07.08.11 – a friday

word

adumbrate [a-duhm-breyt, aduhm-breyt] v. 1. to produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch 2. to foreshadow; prefigure 3. to darken or conceal partially; overshadow

birthday

John D. Rockefeller (1839), Nelson A. Rockefeller (1908), Jerry Vale (1932), Jeffrey Tambor (1944), Wolfgang Puck (1949), Anjelica Huston (1951), Kevin Bacon (1958), Toby Keith (1961), Billy Crudup (1968), Beck (1970)

standpoint

I don’t normally post on Fridays, especially during the summer. The reason for that loose guideline is I feel most of you come here when you’re bored at work or bored at home or just simply bored in general and, of the five-day work week, Friday is the least boring and, in the summer, lots of you don’t work on Fridays at all. (The last few sentences were pretty much all conjecture.)

But I’m posting here on this particular Friday because I’m in the mood to do a little braindump. It’s mostly inconsequential nonsense but since not a lot of you will be reading it anyway, why the hell not?

→ This is the last time I’ll be bringing this up (on here, at least) until the fall but I couldn’t be more excited that James Spader is joining the cast of The Office full-time. I’m aware this has been a small obsession of mine since last season’s finale but, really, what’s the harm?

→ If you read yesterday’s standpoint you know exactly how disgusted I am with the Casey Anthony not-guilty verdict. I’m equally distressed with these idiots, like Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who are now coming to her defense to help her rebuild her life. What a fantastically shitty facet of our society.

→ The television ads for Ocean City MD featuring Rodney the lifeguard rescuing people from boredom and dragging them to the beach, well, those ads really annoy me. Just because Rodney is a certified lifeguard doesn’t mean I can overlook the fact that he’s essentially kidnapping people.

All right, folks, that’s all I got. Have a great weekend and, as always, thanks for reading.

quotation

The drive toward complex technical achievement offers a clue to why the U.S. is good at space gadgetry and bad at slum problems. ↔ John Kenneth Galbraith

tune

I was mildly enthusiastic about Duncan Sheik‘s latest album, Covers 80s. Yes, I know, I know, the guy is fluff of the highest order but he writes some solid lyrics and is an above average composer of pop music. Since I’m a fan of obscure ditties from the 1980s, I was cautiously optimistic when I purchased the album with a gift card my brother gave me for my birthday. On first listen, I was unhappy with most of what I heard. But tracks from it keep coming up when I’m shuffling on my iPod and I’m unafraid to say that some of them are growing on me. Like this cover of Talk Talk‘s “Life’s What You Make Of It” featuring Rachael Yamagata.

gallimaufry

It’s common sense to think that something is gonna come along and take a bite out of Facebook eventually. Maybe this will be it.

Josh Hamilton probably got exactly zero minutes of sleep last night because of this awful thing that happened.

→ My entire life, I’ve never experienced a single moment in which I felt the desire to play bass guitar. That all changed once I saw this.

03.24.11 – a thursday

word

unctuous [uhngk-choo-uhs] adj. 1. characterized by excessive piousness or moral fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave or smug 2. of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; oily; greasy 3. having an oily or soapy feel, as certain minerals

birthday

Harry Houdini (1874), Joseph Barbera (1911), Gorgeous George (1915), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), Norman Fell (1924), Steve McQueen (1930), Nick Lowe (1949), Tommy Hilfiger (1951), Louie Anderson (1953), Robert Carradine (1954), Kelly LeBrock (1960), Star Jones (1962), Lara Flynn Boyle (1970), Megyn Price (1971), Alyson Hannigan (1974)

standpoint

Today, I’m continuing what I like to call My Favorite Music Of All-Time. That’s right. Even if it doesn’t particularly apply for this post, I have a feeling you’ll look past it and appreciate what’s going on here.

Yesterday, I touched on the fact that I have two iPods. The first one is a gigantic clunky thing, it’s screen illegible since the night the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series a few years back. See, I was in the parking lot of the ballpark the night history was being made.  Philadelphia erupted as Harry Kalas called Brad Lidge’s final stike and mayhem ensued. And, Buckley, my little orange tabby cat was not going to sit still while millions celebrated.

Cats are smarter than most dogs. Also, cats are smarter than most humans. Buckley is the exception. You could teach a kangaroo to do algebra before you could teach Buckley not to not put his nose in the flame from a candle. But one thing the dimwit has is heart, and lots of it. There isn’t a soul alive who, within five minutes of exposure to Buckley, doesn’t want to kidnap the little bastard and take him home.

And I tell you that to explain the following. The Phillies had won it all. Philadelphia was teeming at the edges. It was electric. And Buckley was not immune to the pulse of the celebration. I have no other way to explain why in the world the track shelving in my room would suddenly appear new to him, or why he would jump to the fourth tier of that shelving to attack a plate with a burnt-out candle on it, a plate that he would cause to careen off that fourth shelf and land squarely on my iPod, charging in its dock, resting with a false sense of security, unaware of the bullshit Buckley was up to.

That night, I got home earlier than most in the city, I suppose. I was high-fived out and, despite my many shortcomings, tipping over cars and burglarizing electronic stores just ain’t my thing. So I walked through the front door, trudged up the stairs and stumbled into my bedroom with a smile on my face.

The smile lasted roughly three seconds. There was a broken plate on the ground. Next to it, was an iPod dock in two pieces. And, inches away, almost at the foot of the bed was my iPod, holder of close t0 8,000 songs, face down, silver side up.

