Ear Still Ringing

Last night I went to see the band PUP play at Great Scott in Allston. I had been having a shitty day at work, there was a clusterfuck on my commute home which pissed me off and in general I was very tired. I wasn’t really in the mood to see a show. I’m not super familiar with the band but when I bought the ticket I just thought, well I haven’t been to a rowdy punk show in a while.

Whenever I am excited to do something or have expectations about how my day will go, I typically end up not having fun. Because I was so angry and tired from my day, I really wasn’t in the mood to go to show for a band that I don’t really know that well… so I had a feeling it was gonna be a good night.

After the opening bands played, Pete and I set up camp towards the front of the crowd. few minutes later, after setting up their instruments, PUP came on stage. I didn’t get a quarter of the way through their opening song, If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, before I had lost my left ear plug. We were off to a good start.

I decided, “fuck it, there’s nothing punk about protecting your ear drums” [and plus, I didn’t want just one drum being protected,] so I went the rest of the show plug-less.

I had a gameplan. I was assuming they were going to end the night with the song Back Against the Wall (featured above), because it’s their most well known song (or at least in my opinion). My plan was to try and get up and crowd surf for that track. It would be a great way to end the night.

However, my plans were thrown out the window when they ended up playing it fourth (or whatever) in the set. Regardless, being a little dude in a show of tall, burly twenty-something punk kids, I was easily able to get up and surf for a good amount of time, almost ending up on stage and nearly loosing my keys, eventually falling back first into the crowd. Luckily, like the crowd at most shows, I was quickly helped to my feet. We were all in this together.

PUP_Setlist

A song or two later, despite having trouble breathing due to the thickness of the mosh pit and pruning from sweat, I completely let loose. I somehow mustered the energy to start hardcore dancing through the crowd. Pushing people, being pushed, it was the best way to get out my anger from the day.

A little while after that, I took and elbow to the back left side of my head. Comes with the territory. The guy who did it felt really bad and apologized, which was nice, and I just brushed it off. I had too much energy to feel the pain.

Later in the night, I nearly broke my wrist trying to hold up a crowd surfer. And finally, towards the end of the night, while the band played the song Reservoir, I got up one last time to crowd surf. I was kept up for about half of the song. Every time I thought I was coming down, someone kept lifting me back up, which was great. The advantages of being a short skinny guy at a punk show.

Finally, a couple songs later, it was all over. Literally dripping with sweat, I grabbed a drink of water and headed outside only to realize Pete wasn’t with me. I went back in to find him talking with our old friend Mike Nevin. A punk rocker from our high school days, Mike is one of the nicest dudes you could meet.

While hanging around, I introduced myself to the opening acts, Pkew Pkew Pkew and Rozwell Kid who were hanging out at their merch booth. After chatting a bit more, we headed out. I didn’t want to wait for the train and frankly, wasn’t sure if they were still running so I had Pete send me the app Uber which I knew gave you your first ride free (when it is sent to you from a friend).

Once I got home, I showered and changed only to notice that my back looked like I had been whipped all day. The price you pay for holding back a crowd of rowdy punk kids. I always used to say that if you don’t come home from a show bleeding, it wasn’t a good show. So, clearly, this was a good show.

 

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A Scheme Come True

It finally happened. I finally followed through with an idea I had. I’d been dreaming of the day when I could title a post “A Scheme Come True.” There were so many times that I thought I was going to be able to and, as usual, they fell through. Well this time I followed through with a plan and what follows is the culmination of that follow through (if that made any sense).

A year or so ago, my friend Pete and I had talked about starting a Podcast but as was the case with most of the schemes we come up with, we never got around to making it. We did record one “episode” on his GoPro while driving in his car, but it wasn’t really worth posting anywhere.

Not to say that FACEWORDS (that’s the name of the Podcast) is worth posting or even listening to, but we’re doing, we’re putting it out there and at least that’s a start. Basically, the Podcast consists of me and my friend James from work talking nonsense at each other.

The title, if you care, came from something at work. I was rambling and James asked me what I said, to which I respond, “You know, words and my face and whatever.” To which he said, “Yeah, face-words.” I immediately grabbed my notebook from my pocket and wrote it down. We had offhandedly talked about recording a Podcast before but we had never come up with a title. This needed to be the title.

