12.21.09 – A Monday

WORD

exiguous [ig-zig-yoo-uhs, ik-sig-] adj. scanty; meager; small; slender: exiguous income

BIRTHDAY

Roger Williams (1603), Josh Gibson (1911), Joe Paterno (1926), Phil Donahue (1935), Jane Fonda (1937), Frank Zappa (1940), Samuel L. Jackson (1948), Jeffrey Katzenberg (1950), Chris Evert (1954), Jane Kaczmarek (1955), Ray Romano (1957), Florence Griffith Joyner (1959), Andy Dick (1965), Kiefer Sutherland (1966), Julie Delpy (1969)

STANDPOINT

In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m going to share 4 things I’m pretty sure everyone should do at one point in their lives.

  1. Split a bottle of Booker’s Bourbon with a good friend(s). Of course, the person you decide to share it with should be a bourbon fan.  In my opinion, Booker’s is peerless. Enthusiasts describe it as “oaky,” and “smoky,” and, I guess, they’re probably right. I describe it as “delicious.” And, no worries, I’m not one of those who’d make you feel like a geek for diluting it with your beverage of choice (i.e. Coke or Ginger Ale), but it’s just really good all by its lonesome. There’s something to be said for sitting down with a buddy, watching a hockey game and polishing off a bottle of Booker’s. But be careful, it will render you inebriated, no matter how much you think of your tolerance for alcohol. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you I know of what I speak. So go out and grab a bottle, invite over a person or persons you deem up for it and, for your own sake, don’t plan on driving until at least the next morning.
  2. Listen to an unknown music catalog. You have a musical artist or band you’ve always intended on getting to know better, but it’s never happened. Life gets in the way. You forget about it. Once in a while, you’re reminded of it and you tell yourself you’re going to get some of the artist’s/band’s albums and do something like dedicating all of your drive-time to work in exploring each and every song they offer. Last year, after putting it off forever, I spent a couple of rainy days, holed up in my house listening to everything I could download by Guided By Voices. Everyone always told me I’d be into GBV. I didn’t think they we’re lying. And, it turned out they were right. So if you have the time and the inclination, I recommend you give yourself the gift of the possibility of some new favorite music. If you need some suggestions, let me know. I’m full of them.
  3. Even when it’s unpopular, go to bat for a friend you know is worthy of your defense. This one’s a bit more vague but I think everyone’s been exposed to a situation in which you’re positively certain a friend of yours is getting a raw deal. And, most likely, he’s a victim of the flawed consensus of other folks you call “friends.” Stand up for the underdog, even at risk to your own good standing. In the long run, or possibly sooner, you’ll feel good about your decision and yourself. Plus, it’s always a really great to wind up being right.
  4. Make yourself uncomfortable on purpose. You’re like everyone else. You’re able to imagine a specific set of circumstances and conclude it’d be pretty close to your worst fucking nightmare. But you should get over it. It’s never as bad as you conjure. If you’re afraid of heights, go to an amusement park and make yourself get on every single ride. If you’re homophobic, go to a bar or an event with a heavy concentration of homosexuals. If you scared to death of speaking in front of a group of people, volunteer yourself at work to make the next big presentation. Your imagination always presents you with every possible idea of what can go wrong. Luckily, life doesn’t usually work like that and, while there may be a hiccup or two or three, you’ll come out of it as something better than you were.

OK, those are my ideas. Tell us some of yours.

QUOTATION

You may delay, but time will not.Benjamin Franklin

TUNE

Right now, in the current state of the music world, we’re decidedly in an exciting time. Gone are the days of record companies and radio stations dictating what we need to listen to. Instead, we’ve an influx of bands that are able to sustain themselves through clever internet marketing and relentless touring. And I, for one, couldn’t be more ecstatic about it. There’s lot of great music out there in the world, folks, and, now more than ever, it’s not impossible to discover. Check out Mock Orange‘s “Song in D.” Tell me you find nothing good about it. And then I’ll call you a liar.

GALLIMAUFRY

Apparently, the entire time Steven Seagal has been making mediocre movies (save for the classic Under Siege), he’s been an actual law enforcement officer in Jefferson Parish, LA. A&E is now airing episodes of Steven Seagal Lawman, documenting the action star on patrol. While the cynical part of me would love to dismiss Seagal as just another attention hungry celebrity, I’m inclined to think the dude’s doing something he actually believes in. And I’m more than down with that.

→ Yesterday, actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died of what initially appears to be natural causes. Not sure about all of that, but she was way too young and it’s sad, no matter the cause.

→ After firing head coach John Stevens, bringing in new head coach Peter Laviolette and getting key players Simon Gagne and Blair Betts back from injury, the Philadelphia Flyers seem no closer to shaking loose of its current state of free-fall. 12 losses in the last 15 games. Not exactly acceptable for a team boasting the likes of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere, Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen. Sure, goalie Ray Emery is out for a while, but one could make an argument that the play of backup Brian Boucher has been better. Bottom line, the team’s going to have do something sooner than later if this all continues. Most likely, it’ll result in Jeff Carter wearing another jersey.

