Articles by " Terry"
15 Mar
2014

Beware, beware…

“Beware the Ides of March” is one of those things I’ve heard over and over again through out my life, though I didn’t have a clue what the heck it meant until I looked it up a few years ago. To be honest, I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t some sort of mystical, evil myth behind the saying, and that Ides is just a term used in the Roman calendar meaning “the 15th” (or 13th of some other months).

HEY BRO, WATCH OUT

HEY BRO, WATCH OUT

However, I don’t know if Shakespeare was a prophet or if it’s just inevitable that bad things will occur on the same day over thousands of years, but I found a list of disasters that all occurred on March 15th, the first of which obviously being the murder of Julius Caesar. Other crappy things that have happened on March 15th include a deadly blizzard in The Great Plains in 1941, the cancelation of the Ed Sullivan Show in 1971, a heightened global health alert due to SARS in 2003. The full list of reasons to beware the Ides of March can be found here.

JFYI

JFYI

So beware, beware the Ides of March and watch out for anyone coming at you with a knife today.

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13 Mar
2014

3.141592653589…

pieday

Pi Day kard, you guys!

I don’t win things very often. I’ve never been the athletic type, I don’t play video games or buy lottery tickets or anything of the sort, so there are very few times in my life where I’ve felt the satisfaction of being a winner or the “best” at something, but one day in March of 2003, I learned how to feels to kick my competition’s butt.

The setting was my sixth grade math classroom, my competitors - my classmates, the competition – reciting the most digits of Pi by memory. I memorized some 60 digits of Pi and won the most hideously orange t-shirt I’ve ever owned, but I wore it with pride.

Apparently I was a dick in 6th grade.

Apparently I was a dick in 6th grade.

Pi Day was not taken lightly at my middle and high school. It was regularly my favorite day of the school year. We had Pi recitation contests (I never won again after 6th grade, I peaked early), Pie eating contests, and the best (and most confusing) part: Pi Cookies! I guess it was too complicated for our math teachers to buy us actual pie, so instead every year we got sugar cookies with the Pi symbol on them. They were freakin’ delicious.

nom nom nom

nom nom nom

Tomorrow, March 14th or 3/14 is Pi Day! As you probably know, Pi is a mathematical constant with an infinite amount of digits which represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, but blah blah blah mathy math maths. The important thing here is that you go buy some Pie, or bake some, or better yet, come by the store and pick up one of our Pi shaped cake pans and bake a Pi cake! Math is cool, Pi is cooler, Pie is the coolest.

piday2

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14 Feb
2014

It’s Ferris Wheel Day!

Everyone knows that February 14th is Valentine’s Day, and I’m not one of those people who hates Valentine’s Day, but I’m also not one of those people who loves it. It’s fine, it’s whatever, forever alone, blah blah blah, but you know what also happens on February 14th? Ferris Wheel Day!

A picture of where I wish I was today...

A picture of where I wish I was today...

February 14th is George Washington Gale Ferris Jr’s birthday (this year would be his 155th birthday). As you’ve probably guessed, Mr. Ferris invented the Ferris Wheel. But wait, it gets way more exciting, guess where he invented it? Right here in Pittsburgh! Mr. Ferris was a bridge and railroad builder here in the ‘burgh until he accepted the challenge of creating an attraction for the World’s Colombian Exposition to surpass the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower of the 1889 Paris Exhibition. (The Exposition took place in Chicago during the summer of 1893, which is why Chicago tries to claim the Ferris Wheel as their own.)

The OG Ferris Wheel. It's Huge!

The OG Ferris Wheel. It's Huge!

This first Ferris Wheel was way crazier than the Ferris Wheels you’ve likely encountered at carnivals and on boardwalks. Ferris’ master creation, which was made of steel and iron from our beloved city, boasted 36 passenger cars with room for as many as 60 people per car. Some simple math will then tell you that this monster of a Ferris Wheel could carry over 2,000 people at once.

"Hey Girl, I heard you're from where Ferris Wheels were invented..."

"Hey Girl, I heard you're from where the Ferris Wheel was invented... Wanna go out sometime?"

So Happy Ferris Wheel Day! Here’s to hoping you have a Valentine to ride on one with. And if not, maybe you can hope that some kind of Ryan Gosling circa The Notebook type will find you.

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2 Feb
2014

It’s Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week!

I have a weird fascination with children’s books. For Halloween this year I was The Little Prince one night and Eloise the next. I have The North Star and the second star to the right tattooed to my ankle and a boa constrictor digesting an elephant on my ribcage. Before I left for my first year of college, my grandmother gave me a copy of Harold and The Purple Crayon, along with a purple marker, which I still have.

"I am Eloise. I am six."

"I am Eloise. I am six."

There is something incredibly calming about children’s books – it’s hard for me to describe. They are like magical simplifications of life. I think the reason I am so enamored to them is that part of me wants to always see the world as a child does, simple and magical. My boa constrictor digesting an elephant tattoo, which is an illustration from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, is a good way to explain this. When the little prince shows this drawing to the grown-ups and asks if it scares them, they reply with a confused, “Why be scared of a hat?” The frustrated Little Prince then makes a second drawing to further illustrate the elephant inside the snake because “grown-ups always need explanations.” Childhood comes with the ability to imagine entire universes. I believe it was Picasso who said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I think children’s books are my secret weapon in the battle to remain an artist.

