04.12.10 – A Monday

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word

sardonic [sahr-don-ik] adj. 1. characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin

birthday

Henry Clay (1777), Johnny Dodds (1892), Beverly Cleary (1916), Billy Vaughn (1919), Tiny Tim (1932), Herbie Hancock (1940), John Kay (1944), Ed O’Neill (1946), Tom Clancy (1947), David Letterman (1947), David Cassidy (1950), Jon Krakauer (1954), Andy Garcia (1956), Vince Gill (1957), Art Alexakis (1962), Shannen Doherty (1971), Claire Danes (1979)

standpoint

Man, when Obama was elected, our country was supposed to resemble something like this.

Instead, this is the kind of nonsense going on.

Bottom line is there’s hardly anyone left in this country who wants our government to do anything but make our individual lives better. Let’s stop waving this ridiculous notion of patriotism around. It’s just a forsaken ideal to hide behind while pushing a hollow agenda.

How vocal do you think these “patriots” would be if John McCain had won the election instead? Very few, I’d wager.

quotation

The future is called “perhaps,” which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you. Tennessee Williams

tune

All right, I’m beating the dead horse here. I’m fully aware. But I’m hooked on the Local Natives album Gorilla Manor like Pookie was hooked on crack rock in New Jack City. (I love that photo.) My favorite song from the album seems to be changing daily. Here’s today’s – “Camera Talk.”

gallimaufry

→ Despite playing like The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight for the past six weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers have eked their way in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Starting Wednesday evening, the Orange and Black will face the New Jersey Devils in a best-of-seven games series. My prediction? Devils in four.

→ I love it when I read about people like Mike Gallagher. On April 5th, he set out, on foot, from Philadelphia to embark on a cross country journey to San Francisco. He’s not doing it for charity, instead he’s attempting to gain a little perspective. I think it’s a great thing and I wish him all the best. Make sure to check TheWalk 2010 frequently to see what he’s up to. For easy access, I’ve added his site to my bloglist on this very page.

→ As much as the last story inspired me, this next one reminded me once again that the world is full of awful people. This woman should go to jail. In Russia.

03.09.10 – A Tuesday

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word

repartee [rep-er-tee, –tey, -ahr-] n. 1. a quick, witty reply 2. conversation full of such replies 3. skill in making such replies

birthday

Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Mickey Spillane (1918), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Robin Trower (1945), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Bobby Sands (1954), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Steve Wilkos (1964), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1973), Thor Halvorssen (1976), Julia Mancuso (1984), Brittany Snow (1986), Bow Wow (1987)

standpoint

Two nights ago, we were all once again treated to the annual hullabaloo that is The Oscars. Lots of us were watching the show. 41.3 million of us. Granted, that’s not even 10% of the United States’ population but it’s still a large group of people, the largest in five years. Whoopdee-doo.

But why were we all watching? I suspect some of you actually watched out of your sheer love for the art of cinema. Or maybe you watched in an attempt to make sure you weren’t the only one in the office the next morning who couldn’t participate in the endless post-Oscar debates and be forced to, like, do work or something. Or maybe you flipped through the channels and happened upon the show and became immediately engaged by the obvious sexual tension between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, this year’s co-hosts. Or maybe you’re like me and you simply watched the damn thing to beleaguer yourself with one of the prime examples of how crappy our culture has become.

I watched it, albeit in my usual offish fashion. But I did notice some amusing peculiarities.

→ In what’s being dubbed a “Kanye Moment,” some woman named Elinor Burkett, apparently one of the producers of  something called Music By Prudence, stormed the stage and stole the allotted speech time from the film’s director, one Roger Ross Williams. Some described it as “uncomfortable to watch.” Uh…all right. Now Burkett has two things in common with Kanye West: They both display an irreverent attitude toward award show decorum, and they both look like dudes.

Neil Patrick Harris needs to pull in the reins a bit. Does the guy know he’s allowed to turn down offers? At this rate, we’re all going to be sick and tired of him sometime later this week. Hey, NPH, maybe just be a homebody for a while, do a crossword puzzle (or maybe you’re a sudoku man, I have no idea) or repaint the living room like you’ve been saying you’re going to since forever. Or, here’s an idea. Maybe watch some television and try to find a channel you won’t see your own face.

Fisher Stevens, the guy who played that goofy scientist in Short Circuit and was in that episode of Friends that time won an Oscar for a documentary that had something to do with dolphins. Johnny Five is indeed alive.

