04.30.10 – A Friday

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much obliged

Before I get into the last post, I wanted to thank all of you for reading and posting comments to the daily euneJeune. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all the feedback and support.

For their role, however large or small, they played in making this a rewarding undertaking, I’d like to give a special thanks to the following people: Donika Miller, Marc Schuster, David Frees, John Sellers, Ezgi Bilici, Joe Taylor, John Hay, Kate Jacovino, Jeannie Matamoros, Beth Treisner, Heather Petrovsky, Courtney Papada Daly, Kelly Kampf, Jonathan Chriswell, Bill McLeer, Kristie Attardi, Wynn Sanders, Mike Graveley, Richard O’Connor, Brian McFadden, Kevin Emery, Adam Schwartzberg and Annette Burgess. Your support was huge.

Sorry if you deserved a mention and didn’t get one. Doesn’t mean anything other than I’m forgetful.

Also, a special shout-out goes to Mindninja, or Jen, or whatever the hell your name is, for stalking me for a few months last year. Your unrelenting negativity taught me there’s always going to be someone who flat out disagrees with my perspective. I have no idea who you are, but I have my theories (ex-girlfriend, ex-friend, etc.). Whoever you are, I hope the medication is working.

All right, now to today’s installment.

word

abeyance [uh-bey-uhns] n. 1. temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension: Let’s hold that problem in abeyance for a while 2. Law. a state or condition of real property in which title is not as yet vested in a known titleholder: an estate in abeyance

birthday

Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651), David Thompson (1770), Alice B. Toklas (1877), Percy Heath (1923), Johnny Horton (1925), Cloris Leachman (1926), Willie Nelson (1933), Gary Collins (1938), Burt Young (1940), Jill Clayburgh (1944), Isaiah Thomas (1961), Akon (1973), Johnny Galecki (1975), Kirsten Dunst (1982)

standpoint

It’s finally here. The day I’m closing shop on the euneJeune daily. 14 months ago, I began this to prove to myself I could write something, good or bad, on a daily basis. And, for the most part, I did. I’ll always look back to this blog as something I’m proud of. I’m going to miss it badly.

But life goes on and I need to spend the time I allotted for this and use it for the writing I was meant to. Don’t worry, I won’t be entirely disappearing from the internet. I’ve been invited to be a contributor on Popularity Contest, a blog recently started by my friend Marc Schuster, and I’ll be posting stories on there from time-to-time.

I love Esquire and my favorite section is always “What I’ve Learned.” For my last Standpoint, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about myself, about the internet, about the world, from what I’ve done here.

» Astrology is horseshit. The day of the year someone happens to be born is completely inconsequential. Oskar Schindler and Saddam Hussein share the same birthday. So do Leonardo da Vinci and Seth Rogen, Raphael and Zach Braff, Vincent van Gogh and MC Hammer, James Madison and Erik Estrada. Looking for similarities within those pairings is ridiculous.

» Like most writers, I guess, I have a tendency to concentrate on troublesome people. I’ve focused more on Glenn Beck, Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin than I have on Chuck Klosterman, Conan O’Brien and Jack Kerouac. Something I should dwell on for a stretch.

» I have a broader vocabulary than I used to. The other day, I heard someone describe himself as a polemic and I knew exactly what he meant. (He was calling himself a controversialist.)

» The amount of news stories on any given day is staggering. Between the “reputable” sources and the bloggers, it’s fairly easy to find a news story in which the facts are presented just the way you like them. It’s great because no one ever again has to be wrong. Even when they are.

» I challenge you to find any quotations website where Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Ralph Waldo Emerson aren’t prominently featured. Go on, I dare you.

» Probably even Zach Rogue thinks I listen to too much Rogue Wave.

» When you write a blog, your greatest friends won’t read it. If you offered my best friend Harvey $1 million to tell you just one thing I wrote about here in the past six months, he’d be forced to forfeit the cash. (I have to say Joe Taylor is an exception to this rule. Or I’d never hear the end of it.)

