Wednesday, November 16, 2011

party rock anthem

Tell us, dear readers, do you like being happy? Do you like meeting awesome people? Of course you do. Which is why you're gonna love the Happy Hour T&C are co-hosting with the Baltimore Social Media Club this Friday at the Leinenkugel Beer Garden in Power Plant Live.

Show up at Leinenkugel's any time between 6 and 9pm on November 18th and check in at the front under BSMC for your wristband. The special for our group will be:

- 2 for 1 on Leinenkugel Pints
- $3 Rails
- $4 Calls
- 15% off the Food Menu

Not bad, right? And don't forget to head over to the side table near the front for a name tag before your first pint. We can't wait to meet you all!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

my time after awhile

Apparently blogs are supposed to be updated more than once or twice every few months, so Tex and I are making at least a lip service effort to be more consistent. Only the best for you. Today's theme isn't quite as focused as the last one was, in fact, this one could be better described as 'things I kinda dig.'

So, take some time out of your day to get lost in Frank Jacobs's blog Strange Maps.

As a primer, start with Jacobs's own map, US States Renamed for Countries with Similar GDPs, then move on a metro map of French wines, a map of the world's countries rearranged by population, and what appears to be a real treasure map. But don't stop there, Jacobs has collected a fascinating, and still growing, tome that's easy to get lost in.

If you know me at all then you've almost certainly heard me rage against those scourges of urban life: cyclists (I don't care if you're saving the planet you still have to follow traffic laws like everyone else); but you've probably also let me talk you into watching a movie, or several, starring one or more of these guys, which is why you won't be surprised to see that my love for the latter has outweighed my anger towards the former.

Rides a Bike features the biggest stars of Hollywood's Golden Age riding bikes. And dammit, I just can't hate Clint Eastwood, even if he is riding down the middle of the street.

Lastly we have Hot Guys Reading Books.

Which shouldn't require any selling on my part.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

let's hear it for the boy

Hello again, friends. Coda's back to brighten your day(s) by doing what can more-or-less be called a double issue Awesome Blog of the Week! Was that a thrilling lead up or what? Need a minute to catch your breath? No worries, I'll wait.

Sadly it's not a true double issue, because one of the sites is so amazing it's already been featured here before, but since they're something of a matched set, and it's not like we've done a proper double issue ABotW before anyway, the TCKiT Council has deemed it acceptable. Oh, you didn't know about the Council? Well you do now. Adjust accordingly.

First up is our repeat offender, Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling. Still consistently hilarious, enjoy the updates and then enrich your experience by watching not one, but two videos of Ryan Gosling reading some of the memes out loud. And remember: just because he has the good grace to be mortified by the whole thing doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. At the very least, it shouldn't stop you from enjoying the fairly excellent one he came up with.

Still jonsing for another fix of the Baby Goose? Head on over to Feminist Ryan Gosling, where you can enjoy everyone's favorite meme, now with a delightfully enlightened twist.

Or just come hang out with us - we'll be watching Golden Girls later.

Monday, September 26, 2011

social etiquette

You know, kids, I had thought there were certain things that we could all just leave unsaid. I had believed that Charla would raise you all well enough in my stead (obviously not as well as I would have myself, but some things simply must be sacrificed. Mummy had to work! It was tennis season, after all. And for what we're paying her - nevermind. It's no one's fault. No one's but Charla's.). I had wrongly dreamed and hoped that our tacit understandings and silent disapproval would be enough to guide you all safely through the horrors of the world outside and into the gentle waters of polite society.

I was wrong.

As your Classics professor (why are you majoring in Philosophy again, darling? We're not that family,  cookie, we're simply not. I wouldn't let your sister play the oboe and I won't let you major in Philosophy), Dean, and several rather overexpressive advisors have explained to me in excruciating detail, you simply have no idea how to behave in a civilized nation.

Obviously, I blame myself for this. I should have known that Charla would ruin you. Nonetheless, I am your mother and since I love you madly, I'm going to fix this. If not with time and effort, then at the very least with gobs of money and the following etiquette blogs:

Well-written, well-dressed, and impeccably behaved, I Do Believe's Agony Uncle is our favorite gentleman etiquette blogger. Responding to your complaints on everything from addressing baby shower gift cards to dealing with irritating frat boy friends, read up here for tips on just plain existing as a modern man. Second in this category is:

Equal parts dating and etiquette guide, An English Gentleman advertises itself as "Old world romance tutelage for the modern suitor," and with rare exception, it delivers.

