February 15th, 2012

word

anomie [anuh-mee] n. Sociology. a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people

birthday

Galileo Galilei (1564), Susan B. Anthony (1820), Harvey Korman (1927), Jane Seymour (1951), Matt Groening (1954), Chris Farley (1964), Conor Oberst (1980)

standpoint

I have nothing substantive to share today. I hope everyone had as great a Valentine’s Day as I did. You most likely deserved it. 🙂

And for my Facebook followers who are wondering why I took down my sardonic status update from last night, it’s because I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and be an accepting guy. But, christ, sometimes you people make it harder than it needs to be.

quotation

The language of friendship is not words but meanings. ↔ Henry David Thoreau

tune

So my nephew (and godson) is heavily into hip-hop. The other day I sent him the following video clip for “Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest and asked him what he thought. His response was this: “Not a bad song and not a great one.” I just didn’t know how to properly respond. I guess he’ll eventually figure it out, right?

gallimaufry

Who out there was surprised by Oprah’s actions here? If you weren’t, you need to really explore why the hell you like Oprah so much.

→ See? You all thought I was nuts. For months I’ve been telling everyone who’d listen that Malachy the Pekingese was going to roll right over the competition at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Now who’s laughing? (Before I get responses to this, I was being facetious. I had no idea who Malachy was before I read about him last night. It may seem weird to some of you that I have explain that but I can show you emails that would make your head spin. WordPress needs to develop a sense of humor filter.)

→ And just when you thought the Jerry Sandusky thing couldn’t get worse, here come this. Awfulness of the highest order.

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04.30.10 – A Friday

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much obliged

Before I get into the last post, I wanted to thank all of you for reading and posting comments to the daily euneJeune. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all the feedback and support.

For their role, however large or small, they played in making this a rewarding undertaking, I’d like to give a special thanks to the following people: Donika Miller, Marc Schuster, David Frees, John Sellers, Ezgi Bilici, Joe Taylor, John Hay, Kate Jacovino, Jeannie Matamoros, Beth Treisner, Heather Petrovsky, Courtney Papada Daly, Kelly Kampf, Jonathan Chriswell, Bill McLeer, Kristie Attardi, Wynn Sanders, Mike Graveley, Richard O’Connor, Brian McFadden, Kevin Emery, Adam Schwartzberg and Annette Burgess. Your support was huge.

Sorry if you deserved a mention and didn’t get one. Doesn’t mean anything other than I’m forgetful.

Also, a special shout-out goes to Mindninja, or Jen, or whatever the hell your name is, for stalking me for a few months last year. Your unrelenting negativity taught me there’s always going to be someone who flat out disagrees with my perspective. I have no idea who you are, but I have my theories (ex-girlfriend, ex-friend, etc.). Whoever you are, I hope the medication is working.

All right, now to today’s installment.

word

abeyance [uh-bey-uhns] n. 1. temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension: Let’s hold that problem in abeyance for a while 2. Law. a state or condition of real property in which title is not as yet vested in a known titleholder: an estate in abeyance

birthday

Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651), David Thompson (1770), Alice B. Toklas (1877), Percy Heath (1923), Johnny Horton (1925), Cloris Leachman (1926), Willie Nelson (1933), Gary Collins (1938), Burt Young (1940), Jill Clayburgh (1944), Isaiah Thomas (1961), Akon (1973), Johnny Galecki (1975), Kirsten Dunst (1982)

standpoint

It’s finally here. The day I’m closing shop on the euneJeune daily. 14 months ago, I began this to prove to myself I could write something, good or bad, on a daily basis. And, for the most part, I did. I’ll always look back to this blog as something I’m proud of. I’m going to miss it badly.

But life goes on and I need to spend the time I allotted for this and use it for the writing I was meant to. Don’t worry, I won’t be entirely disappearing from the internet. I’ve been invited to be a contributor on Popularity Contest, a blog recently started by my friend Marc Schuster, and I’ll be posting stories on there from time-to-time.

I love Esquire and my favorite section is always “What I’ve Learned.” For my last Standpoint, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about myself, about the internet, about the world, from what I’ve done here.

» Astrology is horseshit. The day of the year someone happens to be born is completely inconsequential. Oskar Schindler and Saddam Hussein share the same birthday. So do Leonardo da Vinci and Seth Rogen, Raphael and Zach Braff, Vincent van Gogh and MC Hammer, James Madison and Erik Estrada. Looking for similarities within those pairings is ridiculous.

