Winter is inevitable.
It’s been about a year since my last post. I’ll get into that as I go. In the meantime a bunch of good things came out and I’ve highlighted a couple here:
– Back in April Phil released Dump Out. Definitely worth a rewatch.
– Also worth a rewatch is Nick Matthews “Welcome to Huf” part from pre-covid times. Going fast and going big in the city over choice cuts from SeenMR. The goods!
– Jackson’s ender part from G’s Neighborhood Watch vid is online to enjoy. He got after it and made some magic.
– Jake Cook just released Bleu adding the southern burbs to the list of spots I need to check.
– Katon Black just dropped his Seamoss part. Lots of good Chicago spots and some hidden gems from Hyde Park.
– The NeckBeerd boys bring you Borracho with an astounding beer to trick ratio.
– The second issue of Red Mag is out. Fantastic Chicago skateboarding and photography.
– The new Golden Hour is available to order.
– Huf’s passing was announced to great sadness for skateboarders all over the world. It’s a testament to the person he was that so many came forward with personal stories of positive interactions, friendship, guidance and opportunity that he helped bring to the world. It’s also a good reminder that talent, success and money don’t guarantee that you’ll be he any longer than anyone else. The photos, the footage, the shoes, clothes and socks will all be revered memories but all those interactions, small moments and lifelong bonds, will keep Huf alive forever.
Both Scutch and Deep Dish have new projects in the works but they aren’t out yet. There have also been a ton of board, wheel, truck, griptape, clothing and shoe vids. I’m sure you’ve seen it all because like everyone else you’re at home devouring content.
My contribution to the conversation is Sentimental Music. Filmed January 2020 – October 2020, there’s masks, classic Chicago spots, some new ones, some that are already gone, a little Milwaukee and Austin footage but the bulk is from home. I hope it hypes you to get out and push around.
The Parking Block prints are still up at Uprise but they are locked down. The show hasn’t finished so I haven’t started pouring blocks. As the weather changes it’s looking like they’ll get formed and placed in the spring. In the meantime Nate is doing the good work and making things happen.
Around 2008 I started the annual tradition of sending out holiday packages to friends. Past packages have included, calendars, collages, prints, stickers, recipes, koozies, a children’s book, paintings, a story about a child seeking revenge on Santa Claus, wax, shoelaces, buttons, DVDs, bandanas, zines, drawings, photographs and other assorted ephemera.
This year I’m doing things a little different. The yearly holiday mailer has always been free but I’m trying to get a project funded this year. I thought a small donation could help me cover materials and shipping on the holiday package and at the same time help get the film I’m working on be completed.
Early in 2020 I put out this short proof of concept to help me flesh out ideas, limitations, and possibilities for a different kind of story telling. I’m really happy with how it turned out. Looking back there are some changes I’d make but the blueprint is there for a longer film.
I’m fully aware that times are tough and the world has lots of demands for your time, attention and money. Rent, bills and food are the best place to spend your hard earned money. If you can’t afford to contribute to the kickstarter but would still like a holiday package just shoot me an email with your name and address and I’ll put you on the list. The only other thing I’ll ask is that you pass along the information to anyone you know who might be interested in supporting the project. This is a huge help!
After having a pretty heavy 2019 I included and optomistic outlook in last year’s holiday mailer for 2020 being a fantastic year. Some people have jokingly reminded me of this prediction as the year has dragged on. I’ll be honest, it’s been a tough one for the hopeful. I started this post in the early spring but every time I went to publish it something unexpected made me pause and rethink my timing.
In general I posted less. I didn’t have the right words.
In the beginning I tried to encourage and support the small businesses that are a part of my world.
I bought things from skateshops, the taco place down the street, pizzerias, small brands, record stores, breweries, coffee roasters and tattoo artists. Places my friends work. Places that are the lifeblood of the culture, the community and the city.
But you can only afford so many things and once you get a gift certificate you’re probably not going to get another one a week later.
I was inspired by how businesses changed and adapted. My heart broke for the ones that had to close.
We’re losing a lot of great entrepreneurs by no fault of their own. A year ago this was unthinkable.
I think about people who had worked so hard to get a business off the ground and planned to open in 2020. What a kick in the teeth!
In the beginning I tried to stay isolated and busy inside but it was hard to be creative with all of the uncertainty and worry.
I tried my best to be a good neighbor and happily wore my mask, washed my hands obsessively and stayed away from people.
Eventually that relaxed although I’m still obsessive about wearing a mask.
I know that’s turned into a divisive rage filled issue but for me it’s just easier to wear it. I actually like it now. Once or twice I’ve forgotten and left home without it and it feels weird. I have to turn around, go back and put one on.
I interact with immune system compromised people that are special to me and I want to do everything I can to minimize potential issues and at the same time minimize any possible transmission from interactions I’ve had.
