02.25.10 – A Thursday

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word

proffer [prof-er] v. 1. to put before a person for acceptance; offer n. 2. the act of proffering 3. an offer or proposal

birthday

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841), John Foster Dulles (1888), Zeppo Marx (1901), King Clancy (1903), Bobby Riggs (1918), Ralph Stanley (1927), Larry Gelbart (1928), Tommy Newsom (1929), Sally Jesse Raphaël (1935), George Harrison (1943), Ric Flair (1949), James Brown (1951), John Doe (1954), Lee Evans (1964), Veronica Webb (1965), Carrot Top (1965), Téa Leoni (1966), Samantha Phillips (1966), Sean Astin (1971), Daniel Powter (1971), Julio Iglesias, Jr. (1973), Chelsea Handler (1975)

standpoint

Lately, I’ve been noticing items in the news about serial cat killers. By now, we’ve all heard the results of studies linking individuals who originally kill household pets like cats and dogs, eventually moving on to killing human beings. It’s indisputable that that’s often the case.

And there are those out there who point to the fact our society kills lots of animals like cows, pigs and chickens. But, unless you’re some kind of dimwit, you know there’s a distinct difference between the systematic slaughter of animals for food, and the needless slaughter of animals meant for companionship. In addition, some critics say the dissection of animals like cats in high school biology classes contributes to certain individuals not understanding the difference between that activity and, say, murdering and gutting the next door neighbors’ dog. I’m not convinced by that point of view.

But I am convinced of this: there’s something seriously awry when a person who (allegedly) kills 19 cats, showing little to no remorse for his actions, is found mentally competent and of no harm to anyone, that’s a big, huge problem.

Obviously, I’m an animal lover and, yes, I have cats. But that doesn’t mean I dislike dogs, or any animal. To me, and for lots of people I’d wager, the greatest aspect of animals is that they’re not trying to hurt anyone, even when they are. When you hear about someone getting attacked by a bear, no reasonable person would classify the bear as some kind of psycho. Mostly, animals just want to eat and do the rest of their business without delay. Unless provoked by behavior they might feel threatening, or they’re conditioned to attack people, animals don’t really have a malicious bone in their body.

And, unless you’re one of these mental screwjobs whose in possession of a clear conscience after killing an entire neighborhood worth of cats, or you’re Michael Vick, you understand animals, especially the ones we take into our homes as pets, are only as good or bad as we make them.

They don’t deserve some horrifically painful death simply because some freak has the ability and complete lack of decency to do so.

Bottom line, the laws should be revised. Here in Pennsylvania the price one pays for killing, maiming, disfiguring or torturing any cat or dog is a fine of no less than $1000 and up to 2 years in prison. If, at the very least, even the FBI has acknowledged that the act of torturing animals will most likely eventually progress into the same kind of actions against humans, then why are these laws still so limp? The cruelty toward the animals alone should be enough to lock people up for longer but, hey, I’ll settle for whatever reason gets it done.

To help with this problem try the following links:

HelpingAnimals.com

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

The Animal Rights FAQ

quotation

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”David Foster Wallace

tune

I’ve been listening to a lot of old Morrissey lately. Actually, for the first time in probably a decade. I’m finding I like his stuff more now than I did years ago. I’m especially digging on “Do Your Best and Don’t Worry.”

gallimaufry

→ To all my fellow writers out there, here’s a good article for you to peruse. I especially agree with the part on exclamation points. Here’s Part 2 of the article.

→ My hat is off to Jonas Hiller. Team Swiss’ goaltender, who plays for the NHL Anaheim Mighty Ducks, made 42 saves in a 2-0 loss to Team USA yesterday. Hiller’s teammates just couldn’t get any goal support for the poor guy. Meanwhile, Team USA, a squad many thought didn’t have much of a chance at the onset of the Winter Olympics, moved on to become one of final four teams in the tournament.

→ A friend of mine posted this on Facebook last night and I just had to share it. Provides a whole new dimension to sibling rivalry. Kids can be downright mean to each other.

