Bring on the Springtime! The Sweet Sixteen is finally here. About time, this dirty snow is killing my motivation. I haven't even checked but can you bounce a basketball on a clear court outside or does a pickup game still have the chance of getting broken up over a snowball fight?
At least there is youthful excitement on the television. Look at the fans pictured above, does fandom get any more hardcore? Powdered wigs, painted chests or sunglasses covering the red eyes of a pale albino? I don't know but that picture is the essence of March Madness. Looking behind the front row of March maniacs is where you saw me seated in my UMass days. Sure, I give the body painted fans credit for showing their allegiance but I was happy to sport my team's colors in t-shirt form.
Nothing better than picking up a school's shirt that you will cherish for years to come. Like t-shirts from the merch table of a memorable concert, t-shirts are able to capture the good memories. I wasn't lucky enough to support a Marcus Camby at UMass but at least I can tell you I did see some great games with Anthony Anderson, a little known Boston-bred point scorer. I know I also upped my personal b-ball game while sporting UMass basketball shirts on the courts of Boyden Gym and the Southwest horseshoe.
School t-shirts also are great conversation starters. I never knew a t-shirt would have found me fellow Minutemen alumni while living on the sunny beaches of San Diego. I even ran into an older couple that bought me breakfast in Kansas because their daughter was currently attending UMass Amherst.
What is also cool is that the t-shirt can evolve. Sure it might have had short sleeves for the balmy Spring days of Boston but what good are sleeves for the warm Spring days of Mission Beach? Heck, my UMass shirts are still in my drawers but maybe a future Chocolate Lab puppy can be proud to rock the Maroon & White colors of my college days?
No matter your team of choice, whether pro, amateur or college show your support by wearing their t-shirts. I might even order a Florida Gulf Coast shirt to show my support for the Cinderella underdog this year. It would have been better if Harvard made it to the 16, I think I have one of their tees lying in the drawer below my future UMass doggie t-shirts ;)
I have a little downtime now on my Amtrak trip to Atlantic City so why not talk about an upcoming holiday? There is a lot of white scenery outside the window of the train so let’s talk about the jolly green holiday, St. Patrick’s Day! Ahh, St. Patrick’s Day enjoyed by young rosy-cheeked kids and jovial, loose-lipped adults. It can be the scene of community pride but also the scene of adult over-consumption. Either way it is a fun day and what better way to encourage others to join the fun than a t-shirt?
Some of the best pictures of kids are posted to Facebook by their parents for the green holiday. Is there a cuter picture than a brother and sister happily embraced with scally caps and green t-shirts? I think not. The dreariness of winter does not get to these young ones and it is good to share their enthusiasm. The choice of t-shirt is simply cute and does not need a witty comment. Everyone is Irish for this holiday and the kids will be the first ones to let you know.
Next-up is the college students. They have graduated from the days of the parents bringing them to the parade. Look for the witty and sometimes lewd t-shirts from these guys. A favorite shirt of theirs is the ‘Irish I Were Drunk’ or ‘Irish Yoga’ tees. It is easy to have a chuckle at their choice in t-shirt and forget the negative stereo-types the shirts almost always imply. Also look for the team t-shirt mostly worn by fraternity brothers and sorority sisters. What better way to represent your fraternity or sorority than by wearing a t-shirt proclaiming you are an official member of the Irish Drinking team?
Another cool t-shirt that makes an appearance around the St. Patty’s day holiday is the green major league sports tee. It is very cool to see classic teams like the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs go against the grain and sport Green & White as their primary team colors. Who knew that superstars like David Ortiz had a bit of Irish in him? If you are lucky you might be able to enjoy him doing a rendition of the Irish jig.
As we get closer to the unofficial end to winter holiday it is important to choose a t-shirt that represents YOU. Sometimes a green shirt that proclaims Happy St. Patrick’s Day in celtic font is all that is needed to give thanks for your family & friends. So have a Guinness on Tully Ink this St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy the one time of the year you may sample a plate of Corn Beef & Cabbage. Slainte!
Unless you walk out into the unknown, the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.
There is NO better way to get to know yourself and know what you represent in this world than face-to-face sales. When the sales are drying up and you don't know where the next job will come from then hit the streets. It is a good way to get to know the area you live in and the businesses that reside there. Social media will never replace the backbone of all business transactions so take notes kids :)
Today I had the pleasure of tackling the gray day by walking Davis Square in Somerville, Mass. I have heard from friends & family that Davis is a cool place for food, drink and live music. There is a large artist community here which can be seen walking by the various colorful citizen statues.
My first stop was at the Rosebud Diner. I was greeted by Karen and ordered up a black coffee and slice of apple pie. We got to talking and I found out the diner was recently sold and could expect changes by April. I also met Billy, son of the owner who sold the diner. I stayed away from talking specifics with him (sour over not selling the diner to him?) but he gladly accepted my business card. Not a bad start to a good day.
After Rosebuds I made my way over to Brian at The Boston Tattoo Co. I was greeted by nervous looks from seated patrons who I would assume were getting their first ink experience. Either that or it was my intimidating plaid stature? Brian was very receptive after honestly telling him sales were slow. I told him I was out 'pounding the pavement' and he seemed to have a respect for honest sales. We exchanged cards and were both able to respect the unique cards we presented. How can someone say no to a Boston Terrier in a fedora?
At Diesel Cafe, over a dark-roast coffee, I was able to overhear a musical couple next to me talking about the structure of a song they had written. Verse/chorus/ verse or verse/verse/chorus? I don't think I will ever have that conversation with someone in my lifetime (does karaoke count?) but it did remind me to visit Johnny D's down Holland Street. Known for it's live music offerings JD's is the place for good blues guitar, classic rock covers and jamming reggae bands. After chatting it up with the engaging bartender I submitted my final business card of the day and finished up the rest of my Guinness. She reminded me to show up this Thursday night for a good Zeppelin cover band.
Overall it was a good day. I introduced more people to the face of Tully Ink, got to know Davis Square better and hopefully gained extra customers for 2013. I know once the warmer weather arrives I will be singing a different tune but I am relishing the free time I currently enjoy.
Here I sit restlessly staring at the ceiling thinking about a screen printer's tomorrow. Yup, you got it right - a case of insomnia.
I am looking forward to the rising sun. I plan on catching up with Mike Allen of A&B Clothing Co. in Gardner, MA. He runs a screen printing shop set-up for walk-in customers. I want to pick his brain and find out how he likes the retail-end of business. I also want to know if the rent makes for a more stressful operation and what his outlook is for 2013.
I also plan on checking the PO Box to see if any new 2013 catalogs were sent my way. Who knows? Maybe I will find another Playboy meant for the garage that rented the Box before me.
I am enjoying my idle time this week. Well, not really but instead of printing shirts I am researching garage/office leasing and what it will take to bring Tully Ink up to the next level. Just received a bulk order of b&w stickers so look for us on your local Boston street signs ;)
Well, thanks for reading the first hazy Tully Ink blog post! We are looking forward to a BIG year and can't wait to offer what we have in-store.
Good night friends :)
When not printing then running along the Charles or at a Red Sox game soaking up the sun.