Author Archives: Brian McMullen

About Brian McMullen

Brian McMullen is a writer and artist who works at McSweeney's in San Francisco.

I Love Bed & Breakfast Diaries

Dear Reader, I love bed & breakfasts in both theory & practice. I’ve stayed overnight in five B&Bs so far in this charmed lifetime—most of them on Prince Edward Island, an island in Atlantic Canada that boasts the world’s largest egg beater. One of the great, surprising pleasures of my 2005 wedding-anniversary trip to...

Dining on Upscale Food-Court Leftovers

The “Emporium” food court in downtown San Francisco’s Westfield mall features gourmet food, handsome signage (1, 2), downtown prices, and — in the case of many of the restaurants — reassuringly hefty metal silverware. I’m no freegan and I’m probably not much greener than the average San Franciscan, but let me tell you something:...

Skeletoast

I googled “skeletoast” this afternoon and was delighted to turn up this somewhat Willie Cole-esque photo: It’s from the photostream of a Flickr user named Skullbees. Thank you, Skullbees — you’ve made my day! This photo reminds me of how much I enjoyed seeing Willie Cole’s “Sunflower” (1994) and Domestic I.D., IV (1992) at...

Royal Purple Synthetic Oil's $6.46 Multi-Language T-Shirt

While researching escalators for a personal project, I happened upon the website of Royal Purple Synthetic Oil, a Texas-based company that sells a wide variety of purple-packaged lubricants, including this one for escalator chains: Because I’m not used to associating “oil” with “purple,” I found myself grinning — pleasantly disoriented — at this grapey,...

Suggestions?

Thanks for putting your suggestions in my box, Google. Click the picture above for a Google-generated visual typology of suggestion boxes. I love suggestion boxes — especially the ones that look like mailboxes. (Bob Evans used to have that kind, complete with raisable/risible flag. Do they still?) On the subject of suggestion boxes: Joe...

The Powerful Aroma of 365-Day Desktop Calendars

I’m having some fun here dreaming up a new kind of 365-day desktop calendar: a Gill Sans–based calendar that tries very hard to force you to have an uplifting business insight every day. Is the powerful aroma of special insight absorbed lightly in the complete embrace of a good attitude? This calendar would really...

How Do You Like Javier Bardem Apples?

Does the internet suffer from a shortage of funny pop-culture based Photoshop mashup images? No. But I have a special love for the excruciatingly pun-packed photochops of Thighs Wide Shut. Thanks, TWS, for 6+ years of excellent service so far. Halloween costume recommendation, 2008: Regarding Javier Bardem’s Best Supporting Actor win at the 2008...