03.24.11 – a thursday

word

unctuous [uhngk-choo-uhs] adj. 1. characterized by excessive piousness or moral fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave or smug 2. of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; oily; greasy 3. having an oily or soapy feel, as certain minerals

birthday

Harry Houdini (1874), Joseph Barbera (1911), Gorgeous George (1915), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), Norman Fell (1924), Steve McQueen (1930), Nick Lowe (1949), Tommy Hilfiger (1951), Louie Anderson (1953), Robert Carradine (1954), Kelly LeBrock (1960), Star Jones (1962), Lara Flynn Boyle (1970), Megyn Price (1971), Alyson Hannigan (1974)

standpoint

Today, I’m continuing what I like to call My Favorite Music Of All-Time. That’s right. Even if it doesn’t particularly apply for this post, I have a feeling you’ll look past it and appreciate what’s going on here.

Yesterday, I touched on the fact that I have two iPods. The first one is a gigantic clunky thing, it’s screen illegible since the night the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series a few years back. See, I was in the parking lot of the ballpark the night history was being made.  Philadelphia erupted as Harry Kalas called Brad Lidge’s final stike and mayhem ensued. And, Buckley, my little orange tabby cat was not going to sit still while millions celebrated.

Cats are smarter than most dogs. Also, cats are smarter than most humans. Buckley is the exception. You could teach a kangaroo to do algebra before you could teach Buckley not to not put his nose in the flame from a candle. But one thing the dimwit has is heart, and lots of it. There isn’t a soul alive who, within five minutes of exposure to Buckley, doesn’t want to kidnap the little bastard and take him home.

And I tell you that to explain the following. The Phillies had won it all. Philadelphia was teeming at the edges. It was electric. And Buckley was not immune to the pulse of the celebration. I have no other way to explain why in the world the track shelving in my room would suddenly appear new to him, or why he would jump to the fourth tier of that shelving to attack a plate with a burnt-out candle on it, a plate that he would cause to careen off that fourth shelf and land squarely on my iPod, charging in its dock, resting with a false sense of security, unaware of the bullshit Buckley was up to.

That night, I got home earlier than most in the city, I suppose. I was high-fived out and, despite my many shortcomings, tipping over cars and burglarizing electronic stores just ain’t my thing. So I walked through the front door, trudged up the stairs and stumbled into my bedroom with a smile on my face.

The smile lasted roughly three seconds. There was a broken plate on the ground. Next to it, was an iPod dock in two pieces. And, inches away, almost at the foot of the bed was my iPod, holder of close t0 8,000 songs, face down, silver side up.

Out loud I said, “What the fuck is this?” And then I saw Buckley sitting on the bed. Even though he wasn’t capable of understanding much, the look in his eyes, the tightness in his back, the little fucker knew he did something wrong.

I picked up the iPod. The screen was (and still is) fractured in nine different places. I said a bunch of words I would never say in front of my Mom-Mom. I was furious. My hands were literally shaking. And I turned to Buckley and, even though I never had nor would I ever cause him physical harm, he braced himself for what was coming. The only thing I could think to do was to put him in the closet. So that’s where he went. And before you condemn me for whatever reason, Buckley’s bed was in the closet as were his toys and most of Kate’s makeup brushes. For the next fifteen minutes, I looked at my iPod, pushed all of the buttons and slowly realized it was beyond repair.

But it wasn’t. I hooked it up to the speakers and kept pushing the up button. Music came out. I connected it to my laptop and, lo and behold, there was my entire music library. The damn thing still worked.

I reached into the closet and scooped up Buckley. I held him in front of my face and apologized. He’d all ready moved on.

To this day, I can’t see what’s playing on my iPod and the battery lasts about nine whole minutes but if it’s plugged in it still plays all of those almost 8.000 songs. And yesterday, in keeping with the whole music theme of this week’s posts, I decided to try to listen to as many of them as possible with the intention of finding Six Good Songs In A Row.

Here is how it all shook out.

First

“Birdhouse In Your Soul” – They Might Be Giants

Second

“Sweet Pain” – Blues Traveler

Third

“Everywhere” – Billy Bragg

Fourth

“Nobody Weird Like Me” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Fifth

“That Says It All” – Duncan Sheik

Sixth

“Turn On Me” – The Shins

quotation

The next person to honk at me THE SECOND the fucking light turns green, is going to win a very special prize. Good luck, everyone! FYI, I was NOT driving while tweeting. I don’t do that. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to hold my crack pipe and fifth of jack. ↔ Kerri Kenney

tune

This was the seventh song. “Satisfied” by Squeeze. Call me all the names you want. I definitely like this song. Sorry.

gallimaufry

No gallimaufry today. Don’t pry. Just accept it.

