Tag Archives: summer

Summer’s Eve

So. Close… Summer.

Summer (or Frappuccino Season if you’re an avid Act Normalite) is when America comes alive. It’s so close I can taste it: shorts, BBQ’s, flip-flops, margaritas, sunny dispositions, hula-hoops and the beach. Sorry I’ve been lagging in posts lately, the lead-up to summer is a busy time at work. After memorial day I’ll have much more free time. So chill the eff out, already.

Sucks if you live in Montana… it’s snowing there. NOT HERE SUCKASSSSSS!!

(Photo via suttonhoo, Flickr)

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Fly North to Pittsburgh

If you’ve read my post Here Come the Furries, you’ll already be familiar with Antrocon, the world’s largest furry convention held in the smarmy steel capital, Pittsburgh. The 2010 conference is happening this June and is only $45 to attend! If it was in Philadelphia I’d be there for sure. It’s pronounced “yiff” not “yinz” sheesh!

Here is a beautiful, short film I’ve painstakingly created to show how — like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly — I would find my way to Anthrocon 2010:

I’d also like to direct your attention to this “what is a furry” one-pager they’ve put together. The best line, “A large number of furry fans are employed in the scientific or technical fields.”

No. shit.


The Hue Year

This week, Pantone – the world’s leading authority on color coordination – announced what it believes to be the color of the year. And the winner is… TURQUOISE!

Pantone really is the leading voice on color and has been inspiring designers from almost every industry with their patented color-matching system (you’ll know it as the book of every color imaginable that’s in a fan format) originally created by founder, Lawrence Herbert in 1963.

Every year Pantone releases what it believes to be the color of the year, inspiring a wave of products to be designed to match. I find this phenomenon to be incredible: that one company can impact the design world with such a subjective pearl of wisdom. “Turquoise,” says Pantone’s press release, “transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times.” Just as 2009’s color of the year, yellow, offered a bright spot in a gloomy year, turquoise promises to brighten our collective spirit and offer an escape to someplace tropical, even if only in our minds.

I’m embracing turquoise. This summer I will be traveling to the Greek Islands for two weeks, and what color matches that frame of mind better?! By summer I imagine we’ll be seeing turquoise all over the place, so get a head start and grab some early!

My turquoise inspiration collage:

The Four Seasons of Starbucks

The return of the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte really made me realize how much of a cultural effect Sbux has on many people’s lives. Take me for example, I have forgotten what the real names of seasons are altogether! Here is a breakdown of the seasons I follow, as dictated by my friendly (every other) corner coffee shop:

Pumpkin Spice Latte Time (season formerly known as fall and/or autumn)

Defined by slowly falling temperatures & leaves, earlier dusks, unpolished attempts at layering and pumpkin-flavored coffee and treats!! Halloween? More like Hall-o-whattya-mean!

pumpkinspice1pumpkin-spice-latte-sign-

Red Cup Season (formerly winter or “the holidays”)

The day I walk into Starbucks and see that cheerful stack of red cups swaying next to the espresso machine, I automatically put on a scarf and start watching Home Alone. Gingerbread lattes, Egg-nog lattes, PEPPERMINT MOCHAS!! Oh man I can’t wait for red cup season.

Red+Starbucks+Cup

starbucks-holiday-drinks-peppermint-mocha

Ice to See You Time (formerly spring)

I pretty much drink iced coffee all year round. I just prefer it, unless I’m freezing. When the weather starts to warm up and pastel colors adorn the Starbucks chalk-boards I know it’s time for the iced coffee drinkers to come out of hiding and proudly display their love of iced beverages! That magical sound the ice scoop makes sings in harmony with the birds flying North.

iced_coffee_starbucks

Frappuccino Season (formerly summer)

I must say my disdain for this season stems not from swampy temperatures and masses of tourists, but the length of time I have to wait while sweating baristas fumble over 20 orders of different flavored blended drinks. If you want a milkshake go to Johnny Rockets and have a milkshake! Gah! I do love the Frappuccino season deals on drinks, though ๐Ÿ™‚

mocha-coco-frappuccino britney-starbucks

Is That What You Had Said?

