03.01.10 – A Monday

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word

semblance [sem-bluhns] n. 1. outward aspect or appearance 2. an assumed or unreal appearance; show 3. the slightest appearance or trace 4. a likeness, image, or copy 5. a spectral appearance; apparition

birthday

John Pell (1611), Frédéric Chopin (1810), Glenn Miller (1904), Ralph Ellison (1913), Harry Caray (1914), Pete Rozelle (1926), Harry Belafonte (1927), Robert Bork (1927), Robert Conrad (1935), Roger Daltrey (1944), Dirk Benedict (1945), Alan Thicke (1947), Burning Spear (1948), Catherine Bach (1954), Ron Howard (1954), Timothy Daly (1956), Nik Kershaw (1958), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (1974)

standpoint

Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of this blog. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. Looking back to the first night, having a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish and sitting here now, I’m slightly amazed with how it’s all transpired.

Some trial and error, some ups and downs, some hiatuses and I’m still borderline addicted to updating this blog almost every day. More importantly, I’m happy that so many of you come here daily to read what I’ve got to offer, especially those of you who take time our of your day to let me know what you think, both good and bad. All the feedback has been really helpful and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. Truly.

I’m not going to make any promise of what’s to come or what’ll happen on the euneJeune daily, but as of right now, I have no intention of quitting. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be posting something most every day, except Saturdays and Sundays.

Thanks again for reading. Come back tomorrow for some more. I promise I’ll be back to my bitter self by then and will most definitely have something I need to get off my chest about the world around us. Indeed.

quotation

In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.Tom Waits

tune

One music artist I feel sometimes goes unnoticed is Peter Gabriel. Sure, I know the dude is a megastar and, right now, he’s probably sitting in a house so big most of us don’t possess the imagination to conceptualize its enormity, figuring out which charitable cause to throw his weight behind next. But he’s not on the top of anyone’s list. I talk about music constantly, and I always ask people whose music they simply couldn’t live without. I’ve gotten hundreds of different responses but no one’s ever said, “Peter Gabriel.” And I’m not sure why.  Sure, he’s got a couple strikes against him like the fact Genesis did their best work after Gabriel left, forcing Phil Collins to come out from behind his drumkit. And, yeah, his use of costumes during live shows was, to put it mildly, less successful as David Bowie and Elton John but, let’s face it, not everyone can pull that shit off. On the other hand, he’s credited with changing the way music videos (Remember those?) were made with songs like “Sledge Hammer.” And the scene from the movie Say Anything where John Cusack holds the boombox, blasting “In Your Eyes,” outside of Ione Skye‘s house is largely considered the greatest use of music in the history of cinema. 1986’s So is almost always mentioned in those Top 500 Albums of All-Time lists that music critics create when there’s not a lot going on. Obviously, Peter Gabriel’s done some stuff, some good, some bad, some puzzling, but you’ve got to give him his due because he’s done it all on his terms. And that’s pretty much the definition of cool. Here’s my choice for his best song – “Come Talk To Me.”

gallimaufry

As I’m sure you’re aware, one of the biggest earthquakes ever hit the South American nation of Chile over the weekend. So far, it doesn’t appear to be as devastating as the one that almost destroyed Haiti almost two months ago. From what I can tell that’s because, according to experts, the Chilean quake was “deeper” and its epicenter was located 20 miles offshore. Also, Chileans were better prepared for an earthquake both in terms of the structure of their buildings and the infrastructure of its government. As I write this, the death toll for Chile has been set at a little over700, but I suspect that number will climb in the days to come. If you know anyone who’s living in Chile and are looking for information on them, Google has setup a Chile People Finder.

→ Probably tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I’ll have some final thoughts on the 2010 Winter Olympic Games but right now I’d just like convey my appreciation to all the US Olympians who helped bring home a record 37 medals, especially the members of the Men’s Ice Hockey Team, who played some of the best hockey I’ve ever seen in my life. But more on that to come.

