April 12th, 2012

word

pedantic [puhdan-tik] adj. 1. ostentatious in one’s learning 2. overly concerned with with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching

birthday

Beverly Cleary (1916 and still alive!), Tiny Tim (1932), Herbie Hancock (1940), Ed O’Neill (1946), Tom Clancy (1947), David Letterman (1947), David Cassidy (1950), Jon Krakauer (1954), Andy Garcia (1956), Shannen Doherty (1971), Claire Danes (1979)

standpoint

I would love to offer up something amazingly poignant today but I simply don’t have it in me after the Philadelphia Flyers came back from an early 3-0 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime.

There’s nothing like playoff hockey.

quotation

You’re playing worse every day and right now you’re playing like the middle of next week  ↔ Herb Brooks

tune

I’ve never been much of a Talking Heads fan but I love “Life Is Long” by Brian Eno and David Byrne.

gallimaufry

→ So George Zimmerman was finally arrested for the murder of Trayvon Martin. But it’s Florida, the state that cheated Al Gore out of the presidency and exonerated Casey Anthony, so if you’re expecting some sort of satisfactory result, don’t hold your breath.

→ Sigh, Bobby Petrino, it’s douchebags like you that make it increasingly difficult to be a guy nowadays. I hope you get everything that’s coming to you.

→ Some of you seem completely uninterested with my recent iPhone 4S acquisition. For the record, I like it very much. Thanks for asking.

08.24.11 – a wednesday

word

holus-bolus [hoh-luh’s-boh-luh’s] adv. all at once; altogether

birthday

Howard Zinn (1922), Yasser Arafat (1929), Vince McMahon (1945), Anne Archer (1947), Charles Rocket (1949), Mike Huckabee (1955), Steve Guttenberg (1958), Cal Ripken, Jr. (1960), Craig Kilborn (1962), Marlee Matlin (1965), Dave Chappelle (1973),

standpoint

Lots to cover today. Let’s get started.

→ When I’m driving, I often think about the speed limit. Whether it’s 25 mph or 65 mph, we all get kind of pissed when someone is not travelling at, or above, the limit of speed on any given road. I’m wondering if there’s any other aspect of our society in which we have similar expectations.

→ Holy shit, as I’m writing this I’m watching FoxNews’ On The Record with Greta Van Susternen and have come to the conclusion that everyone who has anything to do with this show should be fucking ashamed of themselves. In describing the earthquake, Greta showed why she is on the forefront of responsible journalism with words like, “mass chaos”, “people running for their lives”, “a terrifying 45 seconds which, to many, seemed like a lifetime”, “tremors paralyzed the city”, “some people at the Capitol saying it felt like a plane hitting the building, a very eerie and frightening reminder of 9/11”, and “it was a terrifying afternoon.” The earthquake, while probably caused a great deal of inconvenience to many, didn’t really register than more of a shimmy to those of us who experienced it. What’s worse, it seems like the media was consummately disappointed about the complete lack of casualties as evident in this article’s last line, “Only minor injuries were reported.

→ The folks who work at A&E must have the highest suicide rate of in the history of television. With shows like Hoarders, Relapse, Beyond Scared Straight and Intervention to name a few, it’s pretty much the highlights of how people can screw up their lives. I understand that the premise behind airing these programs is that viewers like to watch to feel better about their own lives but that’s equally pathetic.

quotation

Silence moves faster when it’s going backwards. ↔ Jean Cocteau

tune

I stumbled upon “The Girl” by City and Colour one night while listening to Pandora. The video is good, the song even better.

gallimaufry

If this article is correct, zoos across the world are gonna become overpopulated pretty damn quick.

David Letterman is the alleged target of a fatwa. Craig Ferguson is receiving suspicious mail. Someone out there (Jay Leno) apparently hates the CBS late night lineup.

→ For the rest of their time together, I think it’s entirely safe to say that former NJ State Assemblyman Pat Delany will never ever again lose an argument with his wife. For instance, maybe she sends him to the supermarket for an assortment of items and maybe he comes home with the wrong kind of cereal. She might get annoyed and say something like, “Dammit, Pat, I wrote it down on the list. Why didn’t you look at the list?” Sample rebuttal? “Hey, I stopped reading shit you write ever since you sent that racist email to Carl Lewis.”

04.12.11 – a tuesday

word

milquetoast [milk-tohst] n. a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated: a milquetoast who’s afraid to ask for a raise

birthday

Henry Clay (1777), Beverly Cleary (1916), Tiny Tim (1932), Herbie Hancock (1940), Ed O’Neill (1946), Tom Clancy (1947), David Letterman (1947), David Cassidy (1950), Jon Krakauer (1954), Andy García (1956), Vince Gill (1957), Art Alexakis (1962), Shannen Doherty (1971), Claire Danes (1979)

standpoint

I’ve got an imaginative brain. I am constantly wondering about the world around me. Here’s a new segment called I’m Wondering.

Here’s how it works: each one of the following sentences begin with the words I’m Wondering… Easy enough. Let’s start.

I’m Wondering…

…who out there is actually taking Donald Trump and his inane rhetoric seriously? Obama is fair game but he crossed the line when he attacked The Cos.

…if the dudes on Pawn Stars really know as much as they seem to on the show? Also, is the title supposed to be derivative of the term “pornstars?”

…why B. J. Novak enjoys a top billing during the opening credits of The Office? I know he’s one of the show’s writers and producers but the character he plays is relatively minor.

…if I’m friends with anyone who’s remotely interested in the upcoming Royal Wedding and if they’re concerned that me finding that out will immediately end our friendship?

