07.12.11 – a tuesday

word

thrasonical [threy-son-i-kuhl] adj. boastful; vainglorious

birthday

Henry David Thoreau (1817), George Washington Carver (1864), Pablo Neruda (1904), Milton Berle (1908), Andrew Wyeth (1917), Bill Cosby (1937), Richard Simmons (1948), Topher Grace (1978), Michelle Rodriguez (1978)

standpoint

So, I’m researching The Princess Bride last night for today’s standpoint and I happen upon this. (Sorry, no embedding for some odd reason.) And then this comes up.

Then I started thinking about Star Wars and up pops the original trailer from 1977 and as much as I love the movie now, if I were watching television back then and saw the following preview, I never would’ve gone to see it.

So I’m checking that out, wondering if maybe I spend too much time on YouTube and I occurs to me that I’ve been doing this blog for over two years now (off and on) and I’ve never shared the one and only video featuring yours truly on the internet.

After that, I looked at the clock and it was time for bed.

quotation

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. ↔ Ralph Waldo Emerson

tune

The dude might whistle too much but I’ve always loved Andrew Bird‘s “Fake Palindromes.”

gallimaufry

The other day, I heard about planking from one of my Sunday (Funday) regulars. It’s one of those simple things that reminds me life can be supremely funny.

→ Why in the world do they have to remake everything? Some movies are perfect just the way they are. Although I will admit that I’m sort of intrigued about this one.

→ Because of this blog, I read a lot of asinine stories. This one is up there on the list of the most ridiculous bullshit I’ve encountered. Also, these fantastic people live right around the corner from me.

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01.05.10 – A Tuesday

WORD

riposte [ri-pohst] n. 1. a quick, sharp return in speech or action; counterstroke: a brilliant riposte to an insult 2. Fencing. a quick thrust given after parrying a lunge  v. (used w/o subject) 3. to make a riposte 4. to reply or retaliate

BIRTHDAY

Zebulon Pike (1778), George Reeves (1914), Jane Wyman (1917), Francis L. Kellogg (1917), Walter Mondale (1928), Robert Duvall (1931), Charlie Rose (1942), Ed Rendell (1944), Diane Keaton (1946), Ted Lange (1948), Marilyn Manson (1969), Bradley Cooper (1975)

STANDPOINT

In the spirit of reviewing 2009 (which yesterday I stated I was against but seem to be participating in anyway), I’ve compiled a list of the best music releases from last year, in no particular order. After each review, I’ll post the top track off the album.

Now, obviously, there were other albums released in 2009 that some of you (mainly my buddy Joe) will undoubtedly tell me I was wrong in omitting. Green Day, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Wilco, among others, all released albums recently. I either didn’t like them or didn’t listen to them.

If you feel strongly about it, make a comment and tell me where I went wrong. Music is subjective, of course, and these are just my opinions. Even I can admit my judgment is occasionally subject to bias when it comes to music. But, remember, I’m usually right.

QUOTATION

The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.Theodore Rubin

TUNE

As much as I make fun of it, Canada seems to be putting out some decent indie rock bands recently. Arcade Fire. Broken Social Scene. The New Pornographers. The Rural Alberta Advantage. The Stills. To name only a few. And you can add Human Highway to that list. Made up of singer/songwriter Jim Guthrie and Nicholas Thorburn of the band Islands, the band released Moody Motorcycle in 2008. I’ve recently given it a re-listen and love the song “All Day.”

GALLIMAUFRY

After years of being tabloid fodder and keeping a nation on the edge of its seat, Vince Vaughan has entered into wedlock. Phew!

→ Christ. People. Let’s cease the vacillation. First, the Dallas Cowboys suck and Tony Romo, their quarterback, is a choke artist. Now, since beating the Philadelphia Eagles two days ago, their a Super Bowl favorite? Make up your mind, sports “gurus.”

→ What’s funnier? All the airport security talk or Spike Lee lending his heavy influence to the USA’s bid for a World Cup? Trick question. Neither are funny. Both are equally unimportant.

06.11.09 – Thursday

Word: inure [in-yoor, i-noor] v. 1. to accustom to hardship, difficulty, pain, etc.; toughen or harden; habituate (usually fol. by to): inured to cold 2. to come into use; take or have effect 3. to become beneficial or advantageous

Birthday: Ben Jonson (1572), Richard Strauss (1864), Vince Lombardi (1913), Gene Wilder (1933), Frank Beard (1949), Joe Montana (1956), Hugh Laurie (1959), Peter Dinklage (1969), Ryan Dunn (1977), Joshua Jackson (1979), Shia LeBeouf (1986)

Quotation: Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.Irene Peter

Tune: Just got Noble Beast by Andrew Bird. So far, I’m digging “Anonanimal” the most.

Gallimaufry: Trent Reznor, one of the most active musicians on Twitter, may be hanging up his social networking spurs. On the official Nine Inch Nails website “Forum” section, Reznor had this to say, “I will be tuning out of the social networking sites because at the end of the day it’s now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule.” Indeed they do, but did he really need Twitter to grasp that concept? The NFL (National Football League) is ready to play hardball with the NFLPA (National Football League Players’ Association).  With relatively-new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and brand new NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith not wanting to look weak in their first head-to-head matchup, it should be fun to watch as the two groups square off over revenue sharing. Because, really, in a terrible economy, I can’t imagine what people would love to see more than insanely rich people fighting over money. My advice? Settle this one quickly and quietly, fellas. It’s hard to believe 10 years ago this month, Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker released Napster. I caught onto Napster really early, completely by accident. (A girl at a bar told me about it.) Once I found it, I was completely hooked. Sure, by today’s standards, it was clunky and time-consuming, but for a music junkie like me, it was internet crack cocaine. The day it got shut down, I didn’t light a candle or anything. But still. It sucked. I’ve never been able to bring myself to try the new pay version.   

