Sunday, November 20, 2011


Plus 1

I imagine I will keep posting on this blog a while for a few reasons. One, some reflections about my 365 Project are probably necessary. Two, Noah Scalin's new book, "Unstuck : 52 Ways to Get (and Keep) your Creativity Flowing" has recently been released and I am in it. I would hate for someone to come to this blog and it be not active. And finally, three, I think an occasional Napkin Moustache would be quite entertaining.

Noah sent me an email right before my 365 was over and asked a few follow up questions. Here they are with my responses:

1. When did your project start/end?

November 11, 2010 - November 10, 2011.

2. What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project?

Creativity, no matter what level you perform it, will spark fires -infernos- of the ability to pursue other projects even further. Which leads to the answer to the next question...

3. In what ways did the project change your life?

Doing this Napkin Moustache A Day has changed my life immensely. I am a freelance writer, have the degree in English, but never did much more than write magazine articles, columns and reviews of movies and music over the years. Naturally I always wanted to write on a larger scale; short stories, etc. Through this small effort of blogging about putting a napkin on my face, not only did it spark my practice writing regularly, creatively, and entertainingly, but it also brought me in contact with other creative people that I may have never met. The project showed me the determination of seeing things through, to have something more than just an idea in my head. It jumps starts the creative engine that often stalls for people.

4. Now what?

More. While the 365 Project was going on, I co-edited a book called "Richmond Macabre : Nightmares from the River City", a book a short horror stories by various other authors (including one by me) that was well received and the first of its kind for Richmond, Virginia. You can go to to find out more or order it through your local bookstore or amazon. I am also now involved in a few other creative projects, and planning more. It's all about following through with these ideas now.

More later...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Last Napkin Moustache!

Number Three Hundred and Sixty Five:

The Last Napkin Moustache A Day:

I wanted to get to Mekong early in order to figure out how the evening would go, and Gina was nice enough to pick me up and drive me there. I was over estimating that I would have 30-40 guests appearing this night, but An was very relaxed about the situation and we reserved several tables. People started arriving pretty early, which was great because then we could take over other tables not being reserved first, then make room as needed. First there was Gina and I, then Deanna (who was actually waiting for us), followed by Lily and Roger. An gave me 30 tickets to give out for a beer to each person. It was really kind of funny how few I actually gave out! We also had two "Donation Stations" to go to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, since the next day was Veterans Day and I wanted to do something for that.

Some of the next people to arrive were Emily, Chris and Alex, Carolyn, Stephanie, Willem and Jesse. Followed by Janet, Wendy, Ceci, Doyle, Chris, Jimmy, Mark and Anna. Totally great turnout for a Masstache!

Willem working on the next mustache movement.

After a bit of jumping around tables and socializing, as well as getting some food and a fine FINE beer that kicked my butt (Backwoods Bastard from Founders, on tap), I had to time the photo for the group stache. 7:15 was the set time, and I didn't think anyone else was showing, so I started to set it up in the back room. Good thing I brought the tripod because it took a few minutes to get the setting right as well as learn how to use the damn timer on the camera again. Then when all was ready, I had everyone come back, as well as An, and clicked a few prep shots seen below:

Getting ready.

The last group Napstache I took, I told everyone to get crazy with it.

The photos turned out swell, everyone was into it. So freaking awesome! Afterward, I went around getting random shots of people and the staches they had created. Here is a good one of Wendy and Ceci. Ceci sporting the hilarious feminine napkin stache.

Followed by Lily and Roger and their origami staches!

Then we went back to our tables to have more beer, conversation and food.

A few moments later, I noticed a familiar face! Abby Davis, who's My Daily Nature Photos is one day after my project, was there with her family! It was so great to see her and to be ready to do some staching of her own with the spiderweb napkins!

Love this shot of Abby and her family!

Staches started getting epidemic by that point as I coerced our waitress Thui to do one!

More settling in after the rampant napkin moustaching, the vibe the whole night was just so grand and fun. Everyone was having a blast and getting into it.

Janet making a silly-serious face as Gina laughs.

Emily and Deanna having a moment.

Then it got even weirder....

An serving up some beer to some guys in red caps.

So as the evening went on, we started noticing some ho-ed up looking gals coming in with dudes in cowboy hats, leather belts, and other hipster "what-the-fuck?" fashions. Then this gal came around the corner, donning a napkin nearly as large as the dress she had on.

Batter up.

It was a spring roll eating contest! With a little beer gnome statue as the first prize, and some beer tin ad as a second prize. The contest? First to finish 10 spring rolls AND their beer in 3-5 minutes would be the undisputed champion.

Announcing the contest, notice the trophy and the runner up prizes.

Clearly this was a fantastic night to be here. How could I not photograph this as well? It was a helluva tough battle. Those that started out of the gate strong, faltered, weakening under the chewy pressure. I heard a girl shout out in the middle of the squishy chewing sounds, "Peanut sauce! More peanut sauce!" Apparently the peanut sauce that usually comes with the delicious rolls also serves as a good lubricant for them to go down easier.

