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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07.25.11 – a monday

word

flivver [fliv-er] n. 1. Older Slang. an automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive and old 2. Slang. something of unsatisfactory quality or inferior grade

birthday

Thomas Eakins (1844), Estelle Getty (1923), Matt LeBlanc (1967), Brad Renfro (1982)

standpoint

So I’m sure you’re all tiring of my excuses (or lack thereof) for not updating as much as we’ve all grown accustomed. But shit just keeps getting in the way. For instance, last week I wrenched my back due to an unfortunate sneeze (lame, I know) and it was really all I could do to get up and down the stairs for a day or two.

But here’s some stuff I was concentrating/obsessing on while I was laid up.

→ I’m off the whole James Spader appearance on the season finale of The Office for the time being (almost). My latest thing is Conan O’Brien and “It looks good!” I’ve been annoying everyone with it, especially my exceedingly patient girlfriend who I’m assuming understands I just need to get it out of my system. Here’s a sample of what I’m referring to:

It’s positively addicting.

→ The NFL lockout. What a bunch of complete nonsense. There will be an NFL season, people. In the oft chance I’m wrong and the parties can’t come to an agreement, I’ll probably just going on living life as usual.

→ Next year sometime, there’s going to be a movie released, starring Robert De Niro, with the best title ever: Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Come on, you know you’re curious.

→ Last, and I guess most important, I was reading about the US debt ceiling talks between John Boehner and President Obama breaking down and now it seems that both the Republican and Democratic parties are prepping for action. And it made me think of the term cluster fuck which was originally a military term used to describe a situation in which there were too many officers involved in solving a problem that basically required only one clear cut decision.  If you’re a conscientious thinker (or at the very least masquerade as one) then the time has come when you need to re-evaluate just what in the hell is going on around you. You hate Obama and his flaky liberal agenda? Fine. You think the Republican party is comprised of close-minded gasbags? Fine. You have the sneaking suspicion that maybe Ralph Nader wasn’t batshit crazy? Fine (maybe). Whichever way you lean or don’t, it’s essentially defunct nowadays. It’s paramount that, as of today, we start catechizing the political dogma we’ve been forever spoon-fed and begin formulating a new way of doing things because, and I know this is an unpopular mindset, this shit just ain’t working.

quotation

Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem. ↔ Benjamin Hoff

tune

I always loved this version of “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” by Marshall Crenshaw from the Lou Diamond Phillips‘ classic film, La Bamba.

gallimaufry

→ Everyone always said that they could see it coming but it doesn’t make the death of 27 year old Amy Winehouse any less tragic. Rest in peace, troubled soul.

→ I’m pretty sure the only person dismayed by this is Sarah Palin. Christ, could she be more laughable?

→ Looks like my chance purchase of Washed Out’s Within and Without created quite a buzz. I mean, it could just be a coincidence that Ernest Greene‘s album has taken off into the stratosphere since I wrote about it on this very blog last week but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s all ready a thank you letter headed my way.

06.06.11 – a monday

word

pangram [pan-gruhm, – gram, pang-] n. a sentence, verse, etc. that includes all the letters of the alphabet Ex: Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.

birthday

Thomas Mann (1875), Robert Englund (1947), Harvey Fierstein (1952), Colin Quinn (1959), Paul Giamatti (1967)

standpoint

I’d love to go off right now about all the stuff on my mind. Like how X-Men: The Last Stand wasn’t as good as I remembered it after watching it last night. Or how I seem to be the world’s biggest idiot when it comes to applying suntan lotion for a simple three-hour jaunt on the beach. Or how annoying I find this story about the Oregon woman. Or how messed up it is that Jenna Bush bought 100,000 acres of Paraguay real estate because she knows the world will run out of water well before it runs out of oil.

But I’ll hold my tongue and save some vitriol for the upcoming week.

quotation

The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water and it will help you move. ↔ Aleksandr Popov

tune

How “Alcoholiday” didn’t make it onto Teenage Fanclub’s Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds is beyond me.

gallimaufry

Everybody, and I mean everybody, has been telling me I pick on Sarah Palin too much. But, come on, when someone keeps lobbing in grapefruit like this, it’s simply impossible to resist swinging.

