The Best

I’m probably not the smartest guy you’ve ever met. If I am, you need to meet more people. However, I do know one thing:

The 1990s were the greatest decade ever.

You want proof? Excellent. I’m a lawyer, so I like stuff like that. Here’s your proof:

“Saved by the Bell”

The Best

Honestly, that should be enough to settle any debate. However, here are a few more reasons why the 1990s were the best decade ever:

-It was cool to wear a Bugs Bunny shirt to school

The Best - 2

-The Nintendo 64. I could have sworn those graphics looked just like real life.

The Best - 4

WCW v. NWO v. WWF.  Mondays were awesome.

The Best - 3

-Epic TV shows like “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” and “The Fresh Prince.” Two of those shows are now on “Nick at Nite.” That makes me want to cry.

The Best - 6

-Oh, and “TRL.” I miss the days when seeing a thirty-second clip of your favorite music video was the highlight of your day. Seriously, that show was the peak of MTV and still the best thing that ever happened at 4pm.

-The 1990s graced us with songs such as “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “Getting Jiggy Wit’ It,” “Wonderwall,” “Waterfalls,” “Black or White,” “Wannabe,” everything Lauryn Hill did back then, “Baby One More Time,” “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” “Vogue,” “Jumper,” “Push,” “Sabotage,” “Ironic,” “One,” every Hootie and the Blowfish song, “No Diggity,” “California Love,” “Hypnotize,” “Iris,” “Don’t Speak,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “1979,” “Mr. Jones,” every Boyz 2 Men song, and, of course, the greatest song in the history of the world: “Ice Ice Baby” (dum dum dum da da da dum)

-Oh, and “I Want it That Way.” That is the song of our generation even though no one knows what the lyrics mean. It’s that good.

The Best - 8

-In the 1990s, “TGIF” was more than just a phrase. I miss the 1990s.

The Best - 7

-“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and the “Lion King” were back-to-back-to-back Disney masterpieces. There would be a lot fewer wars, violence, and crime if we were all required to watch those movies each week.

The Best - 9

-The best movie in the history of the world was released in the 1990s:

The Best - 10

Nothing has ever captured my sense of wonder like “Jurassic Park.” Except for the Seven-Layer Burrito at Taco Bell.

[ Timeout: There are many more items to include, but it’s 1:00am. Thus, I’ll wrap this up soon. Time in. ]

Timeout

Finally, the 1990s were the best decade ever because we weren’t so obsessed with the internet. We were at the perfect point in the evolution of technology. An endless world of information was at our fingertips, but only at dial-up speed and if no one else at home was using the telephone. We no longer had to rely on Microsoft Encarta or World Book Encyclopedia to answer all our questions, but we couldn’t get an answer to every question within seconds. You had to work for it. Oh, you had a favorite song in 1997? Then go buy the CD for $20. Or if you were really tech savvy, you could download that bad boy on Napster or some other shady site while fighting through thousands of pop-up ads. There were no iPods or MP3 players. If you wanted to listen to a song away from home, you had a Walkman or Discman. Good luck using the latter when exercising. Today, we can download or stream a song within seconds from anywhere.

All these technological advancements are great things. However, it’s time for the old man rant. I miss the days when everything wasn’t so connected, so instant, and so constant. I miss the days when you would hang out with friends and family and you were hanging out with friends and family, not all the different people on their respective newsfeeds. I fear that we’re missing out on so many of life’s treasures because of cellphones. Magical things can happen when we’re focused on the people around us or when our minds are empty and open to the creative sparks that happen during times of mental silence. Instead, we often fill those moments by looking at a screen.

Zach Morris Phone

A Friend Like You

The death of Robin Williams has made me very sad. I never knew him, but he had a profound impact on my childhood. I know millions of other folks feel the same way.

The news was shocking. Of course, none of us know why he’d take his own life. Mental illness is such a powerful force. I’ve seen it rip apart my own family in recent years. We’re repeatedly left asking the question “why?”. There is no answer.

Robin Williams has left an incredible legacy of laughter. However, I hope his greatest legacy will be the awareness his passing brings to mental health issues. There are millions of people out there who desperately need help. My brother is one of them.

Rather than do a disservice to mental health issues, which I know little about, I want to write about a few fun and silly ways Robin Williams impacted my life over the years:

1. I don’t care what the experts say, “Aladdin” is the best Disney movie of all time (“The Lizzie McGuire Movie” is a close second). The music in “Aladdin” is amazing, the story is great, Abu is my dude, and Jafar is an epic villain. However, that movie is legendary because of Robin Williams. His Genie character was fantastic. He also improvised most of it. Genius. I loved “Aladdin” so much, I would watch the cartoon show every single day after school in sixth grade. I was a hardcore middle schooler.