» If you’re doing anything online that’s in need of promotion and you fail to see the merits of Facebook an Twitter, you need to reconsider. The days where I shared or tweeted my latest post, my traffic was over three times higher than those days I didn’t. The stuff works.

» One thing anyone who writes needs to remember is that there are those out there who internalize everything they read. Because of that, you’ll receive negative and hurtful attacks. Never let the vitriol people spew stop you from expressing yourself. Fuck those people. Wake up tomorrow and keep going.

I’ve learned all that and more. I hope you learned some things, as well.

quotation

Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. Richard Bach

tune

For my last post I thought this Elliott Smith song was rather appropriate. Enjoy “A Fond Farewell.”

gallimaufry

→ If you’re not yet reading Hyperbole and a Half, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. One of the greatest blogs I’ve read.

→ Man, US Senators sure do fancy themselves some meddling. Hey, elected officials, I’ve got to believe there some other problem you can be trying to solve. We’d be in a pretty sweet spot right now if Facebook privacy issues was the country’s highest priority.

This is the closest thing I’ve seen resembling honest journalism in a long, long time.

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11.09.09 – A Monday

WORD

actuate [ak-choo-eyt] v. 1. to incite or move to action; impel; motivate: actuated by selfish motives 2. to put into action; start a process; turn on: to actuate a machine

BIRTHDAY

Benjamin Banneker (1731), Elijah P. Lovejoy (1802), Ed Wynn (1886), Hedy Lamarr (1914), Sargent Shriver (1915), Choi Hong Hi (1918), Spiro Agnew (1918), Dorothy Dandridge (1923), Carl Sagan (1934), Lou Ferrigno (1951), Sandra “Pepa” Denton (1964), Scarface (1970), David Duval (1971), Big Punisher (1971), Nick Lachey (1973), Joe C. (1974), Sisqó (1978)

STANDPOINT

Man. It’s been a while so I’ve got copious notes on shit I need to unleash on. Where to start?

In the spirit of getting myself readjusted to this blog at the proper rate, I’ll only offer this today.

A few weeks ago, comedian Louis CK went on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and, in a little over four minutes, explained the root of what’s wrong with most everything.

Watch the video. Think to yourself, “Is he talking about me?”

If you think he may be describing you, the answer is probably, “Yes.”

If you think he is definitely not describing you, the answer is assuredly, “Yes.”

Now, I know it is just a guy sitting on a couch, venting in an attempt to entertain, but he’s summed it up, people. Whether you realize it or not.

The Age of Entitlement is most definitely upon us. It is evident in absolutely everything everyone of us thinks, says and does every minute of every day.

“Everything is so amazing and no one is happy.” True Story.

QUOTATION

You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.Jim Bouton

TUNE

All of us, at one point or another in our lives, will come to a place that truly sucks. It’s inevitable. Some songs can lessen the pain, if you truly want it to. “Wash Away (Reprise)” by Joe Purdy has, from time to time, been one of those songs for me. Use it at your own discretion. And enjoy.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ For those of you on Facebook who are among the group graced enough to call themselves childless, you’ll probably get a kick out STFU, Parents. Most of you parents will probably like it, too. After all, not all of you are bat-shit crazy. But there are more than a few/dozen of you.

→ To the girl at the bar a few nights back who told me Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman was “awful,” I’m happy to report you’re wrong. Which I pretty much assumed was the case after your 15-minute tirade detailing the Elliott SmithBen Folds conspiracy I’m sure only exists in the recesses of the crazy-ass world in your head.  

→ Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you who’ve sent me emails, asking me to restart this blog. I really appreciate it. I sincerely missed doing it. Also, if this post appears clumsy, I promise you, I’ll get back in the swing of it. After the long break, it was difficult deciding what to include. I’ll work it out. Come back tomorrow for some more.

09.22.09 – A Tuesday

Word

cabal [kuhbal] n. 1. a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority 2. the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue 3. a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles v. 4. to form a cabal; intrigue; conspire; plot

Birthday

Michael Faraday (1791), John Houseman (1902), Tommy Lasorda (1927), David Stern (1942), Toni Basil (1943), Nick Cave (1957), Johnette Napolitano (1957), Andrea Bocelli (1958), Joan Jett (1958), Neil Cavuto (1958), Scott Baio (1961), Bonnie Hunt (1961), Mystikal (1970)

Standpoint

“Some people like shitty TV, dude, there’s really all there is to it.”

