12.21.09 – A Monday

WORD

exiguous [ig-zig-yoo-uhs, ik-sig-] adj. scanty; meager; small; slender: exiguous income

BIRTHDAY

Roger Williams (1603), Josh Gibson (1911), Joe Paterno (1926), Phil Donahue (1935), Jane Fonda (1937), Frank Zappa (1940), Samuel L. Jackson (1948), Jeffrey Katzenberg (1950), Chris Evert (1954), Jane Kaczmarek (1955), Ray Romano (1957), Florence Griffith Joyner (1959), Andy Dick (1965), Kiefer Sutherland (1966), Julie Delpy (1969)

STANDPOINT

In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m going to share 4 things I’m pretty sure everyone should do at one point in their lives.

  1. Split a bottle of Booker’s Bourbon with a good friend(s). Of course, the person you decide to share it with should be a bourbon fan.  In my opinion, Booker’s is peerless. Enthusiasts describe it as “oaky,” and “smoky,” and, I guess, they’re probably right. I describe it as “delicious.” And, no worries, I’m not one of those who’d make you feel like a geek for diluting it with your beverage of choice (i.e. Coke or Ginger Ale), but it’s just really good all by its lonesome. There’s something to be said for sitting down with a buddy, watching a hockey game and polishing off a bottle of Booker’s. But be careful, it will render you inebriated, no matter how much you think of your tolerance for alcohol. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you I know of what I speak. So go out and grab a bottle, invite over a person or persons you deem up for it and, for your own sake, don’t plan on driving until at least the next morning.
  2. Listen to an unknown music catalog. You have a musical artist or band you’ve always intended on getting to know better, but it’s never happened. Life gets in the way. You forget about it. Once in a while, you’re reminded of it and you tell yourself you’re going to get some of the artist’s/band’s albums and do something like dedicating all of your drive-time to work in exploring each and every song they offer. Last year, after putting it off forever, I spent a couple of rainy days, holed up in my house listening to everything I could download by Guided By Voices. Everyone always told me I’d be into GBV. I didn’t think they we’re lying. And, it turned out they were right. So if you have the time and the inclination, I recommend you give yourself the gift of the possibility of some new favorite music. If you need some suggestions, let me know. I’m full of them.
  3. Even when it’s unpopular, go to bat for a friend you know is worthy of your defense. This one’s a bit more vague but I think everyone’s been exposed to a situation in which you’re positively certain a friend of yours is getting a raw deal. And, most likely, he’s a victim of the flawed consensus of other folks you call “friends.” Stand up for the underdog, even at risk to your own good standing. In the long run, or possibly sooner, you’ll feel good about your decision and yourself. Plus, it’s always a really great to wind up being right.
  4. Make yourself uncomfortable on purpose. You’re like everyone else. You’re able to imagine a specific set of circumstances and conclude it’d be pretty close to your worst fucking nightmare. But you should get over it. It’s never as bad as you conjure. If you’re afraid of heights, go to an amusement park and make yourself get on every single ride. If you’re homophobic, go to a bar or an event with a heavy concentration of homosexuals. If you scared to death of speaking in front of a group of people, volunteer yourself at work to make the next big presentation. Your imagination always presents you with every possible idea of what can go wrong. Luckily, life doesn’t usually work like that and, while there may be a hiccup or two or three, you’ll come out of it as something better than you were.

OK, those are my ideas. Tell us some of yours.

QUOTATION

You may delay, but time will not.Benjamin Franklin

TUNE

Right now, in the current state of the music world, we’re decidedly in an exciting time. Gone are the days of record companies and radio stations dictating what we need to listen to. Instead, we’ve an influx of bands that are able to sustain themselves through clever internet marketing and relentless touring. And I, for one, couldn’t be more ecstatic about it. There’s lot of great music out there in the world, folks, and, now more than ever, it’s not impossible to discover. Check out Mock Orange‘s “Song in D.” Tell me you find nothing good about it. And then I’ll call you a liar.

GALLIMAUFRY

Apparently, the entire time Steven Seagal has been making mediocre movies (save for the classic Under Siege), he’s been an actual law enforcement officer in Jefferson Parish, LA. A&E is now airing episodes of Steven Seagal Lawman, documenting the action star on patrol. While the cynical part of me would love to dismiss Seagal as just another attention hungry celebrity, I’m inclined to think the dude’s doing something he actually believes in. And I’m more than down with that.

→ Yesterday, actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died of what initially appears to be natural causes. Not sure about all of that, but she was way too young and it’s sad, no matter the cause.

→ After firing head coach John Stevens, bringing in new head coach Peter Laviolette and getting key players Simon Gagne and Blair Betts back from injury, the Philadelphia Flyers seem no closer to shaking loose of its current state of free-fall. 12 losses in the last 15 games. Not exactly acceptable for a team boasting the likes of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere, Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen. Sure, goalie Ray Emery is out for a while, but one could make an argument that the play of backup Brian Boucher has been better. Bottom line, the team’s going to have do something sooner than later if this all continues. Most likely, it’ll result in Jeff Carter wearing another jersey.

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06.09.09 – Tuesday

Word: apostasy [uhpos-tuh-see] n. a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc

Birthday: Cole Porter (1891), Les Paul (1915), Robert McNamara (1961), George Axelrod (1922), Jackie Mason (1931), Jackie Wilson (1934), Dick Vitale (1939), Patricia Cornwell (1956), Michael J. Fox (1961), Aaron Sorkin (1961), Johnny Depp (1963), Natalie Portman (1981)

Quotation: When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.John F. Kennedy

Tune: “A hybrid of Americana rock and Northern Soul with boundless energy.” That’s how mp3.com describes Californian band, Delta Spirit. I guess so. But Delta Spirit is really good. Try “Trashcan” for a listen.

Gallimaufry: Evan Dando, the man behind 90’s indie act, The Lemonheads, is suing GM for using a song in a TV commercial that sounds kind of like 1992’s “It’s A Shame About Ray.” Pitchfork offers links to both the original song and the GM ad. Check it out. I don’t really hear it. Besides, how’s Dando think he’s going to get money out of GM at this particular time? Apparently, the Philadelphia Flyers have signed goalie Ray Emery to a one-year deal, effectively ending the reign of goalie tandem Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki. Emery, who played last season in the Russian KHL, has a spotty history both on and off the ice. I’m curious to see Flyers’ fans’ reactions to a guy who’s had disciplinary problems – not something Philadelphia’s known to have much tolerance for. It’s a good fit, I think, due to the fact the Flyers are more well-rounded than Emery’s last team, the Ottawa Senators, a team that’s fallen apart over the last couple of years, mainly because it’s top-heavy with a few elite talent guys and not much else. I’m optimistic the guys in the Flyers’ locker room (Mike Richards, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell) will be able to keep Emery in check, at least on the ice.  Remember how much fun we all had a couple of years back with El Niño? Well, get ready for some more. Weather experts say that El Niño is making a comeback. Super.  

Incoming: Things have been a bit crazy (putting it mildly) but I’ll be getting those posts up I promised last week.