04.16.10 – A Friday

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word

malaise [ma-leyz, -muh-; Fr. ma-lez] n. 1. a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease 2. a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort

birthday

Wilbur Wright (1867), Charlie Chaplin (1889), Henry Mancini (1924), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947), Gerry Rafferty (1947), Peter Garrett (1953), Dave Pirner (1964), Jon Cryer (1965), Martin Lawrence (1965), Peter Billingsley (1971), Lukas Haas (1976), Akon (1977)

standpoint

What I was reminded of yesterday is that there’s a ton of shit in this life imaginary and inconsequential. Find the people who matter in your life and let them know their role. Just do it.

quotation

I am much better employed from every point of view, when I live solely for my own satisfaction, than when I begin to worry about the world. The world frightens me, and a frightened man is no good for anything. George Gissing

tune

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Weepies is one of the worst-named bands ever. But, conversely, Steve Tannen and Deb Talan have formed a music act of the highest caliber. One of my all-time favorite songs is “World Spins Madly On.”

gallimaufry

→ For all my SJU peeps who enjoyed those Parties-In-The-Park my friends and I used to throw, and, also, for everyone who stumbled into the original Grape Street Pub and was afforded the privilege of seeing this band live, I offer a link to the entire catalog of WNOC. Enjoy.

→ Man, I can’t believe Obama isn’t taking these idiots seriously. (That’s sarcasm, by the way)

→ Last night, I was reminded of the existence of Philadelphia’s fist cable channel – PRISM.

01.06.10 – A Wednesday

WORD

replete [ri-pleet] adj. 1. abundantly supplied or provided; filled (usually fol. by with): a speech replete with sentimentality 2. stuffed or gorged with food and drink  3. complete: a scholarly survey, replete in its notes and citations

BIRTHDAY

Joan of Arc (1412), John Smith (1580), Carl Sandburg (1878), Danny Thomas (1912), Earl Scruggs (1924), Vic Tayback (1930), Lou Holtz (1937), Bonnie Franklin (1944), Syd Barrett (1946), Rowan Atkinson (1955), Howie Long (1960), Andrew Wood (1966), John Singleton (1968), Gabrielle Reece (1970)

STANDPOINT

Continuing with this end-of-the-year nonsense, I’d like to present some the the following “important” news stories of 2009 and what I feel we learned from them.

I’m welcoming any and all comments. Which stories are important? Which are not? Which didn’t get enough coverage? Which didn’t get enough? Which reveal relevant aspects of the culture? Which are supposed to but don’t? Let’s open up a dialogue here, people.

  • Balloon Boy – Richard and Mayumi Heene, a couple who met while attending acting classes in Hollywood, captivated the attention of the entire nation for about three hours one afternoon when they claimed Falcon, their son, was stranded in a balloon they’d launched from their backyard. Turned out the kid was in the attic. It was all a hoax. What did we learn? People will do just about anything to get on TV.
  • Beer Summit – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and police Sgt. James Crowley were involved in a racially-charged episode that ended in Gates’ incarceration for apparently attempting to break in to his own home.  Obama compounded the problem by stating the police “acted stupidly.” Then, he invited Gates and Crowley over for a beer. Obama had a Bud Light, Crowley a Blue Moon, Gates a Sam Adams Light, the press a field day. What did we learn? Blue Moon is not even made in fucking Belgium.
  • Roman Polanski Arrested – Polanski, an Oscar-winning filmmaker, was finally nabbed thirty years after he pleaded guilty to a count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in California. He spent the last three decades hiding in plain sight in (where else?) Switzerland. As of now, he’s still not been brought back the United States. What did we learn? The Swiss can do whatever the hell they want.
  • Sarah Palin – I’m completely sure I’d be unable to conjure the right words to adequately sum up this total fucking nightmare of a human being. Not surprisingly, this dreadful woman is still polling well in places where guns outnumber people. And I’m afraid those places outnumber the ones where us civilized folks dwell. What did we learn? Most people are either (a) confused or (b) morons.
  • Tiger Woods – If you’re unaware of what’s going on with the world’s best golfer, I think you’re probably a little too wrapped up in your own world and need to come to the realization you’re not the only fucking person on the planet. What did we learn? Woods is one strange dude.
QUOTATION

Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.Tom Robbins

TUNE

Remember when Napster was free? I’d sit in my bedroom in my old apartment in Ardmore and plunder the outlaw peer-to-peer file sharing program for hours on end, typing in the name of every band and music artist I knew at the time and expanding my music library by leaps and bounds daily. When I ran out of familiar search terms, I simply started typing random words into Napster’s search engine, just for shits and giggles. So, of course, I tried the names “Joshua” and “Josh.” That’s how I learned of Josh Joplin, a singer-songwriter originally from Lancaster PA. In the past ten years, I’ve seen Joplin at least five times, all at Tin Angel in Philadelphia. Here’s a clip of “Gravity” from one of those performances.