One of the great things about living in DC is the exposure you get to the various subcultures of trashy people. Being the number one destination for patriotic REAL Americans taking their summer vacations offers a window into some amaze-balls people. I always enjoy seeing the unsuspecting Iowan family clad in Old Navy jeans andย  “I [heart] DC” shirts stumble into the gayborhood looking for a place to eat. Welcome to our nation’s capital! You’ll be happy to know that this city is basically run by the gays ๐Ÿ™‚

IHeartDC

Then there’s the locals. Everyone knows DC has a terrible problem of economic disparity between different parts of the city. In most cities the service jobs at places like Starbucks and fast food restaurants are filled with part-time, younger student types but in DC most of these positions are taken by full-time trash-tastic residents of DC’s less fortunate neighborhoods…

Coming from Seattle I am used to Starbucks employees being annoyingly nice and helpful, always trying to get your order perfectly right and selling you on buying more pastries and mugs to accessorize your iced grande, triple shot, skim, no whip, extra ice, caramel macchiato. It was quite a shock to me when I moved here and realized that placing your order usually comes at a time when the employee does NOT want to deal with you…which is always. I’ve been ignored, talked back to, told to wait, laughed at, talked about, and amazingly – asked for my receipt to prove I wasn’t lying when they forgot to make my drink and almost made to dig it out of the trash! Some people call it infuriating, I call it DC Charm!

Welcometosbux

I have a feeling a lot of people find secret joy out of these terrible examples of customer service. To celebrate I present one of the best characters from MAD TV, Bon Qui Qui:

Commuting By Foot

What was that line about “walking to the beat of a different drum?” As I recall it was a metaphor for being different than the masses. I walk just over a mile, each way, to get to and from work – as do many other people in DC. What’s different about me is that I am one of the few males who choose to not wear his dress shoes during the commute. I do this for a variety of reason: 1. to preserve the integrity of my nice shoes; 2. for comfort; 3. in case of inclement weather; and, most importantly, 4. BECAUSE I CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT!

sneak_commutecrowded_street

The process is quite simple – I leave two different pairs of dress shoes at work. In colder temperatures I wear a pair of black street shoes to/from work and change as soon as I get in or right before I leave. Between the sweltering months of June and September I wear flip flops outside and bring a clean pair of socks with me in my bag. This is where my ranting comes in. Every year, I get judged by people on the street for wearing flip flops with my business casual attire. Why do they care?! Women have worn a variety of alternate shoes to work for decades – pantyhose and white running shoes, rain boots, uggs and flip flops. Why is it that I will get at least one obvious look of judgment per week, usually from men in suits, regarding my footwear. Why the hell do they care what I’m wearing and why do they disagree?! It blows my mind. flips_to_work

I usually just chalk it up to them being supremely jealous of my free-spirited ways. While it’s 90+ degrees and humid at 8:30 a.m. they are sweating bullets in their dress shoes and I am regulating my body temperature through my happy feet. I’m not wearing the flip flops around the office, I’m not shoving my foot in their face, I have well manicured feet, they wouldn’t judge me on weekends so why the looks?

Is this the summer I snap at one of them? They should all KTS.

Thank You Zac

Summer Fads

For me, summer 2009 will be the ‘Summer of Throwbacks’ – the following is a sampling of the fads I either plan to enjoy, follow or create for myself this summer:

Colorful Shoes – The kind that you can only really pull off in between Memorial and Labor days. Bright white, coral, maybe yellow?! Don’t know, don’t know if I’ll have time. I’m also on a kick for old school espadrilles (handmade peasant shoes from the Pyrenees) – they are cheap, look good and are the perfect warm-weather shoe.

whitevans

brightshoesespadrilles

Murder Mystery – I’m on a sudden fix for old school murder mystery stories. When at the beach or pool I plan on reading vintage copies of Agatha Christie novels and on those 100 degree, humid Sunday’s I will escape from the heat and watch Murder She Wrote DVD’s. I love it.

DeathontheNile MSW

Cuffed Jeans – This fad has not really gone mainstream for men, but women seem to be rocking it. On a recent trip to Seattle I saw that a lot of trendy young guys were cuffing their jeans to just below the knees. I like it (if it’s cool enough to wear jeans in the forseeable future).

cuffedcuffed2

Music That Makes Me Smile – Not really a throwback per se, but why the hell not. Best bets are Matt & Kim, Tom Petty and Alphabeat. Do it!

MandK

TomPetty

Digital Watches – I love watches and am opting to spend more time wearing watches with no hands. When I was a tween I wouldn’t have ever considered wearing an analogue watch. Now I’ve become the exact opposite. I’m going to switch it up with something like this Casio or go modern with Tokyo Flash (I’m obsessed with Japanese watches).

Casio_gshockHeko Watch

Butch Thermos – The classic Stanley Thermos is the kind fighter pilots carried during World War II. I plan to put my own spin on its functionality by carrying frozen margaritas to the pool.

Stan

Old issues of Life Magazine – Available at second hand book stores for the same price as Details or GQ, Life is a photojournalism magazine that started running weekly in the 1930’s. It’s a fascinating publication and if you’re one for flipping through picture books I recommend.

life_magazine_covers

Yellow – I never really liked yellow before, but now that it’s popping up in stores all over the place in muted colors I’m really digging it. I already bought a few different shades for t-shirts.

yellow_weirdyellow_flipyellow_vneck