Essentially it just means talking because that’s all we do… we talk. There is no planning that goes into it. There is no structure or set topic. We’re just two dudes goofing off for 45 minutes about shit that is helpful and useful to literally no one.

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Biking A Marathon

Biked from my apartment to South Station. Got a ticket for the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail. Read my book while waiting for the train. Took the 11:55am train to Framingham. Biked from the Framingham Commuter Rail station West on Route 135 to the Starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton.

coursemap_2016Official map of the Boston Marathon route

Before starting off I grabbed a quick bite at the Bittersweet Co. bakery. There was inexplicably a Robert DeNiro impersonator there. After that I made my way up the street to the starting line. I started off at 2pm.

The route is extremely simple to follow. I had looked it up on Google Maps and made some notes on my phone the night before so I wouldn’t have to keep looking at a map. Essentially you stay 135 (heading East) forever until you pass Wellesley College, shortly after which you bear left on Route 16. Next you stay on 16 for a while until you get to Route 30, aka Comm Ave.

This is the one spot where I messed up. There was no sign for Rt 30 and though I knew I needed to get onto Comm Ave eventually, I didn’t follow my intuition and ended up staying straight on 16 until I got to the on ramp for the Mass Pike, at which point I knew I’d gone the wrong way and had to double back. Luckily I’d only gone ~.2 miles out of my way.

Once back at Comm Ave I took it all the way past the Chestnut Hill Reservoir where I jumped over to Beacon Street and took that all the way to Kenmore Sq at which point you get back on to Comm Ave before taking a right on Hereford St followed by a left on Boylston and through the Finish line.

I suspected the ride would take me anywhere from 3 to 4 hours to complete but to my surprise, it only ended up taking 2 hours and 9 minutes, including my screw up. All things considered, though I was tired at the end, it wasn’t nearly as taxing as I thought it would be, I could never run it though. And, like I said, the route was easy to follow. It brought me though a lot of towns I’d never been to before that I’d definitely like to explore more throughly.

It was something I’d always wanted to do and I’m glad I finally did it. I would definitely do it again. The nice thing was that marked on the side of the road every mile or so was a “water stop.” This was fun way of a) making sure I was still heading the right way and b) keeping track of how far I’d gone.

In total, based on Google Map estimates, between biking from my apartment to South Station, Framingham Station to the Start line, the marathon route, and then back to my apartment from Boston, I think I biked roughly 40 miles today. Not bad.

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A Weekend With Model S

As of this past Friday night (after work), I have been the proud caretaker of a Tesla Model S. As you may recall, this is not the first time I have had the privilege of taking one home; one of the perks of working for Tesla.

HooksettSuperchargerMy family poses with “our” Model S at the Hooksett Supercharger.

Let’s take it from the beginning. Knowing that my family was planning on attending my cousin Jon’s wedding in NH on April 16th, I put in a request to borrow an S so that I could drive it up there and show my family.

I specifically wanted to showcase it to my Uncle Pat who is potentially in the market. I put in the request over a month ago and fortunately, due to the influx of Test drive vehicles at our disposal, I was able to take one home.

Friday

Friday night after work, after dropping my co-worker James off at his apartment in Somerville, I took the S back to my parents house and parked in their driveway. My Dad and Sister were at the Red Sox game and, as is protocol at my house, would be expecting to get picked up at Oak Grove once the game was over.

What they were expecting however, was to be picked up in my Mom’s Chevy Cobalt. What they got was much cooler. Both of them knew that I was potentially going to be able to take a car home from work, but no one, myself included, knew if it was actually going to happen.

Needless to say they were both pleasantly surprised when they got to the bottom of the stairs at the train station and instead of finding my Mom in her car, they found me in a P90D with the Ludicrous Mode upgrade, as well as pretty much every other option.

Saturday

-Morning

I got up late, around 9:30am. We were planning on leaving for the wedding, in Meredith, NH, at 12:30pm. The wedding wasn’t set to start until 4:30pm but a) it is a 2 hour drive, b) we were planning on stopping at the Supercharger in Hooksett, NH to top off and c) my family likes being early to everything.

However, before doing all that, we wanted to embark on another family tradition, Saturday morning breakfast. After deciding on a place, we piled into the Model S and I took us to a nearby spot in Stoneham. It was a nightmare in the parking lot so we found another lot nearby and parked there.

We easily could have gone to a number of nearby places but my Dad and I, being the babies that we are, wanted to show off and spend as much time in the car as possible.