→ As of late, I know I’ve been in the need for some laughs and this article from The Onion did the trick. And, no, Dikembe Mutombo is not a US Senator. I had to look that up to make sure, though.

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09-04-11: A Friday

Word

candor [kan-der] n. 1. the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness: The candor of the speech impressed the audience 2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality: to consider an issue with candor

Birthday

Anton Bruckner (1824), Mickey Cohen (1913), Henry Ford II (1917), Paul Harvey (1918), Forrest Carter (1925), Dick York (1928), Clive Granger (1934), Raymond Floyd (1942), Tom Watson (1949), Khandi Alexander (1957), David Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew) (1958), Kim Thayil (1960), Damon Wayans (1960), Mike Piazza (1968), Dave Buchwald (1970), Ione Skye (1971), Beyoncé Knowles (1981)

Standpoint

With the return of the NFL season, we are inevitably going to be forced to face the dreaded return of NFL commentary and game announcing. Here are a few things that bug the shit out of me routinely on Sunday and Monday Night (and occasionally Thursday night).

Keys To The Game – Right before the kickoff of each and every game, the expert announcers rattle off something called the “Keys to the Game.” Usually, these “Keys” are the factors the entire production staff has figured out one team will need to do to win the game. Most of the time, it boils down to three bulletpoints that usually translate into (a) limiting the other team’s scoring to as much as possible, while on the other hand, (b) scoring as many points as possible, and (c) not taking stupid penalties. Concepts easily grasped by anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of how a competitive game actually works.

The On-Field Interview – Usually, some newbie sportscaster is relegated to the sidelines for the duration of the game. This person is usually asked, in whatever kind of weather, to comment on things like “the feel of the crowd,” or “the mood on the bench.” But the sideline reporter’s time to shine is definitely the on-field interview where he or she gets the opportunity to ask the coach, either right before the game or the second half starts, a supposedly poignant question like, “Coach, your team is down 42-7. What’s your strategy for the second half.” The coach will normally respond with something like, “Well, I had a talk with the guys during halftime and I think you’re going to see a different football team out there in the second half.” Translation? “Well, I went into the locker room and threatened everyone within an inch of their life and I’m pretty sure the entire team knows I’m absolutely serious about killing them and everyone they know if the other team scores one more fucking point. But, honestly, I gotta say I’m ecstatic you stopped me to chat. Besides picking you up over my head and throwing you as far as humanly possible, it’s difficult to conjure anything else I’d rather be doing right now.”

The In-The-Booth GuestMonday Night Football is the main culprit here. Whatever city the MNF game is in, some famous person gets scheduled to come up and chat about the game with the commentators. A nice idea. The only problem is that everyone involved in the conversation eventually gets wrapped up in whatever the hell it is they’re talking about and we get to hear Kiefer Sutherland talk about all intense action on the upcoming season of 24 while, on the field, some guy is breaking a 90-yard touchdown run.

Tony Siragusa“The Goose” can make even the most exciting game kind of suck. Waddling around the sidelines and making ill-informed, unfunny, random observations is apparently something you can get paid for. Even in this economy.

Quotation

Among creatures born into chaos, a majority will imagine an order, a minority will question the order, and the rest will be pronounced insane.Robert Brault

Tune

Brendan Benson has recently gained fame as part of the Jack White-led outfit The Raconteurs. But he’s been around for years, making outstanding music all by himself. His latest release, My Old, Familiar Friend, is no exception. Try “A Whole Lot Better.”

Gallimaufry

→ About seven years ago, poolside on some cruise ship, I read “Video-Game Character Wondering Why Heartless God Always Chooses ‘Continue'” and became convinced that The Onion was the funniest periodical of all time. I actually spit out my banana daquiri when I read, “But sometimes, like when I suicidally attack dozens of armed guards with only my bare hands, it seems that God is putting me through hell merely to amuse Himself. It just doesn’t make sense.” Trust me. It’s funny in context. Go read it if you don’t believe me.

