Skate of Mind

Follow your dreams. It's something we hear from a young age, and even as we get older it harkens back, like a nagging cough: follow your dreams they say.  But at what point can following a dream erode the life that's actually under your feet.

Skate of Mind is a gritty documentary film that follows 25 year old NHL hopeful, Spike, as he pursues his lifelong dream of making an NHL roster.

Hayward - The Movie

"Let's start planning this shit."

That was the subject line of Matt's email last April. As you may know, it's easy for a bunch of 20 somethings to talk about doing something; it's a lot harder to get us to follow-through on it. But Matt's strategy was simple: plan ahead, make a commitment and reunite a bunch of college friends for the first time in a few years.

It may have been the blunt wording of the subject line, or perhaps just the sincerity of Matt's message, but either way it worked. In fact, Ben was so excited about showing his commitment to the cause that he booked a flight just hours after receiving Matt's email, proudly replying to the group with an image of his ticket confirmation and challenging everyone else to follow suit. It didn't really matter that he'd booked his flight for the wrong weekend. It was still inspiring.

Six months later it was Labor Day weekend and we were there on the Spider Lakes of Hayward, WI. To say that it was perfect would be an understatement.  The weather was beautiful, the scenery was breathtaking and the generosity of Matt's parents to open up their home to all of us can only be described as saintly.

I brought my camera along for this trip in hopes of documenting the memories. My goal was to make a film that we could all remember it by. While it is a film about our adventures, it's really just a story about friendship.  After college we all spread out to cities like Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Dallas. And I think it's safe to say that none of us fully have figured out exactly what's next. But being able to come together and enjoy each other's company for a few days at the end of the summer was certainly a special occasion and I hope the sentiment lives on through this film until next time.

-Greg

 

Hayward - The Movie (Trailer)

Last September, our dear friend Matt graciously offered up his home in Hayward, WI as a locale for a mini college reunion of sorts.  From Los Angeles, to Cleveland, Minneapolis to Manhattan and a few other cities in between, a group of ten best friends converged on the Spider Lakes for the long Labor Day weekend.  Over the course of 5 days, we did little more than thoroughly enjoy each other's company.  This is a film about that.

 

Full feature coming soon...

-Greg

 

 

Lost and Found

An Introduction:

I wrote the following essay last July, a few days before heading back east for a week-long vacation. I filmed the trip in hopes of bringing some of the words to life. When I got back to L.A., I spent a few days working on the footage until one thing or another got me distracted, and all of these thoughts collected digital dust on my hard drive.
Yesterday I came across the footage again. Ironically, in just a few hours I will board another plane to head back east.  A lot's changed in my life in the last few months, but I found that most of what I wrote still rings true.
I'm under no illusion that  writing an essay trying to defend the millenial generation probably exemplifies every stereotype I'm challenging in the first place. But in a lot of ways, maybe that's the point. Either way, I'm off to the airport once again, still trying to answer all the same questions.

We, the Millenial.

I’ve been looking forward to a vacation recently. A vacation back home—back east, back to where I’m from. I’ve been looking forward to seeing my family and to the smell of thunderstorms.  I’ve been looking forward to the humidty of D.C. and the hush of Connecticut.  I’ve been looking forward to seeing my dog, Bentley and I’ve been looking forward to adventuring with my girlfriend, Emma.

But when I really think about it, I’ve started to realize that what I really want, what I’m most looking forward to, is simply, pause.

 

People say a lot of things about Millenials. We’re restless and lazy, entitled and impatient, moody and way too “connected.” Some of those things may be true.  But there’s one thing that frustrates me about all the millennial talk, all the placing of these labels; it’s that it all comes from people who aren’t us.

If I dig down to the bottom of a lot of my desires, under the dead grass, the loose topsoil, beneath the tight-packed earth, what I actually find is a small seed of recess.

We grew up in a world that moves unthinkably fast. It’s easy to say we’re indecisive or entitled, unsure or wandering, but ultimately I think these are all just misdiagnosed symptoms of a generation trying to keep up with a world that’s moving faster than ever before.

It’s like this digital age has created one of those astronaut training devices and it’s whipping us around with such force that the Gs are suffocating; we’re desperate to reach that big red button that shuts the whole thing down so that we can catch our breath for a second and then look at the machine and wonder “do I even want to be on this thing?”

