Edgar Keats' Epic 10

So the new year approaches. Tomorrow I will wake up early and make my yearly trek to Hollywood cemetery and contemplate the year that is about to end on a deep level. But today is all about the tangible, the trivial, and the Epic.

Epic Tube- Who's That Poke'mon?
There is a criticism that Epic Mail has become nothing more than a repository for idiosyncratic YouTube videos. I answer those critics with this:

It is true that I have previously posted this ridiculous video to Epic Mail. I'm posting it again because I love it so much. Of the roughly 1,152,000 views it has registered, it would not surprise me if I were responsible for a small fraction. Truthfully, 2008 was a year in which I watched many Poke'mon videos on YouTube, and I found more than a few of them simply hilarious. My girlfriend is very confused by my obsession with online Poke'mon videos, and I must admit that I am too. I never watched the show, never played the card game, the video games, or saw any of the movies. My mysterious connection to online Poke'mon videos was born in 2008, and hopefully 2009 will see it mature.

Epic Read: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

In the last month of any given year I am bombarded by end of the year best of lists. These lists are often filled with albums I haven't listened to, films I haven't seen, and video games I was completely unaware of. But the list that usually fills me with the most regret is the best-of book list. As much as I love reading, I rarely read more than four or five books a year.

But this year is different. Excluding audiobooks, I only really read one book this year. And I have no regrets whatsoever. About a year ago, when I still worked at Barnes & Noble, I stumbled across a beautif ul leather-bound publishing of the Complete Sherlock Holmes. I stared in shock at it's relatively low $20 price tag. I had to have it. In 2008 I went along with Holmes and Watson for a Study in Scarlett, I pieced together the mystery of the Speckled Band, and I bit my nails as Holmes faced his arch-nimesis, the evil genius Professor Moriarty. Sorry I didn't get to A Thousand Splendid Suns this year, but I have no regrets.

Epic Road Trip: The Civil Wargasm 2K8
In mid July I hastily embarked upon a trip to Gettysburg. Invites were sent, accepted, and subsequently rescinded. When all was said and done, only myself, my brother Jordan, and my esteemed
colleague Matt Sherrill were left to embark upon this adventure.

We pushed north in my rickety subcompact and enjoyed 24 hours of camping, history, Tim & Eric quotations, hat changes, photo competition, sober campfire ghost stories, bro stories, and so much more. Look alive, because the Civil Wargasm 2K9 is coming down the pike. This year's Civil Wargasm is far more epic in scope, harkening back to the Civil Wargasms roots as a crash course Civil War immersion trip, as described in the fantastic book Confederates in the Attic.

Epic Tu
nes- A Sampling Of My Favorite Tunes Of 2008

I've never been one for talking about music in any in-depth sort of way. My approach to music is much like kids' approach to Apple Jacks- I listen to what I like. Here is what I liked in 2008:

Epic 10

Epic Show: Broken Social Scene @ Toad's Place

2008 was an epoch year of concerts for me. With the opening of both the National and Toad's Place, I no longer had to drive an hour and a half east to Norfolk or two hours north to Washington to see a band, but merely 15 minutes west to downtown Richmond. These new venues brought many great acts to Richmond who, in years past, would have skipped over Fist City. Bands I had the pleasure of seeing this year in Richmond included The National (at the National, har har), Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Built to Spill, Okkervil River, and Broken Social Scene. Broken Social Sce ne delivered a truly Epic show at Toad's Place, and one of my more memorable concert experiences. The band fed of off the unusually enthusiastic Richmond crowd, and delivered a set that can be best described as Springsteen-esque. With the running time approaching three and a half hours, the band ended their set seemingly because they had run out of songs to play.

