Europe

15 day trip —

 Berlin & Frankfurt

West side — really emphasized the stupidity of a border wall.

I was fully expecting to roll my eyes at Berlin. Everyone’s always “Berlin is so libertine and cool and vibey” and all these other red-flag things that usually turn out to be overstated. In spite of that Berlin ended up being our favored city — what we saw was very international and diverse (and vibey and libertine).

You could sense the juxtaposition of history vs. welcomed evolution. Seemed generally affordable for an urban area, and I could envision good quality of life there. (As in, you might not have to work so hard.)

Impressions: Moms pushing babies around, street markets, cold weather cycling, waiting for the walk sign on empty streets, tea-making-classical-music-loving airbnb host, watching neighbors eat dinner in slapstick fashion through courtyard window, spacious apartments, honor-system / on-time trains, smoking in bars (yuck), intense lovers of art.


Flying the drone on a very foggy day. Thankfully only minor damage

Bulletted Impressions:

  • Turkish food was great. Went to two fancy, contemporary German places — good, but not worth it
  • Beers were nice
  • Loads of parks and outdoor areas. Told it really goes off in the summer
  • German Historical Museum was excellent. A linear, focused presentation of the country’s history. I needed another hour there, but they were closing up
  • Spent a couple days in Frankfurt (while Esha attended a tradeshow). The Städel was a worthwhile art museum (they had a good app, and the only contemporary art I saw on the continent). Otherwise, Frankfurt was not an interesting destination. Terrible food

» More Germany photos

Paris

Remainder of our time was in Paris. This was Esha’s focus and thankfully she had prepared the itinerary. City-wide there was a high level of craftsmanship and general olde time artisan-y relics. I got to wondering if the average carpenter there had to be so much more skilled? Even the museums were very stylish and moody (sometimes too dark). After a while, you’d kind of get tired of seeing the same stone building and old churches everywhere you go.

The food was generally on a higher baseline — although I was surprised that many of the rec’d bistros had laminated menus, unchanged for years. A few newish places tried a bit harder. Next time we won’t be so dedicated to French staples … as in Germany, the best eats were Turkish sandwiches from the markets. Rarely saw chicken or crafty cocktails on the menus. My favorite place was a little bar preserved from the 60s with a handsome after work crowd, and the accompanying bistro across the street. I went back a couple times.

Pond at the Hameau de la Rein — fake rustic village at Versailles

Spent a Sunday at Versailles. Booked their King’s apartments tour, which was really nice and took us into some off-limit rooms. I’m totally sold on tours when available. After walking at least 10mi that day, Esha convinced us to get over to the far corner of the property to see the The Hameau de la Rein, which ended up being my favorite part of the day. Pleased to see a lot of families hanging out and riding bikes in the gardens.

Versaille garden at dusk

Impressions: everyone smokes, sits outside year around, healthier looking elderly population, waiter seems to be a normal career track, same stores as NYC, aggressive traffic, beat the crowds by seeing all the tourist stuff in the off-season, got a haircut and it was the only time US politics came up … thankfully it didn’t seem to consume them as much it does us, they recognize that trump is an idiot and don’t understand it at all either

  • Louvre was better / less annoying than anticipated
  • Hunting Museum was a true surprise
  • Would be a nice place to experience daily life — I’d be interested in spending time with a project to work on like all them old writers
  • Limited beers on offer, and the wine wasn’t as cheap as I’d hoped
  • Overall, everything was a bit too pricey
  • Walked 7–10 mi every day
  • Plenty of bread

» More Paris photos

The entire trip I was further reminded about how little I know of world history. Seemed a bit scary that nearly everyone spoke English, and you really only heard American music. We’d take an uber to a plane, get off, order another uber. Used our phone for directions, recommendations, translation when necessary, and to get the news we were hoping to get away from for a little bit.

2016 in Review — Amazon Purchases

I placed 13 orders with Amazon in 2016.

binder

Jan 12 — Round Ring View Binder, 1.5 Inch, 4 PackAvery Economy Clear Sheet Protectors, Box of 100

My scrapbook binder was full. I also started a goals binder filled it with journal entries, google docs, diagrams, etc. from the last 4 years relating to personal growth and career. I’m a  believer in typing out goals, desires, etc.

