09.16.09 – A Wednesday

Word

serendipity [ser-uhn-dip-i-tee] n. 1.an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident 2.good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for

Birthday

King Henry V of England (1386), T.E. Hulme (1883), Allen Funt (1914), Lauren Bacall (1924), Charlie Byrd (1925), B.B. King (1925), Peter Falk (1927), Anne Francis (1930), Ed Begley, Jr. (1949), Earl Klugh (1954), David Copperfield (1956), Mickey Rourke (1956), Jennifer Tilly (1958), Richard Marx (1963), Molly Shannon (1964), Marc Anthony (1968), Amy Poehler (1971), Nick Jonas (1992)

Standpoint

I have to be honest. Nothing’s really bugging me all that much today. Sorry, all. Promise, tomorrow will feature something angry and witty. Right now, I’m just enjoying my new lease on life.

Quotation

Barbara and I seemed to be so right for each other, as far as ambition and business and identity and power. But it really takes work. My feeling about love is, that part of nature is so precious. I’ll always love her. That doesn’t mean I want to talk with her. ◊ Elliott Gould

Tune

When those who know what the hell we’re talking about look back and ponder the early stages of alternative/modern rock, there’s one band that should definitely come to mind – Camper Van Beethoven. David Lowery and friends formed one of those bands long considered well before its time. I remember sitting in my buddy Tim’s room for countless hours in high school while we dissected each and every song off of Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. I’m not sure if he and I ever came close to agreeing which one was actually the best but, having listened to that album about 834 times straight through, I’m going with “My Path Belated.” Unlike some of those other bands from that era, Camper Van Beethoven actually re-formed, recorded a new album and, to this day, continue to tour.

Gallimaufry

→ Want to know how truly fucked up everything is getting? Well, if you live in the city of Philadelphia and you’ve got a library book out on loan from the Free Library of Philadelphia, you’ll need to return it by Thursday, October 1st. Why, you ask? Annual inventory? Nah. The Pennsylvania State Legislature has cut off the necessary funding for the library system to continue operating. Awesome.

→ The internet is kind of funny when it wants to be. Check out “Top 10 Kanye West Interruption Parodies.” Man, people on work fast. My favorite is the Hitler reaction video.

→ Want to get your anarchy on? Get some cool duds, probably something with the image of Che Guevara. Next, start reading the Defenestrator, Philadelphia’s very own underground newspaper.

03.12.09 – Thursday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: quiddity [kwid-i-tee] noun 1. the quality that makes a thing what it is; the essential nature of a thing  2. a trifling nicety of subtle distinction, as in argument

Birthday: Simon Newcomb (1835), Julia Lennon (1914), Jack Kerouac (1922), Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas (1931), Al Jarreau (1940), Sammy “The Bull” Gravano (1945), Liza Minnelli (1946), Mitt Romney (1947), James Taylor (1948), Ron Jeremy (1953), Courtney B. Vance (1960), Aaron Eckhart (1968), Graham Coxon (1969), Dave Eggers (1970)

Occurrence: 2001 – Talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr. dies. Geez. Remember that frickin’ guy?

Irksome: For the past few years, I’ve made it a point to collect the little rectangular scraps of paper found inside Chinese fortune cookies. Normally, it is an inspirational little number like, “When winter comes heaven will rain success on you.” It’s nice. Makes me look forward to the  winter months and the raining of my unavoidable success. Never mind that it should be snowing in winter, the sentiment is still a pleasant one. It’s inviting to read something that makes me feel good about myself after stuffing my face with questionable food. Lately, though, an odd trend has emerged. Here are three “fortunes” I’ve recently received: “Make two grins grow where there was only a grouch before.” “The universe without music would be madness.” “The speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack.” Huh? What kind of inspiration is this? What exactly is happening down at the fortune cookie factory? Thinking of a universe gone mad due to the absence of music is not something I particularly want to think about while digesting my sesame chicken. Fortune cookies are free, so bitching about it seems kind of pointless but would it be too much to ask for a corny little saying that makes me smirk instead of some abstract statement that launches me and my dinner companions into four-hour debate on how to turn a grouch into two grins? I don’t think it is.

Quotation: What’s in store for me in the direction I don’t take?Jack Kerouac

Soupçon: Everyone knows how to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Research done by the University of Virginia’s Brett Tjaden suggest it is easier to play the Six Degrees game with over 650 other actors including Martin Sheen, Elliott Gould and Gene Hackman. The number one actor play Six Degrees with? Rod Steiger. You can read all about it in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.

Tune: I can’t decide if I like The Fray’s cover of “The Great Beyond.” R.E.M.’s original version has always been one of my favorite songs.

Link: 2Man Advantage – an always interesting and sometimes funny daily NHL blog.

Gallimaufry: WXPN 88.5, based at The University of Pennsylvania, airs The World Café with David Dye every weekday at 2pm. Great combination of otherwise unavailable music and superb interviewing by Dye makes it one of the best radio shows in the free world…Late Night with Jimmy Fallon update: I am still watching. Fallon seems to be getting a little more at ease with playing host. Don’t look now, but he might be coming into his own…Bristol Palin, daughter of Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and her fiancé have broken up. Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?