April 18th, 2012

word

gaucho [gou-choh; Sp. gou-chaw] n. a native cowboy of the South American pampas, usually of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry

birthday

Samuel P. Huntington (1927), James Woods (1947), Rick Moranis (1953), Eric Roberts (1956), Eric McCormack (1963), Conan O’Brien (1963), Maria Bello (1967)

standpoint

I’ve been thinking a lot about this old blog of mine and trying to figure out why I’ve been unmotivated to update as much as I have in the past.

And then I revisited my first blog, the one I used to do on Blogger.com. and it struck me that I actually liked doing that one more in a few ways.

One, there wasn’t a stringent format. It consisted of random posts. When something entered my mind, I wrote about it instead of filing it away for an eventual post on this site.

Two, it was more multimedia friendly. Pictures and videos were much easier to include in posts. And, let’s face it, that’s much more fun anyway.

Third, the analytics were extensive. For those of you who don’t work on the web or blog, that doesn’t mean much of anything but, trust me, it’s important.

So now I’m in the middle of plotting my next move. I’m gonna think on it this week. I’ll let you know what I decide.

Thanks for reading.

quotation

Don’t worry about growing older or pleasing others. Please yourself. ↔ David Brown

tune

I’ve been listening to the latest album from The Shins, Port Of Morrow. So far, I’m digging on “No Way Down.”

gallimaufry

→ I couldn’t be happier about hockey right now. The Flyers are absolutely embarrassing the Pittsburgh Penguins. The only way I could be happier is if I actually got to watch one of these games in person. And that’ll be happening tonight. CAN YOU DIG IT?!?!?!?

→ Speaking of the phrase, “CAN YOU DIG IT?!?!?!?,” those of you who also follow me on Facebook might be wondering why I use it at the end of my status updates regarding the Flyers. Well, it’s an homage to my best friend, the late Harvey Forsyth. So now you know.

→ I saw Moneyball over the weekend and I liked it a lot. You should check it out.

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December 5th, 2011

Before I get started today, I wanted to take some time to thank everyone who came out to The Field House last Wednesday night for the happy hour in support of the Harvey Forsyth Memorial Fund. It was an amazing turnout and it was great to reacquaint with so many old friends (you who you are) who I hadn’t seen in years and years. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, don’t fret, there will be plenty more opportunities as the event wasn’t a one-shot deal.

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for all of the fantastic comments, through Facebook and text messages and emails and in person, about my post about Harv last Wednesday. It was a truly humbling experience. I really appreciate it.

word

bobbery [bobuh-ree] n. a disturbance; brawl

birthday

Martin Van Buren (1782), Walt Disney (1901), Strom Thurmond (1902), Dr. Dre (1963), Margaret Cho (1968)

standpoint

I usually steer clear of pontificating about the NFL on here for two reasons: (1) I don’t generally give a shit about the NFL and (2) No one seems to really give a shit about my opinion when it comes to the NFL.

But today I’m gonna do it anyway because I’ve become increasingly interested in the unlikely rise of Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow, the guy who was supposed to suck as a quarterback in the NFL, despite being a Heisman Trophy winner and winning a national championship at the collegiate level.

For those of you who might’ve been recently rescued after becoming stranded in a mountainous region when your plane went down and are just now just catching up on everything you’ve missed in the past couple of months, here’s a quick recap on Tim Tebow’s so far:

1. Although Denver fans are clamoring for him to be the starter, Tim Tebow begins the NFL season as the number 3 quarterback on the Broncos’ depth chart.

2. The Broncos get off to a 1-4 start, prompting head coach John Fox to succumb to the pressure. He tags Tebow as his new starting quarterback.

3. Instead of floundering, as most experts predict he will, Tebow goes 6-1 as a starter and puts the Broncos in the improbable position of playoff hopefuls.

All right, so that’s what’s happened so far in a nutshell.

And it’s not the most important thing going on in the world but it is pretty interesting simply because everyone in the know when it comes to the NFL seems to be gleefully anticipating the day when Tebow falls flat on his face. And that’s most likely because they’re befuddled by how the dude just keeps winning games, week after week.

Predictability is the most appealing facet of the NFL. Sure, upsets occasionally happen but, for the most part, the outcome is sort of predetermined. That’s why NFL commentators have the best job in the world. They spend all week telling fans what team is going to win and what team is going to lose and the reasons why. And when they’re right, they proclaim their genius in an I-told-you-so tone. And when they’re wrong, they cite it as the very reason they love the game, praising the parity of the league, “any given Sunday” and all of that.