It makes you think about it, which is the first step. Secondly, it’s cool to look back and see that you’ve accomplished something, or made some steps. If you don’t reflect on what you’ve accomplished it can seem like nothing much has happened.


Tablet StylusJan 12 — elago Stylus Grip

I was curious if this stylus would work on my magic trackpad — it didn’t. It was kind of fun to use on the phone w/ a drawing app though. Not recommended.


envelopes

Jan 12 — Extra-Rigid Fiberboard Photo/Document Mailers, 9 x 11.5 Inches, Box of 25

Just to have on hand in the office. Mainly for sending Doodl Club issues to contributors.


thermostat

Jan 20 — AcuRite 00613A1 Indoor Humidity Monitor

Our apartment gets kind of cold in the winter, and I wondered “exactly how cold?” Now I’m kind of into checking the humidity too. Usually we’re at “OK.”


enveloep

Jan 20 — #6 3/4 Security Envelopes

I thought I’d ordered #10 envelopes (these are the small ones). I put these out on the curb and someone picked them up right away.


markers

Jan 20 — BIC Marking Permanent Marker Fashion Colors, Fine Point

These came up on reviews as ‘least smelly’ permanent markers. Sharpies make me nauseous. These are better, but I still don’t like them that all that much. For me, it’s good old felt tips.


tripod

Jan 20 — Slik Sprint Pro II Tripod in Gun Metal With Quick Release Ball Head & Case

I wanted a tripod for making my Doodl Club time lapse videos. Usually I really belabor reviews and specs, but I bought the cheapest one recc’d by wirecutter in this case. I thought it had a 90° head, but it doesn’t. I make it work anyhow.

Now that Doodl Club is retired, I’ve been using it for product shots for Makrosha.


charger

Feb 3 — Futurebatt® AC Adapter Charger Magsafe 2 45W 14.85V 3.05A for Apple Macbook Air

My original charger was all frayed out, but still worked. I’d left it at the advertising agency office and they threw it away. Rude! This one was like $12 and it works fine.


wacom

Feb 23Wacom Intuos Pen Small Tablet

Sometimes I leave my wacom at the office, or home. I have a hard time getting any work done without it. A bit frivolous, but I got this one as a backup. This new one doesn’t work with the wireless adapter though.


Slim-Minimalist-Wallet

Apr 12 —  Minimalist Slim  Wallet

My previous slim wallet was purchased at Dillard’s in 1999. This one is pretty great, with lots of pockets while remaining slim for about $15. In a store like J. Crew they try and charge you $80 for something like this! This one blocks RFID readers, which I don’t care about too much, but is interesting because I had credit card info stolen right before I got it. Great wallet.


envelopes

Apr 12#10 Envelopes

Because I got the wrong size before.


shop-class-as-soulcraft-book

Apr 12 — Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

A guy I met said it changed his life and I suppose I wanted my life changed too. I think about the nature of work more than doing work. Remains unread. I did read the intro and there a good line about your pay being called “compensation” because it’s not something you’d do otherwise.

I have 5 books next to my bed. If I read them, I’m going to buy myself the kindle paperwhite that I’ve been eyeing.


best-pizza-cutter

Apr 12 — 4-inch Pizza Wheel

We eat more frozen pizza than I care to admit. I buy them when doing the shopping thinking it’ll hang around in the freezer in case we don’t have any real food and it always gets eaten within 3 days. I like Digorno and the Paul Newman ones the best. This big pizza wheel cuts em up pretty good.


contour-pillow-for-neck-pain

Apr 12 — Contour Memory Foam Pillow

Esha used the pillow I got last year and wanted one of her own. Now we each have our own contour memory foam pillow.


May 11 — Rubbermaid Commercial High Heat Silicone Spatula, 13.5″, Red Handle

The old spatula was crumbling apart (I always wonder if we end up eating the bits of utensils that seem to chip away … especially our knife). I think America’s Test Kitchen said this was the best, and it is. I’ve noticed it being used on the cooking show I like (A Chef’s Life) too.


