More products to help cling to precious youth – fending off Old Man Face Part 2

Pro tip: if you don’t want to read anything else just buy what is in this picture BUT NEVER MIX THEM (“Is he joking”? no. I’m actually serious. Maybe read a bit more)

In part 1 I stuck to the 2 non-controversial, well researched, and proven effective methods to help your skin. Great. But, when I went to my dermatologist she recommended a third treatment… which I ignored. In this post I’m going to discuss a few more treatments that I have been using. I’ll start with why I didn’t buy the exact product recommended by my dermatologist.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another well re se ar ch ed skin care treatment that has been proven in reasonable studies to promote collagen synthesis, protect from UV, lighten pigmentation, and reduce inflammation. It also has been shown to produce visible improvements to peoples faces. Sounds great, right? Well it is. The main reason that I didn’t include it in part 1 as another simple and obvious recommendation is that vitamin C is kind of hard to work with. Vitamin C is relatively unstable[1] and can be irritating. If you want vitamin C you have to pick a delivery method: water based (aka aqueous) or not (aka anhydrous). Options make things more complicated.

The particular delivery method recommended by my dermatologist is pretty famous in the skin care world: SkincCeuticals C E Ferulic. It costs $165 for 1 ounce. Let’s all take a second to just look at that number and just wow that is a big number. Ok, I looked again and it is still big. Like it hasn’t changed at all. Wow. We have to move on, but… wow. Anyway, kooking at the research, I agree with my dermatologist: if you just don’t care about money at all, then this is a great product to use. If you are going to with any vitamin C product that is water based this is the only one I would feel comfortable recommending.

I don’t think you need to pay that much money though.

No surprised really, but C E Ferulic is based on a patented formula. My best guess based on their marketing is that that formula is heavily influenced by these two studies. I’m sure there are more studies supporting it, but lets start with these.

The first study shows a synergistic effect between vitamins C and E. SkinCeuticals seems very proud of the fact that their formulation has a synergistic effect and I’m pretty sure their patent keeps other companies from selling a similar C and E combination. Face it, synergies are cool. Instead of just slapping C and E together because they are both good, they do it because the two actually work together to be more powerful than if you used both alone.

However, they don’t really ever say in their marketing what the synergistic effect is. I think that is because the KE Burke paper describes it as follows in the abstract “Because vitamin C regenerates oxidized vitamin E, the combination in a cosmeceutical formulation is synergistic – particularly in UV protection”. So does the synergistic effect actually make the vitamin C delivery better [2]? It sounds like it is just helping the vitamin E. Do I care about getting the most potent vitamin E? No. Not enough to spend $165.

The second study found the pH and vitamin C percentage that delivers the most vitamin C to skin. C E Ferulic uses a pH and vitamin C percentage in line with that paper so they must have been convinced. In fact, I’m reasonably convinced[3]. If you are going to go with the water based delivery method then you will probably be happy with C E Ferulic. I’m sure there is a large confirmation bias from everyone who buys it wanting to justify the price, but people seem happy with it and it is well supported. So, sure, why not. But I didn’t buy it. Although C E Ferulic is probably the best out there, I think the only reason it is so expensive is because they have a patent on the best formulation for water based delivery of vitamin C.

Another delivery option is anhydrous. There are fewer studies on anhydrous delivery methods, but the ones that do exist are encouraging. Take this one for example. They found that 20 – 23% anhydrous vitamin C increased production of collagen. That seems nice. You probably want a formulation of anhydrous 20 – 23% vitamin C, right? Oh, but we have to talk about price again. How much does this magic formula cost? $5.80. Wow. I’m enjoying looking at this number much more than the last one. Here it is: The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23%
+ HA Spheres 2%
. Maybe take a look for yourself.

I previewed this in the last article, but I’ll say it again: I love the approach taken by The Ordinary. They offer extremely simple products inspired by successful studies at ridiculously low prices. Again, I’m not arguing that I wouldn’t get better results with C E Ferulic [4], I’m just arguing that research shows that you can still get very good results for for less than 1/25th the price[5].

Summary version: Vitamin C has been proven effective and you can get it for under $6. The only excuse you have for not using it is now laziness.


How about Niacinamide, that sounds impressive? In this study “niacinamide significantly decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness compared with vehicle alone after 4 weeks of use”. That is cool! This one agrees that Niacinamide helps with spots but it also finds “reductions in fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing). In addition, elasticity (as measured via cutometry) was improved”. Wow that is like everything! There are a lot of studies backing up Niacinamide to the point where I’m no longer sure why I didn’t include it in part 1. I’ll give you just one more though because I love these types of studies: let’s talk about split-face comparative studies. Basically, they get a group of people (52 Taiwanese people in this case), give them two creams and tell them to put one on the left half of their face and the other on the right half. One cream contains Niacinamide [6]. The other is placebo. The amazing thing to me is that in many of these studies the researches find significant results which means that these people spend months walking around with half awesome face. How? How do they do it? I have no idea. But I am forever grateful and love that instead of measuring some absorption factor or other metric that maybe could lead to results they are actually measuring the impact on actual appearance.

Anyway. There is so much evidence that Niacinamide is simple and effective that it should really be a part of your daily routine. For the reason’s described above, I love the offering from The Ordinary: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. It again costs under $6 and it also includes zinc which has anti-inflammatory properties so sure I’ll take some zinc.

Caveat: vitamin C and Niacinimide do not react well together. I stick with Niacinamide in the morning and the above vitamin C at night.

More More More More More

So maybe I left out a few details about The Ordinary’s business strategy. In honesty, I don’t think they are in business just so that you can buy their super cheap research supported products. Those are just there to get you in the door and to become loyal to the brand. They work, they are cheap, and if you have the will power to just stop there then hey, look what an amazing person you are.

But that isn’t how everyone works and it certainly isn’t what happened to me. No. Once again, you only get one face and there are only so many skin care products that have been studied for decades. So once you start using Tretinoin, Sunblock, Vitamin C, and Niacinimide and seeing results it can be easy to think “what else is out there that might help?”

So here are some things that are out there that might help:

Vitamin C Derivatives

If you aren’t using Niacinamide, then you can double up on your vitamin C game (morning and night!). The Ordinary offers plenty of other vitamin C options and I’m personally a fan of Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is a vitamin C derivative that is best known for penetrating extremely quickly. My skin is not particularly sensitive so I’m happy to have the fast delivery and the “vitamin F” solution [7] gives my skin that dewy fresh glow that I didn’t realize it never had before and I guess is good[8]. Buuuuut, as mentioned previously, Niacinamide and vitamin C should not be mixed. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate converts to L-ascorbic acid in your skin [9], so I’ve seen it suggested that you could put this on and then wait 30 minutes to put on your Niacinamide. Honestly you probably aren’t going to do that so maybe I should offer you something else.

