I wanted to post this on numerous Facebook walls, but I figured this would be better.


The Semiotics of Plaster: Bathroom Ruminations

Perched at eye level, and spanning the entire interior walls of our office bathroom, a particular tile molding has slowly etched itself into my consciousness. At first, it seemed innocuous -- a simple, unoffensive pattern meant to add texture to the workplace, and certainly as generic as any other office aesthetic. But after staring directly at this design for about four months now, I've had a revelation: this is the most sexual office bathroom molding I have ever seen.

In retrospect, I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize, but the proof is in the pudding:

Is this sweet?


LOST Message Boards; or, Why You May Have Wasted Your Life

Today, I was on the Lost Season 5 message boards. No, I will not explain myself. I feel it's important to share some of the users' "signature" pictures, however.

The correct reaction: a proper mixture of getting amped about Lost and extreme discomfort at the thought of sharing a common interest with these people.
Extra points if you initially thought the one with Jack read: "WE HAVE TO DO LUNCH"

Also, I'd humbly recommend joining Team Jack, because once those spots are gone, you'll be stuck on Team Ana Lucia.



Ha ha, I forgot about this

News Flash: "Shine" Named Video of the Year

Yes, it's been confirmed.  The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones has declared "Shine" to be the music video of the year.  Not that we needed to hear it from the chumps at The New Yorker, as we've been on this story for months at Epic Mail.  That said, it's always nice to hear some confirmation from the "real" media.  Additionally, his comparison of "Shine" to early ABC is intriguing (anyone who lived in Braxton and remembers all those ABC-fueled dance parties should recall such masterworks as "Poison Arrow"), and not just in terms of guitars, as this photograph of frontman Martin Fry should attest:

Let the conspiracy theorizing begin.

2009 YouTube Roundup

In the new year, let's try not to ask ourselves, "Hey, I wonder how much of my life I've wasted on youtube watching videos of people crashing four-wheelers?" Mostly because I've done the searching for you.

1.) London Police Shoot Crackhead Robber Dead on his Doorstep!!

Before you get ruffled, let me be clear that this video is fiction, and has only a tenuous relationship with any of the words in its title.

In this video, our British auteur creates a chilling vision of a dystopian future populated with unintelligible clones. The narrative begins with the following summary: "It's the year 2020. There are no more prisons. The police no longer take prisoners.....they just kill suspects! The police death squads are controlled by Inspector Lewis. Undercover officer Leroy Stretch Riggs controls the streets!" What ensues is a movie that strives to take itself seriously, but ultimately remains a badly-shot video of one guy's mouth spiced with old stock footage from some police movies. This is the video I imagine DJ Idris (Stringer Bell) making after he got killed on The Wire. I'm going to attribute the majority of the 333,000 views to the hilariously misleading title.

2.) Brokencyde -- Freaxxx (Music Video)

Brokencyde - Freaxxx (Music Video) from Eat Cake Films on Vimeo.

For the sake of brevity, I will not address the concept of "genre" as it relates to this video. What I would like to point out, however, is the hilarity of the pink-shirt guy who single-handedly redeems this song by screaming at all sorts of inappropriate times. Apparently he also loves screaming into the ears of girls who are nonplussed, but also bored. Also he chokes them sometimes, or something? These suburban 19-year-olds are trying to teach me one thing: I have lived my life all wrong.

3.) Creepy Banana Firework Performance Art Guy

All of the nightmares that collected in the recesses of my brain have been instantly erased by the singular vision of this person's banana-clad face. It's something about that mask underneath the bananas -- so melted, so inhuman.


Self-Aware Metablogging: A Content Analysis of the "Epic Touch"

As our blog gains both volume and tenacity, I've found myself wondering if our writing styles have begun to bleed into each other. Convinced that, collectively, we use words like "ridiculous" and "inexplicably" in a far higher proportion than the average population, I set out to do a content analysis of all the adjectives and adverbs that we've used so far on the entire blog. Needless to say, this task proved too gargantuan, and was scrapped in its infancy. The concept remained in my head, however. And so, on a particularly slow day at work, I decided to narrow my search to adverbs, which, while perhaps less interesting than adjectives, were much easier to find and catalog (mo
stly thanks to a document search of "ly"). Even with a technological crutch, compiling this list took me an embarrassing amount of time, and might end up yielding very little substance. But I'm going to SHINE ON anyway.

