07.07.09 – Tuesday

Word: koan [koh-ahn] (Japanese in origin) n. a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating

Birthday: Giuseppe Piazzi (1746), George Cukor (1899), Sam Katzman (1901), Satchel Paige (1906), Pinetop Perkins (1913), Pierre Cardin (1922), Doc Severinsen (1927), Josef Zawinul (1932), Ringo Starr (1940), Joel Siegel (1943), Joe Spano (1946), Shelley Duvall (1949), Jessica Hahn (1959), Mo Collins (1965), Jim Gaffigan (1966), Allen Payne (1968), Lisa Leslie (1972), Michelle Kwan (1980)

Quotation: Cocktail party:  A gathering held to enable forty people to talk about themselves at the same time.  The man who remains after the liquor is gone is the host.Fred Allen

Tune: My brother’s been telling me to listen to San Francisco based singer-songwriter Kelley Stoltz. So I’m giving the guy a try. You should too. Take a listen to “Memory Collector” off of Below The Branches.

Gallimaufry: In what was already going to be the biggest fiasco in L.A. since the 1992 Riots, the organizers of today’s memorial for Michael Jackson announced yesterday a lineup of performers that include Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie. Scheduled appearances include Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Hudson and Martin Luther King III. Can you say mayhem? 1.6 million people registered for a lottery to win tickets to the late King of Pop’s final send-off tomorrow at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. 8,550 of them won a ticket. British Airways is reporting a “huge influx” of Jacko fans flocking to L.A. Since the lottery tickets were dispensed, winners have been trying to sell them on eBay and Craigslist for as much as $2,000. (Both sites have booted the listing off.) Organizers have explained that holders of bought tickets will not be allowed to attend, and authorities have warned Jackson fans there will be no chance of non-ticket holders to get anywhere near the event, but some are speculating millions of people may be descending upon Los Angeles tomorrow to pay their final respects. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an absolute circus. And, really, would we have it any other way? The Philadelphia Phillies, who were slumping this time last week, have since swept the New York Mets over the weekend and, last night, beat the Cincinnati Reds 22-1. The victory marked the most runs scored by the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park since play started there six years ago. Looks like the World Fucking Champs might be coming around.  Just ask Jens Lekman if the H1N1 virus (or Swine Flu) is a real threat. The Swedish pop auteur is currently enjoying a 10-day quarantine after coming home from a recent tour in South America. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

Advertisements

04.14.09 – Tuesday

[Note: Today’s post is a little longer than usual due to the passing of Philadelphia’s legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas – a man who will forever be remembered as “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.”]

Word: sycophant [sikuh-fuhnt, – fant, sahy-kuh-] n. a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite

Birthday: Shorty Rogers (1924), Rod Steiger (1925), Loretta Lynn (1935), Pete Rose (1941), Richard Jeni (1957), Brad Garrett (1960), Robert Carlyle (1961), Anthony Michael Hall (1968), Adrien Brody (1973), Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977), Win Butler (1980)

Occurence: 1865Abraham Lincoln is shot from behind by in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

Standpoint: I remember one afternoon in college. My buddy Joe Taylor and I were watching NFL Films. I mentioned that the narrator’s voice sounded kind of familiar. Joe sat up from the couch. “You don’t know who that is?” I told my friend I didn’t. “It’s Harry Kalas! The guy who calls Phillies games with Richie Ashburn!  Are you shitting me?”I wasn’t “shitting” him. I just wasn’t an avid Phillies fan. At that point, I saw no reason to stir Joe up any further by explaining to him I didn’t know who Richie Ashburn was.

Harry Kalas died yesterday at the age of 73 while preparing to call a Phillies-Nationals game in Washington D.C. Before that afternoon with Joe, I did know who he was. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a baseball fan. Growing up in Philadelphia, it was nearly impossible to not know the man who could’ve patented the phrase, “It’s outta here!”  After college, I eventually did get into baseball and came to share the common reverence held for “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.” He was one of those rare announcers whose love for the game and his team oozed out into the living rooms of all watching. His soothing voice could go from completely relaxed to incredibly excited with the swing of a bat.

