Pay what you want

December 10, 2008 by

Two organizations I respect the hell out of are doing this.

First, there’s GOOD.

‘Media for people who give a damn.’

However much you decide to pay, 100% of it goes to one of their twelve non-profit partners — and you get to choose which one (I just re-upped our subscription and gave $20 to Kiva).

In addition to all the GOOD online content, you get a one-year subscription to GOOD magazine — six print issues — which is why this is such a GOOD gift for like-minded family and friends.

(Note: giving GOOD as a gift costs $20.)

But you get all sorts of compelling content — like this recent piece on everybody’s new favorite MD (or at least mine) Jay Parkinson and Hello Health — plus infograhics galore and design from Open.

And, if you haven’t broken your Starbucks habit yet, every Thursday while you’re picking up your triple grande latte or whatever, you can also pick up a GOOD sheet for free.

Here’s a peek at No. 11:


Go ahead: sign up, pay what you want!

Example two: Available Light [Theatre].

Historically, I’m not much of a theater guy.

And I’ve got no excuse — except for that I’m a bit uncultured, maybe.  It’s just never really been on my radar.

That all changed (not the uncultured bit) back in September when I saw Available Light eulogize David Foster Wallace live at Independents’ Day.

THEN I realized it was time to start paying attention.

(You should, too, and you can start by subscribing to their RSS feed, connecting with them on facebook, and/or following them on twitter.)

(You can also follow Artistic Director Matt Slaybaugh here.)

But so they’ve got a gig coming up called Foolin’ around with Infinity on 12/19 and 12/20, at Denison, and I was checking it out and saw this:

I asked Matt about it last week, via email, and he said (quoting without permission — sorry, Matt):

Pay What You Want is something I wanted to do forever. We tried it earlier this year and it was a huge hit… So we’re sticking with it. I think it’s better for everyone.

Pretty revealing about the level of confidence in the value of their work, don’t you think?

(The word ‘ballsy’ comes to mind, but I don’t think that’s quite right.)

So I’m going to the show on 12/20.

And I haven’t figured out how much I want to pay yet, no.

But I’m going.

And I’m already thinking about the value of the experience, in advance, and how I might best make a meaningful contribution, support-wise.

So… who wants to come with me?

It’ll be fun.  We’ll pay what we want!

[Note: There are two non-profits you’re going to be hearing A LOT about in ’09.  BOTH are dedicated to bringing healthy, organic, locally-grown goodness to Columbus:

  1. Available Light
  2. Local Matters

The question isn’t DO you want to get involved.  The question is HOW INVOLVED do you want to get?]



December 7, 2008 by


sum of its parts

December 4, 2008 by

Top 3 BLTs in Columbus, in no particular order:

  1. BLT&A at Surly Girl
  2. Puebla BLT at Cafe Corner
  3. The BLT (can’t remember the name) at Bodega

Please correct me if I’m wrong.

148 characters

December 3, 2008 by

If there’s a middle ground between radical condensation and thoughtful reduction, it’s probably the Google snippet.

My new bio page.

(Pretty much covers it, no?)

[12/4, Update]:


Before twitter

December 2, 2008 by


By David Foster Wallace.  From:



November 26, 2008 by

This was just over a year ago now.

Plenty rough.

It was all just an idea and didn’t have a name.

(And AmyD was still platinum blond.)

Change the world (or go home)

November 5, 2008 by


Masquerade on High

November 3, 2008 by

[Above image courtesy of klj_francis.]

In some cases, pics actually do do justice.

Take a look:

[Note: best experienced in slideshow view; click on the top right.]


October 24, 2008 by

[Pic courtesy of Charly Bauer.]


October 23, 2008 by

Live in Columbus?  Like good things?

Hopefully you’ve heard about HighBall then.

If not, here’s the deal:

Next Friday — October 31st, Halloween — from 6:00pm to midnight, High Street is going to be blocked off/closed to traffic from Buttles to Hubbard, in the Short North.

And we’re throwing a masquerade…

Think: Carnivale

Think: Mardi Gras

Think: Halloween

Think: Short North

As Funkadelic put it: free your mind… and your ass will follow.

Admission is FREE (booze is not).

On the north end, you’ll have live music: The Floorwalkers from 6:00 to 7:30; Flypaper (with Anna and the Androids) from 8:00 to 9:30; and Buzzcrush from 10:00 to 12:00.

On the south end, you’ll have DJs Moxy and Sonya, spinning from 6:00 to 9:00 and 9:00 to 12:00, respectively.

