Sunday, April 14, 2013

Daily Essentials, Part 1: The Stuff of How I Get By

We all have every day essentials we absolutely cannot live without. You know, those items that, if went missing or forgotten, would wreak havoc on how one would be able (or, sadly, unable) to conduct their day-to-day business of self.

This lowly blogger is no different from you in that department (I put my pants on the exact same way everyone else does: with the assistance of two handmaids and an industrial hydraulic winching system). Below are some items I simply could not live my life without, followed by an exhaustive and enthralling explanation of each.

A. Timex Weekender Indiglow Watch I've wanted a white-face wristwatch for the longest time, but didn't really have the ducets for a vintage Rolex or Logines of comparable quality, so I opted for this $35 Timex version instead. Takes a licking, keeps on ticking and lights up in the dark!

B. Keys Besides having the key to my car, my wife's backup car key and an anodized black house key, my key ring also features a bottle opener from Powell's Books, which is absolutely essential to any party situations/alcoholism situation.

C. Thin Bill Fold Wallet Bulky-ass wallets are cut. Thin, bill-fold wallets that carry the essentials (cash, cards and I.D.) are where its at. Your ass cheek(s) will thank me later.

D. iPhone 4 Until the iPhone 5S comes out, my trusty 4 model will get me through. Suck it, Siri!

E. iPod Nano 8g I'm not sure what version iPod Nano this is. My wife got it for me a few holidays back (automatic sentimental value, right there), and it still works great for jogging and car trips. Currently it's loaded to capacity with Guided By Voices, Parquet Courts, The Caretaker, Dinosaur Jr, and Lilys.

F. Macbook Pro Couldn't live without this baby. Whether it's writing articles, reviews and screenplays, making mixtapes or watching Archer in bed, this laptop is absolutely essential to my daily routine. "Cult of Mac"? Oh, hell yeah! And proudly.

G. Mexican Coca-Cola If there is one thing I'm absolutely 100% addicted to, it's Mexican Coke ...a-Cola. Made in Mexico  with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (so, you know, more healthier!), Mexican Coke-Cola just tastes better. The corner store on my block sells the slightly larger "Medio Litro" version, which I'm assuming is Spanish for "Medical Grade," no?

H. Sharpie Red Fine Point Marker For copy editing, of which my wife is far, far, far superior at than I am.

I. Sharpie Standard Black Marker Essential, pretty much. I mean, duh!

J. Titanium Wedding Band Allergic to gold, white gold and platinum like I am? Silver just not cutting it? Why not go surgical grade titanium and tell people (when they ask, of course) that your wedding band is made from adamantium. Hilarity eventually ensues.

K. You Are Pretty Handsome Boutineer/Lapel Flower Pin My friends Skylar and Jairus custom make each of these decorative and amazing lapel pins by hand (mine features a crown, since I'm a total narcissist). For those times when a suit or sports coat is required, I usually pop one of these on and get, "Cool pin. Where did you get it?" Ah, attention.

L. Standard Deck of Bicycle Brand Eco Cards Whenever we go out to eat, my wife and I usually bring a deck of cards with us and commence with a round or five of the card game Speed. We've altered this game slightly by making the Jokers and standard issue info cards into wild cards al a Uno. Competition can get heated, and the loser is known to "throw jaggers" while the winner celebrates by proclaiming "Eat at Joe's!" Yes, we're lucky to have found one another.

M. Brushed Silver Zippo Lighter I don't smoke anymore (I was pretty much take it or leave it with the coffin nails, anyway - more a luxury than a compulsion, and a seriously stupid habit), but I keep this lil' fella handy just in case fire is needed for candles, other people's cigarettes lighting needs or Frankenstein's monster run-in's. Fire good!

N. Vintage Art Deco Cigarette Case This silver 1920's cigarette case used to exclusively carry Lucky Strikes, but now it houses my vast array of credit cards, gift cards and grocery store rewards cards. What can I say? I'm a baller.

O. TDK Certified Plus Blank CD-Rs I'm "old school" in the modern sense that I still enjoy making mix CDs. Putting together a play list, editing it to fit on an 80 minute disc, making the cover art (hand-drawn or collage) is something posting my mixes online can never duplicate. I love these TDK blank CD-Rs simply because of their blank silver tops free of any and all corporate branding screened on to 'em.

Q. Pottery Barn Leather-Bound Flask I purchased this flask years ago, and it still comes in handy today. Be it a tweed ride (for which I have an Ahern flask cage mounted to my bike) or a Mormon wedding, this pocket-ready flask filled with Grey Goose vodka and a cold class of Jamaican Ginger Beer is all I need to have a good great time anywhere.

R. Black Moleskin Drawing Book When an idea for a painting or a new shoe design comes to me, this little Moleskin notebook is always readily at hand. It's hard to explain exactly, but I just feel like more of a gentleman using one of these notebooks. 

S. Vintage Paperback of Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf Besides being my absolute favorite novel of all time, I simple love the tactile experience of having this well-worn 1960's version of Herman Hesse's classic on my bookshelf. The cover is creased, the paper is yellowed and it has that wonderful old book smell, which is one the best scents in the known world next to newborns and gasoline.

T. Kleen Kanteen 18oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Stainless Unibody Bamboo Cap You can drink water, or You Can Drink Water. I choose to do so in style with this stubby, ecologically sound Kleen Kanteen water bottle with a Stainless Unibody Bamboo cap. This set-up keeps my water cool, debris free and fits my bicycles water cage perfectly. Essential, if for anything else, it houses water (you know, the fluid a human body requires the most).

U. My Bike I love, love, LOVE my bike! It's been through many permutations (first powdercoated silver, then re-powdercoated pearl black), and has always remained my favorite (and preferred) mode of transportation. It's a 58cm fixed gear road bike conversion with a 46t-16t drivetrain. The frame was hand-built sometime in the 1970's, as evidenced by both its braze-ons and side-by-side bottle cage mounts. I had the drop-outs swapped for track ends three years ago, and have gone through a series of set-up alterations until ultimately settling on a more comfortable up-right riding posture. This bike features a Brooks B67 saddle, Velo Orange Montmartre handlebars with Brooks Plump Leather Grips, a Nitto Technomics stem and a Chis King headset, IRD Defiant cranks with a Phil Wood bottom bracket and MKS Sylvan pedals, Velocity 700c Deep V rims with Phil Wood hubs and Dia Compe Gran Compe Eno Cilio tires, a vintage SunTour front brake, and a Crane Ritan brass bell. Riding my bike is one of the best feelings in the world, and doing so frees me from any and all daily stresses and anxieties. I also love tinkering and tweaking my bike from time to time, or getting out the tools and fine-tuning what there is to wrench-on (which isn't much, since it's a fairly simple and spartan set-up). This simple little machine makes me feel good, and that is invaluable.

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