02.22.10 – A Monday

word

pejorative [pi-jawruh-tiv, –jor-, pejuh-rey-, pee-juh-] adj. 1. having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force: the pejorative affix -ling in princeling n. 2. a pejorative form or word, as poetaster

birthday

Rashi (1040), George Washington (1732), Jules Renard (1864), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892), Buddy Tate (1913), Don Pardo (1918), Clarence 13X (1928), Ted Kennedy (1932), Jonathan Demme (1944), Robert Kardashian (1944), Harvey Mason (1947), Julius Erving (1950), Kyle MacLachlan (1959), Steve Irwin (1962), Vijay Singh (1963), Rachel Dratch (1966), Bradley Nowell (1968), Jeri Ryan (1968), Thomas Jane (1969), James Blunt (1974), Drew Barrymore (1975)

standpoint

The 2010 Winter Olympics are clearly invading my usually cynical mindset. As of last night, the USA had the most medals at 24 (7 gold, 7 silver, 10 bronze). So far, we’re kicking ass. And, for once, I’m paying attention and, as a result, I’ve learned a few things. Both about the actual games and myself.

→ First and foremost, I’d like withdraw my summary assassination of curling. Originally, it was irksome that everybody at my bar wanted to watch it. I tried to ignore it because customers are quirky in that they’re less likely to tip a bartender all that well when he makes sarcastic remarks about the program they requested he put on. And so I started watching it. While I still don’t think it’s technically a sport, I can’t deny it has a certain degree of entertainment value. It’s confusing to me why curling isn’t more popular in this country. It doesn’t seem to take a ton of energy, the strategy is pretty straightforward and, most likely, could be turned into one hell of a drinking game. Fellow citizens, what are we waiting for? By the way, even though I’ve altered my position on curling, I still maintain the brooms are superfluous.

→ From what I can tell, our country excels at sports involving a high risk of injury. We’re all over any event where the slightest wrong move or miscalculation could easily result in a broken neck. If it entails strapping some contraption(s) to your feet, going really fast and/or flying defenselessly through the air, we are more than eager to sign up. The ones in which we seem to be insufficient are those that seem less exciting. We’re not particularly enchanted with the idea of skiing up a hill. Rather, we’d like to be headed down it, preferably with the help of some rocket propulsion and there had better be some sort of ramp at the bottom so we can, like, do some kickass midair shit, you know?

→ Even in the Winter Olympics, it seems no one cares about the sport of ice hockey except the actual players and coaches. Oh, and also the entire population of Canada. And that’s a shame because there’s some high quality hockey being played right now so if you’re not watching, you’re missing out. To all you Canadians out there, I’d like to send some sympathy your way. It must’ve been hell on Earth to watch Team USA hand Team Canada that 5-3 loss last night. If you’re completely unaware of how seriously our friends to the North take the sport of ice hockey, just imagine if your football team lost in the Super Bowl and your baseball team lost Game 7 of the World Series. On the same day.

We’ve got one week left. Hopefully, our athletes can keep up the stellar work and give the citizens of every country in the world yet another reason to hate the good ole USA.

quotation

Don’t listen to those who say, you taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most important, don’t listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says. they all smarter than you out there. They’re more talented, they’re taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections. I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you’ll be a person worthy of your own respects.Neil Simon

tune

In honor of Bradley Nowell’s birthday, I’m giving you my favorite son by his band, Sublime. Aptly, it’s titled “Greatest Hits.”

gallimaufry

Andrew Koenig, the son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, known primarily for playing the role of “Boner” on the 80s sitcom Growing Pains, has been missing since Valentine’s Day. If you know anything about his whereabouts, get in touch with the authorities. Here’s hoping the guy returns home safely.

→ If dolphins ever gain the ability to walk upon land, there’s a good chance they would achieve world domination. Don’t believe me? Watch this video and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.

→ Only five episodes into the first season of the HBO series The Wire and I’m tempted to declare it the best cop show in the history of the world, a title currently held by my beloved NYPD Blue.

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04.16.09 – Thursday

Word: anachronism [uhnak-ruh-niz-uhm] n. 1. something or someone that is not in its correct historical chronological time, esp. a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time: The sword is an anchronism in modern warfare 2. an error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one: To assign Michelangelo to the 14th century is an anachronism.

Birthday: Wilbur Wright (1867), Charlie Chaplin (1899), Henry Mancini (1924), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947), Gerry Rafferty (1947), Peter Garrett (1953), Ellen Barkin (1954)Ian MacKaye (1962), Dave Pirner (1964), Jon Cryer (1965)Martin Lawrence (1965), Peter Billingsley (1971), Lukas Haas (1976), Akon (1977) 

Occurence: 2007 – On the campus of Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho shoots 32 people to death, injures 23 others and eventually kills himself. Would’ve been great if he’d reversed the order.

Standpoint: It’s Thurday (already). Time for me to address some of your suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words.” Let’s get to it. 

  •  “hone in on” vs. “home in on” – Which one of the following do you think is correct? “He honed in on his true calling.” Or, “He homed in on his true calling.” Dictionary.com provides the answer. To “hone in on” means (a) “to move or advance toward a target or a goal,” or (b) “to direct one’s attention; focus.” To “home in on” means “to proceed, esp. under control of an automated aiming mechanism, toward a specific target as a plane, missile or location.”  So, unless you are in control of “an automated aiming mechanism”, (and if you are, I want to hang out with you), then you are misusing “home in on.” Winner: “hone in on”
  • “provoke” vs. “provocate” – This has always bugged me. My sister Tina and her kids say “provocate” all the time and I correct them when they do and tell them they should be using the word “provoke.” Turns out I’m the one that needs correcting. “Provocate”  is defined by dictionary.com as “to provoke” and is listed in Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English. Winner: My sister Tina and her kids
  • “they’re” “their” and “there” – Probably the three most misspelled words on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m sure everyone knows where to use these words and when but here are the rules, anyway. Just in case. They’re” is a contraction of the words “they” and “are” as in “They’re coming to take me away!” “Their” is a form of the possessive case of the word “they” as in “That’s their problem!” “There” means “in or at that place” as in “Don’t go in there!” Winner: We all win when we use these three words the right way.

Keep up the suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words,” featured here every Thursday.

Quotation: Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. Jules Renard

Tune: I know very little about Japanese recording artist and producer Cornelius. I do, however, know that “Drop” is terrific.

Gallimaufry: NASA has made a decision. They won’t name the new room on The International Space Station after Stephen Colbert, despite the fact that The Colbert Report host won an online write-in contest last month with the help of his viewers. Astronaut Sunita L. Williams appeared on the show two nights ago to deliver the news to the heartbroken host face-to-face. However, NASA will be naming something on the space station after Colbert – the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT), a piece of exercise equipment. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice…In what some are calling the least important race in recent history (and by “some,” I mean me), Ashton Kutcher, star of Punk’d and husband to Demi Moore, has challenged the news network CNN to a race on Twitter. Whichever gets to 1,000,000 followers first, wins. CNN currently has the most Twitter followers (921,432), while Kutcher is somewhere in the 800,000s. Kutcher has said that if he wins, he’ll “ding dong ditch” Ted Turner‘s house. I’m not sure why those terms are agreaable to the actor but I’d like to see how he would get to the front door of the CNN founder’s house…Any of you attend any of the “tea party” rallies staged across the country yesterday? If so, I’d like to hear all about it.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do in Philly When You’re Dead, my list of 3 events I would attend if it were my last weekend in Philadelphia. Plus, 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet, a roster of 5 folks I’d be happy to never hear from again.