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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January 19th, 2012

word

swivet [swiv-it] n. a state of nervous excitement, haste or anxiety; flutter: I was in such a swivet that I could hardly speak.

birthday

Due to yesterday’s Wikipedia blackout over SOPA and PIPA, I won’t be providing people’s birthdays today. Yeah, government is rocking it.

standpoint

So I haven’t been posting. I don’t really have an excuse worth submitting.

Also, I don’t really have a clear standpoint today. But I’m going to share some thoughts I’ve been having and you can deem them a waste of your time or not and let me know after you’re done.

→ The GOP Presidential candidates. Shit. You guys made a huge fucking mistake when you ceased being fun. Bring back Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann because the rest of you guys are sort of hateful and boring. And, c’mon, it’s gonna be Romney. And he’s gonna lose to Obama. And everyone’s gonna spend four more years bitching. I think this is something that, besides those of you who are hoping against hope, we should all just agree on.

→ On a side note, if you GOP clowns are looking to actually back someone I’d be interested in your bringing your very own Jimmy McMillan into these debates. An “exquisitely bearded 64-year old ex-postal worker” who “is no stranger to controversies?” The American public deserves to know more.

Rick Santorum is actually still in the race. Seriously? What the fuck, people? Are there still people out there who believe in what Santorum has to say? Thinly veiled racist and homophobic statements? Rick Santorum embodies the exact opposite direction this country needs to go in. If you disagree with me on that, I encourage you to drive off a fucking bridge. Seriously. If you even know how to use the internet, click on Google Maps, find the nearest bridge and step on the gas pedal. (And, Fox News has once again nailed it right on the head with this superb article that means absolutely nothing to anyone. Great job, Dan Gainor.) See what I did there with all the links? Pretty clever, right? Here’s another.

→ On a lighter note, I think I’m finally coming around to The Office without Steve Carell. Maybe I should’ve put that one first.

quotation

What other people think of me is none of my business. ↔ Gary Oldman

tune

If shown this video to about a dozen people and about eleven of them loved. (The one exception was my good friend Joe who wondered if there was something wrong with me.) Joe’s objections aside, I think this song, and accompanying video is one of the best things I’ve heard in quite some time. Here’s “Losers” from The Belle Brigade.

gallimaufry

→ I wonder if, because of all this social networking, celebrities get pissed at each other when shit like this happens. Will Peyton Manning say something to Rob Lowe the next time their paths cross?

→ Yesterday, while painting a hallway, I listened to NPR’s interview with Nicholas Money and everything he had to say about mushrooms. It didn’t strike me until I was writing this that Samantha and I struggled over which mushroom pizza to order last night at Arpeggio’s. I guess Mr. Money’s description of various fungi didn’t make a dent. Also, if you’re thinking about dining at Arpeggio’s, seriously consider take-out. I’ve gotten better service at 3am from a strung-out diner waitress. Food was good, though.

→ Hey, if Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia says he “tripped” into a lifeboat, than I’m gonna take his word for it. I mean, it’s just too awful an excuse to not be true.

04.06.10 – A Tuesday

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word

sojourn [n. soh-jurn; v. soh-jurn, soh-jurn] n. 1. a temporary stay: during his sojourn in Paris v. 2. to stay for a time in a place; live temporarily: to sojourn on the Riviera for two months

birthday

Raphael (1483), Jean-Baptiste Rousseau (1671), Pasquale Paoli (1725), James Mill (1773), Gerry Mulligan (1927), Merle Haggard (1937), Billy Dee Williams (1937), Barry Levinson (1942), John Ratzenberger (1947), Marilu Henner (1952), Michael Rooker (1955), John Pizzarelli (1960), Frank Black (1965), Jonathan Firth (1967), Paul Rudd (1969), Zach Braff (1975), Candace Cameron (1976)

standpoint

Ah, the end of an era. Capitulating to the wishes of the majority of its fans, the Philadelphia Eagles finally traded longtime quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a second-round draft pick this year and a conditional one next year.

True to their nature, Philadelphia sports enthusiasts, given exactly what they wanted, began to grumble. Did the Eagles get enough for McNabb? Will Kevin Kolb be the starter some think he can be or will he be the next Bobby Hoying? Why would the two teams make the deal on the eve of MLB’s Opening Day, one when the two cities’ baseball counterparts, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals, were set to square off?

People, please shut the hell up. From the start, you griped about the poor guy for eleven straight years. When he was chosen ahead of running back Ricky Williams at the draft, Eagles’ “fans” in attendance booed him. And, instead of buckling under the criticism, McNabb simply led the Eagles to five NFC Championships and one Super Bowl appearance. Just in case you’re slow, I’ll elaborate. That means during roughly half of his tenure in Philadelphia, the Eagles were at least the fourth best team in the NFL. They made the playoffs eight of those eleven years. In total, he’s won 92 games and is third on the list of current quarterbacks with a .651 winning percentage, wedged in between Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. It’s hard to imagine how much more all of you spectacular would’ve hated him if he actually did suck.

