03.02.10 – A Tuesday

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word

brouhaha [broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah] n. 1. excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo: The brouhaha followed disclosures of graft at City Hall 2. an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., esp. a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause: A brouhaha by the baseball players resulted in three black eyes

birthday

Sam Houston (1793), Dr. Seuss (1904), Mel Ott (1909), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Rory Gallagher (1948), Gates McFadden (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Laraine Newman (1952), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977), Ben Roethlisberger (1982), Elizabeth Jagger (1984)

standpoint

So the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver are officially over and I can honestly I’m going to kind of miss them. For many reasons, I was much more enthralled this time around.

While the rest of the world searches for the next big thing to fixate on, I’d like to dispense my final salvo on this year’s games. And, yes, I completely understand I’m a day late.

→ I’m genuinely curious to see what new oddity people will discuss now that curling won’t be on television 24 hours a day. Check out this article. Maybe one of these will become the subsequent cult sport.

Team USA was, by far, the best in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. Hands down. Sure, they walked away with the silver after a hard fought overtime loss to Team Canada, but they played some of the best and biggest hockey ever. Ryan Miller was the tourney’s best netminder but it was the play of guys like Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Brian Rafalski and Ryan Suter that made it truly special to watch. Hopefully, the NHL and the NHLPA can agree to let its players participate in 2014, when Team USA will be even better and, most likely, the favorite.

Sidney Crosby, the captain of Team Canada and one of the most annoying people on the planet, scored the gold medal winning goal to capture the top spot for his country, further proving my belief the shithead obviously signed some kind of a deal with the devil. Crosby wasn’t that effective in the tournament but, as usual, he managed to to grab the limelight and snatch up a prize he didn’t necessarily deserve. It’s such a weak-minded character flaw to dislike the dude so much, but I just can’t help myself. Also, he looks like SNL cast member Andy Samberg, who I like.

USA snowboarder Shaun White is one of those annoying athletes who knows he’s good, tells people how good he is and then proceeds to never fall flat out on his face. I’m glad he’s on our side.

→ I’m never going to like Ice Dancing. Never. A sport’s got have some sort of attainable points outside the arbitrary opinions of a bunch of strangers. If that’s not a rule, it should be.

→ Watching the Men’s 50K Mass Start Classic Cross Country Race was maybe the longest couple of hours of my life and even made me entertain the notion of maybe putting on NASCAR. Yeah. It was that exhausting.

Overall, I think everyone got what they wanted out of this year’s games. The American people were able to participate in many discussions and enjoy the fine art that is speculative bullshitting. The USA also received the most medals, which again we like because we don’t need to have the best of everything, just the most of it. And Canada won the most gold medals, including the two for ice hockey, which apparently the country desperately needed. Lastly, I’m pretty sure there were some other nations involved in the whole ordeal but, in all the excitement, I didn’t catch any of their names.

quotation

Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. Walt Whitman

tune

After many years, I’m ready to admit that, in my youth, there was a two or three month period when I was a huge fan of 50s rocker Ritchie Valens. It was most likely right around the same time La Bamba came out. I remember finally seeing an actual picture of the 17-year old Chicano rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and feeling conned – he didn’t look anything at all like Lou Diamond Phillips. Anyway. I always liked “Come On Let’s Go.”

gallimaufry

As much as I became entranced by Olympic hockey, I’m glad the NHL is back in session. Trade deadline is tomorrow at 3pm EST and there should be some serious moves this year. I’m sure close to nine of you are even remotely interested.

→ Last night, I got into a moderately heated debate on Sarah Palin with my mother, who views the ex-governor from Alaska as some sort of victim. For all of you who share that point of view, I offer this. And, for the record, I mean no disrespect to the woman who birthed me. She’s awesome. It’s healthy for people to disagree.

→ Sheesh. Would everyone please get off the back of American singer Elliott Yamin for tweeting during and after the earthquake in Chile? Apparently, the guy helped ease some people’s fears. However, it’s still fair game to make crazy fun out of him for being on Americal Idol.

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02.26.10 – A Friday

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word

surreptitious [sur-uhp-tishuhs] adj. 1. obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized; clandestine: a surreptitious glance 2. acting in a stealthy way 3. obtained by subreption; subreptitious

birthday

Wenceslaus (1361), Christopher Marlowe (1564), Victor Hugo (1802), Levi Strauss (1829), William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846), John Harvey Kellogg (1852), Herbert Henry Dow (1866), Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887), Tex Avery (1908), Jackie Gleason (1916), Tony Randall (1920), Fats Domino (1928), Johnny Cash (1932), Mitch Ryder (1945), Michael Bolton (1953), Greg Germann (1958), Erykah Badu (1971)

standpoint

Earlier this week, I admitted to succumbing to the subtle nuances of the sport of curling. I didn’t claim to love it. It’s okay. As far as television watching goes, it accomplishes what it needs to. But I’m annoyed about people clamoring on and on (and on) about the high television ratings curling is getting during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Let’s face facts. This time next week, hardly anyone’s going to be lifting a finger to do anything about their supposed love affair with curling. It’s not the fact the cult sport is getting so much attention that’s drawing my ire. Good for curling, I guess.

