Today's Mighty Oak


Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, here’s your reminder that the Republicans are about to once again care about the national debt, and that 45 added over 8 Trillion to it (but they won’t care about that fact, it’s all hypocrisy).

On a much happier note, it’s the 35th anniversary of the movie Clue! Celebrate with these 10 quotes (and if you’ve seen it, yes, you know what is number one!).

Here’s the trailer for The Watch, the BBC show based on the City Watch books of the Discworld series:

Hey look, it only took a global pandemic, but I may be able to donate blood in a year or two!

I got sucked in and loved watching Bridgerton, and it really does live up to it’s reputation as ‘horny Downton Abbey’:

More savagrey from the administration, and look for more of this tactic, especially from the states, in the future: using “religious liberty” as an acceptable way to discriminate.

And finally, the latest WandaVision trailer looks bonkers and wild and I cannot wait:



I’m actually not one for new year’s resolutions. Typically I set out some very manageable goals for me at my birthday, and work on those for the year. So what did I do this year? Set new year’s resolutions.

To be fair, last year I had a new year’s resolution to update my wardrobe and (to steal from Thug Kitchen Bad Manners), dress like I give a fuck. It went well, and I’m generally really happy with what I did, so let’s apply that to this year!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on:

Read more books

I read a lot, but feel like I’ve fell behind that a bit lately, so I set out to read at least seven books this year. Modest, I know, but with everything else going on, and an ever-growing pile on my nightstand, this seemed like a good place to start. Here’s what I finished:

  • Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore. The second book in the death series (after A Dirty Job), such a fantastic time!
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I enjoyed this a lot, and the ebook that I borrowed from the library had a short afterword by the author, as well as the ‘Toast’ from Screwtape.
  • Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. This expanded on the podcast of the same name, both of which are highly recommended!
  • Queer x Design by Andy Campbell. Amazing book about the history of queer design, highly recommended!
  • The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited. Book two of the Balance Arc of the podcast, brought to life as graphic novels.
  • hello mr., Volumes 7, 8, 9, 10. Literary journal about queer men, consistently some of the best writing in print, and a shame that it’s no longer in production.
  • Naturally Tan by Tan France. A deep dive into Tan’s life and work, a fun read that showed me a different side of the Queer Eye star.
  • Hamilton: The Revolution. Book about the creation of Hamilton, including a full script with notes from LMM.
  • The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Kramer. A book about the character from Welcome to Nightvale involving pirates, spies and revenge.
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman. The story of the women who have the power to destroy the world.
  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. A reread for me, but I had forgotten how poignant and good this book is!
  • Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. Her next book, just as fun as the first.
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I reread this so I could discuss it with a friend, and I as reminded why it’s easily one of my favorite books of all time.
  • Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. Murder in a haunted Ohio IKEA competitor, just wonderful.

Other books and audio books

So, I’m not counting audio books for this challenge (hot take: it’s not actually reading. Not saying it’s not great, it’s just something else), or a couple other books that didn’t really require much reading:

  • The Little Blue Kite by Mark Z. Danielewski. As recommended by the author, I read it through three times, each time following a different path (but it’s a really short book).
  • Coincidences at Museums by Stefan Draschan. A wonderful little book of photography at my uncle and aunt’s house.
  • The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen. Audio book based on the podcast, listened to during my long runs.
  • Vodou by Manuela Dunn Mascetti. Short little book.
  • Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-fix recipes for Hangry Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Some great recipes, but like any cookbook, many I won’t make. But some great running and racing content in there as well!
  • Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. A series of meditations on the writings of John.
  • The Book of Blessings. Small book about Tibetan prayer flags.
  • The Book of Urizen by William Blake. Small textbook that was mentioned in Origins so I decided to give it a quick reread.
  • Firefly: The Sting by Deliah S. Dawson. Graphic novel about the women of Firefly/Serenity.
  • Vox Machina Origins Volume II by Matthew Mercer. Graphic novel about the Twitch/Youtube show

Clean spaces

In a general sense of decluttering and cleaning, I’d like to clean ororganize 12 small spaces, one a month. These are things like closets, bookshelves, dressers, etc. I have too much stuff, and it’s time to do some purging!

  • Dressers in my guest room
  • Filing cabinet in my office
  • Nightstands in my bedroom
  • Glove box
  • Desk
  • Organized office bookshelves
  • Cleaned office closet
  • Cleaned and organized laundry room
  • Organized hall closet
  • Scrub kitchen counters (bigger deal than it seems, finally found the right combination of cleaners to get them really clean!)
  • Cleaned cable totes (random computer/electronic cables)
  • Garage shelves
  • Camping/Burn/Relay race totes

Buy more music

So, I get in the habit of hearing new music that I like, identifying it, and then not actually buying it. So I’m making an effort this year to put together a playlist throughout the year:

  • The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Fort Nowhere
  • Julie-O by Kevin Olusola
  • Arsonist’s Lullabye by Hozier
  • Calvary by Mashrou’ Leila
  • Dreamboy (album) by Dan Terry
  • Hiroshima by Ben Folds
  • Your Turn to Roll (Critical Roll theme song)
  • Take Me Away by Barefoot McCoy
  • Precious Love by James Morrison
  • Dreamboy main theme by Dane Terry
  • Hallelujah by Panic! At The Disco
  • Be Me by VINCINT
  • All Rode off Together by Meeting of Important People
  • Caution by The Killers
  • Reasons I Drink by Alanis Morissette
  • Simply the Best (From Schitt’s Creek) by Noah Reid

This goal took a bit of a backseat after Google Play Music closed, and now I’m at a loss of where to buy music from if I don’t want to use iTunes (and not stream). Any ideas?

