05.03.11 – a tuesday

word

dandle [dan-dl] v. 1. to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one’s knee or in one’s arms 2. to pet; pamper

birthday

Bing Crosby (1903), Pete Seeger (1919), James Brown (1933), Frankie Valli (1934), Greg Gumbel (1946), Christopher Cross (1951)

standpoint

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, I can feel relief, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. ‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’

That was last night’s Facebook status du jour in response to killing of Osama bin Laden. People were crediting Martin Luther King, Jr. with the quote but I couldn’t find any evidence to back that up.

In any case, someone came up with it and, while it’s poetic and well-intentioned, it’s a bunch of bullshit. (Although I do really like the “a night already devoid of stars” line. Very dramatic.)

Sorry, but sometimes an act of hate needs to feel the force of an equally hateful act. If someone out there has an idea how a response involving “love” was the right way to handle one of the most evil men that ever existed, then I’m all ears. What were we going to do? Stage an intervention? Put him in therapy? Tell his mother what he’s been up to and just let her deal with it?

No. Sorry. Usually I’m the guy who hates killing. I abhor violence as an end result to almost anything. Except this. For me, it wasn’t an eye-for-an-eye scenario. It wasn’t about revenge. It was about making things right. It was about correcting an error. Osama bin Laden had done enough. He needed to go away.

And, yes, I know, I know. You detractors out there will say we’re really going to need to watch out because his followers will be pissed and looking to take action. But, guess what? They’ve been pissed and have been scheming for years. Only now they’ll have to do it without the asshole who was pulling the strings. And if that saves the life of even one innocent person, then I’m unquestionably on board. And if you’re not in agreement then you should be asking yourself why not. I’d love to hear your reasoning.

quotation

Stay busy, get plenty of exercise and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little. ↔ Herman “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen

tune

Some people don’t really dig on They Might Be Giants. Those people are complete morons. Here’s “Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal.” Whether you think so or not, it’s good stuff.

gallimaufry

I can only imagine that when it opens up in June, I’ll have no choice but to like Grantland.com. Bill Simmons? Chuck Klosterman? Dave Eggers? Malcolm Gladwell? How could that website suck?

→ Christ, could Michael Moore be more irrelevant?

→ I’m not going to list all of the acts appearing at the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza in Chicago this August but you should definitely click here to take a look. We should plan a trip and check this out. Who’s driving?

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03.07.11 – a monday

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word

obloquy [ob-luh-kwee] n. 1. censure, blame or abusive language aimed at a person or thing, especially by numerous persons or by the general public 2. discredit, disgrace or bad repute resulting from public blame, abuse or denunciation

birthday

Willard Scott (1934), Michael Eisner (1942), Tammy Faye Bakker (1942), Townes Van Zandt (1944), John Heard (1945), Peter Wolf (1946), Bryan Cranston (1956), Taylor Dayne (1962), Bill Brochtrup (1963), Wanda Sykes (1964), Rachel Weisz (1970), Peter Sarsgaard (1971), Jenna Fischer (1974)

standpoint

Is anyone else a little unsettled by the current trend of fast food franchises actively seeking out the acceptance of the American public?

Hey, Dominos, get a little thicker skin, why don’t ya? You don’t see the cigarette companies coming out with nationwide apologies, right? Stick to your guns. I think it’s safe to say that not one person who ever called you guys up at 2am and ordered ten pies was bragging to everyone in the house that they were about to have the most amazing pizza experience of their lives.

You too, Taco Bell. No one’s expecting much out of you. Stop drawing attention to yourself.

quotation

Three times in my life I thought I was going to die. And I was reconciled to death, though I did everything I could to avoid it. ↔ Jimmy Carter

tune

I’m not a fan of everything Patty Griffin does but when she gets shit right, she gets it right. Check out “When It Doesn’t Come Easy.” “Tonight I cry for the love I lost and the love I’ve never found.” Indeed.

gallimaufry

If you don’t believe there’s life on other planets you’re a complete moron. But, don’t take my word for it, here’s a NASA scientist’s thoughts on the matter.

→ Dear Michael Moore, I know you’re only trying to help these people but, dude, do you even remotely understand how your involvement might actually be hurting them as well? Think about, tubby.

Domonic Brown breaks his hand in training camp? Chase Utley hurting? Not a great way to go into the new season. I hope the pitching’s good. Oh, wait, it is? Never mind.

04.23.10 – A Friday

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word

anon [uhnon] adv. 1. in a short time; soon 2. at another time 3. Archaic. at once, immediately idiom 4. ever and anon, now and then: occasionally

birthday

William Shakespeare (1564), William Penn (1621), James Buchanan (1791), Stephen A. Douglas (1813), Cow Cow Davenport (1894), Lester B. Pearson (1897), Vladimir Nabokov (1899), Shirley Temple (1928), Roy Orbison (1936), Lee Majors (1939), Sandra Dee (1942), Joyce DeWitt (1949), Michael Moore (1954), Jan Hooks (1957), Valerie Bertinelli (1960), George Lopez (1961), John Cena (1977), Kal Penn (1977), John Oliver (1977), Jaime King (1979)

standpoint

Hey, guys, remember being 21 and out at the ballgame with your buddies? Drinking beers? Heckling the opposing team and their fans? Eating a half dozen hot dogs? Those were good times, am I right? You know I am.

