[Photo Post] — Rehearsal At Fluor Field

One of my best friends got married last weekend. Erin and I made the trek to Greenville, SC, to dress hella fly, have a few drinks and get my bro married to a very brave woman. I took my camera, which I almost always do, with the 24mm attached but I didn’t take many photos. Mostly because I was a groomsman and holding a camera during the wedding would’ve been uncomfortable, distracting and just plain weird. I left the photo-taking to those who were hired to do it and the attendees with iPhones.

I did, however, take a few shots during the rehearsal dinner. We gathered at Fluor Field to root on the home team the Greenville Drive, eat hotdogs and brisket, drink beer and celebrate Jon and Kaylee’s final unmarried evening. Below are a few of the photos that made the cut.

As always, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll likely see these soon if you haven’t already. You can also find these in all their high-res glory on my Flickr account.

Jon’s been a married man for five days now. I have to think it’s been the happiest five days of his life and I wish him and his gorgeous bride a lifetime of the same happiness.

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On Hip Tattoos and Halfway to 10k

So we finally did it. After well over a year of planning, talking, thinking, considering, backing out, dreaming, and conversing Allison and I finally got our hops tattoos. With the help of the lovely Emily Walker at Born This Way Body Arts in Knoxville, we each got variations of the hop flower, primarily used to give beer its bitter flavor.

But this post isn’t just about the hop tattoo – it’s about progress tracking and new goals (and tattoos, still, obviously)! I’ve been laying low on the tattoo-front lately, partially because of our long-standing rule that I have to fix or do something to/for the house or take care of some other random finance-requiring responsibility before I spend money on new tattoos, but also because I hit a bit of a wall after my fajitas back in December. I just didn’t know what to get or where to get it anymore. I can’t say I was out of ideas, just out of inspiration, I guess. As the date for hops tattoos drew nearer that inspiration started to fire up again, though, and I’ve decided I’m going to take on my ribs soon and suddenly I’m interested in getting a tattoo on my hip.

I can’t remember who I saw with it but recently I saw a photo of someone with a black panther tattooed on their hip. I decided it looked cool and that I was going to make it happen after I drop my body fat percentage a bit more. Just not a black panther – it isn’t that I don’t like the animal, it’s just not “me”. Other options that aren’t “me”: bears, wolves, tigers, and lions. All out of the question. So what would I get?

As embarrassing as it is to admit I thought I had a brilliant idea that included researching animal personalities and finding one that I closely relate to. After the first assessment the result was dolphin. NOPE. I decided to try a different one. Second assessment results: swan. Also NOPE. “This is a dumb idea and I hate my personality” were the results I ended up going with – my hip animal would remain a mystery for the time being.

I re-told this story while getting tattooed on Saturday and, inspired by the inclusion of the minotaur during the news team fight scene in Anchorman 2 playing in the background, Erin suggested maybe something mythological like the aforementioned minotaur, a phoenix, or a griffon. I was impressed with the idea and my mind started racing until Emily piped up. “What about a warthog?”

What about it? I think it’s a lovely idea and it’s been permanently etched into my mind. Let’s get the body fat percentage down and begin work on a warthog tattoo right on the hip. Mean, grouchy, sweaty, slobbery, toothy and all-around hardcore, I think we’ve found a winner. It’s perfect. It’s now my motivation. I told mom on the phone recently that last year my motivation was reversing diabetes; now it’s getting a hip tattoo. Let’s make it happen!


Today I made it past the mid-way point of Active’s 5k-to-10k program: Week 5, day 2. It’s been a “recovery week” this week but it’s back in action starting Tuesday of next. My run on Sunday was supposed to (I think) take me to the 5 mile mark but I crapped out. I hate, hate, hate making excuses but I went out after a heavy rain and the pollen in the park was unbearable at times. Typically this doesn’t get to me but it did on Sunday and it did badly. I had a hard time breathing, ended up having to slow down, and in the end just went over 4.25 miles, which was about the same as the previous week’s Sunday long run.

