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?

03.01.10 – A Monday

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word

semblance [sem-bluhns] n. 1. outward aspect or appearance 2. an assumed or unreal appearance; show 3. the slightest appearance or trace 4. a likeness, image, or copy 5. a spectral appearance; apparition

birthday

John Pell (1611), Frédéric Chopin (1810), Glenn Miller (1904), Ralph Ellison (1913), Harry Caray (1914), Pete Rozelle (1926), Harry Belafonte (1927), Robert Bork (1927), Robert Conrad (1935), Roger Daltrey (1944), Dirk Benedict (1945), Alan Thicke (1947), Burning Spear (1948), Catherine Bach (1954), Ron Howard (1954), Timothy Daly (1956), Nik Kershaw (1958), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (1974)

standpoint

Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of this blog. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. Looking back to the first night, having a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish and sitting here now, I’m slightly amazed with how it’s all transpired.

Some trial and error, some ups and downs, some hiatuses and I’m still borderline addicted to updating this blog almost every day. More importantly, I’m happy that so many of you come here daily to read what I’ve got to offer, especially those of you who take time our of your day to let me know what you think, both good and bad. All the feedback has been really helpful and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. Truly.

I’m not going to make any promise of what’s to come or what’ll happen on the euneJeune daily, but as of right now, I have no intention of quitting. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be posting something most every day, except Saturdays and Sundays.

Thanks again for reading. Come back tomorrow for some more. I promise I’ll be back to my bitter self by then and will most definitely have something I need to get off my chest about the world around us. Indeed.

quotation

In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.Tom Waits

tune

One music artist I feel sometimes goes unnoticed is Peter Gabriel. Sure, I know the dude is a megastar and, right now, he’s probably sitting in a house so big most of us don’t possess the imagination to conceptualize its enormity, figuring out which charitable cause to throw his weight behind next. But he’s not on the top of anyone’s list. I talk about music constantly, and I always ask people whose music they simply couldn’t live without. I’ve gotten hundreds of different responses but no one’s ever said, “Peter Gabriel.” And I’m not sure why.  Sure, he’s got a couple strikes against him like the fact Genesis did their best work after Gabriel left, forcing Phil Collins to come out from behind his drumkit. And, yeah, his use of costumes during live shows was, to put it mildly, less successful as David Bowie and Elton John but, let’s face it, not everyone can pull that shit off. On the other hand, he’s credited with changing the way music videos (Remember those?) were made with songs like “Sledge Hammer.” And the scene from the movie Say Anything where John Cusack holds the boombox, blasting “In Your Eyes,” outside of Ione Skye‘s house is largely considered the greatest use of music in the history of cinema. 1986’s So is almost always mentioned in those Top 500 Albums of All-Time lists that music critics create when there’s not a lot going on. Obviously, Peter Gabriel’s done some stuff, some good, some bad, some puzzling, but you’ve got to give him his due because he’s done it all on his terms. And that’s pretty much the definition of cool. Here’s my choice for his best song – “Come Talk To Me.”

gallimaufry

As I’m sure you’re aware, one of the biggest earthquakes ever hit the South American nation of Chile over the weekend. So far, it doesn’t appear to be as devastating as the one that almost destroyed Haiti almost two months ago. From what I can tell that’s because, according to experts, the Chilean quake was “deeper” and its epicenter was located 20 miles offshore. Also, Chileans were better prepared for an earthquake both in terms of the structure of their buildings and the infrastructure of its government. As I write this, the death toll for Chile has been set at a little over700, but I suspect that number will climb in the days to come. If you know anyone who’s living in Chile and are looking for information on them, Google has setup a Chile People Finder.

→ Probably tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I’ll have some final thoughts on the 2010 Winter Olympic Games but right now I’d just like convey my appreciation to all the US Olympians who helped bring home a record 37 medals, especially the members of the Men’s Ice Hockey Team, who played some of the best hockey I’ve ever seen in my life. But more on that to come.

→ As of late, I know I’ve been in the need for some laughs and this article from The Onion did the trick. And, no, Dikembe Mutombo is not a US Senator. I had to look that up to make sure, though.

01.08.10 – A Friday

WORD

colloquial [kuhloh-kwee-uhl] adj. 1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal 2. involving or using conversation

BIRTHDAY

Hans von Bülow (1830), Frank Nelson Doubleday (1862), Larry Storch (1923), Soupy Sales (1926), Elvis Presley (1935), Bob Eubanks (1938), Graham Chapman (1941), Robby Krieger (1946), David Bowie (1947), Mike Reno (1955), Paul Hester (1959), R. Kelly (1967), Ami Dolenz (1969), Sean Paul (1973)

STANDPOINT

As I type this, I’m watching a TNT promo for Southland. Last year, NBC dropped the cop drama before it even debuted. TNT scooped it up and will start running the series, in its entirety, this Tuesday. (TNT is waiting to see how the ratings go for the seven episodes NBC aired plus six never-before-seen ones before deciding to order a new season.)

As I’ve felt in the past, I’m currently confounded why some quality shows get the boot and other crappy shows (According To Jim, The Real World, Judge Judy, JAG) seem to run on forever. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since quality entertainment seems to be a notion no one concern themselves with.

It got me thinking about some other shows that were inexplicably dropped before their time. The following is a list of my favorite shows abandoned too soon.

