Tuesday, March 31, 2009

According To Kurz...A True Renaissance Man

The past few weeks have been pretty crazy for me with spring break, midterms, and spring ball starting. I must admit it has been a struggle to find free time to sit down and type out my thoughts. This got me to thinking, how does Bryan do it? How does he find time to balance his academic life with his football life, love life, and of course, still dress to the nines? Well, this week I thought I would take the opportunity to give the readers out there a closer look into the author of this blog, the Hoosiers starting RB, and more importantly my friend, Bryan Payton.

I remember when I first joined the team; Bryan was one of the first members to introduce himself to me. We small talked for a little bit, but we soon found out we shared a passion for the Miami Hurricanes football program. Since then, we have been good friends who debate all different types of topics, and enjoy talking sports (possibly the reason he offered me this column). The Bryan I met then to the Bryan I know now has matured and changed in numerous ways but still has been able to keep that core that makes him who he is.

In the lockeroom, he is a leader and a role model to all of us and paves the way by setting the example of what an Indiana University football player should be on and off the field. During our winter workouts Payton is pushing himself and everyone else in the weight room, and is always running as hard as he can whether it is the 1st sprint or the last (I’ve had a pretty good view of his back numerous times). He is very aware of how hard he has worked to get to where he is, and isn’t about to stop now - especially with this being his last year of eligibility.

“BP” exemplifies the term “student-athlete” and isn’t afraid to challenge himself off the field. Bryan takes demanding courses, writes for the school paper, magazine, and posts a blog all while playing a division one sport. His days start early and end late. I recall one day walking into breakfast at 8 am and seeing Bryan finishing up his meal and asking him, “Wow, here kind of early huh”? He replied right back, “This isn’t early, I am usually up at about 5”.

What is so refreshing about being Bryan’s friend is that he is always himself, and treats everyone with the respect they deserve. Walking through the stadium you may catch Bryan chatting it up with Coach Springer, his position coach, discussing fashion with a few lesser known players, or most likely, asking the cooks and the rest of the stadium staff how their lives are - joking around with them.

“Pops” has numerous opportunities this summer and post college, and he deserves them all. He has stayed focus his entire collegiate career which is something we all know is hard to do. But if I know Bryan, he isn’t about to get complacent with where he is. I ask readers of “ A Renaissance Man’s Daybook” to seriously take advantage of each entry because when Bryan Payton makes it big in either the sports business, the writing world, or whatever he puts his mind to, you can say “I knew Bryan when…”, because I know I will.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Chanel Fall/Winter '09-'10 Womenswear Show

I love clothes that create a really nice tailored fit for men or women. I like the clothes to show off a woman's shape, not make it extra curvy or hide the curves that women do have. The body is beautiful thing and should be excentuated through thoughtful clothes that create a new vision and idea. Below is the full show.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Week One of Spring Ball In The Books

The first week of spring ball 2009 is in the books and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the first week went. I felt that players competed hard from top to bottom, which made the practice week go by quickly because we were all having so much fun.

On the offensive side of the ball lots of our plays are hitting and hitting fairly often. The defense has gotten theirs too, but I’m used to the defense nearly dominating because early on, the defense is almost always ahead of the offense. I’ve never played defense, but I’m going to assume it’s because they have to think less and just fly to the ball. Early on in a training camp or spring ball, the offense has to get used to running new plays and securing the football at the same time.

The last two practices of this week were in full pads, which was a relief in many ways. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to run up the middle full speed with no pads on, but let me tell you, it can get a little dicey. With the first two unpadded practices, I’m lucky I had no unfortunate collisions because I got the ball and just ran full steam ahead – pads or no pads.

But back to today. We didn’t waste much time in getting the pads popping, as we did a drill known as “The Oklahoma Drill” to me, but I guess we could call it “The Hoosier Drill”. It was straight up old school – three lineman from both sides of the ball lined up across from each other while a ball-carrier set up behind the offensive line. Cones were set up on the outsides so the ball-carrier knew where out-of-bounds was. The objective was for the offense to score in three tries and for the defense to stop them.

