07.13.09 – Monday

Word: facetious [fuhsee-shuhs] adj. 1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark 2. amusing; humorous 3. lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous: a facetious person

Birthday: Julius Caesar (100 BC), John Jacob Astor IV (1864), Bob Crane (1928), Jack Kemp (1935), Patrick Stewart (1940), Robert Forster (1941), Harrison Ford (1942), Roger McGuinn (1942), Cheech Marin (1946), Tony Kornheiser (1948), Michael Spinks (1956), Cameron Crowe (1957), Phil Margera (1957), Stephen “Steve-O” Gilchrist Glover (1974)

Quotation: What is guilt? Guilt is the pledge drive constantly hammering in our heads that keeps us from fully enjoying the show. Guilt is the reason they put the articles in Playboy.Dennis Miller

Tune: I used to work at a private club where the members (a small percentage of them, at least) played cricket. After deciding to learn everything about how the game was played, I was still disappointed watching it. Not a captivating spectator sport. A few days ago, I stumbled upon The Duckworth Lewis Method, which is a band named after a confusing mathematical formula used to determine “the target score for the team batting second in a one-day cricket or Twenty20 cricket match interrupted by weather or other circumstance.” Yeah. Sounds boring to me, too. But the Irish band, made up of The Divine Comedy‘s Neil Hannon and Pugwash‘s Thomas Walsh, has created an album of cricket-based songs that are most definitely not boring. It’s a theme album, narrating an entire cricket match, which can sometimes last a few days. With my limited knowledge, I can’t make heads or tails of what it’s all supposed to mean. (I’m sure there are many out there who can.) But it’s not all that important. The tracks are all pretty solid. Check out “Flatten The Hay.”

Gallimaufry: In this craptastic economy, it’s likely several of you might be looking for a job. That means going on multiple painful interviews. Before you head out on your next one, read “The 9 Worst Interview Mistakes” from SalesHQ.com. My favorite is the first one on the list – Not Acting Bored or Cocky. Since Michael Jackson’s memorial service last week, which reportedly cost the city of Los Angeles $1.4 million, more and more pundits have been harping on the fact that California is just about broke. However, according to some out there, economic restablization for Gov. Arnold‘s ailing state could be as simple as two logical steps – the legalization of both marijuana and same-sex marriage. Read CBS News.com’s “High Stakes: A Call To Legalize Marijuana” and watch Jimmy Fallon and The Roots Slow Jam The California Economy to see why the two ideas might be something to seriously consider. And not just to help the economy. While I’m on the topic of the death of Michael Jackson (and, I swear, this is definitely the last time I’ll bring it up), there are many out there speculating that the King of Pop faked his own death, thereby joining the ranks of a long list of celebrities (see Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur, Jim Morrison) who chose the same path. For more on the topic read “Dead Celebrities Crazy People Insist Are Still Alive But In Hiding” by Paste Magazine’s Steve LaBate. Truly eye opening.

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06.10.09 – Wednesday

Word: vapid [vap-id] adj. 1. lacking or having lost life, sharpness, or flavor; insipid; flat: vapid tea 2. without liveliness or spirit; dull or tedious: a vapid party; vapid conversation

Birthday: Jacques Marquette (1637), Howlin’ Wolf (1910), Judy Garland (1922), Maurice Sendak (1928), João Gilberto (1931), F. Lee Bailey (1933), John Edwards (1953), Eliot Spitzer (1959), Maxi Priest (1960), Kim Deal (1961), Kelley Deal (1961), Gina Gershon (1962), Jeanne Tripplehorn (1963), Jimmy Chamberlin (1964), Elizabeth Hurley (1965), Joey Santiago (1965), Bill Burr (1968), The D.O.C. (1968), Mike Doughty (1970), Faith Evans (1973), Flesh-N-Bone (1973), Tara Lipinski (1982)

Quotation: Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tune: It’s his birthday, so I thought I’d share my favorite Mike Doughty song – “The Only Answer.”

