October 24, 2011

word

erudition [er-yoodishuhn, er-oo-] n. knowledge acquired by study, research, etc.; learning; scholarship

birthday

Melvin Purvis (1903), The Big Bopper (1930), Bill Wyman (1936), F. Murray Abraham (1939), Kevin Kline (1947), Scott Peterson (1972)

standpoint

Why aren’t you posting everyday? I noticed you haven’t updated your blog, is everything okay? Hey, you need to start posing again, I miss reading your blog every morning, why did you stop?

Every time I take a break from writing here, I get emails asking me those questions. Not a ton of emails but enough to make me feel like I’m disappointing people. And then I feel like I need to start posting again and feel guilty when I don’t.

Often, I regret naming this blog the euneJeune daily, mainly because of the daily. It’s not easy coming up with five posts a week and some weeks I might not even have two in me. And then I get frustrated that I can’t keep up the pace I established when I first started writing here over two years ago. The discouragement I feel inevitably leads me to step back from it, always intending to come back.

When I’m actively posting here, I enjoy it very much. I’m leaps and bounds away from being the most popular blogger on the Internet but when it comes to traffic, I do all right garnering 150-200 hits on days with new posts and 50-75 hits on days without. I can live with that. It’s a pretty solid amount considering I’m doing no promotion save for a Facebook update via Twitter (via Twuffer).

Writing this blog is satisfying when I’m doing it right. But I’m not always doing it right. Sometimes I half-ass it just to get a new post up. Or I don’t have thoughts worth sharing. Or I do but I’m a little muddled for any number or reasons. Or I’m simply tired. Or I’m out having a good time with someone somewhere. Or, well, you get the idea.

Another occasionally troubling aspect of this blog is most readers are people I personally know. Plenty of times I’ll be writing passionately about something I believe in and all of a sudden my mind goes to who’s going to be reading. What will my girlfriend think? What about my parents’ friends? What about some of my regulars at the bar? And so on. I worry my opinions might make people think differently, or maybe even less, of me. So I start toning things down and pulling back until I’ve created a post easily digestible by all. Granted, often I write whatever the hell I want. But, in my opinion, I should be doing that each and every time, not just when I can summon the nerve.

So what am I getting at here? I’m not sure yet but when I dwell on it, I keep coming back to the idea that I’m going be fundamentally changing this blog. Streamlining, trimming the fat as it were. Being honest no matter what. Making it concise and more readable so that readers won’t have to sift through things they’re not interested in to get to what they are.

For better or worse, that’s where I’m headed. Thanks for reading.

quotation

Make the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere. ↔ David Bowie

tune

One positive aspect of my hiatuses from this blog is that, when I come back, I’ve got a brand new arsenal of new music to share. Here’s “Shaky” from The Duke & The King. It’s one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while.

gallimaufry

→ During my absence I gained exactly zero ground on struggles with the second season of Louie. It’s frustrating because I know I’m supposed to like it. It should be located squarely in my wheelhouse but for reasons I can’t fathom, it’s simply not clicking like it could. And when Chuck Klosterman chimed in I imagined I would finally get to the bottom of this completely inconsequential inner squabble. It didn’t help.

→ From what I’ve read about Sean Parker, he appears to be a master of flimflam. But he may have a point here.

Hey, Iran, we might be leaving Iraq but don’t think that means you should feel free to just stroll right in after we’re gone. Just do us a fucking favor and be cool for once. I mean seriously, why do you guys always gotta be such dicks?

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07.05.11 – a tuesday

word

barmecidal [bahr-muhsahyd-l] adj. giving only the illusion of plenty; illusory: a barmecidal banquet

birthday

P. T. Barnum (1810), Robbie Robertson (1943), Huey Lewis (1950), Bill Watterson (1958), Edie Falco (1963)

standpoint

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. As I wrote last week, I spent some time at the family vacation homestead down in Avalon NJ, and, truthfully, it was one of my favorite in a long list of memorable jaunts.

It’s summertime, people, so get out there and take some jaunts of your own. You won’t regret it, I promise.

In any case, tomorrow I will be back to business as usual,, spouting off in my quotidian manner, blurring the lines between optimism and misanthropy as best I can.

(Note: Be forewarned, there will be a post sometime this week about the current state of the Philadelphia Flyers. And, yes, I’m fully aware that it won’t be insanely popular but I need to get it off my chest, so just bear with me.)

quotation

I never give up and I keep talking until I get what I want ↔ Jerry Weintraub

tune

I used to listen to this song all of the time in college. Yesterday, it played on my iPod and I thought I would share it with you today – “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” by R.E.M.

gallimaufry

There’s nothing wrong with this. We just have to realize that sometimes things need to change.

→ So far this season, Louie is not really doing it for me. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop watching, I’ll probably watch the whole season no matter what. I am, however, optimistic about Wilfred. I mean how in the world can you screw up a show with such a great concept?

→ While on the beach last week, I blew through When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories From a Persuasive Man, the memoir of Jerry Weintraub. Not the most important book I’ve ever picked up, but definitely one of the most entertaining and inspirational.

06.23.11 – a thursday

If you’re reading this blog on a regular basis like you should, you’re aware that my best friend Harvey passed away this past November. But you’re probably unaware that April, Harv’s widow, has created a pretty superb blog of her own titled Running Rocks. Check it out.  

word

hornswoggle [hawrn-swog-uhl] v. Slang. to swindle, cheat, hoodwink or hoax

birthday

June Carter Cash (1929), Clarence Thomas (1948), Glenn Danzig (1955), Frances McDormand (1957), Joss Whedon (1964), Jason Mraz (1977)

standpoint

About two weeks back, I decided to watch more news-type TV programs. The decision was completely arbitrary. I didn’t feel as if I was ill-informed and was perfectly capable of participating in conversations involving current events. And although some people who know me maintain I’m a liberal (which I’m not admitting to), I thought why not watch everything from every side of the fence? At the very least, it’d be informative and I’d come out on the other end a more knowledgeable person and feel better knowing more of the world around me.

