05.11.11 – a wednesday

word

animalcule [an-uhmal-kyool] n. 1. a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye, as an infusorian or rotifer 2. Archaic. a tiny animal, as a mouse or fly

birthday

Irving Berlin (1888), Salvador Dalí (1904), Louis Farrakhan (1933), Martha Quinn (1959), Natasha Richardson (1963)

standpoint

First, I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who clicked here and made yesterday’s post one of my highest viewed ever.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some things I’m finding irksome today.

→ I often use the word “irksome” to describe how I feel about one topic or another and most times I do, someone has something to say about my use of the word. It’s a perfectly valid word, people, and I’ll use it as I see fit.

→ The character aspersions surrounding Philadelphia Flyers’ captain Mike Richards and the team’s second round exit from the playoffs are completely ridiculous. Including the past two NHL seasons and last year’s Olympics, Richards has played in 204 games, the most of any hockey player in that time span.

→ For ten years, everyone and their grandmother wanted Osama bin Laden dead. Obama gave the order to kill bin Laden and it obviously happened and people have been celebrating. (Christ, last Saturday afternoon some squirrelly dopes in my neighborhood sat outside their house drinking with a sign that said something like, “HONK IF YOU’RE HAPPY BIN LADEN IS DEAD.” And the carhorns were going off fast and furious all day.) But the morbid honeymoon is over and we’re seeing headlines like, “Bin Laden’s death now part of Obama’s re-elect message.” Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Ain’t America the greatest?

quotation

Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, in fearing future. ↔ Antoine Rivarol

tune

This is “Porcupine Racetrack,” one of the best sketches The State ever performed. Here’s the thing. If you don’t think this is funny, I’m not saying we won’t ever be friends but it’s going to be an uphill battle. (Sorry the video is not truly embedded but MTV thrives on being a pain in the ass.)

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:375229

gallimaufry

Speaking of The State and “Porcupine Racetrack,” here’s an interview with Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black and David Wain about how the sketch came to be.

→ Man, there’s nothing worse than not being able to figure out if a company is truly worth $7 billion or not. It’s a real fucking problem.

Advertisements

05.10.11 – a tuesday

word

splenetic [spli-net-ik] adj. 1. of the spleen; splenic 2. irritable; peevish; spiteful 3. Obsolete. affected with, characterized by, or tending to produce melancholy  n. 4. a splenetic person

birthday

John Wilkes Booth (1838), Fred Astaire (1899), David O. Selznick (1902), Donovan (1946), Chris Berman (1955), Mark David Chapman (1956)Sid Vicious (1957), Bono (1962), Young MC (1967), Kenan Thompson (1978)

standpoint

I’ve always been a huge proponent of the way the world has changed since the internet came along. Some people agree with me and deal with me as I go on and on about it. Others don’t and continually ask me to shut the hell up and/or change the damn subject all ready.

I think the internet brings the world together. At least, I’m pretty sure it does. But one thing I’m completely sure about is that the internet is informative. There’s lots of stuff to peruse out there on the information superhighway. (Wow. My auto-correct didn’t give the word “superhighway” one of those squiggly lines it usually does when it can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about. What more evidence could you possibly need? The internet is for real, folks.)

All right, so by now you know I’m digging on the internet and all of its advantages. Well, not all of them. The other day, I heard a story involving Yelp.com that’s making me, someone who’s spent most of my adult life in the restaurant business, reconsider my stance.

Here’s the gist of it: A restaurant receives a superb 3-Bell review from the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Craig LaBan. After reading that, some dude whose Yelp nickname is “Tough Critic” decides to try the place out for himself with his mom and one other person in tow.

“Tough Critic” has obviously been to a few restaurants and maybe even worked in some. He details most every part of his experience, the food, the decor, the clean bathrooms. He even goes so far as to drop the names of the two owners because that’s what you do when you want people to think you’re someone of note.

By his own Yelp review, the guy has a relatively solid experience, giving the place three stars, although he does make sure to mention if he were LaBan (which is probably something this guy routinely fantasizes about), he would have only given 2-Bells to LaBan’s 3-Bells.

Because “Tough Critic” is perturbed with the service he receives from his waiter. He describes his server with statements such like, “not properly trained,” “he just didn’t care,” “huge annoyance,” and, my personal favorite, “knucklehead.” (Also, I actually laughed “Tough Critic” thought it prudent to mention how his mommy started giving the server “the evil eye.”)

