Category: Lifestyle

Colorado’s Switzerland Trail is a Perfect Christmas Eve Drive

This Christmas Day, in true Colorado fashion, my family went on a hike in the balmy 50 degree weather that the Front Range is so often blessed with. Dozens of other families were out hiking, running, and generally walking around, giving credence to Colorado’s status as one of the healthiest states in the nation. Nothing major, just a couple miles in the Wonderland Lake area in Boulder before getting back home and eating an obliterating amount of food.

On Christmas Eve, however, this Coloradan did something a little less healthy and a little more fun. With my sister and girlfriend in tow, we drove up into the foothills above Boulder near Sugarloaf Mountain on to the Peak to Peak Highway straddling Nederland and Ward. Nederland  (or “Ned” as the douchiest ski bros in Boulder will sometimes call it, as well as, to be fair, a good number of locals), a town famous for its Frozen Dead Guy Days festival, was the kick off point as we drove north on the Peak to Peak Highway and veered off on Boulder County Road 120J. 

County Road 120J is the southwestern part of the multi-purpose Switzerland Trial, most of the northern sections of which run on Forest Service Road 93. It’s an easy trail, but the Jeep-and-ATV-packed snow gave it a twist that made things a little more exciting (and smoother) as we set down the path. The trail is well tended to, and though we saw no other Jeeps or hikers coming or going on the trail other than at the parking lot towards the end of 120J and at some ruins later on, there had clearly been many vehicles on the gravel and dirt road in the days prior. Taking on this trail midday on Christmas Eve made for a quiet, low-stress casual drive through the forest and mountains heading into the Rockies. 

We took turns driving my stock 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited on various stages of the trail which made for a fun change in perspective as one of us would sit in the passenger seat and one in the back trying to limit our backseat critique of how close to the trees some of us (not I) were getting. Often we’d follow along on what has quickly become one of my favorite books, FunTrek’s Guide to Northern Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails (4th Edition), an incredibly well-put together manual for some of my part of Colorado’s best Jeep trails.1Hey, FunTreks, consider this endorsement a pitch to get a Nevada edition as well. Couldn’t help but notice you skipped right from California and Arizona to Utah and Colorado, totally ignoring the Silver State… Each trail in the guidebook is rated with thorough notes on what kind of vehicle modifications (or if you can run it in a stock 4×4 vehicle) you might need, the best time of year to go, what to expect at each relevant mile marker, and where the hidden gems are. Ruins of old mining towns, camping sites, fishing spots; this book really has it all and I cannot recommend it enough. Having a guide and map like this is invaluable (especially if you remember to set your trip odometer right when you start) in making sure you stay on the right path and don’t veer off onto one of the multitude of side trails. One of these, the Pennsylvania Gulch, is a shortcut on the Switzerland Trail which, and is rated as difficult but is probably doable in a stock Jeep, barring the snow on the ground.2When we were on the trail it was blocked off, presumably closed for the season. 

The 14-mile trail takes you along the side of Bald Mountain down into the tiny ghost town of Sunset along Fourmile Creek before you ascend back onto the trail and follow an old railroad grade around Mount Alto which eventually curbs back around to what is now the Mount Alto Picnic Area. The picnic area was formerly a destination along the railroad and had a fountain and a Chautauqua hall, but now only a chimney and a bit of foundation remains. The National Forest Service has put together some picnic tables and fencing which we drove around before ultimately moving on towards the end of the trail. The prospect of an old train working its way through these mountains makes for some astonishing context as you crawl through the woods on the mountainside in your four-wheel drive vehicle.

The north end of the trail will spit you out on Gold Hill Road (County Road 52), where you have an option to continue north across the street to an additional section of the trail which the FunTreks guide calls “Switzerland North” and distinguishes from the regular Switzerland Trail because of its increased difficulty. 

Not prepared to head up into a more difficult section as the sun started setting and well able to make our way back down into Boulder from Gold Hill, we turned off and made our way down the mountain. We stopped briefly to assist a stuck car,3The paved roads on the way down were clear of snow but there were mid-sized snowdrifts on the sides of the road which a Fiat was stuck in, having presumably pulled off to the side of the road. And look, no shame, but why are you driving a Fiat in the mountains in December? our good deed for the day, and descended into Boulder Valley. As we made our way back home through the foothills, there were areas of the forest on the sides of the road still visibly burned from the Fourmile Canyon Fire of 2010. If nothing else, a reminder not to take these natural spaces Colorado is so privileged to have for granted.

There are stunning views along the trail; even in the dead of winter, the mountain and valley views made for a great trip for beginner off-roaders. No part was too technical, nor was there any particularly difficult section or place one could conceivably get lost with a good trail guide. We lucked out in terms of the day we went as there was just a small covering of snow, with it melted away on the sun-facing bends. The trail would likely be significantly more difficult and might be unpassable had there been a recent storm, but would be easily handled in the summer. Summer drivers should be wary that some sections may require some careful maneuvering around vehicles coming the opposite direction, but any stock high-clearance SUV would be able to manage the road in dry conditions.

With a leisurely pace, it took us about two to three hours in all, including a few stops to step out and take pictures and a minor detour to see how aggressively we could climb the Jeep up a dry but steep side road. If you’re in the Colorado Front Range and looking for a stress-free introduction to off-road driving, or just a long trail to wind along, the Switzerland Trail is an easy and picturesque route well suited to any kind of driver.

This is a Great Time to Start Your “Don’t Break the Chain” Routine

I looked up at my 2020 CQ Roll Call congressional calendar printout that I have pinned on my wall the other day and felt incredibly accomplished. No, not because Congress has been doing a lot,1It hasn’t… but that’s probably for the best, all things considered. or because I met some major professional goal already, but because every single day this year so far had a big “X” through it.

