November 2, 2011

word

solicitous [suhlis-i-tuhs] adj. 1. anxious or concerned (usually followed by about, for, etc., or a clause): solicitous about a person’s health 2. anxiously desirous: solicitous of the esteem of others 3. eager (usually followed by an infinitive): He was always solicitous to please 4. careful or particular: a solicitous housekeeper

birthday

Daniel Boone (1734), Marie Antoinette (1755), James Knox Polk (1795), Warren G. Harding (1865), Burt Lancaster (1913), Pat Buchanan (1938), Pat Croce (1954), k.d. lang (1961), David Schwimmer (1966), Nelly (1974)

standpoint

This year’s NHL Winter Classic is going to happen right here in Philadelphia. I understand this shouldn’t be breaking news.

But, while I’m excited to see the Flyers take on the New York Rangers in the great outdoors on New Year’s Day, I’m even more psyched for the Alumni Game that will take place the night before.

And that’s because my favorite hockey player of all-time will be lacing up the skates once again. That’s right. Eric Lindros will be wearing a Flyers’ sweater for the first time in over a decade. Also, John LeClair will be joining him.

For a hockey geek like me, it just doesn’t get any better that.

quotation

Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If cavemen had known how to laugh, history would have been different. ↔ Chuck Klosterman

tune

Last week I featured the title track from Gomez‘s latest, Whatever’s On Your Mind. I can’t stop listening to the frickin’ album. Here’s “Song In My Heart.”

gallimaufry

→ “I would think that he would be eager to get all the details out as quickly as possible if he is as innocent as he is describing himself in all of this.” Quote from Tom Brokaw on the alleged sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain. True dat, Brokaw. True dat.

→ My brother Jeremy told me about www.flyersgoalscoredby.com and it’s a pretty good site. But even if you don’t give a shit about hockey you need to read this post about a Buffalo Sabres’ fan cruising Craigslist for a date to tonight’s game. Funny and sad. But mostly funny.

→ This will probably be my last post this week as I’ve got some social stuff going on. But I wanted to mention how surprised I am about yesterday’s site traffic. I was kind of nervous to see everyone’s reaction because I wrote some pretty personal stuff but I received more hits than I have in a long time. Much appreciated. Thanks for reading.

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October 24, 2011

word

erudition [er-yoodishuhn, er-oo-] n. knowledge acquired by study, research, etc.; learning; scholarship

birthday

Melvin Purvis (1903), The Big Bopper (1930), Bill Wyman (1936), F. Murray Abraham (1939), Kevin Kline (1947), Scott Peterson (1972)

standpoint

Why aren’t you posting everyday? I noticed you haven’t updated your blog, is everything okay? Hey, you need to start posing again, I miss reading your blog every morning, why did you stop?

Every time I take a break from writing here, I get emails asking me those questions. Not a ton of emails but enough to make me feel like I’m disappointing people. And then I feel like I need to start posting again and feel guilty when I don’t.

Often, I regret naming this blog the euneJeune daily, mainly because of the daily. It’s not easy coming up with five posts a week and some weeks I might not even have two in me. And then I get frustrated that I can’t keep up the pace I established when I first started writing here over two years ago. The discouragement I feel inevitably leads me to step back from it, always intending to come back.

When I’m actively posting here, I enjoy it very much. I’m leaps and bounds away from being the most popular blogger on the Internet but when it comes to traffic, I do all right garnering 150-200 hits on days with new posts and 50-75 hits on days without. I can live with that. It’s a pretty solid amount considering I’m doing no promotion save for a Facebook update via Twitter (via Twuffer).

Writing this blog is satisfying when I’m doing it right. But I’m not always doing it right. Sometimes I half-ass it just to get a new post up. Or I don’t have thoughts worth sharing. Or I do but I’m a little muddled for any number or reasons. Or I’m simply tired. Or I’m out having a good time with someone somewhere. Or, well, you get the idea.

Another occasionally troubling aspect of this blog is most readers are people I personally know. Plenty of times I’ll be writing passionately about something I believe in and all of a sudden my mind goes to who’s going to be reading. What will my girlfriend think? What about my parents’ friends? What about some of my regulars at the bar? And so on. I worry my opinions might make people think differently, or maybe even less, of me. So I start toning things down and pulling back until I’ve created a post easily digestible by all. Granted, often I write whatever the hell I want. But, in my opinion, I should be doing that each and every time, not just when I can summon the nerve.

So what am I getting at here? I’m not sure yet but when I dwell on it, I keep coming back to the idea that I’m going be fundamentally changing this blog. Streamlining, trimming the fat as it were. Being honest no matter what. Making it concise and more readable so that readers won’t have to sift through things they’re not interested in to get to what they are.