Guys were getting pancaked, shalacked, hogmollied, and tossed! It was great. With every play that was made, guys were hooping and hollering, jumping around, slapping each other’s helmets and just hyping things up! It was a sight to see. That definitely set the tone for the remainder of practice. We went full go during our inside run periods and the last two periods of full-team drills. I broke a nice first-down run at the beginning of the period and a there were a few good runs from both D McCray and Shawn Major-Winston. The QB’s and WR’s made lots of plays as well.

I have to give a shout out to cornerback, Richard Council, for making a great interception yesterday in practice. Numerous others made great plays during the week but props goes to Richard because he dropped somewhere around six potential interceptions during last season, so us guys have been all over him all offseason for that. Nevertheless, he’s worked hard to improve his hands and the hard work is showing on the field.

We have Sunday off, a morning lift on Monday and we’re back at it on Tuesday. Tune in then for more IU Football Spring Ball features/news.

H&M Spring/Summer 2009 Looks

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kanye West Untelevised VH1 Storytellers..."Love Lockdown"


Too Cute

I'm not even sure if I'm allowed to do this, but I saw this picture on Scott Schuman's blog, The Sartorialist. I just feel like this girl looks so cute in this outfit. Forgive me Scott, but I had to do it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lil' Wayne Rocks Outside the Box

Lil' Wayne is set to release his next album very soon and it's not what you'd expect from one of the best rappers in the game today. He's tearing a page out of the Kanye West book and releasing something totally different - a rock album. The name of the album is The Rebirth and the first single is "Prom Queen" which is auto-tuned and catchy; it makes me want to party or something. The release date for the album is to be determined but will likely be out sometime this spring.

Many people are worried about this change in music for Weezy, but I'm not at all, and they shouldn't either. I applaud the man for doing something different and it's artists like him and Kanye who make the music game better.

Below I've posted the music video for the song. The song is one of my favorites and the video holds its own. Enjoy.

Spring Practice Has Begun!

Spring practice officially began for us Hoosiers yesterday, besides the meetings we had on Sunday and Monday, that is. I was energized by the prospects of what is to come and the team we are becoming. Yesterday was just the beginning of greatness.

The weather was perfect, 75-degrees with few clouds in the sky and a slight breeze blowing through the stadium. We practiced with no pads on, only helmets and shorts, but there was very little let up for us. Guys played fast, the defense consistently flew to the ball; the offense played hard and moved quickly. It wasn’t bad for the first day.

I read on IU’s official athletic website that I was explosive. All I can say is thank you to that, because there was only one word to some up how I felt about my performance yesterday – rusty. I felt like the obvious – like I hadn’t played football in four months. However, I don’t recall having any missed assignments (MA’s) and I didn’t put the ball on the ground (knock on wood). My fellow running backs all looked very good. It was especially nice to see D McCray out there making smooth cuts, as I’ve always loved to watch him run.

Today, I’ve been walking around with sore ankles, feet and my hip flexors keep popping. I guess that’s to be expected. I’m looking forward to a great practice tomorrow. More plays to be installed, more learning to take in and more plays to make.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ciara and Justin Timberlake Sex It Up With "Love Sex Magic"

I discovered this video on Kanye West's blog. It's on Ciara's latest release and it features Justin Timberlake. Ciara more than holds her own in this video and is sexier and better than ever, but there's something about Timberlake that makes everything better - both the song and video. He's like the bacon of the music business. If you need something to taste better, just add Justin.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vogue Diaries: Anne Hathaway

While I'm not a regular reader of Vogue, I do appreciate the way in which the magazine presents fashion to readers worldwide. I'm a fan of Men's Vogue and have lots of respect for Vogue Editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.

