March 22nd, 2012

Think I’ve figured out this linking thing.

word

conniption [kuhnip-shuhn] n. Informal. a fit of hysterical excitement or anger

birthday

Pat Robertson (1930), Stephen Sondheim (1930), William Shatner (1931), Wolf Blitzer (1948), Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948), Bob Costas (1952), Reese Witherspoon (1976)

standpoint

As everyone knew he would be, Tim Tebow is done with the Denver Broncos. Yesterday, after many hours of oddly public negotiations, the New York Jets acquired the most talked-about athlete of the last eight months.

When the Broncos signed Peyton Manning earlier this week, many thought it signaled the end of the line for Tebow. He’d be shipped off somewhere to finish up whatever was left of his NFL career in relative obscurity.

Tebowmania is headed to New York City to compete for the public’s eye with Linsanity, Derek Jeter, and, oh yeah, the other football team that resides there, the current Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants.

Tebow will now have to exist in a locker room full of thugs who, by all accounts, hate each other. And those guys will look like teddy bears in contrast to the New York fans who legitimately expect every one of their sports teams to win a championship every year even though they’ve got at least two squads in each sport. They’re New Yorkers, they’re not concerned with trivial shit like mathematics.

It’s going to be a great, gigantic mess. I can’t envision a happy ending. And, of course, I’ll be glued to it.

quotation

The thing about family disasters is that you never have to wait long before the next one puts the previous one in perspective. ↔ Robert Brault

tune

OK Go may not create the best songs in the world but when it comes to videos, they’re without equal. Here’s their latest one, “Needing/Getting.”

gallimaufry

→ The latest addiction in gaming apps? Hands down, it’s Draw Something.

→ I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell does not mess around. Seriously, he’s not to be trifled with.

Rick Santorum, please go away.

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December 5th, 2011

Before I get started today, I wanted to take some time to thank everyone who came out to The Field House last Wednesday night for the happy hour in support of the Harvey Forsyth Memorial Fund. It was an amazing turnout and it was great to reacquaint with so many old friends (you who you are) who I hadn’t seen in years and years. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, don’t fret, there will be plenty more opportunities as the event wasn’t a one-shot deal.

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for all of the fantastic comments, through Facebook and text messages and emails and in person, about my post about Harv last Wednesday. It was a truly humbling experience. I really appreciate it.

word

bobbery [bobuh-ree] n. a disturbance; brawl

birthday

Martin Van Buren (1782), Walt Disney (1901), Strom Thurmond (1902), Dr. Dre (1963), Margaret Cho (1968)

standpoint

I usually steer clear of pontificating about the NFL on here for two reasons: (1) I don’t generally give a shit about the NFL and (2) No one seems to really give a shit about my opinion when it comes to the NFL.

But today I’m gonna do it anyway because I’ve become increasingly interested in the unlikely rise of Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow, the guy who was supposed to suck as a quarterback in the NFL, despite being a Heisman Trophy winner and winning a national championship at the collegiate level.

For those of you who might’ve been recently rescued after becoming stranded in a mountainous region when your plane went down and are just now just catching up on everything you’ve missed in the past couple of months, here’s a quick recap on Tim Tebow’s so far:

1. Although Denver fans are clamoring for him to be the starter, Tim Tebow begins the NFL season as the number 3 quarterback on the Broncos’ depth chart.

2. The Broncos get off to a 1-4 start, prompting head coach John Fox to succumb to the pressure. He tags Tebow as his new starting quarterback.

3. Instead of floundering, as most experts predict he will, Tebow goes 6-1 as a starter and puts the Broncos in the improbable position of playoff hopefuls.

All right, so that’s what’s happened so far in a nutshell.

And it’s not the most important thing going on in the world but it is pretty interesting simply because everyone in the know when it comes to the NFL seems to be gleefully anticipating the day when Tebow falls flat on his face. And that’s most likely because they’re befuddled by how the dude just keeps winning games, week after week.

Predictability is the most appealing facet of the NFL. Sure, upsets occasionally happen but, for the most part, the outcome is sort of predetermined. That’s why NFL commentators have the best job in the world. They spend all week telling fans what team is going to win and what team is going to lose and the reasons why. And when they’re right, they proclaim their genius in an I-told-you-so tone. And when they’re wrong, they cite it as the very reason they love the game, praising the parity of the league, “any given Sunday” and all of that.

