1. Fall 1998. Frederick, MD. 

     

  2. yall play too much. quit playin. 

    From my incredibly talented friend: Chris Berry, Art Director, yall.  

     

  3. timmyapuli:

    Hey everybody, I am back and coming with more new ones. Stay Posted.

    Please share/reblog!

    My boy tim is back. Don’t squeal too loudly ladies, his voice is delicate.

    (via timmyapuli-deactivated20120823)

     
     


  4. "I Don’t Know What to Do With My Life"

    No one ever tells you how life works after college. Nobody tells you just how boring a well-paying job is and how depressing it is to wait for Friday COB 50 weeks out of the year. No one mentions how much time is actually wasted even in the most intense work environments and how the nagging sense that you’re wasting the prime years of your life never goes away. Nothing can prepare you for this reality. 

    The ones who are really lost are the Creatives. The free and lost souls. The ones who pity friends in med school or dent school or just grad school in general. The ones who have big dreams but are afraid to admit they have them. The ones who want to create and bullshit for a living but can’t find a practical way to do so. They are the ones who really feel lost.

    These are the ones I love. Little lost souls in their early twenties. Maybe I whine so much they see a kindred spirit. Maybe they just need some hybrid uncle-friend who pretends to listen. I tell them all the same thing:

    Don’t be scared and don’t compromise. Not yet, anyway. In the longview, a few weeks, months, even years of searching is a small price to pay for contentment. The only real mistake you can make right now is to be scared and settle. Contentment is life’s great puzzle. Jigsawed pieces made of money, and independence and security and creativity and love and whatever else matters to you. It’s all a delicate balance, you obsess over one and it’s at the expense of the others. Find what really fulfills you and chase it, even if it’s scary. What is it that gives you a sense of accomplishment? What makes the time fly by? The only real mistake you can make right now is to ignore those things. 

    Maybe it’s writing a song. Maybe it’s snowboarding. Maybe it’s digging ditches. These don’t have to be hobbies. A true dream job isn’t vacation; that’s vacation. A great job is about improvement: making life better for yourself and whoever else cares. That’s it. Pursue those things without fear, chase contentment. Do work that drives you crazy when someone else is better at it than you. Do work that makes you proud. That’s how we improve.

    Just don’t be scared. You are smart, honest, and kind. You’ll be fine. Go ahead and fail. Get used to it (P.S. you never get used to it, but you get real good at getting back up). It’s ok to suck now. You’ve gotta start somewhere. Just start. Shut up and start.

    And please remember me when you’re happy and rich. 

     

  5. This is me. Well, no, those are my feet, but you get the picture. This was me five years ago at the southern edge of the Grand Canyon. I was driving cross country with a friend from LA to MD after quitting what I had foolishly considered a dream job as a youth pastor. I was 24 years old and recently engaged. I had a useless bachelor’s degree in sociology and the only marketable skills I had were making delicious cold cut sandwiches and bullshitting.

    I was penniless, blowing my $2,200/mo paycheck on a $1200 apartment in Anaheim, $450/mo in car payments and a mountain of school loans. I was unemployed, moving back in with my parents, and applying to fine food establishments like Joe’s Crabshack and the Cheesecake Factory. Thank god for Cheesecake Factory. My goal was to make $200 a day by working both lunch and dinner shifts. I never made that much, ever.

    I had no idea what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to teach, but couldn’t afford to take time off for another degree. The wedding date was already set. I was a reluctant commodity at my local temp agency who sent me through half a dozen cubicle spaces in a span of 8 weeks. Somehow I wound up at a great consulting firm that’s provided more than enough these last four and a half years.

    The strange thing about that time 5 years ago? I was never scared. I wasn’t stressed. I can’t explain it now and I couldn’t explain it then. I just knew things would work out. Because when you find yourself on the edge, you jump and hustle your way back up. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. I’ve learned that whether I’m serving strawberry lemonade at Cheesecake Factory or evaluating hospitals with the former Under Secretary of the VA, it’s hustle and kindness that get me through (contrary to the notion popularized by the movie, hustle and flow are pretty useless outside of the music and prostitution industries).