I draw a big ol’ X through every day in which I accomplish at least one of four daily goals that I set at the beginning of each year. These are daily goals that take energy and focus, or at least some self-control, but can also be traded off so accomplishing one feels like a net positive day even when I fail to accomplish another. For me, in 2020, those four goals have been: read for at least 30 minutes, work out, eat fewer than 400 calories before 4:30 PM (an intermittent fasting thing), and don’t drink alcohol (not because I have a problem or anything, more for budget reasons and for staying productive during the week. It’s a nice supplement during workdays where I may be too tired to get home and read or work out, but can easily just not grab a beer during dinner). If I work out in the morning or read a book on the bus on the way to work, terrific, I can do basically whatever I want the rest of the day. Then, the next day, I keep it going — I don’t stop, get one of these daily goals every day and don’t break the chain! 

This “don’t break the chain” productivity technique was actually inspired by a Lifehacker article from well over a decade ago that advocated for this system, which is derived from Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity method. The legend goes that in order to hone his comedic skills, Seinfeld would spend time writing one joke a day, and would put a big red X on each day of his giant wall calendar that he did so. Before long, Seinfeld had weeks of X’s, and not wanting to break the chain became incentive enough for him to keep up his daily joke writing routine. Making it a daily requirement to get one of those X’s on the calendar uses the power of “compounding interest,” to solve the problem wherein “skipping one day makes it easier to skip the next,” and forbids cheat days. You have to have done something every day to keep the chain going.

I’ve tweaked it a bit for my purposes; instead of pursuing one definitive goal, I pursue a tiny set of them. This is because working out every single day is very difficult when you have a job and a social life and muscles that get tired after multiple workouts in a row, and because I like to have breakfast sometimes, and throw a Bloody Mary in there if it’s brunch! So I set four broader goals to give myself a bit of flexibility while also keying into several places I want to improve myself.

Given that recent events have necessitated that we cut down on the time most of us spend commuting and socializing and left us stuck in the house, I’ve found it significantly easier to get these goals knocked out, to the point where I’m regularly hitting two or three of them a day instead of just one. And I get them done early during a morning workout or by reading when I wake up, alleviating the pressure to get something done later in the day, which is harder to avoid during a regular schedule. This adds up to weeks of X’s on my coveted congressional calendar, and what is, so far, a perfect year. It also encourages me to keep going lest I break what is now a four-months-long chain! 

So if you’re also stuck at home, now’s a great time to start implementing this system if you’re interested in picking up a self-improvement goal or two. So that by the time this is all over, you’ve got a good chain going that you’re encouraged to keep up even when society reverts to as close to normal as it can ever be again. And this doesn’t just have to apply if things are boring and you’re anxious to get back to your usual routine; what you define as a goal that takes effort is up to you. If you were laid off during the crisis, a goal could be spending 30 minutes a day looking into new career opportunities; or you could set a daily goal to not text your ex; or a goal to speak with a loved one for at least 30 minutes on the phone.

I’ve found what works for me is four to five goals a year. Here are some suggestions as to where you may want to get started:

  • Health and fitness goals. Working out, not eating junk, not drinking, etc. I once even toyed with the idea of throwing flossing on there but decided that was too easy to warrant me being able to count a whole day as “accomplished” even though all I did was floss.
  • A daily but somewhat difficult budgetary goal: if you get takeout a lot, “not dining or ordering out” might be an option; maybe “not buying anything” is a reasonable goal in this category too; or if you have a habit of going to the fancy coffee shop every morning and should probably just be making coffee at home, chock that up to a goal.
  • Professional or developmental goals: reading, writing an article, practicing an instrument for 30 minutes.
  • Social or “better you” goals: do you have habits that you don’t like but wish you had the energy for or incentive to change? Maybe you’re a messy person and could set a 15 minute cleaning goal. Maybe you want to spend less time playing video games. Or perhaps you want to get into a habit of being in bed by 11 PM.

The goals should be achievable by self-control or within 30-60 minutes of your time each day. Otherwise, you’ll get discouraged and the chain will break more often than not. But they should also be difficult enough that you can’t just cruise through your regular daily routine and somehow still do a couple of them; you should choose things you want to change about yourself and become better at. This is just a method that may work for you and encourage you to keep going. If it doesn’t work for you, find something that does.

This is a unique time in human history and many of us who are fortunate to be healthy have found ourselves with a surplus of spare time and idle hands. If months from now you look back and wonder what you did with all those months stuck inside and feel like you wasted a year, you can just look up at all those X’s on your calendar and know that you improved yourself every day.

5 Tips for Styling Unique Outfits for Every Holiday Party

The holiday season, if you have not noticed, is fully upon us. Some enjoy this time of year for the festive atmosphere, glittery decorations, and spiced drinks. I like it because holiday time means party time, and party time means it’s time to start assembling outfits!

I have a handful of holiday events to attend over the course of December, and I’m quite intent on wearing a unique, festive frock to each. I reached out on my personal Instagram to see if my friends would be interested in seeing a lookbook of the outfits I plan to wear throughout the month. I received an overwhelmingly positive response, so that will be coming soon, but I also received a suggestion from a lovely highschool friend to share my tips on assembling holiday outfits. 

I thought that would be a great precursor to the lookbook, so (1) y’all could understand the method behind the outfits and (2) I could get my creative juices flowing before embarking on the lookbook. So, here we go, my five tips for putting together outfits this holiday season.

Pick a Theme

Listen, you’re on your way to a holiday party you’ve already had to pick a Secret Santa gift and a potluck dish for, you don’t need to make any other hard decisions. Help yourself choose an outfit by narrowing the scope of possibilities.

An easy way to do this for holiday parties is to decide if you’d like to follow the standard whatever-holiday-you-celebrate color palette (such as red and green for Christmas) or if you want to go rogue and pick another color off the rack. Similarly, you can pick a texture, fabric, or print you’d like to feature and begin building from there. 

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: sweater, skirt, clips. Second outfit: blouse, skirt, earrings. Third outfit: blazer, pants, shoes.

To use a personal example, I have a great deal of red and green in my daily wardrobe. Yes, those would fit the Christmas color theme, but since I have so many pieces, it might be hard to decide on just one. Instead, I can focus on, say, the blue items in my wardrobe I use less often and build from there. Or I might decide that I’d like to include velvet in my outfit and see where that leads.

