Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A thought

I've found that one of the true luxuries of writing is being able to revisit your thoughts, and seeing firsthand how much you can improve.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

SAMPLE: ExhibitBE tells an empowering street story in a city like none other. #NOLArt



Check out these Google+ images from ExhibitBE, the star installation from this year's Prospect.3: New Orleans' contemporary fall arts festival. The "largest single-site street art exhibit in the American South" exited with a spectacular encore last Monday, and for those interested in a post script, hurry over to the How to BE panel discussion with local artist and organizer Brandan Odums at 2pm on the Xavier University campus today. The event is free, open to the public and runs til 4pm.

ExhibitBE was an endlessly inspiring, adventurous experience that wove a powerful story through the soul of an abandoned apartment complex, transforming it into a beacon of creativity and cooperation -- a perfect celebration of today's New Orleans. Each turn in the five-story complex features street art and graffiti displays both towering and subtle; and equally striking. Follow ExhibitBE's ongoing efforts to celebrate the power of street art at brandanodums.com

And keep up to date with all of the fascinating events happening throughout New Orleans during this closing weekend of P.3 on the triennial festival's Facebook page
#ExhibitBE #Prospect3 #Localthinking #NOLArt

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reflecting on my roots


I feel pleasantly strange in the south, floating through each humid scene with a comforting sense of detachment, while countless insects provide ominous soundtracks on a continuous loop. Every moment feels like reading a mystery that you can't put down; all the details spark curiosity. And nearly everyone you meet is incredibly kind.

On the bank of the Bogue Falaya River in Covington, LA

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A beer with John Muir, the original hippie.


"A thousand Yellowstone wonders are calling, 'Look up and down and round about you!' And a multitude of still, small voices may be heard directing you to look through all this transient, shifting show of things called 'substantial' into the truly substantial spiritual world whose forms flesh and wood, rock and water, air and sunshine, only veil and conceal, and to learn that here is heaven and the dwelling-place of the angels." John Muir, Wilderness Essays 

I just finished reading Muir's essay on Yellowstone National Park, man, I really need to get out there, and see for myself what he describes so beautifully. I love reading Muir, what a wonderful soul he was, and a true hero. He used passion and intelligence to fight for Nature, peacefully; a worthy cause in my opinion, and a noble effort.

He was the original hippie, and I use the term endearingly. To me, a hippie is one who understands, and appreciates the underlying beauty of certain things, such as the natural world. I came to know my inner hippie having moved out west, to Colorado, after Hurricane Katrina forced me to think about my uninspired life at the time. I've since happily embraced him, and I find life to be much more meaningful for it, especially considering how much nicer he is than the dude in me was.

In fact, the dude in me died in the Rocky Mountains. I buried him there on a hike years ago. And while my old drinking buddies would certainly disagree, I believe he deserved to die, so that the hippie in me might live on, and experience life as it is, naturally. My new friend John Muir would understand. And even though I doubt he was much of a drinker, I'd like to think he would have enjoyed a good, local brew now and again. So here's to you, John Muir, may you continue to inspire the soul, and awaken in us our true selves with your old hippie ways!

written whilst drinking a Colorado Native Lager, a fine beer with an unfortunate reputation, due to its funding. A product of the admittedly lame, and massively boring Coors Brewing Co., most see it as a knock-off craft beer; a desperate marketing attempt to cash in on the Craft Beer Revolution we're witnessing of late. But it's brewed off-site, by noble and passionate brewers, and it's meticulously executed and quaffable. It's also made with 99% locally sourced ingredients, which is something I'm sure my boy John Muir would appreciate. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Looking Back...

I've been freelance blogging for Westword, Denver's alt weekly, for exactly six months as of yesterday. It's funny to think about that fact, or at least it is to me; my very first foray into the world of writing.

It's been eye-opening to say the least, and quite a bit more difficult than I imagined, writing for money. I never envisioned I would be doing it. In fact, if you had asked me two years ago what I wanted to do for a living, I'd have answered pr/marketing/event planning for a craft brewery, which is more or less what I was doing at the time.

But looking back over these past months, I feel like I have been writing for a lifetime. Whether or not I do it well enough to earn a living remains to be seen.

my archives from Westword...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Sports Book

"The man had reached the highest level anyone can achieve in sports: the perfect blend of sweat and pain and champagne, a weathered appreciation of everything that happened..."