-Afternoon

After breakfast we went back to the house where we all got dressed for the wedding. In typical family fashion we were ready super early and thus left a little early at around noon.

The drive up to our first checkpoint, the Hooksett Supercharger, could not have been easier. Once I got us to the highway I engaged Autopilot and, with the exception of two “incidents” (a car pulling in front of us so fast that I pussied out and hit the brakes and a construction zone), I used it all the way there.

It really is such a useful tool. I pretty much hate driving. I’m a nervous driver and don’t like dealing with a lot of other people on the road. With Autopilot however, I just set it to 80mph, the flow of the traffic believe it or not, and let it do it’s thing.

I had my phone hooked up via bluetooth and was playing a playlist with great road trip music. Regardless of the ease of the directions, I had the Supercharger plugged into the GPS and it too worked beautifully.

When we arrived at the Hooksett rest area there was no one at any of the 8 charging stations. I just pulled up and plugged in. After taking a few pics in front of the car, we made our way into the rest area’s food court/general store.

This is a great rest area. It’s well “themed” and there’s a lot of food and snack options, as well as beer. I looked at the app on my phone and saw that it would take 40 minutes to top off.

It should have only taken about twenty but the Supercharger was charging at a rate of 96 miles (of charge) per hour as opposed to 300 miles per hour (what it was supposed to be doing; the real world results of Tesla ownership). My family was fine with that, we were plenty early, and so we just hung out until the app told me we were full.

We unplugged, hopped back in the car and I used Autopilot the rest of the way there.

-Evening

We arrived at Church Landing at Mill Falls (after a slight miscalculation) and eventually found a good place to park. After checking in a the front desk and finding out where things were to take place we began to explore the hotel and the grounds.

To my surprise there was another Model S at Mill Falls. To my greater surprise it was charging, I didn’t realize there was charging there. Luckily it was only a 70D so the one we were in was cooler.

It was a beautiful hotel with an excellent location. It was just the right amount of rustic to let you know that you were in New Hampshire.

LakeWinnipesaukeePanoramic view of Lake Winnipesaukee

After hanging out on the 2nd floor balcony, meeting up with other family members as they arrived and chatting at the hotel restaurant/bar with my Aunt and Grandpa, it was eventually time for the wedding.

The ceremony was short and to the point. There was a great recording of a string quartet playing classic rock songs like Somebody to Love, Sweet Child of Mine and I Believe in a Thing Called Love. After that there were drinks and horderves and eventually, the fun part, the reception.

There are three things I need to call out that made for a great reception. 1) The kisses – rather then just having Jon and Becca kiss every time we tapped the glass, the DJ let us know that it was there request to have each table do it individually. However, you also all had to stand up and sing a song with the word “love” in it. My table was the second one up and we sang Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain and Tennille.

2) The dancing – I was pleasantly surprised that when the dance music started, people actually got up and danced. Usually I am the lone guy on the dance floor waiting for people to join me.

3) The dessert – rather than a traditional cake, they had a Ben and Jerry’s stand where you could make your own Sunday.

Best. Wedding. Ever.

Word had spread (thanks to my Dad) that we had driven up in a Model S. My Cousin Jon (the groom), my Uncle Pat (his dad), my Cousin Mike and my Grandpa all expressed interest in taking a spin in the S. My plan was to take them all out at one point in the evening.

But, due to the fact that it’s a wedding, Jon and Pat were too involved to take a brake. My grandpa ended up going back to the hotel before I could get a hold of him and Mike  was too busy dancing and watching his kids to break away. It’s all good though, I’m sure I’ll get it again OR they can just swing by the Pru for a test drive.

It was about that time that my family decided it was time to go home. So, after making our rounds and saying “goodbyes” we hopped back in the S and headed home.

The ride home couldn’t have gone smoother. I set it to 75 this time, as it was dark and there were a bunch of cops out. We seemed to get home in no time.

Sunday

-Morning/Afternoon

This morning I had a pretty tight game-plan I needed to stick to. I had to get the car back to the Pru by 11am but I also had to be back at the apartment for 10am so that I could let the Comcast guy in. On top of that, a few of the things I was bringing home were big so I needed to stop by the apartment to drop them off.

