02.08.10 – A Monday

word

ebullient [i-buhl-yuhnt, i-bool-] adj. 1. overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited: The award winner was in an ebullient mood at the dinner in her honor 2. bubbling up like a boiling liquid

birthday

Samuel Butler (1612), John Ruskin (1819), William Tecumseh Sherman (1820), Jules Verne (1828), Kate Chopin (1850), Lana Turner (1921), Jack Lemmon (1925), Neal Cassady (1926), James Dean (1931), John Williams (1932), Ted Koppel (1940), Nick Nolte (1941), Robert Klein (1942), Mary Steenburgen (1953), John Grisham (1955), Vince Neil (1961), Joshua Kadison (1963), Gary Coleman (1968), Mary McCormack (1969), Seth Green (1974)

standpoint

I’m a football fan but not a huge one. I halfheartedly participate in two (2) fantasy leagues and have a moderate interest in my hometown Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m much less emotionally invested in the NFL than I let on. Most years, I watch the Super Bowl more out of some misplaced obligation to some archaic sense of manhood. But I didn’t feel the same way this year. I actually had a mildly strong desire to watch last night because I like both the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, along with their respective quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

But I was curious to see how Super Bowl XLIV would be a different experience for me. And, lucky for you, I chronicled it. Here goes.

Note: I was reasonably sure that the Colts would win and cover the spread (+5.5) and the over (57 pts.) would become a matter of fact.

Pregame

» Not going to lie, I watched golf until just about the start of the game so I didn’t get to see what inane crap led up to the actual footage from Miami.

» But I did tune in time to see the Colts get introduced onto the field to the same song by The Who that opens up every episode of CSI:Miami, which turned out to be all of The Who I needed.

» Queen Latifah sang America The Beautiful with a choir and musical accompaniment. It didn’t really work all that well. Looked like she was never really in sync. Carrie Underwood sang The Star-Spangled Banner and it was better. During all this, cameras were on Peyton Manning, who looked amped to the point he was cursing the fact Francis Scott Key and Katharine Bates were ever born.

» The next class of inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were introduced as honorary whatevers to the coin toss. Emmitt Smith was the honorary coin tosser. Saints called heads. Smith flipped the coin directly at the Saints players, who sidestepped it. It was heads. Saints got the ball.

1st Quarter – 6:20(ish) PM

» Betty White and Abe Vigoda starred in a clever ad for Snickers. I’m completely sure those two actors were used because about 99% of viewers thought both had died years ago.

» The ad for the Boost Mobile Shuffle, featuring prominent members of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, was awful.

» In keeping with Hollywood’s trend of recycling, there’s another Robin Hood movie coming out starring Russell Crowe. Looks like both Braveheart and Gladiator ate a bunch of bows and arrows and vomited on each other. I’ll probably go see it.

» First quarter came to a close. Colts-10. Saints-0. I wasn’t paying much attention to the actual game.

2nd Quarter – 7:00 PM

» Pretty fast 1st quarter. At this point, I was certain the Colts were going to run away with the game.

» A Cars.com ad came on, detailing the life of a boy genius type doing all sorts of amazing boy genius type stuff. But when it came time to buy a car, he was at a loss. He looked to his mobile device for answers and, you guessed it, Cars.com came to the rescue. At one point during the ad, the boy genius delivered a baby Bengal tiger while on safari. That kicked off a conversation between my girlfriend and I where we discussed her desire to bring a baby panther into the apartment. Negotiations reached a stalemate after she refused to budge on the name of the baby panther. Oh well.

» The Saints began to make a game of it. Pretty sure they kicked a field goal.

» One ad had Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman on the same couch talking about something. I’m not sure what because I was distracted. Leno didn’t look like he was actually there. The next ad (maybe) had Brett Favre making fun of the fact he never actually retires. I like it when celebrities/athletes know to do that.

» The Colts stopped the Saints on a 4th and goal from the 1-yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half. See? I pay mind to the important stuff.

» I wasn’t quite sure how it happened but the Saints kick another field goal just as time expires on the 1st half. Colts – 10. Saints – 6.

Halftime – 7:50 PM

» The Who played. The Who sucked. I monitored Twitter feeds instead. Best Tweet? “Wake up your great grandma. The Who is on.”

3rd Quarter – 8:22 PM

» The Saints began the 2nd half with an onside kick. Which they recovered. Which turned out to be huge. Saints – 13. Colts – 10.

