Good night, rampage.

July 7th, 2010

So, this turned into one of those blogs that sputtered far longer than it should have.

Further episodes of the Scott Jennings Internet Podcast will be published at http://scottjennin.gs/podcast

I will be Twittering always.

And then, after a time, this will all go away.

Scott Jennings Internet Podcast Episode 5 - Bill Henderson

July 7th, 2010

Bill Henderson is a writer living in Chapel Hill, NC. He has written books involving Elvis Presley and Ernest Hemmingway, so we talked a bit about each of them — what the research process was like, what it was like getting into their heads, and what it was like talking smack about Hemmingway while sitting on a panel with six lookalikes.

Also, Bill’s phone rang, which required me to stop the recording and do some awkward editing. Thanks, Bill.

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Scott Jennings Internet Podcast Episode 4 - Dave Siegel

June 15th, 2010

Dave Siegel was my roommate for two years. He actually signed two different leases with me! That second lease was like George Bush in 2004 - you might forgive that first mistake, but then you don’t correct it, so it’s hard to elicit sympathy in the international community.

At the point of this recording, Dave was the only person in the world who could claim to have listened to all three of the previous episodes, so who better to evaluate my performance thus far? We also talked about improv and giving it up, moving away from home and moving back, and I’m mocked roundly for asking a stupid question.

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Scott Jennings Internet Podcast Episode 3 - Patrick Link

June 8th, 2010

Patrick Link is a playwright who lives in Manhattan. I sat down with him in his home to try to figure out why the hell he’s doing that.

Aside from an uncomfortably drawn-out demand for Patrick to justify his existence, we talked about his creative process, how he develops new material, how to get a play produced in New York City, and innovations in the theater. Or theatre? (I should have asked him.)

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Scott Jennings Internet Podcast Episode 2 - Jeff Jennings

June 1st, 2010

My younger brother Jeff visited for Memorial Day weekend, and I took the opportunity to talk with an honest-to-goodness veteran in my backyard while the barbecue was slowly doing its thing.

Jeff served for ten years in the United States Navy, and his tour ended earlier this year. He shared some memories of serving in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the ports he visited along the way, how he should have the Navy Lifesaving Medal (and why he doesn’t), his work in improvised explosive devices, and how to defeat an insurgency.

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Scott Jennings Internet Podcast Episode 1 - Chris Conklin

May 26th, 2010

I bought a digital audio recorder, and have set myself to podcasting. I’m fortunate to know a lot of interesting people, and I’d like to talk to them and share those conversations.

Chris Conklin was my obvious first choice for the highly metareferential first edition. We talked about the kinds of people who create content for the Internet, the rise and demise of something called “howRDUdoin.com,” blogs, bloggers, gossip bloggers, subsistence farmers, and we decided whether we’re wasting our time.

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Two recent things that made Meaghan and me laugh unreasonably.

March 28th, 2010
Frog FAIL - watch more funny videos

I do try to avoid agreeing with known idiots.

March 28th, 2010

Frank Rich - The Rage Is Not About Health Care - NYTimes.com

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.

Here’s the thing: I know there are intelligent people who thoughtfully oppose health care reform on principle, and while I disagree, I respect that. It’s America over here! We’ve had discussions where you express your views, I express my views, we discuss and we make each other think. I never said this new law was perfect, there are certainly parts that I’m not in love with, but on balance I believe we’re going to be better off as a nation with this new law of the land.

But if you are one of these folks who disagrees on principle, you should be aware that you’re being completely drowned out by racists and xenophobes and assholes. Just be aware of it! The most vocal opposition to this policy has been “it’s the socialism!” and “lyin’ Kenyan!” and things of this nature. And as these aforementioned assholes go further out into crazytown and continue to be hateful and dangerous, I’d probably start to think — gosh, I maybe ought to do something about this. (And hopefully not get shunned in the process!)

It turns out, I’m not one of these ice creatures.

March 7th, 2010

And so ends my obsession with curling, not with a bang, but with a pop in my right knee.

Let the bears pay the bear tax.

March 2nd, 2010

So, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but Meaghan and I are buying a house.

We’re under contract now and closing is in about six weeks. Now comes the metaphor for an overwhelming amount of paperwork, inspection, appraisal, more paperwork, lawyers, agents, and well-meant meddling. They’re keeping me busy, everything is on track, and barring a personal catastrophe, we will be homeowners on April 14th.

Home ownership is a big thing, you know, and it’s not something we’d be entering into unless we found a perfect house for us that we can imagine ourselves at for at least five years, hopefully more. (And since this will be my fourth move in less than three years, I’m looking forward to no more of that for awhile.)

But I’d be totally lying if I said I wasn’t motivated by the $8000 tax credit for first time homebuyers, and the mortgage interest tax deduction, which are both poor public policy. (They both serve to inflate property prices, which then behaves like a transfer of wealth from borrowers to sellers, who tend to be richer already.) Basically, without those policies, I’d be paying at least 10-20% less for this property, but since the government is stepping in with these incentives, and I get to borrow the money to buy the place and pay a few bucks more a month for the price difference, I shrug my shoulders and get over it.

So, what did it take to make me a total hypocrite? An adorable and well-maintained 90 year old mill house in a historic neighborhood, and the look on my wife’s face when she saw it. Worth it.