I left the house a little after 9 and headed straight for my apartment in Somerville. To my pleasant surprise, upon my arrival, there was a spot right in front of the apartment on the street. I used the Autopark to parallel park the car, then unloaded everything into the apartment. Once inside, I noticed that there was already a router in our house. Had the Comcast guy already come? I didn’t have time to worry about that so I just grabbed the fob, went back downstairs and drove the rest of the way into the Pru.

Once at the Pru I used Autopark again to perpendicular park in one of our spots. Then plugged the car in and ran the key fob up into the showroom. After chatting with a few people in the back room I ran into Andy, my roommate/co-worker who told me that the Comcast guy had in fact already come and that I did not need to greet him at the apartment.

With that stress lifted, it was now my plan to head back to the apartment to do a few things around the house and enjoy my Sunday off. However, no sooner did I get out of the door of the showroom was I then chased down by Andy. He was letting me know that we were leaving spots for guests of the Private Event (that I didn’t know we were having) and was asking that I take the car.

What had I rushed for? I thought they needed all of the cars there for the busy weekend. If I knew that both the Comcast guy had come and that I couldn’t park the car at the Pru and thus didn’t need to bother returning it on time, I wouldn’t have rushed my ass off this morning getting it back there.

RainbowRoadAutopilotThere is a new easter egg with Autopilot. Rainbow Road from Mario Kart appears when you click the stock 4 times instead of two. I tried it out on the Mass Ave Bridge on the way back to my apartment from the Pru. Notice that one of the topics of the podcast I was listening to was Autopilot… very meta.

Oh, well. With this new info I grabbed the fob again then went back downstairs to the parking garage so I could take the S back to Somerville for the day. Unfortunately, the spot in front of the apartment had been taken so I had to park two blocks down in the 2 hour parking zone.

I walked back to the apartment and when I got inside, began to unpack my things. I was still wearing my glasses and was itching to put on my contacts but they were nowhere in sight. I called my Mom and sure enough, I had left them at my parents house. So, after grabbing a few things, I hopped back into the Model S and drove back to my Parents house.

The good thing was that now I had my contacts (reason 1 for coming back to their house) and I had a safe spot to park where I didn’t have to worry about how long I could stay there.

Once here, I had some food and wrote the thing you just read. I also, plugged the car into the 110 volt outlet in the garage to charge it a bit until this evening when I’ll be able to drive it back to the Pru. It’s only getting a 3 mile per hour charge rate but it’s better than nothing.

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A New Level Of Consumerism

As I’m sure you all know by now, on March 31st, Tesla Motors revealed the highly anticipated Model . This past Thursday, fans around the world waited in lines for hours outside Tesla showrooms to place one thousand dollar deposits to hold their place in line for a Model 3.

TeslaPrudentialBostonThe line outside the Tesla showroom at the Prudential Center in Boston. There were more people lined up outside Sephora.

This, to me, marks a new level of consumerism. When have you ever heard of people getting in line to buy a car before!? When have you ever heard of a car generating this much buzz before? I think it’s nuts that people kill themselves on Black Friday to get good deals on TV’s and what not.

It’s nuts to me that people camp outside stores for the latest iPhone. However, at least they leave that day with an actual item. All these people left with was a confirmation email thanking them for giving us (Tesla) their money. And most people didn’t even receive that. In some cases, due to the influx of orders, confirmation emails took up to 48 hours!

TeslaModel3Tesla Model ☰  prototype

What’s more, at the time that these people put in their deposit, Model 3 hadn’t even been unveiled yet. These people gave Tesla $1,000 for something on which they had no technical specs and no idea what it looked like! All they knew is that it would be “20% smaller than Model S.”

Little did any of us know until 11:30pm EST that a 20% smaller version of Model S is exactly what we got. To be honest, I for one could not be happier about the design. The way I see it, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There are a lot of great lines and design cues from other cars (Porsche, Aston Martin) throughout.

One of the biggest deals about this car, why it is so coveted, is because this will be the first “affordable” (prices are set to start at $35,000) model Tesla has ever released. Also, there are certain tax incentives that pertain to electric vehicles and the number handed out is limited to 200,000 units. The thought process is to have a low number on the list so that you will be able to take advantage of these incentives.

I’m not sure if the incentives are based on the total number of cars produced by a company, or if there is a cap of 200,000 per model; ie. 200k for Roadster, 200k for S, 200k for X and 200K for 3. Regardless, as of EOD Friday April 1st, Tesla had an astounding 253,000 pre-orders (deposits, reservations, whatever you want to call it) for Model 3! That is simply unbelievable.

