Friday, April 12, 2013

Thirsting for The Open Road Again - We Are Children of Our Parents

The open road keeps calling my name. I hear her whisper to me ever so slightly. C'mon she calls, as if it were that easy. 

Spring delivers a predictable bounty of pollen, rain, and a renewed focus on what we'd like to do outside if we had the time. Some would garden, others walk, and yet I can't get my mind off taking a long, endless maybe, drive to somewhere worth a photograph. 

My father's father was, as they say, a car guy. My father is, to say the least, a car guy. My thirst to drive shouldn't be a surprise then, but it is to me. 

I yearn to drive not for the privilege of reaching the destination, but everything else. A moving target is always harder to hit. 

Children appear in my dreams, reaching for my hand, begging for help. The weight of my arm too great to lift high enough to meet their fragile hands. 

My mother's mother was a lover. My mother, somewhere beneath it all, still is. Lest I fall short there, I must be. 

A man that lay under the roof of a stick-built shed more times than not works harder in his life than a king with a thousand castles. We celebrate the king, shun the man, and yet both are liable to not lend a hand, but maybe every so often for posture. Want to do some good in this world? A swim upstream is in order, the air in our lungs ready and willing to be used, our selfish minds telling the muscle to wait indefinitely. 

We can't wait anymore. 

Look through the windowpane of your childhood, and maybe you see the same? 

Forever we are bound to our parents, their wills and ambitions stuck in our DNA like the very soil we stand upon, trying ever so hard to make it alright. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Embracing Eccentricity

When was the last time you thought about your life? Not when it started, or will be over, but what you're doing with it in the present? So often I overhear people speaking of themselves in past tense with shiny adjectives like amazing, super, player, lover, sportsman, poet, friend, and the all-too-used rockstar. "You've never witnessed a man so good at picking up the ladies than this rockstar in his prime," explains one; "On the football field I was a beast, a certifiable wrecking ball," exclaims another. What about now? What about right now? Where are you my beast? Where are you my rockstar? What happened to all the bravado? Did time take it from you like a wild flame melts the wax off an antique candle? Maybe those moments of fondness come less with age, as we are pushed into more adult roles, gone are the beasts and poets, in come the parents and minivan pilots.

On a muggy Florida afternoon some years ago I briskly walked through an Aldi grocery store. It was oddly arranged in a manner that required visitors to navigate aisle-by-aisle each section, rather than that of an open market where visitors could quickly find what they sought and go. Beyond the layout, for the life of me I couldn't find a brand I recognized, all the food was from a different universe, one that had yet to buy an ad on TV to tell me how good it was. I cursed Aldi for this, this euro-quirk wasn't charming, I needed Boars Head ham, and I needed it now, enough with the walk-through-the-gift-shop on the way out stuff.

Five months ago I returned to Aldi with my girlfriend. This Aldi was in South Carolina, not Florida, but for all intensive purposes it had the same odd layout, same quarter-to-use shopping carts, and same white label brands. This trip was different though, from the start the place looked promising, maybe I'm more calm, or maybe my companion has me more calm. As we walked the aisles chock full of discounted knock offs of everything from Nutella to Fage, the world of Aldi started to make sense. With my girlfriend's enthusiasm in full tilt, we found deal after deal. She calmly walked the awkward aisles, pointing out a mix of delicious foods and good deals in a whispery tone meant for just us two. "Those are so good, and man did you see the price of those cheese crackers, what a deal," she'd enthuse. Her energy attracted others, even begging a fellow Aldian to smile and compliment her dress. We bagged, or rather boxed, our groceries into the quarter cart, and were on our way with a total savings somewhere north of 60%.

Later in the evening my girlfriend unpacked the boxes and made dinner from our Aldi bounty. She was quick to point out that the food we bought today would last weeks before needing replenishment. Her enthusiasm was contagious as I nodded in wholehearted agreement. I'm a believer, let's shop to save! Not that long ago I'd vowed to never shop Aldi again, and now I was swearing off my organic market pension in the name of all things Aldi.

We all have eccentricities, and what fun it can be to embrace them. My girlfriend loves budget shopping, you should see her at a dollar store by the way, and there is nothing wrong with her. In fact, it's what makes her interesting. I love obscenely expensive coffee from places that start their name with plantation and end with limited. I also like indie electronic music, crowdsourcing, new media, and all kinds of other things that don't have much in common with each other. What it means to me, and what it means to you are two different things, and my suppression of any of these passions, outside of taking away from time with family and work, is no longer cool. Rather, a thoughtful approach to those things I love in life is warranted, one where I do more to embrace them foolishly, rather than with the normal adultsy caution of a thirtysomething trying to exude the confidence that matches their rising age.

Maybe there is something you've been suppressing, something random to most but utterly detailed to you that you'd love to do more with? Or maybe you've come to terms with existing within the status quo because that's what adults do? Don't be afraid to bust out your most random hobbies and interests with those that love you, and don't be surprised when they love you that much more for doing so.

Pictured below a shot from my old garage, an ode to my undeniable eccentricity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beyond 9/11

On the anniversary of September 11th we all stop to give thanks for life, and remember the dead. I'm more concerned with what everyone will do on September 12th and beyond. If we want to honor those that past we must look at a way to build ourselves into better people, to give more and take less, and maybe just maybe we'll see them on the other side one day.

Rest in peace all those that past that day, my commitment is to remember you not just now, but forever.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The architecture of viral (why I love the internet)

Not long ago I watched a man named Daym Drops perform a hilarious video review of the famous Five Guys double cheeseburger thanks to curator of all-things-awesome Shira Lazar for pointing it out.

Not a day later my Facebook feed started bubbling up with a "songified" version of the hit.

From that catchy tune came this, this, this, and this.

A guy in his car talking about a cheeseburger leads to uncountable laughs, views, remixes, and quite possibly fortune. SNL would be lucky to have any of these people on stage for their upcoming season.

I've been spending some time lately creating, cultivating, and reading about experimental online video. It's frothy mixes of talent and humor like the above that make me happy, and more importantly devoted to continuing the journey down the path of netified media.