Archive for Random Chaos

Taking Down A Flag Won’t Be Enough


Photo by Jason Eppink

Symbols have power. I won’t deny that. But removing a nail doesn’t remove the hole. Filling holes, healing wounds, takes more time and effort.

Still, after yet another terrible mass shooting, we search for a quick fix– a bandaid we can slap on to make people feel better.

So we call for a flag to be removed from a government building. We suggest roads be renamed and that we relegate Confederate leaders to the trash heap of history. Our leaders hear us. They join the cause. Because they believe it’s the right thing to do and because it lets them off easy.

We’re not asking for dialogue. We’re not asking for reform. We’re not asking for frank conversations.

We’re asking for a piece of fabric to be moved.

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Will the Real Chocolate Tea Please Stand Up?

A hand holding a navy blue mug that reads I heart NPR and has dark brown cocoa tea inside it.

I have tried an assortment of chocolate-flavored teas over the years and trust me when I say they never came close to the real thing. Most reminded me of those sugar-free chocolates that have the consistency of chewing gum.

Now I’ve discovered the secret to low-calorie chocolate awesome–brewing cocoa nibs.

I don’t know how it never occurred to me to just brew the nibs straight. Humans have discovered all manner of tasty drinks by steeping plant pieces in hot water. It really should be no surprise that cocoa nibs make a smashing tea.

This chocolate tea is good, angels sing as hot water hits the nibs. Your tongue does the samba in anticipation of the glorious taste party that is about to happen. All the other chocolate teas in the world look on with jealousy and realize they have lost the battle of style vs. substance and even their fancy filigreed packaging can’t save them now.

It’s either nibs or go home. All other chocolate teasers are just fakers.

Okay. Done now. I promise.

I’m so glad one of my coworkers shared her nibs with me. Now I can squash my chocolate cravings with tea.

One side note: This is NOT a caffeine free tea. Steer clear of this tea if caffeine is a migraine trigger or otherwise makes living in your own body unpleasant…

Mad Max: The Feminist Action Flick No One Saw Coming


There be some tiny spoilers past this paragraph. Those who prefer a pure unspoilerified movie-going experience should stay far away from this post.

Few franchises are as testosterone-soaked as Mad Max. With supercharged car chases, tricked-out vehicles, and bone-cracking-flesh-ripping violence, the target viewer for the series is undoubtedly the same 20-30-something year-old guy who spends far too many hours playing Grand Theft Auto.

Which is why it is so damn surprising that Mad MaxFury Road has taken one of the biggest leaps to showcase women on the big screen.

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Dear Customer, You Can Help Us Stay Open Late


Dear Customer,

We at Local Business Inc. appreciate receiving the feedback you have so graciously shared with several of our cashiers, the shift manager, and the delightful homeless veteran who plays the banjo across the street from our establishment. We have also enjoyed receiving your emails and Facebook posts. They are a daily dose of joy for all of our staff.

We understand you’re a working American with a 9 to 5 job, and that you cannot frequent our establishment as much as you would like because we close our doors promptly at 6:00 PM on weekdays and traffic just sucks. We are sorry these hours inconvenience you, and we know how enthusiastic you are to patronize our business. So we have put together some suggested steps you could take to assist us in keeping our doors open late like the Walmarts and the Targets.

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The One and Only Peggy Rae


My friend Peggy Rae died.

I just got the news last night. I got home from the mountains super late, and I couldn’t really process it until today.

The first con I ever went to (Capclave) is one of the cons Peggy was always heavily involved in. Capclave set the bar high (it still does), and I have compared every con I have attended to that standard. Every con I went to that had Peggy Rae working behind the scenes met that bar, or set it higher.

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A Beach Mini-Adventure


There’s no point in freelancing unless you take advantage of some of the perks.

So when it was freezing, rainy, and miserable in Chapel Hill yesterday, I headed to Wilmington. Not only was it twenty degrees warmer in Wilmington, but my friend and teacher Matt White opened for Orlando Jones at TheatreNOW.

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Spock: A Hero Without Emotion


Leonard Nimoy spent a good chunk of his acting career hating Spock. For an actor, I can see why being typecast as Spock would be frustrating. Why would any actor want to play a character with no emotions? From an actor’s point of view, Spock was a dry psychopath who had a few good quips. I can see how that would get boring.

Yet Spock broke boundaries. Here was this character who, despite his lack of emotional intelligence, wasn’t a mad scientist or a mass murderer or any of the other stereotypes Hollywood shoved introverts into back in the 1960s. He was a hero.

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Friend, Father, Fantastic Husband: RIP John Madigan


Yesterday, the world became a little less bright. Yet I hardly noticed because John Madigan left so much light behind.

John died after leaving for more than a year with glioblastoma—a cancer so vicious most oncologists will estimate your remaining lifespan in months rather than years.

With that cancer, he wasn’t supposed to make it to Christmas. Of 2013. Yet here we are, marking his passing in 2015.

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Satire is Forever


Yesterday’s tragedy at Charlie Hebdo is weighing on my mind largely because I have experienced first-hand the vicious judgment of “religious” people. The folks who picked on me weren’t likely to escalate their taunts to violence, yet I never ruled out the possibility. Some folks just want to control everything–an odd perspective coming from people who claim they are dedicated to an all-powerful God.

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When Cats Get Bored

When cats get bored, they get curious.

And by curious, I mean stupid.

Behold, a cat who has never gotten himself stuck in a tree managed to find an indoor equivalent.

Per the trope, he couldn’t get himself down.