Vogue did a feature story on actress, Anne Hathaway back in January 2009, but this video just popped up on my "new subscription videos" list. I've decided to post this short, behind-the-scenes video of Hathaway because not only is she beautiful, but I love her style. She also seems very mature and, oh yeah, she's a great actress - The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite movies.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Apparel Watch...Sid Mashburn Double Buckle Monk Strap Shoe

These might be the best shoes I've ever seen. I noticed them while looking at, what else, GQ Magazine. They're being worn by Atlanta-based designer, Sid Mashburn, who was named one of the "10 Most Stylish Men In America" by GQ. His style is classic, preppy and wholesome with a splash of modernism, or as he describes it as "kind of an amalgam of different things: European preppy, southern."

These monkstrap loafers are the symbol of spring/summer shoe perfection - though you can wear them anytime you like. They bring a solid, classic base to an outfit that far exceeds the simplistic quality of a simple regular loafer or boat shoe for anyone who has the effrontery to try such a bold, sleek shoe.

I would like to, one day, own a pair of these shoes, but priced at $595, I'm not getting my hopes up. But hey, a man can dream. The shoes can be found at sidmashburn.com

*You must click on the picture to read the details from the website and get an enlarged and detailed look at the shoe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jay Cutler A Crybaby?...I Think Not

Denver Broncos quarterback, Jay Cutler, has officially stated that he wants to be traded from the Denver Broncos and, in some ways, I can't say I blame him. Denver head coach, Josh McDaniels, tried to acquire, then Patriots quarterback, Matt Cassel. I'm not sure I understood why McDaniels felt he needed Matt Cassel other than the fact that he wanted a new guy for the new direction he wants to take the Broncos. What this tells me is he doesn't have Jay Cutler in his future plans.

Some say that maybe he wanted to create competition at the position, but with the high price tag both QB's would be priced at, its not likely that the team would keep both. Cutler is being seen as a baby to some, but I know if I was in his shoes I'd be upset to and might even ask for a trade as well.

With the NFL being the big business that it is, why would you want to pay two QB's such big money when I'm supposed to be the guy? McDaniels is being stubborn by not budging on trying to keep Cutler in Denver. Sure, the guy lost more than he won, but that's not all his fault. The team was ranked 29th in overall team defense, in front of only the 4-12 Seahawks, the 2-14 Chiefs and the winless Lions. Now, any football fan worth a lick knows that defense wins championships and allowing 374.6 yards per game ain't cutting it. Last I checked, Cutler plays offense.

Lets not forget that Cutler threw for 4,526 yards, third most in the league, and 25 touchdowns, good for seventh best. The knock on him is he threw 18 INT's. But that's not so bad considering the QB's who also threw lots of picks; Brett Favre (22), Drew Brees (17), Ben Roethlisberger (15), and Kurt Warner (14). So you can't say he should be ousted for throwing too many picks; it's not why they lost games and it hasn't made him a terrible QB.

So, I think Cutler should be upset and I wouldn't be apposed to him landing in another uniform before next season. If McDaniels really wanted him, he'd try harder to keep him. And no, I'm not saying he has to pamper his star players, but if he wants to win, he might want to show a little more urgency in making amends with Cutler.

Love The Look

It's 2 a.m. and I just stumbled upon this look at holtrenfrew.com after reading an article done by Scott Schuman, "The Sartorialist", in which he interviewed Lucas Ossendrijver, a designer for Lavin Men's for Holt Renfrew Magazine. I think the look is sartorial perfection. It's the perfect summer suit based in classic shades of tan, grey, navy, and white. I love how different sets of clothing were put together to make an impeccable outfit. That's having true style. You have a khaki suit paired with a denim vest, silk tie, navy and white plaid shirt. The tie bar adds the finishing touches. The shoes here are interchangeable; you could wear shades of brown or black in my opinion.

Take a cue from this outfit and mix blends of different fabrics this summer. After all, it is a key element to having true style.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Apparel Watch...Kenneth Cole NY Moon Mission Sneaker

I ran across this sneaker as I was flipping through my March issue of GQ. In the ad, a model wore a slim-fitting grey suit, white shirt, navy tie, and these navy sneakers. While the suit was nice, it was the sneakers that caught my eye. I've always appreciated the idea of wearing sneakers with a suit as long as the sneakers were either monochrmoatic or stripped of any major eccentric details. To me, this shoe has just enough of both qualities to go well with a grey or navy suit - and of course you'd wear them with jeans as well.