→ Always the cutup, Ben Stiller came onstage to present the award for Best Makeup all done up as a character from Avatar. I thought he looked a lot like what Michael Jackson might’ve looked like twenty years down the road.

→ Throughout the entire show, George Clooney had a look on his face that, I swear, made me think the guy has some sort of beef being stuck in a chair with a camera up his nose for four hours. What’s up with that? Lighten up, buddy, you’ve come a long way since Booker Brooks.

The Hurt Locker won 6 times. Two of them involved sound and were accepted by some guy who looked like a recovering zombie. Also, the lady who directed it won Best Director and Best Film but all anyone wanted to talk about was that she was once married to fellow nominee James Cameron. I was glad she was able to get back at the Academy for what’s still considered one of history’s biggest snubs when it completely ignored Point Break. Not even a courtesy Best Supporting Actor nod to Gary Busey, for crying out loud. But Kathryn Bigelow showed them. Now who’s laughing? Definitely not Busey and, even if he is, he’s laughing about something only he fully understands.

→ I liked that thing they do when 5 actors get up on stage and say something seemingly heartfelt and ostensibly accurate about the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. Oprah Winfrey spoke about Gabourey Sidibe from Precious in the way she does about everything. No matter what Oprah’s prattling on about, she’s really just talking about herself. Sidibe probably didn’t care as she was most likely couldn’t stop thinking about hunky Gerard Butler, who she met and delivered the proposition, “Let’s grab a bottle of champagne and see where the night goes!” Later, she told more than one reporter, in regards to her attraction to Butler, “I’d hit that.” Whatever happened to playing hard to get? Gabourey, it’s all about the hunt and the chase. Don’t just throw it out there.

→ One of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges won for Best Actor. Of all the movies mentioned during the show, Crazy Heart was one of two I’d actually seen. (Star Trek was the other.) Kudos to Bridges, by the way, who, in giving his acceptance speech, contributed yet another item to the long list every stoner keeps of shit you can still do when you’re high.

Overall, I enjoyed watching The Oscars. I might even watch next year. Hell, I might even get out there and see some relevant movies for a change. Who knows?

quotation

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.  From each of them goes out its own voice… and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.Gilbert Highet

tune

Sometimes, I’m resistant to things for no good reason. What can I say? I’m hardheaded. You love that about me, by the way. In any case, my wonderful girlfriend asked me to watch the new OK Go video about five times before I had the good judgment to trust her. I learned an important relationship lesson: Believe her when she tells me I’m definitely going to like something she’s sent me. (Five times.) Not only did I realize that (a) I like OK Go and, as is the case from time to time, I miss out on good music due to a some sort of stigma I’ve created out of thin air, and (b) I can’t ascertain how I’ve managed to escape the incredible ingenuity of Rube Goldberg Machines. They’re absolutely fucking nuts. Here’s the new OK Go offering titled “This Too Shall Pass.”

And if you suddenly find yourself yearning for some more Rube Goldberg Machine videos, worry not, I’m happy to provide them. Check these out.

gallimaufry

Reunited and it feels so good. T.O. and D-Nabb put aside their differences for (What else?) money. Poor Antonio Gates, stuck with those two as teammates.

→ Some may argue that Facebook made this possible. I’d say FB made it easier would be more accurate.

→ I didn’t need another reason not to vacation in balmy Alaska. But I got one anyway.

01.04.10 – A Monday

WORD

dogmatic [dawg-mat-ik, dog-] 1. of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a dogma or dogmas; doctrinal 2. asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated

BIRTHDAY

Sir Isaac Newton (1643), Jacob Grimm (1785), Don Shula (1930), Dyan Cannon (1937), Bernard Sumner (1956), Patty Loveless (1957), Matt Frewer (1958), Michael Stipe (1960), Dave Foley (1963), Julia Ormond (1965), David Berman (1967)

STANDPOINT

So, not only is it the the end of a year, it’s the end of a decade. Which, in my estimation, has more than quadrupled the annual year-in-review nonsense. What is the use of exploring what’s transpired in the last 365 days? Or the last 3,652.42199? (That’s exactly how many days are in a decade which kind of weirds me out.)

In any case, I’m only a human being. And so I’ve read some of these lists. Apparently, 2009 is one most people would like to see flushed down the toilet with extreme prejudice. (I’m one of them, but not due to anything outside of my own personal experience.) This past year was, according to most accounts, one filled with tantamount portions of both doom and gloom. And, while I guess everyone is right and everything is sort of shitty, I think it’s wholly irrefutable things could be worse.