But Tebow confuses them. For all intents and purposes, he’s not supposed to be successful as an NFL quarterback. He’s not a gifted passer in a game that’s mostly all passing. He’s not a conventional player, a wildcard. He’s overly religious and too nice a guy. He’s not supported by his coach or the most important guy in Denver, John Elway.

In essence, Tebow’s been told, “Listen, buddy, we’ve explored all of the options and, really, if there was any other choice we’d be going with that but there’s none forthcoming so just get in there and try not to make us the laughing stock of the league.”

And Tebow probably doesn’t curse but if he did, he’s mostly likely saying something like, “Hey, fuckers, how do you like me now?”

quotation

Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they’re in the game. ↔ Paul Rodriguez

tune

Yet another unearthed song from my broken down, antique iPod that only works when it I plug into my laptop. Here’s “Teenagers Talking” by Sunny Day Sets Fire.

gallimaufry

→ If you’re ever in Philadelphia and you’re wondering to yourself what restaurant serves the best burger, follow these intructions: (1) Get your ass to 19th and Lombard where you’ll find The Pub and Kitchen. (2) Enter the building. (3) Order the Churchill Burger. (4) After it’s placed in front of you, eat the Churchill Burger. (5) Spend the next week telling everyone about it. (Like I’ve been doing.)

Don’t ask these people where they’re effin from. It’s kind of a sore subject.

Herman Cain has suspended his presidential campaign due to his murky grasp on fidelity and how it pertains to marriage. Yeah, the douchebag had a pretty slim shot at the presidency but I’m gonna miss his chutzpah.

08.30.11 – a tuesday

word

homologate [huhmoluh-geyt, hoh-] v. 1. to approve; confirm or ratify 2. to register (a specific make of automobile in general production) so as to make it eligible for international racing competition

birthday

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797), Fred MacMurray (1908), Ted Williams (1918), Warren Buffett (1930), John Peel (1939), Tug McGraw (1944), Lewis Black (1948), Michael Chiklis (1963), Cameron Diaz (1972)

standpoint

Admittedly, I haven’t been writing very much lately. But I have been reading. You’re probably wondering to yourself, “Hey, Josh, what’s on your nightstand right now?” Well, I’ll tell ya, curious reader.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne – Wow. I’ve read a good deal about Native American history but this book was a complete eye-opener.

Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War by T. J. Stiles – Historically accurate but pretty friggin’ dense. I’m almost 60 pages in and still not into the actual life of Jesse James.

The Peep Diaries by Hal Niedzviecki – A few years ago, I went to San Francisco on what was probably the worst vacation of my life. It was five days of absolute awfulness but with two bright spots: I got to hang with my good friend Kevlo and I was able to visit City Lights Books, a lifelong dream of mine. I was extremely rushed and bought The Peep Diaries to avoid causing a problem. After I got home, I let a friend borrow the book before I got a chance to read it. Recently, I got it back and made it about 100 pages in before I lost interest.

The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks – It’s next on my list. I’ll let you know.

I’m always looking for good stuff to read. Any suggestions?

quotation

If you’re going through hell, keep going. ↔ Winston Churchill

tune

I’ve been into Sam Roberts for quite some time now. When I first heard “Where Have All the Good People Gone?” I became an instant fan.

And then, as with most musical talents, Sam Roberts went through some growing pains, began performing under the name Sam Roberts Band and released some stuff that was a bit off the mark. But I didn’t give up hope and Collider, his latest album is more promising. Check out “Let It In.” Let me know what you think.

gallimaufry

Hurricane Irene was pretty bad. But I guess it could’ve been worse.

→ Thanks to my good friend Tyler, I’m finally able to play DVDs again and that means I get to watch The State, which will never stop being the funniest show ever.

→ The NFL season hasn’t even officially started yet and I all ready want everyone to shut the fuck up about it.

08.15.11 – a monday

word

entelechy [en-teluh-kee] n. 1. a realization or actuality as opposed to a potentiality 2. (in vitalist philosophy) a vital agent or force directing growth and life

birthday

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769), Sir Walter Scott (1771), Charles Comiskey (1859), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875), Edna Ferber (1885), Julia Child (1912), Oscar Peterson (1925), Debra Messing (1968), Anthony Anderson (1970), Ben Affleck (1972), Natasha Henstridge (1974)

standpoint

To quote rock legend Aaron Lewis, “It’s been a while.” (I couldn’t remember that dude’s name and had to look it up. Sadly, Staind is still in existence. Why is it that the suckiest bands never seem to go away?) In any case, here’s some of the inconsequential nonsense floating around my cranium.

