04.30.10 – A Friday

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much obliged

Before I get into the last post, I wanted to thank all of you for reading and posting comments to the daily euneJeune. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all the feedback and support.

For their role, however large or small, they played in making this a rewarding undertaking, I’d like to give a special thanks to the following people: Donika Miller, Marc Schuster, David Frees, John Sellers, Ezgi Bilici, Joe Taylor, John Hay, Kate Jacovino, Jeannie Matamoros, Beth Treisner, Heather Petrovsky, Courtney Papada Daly, Kelly Kampf, Jonathan Chriswell, Bill McLeer, Kristie Attardi, Wynn Sanders, Mike Graveley, Richard O’Connor, Brian McFadden, Kevin Emery, Adam Schwartzberg and Annette Burgess. Your support was huge.

Sorry if you deserved a mention and didn’t get one. Doesn’t mean anything other than I’m forgetful.

Also, a special shout-out goes to Mindninja, or Jen, or whatever the hell your name is, for stalking me for a few months last year. Your unrelenting negativity taught me there’s always going to be someone who flat out disagrees with my perspective. I have no idea who you are, but I have my theories (ex-girlfriend, ex-friend, etc.). Whoever you are, I hope the medication is working.

All right, now to today’s installment.

word

abeyance [uh-bey-uhns] n. 1. temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension: Let’s hold that problem in abeyance for a while 2. Law. a state or condition of real property in which title is not as yet vested in a known titleholder: an estate in abeyance

birthday

Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651), David Thompson (1770), Alice B. Toklas (1877), Percy Heath (1923), Johnny Horton (1925), Cloris Leachman (1926), Willie Nelson (1933), Gary Collins (1938), Burt Young (1940), Jill Clayburgh (1944), Isaiah Thomas (1961), Akon (1973), Johnny Galecki (1975), Kirsten Dunst (1982)

standpoint

It’s finally here. The day I’m closing shop on the euneJeune daily. 14 months ago, I began this to prove to myself I could write something, good or bad, on a daily basis. And, for the most part, I did. I’ll always look back to this blog as something I’m proud of. I’m going to miss it badly.

But life goes on and I need to spend the time I allotted for this and use it for the writing I was meant to. Don’t worry, I won’t be entirely disappearing from the internet. I’ve been invited to be a contributor on Popularity Contest, a blog recently started by my friend Marc Schuster, and I’ll be posting stories on there from time-to-time.

I love Esquire and my favorite section is always “What I’ve Learned.” For my last Standpoint, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about myself, about the internet, about the world, from what I’ve done here.

» Astrology is horseshit. The day of the year someone happens to be born is completely inconsequential. Oskar Schindler and Saddam Hussein share the same birthday. So do Leonardo da Vinci and Seth Rogen, Raphael and Zach Braff, Vincent van Gogh and MC Hammer, James Madison and Erik Estrada. Looking for similarities within those pairings is ridiculous.

» Like most writers, I guess, I have a tendency to concentrate on troublesome people. I’ve focused more on Glenn Beck, Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin than I have on Chuck Klosterman, Conan O’Brien and Jack Kerouac. Something I should dwell on for a stretch.

» I have a broader vocabulary than I used to. The other day, I heard someone describe himself as a polemic and I knew exactly what he meant. (He was calling himself a controversialist.)

» The amount of news stories on any given day is staggering. Between the “reputable” sources and the bloggers, it’s fairly easy to find a news story in which the facts are presented just the way you like them. It’s great because no one ever again has to be wrong. Even when they are.

» I challenge you to find any quotations website where Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Ralph Waldo Emerson aren’t prominently featured. Go on, I dare you.

» Probably even Zach Rogue thinks I listen to too much Rogue Wave.

» When you write a blog, your greatest friends won’t read it. If you offered my best friend Harvey $1 million to tell you just one thing I wrote about here in the past six months, he’d be forced to forfeit the cash. (I have to say Joe Taylor is an exception to this rule. Or I’d never hear the end of it.)

» If you’re doing anything online that’s in need of promotion and you fail to see the merits of Facebook an Twitter, you need to reconsider. The days where I shared or tweeted my latest post, my traffic was over three times higher than those days I didn’t. The stuff works.

» One thing anyone who writes needs to remember is that there are those out there who internalize everything they read. Because of that, you’ll receive negative and hurtful attacks. Never let the vitriol people spew stop you from expressing yourself. Fuck those people. Wake up tomorrow and keep going.

I’ve learned all that and more. I hope you learned some things, as well.

quotation

Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. Richard Bach

tune

For my last post I thought this Elliott Smith song was rather appropriate. Enjoy “A Fond Farewell.”

gallimaufry

→ If you’re not yet reading Hyperbole and a Half, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. One of the greatest blogs I’ve read.