Never before have I ever cared about stock prices… until I became a shareholder shortly after joining the company this past November. There are a lot of factors that go into play with something as monumental and, quite frankly, historical as this.

First is that, hopefully investors will see this interest as a positive thing and will thus continue to put their support behind the company. Another, is that hopefully the opening of the Giga Factory (the battery factory in Nevada) along side with the production/release of Model 3, will allow the company to finally become cash flow positive.

However, it is more than a [monetary] vested interest I have in the company. I truly care about the companies’ success, not only because I am an employee, but because I genuinely believe in their mission and I want to see them (us) accomplish it as a team.

I’ve said this since I started, I really feel I joined Tesla at the perfect time. It is a very exciting company to work for and there are many parts of Musk’s “Secret Master Plan” that are finally coming into play. Between Model X rollout ramping up, and the recent reveal of Model 3 (with deliveries expected “late 2017”) the next few years at Tesla should be, if nothing else, very interesting.

It really feels like we’re part of a movement that is much bigger than just selling electric vehicles. It truly feels like we are part of something that is changing the world. All I can do now is play the waiting game. Oh, I’m sorry, did I forget to mention that I too put down a reservation for Model 3! It’ll make for a pretty cool first car.

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Clocks and Stuff

I’ve mentioned a few times my love for the Netflix series Master of None. One of the things that stood out to me while watching it was the style of the show. Not only how it was shot, it feels very cinematic, but also the costume and set design. I found myself wanting every outfit that Dev (Aziz Ansari’s character) was wearing.

However, what I liked even more was the furniture and other set pieces in his apartment. This is particularly apparent in the episode “Mornings” when it goes though a year or six months worth of time spent between Dev and Rachel, his girlfriend, which takes place entirely in his apartment.

TwemcoBQ-38Dev’s clock from Master of None

The one thing that stood out to me (and apparently many other fans of the show), was the clock they kept cutting to in order to display the passage of time. The clock in question (pictured above) is the Twemco BQ-38. I have always been a fan of the old “flippy” clocks. I love the design of this one a lot and it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that I could actually use a new clock for my night table in my room since my iHome is now used in the living room.

This thought occurred to me at work and thus led me on a search to figure out what this clock was. I found a post on Reddit (a site I literally never use) that was surprisingly helpful and led to an Amazon link where I could buy the clock. I probably would have bought it if it wasn’t $180! For a fucking clock, screw that. I found it on another site but it was still going for $168. I’ll be on the hunt for a cheaper knock off at a vintage market/store.

However, there was also a link on the Google search that led me to Primer dot com. The link was to an article called Designing Dev’s Apartment From Master of None. The link had a lot of great design tips and cool insight as to how set designers do there job. What was cooler was that I began to explore the site and there is a lot of cool shit on it. I’ve just started getting my toes wet, but I highly recommend checking it out.

Olivetti-ValentineOlivetti Valentine typewriter

Lastly, in completely unrelated news, I may have already brought this up, but I want an Ettore Sottsass designed Olivetti Valentine typewriter. Totally don’t need one, would totally never use it but it would make such a cool display piece… or future wedding present.

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Where The Bike Path Ends

Get it… like Where the Sidewalk Ends… by Shel Silverstein? Anyway, today, since I had the day off, I decided to explore Somerville. My cousin had called me the other day and told me that Somerville was the first site where they raised the American flag after some historical event took place (or something like that). So, this morning, I decided to go to the site to check it out.

ProspectHillParkProspect Hill Park

I climbed the stairs and got as high up as I could. Unfortunately, I was not able to go into the stone monument. However, even from it’s base I was able to get a great view of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. I definitely look forward to going back there when the weather gets nice. There’s a great grassy area that’s perfect for frisbee.

For whatever reason, it reminded me of parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan (specifically Harlem). Maybe because that’s where I last went on an “exploration” but either way it was nice to feel like I was back there, or at the very least, feel like I was somewhere new.

After walking around the park for a bit, I decided, rather than to go back to the apartment, that I would explore a bit of Somerville.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.05.04 PMWalking route

I made my way out to Highland Ave, entirely by accident and then past my friend James’s apartment. After that I walked all the way down Broadway to Taco Party. I considered stopping in for some food, the original plan, but decided not to (I’ll do it some other time, possibly with friends) and instead hung a left off of Broadway to head back towards Davis Sq.

