Band Names

I’ve decided to create a post where I can put all of the things I say would be good band names. I will add to it as I remember old ones or come up with new ones. If you remember any I have said to you, please remind me. Here they are

The Turd Brown Jesus Sleeves

Another Dead Cat

The Lopsided Kittens

The Suicidal Squirrels

Tuesday Night Cake

Hidden Onions

Licking Tacos

Dumpster Pie

Adjective Vegetables!

Inappropriate Orange

Sudden Onset Melancholy

Burnt Macaroons

Sunken Blackbottoms

Shitwater

Mouth Potato

Supernatural Bush

Amish Kindergarten

Hipster Dude Ranch

Terrible Donut Experience

Radical Islamic Sniffles

Drunken Goats

Rancid Nuts

Transient Anus

Unclean Widow

Pity Meat

A Tuesday Tater Update

I have a few minutes before I head off to the ALA closing session so I thought I would write a little about why I haven’t posted since Friday(missing my usual What’s Good post).

I’ve been attending the American Library Association Conference in DC since Friday. The conference opened with Jason Reynolds

and then the exhibits opened. The exhibit area is full of publishers and other companies who do business with libraries. There is a ton of free stuff, including ARCs of upcoming books. I could spend the entire conference in the exhibit area and be happy, but there are also a lot of good programs about library services to attend.

Saturday I focused on the learning part of the conference and skipped the one speaker, Hoda Kotb, that I wanted to see because I couldn’t figure out another time to eat lunch. I went the wrong direction looking for food and ended up eating at Bolt Burger because it was the first place I found. Had I headed the other direction I would have found plenty of options. I then met my son for dinner and the rest of the family met us and we went to the Braves/Nationals game.

Sunday I went to more classes, but also went to the talk with Frank Miller in the ballroom. I found out when I got there that he would be signing books after. I always bail on the author talks when the Q & A starts because the people asking questions annoy me, so when we got to that point I went out and got in line for the signing. I was near the front and got the book signed pretty quick. I thought meeting him would be the highlight of the conference. My afternoon session was a dud, so I left and went back to the exhibits. I had heard that Henry Winkler was at the conference, but not that he was signing. While in the exhibits, i saw people lined up to see him, so I got in line and this happened

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Yesterday, I went to a few more classes and also heard George Takei and Tomi Adeyemi speak. I also finally got to eat lunch at Busboys and Poets(it was packed on Sunday when I tried to go).

Today I go to the closing session with Mo Rocca and then I have tickets to see my favorite band tonight.

It has been a good weekend, but I’m exhausted.

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My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 6/21/19

This week was more of a normal one for me. I think I had a good balance of screen time and reading time. I chose to read in the morning before work more than I have lately. I will have more reading time the next few days as I will be on a train to DC and back several times. Maybe I can get back on track.

Movies – We watched one movie this week – Cold Pursuit starring Liam Neeson. It was not what I was expecting. I thought it would be just another standard action movie, but it was not. It had a Fargo vibe to it. Neeson plays a snowplow driver who goes after the drug dealers who killed his son. He works is way up the chain to find the person ultimately responsible. It was a little odd, somewhat funny and much better than the standard Neeson action movie.

TV – We finished the most recent season of Fresh Off the Boat. I watched a couple more episodes of Good Omens. I watched the first episode of the new season of Big Little Lies. I watched the first episode of Euphoria(I don’t think I’m the target audience). We watched the new episodes of The Detour and Yellowstone that aired this week. I will forego talking about any of that and use the rest of the space to say how fun DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is. We watch most of the DC shows and like them, but I think Legends is now the best of them. It has a great cast and fun characters. It’s funny and doesn’t take itself seriously at all. What other show on the air would give you a sequence of changes in the timeline that eventually results in all of the characters turning into puppets? The first season is not great, but they wrote out the boring characters and started adding more fun to the show after that and now it is the best of the DC shows.

Books – I finished three books this week

Sadie by Courtney Summers – It alternates between a podcast telling Sadie’s story and the story from Sadie’s perspective. The audio is very good. Sadie is hunting the man she knows killed her little sister. The podcast is following her story and trying to find her. It was a very good story, but don’t believe it if someone tells you it is scary.