But Tebow confuses them. For all intents and purposes, he’s not supposed to be successful as an NFL quarterback. He’s not a gifted passer in a game that’s mostly all passing. He’s not a conventional player, a wildcard. He’s overly religious and too nice a guy. He’s not supported by his coach or the most important guy in Denver, John Elway.

In essence, Tebow’s been told, “Listen, buddy, we’ve explored all of the options and, really, if there was any other choice we’d be going with that but there’s none forthcoming so just get in there and try not to make us the laughing stock of the league.”

And Tebow probably doesn’t curse but if he did, he’s mostly likely saying something like, “Hey, fuckers, how do you like me now?”

quotation

Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they’re in the game. ↔ Paul Rodriguez

tune

Yet another unearthed song from my broken down, antique iPod that only works when it I plug into my laptop. Here’s “Teenagers Talking” by Sunny Day Sets Fire.

gallimaufry

→ If you’re ever in Philadelphia and you’re wondering to yourself what restaurant serves the best burger, follow these intructions: (1) Get your ass to 19th and Lombard where you’ll find The Pub and Kitchen. (2) Enter the building. (3) Order the Churchill Burger. (4) After it’s placed in front of you, eat the Churchill Burger. (5) Spend the next week telling everyone about it. (Like I’ve been doing.)

Don’t ask these people where they’re effin from. It’s kind of a sore subject.

Herman Cain has suspended his presidential campaign due to his murky grasp on fidelity and how it pertains to marriage. Yeah, the douchebag had a pretty slim shot at the presidency but I’m gonna miss his chutzpah.

November 30, 2011

Today’s post will be almost exclusively about my best friend, Harvey Forsyth, Jr., who passed away exactly one year ago. Tonight, there will be a happy hour for The Harvey Forsyth Memorial Fund at Field House from 6pm to 9pm. Please do your best to be there.

word

pal [pal] n. 1. a very close, intimate friend; comrade; chum 2. an accomplice

standpoint

So, for today’s post, I was looking for a cool, obscure word that would sort of sum up how close Harv and I were. But none of the words I looked at came close to the word above: pal.

When I read the first part, “a very close, intimate friend,” it made me chuckle. Harv and I were not shy about talking about how great we thought the other was, but if he ever heard me describe him as “a very close, intimate friend,” he would’ve said something like, “Dude, that sounds sort of gay.” And then I’d say it all of the time just to piss him off.

But it was the second definition that really made me smile: “an accomplice.” Harv and I were each other’s accomplices for the better part of 20 years. One of us needed to talk about something, the other was there. One of us needed a best man for our weddings, the other was there. One of us needed to blow off steam, have some Miller Lites and watch a Flyers’ game, the other was there. One of us needed whatever, it didn’t matter what it was, the other was there. One way or another.

And whatever we did, whatever happened to be going on, we laughed our way through most everything. And, holy shit, we laughed a lot. Harvey was my favorite person to make laugh. It seemed I could tell him any story and he would crack up. He knew me so well that he understood why something irked me or amused me or angered me. Hearing him laugh will always be the number one thing I miss most.

Which leads me to today’s quotation.

quotation

“Well, this is fucking depressing. Josh, say something funny.” ↔ Harvey Forsyth

When I think about all of the things Harv said to me, that line above is my favorite. A couple of our closest friends from college came to visit him in the hospital and after they left, our friend Phil stayed behind to talk about some affairs he was handling for Harv and April. I asked Harv if he wanted me to step out and take a walk while they discussed some very private matters. He peshawed me and told me to sit down. Obviously, I won’t go into to the details of what was discussed but it all centered around taking care of the business of Harv’s final wishes. At the time, it was a mostly hypothetical conversation because none of us truly thought the end was near. I sat silently and intently listened to every word, wishing it was four other people, any four other people, sitting in that fucking room. When the discussion wound down and the inevitable awkward silence fell on the room, Harv turned to me and said, “Well, this is fucking depressing. Josh, say something funny.” I said, “I stopped listening to you guys about seven minutes ago.” Not the funniest thing I’ve ever uttered, not by a long shot, but it had the desired effect. Everyone laughed, including Harv. And, even though, I’m sure I did make him laugh again after that, it’s the last time I actually remember.

tune

One time, Harv and I shanghaied a bootleg video of a Jane’s Addiction concert from the Hammerstein Ballroom ’97. We watched that goddamn tape about twice a month for two years until Harv’s conscience finally got the better of him and he returned it to its rightful owner. Here’s a fantastic, albeit not the best quality, clip from that show.

gallimaufry

These iPhone apps are getting a bit out of control.

