Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome back to the real world…

 

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What the heck have we been doing, America? Allow me a second to roam the past textual expanse of Writing Bareback….

Donald Trump should get a sex change? Hot take, July Dusty. I enjoyed the Filet ‘O’ Fish sandwich? Sure. Those seem to be the only things that were important enough for me to bloooog about.

“Dust, what matters to you so much that you actually need to publicly write about it?”

“Um, McDonald’s seafood offerings?”

Hmmm, disappointing. Let’s start over. I’m literally going to write one thousand words about the world because it’s more difficult than taking a picture. That’s what this entire preamble has been doing, filling a one hundred and thirty two word gap.

KT and I are cancer free. I talk about the disease as an “us” because I’m pretty sure leukemia affected her as much as it did me. So we are now entering month five of marriage, and everything will be normal. I’m talking about America’s normal. We will both go to work on Mondays through Fridays. We will both say things like, “Let’s try to have a healthy week this week.” We will both consider the idea of buying an expensive pair of sunglasses so that we value them enough to not lose them. Life will be extremely not cancerous.

Now that we’ve come up for air, I’m saddened by what we, as Americans, are caring about these days. Donald Trump must be talked about always and because. Football’s undeniable destruction of the human mind is as silly as any gladiatorial sport that we’ve all loved into profitability. Jay-Z is wearing a Kaepernick jersey, which would be far more satisfying if the quarterback was actually good at playing the sport I just said I’m embarrassed to enjoy. And then there are people going to a Jason Aldean concert, which would have been a joke before it became a tragedy. That is depressing. What is wrong with our healthy, American people? And why are we so set on destroying ourselves? Let me clarify. I am saddened not by the things we have chosen to care about. I’m saddened by the things we’ve been forced to care about in our everyday, normal lives.

I have told KT many times that I’m excited about taking the opportunity of cancer to rebuild myself. People—and I mean bosses and friends and whoever else puts expectations upon another human being—grant temporary leeway in times of personal chaos. Like my man Petyr Baelish says, “Chaos is a ladder.” Ten months is a lot of chaos and a lot of ladder, but now that I’m up here, I’m trying to see things differently. I’m wondering what happened to this vaunted free will we Americans are so proud of? Choice. The Vote. Democracy. Liberties. Fighting the tyranny of evil. If American life is not what we want it to be, why don’t we change it? Why don’t we rebuild this country?

My suspicion is that we do not want a different America than the one that we already have. My suspicion is that we are sheep, incapable of making a better choice.

I didn’t vote in the 2016 election. It’s so shameful. I could have and I didn’t. I said things like, “I don’t like either candidate, so why would I endorse them with my vote?” And then my normal life became not so normal. I got cancer. I guess we all did. The system that gave our country life turned on itself. Our free speech became so free that a person could tweet about making the country great again, and other people could hear him. A person who ostensibly wanted the right to bear arms did in fact bear them, just like others before him. When was the last time a gun did something besides shoot something? I think most people forget that America was started by law breakers who used force to take what they wanted. The thing is, once these criminals won, the laws they decided to make and enforce (with force) were in defense of people doing whatever people wanted to do. And we did. We even got smarter. We made a communication matrix that allowed us to do whatever we wanted more efficiently. Did you know that 30% of all data transferred over the internet is just porn?  That’s just an interesting factoid for you to roll into your ideas about the richness of human imagination and the endless possibilities of free will. We have unfettered access to the millennia of human intellect and discovery. Also, I wonder how many people’s Facebook accounts follow both Fox News and MSNBC? My suspicion is that I don’t care, and that’s the problem. I’d rather write about fast food and sex changes and the lothario artistry of NFL quarterbacks (my only regret is not being meaner to Blake Bortles. Who sucks. Probably as a human being, and definitely as a quarterback), and so I’m a normal American.

But [extremely Samuel L. Jackson voice in Pulp Fiction], I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.

I’m writing a novel, and I like the mechanics of it, creating a new story as whole cloth. It takes work. It’s probably more effort than the final story will ever be worth. But I tell myself that the effort is worth it. The effort is what matters. The effort signifies character. And I hope you will try too. Maybe we’ll both vote in the next election. Maybe people of color won’t face the biased oppression of law enforcement. Maybe Colin Kaepernick will get back on the field and never get a concussion. Maybe. Maybe there’s a cure. If we try really hard to suppress our own impulses, maybe we can make America great again. Or maybe not. That would be okay too. But we have to try, even if it’s difficult.

