008 marked the end of my college career. I graduated with might not seem like a big deal, but for me it was a great accomplishment (and yes Northeastern is a pre-determined five year plan.) I also got my first real job out of school and not only was it a job, but it was a job that is perfect for me. I get to listen to music for a living. What could be better.

2008 also saw the sale of Deli Plus. It's a weird thing when something you've known your whole life is just gone. I mean it wasn't really a surprise, it's not like I didn't it was for sale, and even when it was 'sold' it didn't sink in. Then I went home and went to grab bologna from Grandma's and it was from Price Chopper. Then for Christmas time we had to go grocery shopping to get all of our snacks. But change is good.

Speaking of change, change became the motto leading up to the Election and 2008 saw the election of the first black president. Barack Obama rose up as a beacon of hope for the sinking ship that is the United States. While he has a huge task in front of him and we may see some immediate change, it will be several years before we see some of the major changes that come with a 'regime' change. Most importantly though he is a symbol of change and that alone should help the morale of this country.

2008 saw my first Bruce Springsteen AND the E-Street Band Concert, the Giants Super Bowl win, the Celtics championship. It saw the price of gas hit $5/gal in some places and then drop to almost $1. It saw the market take a nose dive and the first signs of a long and possible deep recession. Travis Barker and DJ AM survived a plane crash John Mayer came to Berklee and scored some quality time with Jennifer Aniston (and a few other ladies in between). Heroes lost their powers, islands were moved in time, the beginning of the end at Chicago's County General. There were a ton of Big Losers, some Real World situations in Hollywood, and people Survived in Micronesia and Gabon.

As a whole, 2008 was a pretty solid year. There were a lot of changes and at times it was extremely overwhelming. But it was refreshing, and new, and never dull that's for sure. I'm looking forward to 2009. I anticipate that there will be more changes and more bumps in the road, but it's the ride that makes it all worth it. For it's cruising along and hoping those Giants repeat!