Hyaluronic acid

What else? Hyaluronic acid is kind of neat. It is a humectant and everyone on the internet wants you to know that it has the capacity to hold water up to 1000x its weight. Wow, what a cool fact you just learned[10]. In short, it does a great job of drawing extra water into your skin. On the flip side, if you live somewhere with super dry air, Hyaluronic acid can pull water out of your skin unless it has somewhere else to get water from. All of this just means that HA is best used with moisturizer. It super charges the effectiveness of your current moisturizer and since you are combining it with moisturizer it will always have some water to work with. Again, very nice. If you want it on its own then of course The Ordinary has you covered with Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, but the point is to apply it with moisturizer so why not just get Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA at the usual super low delightful price The Ordinary is known for (by which I mean under $6). So, overall pretty nice and it should plumpen up [11] and moisturize you skin with daily use. The only downside is that the molecules are too large to really penetrate so Hyaluronic Acid won’t provide long term benefits.

Alpha Hydroxyl Acids

I don’t know, should I recommend AHAs? They work. That seems like a good reason to recommend something. But they also are the highest risk treatment that I’m mentioning here. That is basically what this study says: they work but there are risks. Oh this study? Same thing. Effective with risks. And so many other studies agree.

AHAs come in the form of a chemical peal. Did that scare you away? If you have sensitive skin AHAs are not going to treat you well. Still here? AHAs can also increase risk of skin damage from the sun. Not gone yet? Well ,fine, let’s talk about The Ordinary’s AHA product: hi. If you have strong skin and have tried peels before it may have excellent results for you when use sparingly. Basically, I’m using it but I can’t say if you should. I’m sorry. I feel like I have let you down. You are just going to have to decide for yourself on this one.


Finally, I want to offer you one more option and a bit more insight into The Ordinary’s business model [12]. Peptides have some evidence which may or may not be convincing. I’m not going to link to journal articles in this case though because, apparently, much of the research that has been done was paid for by companies that held patents on these peptides. So… that makes it harder to interpret the results. Instead I’ll point you to another site where a dermatologist does nice analysis of the research on the different peptides that are out there and seems to find that they are still promising. Click here and here. The results seem strong enough that I’m willing to give peptides a shot and it looks like I’m not alone because Buffet is one of The Ordinary’s most popular products. Buffet is a combination of many of the peptide treatments in the links above so that you don’t have to pick and choose. However, you pay top dollar for this combination (in this case top dollar means $14.80). Honestly, it is a reasonable product [13] and a reasonable price. Hooray. Aren’t we all happy.

The Upsell

But if you look at the side of the page for this product you will see an “other products you may be interested in” and suddenly The Ordinary’s ridiculously low prices make more sense.
One click away from buffet is Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age which sounds super impressive. This product has even more fancy peptides like Copper Lysinate/Prolinate (and Copper peptides sound very cool) plus hyaluronic acids and other things that I completely don’t understand but sound fancy. Don’t I need to get this one fancier one? It is going on my face!

Welcome to the upsell. Full disclosure: it has already totally worked on me. I’ve been so happy with the results I’ve seen from products that I got cheaply on The Ordinary that I’ve definitely snuck a few more expensive options from their other brands. These product generally still have all the well tested base ingredients that make The Ordinary an easy recommendation, but come with fancy sounding and questionably supported add ons at a higher price. There is nothing wrong with these products, maybe they could be better, but it becomes very easy to spend more money for questionable gain.

My guess is that this is exactly how The Ordinary can sell great cheap products at insanely low prices. My advice: buy those cheap products and delight in the cost-effectiveness. That is as far as my recommendations will go though. Yes, the other fancier products are out there. Yes, they look pretty and have a lot of fancy words. Yes, they could even work better??? But, I’m not here recommending maybes. If you want to upgrade beyond The Ordinary then: cool! But you at least owe it to yourself to make sure you are using all the tried and true recommendations above and in part 1 before you do.

  1. it oxidizes when exposed to air  ↩

  2. right now in this section vitamin C delivery is what I care most about  ↩

  3. I mean, I would be happier if they measured efficacy by improvement to human skin instead of by vitamin C delivered to pig skin. I also don’t like that they left the skin treating for 24 hours and then made measurements. I don’t think that is realistic.  ↩

  4. Although I’m yet to find a paper comparing anhydrous delivery results to aqueous delivery results, I could be wrong here  ↩

  5. yes, I would love to see a study comparing the efficacy of C E Ferulic vs The Ordinary but I didn’t find that  ↩

  6. or whatever else they are testing  ↩

  7. that means it is dissolved in fat  ↩

  8. dewy looks great on girls… should guys be dewy? I have no idea  ↩

  9. L-ascorbic acid is specifically what you don’t want to mix with Niacinimide  ↩

  10. you don’t actually care. I realize this. It is ok  ↩

  11. in a good way I hope?  ↩

  12. or at least what I suspect it to be  ↩

  13. I’ve already been through one bottle  ↩

My approach to fending off Old Man Face – Part 1

Listen, the future holds nothing good for my face. A white guy like me? I know exactly where this train is headed because I’ve got a one-way ticket to jowls-ville, with stops at wrinkle-city and whatever the eff those lines around your mouth are called town. Wait, this train thing was a bad idea to start with, what I meant to say is that I didn’t win the genetic lottery[1] so my face is going to age fast and hard. In case it isn’t obvious, I am desperately clinging to the shattered remains of my youth so that means a new found interest in skin care. Which… I guess I’m going to share? Or I mean, yes, the fact that there are a bunch of words below this means that I’m going to share.

This is new ground for me. Normally I love forcing my views on the poor few who take the time to skim this site. But skin care is a hard field. I wasn’t convinced that I should even try to write about it, but I’ve had some explicit requests for a post and I’ve actually seen visible results so here we are. The reason skin care is hard is that there are two really well established things that dermatologists agrees you should do. I could write a few sentences on those things and be done. Instead I’ll write a lot of sentences about them and call that part 1. It is more complicated than that though. You only get one face so there is a lot of additional interest in going beyond the tried and true to experiment with the less established. Ooooo those less established options get much murkier so it is harder to share them with the same confidence, but, yeah, whatever, I’ll share my strategy there in part 2 and let you decide.

Skincare Musts – Sunblock and Retinoids

If you already use some form of both of these then you are already doing good things for your skin. If you aren’t, then these are the low hanging fruit and if you care even remotely about your skin, you should start using both.

When I started researching skin care sunblock and some form of Retinoids were the two things that kept popping up as research proven effective treatments. When I went to see a Dermatologist to get an expert opinion, she said sunblock and Retinoids where the first two steps I needed to take for skin care. When there is so much agreement in a field that these two things actually work, you should just be grateful that something good exists and start using it ASAP.


The damaging effects of sun on skin are so well documented and non-controversial that I’m just going to state it as a given: You need to wear sunblock if you want to reduce aging. If you really want a source on this then how about this World Health Organization publication Sun Protection: A Primary Teaching Resource.

If you don’t already have a facial sunblock that you like then just use the one that I like: Missha Sun Milk. Here is the post I wrote or here is the direct amazon link[2]. I thought it would be cute to do a super short post on this sunblock and well that was probably not as smart as I thought because now I have to actually explain why it is good. When it comes to sunblock there are three factors to consider: ease of application, SPF, and chemical vs physical. They are all interrelated which is fun.