The Sports Guy Bill Simmons on Bill Russel in The Book of Basketball 

I'm on the last chapter of quite possibly the most entertaining book I've ever read, and I couldn't be more bummed about it. The Book of Basketball; seven hundred pages of free-flowing wit about nothing and everything to do with sports. Although the book is essentially about one, Simmons touches on the pulse of what makes them all so great: entertainment in its purest form, or in other words, artistry.

I didn't grow up a sports fan, much to my father's disappointment I'm sure, but my younger brother did, so luckily I never had to feel guilty about it. I came to love sports merely three years ago*. I had just moved from Boulder to Denver, into a small, nondescript studio apartment on Capital Hill with no real intentions; other than getting buzzed, and getting laid.

I happened to live a few blocks from my good friend, and fellow poker enthusiast, John; who happens to possess one of the most captivating, intellectual minds you'll ever find. He also happened to have a sick TV with surround sound, and a kegerator tapped with good locals brews. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time there. My visits weren't entirely selfish though, it was his mind that I was most interested in, and at that time, it was keenly focused on sports.

We'd spend countless hours watching them, and with me being such a novice spectator (everything was foreign to me: names, places, rules, everything), John was able to fully realize his pent-up desire to share all that he knew. He'd wildly, and frantically break down every aspect of whatever game was on; the intricacies of it, the background of the players of it, the financial state of it; all of which became fascinating to me.

Over three years later, sports are all I can pay attention to, quite literally. I haven't watched a TV show to speak of, or a movie in its entirety since. Nothing scripted can come close to the athleticism and strategy of sports in my opinion. To witness, first hand, the physical and mental potential of a human is nothing short of awe inspiring, as much so as any other art form. I'm forever grateful to my buddy John for introducing me to it.

And now that I think of it, he was the one who turned me on to Bill Simmons' column, and subsequently, one of my favorite books ever. Which makes sense, they are kindred spirits, John and Bill. They both know more about sports than anyone I've ever encountered, and both have the admirable ability to share their thoughts about it with such passion that one could spend hours listening to them.

Sadly, the book is almost over, and ever since my girlfriend and I moved in together across town, John and I don't get to watch the game together very often. But I'll never forget those days we spent endlessly engaged in sports. Those moments have a special place in my heart, as does this book.

*I'm borrowing the footnote method from Bill Simmons here, part of what's makes his book so thoroughly entertaining is that there are at least two random, yet riveting footnotes on each page. Anyway, coincidentally, the very first football season I watched from start to finish, 2009, when my hometown team the New Orleans Saints won their very first Super Bowl. The entire city went nuts, people stopped their cars in the middle of the highway to celebrate; my mom got stuck on the other side of the river and couldn't get home. My dad, who watched the game by himself in their quaint French Quarter apartment, said the Quarter sounded like nothing he'd ever heard in his life, "like we had won the war". Unfortunately, I was here in Colorado, comfortably slouched on my boy John's couch. But I'd like to think I played my fair-weathered part in their victory, the one last fan they needed so to speak. By the by, my friends here hated me for this sentiment.




Saturday, October 8, 2011

"The Rooftop of America..."

Kerouac coined the phrase in reference to the Rocky Mountains, and it has stuck with me ever since I read it -- as do the majestic mountains themselves every time I see them.

In fact, I deeply and constantly miss them; so much so that I fall into a state of depression upon returning to the city. I sometimes think it best to never visit them again, lest their hold of me begins to have a serious, negative impact on my day to day responsibilities: earning a living, being social and whatnot.

But I love the Rocky Mountains, and could never imagine not being near them. Each unfathomably formed formation is so unique, towering with such personality. They humbly provide an imposing, yet comforting companionship that's as hard to describe as it is to ignore. (I'm reminded of a thought from Thoreau "...to the traveler, a mountain outline varies with every step and it has an infinite number of profiles, though absolutely but one form...")

The best way I can convey the feeling would be to say it's like visiting the gods, and casually kicking it with them for a bit, or, what I imagine it would be like to grab a beer with the Dalai Lama...

post camping on Keebler's Pass outside of Crested Butte, Colorado; and hiking to Copper Lake