by | tonybrown

Posts Tagged ‘Things I Love Today


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Stories are full of three letter words, little connectors that don’t hold much substance, yet often dramatically shift the direction of a sentence like ‘but’ and ‘yet’. There’s another one, too, that has hopscotched in and out of my language, my particular style of idiom, my, flavor-of-the-English class tone of writing that I find I’m using quite a bit more recently.

And that word, three letters indeed, is ‘and.’ I think it was my junior year of high school, around the time that I ditched the normal course sequence of American literature followed by British literature and creative writing for English “electives”—the courses that were split center with the students whose parents had bred and cultured since birth or shortly thereafter to write and comprehend at an advanced level—and the others who truly enjoyed the pieces and often styled their hair in ways no one else understood.

Then there were the journalism classes. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they were considered English courses simply because we produced the majority of the school’s gross domestic verbage, but I quickly learned they taught me diddley squat about prose and voice.

But anyway, it was around my junior year of high school that I really began to exercise my natural talent—spelling—and put words on a page. I’ll be the first to admit I know nothing about the technical side of the language; beyond the who vs. whom debate I’m worthless, especially if you’re talking about poetry and iambic pentometers and that sort of thing. But I do know how to spell. If I’ve seen the word once, and if it’s an especially hard one, heard it once, I can most likely without a doubt probably spell it back to you.

A funny thing happened, though, as I began to craft and develop a voice in my monthly column to the Warriors of Arapahoe High and I began to notice my use of a nasty little word, the rouser of run-ons and fomenter of fragments: those three little letters spelling A-N-D.

Suddenly it was ok for me to begin a sentence with And. This was in direct violation of every teacher since Mrs. Landsford in First who had steered me clear of ‘and’ in any use other than as a three-lettered plus sign between members of a list. ‘Only one per sentence!’ she screams from the grammar department of my brain.

That department is one of my more active departments, I should say. I could say I’m not a grammar snob but that’d be untrue. Sure, I judge you when you place an apostrophe where one doesn’t belong, but it’s ok because everyone does it. Except for me of course. Like most purists of an art, especially like anyone who refers to themselves or considers themselves a purist of the art, I’m in complete denial of myself. And my mind’s inflated perception of my own popularity. That’s all beside the point, though.

There I go again, I think. Another ‘and’ stuck at the beginning of a sentence. ‘But I know the proper use,’ I think. ‘I can place it there, I have a firm grasp of the English language. Haters be damned.’

I saw David Sedaris tonight, and I can confidently say it’s worth having that experience bucket-listed.

Things I Love Today:

NPR’s Live Concert Podcasts
The Black Keys totally destroy live shows. I’ve never seen them, but I’ve now heard them via NPR’s free podcasts. What was once a band I may have paid $10 to see is now at the top of my list. NPR has a ton of live shows you can download: The Decemberists’ SXSW performance just recently went up, Ben Gibbard, Wilco, Radiohead, The Raconteurs, Of Montreal, Andrew Bird, Fleet Foxes, Conor Oberst, Polyphoni…

Written by Tony

April 9, 2009 at 3:30 am

Posted in journalism, music

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Things I Love Today #7

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Irish Car Bombs
I’ve never been much of a Guinness drinker; I’m more of a wheat beer and lager guy and the dark stuff reminds me too much of coffee. But then I tried one of these frothy, smooth, rich, creamy, wonderfully delectable little concoctions. There will be plenty more of these guys sparking my evenings of fun in the not-too-distant future.

Sometime Around Midnight – The Airborne Toxic Event
There’s an entire night of regrets and lost-out-on love in this little ditty. I know I’m late to the blogosphere on the Event, but this song is worth mentioning. “And the piano’s this melancholy soundtrack to her smile//And that white dress she’s wearing—you haven’t seen her for a while.”

Peter Bradley Adams – Leavetaking
Adams’ second album is downright fantastic. His voice has a rare warmth that gives his songs a feeling of hope and comfort, no matter how melancholy or forlorn his lyrics get.

Written by Tony

February 9, 2009 at 4:09 am

Posted in music, my life

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Internet ≠ immortality

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Two of my favorite new internet-enabled food things have disappeared after just a few days of being available.