QUOTATION

The National Rifle Association says that, “Guns don’t kill people, uh, people do.” But I think, I think the gun helps. You know? I think it helps. I just think just standing there going, “Bang!” That’s not going to kill too many people, is it?Eddie Izzard

TUNE

There’s not a ton of information out there on Seattle-based band The Pale Pacific (formerly The Pale). I came upon the 2005 release Urgency a while back and it became one of my favorite “half albums” – those containing an equal amount of both good and so-so songs. (I’ve got a lot of those, by the way.) One of the better songs is “Identity Theft.” Give it a listen.

GALLIMAUFRY

I’m not so naive to think all of this wintry weather going on is proof-positive that global warming is hogwash. But -50° wind chills in the Midwest don’t exactly help Al Gore’s cause.

→ Someone needs to be in a world of hurt to attempt to stab themselves to death. That’s exactly what Howard Stern’s sidekick, Artie Lange, did. Nine times. Long bouts of depression and numerous episodes of drug abuse apparently led him to it. Here’s hoping the guy can find some kind of peace and shake loose of his demons.

→ The other day, I reported that Vampire Weekend and Spoon were releasing albums next Tuesday. I lied. Vampire Weekend is releasing Contra next week, but Spoon’s Transference won’t come out until two weeks later. In any case, should be a good couple of months coming up for new music with Ben Kweller, Eels, Beach House, David Bowie, Midlake, Hot Chip, Peter Gabriel, Field Music, Jason Falkner, Shout Out Louds, Rogue Wave, The Whigs, Aloha, Frightened Rabbit, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Morning Benders and White Stripes all poised with fresh material.

03.30.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Phoenixville, PA (Spent the night at my folks’ place. They’ve graciously taken my cats into their home and I slept over to help ease the transition for both the cats and myself.)

Word: assuage [uhsweyj] verb 1. to make milder or less severe; relieve; ease; mitigate: to assuage one’s grief; to assuage one’s pain  2. to appease; satisfy; allay; relieve: to assuage one’s hunger  3. to soothe, calm or mollify: to assuage his fears; to assuage her anger

Birthday: Jethro Tull (1684), Francisco Goya (1746), Vincent Van Gogh (1853), Franz Oppenheimer (1864), McGeorge Bundy (1919), Richard Dysart (1929), Warren Beatty (1937), Eric Clapton (1945), Paul Reiser (1957), MC Hammer (1962), Tracy Chapman (1964), Ian Ziering (1964), Céline Dion (1968), Donna D’Errico (1968), Secretariat (1970), Norah Jones (1979), Anna Nalick (1984)

Occurrence: 1933 – The first observance of Doctor’s Day in Winder, Georgia. In 1990, the USA officially began to recognize “National Doctor’s Day.”

Standpoint: Today, Y-Rock on XPN kicks off Modern Rock Madness. Basically, it’s a bracket-style contest not unlike the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It pits music artists against each other in one-on-one competition with the victor moving on to the next round until there is only one left standing. Click HERE to take a look at the match-ups. While it’s a nice concept, this type of radio programming always leaves me a bit salty. And that’s because, like most things I guess, it’s primarily a popularity contest. Granted Modern Rock Madness 2008 ended up with a worthy victor: Radiohead. But the rest of the final four (Modest Mouse, Cake and Beck) gave me the feeling that people voted based on who they thought they should and not who was actually the more talented. And this year’s bracket is kind of befuddling. Why pit David Bowie and Elvis Costello against each other right off the bat? Either one could arguably be in the top eight. Also, how did Spoon and Arcade Fire earn a first round showdown? Both bands are wildly successful right now and it just doesn’t seem right to have one of them eliminated in the first round while bands of equal current success like Vampire Weekend and My Morning Jacket virtually assured first-round victories. The organizers of the NCAA Tournament don’t have the number one and two teams play each other on the first night. I wouldn’t care if they did but I’m betting a lot of you would. Should we hold Y-Rock on XPN to a lesser standard? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, but I wish it was no.

Quotation: Money does not make you happy but quiets the nerves.Sean O’Casey

Digit: 8 – In Scotland, you only need be eight years old to be convicted of a crime as long it can be proven that you knew what you were doing.

Tune: People who talk music with me are sick of me going on and on about Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. I can’t decide whether “Modern Mystery” or “Think I’m Gonna Die” is its best song. Have a listen to both and then you tell me.

Link: Nerdist – A very funny site by Chris Hardwick.

Gallimaufry: If you live in or around Philadelphia, you’ve driven on I-76, otherwise known as The Schuylkill Expressway. It’s a frustrating stretch of road. To put it mildly. In one of your jaunts down “The Schuylkill” you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say something like, “This has gotta be the worst goddam highway in the country.” Well, next time you can reply to that person, “Actually, it’s not. It’s not even in the top 10.”…If you’re single, tired of dating and wonder where you can go to simply have sex with women without the hassle of all that commitment, today is your lucky day. Simply move to New Zealand where it appears young women are taking promiscuity to a whole new level…Saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button over the weekend. Good movie but Slumdog Millionaire and Milk were much better…It’s no secret that there are millions of not-so-bright individuals running around out there, but this guy takes the cake. Do you think maybe he was looking to get caught?…Check out my friend Brendan F. Quinn’s excellent article “Beam Me Up, Scottie: Reynolds’ Race To The Bucket Sends ‘Nova To The Final Four.”…Thanks for all the responses (both here and on Facebook) to my “Annoying Sayings” post this past Friday. I’ll be doing a follow-up later this week with your suggestions.