Guest Recommendations: Kevin Fanning

Writer Kevin Fanning likes fancy wine spritzers, the healing power of GIFs, and trying to convince people to watch Teen Wolf.

Bespoke Wine Spritzers

Often when people have wine in their house they think, Well, I better be fancy and sip this plain wine very slowly. Nope. Wrongo. Wine is just an ingredient. Lose the monocle and let’s get creative with our wine consumption. Welcome to the fierce majesty of the wine spritzer.

“But how? Where do I start?” you ask. A valid question. The internet offers shockingly little utility here. Martha Stewart’s own wine spritzer recipe merely lists “white wine” and “club soda” as ingredients. Really Martha? ANY white wine? Plain ‘ol club soda? That might play in Connecticut but this is the internet, and we demand better. A glass is a canvas. Wine and soda are the daubs of vivid color with which we will paint the future.


Illustration for The Bygone Bureau by Laurel Picklum

A white zin with Canada Dry. A Riesling with Vernors. What about a Sauvignon blanc with Ale-8-One, or a rosé with Fentiman’s? A chablis with Ramune? I mean??? There is so much to explore here. A squeeze of lime here, a maraschino cherry there, and suddenly your Fancy Wine is singing “We Can’t Stop” at karaoke.

Are we as humans ready to explore a brave new landscape of wine spritzers? I don’t know. I’m not saying I have all the answers. I’m saying this is a refreshing beverage that is easy to make, amazing to drink, and highly amenable to creative whimsy — let’s at least fund the research before we dismiss the idea out of hand. Maybe someday we will each have our own signature wine spritzer blend, and it will just be one more extension of our personal brands, like ringtones and Twitter bios.

The Aaliyah Yo Be Cool GIF


This is a GIF of the singer Aaliyah saying “Yo be cool” in the video for “Back In One Piece,” a duet with DMX from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack. The GIF was originally created by Tumblr user myloveinthug and I think about it a lot. Like how you sometimes get a song or phrase stuck in your head, I get this GIF stuck on repeat in my brain. It’s an earworm for my eyes. It’s an eyeworm.

Whenever I’m stressing out (I am forever stressing out) and find myself getting into a Negative Place, this GIF mentally appears in my mind and I breathe and bob my head and think: Yo, be cool, Yo, be cool, Yo, be cool, Yo, be cool, and eventually it starts to help. Try it right now, with me. Yo, be cool. Yo, be cool. Aaliyah is using her powers to help you manage your stress. Yo, be cool, Yo, be cool. Maybe the right GIF will heal all your problems in life if you stare at it long enough. Yo, be cool, Yo, be cool.

Teen Wolf S02x02, “Shape Shifted”

There are two types of people on this planet: people who crash, derail, or hijack any and every conversation in order to steer it towards discussion of how amazing Teen Wolf is, and the people who make I’m-about-to-blow-my-brains-out hand pantomimes behind the backs of people who talk about Teen Wolf. I get it! But seriously you guys. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the first season. It’s great! But this was the episode where I sat up and went: wait, okay, something actually great is happening here.

So okay yes there is a Teen Wolf show, no it doesn’t really have anything to do with the movie, yes it is actually really good. It’s a mashup of Buffy, Friday Night Lights, and Queer As Folk. It utterly subverts the heterosexual male gaze (in Teen Wolf the women are smart and cool and awesome, and the boys take their shirts off.). It really delves into the complicated problems modern teens face: being part wolf, winning lacrosse games, steering clear of your girlfriend’s werewolf-hunting parents, etc.

It’s all very tongue-in-cheek and fun, but this was the episode where things got DARK, and where we learn that there are creatures even creepier than teen werewolves, and where my enthusiasm for the show went from “Yay, Teen Wolf” to “OMG TEEN WOLF.”

Anyway this episode was really good, sorry I can’t explain why without spoilers, so watch all of season one and then start season two and then find me on Gchat when you’re ready to be one of the people who is continually desperate for other people to talk about Teen Wolf with.

Kevin Fanning is a contributing writer for The Morning News and Maura Magazine. He writes about celebrities and relationships and internet culture and can be found online at @kfan.