» Like most writers, I guess, I have a tendency to concentrate on troublesome people. I’ve focused more on Glenn Beck, Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin than I have on Chuck Klosterman, Conan O’Brien and Jack Kerouac. Something I should dwell on for a stretch.

» I have a broader vocabulary than I used to. The other day, I heard someone describe himself as a polemic and I knew exactly what he meant. (He was calling himself a controversialist.)

» The amount of news stories on any given day is staggering. Between the “reputable” sources and the bloggers, it’s fairly easy to find a news story in which the facts are presented just the way you like them. It’s great because no one ever again has to be wrong. Even when they are.

» I challenge you to find any quotations website where Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Ralph Waldo Emerson aren’t prominently featured. Go on, I dare you.

» Probably even Zach Rogue thinks I listen to too much Rogue Wave.

» When you write a blog, your greatest friends won’t read it. If you offered my best friend Harvey $1 million to tell you just one thing I wrote about here in the past six months, he’d be forced to forfeit the cash. (I have to say Joe Taylor is an exception to this rule. Or I’d never hear the end of it.)

» If you’re doing anything online that’s in need of promotion and you fail to see the merits of Facebook an Twitter, you need to reconsider. The days where I shared or tweeted my latest post, my traffic was over three times higher than those days I didn’t. The stuff works.

» One thing anyone who writes needs to remember is that there are those out there who internalize everything they read. Because of that, you’ll receive negative and hurtful attacks. Never let the vitriol people spew stop you from expressing yourself. Fuck those people. Wake up tomorrow and keep going.

I’ve learned all that and more. I hope you learned some things, as well.

quotation

Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. Richard Bach

tune

For my last post I thought this Elliott Smith song was rather appropriate. Enjoy “A Fond Farewell.”

gallimaufry

→ If you’re not yet reading Hyperbole and a Half, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. One of the greatest blogs I’ve read.

→ Man, US Senators sure do fancy themselves some meddling. Hey, elected officials, I’ve got to believe there some other problem you can be trying to solve. We’d be in a pretty sweet spot right now if Facebook privacy issues was the country’s highest priority.

This is the closest thing I’ve seen resembling honest journalism in a long, long time.

04.19.10 – A Monday

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word

proxy [prok-see] n. 1. the agency, function, or power of a person authorized to act as the deputy or substitute for another 2. the person so authorized; substitute; agent 3. a written authorization empowering another person to vote or act for the signer, as a meeting of stockholders 4. an ally or confederate who can be relied upon to speak or act in one’s behalf

birthday

Roger Sherman (1721), Eliot Ness (1903), Dick Sargent (1930), Jayne Mansfield (1933), Dudley Moore (1935), Tim Curry (1946), Mary Jo Slater (1946), Paloma Picasso (1949), Suge Knight (1965), Dar Williams (1967), Ashley Judd (1968), Jesse James (1969), Kate Hudson (1979), Hayden Christensen (1981), Maria Sharapova (1987)

standpoint

I’ll admit I didn’t think the Philadelphia Flyers, after barely squeaking in, would do much of anything in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. After last night’s 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils, it appears I may have been mistaken. The Flyers look hungry and, unlike the last couple weeks of the regular season, ready to play like a team.

So I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my Top Five Flyers Of All Time. I do want to concede here that I only got into the Orange and Black fifteen years ago, so my list isn’t going to include fan favorites like Bobby Clarke, Tim Kerr or Pelle Lindbergh. But, it’s my list and not yours, so deal with it.

5. Roman Cechmanek – Drafted by the Flyers at ripe age of 29 in 2000, he played three seasons before being shipped out to the Los Angeles Kings. During his short stint he had 92 wins, 20 shutouts and GAA of 1.96 and was the Vezina Trophy runner-up in his first season.

4. Jody Hull – The right wing played from 1998 – 2001 and wasn’t exactly a scoring machine but was the consummate defensive forward, one of many I feel the team discarded too soon.

3. Eric Desjardins – Coming to the Flyers in the historical 1995 trade with the Montreal Canadiens that brought him, John LeClair and Gilbert Dionne for Mark Recchi, he became one of the best ever blueliners, finishing only second in overall points behind the legendary Mark Howe with 396 points in 738 games.

