11.13.09 – A Friday

WORD

garrulous [garuh-luhs, gar-yuh-] adj. 1. excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, esp. about trivial matters 2. wordy or diffuse: a garrulous and boring speech

BIRTHDAY

John Dickinson (1732), Robert Louis Stevenson (1850), Richard Mulligan (1932), Garry Marshall (1934), John Hammond (1942), Joe Mantegna (1947), Chris Noth (1954), Whoopi Goldberg (1955), Jimmy Kimmel (1967), Steve Zahn (1967), Gerard Butler (1969)

STANDPOINT

If you put a gun to my head (and I’m by no means suggesting you do that), and asked me, given a choice, what’s my favorite leisure time activity, I’m relatively sure the answer would be watching a Philadelphia Flyers game with either my brother Jer or my best friend Harv, and preferrably both because we are all of the same mind when it comes to the game of hockey. (If I could pick a third person to be there, it’d be my good friend Joe, but he resides in Connecticut and it’s not really practical for him to drive down for games. I’m sure you realize this without me explaining it.)

I am completely certain 99% of you, in a similar circumstance, would offer a different response. (Although, that’s your loss because, even if you don’t like hockey, Jer and Harv and Joe are three solid dudes to hang with.)

Knowing what an excellent judge of character I am, I’m positive it wouldn’t be my choice of company you’d find fault with – it’d be my choice of actually watching hockey. Which no one seems to do these days.

When it comes to watching professional sporting contests, the game of hockey is fighting an uphill battle. And here’s why.

This country loves two sports the most – football and baseball. Again, you may disagree, and that’s totally fine. But for the purposes here, I’m going to adhere to the idea football and baseball are the two sports most everyone couldn’t live without as if it’s a legitimate fact. Which, despite your opinion, is completely true.

Why are football and baseball so popular? Well, lots and lots of reasons. Most everyone of you grew up playing one or both of these sports, or wishing you could. Also, you know all the rules due to the fact the commentators endlessly disect each and every at-bat/play. In addition, of all the televised sports, football and baseball simply offer the opportunity for more bathroom breaks and the chance to talk to your buddies about the game without actually talking during it. There are more, but, in the interests of space and keeping your attention, I’ll stop at those three.

With hockey, hardly any of us have ever played it. (No, NHL ’94 for the Sega Genesis doesn’t count. Although, I’d listen to any argument to the contrary.) Unless you make a deliberate effort to do so, some of the less-obvious rules are hard to figure out. Lastly, it’s a game you need to pay attention to – talking about the game is reserved for the few commercial breaks and the two 15-minute intermissions.

For those reasons, and probably 200 more, the game of hockey just doesn’t jive with most everyone out there. And, while I’d love to, I can’t say as I blame you. It’s easy to watch a baseball game with friends, even when not everyone in the room particularly cares about the outcome because everyone pretty much knows what’s going on. Same with football games but they have the added bonus of having become excuses to eat a lot of food and drink a bunch of beers which I’m a huge fan of.  They’re major social experiences in a culture becoming more and more devoid of them. I can’t find fault with wanting to spend your time away from work, time away from your kids, time away from whatever, in a relaxing atmosphere where you can yell at the television and rarely use your brain. (That last statement was sincere, not sarcastic.)

Me? I enjoy watching a sport that encourages me to think, requires my attention and leaves me, win or lose, with a weird sense of fulfillment. I love baseball and I kinda like football. But neither give me the same thrill.

And so, I’m a hockey fan.

QUOTATION

You can’t navigate me. I may do mean things, and I may hurt you, and I may run away without your permission, and you may hate me forever, and I know that scares the living shit outta you ’cause you know I’m the only real thing you got.Ethan Hawke (as Troy Dyer in Reality Bites)

TUNE

Admittedly, this is bad timing after my whole music snobbery rant, but I drove around all over the place yesterday, and I’m trying to become less dependent on my iPod, and attempting to revisit my vaunted CD collection. In any case, I listened to Fountains of Wayne the whole time. Not widely considered an important cog in the machinery of essential music. But, fuck it. I like the band just the same. Especially “No Better Place.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I’ve no idea why I like these HTC television ads so much, but I do. Here’s my favorite.

Joselio Hanson, a backup CB for the Phiadelphia Eagles, has received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Dude. Come on. You’re a backup CB. Really necessary?

→ I tweeted this last night, but for those of you not hip to the Twitter thing yet, I’m encouraging everyone I know to listen to the music of my buddy Emerson B. Go hear his tunes on MySpace. Follow him on Twitter. And get out to one of his shows. If, for no other reason, than you might be able to hang with me.

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05.22.09 – Friday

Word: zephyr [zef-er] n. 1. a gentle, mild breeze 2. (initial capital letter) Literary. the west wind 3. any of various things of fine, light quality, as fabric, yarn, etc.

