April 18th, 2012

word

gaucho [gou-choh; Sp. gou-chaw] n. a native cowboy of the South American pampas, usually of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry

birthday

Samuel P. Huntington (1927), James Woods (1947), Rick Moranis (1953), Eric Roberts (1956), Eric McCormack (1963), Conan O’Brien (1963), Maria Bello (1967)

standpoint

I’ve been thinking a lot about this old blog of mine and trying to figure out why I’ve been unmotivated to update as much as I have in the past.

And then I revisited my first blog, the one I used to do on Blogger.com. and it struck me that I actually liked doing that one more in a few ways.

One, there wasn’t a stringent format. It consisted of random posts. When something entered my mind, I wrote about it instead of filing it away for an eventual post on this site.

Two, it was more multimedia friendly. Pictures and videos were much easier to include in posts. And, let’s face it, that’s much more fun anyway.

Third, the analytics were extensive. For those of you who don’t work on the web or blog, that doesn’t mean much of anything but, trust me, it’s important.

So now I’m in the middle of plotting my next move. I’m gonna think on it this week. I’ll let you know what I decide.

Thanks for reading.

quotation

Don’t worry about growing older or pleasing others. Please yourself. ↔ David Brown

tune

I’ve been listening to the latest album from The Shins, Port Of Morrow. So far, I’m digging on “No Way Down.”

gallimaufry

→ I couldn’t be happier about hockey right now. The Flyers are absolutely embarrassing the Pittsburgh Penguins. The only way I could be happier is if I actually got to watch one of these games in person. And that’ll be happening tonight. CAN YOU DIG IT?!?!?!?

→ Speaking of the phrase, “CAN YOU DIG IT?!?!?!?,” those of you who also follow me on Facebook might be wondering why I use it at the end of my status updates regarding the Flyers. Well, it’s an homage to my best friend, the late Harvey Forsyth. So now you know.

→ I saw Moneyball over the weekend and I liked it a lot. You should check it out.

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?

03.24.11 – a thursday

word

unctuous [uhngk-choo-uhs] adj. 1. characterized by excessive piousness or moral fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave or smug 2. of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; oily; greasy 3. having an oily or soapy feel, as certain minerals

birthday

Harry Houdini (1874), Joseph Barbera (1911), Gorgeous George (1915), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), Norman Fell (1924), Steve McQueen (1930), Nick Lowe (1949), Tommy Hilfiger (1951), Louie Anderson (1953), Robert Carradine (1954), Kelly LeBrock (1960), Star Jones (1962), Lara Flynn Boyle (1970), Megyn Price (1971), Alyson Hannigan (1974)

standpoint

Today, I’m continuing what I like to call My Favorite Music Of All-Time. That’s right. Even if it doesn’t particularly apply for this post, I have a feeling you’ll look past it and appreciate what’s going on here.

Yesterday, I touched on the fact that I have two iPods. The first one is a gigantic clunky thing, it’s screen illegible since the night the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series a few years back. See, I was in the parking lot of the ballpark the night history was being made.  Philadelphia erupted as Harry Kalas called Brad Lidge’s final stike and mayhem ensued. And, Buckley, my little orange tabby cat was not going to sit still while millions celebrated.

Cats are smarter than most dogs. Also, cats are smarter than most humans. Buckley is the exception. You could teach a kangaroo to do algebra before you could teach Buckley not to not put his nose in the flame from a candle. But one thing the dimwit has is heart, and lots of it. There isn’t a soul alive who, within five minutes of exposure to Buckley, doesn’t want to kidnap the little bastard and take him home.

And I tell you that to explain the following. The Phillies had won it all. Philadelphia was teeming at the edges. It was electric. And Buckley was not immune to the pulse of the celebration. I have no other way to explain why in the world the track shelving in my room would suddenly appear new to him, or why he would jump to the fourth tier of that shelving to attack a plate with a burnt-out candle on it, a plate that he would cause to careen off that fourth shelf and land squarely on my iPod, charging in its dock, resting with a false sense of security, unaware of the bullshit Buckley was up to.

That night, I got home earlier than most in the city, I suppose. I was high-fived out and, despite my many shortcomings, tipping over cars and burglarizing electronic stores just ain’t my thing. So I walked through the front door, trudged up the stairs and stumbled into my bedroom with a smile on my face.

The smile lasted roughly three seconds. There was a broken plate on the ground. Next to it, was an iPod dock in two pieces. And, inches away, almost at the foot of the bed was my iPod, holder of close t0 8,000 songs, face down, silver side up.

Out loud I said, “What the fuck is this?” And then I saw Buckley sitting on the bed. Even though he wasn’t capable of understanding much, the look in his eyes, the tightness in his back, the little fucker knew he did something wrong.

