Thoroughly Thursday - the "Be Cool" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Be Cool edition. When I was 8th Grade, I became obsessed with “being cool” (my previous obsession had been to be a space pilot for a Robotech fighter jet). As you may imagine, I had a long journey ahead of me. I spent years trying to be a mix of the Fonz, Ferris Bueller, and Robert Smith of the Cure, which in retrospect wasn’t the best combination. I think we sometimes confuse “cool” with the desire to be “well-liked,” or worse “trendy”(which for all its twitchy self-consciousness should be its own Level of Purgatory). Of course, now, I’m the father of two teenage girls, dress like my grandfather, and go to bed at 9:15 pm most nights. So, it’s nice to know that I have finally arrived.
What I’m Reading - The Life of the Downwardly Mobile
This weekend I read Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. I can’t recommend this book enough. J.D. Vance, Yale-educated lawyer and venture capitalist, writes about growing up to live by Appalachian values, or as he describes it, as a hillbilly. The memoir chronicles three generations of his extended family that moved from the “holler” (aka countryside) of Jackson, Kentucky to the steel town Middletown, OH. He recounts the chaotic (though loving) familial relationships, consistent financial insecurity, and the specter of addiction that many small-town, blue-collar white families feel in modern America. In turns heartbreaking and inspiring, Vance’s story is one of a young man’s resilience and hard-fought success while staying true to his values and those that he loves. You can see my review here.
What I Am Listening To - Mildred Snitzer Was a Real Person
Jeff Goldblum seems to have reached near-Bill-Murray levels of iconic coolness. Constantly bemused, funny and gracious, he looks to be having the time of his life. Oh, and if you didn’t know, he’s also a jazz pianist and just released a new album. With his band the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, he has recorded a great combination of old jazz favorites and witty banter for what should be the soundtrack to your latest cocktail party. You can see my review here.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous, you could also check out H. Jon Benjamin’s Jazz Daredevil. Benjamin is best known as the voice of Bob from Bob’s Burgers and Sterling Archer from Archer (two awesome shows, by the way). He doesn’t know how to play jazz piano, but that doesn’t stop him from trying, with hilarious results.
What I'm Working On - Cartoon Charity Cheer
What do you get the “person who has everything?" Or the person who is allergic to “more stuff?” You should check out my friends at Charity On Top and their vast collection of charity gift cards. This last week, we created two new, short animations for their social media campaigns just in time for the Holidays. You can see the videos here and here. FYI, I’m always on the lookout for exciting projects with cool companies. If you know of anyone, send them my way or have them check out my online portfolio.
What I'm Thinking About - It’s All About Your Personal Style
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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P.P.S. If You Find Yourself in a Hole, First Stop Digging.
P.P.P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.