02.24.11 – a thursday

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word

penchant [pen-chuhnt] n. a strong inclination, taste, or liking for something: a penchant for outdoor sports

birthday

Honus Wagner (1874), Abe Vigoda (1921), Dominic Chianese (1931), James Farentino (1938), Joe Lieberman (1942), Barry Bostwick (1945), Edward James Olmos (1947), George Thorogood (1950), Debra Jo Rupp (1951), Steve Jobs (1955), Michelle Shocked (1962), Billy Zane (1966), Mitch Hedberg (1968)

standpoint

Last night might have marked the greatest quizzo comeback of all-time if our team had actually claimed the top spot. Instead we took third but it was remarkable all the same although some among us (you know who you are) simply weren’t satisfied with the bronze.

Anyway, there’s no new standpoint today but there will be tomorrow. Hope you enjoy the rest of the post. Especially you, Joe.

quotation

All television is educational television. The question is: What is it teaching? ↔ Nicholas Johnson

tune

Attention: Make sure you check this out before the ever-changing and unpredictable copyright laws swoop down and remove it forever. “Rhythm and Blues Alibi” by Gomez. Easily one of my top 20 all-time favorite songs accompanied by a kick-ass video. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

Last week, in an unprecedented move, the online music site Pitchfork announced some news that had absolutely nothing to do with Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, LCD Soundsystem or any indie rock outfit with an animal in its name. (Panda Bear? Huh?) Death Cab For Cutie’s new album, Codes and Keys, will be released this May. I know, not much of a deviation but, seriously, let’s all get together and send the folks at Pitchfork some new albums or sign them up for emusic or something.

These douchebags got nine years each in jail for beating a Mexican immigrant to death by punching him with a “fist pack” and kicking him after he lost consciousness. Nine years? That’s it? Way to go, USA. Let’s make sure we cut out those newspaper clippings for the scrapbook.

→ How boring is living in Alabama? Well, apparently, it’s mundane enough to make you want to poison trees when you’re inconsequential football team loses a meaningless game. (Before all you college football zealots start popping off, I am fully aware Alabama-Auburn games are not meaningless in terms of college football. It’s just meaningless to the rest of the world.)

02.24.10 – A Wednesday

word

incursion [in-kur-zhuhn, -shuhn] n. 1. a hostile entrance into or invasion of a place or territory, esp. a sudden one; raid: The bandits made brief incursions on the village 2. a harmful inroad 3. a running in: the incursion of sea water

birthday

Wilhelm Grimm (1786), Honus Wagner (1874), Abe Vigoda (1921), Dominic  Chianese (1931), James Farentino (1938), Joe Lieberman (1942), Barry Bostwick (1945), Edward James Olmos (1947), George Thorogood (1950), Debra Jo Rupp (1951), Helen Shaver (1951), Steve Jobs (1955), Sammy Kershaw (1958), Mark Moses (1958), Michelle Shocked (1962), Teri Weigel (1962), Bill Bailey (1964), Billy Zane (1966), Mitch Hedberg (1968), Bonnie Somerville (1974)

standpoint

It’s the post you’ve been patiently biding your time for all week. Let’s dive into The Wishing Well, a weekly segment where I make five (5) wishes for things that’ll probably never come to fruition.

I WISH everyone would stop using made-up words involving this winter’s rash of snowstorms. Snowtographs? Snowicane? How about all these weather people take off their creative hats and just stick to the facts? Really, it’s all more than a little embarrassing. So quit it.

I WISH every cop drama each had a Det. Jimmy McNulty and Omar Little. Respectively played by Dominic West and Michael K. Williams on the now defunct HBO series The Wire, these characters are accurate portrayals of the way most of us really are, opting to either do the right thing or the wrong thing as dictated by what the circumstances the situation calls for.

I WISH Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson didn’t come off like such a thug with his tweets. “On my cali shit that’s why the world of tweet ain’t heard from me…. y’all stay tunned tho got major shit craccn betta believe dat…”  Come on, man, at least make an effort, for crying out loud. And what’s with all the references to “Jerkin’?”

