06.07.11 – a tuesday

word

hackneyed [hak-need] adj. made commonplace or trite; stale; banal: the hackneyed images of his poetry

birthday

Jessica Tandy (1909), Dean Martin (1917), Tom Jones (1940), Liam Neeson (1952), Prince (1958), Allen Iverson (1975), Bill Hader (1978), Anna Kournikova (1981), Michael Cera (1988)

standpoint

Last night, I decided to go see X-Men: First Class at my local theater.

In recent years, I’ve been hearing this sort of statement more and more: “Yeah, I love movies but I hate going to the theater. It’s so distracting. Unless it’s some sort of special effects blockbuster, I’d rather just wait until it comes out on DVD or HBO or something.”

Truthfully, most times I’ve heard someone say that, I’ve been the one saying it.

But I didn’t always feel that way. Once upon a time, I went to see a movie at least twice a month, either with other people or, more often, by myself. It was a nice way to pass the time. But going to the theater nowadays is akin to placing the lens of a metaphorical microscope on everything sucky about humanity.

And here’s just two reasons why:

1. Commentary – Apparently, during any movie, there’s a contest called “Who’s the Best At Following Along?” Not everyone is picked to play but those chosen are a fiercely competitive bunch, vehemently shouting out things like, “He’s gonna get shot!” or “That’s a mistake!” *SPOILER ALERT* Last night, for instance, there was a scene in which a hand was flicking cigar ashes into an ashtray. It was the very beginning of Hugh Jackman‘s ten-second cameo as Wolverine, the central character of the X-Men franchise. But before his face appeared on screen, at least 15 people cried out, “That’s Wolverine!”

2. Cell Phones – The scourge of the modern cinema, it’s easy to understand how moveigoers might forget to turn their cell phones to silent or vibrate. It’s not like there’s several announcements before the start of a movie, asking everyone to check them. I blame the clever warnings. They’re too subtle. Here’s what they should run instead. Still, I don’t think anyone would give a shit. Last night, there were so many sounds coming from cell phones that I entertained the idea I might be the subject of a gigantic prank. My favorite, however, was the guy directly behind me who, an hour into the movie, answered his phone and proceeded to schedule a meeting for 2:30 this afternoon.

quotation

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. ↔ Mac McCleary

tune

I loved Hall & Oates when I was a kid. Truth be told, I still dig their songs. They represent everything solid about the 1980s. That’s no lie. The video for “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” is quintessentially representative of the decade most everyone would love to forget.

gallimaufry

Here’s a life lesson, people. This clown had so many opportunities to ride off into the sunset as an American success story. But now he’s the poster child for greed and living beyond one’s own means. Suckah.

The “Jailbirds?” Why not? The NFL is such a laughingstock, why shouldn’t the Eagles be the biggest joke in it? Cue The Longest Yard references, starting…now.

→ Just to make this an all-sports gallimaufry, I’ll let you know that Mark Recchi was never one of my favorites when he played for the Flyers but there’s a part of me that’s pleased to see the 43-year-old not only competing for his third Stanley Cup ring, but contributing as well.

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01.08.10 – A Friday

WORD

colloquial [kuhloh-kwee-uhl] adj. 1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal 2. involving or using conversation

BIRTHDAY

Hans von Bülow (1830), Frank Nelson Doubleday (1862), Larry Storch (1923), Soupy Sales (1926), Elvis Presley (1935), Bob Eubanks (1938), Graham Chapman (1941), Robby Krieger (1946), David Bowie (1947), Mike Reno (1955), Paul Hester (1959), R. Kelly (1967), Ami Dolenz (1969), Sean Paul (1973)

STANDPOINT

As I type this, I’m watching a TNT promo for Southland. Last year, NBC dropped the cop drama before it even debuted. TNT scooped it up and will start running the series, in its entirety, this Tuesday. (TNT is waiting to see how the ratings go for the seven episodes NBC aired plus six never-before-seen ones before deciding to order a new season.)

As I’ve felt in the past, I’m currently confounded why some quality shows get the boot and other crappy shows (According To Jim, The Real World, Judge Judy, JAG) seem to run on forever. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since quality entertainment seems to be a notion no one concern themselves with.

It got me thinking about some other shows that were inexplicably dropped before their time. The following is a list of my favorite shows abandoned too soon.

QUOTATION

The National Rifle Association says that, “Guns don’t kill people, uh, people do.” But I think, I think the gun helps. You know? I think it helps. I just think just standing there going, “Bang!” That’s not going to kill too many people, is it?Eddie Izzard

TUNE

There’s not a ton of information out there on Seattle-based band The Pale Pacific (formerly The Pale). I came upon the 2005 release Urgency a while back and it became one of my favorite “half albums” – those containing an equal amount of both good and so-so songs. (I’ve got a lot of those, by the way.) One of the better songs is “Identity Theft.” Give it a listen.

GALLIMAUFRY

I’m not so naive to think all of this wintry weather going on is proof-positive that global warming is hogwash. But -50° wind chills in the Midwest don’t exactly help Al Gore’s cause.

→ Someone needs to be in a world of hurt to attempt to stab themselves to death. That’s exactly what Howard Stern’s sidekick, Artie Lange, did. Nine times. Long bouts of depression and numerous episodes of drug abuse apparently led him to it. Here’s hoping the guy can find some kind of peace and shake loose of his demons.

