04.28.10 – A Wednesday

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word

harangue [huhrang] n. 1. a scolding or a long or intense verbal attack; diatribe 2. a long, passionate, and vehement speech, esp. one delivered before a public gathering 3. any long, pompous speech or writing of a tediously hortatory or didactic nature; sermonizing lecture or discourse v. used w/ obj. 4. to address in a harangue v. used w/o obj. 5. to deliver a harangue

birthday

James Monroe (1758), Lionel Barrymore (1878), Heinrich Müller (1900), Oskar Schindler (1908), Ferruccio Lamborghini (1916), Harper Lee (1926), James Baker (1930), Saddam Hussein (1937), Ann-Margret (1941), Bruno Kirby (1949), Jay Leno (1950), Paul Guilfoyle (1955), Too Short (1966), Kari Wührer (1967), Bridget Moynahan (1971), Elisabeth Röhm (1973), Penélope Cruz (1974), Jessica Alba (1981)

standpoint

So last night I’m bartending and one of my customers strikes up a conversation with me about hockey. I’m perpetually wary to get into any kind of hockey talk because, truth be told, there’s very few out there who can maintain it on the level I can.

But I was in a good mood last night so, after issuing a lighthearted warning about he should proceed with caution, I obliged the gentleman. Here’s how our exchange went.

Customer: So, who’s your favorite Flyer of all-time?

Me: Ah, I don’t want to answer that. You’re going to hate the answer.

Customer: Oh, Christ, please don’t tell me it’s fucking Lindros.

Me: See? I told you that you weren’t going to like it. Yes, it’s Lindros.

Customer: So, you’re telling me you think Lindros was a great player.

Me: No. I didn’t say that. He’s my favorite player but if you’re asking me if he was a great player, then I’d have to say yes.

Customer: You’re trying to convince me you know a lot about hockey and you’re favorite all-time player is Eric Lindros? Sorry, but I can’t take you seriously now. There’s no way his name should be considered among Flyers’ greats.

And such is the plight of the status of Eric Lindros in the collective mindset of Philadelphia Flyers fans. Arguably, it’s unfair. And, this being the last week of this blog, I want to finally put my thoughts on this to rest.

Despite the troublesome history of “The Big E” in this town, there’s no basis for not including him among Flyers’ greats.

Eric Lindros played 486 regular season games for the Flyers. In that span he amassed 659 points (290 goals, 369 assists). That’s a hefty 1.35 points-per-game. In comparison, Flyers’ legend Bobby Clarke averaged only 1.05 ppg.

Despite playing only 486 games, he’s still 5th on the team’s all-time scoring list. Of the top-20 on that list, Dave Poulin is the only other player with less than 500 games (467). His point total? 394 (161 g, 233 a).

Of the all-time playoff leader for the Flyers, Lindros is ranked 9th with 57 points (24 g, 33 a) in 50 games played. That’s 1.14 ppg. Flyers hero Brian Propp is 2nd on the same list with 112 points (52 g, 60 a) in 116 games played. That’s 0.96 ppg.

So, if you’re going by the stats, it’s fairly reasonable to say that, if you’re fielding a squad of all-time Flyers in some imaginary game, you’d most likely want Lindros in your lineup.

Even though the stats back up my argument, I’ve always hated going by them. Hockey is a game of intangibles. And “Number 88” was huge intangible. He was an immense presence on the ice. He could skate with most anyone. His wrist shot was borderline unstoppable. He had the ability to pass on a dime. And, oh yeah, he could drop the gloves with the best of them.

Bottom line, Eric Lindros wasn’t the best player that ever played in the NHL, but he deserves to be mentioned in the game’s greats. Hell, even Bobby Clarke thinks so.

I understand this argument is a bit cursory but I could probably right a 20-page on this subject. And, besides, I think I’ve made my point.

quotation

I’d rather have a hundred thousand or a million people saying I’m nuts and I’m crazy for my musical choices and what I’ve said lyrically, than a million people all raising their hand on the first day. Chuck D

tune

From time to time, I’m annoyed with indie music. There’s a lot of buzz bands, supposed to be the next big thing. I’m a sucker for that kind of talk. Often, I believe the hype (despite being told many times to no do that exact thing.) In my estimation, I’m disappointed at least half the time. And such was the case a few years back with English brother-sister tandem act, The Magic Numbers. I’m a big fan of good pop music (Matthew Sweet, Rogue Wave, etc.) but these guys and gals were just too much pop, not enough substance. However, I did always like “Forever Lost.”

gallimaufry

→ Honestly, I thought this guy only ran over pigeons. If you get the reference, I automatically like you.