» According to a new Volkswagen ad, the classic car game, Punch Buggy, has now been expanded to include the entire Volkswagen fleet. As a matter of fact, it seems whatever substance it’s painting its cars with nowadays is so cutting edge, even Stevie Wonder can see it. Much to the chagrin of an arm sore Tracy Morgan. Classic.

» The Colts’ Joseph Addai ran in for a touchdown. Colts – 17. Saints – 13. I was a little disappointed about how good of a game it was becoming. I’m not used to the Super Bowl being about the Super Bowl. Not being able to run out of the room in between commercials was messing with my head.

» Two commercials gave me pause in different ways. First, the new E*TRADE baby wasn’t half as funny as the original. Second, Google aired its first ever television ad. I think.

» The Saints kicked another field goal which flew under my radar. End of the 3rd quarter. Colts – 17. Saints – 16.

4th Quarter – 8:56 PM

» Honestly, I should’ve been playing closer attention. The Saints started scoring. They took the lead. They intercepted a very important Peyton Manning pass at a crucial time. I watched the whole thing. I swear. But, as happens more than not, I became embroiled in a debate that made the game take a backseat.

» Super Bowl XLIV ended at 9:45 PM. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 31-17. If I bet the game the way I thought it would go, I would’ve been dead wrong. Yet another reason why I’m not a gambling man.

Overall, a most exhilarating football contest. The best Super Bowl in years. Congrats, New Orleans. Call me when you’re done partying. That should be around June.

quotation

Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.Thomas Pynchon

tune

One band from the 80s that doesn’t get enough credit is The Housemartins. I like to think of them as a sort of catchier version of  The Smiths. Also, they’ve got one of the best titled songs ever – “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.” Actually, after just listening to it, it seems to work nowadays as well.

gallimaufry

→ I just got done reading King of Russia: A Year in the Russian Super League, and it was simple and great. Former NHL head coach and current Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King narrates his experiences as the first ever Canadian coach in Russia. The guy really knows his stuff and he provides great insight into Russian hockey and its players, especially Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeny Malkin.

→ Speaking of the Pittsburgh Penguins, yesterday afternoon’s game between them and the Washington Capitals was just about as complete as you could ask for. Caps won it in overtime 5-4 after being down 4-2 going into the third period.

11.12.09 – A Thursday

WORD

platitude [plat-i-tood, -tyood] n. 1. a flat, dull, or trite remark, esp. one uttered as if it were fresh or profound 2. the quality or state of being flat, dull, or trite: the platitude of most political oratory

BIRTHDAY

Bartomoleo Bandinelli (1493), Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815), Auguste Rodin (1840), Karl Marx (1897), Jo Stafford (1917), Kim Hunter (1922), Charles Manson (1934), Mills Lane (1936), Booker T. Jones (1944), Al Michaels (1944), Neil Young (1945), Megan Mullally (1958), Sammy Sosa (1968), Tonya Harding (1970), Tevin Campbell (1976), Ryan Gosling (1980), Anne Hathaway (1982)

STANDPOINT

One things that bugs the shit out of me is when someone, after finding I lean toward the indie rock persuasion in terms of music listening, will classify me as a “music snob.”

The reason it irks me is because it’s simply not true. Well, not completely true anyhow. There’s truth to the idea I look down my nose at artists like Pink, Britney Spears and Kanye West. But it’s only because I think that those artists (and about a million more) really concentrate on finding new ways to suck. And not just at music. At life, as well.

However, if you like those artists and want to listen to them, feel free. Yu can turn them on and dance around your living room and scream the moronic lyrics at the top of your lungs for all I care.

You see, because while I have discerning musical tastes, I am all for you listening to whatever makes you happy. Even if that same music makes me uncontrollably sad. Listen to what you like. It’s your choice.

The problem I have is when someone like you tries to engage me in some sort of debate about musis, lecturing me on the finer, more subtle points of music. Here’s where I gotta stop you.

As I stated before, listen to what you like. But, please, for both our benefit make no attempts to persuade me one way or another about the musical merits of the new Green Day album or how I don’t really understand what Taylor Swift is really singing about. I do. I get it. And, as you’ve made a conscious decision to like that kind of thing, I’ve chosen to go the exact opposite way with my listening pleasure.

So when you call me a “music snob,” you should not be too surprised when the next 30,000 words that come out of my mouth are directed squarely at you, your intellgence and your lack of depth.

Because, really, what’s the difference between you accusing me of being too deep to understand the simplicity of simple music, and me accusing you of being too much of a simpleton to understand the simplicity of great music?

Guess that clears that up. Glad we had this talk.

