03.21.11 – a monday

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word

insipid [in-sip-id] adj. 1. without distinctive, interesting or stimulating qualities; vapid: an insipid personality 2. without sufficient taste to be pleasing, as food or drink; bland: a rather insipid soup

birthday

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), Pierre Renoir (1885), Julio Gallo (1910), Russ Meyer (1922), Solomon Burke (1940), Timothy Dalton (1946), Eddie Money (1949), Gary Oldman (1958), Matthew Broderick (1962), Rosie O’Donnell (1962), Rhys Darby (1974)

standpoint

Starting a new kind of installment this fine Monday. I’m calling it Please Stop Talking! Basically, it’s a laundry list of individuals or groups of individuals whose mouths should be sewn shut.

All of you fantastic Americans who are griping about how we shouldn’t be “wasting our money” helping the people of Japan when there’s “people in this country suffering.” How exactly are you helping out here at home? Oh, you’re not?

→  Everyone who’s got some flippant remark about the tragedy in Japan. Especially those who reference “sushi” or “karaoke” or something equally clever. There are real people over there, dipshits.

Charlie Sheen. For the absolute love of god, Charlie Sheen.

Staunch Republicans. Also, staunch Democrats. In addition, anyone entertaining the idea of becoming a staunch Republican or Democrat. Simmer down. There’s some of us doing some actual thinking. We’ll let you know how it turns out.

Those of you who think you’re somehow more enlightened than the rest of us and are just dying to tell the world all about your take on things. Before you get started, you need to know you’re wrong and you always will be.

Seth Rogen. You’re hapless and go-lucky. You smoke pot and watch porn. You continue to fall ass-backwards into an increasingly charming fate. We get it. We’re over it. Your turn.

quotation

I’m going to simultaneously record an album, direct a movie, and write a novel about how living in suburbia is satisfying and terrific. ↔ Chuck Klosterman

tune

All you hipsters out there can say what you want about Ben Folds. I’ll admit, he’s lost a step in his past few albums or so but the guy is a consummate performer and puts on one hell of a show. Check out this video and, hopefully, you’ll see what I mean.

gallimaufry

Hey, Bret Michaels, thanks for sharing. How are you still valid? Please explain.

→ I’m sure it’s going to make my good friend Joe Taylor’s day when I state the following: I’m actually watching some college hoops this time around, something that, more than once, I’ve publicly proclaimed I would never do. Still not going to link to it on my blog. I’m sure they’ll be fine without my traffic.

→ Love this headline: “Pentagon: Gadhafi forces in disarray after assault.” You think? After “missions that used stealth B-2 bombers, jet fighters, more than 120 Tomahawk cruise missiles and other high-tech weapons,” I’d be psyched if I was Gadhafi to be in “disarray.” It’s how I spent most of my twenties and early thirties. Truthfully, it wasn’t that bad. On a side note, can we get a ruling on how to actually spell the dude’s name? Does it actually start with a “G?” Or is it a “Q?” Wasn’t there a “u” in there at some point? I understand we’re dealing with different alphabets here but, before we move forward with “Operation: Disarray,” let’s nail it down. We’re better than this, people.

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04.06.10 – A Tuesday

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word

sojourn [n. soh-jurn; v. soh-jurn, soh-jurn] n. 1. a temporary stay: during his sojourn in Paris v. 2. to stay for a time in a place; live temporarily: to sojourn on the Riviera for two months

birthday

Raphael (1483), Jean-Baptiste Rousseau (1671), Pasquale Paoli (1725), James Mill (1773), Gerry Mulligan (1927), Merle Haggard (1937), Billy Dee Williams (1937), Barry Levinson (1942), John Ratzenberger (1947), Marilu Henner (1952), Michael Rooker (1955), John Pizzarelli (1960), Frank Black (1965), Jonathan Firth (1967), Paul Rudd (1969), Zach Braff (1975), Candace Cameron (1976)

standpoint

Ah, the end of an era. Capitulating to the wishes of the majority of its fans, the Philadelphia Eagles finally traded longtime quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a second-round draft pick this year and a conditional one next year.

True to their nature, Philadelphia sports enthusiasts, given exactly what they wanted, began to grumble. Did the Eagles get enough for McNabb? Will Kevin Kolb be the starter some think he can be or will he be the next Bobby Hoying? Why would the two teams make the deal on the eve of MLB’s Opening Day, one when the two cities’ baseball counterparts, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals, were set to square off?

