Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Last weekend, my good friend Casey and I were preparing ourselves for a night of art, music, and beer. But, as we already know and have come to accept, you can never really arm yourself with enough artillery to protect yourself from the impetuous vagaries of life. It started at 4:00pm. I had just arrived at Casey's house. We were going to Wal Mart to pick up a few 8x10 prints of some photographs that we were going to hang at our friend's "art" party later that night. We had to be quick though, because Casey was scheduled to speak about a photograph he had on display in the Alfa Art Gallery in New Brunswick at 6:00pm, and I had planned to see a friend perform in a Rutgers version of Saturday Night Live at 7:00pm. We decided to take separate cars. I had never been to that particular Wal Mart before, and the wintry snowfall deemed iPhone map usage too dangerous, so I relied on Casey to lead the way. Of course, about halfway there I got stuck at a red light after Casey blasted through it, thinking I would do the same. He impatiently waited on the shoulder for me to catch up. Not too much time lost there, but still irritating. When we got to the emporium of self deprecation at half the price, there was no one to assist us at the photo center. So, we searched for an associate that would be able to lend a hand (looked at cell phone for the time). We found an insipid employee who made us feel like we were bothering her to help us for two seconds. Casey received the packet of prints after briefly proving his existence to the casual cog. We inspected our envelope to discover that one of my prints was missing. Wal Mart fucked up. We thought about going back to to get the hard drive with the file, come back, and print out the forgotten photo, but time waits for no man. Casey and I quickly picked out frames in which to hang our images. I went for the the more frugal option, whereas Casey went with style. We hopped on the line that seemed to be the shortest, but as they say, looks can be deceiving. We waited eagerly as we watched the other lines move like a time lapse as people happily paid for their purchases before we moved an inch. We remained in our line, out of fear that if we moved we could make it worse, like the traffic jam scene from Office Space. After paying for our frames, we walked carefully through the crunchy snow back to my car. We didn't want to slip on any hidden ice and have to sue Wal Mart for a million dollars, especially after all the great service that had just been provided for us. It's about 5:00pm now. I turn on the heat and some tunes while get our photographs ready. Much to Casey's horror, his fancy frames lacked the proper fittings for wall hanging, so he had to go back into that fraction of the cost hell hole of human hostility to exchange them. Tick tock. My frames fit my photos perfectly. Casey returned about 15 minutes later with correct plastic image holders, so it was a real shame when my car wouldn't start. My car battery sacrificed its own life so that I could be warm and listen to music. Following Casey's lead, I whipped back into Wal Mart with the rest of the losers to buy some jumper cables. I returned after another endless 15 minutes to find a group of Jamaican women having a girls night out in the parking space across from mine, severing any path to battery resuscitation. I stood there in the cold like a fool for another 15 minutes, both Casey and I waiting for them to put their wine down and get the fuck out of the parking lot. They might still be there to this day. Casey was able to squeeze in the spot next to them after another shopper left, and finally charged me up. Another five minutes went by as I had to chip away the ice and brush away the snow that had piled onto the car. We raced out of the parking lot and back to New Brunswick. Casey and I arrived at the gallery just in time, and it seemed that life had rewarded us for having to endure such trivial obstacles and frivolous hindrances. There it was. Right as we walked into the gallery was a table filled with all the red wine and cheese we could consume. We ate, drank, and we satisfied. Casey's photo was the only one purchased at the gallery, making it the best one. He was way better than the rest of the guys who spoke anyway, especially since they took so damn long talking and I ended up missing my friend's SNL performance. Anyway, afterwards, Casey and I got drunk with our friends and hung our photos at the party with great pride where they were met with critical acclaim. We even go to see The Former Reunion play a last minute reunion show (they were a band, then they weren't, then they were again, but now they're not again). And besides for that red headed fucker who stole all of our beer, it ended up being a really fun night. So, thank you, life, for kicking our asses but then feeling bad about it afterwards, even if its only for a minute.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
In August 2009, a few friends and I were somehow given the opportunity, no, the responsibility, of navigating some Volcom team riders around New Jersey so that they could shred its crusty terrain. Among them were Aaron Suski, Caswell Berry, Darrell Stanton, and Filipe Ortiz. All awesome dudes. But Lewis Marnell really stood out from the rest of the crew. He was as good at skating as his dreads were long, and he really appreciated us showing him and his team around the Garden State. I won't forget that day for as long as I live, and I have him to thank for that.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
My good friend Lawrence had wanted to build a DIY quarterpipe at this undisclosed location for as long as I can remember. Being an ex-scout, Lawrence received the Merit Badge in woodworking, and if it were up to me, I'd give him a Commendable in gnar. He put his training to the test and it certainly paid off. We persevered through the blood, sweat, and beers, and ended up building a solid spot for (almost) everyone to enjoy. These photos were taken during the first and second construction missions out of several more over Summer 2012, on my Yashica MAT-124 G. The last shot is Lawrence breathing life into his creation.