03.17.10 – A Wednesday

word

gumption [guhmp-shuhn] n. 1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness: With his gumption he’ll make a success of himself 2. courage; spunk; guts: It takes gumption to quit a high-paying job 3. common sense; shrewdness

birthday

Lawrence Oates (1888), Bobby Jones (1902), Ray Ellington (1916), Nat King Cole (1919), James Irwin (1930), John Wayne Gacy (1942), James Morrow (1947), Patrick Duffy (1949), Kurt Russell (1951), Gary Sinise (1955), Vicki Lewis (1960), Casey Siemaszko (1961), Rob Lowe (1964), Billy Corgan (1967), Alexander McQueen (1969), Mia Hamm (1972), Mason Jennings (1975)

standpoint

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and most of you, irregardless of whether you have actual Irish roots or not, will go out and get drunk. And I support you in your endeavor. However, being both a bartender and an avid drinker, I’d like to offer the tips designed to assist you in having a fun, but also safe, night out.

Don’t drive. Even if you’re not drinking. There are going to be more idiots out on the road than a tea party protest led by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Carrot Top letting out. Leave your car at home.

Pick the right spot. Any bar with “Paddy” or “O’Anything” or “McAnything” or anything named similarly Irish is going to be packed to roof with drunk knuckleheads. Select a spot that’ll have a bit of a crowd but one where you’ll still be able to get a drink.

Drink within your safety zone. There will be lots of temptation to consume Irish-themed libations you normally wouldn’t. Green beer. Jameson. Guinness. Don’t get crazy. Drink what you’re used to and you’ll avoid a massive hangover and/or vomiting until the sun rises. Unless you’ve planned appropriately with your place of work, it’s still a school night.

Steer clear of the fisticuffs. The second best way to get arrested on a night like tonight is getting drunk and engaging in a brouhaha. Lots of people in one place means lots of bumping into one another. Don’t sweat it. Just enjoy the evening. And if some drunkard gets in your face, buy him a shot and wish him a happy night. Best money you’ll ever spend. Plus, women, at least the non-skanky kind, frown upon guys who like to fight.

Bottom line, treat St. Patrick’s Day like any other in which you’re planning to get loose and have some fun. Use your head. Keep your wits about you.

quotation

He was a terror to any snake that came in his path, whether it was the cold, slimy reptile sliding along the ground or the more dangerous snake that oppresses men through false teachings.  And he drove the snakes out of the minds of men, snakes of superstition and brutality and cruelty.Arthur Brisbane

tune

It would be completely messed up of me if I didn’t share an Irish tune with you all today. Here’s “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” by The Pogues.

gallimaufry

This section is closed today. Come back tomorrow for some more.

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04.30.09 – Thursday

Word: cacophony [kuhkofuh-nee] n. 1. harsh discordance of sound; dissonance: a cacophony of hoots, crackles and wails 2. a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds: the cacophony produced by city traffic at midday 3. Music. frequent use of discords of a harshness and relationship difficult to understand

Birthday: Alice B. Toklas (1877), Eve Arden (1908), Robert Shaw (1916), Percy Heath (1923), Cloris Leachman (1926), Willie Nelson (1933), Burt Young (1940), Jane Campion (1954), Isaiah Thomas (1961), Akon (1973), Johnny Galecki (1975), Kirsten Dunst (1982)

Occurence: 1993 – The World Wide Web is born at CERN.

Standpoint: It’s Thursday. That must mean time another installment of Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s have at it.

  • “This might be a stupid question, but…” – This one was a popular favorite in your suggestions for this post. People usually say this when they are asking a question to which they already know the answer. Really, they should be saying something like, “Just to be clear…” Starting off a statement with, “This might be a stupid question, but…” tends to give the impression to another person that you are, in fact, stupid, and you feel the need to ask because of that stupidity. [Note: I used to work with a guy who started of about 50% of his sentences with, “Stupid question.” Due to the fact that he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, I never had the heart to tell him that he shouldn’t have said it so much. Don’t be like me, people. Tell your friends when they overuse annoying phrases such as this. They may be put-off at first, but they’ll thank you one day. Hopefully.]
  • “Honestly?” – Often times you’ll ask a friend a question such as, “Where did I put my keys?” A likely response, “Honestly? I have no idea.” Other times, it could be something a little more touchy like, “Dude, did I make a jackass out of myself at that party last night?” Response, “Honestly? Yeah, you did.” The issue here is that there’s no need for, “Honestly?” No one is going to come back and say, “No. I don’t want the truth. If you know where my keys are, please lie to me so it takes me longer to find them. I really enjoy searching around the house,” or “I’d like you to lie to me about last night. That way, I don’t have to feel bad for getting drunk and knocking that cake off the table and into the lap of the woman sitting on the couch behind it.” The rule here is that if someone is asking you a question, assume they want the honest answer. However, if you feel you are being asked a question where the person is hoping you lie, as might be the case of the drunken partygoer, and you want to spare their feelings or sidestep a potentially stressful conversation, feel free to lie in that instance. Otherwise, just answer the question. Honestly.
  • “There is nothing worse than…” – OK. I’m guity of this one. At times, I can be a bit dramatic. It’s my nature. Be kind and try to move past some of my many flaws. But, even though I’ve started countless sentences with, “There is nothing worse than…,” it still bothers me when people overuse it. For instance, I was listening to a friend of mine talk about a bad traffic jam she was in and, at one point, she offered, “You know, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic.” I replied, “What if, while you were stuck in that traffic jam, a gigantic tree fell onto the hood of your car? Wouldn’t that be worse?” She sighed, “You know what I mean.” I went on, “What if right after the tree fell on your car, someone threw your door open and robbed you? Would that make it worse?” She then told me that I’m often, “a pain-in-the-ass to talk to.” I was satisfied I’d made my point clear.

