06.17.09 – Wednesday

Word: demure [di-myoor] adj. 1. characterized by shyness and modesty; reserved 2. affectedly or coyly decorous, sober, or sedate

Birthday: Edward Longshanks (1239), Igor Stravinsky (1882), M. C. Escher (1898), Newt Gingrich (1943), Barry Manilow (1943), Tommy Franks (1945), George S. Clinton (1947), Joe Piscopo (1951), Jello Biafra (1958), Bobby Farrelly (1958), Thomas Haden Church (1960), Greg Kinnear (1963), Jason Patric (1966), Will Forte (1970), Michael Showalter (1970), Venus Williams (1980)

Quotation: Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.Ralph Ellison

Tune: Check out this cool Sims-like video for “Them Kids” off Love At The End of the World – the new album from Sam Roberts.

Gallimaufry: My friend Beth has started a blog called Operation: Find Beth A Guy. Like most of us who are (or have been) out in the modern dating world, Beth is constantly left wondering, “What the fuck?” The blog details her own journal and some personal thoughts on dating overall. She’s a particularly funny person, so go check it out. I’m not one of those people who think texting is an absolute waste of time. (Anymore.) However, I do think the emerging trend of “Fastest Texter” contests is kind of ridiculous. First, the contests are organized by companies (see LG, Nokia) who’ve got lots to gain from increased text messaging. Second, is being a super-quick texter really something teenagers should aspire to be? I guess it’s no difference than video game tournaments, but still, it sounds kind of messed up. ∞ Donte’ Stallworth, the Cleveland Browns receiver who struck and killed a man while drinking and driving last March, has pled guilty and will now face – wait for it – 30 DAYS IN JAIL. Not 30 years. 30 days. For all of you kids out there who are even remotely competent at catching a football, keep practicing. Because if you get good enough at it, you could get a college scholarship and eventually become a star wide receiver in the NFL. After that, the sky’s the limit. You can literally drive over people in your car and kill them after a night of binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound pretty goddam sweet? You bet your ass it does.

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03.17.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: stultify [stuhl-tuh-fahy] verb to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous

Birthday: Nat King Cole (1919), John Wayne Gacy (1942), Patrick Duffy (1949), Kurt Russell (1951), Gary Sinise (1955), Casey Siemaszko (1961), Rob Lowe (1964), Billy Corgan (1967), Mia Hamm (1972)

Occurrence: 1854 – The rubber band is first patented. Interesting, but I would like to know the first time someone figured out how to wrap it around their hand and point at people like a gun.

Standpoint: In today’s NFL, you’re just not a viable wide receiver until ESPN shows a clip of you getting arrested or questioned by the police. Apparently, it’s a rite of passage. This past Saturday morning, Donte Stallworth struck and killed Juan Sanchez, a man who had just finished his shift. Stallworth has now joined the ranks of Plaxico Burress, Javon Walker, Marvin Harrison and host of other professional wideouts who can’t seem to help but get busted for (or suspected of) criminal acts. Originally, it was reported that charges would not be brought up against the Cleveland Browns player, but now it seems a definite possibility. The most amazing aspect of this current trend of “bad boy” wide receivers is that, for the most part, every one of them is, or has the potential to be, an elite player. Randy Moss. Terry Glenn. Brandon Marshall. Koren Robinson. All great talents. All ended up destroying or diminishing their own careers for participation in events that, to the rest of us, seem completely absurd. The problem is well-documented. This is news to no one. So when does Commissioner Robert Goodell drop the hammer and start kicking these guys out of the league? And when do the teams start sending a real message by not signing these guys, no matter what their level of talent may be? The NFL has become a safe harbor for individuals who continually break the law (see Matt Jones), learn nothing from their actions and have the bank accounts to mount defenses O.J. Simpson would drool over. I’ll take drama-queen Terrell Owens over any of these guys. He may be a big problem in the locker room and a seemingly below-average human being but at least I know when I walk out of work he’s not going to run me over in his Bentley.

Quotation: How do I know what I think until I see what I say?E.M. Forster

Soupçon: The original Greek question mark became the English semicolon (;). I know I keep ripping off A.J. Jacobs but can you really blame me? I maintain a daily blog that includes an interesting fact section and I’m reading a book chronicling a man’s search for knowledge. I’ve just gotten to the “R” chapter of The Know-It-All so I’m almost done ripping it off.

Tune: Besides being great guys, Backyard Tire Fire is an outstanding live band. About a year ago, my brother and I went to The North Star to see The Beautiful Girls. BTF was the opening act and they put on a great show. After their set, I had lost my interest in seeing the main act and spent the rest of the night at the bar with the band. Great night. Check out “Corrine”.

Link: Bag of Songs – Superlative Philadelphia-based blog covering the world of music.

Gallimaufry: Not everyone is hurting during the recession. Condom sales are up due to, among other factors, people staying in more and couples holding off on having a child. Read Amanda Ruggeri’s article “10 Winners in the Recession” from U.S. News & World Report to see who else is prospering…Paste Magazine has made a list of the best independent movie houses in the country. Surprisingly, none of Philadelphia’s made the list…Looks like tough times ahead for Atlantic City, NJ. Casinos are experiencing record losses right now. Hope the Borgata is still there May 23rd when I’m going to see Joel McHale for my birthday. Fingers crossed, people…Hope everyone has a SAFE St. Patrick’s Day. Lots of drinking rookies out there. Be careful and don’t drive.