31 July 2012

Travelogue: The Disney Wedding Part I

I have always been quite the travel buff. Staying in one place has never suited me well, and I love experiencing new places, new cultures, and new people. So how do I make a trip to Walt Disney World, a place I spent a year of my life, something new and exciting? It's pretty easy, actually.

Love is the Reason
The main thing that sets this trip apart from previous Disney visits (1989, 2001, 2005) and working at Disney (2003, 2005) is the reason I will be there. The primary focus of this trip isn't a vacation or working, but a wedding. Disney weddings are legendary for being, well, legendary. The second reason is reuniting with some of my closest friends from my 2005 stint working for the Mouse in the place where it all began. In some cases, it's been weeks since I saw these friends, in other cases, many years. Somehow, we have managed to clump the last two American Pie sequels into one trip.

Getting There is Half the Fun
Typically, when one travels from the Northeast to Florida, a plane is involved. Occasionally quirkier folks will opt for a train ride, or the snazzy auto train from Virginia that allows you to bring your car along. Some brave souls take their chances with the price of gas along I-95. Being one of lesser wealth, I found another option: I'm taking the bus. Later this afternoon, I will walk down to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and hop on the Megabus heading for DC. From there, an overnight Megabus ride will get me to Knoxville, TN early tomorrow morning. After breakfast, a museum visit, and a trolley ride around town, a third Megabus will drop me in Chattanooga. I'll spend a day in Chattanooga with a friend, and from there we will drive to Orlando. Sure, it will take awhile, but it was only $110 round-trip. That's less than half of the base fare for the cheapest flight!

Once this trip is over, I will check back in to let you know how it went. Was the epic bus ride a good idea? Can Disney really be done on a budget? How many weddings can a person attend in two weeks? Answers to all of these questions and more upon my return.


24 July 2012

Summers in Kerala!


Hi, I am Anna John, I blog at From Anna’s Desk! I am a law student from India who blogs about her experiences in ‘God’s Own Country’, her views on life, politics, philosophy, law school and most things under the sun that get her interested enough to write something about it. I shall be sharing about my Childhood Summer Vacations as part of 20SB’s 2012 Blog Swap.

My family lives in central India, but our ancestral home is in Kerala. So, during my childhood, when the school closed for the summer, my family used to generally start preparing for a trip to our ‘native place’ in Kerala. Unlike every other Malayali friend of mine, I was not very keen on our annual migration to the south. A week or two at my paternal grandmother’s place meant that I had to deal with intermittent power cuts, life without television, fetching water from the well each time I needed to take a bath or use the washroom. For all the tourism posters proclaiming that Kerala was ‘God’s Own Country’, even as a 6 year old, I was already convinced that God had overlooked Kottayam or at least my Ammachi’s (Granmother in Malayalam) house.

Over the years I came to look forward to these yearly visits to Kerala and started to make the best out of these trips. Part of the reason was that my maternal grandparents who were hitherto put up in Nagpur decided to resettle in Kerala. I was pretty close to my Nana and Nani andI really liked their place in Kerala. Soon, spending time Ammachi’s place was something that I looked at as a consideration for the time I got to spend with my Nana and Nani.

It is funny how, when you look at your worst nightmare as something you need to endure for a reward you have been eagerly awaiting, your nightmare doesn’t look so nightmarish anymore! I began enjoying the time spent with Ammachi. She would save up the best of the bananas, jackfruits, tapioca and all the other eatables that were grown at home for me. She would read out stories from Malayalam comic books and teach me verses from the Bible in Malayalam. Over time, I came to love spending time with my grandmother enough to not mind the power-cuts and the lack of plumbing (although that problem was fixed some 10 years ago). The fact that there was no television meant that I spent my time reading books and learning to read Malayalam and other things that Ammachi tried to teach me.

And one day, Ammachi suddenly died. None of us had seen it coming. It was the first time I had lost someone I loved and cared about, and it took me a while to get over her loss. In retrospect, I am grateful for the change of heart over the course of those annual vacations. Ammachi taught me a great many things during those holidays, and I shall cherish the memories of those holidays for the rest of my life! 