It kind of does look like Pharrell's hat from the Grammy's though...

It kind of does look like Pharrell's hat from the Grammy's though...

I cherish children’s books because they remind me to use my imagination, to believe in magic, to always continue to ask questions and challenge authority. The books we read as children become a part of us as we grow, characters become like old friends that can always be revisited, and somehow, it seems, there is always more for them to teach us each time we return to them. I vividly remember my fourth grade teacher telling us this after we finished Jerry Spinelli’s Maniac Magee; that we should re-read this book again in high school, again after college, again when we have kids, etc, etc, because each time we read it, we would read a whole new story. This week is Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week, celebrating the geniuses who create and illustrate the magical characters (whether they be hungry caterpillars, little lost boys, or bears who lost their hats) and the worlds they live in (from Neverland to The Plaza Hotel). So,  take some time this week to pick up your old favorite children's book and revisit some old friends, I’m willing to bet they’ve got something new to teach you.

purple-crayon

 

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3 Jan
2014

“A straw is your friend…until you lose eye contact with the straw.”

The night before I graduated from college this past June I was sitting on a porch with a group of my good friends reminiscing and playing a rousing game of “never have I ever.” (Don’t judge me, we’ve all played it.) I was sitting in between my two best friends, Ranleigh, on my right was eating a bag of Sunchips, I was drinking champagne through a straw, and Josie, on my left, looked at both of us and said, “If I learned one thing senior year, it is that Ranleigh loves chips and Terry loves straws.” It had become a running joke amongst us that Ranleigh was always eating chips and I was always drinking some sort of beverage through a straw.

Whats better than just drinking through straws? Drinking Mojitos through straws with your friends in a boat!

Whats better than just drinking through straws? Drinking Mojitos through straws with your friends in a boat!

I can’t quite explain my love for drinking straws but damn, I tell you, it is a love that runs deep and true. Since graduation and my subsequent departure from a snack bar and dining hall with all the straws I could ever desire at my disposal, I’ve taken to buying (and, actually, receiving in my stocking from Santa), straws to drink all my beverages at home through. Upon reflection, I think the only time you’ll ever see me drinking any kind of beverage without a straw is when I’m drinking coffee, because, you know, hot beverages and plastic don’t really get along too well.

January 3rd is National Drinking Straw Appreciation Day and I’m here to proclaim, loud and proud, that I appreciate the heck out of drinking straws! Did you know that drinking sugary drinks through a straw actually reduces tooth decay? I don’t drink much soda, but tooth decay is no bueno so this is a great thing!

I don’t know if it’s “normal” to have favorite types of straws, but I’ve never claimed to be anything close to “normal,” so, may I present you with Terry’s list of straw types from favorite to least favorite:

1) Paper Straws – PAPER STRAWS MAN! Does anyone else remember the good old days at the Pittsburgh Zoo when they only had paper straws in attempts to avoid animal choking disasters? Even though the idea (and execution to an extent) of a paper straw is somewhat nonsensical, there is something incredibly fun about drinking through paper. We even carry some here at KU!

Meri Meri Paper Straws right here at KU!

Meri Meri Paper Straws right here at KU!

2) Bendy Straws – Whoever invented the bendy straw was either a) a genius or b) the laziest person to ever live. Regardless, having the ability to adjust the angle at which my straw reaches my mouth is a privilege I will never take for granted.

3) Cocktail Straws – Well, for starters, cocktails. But further, I have mixed feelings about these tiny little straws that I’m not sure are technically meant to be sipped through. On one hand, they allow me to get every last drop of whiskey from my glass without getting a face full of ice (see below: Demetri Martin bit about straws and ice), but on the other hand, they make me drink my whiskey way faster than I would if I were sipping it which is bad news for not only my liver, but my bank account.

4) Crazy Straws – These are especially good for drinking chocolate milk through. The opacity of chocolate milk swirling up loop after loop of translucent color plastic makes me feel like I’m five years old all over again.

5) Straw Glasses – My best friend and I bought these to drink our beer through one night when I was visiting her at college a few years ago and, while the idea was fun, the design needed some work. The plastic was a bit too thick for proper suction and kinked easily, and forget about successfully washing them out. However, they were really fun for about ten minutes and for a dollar store purchase, I’d say it was worth it.

Caution: Straw glasses may cause uncontrollable giggling

Caution: Straw glasses may cause uncontrollable giggling

YAY BEVERAGES AND YAY STRAWS!

 

 

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26 Dec
2013

David Sedaris is kind of like Jesus?

December 26th is David Sedaris's birthday. He was born the day after Jesus, which is pretty close to the same day as Jesus, therefore David Sedaris is pretty close to as cool as Jesus. This is logical, right?

