07.25.11 – a monday

word

flivver [fliv-er] n. 1. Older Slang. an automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive and old 2. Slang. something of unsatisfactory quality or inferior grade

birthday

Thomas Eakins (1844), Estelle Getty (1923), Matt LeBlanc (1967), Brad Renfro (1982)

standpoint

So I’m sure you’re all tiring of my excuses (or lack thereof) for not updating as much as we’ve all grown accustomed. But shit just keeps getting in the way. For instance, last week I wrenched my back due to an unfortunate sneeze (lame, I know) and it was really all I could do to get up and down the stairs for a day or two.

But here’s some stuff I was concentrating/obsessing on while I was laid up.

→ I’m off the whole James Spader appearance on the season finale of The Office for the time being (almost). My latest thing is Conan O’Brien and “It looks good!” I’ve been annoying everyone with it, especially my exceedingly patient girlfriend who I’m assuming understands I just need to get it out of my system. Here’s a sample of what I’m referring to:

It’s positively addicting.

→ The NFL lockout. What a bunch of complete nonsense. There will be an NFL season, people. In the oft chance I’m wrong and the parties can’t come to an agreement, I’ll probably just going on living life as usual.

→ Next year sometime, there’s going to be a movie released, starring Robert De Niro, with the best title ever: Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Come on, you know you’re curious.

→ Last, and I guess most important, I was reading about the US debt ceiling talks between John Boehner and President Obama breaking down and now it seems that both the Republican and Democratic parties are prepping for action. And it made me think of the term cluster fuck which was originally a military term used to describe a situation in which there were too many officers involved in solving a problem that basically required only one clear cut decision.  If you’re a conscientious thinker (or at the very least masquerade as one) then the time has come when you need to re-evaluate just what in the hell is going on around you. You hate Obama and his flaky liberal agenda? Fine. You think the Republican party is comprised of close-minded gasbags? Fine. You have the sneaking suspicion that maybe Ralph Nader wasn’t batshit crazy? Fine (maybe). Whichever way you lean or don’t, it’s essentially defunct nowadays. It’s paramount that, as of today, we start catechizing the political dogma we’ve been forever spoon-fed and begin formulating a new way of doing things because, and I know this is an unpopular mindset, this shit just ain’t working.

quotation

Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem. ↔ Benjamin Hoff

tune

I always loved this version of “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” by Marshall Crenshaw from the Lou Diamond Phillips‘ classic film, La Bamba.

gallimaufry

→ Everyone always said that they could see it coming but it doesn’t make the death of 27 year old Amy Winehouse any less tragic. Rest in peace, troubled soul.

→ I’m pretty sure the only person dismayed by this is Sarah Palin. Christ, could she be more laughable?

→ Looks like my chance purchase of Washed Out’s Within and Without created quite a buzz. I mean, it could just be a coincidence that Ernest Greene‘s album has taken off into the stratosphere since I wrote about it on this very blog last week but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s all ready a thank you letter headed my way.

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02.17.11 – a thursday

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word

bollix [bol-iks] v. 1. to so (something) badly; bungle (often followed by up): His interference bollixed up the whole deal n. 2. a confused bungle

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Margaret Truman (1924), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Jim Brown (1936), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Larry the Cable Guy (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Joe Armstrong (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

“They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”

That’s how Central Bucks East High School teacher Natalie Munroe described her students in a post on her personal blog. Some of those students, the aforementioned “lazy whiners,” somehow discovered the blog and reported it to school officials. Shortly thereafter, Munroe was suspended with pay.

What’s bugging me here, and I hope I’m wrong, is that she’s going to end up on the losing side of this situation.

Munroe is essentially spot-on with her analysis of modern teens. Most of these kids nowadays lack anything resembling strong character traits. And that’s mainly because they’ve never had their asses properly kicked, either metaphorically or actually. They’re punks in the truest sense of the word, products of a flawed system that made sure none of them went home without a trophy in tow, even when they failed to perform something as simple as hitting a motionless baseball propped up on a T.

What’s the point in excelling when the dipshit who comes in last gets the same recognition as you?

Don’t get me wrong. When I was 17 years-old, I was as disengaged and lazy as was humanly possible. Some of my high school teachers remember me as one of the most frustrating students they’ve ever had. I got in trouble more than most, futilely argued my misguided points and was an overall gigantic pain in the ass.

