03.23.11 – a wednesday

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word

fugacious [fyoo-gey-shuhs] adj. 1. fleeting; transitory: a sensational story with but a fugacious claim on the public’s attention 2. Botany. falling or fading early

birthday

Joan Crawford (1905), David Grisman (1945), Ric Ocasek (1949), Chaka Khan (1953), Kenneth Cole (1954), Moses Malone (1955), Amanda Plummer (1957), Richard Grieco (1965), Yasmeen Ghauri (1971), Keri Russell (1976), Perez Hilton (1978)

standpoint

This wasn’t easy, although I’m sure it’ll seem like it was.

Last night (or earlier tonight, depending on whether we’re talking about your perspective or mine), I was driving from Skippack, where I work, to Manayunk, where I reside. I was in full-on music geek mode and decided that I was going to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, something I’ve attempted before but never been able to pull the trigger on: My Favorite Music of All-Time.

The main problem with compiling this list has been that it gets too long. So I decided to break it down into categories which I will share with you over the next few days or, truthfully, however long it takes.

I may regret it as the whole damn thing might get a little out of control and beyond the point of any real structure or direction but, as I’ve said in the past, I’m the only one writing this blog and so I’m my own boss. (Despite Joe Taylor’s many late night claims otherwise.)

All right, I’m going to start with the Six Songs I’ve Played the Most in the Past Ten Years According to My Two iPods.

Number Six

“Inner Meet Me” – The Beta Band

Number Five

“Finer Feelings” – Spoon

Number Four

“Ain’t That Enough” – Teenage Fanclub

Number Three

“Modern Mystery” – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Number Two

“Harmonium” – Rogue Wave

Number One

“Beautiful Beat” – Nada Surf

There’s the first installment. Tomorrow will be yet another.

quotation

I apologize to computer chess after calling it stupid when I lost. You’re not stupid, computer chess. I am. ↔ Michael Ian Black

tune

I like Jeb Loy Nichols and I like most versions of “The Tracks Of My Tears.” I found this and didn’t even really listen to it. Just decided to put it up here. Hope you like it.

gallimaufry

You know what Twitter needs? I do. Twilter. Instead of ceasing to follow someone who’s bugging the shit out you, you can employ Twilter, a program that will block retweets, tweets with spam links, etc. and so forth. All you computer programmers out there, feel free to run with it. Just do me a favor. If you become the next internet millionaire from the idea, make sure someone besides Jack Black or Kevin Smith portrays me in the movie they make about you. Deal? Those guys are at least 100 lbs. bigger than me.

→ Dear NFL, if you’re trying to turn the most popular sport in the country into something no one is interesting watching, nice job. These are a first few steps in the right direction.

→ For those of you who are tired of news that matters, read this. It’s nice to see there’s at least a few people out there with their eye on the ball. Christ.

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04.08.10 – A Thursday

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word

felicitous [fi-lis-i-tuhs] adj. 1. well-suited for the occasion, as an action, manner, or expression; apt; appropriate: The chairman’s felicitous anecdote set everyone at ease 2. having a special ability for suitable manner or expression, as a person

birthday

David Rittenhouse (1732), Betty Ford (1918), Carmen McRae (1920), Kofi Annan (1938), Stuart Pankin (1946), Tom DeLay (1947), Steve Howe (1947), John Schneider (1960), Izzy Stradlin (1962), Julian Lennon (1963), Biz Markie (1964), Robin Wright Penn (1966), Patricia Arquette (1968)

standpoint

Short and sweet today. Here’s a list of shit I need to stop hearing or reading about. It’s a new section called I’m Tired Of These.

  1. Toyota – The Japanese car company used to be considered the best in the world. But they made a mistake. Ever make one yourself?
  2. Federal Income Taxes – Almost half of our nation’s households don’t pay income tax. It’s been happening for a few years now. You only know about it now because certain political factions want you to. No one was freaking about it when the President was a generic white guy.
  3. Facebook Simpletons – When I was in high school, my mother had my father take me to the family hairdresser and, while we were in route, called the lady and instructed her to ignore my instructions and cut seven inches off every hair on my head. Was I pissed? You betcha. Did I sue my mother? No. Dude, unless your mother is beating you mercilessly, shut the fuck up and deal with the fact you got caught.
  4. Texting While Driving – If you don’t understand why this is dangerous, you should call the authorities to come pick you up and put you on the next plane to Mexico.
  5. Obama Is A Communist – For real? That’s the best you’ve got? It’s okay if you disagree with our President. I’m not saying you’re right or wrong. But if Joe McCarthy was still around, even his drunk ass would come up with more current terminology.