For better or worse, that’s where I’m headed. Thanks for reading.

quotation

Make the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere. ↔ David Bowie

tune

One positive aspect of my hiatuses from this blog is that, when I come back, I’ve got a brand new arsenal of new music to share. Here’s “Shaky” from The Duke & The King. It’s one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while.

gallimaufry

→ During my absence I gained exactly zero ground on struggles with the second season of Louie. It’s frustrating because I know I’m supposed to like it. It should be located squarely in my wheelhouse but for reasons I can’t fathom, it’s simply not clicking like it could. And when Chuck Klosterman chimed in I imagined I would finally get to the bottom of this completely inconsequential inner squabble. It didn’t help.

→ From what I’ve read about Sean Parker, he appears to be a master of flimflam. But he may have a point here.

Hey, Iran, we might be leaving Iraq but don’t think that means you should feel free to just stroll right in after we’re gone. Just do us a fucking favor and be cool for once. I mean seriously, why do you guys always gotta be such dicks?

05.12.11 – a thursday

word

hubris [hyoo-bris, hoo-] n. excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance

birthday

Florence Nightingale (1820), Katharine Hepburn (1907), Yogi Berra (1925), Burt Bacharach (1928), Tom Snyder (1936), George Carlin (1938), Steve Winwood (1948), Gabriel Byrne (1950), Billy Squier (1950), Ving Rhames (1959), Emilio Estevez (1962), Tony Hawk (1968), Jason Biggs (1978)

standpoint

I’ve been promising this for the last year or two but it’s finally going to happen. euneJeune – true story will be resurrected from the dead. The existing 13 stories will be revamped in ways that might make them marginally less accurate but exponentially more entertaining. And, for all of you who have sent me emails asking for new stories, (some emails were more demanding than others, I’m talking to you, Bill McLeer), you’ll finally get your wish.

quotation

People who talk about their dreams are actually trying to tell you things about themselves they’d never admit in normal conversation. ↔ Chuck Klosterman

tune

The New Pornographers are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. And “Sing Me Spanish Techno” was one of the best songs they performed that night.

gallimaufry

We all knew that, if we were just patient enough and played our cards right, this story would be told. Citizens of Earth, it’s a glorious and fulfilling day!

→ All of you geniuses out there pontificating as to why these natural disasters keep happening around the world and more specifically here in our country, I am formally requesting you take the energy you’re expending and channel it to spread the word about this.

Words With Friends. Usurping Angry Birds as society’s greatest time waster? Maybe. Challenge me to a game (eunejeune) and we’ll discuss it in the chat room as we play.

05.03.11 – a tuesday

word

dandle [dan-dl] v. 1. to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one’s knee or in one’s arms 2. to pet; pamper

birthday

Bing Crosby (1903), Pete Seeger (1919), James Brown (1933), Frankie Valli (1934), Greg Gumbel (1946), Christopher Cross (1951)

standpoint

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, I can feel relief, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. ‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’

That was last night’s Facebook status du jour in response to killing of Osama bin Laden. People were crediting Martin Luther King, Jr. with the quote but I couldn’t find any evidence to back that up.

In any case, someone came up with it and, while it’s poetic and well-intentioned, it’s a bunch of bullshit. (Although I do really like the “a night already devoid of stars” line. Very dramatic.)

Sorry, but sometimes an act of hate needs to feel the force of an equally hateful act. If someone out there has an idea how a response involving “love” was the right way to handle one of the most evil men that ever existed, then I’m all ears. What were we going to do? Stage an intervention? Put him in therapy? Tell his mother what he’s been up to and just let her deal with it?

No. Sorry. Usually I’m the guy who hates killing. I abhor violence as an end result to almost anything. Except this. For me, it wasn’t an eye-for-an-eye scenario. It wasn’t about revenge. It was about making things right. It was about correcting an error. Osama bin Laden had done enough. He needed to go away.

And, yes, I know, I know. You detractors out there will say we’re really going to need to watch out because his followers will be pissed and looking to take action. But, guess what? They’ve been pissed and have been scheming for years. Only now they’ll have to do it without the asshole who was pulling the strings. And if that saves the life of even one innocent person, then I’m unquestionably on board. And if you’re not in agreement then you should be asking yourself why not. I’d love to hear your reasoning.

quotation

Stay busy, get plenty of exercise and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little. ↔ Herman “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen

tune

Some people don’t really dig on They Might Be Giants. Those people are complete morons. Here’s “Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal.” Whether you think so or not, it’s good stuff.

gallimaufry

I can only imagine that when it opens up in June, I’ll have no choice but to like Grantland.com. Bill Simmons? Chuck Klosterman? Dave Eggers? Malcolm Gladwell? How could that website suck?

