April 6, 2018No Comments

#The100DayProject – 100 Days of Palm Trees

#100dayproject

Artwork: https://www.the100dayproject.org/

 

I've long been a fan of Elle Luna, and even though I'm not a fan of joining challenges—which I think says more about me than anything—I'm trying to not give a fuck, and just participate in making something during the #The100DayProject.

Palm trees are fascinating, and they have such an emotional connection to the idea of being on vacation, at least to me when I was growing up.

Colors have long been known to influence our mood, feelings, and behaviors. To me, palm trees have that same grip on my psyche. It immediately puts me at ease, or in a more meditative mode when I stare at them.

Beyond just drawing them, I'm looking to push past the idea of being vulnerable, which I have a hard time dealing with. Being judged is something that I have long struggled with, and I'm hoping to make an effort to combat that.

So while palm trees are awesome, the real challenge is to not give a shit.

You can follow along on my portfolio, or on Instagram.

April 3, 2018No Comments

Our Tent Walk of Shame

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park at Sunset

 

I remember waking up around 1 a.m. from my sleeping bag stupor. It wasn’t the cool air or silence that woke me, (I normally sleep with a blaring fan for white noise) but instead, the Subaru’s headlights bleeding through our transparent tent.

We were camping in Joshua Tree National Park, a park that I didn’t know existed when I first found U2’s album as a teenager.

Who shines their lights on someone's tent late at night? And why were they setting up their tent within 20 feet of us? Maybe they read the campsite number incorrectly?

For the next hour, I stared up at the stars through our tent fabric, while they took their time setting up their campsite in the dark.

Earlier that day, we drove into the park and stared at the fantastically smooth wall of rocks. The campground was aptly named Jumbo Rocks Park, and I couldn’t wait to set up our site. It’s my OCD when traveling. If I’m traveling anywhere, the first thing I do is spill out the contents of my bag and start hanging things immediately. Same goes for a campsite. I’m like a yoga trainee at the end of the chaotic ordeal, patiently waiting to find my center after the mess has dissolved. But not quite finding it.

God help me when I decide to have kids.

In the campground, most of the campsites lined the sides of the road. Some were nestled farther off the road; some right in plain sight. So, forgive me when I get too focused on thinking that the parking space number correlated to the campsite number.

Site #5. Right in front of our parking spot. Perfect.

What I failed to notice, or consciously care, was the number “7” painted on the picnic table that was the true campsite number.

After getting everything organized, we checked out the other sites to compare privacy, and to watch the sunset. We then drove 20 minutes to Twenty-Nine Palms and caught an unforgiving movie at the drive-in. We built a fire and drank boxed red wine.

We went to bed.

When we woke in the morning, our new neighbors were still fast asleep. I built a fire and read for a bit.

A woman appeared from the tent and asked, “What campsite are you?”

“5,” I said.

“Oh, we’re 7,” as she pointed at the picnic table that also said 7.

“Ah, yeah, the tables don’t correspond to the parking signs signifying the sites.”

“Shit. I guess we’ll have to move our stuff.”

I was sure that we were right and then watched as 5 other weary-eyed campers exited their tent and were told that they needed to move their tent over a couple spots.

I’ll admit, we were finding humor in the fact that they had to do the move. Partly because I barely could get any sleep after waking up to the car headlights, and the incredibly loud snoring coming from their tent. I would soon have my ego checked.

After letting our neighbors know confidently that they were indeed in the wrong spot, we noticed the park ranger going site to site to double check everyone's space.

As the ranger walks up, she asks for our names and then draws a line down her clipboard with her finger.

“Kadlac. You’re in the wrong spot. You’re supposed to be in spot number 5,” pointing to a location about 30 yards from where we set up camp.

“Oh shit,” I thought.

I realized that we had been in the wrong spot the entire time, and had unflinchingly told our neighbors to pick up and haul ass over to the wrong site.

After walking over to apologize for completely fucking up, we did the tent walk of shame into our newly secluded spot.

March 26, 2018No Comments

What does that sound literally look like in the body?

