March 28th, 2012

word

chelonian [ki-loh-nee-uhn] 1. adj. belonging or pertaining to the order Chelonia, comprising the turtles 2. n. a turtle

birthday

Dianne Wiest (1948), Reba McEntire (1955), Vince Vaughn (1970), Nick Frost (1972), Julia Stiles (1981), Lady Gaga (1986),

standpoint

The Trayvon Martin case is a true tragedy. And, like everything that happens these days in this country, it’s become so mired in ridiculous details that it’ll most likely never arrive at a proper resolution.

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far:

(1) Martin was walking down the street, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and in possession of both a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea when George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, started following him.

(2) After just a few minutes, Martin was dead, apparently shot by Zimmerman, who, according the guidelines set forth by the national Neighborhood Watch, shouldn’t have been armed while on patrol.

(3) The police arrived to find Zimmerman with a bloody nose and minor head wound, standing over Martin’s body. He stated he killed Martin in self-defense. The police believed him and he’s free to go.

Those are the only things I know to be undeniably true about the actual event. The rest of it is mostly just fodder for those who feel turning a tragedy into a nationwide debate, while dragging all involved through mud, is a good way to kill time and push a particular political agenda.

Yes, Trayvon Martin was suspended from school three times. Yes, he was found at one time or another to be in possession of marijuana. So what? He made some bad decisions. He was 17. And how many other 17 year olds are out there making bad decisions? The answer is mostly all of them.

Yes, Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie. Is this really something we’re talking about? I wear hoodies quite often. But I’m going to climb out on a limb here and say that if George Zimmerman saw a white, 37 year old male walking down his street donning a hooded sweatshirt, he probably wouldn’t have decided to follow me. The whole hoodie aspect is asinine.

Yes, every politician and activist in the country has made a comment on this tragedy. And the way this country is nowadays, no one can say anything right at any time. Because, no matter what anyone says, there’s a large group of people who are ready to pile on. But politicians can’t simply decline to comment on any issue and so they’re forced to perpetually piss off lots of people. And we wonder why no one of merit is stepping up to run for public office in this country.

Bottom line is this: Zimmerman shot Martin. Let him stand trial for it.

quotation

Genius ain’t anything more than elegant common sense. ↔ Josh Billings

tune

Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That” being covered by Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers as they’re driving around in a van? Yes! That does sound good!

gallimaufry

Stupid people apparently love other stupid people.

How could being in 3-D possibly make Titanic better? Unless a giant pair of hands come out of the screen and put me out of my misery by choking the life out of me, there’s simply no way.

NHL hockey continues to be one of the least popular sports in our country. But John Buccigross wants you to reconsider your opinion.

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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.

February 8th, 2012

word

caprice [kuhprees] n. 1. a sudden, unpredictable change, as of one’s mind or the weather 2. a tendency to change one’s mind without apparent or adequate motive; whimsicality; capriciousness: With the caprice of a despotic king, he alternated between kindness and cruelty.

birthday

Jules Verne (1828), Kate Chopin (1850), Jack Lemmon (1925), Neal Cassady (1926), James Dean (1931), Ted Koppel (1940), Nick Nolte (1941), Robert Klein (1942), Creed Bratton (1943), Mary Steenburgen (1953), John Grisham (1955), Vince Neil (1961), Gary Coleman (1968), Seth Green (1974)

standpoint

Proposition 8. It sort of makes my blood boil. If you don’t know what “Prop 8” is  you can click here to find out.

Yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared “Prop 8” was unconstitutional, saying that, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

Finally, people in authority are judging this issue in terms of what is right and what is actually wrong.

But the fight’s not nearly over.

Surprisingly, presidential hopeful (yeah, right) Newt Gingrich disagreed: “With today’s decision on marriage by the Ninth Circuit, and the likely appeal to the Supreme Court, more and more Americans are being exposed to the radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.” 

In addition, the (maybe) GOP front runner, Mitt Romney, had this to say, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

Also, Rick Santorum, the first-class asshole who last night won both the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses as well as the Missouri primary, offered his opinion, “Marriage is defined and has always been defined as ‘one man and one woman.’ We simply cannot allow 50 different definitions of marriage.