Ease of application/wearability is super important until it isn’t. Basically you need to wear this sunblock every single day and you need to wear it on your face. If you are hardcore about skin care you then maybe you aren’t afraid to put weird things on your face and just deal with how it feels. But if you aren’t even wearing a daily facial sunblock yet then it is going to be super important that it goes on quickly, easily, and feels like nothing. This is where the Missha Sun Milk excels. It is ridiculously light and you forget you are wearing it immediately. Previously I have spent twice as much for sunblocks that felt half as good. Sun Milk felt instantly better.

Next is SPF. There is plenty of debate about whether very high SPF sunblocks actually provide that much extra protection and I just honestly don’t care. SPF 50 is a nice high number. Often higher SPF means lower wearability, but in the case of sun milk that isn’t a problem so, why not go with 50? Will it actually reduce 50 minutes of sun exposure to the impact of 1 minute of unprotected sun exposure? Chill out bro [3].

Finally comes chemical vs physical sunblocks. Some people have very strong opinions about this. Chemical sunblocks work by changing UV rays into heat which is released in the skin. The benefit of chemical sunblocks is that they are lighter and easier to wear. This is the biggest reason I recommend the Missha Sun Milk first. If you are actually reading this section then it may mean that you aren’t using any sunblock and I would argue that the most important thing is to get you putting on daily sunblock. Prevention is so much easier than correction. Hence wearability is super important and a chemical sunblock is a good idea. The other benefits of chemical sunblocks is that they don’t rub off.

Oh but of course there are downsides. When chemical sunblocks turn UV into heat, that heat can make brown spots more apparent. Some people with sensitive skin are more sensitive to chemical sunblocks. Also chemical sunblocks can get “used up” when in direct sunlight requiring you to reapply.

So if you aren’t sold on chemical sunblocks of course I have a physical sunblock that I like: Neogen Day Light Protection Sunscreen. Physical sunblocks just sit on your skin and deflect UV light. The downsides are that they feel thicker so they are harder to rub in and you can feel them more on your skin. They are also easier to sweat off, need to be applied more generously so that you get full protection, and are more likely to compete with whatever else you put on your skin. My opinion is that physical sunblocks are for people who are already all in on skin care. I really like the Neogen, but the Missha is just so easy to slap on that I still count it as my go to. It is really up to you. If you are having a lot of fun learning about chemical vs physical sunblocks and want to learn more [4] then I like this page for learning more.


Retinoids have been important in modern medicine since the early 1900s. Research on the efficacy of Retinoids, specifically Tretinoin, in treatment of photoaging has been going on since the 1980s and, just like with sunblock, the results are well established. So I’m not going to spend time on them. Retinoids work. If you want to dig into evidence then this review article is quite good.

As far as how you get your Retinoids, that is more of an open question. The main two options are Retinols and Tretinoin. I (and my dermatologist) recommend Tretinoin.

Both Retinols and Tretinoin work by providing retinoic acid to the skin which increases skin cell turnover, encourages collagen formation, reduce pigmentation, and shrinks pores. The benefit of Tretinoin, besides being widely studied and shown to be effective, is that it is essentially pure retinoic acid so it works quickly. It is available generically, so it is super cheap as well. The downsides are that Tretinoin requires a prescription. Yes, you will have to go to your general practitioner or dermatologist to get awesome. It also can be hard on sensitive skin. My leather face hasn’t had any trouble with the relatively strong 0.1% cream, but I have heard plenty of stories of a ramp up period involving redness and pealing from people using even the weaker 0.05% gel.

Retinols are the alternative. Retinols are stored in the skin where they are converted to retinoic acid. They are less likely to cause irritation and are available without a prescription. If your skin hasn’t been able to tolerate even the weakest doses of Tretinoin (even after a ramp up period) then that seems like a great reason to use Retinols. If you are just not going to be convinced to see a doctor to get a Tretinoin prescription then you should probably feel bad about your life decisions, but that would be another reason to use Retinols.

Honestly, the only downsides to Retinols is that they are less well studied, likely less effective, and not available as generics. If you want to buy Retinols then that means you need to pick a brand to buy and there are plenty of brands out there willing to prey on you and take far more of your money than you should really be paying.

If you want to know my recommendation for a good Retinol you are just going to have to wait for part 2.

No. I can’t do it. Cliff hangers are the worst. I can’t just leave things like that. If you want a preview of the next post I’ll tell you right now that it is going to be a lot of products from The Ordinary. They are fantastic. Specifically if you are looking for a Retinol you want the Advanced Retinoid 2%. God just look at the beautiful low price on that. I love The Ordinary.

  1. think Pharell. That guy definitely won the genetic lottery  ↩

  2. whoah, wait, that isn’t how this site works. What I meant to say was use what I like and don’t even think about being different form me  ↩

  3. do you think there are skin care bros out there? Oh god. Wait. Am I a skin care bro? I do not like this idea. Am I encouraging the creation of skin care bros? The only good response I can come up with to that is instant vomiting  ↩

  4. I don’t know you. I’m not judging what you do with your time. I’m just happy you are here  ↩

This sunblock goes on your face and is very good at being on your face

This facial sunblock is just so much better than any other I’ve tried. It runs in easily and the feels great on your face. It is miles ahead of other sunblocks

Dis good.

Two caps! You can take off one of the caps and still have a cap on because WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW

You should definitely get this and then put it on your face everyday because youth is fleeting enough already without sun damage.

Uh oh. Very asymmetrical with cap number two removed. Don’t worry, it is still the best sunblock for your face!

Amazing[1]! [2]

  1. Wait. What the hell is going on here?  ↩

  2. If you really must know, its a new approach to appeal to the Instagram crowd and their hatred for the written word. No joke, this sunblock is absolutely amazing compared to whatever garbage you are putting on your face… oh I’m sorry, I meant whatever FANCY garbage you are putting on your face. I originally got it on soko glam which is a Korean cosmetic site that is super serious. The big new is that you can buy it on Amazon. Prime it up!  ↩

When you are traveling and sleep is all that matters

Well this is definitely a picture that makes me not want to buy anything ever again

Enough beating around the bush, friends, it has been way too long since I’ve posted anything pillow related. I’m sorry, you are sorry, everyone is sorry. Luckily the pillow drought ends today because I want to get all yell-y and over opinionated about the best products glorious capitalism can offer for sleeping while traveling [1]. What the hell were we talking about? I got distracted by that footnote. Pro-tip, that little oval with a number 1 in it is a foot note and you can tap it if somehow you feel like you aren’t getting enough commentary in the main text.

Right-o! Do I need a motivation section? Have you ever travelled? Did sleep seem like a cool thing to do during the travel? I don’t know, maybe you had a red eye, a cross continental flight, a road trip, a subway death wish… Seriously, this motivation section is a waste of everyone’s time. If you have never wanted to sleep while traveling, then that is almost more surprising than the fact that you are reading a post about gear for sleeping while traveling. Do you aspire to want to sleep while traveling? Wrong. That is not something people aspire to. Your aspirations now are… let’s say drop 10 lbs and learn to play a musical instrument. Great, everyone is aligned, on to the stuff. You are going to want four things for primo sleep happenings: ear plugs, an eye mask, a pillow, are sweet sweet drugs.


Earplugs look like earplugs. Who would want to see a picture of things you shove in your ears? Here is a picture of me with Big Thunder instead. Look out!