Setting guidelines for yourself also turns the process of getting dressed into a bit of a game, which makes it all the more satisfying once you find an outfit that successfully fits all your parameters.

Give New Life to a Favorite Piece

I’m a huge believer in confidence superseding style. Exquisite clothing and luxe fashions are nice, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that comes with comfort and authenticity. So, if your goal is to look good at a party, wear something you already enjoy wearing.

“But Kathleen,” you say, “I wear that piece every week. My friends/family/coworkers have seen it dozens of times. I wanted to wear something different!”

Solid argument. I’d feel the exact same way, which is why I recommend reviving the piece by pairing it with something a little different. This could be an item buried in the back of your closet you’ve forgotten or something borrowed from a friend.

Featured items from left to right. blouse, shoes, skirt, shirt, necklace.

I, for instance, picked up a black skirt a few months back that I cannot get enough of. I wear it at least once a week and have definitely been known to shoe-horn in second and third wearings. I know I’ll feel great if I wear this skirt, so I dug through my closet and found a sheer black polka dot top that hasn’t made an appearance in a few months. Pair the two together and– BAM never before seen outfit. I also took a peek into my brother’s closet and found this checked button-up to style with the skirt in case I’d like to wear it twice this holiday season.

Swap Black for Color

No hate to wardrobe staples like plain black bottoms/tops or denim, but, if you’re looking to quickly spice up an outfit, you might want to consider an upgrade. There are a couple of ways you can do this such as picking a different neutral color. See if an olive green, a burnt orange, or a mustard yellow would complement the look. Second, choose colors that accent your statement piece because they either match or contrast the statement piece. 

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: sweater, skirt, jeans, purse. Second outfit: sweater, skirt, shirt, earrings.

I’ve provided two examples for this tip. In the first, I went from pairing a graphic leopard print sweater with simple black jeans to an emerald green velvet skirt. In the other, I swapped a simple black top for a burnt orange sweater.

Go Hard with Pattern Mixing

This next idea takes the prior tip and turns it up to 11. We’ve abandoned all solid colors and eschewed the idea you’re only allowed one statement piece per outfit. All that exists now are patterns and we will make them go together, no matter what your mother told you about mixing polka dots and stripes.

Pattern mixing is my happy place when it comes to fashion. I strive to include some aspect of it in my outfits every day, so I’ve gotten to the place where I’m comfortable pushing the envelope. I know not everyone has established that level of comfort with it, though, so here are some easy tricks to get started:

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: blouse, skirt, earrings. Second outfit: blouse, skirt, shoes. Third outfit: blouse, pants, earrings. Fourth outfit: blouse, pants, shoes.

  • Pair solid colored lace with another pattern (ex: a white lace top with snakeskin bottoms)
  • Pair patterns in the same color family (ex: a black and white floral top with a black and white houndstooth bottom)
  • Pair small patterns with big patterns (ex: a dainty polka dot blouse with large windowpane bottoms)
  • Pair a neutral-colored pattern with a bright-colored pattern (ex: a leopard print top with a red plaid bottom)

Pick a Monochromatic Silhouette

If loud and proud outfits aren’t your thing, jump to the opposite end of the spectrum and don a full monochromatic look. It’s simple and chic but can make a big impact if you choose bright or rich shades. If you choose to go head to toe neutral, this look makes it easy to go big with accessories or makeup without overloading your look. A few keys to keeping this outfit interesting are:

  • Choose cuts and silhouettes that compliment your figure
  • Wear a variety of shades in your color of choice
  • Wear a variety of textures, fabrics, and even patterns in your color of choice

Featured items from left to right. First outfit: sweater, skirt, purse. Second outfit: blouse, skirt, shoes.

For instance, I put together an all-black outfit that mixes a knit pencil skirt with a fuzzy sweater and patent leather heels. For my second outfit, I chose a completely green mix of a velvet shirt, patterned top, and snakeskin heels.

And there you go! Five basic tips for putting together show-stopping outfits for any holiday soiree. Let us know how you make these tips your own by tagging @thepostrider on Twitter and my personal account @risetothesun on Instagram.

All 30 MLB Primary Logos: Ranked

Two weeks ago, I went to Cincinnati for the express purpose of seeing a game at Great American Ballpark, the latest chapter in my efforts to visit all 30 Major League stadiums. A big part of these trips is buying a piece of official team merchandise,1 The only teams for whom I won’t buy something when I got to visit their stadiums are the Braves, Phillies, and Marlins, all of whom are division rivals to my beloved Mets. something I’ve been obsessed with ever since I was a little kid. 

Even before I fully understood the rules of most sports, I’d spend hours looking at their logos and uniforms. I was a sucker for most of the marketing gimmicks of the late 90s — I owned a Kerry Collins Carolina Panthers jersey and had Toronto Raptors and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim posters in my room despite rooting for none of those teams — and would get even more excited about the announcement of a logo or uniform change than I would about any big free agent signings, trades, or the games themselves. This fascination was fed by the yearly Star Struck catalogue, which featured every major and minor league baseball cap, as well as paraphernalia for not only the NHL, NFL, and NBA, but also the nascent MLS and nearly every major NCAA athletic program. I found it totally engrossing. 

So, in honor of the great city of Cincinnati and my continued affinity for all things trademarked, I decided to rank every Major League Baseball primary logo from worst to best. Please note that I said primary logos, not cap logos. To the casual observer, the icon placed on the cap of a team’s home uniform may seem like a “primary” logo since it’s usually its most identifiable, but, in reality, teams have created much larger and more complicated designs to serve as their primary identifier. It’s an important distinction. Also important is that I’m using Chris Creamer’s as my source for determining what logos are current or retired. If this article peaks your interest in the graphic design of sports, I recommend checking out this website. It is the most comprehensive and well researched database you’ll find on the subject, as well as the source of endless hours of learning and entertainment for me. 