This post will be 1,000 words after the word “picture.” It would have been easier to take a picture.

Simply Dusty (and how you can help!)

Many, if not all of you who are friends with Dusty and KT, have seen or heard the news that our big, lovable Dusty was diagnosed with Leukemia early last week. In true Dusty spirit, he’s assured me that if you have to have Leukemia, the kind he has is the kind you want to have – always looking at the silver linings, that guy. He and Katie will be spending the next several weeks in the hospital as Dusty kicks Leukemia’s ass. But, there are only so many episodes of The Price is Right and games of Cards Against Humanity they can handle. Boredom is the worst.

Many, MANY of you who have felt the outpouring of love and thoughtfulness of these 2 over the years have asked what you can do for them or how you can help. And in true KT/Dusty fashion they said, “Ask folks to donate blood if they are able and/or they can donate to the Jimmy V foundation.

These are both GREAT! Additionally if you want to do something THEM to let them know you’re thinking of them, praying for them and want to lift their spirits for the holidays, here is their mailing address! Send them well wishes if you feel so inclined! Let’s fill their room to the brim with love!

101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 – Cancer Hospital Room 4840

“I already have these…”

I had intended to write something sentimental today, being my last Fathers Day not officially a dad yet. About how no matter what style tshirt you have tucked into you stone washed Wranglers. Regardless of the type if white sneaker and cell phone clip you don on a daily basis. What’s important is that you’re present in your kid’s life. That you’re raising him/her to be a respectful, responsible, functioning human. 

And thats all still true, but then my buddy Blake sent me this and I felt the need to share. So much goodness starting with the “I already own these” to him doing a side by side comparison with his old school white Champion shoes. No more words are needed, enjoy the clip.

The Currys in question

Found via BroBible.

8.5? nope, wrong size.

TC

Can I be a bandwagon Panthers fan?

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I’m a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan from Maryland. I catch heat for it every single year and have learned to just say “Yes, I’m from Texas.” Truth is my grandma force fed me Cowboys Starter Jackets, toys, footballs, etc etc etc to ensure that I wouldn’t pull for anyone else.

This blog post is not about me abandoning my beloved Cowboys. However, since I’m a 9+ year resident of North Carolina and have never really given the Panthers much love (and let’s be honest, you haven’t either regardless of how long you’ve lived here) how can you and I at least SEEM like a long time Panthers fan and join in on the fun.

  1. Remember, this is not your first Super Bowl. You’ve been here before and not that long ago actually. Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2003-2004 and lost to the Pats. Not bad for a franchise that’s only been around since 1995. SIDE NOTE: That is such a cluster of a Roman Numeral. So inefficient, no wonder their empire fe

    ll. SIDE NOTE II: That was the year Justin Timberlake showed Janet Jackson’s boobie on national TV.

  2. Know a player from the team pre-Cam Newton era. Here’s a list of common names you can pull and their respective positions:
    • Stephen Davis – RB (2000s) – He was a hoss, but the Redskins ran him hard prior to joining the Panthers and he ran outta steam.
    • John Kasay – K (1995-infinity) Yeah he still plays, but he’s the only original Panther from the 1995 expansion team.
    • Jake Delhomme – QB (90s-00’s) – 2 NFC Championships and a Superbowl appearance.
    • Julius Peppers – D-Line (2000’s) – a sack machine
    • Steve Smith Sr. – WR (forever) – possibly the most passionate football player ever to play the game. Well known for vomiting in trash cans on the field before games.
  3. Don’t be wishy-washy on Cam. Defend him passionately. You wouldn’t chant “USA USA USA” at a bar with strangers and then say, “Yeah that George Washington guy, he might be a good guy and good at what he does, but I’m not sure how I feel about him as a leader.”
  4. Say something about the Panthers history to show you’ve been a fan for at least greater than 1 year. Here’s a good one: “It’s crazy we barely made the playoffs last year at 7-9-1 and this year we dominated the whole season!”
  5. Be aware of who this guy is, but don’t be this guy.
  6. Don’t “dab.” Or maybe do dab. But if you’re painfully white, definitely don’t dab.