Honestly, you are probably just going to use whatever random pair of earplugs they give you on the plane or some that you happen to have laying around. I mean, those options obviously suck, but I just don’t see many people being persuaded to put even the slightest bit of effort into earplugs. I would rather spend my effort here on just convincing people to actually try using earplugs. Try them! They make sound less loud and you will sleep better. Wow!

But I don’t know, you people seem unusually interested in pillows so maybe you want that earplug hotness. Well, this is that: Raidans Custom Earplugs
Custom molded ear plugs will not fall out of your ears and block sound and are blue. They cost less than $10 which is more than the free pair Jet Blue gives you but less than… well anything that costs more than $10. Whatever man, I’m not going to fight over this. Just be a gem and try some ear plugs.

Eye Mask

Look at those beautiful contours. And a little carrying case? You spoil me Macks Dreamweaver Countoured Sleep Mask. You really do

Oh hell yes, now we are talking. No surprise, but if you want to actually fall and stay asleep you need to block out sound and light. Wow. What an informative website. You are welcome.

I’ve tried eye mask after eye mask and finally I can offer you the best of the best[2]. I’ve tried expensive memory foam or silk eye masks, cheap branded eye masks, eye masks that I don’t really have adjectives to describe… a lot of eye masks is the point I’m trying to make here… I really want you to hold that concept in your heart because the eye mask I’m about to recommend is the best of the best and as a result you will have to pay best of the best prices. Macks Dreamweaver Contoured Sleep Mask

uh… apparently best of the best prices for eye masks is $4. I’m going to say some words here about why these eye masks are my favorite, but they cost under $4 so I’m having a hard time imagining why you wouldn’t just think “shut up already, I’ll buy the stupid eye mask”.

Bullet points about why this eye mask is the best:

  • Doesn’t push on your eyeballs
  • Accommodates all head sizes [3]
  • Allows minimal or no light sneaking in from the corners
  • Stays in place
  • Folds up small
  • Comes with free ear plugs [4]
  • Costs four god damn dollars

This sounds like a low bar, but I can’t believe how many years I spent trying to find an eye mask that meets these requirements. The free ones from airlines don’t fit if your head is creepily large, they let light sneak in around the edges, and definitely push on your eyeballs. Hey guess what: pushing on your eyeballs sounds like something in a horror movie. The main miracle behind Macks Dreamweaver Countered Sleep Mask is that bit about “contoured”. Instead of just mushing some fabric or half-assed mini pillow on top of your eyeballs, Macks shaped their eye mask to rest on your forehead/ cheek bones and and then poof out so it doesn’t touch your eyeballs because OH GOD NOTHING SHOULD TOUCH EYEBALLS. Ignore this recommendation only if you are super into things pushing on your eyeballs. I’m surprised how many people complain that they can’t sleep on planes, but haven’t tried to do anything about it. You can do a lot just by getting this eye mask (plus included ear plugs). Do a lot.

Travel Pillow

Maybe drinking a lot and then taking pictures of travel pillows and their respective carrying cases wasn’t the best way to handle this post. Does this picture do anything for you? Actually why are those little branded handles even on these pillows? How have I owned this thing for years and never thought about those before. Should I be using those?

Alright pillow fans, you haven’t been forgotten. I’m just going to put it out there: travel pillows are weird. Those neck things that people drag around? Those exist and maybe make people happy. The pillow that I recommend is also pretty strange. Check it out: Kuhi Comfort Travel Pillow yep… it looks kinda weird. I love it though, here are some more bullet points:

  • Wall Street Journal Recommended [5]
  • Weird shape means that you can always find a way to smush it into a comfortable spot
  • Travel case has enough space for your sweet new Macks eye mask and ear plugs and whatever else you need
  • Travel case also slides over rolling luggage handle, attaches to your bag, or whatever I don’t know how you live your life

I wish there were more facts, specs, and bullet points that I could throw at you here but honestly, this brown-ass pillow is just the only travel pillow I’ve found that I can always get comfortable with. Sometimes I even lay on it when I’m not traveling[6].

But… It costs $40, is brown [7], and looks unusual. The eye mask? I am already mad at you for not owning the eye mask. Buy that glorious four dollar eye mask. This pillow? I’m in love with it. If you take a lot of red eyes then you already know how much extra sleep quality is worth on the road. Either you know how much value this would add to your life and want to try it asap or you don’t want to spend $40 on a travel pillow. It’s cool we can be friends.

Sweet Sweet Drugs

Wow. That sure as hell is a picture of a bottle of melatonin.

Wow, when I was a consultant and did regular red eyes from NYC <-> London, Ambien was my best friend. It is a life saver. But it also requires a prescription and you kinda sorta start hallucinating if you don’t go to sleep immediately after taking it[8]. So even though Ambien is great, I would rather recommend something unequivocally. The recommendation is just lil ol melatonin. Specifically these ones: Finest Nutrition Melatonin

It’s a magic pill that dissolves on your tongue, helps you fall and stay asleep, and doesn’t make you too horribly groggy when it is time to wake up. It is also natural [9]! No prescription, super cheap, convenient for travel, and effective. What fun words! And they are all applicable!


What are you expecting here? Buy all the things, have all the things, and then use all the things. Get all that sleep. Make travel easier. Have a dope life. Concluded.

  1. yes pillow nerds, that includes a travel pillow recommendation. So you can stop emailing, calling, and waiting outside of my building with your harassment. never has and never will be anti-pillow  ↩

  2. Credit for this discovery actually goes to my sister who just randomly gifted me these eye masks and didn’t say anything about them. Big win  ↩

  3. god, why do I have such a freakishly large head. I’m a monster  ↩

  4. cool! You can totally ignore the section above!  ↩

  5. I actually heard about this through Gabe. You probably don’t know Gabe but he is a good shit. He heard about it from the WSJ. Gabe, the WSJ, and I are all right about this pillow  ↩

  6. wow. Now it isn’t even just a travel pillow. It can just be a pillow pillow  ↩

  7. or animal print? Who the hell is designing this thing. The one I bought is blue which is great but that color no longer seems to exist and I’m pretty sure that is your fault  ↩

  8. I mean, it is pretty hilarious but maybe not always the best idea  ↩

  9. I don’t care that it is natural. Cyanide is natural. Lead poisoning is natural  ↩

Could the Neo Luxe 250 change your life?

What, you think my toilet is just floating off in the sky somehow? That is dumb. My toilet has a floor underneath it like a normal person toilet. This is a product shot from the company… where I assume they have flying toilets? Not sure why they aren’t selling those.

Today is going to be different. Today, instead of my usual approach of yelling until I run out of words, I’m going to keep this short. Today we are talking about something that either you will immediately love or you are a disgusting filthy animal with no hope for salvation. There is no reason to waste my beautiful beautiful words on the forsaken.

Also, today is all about a product I sorta don’t own yet[1]. Oh, right, today is about a bidet! Yeah, that little space ship commander’s handle in the picture controls a bidet and it is just absolutely the best. Or it would be the best if I owned that one. In reality, I own an older model that is now less than the best and it is killing me. Enough. Time to get to it.