Diversify meals for game nights

My last goal for the year is to make something different each time I host a game day. I’ve fallen into a lot of the same things, and I’d like to expand a bit, so the goal is to not repeat over the course of the year:

  • January: Broccoli and chickpea tacos (Thug Kitchen Bad Manners)
  • February: Curry Slurry (poorly named from The Lactose Free Cookbook)
  • And then we didn’t have any more in person games due to the global pandemic. Will try this again when we can meet up again in person!

Well, I’d say I was successful! The trick for me is to set reasonable and attainable goals, then I gain momentum to do more! (Side note, just surviving this year is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you differently).

I have some ideas for what I’ll be working on in 2021, including a lot of cleaning those same spaces again! I also have some digital cleanup to do, and am hoping to knock out some TV and movies I want to catch up on, as well as restart an epic fantasy book series.

Here’s to a great year!



It’s been a year. But at least we got some videos to celebrate its end!

Here is DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop:

And a bonus from DJ Earworm, all the top songs from 1970 to 2020:

And of course, the year in search from Google, always a great/tough one to watch:

I’ll be back with my own end of the year wrap-up(s) soon!



I’m all done with my NaNoWriMo novel, so now I can finally get through some of my RSS feeds, here’s what I’ve found:

The combination Star Wars/Indiana Jones you didn’t know you needed.

Now you can get a giant Ritz cracker that doubles as a serving tray.

Brian Sims discusses why queer people thrive in politics: empathy.

The bottles you need to stock your bar.

What August Wilson can teach us about the current Supreme Court.

Alright, that’s it, short update today, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, for the love of all things, vote blue (up and down the ticket):

Skydivers put on an amazing show with some pyro effects!

A new coffin that helps to turn you into compost is becoming available! A cool addition for green burials!

The trailer for WandaVision looks amazing and I can’t wait! Anything with Katherine Hahn is going to be great:

Also in trailers, we’re getting close to the new season of The Mandalorian! This is the way.

Have you played the amazing web-based game, Blaseball? Check it out (And root for the Hellmouth Sunbeams, obviously).

Myst is being remastered from the ground up and released for both computers and VR setups, and it looks (and sounds) gorgeous:

I think that’s it for me today, but I’ll be back soon with more, have a great one!



The world is awful, and there’s a lot going on, but let’s see what we have. First up, let’s calm down a bit with a beautiful exploration on Canon in D:

Dumb Runner (The Onion but for running) had two great articles which made me laugh a lot recently. The first, local runner receives photos from his virtual marathon and one that is so true locally, ‘without the marathon, residents scramble to find something else to bitch about.’

Brass players (and percussionists, opera singers, etc), be the change you (and hero) you want to see in this world.

Feeling down? Here’s Chris Hemsworth to tell you, yes you, how awesome you are!

We’re getting a new Star Wars Holiday Special! Which….that is news, but this time it’s Lego!

Also, here’s how we should swap the titles of the Star Wars movies around.

Okay, buckle up, getting to politics. First up, the Mass Dem party coordinated with the College Democrats of Mass to try to levy false sexual abuse accusations at a gay candidate in the primary. The whole thing is dirty and reeks of homophobia, as well as a misunderstanding of the dynamics of gay relationships.

AT the DNC, Michelle Obama was immaculate (transcript here):

Likewise, President Obama set out in the starkest of terms what is at stake (transcript here):

On the final night of the convention, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was extremely funny, and since I enjoyed VEEP so much, a nice touch!

Pete Buttigieg had a moving moment talking about his marriage as he was introducing Biden.

And then finally, the acceptance speech:

Since then, of course, things have gotten worse, with more stoking of hatred and violence, but in a stirring move, the Mets and Marlins left their game and left a BLM shirt draped over home plate.

And finally, the NBA has come to agreement to turn their arenas into voting sites!

That’s it for today. Have a great one, wash your hands, wear your mask, double check your voter registration and make a plan to vote!



Alright, let’s see what have today. First up, in cool space news, we have a new atlas of the Solar System!

NASA has also released a stunning photo of Saturn in its summer.

In other exploration news, NOAA is sending divers down a blue hole off the shore of Florida!

A video showing the evolution of the world’s tallest buildings:

Has your mail been slower lately? It’s not your imagination, the new Postmaster General admitted he’s slowing it down. It’s all an effort to discredit voting by mail, BTW.

Don’t come at me with any ‘both-side-ism’ because they are far from each other. The North Dakota GOP had to disavow it’s own platform because they admit that no, gay people don’t ‘infect society.’ Monsters.

