A Little Head Hunting

A few days ago I saw where the 2 goalies for the Carolina Hurricanes went down with injuries while the Canes were on the road in Toronto for a game with the Maple Leafs. Seeing as Carolina had no goalies available, the NHL rules stipulate that the home team (the Leafs) has to supply the opposing team with an “emergency” goalie, apparently meaning “anybody you can come up with”. (Kinda reminds me of the movie “Slapshot” with Paul Newman.) Anyhoo, the guy that the Leafs came up with was their f@&*ing zamboni driver (I’m dead-on serious here). The guy’s name is David Ayres and he will live in history along with Miracle on Ice team as one of the most insane and improbable developments in hockey history. The beauty part is that he actually recorded a win, stopping 8 out of 10 shots with a defense that musta been goin’ beserk trying to limit shot opportunities. The zamboni driver. Yeah man. Sign me up every time.

With all due respect to Bill Murray in “Caddyshack” (“the crowd goes silent as they await the new Masters champion”), you my friend are a full-on liar if you never fantasized about saving the day in a crucial sports situation. (“My God, Carl Yastrzemski has broken his ankle on a 3 and 2 count in extra innings and there’s nobody left to replace him! But wait! Here’s Jimmy coming down from the stands to stand in! Can you believe it folks!!??Here’s the pitch!! Holy Mackerel!! It’s over the wall for a Red Sox win!!!)

Next up, I enjoy watching the show “Ghost Hunters” whereby the hunters go into various places at night, flip the lights off to the point where their suddenly tripping over stuff in order to find evidence of spiritual activity with fascinating results. Ask yourself this question, “what amount of paranormal events would it take to freak me the hell out to the point where I become a God-Fearin’, full on believer in the afterlife”? I believe I know the answer to this inasmuch as I’d probably draw the line at a screaming, disembodied head floating across my bedroom.

Last, I saw a replay of the Rolling Stones concert in Havana, Cuba on AXS TV last night that I thought might not be so great inasmuch as the Stones were pretty much fossils and couldn’t execute in the way they did during their prime. Wrong!! That show was so spectacular that I think it’ll stick w/me forever even tho I wasn’t actually there. The highlight here was backup vocalist Sasha Allen who took a legendary rock and roll song and managed to ramp it up beyond what it already was.  (Listen to how sloppy this performance was at the opening and then pay attention to how strong and tight they sounded after she sauntered up to the front of the stage and HOWLED out her vocals. Not content w/that she then brings the best anti-war song ever to it’s conclusion with her smooth, haunting style over a suddenly strong rhythm section that brings back the effect of an urgent ticking clock.)

Sometimes it does take a woman’s touch to straighten out the guys. Here’s the video and don’t be afraid to say Hiya Fathead!

Jimmy

 

The Year of the Rat

When I post articles from other contributors (in this case Kate) I try to shy away and let  their pieces speak for themselves.  Not this time. For instance, I enjoy learning about different cultures even to the point of embracing them and therefore flattering myself as a forward-thinkin’, open-minded contributor to world society despite my spectacularly noteworthy flaws. Here’s one of ’em…

“The Year of the Rat”? Seriously?  Of all the critters in God’s kingdom why a rat? Then I evened myself out again in a trying-to-be-understandin’ kinda way whereupon I figured there’s a secretive yet powerful community in China that exalts the nobler qualities of a varmint that would be shot on sight here in the good ol’ US of A.

The result of my subsequent investigation was that there ARE no superb qualities to a rat. IT’S A F&%@ING RAT! (Beg yer pardon. Got a little outta line there.) Anyway, the following whizbang article was written by Kate for The Temple Daily News…

Jimmy

Temple students celebrate Lunar New Year on campus

The Confucius Institute held its fourth annual Lunar New Year celebration on Monday.