→ Christ, could Michael Moore be more irrelevant?

→ I’m not going to list all of the acts appearing at the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza in Chicago this August but you should definitely click here to take a look. We should plan a trip and check this out. Who’s driving?

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.

04.30.10 – A Friday

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much obliged

Before I get into the last post, I wanted to thank all of you for reading and posting comments to the daily euneJeune. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all the feedback and support.

For their role, however large or small, they played in making this a rewarding undertaking, I’d like to give a special thanks to the following people: Donika Miller, Marc Schuster, David Frees, John Sellers, Ezgi Bilici, Joe Taylor, John Hay, Kate Jacovino, Jeannie Matamoros, Beth Treisner, Heather Petrovsky, Courtney Papada Daly, Kelly Kampf, Jonathan Chriswell, Bill McLeer, Kristie Attardi, Wynn Sanders, Mike Graveley, Richard O’Connor, Brian McFadden, Kevin Emery, Adam Schwartzberg and Annette Burgess. Your support was huge.

Sorry if you deserved a mention and didn’t get one. Doesn’t mean anything other than I’m forgetful.

Also, a special shout-out goes to Mindninja, or Jen, or whatever the hell your name is, for stalking me for a few months last year. Your unrelenting negativity taught me there’s always going to be someone who flat out disagrees with my perspective. I have no idea who you are, but I have my theories (ex-girlfriend, ex-friend, etc.). Whoever you are, I hope the medication is working.

All right, now to today’s installment.

word

abeyance [uh-bey-uhns] n. 1. temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension: Let’s hold that problem in abeyance for a while 2. Law. a state or condition of real property in which title is not as yet vested in a known titleholder: an estate in abeyance

birthday

Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651), David Thompson (1770), Alice B. Toklas (1877), Percy Heath (1923), Johnny Horton (1925), Cloris Leachman (1926), Willie Nelson (1933), Gary Collins (1938), Burt Young (1940), Jill Clayburgh (1944), Isaiah Thomas (1961), Akon (1973), Johnny Galecki (1975), Kirsten Dunst (1982)

standpoint

It’s finally here. The day I’m closing shop on the euneJeune daily. 14 months ago, I began this to prove to myself I could write something, good or bad, on a daily basis. And, for the most part, I did. I’ll always look back to this blog as something I’m proud of. I’m going to miss it badly.

But life goes on and I need to spend the time I allotted for this and use it for the writing I was meant to. Don’t worry, I won’t be entirely disappearing from the internet. I’ve been invited to be a contributor on Popularity Contest, a blog recently started by my friend Marc Schuster, and I’ll be posting stories on there from time-to-time.

I love Esquire and my favorite section is always “What I’ve Learned.” For my last Standpoint, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about myself, about the internet, about the world, from what I’ve done here.

» Astrology is horseshit. The day of the year someone happens to be born is completely inconsequential. Oskar Schindler and Saddam Hussein share the same birthday. So do Leonardo da Vinci and Seth Rogen, Raphael and Zach Braff, Vincent van Gogh and MC Hammer, James Madison and Erik Estrada. Looking for similarities within those pairings is ridiculous.

» Like most writers, I guess, I have a tendency to concentrate on troublesome people. I’ve focused more on Glenn Beck, Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin than I have on Chuck Klosterman, Conan O’Brien and Jack Kerouac. Something I should dwell on for a stretch.

» I have a broader vocabulary than I used to. The other day, I heard someone describe himself as a polemic and I knew exactly what he meant. (He was calling himself a controversialist.)

» The amount of news stories on any given day is staggering. Between the “reputable” sources and the bloggers, it’s fairly easy to find a news story in which the facts are presented just the way you like them. It’s great because no one ever again has to be wrong. Even when they are.

» I challenge you to find any quotations website where Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Ralph Waldo Emerson aren’t prominently featured. Go on, I dare you.

» Probably even Zach Rogue thinks I listen to too much Rogue Wave.

» When you write a blog, your greatest friends won’t read it. If you offered my best friend Harvey $1 million to tell you just one thing I wrote about here in the past six months, he’d be forced to forfeit the cash. (I have to say Joe Taylor is an exception to this rule. Or I’d never hear the end of it.)

» If you’re doing anything online that’s in need of promotion and you fail to see the merits of Facebook an Twitter, you need to reconsider. The days where I shared or tweeted my latest post, my traffic was over three times higher than those days I didn’t. The stuff works.