No, what’s bothering me is the insinuation and the mindset of “majority rules,” the notion that if most everyone shares the same opinion on a particular person, event or ideal, inherently it must have a certain degree of merit. It’s employed as a substantive bookmark and those in the minority, those who just don’t see what all the fuss is about, are viewed as being ultraist. And, in case you’re unaware, I’m no longer talking about something as innocuous as curling.

In our society, somewhere along the way it became improper to have a dissenting voice. If you’re not a joiner, your point of view doesn’t carry the same weight. In most circles, you’re summarily dismissed as one sort of crackpot. You didn’t vote for Obama? You don’t watch American Idol? You haven’t read any books Oprah’s recommended? You don’t own any classic rock albums? You don’t get jacked for Monday Night Football? Why not? What the hell is wrong with your dumb ass?

Maybe those are questions you’ve been asked. They’re queries designed to put you on the defensive. They’re meant to imply you most likely have a wire loose somewhere in that head of yours. They’re intended to make you reconsider your discord with what everyone else is doing. There’s a reason for that. When you break from the norm it creates a certain amount of anxiety among those who don’t. It raises doubts within them they’d prefer to overlook. It’s cause for pause, an unsettling wavering to the approach of most individuals’ need to be a part of something with little regard to precisely what that something is.

Simply put, the majority has the edge on the minority in sheer numbers. But the latter scares the former much more than the former does the latter. And that’s because while the majority does in fact rule, it’s mostly in error a high percentage of the time. Pick up any history book and you’ll find an overabundance of instances in which the majority blundered.

There’s absolutely no harm in a surge of popularity for a sport in the Olympics, reading a book someone suggests or listening to Boston. The harm resides in the zeitgeist.

The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.George Bernard Shaw

quotation

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.Jimmy Carter

tune

Earlier this week, I posted an a capella cover version of Toto’s “Africa” by Perpetuum Jazzile. One of my most loyal readers, and closest friends, posted a video response. I think it’s also a quality ditty. Thanks, Joe Taylor, for your interest, albeit often overzealous, in me and my blog. In honor of you, good buddy, I present Howie Day‘s version of “Africa.” Enjoy.

gallimaufry

This is all the proof you’ll need to be convinced it merely takes a lot of money to get a shitty record produced. Props for including Paris Hilton on the list. So very very true.

If you’re an adult between the ages of 25-40, you’ll identify with this article. There’s a reason a lot of names went the way of the dodo. Hey, parents, not that you’ve got a kid, I understand you’re just dying to show all your friends how creative you can be, but give your kid a break. You have to remember that chldren are awfully mean to each other, and your sons and daughters are going to have a hard time appreciating your ingenuity while dining alone in the cafeteria.

→ I’m pretty sure internet music sites all over the world would simply shut down if there wasn’t at least one item per day to post about Thom Yorke. Yesterday’s big news? Yorke finally named the band he put together last fall – Atoms For Peace. The only aspect of AFP (as I’m sure music geeks will soon be calling it) weaker than the name is that Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (or RHCP), is its bassist.

02.22.10 – A Monday

word

pejorative [pi-jawruh-tiv, –jor-, pejuh-rey-, pee-juh-] adj. 1. having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force: the pejorative affix -ling in princeling n. 2. a pejorative form or word, as poetaster

birthday

Rashi (1040), George Washington (1732), Jules Renard (1864), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892), Buddy Tate (1913), Don Pardo (1918), Clarence 13X (1928), Ted Kennedy (1932), Jonathan Demme (1944), Robert Kardashian (1944), Harvey Mason (1947), Julius Erving (1950), Kyle MacLachlan (1959), Steve Irwin (1962), Vijay Singh (1963), Rachel Dratch (1966), Bradley Nowell (1968), Jeri Ryan (1968), Thomas Jane (1969), James Blunt (1974), Drew Barrymore (1975)

standpoint

The 2010 Winter Olympics are clearly invading my usually cynical mindset. As of last night, the USA had the most medals at 24 (7 gold, 7 silver, 10 bronze). So far, we’re kicking ass. And, for once, I’m paying attention and, as a result, I’ve learned a few things. Both about the actual games and myself.

→ First and foremost, I’d like withdraw my summary assassination of curling. Originally, it was irksome that everybody at my bar wanted to watch it. I tried to ignore it because customers are quirky in that they’re less likely to tip a bartender all that well when he makes sarcastic remarks about the program they requested he put on. And so I started watching it. While I still don’t think it’s technically a sport, I can’t deny it has a certain degree of entertainment value. It’s confusing to me why curling isn’t more popular in this country. It doesn’t seem to take a ton of energy, the strategy is pretty straightforward and, most likely, could be turned into one hell of a drinking game. Fellow citizens, what are we waiting for? By the way, even though I’ve altered my position on curling, I still maintain the brooms are superfluous.