And, the reason is this:  In the course of perusing and pondering all the recent trials and tribulations of our downtrodden society, I came upon Yahoo!’s Year In Review – Top 10 Searches. I concluded shit can’t be all that bad after reading what people seem to actually care about.

Despite the times, we’ve clearly got an advantage over any other generation that came before us because, in the internet, we’ve got a vast archive of information that can help better pretty much any situation. I was fully expecting terms like, “financial help,” and “employment opportunities,” to appear somewhere on a list of top searches by a group of individuals who spend most of its time worrying about the future. But, as happens more than not, people leave me disappointed.

Instead of searching for help, everyone’s searching for crap. The top search term of the year was Michael Jackson. Before his untimely death, only the most ardent fans truly seemed to care about whatever odd capers Jacko was involved in. Once he died, everyone took an active interest and felt the need to seek out information on someone they pretty much knew everything about in the first place.

The rest of the top search list was, in order, The Twilight Saga, WWE, Megan Fox, Britney Spears, Naruto (whatever the fuck that is), American Idol, Kim Kardashian, NASCAR and Rune Scape (again, huh?).

Once finding this data, I decided that, hey, everything’s going to be just fine. Because, if life was as seriously dismal as most would have us believe, we’d probably spend less time question for knowledge on tweener flicks, supposed sports, irrelevant celebrities, reality television and, again, whatever those other two are.

Let’s just relax people and collectively ease back from the ledge. If, as as culture, we’re concerning ourselves with such inconsequential nonsense on the internet, how ominous could it really be? Right?

QUOTATION

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen, he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas. → Steven Pressfield

TUNE

I’m fully aware of the fact that, in terms of music, I’ve a tendency to circulate around certain artists. Sorry. Some of these folks are just too damn good.  I found “New Amsterdam” on vodpod (a site I feel you should most likely be checking out) over the weekend and decided to share one of my favorite Elvis Costello offerings.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I’m disgusted to report that even I’m not immune to the controversial MTV “reality” show Jersey Shore. The creators should be rounded up, along with anyone remotely involved including the cast, stuffed into a bag and hammertossed into the ocean. That said, I’m still watching it. Shit, I’m watching it right now. Christ.

→ It seems the Philadelphia Eagles‘ run of stepping ass-backward into big piles of sunshine has come to a close. Yesterday’s shutout loss the Dallas Cowboys was pretty embarrassing. Luckily, instead of enjoying the bye week they’d have earned from a victory, the whole team gets to go back to Dallas next week and do it all over again.

Jeff Bridges might finally get his due with an Oscar nod this year for his role in Crazy Heart. About effing time.

09-07-09: Monday

It’ s a holiday Monday, so I’m just going to keep it light and give you some of my favorite movie clips.

Enjoy the holiday. Come back tomorrow for some more.

07.24.09 – Friday

Word: uncouth [uhn-kooth] adj. 1. awkward, clumsy, or unmannerly: uncouth behavior; an uncouth relative who embarrasses the family 2. strange and ungraceful in appearance or form 3. unusual or strange

Birthday: Alexandre Dumas (1802), Amelia Earhart (1897), Cootie Williams (1908), Dan Hedaya (1940), Chris Sarandon (1942), Robert Hays (1947), Michael Richards (1949), Lynda Carter (1951), Gus Van Sant (1952), Karl Malone (1963), Barry Bonds (1964), Kadeem Hardison (1965), Laura Leighton (1968), Rick Fox (1969), Jennifer Lopez (1969), Eric Szmanda (1975), Summer Glau (1981), Anna Paquin (1982)

Quotation: Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.Sun Tzu

Tune: In 1992, dada released a song called “Dizz Knee Land.” Yeah. You remember it. Most assume dada was a one-hit wonder. But, as usual, most are wrong. The band is still alive and kicking. A few years back, dada released “A Friend Of Pat Robertson” – better than any of its previous offerings, I believe.

Gallimaufry: I’m always a big fan when someone I know jumps into the blogosphere. Check out my buddy Kevin’s new blog, The Thoughts Inside My Head. Intelligent guy with many unique ideas.  Make no mistake about it – I’m not a huge of fan of all these movie remakes and revisitations. There is one, however, that I’m getting firmly behind – TRON: Legacy. The Jeff Bridges classic is being remastered in 3-D and is slated for release sometime next year. If you’re one of those who likes his factual information to be entertaining as well, you should check out Cracked.com. Seriously. I’m completely sure it’s the best website out there. If you’re a big fan of wasting inordinate amounts of time while also learning something, check out some of Cracked’s articles like, “The 6 Greatest Battlefield Mindfucks,” or, “6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can’t Explain,” or, “7 True Stories That Prove The Airlines Hate You.” It is literally hours of knowledge you won’t figure out until much later is pretty much useless.