    There’s no reason to be intimidated. Whether the pursuit is creative or corporate, grind it out. Do work. Hustle and I’ll be just fine. Be a decent human being in the process and sky’s the limit (Sky’s the Limit is an example of a song that has both hustle and flow). I’m on the edge again and I’m ready to jump to another bottom. I’ve got more to lose this time and the fall feels steeper, but I’m not scared. There’s more fear dangling on the edge than there is looking up from the bottom. I don’t fear the bottom. I used to [barely] live off $2,200 a month in Orange County. I used to live with my parents and serve cheesecake to 15 year olds before homecoming. I once bought an engagement ring on a credit card with a 5 year payment plan. I can still hustle. I can still work. I can still create.

    Just jump.

     

  6. good luck beating that, 2012. 

     
     

  7. so, this is christmas

     


  8. Classic Me: The First Time I Got High

    I knew the weed was kicking in when my fingers became cold. My body temperature was dropping and I felt my head bobbing back and forth with the motion of the bus. Not violently, but in a way that made my head feel about 3 pounds heavier.  

    And then came the intense focus on listening. “I have super human hearing right now!” was the first thing I muttered when I was fully lit. I could hear everything: the drunken, murmuring up front, the three clowns arguing about nothing a few feet away, every word to Theophilus London playing in the background, the crunch of Fritos beneath someone’s feet. I was taking it all in. I wished my hearing would stay that way; listening with such clarity and focus. 

    Everything was funny. Every insight, groundbreaking. Every moment deserved my undivided attention and love. I was hunched over with my arms crossed into my chest and just staring, listening to my terrific friends and being thankful. I kept making mental notes to remember how thankful I was to have such amazingly funny and entertaining friends, each with his own “classic” identity that amplified itself when inebriated, or at least when I was. I’d keep it together and giggle like mad every 2 minutes when someone would say or do something that so perfectly summed up who they were:

    "I’m really feeling like opening these shades is what I wanna do right now. Yea guys, let’s open these shades and see the sun."
    He opens the shades and the rays of a perfect sunset splash in.
    "Wow, this is the best idea I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s such a beautiful sunset guys."
    Without missing a beat, someone yells from the back: “Shut the fuck up.”
    I laugh hysterically. So classic those guys! 

    I wanted so badly to write on that bus, to remember what I was feeling and record my thoughts about the characters around me. I was high and freezing. My sense of hearing was incredible and moving proved to be overstimulating. So was eating. Someone tossed me a fun sized Snickers bar and it kicked my ass. Chocolate and nougat pounding away at the tip of my tongue. I raised my hand to get the attention of the drunken horde:
    "Guys, this flavorful chocolate bar may have been a huge mistake on my part. It is just too intense for me right now. Please be careful." 
    We all laughed. I was hilarious.

    While I kept climbing I became more still, listening harder. I was now picking up subtle changes in road noise and hearing the small rattle of a zipper from the luggage packed behind me. My vision was in tilt-shift, adjusting my focus as I listened in on a quiet conversation up front:

    "I’m not f*cked up right now. I’m fine."
    "Yes, you are! Don’t lie!" I yelled across the bus.
    Everyone’s head turned.
    "Why are you listening in on our conversation motherfucker? How did you even hear us from back there?"
    "Cuz I told you, I can hear EVERYTHING right now motherfuckers!!"
    We all laughed. I was hilarious.  

    It was fun while it lasted and it lasted a more than a few discomforting hours. Edibles are to be taken with caution, boys and girls. I think it’s real what they say about our true selves being revealed under the influence; in vino veritas. I suppose that means deep down I’m just a giggly bitch who loves his friends and wants to write about how great life is. What I miss the most, even more than the super human hearing, is the courage that comes with the high. Well, not so much courage as it is diminishing fear and insecurity. I needed a guitar and a mic on that bus. I played DJ without giving two shits what other people thought about the music I was playing. It was good enough for me. 

