Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday, Funky Sunday

I've been to some excellent weddings in my time. There was a terrific celebration in the Lake Tahoe area that brought dozens of us to the Sierras for a week. The Teej and Baconbaking pulled off a ceremony that was perhaps the most perfect reflection of a couple's unique personality I've ever witnessed. Dave got thrown in a river in his tux. Clarence and his lady yachtrocked the ORF, Three Sheets to the Wind still the best live wedding band I've ever seen. But there's competition.

Just this week, I learned about the band that a friend of mine had play his nuptials. He's a Harvard undergrad, Wharton MBA, Georgetown School of Foreign Policy, and McKinsey alum and now the CEO of a mobile app company. He is, along with Dave, one of the two smartest people I've ever met. (Though his brand of hyper-intelligence is for more practical than Dave's.) He's from Boston, worked on John Kerry's presidential campaign, and completed a Birkebeiner. He is, as his resume suggests, (and I say this fondly) among the whitest people in the world, at least by outward appearances. Which, as we know, can be deceiving. By rights, he should have had Three Sheets play his wedding, unironically.

Instead, he and his bride rocked out to the Pimps of Joytime:

In a happy coincidence, the Pimps are coming to my little town in just three short weeks. See you there.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Let's Play Two

R.I.P., Mr. Cub. Maybe the original Gheorghie. Here's a great passage from a Joe Posnanski blog post about Ernie Banks:

“Maybe it’s sacrilege but I believe Banks was a con artist,” John Roseboro said. “No one smiles all the time, naturally, unless they’re putting you on and putting you on. Every day of our lives isn’t a good one.”

Only it was for Ernie Banks. Every day was a good day. His mother had wanted him to be a minister. His father wanted him to be a baseball player. In a way, he was both. The ballpark was his pulpit. The crowds were his congregation. Ernie Banks was the first black player to sign with the Chicago Cubs, and like all pioneers he dealt with the pressures and fury that raged all around him. He dealt with it all in his way, not with speeches or sermons or shouts of anger but by being Ernie Banks, by hitting long home runs and playing terrific shortstop and never missing a game and expressing his joy for baseball and life as boldly as anyone who ever played this wonderful game."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Canadian Fashion, Still Awesome

By now, all of you know of our fondness for all things Canadian. Poutine, hockey, Michael J. Fox - we could go on for a while. Today, more confirmation of our northern neighbors' whimsical excellence in the form of this dress worn by Miss Canada at the Miss Universe pageant. Little concerned about the accuracy of the score, but not so much that we'll keep this from you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jay, Where's the Beat?

Sucker MC's who did not learn, if you don't this time, they shall return.

For all you old school and older school fans, last Sunday DJ Run and the Devastating Mic Controller got onstage for the first time in over a decade in London.  There it is.

Run wore an Adidas sweatsuit.  Natch.

DMC wore . . . a Grateful Dead Steal Your Face t-shirt.  Of course.

The show was a tribute to their fallen mate and big beat blaster, king of the crossfader Jam-Master Jay.  Jay's 2002 murder is still unsolved, and Rex Kramer's not coming through that door to remedy that any time soon.

Today would have been Jay's 50th birthday.  Get a little of the best DJ in the US of A.

So when asked who's the best, y'all should say: Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay.

And like all fairy tales end, you'll see Jay again, my friend.

One, Two, Three...Two Hundred and Seventy Nine

At some point in the near future, likely this evening in Newark, Delaware, Marcus Thornton will rise up twenty feet from the basket, kick a leg out in his uniquely balletic manner, and drain a three-point shot. It will be the 279th of his collegiate basketball career, the most by any William & Mary player in history.

We have correspondents standing by, ready to offer their insight.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Regrets, I've Had a Few

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -- H. Jackson Brown (often misattributed to Mark Twain)

I don't generally do New Year's resolutions, and I'm not really planning to start now. I do have something I'd like to work on, though, so I'm telling you about it in hopes you'll hold me accountable.

I'm a flawed and imperfect man in ways to numerous to count. For the purposes of this post, we'll stick to just one thing (though I'm sure you'll feel free to enumerate others in the comments). Today, we're here to talk about my general inability to go from inspiration to execution.

