03.23.11 – a wednesday

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word

fugacious [fyoo-gey-shuhs] adj. 1. fleeting; transitory: a sensational story with but a fugacious claim on the public’s attention 2. Botany. falling or fading early

birthday

Joan Crawford (1905), David Grisman (1945), Ric Ocasek (1949), Chaka Khan (1953), Kenneth Cole (1954), Moses Malone (1955), Amanda Plummer (1957), Richard Grieco (1965), Yasmeen Ghauri (1971), Keri Russell (1976), Perez Hilton (1978)

standpoint

This wasn’t easy, although I’m sure it’ll seem like it was.

Last night (or earlier tonight, depending on whether we’re talking about your perspective or mine), I was driving from Skippack, where I work, to Manayunk, where I reside. I was in full-on music geek mode and decided that I was going to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, something I’ve attempted before but never been able to pull the trigger on: My Favorite Music of All-Time.

The main problem with compiling this list has been that it gets too long. So I decided to break it down into categories which I will share with you over the next few days or, truthfully, however long it takes.

I may regret it as the whole damn thing might get a little out of control and beyond the point of any real structure or direction but, as I’ve said in the past, I’m the only one writing this blog and so I’m my own boss. (Despite Joe Taylor’s many late night claims otherwise.)

All right, I’m going to start with the Six Songs I’ve Played the Most in the Past Ten Years According to My Two iPods.

Number Six

“Inner Meet Me” – The Beta Band

Number Five

“Finer Feelings” – Spoon

Number Four

“Ain’t That Enough” – Teenage Fanclub

Number Three

“Modern Mystery” – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Number Two

“Harmonium” – Rogue Wave

Number One

“Beautiful Beat” – Nada Surf

There’s the first installment. Tomorrow will be yet another.

quotation

I apologize to computer chess after calling it stupid when I lost. You’re not stupid, computer chess. I am. ↔ Michael Ian Black

tune

I like Jeb Loy Nichols and I like most versions of “The Tracks Of My Tears.” I found this and didn’t even really listen to it. Just decided to put it up here. Hope you like it.

gallimaufry

You know what Twitter needs? I do. Twilter. Instead of ceasing to follow someone who’s bugging the shit out you, you can employ Twilter, a program that will block retweets, tweets with spam links, etc. and so forth. All you computer programmers out there, feel free to run with it. Just do me a favor. If you become the next internet millionaire from the idea, make sure someone besides Jack Black or Kevin Smith portrays me in the movie they make about you. Deal? Those guys are at least 100 lbs. bigger than me.

→ Dear NFL, if you’re trying to turn the most popular sport in the country into something no one is interesting watching, nice job. These are a first few steps in the right direction.

→ For those of you who are tired of news that matters, read this. It’s nice to see there’s at least a few people out there with their eye on the ball. Christ.

04.30.10 – A Friday

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much obliged

Before I get into the last post, I wanted to thank all of you for reading and posting comments to the daily euneJeune. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all the feedback and support.

For their role, however large or small, they played in making this a rewarding undertaking, I’d like to give a special thanks to the following people: Donika Miller, Marc Schuster, David Frees, John Sellers, Ezgi Bilici, Joe Taylor, John Hay, Kate Jacovino, Jeannie Matamoros, Beth Treisner, Heather Petrovsky, Courtney Papada Daly, Kelly Kampf, Jonathan Chriswell, Bill McLeer, Kristie Attardi, Wynn Sanders, Mike Graveley, Richard O’Connor, Brian McFadden, Kevin Emery, Adam Schwartzberg and Annette Burgess. Your support was huge.

Sorry if you deserved a mention and didn’t get one. Doesn’t mean anything other than I’m forgetful.

Also, a special shout-out goes to Mindninja, or Jen, or whatever the hell your name is, for stalking me for a few months last year. Your unrelenting negativity taught me there’s always going to be someone who flat out disagrees with my perspective. I have no idea who you are, but I have my theories (ex-girlfriend, ex-friend, etc.). Whoever you are, I hope the medication is working.

