Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hope for the Holidays

Archway cookies are tasty, almost as tasty as... say... having a job. Huh? Yeah, well weird sentence, but I just thought I would toss up a link to a story I saw on CNN about an Archway cookie factory in Ohio that shut down because the venture capital folks who funded Archway had pulled the rug out from under them. In swooped a larger snack foods company that purchased Archway at a bankruptcy auction and voila! 60 people are hired back on to start the factory back up. Now, I may be biased because I've always liked their cookies, but this is a nice little heartwarming story for the holidays. Sure, the economy still sucks and things are looking a little bleak for the beginning of 2009, but all is not lost and there are still little glimmers of hope out there to be found.

Hooray for COOKIES!!!!

That's Right, AP!

The AP has chosen Tina Fey as their Entertainer of the Year, and I couldn't agree more. Among other laudatory things they had to say about this decision, the AP describes Fey as, "She is the epitome of the smart kid coming out on top for once."

Nice one guys. Anyway, this is a choice by the AP that I think really fits. Fey has been around for quite some time doing some remarkably excellent comedy even in difficult circumstances (read: the SNL cast over the past few years) but this year she really blew up. The existing success and hilarity of 30 Rock certainly laid a good groundwork, but then along came a... well... yeah, you betcha, set of circumstances that might as well have been out of a story book. (remember that fake movie trailer? Ok... Tina Fey didn't make that but still...)

Anyway, good choice AP. I agree.

Happy Festivus

It's a Festivus for the rest-of-us!!! Bring on the feats of strength!

Ahh... it's another Festivus miracle!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wazuuup with you this Christmas?

I caught this video on Facebook this morning, posted by a friend. While I think it was targeted to hit our eyeballs a little earlier than now, it seemed still worth posting. Wazuuuuuuuuuuuuup!?!?!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Listening Notes Preview: Ghazal, The Rain

I'll do a proper post about this recording later, but for now I just need to gush. I am listening to a CD by Ghazal. It is called the Rain. Ghazal is a duo of Kayhan Kalhor, the master of Persian classical music and Shujaat Huasain Khan, the master sitarist (and son of legendary Ustad Vilayat Hkan). the word "master" might be thrown around but in this case it is apt. These are truly gifted, dedicated individuals: think Yo-yo Ma, Glenn Gould, John Coltrane. This CD is the final one they made together, and it is a live performance. Three tracks, all improvised (unlike Western classical music, Indian and Persian music tends to have a great deal of improvisation).

I do not believe I have ever heard anything like this. It's almost unreal. The word ghazal is a kind of love poetry and this is a disc of poetry as well as music. It's about the union of earthly and divine love. This is music you play at night with candles burning, with someone you love. Or on a sunday morning while you wait for a snow storm to come. It's truly one of the most remarkable pieces of music I have ever heard. If you have ever loved music, if you have ever loved anything, you must hear this.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Elves Cranking that Superman?

Not quite sure what to say about this one... but it sure is fun. I only wish there were a bit of the signature Crank that Superman dance. Oh well. Maybe the follow-up video will focus in more on the choreography.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The President Went to Iraq and All I Got Was This Nasty Shiner!

Ok... honestly there is something I find intriguing about all the press that Press Secretary Dana Perino's black eye is getting today. Still, I'm also apparently as intrigued as every reporter around, so I dug a bit today and saw some pictures, then I found my favorite piece of this story so far:

According to USA Today... awesome source, if there ever was one, Perino is referring to her bruise as her, "shoe-venir" from Iraq. Classic. Honestly, that's a really clever response to getting clunked in the eye with a microphone. I like it.

Anyway, the shoe throwing was the headline yesterday, today that's your news tidbit of the day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Reason I Post (part 2): Cause Sometimes Life is REALLY Funny

Now I'm a Phillies fan. If you read the blog with any regularity (hard to do lately, I know, but I'll get some posts back up here, I promise... er... well... I'll try) you know that. As such, I've long past learned to never get too cocky about my team's fortunes. I'll always be grateful for any season over .500 after the dreary days of the mid-to-late 90's. Ugh.

Still, I think it's hilarious that the new off-season sensation in the NL East is guessing who on the Mets will "reclaim" the mantle of "team to beat" that Jimmie Rollins claimed for the Phillies two seasons back. That's right, it's not even like he threw down that gauntlet last year, after season after the first time the Phillies visited the playoffs this decade. Nope, he made his prediction at a bold moment where the Phillies really needed a leader who would step up and say, "Hey everybody, we've got a pretty kickass team."

