Day 164 of 365

Seeing is a choice.  So is noticing the good in your life.  Most fo us focus on what we can make better but sometimes it's important to remind ourselves of what is working just fine. 

Day 163 of 365

Look within yourself for guidance.  It's much more simple than you'd ever think because your gut doesn't really make a stink about things.  It simply know when things are wrong, awkward or not right.  It also knows exactly when things are great and what moments to preserve. 
Like this one right now. 
Feels pretty damn good to sit in this bed and type on this key board.  Nothing exterior will ever complete whats deep inside you.  Only listening to that inner voice will. 

Day 162 of 365

Summer.
It reminds me of the best days.
A radio flyer wagon. 

Filling it up with water. 

Swimming in the pool until my skin turned to a prune.
Camping at the res. 

Cliff jumping and bon fires. 

Hide and seek until it was so late and we had to be forced inside only to eat pizza and watch mortal combat on VHS. 

I remember those days.
I still crave them, real life shared in moments not on social profiles. 

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Day 160 of 365

Camaraderie.  The glue that holds men together but prevents them from saying I love you.  Perceived as weak, gay, or even pessimistic, saying "I love you" before you hang up the phone with your best friend to me is none of those things.  It is only a sign of admiration, respect, and a mutual bond.  It acknowledges that "fuck were going to die one day" feeling.  Being at National Police week in D.C. this past weekend was a strange and at times refreshing view into the psyche of the American male.  A culture that is dominated by sacrificial heroes, Rambo, and the National football league.  Most American men grew up being told by their peers not to be a p*ssy.  Only showing men from a young age that any behavior perceived as emotional would be deemed feminine and would diminish your value masculinity.  I believe that a deep level  of camaraderie can surpass that emotional barrier while a shallow bond creates a blind following and judgement.  At police week I could see those informal masculinity codes crumbling.  Brothers hugging brothers sisters hugging sisters.  People sharing a bond that even 25 years couldn't break.  An unmatched loyalty to fallen comrades.  It was somber but refreshing to see the loyalty of a community brought together by tragic circumstances.  Just for a week they could start to mend their wounds, and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  

True Heroes. 

Day 159 of 365

Back in Brooklyn from a weekend in D.c. with the family (more on that tomorrow) and damn it was good to be off my cell phone for the entire weekend.  No waisting countless minutes scrolling through instagram to pass time just good old fashioned fun and a chance to let my brain rest... or so I thought.  I felt that social interaction was much more stimulating than looking down at articles or instagram stories.  I was less bored than ever and I am starting to think that boredom only comes from missing the social interaction that happens in real life.  (Sad that a mind can get addicted to flashing light on a tool that can be used as a tool and not just as a pass time.)  I also don't think boredom is a bad thing.  Some of the best ideas I have ever had came from being bored, and some of the worst have come from being bored too lol. 

For now my allergies are in full affect and I am catching up on missed work from my weekend away, but I am happy to be alive. 

Excited to pick up on the blog tomorrow with some new stories and photos from the weekend in D.C.

 

Day 158 of 365

Yesterday I had to go to Midtown to drop off some film.  I figured I would try and get out of my comfort zone and ask 3 strangers if I could take their portraits.  I told my girlfriend Meg if I didn't she needed to post her most embarrassing photo of me.  We were together so she had to hold me to it.  It was surprisingly way easier than you would think but the biggest realization I had while looking for interesting people is that there a lot of people on there phones that you have to go through to find the interesting people.  I mean my eyes lit up when I saw an old lady with purple hair, security guards talking with people on the street, people hating there jobs, babies crying, and even the awkward sweaty cramming of people in a subway car.  I think the people embracing these moments are really doing something right.  I know it's cliche but  I didnt realize how drastic the disconnect has become until I really payed attention to it yesterday.  On that not I am going to Washington D.C. this weekend and I am leaving my phone at home.  In need of some quality time with my family.  

 

Below photos were taken yesterday around midtown. 

Day 157 of 365

Take time to smell the roses and get out of your own way. 

Life can be distracting, so distracting that we forget how good the ocean sounds, the feel of salt on our skin, or the sharp pain of cold water that instantly makes you have to pee..lol

I often take for granted that I'm able to do these things.  It's easy to get wrapped up in other success but then I grab my camera or jump in the ocean and think to myself what else could I need in this moment right now.  Not a god damn thing.  It feels good to live in the now and it's a constant battle to bring my brain back to the present, but when it's here it's easy to see just how lucky I truly am. 

If your struggling or wanting more I hope you realize you probably have some pretty amazing people or things you can do in your life.  Most all of us do it can just be hard to see sometimes. So get out of your own way and let things happen. 

Day 156 of 365

Good things can't be forced. 

Below pictures feature some of my friends and I skating (and Brendan scootering) around an abandoned highway this past Sunday. 

 

Day 155 of 365

Yesterday my brother took me shooting for the first time.  I had never shot a gun before although I have seen guns and heard them fired nothing really prepares you for the thud a gun produces in your body once it is fired.  It's astounding, almost magical, and intoxicating all at the same time but I was apprehensive to fire a gun.  Although I love shooting BB guns and slingshots at cans (I can literally do it for a week and never get bored) a gun was the weapon used to kill my father. 

I remember being a little kid and telling my mom I wish guns had never been invented, or asking can they make them illegal.  I mean I guess if my dad had been killed by a knife I don't think it wouldn't make never cut a sandwich again.  This thought also brings to mind the utility of dangerous weapons.  I can cut rope, sandwiches, sticks for marsh-mellows all with a knife.  There is almost no utility for a gun other than hunting, unless you find yourself on a Dan Bilzerian trip and you need a quick way to open your beers. 