Friend Like You

2. “Hook.” It was my first favorite movie. It was also my first job. I loved that movie so much in second grade that I would sit in class and doodle pictures from the movie. Of course, I then put them in the front of my Trapper Keepers. Other kids saw them. Other kids wanted them. I wasn’t about go give my masterpieces away for free, so I charged a dollar for each drawing. I made $4. I was rich.

“Hook” has continued to play a significant role in my life, 20+ years later. A few weeks before the babies were born, we watched “Hook.” It was still such a great movie. However, I had a bit of an identity crisis. It seemed like only a few heartbeats ago that I was a little kid watching that movie and swindling classmates out of their money to buy my terrible drawings. As a little boy watching the movie, I identified with Peter’s kids and the Lost Boys. Now, all of a sudden, I had become the dad in the film. Much like Peter, I had grown up. However, just like Peter, and just like Robin, I’m still a kid at heart (and I’ll still draw you a picture from the movie for a $1).

Hook

3. All kids like to push their bedtime to the limit. Our kids hate sleeping. As soon as we put them down to bed, they start laughing and hollering to keep themselves awake and to try to convince us that we should let them stay up later and play with them instead. I remember once in elementary school I stayed up past my bedtime. No one said anything. So I stayed up longer. I ended up watching “The Tonight Show” by myself. That joint came on at like 11pm, so I was living on the edge. Robin Williams was a guest on the show. I probably didn’t understand all the jokes and references, but I laughed so hard. He told a story about throwing sandwiches from a hot air balloon. I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

4. I saw “Jumanji” in seventh grade. I was terrified. I had legitimate concerns that a herd of rhinos would come storming through my bedroom. I was in the seventh grade. That’s proof that Robin Williams was not just a hilarious comedian, but a phenomenal actor (and that I’m a wimp).

Thanks for the laughs, Robin. You will be missed.

Goodbye

Saying “goodbye” is one of the hardest things to do in life.

That is why I like to say “goodbye” with awkward dance moves and a little bit of sweat.

Enjoy!

Thanks to David and Jen for hanging out, having some fun, and not laughing at my “dance” moves (too much). It’s pretty funny that we filmed a video for “Bye Bye Bye” and “Gangsta’s Paradise” on the same day. Diversity is the spice of life. Yo.

Goodbye

On a related note, which is the best boy band of all time? Here is your answer.

Be Bold

I met Vanilla Ice this week.

20140717-212459-77099000.jpg

It was an incredible mix of awesome, hilarious, and nostalgia.

It also taught me an incredible lesson.

Be bold.

How did I get to meet Vanilla Ice, arguably the greatest pop culture icon in American history?

I asked.

That’s it.

I saw on his website that he had a tour date in Washington D.C. this week. It was listed as a “private corporate event.” My first reaction was that I need to work for whatever company hires Vanilla Ice for a work event. My second reaction was that I need to get in that event somehow.

After putting it off for a few weeks, I decided to take a chance. I found a few different email addresses online that were affiliated with Vanilla’s website or management team. I emailed them all.

And then I told my story:

I’m a 31-year old husband, lawyer, and father of twins. However, I was once the only white kid in my class. I was once a seven-year-old cruising around on a one-speed bike singing “Ice Ice Baby” all the time. I was once a guy who tried to beatbox in the back of my Spanish class and some guys called me Ice Ice Andrew. It became my AOL screen name when that was still a thing. A bunch of years later, I started a blog with the same name. I make awkward rap videos. Some lawyer friends and I recently performed “Ice Ice Baby” at a charity event that raised over $300,000 for the DC homeless.

That was the story.

It worked.

His manager told me to come by after the event. I went. I hung out with some of his team. They did shots. They asked me to join. That could only lead to trouble, so I politely declined and calmly sipped on my Corona Lite instead.

And then I talked to Vanilla Ice. For five minutes. I told him my story again. We bro hugged.

It was awesome.

Be bold.

(I do have to clear the air about one thing. Vanilla Ice is a liar. Despite his famous proclamation, he does not glow when you turn out the lights. I tested it out.)

Me and Vanilla Ice:

20140717-213044-77444539.jpg

All-Stars

Hi.

Tonight is Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Unfortunately, I fell a few million votes short of making one of the teams. Maybe next year.

In the interim, I’ve put together a list of some of the All-Stars in my life. This list isn’t exclusive, but just some of the names I could think up at midnight. I just want to say thanks to these people for being awesome.

Amanda M.: I’m really glad I married this lady. She makes me laugh every single day.

Steve Ellis: I’m guessing none of y’all know Steve. I don’t know Steve. However, Steve founded Chipotle. Thank you, Steve.

Paul M. and Eddie W.: These guys are some of our BFFs. They make us laugh, they are always there to help, and they are incredible cooks.

Paul and I as (unintentionally creepy) Bert and Ernie, Halloween 2013:

All Stars

IMG_1604

Hannah M.Hannah inspired me to start this blog. She also loves the same kind of terrible music that I enjoy.

