07.18.11 – a monday

word

usufruct [yoo-zoo-fruhkt, -soo-, yooz-yoo, yoos-] n. Roman and Civil law the right of enjoying all the advantages derivable from the use of something that belongs to another, as far as is compatible with the substance of the thing not being destroyed or injured

birthday

Machine Gun Kelly (1895), Hume Cronyn (1911), Red Skelton (1913), Nelson Mandela (1918), John Glenn (1921), Hunter S. Thompson (1937), James Brolin (1940), Joe Torre (1940), Steve Forbes (1947), Sir Richard Branson (1950), Vin Diesel (1967), Kristen Bell (1980)

standpoint

So, yes, admittedly it’s been a while. I’m not updating with the frequency that most of you would like and, truthfully, I’ve got no real excuse.

But I’m back, at least for today, and here’s some things currently taking up space in my brain.

→ I can’t wait for the Harry Potter movies to go away and I suspect Daniel Radcliffe would agree with me on this one. I’ve never seen one all the way through and I don’t really feel a tremendous sense of loss over it. Also, I don’t want to hear one more person say to me, “But, dude, you should read the books. The books are so good.” I’m not reading the books. I simply have no interest. And while I’m at it, I’m not going to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, either. I understand that society deems me a bad person because of my refusal to read these books. I’m going to have to live with that.

→ Everyone needs to calm down about yesterday’s FIFA’s Women’s World Cup Final. In case you missed it, and there’s a good chance you did, Japan beat the US in a match that went down to the wire, ending in penalty-kick shootout that didn’t quite go our way. The outcome was beneficial for all: the Japanese people got a well-deserved reason to celebrate and we Americans got to bitch for a couple of hours about something we’ve all ready forgotten by now.

→ People are actually giving money to the campaign of this execrable, loathsome fuckstick (pardon the language). Also, I’ve changed my mind yet again on this crazy bitch. We’re in for some serious shit here, people. Get ready.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading.

quotation

Depression is rage spread thin. ↔ George Santayana

tune

The other day, I went to Main Street Music as part of my “secret mission.” (There’s only one of you who will understand what I mean by that.) And, as sometimes happens, I like whatever particular song happens to be playing and an impulse buy ensues. And now I own Within And Without by Washed Out. Here’s “Amor Fati.”

gallimaufry

I have no idea what to say about this. But I hope Mila Kunis actually goes through with it.

→ With all of the uncertainties revolving around the Philadelphia Flyers‘ upcoming season, I didn’t need this news.

→ Of all the apps out there, I think this one is my current favorite.

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04.15.11 – a friday

word

mythomania [mith-uhmey-nee-uh] n. lying or exaggerating to an abnormal degree

birthday

Leonardo da Vinci (1452), Kenneth Lay (1942), Emma Thompson (1959), Seth Rogen (1982), Emma Watson (1990)

standpoint

Here’s a few things that are on bugging the crap out of me right now.

→ The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Buffalo Sabres last night in the first game of their best-of-seven series. I’m unhappy about that but still hopeful the Flyers will pull this one out and advance to the next round. For to happen, two things will be needed: First, Chris Pronger needs to get back in the lineup. Second, Claude Giroux needs to stop attempting to complete the perfect pass and shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more.

Charlie Sheen, you’ve gone from wildly entertaining to mildly amusing to sadly uninteresting in a few short weeks. Take a vacation. Come back and see us in a month or so, maybe a year. We’ll call you when we’re ready to talk.

→ One of my favorite sitcoms ever is NewsRadio. It was way ahead of its time and probably would’ve lasted years longer were it not for the tragic death of Phil Hartman. ReelzChannel is now playing reruns several times a day. It’s the little things, people.

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for reading.

quotation

The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings. ↔ Ralph Waldo Emerson

tune

A few weekends ago, I was browsing around Main Street Music in Manayunk and the lady behind the counter, who couldn’t have been more helpful, recommended I check out Panoptic Mirror Maze, a new release by Brown Recluse. I was ready to buy it but then she discovered she’d sold all the copies in the store. But I came home and checked the Philadelphia band out online and I definitely like what I hear. Here’s “Notorious.” (Brown Recluse will be playing at Main Street Music this Saturday for Record Store Day 2011.)

gallimaufry

Sometimes the comments morons make on an online news story are actually more interesting than the story itself.

