"I can't say it feels good." - Me.
I have a bunch of tattoos. Most of them have special meaning and others simply do not. One that has absolutely no meaning at all is the sandwich I have tattooed on my thigh. It simply means I love hoagies (east cost word for sandwich) from Wawa (gas station/grocery store/coffee shop/incredible) and I love where I come from. I have met people who have tattoos that remind them of their children or deceased relatives. I have met people who have portraits on their chest and other sentimental notions that have such depth it makes you want to cry. I have also met people who got a tattoo of a hotdog because they were drunk and wanted a hotdog. I think the thing to remember is that tattoos mean something different to everyone.
Jamie and I have both been tattooed but never got tattooed at the same time. It has been a while since either of us has gotten any new permanently inked onto our bodies so we figured we were do. We did some research, but kept coming up blank for an artist or shop that we really thought was a perfect match for our style, or lack thereof. Finding the right shop and artist is hard.
I was at our local market a few weeks back and ran into an old friend. He had just got a few new tattoos and they looked awesome. He recommended his artist and shop. Boom. Just like that, we were in business. I got home and couldn't wait to tell Jamie that I had found us a shop that our friend recommended and that I like his work. We drove down to check out the shop immediately and before we knew it we had appointments.
Getting tattoos sucks. It stings. Don't let anyone tell you that it is an enjoyable experience, they are lying. The enjoyable experience is when it is over and you get to go get a drink. The other enjoyable high comes when everything is done healing and you have an incredible piece of artwork that you carry with you everywhere you go. I love my tattoos and I can't remember what my body looked like without them.
This marks Jamie's second tattoo and she got her inner forearm done. She rules. Such a badass move. I thought she would be done in minutes because she was getting some very small and fine line-work but those thin lines come at a price, and that price is time. Mine, on the other hand, took about an hour and it's double the size of hers. I kept my traditional sailor style theme going and plan to keep it going until I barely have any skin left.
When you are younger, I feel everyone tells you to think long and hard about getting tattoos and that they won't be acceptable or you won't get a job. Those people are knuckleheads. They think mayo is spicy. If you feel like getting a friggin tattoo, do it. I don't regret any of mine and I bet you won't either.
“Dude, no fucking way.” - Me.
We just stood there. I couldn't believe it. I have been playing this game on and off for five years and have never come this close. Could I have done it? My first hole in one?
Moments earlier my friend, Ryan, and I had been lining up our shots on the 5th. It's a beautiful day out in Southern California, but when is it not? It's sunny, mid-70's, with a few white, billowing clouds spotting the blue mid-morning sky. A cool breeze washed across my face as I approached my attempt to par this hole. I have played this course before and for some reason the 5th always destroys me. I can never seem to line it up right. I took a deep breath and let it rip.
Ry was watching the ball as I slowly brought my head up. I had no idea where it went so I turned to him and asked, "Where did it go, dude?" I pivoted to look towards the green and saw the flag on the pin give a little shake as if something had struck it. I thought to myself there was no way I just nailed it. There wasn't a chance. I turned back to Ry, handed him my phone, and told him to head down in front of me, I didn't want to see it yet. He looked back with astonishing awe, "Dude, you did it." He ran towards the green and I just stood there, 100 yards away reflecting on the shot.
I had pared the last three holes and was proud of that, there was no way I could have just sunk this in one shot. It just doesn't make sense, I am not good at golf. But, maybe it's just my lucky day. I trekked down towards my shot and Ry was jumping up and down screaming, "Dude, you nailed it! It popped in and out, I know it!" My ball, from a shot taken 100 yards away, had been lying on the lip of the hole. I stiff breeze or tremor could have toppled it in. I couldn't believe it. I finally did it, the eagle quest was over. I couldn't, and still can't, believe it.
Ryan tried to convince me that it was a hole in one, but we all know it wasn't. At most, my ball might have popped in and out of the hole, potentially, for just a moment, it was a hole in one. I will take the eagle. We must have stayed there for ten minutes celebrating and holding up everyone behind us trying to tee off. I didn't care. We took photos, videos, and I am pretty sure I text everyone I have ever played golf with to show them this accomplishment.
The most humbling thing about this experience was the very next hole I sliced it back into the tree line. There we go, that's the game I am used to. Maybe it was a bit of luck from the golf gods to let me have a moment in the sun, but they promptly put me back in my place on the 6th.
Damn you, golf gods. Why must you play with my emotions like this?
This past Record Store Day was incredible. I love the community vibe, the passion, and electricity that happens when a bunch of music lovers come together to celebrate their favorite music. Record Store Day 2019 celebrates the 10th year in a row I have been participating in the joys of selectively released and limited pressed selections from recording artists from all over the world. I have been able to celebrate Record Store Day in 3 different cities over the last decade and every year keeps getting better.
Here is the haul and some pictures of my buddy Alec and I celebrating at Record Surplus in Los Angeles!
It’s a beautiful Friday in Southern California and we hope yours is shinning as well. This week we have new tracks from east-coasters Saver, ARMORS, Sunsleeper, and more brought to you exclusively through Apple Music! Check it out now!
"Life is weird." - Us.
Our lives have taken us to places we never thought we would go. Jamie and I have done what we wanted for the last 6 years. Travel? check. Visit virtually every state? Check. Buy a VW Vanagon customize it, and travel the backroads of America at 40MPH hoping we don't break down or fall off the side of a Colorado mountain that doesn't have a guardrail? Check. I like to believe we have a slight extra dash of "outlier" in our recipe than others. It's not that often that people just pick up and go, follow their gut feelings, go through a ton of life experiences together, and continue to make the best of every situation. We are very lucky. We have always had the support of our families and friends, but when you are a nation away from everything you know and the comforts they bring, it's a completely different ball game.