I picked up the iPod. The screen was (and still is) fractured in nine different places. I said a bunch of words I would never say in front of my Mom-Mom. I was furious. My hands were literally shaking. And I turned to Buckley and, even though I never had nor would I ever cause him physical harm, he braced himself for what was coming. The only thing I could think to do was to put him in the closet. So that’s where he went. And before you condemn me for whatever reason, Buckley’s bed was in the closet as were his toys and most of Kate’s makeup brushes. For the next fifteen minutes, I looked at my iPod, pushed all of the buttons and slowly realized it was beyond repair.

But it wasn’t. I hooked it up to the speakers and kept pushing the up button. Music came out. I connected it to my laptop and, lo and behold, there was my entire music library. The damn thing still worked.

I reached into the closet and scooped up Buckley. I held him in front of my face and apologized. He’d all ready moved on.

To this day, I can’t see what’s playing on my iPod and the battery lasts about nine whole minutes but if it’s plugged in it still plays all of those almost 8.000 songs. And yesterday, in keeping with the whole music theme of this week’s posts, I decided to try to listen to as many of them as possible with the intention of finding Six Good Songs In A Row.

Here is how it all shook out.

First

“Birdhouse In Your Soul” – They Might Be Giants

Second

“Sweet Pain” – Blues Traveler

Third

“Everywhere” – Billy Bragg

Fourth

“Nobody Weird Like Me” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Fifth

“That Says It All” – Duncan Sheik

Sixth

“Turn On Me” – The Shins

quotation

The next person to honk at me THE SECOND the fucking light turns green, is going to win a very special prize. Good luck, everyone! FYI, I was NOT driving while tweeting. I don’t do that. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to hold my crack pipe and fifth of jack. ↔ Kerri Kenney

tune

This was the seventh song. “Satisfied” by Squeeze. Call me all the names you want. I definitely like this song. Sorry.

gallimaufry

No gallimaufry today. Don’t pry. Just accept it.

04.26.10 – A Monday

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note

As I announced last Friday, this will be the last week of the euneJeune daily. I hope you all enjoy my final five posts. Thanks for reading.

word

profusion [pruhfyoo-zhuhn] n. 1. abundance; abundant quantity 2. a great quantity or amount (often fol. by of) 3. lavish spending; extravagance

birthday

Marcus Aurelius (121), Muhammad (570), Charles Goodyear (1804), I. M. Pei (1915), Carol Burnett (1933), Duane Eddy (1938), Bobby Rydell (1942), Gary Wright (1943), Giancarlo Esposito (1958), Joan Chen (1961), Michael Damian (1963), Jet Li (1963), Kevin James (1965), Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins (1970), Jordana Brewster (1980), Channing Tatum (1980), Jessica Lynch (1983)

standpoint

During the late 80s and early 90s, The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, an outdoor amphitheater in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, was the place to see live music for those of us who were old enough to drive but too young to go anywhere remotely cool. I mean, there’s only so many movies you can see. Twice.

Friday and Saturday night concerts at “The Mann” were major happenings. Most every teenager within a 25-mile radius went to every weekend show. Those without tickets, sat on “The Lawn,” a large empty area of grass and dirt to the right and up the hill from the stage or milled around in the section above the concert area where the vendors were stationed. There were no walls just a large chain link fence which obviously did nothing to obstruct sight or sound. It was like having an awful seat for the concert, but it was free.

Below is a seating chart of The Mann. The area in black is where all the youthful debauchery took place.

If Phish or Jimmy Buffett were taking the stage, the crowd outside the concert came close to rivaling those inside. But it didn’t really matter who was playing. Menudo could’ve been opening up New Kids on the Block and The Lawn would still be packed. The Mann was a place we could drink warm beer, try to talk girls into “taking a walk,” watch macho shitheads beat each other senseless and score some pretty awful weed. It was teenage revelry at its finest. Times were good.

For Philadelphia’s Finest, though, times sucked. Between the underage drinking, the blatant drug use and the constant outbreak of fisticuffs, the police definitely had their hands full. I’m sure more than one cop fantasized about opening fire on the crowd on several occasions but stopped short after failing to conjure a solid reason for blowing away a bunch of mindless juveniles, most in possession of nothing more menacing than a hacky sack. (I’m sure the unfortunate workers who had the unsavory task of cleaning up the morning after those nights had similar musings on how to stop us once and for all.) They tried they’re best, though, and I have to give those officers credit for showing the restraint they did.

