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Pilch

Year-Listicle In Review 2014

5 min read

Lots of pretty terrible things happened this year. It wasn't all bad though. Here were the bright spots. (And here is the review of last year.) Enjoy the verbose headers.

A reminder on how to make listicles:

MUSIC I ENJOYED THIS YEAR THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN RELEASED DURING THIS CALENDAR YEAR

PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME (OR SOMEONE ELSE) THIS YEAR WHICH WOULD CAUSE ME SADNESS IF THEY WERE DELETED OR OTHERWISE LOST

Or: In Case You Can't Tell, We Have A Dog

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MOVIES I WATCHED THIS YEAR AND WILL LIKELY PURCHASE ON DIGITAL VIDEO DISC (OR OTHER FORMAT) BECAUSE I ENJOYED THEM

Interstellar

http://youtu.be/0vxOhd4qlnA

St. Vincent1

http://youtu.be/9dP5lJnJHXg

Birdman

http://youtu.be/-umj5cxtgBA

The Grand Budapest Hotel

http://youtu.be/1Fg5iWmQjwk

The Lego Movie2

http://youtu.be/fZ_JOBCLF-I

ARTICLES I READ THIS YEAR AND THEN BOOKMARKED AND PROBABLY SHARED SO OTHERS WOULD READ THEM AS WELL

The Future Of Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate - Deadspin

In many ways, Gamergate is an almost perfect closed-bottle ecosystem of bad internet tics and shoddy debating tactics. Bringing together the grievances of video game fans, self-appointed specialists in journalism ethics, and dedicated misogynists, it's captured an especially broad phylum of trolls and built the sort of structure you'd expect to see if, say, you'd asked the old Fires of Heaven message boards to swing a Senate seat. It's a fascinating glimpse of the future of grievance politics as they will be carried out by people who grew up online.

Playing With My Son - Medium

If you have a kid, why not run experiments on them? It’s like running experiments on a little clone of yourself! And almost always probably legal.

It’s disappointing how many people have children and miss this golden opportunity, usually waiting until they’re in their teens to start playing mindgames with them.

My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers - Gawker

The day after "Endless Appetizers" was announced, I went to TGI Friday's in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay. I wanted to challenge the hubris of a company co-opting the infinite for a marketing gimmick. I wanted to demand accountability from copywriters.

I wanted to call their bluff and eat appetizers until they kicked me out, to seek the limit of this supposedly limitless publicity stunt.

I soon learned the limit does not exist.

Squirtle, I (Should) Choose You! Settling a Great Pokémon Debate with Science - Scientific American

But no matter what my relationship to Pokémon is now, I can’t deny that it was one of the driving forces in my nerdy life. And like any fanboy or girl who has ever played the original games, Pokémon was singular in that it provided me the first life-altering choice in my young life: Which of the starting Pokémon—Squirtle, Charmander, or Bulbasaur—should I pick? It felt like a digital “Sophie’s Choice,” with any decision rendering two Pokémon forever un-catchable, destined to be used against me by my rival.

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MEDIOCRE PEOPLE - The Rumpus

...We can’t all be grand visionaries. We can’t all be Picassos. We want to make our business, make our art, sell it, make some money, raise a family, and try to be happy. My feeling, based on my own experience, is that aiming for grandiosity is the fastest route to failure. For every Mark Zuckerberg, there are 1000 Jack Zuckermans. Who is Jack Zuckerman? I have no idea. That’s my point. If you’re Jack Zuckerman and you’re reading this, I apologize. You aimed for the stars and missed. Your reentry into the atmosphere involved a broken heat shield, and you burned to a crisp by the time you hit the ocean. Now we have no idea who you are.

Programming Sucks - Peter Welch

You can't restart the internet. Trillions of dollars depend on a rickety cobweb of unofficial agreements and "good enough for now" code with comments like "TODO: FIX THIS IT'S A REALLY DANGEROUS HACK BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG" that were written ten years ago. I haven't even mentioned the legions of people attacking various parts of the internet for espionage and profit or because they're bored. Ever heard of 4chan? 4chan might destroy your life and business because they decided they didn't like you for an afternoon, and we don't even worry about 4chan because another nuke doesn't make that much difference in a nuclear winter.

BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR THAT CANNOT BE TOPPED, EVEN IF I WAS AWARDED THE POWERBALL JACKPOT BY A RECENTLY-RESURRECTED J. H. CHRIST

A healthy baby Pilch is on the way. It's a boy.


