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December 5th, 2022

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- After being on the run for two and a half years, COVID finally caught up with me. The BDGF started feeling not-so-great the Monday before Thanksgiving, and it came for me four days later. If it wasn't COVID, I wouldn't have missed a day of work as I felt almost completely fine for the duration of its stay, but with how things work now, I was home for a week with nothing to do. So I watched every episode of Parks & Rec, kept my 12,000 steps a day streak intact and tried to fix every tiny thing in the house that wasn't working 100% correctly to my satisfaction. If the weather had been nicer, it would have been enjoyable. It does make me happy that we got it when it didn't really matter and it presented as the equivalent of a mild head cold. Thank you science!

- Luckily, it was also just warm enough for parts of it that I knocked out some presentation boards in the ol' workshop:

Then some of my best friends contacted me about an xmas gift they wanted me to make, so I'll be freezing my ass off trying to knock that out in the next three weeks.

- Speaking of quarantine, the real shit part was that I had to watch the Michigan/Ohio State game by myself. But if it takes getting COVID, I will gladly infect myself every November, as that was awesome. The last home game of the year some twenty year olds sitting in front of me spent the first half bitching up a storm about JJ McCarthy. I finally leaned in and said "Do you know how rare it is to be 10-0? You should really try and enjoy this." They went off about how they had season tickets for six whole years and that I probably didn't even play football! I think I have to move my tickets to get away from the riff raff that makes up our section, but I'd love to shove that Ohio game down their throats next year. But what do I know? I've only been to every home game for 30 years.

- I'm back at Geeks Who Drink! Unfortunately it's a one time private event for some doctor's office, but at least my foot is back in the door. I've been assured for the 47th time that they are going to start aggressively pursuing new spots in Ann Arbor for a regular show, but I've been burned before. I will of course keep showing up for whatever they ask me to do so that my name is first off the board should that show ever come to fruition, because I still really truly miss being a jackass with a microphone.

- Finally, tomorrow is the blog's birthday! Finally sexy and seventeen (gross). I'm happy to have held onto this space for so long as social media sites seem like they will forever be in flux. So congrats! And thanks for providing me space to throw my bullshit out into the ether to be roundly ignored by almost everyone. I still love you.

Posted 2:17pm
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November 10th, 2022

Klaxon! Klaxon!

The day before election day my alarm went off at 5am so I could take this picture where the moon is slightly pink and spooky. I was told by science that the moon would not be slightly pink and spooky in this particular way again for three years, so I set an alarm for two hours earlier than normal, woke up, put on a hoody, and walked the length of a football field to get this picture that I'm sure if Ansel Adams were alive today, would shit himself over. You are collectively welcome.

- Also! My last project for the BDGF's new office was to build a gorgeous, tiny table with folding legs that would fit into her tiny office but be stowable because of said tinyness. Which I dutifully did:

The last thing I said before handing it off was "It's stable, but don't let anyone sit on it, it won't handle the stress." I got this text at 8:15am the next day, 10 minutes after she arrived at school:

So I threw some more money and time at it, fixed the pretty top and braced it, traded the folding legs for a base that is childproof and meditated for three hours with my mantra "This is why we can't have nice things." The weather drops thirty degrees tomorrow, so cross your fingers I've already made your holiday gift, as the workshop is closed for the season. Maybe now I'll finally have time to watch Bergman's five-hour Fanny and Alexander.

Posted 2:52pm
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October 10th, 2022

The horror... the horror...

It's been a while since we've had a quest of any kind around these parts. As such we're going to celebrate the month of October by watching 31 horror films in 31 days. Can it be done? Almost certainly. Since I am a rapidly aging old man, we'll mostly concentrate on the oldies but goodies that I grew up renting from the local video store, but throw in some new stuff to you kids interested (I've never seen Saw, can you believe it? I'm not into torture porn I guess). Anyway, updating as we go, let's enjoy some serial killers, religious curses and unstoppable mad men!

