08.30.11 – a tuesday

word

homologate [huhmoluh-geyt, hoh-] v. 1. to approve; confirm or ratify 2. to register (a specific make of automobile in general production) so as to make it eligible for international racing competition

birthday

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797), Fred MacMurray (1908), Ted Williams (1918), Warren Buffett (1930), John Peel (1939), Tug McGraw (1944), Lewis Black (1948), Michael Chiklis (1963), Cameron Diaz (1972)

standpoint

Admittedly, I haven’t been writing very much lately. But I have been reading. You’re probably wondering to yourself, “Hey, Josh, what’s on your nightstand right now?” Well, I’ll tell ya, curious reader.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne – Wow. I’ve read a good deal about Native American history but this book was a complete eye-opener.

Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War by T. J. Stiles – Historically accurate but pretty friggin’ dense. I’m almost 60 pages in and still not into the actual life of Jesse James.

The Peep Diaries by Hal Niedzviecki – A few years ago, I went to San Francisco on what was probably the worst vacation of my life. It was five days of absolute awfulness but with two bright spots: I got to hang with my good friend Kevlo and I was able to visit City Lights Books, a lifelong dream of mine. I was extremely rushed and bought The Peep Diaries to avoid causing a problem. After I got home, I let a friend borrow the book before I got a chance to read it. Recently, I got it back and made it about 100 pages in before I lost interest.

The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks – It’s next on my list. I’ll let you know.

I’m always looking for good stuff to read. Any suggestions?

quotation

If you’re going through hell, keep going. ↔ Winston Churchill

tune

I’ve been into Sam Roberts for quite some time now. When I first heard “Where Have All the Good People Gone?” I became an instant fan.

And then, as with most musical talents, Sam Roberts went through some growing pains, began performing under the name Sam Roberts Band and released some stuff that was a bit off the mark. But I didn’t give up hope and Collider, his latest album is more promising. Check out “Let It In.” Let me know what you think.

gallimaufry

Hurricane Irene was pretty bad. But I guess it could’ve been worse.

→ Thanks to my good friend Tyler, I’m finally able to play DVDs again and that means I get to watch The State, which will never stop being the funniest show ever.

→ The NFL season hasn’t even officially started yet and I all ready want everyone to shut the fuck up about it.

05.11.11 – a wednesday

word

animalcule [an-uhmal-kyool] n. 1. a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye, as an infusorian or rotifer 2. Archaic. a tiny animal, as a mouse or fly

birthday

Irving Berlin (1888), Salvador Dalí (1904), Louis Farrakhan (1933), Martha Quinn (1959), Natasha Richardson (1963)

standpoint

First, I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who clicked here and made yesterday’s post one of my highest viewed ever.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some things I’m finding irksome today.

→ I often use the word “irksome” to describe how I feel about one topic or another and most times I do, someone has something to say about my use of the word. It’s a perfectly valid word, people, and I’ll use it as I see fit.

→ The character aspersions surrounding Philadelphia Flyers’ captain Mike Richards and the team’s second round exit from the playoffs are completely ridiculous. Including the past two NHL seasons and last year’s Olympics, Richards has played in 204 games, the most of any hockey player in that time span.

→ For ten years, everyone and their grandmother wanted Osama bin Laden dead. Obama gave the order to kill bin Laden and it obviously happened and people have been celebrating. (Christ, last Saturday afternoon some squirrelly dopes in my neighborhood sat outside their house drinking with a sign that said something like, “HONK IF YOU’RE HAPPY BIN LADEN IS DEAD.” And the carhorns were going off fast and furious all day.) But the morbid honeymoon is over and we’re seeing headlines like, “Bin Laden’s death now part of Obama’s re-elect message.” Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Ain’t America the greatest?

quotation

Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, in fearing future. ↔ Antoine Rivarol

tune

This is “Porcupine Racetrack,” one of the best sketches The State ever performed. Here’s the thing. If you don’t think this is funny, I’m not saying we won’t ever be friends but it’s going to be an uphill battle. (Sorry the video is not truly embedded but MTV thrives on being a pain in the ass.)

