The kitchen wall of the very talented and friendly Mrs. Casey.
Get on over to Back Down South, one of my favorite blogs of late.
It was started somewhat recently by Mrs. Fontenot and her husband (who is forever forgiven for being a LSU grad) in the mountains of North Georgia, and has really caught fire since.
I'm tickled that I'm on there for last Friday, with my letter sweater that Marianna made for me a few years back. Every Friday during the season she picks out a person or two to showcase their tailgate style.
Also, give her Tumblr a look-see. I get all kinds of inspiration from the bits she finds all over the internet.
Wow. We made it on Bearings Guide.
Oh, you happen to not know what Bearings is? Well, just the finest curation of what all is going on in the South, specifically tailored to the Southern gentlemen. Just the biggest deal since an internet connection. Started by two men (at least one of whom is a Tar Heel) with great taste and a passion for others with that same taste.
No Big Deal.
For in case I get egg on my face tonight. Egg goes better with the taste of New Orleans on the tounge.
1 cube sugar
1½ ounces Rye Whiskey
¼ ounce Herbsaint
3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
... Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice
... In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud's Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube
... Add the Bourbon to the second glass containing the bitters and sugar
... Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remainder
... Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel
... Shout nasty things at the Mississippi State Bulldogs fan-base and their cowbells
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
I cannot believe that it’s the day after Thanksgiving. Where did the year go? We were planning to have family up from the South to celebrate the day, but, as things sometimes go, those plans fell through. So instead, we gave thanks with some friends from our church community.
Boston is such a mix of people from all over the country and from even farther away; a mix of people who have always lived here, who plan to stay for a while, and who are just here for a year or two. It is inevitable that there will be many without family around them this week. So, share a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich this weekend or make some December get-together plans or just be especially thankful that you are able to be with your family. Because family isn’t just who you are related to by blood, but who you spend your days with, who you relate to and who you connect with.
To make things a little more festive for our gathering, I decided to make a Thanksgiving-esque garland. I first saw this idea on Design*Sponge, but altered it for Turkey Day. Now, seeing as that's over, you can alter it for Christmas (or Easter of the 4th of July if you wish!). It took me about an hour to do 18 pom-poms. You can totally adjust the number and the spacing based on where you’re going to hang the garland and what floats your boat.
I chose six fall colors of felt – it was on sale in pre-cut rectangles, four for $1. I already had the kitchen twine (a nice natural color), embroidery thread, scissors and a needle. So, yes, this was done for under $2. So cheap!
For each other,
for the annual Thanksgiving Day football match across the street between the public (Arlington High) and the private (Arlington Catholic, and the winners) high schools,
for the beauty of the falling leaves,
for friends from Atlanta coming over to share dinner, for the ability to buy a turkey and a place to cook it,
for telephones to call our families who are days drives away,
for brothers who aren't serving overseas right now, but are home with their families,
for this country and all that's good and having a home.
I'm just going to throw it out there: Miami isn't my kind of place (see: pants on beach).
Sure, it's nice to not wear a sweater in November, and the Deco scene is pretty interesting in and of itself, but Miami is best left to those with a passion for it. And those people aren't me.
But we went for a friend's wedding a few weekends ago and we did have a blast and I'm glad we got to do it and once a decade is good.
And we got the kid's all married off. They grow up so fast.
Several years ago I saw a guy open for MuteMath at Smith's Olde bar in Atlanta.
He was good. Real good. And nobody in the bar was listening to him. So he started freestyling. Starting calling out folks. The room grew quite. The heads turned. He had their ears and he certainly had mine. And the night of his first sellout of the House Of Blues in Boston a few weeks ago, he had a lot more.
We had dinner a couple of months back with Matt and Melissa of Holler Design. They are furniture makers who have been all over, but now make chairs and tables and the like on their old family farm in Tennessee. They just felt drawn to head back home and to do something from there.
We go to an amazing church. With amazing people.
Our church is called Reunion and for the last several years, we've gone through Advent Conspiracy.
Very simply, Advent Conspiracy all about taking back Christmas from unbridled consumerism and loving folks, giving relationally, worshiping Jesus, and spending less on cheap plastic gifts and giving more away to those who need it.
A few weeks back, when we were in Oxford killing time on the Square and soaking up that Indian Summer, we snuck into Hinton & Hinton. Although there wasn't much sneaking. That place is packed every single game day weekend and there isn't hardly any room to walk around and you're kind of running lead block for your lady and trying to get around the guys that are the size of linebackers and might actually have played for a Southwestern Conference school back in the day.
At any rate, we cut left. And there, on a tree, were some of the handsomest bowties I've ever seen.
Was I aware that Best About Pages was a site? No. Was I aware that we were on it? No. Not until seven minutes ago.
But I reckon with the spread of the URL-As-Content-Descriptor (See: Hoveringartdirectors, leisuredive.com, and my personal late favorite, Moustair) I shouldn't be surprised that there is a site out there celebrating the best about pages on the internet.
And to its credit, site is clean, simple, and man if it isn't to the point.
So, in turn, we're about them.
Headed to Miami this eve for a Friday wedding.
It will also serve as a fact finding mission: if we can find grits, sweet tea, or collards on South Beach, we'll consider printing up a Florida print.
If not (and I imagine not) we'll still need a bit of convincing that there are actual Southerners living there, and not just AARP folks who winter there but are from the Cape.
