March 28th, 2012

word

chelonian [ki-loh-nee-uhn] 1. adj. belonging or pertaining to the order Chelonia, comprising the turtles 2. n. a turtle

birthday

Dianne Wiest (1948), Reba McEntire (1955), Vince Vaughn (1970), Nick Frost (1972), Julia Stiles (1981), Lady Gaga (1986),

standpoint

The Trayvon Martin case is a true tragedy. And, like everything that happens these days in this country, it’s become so mired in ridiculous details that it’ll most likely never arrive at a proper resolution.

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far:

(1) Martin was walking down the street, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and in possession of both a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea when George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, started following him.

(2) After just a few minutes, Martin was dead, apparently shot by Zimmerman, who, according the guidelines set forth by the national Neighborhood Watch, shouldn’t have been armed while on patrol.

(3) The police arrived to find Zimmerman with a bloody nose and minor head wound, standing over Martin’s body. He stated he killed Martin in self-defense. The police believed him and he’s free to go.

Those are the only things I know to be undeniably true about the actual event. The rest of it is mostly just fodder for those who feel turning a tragedy into a nationwide debate, while dragging all involved through mud, is a good way to kill time and push a particular political agenda.

Yes, Trayvon Martin was suspended from school three times. Yes, he was found at one time or another to be in possession of marijuana. So what? He made some bad decisions. He was 17. And how many other 17 year olds are out there making bad decisions? The answer is mostly all of them.

Yes, Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie. Is this really something we’re talking about? I wear hoodies quite often. But I’m going to climb out on a limb here and say that if George Zimmerman saw a white, 37 year old male walking down his street donning a hooded sweatshirt, he probably wouldn’t have decided to follow me. The whole hoodie aspect is asinine.

Yes, every politician and activist in the country has made a comment on this tragedy. And the way this country is nowadays, no one can say anything right at any time. Because, no matter what anyone says, there’s a large group of people who are ready to pile on. But politicians can’t simply decline to comment on any issue and so they’re forced to perpetually piss off lots of people. And we wonder why no one of merit is stepping up to run for public office in this country.

Bottom line is this: Zimmerman shot Martin. Let him stand trial for it.

quotation

Genius ain’t anything more than elegant common sense. ↔ Josh Billings

tune

Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That” being covered by Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers as they’re driving around in a van? Yes! That does sound good!

gallimaufry

Stupid people apparently love other stupid people.

How could being in 3-D possibly make Titanic better? Unless a giant pair of hands come out of the screen and put me out of my misery by choking the life out of me, there’s simply no way.

NHL hockey continues to be one of the least popular sports in our country. But John Buccigross wants you to reconsider your opinion.

January 19th, 2012

word

swivet [swiv-it] n. a state of nervous excitement, haste or anxiety; flutter: I was in such a swivet that I could hardly speak.

birthday

Due to yesterday’s Wikipedia blackout over SOPA and PIPA, I won’t be providing people’s birthdays today. Yeah, government is rocking it.

standpoint

So I haven’t been posting. I don’t really have an excuse worth submitting.

Also, I don’t really have a clear standpoint today. But I’m going to share some thoughts I’ve been having and you can deem them a waste of your time or not and let me know after you’re done.

→ The GOP Presidential candidates. Shit. You guys made a huge fucking mistake when you ceased being fun. Bring back Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann because the rest of you guys are sort of hateful and boring. And, c’mon, it’s gonna be Romney. And he’s gonna lose to Obama. And everyone’s gonna spend four more years bitching. I think this is something that, besides those of you who are hoping against hope, we should all just agree on.

→ On a side note, if you GOP clowns are looking to actually back someone I’d be interested in your bringing your very own Jimmy McMillan into these debates. An “exquisitely bearded 64-year old ex-postal worker” who “is no stranger to controversies?” The American public deserves to know more.

Rick Santorum is actually still in the race. Seriously? What the fuck, people? Are there still people out there who believe in what Santorum has to say? Thinly veiled racist and homophobic statements? Rick Santorum embodies the exact opposite direction this country needs to go in. If you disagree with me on that, I encourage you to drive off a fucking bridge. Seriously. If you even know how to use the internet, click on Google Maps, find the nearest bridge and step on the gas pedal. (And, Fox News has once again nailed it right on the head with this superb article that means absolutely nothing to anyone. Great job, Dan Gainor.) See what I did there with all the links? Pretty clever, right? Here’s another.

