Articles by " Adam"
1 Sep

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: September!


Mmmm, yes.

Oh man, you guys.  I love Sep­tem­ber so much.  It’s my favorite mon­th.  And yes, my birth­day is in Sep­tem­ber, but I love it for so many more rea­sons than that!  Sep­tem­ber has some of the best weath­er of the year: still warm enough for shorts and tees, but not stu­pid hot, Sep­tem­ber is back to school time, which is get­ting more and more nos­tal­gic the longer I’m away from school, and Sep­tem­ber has a whole bunch of great events too!  Click READ MORE to find out what’s up!

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27 Aug

It’s thyme for me to give you some sage advice!


Dem herbs, doe.

August 29th is More Herbs, Less Salt Day!  Herbs are fan­tas­tic, guys.  Herbs are what takes food from drab to fab, they’re the sav­ing grace of such bland things as pota­toes and quinoa, they are, in short, food’s rea­son for liv­ing.


All­l­l­l­l­l­l­ll the herbs!

Where would that healthy grilled chick­en be with­out a lit­tle rub of rose­mary?  Blahsville, that’s where.  And those cute lit­tle new pota­toes?  With­out some chives or some pars­ley, you may as well be eat­ing balls of paste.  And of course, though it’s not quite uni­ver­sal­ly loved, who can for­get the culi­nary might of cilantro in a sal­sa or a chut­ney?


Ah, her­by good­ness!

More Herbs, Less Salt Day is a day to remem­ber both the risks of over-salt­ing one’s food and the plea­sures of using fresh herbs in one’s cook­ing (and eat­ing.)  Seri­ous­ly, is there any­thing that can make you feel more like a real chef than adding a pinch of fresh oregano to a sim­mer­ing dish?  There is not.


Did you know that British peo­ple pro­nounce the ‘h’ in ‘herbs’? Did you also know that cilantro is the leafy por­tion of the corian­der plant? The more you knoooooooow!

So for real, get you some herbs, make some food, and enjoy the deli­cious and com­plex fla­vors that only herbs can provide.  Salt is great, but in the end it just makes things salty.  Herbs are way more use­ful.

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2 Aug

No, it’s not a Market where you buy Farmers. Or, why corn on the cob is the best ever.

snow cone


It’s Nation­al Farmer’s Mar­ket Week, city slick­ers!  When I was a kid, my mom used to take us to the Farmer’s Mar­ket in the park­ing lot of the Pitts­burgh Zoo and it was one of the best parts of the sum­mer.  I didn’t real­ly appre­ci­ate the local pro­duce then, but man did I love the sno-cones.  There was this great ven­dor with one of those total­ly bitch­in’ ice shav­ing machi­nes and all the­se great fla­vored syrups like Piña Colada and man­go and stuff.  It ruled.

There’s no FM in the zoo park­ing lot any­more, but there are plen­ty of them around Pitts­burgh dur­ing the spring/summer/fall, and the FM is the very best place to get fruits, veg­eta­bles, and a bunch of oth­er deli­cious food­stuffs.  My favorites to get recent­ly are fresh baked breads, whole bar­be­cued chick­ens, and there’s this berry farmer who makes the­se fan­tas­tic berry-fla­vored syrups that go great in lemon­ade and on ice cream and stuff.


Sno-cones, breads, and syrups, though, all pale in com­par­ison to fresh­ly picked corn on the cob.  There may indeed be no bet­ter sum­mer food than fresh corn.  It’s great just shucked and boiled, it’s fan­tas­tic grilled, and it’s amaz­ing cut off the cob and cooked with olive oil and fresh Poblano pep­pers.  (Also avail­able at FMs!)

Pret­ty much what I’m say­ing here is that the Farmer’s Mar­ket is absolute­ly the place to go for fresh sum­mer foods.  There’s at least one some­where in Pitts­burgh every day except Sat­ur­day for the rest of the sum­mer and into the fall.  Find out exact­ly where/when here!  I’ll see you there!

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31 Jul

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: August!


