12.07.09 – A Monday

WORD

popinjay [pop-in-jey] n. 1. a person given to vain, pretentious displays and empty chatter; coxcomb; fop 2. British Dialect. a woodpecker, esp. the green woodpecker 3. Archaic. the figure of a parrot usually fixed on a pole and used as a target in archery and gun shooting 4. Archaic. a parrot

BIRTHDAY

Richard Sears (1863), Louis Prima (1910), Eli Wallach (1915), Ted Knight (1923), Noam Chomsky (1928), Ellen Burstyn (1932), Harry Chapin (1942), Johnny Bench (1947), Tom Waits (1949), Priscilla Barnes (1955), Larry Bird (1956), Tim Butler (1958), Rick Rude (1958), Peter Laviolette (1964), C. Thomas Howell (1966), Terrell Owens (1973), Damien Rice (1973)

STANDPOINT

Today, instead of spouting off about this thing or that, I’m putting the ball in your court.

I’ve been considering a particular scenario. I’ve proposed it to a few of my close friends and they all agree it’s an interesting situation to ponder. So I thought I’d offer it all of you.

Here it is: Due to some kind of crazy set of circumstances, you find yourself in a room with nine strangers. A man (or woman) enters the room and delivers the following set of instructions:

1. Everyone in the room will be granted five picks. Each pick will be a particular music act you can completely remove from the face of the Earth, including any memory of their existence.

2. However, there’s a possibility one of the other nine in the room could choose to obliterate a music act you hold near and dear. So, instead of using all your picks to erase music acts you despise, you’re free to use some, or all, of them to protect music acts you feel you can’t live without.

Here’s what I’m wondering: When confronted with this kind of choice, do you opt to banish or preserve? Would you see to it you never again hear the music you hate the most? Or would you safeguard the music you love the most?

Think about it. I’m still unsure of what I’d do.

QUOTATION

I think you should be a child for as long as you can. I have been successful for 74 years being able to do that. Don’t rush into adulthood, it isn’t all that much fun.Bob Newhart

TUNE

 So this past Saturday night, I’m hanging out with my kind of people, meaning a bunch of people who know a lot about good music. I was playing some stuff off of my iTunes and Pete Townshend‘s “Let My Love Open The Door” comes on. All present agreed it was a solid tune. I agreed but asked everyone how they felt about the slow version – “Let My Love Open The Door (E. Cola Mix)” – off the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack. No one had heard it before. Which I thought was weird but not altogether impossible. There’s a shitload of music out there.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Dude. When it comes to hockey, I’m all for a guy dropping the gloves and participating in a little hand-to-hand combat to try to motivate his team. But Philadelphia Flyers’ winger, Daniel Carcillo, experienced a severe lack of judgement when he almost knocked out Washington Capitals’ winger, Matt Bradley, late in the first period. It was awfully stupid because (a) Bradley had barely shook off his gloves (if he did at all) before Carcillo popped him, (b) it was the first game for new Flyers’ coach Peter Laviolette (who’s probably half-heartedly celebrating his birthday today), and (c) he gave the Capitals an unheard of nine-minute power play that turned a close game into a 8-2 loss for his team. He’s been suspended for four games and with the Flyers currently in a mid-season freefall, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d seen the last of “Car-Bomb.”

→ Looking for a new blog to follow? (Don’t answer that. I know you are.) Check out PhilaLawyer.net. Also, I’ve just started reading his book, Happy Hour Is For Amateurs. And you should, too.

→ Tonight, at 10pm, I’ll be watching the new TNT “serious comedy” Men of a Certain Age. Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher. Yep, that’s pretty much all I need to become intrigued. Sad? No, not at all.  