May 11Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Headphones

My office neighbors at the coworking space were talking all the time and driving me crazy. Got these fancy headphones thinking they were noise-canceling, but they weren’t. I moved out of the co-working office in July, and didn’t use them that much. Sold them on eBay in December for $50.


cheap x-acto blades

May 11X-acto Blades

Not sure x-actly why I needed these. These were the best price for the quantity and good to have around.


bike stuff from amazon

July 26Chain Lube,  Bike Lights, Bike Tires

Some stuff to fix up my slowly rusting bike. I’d started working in the city again, and figured I’d commute to get some exercise. The ride from my house to the flatiron was so stressful, it just wasn’t worth it. By the time I’d get to work I was in a terrible mood. I rode a handful of times and gave up. It’s also kind of a pain to get my bike in and out of the house. I should probably get rid of it, but I daydream that I’ll live somewhere with basement next year and I’ll be a cyclist again.


Aug 11 — Prospectors Gold Rush Pomade

There was a hip barber shop in LIC that I’d gone to pretty consistently for about a year. They did a good job, but it was $40 and after I’d move offices, not that convenient. This is the pomade they sold me, it’s light and not too sticky. Now I get my haircuts on 23rd Street for $25.


books

Oct 3 — Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano FortunyIn Bloom: Creating and Living With Flowers

I got these for Esha’s birthday. She said she liked the textile history one.


Oct 3S.W.A.G. Bar

Also for Esha’s birthday. This was on Shark Tank a long time ago, and she seemed interested. I think it’s a loofa with soap in it? She liked it.


Oct 30 — Fire HD 8 Tablet

I’d been kinda wanting a tablet for a long time, but didn’t think it’d be worth it. The good ones were like almost the price of a decent laptop. I got this kindle one for $85. I love it and use it way too much. This dirt cheap tablet works pretty good, but they try to lock you out of all the decent apps. With about 20 min of research I ‘hacked’ it and got the regular apps on it.

I think I’m going to have to start shutting it off and putting it in a drawer because I waste hours on it every night. Tablets are the biggest time-wasters because you can only consume with them. Nothing about them promotes creating. And they’re a better experience than a phone, so you don’t put it down. Great purchase, but too much.


xma

Nov 16 — Leather Writing Journal Notebook, The Westing GameEscape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Pokemon Headphones

Meredith at work signed us up to buy presents for kids. We got letters from the kids saying what they wanted. I think my kid is sensitive. He wanted specific pokeman cards (didn’t get b/c it’d have blown the whole budget), a diary for boys (is this a thing? I saw someone else posting about it), books, and headphones. I compromised on the pokeman thing and got poké headphones. Hopefully he likes everything. I signed the cards as if I were Santa and encouraged him to stay cool.


Dec 5 — 6.5 x 4.5 Rigid Photo Mailers

Surprisingly hard to find a small rigid mailer. Bought these to send out pinpal pins in. They didn’t come in time, and ended up using random envelopes from the 99¢ store.

Pleased with how pinpal worked out. I’d felt sheepish because I tend to search for reasons to discredit and not follow through with ideas. Several people wrote articles about how the safety pin was lazy and passive. I kinda agreed. I also heard from people, like Esha, that thought it was good to show and wear your support. Thanks to lots of friends, we sold out pretty quickly and sent $1450 to the Southern Poverty Law Center — that felt good. A goal for 2017 is to find or create more volunteer opportunities.

The Election

At this point I’m not that interested in what the pollsters got wrong and theories why Trump was elected. I’m very bothered by the reports of harassment carried out in Trump’s name by bigots emboldened by the election result. On Tuesday night my wife repeatedly asked “are there really that many racist people in America?”

I don’t believe racism was the priority for most Trump voters.

I give most of the Trump voters the benefit of the doubt — my instinct is that they voted out of: party loyalty, dislike for HRC, the establishment, desire for non-progressive supreme court judges, and the magical return of ‘good’ jobs. Despite anyone’s reason for voting for Trump they did so in spite of his hostile rhetoric, and looked the other way.