Along the way I passed a bike path and instantly decided I needed to explore it. After ending up not at Davis, but instead near Porter, I grabbed the 87 bus back to my apartment (I was tired of walking) and took a quick break before grabbing my bike and heading out again.

It was a little cold and threatening to rain but I was determined to make good use of my day, rather than spend it entirely in the apartment. I made my way up Somerville Ave, hung a right onto Lowell St, and eventually got onto the Somerville Community Path.

The first section of the path was really well paved and again I look forward to going back there when the weather is nice. However, today was great because there were very few people on it, so I never dealt with traffic.

The path winds through Davis Square, across Mass Ave, and eventually ends up at Alewife station. I continued on the path, past Alewife, past some pond until I reached a sign that said END OF BIKE PATH. This was probably for the best because as much as I wanted to continue to explore, I was getting cold. Again, I’ll save it for another day.

As I made my way back and was approaching Alewife, I saw another bike path off to my left. I had seen it while heading out but was determined to see the end of the path I was on first. I really wanted to go back because I was cold, but the spirit of adventure took hold of me and I ended up following my gut.

Your gut is usually a good thing to follow and this certainly was the case today. It led me all the way to Arlington to the Minuteman Bikeway (little did I know I was already on it). This is a path I’ve ridden several times before all the way to it’s end at the Bedford depot. I was too cold to continue down that path, so I tied my shoe at the Uncle Sam Memorial Statue before finally heading back to the apartment.

Once home, I made food and clearly was very tired because after eating, I lied down on the couch to take a “short nap” which ended up lasting from 3pm to 6pm.

In completely unrelated news, the show Girls on HBO has always been a good source of music, specifically during their end credits. The last two episodes have been no exception and were so good that I felt I needed to share them. (Just a heads up, the vid below is not the song from the episode, merely another one from the same group which I really like and the video is cool.)

First off is the song It by Christine and the Queens. This song ended, not this most recent episode, but the one before that. I really liked it and in fact, enjoyed it so much that I look more into the group and am now a big fan of their music. What I also like about them is the fact that their music videos are really artsy and cool.

The second end credits song was a cover of David Bowie’s Life on Mars by Norwegian singer Aurora. Not only did it fit the tone of the episode perfectly, but it is also heartbreakingly beautiful. It reminds me of the Jónsi cover of MGMT’s Time to Pretend.

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Moved Out

So… I finally did it. It only took 26 years, but I finally moved out of my parents house! The circumstances aligned perfectly. Getting the full time job at Tesla was the first piece of the puzzle. Next was finding a roommate. Coincidentally, just as I began searching for apartments on my own -hoping a roommate would fall into place- a roommate fell into place. Fast forward through searching for “the apartment” and eventually we happened upon a great spot right between Union and Porter Square in Somerville.

IMG_3895

We’re a stones throw from Market Basket, a super short walk to Union Square (including Brass Union, The Independent, Backbar, and Union Square Donuts), Aeronaut Brewery, and this new place I walked past called Somervelo.

IMG_3893

I really look forward to checking it out. Not only do I love that it’s a bike shop that’s super close to me, but also, their logo is dope and they seemingly sell Bike Polo stuff!

Back to the apartment… we’re pretty much done getting everything set up. It’s kind of nice to have a space of your own where you can feel free to do whatever you want. Not that I was so constrained at home, but at least here if I want to have people over super late or if I magically get a girlfriend I’ll have a place to hang out rather than taking her back to my parents house. I feel like there’s more but at the moment I can’t think of it so I guess I’ll leave it there for now.

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Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

WARNING: this blog post contains spoilers of the movie Tomorrowland and has I high level of Disney nerd-ing and fandom. Readers should be well acquainted with the Disney Parks to fully appreciate this post.

When I saw the first teaser trailer for Tomorrowland I was very excited. I always wanted to write a movie about a future based off of Walt Disney’s original vision for EPCOT. However, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow OR Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (I’ve heard it both ways) was probably too clunky of a title for a feature length film and thus I can understand why they went with Tomorrowland.

After the first full trailer was released for the movie I was instantly turned off by the idea. I suddenly thought it look very bad and very different from the original movie that had been pitched to me. Thus, I decided to skip it when it was released in theaters. That said, after hearing my parents reaction upon seeing it in theaters, I decided too give it a second chance. That chance came last night when it was finally released on Starz.

