The SoBros Mailbag 290: Top 3 Summer Cocktails

Let’s face it – every day we are routinely bombarded with questions. When you’re an emerging media company in Nashville, people just want to know what your opinions are on everything. It’s only natural. And, since our duty is to serve the people, well, we have no choice but to be present. That’s the SoBro Way. Also, aren’t mailbags just a barrel of laughs anyway? Welcome to the newest weekly recurring feature up in this bitch: The SoBros Mailbag. As always, hit us with those mailbag questions @SoBrosNetwork on Twitter, email ’em to me anonymously at thesobrosnetwork@gmail.com. And, holy shit, I need to update this terrible intro paragraph that I’ve been using literally ever since I started writing this column…

Question:

Answer:

I’m going to take the gin and tonic out of the equation here because I could really drink those things year round. I do think they are particularly refreshing on a hot summer day, though! For me, I’m going:

3. Paloma – Summer is tequila season so any way we can incorporate tequila, it’s going to be an automatic summer vibe. Throw in some grapefruit juice or an ice cold Fresca, and you’ve reached the height of refreshment.

2. Rum bucket – It’s a must-get any time my wife and I head to the Jersey Shore, and I wish there was a spot around Nashville where we could order ’em. I don’t even know what’s necessarily in them. It’s just some sort of rum punch that tastes tropical and hits just right this time of year.

1. Margarita – Frozen, on the rocks, it doesn’t matter. The margarita is the quintessential summer cocktail in my opinion. In fact, now that I stop and think about it, I don’t think I ever drink margaritas outside of the summer time. You can throw in some flavors – peach, strawberry, mango, pineapple are my favorite. And, there’s just something about the ease with which those things go down that make them the perfect refreshing complement to a blistering summer day.

Question:

Answer:

I’m a Thanksgiving guy, Ed. I love the food. I love the football. I love the laid back nature with which my family does the holiday. We have several traditions that week that make it feel like a bigger holiday than any other to me. Not to mention, you still have the anticipation of Christmas…you’re looking forward to something. It’s not like at Christmas when the only thing on the horizon is cold, boring January.

That said, I do think Nashville is a really underrated Christmas city, and it’s my favorite holiday to be apart of here. Between everything that goes on out at Opryland, there’s a wealth of Christmas-themed pop up bars that open up that month, and a myriad of other entertainment options. Not to mention, the tourism usually dies down the closer we get to the holidays….or at least it used to. I haven’t been hanging around downtown the last few years so I may be out of date there. So, it’s usually a little calmer and there’s more room to breathe. I slow down that time of year, and it seems like the city reflects that. Plus, we’re in close enough proximity to the Smokies and Rock City to make for more primo holiday attractions. I dig it.

Question:

Answer:

Oh, man – 3 feet tall easily. I’m already 6’2″ and I have trouble fitting into certain spaces. I can’t imagine trying to drive a car or fit into a plane seat at 10 feet tall. That sounds painful. At least at 3 feet tall, I can throw a booster seat in the car and get around. I’ll probably fit comfortably on a plane, something I’ve never felt in my life. Also, at three feet tall, I’ll be able to hide easier, and I love hiding.

Question:

Answer:

At least five times, though I won’t further spread the means through which I obtained it out of respect for his privacy. As for what I took away from it? That thing is a Louisville slugger that you could knock a ball 8,000 feet with.

Keep the questions coming – catch y’all next week!

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.

SoBros Network and Stacking The Inbox have teamed up for the greatest premium content collaboration in the history of Nashville. Get all of the Tennessee Titans and NFL Draft coverage you need on top of premium SoBros Network content such as The Movie Review Rewind Podcast, Sports Punch, and much more! Only $5/month gets you instant access to an exhaustive content library of articles, podcasts, and videos created exclusively for our subscribers! Sign up on Substack today!