Trump’s campaign was built upon scapegoating the most vulnerable for America’s problems, and taking the country back from “them.” While he was quick to speak out on behalf of Mike Pence for being confronted at a Broadway play, Trump has done little more than shrug when it comes to sticking up for hundreds of Americans being harassed and intimidated in his name. I was anticipating a strong denouncement from him last week during his 60 Minutes interview. This is what we got:

When we interviewed him on Friday afternoon Mr. Trump said he had not heard about some of the acts of violence that are popping up in his name… or against his supporters.

Nor he said had he heard about reports of racial slurs and personal threats against African Americans, Latinos and gays by some of his supporters.

Donald Trump: I am very surprised to hear that— I hate to hear that, I mean I hate to hear that—

Lesley Stahl: But you do hear it?

Donald Trump: I don’t hear it—I saw, I saw one or two instances…

Lesley Stahl: On social media?

Donald Trump: But I think it’s a very small amount. Again, I think it’s–

Lesley Stahl: Do you want to say anything to those people?

Donald Trump: I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ‘cause I’m gonna bring this country together.

Lesley Stahl: They’re harassing Latinos, Muslims—

Donald Trump: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, “Stop it.” If it — if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.

Compare that to how McCain shut down this BS in 2008:

I mistakenly believed that Trump’s behavior would disqualify him. His voters compromised on decency.

When it comes to these views I will never understand the amount of capacity attributed to immigrants, poor and powerless to conspire and execute complex ploys to ruin the country they live in.

The only good thing that may come of the election is that people like me will be moved out of complacency to help our neighbors. I’m looking for a positive way to help out in Queens. In the meantime, I’ve put this together a small fundraising project along with my friends at Studio Rodrigo called pinpal.org

I hope it helps.

Fake Shoes

Esha was looking into sourcing some some stuff from Alibaba, so I got to looking around the internet for how-to guides and insights. In my search I got sucked in to the world of fake shoes.

Chiefly, the repsneakers subreddit — these dudes scour Chinese websites and create detailed reviews examining every little detail, and how they compare to real shoes.

My fake Pirate Black 350s
$50. Fake Yeezy Pirate Black Boost 350s I’ve worn for ~2 weeks

If you don’t know anything about this whole streetwear / sneakerhead thing — these brands release limited amounts of product and limit the amount an individual can buy. There’s a whole secondary market of waiting in line, buying, and reselling for profit. For instance, the hot shoe is Kanye’s YEEZY Boost 350. It retailed for $200, but is sold out and goes for nearly $1000 on Amazon.

$50. These aren't as popular as Yeezy's. If you can find them, they go for ~$200

nmd-IMG_1303
$50. These are NMDs — not as popular as Yeezy’s. This colorway is hard to get. But others are readily available

The repheads develop relationships with the suppliers. “Did you see David’s 7th batch” “Is Jessie answering messages?” “Have you seen Eva’s new pics?” … they know there is no “David” but the supplier has taken on this handle and become their own mini-brand with distinct reputations. Some of them work with the suppliers to refine and develop the details on each new “batch.”

Insider lingo and acronyms:

  • LC — Legit Check, having the group check to see if they’re getting ripped off by a reseller of retail sneakers
  • QC — Quality Control photos … users ask Chinese suppliers to send them verified photos of the actual shoes they’ll be getting, usually via WhatsApp
  • W2C — Wanted to Cop
  • TD (turtledove), PB (pirate black), MR (moonrocks), OT (oxford tan) — the various colorways of Boost 350s

Ordering is reminiscent of the wild west days. You might get a confirmation number, it might work, you aren’t really sure when they’ll arrive, if they’ll get shredded by customs, or if there is any recourse if the shoes are messed up somehow. The anticipation of what will show up and when is half of the fun. People get pretty worked up about the customer service they’re receiving and how soon they’ll get their illegal shoes being shipped from the other side of the world, showing how much we’ve come to expect from e-commerce.

