February 10th, 2012

word

hiemal [hahyuh-muhl] adj. of or pertaining to winter; wintry

birthday

Jimmy Durante (1893), Robert Wagner (1930), Roberta Flack (1937), Mark Spitz (1950), Glenn Beck (1964), Laura Dern (1967), Elizabeth Banks (1974)

standpoint

First, let me just say that Wednesday’s post was one of my most popular ever and that I appreciated all of the back-and-forth on Facebook. I was tossing around the idea of posting the comment strain here but decided not to as I’m unsure of the legality of re-publishing comments made on there.

Anyway, switching gears, here’s a portion of a conversation between two women I overheard the other night:

Woman #1: Did you read Gone With the Wind yet?

Woman#2: No, but I’m gonna get around to it.

Woman #1: Book group is in two days, the book is like 500 pages, you’re not gonna be able to read it. (eJ – Actually the book is over 1,ooo pages.)

Woman #2: Who cares? I’ll just get shitfaced so no one asks me any questions.

Nearby Guy: Actually, you could just watch the movie version.

Woman #1: They made a movie out of that book?

Nearby Guy: Yeah, it’s pretty famous, probably more famous than the book.

Woman #2: Right. See there? I’ll just watch the movie. Do you think it’s on Netflix?

Woman #1: I’m not sure but they got every movie on Netflix, so probably. But Netflix won’t get it to you on time. Book group is on Thursday.

Woman #2: Well, just tell me the gist, so I can act like I read it.

Woman #1: It all takes place during the Civil War.

Woman #2: Oh, it’s a war story. I hate those.

Woman #1: Nah, nah, it’s not like a shoot-em-up kind of story. It’s mostly a love story between this guy named Brett (Rhett) and this woman named Scarlett. And, if you ask me, Scarlett is the biggest moron that ever lived.

Woman #2: Is it a true story?

Woman #1: I don’t think so but maybe. Why?

Woman #2: You said “the biggest moron that ever lived.” Was she a real person?

Woman #1: No, I mean, she might have actually lived but I don’t know. My point is that she was a total fucking moron.

Woman #2: Okay, why?

Woman #1: I don’t know she just was. I’m not getting into with you because you didn’t read the goddamn book. So I started to get curious about the Civil War and look up some stuff. And I learned more through Google than I did actually reading the book.

Woman #2:  You know you can’t trust all the stuff you find on Google.

Woman #1: You think I don’t know that? But I did learn some shit.

Woman #2: Okay, what did you learn? Anything good?

Woman #1: Oh yeah. Tons. Like did you know that Negroes got the right to vote before women did?

Woman #2: No shit. Wait, are you sure? Negroes? Like how long before?

Woman #1: I don’t really remember but it was a while. A couple of years, I think. I couldn’t believe it, either. I would’ve bet anything women were allowed to vote before Negroes.

Woman #2: You can’t be right about that. Women weren’t first? It was Negroes?

At that point, I had to just walk away.

People are pretty outstanding.

quotation

A world where medical advances allow us to live forever is a terrifying thought. Imagine the crowd. ↔ Salman Rushdie

tune

If you’re cool like me, you’ll be at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 24th (hit that link right there to go and get tickets) to see Dr. Dog. I’m betting they’re going to play “That Old Black Hole” somewhere toward the end of their set because, wow, what a great song.

gallimaufry

→ Speaking of same-sex marriage, here’s Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington State doing the right thing.

Michael Vick‘s been attempting to show the world he’s a rehabilitated citizen, but it seems no one but Philadelphia Eagles fans are buying it. The guy just made the top of Forbes‘ list of America’s Most Disliked Athletes.

This isn’t true but it could be.

January 9th, 2012

word

gasconade [gas-kuhneyd] n. 1. extravagant boasting; boastful talk v. 2. to boast extravagantly; bluster

birthday

Richard Nixon (1913), Bob Denver (1935), Joan Baez (1941), J. K. Simmons (1955), Dave Matthews (1967), Joey Lauren Adams (1968)

standpoint

I’m back from vacation and I’ve got lots of things to share but today I’m going to defer to my sister-in-law, Christine Speer Lejeune, and post a link to her fantastic article from the latest issue of Philadelphia Magazine.

Read it and let me know what you think.

quotation

There’s a whole spectrum of douchebaggery. But the vast majority of peple are not part of that spectrum. ↔ Jon Cryer

tune

I am loving this song right now. “It’s Real” by Real Estate.

gallimaufry

→ Man, how pissed off are you Republicans out there? Rick Santorum is now your guy? More on this tomorrow or the next day. But chew on this while you’re waiting.