I WISH more of you actually gave a crap about how monumental a victory it was when Team USA beat Team Canada in Men’s Ice Hockey this past Sunday night. Only because I want to talk about it more and I’m pretty sure that, even though she’s a big hockey fan, my girlfriend is growing weary of me yapping about it.

I WISH it was readily apparent why in the world Tiger Woods felt the need to apologize to us about cheating on his wife. Dude, I feel bad for your wife and kids. What you did to them was wrong and you should make some massive atonement. But, truly, the rest of us aren’t losing any sleep over it. Play golf, or don’t. Be faithful to your wife, or don’t be. Believe it or not, whatever you decide, we’ll go on with our lives. Just stay the fuck away from our women, you sex crazed maniac.

That’s it for this week’s installment. How about you? You wishing for anything right now?

quotation

No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.Mignon McLaughlin

tune

I’ve always told anyone who’d listen that, despite what you might think of the band Toto, you’re obviously some kind of soulless bastard if you don’t like, even a little bit, the song “Africa.” The other night I stumbled upon this amazing a capella version of it. You have got to see it. I really dig how they use their hands to simulate the storm sounds.

gallimaufry

I was going to wait until closer to fantasy football season to post this, but it’s just too good. Every word of this made me realize how much I hate fantasy football drafts.

→ As I’m sure you are, I’m counting down the days until the release of Permalight, the new album from my favorite band, Rogue Wave. If you need a fix until then, check this out. March 2nd can’t come soon enough.

→ All I’m going to say about this is if this kid didn’t kill these cats, they need to find the sicko that did and lock him up for a few decades.

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02.08.10 – A Monday

word

ebullient [i-buhl-yuhnt, i-bool-] adj. 1. overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited: The award winner was in an ebullient mood at the dinner in her honor 2. bubbling up like a boiling liquid

birthday

Samuel Butler (1612), John Ruskin (1819), William Tecumseh Sherman (1820), Jules Verne (1828), Kate Chopin (1850), Lana Turner (1921), Jack Lemmon (1925), Neal Cassady (1926), James Dean (1931), John Williams (1932), Ted Koppel (1940), Nick Nolte (1941), Robert Klein (1942), Mary Steenburgen (1953), John Grisham (1955), Vince Neil (1961), Joshua Kadison (1963), Gary Coleman (1968), Mary McCormack (1969), Seth Green (1974)

standpoint

I’m a football fan but not a huge one. I halfheartedly participate in two (2) fantasy leagues and have a moderate interest in my hometown Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m much less emotionally invested in the NFL than I let on. Most years, I watch the Super Bowl more out of some misplaced obligation to some archaic sense of manhood. But I didn’t feel the same way this year. I actually had a mildly strong desire to watch last night because I like both the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, along with their respective quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

But I was curious to see how Super Bowl XLIV would be a different experience for me. And, lucky for you, I chronicled it. Here goes.

Note: I was reasonably sure that the Colts would win and cover the spread (+5.5) and the over (57 pts.) would become a matter of fact.

Pregame

» Not going to lie, I watched golf until just about the start of the game so I didn’t get to see what inane crap led up to the actual footage from Miami.

» But I did tune in time to see the Colts get introduced onto the field to the same song by The Who that opens up every episode of CSI:Miami, which turned out to be all of The Who I needed.

» Queen Latifah sang America The Beautiful with a choir and musical accompaniment. It didn’t really work all that well. Looked like she was never really in sync. Carrie Underwood sang The Star-Spangled Banner and it was better. During all this, cameras were on Peyton Manning, who looked amped to the point he was cursing the fact Francis Scott Key and Katharine Bates were ever born.

» The next class of inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were introduced as honorary whatevers to the coin toss. Emmitt Smith was the honorary coin tosser. Saints called heads. Smith flipped the coin directly at the Saints players, who sidestepped it. It was heads. Saints got the ball.

1st Quarter – 6:20(ish) PM

» Betty White and Abe Vigoda starred in a clever ad for Snickers. I’m completely sure those two actors were used because about 99% of viewers thought both had died years ago.

» The ad for the Boost Mobile Shuffle, featuring prominent members of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, was awful.