Tomorrowland is a movie that is filled with wonder. What I mean is, it does something that all great movies should do; it transforms you into wanting to exist in the world that has been created on screen. I have always been a fan of anything with secret passages and hidden worlds. The idea that behind a doorway could be a portal leading to different world. Call it the kid in me or the fact that I still have a very active imagination, but the movie helps to bring out the dreamer that still lives inside me.

When I was living in New York, one of the first things I did was to visit Corona Park in Queens. That is the site of the 1964 Worlds Faire. When you enter the Queens Museum there is a whole section dedicated to photos and memorabilia from the Worlds Faire. It really does a great job of transporting your mental state to a different period in time.

The whole opening of the movie which takes place there and then transports to Tomorrowland is one of the most exciting parts of the movie to me. I would love to see Disney World update “It’s A Small World” to more closely represent what takes place in the version of the ride in the film.

Next, I was blown away by the actual visuals of Tomorrowland. I genuinely don’t know how they did it. The first time Casey goes there, I genuinely don’t know what is a set and what is CG. Some of it is fairly obvious but some seems like it was actually built, in which case, how big was their budget!? I loved the homage to “Space Mountain” as it is one of the buildings featured in the background of several shots that take place in Tomorrowland.

To me, I felt that Brad Bird did a great job of capturing the spirit of Walt’s vision, not only for Tomorrowland or EPCOT, but his passion for innovation, invention, imagination and adventure. The part in Paris when they’re in the Eiffel Tower and there are the wax figures of Tesla, Jules Vern, and the others; that felt like part of something from “Spaceship Earth” or “The American Adventure”. It feels very steampunk and reminiscent of a Disney ride. Specifically, not that I’ve been on it, “Space Mountain: From the Earth to the Moon,” at Disneyland Paris.

I will admit that it is not perfect. Tonally, the movie tends to shift from feeling serious, almost a PG-13 type movie, to feeling much more light-hearted and dare I say silly at moments. This does not ruin the movie but it does make it seem a bit unbalanced. I was not as blown away or amazed by this movie as I may have made it seem by all of my praise at the beginning of this post, but I did very much enjoy it. It was actually better than I thought it would be. I think partially because I was expecting to hate it.

In short, Tomorrowland is a very enjoyable film. It was very inspiring and, as corny as this may sound, is exactly the type of movie the world needs right now. An optimistic vision of the future. Something to wake the dreamers up and have them realize that with the right energy and action, anything is possible.

Extra thoughts I couldn’t organically fit in:

– I loved the bit at the end where he has to drop Athena in order to destroy that ball thing. It was very reminiscent of Metropolis (anime) when Tima lets go and falls to her death. That movie makes me cry, without fail, every time I see it.

– I loved that they included the 1939 Worlds Faire “logo” or whatever you’d call it, hidden as one of the buildings in the animated version of Tomorrowland that is shown during the end credits.

– It felt very much like Wall-E in the best way possible, a movie with a message about the human race and planet earth.

– Some of the Chevy product placement felt a little heavy handed. We get it, GM sponsors “Test Track.”

– It also reminded me of “The People Mover.”

– I loved the costume design for Athen at the 1964 Worlds Faire. Her dress with the color and the pattern were a perfect compliment to Nix’s shirt and tie.

– Working for Tesla makes me feel, in a small way, like I am contributing to the future of this planet and thus I feel like my thoughts and work very much align with the message this story tries to portray.

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Accommodations

I’ve written several posts about furniture and future living situation ideas that I’m interested in. When it comes to how I envision my future home -or apartment for that matter- less is more.

I want to own as little as possible. I want the design to be as minimalist as possible. The fewer items you have, the less clutter you have and inevitably, the less stress you have. Above is a video of the “Vipp Shelter.”

Vipp is -apparently- a design company that makes household items. They designed what their perfect version of a house is and I am in love with it. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

I have been saying for a while now that I want my future home to be a shipping container home. This is not far off from that. Additionally, interior design is particularly pertinent as I am currently in the process of searching for an apartment.

The following is a link to a tiny apartment that I would be more than happy to live in. I have covered this in at least two older posts but it’s never not relevant. For a more in depth view of the “Vipp Shelter,” here is a link to the original YouTube video that alerted me to the home as well as the company.

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