→ On a lighter note, I think I’m finally coming around to The Office without Steve Carell. Maybe I should’ve put that one first.

quotation

What other people think of me is none of my business. ↔ Gary Oldman

tune

If shown this video to about a dozen people and about eleven of them loved. (The one exception was my good friend Joe who wondered if there was something wrong with me.) Joe’s objections aside, I think this song, and accompanying video is one of the best things I’ve heard in quite some time. Here’s “Losers” from The Belle Brigade.

gallimaufry

→ I wonder if, because of all this social networking, celebrities get pissed at each other when shit like this happens. Will Peyton Manning say something to Rob Lowe the next time their paths cross?

→ Yesterday, while painting a hallway, I listened to NPR’s interview with Nicholas Money and everything he had to say about mushrooms. It didn’t strike me until I was writing this that Samantha and I struggled over which mushroom pizza to order last night at Arpeggio’s. I guess Mr. Money’s description of various fungi didn’t make a dent. Also, if you’re thinking about dining at Arpeggio’s, seriously consider take-out. I’ve gotten better service at 3am from a strung-out diner waitress. Food was good, though.

→ Hey, if Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia says he “tripped” into a lifeboat, than I’m gonna take his word for it. I mean, it’s just too awful an excuse to not be true.

06.15.11 – a wednesday

word

betide [bih-tahyd] v. 1. to happen to; come to; befall: Woe betide the villain! 2. to happen; come to pass: Whatever betides, maintain your courage

birthday

Sam Giancana (1908), Mario Cuomo (1932), Waylon Jennings (1937), Harry Nilsson (1941), Simon Callow (1949), Jim Varney (1949), James Belushi (1954), Julie Hagerty (1955), Helen Hunt (1963), Courteney Cox (1964), Ice Cube (1969), Leah Remini (1970), Neil Patrick Harris (1973)

standpoint

Let’s face it, there’s only so many reruns one can watch before looking elsewhere for entertainment. Two nights ago, I was ready to watch Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals but lost interest midway through the first period when it became clear only one team, the Boston Bruins, came to play.

So I turned on the CNN Republican Debate and I actually learned a few things. First, apparently people participating in debates don’t actually have to answer the question posed to them. Instead, they answer some imaginary question they would’ve have preferred to be asked. Second, Republicans, at least the seven gathered on that stage in New Hampshire, absolutely fucking hate Barack Obama. If you went by what they were saying, he can barely go to the bathroom by himself. Third, all the candidates love to make babies. Also, they love to brag about it. Fourth and last thing I learned is that everyone of them despises homosexuals.

Granted, I’m no political analyst. Normally, I steer clear of the whole arena because political arguments are, to me at least, exercises in futility usually won by simpletons with tunnel vision and booming voices. “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” Plato wrote that.

But I am going to weigh in on the good folks who took the stage for last night’s “debate” which in the end turned out to be more of a meet-and-greet with the American public. Here are the unique impressions each one left on me.

Rick Santorum – This dude is pretty much my worst nightmare to be stuck in a room with. The only thing this clown loves more than God is himself.

Michele Bachmann – From everything I’d heard about this woman, I was expecting her to say plenty of inane crap. But she didn’t. She’s either extremely coachable or not as dumb as everyone thinks.

Newt Gingrich – Don’t take this hombre lightly. His campaign may appear as if it’s run by high school stoners but he’s got words at his disposal. They’re the words of a douche but still.

Mitt Romney – I gather that he is the front runner. He sure acted like it. He didn’t have much to say but, damn, he sure looked presidential. Really great head of hair.

Ron Paul – I’d like to have a couple of drinks with this dude. So off-the-wall, he’s harmless but interesting. Reminded me of Elmer Fudd if he’d solved the speech problem and became intensely religious and political.

Tim Pawlenty – This guy showed everyone he can back down from a statement he made just 24 hours earlier with the best of them. A true politician.

Herman Cain – CEO of Godfather’s Pizza? Never heard of it. But if this guy is running for president, how insanely tasty must that pizza be? The only other time I’ve heard of him was when he was ranting about Obama being from Kenya. I definitely want to try that pizza.