(Before I continue with my point about Proposition 8, I’m stating right here and now, I will leave my friends and family behind, and flee this fucking country if Rick Santorum is elected president. This is not a hollow threat.)

In any case, the addlepated triumvirate that’s left of the GOP hopefuls finally agreed on one thing that doesn’t have anything to do with President Obama being a socialist or a communist: they all feel homosexuals don’t have the same rights as the rest of us when it comes to the pursuit of happiness.

I’m apologizing ahead of time to those of my readers who are Christian. For the record, I am not Christian or even religious. Even though I spent the majority of my education in Catholic institutions, I emerged from them with the belief that religion, for me, exhibited the same usefulness as an 8-track player. That’s not to say I disregard religion or people who have faith. Some of the greatest people I know believe in a higher power. And I respect that. All I ask is that they do the same in regards to my non-belief in one.

But when it comes to condemnation of homosexuality, I will go against anyone, especially nitwits like Gingrich, Romney and Santorum.

As for Gingrich, these “Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States,” are proof of exactly nothing. It’s Newt appealing to the religious for votes even though we’re supposed to have a separation between church and state. And I don’t want to read any response that separation of church and state only applies to certain issues because that’s bullshit. It’s all or nothing. You don’t get to choose the application when it suits you.

Romney said what he said yesterday but in 1994 he said this: “If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.”  What a super fucking guy.

And Santorum. I can honestly say that when I went to find statements he’s made to elucidate my point here, I almost became physically ill reading about how this motherfucker hides behind religion and family values to push an agenda of hate-mongering that would make the staff of Fox News reconsider what they’re doing with their lives.

Bottom line is this: If you feel that homosexuals aren’t entitled to simple rights like being able to spend their lives together, own homes and adopt children, then I challenge you right here and now to explain to me why. I’ll read what you have to say and promise I’ll respond fairly.

quotation

I love to read. It keeps the noise of the world at bay. ↔ Art Garfunkel

tune

Guster. Yeah, I know they’re not cool. I was once at a festival listening to them and one of the hipper acts that went before Guster came into the crowd, stood next to me and loudly asked, “What the fuck is this? Hippie frat rock?” And even though Guster was one of the bands I was there to see, I had to laugh. It was an accurate assessment. But who gives a shit? Guster’s made some of my favorite songs. And here’s one of them: “Happier.” Oh, and that dude who made the comment, and although I dig lots of his tunes, the last time I checked he’s been struggling to find his way out of the Philadelphia music scene for quite some time.

gallimaufry

→ One of the greatest things about Sunday’s Super Bowl was Clint Eastwood’s “It’s Halftime In America” spot. Pundits on both sides of the aisle were confounded and I’m sure that’s just what he wanted. We’re probably the only society in the world who have a few celebrities who are beyond reproach and not to be trifled with. And it’s refreshing when one of them uses their standing to make a point, even if most of us missed it entirely.

→ Everyone’s talking about Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots, and his well-documented partying after his team’s loss. Leave the dude alone. He ‘s a young guy who needed to blow off some steam.

Who would so something like this?

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.

January 9th, 2012

word

gasconade [gas-kuhneyd] n. 1. extravagant boasting; boastful talk v. 2. to boast extravagantly; bluster

birthday

Richard Nixon (1913), Bob Denver (1935), Joan Baez (1941), J. K. Simmons (1955), Dave Matthews (1967), Joey Lauren Adams (1968)

standpoint

I’m back from vacation and I’ve got lots of things to share but today I’m going to defer to my sister-in-law, Christine Speer Lejeune, and post a link to her fantastic article from the latest issue of Philadelphia Magazine.

Read it and let me know what you think.

quotation

There’s a whole spectrum of douchebaggery. But the vast majority of peple are not part of that spectrum. ↔ Jon Cryer

tune

I am loving this song right now. “It’s Real” by Real Estate.

gallimaufry

→ Man, how pissed off are you Republicans out there? Rick Santorum is now your guy? More on this tomorrow or the next day. But chew on this while you’re waiting.

