A Bit of Self Indulgent Prattle

Where the hell have I been for the past YEAR!?!

That’s a fair question.  I have a pretty decent response, but let’s begin at the beginning.

My last blog post was now over a year ago and dealt with Pokémon, my personal history with the game franchise, and what, at the time was the fairly recent introduction of Pokémon GO into the Pokécanon.  So when answering the question of where the hell I’ve been; in part I’ve been stalking through my neighborhood and local parks catching virtual rats and pigeons.

But that hasn’t taken up nearly as much time as you might suspect.

The thing that has really been keeping me waylaid and out of the blogging game has been the arrival of my second daughter!  That’s right my wife and I now have TWO kids!

At the 11th hour of my wife’s pregnancy we were informed of one slight complication in the form of our daughter being breech.  So that was a bit of a shock and resulted in my wife being admitted to the hospital the very next day for an unplanned C-section!  Thankfully everything worked out well and we were immediately thrust back into parenting-an-infant mode!

It has been great having another child in the house and I do really love tiny babies.  Some of my happiest memories have been when my children have been 3-9 months old.  During those months they really start to become more aware of their surroundings and respond in new and funny ways.  In that time they develop their own personalities and little quirks which will go on to influence their toddler years.

So naturally with a new child in the house I wanted to spend some quality time with the family.  I needed to comfort and support my wife as she recovered from not only pregnancy and childbirth but also major surgery which was required to pull that kid out of her!  I also wanted to make sure daughter #1 wasn’t feeling neglected so I made sure to spend some quality time with her during these past months.  And of course the new youngling needs to have some solid daddy time during which I can imprint myself on her developing psyche!

Now we’re chasing around a hectically cruising one year old while vigilantly protecting her from the dangers of her own curiosity!

And as if all of this was not enough on May 31st of 2016 the first episode of a podcast I co-host was launched!

TRIO SIMPATICO is a varied-form podcast which covers a mélange of pop culture subjects!  My fellow co-host David Tavolier and I had wanted to do a podcast for a while.  We enjoy digging into the interests and obsessions of our friends and people we know and figured why not combine the two?!  So here we are over a year later with 30+ episodes under our belts focusing on pop culture subjects ranging from comic books to doughnuts and we’ve got plenty of ideas for the show going forward!

You can find all our episodes at simpaticopodcast.com or look for Trio Simpatico on itunes.

In addition to working a regular day job which pays the bills that pretty much sums up where the hell I’ve been for the past year.  All that and I’ve even been able to squeeze in some incidental writing during that time, one work in particular was used on the podcast for one of our Halloween episodes.  I am constantly working on writing project or another and as daughter #2 gets older and more independent I hope to get back into the full swing of it.

To be honest it is disheartening and emotionally crushing to be away from my major creative output in this way for so long.  However I remember a similar creative lull after my first daughter was born and eventually my writing resumed as I forced myself to make time and get to work even when I wasn’t working under “ideal” conditions.  If you ever want to get into a groove you have to first perform the repetition in order to carve out that groove!

So expect more from me here and elsewhere as I get back into blogging, writing, podcasting, and my other creative pursuits!

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People I Know: David Tavolier

 

One of my favorite regular segments of this blog has always been the interviews I conduct with various people I know which I like to call People I Know!  Several nights ago I sat down with a good friend of mine, David Tavolier, in order to bring this glorious segment back to the resurrected Mindless Philosophy!

I have known David Tavolier for over 10 years now and in that time we’ve worked on several things together not least of which have been the internationally acclaimed Reginald Sterling series of videos.  Mr. Tavolier has also been a regular source of inspiration and criticism for several of my long form writing projects.

For reasons that will become apparent during the course of the interview we decided to record this interview and post it here for you to enjoy!  So for the first time ever you can hear the sultry tones of my voice as I conduct one of these interviews now broadcast across the interwebs for all to hear!  Allow me to apologize in advance for being so loud and repetitively saying “yeah” throughout the interview.  Trust me I’m aware of my faults, that’s never been a problem for me!

Below are some teaser images from several of the topics we cover during our talk.  I may transcribe this interview in the days to follow but it’s really time consuming and I currently have a sick two year old in the house so it can wait for now.

     In the meantime click HERE to enjoy the interview of David Tavolier!

 

Minute by Minute

 

One of the benefits of being a lifelong, outspoken Star Wars fan is that sooner or later you don’t really have to go out of your way to find cool or interesting Star Wars stuff.  Eventually everyone I know realized that a large portion of my conscious thought is focused on Star Wars and unless they’re talking about Star Wars the chances are pretty high that I’m not listening.  Therefore my friends and family are constantly bringing new and exciting Star Wars tidbits to my attention and it’s great!  Whether it’s production news, toy releases, or simply attempting to test my knowledge base I seem to constantly be engaged in one Star Wars conversation or another.

