03.25.09 – Wednesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: idiom [id-ee-uhm] noun 1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one’s head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics  2. a language, dialect, or style of speaking peculiar to a people  3. a construction or expression of one language whose parts correspond to elements in another language but whose total structure or meaning is not matched in the same way in another language  4. the peculiar character or genius of a language  5. a distinct style or character, in music, art, etc.: the idiom of Bach

Birthday: Catherine of Siena (1347), Jack Ruby (1911), Howard Cosell (1918), Flannery O’Connor (1925), Jim Lovell (1928), Gloria Steinem (1934), Anita Bryant (1940), Aretha Franklin (1942), Elton John (1947), James McDaniel (1958), Haywood Nelson (1960), Sarah Jessica Parker (1965), Jeff Healey (1966), Doug Stanhope (1967)

Occurrence: 1969John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage their first Bed-In for Peace in the Hilton Amsterdam. People made statements like this often back then. I guess it made sense in those days but, nowadays, I don’t see anyone caring if Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow were to do something similar.

Standpoint: Last night, a guy who didn’t want his picture taken threatened me. My good friend, Suzi Simon, asked me to bring my camera to The Chestnut Grill to commemorate its first Karaoke Night. As I’m known to do, I took many pictures of the crowd. I then sat down with my roommate Kate to have a Miller Lite and some wings. A guy tapped me on the shoulder. “Excuse me, can I have a word with you, buddy?” I turned around. “Sure, what’s up?” “Do you wanna sell that camera?” “Nah, it’s not for sale.” “All right, well, if you’re not selling it, I suggest you stop takin’ pictures of me.” “Oh. I’m not taking pictures of just you. I’m taking pictures of the whole crowd.” “Well, you had better stop. I don’t wanna be in no more pictures.” “OK, well, I’m more taking pictures of the people singing. You might’ve been in a couple but again, I’m not taking them specifically of you.” “Just stop takin’ fuckin’ pictures of me, got it?” “Sure.” He walked away and up to his friends who proceeded to stare at Kate and me. Pretty uncomfortable moment. Why am I telling you this story? Because I can’t stand douchebags. They should just stay home. I’m not sure if the dude was out cheating on his wife, or wanted by the law, or whatever. Later, I was talking to one of his buddies who told me that the guy just didn’t want his pictures on the internet. I assured him that would never happen. I created a Facebook album of Suzi’s Karaoke Night. Did I include a picture of Mr. Do-You-Wanna-Sell-That-Camera? You bet. By the way, Suzi’s event was a success. Everyone had a blast.

Quotation: Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heartTecumseh

Digit: 1200 – That’s the number of peanuts it takes to make one 28-ounce jar of peanut butter.

Tune: A great band from the 1990s that nobody but me and my friends seemed to be paying attention to was The Connells. “74-75” is one of the band’s best songs.

Link: The Daily Swarm – Music news site that covers just about every aspect and genre you can conjure.

Gallimaufry: Too funny. Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, has won a NASA contest to have a new room named after him in the international space station. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) said Colbert “won it fair and square – even his campaign was a bit over the top.” Predictably, NASA is reserving the right to name the room whatever the hell it wants to…Don’t read this article in the L.A. Times if you ever want to enjoy a hamburger again…In a post a few weeks back, I mentioned Jonathan Krohn, the nation’s youngest political pundit. Now, read about 12-year old David Fishman, the nation’s youngest food critic.

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03.09.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: gallimaufry [gal-uhmaw-free]n. 1. a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley  2. a ragout or hash

Birthday: Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale  (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1971)

Occurrence: 1959 – The first Barbie doll is unveiled at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. I thought Barbie had been around longer than 50 years but I’m not an aficionado of dolls, so I’m not too disappointed in myself.

Irksome: Nadya Suleman’s second publicist quit over the weekend. In what might be the understatement of the week, Victor Munoz said, “This woman is nuts.” For real? I wonder if Mr. Munoz started the job either (a) not already knowing she was nuts, or (b) not actually caring she was nuts. Had he not read a newspaper or turned on the television in the months leading up to taking the post? Because, although I’ve never met the woman, from my observational vantage point I decided she was unbalanced about two seconds after hearing her story. Who in their right mind would think she’s sane in any way? What she did is nonsensical. And why all the concern? She and her children will be taken care of her for the rest of their lives. I’m sure they could survive for a long time on what she’s earning with her spots on Dr. Phil. (Five appearances in two weeks.) She’s apparently shopping the video of the octuplets’ birth for SEVEN-FIGURES. Not sure why anyone would want to watch that but it’s just a matter of time until someone ponies up. She has even received an offer to star in a porn movie. My main problem with the “Octomom” saga is this: Why do we care? Baffling. The woman is not a victim. She CHOSE this. Nadya Suleman will clutch onto the limelight as long as possible and milk it for every penny its worth.

Quotation: Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religionsOscar Wilde

Soupçon: According to this article from the L.A. Times, human beings, on average, err by about 15%-25% when guessing the time of day.

Song: They Might Be Giants is one of the greatest unsung bands of all-time. “Purple Toupee” might be its best song, but even as I type this, I can think of at least 10 more that are just as enjoyable.

Link: Hulu – Not as much selection as YouTube obviously, but higher resolution. If you haven’t seen the Hulu’s Super Bowl ad featuring Alec Baldwin, click HERE now.

Gallimaufry: Dave Frees is not only a friend of mine, but has many great ideas on how you can improve your business and your life. Click HERE to check out his blog. Also, the man runs one mean live auction…Had a busy weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to go see Watchmen. Gonna try to catch it this week. Anyone out there seen it yet?…It’s official – Philly Beer Week 2009 is upon us, boasting over 693 events this year. For all of you who live in or near The City of Brotherly Love, get out of the house and go drink lots and lots of beer…Click HERE to read all about Jonathon Krohn, the country’s youngest political pundit.