"Safety Not Guaranteed" is simply an enjoyable movie. Reckner and I went to see it last night at the Rialto in Raleigh. Jake Johnson (Nick from New Girl) kills it. Aubrey Plaza (April from Parks and Rec) plays her usual snarky, I-hate-everyone character, but per usual is great doing it. And beautiful. It’s a fun movie to watch and makes you feel pretty good as well.
What to NOT care about
Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France titles
The guy was the best steroid user out of all of the steroid users. Which was everyone who competed in the Tour de France. He made ludicrously boring sport palatable for almost a decade. That’s what I care about.
What to spend $80 on as fall approaches
LL Bean bluchers
Here’s the link (click here). I’ve had the same pair for almost two years. They might look rather uncomfortable and stuffy in the LL Bean picture on the link above, but I assure you that they are absurdly comfortable and end up looking better each time you put them on. When you’re ready to put the Vans or boat shoes up at the end of the summer these are the way to go.
This Sunday evening I’m going to see Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket in downtown Raleigh. For anyone who’s read this blog over the years, you know this is going to be a big night for me. This past weekend, I was chatting with a good friend of mine and his dad about the concert. My friend’s dad, who I would consider to be one of the most genuine and passionate fans of rock and roll that I know, told me that Poco started it all. That bands like Band of Horses are basically the new-age Poco. I’d never listened to much Poco so I spent the day enjoying the hell out of some of their albums. I’d suggest their self-titled second album which came out in 1970. Enjoy.
What to read:
"The Shame of College Sports" by Taylor Branch (from October 2011 Atlantic Monthly)
I know good and well that many of the folks who read this blog are N.C. State fans. As you all might remember, I got into quite a little tiff with some State fan a few months ago over the relevance of State’s basketball program. Here’s my message to you all: you should still read this. Here’s my message to everyone else: UNC is in the middle of true shit storm. Some of the issues over there are serious. Some are made-up drama that the News & Observer is creating to sell newspapers now that they’ve effectively locked up all of the prominent Democrats in the state. This article highlights the truly depressing entity in college athletics: the NCAA. It’s a long read, but it’s well worth it.
I recently rented this gem from Amazon. I’d read a lot about it, but none of the reviews did it justice. I like sushi. Not a lot, but I like it. I loved this documentary about the gentleman who has been rightfully named the best sushi chef in the world. It’s about hard work and dedication. And good ingredients.
Started a teaching job a couple of weeks ago. I always rock boat shoes or loafers without socks, khakis, a button down shirt, and a tie. After about a week and a half on the job I get an email from my Principal that ends with "Also, start wearing socks. Sockless at work is not professional. " Thoughts?
I was in a similar situation and was, frankly, appalled that I was being called out. I was appalled because there was way more unprofessional ish going on in my office at the time. My sockless shenanigans should have been a very low priority. That being said, I took the warning somewhat seriously. Monday through Thursday I wore socks. Fridays though — those were my days. I figured that if other employees could wear stone-washed jeans and fanny packs to work on Fridays then I sure as hell should be able to wear nice shoes without socks.
Your situation is kind of silly. I haven’t been in grade school for some time, but I don’t remember any of my teachers being beacons of sartorial excellence. As a matter of fact, one of my high school teachers forgot to wear underwear one day and had a hole in the crotch of his pants. As one student finally noted at the end of the day, “I’ve always known you were a bit crazy, but now I see your nuts.” If your principal wants an example of being truly unprofessional, recite that story to him/her.
All this being said, some people really think that going sans socks is gross. No matter how little sense this makes, you’ve got to listen to your boss. He/she likely doesn’t understand that he/she is really hating hard on a legitimate and practical look.
In short, I’m obviously against your principal’s commands. But I suggest you put on some socks (at least Monday through Thursday). Thanks for the question.
Roxy Music - The Complete Studio Records 1972-1982
On August, 28, 2012, a good ol’ fashioned box set will be released featuring all of Roxy Music’s studio albums. Frankly, I didn’t know much about Roxy Music or their music until I read an article over the weekend about the release of this box set. I spent most of today listening through some of their albums. It’s great stuff. Roxy Music’s popularity soared in the 60s and 70s across the pond, but unquestionably influenced many great American bands. If you are looking for an album to start with, try “Flesh and Blood.” You’ll likely at least recognize some of the tunes from this album. It is a fun listen. Enjoy.
