9 Reasons Owning a Minivan is Secretly Thrilling (via GQ)

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Bitchin’ Camaro

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GQ.com — This Memorial Day weekend, many of you will need to transport family members long distances across this great land. You will have myriad vehicular options, but precisely zero of them is better than a minivan. Now, you might think you are too awesome for a minivan. You might think SUVs are a more appropriate option, or that minivans have become shortened visual code for “sad-eyed, suburban-dwelling Blake Shelton fan.” But you will be wrong for these reasons.

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I Love You Guys. Now for the Love of God, Go Play Over There (via the Washington Post)

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On Parenting at the Washington Post — I need my kids to stop playing with me at the playground.

I don’t mean I need them to leave me alone and stop smothering me in attention because I’d like 10 minutes with my phone and to wander pointlessly through the pathways. But on the other hand, yeah, that’s exactly what I mean. I need them to play tag by themselves. Climb some branches. Explore the riverbank. Find frogs. Be dinosaur robots. Anything other than standing there, pawing at my legs, scampering off then returning every 30 seconds with a command to play some game I’ve not heard of. Somehow, at ages 12 and 4, they can’t entertain themselves.

The full story at the Washington Post.

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In Which the Great Frightened Rabbit Briefly Sorta Ruins My 4-Year-Old

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Indy Star — Frightened Rabbit’s music is grand and dreamy and often sad as heartbreak, which is why I don’t often play it in front of my 4-year-old. But to prep for a chat with singer/core Scott Hutchison, we sampled the band’s sterling new “Paintings of a Panic Attack,” which opens with a lovely, pulsing track called “Death Dream.” You can probably guess what it’s about. The band’s grandeur swirls around behind Hutchison’s rich, syrupy voice, a Scottish brogue that he lets crack at just the right times. Like the best Frightened Rabbit tracks — which is a lot of them — it’s melancholy enough to fit inside a cathedral. And midway through, my 4-year-old son wanders in, having heard the song from the living room, and he’s sobbing. Just sobbing. “Daddy,” he’s wailing, “Can you change the song?”

The full story (and the much happier ending) here.

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Michael Strahan’s Guide to Dreaming Big (via Success)

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Success — In his first career, Michael Strahan was a legend.

He became one of football’s most relentless competitors, as good at bringing down quarterbacks as anyone who ever played. Week after week, he’d tear through opposing offenses like a man without fear. When he retired in 2008, after 15 years in one of the most punishing physical environments in sports, he celebrated by picking up three full-time jobs.

“To be honest, I’m looking for a few more,” Strahan says with a big Strahan laugh. “My afternoons are free.” He’s kidding. I think.

It’s 40 minutes after a Tuesday morning taping of Live with Kelly and Michael, and Strahan has chatted with Kelly Ripa about dirty martinis, interviewed actress Rebel Wilson and concocted a small buffet of Super Bowl snacks. Now he’s headed to the offices of his production company, SMAC Entertainment, where he’ll spend the rest of today. Tomorrow, he’ll be up early for a double-shot hosting Live and Good Morning America, which he joined just over a year ago. And during football season, he’ll follow GMA by flying straight to the West Coast to prep for Fox NFL Sunday, which starts before dawn and eats up all of this day of “rest.” Afterward, it’s back to New York to start the cycle again.

See more at Success.

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Nirvana, Indiana: What 30 Days of Meditation Does to Your Brain (via Success)

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Success — My first meditation class was a failure. I tanked it. Bombed it worse than anything since a college essay on The Canterbury Tales.

As is typical when I’m terrible at something, I immediately set about determining how it wasn’t my fault. It had to be because I was new—new to meditation, new to Eastern customs and, honestly, new to sitting still for 20 minutes. The other seven attendees had clearly been there before. They knew when to chant, when to listen, the cadence of each surprisingly involved group reading. My strategy was to be a mere observer, remaining as invisible as possible. I tried to sit near the back, but there were only three rows of chairs so there wasn’t really a “back” so much as a “directly behind Jerry.”

The full story at Success.

