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.

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05.02.11 – a monday

word

aplomb [uhplom, uhpluhm] n. 1. imperturbably self-possession, poise or assurance 2. the perpendicular, or vertical, position

birthday

Benjamin Spock (1903), Engelbert Humperdinck (1936), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (1972), David Beckham (1975), Lily Allen (1985)

standpoint

Osama bin Laden  was killed yesterday, roughly ten years after the tragedy of 9/11.

Long story short, someone found out that the douchebag was holed up in some Pakistani mansion, a special forces unit was sent in and, shortly thereafter, he died because that’s pretty much the only option when a bunch of guys are riddling you with bullets.

(I like to think the unit resembled the one from Predator but without Carl Weathers’ character because that dude had his own agenda and a disruptive one at that.) 

President Obama addressed the nation late last night and said all of the right things but there was definitely a look in his eyes that said, “Have some, Trump.”

To say that the killing of bin Laden is huge is a monumental understatement. People around the world have been calling for the asshole’s head ever since he decided it would be amusing to murder a couple thousand people because his outdated culture/religion just wasn’t holding people’s attention the way it once had. It’s against my nature and it feels callous typing this but if anyone deserved to be shot a whole bunch of times, it was Osama bin Laden. He simply needed to go.

Lastly, I’m curious to see, in the week to come, how our completely misguided society and its dreadful “media” are going to spin this in a way that makes the killing of bin Laden, something that every red-blooded human has been demanding, into some sort of political maneuvering on the part of Obama. Oh, it’s coming. And it’s going to be pretty nauseating.

quotation

It’s an amazing disappointing realization to know just how thoughtless and insensitive to other human beings we can so simply and predictably be programmed to be. ↔ David Cross

tune

Sometimes I fall asleep with the television on. I’m human, it’s true. The other morning I woke up and the show Yes, Dear was on and John Hiatt was making a cameo, I guess, singing some nonsense song called “Things I Think About At Work.” I wish it was a real Hiatt tune because it was pretty damn catchy. I’ve been singing it in my head ever since. Occasionally, it’s the simple things, no?

gallimaufry

An hour after the death of bin Laden, Google’s all ready on top of it. Love it.

→ I’m not too proud to say that I got a little choked up watching Steve Carell’s final appearance (for now) on The Office. Judge me if you’d like. I’m completely comfortable with my sentimentality.

Fast Five made $83.6 million at the box office this weekend. Come on, people, we’re better than this.

02.17.10 – A Wednesday

word

ethos [ee-thos, ee-thohs, eth-os, -ohs] n. 1. Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period: In the Greek ethos the individual was highly valued 2. the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc 3. the moral element in dramatic literature that determines a character’s action rather than his or her thought or emotion

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Banjo Paterson (1864), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Gene Pitney (1940), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Jo Armstrong (1972), Ralphie May (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

Oh, yes! It is time, once again, for another installment of The Wishing Well, a regular column in which I waywardly wish five wishes.

I WISH Google would’ve spent a little more time developing Buzz before releasing it to the world. Last week, Buzz just showed up on my Gmail and, so far, it seems mostly a weak answer to Facebook and Twitter. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong one day but it won’t be tomorrow.

I WISH it was possible for me to tell you I dislike Patti Stanger, the lady from The Millionaire Matchmaker. But it’s not. Despite myself, I think she might actually be a good person. Go figure.

I WISH every website that automatically plays a video or song when you visit it would please cut that shit out. Listen, I’m on your site for a reason. You’ve got my interest. So, maybe you could quit trying to give me a heart attack with your cacophonous nonsense.

I WISH someone would explain to me why in the world CNBC would choose to keep airing the Women’s Curling match/game/whatever between the United States and Japan when there was a perfectly good Men’s Ice Hockey game going on between Canada and Norway. Actually, the hockey game turned out to be a lopsided 8-0 win by Canada. But still.

→ I WISH Pitchfork would diversify its coverage a bit. I mean, honestly, how much do we really need to know about Thom Yorke and Wayne Coyne?