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09.28.09 – A Monday

WORD

inane [i-neyn] adj. 1. lacking sense, significance, or ideas; silly: inane questions 2. empty; void n. 3. something that is empty or void, esp. the void of infinite space

BIRTHDAY

Confucious (551 BC), Ed Sullivan (1901), Max Schmeling (1905), Al Capp (1909), Brigitte Bardot (1934), Rod Roddy (1937), Ben E. King (1938), J.T. Walsh (1943), Steve Largent (1954), Janeane Garofalo (1964), Mira Sorvino (1967), Moon Unit Zappa (1967), Naomi Watts (1968), Joseph Arthur (1971), Bam Margera (1979), Ray Emery (1982), Hilary Duff (1987)

STANDPOINT

When it comes to the world of music, I’m in a bit of a shitty spot.

Because, you see, no matter what your particular music inclinations (and I’m sure they’re fantastic), there’s a 73% chance I feel different. Yes. It’s confusing. Let me clarify a bit.

For me, there are only three sects of music listeners out there.

“I don’t care if it’s cool, I just like that song.” – You’re someone who has uttered the previous statement about 9,233 times. You turn on the radio. You hear a song that begs you to drive faster, tap your foot and sing at the top of your lungs. The song ends. Some smooth DJ informs you that the last song was the newest release by Pink, Nickelback or some similarly dreadful source. For about three seconds, you wrestle with the following contradictory facts: (a) you’re relatively sure the artist is somewhat uncool, and (b) you just don’t care because it made you bounce around and sing. If bouncing around and singing in your car is important to you, you’ll likely choose the last option. And, hey, that’s more than all right. Just don’t go around offering up your opinion when the rest of us are talking about what constitutes good music. You’ve eliminated yourself as trustworthy. Sadly, you’re definitely part of the problem. Yes, you’re a fucking moron if you think the new Green Day album is “really good” just because everyone else is listening to it. You either suck at evaluating music or you just don’t care enough to be discerning. Either way, you’re someone who contributes to the MTV culture and that’s just not OK. Ever.

“Even if I’ve listened to a band for years, once I hear one of their songs during a TV commercial, I think they’re shit.” – OK, I get where you’re coming from. You’re an indie rock enthusiast with a chip on your shoulder. You’re absolutely right. But you’re also absolutely wrong. Unfortunately, the music you like is conveying ideals and beliefs that you own, that you share. And it’s not likely these ideals and beliefs have anything to do with “selling out” or being the song employed in the promo for the upcoming season of fucking “Grey’s Anatomy.” It sucks that millions of people (who’ve done nothing but turn on the TV) have discovered one of your favorites songs of the past three years, a song you found because you do the legwork, you’re constantly researching, looking for good music. You’re head’s up. But your head’s also up your ass if you can’t be happy for Vampire Weekend because the guys in that band, while they probably adore playing the smaller artsy venues in front of you and 100 other people, are looking for maximum exposure. And, while it sucks you gotta hear people you know to be moronic talk about how “it’s great when they curse at the beginning of ‘Oxford Comma,’” deal with it. You owe it to those who’ve brought you so many hours of listening pleasure. The main reason you suck is because you make others feel uncomfortable about their choices. And, hey, who the fuck are you?

“What in the good goddamn is wrong with you people?” – Here’s the group I’m in with most of the people I call friends. It takes work to be in this group. You have to constantly adjust your position. But in a quality way.  Most of you out there see things in black and white. And that’s worse than listening to Creed. The world ebbs and flows, and you gotta ebb and flow with it, brother. Just because an artist is making supremely shitty music right now, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be that way forever. People change. Attitudes get readjusted. We all eventually get shown the light. I’m of the personal unpopular opinion one of my favorite bands, R.E.M., will come back around one day and get back to some seriously good business. You probably disagree. That’s cool.  

Here’s the bottom line: Listen to music you like. It’s fine. But you need to understand, no matter which group you fall into, you’re never gonna be completely right. Unless you’re me. Sorry abour your luck.

QUOTATION

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.Khalil Gibran

TUNE

In the spirit of my Standpoint, I offer “Sweet Pain.” A 90s song from a Blues Traveler, a band just about everyone’s deemed irrelevant. Listen to it. Do you feel what I can feel?

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I think Esquire sending someone who knows very little about pop culture to interview Gerard Butler had a great result. As a matter of fact, there’s not much Esquire can do that doesn’t meet with my immediate approval.

→ The LAPD is pretty fucking relentless. Just ask Roman Polanski, who’s been wanted by Los Angeles authorities for over 30 years. He was arrested this past Saturday night in Switzerland. Finally. Seriously, how in the world is the USA supposed to bring anyone to justice if it can’t bring down this guy? Top notch work, everyone. Now, how about you all get back to work on shit that really matters? Thanks.

→ Christ. Peter Forsberg wants back into the NHL. The team on the top of his wishlist? You guessed it, genius. My Philadelphia Flyers. Stay away, Peter. We’ve moved on.