Bryan Joiner

Why then I

Category: Random

Unpublished Posts Theater

Most of the time, I write the posts for this blog in one sitting. Sometimes, albeit rarely, I will write half of a post and come back to it later. Often, though, I’ll write something that I ultimately don’t think is worth posting or completing. These posts will loiter in the “Drafts” folder until there are four or five of them, at which point I will flush them into the void, their underlying ones and zeros erased forever. Today, I pay homage to four posts that are likely about to meet their demise:

“Dog is in the Details”

I never used to be able to finish writing a sentence without reading it over three times first. I needed to make sure everything was spelled correctly and the words went together well. I didn’t realize at the time that I was performing a fundamental act of good writing. By making sure everything was in the right place, I gave myself time to think over the next sentence, and maybe the one after that as well. I minded the process and the results were good. That’s why you mind the process: you get better without realizing it, like a runner who relentlessly chases cars. Even if she never catches the car, that runner’s getting faster and stronger.

“The Nets”

I am confounded by the Nets. I have started to watch them play, at first mostly because I had Devin Harris on my fantasy team, but I’ve continued to watch as Harris’ play has deteriorated to the lowest point yet this season—and he’s still kind of a badass. The team is pretty fascinating because they have some good basketball players—Harris; Brook Lopez, who is just f*cking awesome; Courtney Lee and Chris-Douglas Roberts, all of whom who will be far above-average NBA players, except for perhaps Lee, who may simply be above average. That’s a long way of telling you they’re actually pretty good, except they’re not. They are 2-23 as I write this. And yet.

“The Top Ten Years of the Last Ten Years”

2006: I get a job at a trade magazine. I think I am “better” than it. I am not.

“Bad Decisions”

And then… well, a summit meeting was called to discuss how the terms had been altered. The other party was unhappy with how it had gone down. Being fine with everything, it was my inclination not to attend. I attended anyway. This was a mistake. This wasn’t like a guy in the desert headed for a mirage in the hopes of getting water; it was like heading for a mirage knowing full well that he was going to get a face full of sand.


The Caffeinated Internet

I will resist the urge to post the Humpty Dance below.* Too annoying unless you’re under the  spell of one John Jameson or one of his contemporaries.

Rarely is there a time where I need coffee to become “human,” as the T-shirts say, but today counts. Those shirts are an indication of coffee abuse, by the way. No one’s plunking down $19.99 to inform the world of their caffeine dependency unless they’re pumping enough joe into their bloodstream to wake a wolf that Sarah Palin just shot dead from a helicopter. And no one’s buying those shirts unless they’re in the throes of a caffeine binge. Caffeine plus the Internet has spawned more bad decisions than pride or envy could ever aspire to. Stripping the Internet of its caffeine addicts would be like stripping a caffeine addict of her coffee.

I was searching YouTube for the newest McDonald’s coffee commercial, where a guy makes a morning out of telling people he can’t talk to them before he drinks his coffee, but I found this instead and I have to say it’s pretty good:

* The original title of this post was “Hump Day.” So yeah.

Power Drill

I’m going to buy a power drill. Any recommendations? I’ll spend a little bit more to get a better piece of equipment. (TWSS)

My home is your home

Welcome to the terrordome.

Best Subject Line Ever

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Today’s Stuff

Ben wants me to comment on this, but I said yesterday was the end of it, so I’m going to stick to that.

Not much else stirring in Manhattan. (Really! It’s super quiet.) Watched LeBron and some Top Chef last night. LeBron lost, looking sort of detached from everything. Eli got kicked off Top Chef, setting up the final four that’s been obvious since the first few episodes. These guys (/gals) are good. I have a feeling some day we’ll look back and be like, “Holy crap, I can’t believe those four people were on a reality show together,” like, “Crap, I can’t believe Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were roommates in college.” Or something like that.

Give me a rest. It’s early.

I’ll spare you a detailed look at my beer drinking from last night, but you may be aware that Bud Light is advertising a new product. Do not be fooled; there is no new product. One label is slapped on an otherwise ordinary Bud Light bottle and — ta da! — Bud Light Golden Wheat. One and the same.

On tap today: some light atonement, designing some magazines, deciding whether to trade Al Horford for Vince Carter. What do YOU think? What are YOU up to? And would you make that trade? Feedback is welcome on the last except for Ryan, who will pull the old “Are those baseball players?” routine.

What Has Changed Since The Last Yankees Title?

This could be the last post you read on this site before the Yankees are once again World Series champions. It’s time to take stock of what’s happened since the last time they won it all.

• George W. Bush became President after Election Night (see what I did there?) and served two terms, the second of which was almost singlehandedly caused by Curt Schilling.

• Some things happened that you know about, like that bad day and that really good one. To give you a hint about that really good one, it also involved Curt Schilling.

• The Diamondbacks, Angels, Marlins, Red Sox, White Sox, Cardinals and Phillies won the World Series of baseball. Carlos Mortensen, Robert Varkonyi, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joseph Hachem, Jamie Gold, Jerry Yang and Peter Eastgate won the World Series of Poker. But they didn’t have to beat the Yankees, so it doesn’t really count.

• I moved from Chicago to Forest Hills, Queens to Martha’s Vineyard to New Haven to Forest Hills to Flushing to Morningside Heights to Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Astoria to Astoria to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. During one of these moves I had the single greatest cup of coffee I’ve ever had at Kane’s Diner in College Point, Queens. Coachie be knowing.