With that, here are the most commonly used adverbs on our entire blog archives, in descending order (each must have had at least five mentions to make the cut). It's worth noting that I disqualified "only" and "really" from this list.

25 Totally
22 Actually
15 Probably
12 Entirely
11 Simply
8 Seriously
8 Certainly

7 Ultimately
7 Truly
7 Rarely
7 Possibly
7 Decidedly
7 Clearly
7 Additionally
7 Absolutely
6 Surely
6 Particularly
6 Officially
6 Merely
6 Literally
6 Incredibly
6 Importantly
6 Especially
5 Undeniably
5 Recently
5 Inexplicably
5 Apparently

Aside from confirming my suspicion that we have a prodigious vocabulary, what does this list tell us about ourselves? First, as if it comes as any surprise, we use "totally" a lot. It's unclear how many times these "totally"s were followed by "sweet"s, but we'll disregard that for our current analysis. The word "totally," however, fits into a bigger trend in this list of adverbs. I've bolded the words that fit together into a poignant conceptual theme. This revised list gives us a clearer picture of what I consider the "Epic Touch." All of the bolded words, which comprise the majority of this list, emphasize the veracity, totality, and indisputability of things. We at Epic Mail concern ourselves only with the most epic of matters. And, it seems, we often assert facts as well as opinions with emphatic adverbs that might even flirt with hyperbole. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Clearly, we're definitively and surely the most undeniably total and ultimate blog of all time.

And just for fun, here's some of the more ridiculous, if less often used, adverbs that emerged in this research:

ashamedly; bi-semesterly; boorishly; chivalrously; daintily; enchantingly; heart-meltingly; mind-bogglingly; outlandishly; sedulously; semi-professionally

This is but a brief gloss, so I'm looking forward to any secondary analysis that our mailers can provide.

A Guest Epic 10

As the window for posting these Epic 10 of 2008 lists is fast closing, here is a guest entry, written by James Ryan.


10. Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievences
If any new musical group of 2008 has epic potential, it is Titus Andronicus. On their debut album they adequately balance bloozy noise rock anthems with lyrics dexterous enough to reference both Bruegel the Elder and Seinfeld without sounding like a complete asshole. Basically if Chris Onstad lead a rock band from New Jersey instead of writing Achewood, his name would be Patrick Stickles.

9. Google - Translator
Me - Crap, that journal article I really needed on the Egyptian response to the Napoleonic invasion only exists on this silly sounding French online journal.
Google - No worries, cuz. I got that.

8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
This reminded me of what an awful set of films The Mummy franchise is/was and reaffirmed for me how much of an awful poser Brendan Fraser is. Somehow, I think society needs reminders of this every year. Say what you will about this film in the canon of Epic Films or even the Indy series, but nobody knows how to make archaeologists (or scientists in general) into EPIC action stars the way Spielberg does.

7. The Dark Knight
I will probably never enjoy a superhero film as much as this. It is, as they say, the gawdfather of the genre.

6. Giants 17 Patriots 14
I hate the Giants. Everyone hates the Patriots. It takes a lot of courage to say this is the greatest football game I've watched live.

5. The Nightman Cometh
In a series of alternately crude and careful games of oneupmanship, the season finale of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia finally brought us Epic writ large on the small screen. In one episode Charlie's character went from quirky and idosyncratic to portraying the true meaning of neurotic, deep, emotional, EPIC FAIL. Really, anyone who has ever had romantic feelings has thought about doing something like this, realized how embarrasing a failure it would be and not done it. The Nightman Cometh brings all those nightmares to its awkward, stumbling, life.

4. Journals 1952-200 - Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
If I could sum up this man's life in three letters it would be FTW. He wrote history books chronicling the Kennedy white house. He was a major political figure without really ever contributing to policy. He totally had the hots for Lauren Bacall. Nixon was his backdoor neighbor. He totally had the hots for the fax machine. He was acquainted with Castro, but not Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton treated him like the Godfather. Thankfully he left us with 6000 pages of journal entries, 1000 of them his sons have published for us.

