Podcast Addict: Fatman on Batman Episode 2 – Mark Hamil!!

I’m not entirely sure when it happened. I used to listen to NPR religiously on my iPhone while I walked to work, walked the dog, worked out and played with my daughter Rowan. That seems like so long ago now. I guess my addiction to podcasts started when I started following Star Wars: The Old Republic. After becoming stupidly excited to play a game with no release date and very limited available information, I started following the SWTOR news site TORWars.com. Shortly after I thought, how cool would it be to write for a SWTOR fansite like this? I’ve always wanted to work in video games but lack the math skills necessary to program, and have no industry experience to apply for writing positions with established gaming companies. TORWars runs a weekly podcast and the combination of humor, news and humor (did I say it was funny yet?) showed me that podcasting is, and can be more than just nerds raging behind a mic with only their mothers giving them a courtesy listen or two.

While visiting my sister in Chicago I decided I had nothing to lose but to email TORWars and ask if I can help with their site. I figured the worst they could say was no. Well, not only did they say yes, but after writing for the site for over a year, the game has launched and the site is still going strong.

After signing on with TORWars I started listening to a few other SWTOR weekly podcasts. It really was a few at first. But like any “addict” I inevitably upped the dose. I found myself listening to over a dozen weekly casts, some up to two hours long! By the end of week I found myself not only out of podcasts, but going back and listening to my favorites over again!

Out of podcasts. Now what?

Now that SWTOR has released and hasn’t done as well as the fans, and likely the developers, thought it would, many of the casts I loved have slowly gone away one by one. TORWars is still posting two casts a week, and if you are fan of SWTOR like I am, and you haven’t heard the TORWars podcast, shame on you! In fact, click here and start up their latest cast while you read the rest of my little story.

As the SWTOR community settles in and the most dedicated fans continue to produce amazingly high quality, informative and humorous podcasts about the game, I was desperate to find something beside NPR to listen to while I waited for new SWTOR casts to post. Enter Kevin Smith, his amazing gift of gab, and his love of the interwebs.

I have always loved Kevin Smith’s movies. Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and of course, Clerks, are some of my all time favorite movies. Recently, I finally found the time to sit down and watch Red State. I could go on for days about the brilliance of this movie, but I’ll save that for another day.

Besides making movies, Kevin Smith is an avid podcaster and has several podcasts posting every week under his SModcast label. His most recent endeavor was the inspiration for this new column. Fatman on Batman.

If you love Batman, and are fan of Kevin Smith, you should be listening right about now. (pic from smodcast.com)

I’ve always been a geeky guy, and every true geek has a favorite superhero. While men in tights, capes and amazing superpowers are most comic book geeks favorites, I’ve always loved Batman. It’s because of his lack of superpowers that drew me to him. He’s a man who makes mistakes, takes a few right crosses to the chin, and actually feels the pain that makes him more than a superhero. It makes him a super human, and infinitely easier to identify with.

Kevin Smith’s new Fatman on Batman podcast is part comic book rant, part interviewing people working in the Batman universe and part nerdgasm. His second podcast, a two part episode, was absolutely no exception. Kevin Smith interviews Mr. Skywalker himself, Mark Hamil. I only use the Star Wars reference there because it is so absent from the 3+ hour interview. The podcast is full of what Mark Hamil did before and after the blockbuster Lucas films, and focuses on his work as The Joker in the Batman animated series and beyond. It’s one hell of a listen and me going on and on won’t do it justice. Hamil is an amazingly talented actor, and a sharp witted speaker that rivals even Kevin Smith himself. Never once was I like: “Talk about Star Wars!” Sure it comes up, but the conversation moves on just as quickly as it started. After listening to this beast of a podcast, my only hope now is to score a Comic-Con pass and hope to meet the man himself. (I scored the pass by the way! Thanks to Deirdre Hollis;)

Bottom line is if you are a fan of Batman at all, if you spent your “childhood” watching the animated series or reading Batman comics, this is your podcast. Best part, it’s free. Check it out and let me know your thoughts. Better yet, tell Kevin Smith. I sent both Kevin and Mark a Tweet praising the episode and Kevin Smith favorited it! I know, I had a crazy nerdsplosion when I saw that.