→ I guess I’d heard that R.E.M. had broken up but it didn’t register until I read this interview with Mike Mills.

→ So after a mainly serious post today, here’s a little lighthearted romp of a slideshow featuring celebrities who are not what they used to be.

November 17, 2011

word

cosmogony [koz-moguh-nee] n. a theory or story of the origin and development of the universe, the solar system, or the earth-moon system

birthday

Rock Hudson (1925), Martin Scorsese (1942), Lauren Hutton (1943), Danny DeVito (1944), Lorne Michaels (1944), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (1958), RuPaul (1960), Jeff Buckley (1966), Sophie Marceau (1966), Rachel McAdams (1978)

standpoint

On Monday night, I watched the Bob Costas interview with Jerry Sandusky on Rock Center. Due to the fucked up nature of the allegations against Sandusky, I was expecting to be outraged by his words.

But I wasn’t.

The guy did nothing to exonerate himself. In fact, he probably made it worse.

Costas: How would you define the part you played? What are you willing to concede that you’ve done that was wrong and you wish you had not done it?

Sandusky: Well, in retrospect, I — you know, I shouldn’t have showered with those kids. You know.

In retrospect, he thought it was a bad idea. In retrospect.

But, wait, there’s more.

Costas: Are you a pedophile?

Sandusky: No.

Costas: Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?

Sandusky: Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?

Costas: Yes.

Sandusky: Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.

Why, oh why, in the world didn’t Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, who happened to be seated right next to Costas during the entire interview (and has a kinda messed up story of his own) prep his client better?

The only answer is that he couldn’t. Amendola was trying to get his client out in front of the 40 charges against him but, most likely, Sandusky realizes he’s completely done for and he knows it doesn’t matter what he says.

quotation

Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. ↔ Jim Morrison

tune

As forthcoming as I am, there are certain memories that I choose to keep just for me. And listening to “Stockholm Syndrome” by blink-182 always makes me think of one of them.

gallimaufry

This is pretty damn funny website. Make sure to check it out.

OK Go makes the best videos.

→ I am going to be unapologetic about how much I will be mentioning this in the next two weeks. My best friend Harvey died last November 30th after a valiant battle against CML, which is a type of leukemia. It’s been almost a year. I can’t fucking believe it. Anyway, before I get started on a rant, I’m going to once again announce that there will be a happy hour for the Harvey Forsyth Memorial Fund on Wednesday, November 30th at the Field House (1150 Filbert St., Philadelphia) from 6pm to 9pm. Please do your best to attend.

November 14, 2011

There will be a happy hour on Wednesday, November 30th at the Field House for The Harvey Forsyth Memorial Fund. More details to follow.

word

pansophy [pan-suh-fee] n. universal wisdom or knowledge

birthday

Claude Monet (1840), Aaron Copland (1900), Joseph McCarthy (1908), Brian Keith (1921), McLean Stevenson (1927), P.J. O’Rourke (1947), Prince Charles (1948), Condoleezza Rice (1954), Yanni (1954), D. B. Sweeney (1961), Laura San Giacomo (1962), Patrick Warburton (1964), Josh Duhamel (1972)

standpoint

I only posted once last week and there was a lot going but none more important than the whole Penn State thing.

Christ. What a fucking mess.

And I’ve got a million thoughts swirling in my head about what’s happened but I’m going to hold back. I’ve got it on good authority there’s lots more details to surface this upcoming week, details that “will sicken the public like never before.” Apparently, Jerry Sandusky is a highly disturbed individual and Penn State used all the powers at its disposal (and still may be) to protect its good name.

quotation

Humor’s a weapon if you want to make it one. ↔ Bob Newhart

tune

What the world needs is more songs like Aloe Blacc‘s “Green Lights.”

gallimaufry

→ Even The Onion couldn’t properly joke about the Penn State scandal.

→ I think Bill Hader might be one of the funniest people on the planet. Seriously, click on this link and watch the skit. I love it when he says, “Oh, this lady…”

→ Ruben Amaro Jr. is doing his best to keep the Phillies viable. Welcome to Philadelphia, Jonathan Papelbon.

