Tag Archives: indiana

This Enormous Falling Pierogi Pushed Me Right Off Facebook (via Vice Tonic)

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Vice / Tonic — If there’s one thing we all know to be true, it’s that we should abandon Facebook now. I knew this. And in all likelihood, you know this.

You can’t swing a dead cat around the internet without bumping it into studies proclaiming how we’re all burning the precious gift of life on a yawning vacuum packed with screaming idiots, masked cries for help from vague sad people we no longer know and whatever our exes are doing, which, surprise, doesn’t help anything. (Science, incidentally, also frowns on swinging dead cats, but I couldn’t find any studies on that.)

So while we all should quit for very good reasons, I ended up quitting, like I do most things, because of pierogies. 

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Fan Friction: The 10 Most Memorable Moments from the IU/Purdue Rivalry (via Indianapolis Monthly)

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Indianapolis Monthly

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Indianapolis Monthly — Indiana basketball’s defining rivalry rekindles twice in February with two new episodes of a series Purdue currently leads by a reasonably commanding 115–89. Aaaand you know where this is going: That’s where IU people say “banners,” and Purdue people say “dusty,” and IU people mention how Purdue’s dominance was mostly before color movies, and Purdue people observe that the schools are dead even with 22 regular-season Big Ten titles each, and IU people bring up Gene Keady’s $600 comb-over, and Purdue people note how none of their coaches have ever been fired for forcefully scolding a 19-year-old. Here’s what got (and kept) the ball rolling.

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Ask Me Anything: Jamie Hyneman, Outgoing MythBuster (via Indianapolis Monthly)

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Jamie Hyneman, MythBuster and Indiana guy

Indianapolis Monthly — After a 14-year run for Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, January marks the beginning of the final season for the series that brought viewers duct-tape boats, rocket-powered Chevy Impalas, and all manner of explosions. While fans might be disappointed, the show’s serious special-effects impresario—a Columbus native and Indiana University grad—is looking forward to the peace and quiet.

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You just wrapped up filming. Are you going out with a bang? 

I have a couple of days, and then I take off for the Mythbusters live tour. It will in all likelihood be my last time in the public eye. Something will likely pop up here and there, but for the last 14 years, I’ve been only a few days or weeks away from a camera crew. It’s odd—I’m someone who is not very gregarious, doesn’t crave attention, doesn’t talk much and am not that good at it. And yet for the longest single period in my life of doing one thing, that’s exactly what’s been required of me. That’s why I’m often told I seem cranky on-camera. But it also seems to be a prominent part of the on-screen chemistry between me and Adam [Savage].

The full Q&A at Indianapolis Monthly.

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The Ultimate Indiana Bicentennial Playlist (via Indianapolis Monthly)

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Indianapolis Monthly — Something we discovered putting together a list of iconic albums produced by musicians with Hoosier ties: This place is sick with talent. There’s a singer/songwriter whose name is as synonymous with his home state as anyone’s in music, the over-the-top rock god responsible for arguably the greatest heavy-metal debut album ever, world-class violinists, opera singers and empowered-female pop icons and then, to round out the list, Michael Jackson, Cole Porter and Wes Montgomery. Whittling such a wealth of talent into a single list of essential albums by each artist was an impossible task, so for insight we asked an all-star list of musicians, writers and experts, most with their own Hoosier ties.

See the full playlist here.

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John Mellencamp’s 10 Greatest Indiana Concerts (via Indianapolis Monthly)

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They come from the cities and they come from the smaller towns.

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Indianapolis Monthly — Ask John Mellencamp fans for memories of his best shows in Indiana, and one thing quickly becomes clear: The guy has performed in a lot of places around here. He has played bars and football stadiums, basketball arenas and fancy theaters, Farm Aids and guerrilla gigs. Regardless of venue, though, the shows have rarely disappointed. “As much praise as he’s gotten, I think he’s still underrated as a live performer,” says Anthony DeCurtis, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone who received his Ph.D. in American literature from Indiana University. “I saw him in 1992, and it was just torrid. I don’t think I’d seen John in an arena to that point, and I remember thinking, ‘Boy, he’s not having too much trouble filling up this space.’”