All right, now to today’s installment.

word

abeyance [uh-bey-uhns] n. 1. temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension: Let’s hold that problem in abeyance for a while 2. Law. a state or condition of real property in which title is not as yet vested in a known titleholder: an estate in abeyance

birthday

Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651), David Thompson (1770), Alice B. Toklas (1877), Percy Heath (1923), Johnny Horton (1925), Cloris Leachman (1926), Willie Nelson (1933), Gary Collins (1938), Burt Young (1940), Jill Clayburgh (1944), Isaiah Thomas (1961), Akon (1973), Johnny Galecki (1975), Kirsten Dunst (1982)

standpoint

It’s finally here. The day I’m closing shop on the euneJeune daily. 14 months ago, I began this to prove to myself I could write something, good or bad, on a daily basis. And, for the most part, I did. I’ll always look back to this blog as something I’m proud of. I’m going to miss it badly.

But life goes on and I need to spend the time I allotted for this and use it for the writing I was meant to. Don’t worry, I won’t be entirely disappearing from the internet. I’ve been invited to be a contributor on Popularity Contest, a blog recently started by my friend Marc Schuster, and I’ll be posting stories on there from time-to-time.

I love Esquire and my favorite section is always “What I’ve Learned.” For my last Standpoint, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about myself, about the internet, about the world, from what I’ve done here.

» Astrology is horseshit. The day of the year someone happens to be born is completely inconsequential. Oskar Schindler and Saddam Hussein share the same birthday. So do Leonardo da Vinci and Seth Rogen, Raphael and Zach Braff, Vincent van Gogh and MC Hammer, James Madison and Erik Estrada. Looking for similarities within those pairings is ridiculous.

» Like most writers, I guess, I have a tendency to concentrate on troublesome people. I’ve focused more on Glenn Beck, Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin than I have on Chuck Klosterman, Conan O’Brien and Jack Kerouac. Something I should dwell on for a stretch.

» I have a broader vocabulary than I used to. The other day, I heard someone describe himself as a polemic and I knew exactly what he meant. (He was calling himself a controversialist.)

» The amount of news stories on any given day is staggering. Between the “reputable” sources and the bloggers, it’s fairly easy to find a news story in which the facts are presented just the way you like them. It’s great because no one ever again has to be wrong. Even when they are.

» I challenge you to find any quotations website where Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Ralph Waldo Emerson aren’t prominently featured. Go on, I dare you.

» Probably even Zach Rogue thinks I listen to too much Rogue Wave.

» When you write a blog, your greatest friends won’t read it. If you offered my best friend Harvey $1 million to tell you just one thing I wrote about here in the past six months, he’d be forced to forfeit the cash. (I have to say Joe Taylor is an exception to this rule. Or I’d never hear the end of it.)

» If you’re doing anything online that’s in need of promotion and you fail to see the merits of Facebook an Twitter, you need to reconsider. The days where I shared or tweeted my latest post, my traffic was over three times higher than those days I didn’t. The stuff works.

» One thing anyone who writes needs to remember is that there are those out there who internalize everything they read. Because of that, you’ll receive negative and hurtful attacks. Never let the vitriol people spew stop you from expressing yourself. Fuck those people. Wake up tomorrow and keep going.

I’ve learned all that and more. I hope you learned some things, as well.

quotation

Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. Richard Bach

tune

For my last post I thought this Elliott Smith song was rather appropriate. Enjoy “A Fond Farewell.”

gallimaufry

→ If you’re not yet reading Hyperbole and a Half, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. One of the greatest blogs I’ve read.

→ Man, US Senators sure do fancy themselves some meddling. Hey, elected officials, I’ve got to believe there some other problem you can be trying to solve. We’d be in a pretty sweet spot right now if Facebook privacy issues was the country’s highest priority.

This is the closest thing I’ve seen resembling honest journalism in a long, long time.

04.02.10 – A Friday

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word

hypocrite [hipuh-krit] n. 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs 2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements

birthday

Charlemagne (742), Thomas Jefferson (1743), Hans Christian Andersen (1805), Émile Zola (1840), Walter Chrysler (1875), Max Ernst (1891), Buddy Ebsen (1908), Sir Alec Guinness (1914), Jack Webb (1920), Serge Gainsbourg (1928), Marvin Gaye (1939), Dr. Demento (1941), Leon Russell (1942), Linda Hunt (1945), Anne Waldman (1945), Emmylou Harris (1947), Christopher Meloni (1961), Clark Gregg (1962), Rodney King (1965), Adam Rodriguez (1975)

standpoint

Since I’m having trouble being creative this week, I thought today’s standpoint could serve to further one of the more popular sections of this blog – tune. Instead of sharing just one of my favorite songs today, I’m going to share several that I’ve bookmarked at one time or the other. No rhyme or reason here, people. Totally random. Enjoy.

