06.06.11 – a monday

word

pangram [pan-gruhm, – gram, pang-] n. a sentence, verse, etc. that includes all the letters of the alphabet Ex: Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.

birthday

Thomas Mann (1875), Robert Englund (1947), Harvey Fierstein (1952), Colin Quinn (1959), Paul Giamatti (1967)

standpoint

I’d love to go off right now about all the stuff on my mind. Like how X-Men: The Last Stand wasn’t as good as I remembered it after watching it last night. Or how I seem to be the world’s biggest idiot when it comes to applying suntan lotion for a simple three-hour jaunt on the beach. Or how annoying I find this story about the Oregon woman. Or how messed up it is that Jenna Bush bought 100,000 acres of Paraguay real estate because she knows the world will run out of water well before it runs out of oil.

But I’ll hold my tongue and save some vitriol for the upcoming week.

quotation

The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water and it will help you move. ↔ Aleksandr Popov

tune

How “Alcoholiday” didn’t make it onto Teenage Fanclub’s Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds is beyond me.

gallimaufry

Everybody, and I mean everybody, has been telling me I pick on Sarah Palin too much. But, come on, when someone keeps lobbing in grapefruit like this, it’s simply impossible to resist swinging.

→ Ok. I might be an idiot but I can’t find any news stories regarding how many people got arrested at yesterday’s Philadelphia International Cycling Championship (also known as The Manayunk Bike Race). Guess it wasn’t the shitstorm everyone was anticipating.

→ Wow. Hipsters far and wide must have been unable to concentrate for hours after this. What’s next? I shudder to think.

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05.31.11 – a tuesday

word

jackanapes [jakuh-neyps] n. 1. an impertinent, presumptuous person, especially a young man; whippersnapper 2. an impudent, mischievous child 3. Archaic. an ape or monkey

birthday

Walt Whitman (1819), Clint Eastwood (1930), John Bonham (1948), Tom Berenger (1949), Lea Thompson (1961), Brooke Shields (1965), Colin Farrell (1976)

standpoint

Here’s some things bothering me after the holiday weekend.

→ I watched The Dilemma with several friends yesterday. Boy, did it completely suck.

How does a manhole explode from “cable malfunctions?” Luckily, it was on the other side of town and I wasn’t effected.

→ Went to Hymie’s Merion Deli yesterday for lunch. Hadn’t been there in years. Truly solid experience. If you have the means, check it out.

→ If you have a problem with getting addicted to video games then you should definitely steer clear of Tiny Wings. It’s menacing.

quotation

 In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ↔ Albert Camus

tune

I get these updates from a popular news source that I would mention but I don’t feel like linking. Over the weekend, I was checking my email on my iPod touch and I read the news that Gil Scott-Heron passed away Friday at the age of 62. If you don’t know who he was or why he was important, do yourself a favor and check him out. Here’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

gallimaufry

Christ. Jessica Rabbit wasn’t as much of a cartoon character as this lady. I know I pick on Palin a lot but, come on all ready.

→ The Stanley Cup Finals start tomorrow. The Boston Bruins vs. The Vancouver Canucks. I’d be surprised if the Canucks don’t take it in five games. But I’ve been all kinds of wrong lately when it comes to hockey so the Bruins will probably sweep them.

→ I’m hearing lots of negative shit about The Hangover Part II. Anyone got something nice to say about the movie?

04.13.11 – a wednesday

word

remunerate [ri-myoo-nuh-reyt] v. 1. to pay, recompense or reward for work, trouble, etc. 2. to yield a recompense for (work, services, etc.)

birthday

Thomas Jefferson (1743), Butch Cassidy (1866), Don Adams (1923), Paul Sorvino (1939), Al Green (1946), Christopher Hitchens (1949), Caroline Rhea (1964), Rick Schroder (1970)

standpoint

Recently, a relatively new friend of mine and I were discussing music and, during the course of that conversation, he said something like this to me: “Yeah, but no one gives a shit about lyrics anymore.”