(From left to right) Qiwen Yuan, Eddie Chia-Hao Hsu and Aris Tang perform “The Triad of Plum Blossoms,” a traditional Chinese song and dance, at the Confucius Institute at Temple University’s Lunar New Year festival at the Student Center on Monday. CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The Confucius Institute at Temple University hosted a celebration on Monday to ring in the 2020 Lunar New Year, which started on Jan. 25 and ends on Feb. 4.

Entertainment included traditional Chinese activities, like a Chinese tea making table, a calligraphy display, a paper cutting activity and various live performances.

Lindsay Fink, a senior global studies major, who was working at the event, discussed the importance of this celebration on campus.

“There’s not a lot of Chinese New Year events in Philly, so it’s nice to have something on campus,” Fink said. “Like, imagine living somewhere where there’s no decorations for Christmas.”

Aris Tang, a management and information systems major, plays the zheng at the Confucius Institute at Temple University’s Lunar New Year celebration at the Student Center on Jan. 27. | CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Since Spring 2016, the Confucius Institute has been providing Chinese language resources for international and domestic students, including a Chinese tutoring program, interpreters for Chinese students during student conduct cases and summer trips to China for Temple students and faculty.

“As a center that promotes Chinese culture and language, it is important for us to hold a Lunar New Year celebration to share the holiday and its traditions with others,” said Ashley Phifer, coordinator at the Confucius Institute. “It also provides our Chinese community here on campus a place to celebrate the holiday with others.”

This Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the year of the rat. The Chinese Zodiac, an ancient system based on the lunar calendar, decides which animal will represent each new year, Time Magazine reported.

Lunar New Year traditions include cleaning one’s bedroom on Lunar New Year’s Eve “to bring good luck to the new year,” said Yingru Zhao, instructor at the Confucius Institute.

“In China, it is the greatest and most important festival…it’s like Christmas,” Zhao said.

Po-sung Hsu, a first year business analytics graduate student, attended the event. His family always comes together for the Lunar New Year, he said.

“On Chinese New Year’s Eve, we [family] have a reunion dinner, and after, the parents and grandparents give out red envelopes with lucky money inside,” Hsu said.

Observing cultural holidays and taking part in celebrations can make students feel more connected with the language they are studying, Zhao said.

“To learn language, you need to know a little background about the culture…in Chinese textbooks we learn about food and Lunar New Year … we celebrate Lunar New Year here because it evokes emotion, despite not being in China.” Zhao said.

Freshman advertising major Alea Burns, who is currently taking a Chinese language class, said she was at the event to familiarize herself with the culture.

“I’m planning on studying abroad in China next year, so I want to dip my toe into the culture,” Burns said.

The Confucius Institute exists to make students feel at home no matter where they’re from, Phifer said.

“Overall, we’re here to provide a safe, warm, inviting environment for any student that comes to our office,” Phifer added.

Katie

King Princess- A Royal Review

(Here’s Katie with a “you are there” glimpse of King Princess in concert. Props to Temple University News and Mamemagazine.com for publishing rights.)

  Jimmy  

On November 4, 2019, my life was changed. On a whim, I bought the cheapest concert ticket of my life and somehow got myself a front-row seat to the best concert I’ve ever seen (granted, I’ve only been to three others before).

It all started the week before when my friend, Kyleigh, asked me to go see King Princess with her. At the time, I had heard of King Princess before, but I hadn’t listened to a single song of hers. However, the tickets were cheap and I had nothing to do that night so I figured, why not? Usually when I buy something that impulsively it backfires horribly; but not this time. That concert was worth every penny- let me tell you why.

Now, if you are like I was, give one KP song a listen and you’ll assume she’s just like the hundreds of other soft-pop “indie” girls- and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but just keep in mind that’s what I was expecting when heading towards this concert. Thankfully, I was mistaken.

Surprisingly, her opener was a ballad titled Isabel’s Moment. This is a new song off her freshman album, Cheap Queen, which was released October 25. Even with the mellowness of the song, the amazing support of her backing band (who put on just as much as a show as she did) and KP’s charisma still made for a great opener to a show that would outdo itself with every song.