I’m justifying the shortcoming by saying it’s more about getting the workout in than reaching the 10k goal, and it definitely is, but ultimately the 10k is the reason for the program I’m in and it hurt to miss a milestone I think I was supposed to hit. I have no doubt, though, that I’ll hit 5 miles and maybe more next Sunday. A measly 4 weeks remains on this program – 13 workouts – 4 of which belong to recovery weeks. I can handle 9 more hard runs…I think.


With the fresh tattoo I’ve been unable to glove-up at the boxing gym but I haven’t let that prevent me from getting my workouts in. I’m still rolling into the gym and doing the full “power hour” with just shadow boxing, only occasionally hitting the bag (lightly) and replacing most of my hooks with elbows so I can actually hit something during my workout. It’s actually been really good for me – my arms, shoulders and the area around my ribs have been sore all week so I’m apparently hitting places I’ve not been hitting. I look to be able to glove-up again next week.

Wednesday’s “Power Hour” was just as intense as it always is. There were only five folks brave enough to come out at 5:45am on Wednesday and one of them usually leaves before the core workouts (final 15 minutes). Of the four that remained, two got up and went home less than halfway through (wimps!). On their way out I wanted to chase them yelling “But, but, but – summer pool parties are coming! I’m getting a hip tattoo! You guys can do thisssss!” I guess pool parties with my friends and me getting a warthog tattoo on my hip weren’t enough motivation for them to stick around. Not sure why. Maybe they’re dolphin or swan people.


Note: Exactly two weeks from today I go in for my official one year blood work check. I’m nervous as hell but excited to see what the results are going to be. The last year has been awesome!

Mantry Unboxing: GQ How To Entertain In Style

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Let’s get something straight: If you’re going to use the #foodporn tag, your food had better be pornographic in some way. Gratuitous – maybe even exploitative. I hate scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing people heating up jarred tomato sauce and pouring it over some chicken that was pre-breaded and frozen situated on an ugly plate and captured forever on a digital camera with the flash on. I felt like it was my job to make up for such a disservice to the #foodporn community by making my own chicken parmesan recently. I texted a friend Boys bake pre-breaded, frozen chicken and call it chicken parmesan. Men bread their own fresh chicken but not before they stuff that shit with mozzarella and chorizo. You just received a text from a man. And it was true and it was tasty.

But I didn’t take a photo, therefore no #foodporn, therefore I didn’t do my part to cancel out some other dude’s culinary laziness. I am a bad food pornographer.

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Last month I got my first crate from Mantry, a monthly box-subscription service that delivers artisan tasties from all over the country to your front door. As you could probably tell from my review post Mantry aren’t messing around when it comes to bringing you food lovelies that are top of the line and not packed with typical grocery BS.

Last month’s box had a Euro Trip theme and featured food inspired by a true European culinary experience. For this month’s theme, Mantry have teamed up with GQ as part of #GQHowToMonth and put together some foodie staples meant to wow your guests. Erin and I rarely ever entertain so for the most part we’re wowing ourselves but at least the delights are classy. I can dig it.

Let’s get into this months box:

From left to right:
Chipotle Lime Peanuts from Bee’s Knees Food Co., Chicago, IL
Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned from Bittermilk, Charleston, SC
Raw Honeycomb from Savannah Bee Co., Savannah, GA
FDA Chocolate Salami from Dude, Sweet Chocolate, Dallas, TX
Whiskey Salami from Creminelli, Salt Lake City, UT
Porter Crackers from Beer Flats, Cincinnati, OH

As usual, I plan on reviewing these items as they’re prepared and start hitting my belly. I’m very excited about getting down on the whiskey salami and chocolate “salami”. We’ve already snuck a bite of the crackers and I’m looking forward to utilizing the honeycomb and the bitters because I’m a big fan of a classic Old Fashioned but I sometimes hate ordering them when I go out because I’ve heard some (lazy) bartenders complain about the few steps that are involved. Heck, maybe I’ll complain, too, after making one or two at home, who knows?

While I’m merely a home cook that just knows a little bit of something about food, I can still certainly appreciate the experiences provided by a nice culinary adventure whether it be trying a new restaurant, cooking a new food, or simply being surprised by the contents of the monthly Mantry crate and the enjoyment and inspiration it provides. It wouldn’t hurt if you did some of the same – you might even learn something!

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