Incoming: Relax, will ya? Be patient.

04.27.09 – Monday

Word: somnolent [som-nuh-luhnt] adj. 1. sleepy; drowsy 2. tending to cause sleep: For him, the opera was a somnolent experience.

Birthday: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759), Samuel F.B. Morse (1791), Ulysses S. Grant (1822), Jack Klugman (1922), Casey Kasem (1932), August Wilson (1945), Frank William Abagnale Jr. (1948), Kate Pierson (1948), Ace Frehley (1951), Sheena Easton (1959)

Occurence: 1810Beethoven composes Für Elise.

Standpoint: Over this past weekend, I walked into a bar. That’s not the intro to a joke. But the end result was funny. I had unsuspectingly entered the sometimes-strange, occasionally-uncomfortable but always-entertaining world of karaoke.

If you’re between the age of 21 and 120, you’ve inevitably experienced this Japanese form of entertainment. Admit it. Whether an active participant or an amused onlooker, you’ve attended – on purpose or by accident – what Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy called “a karaoke jam.” If you’ve never been, you are either (a) living in some cave on a very high mountain or (b) overly concerned with maintaining your “too-cool-for-karaoke” status. (If you fall into one of those two categories, I congratulate you, albeit for very different reasons.)

In any case, if you’re one of the billions who have actually witnessed it live, then you’ve undoubtedly noticed what I have. No matter where or in what kind of place it takes place, watching karaoke will always brings out the following types of individuals:

  • “The Trailblazer” – This person gets up to sing first because he or she is either (a) dared by friends to do it, or (b) the self-desrcibed “life of the party.” Most likely, the rendition is not awful but “The Ham” is in no danger of being hounded by record label executives. Probable Song Selection: Something by Madonna or Journey.
  • “The Pro” – For the first few songs, you’ll most likely witness this person, sitting with a small group of friends (if any), and stoically analyzing the participants like Simon Cowell. When his or her name is called to step up to microphone, “The Pro” will rise with limited fanfare, walk confidently towards the front and belt out the lyrics. The performance is much better than what been offered so far and most in attendance will turn to a friend and give a look that says, “Hey, this ain’t so bad.” At the end of the song, he or she receives a loud cheer while walking unassumingly back to his or her chair. Probable song selection: Something by Celine Dion or Billy Joel. [Note: Inescapably, “The Pro” will become less and less appreciated over the course of the night due to everyone getting drunker and realizing they have more fun when people suck. After many drinks, “The Pro” is more commonly referred to as “that fucking showoff who keeps singing the sappy songs.”]
  • “The Badass” – Usually a male, this character brings a certain machismo to the mic. His attitude is a mixture of “I’m the greatest,” and “Karaoke is for douchebags.” The beers and shots have gotten the better of him, and he’s decided to show the crowd how it’s done. The song completed, he’ll usually shove the microphone back at the DJ or simply drop it on the ground before strutting off the stage. Shooting the middle finger to all gathered is optional but not a requirement for “The Badass.” Probable Song Selection: Metallica or Guns ‘N’ Roses. Maybe Poison.
  • “The Giggler” – Opposite of “The Badass,” this is commonly a woman or, more accurately, a group of women who’ve collectively gathered the nerve to take the stage after a very long conversation in which, “I’ll go up there if you do,” is uttered close to 900 times. The ladies will take the stage with the best intentions but only two of them will actually sing the song. The other three will look out at the crowd and laugh with hands over their faces. For both the participants and observers, the performance can’t end soon enough. Probable Song Selection: Britney Spears or Cyndi Lauper.
  • “The Longshot” – During the course of the night, there is always a dark horse. Someone who gets up and sings dreadfully but possesses a certain characteristic like being older than everyone else or being cute in a non-traditional way. The crowd will rally around  and spur him or her on. This is unique to karaoke because it’s the only time someone can do something worse than everyone else and get the loudest round of applause. For one night, “The Longshot” is the most popular person in the place.  Our common love of the underdog combined with our penchant for overindulging in booze makes this possible. Probably Song Selection: Frank Sinatra or Neil Diamond.
  • “The Almost” – Wastes the entire night by going back and forth on whether to get up and sing and will annoy practically everyone by polling them on if he or she should, “just get up there and do it.” Never getting the needed encouragement due to the fact that no one really gives a shit, his or her attention will be turned toward becoming the drunkest person in bar (who didn’t sing).

The one undeniable fact about karaoke is that its huge popularity is owed directly to massive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Without booze, karaoke doesn’t exist.

Quotation: Life is something that happens when you can’t go to sleep. Fran Lebowitz

Tune: On every mix CD I’ve made in the past 5 years, Pinback‘s “Fortress” has eventually made it on to each one of them.

Gallimaufry: Britain’s Got Talent‘s Susan Boyle getting a makeover or Simon Cowell’s response to it? It was a dead heat in the battle of news items I couldn’t care less about…Lollapalooza announced its 2009 lineup. Along with the obvious acts (Depeche Mode, Beastie Boys, Jane’s Addiction), some of the chosen (Band of Horses, The Manchester Orchestra, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird) make me feel like the organizers are purposely trying to get me in Chicago this August 7-9…Only in this day and age can something like a cruise ship fighting off a bunch of Somali pirates be spun as a negative against the good guys.

Incoming: As I wrote last week, I moved this weekend. I’m a little behind in terms of being organized for this week’s posts. Stay tuned for more details.