04.28.11 – a thursday

word

affray [uhfrey] n. 1. a public fight; a noisy quarrel; brawl 2. Law. the fighting of two or more persons in a public place

birthday

James Monroe (1758), Lionel Barrymore (1878), Harper Lee (1926), Saddam Hussein (1937), Ann-Margret (1941), Bruno Kirby (1949), Jay Leno (1950), Penélope Cruz (1974), Jessica Alba (1981)

standpoint

Today, I’m not pissed about much at all, oddly enough. I was emailing back and forth with a friend of mine last night and we were talking photography so, instead of ranting, I thought I would share some photos I’ve taken in the past few months. Hope you like them.

up close shot of my bonzai jade plant

cloudy sky from my street

gray morning sky

snowy night

someday this will all be the road...

quotation

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through the snow. ↔ Jeff Valdez

tune

Think you might be dead inside but you’re not really sure? Listen to “Daisy” by Fang Island and if you don’t feel the urge to tap your feet or at least a finger, you’ve proved it.

gallimaufry

Will everyone just please shut the hell up about this now? The guy’s an American citizen. Let’s move on.

I rarely go all mushy-gushy on here but if you don’t think this is the cutest freaking animal on the planet, I pretty sure I don’t want to be your friend.

Here we go again. Flyers-Bruins in the semifinals. It doesn’t get any easier. 

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.

02.08.10 – A Monday

word

ebullient [i-buhl-yuhnt, i-bool-] adj. 1. overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited: The award winner was in an ebullient mood at the dinner in her honor 2. bubbling up like a boiling liquid

birthday

Samuel Butler (1612), John Ruskin (1819), William Tecumseh Sherman (1820), Jules Verne (1828), Kate Chopin (1850), Lana Turner (1921), Jack Lemmon (1925), Neal Cassady (1926), James Dean (1931), John Williams (1932), Ted Koppel (1940), Nick Nolte (1941), Robert Klein (1942), Mary Steenburgen (1953), John Grisham (1955), Vince Neil (1961), Joshua Kadison (1963), Gary Coleman (1968), Mary McCormack (1969), Seth Green (1974)

standpoint

I’m a football fan but not a huge one. I halfheartedly participate in two (2) fantasy leagues and have a moderate interest in my hometown Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m much less emotionally invested in the NFL than I let on. Most years, I watch the Super Bowl more out of some misplaced obligation to some archaic sense of manhood. But I didn’t feel the same way this year. I actually had a mildly strong desire to watch last night because I like both the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, along with their respective quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

But I was curious to see how Super Bowl XLIV would be a different experience for me. And, lucky for you, I chronicled it. Here goes.

Note: I was reasonably sure that the Colts would win and cover the spread (+5.5) and the over (57 pts.) would become a matter of fact.

Pregame

» Not going to lie, I watched golf until just about the start of the game so I didn’t get to see what inane crap led up to the actual footage from Miami.

» But I did tune in time to see the Colts get introduced onto the field to the same song by The Who that opens up every episode of CSI:Miami, which turned out to be all of The Who I needed.

» Queen Latifah sang America The Beautiful with a choir and musical accompaniment. It didn’t really work all that well. Looked like she was never really in sync. Carrie Underwood sang The Star-Spangled Banner and it was better. During all this, cameras were on Peyton Manning, who looked amped to the point he was cursing the fact Francis Scott Key and Katharine Bates were ever born.

» The next class of inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were introduced as honorary whatevers to the coin toss. Emmitt Smith was the honorary coin tosser. Saints called heads. Smith flipped the coin directly at the Saints players, who sidestepped it. It was heads. Saints got the ball.

1st Quarter – 6:20(ish) PM

» Betty White and Abe Vigoda starred in a clever ad for Snickers. I’m completely sure those two actors were used because about 99% of viewers thought both had died years ago.

» The ad for the Boost Mobile Shuffle, featuring prominent members of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, was awful.

» In keeping with Hollywood’s trend of recycling, there’s another Robin Hood movie coming out starring Russell Crowe. Looks like both Braveheart and Gladiator ate a bunch of bows and arrows and vomited on each other. I’ll probably go see it.

» First quarter came to a close. Colts-10. Saints-0. I wasn’t paying much attention to the actual game.

2nd Quarter – 7:00 PM

» Pretty fast 1st quarter. At this point, I was certain the Colts were going to run away with the game.

» A Cars.com ad came on, detailing the life of a boy genius type doing all sorts of amazing boy genius type stuff. But when it came time to buy a car, he was at a loss. He looked to his mobile device for answers and, you guessed it, Cars.com came to the rescue. At one point during the ad, the boy genius delivered a baby Bengal tiger while on safari. That kicked off a conversation between my girlfriend and I where we discussed her desire to bring a baby panther into the apartment. Negotiations reached a stalemate after she refused to budge on the name of the baby panther. Oh well.