20 July 2012

Out on the Town - Museums After Dark

Museums After Dark
When living in a city, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of great experiences. Often it is difficult to keep track of all the goings-on associated with city living. We here at The What Magazine pride ourselves on finding colorful ideas for making the most of your urban experience with Out on the Town, a feature highlighting the latest and greatest in your city.

In recent years, many museums have moved beyond your typical programming to offer a variety of cool events and happenings after regular operating hours. These evening events are often intended to attract the 21-35 crowds, and therefore usually include food, tasty adult beverages, and a main attraction that the type of people who are reading this would enjoy.

19 July 2012

Mixtape Madness #16: 2012 Official Soundtrack of Summer



According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

2012 Official Soundtrack of Summer
Summer time equals party time, and no party (or no Summer) can reach its potential without a seriously sweet soundtrack. We look forward to this mix each year, and it seems to get bigger and better each time. So without any further hesitation, here is the ideal playlist for your next barbecue.

1. "Ceremony" by New Order - We start off the 2012 Soundtrack of Summer with an early 80's throwback. Originally released in 1981, it's on this list mainly because of the scene in which it is featured in Marie Antoinette.

2. "Happy Pills" by Norah Jones - Summer is hot and so is Norah Jones. Her latest album is a bit different from her norm, but in a good way. 

3. "Never Go Back" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are a fantastic band. While I normally prefer their bluesier tunes, this one fits the bill for a summer mix.

4. "Ottoman" by Vampire Weekend - Another movie song, this one getting the nod after a showing of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

5. "The Harder They Come" by Jimmy Cliff - Few songs sound better on a sweltering summer night than this one.

13 July 2012

July 2012

Better late than never! Keep checking back over the next two weeks for articles from our Culture, Class, Cuisine issue. Cheers!

14 June 2012

Scaling Down #4 - The Sunday Run

Each year hordes of people make a New Year's resolution to lose weight. In January, gyms are overcrowded with well-meaning people on treadmills desperate to lose a few pounds. By February, most have given up. In 2010, I was able to lose 45 pounds without the help of a trainer, special program, crazy diet, or supplements. We here at the What want to help you stay fit and healthy in a simple and natural way.


The Sunday Run


There are few things more rewarding in life than a lazy Sunday. A day to sit back, relax, put your feet up and your work down. Sunday is a day for hammocks, cookouts, football, and fun. But for one hour each Sunday morning, you should set aside some time for a Sunday run.

If you have been keeping up with our fitness features here at the What, you have probably settled into a nice routine of weight lifting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and putting yourself through torture with the T-Day Workout on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. If you are going through that routine, a tip of the hat to you. But there are those who want more, and for them, there is the Sunday run.

13 June 2012

Mixtape Madness #15 - The Workout Mix


According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.



The Workout Mix
Over the past couple of years I have found that I can run faster, maintain an intense workout, and push myself further just by playing the right music. It has reached a point that if I don't have my regular workout tunes playing, I either don't bother or make a half-assed attempt at exercising. So while my playlist includes a unique mashing of genres, you may want to tailor yours to your specific taste to keep you motivated. For this mix, the songs are not in order, but instead grouped into the different workouts I use them for.


STRETCHING: Stretching is a key part of any fitness routine. In the order listed below, they work well as a build up, and if you flip them at the end of your workout, they work pretty well as a cool down too.

  • "Sweet Disposition" by the Temper Trap
  • "Velvet" by the Big Pink

June 2012

After taking the entire month of May off, the What is back with a new format! Each month, we will present articles based around a central theme that fits with our goal of providing the twenty and thirty-something crowds with colorful ideas for everyday life. To start off this new way of doing things, the month of June will be dedicated to fitness and health. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.


27 April 2012

Pickelodeon: Philadelphia Science Festival 2012

Welcome to Pickelodeon, a little feature where we review all that is reviewable in the world. Pickelodeon is your one stop shop for the inside scoop on the best restaurants, bars, movies, music, events, and anything else you want to hear someone else's opinion on before you try it. Drop us a line in the comment box for any suggestions on what we should review next!