04.09.09 – Thursday

Word: histrionic [his-tree-on-ik] adj. 1. of or pertaining to actors or acting 2. deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech

 

Birthday: Charles Baudelaire (1821), Hugh Hefner (1926), Tom Lehrer (1928), Jim Fowler (1932), Carl Perkins (1932), Marty Kroft (1937), Peter Gammons (1945), Dennis Quaid (1954), Marc Jacobs (1963), Paulina Porizkova (1965), Jenna Jameson (1974), Albert Hammond, Jr. (1979), Keshia Knight Pulliam (1979), Jesse McCartney (1987)

 

Occurrence: 2003Saddam Hussein’s statue is toppled to the ground and destroyed by the Iraqi people as U.S. forces take over Baghdad. That was six years ago. When, exactly, did we win that war?

 

Standpoint: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about sayings or phrases that I find annoying. Since then, I’ve received emails and comments, both here and on Facebook, from all of you who wanted to share your annoying sayings. I found that what really bother some of you are frequently misused words. I picked the top three and did a little research. Here is that I found:

 

  1. “irregardless” vs. “regardless” – “Irregardless” is not a word. At least, not an accepted one. According to dictionary.com, “Irregardless” is a non-standard word because of the two negative elements ir- and –less. The site presumes that “those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may do so from a desire to add emphasis.” On the other hand, “regardless” means, “having or showing no regard.”  The winner: regardless
  2. “supposably” vs. “supposedly” – This one is going to disappoint some of you. Dictionary.com says both are fine. “Supposably” is defined as “to believe or assume as true; take for granted.” “Supposedly” is defined as “assumed as true, regardless of fact.” I don’t really see a difference, do you? The winner: it’s a tie
  3. “orientate” vs. “orient” – “Orientate” is actually a word. It means, “to arrange in order; to dispose or place (a body) so as to show its relation to other bodies.” (No, I don’t think that means an actual human body.) “Orient” has many different meanings, including one that resembles the above one for orientate. However, the one that fits with the way most people use both these words is “to familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances.” So when someone says, “I had to orientate him into the new apartment,” they’re misusing the word. The winner: orient

So, there you go. I still can’t believe that “supposably” is a word. Thanks everyone for your contributions.

QuotationIt’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

 

Tune: Over the weekend, I was having a conversation with a certain someone who insisted that all bands would choose making the big time over being a consistently working, moderately profitable one. I disagreed. Example of one such band? Cloud Cult. Here’s a blurb from the band’s official bio: “Despite offers from major labels, Cloud Cult has chosen to remain independent, recording and releasing their albums through Earthology Records, a not-for-profit environmental record label established by Minowa in 1998. On a self-funded shoe-string budget they have achieved top 20 CMJ radio charting for all of their last three albums, a domain usually reserved for the SubPops and Merges of the world.” My favorite Cloud Cult tune is “Hurricane and Fire Survival Guide.”

 

Link: Lights – Not sure if I’ve posted this before, but wanted to share it. Takes a few seconds to figure out.

 

Gallimaufry: Everyone’s talking about the Philadelphia Phillies’ new World Champions rings. Reviews have been good. I even overheard on lady call them “stunning.” I think the rings are pretty god-awful but I’d probably wear one if I’d just won the World Series. A shame they can’t present the team with the rings every night. The Phillies won in impressive style, coming back late in the game to win 12-11 after being down 10-3 (Thanks to Phinally Philly for the link)…Iron Man 2 began filming recently. Looks like Iron Man cast members Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) and Samuel L. Jackson (Col. Nick Fury) will return for the second installment while Don Cheadle will replace Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes. New cast members will include Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mickey Rourke (Whiplash) and Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer). It’s rumored that there will be appearances by Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins but nothing solid yet…Think status updates on Facebook and tweets on Twitter are getting impossible to follow? If so, you’re not going to like where Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove is predicting for the future in “A Brief History of the Status Update.” Personally, I think it’ll be great.

 

Incoming: Tomorrow – My “Top 3 Incredibly Cool Things To Do in Philadelphia This Weekend” and some other amazing stuff.