09.23.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

amalgamate [uhmal-guh-meyt] v. 1. to mix or merge so as to make a combination; blend; unite; combine: to amalgamate two companies 2. Metallurgy. to mix or alloy (a metal) with mercury 3. to combine, unite, merge, or coalesce: The three schools decided to amalgamate 4. to blend with another metal, as mercury

BIRTHDAY

Euripides (480 BC), Kublai Khan (1214), Mary Mallon (1869), Mickey Rooney (1920), John Coltrane (1926), Ray Charles (1930), Julio Iglesias (1943), Bruce Springsteen (1949), Jason Alexander (1959), Elizabeth Peña (1961), Ani DiFranco (1970), Jermaine Dupri (1972), Layzie Bone (1975), Rachael Yamagata (1977), Melanie Oudin (1991)

STANDPOINT

Two things I’ve always been gifted at are (a) making drinks and (b) convincing people I’m actually interested in the words coming out of their mouths. So, I’m a natural bartender.

And I love bartending. For the most part. But there a few annoying people who might appear during any given night I’ll always be unhappy to lay eyes on.

  • “The Loud Dude Who Is Totally Fucking Wrong About Pretty Much Everything” – This guy lives in every bar you’ve ever been to. He offers his opinions on just about everything in earshot, reciting  facts and statistics that are completely false. People put up with this kind of guy because, although he’s stupid, he’s no idiot and eventually offers to buy drinks for other customers. Sadly, people accept because, hey, free alcohol. As the bartender, and therefore the only sober person present, I’m forced to listen to the guy’s conspiracy theory about how Jack Ruby didn’t kill Lee Harvey Oswald, despite that being the one fucking fact in the whole JFK conspiracy everyone knows is absolutely true.
  • “The Wishy-Washy Individual Hankering For Some Dream World Elixir” – OK, here’s a tip for all you who plan on ever going to a bar again. Don’t pepper the bartender with an endless ingredient list of a drink that could never possibly exist. “Well, I want something fruity, but I don’t want it too sweet, and I don’t want to really taste the alcohol, but I want it to be strong because I’m only gonna have, like, one. Or maybe two.” You might as well ask me to serve that drink in the Holy Grail and have it personally delivered by Brad Pitt. Because that’d be easier than making your fantasyland cocktail. What do you like to drink? Just tell me. I’ll make it. As long as the ingredients don’t involve pixie dust or the breath of an angel.
  • “The Ultra-Demanding Dolt Who Doesn’t Truly Understand The System” – If you are finicky, that’s perfectly fine. That’s what I’m there for. If you want what you want the way you want, I’m on board. I’m the same way. However, if you make me shuck and jive, groove and dance, run around like a hopped-up chimpanzee, hey, it’s cool. I’m in the service industry and that’s exactly what I’m there for. But if you run up a tab of, say, $320 and you leave me a $30 tip, I’ll deal with it. Life will go on. BUT, the next time you come and sit at my bar, prepare to be placed at the very bottom of my priority level, somewhere between making sure my floor is clean and checking my cell for text messages. Tip well, and you’re gonna get treated well.
QUOTATION

The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes. Thomas Hardy

TUNE

In Philadelphia, there’s not a much greater place to watch a band you love than Johnny Brenda’s. Here’s a video of Rogue Wave‘s “Kicking The Heart Out.” I was at the show. My friend Danielle and I were busy getting hammered at the bar. But still, I was there.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ The video of Will Ferrell and a bunch of other celebrities imploring the American people to help out this country’s health insurance execs was yesterday’s big internet draw. Regardless of you position on the issue, this is some pretty funny stuff. I love Thomas Lennon‘s remark at the very end.

→ Apparently, 60% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. Welcome to my world, people. Glad to have you aboard.

→ Dude, are you fucking kidding me? GLENN BECK DAY? Mt. Vernon, you suck.

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06.02.09 – Tuesday

Word: ephemeral [i-fem-er-uhl] adj. 1. lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory: the ephemeral joys of childhood 2. lasting but one day: an ephemeral flower  ∞ n. 3. anything short-lived, as certain insects

Birthday: Martha Washington (1731), Marquis de Sade (1740), Thomas Hardy (1840), Johnny Weissmuller (1904), Sally Kellerman (1937), Stacy Keach (1941), Charlie Watts (1941), Jerry Mathers (1948), Gary Bettman (1952), Dana Carvey (1955), Lydia Lunch (1959), Kyle Petty (1960), B-Real (1970), Wayne Brady (1972), Nikki Cox (1978), Justin Long (1978)

Quotation: In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. T.S. Eliot

Tune: Lately, I’ve been exploring my iPod and finding songs I’m not sure ended up on it. Some are terrible. Others are quite good. Here’s “Innocent Violent Ordinary” by The Appleseed Cast. It’s one of the good ones.

Gallimaufry: If you play the lottery on any kind of regular basis, this will drive you nuts. More proof there is really no justice out there. I wonder what the inept individuals ended up doing with all the money. ∞ Ghostbusters was one of the most successful movies of all-time. A classic. Irrefutably so. Ghostbusters II was a classic sequel. Kind of shitty, but you watch when there’s nothing else on. Now years later, when everyone is remaking everything, the original creators of Ghostbusters decided to try something a little different. (Although it does seem there might be some interest in making a third movie.) Enter Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler) and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddmore) all contributed their voices to the game, set to come out June 16th for XBox 360, Playstation 3, Wii and Nintendo DS. Also involved were original cast members Annie Potts, Brian Doyle Murray and William Atherton. The game looks to be pretty sweet and has been met with some solid reviews. If you’re wondering, yes, I’ll be getting it. ∞ Hey, remember when Weezer used to be cool? Yeah, I don’t either. But now there’s a Weezer-inspired Snuggie called the Wuggie. Rivers Cuomo had this to say about it: “A Wuggie is basically exactly like a Snuggie, except it says Weezer on it. The people at Snuggie are doing it with us and promoting it with us. It’s a totally legit Snuggie.” If you were worried about it not being “legit,” now you can rest easy. I’m pretty sure if anyone I know buys the Wuggie, I’ll have to pull the plug on our association. You’ve been warned.

Incoming: Later today – I’ll address the debacle that was The 2009 MTV Movie Awards.