After I heard about this review from a fellow service industry employee, and then again after actually reading it, I became increasingly annoyed. Because when assholes like “Tough Critic” submit their clever and narcissistic reviews online, they’re mainly focused on letting everyone know how unhappy they are about how things didn’t go as perfect as they envisioned after reading a food critic’s review. God forbid.  What doesn’t concern these dipshits is that they might actually be screwing around with someone’s life. Restaurant owners, some of them anyway, read online reviews and some of them even act on what is written there.

Even the best of us have bad days at work. To state otherwise is contrary to reason. For those of you who like to give your opinion in one online forum or another, I’m not begrudging you your right to do so. All I’m asking is that you think about the people who might be unfairly effected by the judgment you delve out after a  measly two-hour experience.

(NOTE: I left out some specifics because I am not looking to disparage any establishment or individual.)

quotation

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all. ↔ Oscar Wilde

tune

My friend Tyler told me heard a song on the radio that I might like. And he was right on. Here’s “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People.

gallimaufry

What’s going to be the bigger danger? Terrorist responses to the death of Osama bin Laden? Or the nervous paranoia of the American people? Only time will tell…

→ Aw, come on! I thought these two kids were gonna go the distance.

→ That’s it for today, folks, thanks for reading!

05.04.11 – a wednesday

word

ambit [am-bit] n. 1. circumference; circuit 2. boundary; limit 3. a sphere of operation or influence; range; scope: the ambit of such an action

birthday

Horace Mann (1796), Audrey Hepburn (1929), Paul Gleason (1939), Pia Zadora (1954), Randy Travis (1959), Will Arnett (1970)

standpoint

I understand things. Some individuals who think they know me might not share that opinion but those individuals
are flat out wrong.

But, like a lot of you out there, I encounter certain people, situations, etc., and I’m forced to my hands up in the air, mutter one profanity or another, and admit that I just don’t get it.

For instance, and I know I’m drilling the death of Osama bin Laden into the ground, but why in the world is the White House (as of the time I’m writing these words) deliberating the release of photos taken after bin Laden was shot or when they dropped his sorry ass into the ocean? Human beings need proof. Unless we actually see the dude’s bullet-riddled cranium, it’ll only be a matter of days until everyone starts making up stories about how he’s still alive. And that’s way worse than exposing us to some gruesome snapshots.

In addition, why, if the Navy SEALs’ only objective was to kill bin Laden, would it matter if he was unarmed when they busted into his room? He could’ve had a bazooka resting on his shoulder, the outcome would’ve been the same.

Also, I don’t get how anyone could think that the original Die Hard isn’t a comedy as well as an action movie? Or, how anyone can drive anywhere without getting into a car accident since, by my estimation, about 90% of licensed drivers need to be retested? Or, why everyone doesn’t have a gmail account? Or, why so many people disagreed with a portion of one of my recent posts in which I asserted that the fennec fox is possibly the cutest animal on the planet? (Seriously, folks, what in the hell is wrong with you?)

quotation

There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval. ↔ George Santayana

tune

Free Energy is a band that’s kind of from Philadelphia and I can’t decide whether I like them or find them annoying. But I do like this song, “Something In Common.”

gallimaufry

This dude should go straight to jail. No trial. Just incarceration until he learns to behave himself.

→ Admittedly, this is a little simple but still nonetheless true.

→ Any Phillies fans out there who still have negative shit to say about Cole Hamels need to check out last night’s game. My favorite part, however, was when Jayson Werth took off his helmet and tipped it to the crowd. Classy move.

05.03.11 – a tuesday

word

dandle [dan-dl] v. 1. to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one’s knee or in one’s arms 2. to pet; pamper

birthday

Bing Crosby (1903), Pete Seeger (1919), James Brown (1933), Frankie Valli (1934), Greg Gumbel (1946), Christopher Cross (1951)

standpoint

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, I can feel relief, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. ‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’

That was last night’s Facebook status du jour in response to killing of Osama bin Laden. People were crediting Martin Luther King, Jr. with the quote but I couldn’t find any evidence to back that up.

In any case, someone came up with it and, while it’s poetic and well-intentioned, it’s a bunch of bullshit. (Although I do really like the “a night already devoid of stars” line. Very dramatic.)

Sorry, but sometimes an act of hate needs to feel the force of an equally hateful act. If someone out there has an idea how a response involving “love” was the right way to handle one of the most evil men that ever existed, then I’m all ears. What were we going to do? Stage an intervention? Put him in therapy? Tell his mother what he’s been up to and just let her deal with it?