→ To the depths of my core, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I don’t go to conventions or sleep out for any kind of tickets, but it’s likely I know more about George Lucas‘ epic than you do. Geeky? Yes. Let’s move on. I’m no idiot. Nor am I blind or deaf. So I understand there are fundamental plot faults in everything, including my much beloved Star Wars. For more information on this topic, please read “7 Classic Star Wars Characters Who Totally Dropped The Ball.”

→ I’ve worked in the restaurant business my entire adult life and can testify that most of “Five Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know” is absolutely true. Except for the “Be Wary of Fish” part. Never once heard of that happening.

05.21.09 – Thursday

Word: jabberwocky [jab-er-wok-ee] n. 1. a playful imitation of language consisting of invented, meaningless words; nonsense; gibberish 2. an example of writing or speech consisting of or containing meaningless words ∞ adj. 3. consisting of or comparable to Jabberwocky; meaningless; senseless

Birthday: Albrecht Dürer (1471), Henri Rousseau (1844), Armand Hammer (1898), Fats Waller (1904), Raymond Burr (1917), Leo Sayer (1948), Al Franken (1951), Mr. T (1952), Judge Reinhold (1957), The Notorious B.I.G. (1972), Fairuza Balk (1974)

Standpoint: Thursday is the day I address your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s have at it.

  •  “OMG” – (submitted by Fred T.) – “OMG” started out as a chat acronym for “Oh my God!’ But, I’m sorry to report that it has snuck out into the spoken word. I think it’s a great thing to teach children to say instead of, “Oh my God!” Otherwise, unless you’re using it ironically (something I’ll always support), congratulations. It’s official. You’re a tool.
  • “It’s” vs. “Its” – (submitted by Cheryl F.) – When it comes to “it’s” and “its”, I’m ever vigilant. Definitely easy to make a mistake here with just an apostrophe (‘) making the difference. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.” It’s going to be a great day. “Its” is possessive pronoun meaning “of it” or “belonging to it.” The bear got its foot trapped in the rocks. These two words are confused and misused mainly due to lack of attention to detail. Make sure to keep an eye out. One of the easiest grammatical mistakes to miss.
  • “I know, right?” – (submitted by Harold W.) – I’m reasonably sure, without my knowledge, a law was passed that every woman under-30 in this country is obligated  to utter this phrase exactly 85 times per day. First, if you’re agreeing with something someone said by saying, “I know,” there is no need to follow it with, “right?” The other person already agrees with you. By itself, it’s not that bothersome. But the way it’s said most of the time can make my skin crawl. I think it all has to do with the 2-octave jump the voice does when emphazizing  the last word “right,” making it sound like, “I know, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?”

How about you? What things do you hear or read that bother you? Let us know.

Quotation: Never mistake motion for action. Ernest Hemingway

Tune: I read about Harlem Shakes‘ song “Sunlight” on a friend’s Facebook status update. Great driving-to-the-beach song.

Gallimaufry: Today might be remembered for a long time as President Obama and former VP Dick Cheney will both give speeches on the state of terrorism in this country. Cheney thinks Obama has left the country wide-open for a terrorist attack and will give his thoughts in a speech titled “Keeping America Safe: An Address by Dick Cheney.” Obama’s speech is called, “How’s Dick Cheney Still Alive?” ∞ Human piece of garbage Michael Vick was released from prison yesterday after serving 18 months for admitting sharing responsibility for brutally murdering several dogs. The former NFL star will server the last two months of his sentence under house arrest in Hampton, Virginia. Vick is reportedly ready to join a Humane Society of the United States campaign designed to discourage urban youth from pitting angry dogs against each other in fights to the death. ∞ Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe understands how to make music work in movies. If you’ve ever watched the scene from Say Anything where John Cusack plays Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside Ione Skye’s house, you know exactly what I mean. Anyway, Crowe has compiled a list of some of the best music moments in film history. Pretty solid, in my opinion.

Incoming: Tomorrow – It’s my birthday. But it’ll also be Friday so you’ll get my 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead plus some birthday-related list. Come back and check it out.