» The Saints began to make a game of it. Pretty sure they kicked a field goal.

» One ad had Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman on the same couch talking about something. I’m not sure what because I was distracted. Leno didn’t look like he was actually there. The next ad (maybe) had Brett Favre making fun of the fact he never actually retires. I like it when celebrities/athletes know to do that.

» The Colts stopped the Saints on a 4th and goal from the 1-yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half. See? I pay mind to the important stuff.

» I wasn’t quite sure how it happened but the Saints kick another field goal just as time expires on the 1st half. Colts – 10. Saints – 6.

Halftime – 7:50 PM

» The Who played. The Who sucked. I monitored Twitter feeds instead. Best Tweet? “Wake up your great grandma. The Who is on.”

3rd Quarter – 8:22 PM

» The Saints began the 2nd half with an onside kick. Which they recovered. Which turned out to be huge. Saints – 13. Colts – 10.

» According to a new Volkswagen ad, the classic car game, Punch Buggy, has now been expanded to include the entire Volkswagen fleet. As a matter of fact, it seems whatever substance it’s painting its cars with nowadays is so cutting edge, even Stevie Wonder can see it. Much to the chagrin of an arm sore Tracy Morgan. Classic.

» The Colts’ Joseph Addai ran in for a touchdown. Colts – 17. Saints – 13. I was a little disappointed about how good of a game it was becoming. I’m not used to the Super Bowl being about the Super Bowl. Not being able to run out of the room in between commercials was messing with my head.

» Two commercials gave me pause in different ways. First, the new E*TRADE baby wasn’t half as funny as the original. Second, Google aired its first ever television ad. I think.

» The Saints kicked another field goal which flew under my radar. End of the 3rd quarter. Colts – 17. Saints – 16.

4th Quarter – 8:56 PM

» Honestly, I should’ve been playing closer attention. The Saints started scoring. They took the lead. They intercepted a very important Peyton Manning pass at a crucial time. I watched the whole thing. I swear. But, as happens more than not, I became embroiled in a debate that made the game take a backseat.

» Super Bowl XLIV ended at 9:45 PM. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 31-17. If I bet the game the way I thought it would go, I would’ve been dead wrong. Yet another reason why I’m not a gambling man.

Overall, a most exhilarating football contest. The best Super Bowl in years. Congrats, New Orleans. Call me when you’re done partying. That should be around June.

quotation

Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.Thomas Pynchon

tune

One band from the 80s that doesn’t get enough credit is The Housemartins. I like to think of them as a sort of catchier version of  The Smiths. Also, they’ve got one of the best titled songs ever – “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.” Actually, after just listening to it, it seems to work nowadays as well.

gallimaufry

→ I just got done reading King of Russia: A Year in the Russian Super League, and it was simple and great. Former NHL head coach and current Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King narrates his experiences as the first ever Canadian coach in Russia. The guy really knows his stuff and he provides great insight into Russian hockey and its players, especially Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeny Malkin.

→ Speaking of the Pittsburgh Penguins, yesterday afternoon’s game between them and the Washington Capitals was just about as complete as you could ask for. Caps won it in overtime 5-4 after being down 4-2 going into the third period.

01.20.10 – A Wednesday

WORD

providence [prov-i-duhns] n. 1. (often initial capital letter) the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth 2. (initial capital letter) God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence 3. a manifestation of divine care or direction 4. provident or prudent management of resources; prudence 5. foresight; provident care

BIRTHDAY

George Burns (1896), DeForest Kelley (1920), Slim Whitman (1924), Buzz Aldrin (1930), David Lynch (1946), Paul Stanley (1952), Bill Maher (1956), Lorenzo Lamas (1958), Rainn Wilson (1966), Melissa Rivers (1968), Kerri Kenney-Silver (1970), Skeet Ulrich (1970), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (1971)

STANDPOINT

Oh, man, did you hear? Some GOP guy named Scott Brown won some Senatorial seat in Massachusetts yesterday. What that means is President Obama’s health care reform is in jeopardy and Republicans everywhere are experiencing something close to ecstasy. The NewsFeed on my Facebook resembles what I’m relatively sure a group IM session between Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson and Dick Cheney would look like.

And I will be the first to ask the question, “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”

I hope that all of you who support whatever, one way or another, understand what it is you’re getting the rest us into. What kind of importance can government serve when a society of individuals, all feeling more entitled than one other, basically brings about a scenario in which its elected officials will never be provided enough time to do anything worthwhile?

I mean, Christ. We let George W. Bush do whatever the hell he wanted for eight years and, now, it looks like we’ve decided that one year of Obama is enough. When Obama got elected, I was legitimately excited. Not because I’m a staunch Democrat. Shit, I’m not a staunch anything. All I knew was the nation was in shambles and anything or anybody trying to move in a different direction was definitely a good thing. That’s basic logic. If something’s not working, there’s a good chance of literally any other alternative being a better option.

