One Part Plant

Recently, my girlfriend, Jessica Herman, co-hosted a “For Reals Meals” party for Jessica Murnane’s One Part Plant, a blog devoted to clean eating.

Faced with a “change your diet or else” verdict from her doctor, Murnane went whole plant and her symptoms improved.  Since then, she’s completed training with the T. Colin Campbell Foundation in Plant-Based Nutrition.

As she explains on the site, “for some, it’s digestive problems or low energy. For others, cramps from hell or simply feeling ‘off.'” And now, in addition to the terrific content on her blog, she offers her services in real time. “From inspiring corporate group sessions and shopping trips to one-on-one lifestyle coaching,” she’s making herself available for “wellness coaching sessions.”

I can tell you firsthand, Jess is kind and approachable, harnessed with a diligent work ethic and downright funny. I’ve never met someone who is as quick to quote Dr. Alejandro Junger as she would  Jay-Z. With an approach that is kind and judgment-free, she works hard to ensure that you’re armed with the best information possible – so you can maintain your new plan in a way that feels most comfortable to you.


If you’d like more information on her programs or would like to hear successful testimonials, please contact Jessica Murnane at

The Richter Co.

THE RICHTER SPACE (1)I was heading to San Antonio. I’d asked for recommendations of things to check out from an old college friend who, until literally a week before I was to arrive, had been living there for the last several years. Knowing how much I appreciate a well-made shirt, her first suggestion was that I look into The Richter Co., an upstart clothing company begun by my new friend Mario Guajardo.

Richter CoWhat’s most remarkable about Mario’s shirts is that they are made entirely by him and one other person in a small storefront space in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood just North of the center of downtown.

Richter Co 2Take time to check out their newly launched website, and look for more on my visit to San Antonio, coming soon to Whiskey… Among Other Things.

Satchel Paige

107 years ago today, Leroy “Satchel” Paige was born. A baseball legend unlike any other, tales of his fastball, called “The Midnight Rider,” loom as large as the largest in the game’s history. Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, he began his career playing for the Mobile Tigers “at a dollar a game if attendance was up and a keg of lemonade if it wasn’t.”
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Questlove’s Mo’ Meta Blues

Mo Meta Blues

The Roots’ drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson has just released Mo’ Meta Blues, his memoir which serves several functions. Part historical retelling of his life, growing up the son of Lee Andrews of the doo-wop group, Lee Andrews & The Hearts, part autobiographical discography — in addition to his encyclopedic recounting of the music in his life, the guy is a massive Prince fan — and part self-effacing recounting of several, what he calls, “Forrest Gump moments” in his life. Through various opportunities, first as the drummer for “the last great hip hop band” and now as the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night program, Quest has found himself at several of history’s focal points. As he points out on Fresh Airwhen President Obama slow-jammed the news, a segment in which Fallon hypes the news being read — typically by NBC’s Brian Williams — that though the event was a big deal, he’s learned to curb his enthusiasm. “I don’t mourn the bad. I don’t celebrate the good. Just walk forward.”
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Bobbie Gentry

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 10.36.02 AMIn the fall of 2002, cast as Doc Porter in a college production of Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Crimes of the Heart, I received the following note from our director:

Go make a mix tape for your cast-mates.

What a gem of an assignment. Because the play takes place in Henley’s hometown of Hazelhurst, Mississippi in 1974, I spent a week researching music that would’ve emanated from the area’s popular music radio stations in the summer and fall of 1974, and — in addition to discovering that one of my favorite songs, Rufus & Chaka’s “Tell Me Something Good,” was the most-played song in Mississippi that year — on these smelly, old microfiche copies of handwritten playlists from a Jackson radio station, I discovered the smokey-voiced, insouciant, beautifully crafted songs of Bobbie Gentry.
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Remi Canarie

Recently, Liz Patelski and Lisa Panza, two designers I’m fortunate enough to call friends, launched the first collection for their line Remi Canarie. To say the two LPs have had an eventful year would be an understatement. Not even a full 365 days after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, they have traded in their mortar boards for something a little more elegant, a well-thought-out, complete line of classics for today’s world-wise, modern young woman.
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Seth Philpott

We met at a taco joint.  At a long table of mutual friends, he was seated across from me. Saddled way, way back in his seat, this guy was quiet, brooding. He was wearing a deep V-neck t-shirt and his black fedora was tipped forward, covering his brow. When he did speak, it was with this husky, marble-mouthed baritone. Later, I came to find out he was harboring a bit of a cold that night. That night, we talked about stuff guys who are just meeting talk about. — What do you do? Where did you get that hat? You like to quote movies, too? These fried fish tacos are better than any fried fish tacos in the history of fried fish tacos. Do you want another beer? — Since that taco night, mostly through encounters when our paths cross while touring this wonderful country of ours, this mild-mannered gent has gone on to become something of a confidant, a champion, a check and a balance in my life. We’re friends who rarely see each other, but when we do, there’s always a spark of inspiration that emanates from an unspoken knowledge that we’re fighting the same fight.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Seth Philpott. Become a fan.

Heirloom Modern

Whether it’s an “awful” corduroy hat he and some buddies each bought on a late ’70s ski trip, his high school jean jacket with sleeves destroyed by a dog and lovingly darned by my grandmother, or a custom-made oxford cloth shirt he bought to commemorate a new job and a move to the big city — one which both my brother and I wore while in high school — I cherish the hand-me-downs from my dad more than anything else.

Heirloom Modern

Upon meeting the Hovey sisters some years ago, it was this bond with their parents, with their past — and the fact that our families both hail from Kansas City — that connected us immediately. And since then, it’s been such a thrill, as a fan and a friend to see their style mature into a full blown business and now a book from Rizzoli.

Hollister Hovey - Father's Day

Be sure to visit Hollister’s blog, the Hovey Design tumblr, and for the ultimate in heirloom inspiration, please buy their book.

The Beast in Its Tracks

Make no mistake, if I have a favorite singer-songwriter, it’s Josh Ritter. With each new note, he gently unravels part of himself and in a deeply personal, admirable fashion. From all signs, with this new album, written in the months following the dissolution of his marriage, that gentle unravel snowballs towards a deeply personal album.

Of the tracks released, “Hopeful”, which comes courtesy of the CBC’s Studio Q, has quickly become a favorite.

Buy tickets to Josh Ritter’s upcoming shows, and you’ll receive a free download of the album. Trust that to truly understand Ritter’s power, you must encounter him and his music in a live setting.

April 27th at The Vic in Chicago cannot come quickly enough.

UPDATE: Stream Beast on NPR.

John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd Take Brian Wilson Surfing, 1976

Growing up, my favorite movie was The Blues Brothers. I watched all the time with — of all people — my mother, who would laugh whenever Aykroyd appeared. She would point at the TV and say to me, “You could do that.”

Some mothers want their sons to grow up to be president. Mine was aiming for Aykroyd. Reading the story of making The Blues Brothers in the excellent comedy issue of January’s Vanity Fair, I rediscovered my love for the film, and for the men behind it.

I found this Beach Boys video on Sasha Lamb’s blog, Workin Nights, yesterday. From Dennis Wilson’s T-shirt (No Sweat) to the “Surf Patrol” uniforms the not-ready-for-primetime boys no doubt lifted from Universal Studios’ costume department, it had me in stitches.

Come on, Brian. Let’s go surfing now.
Everybody’s learning how.
Come on a safari with us.