Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

east coast mark is on a golf vacation for the next few days - but each day I'll crack a cold one and pour one out for my homie Michael Jackson. I've rocked plenty of weddings with my uncanny MJ dance impressions, and nothing pumps up a Halloween party like a little Thriller Dance.

I was on a plane most of the afternoon Thursday, but shortly after we touched down - and as everyone turned on their iPhones and Blackberries - word spread like wildfire through the plane. Pretty weird to see a group of 200 people be shocked like that within about 2 minutes time. Bummer.

If you grew up in the 80's and 90's like I did, then you probably join me in feeling like a little piece of you goes with him when Michael Jackson leaves us.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Benefits of High Unemployment

One of the benefits of high unemployment is that many of you are sitting around with far too much time on your hands. Fortunately for the rest of us, you make YouTube videos rather than filling out job applications. Idle hands are the Keyboard Cat's playground.

This is a mashup of the 1982 after-school special Desperate Lives and the Keyboard cat. [Proprietor's Note: Desperate Lives starred Helen Hunt, and while high on PCP she jumps out a second story window.] Starts off interesting enough - but how could it last 5 minutes? Then your mind gets blown like Private Pile.

Note: this is the first, and likely last time you will see a cat on this site - so get your fill now you sick freaks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Like Father, Like Son?

My dad's birthday was this past weekend, and I bought him a gift that some might consider highly cliche - a necktie. However, not just any tie; as my dad wears exclusively bowties. Church, Office, Weddings - always a bow tie. I think it's a great piece of individualism, and definitely his signature move.

In my search for the proper tie, I decided upon the traditional Ivy League style of J. Press. Those of you not on the East Coast may not be as familiar, as their stores are only in Connecticut, Manhattan, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Given that he has a summer birthday, I decided on a Madras pattern that is perfect for both a July meeting at the office, or maybe a weekend regatta at the Yacht Club. Madras is almost always a lightweight cotton, with wild color combinations - definitely a summer staple.

And as I was looking around, I figured - why buy one when you can have two for twice the price? Thus, I decided to pick a tie up for myself as well - though in a full length model.

What I find interesting when I look at them side by side is that while they're very distinct to my eye, an outside observer might find them remarkably similar. So maybe I have a bit of my dad's style encoded in my DNA?

In fair disclosure, I must say that a few months back I did purchase my first bowtie - but I haven't yet found the right occasion to wear it. The trick to pulling off a bowtie before the age of 40 is to channel your inner College Professor, and wholeheartedly commit to the look. The slightest waiver in your confidence and you'll never pull it off - it'll be too much of a costume.

east coast mark says: Never, under any circumstance, wear a pre-tied bow tie. You'll either look like a Chippendales Dancer, Pee Wee Herman, or a Waiter at a cheap restaurant. A bowtie's character comes from being slightly imperfect, with a hand tied look.

Gentlemen, if you're getting married anytime soon, step up the class and insist that everyone in your wedding party learn to tie a bowtie. It's a lifetime skill - and you'll all look like James Bond when you casually have the untied bowtie draped around your neck at the end of the night.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Top Chef - east coast style

A few years back, when I was still landlocked in the Midwest, and mostly averse to seafood - I met a chef who demanded that I try the 'Copper River Salmon' which had just come in that morning. With a skeptical nod, I agreed to try his dish - and thereafter it forever changed my willingness to partake in our friends from the sea.

The Copper River is a river in Central Alaska, and produces these incredibly rich and delicious salmon which are only available for about 3 to 4 weeks a year - usually May to June.

Salmon that originate in these pristine waters are challenged by its length and its strong, chill rapids. Consequently, Copper River salmon are strong, robust creatures with a healthy store of natural oils and body fat. These qualities make the salmon among the richest, tastiest fish in the world. Fortunately, fatty Copper River salmon is good for you, as it is loaded with Omega-3 oils, which are recommended by the American Heart Association.

This last week my local grocery store started advertising that the "Copper River Salmon are here!!!" (yes, they used 3 exclamation points). I indulged myself this evening and picked up a fillet, and quite a meal it was.

I prepared the salmon on a Cedar Plank, which adds a bit of smoky and toasty flavor. The accoutrement were fresh Asparagus and Potatoes. Everything was very lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I also sprinkled a light coating of brown sugar on the salmon. 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Paired with a California Red Zinfandel.



Even if you're a seafood skeptic like I was - I suggest getting out to a restaurant that is serving Copper River Salmon this month, or pick up some for yourself. That, or a Whopper. Either way really.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Links

I picked up some new cufflinks at an event last week. They're called 'Siam Skull' - and combine just the right amount of whimsy and style. I happen to think they look very sharp against a blue cuff with a subtle purple or maroon tie.

Not every occasion calls for such ornate and garish adornment, but for the under-30 professional - I lament the look of a man in an ill-fitting dress shirt and boring cufflinks.

Also, never buy cufflinks in a color to match a specific 'outfit'. The goal of any properly styled combination should be to pair quality pieces that complement each other, without coming off as fussy and overdone (read: too matchy). We've all unfortunately seen that certain someone who wears a matching shirt, links, tie, and pocket square. Straight out of some JC Penny magazine advertisement.