Category Archives: Nostalgia

An ode to bad beers

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The bar’s shipment of PBR had not arrived, and I really didn’t know what to order. And they didn’t have Coors Original, either. So the top two beers I am most likely to drink were not options.*

*I know these beverage choices could not sound more hipster, but I promise I was drinking PBR before I knew any hipsters did. …AND I also realize that saying you did something before someone else or being in hipster denial are the most hipster traits one can possess. Damn it. 

Resultantly, on Wednesday night, I spent a solid minute looking at a list of beers that might as well have been written in Farsi because I knew nothing about the selection in front of me. I settled on what may have been a seasonal Sam Adams beer but pretty much just wanted to tell the waitress to pour anything of amber tint in a glass (except for the famous Sochi water) and I’d be happy. And I got to thinking, (and when I get to thinking, I often get to writing sprawling blog posts, so here we are): I have no clue how to differentiate beers and I don’t even have a preference for different tastes. Continue reading

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Kansas City in the Summertime


I was in the Crossroads on Thursday night. Drove down there from Johnson County with my dad.  Thunder clouds hung overhead, gray but not entirely threatening, and summer’s humidity snuck through the windows, which were cracked open an inch or two as the air conditioner blasted.

I love the Crossroads. Set a few blocks from downtown, this area has a Wild West feel. There’s enough grit and wide openness to imagine yourself in a self-sustaining enclave isolated from the glitz and rush of a city, but the tall buildings touching the sky in the distance assure you that everything you need is right here. Continue reading

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Tilly and The Wall

The other night, on a Sunday in Lawrence, I walked down the street and watched the band, Tilly and the Wall, perform at a place called the Jackpot Saloon.

This was surprising for a few reasons, namely that I didn’t know that Tilly and the Wall was still a thing. So, yes, that would have to rate as the most surprising aspect of the night. A little background: When I was in college, I worked for the student radio station at KU, KJHK, perhaps the most hipster thing in a really fucking hipster town.

I was on the sports staff, mostly doing play-by-play for KU basketball games, and occasionally going to staff meetings that looked like the editorial staff at VICE went to a bar in Greenpoint and the whole thing exploded into one mess of scarves and glasses and plaid shirts from the 1970s.

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No Way It’s Been That Long

Fifteen years ago, a mogul who’d lost his best friend to murder and had his name implicated in the murder of an enemy changed the world of rap music despite the fact that he could barely rap. Remember? Maybe the glare from this glimmering jumpsuit will refresh your memory.

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The library, Euro 2012 and how soccer explains my world

When I was in the second grade, maybe 8 years old, that beautiful age when you finally start to formulate your own thoughts, my grade-school class would spend two days a week at a period entitled, simply, “Library.”

You probably had something similar. Most kids did. At Nall Hills Elementary, we spent those Library periods learning about the Dewey Decimal system, how to navigate the card catalogue (what an effing waste of time) and checking out books (think Goosebumps, the Berenstain Bears chapter books or the Illustrated Classics… Three Musketeers!!!).

For me, though, I spent nearly every minute of Library class in the sports section: One wall dedicated just to sports titles. For an 8-year-old kid, this was about the coolest thing in the world. I remember checking out a 200-page, hardbound book about the history of basketball. It was old and faded, big and yellow… and it told me that John Wooden was nicknamed the Indiana Rubberman when he was schoolboy legend in the Hoosier State. I can remember checking out a book called “Baseball’s Greatest Games” — a perfect little introduction to men like Kirk Gibson and Carlton Fisk and Harvey Haddix. And here’s the coolest part: I can remember that our little elementary school library had a series of books chronicling the history of every single MLB and NFL franchise.

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Jazzmatazz (Way Overdue)

I should have written this post two years ago.

Somehow, I didn’t realize until today that Guru died. He died of cancer in April 2010. Guru, with counterpart DJ Premier in the duo Gang Starr, rarely appeared on MTV and never transitioned into the mainstream, but for some reason he was one of the first rappers I listened to, way back in fifth grade. Continue reading

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Unsolicited Endorsements XXIV

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Technology: The NPR App

I’m still new to the IPhone. I’m still learning about all the cool secrets, like how to operate the camera in a non-moronic way, and I don’t even use Siri all that much.* I know my apps, though.

*In fact, I only use Siri when I’m messing around and ask her something like, “Where can I score some drugs?” Pretty funny!!

I have Flixster, AroundMe, TVFoodMaps, ATP/WTA Live and, among others, the NPR app. This is probably not groundbreaking, but the best app, to me, is the NPR app. You can listen to a livestream of any NPR station in the country. You can listen to snippets of their latest stories on demand, or some of their older ones. You can listen to podcasts.

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Why, yes, Paul Rudd was once in a French commercial for Super Nintendo

The title of this post may be the most bizarre thing I’ve ever written. No, really. Paul Rudd. Kansas City’s Paul Rudd. French commercial. Super Nintendo*. Wait, what?

*The best part: I once owned F-Zero, the futuristic racing game Rudd is playing at the beginning of the commercial. 

I actually interweaved my way to this commercial through a Twitter link about Jack Black appearing in an old Atari commercial. Meh. But then there was Rudd, sitting on the side of the webpage, clutching a controller with a funny grin on his face. And, well, once you’ve seen Paul Rudd in a French commercial for Super Nintendo, you just can’t go back.

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#MusicMonday: Harvey Danger

Every Monday morning. Music so good… it must be shared.

This week: “The Show Must Not Go On” — Harvey Danger 

So I remember this one time, freshman year of high school, I was riding shotgun in a senior’s car, feeling old and cool, and the song “Flagpole Sitta” started blaring out of the CD player. “I wanna publish ‘zines… And rage against machines…” I can’t ever remember listening to another Harvey Danger song. Don’t think I even searched for any. But that song, to me at least, still says high school, those couple years when Napster was just firing up — and the kids in my neighborhood still cruised 103rd street, from Nall to Nieman. (Maybe they still do.) I thought of this story the other day when I found out Harvey Danger had broken up. But first, the band, apparently, released this song on their website for free — a sort-of final goodbye for a group that most had forgotten. Pretty cool way to go.

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I remember standing in the back section of Superstar Collectibles, slowly flipping through the display cases.

“Wow,” I thought. “This is the one. This is awesome.”

“Dad! Can I pleeeaase have this? It’s been so long since I’ve gotten one and I’ll pay you back when I get some money and look how awesome it is,” I said in a melted together blur of speech. “Isn’t it awesome?”

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