→ I’ve got a ton of t-shirts, each cooler than the next. It’s true. I recently found my He-Man and the Masters of the Universe t-shirt and I’ve been getting solid feedback on it. (That’s not me in the picture, it’s one of those pretentious t-shirt models.)

→ I finally watched Inception. It was good, not great.

→ I watched The A-Team movie again. It totally blew. Again.

→ Philadelphia dive bars. Ever since Brian McManus wrote a book , I’ve been involved in several conversations concerning real dive bars. (Sorry, brother, but Oscar’s? McGlinchey’s?) For my money, the Casmar Cafe in Conshohocken and Towey’s Tavern in Chestnut Hill (which I won’t even link to) are tied for the dive bar championship. McManus’ bars are simply a collection of spots that truly test hipsters’ comfort threshold.

→ The Ames Straw Poll is yet another reason I’m seriously considering moving to South America. Christ. Are you kidding me?

quotation

No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it. ↔ Harry Emerson Fosdick

tune

Foster The People‘s “Houdini” is one straight-up kickass track. I listen to it at least once a day. Minimum.

gallimaufry

“This has been a wake-up call for our country.” You think, Einstein?

→ If you’re one of the New York Giants fans who posted comments on Steve Smith’s Facebook page, the rest of us are wondering if maybe it’s high time you explored some therapy options in your surrounding community.

→ Sucks. TLA Video will be out of business within the next year. The times, oh, they are a changin’.

07.25.11 – a monday

word

flivver [fliv-er] n. 1. Older Slang. an automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive and old 2. Slang. something of unsatisfactory quality or inferior grade

birthday

Thomas Eakins (1844), Estelle Getty (1923), Matt LeBlanc (1967), Brad Renfro (1982)

standpoint

So I’m sure you’re all tiring of my excuses (or lack thereof) for not updating as much as we’ve all grown accustomed. But shit just keeps getting in the way. For instance, last week I wrenched my back due to an unfortunate sneeze (lame, I know) and it was really all I could do to get up and down the stairs for a day or two.

But here’s some stuff I was concentrating/obsessing on while I was laid up.

→ I’m off the whole James Spader appearance on the season finale of The Office for the time being (almost). My latest thing is Conan O’Brien and “It looks good!” I’ve been annoying everyone with it, especially my exceedingly patient girlfriend who I’m assuming understands I just need to get it out of my system. Here’s a sample of what I’m referring to:

It’s positively addicting.

→ The NFL lockout. What a bunch of complete nonsense. There will be an NFL season, people. In the oft chance I’m wrong and the parties can’t come to an agreement, I’ll probably just going on living life as usual.

→ Next year sometime, there’s going to be a movie released, starring Robert De Niro, with the best title ever: Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Come on, you know you’re curious.

→ Last, and I guess most important, I was reading about the US debt ceiling talks between John Boehner and President Obama breaking down and now it seems that both the Republican and Democratic parties are prepping for action. And it made me think of the term cluster fuck which was originally a military term used to describe a situation in which there were too many officers involved in solving a problem that basically required only one clear cut decision.  If you’re a conscientious thinker (or at the very least masquerade as one) then the time has come when you need to re-evaluate just what in the hell is going on around you. You hate Obama and his flaky liberal agenda? Fine. You think the Republican party is comprised of close-minded gasbags? Fine. You have the sneaking suspicion that maybe Ralph Nader wasn’t batshit crazy? Fine (maybe). Whichever way you lean or don’t, it’s essentially defunct nowadays. It’s paramount that, as of today, we start catechizing the political dogma we’ve been forever spoon-fed and begin formulating a new way of doing things because, and I know this is an unpopular mindset, this shit just ain’t working.

quotation

Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem. ↔ Benjamin Hoff

tune

I always loved this version of “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” by Marshall Crenshaw from the Lou Diamond Phillips‘ classic film, La Bamba.

gallimaufry

→ Everyone always said that they could see it coming but it doesn’t make the death of 27 year old Amy Winehouse any less tragic. Rest in peace, troubled soul.

→ I’m pretty sure the only person dismayed by this is Sarah Palin. Christ, could she be more laughable?

→ Looks like my chance purchase of Washed Out’s Within and Without created quite a buzz. I mean, it could just be a coincidence that Ernest Greene‘s album has taken off into the stratosphere since I wrote about it on this very blog last week but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s all ready a thank you letter headed my way.

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.

03.23.11 – a wednesday

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to NewsvineAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

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.