06.10.11 – a friday

word

lucubrate [loo-kyoo-breyt] v. 1. to work, write or study laboriously, especially at night 2. to write learnedly

birthday

Jacques Marquette (1637), Howlin’ Wolf (1910), Judy Garland (1922), Maurice Sendak (1928), João Gilberto (1931), F. Lee Bailey (1933), John Edwards (1953), Elizabeth Hurley (1965), Mike Doughty (1970)

standpoint

While I’m sitting here trying to think of something irking me to write about, I’m realizing I’m in a genuinely good mood. So, while I normally get pretty irate about now due to all of the inane crap I peruse daily as part of writing this blog, I’m not my usual inflamed self. But I’m gonna give it a try anyway.

These people stole my idea. Let me explain. I remember when I was younger, I dreaded the first and last month of the school year because there was simply no way to adequately air condition a building occupied by several hundred teenagers. It was always uncomfortably hot. I told every faculty member I came into contact with that school should be dismissed because of what I deemed “inhumane conditions.” My suggestions were always met with eye rolls and sighs. Guess I was on to something, huh?

→ After writing that last little blurb, I became aware that I’ve never been able to spell the word adequate without using spell check. I only spelled it write this time because I cheated and looked.

→ I literally haven’t watched a second of Mad Men. Feels good to get that off of my chest.

→ Everyone I know is sick and tired of me talking about (and imitating) this so I’m posting it here in an attempt to get it out of my system. James Spader is ridiculous here.

Okay, I will admit Catherine Tate was almost as good.

→ By the way, who is going to be the new boss on The Office? Anyone got the inside dope?

quotation

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem. ↔David Carradine

tune

As you most likely saw above, today is Mike Doughty‘s birthday and as I do every year on this day, I offer you one of his songs. Here’s “Unsingable Name.”

gallimaufry

What a freakishly sad way to go. Seriously, the odds have to be astronomical on this one.

They needed to conduct a study for this? Whatever happened to just chalking things up to common sense?

This dog earned a million dollars a year. I’m betting she earned every penny.

03.08.10 – A Monday

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word

narcissism [nahr-suh-siz-em] n. 1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity 2. Psychoanalysis. erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development

birthday

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841), Mississippi John Hurt (1892), Alan Hale, Jr. (1921), Lynn Redgrave (1943), Micky Dolenz (1945), Gary Numan (1958), Aidan Quinn (1959), Camryn Manheim (1961), Shawn Mullins (1968), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (1976), James Van Der Beek (1977)

standpoint

I was all ready to go off on The 82nd Annual Academy Awards but if you haven’t yet figured out how much crap The Oscars are, well, then I’m going to have a hard time figuring out a way to let you down easy. So let’s move on, shall we?

“What are your top 5 albums of all time?”

I get this question a lot. Really. For some, this might be something readily apparent. But, for me, not so much. I mean, I’ve albums I’ll never tire of but I’m not sure that’s the proper criteria. I’ve had albums I’ve listened to non-stop for a month or two but inevitably found myself burned out on. There’s also been those I didn’t like at first but sort of grew into and, now, can’t do without. In addition, there’s albums that fit seamlessly into my life at the right place and time but, now, have lost some, if not all, of their meaning.

Listening preferences, from one stage of life to the next, are fickle and subject to change. Or at least they should be. I can’t imagine what it would be like to plug the same exact album into my CD player for the rest of my life. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that if there’s a hell and I make it there, it’ll be my fate to listen to Led Zeppelin or Yes or Journey or The Steve Miller Band or something similarly dreadful for all of eternity.

The way I see it, listening to music goes hand-in-hand with living life. When someone stops searching for that new sound, that new anything at all, that gets their blood pumping at a different rate than what’s come before, that’s the exact moment someone has concluded that, right then and there, life’s offered all it’s going to. That person is content to listen to the same old songs, wear a Pink Floyd concert t-shirt to summer barbecues and preach about the “fundamental soundness” of classic rock.

And that’s fine for that person. But not for me. I’ve been accused of “liking things no one else knows about” just because no one else knows about them. I’ve been told I probably don’t like the music I listen to and I’m just being different for the sake of being different. Fair enough. Guilty as charged, I guess.

But I’ll never be swayed by anything due to a mild degree of likability, or moderate amount of soundness, and I’ll always be looking for new things to recapture my sense of awe in the world, and not just in music but in all things. That’s how you stay young, no matter what you got going on in that crazy life of yours.

quotation

They’re out there. You can see them in the audience – seemingly witty, attractive and cool. You can imagine talking to them about the short stories of Denis Johnson, or explaining the ever-so-multi-layered metaphors in that one song, the one during which you saw them stifling a lip-sync. Will you ever actually speak to them? Doubt it. Most people that are actually like you think bands are too cool to talk to them. ↔ Mike Doughty

tune

Apparently, I don’t pay as much attention to music as I boast. Turns out, The A-Sides, a Philadelphia band that I really like, broke up about two years ago without letting me know. Not exactly sure why but, hey, shit happens. Two of the guys went on to form a band named Sun Airway. In any case, I always liked “Sidewalk Chalk.”