It’s pretty easy for an older generation to point out our flaws, the imperfections of our tribe.  But what I don’t think they understand is we didn’t choose to live this way.  

While I don’t have an answer as to how to go about actually slowing this whole thing down, I do have a theory, and ironically it centers around the idea of the unknown. It’s a scary concept, that which we don't know, but if you can stop to think about it, in a lot of ways it may just be that button that we’re so desperately trying to reach.

See, in our world we are inundated with information. It is what makes it move so fast. Every answer, definition, picture, text and date is at our fingertips—or really thumb tips to be more literal.  So in a world where we are so consumed by this information, the idea of the unknown, something for which there inherently is no answer, should really be the most wonderfully refreshing thing we could ask for.

It is no easy task, but if we can be brave, if we can stop running from the things we don’t understand, if we can face them head on, embrace them and dive head first into the deep, dark pools of what we don't know, we may just find that things will start to slow down.

Our life is a sea of brackish water, full of mixed emotions and consequences, but if we can make it to the surface every once in a while, to take a deep breath and inhale that uncertainty, I think we by the time we breathe out, we’ll feel a bit better.

They say we’re impatient. I think we’re passionate. They say we’re too connected. I think we’re collaborative. They say we’re indecisive. I think we’re thoughtful.

With every pause we can learn a little more about ourselves.  And yet, I’m so far from knowing what I’m doing here it’s terrifying. But I believe in us. I’m encouraged by us. I think we are bound to do to do great things. Really in a way, we have to. But it should not be scary. It should be exciting. We must embrace the uncertainty of our own lives. We must learn to slow down.

I’ve been looking forward to a vacation recently: a vacation back home.

Shadow People

I bought a red wine called “Layer Cake.” In college I drank a lot of beer—now, more wine. What’s funny though is I don’t know a fucking thing about wine. So I pick out bottles based on 3 criteria:

1)   Price. Is it under $15? If yes, continue to criteria two. If no, pretend it does not exist[1].
2)   Label. Plain and simple: It’s gotta look cool. Now this goes against all conventional wine wisdom, as most of the “classic,” "vintage," "artisinaly (not a word) aged" wines seem to always have a very classic, romantic look to them—some long handed script dragged by fluid wrist in whispy (also not a word) motions across a parchment looking paper. For absolutely no reason that can be justified, I have no interest in these wines. in fact they turn me off completely. Instead, I look for a label that catches my eye: usually simple and contemporary, something with clean lines and maybe a minimalist design[2], preferably with a name that makes little to no sense whatsoever.
3)   Name. What’s it called? As alluded to above, this third criteria really goes hand in hand with the second one.  In fact, based on my fool proof accrediting system, it must relate directly to criteria point two.   A good label can carry a bad name, but a good name can’t overcome a bad label[3].  For example I’ve actually saved a couple wine bottles recently. Here’s what they’re called: “Reckless Love” and “Dearly Beloved.”  Both names sound like shitty soap operas, but when joined with their labels, they’re actually pretty neat. So as a general rule of thumb: the dumber the name, the better the wine[4].

So, back to Layer Cake—the wine I bought tonight. I stopped at the mini-mart on the way back from work. I perused the aisles, scrupulously running through my criteria, and ultimately it came down to two contenders: “Eruption” & “Layer Cake.” This brings up one more thing I forgot to mention about names; if the name sounds like a soap opera—good sign. If name sounds like cheap porno—bad sign. It’s a fine line but with time you learn to walk it. 

I bought the Layer Cake and I came home and I sat down to write. I liked the name so much I figured it could be a good place to start. However, as I wrote, I drank the bottle and consequently ended up on the absurd tangent about how I buy wine, when what I'd really intended to write about is this new video. It's called "Shadow People." It's about the beauty of tiny moments. I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere. But if not, it'd be a great name for a wine.

 

-Greg

[1] Remember this wine for when I am wildly successful and can spend more money on wine.

[2] Please bare in mind I have no idea if these are even remotely valid ways of describing design, but they are of the utmost importance to me, in my head, when assessing wines…usually reds…under $15.

[3] This is true in 9/10 cases (no pun intended)

[4] Based on taste preferences of someone with no idea what they are talking about.  

 

Not Knowing.

