01.21.10 – A Thursday

WORD

maudlin [mawd-lin] adj. 1. tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental: a maudlin story of a little orphan and her lost dog 2. foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkenness

BIRTHDAY

Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824), Christian Dior (1905), Benny Hill (1924), Wolfman Jack (1938), Jack Nicklaus (1940), Plácido Domingo (1941), Richie Havens (1941), Edwin Starr (1942), Jill Eikenberry (1947), Billy Ocean (1950), Paul Allen (1953), Robby Benson (1956), Geena Davis (1956), Charlotte Ross (1968), Cat Power (1972)

STANDPOINT

Thankfully, I’m not as angry as I was yesterday. I normally don’t allow the moronic workings of the world invade my brain but, for whatever reason, last night was an exception.

And, truly, I’ve no real reason to complain. I don’t do much in the way of helping any of these national problems get better. And that’s to say I don’t much at all.

So, I’ve got no business griping. You might even say I’m part of the problem. Due to cosmic circumstances completely out of my control, I was born into what would eventually become an upper class family. And, traditionally, that means I should be using the advantages I’ve been afforded to help out whenever I can. But I don’t.

And so I’m culpable and I’m at peace with that. Really. I spend a lot of time thinking and I’ve consciously orchestrated my life in such a way that I’m more than OK to fly under the radar.

But what I’m not doing is taking my life, and those things that work best for me, and applying it to anyone else. I guess what I’m getting at here is I’ve no particular beef with government. What makes my skull rattle is political ideology and, more so, the practice of those ideologies.

So when I read about this victory for the GOP or that victory for the Democrats, well, it makes my fucking blood boil. This country is so busy fighting with itself, while simultaneously fighting with entire other nations. So when I envision future scenarios, none of it makes me considerably chipper.

At this point, you might be asking what I’m going to do about all of this.

Nothing. That’s what I do. Or don’t do. Shit. Now I’m all turned around.

QUOTATION

We are all esquires now, and we are none of us gentlemen any more. → Samuel Johnson

TUNE

For the first time ever, I’m starting to get into R&B. First Mayer Hawthorne and now Lee Fields. He’s been around since the 70s and Fields is still at it. Check out “Honey Dove.”

GALLIMAUFRY

Anyone who’s driven on, ridden on or even casually observed The Schuylkill Expressway will completely understand why it’s been rated the 20th worst commute in the nation. 205 hours of weekly congestion? That’s 27 more hours than are actually in a week.

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhuru from the original Star Trek, was actually talked out of leaving the show after the first season by Dr. Martin Luther King. Reading her recollection of it is pretty amazing.

→ It’s nice to see former ballplayers coming out against steroid-using dipshit Mark McGwire. Read what legendary Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk has to say to both McGwire and Roger Clemens. Go, Pudge.

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03.30.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Phoenixville, PA (Spent the night at my folks’ place. They’ve graciously taken my cats into their home and I slept over to help ease the transition for both the cats and myself.)

Word: assuage [uhsweyj] verb 1. to make milder or less severe; relieve; ease; mitigate: to assuage one’s grief; to assuage one’s pain  2. to appease; satisfy; allay; relieve: to assuage one’s hunger  3. to soothe, calm or mollify: to assuage his fears; to assuage her anger

Birthday: Jethro Tull (1684), Francisco Goya (1746), Vincent Van Gogh (1853), Franz Oppenheimer (1864), McGeorge Bundy (1919), Richard Dysart (1929), Warren Beatty (1937), Eric Clapton (1945), Paul Reiser (1957), MC Hammer (1962), Tracy Chapman (1964), Ian Ziering (1964), Céline Dion (1968), Donna D’Errico (1968), Secretariat (1970), Norah Jones (1979), Anna Nalick (1984)

Occurrence: 1933 – The first observance of Doctor’s Day in Winder, Georgia. In 1990, the USA officially began to recognize “National Doctor’s Day.”

Standpoint: Today, Y-Rock on XPN kicks off Modern Rock Madness. Basically, it’s a bracket-style contest not unlike the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It pits music artists against each other in one-on-one competition with the victor moving on to the next round until there is only one left standing. Click HERE to take a look at the match-ups. While it’s a nice concept, this type of radio programming always leaves me a bit salty. And that’s because, like most things I guess, it’s primarily a popularity contest. Granted Modern Rock Madness 2008 ended up with a worthy victor: Radiohead. But the rest of the final four (Modest Mouse, Cake and Beck) gave me the feeling that people voted based on who they thought they should and not who was actually the more talented. And this year’s bracket is kind of befuddling. Why pit David Bowie and Elvis Costello against each other right off the bat? Either one could arguably be in the top eight. Also, how did Spoon and Arcade Fire earn a first round showdown? Both bands are wildly successful right now and it just doesn’t seem right to have one of them eliminated in the first round while bands of equal current success like Vampire Weekend and My Morning Jacket virtually assured first-round victories. The organizers of the NCAA Tournament don’t have the number one and two teams play each other on the first night. I wouldn’t care if they did but I’m betting a lot of you would. Should we hold Y-Rock on XPN to a lesser standard? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, but I wish it was no.

Quotation: Money does not make you happy but quiets the nerves.Sean O’Casey

Digit: 8 – In Scotland, you only need be eight years old to be convicted of a crime as long it can be proven that you knew what you were doing.

Tune: People who talk music with me are sick of me going on and on about Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. I can’t decide whether “Modern Mystery” or “Think I’m Gonna Die” is its best song. Have a listen to both and then you tell me.

Link: Nerdist – A very funny site by Chris Hardwick.

Gallimaufry: If you live in or around Philadelphia, you’ve driven on I-76, otherwise known as The Schuylkill Expressway. It’s a frustrating stretch of road. To put it mildly. In one of your jaunts down “The Schuylkill” you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say something like, “This has gotta be the worst goddam highway in the country.” Well, next time you can reply to that person, “Actually, it’s not. It’s not even in the top 10.”…If you’re single, tired of dating and wonder where you can go to simply have sex with women without the hassle of all that commitment, today is your lucky day. Simply move to New Zealand where it appears young women are taking promiscuity to a whole new level…Saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button over the weekend. Good movie but Slumdog Millionaire and Milk were much better…It’s no secret that there are millions of not-so-bright individuals running around out there, but this guy takes the cake. Do you think maybe he was looking to get caught?…Check out my friend Brendan F. Quinn’s excellent article “Beam Me Up, Scottie: Reynolds’ Race To The Bucket Sends ‘Nova To The Final Four.”…Thanks for all the responses (both here and on Facebook) to my “Annoying Sayings” post this past Friday. I’ll be doing a follow-up later this week with your suggestions.