→ Man, US Senators sure do fancy themselves some meddling. Hey, elected officials, I’ve got to believe there some other problem you can be trying to solve. We’d be in a pretty sweet spot right now if Facebook privacy issues was the country’s highest priority.

This is the closest thing I’ve seen resembling honest journalism in a long, long time.

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04.16.10 – A Friday

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word

malaise [ma-leyz, -muh-; Fr. ma-lez] n. 1. a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease 2. a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort

birthday

Wilbur Wright (1867), Charlie Chaplin (1889), Henry Mancini (1924), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947), Gerry Rafferty (1947), Peter Garrett (1953), Dave Pirner (1964), Jon Cryer (1965), Martin Lawrence (1965), Peter Billingsley (1971), Lukas Haas (1976), Akon (1977)

standpoint

What I was reminded of yesterday is that there’s a ton of shit in this life imaginary and inconsequential. Find the people who matter in your life and let them know their role. Just do it.

quotation

I am much better employed from every point of view, when I live solely for my own satisfaction, than when I begin to worry about the world. The world frightens me, and a frightened man is no good for anything. George Gissing

tune

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Weepies is one of the worst-named bands ever. But, conversely, Steve Tannen and Deb Talan have formed a music act of the highest caliber. One of my all-time favorite songs is “World Spins Madly On.”

gallimaufry

→ For all my SJU peeps who enjoyed those Parties-In-The-Park my friends and I used to throw, and, also, for everyone who stumbled into the original Grape Street Pub and was afforded the privilege of seeing this band live, I offer a link to the entire catalog of WNOC. Enjoy.

→ Man, I can’t believe Obama isn’t taking these idiots seriously. (That’s sarcasm, by the way)

→ Last night, I was reminded of the existence of Philadelphia’s fist cable channel – PRISM.

04.30.09 – Thursday

Word: cacophony [kuhkofuh-nee] n. 1. harsh discordance of sound; dissonance: a cacophony of hoots, crackles and wails 2. a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds: the cacophony produced by city traffic at midday 3. Music. frequent use of discords of a harshness and relationship difficult to understand

Birthday: Alice B. Toklas (1877), Eve Arden (1908), Robert Shaw (1916), Percy Heath (1923), Cloris Leachman (1926), Willie Nelson (1933), Burt Young (1940), Jane Campion (1954), Isaiah Thomas (1961), Akon (1973), Johnny Galecki (1975), Kirsten Dunst (1982)

Occurence: 1993 – The World Wide Web is born at CERN.

Standpoint: It’s Thursday. That must mean time another installment of Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s have at it.

  • “This might be a stupid question, but…” – This one was a popular favorite in your suggestions for this post. People usually say this when they are asking a question to which they already know the answer. Really, they should be saying something like, “Just to be clear…” Starting off a statement with, “This might be a stupid question, but…” tends to give the impression to another person that you are, in fact, stupid, and you feel the need to ask because of that stupidity. [Note: I used to work with a guy who started of about 50% of his sentences with, “Stupid question.” Due to the fact that he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, I never had the heart to tell him that he shouldn’t have said it so much. Don’t be like me, people. Tell your friends when they overuse annoying phrases such as this. They may be put-off at first, but they’ll thank you one day. Hopefully.]
  • “Honestly?” – Often times you’ll ask a friend a question such as, “Where did I put my keys?” A likely response, “Honestly? I have no idea.” Other times, it could be something a little more touchy like, “Dude, did I make a jackass out of myself at that party last night?” Response, “Honestly? Yeah, you did.” The issue here is that there’s no need for, “Honestly?” No one is going to come back and say, “No. I don’t want the truth. If you know where my keys are, please lie to me so it takes me longer to find them. I really enjoy searching around the house,” or “I’d like you to lie to me about last night. That way, I don’t have to feel bad for getting drunk and knocking that cake off the table and into the lap of the woman sitting on the couch behind it.” The rule here is that if someone is asking you a question, assume they want the honest answer. However, if you feel you are being asked a question where the person is hoping you lie, as might be the case of the drunken partygoer, and you want to spare their feelings or sidestep a potentially stressful conversation, feel free to lie in that instance. Otherwise, just answer the question. Honestly.
  • “There is nothing worse than…” – OK. I’m guity of this one. At times, I can be a bit dramatic. It’s my nature. Be kind and try to move past some of my many flaws. But, even though I’ve started countless sentences with, “There is nothing worse than…,” it still bothers me when people overuse it. For instance, I was listening to a friend of mine talk about a bad traffic jam she was in and, at one point, she offered, “You know, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic.” I replied, “What if, while you were stuck in that traffic jam, a gigantic tree fell onto the hood of your car? Wouldn’t that be worse?” She sighed, “You know what I mean.” I went on, “What if right after the tree fell on your car, someone threw your door open and robbed you? Would that make it worse?” She then told me that I’m often, “a pain-in-the-ass to talk to.” I was satisfied I’d made my point clear.

