12.22.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

chutzpah [KHoot-spuh, hoot-] n. SLANG 1. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall 2. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall

BIRTHDAY

James Oglethorpe (1696), Connie Mack (1862), Kenneth Rexroth (1905), Lady Bird Johnson (1912), Barbara Billingsley (1915), Hector Elizondo (1936), Steve Carlton (1944), Diane Sawyer (1945), Maurice Gibb (1949), Robin Gibb (1949), Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960), Luther Campbell (1970), Ralph Fiennes (1962)

STANDPOINT

I’m mostly certain being a weatherman is an anxious occupation.

We’re a news driven society.

Local news programming is the main source for everything we supposedly need to know. And, unlike the lead anchors who report on all of the awful shit that happened that day, or the sports guy who recaps the results of daily sporting events, the weatherman’s job is different. Most days, most everyone went outside and experienced the weather first hand. So the weatherman’s main purpose is not to tell us what already happened.

He’s asked to predict what’ll happen tomorrow. And the four days after that.

And that fucking sucks for the weatherman because when he predicts inclimate weather and he’s right, everyone point the finger at him as if he weaved some sort of spell and conjured up a brutal snowstorm, just because he could somehow. But when he’s wrong about the weather in any way, people throw up their hands, and curse the guy because, hey, he said it was going to rain and it didn’t and so I needlessly carried this umbrella around all day long.

Right or wrong, everyone complains about the weatherman.

 

QUOTATION

Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special!  How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?Bill Watterson

TUNE

Sometimes a band can have a solid song going on but they make a video to go along with it that’s kind of bad judgement. Case in point, Wheat‘s “Don’t I Hold You.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ It’s sort of nuts when a basketball player, who went into the stands to assault fans during a game, makes a strong argument for Tiger Woods. But that’s exactly what Ron Artest did on his blog a few days ago.

→ Want to understand my problem with supposedly indie-rock websites? Check out Pitchfork’s Top 50 albums of 2009. I agree with about four of its choices. Apparently, even those who are supposed to be in possession of a discerning ear now have an agenda. Sad. Truly.

→ I’m about 94% sure I’ve never read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works about the legendary Sherlock Holmes. I’m equally certain the upcoming movie Sherlock Holmes, starring an alarmingly buff Robert Downey Jr., isn’t going to be completely accurate to Doyle’s original vision of the character. But I don’t care. It looks kind of bad-ass. Despite the fact Jude Law is in it.

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07.27.09 – Monday

Word: pique [peek] v. 1. to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, esp. by some wound to pride: She was greatly piqued when they refused her invitation 2. to wound (the pride, vanity, etc.) 3. to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.): Her curiosity was piqued by the gossip 4. to arouse an emotion or provoke to action: to pique someone to answer a challenge 5. Archaic. to pride (oneself) (usually fol. by on or upon) 6. to arouse pique in someone: an action that piqued when it was meant to soothe n. 7. a feeling of irritation or resentment, as from a wound to pride or self-esteem: to be in a pique 8. Obsolete. a state of irritated feeling between persons

Birthday: Samuel Smith (1752), Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824), Josef Priller (1915), Normal Lear (1922), Jerry Van Dyke (1931), John Pleshette (1942), Peggy Fleming (1948), Yahoo Serious (1953), Bill Engvall (1957), Karl Mueller (1962), Juliana Hatfield (1967), Triple H (1969), Maya Rudolph (1972), Pete Yorn (1974), Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez (1975), Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (1977)

Quotation: Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast.  People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there and what’s so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there.  They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.Douglas Adams

Tune: Boston band Wheat has had one helluva journey. After independently releasing its first two albums Medeiros and Hope and Adams in the late 1990s, Columbia Records signed Wheat and, in 2003, released Per Second, Per Second, Per Second…Every Second, an album that included the radio-friendly hit “I Met a Girl.” It turned out to be one-and-done with Columbia, however, and the band went back to the drawing board. (I’ve heard from some that Wheat felt Per Second… was over-produced, and that may just be a good point.) Its next release, everyday i said a prayer for kathy and made a one square inch, was the result of what vocalist Scott Levesque called, “just 3 guys in a basement…kind of like the old days, for us, by us.” I think a lot of Wheat fans, myself included, were hoping for something a little less over-polished than the tracks on Per Second… but the band may have gone too far the other way – maybe it got a little too rough around the edges. A few weeks ago, Wheat may have released its finest album, White Ink, Black Ink, – a solid compromise of the smooth and the raw. It may be cliché, but after almost two decades, Wheat might’ve at last found their sound. Favorite song so far? “My Warning Song”