Recently a friend brought something to my attention which has become a new tangent for my Star Wars obsession.  This particular tangent is a podcast entitled Star Wars Minute.  Without the slightest bit of hyperbole Star Wars Minute is a pure work of genius.  It’s one of those simple, yet brilliant concepts that is begrudgingly infuriating only because you didn’t come up with the idea yourself.

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The main premise of the podcast is that the two hosts, Alex Robinson and Pete “The Retailer” Bonavita, watch the Star Wars movies one minute at a time, every day, Monday through Friday, and break those minutes apart, analyze them, celebrate them, and most importantly delve into hilarious prolonged discussions about each glorious minute.  Starting back in 2013 the hosts worked their way through every minute of Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi, and are now currently well into The Phantom Menace.

At this point those of you reading are probably thinking one of three things:

A:  “Oh wow!  This sounds great!”

B:  “I mean, I like Star Wars but this seems like too much . . . . “

C:  “How the hell can you talk, at length, about one minute of a movie?”

Allow me to address these questions before I continue.

A:  You are absolutely correct.

B:  It really isn’t overwhelming at all.  Sure there are a lot of episodes but you can really jump in anywhere, or just pace yourself and start from the beginning.  The episodes are generally 20 – 40 minutes long and if you like Star Wars I guarantee you’ll find yourself soaring through them in no time.

C:  That’s the beauty of the Star Wars movies, there is a lot to talk about.  If you really think about it, in any given minute of any of the Star Wars movies there are any number of elements coming together at the same time on screen.  You’ve got the actors, the characters, the aliens and ships of the Star Wars universe, the production style and cinematic choices of George Lucas, John Williams’ music, the various special effects, behind the scenes trivia, various drafts of the screenplay, and the list goes on.  So in short there is a great deal to talk about, both good and bad, in every minute of these films!

Now I don’t know the exact origins of Star Wars Minute or the duo that hosts it but here is what I’ve uncovered from their on-air conversations and a bit of interwebs research.

Alex Robinson is a comic book writer and artist based out of New York City.  Pete the Retailer was a manager at the New York location of the cult entertainment megastore Forbidden Planet.  Based on pure conjecture and their roster of podcast guests I’m guessing that these two friends pooled their network of contacts within the writing, cartooning, and comedy scenes and brought together this brilliant daily podcast with an expertly understated flare.

Pete and Alex have a great chemistry on-air and their conversations and dissections of the Star Wars movies are both informative and entertaining.  It’s like sitting around with your friends watching the movies, pointing out the interesting aliens that are stumbling around in the background, examining the confident ineptitude of Han Solo, and really analyzing the whininess of Jedi-to-be Luke Skywalker.  However I don’t want it to seem like the hosts exclusively make fun of the Star Wars movies, this isn’t a podcast version of MST3K.  Pete and Alex have an honest love for the fantasy/sci-fi adventures from that galaxy far, far away.

It should also be pointed out that Pete and Alex are Star Wars fans dating back to these films earliest days and the two of them are very knowledgeable about the fictional facts of the Star Wars universe, but not too knowledgeable; which in this case is an asset to a show such as this.  Although these guys are Star Wars super fans with a long running successful Star Wars podcast I do find myself occasionally shaking my head in dismay at some of the Star Wars knowledge they slip up on.  That however leaves the hosts and their guests open for a great amount of comedic speculation meaning the show doesn’t dwell too heavily on the practiced regurgitation of Star Wars lore.

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Sure we all know Wuher was the bartender but Chalman owned the Mos Eisley Cantina.  Duh!

Speaking of the guests, almost every episode of Star Wars Minute has guest hosts who are Star Wars fans and experts of varying degrees.  Most of the guests seem to be friends and colleagues of the hosts who each add interesting and humorous points of view that help keep the daily podcast fresh week to week.  A few of my favorite guests that I’ve heard so far are Tim Kreider, Chris Radtke, Jackie Kashian, and the best of all Tony Consiglio.  When perusing the various episodes keep an eye (and ear) out for those guest stars and make it a point to listen to weeks when they appear.

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If you can appreciate this image, then you’d probably appreciate Star Wars Minute.

Overall I’m just going to say this: if you’re a Star Wars fan and are looking for a new Star Wars related podcast to listen to I highly recommend Star Wars Minute.  You can jump right into the daily show which is now covering the Prequel Trilogy or you can go back to the beginning and make your way through the hundreds of episodes which minute-by-minute examine the classic Original Trilogy films.

And Pete and Alex if you’re ever in need of an extremely knowledgeable Star Wars fan for an open guest spot just go ahead and send me a message.  I’ll just be over hear studying my many tomes of Star Wars lore!

That is all!