November 7, 2011

word

quean [kween] n. 1. an overly forward, impudent woman; shrew; hussy 2. a prostitute 3. British Dialect. a girl or young woman, especially a robust one

birthday

Leon Trotsky (1879), Albert Camus (1913), Billy Graham (1918), Joni Mitchell (1941), David Petraeus (1952), King Kong Bundy (1957), Dana Plato (1964), Morgan Spurlock (1970)

standpoint

There’s very few bars left that allow smoking, and the place where I work is not one of them but here’s a curious little side effect to the smoking ban: people bringing their small infant or child to the bar. It’s always a younger couple meeting up with childless friends. They’ll come in and announce, “Oh, we don’t need a table, we’re just gonna hang at the bar. Is that cool?” Despite the suggestions of the staff that they might be more comfortable at a table, they insist that (a) their baby is so well-behaved, he or she will be fine in the carrier and will most likely sleep the entire time and (b) other places let them do it all of the time (a lie) and there’s never a problem (another lie).

And 99.9% of the time, the first 30 minutes are uneventful. But inevitably, the crying starts or, worse, the shouting out of incomprehensible words and phrases. Yes, I fully understand this is what children do. It is not lost on me.

But lots of people who come to sit at a bar are doing so precisely because it’s supposed to be a child-free zone. They desire to eat a meal in peace while participating in some adult conversation. And, while they may smile politely each time a baby is disrupting that peace, they secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) wish the people who brought the baby would use a little common sense and remove themselves from the area. But that rarely happens. Instead, they’ll most likely spring the baby from the carrier and place he or she on top of the bar, creating an even bigger spectacle. The parents are under the impression that since they firmly believe their baby is the most amazing specimen to ever draw breath, everyone else will feel the exact same way with the proper exposure. And it never works out that way. The other customers begin to mutter under their breath or ask for their bill and leave. When the couple finally do pack up shop and leave (with the baby, of course) everyone looks at me and asks questions like, “Since when are babies allowed at the bar?” or “How can people be so oblivious?” I have no answer for these questions because to answer them would be violating basic hospitality business axioms that state you shouldn’t badmouth customers to other customers.

But if I allowed myself to say whatever I wanted, it might go something like this: “When you have a baby, one of the main things you’re giving up, unless you find someone to babysit, is the ability to sit at a bar and drink. It’s different if you come in at 2:30 in the afternoon while the bar is empty and want to get a quick bite to eat during off time. But when you come in at 6:00 pm and want to prop your baby up in his or her carrier on a barstool and have multiple drinks, well, I’m sorry but that’s not okay. There’s such a thing as common courtesy and those kinds of parents need to look into it.”

I’ll never say anything like that to my customers but something needs to be said eventually.

quotation

When love is not madness, it is not love. ↔ Pedro Calderón de la Barca

tune

My buddy Tim loves this song. I gotta agree with him, it’s pretty solid. Like Stars meets The Pogues. Here’s “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men.

gallimaufry

→ Holy shit. This clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart would’ve probably been good enough with just Donald Trump’s idiotic comments but Ann Coulter makes me want to move to another country.

→ What a great example of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t.

→ If you’re looking for an incredibly obvious news story, look no further and just click here.

→ Sorry, everyone, no sports coverage today. I know you were dying for it.

02.12.10 – A Friday

word

impugn [im-pyoon] v. 1. to challenge as false (another’s statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon 2. Archaic. to assail (a person) by word or arguments; vilify 3. Obsolete. to attack (a person) physically

birthday

Cotton Mather (1663), Charles Darwin (1809), Abraham Lincoln (1809), Lorne Greene (1915), Charles Van Doren (1926), Arlen Specter (1930), Joe Don Baker (1936), Judy Blume (1938), Ray Manzarek (1939), Michael Ironside (1950), Michael McDonald (1952), Joanna Kerns (1953), Arsenio Hall (1955), Bill Laswell (1955), Josh  Brolin (1968), Christopher McCandless (1968), Chynna Phillips (1968), Christina Ricci (1980)

standpoint

Everyone talks about how the 1990s were a legendary time for music with groups like R.E.M. and U2 coming into their own, and unknown bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam breaking out into the music mainstream.

For those of us who were in college during the 90s, we most likely enjoyed the best soundtrack ever to accompany warm beer from a keg and clumsy encounters with the other sex.

Even the one hit wonders were way better than their predecessors and those that have come since. Here’s 5 songs that make my last statement irrefutable.

5. The Refreshments – “Banditos”

4. New Radicals – “You Get What You Give”

3. Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart”

2. Harvey Danger – “Flagpole Sitta”

1. Hum – “Stars”

There’s tons and tons more, but I thought I’d start off with these classics. Enjoy!

quotation

Sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed must be interrupted. ↔ Johann Paul Friedrich Richter

tune

Finally. I found it. Years ago, I downloaded a demo by Glen Phillips titled “Easier.” He’s since released a studio version of it but it left me feeling a little light. It’s pretty effing great.

gallimaufry

Here’s hoping a speedy recovery to President Clinton, who underwent a heart procedure yesterday after experiencing chest pains. Apparently, Clinton is expected to make a full recovery.