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:375229

gallimaufry

Speaking of The State and “Porcupine Racetrack,” here’s an interview with Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black and David Wain about how the sketch came to be.

→ Man, there’s nothing worse than not being able to figure out if a company is truly worth $7 billion or not. It’s a real fucking problem.

09.18.09 – A Friday

Word

querolous [kweruh-luhs, kwer-yuh-] adj. 1. full of complaints; complaining 2. characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish: a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done

Birthday

Trajan (53), Samuel Johnson (1709), George Read (1733), Greta Garbo (1905), Jack Warden (1920), Robert Blake (1933), Frankie Avalon (1939), Fred Willard (1939), Dee Dee Ramone (1952), James Gandolfini (1961), Holly Robinson Peete (1964), Lance Armstrong (1971), Jada Pinkett Smith (1971), James Marsden (1973), Xzibit (1974), Jason Sudeikis (1975)

Standpoint

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, and it’s shame if you’re not, you’ve come to the conclusion that I’m an above-average humorous individual. To put it mildly.

And, after reaching  that conclusion, I’m betting you’ve wondered, “Hey. How’d that guy get so goddamn funny? What his secret?” Well, it stems from all kinds of places. I will say that, coming from a family with five other siblings competing for attention at the dinner table, it didn’t take a genius to figure out the the proper execution of well-timed humor earned you a little more time at the podium during the nightly palaver.

But that wasn’t all there was to it. I had my influences. At a young age, I decided every single person in the entertainment business was essentially just borrowing material from somewhere or another, and presenting it as their own original ponderings. But, once in a while, I’d see something that either (a) was borrowing shit from so many different places it did actually became original content, or (b) was original content. Watching anything that fell into one of those categories represented a possibility of, for me at least, a tiny shred of hope the world wasn’t doomed to watch garbage like “Charles In Charge” or “Who’s The Boss?” for the rest of eternity.  

Here are a few things you can watch if you want to see exactly what I’m talking about. (Note: It’s a coincidence that Dave Foley is in two of the three clips here. Or maybe not. He’s a funny motherfucker.) (Another note: I was going to embed the videos but I couldn’t with some so just hit the link.)

Clip OneNewsRadio“The Cane”

Phil Hartman has my vote as the funniest person ever to put two feet on Earth’s soil. This scene from “NewsRadio” with Dave Foley represents most of the range Hartman possessed. Foley is great, too.

 Clip(s) TwoKids In The Hall“King of Empty Promises” and The State“Porcupine Racetrack”

“Kids In The Hall” is debatably the funniest sketch comedy show of all-time. Other might say it was “The State.” I lean towards the latter, but, really it all depends on my mood. Both were unendingly funny. Both went places similar shows (“SNL“MADtv”) either weren’t allowed to go or were incapable of. These two sketches helped convinced me there were other like-minded lunatics out there in the world.

Clip ThreeBlack Books“Bernard Black Drunk”

This clip from “Black Books” – the British sitcom that aired on the UK’s Channel 4 for three seasons and the US’ Comedy Central for about one hour late some random Sunday night – is representative of the completely hilarious work Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey did on this unfortunately still-unknown classic.

 Sadly, if you don’t find any/all of this funny, there’s only one thing wrong with you. You would fail to recognize humor if it walked up and kneecapped you.

Quotation

A drunk driver’s very dangerous. Everybody knows that. But so is a drunken backseat driver – if he’s persuasive. ← Demetri Martin

Tune

Yesterday, I revealed that I’m a sucker for a song with well-written lyrics. Well, there’s something that can make a song with well-written lyrics even better. And that’s a multi-part harmony. When done the right way, multiple harmonies can turn an ordinary song into an anthem. The multiple harmony song usually starts off kind of slow, but that’s not a requirement. There is one steadfast rule, though, each harmony, and its corresponding lyrics, has to be introduced separately. A byproduct of that is the song can travel all over the rythmic spectrum, producing the effect of several songs contained in one. The result of the crescendo is an overlapping vocal harmony where all the separate vocal sections are woven into each other and the best parts of each accompanying melody are grooved into one. The final minute of such a song should make you want to turn up the volume, roll down the windows and hit the gas pedal. That’s how you know it’s a good one. I have five favorite songs falling into that category. But, I think I’ve decided that “See These Bones” by Nada Surf is the greatest. The best part is when Matthew Caws comes in with “The lights in the city are more or less blinking/Which side of the story decides what you’re thinking.” It’s the beginning of the end. But in a really good way. Listen to it. I’m not wrong. Right?

