Holiday Willpower

I went the entirety of the holiday season, from the middle of December to present, without eating a single sugary snack. No cookies, no brownies, no fudge. No white chocolate covered Oreos, no candy canes, no truffles, no gingerbread, no candy. This doesn’t necessarily make for the most festive season, but this year I felt it necessary.

The list above wasn’t plucked from nowhere. I had plenty of access to each of those things, and it wasn’t my lack of desire for them that kept me away. I didn’t feel like losing a grip on what little progress I have made with my weight so I stuck to the plan. I stayed away from the sugar and largely minimized the damage. I’m right around where I was before we left town to visit family. I didn’t make any progress, but neither did I lose ground. For this time of year, I’ll take that as a big win.

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Xmas Jade

My 12 year old niece last night: “Santa owes me 12 years of milk and cookies.”  Seems like someone is bummed out about learning a certain fact.

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Podcast Community

From Flickr, by Ken Murphy
From Flickr, by Ken Murphy

A little bit ago I decided to bail on the Podcast Community Facebook group. I have actually tried to leave it more than once and either I was re-added by someone or Facebook glitched and left me in. It’s not a rage quit, more of a “meh quit.” Probably 80% of the posts are questions about how to market, promote, manipulate iTunes, etc. In other words, topics I couldn’t care less about. I made the mistake of replying to a post last night and decided that the best it can offer is to waste my time. The information shared is largely irrelevant to me and it isn’t much fun otherwise. If engaging always feel like a mistake, why be there?

Any community picks up a group feeling, and it either resonates with you or it doesn’t. The feeling of this group doesn’t match how I feel about the medium. I don’t blame the community for this, I have my own little bubble that sits outside the larger sentiment of podcasting to this day. I try to avoid full on curmudgeon mode about it, but I feel like a member of an ever shrinking minority that cares most about indie podcasts (or at least doesn’t feel a need to dump on them.) I’m not a booster of the Darlings of the Machine, almost all of which either bore me or annoy me. I’m just guy trying to keep my ears full of the niche topics I care about. Luckily, there is plenty of stuff to keep that going if my 28-day-deep queue is any indicator.

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New Peakecast for XMas

Photo by Sam Vignjevi?
Photo by Sam Vignjevi?

A new episode of the Peakecast has been published. This one is the recordings of a set of interviews Thomas Peake recorded in 1996 with members of the RockATeens. The band is playing Atlanta tomorrow, December 13th, so that helped drive the urgency of getting this published this week.

I use this podcast over and over again as a living example of what I see as the true value of the medium. Much is made of the blockbuster successes, the shows with hundreds of thousands of listeners. That it is viable to create this show which is targeted towards at most a few hundred people makes me happy. These shows can be appreciated by anyone who likes music or is interested in the topics but the core we aim for is the set of friends Thomas Peake left behind. I am glad to do this tiny bit of service to that community.

Or in the words of some great philosophers of the 20th century, “Turn it up!”

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Spoiler Zone

I can see I am really going to have to try to power through the episodes of The Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to get myself up to the mid-season finales as fast as possible to avoid spoilers. Or, I can read and hear the spoilers and promptly forget them because I am that guy from Memento.

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TED

“You’ve probably seen ‘s now-famous TED Talk”

I saw this statement in a post, and I can guarantee you that for whatever person you substitute, I have not. TED is yet another thing I am supposed to love without question but is an anti-brand to me. I can’t get excited about forced profundity or delighted that rich technocrats throw the commoners a few crumbs by letting us see the videos of these stilted, affected performances from their parties for themselves.

This is not unrelated to the notion that we are supposed to love high production value podcasts but with shows like This American Life, the production itself is what makes it unpalatable to me. I’ve had enough artifice and slickness, now I’m searching for the visceral, the joyful and the authentic.

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Actual Conversation

This actually just happened.

KMart lady: “Well, your name isn’t on the order so I really shouldn’t let you get it. I will this one time though.”

Me: “You have my personal guarantee that if I defraud KMart, it will be for something more substantial than a $10 child’s leotard.”

Not sure if I helped or not, but it was fun.

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OK No

nerdistlogo

I know as a person of certain tribes I am supposed to squee with delight at the idea of OK Go and/or a new song/video from them. But I don’t. I am filled with a giant sense of apathy. I don’t hate what they do, but I just don’t care, not about the music, not about the videos, nothing.

I got to the point in my podcast queue where their most recent appearance on The Nerdist came up. I got through the intro and a couple of minutes into the show and decided that my listening time and attention would better be placed anywhere else. Instead I listened to Mike and Rich of the Flash-back podcast talk in excruciating detail about the first issue of the Flash: Season Zero comic book. I made the right call.

I didn’t delete the file. I’ll give it another shot on a different day and see if that changes my mood. Like all of these things, I don’t feel proud for my apathy. I just feel nothing.

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Oh Kroger.com

Dear Kroger.com,

I did a double take when you rejected my password at account creation. I had to read it twice before I understood the violation was that I entered a password longer than 12 characters. Can I get a “FFS!” then an “Amen!”

Love,
me

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Xmas Songs

I did a good job of avoiding Xmas songs until after Thanksgiving. I’m OK with most of the traditional ones but the modern rock holiday songs are mostly dreadful beyond belief. I would prefer to never hear McCartney’s “Simply Having …” again in my life. The Eagles, etc etc are all terrible. I don’t even like the Springsteen version of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”.

There are three modern holiday songs that always perk me up and I can listen to in whatever Target or Walgreens I find myself in without freaking out:

1) The Waitressess, “Xmas Wrappping”

2) Run DMC, “Xmas in Hollis”

3) Darlene Love, “Xmas Baby”

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Santa Faced Pancake

Santa Pancake

Around Halloween, IHOP had a promotion doing “scary face pancakes.” We never did go and get one, but that excited Punkin so we made some of them at home using chocolate chips, marshmallows and candy corn to make various features. Last night, we read the Curious George story where he cooks pancakes and she said she wanted them for breakfast. “Santa faced pancakes!” she specified.

I gave it my best shot. It certainly isn’t wonderful. I am learning that a single chocolate chip never works well for an eye so I either need a few for each eye or to get some oversized chips. Also, she insisted on using big flat sprinkles which is why Santa has random colored spots on his face. If I do this again, I also won’t use a whole cherry for the nose. It gives it too much height and makes the face cook funny. I’ll chop it in half so the whole thing has a lower profile when I flip it and cook it. The best part about it was the shape, which was pretty good considering I did the whole thing free pouring batter into approximately what I wanted.

On the upside, she basically ate the whole thing plus several strips of bacon so that is a new breakfast eating record or close to it. If we do it again, it should be a better likeness. Live and learn.

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