Out loud I said, “What the fuck is this?” And then I saw Buckley sitting on the bed. Even though he wasn’t capable of understanding much, the look in his eyes, the tightness in his back, the little fucker knew he did something wrong.

I picked up the iPod. The screen was (and still is) fractured in nine different places. I said a bunch of words I would never say in front of my Mom-Mom. I was furious. My hands were literally shaking. And I turned to Buckley and, even though I never had nor would I ever cause him physical harm, he braced himself for what was coming. The only thing I could think to do was to put him in the closet. So that’s where he went. And before you condemn me for whatever reason, Buckley’s bed was in the closet as were his toys and most of Kate’s makeup brushes. For the next fifteen minutes, I looked at my iPod, pushed all of the buttons and slowly realized it was beyond repair.

But it wasn’t. I hooked it up to the speakers and kept pushing the up button. Music came out. I connected it to my laptop and, lo and behold, there was my entire music library. The damn thing still worked.

I reached into the closet and scooped up Buckley. I held him in front of my face and apologized. He’d all ready moved on.

To this day, I can’t see what’s playing on my iPod and the battery lasts about nine whole minutes but if it’s plugged in it still plays all of those almost 8.000 songs. And yesterday, in keeping with the whole music theme of this week’s posts, I decided to try to listen to as many of them as possible with the intention of finding Six Good Songs In A Row.

Here is how it all shook out.

First

“Birdhouse In Your Soul” – They Might Be Giants

Second

“Sweet Pain” – Blues Traveler

Third

“Everywhere” – Billy Bragg

Fourth

“Nobody Weird Like Me” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Fifth

“That Says It All” – Duncan Sheik

Sixth

“Turn On Me” – The Shins

quotation

The next person to honk at me THE SECOND the fucking light turns green, is going to win a very special prize. Good luck, everyone! FYI, I was NOT driving while tweeting. I don’t do that. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to hold my crack pipe and fifth of jack. ↔ Kerri Kenney

tune

This was the seventh song. “Satisfied” by Squeeze. Call me all the names you want. I definitely like this song. Sorry.

gallimaufry

No gallimaufry today. Don’t pry. Just accept it.

11.18.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

paragon [paruh-gon, -guhn] n. 1. a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence 2. Printing. a 20-point type 3. an unusually large, round pearl v. 4. to compare; parallel 5. to be a match for; rival

BIRTHDAY

Asa Gray (1810), Dorothy Dix (1861), George Gallup (1901), Imogene Coca (1908), Hank Ballard (1927), Don Cherry (1936), Margaret Atwood (1939), Linda Evans (1942), Graham Parker (1950), Delroy Lindo (1952), Kevin Nealon (1953), Elizabeth Perkins (1960), Owen Wilson (1968), Duncan Sheik (1969), Mike Epps (1970), Chloë Sevigny (1974)

STANDPOINT

OK. What’s irking the shit out of me today is quite simple. People keep asking me, “Why do you write so angry?”

Yes. I write angry. Yes. I am occassionally an angry person. But that doesn’t mean much of anything except I’m one of those folks who’s easily bothered by the people I come into contact with everyday. And you may not be one of those folks. And that’s fine. But maybe you should be.

You see, my problem with people thinking I’m too angry is there aren’t enough of you out there who are remotely angry enough. Being angry or annoyed is not cool because everyone wants everyone to just be cool. But, the truth is, there aren’t enough of you out there acting remotely cool enough.

And, so, if I tend to get a bit animated or a little too passionate about the current state of most everything, you’ll have to forgive me. I’m just not down with everyone being so goddam down about stuff.

QUOTATION

What I’ve learned about teaching is to refer back to the root of that word, which is educo, which means “to pull from.” Education does not mean jamming information into somebody’s head. Rather, it’s that ancient idea that all knowledge is within us; to teach is to help somebody pull it out of themselves.Alan Arkin

TUNE

Tonight, I’m headed down, with Jer and Ezgi, to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia to see Blind Pilot. I hope I hear “The Story I Heard.” I really can’t imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Suddenly, pharmaceutical companies have come to the conclusion it might be a good idea to get into the preventive medicine business, instead of the curbing and/or curing side of it. In the next five years, there may be vaccines available for such maladies as Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, Malaria, grass allergies and even something called traveler’s diarrhea. With the soaring prices of prescriptions and the subsequent scramble to find other options like the internet and Canada, maybe someone at one of these companies said somethig like, “Hey, what if we switch gears and actually try to find a genuine way to help people? I mean, we’ve tried everything else, right? Let’s give it a shot.” Funny, how a completely fucked economical situation can bring out the best in people.

A group of Native Americans, who’d filed a suit against the Washington Redskins over the use of the name “Redskins,” had their case tossed out by the US Supreme Court yesterday for, from what I can tell, is a complete technicality. I’m no lawyer, though, so I could easily be wrong. However, what I’m completely unwrong about is that the NFL franchise should just give up the name. We’re headed toward the future here, people, let’s keep our eyes on the ball. (Plus, the Redskins are so bad I’m sure hardly anyone would notice if they became the Washington Suckasses.)

Jonathan Safran Foer, author of one of my favorite books of all-time, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has a new non-fiction novel coming out titled Eating Animals. Check out his interview with the AV Club.