    This is all stoner talk and I sound like an imbecile, but I swear I had some genuine bouts of clarity while I was high. I was happy and grateful and brave. I wanted to write and make music. I had deep empathy and compassion for the people around me, as flawed as we were. I was a funny sonuvabitch too. I’d like to think that’s who I really am. I’d also like to have the super human hearing back. Classic me. 

     


  9. September 12th

    It’s always the morning after that’s most revealing. Whether it means recovering from tragedy or reveling in triumph, the morning after is what defines us. Throughout each of our personal histories of break ups, and birthdays, and pink slips, and funerals, and graduations, there come those mornings when we can’t believe what just happened the day before. Sometimes we wake up numb to it, like we almost forgot. When we lose a loved one it seems we become surrounded with daily reminders of their absence: a picture, a scent, a sound.

    September 11th was the most significant global event that affected each of us personally. For those old enough to remember, it shook us then and the shock of the day is still palpable. The aftermath of that one morning has shoved and wriggled its way into our lives in innumerable ways. But now, looking back 10 years later, I remember September 12th, the morning after. I remember being relieved that I could return to my routine. I remember feeling thankful the chaos was over, and naively certain that the terrorists were done for now. I imagined the potential devastation of repeated, relentless attacks and I prayed for our country’s protection. It was a confusing morning, but eerily peaceful. Pensive.

    In some ways, it feels like it’s taken 10 years for the collective morning after to arrive. Reading and watching all the memorials and commemorations yesterday it felt like the last 10 years were just a chaotic mix of reaction and adjustment to the events of that morning. But now, 10 years later, maybe we’ve finally turned the clock to greet the morning after. To reflect and remember and to turn our ‘new normal’ into a better normal: a grateful return to routine but with hearts and minds moved for the better.

    It’s the morning after that will define us as a nation and I think the clock may have finally clicked over. Let’s rebuild. Let’s revive. Let’s be renewed as Americans strong in resolve, deep in compassion and ready to lead. Just as 9/11 was a collectively personal experience, 9/12 must be the same; each one of us, making it our personal duty to make life better for one another. And considering the hell we’ve just walked through together, that would be one heaven of a morning after.

     


  10. Cursed Bets

    So, last night’s Saints-Packers game was classic proof that I am indeed cursed. I’ve joked about it for years, and then the laughter turned to tears as I watched my Skins fail year after year after year. The curse is no joke and I’m gonna prove it now. 

    I started a site to track all my NFL predictions and analyze what happens to them. I’ll probably make some gambling folks good money along the way. If you’re into the NFL or curious about my curse or like to bet on games or if you like anything that you enjoy then you’ll probably find this palatable: Cursed Bets

    And now, a shameless self-aggrandizing excerpt: 

    If you’re wrong, you’re wrong. How is it a curse?  

    It’s not that I’m wrong, it’s how close I am to being right. Anybody can be wrong, but it takes a special kind of curse to string you along til the last possible second - only to be wrong in the end anyway. It’s a cruel suspense, but I’m sure it’s thrilling for the people who bet against me.

    Game 1, week 1 of the 2011 season is a perfect example of my curse. The Saints were 4.5 point underdogs to the defending champion Packers. I took the Saints to cover in what I thought would be a close, high-scoring shootout. It was an incredible game: 2 TDs on special teams, Aaron Rodgers throws 3 TDs in the first quarter, Drew Brees lights it up in the second half. Down 27-42 in the 4th quarter, the Saints score with 2:15 left in the game to pull within 8. They fail to recover the onside kick. Green Bay ball at the Saints 45 and the defense only has one timeout. Game over, right? Nope! The Packers can’t convert on 3rd and 4 and are forced to punt with 1:05 to play. The punt is perfectly executed and it looks like they’ve pinned the Saints at their own 1 yd line. Game over, right? No, wait! The ref calls it a touchback - Saints ball at the 20. Drew Brees is in shotgun with 1:01 left and no timeouts. He throws 4 beautiful passes to drive the Saints down to the Green Bay 11. With :03 left in the game Brees drops back and throws a laser to the end zone - incomplete. Game over, right? No, wait! Pass interference on AJ Hawk! Saints ball at the 1 yd line! They’re gonna score! They’re gonna cover! The curse is lifted! Last play of the game with no time on the clock: Mark Ingram, halfback dive from the 1 yd line. Splat. Stonewalled. Game over, Packers win 42-34. After the game, Trey Wingo tweets: “76 points… and it takes a defensive stand from the one, on an UNTIMED play to seal it.” Profootballtalk can’t explain why Sean Payton, one of the most brazen playcallers in league history, lost his nerve on the Saints’ last chance.The curse lives on. 