Podcast: The Age of Titans Enlightenment

With my usual 2:30PM meeting canceled, that gave us the room to broadcast one girthy episode of Football & Other F Words yesterday. There’s a lot to get to, which is surprising considering that it’s May and there’s no real football going on. Titans head coach Brian Callahan has been making the media rounds with his thicc legs, appearing on The Athletic’s Football Show and Bussin’ With The Boys. There’s plenty to glean from both of those interviews, hence our newfound “age of enlightenment,” a term coined by Zach, with the Titans. We break down all of the little nuggets before shifting gears and talking about this week’s OTA action. And, we even workshopped some new hot takes – Mike with “Josh Whyle TE1,” Zach with “the Titans drafted Latham because Levis is late getting the ball out,” and me with “Treylon Burks is Deebo Samuel.” Yeah, this episode is quite the doozy. Smash that play button below or fire up the audio wherever you take in your podcasts!

Subscribe to Football & Other F Words on Apple Podcasts, follow on Spotify, or wherever you take in your shows!

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.

SoBros Network and Stacking The Inbox have teamed up for the greatest premium content collaboration in the history of Nashville. Get all of the Tennessee Titans and NFL Draft coverage you need on top of premium SoBros Network content such as The Movie Review Rewind Podcast, Sports Punch, and much more! Only $5/month gets you instant access to an exhaustive content library of articles, podcasts, and videos created exclusively for our subscribers! Sign up on Substack today!

Thousand-Word Fiction: Old 45s

Surveying the scene, Fitz felt a deep sense of gratitude well up inside of him. If he were a millennial cringe chick on Instagram, he might’ve posted about his heart cup being full or some shit like that. For now, he simply admired the magnetic pull of the ocean sucking back the waves as they crashed into the shore. What a beautiful spot for a wedding. It feels like it could be the very spot that love itself was born. A warm breeze blowing his tie amiss, golden sunlight casting rays across the party, he turned to take it all in in panoramic fashion. From the beach to the happy couple dancing away on the floor to the boardwalk littered with their closest friends and family rooting them on.

Janine and Larry were wrapping up their version of Roxette’s “The Look,” as the crowd cheered them on, some howling in laughter, others smiling drunk. As the best man, Eric, took the mic and implored the onlookers to give it up for Larry and Janine, Fitz wondered why more people didn’t have karaoke at their wedding reception. “This is a blast,” he thought to himself as Eric welcomed him to the stage as the cousin of the bride. He got up on the stage and realized that they hadn’t actually closed off the boardwalk for the ceremony, only a small section had been roped off. Passersby had congregated around the good time, strangers beginning to mingle in with the wedding party. Everyone was having fun.

The synth drum hit, and Fitz was instantly reminded of how he thinks it’s a shame that only 1,149,498 people listen to Chromeo on Spotify each month. Should be more. He had been a standup comic for five years at this point with impersonations being his specialty. Despite the fact that he’s never been able to carry a tune to save his life, he was confident that he could get the Chromeo voice close enough to pass as entertaining. If nothing else, it would be hilariously bad, but the added pressure of performing for strangers made him a little more uneasy than he was before. Nonetheless, he gave his shoulders a slight shimmy and started tapping his foot to the beat. “Go Fitz,” someone yelled out as the groove weaved its way into the crowd. Here goes nothing.

Dudes’ll step to you with a corny line…” It felt good coming out. So good that Fitz distracted himself and messed up the lyric that followed it because he couldn’t tell if the sound he heard was his voice or the actual Chromeo track without the vocals cut out for karaoke. “He could pick you up in a limousine…” He noticed that people in the crowd began looking at one another – some scrunched their faces up in an impressed sort of bewilderment, others had jaws resting agape. Fitz had caught the party by legitimate surprise, but he wondered how high he could get his voice. So far, so good, but what would happen if he couldn’t get up there to hit those notes? 

Boys are non-committal.” Higher. “Always in the middle.” Higher. “It bothers you a little.” Highest. “Bothers you a little.” Holy shit – he did it. And, it sounded perfect. A wave of applause erupted from the crowd. Fitz couldn’t help but let the goosebumps consume and let the uproar wash over him like the crests breaking behind him. “Why can’t we be like mom and dad?” Feeling confident, he instructed all of the party people to throw their hands in the air for the chorus. The boardwalk was rocking. Drinks were spilling. Feet were shuffling. Most importantly, hands were in the air. “If you think romance is dead and goOoOoOoOne…” Something miraculous happened. The crowd cried back, “Find an old jukebox full of 45s. Pop a nickel in it and it all comes back.” Fitz had caught lightning in a bottle. Nearly 200 of his family and their closest friends had their hands up, swaying back and forth, dancing, laughing, and singing along. 