→ Ok. I might be an idiot but I can’t find any news stories regarding how many people got arrested at yesterday’s Philadelphia International Cycling Championship (also known as The Manayunk Bike Race). Guess it wasn’t the shitstorm everyone was anticipating.

→ Wow. Hipsters far and wide must have been unable to concentrate for hours after this. What’s next? I shudder to think.

05.31.11 – a tuesday

word

jackanapes [jakuh-neyps] n. 1. an impertinent, presumptuous person, especially a young man; whippersnapper 2. an impudent, mischievous child 3. Archaic. an ape or monkey

birthday

Walt Whitman (1819), Clint Eastwood (1930), John Bonham (1948), Tom Berenger (1949), Lea Thompson (1961), Brooke Shields (1965), Colin Farrell (1976)

standpoint

Here’s some things bothering me after the holiday weekend.

→ I watched The Dilemma with several friends yesterday. Boy, did it completely suck.

How does a manhole explode from “cable malfunctions?” Luckily, it was on the other side of town and I wasn’t effected.

→ Went to Hymie’s Merion Deli yesterday for lunch. Hadn’t been there in years. Truly solid experience. If you have the means, check it out.

→ If you have a problem with getting addicted to video games then you should definitely steer clear of Tiny Wings. It’s menacing.

quotation

 In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ↔ Albert Camus

tune

I get these updates from a popular news source that I would mention but I don’t feel like linking. Over the weekend, I was checking my email on my iPod touch and I read the news that Gil Scott-Heron passed away Friday at the age of 62. If you don’t know who he was or why he was important, do yourself a favor and check him out. Here’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

gallimaufry

Christ. Jessica Rabbit wasn’t as much of a cartoon character as this lady. I know I pick on Palin a lot but, come on all ready.

→ The Stanley Cup Finals start tomorrow. The Boston Bruins vs. The Vancouver Canucks. I’d be surprised if the Canucks don’t take it in five games. But I’ve been all kinds of wrong lately when it comes to hockey so the Bruins will probably sweep them.

→ I’m hearing lots of negative shit about The Hangover Part II. Anyone got something nice to say about the movie?

05.27.11 – a friday

word

dilapidate [dih-lap-i-deyt] v. 1. to cause or allow (a building, vehicle, etc.) to fall into a state of disrepair, as by misuse or neglect (often used passively): the house had been dilapidated by neglect 2. Archaic. to squander; waste. 3. to fall into ruin or decay

birthday

Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794), Wild Bill Hickok (1837), Hubert H. Humphrey (1911), Vincent Price (1911), Sam Snead (1912), Henry Kissinger (1923), Louis Gossett, Jr. (1936), Richard Schiff (1955), Siouxsie Sioux (1957), Neil Finn (1958), Adam Carolla (1964), Todd Bridges (1965), Jack McBrayer (1973), André 3000 (1975)

standpoint

Fanboys. Generally harmless, right? Sure, if a fanboy (I’m using the term “fanboy” throughout here with the complete understanding that not all fanboys are, in fact, boys.) is into a sports team or a particular genre of science fiction, I’ve got no beef. Adulate away, fanboy. Go nuts.

But there’s one realm of entertainment in which there needs to be an agreed upon set of rules and regulations in regard to a fanboy code of conduct. That realm is music concerts, specifically those of the indie-rock persuasion.

At this point, I’m going to address all you fanboys out there directly.

Seriously, what are you trying to prove? We’re all here to enjoy the show and you’re completely ruining it for the 20 or so of us unfortunate enough to experience the show with you.

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, he’s not talking about me,” and it’s altogether possible I’m not so here’s a checklist you can go through to see if, indeed, I am talking about you.

√ You’re wearing the t-shirt, no matter how obscure, of the headliner i.e. wearing a Bon Iver t-shirt to a Bon Iver show. As Jeremy Piven warned, “Don’t be that guy.”