Philadelphia Science Festival 2012

If you have not been to a Philadelphia Science Festival event, you are missing out. Learning about chemistry and mechanics with beer, using comedy to discuss sexual impulses and food cravings, discussing instinct and survival in the context of a zombie apocalypse, speed dating, scavenger hunts, quizzo, and more make this fest unlike any science classroom you could imagine. The Philadelphia Science Festival is so cool that this is the second time we're reviewing it! (You can check out last year's preview here and the review here)

The 2012 Festival built upon the success of last year's extravaganza and the entire year of planning that went into this event shows. The Franklin Institute staff that run the Festival have outdone themselves and set the bar high for the 2013 event, assuming the aforementioned zombie apocalypse doesn't happen before then. Let's take a look at a few events that have stood out from this year's festival.

Song of the Day - 27.Apr.12






Living across the street from a bar known for its concerts is pretty cool. Many a night I can hear a band rocking out from my living room. On this particular night, Illinois will be gracing the stage at the North Star Bar. Ever since Nancy Botwin's "brick dance" on Weeds I have wanted to see this band live, and now they will be playing just a few steps from my front door. Unfortunately, I will be working, so I'll just have to settle for today's Song of the Day.


22 April 2012

Photo of the Day - 22.Apr.12


 In our travels around the world, we here at the What have been lucky enough to capture a few snazzy moments, people, and other random things with our cameras. We figured we should start sharing them with you. Enjoy! 


Date: 6.Aug.08
Location: Center City Philadelphia
Story: I have always loved the way the city looks on a rainy day. On this particular day almost four years ago, I was taking the 33 bus from 7th and Market toward the Franklin Institute. The rainwater was cascading down the bus window and I thought it looked pretty cool. I waited until we had pulled up near one of the coolest buildings in Philadelphia, the PSFS building, and snapped this shot. After today's bus ride in the rain that included a brief stop to push a stalled van to the side of the road, I remembered this photograph of another rainy day in Philadelphia.

16 April 2012

Song of the Day - 16.Apr.12

Since it is currently 88 degrees in Philadelphia, I figured I would break off a little preview of the 2012 Summer Mix. This little 80's gem will be on there with a lot of other fantastic warm weather jams. Enjoy.



05 April 2012

The Checklist - April 2012

The internet is full of magical, mystical things. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes hard to sift through all of the crap to get some decent information. In the interest of providing you with colorful ideas for everyday life, we here at the What present the Checklist so that you may find some helpful information from other sites along with a comic that makes us giggle.
Seduce Her With Your Space
Men's Health Magazine
Men's and women's magazines often times are a bit out of touch with the reality of everyday men and women, but every once and awhile they have some good information. For example, the Men's Health website recently posted an article about sprucing up your living space to boost your attractiveness to a potential significant other. Many of the tips in this article are spot on, a provide a good lead-in to some of our upcoming features relating to snazzing up your apartment. 

Rittenhouse Fair and Square
Philadelphia Art Alliance
I am a big fan of local, handmade goods. I even run a shop that focuses on the sale of such goods. So you can imagine how pleased I was to find that the Philadelphia Art Alliance has put together a special pop-up shop featuring some of Philly's finest artisans and craftspeople for the month of April. This shop will be open from 11-5, Tuesdays through Sundays from April 10-24. Be sure to swing by next time you find yourself in Rittenhouse Square.

27 March 2012

Song of the Day - 27.Mar.12


I wouldn't refer to myself as a big fan of reality television, despite my one and only IMDB credit being within the unscripted genre. Nevertheless, on the several recent Monday evenings when How I Met Your Mother is showing a rerun, I flip to NBC and catch bits and pieces of The Voice. And I am really enjoying it. I caught about four of their battles and was impressed with what I saw. The performance that really hooked me was this fantastic cover of the Faces' "Stay With Me." It's a good reminder of how a bitching amount of swagger can turn a less-than-attractive fellow like Rod Stewart into a Bond-level ladies' man.


26 March 2012

Day Tripper - New York State of Mind

One of the many perks of living in Philadelphia is its proximity to so many snazzy places. Philadelphians are within a two or three hour drive of the mountains, the ocean, and some of the coolest and most important cities in the world. With that in mind, the What is proud to present Day Tripper, our guide to the numerous fun trips you can take in and around the Philadelphia region.

New York State of Mind
 

Taking a day trip up to New York City is always a great time. Last time Day Tripper visited the Big Apple, we kept it touristy and stuck around Times Square. Now it's time to move on and check out another part of NYC. I had been itching to check out the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for awhile, and decided to combine the two for a nice walking tour with my pops. What we found along with the two main attractions led to a fantastic day trip.