 

It seems to me that KP’s specialty is making pop in the studio and rock on stage. Had I not known any better, I would’ve thought she was a proper rockstar- almost every song had an interlude where her pianist, guitarist, bassist, or drummer would completely turn the song on it’s head and make it their own- I wish KP would release a live album just so I could relive those moments again.

Another standout of the show was King Princess’ stage presence. She’s not too much older than me- just 20 years old, and I know I don’t have the confidence or charisma to do a fraction of what she did on stage. She happily joked and interacted with the crowd, danced like no one was watching, and overall just had a joyously unhinged persona the entirety of the concert.

My favorite of her songs performed come down to these three: Talia, Hit the Back, and Ohio.

Talia, another ballad, went a completely different route than what I expected. Drawn out in the best way possible, energetic, and loud, it made Talia now one of my favorite KP tracks, when before I skipped over it about 90% of the time.

Hit the Back was her show-closer (minus the encore), and as one of her most energetic songs, it didn’t disappoint. Think bright, rainbow lights, charisma, and booming vocals.

Ohio, one of two unreleased tracks performed, blew me away. This was the actual show-closer (in which she ended by destroying the drum set, like a real rock star would and should), and it did not disappoint. Slow in the beginning, I was confused why she’d chose this, of all songs, to perform last. However, about halfway through, she completely shredded on guitar and I’d say there was a whole minute of everyone on stage (and on the floor, honestly) going batshit crazy. Now that’s what I was expecting from a show closer. All I can say is that I am anxiously awaiting her next album so I can get a studio version of Ohio.

Other standout songs included Prophet, Cheap Queen, Trust Nobody, You Destroyed My Heart, and Upper West Side.

All in all, if you ever get the opportunity to see King Princess live, do it. She puts on a show and makes sure that you’re having as much fun as she is. At the very least, give her new album and previous EP a listen, and catch her on SNL on November 23rd!

Here’s Hit the Back live on the Stephen Colbert Show, which was pretty similar to, if not tamer than, how she performed it in concert.

Katie

https://youtu.be/3TYznvuRMwk

Students explore fashion without dress codes

(Katie just wrote a very cool piece for the Temple University News recently for which I need to give props lest I get myself in legal trouble so here goes…)

Jimmy

Some female students at Temple find comfort in wearing what they want without repercussions. Fashion and clothing choices are ways for people to express their identities, and some Temple students who had dress codes at previous schools get to explore this.

Of the 17,000 people between the ages of 18 and 64 polled, 22 percent believe dress codes in high schools limit people’s freedom to express themselves, and 13 percent said it targets their gender in unfair ways, according to a 2017 survey by the Today Show.

Madison Joy, a freshman health professions major from Vermont, said she feels more liberated in college without a dress code.

“At Temple, I feel like I’m judged less, so I tend to be more daring in what I wear,” Joy said. “There are a variety of body types here at Temple so I feel more represented. When I see other girls that look like me wearing clothes I used to be too scared to wear, like crop tops, I feel affirmed that I really can wear whatever I like.”

In 2018, the principal of Oakville High School in Oakville, Missouri apologized to parents after telling female students they should not show off their bodies for fear of “distracting” male classmates, KSDK (Channel 5) reported.

Kate Kubiak, a freshman civil engineering major, said that because dress codes are no longer enforced in college, instructional time is not wasted because of how a girl is dressed.

“One time a girl in my class got [in trouble] for wearing a crop top and the whole process of her getting sent to the office was much more distracting than I think the shirt had the potential to be,” Kubiak said.

Nationwide, 53 percent of public schools enforced a strict dress code during the 2015-16 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Teachers are more likely to discipline girls of color for minor offenses, like dress code policy violations, and are more likely to give them harsher punishments, according to a 2014 study by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

Sociology Professor Amanda Czerniawski said dress code regulations are often directed at the female student body, which sexualizes young women.

“This raises the interesting question of whose responsibility is it to regulate teenage sexuality? Is it that of the girls, to prevent being a distraction to the boys? Or is it that of the boys to learn how not to be distracted by the girls,” Czerniawski said. “The answers to these questions reveal the gendered nature of human sexuality.”

