12.30.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

onerous [on-er-uhs, oh-ner-] adj. 1. burdensome, oppressive, or troublesome; causing hardship: onerous duties 2. having or involving obligations or responsibilities, esp. legal ones, that outweigh the advantages: an onerous agreement

BIRTHDAY

Titus (39), Rudyard Kipling (1865), Bo Diddley (1928), Del Shannon (1934), James Burrows (1940), Michael Nesmith (1942), Fred Ward (1942), Davy Jones (1945), Patti Smith (1946), Jeff Lynne (1947), Meredith Vieira (1953), Suzy Bogguss (1956), Matt Lauer (1957), Tracey Ullman (1959), Heidi Fleiss (1965), Tiger Woods (1975), Tyrese (1978), Eliza Dushku (1980), LeBron James (1984)

STANDPOINT

Well, tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and that means 2009 (thankfully) will be going away forever and 2010 will be ushered in with lots and lots of wishful thinking.

I know I, for one, will be happy to see 2009 end.

Every year, around this time, I can’t help but look back on what was going on 365 days previous and if I’m where I thought I’d be. (Fortunately, I’m not.) I’m relatively certain that’s what most everyone else does, too. Makes me wonder about how some of this year’s newsmakers thought this year would turn out…

Richard Poplawski was probably cleaning one of his many guns, unaware a mere four months later, he’d become one of the most despicable assholes ever by killing three police officers responding to a call from his mother.

Tiger Woods was most likely spending time with his family, sporadically scurrying to the bathroom to text message one of several women he was seeing on the side, unable to comprehend a year that saw him go from arguably the world’s most popular athlete to its biggest punchline.

Billy Mays, Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson, Natasha Richardson, Patrick Swayze and Steve McNair were all as likely as not unknowingly ushering in their last change of the calendar year.

Barack Obama was, in all probability, conjuring the first year of his Presidency, one without all the fucking smoke-and-mirror nonsense perpetrated by his political rivals.

George W. Bush was definitely daydreaming about spending some quality time, sitting on the edge of his bed and staring at a blank wall.

Brett Favre was apparently relatively close to finally retiring, after three years of indecision. And that’s exactly what he did. Shortly after, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

Michael Vick was languishing in the midst of an 18-month stint in prison for slaughtering defenseless dogs, no doubt curious of where the end of 2009 would find him. Several months later, he’d find himself as the least productive member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Don’t worry, though, the initial outrage demonstrated by animal rights advocates was short-lived due to this country’s unnatural obsession with the NFL.

Yes, indeed, 2009 was kind of a screwy fuck of a year. Let’s hope we can get our act together for 2010.

QUOTATION

New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.Hamilton Wright Mabie

TUNE

I’ve always loved “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap. I just do. That’s it.

GALLIMAUFRY

Tomorrow night will be special, not only because it’ll be New Year’s Eve, but because it’ll feature a blue moon. And that’s not quite what you think it is.

→ Christ. David Goldman, who recently won a nine-year legal battle to get his son back, was flown home by NBC and some journalists’ group is upset for what their calling “checkbook journalism.” Mainly, I think they’re all pissed because NBC beat them to the punch. People will bitch about just about anything.

Van Morrison, 64, has proven it’s never too late to become a daddy. Again.

That’s it for me this year. I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year’s Eve. Be safe. Don’t be an idiot.

All of next week, starting Monday, I’ll be concentrating on more of looking back on 2009. Come back then for some more. And thanks for reading.

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07.09.09 – Thursday

Word: acrimony [ak-ruh-moh-nee] n. sharpness, harshness, or bitterness of nature, speech, disposition, etc.: The speaker attacked him with great acrimony

Birthday:  Ann Radcliffe (1764), Clarence Campbell (1905), Lee Hazlewood (1929), Donald Rumsfeld (1932), Brian Dennehy (1938), Dean R Koontz (1945), Bon Scott (1946), O.J. Simpson (1947), Chris Cooper (1951), John Tesh (1952), Jimmy Smits (1955), Marc Almond (1956), Tom Hanks (1956), Kelly McGillis (1957), Courtney Love (1964), Jack White (1975), Fred Savage (1976)

Quotation: A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.Herm Albright

Tune: Yet another gem I unearthed in the catacombs of my iPod. Pinback‘s “Seville” might be the best driving-on-a-highway song I’ve ever heard.

