03.11.11 – a friday

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word

paucity [paw-si-tee] n. 1. smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness: a country with a paucity of resources 2. smallness or insufficiency of numbers; fewness

birthday

Lawrence Welk (1903), Rupert Murdoch (1931), Sam Donaldson (1934), Antonin Scalia (1936), Bobby McFerrin (1950), Douglas Adams (1952), Wallace Langham (1965), Lisa Loeb (1968), Terrence Howard (1969), Johnny Knoxville (1971)

standpoint

Bathroom reading. It’s kind of a touchy subject. There’s a few different lines of thought on the issue. Some just don’t do it. Others can’t get the deed done without. Still others insist they think it’s gross but they secretly partake.

As for me, I’m willing to admit I read in the bathroom. Not something I’m bragging about but I won’t deny it. And, for the past six months, since I moved into this house, it’s gone from a casual perusing of a magazine or a comic book and moved into the realm of an actual learning experience.

I’ve got my roommate Dan to thank for that and his subscription to a periodical I’d never heard of before – mental floss.

Unlike the rags that feature dogshit stories about where Reese Witherspoon is vacationing with her children, mental floss consists of short bursts of knowledge that actually translates into something to talk about.

Here’s just a sampling of the things I’ve learned about in the bathroom over the last six months.

→ The t-shirt first appeared in 1913 as regulation underwear for the U.S. Navy.

→ Chinese scientists have actually found a use for discarded cigarette butts, creating a process that transforms them into a compound that prevents steel pipes from corroding.

→ Due to a 12-year civil war that ravaged it, the African nation of Burundi‘s population is almost 50% people under 14 years old.

→ Starfish don’t have brains.

→ When someone on Twitter gains 500,000 followers, that’s called a Wheaton after Wil Wheaton who was the first celebrity to hit the 500K mark.

→ A chimpanzee will most likely drown if you drop him in the water, but a classic VW Bug would float if you drove it into a lake.

→ For some weird reason, Bill Clinton once said, “I’m someone who has a deep emotional attachment to Starsky and Hutch.”

→ In the 1974 NHL Entry Draft, Punch Imlach, GM of the Buffalo Sabres, took Taro Tsujimoto of the Tokyo Katanas in the 11th round. The league had never heard of the guy but it made the pick official anyway. It was later found out Imlach had created Tsujimoto to show his disdain with the length of the draft process.

I could go on and on but I’m gonna stop. No worries, though, I’ll be making this a regular segment as my bathroom tutelage grows larger.

quotation

You know, we’ve got to do it someday…throw away all the guns and invite all the jokers from the North and the South in here to a cocktail party…last man standing on his feet at the end wins the war. ↔ Alan Alda (as Hawkeye in the pilot episode of M*A*S*H)

tune

Back in 1991, there were two bands called Nirvana. One was the over-glorified trio fronted by Kurt Cobain. The other was a bunch of Danish guys who changed their name to Kashmir. Here’s a song I stumbled upon recently by the latter, “Ophelia.”

gallimaufry

Watch out, people, in a mere eight days the Supermoon is coming. And, apparently, it’s pissed.

“Halle Berry Shares Mommy Tips With Pregnant Alyssa Milano.” That an actual title of an actual article someone actually wrote that people are actually reading. Christ. It’s embarrassing to be a member of the human race some days.

This chick is really committed to the acting process. No one told her The Wire wrapped up production a few years back.

03.30.10 – A Tuesday

word

miasma [mahy-az-muh, mee-] n. 1. noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere 2. a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere

birthday

Francisco Goya (1746), Anna Sewell (1820), 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), Donna D’Errico (1968), Celine Dion (1968), Secretariat (1970), Norah Jones (1979)

standpoint

Okay, so the blog is back. My ancient laptop finally waved the white flag and let me know it’d had quite enough. So here I am typing away on the new one and I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.

Tomorrow, I’ll start the once again. I’ve amassed a lot of new material topics including musicians selling out (or not), the small town complex of the small town I currently reside in, why you should (almost) never trust anyone you used to date, and how email has made it possible for people who are scared to death of confrontation to circumvent their fear.

Come back tomorrow for some more. Thanks for reading.

quotation

Life is loneliness, broken only by the gods taunting us with friendship and the occasional bonk.Christopher Moore

tune

The Avalanches are one of those music acts who’ve had one song I really like but I’m not too curious to find out more. I’ve listened to “Frontier Psychiatrist” about a million times (give or take), however, until yesterday, I’d never seen the accompanying video. It’s pretty great.

gallimaufry

→ If this guy didn’t all ready understand he was gay, he’s needs more friends like me. I would’ve told him a few decades back.

→ It’s unclear why National Geographic didn’t get in touch with me when they made this. You’d think they might want an expert.

→ When a show is featured in the lectures of a Harvard professor, it should be universally accepted that show is one of the best ever. (Truthfully, I didn’t read the entire article because I’m still not through the entire catalog of The Wire and I didn’t want to run the risk of it ruining anything for me.)