Dead Man’s Mistress by David Housewright – The latest in the McKenzie series. McKenzie is a former cop who left the force in order to collect the reward for catching an embezzler. He is now wealthy and acts as an unlicensed PI for friends of friends. I really like the series and the character is fun. I like that he is in a serious relationship and is not the normal PI character that sleeps with another woman every case. In this one, he is hired to find stolen art that might be previously unknown work from a famous artist and soon stumbles on to a related murder.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – A night in a haunted Ikea-like store that is on land that once held a prison. It is a quick read. I liked it a lot. It gets closer to being the scary book I was looking for, but I think I’m just past finding a book scary now. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good horror book. It is well written and creepy.

On Deck – I don’t have any movies on deck. I hope to get Captain Marvel from the library soon. I don’t think there is anything new starting on TV this week so we will keep working through shows on the DVR. The finale of Amazing Race is Wednesday night. I still love that show. I’m reading Security by Gina Wohlsdorf. It was recommended by the same person who recommended Horrorstor so I suspect I will like it. I will probably pick up a lot of ARCs at the conference today so I hope to get some exciting new stuff to read.

My Year in Blogging So Far

I should probably wait until the end of the month so it’s officially mid-year, but I have a severe case of “I should write something but I have nothing to say” so I am going to revisit times this year when I posted and people read. Maybe you will find one you missed.

Here are the boring stats – 4611 views, 2748 visitors, 1265 likes, 383 comments. Very small numbers for most, but not too shabby for me.

Where are these visitors from? Mostly the US, but the UK, India, and Canada all hit three figures so far.

Now my top five posts of the year:

The Lori Loughlin Scandal in Full House GIFS – over 200 views and all it is is my look at the college scandal using Full House GIFS. I never expected anyone would actually read it, much less over 200 people.

Tater Talks Teachers – and now we drop to my more common numbers for most read – in the 50’s. I wrote about some of my favorite teachers and then shared it to my high school class’s Facebook page.

My Favorite Song From Each Year I’ve Been Alive – Self-explanatory. A list of my favorite song from each year I’ve been alive.

I Learned to Knock that Day  A repost of something I wrote based on a friend talking about walking in on their parents at an intimate time. I still think it would be a good children’s book.

Tater Talks Blogging – Where I bore people by blogging about blogging.

And I leave you with the link to my page with a link to pity me and send support my blogging or at least buy me a coffee to drink so I don’t doze off while writing.

Support the Common Tater

A Recurring Stress Dream

When I was in college I worked at the university library. For a while, I was one of the people who arrived before the library opened to get ready for opening. We didn’t have a staff entrance. We entered and exited out the front doors. When I would arrive in the mornings there was always a couple of students waiting at the doors for the library to open. Many times they would try to follow me into the library and I would have to stop them. This process is the origin of the stress dream I’ve had off and on for years.

At some point in my time at the university, I started dreaming that I arrived at the library to open and there was a large crowd waiting to enter. I would unlock the door to go in and try to lock the door behind me but the crowd would surge forward. There were too many of them for me to keep out. Eventually, there would be hundreds of them surging forward and taking over the library.

I thought that dream would stop after I moved away and left the university. I was wrong. I’ve had some version of that dream at every library I’ve worked at since. I’m writing about it today because I had the dream last night. Last night’s dream was not an opening of the library dream, but a closing the library dream. The library I was at was a weird hybrid of my current branch and the old version of my former branch but all of the people were my current coworkers. It was time to close the library. Someone else was supposed to lock the doors and clear the library. For some reason, they left and left me behind without doing either of these. I had people in the library who wouldn’t leave and more people trying to come in before I was able to lock the doors. For some reason, there was also someone there to fix the building alarm at the same time. Eventually, someone came back to help me clear the building and lock the doors.

I’m never sure what prompts the return of the dream. I used to joke that the dream was a sign that it is time for me to leave the job. The new wrinkle in the dream would probably prompt a therapist to see abandonment issues. Any dream interpreters out there?

What’s Good in Tater Town 6/16/19

I was back to a relatively normal schedule this week. No trips. No school visits. No change in my hours. Just an ordinary week of work and not much else. Was there any good? Let’s find out.

  1. My wife and son made it home from Portland safely.
  2. It was a long wait at the cell phone lot because BWI sucks at luggage handling, but that gave me time to read more of my book.
  3. The Braves took sole possession of first place in the NL East.
  4. I was finally able to start watching Good Omens.
  5. We bought tickets to see the Braves play in DC this Saturday.
  6. The weather was really nice this week so I had multiple lunches outside.
  7. Free coffee at Panera gave me an excuse to go sit and read there for a while before work on Friday.
  8. My son got his official job offer and will start a real full-time with benefits job after his fellowship is over.
  9. We went out to lunch at our favorite restaurant yesterday to celebrate my son’s birthday.
  10. For once schedule issues at work worked in my favor so I was home to go to that lunch instead of being at work.