Gallimaufry: In reality, the Tour de France 2009 was only three weeks long. But it felt much much much longer than that (most likely because VS. aired it pretty much 24 hours-a-day and some of the guys I work with watched each stage 3 times daily) when it ended yesterday with Alberto Contador wearing the traditional yellow jersey of the overall winner. Not Lance Armstrong. The 37-year old cancer survivor, 7-time Tour de France champion and, most importantly, the guy who played himself during the lynchpin scene in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story that sent Vince Vaughn back to help his team win the championship, came in 3rd. Not too shabby but obviously not what everyone was hoping for. Some are saying Armstrong hurt his chances for an 8th win by helping Contador, his teammate, during different legs of the race. Fear not. Armstrong will be back next year (but not on the same team as Contador), and my advice would be to not bet against him. The guy has always been a master at doing the things people have told him were out of his reach. I’m going out on a very sturdy limb and predicting one last win for Armstrong in next year’s Tour, which I probably won’t watch. The Beastie Boys are cancelling all of its upcoming tour dates and pushing back the release of its upcoming album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, due to the fact MCA (real name Adam Yauch) has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his parotid gland. From the official press release of the band’s label EMI Music – “Luckily it was caught early and is localized in one area, and as such is considered very treatable. It will however require surgery and several weeks of additional treatment. Fortunately the cancer is not in a location that will affect Yauch’s vocal chords.” Here’s wishing Yauch a speedy recovery. If you follow the NFL and have a working brain (not necessarily a paradoxical statement, by the way), you’re most likely sick and tired of Brett Favre’s continuing indecision on whether or not to play with the Minnestota Vikings (a divisional rival of Favre‘s original team, the Green Bay Packers) this season. At this weekend’s Madden NFL 10 Pigskin Pro-Am, John Elway and Joe Montana, two guys who’ve been in similar shoes, each gave their own opinion of what Favre should do. I like Montana’s best – “If it was the first time he’s done it, it would be different. But we’ve seen it already, and here we go again. I’m sure that’s all [the Minnesota Vikings] are thinking about.” I’m pretty sure he was politely trying to tell Favre to – as my mother is sometimes known to say – “Shit or get off the pot!” At this point, all the vacillating on Favre’s part is only blemishing his amazing career and tarnishing the future Hall of Famer’s reputation. It’s only natural that, besides the thrill of playing the game, the withdraw from the spotlight is what depresses the athletes the most, but still. Come on, dude. Enough already.

04.21.09 – Tuesday

Word: wheedle [hweed-l, weed-l] v. 1. to endeavour to influence (a person) by smooth, flattering or beguiling words or acts: We wheedled him incessantly, but he would not consent. 2. to persuade (a person) by such words or acts: She wheedles him into going with her. 3. to obtain (something) by artful persuasions: I wheedled a new car out of my father. 4. to use artful or beguiling persuasions: I always wheedle if I really need something.

Birthday: Charlotte Brontë (1816), Marcel Camus (1912), Anthony Quinn (1915), Charles Grodin (1935), Iggy Pop (1947), Tony Danza (1951), Andie MacDowell (1958), Robert Smith (1959), Michael Franti (1966), Rob Riggle (1970), Nicole Sullivan (1970), Vincent Lecavalier (1980), Tony Romo (1980)

Occurence: 1982Milwaukee BrewersRollie Fingers becomes the first pitcher ever to record 300 saves.

Standpoint: For years, it’s been a mystery. Why wouldn’t MTV release the complete series DVD of “The State?” Well, apparently, the wait is over. July 14th will be the day. I thought this would be a good opportunity to give those of you unfamiliar a few examples of why “The State” was so very very good. You’ll probably recognize most of the cast (Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Robert Ben Garant, Todd Holoubek, Michael Patrick Jann, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio and Ken Marino) from countless movies and television shows. Here are some of the best sketches by The State.

I could’ve listed about 30 more but I think this will suffice.

Special thanks to Tim Mulvey for sending along the original link.

Quotation: Always do sober what’d you do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. Ernest Hemingway

Tune: Ever see a beautiful girl and want to get to know her and then remember you have a girlfriend? Wheat wrote a song about it – “I Met a Girl.”

Gallimaufry: Being kinda new to Twitter, I gotta tell you, I’m fascinated. But there is a weird side to it. Here’s some of Meghan McCain’s experiences with Karl Rove on the social networking site…Rafiq Qureshi, father of Slumdog Millionaire childstar Rubina Ali, has allegedly been trying to sell his daugher. Qureshi disputes the allegations…What recession? The Coachella music festival, featuring the likes of Paul McCartney and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, was packed over the weekend.

Incoming: Tomorrow – Everyone else is doing it, so why can’t I? I’ll pop off about Twitter…Thursday – More Annoying Sayings & Misused WordsFriday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and much much more.