06.23.11 – a thursday

If you’re reading this blog on a regular basis like you should, you’re aware that my best friend Harvey passed away this past November. But you’re probably unaware that April, Harv’s widow, has created a pretty superb blog of her own titled Running Rocks. Check it out.  

word

hornswoggle [hawrn-swog-uhl] v. Slang. to swindle, cheat, hoodwink or hoax

birthday

June Carter Cash (1929), Clarence Thomas (1948), Glenn Danzig (1955), Frances McDormand (1957), Joss Whedon (1964), Jason Mraz (1977)

standpoint

About two weeks back, I decided to watch more news-type TV programs. The decision was completely arbitrary. I didn’t feel as if I was ill-informed and was perfectly capable of participating in conversations involving current events. And although some people who know me maintain I’m a liberal (which I’m not admitting to), I thought why not watch everything from every side of the fence? At the very least, it’d be informative and I’d come out on the other end a more knowledgeable person and feel better knowing more of the world around me.

But I don’t feel better at all. At least not yet.

Sure, I know that the current health status of the president of Yemen is not very good. I know that Republicans love to procreate. I know that we’re going to finally start pulling troops out of Afghanistan. I know that Prince Harry is into his brother’s new wife’s sister. I know that I don’t want to live in Greece. I know all that and much more.

But I’m not getting the satisfaction I thought I would. Watching all this news is muddling. And I’m fully cognizant that it might be my fault. I may be over-analyzing what I’m viewing but I can’t help it. I mean, everyone’s got a motive. It’s not only the national media and their eschewed coverage but even local newscasts run segments on its parent network’s reality shows.

So-called “news” is, on every level from top to bottom, simply promotion of one kind or another. They’re pushing angles, manipulating facts, steering interviews, etc., shooting for targets of all sizes. It’s murky, smoke-and-mirrors type shit, designed to over-stimulate and cause fear.

Granted, it’s not all that bad. The other day there was a story about a rescue cat who saved a woman’s life. That was kind of cool.

quotation

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth ↔ Robert Southey

tune

Caution: Hipsters will want to look away. Despite my dislike of Coldplay (I mean, c’mon, their new EP is titled Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall), I’ve always loved “Fix You.” And this version from The Voice‘s Javier Colon is worthy of some notice here.

gallimaufry

Comcast has reintroduced The Slowskys ad campaign. In case you’re wondering where I stand on this issue, I’m pro. Very very pro.

Good for Lappy, one of the all-time great guys to ever don a Flyers’ sweater. Definitely could’ve used him last season.

All right, people, allow this guy to rest in peace. Let’s move on.

→ Set your DVRs. The second season of Louie starts tonight on FX. I’ll also be checking out Wilfred.

05.23.11 – a monday

word

tyro [tahy-ro] n. a beginner in learning anything; novice

birthday

Douglas Fairbanks (1883), Scatman Crothers (1910), Joan Collins (1933), Drew Carey (1958), Jewel (1974)

standpoint

Yesterday was my birthday and, holy shit, the amount of emails, Facebook messages, texts and calls I received was pretty damn humbling.

But as great a day as it was, there was a twinge of sadness that, at first, I couldn’t figure out. And then I realized it was the first birthday in a well over a decade with no Harv. For those of you who might not know, my best friend Harvey Forsyth passed away last November. One of the countless things I loved about him was that, while he was ever reluctant to make a big deal about his own birthday, he was always more than willing to make a big deal out of mine.

I’m not discounting all of the fantastic sentiments I received yesterday because that’s simply not the case. I truly appreciated every last one. But, without a second’s hesitation, I would trade all of them for one more chance to sit next to Harv at our favorite bar as he held up his beer to meet mine and wished me a happy birthday.

quotation

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. ↔ Frank Lloyd Wright

tune

This one’s gonna take a little patience. If I was only allowed to listen to 20 songs for the rest of my life, “Tokyo” by Bob Schneider would be a shoe-in. This is the only video I could find of it and it’s not that great and there’s a fanboy singing along at parts but I think the lyrics are some of the best around. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

The answer to the question posed in the title of this article is a very loud and resounding, “WHY WOULD YOU WASTE YOUR TIME WRITING THIS?”

→ I’m constantly back and forth about Daniel Tosh. Sometimes, I think we might get along famously. Other times, I’m convinced he’d be annoying on a level I haven’t experienced. I’m relatively sure, when he thinks about me, he’s having the same sort of internal struggle.

→ Okay. Fine. The Vancouver Canucks is the best team in the NHL. I was wrong. You guys were right. I can’t call them all so just shut up about it all ready.