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05.22.09 – Friday

Word: zephyr [zef-er] n. 1. a gentle, mild breeze 2. (initial capital letter) Literary. the west wind 3. any of various things of fine, light quality, as fabric, yarn, etc.

Birthday: Richard Wagner (1813), Solomon Bundy (1823), Mary Cassatt (1844), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), Laurence Olivier (1907), Johnny Olson (1910), Sun Ra (1914), Harvey Milk (1930), Peter Nero (1934), M. Scott Peck (1936), Richard Benjamin (1938), Bernard Shaw (1940), Paul Winfield (1941), Theodore Kaczyinski (1942), Bernie Taupin (1950), Morrissey (1959), John Vanderslice (1967), Naomi Campbell (1970), Joshua LeJeune (1974)

Standpoint: Today I turn 35. That may sound old to some of you, young to others. I never really do a lot of pondering about my birthday. It always bothers me when people complain about their birthdays. Zip it, whiner. It could be worse. You could live in one of these six countries.

  • Vietnam – All birthdays are celebrated at the dawn of the New Year. Furthermore, when asked their birthday, Vietnamese people respond with the year, not the actual day. What a rip-off. I’m not one of those people who thinks the world has to stop on my birthday, but at least get me a card or write something nice on my Facebook wall. 
  • Argentina – On your birthday, you receive ear tugs in the amount corresponding to your age. This is also a custom in Italy and Hungary. Probably a pretty painful day as you advance in years. 35 tugs on the ear? Get the hell away from me.
  • England – The Brits have something called a “fortune telling cake.” In the actual cake, there will be items such as coins and thimbles baked into it. I don’t know how much I’d be able to enjoy eating a cake that I was certain contained small pieces of dirty metal.
  • Germany – If you’re a man over the age of 30 and not yet married, you’re expected to sweep the steps of City Hall. On top of that, your friends throw trash all over the area. It’s designed to let the eligible women in town know you’re on the market. I would probably bring a Shop-Vac and do a lot of bitching. Not sure how many ladies I would attract.
  • Holland – The Dutch believe that receiving a gift wrapped in black & white is bad luck. Remember this next time you’re in Amsterdam for a friend’s birthday. You don’t want to be that guy. Or maybe you do. It’s altogether possible that we don’t know each other all that well.
  • Canada – In the Atlantic region, the birthday child is ambushed and their nose is greased for good luck. Ah, nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a well-intentioned ambush. The grease is placed on the nose because it is believed bad luck will slide right off of it. Apparently, Canadian bad luck has no traction.

I guess we really don’t have it all that bad with our relatively normal parties and metal object-free birthday cakes.

Weekend: Each Friday, I give you 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of stuff you can do to spend this weekend in Philadelphia as if it’s gonna be your last. This week, I’m including Monday due to that face that it’s Memorial Day Weekend.

  • Today (05.22) – Emerson B.J.L. Sullivan’s – My buddy Emerson B. takes the stage, doing his acoustic hip-hop thing. He’s a great live act and will probably engage you in some witty banter. Go check him out so that you can say you saw him before he blew up and got all famous and whatnot. Also, after the show, buy him beers. 8pm
  • Saturday (05.23) – Locals Only Beer WeekendLocal 44 – Lots and lots of local brews (including Victory, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head, Flying Fish and more) at reduced prices. Spend your Saturday trying all of them. Just make sure to cab it home. 11:30am – 11:30pm
  • Sunday (05.24) – Brandywine River Blues FestivalChaddsford Winery – The Philadelphia area’s most popular winery presents a day of winetasting and music. If you’re not headed to the Jersey Shore, this would be a great excuse to get out of the house, drink some wine and listen to some live blues. Noon – 6pm
  • Monday (05.25) – Star Trek: The ExhibitionThe Franklin Institute – Wind down the long weekend with a trip into the future. Or past, depending on the scope of your imagination. “This 12,500 foot exhibition, an amalgamation of all five television and ten film series spanning over 40 years, is the ultimate opportunity to connect with iconic Star Trek moments and characters, while celebrating the creative spirit of science fiction and science that gave rise to many of today’s modern marvels.” Sounds like a perfectly acceptable way to spend an afternoon, but then again, I’m a borderline sci-fi geek. 9:30am – 5pm

Quotation: Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.  – Larry Lorenzoni

Tune: Finally picked up the new Silversun Pickups album, Swoon. Really good. Honestly. Best song so far? Try “Sort Of.”