I’d be lying if I said I’d read as much as I was planning this summer. After the Bar exam, I started devouring T.V. shows that I’d put off (e.g., last season of The Wire and the first two seasons of Game of Thrones). When you’re that heavily invested in serious T.V. shows you pretty much isolate yourself from all other forms of media. That being said, I recently read “Last Call” by Daniel Okrent. It’s a great history of Prohibition. I, like most, knew a little bit about Prohibition, but Okrent does an incredible job of showing just how important and influential not only the prohibition of alcohol was, but also the movements that were directly and tangentially related to this interesting period in our nation’s history.
What to spend more time doing:
Writing handwritten notes
A few months ago, I took it upon myself to start writing one person a handwritten note a week. It could be a thank you note. It could simply be a note that accompanied an article I’d recently read. Hell, it could just be a bunch of nonsense. But I’ll tell you what — you write a friend, colleague, or family member a family member a handwritten note it will leave an indelible mark with them. It’s such a simple thing to do. And it allows you to show that you were thinking about that person and you wanted to take the time to let them know. In a world that is filled with non-sensical text messages and wasted bandwidth, this is a classic, traditional, and meaningful way to get a message across.
What to spend a little bit of money on to receive a bunch of compliments
I was visiting a friend in D.C. a few months ago and saw him wearing this watch. At first, I thought it was the overpriced J. Crew Timex watch, but was pleased to learn that this is a watch sold online (Amazon) or at Target. This is the exact watch I got. There is also one with an off-white face. And there are tons of different bands to loop through it. This is a no-brainer.
Friends — we are in the armpit of the summer. I love summer. But we’re getting into the really grimy part. The joys of knowing summer is on the horizon is obviously well behind us. And the thought of our beach trips and road trips coming to a halt is looming. That being said, it’s the perfect time to round out the season by crushing summer drinks. The best of which is a gin and tonic. Hendrick’s is the premium choice. It’s a more expensive choice, but the hints of cucumber and rose that permeate the juice push it to the very top of any gin lover’s list. Add a dash of tonic and leave out the lime. You won’t need it. If you must garnish then just add a slice of cucumber and you’ve got it made.
What to listen to:
Penguin Prison - “Penguin Prison”
A friend recently added a song off of this album to a Spotify playlist that we share. It’s a great damn album. And more importantly, like the drink above, it’s great for summer lcelebrating. Get on this and enjoy the funky tunes.
What to eat for lunch/dinner:
Parker’s BBQ in Wilson, NC
I grew up in a town not too far from Wilson, NC. My family would often take an impromptu trip to Parker’s for a quick lunch or dinner. And it is quick. By the time you sit down and take in the linoleum countertops and fellowship-hall-esque tables and chairs, a local Wilson high schooler is standing with a devilish grin on his face asking what you want. So here’s a hint… Get the combo plate with fried chicken and barbecue. Get the Brunswick Stew, boiled potatoes and a side of slaw. And get sweet tea for God’s sake. Finally, if they ask if you want mixed bread — this simply means hushpuppies and their famous corn sticks. And your answer should be yes. It’s less than an hour from Raleigh and you won’t regret the road trip.
What to purchase impulsively:
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
Get a grown up pen. You won’t regret it. You should already be writing more thank you notes than you currently are. Maybe having a good looking pen that makes your handwriting look a lot better than it really is will help. I have a couple of these and really enjoy using them. Here’s a link if you want to buy one or two off of Amazon [click here]. In the words of both Aziz Ansari and my wife, “Treat yo’self.”
Folks — starting tomorrow, I’m going to have a new feature on the blog entitled “What To Wednesdays.” The idea behind this is to simply let you know what you should be reading, listening to, eating, or buying. There’s no concrete set of “What To’s” each week, but I hope it serves as a guide for you all to gain a little insight into what I’m digging and determine for yourself if it’s worth your time.