Soumya Sam, a freshman psychology major, said without a dress code, she can now use fashion to express herself on campus.“I can be as conservative or revealing as I’d like, which helps with my confidence in my body and personal style,” Sam said. “I can be as daring as I want because I don’t feel like my body or clothes are being criticized.”

Sam said she is very excited to have chosen a supportive college.

“The environment at Temple is a lot more supportive because I can see a lot of different people and see myself in them which makes me feel more confident in many aspects of my life,” Sam added.

Katie

Just Sailin’ Across the Breeze

I really enjoy seeing snippets from the morning news broadcasts displaying people enjoying the beach, lickin’ sno-cones, smacking golf balls into unfindable territory and sailboats giving a sense of scope to an otherwise endless blue horizon.

Speaking of the latter, my Dad owned a small (10 feet at best) Sunfish sailboat during the 1970’s leading to my teenage siblings and my sub-teenage self to think it’d be a swell idea to take the Sunfish out to various local lakes and sail away the day.  Conceptually, this struck the unsuspecting eight year old me as a great adventure and just the thing to do.

Having unsafely strapped the hull of our noble vessel to the top of my Dad’s station wagon and storing the various other needed accoutrements (mast, sail, rudder, etc…) in the rear of the vehicle, we set off. Arriving at the lake with all equipment intact and incurring no injuries to the general public thus far we felt emboldened to put ourselves and our assumedly seaworthy ship in the water. (I like how my Dad figured this expedition dangerous to the point where he was willing to let me go out there but only under the condition that I wore a life vest.)  Being too young to understand that the vest shoulda set off warning flags in my head we headed off onto the lake in a sailboat that The Three Stooges would’ve considered overloaded.

At first everything was progressing famously what with the slight breeze, open water and Admiral Tom competently manning the sail ropes while steering us to a triumphant trip upon an unimpeachably pleasant cruise.  That’s when the weather came up.

When the first high winds of the oncoming thunderstorm hit the sail of the Sunfish, we capsized with what I would call “authority”.  A mighty struggle ensued involving the crew flipping our now upside-down (and only means of transportation) back to it’s original state minus the mast and sail. (They’re probably still sitting at the bottom of the lake.)

Alertly sensing danger, Mom and Dad vehemently encouraged us to hang on to a vessel I now refer to as the “Andrea Doria” then swim back to shore in spite of sudden and strong lightning strikes.  Therefore, I made a few decisions about one or two aspects of my future life…

  1. Being violently thrown overboard from a vessel of any size has a high uncoolness factor.
  2. I gained a sudden preference for motor-driven vessels when it comes to water-involved means of transportation.
  3. Never trust any member of my family again when they say stuff like “It’ll be fine” or “What could possibly go wrong?”

Anyway, I stumbled upon a few videos from the blues/country categories strangely based on themes for a TV show. If that’s what it takes to keep The Blues going then count me in…

Here’s a tremendous band called the Forest Rangers doing a number called “John the Revelator” followed by an equally impressive number dubbed “Forever Young” each featuring a different lead vocalist.

See u on down the road…

Jimmy

 

 

 

Back in the High Life Again

OK. Back again after my yearly bout with anemia and willing, even eager to write about the usual goofy stuff I usually, umm, goofily write about. Let’s start with the usual s#%t with the morning news wherein we’re kept up to date as to the weather, the current political atmosphere, who got murdered or otherwise mauled last night and personal interest stories about celebrities getting outta control and fake doctors who somehow manage to put themselves in a postion to conduct “inappropriate breast exams”.

The fake doctor thing got me thinking.  What, exactly, do you need to do to pass yourself off as a physician without having any qualifications whatsover? Television commercials are helpful here as they seem to imply that all you need is a white lab coat, a stethoscope and a concerned demeanor. Additionally, you’ll be needing a sterile office environment complete with an unwitting administative assistant, bogus diplomas and posters displaying the more subtle points of the human anatomy (intimidating patients with an actual skeleton hanging from a metal rack’ll will really sell the effect here.  It sure works on me.)

