“One Aardvark is an amorphous and loose work in progress. We presume it will remain that way for some time.”
This is what we said at the outset, but after publishing around 200 posts and getting a feel for the general aesthetic of this blog, we think it can be best summarized as a blog about “dude-ness.” We’re just a bunch of dudes, writing about being dudes. Sometimes douchey–maybe often douchey, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes touching, sometimes borderline useless, the stuff we write all waters down to a study of the prototypical “dude” conducted at the hands of the subject itself.
Behind the Aardvark:
James Freitas graduated college in 2015 with a BA in English. His concentration was American Literature and he co-edited a new edition of The Female American, published by Broadview Press. Outside of academia, James has published poetry, nonfiction and short fiction
in numerous journals–The Santa Clara Review, The Commonline Journal, PAPINO zine, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, The Paragon Journal and others.
Beyond writing, James enjoys–no surprise–reading. His list of favorite writers is constantly evolving, but some perennial fixtures include David Foster Wallace, Nicholson Baker, Ernest Hemingway, Christopher Hitchens and Joan Didion. Paul Theroux and James Joyce deserve acknowledgment–as does John Steinbeck.
Now a taste of James, the person, not the curriculum vitae:
Nicknames: Frei, Frei-dad, Jamesy AoD, Commish. For fear of being one-dimensional, James does engage in life outside of the written word (albeit rarely). He is a voracious watcher of hockey–professional, collegiate, whatever’s televised or live-streamed. He is the lone member of the Matt Beleskey fan club. He enjoys Jim Beam and Miller Lite without being ironic and maintains that Miller tastes better in cans. He is a self-proclaimed “can-guy.” He had a brief, unsuccessful and unglamorous career as a collegiate boxer. He devoted his childhood/teenage years to drums, percussion and music in general. He’s performed in jazz combos, drum-lines, mallet ensembles, orchestras, big bands and Jamaican steel drum ensembles.
Douglas Mead, “Uncle Doogs” to his friends, proudly works as a firefighter for the Town of Winthrop. He also served for five years, active duty in the United States Coast Guard. Uncle Doogs was stationed on Cape Cod for three years and was a federal law enforcement officer for the Coast Guard and small boat coxswain. Uncle Doogs was all business on the water; however, off the water is where he really shines.
A wildly witty guy, Uncle Doogs loves coffee, cars, booze, sports, music and America. Always pushing the envelope with his humor, Uncle Doogs is a sensational dude.
When he isn’t driving fire trucks and saving lives, or driving boats fast for America, Uncle Doogs is most likely listening to and discovering new music, or in the driveway cleaning his GTI. He doesn’t stay in one place too often; always moving around the Commonwealth to have a drink, usually a margarita or a Bloody Mary, hanging with friends.
Uncle Doogs also holds an Associates of Science from North Shore Community College in Fire Protection Safety and Technology.
Patrick Baga, aka “Pat” aka “Paddy” aka “Patty” aka “Baga” aka “Jesse,” is a Political Science major at the University of New Hampshire. By no choosing of his own did he end up with all these nicknames, but alas they materialized, so, dependent on the company he
is sharing, these are all ways in which he could be referred. Resultantly, on online platforms he has resorted to using his given name Patrick—notably only used by family and past employers. It has not created an identity crisis.
Heralded for his terse quips in the flesh, writing is the outlet in which he can use more words than necessary to unleash his thoughts. His essays entitled Hidden Intellectualism and The Relationship Between Music Therapy and Intellectual Disability have been published by Fountainhead Press, Inc. in the 2016-17 edition of Transitions.
Often aloof but generally kindhearted, Patrick enjoys spending time with family and friends nearly as much as time spent with his dog or in solitude. His fellow aardvarks top the list of people he has had the privilege of coming across.
The pace is most becoming to Patrick when it is slow and steady, and his ideal day consists of a morning round of golf followed by a book followed by a small gathering in the evening.
Max graduated from the University of St. Andrews with an MA (Hons) in Classics in 2015 and obtained an MPhil in Classics with distinction at Jesus College at the University of Cambridge in 2016. While in practice (and sometimes spirit) an avid classicist, Max also
loves Italian and has many literary passions beyond the ancient world. A not insignificant part of this involves envying anyone who knows French.
Max has produced peer-reviewed publications in Classics and English and is currently working on two creative writing projects whose fates are quite uncertain. Quick to laugh at himself, to make an outlandish joke, or to be loud and effusive, Max is known for being extroverted, upbeat, smiling with his irresistible dimples, and generally having a good time.
Max has now returned from the UK to the East Coast and moved to Boston to be closer to his fellow aardvarks. He currently teaches Latin and Greek at a boarding school outside the city; however, he plans to continue traveling and entreats any Scandinavian dignitaries who may be reading for dual citizenship in their country.
Max bleeds coffee like James, bleeds good beer like Patrick, and served like Doogs but as an EMT and firefighter. Like all the aardvarks, Max did not write this bio in 3rdperson.
Jason is a Massachusetts-based photographer with far too much pride in being a college dropout. After spending a year running track and cross country and studying sports medicine at Westfield State U
niversity, he has now made a name for himself as a music, wedding, portrait, and lifestyle photographer, working with brands such as Nike, Jack Daniel’s, and Converse.
Currently a new resident of Malden, Jason is an avid music listener with a regrettably large vinyl collection, a severe caffeine addict, a fan of art but a complete stranger to the world of modern art, and most importantly, a wandering spirit, always looking for the next focus of his immediate attention. He enjoys binge watching television shows which has led to his constant quoting of The Office to the chagrin of his friends, finding the next transformative film, playing drums in various projects that never seem to find the light of day, taking the long way home whenever possible, just about everything to do with the 1980’s, and talking about the one sport that no one really cares all that much about; baseball.
Jason may not write a lot, but when he does, it’s done with sincerity and commitment, usually with the help of a distracted mind.
Derek is a senior in college, set to graduate with a degree in English accompanied by a minor in Spanish. His passion for basketball is rivaled only by enthusiasm for music and writing. He finds comfort in cheap beer and close friends.
While not always at the center of attention, Derek feels at his finest when he can make his friends laugh; you can always rely on him when the campfire joke-telling begins. He is both perfectly accustomed to hosting the party, or retreating to the comfort of solitude. for a relaxing time of doing absolutely nothing. If sleep wasn’t biologically required, his productivity would surely increase tenfold.
One can often find Derek appreciating the small things with his parents next to the pond over a strong cup of coffee.