2. Shjon Podein – November 12, 1998 was one of the saddest of all the days I’ve been a Flyers fan. That was the date Podein was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for Keith Jones, another player I became a big fan of. But I’ve always missed the personality and grit “Pods” brought to every game. A truly stand up individual.

1. Eric Lindros – I’ll just say this about Lindros: If he started out now in today’s NHL, with Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, he may just be the guy to break all the unbreakable records set by Wayne Gretzky.

You may agree or disagree with my picks but, hey, you’re entitled to your opinion.

quotation

The bed is a bundle of a paradoxes: we go at it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it, but me make up our bodies to keep it late. ↔ Charles Caleb Colton

tune

As far as jazz goes nowadays, there’s not much new being brought to the table. One band who’s bucking that trend is The Bad Plus. At least, the last time I checked in on them, they were. Here’s “Big Eater.”

gallimaufry

→ As soon as everyone involved in this debacle realizes it’s not going away, the quicker it actually will. Just come clean, Lower Merion Township.

→ A few weeks ago, we were all joking around about this but I think it’s time we got a little more focused. No Thomas Jefferson?

→ Why this dude is trying to admit to this is something I’ll never understand.

03.19.10 – A Friday

word

tome [tohm] n. 1. a book, esp. a very heavy, large, or learned book 2. a volume forming a part of a larger work

birthday

William Bradford (1890), Wyatt Earp (1848), William Jennings Bryan (1860), Earl Warren (1891), Moms Mabley (1894), Irving Wallace (1916), Richie Ashburn (1927), Phillip Roth (1933), Ursula Andress (1936), Sirhan Sirhan (1944), Glenn Close (1947), Harvey Weinstein (1952), Bruce Willis (1955), Andy Reid (1958)

standpoint

Drums, please. Once again, it’s time for another installment of the Wishing Well, a weekly post detailing wrongs I wanted to see righted in this decaying world of ours.

I WISH everyone would stop with the, “I told you so’s,” about Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson. Like many of us, the fellow has his share of problems. Why is it that when people like A.I. start facing his their demons, most of us feel the need to point out how right we were all along? Cut the dude some slack, for crying out loud. Compassion is truly dead.

I WISH we’d all just agree to the fact that FOX News, like most other news channels, is a bunch of right-wing nonsense. Why are we still having this debate? Are people really that stupid? Don’t answer that. I’m all ready down on people to know the answer.

I WISH I’d never seen the footage of former Olympic skier Bill Johnson‘s crash on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It made me so uneasy, I won’t even post it here.

I WISH I never read another “helpful” piece, or hear anyone complain, about how we are losing our privacy online. Seriously, folks, let’s get stop trying to figure out what’s wrong with the internet and start a nationwide search for our common sense.

I WISH I was at this year’s SXSW. Next year, I’ll be there. Try to stop me suckas!

What about you, people? What are you wishing for?

quotation

Paranoids are not paranoid because they’re paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.Thomas Pynchon

tune

One of the best kept secrets of the Philadelphia music scene, although he shouldn’t be because he’s that damn good, is Ben Arnold. He’s been playing around here for two decades now and, if you ever have the opportunity, you should definitely check out one of his live shows. Here’s “So Low.”

gallimaufry

I’ve never met Lerato Nomvuyo Mzamane but, for this alone, I love the woman. Let’s all hope she puts Oprah in her proper place.

→ When I read garbage like this, I’m absolutely certain, sooner or later, no one will be allowed to do anything at all. Ever.

→ Holy shit. When I grow up, I want to be exactly like this guy.

→ For the record, I’ll have nothing to say about college basketball, which is currently experiencing an episode of “madness,” due to an overall dearth of fondness for the proceedings.

