By Ron Stauffer
MicronJul 17, 2023
#17: Failing the Metropolitan Opera Audition, Twice
I auditioned for The Met Opera and failed, twice in a row. Going for the big one and failing was embarrassing. But by reaching for something far out of my grasp, I learned some lessons, had a great experience, and also had some small wins. Visit https://micron.fm/audition-film to view the documentary film mentioned in this episode.
#16: Taking A Police Polygraph (Lie Detector Test)
A true story of the time I went to a police station to take a polygraph (lie detector test). It was an unbelievable experience. (To view photographs, read episode transcripts, or find resources mentioned in the show, visit https://micronpodcast.com.)
#15: I Took Ancestry’s DNA Test. Here’s What I Discovered.
After spending two years trying (and failing) to discover the original birthplaces and hometowns of my family's European ancestors, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for AncestryDNA. I ordered the kit, spat in a test tube, and mailed it to Ancestry to see what they could find. The results were... not exactly what I expected.
#14: Becoming an EMT for Absolutely No Reason At All
Gather round and listen to one of the strangest chapters of my life: how I went to EMS school and became a certified EMT-B, for no reason at all. In an almost completely pointless endeavor, I took the courses, put in the time, aced the tests, became a bona fide medical professional, and then... nothing happened.
#13: Six Days in San Francisco - A Ring Cycle Review
This is episode 3 of 3 in a series about Richard Wagner's collection of German Operas, "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (the "Ring Cycle" in English). In this episode, I share about the overall experience—what it was like spending six days in San Francisco watching a massive, luxurious, expensive show split up into four parts and spread over six days. It was an amazing show worth going to, without a doubt.
Note: here are some resources for free Ring Cycle performances you can watch online: https://www.operanorth.co.uk/the-ring-cycle/ (Opera North), and https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/ (Met Opera On Demand - 7 Day Free Trial available).
2021 Ring Festival: the San Francisco Opera has decided to host an online "Ring Festival" streaming this production that I attended. Visit https://sfopera.com/opera-is-on/ringfestival/ to watch the ring cycle in its entirety, starting on March 6-7, 2021.
#12: Wagner's Ring Cycle - The Greatest Story Ever Told
This is episode 2 of 3 in a series about Richard Wagner's collection of German Operas, "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (the "Ring Cycle" in English). In this episode, I share about just how the Ring Cycle is superlative in every way: monstrously expensive, notoriously difficult to stage, ridiculously hard to sing. Why? How? And who was the secret patron that made it all possible, when it would have otherwise failed due to the composer's inability to focus and handle his debts? Come learn about how the Ring Cycle is—arguably—the greatest story ever told, at least on stage. (Photo credit: Cory Weaver / San Francisco Opera).
#11: Looney Tunes, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars: The Impact of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle
This is episode 1 of 3 in a series about Richard Wagner's collection of German Operas, "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (the "Ring Cycle" in English). Discussed are Looney Tunes, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, "it ain't over 'till the fat lady sings!" and more. Learn about just how impactful the Ring Cycle has been on western culture, music, and more.
#10: Food Service Files - The Italian Restaurant
This is episode 3 of 3 in a series about my time working in the food service industry. In this episode, I'll share about the time I spent working as a bus boy at an Italian restaurant. In my final attempt at making a career in food service, I spent my days cutting bread, filling water glasses, and turning tables, until I had an existential dilemma, realizing that I was stuck in a dead-end job in an industry that had no apparent future for me.
#09: Food Service Files - The Hotel
This is episode 2 of 3 in a series about my time working in the foodservice industry. In this episode, I'll share about the time I spent working as a banquet server at a hotel and conference center. It was a pretty great gig, where I met a lot of nice people and learned quite a bit of Spanish. I stayed for a few years until one day; it all came to a shocking end, and I never went back. Come with me as I lift the tablecloth and show some of the good, bad, and ugly of food service.
Do you listen to and enjoy this podcast? Give it a review on Apple Podcasts! It's the most powerful thing you can do to help this little one-man show. Leave a review or rating here: https://micron.fm/review — thanks in advance!
#08: Food Service Files - The 1950s Diner
Do you listen to and enjoy this podcast? Give it a review on Apple Podcasts! It's the most powerful thing you can do to help this little one-man show. Leave a review or rating here: micron.fm/review — thanks in advance!
#07: Debunking The Myth of Homeownership
Are you stupid for not buying a home? Are you throwing away your money every month if you pay rent? Are your rent payments just making someone else rich? No, no, and no. Ron Stauffer debunks all these ridiculous myths of homeownership and shows how owning a home is not the ultimate aim of the American dream.
#06: Rediscovering The Magic of Christmas Through Caroling
A true story of how joining a Christmas caroling group completely changed my formerly rotten attitude on Christmas. The grumpy old Scrooge is now a changed man.
Do you listen to and enjoy this podcast? Give it a review on Apple Podcasts! It's the most powerful thing you can do to help this little one-man show. Leave a review or rating here: https://micron.fm/review and thanks in advance!
#05: From Ireland to America - Finding My Ancestors In Pennsylvania
For my final semester of college, I had to create a "capstone project" in order to graduate with my bachelor's degree in Storytelling. I decided to use the opportunity to fly from Colorado to Pennsylvania to discover who my Irish ancestors were. I visited churches, schools, birthplaces, and cemeteries, collecting dates and locations. But the best answers I got about who they were were and what their lives were like came from a phone call I had weeks later with a professor of Irish studies at NYU.
#04: Singing With A Four-Star Army General
#03: Play Ball! Life Lessons From Coaching Youth Baseball
As a lifelong observer of the sport, an occasional participant, and sometimes a coach for my son's baseball teams, I've noticed that baseball (sometimes called one of "America's gifts to the world" ) has a lot to teach us. Through baseball, we learn about sportsmanship, teamwork, and athleticism, of course, but also about life ourselves, and how we can accomplish goals. Episode transcript: https://micronpodcast.com/episodes/play-ball-life-lessons-from-youth-baseball/.
#02: Meeting Weird Al Yankovic
In 2011, I received two free tickets and backstage passes to see Weird Al Yankovic at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The concert was great, but the whole experience surrounding it was one of the strangest, most surreal experiences of my life. Episode transcript: https://micronpodcast.com/episodes/meeting-weird-al-yankovic/
#01: Growing A Beard (A Social Experiment)
For the past decade or so, my facial hair has fluctuated back and forth between being neat and trim, and fully grown and bushy. As any man who's taken the time to grow a full beard knows, the strangest part about having a beard isn't your facial hair itself but everything else that goes along with it. Here are seven observations I made while undergoing a social experiment called "growing a beard." Episode transcript: https://micronpodcast.com/episodes/growing-a-beard/
Podcast Trailer: Introducing Micron
In this episode, we introduce the Micron podcast, explain what it is about, and more. Episode transcript: https://micronpodcast.com/episodes/podcast-trailer-introducing-micron/