All in all, I never appreciated what it takes to be a molesting doctor before.  These guys have really put in the effort here. Good luck in prison block B!

Next, will the next rock n’ roll icon please start developing a drug habit? Seriously, outside of Ted Nugent, Angus Young and Gene Simmons I couldn’t name ya any rock stars from the 70’s that were sober. I always considered that era the time of innovation, progress, setting higher standards and getting as f^&$ed up as possible. Currently, this era seems hell bent on staying as milquetoast, unpioneering  and uninteresting as can be, valuing a technically proficient hand superior to an inspired one.

I’ll take the Ramones blasting the hell outta their garage any day of the week.

Jimmy

 

 

 

 

 

He’s Just Playful

Woke up this morning to check the weather, rustle up some breakfast and generally get prepared for my day when I saw a news report wherein a guy in New Jersey was accommodating 21 snakes (most of ’em venomous) in his apartment. Being an apartment dweller myself this got me thinking…

I’m all for Americans having as much freedom as possible, but shouldn’t there be a limit as to where and how many deadly critters you can keep based on sensible domicile limitations?    Maybe I’m overreacting here but I’m reasonably sure that I’d display more than a little concern to my neighbor knocking on my door at 4:00am stating that one of his cobras escaped and he’s pretty sure it’s hiding in my place somewhere. Consider the following conversation…

Neighbor (let’s call him Wally): “Hey Jim, sorry, I know it’s 3:30 in the morning but I was trying to feed a gerbil to my Egyptian cobra when, well wouldn’t ya know it, both of ’em managed to get away from me.  If you see either one can you be a good sport and return ’em?”

Me:  (still half awake) “#$%@*&!!! There’s a @*&%$ing cobra in my place?”

Wally: “See, I just knew you’d be an alarmist here.  Provided you can find him, all you have to do is gently grab the snake by the tail and drag him back thru the hallway, you know, like Steve Irwin used to do and then Bingo! Problem solved! Make sure that you don’t make any sudden movements, though.”

Me: “Problem not solved! Steve Irwin’s dead! And how am I supposed to refrain from making any ‘sudden movements’ while I’m screaming like a panicked schoolgirl?”

Wally: “There you go again with the negative attitude. If you DO get bitten, all ya gotta do is call an ambulance and get yourself to the hospital within fifteen minutes and they’ll probably be able to save your leg. Look on the bright side, once he eats the gerbil he’ll be really calm and sedated. To make it up to ya, why don’t you come over for a barbeque at my place tomorrow?”

Me: “That’ll be cool.  What’re we cooking? Unused gerbils”?

Wally: “No.  Don’t be ridiculous.  We’ll be having grilled snake excrement.  Can’t eat it though. You just rub it all over yourself.  It’s got wonderful medicinal qualities once you build up resistance to it.”

Next up, my daughter and I recently hadda similarly interesting exchange…

Kate: “Hey Dad! I want your guitar when u die!”

Me: “As much as I might look like it I’m not dying anytime soon, besides you don’t even know how to play the guitar. I’d rather leave it to somebody who does.”

Kate: “What difference does it make? You’ll be dead.”

This, my friends is my life. Don’t forget to hit on Kate’s wonderful piece called “Marrying Music to Art” and please do head on over to Mamemagazine.com for some entertaining music and inadvertent comedy like you’ve just read here.

‘Til next time. Thanks and God Bless. Ooh! Almost forgot.  Here’s a video of a buncha Carolina high school girls high-steppin’ their way thru “The Belle of Belfast City” in a wonderfully choreographed number.  Happy St. Paddies Day to ya and all the lyin’ little leprachauns in yer life. Love this video.  (I think it’s the little yips the girls call out from time to time that gets me.) Incredibly entertaining and soothing to an old Celtic soul…

Jimmy