03.12.10 – A Friday

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If he was still alive, Jack Kerouac would have turned 88 today. I’m saluting one of my favorite writers by dedicating most of today’s post to the man who despised being called “The King of the Beats.”


word

dharma [dahr-muh, duhr-] n. 1. essential quality or character, as of the cosmos or one’s own nature 2. conformity to religious law, custom, duty, or one’s own quality or character 3. virtue 4. religion 5. law, esp. religious law 6. the doctrine or teaching of the Buddha

birthday

Clement Studebaker (1831), Simon Newcomb (1835), Julia Lennon (1914), Elaine de Kooning (1918), Gordon MacRae (1921), Jack Kerouac (1922), Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas (1931), Al Jarreau (1940), Sammy “The Bull” Gravano (1945), Liza Minnelli (1946), Mitt Romney (1947), James Taylor (1948), Rob Cohen (1949), Jon Provost (1950), Ron Jeremy (1953), Marlon Jackson (1957), Courtney B. Vance (1960), Darryl Strawberry (1962), Steve Levy (1965), Aaron Eckhart (1968), Graham Coxon (1969), Dave Eggers (1970), Pete Doherty (1979), Samm Levine (1982)

standpoint

Often, I get the feeling knowledgeable people think a little less of me when I tell them Jack Kerouac is one of my favorite writers. That’s fine with me. I don’t back down from my love for the guy.

My initial exposure to Kerouac was probably similar to many others. I used to ditch gym class in high school. By my sophomore year, I figured out the teacher wasn’t entirely vigilant with his attendance records and so many of us didn’t show up that the dude would give everyone at least a C, most likely so that no one ever got wise. That was fine with me. I found other ways to occupy my time which usually resulted in getting caught for ditching, garnering numerous detentions.

During my senior year, I discovered it was easier to go to the library due to the fact it was a place where the faculty didn’t look for troublemakers like myself . The second floor stacks were mainly occupied by those underclassmen who felt more at home in the library than the cafeteria where their classmates, especially the bullies, weren’t going to bother them. It was in the back of one of those stacks where I would take off my suit jacket, roll it up into a ball and try to sleep for a half an hour. But, even as seldom traveled as the second floor was, inevitably someone I knew would come by and ask, “LeJeune, what the fuck are you doing up here?” No matter what stage of my life I’ve been in, people disrupting my sleep has always been something I can count on. And so it was on the second floor of that library.

But in one corner of that floor, there was an area where the library staff stored items it used for seasonal displays. Among the props were some large cardboard constructions made to look like gigantic books. After my first few failed attempts at a midday siesta, I dragged two of the “books” over to the stacks and, with me inside, piled them on top of each other, creating a wall. The younger students must have assumed the wall was there for a reason and didn’t bother with it. I’d finally created a restful little nook.

One day while I was preparing for my nap, I noticed a book resting on top of the others. It was On the Road by Jack Kerouac. It didn’t belong there. I guessed I wasn’t the only student who figured out my second floor nook was a good place for some solitude. I picked it up and started reading, thinking it would put me to sleep after a few pages.

It didn’t. For the next few days, I didn’t sleep. I read. For me, On the Road was special. I’d read others like it. My high school’s English curriculum was pretty progressive. But it was the first novel of its kind that I’d read by my own accord, on my own terms. The notion of discovering and reading On the Road all by myself was more important than the actual text.

But what I read was far from useless. I experienced On the Road at the exact right time in my life. Still young enough to make an indelible impression. Old enough to begin realizing there was a ton of bullshit in the world.

I’ve read hundreds of books since On the Road, and I’m not so naive to think, in the scope of all literature, it’s as grand an accomplishment as some proffer. But for many of us, it’s symbolic of the American youth’s rite of passage. And, for that reason alone, it’s a book that rises above the multitude of critics who try to dismiss. For that reason alone, it’ll never go away.

quotation

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion. ↔ Jack Kerouac

tune

A few months back, I made a big stir about the newest Kerouac documentary, One Fast Move Or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur. And rightfully so. It was a good, albeit completely depressing, watch. Plus, the soundtrack by Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard was even better once I saw it in the context of the film. Here’s Farrar and Gibbard performing “These Roads Don’t Move.”

gallimaufry

In a world that seems to be fixated on pointing all the shortcomings of us males, it’s nice to see someone say something nice about men for a change. Especially those of us with above-average intelligence.

→ A good friend of mine, who I’m uncertain wants his name dropped yet in connection with this, is one of the creators of Popularity Contest: The Anodyne to Your Pop-Culture Blues. Bookmark it. Once it’s big, you’ll be able to tell all your friends, “I know how great it is, man, I’ve been reading it since it started.” At the very least, you’ll discover the meaning of anodyne.

