More Words Than I Ever Thought I’d Write About Prince

First Ave!It’s been a little more than one day since Prince Rogers Nelson was found dead at Paisley Park, which is about 20 miles from my couch. He was 57, which is too young to go for any human, but especially young for someone who we all kind of suspected was an immortal sex alien.

I’ve never considered myself a “fan” of Prince. I never was a huge listener of his music. I mean, yes, I grew up in Minneapolis during the 1980s, which means I lived and breathed his music for that decade because it was inescapable. I saw Purple Rain and Graffiti Bridge because they were filmed here. I owned a cassette of 1999 (which my mom confiscated after she heard it), and I still have a CD of the Batman soundtrack. But after the 1980s passed, my musical tastes didn’t latch onto Prince’s music. (That’s not a comment on his talent at all; it’s just that once I found Mr. Bungle, I fell deep down the avant-garde metal rabbit hole.)

So, because of that, I would have never expected to grieve much for his passing. I have many, many friends who are far more passionate about his music than I, and their grief is fully understandable. And yet, I was sobbing in the shower this morning as I got ready for work. I’ve been wrecked for the last day.

Even though I never met the man, he meant a lot more to me than I ever thought he did. Perhaps I took him for granted, like he was some sort of permanent fixture of my hometown.

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Friday, April 1: PowerPoint Karaoke, plus bonus trivia!

PowerPoint KaraokeOn Friday, April 1st (honest!), PowerPoint Karaoke will be back at Fantasy Flight Games, and this time, our opener will be trivia hosted by Andrea Wilkins! That’s right, gird your pedantic loins and bring your best game, factoid nerds!

PowerPoint Karaoke

What it is: Four improv comedians must each give a PowerPoint presentation with slides they have never seen before. I’ll be slinging the slides!

When: 7:30 PM, Friday, February 12th
Where: Fantasy Fight Games Center, 1975 W County Road B2, Roseville, MN
How Much: the low-low price of only $8 for both shows! (Tickets are only $5 if you bring a Fringe Button, a CONvergence Badge or a receipt from the Fantasy Flight Games Center Snack bar!)

If you do the Facebook thing, you can RSVP to the event here.

Friday Feb 12th: PowerPoint Karaoke with Double-Blind Improv!

PowerPoint KaraokeThis upcoming Friday (February 12th), PowerPoint Karaoke returns to Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville! This time, we will be joined by Double-Blind Improv! That’s two shows for the price of one!

PowerPoint Karaoke

What it is: Four improv comedians must each give a PowerPoint presentation with slides they have never seen before. I’ll be slinging the slides!

 

When: 7:30 PM, Friday, February 12th
Where: Fantasy Fight Games Center, 1975 W County Road B2, Roseville, MN
How Much: the low-low price of only $8 for both shows! (Tickets are only $5 if you bring a Fringe Button, a CONvergence Badge or a receipt from the Fantasy Flight Games Center Snack bar!)

If you do the Facebook thing, you can RSVP to the event here.

FRIDAY! The Return of PowerPoint Karaoke!

PowerPoint KaraokeThis upcoming Friday (January 15th), PowerPoint Karaoke returns to life at the Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville! Join us for laughter and nerdery as we huddle together for warmth in middle of the bleak midwinter!

And, in case that’s not enough for you, we’re also doing a few rounds of Judging a Book by Its Cover, just as a bonus! You get two shows for the price of one! And this time, we’re using GAME ART!

PowerPoint Karaoke

What it is: Four improv comedians must each give a PowerPoint presentation with slides they have never seen before. I’ll be slinging the slides, baby!

Judging a Book by Its Cover

What it is: Comedy duos are presented with crazy game box art, and then have five minutes to tell you about the game. I bring the images, my cohorts bring the funny!

When: 7:30 PM, Friday, January 15th
Where: Fantasy Fight Games Center, 1975 W County Road B2, Roseville, MN
How Much: the low-low price of only $8 for both shows! (Tickets are only $5 if you bring a Fringe Button, a CONvergence Badge or a receipt from the Fantasy Flight Games Center Snack bar!)

If you do the Facebook thing, you can RSVP to the event here.

Arid January

Beer O'Clock

So, I decided to have a dry January.

Okay, maybe not exactly dry. Just arid.

Lemme explain.

Last year was rough. Really rough. Incredible things happened, but I was pulled beyond capacity.

And I was drinking a lot.

The two aren’t necessarily related. I don’t think I was drinking to get away from problems. However, I was drinking a lot because I was too tired to stop myself. I didn’t have the mental fortitude to say, “Yeah, let’s stop at one drink tonight.”

I was drinking 1+ bottles of wine by myself every time I recorded Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome. I was drinking 1+ bottles of wine at every movie night at my house. I was drinking at other events. I never got stumbling drunk because my liver is apparently supernatural, and I’d rarely have a hangover the next day, but that’s a lot of booze. That’s a lot of empty calories. That’s a lot more booze than necessary for enjoyment. That’s not drinking because I like the taste of beer and wine and scotch — which has long been my mantra — that’s drinking because it’s there.

And it’s been taking a toll on my body. My weight was skyrocketing in the latter quarter of last year, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t all just stress putting pounds on me.

So, I decided to have a dry January, to see if my suspicions were right. To see if quitting alcohol for a while was harming me in more ways than expected. To reset my love of beer and wine and scotch.

Or, rather, an arid January.

Lemme explain.

I’ve never gone dry before because it kills me to be in a restaurant or at a party where someone has a beer or wine or food that I’ve never tried before… and I have to say no. New experiences are the oxygen I breathe. If anything was going to undo a pledge to go dry, it was going to be that. It was going to be me greedily eyeing a booze label I’d never seen before.

Thus, I’ve made a caveat to my pledge: I get to taste things. If it’s something I’ve never tasted before, I get to have a sip of it. Not a full bottle or glass, but a taste.

And guess what? That seems to work.

I actually lounged around at a tiki bar all last evening, had only one taste of a tiki drink, and spent the rest of the evening happy. (In fact, I learned something: if you need to be a teetotaler in a bar, there might be no finer place than a tiki bar. Those bartenders can whip up some great non-alcoholic drinks from their arsenal of fruit juices.)

So, what are the results of (mostly) not drinking for a bit over a week?

I lost four pounds.

Yeah, I was drinking a lot.

Here’s to another three arid weeks.