03.10.11 – a thursday

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word

fanfaronade [fan-fer-uhneyd] n. bragging; bravado; bluster

birthday

Edward Baker Lincoln (1846), Bix Beiderbecke (1903), James Earl Ray (1928), Chuck Norris (1940), Osama bin Laden (1957), Jim White (1957), Sharon Stone (1958), Jeff Ament (1963), Rick Rubin (1963), Edie Brickell (1966), Jon Hamm (1971), Timbaland (1971), Eva Herzigova (1973), Carrie Underwood (1983)

standpoint

All right, it’s time for another installment of THE WISHING WELL. Let’s get to it.

I WISH more people would look on the bright side of things. (Even though that’s not always my thing, either.) A short while ago, everyone was walking around bitching about the lack of jobs. Now there’s some more jobs and everyone’s bitching about the quality of jobs out there. If we’ve resigned ourselves to whining about every damn thing, let’s just come out and do it.

I WISH I was able to get this blog done every day like I used to but, simply put, life’s more complicated than it used to be and I suspect it always will be, maybe more so. But I hope I’m wrong about that.

I WISH The Strokes getting back together was something I could get excited about but, so far, my heartbeat’s stayed regular on the whole matter.

I WISH Professor Awesome’s Drinkatorium was an actual place. There’s only two or three of you who’ll know what I mean by that.

I WISH someone would just come over to my house once a week to clean and organize my wardrobe. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

quotation

Giving up a lot isn’t really that hard when you realize that you get more than you give up. ↔ John Goodman

tune

I had some old Don DiLego tracks on my old iPod and, it’s true, I dug them. Someone sent me one of his newer songs the other day, “Falling Into Space,” and guess what? I’m digging on this one, too.

gallimaufry

Let’s let this dude have his day all ready. He’s earned it.

This Catholic priest sex offender list is growing to pretty outrageous proportions. Hey, Vatican, think it might be time to look at those celibacy and non-marriage policies for your clergymen? Doesn’t seem to be working out that well.

Charlie Sheen is breaking every Twitter record imaginable. And we’ve got to have set some record for largest enabling collective in the history of the world.

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04.06.10 – A Tuesday

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word

sojourn [n. soh-jurn; v. soh-jurn, soh-jurn] n. 1. a temporary stay: during his sojourn in Paris v. 2. to stay for a time in a place; live temporarily: to sojourn on the Riviera for two months

birthday

Raphael (1483), Jean-Baptiste Rousseau (1671), Pasquale Paoli (1725), James Mill (1773), Gerry Mulligan (1927), Merle Haggard (1937), Billy Dee Williams (1937), Barry Levinson (1942), John Ratzenberger (1947), Marilu Henner (1952), Michael Rooker (1955), John Pizzarelli (1960), Frank Black (1965), Jonathan Firth (1967), Paul Rudd (1969), Zach Braff (1975), Candace Cameron (1976)

standpoint

Ah, the end of an era. Capitulating to the wishes of the majority of its fans, the Philadelphia Eagles finally traded longtime quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a second-round draft pick this year and a conditional one next year.

True to their nature, Philadelphia sports enthusiasts, given exactly what they wanted, began to grumble. Did the Eagles get enough for McNabb? Will Kevin Kolb be the starter some think he can be or will he be the next Bobby Hoying? Why would the two teams make the deal on the eve of MLB’s Opening Day, one when the two cities’ baseball counterparts, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals, were set to square off?

People, please shut the hell up. From the start, you griped about the poor guy for eleven straight years. When he was chosen ahead of running back Ricky Williams at the draft, Eagles’ “fans” in attendance booed him. And, instead of buckling under the criticism, McNabb simply led the Eagles to five NFC Championships and one Super Bowl appearance. Just in case you’re slow, I’ll elaborate. That means during roughly half of his tenure in Philadelphia, the Eagles were at least the fourth best team in the NFL. They made the playoffs eight of those eleven years. In total, he’s won 92 games and is third on the list of current quarterbacks with a .651 winning percentage, wedged in between Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. It’s hard to imagine how much more all of you spectacular would’ve hated him if he actually did suck.

And now, Eagles fans, you have Kevin Kolb and you’ve no choice but to be happy with him. But, let’s face it, if Kolb comes out and has a bad start to the season, you’ll all be screaming for Michael Vick to come in and save the day. And if he doesn’t get it done, you’ll be asking for some other poor schmuck to give you the Super Bowl ring you desperately need to validate all those pathetically wasted Sundays, sitting on your couch wearing your “DAWKINS” jersey and begging anyone in earshot to answer the question, “Why doesn’t Reid run the ball more?” I hope Kolb gets it done. He seems like a quality fellow. But his stomach for bullshit is about to get tested. If the guy he’s replacing was only outmatched in terms of wins in the past decade by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and still deemed a shitty quarterback, what chance does Kolb stand? Is he going to be better than Brady or Manning? Not likely.