Now, because Tex feels strongly that shame is a crucial part of any proper upbringing, we'd also like to direct your attention towards Etiquette Hell.

A repository of all behaviors shameful and improper, Etiquette Hell is at turns fascinating, witty, hilarious, and horrible. Read and learn, children. Read and learn.

Emily Post's Etiquette Daily is a general blog, but inquiries appear to be directed primarily at young ladies and women; read up here for some classic instruction in anything you might be missing.

But for more thorough instruction - secondary education, if you will - read up on the histories, origins, and etymologies of etiquette at Social Grace in Modern Times. Although a bit more corporate-feeling than the others listed here, it's still a terribly entertaining font of knowledge.

Read, learn, and don't ruin any more of mummy's dinner parties.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

anchored's aweigh

Once again, Coda and I have fallen madly in love - and it's serious. This time, we're wild over the up-and-coming line from Anchored Style, a nautical-prep design line out of the Sunshine State.

Now, keep in mind, kids, that this is the first time Coda and I are endorsing a non-Baltimorean brand; 'tis a rare honor, indeed, but one that we stand behind.

As you may or may not have guessed, C and I spend most of our time drinking very strong liquors on very expensive boats. Further, we share a definite affinity for that most genteel of sartorial pursuits: the post-sail prep style, from which Anchored draws its major inspiration.

Peruse the site now; the brand's still evolving, but you can get in on the ground floor with a salt wash hat and then shake your head at all the suckers still fading their Mount Gays on their own. Play some Jimmy Buffett, stick a coozie on your Red Stripe, and luxuriate in the knowledge that although the best boats are someone else's, the best shirts are your very own Anchoreds.

Our current DC/Baltimore/Annapolis-appropriate favorite? The Sail Bag.

The girls at the club will be so jealous.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

mr brightside

Having just returned from a pretty fantastic wedding weekend Coda's world view is finally brightening, so I thought I would celebrate by passing along some highly educational hilarity.

We'll start with international relations. Because it's important to know your dictators (I mean, can you imagine how awkward it would be trying to strike up a conversation with Muammar Gaddafi about how much better elevators have made city life?), check out Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things.

The title pretty much says it all, yet for some reason I still find myself laughing at pictures of him examining vodka and what appear to be lady's shoes. Maybe it's because he really does look like that puppet from Team America.

Now, Tex and I love us some reading, which is probably why we spend so much of our time enraptured by Better Book Titles.

Better Book Titles renames literary pieces of all different genres to give those who haven't read a specific work a better idea of what they're in for, and to give those who have read it a good laugh. Some of my personal favorites are The Handmaid's Tale, True Blood (cause, actually, vampires are dead, not sexy), blink, and Robinson Crusoe. Naturally, the official TCKiT favorite is Age of Innocence.

Now that you've broken a mental sweat let the guys from Two Scoops. Get Huge. give you tips on how to break a physical one.

This (mostly) tongue-in-cheek blog is about protein, getting huge, weight lifting, getting huge, and hating on Planet Fitness. But don't make the mistake of thinking you know them already, reserve judgement until you read about their festive Halloween treats; benefit from their in-depth comparison of 5 Hour Energy and Provita Protein; find out what your protein powder says about you; and learn more than you ever thought possible about hobo's fightin' words. Just think, you haven't even touched their material on biceps yet.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

heart cooks brain

Well kids, Coda's had a crap couple of weeks but that doesn't mean I have to (continue to) be derelict in my duties to all of you. With that in mind I'd like to present you with a post that's three parts hilarity, one part rage and disappointment (much like life).

First up is Hipster Hitler.

Assuming you have a somewhat irreverent sense of humor, and if you enjoy this blog that's a pretty good assumption, you'll be able to appreciate Hipster Hitler for what it is: a stroke of brilliance. Like The Producers for the webcomic-reading, hipster-hating set. From the punny tshirts and recasting of Stalin as a frat boy and Mussolini as a guido, to Hitler as the mightiest hipster of all time, it's a can't miss.

Next we'll delve into the philosophical with the brilliant existential experiment Garfield Minus Garfield.

Turns out if you take Garfield out of his own comics all you have left is Jon. A bleakly hilarious Jon.

Continuing on our philosophical adventure, we arrive at Nietzsche Family Circus.

The potential here was endless: randomly pair a Nietzsche quotation with a Family Circus panel and enjoy the unexpected dichotomy. Not only does it live up to its potential, but two also fit surprisingly well; and it definitely makes the sanctimonious adventures of the Family Circus more bearable.

