As Movember and 2011 both draw to a close, we all have things to be thankful for from the past year. Sure, there have been ups and downs, moments of elation and despair, but we keep on trucking ‘cus we’re American mid-Western Men and that’s what we do! We have mustaches and drink whiskey and carve meat and like to talk about how we do all of those things with extreme enthusiasm and poignant wit.As the taller and frattier half of this dynamic duo pointed out yesterday, when Ben Franklin and Pocahontas crushed some nugs and pounded some mead to honor the Scandinavian holiday Midsummer all those years ago, they undoubtedly shared what they were thankful for, so in that tradition, the men behind the Bro Journey are pealing back their ridiculously rough and mysterious exteriors to share what they’re thankful for this year. Hope you got your hankies handy, this could get touching.
What Max is Thankful For:
The NFL’s decision to actually do their job
This may seem like a peculiar and less than sentimental starting point, but think about what makes up the glory that is Thanksgiving (sans the food, conversations, and overly aggressive games of family “touch” football (“Crabs and football! (You Get the idea))). Without the League’s presence as we each of us enters the elusive post-feast state, not to mention every other Sunday afternoon in Fall, what would be use to tune out the crying babies and same round of repeated year-after-year questions? I’m even more thankful for the NFL coming to its senses as I watch the Association crumble before the nation’s eyes. Poor Bill Simmons, I know he says he’s loving his LA Kings season tickets, but come on, we all know that no one can respect his new team because they play in a climate where ice hockey is physically impossible given natural conditions (this is my number one rule for judging sports (but mostly just NHL) franchises: Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes – come on Gretzky, who you foolin?).
That first year after college can be rough for just about anyone, but since graduating in June 2010, I’ve had my back up against an unwavering wall. After getting a metaphysical punch in both the gut and nuts simultaneously by the city of Chicago, I migrated south to Austin, TX and haven’t looked back. Sure, I miss the feeling of being in Chicago; all the food that surrounds the Argyle Red Line stop, the lake, my former roommate’s Stevisms, but as I become more comfortable in my new home, I know I made the right decision. This past year has been wave after wave of second guessing and not knowing what the hell was going to transpire, and although I still feel a little caught up in the uncertainty that is my life, I now have a compass of sorts to direct my course (or I’ll just go free style, use the stars and sh*t, like a man).
Learning to finally ride a bike
If you’ve known me at any point during the past decade, you know that it wasn’t until recently that I learned to ride a bike. Sure, this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but take a second and think about if you hadn’t learned to do something as essential to your childhood and progression as a human being as riding a bicycle until you were out of college. Exactly. It’s provided me with a sense of freedom that I’ve never experienced before and since I now live in such a bike-friendly city (minus the cars who loath my existence during rush hour in the AM), I’ve been able to take advantage of this new skill like I had never imagined possible.
I’ve never felt as caught up in the idea of unity and brotherhood as I did the first month or so after I returned from my Birthright trip to Israel this past May. I never really went to camp or participated much in the temple community so this voyage to the other side of the world with 40 strangers (and my sister) was a real eye opener and memorable experience to say the least. Has the enthusiasm I had for moving to Israel and working the land dwindled? Well, sure, a bit, but I still check out The Jerusalem Post and Al Jazeera daily to check up on what’s going on in the homeland and I feel a stronger connection to the Jewish side of my family than I ever have before. In a sense I look at the experience as the bar mitzvah I never had, but it was so much more than that. Seeing so much history in person, from the Golan Heights to Jerusalem to the Negev, it made me rethink so much of who I was as a person, let alone a Jew, and I’ve become much more aware about the world around me because of it.
Bonems (and a Clumpner) GO!
Another year of my Dad keeping me posted on how sure he is that his own personal demise is near, another year of slapping my phone against my forehead, another year of motherly wisecracks, and observations made by my sister from half a world away. 2011 saw some big changes for the House of Bonem, but we stood togetherand I believe that my family is in a better place mentally (as a unit) than we’ve ever been. This is the first Thanksgiving in 26 years that my parents will be spending unaccompanied by my sister or I and no matter how that makes me feel, I know its just a sign of change and passing time. It amazes me how supportive and excited they are for me every time I speak with either of them and I hope I can show that sort of undivided, completely authentic enthusiasm for my kids’ everyday lives in the future (oh sh*t, I’m talking about having kids, can’t we just go back to talking about the evolution of jello shots or Larry Bird’s place in the Indiana Grit ‘Stache Hall of Fame or something? Quick Matt, say something brotastic!).