The first is the latest from viral marketing czar Burger King, which asked people to delete 10 friends on Facebook to earn a coupon for a free Whopper. Not only is this hilarious, but utter genius. I’ve been waiting for a reason to delete nearly all of my friends, and the only drawback of this little campaign is I can’t earn more than one Whopper. But as it turns out, I won’t be earning any Whoppers because Facebook removed the application from its service, citing some privacy issues or something. Yeah, I’m sure privacy is Facebook’s concern. I’m hoping this one comes back soon, I’m hungry.

And I’m made even hungrier just thinking of being able to order food from my iPhone. Which is exactly what an application developed by Chipotle allowed users to do. As a huge fan of the overstuffed burritos they dish out, my salivaries activate at the notion of tapping my order into my multitouch and running across the street from class to pick it up. Apparently the application was so awesome that its servers overloaded and Chipotle was forced to take it down to make some tweaks. The application was only available in the app store for a few hours, but those who had the chance to snatch it up said the interface was clunky and frustratingly slow. I’m anxious for a foil-wrapped return.

Things I love today:

Written by Tony

January 19, 2009 at 2:04 am

Posted in technology

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It is the best of times, and it is the worst of times.

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Yes, this is going to be one of those deeper, introspective posts blogdom tends to draw from people.

I’m always weary of the beginning of a new semester. And while this one is no different, for the first time in a while I feel I’m starting almost entirely anew. I’m perched at a kitchen table, in my very first off-campus house. I’m making my own food (tonight’s an experimental mash-up of buffalo style popcorn chicken and mac ‘n cheese spirals). I don’t really have a significant other. I don’t have a night job.

For the past 3 semesters I’ve been a resident of a fraternity that cooked for me, arranged my social schedule, and kept me awake much longer into the night than I often wished.

I’m beating around the bush a bit, but I think the most positive way to look at things right now is I have plenty of time to spend with myself. I no longer sleep 6 feet from my best friend Ken. And I no longer regularly have someone else’s body hugging my curves while visions of sugar plums dance in our heads.

Which is, to be honest, a little weird and uncommon.

For better or for worse, I guess.

Things I love today:

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
I’m told Bon Iver is spelled wrong—that they meant to be “good winter” in French, which would be “Bon Hiver”—but the music is anything but a bad translation. The name of the album hits the mood spot-on, and singer Justin Vernon’s super-indie sound cuts to the bone like a rush of wind-blown snow.

Californication Season 2
Just finished the latest season of David Duchovny’s sex-fueled comedy, and I can’t wait for the third. Duchovny’s character, an inspiration-deprived LA writer who fucks an endless stream of women trying to fill the void caused by the loose relationship he has with his baby’s momma. Confused? See the show.

Written by Tony

January 18, 2009 at 12:46 am

Must Be The Money

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This is one of those topics every teenager seems to cover at some point in their life with plenty of whining and complaining, but I’M TIRED OF GOING INTO STORES AND NO ONE PAYING ATTENTION TO ME.

Call me ridiculous, but I walked into my local Mike’s Camera today looking to spend nothing short of $500. I walked out having spent nil.

I was looking to buy a couple new lenses, a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 (retail $479) and a Canon 28mm f/2.8 ($179). Plus filters and things to go along with them. I approached the counter, where a salesman begrudgingly shifted his focus from staring at his shoelaces to me. Standing in front of him, camera in hand, I ask to see the lenses I’m in pursuit of. Unfortunately, neither is in stock.

“The holidays have been good to us,” he says.

“And also to me,” I reply, hinting that I have some cash to burn. “That’s why I’m in here.”

He turns around, looks at the display case, and says they won’t have much in stock for another couple of weeks. And then he walks away.

I’m left peering across the counter into the case, only to find there are several lenses—more expensive ones, mind you—of similar dimensions that the salesman made no effort to sell to me.

Luckily the internet loves everyone’s money and will be receiving mine.

Things I love today:

Gap Standard Fit Jeans
I have yet to find a pair of jeans that fit as well as these do, and believe me, I’ve been trying. I bought two more pair of them today.

Photoshop Actions
Why experiment with images trying to get an “instant vintage” look when someone else has already perfected it. The internet has plenty of these one-click solutions.

Written by Tony

January 7, 2009 at 11:05 pm