November 1, 2011

word

rapine [rap-in, -ahyn] n. the violent seizure and carrying off of another’s property; plunder

birthday

Stephen Crane (1871), Larry Flynt (1942), Lyle Lovett (1957), Charlie Kaufman (1958), Anthony Kiedis (1962), Toni Collette (1971), Jenny McCarthy (1972)

standpoint

I’ve been meaning to update the About page of the blog for a while now. And the other night I did. So click here if you want to know more about me. If you don’t, keep moving down for the rest of today’s post, jerk.

quotation

Sarcasm and compassion are two of the qualities that make life on earth tolerable. ↔ Nick Hornby

tune

I’m not a huge fan of people asking me questions like, “What’s your all-time top 5 movies/albums/books/whatevers?” Granted, I’ve got those lists in my head but they may not be the same from one day to the next so I dislike providing them. I always think of additions or subtractions and want to make amendments but the moment has passed. It’s out there and I can’t get it back.  But there are a few constants on those lists. For instance, my Top 5 Favorite Songs list will always include “Hyperspace” by Nada Surf.

gallimaufry

→ I’m annoyed with myself right now. Sometimes I come across a news item that makes me thankful for being served such a softball and I can’t wait to write something witty about it and it just doesn’t come. Anyway, Michael Vick now owns a parrot. Sigh. I’m better than this.

→ Last week I wrote about Herman Cain and how the dude is the king of backtracking. Yesterday, Cain spent his time refuting allegations of sexual harassment. At first he had no recollection of any such allegations. Later he said all the talk of allegations kind of jogged his memory but details were still kind of fuzzy. By evening, the fuzziness was apparently lifted and he was able to provide a detailed account of not only the allegations but how those allegations were handled by his attorneys. I’m real curious to see how this pans out in terms of his campaign.

→ It’s not always easily discernible if The Onion is reporting actual stuff or just fucking around. It must be a blast to work there.

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03.23.11 – a wednesday

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word

fugacious [fyoo-gey-shuhs] adj. 1. fleeting; transitory: a sensational story with but a fugacious claim on the public’s attention 2. Botany. falling or fading early

birthday

Joan Crawford (1905), David Grisman (1945), Ric Ocasek (1949), Chaka Khan (1953), Kenneth Cole (1954), Moses Malone (1955), Amanda Plummer (1957), Richard Grieco (1965), Yasmeen Ghauri (1971), Keri Russell (1976), Perez Hilton (1978)

standpoint

This wasn’t easy, although I’m sure it’ll seem like it was.

Last night (or earlier tonight, depending on whether we’re talking about your perspective or mine), I was driving from Skippack, where I work, to Manayunk, where I reside. I was in full-on music geek mode and decided that I was going to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, something I’ve attempted before but never been able to pull the trigger on: My Favorite Music of All-Time.

The main problem with compiling this list has been that it gets too long. So I decided to break it down into categories which I will share with you over the next few days or, truthfully, however long it takes.

I may regret it as the whole damn thing might get a little out of control and beyond the point of any real structure or direction but, as I’ve said in the past, I’m the only one writing this blog and so I’m my own boss. (Despite Joe Taylor’s many late night claims otherwise.)

All right, I’m going to start with the Six Songs I’ve Played the Most in the Past Ten Years According to My Two iPods.

Number Six

“Inner Meet Me” – The Beta Band

Number Five

“Finer Feelings” – Spoon

Number Four

“Ain’t That Enough” – Teenage Fanclub

Number Three

“Modern Mystery” – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Number Two

“Harmonium” – Rogue Wave

Number One

“Beautiful Beat” – Nada Surf

There’s the first installment. Tomorrow will be yet another.

quotation

I apologize to computer chess after calling it stupid when I lost. You’re not stupid, computer chess. I am. ↔ Michael Ian Black

tune

I like Jeb Loy Nichols and I like most versions of “The Tracks Of My Tears.” I found this and didn’t even really listen to it. Just decided to put it up here. Hope you like it.

gallimaufry

You know what Twitter needs? I do. Twilter. Instead of ceasing to follow someone who’s bugging the shit out you, you can employ Twilter, a program that will block retweets, tweets with spam links, etc. and so forth. All you computer programmers out there, feel free to run with it. Just do me a favor. If you become the next internet millionaire from the idea, make sure someone besides Jack Black or Kevin Smith portrays me in the movie they make about you. Deal? Those guys are at least 100 lbs. bigger than me.

→ Dear NFL, if you’re trying to turn the most popular sport in the country into something no one is interesting watching, nice job. These are a first few steps in the right direction.

→ For those of you who are tired of news that matters, read this. It’s nice to see there’s at least a few people out there with their eye on the ball. Christ.