Yes, we are real­ly this excit­ed for the Side­walk Sale. It’s awe­some, ok?!

Well, friends, we got through the hec­tic, crazy fun that was July and now it’s time to set­tle in for the long, hot haul that is August.  Just kid­ding, it’s still sum­mer and that means more fun!  Sure, it feels like you’re swim­ming through molten lava each time you walk out­side, but that’s part of summer’s charm!  Or what­ev­er.  Any­way, there’s plen­ty of great stuff hap­pen­ing at KU dur­ing August, so click READ MORE to find out what!

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26 Jul

If Peter Rabbit is wrong, I don’t want to be right. An appreciation of Beatrix Potter.


Peter Rab­bit, as you may know, is the most famous char­ac­ter of the won­der­ful children’s author Beat­rix Pot­ter.  (Whose birth­day is July 28th!)  When I was a kid, there were sev­er­al film adap­ta­tions of Beat­rix Potter’s works that I loved to watch over and over and over.  They, along with the Dis­ney movie Dum­bo and the car­toon Charlotte’s Web, were a huge­ly for­ma­tive part of my child­hood.  They were instru­men­tal in giv­ing me a love of nature and ani­mals that endures to this day.

Peter Rab­bit was a rebel.  His mom was all, “Don’t go in Mr. McGregor’s gar­den or he will lit­er­al­ly eat you like some sort of fairy tale mon­ster only he’s real.”  But Peter was like, “Yeah, what­ev­er!”  And he raid­ed that gar­den right­eous­ly.  It was so met­al.  Then he had to escape the gar­den when Mr. McGre­gor hap­pened to see and chase him and he bare­ly got away!  AND, hav­ing lost his waist­coat (a rab­bit in a waist­coat?!) and shoes and con­tract­ed a cold from hid­ing in a water­ing can, Peter was sent to bed with no sup­per and just a dose of Chamomile tea. Whew.

So yes, Peter prob­a­bly could have avoid­ed all that unpleas­ant­ness by sim­ply lis­ten­ing to his moth­er, but some­times you just have to let peo­ple make their own mis­takes.  And eat deli­cious car­rots.


Beat­rix Pot­ter was pret­ty rad too.  She was a shrewd busi­ness­wom­an, patent­ing a Peter Rab­bit doll short­ly after the book became such a huge hit and buy­ing a ton of farm­land in the north of Eng­land over the course of her life (which she donat­ed to the Nation­al Trust and lat­er much of it became the Lake Dis­trict Nation­al Park) and just gen­er­al­ly being a boss.  Plus her name was Beat­rix which rules.  So hap­py birth­day, Beat­rix!  <3!

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15 Jul

Comics You Should Read Right Away

The life of a comic book nerd is not easy.  Mis­un­der­stood, dis­missed, and much maligned, the graph­ic novel/comic medi­um is in real­i­ty just as com­plex and var­ied as is tra­di­tion­al fic­tion, it just hap­pens to include freak­in’ awe­some illus­tra­tions.  If you’re some­one who has, in the past, dis­missed comics because you thought they were all about super­heroes with ono­matopo­et­ic sound effects like ‘biff’ or if you’re some­one who’s nev­er even con­sid­ered div­ing into the rich and won­der­ful world of the graph­ic nov­el, give the­se books a try.  You’ll be pleas­ant­ly sur­prised!


Bat­man, R.I.P.: What it’s about: Bat­man, obvi­ous­ly.  He dies in this one! (May­be…)

Why you should read it:  Bat­man R.I.P. is pret­ty much the cul­mi­na­tion of Grant Morrison’s (aka, the Leo Tol­stoy of graph­ic nov­els) work with the Bat­man char­ac­ter.  It’s huge, com­plex, and chal­leng­ing.  Not your run of the mill super­hero comic.




Lucifer:  What it’s about:  Yes, that Lucifer.  In the DC uni­verse, the char­ac­ter of Lucifer appears in many sto­ries, most notably in Neil Gaiman’s Sand­man series, which is where the stand alone Lucifer series got its start.