The game of baseball lost a true living legend yesterday. The one silver lining being repeated everywhere was that at least Kalas lived long enough to see one more Phillies World Championship last October. I was actually outside Citizens Bank Park when it happened and heard Kalas call it live when Brad Lidge got that third out. Simultaneously, I heard the roar from the crowd in the stadium. My friends out in the parking lot, looked toward the ballpark and lamented the fact that we weren’t inside to experience the ensuing euphoria. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I got to hear the best broadcaster in baseball history call the final out of the World Series. It was the people inside who missed out.

Further Reading.

Quotation: Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side and it holds the universe together. Carl Zwanzig

Tune: I first heard this song back on MTV’s 120 Minutes. (Remember when MTV played good songs?) “Mr E.’s Beautiful Blues” immediately made me buy everything I could by Eels.

Gallimaufry: Amazon.com is under fire for their new “adult” policy. The online bookstore has being accused of removing only “adult” literature dealing with homosexuality. (Amazon is claiming a glitch on the site.) Click here to learn more and sign the petition. (Thanks to Beth Treisner)…I suspect that “Facebook Users Get Worse Grades in College” is the first of many articles I’ll read in the next year about the negative effects of the popular social networking site…Al Franken is still not a United States Senator but it appears to be a matter of time until he is. Hey, Minnesota, let the guy in already. Jesse “The Body” Ventura used to be your governor. I mean, seriously.

Incoming: Tomorrow – What’s StumbleUpon?  Thursday – More of your Annoying Sayings/Misused Words (This is now going to be a permanent Thursday thing.) Friday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet.

04.06.09 – Monday

Word: antediluvian [an-tee-di-loo-vee-uhn] adj. 1. of or belonging to the period before The Flood, Gen. 7.8 2. very old, old-fashioned or out of date; antiquated; primitive: antediluvian ideas

 

Birthday: Raphael (1483), Jean-Baptiste Rousseau (1671), Pasquale Paoli (1725), Merle Haggard (1937), Billy Dee Williams (1937), Barry Levinson (1942), John Ratzenberger (1947), Marilu Henner (1952), Michael Rooker (1957), Frank Black (1965), Sterling Sharpe (1965), Paul Rudd (1969), Zach Braff (1975), Candace Cameron (1976)

 

Occurrence: 1973 – The American League of Major League Baseball initiates the Designated Hitter rule.

 

Standpoint: Last fall, the Philadelphia Phillies won The World Series and the entire city let out a collective, “Finally!” There were peaceful impromptu parades down Broad Street. Across the City of Brotherly Love, people who ordinarily wouldn’t talk to each other were embracing like long-lost brothers. Even I broke my “no high-five” rule and slapped hands with countless strangers. Then the official parade and the ensuing ceremony at Citizens Bank Park where Chase Utley declared his team, “World Fuckin’ Champions.” Few cared that the second basemen cursed in front of millions of children. After all, he was just speaking the truth. Hope blanketed the city. Could the Eagles build off the momentum and win The Super Bowl? Turns out they couldn’t. The Sixers? Gonna make the NBA playoffs but expectations are realistically low. The Flyers? One of the most promising young hockey teams in NHL but hardly anyone cares. So, who’s next? It’s all back on the Phillies, of course. Last night, they opened the MLB season with a home game against the Atlanta Braves who hit three home runs in the first two innings, coasting to a relatively easy 4-1 win. It left me wondering about what will happen if the Phillies start out flat. Will the good tidings and cautious optimism carry over from last year? Will the city cheer its team on, knowing it has the talent to take it all? Or will we throw up our hands, concoct a new curse and stop talking to each other again? Only time will tell.

 

QuotationCats are intended to teach us that not in everything in nature has a purpose. – Garrison Keillor

 

Tune: Finally, a successful Philadelphia band that hasn’t moved to Brooklyn. Dr. Dog is getting bigger by the day. Here’s “My Old Ways”.

 

Link: Chuck Norris Facts – A list of “facts” about Chuck Norris. Some of them are extremely funny.

 

Gallimaufry: If you thought dot-matrix printers and Zip drives were gone for good, think again. Those are just two of the items discussed in Harry McCracken’s “Where Are They Now? 25 Computer Products That Refuse To Die”…Looks like The Stone Roses won’t be reuniting for this summer’s Coachella. Bummer…After watching the Philadelphia Flyers’ shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, I decided something: Claude Giroux is the real deal. His shootout move – while unsuccessful – was pretty frickin’ nasty.

 

Incoming: Tomorrow – What the hell is up with all the gun violence over the weekend? Wednesday – Update on your Annoying Sayings suggestions. Stay tuned.