06.17.11 – a friday

word

bray [brey] n. 1. the loud, harsh cry of a donkey 2. any similar loud, harsh sound  v. 3. to utter a loud and harsh cry, as a donkey 4. to make a loud, disagreeable sound

birthday

Igor Stravinsky (1882), M. C. Escher (1898), Newt Gingrich (1943), Barry Manilow (1943), George S. Clinton (1947), Joe Piscopo (1951), Thomas Haden Church (1960), Greg Kinnear (1963), Jason Patric (1966), Will Forte (1970)

standpoint

I’m gonna address a few topics today so just bear with me.

First, a note about this blog. I know the word “daily” is in the title and I’m aware that suggests there should be a new post every day. In the past, that was definitely the case but, for several reasons, it’s just not feasible nowadays. So you all will have to be satisfied with three posts per week. And, no, I’m not changing the name to conform to the current format. Unless one of you can suggest something better. As always, I welcome your ideas.

Next, the Anthony Weiner issue. I get it. The guy’s a scumbag. But should he have been forced to resign? I’m not completely sold. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be buddies with the guy but it seems to me he did an all right job despite his penchant for the occasional online dalliance. Lots of politicians have done way worse and retained their office. Also, Howard Stern, who’s becoming more irrelevant by the minute, is an asshole for sending one of his douchebag minions to the press conference to shout out mindless bullshit while Weiner was publicly resigning.

Last, the riots in Vancouver two nights ago were absolutely ridiculous. The photo footage looks like an anti-USA rally in Tehran. And I love the headlines: “Frustration Over Canucks Spills Into Downtown Streets.” If that had happened in Philadelphia a year ago when the Flyers lost in the Stanley Cup Finals, the media would have a field day, creating video montages of every awful thing any Philadelphia sports fan had ever done.

quotation

I like it when people talk shit. Because if people weren’t talking shit, there would be nothing for me to come back with. I need that. If I don’t have any ammo, what am I going to say? ↔ Eminem

tune

Hipster all over the country are revitalized this week due to the release of Bon Iver‘s eponymous second album. I loved the first album, For Emma, Forever Ago, but it certainly wasn’t pick-me-up listening. I always wondered (mostly aloud) if it would’ve killed them to pick up the tempo a beat, you know, just for a change of pace. Well, it seems Bon Iver was listening to me as much as I was listening to them. Or, at least, they’re meeting me halfway here. This is “Calgary” off the new album. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

“The World’s Oldest Light Bulb Has Been On for 110 Years” Yeah, you read that right. I like how there’s a “light bulb centennial committee.”

I recommended this book to three different people after I’d only read three chapters. Of those three, exactly none of them actually made it all the way through.  I finished it out of a sense of obligation but wasn’t happy about it. But good for McCann.

→ I’m an unabashed animal lover but there are people out there (including some of my very own readers) who go above and beyond the call of duty. I hope this article is helpful to those of you who look out for those George Eliot called “such agreeable friends.”

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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.)

06.07.11 – a tuesday

word

hackneyed [hak-need] adj. made commonplace or trite; stale; banal: the hackneyed images of his poetry

birthday

Jessica Tandy (1909), Dean Martin (1917), Tom Jones (1940), Liam Neeson (1952), Prince (1958), Allen Iverson (1975), Bill Hader (1978), Anna Kournikova (1981), Michael Cera (1988)

standpoint

Last night, I decided to go see X-Men: First Class at my local theater.

In recent years, I’ve been hearing this sort of statement more and more: “Yeah, I love movies but I hate going to the theater. It’s so distracting. Unless it’s some sort of special effects blockbuster, I’d rather just wait until it comes out on DVD or HBO or something.”

Truthfully, most times I’ve heard someone say that, I’ve been the one saying it.

But I didn’t always feel that way. Once upon a time, I went to see a movie at least twice a month, either with other people or, more often, by myself. It was a nice way to pass the time. But going to the theater nowadays is akin to placing the lens of a metaphorical microscope on everything sucky about humanity.

And here’s just two reasons why:

1. Commentary – Apparently, during any movie, there’s a contest called “Who’s the Best At Following Along?” Not everyone is picked to play but those chosen are a fiercely competitive bunch, vehemently shouting out things like, “He’s gonna get shot!” or “That’s a mistake!” *SPOILER ALERT* Last night, for instance, there was a scene in which a hand was flicking cigar ashes into an ashtray. It was the very beginning of Hugh Jackman‘s ten-second cameo as Wolverine, the central character of the X-Men franchise. But before his face appeared on screen, at least 15 people cried out, “That’s Wolverine!”

2. Cell Phones – The scourge of the modern cinema, it’s easy to understand how moveigoers might forget to turn their cell phones to silent or vibrate. It’s not like there’s several announcements before the start of a movie, asking everyone to check them. I blame the clever warnings. They’re too subtle. Here’s what they should run instead. Still, I don’t think anyone would give a shit. Last night, there were so many sounds coming from cell phones that I entertained the idea I might be the subject of a gigantic prank. My favorite, however, was the guy directly behind me who, an hour into the movie, answered his phone and proceeded to schedule a meeting for 2:30 this afternoon.

quotation

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. ↔ Mac McCleary

tune

I loved Hall & Oates when I was a kid. Truth be told, I still dig their songs. They represent everything solid about the 1980s. That’s no lie. The video for “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” is quintessentially representative of the decade most everyone would love to forget.

gallimaufry

Here’s a life lesson, people. This clown had so many opportunities to ride off into the sunset as an American success story. But now he’s the poster child for greed and living beyond one’s own means. Suckah.