I definitely respect the guy’s opinion and I told him I disagreed with him but I quickly moved back to the topic we’d been laboring on. But, later, I thought back to what he said and it kind of irked me and mostly because he was kind of right.

Once again, I find myself in the minority when it comes to the popular (or unpopular, depending on which is deemed cooler, I guess) opinion in regards to current music.

A song’s lyrics are as important to me as everything else going on. Otherwise, I’ll just pop in some Béla Fleck or John Scofield. Disregarding the lyrics of a song is, to me, the same as dismissing it. Even if the lyrics are haphazard or nonsensical. It might be the English lit nerd in me talking here but words are always gonna be words and they have meanings and those meanings are subjective on an individual basis despite the artist’s intent.

I’m sure Sean Kelly has my back on this one.

quotation

Every true genius is bound to be naive. ↔ J.C.F. von Schiller

tune

Getting back on the subject of song lyrics, Joshua Radin is pretty awesome when it comes to that. (For the record, I don’t care if Radin is more popular with soccer moms than hipster music enthusiasts. True story.) As most of you know, my best friend Harvey passed away a few months back. The night I said goodbye to him in the hospital, I went home and – surprise – I couldn’t sleep. I grabbed my iPod and my headphones and decided to walk around my neighborhood until I got sleepy. After an hour or so, I found myself sitting on the steps of the train station by my house, looking up at all the fake, yellow lights illuminating the parking lot. And then “Streetlight” came on and I heard “I don’t know where to go/So I think I’ll sit and stay here a while/’Til I figure it out.” I listened to the song about 34 more times before I walked home and collapsed into my bed. I’m still sort of lost without Harvey and I’m sure it wasn’t Radin’s lyrical aim that I make his song about losing my best friend but that’s what happened.

gallimaufry

This was the most popular story on Yahoo! News yesterday and had almost 10,000 shares on Facebook. Stuff like this makes me hate everybody.

This Saturday, April 16th is Record Store Day. I’ll be down at Main Street Music in Manayunk. You should be too. I’ll let you buy me a beer. It’s true.

→ If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: When you’re robbing a little girl’s lemonade stand, don’t drive off and leave your girlfriend behind to get arrested because chances are she’s gonna crack under questioning. Why doesn’t anyone ever listen to me?

03.23.11 – a wednesday

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word

fugacious [fyoo-gey-shuhs] adj. 1. fleeting; transitory: a sensational story with but a fugacious claim on the public’s attention 2. Botany. falling or fading early

birthday

Joan Crawford (1905), David Grisman (1945), Ric Ocasek (1949), Chaka Khan (1953), Kenneth Cole (1954), Moses Malone (1955), Amanda Plummer (1957), Richard Grieco (1965), Yasmeen Ghauri (1971), Keri Russell (1976), Perez Hilton (1978)

standpoint

This wasn’t easy, although I’m sure it’ll seem like it was.

Last night (or earlier tonight, depending on whether we’re talking about your perspective or mine), I was driving from Skippack, where I work, to Manayunk, where I reside. I was in full-on music geek mode and decided that I was going to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, something I’ve attempted before but never been able to pull the trigger on: My Favorite Music of All-Time.

The main problem with compiling this list has been that it gets too long. So I decided to break it down into categories which I will share with you over the next few days or, truthfully, however long it takes.

I may regret it as the whole damn thing might get a little out of control and beyond the point of any real structure or direction but, as I’ve said in the past, I’m the only one writing this blog and so I’m my own boss. (Despite Joe Taylor’s many late night claims otherwise.)

All right, I’m going to start with the Six Songs I’ve Played the Most in the Past Ten Years According to My Two iPods.