He was as shocked as anyone. His cousin rushed the stage and hugged him. “Thank you for that,” she said, “but why the fuck have you been holding out on us for so long?” Fitz told her the truth as he knew it. He had no idea he was capable of that. He’d been practicing it as a Chromeo impression, but the music took over and his soul did that thing that souls do sometimes when they’re hit with the right spark. As he stepped to the side of the stage, he heard Eric say into the mic, “good luck topping that, Gary.” A hearty laugh echoed across the pier, but Gary didn’t look amused that his version of “Moves Like Jagger” might do more to quell the frenzy than keep it going.

Meanwhile, a man in brown chino pants, a blue sportcoat, and a graying ponytail worked his way through the crowd to get to Fitz. He wasn’t a familiar face, but Fitz thought back to his pre-performance jitters, recalling the number of strangers who had stopped to watch the proceedings. “Kellen Stone,” the man said, extending his hand for a firm shake. “Listen, Fitz..it is Fitz, right?” Fitz nodded. “More people should be listening to Chromeo, first and foremost. But, that was amazing. Amazing. I mean, I’m down here for the weekend seeing some friends…we come out for a couple of cocktails at McLoone’s…and we see THAT?” “Thanks,” Fitz responded, “but we’re just here trying to have a good time for my cousin’s wedding and…” “OH!” Kellen interrupted. “I’m so flustered – forgive me. I should’ve led with this. I work for a label in the city.” Fitz felt his eyebrows raise involuntarily. Kellen continued, “we’ve been looking for the next Dave 1 for years…I’d like you to come in this week to meet some people and see if maybe we can get you in the studio.” Fitz had no idea, but his life was about to change forever. You never know what’s in you until you let it out. 

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.

SoBros Network and Stacking The Inbox have teamed up for the greatest premium content collaboration in the history of Nashville. Get all of the Tennessee Titans and NFL Draft coverage you need on top of premium SoBros Network content such as The Movie Review Rewind Podcast, Sports Punch, and much more! Only $5/month gets you instant access to an exhaustive content library of articles, podcasts, and videos created exclusively for our subscribers! Sign up on Substack today!

My Favorite Places to Watch the Sunset in Tennessee

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Nashville. It’s the official unofficial kickoff to summer time. I hope you’ve all made plans to get the season started right with a screening of 2010’s Grown Ups at some point this weekend. We all know that film (yes, it’s qualified to be called a ‘film’) perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the summer. Personally, I love this holiday. I mean, I don’t ever do shit to celebrate it. There’s no Memorial Day cookout going on Monday. I just feel like it’s one of those gateway points on the calendar. St. Patrick’s Day signifies the onset of spring. Memorial Day, the summer. Labor Day, the fall. Halloween, the holidays. That’s it. Maybe I’ve just invented this calendar in my own head, but I try to take time to reset and refocus at each of these changing of the seasons, and Memorial Day is no different.

The beginning of summer marks the return of peak golden hour season. I don’t know about you guys, but there’s nothing I love more this time of year than just hopping in the car and cruising around town at golden hour. There are some great sunset spots out here in Mount Juliet, east of Nashville for those who aren’t familiar – the bridge on McCrary Road that goes over 840 in Gladeville, the hilltop on Central Pike next to Gailynn Marie Drive, and the bleachers at Mundy Park (if they’re still there – been a minute since I’ve been) to name a few. I’m a sucker for it. So, when I realized how excited I was to have those lazy golden hour drives back, I got to thinking about my favorite places to watch the sunset.