I find myself in the room again. The one I keep in my head—where I sit with my thoughts and the one where I’ve spent a lot more time recently.

I’m not sure if it’s because I have more questions, or because I’m just more curious about finding answers, but the gross irony is that the reason I’m interested in answers these days, is because I’m obsessed with questions that don’t seem to have any. 

It’s like being drunk on a carousel, completely unsure of where to get off, but certain that at some point I’ll have to.

But I have arrived at something recently. I’ve become intoxicated with this idea of not knowing.

See most of my questions revolve around the future: what do I want to do? who do I want to be? where do I want to end up? Every question I have about my life is fueled by the certain, uncertainty of what’s ahead. That, my friends, is the “not knowing.”

And while I’ve sat on my carousel in the room in my head, thinking about the not knowing, I’ve come to some come conclusions: not knowing can either be completely liberating, or absolutely terrifying, but while it can be either of those two things, it must be one of them. 

There can’t be any middle ground when it comes to the not knowing.  

And here’s why. My biggest fear these days is unconsciously slipping through my life. It’s the idea of getting too comfortable on a path that I settled into out of convenience in the short term and then having that path accidentally gain momentum and blast me too far forward.

It’s like holding down the seek button on your car radio; the first few stations start to click by and then the thing takes off and it’s almost impossible to not over shoot the tuning you were trying to get to.  You can quickly loose control of where you are.

I think that the key to ensuring that I don’t fall asleep on my seek button, and fast-forward through my life, is living in the extremes of the not knowing. If some days I’m liberated by the not knowing, it means that I’m aware that there is new opportunity out there. If other day’s I’m terrified of the not knowing, it means I’m consciously thinking about where I am and where I’m going.

But if I forget about the not knowing, if the not knowing doesn’t feel like anything, then that’s a sign that I’m no longer paying attention.  

So these days I often find myself in the room, this room in my head, and I ride my carousel of not knowingness and even though I can’t predict what’s going to happen next, I feel I’ve made the first step to potentially starting to know just a little more.

 

- Greg

Black Coffee.

I love drinking black coffee when it’s dark out.

I’m admittedly not a morning person, but I’m trying more and more to force myself into the habit recently.  But while waking up early on a daily basis may not come naturally, I’ve never had trouble rising early when it marks the start of some sort of adventure.

Every summer growing up, my family would make the trip six hours north to my Grandmother’s house in Old Lyme, Connecticut. To avoid the beach traffic up I-95, we’d leave our house in D.C. at three in the morning. On the eves of those trips I could never sleep, waiting anxiously for that moment when my dad would whisk me from my bed, P.J.s and all, straight into the backseat of our green Chevy Tahoe. And then, the moonlit drive north.

Maybe that’s where it comes from—this love I keep for the dark tides of adventure.

Last week, with a south swell pumping up the California coast, we hatched a plot to drive north and surf First Point in Malibu before work.  To beat the crowds and have enough time in the water to make the trip worth it, we decided to leave at 5:00am.

My stomach churned as Spike and I loaded up the car with boards and wetsuits that night, and well after I’d flicked off the light in my room, I stared up into my stucco ceiling, itching to hear the piercing sound of my alarm.

As we sped up the coast the next morning, under the creamsicle glow of the silent streetlights, we pulled off at a gas station to put a couple gallons in Spike’s tank.  I walked into the back corner of the mini-mart and pressed a hot stream of coffee into a small Styrofoam cup.

As I put the cup to my lips, the coffee spilled out, singeing the roof of my mouth.  I winced and then smiled.

I’d already felt something that morning, and the sun was still not up.

 

-Greg

Welcome to Rad Kitchen

This is a story about a group of friends.  You may like it. You may hate it. Either way, we're going to try and tell it. It'll probably start in one direction and certainly take a turn for another, but wherever it snakes and weaves, it aught to be fun. If your interest is piqued at all, then follow our Instagram, check out our Snapchat, and if you're really brave, take a peek at our YouTube channel.

 

We'll say some things. We'll show some things. And we'll see where this story takes us.

Take 2 : The Reboot

Here’s a quick update for all of those who are following our blog  (based on google analytics, we know that’s only 3 people total). But no man left behind, right?

So I was looking back at the last thing we wrote, the story behind Rad Kitchen, and I think there’s one thing we kind of messed up.