My Life in 8 Words
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Check your sources and give 'em hell.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. That I'll still be able to think and feel when they seal up my coffin and I'll get super bored forever.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. As a historian this one is tricky, because it's so tough to get into historical people's heads enough to really identify with them, so I'll pick my great great grandpa. He was the first guy in Iowa to sell ice cream cones, and worked as a carny, moving picture theatre owner, soda fountain owner, and gangbuster. I think that's all very neat.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. "According to legend." I run ghost tours and write Chicago history books by night. That phrase comes up more than I'd like.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" by the Mountain Goats, "Dignity" by Bob Dylan, "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" by Weird Al, "This Tornado Loves You" by Neko Case, "How a Resurrection Really Feels" by The Hold Steady
April 16, 2014I work in the ghost hunting field. I'm sort of embarrassed by this; most rational people hear me say that and assume I'm some sort of nut.
And why wouldn't they? TV is full of ghost hunters who act like drugged up dudebros.
My job in the field is twofold, really: I'm a historian who specializes in places that are supposed to be haunted, and the stories that I dig up are re-told in books and on the ghost tours that I conduct aboard a big black bus. I love running tours. I love to pull up to the side of the road in a big bus that says "ghost tours," open the door, and shout "They died RIGHT ON THIS SPOT" at tourists. I love to try to get... see more
April 09, 2014So, I bought one of those "make your own soda" contraptions. I thought that switching to just drinking carbonated water might help save me from the future I'm heading towards (life with Type 9 diabetes).
But really, it just made me want to try making my own sodas. The syrups you could buy to go with the thing all just tasted like Splenda, but I figured that with the right equipment, maybe I could recreate Jolt Cola, OK, Surge, and other pops from days-gone-by.
I have since turned my kitchen into a science lab. A very, very messy science lab. They're getting to know me down at the brewing shop that sells sarsaparilla pretty well. But I'm... see more