September 29, 2021

☕ Are you a not-so-lean, not very mean, caffeine-drinking machine?


Happy National Coffee Day! People often refer to coffee as an "acquired taste," which it very well is — when I first started drinking it sporadically in high school I had to add so much sugar to make it palatable to my unsophisticated taste buds that the caffeine content may as well have been an afterthought. Those granules of sucrose were definitely doing the heavy lifting.

Nowadays, though, I like my coffee as bitter as my cold, dead heart.

Coffee: it's like my heart is trying to hug my brain 30 Rock GIF

That is EXACTLY what it's like, Kenneth.

Before we get to notable birthdays, a quick little announcement:

I know that the Weird Wednesday email is typically a sales-free zone, but I would be remiss (and a bad businessperson) if I didn't mention that starting around midnight on Friday morning and running through 11:59PM Sunday night, Boredwalk will be running a flash sale for zip-up hoodies! We'll be offering a selection of twelve of our designs on super-soft and cozy zippered versions of the hoodies so many Boredwalk customers have come to know and love over the last few years. Maybe this appeals to you; maybe it doesn't. I don't know your life! But it is a thing that is happening this weekend, and now you know.


Alright, let's have some cake in honor of some famous people and one car!

• Kevin Durant, basketball superstar and MVP of memes, born this day in 1988!

• Jerry Lee Lewis, piano-pounding rock 'n' roll pioneer, born this day in 1935! Best known for early rock classic 'Great Balls of Fire' and icky relationship choices.

• Russell Peters, Canadian comedy legend, born this day in 1970!

• Cindy Morgan, actress and producer, born this day in 1954! Folks of a certain age may know her best from her roles as Lacey Underall in Caddyshack and Lora/Yori in the original Tron film.

• Singer and songwriter Ashley Nicolette "Halsey" Frangipane, born this day in 1994! I am not familiar with her music, but I am familiar with frangipane, because they love that stuff on The Great British Baking Show.

• Writer Miguel de Cervantes, born this day in 1547! Best known for his novel Don Quixote, I happen to think his best piece of writing was this description he wrote of his physical appearance (since no authenticated portrait of him exists): "This person whom you see here, with an oval visage, chestnut hair, smooth open forehead, lively eyes, a hooked but well-proportioned nose, and silvery beard that twenty years ago was golden, large moustache, small mouth, teeth not much to speak of, for he has only six, in bad condition and worse placed, no two of them corresponding to each other, a figure midway between the two extremes, neither tall nor short, a vivid complexion, rather fair than dark, somewhat stooped in the shoulders, and not very lightfooted." Sounds like a fairly bleak dental situation, but points for such an elaborate description!

• Gene Autry, country singer and television entertainer, born this day in 1907!

• Enrico Fermi, physicist and creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, born this day in 1901!

• Madeline Kahn, actress, singer, and comedian, born this day in 1942! Ms Kahn was best known for her comedic roles in Mel Brooks classics like Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and History of the World, Part I. Whatever you do, don't crush her taffeta, darling.

• The Chevrolet Camaro, classic American muscle car, which first went on sale this day in 1966! I've never owned, driven, or been a passenger in one, but I hear they're pretty bitchin'.

Alright, you've waited long enough — let's get to some fun links!


1. Illustrator Jeff Lee Johnson somehow makes the scary and vaguely uncomfortable pleasing to the eye!

While I (naturally) enjoy Johnson's horror gallery most — sort of like a mash-up of H.P. Lovecraft and Edward Hopper — all of his pieces are worthy of a gander.

2. Design prankster Igor Lipchanskiy has some fun with classic album art!

Plenty of stuff to laugh at here, but my fave might be the "kick me" sign on Bruce Springsteen's rugged tush.

3. Just in time for Spooky Season, check out this explainer video of the many linguistic euphemisms for death!

Dr. Erica Brozovsky gives us a rundown of the best ways to address the 900 lb. reaper in the mortuary without actually invoking it, lest it turn its attention toward us.

4. French artist Kyès places modern celebrities in a classical context with his digital paintings, and the results are visually scrumptious!

It's tough to pinpoint my favorite, but I'm leaning toward the rendering of late actor James Gandolfini from The Sopranos — the depth achieved with the lighting is an excellent nod to the Dutch masters.

5. Looking for a relaxing getaway? Then you should probably avoid these feline forts.

Look, I'm not advocating for using coarse language when addressing your catty companions, but if the kitten mitten fits...

6. BONUS: Give a listen to Boredwalk owner and co-founder Meredith, who called in to the Tiny Victories podcast with a victory of her own to share!

Fun fact: Tiny Victories is co-hosted by hilarious comedian and writer Laura House, who sometimes reads these emails (hi, Laura!), and writer, actress, television host, and activist Annabelle Gurwitch, who you might know from TBS's long-running show Dinner and a Movie, which got me through many a lonely Friday night during my first year of college.


OK! Hopefully these little diversions helped to brighten your day! We'll be back here in your inbox on Friday with more random holidays, celebrity birthdays, a new episode of the Boredwalk Podcast, and details on that flash sale I mentioned up top! Until then...

Peace, love, and coffee jitters,