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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04.09.09 – Thursday

Word: histrionic [his-tree-on-ik] adj. 1. of or pertaining to actors or acting 2. deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech

 

Birthday: Charles Baudelaire (1821), Hugh Hefner (1926), Tom Lehrer (1928), Jim Fowler (1932), Carl Perkins (1932), Marty Kroft (1937), Peter Gammons (1945), Dennis Quaid (1954), Marc Jacobs (1963), Paulina Porizkova (1965), Jenna Jameson (1974), Albert Hammond, Jr. (1979), Keshia Knight Pulliam (1979), Jesse McCartney (1987)

 

Occurrence: 2003Saddam Hussein’s statue is toppled to the ground and destroyed by the Iraqi people as U.S. forces take over Baghdad. That was six years ago. When, exactly, did we win that war?

 

Standpoint: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about sayings or phrases that I find annoying. Since then, I’ve received emails and comments, both here and on Facebook, from all of you who wanted to share your annoying sayings. I found that what really bother some of you are frequently misused words. I picked the top three and did a little research. Here is that I found:

 

  1. “irregardless” vs. “regardless” – “Irregardless” is not a word. At least, not an accepted one. According to dictionary.com, “Irregardless” is a non-standard word because of the two negative elements ir- and –less. The site presumes that “those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may do so from a desire to add emphasis.” On the other hand, “regardless” means, “having or showing no regard.”  The winner: regardless
  2. “supposably” vs. “supposedly” – This one is going to disappoint some of you. Dictionary.com says both are fine. “Supposably” is defined as “to believe or assume as true; take for granted.” “Supposedly” is defined as “assumed as true, regardless of fact.” I don’t really see a difference, do you? The winner: it’s a tie
  3. “orientate” vs. “orient” – “Orientate” is actually a word. It means, “to arrange in order; to dispose or place (a body) so as to show its relation to other bodies.” (No, I don’t think that means an actual human body.) “Orient” has many different meanings, including one that resembles the above one for orientate. However, the one that fits with the way most people use both these words is “to familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances.” So when someone says, “I had to orientate him into the new apartment,” they’re misusing the word. The winner: orient

So, there you go. I still can’t believe that “supposably” is a word. Thanks everyone for your contributions.

QuotationIt’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

 

Tune: Over the weekend, I was having a conversation with a certain someone who insisted that all bands would choose making the big time over being a consistently working, moderately profitable one. I disagreed. Example of one such band? Cloud Cult. Here’s a blurb from the band’s official bio: “Despite offers from major labels, Cloud Cult has chosen to remain independent, recording and releasing their albums through Earthology Records, a not-for-profit environmental record label established by Minowa in 1998. On a self-funded shoe-string budget they have achieved top 20 CMJ radio charting for all of their last three albums, a domain usually reserved for the SubPops and Merges of the world.” My favorite Cloud Cult tune is “Hurricane and Fire Survival Guide.”

 

Link: Lights – Not sure if I’ve posted this before, but wanted to share it. Takes a few seconds to figure out.

 

Gallimaufry: Everyone’s talking about the Philadelphia Phillies’ new World Champions rings. Reviews have been good. I even overheard on lady call them “stunning.” I think the rings are pretty god-awful but I’d probably wear one if I’d just won the World Series. A shame they can’t present the team with the rings every night. The Phillies won in impressive style, coming back late in the game to win 12-11 after being down 10-3 (Thanks to Phinally Philly for the link)…Iron Man 2 began filming recently. Looks like Iron Man cast members Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) and Samuel L. Jackson (Col. Nick Fury) will return for the second installment while Don Cheadle will replace Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes. New cast members will include Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mickey Rourke (Whiplash) and Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer). It’s rumored that there will be appearances by Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins but nothing solid yet…Think status updates on Facebook and tweets on Twitter are getting impossible to follow? If so, you’re not going to like where Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove is predicting for the future in “A Brief History of the Status Update.” Personally, I think it’ll be great.

 

Incoming: Tomorrow – My “Top 3 Incredibly Cool Things To Do in Philadelphia This Weekend” and some other amazing stuff.