This is NOT how you dab.

This is the right way.

Super Bowl 50 (or Super Bowl L to the Romans) is Sunday, February 7th at 6:30pm. Until then, Keep Pounding, Ice Up Son and dab your way through the work week.

BONUS Fashion DON’T: Please, never wear sunglasses (err transition lens glasses?) like Ron Rivera

BUY/SELL 2015 Edition (yes it’s late)

In an effort to keep you up to date on what to buy and what to sell as you wash your hands of 2015 and make your resolutions for 2015 we wanted to provide you our exhaustive list of what’s cool and what’s absolutely not. This started with me (Tommy, the good-looking one) sending my write-up to Dusty (also the good-looking one), to which he would add his flare, and boom, we’d post it sometime around December 30th (+/- 1 day). But as happens, work, life, fitness gets going and all of a sudden NYE is less of a landmark day, all out celebration and more of a “Can I even stay up until midnight?” (Spoiler, when you’re binge watching Making a Murderer, the answer is YES you can stay up until midnight), things can get swept under the rug.

So without further ado, here’s our list (which Dusty whole-heartedly agrees with). You still have 344 days to get your ish together (yay for the extra leap year day!).

BUY:

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber went from an unknown Canadian, to a teeny bopper phenom, to a kid quickly going the way of Macaulay Culkin. Quickly flipped it around and started dating a Victoria Secret model, collaborated with Skrillex for the #1 summer hit and recently released an album with so many bangers, it’s made everyone a Belieber. May have to sacrifice my man card, but I’m buying the Biebs.

 

Aziz Ansari

You might know him as the lovable, entrepreneur from Parks and Rec, Tom Haverford or maybe you’ve seen anyone of his stand up performances on Netflix. But did you know he’s continued his hot streak writing and producing the Netflix series Master of None? In a nutshell, he takes segments of his stand up routine and turns them into a 30 minute laugh fest of a show that always seem to teach us lesson. Not only are you buying, but you’re telling your friends to buy any chance you get.

Gourmet Donuts

You’re hungry just looking at this morsel.

As if you need an explanation. Once you’ve tried a locally made donut that’s not glazed (i.e. Maple Bacon, Creme Brulee, Fruity Pebble Topped) you’ll be like Dunkin Donuts? Never heard of her.

Adam Driver

He’s the over the top boyfriend from GIRLS, he plays a dark role in Star Wars. This dude has the most dynamic acting range of modern male actors, polar opposite opposite of Ryan Gosling. Oh and he’s a former Marine. Respect. Mad respect.

 

 

SELL:

“All the things…”

Like many Basic-isms overexaggerations (see: “I literally just slept for a millions hours,” “BEST. FROYO. EVER.” “#obsessed”), this one had its time in the sun and now needs to be SOLD. Common uses:

“Halloween time, eating all the candy.”

“Christmas time, watching all the movies.”

You get the point.

 

Whip and Nae Nae

No. Seriously, this is the worst.

RIP Superman

RIP Dougie

RIP Hit da QUAN

RIP Whip and Nae Nae (by now you see the trend).

Once a dance makes it to white people’s wedding and 4th graders are doing it at recess, a dance is no longer cool and needs to be SOLD.

Shout out to the Slides (Electric and Cha Cha), Cupid Shuffle and The Wobble for standing the test of time.

Regular Movie Theater Seating

Let’s be real here, traditional movie theater seating is uncomfy and you feel like you play the arm rest war all movie with a total stranger. Enter the new age theater seating. Leather, recliner, airline style tv tray. I mean now I can be comfy AND I don’t have to worry about where to rest my greasy bag o’ popcorn.

Style is Cyclical – The Golden Era is Back

I follow Nat Geo on Instagram. A little nerdy, but some of the pictures are really awesome, especially when they’re of whales because the ocean is neat. Yesterday I came across the picture below and thought, ‘Man, style hasn’t really changed much since 1957.’

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I mean, it has gone through the hippie style of the 60’s and 70’s. The cross-dressing 80’s and the outlandishly baggy 90’s. But alas, we’ve landed back on the timeless, well-fitted proper style that was present from the early 1900’s through the Golden Era.

