Today's Mighty Oak


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!



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, we’re halfway through NaNoWriMo, so a quick break for me to write here.

Comparing a decade of music with DJ Earworm:

Here’s my thought. Michael Bloomberg is going to enter the race just so he can more easily spend money on campaign ads or get around Facebook ad guidelines or something, but he’ll use his fortune to support whoever the Dem candidate is. But who knows if I’ll be right.

I’ve seen this done before with bagpipes, and I love that this trend continues, this time with saxophones!

The trailer for the Star Wars IX:

USA Hockey is adding an indefinite suspension penalty for players using racist or homophobic language.

Trojan is running an awesome campaign about comprehensive sex ed and combating slut-shaming of all forms.

And finally, the trailer for the new season of The Crown:



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, a high school valedictorian was thrown out of his house for being gay, and raised money so he could attend college, all while being homeless his senior year.

Jake Shears is back with a new single.  it gets more fun as it goes along:

Someone put together an Iron Man tribute video.  He was always my dad’s favorite character growing up, so this was neat to watch!

Topher Grace edited the three Hobbit movies down to one, two hour one.  Yes to all of this:

Grace told IndieWire that he undertook the ambitious fan edit project in part to unwind from his newest role in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Grace indicated that he felt stressed from having to portray white supremacist David Duke, and diving into Tolkien’s cinematic world was something of a version of therapy. (He also shared his belief that The Hobbit shouldn’t have been so greatly expanded upon for the big screen in the first place

The Aquaman trailer looks really good, and it’s great to have a minority director at the help and in the lead role!

And the next Harry Potter movie has a new trailer:

Leslie Jones’ latest live twitter was Infinity Wars, and it did not disappoint.

Jeff Session’s new “religious liberty taskforce’ is just a thinly veiled anti-queer commission.  And surprise, it’s being spearheaded by an anti-gay activist group.

A Buffy reboot was announced, but it’s actually more of a continuation, just twenty years later.  How this will fit in with the comics, we’ll have to see.

That’s it for today, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, I might have actually linked to this before, but did you know that we have a plan in case we ever find Nessie?  Now you do!

If you haven’t seen it already, stop everything you’re doing and watch the new Randy Rainbow song:

There’s going to be a Baby Groot Chia Pet!

The Downton Abbey movie is finally confirmed and moving forward!

Remember all that money Jill Stein raised for a recount, yeah, she’s spending it on her legal defense for her involvement with Russia.  Raise your hand if you’re surprised.  Nobody?  I didn’t think so.

Gay ‘conversion therapy’ is torture.  Full stop.  And there’s a feature film about it and it looks powerful:

Queen Elizabeth II is a master stateswoman.  She greeted the President last month while wearing a brooch given to her by the Obamas.

Speaking of Britain, an artists has created a portrait of Princess Diana using diamond dust and HIV+ blood:

And in infuriating news, the Health and Human Services have removed all LGBT references from the ObamaCare website.  The erasure continues.

Integrity USA celebrates progress made at the General Convention.

And finally, Stranger Things 3 has a great new promo!



Yesterday’s writing was the podcast page, if you haven’t noticed, I finally go that up and running!

So, reading through all the news that came across my feed today, the world is a mess.  More than normal.  That probably won’t change in the near future.  So instead today, I’m just going to leave you with something to make you happy.  A youtuber who I love put together this amazing medley of music from Super Mario.  This is also a great reminder how astonishingly beautiful the music from Super Mario Galaxy is:

 



Alright, been a bit, but let’s see what we have today.  First up, would you like the sheet music for the THX deep note?  Here it is.

In the news that has me so excited, Idris Elba is going to start in, produce and direct Netflix’s new, live-action Hunchback of Notre Dame!  Hunchback is my favorite animated Disney movie and in my top five stage musicals so I cannot wait for this!

Overwatch has partnered with You Can Play, marking that non-profits first foray into eSports!

Alone in the Game explores what it’s like to be gay or trans in sports.

