06.08.11 – a wednesday

word

stepwise [step-wayhz] adv. 1. in a steplike arrangement 2. Music. from one adjacent tone to another: The melody ascends stepwise adj. 3. Music. moving from one adjacent tone to another: stepwise melodic progression

birthday

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867), Jerry Stiller (1927), Joan Rivers (1933), Boz Scaggs (1940), Griffin Dunne (1955), Keenen Ivory Wayans (1958), Julianna Margulies (1966), Kanye West (1976)

standpoint

Last night, I received an email from The New York Times with the subject line “Up to 30 Dismembered Bodies Found Near Houston, Reuters Reports.” That was at 6:45 pm. I was at work and didn’t actually read the email until I got home around 11:00 pm. I bookmarked it because I thought it would be something interesting to explore for this post.

When I finally got around to looking into it, around midnight, the Times link was dead. I then realized that a sort of retraction had been sent to me an hour after the original message with a vague reference to a “tipster.” I searched it on the internet and found this article that elaborated on the tipster stating how she was “claiming to be psychic.”

Now, I’m not someone who even comes close to resembling a conspiracy theorist but I’m calling bullshit here. There’s no way this is above-board.

I’m basing my opinion on the fact that every single previous “News Alert” The New York Times sent me has been extremely literal, very factual and bland stuff.

I realize what I’m writing here is not particularly interesting or fundamentally entertaining but I’m mostly sure we’re being hoodwinked here. I think someone found something in that house and, before a public panic ensued, it was squashed and then some genius decided to cook up this psychic tipster angle because, hey, a crackpot psychic is much more innocuous than a house full of dismembered non-psychics.

I could be wrong and maybe I’ve wasted my time by writing this and your time by asking you to read it but it’s my blog, after all, so every now and then you’ll just have to indulge me. Fair enough?

quotation

I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone but they’ve always worked for me. ↔ Hunter S. Thompson

tune

All right, here’s something new I’m trying – Original vs. Cover. I love “These Days” by Jackson Browne. But I always try to be honest with you good people who frequent this blog and, in the spirit of truthfulness, I didn’t get around to listening to it until a friend of mine told me that it wasn’t a Mates of State original. I don’t pay the proper attention to classic rock that maybe I should. Sue me. In any case, here’s both. Weigh in. Tell me which one you prefer.

gallimaufry

For all of you Flyers’ fans out there bitching and moaning about how the team has been lackadaisical in its attempts to acquire a proven #1 netminder for the past decade, well, you’re absolutely correct. Until yesterday when GM Paul Holmgren traded for the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov.  If the Flyers can get him under contract, it’ll mean a pretty solid goaltender tandem with Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky who, despite a lackluster showing in the playoffs, did manage a 28-13-8 record in his rookie season.

→ I have a sticker in my car that reads “PEOPLE SUCK.” I get flack for it. When I read shit like this, I swear that sticker is gospel.

→ Just relax, everyone. Christopher Titus smokes way too much pot to organize this. (I have no idea if Titus is a pothead, I’m just assuming.)

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09.18.09 – A Friday

Word

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

Birthday

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

Standpoint

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

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

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

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

Clip OneNewsRadio“The Cane”

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

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

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

Clip ThreeBlack Books“Bernard Black Drunk”

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

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

Quotation

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

Tune

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

Gallimaufry

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

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

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