But I understood the rules, even when I didn’t play by them. When I was in the wrong, I didn’t always admit it but I always knew it. I rarely went to my parents and tried to convince them I was being unfairly persecuted and the few times I did, they laughed me right out of the living room. My mother and father knew I knew better because that’s how they brought me up. To this day, my parents love me unconditionally, but, for the most part, they’ve never let that love get in the way of me owning up to my wrongdoings. Growing up, most of my friends had parents conducting affairs in a similar fashion.

These days, though, it’s rare that parents are willing to admit the faults of their children and that’s primarily because it would mean admitting their own. And that’s altogether the reason Natalie Munroe is most likely screwed.

I seriously doubt something as effete as free speech is going to possess the sufficient weight to mount a fight against something as tenacious as a few hundred pissed-off parents who, instead of seeking therapy, opted to have kids instead.

To paraphrase Han Solo, “Good luck, Natalie Munroe, you’re going to need it.”

quotation

Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense. ↔ Mignon McLaughlin

tune

“Saints” isn’t likely to be embraced by most females out there. And, while I don’t truly agree with the lyrics put forth by indie rock band Army Navy, it’s still catch as all get out.

gallimaufry

I attempted to watch the movie version of The A-Team last night. I turned it off after 20 minutes. Hollywood, one last time, I’m begging you to stop incapacitating my childhood cinematic chicaneries. Bigger complaint is the guy that played Murdock looked more like Dirk Benedict than Dwight Schultz. Put some effort into it, fellas.

→ Hey, Len Lesser, we’re going to miss you. If there actually is a heaven, give it a great big, “HELLO!” on your arrival.

→ For whatever reasons, you may have missed the final results of The 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Hickory, a Scottish deerhound from Virginia, won the whole enchilada. After the victory, Hickory’s handler, Angela Lloyd best summed up how Hickory was feeling: “She’s not used to lights, cameras and noise.”

03.02.10 – A Tuesday

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word

brouhaha [broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah] n. 1. excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo: The brouhaha followed disclosures of graft at City Hall 2. an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., esp. a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause: A brouhaha by the baseball players resulted in three black eyes

birthday

Sam Houston (1793), Dr. Seuss (1904), Mel Ott (1909), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Rory Gallagher (1948), Gates McFadden (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Laraine Newman (1952), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977), Ben Roethlisberger (1982), Elizabeth Jagger (1984)

standpoint

So the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver are officially over and I can honestly I’m going to kind of miss them. For many reasons, I was much more enthralled this time around.

While the rest of the world searches for the next big thing to fixate on, I’d like to dispense my final salvo on this year’s games. And, yes, I completely understand I’m a day late.

→ I’m genuinely curious to see what new oddity people will discuss now that curling won’t be on television 24 hours a day. Check out this article. Maybe one of these will become the subsequent cult sport.

Team USA was, by far, the best in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. Hands down. Sure, they walked away with the silver after a hard fought overtime loss to Team Canada, but they played some of the best and biggest hockey ever. Ryan Miller was the tourney’s best netminder but it was the play of guys like Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Brian Rafalski and Ryan Suter that made it truly special to watch. Hopefully, the NHL and the NHLPA can agree to let its players participate in 2014, when Team USA will be even better and, most likely, the favorite.

Sidney Crosby, the captain of Team Canada and one of the most annoying people on the planet, scored the gold medal winning goal to capture the top spot for his country, further proving my belief the shithead obviously signed some kind of a deal with the devil. Crosby wasn’t that effective in the tournament but, as usual, he managed to to grab the limelight and snatch up a prize he didn’t necessarily deserve. It’s such a weak-minded character flaw to dislike the dude so much, but I just can’t help myself. Also, he looks like SNL cast member Andy Samberg, who I like.

USA snowboarder Shaun White is one of those annoying athletes who knows he’s good, tells people how good he is and then proceeds to never fall flat out on his face. I’m glad he’s on our side.

→ I’m never going to like Ice Dancing. Never. A sport’s got have some sort of attainable points outside the arbitrary opinions of a bunch of strangers. If that’s not a rule, it should be.

→ Watching the Men’s 50K Mass Start Classic Cross Country Race was maybe the longest couple of hours of my life and even made me entertain the notion of maybe putting on NASCAR. Yeah. It was that exhausting.

