April 9th, 2012

word

sycophant [sikuh-fuhnt, -fant, sahy-kuh-] n. a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite

birthday

James “Jim” Bowie (1796), Max von Sydow (1929), John Madden (1936), Steven Seagal (1956), Brian Setzer (1959), Q-Tip (1970), Mandy Moore (1984)

standpoint

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. Those of you who know even the slightest bit about me know that I’m about as religious as Christopher Hitchens.

But the one thing I do like about Easter is the family dinner. Sure, Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally more renowned for big family dinners and there’s some truth to that, especially in my family. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are legendary. My mother is more talented in the kitchen than 98% of the chefs in this country and both my parents have spent the entirety of their adult lives to makes sure both of those holidays are memorable, in one way or another, each and every year. Even as my siblings and I have moved into adulthood.

But Easter is different and it’s also not. Throughout the years, I’m sure I’ve experienced the occasional Easter dinner in the comfort of my parents’ house but I can’t truly recall one. Normally, that’s the holiday our family spends dining out. And, although the food’s never quite as delicious as when my mother, sisters and sisters-in-law (as well as the random, unsuccessful dish from a man in the family) are in charge of the menu, Easter dinner is fun due to the fact no one is in charge of anything except for actually showing up.

And that makes for a much more lighthearted evening. We can talk and catch up and ridicule and debate meaningless crap and even once in a while say nice things about each other.

Anyway, that’s what I felt like writing about today. It was more for me than any of you but I hope you enjoyed it at least a little.

quotation

Any idiot can get laid when they’re famous. That’s easy. It’s getting laid when you’re not famous that takes some talent. ↔ Kevin Bacon

tune

So I was watching Just Go With It the other night. C’mon, like you’ve never watched a bad Adam Sandler movie. Don’t judge. In any case, every song on the entire soundtrack had something to do with Sting and I forgot how much I liked The Police‘s “Canary in a Coal Mine.”

gallimaufry

→ Went and saw The Hunger Games this past Thursday evening. Despite the lady behind us who was providing her own unique brand of commentary toward the end, I was generally pleased with the adaptation.

→ It’s the year for dudes of faith. First, Tim Tebow. And now, Bubba Watson wins the Masters. Maybe all these athletes should start taking god more seriously. Seriously.

→ For all of you who know me personally and love making fun of my “antique” cell phone, I’m happy to admit I’ll be getting an iPhone today. So you’ll have to find someone else to rip on. Sorry.

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.