06.05.09 – Friday

Word: ersatz [er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, –sahts] adj. 1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain n. 2. an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute

Birthday: Thomas Chippendale (1708), Pat Garrett (1850), Pancho Villa (1878), John Maynard Keynes (1883), Salvatore Ferragamo (1898), Richard Scarry (1919), Spalding Gray (1941), Ken Follett (1949), Suze Orman (1951), Richard Butler (1956), Kenny G (1956), Jeff Garlin (1962), Ron Livingston (1967), Brian McKnight (1969), Mark Wahlberg (1971), Chuck Klosterman (1972), Pete Wentz (1979)

Quotation: I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!Dr. Seuss

Tune: Ever watch the great old comedy sketch show The Kids In The Hall and wonder who did the theme song? The band is Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and the song is called “Having an Average Weekend.”

Gallimaufry: With President Obama in the White House and most everyone pissed at California over Proposition 8, it’s easy to look at our country and decide it’s moving in the right direction. Enter Ken Pagano, pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky. This June 27th, Pagano is inviting his congregation to attend services with their firearms, “to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.” Says the ex-Marine-and-one-time-handgun-instructor-turned-pastor, “We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation. And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn’t be here.” No loaded guns will be allowed in the church. In addition to bringing firearms, Pagano is asking attendees to bring a canned good and a friend. I mean, it’s only Kentucky, but still. It’s 2009, jackass. For the record, Sonia Sotomayor’s “Wise Latina” comment is no different than Sarah Palin’s comparing hockey moms to pitbulls. But no one, including the idiots over at FOX News, are going to make the connection. The Supreme Court nominee was referring to a group of women who make up a large portion of the nation’s population, while Palin was talking about a group of women in Alaska who don’t represent enough people to fill up The Rose Bowl. (That may or may not be true.) Both women were making their comments in jest. In the grand scheme of things, I’m guessing Alaskan hockey moms are considered a bit more innocuous than Latina women. Just a hunch. Sitting out in the sun for extended periods of time, getting high and drunk with your closest friends and listening to dozens of popular bands is every American’s right. At least it should be. The warm weather invading us right now means only one thing – it’s Summer Concert Festival Season. Check out Pitchfork’s comprehensive guide to this year’s opportunities to pass out on a stranger’s blanket by mid-afternoon.

Incoming: I know I promised some thoughts about Arthur Kade (I’ve grilled my considerable group of contacts for this one and unearthed some great stuff.) and movie remakes, as well as 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead, but as they say, life got in the way. I’ll be working on all those for the beginning of next week. Also, for everyone attending this weekend’s TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship (What happened to simply calling it “The Bike Race?”), make sure to stay hydrated and have some fun. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be making my annual appearance as of yet, but if I do, I’ll make sure to say hello.

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06.04.09 – Thursday

Word: descry [di-skrahy] v. 1. to see (something unclear or distant) by looking carefully; discern; espy: The lookout descried land. 2. to discover; perceive; detect

Birthday: Benjamin Huntsman (1704), Apollon Maykov (1821), Dennis Weaver (1924), Morgana King (1930), John Drew Barrymore (1932), Bruce Dern (1936), Freddy Fender (1937), Gorilla Monsoon (1937), Parker Stevenson (1952), Keith David (1956), Scott Wolf (1968), Al B. Sure (1968), Horatio Sanz (1969), Noah Wyle (1971), Stefan Lessard (1974), Russell Brand (1975), Angelina Jolie (1975)

Quotation: Smile, breathe and go slowly. Thich Nhat Hanh

Tune: Just got the new Manchester Orchestra album, Mean Everything to Nothing. Take a listen to the first single “I’ve Got Friends.”

Gallimaufry: The quest to find the biggest asshole on the planet is officially over. His name is Arthur Kade and he’s from Philadelphia. Sort of a half-assed Tucker Max, Kade has created a blog detailing “The Journey” – he sold his financial planning practice to pursue a professional acting career. He’s a perfect example of how certain people can get what they want in this world without understanding much of possibly anything. I’ll have more on this dude coming soon. I just wanted to give you a little taste.  Sometimes (only sometimes) when I’m eating ice cream I think to myself that I wish it were actually pudding. Um, you think that too sometimes, right? Anyway, the fine people at Coldstone Creamery must have been reading my mind. Introducing ice cream that doesn’t melt – it turns into JELL-O Pudding. The next time you crave some after-dinner sweet, this will eliminate the stress of making an almost impossible decision. Ice cream of pudding?  Turns out the two dessert juggernauts have teamed up to make the world’s most indestructible treat. Crafty bastards. One thing I think you and I might agree on is Hulu is pretty damn sweet. High quality TV shows and movies for free? Who wouldn’t like that? No one, that’s who. Well, it might not be free for very long. News Corp., the company that owns Hulu, has appointed a new chief digital officer. Apparently, he thinks it might be more financially viable to charge for Hulu’s content. Here’s hoping he comes to his senses.

Incoming: The week is almost over and I’ve still more almost ready to go. I’m definitely going to unleash a little something about this Arthur Kade fellow. It just wouldn’t be right if I let it go by the wayside. Also, I’ve got some thoughts I’d like to share about all the movie remaking going on in Hollywood right now. And, of course, 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead, which will be expanded a little in keeping with the new format.