Sometimes they don't ship in a box. Just wrapped in plastic
Arrived like this

For the price, the shoes are fairly comfortable. I suspect the retail versions are a bit better, but not enough to justify the cost. I’ve only seen one other person wearing 350s in the wild. A few people on the street have asked me about my shoes, and I tell them they’re bootlegs. Most people have no idea what the shoes are in the first place, but my heart does race a little bit if I’m approaching a group of high-schoolers.

TD Boost 350s

These TD Boost 350s came with some Tommy Hilfinger socks and a fake receipt
These TD Boost 350s came with some Tommy Hilfinger socks and a fake receipt

They seem like regular old shoes once you get them. Looking at the logos printed on the side really puts in to perspective that all things are hand made — by someone, somewhere. There’s no Adidas machine spitting these out. Now, if you so desire, you can have anything you wanted produced in a factory if you bother to send a few emails.

The fact that we’re now so connected that a high school kid in the suburbs can negotiate textile swatches with someone on the other side of the world over text message is a mind boggle for sure.

Sellers modify the logos — but they arrive w/ real logos
Sellers modify the logos on their listings — but they arrive w/ real logos

 

What I Read On-line

I made a tweet last week that I’ve hit “peak revelation.” I can’t learn about what I didn’t know that I didn’t know any more! I never even deploy the new knowledge. I’m on the lookout for things that are plain entertainment, or art. Maybe I should read a book?

I also made a facebook rant a while ago, that I think some ppl took the wrong way, about lack of pure status in the feed. Over the last 2 years, every time I see a shared article I go up to the top right and click “hide all from nytimes.com” or whatever it is…

— the result of which is that I only really see actual status updates (maybe 4 ppl I know regularly post), instagram reposts (I find annoying, and you can’t block) and things ppl liked “John liked this” … usually some other person’s status.

That said, I look forward to email newsletters, in this order:

I pruned my RSS feed to:

I scan nytimes app headlines, but really only read the weekend printed edition.

And niche subreddits.

2015 in Review — Amazon Purchases

case

Jan 30 — Google Nexus 6 Synthetic Leather Smartphone Sleeve.

This case was listed at 1¢ in order to get reviews, but it wasn’t worth it. Too much hassle to pull out of the sleeve. My phone is massive and easy to drop. I’ve busted the screen 2x and it costs $350 to replace.


41ZlRui-Z8L

Jan 30 — ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Brief

Terrible, tight. Supposed to be travel underwear that dry quickly, but they don’t “breathe” and cause more odor than they prevent. Hate wearing these, but have kept them for those days that I’ve been too lazy to get my laundry done. Maybe I’ll travel somewhere and need to wash my underwear in the sink next year too! I’m definitely on the lookout for a great fitting underwear. When I find them I’ll buy 18 pairs.


scissor

Jan 30 — Martha Stewart Crafts Fringe Scissors

Thought these would be handy to have around the house to cut up sensitive documents like a miniature paper shredder, but I hardly ever use them. We used them to cut herbs a couple times.


stapler

Feb 23 —  Sparco Long Reach Stapler

Needed a stapler and figured I’d get a long reach one in case I ever wanted to make a booklet or something. I had one years ago, but I think Kelly has it, or I left it at Todd Oldham’s office. I’ve not made any booklets, but I did staple at least 10 things.


paper

Feb 23 — Georgia-Pacific Standard 92 Multipurpose Paper

~700 / 1500 sheets remaining.


almonds

Feb 23 — Madi K’s Whole Natural Almonds, 1-Ounce Bags (Pack of 48)

I’m always on the lookout for good office snacks. Got these single serve nuts because I would eat a whole can of nuts the same day I got it. Now I get raw cashews because they don’t taste that good and I won’t binge on them too much.


book

Mar 1 — Dissident Gardens

Set in the neighborhood I live in. Started reading it 3x but haven’t made it past 20 pages. I am not very good at reading books anymore and I’m trying to decide if that’s a problem or not.


granola-bars

Apr 13 — Kashi Chewy Granola Bars, Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt with Chia

Studio snacks. I got a bunch of granola bars and kinda gained some weight. I think it’s because I’d eat like 3 at a time. No more granola bars.


pens

Apr 13 — Pentel Sign Pen, Fiber-Tipped, Black Ink

My favorite pens! They make big fat lines that look way more important and artsy.


staples

Apr 13 — Swingline Staples

That long stapler did not come with staples :/


batt

Apr 13 — AA AAA Battery Charger with and 4 Pack AA Rechargeable Batteries 

Things that need batteries: bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, swiffer, tv remote.