Plus a — get this — ginormous T-shaped runway in the middle of High Street (the top of the T backs up to Dr. Mojoe, if you’re trying to picture this; the stem is like 30 ft) for the Costume Couture Fashion Show.

(Now.  Before you even begin to rehash the 35 pages of debate on CU about what exactly ‘fashion’ is and what does Columbus have to do with it anyway, let us acknowledge that it (‘fashion’) is indeed subjective and amorphous and, to most of us, fleeting, but that it does have something to do with, I think, ‘freedom of expression through your wardrobe,’ plus ‘being creative within certain bounds’ and ‘intentionality’ — yes.)

That being said, we’ve got a veritable gaggle of talented designers in Columbus and we’re going to be featuring couture costume designs — plus three or four ready-to-wear looks a piece — from eleven of them right here.

On the catwalk.

Sexy folk like Kelli Martin.  And Terri Stevens.  (Don’t think I even need to mention the show anymore so I won’t.)  And Akira Burgess. And Esther Myong Chung.  To name a few…

And a certain super drag queen — 2008 National Entertainer of the Year, no less — emceeing?

That’s at 8:30.

Plus then costume contests from 9:30 to 12:00 with, I’m led to believe, a couple thousand dollars at stake.

All while legally drinking booze on the street!

Obviously there’s A LOT going on.  Probably I’m forgetting all sorts of stuff (like Dogtober Howloween).  So be sure and check out or the Facebook page or the official Short North blog for the full story.

Any questions?

Here’s your map:

See you then.

[Updated 10/28: street closure is at 6:30pm, not 6:00, though The Floorwalkers do start at 6:00 in the Haiku parking lot.]

Chances are good

October 9, 2008 by

I’m 95% behind on pretty much everything in my life right now.

Not a complaint, just an observation; it’s good to be busy.

Just need an intern, is all.

Plus 85% of it’s interchangeable parts of a BIG project involving the total integration of my work and personal lives to the point of: It’s Just What I Do Because It Interests Me.

Anywhere, anytime.  Work hours?  What’s that.

Building that bridge.

And following — no, chasing — passion, both mine and others.

Until everything I do (and don’t do) (paid or otherwise) is driven by a single unifying purpose: to help build a local living economy in Columbus.

In other words: making things better.

Paying-gig-wise, without exception, ALL the people I’m working with these days — 100% — are smarter, more creative, and exponentially more interesting than I am.

That’s by design, of course — I don’t have an inferiority complex.

They’re all so just f**king cool.

Case in point: Little Alouette.

Based right here in Columbus, OH.

A true, small-family-biz: Renaissance Mom, Artisan Wood-Working Dad, and two ‘wee ones,’ crafting wooden toys by hand, with love.

Using Ohio Maple whenever possible…

And finishing each product with certified organic seed oil!

In other words: all the savvy moms dig Little Alouette.

(Probably you should, too.)

REALLY feeling this Lil Ellie Roller right now:

Maple Lil Ellie Roller Toy

And this Balance Toy:

Solid Wood Bowler Hat Man Weights and Balance Toy

Of course, I’m biased; it’s impossible for me to be objective, they’re my clients — I believe in what they do.

So if you don’t feel you can trust me, tune into some of the chatter here, here, here, and here.

Plus, you know who else loves them?

Whole Foods — read about that here.

And say you really want to be the cool uncle (or whatever), bundle one of LA’s treasures with this here onsie from Skreened:

Like a wee sartorialist in training.

[Update, 12/12: check out Little Alouette and Skreened on Good Day Columbus with @jdiloretto from a couple weeks back here and here, respectively.]


September 25, 2008 by

So Wallace committed suicide on 9/12.  Hung himself.

The number of posthumous appraisals written in the short time between then and now is staggering.

Tried keeping up for a bit, but good luck.

If you’re wondering why all the fuss, there’s an exhaustive catalogue of what’s been written so far here.  Dig in.

My personal favorite, by far, was the live eulogy performed by the Available Light crew (plus special guest, Artie Isaac, whose thoughts on DFW you can read here, along with a mini-review in the comments from Advergirl, who obviously knows her lit) as part of the Independents’ Day festival last Saturday on Gay St.

I’d forgotten how funny Brief Interviews with Hideous Men could be.

And how it felt the first time to read (and re-read, a couple times, alternately flipping from the story to the inside blurbs to the back cover’s author pic and back, before going on, trying to make sense) that opening scene from Infinite Jest, my intro to Wallace.