Subway Serenade
The day began early, as I met my Dad at 30th Street Station around 8:30AM. Making the trip with someone who was just as interested in walking the legen-(wait for it)-dary Brooklyn Bridge and visiting the Tenement Museum definitely added to the fun. We hopped on SEPTA's Trenton line, departing at 8:49 and rolling into the Trenton Transportation Center around 9:30. From there, we hopped on a New Jersey Transit line headed into Penn Station in Manhattan, arriving around 11AM. One short ride on the A train took us to High Street in the heart of Brooklyn Heights.

25 March 2012

Song of the Day - 25.Mar.12


After a great, self-guided walking tour of Brooklyn Heights and the Lower East Side, I thought I'd cap off the day with a little ode to that city to our North and East.


16 March 2012

Joke of the Day - 16.Mar.12


A recent conversation reminded me of one of my favorite gags of all time. Instead of just posting it on Facebook, I figured why not share it with more people? So, in addition to Photo and Song of the Day, now we here at the What will be sharing some of our favorite jokes, gags, and other things to tickle your funny bone.

For me, there is no other way to kick off this feature than with the funniest moment in television history. It comes from an episode of Taxi, which boasted one of the best casts of its time. To set up the clip, the good people of the Sunshine Cab Company help Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd) try to get a job as a cab driver when they discover he did not have a driver's license. They take him to the DMV for his test, and hilarity ensues.


12 March 2012

Photo of the Day - 12.Mar.12





 In our travels around the world, we here at the What have been lucky enough to capture a few snazzy moments, people, and other random things with our cameras. We figured we should start sharing them with you. Enjoy! 


Date: March 2007
Location: Rio Piedras, PR
Story: I have friends all over the world, which is pretty handy for vacationing. For example, I spent Spring Break of 2007 in Puerto Rico where a friend of mine was living at the time and did not have to bother with hotels. This photo was taken in a neighborhood bar near the University of Puerto Rico where she was tending bar. It is one of many photos I have taken of colorful lights at a low shutter speed.



07 March 2012

Song of the Day - 7.Mar.12


There is a fair amount of Van Halen hype going on right now, with the brothers (and son/nephew) Van Halen touring with original crooner David Lee Roth. The Van Halen clan even has a new album out with Diamond Dave at the helm. Having grown up in a household in which Van Halen, with all three of its singers, getting a lot of spins, I would like to think I know a thing a two about the band and their kickass rock. That being said, I fully expect all of the backlash I will get for this. I think the Sammy Hagar-led lineup is Van Halen at their best. So for that, here is a Hagar-era tune. Oh, and one more thing, firing Michael Anthony was a huge mistake.



05 March 2012

Monthly Top 5 - March 2012

Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.




Reasons to become an MLS fan

I love sports. Watching or participating in athletic competition is great. But there are a few things that get annoying after awhile. The prima donnas  of the NFL and NBA who seem more at home on reality television than in stadiums or arenas. The agonizingly slow pace of baseball. Hockey teams existing in cities that have never seen ice outside of a cube tray in the freezer. And in any sport, the same damn teams winning year after year and many games being forgone conclusions before the opening whistle. If these things annoy you as much as they annoy me, I urge you to check out Major League Soccer.


04 March 2012

Song of the Day - 4.Mar.12


Some days you just need to rock out to a little Wu-Tang. So here is the Fred Flinstone-approved video for "Gravel Pit."


03 March 2012

Simple & Delicious - Dixie Biscuits

As always, the What is dedicated to presenting you with colorful ideas for everyday life. Many of our ideas are food-related, because we love food. Learning how to cook for yourself now that you no longer have your mom or your meal plan to provide your meals can seem like a daunting task. We at the What are here to show you that cooking can be fun, easy, and rewarding by offering up recipes like this from our personal cookbooks. As is the case with most of our recipe-based ideas, this one is simple and delicious, just like us.