Now I'm gonna send you off with a smidge of rage, because, you know, life. So without further ado, enjoy Tea Party Jesus.

Pictures of Jesus Christ have been adorned with speech bubbles featuring some of the more horrendous things our evangelical politicians and pundits have been saying lately. If you're curious about who the original speaker was just click on the picture and you'll be linked to the news story the quotation came from.

In case you wondered, it's stuff like this that has the Team America theme song running through my head virtually every second of every day

Monday, June 20, 2011

orioles magic

After following the O's to DC on Sunday to watch them beat the Natnals I only had one real regret: my Protect this Yard shirt hadn't come yet.

Think of Protect this Yard as a Wild Bill Hagy for the 21st century: a superfan both in life and on twitter (with a gift shop to boot). PTY's online store is stocked with clever shirts that feature both current Baltimore athletes and past legends. They've also got some pretty fantastic customer service, so if you see a shirt you love that's not available in women's sizes yet, tweet them or send them an email to see if they have any plans to change that. Even the players seem to love them, which means next time you run into Jake Arrieta you'll be able to use your GI Jones shirt as an ice breaker. Actually, you might have to come up with something else, cause I'm calling dibs on that one right now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

with a little help from my friends

Kids, Tex and I have been doing you a great disservice all these years (actually I'm gonna go ahead and call it an irresponsibility, because I'd like to think that the service we provide is outstanding, if a little erratic) we've been writing a blog about fantastic websites for over four years and have never once included any run by our friends. Well that changes now, as we introduce you to some of our favorite blogs run by some of our favorite people.

You may recognize Two Dilettantes from their link in our sidebar, but if you've never given them a look before today you should.

Two Dilettantes is really almost a digital lookbook for our two painfully stylish friends, Ashley and Patrice; it catalogs trends, offers runway rundowns, and includes a healthy dose of two very real girls wearing very cool clothes. Don't just take our word for it though, check out their interview with The Baltimore Sun which (correctly) refers to them as 'a collective [fashion] force to be reckoned with.'

Next is our highly talented and industrious friend Gant, who puts TCKiT's sporadic updates to shame with not only his blog, but also his webcomic, portfolio, and etsy store. Jerk.

Gantpants the blog is a window into the mind of an illustrator. Updated with enviable consistency it plays host to both Gant's own work and the things that inspire him. The end result bears a striking resemblance to its curator: delightfully quirky, occasionally dark, but always interesting and beautiful. If you want to see more of Gant's work be sure to check out his webcomic, Gaylife, or his online portfolio. Never fear, there's a gift shop, this is America after all.

Our last, though certainly not least, brilliant friend to be featured in today's post is Sarah, who is something of an inspiration.

Sarah's blog, Life Lived Healthfully, is both a chronicle of her own journey towards a healthy lifestyle, and a great guide for her readers on how to improve their own quality of life. If you're in need of healthy recipes, playlists to run by, workout suggestions, or just general motivation trust me when I say that Sarah's got you covered, and then some. Life Lived Healthfully is encouraging but never preachy; which is probably because unlike so many other bloggers out there who write about losing weight and keeping it off, coughGwenythPaltrowcough, Sarah's own life has taught her that living healthy is far more important than just being skinny.

Aren't friends just the best thing to have?

Monday, May 23, 2011

could well be in

One of the brilliant things about having a brother in computer science is knowing someone who can hook you up with little known sites and services, as well as a Google Voice number, before they come out of beta. (Another nice thing is 24/7 tech support - love you!) And now, dear friends, I'm passing some of my favorites on to you.

First up is Amazon's Mechanical Turk (delightfully subtitled 'Artificial Artificial Intelligence').

We all know that we can find just about anything on the internets, and we know that you can buy just about anything on Amazon, but sometimes the best results come from a little human intervention. Mechanical Turk is that human intervention. It was created to do what major corporations can't, by acting as a marketplace where people can either offer their skills or hire people to do the kind of personalized work that computers just aren't very good at doing. For example, you could hire someone to make a list of the top 20 European travel websites, or to create a design logo for your fledgling company, you could even commission someone to draw a caricature of you. Just submit your problem and what you're willing to pay for a solution then wait for them to start coming in. You only pay for the submissions that you approve; so if you ask for a drawing of a yeti and get twenty submissions you only have to shell out for the ones you want to keep. It's important to note, though, that Mechanical Turk works best with products that can be sent via the internet, so you might want to hold off on posting an ad for a bespoke tux.