Tom Brady: He’s won “5” Super Bowls for my beloved New England Patriots. Thank you, Tom. We should hang out again:

My mom and Amanda’s mom: Both of them have stayed with us a bunch over the first few months of our kids’ lives. Their love, support, and help have been priceless. We would not have survived without them.

Joe S.We send a lot of snarky texts. Most of them are about baseball and the horrible grammar we see people use on Facebook. It is healthy to vent somewhere.

Steve F.: More snarky texts. Most are about crazy stuff our kids do, the highs and lows of being a lawyer, and how amazing our wives are at everything. Steve also makes me feel young when we hang out because he’s much older than me.

Josh O.: I look up to this guy more than I do any of my other friends. Josh is 6’6″.

Howard and Kelly A.: Howard has been one of my BFFs for 20+ years. They are the nicest people in the world. Kelly is also really short.

Kelly and Josh:

IMG_5980

Terrence C.This guy drives like a thousand miles to church on Sunday. He’s a wonderful, insightful, and funny guy who I am honored to know. He also likes Mexican food.

Kim and Matt H.These two model the love of Jesus in such incredible ways. Plus, their son is absurdly cute.

Vanilla Ice: Thank you for the inspiration and the greatest work of art ever created.

Dennis and Donna P: They are such incredible pastors, mentors, and inspirations.

Ryan Zimmermann: You’ve followed me from Virginia Beach, to UVA, to DC. Thank you for the support. You are also my favorite baseball player.

Joy and Hunter W.These two are crazy. Crazy because they are willing to do whatever it takes to build an incredible church community.

Andy DunnThis guy is the reason I wear pink, yellow, green, orange, and purple pants. He founded Bonobos.

“Wear the Rainbow.”

IMG_2277

Chris D. and Alissa K.: These two are hilarious. They are getting married in October. I can’t wait to celebrate their lives. However, I’ve been told that I have to stay at least 20 feet away from the microphone.

Charles C.This guy constantly challenges me to be a better man, husband, and father. He is from Texas. I am too.

Brian WilliamsHe is my favorite newscaster. He is also my baseball BFF and such a wise and thoughtful friend.

Chad and Kaci C.: Their lives are crazy, but they live them out with incredible grace, composure, and humor. We want to be parents like them.

Ben I.: This guy came to church one time and was volunteering the next week. He has been such an inspiration to so many people at our church.

Ron M.Amazing man. Amazing life story. Amazing musician. Amazing beard.

John C.Very few of my guy friends love shoes as much as I do. John does. #solidarity

Jen S. and David W.I could not live the thug life without them.

My grandparents: I would not be here without them. Literally. Plus, all four are magnificent human beings.

My kids: They have changed everything. For the better.

IMG_7111

Okay, time to go to bed. Bye.

 

Paradise

When you hear the word “paradise,” you may think of pearly gates and streets of gold, a short line at Chipotle with generous meat-scooping workers, or quitting your job and traveling around the country to watch baseball games.

What does a thug like me think of when I hear the word “paradise”?

Paradise

Making a rap video with two of my BFFs.

Due to a crazy work schedule and well, babies, it’s been about six months since I hung out with Dave and Jen to make a new rap video. Well, I’ve got good news for both of our fans:

The wait is over!

Mission Accomplished

As I wrote about on Monday, I was pretty hyped for this week’s battle of the law firm bands event. This amazing musical throwdown is in its eleventh year, is hosted by Gifts for the Homeless, and has now raised more than a million dollars for the DC homeless community.

Well, it was a smashing success.

1. This year’s event raised more than $300,000 for the DC homeless. (fist pump)

2. Our band did such a great job. Yes, I’m biased, but we killed it. And by “we,” I mean everyone else in the group. I just showed up for a one-song cameo. The band performed Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis, and Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” Oh, and one more song…

IMG_6753

3. We did a sweet mashup of Queen’s “Under Pressure” and Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” (which are two very different songs that sound nothing alike). We were nervous it would sound muddled, that people wouldn’t get it, and that I’d pass out from wearing a gold trash bag. Thankfully, none of those things happened, but I may have pulled a hamstring due to some awkward white guy dance moves. Here’s the video:

4. Thanks to everyone who came out and who donated. It was a blast seeing so many friends jamming out there with us. Our firm raised $40,000 for this event, more than any other law firm in DC, and had SO many people there! Holla. I was so happy that Amanda was able to attend and that our kids and the babysitter all survived. However, the babysitter, a former teacher, said Madison was the most strong-willed child she had ever seen. That sounds about right.

5. Most importantly, has anyone seen my gold necklace? I threw it into the crowd during “Ice Ice Baby.” P. Diddy will be really mad when I tell him that I lost his $50,000 necklace.

IMG_6729

See you next year. Word to your mother.