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A Quick Ranking of the Harry Potter Books

Two items have inspired this post: Today is Harry Potter’s birthday, and my daughter was born earlier this month. The first connection should be pretty obvious, but the latter is important because I’ve been reading the series aloud to her (through three books already!) I will happily discuss these rankings in more detail if anyone…

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Fulfilling My Hamiltonian Destiny, Part 2

This is my review of Hamiltony, part 2 of “Fulfilling My Hamiltonian Destiny.” Read part 1, detailing my winding path to seeing the musical at Rodgers Theater. Hamilton is marvelous. It exceeded my fairly astronomical expectations. Writer and star Lin-Manual Miranda is a certifiable genius. A significant portion of its charm derives from its central conceit:…

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Songs on Pinkerton by Weezer, Ranked

10. Butterfly Album-ending acoustic numbers are a bit of a tacky tradition. They’re usually throwaways, even when they’re good. “Butterfly” is fine on its own, but shines as a great closer in the context of the album — the hangover after the hand-wringing and self-flagellation that precedes it, charged with guilt and shame. I’ll also…

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Fulfilling My Hamiltonian Destiny, Part 1

Shortly after I graduated college in 2010, I got a bit of an itch for old-fashioned liberal arts learning. I decided to undertake the epic, 84-lecture History of the United States lecture series from The Great Courses. I listened to the lectures during my commute to and from work. It was an absolutely fantastic decision…

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Interview: Jennifer Acres, author of On the Way to Simple

Today, I’m excited to share an interview with author Jennifer Acres. Her debut novel, On the Way to Simple, hit virtual bookshelves today! I’ve known Jennifer for a few years, and she’s an awesome writer, and as generous and friendly a person as you’ll encounter. In our interview, she shares some of the background to her novel, her writing…

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Deep Dive: “Begin Again” by Taylor Swift

For no particular reason, here’s an in-depth analysis of the 2012 song “Begin Again” by Taylor Swift Taylor Swift’s fourth album, Red, ends with the ballad “Begin Again.” It’s the closest any of her music has sounded to “country” since her Fearless days. Swift and co. released it as Red’s second single – preceding the…

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What Christina Grimmie Meant to Me

In our 2015 end-of-year recap, I declared myself a “freakazoid obsessive of YouTube covers,” which is a bit of an imprecise description. What usually happens is I’ll stumble on a performance I really connect with, then spend the next few weeks listening to every cover by that singer or group. My favorite individual songs will go on…

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Dan’s Top 100 Everything: #6 The Simpsons

“Television: Teacher, mother, secret lover!” – Homer Simpson, “Treehouse of Horror V” There are about fifteen reasons it feels impossible for me to write about The Simpsons in any objective, cohesive manner. It’s the greatest TV show of all time, and also the most formative on my life outlook. It’s responsible for some of my…