Blog Posts

Reading and Speaking: A Brief Trip to Atlanta

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High-tech communications equipment at Ivy Hall. I should have done the reading through this.

Last week, I went down to Atlanta. I’d been invited by SCAD Atlanta to talk to a couple of classes, do a reading and a book signing.

(If, for some reason, you’ve never bought my books drop dead you can check them out here or bug your local bookstore.)

I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve been to Atlanta other than for airport transfers.

I was only in town for a couple of days, so I didn’t get to experience much except The Georgian Terrace (nice hotel; I got a suite), Empire State South (refined Southern cooking), and, of course, Atlanta traffic. Oh, and I obviously enjoyed a few jokes at the expense of the local football team.

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The Big Debate: Tipping at Sonic

Photo courtesy of Sonic

For those of you who go to Sonic, do you tip the server? 

On one hand, it’s a fast-food joint. You don’t tip at McDonald’s, why would you tip at Sonic?

On the other hand, these people walk food out to your car. Sometimes they SKATE food out to your car — on inclined pavement that typically leads to a busy road. 

Running With Team in Training: Donate!

impact_graphics_3I’ll cut to the chase. I want to end cancer. And to do that, I want you to donate some of your hard-earned money. If you’ve got another cancer or charity you like to give to, give to them. But if you’re here and have five bucks or a hundred or whatever, let’s do this thing. I’ll be chipping in my own money. And I’ll be running a marathon.

Fact: A kid diagnosed with blood cancer in the 1960s had a 4% chance of survival. A kid today has a 90% chance. And that’s thanks to scientific advances made possible by the money you donate.

READ MORE and DONATE HERE! PLEASE! 

How Long Can You Talk About Brisket?

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From left: Nick Solares, Billy Durney, Jake Dell, Daniel Vaughn and John Tesar.

UPDATE: Congrats to Izzy’s in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, for being named the 2017 Brisket King.

After over a decade of attending and planning and participating in panel discussions, I’d become pretty convinced that a) panel discussions suck and b) there’s no reason for them to ever go longer than 25 minutes. But last night I sat through a panel that ran a little over two hours and I didn’t want it to end.

The topic was brisket. Yes. That’s right. Two hours about brisket.

This isn’t exactly a fair comparison to my panels of the past. Most of the panels I’ve dealt with over the years have been marketing, advertising and media related. And something happens to even interesting people when they get on a stage with talking points from a PR team and some message to sell.

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RESCHEDULED: Reading/Book Signing in Atlanta: April 27

SCADIvyHall

NOTE: Because the weather prevented me from making it to Atlanta on time earlier in the month, this is now happening on April 27. 

I’d say pardon the self-promotion, but if you think a blog isn’t anything other than nonstop self-promotion, you’re delusional. But anyway, some undisguised self-promotion:

The good folks at the SCAD in Atlanta have invited me down to talk to a couple of classes and do a reading. So if you’re in the Atlanta area or simply feel like flying to Atlanta to listen to me jibber-jabber, come on down!

The reading will be Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at Ivy Hall.

Here’s a link to the event page.

Ivy Hall is at 179 Ponce de Leon Ave. Here it is on the map.

Brooklyn Barbecue Files: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Behold, the brisket. A beefy beauty, but not the easiest cut of meat to tame. That one there is moist, succulent. It is sporting a sexy little smoke ring and a glossy black bark. But appearances can be deceiving. I’m not going to complain (too much). The brisket was perhaps the juiciest one I’ve ever done. But it wasn’t smoky enough. Neither was it seasoned enough for my liking.

The amount of smoke — or lack thereof — wasn’t a surprise. I was experimenting. I use charcoal plus wood chunks. Even if I wanted to use logs, the practicalities of New York living would make it prohibitively expensive (though I did order some sticks from Smoak). I used a lot less wood this time around to see what would happen — and what happened was perfectly fine barbecue that I wish had gotten a little more wood smoke on it. I also expected it might be on the milder side since the turkey and chops I’d pulled off earlier didn’t get very much smoke on them.

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Is Morning Media Making You Mopey?

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I saw something bad on Twitter.


Full disclosure: The following is purely anecdotal. It’s about as scientifically based as your new obsession with turmeric. 

Hey there, sparky. Quick question for you: Are you starting out the day on the wrong foot? Does it feel like a little cloud develops before you leave the house and follows you out the door? Do you sometimes wake up thinking, “I will crush this day and drink all its delicious juices,” but by the time you get to work you’re only thinking, “I hope I make it to lunch without killing someone or crying”?

Any or all of that sound familiar?

Now, yes. It could very well be actual depression. Depression IS real and should be diagnosed and treated. But it could also be something else, something within your control.

“Yeah. Like my stupid job,” is something you may have just thought.

Continue reading “Is Morning Media Making You Mopey?”