gallimaufry

Dear Professional Athletes, what in the world is wrong with you? You guys got the money, the fame and every other possible advantage when it comes to attracting pretty much any female you want. Get a grip, will you? Not sure if anyone’s ever explained it to you but women simply frown upon sexual assault. And rightfully so, douchebags. Ever see those relatively unattractive dudes who are dating or married to women they’ve most likely have no business with? Yeah, well, they put in the work and if you did a fraction of it, you’d be level-jumping like the champion you are on the playing field. This is just laziness on your part and, for that, you’re not going to get sympathy on either side of the aisle, male or female.

The City of Brotherly Love has finally come into its own. After all the fighting and scratching and clawing, we’ve got it. That’s right, long considered the benchmark for how big a city truly is, the Red Bull Flugtag is going to grace us with its presence. Not only will you get the opportunity to risk your life by careening off a flight deck in a contraption you made with your best buds evenings after work in your backyard, but you’ll also get to test your body’s ability to fight off infection after a dip in the Delaware River. And I’ll probably be there watching it.

→ I know I’m picking on this lady a little too much lately but I’m certain she’ll have no problem falling asleep tonight on her huge money-stuffed mattress atop her gigantic golden bed.

02.09.10 – A Tuesday

word

soporific [sop-uhrif-ik, soh-puh-] adj. 1. causing or tending to cause sleep 2. pertaining to or characterized by sleep or sleepiness; sleepy; drowsy n. 3. something that causes sleep, as a medicine or drug

birthday

William Henry Harrison (1773)Carmen Miranda (1909), Dean Rusk (1909), Carole King (1942), Joe Pesci (1943), Mia Farrow (1945), Vince Papale (1946), Judith Light (1949), Jim J. Bullock (1955), John Kruk (1961), Travis Tritt (1963), John Walker Lindh (1981)

standpoint

Most everyone I know makes fun of Twitter. And, mostly, I get what they’re saying. It’s confusing to navigate if you don’t take the time to learn how to streamline, which I have. The trick of it is to be selective about who you follow. If you follow everyone who follows you, you’re bound to have a Twitter homepage that makes about as much sense if it was in Russian. (Unless you understand Russian, and then just pick another language, one you’re unfamiliar with.)

So what I’ve made two rules about Twitter. (1) I follow people I know. (2) I follow famous people I find interesting.

Below, I’m going to list 5 people who fall into the second category and an example of one of their typical tweets.

1. Chad OchoCinco (OGOchoCinco) – Before Twitter, I never really cared for the guy. But unless he’s putting on one hell of a show, he seems to be a good dude. TWEET: For those who take life and my twitter feed so serious please unfollow-this is for those who think n live outside the box-OCCN INC.

2. Mike Doughty (MikeDoughtyYeah) – One of my favorite musicians, turns out the guy is a good writer too. TWEET: If you’re gonna get angry in the grocery store line, perhaps a city of 10 million people is not for you.

3. Josh Malina (JoshMalina) – The veteran actor actually found me on Twitter after I made a snide comment about him appearing on some kid show I’ve since forgotten the name of. He took it well. TWEET: It’s spooky, the extent to which Taylor Swift is telling my story through her songs.

4. Michael Ian Black (michaelianblack) – One of the funniest people on the planet. TWEET: “Everything I do, I do it for you.” Even take a shit, Bryan Adams? Even take a SHIT?

5. Chuck Klosterman (CKlosterman) – Come on. You didn’t think I was going to leave him off the list, did you? TWEET: These Dominos employees need thicker skins. That focus group really got to them!

There’s plenty more I follow and, no need to worry, I’ll probably do this again sometime soon. How about you? Got any favorites on Twitter?

quotation

I understand Barack Obama. It is not always easy, but I do. I can even relate to him. Of course, we weren’t supposed  to need to. He was supposed to be above that. He was never supposed to be an everyman, and never pretended to be. He transcended beer tests, barbecue tests, and the rest – the tests of whether he was “likable” enough as a politician. It didn’t matter whether I wanted to have a beer with him or not, and nobody asked. He was Barack Obama. What he represented was much larger than any individual, even himself. It is not necessarily a good thing that I’ve come to understand him. But I do. ↔ Tom Junod

tune

Recently, I watched the fantastic movie Once. Great story and even better music. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová are real life musicians (they’re the two people who make up The Swell Season) playing struggling musicians in Dublin. Check out “Say It To Me Now.”

gallimaufry

I knew it. Eventually someone would find that beer is actually good for you. It was just a matter of time.

→ Some people hate the snow. Some people are idiots. This past Friday-Saturday we received the second biggest snowstorm in Philadelphia history. And it appears there will be more starting today at 3pm.

→ Yesterday, we got FiOS here in our apartment. From what little I’ve seen so far, I like it about nine times more than I did Comcast.