→ Truth? Until yesterday, I had no idea who Alexander McQueen was. But, apparently, he was a cutting edge fashion designer who died Wednesday at the age of 40. As someone who’s now closer to 40 than 30, I hate hearing when someone that age dies.

→ Warning to my fellow bloggers: If you run an MP3 blog and you use Blogger, you’re about to be eradicated by Google. Probably a good time to move to WordPress, don’t you think?

05.11.09 – Monday

Word: raconteur [rak-uhn-tur] n. a person who is skilled in relating stories and anecdotes interestingly

Birthday: Chang and Eng Bunker (1811), Charles W. Fairbanks (1852), Irving Berlin (1888), Martha Graham (1894), Salvador Dalí (1904), Louis Farrakhan (1933), David Gest (1953), Martha Quinn (1959), Natasha RIchardson (1963), Laetitia Casta (1978)

Standpoint: Nowadays, everyone has an opinion on everything. It’s nearly impossible to share anything of interest with anyone without a follow-up correlation or some other form of one-upping. During the course of any given day, if you were to count the instances you hear a sentence that starts with, “They say that…”, or “I just read about…”, the number could conceivably end up nonsensically high.

In this day and age, the onslaught of information is dwarfed only by the amount of opinion it generates.  

One problem is many people don’t understand that some (probably most) “information” they’re being fed is based in fact the way that Star Wars was based in fact. Meaning that much of what you’re watching or reading has the potential to be true, but not necessarily right now. Every media outlet, from CNN to The New York Times to Fox News, is working an angle and/or pushing an agenda. Whatever’s behind it, boosting viewer ratings or selling more newspapers or attempting to influence your politics, all of your news stories come with, at the very least, some small degree of slant. 

Another problem is even more people fail to grasp that just because there’s a man on the television screen discussing his thoughts on a particular matter, it doesn’t make him an authority on anything except his own opinion. That goes for Jon Stewart as much as it does Glenn Beck, two individuals who receive equal amounts of  unwarranted credbility. (Although in Stewart’s defense, he understands his show is primarily for entertainment purposes, while Beck seems totally unaware that his show produces just as many laughs.) Television personalities are both charismatic and persuasive. With a viewer-friendly, professional presentation and use of the proper words at the right time, it’s remarkably easy to take in the thoughts of these “experts” and register them as fact.  

From all the reporting we’re led to believe is factual and the infinite amount of commentary that inevitably follows, it’s entirely possible that we’ve come to know so much that we actually know less. The pursuit of the truth has been replaced by the pursuit of who’s right. And it may not be the fault of those presenting the information. It’s likely that, due to the countless variations offered on “what’s really going on,” you are now afforded the opportunity to simply accept whichever version better falls in line with what you truly want to believe, whatever that may be.

For example, in the case of the issue of global warming, you can side with either (a) those who think that the rise of greenhouse gases is manmade or (b) those who think it’s part of the natural cycle of Earth’s ecosystem. There’s no proving the wrong side. Each side employs science, largely assumed to be infallible in terms of fact, to prove its point. In effect, both sides enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they’re right. Therefore, you’re allowed to pick the perspective you’re more comfortable swallowing, and then, you’re also right. One nice perk that stems from such a scenario is that you can switch sides whenever you want, and, like magic, you’re still right. Sounds pretty great, right?

Well. Not entirely. If we’ve created a world where all fact and opinion are simultaneously true, how are we ever going to figure out what’s not working and move forward? We won’t. And, what’s worse, no one really seems to mind. Maybe in those movies about apocalyptic futures, it wasn’t war that destroyed the human race. It might’ve been that we reached a point where we were able to stop one another from doing anything remotely useful.

Quotation: Every improvement in communication makes the bore more terrible. Frank Moore Colby

Tune: Only music snobs will argue that Illinois’ Hum is not a “one-hit wonder.” If I was going to have only one song that everyone would remember, I would definitely want it to sound something like “Stars.”

Gallimaufry: Check out oddee.com’s list of 15 Strangest Foods and decide which one you would definitely not eat. Mine’s the dried lizards. ∞ Meet Saya, the world first robotic teacher. Now students won’t even have to use their brains to come up with clever ways to cheat. Sweet. ∞ It’s official. There are no more conversations in which the topics of Facebook and Twitter aren’t breached. Even Pentagon briefings.

Incoming: Tomorrow – I’ll find out if it’s possible to do a Google image search without eventually running into porn. Later in the week – My first interview, Annoying Sayings & Misused Words and much much more.