03.16.10 – A Tuesday

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word

obstreperous [uhb-strep-er-uhs] adj. 1. resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly 2. noisy, clamorous, or boisterous: obstreperous children

birthday

James Madison (1751), John Butler Yeats (1839), Marlin Perkins (1905), Henny Youngman (1906), Pat Nixon (1912), Jerry Lewis (1926), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927), Tommy Flanagan (1930), Chuck Woolery (1941), Erik Estrada (1949), Elliott Murphy (1949), Nancy Wilson (1954), Flavor Flav (1959), Todd McFarlane (1961), Patty Griffin (1964), Lauren Graham (1967), Riley Cote (1982), Wolfgang Van Halen (1991)

standpoint

Lately, I’ve stopped going out so much and have been watching more television than I’m comfortable admitting. By nature, I’m a thinker and so, while I sit and watch, I also ponder why I watch what I watch.

I’ve discovered one reason is I’m drawn to certain characters in certain shows and not always for the same reason. In most cases, I gravitate toward the supporting characters more than the leads.

So, of course I’ve compiled a list – Top Five Supporting Male TV Characters. Here is each one with a personifying video clip.

Peter MacNicol as Dr. Larry Fleinhardt on Numb3rs.

Quirky, goofball zen genius who begrudgingly participates in solving every crime imaginable with advanced math theory.

John Larroquette as Asst. DA Dan Fielding on Night Court.

Television no longer tolerates sexist characters as irredeemable as Dan Fielding.

Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler on The West Wing.

Perpetually cranky White House Communications Director who often broke the rules to do the right thing.

Phil Hartman as Bill McNeal on NewsRadio.

Perhaps one of the most brilliant characters ever.

Michael K. Williams as Omar Little on The Wire.

Possibly the biggest badass in television history.

quotation

There is a chalk outline being drawn around common sense, and most people cannot even identify the victim. ↔ Dennis Miller

tune

A few weeks back I changed the Tune section here. Instead of linking to a video, I’m now embedding it in the actual post. The decision was made mainly due to the fact I’m now, for reasons I still don’t comprehend, able to view YouTube videos on my ancient laptop. With the onset of my embedding capabilities, I’m taking the liberty of re-posting some songs I’ve featured in the past. So, without further ado, here is the video from “Worry About It Later” by brakesbrakesbrakes. It’s one of my top five from this past year.

gallimaufry

Man, cocaine users can’t catch a friggin’ break. All ready no friend of law enforcement, now they’ve got the environmentalist on their asses. Poor bastards.

This woman is doing a bang-up job in contributing to the bad reputation of New Jersey. At the end of the article we learn people actually pay to watch her eat. I’d pay a small fortune to have never been exposed to her pathetic story.

→ This past weekend, most of us here in the United States lost an hour of sleep on Saturday night because of some bullshit called Daylight Saving Time, a process where all the clocks get turned an hour ahead. There are times when I wish Benjamin Franklin would’ve kept some of his brilliant fucking ideas to himself.

02.24.10 – A Wednesday

word

incursion [in-kur-zhuhn, -shuhn] n. 1. a hostile entrance into or invasion of a place or territory, esp. a sudden one; raid: The bandits made brief incursions on the village 2. a harmful inroad 3. a running in: the incursion of sea water

birthday

Wilhelm Grimm (1786), Honus Wagner (1874), Abe Vigoda (1921), Dominic  Chianese (1931), James Farentino (1938), Joe Lieberman (1942), Barry Bostwick (1945), Edward James Olmos (1947), George Thorogood (1950), Debra Jo Rupp (1951), Helen Shaver (1951), Steve Jobs (1955), Sammy Kershaw (1958), Mark Moses (1958), Michelle Shocked (1962), Teri Weigel (1962), Bill Bailey (1964), Billy Zane (1966), Mitch Hedberg (1968), Bonnie Somerville (1974)

standpoint

It’s the post you’ve been patiently biding your time for all week. Let’s dive into The Wishing Well, a weekly segment where I make five (5) wishes for things that’ll probably never come to fruition.

I WISH everyone would stop using made-up words involving this winter’s rash of snowstorms. Snowtographs? Snowicane? How about all these weather people take off their creative hats and just stick to the facts? Really, it’s all more than a little embarrassing. So quit it.

I WISH every cop drama each had a Det. Jimmy McNulty and Omar Little. Respectively played by Dominic West and Michael K. Williams on the now defunct HBO series The Wire, these characters are accurate portrayals of the way most of us really are, opting to either do the right thing or the wrong thing as dictated by what the circumstances the situation calls for.

I WISH Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson didn’t come off like such a thug with his tweets. “On my cali shit that’s why the world of tweet ain’t heard from me…. y’all stay tunned tho got major shit craccn betta believe dat…”  Come on, man, at least make an effort, for crying out loud. And what’s with all the references to “Jerkin’?”

I WISH more of you actually gave a crap about how monumental a victory it was when Team USA beat Team Canada in Men’s Ice Hockey this past Sunday night. Only because I want to talk about it more and I’m pretty sure that, even though she’s a big hockey fan, my girlfriend is growing weary of me yapping about it.