All in all, the debate was modern day media at its finest with one enormous grapefruit being lobbed after the other. Bottom line? I understand the economy is in disarray but I can’t get behind anyone who blathers on and on about outmoded religious morays while simultaneously displaying such disdain for individuals who don’t fit into their accepted ideals of normalcy. I can’t advocate prosperity built on meaningless hatred. If that makes me unworldly or foolish or wide-eyed, I can live with that.

quotation

There’s an old saying that God exists in your search for him. I just want you to understand that I ain’t looking ↔ Leslie Nielsen

tune

It’s taken me a little bit of time to get around to listen to TV On The Radio‘s latest album, Nine Types of Light. (Once again recommended to me by my roommate Dan.) I like the first song on the album which is cleverly called “Second Song.”

gallimaufry

I found slicingupeyeballs.com by accident and I still haven’t gone through it but the Pixies‘ lyrical reference is enough for me to take it seriously.

→ I support John Kasich’s move here. It seems the governor of Ohio’s got a sense of humor.

Am I supposed to feel bad for this guy? Come on.

05.19.11 – a thursday

word

orotund [awruh-tuhnd, ohr-] adj. 1. (of the voice or speech) characterized by strength, fullness, richness and clearness 2. (of the style of speaking) pompous or bombastic

birthday

Johns Hopkins (1795), Hô Chí Minh (1890), Malcolm X (1925), Pol Pot (1925), Pete Townshend (1945), André the Giant (1946), Joey Ramone (1951)

standpoint

Today, I’m doing some not-at-all-shameless promotion for someone who richly deserves it: my friend Marc Schuster.

Not only is Marc a superb individual, he is a fantastic writer. He’s just released a new (“blue”) edition of his book, The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl. Click here and buy it. And then tell all of your friends about it in whichever way you know how.

quotation

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. ↔ Kahlil Gibran

tune

I love this one by The Chemical Brothers featuring Beth Orton on vocals. “Where Do I Begin.”

gallimaufry

If you’re Barack Obama or one of his people, why would you even bother with this nonsense? Come one, dude, you’re better than that.

Glitter bombs away! Some pundits are coming out and calling this classless. Oh, now we’re being classy? I must’ve accidentally deleted the email.

→ It’ll probably cost me my job and at least a few dozen friends, but I’m competing in this thing next year.

05.02.11 – a monday

word

aplomb [uhplom, uhpluhm] n. 1. imperturbably self-possession, poise or assurance 2. the perpendicular, or vertical, position

birthday

Benjamin Spock (1903), Engelbert Humperdinck (1936), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (1972), David Beckham (1975), Lily Allen (1985)

standpoint

Osama bin Laden  was killed yesterday, roughly ten years after the tragedy of 9/11.

Long story short, someone found out that the douchebag was holed up in some Pakistani mansion, a special forces unit was sent in and, shortly thereafter, he died because that’s pretty much the only option when a bunch of guys are riddling you with bullets.

(I like to think the unit resembled the one from Predator but without Carl Weathers’ character because that dude had his own agenda and a disruptive one at that.) 

President Obama addressed the nation late last night and said all of the right things but there was definitely a look in his eyes that said, “Have some, Trump.”

To say that the killing of bin Laden is huge is a monumental understatement. People around the world have been calling for the asshole’s head ever since he decided it would be amusing to murder a couple thousand people because his outdated culture/religion just wasn’t holding people’s attention the way it once had. It’s against my nature and it feels callous typing this but if anyone deserved to be shot a whole bunch of times, it was Osama bin Laden. He simply needed to go.

Lastly, I’m curious to see, in the week to come, how our completely misguided society and its dreadful “media” are going to spin this in a way that makes the killing of bin Laden, something that every red-blooded human has been demanding, into some sort of political maneuvering on the part of Obama. Oh, it’s coming. And it’s going to be pretty nauseating.

quotation

It’s an amazing disappointing realization to know just how thoughtless and insensitive to other human beings we can so simply and predictably be programmed to be. ↔ David Cross

tune

Sometimes I fall asleep with the television on. I’m human, it’s true. The other morning I woke up and the show Yes, Dear was on and John Hiatt was making a cameo, I guess, singing some nonsense song called “Things I Think About At Work.” I wish it was a real Hiatt tune because it was pretty damn catchy. I’ve been singing it in my head ever since. Occasionally, it’s the simple things, no?

gallimaufry

An hour after the death of bin Laden, Google’s all ready on top of it. Love it.

→ I’m not too proud to say that I got a little choked up watching Steve Carell’s final appearance (for now) on The Office. Judge me if you’d like. I’m completely comfortable with my sentimentality.

Fast Five made $83.6 million at the box office this weekend. Come on, people, we’re better than this.

