01.06.10 – A Wednesday

WORD

replete [ri-pleet] adj. 1. abundantly supplied or provided; filled (usually fol. by with): a speech replete with sentimentality 2. stuffed or gorged with food and drink  3. complete: a scholarly survey, replete in its notes and citations

BIRTHDAY

Joan of Arc (1412), John Smith (1580), Carl Sandburg (1878), Danny Thomas (1912), Earl Scruggs (1924), Vic Tayback (1930), Lou Holtz (1937), Bonnie Franklin (1944), Syd Barrett (1946), Rowan Atkinson (1955), Howie Long (1960), Andrew Wood (1966), John Singleton (1968), Gabrielle Reece (1970)

STANDPOINT

Continuing with this end-of-the-year nonsense, I’d like to present some the the following “important” news stories of 2009 and what I feel we learned from them.

I’m welcoming any and all comments. Which stories are important? Which are not? Which didn’t get enough coverage? Which didn’t get enough? Which reveal relevant aspects of the culture? Which are supposed to but don’t? Let’s open up a dialogue here, people.

  • Balloon Boy – Richard and Mayumi Heene, a couple who met while attending acting classes in Hollywood, captivated the attention of the entire nation for about three hours one afternoon when they claimed Falcon, their son, was stranded in a balloon they’d launched from their backyard. Turned out the kid was in the attic. It was all a hoax. What did we learn? People will do just about anything to get on TV.
  • Beer Summit – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and police Sgt. James Crowley were involved in a racially-charged episode that ended in Gates’ incarceration for apparently attempting to break in to his own home.  Obama compounded the problem by stating the police “acted stupidly.” Then, he invited Gates and Crowley over for a beer. Obama had a Bud Light, Crowley a Blue Moon, Gates a Sam Adams Light, the press a field day. What did we learn? Blue Moon is not even made in fucking Belgium.
  • Roman Polanski Arrested – Polanski, an Oscar-winning filmmaker, was finally nabbed thirty years after he pleaded guilty to a count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in California. He spent the last three decades hiding in plain sight in (where else?) Switzerland. As of now, he’s still not been brought back the United States. What did we learn? The Swiss can do whatever the hell they want.
  • Sarah Palin – I’m completely sure I’d be unable to conjure the right words to adequately sum up this total fucking nightmare of a human being. Not surprisingly, this dreadful woman is still polling well in places where guns outnumber people. And I’m afraid those places outnumber the ones where us civilized folks dwell. What did we learn? Most people are either (a) confused or (b) morons.
  • Tiger Woods – If you’re unaware of what’s going on with the world’s best golfer, I think you’re probably a little too wrapped up in your own world and need to come to the realization you’re not the only fucking person on the planet. What did we learn? Woods is one strange dude.
QUOTATION

Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.Tom Robbins

TUNE

Remember when Napster was free? I’d sit in my bedroom in my old apartment in Ardmore and plunder the outlaw peer-to-peer file sharing program for hours on end, typing in the name of every band and music artist I knew at the time and expanding my music library by leaps and bounds daily. When I ran out of familiar search terms, I simply started typing random words into Napster’s search engine, just for shits and giggles. So, of course, I tried the names “Joshua” and “Josh.” That’s how I learned of Josh Joplin, a singer-songwriter originally from Lancaster PA. In the past ten years, I’ve seen Joplin at least five times, all at Tin Angel in Philadelphia. Here’s a clip of “Gravity” from one of those performances.

GALLIMAUFRY

“Dude, how cool would it be if there were these small octopuses who found coconut shells, dragged them across the ocean floor and used them to hide from their predators?” That’s not a question posed after one-too-many bong hits. That’s actually going on.

MLB pitcher Randy Johnson, 46, officially retired from baseball yesterday, which didn’t really surprise anyone. Except for me. I was convinced he’d already done that. Like five years ago.

→ I love this headline: “Martin Lawrence producing comedy for black viewers.” It’s going to be a stretch for him but I think he’s up to the task. I mean, being an actual black comic and all.