Reading this article filled me with the desire to book a flight to absolutely nowhere. Maybe too much information.

Barry Bonds, you completely suck. Seriously. 

12.21.09 – A Monday

WORD

exiguous [ig-zig-yoo-uhs, ik-sig-] adj. scanty; meager; small; slender: exiguous income

BIRTHDAY

Roger Williams (1603), Josh Gibson (1911), Joe Paterno (1926), Phil Donahue (1935), Jane Fonda (1937), Frank Zappa (1940), Samuel L. Jackson (1948), Jeffrey Katzenberg (1950), Chris Evert (1954), Jane Kaczmarek (1955), Ray Romano (1957), Florence Griffith Joyner (1959), Andy Dick (1965), Kiefer Sutherland (1966), Julie Delpy (1969)

STANDPOINT

In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m going to share 4 things I’m pretty sure everyone should do at one point in their lives.

  1. Split a bottle of Booker’s Bourbon with a good friend(s). Of course, the person you decide to share it with should be a bourbon fan.  In my opinion, Booker’s is peerless. Enthusiasts describe it as “oaky,” and “smoky,” and, I guess, they’re probably right. I describe it as “delicious.” And, no worries, I’m not one of those who’d make you feel like a geek for diluting it with your beverage of choice (i.e. Coke or Ginger Ale), but it’s just really good all by its lonesome. There’s something to be said for sitting down with a buddy, watching a hockey game and polishing off a bottle of Booker’s. But be careful, it will render you inebriated, no matter how much you think of your tolerance for alcohol. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you I know of what I speak. So go out and grab a bottle, invite over a person or persons you deem up for it and, for your own sake, don’t plan on driving until at least the next morning.
  2. Listen to an unknown music catalog. You have a musical artist or band you’ve always intended on getting to know better, but it’s never happened. Life gets in the way. You forget about it. Once in a while, you’re reminded of it and you tell yourself you’re going to get some of the artist’s/band’s albums and do something like dedicating all of your drive-time to work in exploring each and every song they offer. Last year, after putting it off forever, I spent a couple of rainy days, holed up in my house listening to everything I could download by Guided By Voices. Everyone always told me I’d be into GBV. I didn’t think they we’re lying. And, it turned out they were right. So if you have the time and the inclination, I recommend you give yourself the gift of the possibility of some new favorite music. If you need some suggestions, let me know. I’m full of them.
  3. Even when it’s unpopular, go to bat for a friend you know is worthy of your defense. This one’s a bit more vague but I think everyone’s been exposed to a situation in which you’re positively certain a friend of yours is getting a raw deal. And, most likely, he’s a victim of the flawed consensus of other folks you call “friends.” Stand up for the underdog, even at risk to your own good standing. In the long run, or possibly sooner, you’ll feel good about your decision and yourself. Plus, it’s always a really great to wind up being right.
  4. Make yourself uncomfortable on purpose. You’re like everyone else. You’re able to imagine a specific set of circumstances and conclude it’d be pretty close to your worst fucking nightmare. But you should get over it. It’s never as bad as you conjure. If you’re afraid of heights, go to an amusement park and make yourself get on every single ride. If you’re homophobic, go to a bar or an event with a heavy concentration of homosexuals. If you scared to death of speaking in front of a group of people, volunteer yourself at work to make the next big presentation. Your imagination always presents you with every possible idea of what can go wrong. Luckily, life doesn’t usually work like that and, while there may be a hiccup or two or three, you’ll come out of it as something better than you were.

OK, those are my ideas. Tell us some of yours.