4hb

Apr 21 — The 4 Hour Body

Thought maybe this would have some secrets to being healthy and buff that didn’t require working out or dieting. Takeaways that I’ve sort of incorporated: Kettlebells, eating a protein only breakfast w/in 30min of waking up (sometimes). Maybe someday I’ll pick it up again and add some more gems to my regimens.


22book

Apr 25 — The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Skimmed. Can’t recall any of the laws.


applebees

May 5 — Applebee’s Gift Card

Birthday gift for Mom.


scok

Aug 2 — Paisley Pattern Sock

An option for my wedding day. Didn’t end up wearing this pair. Kinda too small.


51WnKvWH23L._SL1000_

Aug 2 — Contour Memory Foam Pillow

My neck had been bothering me. How often do you throw away pillows?


pocket-square

Aug 2 — Woven White Paisley Pocket Square

For wedding day.


sock2Aug 2 — Paisley Dress Socks

Wore this pair on wedding day.


shorts

Aug 2 — Men’s Running Short

This color was a bit cheaper and I found out why — it’s flesh color and it looks like your pants-less. Esha gets real made when I wear them.


no-sho

Aug 2 — 8 Pack No Show Liner Fake Socks

You can never have enough no show socks! These are decent ones. I think they’re Korean and they run pretty small, which is an asset when you’re not showing your socks off.


phne

Aug 2 — Nexus 6 Armband

Don’t really use this. My phone is too big to run with.


embosser

Aug 2 — Personalized Custom Logo Embosser Seal

Got the doodl club logo turned into an embosser. Very pleased w/ this.


 

scanner

Sep 25 — Scanner

I guess I needed to scan something? Wish it was wifi compatible.


 

shorts

Sep 25 — Men’s Running Short

The logic is that if I keep buying running stuff, I’ll guilt myself into running. Not sure that I’ve worn these yet.


 

71MXSiV7MmL._SL1500_

Sep 25 — Titanium Straight Scissors

Was attracted to the copper-y color. These are scissors for my office.


allenwrench

Sep 25 — Fold-Up Hex Keys

Needed to remove the arms from my office chair. I thought I’d lost my other set, but it was in my ratchet and socket case. I can’t believe I own as many tools as I do considering I have very limited use for them.


probiotics

Oct 23 — Probiotics

I was asked to buy and review this for my day job.


stay-flat

Oct 23 — Self-Seal Stay Flat Mailers

Used for sending samples of dood club. Feel like I should be mailing eveyone’s with these heavier mailers, but they’re expensive, and cost another dollar to mail. I’m already losing money on each one I send out as is! I’ve only had one complaint about them arriving bent up, so hopefully they ship w/o too much damage.


dustpan

Oct 23 — OXO Good Grips Dustpan and Brush Set

So hard to find a dustpan that is flat to the ground. I think maybe I will try to sharpen the edge somehow.


color-pencils

Oct 23 — Crayola 36ct Colored Pencils

Colored sounds racist to me :/


toner

Oct 23 — Toner

For my printer! I print off a list of what I need to do at the end of the day, so I’ll have it ready for me the next morning. It’s like my own personal assistant telling me what I need to do.


 

usb

Oct 23 — 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Nice to have around.


books

Nov 18 — The Field, Games People Play, The Trusted Advisor, Blue Ocean Strategy, How to Be Funny, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes

My favorite amazon non-fiction ‘hack’ is that most books are on there used for 1¢ + 3.99 s&h. I add books to my wishlist whenever I see some dumb “smartest book” or reccomendations list. Then I either find a lecture on youtube by the author or longform podcast. If I can’t find one of those, I’ll buy the book. BUT … like I said earlier, I think maybe I can’t read anymore.


mic

Nov 30 — USB Microphone, Wind Screen

I’ve been thinking of starting up my podcast again. I was pretty excited to get this, but it’s too good and picks up tons of white noise in my office. I gotta spend some time to figure out how to make it clean.

