06.23.11 – a thursday

If you’re reading this blog on a regular basis like you should, you’re aware that my best friend Harvey passed away this past November. But you’re probably unaware that April, Harv’s widow, has created a pretty superb blog of her own titled Running Rocks. Check it out.  

word

hornswoggle [hawrn-swog-uhl] v. Slang. to swindle, cheat, hoodwink or hoax

birthday

June Carter Cash (1929), Clarence Thomas (1948), Glenn Danzig (1955), Frances McDormand (1957), Joss Whedon (1964), Jason Mraz (1977)

standpoint

About two weeks back, I decided to watch more news-type TV programs. The decision was completely arbitrary. I didn’t feel as if I was ill-informed and was perfectly capable of participating in conversations involving current events. And although some people who know me maintain I’m a liberal (which I’m not admitting to), I thought why not watch everything from every side of the fence? At the very least, it’d be informative and I’d come out on the other end a more knowledgeable person and feel better knowing more of the world around me.

But I don’t feel better at all. At least not yet.

Sure, I know that the current health status of the president of Yemen is not very good. I know that Republicans love to procreate. I know that we’re going to finally start pulling troops out of Afghanistan. I know that Prince Harry is into his brother’s new wife’s sister. I know that I don’t want to live in Greece. I know all that and much more.

But I’m not getting the satisfaction I thought I would. Watching all this news is muddling. And I’m fully cognizant that it might be my fault. I may be over-analyzing what I’m viewing but I can’t help it. I mean, everyone’s got a motive. It’s not only the national media and their eschewed coverage but even local newscasts run segments on its parent network’s reality shows.

So-called “news” is, on every level from top to bottom, simply promotion of one kind or another. They’re pushing angles, manipulating facts, steering interviews, etc., shooting for targets of all sizes. It’s murky, smoke-and-mirrors type shit, designed to over-stimulate and cause fear.

Granted, it’s not all that bad. The other day there was a story about a rescue cat who saved a woman’s life. That was kind of cool.

quotation

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth ↔ Robert Southey

tune

Caution: Hipsters will want to look away. Despite my dislike of Coldplay (I mean, c’mon, their new EP is titled Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall), I’ve always loved “Fix You.” And this version from The Voice‘s Javier Colon is worthy of some notice here.

gallimaufry

Comcast has reintroduced The Slowskys ad campaign. In case you’re wondering where I stand on this issue, I’m pro. Very very pro.

Good for Lappy, one of the all-time great guys to ever don a Flyers’ sweater. Definitely could’ve used him last season.

All right, people, allow this guy to rest in peace. Let’s move on.

→ Set your DVRs. The second season of Louie starts tonight on FX. I’ll also be checking out Wilfred.

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01.08.10 – A Friday

WORD

colloquial [kuhloh-kwee-uhl] adj. 1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal 2. involving or using conversation

BIRTHDAY

Hans von Bülow (1830), Frank Nelson Doubleday (1862), Larry Storch (1923), Soupy Sales (1926), Elvis Presley (1935), Bob Eubanks (1938), Graham Chapman (1941), Robby Krieger (1946), David Bowie (1947), Mike Reno (1955), Paul Hester (1959), R. Kelly (1967), Ami Dolenz (1969), Sean Paul (1973)

STANDPOINT

As I type this, I’m watching a TNT promo for Southland. Last year, NBC dropped the cop drama before it even debuted. TNT scooped it up and will start running the series, in its entirety, this Tuesday. (TNT is waiting to see how the ratings go for the seven episodes NBC aired plus six never-before-seen ones before deciding to order a new season.)

As I’ve felt in the past, I’m currently confounded why some quality shows get the boot and other crappy shows (According To Jim, The Real World, Judge Judy, JAG) seem to run on forever. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since quality entertainment seems to be a notion no one concern themselves with.

It got me thinking about some other shows that were inexplicably dropped before their time. The following is a list of my favorite shows abandoned too soon.

QUOTATION

The National Rifle Association says that, “Guns don’t kill people, uh, people do.” But I think, I think the gun helps. You know? I think it helps. I just think just standing there going, “Bang!” That’s not going to kill too many people, is it?Eddie Izzard

TUNE

There’s not a ton of information out there on Seattle-based band The Pale Pacific (formerly The Pale). I came upon the 2005 release Urgency a while back and it became one of my favorite “half albums” – those containing an equal amount of both good and so-so songs. (I’ve got a lot of those, by the way.) One of the better songs is “Identity Theft.” Give it a listen.