About the only truth out there right now is the national media is lazy. It’s creating (and recreating) your news for you. Find out what’s what for yourself.

quotation

Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings. Miles Franklin

tune

With a recently revamped iPod and a renewed determination to attain my exemplary weight, I’ve started working out again. (In case you’re unaware, two years ago, I tipped the scales at 260 lbs. Nowadays, I find myself in between 210 and 220 lbs. I’m resolute to get down to my original goal of 200 lbs.) And I’m not joining gym, or enlisting in the ranks of the single-minded bicycle enthusiasts. I’m simply going to walk. Hard and fast. And what’s great about that is I don’t need a bunch of redundant fist-pumping music like one’ll find in those inane spinning classes. Any good music will do. Today, I listened to Keep In Mind, Frankenstein by Grand Archives. Here’s “Dig That Crazy Grave.”

gallimaufry

→ Remember all the snow we were having around here a while back? And how everyone was joking, “Hey, Al Gore, what happened to global warming?” Well, morons, one snowy winter hasn’t stopped the effects of what will probably destroy this world before we humans get a shot at it. Don’t believe me? Click here.

→ Today, Tiger Woods resumes his golfing career. But not before this guy used his standing to read him the riot act.

→ All you who are still confounded by what actually happened with the Donovan McNabb trade, as usual, Sal Paolantonio has the inside dope.

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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02.18.10 – A Thursday

word

crepuscular [kri-puhs-kyuh-ler] adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct 2. Zoology. appearing or active in the twilight, as certain bats and insects

birthday

Andre Breton (1896), Enzo Ferrari (1898), Jack Palance (1919), George Kennedy (1925), Toni Morrison (1931), Yoko Ono (1933), Dennis DeYoung (1947), Gary Ridgway (1949), John Hughes (1950), Cybill Shepherd (1950), Juice Newton (1952), John Travolta (1954), Vanna White (1957), Greta Scacchi (1960), Matt Dillon (1964), Dr. Dre (1965), Molly Ringwald (1968), Jillian Michaels (1974), Ike Barinholtz (1977), Regina Spektor (1980)

standpoint

Last night, I rediscovered RetroJunk, a website featuring lots of videos from the past. My favorite section was the PSAs (Public Service Announcements) Some of which I will share with you right now.

Obviously, Clint hates crack cocaine. The contempt on his face and in his voice is palpable.

Apparently, Gizmo had his own instructions. But the video footage is deceiving. Is Gizmo supposed to keep teenagers off drugs and alcohol or his fellow gremlins?

Cementing what Han Solo knew along: C-3PO was a fucking buzzkill. Let the little dude catch a smoke for crying out loud.

Two issues here. First, why are the kids sitting in the boat in the first place? Did they run aground? Second, why are they completely unfazed when Swamp Thing comes out from behind the stump? Shouldn’t they run for their lives?

Make sure to visit RetroJunk to find some of your favorites from yesteryear.

quotation

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.Philip K. Dick

tune

I find it fascinating when I go back and listen to a song from my past and realize it could’ve been written in the present. “Scarecrow People” by XTC is one such tune.

gallimaufry

Well, that didn’t take long at all. Cheating dirtbag Tiger Woods will break his silence on Friday. Some will laud his statements. Some will still hate him. But he’ll still make millions of dollars by year’s end. And all will be right with the world.

→ If after reading Mark Morford’s “Why Are You So Terribly Disappointing?” you experience difficulty understanding what the article is about, well, just never mind. It’s just not for you, I guess.

→ Olympic Update time. I still think curling is god awful. And it’s messing with me watching the hockey games.

02.04.10 – A Thursday

WORD

piquant [pee-kuhnt, -kahnt, pee-kahnt] adj. 1. agreeably pungent or sharp in taste or flavor; pleasantly biting or tart: a piquant aspic 2. agreeably stimulating, interesting, or attractive: a piquant glance 3. of an interestingly provocative or lively character: a piquant wit 4. Archaic. sharp or stinging, esp. to the feelings

BIRTHDAY

Charles Lindbergh (1902), Betty Friedan (1921), Conrad Bain (1923), David Brenner (1936), Dan Quayle (1947), Alice Cooper (1948), Lisa Eichhorn (1952), Clint Black (1962), Gabrielle Anwar (1970), Rob Corrdry (1971), Oscar de la Hoya (1973), Natalie Imbruglia (1975), Gavin DeGraw (1977)

STANDPOINT

Things that are annoying me today? Glad you asked. Here’s a list.