They're currently priced at $175 on kennethcole.com. As you can see in the pictures above the shoe comes in navy, crimson and brown. The shoe somehow zips up on the side (I have yet to figure out how) which is probably different than most of us are used to. Nevertheless, it's pretty cool. Below are the details from the website.

leather sneaker
inner ankle zip closure
leather lining
man-made sole

Don't Sleep On Kid Cudi...He's the Next Best Thing

If you haven’t yet heard Kid Cudi’s music, you’re officially sleeping. The 25 year-old rapper from Ohio is the next best thing in the world of hip-hop and probably music in general. Cudi first began making noise with his only mixtape release of A Kid Named Cudi back in July of last year. Showing off his diverse taste in music, Cudi jumps from freestyles over songs like “Spaz” by N.E.R.D to sampling the Band of Horses’ “The Funeral” for his song, “The Prayer”.

The mixtape caught the ear of Kanye West, prompting Kanye to sign Cudi to his GOOD Music label. You heard him sing the chorus on Kanye West’s “Welcome To Heartbreak” from his 808’s and Heartbreak album (see my Feb. 18 blog post).

Cudi is set to release his first and last album, Man on the Moon: The Guardians this summer. With this being his only official release, many fans are disappointed. It seems like the music game is too stressful for him in some cases and he says on his blog that he wants to go back to being an artist. It’s a shame because he brings a simplistic quality to rap that has seldom been seen before. He raps almost very plain-like using simple, but clever metaphors in his rhymes that sometime make him sound like Kanye West. But it is evident that, while he is not Kanye, there is something great and different about Cudi. He doesn’t over-rhyme. He leaves the songs for what they are in some ways. It’s hard to explain.

His first single off Man on the Moon, “Day n’ Night”, has gotten lots of radio play all across the country and the music video is something very different to say the least. The song has been remixed by the Crookers, who created a more upbeat, club version and it comes with an alternate video. For that reason, I’ve decided to post both videos. The original is my favorite. Either way, enjoy both of the videos and Kid Cudi himself while he’s still here.

The first video is the original version.

Time For Spring (Facebook) Cleaning

About a week ago I read an article, "Would You Like To Delete This Friend" about Facebook in my March issue of GQ. Cleverly written by NYC-based writer, Todd Levin, the article wasn’t just another “impact of Facebook on society” piece (although there’s a little bit of that in there), but a personal narrative about what Facebook was to him and how he found greater peace by deleting friends instead of always adding them.

Levin recalls looking up people he remembered from high school and reading pointless, yet addicting, information on people, he, now, wouldn’t even recognize had their mug not showed up on the screen. He spent hours reading the profiles of old hook-ups, staring at the pictures of former nerds who had now become the “cool guys” at work and finding old buddies. He says stumbling across old friends was “like putting on a jacket I haven’t worn in years.”

Things changed for Levin when an old high school classmate sent him a message (and a friend request) inviting him to volunteer in helping put on his graduating class's twentieth reunion. He declined, but accepted her friend request. As Levin added friends, it eventually became difficult for him to adjust old expectations to who the people are now, and they’re not even a part of his life, which meant he was wasting his time.

The article made me think a lot about my own Facebook use. I currently have 1,922 friends on Facebook, but in reality, not many of those people are my “true friends”. Don’t get me wrong, I do have an usually large extended network of people I know or could call on simply because I’m a part of a college football team, and most of those 1,922 people I have actually met before. But the question is are they really in my life now? How often do I see these people? Do we have some long-lasting connection? Most of them; no.

I’m all for using Facebook to keep in touch with those you wouldn’t otherwise call, because you’re still friends. But what about that girl or guy you hooked up with freshman year of college, or that guy you used to cheat off of in high school, or that kid who peed on himself in third grade? Do you really need to know your movie compatibility with that person or how bad they felt after their boyfriend left them? By searching all of these things about people we barely know, not only are we wasting time, we’re opening up the potential to drive ourselves crazy.