But not everyone thinks that way. We all want we want when we want it – and that means right now, please. And, due to the fact everyone feels so entitled, we’re on a straightaway path to nothing ever getting done again. Because the reasonable voices will always going get drowned out by the loudest ones. And the loudest voices will always belong to those out there who feel most wronged. Because, adversely, those of us who’re content won’t fight so hard as those of us who are not. And most of us have delineated ourselves as such that we’re on one side or another. And, instead of moving toward a society of free-thinking individuals, we’re headed directly into a big fucking mess.

And for what? Lower taxes? Health care? I’m no idiot. I know these things are important in a lot of ways. But I’m a realist and the one thing I truly know about what’s going on out there is that the more we nickel and dime about these issues, the less we’re grasping the big picture.The more we all bicker about our individual rights and squabble over who’s doing what and, more importantly, who’s getting what, the longer it’s going to take us to figure this whole mess out. And the longer it takes us to find a remedy for what ails us, all of us, we’re taking a greater a chance of having this fantastic situation we all occupy slipping away.

In the long run, one Senator getting elected somewhere doesn’t mean much of anything. Except to those of you who think it does. And, I fear your numbers have grown to uncontrollable proportions.

QUOTATION

It may be that life is only worthwhile at moments. Perhaps that is all we ought to expect. → Sherwood Anderson

TUNE

Yesterday, I announced that matt pond PA is releasing a new album, The Dark Leaves, in April. Check out the opening track “Starting.”

GALLIMAUFRY

Uh-oh. Soon, the United Kingdom might be a lot less fun. That is, if the soon to be proposed ban on drinking games and drink specials at pubs goes through. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen. Even though it will have absolutely no effect on my life.

→ Just when I start to despise the guy, Jay Leno comes out and gives his version of what’s happening over at NBC. From his explanation, it’s hard to figure out who the bad guy(s) is. This fucking sucks.

→ Recently, at The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Death Cab For Cutie performed Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” during a tribute to late director John Hughes. Death Cab performed it very well, albeit in their minimalist way, but the video montage behind the band was kickass.

04.28.09 – Tuesday

Word: postmodern [pohst-mod-ern] adj. 1. noting or pertaining to architecture of the late 20th century, appearing in the 1960s, that consciously uses complex forms, fantasy and allusions to historic styles, in contrast to the austere forms and emphasis on utility of standard modern architecture 2. extremely modern; cutting edge: postmodern kids who grew up on MTV

Birthday: James Monroe (1758), Oskar Schindler (1908), Ferruccio Lamborghini (1916), Harper Lee (1926), Saddam Hussein (1937), Ann-Margret (1941), Bruno Kirby (1949), Jay Leno (1950), John Daly (1966), Too Short (1966), Kari Wührer (1967), Bridget Moynahan (1971), Elisabeth Röhm (1973), Penélope Cruz (1974), Jessica Alba (1981)

Occurence: 1967Expo 67 opens in Montreal, Canada.

Standpoint: Originality. It’s one of the few qualities someone can possess and gain instant credibility. But one can’t attain originality. Striving for it is pointless since the process one would go through to achieve originality, would automatically make that person unoriginal. It’s confusing. But some have pulled it off. Here’s my 7 Original Individuals:

  • George Carlin – Invented (and perfected) the art of stand-up comedy as we know it today.
  • Tiger Woods – First golfer to be so good, he’s admired outside the realm of his sport.
  • Harvey Milk – Did more for Gay Rights in a short 8-year political career than most could hope to do in a lifetime.
  • Josephine Baker – Singer, dancer, first African American woman to star in a motion picture, Civil Rights activist, French Resistance supporter and recipient of the Croix de Guerre.
  • Chuck Klosterman – Writes the way people talk so effectively that sometimes I forget I’m reading.
  • Andy Kaufman – Should be remembered as more a performance artist than a comedian.
  • Wayne Gretzky – Did more for professional ice hockey than any other one person has done for a sport.

I’m sure you have someone in my mind that I didn’t include on his list. Tell who you think should have been there.

Quotation: A bargain is something you can’t use at a price you can’t resist.Franklin P. Jones

Tune: Another band I know very little about but love what I’ve heard so far. The Record Low. Listen to “The Bottom.”

Gallimaufry: Bea Arthur died over the weekend at the age of 86. Read what the remaining two “Golden Girls” had to say about her passing…Outside of Philadelphia, it’s called the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship. Here we just call it “The Bike Race.” And it’s endangered of being cancelled this year. Here’s what you can do to help…Why is a president judged after his first 100 days? Find out why.

Incoming: No post tomorrow. Got some organizing to do due to the move.