→ The other day, I reported that Vampire Weekend and Spoon were releasing albums next Tuesday. I lied. Vampire Weekend is releasing Contra next week, but Spoon’s Transference won’t come out until two weeks later. In any case, should be a good couple of months coming up for new music with Ben Kweller, Eels, Beach House, David Bowie, Midlake, Hot Chip, Peter Gabriel, Field Music, Jason Falkner, Shout Out Louds, Rogue Wave, The Whigs, Aloha, Frightened Rabbit, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Morning Benders and White Stripes all poised with fresh material.

09.14.09 – A Monday

Word

gadabout [gaduh-bout] n. 1. a person who moves about restlessly or aimlessly, esp. from one social activity to another 2. a person who travels often or to many different places, esp. for pleasure

Birthday

Claudius Clavus (1388), Johann Michael Haydn (1737), Hamlin Garland (1860), Harry Sinden (1932), Walter Koenig (1936), Larry Brown (1940), Joey Heatherton (1944), Sam Neill (1947), Beth Neilsen Chapman (1958), Wendy Thomas (1961), Faith Ford (1964), Dan Cortese (1967), Tyler Perry (1969), Robert Ben Garant (1970), Kimberly Williams-Paisley (1971), Nas (1973), Amy Winehouse (1983)

Standpoint

Oh, man, yesterday was the first Sunday of NFL season, and, Christ, could it have been more dramatic for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans? I’m completely sure the answer is no.

Yesterday afternoon, Donovan McNabb ran in for a 3rd quarter touchdown, putting another nail in the coffin his team was busy building for a supremely shitty Carolina Panthers football team. And then some 300-lb. dude named Damione Lewis landed all of his significant weight on McNabb’s rib cage, causing some sort of damage, the extent of which is not yet fully determined

Suddenly, as McNabb was writhing in pain on the turf, and FOX Sports was already showing the live feed of Michael Vick up in some luxury box, it wasn’t hard to envision the lightbulbs go on over the collective braintrust that is Philadelphia Eagles fans everywhere.

Later, as Kevin Kolb entered the game and did just a tiny bit better playing quarterback than, say, a robot I might make in my basement out of old stereo components, it wasn’t hard to conjure what every die-hard, bleeding-green member of Eagles’ nation was thinking.

Dogs? What dogs? I sort of remember something about Michael Vick and dogs. I kind of remember there being some kind of negative attention he may have attracted to himself involving something he did with/to dogs. It’s all a bit fuzzy. Let’s move on.

Couple of superb truths are about to be brought to light regarding “the best fans in football.”

One, this city seems to get its rocks off on when a guy, who’s done nothing but smile through all the massive amounts of shit we’ve hurled his way, gets physically injured. (I’ll elaborate more on the McNabb/Philadelphia relationship in tomorrow’s post.)

Two, all the clowns who were so “outraged” by the Vick signing are going to find that feeling suddenly replaced with outright panic over who’s going to quarterback the football team they’ve dedicated endless hours revolving their lives around.

Instantaneously, this city is about to change its tune. Because, while the pointless slaughter of defenseless dogs is, yes, a crime, it doesn’t come close to the potential atrocity of not making the playoffs.

Quotation

I’m always concerned that I’m not being nice enough. You know, people have told me I’m unfailingly polite….But I think those people are all pieces of shit. ◊ Michael Cera

Tune

Listening to tons of really good stuff the past couple of weeks. At least 15 new albums, mostly because of eMusic giving me 50 free downloads for some reason or another. The best of the bunch is, hands  down, Touchdown by brakesbrakesbrakes, known as Brakes in its native UK, featuring members of British Sea Power, Electric Soft Parade and The Tenderfoot. I may be digging on it so much because there are certain parts of the album where the band seems to be channeling Rogue Wave. And that’s fine by me because if there are two bands out there who can gracefully twist an turn through an album like that, all the better. Try “Worry About It Later.”

Gallimaufry

 → I’ve never been a huge Jim Carroll fan, but definitely had a boatload of respect for his body of work. Very sad to learn that he died this past Friday night from a heart attack at the age of 60. He was someone who two of my personal heroes, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, recognized as a viable voice. his poetry and prose never really appealed to me, but, being the music geek that I happen to be, I’ve always loved “People Who Died” – one of the only great songs to come out of Carroll’s foray into music.

→ I’ll be the first one to tell anyone who’ll listen there isn’t an abundance of interesting people up here in the suburbs. Exception to the rule are my friends who run Liberty Tattoo in Skippack. Talented, cool folks. Definitely worth a drive up from wherever the hell it is you are to get some quality work done on your person.

→ I’ve made an important life decision. If you and I are to be friends, I’ll need to be convinced you have a firm grasp of the important contribution Calvin and Hobbes made to our society. If you’re smart, you’ll start using this as a meter for determining worthwhile individuals. Don’t worry, if you’re already my friend and you don’t enjoy Calvin and Hobbes, we can still hang out. I won’t stop being friends with you. After all, it’s just a comic strip, right? Wrong. That was just a test. Hopefully you passed.