→ From what I can tell, our country excels at sports involving a high risk of injury. We’re all over any event where the slightest wrong move or miscalculation could easily result in a broken neck. If it entails strapping some contraption(s) to your feet, going really fast and/or flying defenselessly through the air, we are more than eager to sign up. The ones in which we seem to be insufficient are those that seem less exciting. We’re not particularly enchanted with the idea of skiing up a hill. Rather, we’d like to be headed down it, preferably with the help of some rocket propulsion and there had better be some sort of ramp at the bottom so we can, like, do some kickass midair shit, you know?

→ Even in the Winter Olympics, it seems no one cares about the sport of ice hockey except the actual players and coaches. Oh, and also the entire population of Canada. And that’s a shame because there’s some high quality hockey being played right now so if you’re not watching, you’re missing out. To all you Canadians out there, I’d like to send some sympathy your way. It must’ve been hell on Earth to watch Team USA hand Team Canada that 5-3 loss last night. If you’re completely unaware of how seriously our friends to the North take the sport of ice hockey, just imagine if your football team lost in the Super Bowl and your baseball team lost Game 7 of the World Series. On the same day.

We’ve got one week left. Hopefully, our athletes can keep up the stellar work and give the citizens of every country in the world yet another reason to hate the good ole USA.

quotation

Don’t listen to those who say, you taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most important, don’t listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says. they all smarter than you out there. They’re more talented, they’re taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections. I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you’ll be a person worthy of your own respects.Neil Simon

tune

In honor of Bradley Nowell’s birthday, I’m giving you my favorite son by his band, Sublime. Aptly, it’s titled “Greatest Hits.”

gallimaufry

Andrew Koenig, the son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, known primarily for playing the role of “Boner” on the 80s sitcom Growing Pains, has been missing since Valentine’s Day. If you know anything about his whereabouts, get in touch with the authorities. Here’s hoping the guy returns home safely.

→ If dolphins ever gain the ability to walk upon land, there’s a good chance they would achieve world domination. Don’t believe me? Watch this video and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.

→ Only five episodes into the first season of the HBO series The Wire and I’m tempted to declare it the best cop show in the history of the world, a title currently held by my beloved NYPD Blue.

02.16.10 – A Tuesday

word

gossamer [gosuh-mer] n. 1. a fine, filmy cobweb seen on grass or bushes or floating in the air in calm weather, esp. in autumn 2. a thread or a web of this substance 3. an extremely delicate variety of gauze, used esp. for veils 4. any thin, light fabric 5. something extremely light, flimsy, or delicate 6. a thin, waterproof outer garment, esp. for women

birthday

Henry Adams (1838), Ken Takakura (1931), Otis Blackwell (1932), Sonny Bono (1935), Kim Jong-il (1941), William Katt (1951), Margaux Hemingway (1954), LeVar Burton (1957), Ice-T (1958), John McEnroe (1959)

standpoint

Unless you’ve been wandering around a desert for the past couple of days, you know the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are underway in Vancouver. They only happen every four years and, every four years, I tell myself I’m not interested in watching the Olympics. And, every four years, I find myself watching them anyway. (I’ll go through the same process two years from now, when the 2012 Summer Olympic Games kick off in London.)

As I watch the Winter Games while bartending, I’m having a few thoughts. Thoughts I’ll now share with you.

→ Why is everyone so amped about Curling? Eight years ago, this sport gained a little notoriety, mainly because no one really had any idea what it was. In the past couple of days, at least five people have stated, “I can’t wait for Curling.” I’ve asked each of these people the same question, “Why?” They’ve all responded similarly, “Dude, it’s Curling.” Or, “Come on, how can you not like Curling?” I have to admit I wasn’t exactly sure why I’m not all that into Curling, so I thought about it and decided it’s because of the use of brooms. I just don’t think the brooms do much of anything.

→ How did the Biathlon even come into being? Who was the guy who thought cross-country skiing wasn’t enough of a pain in the ass and decided it would be a great idea to place some ridiculously impossible shooting ranges along the way? Most likely, that guy was not entirely fun to be around.

→ From what I can tell, professional skiing and those idiotic Sunday night blooper shows have one important thing in common: most everyone is tuned in to watch people fall.

→ At least once during every commercial break, the Province of British Columbia promotes itself with a film montage, complete with cameos by Steve Nash, Ryan Reynolds, Michael J. Fox and the guy who played Will on Will and Grace.

→ As I write this, the US has eight (8) medals all ready which is double what any other country has. I’m sure the rest of the world is displeased by that.

That’s all I got for now, but I’m sure more will come to mind.

quotation

Writing is a concentrated form of thinking…a young writer sees that with words he can place himself more clearly into the world. Words on a page, that’s all it takes to help him separate himself from the forces around him, streets and people and pressures and feelings. He learns to think about these things, to ride his own sentences into new perceptions.Don DeLillo

tune

I’ve always like “Half Harvest” by Michael Penn. That’s all I have to say about it.

gallimaufry

Sucks for director Kevin Smith. It’s embarrassing enough when you get ejected from a flight for being too fat. It’s much more so when the whole world knows about it. 

The World Sauna Championships? It’s for real. Further proof there are many more lunatics out there than we first thought.

→ As usual, this year’s lineup for Bonnaroo will be sick. As usual, I probably won’t be there.