√ You’re wearing a t-shirt that has nothing to do with the headliner i. e. wearing a Bon Jovi t-shirt to a Bon Iver show. We get it. When we try to walk, we’re slipping from all the irony you’re dropping on the floor.

√ During rare moments of silence, you shout out the name of some random song the band almost never plays. Rivers Cuomo won’t play Pinkerton anymore. Get over it. (At least, he didn’t used to. He might have changed his mind since the last time I paid any attention to Weezer.)

√ You sing your goddamn guts out to every friggin’ song. Worse, you harmonize to it. You’re not on stage and no one’s paying money to hear you belt out your favorite lyrics. I hope the clown I sat next to at The Shins‘ show a few years back reads this and finally feels guilty that I still have no idea what James Mercer sounds like live.

√ You exuberantly high-five or fist-bump at any point during the show. I concede this one’s a bit of a gray area. Depends on the show, I guess. But, unless it has something to do with a hockey game, I’m still not on board with public high-fiving, I realize my opinion might be in the minority but it shouldn’t be.

√ You’ve written an ultimate dream set-list, refer to it constantly during the course of the show and whip yourself into a talkative state of frenzy as you come closer to the realization it’s just not gonna happen.

√ You record any part of the show for more than five seconds. If you attempt to record the whole thing, you should go home and reconsider what you’ve become.

Bottom line, fanboys (and fangirls), we’re all just trying to watch the show we ponied up good dough to see. Your enthusiasm is equal parts understandable and unwelcome. We’re all psyched to be at the concert but the difference between you and the rest of us is that we understand we’re out in public while you either seem to be ignoring or unaware of that fact. Whichever reason it happens to be, it does nothing to diminish how much you suck.

quotation

Today is my father’s 70th birthday. So this is a quote, by me, about Daniel Lejeune, my papa.

Of everyone I’ve met and everyone I’ve known, I’ve yet to encounter someone with a father like mine. 

tune

One of the best band names ever is Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. But it’s not a band at all, just the stage name of Sam Duckworth. Haven’t heard much lately from Mr. Duckworth but a few years ago Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. was a huge buzz band. You’ll have to take my word for that as I’ve nothing to back that statement up. But here’s “Once More With Feeling.” Enjoy.

gallimaufry

They should call this the “Here’s How Bad It’s Gotten Tour.” Please, someone stop this bus. I’m not saying blow it up or anything. But maybe throw some tacks down in front of the tires, sugar in the gas tank or something similar.

→ Man, how pissed off is the entire Cleveland area right now? Sometimes, nightmares can come true.

→ While other media outlets are concerned with trivial matters like world affairs and whatnot, TMZ continues to keep America focused on the important shit. Bono and Maria Shriver had lunch? Two douchebags from Jersey Shore involved in fisticuffs? Lindsay Lohan entertains a visit during the first day of house arrest? You betcha. Why would you frequent any other website?

05.23.11 – a monday

word

tyro [tahy-ro] n. a beginner in learning anything; novice

birthday

Douglas Fairbanks (1883), Scatman Crothers (1910), Joan Collins (1933), Drew Carey (1958), Jewel (1974)

standpoint

Yesterday was my birthday and, holy shit, the amount of emails, Facebook messages, texts and calls I received was pretty damn humbling.

But as great a day as it was, there was a twinge of sadness that, at first, I couldn’t figure out. And then I realized it was the first birthday in a well over a decade with no Harv. For those of you who might not know, my best friend Harvey Forsyth passed away last November. One of the countless things I loved about him was that, while he was ever reluctant to make a big deal about his own birthday, he was always more than willing to make a big deal out of mine.

I’m not discounting all of the fantastic sentiments I received yesterday because that’s simply not the case. I truly appreciated every last one. But, without a second’s hesitation, I would trade all of them for one more chance to sit next to Harv at our favorite bar as he held up his beer to meet mine and wished me a happy birthday.

quotation

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. ↔ Frank Lloyd Wright

tune

This one’s gonna take a little patience. If I was only allowed to listen to 20 songs for the rest of my life, “Tokyo” by Bob Schneider would be a shoe-in. This is the only video I could find of it and it’s not that great and there’s a fanboy singing along at parts but I think the lyrics are some of the best around. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

The answer to the question posed in the title of this article is a very loud and resounding, “WHY WOULD YOU WASTE YOUR TIME WRITING THIS?”

