The Brilliance!


We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

455 small

Noodles & Co!

Just had the buttered noodles and parmesan with grilled chicken. And a diet coke. I’m really into this spot. We didn’t have them around until about 4 months ago. Chuck put me onto a while ago. Either way, I throw it into the category that h&m and Ikea are in. A good well designed product accessible to the masses. Inclusive not exclusive. At the end of the day it’s a pretty simple spot, good classic food with a lot of Asian influence both in the menu as well as the actual décor of each spot. The stained bamboo tables, huge cylinder light things that hang from the ceiling, the whole space is put together very well…I’m into it. I’m also really into the service. They remember my name (I only go one/twice a week) and they have this effect of efficiency that is present in everything they do. I know it’s just a simple lunch light dinner spot, but there is something very different about their presentation…and as seen with other establishments, the clientele that is drawn is equally savvy and well put together. Funny how that happens naturally. Either way…very well branded place. And I love the little ‘community seating, come one, come all’ sign they put on the long tables at mine. That’s my post.

453 small

OQO and the whole UMPC thing!

UMPC is ‘ultra mobile pc’ I think…right? Either way, it’s the whole really small, but fully operational computer movement/thing. I can honestly say I never saw the value in having something like this. I mean, yes, there are benefits to these…but I always looked at them as gadgets. That really started to change with me when I started thinking about more extending type traveling and all that encompasses. I like to only bring 1 bag when I go on vacation. One carry-on, that’s it. I did 10 days in Maui with one bag. When I look at my laptop, camera, treo ipod, etc…it’s like…man, I need another bag. I’m already starting to ramble on this one… The idea I’m into, is that with an ultra mobile pc, like the OQO pictured, I can have everything except the camera with me. It hasn’t been perfected yet…but I’m sure it will be soon (Apple) and it will change the way we travel and maybe even work. Just think of using this tiny device at a coffee shop half-way around the world to make a Skype call to a client regarding and email you just got from them…all while being able to pull up whatever application you use and interact with it. Not much different than a laptop, but you cant but a laptop in your pocket…or even your backpack really. That’s my nerd post…I need one of those OQOs, the keyboard is beautiful!

454 small

Life magazine, Heaven on Earth!

I don’t know exactly when this came out…but it’s wild. Real simple setup. 100 places you must see in your lifetime. A little ridiculous as must people don’t have near the budget or time to visit all these amazing locations…but if you did have the resources, this would really be an amazing guide. They even mentioned Seychelles! But yeah, check this out at your local book shop or mega book store…The magazine is $10.95 or you can grab the hard-cover edition at the link below. There are images that almost don’t look real…places that look straight out of movie sets. I can’t remember which one it was…but the where the kids, who appeared to be monks, are walking thru that jungle/temple area…wow. Amazingly beautiful.

452 small

Stress results and a new question!

So I made a post about stress a week or so ago…I asked what do you do to relieve stress, and the response was crazy and pretty strange too. We got more emails about this than we’d ever gotten about something before. The results included some of the following: skating, drinking beer, sex, thinking about the Staples button that says ‘EASY’, reading our site (nice try), sex, singing Queen’s “Dragon Attack” as a 21 year-old black male, driving, weed, caoco trees and cocoa plants used to increase serotonin levels, pu-erh tea, the gym, sex, ‘thinking about the number one and listening to music and if you get distracted think about the next number and so on until the end of the song’, pop bubble wrap, more weed, thinking about less fortunate people, dotting your “i”‘s with skulls or hearts and thinking about dogs named mookie…and that’s where I’ll stop. So, clearly most of the people who read this site are very weird. And enjoy beer, weed, and sex, and the occassional obvious stress relief method of thinking about the Staples EASY button… ha… but yeah, thanks to everyone who wrote. I don’t know if I have a ‘best’ or ‘favorite’ one that people sent…but how about just a new question. We talk about travel a lot. So, I want to know who thinks they have the craziest travel story. Like for instance, you were on your way to your honeymoon in Haiti when…and so on. Or how when you got off the plane at Newark airport you were mugged by 10 women. Anybody? Email us yours, HELLO@THEBRILLIANCE.COM

451 small

Hostels, get down with the get down!