» In keeping with Hollywood’s trend of recycling, there’s another Robin Hood movie coming out starring Russell Crowe. Looks like both Braveheart and Gladiator ate a bunch of bows and arrows and vomited on each other. I’ll probably go see it.

» First quarter came to a close. Colts-10. Saints-0. I wasn’t paying much attention to the actual game.

2nd Quarter – 7:00 PM

» Pretty fast 1st quarter. At this point, I was certain the Colts were going to run away with the game.

» A Cars.com ad came on, detailing the life of a boy genius type doing all sorts of amazing boy genius type stuff. But when it came time to buy a car, he was at a loss. He looked to his mobile device for answers and, you guessed it, Cars.com came to the rescue. At one point during the ad, the boy genius delivered a baby Bengal tiger while on safari. That kicked off a conversation between my girlfriend and I where we discussed her desire to bring a baby panther into the apartment. Negotiations reached a stalemate after she refused to budge on the name of the baby panther. Oh well.

» The Saints began to make a game of it. Pretty sure they kicked a field goal.

» One ad had Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman on the same couch talking about something. I’m not sure what because I was distracted. Leno didn’t look like he was actually there. The next ad (maybe) had Brett Favre making fun of the fact he never actually retires. I like it when celebrities/athletes know to do that.

» The Colts stopped the Saints on a 4th and goal from the 1-yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half. See? I pay mind to the important stuff.

» I wasn’t quite sure how it happened but the Saints kick another field goal just as time expires on the 1st half. Colts – 10. Saints – 6.

Halftime – 7:50 PM

» The Who played. The Who sucked. I monitored Twitter feeds instead. Best Tweet? “Wake up your great grandma. The Who is on.”

3rd Quarter – 8:22 PM

» The Saints began the 2nd half with an onside kick. Which they recovered. Which turned out to be huge. Saints – 13. Colts – 10.

» According to a new Volkswagen ad, the classic car game, Punch Buggy, has now been expanded to include the entire Volkswagen fleet. As a matter of fact, it seems whatever substance it’s painting its cars with nowadays is so cutting edge, even Stevie Wonder can see it. Much to the chagrin of an arm sore Tracy Morgan. Classic.

» The Colts’ Joseph Addai ran in for a touchdown. Colts – 17. Saints – 13. I was a little disappointed about how good of a game it was becoming. I’m not used to the Super Bowl being about the Super Bowl. Not being able to run out of the room in between commercials was messing with my head.

» Two commercials gave me pause in different ways. First, the new E*TRADE baby wasn’t half as funny as the original. Second, Google aired its first ever television ad. I think.

» The Saints kicked another field goal which flew under my radar. End of the 3rd quarter. Colts – 17. Saints – 16.

4th Quarter – 8:56 PM

» Honestly, I should’ve been playing closer attention. The Saints started scoring. They took the lead. They intercepted a very important Peyton Manning pass at a crucial time. I watched the whole thing. I swear. But, as happens more than not, I became embroiled in a debate that made the game take a backseat.

» Super Bowl XLIV ended at 9:45 PM. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 31-17. If I bet the game the way I thought it would go, I would’ve been dead wrong. Yet another reason why I’m not a gambling man.

Overall, a most exhilarating football contest. The best Super Bowl in years. Congrats, New Orleans. Call me when you’re done partying. That should be around June.

quotation

Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.Thomas Pynchon

tune

One band from the 80s that doesn’t get enough credit is The Housemartins. I like to think of them as a sort of catchier version of  The Smiths. Also, they’ve got one of the best titled songs ever – “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.” Actually, after just listening to it, it seems to work nowadays as well.

gallimaufry

→ I just got done reading King of Russia: A Year in the Russian Super League, and it was simple and great. Former NHL head coach and current Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King narrates his experiences as the first ever Canadian coach in Russia. The guy really knows his stuff and he provides great insight into Russian hockey and its players, especially Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeny Malkin.

→ Speaking of the Pittsburgh Penguins, yesterday afternoon’s game between them and the Washington Capitals was just about as complete as you could ask for. Caps won it in overtime 5-4 after being down 4-2 going into the third period.