quotation

The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor. ↔ Benjamin Franklin

tune

Even though I’ve shared more than enough songs with you, I’m prepared to offer an additional one. Since revamping the iPod, I’ve been listening to lots and lots of Rogue Wave. I’m fully aware I’m fixated. What can I say? They’re my favorite band, and we’re all going to have to agree with the fact you’re going to need to come to grips with that. Here’s a live version of “Sewn Up.”

gallimaufry

I’m openly declaring it right now. Parenthood is the best show on television right now. Of course, the mere fact I like it means it’ll be cancelled by the time I wake up today. Sorry, Ron Howard.

→ Here’s Reason #423 you should, if provided the chance, get the fuck out of this country. That’s my plan. We can coordinate.

→ Sorry, not to be callous but when you’ve got “only rum and anti-depressants for company,” I doesn’t matter who you are – eventually you’re going to think about sticking a gun in your mouth.

03.05.10 – A Friday

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word

cache [kash] n. 1. a hiding place, esp. one in the ground, for ammunition, food, treasures, etc.: She hid her jewelry in a little cache in the cellar 2. anything so hidden: The enemy never found our cache of food 3. Alaska and Northern Canada. a small shed elevated on poles above the reach of animals and used for storing food, equipment, etc

birthday

Howard Pyle (1853), Rex Harrison (1908), Dean Stockwell (1936), Paul Evans (1938), Fred Williamson (1938), Marsha Warfield (1954), Penn Jilette (1955), Teena Marie (1956), Andy Gibb (1958), Charles and Craig Reid (1962), Joel Osteen (1963), Michael Irvin (1966), MC Solaar (1969), John Frusciante (1970), Kevin Connolly (1974), Eva Mendes (1974), Niki Taylor (1975)

standpoint

Time for a very special Friday edition of The Wishing Well, the weekly installment where I wish for things that’ll most likely never happen. Let’s begin.

I WISH Hollywood wasn’t completely dragging its heels. I mean, what is all this Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus crap all about. You what, though? People are going to go see this gigantic piece of garbage. That’s sadder than any movie.

I WISH the human race had developed more styles of driving. As far as I can tell, we have two. The first one is a balls-out aggressive approach that seems to put a concern for human life lower on the list of what’s important than, say, getting to a tennis lesson on time. The second one is a cautious defensive approach that seems to get some thinking going 35 mph on a major fucking highway is somehow safe.

I WISH I could piss all over how everyone in Philadelphia is so damn excited about the Philadelphia Phillies’ upcoming season. But I can’t. Truth be told, I’m sort of excited myself.

I WISH I could tell you truthfully that my third attempt at reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest was a glowing success. But that’s be a lie, people. That book is just too freaking long and dense. Sorry, Mr. Wallace, maybe the fourth time will be a charm?

I WISH someone out there could tell me what the entertainment draw might have been in watching the NFL Scouting Combine. A bunch of dudes I’ve never heard of running sprints on some field somewhere isn’t exactly my idea of riveting television. But, hey, what do I know?

That’s it for me this week. How about you? What are you wishing for right about now?

quotation

Small miseries, like small debts, hit us in so many places, and meet us at so many turns and corners, that what they want in weight, they make up in number, and render it less hazardous to stand the fire of one cannon ball, than a volley composed of such a shower of bullets.Rudyard Kipling

tune

So far, Permalight, the new album by Rogue Wave, has not disappointed me. I’m really liking it a great deal. The opening track is downright decent. Check out “Solitary Gun.”

gallimaufry

This has happened to me many many times. I’m sure you’ve gone through something just like it. Unless you were one of those people who always insists on sleeping in a bed. If you are one of those annoying individuals, maybe the article isn’t for you.

I liked it when people called each other “ock.” It sucks that didn’t stick. Just sounded kind of cool.

→ I know I dropped the ball with the Standpoint section this week, people. Lots going on and I just kind of wasn’t in the mood. That’ll change next week. Come back Monday for some more.

