31 March 2010

That's EVERY kind of man!

Robert M. Franklin, president of Morehouse College, has spent considerable time since taking office at his alma mater in 2007 talking about what it means today to be "a Morehouse man." He has focused...on the importance of "five wells." Franklin wants his students to be "well read, well spoken, well traveled, well dressed and well balanced."

From Inside Higher Ed (3/31/10)

28 March 2010

I am SO looking forward to...


...teaching Latin again come the Fall! Now all I need is to make sure enough students register for it.

It's Holy Week, and, if there's a better movie than...


...Godspell to get the week underway, I don't know what it is. Sure, there may be one or two too many songs, but the crucifixion scene, in which Jesus gets tied to the chain link fence, remains as powerful as ever.

If you're (God help you!) Michael Bolton, whose career has become (to be polite) inconsequential, how do you...



...make anyone care you have a new cd being released on March 30? Well, you hold a big party at your Westbrook, CT, home, invite all the press you know and pray that the Hartford Courant takes the bait.

Man, what a sucker that newspaper is!

I still haven't forgiven the singer for Bolton Sings Sinatra, and neither should you.

I now have a new favorite women's college basketball team...

...the Xavier Musketeers (no longer the Lady Musketeers), who just made it to the Elite Eight in this year's NCAA Tournament.

In honor of my two favorite players on the team, Ta'Shia Phillips and Special Jennings, I'm going to be signing my name, at least for a while, as either Gil'Bert or Incongruous Gigliotti. I guess I should also vow that, if they win the whole tournament (and, thus, by beating the ridiculously prohibitive favorite, UConn), I'll officially change my name to one of those.

I'll get back to you on that.

Go, Musketeers!

27 March 2010

24 March 2010

Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...

...and lord help the sister who comes between me and my cash!

With apologies to Rosie Clooney, Vera Ellen, and Irving Berlin.

Remember when Beau Bridges was the better of the "Fabulous Baker Boys"?

Now, Jeff is winning Oscars, and Beau is starring in straight-t0-dvd Free Willy sequels.
Sigh.

Why the Cincinnati Bengals and three other teams were correct to vote against the new NFL Playoff overtime rule

1. The new rule is only for the playoffs not the regular season. What sport in its right mind changes the rules depending on when in the season the game is played? (Oh, that's right, Major League Baseball uses that stupid DH rule differently in the post-season...well, QED!)

2. No, it's not unfair that both sides do not automatically get a shot at being on offense in overtime. Each team has already had 60 minutes to win the game and couldn't. And now one of them is unlucky enough to lose a coin toss too? Tough.

3. Why is any way to score considered "cheap"? A field goal is no cheaper than a touchdown or a safety or even a point-after-touchdown? They are all legitimate ways of scoring in football, so each should be good enough to win.

You know that the US political system has "jumped the shark" when...

...neither side in the health care reform "debate" is reacting appropriately to the death threats and other acts being perpetrated by nut jobs.

Too many on the right are simply saying "Well, this is wrong, of course, but people are angry," and too many on the left just want to use the pictures and other coverage of the actions to raise money for their campaigns.

Both sides should stand up together (dare I say bipartisanly?) and shout from the Senate and House floors:

"STOP NOW. Whether you agree or disagree with recent legislation, the way to make your voice heard is through the ballot box, and may the people with the better ideas win in November and beyond. And, as governmental officials sworn to support the constitution, we'll actively support the prosecution of anyone or any group -- of either party, from any constituency -- who acts violently or calls for violence."

I can imagine a different (and more personally relevant) film with that very same title!

The film I Don't Want To Be Remembered as a Chair (50 min.) will be shown.


"I don't want to be remembered as a chair," pleaded a Shaker sister when asked about her dwindling community · That sentiment has become the title for a British documentary exploring the last of the hardworking culture · 25 March - 1 PM and 4 PM Free with Museum admission · 860-229-0257 · New Britain Museum of American Art · www.nbmaa.org

22 March 2010

Please, Tiger, just talk with your clubs!

Tiger Woods has never been a good interview -- even before his "recent troubles," and, god knows, he hasn't gotten any better.

Please, Tiger, just let your game do the talking from now on. It'll be less painful for everyone involved!

(I was unable to catch the interview on this morning's Today Show with Kelly Tilghman, the Golf Channel anchor who spoke with TW, about what was said before and after the taping yesterday...I may be going out on a limb, but I'm betting Tiger didn't hit on her.)

