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Have You Ever Protested Something?

Have You Ever Protested Something?

Today I saw articles and videos about 3 different protests (a small slice of all protests, I’m sure): NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem to protest racial oppression in the US. In his words, “When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, […]


How Was the Food at Your College?

How Was the Food at Your College?

I’ve continued to listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” podcast, and the latest episode–Food Fight–raised some questions for me. The episode uses two universities, Vassar and Bowdoin, to demonstrate a key shortcoming in American higher education (in Gladwell’s opinion). Here’s the main comparison: 23% of Vassar’s students are Pell Grant recipients (as Gladwell says, these […]


Do You Zipper Merge?

Do You Zipper Merge?

While driving back from Indianapolis last Sunday, I started noticing cars pull over into an increasingly congested left lane. I followed suit, thinking they had seen something ahead in the right lane. Traffic quickly drew to a halt in the left lane, with right lane wide open. So after a few minutes, I inched over […]


If You Could Will It into Existence…

If You Could Will It into Existence...

There’s a band I really love called Typhoon. Their last album was released in 2013, and I’ve been hoping for a new album ever since. So far, none has come. It occurred to me recently that I would easily overpay for a new Typhoon album. If money were somehow the difference between me and more […]


Orlando

Today I was planning to write something silly, as I usually do, but I can’t. I just can’t. The worst mass shooting in US history happened early this morning in Orlando. A solitary gunman shot and killed at least 50 people. My heart is heavy for those who died, as well as their families, friends, […]


The Dance Wedding

The Dance Wedding

I had the pleasure of experiencing a rather unique wedding in St. Louis a few days ago. Two friends, Jess and Scott, got married on Saturday. I play board games with Jess, but she has another hobby: She dances. A lot. So does Scott–that’s how they met. Many of the people they invited to their […]


When Was the Last Time You Went to the Hospital?

When Was the Last Time You Went to the Hospital?

Last week, a friend mentioned a statistic to me that was so outlandish, there was no way it could be true. “Apparently,” he said, “Hospitals cause more deaths in the US than anything other than heart disease and cancer.” What? Hospitals cause deaths? That doesn’t make sense. But then I read the article he was referring to. […]


Top 10 Games I Want to Play for the First Time at Geekway

Top 10 Games I Want to Play for the First Time at Geekway

In a few days I’ll have the pleasure of attending my favorite game convention, Geekway to the West, here in St. Louis. It’s basically 4 days of playing tons of different board games with friends and strangers. My brother and his fiance are coming into town for the convention, so I look forward to hanging […]


Would You Show Up to Game Night–or the Senate–in a Snowstorm?

Would You Show Up to Game Night--or the Senate--in a Snowstorm?

I host game night every Wednesday. This is easy for me to do because I don’t have to leave my condo. I simply spend 2 minutes vacuuming during the day, and sometimes I make dessert. No problem. However, for everyone else, it requires driving to my neighborhood. This isn’t difficult, except on days like today […]


I Met Santa and He Fixed My Car

I Met Santa and He Fixed My Car

Today I met Santa and he fixed my car. The car came first. I had the battery replaced a few days ago, and I made the mistake of not driving immediately afterwards, so the car didn’t start today when I got in it. I called AAA, and they dispatched a mechanic. That repairman turned out […]


American Dates

American Dates

It’s New Year’s Eve 2015, and something just occurred to me: Do Americans order our dates incorrectly? We write our dates like so: 12/31/2015, or, said out loud, December 31, 2015. Month-day-year. Those increments of time are roughly 30 days – 1 day – 365 days. Which is a little odd, don’t you think? Wouldn’t […]


Why We Love the Idea of Living in a Zombie Apocalypse

Why We Love the Idea of Living in a Zombie Apocalypse

Once again, Patrick Rothfuss’ podcast is inspiring a blog entry. Rothfuss and Temkin jump around between a lot of different topics, but it’s at minute 18:00 that they start talking about the appeal of zombie apocalypses. They’re not talking about it in terms of fiction–rather, they’re discussing why people generally seem to have a plan […]


