The Brilliance!

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#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

Ikea: We won’t stop, because we can’t stop.

I thought I told you that we won’t stop. Take that, take that. Sorry…the little Diddy style intro was corny. Look…I love Ikea. I don’t care what any of the furniture snobs say. Because we all know they have some Ikea in their homes as well. So I was walking thru the corporate headquarters entry-way of one of my client’s today…and the November 14th issue of Business Week with the Ikea cover story caught my eye. Wow. What a wild look at the inside of Ikea and what makes them so unbelievable. They, along with Apple and others, epitomize what a ‘cult’ brand is. Did you know they only have 12 full-time designers? 80 freelancers…but still, 12 seems so small. Must be a wild to work there. Anyway…from their designs, their price points, their marketing, their manufacturing outsourcing, their intensely intricate demographic research, their insane profit margin, their growth-pattern etc…they are hands down one of the most fascinating brands to watch and learn from. Really…they are so inspiring. Side note, I was at the new Ikea in Bolingbrook this weekend…fun trip as always….but I wouldn’t recommend the $.99 breakfast. The article is split up on Business Week’s site, so just search ‘Ikea’.

Forbes 150 Places to Live Rich

I’m loving this…This is a great resource right here, besides the fact that there is no text-only list, and you have to go through this stupid slideshow method to see each place. But anyways, Forbes has published a list of 150 places to live and get more bang for your buck. I live in a pretty small suburb outside Chicago right now, so it’s definitely affordable but nothing really special about the area. Reading this article and list got me interested in the idea of someday just up and leaving to a place like Oregon or North Dakota or something, living large and comfortably, but not paying even half of what it would cost in say NY or Chicago or LA or wherever. I’ll never move to NY anyways, it’s just way too much for my lifestyle and taste. I love the thought of a smaller, tightly-knit community where you could know most everyone and be very low-key. A few things on this list however do NOT excite me, like the description and picture they gave to Fayetteville, AR. The picture next to it’s description is a photo of Wal-Mart…Sorry, but if the best thing your town has going is Wal-Mart, your town is officially boring and probably has an abundance of overalls and a lack of teeth. Ben’s city is on here, Grand Rapids…and Bloomington, IL is on there which I visit quite often…but then Miami is on there too. So there are good reasons to live in different spots for all different financial and economical reasons, and this list just kind of outlines the details. Oregon and New Mexico look very interesting to me…hmm…The article talks about what they call a ‘Geographic Arbitrageur’ - someone who essentially does what the article talks about. Lives in a smaller city, but gets paid and lives as if they were in big city life. YA RLY.

OMG NYC Real Estate!

Been a while since I did one of these. Let’s go. ONE—> This is it…seriously. El perfecto. I’m not even going to write any comments, its too good. But not for sale? TWO—> Yikes…$10.2M. Ridiculous. But it’s a beautiful space. The furniture is terrible, but look at the stairs! THREE—> Yet another ridiculously expensive space. But again, check the stairs! This one is nuts. 4000 sq ft just in terraces! Get it how you live I guess. That’s it for this post. Honestly…just check the first one, that’s what prompted this whole post. I used to hit the kitchen lights, cockroaches everywhere. Hit the kitchen lights, now its marble floors everywhere.

Who Cares?!?!

This is similar to those ‘Deep Thoughts’ post we make. Nothing here is worthy of its own post…just some random whatevers…...............but who cares?!?!
+ Me in Air Max 90s? I’m considering switching out from Stan Smiths. I’m serious too. Chuck doesn’t believe me. I’m getting sick of white-whites…been rocking them for like 4+ years straight. Who cares?!
+ I saw some news article about people who waited in line for 2 days at a Niketown in NYC for some sneakers. I’m sorry, but that is just dumb. Big dummy status. Get a…
+ I went to…get this…a high school football game this weekend. It was a favor for a friend. I felt terribly out of place. But at the same time it was kind of fun. Only because I had my Treo.
+ This ‘Big Boi Presents: Got Purp?’ is a great CD for real. Just listened to the whole thing. The ‘Kryptonite’ track…yessur.
+ Thanksgiving in the Chicagoland area. Super-thick crowds on Friday, $27 3-hour parking, someone insisting we get popcorn from Garrett’s, etc…but I can’t wait. Big shout out to my family.

Puff (1) Lox (0)...

I like Styles P, I like Jada as well. But Puff is the epitome of true business. Good chance I’ll get a little ‘e-hate’ over this. But I felt like posting…and that’s just whats up. I couldn’t agree more with these quotes and Puff’s whole response. Handle your business, handle your life…just handle it. If you don’t like your current situation then you need to sit down with the parties involved and work through it. Don’t gossip, slander, act gangster, or anything like that. Business is business. Handle it. Some classic quotes: ’I want to see them or any other artist (try this with another label).” Diddy said, “If it wasn’t Puff who you know personally, looks like you, hangs out with you, drinks with you - would you ask them to just let me out the contract, No. You ain’t gonna call Sony with that, because they are not gonna take your call. You not going to call Universal with that, because it’s a contract.’ And one more classic one: ‘When you got a situation, you handle it man to man. Angie can’t help the situation, New York can’t help it. You gotta help yourself. I invested in and I believed in you. You believed in me and I believed in y’all. (If you have problems with me), call me.’ Puff handled it exactly as it should have been handled. Business is business…I hate hearing cry babies mad about their situation and constantly trying to pass-the-buck because they’re lazy. Yikes. Check the link below for full article.