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07.01.09 – Wednesday

Word: egregious [i-gree-juhs, -jee-uhs] adj. 1. extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar 2. Archaic. distinguished or eminent

Birthday: Comte de Rochambeau (1725), George Sand (1804), William Strunk Jr. (1869), Thomas A. Dorsey (1899), Estée Lauder (1906), Willie Dixon (1915), Olivia de Havilland (1916), Jamie Farr (1934), Jean Marsh (1934), Sydney Pollack (1934), Karen Black (1939), Deborah Harry (1945), Shirley Hemphill (1947), David Duke (1950), Fred Schneider (1952), Terrence Mann (1951), Dan Aykroyd (1952), Alan Ruck (1956), Diana, Princess of Wales (1961), Carl Lewis (1961), Andre Braugher (1962), Pamela Anderson (1967), Henry Simmons (1970), Missy Elliott (1971), Claire Forlani (1972), Sufjan Stevens (1975), Liv Tyler (1977)

Quotation: Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers. – Mignon McLaughlin

Tune: Last year sometime (I can’t remember when exactly.), I saw The New Pornographers in concert. While its album are really good, the band is even more spectacular. It helped that the closing song was my favorite – “From Blown Speakers.”

Gallimaufry: Finally. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Minnesota unanimously decided that Al Franken was indeed a US Senator. After eight months, his opponent, Republican Norm Coleman, conceded. In the end, Franken only won by 312 votes, but it was good enough. The nation was monitoring the election outcome because (a) Franken was once a popular member of Saturday Night Live, and (b) his winning the seat gives the Democratic Party control of an unheard of 60 seats in the Senate. Tom, everyone’s default friend on MySpace (remember MySpace?), has been shitcanned. Don’t feel bad for the guy, though, he’s making $500,000 for the next two years. This brings two questions to mind. One, is this the beginning of the end for MySpace? Two, if it is, will anyone notice? Unfortunately, print media seems to be disappearing. The lastest victim? VIBE magazine.

04.20.09 – Monday

Word: euphemism [yoo-fuh-miz-uhm] n. 1. the substitution of a mild, indirect or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh or blunt 2. the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

Birthday: Napoleon III (1808), Adolf Hitler (1889), Lionel Hampon (1908), Tito Puente (1923), George Takei (1937), Ryan O’Neal (1941), Jessica Lange (1949), Luther Vandross (1951), Clint Howard (1959), Don Mattingly (1961), Crispin Glover (1964), Carmen Electra (1972), Joey Lawrence (1976)

Occurence: 1999Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide during the Columbine High School Massacre.

Standpoint: Last week, I polled all my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I asked them to name the best movie with a one-word title. Also, I was asking everyone I talked to, including my co-workers at The Chestnut Grill, who came up with a ton of them. (Special thanks to Ezgi and Adina on that one.) So, I compiled over 200 suggested titles and whittled (Colleen, you were right. I misused “wheedle”. Live and learn. 4/21/09) the list down to 15 movies. Here is the list (alphabetically) of 15 Great Movies with a One-Word Title, followed by the reason each film made the final cut. Enjoy.

There you have it. Just in case you’re wondering, it’s pretty difficult deciding the best 15 out of 200. The Honorable Mentions are too many to list. I can give you a few movies that never stood a chance. Titanic. Volcano. Twister. Accepted.

I’m sure you can think of a few movies I overlooked or discarded. Tell me which ones and why.

Quotation: Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all of the time. Chuck Klosterman

Gallimaufry: Falling into the “How-Pathetic-Can-I-Possibly-Get” category, Spencer Pratt (“The Hills”) has challenged Ashton Kutcher to a 30-day contest to see who can get the most Twitter followers. Dude, you’re a little late. I suggest concentrating your efforts on something that doesn’t involve some crappy show like “The Hills.” Look into it…All season long on “American Idol,” people have been asking the question, “Why in the hell did they bring Kara DioGuardi on as a fourth judge?” It appears she’s wondering the same thing. Could this be a sign of her exit?…Yesterday was a good day in Philadelphia for sports. The Phillies beat the San Diego Padres, 5-4, off a two-run homer in the ninth inning by Raul Ibanez. The 76ers beat the Orlando Magic in the Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on a last-second jumper by Andre Iguodala. But the highlight of the day in sports, for me at least, was sitting at my brother Jeremy’s new house and watching the Flyers spank the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3. Claude Giroux registered a Gordie Howe hat trick. He’s the real deal. (Thanks to Phinally Philly for the link.)

Incoming: This week is up in the air. Besides more of your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words, we’ll have to see where the wind takes us.