In other state political news, Washington State is suing the federal government because they are trying to take away queer rights in regards to healthcare. So yes, things are in fact much worse now.

Back to federal again, Biden vows to allow the military to display pride flags again. With their new ban on Confederate flags (you know, the traitors that killed members of our military), it also banned pride flags (you know, currently serving members of our military).

And in what should cause you endless rage, the administration initially decided they didn’t need to do anything about the global pandemic because it was only affecting ‘blue’ states. Not only are they dumb as fucking bricks, they are monsters willing to literally sacrifice American lives for their own gain.

And some local bad news, protesters at a Pro Police Rally decided to chant about killing queer people. Because no where is actually really safe, sadly.

Okay, some good news. AOC delivered an amazing rebuttal to the lawmaker who insulted her and gave a fake apology. Worth a watch!

And surprise, surprise, the antifa movement has caused zero murders in 25 years.

Okay, pallet cleanser: check out this music video from The Mandalorian:

XKCD examines the habitable campfire zone.

Johnny Walker is coming out with a sustainable, paper based bottle! How cool is that!

A reminder, when we talk about toxic masculinity, not only is it bad for everyone around us, but it’s also bad for men. When we talk about defeating toxic masculinity, it’s also good for the men as well! A new study shows that those more disposed towards those toxic traits are more likely to be depressed themselves.

Okay, and finally, The Muppets take on Hamilton Act One and Act Two!

That’s it for now, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, the crew of Queer Eye makes over my favorite sports mascot, Gritty!

A thing which I did not exists, is the Boston Typewriter Orchestra. And they’ve done an at-home concert!

Also in musical news, a saxophonist accompanies himself!

Sam Smith has an amazing cover of Coldplay’s, “Fix You:”

In uplifting news, John Boyega (Star Wars) delivers a great speech at a BLM protest!

We’ve had some good SCOTUS rulings lately (And some bad ones), but buried detail in the earth-shattering workplace discrimination ruling is the Trojan Horse that we’ll be seeing next: religious liberty laws. This fight is far from over, but for now, we can celebrate the bit of ground we gained.

And speaking of queer rights, the fascist in the White House used the anniversary of the Pulse massacre to remove healthcare rights for trans people.

Ending on something fun, The Hamilton Polka!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, the stories behind the names of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.

The stories within stories: the fictional books we wished were real.

The recurring jokes of Arrested Development.

New Looney Tunes are coming to HBO Max and this is making me want to subscribe:

The PG (granted, it’s become a right-wing rag on the editorial side) has a neat interactive site about the bridges of Pittsburgh. Note this may be behind a paywall, I think it was one of my three free articles when I read it.

Dolly Parton secretly executive produced Buffy! And we just now found this out!

A DM and a set designer created a DnD adventure in a dresser! Each drawer is new level of the dungeon!

We’ve all been doing a lot of virtual exploration of place, and the British Museum recently revamped their online collections.

Speaking of, need some peace in your life? Check out the livestream of the Northern Lights!

Because there is such a need for blood right now, the FDA has reluctantly allowed itself to accept blood from gay men, as long as we don’t have sex for three months. They still don’t want our blood, but they realize they need it.

The Atlantic has a great piece about pandemic fatigue, how we should approach it both in ourselves and others. The article also covers the similarities between COVID and the HIV pandemic: they’re very, very similar, just on a different time scale. Be kind to yourself and others, be as smart and safe as you can.

Also in Pandemic related content, CGP Grey’s new video about it. While I will disagree, I think that for many, just surviving is enough (instead of creation of coming out ‘better’ in some way), this video has great tips about how to survive our new reality:

Dumb Runner, The Onion of running, hits it on the head: Local runner cancels backyard marathon, refuses to offer refund.

New research shows that Antarctica used to be a rain forest. Global tectonics and climate history really are awesome!

The voice of Big Thunder Mountain looks exactly how you think he does. And that is comforting.

The trailer for the new Netflix show ‘Hollywood” looks really fun:

Myst is set to become a TV Series….for the third (?) time. I’m excited, but will believe it when I see it.

Slog has great coverage of the white privilege of protesting stay at home orders. Worth a read.

An artist created a chandelier that forms as it collects rain water, and it’s beautiful!

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back soon, have a great one!



Artist Mary Button makes a new series of station of the cross paintings each year, and in 2012 (I believe) she created “The struggle for LGBT Equality.”

Having gone to a Catholic college (and even winning a Tony Danza Award, for Best Pacifist in a Violent Scene…in a Jesus Play), I have some exposure to the stations of the cross, but they’ve never been a huge part of my life.

However, I love Mary’s style, and really appreciate the history she put into this series, so I put it goether in a short video below.

Maundy Thursday is my favorite day of the liturgical calendar, mostly because it is so different than everything else, as well as the ‘oh shit’ ending it has (much like, say, The Empire Strikes Back or The Goblet of Fire). Our church going is now all virtual for the time being, but I at least wanted to finally bring some attention to this amazing series.

Social Links

Archives

How I’m Resisting

What I’m fighting for

What I’m running from

What I’m reading

What I’m drinking

What we’re writing

What I’m writing

What I’m running