Honestly, there are hundreds of hours of hilarious podcasts to listen to over at Kevin Smith’s website. At the moment, I listen to Fatman on Batman, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old and SModcast, but there are many more to check out. When I can, I’ll give them a listen and give you some suggestions. I’ll have plenty of time to listen on the way to Comic-Con tomorrow. Speaking of which, I bought tickets to a live taping of Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-on Saturday night and plan to check him out in Hall H earlier that night and on Friday night for a live taping of Fatman on Batman. Couldn’t be more stoked!!

Much to my wife’s dismay, I’m rarely seen outside of work without an earbud in my right ear listening to a podcast of some sort. Although it’s never actually on when my wife and kids are talking to me, or during family dinners etc., it makes great filler for washing dishes, patting a toddler to sleep or rocking my youngest daughter back to sleep for the hundredth time in one night. My name is Marshall Carr Jr. and I am a podcast “addict.”

Busy, Busy – Part One: Jeremy’s Engagement Party

Me, the girls, and the eclipse.

Those who know me well enough, know that I would do anything for my friends and family. Sure, I’ve missed a few events, and a few get-togethers, but I’ve made the ones that matter most to them…I think.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. As the school year ends everything becomes at least twice as stressful. My patience with my kids, my wife, and my students becomes shorter the closer I get to graduation. Other things go by the wayside as well. My ability to write for TORWars consistently was the most frustrating. This week I hope to carve chunks of writing time each day. Not only to keep up with the game I love, and the website that I love writing for, but also to get back to what I’m doing now.

With my second batch of seniors graduating and venturing into the great wide world beyond, I finally have to time to share with you a few of the things I was somehow able to do with my friends and family despite the chaos that is teaching seniors at the end of the school year.

Part 1: The Engagement Party

One of my best friends got engaged a few months ago. I couldn’t be happier for him and his fiance Danielle. When he asked me to be his best man, honored is only one of the feelings I had. I’m so proud of him, and can’t wait to stand at his side on his big day.

The wife and I were of course invited to their engagement party and ventured out of Fort Bragg the night before and stayed with my parents. My mom doesn’t get to see her grandkids very often considering we live about four and a half hours away. My mom, dad and brother, were more than happy to hang out with the girls while we helped Jeremy and Danielle set up for their big day.

Not having to be parents at the party was weird. Not only was I able to have conversations with amazing new people, but I could actually look them in the eye, and truly connect rather than constantly darting my eyes around the yard hoping my girls are okay, not getting into trouble, and all of the other dad-on-duty tasks.

We had a blast with the wedding party giving Jeremy a hard time, and laughing constantly with Danielle’s family. Kate and I haven’t had that much fun childless in a long time. I love my girls, but I think every couple needs that reconnect time with their spouse. This means a break from the parenting norm, having a few drinks with good friends, and doing those little things like holding hands, and putting our arms around each other, that happen so rarely when the kids are there.

Halfway through writing this I realized that I took no pictures during the party. I was clearly having to much fun. Instead, I stole most of these from Jeremy’s Facebook page. There are dozens and dozens more there if you want to check it out. Enjoy, and Part 2: Zoey’s 1st Birthday, is on the way soon.

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Jeremy and the groomsmen.

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The recently engaged couple.

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As good as it looks, we weren’t done setting up yet.

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Can you go wrong with a cupcake tower?

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I’m trying to train Jeremy in the delicate art of listening to your woman:)

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Me hoping what she’s looking for is actually in that bag!

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Nearing the end of a great party…for us anyway. Had to go to back to being parents at some point.

If the engagement party is any indicator, the wedding’s going to be amazing. Congrats guys!

Congrats and thanks for a great day Jeremy and Danielle! Let’s fast forward to the bachelor party!