Those words were spoken just last night by my brother Jeremy as I attempted to explain to him my positions on my choices in television programming.

People who I know have talked to me about my (some say confusing) obsession with the show “How I Met Your Mother.” One friend said, “I don’t know you just seem a little too complex to be liking that show.” Well, thanks for the kind words, but it’s kind of just the opposite. Life is complex. I don’t need my entertainment to further complicate it.

For instance, take shows like “Lost” and “Heroes.” I’m sure both are finely produced, wonderfully executed television. I’m also aware both are widely considered culturally relevant. (Whatever that means.) I watched “Lost” for the first two seasons, but grew tired of constantly having to keep track of what the hell was going on and worrying about what I might miss if I didn’t get a chance to see that week’s episode.

Because, for me, television should be something I can just turn on and spend an hour or more drifting around carelessly. I don’t need nightly appointments to keep. I just want to watch some TV.

A show like “How I Met Your Mother” doesn’t require the committment of “Lost” or “Heroes.” I could miss six straight weeks of episodes, turn the current episode on, and not miss a beat. I don’t need any further backstory than the weekly narrating of Josh Radnor.

And the bottom line, is that, yes, I’ve always felt there is enough drama out there in the real world. I don’t need the fictional characters in my television set to further remind me of the fact Earth is overpopulated with awful people. I’ve no problem with scenarios in which the boy gets the girl, the good guys actually do win and everyone rides off happily into the sunset.

I’m sorry if that makes me less of a person, or at least less interesting, in some of your eyes. But I’m unafraid to admit when, given a choice, I’d rather be laughing than anything else.

As a rule, I refuse to get wrapped up in other peoples’ lives. So getting wrapped up in the lives of the characters on TV, real or fictional, is simply out of the question. Unless those characters happened to be named Ted Mosby or Barney Stinson. Then I’m ready to watch/listen.

Simply put, all you people can watch all the “relevant” crap you want so that you can hold your own during one of your work happy hours or endless conversations with your like-minded friends.

Me? I’ll be right here. Watching garbage television shows, ignorantly content.

Quotation

When a man sends you an impudent letter, sit right down and give it back to him with interest ten times compounded, and then throw both letters in the wastebasket.Elbert Hubbard

Tune

Elliott Smith was one of the most unique and talented singer-songwriters that ever stepped in front of a microphone. His music covered such a wide-range of emotions: sorrow, anger, elation, heartbreak, joy. He had dozens of quality songs, but I’m pretty sure the one that kind of exemplifies everything I dig about his music is “Pretty (Ugly Before).”

Gallimaufry

→ For those of you who enjoy utilizing the social networking site Facebook, you may have noticed it’s been acting all kinds of whack as of late. Well, it’s not your computer’s fault. Yesterday, Facebook admitted it’s having some “site glitches.” Please be patient as this problem will be taken care of as quickly as humanly possible.

→ Walter Breuning celebrated his birthday yesterday. So what? Lots of people did. Difference with Mr. Breuning? His cake had 113 candles on it. The Montana resident is considered the world’s oldest man. I’m 35. I want to live a little bit longer because, as a late starter in life, I still feel like my best accomplishments are ahead of me. But 113-years old? I don’t think I want to see that number.

→ I remember too much. People have always noticed that about me and told me how lucky I was. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, having a great memory is advantageous sitting in some bar playing Quizzo. But when it comes to the bad things that’ve happened in life, the ability to remember every detail of the majority of those days can be a pretty distracting and depressing state of mind. But, as much as it sucks sometimes, at least I’m not one of the four people diagnosed with super-autobiographical memory. I don’t know how each one of them lives inside their brain everyday.