Without further ado, let’s play ball:

30. Cleveland Indians

Discussing the Indians logo is always an awkward situation because it requires me to acknowledge the complicated legacy of the Chief Wahoo. The Native American caricature was instantly identifiable and iconic — when I brushed my teeth as a child, my parents would remind me to make my face look like the “Indians logo” to get maximum coverage — but it is, of course, unquestionably racist, especially when early iterations are taken into account. I think the whole debate surrounding Chief Wahoo and pretty much every other sports team named after Native Americans represents an interesting shift in the conversation about racism. It forces fans of those teams (who probably don’t intend to be discriminatory) to confront the offensiveness of the thing they love and acknowledge that, even if it isn’t meant to be hurtful, that doesn’t mean it isn’t or that it doesn’t enable more offensive content. Can you imagine what would happen if Sports Illustrated published this cover today? 

Anyway, the Indians had an opportunity to explore a whole new brand identity once they retired Chief Wahoo from their official uniforms this year, but, instead, they adopted perhaps the most generic block “C” possible as their primary logo. I actually think this looks fine on their caps, but something like the cursive “I” or even their home uniform wordmark would be a more exciting primary mark.

29. Tampa Bay Rays


The Rays’ identity has been in a bit of a crisis ever since they dropped “Devil” from their nickname in 2008 (say what you will about this gradient and this shade of green but at least they were memorable). They can’t seem to decide if their name refers to the beam of light or the cartilaginous fish. This logo leans into the former by adding a little splash of sunlight onto their pedestrian word mark, and the result is something that feels more appropriate for a bank or insurance company. Their prior logo was also boring, but at least it was clear that it belonged to a baseball team!

28. Miami Marlins

I don’t know why, but the inclusion of the baseball here really bothers me. With colors like “Midnight Black” and “Caliente Red,” the Marlins’ redesign seemingly wants to evoke the misty, neon-lit feel of Miami nightlife, but it’s kind of hard to do that when (1) you make white such an important part of the logo by the baseball and  (2) your team plays many of its games under a retractable roof. It’s also just hard to make something dark and sexy out of a fish gasping to be put back into the water — the art deco era logos were garish, but at least they leaned into the inherent quirkiness of having a fish for a mascot. And don’t even get me started on these uniforms, which are so dark it makes the wordmark almost unreadable. Plus, they do nothing to dispel the notion that almost everything about Major League Baseball in Florida has been a disaster

27. Philadelphia Phillies

There’s something about the half-assed minimalism of the Liberty Bell here that feels so goddamn tacky, almost like it belongs on an early 2000s promotional cap where the graphic designer was asked to make an “extreme” version of the Philly landmark. It looked much nicer against a blue baseball diamond where the three core Phillies colors felt like they were complementing each other instead of fighting for attention like they do here.

26. Seattle Mariners

I’ve always kind of felt bad for the Mariners. They’re one of only two teams to never play in a World Series, which, combined with their geographic isolation from the rest of the league, has made them kind of an afterthought. Their irrelevance has only been compounded by their 18-year long playoff drought, which is currently the longest in all of the big four major North American professional sports leagues. But, as nice as I want to be to them, there’s no getting around the fact that their primary logo looks like something that belongs on the menu of a shitty seafood chain. At least they put together a nice uniform set.

25. Colorado Rockies

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this logo, but it gets ranked so low because it inexplicably replaced a vastly superior mark that featured the Rockies in all of their Purple Mountains Majesty. It was also one of the earliest dominoes to fall in the trend that saw teams abandon bigger primary logos for their cap logos for no apparent reason. People watch Rockies games so they can see players slug baseballs a mile high into that thin mountain air, and their old logo evoked that perfectly. 

24. Milwaukee Brewers

Another cap-as-primary rebrand. There’s something inherently inviting about a capital M, the loop on its left gives it a little action, and the underlining wheat ties it all back to the team nickname. But I can’t stop thinking about its similarities to the Twins cap logo from the 90s, and it’s just not memorable enough to be a primary logo. You don’t even have to go back to blue and gold — just give me the “M” and “B” glove with the current colors, and I’ll be satisfied. 

23. San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres burst onto the scene with the most 70s uniforms and color set imaginable and have tried to suppress the memories of their cocaine and disco days since the mid-90s by getting more and more conservative with each redesign eventually settling on the same blue and white combination favored by what feels like half the league. I have this above the Rockies and Brewers because the interlocking SD is a classic, but I will admit that this design is just objectively bad. 

Why does the part of the S that overlaps the D also cut it off? Why keep that white border around the S especially considering that the S isn’t cut off by the overlapping part of the D? It looks like someone forgot to make the background on the S transparent before they photoshopped the two of these together, which should not be the case since this was made by a graphic designer with the freedom to make shit up without copying anything from Google Images. 

Anyway, the solution to all of the Padres design woes is staring them right in the face. Bring back the swinging friar, preferably in brown and yellow but the blue looks good too. Everything else you’ve done looks too generic or like the logo for an oceanside country club — the friar, with his goofy expression and full bodied swing, looks like the patron saint of fun. You’re a team that used to be defined by boring players like Chase Headley — now you have fun and swaggy players like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Chris Paddack. Lean into that.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates

Again, another team that opted to “simplify” their primary logo without making the extra effort to make it anything but boring. The Pirates get placed ahead of the Rockies, Brewers, and Padres, though, since 70-plus years of history has lent this logo “iconic” status, and their attempts at incorporating an actual pirate into their design have either ended up too plain, too goofy, or too pale (Is that what scurvy makes you look like? And where did all of that red come from?). This logo would probably end up much higher if they found a way to contrast the gold with a black background, like it does on their classic cap.

21. Washington Nationals

As you’ll read, this almost has the opposite problem of the Rangers logo — I want some more red to really lean into the Nationals’ identity and capture the vibrant, exciting feeling of attending a Nats game in person. As it stands, this logo is too subdued. Maybe some stars and stripes would help it connect with its city, too. This will be the first in a line of roundels. 

20. Texas Rangers

I feel like the Rangers have been struggling with whether they want to be a predominantly red team or predominantly blue team in recent years, and this logo brings that to light. Considering their primary caps are blue, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that two-thirds of this logo is red. Maybe keep the red T and make the circle blue? Or maybe bring make the baseball wearing a cowboy hat, what do I know?