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06.26.09 – Friday

Word: mollify [moluh-fahy] v. 1. to soften in feeling or temper, as a person; pacify; appease 2. to mitigate or reduce; soften: to mollify one’s demands

Birthday: Abner Doubleday (1819), Lord Kelvin (1824), Pearl S. Buck (1892), Colonel Tom Parker (1909), Dave Grusin (1934), Gilberto Gil (1942), Mick Jones (1955), Chris Isaak (1956), Patty Smyth (1957), Mark McKinney (1959), Greg LeMond (1961), Sean Hayes (1970), Chris O’Donnell (1970), Nick Offerman (1970), Jason Schwartzman (1980), Michael Vick (1980)

Quotation: What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising?  Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Tune: I love it when I go to a show, expecting one thing and get something totally different. My ex-wife and I loved to listen to singer-songwriter Steve Poltz but when she got me tickets to go see him at Tin Angel in Philadelphia, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. I figured it would be like every other show I’d seen there – imagine someone with a guitar on a stage, in front of them a crowd who reveres music much the way I imagine religious people revere God. Anyway, Poltz turned out to be one of the most entertaining storytellers ever. He told a story about puking on David Cassidy‘s shoes in Las Vegas. I think that’s what it was about. I was pretty smashed. (The assembled audiophiles didn’t approve but Poltz didn’t seem to mind when I talked to him after the show.) Check out this live performance of  “Chinese Vacation.”

Gallimaufry: When I read articles like “Jive-talking twin Transformers raise race issues,” I’m convinced people are seriously losing their fucking minds. It’s a movie. Yesterday, I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Sure, Skids and Mudflap were unquestionably bothersome. But offensive? Only to those out there who purposely search everything for offensive undertones. Get a grip. In case you were in a cave listening to your iPod yesterday, you already know that Michael Jackson died at the age of 50, the apparent victim of cardiac arrest. OK, I get it. The man (maybe) was a top-notch performed and he was loved all over the world. But he was also a pedophile, even though that was never adequately proven. Everyone knew it. But, as we’ve seen more and more lately, if you entertain people in any way, shape or form, (and you’re name is not O.J.), you’ve basically received a license to do whatever the hell you want. Last night, I watched a news report that said people up in Harlem held an impromptu parade to celebrate the life of Jackson. Kind of ridiculous. The guy molested children. But he did invent the moonwalk. Apparently, we think that dance is pretty awesome. Sadly, Jacko’s death overshadowed the death of Farrah Fawcett, who also passed away yesterday from her long bout with cancer. It was almost a triple-play when bloggers started reporting the death of Jeff Goldblum, stating he fell off a cliff in Hawaii while playing golf. But, he didn’t die. He wasn’t even in Hawaii. He was in Los Angeles. Stupid misinformed bloggers.

03.27.09 – Friday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: abrogate (request from Marc Schuster) [ab-ruh-geyt] verb 1. to abolish by formal or official means; annul by an authoritative act; repeal: to abrogate a law  2. to put aside; put an end to

Birthday: Gloria Swanson (1899), Pee Wee Russell (1906), Sarah Vaughan (1924), Michael York (1942), Tony Banks (1950), Quentin Tarantino (1963), Kevin Corrigan (1969), Mariah Carey (1970), Nathan Fillion (1971), Fergie (1975)

Occurrence: 1998 – The FDA approves Viagra. On a related note, someone recently told me that someone they knew was an orderly at some retirement village and that the number of cases of STDs in that retirement village had skyrocketed in recent years due to drugs like Viagra. I know. Not the prettiest picture. But the truth is not always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, most times it’s not.

Standpoint: I talk to a lot of people over the course of the day. I enjoy conversation with different types of folks. As I view it, every new conversation is an opportunity for undiscovered knowledge. There are, however, certain phrases that I hear that immediately make me want to walk away. Below, I’ve listed a few of them:

  • I could care less.” – Often erroneously used by someone attempting to inform another of how much they don’t care about an issue. Literally, it means that they do care. What they want to say is, “I couldn’t care less.”
  • It is what it is.” – Usually used after discussing a problematic situation. The speaker usually means either (a) “I’m unwilling to do anything about this,” or (b) “I’m not creative enough to find a way to fix this.”
  • I’m just saying.” – Constantly used as a weak ending after making a (normally) weak point.
  • At the end of the day…” – Frequently employed to sum up a conversation. Sure, that might be the case “at the end of the day,” but there will be another day tomorrow, right?

How about you? Do you have a phrase that annoys you? Please share.

Quotation: What I have dreamed in one hour is worth more than what you have done in four. Lorenzo de’ Medici

Digit: 21 – In the State of Missouri, if you are under 21 and disposing of empty alcohol containers, you can be arrested. I wonder how many times that law has been enforced.