I didn’t want to limit myself to Mount Juliet. For one, I’d have to go do some actual photo journalism because I don’t have any photos of these places. I’m always behind the wheel of my 2006 Nissan Altima…definitely NOT snapping photos while driving. For another, my wife tells me I’m weird all the time because I like staying in hotels and say things like “oh, I’d like to stay in this hotel and check it out” about hotels that open up half a mile down the road from our own home. What can I say? I’m easy to please. It doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’m on vacation. My point is that I could drop a thousand words on watching the sunset in Gladeville, Tennnessee and inevitably, someone would drive out to check it out and be like “what the fuck is this? who gets so excited about the sunset over 840 in Gladeville?

So, I broadened my scope. I looked through the photos in my phone, I chatted with my wife and some of our friends, and I reached a pretty easy conclusion – let’s widen this up to look at the state as a whole…because there are at least three spots that I’d say are Hall of Fame sunset spots that are appointment viewing any time my wife and I hit the road. What follows is my own personal Mount Rushmore of sunset spots in Tennessee with some SoBros team picks afterwards. If you have a personal favorite spot to watch the sunset in Tennessee, feel free to drop it in the comments. Or, if you email a photo of a spot with a couple of sentences as to why you like it so much to thesobrosnetwork@gmail, I’ll even throw it in this piece. Here’s to the return of peak golden hour season!

Clingman’s Dome

There’s really no comparing in my book. It’s a bit of a haul to get out to Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and you have to time your exit from Gatlinburg just right in order to make it before the sun goes down. I recommend consulting the internet for the time of average sunset, and account for traffic along with difficulty parking – there’s only one way to the spot from Gatlinburg, and it’s crowded during the peak seasons. Also, even if it’s still warm in Gatlinburg, take a hoodie. I went last September, when it was still warm enough outside that we were walking around in shorts and flip-flops, but that changed dramatically by the time we got up to Clingman’s Dome. I was freezing my nuts off in a t-shirt.

Of course, you can make the trek up to the actual dome, and I’m sure you’re going to get a breathtaking view. But, again…it’s hard to time when exactly you’ll be able to get up there unless you arrive super early to account for the hike from the parking lot up the mountain to the dome. What my wife and I have found is that the views from the parking lot are good enough for us. You can see for miles and miles of that classic Smoky Mountain action. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it. It still moves me to the point of a single tear streaking down my face.

Point Park on Lookout Mountain

Who knew watching the sunset from a mountaintop would be awesome? That’s sarcasm for those who can’t tell or might be new here on SoBros Network. Point Park sits atop Lookout Mountain just outside of Chattanooga, so it’s a much more manageable haul than heading to the Smokies from Nashville. My wife and I have even made day trips to Chattanooga just to eat at one of our favorite spots (Brewhaus, Urban Stack, Community Pie) and venture up to Point Park to watch the sunset, only to drive home after dark.

While you can face the sunset on one side of Lookout Mountain, I always catch myself looking back. There’s something about the way the sunlight scatters across the rooftops in Chattanooga that makes the city look particularly picturesque at sunset.

Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards might not provide you with as breathtaking a view as the Smoky Mountains or Lookout Mountain, but the little you sacrifice in terms of quality, it more than makes up for it in terms of the experience. I’ll tell you this – you can’t crash through four bottles of wine and light up a cigar at Clingman’s Dome!

This is a wonderful way to spend an evening. My wife and I have made a nice little tradition of visiting Arrington Vineyards in the early summer, preferably May, when the onset of the brutal Tennessee summer heat is still meager, and the temperatures are still relatively enjoyable. We haven’t done it this year because of the cicadas, so we might end up switching our annual visit to the fall to keep up the tradition. We typically show up mid-afternoon, buy a couple bottles of wine, picnic either with items we brought in a cooler or with a selection of snacks from Arrington’s shop. Sometimes, they even have food trucks parked at the venue. It’s the perfect spot to lay a blanket down, enjoy some good wine and snacks, some good company, and slow the passing of time. You have to make the extra effort to climb up that hill, and sometimes, it can be rather difficult after a few bottles, but to me, it’s well worth the trouble to enjoy the best sunset spot in the mid-state.

The Pool Club at the Virgin Hotel

Nashville is littered with rooftop bars, and I’m sure there are a number of them that are fantastic spots to watch the sunset from. But, so far, all of the rooftops I’ve been on down on Broadway obscure the actual sunset from all the nearby buildings. That wasn’t the case a couple of summers ago when we discovered The Pool Club that sits atop the Virgin Hotel offer off of Music Square. It’s a little way’s out of the downtown madness, so there’s a little more room to breathe, and so far, there haven’t been any construction projects that have eliminated the view of the actual sunset (yet – give it time, I’m sure). So, it was a neat spot to get the best of both worlds – a good view of the city lights and a good view of nature doing its thing. Oh, and the margaritas helped, for sure.

Honorable mentions and SoBros team picks:

  • “Suggs Creek Market” -Brandon
  • “The family farm” -Ryan
  • “Backside of Capitol Hill facing Bicentennial State Park” -Sean
  • “Love Circle in Nashville” -my wife
  • And, I would also add my driveway while admiring the beauty of the 2006 Nissan Altima:

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.

SoBros Network and Stacking The Inbox have teamed up for the greatest premium content collaboration in the history of Nashville. Get all of the Tennessee Titans and NFL Draft coverage you need on top of premium SoBros Network content such as The Movie Review Rewind Podcast, Sports Punch, and much more! Only $5/month gets you instant access to an exhaustive content library of articles, podcasts, and videos created exclusively for our subscribers! Sign up on Substack today!

Tough Scene: Marrying and Divorcing a Ghost

As far as marrying supernatural beings go, I don’t know that a ghost is the direction I’d head in. I’m a physical man who lives his life with great passion with hips that were made for thrusting. So, we would have to have a really strong bond for me to sacrifice that. I guess there are ways that you can make love to a ghost – MacGruber taught us that in 2010. But, I don’t know. I think I’d rather go with a vampire. I’d have to give up food, and I love food, in exchange for sucking blood for all of eternity. But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I bet human blood hits like crack if you’re a vampire. Probably disgusting for you and me, us regular ol’ humans, to go chug a pint of blood. That’s why we have such a difficult time fathoming it. But, if you’re on the other side of it, man, I bet it’s a real treat. Nonetheless, we’re here today to talk about someone else’s decision to marry a ghost and then divorce the ghost after she suspected he was cheating on her.

Courtesy of the NY Post:

“A woman who says she married then divorced a ghost has adopted a possessed clown — but says it’s made her ex jealous.”

That’s the first line of the story! This is some Grade A stuff from the NY Post though, and I don’t feel like I say that very often. Usually, these things are a blurb or a literal bullet list with 5-6 items and a video to go with it. This is some real quality journalism, and I’m stoked that they took the time to really tell this story. I guess it goes to show that you just never know – maybe some physical boundaries exist in that relationship, but what’s a ghost capable of when they don’t respect them? I don’t know if this is just one of those things that are bound to fail from the jump. It’s like cats and dogs – they might try to hump one another every once in awhile, but at the end of the day, you know they can’t be together forever.

Regardless, I would be inconsolable if my ghost wife cheated on me. I’m already going out on a limb here just to be with her – you know all my friends would think I’m crazy. “Dude, what the fuck are you doing with a ghost?” I get it. And, I would sit there and take it just for the opportunity to be with the spirit I loved. How is that reciprocated? You go and find another ghost to do ghost sex with? I’d be devastated. I got enough problems with living entities that reside in my plane of existence. I don’t need to open that shit up for entities on the other side of that veil.

It sounds like everybody in the story is doing fine, though. This lady even linked up with a clown doll that is possessed by the spirit of a guy who was a circus clown that performed tricks for people who didn’t care about him. These two are about to put out the best album of all time.

Image courtesy of Jr Korpa on Unsplash!

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.

SoBros Network and Stacking The Inbox have teamed up for the greatest premium content collaboration in the history of Nashville. Get all of the Tennessee Titans and NFL Draft coverage you need on top of premium SoBros Network content such as The Movie Review Rewind Podcast, Sports Punch, and much more! Only $5/month gets you instant access to an exhaustive content library of articles, podcasts, and videos created exclusively for our subscribers! Sign up on Substack today!

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The SoBros Mailbag 290: Top 3 Summer Cocktails
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My Favorite Places to Watch the Sunset in Tennessee