» One thing anyone who writes needs to remember is that there are those out there who internalize everything they read. Because of that, you’ll receive negative and hurtful attacks. Never let the vitriol people spew stop you from expressing yourself. Fuck those people. Wake up tomorrow and keep going.

I’ve learned all that and more. I hope you learned some things, as well.

quotation

Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. Richard Bach

tune

For my last post I thought this Elliott Smith song was rather appropriate. Enjoy “A Fond Farewell.”

gallimaufry

→ If you’re not yet reading Hyperbole and a Half, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. One of the greatest blogs I’ve read.

→ Man, US Senators sure do fancy themselves some meddling. Hey, elected officials, I’ve got to believe there some other problem you can be trying to solve. We’d be in a pretty sweet spot right now if Facebook privacy issues was the country’s highest priority.

This is the closest thing I’ve seen resembling honest journalism in a long, long time.

02.09.10 – A Tuesday

word

soporific [sop-uhrif-ik, soh-puh-] adj. 1. causing or tending to cause sleep 2. pertaining to or characterized by sleep or sleepiness; sleepy; drowsy n. 3. something that causes sleep, as a medicine or drug

birthday

William Henry Harrison (1773)Carmen Miranda (1909), Dean Rusk (1909), Carole King (1942), Joe Pesci (1943), Mia Farrow (1945), Vince Papale (1946), Judith Light (1949), Jim J. Bullock (1955), John Kruk (1961), Travis Tritt (1963), John Walker Lindh (1981)

standpoint

Most everyone I know makes fun of Twitter. And, mostly, I get what they’re saying. It’s confusing to navigate if you don’t take the time to learn how to streamline, which I have. The trick of it is to be selective about who you follow. If you follow everyone who follows you, you’re bound to have a Twitter homepage that makes about as much sense if it was in Russian. (Unless you understand Russian, and then just pick another language, one you’re unfamiliar with.)

So what I’ve made two rules about Twitter. (1) I follow people I know. (2) I follow famous people I find interesting.

Below, I’m going to list 5 people who fall into the second category and an example of one of their typical tweets.

1. Chad OchoCinco (OGOchoCinco) – Before Twitter, I never really cared for the guy. But unless he’s putting on one hell of a show, he seems to be a good dude. TWEET: For those who take life and my twitter feed so serious please unfollow-this is for those who think n live outside the box-OCCN INC.

2. Mike Doughty (MikeDoughtyYeah) – One of my favorite musicians, turns out the guy is a good writer too. TWEET: If you’re gonna get angry in the grocery store line, perhaps a city of 10 million people is not for you.

3. Josh Malina (JoshMalina) – The veteran actor actually found me on Twitter after I made a snide comment about him appearing on some kid show I’ve since forgotten the name of. He took it well. TWEET: It’s spooky, the extent to which Taylor Swift is telling my story through her songs.

4. Michael Ian Black (michaelianblack) – One of the funniest people on the planet. TWEET: “Everything I do, I do it for you.” Even take a shit, Bryan Adams? Even take a SHIT?

5. Chuck Klosterman (CKlosterman) – Come on. You didn’t think I was going to leave him off the list, did you? TWEET: These Dominos employees need thicker skins. That focus group really got to them!

There’s plenty more I follow and, no need to worry, I’ll probably do this again sometime soon. How about you? Got any favorites on Twitter?

quotation

I understand Barack Obama. It is not always easy, but I do. I can even relate to him. Of course, we weren’t supposed  to need to. He was supposed to be above that. He was never supposed to be an everyman, and never pretended to be. He transcended beer tests, barbecue tests, and the rest – the tests of whether he was “likable” enough as a politician. It didn’t matter whether I wanted to have a beer with him or not, and nobody asked. He was Barack Obama. What he represented was much larger than any individual, even himself. It is not necessarily a good thing that I’ve come to understand him. But I do. ↔ Tom Junod

tune

Recently, I watched the fantastic movie Once. Great story and even better music. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová are real life musicians (they’re the two people who make up The Swell Season) playing struggling musicians in Dublin. Check out “Say It To Me Now.”

gallimaufry

I knew it. Eventually someone would find that beer is actually good for you. It was just a matter of time.

→ Some people hate the snow. Some people are idiots. This past Friday-Saturday we received the second biggest snowstorm in Philadelphia history. And it appears there will be more starting today at 3pm.

→ Yesterday, we got FiOS here in our apartment. From what little I’ve seen so far, I like it about nine times more than I did Comcast.