An and the crowd count off the contest.

A hard fought battle of stomachs.

Needless to say, it was an immensely entertaining way to end the evening. Lisa showed up a bit after nine to pick me up, as well as do this nice ending napstache! There is no person I would rather finish my year of silliness with!

We raised 75 dollars for the Veterans Fund and it really was a terrific evening and swell way to end my Make Something 365 project. Thanks to all that could make it out, to An and Mekong restaurant for being completely awesome, those that wished they could have made it out, and those that have followed this project through the year. I will likely post some more reflections on it soon, so stay tuned!

Oh, and the fortune in my cookie from last night seemed so appropriate for not only the evening, but the year:


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty Fourth...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty Four:

El Nopal, Lunch, Carnitas

So Justin and I hit the best Mexican place in the east end, maybe one of the best in the city, El Nopal, and who do we see but Beth Brown and her boy! We sit with them and have some fun conversation while her son does some wacky things like a napstache (well, ISH) and taunts a french fry or two up the nostril. Good times! It was a pleasant surprise, especially for the next to last Napkin Moustache! I suppose I should start getting reflective over this, but I might just wait until after it is all said and done, to continue to post on the blog about it, then we'll see where it can go from there.

Other cool news:

Apparently, Dogfish Head did another limited run of their Miles Davis inspired Bitches Brew beer! I totally went to River City Cellars and bought two bottles! I never got to taste any last year, and only had one bottle in storage. Now I will be able to sample and save another. Sweet!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty Third...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty Three:
Riverbound Cafe, Lunch, Crab cake sandwich

The thing about a crab cake sandwich for 6 bucks, while they claim Bay crab, is that you know it's gonna taste like a 6 dollar crab cake sandwich. It was OK, I guess. And I think I am off onion rings for a while, it's not that they were bad, in fact, someone who likes HUGE chunks of onion with a nice batter in a bite may love them, but I felt like a mouthful of onion can be a little, "Oh, wow that was a chuck of white onion in my mouth, ew."

T-minus two!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty Second...

Number Three Hundred Sixty Two:
Home, Breakfast, Cereal

Another awesome postcard sent to me from Mim and the MailArt 365 Project. They are also winding up their 365 project soon, along with Abby's My Daily Nature Photos, two people I have gotten to know thanks to this endeavor. The guy in this photo is also a Phil! So great, now I have two! I think I am gonna frame them somehow because they are fun!

T-minus 3!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty First...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty One:

Cafe Ole, Lunch, Veggie Burrito

We went to Maymont today, beautiful weather for it. We enter via the house approach and stayed mostly on that side. The koi were frenzied when some ding dong dad started feeding them Apple Jacks. Across the way on the concrete lily pads, a couple of dudes were playing "photographer" with some cute gal in a mini-skirt who had to get up off the concrete chill to let people and their kids pass by every once and a while.

Can you spot the Apple Jack among the koi?

That place is awesome, the Japanese maples were turning, the cypress were delightfully fragrant and Lisa and I knew just where to be to avoid any people hassles. Afterward it was off to Carytown for some lunch, booze and books!

T-minus 4.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixtieth...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty:
Tastebuds, Dinner, Braised Lame Shepherd's Pie

Have I mentioned how awesome living where I live is? The kid, now 18 and an adult, blows me off for dinner with me at Dots, and Lisa is off with her college group for a dinner meeting, leaving me solo for supper. A great place that I like to go alone is Tastebuds, so a brisk walk it is to the bar where I get to chat with Andrew a bit and enjoy some great Fall food in the Pie. I don't even really like lamb, but I think I appreciate it even more as I get older. Anyway it was great, and the chilly walk home, with a nice head full of beer (but not drunk), was just the thing for a crisp cool evening!

T-minus 5

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Ninth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Ninth:
Mekong, Dinner, Spicy Crispy Chicken

Me and Thui cutting it up in this photo. Lisa and I were at Mekong exactly and hour, 5:55 - 6:55, and by the time we left, parking lot in the back was getting full. Place is doing well, ya think!?! Did I mention where the last Napstache is going to be?

T-minus 6....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Eighth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Eight:

Home, Breakfast, Eggs

Closer and closer to home plate. Did I mention I am in Noah Scalin's new book, Unstuck? I haven't gotten a copy yet, but I know I am in there, in the "look how easy it is" inspiration section. I look forward to getting a copy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Seventh...

Number Three Hundred Fifty Seven:
Firehouse Subs, Lunch, Sub

Had to pick up a present for my daughter, Hope, she turned 18 today! What the!??! Anyway, quick bite equaled here, they had a freaky new fountain with like 80 choices of soda that you picked via a touch screen. Bonus = Seltzer! Aw yeah!

So....EIGHT left! Wow!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Sixth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Six:

Napkin, Shirt, Splork pin

Phillip Andrew Pollard
October 27, 1967
October 29, 2011