Number Six

“Inner Meet Me” – The Beta Band

Number Five

“Finer Feelings” – Spoon

Number Four

“Ain’t That Enough” – Teenage Fanclub

Number Three

“Modern Mystery” – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Number Two

“Harmonium” – Rogue Wave

Number One

“Beautiful Beat” – Nada Surf

There’s the first installment. Tomorrow will be yet another.

quotation

I apologize to computer chess after calling it stupid when I lost. You’re not stupid, computer chess. I am. ↔ Michael Ian Black

tune

I like Jeb Loy Nichols and I like most versions of “The Tracks Of My Tears.” I found this and didn’t even really listen to it. Just decided to put it up here. Hope you like it.

gallimaufry

You know what Twitter needs? I do. Twilter. Instead of ceasing to follow someone who’s bugging the shit out you, you can employ Twilter, a program that will block retweets, tweets with spam links, etc. and so forth. All you computer programmers out there, feel free to run with it. Just do me a favor. If you become the next internet millionaire from the idea, make sure someone besides Jack Black or Kevin Smith portrays me in the movie they make about you. Deal? Those guys are at least 100 lbs. bigger than me.

→ Dear NFL, if you’re trying to turn the most popular sport in the country into something no one is interesting watching, nice job. These are a first few steps in the right direction.

→ For those of you who are tired of news that matters, read this. It’s nice to see there’s at least a few people out there with their eye on the ball. Christ.

04.15.10 – A Thursday

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word

scurrilous [skuruh-luhs, skuhr-] adj. 1. grossly or obscenely abusive: a scurrilous attack on the mayor 2. characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive: a scurrilous jest

birthday

Leonardo da Vinci (1452), Henry James (1843), Bessie Smith (1894), Alfred S. Bloomingdale (1916), Emma Thompson (1959), Linda Perry (1965), Samantha Fox (1966), Seth Rogen (1982), Emma Watson (1990)

standpoint

No new standpoint today. Go Flyers.

quotation

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls! Ted Grant

tune

Indie geeks all over the country are pretty psyched. And I’m one of them. Dr. Dog’s new album, Shame, Shame, is out and ready to go. Check out “Shadow People.”

gallimaufry

→ This Saturday, April 17th, is one of the most important of the year – Record Store Day. In the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, my favorite record store of all-time, Main Street Music, will be celebrating with performances from Exit Clov, Roadside Graves, James Maddock and Blood Feathers. Make sure to get out there and support this great cause and, hey, you may even be lucky enough to bump into me.

Here’s another dude who needs to be thrown into a mental hospital hospital somewhere. What difference does it make what kind of helicopter it was? Fucking genius.

This guy actually got elected into a public office. True story.

12.11.09 – A Friday

WORD

mortify [mawr-tuh-fahy] v. (used w/ object) 1. to humiliate or shame, as by injury to one’s pride or self-respect 2. to subjugate (the body, passions, etc.) by abstinence, ascetic discipline, or self-inflicted suffering 3. Pathology. to affect with gangrene or necrosis v. (used w/o object) 4. to practice mortification or disciplinary austerities 5. Pathology. to undergo mortification; become gangrened or necrosed

Note: I am giving the definition of “mortify” because it has been brought to my attention it’s used wrong pretty much all of the time. I have to admit, I learned something new today.

BIRTHDAY

John Labatt (1838), Carlo Ponti (1912), Big Mama Thornton (1926), Rita Moreno (1931), McCoy Tyner (1938), Donna Mills (1942), John Kerry (1943), Brenda Lee (1944), Teri Garr (1947), Bess Armstrong (1953), Jermaine Jackson (1954), Nikki Sixx (1958), Jon Brion (1963), Mo’Nique (1967), Mos Def (1973)

STANDPOINT

This Tiger Woods scandal. Christ.

Thousands of unanswerable questions seem to be flooding the news hourly. None are getting answered.

The facts (maybe) are: (a) At 2am the morning after Thanksgiving, Tiger got into his car and drove into a fire hydrant and then a tree, both within walking distance of his home. (b) His wife reportedly saved him by smashing one of the back windows with a golf club. (c) Tiger didn’t really want to talk about the whole thing, instead he took to dodging police inquiries and issuing vague statements on his website. (d) At least a dozen women jumped out of the woodwork, feeling the sudden urge to tell the world about their sexual misconduct with Woods. (e) Tiger’s mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital with stomach pains that probably had something to do with her son-in-law sleeping with lots of women who were not her daughter. (f) Tiger Woods’ life, no matter how this all plays out, is fucked.