02.24.10 – A Wednesday

word

incursion [in-kur-zhuhn, -shuhn] n. 1. a hostile entrance into or invasion of a place or territory, esp. a sudden one; raid: The bandits made brief incursions on the village 2. a harmful inroad 3. a running in: the incursion of sea water

birthday

Wilhelm Grimm (1786), 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), Helen Shaver (1951), Steve Jobs (1955), Sammy Kershaw (1958), Mark Moses (1958), Michelle Shocked (1962), Teri Weigel (1962), Bill Bailey (1964), Billy Zane (1966), Mitch Hedberg (1968), Bonnie Somerville (1974)

standpoint

It’s the post you’ve been patiently biding your time for all week. Let’s dive into The Wishing Well, a weekly segment where I make five (5) wishes for things that’ll probably never come to fruition.

I WISH everyone would stop using made-up words involving this winter’s rash of snowstorms. Snowtographs? Snowicane? How about all these weather people take off their creative hats and just stick to the facts? Really, it’s all more than a little embarrassing. So quit it.

I WISH every cop drama each had a Det. Jimmy McNulty and Omar Little. Respectively played by Dominic West and Michael K. Williams on the now defunct HBO series The Wire, these characters are accurate portrayals of the way most of us really are, opting to either do the right thing or the wrong thing as dictated by what the circumstances the situation calls for.

I WISH Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson didn’t come off like such a thug with his tweets. “On my cali shit that’s why the world of tweet ain’t heard from me…. y’all stay tunned tho got major shit craccn betta believe dat…”  Come on, man, at least make an effort, for crying out loud. And what’s with all the references to “Jerkin’?”

I WISH more of you actually gave a crap about how monumental a victory it was when Team USA beat Team Canada in Men’s Ice Hockey this past Sunday night. Only because I want to talk about it more and I’m pretty sure that, even though she’s a big hockey fan, my girlfriend is growing weary of me yapping about it.

I WISH it was readily apparent why in the world Tiger Woods felt the need to apologize to us about cheating on his wife. Dude, I feel bad for your wife and kids. What you did to them was wrong and you should make some massive atonement. But, truly, the rest of us aren’t losing any sleep over it. Play golf, or don’t. Be faithful to your wife, or don’t be. Believe it or not, whatever you decide, we’ll go on with our lives. Just stay the fuck away from our women, you sex crazed maniac.

That’s it for this week’s installment. How about you? You wishing for anything right now?

quotation

No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.Mignon McLaughlin

tune

I’ve always told anyone who’d listen that, despite what you might think of the band Toto, you’re obviously some kind of soulless bastard if you don’t like, even a little bit, the song “Africa.” The other night I stumbled upon this amazing a capella version of it. You have got to see it. I really dig how they use their hands to simulate the storm sounds.

gallimaufry

I was going to wait until closer to fantasy football season to post this, but it’s just too good. Every word of this made me realize how much I hate fantasy football drafts.

→ As I’m sure you are, I’m counting down the days until the release of Permalight, the new album from my favorite band, Rogue Wave. If you need a fix until then, check this out. March 2nd can’t come soon enough.

→ All I’m going to say about this is if this kid didn’t kill these cats, they need to find the sicko that did and lock him up for a few decades.

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01.25.10 – A Monday

WORD

skulduggery [skuhl-duhguh-ree] n. 1. dishonorable proceedings; mean dishonesty or trickery: bribery, graft, and other such skulduggery 2. an instance of dishonest or deceitful behavior; trick

BIRTHDAY

William Cavendish (1640), Robert Burns (1759), W. Somerset Maugham (1874), Virginia Woolf (1882), Antônio Carlos Jobim (1927), Etta James (1938), Steve Prefontaine (1951), The Honky Tonk Man (1953), Stephen Chbosky (1970), Dat Phan (1975), Alicia Keys (1981)

STANDPOINT

The New Orleans Saints will face off against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

And people will bitch about that because, let’s face it, bitching about everything is just about all we do anymore. But I like the matchup because, for the first time I can remember, both teams earned the right to be there.

That bothers most people because there’s less of a storyline. If the New York Jets had beaten the Colts, sportswriters would’ve had a field day with many underdog stories that would most assuredly prominently featured the word “scrappy.” If the Minnesota Vikings had beaten the Saints, there would’ve been an onslaught of conjecture about whether this would be Brett Favre‘s last chance to once again win it all.

But neither of those things happened. The two teams that went undefeated for the better part of the regular season are going to meet to see who’s best. That’s the way it should be because it makes this year’s Super Bowl much more meaningful. But the build up before is lessened because what was supposed to happen actually came true. No scrappy underdogs. No fading legend taking his last stab at ultimate glory. No added drama.