And, please, let’s not lament the terms of the trade. It’s ironic all you sports gurus claimed McNabb was junk on a daily basis, and now you’re the same nitwits who are bitching the Eagles didn’t get enough for him. It’s one or the other, people. Pick a side and stay on it for once, you wishy-washy nutjobs.

As for the timing of the trade and the fact it coincided with the first day of baseball, please give me a break. I’m not the most business-oriented of minds but even I understand the McNabb trade was a business deal, conducted between two businesses. There was millions of dollars at stake. When would’ve been a suitable time to make the trade? After the baseball season? Ridiculous.

By the tone of this rant, I hope it’s obvious that, while I don’t hate the NFL, I don’t have much respect for a lot of the people who play it and even less who make it their life’s devotion. But I do have respect for Donovan McNabb because he’s always been the underdog, even when he squarely didn’t deserve the role. Next season, I’ll be pulling for him. Even when he plays the Eagles. Because there’s nothing I like better when one guy proves a million idiots wrong.

quotation

It takes a kind of shabby arrogance to survive in our time, and a fairly romantic nature to want to. Edgar Z. Freidenberg

tune

Normally, I’d proffer there’s too many videos on YouTube made by people with nothing better to do. But in this instance, I’ll need to back down from that stance. A montage of The Office set to Ben Folds‘ “There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You” is located directly in my wheelhouse. And it should be in yours, too.

gallimaufry

→ I think our country is fantastic. This shitball church changed the wording of their sign when faced with proper political pressure. I’m going to speak more on this tomorrow but, for the time being, I hope everyone reading this understands our nation is in serious trouble.

How funny is this? Does this company have meetings? Wouldn’t it stand to reason at least one person present would say, “Wait, I’m not sure but I think someone told me lead paint is apparently bad for you now.”

→ On Philadelphia’s latest decision to relax about pot, District Attorney Seth Williams said, “We can’t declare a war on drugs by going after the kid who’s smoking a joint on 55th Street.” In an unrelated development, 55th Street property values are skyrocketing.

10.01.09 – A Thursday

WORD

anathema [uhnathuh-muh] n. 1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him 2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction 3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication 4. any imprecation of divine punishment 5. a curse; execration

BIRTHDAY

Richard Stockton (1730), William Boeing (1881), Helio Gracie (1913), Walter Matthau (1920), Jimmy Carter (1924), William Rehnquist (1924), Roger Willams (1926), Tom Bosley (1927), George Peppard (1928), Richard Harris (1930), Julie Andrews (1935), Randy Quaid (1950), Youssou N’Dour (1959), Esai Morales (1962), Mark McGwire (1963), Christopher Titus (1966)

STANDPOINT

Short and sweet today. Listening to all you Philadelphia Eagles “fans” talk about Kevin Kolb and how unimpressed you were with his two starts makes me want to drown you.

The dude becomes the first QB ever to throw for over 300 yards in each of his first starts and, still, you’ve got negative shit to say.

In my humble opinion, you people are lucky to have any sports teams at all. You suck.

QUOTATION

I like when they bring a comedian on stage, they always tell you what else they do. But fuck, this is enough, isn’t it? He’s here tonight performing, because that is his job! But no, it’s gotta be, “He laid bricks in Philadelphia. And he repaired a car in Oklahoma. He has an umbrella store in Philadelphia. That’s the only city that comes to mind right now. Philadelphia, ’cause you can say “Philly” and the people from Philadelphia will not get mad. Like if you say “Frisco,” San Francisco people say, “Fuck off!” But if you say “Philly” they say, “Alright!” Because I don’t always have time to say “Philadelphia.” Sometimes I just need that word to be two syllables. Phil-a-del-phi-a. Fuck, five! Your town would be called Philly too if it had five syllables!Mitch Hedberg

(Note: While I think Mitch Hedberg’s stuff is supremely kind of funny at times, I disagree with the whole “Philly” thing. I’ve never liked it. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, how much longer does it take to actually pronounce “Philadelphia?” Maybe about .2 seconds? And, if you’re from here, how often do you really have to say the actual name of the city? “Hey, next Tuesday, let’s meet in Northern Liberties. It’s a neighborhood in Philadelphia, where you and I both live. Just wanted to clarify.” For the record, if someone said that to me, I would stand them up. I can’t hang with that person.)  