Now even Rollins' leadership didn't mean that the Phillies still didn't need a historic collapse by the Mets to get to the playoffs in 2007, but here we are looking down the start of 2009 Spring Training in oh... what... 3 months? It's two years later and the Mets have best the Phillies... how many times since? I'm sorry, it just cracked me up today when K-Rod, the newest Rod to be payed megabux by a NYC team rolled out his own cocky pronouncement, that the Mets are (very creative here), the "TEAM TO BEAT" in 2009.

Honestly, now that they've bought themselves a respectable bullpen, who knows? They just might be. I, however, think it's all pretty silly here in the dead of winter. Meanwhile, the Phillies are making some interesting moves of their own, so we'll see what is to come, but for now perhaps we should all just get ready for the Iggles on MNF, dontcha think?

Oh, and apologies to all the Mets fans I love. Nothing personal, let's just either a) see some original smack talk from your guys this off-season. Come on, look at Cole Hamels, he really took it up a notch, and yes what he said was kinda dirty in just the right way. OR b) let's wait until at leas Spring Training starts so that we can have some actual non transactional reason to talk smack. Huh? Whatta ya say?

The Reason I Post (part 1): Cause Life is Funny

Seriously... funny. So I've been pretty scant with the posts lately, and right now I'm totally procrastinating on a boatload of work I need to still finish up for the day, but I couldn't resist contributing to the blogosphere's embrace of the now famed Iraqi Journalist/Shoe Thrower. I wasn't the genius who created this fake beer ad remixed from clips of the shoe throwing show, but I love it so much I couldn't resist sharing it with you and hoping you'll find someone to share it with as well:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I think "Fabulous" is the technical term to describe this video

This one is making the rounds, but I couldn't resist posting, and if you haven't already seen Proposition 8, the Musical, please check it out below. For those of you who may not have caught it already there are brilliant cameos from Neal Patrick Harris, Jack Black, John C. Reilly and the brilliant Allison Janney.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Even Though Gas is Back Under $2.00

The low price of gas is no reason for all of us to forget the importance of moving our nation in the right direction. I like what Thomas Friedman said in his NYT op-ed piece about the need to Green the Bailout, "...when this bailout is over, we need the next president — this one is wasted — to launch an E.T., energy technology, revolution with the same urgency as this bailout. Otherwise, all we will have done is bought ourselves a respite, but not a future."

Now I may have a new-found bias, working for a company that sells solar panels (a plug: if you're in CT and want to learn more, please contact me to learn more!) but bias aside, I think the group Repower America is providing a powerful clear and beautiful voice to the drive for America's government to take decisive action on energy. Check out this ad, and tell me you don't disagree.

If you'd like to see this ad air during this Sunday's 60 Minutes please consider donating to Repower America.

Philly Kids Go Crazy for Obama

I love to keep an eye on my home town, especially when some fun news comes my way from back home to make me smile. Unfortunately Philly doesn't always give me reason to smile, like when it was recently announced that Phillies star second baseman Chase Utley will miss a good chunk of the start of 2009's baseball season due to hip surgery. Luckily the other day I saw a piece on Huffington Post about how kids at a Philadelphia school caught sight of Barack Obama on the street (he was in town for a meeting of governors from across the nation) and just went nuts.

If you follow the link you can see the young folks screaming and reachign through a fence to try and shake hands with their soon-to-be leader. It's an electric little clip, and a reminder of the excitement that so many of us feel displayed in a very unfiltered and wonderful form. Thanks, kids in Philly.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Venice is alive and well

and reading the collected poems of W.S. Merwin. I've loved Merwin ever since discovering The Folding Cliffs in college. I've heard that his mature style eschews traditional forms for a rhythm that mimics human breath. My favourite poem by him is called "losing a language." I would try to find a copy and transcribe it (I assume that it is in the collection mentioned) but even if I was sure that would not violate copyright laws, I cannot bring myself to ask anyone to read poetry on a computer screen. It's bad for the eyes and the eyes, as we all know, are webcams into the soul or something. I leave you with this observation. the poem laments the loss of a language and the many things expressible in that language alone. one of these things is "the verb for I."So go to your local library and get a copy.