03.15.10 – A Monday

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word

lachrymose [lak-ruh-mohs] adj. 1. suggestive of or tending to cause tears; mournful 2. given to shedding tears readily; tearful

birthday

Andrew Jackson (1767), Eduard Strauss (1835), Lightnin’ Hopkins (1912), Lawrence Tierney (1919), Cecil Taylor (1929), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933), Judd Hirsch (1935), Jimmy Swaggart (1935), Phil Lesh (1940), Mike Love (1941), Sly Stone (1944), Ry Cooder (1947), Dee Snider (1955), Terence Trent D’Arby (1962), Bret Michaels (1963), Mark McGrath (1968), Mark Hoppus (1972), Eva Longoria (1975), Will.i.am (1975), Joe Hahn (1977), Takeru Kobayashi (1978)

standpoint

Today’s Standpoint is going to be short and sweet.

Over the weekend, I coined a phrase that, I feel, is a surefire bet to find its way into the cultural lexicon.

You’re most likely heard people discussing the latest “It Movie”, the one all the with-it folks are lining up to see, over and over again.

A recent example would be Avatar. Last year, it was The Hangover. But these are not just “It Movies”, they’re “Yet Movies”. Only a short while ago, I was having dinner at my parents’ house, which is something I love to do but don’t do enough, and my mother posed the question, “Joshua, have you seen Avatar yet?” I laughed a little and responded, “I’m trying to get to the theater to see it, but American Idol is on so damn much, frankly, I’m having trouble finding a night to get out of the house.”

Obviously, I was joking. She wasn’t the first person in my life to ask me a similar question. Seeing Avatar hasn’t earned a spot on my top 100 things to do, and sitting through an episode of American Idol will probably never crack the top 500. The phrasing of the question struck me as odd.

It was the last word – YET. “Have you filed your taxes yet?” “Have you taken a shower yet?” “Christ, are you ready yet?” Those are all questions insinuating an action that’ll eventually needed to be completed. As if it’ll only be a matter of time before I’ll be compelled to capitulate. Apparently, it’s such a fantastic film, I’ve got an obligation, as a member of the human race, one day I’ll find myself watching Avatar and, for no other reason than just because.

I don’t mean to pick on Avatar and I patiently listen to those who castigate me for not seeing it, especially since it’s “so kickass” in 3-D. Before we know it, there’s going to be another movie to take its place, one I probably won’t be falling over myself to rush out and see.

And everyone will be asking me, “Dude, why haven’t you seen it yet?” I won’t have a response that’ll ease their uneasiness. But, I might try to make them feel a little better by telling them about that night back in March when I coined the phrase “The Yet Movie.” You heard it here first.

quotation

…And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.Stephen Chbosky

tune

Until recently, Charles Mingus was the most overlooked jazz musician of his time. The guy was both a genius and a mess. His autobiography, Beneath the Underdog: His World As Composed by Mingus,  is still one of the best books I’ve ever read. Lately, when people talk about the big jazz legends, Mingus’ name is being mentioned more and more. And that’s a great thing because, while the guy didn’t receive his due credit during his lifetime, it’s better late than never. Here’s “Myself When I Am Real.” A good title to a great song.

gallimaufry

Back in high school, I pretty much did everything I wasn’t supposed, within reasonable limits. I could’ve easily been one of these kids. Luckily, most of my teachers were men and sleeping with a teacher was at least one thing I spared my parents from having to deal with. And for that,Mom and Dad, you’re welcome.

What a shitty day this lady had. At the completion of her jog, some assjack tried to sexually assault her. She escaped by literally jumping off of a friggin’ cliff. Then the dude takes off on her car. She escaped with minor injuries and she’s okay, but still, she was just trying to get a little exercise. Hey, perverts, in case you’re unaware, I’m here to enlighten you: You suck.

→ I know I’ve plugged these guys before but, the way I see it, there’s nothing stopping me from doing it again, After all, when it comes to the content on this blog, I’m my own boss. (And a good one at that.) If you’re considering getting a tattoo or a body piercing and you’re in the Philadelphia area, the only shop you need consider is Liberty Tattoo in Skippack Village, PA. The folks who run the joint are not only friends of mine but have a fantastic reputation in their line of work. Don’t go anywhere else.

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03.09.10 – A Tuesday

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word

repartee [rep-er-tee, –tey, -ahr-] n. 1. a quick, witty reply 2. conversation full of such replies 3. skill in making such replies

birthday

Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Mickey Spillane (1918), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Robin Trower (1945), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Bobby Sands (1954), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Steve Wilkos (1964), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1973), Thor Halvorssen (1976), Julia Mancuso (1984), Brittany Snow (1986), Bow Wow (1987)

standpoint

Two nights ago, we were all once again treated to the annual hullabaloo that is The Oscars. Lots of us were watching the show. 41.3 million of us. Granted, that’s not even 10% of the United States’ population but it’s still a large group of people, the largest in five years. Whoopdee-doo.