07.03.09 – Friday

Word: id [id] n. the part of the psyche, residing in the unconscious, that is the source of instinctive impulses that seek satisfaction in accordance with the pleasure principle and are modified by the ego and the superego before they are given overt expression

Birthday: John Singleton Copley (1738), Albert Gottschalk (1866), Franz Kafka (1883), M. F. K. Fisher (1908), Lamar Alexander (1940), Fontella Bass (1940), Kurtwood Smith (1943), Dave Barry (1947), Montel Williams (1956), Laura Branigan (1957), Vince Clarke (1960), Tom Cruise (1962), Shawnee Smith (1970), Patrick Wilson (1973)

Quotation: What is a face, really?  Its own photo?  Its make-up?  Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter?  That which is in front?  Inside?  Behind?  And the rest?  Doesn’t everyone look at himself in his own particular way?  Deformations simply do not exist.Pablo Picasso

Tune: Meric Long and Logan Kroeber are better known as the San Francisco band, The Dodos. Check out “Walking” from the album Visiter.

Gallimaufry: If you live in Austin, TX and are a big Elliott Smith fan (if you’re not, I’d like to know what’s wrong with you), then this might actually be your lucky day. Someone is selling the late singer-songwriter’s 1999 Volkswagen Passat for $4,000. All the money will go to the SIMS Foundation, an Austin-based organization dedicated to the mental health of musicians. And, no, this is not a hoax. The person selling the car? Smith’s sister. I don’t pirate music off the web. I’ve got nothing against people who do. I’m just a big fan of buying an album(s), bringing it home and giving it a few quality listens. I have over 1,000 cds because of those old-fashioned tendencies. My thoughts on music piracy tend to go back and forth but I definitely think the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a complete fucking racket. If you don’t, or even if you do, you should read “8 Logical Rebuttals of Anti-Piracy Arguments” by BeatCrave.com’s William Barnes. Last summer, I had an extremely long conversation with a friend of mine who claimed she was “done with pretty guys because they’re all assholes.” Ashley Nelson is in full agreement with my friend. Check out her article, “Revenge of the Nerds: Four Reasons Women Dig Geeks.” When it comes to love, there’s hope for everyone out there. Well, probably.

05.05.09 – Tuesday

Get your drink on. It’s Cinco De Mayo.

Word: ideologue [ahy-dee-uh-lawg, -log, id-ee, ahy-dee] n. a person who zealously advocates an ideology

Birthday: Søren Kierkegaard (1813), Karl Marx (1818), Blind Willie McTell (1901), Michael Murphy (1938), Lance Henriksen (1940), Tammy Wynette (1942), Michael Palin (1943)John Rhys-Davies (1944), Kurt Loder (1945), Ian McCullough (1959), Brian Williams (1959), Tina Yothers (1973), Chris Brown (1989)

Standpoint: Over the weekend, I re-watched Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The movie was good but not great. The soundtrack, however, was superb. That got m thinking about how mediocre movies can be saved by an excellent soundtrack. I started to think about movies in which the music enhanced the overall film experience. That was the only criteria. There may be better soundtracks out there but this list of the 7 Movie-Enhancing Soundtracks is all about movies that would have been lessened (in however small a degree) without the proper use of song.

Before you flood my inbox with the mistakes and omissions I made, let me mention some movies that almost made it but I decided to use in some other way on some other list I’m planning for the near future. That’s how the likes of Star Wars, Rushmore and some of your other suggestions came to not be included.

Quotation: Home is not where you live but where they understand you.Christian Morgenstern

Tune: “When They Really Get To Know You, They Will Run” by Pedro The Lion is not only an enjoyable song, but has a great title. I’m not sure what the video is all about but it was the only one with good sound clarity.

Gallimaufry: Robert Duvall vs. Walmart. Who will win the Battle of Locust Grove, Virginia? Only time will tell…The NBA shocked exacly nobody yesterday when it announced LeBron James was the 2009 Most Valuable Player…After what seems maybe a bit too long, Vampire Weekend is working on their second album. Here’s hoping those guys can avoid the jinx.

Incoming: Tomorrow – Still working on it. But it’ll be good. ThursdayAnnoying Sayings & Misused Words. Friday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead.