Genius Guide to the Good Life

AAJ's resident Genius takes you on a tour of the finer things in life: from craft beer to bourbon, from television to film, and more.

American Pie

Read "American Pie" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

Recently, Your Own Personal Genius celebrated a birthday. I'm 51 now, though I read on a 56-year-old level. I commemorated the event that way I do every year, with a pizza the size and thickness of a braided area rug and a goodly portion of Samuel Adams's Octoberfest beer. Usually, I make my own pizza at the GeniusDome. I've been tinkering with my recipe for nearly half my life, trying to find just the right combination to make my ideal ...

Bourbon, Neat

Read "Bourbon, Neat" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

Those of you who have followed this column for a while, maintaining a safe following distance of 2 ½ car lengths, certainly know by now that I'm a Southerner, specifically, a Virginian. You may also know that I was born in Kentucky to West Virginia hillbillies, raised in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia, and educated in Mars Hill, North Carolina, all in Southern Appalachia. But for a brief period of time when I went to college in Richmond, Virginia, I ...

A Hitch In Time

Read "A Hitch In Time" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

If there is a downside to being a Genius, it would be that I am never satisfied. I am in constant search for new experiences to expand my horizons; new foods, new beers, new movies, new Google searches for pictures of my favorite actresses in various stages of undress. I cannot allow myself to settle, to fall into a comfortable routine, to take to my heart any one thing to call a “favorite." I view having a favorite anything as ...

Binge Worthy

Read "Binge Worthy" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

If you are, like me, a card-carrying member of Generation X, we probably have more than a few things in common. We went through our slacker phase and our grunge phase, likely both at the same time. We probably still crush on Winona Ryder in Stranger Things as much as we did back in her Heathers days. And we likely were raised sitting in front of the TV. It's okay to admit it. We're past the days when ...

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Read "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

As a licensed, board certified Genius, it goes without saying that I have a wide and eclectic range of interests. From World War I to Shakespeare, from Jazz to a vast array of world cuisines, from the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone Park to the upper 2/3s of actress Kat Dennings. I am a man of many parts. For all my pursuits, though, there are only a handful of things I am really passionate about. Music, obviously, is chief among ...

Struttin' With Some Barbecue

Read "Struttin' With Some Barbecue" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

The contributions the South has made to America are innumerable and varied. My beloved Virginia, for example, gave such priceless gifts as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and seven presidents (I do not count William Henry Harrison, because he was a dumbass). We gave the nation Smithfield ham, Virginia peanuts, Eskimo pies, and the first truly American cookbook. And that's just a tiny portion of gifts from one part of the South. On the whole, we've given this country ...

Brew Note

Read "Brew Note" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

In the fourteen years I've been with All About Jazz, a lot has changed in the world. One can no longer get on an airplane without undergoing an MRI and a colonoscopy; the Internet now lives mostly on smartphones and tablets (and phablets, whatever the hell those are) instead of desktops and laptops; Madonna is no longer a completely soulless media whore, she's now more like one of those 'active grandma' types you see in ads for bladder control products. ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO THE GOOD LIFE

Someone's in the Kitchen With Genius

Read "Someone's in the Kitchen With Genius" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

When I am holed up in the 'Dome living the life of a nearly complete recluse (I do occasionally venture out to earn a living, and to buy beer and groceries and then more beer), one of my favorite pastimes is cooking. I first began learning to cook at the age of five, almost forty years ago (by my watch), and have even worked in several restaurants that no longer exist through no fault of mine. I find cooking as ...