TUNE

“Tim and Sam make music for the entrance foyer to heaven.” Those are the word of Megan Vaughan from manchestermusic.co.uk. She’s referring to Tim & Sam Band. And, possibly, Megan is right. Check out “Summer Solstice.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, things have gotten shitty for Washington Redskins fans. I can’t believe there are bids on this guy’s eBay offering. But, when your team loses to the Detroit Lions, there may be few other recourses.

→ For all the people out there who were worries, and I know that’s like almost all of you, my current health problems were due to an oversight in medications conflicting with one another. I’m fine now.

→ Earlier this week, I tried to explain my take on the problems with individual’s personal music tastes. And, I was wrong. Just a little. But I was mostly right. But Blender.com’s list of “The 50 Worst Artists in Music History” is more off than I was. Toad the Wet Sprocket? Spin Doctors? Blind Melon? The Doors? Crash Test Dummies? Oingo Boingo? Not the best bands in the world, but I’m betting this list was written by a bunch of people who attended college in the 1990s and spent every weekend watching everyone else go out and have fun while they sat around with their friend and argued about which reruns of The Simpsons to watch. Also, they probably argued about whether James T. Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard was the better captain of the USS Enterprise. Just so you know, it was Picard.

09.29.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

recondite [rekuhn-dahyt, ri-kon-dahyt] adj. 1. dealing with very profound, difficult, or abstruse subject matter: a recondite treatise 2. beyond ordinary knowledge or understanding; esoteric: recondite principles 3. little known; obscure: a recondite fact

BIRTHDAY

Kenny Baker (1912), Buddy Rich (1917), Truman Capote (1924), Elie Wiesel (1928), Angie Dickinson (1930), Johnny Mathis (1935), Frankie Lymon (1942), Barry Williams (1954), Fran Drescher (1957), Eric Stoltz (1961), Crystal Bernard (1961), Trey Anastasio (1964), Kathleen Madigan (1965), Jenna Elfman (1971), Kieran Culkin (1982)

STANDPOINT

There’s a bunch of things drawing my ire today, but nothing I’m prepared to expound on. In the meantime, check these out.

CSI: Miami‘s David Caruso‘s endless opening one liners.

 

From 1959, an interview with Jack Kerouac from The Steve Allen Show.

 

A video that should convince of Eric Lindros‘ ultimate prowess in the NHL.

 

QUOTATION

An ordinary man can… surround himself with two thousand books… and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.Augustine Birrell

TUNE

Sometimes, you can listen to a song 405 times. Obviously, you dig the song. Or, at least, that’s what the Play Count on your iPod is trying its best to indicate. But then, you’ve got your earbuds in while  sitting on the back porch during your favorite time of day. You’re thinking about a certain aspect of your life, pondering what’s happened and what the future might have in store. And the song comes on. For the 406th time. Due to your mindset, and the particulars occupying your brain, you hear that song again, but, also, for the first time. That happened to me about a week back. I finally heard “Turn On Me” in the exact right context. The lyrics are really kind of awesome. Truthfully, I’d kind of soured on The Shins, but I’m back to thinking James Mercer got the goods.  

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I love reading stories about people who, in the face of adversity, do things I don’t think I’d be capable of doing. Here’s the story of Ken Green. Dude was in an RV, driven by his brother, riding with his girlfriend and his dog. The RV crashed. He was the only survivor and had to get his leg amputated. And, still, the man wants to keep golfing. The human spirit can be inspiring from time to time.

→ Despite my cynical bluster, I’m a perpetual optimist. Even so, I thought, after Donovan McNabb went down in Week 1, and the Philadelphia Eagles announced Kevin Kolb would be the starter in his absence, no good would come from it. I was wrong. Kolb only managed to become the ONLY NFL quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in his first two starts ever.

→ Often, like all of us, experts can be wrong. “When Pounds Go Away, Sleep Apnea May Improve” seems to be an article making complete sense. In the past year and a half, I’ve lost 50 lbs. But my sleep apnea has gotten worse. My doctors are a bit baffled/tickled by it. I’m glad it’s something novel and out-of-the-ordinary for them. Guess it breaks up their days to wonder why. However, last week I slept next to someone who struggled to get herself air about 80% of the night. Kinda scary shit. Just give me the CPAP machine all ready. I don’t care how “unsexy” it is.