I Don’t Know If There Is A Polite Way To Say This

This thing shoots water in your booty hole. Like. A lot of water. And if you think it might be off target or just some sort of vicinity water, no friend, this thing is like a missile locked on target. It’ll get ya.


So many pros:

  • Super cheap – 30 bucks!
  • Easy to install – just screw some shit in and you are done
  • Mini butt showers whenever you want – finally!
  • No need for your hand to go anywhere near your butt or the inside of the toilet – why would you want your hand to go there
  • You aren’t just using paper to clean yourself – imagine if I decided to give up showering and just wipe myself down with dry paper towels every day. Wow. How dumb and gross and ineffective
  • Approval of Japanese people – I mean, I can’t promise this, but probably at least less disapproval? In Japan, bidets are just a given. I can’t image what kind of filthy pig people they think Americans are
  • Approval of me – I’m with the Japanese on this one. You are gross if you don’t bidet. ew ew ew ew ew


  • It isn’t a Toto Washlet – pretty simple really: if you got that money then get that Toto
  • Power overwhelming – my version is STRONG. Maybe they fixed this, but it is like, listen, things are getting clean down there, I would like to still have a booty hole once this transaction is finished[2]. Thank you
  • Learning curve – see above. This thing brings the power. I learned to turn it on gently, but I wonder how many of my guests just let it rip before I modified it to not spray as hard? I don’t really like wondering about that sort of thing

Holy hell, I am so excited for hot and cold options! Did I mention that I literally ordered this newer version while writing this article? I’m not sure what I’m going to do with two bidets… Good thing my wife doesn’t read this site… actually good thing that no one reads this site.

New excellent features

  • Warm water! – My version is cold water only. It is actually totally fine even in winter. But, oh man, this new version with the warm water? Holy shit I need this
  • Maybe less intense? – I don’t know, I don’t own this new version yet but I’m hoping it is a bit less powerful. If you click the little footnote buttons above then you know that I modified the one that I currently own from this company. The other option is to just close the water valve on your toilet a bit so it has less pressure

That’s It, We Are Done Now

I’m not going to say anything else. Either you see this and think “obviously I need to have this” or you are beyond hope. It is a sensitive subject, so I’ve been trying to avoid excessive detail here, but I just want to reiterate: once you have this product you will wonder how you ever lived with out it. You will miss it when you travel. You will seriously think “I wonder if I could install one of these at the office?” [3]. Is a bidet life changing? Of course it is.

  1. Ok, I own this product’s little brother, but I don’t own this hot new version. Oh god. “Hot” oh fuck that is a pun. That is terrible. This is already terrible. Everything is terrible  ↩

  2. I actually modded my model by making the holes in the nozzle larger. It’s cool, I’m part of the bidet modding community now. It’s a thing that I’m a part of  ↩

  3. You probably can’t. I’ve actually contemplated just sneaking one in and not telling anyone it was me, but I think office building toilets don’t have the right water hookups  ↩

Movies I saw in 2016 so that you can get mad at me for not sharing your opinions

Nazi Patrick Stewart really doesn’t care what you think

It is a new year which means that… it means… well, see it means that… I guess it means nothing, right[1]? Well it probably means that if you wanted to see a top movies of the past year list then you have already long since scratched that itch. Real writers did this shit in December, raked in the page views, and held their heads high.

I’m not afraid though. There are only two reasons to read top movie lists: to find new movies to check out or to totally hate the author for disagreeing with you about movies you have already seen. Neither of those really ever get old so lace up your hatin shoes and see what I have to say below. The same disclaimer applies as last year. I am not a human calendar[2] so some of these movies are from years that are not 2016. Whatever, I saw them in 2016 and thought “wow, what a new fresh movie, this certainly feels like it came out in 2016”. I also probably saw some movies that aren’t included on this list. Sorry. I’m not a human… uh… movie tracker database[3]? Finally, the list is split into top 10, movies I liked, and movies that were really pretty hard to like.

Enough! The movies!

  1. Green room

  2. The Hateful Eight

  3. The Wailing

  4. Sicario

  5. Hell or Highwater

  6. Love and Friendship

  7. Kubo and the Two Strings

  8. Meet the Patels

  9. Rebel One

  10. Dheepan

  11. 10 Cloverfield Lane

  12. Kill Zone 2 (SPL:2)

  13. Hunt for the Wilder People

  14. Crimson Peak

  15. Deadpool

  16. Arrival

  17. Creed

  18. Ghostbusters

  19. We Are Still Here

  20. Hush

  21. Ashby

  22. The Witch

  23. Don’t Breath

  24. Midnight Special

  25. Zootopia

  26. Kungfu panda 3

  27. The Mermaid

  28. The Accountant

  29. Star Trek Beyond

  30. Blackhat

  31. The Nice Guys

  32. Paper Towns

  33. Central Intelligence

  34. Blood father

  35. Everybody Wants Some

  36. Hail Caesar

  37. He Never Died

  38. The Shallows

  39. London Has Fallen

  40. Jason Bourne

  41. The Lobster

  42. The Martian

  43. Captain America Civil War

  44. Focus

  45. Independence Day: Resurgence

  46. The Assassin

  47. Tangerine

  1. wow this is off to a great start  ↩

  2. because that would be lame  ↩

  3. god. I suck. Maybe I actually am a human movie tracker database  ↩

Time to finally do something nice for someone else – Spoil

See. It’s an app on a phone. That is why there is this enormous picture of a phone that you have to look at.

Well here is a change of pace. Instead of recommendations for ways to delight yourself, today I want to tell you about a way to do something nice for other people. Spoil is an app that lets you very quickly and very affordably send little gifts to other people. I love it. You probably will love it. The people you send gifts to probably won’t know it exists…. but they are getting gifts so really they should be pretty pleased about this whole exchange.

This isn’t something that needs a long or complicated post. You open the app, you pick something delightful to send, you put in some delivery info and a note for your recipient, you select a payment method, you press send, you feel pretty great about what a good person you are. These are all things you do. The person on the other end just gets a nice hand delivered something delightful and a card. That is the thing that they do.

Have you seen the thing where people are always calling a new app or startup “Uber for X”? Spoil would be like Uber for sending gifts except that Uber has a stupid icon now and makes it hard to use the app and sometimes is kind of creepy and lets all just not talk about Uber; we are talking about Spoil right now[1].

The point I was failing to make is that Spoil is ridiculously easy to use and ridiculously cheap. Normally sending flowers costs, what, 50 to 100 bucks and you have to call someone and make a bunch of decisions and I hate this idea already. With Spoil I sent flowers for 12 dollars and it took like 60 seconds from the moment I downloaded the app until I had the flowers sent. Oh, oops, if you are a guy and your aren’t single then now you have to download Spoil and send your significant other flowers [2]. What excuse could you possibly have to not do this? You don’t have a smartphone [3]? You need those 12 dollars to feed a starving puppy [4]? You don’t have 60 seconds[5]?

But this website doesn’t even need to be so un-inclusive and chained to gender norms. Why should only guys feel obligated to send flowers to their significant others? I’m going to open it up and shame all of you, regardless of your gender, sexual bias, relationship statuts, or whatever: you also have no excuse and are neglecting the people you care about if you can’t even send them one little delightful surprise.