  1. Hey, there's a St. Vincent in the music and movie section! Not pictures or articles though. Maybe next year.
  2. I've already declared that we are a Lego Movie family. Not a Frozen family.

Pilch

Pooch plunge 2014

1 min read

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Pilch

The Hold Steady @ the Vogue Theater, 4/25/2014

1 min read

Some highlights from the show:

  • Some Deer Tick fans popped up in front of us at the beginning of their set, affectionately referred to as Tick Heads. I have never seen someone's mind constantly exploding from that close for that amount of time. They clearly could not contain their enthusiasm, and were escorted away before the end of the set.
  • The Vogue does not know how to make a Tom Collins (maybe just the one bartender). We stuck with whiskey coke after that, considering the band:
  • Craig Finn almost looks out of place at first but makes it clear that he is having just as much fun as you are, which makes the whole show pretty refreshing. Read more about it here (about halfway in, just past the part about bookshelves).
  • Hold Steady fans are generally unthreatening. Lots of plaid button-ups and thick-rimmed glasses. There were some d-bags in the front that were watching ESPN on their phone, literally less than 10 feet from the mics. Disappointing, but they weren't jumping around and throwing elbows and screaming, so whatever.

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Pilch

Year In Review 2013

4 min read

It's the end of the year, a time for reflecting and summation. It is a totally arbitrary time, probably adopted from some pagans, just like most of the holidays on the Gregorian calendar. But the year had to end sometime, and that time is now1. Time for the quality of weather to plummet, and for the amount of listicles published to soar. I now have a blog, and so by the transitive property I must now make listicles, like so2:

BEST PICTURES I TOOK THIS YEAR, AS JUDGED BY ME

Two of them are screencaps. I don't take a lot of pictures.

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AWESOME SONGS THAT MAY NOT HAVE COME OUT THIS YEAR BUT I LISTENED TO A LOT ANYWAY

COOL ARTICLES I READ, PROBABLY THIS YEAR

On Smarm (Gawker)

What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves.

Smarm would rather talk about anything other than smarm. Why, smarm asks, can't everyone just be nicer?

The Period is Pissed (The New Republic)

The period was always the humblest of punctuation marks. Recently, however, it’s started getting angry. I’ve noticed it in my text messages and online chats, where people use the period not simply to conclude a sentence, but to announce “I am not happy about the sentence I just concluded.”

How to Win Any Bourbon Argument (Esquire)

You've gone and done it. You've expressed a preference for a bourbon within earshot of another person. Little did you realize that arguing about bourbon is now our sixth most popular sport, behind arguing about "grape vs. grain" vodkas, parenting strategies, craft beers, workout regimens, and college football.

Get Ready to Lose Your Job (TechCrunch)

Kurzweil claims that whenever technology hits a limit, “a paradigm shift (i.e., a fundamental change in the approach) occurs, which enables exponential growth to continue.” That’s not much more than a convenient article of faith. As Peter Thiel points out, “technological progress has fallen short in many domains. Consider the most literal instance of non-acceleration: We are no longer moving faster. The centuries-long acceleration of travel speeds … reversed with the decommissioning of the Concorde in 2003.”

The Pixar Theory (John Negroni)

This post expounds the theory that all Pixar movies (from Toy Story to Monsters University) exist in the same timeline and are all connected, which is simultaneously crazy and awesome (crawesome).

Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman answer your questions on how to "engage in romantic love" (A.V. Club)

(There is a phrase repeated through several answers that I will not include here. Rated PG-13)

2013 LIST OF BEST BEST-OF LISTS ... 2013

BEST CONDIMENTS TO PUT ON SANDWICHES OR WHAT HAVE YOU

  1. BARBECUE SAUCE
  2. NOTHING

BEST AMOUNT OF ITEMS TO PUT IN A LIST

  1. 3
  2. 5
  3. 2
  4. 0
  5. 34

PLACES I VISITED THIS YEAR THAT ARE ALSO BEST I GUESS

  • Cancun
  • San Francisco
  • Destin
  • Long Island (the good parts)

All in all, a good year. See you for the next one.


  1. Because nothing happens between December 22 and January.
  2. Try to watch this and not say "Scooby Doo Monster Game" in your best Sean Connery voice. You can't.