Birthday: Richard Wagner (1813), Solomon Bundy (1823), Mary Cassatt (1844), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), Laurence Olivier (1907), Johnny Olson (1910), Sun Ra (1914), Harvey Milk (1930), Peter Nero (1934), M. Scott Peck (1936), Richard Benjamin (1938), Bernard Shaw (1940), Paul Winfield (1941), Theodore Kaczyinski (1942), Bernie Taupin (1950), Morrissey (1959), John Vanderslice (1967), Naomi Campbell (1970), Joshua LeJeune (1974)

Standpoint: Today I turn 35. That may sound old to some of you, young to others. I never really do a lot of pondering about my birthday. It always bothers me when people complain about their birthdays. Zip it, whiner. It could be worse. You could live in one of these six countries.

  • Vietnam – All birthdays are celebrated at the dawn of the New Year. Furthermore, when asked their birthday, Vietnamese people respond with the year, not the actual day. What a rip-off. I’m not one of those people who thinks the world has to stop on my birthday, but at least get me a card or write something nice on my Facebook wall. 
  • Argentina – On your birthday, you receive ear tugs in the amount corresponding to your age. This is also a custom in Italy and Hungary. Probably a pretty painful day as you advance in years. 35 tugs on the ear? Get the hell away from me.
  • England – The Brits have something called a “fortune telling cake.” In the actual cake, there will be items such as coins and thimbles baked into it. I don’t know how much I’d be able to enjoy eating a cake that I was certain contained small pieces of dirty metal.
  • Germany – If you’re a man over the age of 30 and not yet married, you’re expected to sweep the steps of City Hall. On top of that, your friends throw trash all over the area. It’s designed to let the eligible women in town know you’re on the market. I would probably bring a Shop-Vac and do a lot of bitching. Not sure how many ladies I would attract.
  • Holland – The Dutch believe that receiving a gift wrapped in black & white is bad luck. Remember this next time you’re in Amsterdam for a friend’s birthday. You don’t want to be that guy. Or maybe you do. It’s altogether possible that we don’t know each other all that well.
  • Canada – In the Atlantic region, the birthday child is ambushed and their nose is greased for good luck. Ah, nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a well-intentioned ambush. The grease is placed on the nose because it is believed bad luck will slide right off of it. Apparently, Canadian bad luck has no traction.

I guess we really don’t have it all that bad with our relatively normal parties and metal object-free birthday cakes.

Weekend: Each Friday, I give you 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of stuff you can do to spend this weekend in Philadelphia as if it’s gonna be your last. This week, I’m including Monday due to that face that it’s Memorial Day Weekend.

  • Today (05.22) – Emerson B.J.L. Sullivan’s – My buddy Emerson B. takes the stage, doing his acoustic hip-hop thing. He’s a great live act and will probably engage you in some witty banter. Go check him out so that you can say you saw him before he blew up and got all famous and whatnot. Also, after the show, buy him beers. 8pm
  • Saturday (05.23) – Locals Only Beer WeekendLocal 44 – Lots and lots of local brews (including Victory, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head, Flying Fish and more) at reduced prices. Spend your Saturday trying all of them. Just make sure to cab it home. 11:30am – 11:30pm
  • Sunday (05.24) – Brandywine River Blues FestivalChaddsford Winery – The Philadelphia area’s most popular winery presents a day of winetasting and music. If you’re not headed to the Jersey Shore, this would be a great excuse to get out of the house, drink some wine and listen to some live blues. Noon – 6pm
  • Monday (05.25) – Star Trek: The ExhibitionThe Franklin Institute – Wind down the long weekend with a trip into the future. Or past, depending on the scope of your imagination. “This 12,500 foot exhibition, an amalgamation of all five television and ten film series spanning over 40 years, is the ultimate opportunity to connect with iconic Star Trek moments and characters, while celebrating the creative spirit of science fiction and science that gave rise to many of today’s modern marvels.” Sounds like a perfectly acceptable way to spend an afternoon, but then again, I’m a borderline sci-fi geek. 9:30am – 5pm

Quotation: Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.  – Larry Lorenzoni

Tune: Finally picked up the new Silversun Pickups album, Swoon. Really good. Honestly. Best song so far? Try “Sort Of.”

Gallimaufry: Here is where I usually give you three interesting stories I’ve happend upon during the course of my day. Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading this blog. I’ve been at it for almost three months now and I appreciate everyone of you taking the time to comment and email to let me know how much you like it. Thanks again.

Incoming: Sad news. No new posts next week. I will, however, return the following Monday with an altered format. I don’t want to get too much into it as I’ve not completely figured it out myself yet. Rest assured, all of the facets you like about the daily euneJeune will still be here everyday. Just accompanied by some new stuff. Stay tuned. Thanks again for reading.