In a truly Sedaris fashion, I'll be frank and tell you that I don't really have anything to say about Mr. Sedaris. To be typing anything more than a "Happy Birthday, you smug, sassy genius," about such a talented writer makes me feel inept and weird. Besides, I'm not going to pretend to know anything about him because, well, if you've read his books then you know just as much as I do, and if you haven't, then, uh, you should probably get on that.

“I just give the illusion of telling you stuff. You don’t know anything important about my family or about me. You don’t know what I do in bed. Or who I vote for.” - David Sedaris

So, I'm just gonna keep this short and leave you with this nice picture of a hilarious man who is almost as cool as Jesus. Sound good? Great.

P.s. I won't judge you if you haven't yet explored the literary world of Mr. Sedaris (...or atleast I'll try not to.) Swing by the store and take your pick, we've got 'em all!

P.s. I won't judge you if you haven't yet explored the literary world of  Mr. Sedaris (...or atleast I'll try not to.) Swing by the store and take your pick, we've got 'em all!

a whole shelf full!

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4 Dec
2013

Ain’t no party like a bath tub party

There is a ginormous bathtub in my parent's bathroom. We call it "mom's tub" and it's rumored that it was a large percentage of the reason my parents decided to buy our house 5 or so years ago. To be honest, it's kind of a pain in the ass to fill with water and sometimes the hot water runs out before the tub is even close to full, but talk about first world problems, right?

Anyways, I don't use my parent's bathroom or bathtub very often, but this summer I had the pleasure of being left home alone for three weeks while my parents went on vacation. It was a glorious three weeks of summery freedom and funemployment and consisted of a lot of late nights drinking on my back patio with friends. One night, I had a few friends over and after a drink or ten we decided it was bubble bath time. Calm down, everyone had or borrowed bathing suits.

This...

This...

It was the middle of August so we didn't really care about the temperature of the water, only that there were TONS of bubbles and we could all squeeze in at once. We succeeded, with photo evidence to prove it, and while I may have slipped on my way out of the tub with a bloody toe to show for it, we had a freakin' fabulous time.

The moral of the story? December 5th is National Bathtub Party day! While I highly recommend it involves friends, bubbles and bathing suits, you might also try having a party of one. Here's an alternative suggestion: Stop by to to wish us a happy bathtub party day on your way home from work tonight, pick up one of our new wintery scented Wyk candles and some Bath Tea, head home and have a nice relaxing bathtub party for one? Sounds like heaven to me.

...or this? Your call.

...or this? Your call. EDIT* This photo is the property of Kay Novy, follow her link in the comments section to find prints of this gorgeous pic for sale!

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28 Nov
2013

John Stewart is not dead yet!

200px-AmericaTheBook

The side eyes. They're perfect.

I've never been much for politics (said the apathetic 20-something). At least since I was of the age to even try to understand what goes on in Washington D.C., it has always seemed like somewhat of a shitshow to me, for lack of a better word. Let's just say I don't think it's a coincidence that there are three rings in a circus and three branches in the US government. I've had brief waves of hope for a solution or progress within our government over the past decade or so; I campaigned with genuine excitement for Obama in 2008 and spent 5 nights sleeping in Zuccotti Park "occupying" Wall Street in 2011. It was during that week that I truly realized how absurd mainstream news media is. There I was, amidst a sea of thousands of passionately enraged political activists, "the 99%" if you will, coming from all over the country to attempt to make ourselves heard -- and trust me, we were freakin' loud -- yet my friends and family at home or back at school heard almost nothing of it, or atleast nothing positive of it. Comedy Central, on the other hand, was on the ground.

"Liberal and conservative have lost their meaning in America. I represent the distracted center." - John Stewart

November 28th is John Stewart's 51st birthday. Being that John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are the only two people I care enough about to listen to when it comes to the circus that is our government, I thought it only fitting that I pay homage to him for his special day. Not to get morbid, but I often (maybe too often?) think about the celebrities that are prominent in pop culture and news media today and how weird it's going to be when they get old and, in turn, die. John Stewart is one of those people who I imagine myself telling my kids "you know dearie, I've been watching John Stewart since I was 12." This might sound less weird if I explain that I have been watching the Daily Show and the Colbert Report with my dad ever since I was old enough to still be awake at 11pm. So, I have thoughts like this when someone like Johnny Carson dies and my dad says something similar to me. (Though my dad doesn't call me dearie...) What I'm trying to say here is that John Stewart represents not only a completely necessary aspect of my generation's interest in and understanding of politics, in addition to being a hilarious and iconic talk show host/comedian who's death will surely be on par with Johnny Carson's, he also represents a personal ritual with my father that I look forward to every time I'm home for 11pm TV watching.

So, thanks for that, John Stewart, keep up the good work. And happy birthday, I hope you don't die any time soon. :-)

"You just have to keep trying to do good work, and hope that it leads to more good work. I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything. Yes, I want to look back and know that I was terrible at a variety of things."

P.s. Bill Cosby was a guest on The Daily Show this week and it was amazing. Go to Hulu and watch the interview right now. Then, stop by the store and pick up a copy of his first book, Naked Pictures of Famous People, or his mock history textbook, America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction. 

(There are no actual naked pictures in this book, sorry.)

(There are no actual naked pictures in this book, sorry.)

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