Not sure why I titled the post that…whatever. Well, maybe because hostels let you get in with the actual ‘current’ of a city if you will. So I’m big into this site, Staying in cities for like $15-$40 a night and blending in with other like minded people…I love this. Usually when I vacation I stay at a rented condo or a nicer hotel because it’s a ‘vacation’ and I want to just relax. But you kind of feel like your missing out on a more ‘real’ experience, you know? I think this especially holds true for visiting foreign countries…for example, at the link below, a listing of nice hostels in London, England. A bunch of them have ‘huge hangout rooms’ equipped with plasma TVs, internet access, pool tables, and just general ‘hangout’ ammenties…all promoting meeting and connecting with like minded people on like minded adventures. I’m into this. I’m even warming up to the idea of the whole dorm room setup…I mean, maybe a little awkward at first but a bit of an adventure right? I want to do Rome and London in the next 6-8 months mingled in with the other trips I’m taking. Cheap flights, super cheap accommodations, and a more adventurous approach to travel. I’ll even leave my nice luggage at home. Anybody from London that could recommend the best one? Email us/me. I got dibs on the top bunk!!

450 small

THE BRILLIANCE in Grand Rapids!

So I made that whole post about Chuck speaking @ the UICA here in downtown Grand Rapids. OMG it wuz sooooo much fun! Here is the re-cap: Chuck got in real late to my loft downtown and he parked in the guest lot, as he was getting out of his car I threw those little dish washer packets at him from my balcony. I wonder what my neighbors think of me? We went to Bar Divani and used their free internet till like 1am then went to McDonlands. I had to get up all early the next day at like 6am for a 2 hour conference call. I made Chuck sleep on the floor even though I have a real comfy sofa. Chuck had this ‘meet-and-greet’ at a college called Grand Valley. We went their…ate bagels and bananas and I acted pretty obnoxious the whole time. I finished a banana I was eating and threw the peel in front of Jesse Hora while he was taking us on a tour…and he actually stepped on it and slipped a little. Highlight of my week. Chuck spoke to all the art student kids while I checked email on my Treo. Then we went back to my loft…I got my Kava from Kona Kava Farms in the mail and tried to prepare it in the traditional way. Tasted terrible. Went to Ritz Koney for lunch…used their wireless to watch that crazy Nintendo64 kid video…and ate fried chicken and hot dogs. Went to the mall cause Chuck needed some pants (ha). Then we hit up the UICA for Chuck’s ‘main event’…okay turn out. He had to use a like a podium thing with a mic and it was super dark. Couple good looking girls there. They gave him a massive computer mouse that says ‘outer glow champ’ on it. Hilarious. Skipped the little after party thing and hit up Bar Divani to say hello to the crew…then more fried food at Ritz Koney. That was pretty much it. Action packed, OMG!!! But yeah…thanks to everyone who came out and everyone we bumped into. Shout out to the whole downtown Grand Rapids.

*From Chuck - Thanks to everyone who came out to see me speak. I went way too long but it was good…I love Grand Rapids, what a cool city. Ben covered just about everything about the day…hmm…what else happened. Well I brought my wireless router so I could use the internet at his place while he used it too but we couldn’t get it to work. Good story, true story. Oh also, on my way home at 1:30AM Friday morning, I had to stop to pay a toll on 94 in Indiana. I only had pennies. The elderly lady asked if I was sure it was 60 cents and I said yes. She said ‘well it better be, because if its not its on you. God sees you.’ ...

449 small

The Beatles! I’m 30 years late!