02.14.11 – a valentine’s day

word

imbroglio [im-brohl-yo] n. 1. a  misunderstanding, disagreement, etc., of a complicated or bitter nature, as between persons or nations 2. an intricate and perplexing state of affairs; a complicated or difficult situation 3. a confused heap

birthday

Frederick Douglass (1818), Jack Benny (1894), Jimmy Hoffa (1913), Hugh Downs (1921), Murray the K (1922), Vic Morrow (1929), Florence Henderson (1934), Michael Bloomberg (1942), Maceo Parker (1943), Carl Bernstein (1944), Gregory Hines (1946), Tim Buckley (1947), Teller (1948), James Eckhouse (1955), Meg Tilly (1960), Enrico Colantoni (1963), Rob Thomas (1972)

standpoint

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Busy weekend so I’m lacking the energy to go off about one subject or another. But I’ll be back tomorrow with some more. Join me.

quotation

A lot people say they’d like to be a billionaire. But they never ask themselves: Do I want the brain of that billionaire? They think about the money. But to have that money, you’d need that kind of brain, and you’d have to have those thoughts at night and all the stuff that goes with it. ↔ Albert Brooks

tune

It being Valentine’s Day and all, I figured it best to go with a song about love, or at least one that had “love” in the title. And so I present Nada Surf‘s cover of The Go-Betweens‘ “Love Goes On.”

gallimaufry

I’d love to offer some insight into last night’s Grammy Award Show but I had no inclination to watch it, so I have no idea what went on.

All right, sorry, folks, gotta hang up the spurs on this one. Exhaustion is setting in and sleep is next. Thanks for reading.

09.18.09 – A Friday

Word

querolous [kweruh-luhs, kwer-yuh-] adj. 1. full of complaints; complaining 2. characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish: a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done

Birthday

Trajan (53), Samuel Johnson (1709), George Read (1733), Greta Garbo (1905), Jack Warden (1920), Robert Blake (1933), Frankie Avalon (1939), Fred Willard (1939), Dee Dee Ramone (1952), James Gandolfini (1961), Holly Robinson Peete (1964), Lance Armstrong (1971), Jada Pinkett Smith (1971), James Marsden (1973), Xzibit (1974), Jason Sudeikis (1975)

Standpoint

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, and it’s shame if you’re not, you’ve come to the conclusion that I’m an above-average humorous individual. To put it mildly.

And, after reaching  that conclusion, I’m betting you’ve wondered, “Hey. How’d that guy get so goddamn funny? What his secret?” Well, it stems from all kinds of places. I will say that, coming from a family with five other siblings competing for attention at the dinner table, it didn’t take a genius to figure out the the proper execution of well-timed humor earned you a little more time at the podium during the nightly palaver.

But that wasn’t all there was to it. I had my influences. At a young age, I decided every single person in the entertainment business was essentially just borrowing material from somewhere or another, and presenting it as their own original ponderings. But, once in a while, I’d see something that either (a) was borrowing shit from so many different places it did actually became original content, or (b) was original content. Watching anything that fell into one of those categories represented a possibility of, for me at least, a tiny shred of hope the world wasn’t doomed to watch garbage like “Charles In Charge” or “Who’s The Boss?” for the rest of eternity.  

Here are a few things you can watch if you want to see exactly what I’m talking about. (Note: It’s a coincidence that Dave Foley is in two of the three clips here. Or maybe not. He’s a funny motherfucker.) (Another note: I was going to embed the videos but I couldn’t with some so just hit the link.)

Clip OneNewsRadio“The Cane”

Phil Hartman has my vote as the funniest person ever to put two feet on Earth’s soil. This scene from “NewsRadio” with Dave Foley represents most of the range Hartman possessed. Foley is great, too.

 Clip(s) TwoKids In The Hall“King of Empty Promises” and The State“Porcupine Racetrack”

“Kids In The Hall” is debatably the funniest sketch comedy show of all-time. Other might say it was “The State.” I lean towards the latter, but, really it all depends on my mood. Both were unendingly funny. Both went places similar shows (“SNL“MADtv”) either weren’t allowed to go or were incapable of. These two sketches helped convinced me there were other like-minded lunatics out there in the world.

Clip ThreeBlack Books“Bernard Black Drunk”

This clip from “Black Books” – the British sitcom that aired on the UK’s Channel 4 for three seasons and the US’ Comedy Central for about one hour late some random Sunday night – is representative of the completely hilarious work Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey did on this unfortunately still-unknown classic.

 Sadly, if you don’t find any/all of this funny, there’s only one thing wrong with you. You would fail to recognize humor if it walked up and kneecapped you.

