Game 5: Chaos, as a force for good

I was sitting in temple with my cell phone burning a (metaphorical) hole in my left pant pocket. It was the most solemn day of the year. I was an hour into a set of concluding services. I freely admit that I already have at least one thing to atone for in 5780, because my […]

Review: BMPDF Overdrive

We all have our weaknesses and mine is for the distorted electric guitar. I love it. I love the various types and timbres and all the science behind why these things work—it’s all interesting to me. I belong to a number of fan-forums for people who love this stuff more than I do (and certainly […]

Your 2017 Nationals–if they were guitars

In the lead-up to the All-Star Game, Major League baseball launched a social media experiment: one last push to get some all-universe baseball players into the game, guys who hadn’t made it on popular vote alone, by tallying how many times a specific hashtag was hashed. It does blow my mind that an all-universe player […]

Black Hole Sun: We’re gonna miss you, Chris

  Forgive my instant reactions but I cannot help myself today. I guess I was 11 or 12 when I first encountered the album Superunknown. I remember that my best friend’s older brother had this record kicking around in his room, and I just caught a glimpse of the album cover. The shapeless howl caked in saturated reds […]

A tale of two beers

Let’s get this out of the way: beer is good. It goes well with cheese. It goes well with meat. It goes well with pizza. It goes well with pong. It goes well with sportsball-watching. It goes well with board-game playing. It goes well with writing. It goes well with sitting around doing nothing of any […]

What happens when you ski into a tree

I recently wrapped myself around a tree on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California. I am from the East Coast, where the mountains are gently rolling tree-covered slopes that are, occasionally, graced with snow. They are beautiful but they are old and well-worn; relentless Time has shaved down and rounded out their sharp edges and peaks. The Sierra Nevadas […]

Baseball

Baseball is not life. It is, however, an outstanding primer for how “life” works. Economics, probability, the nature of chance and trying to understand why any given event ever happens–it’s all philosophy, in the end, wrapped up inside a simple ball-and-stick game. This game will frustrate you. It will break your heart early and often. And then right when you’re […]

Repeat Offender, by Bradley Nickell

I came across this book almost entirely by accident: I realized I’d picked up a follower on Twitter who wrote first-person, true-crime stories. That was sort of “say no more” territory for me for a variety of reasons. What can I say? I am an inveterate reader and Amazon one-click purchasing is dangerous. There might be […]