3. The Turkish Constitutional Court (Anayasa Mahkemesi)
I owe them. Had it not been for a super savvy Epic decision not to close the ruling AK Parti, I might not have made it back to the US this summer. Perhaps this is underappreciated but since when has a court of law singlehandedly stopped a coup that would have resulted in much gnashing of teeth, wailing and possibly blood?

2. Cats
It's been another big year for felines. They are all over the internets!

1. Sir Edmund Hillary
An Epic man, and Epic accomplishment, an Epic life.



Epic 10 of 2008: Hot Eatz, Cool Treatz Edition

See more posts in the "Epic 10" Series

These extra five days have put things into perspective.

It wasn't until I was wasted, cold, and sex crazed in New York City on December 31st, listening to a terrible group rendition of "Auld Lang Syne," that I could even really begin to comprehend that the year was over.

2008 was pretty solid in Eatzville, and here's a few of the reasons why:

Epic Album: 808's and Heartbreak

As the de facto "music guy" on the blog (Only because I haven't posted about anything else, and I've been silent in every major debate on macks and sweetness, despite my intense interest in the subject) I may as well start with this.

First off, stay with me. I'm aware that some Mailers may view Kanye West as "less than Epic," or the fated, "not Epic enough." He's controversial on so many levels. However, if you look at his 808's and Heartbreak from a mainstream American point of view (something that we should all still be concerned with) what you see is rather surprising.

West could have shit out the same symphonic rap for another 4 years if he wanted, he would sell millions, be set for life, and all would be good. However, the dude instead made 808's; a strange, personal, and low-key album of electronic music.

Gone are the lyrically urban hip-hop references and rapping, 808's lines now focus only on emotions. He made subtle and elaborate beats that, like the best electro, borrowed from genres of music that are less than expected. He decided to challenge himself, and his listeners, a rare quality in today's mainstream musical landscape.

Just listen to the immense detail. Check the robotic vocals (autotune and treated vox didn't originate with T Pain, mind you) of "Love Lockdown," combined with legit tribal drumming and imagery. Dig the synthesizers on "Paranoid" that just scream "Bizarre Love Triangle," and British dance music in 1987. Get lost in "RoboCop's" strange mechanical symphony of glockenspiels and sirens. Marvel at the fey new-wave dance keyboards that close out the sad "Coldest Winter," and listen to the bizarre as fuck fusion of My Bloody Valentine-esque guitars, vocal distortion, and r&b on "Street Lights." WAIT, THERE'S MY BLOODY VALENTINE GUITARS ON A KANYE WEST SONG?!!!

If you want a reason why we're seeing a change in the narrative of race in America, that isn't the Obama story, look no further than this.

A world famous rapper is borrowing elements of white avante garde rock music and European IDM, and presenting it in a package that people as diverse as 9 year old inner city girls to non-ironic upper class college dudes can enjoy and relate to simultaneously.

Epic Read: The Rum Diary

This, Hunter S. Thompson's first novel from the early 1960s, wasn't published until 1998. This fact rocks my fucking mind. A modern tragedy!

The Rum Diary is the story of a young American man from Kansas who poses as an accomplished journalist in order to work at a newspaper in the wild, lawless city of San Juan.

Looking for a crazy time so that he may live and feel free, the main character is torn between this and his sense of values and general respect for people. Accordingly, the city of San Juan in the late 1950s serves as a metaphor for the character's own personal dilemma; filled with insane, angry natives the city is becoming further tempered by American industry and tourism.

It's got sweet news room scenes, shady government dealings, sex, and lots of steak eating and alcohol.

Not only is this book sweet as shit (and the catalyst for my recent intense interest in novels regarding desperate young men going on wild sprees of insanity and abandon) but it is the first thing I've ever read where I feel that nearly all of the main character's decisions and actions are the things that I would do as well if I were him. A pleasantly surprising read from a fat writer that wore fishing vests a lot.

Epic Meals: McDonald's Dollar Menu

So unlike most people, who loved McDonald's as children and later realized how gross it was, I am kind of the opposite. I used to think it was gross, now I think it's awesome. Here's why:

2008 will be the year where I was more of a bum than ever before. I was unemployed for 75% of it. I realized the college life was quickly becoming a thing of the past and decided to milk it for all it was worth. I've carved my bank account down to fifteen cents before. The days where my glorious mother and father would replenish the coffers always felt like I had just defied incredible odds of poverty. This year, I got really good at being a bum, but still having my cake and eating it too. Honestly, I'd do it again, it was fun as shit.