No. Sorry. Usually I’m the guy who hates killing. I abhor violence as an end result to almost anything. Except this. For me, it wasn’t an eye-for-an-eye scenario. It wasn’t about revenge. It was about making things right. It was about correcting an error. Osama bin Laden had done enough. He needed to go away.

And, yes, I know, I know. You detractors out there will say we’re really going to need to watch out because his followers will be pissed and looking to take action. But, guess what? They’ve been pissed and have been scheming for years. Only now they’ll have to do it without the asshole who was pulling the strings. And if that saves the life of even one innocent person, then I’m unquestionably on board. And if you’re not in agreement then you should be asking yourself why not. I’d love to hear your reasoning.

quotation

Stay busy, get plenty of exercise and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little. ↔ Herman “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen

tune

Some people don’t really dig on They Might Be Giants. Those people are complete morons. Here’s “Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal.” Whether you think so or not, it’s good stuff.

gallimaufry

I can only imagine that when it opens up in June, I’ll have no choice but to like Grantland.com. Bill Simmons? Chuck Klosterman? Dave Eggers? Malcolm Gladwell? How could that website suck?

→ Christ, could Michael Moore be more irrelevant?

→ I’m not going to list all of the acts appearing at the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza in Chicago this August but you should definitely click here to take a look. We should plan a trip and check this out. Who’s driving?

05.02.11 – a monday

word

aplomb [uhplom, uhpluhm] n. 1. imperturbably self-possession, poise or assurance 2. the perpendicular, or vertical, position

birthday

Benjamin Spock (1903), Engelbert Humperdinck (1936), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (1972), David Beckham (1975), Lily Allen (1985)

standpoint

Osama bin Laden  was killed yesterday, roughly ten years after the tragedy of 9/11.

Long story short, someone found out that the douchebag was holed up in some Pakistani mansion, a special forces unit was sent in and, shortly thereafter, he died because that’s pretty much the only option when a bunch of guys are riddling you with bullets.

(I like to think the unit resembled the one from Predator but without Carl Weathers’ character because that dude had his own agenda and a disruptive one at that.) 

President Obama addressed the nation late last night and said all of the right things but there was definitely a look in his eyes that said, “Have some, Trump.”

To say that the killing of bin Laden is huge is a monumental understatement. People around the world have been calling for the asshole’s head ever since he decided it would be amusing to murder a couple thousand people because his outdated culture/religion just wasn’t holding people’s attention the way it once had. It’s against my nature and it feels callous typing this but if anyone deserved to be shot a whole bunch of times, it was Osama bin Laden. He simply needed to go.

Lastly, I’m curious to see, in the week to come, how our completely misguided society and its dreadful “media” are going to spin this in a way that makes the killing of bin Laden, something that every red-blooded human has been demanding, into some sort of political maneuvering on the part of Obama. Oh, it’s coming. And it’s going to be pretty nauseating.

quotation

It’s an amazing disappointing realization to know just how thoughtless and insensitive to other human beings we can so simply and predictably be programmed to be. ↔ David Cross

tune

Sometimes I fall asleep with the television on. I’m human, it’s true. The other morning I woke up and the show Yes, Dear was on and John Hiatt was making a cameo, I guess, singing some nonsense song called “Things I Think About At Work.” I wish it was a real Hiatt tune because it was pretty damn catchy. I’ve been singing it in my head ever since. Occasionally, it’s the simple things, no?

gallimaufry

An hour after the death of bin Laden, Google’s all ready on top of it. Love it.

→ I’m not too proud to say that I got a little choked up watching Steve Carell’s final appearance (for now) on The Office. Judge me if you’d like. I’m completely comfortable with my sentimentality.

Fast Five made $83.6 million at the box office this weekend. Come on, people, we’re better than this.

03.10.11 – a thursday

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

word

fanfaronade [fan-fer-uhneyd] n. bragging; bravado; bluster

birthday

Edward Baker Lincoln (1846), Bix Beiderbecke (1903), James Earl Ray (1928), Chuck Norris (1940), Osama bin Laden (1957), Jim White (1957), Sharon Stone (1958), Jeff Ament (1963), Rick Rubin (1963), Edie Brickell (1966), Jon Hamm (1971), Timbaland (1971), Eva Herzigova (1973), Carrie Underwood (1983)

standpoint

All right, it’s time for another installment of THE WISHING WELL. Let’s get to it.