1. Halloween (1978) - Often imitated, never duplicated, it's the film that changed horror as we know it and created a franchise that's still putting out new films as I type. It still plays like a motherfucker.

2. Halloween II (1981) - Unnecessary sequel that literally picks up where the first one left off. People will tell you that there are good Halloween sequels that are worth watching, but not if you compare them to the original.

3. The Evil Dead (1981) - While Carpenter may be the scariest filmmaker ever, Raimi is the most fun. I personally enjoy the sequel more, but watching these in order is fascinating, speaking of...

4. Evil Dead II (1987) - Why do horror sequels use roman numerals instead of just a "2"? The romans weren't that scary. Anyway, Evil Dead II is on the short list of sequels that surpass the original. This is the wildest of rides, even though it's almost more of a remake than a sequel.

5. Army of Darkness (1991) - Is this horror? Sure it is, even if it's funnier than it is scary. Cements Bruce Campbell in the horror firmament as a God.

6. Carrie (1976) - I only watched this because the podcast Stay F. Homekins was doing a watch-a-long. I'm not much of a DePalma fan, but it's hard to argue that this movie works like gangbusters. Iconic for good reason.

7. The Stuff (1985) - I don't know what compelled me to watch this (for the first time!) It's super low budget in every sense of the word. But hey, if you want to watch a body snatchers rip off about an alien desert topping, this movie is here for you.

8. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) - The BDGF can't really do horror, so we have to find horror adjacent films when I want to watch a scary movie in the backyard (see above) This time we watched this obscure horror comedy starring Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine. Glad to see it was as good as I remember.

9. Drag Me to Hell (2009) - Back to Raimi! Who returned to his horror roots with this film after making several billion dollars worth of Spider-Man films. Does he still got it? He still gots it.

10. Prince of Darkness (1987) - Aaaand back to Carpenter. I asked the BDGF last night if she wanted to watch a movie where quantum physicists bring back the devil, and she said no. I watched this anyway. Carpenter regulars Donald Pleasance and Victor Wong make this movie great scary fun (fun fact! I saw this in the theater when I was 12. The 80's were wild man.)

11. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) - Is this horror? It's Raimi and there's deadites, so I'm saying yes (listen I didn't include Don't Worry Darling which I could of because it's horrific). When this movie has to carry water for the MCU it's OK, when it goes full Raimi it's fantastic.

12. Happy Birthday to Me (1981) - Quentin Tarantino suggested I watch this as an "American Giallo" movie. I kinda see what he means by that, but this was short on both scares and gore, and doesn't come close the color palette I associate with Mario Bava nor Dario Argento. For completists and those looking for conversation topics with Tarantino only.

13. The Fall of the House of Usher (1960) - Did a watch-a-long with Stay F. Homekins on this one. Vincent Price is great. The look is great. A little slow and more creepy than scary. UNder 90 minutes!

14. Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) - Produced by Jon Peters so is there a Streisand song it? You betcha baby. Originally a John Carpenter script, director Irvin Kirshner scmlatzes it up and turns this into more of a "thriller" than a horror movie despite the serial killer aspect. How Kirshner directed The Empire Strikes Back is forever an unkowable fact of history.

15. C.H.U.D. (1984) - Perhaps the most infamous acronym in 80's horror, somehow I never actually watched this magnificent piece of trash. It's on Amazon Prime and highly recommended if you've ever wanted to see what a cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller looks like.

16. House (1985) - Now this I defintely remember getting from the video store on VHS as a 10 year old. Not to be confused with my favorite Japanese horror film House (1977) this stars the Greatest American Hero, with cameos by Norm from Cheers and Bull from Night Court. I had completely forgotten about the Vietnam stuff, but I did remember why no one likes/knows about this movie.

17. The Shining (1980) - While I love Kubrick and find this to be a perfectly made creep fest, it's never held a special place in my heart as a horror movie. I don't have any problems with anyone saying it's in their top five, but this wouldn't make my top 20. But like I said, it's creepy AF.

