03.02.11 – a wednesday

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NOTE: Since I’ve come back, I’ve been posting sporadically. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things but things keep getting in the way. One night a friend of mine needed my help. Another night the power went out while I was composing the post. In any case I’ve been housesitting for the past two weeks but I’m back home starting today so posts will resume as usual. Hopefully.

word

au courant [oh-koorahΝ] adj. 1. up-to-date 2. fully aware or familiar; cognizant

birthday

Sam Houston (1793), Dr. Seuss (1904), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Gates McFadden (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Laraine Newman (1952), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977)

standpoint

Here’s why I think this planet, as a whole, is completely fucking doomed.

Charlie Sheen.

The dude’s a complete freaking mess. He’s hopelessly hooked on all types of chemicals. He employs a steady stream of hookers to keep him company. He’s bad to his children and worse to his wives. He’s a deplorable human being and he sucks but that’s not the real problem.

Everyone’s interested in what his next move will be. What’s gonna happen to his popular sitcom Two and a Half Men? Is he committing career suicide with his flippant and seemingly delusional remarks on his situation? An entire nation is wondering: What’s to become of Charlie?

We’re sure to find out since the national media is determined to show us it’s a much bigger whore than the ones on Sheen’s payroll. The guy’s been interviewed at least 429 times in the last three days and there’s no end in sight. And before you start rolling your eyes and sighing, lamenting the current state of news reporting in this country, you should know that Sheen opened up a Twitter account just yesterday and, after a few scant hours and four measly tweets, had over 500,000 followers.

Who else is wondering why? Why do we give a shit what the guy is doing? And before you start formulating your reply, stow it. I know why.

It’s easy. Concentrating on Charlie Sheen is just too damn easy. It’s way easier than, for instance, focusing on how, one after another, countries in the Middle East are becoming hotbeds of revolt. Or how our own country is impossibly gridlocked in an irresolvable dispute between its two main political parties while simultaneously maintaining its cherished status of “Most Hated Nation on the Planet.” Or how we’ll most likely end up destroying the Earth under our feet before we get a chance to annihilate each other.

Those issues not only require intelligent thought but force us to evaluate just what what the hell is going on and, man, that just brings the room down so let’s check out how fucked up Charlie Sheen is today. Did you see his tweet this morning? What in the hell did he mean by that? For real, the guy needs to seek some help, right?

Yes. Charlie Sheen needs help. And so do the rest of us.

quotation

Never miss a chance to shut up. ↔ Will Rogers

tune

I know very little about the band Favorite Saints. But, somehow, “First Words” found its way onto my iPod a few years back and is always on the top of my Play Count list. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

Want cool Philadelphia stuff from days gone by? Sure you do. Check out retrophilly.com for all you’ll need in that department. Thanks to my buddy Neal for sharing this on Facebook.

Newt Gingrich for President? How off-the-charts delusional is this guy?

→ Dear Blink-182, just release the new album all ready.

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.

06.05.09 – Friday

Word: ersatz [er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, –sahts] adj. 1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain n. 2. an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute

Birthday: Thomas Chippendale (1708), Pat Garrett (1850), Pancho Villa (1878), John Maynard Keynes (1883), Salvatore Ferragamo (1898), Richard Scarry (1919), Spalding Gray (1941), Ken Follett (1949), Suze Orman (1951), Richard Butler (1956), Kenny G (1956), Jeff Garlin (1962), Ron Livingston (1967), Brian McKnight (1969), Mark Wahlberg (1971), Chuck Klosterman (1972), Pete Wentz (1979)

Quotation: I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!Dr. Seuss

Tune: Ever watch the great old comedy sketch show The Kids In The Hall and wonder who did the theme song? The band is Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and the song is called “Having an Average Weekend.”

