I’ve never liked driving very much, and navigating LA has ever only reinforced that. Anything you could ever need here isn’t very far from you, a short mile or two in any direction. It’s easy. Driving there however, and finding a place to park can be an entirely different story. A real mess. It was one of the many reasons I think I had a hard time taking to this city at first. Then one day, ten years ago, I walked into a bike shop and then out with a bike. My take on Los Angeles flipped overnight the moment I got on two wheels instead of four.
So, for the past ten years I’ve ridden a bike more days than I haven’t. I’ve got the legs and lungs to prove it. It’s been one of my favorite parts of my day all the while. The weather is beautiful, rain is far and few between, and I’m often moving faster than the traffic around me. There’s a sweet spot of distance in the city at the right times, where it takes longer to travel by car than if you were to bike. It’s very freeing weaving through crawling traffic and being able to park and lockup pretty much anywhere.
To celebrate these ten years of riding, I started wearing a helmet. I didn’t even own one. I’ve been careful, smart, and lucky enough to avoid anything serious all these years, but I don’t see much a reason to press my luck. Many miles behind, many miles ahead.
Levi and Ashley tied the knot. Yes, what I drew is supposed to be a rope being knotted, not links of sausage.
They exchanged vows on a warm Saturday, in Odessa Florida. It was a beautiful day. Felt really lucky to have witnessed it, and to have helped celebrate it. Was a little concerned my dance moves might get me ejected from the reception, but there was no harm done.
A couple days before the wedding, Alexis and I came to St. Petersburg to spend some time with my parents. Hurricane Matthew had other plans though. They had to hang back and secure their house in South Florida, so we didn’t see them this time. We made the best of it though.
Our friends Mike and Christina stayed in our extra room, and we spent the time with them instead. We walked around town a bit, checked out the Dali Museum, and paid the bars a visit. We stumbled upon a lip-sync karaoke contest. Mike won it. Not officially, but in our hearts we know. The next morning, before we headed up to Odessa for the wedding, we stopped to see Alexis’ Mom, and took her out for an early birthday lunch.
The 24 hours or so that led up to the wedding entailed logging hours in the hot tub, intervening a car accident, and talking politics. The 24 hours or so that followed entailed, sunburn, late night life talks, and literally sprinting through the Dallas Airport to make a connecting flight.
It was a great trip, filled with great people. Congrats guys.
Doodled this the morning I read about the Orlando shootings. I woke up to a barrage of Facebook notifications from friends who still live there. They all set a confirmed “Safe Status” to let friends and family know they weren’t dead. It’s as real as all this has gotten for me so far. Not just strangers in strange towns this time.
I don’t have a clue about the answers, but it certainly seems like something is terribly wrong.
Brace yourself, this whole rant is going to sound a bit dramatic.
I don’t care what anybody says, going bald sucks. Especially in your early twenties. When I had the realization that I was losing my hair at the fresh age of 24, it was the first time I realized that I wasn’t gonna live forever…
Like I said, this is going to sound a bit dramatic.
Of course no one lives forever, but when you’re that young, you really do feel invincible. At least I know I did. But now I had this constant reminder of my mortality. A reminder that time was passing and that I was getting old. Not to mention the feeling of a waning identity. Thinning, receding, balding. It doesn’t get better, it just get’s worse. It’s chronic.
I fought like hell. Slathered lotions and potions on my head, adjusted my diet, and did enough reading on the topic to probably deserve a certificate of some sort. But by 30, the same haircut I had for the past 6 years had slowly but surely just become a combover. Yikes.
So on my 30th birthday I walked into the barbershop and asked for a buzzcut. Decided if I have to keep going through it, I didn’t want to do it kicking and screaming, trying to hold on to something I already lost. I want to go through it with grace.
Was it for the better? Was it for the worse? Am I being dramatic? Absolutely to all of the above. All I can honestly say is, I don’t feel like I’m hiding something anymore, and that feels really, really good.
At the end of the day it’s only hair, and there are infinitely worse things out there. I’ve got a lot of wins in my life that I hardly deserve, so I’ll take a few losses. Or even a full head of them.
My Uncle Tony, technically my Great Uncle, passed in April. I’d bet anything he’d want to be celebrated, not morned. So I’m gonna try my best here.
No matter what room he was in, his laugh was the loudest thing in it, and he was always laughing. He slept with a few thousand refrigerator magnets under his mattress because he said it helped his back. He was a character to say the least.
When we’d show up to visit, between my brother and I, he’d give one a BB gun, and the other a spear tied to one of our ankles. He’d tell us to go have some fun and catch something. He had a dock out back where the waters eventual led to the Gulf of Mexico. There was always a lot of fishing.
I learned for the first time I could swim without sinking in his pool. The same pool he told my brother and I had the “red dot” technology, so he’d know if we ever peed in it. We were mortified.
He and my dad would take us to watch the greyhounds race at the track. We always had ice cream and Uncle Tony always had a cigar.
He gave me my first magnifying glass and my first pocket knife. Still have the magnifying glass. He gave us a lot of great memories, the kind you never lose.
He died on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Honestly, I can’t imagine a more fitting way for him to go. He was a man full of life, till the very end.
Godspeed Uncle Tony.
My brother and I on Uncle Tony’s dock.
Oscar the frenchie. First met him when he was no larger than a balled up t-shirt. I can also remember seeing the first signs of gray in his beard. He was my old boss’s dog, but it wasn’t long before he became the studio mascot.
He peed while walking in zig-zags, creating something Jackson Pollock inspired by the time he was done. He dragged his paws when he walked, and I swear sometimes he’d just exhale and roll his eyes at you. Eyes that pointed in two completely different directions. He was a lazy, ridiculous, charming dog, that everyone loved because he made everyone smile.
So long bud, you’re already missed.