21 March 2010

So, on this beautiful weekend, I had my first experience of playing a sport (in the real world) after spending the past few months doing it on Wii...

...and, while I'm still unsure whether it was my having (too) high an expectation on what was our very first trip to a tennis court since last Fall or that Wii tennis really has screwed up what little forehand I had to begin with, I can assure you my tennis was at least as bad as it ever have been.

I was too close to the ball. I was not close enough. I was early on my swing. I was late...

Yikes.

20 March 2010

Agism is alive and well at UConn!

I sure hope this young man wins his suit because, as a lad who started college at 15, I find it appalling that as an accepted student Mr. Carlson could be denied access to an academic program in his major. If he's qualified to be a matriculated student, and an HONORS student, to boot, then he's certainly qualified to take advantage of a course and cannot be denied.

(And, when mom says she'll pay her own way to chaperon her son, if that's indeed the reason for denial, then there's really no excuse, at all, but I don't think even that should be required.)

Who knew playing "Go Fish," "War," or even "500" demanded such maturity!?!


The Rat Pack Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD Set, which boasts four DVDs (Ocean's 11, Robin and the 7 Hoods, 4 For Texas, and Sergeants 3) as well as a variety of other film-related odds and ends, includes a (disappointing) deck of "Rat Pack" playing cards, with this warning on it:

Playing Cards are not a toy. Not intended for use by children 12 years of age or younger.

So, of course, I was expecting an image or two or three on the cards that would make them inappropriate for those of a tender age.

No such luck.

It's just the result of over-zealous corporate worriers concerned that the only thing one can do with cards is develop a gambling addiction...followed by a lawsuit.

19 March 2010

My current favorite driving around song...

...taken from the Paul Simon and Derek Walcott collaboration Capeman, a (failed) Broadway musical from the late 1990s, when (I believe) the US general public first learned of one Marc Anthony:

18 March 2010

It's "March Madness" time again, although I think I just violated a copyright by using the phrase "March Madness" so don't expect me...

...to write "March Madness" anytime after I give you my official "March Madness" Men's picks for 2010:

The Final Four: Tennessee, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Duke

The Finals: Tennessee versus West Virginia

The Champion: Tennessee

17 March 2010

Best St. Patrick's Day Party I ever attended....

...was in 1983 (or '4 or '5?), hosted by the Porter Sisters, on a reserved L-Train on a snowy March day in Chicago.

Erin go bragh, all.

16 March 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins: Sin #7 LUST


1) My wife and I have always been, and continue to be, faithful to one another, although we do have what we term the "Jude Law Rule," by which either of us is free to stray from our marriage vow -- but only with the aforementioned Mr. Law!
Ah, frailty thy name is...yeah, like that's gonna happen for either of us! ;)




2) What does it say about a man when he doesn't have a single model from this century in his choices in Sports Illustrated's Greatest Bracket Ever?

15 March 2010

"Blended" Learning seems so 1950s...

Hell, my decades-old, hand-me-down, "Dual Range" Osterizer "Pulse-matic" has many better settings than "blend."

Consider, among others:

Chop

Whip

Puree

Frappe

and my all-time favorite

LIQUEFY!

"Liquefied Learning," now THAT has a 21st-Century ring to it!

Now this is a NY Times NCAA tournament article about my alma mater to which I can actually relate...

...it has a nun in the headline!

When I attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, as an undergraduate (H.A.B. '81), the Musketeers were not a basketball powerhouse. We struggled when we played Thomas More College from across the river, after all, and a man named Tay Baker was our coach.

It wasn't until Xavier beat Georgetown sometime in the late '80s that I knew something different was happening at my alma mater.

Xavier, remember, had gotten rid of football in 1973 (although I just learned they have club football team now), so my fond memories of Xavier include Lucretius, Homer, Horace, Kate Chopin, Thorstein Veblen, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Georges Feydeu's A Flea in Her Ear, the Flying Karamazov Brothers, and the screening of The Last Tango in Paris that was prevented by local prosecutor Simon Lees, rather than a single sporting event.

For what it's worth, we did have bocce courts on campus, and the President, Fr. Mulligan, S.J., swan every morning in the University pool and could be spotted walking across campus, in his towel and sandals, heading back to the Jesuit residence.

The Seven Deadly Sins: Sin #6 GLUTTONY


Two words: Cinnamon Rolls




Two more words and a sound: Fried Dough (Yumm!)