Dixie Biscuits

While I may not have been the biggest fan of living in the South, there were certainly plenty of positives. One such positive was the food. During my time in South Carolina, I went out of my way to have as much barbecue as possible. On a trip to Charleston, I ordered some biscuits to accompany my pulled pork at Jim and Nick's Barbecue. Usually in a situation like this, you end up with corn bread, but this time, it was different. This time, it was a basket of warm, tasty, cheesy biscuits. Since I enjoy making my own pulled pork at home, I decided to take a crack at making these biscuits to accompany the tasty BBQ.

02 March 2012

Mixtape Madness #14 - Boss Covers

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.


Boss Covers
After several Mixtape Madness columns focusing on the past, this next one was supposed to be a bit more current. But then Late Night with Jimmy Fallon decided it was Springsteen week and the National Constitution Center opened a Bruce Springsteen exhibit, and plans changed. Since plenty has been written about the Boss and the E Street Band and their amazing catalog of music, this article will instead focus on some stellar covers of Bruce tunes.


1. "Back In Your Arms" by Marc Broussard - I actually had not heard of this song until it was covered by Broussard, who was billed as the "Bayou Bruce" earlier in his career. 


2. "Dancing in the Dark" by John Legend and the Roots - This cover is the song that led to this article. Legend teamed up with Philly's own Legendary Roots Crew for this jazzy, understated version of "Dancing in the Dark" on a recent episode of Late Night. It's no big secret that Jimmy Fallon is a huge Springsteen fan, so we will be seeing his influence again later in the mix.


3. "Because The Night" by 10,000 Maniacs - Originally recorded by Patti Smith, this song is probably most popularly known from the Maniacs' MTV Unplugged performance. This is one of many songs Bruce wrote and gave to other artists early on in his career. 

01 March 2012

Checklist - March 2012

The internet is full of magical, mystical things. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes hard to sift through all of the crap to get some decent information. In the interest of providing you with colorful ideas for everyday life, we here at the What present the Checklist so that you may find some helpful information from other sites along with a comic that makes us giggle.

Pizza + Beer = Happy
Mamma Mia Pizza Beer
Two of the greatest things on earth. The two reasons your friends will help you move. The two mainstays of any house party. Finally, they are together as one. A couple from Illinois took homebrewing to the next level when they created Pizza Beer. That's right, pizza-flavored beer. This is probably one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time, so check out their site and order some Pizza Beer!

Common Grammar Mistakes
Lit Reactor
There are more than enough websites, blogs, and such dedicated to poor grammar, but this one from Lit Reactor focuses on some of the more forgotten rules. Even the staunchest Grammar Nazi will be alarmed to find that they have been mistaken. I have probably broken several rules in this column alone. Regardless, check out these 20 Common Grammar Mistakes and improve your ability to correctly communicate.

28 February 2012

Out on the Town - First Fridays

Philly First Fridays, North of Arch St.
When living in a city, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of great experiences. Often it is difficult to keep track of all the goings-on associated with city living. We here at The What Magazine pride ourselves on finding colorful ideas for making the most of your urban experience with Out on the Town, a feature highlighting the latest and greatest in your city.

On the first Friday of each month, Philadelphia galleries open their doors for free. Art enthusiasts and cheap people alike are able to enjoy artwork presented in a variety of media alongside free snacks and drinks. The First Friday tradition began in Old City, and today remains very popular in the neighborhood. However, most First Friday-goers never make it north of Arch Street, thus missing out on some of the most unique gallery experiences in the city.

Song of the Day - 28.Feb.12


I am one of those people who, upon hearing a new song, will play it endlessly without tiring of it. An annoying trait, I know, but it's just what I do. For awhile, that song was "Somebody That I Used To Know," but now it's "Comeback Kid" from Sleigh Bells. Here is their kickass SNL performance from a couple of weeks ago:


21 February 2012

Song of the Day - Mardi Gras


Here in Pennsylvania it's known as Fastnacht Day, but most of the country knows it as Mardi Gras thanks to the New Orleans tourism promotional machine. With that in mind, there is only one song for such an occasion. Coming from the old Disneyland After Dark show, it's Louis Armstrong and Monette Moore singing "Bourbon Street Parade."


Simple & Delicious: Lentil Tacos

As always, the What is dedicated to presenting you with colorful ideas for everyday life. Many of our ideas are food-related, because we love food. Learning how to cook for yourself now that you no longer have your mom or your meal plan to provide your meals can seem like a daunting task. We at the What are here to show you that cooking can be fun, easy, and rewarding by offering up recipes like this from our personal cookbooks. As is the case with most of our recipe-based ideas, this one is simple and delicious, just like us.
 