What about you? Do you constantly hear the same Annoying Sayings & Misused Words? Post a comment and share them with the group.

Quotation: It’s a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word. Andrew Jackson

Tune: After I first listened to “Carry Around,” I immediately wanted to hang out with the folks in Annuals.

Gallimaufry: Up until a few days ago, I lived right down the street from PA Senator Arlen Spector. Surprisingly, my neighbor didn’t let me know that he was leaving the GOP for the other side. It’s weird because he and I usually talk about everything…Due to my life-long addiction to comic books, many close to me were surprised that I didn’t download X-Men Origins: Wolverine when it was leaked on the internet a few weeks back. Instead, I opted to watch it in the movie theater when it comes out this Friday simply because I don’t really pirate music or movies. Not condemning it. Just ain’t my thing. It looks like the people behind the movie are now doing something to entice those who have already seen it into the theaters…Hey, Billy Corgan, this is getting embarrassing. Please. Cease. And. Desist.

Incoming: Tomorrow: It’ll be Friday and, as always, I’ll give you my 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead. Also, 7 Songs I’m Having Trouble Admitting Are On My iPod.

04.16.09 – Thursday

Word: anachronism [uhnak-ruh-niz-uhm] n. 1. something or someone that is not in its correct historical chronological time, esp. a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time: The sword is an anchronism in modern warfare 2. an error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one: To assign Michelangelo to the 14th century is an anachronism.

Birthday: Wilbur Wright (1867), Charlie Chaplin (1899), Henry Mancini (1924), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947), Gerry Rafferty (1947), Peter Garrett (1953), Ellen Barkin (1954)Ian MacKaye (1962), Dave Pirner (1964), Jon Cryer (1965)Martin Lawrence (1965), Peter Billingsley (1971), Lukas Haas (1976), Akon (1977) 

Occurence: 2007 – On the campus of Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho shoots 32 people to death, injures 23 others and eventually kills himself. Would’ve been great if he’d reversed the order.

Standpoint: It’s Thurday (already). Time for me to address some of your suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words.” Let’s get to it. 

  •  “hone in on” vs. “home in on” – Which one of the following do you think is correct? “He honed in on his true calling.” Or, “He homed in on his true calling.” Dictionary.com provides the answer. To “hone in on” means (a) “to move or advance toward a target or a goal,” or (b) “to direct one’s attention; focus.” To “home in on” means “to proceed, esp. under control of an automated aiming mechanism, toward a specific target as a plane, missile or location.”  So, unless you are in control of “an automated aiming mechanism”, (and if you are, I want to hang out with you), then you are misusing “home in on.” Winner: “hone in on”
  • “provoke” vs. “provocate” – This has always bugged me. My sister Tina and her kids say “provocate” all the time and I correct them when they do and tell them they should be using the word “provoke.” Turns out I’m the one that needs correcting. “Provocate”  is defined by dictionary.com as “to provoke” and is listed in Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English. Winner: My sister Tina and her kids
  • “they’re” “their” and “there” – Probably the three most misspelled words on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m sure everyone knows where to use these words and when but here are the rules, anyway. Just in case. They’re” is a contraction of the words “they” and “are” as in “They’re coming to take me away!” “Their” is a form of the possessive case of the word “they” as in “That’s their problem!” “There” means “in or at that place” as in “Don’t go in there!” Winner: We all win when we use these three words the right way.

Keep up the suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words,” featured here every Thursday.

Quotation: Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. Jules Renard

Tune: I know very little about Japanese recording artist and producer Cornelius. I do, however, know that “Drop” is terrific.

Gallimaufry: NASA has made a decision. They won’t name the new room on The International Space Station after Stephen Colbert, despite the fact that The Colbert Report host won an online write-in contest last month with the help of his viewers. Astronaut Sunita L. Williams appeared on the show two nights ago to deliver the news to the heartbroken host face-to-face. However, NASA will be naming something on the space station after Colbert – the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT), a piece of exercise equipment. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice…In what some are calling the least important race in recent history (and by “some,” I mean me), Ashton Kutcher, star of Punk’d and husband to Demi Moore, has challenged the news network CNN to a race on Twitter. Whichever gets to 1,000,000 followers first, wins. CNN currently has the most Twitter followers (921,432), while Kutcher is somewhere in the 800,000s. Kutcher has said that if he wins, he’ll “ding dong ditch” Ted Turner‘s house. I’m not sure why those terms are agreaable to the actor but I’d like to see how he would get to the front door of the CNN founder’s house…Any of you attend any of the “tea party” rallies staged across the country yesterday? If so, I’d like to hear all about it.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do in Philly When You’re Dead, my list of 3 events I would attend if it were my last weekend in Philadelphia. Plus, 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet, a roster of 5 folks I’d be happy to never hear from again.