→ I was saddened to hear that Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast will most likely be closing after this school year. I didn’t grow up in Drexel Hill but I spent lots of time there when I was younger and I know how important those schools are to the community there. Big bummer.

Stephen Hawking is most likely the smartest man alive. Also, his suppositions are lugubrious.

December 14th, 2011

word

panegyric [pan-i-jir-ik, –jahy-rik] n. 1. a lofty oration or writing in praise of a person or thing; eulogy 2. formal or elaborate praise

birthday

Nostradamus (1503), Michael Ovitz (1946), Beth Orton (1970)

standpoint

Jerry Sandusky. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

Yesterday, Sandusky and his lawyer, Joe Amendola, decided to waive his right to a preliminary hearing. Afterwards, Amendola accused Sandusky’s accusers of being in it for “the financial gain” as well as engaging in “some sort of collusion.”

Classy.

Sandusky is going to prison eventually, no matter how long his attorneys postpone it. It’s a fact. Fuck him.

But then there’s the matter of Joe Paterno, who’s experiencing some more difficulties after being fired as Penn State’s football coach for the past couple of centuries.

And it’s sad. It truly is. Up until a few months ago, Paterno was held in such high regard that some considered him to be the most influential person in the entire state of Pennsylvania. And it’s a legitimate shame that the sexual misconduct of one of his coaches will be the thing that, at least for the next decade or so, comes to mind when his name comes up.

But there’s a lesson here and it’s a good one: Do the right thing. When JoePa had the chance to get out in front of Sandusky’s crimes and report what he knew, he didn’t. For whatever reason, he just didn’t. Kids went through unimaginable anguish because of it. And all of Paterno’s great accomplishments, and there were a lot of them, were not so great when weighed against his decision to do absolutely nothing.

quotation

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. ↔ Bertrand Russell

tune

I don’t know much about Seryn but I’m liking what I’m hearing from them so far. Check out “We Will All Be Changed.”

gallimaufry

→ What started out as a pretty strong effort, the GOP presidential race has become a laughing stock.

→ Despite some cloud coverage, I actually witnessed a little bit of the Geminid Meteor Shower last night. Good stuff.

→ If you’re wondering what I’ll be doing at 10pm tonight, wonder no more. I’ll be watching the first installment of HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic.

07.25.11 – a monday

word

flivver [fliv-er] n. 1. Older Slang. an automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive and old 2. Slang. something of unsatisfactory quality or inferior grade

birthday

Thomas Eakins (1844), Estelle Getty (1923), Matt LeBlanc (1967), Brad Renfro (1982)

standpoint

So I’m sure you’re all tiring of my excuses (or lack thereof) for not updating as much as we’ve all grown accustomed. But shit just keeps getting in the way. For instance, last week I wrenched my back due to an unfortunate sneeze (lame, I know) and it was really all I could do to get up and down the stairs for a day or two.

But here’s some stuff I was concentrating/obsessing on while I was laid up.

→ I’m off the whole James Spader appearance on the season finale of The Office for the time being (almost). My latest thing is Conan O’Brien and “It looks good!” I’ve been annoying everyone with it, especially my exceedingly patient girlfriend who I’m assuming understands I just need to get it out of my system. Here’s a sample of what I’m referring to:

It’s positively addicting.

→ The NFL lockout. What a bunch of complete nonsense. There will be an NFL season, people. In the oft chance I’m wrong and the parties can’t come to an agreement, I’ll probably just going on living life as usual.

→ Next year sometime, there’s going to be a movie released, starring Robert De Niro, with the best title ever: Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Come on, you know you’re curious.

→ Last, and I guess most important, I was reading about the US debt ceiling talks between John Boehner and President Obama breaking down and now it seems that both the Republican and Democratic parties are prepping for action. And it made me think of the term cluster fuck which was originally a military term used to describe a situation in which there were too many officers involved in solving a problem that basically required only one clear cut decision.  If you’re a conscientious thinker (or at the very least masquerade as one) then the time has come when you need to re-evaluate just what in the hell is going on around you. You hate Obama and his flaky liberal agenda? Fine. You think the Republican party is comprised of close-minded gasbags? Fine. You have the sneaking suspicion that maybe Ralph Nader wasn’t batshit crazy? Fine (maybe). Whichever way you lean or don’t, it’s essentially defunct nowadays. It’s paramount that, as of today, we start catechizing the political dogma we’ve been forever spoon-fed and begin formulating a new way of doing things because, and I know this is an unpopular mindset, this shit just ain’t working.

quotation

Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem. ↔ Benjamin Hoff

tune

I always loved this version of “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” by Marshall Crenshaw from the Lou Diamond Phillips‘ classic film, La Bamba.

gallimaufry

→ Everyone always said that they could see it coming but it doesn’t make the death of 27 year old Amy Winehouse any less tragic. Rest in peace, troubled soul.

