Hey There You Beautiful Glazed Pastry—

I’m 67% Dunkin’ Donuts right now. 

The life upheaval of putting all your things in boxes, changing your addresses, and keeping two lil humans alive has been the perfect excuse for eating tons of takeout. 

We checked off a few Greensboro culinary gems before we departed. 

🥙The schwarma from Nazareth Bread Company was something to write home about (so I’m writing you about it). 

🌮Also, I immediately regretted that I hadn’t been chowing at Taco Mama on the regulah.

🍔And of course there’s our beloved Cook Out—the place where you can order an economical burger tray and choose chicken nuggets as a side. And don’t forget to add that shake. Just a dollar. 

You’re only sposed to eat Cook Out under cloak of night, my Elon students informed me, but we sure did stop at the last one we spotted on our way up through Virginia in broad daylight.

I mean, look at Jude-let tearing into this cheeseburger. He knows where it’s at.

He makes the same face that my Papa always did when he was feeling his food—it’s a delightful genetic visit from one of my favorite humans.

And the gastronomic extravaganza only continued as we made our way north. 

One highlight was a stop in New Haven to see my brother, Joel. We’re hitting that doppelgänger status the older we get. See?

Still 👆rocking my Elon ready and resilient lanyard so’s I don’t lose my mask. 

We had some delawsh pies from this joint called One 6 Three—there was one called the Fungus Among Us (?) that was all kinds of shroomie deliciousness. 🍄No leftovers.

And then we landed in Massatoosetts.

And we ALL know what that means.

Dunkies!

👆Those are Melissa-Lee’s chocolate with chocolate sprinkle faves—apparently they exist nowhere but in New England.

I’ll tell you another truth. Consuming a large Dunkin’ iced coffee post-4:30 pm is not advisable if you are a 43-year-old man with a desire for a decent night’s rest. 😳

We finally got some actual groceries in the house thanks to Auntie Marie from Rhode Island who hit up the Market Basket down the road and filled our pantry with more marinara sauce than a Carmine’s waiter slings out on a double shift. Thanks, Auntie Doodles.

Keeping it in the fam, this week’s wisdom is from Auntie Marie’s big brother, my father-in-law, Big Pappy Robert Francis Klees.

Imagine a booming bass baritone voice with a low laryngeal position saying in his best Rhody realness—“Do your best. That’s all you can do.

The dialect and resonant pharynx bring it home in a profound way. 

Melissa and I quote that to each other whether we’re triaging a toddler toy battle, trying to remember where we put the napkins, or just finding the most nutritionally passable thing at the Dairy Queen drive thru. And a Blizzard.

Insert your own Waiting for Guffman reference here. If you don’t know Waiting for Guffman, I’m assigning it to you now.

Some weeks, you eat Dunkies and DQ, and then your Auntie Doodles brings you a haul from the Mahket Basket, and you have lettuce in your fridge again.

And through it all, you can ask yourself in your best Robert Francis Klees professional wrestling announcer voice 🎙(seriously, he was an announcer. You’d know what I mean if you heard him speak. That amplitude blasts through all sonic barriers.)—ask yourself, am I doing my best?

If yes, then one step at a time and keep on keeping on. And remember to rest.

If not so much, then go ‘head and have a few more rounds of Dunkies—you’ll get good and full of Boston Cream, I don’t care HOW delectable they are—and then you’ll be ready for some fruit and veg with your DQ double burger.

Sometimes you just gotta ride that sucker out until you’re good and done. It’s how we humans work in my experience.

Then you can get back on the do-your-best train. Local stops are great. And I hear there’s a snack car.

I find this do-your-best-it’s-all-you-can-do advice offensively simple. And that just what good singing should feel like—obnoxious-level easy. It takes a lot of time, attention, and coordination to get there, but that’s the gold. 🎶

Our egos wanna make things harder so we can point to what WE did.

Simple, curious, and taking all the grace we can get—that’s the way to go. 

So when you’re done with your donut, hop on the train, 🚂 and say some kind things to you. Maybe something like, “Ya doin’ ya best, that’s all you can do.” Choo choo

And remember—there’s only one you, and folks need to hear the song that only you can sing.

Love much,
Dan

ps On an exciting, non-donut note, I took Melissa and the boys on the all-the-places-we-almost-rented-but-didn’t tour, and we swung by my new workplace starting September.

Melissa snapped this pic, and I’m real excited to share all I’m gonna learn in this new chapter with you.

I’ll keep you posted!

pps Here is a link list for all the joints I mentioned above for your research pleasure
Greensboro and Vicinity
Nazareth Bread Co and Restaurant http://www.nazarethbread.com/
Taco Mama https://tacomamaonline.com/lawndale/
Cook Out! https://cookout.com/

New Haven
One 6 Three https://www.one6threect.com/

Dunkies—no link necessary

And…
Waiting for Guffman watch on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Guffman-Bob-Balaban/dp/B004G6YRJ4