But I don’t feel better at all. At least not yet.

Sure, I know that the current health status of the president of Yemen is not very good. I know that Republicans love to procreate. I know that we’re going to finally start pulling troops out of Afghanistan. I know that Prince Harry is into his brother’s new wife’s sister. I know that I don’t want to live in Greece. I know all that and much more.

But I’m not getting the satisfaction I thought I would. Watching all this news is muddling. And I’m fully cognizant that it might be my fault. I may be over-analyzing what I’m viewing but I can’t help it. I mean, everyone’s got a motive. It’s not only the national media and their eschewed coverage but even local newscasts run segments on its parent network’s reality shows.

So-called “news” is, on every level from top to bottom, simply promotion of one kind or another. They’re pushing angles, manipulating facts, steering interviews, etc., shooting for targets of all sizes. It’s murky, smoke-and-mirrors type shit, designed to over-stimulate and cause fear.

Granted, it’s not all that bad. The other day there was a story about a rescue cat who saved a woman’s life. That was kind of cool.

quotation

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth ↔ Robert Southey

tune

Caution: Hipsters will want to look away. Despite my dislike of Coldplay (I mean, c’mon, their new EP is titled Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall), I’ve always loved “Fix You.” And this version from The Voice‘s Javier Colon is worthy of some notice here.

gallimaufry

Comcast has reintroduced The Slowskys ad campaign. In case you’re wondering where I stand on this issue, I’m pro. Very very pro.

Good for Lappy, one of the all-time great guys to ever don a Flyers’ sweater. Definitely could’ve used him last season.

All right, people, allow this guy to rest in peace. Let’s move on.

→ Set your DVRs. The second season of Louie starts tonight on FX. I’ll also be checking out Wilfred.

06.20.11 – a monday

word

Golgotha [gol-guh-thuh] n. 1. a hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was buried; Calvary 2. a place of suffering or sacrifice 3. a place of burial

birthday

Errol Flynn (1909), Audie Murphy (1924), Martin Landau (1928), Danny Aiello (1933), Brian Wilson (1942), Anne Murray (1945), Bob Vila (1946), Lionel Richie (1949), John Goodman (1952), Nicole Kidman (1967), Josh Lucas (1971), Mike Birbiglia (1978)

standpoint

I’m sitting here watching Return of the Jedi and wondering if SPIKE TV airs anything other than the six Star Wars movies. I’m not knocking it. Just wondering.

By my own estimation, this must be my 50th viewing of Jedi (don’t judge) and it’s one of several movies that I can quote verbatim. And, while I’m an above average fan of most things Star Wars, I dislike most everything about Luke Skywalker. I like the actual character but I think the casting of Mark Hamill might be one of the biggest cinematic blunders ever. Whenever his whiny ass is featured prominently in a scene, my mind wanders.

And now I’m thinking of the other night, while I was bartending, when one of my regular customers asked me a question that people pose when they’re running out of discussion topics: If you could have dinner with five people, alive or dead, who would they be?

First, and I didn’t always feel this way, but I tend to pick people that are alive. It’s drastically more feasible.

Second, depending on what I’m into in terms of reading, music, entertainment in general, I’m likely not to list the same five people from one day to the next. I’m fickle like that.

Third, I don’t want to have dinner with all five people at the same time. That would be awkward and futile. Dinners typically last two hours when they’re going well. 25 minutes per person? No. As long as we’re playing an adult version of make believe, I prefer to name five people I would have dinner with on an individual basis.

IN ANY CASE, here’s the five people I would currently select.

Kevin Nealon – Even though he was on SNL for several years he never struck me as particularly hilarious. But I saw him on Real Time over the weekend and I now think the two of us might hit it off.

Stephanie Courtney – You’re probably asking, “Who the hell is that?” Well, it’s Flo from those Progressive commercials and, yes, I understand she’s playing a part.

Bob Mould – I’m not in love with every song he’s ever made but he’s responsible for more than a few of my favorites and the progression of his career fascinates me. I’m definitely going to read his autobiography, See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody.

A. J. Jacobs – If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve figured out I’m a gigantic fan of this guy and his perpetual curiosity. I’m halfway through My Life As an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest To Improve Himself and it’s pretty great. (Thanks, Samantha.)

Louis C. K. – I consider him to be the funniest guy around right now and if we had dinner I’d probably be so intimidated I wouldn’t talk at all. And that would be weird for the both of us. I’m really looking forward to the second season of Louie.

All right, that’s it for now, I’m gonna watch the final assault on the Death Star and then head to bed.

quotation

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. ↔ Erich Fromm

tune

I mentioned him above so I thought I would share one of the songs that first made me dig Bob Mould, “Compositions For the Young and Old.”

gallimaufry

I’m a little late with this but several of you emailed me this video after I wrote about how going to the movies nowadays is a microcosm of what a shitty society we’ve made.

Obviously, I love that the Alamo Drafthouse did this.

→ Even if you’re not a golf fan, you must give props to Rory McIlroy for what he did at the U.S. Open over the weekend. Truly amazing stuff.

→ C’mon, Bill Murray. Get off your high horse and make this happen. I realize you consider yourself above this kind of thing now but it’s what the people want.