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!

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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.

03.09.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: gallimaufry [gal-uhmaw-free]n. 1. a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley  2. a ragout or hash

Birthday: Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale  (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1971)

Occurrence: 1959 – The first Barbie doll is unveiled at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. I thought Barbie had been around longer than 50 years but I’m not an aficionado of dolls, so I’m not too disappointed in myself.

Irksome: Nadya Suleman’s second publicist quit over the weekend. In what might be the understatement of the week, Victor Munoz said, “This woman is nuts.” For real? I wonder if Mr. Munoz started the job either (a) not already knowing she was nuts, or (b) not actually caring she was nuts. Had he not read a newspaper or turned on the television in the months leading up to taking the post? Because, although I’ve never met the woman, from my observational vantage point I decided she was unbalanced about two seconds after hearing her story. Who in their right mind would think she’s sane in any way? What she did is nonsensical. And why all the concern? She and her children will be taken care of her for the rest of their lives. I’m sure they could survive for a long time on what she’s earning with her spots on Dr. Phil. (Five appearances in two weeks.) She’s apparently shopping the video of the octuplets’ birth for SEVEN-FIGURES. Not sure why anyone would want to watch that but it’s just a matter of time until someone ponies up. She has even received an offer to star in a porn movie. My main problem with the “Octomom” saga is this: Why do we care? Baffling. The woman is not a victim. She CHOSE this. Nadya Suleman will clutch onto the limelight as long as possible and milk it for every penny its worth.

Quotation: Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religionsOscar Wilde

Soupçon: According to this article from the L.A. Times, human beings, on average, err by about 15%-25% when guessing the time of day.

Song: They Might Be Giants is one of the greatest unsung bands of all-time. “Purple Toupee” might be its best song, but even as I type this, I can think of at least 10 more that are just as enjoyable.

Link: Hulu – Not as much selection as YouTube obviously, but higher resolution. If you haven’t seen the Hulu’s Super Bowl ad featuring Alec Baldwin, click HERE now.

Gallimaufry: Dave Frees is not only a friend of mine, but has many great ideas on how you can improve your business and your life. Click HERE to check out his blog. Also, the man runs one mean live auction…Had a busy weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to go see Watchmen. Gonna try to catch it this week. Anyone out there seen it yet?…It’s official – Philly Beer Week 2009 is upon us, boasting over 693 events this year. For all of you who live in or near The City of Brotherly Love, get out of the house and go drink lots and lots of beer…Click HERE to read all about Jonathon Krohn, the country’s youngest political pundit.