     

  11. this is a beautiful piece by richard choi. he’s a great friend, he’s very talented, and i’m so proud to know him. 

     


  12. Death and Praxis

    I think about death a lot. Not really about the fear of dying or what happens after we die, but my own death and what it would mean. I never think about how I might die and rarely do I think about when, but I do agonize over my funeral. Who shows up, what words are spoken, what music is played. God I hope they laugh a lot. I wish I could orchestrate it all - not so much because I love a good funeral, but because on some not-so-deep a level I think I’m obsessed with how I’ll be remembered. I’m deathly afraid of being reduced to a boring label or one lame aspect of my life. I don’t want to be caricatured. What a self-absorbed twat I am for thinking of these things. It probably explains why I’ll never actually achieve anything great in life - too busy wanting, not enough doing. 

    But anyway… 

    Prior to my eventual death, I’d like to be crystal clear about a few things that may not be so obvious:

    1. For all the hate I pretend to harbor, I really do love people. Especially the honest ones. I love people who stay true to themselves and loyal to their friends. I would die for any one of these people and moreover, I would kill for them. Nothing is more important or valuable than a true friend and I consider myself immensely wealthy here.
    2. Beef jerky is awesome and no matter how much of it I eat before I die, I wish I’d had more. 
    3. Of all the things I’ve wanted to do in life, the only non-diminishing dream I’ve ever had was to be a musician. It’s also my greatest source of fear and insecurity. This is both sad and disappointing, but perfectly normal for all of us living our lives at half-speed. Shame on us.
    4. Seriously, beef jerky in all flavors: peppered, sweet and spicy, teriyaki, some magical new brew that I haven’t even experienced yet, they’re all so awesome. Wherever I’m going next, I hope they have beef jerky. 
    5. I’m not lazy; I’m just uninspired most of the time. Life is easy, living is hard.
    6. Trust me on the whole beef jerky thing, I’ve had other jerkys: deer, salmon, turkey, they’re not the same. There’s something about the texture and consistency of beef jerky that makes it far better than other jerkys. It’s an unparalleled chewing experience. My favorite part is how shards get stuck between your molars sometimes and the flavors kinda implant themselves into your mouth, kind of like an exclusive after-party just for the taste buds on the tip of your tongue.

    Glad we’ve cleared that up.     

     

  13. classic sungtae

     

  14. it just hit me today that i’m actually living Chandler Bing’s life:

    1. nobody knows what I do for a living
    2. I have lots of magazine subscriptions, several with my name misspelled
    3. I was friends with my wife’s siblings in college, before I even met my wife
    4. I was friends with my wife before dating
    5. My wife is a bossy, type-A neatfreak with a love for organization and itineraries
    6. I married someone I initially dated secretly
    7. I dumped the majority of my savings into a wedding/honeymoon
    8. I got married earlier than all my friends
    9. I want to do something more fun or artistic for a living (advertising/writing)
    10. I have a womanizing best friend of marginal celebrity (yes, you - korean ryan seacrest) 
    11. I’m occasionally mistaken as homosexual
    12. could I be any more sarcastic?
    13. I suck at quitting jobs, relationships and membership services
    14. I’m always the funny one in the group, never the handsome one.
    15. I can’t dance
    16. I can’t cry
    17. I love bubble baths
    18. I started out skinny, got really fat and now I’m trying to reach normal size again
    19. I have to say the clever last line
    20. I love cheesecake and would steal it from a neighbor if I could

    too bad ross is my favorite. 

     
     


  15. "There’s no normal life, Wyatt, it’s just life. Get on with it."
    — - Doc Holliday