Spring Shaving

Blue Ridge Mountain Blues performed by Wayne White

Visited Seattle for the first time. Beautiful city and geography. Good eats, good drinks, and good company.

The idea to go was suggested and agreed upon, among friends sitting in a hot tub with full beers in hand, with plenty of empty ones nearby. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the idea would fade away in the sobering light of tomorrow.

People don’t really do what they say, especially if they said it after a few drinks. But as luck would have it, we did what we said.

Milo Greene at the El Rey in Los Angeles.

1957 by Milo Greene

Signed a lease for this car when I was Twenty-Five. Paid too much for it, but have no regrets about it. Always wanted to drive a car like that. And I did.

Returned it today, three years later, after its been to the mountains, the snow, the beaches, and the desert.

Going to try not having a car for little. I have strong legs, and a bike that needs pedaling.

I do miss those big Florida skies.

Few weeks back at Jenn and Duncan’s wedding. Was an honor to be their guest, and a night to remember. I’d like more images like this to live here. They’re more important than the things I make.

Souvenir from a magical night at The Magic Castle.

Hand cut silhouettes by Dave Spafford.

Not everyone can say their health insurance puts a smile on their face.

Día de los Muertos.

Alexis and I under the St. Johns Bridge, in Portland, Oregon. My friend Craig married his wife Chelsea here. It was beautiful. And a bit hot out. Not sure if I was sweating from the Sun or from the taxi ride over, which rivaled any attraction at any theme park I’ve ever been to.

Over the years I’ve been to a handful of weddings, but Craig’s was really the first one that involved someone I’ve known since we were practically kids. Knowing how the story started, and to see it all come together, is really something. Most people don’t get the privilege.

Congrats Craig.

One of my best and longest standing buds, Giovanni. Came to visit Los Angeles for the first time, and it was the best time.

A rare shot of an Alexis, captured in the Angeleno wilderness.

My Dad, manning the grill, next to the pool, under the Florida sun. Following his dream of getting his family the hell out of the Chicago winters.

Here’s to him, and my Mom, for showing me what it means to take a chance and follow a dream, and for always encouraging me to follow my own.

Today’s my birthday, so I thought it appropriate to share a bit of my brother and I talking about how old we’re getting.

I’ve lived in California for nearly seven years, but feel like I haven’t lived a single day there. Los Angeles is where I’ve been living, and to me, that’s a very different place. Just a couple hours north took us here. To California.

My mom being my mom. Love her so much.

Maybe my favorite in Downtown LA.

The fine and talented people I work with, standing on the observatory deck of the beautiful building we work in. Beers, margaritas, the sun and the sky. Not a bad workday.

I grow a beard every year, from the first of winter, to the first of spring. It’s a reminder that even though I live somewhere without black and white seasons, the days still pass.

Easy to get lost in all this sun.

She loves snow, and I love her, so up the mountain we went.

Left to right, Shweb, Dan, Charlie, Frankie, Chris, me, and Anthony. I was probably 11. Was one hell of water balloon fight. Anthony’s mom, Sally, took this picture. I can’t imagine an image that better captures how we grew up.

We’d spend our days seeing who could throw what the farthest. Who was the fastest. Who was the bravest, which typically entailed wrestling Frankie. He had such a strength advantage, that anyone only ever agreed to wrestle him if he was on his knees. We were wild and we ran like it, and the suburbs was our place to do it. Couldn’t have gown up anywhere better. Not specifically my hometown, but just the fact that it was the suburbs.

I live in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles now, a long ways from my hometown. I like it here, but didn’t always. It’s the people I’ve found and the girl I love that make it what it is for me. It’s where I belong now, but I couldn’t imagine being a kid here. I don’t know that I could have grown if not in suburban soil. I don’t know that any kid could. Confinement and wild freedom seem at odds. For that, I think some far off day, I may belong to those suburbs again.

King Bud Lidas. Turning all he touches to beer, even beer itself.

He had a staring problem.

My mom forbade me from taking a picture of her and my dad wearing their tie-dye t-shirts together. Putting that picture here just seemed like the right thing to do.

My girlfriend, the comedian.

My friends Mike and Christina are getting married. They deserve the best, and they found it in each other. I was honored that they asked me to design their invitations.

I’ve only ever worked for friends as favors to them. Here’s the first time I didn’t. When you’re good at something, people will say it’s easy for you. Maybe that’s true, maybe not, but you shouldn’t ever feel guilty about doing what you do, and doing it well. I’ve done it so much, but that’s done now.

I drank this.

My Gram wrote and sent this to me nearly six years ago, when I first moved to California. I really miss her. I wish I could show her everything. Everything I’ve done, everything I will do.

I think about the little cousins I have sometimes. I’m far away enough from them in years and miles, that it’s a struggle to even hold on to their names. But I think about how unfortunate they are, to grow up without her. Then I think about how fortunate I was. I wouldn’t have grown as tall.

Draw the map.

Just shy of 27 years old, I am the proud recipient of the Royale Lifetime Achievement Award. And what exactly is that you ask? Well, in typical Royale fashion, it’s just a majestic glimmering bald eagle, carved from crystal, weighing in at a solid 5 pounds.

Regardless the humor of it, it really does move me to be so appreciated by the people I consider to be heroes.

I will miss them.

I know it’s spring, but everybody knows California always does it first.

Hello summer.

My girlfriend brought these flowers over for an Easter brunch we had at my apartment. I don’t have a vase, so we put them in my glass boot, which was a gift from my friends Anne and Andy. Typically it gets filled with beer, not flowers. When I saw it, It reminded me of how much I’ve slowed my drinking, and how much of a good thing that is.

Here we go.

Alexis. Drew. Magic Johnson’s Friday’s. LAX. San Jose. Terminal Drinking. More flying. My first stamp. Lima. Our apartment. Carolina. Sebastian. 4am 90s top 40. Taxis that weren’t taxis at all. Karaoke. Pisco sours. Sushi. Con permiso. Agua con gas. Agua sin gas. Tour busses. Catacombs. Chili’s. Our taxi ran out of gas. Ice cream. Another plane. Cusco. Our hostel. Cinemax. Michelle. Dancing in markets. Hiking. Hunted by wild dogs. Altitude sickness. Snickers grande. Canadian Irish pub. Dos mas please. A train. Aguas Calientes. Jurassic Park. Hot springs. Market bargaining. Machu Picchu. Touring. Hiking. Photo ops. Wonder. Naps. Rain. A late train. A missed bus. High-speed taxi driving. Intercepting and boarding our bus. Frostbite. Arequipa. Sand boarding fail. Rafting. Rafting rescue. Cerveza hunting. Bibs. Alpaca. Another plane. Back to Lima. More Chili’s. Ramada. Security cameras. More Cinemax. Another plane. San Jose. More flying. LAX. Mckenzie. Home.

That was my trip to Peru. Exhausting, but I wouldn’t do a thing differently. If this was difficult to grasp, then I described it perfectly. You really had to be there.

Royale, the company I work with, sponsored me and two others to attend the Style Frames design conference in New York City. I took in a lot from the experience, and feel truly fortunate to have had the opportunity.

It was my second, and longest visit to the Empire State. I spent most of my time in Manhattan. It’s an amazing thing to walk through its streets. Literally standing in the shadows of the achievements of men. I could see a contagious hustle about everything. Everyone moves with purpose. It’s inspiring. But even in all this wonder, I remember feeling most amazed at the sight of my own breath.

Photo Credit: Handel Eugene

The best nights.

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