18. A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Horror adjacent but absolutely horrific - so much so that it was banned in Britain for over 25 years. We've got back to back Kubrick's here and I'd be tempted to include 2001 as well (there's at least an hour of the film that's straight horror) but I just watched it for my birthday. Anyway, amazing, terrible, nightmarish and it holds up.

19. Demonoid: Messenger of Death (1981) - Another Tarantino pick, this shlocky Mexican film is fantastic. Weird wild special effects, some satanic bullshit and opening scene nudity, all in under 80 minutes. It's a murderous disembodied hand you guys. Love it.

20. Sleepaway Camp (1983) - This one's for my buddy Stov. He'll be upset I'm not doing the sequels, but this obvious Friday the 13th knock-off is what they call "problematic" even by 1980's standards..

21. Jennifer's Body (2009) - This Diablo Cody penned follow-up to Juno bombed on release, so I ignored it at the time (also because I don't care for Megan Fox). It later got re-assessed asfunny, insightful, feminist horror, so I gave it watch. And I enjoyed it! Fairly clever, decent scares and gore. I wouldn't say I missed out initially, but I get it.

22. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - What if instead of a faceless, silent menace, we made the killer grotesque and chatty? We haven't watched enough Wes Craven movies during this little project, which is a shame as he's obviously one of the all-time greats. And this is his mainstream masterpiece. Totally 80's (Johnny Depp!) yet completely holds up. Not as haunting as say a Halloween, but every bit as fun of a watch.

23. Hellraiser (1987) - Well this is something I never thought I'd watch again after seeing it in the theater when I was 12 (12!) but Stay F. Homekins did a watch-a-long so that made it palatable? I tend to enjoy Cronenberg's body horror stuff but not Clive Barker's I guess? I mostly just find this gross is my point. I guess.

24. The Exorcist (1973) - Does it get any bigger than The Exorcist? Before faceless killers, curses or hatchet wielding psychopaths, there was Satan himself. You hear about people freaking the fuck out seeing this in 1973 and I get it. A movie's success is always a bit of right place/right time but this coming when it did made it a phenomenon, and rightly so.

25. The Howling (1981) - 1981 was a helluva year for werewolf movies. As much as I love Joe Dante, I'm more partial to the next film on the list, but The Howling is an undeniable classic. As much as it makes me sound like an old man, I miss practical effects. Plus weren't these movies more fun?

26. An American Werewolf in London (1981) - Much like The Howling is very much a Joe Dante movie, this is 100% John Landis. The first great horror comedy? It plays perfectly as both and the effects are unparalleled - after all it won the first Academy Award for Best Make Up.

27. The Blair Witch Project (1999) - This is the only movie that truly freaked me out as an adult. After watching this move in the theater, late at night, by myself, 24 years old - I stopped by Steak and Shake on my way home. The drive-thru was closed, so I had to park in a dark parking lot and walk inside. I did so very quickly, looking straight down, with heart rate and blood pressure surely spiking. It's not as good watching it alone with the lights on at 47, but it's still an impressive bit of horror filmmaking.

28. Slither (2006) - For what I was I assume a reward for writing two super successful Scooby Doo movies, Universal gave James Gunn a moderate budget to make this sci-fi horror comedy throw back. They didn't want or didn't know how to market it so no one saw it (or people couldn't beleive that Elizabeth Banks would be married to Michael Rooker) but thank Satan they did. Gunn would go on to make all of the superhero movies, but along with Super, I'll always love low-budget Gunn. This move is super fun.

29. Barbarian (2022) - We have to watch the latest flavor of the month, right? Turns out it's a worthy entry here on the list. Very scary, very creepy and now I have to check the basement of every AirBnB I stay in for eternity. Thanks Barbarian.

30. The Thing (1982) - This is my favorite horror movie. And since I live in the wonderful city of Ann Arbor, I got to watch this FOR THE FIRST TIME on the big screen on the Friday before Halloween. It only took 40 years. What a time to be alive.