Why you should read it:  Sor­ry, did I not men­tion the part where it’s about the dev­il and that the stand alone series is a spin-off from Sand­man.  Addi­tion­al­ly, because re-vamps of the tra­di­tion­al dev­il char­ac­ter are fas­ci­nat­ing.  And final­ly because Lucifer is just an incred­i­bly cool char­ac­ter.  He’s got it going on, is what I’m say­ing.


The Filth:  What it’s about: A weird, crazy romp through post-mod­ern inter­pre­ta­tions of the sta­tus quo!

Why you should read it:  Anoth­er piece from the genius mind of Grant Mor­rison, The Filth is one of those things that you just have to see to believe.  If you’re into media that looks at the line between appro­pri­ate and inap­pro­pri­ate and then prompt­ly oblit­er­ates it, The Filth is for you.




John Con­stan­ti­ne: Hell­blaz­er:  What it’s about: One of DC’s longest run­ning char­ac­ters, anti­hero magi­cian, chain-smok­er, and pro-lev­el snark fac­to­ry John Con­stan­ti­ne and all his super­nat­u­ral adven­tures.

Why you should read it:  It’s a fan­tas­tic explo­ration of the human­ist anti­hero.  If mis­an­thropes who are com­mit­ted to doing some­thing good are your thing, look up my man John.


Swamp Thing Book One Cover

Saga of the Swamp Thing:  What it’s about:  Pret­ty self-explana­to­ry, actu­al­ly.  He’s a Thing.  That lives in a Swamp.  Loves plants and the envi­ron­ment and stuff.

Why you should read it:  Self-explana­tora­bil­i­ty notwith­stand­ing, it’s actu­al­ly real­ly cool!  A glob­al envi­ron­men­tal­ly aware comic book char­ac­ter is a fab­u­lous pro­tag­o­nist.  For real.



A Game of Thrones:  I don’t need to tell you what it’s about because you’ve prob­a­bly seen the show.  I hope.

Why you should read it:  Again, feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but I will say that the graph­ic nov­el­iza­tion of ASOIAF is like a real­ly incred­i­ble mash-up of the show and the books, which is baller.



100 Bul­lets:  What it’s about: It’s basi­cal­ly every­thing fan­tas­tic about noir, pulp, and revenge thrillers all rolled into one styl­ized, metaphor-rich cre­ation.

Why you should read it:  See above.  It’s like the break­fast bur­ri­to of the crime sto­ry world.

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15 Jul

Grab your favorite dummy, it’s National Ventriloquism Week!


If ol’ Char­lie here freaks you out, you may have automatono­pho­bia.

Ok, yes.  Ven­tril­o­quists’ Dum­mies fre­quent­ly are extreme­ly creepy.  Being a ven­tril­o­quist, though, is real­ly cool.  Did you know ven­tril­o­quism (Yeah, try typ­ing it in less than three sec­onds.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.)  was con­sid­ered a form of prophe­cy in ancient Greece and Rome?  The ora­cle at Del­phi was a ven­tril­o­quist.  Except she didn’t use a pup­pet, I guess?

ANYWAY, the third week of July (7/13 — 7/19 this year) is Nation­al Ven­tril­o­quism Week and that’s pret­ty awe­some.  Ven­tril­o­quy, dum­my-creepi­ness notwith­stand­ing, is a real­ly impres­sive per­form­ing art.  Plus, on the non-creepy end of things, there are adorable pup­pets like Lam­b­chop and Blue-eyed Goose!

So enjoy the­se videos, and get your pup­pet on dur­ing Nation­al Ven­tril­o­quism Week!

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13 Jul

Books I’ve Been Meaning to Read

Full dis­clo­sure:  As you can tell from the title, I per­son­al­ly have not yet read any of the­se books.  I rec­om­mend them to you based pure­ly on the fact that I want to read them (and the great reviews.  Obvi­ous­ly.)