That’s it for this installment. Got any wishes you’d like to share?

quotation

How wrong to have been so negative, how wrong to have been so gloomy, how wrong to have run away from life, how wrong to have said no, again and again, instead of yes. ↔ Jonathan Franzen

tune

Way back in 1998, there were these Philips Electronics TV ads featuring then-unknown English indie-rock band Gomez performing a cover of The Beatles’ “Getting Better.” I remember wanting to hear more of the song and, despite my best attempts, I never did find it and eventually forget about it. Until now. I was never a fan of Gomez but, recently, I’ve been reintroduced to the band and am sort of digging them. As a result, my memory was jogged and I remembered my unfinished mission to find the song from the TV commercial. I found it. “Getting Better” by Gomez. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

So there’s this episode of Family Guy in which there’s a negative depiction of someone with Down syndrome. And, sure, that’s kind of shitty but it’s Famly Guy and exactly no one should be surprised. What I find a tad more offensive is why anyone thinks I care what Bristol Palin thinks about anything at all.

→ The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is really keeping a nice perspective on what’s important at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as it’s upset over the slogans on the masks of the goalies for the United States Men’s Hockey Team. Especially, Jonathan Quick’s which sports “Support Our Troops” on the back.

→ Does anyone out there have a Powermat? Do they really work? Let me know.

02.12.10 – A Friday

word

impugn [im-pyoon] v. 1. to challenge as false (another’s statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon 2. Archaic. to assail (a person) by word or arguments; vilify 3. Obsolete. to attack (a person) physically

birthday

Cotton Mather (1663), Charles Darwin (1809), Abraham Lincoln (1809), Lorne Greene (1915), Charles Van Doren (1926), Arlen Specter (1930), Joe Don Baker (1936), Judy Blume (1938), Ray Manzarek (1939), Michael Ironside (1950), Michael McDonald (1952), Joanna Kerns (1953), Arsenio Hall (1955), Bill Laswell (1955), Josh  Brolin (1968), Christopher McCandless (1968), Chynna Phillips (1968), Christina Ricci (1980)

standpoint

Everyone talks about how the 1990s were a legendary time for music with groups like R.E.M. and U2 coming into their own, and unknown bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam breaking out into the music mainstream.

For those of us who were in college during the 90s, we most likely enjoyed the best soundtrack ever to accompany warm beer from a keg and clumsy encounters with the other sex.

Even the one hit wonders were way better than their predecessors and those that have come since. Here’s 5 songs that make my last statement irrefutable.

5. The Refreshments – “Banditos”

4. New Radicals – “You Get What You Give”

3. Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart”

2. Harvey Danger – “Flagpole Sitta”

1. Hum – “Stars”

There’s tons and tons more, but I thought I’d start off with these classics. Enjoy!

quotation

Sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed must be interrupted. ↔ Johann Paul Friedrich Richter

tune

Finally. I found it. Years ago, I downloaded a demo by Glen Phillips titled “Easier.” He’s since released a studio version of it but it left me feeling a little light. It’s pretty effing great.

gallimaufry

Here’s hoping a speedy recovery to President Clinton, who underwent a heart procedure yesterday after experiencing chest pains. Apparently, Clinton is expected to make a full recovery.

→ Truth? Until yesterday, I had no idea who Alexander McQueen was. But, apparently, he was a cutting edge fashion designer who died Wednesday at the age of 40. As someone who’s now closer to 40 than 30, I hate hearing when someone that age dies.

→ Warning to my fellow bloggers: If you run an MP3 blog and you use Blogger, you’re about to be eradicated by Google. Probably a good time to move to WordPress, don’t you think?

02.08.10 – A Monday

word

ebullient [i-buhl-yuhnt, i-bool-] adj. 1. overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited: The award winner was in an ebullient mood at the dinner in her honor 2. bubbling up like a boiling liquid

birthday

Samuel Butler (1612), John Ruskin (1819), William Tecumseh Sherman (1820), Jules Verne (1828), Kate Chopin (1850), Lana Turner (1921), Jack Lemmon (1925), Neal Cassady (1926), James Dean (1931), John Williams (1932), Ted Koppel (1940), Nick Nolte (1941), Robert Klein (1942), Mary Steenburgen (1953), John Grisham (1955), Vince Neil (1961), Joshua Kadison (1963), Gary Coleman (1968), Mary McCormack (1969), Seth Green (1974)

standpoint

I’m a football fan but not a huge one. I halfheartedly participate in two (2) fantasy leagues and have a moderate interest in my hometown Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m much less emotionally invested in the NFL than I let on. Most years, I watch the Super Bowl more out of some misplaced obligation to some archaic sense of manhood. But I didn’t feel the same way this year. I actually had a mildly strong desire to watch last night because I like both the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, along with their respective quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

But I was curious to see how Super Bowl XLIV would be a different experience for me. And, lucky for you, I chronicled it. Here goes.

