03.01.10 – A Monday

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word

semblance [sem-bluhns] n. 1. outward aspect or appearance 2. an assumed or unreal appearance; show 3. the slightest appearance or trace 4. a likeness, image, or copy 5. a spectral appearance; apparition

birthday

John Pell (1611), Frédéric Chopin (1810), Glenn Miller (1904), Ralph Ellison (1913), Harry Caray (1914), Pete Rozelle (1926), Harry Belafonte (1927), Robert Bork (1927), Robert Conrad (1935), Roger Daltrey (1944), Dirk Benedict (1945), Alan Thicke (1947), Burning Spear (1948), Catherine Bach (1954), Ron Howard (1954), Timothy Daly (1956), Nik Kershaw (1958), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (1974)

standpoint

Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of this blog. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. Looking back to the first night, having a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish and sitting here now, I’m slightly amazed with how it’s all transpired.

Some trial and error, some ups and downs, some hiatuses and I’m still borderline addicted to updating this blog almost every day. More importantly, I’m happy that so many of you come here daily to read what I’ve got to offer, especially those of you who take time our of your day to let me know what you think, both good and bad. All the feedback has been really helpful and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. Truly.

I’m not going to make any promise of what’s to come or what’ll happen on the euneJeune daily, but as of right now, I have no intention of quitting. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be posting something most every day, except Saturdays and Sundays.

Thanks again for reading. Come back tomorrow for some more. I promise I’ll be back to my bitter self by then and will most definitely have something I need to get off my chest about the world around us. Indeed.

quotation

In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.Tom Waits

tune

One music artist I feel sometimes goes unnoticed is Peter Gabriel. Sure, I know the dude is a megastar and, right now, he’s probably sitting in a house so big most of us don’t possess the imagination to conceptualize its enormity, figuring out which charitable cause to throw his weight behind next. But he’s not on the top of anyone’s list. I talk about music constantly, and I always ask people whose music they simply couldn’t live without. I’ve gotten hundreds of different responses but no one’s ever said, “Peter Gabriel.” And I’m not sure why.  Sure, he’s got a couple strikes against him like the fact Genesis did their best work after Gabriel left, forcing Phil Collins to come out from behind his drumkit. And, yeah, his use of costumes during live shows was, to put it mildly, less successful as David Bowie and Elton John but, let’s face it, not everyone can pull that shit off. On the other hand, he’s credited with changing the way music videos (Remember those?) were made with songs like “Sledge Hammer.” And the scene from the movie Say Anything where John Cusack holds the boombox, blasting “In Your Eyes,” outside of Ione Skye‘s house is largely considered the greatest use of music in the history of cinema. 1986’s So is almost always mentioned in those Top 500 Albums of All-Time lists that music critics create when there’s not a lot going on. Obviously, Peter Gabriel’s done some stuff, some good, some bad, some puzzling, but you’ve got to give him his due because he’s done it all on his terms. And that’s pretty much the definition of cool. Here’s my choice for his best song – “Come Talk To Me.”

gallimaufry

As I’m sure you’re aware, one of the biggest earthquakes ever hit the South American nation of Chile over the weekend. So far, it doesn’t appear to be as devastating as the one that almost destroyed Haiti almost two months ago. From what I can tell that’s because, according to experts, the Chilean quake was “deeper” and its epicenter was located 20 miles offshore. Also, Chileans were better prepared for an earthquake both in terms of the structure of their buildings and the infrastructure of its government. As I write this, the death toll for Chile has been set at a little over700, but I suspect that number will climb in the days to come. If you know anyone who’s living in Chile and are looking for information on them, Google has setup a Chile People Finder.

→ Probably tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I’ll have some final thoughts on the 2010 Winter Olympic Games but right now I’d just like convey my appreciation to all the US Olympians who helped bring home a record 37 medals, especially the members of the Men’s Ice Hockey Team, who played some of the best hockey I’ve ever seen in my life. But more on that to come.

→ As of late, I know I’ve been in the need for some laughs and this article from The Onion did the trick. And, no, Dikembe Mutombo is not a US Senator. I had to look that up to make sure, though.

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11.11.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

verbiage [vur-bee-ij] n. 1. overabundance or superfluity of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness; verbosity 2. manner or style of expressing something in words; wording: a manual of official verbiage

BIRTHDAY

Paracelsus (1493), Abigail Adams (1744), Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821), George Smith Patton, Jr. (1885), Thomas C. Mann (1912), Kurt Vonnegut (1922), Jonathan Winters (1925), Mose Allison (1927), Marshall Crenshaw (1953), Andy Partridge (1953), Stanley Tucci (1960), Demi Moore (1962), James Morrison (1962), Calista Flockhart (1964), David L. Cook (1968), David DeLuise (1971), Adam Beach (1972), Leonardo DiCaprio (1974)

STANDPOINT

Currently, my car horn is damaged. It doesn’t work right. The noise sounds like it might if I was honking it after driving into the deep end of a pool.

It’s pretty ineffective. And the reason why is simple: in my car the horn has been subject to the most use. More than the gas pedal. More than the turn signal. More than the stereo.

During an average 30-minute drive, I’d estimate I employ my horn at least 10-15 times. While you may think that’s overdoing it, you’ll have to forgive me if I disagree. I’m holding myself back. On some drives, I feel like I could lay on the goddam horn from beginning to end.