31. Alien (1979) - If I couldn't save my favorite for the end, the runner up will have to do. About 10 years ago I watched this after not having seen it in over a decade and I declared it slow and boring. What kind of fucked up mood was I in at the time to say something so obviously false? Alien rules. It's twice as good as Aliens. The rest of the sequels are mid at best. Just go rewatch Alien.

We did it! There's plenty of classics I didn't get to, so maybe next year? For now I'm happy to take a break and go watch some RomComs. Go watch Bros if you haven't seen it yet. Or let me know how Ticket to Paradise is. Oscar season starts soon, so the work is never done.

Posted 11:02am
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September 16th, 2022

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- You know I got that boost baby! I went down to South Quad yesterday (where I saw JJ McCarthy!) and got my Omicron variant booster. I woke up in the middle of the night with my teeth chattering so loud it sounded like a Warner Bros cartoon, but I'm back to being invincible again. After two and a half years of being careful but obv. not too careful, I might not be capable of being infected? Maybe it's because my roseacea medicine has ivermectin in it? Whatever the reason neither I nor the BDGF has gotten infected yet, I'm grateful for it. Here's to another two and half healthy years.

- Tomorrow night I'm dragging the BDGF to a live performance of the George Lucas Talk Show. For the uninitiated, Connor Ratliff and Griffin Newman play George Lucas and his sidekick Watto, and pre-pandemic they hosted a live talk show at the UCB Theater in NYC. Once COVID hit they took the show online, often doing 4+ hour livestreams with famous guests who were also stuck at home with nothing to do. It's a bizarre, niche concept that helped sustain a lot of us during the bleakest parts of being locked down and yearning for human connection. If you still have massive amounts of time to kill, it's a real rabbit hole you can go down if you ever wanted to be part of a weird cult internet talk show. I'd suggest starting with the episode featuring Paul F. Tompkins or the "Oops all Bumpers!" spectacular. They are three and half and four and half hours respectively. I promised the BDGF tomorrow's performance will last less than two hours, so please don't let me down gents.

- Speaking of being seemingly COVID immune and going out to live performances, last weekend the BDGF and I went to fashionable Ferndale to see something called "The Beatles Album Club." Its a bunch of local musicians who are performing the entire Beatles catalog over several months at The Loving Touch. As someone who's seen their fair share of Beatles cover bands, I can tell you this is probably my favorite experience I've ever had watching people trying to recreate this beloved music. We saw them perform Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour, and there were sitars and harps and 15 piece horn sections - all for the low low price of $10. The next one is Nov. 5th and if you're in the area, it's not to be missed.

- I built this desk for the BDGF's new office. She loves the hell out of her new job, which makes me very happy as well.

- Finally, it's officially the last week of summer. Hopefully tomorrow will be the last football game of the year with 85 degree + temperatures and we can get into a nice crisp fall where the gingers can truly shine. This summer will forever be remembered as the one with the BDGF's littlest and her best friend living with us, and it might be the last as they move on and get grown-up lives. It was a great last hurrah if that's the case. Look at these lovely, intelligent women! Thanks for letting me hang around.

Posted 11:02am
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August 16th, 2022

Observing Ann Arbor

Free local papers are the best. If you find yourself in a new city, the quickest way to figure out what's going on is to pick up a copy of the free local paper. They've been a staple in my life ever since I found myself in places large and interesting enough to support these august institutions.

We've had several of these in Ann Arbor over the years, but the grand daddy of them all is the Ann Arbor Observer. News, business changes, entertainment listings, human interest stories, the Observer shows up at your house every month with all these things to keep you abreast of what's going on in your home town. Now with 100% more tbaggervance.

My lovely and talented pseudo sister-in-law contacted me a few months back asking if I wanted to write about my neighborhood for the Observer's annual "City Guide" issue. Given the transient nature of a university town, each August the Observer publishes a comprehensive guide to A2, detailing businesses and neighborhoods for those just coming to Tree Town for the first time. I was tasked with writing about where I live, and turns out it was deemed acceptable and I am once again a published author.