And that sucks for him but he was having sex with hostesses, waitresses and porn stars. Difficult to feel bad for the guy. Difficult, but not implausible. I mean, getting caught for one transgression must be a pretty shitty ordeal. But to get caught having mulitple affairs with at least ten different women within the span of several days? Well, I’m not even sure Bill Clinton could shuck and jive his way clear of something like that.

There is one question, however, I would like answered: Whatever Tiger has done or not done, what’s the difference? How’s it going to change my life?

Sure, it’s interesting to bemoan the current state of a society which seems to (a) shrug its collective shoulders when yet another of its heroes are found to be flawed, and (b) be running out of respectable authority figures and celebrities. We’ve adapted a very another-one-bites-the-dust mentality. Everyone’s rather concerned but no one wholly cares.

There are those overly curious about a situation in which a man who seemingly had everything he could ever want, managed to blunder this bad. People are demanding the truth, soapboxing on the notion we all deserve to know. As usual, the American people want to get down to the bottom of a situation in the interest of mainly being able to say, “I hate my life, but I imagine I’d rather be me than Tiger right now.” It’s always amazed me how determined people are to reveal how fucked up everyone else is.

It’s not like any of it matters.  Woods is under absolutely no obligation to disclose more than he wants. He’s not a politician. He’s broken no laws. In reality, he could pack all ten women he’s been sleeping with into his Cadillac and drive into ten trees. Unless, he’s charged with some sort of crime, he doesn’t have to justify anything. Oh. In addition, he’s also the first billion-dollar athlete, so if O.J. Simpson can kill two people and amble freely out of an actual courtroom, Woods’ gigantic gobs of money will guarantee a night of careless driving and a few years of bad decisions won’t stop him from ambling equally free out the courtroom of public opinion.

Plus, in a few months, possibly a few weeks, everyone will have moved on to the next thing. And I don’t blame it on short memory. Everyone says that and it’s bullshit. The real reason everyone’ll forget about this by the next time Woods steps onto some nationally-televised first tee is once the outrage lessens a bit, most people will start making excuses for Tiger Woods because the execrable things he’s done to his undeserving family will have grown far less significant than the idea of a PGA season without Tiger Woods.

Note: During my research and reading for the above rant, I encountered this piece. As far as I’m concerned, Tiger Woods can do whatever the hell he wants. As long as Glenn Beck is around, everyone else gets a pass.

QUOTATION

The typical gambler might not really understand the probabilistic nuances of the wheel or the dice, but such things seem a bit more tractable than, say, trying to raise a child in this lunatic society of ours.Arthur S. Reber

TUNE

 Yesterday, I hit up my favorite music store, Main Street Music in Manayunk. (One of the best music shops of all-time, by the way. If you can get there, I highly recommend it.) Anyway, I bought a couple albums. One of them was People Are Soft by local Philadelphia band, The Swimmers. I like the whole album a lot. Go buy it and support your local music scene. Favorite track so far? “Nervous Wreck.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ For all of out there who wish you could get rid of Facebook forever, there’s now an option. Seppukoo.com is ready to assist you with your virtual suicide. Click here to see how it works.

→ There’s many arguments I can tolerate listening to, no matter how completely wrong they are. But I refuse to hear anyone out who’s not entirely convinced Ted Knight didn’t steal the show in Caddyshack. I know. There are argument to be made for Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield. But without Judge Smails (link is a small collection of wavs), it would’ve been a lesser film. Still good. Just not as good.  

→ Do you desire with all your heart to have a chihuahua? All you have to do is get on a plane to California, where the little dogs have become an essential purse accessory to the likes of Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus and a slew of other people who don’t really matter. Animal shelters across the state are reporting chihuahuas make up close to 30% of its inhabitants. Seems even idiots are capable of grasping the notion that, after they take it out of their purse, the dog wants to do all kinds of annoying crap like eat and be taken for a walk.