And remember those times when, say, a guy would be sitting in front of you with his daughters and, maybe, he didn’t like you cursing so god damn much and you, or one of your buddies, decided to show him who’s boss by sticking your finger down your throat and throwing up all over 11-year old daughter? Yeah, those were the days.

Wait. That doesn’t sound right, does it? You’re right. It’s not normal. That is unless you’re some fuckstick from Cherry Hill, NJ named Matthew Clemmens. After his idiot friend got kicked out for cursing too much due to a complaint from the 15-year old girl in front of him, Clemmens thought the best way to retaliate was to stick his fingers down his throat and vomit on the girl’s little sister.

Both girls were there with their father, Michael Vangelo, an off-duty police officer from Easton, PA. To his credit, Vangelo restrained himself and tended to his daughter instead of smacking the shit out of Clemmens. Fortunately, a few of the other spectators took care of that for him by holding the clown down and giving him the business until police arrived on the scene. Clemmens was arrested but not before pulling the same stunt, throwing up on one of the officers. He’s being brought up on a bunch of charges but, likely as not, very little will come from it

First of all, who does that? I have to say I’ve got an above-average imagination but puking on anyone, not to mention a little girl, is something I couldn’t have ever conjured, even on my best day. Clemmens doesn’t need a trial, he needs a shrink. And fast.

Also, I’d like to offer a sincere thanks to Clemmens for adding yet another chapter in the lore that is the creative misguided genius mindset of the Philadelphia sports fan. I mean, it’s embarrassing and all, but at least it’s not dull. Here’s a list of some of my favs.

We boo Santa Claus. Although the true story told in its original context isn’t really as bad as the legend of it. But, still, we boo Santa.

We throw stuff like snowballs and batteries. Because, why chuck anything at anybody if there’s no threat of bodily harm?  That’s right, folks, we’re the reason every flake of snow gets removed from a stadium before game time. You’re welcome.

We will fight you. This happens mostly at Flyers games, the most famous when some dipshit thought it was a good idea to jump into the penalty box with Tie Domi, one of the toughest hombres ever to lace up skates.

→ We dislike our own guys more than anyone. You hate Donovan McNabb?Mike Schmidt? Eric Lindros? Allen Iverson? Cool. Us too. Exceptional athletes getting rewarded  for their performances with a steady stream of boos.

I could go on and on (and on). But you get the picture. The truth of it is, Philadelphia sports fans are pretty solid folks, content to go to the games and have some fun but that’s the way in most cities, I guess. The difference is our bad seeds. They’re incredibly devious. And they suck. And they’re dragging the rest of us down into the sewer with them.

quotation

When we ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.Henri Nouwen

tune

It seems like a lifetime ago that I had to get up every Saturday morning at 6am for work. (I know, right?) I blasted “Saturday Morning” by Eels as soon as I started my car for the drive in and, somehow, it always seemed to help.

gallimaufry

→ Yesterday was Earth Day. Here’s a little something I learned. Spooky.

→ Let’s face it. You text. I text. EVERYBODY texts.

→ In the ongoing battle for internet supremacy being fought by Facebook and Twitter, CNN.com has finally declared a winner: It’s Facebook.

09.09.09 – A Wednesday

Word

obdurate [ob-doo-rit, -dyoo-] adj. 1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding 2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner

Birthday

Aurelian (214), Leo Tolstoy (1828), Harland Sanders (1890), Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder (1919), Otis Redding (1941), Pamela Des Barres (1948), Garry Maddox (1949), Joe Theismann (1949), Tom Wopat (1951), Hugh Grant (1960), Mario Batali (1960), Adam Sandler (1966), Rachel Hunter (1969), Henry Thomas (1971), Michael Bublé (1975), Soulja Slim (1977), Michelle Williams (1980) 

Standpoint

Normally, even I don’t like the person or people I’m looking at, I like the cover of Rolling Stone. A recent issue, though, kind or irked me.

The image is of President Obama and the caption at the bottom of the cover reads, “Obama So Far.” Around his head a banner, or maybe a halo, that reads “Will He Take Bold Action or Compromise Too Easily?” Inside the issue is a very fair and informative presentation of the thoughts of Obama‘s presidency by David Gergen (expert political consultant), Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize winning writer), and Michael Moore (douchebag documentarian).

The question on the front, though – “Will He Take Bold Action or Compromise Too Easily?” – is emblematic of lots of things I hate about the media in this country. I’ll admit fully understand that, especially in this age of the dying print media, Rolling Stone needs to sell magazines more than ever. But, in trying to grade the job done by Obama, and the future of his administration, why must the only two choices he has are to (a) “Take Bold Action” or (b) “Compromise Too Easily?”

It doesn’t have to be one-way-or-the-other. It could be that Obama will find the middle ground. Sometimes, he might take some bold action. Other times, he may compromise too easily. But more likely, he’ll find a way to act in ways that aren’t always bold and compromise in a way that’s not-so-easy.