Epic Pay Raise- New Job
Perhaps the most exciting thing that happened to me personally this year was landing a new job. A year ago I was working as a teaching assistant in a Henrico County Public School class for children with autism in grades 3-5. I also worked some evenings and every Saturday at Barnes & Noble. While I enjoyed working with the children in the class, I was starting to become terribly bored with the job. The position's meager salary compelled me to work at Barnes & Noble, a retail job I had grown to loathe. I felt stuck in a rut, until a job posting for a position in the County's Technology department came to my attention. Securing glowing letters of reccomendation from my various supervisors, I applied. After a less than stellar interview, I became convinced the job was lost. But, lo and behold, the next day, to my amazement (and frankly, confusion) I was offered the position in the Technology Department. With the job came a dramatic increase in salary, responsibility, and freedom, along with the financial stability to be able to quit Barnes & Noble And while my enthusiasm for my job has dulled somewhat over the past few months, I still recall the moment I was informed of my selection as a high point of 2008.

Epic Meal- Filet Mignon @ Kabutos

Epic Mail rarely delves into the culinary world. But every now and then a meal comes along that is so succulent, so decadent, so deliciously Epic that it merits mentioning.

The occasion was my birthday. My girlfriend Hayley joined my family around the giant hibachi grill, and I was full of anticipation and saliva. There was the salad with the mind-bogglingly delicious ginger dressing, the comparatively lackluster watery soup with the mushrooms, and then there he was, the hibachi chef. I sat mesmerized as he practiced his fiery vegetable magic, engaged us with his wonderfully wry hibachi humor, and defied death as his razor sharp cutlery became an extension of his body. When all was said and done, a simmering mound of vegetables, rice, and, most importantly, tender filet mignon sat in front of me. I ate slowly, savoring each and every bite, letting the flavors dance across my quivering pallate. And then, it was finished, digesting in my greatful stomach. Spent, I leaned back in my chair, and asked Hayley is she was planning on finishing hers.

Epic Self-Promotion- Lubec

2008 saw the rise of Lubec, a music project I am part of along with Mr. Hot Eatz. A year ago, Hot Eatz and I were joined by our colleagues Quilliam and Daves N' Davin' at Sound of Music studios here in Richmond to record a few songs. After much remixing, the desired results were achieved, and the songs are something we can all be proud of. It was a sublime pleasure to be able to play music this year with Hot Eatz and all who joined us. In 2009 I look forward to creating more music, and playing more shows.

Epic Change- Decision '08

Often times we at Epic Mail ask ourselves "is this sweet?" When asking myself the question "was the election in 2008 sweet?" I can only offer an unequivocal and forceful "YES!"

At this point, the fact that Barack Obama will be our next president has set in. But from time to time, I still find myself saying "holy shit, how did this happen?" I know its been said enough to become a cliche' of sorts, but on election day, I was truly proud to be an American, as well as a resident of the former capital of the Confederacy, who went for their first democrat since 1964.

Epic Blog- Epic Mail

2008 saw the birth of the most exciting blog to come along in years- Epic Mail. Started in mid September by my most esteemed colleague Coaltrain, Epic Mail began small, but soon exploded with briliant posts exploring the American psyche. Epic Mail soon became a place for starved children of the internet age to go for nourishment. Where else can you go for an in-depth analysis of Chris Dane Owens' briliant video for "Shine On Me?" Where else can you go to read 8bit's charming, self deprecating remarks? Where else can you find an exploration of the notion of "Sweet," or take part in evaluating Chi City Man's mack? You can only find these, and many, many more topics at Epic Mail. Thank you so much for reading, and stay tuned for 2009, a year that stands to be, in a word, Epic.


Daves n' Davin' said...

that's some fine bloggin', Keats.


great call on epic mail not delving into issues of gastronomy. it would be a shame for bon vivants such as ourselves to leave the topic untouched. let it be a new year's resolution.

great list. glad to see that pokemon video got some mention.

Coaltrain said...

I'm still kicking myself for not thinking of that Wayne's World picture for my own Epic 10.

...Which I will post. Sometime.

Anonymous said...

where was heath?

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