Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank You Alban. You're My Zombie!

A little over a year ago Alban approached me; he said, "Dude, we should drive to my house for Thanksgiving." We were in college in Walla Walla at the time, and Alban's house is in Maryland, the state. I said, "Woah, I don't know man. Who wants to drive across the country in the middle of winter?" To which, Alban replied, "I do. I'm always down for a new adventure, especially something that requires me to get out of my comfort zone and act unscrupulous."

I was taken back by Alban's wild enthusiasm, either he just finished a math assignment, I thought to myself, or he just drank a sensational new coffee blend, or he's been bitten by one of the undead. Still, even with his contagious 'let's go for it' attitude,  I drug my feet. "It sounds like it might be kinda fun man, but I'm just not sure. What if you bail on me? I still haven't forgotten the canoe trip." Alban had promised me to go white water canoeing the previous spring, but to make a long story real, he bailed on me last minute.

He hurdled my excuse like it was a small shrub, "C'mon man. That was last spring, things are different now. Besides, my house is only eight hours from Southern, you can make a mini-road trip down there to visit friends."

I couldn't believe it, not only was Alban suggesting that I drive 40 hours one way across the Contiguous 48, he was even suggesting I drive an additional sixteen hours to go to ... to ... Southern. The quadruple-bypassed-heartland of Lil' Dees.

"I really don't think it's a good idea man...." I wasn't going to be persuaded easily.

But in the end, Alban successfully convinced me.

Looking back a year later, I have to say Alban was right. It was a great trip. Alex joined in, and even Kate for a while. Wyoming tried to kill us, and we saw Cody and Phil. I didn't believe it at first, but Alban your vision was right in there, right in the place that makes dreams come true.

I guess there's even a moral to this story: adventure is lurking, sometimes behind dark foggy corners in port towns, like a zombie waiting to bite, and every bite is worth it, every time. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

the walkmen

I first saw the Walkmen up in Montreal with David, Phil, and Evan. Not long ago Evan and Jenny and I went to see Fleet Foxes and The Walkmen play at Merriweather Post Pavilion. When Fleet Foxes came on, Robin Pecknold said, "If God was going to create a band, he would have created The Walkmen." I think this is just about right.

Check it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kryptonite for Hipsters

Newton's third law states that, "The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear."

Now, I'm not really a science guy. I tend to follow the teachings of Stephen Colbert and usually just stick with the idea that the jury is still out on the whole science thing. Sorry Phil. So, without a background in science/physics, I tend to interpret Newton's third law as a suggestion that everything in nature has its opposite. I think mother nature backs me up on this one. Good v. Evil. Batman v. Spiderman. Stumptown v. Starbucks. Arsenal v. Tottenham, Chelsea, and both teams from Manchester. (Kind of an axis of evil if you will. And i know you will).

However, I have come to the conclusion that there is but one more example of something good and its polar opposite. Cody v. Hipsters.

First, Hipsters love trendy clothes. They will search far and wide for the perfect "Loafer-flannel-scarf" combo. Cody on the other hand prefers his "service day" T's and a Carhartt jacket. I'm pretty sure he travelled all the way across the country wearing nothing but his Carhartt jacket and a prideful grin. If i'm not mistaken, he referred to it as "spreading the Carhartt gospel."

Another thing Hipsters love is indie music. The more obscure the better. Now, i'm not saying that Cody doesn't enjoy music. He certainly does. No one shakes his money maker quite as aggressively as Cody during a lights-off half-naked Prince-inspired dance party. However, I've also seen him pound nothing but Jimmy Eat World and Thousand Foot Krutch Cd's for months on end. So i'll let you make the call on that one.

Finally, Hipsters love angst. They love the feeling of seemingly inescapable turmoil that makes them feel burdened and deep. Again i must split hairs. Cody too enjoys a bit of turmoil from time to time. I think Cody is at his happiest when sticking it to an incompetent, evil administrator who will remain unnamed and loves ginger snap cookies. In fact, I think he is currently somewhere in Berkeley/Oakland occupying stuff. The difference is that Cody attacks the things that make him feel angsty. Instead of sitting in a coffee shop and complaining about "the man," Cody goes out and sticks it to him by physically taking over his shipping ports. While wearing Carhartt.

I think the difference is summed up well by these two photos.

'Nough said.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

remember, remember ...

Last night I went to the newer Peregrin location on 14th street with Brian and Tiffany. Brian was my closest friend in highschool, and one of a handful I am still in contact with. He teaches first grade, which is crazy, and awesome. His wife Tiffany is the office manager at TA. I'm not sure exactly what she does, other than everything. She does a pretty kick-ass job.

The new Peregrine is even smaller than the first. It has seating for about six. Maybe eight, if you're willing to share a seat. But even though every seat was taken, we still got our cappuccinos "for here." Who wants beautiful art in a paper cup, right? We then proceeded to quiz ourselves using a Trivial Pursuit book.

"Who hit is head on the diving board on the way to winning a 1988 olympic gold medal?"

"Greg Louganis!" asserted the nearest barista. Amazed, we turned the page to discover the correct answer: Greg Louganis.

It wasn't long before we had a nice competition going, and I'm pretty sure it was the most entertaining evening yet for the coffee artists at Peregrine. And the cappuccinos were delicious.

As a side note, Happy Birthday, Jacqueline! The Estate thinks you are pretty cool. And at least one member thinks being a barista is pretty cool, too. And that it's important to have a comma after "Happy Birthday."