I felt like the flowers needed to be next to a tea pot. They look nice though, right? Well they had better because I’m not really feeling up to taking a new picture

Ok. So what have we talked about it. Is it easy? Yes, it is on the internet, of course it is easy. Is it cheap? 100%. I don’t know what Spoil’s business model is[6] but I’m sending as many as I can now because I can’t imagine how these prices are sustainable[7]. Oh, right, selection! They have a bunch of fun ideas so you don’t even have to come up with your own smart thoughts to delight someone. Balloons, cupcakes, donuts, Champagne, bubble tea, even a mystery box [8]! The list goes on. Look at the list and how on going it is. What a great list. Are you done looking yet?

Woah. Wait. Everyone stop everything. I’m not actually seeing any limit on who Spoil lets you send gifts to. I would like to correct everything I’ve said so far: Spoil is an app that lets you very quickly and very affordably send gifts to other people OR buy like flowers and cupcakes and whatever for yourself[9]. I’m actually a terrible person deserves only the worst things in the world. But you? You fine reader are wonderful and excellent and maybe should tap a button on a phone to send yourself some cookies. Today is a good day.

  1. Did I just put a semicolon in that sentence? Ha. Look at me pretending to understand punctuation! Oooo I’m so fancy now. There is no way that was a legitimate sentence before the semicolon and now it is like putting a wedding dress on a llama: completely ridiculous and not even particularly creative  ↩

  2. Maybe your significant other doesn’t like flowers. S/He probably deserves some a cupcake or donut or something. You aren’t getting off that easy  ↩

  3. shut up. Yes you do  ↩

  4. find another 12 dollars for the puppy. That puppy is hungry, don’t be stingy  ↩

  5. Well… I mean… if you are actually that busy then I’m super honored that you carve out time to read this website. Thank you loyal reader. You win. You can do whatever you want now  ↩

  6. hahahahahaha I’m joking. They clearly don’t have one  ↩

  7. I definitely recommend Spoiling as much as you can until they run out of venture funding  ↩

  8. … you click on it yet? Na, I know you, you don’t care enough to click on a link just to see what I’m referencing. It’s Rollout by Ludacris. Remember that song? Remember, Ludacris is all like “What in the world is in that CASE, what you got in that CASE?”… see it is sorta relevant to the mystery box and it was a fun song. Don’t be so judgy… I’m just trying to bring a little joy into your life. You know? It was one link! Man… I didn’t realize you were so sensative  ↩

  9. Oh thank god. Things were almost altruistic there for a moment  ↩

Well, now you need new shorts


I wish everything was delightful. Maybe that is naive. Maybe in a world where every last thing was delightful, delight receptors would overload and everyone would suffer horrible side effects[1]. But we are safe for now because almost every product review has a “cons” section, otherwise excellent things tend to come with a “but…”, even some of the little slices of wonder that I’ve written about on this site don’t always bring their A games [2]. That said, the point of this site isn’t compromise, it isn’t to tell you about average crap that you already know about, the whole reason I spend all this time yelling into my computer [3] is to share just ridiculously amazing things to make your life better [4].

Here is an example that I didn’t see coming: workout shorts. Specifically, Lululemon’s T.H.E. Short 9″($58). I keep trying to think of a way not to say “these shorts are perfect” because they are shorts, that sounds ridiculous, and a statement like that is basically like slam dunking my last sliver of credibility in a dumpster. But…. ahhhhhhhhh…. I can’t help it: these shorts are perfect.

well… that is what they look like. I’m really not winning any awards for photography here… maybe go to the Lululemon site if you want to see pictures taken by someone who knows how to use a camera

I get it, we aren’t on the same page yet, let’s talk about design for a second. IANAD [5] but smarter people have told me that product design involves making the hard decisions on what to add and what to subtract until all that is left is the ideal final product.

These shorts are the ideal final product. For most guys, the initial workout shorts product starts at mesh shorts from like 2002 or holy crap how old are your shorts honestly. I’ll start with what Lululemon’s designers added:

  • Side Zipper Pocket – You can stop here. This zipper pocket is amazing. Never worry about your phone falling out of your pocket again. Better yet, this pocket is snuggly located in some magical spot on the side of the shorts so you can run with a phone in your pocket and not have it bounce all over the place. This is the bleeding edge of mankind’s pocket technology[6]
  • Additional pockets – Just because… why not, man. Maybe you have other crap you want in your pockets? Cool. These pockets have you covered. You can put your hands in them too if you are feeling really self-conscious or emo. Oh and they still fit slim so your wallet isn’t flying all over the place like in your stupid old ugly stupid mesh shorts. So stupid
  • Slim fit – These pants make you look excellent. Looking excellent is probably most of why you would work out anyway. So… uh… get these damn shorts
  • Swift Ultra fabric – Fast drying, light weight, sweat-wicking, durable, multi-direction stretch, AND a ridiculous name. These won’t weigh you down when you are running and are still tough enough for baking plates in the weight room. Why were old workout shorts mesh anyway? Mesh is beat
  • Luxtreme stretch waist band – Oh you thought “Swift Ultra” was a ridiculous name for a fabric, say hello to LUXTREME. I don’t care what it is called though, the waist band stays snuggly in place like no other shorts I’ve ever felt, but never feels anything short of comfortable. I’m super into this waist band and that is pretty weird thing to say
  • Three lengths – Terrified of your knee caps? Cool you can buy T.H.E. 11″ shorts. Think your thighs are dope? Check out T.H.E. 7″ shorts. Want the 9″ version? Then scroll up, I’m sick of posting links[7]

Look how an iPhone 6 fits perfectly in that zipper pocket. Oh and that other pocket right next door? Just hanging out like little pocket neighbors. I’m glad the zipper pocket won’t get lonely

The list of things removed is shorter: Liners and Mesh. I would call liners in shorts a preference thing, but it is a preference that I can’t understand and it is being forced on society by 90% of the shorts you find in stores from other brands. If you want some weird diaper sensation in your work out shorts then Lululemon has other pairs[8].

Oh, they also ditched mesh. FOH mesh.

So that is the logical appeal. These shorts are beautifully designed and I love that can’t think of a single complaint or opportunity for improvement. How about the emotional appeal: I honestly love wearing these shorts. Isn’t that important? Ever have one of those days where you just feel lazy and working out seems hard? On those days, every tiny bit of motivation can stack up to help make the difference between sitting on the couch or getting out there. Stupid mesh shorts aren’t going to motivate you to work out[9]. But maybe there will be a day where excellent looking shorts, legit pocket technology, or… I don’t know… maybe the name Luxtreme will nudge the needle enough to get you moving.

In the end, Lululemon has made a delightful pair of shorts [10]. Surround yourself with delight.