→ I’m constantly back and forth about Daniel Tosh. Sometimes, I think we might get along famously. Other times, I’m convinced he’d be annoying on a level I haven’t experienced. I’m relatively sure, when he thinks about me, he’s having the same sort of internal struggle.

→ Okay. Fine. The Vancouver Canucks is the best team in the NHL. I was wrong. You guys were right. I can’t call them all so just shut up about it all ready.

02.11.11 – a friday

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word

daedal [deed-l] n. 1. skillful; ingenious 2. cleverly intricate 3. diversified

birthday

Thomas Alva Edison (1847), Max Baer (1909), Sidney Sheldon (1917), Eva Gabor (1919), Lloyd Bentsen (1921), Leslie Nielsen (1926), Manuel Noriega (1934), Gene Vincent (1935), Burt Reynolds (1936), Sergio Mendes (1941), Jeb Bush (1953), Sheryl Crow (1962), Sarah Palin (1964), Ken Shamrock (1964), Jennifer Aniston (1969), Kelly Slater (1972), D’Angelo (1974), Brandy (1979)

standpoint

I know today I was supposed to continue my homage to my best friend Harvey who passed away this past November but I’m not sure I’m ready just yet. To those of you who are looking forward to it, I promise I’ll deliver sooner than later.

Instead, today I’d like to discuss zombies.

Let’s face it, zombies are slowly (they don’t do anything quick) pushing vampires off the center stage of the cultural mindset.

The zombie apocalypse has a stranglehold on most all of the entertainment mediums. Literature (Cell, The Rising), movies (28 Days Later, Zombieland), television (The Walking Dead) and gaming (Resident Evil, Zombie Panic In Wonderland) are all churning out zombie-related projects at a fantastic clip.

And we’re eating it up with both hands.

But why?

Well, first, the notion of a zombie apocalypse is one supported by certain folks out there who postulate it’s something that could actually transpire. The underlying hypothesis, in simple terms, is that a neurological disease could become transmissible and spread like wildfire through the population. Basically, we could all end up with a virus that would degenerate our minds that would effectively make us zombie-like. So, unlike vampires or werewolves for example, there’s some actual scientific evidence to suggest a zombie apocalypse is possible, and some even think inevitable. And nothing really captivates the modern mind as much as the destruction of the human race can.

Which brings me to the reason I think the zombie craze really appeals to most everyone with red blood running through their veins: the majority of us figure we’ll be among the survivors. And that’s because the most appealing facet of a zombie apocalypse is they’re so damn easy to kill. All you need is an SUV with a full tank of gas, a powerful assault weapon with unlimited ammo and an IQ above 100 and, really, how hard could it really be? If Jesse Eisenberg can do it, pretty much everyone can, right?

But I don’t find zombies to be truly vexing. If the zombie apocalypse happens, I’ll do my best to steer clear of them. No, what truly concerns me is that, as a society, we’ve become fascinated with facing a foe no more dangerous than those damn pigs in Angry Birds. (All of whom I hate.) We used to daydream about fighting impossible foes against insurmountable odds. But instead, these days, we’re waging war against brainless versions of ourselves and, most of the time, we’re not even winning.

quotation

I don’t want to impress people I wouldn’t cross the road to talk to. ↔ Ricky Gervais

tune

The 88 is a band I’m not super crazy about but I do like some of their songs. “They Ought To See You Now” is one of them.

gallimaufry

Sad, sad day for my roommates. R.I.P. Guitar Hero.

→ The only bright side of all the chaos transpiring in Egypt right now is that, if only for a brief time, the good old U.S. of A. doesn’t appear to be the most disorganized established government on the planet.

This gentleman from Philadelphia might be off his rocker but, hey, at least he’s trying to do something to help his community. Guaranteed Michael Ta’bon’s efforts don’t get nearly as much coverage as it should.