People, please shut the hell up. From the start, you griped about the poor guy for eleven straight years. When he was chosen ahead of running back Ricky Williams at the draft, Eagles’ “fans” in attendance booed him. And, instead of buckling under the criticism, McNabb simply led the Eagles to five NFC Championships and one Super Bowl appearance. Just in case you’re slow, I’ll elaborate. That means during roughly half of his tenure in Philadelphia, the Eagles were at least the fourth best team in the NFL. They made the playoffs eight of those eleven years. In total, he’s won 92 games and is third on the list of current quarterbacks with a .651 winning percentage, wedged in between Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. It’s hard to imagine how much more all of you spectacular would’ve hated him if he actually did suck.

And now, Eagles fans, you have Kevin Kolb and you’ve no choice but to be happy with him. But, let’s face it, if Kolb comes out and has a bad start to the season, you’ll all be screaming for Michael Vick to come in and save the day. And if he doesn’t get it done, you’ll be asking for some other poor schmuck to give you the Super Bowl ring you desperately need to validate all those pathetically wasted Sundays, sitting on your couch wearing your “DAWKINS” jersey and begging anyone in earshot to answer the question, “Why doesn’t Reid run the ball more?” I hope Kolb gets it done. He seems like a quality fellow. But his stomach for bullshit is about to get tested. If the guy he’s replacing was only outmatched in terms of wins in the past decade by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and still deemed a shitty quarterback, what chance does Kolb stand? Is he going to be better than Brady or Manning? Not likely.

And, please, let’s not lament the terms of the trade. It’s ironic all you sports gurus claimed McNabb was junk on a daily basis, and now you’re the same nitwits who are bitching the Eagles didn’t get enough for him. It’s one or the other, people. Pick a side and stay on it for once, you wishy-washy nutjobs.

As for the timing of the trade and the fact it coincided with the first day of baseball, please give me a break. I’m not the most business-oriented of minds but even I understand the McNabb trade was a business deal, conducted between two businesses. There was millions of dollars at stake. When would’ve been a suitable time to make the trade? After the baseball season? Ridiculous.

By the tone of this rant, I hope it’s obvious that, while I don’t hate the NFL, I don’t have much respect for a lot of the people who play it and even less who make it their life’s devotion. But I do have respect for Donovan McNabb because he’s always been the underdog, even when he squarely didn’t deserve the role. Next season, I’ll be pulling for him. Even when he plays the Eagles. Because there’s nothing I like better when one guy proves a million idiots wrong.

quotation

It takes a kind of shabby arrogance to survive in our time, and a fairly romantic nature to want to. Edgar Z. Freidenberg

tune

Normally, I’d proffer there’s too many videos on YouTube made by people with nothing better to do. But in this instance, I’ll need to back down from that stance. A montage of The Office set to Ben Folds‘ “There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You” is located directly in my wheelhouse. And it should be in yours, too.

gallimaufry

→ I think our country is fantastic. This shitball church changed the wording of their sign when faced with proper political pressure. I’m going to speak more on this tomorrow but, for the time being, I hope everyone reading this understands our nation is in serious trouble.

How funny is this? Does this company have meetings? Wouldn’t it stand to reason at least one person present would say, “Wait, I’m not sure but I think someone told me lead paint is apparently bad for you now.”

→ On Philadelphia’s latest decision to relax about pot, District Attorney Seth Williams said, “We can’t declare a war on drugs by going after the kid who’s smoking a joint on 55th Street.” In an unrelated development, 55th Street property values are skyrocketing.

11.09.09 – A Monday

WORD

actuate [ak-choo-eyt] v. 1. to incite or move to action; impel; motivate: actuated by selfish motives 2. to put into action; start a process; turn on: to actuate a machine

BIRTHDAY

Benjamin Banneker (1731), Elijah P. Lovejoy (1802), Ed Wynn (1886), Hedy Lamarr (1914), Sargent Shriver (1915), Choi Hong Hi (1918), Spiro Agnew (1918), Dorothy Dandridge (1923), Carl Sagan (1934), Lou Ferrigno (1951), Sandra “Pepa” Denton (1964), Scarface (1970), David Duval (1971), Big Punisher (1971), Nick Lachey (1973), Joe C. (1974), Sisqó (1978)

STANDPOINT

Man. It’s been a while so I’ve got copious notes on shit I need to unleash on. Where to start?

In the spirit of getting myself readjusted to this blog at the proper rate, I’ll only offer this today.

A few weeks ago, comedian Louis CK went on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and, in a little over four minutes, explained the root of what’s wrong with most everything.

Watch the video. Think to yourself, “Is he talking about me?”