Basically I don’t want to go to the grocery store and get everyone there sick or bring back someone elses sickness.
I hope as the weather gets colder mask wearing will increase for warmth and to combat the current rise in cases.
When it was just Covid I would say the world was draining but manageable.
Like I said I started this post a long time ago.
Once the George Floyd footage was released I felt that what I had to share was trivial and more noise than good.
People shouldn’t be wasting time looking at photos of old buildings they should be in the streets protesting to make a change.
It wasn’t just George Floyd. It was Breonna Taylor. It was Elijah Mcclain. It was everything before. Every incident that wasn’t filmed. It was footage of police officers pushing down women, beating and macing protesters.
It was the unease and buzz that comes along with constant worry.
What’s next? What will set things off? Will the country be able to move forward?
It made me think a lot about how I looked at events of the past. Now I feel like I have better understanding of how Hitler came to power.
Things happen continuously. They keep happening and the gauge for what’s normal keeps moving until you don’t recognize what the old normal was.
I’m pretty sure I have friends who haven’t seen my mouth or nose since April. Before that would sound preposterous but it’s just how things are now.
It’s times like these when I really miss having my parents to talk to.
Sometimes they could deliver that needed perspective having seen so much change in America.
My Dad was one of the most liberal people I know. He also didn’t believe that Obama could win.
Even when he was in office my Dad was sure he would be killed because he’d lived through the Kennedy’s and MLK being assasinated. Not that he didn’t support him, he just thought the country was still too racist to elect an African American.
Come to think of it when I was going to school it seemed like the presidency was only for old white men.
I definitely didn’t think there would be female candiates or openly gay candiates back in the 80s but now it’s commonplace.
Kids today will at least know there is a possibility of a non-old white man president. I guess that’s progress. Baby step progress.
I’m still shocked by the campaign to ruin the USPS. That really nags at me.
I’m writing this a few days before the election and there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in the air.
I’ll post it after the outcome is announced and the future comes into focus.
I still don’t know if that focus will be one of relief or of a resolve for resistance.
I do know that until then I’ll be spending an unhealthy amount of my time looking at my phone and being stressed out. Sometimes I even try to open apps that I’m already looking at again.
My algorithm feeds me a constant stream of violent anti-maskers, vocal racists, police and nosy women unjustly harassing people, and insanely angry left/right clashes.
There’s also some delightfully funny cats, lesbian bread baking, wrapped in plastic dancing and of course skating but at times like this it’s hard to enjoy the lighter moments. The stakes seem too high.
There are a lot of things in our country that I can’t understand.
I get that if you’ve never been around a gay person, or a Muslim, or someone from Mexico or Thailand or an African American, you don’t have all the information and you are making assumptions.
I wish people would get to spend time working with all types of different people.
I think they’d come away with the general opinion that some are great, some are lazy, some are obnoxious, some are amazing workers, some talk to much, some tell good jokes, some piss you off.
That’s just people in general. Some are amazing, some are fine, some are the worst.
Once you come to terms with that and can put a real connection to abstract ideas it makes it much harder to advocate for something that won’t help people you know.
Still that’s a made up ideal scenario. There are still parts of the country where the population is pretty homogeneous and set in their ways.
It’s also an easy crutch. I’ve seen enough people imply they’re not racist based on working with someone or one specific friend.
If that’s really the case you would want to do everything you could to make sure they were treated the way you think you deserve to be treated.
Racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, those are huge issues with deep roots and complicated histories that politicians use as an easy way to set people against each other. I certainly don’t have any easy fix for that.
So I’ll start with what I consider to be a small, simple, easy to agree on thing. What I can’t wrap my head around is wanting to eliminate protection for people with pre-existing conditions. This seems like such an obvious caring, kind and compassionate thing.
Why wouldn’t you want to protect people with pre-existing conditions? Is there really anyone out there who is that cruel? How can you not want people to get help and be cared for? How does that benefit you? What if it was someone you love? What if it was you?
Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like that issue will change some peoples minds. Some people vote against their own interests. Some people vote out of spite.
I don’t know what the outcome of the election will be. Of course I’m nervous and scared and hopeful that it will turn out the way I’d like it to but I still think there is a huge issue that needs to be fixed. How do you bring in people from both sides? How do you convince them that working together is better than trying to pushing each other down? Also when can we have term limits for everyone? Is that possible? Can we have a mandatory retirement age in politics? Can we start getting young people involved who have optimism and energy and hope? I know I’m naive but I want to live in a country that keeps working to be better not slowly but boldly with ideas and inclusiveness and innovation.
I’m really hoping there will be hugs soon.
I don’t know when it will happen but I can’t wait to hug everyone.
I miss hugs and I think we all need them this year.