The only real reason I got in this predicament was because my priorities were skewed; girls, studio time, hosting parties, and, the most expensive; drinking. To my 22 year old mind, all of these hold precedence over having enough food, doing laundry, and gasoline. So needless to say, my meal budget was never stacked.

On top of this, I'm a terrible eater. I forget to do it until I'm very hungry and then I crave instant satisfaction.

But wait, I just blew all my money on "spirit-of-the-moment" shit thinking it would work out like always! Well it did, in the shape of two glorious golden arches.

A dollar double cheeseburger from this franchise empire may not be the best thing in the world. Hell, usually the cheese isn't even really on the patty, the onions are little squares that might actually be Styrofoam, and you have to drop the twenty two cents for a little packet of sauce just to give it all some flavor.

But on those terrible, low bank account evenings at William and Mary, nothing was better than being able to fill up my growling stomach completely, and only for $3.50. Whenever I do have more cash, I'm never trying to go McDonalds, but like a best friend, it's nice to know there's a place out there that's always got your back.

FUN FACT: In 2008, while nearly every other business imaginable posted major losses due to the growing economic recession, McDonald's posted a 7% profit which analysts attributed to the success and popularity of it's dollar menu.

America, fuck yeah.

Epic Mailer: Brandon Martin

Yeah, yeah, so Edgar Keats and I are self promoting quite a bit. But anyway, I think 2008 was the year that Mr. Keats came into his own as a musician and has utterly blown me away with his abilities and unique voice. Drum power, drum power. He's the only dude that can understand what I am trying to say musically and "get it" right off.

He has the attuned sense of dynamics of any great songwriter.

If 2008 was the year shit started to come together, then I hope that 2009 will be the first real year of Lubec, thanks entirely to this great friend. So many sweet songs to be unleashed!!! oheydrbrrr....

Epic Brew: Orkney Skull Splitter

"Eddie, meet your demise," chirped Chris Tracy, his exaggerated beard and smile only making the impending doom more inviting.

He pushed the red capped bottle across the table. The beautiful Scottish sky behind the legit-looking pale skinned warrior was nothing if not inspiring.

"Alley-oop," I said.

We all know the allure of discount beers. That's why nothing was more enticing than the Green Leafe's half off burger night, with half off micro brew dogz. Before long, Chris and I would down three of the these delicious, robust Scottish 8.5% ABV babies and just be sittin' pretty.

Once spake a dude, "Satiny smooth in the mouth, deceptively light, and dangerously drinkable."

Named after a famous Viking Earl known only to his peasants as "the skullsplitter," headaches were never so tasty.

Epic Activity: Motorcycle License

Look at it. Just look at it. Sexy, retro, performance perfection. Granted the above stallion belongs to my father, but this year, I got to drive it.

This year was the beginning of my lifelong motorcycle love affair, as predicted in Daves n' Daveins' 10th grade ContraBand ode, "Motorcycle Eddie." The license was easy enough given that I've been around it all my these years, but to be able to ride the bike on your own, man! It's a whole new way to experience moving.

Riding a motorcycle is like driving a race car high. Naked. You notice things you would have never imagined you could perceive about speed and scenery before.

I'll always look back fondly on the times in the summer when my dad would follow me in the car, nervous that I would wipe out on his prized possession, as I raced around on Ashland country roads, happier than ever. I will somehow get one. Soon.

Epic Hottie: Britta Phillips

I'm not really one for celebrity crushes. They're unattainable, fake, and lack anything real that you find in a normal average joe or jane. But man, Britta fucking Phillips!!! Dream girl. Total bone zone. Pound Puppy. Ewww.

Move over Kim Gordon, you've been replaced by this sweet voiced slo-core vixen of the late Luna and currently in Dean & Britta with husband Dean Wareham of Luna and Galaxie 500.

Wait.....husband?!?! FuCK!!! IT's PICACHU!!! GOD DAMNIT!!! AAHHHH!!!!

Epic Tool: Moleskine Notebooks

Overpriced, douchey, and really pushing the supposed Hemingway connection, these stupid little fuckers somehow won me over.