What Matt is Thankful For:
Science Fiction books
I recently started reading The Hunger Games, after my sister pointed me to its majesty, and upon delving into yet another classic I’ve been reflecting a lot on how fortunate I am that I can freely nerd out in the comfort of a good book. Ever since I was a young lad I have been into science fiction, daydreaming of kicking it with Boba Fett in a galaxy far far away. Now, in adulthood, I find solace in the companionship of a great read that helps release the pressures of the every day.
I’m thankful for modern society’s penchant to freely accept this culture for mega-nerds like myself. Furthermore, my willing suspension of disbelief keeps me hopeful that I will one day truly understand why 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. And to top it off, nerdy and awkward guys (like myself) have become somewhat mainstream over the past few years and any advantage Team Tallsome has with the ladies, we will take it!! HEYOOO!!
Heartfelt R & B
If you follow either Team Tallsome members on twitter, you will know how often we are 1.) Listening to jams 2.) Playing around on Spotify 3.) Attempting to inform the masses on great music we have found.
Full disclosure here, one of my guilty musical pleasures are soulful R & B jams sung by early 90’s all black male harmonic groups similar to the likes of Boys II Men or K-Ci and JoJo. For instance, how can you not get a fire in your pants for life when you hear the guy whispering sweet nothings at the 3:30 mark in “End of the Road” by Boys II Men…..Now that you’ve wiped the tears of joy out of your eyes, I want you to join me in giving thanks to the soulful sounds brought to us by many many groups in history. Check out the classic End of the Road video here.
The amazing group over at Lifehacker have put together a convenient list of the best ways to use a binder clip and their uses are as creative as they are useful. I use binder clips to hold my hats in a convenient place on my wall, keep my toothpaste freshly squeezed and my files organized. Some (that girl who dumped me last week) may say I’m a little weird (anal retentive and dangerous to society) but I love being organized. Without these useful metal and plastic pieces I would be forced to live like some kind of heathen and use paper clips and staples, keep my hats in a drawer and squeeze my toothpaste like the common man. Thank you binder clips, I’m forever grateful.
Entertainment 720 / Crisp
In case you aren’t big into actually reading what we put on this site every day, we LOVE the NBC show Parks and Recreation. Throughout the course of the show, Tom Haverford is commissioned by his buddy, Jean Ralphio, to help his start-up entertainment multimedia conglomerate dubbed Entertainment 720. Tom and Jean Ralphio are as seasoned in business as they are inept and hilarity ensues with every new journey they take. Another of my favorite shows is HBO’s, How to Make it in America. If you’re not familiar with HTMIIA it is basically the East Coast / NYC version of Entourage and instead of budding movie stardom the protagonists are seeking success in the highly competitive and cut throat fashion game. Main characters Cam and Ben get waste deep in their new line, Crisp, as the show takes the audience on a exhilarating and sometimes nail biting ride through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
Both instances are honest looks at creating something out of a dream and enjoying every step of the way. For me, seeing these stories on the small screen has been a great motivator throughout the entire Bro Journey and in other realms of my life. Max and I may not be the most prolific bloggers, designers or mustache growers but we have had a hell of a time entertaining all of you for the past few weeks. In case you were curious, we absolutely plan on continuing the Bro Journey past the month of November.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our site by texting / emailing / Facebooking / tweeting / gchatting and showing your support for our little project. It’s been a blast getting to know our audience (Hi Mom) and making light of our ugly and creepy upper lip hair. I want to send a big thanks to all my family for not disowning me and everyone from OU and back home for helping spread the word.
With that said, we are only a few days away from the end of Movember and we are FAR short of our goal. We absolutely cherish your support and if you feel inclined to donate to our Movember page CLICK HERE or click on the “Donate” tab above. The whole purpose of the Bro Journey / our mustaches / our excessive tweeting this month is to raise awareness for the Movember foundation that benefits men’s health foundations.
To put our money where our mustaches are, we need donations to reach our Movember goal of $1,000. Max and I see none of this money and have undertaken this whole project to lend a hand to our fellow man (growing these awesome mustaches has been a nice bonus too). I have talked to a few of you about our goal and what we will do if you help us reach our lofty hopes…
Well I’m stepping up to bat and officially announcing TODAY that if we meet our goal of $1,000 by December 1st I will wax my mustache off of my face. You heard it right. If we meet our goal, I’ll donate my face and intense pain to the greater good. Don’t worry, if we get to the actual waxing, I’ll make sure it’s recorded and in a place where you can view it thousands of times as I wince (and cry) with pain. So get to donating friends, we need your help and , more importantly, the men with serious health issues need your support!
We love you all and can’t thank you enough for your support. Happy Thanksgiving and be safe out there. Until next time …