Lentil Tacos

Dead sexy.
It is no big secret amongst those who know me well that deep down inside I harbor a desire to be Mexican. Whether this stems from my fantastic Godmother, the Mexico boat ride in Epcot, Mariachi, or Robert Rodriguez movies is a matter of debate. But one thing is certain, I sure do love me some Mexican food. Granted, a lot of the "Mexican" food I prepare is Americanized, but it is still pretty damned good. Plus, it encourages the consumption of three of my favorite things: guacamole, tequila, and Mexican beer. Paired up with the right soundtrack, Mexican cuisine can really brighten a dull day.


This delicious recipe was introduced to me when I was dating a vegetarian and, between this and Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, it nearly turned me. The meal is satisfying for your favorite carnivore while appeasing any vegetarians you may have to cook for. (NOTE: This is not a vegan recipe.) It's delicious, not bad for you, and a crowd-pleaser. So next time you have a taco night, don't buy some stupid kit from the supermarket, and try your hand at Lentil Tacos.

18 February 2012

Song of the Day - 18.Feb.12

Pandora is pretty fantastic. Last week I started a station with the Black Keys' song "Everlasting Light." I have been rewarded with blues, garage rock, Motown, and pretty much the entire Dirty Dancing soundtrack. "Hang Me Up To Dry" by the Cold War Kids is one of the songs that stuck around after it came up on Pandora.


17 February 2012

Photo of the Day - 17.Feb.12

 In our travels around the world, we here at the What have been lucky enough to capture a few snazzy moments, people, and other random things with our cameras. We figured we should start sharing them with you. Enjoy! 

Bienvenido a Miami
Date: April 2005
Location: Miami Beach, FL
Story: For about a year of my life, I worked at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL. During my second stint with the Mouse, I spent a fair amount of my evenings partying with a core group of friends. One night, in a spot of brilliance only possible when inebriated, we decided to skip work the following day and drive to Miami. What ended up happening the following day has become the one story that is so outrageous and so incredible that I will tell for the rest of my life (with or without certain details, depending on the audience). This photo was taken early in the adventure, just four friends enjoying the fun and the sun that one finds at Miami Beach. The point of posting this photo is this: You are approaching the age where you can't really get away with wild and crazy exploits. If you don't have your "Miami" yet, go find it. You will be glad that you did.

16 February 2012

Mixtape Madness #13 - 90's Revue Part III

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.


90's Revue Part III - Pop
We have been riding the wave of 1980's nostalgia for awhile now. Don't get me wrong, it's been fun, but I think it is time we moved on to the 1990's. Some of the best music of the past thirty years was created in the decade between the Exxon Valdez and Y2K. Because of that, we here at the What will take a three-part look at the music of the 1990's.
PART I - Rock

PART II - Hip-Hop

1. "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan (1995) - Honestly, is there any better song to start a mix with? I doubt it. Especially when doing a 90's mix.

2. "Get Ready For This" by 2 Unlimited (1991) - As will be the case with many songs on this list, this one was a staple at middle school dances when I was younger. 

3. "Lovefool" by the Cardigans (1996) - What would a 90's pop mix be without some Swedish action? Incomplete. It would be incomplete.

4. "Groove Is In the Heart" by Deee-Lite (1990) - This songs is what happens when you sample Herbie Hancock and get Bootsy Collins and Q-Tip to guest on the track. Pure 90's gold.

5. "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim (1999) - This song was pretty catchy on its own, but it was Spike Jonze's video with the whacky dance group that made it a 90's icon.

15 February 2012

Scaling Down #3 - Free Weight Workout

Each year hordes of people make a New Year's resolution to lose weight. In January, gyms are overcrowded with well-meaning people on treadmills desperate to lose a few pounds. By February, most have given up. In 2010, I was able to lose 45 pounds without the help of a trainer, special program, crazy diet, or supplements. We here at the What want to help you stay fit and healthy in a simple and natural way.

