06.30.09 – Tuesday

Word: trenchant [tren-chuhnt] adj. 1. incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting: trenchant wit 2. vigorous; effective; energetic: a trenchant policy of political reform 3. clearly or sharply defined; clear-cut; distinct

Birthday: John Gay (1685), Georges Duhamel (1884), Man Mountain Dean (1891), Lena Horne (1917), José Emilio Pacheco (1939), Stanley Clarke (1951), David Alan Grier (1955), Vincent D’Onofrio (1959), Yngwie J. Malmsteen (1963), Mike Tyson (1966), Matisyahu (1979), Michael Phelps (1985)

Quotation: I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.Clarence Darrow

Tune: Defy. That’s right. I defy you to find a better song to blast out of your car on a summer evening drive than “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. Challenge!

Gallimaufry: Bernie Madoff, the asshole that stole billions of dollars from too many people to mention, received a 150-year sentence in federal prison. He’s 71 now so he’ll be 221-years old when he gets out. Obviously, the Ponzi-scheming douchehag won’t live that long. But wouldn’t it be great if he did? “I’m very excited. The fans are passionate about hockey. The style of play the Flyers play certainly fits mine. They’ve got some great young talent. I hope to help them win a Stanley Cup.” Those were the words of NHL defenseman Chris Pronger after learning he’d been traded from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to the Philadelphia Flyers for forward Joffrey Lupul and blueliner Luca Sbisa. When holding up the $6.5 million salary he’s due this upcoming season, Pronger, 34, didn’t exactly light the world on fire last year (11 goals, 37 assists) for the Ducks but he’s definitely a substantial upgrade to the Flyers’ defense corps, a group that experienced some difficulty (putting it mildly) in their own zone last season. It was inevitable. As a country, we’re a bunch of fickle bastards. Last year, we elected Barack Obama to be our President because we deemed the qualities he possesses necessary. Smart. Charismatic. Willing to administer change. But here we are, a half-year into his (first?) term and – surprise – we’ve grown restless. The bubble has burst. For the first time since as emerging as the Democratic front-runner in 2008, President Obama may now have to operate as a politician in the realm of mere mortals. Or even worse, in the realm of mere politicians. My opinion? (Glad you asked…) The job of being President of the United States has got to be one of the most complicated fucking debacles a person can assume. Let’s give the man a little wiggle room. Most of us hated George W. Bush and we let him do whatever the hell he wanted for EIGHT years. Let’s give Obama more than six months. A little patience might be in order.

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03.20.09 – Friday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: halcyon [hal-see-uhn] adj. 1. calm; peaceful; tranquil  2. rich; wealthy; prosperous  3. happy; joyful; carefree

Birthday: Napoleon II (1811), Henrik Ibsen (1828), Ozzie Nelson (1906), Jack Barry (1918), Carl Reiner (1922), Fred Rogers (1928), Hal Linden (1931), Lee “Scratch” Perry (1936), Jerry Reed (1937), Paul Junger Witt (1943), Pat Riley (1945), Bobby Orr (1948), William Hurt (1950), Jimmie Vaughn (1951), Spike Lee (1957), Holly Hunter (1958), Sting (1959), A.J. Jacobs (1968), Michael Rappaport (1970)

Occurrence: 1985Libby Riddles becomes the first female ever to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Women everywhere rejoice. Dogs everywhere still pissed.

Standpoint: Why? That’s the only question I have for Joaquin Phoenix. Furthermore, that’s probably the question the dude should’ve asked himself before deciding to retire from acting to become the next Matisyahu, with brother-in-law Casey Affleck in tow to film the whole debacle. Has Phoenix never heard of Keanu Reeves? Jared Leto? Juliette Lewis? Don Johnson? They’re all actors who tried their hands in the music biz and came up with less-than-spectacular results. (Oddly enough, the same doesn’t hold true for musicians who make the leap into acting. See Will Smith, Jon Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, Justin Timberlake.) Hopefully, the talented actor regains his senses and comes back from his trip to Jupiter. Odds are he will. After the novelty of his act wears off, people will stop buying tickets and Phoenix will undoubtedly have to return to acting. Just a matter of time.

Quotation: I don’t think that there are any limits to how excellent we could make life seem.Jonathan Safran Foer

Stupefaction: In Florida, scientists are firing rockets at lightning. Seriously. I hate to ruin the ending for you but the lightning won, remaining the undefeated champ of shit you don’t wanna screw around with.

Tune: Be honest. If you went to high school or college in the 90s, there was at least one time you drove around with the windows down listening to “I’m Free” by The Soup Dragons.

Link: FutureMe – Send an email to your future self.

Weekend (Fridays only): Do you long to hear 80s music sung by an all-male chorus? I thought so. Check out “That 80s Show” performed by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus at Prince’s Music Theater tonight and tomorrow night…For all of you with little ones, The Berenstain Bears’ Family Matters starts this weekend at the Walnut Street Theatre For Kids and runs through April 4th…Also on Saturday, why not check out one of the few remaining home games of The Philadelphia Phantoms as they take on the Binghamton Rangers at the Wachovia Spectrum – 7:05pm…Amazingly, tickets are still available for Morrisey’s show at The Academy of Music this Sunday (3/22) starting 8:00pm.

Gallimaufry: This week, California took time out of its busy schedule fighting gay marriage (see Prop 8) to debate whether legalizing marijuana would properly stimulate its flailing economy. Now there’s a debate worthy of everyone’s time and energy…March Madness is officially upon us and I still don’t care…I haven’t completely wrapped my head around it (who has?) but this bailout process reminds me of a video I once saw where a log sunk into quicksand…Want to feel better about yourself by listening to an audio clip of someone sounding like a jackass? Check out Lou Dobbs’ rant about St. Patrick’s Day…Following up on yesterday’s post, here is a link to the entire interview Jon Stewart conducted with Jim Cramer on The Daily Show…That’s it for me this week. Come back Monday for some more.