→ I’m pretty sure the only person dismayed by this is Sarah Palin. Christ, could she be more laughable?

→ Looks like my chance purchase of Washed Out’s Within and Without created quite a buzz. I mean, it could just be a coincidence that Ernest Greene‘s album has taken off into the stratosphere since I wrote about it on this very blog last week but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s all ready a thank you letter headed my way.

03.31.10 – A Wednesday

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word

greenhorn [green-hawrn] n. 1. an untrained or inexperienced person 2. a naive or gullible person; someone who is easily tricked or swindled 3. Slang. a newly arrived immigrant; newcomer

birthday

René Descartes (1596), Joseph Haydn (1732), John Fowles (1926), César Chávez (1927), William Daniels (1927), Lefty Frizzell (1928), Gordie Howe (1928), Liz Claiborne (1929), Richard Chamberlain (1934), Shirley Jones (1934), Herb Alpert (1935), Barney Frank (1940), Patrick Leahy (1940), Michael Savage (1942), Christopher Walken (1943), Gabe Kaplan (1945), Al Gore (1948), Rhea Perlman (1948), Ed Marinaro (1950), Angus Young (1955), Marc McClure (1957), Ewan McGregor (1971), Josh Saviano (1976)

standpoint

My new laptop actually works with this old iPod I inherited so, after I got home from bartending last night later than usual, I started ripping old CDs and, hence, there is no new Standpoint today. Tomorrow, there will be definitely be one and a most unpopular one with some among you.

quotation

Sometimes when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn’t all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was just a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity. Henry Bromell

tune

There’s a variety of songs out there with such an outstanding opening line, I don’t particularly care what happens throughout their duration. One such line is, “For once I want to be the car crash,” from “Headlights on Dark Roads” by Snow Patrol. In this instance, the entirety is solid as well.

gallimaufry

→ I try to steer clear of language so strong as this, but HOLY FUCK. The GOP leadership must be contemplating an assassination plot of this batshit crazy lady. To be fair, the video clip is at least four times as funny as anything she did on SNL.

→ For the record, if you don’t find Craig Ferguson funny, we’ll most likely never see eye-to-eye on anything at all. (This doesn’t mean I’m backing down from liking Jimmy Fallon, I just thrive on variety.)

→ It didn’t come as any surprise to me the Philadelphia Phillies made this decision. But I’ve been hearing gripes about it which is surprising since I was under the belief this city always rooted for the underdog. What other explanation could there be for all those damn Rocky movies?

07.21.09 – Tuesday

Word: blithe [blahyth, blahyth] adj. 1. joyous, merry, or gay in disposition; glad; cheerful: Everyone loved her for her blithe spirit 2. without thought or regard; carefree; heedless: a blithe indifference to anyone’s feelings

Birthday: Philip Neri (1515), Jean Picard (1620), Sam Bass (1851), Ernest Hemingway (1899), Don Knotts (1924), John Gardner (1933), Janet Reno (1938), Kenneth Starr (1946), Cat Stevens/Yusaf Islam (1948), Garry Trudeau (1948), Robin Williams (1951), Howie Epstein (1955), Jon Lovitz (1957), Charlotte Gainsbourg (1971), Josh Hartnett (1978), Damian Marley (1978), Rory Culkin (1989)

Quotation: The unforgivable crime is soft hitting.  Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.Theodore Roosevelt

Tune: Brakes (sometimes known as brakesbrakesbrakes) is an English band best known for its short song, “Cheyney, Cheyney, Cheyney, Stop Being Such a Dick,” credits itself, in the words of lead vocalist Eamon Hamilton, with being “fundamentally responsible for the election of Barack Obama as President of The United States of America.” Hamilton further explains, that without the song, “…it is without a doubt that McCain would’ve won, and died, and Sarah Palin would have become President and Ruler of the Known Universe by April 2009. We would’ve been releasing our new album ‘Touchdown’ into a world in the grip of a nuclear winter, with no electricity for people to listen to the CD, and no Internet for them to download it from. We would still have toured it, though.” Those words may or may not be true, but I’m reasonably sure I’m happy we didn’t have to find out. My favorite offering from the band? “Beatific Visions” off the album The Beatific Visions.