My problem with pretty much boils down to this: We’ve all forgotten that not everything is black-and-white. And not just when it comes to our government. This one-way-or-the-other mentality is going to slowly mess everything up before we know it.

Quotation

Men feel that women somehow drag them down, and women feel that way about men.  It’s possible that both are right.Mignon McLaughlin

Tune

I just started to get into an English indie-pop group named Fanfarlo. So far, I like what I hear. Try out “Luna.”

Gallimaufry

→ Obviously, today is September 9th, 2009. Or 09/09/09. Triple nines. Find out why this date is so special to so many people. I like that the new Tim Burton movie, 9, is coming out today. Actually want to see it. Looks strange, spooky, kind of kickass cool.

→ You ever wonder how people can be so smart and dumb at the same time? Well, I do. Check out the Valley Monkey – a guy who wears a monkey mask in an attempt to avoid tickets. A nice idea if he wasn’t doing it in his own car.

→ My boy A.J. Jacobs has released a new book, The Guinea Pig Diaries. If it’s even half as good as his other stuff, you should go read it right now.

04.23.09 – Thursday

Word: milieu [mil-yoo] n. surroundings, esp. of a social or cultural nature: a snobbish milieu

Birthday: William Shakespeare (1564), James Buchanan (1791), Cow Cow Davenport (1894), Lester B. Pearson (1897), Shirley Temple (1928), Roy Orbison (1936), Lee Majors (1939), Sandra Dee (1942), Hervé Villechaize (1943), Joyce DeWitt (1949), Michael Moore (1954), Jan Hooks (1957), Valerie Bertinelli (1960), George Lopez (1961), Timothy McVeigh (1968), John Cena (1977), Kal Penn (1977), Jaime King (1979)

Occurence: 1985 – In the most unpopular move in soft drink history, The Coca-Cola Company replaces Coca-Cola Classic with New Coke. Three months later, the original is back in stores.

Standpoint: It’s time for this week’s edition of Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s get to it.

  • “figuratively” vs. “literally” – Literally, everyone is abusing the word “literally.” (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) But it’s almost true, I guess. If you’re like me in that you (a) have normal hearing and (b) understand the English language, then you know what I’m talking about. For example, a statement like, “The party was so packed. There were literally 2,000 people in that apartment.” Sure, I understand that there were a lot of people at the party. But unless the host lives in one of the most impressive apartments in the history of indoor dwellings, then I think the numbers are a bit off. To put it lightly. Rather, the word “figuratively” should’ve replaced “literally.” “Figuratively” means “metaphorical” or “not literal.” “Literally” means “in a literal manner” or “word for word.” So all these people saying things like, “Jesus, it’s literally been raining for 20 straight days,” or, “You should’ve seen the dog park. There were literally like 700 dogs down there today,” need to simply substitute the word “figuratively” for “literally.” The problem here? It won’t happen. “Figuratively” just doesn’t roll out of the mouth the same way “literally” does. It doesn’t convey the same feeling or deliver the same kind of impact. So, sorry, folks, I think we’re stuck with this one. Literally.
  • “My Bad” – Once, an employee of mine showed up for work about two hours late on a very important day. First thing he said to me? “Sorry, Josh, my bad.” I just about shot through the roof. “My bad” has become one of those things that people say in lieu of an apology. I think it started with pro athletes who say it frequently after a missed pass or a dropped ball. But showing up two hours late for work? I needed a little more than that because I was already completely certain it was “his bad.” I wasn’t sitting around wondering if the guy was late because of something I might’ve done. I knew that the blame rested squarely on that clown’s shoulders. So, do me a favor. Unless we’re playing flag football and you miss me wide open by a mile in the end zone, don’t bring out “my bad.”
  • “Same Difference” – As with “My Bad,” this falls into the category of “lazy sayings.” One article I read qualified it as a “verbal shrug.” I think that about sums it up – it’s the equivalent of “whatever” nowadays. “Same difference” isn’t so much misused as it’s overused. It really should be “same thing, no difference,” but that’s not how most mean it. Mainly, it’s used in the same way as, “I’m just saying.” It’s just a conversational device for one to end an argument in which they are wrong without having to admit it.

Tune: Last summer, I listened to “Sultan” by What Made Milawaukee Famous about 4 times a day. I like the use of horns. Also, pretty great name for a band.

Gallimaufry: I was working and didn’t get a chance to watch it, but according to everyone who did, this week’s disco episode of “American Idol” was pretty awful. I heard it described as “a trainwreck”…Tonight, the Flyers face elimination in their first-round playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. If the Flyers can’t pull it out, losing to a team with as little heart as the Penguins will be tough enough. But what might be worse is losing to a team with some of the most pathetic fans in sports history. Disgraceful. And we in Philly get a bad name as fans…For the record, I think Perez Hilton is annoying and probably secretly loves all the celebrities he shreds on a daily basis. But, after some deliberation, I think what he did to Carrie Prejean during the Miss USA competition was a pretty strong and calculated move.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 Things You Should Say To Your Waiter If You Want Him To Dislike You.