You ever see your dad’s and wonder what inspired him to tuck his t-shirt into his jeans and rock his white New Balance yard work shoes all together? There is a valid reason why “Dad Jeans” is a thing.

Well your dad likely grew up in the style-confused times from 1960-1980 (and some in the 90’s depending on how young the WBB demographic readers run).  He never found a style that worked and just stuck to it. So they go for comfort over all.

To contrast, your handsome ass grandpa has always looked sharp. Whether you’re going to church or a ball game with him, his style is timeless and it works. Hell, that might be your stylishly clothed grandpa in the picture from Nat Geo above. See, gramps grew up in a time when well fitted style was the thing. You had a few key pieces that worked and no matter what, the damn thing better fit you well because you didn’t have the money to replace it.

Hence, that style locked in on your papa, and as he became a dad to your dad (or mom) he stuck with that style because he knew it worked. He didn’t suffer through the years of baggy Lee Jeans where the back pockets nearly touch the front pockets. And 60, 70, 80+ years later? He still looks good as hell when he heads out into public.

So what’s the point? The Golden Era of style has been revived. Men are dressing like men again. Don’t let this opportunity to clean up your style pass you by. You’re damn near 30 years old, the way you dress now may just be the way you’re dressing 50 years from now.

Stay classy,

TC

You were definitely an Emo Kid in 2005

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Wait, I didn’t know you in 2005? You’re probably right. But I do know you were an Emo Kid, or at least had more emo tendencies than you thought at the time. Sure you didn’t paint  your finger nails black, wear guy-shadow or have this weird hair over your eyes phase, but musically, oh yes, you were indeed emo.

In the early 2000’s being Emo was like being branded with a scarlet letter. No one wanted to claim they listen to “emo” music or would defend the genre saying “all music evokes some sort of emotion, so isn’t all music emo?” Now, that we’ve all grown up and we’ve stopped wearing skin tight t-shirts with our girl jeans (for guys) when a fellow adult friend has a shared love for a band from my past like Something Corporate or The Early November, we wear our former emo-ness like a badge of honor.

To help you come to grips with the fact that you too had a little emo in you (that’s what she said) here are some tell-tale signs:

Your AIM screen name had the letter “x” in it. I opted for the xRockxArgylex, it was badass at the time. But anything incorporating an “x” as a place holder. However, if it was an “x” as abbreviation for “lacrosse” i.e. LaxKid127, then you most definitely WERE NOT emo.

Speaking of AIM you ironically used 1 of the following 2 lyrics as an away message:

If you were sick “So sick so sick of being tired and oh so tired of being sick.”

If you were mad at someone “You’re as subtle as a brick in the small of my back.”

And of those lyrics you knew that the latter was used by both Taking Back Sunday AND Brand New. Bonus emo points if you also knew ALL ABOUT the fued between the two bands and their lead singers Jesse and Adam (who you affectionately called by their first names).

When asked about a band you’ve used the line “I’ve heard of them but haven’t heard any of their stuff” in order to avoid the embarrassment of NOT KNOWING a new band.

You KNOW Fall Out Boy’s best song is Grand Theft Autumn and NOT Sugar We’re Going Down like the mainstreamers do.

You definitely know what Drive-Thru Records is. If not, you are 100% aware of at least 1 of the following bands: The Starting Line, The Early November, New Found Glory, Senses Fail, Hellogoodbye, Something Corporate

Konstantine is spelled with a “K” and NOT a “C” and the time 11:11 means a lot to you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMwI1DlZpyY

Chris Carraba told you exactly where your hair is.

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You’ve been taking selfies years before they were called selfies. From above, at just the right angle. And you took them on a digital camera, then uploaded it to MySpace since flip phones were so incapable.

You never lost your keys because they were hooked to your belt loop on a carabiner like you were a damn janitor.

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You still have a playlist or seek out one on Spotify to bask in the glory of your former emo days.

Throw up your rock fist, or don’t, you know, if you don’t think its cool, or whatever,

Tommy “I wore girl jeans 3 times in my life” Cooksey

Today is a proud WBB Day

As is well documented across the scribes of Writing Bareback I have tirelessly (although not at all recently) attempted to save men from the fashion woes that they’ve helplessly let themselves sink in to. It continues to reign true as my company recently shifted to “business casual” and the halls are filled with 3/4 sleeves golf polos and over-sized, light washed dad jeans.

