09.23.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

amalgamate [uhmal-guh-meyt] v. 1. to mix or merge so as to make a combination; blend; unite; combine: to amalgamate two companies 2. Metallurgy. to mix or alloy (a metal) with mercury 3. to combine, unite, merge, or coalesce: The three schools decided to amalgamate 4. to blend with another metal, as mercury

BIRTHDAY

Euripides (480 BC), Kublai Khan (1214), Mary Mallon (1869), Mickey Rooney (1920), John Coltrane (1926), Ray Charles (1930), Julio Iglesias (1943), Bruce Springsteen (1949), Jason Alexander (1959), Elizabeth Peña (1961), Ani DiFranco (1970), Jermaine Dupri (1972), Layzie Bone (1975), Rachael Yamagata (1977), Melanie Oudin (1991)

STANDPOINT

Two things I’ve always been gifted at are (a) making drinks and (b) convincing people I’m actually interested in the words coming out of their mouths. So, I’m a natural bartender.

And I love bartending. For the most part. But there a few annoying people who might appear during any given night I’ll always be unhappy to lay eyes on.

  • “The Loud Dude Who Is Totally Fucking Wrong About Pretty Much Everything” – This guy lives in every bar you’ve ever been to. He offers his opinions on just about everything in earshot, reciting  facts and statistics that are completely false. People put up with this kind of guy because, although he’s stupid, he’s no idiot and eventually offers to buy drinks for other customers. Sadly, people accept because, hey, free alcohol. As the bartender, and therefore the only sober person present, I’m forced to listen to the guy’s conspiracy theory about how Jack Ruby didn’t kill Lee Harvey Oswald, despite that being the one fucking fact in the whole JFK conspiracy everyone knows is absolutely true.
  • “The Wishy-Washy Individual Hankering For Some Dream World Elixir” – OK, here’s a tip for all you who plan on ever going to a bar again. Don’t pepper the bartender with an endless ingredient list of a drink that could never possibly exist. “Well, I want something fruity, but I don’t want it too sweet, and I don’t want to really taste the alcohol, but I want it to be strong because I’m only gonna have, like, one. Or maybe two.” You might as well ask me to serve that drink in the Holy Grail and have it personally delivered by Brad Pitt. Because that’d be easier than making your fantasyland cocktail. What do you like to drink? Just tell me. I’ll make it. As long as the ingredients don’t involve pixie dust or the breath of an angel.
  • “The Ultra-Demanding Dolt Who Doesn’t Truly Understand The System” – If you are finicky, that’s perfectly fine. That’s what I’m there for. If you want what you want the way you want, I’m on board. I’m the same way. However, if you make me shuck and jive, groove and dance, run around like a hopped-up chimpanzee, hey, it’s cool. I’m in the service industry and that’s exactly what I’m there for. But if you run up a tab of, say, $320 and you leave me a $30 tip, I’ll deal with it. Life will go on. BUT, the next time you come and sit at my bar, prepare to be placed at the very bottom of my priority level, somewhere between making sure my floor is clean and checking my cell for text messages. Tip well, and you’re gonna get treated well.
QUOTATION

The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes. Thomas Hardy

TUNE

In Philadelphia, there’s not a much greater place to watch a band you love than Johnny Brenda’s. Here’s a video of Rogue Wave‘s “Kicking The Heart Out.” I was at the show. My friend Danielle and I were busy getting hammered at the bar. But still, I was there.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ The video of Will Ferrell and a bunch of other celebrities imploring the American people to help out this country’s health insurance execs was yesterday’s big internet draw. Regardless of you position on the issue, this is some pretty funny stuff. I love Thomas Lennon‘s remark at the very end.

→ Apparently, 60% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. Welcome to my world, people. Glad to have you aboard.

→ Dude, are you fucking kidding me? GLENN BECK DAY? Mt. Vernon, you suck.

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03.25.09 – Wednesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: idiom [id-ee-uhm] noun 1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one’s head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics  2. a language, dialect, or style of speaking peculiar to a people  3. a construction or expression of one language whose parts correspond to elements in another language but whose total structure or meaning is not matched in the same way in another language  4. the peculiar character or genius of a language  5. a distinct style or character, in music, art, etc.: the idiom of Bach

Birthday: Catherine of Siena (1347), Jack Ruby (1911), Howard Cosell (1918), Flannery O’Connor (1925), Jim Lovell (1928), Gloria Steinem (1934), Anita Bryant (1940), Aretha Franklin (1942), Elton John (1947), James McDaniel (1958), Haywood Nelson (1960), Sarah Jessica Parker (1965), Jeff Healey (1966), Doug Stanhope (1967)

Occurrence: 1969John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage their first Bed-In for Peace in the Hilton Amsterdam. People made statements like this often back then. I guess it made sense in those days but, nowadays, I don’t see anyone caring if Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow were to do something similar.

Standpoint: Last night, a guy who didn’t want his picture taken threatened me. My good friend, Suzi Simon, asked me to bring my camera to The Chestnut Grill to commemorate its first Karaoke Night. As I’m known to do, I took many pictures of the crowd. I then sat down with my roommate Kate to have a Miller Lite and some wings. A guy tapped me on the shoulder. “Excuse me, can I have a word with you, buddy?” I turned around. “Sure, what’s up?” “Do you wanna sell that camera?” “Nah, it’s not for sale.” “All right, well, if you’re not selling it, I suggest you stop takin’ pictures of me.” “Oh. I’m not taking pictures of just you. I’m taking pictures of the whole crowd.” “Well, you had better stop. I don’t wanna be in no more pictures.” “OK, well, I’m more taking pictures of the people singing. You might’ve been in a couple but again, I’m not taking them specifically of you.” “Just stop takin’ fuckin’ pictures of me, got it?” “Sure.” He walked away and up to his friends who proceeded to stare at Kate and me. Pretty uncomfortable moment. Why am I telling you this story? Because I can’t stand douchebags. They should just stay home. I’m not sure if the dude was out cheating on his wife, or wanted by the law, or whatever. Later, I was talking to one of his buddies who told me that the guy just didn’t want his pictures on the internet. I assured him that would never happen. I created a Facebook album of Suzi’s Karaoke Night. Did I include a picture of Mr. Do-You-Wanna-Sell-That-Camera? You bet. By the way, Suzi’s event was a success. Everyone had a blast.

Quotation: Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heartTecumseh

Digit: 1200 – That’s the number of peanuts it takes to make one 28-ounce jar of peanut butter.

Tune: A great band from the 1990s that nobody but me and my friends seemed to be paying attention to was The Connells. “74-75” is one of the band’s best songs.

Link: The Daily Swarm – Music news site that covers just about every aspect and genre you can conjure.

Gallimaufry: Too funny. Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, has won a NASA contest to have a new room named after him in the international space station. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) said Colbert “won it fair and square – even his campaign was a bit over the top.” Predictably, NASA is reserving the right to name the room whatever the hell it wants to…Don’t read this article in the L.A. Times if you ever want to enjoy a hamburger again…In a post a few weeks back, I mentioned Jonathan Krohn, the nation’s youngest political pundit. Now, read about 12-year old David Fishman, the nation’s youngest food critic.