01.08.10 – A Friday

WORD

colloquial [kuhloh-kwee-uhl] adj. 1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal 2. involving or using conversation

BIRTHDAY

Hans von Bülow (1830), Frank Nelson Doubleday (1862), Larry Storch (1923), Soupy Sales (1926), Elvis Presley (1935), Bob Eubanks (1938), Graham Chapman (1941), Robby Krieger (1946), David Bowie (1947), Mike Reno (1955), Paul Hester (1959), R. Kelly (1967), Ami Dolenz (1969), Sean Paul (1973)

STANDPOINT

As I type this, I’m watching a TNT promo for Southland. Last year, NBC dropped the cop drama before it even debuted. TNT scooped it up and will start running the series, in its entirety, this Tuesday. (TNT is waiting to see how the ratings go for the seven episodes NBC aired plus six never-before-seen ones before deciding to order a new season.)

As I’ve felt in the past, I’m currently confounded why some quality shows get the boot and other crappy shows (According To Jim, The Real World, Judge Judy, JAG) seem to run on forever. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since quality entertainment seems to be a notion no one concern themselves with.

It got me thinking about some other shows that were inexplicably dropped before their time. The following is a list of my favorite shows abandoned too soon.

QUOTATION

The National Rifle Association says that, “Guns don’t kill people, uh, people do.” But I think, I think the gun helps. You know? I think it helps. I just think just standing there going, “Bang!” That’s not going to kill too many people, is it?Eddie Izzard

TUNE

There’s not a ton of information out there on Seattle-based band The Pale Pacific (formerly The Pale). I came upon the 2005 release Urgency a while back and it became one of my favorite “half albums” – those containing an equal amount of both good and so-so songs. (I’ve got a lot of those, by the way.) One of the better songs is “Identity Theft.” Give it a listen.

GALLIMAUFRY

I’m not so naive to think all of this wintry weather going on is proof-positive that global warming is hogwash. But -50° wind chills in the Midwest don’t exactly help Al Gore’s cause.

→ Someone needs to be in a world of hurt to attempt to stab themselves to death. That’s exactly what Howard Stern’s sidekick, Artie Lange, did. Nine times. Long bouts of depression and numerous episodes of drug abuse apparently led him to it. Here’s hoping the guy can find some kind of peace and shake loose of his demons.

→ The other day, I reported that Vampire Weekend and Spoon were releasing albums next Tuesday. I lied. Vampire Weekend is releasing Contra next week, but Spoon’s Transference won’t come out until two weeks later. In any case, should be a good couple of months coming up for new music with Ben Kweller, Eels, Beach House, David Bowie, Midlake, Hot Chip, Peter Gabriel, Field Music, Jason Falkner, Shout Out Louds, Rogue Wave, The Whigs, Aloha, Frightened Rabbit, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Morning Benders and White Stripes all poised with fresh material.

07.13.09 – Monday

Word: facetious [fuhsee-shuhs] adj. 1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark 2. amusing; humorous 3. lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous: a facetious person

Birthday: Julius Caesar (100 BC), John Jacob Astor IV (1864), Bob Crane (1928), Jack Kemp (1935), Patrick Stewart (1940), Robert Forster (1941), Harrison Ford (1942), Roger McGuinn (1942), Cheech Marin (1946), Tony Kornheiser (1948), Michael Spinks (1956), Cameron Crowe (1957), Phil Margera (1957), Stephen “Steve-O” Gilchrist Glover (1974)

Quotation: What is guilt? Guilt is the pledge drive constantly hammering in our heads that keeps us from fully enjoying the show. Guilt is the reason they put the articles in Playboy.Dennis Miller

Tune: I used to work at a private club where the members (a small percentage of them, at least) played cricket. After deciding to learn everything about how the game was played, I was still disappointed watching it. Not a captivating spectator sport. A few days ago, I stumbled upon The Duckworth Lewis Method, which is a band named after a confusing mathematical formula used to determine “the target score for the team batting second in a one-day cricket or Twenty20 cricket match interrupted by weather or other circumstance.” Yeah. Sounds boring to me, too. But the Irish band, made up of The Divine Comedy‘s Neil Hannon and Pugwash‘s Thomas Walsh, has created an album of cricket-based songs that are most definitely not boring. It’s a theme album, narrating an entire cricket match, which can sometimes last a few days. With my limited knowledge, I can’t make heads or tails of what it’s all supposed to mean. (I’m sure there are many out there who can.) But it’s not all that important. The tracks are all pretty solid. Check out “Flatten The Hay.”