But why were we all watching? I suspect some of you actually watched out of your sheer love for the art of cinema. Or maybe you watched in an attempt to make sure you weren’t the only one in the office the next morning who couldn’t participate in the endless post-Oscar debates and be forced to, like, do work or something. Or maybe you flipped through the channels and happened upon the show and became immediately engaged by the obvious sexual tension between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, this year’s co-hosts. Or maybe you’re like me and you simply watched the damn thing to beleaguer yourself with one of the prime examples of how crappy our culture has become.

I watched it, albeit in my usual offish fashion. But I did notice some amusing peculiarities.

→ In what’s being dubbed a “Kanye Moment,” some woman named Elinor Burkett, apparently one of the producers of  something called Music By Prudence, stormed the stage and stole the allotted speech time from the film’s director, one Roger Ross Williams. Some described it as “uncomfortable to watch.” Uh…all right. Now Burkett has two things in common with Kanye West: They both display an irreverent attitude toward award show decorum, and they both look like dudes.

Neil Patrick Harris needs to pull in the reins a bit. Does the guy know he’s allowed to turn down offers? At this rate, we’re all going to be sick and tired of him sometime later this week. Hey, NPH, maybe just be a homebody for a while, do a crossword puzzle (or maybe you’re a sudoku man, I have no idea) or repaint the living room like you’ve been saying you’re going to since forever. Or, here’s an idea. Maybe watch some television and try to find a channel you won’t see your own face.

Fisher Stevens, the guy who played that goofy scientist in Short Circuit and was in that episode of Friends that time won an Oscar for a documentary that had something to do with dolphins. Johnny Five is indeed alive.

→ Always the cutup, Ben Stiller came onstage to present the award for Best Makeup all done up as a character from Avatar. I thought he looked a lot like what Michael Jackson might’ve looked like twenty years down the road.

→ Throughout the entire show, George Clooney had a look on his face that, I swear, made me think the guy has some sort of beef being stuck in a chair with a camera up his nose for four hours. What’s up with that? Lighten up, buddy, you’ve come a long way since Booker Brooks.

The Hurt Locker won 6 times. Two of them involved sound and were accepted by some guy who looked like a recovering zombie. Also, the lady who directed it won Best Director and Best Film but all anyone wanted to talk about was that she was once married to fellow nominee James Cameron. I was glad she was able to get back at the Academy for what’s still considered one of history’s biggest snubs when it completely ignored Point Break. Not even a courtesy Best Supporting Actor nod to Gary Busey, for crying out loud. But Kathryn Bigelow showed them. Now who’s laughing? Definitely not Busey and, even if he is, he’s laughing about something only he fully understands.

→ I liked that thing they do when 5 actors get up on stage and say something seemingly heartfelt and ostensibly accurate about the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. Oprah Winfrey spoke about Gabourey Sidibe from Precious in the way she does about everything. No matter what Oprah’s prattling on about, she’s really just talking about herself. Sidibe probably didn’t care as she was most likely couldn’t stop thinking about hunky Gerard Butler, who she met and delivered the proposition, “Let’s grab a bottle of champagne and see where the night goes!” Later, she told more than one reporter, in regards to her attraction to Butler, “I’d hit that.” Whatever happened to playing hard to get? Gabourey, it’s all about the hunt and the chase. Don’t just throw it out there.

→ One of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges won for Best Actor. Of all the movies mentioned during the show, Crazy Heart was one of two I’d actually seen. (Star Trek was the other.) Kudos to Bridges, by the way, who, in giving his acceptance speech, contributed yet another item to the long list every stoner keeps of shit you can still do when you’re high.

Overall, I enjoyed watching The Oscars. I might even watch next year. Hell, I might even get out there and see some relevant movies for a change. Who knows?

quotation

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.  From each of them goes out its own voice… and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.Gilbert Highet

tune

Sometimes, I’m resistant to things for no good reason. What can I say? I’m hardheaded. You love that about me, by the way. In any case, my wonderful girlfriend asked me to watch the new OK Go video about five times before I had the good judgment to trust her. I learned an important relationship lesson: Believe her when she tells me I’m definitely going to like something she’s sent me. (Five times.) Not only did I realize that (a) I like OK Go and, as is the case from time to time, I miss out on good music due to a some sort of stigma I’ve created out of thin air, and (b) I can’t ascertain how I’ve managed to escape the incredible ingenuity of Rube Goldberg Machines. They’re absolutely fucking nuts. Here’s the new OK Go offering titled “This Too Shall Pass.”

And if you suddenly find yourself yearning for some more Rube Goldberg Machine videos, worry not, I’m happy to provide them. Check these out.

gallimaufry

Reunited and it feels so good. T.O. and D-Nabb put aside their differences for (What else?) money. Poor Antonio Gates, stuck with those two as teammates.

→ Some may argue that Facebook made this possible. I’d say FB made it easier would be more accurate.

→ I didn’t need another reason not to vacation in balmy Alaska. But I got one anyway.