14 March 2010

Something re-discovered on the road to somewhere else

The answer to the question: "What's a man really want from an after shave?"

Top Five SHEEN Performances in Television History

5. Martin Sheen on The Mod Squad (1970): a twice recurring role, on the hippest of all cop shows

4. Martin Sheen in The West Wing (1999-2006), as President Josiah Bartlett, whom millions of Alzheimers patients in 2035 are going to remember as the best U.S. president ever.

3. Martin Sheen in The Missiles of October (1974), as Bobby Kennedy (which prepared him for his role as JFK in 1983's mini-series Kennedy, his uncredited narration in 1991's JFK, and the aforementioned West Wing.)

2. Martin Sheen in The Execution of Private Slovik (1974)

And the TOP Sheen performance in television history is.........................

1. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in Life is Worth Living (1952-1957)...see if you can catch one of these shows on EWTN sometime and marvel at the fact that everybody was watching this Ctaholic priest/former philosophy professor talk about faith and Kant and Heidegger and Sartre and Marx and poetry ON NATIONAL PRIMETIME TELEVISION! (I must admit I prefer him in black and white.)





(PS: if you were expecting anything by Charlie Sheen, you haven't read this blog enough to know better! In fact, I'd probably list every Sheena Easton performance on Solid Gold before him and his Three Men and Half a Baby.)

11 March 2010

I always thought the rule-of-thumb was that DCF workers ignored the $10K worth of cocaine in the homes of their CLIENTS!

...NOT in their own homes!

HELP!!!! I can't stop my Toyota comments!

1) I'm very surprised that the Reverend Jerry Falwell hasn't already declared that the acceleration problems on the Toyota Prius are God's way of saying hybrids are wrong and that we should only be burning fossil fuels.

2) I understand the former US Congressman Eric Massa drives a Toyota, but his car, oddly, only bumps into congressional staffers and former sailors.

10 March 2010

A Sammy Cahn Call for SUBMISSIONS


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Sammy Re-CAHN-sidered

for a proposed anthology of new short works commemorating the centenary of the lyricist’s birth

Sammy Cahn (1913-1993), the Academy- and Emmy-Award-winning lyricist of many of the standards commonly referred to as the “Great American Songbook,” as well as the writer who “put more words into Frank Sinatra’s mouth than any other,” was very vocal in his disagreement with the policy that writers are not able to copyright the titles of their compositions.

In honor of the upcoming centenary of his birth, and with a loving wink at his titular annoyance, the editor is soliciting new poems, flash fiction, flash non-fiction, and micro-dramas, each with the same title as one of his song lyrics. The new pieces need not refer to the songwriter’s lyrics nor be similar in theme or style to the originals; the editor only seeks a variety of poetic approaches toward – and treatments of – Cahn’s titles.

Sammy Cahn’s songs include:

All the Way, Bei Mir Bist du Schoen, Be My Love, Call Me Irresponsible, The Christmas Waltz, Come Dance with Me, Come Fly with Me, Day By Day, Five Minutes More, Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry, High Hopes, I Should Care, I'll Walk Alone, It's Been a Long, Long Time, I've Heard That Song Before, Let it Snow, Love and Marriage, My Kind of Town, Please Be Kind, Pocketful of Miracles, Rhythm is Our Business, Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week), Teach Me Tonight, (Love is) The Tender Trap, The Things We Did Last Summer, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Three Coins in the Fountain, Time After Time, To Love and Be Loved, Until the Real Thing Comes Along, Walking Happy, and MANY MANY MORE

Please send your submission by 1 July 2010 to:

gigliotti@ccsu.edu

or

Dr. Gilbert L. Gigliotti
Department of English
Central Connecticut State U
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050

Dramatic vignette from tonight's dinner table...

Lights up

Younger Daughter: Dad, have you ever built a roof?

Wife (laughing..........hard)

Curtain

Sure, it's still VERY early in the Major League Baseball (pre-)season...

...but things might be looking up.

Besides I like the fact that, in last week's intra-squad game, Aroldis Chapman hit one of his teammates in the thigh with a pitch!

Heck, I don't have to wait until March to get distracted from my work!

