A Short List of Awesome #1

With so much going on I often find myself not updating on the things that are uniquely impacting my life and ideas. More than once a week somebody cocks their head giving me a confused dog look as if to say “Que?” I fully understand the need to do this because I believe people that skate, surf, snowboard, ride a bike … we look at the world through a very different lens. Our innate culture is one of not just talking about things but doing them. No real agenda just one of the DIY ethos and spirit in action. In other words a little less conversation and much more action. So, with this mindset it occurred to me that I’m not speaking out often enough on the short list of things I’m really enjoying at any given moment. So lets just call this the first of many short list of awesome.

I think this list could take any shape or form but there’s definitely a surfy theme running through this and I don’t mean in the bro brah kind of way. Certainly more of an effortless flow. Again, as of late by doing more things and talking less about them it seems I’ve landed in this kind of zone. So when I hung up the snowboard a few weeks back and began skating more the flowing vibe carried through. I first noticed the result in my music selection. While I’ve been opting for more D.C. hardcore in times of needs lately an album that is stick with me on repeat is Lane Change by Blktop Project. No surprise here as the members of this band are also a group of very influential street skaters from the 80’s. Except maybe Chuck Treece wasn’t he more early 80’s ? At any rate the Bossanova style funk I’ve found is good for when the pavement is dry and cruising through DC on an early weekend morning is what the doctor requires. Bockrossa and Back Alley Music def stand out and keep a nice effortless groove going. Four espressos, some 60mm wheels and an old school deck with this in you iPod, I guarantee you’ll be thinking about slappys and curb cuts all day long. Check ’em out on their label or on iTunes. Blktop Project.

There comes a point in your life where wearing logos just gets to be a little weird. I chalk this one up to perhaps spending a little too much time in the world of advertising. Suddenly you don’t see logo, design, canvas and art on a cotton t-shirt. Instead I see space, I see premium over the joyful splash of color that communicates a brands meaning in a design. I know I’ve lost grip on this when i just started buying blank t-shirts. I could blame the skate-surf-snow world for recycling any and every type of style/image but that’s a cop out. It’s been like that for years. Instead I knew it was time to decouple any brand identity. Then wouldn’t you know it I found something I actually like.

I wouldn’t call Thomas Campbell a brand per se but he definitely brings his art to the table and lays it all out there for you to absorb. I’ve always felt his designs are kind of like a blood orange. A little intense looking but so full of flavor it’s hard to resist. While his surf movies such as ‘Sprout’, ‘Seedling’ and forthcoming ‘The Present’ are great what caught my eye out of his store was the simple “waves’ t-shirt. Beyond logos and back into the world of design. I very much appreciated this enough to actually plunk down some dollars and buy it. Look at it for a few minutes. the simple rise & fall, peak and valley. if you’ve ever spent a day on a board you know how those points and dips are peaked with fun and humility all with each effort. Kinda sums it up right there. Simple.

Finally, following on the whole simple is beautiful theme shared with me by a co-worker my footwear of choice as of late has been retrograded to the ever tangible but never invincible Vans Authentic. I’ll be honest I’m not quite sure how this happened. My jeans didn’t get skinny and I’m not sporting Richie Jackson like threads. Nobody will ever mistake my skating for Alfaro or Alva but it’s fine by me to find that one pair of shoes that makes everything a little easier. I know the AV Era is a beefed up version of the era shoe but the authentic are pretty much one of the best things out there right and will continue to be for another 25 years. actually, all vans shoes seem to be really on point this season time of year. Half cabs, av skate lows, eras, Chukka lows, there are some very good skate shoes from Vans out there right now. The really scary part is how long they have all been around… forever.

So this short list of things I’ve seen, heard, bought or like all factor into that ongoing through process of doing and making things happen. Each has it’s little part to play in the daily slice. Plus the positive side is I finally found a pair of skate shoes in the era that my wife would wear. That was victory in itself.

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