02.23.11 – a wednesday

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word

esoteric [es-uhter-ik] adj. 1. understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite: poetry full of esoteric allusions 2. belonging to the select few 3. private; secret; confidential 4. (of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group: the esoteric doctrines of Pythagoras

birthday

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868), Peter Fonda (1940), Patricia Richardson (1951), Howard Jones (1955), Kristin Davis (1965), Emily Blunt (1983), Aziz Ansari (1983), Dakota Fanning (1994)

standpoint

Since I started this blog, one of my favorite features to write has been The Wishing Well. It’s been a while since the last one, so let’s get to it.

I WISH every time I played Angry Birds I wasn’t reminded of “The Game,” an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which the entire crew becomes addicted to a very simple, handheld computer simulation. Once again, the creative folks behind the Star Trek franchise reveal their prognostic talents.

I WISH that when I do actually ignore my better judgement and pay attention to the news, it didn’t make me feel that this planet and the human race are headed toward becoming the universe’s greatest punchline. (I don’t have a link for this entry. There’s just too many to choose from.)

I WISH there was a law that made it legal for people like Tania Head to get pushed down a flight of stairs three times a day. If you think that’s a harsh statement, read this article and tell me you don’t agree.

I WISH I could watch one more Flyers game with my best friend Harv, followed by a beer or two at Dawson Street Pub. (For those of you who don’t know, Harvey died this past November. Sorry to bring the room down but it’s my list, after all, so deal.)

I WISH and I’m counting on all of you to come here tomorrow and read my thoughts on modern-day parenthood, easily the most requested topic among the emails. Come back tomorrow for some more. Thanks for reading.

quotation

It is not worth an intelligent man’s time to be in the majority. By definition, there are all ready enough people to do that. ↔ G. H. Hardy

tune

If Mumford & Sons has failed to gain your notice as of yet, you need reevaluate your music listening protocols. Here’s “The Cave.” After you’re done, go listen to the rest of their catalog.

gallimaufry

So apparently one of the little girls from the album cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream is the band’s new bassist. And, get this, she didn’t share that little nugget with her new bandmates until after she was brought on. Truly, the world has gone mad.

→ For all of you who bitch and moan about how you wish you’d never joined a social networking site because you’re just “so over it,” and it’s “beneath” you, here’s instructions on how to delete yourself from some of the more popular ones. Happy trails on your noble path.

→ I wish this email from former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was a fabrication but it’s real. So so so sad.

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02.23.10 – A Tuesday

word

axiom [ak-see-uhm] n. 1. a self-evident truth that requires no proof 2. a universally accepted principle or rule 3. Logic, Mathematics. a proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from it

birthday

Georg Friedrich Handel (1685), W. E. B. DuBois (1868), Peter Fonda (1940), Fred Biletnikoff (1943), Johnny Winter (1944), Patrcia Richardson (1951), Howard Jones (1955), Kristin Davis (1965), Emily Blunt (1983), Dakota Fanning (1994)

standpoint

The other day, I was having lunch with a buddy from college and, as those kind of conversations tend to, we got to comparing notes on what we knew about the old gang.

In the past few years, these types of dialogues have drastically changed. There’s no longer any conjecture about where this person ended up or that person ended up, no longer does either of you say, “Um, I don’t think so. I heard that Billy moved to Houston.” Because you both know Billy didn’t move to Houston. Billy lives a couple towns over with his wife and three kids. You know Billy is a lawyer and still digs the college basketball. You know Billy’s put on a couple of pounds. You know lots of shit about Billy. Your friends with him on Facebook.

The truth is, about 95% of your Facebook friends are just like Billy in that, without the social networking site, he would’ve become one of those whatever-happened-to-him guys. But that’s not the case anymore. It’s likely you know more about Billy now than you did back in college, when you saw each other every single day of each semester.

Billy may be the guy who fills you in on just about everything his kids have done that day. Or he may be that guy who either loves or hates President Obama and thinks you’re a complete moron if you don’t feel the same way. Billy might be an information gatherer, frequently sharing articles or videos he finds of particularly interesting. He might wear his heart on his sleeve, chronicling one failed relationship after the next.

He could be any one or any combination of the above people. He could be none of them. But he’s your FB buddy and you occasionally check his profile when his name randomly pops up somewhere or the other. And you you really don’t care one way or the other but, hey, it’s there so why not look at it? You might even exchange cursory emails with Billy, vaguely suggesting meeting up for a beer or sometime but you never do.

So why bother with it at all? I suspect because it makes us feel a little better about everything, especially nowadays when the world seems on the verge of one catastrophically bad decision sealing all our fates. It makes the world seem a little more cozy and, even if it’s just perception, that can’t be an altogether bad thing.

Facebook is making it nearly impossible to lose touch with anyone. Even if you’re not on Facebook. My best friend has no intention of signing up. But, because everyone he knows is all ready on it, he doesn’t need to. He’s in the loop whether he wants to be or not. All of us, participating or not, are now part of a larger consciousness that shows no signs of a growth stoppage.

Whether you like it or not, Facebook’s not going anywhere. Just be at peace with it.

quotation

You have to be critical, then you have to be an optimist. Or else you’re really stupid. ↔ Ted Danson

tune

I’ve got this new routine going on when it comes to music listening.  As with all music-related devices that have the misfortune of entering my life, my car stereo works but only to a point. The display is broken. It doesn’t work until I’ve been in my car for about a half an hour. But I can still put a CD in it and it’ll play. I can’t change the track I’m listening to, though, so I’m forced to listen to the album in its entirety. At least until the display comes back on but by that time I’m usually too into it to bother. So, every Friday, I’m putting a new album in and spending a week with it. This week’s album is R.E.M.’s Life’s Rich Pageant. I forgot how much I love “I Believe.”

gallimaufry

Are you like a lot of people out there, working in an office eight hours a day when four or five hours would probably suffice and find yourself with lots of downtime? Here are some ways you can pass the time. And before you thank me, let me just say, “You’re welcome.”

→ Speaking of Facebook, check this out. It’s not the actual article that’s entertaining, it’s the comments. One more piece of evidence there’s a ton of dipshits out there. I love the bold paragraph midway through the article informing people they’re not actually on Facebook. My favorite comment? “This is such a mess I can’t do a thing on my facebook .The changes you have made are ridiculous,I can’t even login!!!!!I am very upset!!!”

→ Thanks to everyone who sent me emails regarding my piece on the Winter Olympics yesterday. Much appreciated. Don’t be afraid to leave comments on here, too.