From today’s Inside Higher Ed

March Madness and Its Toll on Academic Work

Making selections for those bracket pools takes time away from everything else, including scholarship, according to a new study by a Duke University professor. Charles Clotfelter, Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, analyzed data on journal article viewing at 78 research libraries. He found that a drop in usage in the week after the pairings are announced for the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball tournament. Further, he found additional drops at colleges and universities that won "toss-up" games, in the days following those games. “This drop in research activity in these libraries is quantitative evidence of the NCAA tournament’s power to influence patterns of work,” Clotfelter said.

I don't know how the memory works...

...but the melody and lyrics of this song slowly came back to in my first waking moments today.

Now, have I thought about Olivia Newton-John recently? Not really -- except for during the recent Olympic speed skating competitions when the announcers first referred to one of the Canadian team members, Olivier Jean, and I could have sworn that they had mention ONJ!

09 March 2010

Has Representative Massa never heard of the Roman Baths!?!

"Let me tell you a story about Rahm Emanuel," Massa started. "I was a congressman in my first eight weeks, and I was in the congressional gym, and I went down and I worked out and I went into the showers...I'm sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird and here comes Rahm Emanuel not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn't going to vote for the president's budget. Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?"

Cue the Randy Newman-penned "Naked Man"!

08 March 2010

So glad to see Sandra Bullock win the Best Actress Academy Award...

...since her brilliant work in While You Were Sleeping, Miss Congeniality, and Speed had been snubbed!

And I think it's very sweet that the Academy so liked Robert Duvall's performance as a down-on-his-luck country singer in 1983's Tender Mercies that they decided to give Jeff Bridges the same award for the same performance in 2010!

07 March 2010

So, let me get this straight...

...Iraqis turn out in droves to vote in an election during which they might get killed by mortars and rockets, and we in the US still worry that voter turn-out might be affected by rain?

In other news, some sources are reporting that the Pakistanis have arrested the American Al Quaeda spokesman, Adam Gadahn. Some in Washington are skeptical, citing that it may be a case of mistaken identity...although wouldn't it be ironic if the authorities in Pakistan nabbed him thanks to racial profiling -- "pick up anybody who looks..."?

Seven Deadly Sins: Sin #5 SLOTH

Our Christmas tree came down TODAY!!!!

06 March 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins: Sin #4: ANGER

Top three angry titles:

3) 12 Angry Men

2) Look Back in Anger

1) Hedwig and the Angry Inch



And, now, a poem by Emily Dickinson:

Mine enemy is growing old, —
I have at last revenge.
The palate of the hate departs;
If any would avenge,—

Let him be quick, the viand flits,
It is a faded meat.
Anger as soon as fed is dead;
'Tis starving makes it fat.

05 March 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins: Sin #3 GREED

It's only money
It's only dough
and the people who crave it
and worship and save it
all come to know
You can't take it with you when you go!

from Double Dynamite (a.k.a, It's Only Money)
satrring Frank Sinatra, Jane Russell, and Groucho Marx

02 March 2010

A modest proposal to speed along the workings of the state legislature....

...just make sure everyone in the hearing room, the legislators and those giving testimony, sits on the same uncomfortable chairs that those in the gallery do. If they do, those legislators are going to move things along far more quickly -- as will those reading their testimony.

No need for three-minute time limits then!

(This proposal stems from my 90-minute wait to testify today in Hartford about House Bill 5195 which will limit retirees to no more than six months' work after retirement, even on a part-time basis. This, of course, would make our hiring emeriti faculty impossible, which would be a real loss for our students. I agree that most state workers when they retire should stay retired; and I also believe that retired faculty should not be re-hired -- even for a brief time -- on a full-time basis. But to not take advantage of these faculty and their disciplinary expertise seems insane.)

01 March 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins: Sin #2 ENVY

People of whom I'm jealous (or the "what's [s]he got that I don't" whine) -- in no particular order (and certainly no particular objectivity either).

Tony Kornheiser
(even after being suspended by ESPN for making fun of Hannah Storm's clothes)

Neil Sedaka, singer/songwriter
(although he's not had a hit since the mid '70s, he did pen "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen")

Gina Barreca, Professor-cum-stand-up-comedian

Gig Young and/or Hector Elizondo, actors
(if you saw 'em you'd recognize 'em)

Gilbert Murray, classicist
(a fine, fine translator but, more importantly, the author of Poets in a Landscape)

ANYBODY
who can tap dance

I was so pleased yesterday to hear that folks were excited about Crosby again!


Then I realized it wasn't about Bing but some lad named Sidney!