If you think he may be describing you, the answer is probably, “Yes.”

If you think he is definitely not describing you, the answer is assuredly, “Yes.”

Now, I know it is just a guy sitting on a couch, venting in an attempt to entertain, but he’s summed it up, people. Whether you realize it or not.

The Age of Entitlement is most definitely upon us. It is evident in absolutely everything everyone of us thinks, says and does every minute of every day.

“Everything is so amazing and no one is happy.” True Story.

QUOTATION

You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.Jim Bouton

TUNE

All of us, at one point or another in our lives, will come to a place that truly sucks. It’s inevitable. Some songs can lessen the pain, if you truly want it to. “Wash Away (Reprise)” by Joe Purdy has, from time to time, been one of those songs for me. Use it at your own discretion. And enjoy.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ For those of you on Facebook who are among the group graced enough to call themselves childless, you’ll probably get a kick out STFU, Parents. Most of you parents will probably like it, too. After all, not all of you are bat-shit crazy. But there are more than a few/dozen of you.

→ To the girl at the bar a few nights back who told me Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman was “awful,” I’m happy to report you’re wrong. Which I pretty much assumed was the case after your 15-minute tirade detailing the Elliott SmithBen Folds conspiracy I’m sure only exists in the recesses of the crazy-ass world in your head.  

→ Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you who’ve sent me emails, asking me to restart this blog. I really appreciate it. I sincerely missed doing it. Also, if this post appears clumsy, I promise you, I’ll get back in the swing of it. After the long break, it was difficult deciding what to include. I’ll work it out. Come back tomorrow for some more.

03.19.09 – Thursday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: zeitgeist [tsahyt-gahyst] noun the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time

Birthday: Wyatt  Earp (1848), William Jennings Bryan (1860), Earl Warren (1891), Richie Ashburn (1927), Sirhan Sirhan (1944), Glenn Close (1947), Harvey Weinstein (1952), Bruce Willis (1955)

Occurrence: 1987PTL Club televangelist Jim Bakker resigns due to a sex scandal, handing the reigns over to Jerry Falwell, who proceeded to lead a very esteemed career crusading against such evils as civil rights, homosexuality and Teletubbies, just to name a few.

Standpoint: The new Facebook interface is dreadful. The social networking site is claiming that it’s receiving “mixed reactions” to its new design but I haven’t found anything to suggest that anyone likes it at all. As I’m writing this on Wednesday night, the new Facebook application, “New Layout Vote on Facebook”, has the votes for at 31,825 and the votes against at 514,610. By my calculations (and math is not my strong suit), that’s a 16 to 1 ratio. Not exactly a close-call. Facebook seems to be emulating Twitter with the new design and I’m baffled as to why. Facebook dwarves Twitter in pure traffic volume so why would it change to a more Twitteresque appearance? The “News Feed” on my Homepage now gives me a staggering amount of information about my friends like their results of the “Who Sings That 80s Song?” quiz. I’m glad everyone seems to be scoring so high but do I really care? Not really. At this point, I’m wondering if/when Facebook will cave the way it did last month when it announced a new user’s terms of service only to rescind it days later. Bottom-line: If something is working perfectly fine, don’t redesign its homepage and make navigation cumbersome to the point of disinterest.

Quotation: The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.David Foster Wallace

Soupçon: In the movie Game of Death, the studio changed the plot and used actual footage from Bruce Lee’s funeral after the actor died midway through filming.

Tune: William Shatner has made a name for himself in the music biz by working with the likes of Ben Folds and Brad Paisley. Check out “I Can’t Get Behind That” – a spoken word duet with Henry Rollins. (I like the puppets in the video.)

Link: Ultimate Flash Face – This is too cool. Hours of fun. Try it.

Gallimaufry: The previews for the new NBC drama “Kings” made the show seem pretty ridiculous. Somehow, I found myself watching it this past Sunday night and guess what? Pretty strong. Christoper Egan (Julian Shepherd) is a little too Ryan Phillipe and Ian McShane (King Benjamin Silas) seems to play the same guy in everything I see him in but neither of those things will keep me from watching next week… I’ve read Tucker Carlson’s article “How Jon Stewart Went Bad” a couple of times now and I do feel Carlson isn’t completely off-base about certain points like Stewart’s softball tactics with Kerry in ’04 and Obama in ’08. But, Mr. Carlson, please. If the rest of the media feel that they can’t attack him out of fear or reverence or whatever, I don’t see how the blame falls on Stewart…Check out the 2009 National Douchebag Tournament. And before the comments start coming, the answer is no, I’m not one of the contestants.