» Movies. Why do they all have to be exceedingly scary or outrageously post-apocalyptic or synthetically romantic or completely awful? I think there’s enough of all that on every so-called news program. (However, I did see Crazy Heart yesterday and it was a really solid exception.)

» Snow. I love when it snows. But one aspect of every snowstorm I despise is crybabies lamenting as if the streets are covered in razorblades and land mines, instead of harmless snowflakes. Oddly enough, these are the same people who get in their cars and, perhaps in some sort of misplaced defiance toward Mother Nature, drive around like it’s a clear and dry sunny day in August. Slipping and sliding all over the road, causing accidents they’ll blame on “the fucking snow.”

» Facebook. It’s not the social networking site that bugs me. I like it. I use it. I’ve reconnected with lots of old friends on it. I’ve even made some new ones. But it’s truly sad to read updates from people you once knew to be of sound mind, gripe about kids, spouses, politics, etc. For the record, I’m fully aware my own status updates are inconsequential nonsense.

QUOTATION

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.Charles Mingus

TUNE

Every group of friends has a song that only they seem to know, and only they think is absolutely awesome. It’s usually due to the song being associated with some particularly good time. For me and my college friends, that song was “Both Belong” by The Grays.

GALLIMAUFRY

Oh, boy. PGA officials must be geeking out if this is true. Tiger Woods is making a comeback.

→ With state of the US economy the way it is, this seems as good a way as any to sort of figure it out.

→ Wow. Two days in a row I find hope for the human race. Check out The Smiths Project: Sing Every Smiths Song By the End of 2009. Some may find this kind of thing unimportant. But some would be wrong. Completely and uncontrollably wrong.

01.22.10 – A Friday

WORD

perfunctory [per-fuhngk-tuh-ree] adj. 1. performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial: perfunctory courtesy 2. lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent or apathetic: In his lectures he reveals himself to be merely a perfunctory speaker

BIRTHDAY

Francis Bacon (1561), Grigori Rasputin (1869), Sam Cooke (1931), Piper Laurie (1932), Bill Bixby (1934), Seymour Cassel (1935), John Hurt (1940), Steve Perry (1949), Jim Jarmusch (1953), Linda Blair (1959), Michael Hutchence (1960), Daniel Johnston (1961), DJ Jazzy Jeff (1965), Diane Lane (1965), Olivia d’Abo (1969), Balthazar Getty (1975)

STANDPOINT

On my first blog, I used to a regular post called The Wishing Well. Basically, I would state five wishes, about any topic I wished. I enjoyed doing The Wishing Well. And so, I’m reviving it here. Enjoy.

I WISH I knew why the top search engine term driving traffic to this blog was “Marilu Henner.” The redheaded actress, probably best known for her work on the (awesome) sitcom Taxi and the (equally awesome) film Johnny Dangerously, has contributed 277 hits to this blog. I mentioned her one time in the “Birthday” section. Either Henner is much more popular that I thought, or someone out there likes her waaaaay too much.

I WISH I could tell you many white people, during this past holiday season, came into my bar and wished me a “Happy Kwanzaa.” Probably almost a hundred, each more annoying and tasteless than the next.

I WISH for NBA officials to seriously reexamine the league’s All Star Game selection process. I like Allen Iverson but how in the world is the guy starting? He has no reason to even be on the team. But then again, what the hell do I care about the NBA?

I WISH the rumor about Jersey Shore coming to Sea Isle City for its second season was actually true. As small as that town is, the congestion generated from all the douchebags overrunning it would make for some interesting story lines. Plus, it would be fun to watch how many more fights the cast members would get into with the Sea Isle population. I’d give the guys on that show a 35% percent chance of making it through the entire summer.

I WISH Tiger Woods all the best while getting treatment for “sexual addiction.” No I don’t. What a bunch of horseshit. Q: How many famous guys with money are out there doing exactly what Tiger was doing? A: Most all of them.

QUOTATION

Oil is sixty dollars a barrel. There are terrorists everywhere. We have a catastrophe in our world every ten minutes. I don’t know how anybody’s getting through anything. Right now, people just need to be entertained. Bob Saget

TUNE

A while back, I was told to download “Penn Station” by The Felice Brothers. The other night, I finally did just that. I immediately wished I’d done it much sooner. Thanks, Brendan.

GALLIMAUFRY

My buddy (and biggest fan) Joe Taylor sent me this awesome John Hughes montage from YouTube yesterday. Check it out.

→ Beer snobs around the world are fretting right now. It seems Belgium might be running out of beer.

→ Holy Shit. Those were the only words that came to mind after reading this article about some dipshit who’s forming an all-white basketball league in Georgia. Christ.

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.