So the next time you check your Facebook page, see if it’s not time for some Spring cleaning.

Now That I’m Able to Relax...

Due to me finally being on spring break, I’ll be able to read more of the things I want to read – GQ, Men’s Health, ESPN, and actually begin reading, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – and write the things I want to write – Benjamin Bixby clothing line, Candace Parker’s pregnant?, and Kid Cudi is the next best thing.

That’s just getting started. While I will be relaxing in the great city of Fort Wayne, IN there’s still so much I want to do; there’s people to see, photographs to take (I’m still working on my photography skills), window shopping to do (I’m trying to scale back) and TV shows to watch (mmm, television). So, my mind will be practically everywhere this week so don’t be surprised if I bounce from something like my interpretation of fashion week in Milan to the greatness of Lebron; that’s just how my mind works.

So, while you’re sprawled out on the beaches of South Florida or sipping margaritas in Mexico (be careful, they’re killing people) feel free to pull out your Blackberry every once in a while and see what I’m babbling about. It might just make you think a little too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

88-Keys x Kanye West Talk About "Old" Times

88-Keys and Kanye West recently shot a new video together for 88-Keys's new single, "Stay Up (Viagra)". I have yet to see the video, but from the looks of the exchange had by Kanye and Keys, it should be hilarious.

Watch Kanye as "Rufus" and Keys as "Clifford". The best part of this conversation is the two stay in character the entire time when this was probably supposed to be a serious interview about the video. And take a look at the pics, these two were a hit on the street too. Growing old must be fun - well if your acting anyway.

I wanted to post the video but it failed to play on my site. So, if you would like to see the interview by "Rufus" and "Clifford" click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sartorialist Moments...DOPE BOY

I happened to have the camera for my J210 class (grossly overdue) on this day and decided to take a stroll over to the new Dope Couture Boutique on College St. I went into the place and couldn't help but notice this fly brotha chillin', representing the boutique. Needless to say I liked his outfit - simple but accessorized well with the scarf - and digged the NIKE sneakers. I guess he's kind of like a walking advertisement or an in-store model. Hey, whatever works.

Monday, March 9, 2009

According To Kurz...'Tis The Offseason

For a lot of people once the Superbowl has come to a conclusion they suffer what I call, “Football Hangover”. It’s the phenomenon of having an overload of so much football from September to February. With the playoffs, then the week to build up to the Superbowl, to the actual Championship, and finally all of a sudden it’s taken away. It’s over. Or is it?

To be honest this time of the year is my absolute favorite; it’s time for Mel Kiper Jr.’s mug to be all over ESPN, Todd McShay to be on every radio station and for Mike Mayock to change his name to “Mr. NFL Network”. Its time for the NFL draft of course!

For some strange reason I almost enjoy reading about all the prospects; grading them and watching film on them more than I do during the season. The draft gives every die hard fan hope that maybe, just maybe, this will be their year (and yes, this does include Detroit fans). But for as much as I care for this time, I do have one small problem.

The combine is held annually at the beginning of March, inviting college footballs “best” 300 players to participate in everything from the bench press to psychological testing. The problem I have is that because of the combine and the pro-days that follow, the draft is pushed back until mid April. Players often spend the time from their last game until draft day trying to shave off tenths of their 40 time, increase their reps on the 225 bench and elevate their vertical jumps. Players go to training sites just to work on specific combine drills instead of football skills. If I was going to pick an Olympic team for the U.S.A, I would go to the combine. If football was won based on who could jump higher, I would go to the combine. But football is much more than any type of drill, or timed sprint.

I believe that the NFL should hold its draft in mid March, wiping out all of the combines and pro-days. This gives enough time between the end of College football and the Superbowl to have a few College All-Star games, and in early March invite those same 300 prospects to Indy to go through doctor exams and physicals (this saves teams from having to fly to every prospect). But the biggest benefit would be for the GM’s and coaches because players would be drafted off of their production in games, instead of off the Wonderlic test, decreasing the number of draft “busts”.