Like most everything great, those nights at The Mann came to be no more. Barricades were put up to block off  The Lawn and most of the other areas we used to occupy. A zero tolerance for teenage antics was established. You either had tickets or you went home. And, in 1995, The Tweeter Center opened up across the river in Camden, NJ, stealing most of The Mann’s biggest yearly headliners. Forced to adjust, The Mann, originally meant for The Philadelphia Orchestra, returned to a more cultured schedule. A few years back, The Mann started bringing in some hipper acts like The Shins, Passion Pit and a reunited Pavement.

However, the party, as it had been, was over. But it was fun while it lasted.

Anybody out there have favorite memories of The Mann? Share them here.

quotation

We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them. Elbert Hubbard

tune

Of those shows at The Mann I actually bought a ticket for, I think the most memorable was a triple bill consisting of The Sugarcubes, New Order and Public Image Ltd. I didn’t know much about P.I.L. (as they’re called) except that the lead singer, John Lydon, was the frontman for The Sex Pistols. But he, and the rest of the band, put on one hell of a performance. Especially fantastic was “Rise.” Here’s the video for that song. At the beginning, notice the distinct lettering that appeared in all of the old MTV music videos. You know, back when they actually used to play them.

gallimaufry

→ Here’s a news item I’m sure only about nine of you will care about: The Fratellis and Voxtrot both called it quits last week. On the same day. Weird.

→ Recently, I finished reading Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. I highly recommend it. Almost made me forget I don’t believe in God.

→ In another book related note, I’m halfway through The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I don’t care what your political affiliations are, if you’ve no respect for the formidable genius of our President, I have no choice but to call you an impossible fool.

04.02.10 – A Friday

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word

hypocrite [hipuh-krit] n. 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs 2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements

birthday

Charlemagne (742), Thomas Jefferson (1743), Hans Christian Andersen (1805), Émile Zola (1840), Walter Chrysler (1875), Max Ernst (1891), Buddy Ebsen (1908), Sir Alec Guinness (1914), Jack Webb (1920), Serge Gainsbourg (1928), Marvin Gaye (1939), Dr. Demento (1941), Leon Russell (1942), Linda Hunt (1945), Anne Waldman (1945), Emmylou Harris (1947), Christopher Meloni (1961), Clark Gregg (1962), Rodney King (1965), Adam Rodriguez (1975)

standpoint

Since I’m having trouble being creative this week, I thought today’s standpoint could serve to further one of the more popular sections of this blog – tune. Instead of sharing just one of my favorite songs today, I’m going to share several that I’ve bookmarked at one time or the other. No rhyme or reason here, people. Totally random. Enjoy.

quotation

The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor. ↔ Benjamin Franklin

tune

Even though I’ve shared more than enough songs with you, I’m prepared to offer an additional one. Since revamping the iPod, I’ve been listening to lots and lots of Rogue Wave. I’m fully aware I’m fixated. What can I say? They’re my favorite band, and we’re all going to have to agree with the fact you’re going to need to come to grips with that. Here’s a live version of “Sewn Up.”

gallimaufry

I’m openly declaring it right now. Parenthood is the best show on television right now. Of course, the mere fact I like it means it’ll be cancelled by the time I wake up today. Sorry, Ron Howard.

→ Here’s Reason #423 you should, if provided the chance, get the fuck out of this country. That’s my plan. We can coordinate.

→ Sorry, not to be callous but when you’ve got “only rum and anti-depressants for company,” I doesn’t matter who you are – eventually you’re going to think about sticking a gun in your mouth.

03.11.10 – A Thursday

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word

rigmarole [rig-muh-rohl] n. 1. an elaborate or complicated procedure: to go through the rigmarole of a formal dinner 2. confused, incoherent, foolish, or meaningless talk

birthday

Ivan Nabokov (1787) Lawrence Welk (1903), Ralph Abernathy (1926), Rupert Murdoch (1931), Sam Donaldson (1934), Antonin Scalia (1936), Bobby McFerrin (1950), Jerry Zucker (1950), Douglas Adams (1952), Joey Buttafuoco (1956), Jim Pinkerton (1958), Peter Berg (1964), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (1965), Wallace Langham (1965), Lisa Loeb (1968), Terrence Howard (1969), Johnny Knoxville (1971), Joel Madden (1979), Anton Yelchin (1989)

standpoint

For the past few months, I’ve been tinkering with the idea of fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine – doing a spot at a comedy open mic. I decided the other night, it was time to get serious about it and so I began to peruse YouTube for stand up clips for research purposes.

I discovered there was weeks and weeks of viewing options but the ones I found most fascinating were those that involved the comedians dealing with hecklers. Some comedians get angry, some get clever, some try both, but the result is always the same: Never mess with the guy holding the microphone. You’re just not going to win.

Here’s some of the clips I enjoyed the most.