I signed up for Netflix!!!

Did that title deserve THREE !‘s? I don’t think so. Anyways, I signed up on Netflix the other day because I’ve been getting more interested in film lately and just thought it would be fun. Well, if you know me well, you know I’m the kind of person that goes to a bookstore but doesn’t read, goes to a fancy restaurant but orders a cheeseburger, and goes to the grocery store to buy light bulbs and packing tape. So, I sign up for Netflix and the first 3 movies I get are a sports bloopers DVD, the Mitch Hedberg standup DVD, and The Office Season 1, but the BBC version. Pretty much all of these 3 movies sucked…The sports bloopers one was all this old footage and just pretty lame…The Office had me snoring after the first 10 minutes (I need to get the American version), and the Mitch Hedberg DVD was super short. He’s funny and all, but I don’t smoke weed, so I didn’t laugh as much as i probably would have had I been high on the cheeba. So anyways, those are all back in the mail and the next few I have coming to me are the first Beavis and Butthead season 1 DVD, Paid In Full, and Rushmore. Maybe those won’t suck as much. I know all the people that read THE BRILLIANCE woke up this morning thinking ‘damn, I wish I knew if Chuck signed up on Netflix and if so, what he’s been getting from there?’ So here you have it. I should give Netflix some love though, they are FAST and have pretty much every movie you could want. I know they aren’t new news, but it’s interesting and new to me. AAAAA+++++ Would buy again. **Disclaimer: I know I’m going to have a bunch of doofuses saying ‘you didn’t like The Office? but it’s so funny! dry humor dude!’ No, I didn’t care for it much, but I didn’t give it much of a chance. Maybe I need to watch it with more people. Eh.

Graves 601 in Minneapolis!

Good morning team. Graves 601 in Minneapolis. A very good look. We usually cover hotels and travel destinations in far off lands or infamous metropolis’. This one is located in ‘don’t-cha-know’ Minnesota. I can’t exactly make fun of it…I live in Michigan, and love it. So the hotel…It’s the only AAA 4 diamond hotel in MN and for good reason. Unbelievable interior space…very, very dramatic. Plasma TVs in every room, Hermes soap in the shower, original art in all rooms, beautiful on-site restaurant and club…etc. All at only $250 a night, quite reasonable. Will I ever stay there? I hope so if I’m in the area. Check the site and photo gallery, well worth it. I dated a girl from Minneapolis once…I wonder what she’s up to. Info via Luxist.

GAP Jeans, You Punks!

Dood, OMG, these aren’t limited edition!! WTF? Man, GAP jeans are el perfecto this season. Honestly. The website makes them look sub-par. And usually GAP is sub-par. But I just so happened to be in my local GAP not too long ago…I was impressed. They must have taken some queues from the ever popular Japanese brands (Eternal, LVC, etc.) Honestly, they are really nice…perfect colors, ‘3D’ distressing and wrinkling and all that. And I am snobby, for real, I rock the Japanese LVC stuff. So yeah…no selvedge, no crazy price tags, no logos, no limited editions, they don’t show up on eBay really…just regular-ass, any-one-can-get-them denim jeans. Go to the store though, the website makes them look terrible/boring.

NP&CO – It Feels Like Vacation!

Chuck Anderson of NoPattern just launched a new print today. It feels like vacation when you look at this print. Honestly, it really does. I call it ‘classic’ nopattern style. Very warm, intricate, other-worldly, immersive, etc. You can honestly just sit and look at this print for a while, kind of ‘explore’ it if you will. It’s also the biggest print he has done to date at 20x30. Thing is, I might actually hang this one up…usually I’m just like, ‘wow dude, looks awesome dude, yeah, send me one dude…’ They all end up in the storage area in my loft. Dusty as hell. I actually used one for wrapping-paper once. JOKING. For real, this is a classic print, Chuck is talented, doing his thing. Buy one before his stuff gets all expensive and you have to buy it on eBay. Chuck is going to buy a solid-gold Scrabble set with the funds from this.

Farm21! Contemporary rural art!!

I love this. I love it a lot. I am a suburbs kid. Never have lived inside a city or urban area. I’m not far from Chicago, but I don’t live there. So after a while, I can only relate to ‘urban’ design and products so much. So it’s kind of cool to find someone marketing ‘rural’ design, since I live within 2 minutes of miles and miles worth of cornfields. Farm21 started in 2001 to create rural-themed furniture and art, and according to their info page, they did it because they felt that it was an area of modern design that was being neglected. I agree. I think it’s genius to focus on the other end of the spectrum like they’re doing. They’re signature item is the straw-packed plexiglas cube, which is really fresh…the bulk of the organic material they use for their products are sourced in their families’ farm in Ireland. I love it, the natural heritage in the concept really adds to it as a whole. Just go check it out. Got to appreciate fresh ideas like this. Also, tons of stuff on the site, so it’s a good look-through. OK…so I just went back and looked through their site more. HOLY SMOKES. The ‘Feather Cube’ and the ‘Roses Cube’ !?!?! LIKE WHOA. Seriously, these guys get my A+ and gold star for the day. Gorgeous. I will get something from them soon.