GALLIMAUFRY

I’m not so naive to think all of this wintry weather going on is proof-positive that global warming is hogwash. But -50° wind chills in the Midwest don’t exactly help Al Gore’s cause.

→ Someone needs to be in a world of hurt to attempt to stab themselves to death. That’s exactly what Howard Stern’s sidekick, Artie Lange, did. Nine times. Long bouts of depression and numerous episodes of drug abuse apparently led him to it. Here’s hoping the guy can find some kind of peace and shake loose of his demons.

→ The other day, I reported that Vampire Weekend and Spoon were releasing albums next Tuesday. I lied. Vampire Weekend is releasing Contra next week, but Spoon’s Transference won’t come out until two weeks later. In any case, should be a good couple of months coming up for new music with Ben Kweller, Eels, Beach House, David Bowie, Midlake, Hot Chip, Peter Gabriel, Field Music, Jason Falkner, Shout Out Louds, Rogue Wave, The Whigs, Aloha, Frightened Rabbit, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Morning Benders and White Stripes all poised with fresh material.

06.23.09 – Tuesday

Word: auspicious [aw-spishuhs] adj. 1. promising success; propitious; opportune; favorable: an auspicious occasion 2. favored by fortune; prosperous; fortunate

Birthday: Oda Nobunga (1534), Cyclone Taylor (1884), Alfred Kinsey (1894), Milt Hinton (1910), Ted Shackelford (1946), Clarence Thomas (1948), Glenn Danzig (1955), Randy Jackson (1956), Frances McDormand (1957), Colin Montgomerie (1963), Joss Whedon (1964), Slash (1965), Selma Blair (1972), Zinedine Zidane (1972), KT Tunstall (1975), Jason Mraz (1977), Duffy (1984)

Quotation: The weirder you’re going to behave, the more normal you should look.  It works in reverse, too.  When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.P.J. O’Rourke

Tune: “Chicken Payback” has gotta be one of the most mindless/pointless songs I’ve ever heard. That’s precisely why the song from A Band Of Bees (known as The Bees outside the US) is so very very good. Off the album Free The Bees.

Gallimaufry: Jon and Kate Gosselin are getting a divorce. As usual, everyone’s up-in-arms when celebrities make decisions deemed reserved for only us normal, uninteresting folk. People, get over it. The dude cheated on her. If Kate was a friend of yours, you’d tell here to drop Jon like a box of fiery dogshit. But because some of us find their reality television series, Jon & Kate Plus 8, entertaining, all conventional thought is tossed aside. It’s almost like we’d rather see Kate suffer in silence for the noble purpose of the continuation of a television show that boasts the same level of importance as reruns of Hogan’s Heroes. Fear not, chumps, Jon & Kate Plus 8 will continue on. Probably so the Gosselins can afford the divorce proceedings and the mega amounts of therapy their children will inevitably require. This past Sunday in Toronto, Polo Molina punched Mario Lavandeira in the face, leading to assault charges being filed against Molina. You might be thinking, who cares? Well, what if I told you that Polo Molina is the tour manager for the Black Eyed Peas and Mario Lavandeira is the given name of none other than Perez Hilton? What? You still don’t care? Yeah. You and me both. WalletPop.com has made a list of the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in the US. 16th on the list is the area surrounding the intersection of Broad and Dauphin Sts. right here in Philadelphia. We didn’t even make the top ten. You might think of this as a good thing but, really, if you were any one of the neighborhoods mentioned, what would the actual risk of bodily harm percentage differential be if you were in the 25th on the list as opposed to being in the first? Most likely, it would yield the same result. Basically, all 25 are winners.

Incoming: Listen, I know I’ve been dragging. I’m adjusting to a new job and a new living situation while simultaneously dealing with TWO malfunctioning computers. Once I get back in the groove (shouldn’t be more than a week), I’ll get back to more, including new stories on euneJeune: True Story and more Standpoints on here. I’m not gonna promise because I’m aware I’ve burned many of you before with similar statements. I’m simply stating that I’m gonna try. There may not be a new post tomorrow due to the fact that I’ve got to take both of them (back) to my brother Jer for some TLC.

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.