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FEATURED COLUMNS

van halen: a different kind of review
ranking the tracks from super incredibly awesome to not as awesome
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: music
3.2.12 • CLASSIC

Very quickly. This is not Van Hagar. There is no Love Walks In. If you had been waiting for that to happen, it is safe to buy this album and you totally should.

There. I just gave you the sum total of every navel-gazing "where-does-this-fit-in-the-history-of-Van-Halen" review I've read about this album. No one cares about the feud anymore. It's been too long. I wish Sammy and Michael the best, even though I never really cared for the direction, especially after the first three songs on OU812.

And I won't say anything bad about Van Halen III except that the only song I can remember from the era is that irritating ballad "More Than Words."

Done. Now, let's talk about this record.

read on



the you show, starring you
where new graduates are going from here
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: television
5.4.09 • CLASSIC

School’s almost out. If you’re graduating, from high school or college or grad school, you’re going to feel a strong obligation to get sentimental. Resist. But! But! You say. This is the last time we’ll X! Never again will we Y! OMG I can’t believe a month from now we all won’t be here in this room learning/eating/drinking/smoking/mocking/dodging Z! Resist. Rise above. Don’t give in to the urge to get weepy about the olden golden days of three-and-a-half months ago. Your friends and paren

read on



one state, two state, red state, blue state
politics, the way i see it
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: news
8.27.12 • CLASSIC

It's true what they say – a bar is no place to talk politics or religion.

Actually, I have no idea if they say that, but should it become a saying, feel free to attribute it to the Irish. It sounds like their sort of thing.

The reason I bring it up is that I got into a bit of a tiff, albeit a civil tiff, with a friend of mine this past weekend regarding his belief that I'm embarrassingly politically naïve and my belief that his candidates are trying to return this country to the point of time of the robber barons.

Now, to be fair, he's from Texas, and I don't say that to be arch. The atmospheres in which we were brought up are noticeably different, though he's from Austin, which is what I hear passes for liberal there. It's also obviously a bone of contention, as he was fairly adamant about me and my kind moving to Texas and trying to change it. I assured him I had no plans to do so. If I were going to move somewhere to try to change it, I think I'd start smaller, like my parents' house.

read on



do what i say, not what i do
advice from the queen of all things procrastination
by michelle von euw
topic: writing
6.5.09 • CLASSIC

“Dear Professor,” the email reads. “I started to write my poetry collection, but after 2 poems, I came up with a bad case of writer’s block. I really love this class, and I’m really excited about this assignment, but I have to let you know that the ten page poetry assignment that’s due in five minutes will only be a page and a half. I hope you understand.” One part of me – the one that meticulously creates assignment sheets and spends entire class periods explaining exactly how writing is wo

read on



the season of the watch
my nightmare before christmas
by mike julianelle
topic: pop culture
12.7.09 • CLASSIC

Lately, seasons have lost their meaning. Winter is warm, summer is barely 3 months long, spring doesn't even exist anymore, etc. But it's not just the weather that's different. TV seasons have spread through the once barren summer months, and cable shows, DVD and DVR have made almost all scheduling pointless. It's infected sports as well: baseball has spread to November, arena football keeps creeping up at us, and I don't know what's more surprising, that the NHL still exists or that it seems to

read on



kids need to read
a progressive nonprofit inspiring imagination
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: news
10.27.11 • CLASSIC

The next time you pick up a book to read, hold on to that feeling of anticipation for a moment.

Then imagine what it would be like to not experience that sensation. Close your eyes to the characters who speak to you, make you cry, force you to think. Try to forget the story that leaves you with a "book hangover" the next day because you stayed up much too late into the night to finish it. Ignore the destinations you've visited, cultures you've explored, theories you've tested.

With one click, you know you can order any book you want. Children should also have such easy access to books. Unfortunately, some don't.