A book which, for a while, I re-read about once every other year.  Losing myself.  Again.  With characters people like Pemulis and that sideways, ‘drine-fueled glance; Lenz with those rats; Poor Tony.  Big Don Gately.  Picking up on stuff I’d missed before.

And then which book I also raved frothingly about to anybody who’d listen.  Friends, family.  People who LOVE to read!  I’d corner them: Read this. And, yet, to this day, I only know of one person whom I recommended/gave the book to who ever actually finished it.  The rest couldn’t hack it or just didn’t get it and gave up.

On some of the most spectacular writing.  Ever.

Anyhow, all that came flooding back on Saturday, at Due Amici, with ALT’s performance.  And though I was lathered up pretty good with sunblock because of the skin thing — and, yes, some did get in my eye, thank you — I’ll confess that there were a couple real tears interspersed in there, somewhere.

And, in my more self-directed moments, I like to think the performance was in some way for/because of me.

So thanks, Matt, regardless if it was or wasn’t.

I’m just glad to finally know an actual fellow Wallace fan in the flesh.

I’m fine

September 24, 2008 by

Not enough time for a proper post, but it was thin (the melanoma), meaning we caught it early.

Going back in next Friday for a re-excision and some flap surgery — basically removing a 3″ circle of skin from my chest and then making an adjacent incision to free up some skin and ‘move it over.’

What my co-worker just asked me: ‘Will your nipple be in the middle then?’

I don’t know.  Maybe?

Thanks for the prayers, thoughts, and wishes, etc.



September 21, 2008 by

What a week.

There was, of course, the storm.  And subsequent multi-day power outage.  Etc.

I think probably enough’s been said about that.

The Friday preceding, my favorite writer of all time, David Foster Wallace, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide.

More on that, later.

And then just this past Friday, after having a couple suspicious-looking moles biopsied, I was diagnosed with melanoma.

Don’t worry; I still look and feel improbably dashing.

Only difference is all of a sudden I’m drinking proper gin martinis, instead of vodka.  Nothing like an early-’30s skin-cancer scare to usher that phase in.

‘OK… so what does that mean?’

What it means is I’ll be meeting with a specialist later this week to determine the thickness and the depth of the melanoma, as well as to see if it’s spread beyond the skin blah blah blah.

(My apologies if you already knew this; I didn’t.)

That’s Wednesday.

Until then, there’s not much else to share.  Except All The Fascinating Stuff I’ve Learned About Melanoma Since Friday:

  1. Although it’s less common than other types of skin cancer, the rate of melanoma is steadily increasing.
  2. In the US, 1 in 65 people will be diagnosed with melanoma at some point in their life.
  3. The risk of developing melanoma increases with age, but the disease also frequently affects young, otherwise healthy people.
  4. Melanoma is the number-one cause of cancer death in women aged 25 – 30 (!).
  5. Early diagnosis is very important.
  6. The best treatment for early-stage melanomas is surgical removal (simple excision). In almost every case this eliminates the cancer.
  7. If it’s spread beyond the skin, treatment options include surgical removal, chemotherapy, radiation, and biological therapy.

And we’ll leave it at that.

Bottom line: Like other types of cancer, it’s potentially serious, yet easily treatable if caught early.  Things get a bit more complicated if the tumor’s thick and the cells have spread, etc.

I’ll post updates soon as I know more.

Until then, I’m enjoying a heretofore unfelt sense of connection with senator John McCain

(That is not an endorsement.)


September 16, 2008 by

Day 2 of forced digital nomadism due to the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

Hasn’t been that bad, really — our house isn’t damaged, we can still shower, the cars have gas, etc.

Jamo doesn’t have school…

Probably about .005% of what the folks down in Galveston and the Texas coast are experiencing.

A minor inconvenience, at worst.

Plus, about a month back I was having thoughts like this:

Which I did, like, the very next day:

So while neither my office nor the JDA office has power or phone service or Internet access, I’m holed up at the Cup O’ Joe in the Short North (pretty much all of which neighborhood has power, by the way) with full access to pretty much everything work-related.

And I’ll be damned if the tunes aren’t consistently good here.

If you’re a client, you already know how to get in touch.

If you want to be a client, you probably already know, too.

In case not:

Cell: 614.598.1729

Mobile email:


Twitter: @slimgoodies

I’ll be in and out of meetings all day, so if you don’t get me, leave a message and I’ll get right back…

P.S. Anybody else going to the Wex tonight for Real You Inc?  I’ll be the skinny, balding, bespectacled guy… Shoot me an email, text, tweet — whatever.

P.P.S. Just shared a basked of potato chips with Jeb Stuard Magruder.