What about you? Do you constantly hear the same Annoying Sayings & Misused Words? Post a comment and share them with the group.

Quotation: It’s a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word. Andrew Jackson

Tune: After I first listened to “Carry Around,” I immediately wanted to hang out with the folks in Annuals.

Gallimaufry: Up until a few days ago, I lived right down the street from PA Senator Arlen Spector. Surprisingly, my neighbor didn’t let me know that he was leaving the GOP for the other side. It’s weird because he and I usually talk about everything…Due to my life-long addiction to comic books, many close to me were surprised that I didn’t download X-Men Origins: Wolverine when it was leaked on the internet a few weeks back. Instead, I opted to watch it in the movie theater when it comes out this Friday simply because I don’t really pirate music or movies. Not condemning it. Just ain’t my thing. It looks like the people behind the movie are now doing something to entice those who have already seen it into the theaters…Hey, Billy Corgan, this is getting embarrassing. Please. Cease. And. Desist.

Incoming: Tomorrow: It’ll be Friday and, as always, I’ll give you my 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead. Also, 7 Songs I’m Having Trouble Admitting Are On My iPod.

03.17.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: stultify [stuhl-tuh-fahy] verb to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous

Birthday: Nat King Cole (1919), John Wayne Gacy (1942), Patrick Duffy (1949), Kurt Russell (1951), Gary Sinise (1955), Casey Siemaszko (1961), Rob Lowe (1964), Billy Corgan (1967), Mia Hamm (1972)

Occurrence: 1854 – The rubber band is first patented. Interesting, but I would like to know the first time someone figured out how to wrap it around their hand and point at people like a gun.

Standpoint: In today’s NFL, you’re just not a viable wide receiver until ESPN shows a clip of you getting arrested or questioned by the police. Apparently, it’s a rite of passage. This past Saturday morning, Donte Stallworth struck and killed Juan Sanchez, a man who had just finished his shift. Stallworth has now joined the ranks of Plaxico Burress, Javon Walker, Marvin Harrison and host of other professional wideouts who can’t seem to help but get busted for (or suspected of) criminal acts. Originally, it was reported that charges would not be brought up against the Cleveland Browns player, but now it seems a definite possibility. The most amazing aspect of this current trend of “bad boy” wide receivers is that, for the most part, every one of them is, or has the potential to be, an elite player. Randy Moss. Terry Glenn. Brandon Marshall. Koren Robinson. All great talents. All ended up destroying or diminishing their own careers for participation in events that, to the rest of us, seem completely absurd. The problem is well-documented. This is news to no one. So when does Commissioner Robert Goodell drop the hammer and start kicking these guys out of the league? And when do the teams start sending a real message by not signing these guys, no matter what their level of talent may be? The NFL has become a safe harbor for individuals who continually break the law (see Matt Jones), learn nothing from their actions and have the bank accounts to mount defenses O.J. Simpson would drool over. I’ll take drama-queen Terrell Owens over any of these guys. He may be a big problem in the locker room and a seemingly below-average human being but at least I know when I walk out of work he’s not going to run me over in his Bentley.

Quotation: How do I know what I think until I see what I say?E.M. Forster

Soupçon: The original Greek question mark became the English semicolon (;). I know I keep ripping off A.J. Jacobs but can you really blame me? I maintain a daily blog that includes an interesting fact section and I’m reading a book chronicling a man’s search for knowledge. I’ve just gotten to the “R” chapter of The Know-It-All so I’m almost done ripping it off.

Tune: Besides being great guys, Backyard Tire Fire is an outstanding live band. About a year ago, my brother and I went to The North Star to see The Beautiful Girls. BTF was the opening act and they put on a great show. After their set, I had lost my interest in seeing the main act and spent the rest of the night at the bar with the band. Great night. Check out “Corrine”.

Link: Bag of Songs – Superlative Philadelphia-based blog covering the world of music.

Gallimaufry: Not everyone is hurting during the recession. Condom sales are up due to, among other factors, people staying in more and couples holding off on having a child. Read Amanda Ruggeri’s article “10 Winners in the Recession” from U.S. News & World Report to see who else is prospering…Paste Magazine has made a list of the best independent movie houses in the country. Surprisingly, none of Philadelphia’s made the list…Looks like tough times ahead for Atlantic City, NJ. Casinos are experiencing record losses right now. Hope the Borgata is still there May 23rd when I’m going to see Joel McHale for my birthday. Fingers crossed, people…Hope everyone has a SAFE St. Patrick’s Day. Lots of drinking rookies out there. Be careful and don’t drive.