Free Weight Workout


While joining a gym can be beneficial, often times the fresh out of college crowd is fresh out of extra cash. Therefore, an at-home workout can be the best option for someone our age looking to slim down or stay in shape. In the first Scaling Down feature, I wrote about losing a significant amount of weight on my own, and much of that was thanks to the workout program I developed for myself.

11 February 2012

Photo of the Day - 11.Feb.12

 In our travels around the world, we here at the What have been lucky enough to capture a few snazzy moments, people, and other random things with our cameras. We figured we should start sharing them with you. Enjoy!
Looks tasty, no?

Date: 28.4.10
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Story: This photograph was taken during one of my several Project 365 attempts. Project 365 is a photo project that requires taking one photo each day for an entire year. I will likely make a fourth attempt at said project beginning next month. At any rate, this photo was snapped at Swift Half Pub at the Piazza, now known as Gunner's Run. I liked how they had their bar fruit stowed, hence the photo.

Checklist - February 2012

The internet is full of magical, mystical things. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes hard to sift through all of the crap to get some decent information. In the interest of providing you with colorful ideas for everyday life, we here at the What present the Checklist so that you may find some helpful information from other sites.

Apartment Complex
Streets Dept
The words "apartment complex" and "streets department" typically do not evoke images of art and unique style sense, but that is exactly what you will find at this website. I highly recommend not just checking out the provided link, but to click around the Streets Dept site, which finds art all over the city of Philadelphia. If you also check out the remainder of the photos of the selected apartment, you can get some great ideas for your own place.

10 February 2012

Mixtape Madness #12 - 90's Revue Part II

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.


90's Revue Part II - Hip Hop
We have been riding the wave of 1980's nostalgia for awhile now. Don't get me wrong, it's been fun, but I think it is time we moved on to the 1990's. Some of the best music of the past thirty years was created in the decade between the Exxon Valdez and Y2K. Because of that, we here at the What will take a three-part look at the music of the 1990's.
PART I - Rock
PART III - Pop - Coming Soon!

1. "Can I Kick It?" by A Tribe Called Quest (1991) -  What better way to kick off the 90's hip-hop mix than with this Lou Reed-sampling jam from Tribe? I had forgotten about this song for along time until, as is the case with several songs on this mix, I saw the film The Wackness.


2. "Flava In Ya Ear" by Craig Mack (1994) - Much like the rock mix, I will be discussing the greatness that was the music scene in 1994. This track, with verses from Biggie, Busta, LL Cool J, and Rampage, is a classic.


3. "Not Tonight (Remix)" by Lil Kim (1997) - Though we'll address the Spice Girls in Part III of the 90's Revue, this is the true girl power anthem of the 1990's. Kim is joined by Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes on the track, and in the video by everyone from Queen Latifah to TLC to Mary J. Blige. 

09 February 2012

Song of the Day - 9.Feb.12

If this song isn't already in your rotation, it soon will be. Like our recipes here at the What, it's simple and delicious (if a song can be delicious). Not to mention it has a seriously cool (body paint!) video. Here's to hoping that "Somebody That I Used To Know" is the start of a string of great music from Gotye.

07 February 2012

Photo of the Day - 7.Feb.12


In our travels around the world, we here at the What have been lucky enough to capture a few snazzy moments, people, and other random things with our cameras. We figured we should start sharing them with you. Enjoy!
They look so happy!

Date: 10.Mar.08
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Story: I was visiting a friend in Tennessee over Spring Break in 2008. After wandering around the North Shore, we headed through Coolidge Park to the foot of the Walnut Street Bridge where I noticed this drawing on the sidewalk. I couldn't resist snapping a shot of such wonderful street art.

Monthly Top 5 - February

Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.



Movies to See in 2012

Last year we did two top five lists for movies to see, one for the first half of 2011 and one for the second half. Since I only made it to four of the ten movies listed last year, this year we will focus on five films for the entire year.

5. American Reunion (6.Apr.12) - The original cast of the initial three American Pie offerings are back for a high school reunion. For the demographic that we cater to at the What, this is kind of a big deal. We went through high school and that awkward first year of college with these characters. Now, as many of us are going to our ten-year reunions, we once again have this group of oddballs to show us how off the wall it could be.