Gallimaufry: In this craptastic economy, it’s likely several of you might be looking for a job. That means going on multiple painful interviews. Before you head out on your next one, read “The 9 Worst Interview Mistakes” from SalesHQ.com. My favorite is the first one on the list – Not Acting Bored or Cocky. Since Michael Jackson’s memorial service last week, which reportedly cost the city of Los Angeles $1.4 million, more and more pundits have been harping on the fact that California is just about broke. However, according to some out there, economic restablization for Gov. Arnold‘s ailing state could be as simple as two logical steps – the legalization of both marijuana and same-sex marriage. Read CBS News.com’s “High Stakes: A Call To Legalize Marijuana” and watch Jimmy Fallon and The Roots Slow Jam The California Economy to see why the two ideas might be something to seriously consider. And not just to help the economy. While I’m on the topic of the death of Michael Jackson (and, I swear, this is definitely the last time I’ll bring it up), there are many out there speculating that the King of Pop faked his own death, thereby joining the ranks of a long list of celebrities (see Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur, Jim Morrison) who chose the same path. For more on the topic read “Dead Celebrities Crazy People Insist Are Still Alive But In Hiding” by Paste Magazine’s Steve LaBate. Truly eye opening.

03.24.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: ubiquitous [yoo-bik-wi-tuhs] adj. existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time; omnipresent

Birthday: Harry Houdini (1874), Ub Iwerks (1901), Thomas Dewey (1902), Clyde Barrow (1909), Joseph Barbera (1911), Gorgeous George (1915), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), Norman Fell (1924), Steve McQueen (1930), Bob Mackie (1940), Nick Lowe (1949), Tommy Hilfiger (1951), Robert Carradine (1954), Kelly LeBrock (1960), Star Jones Reynolds (1962), Annabella Sciorra (1964), The Undertaker (1965), Lara Flynn Boyle (1970), Megyn Price (1972), Alyson Hannigan (1974), Peyton Manning (1976)

Occurrence: 1958Elvis Presley gets inducted into the army. I still think it’s strange that this happened. I know The King was drafted but do you think any celebrity today would actually do this at the height of their career? I tend to think no.

Standpoint: Last Friday, March 20th, was the first day of Spring. Around Philadelphia, it was cold outside. And this perplexed many people who, I guess, had it marked down on their calendar as the day to dust-off the flip-flops and shorts. “What the hell? I thought its Spring.” “It’s not that warm out. Winter is supposed to be over.” “I was all psyched to wear my new sandals today but it’s too cold and I had to wear my regular shoes.” This is just a mere sampling of comments I overheard last Friday. Apparently, many individuals were disappointed by the weather’s refusal to cooperate with their desire to “finally drive to work with the windows down.” In this Age of Entitlement, we even expect Mother Nature to do what we think is “right” and “totally fair.”

Quotation: Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. Neil Gaiman

Digit: 13 – Number of cities and towns in the USA named Philadelphia. Besides the one in Pennsylvania there is one each in Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico and New York. There are two each in Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Tune: When I was younger and out in social situations, I often thought of “Halloween” by matt pond PA. Take a listen and you might know what I mean.

Link: Phinally Philly – An absolutely spectacular blog about Philadelphia sports.

Gallimaufry: Paul Berry, CTO of the Huffington Post, offers his opinion of the Facebook redesign that everyone (including me) has been deliberating to the point of exhaustion. A little bit of a different take…Kids can be cruel. Read all about one family who has launched a national campaign to educate high school students about “sexting”…In India, Tata Motors has announced that their Nano, the world’s cheapest car, will hit roads in July. It’s small and only costs 100,000 rupee ($1980)…Tonight, if you’re gonna be near the Chestnut Hill area in Philadelphia PA, make sure to stop by The Chestnut Grill for its first Karaoke Night run by my good friend Suzi Simon. Starts at 9pm. Plus, I’ll be there so that should be enough reason for you to come out.