In honor of Mellencamp’s August 4 date at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the final show of a tour that has made a number of Indiana stops already, we compiled a scattered, highly unscientific, and 100 percent debatable list of Mellencamp’s best Hoosier concerts over the past four decades. As you might suspect, the list is culled from minutes and memories, so if yours are different (and they probably are), drop us a line. Here are our choices, presented in chronological order because we can’t really rank them. Well, except for maybe that one.

Read the full list over at Indianapolis Monthly.

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Choc-Ola returns, and not a moment too soon

GateHouse — When you see the phrase “Indiana entrepreneurs re-launch” at the beginning of a sentence and you are from Indiana, a few thoughts rocket immediately through the parts of your brain not dedicated to inventing increasingly desperate excuses for why IU hasn’t won a championship since ’87:

  • “Mellencamp’s giant robot will soon rise!”
  • “There must have been tremendous increases in the production of rickety hoops which can be attached to barns.”
  • “Whatever it is, Peyton Manning is shooting a commercial for it in the morning.”
  • “Automated Mitch Daniels-hitting device”

Ha! I kid Indiana because I love Indiana, except its stupid approach to time zones, which is such that when my cousin asked me last week what time it was in my current location I CACKLED WITH GLEE FOR TEN MINUTES because that’s literally the first time the question has swung that way in 35 years. I’m still cackling. I think I’ll take a small cackle break right now. Ha HO! Oh, it feels so good to laugh when you’ve spent 12 years calling people at incorrect times for interviews, such as that one time I woke up “Weird Al” Yankovic’s baby. Still feel bad about that.

But though I love Indiana as a state, frankly many of their exports have left something to be desired, and yes, I’m looking at you, Babyface. You and Choc-Ola, an old chocolate-based beverage that’s being relaunched by two Indianapolis-based entrepreneurs, Dan Iaria and Joe Wolfla, the latter of whom said “It’s the greatest-tasting chocolate milk you’ve ever had.” The GREATEST-TASTING. Brave words, Wolfla; rare is the man who messes with Hershey and survives.

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Carolina Chocolate Drops – Knockin’

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Oh sure, I try to sink the boat ONE TIME and everybody gets all hypercritical

"Hello, I am an Adorable Dolphin. May I have some of your delicious snacks?" (Actual photo of actual needy dolphin)

GateHouse — Listen, I’m from Indiana. We don’t know a lot about saltwater sea-craft in Indiana, given our state’s disappointing proximity to most oceans. We are, as you know, a land-borne people who spend our time farming, jerking around with daylight savings time and being Colts fans when they’re winning. My childhood, it can be safely said, was not one that involved a lot of rigging up a jib sail to the topmast or whatever.

So it was with this sort of generations-old sailor’s background that I found myself last weekend on a boat for an afternoon of sailing around the waters of my little coastal town, a pretty unconditionally delightful way to spend an afternoon, save for the brief few moments in which I attempted to sink the boat and all aboard it, which included my six-year-old son, several lovely couples from whom I will no longer have to worry about responding to dinner invitations on time and three or four large coolers, all of whom are now totally ignoring me.

In my defense, though I did, admittedly, attempt to point a pontoon boat directly at the seafloor, I didn’t do so on purpose. By definition I couldn’t, since I didn’t do anything on this trip on purpose, since I didn’t (and still don’t) have the foggiest idea how to transport a boat through waters that have waves and sharks in them, mostly sharks. We received shockingly little guidance from the company that rented us the boat, mainly the helpful advisory to keep the red markers either to our left side or our right, and, if heading directly at another vessel, to turn the wheel a bit, or, failing that, whoop and jump up and down a lot.

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They sit down at Springsteen concerts in Indianapolis

GateHouse — People ask me why it is I am pulling for the New Orleans Saints today instead of my near-hometown Colts, and there are many reasons, most of which are comical and dumb, but here’s the main reason I am rooting against Indianapolis: They sit down at Bruce Springsteen concerts in Indianapolis.