Because his is where we all said we were headed: GOP congressmen want to make it legal for people to not sell houses to queer people.  Because fuck this world.

And a reminder, they’re far from perfect, but the Democrats every now and then pull out a great win when it’s needed.  In South Carolina, a clutch filibuster helped prevent an abortion ban from being passed.

A favorite web comic of mine, Surviving The World just wrapped up, but here is his last Pride comic:

The new Smash Bros. looks amazing (although I actually don’t like the art direction on the character models):

And of course, the CDC will roll back the collection of data from queer communities, which will lead to decrease in funding and more deaths from diseases that affect us more than other communities.

I’ll be talking about the Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cake in a later post, but this executive order from May is also really, really dangerous.  We’re quickly moving into a world where the few rights I have are being superseded by the ability for people to use their bigoted “religious views” to discriminate against me.  And yes, even if you’re using religion, it’s still bigoted.

Alright, that’s it for now, sorry for all the depressing things, but sometimes, that’s just what the world deals you.  I’ll be back with more soon!



Shocker, people are idiots.

It’s decorative gourd season!  Check out this video years in the making:

Kids can become certified ninjas in Japan!  Well, close enough, at least!

A photographer added Pennywise into the engagement photos she did for her sister.

An awesome local protest piece of art here in town.

I”m so excited for Black Panther, check out the new trailer:

What happens with Chris Griffin and Pinky read Star Wars dialogue?  Tons of laughter.

Disney brought real sloths to the DMV to recreate Zootopia.  I’m so jealous!

Wizards of the Coast has pulled together some statistics about the most common race and class combinations, it’s pretty interesting.

Mika’s new song has dropped, and it’s catchy:

Another mystery solved: the scrolling text from The Matrix was a sushi recipe.

As always, XKCD makes a great point.

The trailer for season 3 of Eastsiders looks great (and even includes a stop in Pittsburgh)!  But sadly, Colby Keller is in it, so I may not watch it because of that (although I think this was filmed before he was doubling down on his white privilege):

That’s it for today, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today, a bit of a longer update, and lots of videos:

Because it’s a shit show, the president’s newest judicial nominee thinks trans* kids are part of ‘Satan’s plan.’

In the spirit of Halloween, the Internet thinks that Pennywise and the Babbadook should date.  Awwwww.

The new Wes Anderson movie:

Need a game to play to unwind?  Play some font games!

Pittsburgh gets its own Drag Queen Story Hour!

Netflix sends an awesome “Stranger Things” cease and desist letter.

Birds made into a musical composition:

David S. Pumpkins will return!

Billy Crystal is right, Miracle Max and Valerie do need their own spin off!

The new trailer for The Punisher is intense:

Wesley Woods is interviewed about him calling out the white privilege of a certain gay porn actor.

The Satanic Temple is amazing.  They have announced that if the current prevails and bakers can deny gay couples wedding cakes, they’ll demand cakes for Satan.  Because religious freedom.

You guys, the floor is lava.  No really, THE FLOOR IS LAVA:

In good news, the US Census will add back in a question about sexual orientation, reversing the decision to effectively erase LGBT citizens (and any possibility of funding for resources).

The superintendent at an Air Force prep school said, in no uncertain terms, that racism has no place in his school.

I don’t have Amazon Prime, but I listen to this podcast, I’m super excited it’s being turned into a show:

Edie Windsor, who recently died, was known for her fight for marriage equality.  But she was also a computer science whiz!

An Australian pizza shop trolls the anti-gay billboard next to it.  However, I disagree, pineapple can go on pizza!

This is the trailer for a zombie Christmas musical that legit looks amazing:

Russell Tovey, of Looking, fame, will play The Ray in the Arrowverse.

Dale Hansen, sportcaster from Texas known for his amazing viral videos, does it again.

The federal government is set to argue that gay workers should not have any workplace protections, although they’ll be arguing this against other parts of the federal government.  This is a hugely important case, and one that I’m worried about.

That’s it for now, have a great one!

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