4. The Amazing Spider-Man (3.Jul.12) - After having three different guys playing the Hulk in the past nine years, Marvel has shown that they won't shy away from a reboot. That's why this summer they will rely on Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone to make you forget about Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. I have high hopes for this reboot with it's stellar cast and seemingly new approach to the Spider-Man origin story. Back in 2002, Spider-Man kicked off a string of quality superhero flicks. Let's hope that is the case once again.

06 February 2012

Song of the Day - 6.Feb.12

In honor of Bob Marley's birthday, here's a song that most other tributes probably won't include:


03 February 2012

Song of the Day - 3.Feb.12

Today would have been my Grandpop's 74th birthday, so in his honor today's song of the day will be one of his favorites. Feel free to sing along, that's exactly what he would do.


02 February 2012

Sexual Yoda: Email Me You Should

Greetings Whatlings and welcome to the What's official column offering advice on all things love, sex, dating, and more! I, the Sexual Yoda, will use my years of knowledge, experience, and expertise to guide you through the galaxy of love, getting you out of that Solo rut and Skywalking your way toward Lando-ing a decent Leia or C-ing all the 3PO you can handle. Send your questions to sexualyoda@gmail.com and with a little help from I, your favorite mystic muppet, get some you will.

Alas, dear Whatlings, been too long it has. I, your favorite mystic Muppet, am a little advanced in the years. Therefore, I tend to take my winters in a warmer climate (Greetings from Tattooine!). During this extended vacation, I have been lax in checking my emails. In due time I shall have a fire lit under my green ass and will get around to answering said emails. The topics are grand and wide-ranging, from new flames to extinguished flames to fanning flames, they are all quite hot. Punning aisde, your questions have not fallen on deaf ears and will be answered soon! For those of you who have not yet sought the wisdom of my Jedi genius, I say to you this: email me you should! Send your questions to dear old Sexual Yoda at this address: sexualyoda@gmail.com. I promise to be much better at timely responses in the future. May the force be with you!

29 January 2012

Song of the Day - 29.Jan.12

Ever since making the first part of Mixtape Madness' celebration of 90's music, I have been on a huge 90's kick. Watching the Sublime documentary hasn't helped. At any rate, I first became aware of this song from Sublime's song DJs (which was spectacularly covered by No Doubt and Gwen Stefani's abs) but have come to enjoy it on its own. It also supports my argument that we need ska back in a big way.



23 January 2012

Mixtape Madness #11: 90's Revue Part I

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.


90's Revue Part I - Rock
We have been riding the wave of 1980's nostalgia for awhile now. Don't get me wrong, it's been fun, but I think it is time we moved on to the 1990's. Some of the best music of the past thirty years was created in the decade between the Exxon Valdez and Y2K. Because of that, we here at the What will take a three-part look at the music of the 1990's.
PART II - Hip Hop
PART III - Pop - Coming Soon!


1. "Bittersweet Symphony" by the Verve (1997) - By now, everyone is aware of all of the controversy surrounding this song. Whether or not the Verve intended to lift a hook from the Rolling Stones or not, this is an amazing song and it's a shame that the legal fallout from it ruined such a promising band.


2. "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt (1995) - Am I the only one itching for No Doubt to put out a new album that returns to their Ska/SoCal punk roots? Of course not. Aside from being a great tune, this is more than likely the song most widely used in answering machine messages.


3. "Come As You Are" by Nirvana (1991) - In their short time as a band, Nirvana left us with a litany of great tracks, but "Come As You Are" has always been my favorite. Both Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic tuned their instruments down a step for this song, giving it the familiar, distinct sound throughout.


4. "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" by REM (1994) - As you will see over this three-part Mixtape Madness, 1994 was an incredible year for music. With the ability to look back on the now-ceased career of REM, I can easily pinpoint this song, with its interesting back story, as my favorite. 


5. "Got You (Where I Want You)" by the Flys (1998) - The unmistakable plodding march of the rhythm section carries the lyrics well throughout this quintessential 90's tune. The Flys may have only had the one hit, but at least they got Katie Holmes to be in their video.

22 January 2012

Song of the Day - 22.Jan.12

Shuffle is a wonderful thing. From its beginnings of automatically switching between tracks on your five CD changer to iTunes randomly selecting tracks, it sure has come a long way. Occasionally it leads to the rediscovery of a fun song like "Ghetto Superstar." Hooray for shuffle.