Gallimaufry: Hey, married men out there, if you’re thinking about engaging in an extra-marital affair, you should take note of what happened to Steve McNair this past 4th of July. The former NFL quarterback was shot in his sleep by his 20-year old mistress, Sahel Kazemi. Here’s the thing: If one person wants to date another, knowing full well that person is married, there’s automatically something off-kilter. It’s a good chance the individual is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. We’re not talking about an ironclad rule here, or anything, but don’t act totally surprised if that person does something like, say, shoot you while you’re taking a nap on the couch. I like LeBron James. But the fact that he got dunked on, at his very own Nike LeBron James Skills Academy, by college basketball star Jordan Crawford is kind of funny. What’s even funnier is Nike confiscated all video footage of the event, including that of CBS Sports.com. It’s also kind of messed up. Nobody’s perfect. LeBron and Nike may have gone too far in trying to protect the current NBA MVP’s image. If you’re not yet convinced that most everyone around you is crazy, you need to know something. A USA Today/Gallup Poll turned up some pretty nauseating results. 71% of Republicans are saying they will still vote for Sarah Palin, who stepped down as governor of Alaska last week for no apparent reason. Also, 53% of all people polled said they felt coverage of Palin was “unfairly negative.” It might be time to do some serious soul searching, America.

07.06.09 – Monday

Word: crestfallen [krest-faw-luhn] adj. 1. dejected; dispirited; discouraged 2. having a drooping crest or head

Birthday: John Paul Jones (1747), Nancy Reagan (1921), Merv Griffin (1925), Bill Haley (1925), Della Reese (1931), Ned Beatty (1937), Burt Ward (1945), George W. Bush (1946), Fred Dryer (1946), Sylvester Stallone (1946), Geoffrey Rush (1951), Nanci Griffith (1953), Brian Posehn (1966), 50 Cent (1975)

Quotation: I don’t have any big regrets, because I’m pretty happy with my life. But I have lots of minor regrets. I always order the wrong dish in restaurants. Always. No matter what I order, somebody else orders something that’s better. It even got to the point where I was consciously trying to pick things that I didn’t think I wanted, because I thought I would reverse the process and actually pick the things I would later regret not having. But I regret that, too.Chuck Klosterman

Tune: In July of 2005, Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug started a solo career that, oddly, transformed into another entire band – Sunset Rubdown. Just downloaded their new album, Dragonlayer, and I’m especially digging on “Idiot Heart.” Also, I love band member Jordan Robson-Cramer’s attitude toward how fans actually get the band’s music (legally or illegally), saying, “(Illegal downloading) may not be good from the label’s perspective, but I think it does have its merits.”

Gallimaufry: Another day, another surprising celebrity death. Yesterday, former NFL MVP Steve McNair was found shot to death in his Nashville condo. His mistress was also found dead, also shot to death, with the pistol used to kill both of them under her body. The former Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens quarterback was cheating on his wife with a waitress, Sahel Kazemi, from a restaurant he’d opened recently opened in Nashville. While his murder is an honest-to-goodness tragedy, it pales in comparison to the shock and sadness his wife and four sons must be feeling right now. I realize this might be a little late, but the idea of sitting through a 2-hour “comedy” show performed by Glenn Beck, is just about as close I could come to imagining my worst nightmare. The New York Times‘ Mike Hale wrote an article about what it was like watching The Common Sense show. I’ve written it before – Beck’s daily show on the Fox News channel provides me with all the laughs I need. On Friday, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin announced she will be stepping down from that post. Most are saying last year’s GOP VP runner-up is gearing up for a shot at the White House in 3.5 years. I’m not sure how that’ll work, since Palin has pretty much sucked at just about everything she’s ever done. I still can’t figure out why John McCain picked her as his running mate – she practically assured him a defeat. The job she’s done in Alaska has been classified by most as “ineffectual.” For all her bitching and moaning about the liberal media, she’s done more to hurt her public image than anyone else. Including Tina Fey. Hopefully, this is the first in a series of events that will result, a few years down the road, in people wondering what ever happened to “That Hockey Mom Politician From Alaska.”