→ While I was writing this, The Marriage Ref was on my television. Not sure if the show’s going to make it. But it did make me think of a reality show I might, in fact, watch. It would be on Bravo or maybe E! and it would feature Madonna and Oprah Winfrey pitted against one another in a contest. Every episode would comprise of each woman being analyzed by one of the world’s foremost psychologists to help them resolve their issues with men. The series finale would have both women presenting their cases to a panel of judges, made up of equal parts mental health professionals and regular folks. The prize for the winner would be to keep on living her exceptionally wonderful life. The loser would be allowed to say her goodbyes to fans, friends and family before being launched into space in a dumpster. It doesn’t matter to me which one loses. Either way, we all win. Sorry, that was a bit long-winded but how many of you disagree? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

03.09.10 – A Tuesday

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word

repartee [rep-er-tee, –tey, -ahr-] n. 1. a quick, witty reply 2. conversation full of such replies 3. skill in making such replies

birthday

Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Mickey Spillane (1918), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Robin Trower (1945), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Bobby Sands (1954), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Steve Wilkos (1964), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1973), Thor Halvorssen (1976), Julia Mancuso (1984), Brittany Snow (1986), Bow Wow (1987)

standpoint

Two nights ago, we were all once again treated to the annual hullabaloo that is The Oscars. Lots of us were watching the show. 41.3 million of us. Granted, that’s not even 10% of the United States’ population but it’s still a large group of people, the largest in five years. Whoopdee-doo.

But why were we all watching? I suspect some of you actually watched out of your sheer love for the art of cinema. Or maybe you watched in an attempt to make sure you weren’t the only one in the office the next morning who couldn’t participate in the endless post-Oscar debates and be forced to, like, do work or something. Or maybe you flipped through the channels and happened upon the show and became immediately engaged by the obvious sexual tension between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, this year’s co-hosts. Or maybe you’re like me and you simply watched the damn thing to beleaguer yourself with one of the prime examples of how crappy our culture has become.

I watched it, albeit in my usual offish fashion. But I did notice some amusing peculiarities.

→ In what’s being dubbed a “Kanye Moment,” some woman named Elinor Burkett, apparently one of the producers of  something called Music By Prudence, stormed the stage and stole the allotted speech time from the film’s director, one Roger Ross Williams. Some described it as “uncomfortable to watch.” Uh…all right. Now Burkett has two things in common with Kanye West: They both display an irreverent attitude toward award show decorum, and they both look like dudes.

Neil Patrick Harris needs to pull in the reins a bit. Does the guy know he’s allowed to turn down offers? At this rate, we’re all going to be sick and tired of him sometime later this week. Hey, NPH, maybe just be a homebody for a while, do a crossword puzzle (or maybe you’re a sudoku man, I have no idea) or repaint the living room like you’ve been saying you’re going to since forever. Or, here’s an idea. Maybe watch some television and try to find a channel you won’t see your own face.

Fisher Stevens, the guy who played that goofy scientist in Short Circuit and was in that episode of Friends that time won an Oscar for a documentary that had something to do with dolphins. Johnny Five is indeed alive.

→ Always the cutup, Ben Stiller came onstage to present the award for Best Makeup all done up as a character from Avatar. I thought he looked a lot like what Michael Jackson might’ve looked like twenty years down the road.

→ Throughout the entire show, George Clooney had a look on his face that, I swear, made me think the guy has some sort of beef being stuck in a chair with a camera up his nose for four hours. What’s up with that? Lighten up, buddy, you’ve come a long way since Booker Brooks.

The Hurt Locker won 6 times. Two of them involved sound and were accepted by some guy who looked like a recovering zombie. Also, the lady who directed it won Best Director and Best Film but all anyone wanted to talk about was that she was once married to fellow nominee James Cameron. I was glad she was able to get back at the Academy for what’s still considered one of history’s biggest snubs when it completely ignored Point Break. Not even a courtesy Best Supporting Actor nod to Gary Busey, for crying out loud. But Kathryn Bigelow showed them. Now who’s laughing? Definitely not Busey and, even if he is, he’s laughing about something only he fully understands.

→ I liked that thing they do when 5 actors get up on stage and say something seemingly heartfelt and ostensibly accurate about the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. Oprah Winfrey spoke about Gabourey Sidibe from Precious in the way she does about everything. No matter what Oprah’s prattling on about, she’s really just talking about herself. Sidibe probably didn’t care as she was most likely couldn’t stop thinking about hunky Gerard Butler, who she met and delivered the proposition, “Let’s grab a bottle of champagne and see where the night goes!” Later, she told more than one reporter, in regards to her attraction to Butler, “I’d hit that.” Whatever happened to playing hard to get? Gabourey, it’s all about the hunt and the chase. Don’t just throw it out there.