Speaking of Amazon, I'd like to show you a better way to keep track of your Wish List. My Price Track will keep a constant watch over a specific item, (public) Wish List, registry, or the like by listing an item's current price on Amazon as well as its historical lowest price (while new).

You can even add it to your RSS feed, set price points, priority, and a couple of other handy features that will help keep buyer's remorse at bay.

Next up is YouTube Disco.

Designed to be something like Pandora for music videos Disco lets you put in either an artist or song title and will immediately send you to one of the band's music videos as well as providing you with a related playlist at the bottom of the screen. The playlist generally includes more songs by the artist you've searched for as well as songs with a similar sound. You can shuffle the list, put it on autoplay, even choose one of the other videos if they've been foolish enough to include a song you hate. It's not as sophisticated as Pandora, and they haven't gotten around to including up-and-comers in their algorithms yet, but what it does give you is a much more diverse playlist than the corporate-sponsored ones which usually appear in the 'suggestions' column.

Last on today's tour of the beta internet is Google City Tours.

Depending on the type of traveller you are, you can think of this site as either a starting point or a planning destination. Just put in a city (or in some cases a specific part of a city) and Google will give you a list of sites to see and provide a very detailed walking tour map that's been adjusted for the number of days you're staying (for now, at least, that number of days can only be between 1 and 5). Since you provide Google with the starting date of your trip the information you get is going to be date-specific, which means you won't be building an entire day around a visit to a museum that's closed; but you can always add and remove sites from the suggested itinerary if you're not completely satisfied with what they've recommended.

Congratulations, kids, you're now internet insiders (well, technically, insider-adjacent-adjacent), use your new knowledge wisely.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mummy's Home!

Oh, my darlings! How I've missed you. (Dickie, get my coat.) I can't believe it's been 4 months already (Dickie, I said the coat.) - look how you've grown! Why, I barely recognize you all! Come, step into the sunlight so Texas can get a good look at you. What has Cordelia been feeding you? You're all skin and bones. (Dickie, are you just going to stand there, or are you going to bring the dogs in?) No, I'm not saying you look horrible, darling - you look lovely as always. I'm just saying that maybe it wouldn't kill you to have the breadsticks once in a while. No, I'm not trying to - oh, honestly, now you're just being dramatic. Oh, I'm the dramatic one? Well, I like that! If you didn't have your father's - no, I will bring him into this, because it's a matter of principle, sweetheart, and - oh, fuck it - run along and read some of these awesome lifestyle blogs and leave me with my Pimm's.

1. Life + Times (Sean Carter)

Yes, I'm being lazy, and no, I won't apologize. This blog, unlike many, many others we could name, is an experience-rich format that introduces music, fashion, sports, and art to us through the lens of hip-hop's reigning King.

2. Vickers & Patrick (Sarah Vickers & Kiel James Patrick)

Go-to-hell pants? These two have go-to-hell everything. A series of images and photographs conveys all this power-prep duo has to say about work, culture, summer, art, and life in a neatly New England format.

3. Fa-Lo-Me (Laney Crowell)
Far be it from me to feed the beast of the Sex & the City cultural fixation, but Laney's life is as close to the real thing as one gets. At turns charming, vulnerable, cutesy, and utterly annoying, Fa-Lo-Me chronicles her forays into cooking, dating, dressing, and living the part of a self-reinventing New York City girl.

4. Kevin Kelly (Kevin Kelly)
Come here for a high-handed treatment of films, books, technology and miscellany. KK's lifestream (I mean, sure, why not - it's yours and you can call it what you want) represents the most interesting of elements that our esteemed narrator stumbles across in his daily wanderings. Expect lots of discussion of recent films, a dash of reference to new reading material, tons of photographs and video clips, and a smidge of philosophical posturing (some of it rather good).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the letter

For my very second Awesome Blog of the Week (which I'm sure everyone's noticed isn't even a little bit weekly) I'd like to present Dear Blank Please Blank.

Since the featured format is one of my very favorite forms of communication (as the Pittsburgh Steelers could undoubtedly tell you) the site would probably be pretty near and dear to my heart even if it weren't so funny. But it is.

Filled entirely by reader submissions the notes range from sad to sweet, random to funny, totally on point to a little abstruse; of course there's also the requisite sprinkling of anti-Americanism, but nothing's perfect, I suppose...

Which one's my favorite? Glad you asked:

Dear Edward Cullen,
Avada Kedavra!
Sincerely, Tom Riddle