The “Jailbirds?” Why not? The NFL is such a laughingstock, why shouldn’t the Eagles be the biggest joke in it? Cue The Longest Yard references, starting…now.

→ Just to make this an all-sports gallimaufry, I’ll let you know that Mark Recchi was never one of my favorites when he played for the Flyers but there’s a part of me that’s pleased to see the 43-year-old not only competing for his third Stanley Cup ring, but contributing as well.

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.

04.28.11 – a thursday

word

affray [uhfrey] n. 1. a public fight; a noisy quarrel; brawl 2. Law. the fighting of two or more persons in a public place

birthday

James Monroe (1758), Lionel Barrymore (1878), Harper Lee (1926), Saddam Hussein (1937), Ann-Margret (1941), Bruno Kirby (1949), Jay Leno (1950), Penélope Cruz (1974), Jessica Alba (1981)

standpoint

Today, I’m not pissed about much at all, oddly enough. I was emailing back and forth with a friend of mine last night and we were talking photography so, instead of ranting, I thought I would share some photos I’ve taken in the past few months. Hope you like them.

up close shot of my bonzai jade plant

cloudy sky from my street

gray morning sky

snowy night

someday this will all be the road...

quotation

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through the snow. ↔ Jeff Valdez

tune

Think you might be dead inside but you’re not really sure? Listen to “Daisy” by Fang Island and if you don’t feel the urge to tap your feet or at least a finger, you’ve proved it.

gallimaufry

Will everyone just please shut the hell up about this now? The guy’s an American citizen. Let’s move on.

I rarely go all mushy-gushy on here but if you don’t think this is the cutest freaking animal on the planet, I pretty sure I don’t want to be your friend.

Here we go again. Flyers-Bruins in the semifinals. It doesn’t get any easier. 

04.27.11 – a wednesday

word

gusto [guhs-toh] n. 1. hearty or keen enjoyment, as in eating or drinking, or in action or speech in general: to dance with gusto 2. individual taste or liking

birthday

Mary Wollstonecraft (1790), Ulysses S. Grant (1822), Jack Klugman (1922), Casey Kasem (1932), Frank Abagnale, Jr. (1948), Ace Frehley (1951)

standpoint

Time just got away from me last night and I didn’t really have time to develop today’s standpoint.

But I will say it’s true that the good guys sometimes still win as was evident with the Philadelphia Flyers’ decisive 5-2 Game 7 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

quotation

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible. ↔ Doug Larson

tune

I think Annuals would be an amazing band to see live. If I ever get the chance, they’d better play “Loxstep.”

gallimaufry

What the hell, Facebook? I’ve been defending you for the past few years and now you go and pull this shit?

Lindsay Lohan was once again in the news yesterday and…sigh. The next headline I want to see involving Lindsay Lohan will read something like this: “Lohan Grows Tired of 24 Years of Trying, Disappears”

When the weatherman says a storm is going to be “off the scale,” well, what the hell are you supposed to be about that? 

04.25.11 – a monday

word

gourmand [goor-mahnd, goor-muhnd] n. 1. a person who is fond of good eating, often indiscriminately and to excess 2. a gourmet; epicure

birthday

Oliver Cromwell (1599), Edward R. Murrow (1908), Meadowlark Lemon (1932), Al Pacino (1940), Talia Shire (1946), Hank Azaria (1964), Renée Zellweger (1969)

standpoint

Let’s review some of the issues that preoccupied my brain over the weekend. Just some of them, mind you, let’s call them highlights.

→ If I didn’t have to work and the Flyers-Sabres Game 7 wasn’t on this Tuesday night, I’d be watching The Voice. I think it’s an interesting concept and, yes, I’m aware of my hypocrisy.

→ On the subject of the Flyers-Sabres series so far all I can offer is that the officiating couldn’t be worse if the refs were watching through binoculars from a plane circling overhead.

→ At one point the other day, I resolved I wasn’t going to buy any products from companies that made TV ads depicting men as moronic, soulless douchebags. Five minutes later I took it back after realizing my decision would preclude me from buying anything again ever.

That’s it for today. Come back tomorrow for some more.

quotation

The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits. ↔ Nathaniel Hawthorne

tune

One of the great things about music is that sometimes someone creates a song that just completely ignores the barriers of genre and simple kicks ass. Such is the case with Cee Lo Green‘s “Fuck You.” If you dislike this song there’s seriously something fundamentally wrong with you and I mean that.

gallimaufry

The only thing more horrendous than what John McCain is offering as a solution to the stalemate in Libya is the picture featured in the article. They should print up about 9 million copies of that face, attach some sort of menacing message and airdrop them all over the planet. There would be world peace after about 15 minutes. OK. Maybe an hour or so. But still.

Only 6% of Americans are following the Royal Wedding very closely? What the hell is wrong with you people? Are you too busy following actual issues of the day? Oh. You are? Carry on then.

Apparently, Paul Reiser was funny at some point. I’m still researching trying to ascertain just when exactly that was.