Because of the way things are now, it’s so easy for fans and teams to fall in love with a guy because of his numbers and overlook the film. “The eye in the sky doesn’t lie”, is an old football saying and its absolutely right. If a player can play, he shows it every single time he is on the field and the games films will show exactly that.

Once You Go White...

For the most part this spring will be all about color but I’ve always carried an appreciation for the monochromatic white look. You can go preppy with it or urban street or combine the two styles to make the outfit all your own. I’ve picked out a few items that I may think about putting together myself, mixing the urban brands (Urban Outfitters) with the preppy brands (POLO and Banana Republic).

Banana Republic Slim Fit Stretch-Poplin Dress Shirt

I have the short sleeve version of this shirt and it’s probably my favorite shirt. It fits close to the body and stretches well as you move. Though, I must say this shirt will fit best on those who are physically fit. Price: $59.50

POLO Classic-Fit Hudson White Jean

I’m currently looking for a nice pair of white jeans and during my search these preppy slip-ons caught my eye over everything else. Now, if only I can figure out how to keep them clean (steer clear of the sandbox). Price: $115

Banana Republic Heritage Suede Split-Buckle Belt

It’d be cool to go for a brightly colored belt with all white but in this case we’re sticking with the “milk” look (and I don’t mean the movie). Price: $49

Urban Outfitters Linen Oxford Shoe

When I buy a white dress shoe this spring I either want this one, or one just like it. If you’re a guy into trying the white dress shoes you should too. You might risk looking like a Mormon cowboy, but don’t sweat it, you’ll probably look more fashionable than most. Price: $78

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Urban Outfitters Late Spring Catalog Video

Urban Outifitters continues to grow on me more and more by the day. I'll be checking them out frequently for trendy, chic, urban gear this spring/summer and you should too.

Cartoon Lessons

This morning I was forced to watch cartoons, as I rested in the recliner at my girlfriend’s apartment – she somehow finds a way to cheerfully exist without cable. My first reaction was to swiftly change the channel only to find a handful of grainy television shows and a couple news stations. To my slight disappointment, I settled on channel 13 NBC Indianapolis where, to my surprise, the cartoons shown weren’t bad at all. Actually, they caught my interest and took me away from my beloved GQ Magazine (now, that’s saying something).

I watched a cleverly written Veggie Tales episode about telling the truth and being faithful to your friends. In the episode the Asparagus broke his father’s glass plate and was then, convinced to lie about doing so by a small blob aptly named Fib. At first, the Asparagus told his father that he didn’t know how the plate was broken. After that, Fib convinced him to pin the incident on his friends, which made Fib grow. After a few more lies, the Fib grew into a giant Lie, stomping through the streets, ready to devour the Asparagus.

The Fib-turned-Lie was killed when Asparagus decided to tell the truth. The moral of the story was simple, but I loved the way it was done. While the cartoon may be for little kids, even a big kid like me can enjoy such a program and have simple moral values reinforced. Some adults could use a dose of Veggie Tales.

After Veggie Tales ended a cartoon about a group of car-racing dogs (I can’t remember the name) came on and emphasized the importance of sharing the things we have. The cartoon also stressed the importance of not judging others on what they have or don’t have.

Another came on featuring a bear that lacked confidence, as he continually failed to catch acorns falling from a tree. A friend of his encouraged, instilling in him the confidence he needed in order to achieve his dream – catching an acorn in, this case.

In today’s worrisome, lying, cheating, stealing, do anything you can to get by even if it means taking advantage of others and compromising our character and dignity-world its refreshing to see that today’s youth are having the right moral values reinforced from their cartoon shows. I admit that I don’t remember watching many cartoons like these when I was a kid, but I’m glad they’re being emphasized now. It lets me know that there is hope for youngsters everywhere.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dope Couture Boutique Opening

Dope Couture is known for more than just shoes, their line is full of culture and is very trendy. It's part urban street, part flamboyant skaterboy chic - call it an urban exploitation of designer threads. It shows that people from the midwest can have an urban sensibility and be dope too.