19. Minnesota Twins

Plain but authoritative. The Twins aren’t a baseball “team,” they’re a “club”– a word that lends a sense of sophistication while hinting at some jocularity. Their pre-1987 logos are probably too literal for modern tastes, but I’ll always love them — the “M” and “STP” on the twins’ jerseys (named Minny and Paul after their respective cities) are great little details that hint at what make the Minnesota sports teams so unique.

18. Houston Astros

This logo is a welcome return to the Astros’ roots after a decade of trying to make the whole outer space/Old West thing happen,2 They abandoned that look only two years after Cowboys & Aliens tanked at the box office. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! but there’s something a little too conservative about all of that navy, especially considering all of the loopy shit they tried to pull off in the past. But if it’s all in the service of their great uniform set. I’m satisfied.

17. Los Angeles Angels

I love this logo on a conceptual level. The A stands for the team’s (now controversially unidentified) home city of Anaheim, as well as their nickname, and the halo on top adds a simple, playful spin while also doubling down on the Angels mascot. The dark outline and “3D” shadows within the A wash it out a little though. If they accented it with some gold like they did on their 50th anniversary caps, the A could really pop.

16. Cincinnati Reds

As with the Angels, I love the concept of this logo. It’s basically a sneaky way of abbreviating the teams full name without coming off as too wordy or ornate. That black drop shadow is absolutely killing me though, and dredging up memories of a lot of terrible design decisions from the 2000s. There’s nothing wrong with plain red

15. Atlanta Braves

I know I ripped on the Rays earlier for using their uniform wordmark as their primary logo, but it works for the Braves. The script itself has a real vintage feel, and the straight, ready-for-battle tomahawk contrasts well with slightly more debonair font. Is their whole brand identity problematic as hell? Absolutely, but they were one of the first pro teams to react to public outcry over their more egregious iconography, and, in a world where the Redskins are still called the Redskins, this seems to have bought them some cover.

14. Arizona Diamondbacks

One of the few cap logo primaries I really like, this Diamondbacks logo captures the hometown and nickname of the team perfectly. Featuring a desert-y brick red and sandy gold outline, it’s quirky in all the right ways– from the snake scale pattern on the left side of the A to the snake tongue in the middle. They’ve occasionally gone overboard, but the Diamondbacks have made the most of a unique identity in ways that the Rays simply haven’t. Doesn’t crack the top ten because it isn’t the D-shaped snake.

13. Oakland Athletics

The A’s get obvious points for having a legendary identity that hasn’t changed over the years and a wholly unique color scheme of green and yellow. However, this is a team that’s had players like Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Ricky freaking Henderson, some of the flashiest and most colorful personalities in baseball history, and this logo feels little conservative by comparison. It could probably use some more of that audacious yellow or a shades wearing elephant or two. Love that “A” though, it’s such a cheeky bastard. Always lookin’ like it’s up to something with that sneaky little “S” by its side.

12. Boston Red Sox

It’s two red socks. Get it? I know I praised the old school Twins logo for being literal, but this one is simplistic to the point of ridiculous. And yet, there’s something very classic and almost genteel about the way the two socks are allowed to hang there, unvarnished by any text or a roundel. It takes a storied team with a notoriously obnoxious fan base to turn an oft-overlooked garment into a symbol of baseball success, and that’s exactly what you get here. A sense of tradition that’d seem crazy anywhere else. 

11. Kansas City Royals

I really, really love the feel of this logo. It doesn’t feel too modern or too outdated, and the sharp angels of the shield and crown make it look like something that could appear in a Saul Bass titles sequence, or the opening credits from Casino Royale. My only knock on it is that, without the Royals script, it feels a little naked.

10. New York Yankees

The outline and script could probably stand to be modernized a bit, but this is an all around solid logo that conveys what a “Yankee” is while also seeming warm and inviting. Thing is, the red is also completely incongruous with the Yankees uniform and their entire brand identity. They may be the most successful franchise in North American professional sports, but the Yankees’ dirty little secret is that their branding is boring as hell. They never miss a moment to remind you of how “hallowed” they are and how deep their history runs, and every piece of content and merchandise they produce is a monument to their own self-importance — if it were up to them, Babe Ruth would replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. Granted, you probably don’t need to try as hard in the logo department when you’ve won 27 World Series titles, but still.

9. San Francisco Giants

Eye grabbing, imposing, and ostentatious, this Giants logo is much more interesting than it has any right to be. It’s not just their wordmark over a baseball, it’s their word mark over a GIANT baseball with an orange tint. The orange tint is key, because it keeps the baseball from looking out of place the way it does in the Marlins logo, and certainly better than it did in the Giants’ old logo. It also ties it with their classic uniform set, and brings to mind both the controversial heyday of Barry Bonds and the Giants dynasty of now celebrated figures like Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner.

8. Chicago White Sox

Never before has a full word been so artfully transformed. When I was a kid, it took me a while to realize that this was a diagonal, interlocking “SOX,” and sometimes it still doesn’t look like that to me at all; looking instead like some weird figure from a surrealist painting. But the real genius is that it literally spells out who the team is, without going down the boring script route like the Rays, and its makes use of a simple cap logo, but not one that’s too simple like the Indians’. Versatile stuff.

7. Detroit Tigers

Few single-letter logos come more iconic or needlessly elaborate than the big Detroit D. It may seem a little too simple, but I ranked it so high because (1) no, this is not simple, this is a patently absurd way to write a “D,” and I love it, and (2) it’s become synonymous with the city itself. A similar design would be adopted by the old Detroit Cougars hockey team, and whenever people refer to “The Big D,” it’s hard not to imagine that D coming with all kinds of extra loops and lines. Heck, Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson win a big golden version of the logo at the D Awards in Detroiters, their cinematic love letter to the Motor City. Is that enough civic pride for you?

6. Toronto Blue Jays

There’s a lot going on in this logo, but it isn’t overwhelming. It nicely balances the Blue Jays’ two key colors — blue for the jay, red for Canada — without feeling as bisected as the Texas logo. It also manages to layer a blue jay on a baseball on a border without feeling too busy. Straightforward and to the point, but not overly simplistic or empty feeling like some of the other roundels around the league.