Since discovering them this year (late in the game), I've since filled up four with lyrics, future band names, notes, and pictures of stupid shit (I found out I can still draw sweet battleship wars like back in the day). It's nice to have a little organization for it all even if it means I drop $16 dollars for what is essentially a pleather bound set of thin notecards.

Epic Sweetness: Somali Pirates

I'm actually a little surprised that this hot topic of the past year wasn't analyzed for it's sweetness at some point on this blog. I mean, what more could you want?

First off, the Somali pirates don't see themselves as pirates, but rather "the coast guard" of Somalia. They see the real pirates as the international fishers that cruise the waters off of the country and those that take advantage of Somalia's general disarray.

So what do these men do? They capture giant Saudi oil tankers and shipping vessels of other countries and hold them and their crews for ransom!

However, here's where it gets interesting, and where these men become more than just sea shanty terrorists.

The pirates have found that as long as they play it safe and courteous, nobody gets hurt, they get around two million dollars a tanker, and everyone is happy.

Most companies that run these massive ships have found that giving in to the pirates demmands and paying them has turned out to be a lot easier than trying to get the ships back by force.

Also, did I mention that the pirates are the most pimpingest dudes on the planet?!?!

In a recent BBC phone interview with the pirates, the BBC found that the Somali men were huge celcebrites in Somalia and living larger than life.

Robyn Hunter writes, "They wed the most beautiful girls; they are building big houses; they have new cars...Piracy in many ways is socially acceptable. They have become fashionable."

It really is like in a movie, Hunter going on to note that the pirates have an elaborate specialized hierarchy within the group such as dudes with the sea faring knowlege, tech guys who operate all the GPS, and ex-militia men who serve as the muscle of the operation.

Additonally, the pirates have become known for their elaborate drug fueled parties, investment within Somalia and even the act of purchasing nearby islands and turning them into their own industrial and financial centers inviting investors and luxury clothing outlets and other properties.

Did I mention that they also treat the hostages like the most esteemed guests? One gang of pirates hired internationl chefs to specialize in the cuisine of each hostages native country!

Is this sweet?

Sweetness isn't even worthy of defining this.


The names have been changed. But the story remains true.

The fall break hiking trip in the Shenandoah National Park was a great, relaxing, and beautiful time with close friends and a few people to get to know better. I had gorgeous countryside, brilliant red leaves, and a tent shared only with girls. It was great.

With the majority of navigational responsibilities willingly taken up by Dumbass Fucker, the older boyfriend of our hippie acquaintence Batshit Crazy, the rest of the group could simply relax as the duo checked out the map from time to time to make sure things were cool.

Problem was, neither D.F. or B.C. could actually read a map despite their years of hiking experience. Throughout the trip, the rest of us decided to let it slide.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the group early and hike back to my car, along with B.C. Her boyfriend intensely studied his map, surrounded by the hundreds of dollars of camping gear he had obtained. At a stop near a beautiful valley bridge, he determined the ideal exit for us.

"It'll be about a mile back to your car, only about 500 ft. elevation difference, shouldn't take more than an hour," he said knowingly.

"Awesome, I just want to be sure to get back before dark," I said, still firmly entrenched in my go-with-the-flow, solid bro attitude that I had maintained for the entire trip. I did not notice the black clouds of an impending shit storm brewing overhead.

At 4 PM, the girl and I left the group on our one hour journey back to my car, strategically parked in an all-night convenience store lot. With us, we carried a trash bag of all the leftover refuse of the group. A nice thing to do, we thought. Off we went, excited to rest our legs in the car after an entire day of intense mountain hiking.

However, after an hour, we were forced to come to an unfortunate truth. It would not be a mile back to my car, and we were only then at the foot of one of the largest mountains in the area. We were going to have to climb one of the tallest (highest!) mountains in the middle of the night, to get home.

Time went by slowly. We trudged up the side of the mountain, it's steep angle never flatlining. The girl started to fall behind due to exhaustion and the constant burn in our calves. It was nearly night.

"Let me help you," I said, holding gently onto her arm to help her keep going. "If you need to take a break just say so, it's no problem," I reminded her. Sure this sucked, but I was feeling good about keeping my cool.

More hiking.

