The Wolf of Wall Street

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The Wolf of Wall Street

Long in tooth, short in story

We’re fooled to expect a classic arc studying Belfort’s golden years, only to go kaputt from impending lack of morale. Well, morale’s resignation was loud and clear but all redeemable human experience was lost to the inevitable comedown of hedonic (read: cinematic) excess. It felt like only one year. Gratuitous drug scenes helped for two. It’s really ten. Far more compressed than Goodfellas, Casino—ironically with a running time longer than both. At least let someone gray a little before the credits roll.

White isn’t always right

Too much time with white women, the white lady, and the white pill—things even poor and less exploitive people abuse. It didn’t feel like the journey of a brilliant man corrupted but more like the childish rampage of a corrupted man. Nowadays, I think we always favor the former over the latter.

How we didn’t meet your mother

Belfort’s first divorce and final decision to forgo any and all likeability resonates with no one because she was so under utilized. Cristin Milioti seems to be the actor with important roles that the audience never gets a chance to see on screen.

Give him a calculator

Jonah Hill continues mining scene stealing characters who can crunch numbers with scene stealing characters who can crunch numbers while incredibly high. His catalyst for success? Placing him within an arm’s reach of lawful authority. An obligatory handsome partner in crime also helps.

No, Emma Stone was not in this film

That woman’s name is Margot Robbie. Oddly, both have an attraction to powerful men obsessed with dangerous things colored white, who fall prey to things colored green.

Entertaining as hell

Then when it’s over, as the dust settles, you feel slightly confused as to why you did it all. Your friends nod to the shared realization. An allegory to any addictive drug—money, coke, pills, or ambitious film—the best stuff is meant to only be consumed in the shortest bursts.

Any longer

and no one will care because your one trick pony, which at most had only one more adventure to claim, already rode into the sunset.

Or will they?

Photo credit: FirstShowing

You Can’t Outwork Superior Luck

You Can’t Outwork Superior Luck

But you sure can outlast it. That’s one long haul where it pays to embrace exceptional patience and an even better plan.

The most successful player at a table need not win every or even the biggest hand—he only has to come up on top when the last bet goes in the pot.

And if you’re smart, it’s the one bet you’ll allow yourself plenty of time to prepare for before having to push it all in.

Tailor Was Added to the Bro Dictionary

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Is this real?

Does this mean one day fraternities will be trading their hoodies for rumpled cotton blazers, boat shoes for Common Projects, and letter pins for engraved tie bars? That clip—mind you—would of course be fastened over a nubby wool tie.

Did that guy actually recommend J.Crew suits (THEY MAKE SUITS???) over their lesser priced, boxier mall chain counterparts? And yes, you did see a fraternity member reference Japan outside of anime, video games and oddball pitchers.

I hope the next letter dissects the price point geography of Topman versus Asos (sorry Uniqlo, $90 cashmere only gets you so far) and how stores like Club Monaco don’t stand a chance once a guy figures out Barneys has this thing called the Warehouse Sale.

11/12 UPDATE: It is real. Brings back memories of college days trying to collect used H&M shirts off eBay and Diesel Zathans from Buffalo Exchange—oh to be young again.

Photo credit: Jon Weiss

Just Like Your Best Friend

Just Like Your Best Friend

Your favorite shoes have seen it all.

The struggles of the past deepen those scuffs you secretly love and joys of the present continue warming even the least memorable highlights.

Keeping in touch is as easy or difficult as finding time to pull them out of your closet. But until then they’ll sit, similar to any friendship interrupted by distance or conflict, eagerly awaiting to catch up in the future.

Because they already know better days lie ahead as long as you’re in this together.

There is an Easy Way to Make Room

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There is an Easy Way to Make Room

Having an open mind doesn’t necessarily mean an absence of non-negotiables in your life but instead is defined by the presence of an ability to change them for yourself. Or even better, someone you care about.

And like any useful door, when something is truly open it allows the old to be replaced by the new with the ease of turning the knob, one of the few entries that should be left unlocked as frequently as possible.

Photo credit: Phases

Everyone Drives Their Own Way

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Everyone Drives Their Own Way

Judging on a lack of similarities leaves you fueled by the wrong differences.

Relationships are two way roads. Don’t be the tailgater passing through oncoming traffic because your destination isn’t the same as everyone else’s. Maybe you’re the guy who’s making things more difficult than they should be.

I think we’ll quickly fall for what’s new and different, get caught by what’s shared, and eventually stick around because you want to. That last one is never a trait, it’s a choice.

Ultimately both friends and lovers agree to be together, isn’t that decision the only similarity that matters?