5. St. Louis Cardinals

Like a lot of non-Cardinals fans, I’ve kind of grown to loathe the Redbirds and their whole “best fans in baseball” schtick, as well as the media’s fawning over what a “classy” and “model” organization they are. With that being said, things don’t get much more “classy” and “model” than their primary logo. The cardinal perched on a bat gives it a hint of playfulness, as does the “C” draped across the bat, but the bird is all business, and the sport, mascot, and team are all represented equally and deftly.

4. Chicago Cubs

If you’ve been to Wrigley Field, you know that attending a Cubs game is an event, and, with the former Lovable Losers ascending to the top flight of the National League, that event has become more fashionable than ever. In a game that values tradition, the Cubs logo stands out by being both old (it was introduced in 1979) and distinctly modern. Reminiscent of the mod roundel, this logo is closer to pop art than the hallowed gothic scripts of yore, making it the perfect icon for an organization that can sometimes feel like as much of a lifestyle brand as a baseball team. And, like the White Sox logo, it’s another clever way of packaging a full team name that doesn’t feel bored.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

Snobby baseball fans like myself love to go on and on about how much we love a good pitcher’s duel or an exciting play at the plate, but baseball’s big moneymaker has always been the home run. Even if you had never heard of baseball before, I’d wager that the prospect of seeing an object get hurtled 450 feet through the air at 100 MPH would spark enough interest to convince you to buy a ticket. This logo tries to stoke that interest through non-verbal means, showing the inherently appealing image of a ball being hit really, really hard, and then, by draping the script below the speed lines, promises that the Dodgers, not some other team, will be the one to provide such entertainment. Iconography and marketing all wrapped into one.

2. Baltimore Orioles

Even though baseball takes itself very seriously, there’s always been this notion that it’s a game first, and a sport second. And games, more than anything, are supposed to be fun, which is exactly what this anthropomorphized Oriole head hints at. It manages to be a little goofy and a little friendly, despite the fact that it was worn by hard-nosed players like Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer. 

1. New York Mets

The line between art and entertainment has always been blurred, and determining where one ends and the other begins has been a source of debate and discussion since the first buffaloes were painted at Lascaux. Even more tense is the line between sports and entertainment. 

For some, sports is the peaceful equivalent of war, a contest of human strength and moral fortitude that pits one population against another in the quest for eternal glory. But franchises and leagues are in the business of selling tickets, which means marketing themselves ceaselessly, finding new angles, and casting themselves as charming and exciting. As serious and no-nonsense as they may want to seem, they still have to attract a crowd. They need to promise something more than efficiency and technical skill. They also need something with a little pizazz. Something amazin’.

That sense of wonder, excitement, and fun is what I’ve always felt captured in the Mets’ logo. My life as a Mets fan has been plagued by heartbreak and incompetence, but this brilliant orange and blue baseball radiates with all of the optimism of the mid-20th Century America it was born into. Featuring the skyline of the most glamorous and bustling city of the world, it promises a game woven into the fabric of its community, something respectful and traditional but always with one eye on the modern world. The wordmark here, slanted to the right, is practically beckoning you through the front gates of Citi Field where a grinning baseball headed humanoid will greet you with a hearty hello. It’s a logo built around communicating a sense of pure sporting glee, and it’s almost impossible to look at and not hear that famous song playing in the background. “Meet the Mets/Meet the Mets/Step right up and greet the Mets…”


The Chef Geoff’s Bulletin Introduction

Washington, DC is a city of great institutions — the foundations of our republic, historical landmarks, monuments to great men and women, and so many exciting events that you can spend years living here and never make it to all of them. But, throughout my six years in DC, there is one institution, above all, that has soaked up a disproportionate amount of my time and attention: Chef Geoff’s, a classic American establishment not far from the alma mater of myself and my fellow The Postrider co-founders, American University. Just off of New Mexico Avenue, it’s a beacon of great happy hour deals and good times, camaraderie and friendship, with burgers to die for and their infamous “supermugs” to wash it all down in a statement of thrilling excess. 

In fact, I go to Chef Geoff’s almost every. single. week. Weekly happy hour became a tradition amongst The Postrider gang back when Michael and I first began working together. It’s now a lynchpin in our lives, as we’ve grown personally and professionally in this great city, and brings us all together each week to have a good time and talk about work, life, love, politics, drama, and everything else over some good food.

In honor of Chef Geoff’s, to live out my dream of being a food critic, and, in part, to finally get noticed for my unusual adoration of this dining establishment, I’ve decided to start what I’m calling the Chef Geoff’s Bulletin (CGB) here at The Postrider: a periodical chronicling every visit, using data and metrics (I am the lowly State & Science editor, after all), and providing a critical assessment of the restaurant. The CGB will be a near-weekly blurb on our visits that can be expanded into a larger analysis over time. In each addition, I’ll list what I ordered, and provide the R-Score for the experience.

I covered the R-Score metric last month as a comprehensive measure for evaluating a dining experience in a fairly objective and standardized way. For more information on the methodology, you can read all about it here, but here’s a fairly quick analysis of how it will be used for the CGB:

  1. Fare (value over price): This is the quality of the food and drink relative to the price. If the price for the meal was perfectly worthwhile, the score will come out to a 1. If the meal wasn’t worth the price, it’ll come out to less. And, if it’s the greatest meal I’ve ever had relative to the price, it’ll be higher than a 1. This is also how we track price over time. Chef Geoff’s recently raised many of its prices,1Much to my dismay as a consumer, but to my delight as an economist wanting to occupy more of a scarce resource (seats at Chef Geoff’s). so this should make for an interesting starting point. The methodology on evaluating my perceived value is a bit long-winded, so I do recommend reading the R-Score article if you’re more interested in the details, but, in Chef Geoff’s case it revolves around a classic question I face every week: order the burger or order the pizza?
  2. Service (1-5): This is fairly straightforward. It’s the quality of the service. Waiting a long time for food, drink, the receipt, etc. would bring this score down, while attentiveness and  surprise bread for the table bringing it up. Service is weighted the same as fare.
  3. Atmosphere (1-3): This is the general vibe and pleasantness of the space. Clean bathrooms, good music, and a good crowd are better to have than not to have, after all. Atmosphere is weighted half as much as food and service.
  4. Time-to-Seat (TTS) (in minutes): This is a frequent struggle at Chef Geoff’s. Happy hour there can be popular, and there are a limited number of seats. TTS factors into the equations as a subtraction from the total score over a standard time of 10 minutes. This means that 10 minutes is roughly equal to losing out on one point of quality in another area or 0.10 overall.
  5. Above and Beyond (AAB) (binary): This is a potential way to reconcile something else going awry. AAB accounts for anything the restaurants does that’s not usually expected of it (like comping a meal or giving you a free drink). This is a simple binary yes or no indicator accordingly, and it can only increase the score.