→ I was saddened to hear that Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast will most likely be closing after this school year. I didn’t grow up in Drexel Hill but I spent lots of time there when I was younger and I know how important those schools are to the community there. Big bummer.

Stephen Hawking is most likely the smartest man alive. Also, his suppositions are lugubrious.

06.15.11 – a wednesday

word

betide [bih-tahyd] v. 1. to happen to; come to; befall: Woe betide the villain! 2. to happen; come to pass: Whatever betides, maintain your courage

birthday

Sam Giancana (1908), Mario Cuomo (1932), Waylon Jennings (1937), Harry Nilsson (1941), Simon Callow (1949), Jim Varney (1949), James Belushi (1954), Julie Hagerty (1955), Helen Hunt (1963), Courteney Cox (1964), Ice Cube (1969), Leah Remini (1970), Neil Patrick Harris (1973)

standpoint

Let’s face it, there’s only so many reruns one can watch before looking elsewhere for entertainment. Two nights ago, I was ready to watch Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals but lost interest midway through the first period when it became clear only one team, the Boston Bruins, came to play.

So I turned on the CNN Republican Debate and I actually learned a few things. First, apparently people participating in debates don’t actually have to answer the question posed to them. Instead, they answer some imaginary question they would’ve have preferred to be asked. Second, Republicans, at least the seven gathered on that stage in New Hampshire, absolutely fucking hate Barack Obama. If you went by what they were saying, he can barely go to the bathroom by himself. Third, all the candidates love to make babies. Also, they love to brag about it. Fourth and last thing I learned is that everyone of them despises homosexuals.

Granted, I’m no political analyst. Normally, I steer clear of the whole arena because political arguments are, to me at least, exercises in futility usually won by simpletons with tunnel vision and booming voices. “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” Plato wrote that.

But I am going to weigh in on the good folks who took the stage for last night’s “debate” which in the end turned out to be more of a meet-and-greet with the American public. Here are the unique impressions each one left on me.

Rick Santorum – This dude is pretty much my worst nightmare to be stuck in a room with. The only thing this clown loves more than God is himself.

Michele Bachmann – From everything I’d heard about this woman, I was expecting her to say plenty of inane crap. But she didn’t. She’s either extremely coachable or not as dumb as everyone thinks.

Newt Gingrich – Don’t take this hombre lightly. His campaign may appear as if it’s run by high school stoners but he’s got words at his disposal. They’re the words of a douche but still.

Mitt Romney – I gather that he is the front runner. He sure acted like it. He didn’t have much to say but, damn, he sure looked presidential. Really great head of hair.

Ron Paul – I’d like to have a couple of drinks with this dude. So off-the-wall, he’s harmless but interesting. Reminded me of Elmer Fudd if he’d solved the speech problem and became intensely religious and political.

Tim Pawlenty – This guy showed everyone he can back down from a statement he made just 24 hours earlier with the best of them. A true politician.

Herman Cain – CEO of Godfather’s Pizza? Never heard of it. But if this guy is running for president, how insanely tasty must that pizza be? The only other time I’ve heard of him was when he was ranting about Obama being from Kenya. I definitely want to try that pizza.

All in all, the debate was modern day media at its finest with one enormous grapefruit being lobbed after the other. Bottom line? I understand the economy is in disarray but I can’t get behind anyone who blathers on and on about outmoded religious morays while simultaneously displaying such disdain for individuals who don’t fit into their accepted ideals of normalcy. I can’t advocate prosperity built on meaningless hatred. If that makes me unworldly or foolish or wide-eyed, I can live with that.

quotation

There’s an old saying that God exists in your search for him. I just want you to understand that I ain’t looking ↔ Leslie Nielsen

tune

It’s taken me a little bit of time to get around to listen to TV On The Radio‘s latest album, Nine Types of Light. (Once again recommended to me by my roommate Dan.) I like the first song on the album which is cleverly called “Second Song.”

gallimaufry

I found slicingupeyeballs.com by accident and I still haven’t gone through it but the Pixies‘ lyrical reference is enough for me to take it seriously.

→ I support John Kasich’s move here. It seems the governor of Ohio’s got a sense of humor.

Am I supposed to feel bad for this guy? Come on.