Tune: If you’re like me (and why wouldn’t you be?) you think that XTC is a pretty good band. It’s a shame that Andy Partridge’s paralyzing stage-fright keeps us from ever seeing these guys live. We’ll just have to watch clips like “Yacht Dance” instead. Enjoy.

Link: Boxee – I don’t use this site, but it might be helpful to those of you with a large collection of movie files. Looks pretty cool.

Weekend Philadelphia (only on Fridays): Tonight (3/27), why not head down to The Academy of Music to take in Happy Days: A New Musical? Showtime 8pm…Teddy Thompson, son of Richard and Linda Thompson, plays a show Saturday night (10pm) at The Tin Angel…Also Saturday night; Projects Gallery’s Obama-rama exhibit comes to a close. Check it out while you still can…What about Sunday, you ask? How about checking out the Give & Take Jugglers at The Central Library? Starts at 2pm.

Gallimaufry: Just to reiterate from a post a few weeks ago: Nadya Suleman is a bad person…For many reasons, I consider myself lucky to not live in Iran. Here is one more reason. I think I’d definitely fall into the category of “offensive blogger”…I can’t decide. When I was Rory McIness’ age, if I did what he did, would my parents be as cool as his, or would they’ve sent me to some really awful military academy? I don’t think there would’ve been an in-between…Here’s a transcript of President Obama’s Tuesday night press conference, in case you’re interested…That’s it for me this week, come back Monday for some more.

03.06.09 – Friday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: reductio ad absurdum [ri-duk-shi-oh ad ab-sur-dŭm] Latin 1. proof of falsity by showing an absurd logical consequence  2. proof of truth by demonstrating the falsity of alternatives  3. the carrying of a  principle to impractical lengths

Birthday: Michelangelo (1475), Cyrano de Bergerac (1619), Lou Costello (1906), Ed McMahon (1923), Wes Montgomery (1925), Alan Greenspan (1926), Marion Barry, Jr. (1936), Ivan Boesky (1937), David Gilmour (1946), Rob Reiner (1947), Tom Arnold (1959), D.L. Hughley (1963), Shaquille O’Neal (1972),

Occurrence: 1899Aspirin becomes a registered trademark of Bayer. Still the best thing for a headache, in my opinion.

Irksome: An impoverished Michael Jackson held a news conference yesterday in London’s O2 arena announcing that the 10 farewell shows scheduled there for July of this year would be his last. The King of Pop uttered, by my count, 12-15 full sentences. The rest of the press conference amounted to, judging by the footage, a mostly adult-male audience screaming “Michael!” at the top of its lungs. Besides his brief statement, Jackson managed to bust out some impromptu moves and concluded the event by jutting his fist out in defiance (most likely aimed at his depleted bank accounts), poignantly staring at the crowd and blowing kisses, presumably at some of the younger members in attendance. People love to debate whether Jackson is still technically a member of the male gender. After watching yesterday, I’m inclined to debate whether he is still technically a member of the human race. At this point, I’m reasonably sure that he is the sole member of his own species.

Quotation: Damn, it feels good to disagree with the towering minds of the past. – A.J. Jacobs

Tidbit: The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania estimates that George W. Bush’s IQ score is 91. It puts Bill Clinton’s at 182. Click HERE to see how these conclusions were reached.

Song: You’ll either think “Jesus Was Way Cool” by King Missile is really funny or really stupid. There is no in-between.

Link: The Onion – Great site that makes fun of just about everything. Not a huge fan of the layout but the content can’t be denied.

Gallimaufry: Click HERE to listen to Miley Cyrus talk about how she is going to “ruin” Radiohead. Wow…Anyone out there want to explain the value of Twitter to me? I’m ready to listen…I’m becoming more and more embarrassed to be a member of a society that is actually debating Prop. 8. With all of the world’s problems, I find it unbelievably ridiculous that so many people waste energy on denying same-sex couples the opportunity to be happy…If you are looking for something to do this Saturday night, catch Ben Arnold at The Tin Angel. Showtime is 7:30pm…On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for reading during the inaugural week of this blog with over 700 hits this week. I was hoping for 400. Keep coming back and remember to post comments. Let’s get some chatter started, people. Next post on Monday. Have a great weekend.