…how in the world it took this long for Glenn Beck to get the ax from Fox News? Who was buying what that clown was selling anyway?

quotation

To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything in the world. ↔ Charles Dudley Warner

tune

Tragic tales of music bands are a dime-a-dozen but they’re especially sad when a freak car accident kills two members a mere month before the release of their debut album. Such was the case with For Squirrels, a mid-90s group from Florida that could’ve gone on to do great things. Here’s “Mighty KC.”

gallimaufry

Coldwater, Michigan gets it. Now let’s follow its lead and start making sense.

→ The upcoming months will feature new releases by elbow, Foo Fighters, TV On the Radio, Gorillaz, Pinback, Regina Spektor, I’m From Barcelona, Explosions In the Sky, Steve Earle, Times New Viking, Architecture In Helsinki, Beastie Boys, Fleet Foxes, The Felice Brothers, Here We Go Magic, Okkervil River, The Sea and the Cake, David Bazan and Death Cab for Cutie to name just a few. It’s no Spring 2010 but it’ll do, right?

→ How is this for a sad story? The Winklevoss twins pitched a business concept to Mark Zuckerberg, a guy roughly about ten times smarter than the two of them combined. He steals their idea and creates arguably the most successful business in the history of humanity. They get pissed, sue and get $65 million (now worth $160 million) for basically doing nothing but having an original idea. And now some court has, in essence, told them, “Move on. Enough is enough.” It’s pretty damn disheartening when two spoiled nitwits,who are all ready worth a couple hundred million, are told to stop wasting everyone’s time. This is still the USA, right?

04.12.10 – A Monday

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word

sardonic [sahr-don-ik] adj. 1. characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin

birthday

Henry Clay (1777), Johnny Dodds (1892), Beverly Cleary (1916), Billy Vaughn (1919), Tiny Tim (1932), Herbie Hancock (1940), John Kay (1944), Ed O’Neill (1946), Tom Clancy (1947), David Letterman (1947), David Cassidy (1950), Jon Krakauer (1954), Andy Garcia (1956), Vince Gill (1957), Art Alexakis (1962), Shannen Doherty (1971), Claire Danes (1979)

standpoint

Man, when Obama was elected, our country was supposed to resemble something like this.

Instead, this is the kind of nonsense going on.

Bottom line is there’s hardly anyone left in this country who wants our government to do anything but make our individual lives better. Let’s stop waving this ridiculous notion of patriotism around. It’s just a forsaken ideal to hide behind while pushing a hollow agenda.

How vocal do you think these “patriots” would be if John McCain had won the election instead? Very few, I’d wager.

quotation

The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you. Tennessee Williams

tune

All right, I’m beating the dead horse here. I’m fully aware. But I’m hooked on the Local Natives album Gorilla Manor like Pookie was hooked on crack rock in New Jack City. (I love that photo.) My favorite song from the album seems to be changing daily. Here’s today’s – “Camera Talk.”

gallimaufry

→ Despite playing like The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight for the past six weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers have eked their way in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Starting Wednesday evening, the Orange and Black will face the New Jersey Devils in a best-of-seven games series. My prediction? Devils in four.

→ I love it when I read about people like Mike Gallagher. On April 5th, he set out, on foot, from Philadelphia to embark on a cross country journey to San Francisco. He’s not doing it for charity, instead he’s attempting to gain a little perspective. I think it’s a great thing and I wish him all the best. Make sure to check TheWalk 2010 frequently to see what he’s up to. For easy access, I’ve added his site to my bloglist on this very page.

→ As much as the last story inspired me, this next one reminded me once again that the world is full of awful people. This woman should go to jail. In Russia.

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.

06.12.09 – Friday

Word: avarice [av-er-is] n. insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth

Birthday: Paul Guldin (1577), Harriet Martineau (1802), Emmett Hardy (1903), Dave Berg (1920), George H.W. Bush (1924), Vic Damone (1928), Anne Frank (1929), Jim Nabors (1930), Marv Albert (1941), Chick Corea (1941), Timothy Busfield (1957), John Linnell (1959), Scott Thompson (1959), Jason Mewes (1974), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (1977), DJ Qualls (1978), Kendra Wilkinson (1985)

Quotation: Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible. — Doug Larson

Tune: A week or two ago, I bought Dark Was The Night: A Red Hot Compilation. As with a lot of various artist type albums, there wasn’t too much great stuff. I did, however, find an examplary cover of Nick Drake‘s “Cello Song” performed by The Books and José González.

Gallimaufry: When I’m in my car, I love honking the horn. (I got into a golf cart one time with a buddy of mine who asked, “Are you pissed this thing doesn’t have a horn?”) I believe my use of the horn to be a service to all the bad drivers out there, letting each one know I feel they shouldn’t be on the road. After reading about this free speech case in Monroe, Washington, I might start thinking twice. Sarah Palin is angry at David Letterman. On Monday night, the CBS late night host made some comments about Palin’s visit to New York City with her family. He erroneously made jokes about Palin’s 14 year old daughter Willow but thought he was referring to 18 year old (and new mom) Bristol. The Alaskan governor fired back, “Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands – that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone’s daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.” Point well taken. I agree with Palin’s statement. But since when is she an expert on “what the rest of America understands?” Letterman, by the way, has since apologized and extended an invitation to Palin to appear on his show. Swine flu has now been declared a pandemic. If you’re worried, check out what it all means and what kind of danger you might actually be in. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Still kind of shitty, though.