Note: I was reasonably sure that the Colts would win and cover the spread (+5.5) and the over (57 pts.) would become a matter of fact.

Pregame

» Not going to lie, I watched golf until just about the start of the game so I didn’t get to see what inane crap led up to the actual footage from Miami.

» But I did tune in time to see the Colts get introduced onto the field to the same song by The Who that opens up every episode of CSI:Miami, which turned out to be all of The Who I needed.

» Queen Latifah sang America The Beautiful with a choir and musical accompaniment. It didn’t really work all that well. Looked like she was never really in sync. Carrie Underwood sang The Star-Spangled Banner and it was better. During all this, cameras were on Peyton Manning, who looked amped to the point he was cursing the fact Francis Scott Key and Katharine Bates were ever born.

» The next class of inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were introduced as honorary whatevers to the coin toss. Emmitt Smith was the honorary coin tosser. Saints called heads. Smith flipped the coin directly at the Saints players, who sidestepped it. It was heads. Saints got the ball.

1st Quarter – 6:20(ish) PM

» Betty White and Abe Vigoda starred in a clever ad for Snickers. I’m completely sure those two actors were used because about 99% of viewers thought both had died years ago.

» The ad for the Boost Mobile Shuffle, featuring prominent members of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, was awful.

» In keeping with Hollywood’s trend of recycling, there’s another Robin Hood movie coming out starring Russell Crowe. Looks like both Braveheart and Gladiator ate a bunch of bows and arrows and vomited on each other. I’ll probably go see it.

» First quarter came to a close. Colts-10. Saints-0. I wasn’t paying much attention to the actual game.

2nd Quarter – 7:00 PM

» Pretty fast 1st quarter. At this point, I was certain the Colts were going to run away with the game.

» A Cars.com ad came on, detailing the life of a boy genius type doing all sorts of amazing boy genius type stuff. But when it came time to buy a car, he was at a loss. He looked to his mobile device for answers and, you guessed it, Cars.com came to the rescue. At one point during the ad, the boy genius delivered a baby Bengal tiger while on safari. That kicked off a conversation between my girlfriend and I where we discussed her desire to bring a baby panther into the apartment. Negotiations reached a stalemate after she refused to budge on the name of the baby panther. Oh well.

» The Saints began to make a game of it. Pretty sure they kicked a field goal.

» One ad had Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman on the same couch talking about something. I’m not sure what because I was distracted. Leno didn’t look like he was actually there. The next ad (maybe) had Brett Favre making fun of the fact he never actually retires. I like it when celebrities/athletes know to do that.

» The Colts stopped the Saints on a 4th and goal from the 1-yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half. See? I pay mind to the important stuff.

» I wasn’t quite sure how it happened but the Saints kick another field goal just as time expires on the 1st half. Colts – 10. Saints – 6.

Halftime – 7:50 PM

» The Who played. The Who sucked. I monitored Twitter feeds instead. Best Tweet? “Wake up your great grandma. The Who is on.”

3rd Quarter – 8:22 PM

» The Saints began the 2nd half with an onside kick. Which they recovered. Which turned out to be huge. Saints – 13. Colts – 10.

» According to a new Volkswagen ad, the classic car game, Punch Buggy, has now been expanded to include the entire Volkswagen fleet. As a matter of fact, it seems whatever substance it’s painting its cars with nowadays is so cutting edge, even Stevie Wonder can see it. Much to the chagrin of an arm sore Tracy Morgan. Classic.

» The Colts’ Joseph Addai ran in for a touchdown. Colts – 17. Saints – 13. I was a little disappointed about how good of a game it was becoming. I’m not used to the Super Bowl being about the Super Bowl. Not being able to run out of the room in between commercials was messing with my head.

» Two commercials gave me pause in different ways. First, the new E*TRADE baby wasn’t half as funny as the original. Second, Google aired its first ever television ad. I think.

» The Saints kicked another field goal which flew under my radar. End of the 3rd quarter. Colts – 17. Saints – 16.

4th Quarter – 8:56 PM

» Honestly, I should’ve been playing closer attention. The Saints started scoring. They took the lead. They intercepted a very important Peyton Manning pass at a crucial time. I watched the whole thing. I swear. But, as happens more than not, I became embroiled in a debate that made the game take a backseat.

