Five on Shuffle, #3

Welcome to my new monthly series called “Five on Shuffle” where I attempt to reconnect with my iPod by using it regularly throughout the year and using it only and continuously on “shuffle.” Once a month I’m going to stop at a completely random interval, snap photos of five songs in a row, and then post and write about them here. The writing may be heavy or light, depending on whether or not I’ve anything remotely clever to say about any given song in the moment.

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Old habits, and all that

I go grocery shopping every Sunday morning. And every Sunday morning at the grocery store, I buy a newspaper. And then, after getting home and putting the groceries away and eating breakfast, I sit participate in an ancient ritual: reading the Sunday paper while drinking coffee. It’s my Sunday “thing,” just as it was my parents’ “thing” and my grandparents’ “thing.”

Haha. Okay, so the paper I get isn’t quite as old. Though some days it might as well be…

It’s also a silly “thing,” because these days, there’s nothing in the newspaper that isn’t online. By the time the news is printed on Sunday, its old news. That’s not a knock against news reporters – they know how this all goes. Weekdays I listen to the local news every morning thanks to the TV, and then I listen online to world news later each day. But still, whenever Sunday rolls around, part of me looks forward to that moment with the news on paper and the coffee.

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Love Always, Donuts

Like 100% of Americans (or, y’know, thereabouts), I harbor a slight problem with sugar. And the problem is that I like it…too much. Not enough to need medical attention, but more than I know I should. Compounding this issue is that I love baking. And I love baking things with sugar – from pies to cake to cookies to brownies. But because of my issues with sugar, which are pretty long-standing, I’d say that…hmmm…over the past four or five years, my baking efforts have nosedived. In a good way. I mean, if its not in the house, then we won’t eat it. You best believe me that if I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies on a Friday, they are gone by Monday. And that’s not good.

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A gaming update, with a dash of “Play or Pass”

If you’re not familiar with my “Play or Pass” series that I completed last year, it may behoove you to check out my page devoted to it. In fact, I strongly suggest that you do, if only to affirm the fact that I just used “behoove” in a real sentence.


I’ve obliquely stated before, here and otherwise, that my current interest in games has little to do with current games. Outside of a handful of new titles on which I’ve set my sights this year, most of what I’m interesting in playing is from the past. Sometimes the recent past; sometimes the long forgotten past. But, the past, nonetheless. This sentiment is something that I rather inadvertently bolstered with my “Play or Pass” series. It confirmed and emphasized what I already knew: I’ve missed out on a hell of a lot of games. And while not all games on that list were ones that I’d readily accept, a few of them stood out as ones that, yeah, I really should tackle. Add to this an impromptu trip to a newly-discovered used game store, as well as the barging bin at Wal-Mart, and, a Listmas promise to myself to purposely delve into my backlog (goddammit!), well…I’ve been in gaming heaven for several months.

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Five on Shuffle, #2

Welcome to my new monthly series called “Five on Shuffle” where I attempt to reconnect with my iPod by using it regularly throughout the year and using it only and continuously on “shuffle.” Once a month I’m going to stop at a completely random interval, snap photos of five songs in a row, and then post and write about them here. The writing may be heavy or light, depending on whether or not I’ve anything remotely clever to say about any given song in the moment.

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An Overheard Conversation

I’m sitting on the subway in a forward-facing seat. It’s an unusually slow evening, and there aren’t as many passengers in this particular car, which means it’s much quieter and less crowded than normal. Even through my headphones that are quietly playing the background music to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, I can still hear a few voices and even someone else’s music that must be bursting his or her eardrums.

At the next stop, two people sit in the empty seat behind me. They start talking – it sounds like two male voices. I make no mind of it, until I hear one of them say something slightly annoyed about “those stupid video games.” My ears perk up around my earbuds, and I become a little less interested in defense attorneying. Though I can’t see the speakers, their speaking patterns strike me as young. Younger than me, anyway.

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Five on Shuffle, #1

Welcome to my new monthly (I think) series called “Five on Shuffle.” With the demise of my iTunes Diaries series, I wanted to re-inject this blog with a little musical flair, and also give myself good reason to use my poor, old iPod. Indeed, there once was a time when I was perfectly tethered to my iPod nearly 24/7. I’d create and kill playlists on a wing and a prayer, and I’d scoop up music faster than it could be added to ye olde iTunes. And while I’ve not completely abandoned my iPod, nowadays, with the likes of Pandora, Spotify, etc., it’s easy enough to get music anytime, anywhere without the little device taking up a pocket.

So here’s the deal (which I think I kind of explained already but maybe not in any exact terms): this year, I’m going to attempt to re-attach myself to my iPod, taking it with me wherever I go and, as the scary kicker, using it only on shuffle. Once a month I’m going to stop at a completely random interval, snap photos of five songs in a row, and then post and write about them here. The writing may be heavy or light, depending on whether or not I’ve anything remotely clever to say about any given song in the moment.

So…since I’ve nothing more interesting to say right now than that, let’s just get on the with first five random songs!

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Play or Pass: A Post-Mortem

Why am I writing this? It’s an interesting story…maybe. Having done a couple other writing series in the past, I never really thought about doing any sort of wrap-up posts for them. Much like with TV shows these days, they simply ended, and I moved on. But once I had finished up my final “Play or Pass” post, I began tooling around in my blog’s statistics. WordPress usually sends out year-end reviews, but with nothing like that appearing in my inbox (maybe they aren’t doing them this year?), I took a little time to see how my year in writing had turned out. What struck me most is that although I was down considerably in overall views, I was way up in likes and comments. In fact, last year I received the most likes and comments since starting this blog in 2011. And that made me smile, because it meant that my writing had sparked more conversations than ever before.

Now, I must admit that I’ve no desire to get very granular with the stats — I did write and post other things over the course of 2016 — but with “Play or Pass” playing (haha) a significant role on my blog last year, it’s worth doing an epilogue post of sorts. I guess.

Could be that I’ve simply nothing to write about at the moment. Or maybe I’ve runn off with Metal Gear Ac!d. Who knows! In any event, let’s talk “Play or Pass.”

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