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05.04.09 – Monday

Word: ostensible [o-sten-suh-buhl] adj. 1. outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended: an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness 2. apparent, evident or conspicuous: the ostensible truth of their theories

Birthday: Horace Mann (1796), William H. Prescott (1796), Ron Carter (1937), Dick Dale (1937), Mr. Fuji (1937), Paul Gleason (1939), Robin Cook (1940), Roger Rees (1944), Mick Mars (1951), Pia Zadora (1954), Randy Travis (1959), Oleta Adams (1962), Ana Gasteyer (1967), Gregg Alexander (1970), Will Arnett (1970), Lance Bass (1979)

Occurence: 1972 – The Don’t Make A Wave Committee officially changes its name to Greenpeace Foundation.

Standpoint: “I’ll never date a girl who reads those idiotic celebrity gossip magazines.” I made that statement (or something similar) one night over some beers to a buddy of mine. Eventually, I came to realize, if I stuck to my guns and only dated females who didn’t read periodicals such as US Magazine and People, I’d be limiting my dating pool to roughly 14 women. As I’ve done numerous times in my life, I was forced to go back on a statement I completely believed at the time of its utterance.

All women read “idiotic celebrity gossip magazines.” Lots of men do, too, though it’s not something any of us will admit to each other. Everyone loves exploring the surreal arena that is celebrity gossip. And why? The reason’s not exactly forthcoming. How do you explain someone with two master’s degrees getting school-girl excited about the arrival of a  magazine which contains twice as many pictures as complete sentences? It makes little sense that individuals who can speak on many educated topics will drop whatever they’re doing to find out what crazy capers Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie are currently mixed up in. Logic comes up short in providing a definitive answer.

Online, the genre is best described as logjammed. Blogging about the day-to-day (and often minute-to-minute) ongoings of celebrity life is as widespread as it is unchecked. Let’s blame it on Perez. While I estimate I’d last about 10 seconds in a conversation with Hilton before the guy uttered something unforgivingly bothersome, his “reporting” is – at the very least – (a) perchance on the level and (b) marginally readable. Sadly, I can’t offer the same quasi-praise for his colleagues in the celebrity blogosphere. In their world, the Swine Flu isn’t newsworthy until Amy Winehouse contracts it. In the battle of what’s really important. Somali pirates finish a distant second to David Hasselhoff’s drinking problem.

The “Blogroll” on TMZ.com contains scores of sites dedicated to the pursuit of celebrity exposure. Yesterday, after immersing myself in their vocation, I concluded that, minus those who stalk or pass for celebrities, the population of Los Angeles may very well reside at about 700 people. Here’s some of the hard-hitting journalism I encountered along the way.

  • “Kelly Osbourne on Cocaine Diet”AnythingHollywood – At first, I thought the title suggested Kelly Osbourne was actively using blow to shed some unwanted pounds. After further delving  into the two-paragraph article, I discovered it contained her poignant inner thoughts on celebs who do employ the use of cocaine for weight loss. Ozzy‘s daughter is tired of reading about “how fat” she is. “It’s not like I’m like all the other celebrities in Hollywood that’s going to do a line of cocaine to lose weight.” Osbourne makes no mention of the fact that an exercise regimen might be a valid consideration. Nor does she offer a solid explanation as to how exactly she continues to think of herself as a celebrity.  AnythingHollywood concludes the article with encouragement for the former reality television star, “Stay happy, Kelly, that’s what matters.” I’m reasonably sure Osbourne’s message is meaningful to someone out there: “Hey, the best way to deflect unwanted discussion on being unhealthy and overweight is highlighting a worse thing you could be doing. Like habit-forming drugs.” When you read it about a dozen times in the right kind of light, it’s almost inspirational.
  • “Alyson Hannigan & Alexis Denisof Take Satyana For A Stroll”Pink is the New Blog – Let’s do a breakdown. “It really looks like the Hannigan-Denisofs are taking things nice and easy these days so that they can enjoy being a new family unit with their just over a month-old baby girl. It’s clear that parenthood really suits the couple.” I’m not disagreeing with that, but I’m hoping that the author has a little more to go on than the pictures. Not much more than Hannigan pushing a futuristic stroller with Denisof ambling along, hands in pockets. More: “…the serenity and calmness that they show whenever they are out and about belies that notion that new parents are frazzled and nearly driven to insanity.” I’m a little skeptical. Perhaps “the serenity and calmness” displayed might be better described as “the bewilderment and stupefaction” of two people faced with the reality of a casual walk turning into a spectator sport. “Frazzled?” “Nearly driven to insanity?” Inevitable, if you ask me…Finally, “…of course, we don’t get to see what they look like at 3AM when little Miss Satyana gets hungry/wet and/or poopy.” Patience, Pink is the New Blog. I’m sure one day, with the right set of circumstances, you’ll get the pictures needed to scoop the exclusive on the “Miss Satyana Was Hungry/Wet and/or Poopy” story that the world is on-the-edge-of-its-seat to read. Personally, I would’ve rather read a few sentences on how naming your daughter “Satyana” is somehow (a) acceptable or (b) not creating an uphill battle for the child.
  • “Get That Money, HoHan!”Dlisted – So poorly written that I’d wager Lindsay Lohan could’ve written something a bit more coherent. Annoying in the fact that someone is making money off maintaining and contributing to Dlisted. Encouraging in that, if whomever is at the helm of this nonsense is profiting in any way whatsoever, odds are that you can make money doing nearly anything. Lohan is one of the most inconsequential people that I (unfortunately) know about. Dlisted is her blog equivalent. Unfair? Maybe. But I think I’m standing on pretty solid ground here.

