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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02.25.10 – A Thursday

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word

proffer [prof-er] v. 1. to put before a person for acceptance; offer n. 2. the act of proffering 3. an offer or proposal

birthday

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841), John Foster Dulles (1888), Zeppo Marx (1901), King Clancy (1903), Bobby Riggs (1918), Ralph Stanley (1927), Larry Gelbart (1928), Tommy Newsom (1929), Sally Jesse Raphaël (1935), George Harrison (1943), Ric Flair (1949), James Brown (1951), John Doe (1954), Lee Evans (1964), Veronica Webb (1965), Carrot Top (1965), Téa Leoni (1966), Samantha Phillips (1966), Sean Astin (1971), Daniel Powter (1971), Julio Iglesias, Jr. (1973), Chelsea Handler (1975)

standpoint

Lately, I’ve been noticing items in the news about serial cat killers. By now, we’ve all heard the results of studies linking individuals who originally kill household pets like cats and dogs, eventually moving on to killing human beings. It’s indisputable that that’s often the case.

And there are those out there who point to the fact our society kills lots of animals like cows, pigs and chickens. But, unless you’re some kind of dimwit, you know there’s a distinct difference between the systematic slaughter of animals for food, and the needless slaughter of animals meant for companionship. In addition, some critics say the dissection of animals like cats in high school biology classes contributes to certain individuals not understanding the difference between that activity and, say, murdering and gutting the next door neighbors’ dog. I’m not convinced by that point of view.

But I am convinced of this: there’s something seriously awry when a person who (allegedly) kills 19 cats, showing little to no remorse for his actions, is found mentally competent and of no harm to anyone, that’s a big, huge problem.

Obviously, I’m an animal lover and, yes, I have cats. But that doesn’t mean I dislike dogs, or any animal. To me, and for lots of people I’d wager, the greatest aspect of animals is that they’re not trying to hurt anyone, even when they are. When you hear about someone getting attacked by a bear, no reasonable person would classify the bear as some kind of psycho. Mostly, animals just want to eat and do the rest of their business without delay. Unless provoked by behavior they might feel threatening, or they’re conditioned to attack people, animals don’t really have a malicious bone in their body.

And, unless you’re one of these mental screwjobs whose in possession of a clear conscience after killing an entire neighborhood worth of cats, or you’re Michael Vick, you understand animals, especially the ones we take into our homes as pets, are only as good or bad as we make them.

They don’t deserve some horrifically painful death simply because some freak has the ability and complete lack of decency to do so.

Bottom line, the laws should be revised. Here in Pennsylvania the price one pays for killing, maiming, disfiguring or torturing any cat or dog is a fine of no less than $1000 and up to 2 years in prison. If, at the very least, even the FBI has acknowledged that the act of torturing animals will most likely eventually progress into the same kind of actions against humans, then why are these laws still so limp? The cruelty toward the animals alone should be enough to lock people up for longer but, hey, I’ll settle for whatever reason gets it done.

To help with this problem try the following links:

HelpingAnimals.com

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

The Animal Rights FAQ

quotation

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”David Foster Wallace

tune

I’ve been listening to a lot of old Morrissey lately. Actually, for the first time in probably a decade. I’m finding I like his stuff more now than I did years ago. I’m especially digging on “Do Your Best and Don’t Worry.”

gallimaufry

→ To all my fellow writers out there, here’s a good article for you to peruse. I especially agree with the part on exclamation points. Here’s Part 2 of the article.

→ My hat is off to Jonas Hiller. Team Swiss’ goaltender, who plays for the NHL Anaheim Mighty Ducks, made 42 saves in a 2-0 loss to Team USA yesterday. Hiller’s teammates just couldn’t get any goal support for the poor guy. Meanwhile, Team USA, a squad many thought didn’t have much of a chance at the onset of the Winter Olympics, moved on to become one of final four teams in the tournament.

→ A friend of mine posted this on Facebook last night and I just had to share it. Provides a whole new dimension to sibling rivalry. Kids can be downright mean to each other.