We were already in Montreal when they asked for a picture of me in my neighborhood, which it turns out there aren't as many of on file as you'd think, so our kitten made the news as well.

Will I be able to quit my day job and write for a living now? No. Was this a thrill and a half that I thoroughly enjoyed and hope to do again? Absolutely. So if you have a story idea that might work in the Observer let me know. Or if you're a publisher and are interested in my particular brand of bull shit email me! I could use the scratch and I've never missed a deadline.

Posted 10:27am
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July 20th, 2022

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- It's not every day that the sleepy town I grew up in gets mentioned in a national news story, but today is apparently not every day. I was always told growing up that our Mayor designed the 50 star US flag. I always thought the story was hinky. First of all, you put two more stars on a flag, that what, needs a committee? Second, he had this grand story but admitted it was never officially recognized by Congress. Plus the guy was just kinda weird? Maybe unfair but nevertheless true. Well here's a whoooole story on Slate about how the entire thing is basically utter bullshit. Way to dig deep on something my tiny hometown of yokels already knew to be true.

- Former Michigan Football head coach Gary Moeller passed away. By all accounts he was a great guy who, in 1995, had one too many at a restaurant, punched a guy who was being a dick to him, and then was abruptly fired. Interesting side note, the NIGHT BEFORE that happened, I sat next to him at a banquet where I was to receive a scholarship from the local alumni club. The only real things I remember from that night were what happened subsequently, that the newspaper decided not to run the photos from that night, and that Gary had hands the size of pomeranians. Since that night I have declined to shake the hands of Michigan head coaches, out of an abundance of caution.

- My friend Pete passed away a few months back and yesterday he was interred. That's unbelievably sad but there's a reason we have funerals and wakes, and getting together with friends to mourn and celebrate someone's life is a good thing. Remembering stories amongst friends is great, and telling them to people for the first time is even better.

- Not so innocuously, I'm headed to Montreal for over three weeks! I'm sure you're all sick of me droning on about Montreal for almost a decade now, so I won't belabor the point, but man am I excited. We're gonna do up the Just For Laughs Festival, Fantasia Film Fest, museums, fireworks and all the other accoutrements that great city has to offer. Here's to an actual vacation.

- Finally, I built this little planter out of some scrap at the BDGF's request. I like it enough I'm planning more.

Posted 10:27am
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June 17th, 2022

That time I met Charles Woodson

When I was a senior in high school, I decided to go to the University of Michigan. Partly to be different from the 40 kids in my class who were going to Ohio, partly because I thought it would make my dad proud, mostly because I fell in love with the place. A real asshole of a teacher I once had tried to tell me that he would never let his daughters go to Michigan, because it'd be out-of-state tuition and it's basically the same school as Ohio. Despite being in junior high when I heard this, I knew it was utter bullshit.

That fall of 1993 our desolate high school football team played Fremont Ross, and a junior named Charles Woodson ran over us for 200 yards and 8 touchdowns in the first half. I don't know if it had been announced or just rumored that he was going to Michigan at that point, but I remember my dad saying "It'll be you and Charles Woodson at Michigan in two years!" He was my favorite player before he ever donned a winged helmet.

The next few years are well documented. Woodson went undefeated against Ohio State and left Michigan a National Champion and Heisman winner before going on to a Super Bowl winning, Hall of Fame career. Of course he's also known for his philanthropy, his sense of style, and everyone I've ever met who knows him speaks of him with hushed, reverent tones - a guy way nicer and genial than he has to be as the greatest defensive back in the history of the game.

So when I saw he was signing bottles of his wine and bourbon at a local grocery store, I obviously had to go. The fact that I had to wait outside in 95 degree heat for two hours wasn't ideal, but as we don't generally run in the same circles, I figured I had to take the opportunity. I shook his hand, told him that I'd been watching him since we were both in high school, and he said "Oh wow. Thanks for hanging out." We parted with a "Go Blue" and that was that.