The fun/absurdity doesn’t end there. I could go on. But I think I’ve adequately shown my intent here. If we could bottle the collective energy spent daily on the gathering of celebrity gossip we’d have the means to quickly solve all the world’s problems. At the very least, we could figure out some way for Kelly Osbourne to achieve her goal of drug-free weight loss.

Quotation: Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity. Desmond Tutu

Tune: As a rule, I dislike remixes. However, this version of Soul Coughing‘s “Circles” has been a long-time exception.

Gallimaufry: Congratulations to everyone who ran in the 2009 Blue Cross Broad Street Run yesterday. Special congrats go out to my roomie who ran 10 miles in an hour and a half. Way to go, Kate. All the training paid off…TopCultured.com has published its list of “4 Tell-tale Signs of Douchebaggery.” I recently bought a shirt at Express and I wear a wristband so it turns out I’m half a douchebag. I think that’s more favorable  than some might describe me…The 76ers had a “total collapse.”  The Flyers got outworked by a lesser team. The Phillies are off to a good, but not spectacular, start. Enter the Eagles minicamp and the silence of Donovan McNabb. Ah. I knew that World Series euphoria would wear off eventually. Welcome back, shaky Philadelphia sports scene. 

Incoming: Tomorrow7 Best Movie Soundtracks. Wednesday – Working on something. Stay tuned. Later – More of your entries for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words and 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and much much much more.

03.24.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: ubiquitous [yoo-bik-wi-tuhs] adj. existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time; omnipresent

Birthday: Harry Houdini (1874), Ub Iwerks (1901), Thomas Dewey (1902), Clyde Barrow (1909), Joseph Barbera (1911), Gorgeous George (1915), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), Norman Fell (1924), Steve McQueen (1930), Bob Mackie (1940), Nick Lowe (1949), Tommy Hilfiger (1951), Robert Carradine (1954), Kelly LeBrock (1960), Star Jones Reynolds (1962), Annabella Sciorra (1964), The Undertaker (1965), Lara Flynn Boyle (1970), Megyn Price (1972), Alyson Hannigan (1974), Peyton Manning (1976)

Occurrence: 1958Elvis Presley gets inducted into the army. I still think it’s strange that this happened. I know The King was drafted but do you think any celebrity today would actually do this at the height of their career? I tend to think no.

Standpoint: Last Friday, March 20th, was the first day of Spring. Around Philadelphia, it was cold outside. And this perplexed many people who, I guess, had it marked down on their calendar as the day to dust-off the flip-flops and shorts. “What the hell? I thought its Spring.” “It’s not that warm out. Winter is supposed to be over.” “I was all psyched to wear my new sandals today but it’s too cold and I had to wear my regular shoes.” This is just a mere sampling of comments I overheard last Friday. Apparently, many individuals were disappointed by the weather’s refusal to cooperate with their desire to “finally drive to work with the windows down.” In this Age of Entitlement, we even expect Mother Nature to do what we think is “right” and “totally fair.”

Quotation: Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. Neil Gaiman

Digit: 13 – Number of cities and towns in the USA named Philadelphia. Besides the one in Pennsylvania there is one each in Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico and New York. There are two each in Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Tune: When I was younger and out in social situations, I often thought of “Halloween” by matt pond PA. Take a listen and you might know what I mean.

Link: Phinally Philly – An absolutely spectacular blog about Philadelphia sports.

Gallimaufry: Paul Berry, CTO of the Huffington Post, offers his opinion of the Facebook redesign that everyone (including me) has been deliberating to the point of exhaustion. A little bit of a different take…Kids can be cruel. Read all about one family who has launched a national campaign to educate high school students about “sexting”…In India, Tata Motors has announced that their Nano, the world’s cheapest car, will hit roads in July. It’s small and only costs 100,000 rupee ($1980)…Tonight, if you’re gonna be near the Chestnut Hill area in Philadelphia PA, make sure to stop by The Chestnut Grill for its first Karaoke Night run by my good friend Suzi Simon. Starts at 9pm. Plus, I’ll be there so that should be enough reason for you to come out.