Gallimaufry: President Obama may soon see his 61% approval rating nosedive. Why? Well, Jon Voight says so. Monday night, while speaking at a GOP fundraiser in Washington D.C., the actor described Obama as “wildly radical” and labelled him a “false prophet.” The Hollywood veteran and star of such films as Midnight Cowboy, Deliverance and Transformers has long been an opponent of the President. No word yet on how Obama is sleeping after learning of Voight’s comments, which even some Republicans thought were a bit over the top.  When it was discovered Cameron Crowe was directing a commercial with Pearl Jam for mega-retailer Target, some started to wonder what was going on. Had Pearl Jam, a band that took on Ticketmaster years ago over escalating ticket prices, finally sold out? Untrue, says the band’s longtime manager, Kelly Curtis. “Target was cool enough to realize that little independent record stores are not their competition.” “I make decisions around the band’s business that are consistent with their overall philosophy,” said Curtis, “which is to sell music in a way that’s accessible and affordable to their fans, on every distribution platform that their fans access music, and in a way that takes care of the little guys.” Seems above-board to me. I’ve found Target to have a solid (if not limited) and affordable music selection. Plus, the flip-flops I bought there a few weeks back have produced to my liking. ∞ This Friday, June 12th will be the last day you’ll be able to watch television on those old rabbit ears. All major TV stations will stop broadcasting in analog and go all digital. It’s for real this time, so if you’ve been dragging on getting the digital converter box, best get a move on. The future is now. Or maybe you’re one of the billions of people who’ve discovered cable and satellite television. In that case, you’ve nothing to worry about.

Incoming: Got some good stuff coming up. Come back tomorrow for some more.

05.21.09 – Thursday

Word: jabberwocky [jab-er-wok-ee] n. 1. a playful imitation of language consisting of invented, meaningless words; nonsense; gibberish 2. an example of writing or speech consisting of or containing meaningless words ∞ adj. 3. consisting of or comparable to Jabberwocky; meaningless; senseless

Birthday: Albrecht Dürer (1471), Henri Rousseau (1844), Armand Hammer (1898), Fats Waller (1904), Raymond Burr (1917), Leo Sayer (1948), Al Franken (1951), Mr. T (1952), Judge Reinhold (1957), The Notorious B.I.G. (1972), Fairuza Balk (1974)

Standpoint: Thursday is the day I address your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s have at it.

  •  “OMG” – (submitted by Fred T.) – “OMG” started out as a chat acronym for “Oh my God!’ But, I’m sorry to report that it has snuck out into the spoken word. I think it’s a great thing to teach children to say instead of, “Oh my God!” Otherwise, unless you’re using it ironically (something I’ll always support), congratulations. It’s official. You’re a tool.
  • “It’s” vs. “Its” – (submitted by Cheryl F.) – When it comes to “it’s” and “its”, I’m ever vigilant. Definitely easy to make a mistake here with just an apostrophe (‘) making the difference. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.” It’s going to be a great day. “Its” is possessive pronoun meaning “of it” or “belonging to it.” The bear got its foot trapped in the rocks. These two words are confused and misused mainly due to lack of attention to detail. Make sure to keep an eye out. One of the easiest grammatical mistakes to miss.
  • “I know, right?” – (submitted by Harold W.) – I’m reasonably sure, without my knowledge, a law was passed that every woman under-30 in this country is obligated  to utter this phrase exactly 85 times per day. First, if you’re agreeing with something someone said by saying, “I know,” there is no need to follow it with, “right?” The other person already agrees with you. By itself, it’s not that bothersome. But the way it’s said most of the time can make my skin crawl. I think it all has to do with the 2-octave jump the voice does when emphazizing  the last word “right,” making it sound like, “I know, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?”

How about you? What things do you hear or read that bother you? Let us know.

Quotation: Never mistake motion for action. Ernest Hemingway

Tune: I read about Harlem Shakes‘ song “Sunlight” on a friend’s Facebook status update. Great driving-to-the-beach song.

Gallimaufry: Today might be remembered for a long time as President Obama and former VP Dick Cheney will both give speeches on the state of terrorism in this country. Cheney thinks Obama has left the country wide-open for a terrorist attack and will give his thoughts in a speech titled “Keeping America Safe: An Address by Dick Cheney.” Obama’s speech is called, “How’s Dick Cheney Still Alive?” ∞ Human piece of garbage Michael Vick was released from prison yesterday after serving 18 months for admitting sharing responsibility for brutally murdering several dogs. The former NFL star will server the last two months of his sentence under house arrest in Hampton, Virginia. Vick is reportedly ready to join a Humane Society of the United States campaign designed to discourage urban youth from pitting angry dogs against each other in fights to the death. ∞ Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe understands how to make music work in movies. If you’ve ever watched the scene from Say Anything where John Cusack plays Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside Ione Skye’s house, you know exactly what I mean. Anyway, Crowe has compiled a list of some of the best music moments in film history. Pretty solid, in my opinion.

Incoming: Tomorrow – It’s my birthday. But it’ll also be Friday so you’ll get my 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead plus some birthday-related list. Come back and check it out.