Much has and will be written about Indy, which, to many New Orleansianians, went from a pleasant, corn-smelling spot on the map last week to a rival arch-nemesis empire that must be vanquished (however unlikely this is gonna be) this week. There have been snarky remarks about its status as a large suburb, its sudden obsession with the tenderloin and the lively diversity of its thousands upon thousands of Chili’s restaurants. And there have been jokes about Peyton Manning, a pleasant-looking sort who apparently plays football if he’s not plugging products on television, which happens almost 20 minutes every day.

But I will not join in the seasonal-affective piling-on, for a very good reason: My friends will be mad at me, and I like getting calls on my birthday. It is a perfectly lovely place, except for the thing about the Bruce.

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KFC makes Indiana finger-lickin’ good, or, I hate the Colonel with his wee beady eyes, and that smug look on his face. “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhh!”

Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly, smartass.

GateHouse — I can’t be sure how much time my reader(s) spend in the state of Indiana — except my mom, who I’m pretty positive spends most of her time there, and if not I need to get some birthday cards forwarded immediately — but here’s one thing about Indiana: It is not especially difficult, when in Indiana, to be aware of your nearby fast-food options. (It is also not difficult to locate people who command an astonishing supply of Manning family facts and students currently furious with Lady Gaga, but those are both for other times).

Certainly, Indiana is hardly alone in this regard. We do a good bit of road-tripping in my family, thanks to the deeply rewarding feeling we get by paying for gasoline, and as I’m sure you have noticed, there are vast sweeps of American interstate that branch off into exits of inveterate sameness, exits that exist seemingly to explore the countless land-planning combinations that can be made using only fast-food providers, jerky superstores and Cracker Barrels. I have driven — and I’m sure you have driven — upon thousands and thousands of federal roadway just off of which, using solely the context clues provided by local eateries, you would have hopeless little clue about where you are currently super-sizing something (with the notable exception of a Burger King in Spartanburg, S.C., which has been forever scorched into my brain due to the extraordinary inability of its waitstaff to successfully furnish to me a Regular Coffee With A Couple Of Little Creamer Packets, which is a story I’m saving for an eventual book series, as I could expend probably six chapters discussing how I passed the time waiting in vain for someone to smoke out a stirrer).

That said, today I’m writing about Indiana for two reasons:

  1. I know about 30 people in Indiana who get instantly indignant when I make jokes about my home state, such as gags about the time that the bulk of the capital’s populace rose up in seething, pitchforks-and-slogans revolution when the Colts pulled their starters in the 3rd quarter one time, and how, depending where you are standing, the state smells either like the scorched earth of the steel mills or John Mellencamp’s hair. Sometimes both.
  2. Indiana was paid recently — entirely true, this is — by poultry oligarchy Kentucky Fried Chicken to promote its new quote-fingers “fiery” chicken wings by emblazoning the capital city’s hydrants and fire extinguishers with KFC stickers and stuff.

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Little Feat – Dixie Chicken

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Lyle Lovett – Up In Indiana

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What has two thumbs and got demolished by his 5-year-old at bowling today?

Actual Scoreboard (computer on loan from 1979).

GateHouse — There are two schools of thought regarding how best to approach playing games with your children. The first is the one that I imagine most parents subscribe to, the one that says it’s recommended, if not kind of morally obligatory, to quietly and thoughtfully defer, fudge and roll over. This is the road I most often travel — I’ve used warmhearted paternal trickery to avoid both chutes and ladders, as well as to throw a game or two of Trouble — and I do it for a number of reasons, mostly that my son, like his parents, is a horrible, terrible loser who will, upon being beaten, singlehandedly inaugurate a fiesta of irrational emotionalism that will result in the inevitable forfeiture of a great deal of dessert.

The second school — one perpetuated by some of my very favorite parents — is essentially an extension of primal jungle law as it pertains to hippos which are hungry: Unless you are in possession of wizards, Usain Bolt or Rain Man, you will lose many of the games you play, and there’s no better time to begin figuring out how to respond to this icy truth than today, right now, at this table, where I will scorch you at the tic-tac-toe game on your Kidz Menu without so much as a sideways glance up from my fry bucket.

I can’t claim to know the first thing about parenting, but I do know this: I will never have this problem again, which reminds me, have you ever slunk out of a bowling alley having been beaten legitimately by a person who is 5 years old?

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