Speaking of the Weather...Here's Mark Mathis

People often converse about the weather either because they have nothing else to talk about or the weather is truly spectacular. Well, in Bloomington,IN today - well, this week rather - the weather has been worthy of conversation.

On Monday I found myself scraping ice off my windows and wrapped like a mummy in a scarf, sweater, gloves, and my winter coat. I think the weather was around 30-degrees or below that day. Fastforward to today. It's 66 degrees outside! I think that's the biggest temperature swing I've ever been in with one week. It's all anyone can talk about, it seems.

All the talk got me thinking about a funny Charlotte,NC weather man I heard about from my girlfriend a while back while she interned in the city. She told me he was crazy; after seeing him myself on Youtube, I agree and you probably will too.

For his antics he was fired and then rehired over an agreement that he would tone things down. That's too bad; I wish I could've seen him live. He'd have me excited to check the weather everyday. For that reason, I applaud Mark Mathis - even if he is more subdued now.

Below are clips of "the old" Mark Mathis. Enjoy and prepare to laugh.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Apparel Watch...Ralph Lauren Spring Argyle Cotton-Cashmere Vest

I haven’t been shopping in a while, so yesterday I decided to take a trip to Macy’s to window shop and quench my shopping thirst. I also wanted to check out what new Spring clothing lines Macy’s had in store. For the most part, not much jumped out at me except for the Ralph Lauren display (it always does). I’ve had my eye on a striking Ralph Lauren sweater vest that I definitely want to buy – once it goes on sale that is.

The light blue argyle print with navy and yellow mixed in really makes me think of Easter. This will go well with a pair of navy slacks, khakis or any color blue jeans. Priced at $125, it’s definitely worth the price, as it fits very well and doesn’t stretch after heavy use (I hate sweaters that become loose after a few wears). The sweater is made of cotton with a little bit of cashmere, making it all the more luxurious. Below are the details.

Classic sweater vest constructed in ultra-soft cotton and cashmere and designed in a preppy argyle pattern.
Solid ribbed V-neckline.
Solid ribbed armholes and hem.
85% cotton, 15% cashmere. Hand wash. Imported.

The Death of the Rocky Mountain News...Final Edition Documentary

In this difficult economic time many companies are struggling to stay afloat. Unfortunately, one of the industries being hardest hit by the economic downturn is journalism – more specifically, newspapers.

Being a journalism student, I’ve heard that newspapers would be extinct within the next few years too many times to count. The reasoning being the rise of online users and content, and the readership numbers for newspaper has gone down drastically from back when my parents were young. Back then people used to rely on the newspaper for all of their news and without they might as well have lived under a rock. Nowadays we have so many options via the internet, it’s unbelievable. The areas where people go to get their news are so copious that many newspapers are fighting a losing battle.

Through all of the trouble I hadn’t heard of many newspapers actually folding and the situation hadn’t really hit home with me until today. While I, still, don’t know anyone whose had to go through losing their newspaper job, I now know the impact it has on those who work for papers that facing this kind of demise.

In my J200 class today my professor showed the class a short, 22-minute documentary of the closing of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, CO. The newspaper published its final edition on February 27, 2009 after 149 years and 311 days. Abraham Lincoln was near my age when this paper began publishing.

I found the story to be very interesting and touching. Members of the newsroom began filming when they new things were bad and kept the camera rolling all the way through the last day.

Below is the well-done story of a dying newspaper.

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Forget Pacquiao, Marquez (and the Rest of Us) Wants Mayweather

Mexican lightweight Juan Manuel Marquez more than proved his worth Saturday night; he solidified his place as another Mexican boxing legend after knocking out the exciting Juan Diaz in the ninth round. In this, his 16th year as a pro, the 35 year-old Marquez has a strong case for being the world's best pound for pound boxer, but I wouldn't crown him just yet.

