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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10.01.09 – A Thursday

WORD

anathema [uhnathuh-muh] n. 1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him 2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction 3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication 4. any imprecation of divine punishment 5. a curse; execration

BIRTHDAY

Richard Stockton (1730), William Boeing (1881), Helio Gracie (1913), Walter Matthau (1920), Jimmy Carter (1924), William Rehnquist (1924), Roger Willams (1926), Tom Bosley (1927), George Peppard (1928), Richard Harris (1930), Julie Andrews (1935), Randy Quaid (1950), Youssou N’Dour (1959), Esai Morales (1962), Mark McGwire (1963), Christopher Titus (1966)

STANDPOINT

Short and sweet today. Listening to all you Philadelphia Eagles “fans” talk about Kevin Kolb and how unimpressed you were with his two starts makes me want to drown you.

The dude becomes the first QB ever to throw for over 300 yards in each of his first starts and, still, you’ve got negative shit to say.

In my humble opinion, you people are lucky to have any sports teams at all. You suck.

QUOTATION

I like when they bring a comedian on stage, they always tell you what else they do. But fuck, this is enough, isn’t it? He’s here tonight performing, because that is his job! But no, it’s gotta be, “He laid bricks in Philadelphia. And he repaired a car in Oklahoma. He has an umbrella store in Philadelphia. That’s the only city that comes to mind right now. Philadelphia, ’cause you can say “Philly” and the people from Philadelphia will not get mad. Like if you say “Frisco,” San Francisco people say, “Fuck off!” But if you say “Philly” they say, “Alright!” Because I don’t always have time to say “Philadelphia.” Sometimes I just need that word to be two syllables. Phil-a-del-phi-a. Fuck, five! Your town would be called Philly too if it had five syllables!Mitch Hedberg

(Note: While I think Mitch Hedberg’s stuff is supremely kind of funny at times, I disagree with the whole “Philly” thing. I’ve never liked it. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, how much longer does it take to actually pronounce “Philadelphia?” Maybe about .2 seconds? And, if you’re from here, how often do you really have to say the actual name of the city? “Hey, next Tuesday, let’s meet in Northern Liberties. It’s a neighborhood in Philadelphia, where you and I both live. Just wanted to clarify.” For the record, if someone said that to me, I would stand them up. I can’t hang with that person.)  

TUNE

“Tim and Sam make music for the entrance foyer to heaven.” Those are the word of Megan Vaughan from manchestermusic.co.uk. She’s referring to Tim & Sam Band. And, possibly, Megan is right. Check out “Summer Solstice.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, things have gotten shitty for Washington Redskins fans. I can’t believe there are bids on this guy’s eBay offering. But, when your team loses to the Detroit Lions, there may be few other recourses.

→ For all the people out there who were worries, and I know that’s like almost all of you, my current health problems were due to an oversight in medications conflicting with one another. I’m fine now.

→ Earlier this week, I tried to explain my take on the problems with individual’s personal music tastes. And, I was wrong. Just a little. But I was mostly right. But Blender.com’s list of “The 50 Worst Artists in Music History” is more off than I was. Toad the Wet Sprocket? Spin Doctors? Blind Melon? The Doors? Crash Test Dummies? Oingo Boingo? Not the best bands in the world, but I’m betting this list was written by a bunch of people who attended college in the 1990s and spent every weekend watching everyone else go out and have fun while they sat around with their friend and argued about which reruns of The Simpsons to watch. Also, they probably argued about whether James T. Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard was the better captain of the USS Enterprise. Just so you know, it was Picard.