Todd Glass

Arj Barker
Michael Showalter
(not really a heckler but still a distraction)
Jesse Fernandez
Zach Galifianakis

Each of these guys handled it pretty well, I think. I’d like to think that if this ever happens to me I’d be as smooth as Zach Galifiankis but I’d more likely be like Todd Glass.

quotation

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there’s an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. ↔ Matt Groening

tune

One of the coolest aspects of the acts that comprise indie rock is that they’re so much more collaborative than those who came before them. They seem to understand the notion that there’s power in numbers, frequently performing cameos in one another’s songs and, even more often, joining forces to record entire albums. Below is one such example, “The High Road,” the first single offthe new self-titled album from the recent team-up project of Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse and The Shins’ James MercerBroken Bells.

gallimaufry

Just when you thought the bitch couldn’t get any crazier. I didn’t even make the connection until after I read about this lawsuit. But maybe she’s trying to drum up a little buzz because, you know, no one ever talks about Linday Lohan.

This will make you think twice before shushing a woman who’s trying to talk on her cell phone during a movie. Why this dude had a meat thermometer in a theater is something I’d like to find out but, in my experience, my experiences tells me I’m going to be disappointed.

→ Sometimes, when trying to figure out a societal issue, it’s not entirely necessary to pour a boatload of money into some unnecessary research study. In this instance in particular, it would’ve been just as effective to get outside and take a look around.

in memoriam

Corey Haim (December 23rd, 1971 – March 10, 2010) died yesterday of an apparent drug overdose. Here’s a video montage of the troubled child actor chronicling his happier days.

09.29.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

recondite [rekuhn-dahyt, ri-kon-dahyt] adj. 1. dealing with very profound, difficult, or abstruse subject matter: a recondite treatise 2. beyond ordinary knowledge or understanding; esoteric: recondite principles 3. little known; obscure: a recondite fact

BIRTHDAY

Kenny Baker (1912), Buddy Rich (1917), Truman Capote (1924), Elie Wiesel (1928), Angie Dickinson (1930), Johnny Mathis (1935), Frankie Lymon (1942), Barry Williams (1954), Fran Drescher (1957), Eric Stoltz (1961), Crystal Bernard (1961), Trey Anastasio (1964), Kathleen Madigan (1965), Jenna Elfman (1971), Kieran Culkin (1982)

STANDPOINT

There’s a bunch of things drawing my ire today, but nothing I’m prepared to expound on. In the meantime, check these out.

CSI: Miami‘s David Caruso‘s endless opening one liners.

 

From 1959, an interview with Jack Kerouac from The Steve Allen Show.

 

A video that should convince of Eric Lindros‘ ultimate prowess in the NHL.

 

QUOTATION

An ordinary man can… surround himself with two thousand books… and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.Augustine Birrell

TUNE

Sometimes, you can listen to a song 405 times. Obviously, you dig the song. Or, at least, that’s what the Play Count on your iPod is trying its best to indicate. But then, you’ve got your earbuds in while  sitting on the back porch during your favorite time of day. You’re thinking about a certain aspect of your life, pondering what’s happened and what the future might have in store. And the song comes on. For the 406th time. Due to your mindset, and the particulars occupying your brain, you hear that song again, but, also, for the first time. That happened to me about a week back. I finally heard “Turn On Me” in the exact right context. The lyrics are really kind of awesome. Truthfully, I’d kind of soured on The Shins, but I’m back to thinking James Mercer got the goods.  

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I love reading stories about people who, in the face of adversity, do things I don’t think I’d be capable of doing. Here’s the story of Ken Green. Dude was in an RV, driven by his brother, riding with his girlfriend and his dog. The RV crashed. He was the only survivor and had to get his leg amputated. And, still, the man wants to keep golfing. The human spirit can be inspiring from time to time.

→ Despite my cynical bluster, I’m a perpetual optimist. Even so, I thought, after Donovan McNabb went down in Week 1, and the Philadelphia Eagles announced Kevin Kolb would be the starter in his absence, no good would come from it. I was wrong. Kolb only managed to become the ONLY NFL quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in his first two starts ever.

→ Often, like all of us, experts can be wrong. “When Pounds Go Away, Sleep Apnea May Improve” seems to be an article making complete sense. In the past year and a half, I’ve lost 50 lbs. But my sleep apnea has gotten worse. My doctors are a bit baffled/tickled by it. I’m glad it’s something novel and out-of-the-ordinary for them. Guess it breaks up their days to wonder why. However, last week I slept next to someone who struggled to get herself air about 80% of the night. Kinda scary shit. Just give me the CPAP machine all ready. I don’t care how “unsexy” it is.