AAF-Cleveland + The Hipp = 2012 Chili Cook-Off

Who wants some chili!?

The month of March not only means chilly weather in our fair city, but it also calls for the annual AAF-Cleveland Chili Cook-Off. This year, 12 local marketing agencies and vendors will be competing against one another to see who holds the title for the best chili recipe.

This year’s battle will take place this Thursday, March 8, from 6:00-8:30pm at The Hipp. Located in the Agora, The Hipp is one of Cleveland’s newest restaurants, featuring an array of modern American dishes. The restaurant can be accessed from the lobby with entrances on both Euclid and Prospect. There is also a large (free!) parking lot on Prospect.

Tickets are available for $10, which includes one free drink ticket. You can purchase tickets at aafcleveland.com before the event or at the door the night of.

If you don’t work in the advertising/marketing industry, but love chili, please don’t be a stranger! This event is open to everyone!

 

i’ll take care of you

I think it’s time for another musical offering. This one is brought to you by Drake, featuring the lovely Rihanna.

If I were to describe this track in one word, it would be “smooth.”

The combination of the vocal stylings and moving lyrics really make this one a keeper in my book. While some may find it depressing and on the slower side, I currently cannot stop pressing replay.

Enjoy!

deep (v) thoughts

After watching the “Makin’ Changes” episode of Happy Endings for the second time, I realized I have an addiction. Much like Dave, I will typically pick a v-neck shirt over anything else in my closet. I am not exactly sure how many v-neck shirts I own, but I do have many varieties in numerous colors. Why do I like to v so much?

I guess it started a few years back when I realized that v-neck shirts can really accentuate your overall look. As a shorter guy, I think they create some sort of optical illusion, making one appear just a tad taller. Personally, I think they just look better on me than a crew neck shirt.

Some people, both male and female, consider v-necks obnoxious and often assume that men who wear them are either gay or over-macho tools. I think that these people are being misled. Many guys who wear v-neck shirts just like the way they look. Sure, you will have those that take the v to a whole other level and may choose to rock the deep v, which for many is incredibly unflattering. Some people should simply be outlawed for wearing these low cut threads.

I may need an intervention, but it won’t help. I need my v. Sometimes I like to double-v. And I have triple v-ed before, which is is just plain silly. I will stop that immediately.

the american stars

I am in total support of living in a self-sufficient urban hub, where one can walk and/or bike to absolutely every place listed on their daily agenda, however, I am a fan of the automobile. We all know that if you do live in CLE, 97% of our population drives from point A to point B. While bicycling has increased in mass numbers, residents in our metro area must drive themselves or at least use some sort of public transportation to reach certain destinations. And I am perfectly happy with this situation because I enjoy the act of driving. Getting behind the wheel of a car can be exhilarating, stress-relieving and just plain fun.

Every year, I attend the Greater Cleveland Auto Show along with other classic/vintage car shows throughout the year with family and friends. And every year I tell myself that I am going to take a long weekend trip to Michigan for Detroit’s big show. Well, another year has passed and I missed Detroit again. And after reading reviews of the 2012 show, it is extremely exciting to see what the critic’s had to say about American auto manufacturers.

I am a fan of many makes and models, whether it includes a luxurious German beauty or all-terrain American 4×4. If money were no object, I would certainly have a Rolls Royce Ghost in my 10+ car garage. But unfortunately I am not a blood relative of the Lerner or Gilbert family.

The good news is, U.S. automakers are not playing around anymore. GM and Ford are producing stylish, reliable vehicles that are truly ready to take on Germany and Japan. The Motor Trend crew praised Ford, Lincoln, Chevy, Dodge and Cadillac as their top show stars this year, which included two models that I really think are going to be huge players in the mid-size sedan and entry-level luxury segments.

I never thought I would drive a Ford. A year ago, I signed a lease for a 2011 Edge, and I haven’t had one complaint. The ride, quiet cabin and sleek exterior design drew me to this crossover, as Ford’s sedan line-up didn’t exactly intrigue my senses. However, the 2013 Fusion is something that I will be test driving when my lease comes to an end. The Fusion seemed to receive the most buzz this year, with a total makeover that combines Jaguar and Aston Martin cues with an abundance of technology. Other than the 1965 Mustang convertible, this is the sleekest thing I have ever seen from Ford.

Another huge crowd pleaser was the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS. GM has poured an exuberant amount of money, time and research into this entry-level luxury sport sedan, which is intended to take on the BMW 3 Series head on. The aggressive styling, new CUE system and numerous engine options should hopefully bring in a younger demographic to Caddy showrooms. I think that shoppers who are test driving a C-Class, A4, 3 Series or G37 will soon be putting the ATS on their short list. Let’s hope GM keeps the price point and lease offers competitive because I would like one of these right now (in charcoal, please).

 

jump it back right now!

Jump Back Ball 21 is happening very, very soon. This is the week to buy your tickets to one of Cleveland’s biggest parties, benefiting the iconic PlayhouseSquare organization. There are two main reasons why you should buy your tickets right now — prices will increase this Wednesday, 1/25 and there are less than 60 tickets left!

This year, music will include bands Radioactive on the main stage and the late night party will continue with Tricky Dick & the Cover-Ups. Regular price tickets include an array of food (catered by Sammy’s) and an open bar, while VIP tickets will include very VIP food provided by AMP 150. This year, the party will also include a fresh layout that regular Jump Back Ball attendees have never seen.