It was harder to get to ten this week. It was an ordinary week with a lot of little annoyances with the work part of it. It will be easier the next few weeks as I go to a conference and then to Kentucky to visit family. It’s good to have things to look forward to when you are depressed about going to work.

My Favorite Book for Each Letter of the Alphabet

A sportswriter I follow on Twitter had some time to kill while on a train so he came up with his list of favorite fiction books for each letter of the alphabet. I thought that was a fun idea, so I’m going to do it, but not limit it to fiction. I’m sure I will forget some books. I’m old. I will use Goodreads to jog my memory if I draw a blank. So this will be my favorite books I can remember on a Saturday morning list. It might not be completely accurate. Also, this is favorite, not best written, not most literary merit. You will probably disagree with some which will be weird because it’s a list of my favorites, not yours. Anyway, it’s a flawed process, but here we go.

A- An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

B – Bloodsucking Fiends – Christopher Moore

C – Chiefs – Stuart Woods

D – Dark Rivers of the Heart – Dean Koontz

E – Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

F – Fellowship of the Ring – JRR Tolkien

G – Good Omens – Neil Gaiman

H – Harry Potter(series) – JK Rowling

I – Interview With the Vampire  – Anne Rice

J – Jackdaws – Ken Follett

K – Knights of Hil Country – Tim Tharp

L – Lamb – Christopher Moore

M – The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City  – Jennifer Toth

N – Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

O – Outsiders – SE Hinton

P – Pet Sematary – Stephen King

Q – Queen of the Damned – Anne Rice

R – Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred Taylor

S – Swan Song  – Robert McCammon

T – Talisman – Stephen King

U – An Unkindness of Magicians – Kat Howard

V – Vegan Virgin Valentine – Carolyn Mackler

W – Watchers – Dean Koontz

X – XVI – Julia Karr

Y – You Suck – Christopher Moore

Z – Zone One – Colson Whitehead

That was hard. Choosing between Good Omens and Game of Thrones? Swan Song and the Stand? It and Interview with the Vampire? Talisman vs To Kill a Mockingbird? Choosing the only book I’ve read starting with X? So, this is the list. Enjoy.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 6/14/19

I was back to my normal schedule at work this week and getting used to rarely being home alone. My reading and watching habits are evening out. I’m hoping this means an increase in how much I’m reading over the summer. I should really spend more time reading on the deck before it gets too hot.

Movies – I watched three movies this week. One alone and two with my daughter. I watched Happy Death Day 2 You alone since I’m the only one who has watched the first. I liked the first one better, but this one was also very good. It was a good mix of humor, sci-fi and slasher film. I would recommend both. I watched Fighting With My Family and Always Be My Maybe with my daughter. I really liked both of them. Fighting With My Family is based on a true story about a young woman from a wrestling family in England who is chosen to go to America to try out for WWE. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to like it. I agree with everyone else that Always Be My Maybe is very good. I’m already a fan of Randall Park and Ali Wong so I was predisposed to like it anyway.  Netflix continues to do a good job with satisfying rom-coms.

TV – I finally watched the first two episodes of Good Omens. I’m watching alone, so it’s harder for me to find time to watch it these days. I really liked the episodes. The cast is great. I’m looking forward to having time to watch more. We’ve been catching up on shows I watch with my daughter. We finished the most recent seasons of Superstore and Speechless this week. Two of our favorite comedies. This was the end of the run for Speechless and it ended well. It was a very satisfying finale. If you haven’t watched Speechless and you like family sitcoms you should try it. It is very good.

Books – I finished two books this week.

Uneducated by Tara Westover – I really liked the book. It is a fascinating look at her life in a survivalist family in Idaho and her journey toward going to college after never going to school as a child. She writes a lot about the abuse she faced at home and their refusal to send the kids to school or to see a doctor, even when there are serious injuries. The family disputes her claims. I spent some time looking them up on Facebook and found some comment threads on her mom’s Facebook where several people dispute the claims in the book. I wrote a little about memoirs here.

The Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds – It was an interesting plot. A boy meets the girl of his dreams. They fall in love. She dies. He lives that time period over and over again trying to save her without messing up the rest of his life. It fails somewhat in execution. It’s much longer than it needs to be. It never gives a good reason for why the time loop happened and also fails in giving a good reason why the last one worked. It was OK, but I wanted more.