09.14.09 – A Monday

Word

gadabout [gaduh-bout] n. 1. a person who moves about restlessly or aimlessly, esp. from one social activity to another 2. a person who travels often or to many different places, esp. for pleasure

Birthday

Claudius Clavus (1388), Johann Michael Haydn (1737), Hamlin Garland (1860), Harry Sinden (1932), Walter Koenig (1936), Larry Brown (1940), Joey Heatherton (1944), Sam Neill (1947), Beth Neilsen Chapman (1958), Wendy Thomas (1961), Faith Ford (1964), Dan Cortese (1967), Tyler Perry (1969), Robert Ben Garant (1970), Kimberly Williams-Paisley (1971), Nas (1973), Amy Winehouse (1983)

Standpoint

Oh, man, yesterday was the first Sunday of NFL season, and, Christ, could it have been more dramatic for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans? I’m completely sure the answer is no.

Yesterday afternoon, Donovan McNabb ran in for a 3rd quarter touchdown, putting another nail in the coffin his team was busy building for a supremely shitty Carolina Panthers football team. And then some 300-lb. dude named Damione Lewis landed all of his significant weight on McNabb’s rib cage, causing some sort of damage, the extent of which is not yet fully determined

Suddenly, as McNabb was writhing in pain on the turf, and FOX Sports was already showing the live feed of Michael Vick up in some luxury box, it wasn’t hard to envision the lightbulbs go on over the collective braintrust that is Philadelphia Eagles fans everywhere.

Later, as Kevin Kolb entered the game and did just a tiny bit better playing quarterback than, say, a robot I might make in my basement out of old stereo components, it wasn’t hard to conjure what every die-hard, bleeding-green member of Eagles’ nation was thinking.

Dogs? What dogs? I sort of remember something about Michael Vick and dogs. I kind of remember there being some kind of negative attention he may have attracted to himself involving something he did with/to dogs. It’s all a bit fuzzy. Let’s move on.

Couple of superb truths are about to be brought to light regarding “the best fans in football.”

One, this city seems to get its rocks off on when a guy, who’s done nothing but smile through all the massive amounts of shit we’ve hurled his way, gets physically injured. (I’ll elaborate more on the McNabb/Philadelphia relationship in tomorrow’s post.)

Two, all the clowns who were so “outraged” by the Vick signing are going to find that feeling suddenly replaced with outright panic over who’s going to quarterback the football team they’ve dedicated endless hours revolving their lives around.

Instantaneously, this city is about to change its tune. Because, while the pointless slaughter of defenseless dogs is, yes, a crime, it doesn’t come close to the potential atrocity of not making the playoffs.

Quotation

I’m always concerned that I’m not being nice enough. You know, people have told me I’m unfailingly polite….But I think those people are all pieces of shit. ◊ Michael Cera

Tune

Listening to tons of really good stuff the past couple of weeks. At least 15 new albums, mostly because of eMusic giving me 50 free downloads for some reason or another. The best of the bunch is, hands  down, Touchdown by brakesbrakesbrakes, known as Brakes in its native UK, featuring members of British Sea Power, Electric Soft Parade and The Tenderfoot. I may be digging on it so much because there are certain parts of the album where the band seems to be channeling Rogue Wave. And that’s fine by me because if there are two bands out there who can gracefully twist an turn through an album like that, all the better. Try “Worry About It Later.”

Gallimaufry

 → I’ve never been a huge Jim Carroll fan, but definitely had a boatload of respect for his body of work. Very sad to learn that he died this past Friday night from a heart attack at the age of 60. He was someone who two of my personal heroes, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, recognized as a viable voice. his poetry and prose never really appealed to me, but, being the music geek that I happen to be, I’ve always loved “People Who Died” – one of the only great songs to come out of Carroll’s foray into music.

→ I’ll be the first one to tell anyone who’ll listen there isn’t an abundance of interesting people up here in the suburbs. Exception to the rule are my friends who run Liberty Tattoo in Skippack. Talented, cool folks. Definitely worth a drive up from wherever the hell it is you are to get some quality work done on your person.

→ I’ve made an important life decision. If you and I are to be friends, I’ll need to be convinced you have a firm grasp of the important contribution Calvin and Hobbes made to our society. If you’re smart, you’ll start using this as a meter for determining worthwhile individuals. Don’t worry, if you’re already my friend and you don’t enjoy Calvin and Hobbes, we can still hang out. I won’t stop being friends with you. After all, it’s just a comic strip, right? Wrong. That was just a test. Hopefully you passed.