Overall, I think everyone got what they wanted out of this year’s games. The American people were able to participate in many discussions and enjoy the fine art that is speculative bullshitting. The USA also received the most medals, which again we like because we don’t need to have the best of everything, just the most of it. And Canada won the most gold medals, including the two for ice hockey, which apparently the country desperately needed. Lastly, I’m pretty sure there were some other nations involved in the whole ordeal but, in all the excitement, I didn’t catch any of their names.

quotation

Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. Walt Whitman

tune

After many years, I’m ready to admit that, in my youth, there was a two or three month period when I was a huge fan of 50s rocker Ritchie Valens. It was most likely right around the same time La Bamba came out. I remember finally seeing an actual picture of the 17-year old Chicano rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and feeling conned – he didn’t look anything at all like Lou Diamond Phillips. Anyway. I always liked “Come On Let’s Go.”

gallimaufry

As much as I became entranced by Olympic hockey, I’m glad the NHL is back in session. Trade deadline is tomorrow at 3pm EST and there should be some serious moves this year. I’m sure close to nine of you are even remotely interested.

→ Last night, I got into a moderately heated debate on Sarah Palin with my mother, who views the ex-governor from Alaska as some sort of victim. For all of you who share that point of view, I offer this. And, for the record, I mean no disrespect to the woman who birthed me. She’s awesome. It’s healthy for people to disagree.

→ Sheesh. Would everyone please get off the back of American singer Elliott Yamin for tweeting during and after the earthquake in Chile? Apparently, the guy helped ease some people’s fears. However, it’s still fair game to make crazy fun out of him for being on Americal Idol.

02.17.10 – A Wednesday

word

ethos [ee-thos, ee-thohs, eth-os, -ohs] n. 1. Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period: In the Greek ethos the individual was highly valued 2. the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc 3. the moral element in dramatic literature that determines a character’s action rather than his or her thought or emotion

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Banjo Paterson (1864), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Gene Pitney (1940), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Jo Armstrong (1972), Ralphie May (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

Oh, yes! It is time, once again, for another installment of The Wishing Well, a regular column in which I waywardly wish five wishes.

I WISH Google would’ve spent a little more time developing Buzz before releasing it to the world. Last week, Buzz just showed up on my Gmail and, so far, it seems mostly a weak answer to Facebook and Twitter. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong one day but it won’t be tomorrow.

I WISH it was possible for me to tell you I dislike Patti Stanger, the lady from The Millionaire Matchmaker. But it’s not. Despite myself, I think she might actually be a good person. Go figure.

I WISH every website that automatically plays a video or song when you visit it would please cut that shit out. Listen, I’m on your site for a reason. You’ve got my interest. So, maybe you could quit trying to give me a heart attack with your cacophonous nonsense.

I WISH someone would explain to me why in the world CNBC would choose to keep airing the Women’s Curling match/game/whatever between the United States and Japan when there was a perfectly good Men’s Ice Hockey game going on between Canada and Norway. Actually, the hockey game turned out to be a lopsided 8-0 win by Canada. But still.

→ I WISH Pitchfork would diversify its coverage a bit. I mean, honestly, how much do we really need to know about Thom Yorke and Wayne Coyne?

That’s it for this installment. Got any wishes you’d like to share?

quotation

How wrong to have been so negative, how wrong to have been so gloomy, how wrong to have run away from life, how wrong to have said no, again and again, instead of yes. ↔ Jonathan Franzen

tune

Way back in 1998, there were these Philips Electronics TV ads featuring then-unknown English indie-rock band Gomez performing a cover of The Beatles’ “Getting Better.” I remember wanting to hear more of the song and, despite my best attempts, I never did find it and eventually forget about it. Until now. I was never a fan of Gomez but, recently, I’ve been reintroduced to the band and am sort of digging them. As a result, my memory was jogged and I remembered my unfinished mission to find the song from the TV commercial. I found it. “Getting Better” by Gomez. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

So there’s this episode of Family Guy in which there’s a negative depiction of someone with Down syndrome. And, sure, that’s kind of shitty but it’s Famly Guy and exactly no one should be surprised. What I find a tad more offensive is why anyone thinks I care what Bristol Palin thinks about anything at all.

→ The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is really keeping a nice perspective on what’s important at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as it’s upset over the slogans on the masks of the goalies for the United States Men’s Hockey Team. Especially, Jonathan Quick’s which sports “Support Our Troops” on the back.

→ Does anyone out there have a Powermat? Do they really work? Let me know.