They say don't meet your heroes, and I understand that a 30 second interaction barely qualifies as "meeting", but maybe people who say that need better heroes? I chose... wisely. Michigan is special. Charles is special. I got to meet him.

Posted 1:41pm
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June 14th, 2022

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- If this isn't nice, I don't know what is...

- I'm what they call a sensitive boy. Always have been. Lots of things bring me to tears. Usually it's sad movies or other ephemera that's engineered in a lab to make you cry. Other times, there are things I find so beautiful or exciting that I'll tear up, because someone made something that feels like it was designed just for me and I'll find myself welling up with literal tears of joy. That happened today at work when I watched this on my phone. The Beths are for me.


- An evening of pump organ music you say? At a kombucha bar?!? No, these are not the normal circles I travel in, but when I can immerse myself in the late aughts nostalgia of Chris Bathgate, I'll throw back some high gravity fermentations. I wish he would have picked up the guitar even a little bit, but it was a delightful evening outside of my comfort zone.

- Summertimes are building times. I spent most of the spring refinishing old projects knocking out some piddly shit that isn't always the most fun but from time to time necessary (plus it has the advantage of not requiring expensive lumber). Top of the "fun" list though was to make a place to set my bag everyday when I get home. This is what I came up with:

- Finally, The BDGF is out of town this weekend, which means I'll be in the backyard watching movies she doesn't care for. I'm thinking about making it a John Carpenter double feature. Definitely Big Trouble in Little China. Maybe The Thing or They Live. What a time to be alive!

Posted 10:27am
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May 16th , 2022

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- It was Stevie Wonder's birthday last Friday and someone posted this clip of him and Tom Jones and I've been obsessed with it ever since:


Stevie is a god. Tom Jones is criminally underrated.

- The Kids in the Hall are back! The Kids had a huge influence on my comic sensibilities growing up, and having recently rewatched the entire initial run, I can honestly say it holds up. Here's a great article about the Kids' feminism and here's a clip from 1990 that frighteningly is still on point:


I've watched the first two episodes of the new series, and I can honestly say it's worth your time.

- Speaking of being back, the weather finally warmed up which means we've reopened the Chandler Drive-In. As is tradition, we opened a couple weeks ago with Flash Gordon and followed it up on Friday with Smokey and the Bandit. Weather permitting we'll be showing the 1980's most homoerotic and faux patriotic move Top Gun this weekend, so stop on by.

- It's mid-May so the BDGF and I are in the thralls of anticipation for Montreal this summer. After two years we're finally able to get back to our home away from home for an entire month and enjoy the culture and civility of Quebec, as well as the return of Just for Laughs and all our other favorite summer festivals. Feel free to stop by and see us there as well, we know all of the best places to hang out.

- Finally, I declare the pandemic over as in person trivia championships are back! I suppose life isn't completely back to normal as I don't have a Geeks Who Drink show yet and I know three people who got COVID last week, but free money baby!

This looks like our new tournament team going forward, so here's to many more giant checks in our future.

Posted 10:22am
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April 22nd, 2022

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- Like (at least as I imagine) most middle aged adults, I survive on routine. I go to work, I got to the bar, I do my volunteering and of course there's daily tasks like Wordle. The two that I try not to miss because they're (unlike going to the bar) the most beneficial for me, are getting my 12,000 steps every day and completing my French lessons on Duolingo. They are (hopefully) self improvement regimens AND you get that sweet little dopamine hit for keeping your streak alive. The 12,000 step goal usually get derailed twice a year or so while on vacation, but I'm happy to announce that I just passed a year on Duolingo.

We just booked our month in Montreal for the summer, so we'll see if it did any good.

