Basically, everything you’ve been taught is wrong

Even now, I or another of my teammates on one of my co-ed Lansing rec league softball teams will say to a struggling hitter, “Swing level.” My good friend Maggie, who rediscovered her swing the first year I played on her team, said she can always hear her father, good old Ray Striz, telling her … Continue reading

Breakfast for dinner

Last night, I’d planned on using up the basil that’s about to go bad in my fridge to make a bacon quiche. But by the time I got home, it was almost 7:30 p.m., and I’d forgotten my roommate was having friends over. There’s nothing to kill your cooking ambitions like a kitchen full of … Continue reading

Thankful, Sinatra & Jobim

I suppose there are lots of things to be thankful for in life. And this week, Thanksgiving, is the time to think about these things and give air to the thoughts in your head. But this is a music column, mainly, so I got to thinking about something musical that I am thankful for. I’m … Continue reading

November 27, 2010

As a special thank-you to you, our readers, Mike Vincent closes our our week of re-runs with an all-new “Dysphonia” in which he revisits a final high-water mark in Frank Sinatra’s career. Read “Thankful, Sinatra & Jobim”

Back in October, Mike Vincent used Elvis Costello to demonstrate why anyone buys records ever (almost). Read “Girls talk”

November 26, 2010

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The Idler is taking a break for Thanksgiving, but we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite pieces this week, and we’ll be fresh with new stuff next week.

In October, Kevin Mattison revisited a childhood spent watching the Saturday afternoon Thriller Double Feature in the 80s in “The horror years,” and in September, Adam Simmons revealed the secrets of the 1970s paranoid film in “Panic in the 70s”

November 25, 2010

The Idler is taking a break for Thanksgiving, but we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite pieces this week, and we’ll be fresh with new stuff next week.

For Halloween, Gavin Craig said that sometimes you know that a game has been really successful when you have a hard time figuring out how to describe it, and that the difference between fear and horror is the difference between being killed and being eaten. Read “The horror before words”

November 24, 2010

Claire Danes and Jared Leto starring in "My So-Called Life"

The Idler is taking a break for Thanksgiving, but we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite pieces this week, and we’ll be fresh with new stuff next week.

In October, Ana Holguin pined for My So-Called Life, and remembered the shoes of her Jordan. Read “Missing My So-Called Life”

Also in October, Rosemary Van Deuren demonstrated why you need to read Kate Beaton’s Hark, A Vagrant. Religiously. Read “Kate Beaton is smarter than all of us”

November 23, 2010

sparky (1)

The Idler is taking a break for Thanksgiving, but we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite pieces this week, and we’ll be fresh with new stuff next week.

In November, Angela Vasquez-Giroux reacted to the news that former Tigers manager Sparky Anderson had been placed in hospice care. (He passed away on the day the piece was posted.) Read “Bless you, Sparky”

November 22, 2010

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The Idler is taking a break for Thanksgiving, but we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite pieces this week, and we’ll be fresh with new stuff next week.

In September, Jill Kolongowski wrote about a memorable encounter with everyone’s favorite crustacean, as well as a waiter who was a little too eager to be helpful. Read as Jill suppresses her gag reflex in “Consider the lobster”

That’s not funny

Last week I discussed the comic, Robert Schimmel, who died this past summer in a car accident. I wrote about his debut CD and how funny I thought it was. Thinking about that record made me think about the comedy record as a performance piece. I think of comedy records as intensely personal listening experiences. … Continue reading