02.24.11 – a thursday

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word

penchant [pen-chuhnt] n. a strong inclination, taste, or liking for something: a penchant for outdoor sports

birthday

Honus Wagner (1874), Abe Vigoda (1921), Dominic Chianese (1931), James Farentino (1938), Joe Lieberman (1942), Barry Bostwick (1945), Edward James Olmos (1947), George Thorogood (1950), Debra Jo Rupp (1951), Steve Jobs (1955), Michelle Shocked (1962), Billy Zane (1966), Mitch Hedberg (1968)

standpoint

Last night might have marked the greatest quizzo comeback of all-time if our team had actually claimed the top spot. Instead we took third but it was remarkable all the same although some among us (you know who you are) simply weren’t satisfied with the bronze.

Anyway, there’s no new standpoint today but there will be tomorrow. Hope you enjoy the rest of the post. Especially you, Joe.

quotation

All television is educational television. The question is: What is it teaching? ↔ Nicholas Johnson

tune

Attention: Make sure you check this out before the ever-changing and unpredictable copyright laws swoop down and remove it forever. “Rhythm and Blues Alibi” by Gomez. Easily one of my top 20 all-time favorite songs accompanied by a kick-ass video. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

Last week, in an unprecedented move, the online music site Pitchfork announced some news that had absolutely nothing to do with Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, LCD Soundsystem or any indie rock outfit with an animal in its name. (Panda Bear? Huh?) Death Cab For Cutie’s new album, Codes and Keys, will be released this May. I know, not much of a deviation but, seriously, let’s all get together and send the folks at Pitchfork some new albums or sign them up for emusic or something.

These douchebags got nine years each in jail for beating a Mexican immigrant to death by punching him with a “fist pack” and kicking him after he lost consciousness. Nine years? That’s it? Way to go, USA. Let’s make sure we cut out those newspaper clippings for the scrapbook.

→ How boring is living in Alabama? Well, apparently, it’s mundane enough to make you want to poison trees when you’re inconsequential football team loses a meaningless game. (Before all you college football zealots start popping off, I am fully aware Alabama-Auburn games are not meaningless in terms of college football. It’s just meaningless to the rest of the world.)

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02.17.10 – A Wednesday

word

ethos [ee-thos, ee-thohs, eth-os, -ohs] n. 1. Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period: In the Greek ethos the individual was highly valued 2. the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc 3. the moral element in dramatic literature that determines a character’s action rather than his or her thought or emotion

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Banjo Paterson (1864), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Gene Pitney (1940), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Jo Armstrong (1972), Ralphie May (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

Oh, yes! It is time, once again, for another installment of The Wishing Well, a regular column in which I waywardly wish five wishes.

I WISH Google would’ve spent a little more time developing Buzz before releasing it to the world. Last week, Buzz just showed up on my Gmail and, so far, it seems mostly a weak answer to Facebook and Twitter. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong one day but it won’t be tomorrow.

I WISH it was possible for me to tell you I dislike Patti Stanger, the lady from The Millionaire Matchmaker. But it’s not. Despite myself, I think she might actually be a good person. Go figure.

I WISH every website that automatically plays a video or song when you visit it would please cut that shit out. Listen, I’m on your site for a reason. You’ve got my interest. So, maybe you could quit trying to give me a heart attack with your cacophonous nonsense.

I WISH someone would explain to me why in the world CNBC would choose to keep airing the Women’s Curling match/game/whatever between the United States and Japan when there was a perfectly good Men’s Ice Hockey game going on between Canada and Norway. Actually, the hockey game turned out to be a lopsided 8-0 win by Canada. But still.

→ I WISH Pitchfork would diversify its coverage a bit. I mean, honestly, how much do we really need to know about Thom Yorke and Wayne Coyne?

That’s it for this installment. Got any wishes you’d like to share?

quotation

How wrong to have been so negative, how wrong to have been so gloomy, how wrong to have run away from life, how wrong to have said no, again and again, instead of yes. ↔ Jonathan Franzen

tune

Way back in 1998, there were these Philips Electronics TV ads featuring then-unknown English indie-rock band Gomez performing a cover of The Beatles’ “Getting Better.” I remember wanting to hear more of the song and, despite my best attempts, I never did find it and eventually forget about it. Until now. I was never a fan of Gomez but, recently, I’ve been reintroduced to the band and am sort of digging them. As a result, my memory was jogged and I remembered my unfinished mission to find the song from the TV commercial. I found it. “Getting Better” by Gomez. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

So there’s this episode of Family Guy in which there’s a negative depiction of someone with Down syndrome. And, sure, that’s kind of shitty but it’s Famly Guy and exactly no one should be surprised. What I find a tad more offensive is why anyone thinks I care what Bristol Palin thinks about anything at all.

→ The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is really keeping a nice perspective on what’s important at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as it’s upset over the slogans on the masks of the goalies for the United States Men’s Hockey Team. Especially, Jonathan Quick’s which sports “Support Our Troops” on the back.