Spike Jonze directing the Apple HomePod commercial

Photo: Apple

 

Beautiful behind-the-scenes making of Spike Jonze's Apple Ad. I loved that even the audition of FKA Twigs was done via video chat. Even more remarkably, the entire set was using hydraulics and

Visit Adweek's behind-the-scenes

View the original HomePod ad by Apple:

March 19, 2018No Comments

Moving to Los Angeles

Our new apartment in Los Angeles

Our new 2 bedroom apartment in Silver Lake, Los Angeles

 

The first time I visited Los Angeles was when I was all of 20 years old. I had walked up to Manhattan beach with a couple of friends who lived far outside the city at the time. Just being at the beach was considered a small vacation for them.

I untied my shoes and shoved my feet into the sand, and had a euphoric feeling come over me at that moment. I knew at that point that I would end up here.

It’s taken awhile, but it’s now been 75 days since our move to Los Angeles. I’ve been traveling 23 of those days, have had friends stay over 4 of the free weekends, so it still feels like I haven’t even really gotten to know our new home.

Since being here, there is a vibe that feels closer to what I want closer to what I want than what I had in SF. I can’t quite describe it yet, but the warm weather, a bit more space to live, a bit more elbow room in intimate coffee spots, and a more intentional mix of people has me enjoying it so much.

However, LA is such a polarizing place. People have a strong opinion of it even if they haven’t been here. The issue usually revolves around driving, because let's be honest. It sucks. Getting to and from the airport has been the biggest nuisance so far, but since we have been hanging out in Silver Lake, it's been tolerable.

I loved San Francisco, and maybe we'll be back someday. For now, the sun is setting in the right spot.

January 25, 2016No Comments

Missing a Pedal

Missing a Pedal

Biking from Montreal to Buffalo

 

The first day of my 600 mile bike trip, I looked down and realized my pedal had just fallen off.

“Fuck!”

I slammed on the brakes as my loose foot hit the pavement.

Just moments earlier, I thought to myself, “What’s the worst that could happen, a flat tire?”

We were stuck outside Montreal, where nothing was open at 6 AM. This was a lifeless suburbia, where every home looks identical. It was too early to walk around knocking on stranger’s doors, knowing the chance of someone speaking English was slim to none.

I immediately tried to retrace the steps from the night before, to when I was putting the pieces of my bike together. What happened?

Maybe I had rushed the process. After all, we did get our bikes from customs a day late, and had to deal with the anxiety of never having shipped my bike in a box before.

I walked back 20 feet in disbelief, as the pedal just sat in the empty street.

After inspecting the pedal and crank, half of the threads were stripped.

In that moment, I realized that the night before I must have tightened the pedal slightly off-center. Each down stroke of the pedal, I was slowly stripping away the threads.

“We need to find an adjustable wrench,” Eric said.

Holding the fallen pedal in one hand, pedaling the bike with one foot, and trying to balance a bike loaded with gear for a 12-day trip, looked as silly as you can imagine.

“Maybe we’ll get lucky.”

3 miles of one-legged pedaling, we arrive at a small convenience store where the clerk only speaks French. After struggling to explain our situation, he doesn’t have a single tool that might help us.

We left slightly discouraged, headed to the closest grocery store with Google’s big red arrow leading the way. The pedal in my hand was clenched a lot tighter now.

Inside, after unsuccessfully speaking with a couple workers, I was pointed to a warehouse manager who happened to speak a little English.

All he had were needle-nose pliers, which left me a little worried that we might be delaying our trip a day or two. Newport, Vermont was still over 10 hours away, so we couldn’t waste any more time.

Not about to turn down his offer, I walked outside to give it a try, and carefully held the pedal as it wobbled into place. While slowly tightening the nut with a tool meant for jewelry designers, the four remaining threads barely held together the pedal to the crank.

Testing the bike out around the parking lot gave me a sense of hope for the day, but wondering if the pedal might fall off at any given moment was a source of anxiety for the rest of the trip.

Despite the headwinds of Vermont, the climbs into the Adirondack Mountains, and along the tips of the Finger Lakes, my busted pedal never failed on me. And whenever I find myself hanging on by a thread, my mind drifts back to that ride.