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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…

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First Impressions Review: The Life of Pablo by Kanye West

The most important thing to remember when thinking about TLOP and the insane lead up to its release is the one thing that’s remained constant throughout the rapper’s whole career: Kanye West is full of contradictions. It might be infuriating, but it’s true: The moment you think you can generalize something about Kanye, he’ll swerve. How…

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I Played 365 Board Games in 2015

In 2015, I played 365 board games, and kept fairly detailed logs of what I played, when I played, who I played with, who won (when relevant), and how much I liked the game. I usually get about this far in the explanation before people start bombarding me with questions, so I suppose I should…

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5 Thoughts Tangentially Related to Alan Rickman

Die Hard is a legitimately fantastic film. I don’t mean that in the ironic, macho way that Joey does in Friends. It’s one of my favorite movies, brilliantly crafted and thrilling. The script tells a story of Bruce Willis saving a building from terrorists. But Die Hard goes one step deeper in the way that…

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15 Thoughts on The Force Awakens

SPOILERS AHOY! If you haven’t seen Star Wars: Episode VII, I recommend that you do so before reading this. I do not shy away from spoilers in the following comments. 1. This is a good movie, and a great movie-going experience Breathe a sigh of relief, o fellow nerds! The franchise is redeemed! Our worries were…

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My Ten Favorite Songs of the Decade So Far

10. Jessi J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang” I would call this my “guilty pleasure” selection, but, as Colton and I have repeatedly noted, there should be no guilt in the pleasure of a finely-crafted pop number. The Max Martin-produced “Bang Bang” is probably my favorite pop radio staple this decade, with a sizzling beat,…