Photo credit: dolce-vita-lifestyle.tumblr.com

Take Off Those Gloves

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Take Off Those Gloves

No one makes friends with the angry or predisposed. Their arms are already full of expectation, judgement and defense. Should anyone shake hands with a boxer mid-fight or the man carrying far too much old baggage at the airport?

Words always provide an appearance of an open mind but it requires a welcoming palm to truly show it. And like an optimistic youth on his birthday— needing both to freely receive.

Photo credit: Thomas Hoepker

Any Two Cards

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Any Two Cards

They never folded because they saw what you had. But rather because they saw what you did you about it

There’s no good or bad cards, there’s just good or bad decisions. All the better reason to play with everything face down

Life only deals you a bad hand the moment you acknowledge it as one

so don’t

Photo credit: The 60s Twist

The Guy Cooking Your Meal

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The Guy Cooking Your Meal

Probably knows more about life than he’s letting on.

I’ll add onto the Chef and say the best things in life occur at the intersection of passion and desire, otherwise known as timing.

Though beware. Misplaced passion is as common as unwanted desire. Both heartbroken and heartbreakers can surely attest. Many know it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission but sometimes you need to determine if you’ve really been asking the wrong people all along.

Time only waits for so many things and no matter how hard you try a few locks never fully turn because the key is better off opening another door.

It’s okay to forget your keys, we do it all the time. It just never pays to forget what they open.

or could open

Photo credit: This is Happiness

The Biggest Mistake of Your Life

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The Biggest Mistake of Your Life

Is something they taught you to remember. Though really you shouldn’t.

Try taking a cue from any good author and direct your life narrative to where you want by carefully re-arranging the conflicts within. I have a hunch that sting of regret which keeps you up at night only exists because you haven’t erased it yet. People seem to forget that by discarding the correct chapter they will forever pave way for an entirely alternative ending. A final act you’re happy foreshadowing and turning the page toward every day, like the masterpiece you should be writing.

First drafts don’t win pulitzers and crappy editing rarely compels anyone to do more than ask for a refund after the credits roll. I know, our lives may not be a stage, but there’s little reason to expect a new classic when you never allow yourself to confront the quintessential trait of every every memorable protagonist: change.

Sign your story with pen but make sure to start it in pencil.

it’s only over when you truly want it to be

Photo credit: Jenna Fifi

Admit It

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Admit It

You bought shit half its size after seeing the Strokes.

Over a decade ago Albert Hammond Jr. showed your pants are too long and ties too wide. Julian Casablancas proved leather jackets worth ten times your rent do actually exist. And yes, your drummer (of course he’s named Fab Moretti) should be dating a movie star or two.

Cool suddenly had a role model. Tight became right and everyone knew your hair wasn’t long enough.

Years from now we may forget all the music. I think we’re getting prepared for this. The public always took cues from the band, not from their records.

No one ever dresses better because someone told them to. We do it because we’ve seen it done better and with our own eyes.

Photo credit: The Strokes

Draw Your Future

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Draw Your Future

Going somewhere better means leaving something behind, not someone

Those already at the top often express just how damn lonely it is. I then ask is that because you’re the only person there or rather are you the only person who knows how to get there?

A path is only long when you have a shortcut for comparison. Most people never know better

But I bet you do

On the road to happiness chance dictates where we start and choice determines our direction but the key that ensures more than yourself reaches the end?

That’s called graciousness

Now those already at the top may say cartography is no walk in the park. I’ll agree. Meaningful responsibility rarely is

All good journeys start with a map. Every map begins with a line. You just need to draw it

even if it’s not yours to follow

Photo credit: (500) Days of Summer

They Always Say

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They Always Say

You’ll become like the five people you spend the most time with

Truth may be stranger than fiction but you already know fantasy is what real dreams are made of

Role models are hard to come by in the flesh. There’s little shame in looking for them in print or picture

It may all be in your head. And hey, that’s okay

the best stuff always is

Photo credit: Alfie

The Thing I Forget the Most

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The Thing I Forget the Most

My age

In school they taught us a linear path to our goal made sense. We grew up knowing how to confidently count to 100 without any anxiety. Just ask the next guy and he already knows what comes next in his sequence of life. It’s his age +1

However just ask a mathematician and they’ll say there are infinite ways to end up on the positive side of an equation. Linear algebra solves a ton of problems. But so do imaginary numbers, abstract theories, and complex analysis

Easy is easy. New is different. Better? That’s up to you

If you’re always living within a set of expectations determined by someone else you’ll always get results determined by someone else. Accepting you possess a past only unique to you means not settling for a future merely conventional for them

And then ask yourself how many people do you know that fell in love because of a number?

Zero

Now that’s one number even I admit

you shouldn’t forget

Photo credit: http://apostrophe9.tumblr.com/post/28259530688