  1. Bushy eyebrows. Boom. Suddenly your eyebrows are just way bushy. Damn. Not so great now is it  ↩

  2. I’m looking at you fancy clear pen that always has ink smudges visible inside the cap, Uniqlo underwear that keeps going out of stock, or you Tokyo with your being all far away and expensive to get to  ↩

  3. Yelling via the… keyboard… I guess… whatever, I’m definitely super pumped up whenever I’m writing here  ↩

  4. You get that sweater shaver yet? That shit gooooooooooooooooooooos  ↩

  5. See usually people write IANAL as an abbreviation for I Am Not A Lawyer and I’m super crafty because I just changed the L to D to suit my needs for not being a designer and now instead of an extremely gross looking abbreviation, this abbreviation breaks up as I A NAD… which is just moderately offensive I guess. I don’t really think of myself as a nad…  ↩

  6. A friend had his iPhone drop out of his old stupid mesh shorts’ pocket directly into a toilet a few weeks before the new iPhone launched. Man, pocket technology is so important. Inferior pocket technology cost him hundreds of dollars  ↩

  7. Writing is hard. Boo hoo for me  ↩

  8. Or I guess if you are wearing a diaper while working out then woah dude you are way more hardcore than I am  ↩

  9. Because they are stupid  ↩

  10. Am I shill for Lululemon now? How did this happen?  ↩

This is how you make coffee now

Yeah, whatever, just go ahead and spill beans all over the place

Alright, this one is really for the worst people. I’m talking your true coffee assholes, your real caffeine jerk stores, your worst cafe fatty fat fat mc fatty fat fat fats [1]. If you can enjoy coffee from Starbucks, anything from Nespresso, or whatever dirt water your company offers then that is truly wonderful. Perhaps your insides aren’t completely broken. I, on the other hand, somehow stumbled into coffee obsession and now I throw a tantrum if I’m expected to drink coffee that is less than perfect. It is a living nightmare. You should feel, just, really bad for me.

But, there is hope! I make ridiculously delicious coffee at home with an Aeropress every morning. Right here and now I’m going to unveil all my secrets. Making great coffee isn’t that hard once you get the hang of it so be prepared to be unimpressed [2].

Use An Excellent Grinder

#block-yui_3_17_2_3_1465347108698_14561 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid { margin-right: -0px; }
#block-yui_3_17_2_3_1465347108698_14561 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid-slide .margin-wrapper { margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; }

If you are rich with counter space and flush with cash then go ahead and get a Baratza Virtuoso, your beans will be perfectly ground, your friends will all be impressed, and your mom will finally love you. If you don’t feel ready to invest that kind of money in a grinder then take a look at what else The Sweet Home recommends. Whatever you do, this is the one spot where you can’t skimp. Coffee beans are ridiculously fragile. If you get the wrong grinder expect to either burn your beans with the heat created by the grinder or end up with inconsistent or not small enough grind size that will make it impossible to dial in a good recipe. All bad things. If you don’t want to grind your own beans then here is where you can stop reading, there is just no point in going through trouble with fancy brew methods if you are starting with old coffee. The minute that coffee is ground, all of the volatile components [3] start escaping and what you are left with is an insult to all mankind. If you don’t want to grind then just buy your coffee at a coffee shop. Sorry, I don’t make physics. Get mad at God or whatever.

Personally, I don’t have a Virtuoso. I would love to, but my kitchen is too tiny to have space for a dedicated grinder, so my only option is hand grinders. I know you are thinking “what kind of an asshole hand grinds coffee every morning” and I just… you are totally right… but I do it anyway because it makes delicious coffee, the grinders are small enough to travel with [4], and they don’t cost much. I know that some people will never be convinced that manual labor is not that bad but… it is not that bad. In the time it takes to heat the water for brewing I’m always finished with grinding.

My daily go to grinder is the Hario Skerton. It can hold more than enough beans/grounds to make two cups of coffee and isn’t that annoying to use. The one downside is that the rubber top does not completely enclose the beans on top so if you really get to insane levels of grinding you might throw coffee beans around the room. For my travel grinder [5] I use the Porlex JP–30. It is smaller (fits inside an aeropress), has a top that seals beans in super tight so you can grind to your heart’s content, and also produces a nice fine grind for my brewing method. At half the cost of the Porlex, I would recommend the Hario unless you are sure that you need to travel with your grinder.

Anyway, what the hell were we talking about? Oh yeah, grinding beans. Now you need to set your grinder appropriately. If your grounds are too large then you won’t fully extract them and water will fall through them too easily, too small and you will over extract pulling out unwanted bitterness. Conveniently I set my Porlex and Hario to the same setting: 4. To set a Hario follow this guide from Four Barrel Coffee, the Porlex is easier, just tighten the littler clicker wheel until it can’t go any further then back it off 4 clicks.

Use Filtered Water

Let’s all take a moment and appreciate how fresh that tomato looks. Well done Mr. Tomato, you are looking sharp

What else am I really supposed to say here. Filter your water. We aren’t rubbish people over here. You aren’t going to be drinking this coffee out of a garbage can when you are finished. Filter your water.

Heat Water

Ha HA! I own a thermapen! Look at me being a fancy type chef kind of guy!

There are plenty of fancy kettles that you could use to heat your water, but I’ve found that a Muji teapot in the microwave is my perfect combination of small, cheap, and easy. The trick is to spend some time in advance figuring out exactly how much time it takes to heat a specific amount of water to your ideal temperature. I experimented and found that I can fill my teapot almost to the top and put it in the microwave for 4 minutes to get to the ideal temperature.

What is the ideal temperature? If you didn’t freak out before, here is another great opportunity: The temperature you are shooting for is 180° F [6]. If you don’t brew coffee often, this is cold. It will mean coffee that tastes fruity/bright/wonderful. Just try it, ok? If you aren’t happy and want more bitter/roasty flavor then fine, whatever, brew hotter. Throw your life away.

Add Coffee Beans

This is the grind size you are going for when you are done grinding. I don’t know… People always show these pictures as if they are useful and I’m like who is able to get anything out of this? A quarter? Great. Thanks.

I shouldn’t have to say this twice, but Lofted Coffee are some of the best beans you can get and are bizarrely affordable. But, whatever, if you want to use some other crap beans then I can’t stop you.

Now that you have beans, grab that little scooper that came with the Aeropress and toss two leveled scoops [7] of beans into the grinder. Yes. That’s right. Fuck your fancy scale. We don’t need it. If we were making pour-overs then 100% I agree that accuracy down to the tenth of a gram can make a difference in brewing. In pour-overs, the amount of grounds that you have directly affects the time it takes for coffee to drip through in turn directly affecting the extraction. This isn’t a pour over though. In the Aeropress, grounds are suspended in hot water and extraction happens at the same rate as long as you have approximately the right amount of beans. Maybe one or two extra beans will make your coffee 2% stronger but… who cares. Add two scoops of beans and stop freaking out. Just start grinding.

Setup Aeropress

What you are seeing here is ALL OF MY KITCHEN. That is it. That is the whole kitchen.

This one is pretty simple. Add a filter, attach the filter cap to the aeropress, then setup for non-inverted use[8]. That means just stand it up on top of whatever you are going to press into. Personally I use this beautiful and excellent server from Kalita. It keeps any hot water from squirting out in random directions, has cup measurements on the side, and looks dope. Win. We end with an easy step: put the grounds into the Aeropress.

Brew Coffee

Is this picture necessary? Nope.

