When I was a kid, my Big Sis™ had a sealing wax kit. It was this Hallmark affair with one color of wax—red—one handle, and 40 or so stamps. It had one for each letter, one each for the Zodiac symbols, and maybe numbers, too. I don’t remember for sure. I coveted it. In fact—and don’t tell my sister—I plotted how to convert it from “her sealing wax kit” to “my sealing wax kit.” The joke was on me, however, because I’m fairly certain it was sacrificed in one of mom’s periodic purges-of-everyone-else’s-stuff. I went looking for an example for Continue Reading →
The Black Angels have a new album coming out! Titled Death Song, the album drops on April 21st. You can preorder it on iTunes or at The Black Angels’ site. The band released the first single off the album, a tune called “Currency,” which I included below. It harkens back to the sounds of 2006’s Passover, falling somewhere between The Velvet Underground and Jefferson Airplane. The music is more distant, the vocals less present. It has a more primitive feel, for lack of a better term, and I’ve already seen fans celebrating a return to the band’s roots. I love it. Continue Reading →
The bathroom is steamy, the mirrors fogged. I’m drying off when I see it. A large X on the medicine cabinet mirror. A loose circle surrounds it. Hastily scrawled, like it was spray painted. It wasn’t there yesterday. Or the day before. Or a month ago. Or ever. No one else uses my bathroom. No one’s even been up to my floor. But there’s a giant X on the mirror.
Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhsquuuuuueeeeeeeeeee! I loves me some Stranger Things! That’s a Netflix Original series. It came out in July, and if you’re cooler than me you’ve already watched it. But this toy started and finished it a few days ago. Man, oh man, but is it good. Because I love you, dear reader, I won’t do any spoilers, but I do want to you tell you about it. But first, here’s one of the official trailers: Actors
It’s a funny thing about writing. It turns out it’s hard. In my efforts to become a published novelist, I’ve had many opportunities to learn some things about writing fiction. One of my first lessons, for instance, was that a Venn diagram of writing skills for journalists and writing skills for fiction has surprisingly little overlap. It probably looks something like this: Imagine my surprise in discovering this. In arrogance rooted somewhere between general competence and blissful ignorance, I started my novel with the assumption that my ability to properly string words together for an article would lend itself just Continue Reading →
I have this theory, something I’ve been working on for many years. One of our listeners (D. Scott Frey) on The Apple Context Machine came up with the name “Chaffin’s Razor,” and I quite fancy that name, so let’s go with it. In any event, here’s my thought: When someone does or says something that appears irrational, there is almost always a piece of missing information that would either explain the behavior or cause the observed to behave or speak differently. That’s the shortish version, but the long version starts with the fact that very few people are crazy. Sure, Continue Reading →
It’s Sunday. A day for sleeping late. A day for not worrying about getting up. Or meetings. A day for no alarms save the morning sun peeking past my shades. Sunday is the kind of day night owls with day jobs love. At least this night owl. It’s one of two days when I get enough sleep. I love Sundays. I lay there, scrunched into my covers. Spring is fighting with winter, but the old lady still has a grip on the outside. It was enough to make luxuriating alone in bed as long as possible that extra bit of Continue Reading →
My Death Wish Coffee review was fairly popular, and I thought it would be nifty to follow it up with some tips on making coffee espresso lattes iced lattes. At its heart, all forms of coffee are chemistry-in-action, and while I won’t pretend to understand that chemistry, trial and error has helped me optimize my favorite beverage. Flavor Is Everything First things first: I like my lattes iced and flavored with syrups. I don’t like the flavor of espresso, I like the flavor of espresso when it has been combined with a sugar-based, flavored sweetener and drowned in ice and Continue Reading →