And now, Eagles fans, you have Kevin Kolb and you’ve no choice but to be happy with him. But, let’s face it, if Kolb comes out and has a bad start to the season, you’ll all be screaming for Michael Vick to come in and save the day. And if he doesn’t get it done, you’ll be asking for some other poor schmuck to give you the Super Bowl ring you desperately need to validate all those pathetically wasted Sundays, sitting on your couch wearing your “DAWKINS” jersey and begging anyone in earshot to answer the question, “Why doesn’t Reid run the ball more?” I hope Kolb gets it done. He seems like a quality fellow. But his stomach for bullshit is about to get tested. If the guy he’s replacing was only outmatched in terms of wins in the past decade by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and still deemed a shitty quarterback, what chance does Kolb stand? Is he going to be better than Brady or Manning? Not likely.

And, please, let’s not lament the terms of the trade. It’s ironic all you sports gurus claimed McNabb was junk on a daily basis, and now you’re the same nitwits who are bitching the Eagles didn’t get enough for him. It’s one or the other, people. Pick a side and stay on it for once, you wishy-washy nutjobs.

As for the timing of the trade and the fact it coincided with the first day of baseball, please give me a break. I’m not the most business-oriented of minds but even I understand the McNabb trade was a business deal, conducted between two businesses. There was millions of dollars at stake. When would’ve been a suitable time to make the trade? After the baseball season? Ridiculous.

By the tone of this rant, I hope it’s obvious that, while I don’t hate the NFL, I don’t have much respect for a lot of the people who play it and even less who make it their life’s devotion. But I do have respect for Donovan McNabb because he’s always been the underdog, even when he squarely didn’t deserve the role. Next season, I’ll be pulling for him. Even when he plays the Eagles. Because there’s nothing I like better when one guy proves a million idiots wrong.

quotation

It takes a kind of shabby arrogance to survive in our time, and a fairly romantic nature to want to. Edgar Z. Freidenberg

tune

Normally, I’d proffer there’s too many videos on YouTube made by people with nothing better to do. But in this instance, I’ll need to back down from that stance. A montage of The Office set to Ben Folds‘ “There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You” is located directly in my wheelhouse. And it should be in yours, too.

gallimaufry

→ I think our country is fantastic. This shitball church changed the wording of their sign when faced with proper political pressure. I’m going to speak more on this tomorrow but, for the time being, I hope everyone reading this understands our nation is in serious trouble.

How funny is this? Does this company have meetings? Wouldn’t it stand to reason at least one person present would say, “Wait, I’m not sure but I think someone told me lead paint is apparently bad for you now.”

→ On Philadelphia’s latest decision to relax about pot, District Attorney Seth Williams said, “We can’t declare a war on drugs by going after the kid who’s smoking a joint on 55th Street.” In an unrelated development, 55th Street property values are skyrocketing.

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.

03.24.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: ubiquitous [yoo-bik-wi-tuhs] adj. existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time; omnipresent

Birthday: Harry Houdini (1874), Ub Iwerks (1901), Thomas Dewey (1902), Clyde Barrow (1909), Joseph Barbera (1911), Gorgeous George (1915), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), Norman Fell (1924), Steve McQueen (1930), Bob Mackie (1940), Nick Lowe (1949), Tommy Hilfiger (1951), Robert Carradine (1954), Kelly LeBrock (1960), Star Jones Reynolds (1962), Annabella Sciorra (1964), The Undertaker (1965), Lara Flynn Boyle (1970), Megyn Price (1972), Alyson Hannigan (1974), Peyton Manning (1976)

Occurrence: 1958Elvis Presley gets inducted into the army. I still think it’s strange that this happened. I know The King was drafted but do you think any celebrity today would actually do this at the height of their career? I tend to think no.

Standpoint: Last Friday, March 20th, was the first day of Spring. Around Philadelphia, it was cold outside. And this perplexed many people who, I guess, had it marked down on their calendar as the day to dust-off the flip-flops and shorts. “What the hell? I thought its Spring.” “It’s not that warm out. Winter is supposed to be over.” “I was all psyched to wear my new sandals today but it’s too cold and I had to wear my regular shoes.” This is just a mere sampling of comments I overheard last Friday. Apparently, many individuals were disappointed by the weather’s refusal to cooperate with their desire to “finally drive to work with the windows down.” In this Age of Entitlement, we even expect Mother Nature to do what we think is “right” and “totally fair.”

Quotation: Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. Neil Gaiman

Digit: 13 – Number of cities and towns in the USA named Philadelphia. Besides the one in Pennsylvania there is one each in Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico and New York. There are two each in Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Tune: When I was younger and out in social situations, I often thought of “Halloween” by matt pond PA. Take a listen and you might know what I mean.

Link: Phinally Philly – An absolutely spectacular blog about Philadelphia sports.

Gallimaufry: Paul Berry, CTO of the Huffington Post, offers his opinion of the Facebook redesign that everyone (including me) has been deliberating to the point of exhaustion. A little bit of a different take…Kids can be cruel. Read all about one family who has launched a national campaign to educate high school students about “sexting”…In India, Tata Motors has announced that their Nano, the world’s cheapest car, will hit roads in July. It’s small and only costs 100,000 rupee ($1980)…Tonight, if you’re gonna be near the Chestnut Hill area in Philadelphia PA, make sure to stop by The Chestnut Grill for its first Karaoke Night run by my good friend Suzi Simon. Starts at 9pm. Plus, I’ll be there so that should be enough reason for you to come out.