This would be a pretty great historical find if the story it’s based on wasn’t a complete fabrication.

→ Since joining Facebook, one of the beefs I’ve had with the social networking site was that, unlike MySpace, it failed to capitalize on much anything having to do with music. Looks like they’re about to remedy the situation.

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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.

09.15.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

itinerant [ahy-tin-er-uhnt, i-tin-] adj. 1. traveling from place to place, esp. on a circuit, as a minister, judge, or sales representative; itinerating; journeying 2. characterized by such traveling: itinerant preaching 3. working in one place for a comparatively short time and then moving on to work in another place, usually as a physical or outdoor laborer; characterized by alternating periods of working and wandering: an itinerant farm hand n. 4. a person who alternates between working and wandering 5. a person who travels from place to place, esp. for duty or business

BIRTHDAY

Marco Polo (1254), James Fenimore Cooper (1789), William Howard Taft (1857), Agatha Christie (1890), John N. Mitchell (1913), Nipsey Russell (1918), Bobby Short (1924), Cannonball Adderley (1928), Merlin Olsen (1940), Tommy Lee Jones (1946), Oliver Stone (1946), Wendie Jo Sperber (1958), Dan Marino (1961), Josh Charles (1971), Prince Henry of Wales (1984)

STANDPOINT

So, I was going to write about the plight of professional athletes in Philadelphia but I decided it’d be best to weigh in on this Kanye West-Taylor Swift debacle from the MTV Video Music Awards a couple of nights ago.

West, apparently upset that Beyoncé didn’t win in the Best Female Video category, came onstage and grabbed the microphone from Swift to publicly voice his objections to the final result. And everyone’s world was turned upside-down.

And rightfully so. It appeared as if Swift, one of the great thinkers of her generation, was about to share some of her poignant inner perspectives with all of us out here in the huddled masses. But West robbed everyone of hearing those life-changing words. For that, my friends, we should never forget or forgive. There was a great injustice done this past Sunday night. One that will undoubtedly leave a permanent mark on every facet of our society. Truly.

OK. If you’re having trouble figuring out the point I’m attempting to make, I’ll break it down for you – what Kanye West did to Taylor Swift doesn’t really matter for the simple reason that…well…it just doesn’t matter. I’m sure Swift was traumatized by the whole ordeal and I’m equally certain we’ll be hearing some overly-produced piece of fluff (that she and others will call “a song”) and she’ll be just fine.

President Obama was right when he called West “a jackass.” He didn’t say “enemy of the public.” Or “heinous criminal.” West acted like a jackass. Just like a lot of people you know.

Bottom line? It’s all about publicity and entertainment. I’d bet all of ten of my fingers that West and Swift have already privately resolved the situation. Unfortunately, the rest of us, dominated by the mindless, ultra-driven individuals who love to tell us what’s important and what’s not, will have to hear about this for a long time. Or, more likely until the end of the week. But it’ll feel like forever. At least to me.

QUOTATION

I always look for a woman who has a tattoo.  I see a woman with a tattoo, and I’m thinking, okay, here’s a gal who’s capable of making a decision she’ll regret in the future.Richard Jeni

TUNE

I thought since today would’ve been jazz great Cannonball Adderley‘s 81st birthday, it’d be best to commemorate it by sharing “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” – one of the greatest songs of all-time.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, is this the year of the celebrity death or what? Sad to report Patrick Swayze died yesterday at the age of 57, finally losing his fight with pancreatic cancer. Swayze, while he was not always consistently making hit movies, was in some of the most popular films of all-time. The Outsiders. Red Dawn. Dirty Dancing. Road House. Ghost. Point Break. Donnie Darko. Rest In Peace, Dalton. BY THE WAY, I’d love for everyone who reads this to weigh-in on their favorite Patrick Swayze movie/moment.

→ One thing that will never ever change is this country’s obsession with “Seinfeld.” And rightfully so. Jerry and crew observed one of the most important rules of show business – always leaving the audience wanting more. And it is more we are about to receive as the cast of the popular sitcom ever will reunite on “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David’s HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Not exactly sure what the context will be, but Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards will all appear on the third episode of the upcoming season.

→ I know you all are just excited as I am the Philadelphia Flyers opened up training camp this past weekend. What’s that? You’re not? Well, you should be. Jerk.