Gallimaufry: Here is where I usually give you three interesting stories I’ve happend upon during the course of my day. Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading this blog. I’ve been at it for almost three months now and I appreciate everyone of you taking the time to comment and email to let me know how much you like it. Thanks again.

Incoming: Sad news. No new posts next week. I will, however, return the following Monday with an altered format. I don’t want to get too much into it as I’ve not completely figured it out myself yet. Rest assured, all of the facets you like about the daily euneJeune will still be here everyday. Just accompanied by some new stuff. Stay tuned. Thanks again for reading.

03.23.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: jejune (request from Marc Schuster) [ji-joon] adj. 1. without interest or significance; dull; insipid  2. juvenile; immature; childish  3. lacking knowledge or experience  4. deficient or lacking in nutritive value

Birthday: William Kidd (1645), Schuyler Colfax (1823), Joan Crawford (1905), David  Grisman (1945), Ric Ocasek (1949), Ron Jaworski (1951), Chaka Khan (1953), Moses Malone (1955), Amanda Plummer (1957), Hope Davis (1964), Richard Grieco (1965), Yasmeen Ghauri (1971), Keri Russell (1976), Perez Hilton (1978)

Occurrence: 1775Patrick Henry delivers his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. It is strange that he said those words while he had his wife, who had gone insane, straitjacketed and locked in a room in the basement since 1772.

Standpoint: Twitter has replaced Facebook as the most talked about social networking site on the web. This past week, “tweets” (Twitter’s 140 character status updates) were big news. During the weekend festivities at SXSW, members of many bands (Jane’s Addiction, The Decemberists, Grizzly Bear – to name a few) were keeping their followers constantly updated before, during and after their shows. Shaquille O’Neal announced before the Phoenix Suns’ Saturday night game against the Washington Wizards that he was going to tweet something big during halftime. (Later, he found out that his coach knew about it and simply typed the message, “Shhhhhhh.”) Someone even jeopardized a job she had been offered after bad-mouthing the proposed employer in a tweet. Whether we like it or not, we’re living in a pretty amazing/insane time. Cell phones make sure that everyone is constantly accessible. Facebook makes it possible for everyone to stay friends until death or account deactivation. Now Twitter affords people the ability to follow the actual events of someone’s daily life. The globe is shrinking and there’s no end in sight.

Quotation: Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.Douglas Adams

Stupefaction: United States Armed Forces have turned down 48,000 potential recruits since 2005 due to obesity.

Tune: If you’ve recently been the victim of a bad break-up, trying doing what I did last time a relationship went awry – listen to “Rootless Tree” by Damien Rice about 400 per day. ATTENTION: IF YOU ARE LISTENING TO THIS AT WORK, DON’T PLAY AT A HIGH VOLUME. CURSE WORDS ARE SUNG LOUDLY.

Link: Multicolr Search Lab – Find images employing your favorite colors.

Gallimaufry: I am still watching “Kings” and enjoying it…This past weekend, Nicholas Cage’s new movie, “Knowing”, opened. I haven’t seen it but is Cage going to make another viable film? Not sure, but I’m of the opinion that he needs to sit down and figure out a way to star in a movie that doesn’t suck. The Washington Post’s John Anderson has more to say about the actor’s once-great careerThe Onion is chronicling President Obama’s first 100 days in office. My favorite so far? Day 42…Anyone catch the Morrissey show last night in Philadelphia? If so, I would love to hear how it was. He’s on “Late with Jimmy Fallon” tonight.

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.