04.28.11 – a thursday

word

affray [uhfrey] n. 1. a public fight; a noisy quarrel; brawl 2. Law. the fighting of two or more persons in a public place

birthday

James Monroe (1758), Lionel Barrymore (1878), Harper Lee (1926), Saddam Hussein (1937), Ann-Margret (1941), Bruno Kirby (1949), Jay Leno (1950), Penélope Cruz (1974), Jessica Alba (1981)

standpoint

Today, I’m not pissed about much at all, oddly enough. I was emailing back and forth with a friend of mine last night and we were talking photography so, instead of ranting, I thought I would share some photos I’ve taken in the past few months. Hope you like them.

up close shot of my bonzai jade plant

cloudy sky from my street

gray morning sky

snowy night

someday this will all be the road...

quotation

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through the snow. ↔ Jeff Valdez

tune

Think you might be dead inside but you’re not really sure? Listen to “Daisy” by Fang Island and if you don’t feel the urge to tap your feet or at least a finger, you’ve proved it.

gallimaufry

Will everyone just please shut the hell up about this now? The guy’s an American citizen. Let’s move on.

I rarely go all mushy-gushy on here but if you don’t think this is the cutest freaking animal on the planet, I pretty sure I don’t want to be your friend.

Here we go again. Flyers-Bruins in the semifinals. It doesn’t get any easier. 

04.05.11 – a tuesday

word

bibulous [bib-yuh-luhs] adj. 1. fond of or addicted to drink 2. absorbent; spongy

birthday

Thomas Hobbes (1588), Booker T. Washington (1856), Spencer Tracy (1900), Bette Davis (1908), Gregory Peck (1916), Colin Powell (1937), Christopher “Kid” Reid (1964), Mike McCready (1966)

standpoint

One thing about me that is I love it when I get into a conversation with someone who just won’t shut the hell up about Kurt Cobain.

You’ve probably run into one or two in your travels. They’re easy to spot. Mainly, they’re sullen dudes in their 30s or early 40s who have an absolute disdain for any new music unless it’s on vinyl and, somehow, Ben Gibbard is involved.

Personally, I think Cobain was an overrated mess who did more to hinder the progression of music than further it. If he hadn’t offed himself with a shotgun, he would’ve continued to front Nirvana as it released one album after another until everybody ceased to care. Such is the cycle of music and life.

But, no, Cobain committed suicide one afternoon because he was just so fucking tortured and couldn’t make sense of it all. So, instead of grunge quietly exiting the conscious mainstream, taking it’s place in the graveyard of genres past and allowing music to take the next logical step, we were treated to a holding pattern for about ten years.

It royally sucked. Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Rage Against The Machine and all of the combinations of members those bands could think of, dominated the airwaves for a long time. Nothing new was proffered. Just endless ridiculousness as one song was played over and over, disguised with another angst-riddled title.

Meanwhile, Pearl Jam, the one band that possessed the qualities to emerge from the grunge fiasco and actually contribute something viable, well, Eddie Vedder lost his shit and I don’t think he’s coming back.

Every all-time rock list or countdown or whatever is considered bullshit if Cobain isn’t prominently featured and given his “due.” If you don’t like Nirvana, you might as well simultaneously piss on the graves of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

After the Beatles broke up, Paul, John, George and Ringo all went on to do their own thing which was pretty much trying to create Beatles’ tunes without actually being the Beatles. Same thing with The Police. The Pixies. The Talking Heads. Even N.W.A.

So whenever I’ve come into contact with one of the mindless automatons who love to lecture about the significance of Cobain and blah blah blah, I always ask this two-part question: If it was all so relevant then why, after Cobain’s demise, did drummer Dave Grohl go on to create Foo Fighters, a band that Nirvana fans would inherently dislike, and bassist Krist Novoselic turn away from the music business entirely?

Answer me that.

quotation

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. ↔ Wallace Stevens

tune

I have been to more Phish concerts (21) than any other band. I don’t actually like Phish all that much but they do have some badass tunes. Like this one, “You Enjoy Myself.”

gallimaufry

This April 16th is Record Store Day. I’ve just realized this has been a music-heavy post.

→ I feel at peace with the world when there’s a Broadway musical that costs $1 million per week to produce. But that’s just me. I’m a sucker for quality theater, you know?

→ Do me a favor. Read this nonsense and tell me how it differs from some NFL sportscasters discussing their “Keys To The Game.”