Designing the Cabin Porn Book

Cabin Porn Book More photos: mattcassity.com / Buy on Amazon


Aug 2013 — Cabin Porn posted a book review hinting at creating a book. I emailed straight away and was stoked to hear they were gearing up to prepare a sample for publishers. We had a skype call about a month later to get started.

Oct 2013 — Met with Zach, and discovered we had similar references in mind for the size, shape, and spirit of the book. A few days later, I made a trip to the mini-village / commune / handmade utopia Beaver Brook. A crew of people were diligently working on the sauna. I helped by repairing the mailbox that I’d run over when I arrived 😐

Initial Notes

  • An object — a “brick”
  • Size / tactile references: field guides, how-to books
  • Photos are the star of the book. Sacred, lush, presented as big as possible … it is pornography after all
  • Not contemporary or ‘now’ feeling … no trends or of-the-moment typography (side note: a lot of architecture books are designed by architects, and it shows!)
  • Typographic cues from manuals, how-to, back-to-the land books of the 60s & 70s, however nothing ‘retro’ or obvious

Nov & Dec 2013 — We worked on a proposal. I started gathering typographic samples and inspiration:

Cabin Porn Typographic Inspiration… many of the references used chunky serifs created during the Arts & Crafts movement. I liked them, but didn’t want to mimic them exactly, only nod to their tone.

I put together sample palettes of headlines, subheads, body copy, page numbers, etc:cabin porn typographyAn Intro to Typography rule is to stick with one or two type families. I break that rule and mix a lot of similar looking type to create texture, flavor, and mystery. I get bummed out when I can recognize the principle typefaces in someone’s work. It’s boring. This book has over ten different type families and remains cohesive. Keep ’em guessing!

Throughout 2014 the rest of the team traveled all over the country capturing the feature stories. Often projects have a tight schedule and there is little time to explore variations. I was excited to spend time and create a lot of different layouts. With each version, I’d tweak the size, margins, typography, and grid:cabin-porn-layouts-matt-cassity … I’d print these out to see how they conform to the many factors that make a pleasing layout — is there room for your thumbs, is the body copy readable, are the columns a comfortable length, are the headlines in proportion, do the photos lay in with minimal cropping?

Meanwhile, there’s a bit of planning needed to figure out the page count and how the pace of the book will flow. For that we created a flatplan:Cabin Porn Flatplan

Oct 2014 — All the assets were complete and we put together the first draft of the book. I try to put off the cover as long as possible. If you get something circulating as a For Placement Only cover, it often ends up as the Real cover.

From the very beginning  I had a specific cover idea in mind, but for the sake of exhausting options I put it aside and made about 100 layouts:Cabin Porn Cover …we tried all kinds of title orientations, stickers, and dust covers, and as you can guess; we ended up with the original idea for the cover —  wordless, lush, full bleed image on the hardcover with a discreet ‘wrapper’ bellyband covering up the sexy cabin. Simple and straightforward just like the website, without any wacky PORN! antics.

Jan 2015 — we had our only IRL All Hands weekend (hooray for distributed teams!) to go through the draft and finalize images. After that there was the usual housekeeping and tying up of loose ends. I’ve left out all the workflow and mechanical bits out of this post-mortem to spare you the tedium!

As a designer, it is often hard to look at a big book once it is printed because you spent so much time pouring over every page, and you don’t want to find a mistake, and you may still cringe at some small compromise. In this case, I’m quite pleased with the final product!

Many thanks to the Cabin Porn Book team: 

www.doodl.club

doodl club

I’m excited to launch a new side project — www.doodl.club

doodl club zine

I love zines. They’re satisfyingly simple to create, not too precious, and plain fun. As a young adult they were a window into other worlds, and an influencing factor to my ending up a designer. I’ve been making them for my entire adult life — as glorified newsletters, self-promotional mailers, art, and to collaborate.

Matt Cassity Zines
Some zines I’ve made.