→ One of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges won for Best Actor. Of all the movies mentioned during the show, Crazy Heart was one of two I’d actually seen. (Star Trek was the other.) Kudos to Bridges, by the way, who, in giving his acceptance speech, contributed yet another item to the long list every stoner keeps of shit you can still do when you’re high.

Overall, I enjoyed watching The Oscars. I might even watch next year. Hell, I might even get out there and see some relevant movies for a change. Who knows?

quotation

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.  From each of them goes out its own voice… and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.Gilbert Highet

tune

Sometimes, I’m resistant to things for no good reason. What can I say? I’m hardheaded. You love that about me, by the way. In any case, my wonderful girlfriend asked me to watch the new OK Go video about five times before I had the good judgment to trust her. I learned an important relationship lesson: Believe her when she tells me I’m definitely going to like something she’s sent me. (Five times.) Not only did I realize that (a) I like OK Go and, as is the case from time to time, I miss out on good music due to a some sort of stigma I’ve created out of thin air, and (b) I can’t ascertain how I’ve managed to escape the incredible ingenuity of Rube Goldberg Machines. They’re absolutely fucking nuts. Here’s the new OK Go offering titled “This Too Shall Pass.”

And if you suddenly find yourself yearning for some more Rube Goldberg Machine videos, worry not, I’m happy to provide them. Check these out.

gallimaufry

Reunited and it feels so good. T.O. and D-Nabb put aside their differences for (What else?) money. Poor Antonio Gates, stuck with those two as teammates.

→ Some may argue that Facebook made this possible. I’d say FB made it easier would be more accurate.

→ I didn’t need another reason not to vacation in balmy Alaska. But I got one anyway.

02.08.10 – A Monday

word

ebullient [i-buhl-yuhnt, i-bool-] adj. 1. overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited: The award winner was in an ebullient mood at the dinner in her honor 2. bubbling up like a boiling liquid

birthday

Samuel Butler (1612), John Ruskin (1819), William Tecumseh Sherman (1820), Jules Verne (1828), Kate Chopin (1850), Lana Turner (1921), Jack Lemmon (1925), Neal Cassady (1926), James Dean (1931), John Williams (1932), Ted Koppel (1940), Nick Nolte (1941), Robert Klein (1942), Mary Steenburgen (1953), John Grisham (1955), Vince Neil (1961), Joshua Kadison (1963), Gary Coleman (1968), Mary McCormack (1969), Seth Green (1974)

standpoint

I’m a football fan but not a huge one. I halfheartedly participate in two (2) fantasy leagues and have a moderate interest in my hometown Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m much less emotionally invested in the NFL than I let on. Most years, I watch the Super Bowl more out of some misplaced obligation to some archaic sense of manhood. But I didn’t feel the same way this year. I actually had a mildly strong desire to watch last night because I like both the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, along with their respective quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

But I was curious to see how Super Bowl XLIV would be a different experience for me. And, lucky for you, I chronicled it. Here goes.

Note: I was reasonably sure that the Colts would win and cover the spread (+5.5) and the over (57 pts.) would become a matter of fact.

Pregame

» Not going to lie, I watched golf until just about the start of the game so I didn’t get to see what inane crap led up to the actual footage from Miami.

» But I did tune in time to see the Colts get introduced onto the field to the same song by The Who that opens up every episode of CSI:Miami, which turned out to be all of The Who I needed.

» Queen Latifah sang America The Beautiful with a choir and musical accompaniment. It didn’t really work all that well. Looked like she was never really in sync. Carrie Underwood sang The Star-Spangled Banner and it was better. During all this, cameras were on Peyton Manning, who looked amped to the point he was cursing the fact Francis Scott Key and Katharine Bates were ever born.

» The next class of inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were introduced as honorary whatevers to the coin toss. Emmitt Smith was the honorary coin tosser. Saints called heads. Smith flipped the coin directly at the Saints players, who sidestepped it. It was heads. Saints got the ball.