As I sit this morning, with my coffee and a blank page, I started to reflect on how special and weird life can be. Watch any Gary V clip and he will eventually tell (yell at) his audience that there is a one in a quadrillion (I just made that word up I think) chance of being born. Which, if that is true, I haven't done the research, that is pretty freaking weird. Which begs the age-old question of, why? Why am I here? Why are you here? And, more importantly, does anything really matter? Yes, I am reflecting on WHY this morning, such a millennial.
I came across this photo in my camera roll this morning and forgot I took it. I thought it looked cool and then reflected on when I took it. We were traveling around in some California mountain town and stopped at a local brewery. Go figure. It had been a while since we had seen snow so we wanted to capture every moment. There was a mound of snow close to us so I nestled my phone in it, set the timer, ran back and bam, this photo is the results. That day was incredible. It was cold, the heater in the Van was barely working, we had to buy extra gloves, and roadside Mexican blankets to stay warm, but we made it to our destination and were able to fit a brewery in also. What else is life about if it's not about adventuring through it and finding small moments to make it all worthwhile?
Every moment is special if you let it be. I know I sound like a total hippie, but I do believe it. Everything we do can teach us or can be transformed into something unique and special. Take a second today to check out your surroundings, be grateful, take ten good breaths and try to see something from a different perspective. I think you'll find out that life is weird. Let me know what you come up with.
I hope this made sense. If not, whatever. These are my Sunday thoughts.
Spring is here! This week’s 6-Pack will try to help you shake off the snow from winter and get you in the mood to smell the roses! We have new tracks from American Football, NO WIN, PUP, and more all brought to you exclusively through Apple Music!
When I was younger all I wanted to do was be in a band. I saw Back to the Future at a young age and when Marty explodes back across the room from the amp he was standing in front of, I knew that is something I needed to do. Starting a band is one of the hardest and most rewarding events I reflect on from my life. Starting the band is just the first obstacle. After you eventually find friends who are as dedicated as you to practicing and sucking together, you have to then figure out how to play in front of people and get your music into peoples heads. When we started our first bands in the suburbs of Philadelphia we never thought we would get a chance to play venues in the city with some of the coolest bands and people we have ever met, especially not at The Troc. Playing The Troc was impossible in our young minds.
We worked our balls off playing everywhere we could as often as possible and one day we were finally given a shot to play some awesome venues. I remember playing The Troc balcony more times than I can count, in God knows how many bands, and loving every second of it. Through years of grinding, failure, setbacks, deaths, blood, sweat, and many tears, we eventually worked our way to playing the main stage. The Troc was a community where we all came together, all the misfits, to play our terrible songs to each other. My parents drove us down there to catch shows, and to watch us play. My dad has hauled more equipment in and out of that place than any stagehand I have ever met. If you have ever carried an 8x10 cabinet up those balcony stairs, you know what I am talking about.
It is sad to see the doors of The Troc closing for good, but I will always remember the incredible times there, all the incredible talent that has performed there that I had the privilege to see, all the incredible people there.
Later Troc, thanks for all the good times.
Tough week? Well, here is the newest installment of the 6-Pack! We have six new rock-indie-alternative tracks exclusively on Apple Music to help you get into weekend mode - including new singles from Table Talk, Cold Wreck, Terror and more! Check it out now!
“What the hell are you scrolling for?” - Us.
This year Jamie and I have committed to less screen time and more us time. This means putting down our phones, turning off the TV when we got get home, and enjoy each others presence for a while. 2018 was a busy year for us. We got married and planned our wedding in Philadelphia from Los Angeles; to say it was a hard task is an understatement. One of us was always on the phone, replying to an email, or just blatantly ignoring the other while mindlessly scrolling through memes on Insty for a bit of relief from all the decision-making we were doing. At the turn of the new year we decided that was enough, we set a goal to put down the tech and enjoy our time together.
We made a couple of easy changes that would give us some of our time back. We looked into an at-home food delivery service. I had no idea what to look for, and really don't know anyone who has used one before, but we figured we at least check it out. After some research we decided that Plated would fit our dietary needs. It seems they have more vegan and vegetarian options than their competitors. By switching to Plated we got back a ton of time we would have been spending in the grocery store or thinking up meals to cook throughout the week. We have all gotten stuck in the spaghetti and taco night weekly dinner loop. Our schedules, like I am sure many of yours, never line up. Between work, time with friends, fitness classes among other activities, it is incredible that we see each other at all.
We made another simple change and try to stick to it. We decided to keep the TV off until we spend at least an hour with each. This gives us time to vent, share funny happenings throughout our work day, and focus on what is important. We throw on some easy-listening and cook together. We even might eat that same meal at the table instead of in front of the TV, what a crazy idea. Leaving the TV off is tough because who doesn't want to watch two different documentaries about Fyre Festival to see if they are just a little different. Side-note: the Netflix one is better than the Hulu one. Between cook time together and no TV, we have gained hours of our lives back, which is what marriage is about right? Loving the person you are with and spending time with them?
I have been told that communication is the key to any relationship. I can tell you from first hand experience that spending a little more time together and putting down the tech for a bit has done us good. Even when there is a new Ted Bundy special, we are learning that it will be there after dinner and we can enjoy it together after we chat for a while. Sidenote: The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix is out of control, I highly recommend watching it with lights on in the afternoon.