Gallimaufry: We may be witnessing the beginning of the end. As is the case with all popular and profitable pop culture offerings these days, American Idol is involved in troubles involving slighted egos demanding overinflated financial compensation. It all started when Ryan Seacrest, host of the FOX show, received a contract extension for three years to the tune of $45 million dollars. It grew larger when the show’s most visible (and biggest asshole), Simon Cowell began negotiations to make him richer than about 99% of the rest of world’s population. It became a problem when Paula Abdul, the judge most known for emotional breakdows and once upon a time starring in a music video with Keanu Reeves, began feeling slighted from a lack of a big money offer, declared she’s thinking of not coming back to the show for the next season. Everyone better wise up because, while Idol is a big money ticket, it can’t afford to start paying everyone oil executive salaries. Alternatively, despite the fact Abdul might be one of the most annoying people on TV, someone needs to step in get a deal working with the former Laker girl because the truth of the matter is people do tune into the show to see if she will freak out. Bottom line, Abdul’s a bit of a draw. “One weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States. And we are not today hardened against this. It is an enormous catastrophic threat.” Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that yesterday during a speech at the Heritage Foundation. You’re probably wondering what he was talking about. Nuclear weapons? Biological? Nope. The man who is trying his best to become the predominant GOP mouthpiece was talking about EMPs. Electromagnetic pulses. He’s pretty sure it’s the weapon our enemies will soon be using to take us out. His proof? A fictional novel by his “co-author and good friend Bill Forstchen,” a novelist who, ” has written a remarkable novel called One Second After, in which he takes a town in North Carolina and shows you what would happen with a successful electro-magnetic pulse attack.” If we’re going to start defending ourselves from fictional attacks, I’d rather start with something more inevetable, like Independence Day. Those aliens were completely out of their fucking extra-terrestrial minds. For all of you out there who think Facebook might be creepy and weird, read the romantic tale of Kelly Hildebrandt and, um, Kelly Hildebrandt. One is a 20-year old woman from Florida. The other is a 24-year old male from Texas. They met when the female Kelly Hildebrandt plugged her own name into the Facebook search engine. It produced one result – the male Kelly Hildebrandt. After a gradual process that started with email exchanges and ended with the male Kelly visiting the female Kelly in South Florida, the couple fell in love. See? That’s not creepy or weird at all. Right? (I’m fully aware some of you are going to find their story insanely adorable.)

06.18.09 – Thursday

Word: magnanimous [mag-nanuh-muhs] adj. 1. generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: to be magnanimous toward one’s enemies 2. high-minded; noble: a just and magnanimous ruler 3. proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character, etc.: a magnanimous gesture of forgiveness

Birthday: Ivan Goncharov (1812), William Henry Seward, Jr. (1839), Alexander Wetmore (1886), Bud Collyer (1908), Sammy Cahn (1913), John D. Rockefeller IV (1937), Roger Ebert (1942), Paul McCartney (1942), Isabella Rossellini (1952), Carol Kane (1952), Dizzy Reed (1963), Uday Hussein (1964), Ray Lamontagne (1973)

Quotation: A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work.Geoffrey Norman

Tune: A while back, I had a semi-serious problem. Each week, I’d buy close to ten new albums. That went on for about a year or so. Needless to say, no one can listen to that music on a weekly basis. As a result, I had lots of music I never got around to hearing. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been alluding to the fact that I’m on a mission to experience it all. My lastest find? A Belgian band called Girls In Hawaii. I remember after getting the album From Here To There, I really liked “Short Song For a Short Mind.” I still do.

Gallimaufry: “Let your kid text during dinner! Let your kid text during school! It pays off. Your kid could win money and publicity and a phone.” Those were the words of Kate Moore, a 15-year old from Iowa and the newly-crowned U.S. Texting Champion. She defeated a field of 21 other texters in competitions that included blindfolded texting and texting through an obstacle course. On average, Moore sends over 400 texts-per-day. If her parents are cool with it, everyone else should be, I guess. But what in the world does a 15-year old girl from Des Moines have to say in over 14,000 texts-per-month? Uh-Oh. Bill Maher‘s pissed. And not at a Republican. The HBO talk-show host is annoyed with the President. “This is not getting the job done, and this is not what I voted for,” said Maher, who’s taking issue with Obama for, among other things, appearing too much on television and failing to take the opportunity to push his promised policies past a weakened GOP. He even went so far as to say Obama needed to adopt some of the brashness of George W. Bush. “He needs to stop worrying about being loved, and bring out that smug, insufferable swagger that says ‘Suck on it, America!'” Now all we have to do is wait and see if other liberal pundits make the same leap and start attacking Obama, who has so far been treated as messianic/untouchable. Camping enthusiasts and hippies alike took a blow yesterday. The Original Outdoor Outfitter, Eddie Bauer Inc., has declared bankruptcy, a move that most likely means the closing of its 370 retail stores nationwide. The Belleville, WA company is hoping it doesn’t come to that, but I’d suggest going out and getting that new tent you’ve been ogling before it’s too late.