Right now Manny Pacquiao holds the title of boxing's best P4P and is set to fight Ricky Hatton in a junior welterweight bout on May 2 on HBO. The megafight is a potential fight-of-the-year candidate and the outcome will have a domino effect on the welterweight division.

Marquez has met Pacquiao in the ring twice before resulting in two epic bouts; the first ended in a draw while Marquez came out the loser in a decision in the second. From there, Pacquiao went on to bigger stardom while Marquez was left to scratch and claw his way back to the top of the boxing world by knocking out future Hall of Famer, Joel Casamayor.

Now, with Pacquiao occupied and Marquez wanting to stay busy by fighting the best of the best, I guess there's only one person on Marquez's mind: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Marquez made a bold move by calling out the former P4P champ after the fight Saturday night on HBO saying, "I'm going to go up (in weight) and beat Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao's the best pound for pound, but he really doesn't want to fight me. I want to fight the best pound for pound and that would be Mayweather."

I agree with and applaud Marquez's courage. Why lose ground by fighting a lesser opponent and someone who wouldn't create as big of a pay day? The only problem is getting Mayweather out of retirement.

Picture how big this fight would be! HBO would have no choice but to cash in by putting it on pay-per-view, they could fight in Las Vegas, and the contrasting styles would make this fight one for the ages. Mayweather is arguably the quickest boxer ever and is a master at creating tough angles for opponents to recover from. He's great at using his slyness and body movement skills to avoid heavy punishment while always staying on the offensive with a dangerous straight overhand right that stays cocked ready to fire.

Marquez usually brings the action to his opponents quickly. Though, he has started slowly in some recent fights, his activity rate is consistently very high. He makes his opponents to brawl at times and has a very tough chin. Against Mayweather he'd have his hands full but I wouldn't count him out. Now, if only promoters can find a way to get this fight made. Fight fans will have to wait and see.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kanye Rips VH1 Storytellers

Kudos to VH1 Storytellers for having Kanye West on last night. It was a no brainer in my biased opinion, to have someone like him perform on the show, as he’s highly opinionated and always has lots to say.

Sporting a Raf Simmons donegal tweed suit, a slim-fitting red button down shirt, a bowtie, sunglasses, and white sneakers, Kanye’s swagger was definitely turned up to a hundred thousand trillion as he performed a three hour, 14-song set of his greatest hits and songs from 808’s and Heartbreak in front of an energetic and loyal audience on a Los Angeles sound stage lit up to his liking.

The modern set up turned the soundstage into a futuristic light show that looked like the inside of a spaceship from Kanye’s Universecity. Flanked by a live band equipped with violinists, back up singers in space suits, African-style drummers, and an Auto-tuned pianist, Kanye reminded me a young boy just happy to be alive in a world where he can be free to express each thread of his feelings.

Sweat dripped from Kanye’s shag as he danced, skipped and even crawled around the stage (in search of his heart). Every ounce of passion was poured out into every song. If all of his performances are like this one he might just be the greatest performer out today. Every word he sang flew from his vocal chords like artistic technicolored doves yearning for artistic freedom in a world that has left them so heartbroken.

Though Kanye may be heartbroken in many ways, he seemed so free while performing. It’s as if nothing else matters but what he does on that stage. In between one of the songs he expressed his hatred for an author of who plans to release a demeaning book about his late mother, Donda West. He mentioned how the only thing keeping him from killing the man was the fact that he does not want to go to jail.

Kanye created potential controversy with comments that VH1 decided not to air. He openly dissed Radiohead frontman, Thom Yorke because he was supposedly snubbed by Yorke backstage at the Grammy’s. Also, according to Rolling Stone, Kanye asked the audience to “give Chris Brown a break”.

What did air were Kanye’s acknowledgements of Michael Jackson, Michael Phelps and a strange observation of O.J. Simpson. I don’t know where he was coming from with that last one.

Regardless of what he said I loved his arrogance and I loved his performance. Kanye is one of the most open and true artists of today and it was joy to watch him kill it on VH1. I can’t wait to see him live.

Here’s Kanye performing “Stronger”