» Super Bowl XLIV ended at 9:45 PM. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 31-17. If I bet the game the way I thought it would go, I would’ve been dead wrong. Yet another reason why I’m not a gambling man.

Overall, a most exhilarating football contest. The best Super Bowl in years. Congrats, New Orleans. Call me when you’re done partying. That should be around June.

quotation

Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.Thomas Pynchon

tune

One band from the 80s that doesn’t get enough credit is The Housemartins. I like to think of them as a sort of catchier version of  The Smiths. Also, they’ve got one of the best titled songs ever – “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.” Actually, after just listening to it, it seems to work nowadays as well.

gallimaufry

→ I just got done reading King of Russia: A Year in the Russian Super League, and it was simple and great. Former NHL head coach and current Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King narrates his experiences as the first ever Canadian coach in Russia. The guy really knows his stuff and he provides great insight into Russian hockey and its players, especially Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeny Malkin.

→ Speaking of the Pittsburgh Penguins, yesterday afternoon’s game between them and the Washington Capitals was just about as complete as you could ask for. Caps won it in overtime 5-4 after being down 4-2 going into the third period.

04.01.09 – Wednesday

Word: hyperbole [hahy-pur-buh-lee] n. 1. obvious and intentional exaggeration  2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as in “wait and eternity”

 

Birthday: Otto von Bismarck (1815), Big Jim Fisk (1834), Gordon Jump (1932), Debbie Reynolds (1932), Ali MacGraw (1938), Jimmy Cliff (1948), Gil Scott-Heron (1949), Annette O’Toole (1952), Method Man (1971), Rachel Maddow (1971), Bijou Phillips (1980)

 

Occurrence: 2004Google launches Gmail. This should be enough to make April 1st a national holiday. If you don’t use Gmail, switch now.

 

Standpoint: Well, its April Fool’s Day and guess who’s got something really funny cooking up? Hackers. The Conficker worm is looking to create quite a stir. If you’re reading this, you’re probably safe. Often, I wonder what it would take for me to become a full-fledged hacker. What steps would I need to take?

 

  1. Dump my girlfriend – Sorry, honey, but hacking is time-consuming stuff. No more romantic dinners or movie nights for a while. After all, I’ll be trying to take over the world.
  2. Enroll in a martial arts class – Hackers claim they do this for the mental discipline needed to be successful at the craft. I envision some sort of ornate Japanese spear hanging on a wall in my office.
  3. Change my wardrobe – I’ll need to fit in with my hacker brethren so I’ll need lots of ironic t-shirts with clever statements like, “Big Brother Is Watching You” and “Just Because I’m Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Watching Me.” Also, buying a wide assortment of Converse All-Stars feels like something I’ll have to seriously think about.
  4. Modify my attitude – Right now, I’m not particularly angry enough to do something like, say, hack into the New York Stock Exchange and collapse the economy. Gotta get mean. Or at the very least, gotta get not-so-apathetic.
  5. Create believable back-story – I’ll come up with stories that I can share with my hacker brethren so they’ll better relate to me. One story will chronicle a particularly horrific gym class involving multiple dodgeballs caroming off my face. Another one will be the tale of how I went stag to my senior prom with my buddy Gilbert and we got totally wasted and made fun of everyone else for “participating in elitist bullshit.” 
  6. Actually learn how to hack – I’ll be good at talking the talk but walking the walk will be a totally different story. Most hacker experts estimate that someone with practically no knowledge of hacking (like me) will need to spend 18-24 months training to acquire the basic necessary skills.

 Seems like a lot of work. I probably won’t do it.

 

Quotation: If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner. Tallulah Bankhead

 

Tune: I hear that, in real life, Alanis Morissette is a cool person. Most of her songs, though, annoy the crap out of me. “Hands Clean” is an exception. I like the whole idea of fast forwarding to a few years later.

 

Link: Music Map – Like iTunes’ “Related Artist” feature but about 8,000 times better.

 

Gallimaufry: Not sure which blanket-with-sleeves you should be looking at? You’ve got more options than the Snuggie…Tattletexting? It’s real and coming to a sporting event near you…Hipsters have always been a source of endless amusement for me. For many reasons. Here’s an article by Lauren Alfrey “What Can We Learn by Learning about Hipsters?” Interesting take.