Long time since I/we posted right? My bad…you know how it is when you get distracted and busy. So usually my music posts are more on the hip hop side. Anything from Jay to the more ignorant stuff I listen to. But lately…like the month or two, it’s been really mellow music. First it was Bob Marley (which I grew up listening to on and off) and then for whatever reason I was like ‘I wonder if I’d be into The Beatles?’ Yikes! I was certainly missing some incredible music. Like Chuck says, this post is like 30 years late…ha. Either way, I have been so enthralled with their stuff over the past month. First of all it’s just their sheer imagination, creativity and talent. But I’m always inspired by the more ‘out-there’ type stuff…and they have some extremely ‘trippy’ stuff going on. The first time I listened to ‘A Day In The Life’ I almost had to take my headphones off during the first ‘crescendo’ part or whatever you call it…man! So intense, I’ve never heard anything like that in my life. And it’s so well placed with the rest of the relaxed vibe. Some tracks I’m into right now: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, A Day In The Life, Maxwells Silver Hammer, Across The Universe, Don’t Let Me Down, Something, I Want You, Hey Jude, Here Comes The Sun…and a too many more. The variety in their sound is amazing. Yeah, I probably look entirely un-savvy with the whole music thing…but whatever, I bet there are a ton of readers who never actually sat down and really listened to these guys. Does anyone make music like this anymore? ***Quick shout to Qiydaar, the tracks are wild!

448 small

Chuck / NoPattern Speaking in Grand Rapids on 3/30!

Oh snap! I almost forgot to write this up… Alright team, here is the deal: Chuck ‘House of Glows’ Anderson / NoPattern is going to be in Grand Rapids tomorrow (3/30/06) at the UICA for a speaking and presentation event. The downtown thing starts at 8 PM, but you could get there a little early and do that art kid/scenester thing where you loiter before the event starts…Chuck and I will be there a bit early to chill or whatever. If you are in the area, and have never been, the UICA downtown is a really great space..beautifully done. Except when they have ‘poetry slam’ night which is absolutely terrible…zing. Also right around the corner is the new Premier and Weston Project store…get downtown early and check this spot out, spend some cash there. I love what those guys are doing. So yeah, block out tomorrow night for some quality time downtown! Also, we might be doing an after party thing or something so get at me with location cause we don’t have it figured out yet. Shout to Jesse Hora for organization on this. Check the link below for directions to the UICA. That’s like two post in a row about Chuck! Oh snap!! Ha…

447 small

Eric Quebral & Chuck Anderson exhibition!

It’s weird referring to myself as Chuck Anderson instead of “me” or “I” but a post title of “Eric Quebral and me exhibition!” doesn’t flow right. Anyways - if you haven’t seen Eric’s work around, you’re missing out big time. He does incredible work using wood as the medium. Check an interview with Eric out on Dopefiend. Anyways - Eric and myself (NoPattern) will be in an exhibition together in Toronto at Magic Pony. It opens April 14th and runs through the 23rd. The reception will be on the 23rd and both Eric and I will be there for it. The show is called WOODCHUCK…if you can’t figure out why…let me tell you. Eric works with wood and my name is Chuck = woodchuck, smart guy. The show reception is in the same timeframe as FITC which is a crazy design conference up in Toronto. All this to say you should check out both the exhibit and FITC if you can…This post is a wrap!

446 small

Stress, pressure, and unrest

Awesome! What a great and positive post this will be! Can you feel it? Anyways, I just wanted to take an entire chunk of space on here to vent a little, talk about stress, you know, really uplifting stuff. I’m sure everyone reading this at some point with work or life in general has dealt with stress…the worst has to be when you have several things to do all at once and they’re all high priority. I don’t even know where to begin sometimes. I’m going to keep this short because it’s a stressful thing to talk about stress…but I wanted to open this up to suggestions. Email your favorite ways to relieve stress or your best suggestions to The best one will win a prize. The prize most likely being a mention on the site and a high five.