I WISH it was readily apparent why in the world Tiger Woods felt the need to apologize to us about cheating on his wife. Dude, I feel bad for your wife and kids. What you did to them was wrong and you should make some massive atonement. But, truly, the rest of us aren’t losing any sleep over it. Play golf, or don’t. Be faithful to your wife, or don’t be. Believe it or not, whatever you decide, we’ll go on with our lives. Just stay the fuck away from our women, you sex crazed maniac.

That’s it for this week’s installment. How about you? You wishing for anything right now?

quotation

No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.Mignon McLaughlin

tune

I’ve always told anyone who’d listen that, despite what you might think of the band Toto, you’re obviously some kind of soulless bastard if you don’t like, even a little bit, the song “Africa.” The other night I stumbled upon this amazing a capella version of it. You have got to see it. I really dig how they use their hands to simulate the storm sounds.

gallimaufry

I was going to wait until closer to fantasy football season to post this, but it’s just too good. Every word of this made me realize how much I hate fantasy football drafts.

→ As I’m sure you are, I’m counting down the days until the release of Permalight, the new album from my favorite band, Rogue Wave. If you need a fix until then, check this out. March 2nd can’t come soon enough.

→ All I’m going to say about this is if this kid didn’t kill these cats, they need to find the sicko that did and lock him up for a few decades.

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02.22.10 – A Monday

word

pejorative [pi-jawruh-tiv, –jor-, pejuh-rey-, pee-juh-] adj. 1. having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force: the pejorative affix -ling in princeling n. 2. a pejorative form or word, as poetaster

birthday

Rashi (1040), George Washington (1732), Jules Renard (1864), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892), Buddy Tate (1913), Don Pardo (1918), Clarence 13X (1928), Ted Kennedy (1932), Jonathan Demme (1944), Robert Kardashian (1944), Harvey Mason (1947), Julius Erving (1950), Kyle MacLachlan (1959), Steve Irwin (1962), Vijay Singh (1963), Rachel Dratch (1966), Bradley Nowell (1968), Jeri Ryan (1968), Thomas Jane (1969), James Blunt (1974), Drew Barrymore (1975)

standpoint

The 2010 Winter Olympics are clearly invading my usually cynical mindset. As of last night, the USA had the most medals at 24 (7 gold, 7 silver, 10 bronze). So far, we’re kicking ass. And, for once, I’m paying attention and, as a result, I’ve learned a few things. Both about the actual games and myself.

→ First and foremost, I’d like withdraw my summary assassination of curling. Originally, it was irksome that everybody at my bar wanted to watch it. I tried to ignore it because customers are quirky in that they’re less likely to tip a bartender all that well when he makes sarcastic remarks about the program they requested he put on. And so I started watching it. While I still don’t think it’s technically a sport, I can’t deny it has a certain degree of entertainment value. It’s confusing to me why curling isn’t more popular in this country. It doesn’t seem to take a ton of energy, the strategy is pretty straightforward and, most likely, could be turned into one hell of a drinking game. Fellow citizens, what are we waiting for? By the way, even though I’ve altered my position on curling, I still maintain the brooms are superfluous.

→ From what I can tell, our country excels at sports involving a high risk of injury. We’re all over any event where the slightest wrong move or miscalculation could easily result in a broken neck. If it entails strapping some contraption(s) to your feet, going really fast and/or flying defenselessly through the air, we are more than eager to sign up. The ones in which we seem to be insufficient are those that seem less exciting. We’re not particularly enchanted with the idea of skiing up a hill. Rather, we’d like to be headed down it, preferably with the help of some rocket propulsion and there had better be some sort of ramp at the bottom so we can, like, do some kickass midair shit, you know?

→ Even in the Winter Olympics, it seems no one cares about the sport of ice hockey except the actual players and coaches. Oh, and also the entire population of Canada. And that’s a shame because there’s some high quality hockey being played right now so if you’re not watching, you’re missing out. To all you Canadians out there, I’d like to send some sympathy your way. It must’ve been hell on Earth to watch Team USA hand Team Canada that 5-3 loss last night. If you’re completely unaware of how seriously our friends to the North take the sport of ice hockey, just imagine if your football team lost in the Super Bowl and your baseball team lost Game 7 of the World Series. On the same day.

We’ve got one week left. Hopefully, our athletes can keep up the stellar work and give the citizens of every country in the world yet another reason to hate the good ole USA.

quotation

Don’t listen to those who say, you taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most important, don’t listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says. they all smarter than you out there. They’re more talented, they’re taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections. I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you’ll be a person worthy of your own respects.Neil Simon

tune

In honor of Bradley Nowell’s birthday, I’m giving you my favorite son by his band, Sublime. Aptly, it’s titled “Greatest Hits.”

gallimaufry

Andrew Koenig, the son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, known primarily for playing the role of “Boner” on the 80s sitcom Growing Pains, has been missing since Valentine’s Day. If you know anything about his whereabouts, get in touch with the authorities. Here’s hoping the guy returns home safely.

→ If dolphins ever gain the ability to walk upon land, there’s a good chance they would achieve world domination. Don’t believe me? Watch this video and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.

→ Only five episodes into the first season of the HBO series The Wire and I’m tempted to declare it the best cop show in the history of the world, a title currently held by my beloved NYPD Blue.