These components contribute to a metric that generally fits squarely between 0 (very bad) to 10 (very good) for any given time at the restaurant. And that metric will give numerical data to plot countless visits from here onward. It should make for a unique data story once we’re in the thick of it, and serve as useful testing-grounds for the R-Score methodology. We’ve already got three visits and their data up, and you can track the CGB overall right here.

The R-Score: A Metric for Evaluating Restaurants

Baseball stars, politicians, cars, and even credit cards are associated with sophisticated mechanisms for grading and scoring that weigh the various components of their actions and abilities as well as their costs and benefits. These metrics offer an easy way to assess and compare the objects of their focus to other units. In anticipation of an upcoming column here on The Postrider, I believe it’s time to bring a scoring metric to restaurants, and – after failing to find one subjective enough to capture a wide range of options and personal tastes but objective enough that its methods could be standardized and generally applicable to a diverse array of locations and users – I decided to invent one myself. I’ve named it the Restaurant Score (or, if you’re looking for something that sounds cooler, the R-Score), a metric on the restaurant experience between worst (0) and best (10).1There is some possibility of run-over in the negatives and scores above 10 in extreme situations, but I’ll discuss this later.

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Zodiac Beauty Series: Taurus (April 20-May 21)

Photo credit: Pinterest

How are we all feeling now that Aries season has come to a close? I’m going to assume mad hype from Aries’s ceaseless energy, but perhaps a little weary, as well. After all, even the jauntiest of adventurers need to rest every now and again, and there’s no better season for a little R&R than the current Taurus season. All that’s left to do is create a romantic, earthy makeup look to match it’s luxurious and grounded energy.

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Zodiac Beauty Series: Aries (March 21-April 19)

Photo credit: Pinterest

I’m nothing if not two things: (1) a wannabe beauty maven and (2) a devote astrology nerd. I mean, seriously, makeup tutorials? I watch them. Zodiac dates? I know them. Cutting edge cosmetics? I review them. Astrological birth charts? I read them. Winged eyeliner? I attempt it. A vaguely presumptuous but nonetheless intimate understanding of acquaintances based on their birthdays? I got it.

So in this brand new “Zodiac Beauty Series,” I’m combining my two passions into 12 distinct articles featuring makeup ideas for each of the zodiac signs, inspired by the signs’ own characteristics.

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10 Spring 2019 Beauty Trends You Can Achieve with Green Beauty Products

I was a proud subscriber of Seventeen Magazine for a good half dozen years or so from my tweens to mid-teens and, as such, have always considered myself “hip with the trends” to a certain degree. I mean, all it really takes is flipping through two or three “Back to School” issues to realize that denim is, and will forever be, “in for fall.”

That being said, I have dipped out of mainstream beauty trends over the past few years as I’ve replaced my old sold-at-Sephora favorites for niche green beauty staples. As spring peaks it’s head over the horizon, however, I thought it might be fun to get back in touch with what mainstream designers and brands are wearing on their face for the Spring 2019 season and see how much of it I can recreate with green beauty options.

Just as my time with Seventeen taught me to expect, looks for spring are largely light, airy, and clean. Dewy skin and little-to-no mascara make for some youthful, almost ‘70s “peace and love” sort of vibes, while bright swatches of color across the eyes and nude lips act as a modern take on ‘60s mod makeup styles.

Overall, nothing astoundingly revolutionary, but plenty that can be captured with green beauty products:

1. Brushed Out Brows

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Plume, Beautyhabit

The Trend: Eyebrow trends of the past few years have been boggling to say the very least, with Instagram artists popularizing their infamously chiseled brows, while avant-garde cosmetologists tried to make wavy brows a thing. This season, brows are getting a well-deserved break and returning to their natural form of thick and bushy, though no-less immaculately groomed.

The Brands: Monse (pictured), Tom Ford, Julien Macdonald, Nicole Miller, Oscar de la Renta

The Products: Thin-browed individuals looking to bulk up their natural brow game can turn to PYT Beauty P.O.V. Eyebrow Pencil, which can be used to both shape the brows and sketch on realistic looking hairs to add the illusion of volume. Those with well-endowed brows, on the other hand, will find a friend in Plume Nourish & Define Brow Pomade which quickly and easily shades brows into place while filling in any sparse patches. Need a quick spruce up? Ilia Essential Brow Gel brushes brows into place with just a few flicks of the wrist.

2. Barely There Mascara

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Ere Perez, Root, Amazon

The Trend: Ask a handful of a makeup-wearers on the street what their go-to beauty product is– you know, the one cosmetic bag staple that instantly makes them feel put together– and the response you’ll most likely get is a resolute “mascara.” This spring, stylists are bucking the big lash trend for sparsely adorned eyes that won’t smudge in the impending heat.

The Brands: Emporio Armani (pictured), Giambattista Valli, Cedric Charlier, Area

The Products: If the goal is goop-free but perfectly curled lashes, you’ll want to swap your usual mascara formula for a lash curler and Ere Perez Aloe Gel Lash & Grow Mascara, then buff a taupe colored shadow into your crease, such as Root Pressed Eyeshadow in Duke, to add some definition to the eye. Really can’t part ways with your wand? Opt for a brown formula, such as Mineral Fusion Lengthening Mascara in Rock to keep your long lashes looking mellow.