I get lots of ideas. Get 'em all the time, really. Big ideas, small ideas, crazy ideas, inspired ideas - I get all kinds. Sometimes I even tell people about my ideas, in the hopes that naming them will force me to follow through. It doesn't. I can't get over the walls, almost always self-built, that block my path. I'm a dreamer. But I'm not a doer.

This blog, even as it's lasted more than 11 years, is an example. Started in a righteous flurry of creative inspiration, it wouldn't exist today if Teejay hadn't picked up the ball when I grew tired after the first dozen posts or so. Teej, at first alone and later with Whitney, carried G:TB through the wilderness of 2004-2007 until a combination of William & Mary basketball success and external validation roused me from a long blog-slumber. None of that happens if I'm the one that has to make the effort.

Not this Socrates
Socrates is credited with saying, 'the unexamined life is not worth living'. I started to examine myself, trying to figure out why I can't finish anything, but I got distracted. But I did hit on one fairly obvious truth: I'm too often willing to settle for the comfortable known rather than striking out towards a possibly awesome but certainly scary unknown. Here's an example:

I met the late Mark McCormack in 1997, while I was a graduate student. He attended several cocktail parties at a friend's parents' house, and I struck up an acquaintance. Tiger Woods was in his ascendancy, and Mr. McCormack would often seek me out at these parties to ask how his most lucrative property had performed that day. He knew me by name. As my graduation approached, I got a call from Mr. McCormack's secretary, telling me that IMG had a job opening that might interest me. When I called the hiring executive, he let me know that Mr. McCormack had recommended me for the job, which was, as I recall, a very cool opportunity in IMG's television production business.

It was also an unpaid internship. In Manhattan.

I had recently become engaged, had a negative net worth, and was staring down the barrel of $40,000 in student loans. A more ambitious and adventurous man would've thrown caution to the wind, figured out how to get a job waiting tables or tending bar, and jumped in with both feet. I, as you know by now, did not. I couldn't get past the negative, the worry about how I could make it work, to get to the upside. I had lots of practical reasons to turn the opportunity down, and I kept the bowlines securely fashioned, safe in the harbor.

Life has worked out okay for me thus far. Better than that, if we're being honest. But I remain stuck with a nagging sense of what might have been. With that opportunity, and with half a dozen other decisions that were never made, projects that never got off the drawing board (with several other guys in the late 90s, I started talking about a cloud computing start-up, well before that marketing catchphrase existed - kept talking, too, but didn't actually do anything), recurring blog features that didn't recur, risks untaken.

I frequently tell people that I don't know what I want to do when I grow up. Partly because it's true, and partly because it's a convenient excuse to not think too hard about it. I suspect I'm not alone on this (or much of what I've written in this post, really). Rachel Gillett of Fast Company wrote about this phenomenon in an article about conducting a life audit, describing her level of intimidation when forced to actually write out her life goals and share them with others.

Wrote Gillett, "I felt nervous that 1) I wouldn’t have enough goals and I would realize that my existence is pretty pitiful and, 2) I have a ton of goals but I will forget all of them in the moment or not know enough or have done enough research in my daily life to know what any of it means."

I don't have any illusion that writing all this down and sharing it with you will make me suddenly a risk-taking, devil-may-care free spirit. My New England pragmatism is far too ingrained for that. But my goal for this year is to channel Miles in Risky Business. I want to say "What the fuck" more often. As Miles says, "What the fuck gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future."

I'll test my resolve on this early. I'm working on a couple of projects with other Gheorghies. Normal me would stop in a week or so because that's the easy way out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, nobody gets hurt. What the fuck? What's the worst thing that can happen?

Tell you at the end of the year.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fashion is...Spectacular

Don Cherry turns 80 in three weeks. Don Cherry (on the left, if you're contextually deficient) this tonight:
The legendary Canadian hockey coach and broadcaster is known for wearing clothes nearly as outrageous as his personality. Put differently, Don Cherry gives no fucks.

On his birthday a year ago, Huffington Post offered a compendium of the former Boston Bruin and Colorado Rockie (Rocky?) coach's Top 25 suits. With all due respect to the Post, it's a half-assed effort, at best. A simple Google search shows us a dozen outfits that dazzle in their sheer I-did-it-my-way ballsiness.

This blog is 11 years old. And we've never mentioned Don Cherry once before now. I assume it's because our editorial leadership is rabidly anti-Canadian.

I'm a 38 short, in case any of you are starting to get ideas.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Caption This Part II

Still overserved. Do your worst.