QUOTATION

You may delay, but time will not.Benjamin Franklin

TUNE

Right now, in the current state of the music world, we’re decidedly in an exciting time. Gone are the days of record companies and radio stations dictating what we need to listen to. Instead, we’ve an influx of bands that are able to sustain themselves through clever internet marketing and relentless touring. And I, for one, couldn’t be more ecstatic about it. There’s lot of great music out there in the world, folks, and, now more than ever, it’s not impossible to discover. Check out Mock Orange‘s “Song in D.” Tell me you find nothing good about it. And then I’ll call you a liar.

GALLIMAUFRY

Apparently, the entire time Steven Seagal has been making mediocre movies (save for the classic Under Siege), he’s been an actual law enforcement officer in Jefferson Parish, LA. A&E is now airing episodes of Steven Seagal Lawman, documenting the action star on patrol. While the cynical part of me would love to dismiss Seagal as just another attention hungry celebrity, I’m inclined to think the dude’s doing something he actually believes in. And I’m more than down with that.

→ Yesterday, actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died of what initially appears to be natural causes. Not sure about all of that, but she was way too young and it’s sad, no matter the cause.

→ After firing head coach John Stevens, bringing in new head coach Peter Laviolette and getting key players Simon Gagne and Blair Betts back from injury, the Philadelphia Flyers seem no closer to shaking loose of its current state of free-fall. 12 losses in the last 15 games. Not exactly acceptable for a team boasting the likes of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere, Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen. Sure, goalie Ray Emery is out for a while, but one could make an argument that the play of backup Brian Boucher has been better. Bottom line, the team’s going to have do something sooner than later if this all continues. Most likely, it’ll result in Jeff Carter wearing another jersey.

06.30.09 – Tuesday

Word: trenchant [tren-chuhnt] adj. 1. incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting: trenchant wit 2. vigorous; effective; energetic: a trenchant policy of political reform 3. clearly or sharply defined; clear-cut; distinct

Birthday: John Gay (1685), Georges Duhamel (1884), Man Mountain Dean (1891), Lena Horne (1917), José Emilio Pacheco (1939), Stanley Clarke (1951), David Alan Grier (1955), Vincent D’Onofrio (1959), Yngwie J. Malmsteen (1963), Mike Tyson (1966), Matisyahu (1979), Michael Phelps (1985)

Quotation: I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.Clarence Darrow

Tune: Defy. That’s right. I defy you to find a better song to blast out of your car on a summer evening drive than “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Challenge!

Gallimaufry: Bernie Madoff, the asshole that stole billions of dollars from too many people to mention, received a 150-year sentence in federal prison. He’s 71 now so he’ll be 221-years old when he gets out. Obviously, the Ponzi-scheming douchehag won’t live that long. But wouldn’t it be great if he did? “I’m very excited. The fans are passionate about hockey. The style of play the Flyers play certainly fits mine. They’ve got some great young talent. I hope to help them win a Stanley Cup.” Those were the words of NHL defenseman Chris Pronger after learning he’d been traded from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to the Philadelphia Flyers for forward Joffrey Lupul and blueliner Luca Sbisa. When holding up the $6.5 million salary he’s due this upcoming season, Pronger, 34, didn’t exactly light the world on fire last year (11 goals, 37 assists) for the Ducks but he’s definitely a substantial upgrade to the Flyers’ defense corps, a group that experienced some difficulty (putting it mildly) in their own zone last season. It was inevitable. As a country, we’re a bunch of fickle bastards. Last year, we elected Barack Obama to be our President because we deemed the qualities he possesses necessary. Smart. Charismatic. Willing to administer change. But here we are, a half-year into his (first?) term and – surprise – we’ve grown restless. The bubble has burst. For the first time since as emerging as the Democratic front-runner in 2008, President Obama may now have to operate as a politician in the realm of mere mortals. Or even worse, in the realm of mere politicians. My opinion? (Glad you asked…) The job of being President of the United States has got to be one of the most complicated fucking debacles a person can assume. Let’s give the man a little wiggle room. Most of us hated George W. Bush and we let him do whatever the hell he wanted for EIGHT years. Let’s give Obama more than six months. A little patience might be in order.