Just the two best football teams squaring off against each other. It’s sad that, for most of us, that’s not nearly enough.

QUOTATION

Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together?  I guess that wouldn’t work.  Someone would leave.  Someone always leaves.  Then we would have to say good-bye.  I hate good-byes.  I know what I need.  I need more hellos.Charles M. Schultz

TUNE

Sometimes, I’ve trouble understanding why a song that’s really kind of fucking great isn’t included on a band’s album. Case in point? “Sightlines” by Rogue Wave. It appears on the Spider-Man 3 Soundtrack. How in the world did it not make the cut? In any case, you can click on the “Sightlines” link above and download the song from the band’s website.

GALLIMAUFRY

If you live in California, I seriously suggest you read all about “Frankenstorm.” If it is possible, it’s pretty fucking dire.

→ Late at night, my girlfriend makes me watch Roseanne. A lot. And while I gripe about it from time to time, I secretly like the show. (Not so much of a secret now, I guess.) Roseanne Barr was at her least annoying and John Goodman was, well, really good. Man.

→ My buddy Anthony SanFilippo covers the Philadelphia Flyers for The Delaware County Daily Times and he does it extremely well. One of his latest pieces on former Flyer R. J. Umberger shines a light on Anthony’s true love for the game of hockey as well as Umberger’s outstanding character. If you’re a Flyers’ fan, you should be reading Anthony’s column often. And, for the record, I’m singing his praises despite the fact he trounced me this past week in our fantasy hockey league.

01.08.10 – A Friday

WORD

colloquial [kuhloh-kwee-uhl] adj. 1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal 2. involving or using conversation

BIRTHDAY

Hans von Bülow (1830), Frank Nelson Doubleday (1862), Larry Storch (1923), Soupy Sales (1926), Elvis Presley (1935), Bob Eubanks (1938), Graham Chapman (1941), Robby Krieger (1946), David Bowie (1947), Mike Reno (1955), Paul Hester (1959), R. Kelly (1967), Ami Dolenz (1969), Sean Paul (1973)

STANDPOINT

As I type this, I’m watching a TNT promo for Southland. Last year, NBC dropped the cop drama before it even debuted. TNT scooped it up and will start running the series, in its entirety, this Tuesday. (TNT is waiting to see how the ratings go for the seven episodes NBC aired plus six never-before-seen ones before deciding to order a new season.)

As I’ve felt in the past, I’m currently confounded why some quality shows get the boot and other crappy shows (According To Jim, The Real World, Judge Judy, JAG) seem to run on forever. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since quality entertainment seems to be a notion no one concern themselves with.

It got me thinking about some other shows that were inexplicably dropped before their time. The following is a list of my favorite shows abandoned too soon.

QUOTATION

The National Rifle Association says that, “Guns don’t kill people, uh, people do.” But I think, I think the gun helps. You know? I think it helps. I just think just standing there going, “Bang!” That’s not going to kill too many people, is it?Eddie Izzard

TUNE

There’s not a ton of information out there on Seattle-based band The Pale Pacific (formerly The Pale). I came upon the 2005 release Urgency a while back and it became one of my favorite “half albums” – those containing an equal amount of both good and so-so songs. (I’ve got a lot of those, by the way.) One of the better songs is “Identity Theft.” Give it a listen.

GALLIMAUFRY

I’m not so naive to think all of this wintry weather going on is proof-positive that global warming is hogwash. But -50° wind chills in the Midwest don’t exactly help Al Gore’s cause.

→ Someone needs to be in a world of hurt to attempt to stab themselves to death. That’s exactly what Howard Stern’s sidekick, Artie Lange, did. Nine times. Long bouts of depression and numerous episodes of drug abuse apparently led him to it. Here’s hoping the guy can find some kind of peace and shake loose of his demons.

→ The other day, I reported that Vampire Weekend and Spoon were releasing albums next Tuesday. I lied. Vampire Weekend is releasing Contra next week, but Spoon’s Transference won’t come out until two weeks later. In any case, should be a good couple of months coming up for new music with Ben Kweller, Eels, Beach House, David Bowie, Midlake, Hot Chip, Peter Gabriel, Field Music, Jason Falkner, Shout Out Louds, Rogue Wave, The Whigs, Aloha, Frightened Rabbit, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Morning Benders and White Stripes all poised with fresh material.