I WISH more people would look on the bright side of things. (Even though that’s not always my thing, either.) A short while ago, everyone was walking around bitching about the lack of jobs. Now there’s some more jobs and everyone’s bitching about the quality of jobs out there. If we’ve resigned ourselves to whining about every damn thing, let’s just come out and do it.

I WISH I was able to get this blog done every day like I used to but, simply put, life’s more complicated than it used to be and I suspect it always will be, maybe more so. But I hope I’m wrong about that.

I WISH The Strokes getting back together was something I could get excited about but, so far, my heartbeat’s stayed regular on the whole matter.

I WISH Professor Awesome’s Drinkatorium was an actual place. There’s only two or three of you who’ll know what I mean by that.

I WISH someone would just come over to my house once a week to clean and organize my wardrobe. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

quotation

Giving up a lot isn’t really that hard when you realize that you get more than you give up. ↔ John Goodman

tune

I had some old Don DiLego tracks on my old iPod and, it’s true, I dug them. Someone sent me one of his newer songs the other day, “Falling Into Space,” and guess what? I’m digging on this one, too.

gallimaufry

Let’s let this dude have his day all ready. He’s earned it.

This Catholic priest sex offender list is growing to pretty outrageous proportions. Hey, Vatican, think it might be time to look at those celibacy and non-marriage policies for your clergymen? Doesn’t seem to be working out that well.

Charlie Sheen is breaking every Twitter record imaginable. And we’ve got to have set some record for largest enabling collective in the history of the world.

03.10.10 – 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

mellifluous [muhlif-loo-uhs] adj. 1. sweetly or smoothly flowing; sweet-sounding: a mellifluous voice; mellifluous tones 2. flowing with honey; sweetened with or as if with honey

birthday

Ferdinand I (1503), Bix Beiderbecke (1903), James Earl Ray (1928), Chuck Norris (1940), Robert Llewellyn (1956), Osama bin Laden (1957), Shannon Tweed (1957), Jim White (1957), Sharon Stone (1958), Mitch Gaylord (1961), Pam Oliver (1961), Jeff Ament (1963), Rick Rubin (1963), Neneh Cherry (1964), Jasmine Guy (1964), Edie Brickell (1966), Timbaland (1971), Eva Herzigova (1973), Shannon Miller (1977), Robin Thicke (1977), Carrie Underwood (1983)

standpoint

I like my camera. It wasn’t expensive but, sometimes, it takes some really good pictures. More than a few people have told me I have a good eye for shooting things.

The cool thing about a good photograph is it’s untouchable. It’s static and not responsible for anything more than it portrays. Although every part of my personality would suggest otherwise, I’m drawn to the unchanging nature of still photography.

So, today, I thought that instead of bashing one thing or another I find wrong with the world, I’d share with you some of the beauty I’ve found in it. Hope you enjoy.

From Oscar's Tavern in Philadelphia.

Silverware bin from my brother's kitchen.

East Falls train station in Philadelphia.

The view from the back of the shore house.

Last year's Bike Race in Manayunk.

I’ve got tons more but thought it would be best to start out light. I’ll post more in an upcoming post someday soon.

quotation

You use your money to buy privacy because during most of your life you aren’t allowed to be normal.Johnny Depp

tune

Local Natives make soaring, sky-scraping harmonies, dreamy orchestral melodies, and throbbing tribal beats that bash their way into your soul.” That’s according to the band’s label, Frenchkiss Records. Obviously, the statement’s a bit biased but it’s also pretty dead on. Be on the lookout for constant comparisons to Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire as Local Natives gets bigger. Check out “Stranger Things” off the recently released Gorilla Manor. (Thanks to Ezgi for turning me on these guys.)

gallimaufry

All right, just because you discover something is possible doesn’t necessarily mean you make it happen. I love how this chef pairs the dish with a Riesling. Unreal.

→ For those of you shouting as loud as you can about how your privacy rights are being violated on the Internet by Google or the government or some other establishment you think of as “The Man,” you might want to reconsider your thinking. This woman might’ve gotten away with killing a Swedish artist. If it hadn’t been for those crazy kids at the Justice Department figuring out what she was up to before she had time to make it happen.

→ Yesterday, I was so immersed in Oscar hoopla that I failed to mention it was the 200th post to this blog. Can’t believe it’s been that many. Although, in a way, it’s sort of felt like more. Anyway, thanks for reading.