• The Patriots, a team that was the laughingstock of the NFL 10 years prior, turned the 199th pick in the NFL draft into arguably the league’s best player and won three Super Bowls, narrowly missing a fourth when a dude caught a ball with his f*cking head.

• The Celtics won a title one year after being the laughingstock of the league.

• Barack Obama went from a guy teaching law school in the building next to my freshman dorm to being the President of all the United States, except for the ones that don’t like him, except he really is their President. Don’t tell them.

• Michael Bloomberg snuck into office because of 9/11 (the race was a dead heat before then, and he was the Giuliani-backed candidate) and thus far has stayed for the maximum two terms allowed by 200o law. If the Yankees don’t win tonight, we’ll have to edit that sentence.

• Pedro Cerrano became the nation’s first black President and, after being assassinated by a shot through the neck, now does Allstate commercials.

• Newspapers basically cease to exist. By the time of the Yankees next title, they may literally cease to exist. Maybe not in the case of a repeat. Maybe.

• Brett Favre started every football game of every year for eight years in either direction, but there’s no fine wine corrolary.

• I can now distinguish between an actual fine wine and a cheap one. I think.

Tonight, the slate may be wiped clean. We’ll go from 3295 days since the last Yankees title down to zero. That’ll be sad, but it was a good run—better than we ever could have hoped—and we’ll get to put up a 1 on Wednesday.

Around the neighborhood

It’s nice to be back amongst the trees. Stranded for the last four years in Queens, I’m finally getting a proper fall, the type of which a cool, grey, wet day like today doesn’t completely ruin. Above you and on the ground are the oranges, yellows, and reds of October, with squirrels bustling through them looking for nuts, even in the street.

In the background, I can hear church bells chime from the Antiochian church on my block. It’s the same one that has a street festival every September, and at which this year I could hear a rock band playing loudly—and rather skillfully—from my couch. I thought there must have been a crowd of hundreds, the music was so good, but only after an hour did I rouse myself to go check. When I got outside, I saw the street was almost entirely empty. They were playing to a crowd of 12, and blissfully uncaring of it.

The community on my block is centered around The Victory coffee shop, a small, popular corner restaurant. The counter takes up most of the room inside, leaving only an L-shaped area for ordering and sitting, and when the weather is nice most of the patrons sit outside. It’s popular amonst the first- and second-kids crowd, and is a meeting place of sorts. Recently I got a flyer about the empty lot across from the shop; the landowner had promised to deliver affordable apartments but now there was talk of a school. The flyer warned that a school would only bring headaches to the block, and one can only guess that it was conceived of at the Victory.

Around the corner from the Victory is Kili, an odd little bar that, in the way it has hodgepodged different styles together is almost, but not quite, quintessentially Brooklyn-y. Originally conceived as a Kilimanjaro lodge replica, the area behind the bar has been gussied up and fancy cocktails are advertised, yet Doritos and similarly low-rent snacks sit in bowls at the bar. The dimly-lit dining room with candles on all the tables suggests intimacy until you actually go back there and see that the couches and decorations are in disrepair. There doesn’t seem to be any regular crowd to give the bar an identity, but logic suggest there must be enough regulars to make it profitable. The bar most suggests transience in a neighborhood where it is present but usually not so obviously laid bare.

Whirling around Kili, down an entire block of Atlantic Avenue and across the street is the Bedouin Tent, the second place I ate from alone in Brooklyn (the first night, I found Chinese food at the most familiar, bright counter restaurant I could find). The Bedouin Tent has a funny-looking menu printed on normal printer paper which has been folded in half, and is most notable for making their pitas made to order and for their “Middle PITA Eastern” sign. The falafel is high-quality, but almost too much so to be savory enough for my tastes. It’s almost too healthy. The real winner is the Merguez (spicy lamb) sandwich, which is bulky, fantastic and mixes with Louisiana hot sauce so incredibly that it seems like I’m jinxing it just by writing it down.

Curling back toward my building, there’s a small bodega where I go to get six-packs and the occasional drink, but that’s it. It’s oddly-shaped and always has owners sitting outside, and every time I walk in, I’m conscious that they’re watching me the whole time, even if they’re trying not to. I know they get stolen from a lot, because the one time they were feeling talkative someone had just nabbed something, and they showed me on the camera feed—turns out that if you turn around at the cash register, you see a four-windowed TV with camera feeds. That place is on lockdown, and they’re still nervous. I try to be as fast as possible, to spare us all the trouble, and I’m usually only buying one or two things anyway.

Now I’m hungry, but I have to do laundry. Not that it means going outside: for the first time in my adult life, I’ve got it in the building.

I’m in hot water

The great shower debacle of ’07-’08 has come to an end.

You know what the problem was? The lever only went halfway from cold to hot.

I am serious. When they redid the bathroom, they didn’t rig up the lever correctly. It took me over a year to figure this out — I just always pulled the thing until it stopped and never looked at the fixture. I looked at it this weekend and finally realized that it stopped before the hot water could kick in. Wonderful. Thanks.

Things are getting more exciting on this blog by the day.


From my Starbucks cup:

The Way I See It #290

On the battlefield of ideas, winning requires moving toward the sound of the guns.

— Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives

The is the author’s opinion, not necessarily that of Starbucks.

Fight back, you coffee drinking hippies!

Tongue solidly in cheek.