Odds & Ends: May 24, 2024

Antonio Vivaldi: Recorder Concerto RV 443 / Maurice Steger, Cappella Gabetta. For some reason, when you get to fourth grade here in the United States, the school gives you a recorder, and you learn how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on it. Of course, what most 9-year-olds do with a recorder is just randomly blast full-force shrills around the house, driving their parents insane in the process. A while back ago, when I was telling my youngest to knock it off with the recorder blasts, I was thinking, “Is the recorder actually a legit instrument, or is it just some dumb ‘practice’ instrument we give children?” Well, when I was researching our article about classical music during the Baroque periodI came across this Vivaldi piece that was written for the recorder. Reader, the recorder is a legit instrument, and this piece absolutely shreds. Take a listen.

How to Wear Light Wash Denim Now (and Why We Need to Stop Being Afraid Of It). If you’re a Millennial like me, dark denim likely had a chokehold on your personal style. Light wash denim was what your dad wore or what you wore with your No Fear t-shirt back in ’95; dark denim was sophisticated and harkened back to your Greatest Generation grandpa. When I look back on a lot of our style articles on AoM, there are a lot of suggestions to “wear dark denim.” Primer Magazine (with the help of one of my favorite menswear dudes, Daniel Baraka) makes the case to 40-somethings that light wash denim can have a place in your wardrobe. I’ve gotten some white jeans; might be time I pick up a pair of stonewashed ones. No fear!

The Odyssey. I’ve read Homer’s Odyssey dozens of times for pure pleasure. There are a couple of reasons I keep turning back to it. First, the Odyssey is just a grade A adventure story. Simply a fun book to read. Second, and more importantly, the character of Odysseus is incredibly relatable, especially if you’re a middle-aged dude like me, because Odysseus is a middle-aged dude. The story is about a guy trying to survive in a crazy, topsy-turvy world so he can spend time with his family. I can relate to that. Odysseus also teaches us that you can be in your 40s and still maintain your edge. Be sure to read our article about the lessons you can learn from Odysseus.

bluegrass cologne. With warmer weather here, it’s time I switch up my colognes. My go-to spring/summer fragrance for the past few years has been bluegrass by EastWest Bottlers (the same company that makes my favorite fall/winter cologne, Sportsman). bluegrass is a refreshing scent that includes notes of fresh-cut field grass, Spanish moss, and deep, woodsy amber, all with a hint of peppery spice. Smells like summer if you ask me.

Quote of the Week

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

—George Bernard Shaw



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