12.08.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

phlegmatic [fleg-mat-ik] adj. 1. not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish 2. self-possessed, calm, or composed 3. of the nature of or abounding in the humor phlegm

BIRTHDAY

Horace (65 BC), Mary Queen of Scots (1542), William C. Durant (1861), Diego Rivera (1886), Sammy Davis Jr. (1925), Jimmy Smith (1925), Flip Wilson (1933), David Carradine (1936), Jim Morrison (1943), Gregg Allman (1947), Gérard Blanc (1947), Bill Bryson (1951), Kim Basinger (1953), Roy Firestone (1953), Sam Kinison (1953), Ann Coulter (1961), Greg Howe (1963), Teri Hatcher (1964), Sinéad O’Connor (1966), Dominic Monaghan (1976)

STANDPOINT

Last night, I watched Allen Iverson’s triumphant return to the Philadelphia 76ers. OK. Well. I watched about 15 minutes of it until I turned on the ultimately disappointing Flyers-Canadiens game.

But, arguably, I watched the most important part of the Sixers-Nuggets game: the introductory hoopla. Philadelphia, a city that three years ago was collectively shoving Iverson out of town, welcomed him home like no one ever wanted him to go anywhere.

The Wachovia Center was sold-out for a basketball game for the first time this year. Actually, the entire crowd last night almost doubled the total sum of the first eight home games. The starting lineup announcements were conducted in a way a 5-15 team, under any other circumstances, could never gotten away with. After being introduced, Iverson ran out to the 76ers logo at half-court, kneeled down and kissed it. (The crowd cheered like that was totally normal.) 

Iverson seemed truly happy. And I, for one, was truly happy for him. I never disliked the guy. I was always in his corner and have been a huge supporter of his return to Philadelphia.

I’ve had about 349 conversations about Iverson since he left town. Each and every time, I was told I was wrong. He was a poison. He was a selfish player. He was a thug. He had to go.

While I never subscribed the above statements, I always granted them creedence. I figured everyone hated Iverson because he was an asshole. Also, I was pretty sure I liked him for the same exact reason.

What I’m having trouble digesting is why,all of a sudden, everyone gives a shit about (a) the Sixers, and (b) Iverson himself.

I need to collect my thoughts on this one. TO BE CONTINUED.

In the meantime, what’s your take?  

QUOTATION

I used to be friends with Miles Davis. He didn’t like many folks. I lived across the street from him. He would call me up sometimes — “I got some fish I wanna cook up for ya.” I went up there, and he was on a couch, looking out the window. He was just rapt. I said, “What’re you watching, Miles?” He said, “The traffic. Where are all these motherfuckers goin’?”Rip Torn

TUNE

In the interest of getting to know someone better, I’ve recently been exposed to more Belle and Sebastian. I was told by that someone “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying” is the band’s best song. Turned out to be the truth.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ After being complete cocks about music piracy and crying about how much money they were losing, it turns out the major record labels (Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal) have been doing a little looting of their own. Justice? Maybe. Well, probably.   

→ While I’m of the opinion most people are complete dolts and unknowingly ruining society, there’s an awful, evil flipside. It appears there are enough smart individuals out there doing what they can to not be outdone by the morons. Case in point? This whole Miranda nonsense in The Supreme Court.

→ While I love to point out the inane crap dominating the media these days, I have an actual pleasure when I read some genuinely good news. Drunk driving deaths in the US are, statistically, on a downward turn. Good job, nitwits. I’m pleased some of you might be coming to your senses.

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04.17.09 – Friday

Word: quixotic [kwik-sot-ik] adj. 1. (sometimes initial capital letter) resembling or befitting Don Quixote 2. extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical or impracticable 3. impulsive or rashly unpredictable

Birthday: J.P. Morgan (1837), Thornton Wilder (1897), Harry Reasoner (1923), Jan Hammer (1948), Rowdy Roddy Piper (1954), Michael Sembello (1954), Nick Hornby (1957), Maynard James Keenan (1964), Liz Phair (1967), Redman (1970), Jennifer Garner (1972), Victoria Beckham (1974)

Occurence: 1790 – In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin passes away at the age of 84.

Standpoint: In doing my daily research for this blog, I come across a lot of the same names. Some of these names I would prefer to never hear again. So, I decided to make a list of 5 People I Would Like To See Move To Another Planet. Here’s the first five people (in no particular order) I’d like to put on a vessel headed for another planet and what I’d say to them before I kicked them inside and sealed the hatch.

