05.10.11 – a tuesday

word

splenetic [spli-net-ik] adj. 1. of the spleen; splenic 2. irritable; peevish; spiteful 3. Obsolete. affected with, characterized by, or tending to produce melancholy  n. 4. a splenetic person

birthday

John Wilkes Booth (1838), Fred Astaire (1899), David O. Selznick (1902), Donovan (1946), Chris Berman (1955), Mark David Chapman (1956)Sid Vicious (1957), Bono (1962), Young MC (1967), Kenan Thompson (1978)

standpoint

I’ve always been a huge proponent of the way the world has changed since the internet came along. Some people agree with me and deal with me as I go on and on about it. Others don’t and continually ask me to shut the hell up and/or change the damn subject all ready.

I think the internet brings the world together. At least, I’m pretty sure it does. But one thing I’m completely sure about is that the internet is informative. There’s lots of stuff to peruse out there on the information superhighway. (Wow. My auto-correct didn’t give the word “superhighway” one of those squiggly lines it usually does when it can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about. What more evidence could you possibly need? The internet is for real, folks.)

All right, so by now you know I’m digging on the internet and all of its advantages. Well, not all of them. The other day, I heard a story involving Yelp.com that’s making me, someone who’s spent most of my adult life in the restaurant business, reconsider my stance.

Here’s the gist of it: A restaurant receives a superb 3-Bell review from the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Craig LaBan. After reading that, some dude whose Yelp nickname is “Tough Critic” decides to try the place out for himself with his mom and one other person in tow.

“Tough Critic” has obviously been to a few restaurants and maybe even worked in some. He details most every part of his experience, the food, the decor, the clean bathrooms. He even goes so far as to drop the names of the two owners because that’s what you do when you want people to think you’re someone of note.

By his own Yelp review, the guy has a relatively solid experience, giving the place three stars, although he does make sure to mention if he were LaBan (which is probably something this guy routinely fantasizes about), he would have only given 2-Bells to LaBan’s 3-Bells.

Because “Tough Critic” is perturbed with the service he receives from his waiter. He describes his server with statements such like, “not properly trained,” “he just didn’t care,” “huge annoyance,” and, my personal favorite, “knucklehead.” (Also, I actually laughed “Tough Critic” thought it prudent to mention how his mommy started giving the server “the evil eye.”)

After I heard about this review from a fellow service industry employee, and then again after actually reading it, I became increasingly annoyed. Because when assholes like “Tough Critic” submit their clever and narcissistic reviews online, they’re mainly focused on letting everyone know how unhappy they are about how things didn’t go as perfect as they envisioned after reading a food critic’s review. God forbid.  What doesn’t concern these dipshits is that they might actually be screwing around with someone’s life. Restaurant owners, some of them anyway, read online reviews and some of them even act on what is written there.

Even the best of us have bad days at work. To state otherwise is contrary to reason. For those of you who like to give your opinion in one online forum or another, I’m not begrudging you your right to do so. All I’m asking is that you think about the people who might be unfairly effected by the judgment you delve out after a  measly two-hour experience.

(NOTE: I left out some specifics because I am not looking to disparage any establishment or individual.)

quotation

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all. ↔ Oscar Wilde

tune

My friend Tyler told me heard a song on the radio that I might like. And he was right on. Here’s “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People.

gallimaufry

What’s going to be the bigger danger? Terrorist responses to the death of Osama bin Laden? Or the nervous paranoia of the American people? Only time will tell…

→ Aw, come on! I thought these two kids were gonna go the distance.

→ That’s it for today, folks, thanks for reading!

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07.30.09 – Thursday

Word: effete [i-feet] adj. 1. lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent: an effete, overrefined society 2. exhausted of vigor or energy; worn out: an effete political force 3. unable to produce; sterile

Birthday: Samuel Rogers (1783), Emily Brontë (1818), Henry Ford (1863), Casey Stengel (1890), Dick Wilson (1916), Alexander Trocchi (1925), Victor Wong (1927), Sid Krofft (1929), Bud Selig (1934), Buddy Guy (1936), Peter Bogdanovich (1939), Paul Anka (1941), David Sanborn (1945), William Atherton (1947), Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947), Jean Reno (1948), Frank Stallone (1950), Ken Olin (1954), Delta Burke (1956), Anita Hill (1956), Kate Bush (1958), Richard Linklater (1960), Laurence Fishburne (1961), Lisa Kudrow (1963), Vivica A. Fox (1964), Simon Baker (1969), Christopher Nolan (1970), Tom Green (1971), Christine Taylor (1971), Hilary Swank (1974), Jaime  Pressly (1977), Justin Rose (1980)

Quotation: Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad. ♣ Diogenes

Tune: J. Tillman seems like a dude I’d like to know. An accomplished solo artist as well as the drummer for Fleet Foxes, he’s in possession of a pretty great sound. Take a listen to “Someone With Child.”

Gallimaufry: I had one busy night, so I’m going to let you all fish through the headlines and discuss it amongst yourselves. Come back tomorrow for some more.

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.