3. Bright Red Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Gressa, RMS, Y et Beauté

The Trend: Honestly, is there ever a bad time to wear a red lip? Stylists are keeping this classic look in the running for spring with bright, opaque reds in a variety of finishes. Ere of the side of simplicity with the rest of your makeup to keep things bright and simple for spring.

The Brands: Escada (pictured), Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Burberry, Ryan Lo

The Products: It’s hard to beat Y et Beauté’s comfortable matte formula in No. 21— a vibrant, pinky-toned red blossoming with red carpet appeal. RMS Beauty Wild Desire Lipstick in Rebound is also an accessible blue-toned red that would work on cooler skin tones. Those looking for a little sheen will enjoy Gressa Lip Boos in Aux Rouge.

4. Bright Eyeshadow

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Gressa, Credo, Alima

The Trend: Bold beauties will feel at home wearing the striking, single-color eyeshadow trend that cropped up on runways this season. All it takes is a vibrant bright color and a thick brush or, heck, even your finger, to pack it onto your lid– very little blending required.

The Brands: Rodarte (pictured), Erdem, Byblos, Lutz Huelle, Paul Costelloe

The Products: Gressa has your back with its Eye Tint in Envee— a grass green shade perfect for haphazardly packing all over the lid. Aether Beauty Crystal Grid Gemstone Palette offers a one-stop shop for a handful of punchy colors while Alima Pure Pressed Eyeshadow in Siren is an easy place to start for those just beginning to play with color.

5. Glowing Skin

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Vapour, Beauty Heroes, W3ll People

The Trend: Several artists eschewed full-coverage foundation for dewy looks with an angelic glow. Some even went completely foundation free, relying on blurring primers and concealer to brighten up model’s faces.

The Brands: Noon by Noor (pictured), Brock Collection, Michael Kors, Balmain, Proenza Schouler

The Products: Vapour Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfecting Primer can be used sans foundation to provide a gentle soothing effect to the skin, while W3ll People Bio-Correct Multi-Action Concealer can be used to spot correct dark circles and blemishes. A serum highlight, such as Maya Chia Highlight of the Day adds a lit-from-within radiance.

6. Gold Eyeshadow

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, RMS, Zuzu Luxe

The Trend: Spring runways saw gold eyeshadow being used as both a glowing eyeliner option and quick, yet radiant, eyeshadow look. It’s a great alternative option for those who tend to stick to neutral shades on the eyes and play up other areas of the face.

The Brands: Temperley London (pictured), Monse, Kim Shui, Adeam

The Products: When it comes to green beauty shimmer eyeshadows, RMS Beauty Eye Polish has the game on lock. Lunar is a lovely, cool toned gold that would brighten up any complexion. Alternatively, the recently dropped Crop Natural Bio Metal Liquid Eyeshadow in Gilded provides a deeper golden hue. Those who prefer powder eyeshadows should check out Zuzu Luxe Eyeshadow in Egyptian Gold whatever in whatever for a buttery formula that can be used on a pencil brush to line the eyes.

7. Just-Bitten Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Vapour

The Trend: Runways of lightly stained lips stirred up thoughts of hand-picked berries and popsicles straight from the freezer. Mostly appearing in warm pinks and berry tones, this trend provides an easy way to wear color without having to worry about touching-up throughout the day.

The Brands: Badgley Mischka (pictured), Paul Costellow, Jonathan Simkhai, Kim Shui, Brock Collection

The Products: To achieve this look, tap a creamy but deeply pigmented product, such as Rituel de Fill Forbidden Lipstick in Love in Madness or Vapour Siren Lipstick in Coquette, onto the center of the lip. Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Sensuous Plum is also a good option for blackberry-hued stain.

8. Nude Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Goop, Kari Gran, Ayla

The Trend: Some stylists chose to “detox” from the richly hued lip looks often popular in the fall and winter by staying away from pigment, entirely. A swipe of balm or gloss was enough the give the lips a healthy sheen and compliment other aspects of the makeup.

The Artists: Michael Kors (pictured), Bora Aksu, Arthur Arbesser, Versace, Giorgio Armani

The Products: Olio E Osso Lip & Cheek is often touted as one of the most nourishing green beauty lip balms, while Kari Gran Lip Whip in Shimmer adds a fuss-free glint to the lips. Really can’t give up your lipstick? Kosas Cosmetics Weightless Lip Color in Undone is an infallible my-lips-but-better option.

9. Peach Everything

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Antonym, Kjaer Weis, Root

The Trend: Are any of us really surprised that peachy hues are back for the warmer months? They provide the most irresistible sun-kissed glow whether placed on the eyes, lips, or cheeks that just begs to be worn while on vacation.

The Brands: Antonio Marras, Altuzarra, Genny

The Products: Want an easy single-product look? Buff Antonym Baked Blush in Peach along the highpoints of your cheeks and all over your lid. Alternatively, Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Sun Touched is just darling when patted into the apples of your cheeks, and the shimmery Root Loose Eyeshadow in Ginger adds an alluring sparkle to the eye.

10. Touseled Hair

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Rahua

The wet hair trend has dripped it’s way down runways for long enough! This season, stylists have decided hair is finally allowed to be worn dry again, and is making its return in barely brushed waves.

The Brands: Genny (pictured), Jeremy Scott, Kate Spade, Nicole Miller, Coach

The Products: Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Spray is a long-standing green beauty favorite when it comes to achieving slightly messy waves. Those with curly or frizz-prone hair, however, might prefer the deeply nourishing and effortlessly taming Rahua Control Cream Curl Styler. Or, if your waves have a tendency to fall flat, try a few spritzes of Josh Rosebrook Lift.

What an Emergency Fund Really Means

The median amount Americans hold in a savings account is about $5000, 57% of Americans could not afford a $500 surprise expense, and only 39% of Americans could pay for a $1000 surprise expense. Most folks know that having savings is a good thing and have been instructed time and time again that an emergency fund is an important financial asset to build up as you enter the workforce in your 20s, but what does this really entail, and what is it for?

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