Gallimaufry

→ Man, am I glad I never got around to removing the PEOPLE SUCK sticker from the interior of my car. Because, I’m really sorry, it’s one of the indisputable truths of this world. Need more proof than the cool sticker in my car? Check out WhyTheFuckDoYouHaveAKid.com. As Jonathan Schmock, the actor who played the Chez Quiz Maitre D’ in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (click that link to watch the original movie trailer.), stated so very snootily, “I weep for the future.”

→ You know what’s a really great thing? When the mayor of one of the largest cities in the country plays chicken with the state legislature using innocent peoples’ jobs as a bargaining chip. That’s what Philadelphia’s mayor, Michael Nutter, did with the jobs of 3,000 municipal workers in an attempt to pry money out of Pennsylvania. It worked. But still. Kind of shitty.

→ All right. Need to make a teensy tiny request of the fashion world here. Please make the fucking Snuggie go away. I’ll help in whatever way I can. Just let me know where to be and when to ber there. For centuries, individuals have made an easy time of having a blanket on top of them as they relax. It’s kind of like Basic Human Knowledge 101.  We don’t need one that slips over our heads. We are not Old West Mexican gunfighters.

04.21.09 – Tuesday

Word: wheedle [hweed-l, weed-l] v. 1. to endeavour to influence (a person) by smooth, flattering or beguiling words or acts: We wheedled him incessantly, but he would not consent. 2. to persuade (a person) by such words or acts: She wheedles him into going with her. 3. to obtain (something) by artful persuasions: I wheedled a new car out of my father. 4. to use artful or beguiling persuasions: I always wheedle if I really need something.

Birthday: Charlotte Brontë (1816), Marcel Camus (1912), Anthony Quinn (1915), Charles Grodin (1935), Iggy Pop (1947), Tony Danza (1951), Andie MacDowell (1958), Robert Smith (1959), Michael Franti (1966), Rob Riggle (1970), Nicole Sullivan (1970), Vincent Lecavalier (1980), Tony Romo (1980)

Occurence: 1982Milwaukee BrewersRollie Fingers becomes the first pitcher ever to record 300 saves.

Standpoint: For years, it’s been a mystery. Why wouldn’t MTV release the complete series DVD of “The State?” Well, apparently, the wait is over. July 14th will be the day. I thought this would be a good opportunity to give those of you unfamiliar a few examples of why “The State” was so very very good. You’ll probably recognize most of the cast (Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Robert Ben Garant, Todd Holoubek, Michael Patrick Jann, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio and Ken Marino) from countless movies and television shows. Here are some of the best sketches by The State.

I could’ve listed about 30 more but I think this will suffice.

Special thanks to Tim Mulvey for sending along the original link.

Quotation: Always do sober what’d you do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. Ernest Hemingway

Tune: Ever see a beautiful girl and want to get to know her and then remember you have a girlfriend? Wheat wrote a song about it – “I Met a Girl.”

Gallimaufry: Being kinda new to Twitter, I gotta tell you, I’m fascinated. But there is a weird side to it. Here’s some of Meghan McCain’s experiences with Karl Rove on the social networking site…Rafiq Qureshi, father of Slumdog Millionaire childstar Rubina Ali, has allegedly been trying to sell his daugher. Qureshi disputes the allegations…What recession? The Coachella music festival, featuring the likes of Paul McCartney and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, was packed over the weekend.

Incoming: Tomorrow – Everyone else is doing it, so why can’t I? I’ll pop off about Twitter…Thursday – More Annoying Sayings & Misused WordsFriday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and much much more.