Archive for January, 2017

Who Attends Talk Shows and Game Shows?

Who Attends Talk Shows and Game Shows?

Of the great mysteries of the universe, this is near the top of the list: Who are all these people attending talk shows and game shows? I know this: Most talk shows (even the ones that air at night) record during the day. Also, many talk shows record multiple episodes in a row. So new […]


Pet Please #140: The Ability to Clip Songs That Overstay Their Welcome

Pet Please #140: The Ability to Clip Songs That Overstay Their Welcome

Some of my greatest pet pleases stem from pet peeves. This is one of those. One of my favorite bands is Typhoon. Most of their songs are the perfect length–they build to a crescendo and then end around the 5-minute mark. But CPR / Claws Pt. 2 is a little different. It’s a 3-and-a-half minute […]


What to Do When You Learn That Your Zodiac Isn’t What You Thought It Was

What to Do When You Learn That Your Zodiac Isn't What You Thought It Was

When I was in fourth grade, we spent a few hours one day learning about Chinese culture. Apparently the school board had deemed that was enough time to fully understand one of the largest, most populated, oldest countries in the world. I distinctly remember learning my zodiac sign that day. I was born in January […]


What If Offices Were More Like Kindergarten Classrooms?

What If Offices Were More Like Kindergarten Classrooms?

I had an odd experience a few days ago. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw a photo a friend had posted about her son selecting the kindergarten he’ll enter in the fall. The photo was of her son standing in a kindergarten classroom. As I looked at the photo, this wave […]


Is Learning New Games Good for Your Brain?

Is Learning New Games Good for Your Brain?

I learn and teach a lot of board games. It recently occurred to me that learning a new game engages my brain in a way that hasn’t happened since I was in school. And not just learning the game, but remembering all of the rules. A gamer’s brain is a veritable library of game rules. Is learning new games good […]


Witness!

Witness!

I imagine a long time ago, a few cavemen were sitting around discussing their short lives when one of them (we’ll call him Pete) said, “You know, after I die, I want my favorite club to go to Ogg.” Deeply moved, Ogg thanked his friend. “But if you’re dead, how will anyone know that you […]


Do Professional Soccer Players Really Need to Run Basic Drills?

Do Professional Soccer Players Really Need to Run Basic Drills?

It was one of those images that I usually glance over on ESPN to get to the article: A group of Real Madrid players running through a basic keep-away drill. It’s a drill I participated in many times in my teens. But this time, something about the image made me stop and think. These are […]


Black Mirror and SNL

Black Mirror and SNL

I recently steamrolled through the 6 episodes of the new season of Black Mirror on Netflix. In case you’re not familiar with the show, each episode is its own story in its own alternate universe that is very similar to the real world, except with an interesting/disturbing twist on how people interact with technology. There […]


What Is Your Most Used/Useful Mobile App?

What Is Your Most Used/Useful Mobile App?

As much as I enjoy the assurance of having my iPhone in my pocket, I’m not much of a mobile user. I’m at my desk most hours of the day, and when I’m with friends, I avoid looking at my phone at all costs. I don’t like texting or writing e-mails on my phone. There […]


Puffing the Pastry

Puffing the Pastry

When I was home for Christmas, the hottest dish on the table was this lobster puff pastry roll that my uncle made. I’ve been thinking about it ever since then, so a few days ago I decided to make my own version of it using shrimp instead of lobster. This dish is going to sound […]


Public Services, Voting, and a Dystopian Scenario

Public Services, Voting, and a Dystopian Scenario

In South Fulton County, Tennessee, if you want firefighters to show up at your house during a fire, you need to either pay a $75 annual fee or a $2,200 fee during the fire. If you don’t pay and there’s a fire, your house will burn to the ground. This is essentially an elective tax. […]


My Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

My Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

Looking back at my 2016 list, I’m quite happy with how many of my eagerly anticipated movies ended up surprising me and/or meeting my high hopes. There were only a few big letdowns (The BFG, Batman vs. Superman, Suicide Squad, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and only a few movies that I didn’t […]


Pet Please #139: Post-Frugality Newness

Pet Please #139: Post-Frugality Newness

On the lifehack scale of frugality, I’m maybe an 8 out of 10. At least for some things. Take toothpaste for example. I’ll squeeze every last drop out of it. Every time I think I’ve filled my toothbrush for the last time, I manage to find just a little more. The one problem with this […]


Adoption Day

Adoption Day

36 years ago, a few days after I was born, I was adopted by my parents. Technically, I was adopted before that, but January 12 was the day my parents picked me up and took me home to Virginia. Birthdays don’t do much for me, but I usually take a few minutes to pause in gratitude […]


Is This What the Future of TV Looks Like?

Is This What the Future of TV Looks Like?

How long is an episode of a TV show? If you’re like me, your mental image of a TV show is 30-60 minutes (or 21-42 minutes if you have a TiVo). That’s just the way it is, and how it has been for a long time as the result of network and cable programming. Because […]


Pet Please #138: Big Straws

Pet Please #138: Big Straws

Earlier this week I tried out a new restaurant here in St. Louis called the Hi-Pointe Drive-In. It’s a bustling venue with a variety of interesting burgers and milkshakes. I wouldn’t normally get a milkshake for lunch, but I decided to splurge a little and go for a chocolate shake. To my delight, it had […]


What Is a Reasonable Price to Pay for Underwear?

What Is a Reasonable Price to Pay for Underwear?

I recently saw a commercial for a company called the Duluth Trading Co, which makes what they call “buck naked underwear.” The prospect of a pair of boxer briefs that “feels like wearing nothing at all” intrigued me, so I checked out their website. There I found that the price of the boxer briefs is […]


Have You Ever Visited a Board Game Cafe?

Have You Ever Visited a Board Game Cafe?

Last week I wrote about my first cat cafe experience. Then the next day I went to an entirely different kind of cafe: a board game cafe. Board game cafes–places where you can get all the regular fixins’ of a cafe or bar alongside the main feature, board games–have been around for a while, but […]


Have You Ever Visited a Cat Cafe?

Have You Ever Visited a Cat Cafe?

I studied abroad in Japan several times in my youth, but I missed out on one key Japanese phenomenon: Cat cafes. A cat cafe is a cafe for humans that is crawling with cats. Dozens of them. I think it was (and perhaps still is) popular in Japan because people often aren’t allowed to have […]


What Was the First Movie You Saw in the Theater?

What Was the First Movie You Saw in the Theater?

I’m 98% sure that the first movie I saw in a theater was The Jungle Book. I have a vague recollection of going to a second-run theater with my mom and sister. I’m sure I had no idea at the time that I would grow up to love movies as much as I do. In […]


The Delight of Falling Down

The Delight of Falling Down

I’ve written here in the past about my niece (and will continue to write about her in the future), who is now coming up on 4. I haven’t mentioned much about my nephew, though, because he’s younger, and he hasn’t had the ability to interact much with me when I’ve seen him. That all changed […]


What Do You Do When Your Parents Read Your Childhood Love Letters?

What Do You Do When Your Parents Read Your Childhood Love Letters?

A few hours ago, I got a text from my mom asking who “Shelby” is. In response, my mom sent me this, along with the explanation that she and my dad were going through my old letters and notes in an attempt to separate the trash from the treasure: I must admit, I was a […]


My Favorite Movies of 2016

My Favorite Movies of 2016

In total, I watched 54 new-to-me movies in 2016, most of them at home, but a decent number in the theater. For this list I’ve focused on movies released late in 2015 or in 2016, so one of my favorite movies I watched for the first time this year, Make Believe (a documentary about magicians), […]