Category Archives: Blog

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Eat less, taste more

All of my life, I’ve been a “big guy.” I’m tall, I’ve never been small in any regard, and as I’m sure many of you reading this will understand, it’s something that you have to keep an eye on. Part of it is genetics, an accident of birth. Part of it is bad decisions on my part, or on the part of the people responsible for me at the time.

But I’m an adult now (a reasonably sized and fairly attractive one, if I must say so myself) and it’s time to talk about gustatory habits, some of which made me the fat kid years ago.

I have become obsessed with one simple concept, and it has come out here recently, and will come out again in a more fully realized format soon. But it is basically the simple, simple idea that LESS. IS. MORE. Fewer bites, more flavor, more enjoyment. (That idea doesn’t just apply to food, by the way. It also applies to words. But more on that some other day.)

I love food, and I love cooking. And I love television. So guess what? When I have time to decide what to do next, I might most likely decide to watch a cooking show.

I’ve watched cooking shows for years. I learned the basics of cooking 25 years ago from David Rosengarten and Sara Moulton. Then Emeril, then Alton.

Then, at some point, cooking seemed to change from finesse to sheer volume. From “flavor” to “filling the plate.” Continue reading

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Doctor found me just in time

Okay, so I’ve broken from tradition lately. For many, many years, I have worked in public broadcasting, and that meant that I needed to keep my political and personal opinions to myself. That’s what the job entails, and rightfully so.

I’m no longer involved in public broadcasting, and over the last few days, I have shared my opinions. Vented my spleen, you might say.

So today, here is something that is completely non-political. I don’t care what your ideological bent is, there’s no way you can be offended by this, unless you’re offended by really great musicians. Continue reading

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A bit of the old Ludwig Van: My son wants to watch “A Clockwork Orange”

My oldest son has, lately, acquired an obsession with vinyl records. He’s barely a teenager, but he would spend every waking moment poring through vinyl stacks if he could. (I can’t get him to take 5 minutes to load the dishwasher, but he would willingly spend 50 minutes bent over a pile of albums for sale.)

I can’t really complain about this. There are far worse vices for a child, and if my boy is drawn to records? I thank my lucky stars.

But last night, he brought me something that unearthed memories I had long forgotten. He brought me my vinyl copy of the soundtrack from the movie “A Clockwork Orange.”

Jesus christ. Continue reading

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My new podcast launches tonight, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

You matter. Let me tell you why, and then let me let you tell me why.

I have a lot of irons in the fire right now, but first and foremost is this concept that’s been on my mind for many years, and I’ve realized that perhaps the podcast format is the best way to bring it to life.

For 20 or so years, I have interviewed people. Many of them very interesting and worthy of your attention. Perhaps my favorite was Barry Manilow. Or maybe it was the late great Ray Harryhausen, whose autographed copy of “Jason and the Argonauts” I still cherish. I got to talk with Neil Gaiman about ten years before he had become the cultural and literary icon that he has always deserved to be. I have been blessed with some truly great opportunities for conversations.

I have listened to countless hours of interviews on talk radio, and watched unspeakable hours of interviews on late-night TV. I got to sit across the table from John Glenn and Russell Banks and the members of countless bands, from Kings of Leon to Hem to Dawes. It’s been a really good thing, and I have been blessed by all of it.

But do you know what all of those interviews have in common? They are always, without fail, someone who has something to sell. A new book to push. A new movie that is coming out this weekend. A new TV show they are starring in. A political campaign that needs some particular bump.

I have been wrankled by this for some time, and that wrankling (which is not a proper word, I know) has come out in the form of this podcast.

I am calling it “You Matter.” Because you – yes, YOU – matter. I know that sometimes you think you don’t, and I know that some days are far worse than others. But you still matter. The hottie guy or the sexy girl in whatever movie is opening this weekend is not any more intrinsically valuable than you are. You matter, my dear.

So, the point of this podcast is to interview “ordinary” people, but use the same level of discipline and research and professionalism that I would have used at NPR.

Because you are not ordinary. You matter. I will publish the first episode at midnight tonight. Join me?

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Wacky Friday Quiz Time: Name That Thing!

Yes, fellow babies, it’s time once again for the first installment of our beloved feature, Wacky Friday Quiz Time!

Now, below you will see a list of 20 names. Each of these names is either:

A. An independent film;
B. The name of a menu item at a trendy restaurant near you; or
C. The name of a band whose merchandise is available for purchase at Hot Topic.

Get a piece of paper, write down your guesses, and you can find the answers inside the post!

  1. Only On a Tuesday
  2. Taynt
  3. Every Rabbit is Extra
  4. I Only Wanted Europe
  5. Hillary and the Jets
  6. Paper Mascara
  7. The Teri Hatchery
  8. The Skyliner
  9. Herø
  10. Vulture Queen
  11. My Dying Prom Date
  12. Demand, On
  13. Suits Without Ties
  14. Black Tape for an Electrical Faultline
  15. Tsunami Nation
  16. The Unwed Mothers of K-Mart
  17. Taffft
  18. This Mortal Battery
  19. The 2.0s
  20. And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Cheeto Dust

Continue reading

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The machine shoots sparks through her eggshell mind

This will not be everybody’s cup of tea, so please feel free to skip. But for some reason, tonight I’m reminded of a telephone interview I had more than 20 years ago, with the vocalist of a seldom-heard metal band. Among many other things, we talked about Karen Ann Quinlan, one of the crucial figures in the “right to die movement.”

This is not what you typically expect to talk about when you are interviewing metal vocalists, but Fates Warning is no typical band, and John Arch is no typical lyricist. Continue reading