Quotation

A drunk driver’s very dangerous. Everybody knows that. But so is a drunken backseat driver – if he’s persuasive. ← Demetri Martin

Tune

Yesterday, I revealed that I’m a sucker for a song with well-written lyrics. Well, there’s something that can make a song with well-written lyrics even better. And that’s a multi-part harmony. When done the right way, multiple harmonies can turn an ordinary song into an anthem. The multiple harmony song usually starts off kind of slow, but that’s not a requirement. There is one steadfast rule, though, each harmony, and its corresponding lyrics, has to be introduced separately. A byproduct of that is the song can travel all over the rythmic spectrum, producing the effect of several songs contained in one. The result of the crescendo is an overlapping vocal harmony where all the separate vocal sections are woven into each other and the best parts of each accompanying melody are grooved into one. The final minute of such a song should make you want to turn up the volume, roll down the windows and hit the gas pedal. That’s how you know it’s a good one. I have five favorite songs falling into that category. But, I think I’ve decided that “See These Bones” by Nada Surf is the greatest. The best part is when Matthew Caws comes in with “The lights in the city are more or less blinking/Which side of the story decides what you’re thinking.” It’s the beginning of the end. But in a really good way. Listen to it. I’m not wrong. Right?

Gallimaufry

→ Man, am I glad I never got around to removing the PEOPLE SUCK sticker from the interior of my car. Because, I’m really sorry, it’s one of the indisputable truths of this world. Need more proof than the cool sticker in my car? Check out WhyTheFuckDoYouHaveAKid.com. As Jonathan Schmock, the actor who played the Chez Quiz Maitre D’ in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (click that link to watch the original movie trailer.), stated so very snootily, “I weep for the future.”

→ You know what’s a really great thing? When the mayor of one of the largest cities in the country plays chicken with the state legislature using innocent peoples’ jobs as a bargaining chip. That’s what Philadelphia’s mayor, Michael Nutter, did with the jobs of 3,000 municipal workers in an attempt to pry money out of Pennsylvania. It worked. But still. Kind of shitty.

→ All right. Need to make a teensy tiny request of the fashion world here. Please make the fucking Snuggie go away. I’ll help in whatever way I can. Just let me know where to be and when to ber there. For centuries, individuals have made an easy time of having a blanket on top of them as they relax. It’s kind of like Basic Human Knowledge 101.  We don’t need one that slips over our heads. We are not Old West Mexican gunfighters.

03.05.09 – Thursday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: wonky [wong-kee] adj. British slang 1. shaky, groggy or unsteady  2. unreliable; not trustworthy

Birthday: Rex Harrison (1908), Tommy Tucker (1933), Dean Stockwell (1936), Eddy Grant (1948), Penn Jilette (1955), Andy Gibb (1958), Joel Osteen (1963), Michael Irvin (1966), John Frusciante (1970), Kevin Connolly (1974), Eva Mendes (1974)

Occurrence: 1836Samuel Colt made the first production model .34-caliber revolver, facilitating murders everywhere.

Irksome: Yesterday, I caught a little bit of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” As usual, I was entertained. During one of the segments of the show, Stewart was openly mocking President Obama’s new timeline for removing our troops from Iraq. Later in the day, I was telling a friend of mine about it. His reaction? “Dude. That’s messed up. Obama hasn’t even been in office two months and Stewart is already turning on him?” My response? Absolutely. I think the initial overwhelming joy that the people of this country felt (including me) seeing a man like Barack Obama assume the role of President has made them lose sight of something. We are supposed to question our leaders. When we blindly follow the directives of your leader(s), we will inevitably find ourselves in the exact predicament we were in the past eight years. This is the United States of America, after all. Even a man like President Obama needs to be closely scrutinized by the people he is governing. As you were, Mr. Stewart.

Quotation: A critic is a legless man who teaches running.Channing Pollock

Tidbit: Apparently, right-handed people live an average of nine years longer than left-handed folks. After much deliberation, I could think of nothing clever or witty to say about that fact. Except that I’m right-handed. Sucks for all you lefties out there.

Song: Ever hear a song and think that, even though the person who wrote it has never met you, you could’ve written it yourself? Sure you have. That is exactly what I thought the first time I heard “Beautiful Beat” by Nada Surf.

Link: Funny Or Die – A wide assortment of clever stuff including Literal Video and the Will Ferrell landlord sketch. Check it out.

Gallimaufry: SHAMELESS PLUG – Ezgi is a good friend of mine who writes a very entertaining blog about what goes on in her most-cynical mind. Click HERE and get an insight into a one of the greatest, strangest people I know…Speaking of President Obama, click HERE to read Helene Cooper’s article in the New York Times about how the guy is already starting to get gray hairs from the stress…Updating my thoughts on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”, I am still on the fence but closer to liking it than I was before. I know you all were wondering.