After a while the girl whipped out her flashlight, an interesting thing that she wore on a headband. My trusty Mag Light had unfortunately died out the night before, leaving us in the complete dark, on the side of a moutain, with one forehead mounted flashlight.

That's when it happened.

Ten feet infront of us, on the thin, rocky path, a tree began to move with a violence usually reserved for bands of disgruntled foresters.


The next 30 seconds are insane. Somehow, I immmediately pull out my pocket knife and the old Mag Light from my backpack. I'm brandishing both, ready to bash a bear. Then, I start to do the stupidest thing you can do when you run into a predator. I run. Luckily, right as I start to bolt, the girl begins to talk loudly to me.

"So what are you going to do Eddie, when you get home?!?!," she yells.

Suddenly I realize what's up. Don't move, and talk loudly. That apparently makes bears leave.

"I don't know, I'll probably go to sleep," I yell back, realizing that this girl may have just saved my life.

I notice some movement to my right. Through the moonlight about 20 feet into the woods, a much larger bear is moving slowly. I can see the massive curvature of it's slumped back. The leaves smash underneath it's paws.

For the first time since the ordeal started, I have my first real thought.

"This is just like in a horror movie," I think to myself. I can hear the family of bears moving around us as we remain completely still, talking loudly. I feel like I'm being toyed with before the kill.

After about 30 seconds, we can no longer hear any movement. It's just darkness and our breath. For the first time in my entire life, I'm considering the fact that I might soon die.

We start to move again, much more cautiously than before. I'm scared shitless. Then I realize something. We are still carrying the bag of trash from the campsite. What worse thing could you be carrying around bears than rotten fruit and used soup cans with ravioli paste on the inside?!?!

"We gotta get rid of that bag!," I exclaim. "We've got to!"

"No, we can't, that wouldn't be eco-friendly," she says.

By this time, I'm in complete survival mode, the bears could be anywhere. The bro-ish Hot Eatz of before was no more. My anger at being so misdirected in the darkness by this girl's boyfriend suddenly boils to the surface.

"Wait, what?," I ask, in the inflection of someone who just learned that their mother had in fact been an octopus from space who fucked earthmen.

"I mean, it's not natural, like an apple seed could grow here and it wouldn't be native to the area, we can't be responsible for that," she intones matter of factly.

She was so delusional in her own non-profit eco bullshit that she would rather get stupidly mauled to death by bears than plant a fucking apple tree. Kind of ironic really.

"We're throwing it away!" I yell at her. I step up to her menacingly. In the dark, she suddenly notices the fury in my eyes. I tower over her petite body.

I rip the bag out of her hands and hurl it off the side of the mountain. As the bag falls away, I can barely make out the last vestiges of orange sunlight somewhere in the vicinity of Roanoke.

I turn back to her, even more angry than before. She looks at me in the exact same way as in those old commercials where the Native American Indian cries one single tear as he watches the white men build factories and nuclear power plants.

"Let's fucking go," I scream directly at her.

For the next hour we walk in the darkness, terrified to stay silent, so we continue to make conversation, despite our complete hatred of one another.

We fake conversation for the next twenty minutes, expecting any second for another bear to pop out. I have virtually no light except the scant times that I can use a bit of hers. It was the most terrifying hour of my life.

Soon, our conversation wears out due to exhaustion. I decide to sing some songs to fill in the silence and drive away bears. Problem is, I'm so freaked, I can't remember the words to any songs, except, strangely, the show tunes I learned during my vocal lessons.

I serenade the wildlife of the Shenandoah Valley with the likes of "Some Enchanted Evening," and "I Won't Send Roses." Jesus, if it was my last song, couldn't it have been "Teenage Riot" or some Neil Young or something!?! I COULD HAVE DIED SINGING SHOW TUNES!!! FUCKING SHOW TUNES!!!! THANKS 2 K HATE!!!

The sight of the road through a clearing was the most phenomenal feeling in the world. Nearby is our ticket out of the god foresaken place.

The ride home was pure unadulterated silence.

Honorable Mentions: The Big Take Over Magazine, that sweet night with Dave in the soccer field, blazers and oxford shirts, coach's wife

Got Me?

In preparation for the Keynote at tomorrow's MacWorld convention, I present this.

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

I'm thinking about LiveBlogging people's LiveBlogs about the Keynote. Would you care to read that?


Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone. Anyone have any good new years stories? I'd relate some, but I can't really remember any, except for the fact that I joked about a "bathroom mack" a lot. My friends' macks were all huge, and I wanted to give a big public thank you to Jessica, Gabrielle, and Devan for making sure I didn't die last night.

Newman's Epic 10

See more posts in the "Epic 10" Series

Epic Hobby - Homebrewing
While I was introduced to the hobby (through OKAYGUYS) a couple years ago, 2008 saw a huge rise in my actually doing it. While I'm still getting my hands around everything (side note: if you ever ferment with oak chips use a muslin bag), brewing your own beer is totally sweet. You enjoy your own beer, understand others better, and have something great to do with buds for a few hours on the weekend. I would warn against a trend I have seen all to often, picking up the hobby and then becoming a complete asshole about it.

Epic Fun Time - The Wii
I got a Wii this year and while I can't blow away zombies in Left 4 Dead, or dig through trash cans in Fallout 3, I can blow away zombies in Resident Evil 4 and break open gourds in Twilight Princess. I don't really do the hardcore gaming I used to, and like having something entertaining to do when friends come over for some drinks. It's just plain fun, though I do maybe plan on buying an xbox anyway.

Epic Nerdlinger - John Hodgman
The PC guy from those Mac commercials had a huge year. Perhaps more digestible by normal folk, he joins Guillermo in the mainstreaming of nerdlingerliness. I've really enjoyed his musings and general approach to thought, though I haven't yet gotten to his latest book. I think the thing I appreciate most is his celebration of his nerddom. He'll never grow up to be a fireman or an astronaut, but he's got his own thing pretty well down pat. Though his ukulele playing is still unsettling.

Epic Brewpub - Piece
Piece brews their own beer, cooks you a pizza, and occasionally hosts Talking Heads tribute bands. It's a deal as long as you don't mind being surrounded by like 30 TVs and some bros from De Paul university. OKAYGUYS and I split and finished a large pizza there. You can also order mashed potatoes, if that's your thing.

Epic Disappointment - The Chicago Cubs
I moved to Chicago two summers ago, and while looking for a job in my apartment, there was no better way to pass the time than watching the Cubs. I've since been to several games at Wrigley, and the atmosphere there is completely contagious. I'd call myself a Cubs fan. As you may or may not be aware, the Cubbies were coming up huge all season. When Fukudome turned out to be total crap, Geo came up with the big plays. When they made it to the post-season however, they played like chumps and lost so huge it didn't make any sense. The only good to come from this is that now I've earned a little clout as a Cubs fan (hey I was there for the 2008 season).

Epic Cookie - The Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
This cookie came up so huge this year. They are ridiculously easy to make, delicious, and stay chewy and delectable for several days after baking. Now I know what you're thinking, but what about oatmeal raisin? Fuck oatmeal raisin. Take out all that fruit nonsense and put in some delicious chocolate. Now you've got a cookie.

Epic Comeback - America

Much like the McRib, America is back. The election has me feeling involved in a way that I haven't since watching 4th of July fireworks at The Diamond while Lee Greenwood blared. I know I'm not the only one swept up in America fever, and that's the whole point.

Epic Discovery - Technology
I'd like to place into this category the explosion of stuff I acquired/downloaded/got involved in this year, and it's starts with the iPhone. Which in turn got me downloading podcasts. I now write for a blog, soon I'll have nano-robots swimming in my bloodstream. I know these things have been around for a while now, but I wasn't using them, and now that I am it's not so bad. I'll probably eat my words later when I'm a slave to the cyborg armada, forced underground to mine the crystals they eat for energy.

Epic Band (non-fictitious) - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
It's as though someone took My Bloody Valentine and stopped their musical development at Sunny Sundae Smile. Despite having a name that sounds like it was invented by 13 year-olds who stole their older sister's Joy Division tape, Pains brings twee pop to the next level in a way that doesn't really change much about it to begin with.

Epic Beverage (non-beer) - The Highball
Highballs can be made a couple ways, my favorite is Bourbon and Ginger ale. Again I will point to its ease of making and subsequent deliciousness. I used to make them for my grandma every now and then, but hadn't really explored it myself. Now I have, and can say, she was really on to something.

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