February 25th will be full of fun and surprises, so make sure to get your tickets right at this minute. Look how much fun I had last year (see below). I believe this is an accurate depiction of the good times you are in for.

Disclosure: I received one free ticket in exchange for blogging about Jump Back Ball 21. These opinions are all me!

the final countdown

It’s happening. Youth as I know it, will soon be a past memory in approximately 5 hours, 35 minutes and 42 seconds. I am now experiencing the final hours of my 20′s.

I don’t feel 30. I don’t think I look 30. But the world we live in is very appearance-driven and youth indulgent. We strive to be people we aren’t, with significant focus on physical appearance. It’s not good.

But you can’t change time. The Earth continues to spin on its axis and we can’t stop it. So I guess I will take this whole birthday thing with a grain of salt and just continue living the same exact way I do now.

I will always be a kid at heart. I will always laugh. I will always dance. I will always love. I will always be me.

And in the celebration of my birth (and recently posted by many on Facebook), I provide you with the hit song on January 12, 1982. Now let’s get physical.

bar + kitchen x 2 = happyincle

We all like bars. We all like kitchens. These two things equal intoxicating libations and delicious food, consequently leading to good times.

We also know how fast our food scene has become in the last 5 years and it isn’t stopping anytime soon. This is a good thing for all of us who enjoy supporting local talent, eating good food and never stepping foot in chain restaurants.

I am happy to see two more “bar+kitchen” establishments coming to our lovely city. Let’s give a big CLE welcome to Spice Kitchen+Bar and Black Dog Kitchen & Bar!

Late next week, the founders of Spice of Life Catering Co. will open their first restaurant at 5800 Detroit Avenue in the D-Sho (Detroit-Shoreway) neighborhood. Located in the former Snickers/Cheddars/Crazy Mac’s/La Boca/Roseangel/La Boca space, Spice Kitchen+Bar will feature local, seasonally-inspired food and drink. Not only will this location serve as a hip restaurant, but guests will also have the opportunity to purchase prepared foods at the storefront. But there’s more! Spice will also feature their very own gardens, filled with ingredients which will ultimately end up in your savory meal. And to top it off, guests will also be able to enjoy a future rooftop patio over-looking Lake Erie.

Another new eatery is on it’s way — but we’ll have to wait a little while longer before we step foot in this restaurant. There isn’t much information online, but once Black Dog Kitchen & Bar starting following me on Twitter, I had to do a little digging. No exact location has been set, but Black Dog Kitchen & Bar is slated to open this June/July in Ohio City. From my understanding, they will feature modern American grub with an emphasis on creative tacos, burgers and sandwiches. Make sure to check out their initial menu on their Facebook page.

Here’s to more great food in our fantastic city! Let’s go 2012!

 

 

 

treat yo self 2012!

December has been an insane month. It always seems to go that way. Work never seems to slow down in the office. The shopping and endless preparations for your holiday of choice is in full swing. You often find yourself barely treading above water.

I couldn’t possibly imagine having children during this time. I would surely have a nervous breakdown. Props to all you parents out there for raising kids, working, cleaning, teaching and providing plentiful holidays for your kin. You all need a day, week or month of relaxation.

Make sure to treat yo self in January. Better yet, take one day a month this year to pamper yourself with life’s indulgences.

TREAT YO SELF!

HeyTell all the way!

For the past couple weeks I have been basically obsessed with an app called HeyTell. It really isn’t a revolutionary concept, but it has been a very amusing tool. This app is a cross-platform voice messenger that instantly creates conversation without having to text or call a friend a family member. Think of it as a walkie-talkie on steroids.

So why not text someone? Well, let me tell you friends – texting and driving do not mix. That’s a dangerous combination.

Well why not leave a voicemail? If you go this route, you have to call someone and then wait for the beep. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound difficult, but you are wasting a little more time than just leaving a quick HeyTell message.

Not only does this app provide convenience, it provides hours of entertainment via their Voice Changer. This past weekend I probably left 58 messages to friends and family, most of which were in the key of “Alien” at a -30% range. You must try this. I have been giggling since Saturday.

Below you will find a few of my faves from this past weekend. Happy HeyTelling!

This is my voice

I don’t feel so good

KatyPerry

you da one

When the month of December arrives, we all know that winter has begun. Thus far, the CLE area has had a very mild late fall and by now we should have already seen some sort of snow accumulation. But in the days of December, personally I would rather take just that. Instead of┬ádreary, cold and wet, give this guy some of that white stuff! I mean, it’s freaking Christmas time and I want some holiday cheer. Let it snow!

Today was one of those miserable, grey days that makes one want to fly away to the tropics where palm trees and sandy beaches blanket aqua coastlines. It makes me want to go back to Mexico, for just a week, to get a little taste of cielo. Maybe a nice trip to Barbados?

And while on the topic of Barbados, I must express my enjoyment of the new Rihanna album. Her people really produced a fantastic pop paradise for the masses and I have found it very difficult to not car dance to “We Found Love” whenever I hear it. But her new single, “You Da One” really gets me too, which exudes a more Caribbean feel. If you close your eyes while listening, you can almost feel the sea breeze and taste the pina coladas.