- Did you hear we're going back to Montreal?!? We've managed to make it across the border twice during lockdown, and as wonderful and magical as Montreal is, it wasn't the same. This time we do it old school. A whole month, with all the festivals and normal activities intact. We've got a condo with a pool on the roof and tickets for Just For Laughs and museum passes and the whole shebang. I feel like we earned it? I know it's something to look forward to, which is in the abstract perhaps what we've all been missing most.

- Our house is slowly leaning into the endemic and just living with the new world order (which is depressingly like the old one, but que sera sera). As such we went to see the Flaming Lips Sunday last and it was the usual spectacle. I will note that the BDGF spent most of the night saying "Well this is where we get COVID" and that they didn't go on until after 10. It was about 12:15 and during the encore when I said "We should probably get home?" which we did around 1am. I felt old. But tell me this doesn't make it all worth it?

- Did we get three inches of snow on Monday, April 17th? Of course we did. Will it be 82 degrees tomorrow, April 23rd? Why not? As such we are opening the Chandler Drive-In tomorrow night with our traditional opening night screening of the seminal 1980 film Flash Gordon. I generally don't mind winter, but once spring is supposed to hit, I start to get seasonal affective disorder/cabin fever pretty quickly. I start perseverating on lists of all the things I have/want to do and then when the weather doesn't cooperate, I get in a bad way. So I try to do way too much during whatever warm weather exists and then I get crankier because that stuff is generally grunt work and not fun stuff. BUT TOMORROW! I'm cleaning up the scooters and enjoying the weather and watching a movie outside. Just in time...

- Finally, the BDGF's littlest is a college freshperson at Michigan, but that doesn't mean that dear ol' fake dad can't help out with a school project. Here's the interview we did, in which I made up mostly fake stuff on the spot. I didn't re-listen, so hopefully I don't come off too poorly. It was just nice to be asked.

Posted 11:48am
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April 4, 2022

For he's a jolly good fellow...

Twenty five goddamn years. That's how long I've been doing this job. That means that five years from today, I'm officially eligible to retire. When I say this out loud it feels good. When I think about it for five seconds, it's depressing, because spoiler alert, I'm not gonna be able to retire in five years.

I recently started to think about it as "well in five years I can quit my stupid job and do something more enjoyable, because I won't need to make nearly as much money," but upon further review, that's probably not going to be feasible either.

There's a house to pay off. Then there'll be a second place in Montreal. And of course there will always be something - replace this, upgrade that, we have to go to Europe. I understand that this is some champagne problem shit, but I have to keep the champagne flowing.

I can't really complain about working until I die at a job I don't love - that's the American Dream in 2022. And you never know, I may get a reprieve. In 20 years social security could still be around and I can retire like you're supposed to. I can even get into my 401K and spend some of that before I die, but I think we all can do the math and we're looking at a tiny window there.

But hey, I can still say it's five years until I can retire, even if I won't. And I absolutely will condescendingly tell new hires that I've been doing this job since before they were born, and that I will still be here when they've moved on to greener pastures, because both are depressingly true.

- Here's some bonus content from our trip to D.C. Who wore it better?

Posted 9:46am
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March 24, 2022


I made an editorial error yesterday and only gave you four innocuous things. A mistake I will rectify now.

The original innocuous thing was about the recent success of Michigan athletics (both basketball programs, hockey, gymnastics, wrestling, softball, baseball, tennis are all killing it.) But I have something more important to show you.

After Yang is the new film from Koganada. It's a meditation on grief and identity and it's quiet and brilliant. Except for the title sequence. It's brilliant, but not so quiet. You should probably watch After Yang, but you should definitely watch this title sequence.


You're welcome.

Posted 11:03am
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March 23, 2022

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- OscarQuest© 2022 complete!


Thanks to the BBC for showing Writing with Fire, a very good doc that someone in Britain encoded and put on the internets, allowing me to finish this before the ceremony. Now let's get Lin Manuel that EGOT!