  • Glenn BeckFOX News Talk Show Host – “I’m sorry, Mr. Beck, but we just don’t need people like you anymore. Once upon a time, we liked it when our TV personalities stirred up the pot and whipped people into a frenzy for no good reason . It was fun to watch. But now, the stakes are too high. I’m afraid we need responsible broadcasting in this day and age. I know what you’re going to say. FOX News will just put someone else in your place. But we’ve all got our fingers crossed that person will be a little smarter and not half as loud. Here’s to hoping.”
  • Miley CyrusTeenage Music and Movie Superstar – “This is really delaying the inevitable, Miss Cyrus. In a couple of years, you won’t be famous anymore and no one will care where you are. So you might as well be on another planet. Maybe there, you can get a fresh start and actually make something of yourself without your dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. We know this will probably break his (achy-breaky) heart, but we’re looking to do what is best for everyone. We’ve packed your Radiohead CDs for the trip. Enjoy.”
  • Tom GreenInternet Talk Show Host – “Mr. Green, I’ve watched your internet talk show. You don’t seem as annoying as you did on MTV, a few years back. You were doing fine, conducting harmless interviews with Andrew “Dice” Clay, Kathy Griffin and other inconsequential celebrities. But you got greedy. You went on “Celebrity Apprentice” and reminded us that you are someone whose only comedic value rests in your ability to annoy. We’ve had enough.”
  • Paris HiltonHotel Heiress – “Miss Hilton, you’re innocuous enough. You seem to enjoy dabbling in all sorts of stuff. Music, television, fragrances. It appears you have a wide array of interests. We’re not sure how you became famous or even how you’ve managed to stay that way. Sadly, this might not even be your own doing. But we gotta get rid of you. There’s just too many people who care about your activities and we have to make you disappear so that those people can do more productive things with their time. Like monitor the Ashton Kutcher-CNN Twitter race.” [Note: The race is over. Ashton Kutcher won.]
  • MadonnaInternational Music Superstar –  “Hey, Madonna, you had a good run. But when you’re a younger woman and you want to, say, adopt a kid from a third-world country, we think you’re doing a great thing. When you’re your age and you seem to be amassing kids for no good reason, we think you’re creepy. We just wanted you to tour once in a while and sing ‘Material Girl’ and other former hits from your impressive catalog.  But you’ve pushed us too far. Don’t worry about your babies. We’re taking them over to Angelina Jolie‘s.”

Weekend: Each Friday, I’ll give you the 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of things to do in Philadelphia this weekend as if it’s your last. 

  • Today (04.17) –  3 Dollar Dance PartyWorld Cafe Live – Described as “an up and coming dance party made for everyone regardless of race, sexuality or background.” Since I’ve lost all the weight (50lbs. in the past year), I’ve noticed that I’m not a half-bad dancer. I’m not skilled, but I’m certainly not a liabilty out on the dance floor. And it sounds like it would be a cool crowd. Time: 11pm
  • Saturday (04.18) – Fresh Fish 2.0 Ten Minute Play FestivalWalking Fish Theatre – Often, people say, “Finally! Something for the A.D.D. crowd!” Well, in this instance, it’s kind of true. Brought to you by B. Somebody Productions, Fresh Fish 2.0 boasts “eight different plays with eight different directors and loads of different actors.” Time: 8pm
  • Sunday (04.19) – Cezanne and BeyondPhiladelphia Art Museum – A large collection (40 paintings and 20 watercolors) are showcased “alongside works by several artists for whom Cezanne has been a central inspiration and whose work reflects , both visually and poetically, Cezanne’s extraordinary legacy.” This exhibit is running through May 31st, so you’ve got some time. But why wait? Time: All Day

Quotation: Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless Bill Watterson

Tune: Yesterday, I asked my friend Ezgi to name her favorite song in heavy rotation right now. She replied, “‘Stars of Track and Field’ by Belle and Sebastian.” Take a listen.

Gallimaufry: In Philadelphia, it will soon become  illegal to use your cell phone while operating anything on wheels. Now what will all the drivers in front of me to occupy their time while they go 5mph in a 35mph zone? Ah, why am I worried? I’m sure they’ll figure something out…I’m pleased to say that I’ve discovered the reason reality television was invented. Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy from TV’s “The Cosby Show”) is finally getting her own reality show. My only question: What took so long?…After three decades, John Madden is calling it quits. The NFL announcer is retiring to spend more time with his family.

Incoming: Next week’s posts will include my Best One-Word Movie Titles, more Annoying Sayings & Misused Words, and some other great stuff. This was the best week so far for this fledgling blog and that’s mainly due to all of the reader participation I’ve received through comments left here, personal emails and all the involvement on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading this week. Come back Monday for some more.