It is also well documented that my WBB blogmate is averse to putting forth any effort toward his style – See: T-Shirts I Will Own

But alas, today, Tuesday, the 5th day of May in the 2015th year of our Lord, style and non-style have met at their respective cubicles and I feel like a proud father. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present, forever Dusty.

Not the most flattering image of either of us. But hey, it's 10am on a random Tuesday.

Not the most flattering image of either of us. But hey, it’s 10am on a random Tuesday.

The Music Alley – Leon Bridges (an immediate Golden Oldie)

When I was a kid my (way to young to be listening to this type of music) dad would cruise around with us in the car listening to Oldies music on 100.3. “OLIDES ONE-HUNDREEEED.” Some of my fondest memories are triggered by a Frankie Vallie tune, something soulful from Sam Cooke or some random one-hit wonder like Bryan Mann.

It was the early days of pop and rock n’ roll. The Golden Oldies stretching from the mid 1950’s through the mid 1960’s; it embodied the All-American, everything is alright mode of our country post WWII, pre-Vietnam War.

Like style, music tends to be cyclical. A la the latest trend of synthesizers in every song, it’s clear the 80’s has reemerged over the last several years (gag). Aside from listening to the classic Soda Fountain tunes recorded 5-6 decades ago, there hasn’t been much replication of the early days of pop and rock n’ roll, until now. Allow me to introduce you to Leon Bridges. It’s pure, raw and SO oldies. Take 3 minutes out of your day and click play below. Something tells me Leon is just now scratching the surface of something big and the tune is guaranteed to improve your mood for the day.

Part II: Buy or Sell: What Happened in 2014 that’s worth taking with us to 2015?

My co-blogging, co-working, co-living bud wrote an initial post with this title yesterday piggy-backing on an idea I had last week. As such I felt the need to post my “Buy or Sell” thoughts (facts) that started this idea in the first place.

Without further ado:

BUY:

Fabric flower lapel pins. A few years ago, pocket squares and tie clips made a comeback and made you stand out. Now everyone does it (albeit some better than others). One of these little bad boys in your lapel sets you apart from the pack.

Crossfit. Now that everyone’s taken their uninformed jabs and complete misunderstanding of the sport of Crossfit, its time you give it a shot. When you walk into a boss, not everyone looks like the guys/girls you see on tv, trust me. If you don’t think its for everyone, just ask the “bawse” Rick Ross who now does Crossfit, or as he calls it “RossFit.” As Rozay says “If you wanna do jumpin’ jacks wit da cheerleaders, we gon wave at you when we ride by. We gettin’ it.” Plus if you’re single, its a great way to meet a significant other…I know from experience.

Man tights – It’s mid-Winter, you’re pasty, hairy legs are scaring everyone in the gym. Plus these bad boys provide some nice compression when you’re squatting, because leg day is the new chest day. Plus it’s cold outside, keep your lower half warm. Disclaimer: Wear them under your shorts, because no one wants to see all that.

TV Show “How to Get Away With Murder” – Because its intense and its awesome. Thanks to my fiance for forcing me to watch the first episode and getting me hooked.

SELL:

Hashtagging – It started as a useful search/trend follower on twitter. Then it got annoying. Then it became a parody of itself. Now its just silly. It’s experienced the full life cycle. Let it go.

Vine – You had your time in the sun, Vine. But then Instagram did video, and now you’re irrelevant. Sad to see you go, but not sad to see people that became “Vine-Famous” go.

Terio – I’ll be the first to tell you, when I first found Terio on Vine (see above) I thought he was hilarious. I mean, a little fat kid, with over-sized clothes, dancing on cue to no music. But then football players started doing his dance in the endzone. Then his family started to exploit this 7 year old kid, doing club appearances in the middle of the week and other questionable parenting decisions. Plus now he’s like 8 and no longer this funny little fat kid. Sorry, ohh killem. He gone.

Buying music – Because why? With streaming services like Spotify, even iTunes is trying to figure out a way to offer streaming music for free or a monthly charge. If you’re a DJ, you get a pass.

Big Bang Theory – How many times can you recycle the same scenarios and jokes and expect them to be funny. Plus we liked long-hair Penny better.