QUOTATION

What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.Jack Kerouac

TUNE

Seems like a ton of bands are doing the return-to-rock thing. (See Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket) Usually, I dislike these trends. Furthermore, I hate being told what to like by anyone. But, being the music geek I am, forcing myself to listen to everything I possibly can (within limits) is something I just need to do. And, sometimes, I stumble upon a band that, despite myself, I kind of really dig. Like Alberta Cross, the NYC-based via London band that just released its debut album, Broken Side of Time. Check out “ATX.”

GALLIMAUFRY

THR.com has published a list of the top male TV earners. Tops? Simon Cowell at $75 million a year. No surprise there. Number 10 was a bit of a surprise, though. David Caruso at $9 million per year. All you hammy actors out there have some hope. (Personally, I love watching Caruso in CSI:Miami.)

→ I posted this on Facebook yesterday but I had to share it again here. This is one of the most ridiculous commercials I’ve ever seen. And up here in Phoenixville PA, it’s on like non-stop. It’s for KIA of West Chester and it’s almost making me want to got there and pretend I want to buy a car. Just to see if these dudes are equally hopped-up off camera. My favorite part is when the one dude, Anthony, gets cut off in the middle of the catch phrase, “THAT’S CRAAAZY!” Indeed.

→ The dude who started the Twitter account @shitmydadsays has signed a TV deal with CBS, after signing a book deal recently. Congrats, brother. I love it when stuff like that happens. My favorite tweet of his so far? “Son, no one gives a shit about all the things your cell phone does. You didn’t invent it, you just bought it. Anybody can do that.”

09.29.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

recondite [rekuhn-dahyt, ri-kon-dahyt] adj. 1. dealing with very profound, difficult, or abstruse subject matter: a recondite treatise 2. beyond ordinary knowledge or understanding; esoteric: recondite principles 3. little known; obscure: a recondite fact

BIRTHDAY

Kenny Baker (1912), Buddy Rich (1917), Truman Capote (1924), Elie Wiesel (1928), Angie Dickinson (1930), Johnny Mathis (1935), Frankie Lymon (1942), Barry Williams (1954), Fran Drescher (1957), Eric Stoltz (1961), Crystal Bernard (1961), Trey Anastasio (1964), Kathleen Madigan (1965), Jenna Elfman (1971), Kieran Culkin (1982)

STANDPOINT

There’s a bunch of things drawing my ire today, but nothing I’m prepared to expound on. In the meantime, check these out.

CSI: Miami‘s David Caruso‘s endless opening one liners.

 

From 1959, an interview with Jack Kerouac from The Steve Allen Show.

 

A video that should convince of Eric Lindros‘ ultimate prowess in the NHL.

 

QUOTATION

An ordinary man can… surround himself with two thousand books… and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.Augustine Birrell

TUNE

Sometimes, you can listen to a song 405 times. Obviously, you dig the song. Or, at least, that’s what the Play Count on your iPod is trying its best to indicate. But then, you’ve got your earbuds in while  sitting on the back porch during your favorite time of day. You’re thinking about a certain aspect of your life, pondering what’s happened and what the future might have in store. And the song comes on. For the 406th time. Due to your mindset, and the particulars occupying your brain, you hear that song again, but, also, for the first time. That happened to me about a week back. I finally heard “Turn On Me” in the exact right context. The lyrics are really kind of awesome. Truthfully, I’d kind of soured on The Shins, but I’m back to thinking James Mercer got the goods.  

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I love reading stories about people who, in the face of adversity, do things I don’t think I’d be capable of doing. Here’s the story of Ken Green. Dude was in an RV, driven by his brother, riding with his girlfriend and his dog. The RV crashed. He was the only survivor and had to get his leg amputated. And, still, the man wants to keep golfing. The human spirit can be inspiring from time to time.

→ Despite my cynical bluster, I’m a perpetual optimist. Even so, I thought, after Donovan McNabb went down in Week 1, and the Philadelphia Eagles announced Kevin Kolb would be the starter in his absence, no good would come from it. I was wrong. Kolb only managed to become the ONLY NFL quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in his first two starts ever.

→ Often, like all of us, experts can be wrong. “When Pounds Go Away, Sleep Apnea May Improve” seems to be an article making complete sense. In the past year and a half, I’ve lost 50 lbs. But my sleep apnea has gotten worse. My doctors are a bit baffled/tickled by it. I’m glad it’s something novel and out-of-the-ordinary for them. Guess it breaks up their days to wonder why. However, last week I slept next to someone who struggled to get herself air about 80% of the night. Kinda scary shit. Just give me the CPAP machine all ready. I don’t care how “unsexy” it is.