Caveman Inspired Trends

The speed of technology and innovation has never been faster. Everywhere we look, everything is different and being disrupted. Across industries, corporations, and countries, those that can't keep up and simply left behind as a warning to everyone else of what happens if you don't adapt to what is right now.  We are bombarded with more information than we can handle and all of it is apparently urgent. Our smartphones make sure that we are never more than three swipes away from a flood of content about anything and everything that happened, might have happened, and could happen everywhere in the world. And we're completely burnt out.

And the pendulum is swinging back the other direction.

And fast.

Right now, the hottest trends are being inspired by cavemen.

Not the Jetsons, the Flinestones.

  • After years of using state of the art equipment in perfectly lit and scented gyms, millions are flocking to previously abandoned warehouses to get their caveman work out on and push a tractor tire around for a hour.
  • Instead of rushing out to sample the latest in molecular gastronomy and high art cuisine, the current diet trend is based on the bench mark of what the paleolithic beings from 15,000 years ago might have consumed.
  • Apparently as it became easier and easier to communicate instantly, the thought and meaning of long form communication has gone the way of the dinosaurs and short form emoji-laden bursts of text have brought cave drawings back as the preferred standard of communication for the next generation.

 

So with our workouts, diet, and communication already reverting back to caveman inspired standards, what is next?

Walking His Cat

This is a hipster. This is a hipster walking his cat and yet another reason I love NYC.

Having just finished an incredible meal at Roberta's Pizza in Bushwick Brooklyn, I walked out side and saw this scene. Because of the never ending opportunities to capture reasons why I love NYC, I have gotten pretty quick on the draw and was able to snap this photo.

I shared it last night on Instagram (HERE) and some lively debate ensued about whether that was a hipster walking a cat or a cheetah. Turns out, the answer is both.  This is a Savannah Cat, the most domesticated breed of cats from Africa. It is a hybrid between a normal cat and a wild cat. Costing anywhere between $4,000-$10,000, they are actually illegal to own in 3 states in the US, as well as in... New York City.

This of course makes me smile even more about this photo. Not only did a hipster spend 3-6 months rent on a cat, he also decided to get one that is illegal to have in NYC. Which leads me to my final conclusion on the matter: Bushwick is a safe haven for law breaking cat lovers and I might just have broken that scandal wide open.

----

Report posted from Greenwich Village, where we don't have mini-cheetahs as pets.

Don't Smile Until Thanksgiving

With each job that I've had, I taken away some long term practical advice. Being a bus driver in college was one job that didn't yield quite as many nuggets of wisdom as some jobs that came after graduation, but there was one piece of advice that I learned, applied, and saw results from. The sage counsel came from an Education major at Texas A&M, she said "Don't smile until Thanksgiving." Quick note: being a school bus driver in college is the best job ever. You make $12-15/hr, never work nights, weekends, or holidays, and get to watch kids get excited when they see you turn your Bluebird onto their street and flip open the flashing red stop sign. Fun times all around.

Not completely understanding the point of my friend's advice at the time, I follow it anyway. I was relatively stern with all of the kids on my bus routes. They wanted to listen to ghetto rap radio, I forced them to listen to country music. They wanted to play musical chairs, I stopped the bus and watched them go back to their seats. They wanted to hang out the windows, I put the windows up if they tried it. And, after the first couple weeks, they started telling me that "Mr. Casey (the other driver on my route) lets us...." to which I replied, "Then do it tomorrow when he's driving. Not on my bus."

Now, a funny thing happened. Sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, order had been established. Country music was understood as the soundtrack for Mr. Andy's bus, butts stayed in seats, and the windows stayed open because no one tried to throw their seat mate out while we wear stopped at a light. But then, in an unforeseen turn of events, the kids started complaining about Mr. Casey being mean. They things that he used to let them do, he now didn't and they liked riding with me better.

I found out that Mr. Casey had had a couple of parents call in because their kids were hanging out the windows when they came around the corner to be dropped off and may or may not have been singing rap lyrics as they walked in the front door. Mr. Casey had to crack down on his routes and the fun loving attitude had to change. Or, put another way, he smiled before Thanksgiving.

Now, ten years later, I'm not driving buses any more (though I do miss having a 36 foot vehicle under my control) but I am still following the principle of "not smiling until Thanksgiving." It is so much easier to establish respect and the ground rules for a professional relationship and watch a friendship emerge than to start 'buddy/buddy' and try to flip it to having professional relationship. I don't want a sales guy to be my friend. I want him to sell me on why his product is better than others and on the value that it creates for me and my company. If, in that process, a relationship develops beyond that, it's a bonus. But, when there is too much smiling and not enough closing, I end up listening to ghetto rap and trying to shove that sales guy out the window.

World Records

Growing up reading the Guiness Book of World Records,"I currently hold two world records" is a phrase I never thought I'd be able to say. But, as of last week and the official verification from judges at RecordSetter, it's true. I now hold two world records, both having to do with Pocket Squares. The very kind folks at Eton of Sweden were nice enough to let me use their gorgeous boutique at 58th and Madison for these record setting attempts as well as supply the Pocket Squares (my favorite place to add to my Pocket Square collection. Eton has some amazing new things coming this spring and fall.) Being surrounded by that much classy fashion, there was no way I could fail.