- I'm still loving wordle. They say doing these little brain exercises can stave off the effects of aging on the brain, which I suppose is something I have to worry about at this stage in the game. I ALSO am loving the Box Office Game. Can you name the top five movies at the box office from a given weekend? There are clues to help you with this otherwise impossible task, and yeah, probably for super movie nerds like myself.

- Of course like Whitney, I believe the children are our future. I suppose every generation is at least a little more liberal than the previous, at least that's how progress generally works. I don't know if social media is causational or correlational, but when I see stuff like the protests against the "Don't Say Gay" bullshit in Florida, it's all the feels for me. I know I likely wouldn't see this stuff on the nightly news, so thank god for twitter? So shines a good deed in a weary world. If we couldn't be bothered to fix things, the least we can do is help them.

- Finally, the BDGF and I are headed to our nation's capitol next Monday for a spring break soiree. Why DC? It's a cheap flight? Is that a reason? I'm excited after several trips to the district to get to go to the Spy Museum and perhaps see a show at the legendary 9:30 Club. Rest assured I'll use my knowledge of the U street district from my last trip and come away with a list of the coolest places near Dupont Circle where we're residing this time. Plus we'll see some spaceships, which makes everyone happy. Oh and if I see Ted Cruz or Lindsay Graham I will do my best to slap them in their stupid faces.

Posted 11:48am
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February 9, 2022

OscarQuest© 2022: TFG!!!

Yesterday's announcement of the nominees for the 94th Academy Awards means it's time to start the 2022 version of OscarQuest©.


Thanks to mine and the Academy's good judgment, I only have six movies left to watch (plus the shorts, which will hit theaters at the end of the month) to complete this intrepid endeavor.

The minute the nominations came out I decided to undertake/get out of the way my least favorite part of my yearly obsession: watching the absolute shit movie that gets nominated because they put a Dianne Warren song over the credits. Nothing against Ms. Warren. I mean, I don't care for her songs, but she's obviously talented and this year is her 13th Oscar nomination (no wins). But from Mannequin to Pearl Harbor to this year's Four Good Days, man are her songs in some terrible movies. And this year I am doubly furious as she got nominated for this dogshit movie while Sparks sit at home on their absolutely brilliant and transcendent "So May We Start?" from Annette.


I was talking about having to sit through this dreck last night with the BDGF and she asked why I couldn't just skip the obviously awful, or at least abandon it 30 minutes in after my assumptions are confirmed. This misses the point of OscarQuest©, even if she is correct in that I'm mostly doing it so that I could say I did it.

I've seen a lot of great films I otherwise wouldn't have seen since I started this little trifle. I also have a collector's and complete-ist's sensibility. The point is to watch them all, garbage films with a Diane Warren song over the credits be damned. Anyway the hard part of this year's OscarQuest© is over. I mean, I suppose I still have to watch Raya and the Last Dragon, but I get to watch Encanto. Viva le Quest!

Posted 11:03am
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January 24th, 2022

Dispatches from Trivia Land

So I have a giant picture of an album I don't really like next to my bed. It's there because I drew it in high school and it took forever and it turned out really well so while I haven't listened to a song off it in over 25 years, there it hangs.

Also, it's an obscure late period Rush album, which means that nobody knows it. Or so I thought. Last week we got this question while playing Sporcle trivia:

I'm starting to think that if you play trivia long enough, they'll ask you everything. Which is why I think I need to know everything. Still working on it.

I'm doing pretty well though. As I said on twitter, this happened mostly due to COVID related nonsense, but for the last week I've been the number one Sporcle team in the country.

It's because the normal compliment of teams aren't playing. And I say "me" because I've probably played 80% of these games solo, but the BDGF and Lynn both contributed to getting there. All I need is for the league play to come back, so I can get paid for being on top. All this gets me is bragging rights, although let's be honest, I'm clearly enjoying them.

Posted 9:09am
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This page is written and maintained by Tyler Brubaker. All content is spewed forth from the author's brain, unless otherwise credited. He views his opinion as much more valid than yours, but welcomes all thoughts and comments.