Some people call this “road rage.” It’s one of those popular terms people love to throw around. But I’m not angry. Well, not the majority of the time. Mainly, I just want people to know they’re fucking up out there on the road. You’re inconveniencing everyone else by driving like Stevie Wonder on heroin.

You see, like all things in our society, everyone feels like they’ve got the right of way. But, in this instance, they’re all taking it quite literally. And it sucks.

I drive like I was taught. Eyes on the road. Aware of my surroundings. I’m basically the best driver you’ll ever meet. I’ve only been in two accidents ever. Neither were my fault. Despite what SEPTA‘s official position was on the first one.

In any case, I’m simply asking everyone out there to drive like they’ve got a brain. Use your turn signal, know where you’re going, get off your fucking cell phone and, most importantly, stay out of my way.

Because, hey, you’ve ruined my car horn and, well, you should feel bad about it.

QUOTATION

Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed.  Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams.  If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered.  Then I say to myself, it is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.Jack Handey

TUNE

After much deliberation, I’ve decided Vampire Weekend‘s best song (so far) is “I Stand Corrected.” At least I think so right now. Tomorrow, however, is a whole other day.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I’m not going to say one way or another whether I am for or against the death penalty. Mainly, because I’m not sure where I stand on the issue. But I wasn’t sad to hear John Allen Muhammad, one of the two dimwits responsible for D.C. area sniper attacks in October 2002, was put to death last night.

→ I used to think Chad Ochocinco was kind of a strap. But he’s not. Follow him on Twitter and you’ll see what I mean.

→ The new John Cusack movie, 2012, comes out this Friday. Does anyone else think this movie looks like everyone on Earth running for their lives? Christ, when’s Hollywood going to bust out of this? Everything new coming out, including all the inane kid stuff, is either about avoiding the end of the world or humanity’s inability to avoid it.

NOTE: There may not be a new post tomorrow as I’ve dinner plans tonight.  

05.21.09 – Thursday

Word: jabberwocky [jab-er-wok-ee] n. 1. a playful imitation of language consisting of invented, meaningless words; nonsense; gibberish 2. an example of writing or speech consisting of or containing meaningless words ∞ adj. 3. consisting of or comparable to Jabberwocky; meaningless; senseless

Birthday: Albrecht Dürer (1471), Henri Rousseau (1844), Armand Hammer (1898), Fats Waller (1904), Raymond Burr (1917), Leo Sayer (1948), Al Franken (1951), Mr. T (1952), Judge Reinhold (1957), The Notorious B.I.G. (1972), Fairuza Balk (1974)

Standpoint: Thursday is the day I address your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s have at it.

  •  “OMG” – (submitted by Fred T.) – “OMG” started out as a chat acronym for “Oh my God!’ But, I’m sorry to report that it has snuck out into the spoken word. I think it’s a great thing to teach children to say instead of, “Oh my God!” Otherwise, unless you’re using it ironically (something I’ll always support), congratulations. It’s official. You’re a tool.
  • “It’s” vs. “Its” – (submitted by Cheryl F.) – When it comes to “it’s” and “its”, I’m ever vigilant. Definitely easy to make a mistake here with just an apostrophe (‘) making the difference. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.” It’s going to be a great day. “Its” is possessive pronoun meaning “of it” or “belonging to it.” The bear got its foot trapped in the rocks. These two words are confused and misused mainly due to lack of attention to detail. Make sure to keep an eye out. One of the easiest grammatical mistakes to miss.
  • “I know, right?” – (submitted by Harold W.) – I’m reasonably sure, without my knowledge, a law was passed that every woman under-30 in this country is obligated  to utter this phrase exactly 85 times per day. First, if you’re agreeing with something someone said by saying, “I know,” there is no need to follow it with, “right?” The other person already agrees with you. By itself, it’s not that bothersome. But the way it’s said most of the time can make my skin crawl. I think it all has to do with the 2-octave jump the voice does when emphazizing  the last word “right,” making it sound like, “I know, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?”

How about you? What things do you hear or read that bother you? Let us know.

Quotation: Never mistake motion for action. Ernest Hemingway

Tune: I read about Harlem Shakes‘ song “Sunlight” on a friend’s Facebook status update. Great driving-to-the-beach song.

Gallimaufry: Today might be remembered for a long time as President Obama and former VP Dick Cheney will both give speeches on the state of terrorism in this country. Cheney thinks Obama has left the country wide-open for a terrorist attack and will give his thoughts in a speech titled “Keeping America Safe: An Address by Dick Cheney.” Obama’s speech is called, “How’s Dick Cheney Still Alive?” ∞ Human piece of garbage Michael Vick was released from prison yesterday after serving 18 months for admitting sharing responsibility for brutally murdering several dogs. The former NFL star will server the last two months of his sentence under house arrest in Hampton, Virginia. Vick is reportedly ready to join a Humane Society of the United States campaign designed to discourage urban youth from pitting angry dogs against each other in fights to the death. ∞ Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe understands how to make music work in movies. If you’ve ever watched the scene from Say Anything where John Cusack plays Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside Ione Skye’s house, you know exactly what I mean. Anyway, Crowe has compiled a list of some of the best music moments in film history. Pretty solid, in my opinion.

Incoming: Tomorrow – It’s my birthday. But it’ll also be Friday so you’ll get my 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead plus some birthday-related list. Come back and check it out.