The first record: Most Pocket Squares Worn in 30 Seconds

The second record: Most Pocket Squares Worn At Once

Now that I've taken the plunge and have two of my very own world records (until someone breaks them), my mind has started to race with other records I can create/set/break.

What about you? Was set/break world record on your 2012 resolution list? Is it now?

You Can Do Anything!

Some might say I have an opinion about the downfall of my generation as a result of the toxic and unfounded self esteem enforced by the participation trophies that were a part of our growing up. Others might say that I'm overreacting and a tad bit cynical. But, Saturday Night Live seems to agree with at least the sentiment as seen in this past weekend's sketch called "You Can Do Anything!"

Completlely hit the nail on the head. Bravo.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/319318/saturday-night-live-you-can-do-anything

 

Abuse I Love

One of the longest relationships I've been in is also one of the most abusive. There are some incredible moments mixed in amongst the angst and tears, but in general, it is a total beat down that puts my my self esteem in peril. But after each round, I find myself saying "Golf, I wish I could quit you." When I was asked to play in the South By Southwest Golf Tournament this year, I jumped at the chance. But as the day of the event got closer, I stalled finishing my registration and tried to think if there was a creative way to back out. I love *the idea* of an afternoon on the links, but in reality often find it to be an afternoon of wallowing in self pity as I trudge into the rough and sand traps looking for yet another errant shot.

So when the morning rolled around, and the insanity of SXSW had caught up with my immune system and sent me into a pretty decent allergic reaction to the storm system of urban hipsters smoking hand rolled cigarettes on the streets, I though that I perhaps had an out.  But, not wanting to miss out on the chance that "things would be different this time" I went back to my tormentor with my hat in hand.  The first three holes were just what I remembered: hooked tee shot, sliced fairway wood, divot exploding 8-iron, faster-than-I-though greens.... repeat.

But then, just as I had resigned myself to being the course's whipping boy for the day, it happened.

*Plink!*

My tee shot launched itself over 260 years down the dead center of the fairway.  The rest of the guys in the foursome give me an awkward collection of fist bumps, high fives, and the very strange in between fist/hand. There was talk of me sandbagging them on the first few holes. I was feeling good.  Especially, because I hadn't swung a golf club in about 18 months.  The rest of the day was a mixed bag of shots, some more wonderful and some more awful. But, there were enough good shots that made it look like I knew what I was doing. Just enough to have me looking for another chance to deepen my abusive relationship with the sport of Golf.

Rock, Paper, Pat Down

Last fall, I was struggling with finding some tangible motivation for hitting the gym hard. Then the fiasco with the TSA and the body scan machines kicked in.  So, on the chance that I would be selected for a random full body pat down, I hit the gym hard. Today it happened.

And it wasn’t that random.

Expecting the cab out to JFK to take a long time because of morning traffic, I left earlier than I normally would.  And perhaps that is the reason that we hit no traffic.  Arriving at JFK a full hour ahead of my flight’s boarding time, I was feeling adventurous and a tad bit snarky.  When I was pulled out of line for the full body scanner (which I have done a million times, no problem) I decided it was time to see the fruits of my gym regimen.

“I’m opting out.”

“Really? You want a full body pat down?” The TSA women looked at me and asked.

“Yes I do.”

“Male assist!” she barked out with a slight snarl.

Then, all the sweat in the gym paid off.  Two male TSA agents, that I have no doubt played defensive end earlier in their life, looked at each other, back at me, and then back at each other. Saying nothing to each other, they each put out their right fist in front of them and locked eyes.

“One, two, three...” and they began a best 2 out of 3 match of rock-paper-scissor.

My morning, no, my week, was made in that exact moment.  Two huge TSA agents farkling over who had to pat me down.  The winner, raised his hands in the air, did a little dance, and went back to sitting around.  The loser, looking like someone just told him that he had to go on a diet, wandered over and with sad eyes and gave me the full treatment, blue gloves and all.

Moral of the story for the general public: the TSA hates patting you down as much as you hate being patted down.

Moral of the story for the TSA: if you keep entertaining me like this each time, I’m going to keep opting out

New Goal: TSA Pat Down

To say that I am goal oriented would be an understatement of epic proportions.  If I don't have some kind of bigger objective in mind, I tend to lose interest and my motivation stalls.  Recently, I have been in search of the bigger motivation for going to the gym.  At a certain point, the sacrifice of early mornings in the gym outweighed the hint of vanity that keep me going.  Especially going into the winter season in New York City. My aspirational six pack abs and rippling biceps probably would not make many public appearances when the snow is pilling up and it's below freezing outside. But this week, while traveling for the holiday, I found my new motivation for hitting the gym hard when I get home. The potential of a TSA pat down.  I have a pretty decent amount of traveling coming up between now and the end of the year, and the chances are pretty good that it is going to happen to me.  So, when those blue latex gloves gingerly makes their way across my chest and then up my inner thigh until it "meets the resistance," the last thing I want is Officer Smith judging me for finishing the turkey leg and that second helping of stuffing on Thanksgiving day.

Hoping to get to second base with the TSA: my new motivation for going to the gym.