1st Quarter – 6:20(ish) PM

» Betty White and Abe Vigoda starred in a clever ad for Snickers. I’m completely sure those two actors were used because about 99% of viewers thought both had died years ago.

» The ad for the Boost Mobile Shuffle, featuring prominent members of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, was awful.

» In keeping with Hollywood’s trend of recycling, there’s another Robin Hood movie coming out starring Russell Crowe. Looks like both Braveheart and Gladiator ate a bunch of bows and arrows and vomited on each other. I’ll probably go see it.

» First quarter came to a close. Colts-10. Saints-0. I wasn’t paying much attention to the actual game.

2nd Quarter – 7:00 PM

» Pretty fast 1st quarter. At this point, I was certain the Colts were going to run away with the game.

» A Cars.com ad came on, detailing the life of a boy genius type doing all sorts of amazing boy genius type stuff. But when it came time to buy a car, he was at a loss. He looked to his mobile device for answers and, you guessed it, Cars.com came to the rescue. At one point during the ad, the boy genius delivered a baby Bengal tiger while on safari. That kicked off a conversation between my girlfriend and I where we discussed her desire to bring a baby panther into the apartment. Negotiations reached a stalemate after she refused to budge on the name of the baby panther. Oh well.

» The Saints began to make a game of it. Pretty sure they kicked a field goal.

» One ad had Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman on the same couch talking about something. I’m not sure what because I was distracted. Leno didn’t look like he was actually there. The next ad (maybe) had Brett Favre making fun of the fact he never actually retires. I like it when celebrities/athletes know to do that.

» The Colts stopped the Saints on a 4th and goal from the 1-yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half. See? I pay mind to the important stuff.

» I wasn’t quite sure how it happened but the Saints kick another field goal just as time expires on the 1st half. Colts – 10. Saints – 6.

Halftime – 7:50 PM

» The Who played. The Who sucked. I monitored Twitter feeds instead. Best Tweet? “Wake up your great grandma. The Who is on.”

3rd Quarter – 8:22 PM

» The Saints began the 2nd half with an onside kick. Which they recovered. Which turned out to be huge. Saints – 13. Colts – 10.

» According to a new Volkswagen ad, the classic car game, Punch Buggy, has now been expanded to include the entire Volkswagen fleet. As a matter of fact, it seems whatever substance it’s painting its cars with nowadays is so cutting edge, even Stevie Wonder can see it. Much to the chagrin of an arm sore Tracy Morgan. Classic.

» The Colts’ Joseph Addai ran in for a touchdown. Colts – 17. Saints – 13. I was a little disappointed about how good of a game it was becoming. I’m not used to the Super Bowl being about the Super Bowl. Not being able to run out of the room in between commercials was messing with my head.

» Two commercials gave me pause in different ways. First, the new E*TRADE baby wasn’t half as funny as the original. Second, Google aired its first ever television ad. I think.

» The Saints kicked another field goal which flew under my radar. End of the 3rd quarter. Colts – 17. Saints – 16.

4th Quarter – 8:56 PM

» Honestly, I should’ve been playing closer attention. The Saints started scoring. They took the lead. They intercepted a very important Peyton Manning pass at a crucial time. I watched the whole thing. I swear. But, as happens more than not, I became embroiled in a debate that made the game take a backseat.

» Super Bowl XLIV ended at 9:45 PM. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 31-17. If I bet the game the way I thought it would go, I would’ve been dead wrong. Yet another reason why I’m not a gambling man.

Overall, a most exhilarating football contest. The best Super Bowl in years. Congrats, New Orleans. Call me when you’re done partying. That should be around June.

quotation

Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.Thomas Pynchon

tune

One band from the 80s that doesn’t get enough credit is The Housemartins. I like to think of them as a sort of catchier version of  The Smiths. Also, they’ve got one of the best titled songs ever – “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.” Actually, after just listening to it, it seems to work nowadays as well.

gallimaufry

→ I just got done reading King of Russia: A Year in the Russian Super League, and it was simple and great. Former NHL head coach and current Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King narrates his experiences as the first ever Canadian coach in Russia. The guy really knows his stuff and he provides great insight into Russian hockey and its players, especially Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeny Malkin.

→ Speaking of the Pittsburgh Penguins, yesterday afternoon’s game between them and the Washington Capitals was just about as complete as you could ask for. Caps won it in overtime 5-4 after being down 4-2 going into the third period.