Set the timer for 1 minute and pour water however you damn well please[9]. Since we are making enough for two people fill all the way to the top with water. If you were just making one cup then you would have used one scoop of beans and would be filling to the top of the #2 circle with water. Ew. No thank you.

As soon as you are done filling you should break out the T-shaped stirrer thing and stir. “Stirring” here actually means basically just loosen grounds from the bottom, break up any big chunks and switch paddle back and forth twice Just a quick agitation, nothing more. You would be amazed by how even this much impacts extraction[10].

Fill the water back up to the top after stirring [11]. Some will have already snuck through the filter which is totally cool and fine.


What up 1 handed crooked photos!

Once the timer goes off, start pressing. It doesn’t really matter how you press: there is no magic going on here. You are just separating the water from the grounds and putting an end to further extraction before bitterness starts sneaking in. So, just push straight down on the top, don’t let the bottom go flying out, and you will be fine.

Do The Other Thing That Freaks People Out

Oh god, it is really happening! You thought it was all some sort of a sick joke!

Now here is the part that freaks people out even more than the rest: add water. Directly from the Aeropress I get about 2.5 cups of super strong mega intense coffee insanity. It tastes pretty great if you are just taking small sips but the mouth feel is too thick for regular morning coffee enjoyment. Think like coffee syrup. Wait, no, think like coffee syrup but in a bad way. So I dilute it down with the remaining hot water by adding a half to a full cup of water. Like everything else, you can adjust this for your own tastes.

Serve your coffee

Hey, cool coffee, thanks for being brown and looking terrible in pictures

Finally, serving is important. Get some cups that you love. Sure you can just drink this coffee out of any old coffee mug, but if this is going to be a daily ritual then shouldn’t you enjoy every part of it as much as possible? I recommend thin rimmed cups. Basically bone china type. You won’t find these at most coffee shops because they are too easy to break and thus too hard to maintain, but I find that they increase your perception of the coffee flavor and feel better when drinking. Once again Muji has some great options.

If you look at the picture you will also notice that I didn’t fill the cups all the way. This is a great little trick I learned from Búðin[12]. When coffee is super hot you can’t pick out all the flavors like you can with a warm cup. A wide mouthed cup and a shallow pour mean faster cooling coffee so you can get all that delightful flavor out more quickly. It means refilling your cup more often but the flavor gains are worth the effort. The tradeoff is that if you don’t keep up with your coffee and let it get cold the flavor will be too intense. Low extraction coffee like this doesn’t have the strong bitter and roasty backbone when it gets cold that you would expect from coffee made in more traditional ways. Instead the fruity flavors turn into overpowering sourness and acidity.

Recipe Summary

If a man must love, a man should love his teapot

Wow. That was a lot. Here are the steps in summary:

  1. Heat filtered water to 180° F
  2. While the water is heating, put two scoops of delightful coffee beans into your grinder
  3. Grind with an excellent grinder set to a relatively fine setting[13]. Setting #4 on a Hario Skerton or Porlex should do [14]
  4. Put a filter into the aeropress, screw the cap on the bottom, and set it on whatever you will press into. Add ground coffee
  5. Set a timer for 1 minute then fill the aeropress to the top with water! Hooray you are making coffee!
  6. Stir very lightly, just enough to get grounds off the bottom and one or two swipes back and forth
  7. Add some more water you sly dog. Just top her up and we will all be fine
  8. Press!
  9. Stop pressing once you hear the hissing noise
  10. Take the black cap off and press the ground the rest of the way out into the garbage
  11. Add a half to a full cup of water (to taste)
  12. Drink like the king that you are

  1. I’m literally writing this whole thing riding a citibike. If you for some reason had high expectations for this post then maybe those expectations should be… Lower… Today is just not a day for meeting low bars  ↩

  2. you smug sunovagun!  ↩

  3. aka the delicious components that make coffee actually worth drinking  ↩

  4. which I’m borderline ashamed to admit that I do often  ↩

  5. hahahaha what an asshole!  ↩

  6. 82°C. You are welcome nerds and non-Americans. We are all kinds of equal opportunity here  ↩

  7. We are making two cups of coffee here. What fun is drinking alone  ↩

  8. Yep, non-inverted. I know that many aeropress championships have been won using the inverted method. I don’t care. In my experiments it produces less delicious coffee  ↩

  9. Again this isn’t a pour-over, just add water and chill  ↩

  10. I’m assuming you are easily amazed  ↩

  11. I don’t know man, I just always do this… it is like coffee greed: I want every last drop I can squeeze out. It ends up tasting good when I do this so if you want your coffee to taste good then you should do exactly as I do  ↩

  12. Pronounced “booth-in” because… what the fuck, why is it pronounced that way?????  ↩

  13. woah. Definitely set it before you start with steps 1 and 2  ↩

  14. you may notice that Four Barrel sets theirs to 2. Wow. The balls on those guys  ↩

Let’s all get super excited about being adults and also sweater shavers

Here is something cheap and amazing that adults should own: a sweater shaver. Man life just keeps getting more exciting the older you get, right? Here in NYC, winter is coming to an end and it will be time to put away sweaters soon. Which means you have two options:

  1. Put away your shambly, fuzzed up, broke as hell looking sweaters the way they are and then open a big box of depression when fall rolls around.
  2. Basically the second option is to buy and use this sweater shaver that I’m over excited about so that your sweaters look great when you pull them out again next season.

Let me tell you, the second option is waaaaaay better than the first option. Actually the best option would be if you already had owned this sweater shaver months ago. Imagine you, walking around, wearing shaved sweaters, looking all sexy. Wow. Now that is a great option.

This feels like a mugshot. Do you know this sweater shaver???!?!

This is actually an incredibly simple decision so I’m going to try not to belabor it. This sweater shaver costs less than $15 so, assuming that you can afford to own a sweater, owning this shaver won’t be a hardship. The next question is weather you have sweaters. You should. Adults wear sweaters and you either are an adult or want to live to be one someday[1]. Ok and take a look at those sweaters. Are any of them looking fuzzy and less pristine than when you first bought them? Stray bits of wool hanging off maybe? Random sweatery-ness where sweatery-ness shouldn’t be? Oh wow, you are all set then because this sweater shaver does an amazing job.

I took some before and after pictures of my very own fuzzy broke-ass sweater converting into a beautiful clean shaven fresh off the rack slice of certified sweater hotness[2]. Let’s all agree: wow. That sweater looks pretty mediocre in the first picture. But after shaving? Holy crap. That is a new sweater.

And… I mean that is basically it. This is a super cheap product that does its job extremely well. Downsides? It is all plastic and weighs basically nothing so you aren’t getting that glorious weight that you would expect from an expensive product. Maybe the worst downside is that now you have to actually use the thing. You also just opened a whole new Pandora’s box of judgement where you will see other people’s unshaven sweaters and judge them for their slovenly nature.

It’s under $15 though so screw all this thought, today is a good day for an impulse purchase.

  1. honestly I’m 100% confident that no children are reading this. Maybe I’m less confident that any adults are reading this. Really that anyone reads anything on here… god I feel so alone. What was I talking about? Fucking sweaters?  ↩

  2. translation: first picture is bad second picture is good  ↩