→ Does anyone out there have a Powermat? Do they really work? Let me know.

06.09.09 – Tuesday

Word: apostasy [uhpos-tuh-see] n. a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc

Birthday: Cole Porter (1891), Les Paul (1915), Robert McNamara (1961), George Axelrod (1922), Jackie Mason (1931), Jackie Wilson (1934), Dick Vitale (1939), Patricia Cornwell (1956), Michael J. Fox (1961), Aaron Sorkin (1961), Johnny Depp (1963), Natalie Portman (1981)

Quotation: When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.John F. Kennedy

Tune: “A hybrid of Americana rock and Northern Soul with boundless energy.” That’s how mp3.com describes Californian band, Delta Spirit. I guess so. But Delta Spirit is really good. Try “Trashcan” for a listen.

Gallimaufry: Evan Dando, the man behind 90’s indie act, The Lemonheads, is suing GM for using a song in a TV commercial that sounds kind of like 1992’s “It’s A Shame About Ray.” Pitchfork offers links to both the original song and the GM ad. Check it out. I don’t really hear it. Besides, how’s Dando think he’s going to get money out of GM at this particular time? Apparently, the Philadelphia Flyers have signed goalie Ray Emery to a one-year deal, effectively ending the reign of goalie tandem Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki. Emery, who played last season in the Russian KHL, has a spotty history both on and off the ice. I’m curious to see Flyers’ fans’ reactions to a guy who’s had disciplinary problems – not something Philadelphia’s known to have much tolerance for. It’s a good fit, I think, due to the fact the Flyers are more well-rounded than Emery’s last team, the Ottawa Senators, a team that’s fallen apart over the last couple of years, mainly because it’s top-heavy with a few elite talent guys and not much else. I’m optimistic the guys in the Flyers’ locker room (Mike Richards, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell) will be able to keep Emery in check, at least on the ice.  Remember how much fun we all had a couple of years back with El Niño? Well, get ready for some more. Weather experts say that El Niño is making a comeback. Super.  

Incoming: Things have been a bit crazy (putting it mildly) but I’ll be getting those posts up I promised last week.

06.05.09 – Friday

Word: ersatz [er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, –sahts] adj. 1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain n. 2. an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute

Birthday: Thomas Chippendale (1708), Pat Garrett (1850), Pancho Villa (1878), John Maynard Keynes (1883), Salvatore Ferragamo (1898), Richard Scarry (1919), Spalding Gray (1941), Ken Follett (1949), Suze Orman (1951), Richard Butler (1956), Kenny G (1956), Jeff Garlin (1962), Ron Livingston (1967), Brian McKnight (1969), Mark Wahlberg (1971), Chuck Klosterman (1972), Pete Wentz (1979)

Quotation: I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!Dr. Seuss

Tune: Ever watch the great old comedy sketch show The Kids In The Hall and wonder who did the theme song? The band is Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and the song is called “Having an Average Weekend.”

Gallimaufry: With President Obama in the White House and most everyone pissed at California over Proposition 8, it’s easy to look at our country and decide it’s moving in the right direction. Enter Ken Pagano, pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky. This June 27th, Pagano is inviting his congregation to attend services with their firearms, “to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.” Says the ex-Marine-and-one-time-handgun-instructor-turned-pastor, “We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation. And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn’t be here.” No loaded guns will be allowed in the church. In addition to bringing firearms, Pagano is asking attendees to bring a canned good and a friend. I mean, it’s only Kentucky, but still. It’s 2009, jackass. For the record, Sonia Sotomayor’s “Wise Latina” comment is no different than Sarah Palin’s comparing hockey moms to pitbulls. But no one, including the idiots over at FOX News, are going to make the connection. The Supreme Court nominee was referring to a group of women who make up a large portion of the nation’s population, while Palin was talking about a group of women in Alaska who don’t represent enough people to fill up The Rose Bowl. (That may or may not be true.) Both women were making their comments in jest. In the grand scheme of things, I’m guessing Alaskan hockey moms are considered a bit more innocuous than Latina women. Just a hunch. Sitting out in the sun for extended periods of time, getting high and drunk with your closest friends and listening to dozens of popular bands is every American’s right. At least it should be. The warm weather invading us right now means only one thing – it’s Summer Concert Festival Season. Check out Pitchfork’s comprehensive guide to this year’s opportunities to pass out on a stranger’s blanket by mid-afternoon.

Incoming: I know I promised some thoughts about Arthur Kade (I’ve grilled my considerable group of contacts for this one and unearthed some great stuff.) and movie remakes, as well as 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead, but as they say, life got in the way. I’ll be working on all those for the beginning of next week. Also, for everyone attending this weekend’s TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship (What happened to simply calling it “The Bike Race?”), make sure to stay hydrated and have some fun. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be making my annual appearance as of yet, but if I do, I’ll make sure to say hello.