GALLIMAUFRY

“Dude, how cool would it be if there were these small octopuses who found coconut shells, dragged them across the ocean floor and used them to hide from their predators?” That’s not a question posed after one-too-many bong hits. That’s actually going on.

MLB pitcher Randy Johnson, 46, officially retired from baseball yesterday, which didn’t really surprise anyone. Except for me. I was convinced he’d already done that. Like five years ago.

→ I love this headline: “Martin Lawrence producing comedy for black viewers.” It’s going to be a stretch for him but I think he’s up to the task. I mean, being an actual black comic and all.

04.16.09 – Thursday

Word: anachronism [uhnak-ruh-niz-uhm] n. 1. something or someone that is not in its correct historical chronological time, esp. a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time: The sword is an anchronism in modern warfare 2. an error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one: To assign Michelangelo to the 14th century is an anachronism.

Birthday: Wilbur Wright (1867), Charlie Chaplin (1899), Henry Mancini (1924), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947), Gerry Rafferty (1947), Peter Garrett (1953), Ellen Barkin (1954)Ian MacKaye (1962), Dave Pirner (1964), Jon Cryer (1965)Martin Lawrence (1965), Peter Billingsley (1971), Lukas Haas (1976), Akon (1977) 

Occurence: 2007 – On the campus of Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho shoots 32 people to death, injures 23 others and eventually kills himself. Would’ve been great if he’d reversed the order.

Standpoint: It’s Thurday (already). Time for me to address some of your suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words.” Let’s get to it. 

  •  “hone in on” vs. “home in on” – Which one of the following do you think is correct? “He honed in on his true calling.” Or, “He homed in on his true calling.” Dictionary.com provides the answer. To “hone in on” means (a) “to move or advance toward a target or a goal,” or (b) “to direct one’s attention; focus.” To “home in on” means “to proceed, esp. under control of an automated aiming mechanism, toward a specific target as a plane, missile or location.”  So, unless you are in control of “an automated aiming mechanism”, (and if you are, I want to hang out with you), then you are misusing “home in on.” Winner: “hone in on”
  • “provoke” vs. “provocate” – This has always bugged me. My sister Tina and her kids say “provocate” all the time and I correct them when they do and tell them they should be using the word “provoke.” Turns out I’m the one that needs correcting. “Provocate”  is defined by dictionary.com as “to provoke” and is listed in Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English. Winner: My sister Tina and her kids
  • “they’re” “their” and “there” – Probably the three most misspelled words on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m sure everyone knows where to use these words and when but here are the rules, anyway. Just in case. They’re” is a contraction of the words “they” and “are” as in “They’re coming to take me away!” “Their” is a form of the possessive case of the word “they” as in “That’s their problem!” “There” means “in or at that place” as in “Don’t go in there!” Winner: We all win when we use these three words the right way.

Keep up the suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words,” featured here every Thursday.

Quotation: Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. Jules Renard

Tune: I know very little about Japanese recording artist and producer Cornelius. I do, however, know that “Drop” is terrific.

Gallimaufry: NASA has made a decision. They won’t name the new room on The International Space Station after Stephen Colbert, despite the fact that The Colbert Report host won an online write-in contest last month with the help of his viewers. Astronaut Sunita L. Williams appeared on the show two nights ago to deliver the news to the heartbroken host face-to-face. However, NASA will be naming something on the space station after Colbert – the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT), a piece of exercise equipment. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice…In what some are calling the least important race in recent history (and by “some,” I mean me), Ashton Kutcher, star of Punk’d and husband to Demi Moore, has challenged the news network CNN to a race on Twitter. Whichever gets to 1,000,000 followers first, wins. CNN currently has the most Twitter followers (921,432), while Kutcher is somewhere in the 800,000s. Kutcher has said that if he wins, he’ll “ding dong ditch” Ted Turner‘s house. I’m not sure why those terms are agreaable to the actor but I’d like to see how he would get to the front door of the CNN founder’s house…Any of you attend any of the “tea party” rallies staged across the country yesterday? If so, I’d like to hear all about it.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do in Philly When You’re Dead, my list of 3 events I would attend if it were my last weekend in Philadelphia. Plus, 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet, a roster of 5 folks I’d be happy to never hear from again.