Monthly Archives: April 2016

My memoir: Sam vs Peaches

I’m the Forrest Gump of apples.

My favorite desserts often involve apples. Apple pie, apple cobbler, apple crisp, apple tarts, baked apples, apple dumplings, stewed apples, apple danish, apple butter, apple kugel, applesauce, apple cake, apple cookies – especially those soft Archways… [sigh] I’m sort of the Forrest Gump of apples.

But my childhood was a frustrating one. My grandmother (I lived with my grandparents) was a great baker, and her pies and cobblers were delicious. Obviously I wanted apple pie and apple cobbler. Like, every meal.

But I had a problem: my grandfather preferred peaches. Read more

Love song: an open letter to Space Team Electra

They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts. – Sapphire, Almost Famous

Photo by Heather Ramey

Photo by Heather Ramey

My Last.FM profile says I have played Space Team Electra tracks 1,093 times. But that’s misleading. For starters, Last.FM didn’t launch until three years after the band broke up. So that’s nearly a decade of playing The Vortex FlowerThe Intergalactic Torch SongKill Apollo and Space Apple Deluxe to death. That number doesn’t include the 30-35 times I saw them live. It doesn’t count all the miles I have logged listening to the CDs on the road. And it doesn’t reflect the times I have been listening on my computer but, for some reason, the scrobbler was turned off.

Gun to my head guess? Read more

Joanie Laurer, RIP: the sports entertainment machine spits out another dead body

#RIPChyna – former WWE superstar becomes the latest victim of an industry where people are disposable and life is cheap (because that’s what’s best for business)

chyna - Joanie Laurer.png

Joanie Laurer: “Chyna,” the 9th Wonder of the World

I woke to the news this morning of Joanie Laurer’s death. Known to professional wrestling fans as Chyna – “the 9th Wonder of the World” – Laurer was only 45. Details aren’t available yet, but if you follow the industry you’re not going to be surprised if it turns out to be drug-related. And if you have followed Laurer at all, you might immediately wonder if this is was suicide.

Laurer was a groundbreaking performer. There was nothing diva about her. Read more

Columbine: 17 years ago today

Columbine

Columbine

April 20, 1999. I remember exactly where I was, exactly what I was doing. My co-worker at US West, Joe Lopez, turned to me and said “hey Sammy, there’s been a shooting at a school down in Littleton.”

“Find out everything you can,” I said. I’ll go tell Marti. Marti was Marti Smith, our VP, and thus began some of the hardest days those of us in Colorado have ever had to confront.

It was also the moment when I realized that North Carolina, the state I grew up in, was no longer home.

This piece – “Columbine and the Power of Symbols” – chronicles my reaction to the events of 4/20/99 as well as the days that followed, as we all tried to make sense of utter senselessness. It’s still one of the three or four best things I have ever written. And it’s still so very hard to read, even after all these years.

What you need to know about Bernie Sanders and mainstream media in one Washington Post headline

This is what passes for reason inside the muted corridors of serious establishment “journalism.”

Flipping through the morning’s news and I came across this:

Washington Post Bernie headline

I really know dick about Collum Borchers (or the editors who write his headlines), but a quick look at his archive page suggests a faint whiff of Beltway/Village wankery. Read more

I don't like Hillary Clinton. Does that mean I'm a sexist?

hillary-clinton-weak-men-fear-strong-womenSweeping misogyny charges by Clinton supporters are insulting, corrosive, patronizing and counter-productive.

An all-too-common theme we hear from supporters of Hillary Clinton is that the opposition to her results from misogyny. Sometimes we’re told this in just those words, and other times the charge masquerades behind sentiments that are intended to read as more affirming, like we see in the meme to the right here. (Similar sentiments and representations can be found employing Michelle Obama as the subject.)

Three things must be noted.

1: There is no doubt that much, if not most, of the Hillary hate in America is driven by misogyny. Read more

Charlotte should secede from North Carolina

PayPal, the NBA and Bruce Springsteen are well-intentioned, but they’re punishing the wrong people. I have a solution.

us-nccmb.gif

Charlotte, NC

By now you know all about North Carolina’s appalling HB2 – “the bathroom law” – which seeks to keep transgendered people out of the wrong restroom even though in all of history they have committed fewer crimes in bathrooms than Republican legislators. Just saying.

And you probably noted that just the other day Bruce Springsteen canceled his upcoming show in Greensboro because he cannot and will not contribute to a state so consumed by ignorant, reactionary hate spew. Read more

Big Bang Theory band names, pt 1

I love The Big Bang Theory and have watched all the episodes multiple times (some I’ve probably seen 20 times or more). I noticed that sometimes the characters say things that would make good band names. Or at least, perhaps, entertaining bands names.

I have written some of them down and will present them in a series, ten at a time. Here’s the first batch.

Anne Frank Above a Bowling Alley Read more