It's hard for me to believe that someone can point one of these things at another human being.  The sheer power of it is almost godlike and it is EXTREMELY fun to shoot at targets... you know the metal ones that aren't conscious don't have families, thoughts, or loved ones. 

I remember riding a dirt bike as a kid and the first 3 days on it I thought it was too fast that I would kill myself on this thing because I couldn't control it.  Then after riding it for a week it felt slow as molasses and I immediately wanted something faster.  I only went shooting once but I could feel a similar power with a gun.  It's so powerful, but the next one is more power, or more accurate and shoots differently.  I could see how someone could see how someone could get desensitized to using a gun and forget how much destruction it is capable of. 

With all of that being said I still don't blame the gun for killing my dad I blame the person who did it and the situation that he was in.  For responsible and mentally sound people shooting is an extremely fun recreational sport, and also a way to protect themselves and their families from the rise of mass shootings in the United States.  Where do I stand on this issue?  I am not sure yet really.  I don't personally think I need a gun at this moment in my life.  What I do know for sure is that nobody but the military or law enforcement needs a fully automatic or high capacity magazine.  

Maybe one day I'll want to buy a gun but for now I'll just stick to sling shots and going shooting when my brothers invite me. 

Day 153 of 365

Came home on a beautiful spring day to my roommates making a non-cheese, cheese board.  I don't know it was a vegan thing but it tasted amazing.  Yesterday was a rough day for me but slowing down doing what I love and being with good people really made it that much better.  Don't forget to take time to smell the roses this weekend and if your like me bring tissues...Spring can be a pretty big pain in the ass. 

Day 152 of 365

I could scribble.
I feel it when it’s over.
An ending with each cycle. 

Not as linear as we once thought. 

Not a story.
Just poetic patrons on a rooftop shop searching for free eye candy.
An easy way to feel a sense of awe.
An easy way for me to be inspired.
You’d support me in my convictions, 

And I would question yours. 

 

  

Day 151 of 365

I will start by saying this,  there is nothing wrong with meeting your career ambitions with a stable job right out of college.  After all most of us desire stability but I don't feel that it is beneficial for me to hang out with people that are too comfortable with where they are at in their lives right now.   I think pain is the best catalyst for growth and comfort is the complete opposite of pain.  In this stage in my life I need to avoid comfort like the plague.  
I dream of sun drenched days, waking up in tents, living on the road again. 

Not a Nyc apartment, not a suburban house or a new car, I dream of experience, building a life with my brain and my own two hands.  Social status means nothing to me. 

Only my family, my work, and seeing people smile means anything.

Just as my father I too will die, and my awareness of my end motivates me to make each day count.  

Day 150 of 365

Stump grinder at heart. There are things you learn that make you work harder in less demanding fields. 

Thankful to have been a stump grinder and a granite fabricator. 

Day 149 of 365

I never understood how friends can be so afraid to express the bond between each other. Why is male companionship looked at in such a homophobic way? Love takes a level of confidence I find most admirable. 

To say I love you to your best friend as you hang up the phone leaves everything on the table. 
It's an acknowledgment of time and as Americans I think that's why we struggle to express our bond face to face. We're not afraid of love we're afraid to die. I tell you what though I won't wait for my brothers to die just for me to post a Facebook status. I know my loved ones know how I feel about them because I think it's important to do so while everyone's still here. 
The most confident thing you can do is tell your loved ones just how loved they are. 
Acknowledge the realness of time and enjoy it because there is no place like the present.

Day 148 of 365

I am going to keep this one simple because I think this speaks to the heart of one of my biggest flaws.  I hold onto to work too long leaving it forgotten or no longer up to my new standards.  So if I could share anything with anyone else trying to create or make anything with their bare hands, their voice, or their vision, that is "Release early and release often." 

You are not going to like your first project, not your second project, probably not even your 155th project but the important thing is if your afraid to release something it's probably because your taste is better than your work.  Which is a good thing, but the only way to decrease the gab from your skill level to your taste level is to make, make, make, and show, show, show.  If people laugh at you fuck em, but I hardly find thats the case most people admire people who put themselves out there.  Start making, start sharing, stop waiting. 

Day 147 of 365

Doing my best to not fight the current. 
Putting my nose in the right direction and letting my work take me somewhere. 
I've spent too many years fighting the current and each day I am learning to smell the roses and not over work myself beyond what my mental health can handle. 

I heard a quote today that really summed this notion up for me. 

It reads as follows

"Rest and recover or dream and discover." 

Your not dumb you get what it means but still most of us over work ourselves in search of things we are told we want. 

Dollar amounts were expected to need. 
I know exactly what I want and I'm getting it. 

I wish the same for you. 

 
 

Day 145 of 365

I neglect how important it is to spend time with inspiring people very often. 
It's so easily over looked for some reason but when you cross paths with someone so inspiring you think to yourself holy shit why am I not with someone like this everyday. 
It's like running, you can be on the road alone with your seemingly steady pace and then someone runs right by you at a faster speed that almost seems dialed in.  Without that person you'd still be pacing yourself at a light jog but because you saw what was possible your out here kicking ass now.  I think thats such a metaphor for life.   We don't realize what is possible when we surround ourselves with people that are doing the bare minimum, but once we hang out with people that are achieving more than ourselves we too work harder and achieve more than we thought we ever could.  It's as corny as the saying goes, "you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with."  I think thats exactly true but here is something no one ever said to me, "Don't take advice from someone who isn't where you want to be."  I wish I had known that younger confiding in friends and other people my own age when instead I should have looked up, should have looked around and asked myself who's kicking todays ass.  Who's making my dreams happen.  Those are the friends you want to have not a circle jerk of wishful dreams.  Just doing. 

Instead of alone, I'd be in the hopes of the inspiring peoples.