I'm going for the barbecue three-peat: Threemeat®
New Q joint opened in Boston, and I want to check it out badly. In an old bowling alley. Tables made out of old church doors All the spirits are American (!). Okay, almost all are. They made an exception for Tequila. I'll give them the pass.
Called Sweet Cheeks. I'm smiling just thinking about it.
Photos by Mike Diskin.
You can't not watch football if you are from the South and living outside of it. Because, for good or ill, that's going to be what you got to talk with friends and family back home about.
You see that Bama game?
Hum. Well, good talking to you.
Saturday night we had some new friends over, S_____ & K_____ who just moved up from Durham, North Carolina, with their twin babies. We'd worked at the same ad agency there, but I'd left right before he'd come in. And there were no fewer than thirteen phone calls I fielded in the weeks before their move.
...so if you leave a message, I'll get back to you.
Micah! Hey man, it's Josh. So, there are some really good folks headed your way. They are great. Moving up to work at Arnold. Anyways, give S______ a call. His number is xxx-xxxx. Do it. You better do it. Seriously. What else do I have to say? Is it snowing up there yet? Jack! Jack, NO! Hey I gotta go. Jack's eating the couch again.
And, to wit, S_______ is from Louisiana, though he had to good sense not to go to LSU. So we had them over. Watched the Game of the Century (the 4th this century, turns out), ate barbecue and mac and cheese and cole slaw and beans and drank some wine and had a good time getting to know each other.
And between staring at the fire and sipping on some bourbon and laughing and telling stories, we were able to take in a bit of the game.
Cause we are both going to have to talk with our Daddies about it.
Every time we drive down from Raleigh to see Marianna's family in Wilmington, we stop in Warsaw. And not just because Warsaw is such an awesome name, no sir.
We stop because we are beckoned by barbecue. Smithfield barbecue, to be exact.
Where all the Warsawians and weary travelers gather to share hush puppies (NC style, in Bama they are shaped like golf balls), and sweettea and swap stories about this and that. The ladies who take your order also bring out your food and walk around giving folks who need no more calories more tea cause that's just what you do you ain't sposed to judge.
And while nobody is asking for my opinion and I'm not supposed to judge, I just cannot stand their new futuristic logo. It looks like Blade Runner meets graphics for a local document shredding franchise. Their sign out front and their food are oh so right so why you got to go changing your logo?
So long as they don't get to changing the meat, we'll be all right.
The most exciting thing at the Wake Forest / BC game we went to a month or so ago.
If you'd like to read about a squirrel getting into the endzone, here it is.
If you'd like to read about Ole Miss getting into the end zone, copies of the 2003 Daily Mississippian are available on the microfiche at the main library on campus. Because that was about the last time they did it with any regularity.
Last night we drove out to Concord for a team dinner.
The Old Try team is, at this point, myself and my wife. Course, we have a lot of help, folks making it actually happen, our printers at Union Press and Fallen Arrows, our team of smash mouth lawyers (read: a family member doing us a huge favor), a couple of people we pay handsomely just to hang out and encourage us, a troupe of dancing clowns, etc., but all those folks were either working or living in another state - often both - so they didn't get to come.
It was the two of us, near where the first shots of the American Revolution echoed off the icy river. A place we Southerners would read about in history books. Now was that at Salem? Or Plymouth? No, wait, Salem was the witches. Or was Plymouth? A place that seemed old and foreign and other than I didn't figure we'd ever get to see it.
But we did. And we do. Daily if we want to. We're blessed indeed. To get to do what we love, to love one another, to sit and talk about the future of Old Try (some retail opportunities, some killer collaborations in works), and the future of us (would we move to Richmond ever? Pittsburgh? What about Chapel Hill again? Chattanooga?), over a seared tuna at a fine restaurant with some serious chops (Rialto, Per Se) several miles up Route 2.
When we see those open spaces, it makes is wistful. Makes us want to have a spread of land with some kids and a simple life. Close to family. But the future is always uncertain. All we can do is trust in the Good Lord.
There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the sun.
A time to search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3, excepts from 1-8
There we were. Just by the Revolution. Just by the old war. With a glass of wine and each other. That's all you need.
Love and forgiveness.
Those would have just about stopped the bullets out at Concord.
Tags: new england
This mornings commute turned mutinous at Downtown Crossing: a 15 minute delay due to a medical emergency. Dozens of 'wicked pissed' Bostonians. Hundreds of school children. Thousands of Europeans coming here to trade their Euro for American goods.
No big deal. I'll walk. From here, to the office, is 15 minutes. And I can pass buy the bronze doors. One of my hidden gems of the city. Off a less than major street. Oft passed by.
They were the entrance to Salada Tea Company. A hundred years ago they were about the finest thing going.
By 1917, Salada was so popular in the US, that it was able to establish its own headquarters and blending and packaging plant at 330 Stuart Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The architects were Densmore and LeClear. This former headquarters building's large bronze doors by Henry Wilson are inscribed with images of the history of the Ceylon tea trade, as well as Larkin's own contributions to a commitment to quality in the field. Though the building has been sold on several times the doors are still there.
So on days I manage to flee my desk and take a walk around the block, I'll walk to The Doors. I'll just go stare at them. And marvel at their amazing craftsmanship, the story, the fact that a century has hardly worn them down.
But not this morning my friends: