06.26.09 – Friday

Word: mollify [moluh-fahy] v. 1. to soften in feeling or temper, as a person; pacify; appease 2. to mitigate or reduce; soften: to mollify one’s demands

Birthday: Abner Doubleday (1819), Lord Kelvin (1824), Pearl S. Buck (1892), Colonel Tom Parker (1909), Dave Grusin (1934), Gilberto Gil (1942), Mick Jones (1955), Chris Isaak (1956), Patty Smyth (1957), Mark McKinney (1959), Greg LeMond (1961), Sean Hayes (1970), Chris O’Donnell (1970), Nick Offerman (1970), Jason Schwartzman (1980), Michael Vick (1980)

Quotation: What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising?  Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Tune: I love it when I go to a show, expecting one thing and get something totally different. My ex-wife and I loved to listen to singer-songwriter Steve Poltz but when she got me tickets to go see him at Tin Angel in Philadelphia, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. I figured it would be like every other show I’d seen there – imagine someone with a guitar on a stage, in front of them a crowd who reveres music much the way I imagine religious people revere God. Anyway, Poltz turned out to be one of the most entertaining storytellers ever. He told a story about puking on David Cassidy‘s shoes in Las Vegas. I think that’s what it was about. I was pretty smashed. (The assembled audiophiles didn’t approve but Poltz didn’t seem to mind when I talked to him after the show.) Check out this live performance of  “Chinese Vacation.”

Gallimaufry: When I read articles like “Jive-talking twin Transformers raise race issues,” I’m convinced people are seriously losing their fucking minds. It’s a movie. Yesterday, I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Sure, Skids and Mudflap were unquestionably bothersome. But offensive? Only to those out there who purposely search everything for offensive undertones. Get a grip. In case you were in a cave listening to your iPod yesterday, you already know that Michael Jackson died at the age of 50, the apparent victim of cardiac arrest. OK, I get it. The man (maybe) was a top-notch performed and he was loved all over the world. But he was also a pedophile, even though that was never adequately proven. Everyone knew it. But, as we’ve seen more and more lately, if you entertain people in any way, shape or form, (and you’re name is not O.J.), you’ve basically received a license to do whatever the hell you want. Last night, I watched a news report that said people up in Harlem held an impromptu parade to celebrate the life of Jackson. Kind of ridiculous. The guy molested children. But he did invent the moonwalk. Apparently, we think that dance is pretty awesome. Sadly, Jacko’s death overshadowed the death of Farrah Fawcett, who also passed away yesterday from her long bout with cancer. It was almost a triple-play when bloggers started reporting the death of Jeff Goldblum, stating he fell off a cliff in Hawaii while playing golf. But, he didn’t die. He wasn’t even in Hawaii. He was in Los Angeles. Stupid misinformed bloggers.

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04.20.09 – Monday

Word: euphemism [yoo-fuh-miz-uhm] n. 1. the substitution of a mild, indirect or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh or blunt 2. the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

Birthday: Napoleon III (1808), Adolf Hitler (1889), Lionel Hampon (1908), Tito Puente (1923), George Takei (1937), Ryan O’Neal (1941), Jessica Lange (1949), Luther Vandross (1951), Clint Howard (1959), Don Mattingly (1961), Crispin Glover (1964), Carmen Electra (1972), Joey Lawrence (1976)

Occurence: 1999Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide during the Columbine High School Massacre.

Standpoint: Last week, I polled all my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I asked them to name the best movie with a one-word title. Also, I was asking everyone I talked to, including my co-workers at The Chestnut Grill, who came up with a ton of them. (Special thanks to Ezgi and Adina on that one.) So, I compiled over 200 suggested titles and whittled (Colleen, you were right. I misused “wheedle”. Live and learn. 4/21/09) the list down to 15 movies. Here is the list (alphabetically) of 15 Great Movies with a One-Word Title, followed by the reason each film made the final cut. Enjoy.

There you have it. Just in case you’re wondering, it’s pretty difficult deciding the best 15 out of 200. The Honorable Mentions are too many to list. I can give you a few movies that never stood a chance. Titanic. Volcano. Twister. Accepted.

I’m sure you can think of a few movies I overlooked or discarded. Tell me which ones and why.

Quotation: Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all of the time. Chuck Klosterman

Gallimaufry: Falling into the “How-Pathetic-Can-I-Possibly-Get” category, Spencer Pratt (“The Hills”) has challenged Ashton Kutcher to a 30-day contest to see who can get the most Twitter followers. Dude, you’re a little late. I suggest concentrating your efforts on something that doesn’t involve some crappy show like “The Hills.” Look into it…All season long on “American Idol,” people have been asking the question, “Why in the hell did they bring Kara DioGuardi on as a fourth judge?” It appears she’s wondering the same thing. Could this be a sign of her exit?…Yesterday was a good day in Philadelphia for sports. The Phillies beat the San Diego Padres, 5-4, off a two-run homer in the ninth inning by Raul Ibanez. The 76ers beat the Orlando Magic in the Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on a last-second jumper by Andre Iguodala. But the highlight of the day in sports, for me at least, was sitting at my brother Jeremy’s new house and watching the Flyers spank the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3. Claude Giroux registered a Gordie Howe hat trick. He’s the real deal. (Thanks to Phinally Philly for the link.)

Incoming: This week is up in the air. Besides more of your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words, we’ll have to see where the wind takes us.