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12 Things No One Could Stop Axl Rose from Wearing Onstage With Guns N’ Roses (via GQ)

Pictured: Angry Margaret Thatcher

Pictured: Angry Margaret Thatcher

 

GQ — In addition to getting away with anything he wanted, Indiana-born rock vocalist W. Axl Rose spent his band’s 1991-1993 Use Your Illusion tour cycling through an increasingly unhinged series of onstage outfits that screamed, “Seriously, I can wear anything I want and you guys won’t say a thing, now can someone please launder my Manson shirt.” Here now, with the benefit of hindsight and in preparation for the band’s reunion tour — which is still happening, right, you guys are packing and everything? — a brief review of some of Axl’s memorable onstage looks:

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Enter the jungle.

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That Time the Insurance Company Wrote My 3-Year-Old (via the Washington Post)

ARTIST'S RENDERING. The actual cast was purple.

ARTIST’S RENDERING. The actual cast was purple.

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On Parenting at the Washington Post — My son doesn’t get very much mail, partly because he doesn’t write a lot of letters and partly because he’s 3. So I found it odd a few months ago when he received an envelope from the Insurance Company, addressed to him, a child who not only can’t read his last name but also has never heard of the Insurance Company. That’s one reason I’m super-envious of him. (Reason No. 2: Daily naps. Reason No. 3: Being able to eat squeezable applesauce without everyone else on the plane looking at you.)

The letter confused me, and I spent some time mulling it while I sipped my applesauce. Here’s what happened.

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The Cubs Are Going to Win It All This Year, Unless That Headline Just Cursed Them Forever (via GQ)

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GQ — It is the weirdest feeling to walk into Wrigley Field and expect good things. This is Wrigley. Expectation doesn’t happen here. Hope, sure. Delirium, annually. Layering yourself a mental brickwork of psychological defense against a century of history, yes, as a matter of course. But when you’re sitting in the third-base grandstands and Addison Russell has just crushed a three-run homer for the lead in the eighth and the place feels like it’s going to explode it’s hard not to think one thing: Where the hell am I?

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Trevor Noah Comes to Indy, Has Some Thoughts on That One Guy (via Indy Star)

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Indy Star — As luck would have it, Trevor Noah calls precisely four seconds after the phone bings to announce President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, a move that will inflame the already preeeeeetty well inflamed political universe for the next seven hours — the exact time that Noah and his team will be expected to gauge, parse and tear apart reaction on “The Daily Show.” Happily, Noah is reassuring when I mention the terrible timing: “Don’t worry about that,” he says with a chuckle, “In this election cycle, every day’s terrible timing.”

Indeed, in six months as host of “The Daily Show,” Noah, 32, has been expected to not only assume control of the mothership of American political satire but also inhabit the spirit of its previous host, all while dealing with the unhinged nuttiness of what everyone keeps calling a presidential race. He arrived with a strong pedigree — Noah was a rock star in his native South Africa and had spent years on the American comedy circuit — but his nomination was still a huge surprise, the christening of a new face who’d quickly earned Jon Stewart’s blessings but had actually appeared on his show all of three times. It’s an insanely demanding position, and not one you’d think would lend itself to jetting around for stand-up dates.

More from the Daily Show host. 

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Violence Never Solves Anything, Unless You’re 4, When It Totally Does (via the Washington Post)

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Washington Post — Do all 4-year-olds spend their time running around hitting things? Things like walls and chairs and fireplaces and their father’s shins and the fish tank? Because we’ve encountered a pretty consistent hitting issue with our 4-year-old, and we’re not sure where it’s coming from. Like many parents, we’ve taught for years that you don’t solve your problems with your fists (that’s what the light sabers are for).

Frankly, I’m not too bothered by the hitting of the walls, or of me (although the fish are getting a little anxious). It’s often accidental, I’m accustomed to it and it doesn’t hurt much, except the time he accidentally connected while holding one of his wooden Thomas trains, which, I am not going to lie, hurt like a Gordon. I’m pretty sure there’s still red paint on my teeth. We turned that into a Very Serious Lesson about resolving your issues calmly and patiently (and some words you’re not supposed to say when you’ve been hit in the teeth).

The full fight story over at the Washington Post.

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