A Flying Machine for the Home Gym

A Flying Machine for the Home Gym

I’ve always wanted to fly of my own volition. When I was young, I tried to make a hang glider to achieve this goal. I had dreams of flying that were so intense that I’d wake up with headaches from concentrating on levitation. It was truly ingrained into my subconscious. I’ve been waiting for a […]


Bucket List: The Napkin Number

Bucket List: The Napkin Number

There’s something I’ve only seen in movies that I’ve always wanted to try, and on Friday I checked it off my bucket list. The movie trope is when one person writes a number (typically a salary offer or some sum of money in exchange for a service) on a napkin, places it face-down on the […]


Making Out in Paris

Making Out in Paris

Lately I’ve been turning to the zany questions on OkCupid for blog fodder from time to time. Today is one of those times. The question is: Which of these is the more romantic activity: kissing in Paris OR kissing in a tent in the woods? I’ve been to Paris, but I didn’t have the good fortunate […]


The Best Grocery Store Clerk Ever

The Best Grocery Store Clerk Ever

Yesterday I wrote about a fictional (likely not fictional) story about really poor customer service. However, the universe reminded me today about the importance of balancing the bad with the good, as I had a truly wonderful experience at the grocery store. After loading up my cart, I was rolling past the check-out lanes–some open, […]


The Mystery of Sterilization

The Mystery of Sterilization

The New York Times recently posted a fascinating series of charts showing the percentage of women who will have an unplanned pregnancy over a 10-year period of “typical use” of contraceptives. The results were really surprising to me. Here are a few key examples: birth-control pill: 61% Depo-Provera: 46% condom (male): 86% Those numbers seem […]


What Makes You a Nerd?

What Makes You a Nerd?

This evening I had the pleasure of appearing as a guest on a podcast called Nerds on Tap. It was much longer than other podcast chats I’ve done, but I had a great time with Jim, Chris, and Joseph. The podcast isn’t live yet. I was informed before the podcast that I would be asked […]


Walter’s 4th or 8th-ish Birthday

Walter's 4th or 8th-ish Birthday

For some reason when I got Walter as a pet for Biddy a few years ago, I thought he was about a year old. I arbitrarily picked a birthday for him (today), and I’ve celebrated it as such ever since. Thus by my calendar, Walter turns 4 today. However, a trip to the vet last […]


A Real-Life Love Potion

A Real-Life Love Potion

There’s a somewhat common fairytale trope involving a creepy idea: One character wants another character to fall in love with them, so they create a love potion. Usually the potion is applied at the wrong time and hilarity ensues. As it turns out, there is a real-life equivalent to a fantasy love potion. No, it […]


Serial, Post-Hype

Serial, Post-Hype

A few months ago, my pop-culture savvy friend Bryce asked me if I had been listening to the Serial podcast. Nope, I said. Never heard of it. Bryce couldn’t believe it. Apparently I was missing out on the most downloaded podcast ever, a cultural phenomenon. Over a 12-week period, Serial was downloaded by millions of […]


A Revealing Video About Domestic Abuse and Sexual Harassment

A Revealing Video About Domestic Abuse and Sexual Harassment

Recently I saw an intriguing headline on Facebook from Fast Company: “This Video Shows What Happens When Little Boys Are Asked to Slap a Girl” The article shares a video PSA from Italy that attempts to make a statement about domestic violence. Without even watching the video, you kind of know what’s coming–these boys are […]


Pet Please #119: When You Remember a Friend’s Preferred Physical Greeting

Pet Please #119: When You Remember a Friend's Preferred Physical Greeting

A few weeks ago, I was at a meetup when a friend came over to say hi. I stood up and extended my hand, and at the same time he opened his arms into hug formation. Of course hug trumps handshake, and handshake looks a little silly when a hug is being offered. A week […]


UVA and the Dangers of Tradition

UVA and the Dangers of Tradition

When I was growing up in suburban Virginia, I adored UVA (the University of Virginia). I spent part of 4 summers at a summer camp on UVA’s campus, and I cherish those memories of four-square, frisbee, and girls in the midst of the austere architecture of Thomas Jefferson. During those summers and the years that […]