A few months ago, I sent a zine to all my pals w/ kids. I thought “kids love getting stuff in the mail, and they might enjoy these fun little drawings.” When I saw an instagram Kristen posted, I was like “oh — these could be coloring books!”

So it’s pretty simple! Cool little coloring zines for cool little people. Subscribe and you’ll get a new coloring book every month.

Two Goals:

  • Find 1000 subscribers interested in: zines, obsessive drawing, exposing kids to art, off-line activities, and finding something delightful in the mailbox
  • Make the process easy and beneficial to the artists — everyone will be compensated for their work, and the process is hassle-free with creative control in their hands

I was lucky to get the terrific illustrator Jim Stoten to do the first issue. We met a year or so ago, and he’s super nice. His work is so confident and it’s easy to get lost in all the detail he creates:

doodl club Jim Stoten

Please help me out and subscribe, gift, or tell yr friends about www.doodl.club — Issue One is ready to ship.

:^)


Some faves from my zine collection:

Andy Rementer ZinesAndy was the best section in The Artist’s Guide, and I’ve been following his career ever since. His zines are always really funny.

hit BookHit Book was a zine-making party organized by Kelly Rakowski and myself. A bunch of friends would get together and we’d spend an afternoon creating a zine on a single topic using stacks of old clip art books and making drawings. I love looking at the evidence of how much fun it was.

Wayne White ZinesAfter designing his book, Wayne White surprised us with a package of his early homemade comic booklets. They’re each a little treasure.

Cheetahs Never WinI met Steve Reeder at a graphic design conference in 2002 and we’ve somehow kept in touch ever since (thanks internet). His comics are excellent!

Wedding

HOLUD-ANIMATION

Friday and Saturday, August 14 & 15 — Esha and I had our wedding ceremony. It was a ton of work and Esha did 99% of it. We had a great time, and I think our guests did as well. I knew it’d be fun, but my expectations were thoroughly exceded, and it’s hard not to keep thinking about it or talk about it

Friday

  • Long, hot day setting up
  • We had it at a co-working space, so we tiptoed around while these people were on their laptops, meanwhile there were two goats being roasted in the backyard.
  • We had 30m to set up … lots of dudes came and we really scrambled to get the decor on the walls. Put that here, move these chairs, etc.
  • The holud part of the ceremony was sweet, Esha’s family was really into it. I did end up getting annoyed, bc everything was going too slow and I wanted talk to people and not pose for more pictures!
  • The big event was all the performances. I figured there’d be a couple scrappy goofy things, but there was like an hour of full on choreographed  entertainment. It was really overwhelming that everyone put in the effort.
  • Super tired at the end of the night. The unfortunate uber drive we’d roped into carting our stuff home opened his tailgate and about 10 bottle of wine smashed on the street at 2am.

IMG_4941-3

Saturday

  • Setup was way more chill
  • The venue was amazing and looked great
  • Esha had a little hideaway in the back, and lots of people tending to her to get ready … she was the star and looked gorgeous
  • I was about to get dressed and realized I’d forgotten my bowtie and cufflinks! Took a cab home real quick to get it. Luckily the venue wasn’t too far
  • I was kind of alone in my own room, some of my pals got there early and watched me sweat while i tried to tie the bowtie for 45m
  • I wasn’t nervous, but def seemed like forever waiting to get the ceremony started!
  • We hadn’t really rehearsed much, but it went pretty smooth. August was excellent as the MC
  • People went bonkers over the vows. Esha’s were super good and I was so happy to hear them, and that she didn’t cry, because I would have lost if if she had
  • I kind of botched the kiss, I was waiting for the photog get in place and she never really did, and then it was weird, so I don’t think we really got one off properly. Confused a lot of people
  • There was this cool band we’d hired, we were off taking pictures most of the time they were playing
  • Dinner, cake, dancing, talking to people, good jams, Dave dancing like a maniac, people singing along pretty hard to 4 non Blondes, and James’ Laid, getting extorted for $ by Esha’s cousins … dancing, dancing, dancing
  • We went out after, but were so pooped we gave up
  • Sunday I was probably the most worn out I’ve ever been and slept all day!

1000+ pictures on fatimatt.com