Gallimaufry: With President Obama in the White House and most everyone pissed at California over Proposition 8, it’s easy to look at our country and decide it’s moving in the right direction. Enter Ken Pagano, pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky. This June 27th, Pagano is inviting his congregation to attend services with their firearms, “to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.” Says the ex-Marine-and-one-time-handgun-instructor-turned-pastor, “We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation. And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn’t be here.” No loaded guns will be allowed in the church. In addition to bringing firearms, Pagano is asking attendees to bring a canned good and a friend. I mean, it’s only Kentucky, but still. It’s 2009, jackass. For the record, Sonia Sotomayor’s “Wise Latina” comment is no different than Sarah Palin’s comparing hockey moms to pitbulls. But no one, including the idiots over at FOX News, are going to make the connection. The Supreme Court nominee was referring to a group of women who make up a large portion of the nation’s population, while Palin was talking about a group of women in Alaska who don’t represent enough people to fill up The Rose Bowl. (That may or may not be true.) Both women were making their comments in jest. In the grand scheme of things, I’m guessing Alaskan hockey moms are considered a bit more innocuous than Latina women. Just a hunch. Sitting out in the sun for extended periods of time, getting high and drunk with your closest friends and listening to dozens of popular bands is every American’s right. At least it should be. The warm weather invading us right now means only one thing – it’s Summer Concert Festival Season. Check out Pitchfork’s comprehensive guide to this year’s opportunities to pass out on a stranger’s blanket by mid-afternoon.

Incoming: I know I promised some thoughts about Arthur Kade (I’ve grilled my considerable group of contacts for this one and unearthed some great stuff.) and movie remakes, as well as 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead, but as they say, life got in the way. I’ll be working on all those for the beginning of next week. Also, for everyone attending this weekend’s TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship (What happened to simply calling it “The Bike Race?”), make sure to stay hydrated and have some fun. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be making my annual appearance as of yet, but if I do, I’ll make sure to say hello.

03.02.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: sacrosanct [sak-roh-sangkt] – 1. extremely sacred of inviolable 2. not to be entered or trespassed upon 3. above or beyond criticism, change or interference

Birthday: Sam Houston (1791), Dr. Seuss (1904), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Karen Carpenter (1950), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Ben Roethlisberger (1982)

Occurrence: 1962Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in a single game. This record has never been broken and, chances are, it never will be.

Irksome: As I write this, it is Sunday evening and it is snowing heavily outside. The forecast is calling for 6”-10” of snow for Monday morning. In the city of Philadelphia, a snowstorm brings out three distinct groups of people:

  1. Alarmed – You walk around your workplace, ask for a weather update every other minute and express absolute astonishment that it might snow as if you live in Mexico City. After work, you drive as fast as you can to the supermarket, buy enough groceries for approximately 6 weeks, speed home, gather your family around, tell them how much you love them and hope that the sun rises in the morning. The sun does rise in the morning and you now have to find a way to use 12 cartons of milk before they spoil.
  2. Ecstatic – You can’t wait for the snow because it means (a) you don’t have to work the next day, and (b) you can get completely drunk like there is no tomorrow. The next morning at 6AM, you wake up to a call from your boss saying that you indeed have to work and you spend the rest of the day cursing “the goddam weatherman.”
  3. Stoic – You are prepared for it to snow. You half-believe the weatherman. You live your life like it is just an ordinary day. The next day is business-as-usual.

Quotation: “Some days it’s incredibly easy to write four thousand words in an afternoon. Other days, it’s impossible to write two sentences. There’s no consistency with the difficulty of the process.”Chuck Klosterman

Tidbit: The term five-hole in hockey refers to the space between the goalies legs. The other holes are the four corners of the goalmouth. As long as I’ve watched hockey and I didn’t know that until this weekend.

Song: Army Navy’s rendition of Maxine Nightingale’s 1975 “Right Back (Where We Started From)” is a cover that makes me realize that even dopey songs from the 70s have some kind of musical value.

Gallimaufry: Click HERE to read all about the feud between The Chestnut Hill Local and The Chestnut Hill Community Association…Saw Milk last night. Great movie. After Into The Wild, I planned on boycotting Sean Penn for eternity, but I lifted the ban last night and thought it was one of the best portrayals ever. Also, James Franco was fantastic. Go see it…There are over 70 sites in the Greater Philadelphia area housing sex slaves. Click HERE to read Tara Murtha’s article about in Philadelphia Weekly.