On Deck – We will likely watch Cold Pursuit because that’s the one movie I have that I know my wife will watch. I am going to make my daughter watch When Harry Met Sally at some point. Two shows I like start back this week. The Detour on TBS and Yellowstone on Paramount. I hope to watch more Good Omens and my daughter and I will probably finish the past season of Fresh Off The Boat. I should finish listening to Sadie today and I am also reading Dead Man’s Mistress by Davi Housewright.

 

Tater Updates Some Timberlake Lyrics

Apparently, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake are anti-vaxxers.  I’ve decided to help them out in the cause by updating some of his lyrics so he can easily get his message out to his fans.

I’m Bringing Measles Back

I’m bringin’ measles back

Them other boys ain’t anti-vax

I’m anti-science cause it’s brains I lack

Don’t want my babies to have needle tracks

Spotty babe

You’ve got a fever baby

You don’t feel OK

My shoddy science says you’ll be OK

Let’s have a party let’s spread it all the way

That’s as far as got. I guess he’s on his own to finish the rest of the lyrics. I think it will be a hit with the anti-vaxxer crowd.

 

Happy Birthday to the First Tater Tot

I’m sure my kids would love that I refer to them as tater tots even though they are both adults. Good thing I know that neither one of them will ever actually read my blog. There’s a pretty good chance they aren’t even aware it even exists. So, I guess I can say whatever I want about them since they will likely never know. Good thing for them I will only say good things.

My son is 23 today. It is another birthday of one of my kids when I won’t see them on the actual day. All four of us work today and he lives and works 30-45 minutes away from our house. It’s not so easy to do the birthday celebration on the actual day anymore. He will come home on Saturday and we will go out to lunch at the same place we’ve gone for his birthday for at least the last ten years. My kids are very traditional.

I’m having trouble deciding where to start writing about him. I will start with a story from a vacation that told me what kind of person he was. We were at the Grand Canyon and on a bus. We were all sitting separate from each other, but we all had seats. The bus stopped a few more times and picked up more people. When the bus stopped, an older woman came over and asked us if he was our son and then told us how impressed she was that he immediately got up and offered his seat to her with no prompting from anyone and that we should be proud that he would do that even though we weren’t watching. It’s good to know that even then he was doing the right thing on his own and not because we were there to tell him to.

In addition to being the type of person above, he has also shown perseverance and a willingness to work and be self-sufficient.

Perseverance – When all of the joy was sucked out of baseball by adults and he headed to high school, he still wanted to do something active, so he tried out for track and cross country. He ran for a few years and then stopped when he had to make a choice between the team and a job. He didn’t just quit being active, though. When cross country wasn’t going to work out, he and his friends started an ultimate frisbee team at the school and played in tournaments around the area. he could have easily just quit sports, but he kept going and is still playing ultimate today. When he got to college he realized pretty quickly that his declared major wasn’t right for him. He tried pre-med and that wasn’t the right fit either. He went to the people there who help people figure out the right track and landed on wildlife and ecology and never looked back. He got an internship for the summer and did research that he just presented at a poster session at a conference. He is in a year-long fellowship at a place he loves and just graduated in December. He is a great example of never giving up.

Self-sufficient – As soon as he was able he got his driver’s license and started looking for a job. He has worked ever since. He stayed at the same place, but a different location when he went to college. He worked the desk at a dorm for a couple of years(and has a plaque recognizing his outstanding work there). He worked for a place that does animal education classes. I need to learn how he always gets the job when he interviews. He moved out of the dorms after a couple of years and into a house with friends. All of the original people are gone, but he is still there working to find new roommates as others move away. It would be easier for him to move back home for a while, but he is determined not to do that.

The one lesson I think we could all learn from his life so far is not to settle for what is easy and convenient. Keep working and learning to find what is the right track for you. I’m very proud of the person he has become.

Platonic Al

I am not in the frame of mind to write this morning. I was revisiting old posts for inspiration and came across this one. It still holds true. I still work with mostly women. Most of my friends are women. Somehow they are all still able to resist falling in lve with me. Weird.

The World's Common Tater

In a recent post, I mentioned that most of my friends are women and that this has been the case for years. In a recent conversation with some of those friends, I mentioned that many people don’t believe that you can love a person of the opposite sex without being in love with them. These two things brought to mind the topic of today’s post. My long history of being in the friend zone and why that helps with my current relationships.

When I was in high school this was not a happy thing. No teenage boy wants to be the guy that girls want as just a friend. That was the story of my high school and early college life.  There were girls around me all the time, but they were all just friends. None of them had any romantic interest.  It sucked back then, but it did teach…

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