The charitable organization Kids Need to Read (KNTR) opens up a world of endless possibilities to children through literacy. Founded by author PJ Haarsma, actor Nathan Fillion, and executive director Denise Gary, KNTR provides children with books through school and community programs. In this extensive interview, Gary details why the demand is so great, how the program works, and the many ways we can help.

read on



jason in the middle
making meaning of middle age, mortality and milestones
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: general
6.16.11 • CLASSIC

The problem with being middle aged is that no one ever, not even once, takes five minutes out of their life and pictures themselves being middle aged beforehand. Youth is wasted on the young, the famous saying goes, and during my youth, I was too self-absorbed to picture myself as being anything more than young, senile or dead. I could conceive of death (I’m from inner-city Toledo, death surrounded me) and I knew I would grow old someday (I was a church kid, old people surrounded me), but for so

read on



message to the reluctant parent: part 2
grinch heart
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: general
5.18.11 • CLASSIC

I’m proud to announce that on April 18, 2011*, my wife and I experienced the joyous birth of our first child, Linus Theodore Walker, at 7 lbs. 3 oz., 20” long, and with a full head of beautiful dark hair. I ran a piece last December (you may recall) wherein I discussed my anxieties vs. my hopes about having a baby. I promised at the end of that piece that I’d keep you posted on my thoughts about becoming a parent -- the "afterbirth", if you will. Hence, this part 2. So what’s it li

read on



it's never too early to get started
the rest of my life starts today
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
1.13.10 • CLASSIC

I made a Life List. I'm still not entirely certain what sparked the desire to list all of the things I'd like to do before I die. I saw The Bucket List. I read GQ's "75 Things Every Man Should Do" (I know I'm a girl, but why should guys get all the fun!?). Online, I randomly wandered across awesome lists of things that awesome people do and thought to myself "I'd like to do those one day". The thought that immediately followed was: why wait? Why wait until I think I'm going to die? Why

read on



how to handle your tiger
words of wisdom for elin nordegren
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: news
12.16.09 • CLASSIC

Dear Mrs. Woods, I'm jealous of you. In this celebrity-fueled world where all one presumably needs are your blonde looks, Sports Illustrated bikini body, and an eternal college-girl-next-door vibe, you have it all. And, because I am prone to mocking thin women whose physiques reflect a better discipline towards goat cheese than mine does, I admit that I've written physically beautiful girls like you off as airheads with dumb luck. But, given what your husband has been up to lately, I take my

read on



they can do it! and so can you.
6 tips for successful blogging
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: writing
8.24.09 • CLASSIC

Have you read a blog today? I don't know you (unless I do. Hi!), but I'm going to guess that you have. If fact, you might have read several. Even with the up-and-coming competition of Twitter, blogs are holding strong. The best ones are supplying readers with the news and views they used to get from newspapers or the television, and even the worst are catering to someone out there with a passion for... armadillos in socks, say, who doesn't care if said blogger knows a preposition from a peanut.

read on



where have all the bad guys gone?
i miss the days when they just wanted to take over the world
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: film
5.31.10 • CLASSIC

I noticed it first in one of the worst movies I've ever seen: G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. I'm actually ashamed to admit that I watched it, a little more ashamed to say that I actually took guilty pleasure in it, and I should probably be punished for actually using it as the basis of film critique, but here we are! Let me see if I can sum up the relationships in this movie correctly: The protagonist (Duke) is the ex-fiance of one of the primary antagonists (the Baroness). She works for an or

read on



the elevator superhero
captain america goes to portland
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
4.20.12 • CLASSIC

The morning we're leaving for our family trip to Portland, Maine, my son discovers one of the hiding places where I've (obviously) failed to conceal an open Amazon box containing two kick ass 10" Marvel action figures. Through the open cardboard flap, he spies a Captain America shield, barely visible through the packaging - but it's enough to send him flying down the stairs yelling "DADDY DADDY I SEE CAPTUM ANMERICA CAN I HAVE HIM!?

He's three this month, and there's just no postponing gratification - birthday or not - when a toy of this caliber is unearthed. If he'd dug a little deeper, he would've seen the brain-melting awesomeness of the accompanying Iron Man figure. Luckily, I get to save that one for his big day.

read on




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RECENT COMMENTS

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I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

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