The Sto­ry-Telling Ani­mal by Jonathan Gottschall:  “Like the mag­nif­i­cent sto­ry­tellers past and present who fur­nish him here with exam­ples and inspi­ra­tion, Jonathan Gottschall takes a time­ly and fas­ci­nat­ing but pos­si­bly for­bid­ding sub­ject — the new brain sci­ence and what it can tell us about the human sto­ry-mak­ing impulse — and makes of it an extra­or­di­nary and absorbing intel­lec­tu­al nar­ra­tive. The scrupu­lous syn­the­sis of art and sci­ence here is mas­ter­ful; the real-world stakes high; the rewards for the read­er numer­ous, exhil­a­rat­ing, mind-expand­ing.”  Ter­ry Castle, Wal­ter A. Haas Pro­fes­sor in the Human­i­ties, Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty

This is a work of pop­u­lar phi­los­o­phy and social the­o­ry writ­ten by an obvi­ous­ly bril­liant under­grad­u­ate teacher. The gift for the exam­ple is every­where. A punchy line appears on almost every page.”  -The San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle


Amer­i­can Arti­sanal by Rebec­ca Gray:  “We love this book; we had been parcel­ing it out in chap­ter-sized bits at bed­time but we raced through at the end. Read this! It’s fas­ci­nat­ing and inspir­ing. Who knows — you may be the next Amer­i­can arti­san.” -Faith Durand

If you’re remote­ly inter­est­ed in food — either cook­ing it or eat­ing it — then Amer­i­can Arti­sanal ought to be your guide.  Any­time Becky Gray gets around cook­ing, trust me: some­thing mag­i­cal is going to hap­pen.” -Win­ston Groom


gun seller

The Gun Sell­er by Hugh Lau­rie:  First of all, every per­son should want to read this book based pure­ly on the fact that it was writ­ten by con­tem­po­rary poly­math Hugh Lau­rie.  Any for­ay of his into dif­fer­ent gen­res has piqued my inter­est.  Also:  “This is a gen­uine­ly wit­ty and sophis­ti­cat­ed enter­tain­ment.” - Christo­pher Buck­ley in the NY Times Book Review

The Gun Sell­er is fast, top­i­cal, wry, sus­pense­ful, hilar­i­ous, wit­ty, sur­pris­ing, ridicu­lous, and pret­ty won­der­ful. 
And you don’t need a per­mit to buy it…A delight­ful nov­el.” — The Wash­ing­ton Post Book Review




The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:  Yes, I’m a lit­tle tardy to the par­ty on this one, but I do intend to get to it even­tu­al­ly.

Green writes books for young adults, but his voice is so com­pul­sive­ly read­able that it defies cat­e­go­riza­tion. He writes for youth, rather than to them, and the dif­fer­ence is pal­pa­ble.” — Rachel Syme, NPR Books

This is a book that breaks your heart—not by wear­ing it down, but by mak­ing it big­ger until it bursts.”  The Atlantic



City of Dream­ing Books by Wal­ter Moers:  I’ll be hon­est, I most­ly just want to read this book because of the title and the fact that the cov­er art is a struc­ture built of books.  But the reviews are good as well.

Moers’ cre­ative mind is like J. K. Rowling’s on Ecsta­sy” — Detroit Evening News

A yarn of drollery, deep­er mean­ing and sheer luna­cy” - Rolling Stone




Aun­tie Mame by Patrick Den­nis:  This one I want to read because I love love love the movie.  And since books are gen­er­al­ly bet­ter than movie ver­sions…

I reread and study Aun­tie Mame like a hilar­i­ous, glam­orous bible where, among oth­er wise lessons, one learns that true sophis­ti­ca­tion and inno­cence are two halves of the same glit­ter­ing coin.”  –Charles Busch, author of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and Vam­pire Les­bians of Sodom

Aun­tie Mame is a unique lit­er­ary achieve­ment a bril­liant nov­el dis­guised as a light­weight piece of fluff. Every page sparkles with wit, style and though Mame would cringe at the thought high moral pur­pose. Let’s hope Patrick Den­nis is final­ly rec­og­nized for what he is: One of the great comedic writ­ers of the 20th cen­tu­ry.”  –Robert Plun­ket, author of Love Junkie




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