REST IN PEACE WELCOME PROGRESS

It’s time to pour some out for a failed endeavor. Early in the quarantine of 2020, I found myself with tons of time outside of work. Mainly on Friday and Saturday nights-times where me and my friends would normally go socialize on the streets of Newport or Costa Mesa. Without these longer nights, I found myself unoccupied from around 8PM-11PM (if I didn’t go to bed at my normal 10PM time) and then I was also waking up spry and ready to go at 6:30AM, sans hangover. So what to do with all this time? 

Surf a bunch, that’s a given. I wrote quite a bit. I picked up producing music-which lasted a little longer than expected but has certainty waned off. Not for lack of enjoyment. Cooking beats is so fun and enjoyable, but I will say when I was really deep in it I was trying to at least touch the program almost once a day. With more and more time off, it seems harder and harder to replicate previous works I was proud of. Maybe one day. [Sidebar: there’s plenty of music to listen to from Himothys discog (here)]. I feel the same about writing-if I am not doing it often, it’s harder to be inspired and also harder to string together words in a pleasant manner. 

But I found myself wanting to try to build something bigger than my own personal site. A site that had a little more depth and a bit more of a refined scope than my often written ramblings you can find all over this site. So I took my very ameutuer website design skills and took a crack at it. I decided on the name and went to work. I often would spend an hour or two a night when I had the time tinkering with the design. Don’t get me wrong-I love the design of my personal sight. It gets the job done, but is very basic. In comparison, it took me quite some time to figure out how to build my second site in comparison to my first (shouldn’t it be the other way around?).

Welcomeprogress.com lived approximately from the middle of  2020 to early 2021. Upon looking back on the pieces embedded on the site, there are for sure some writings I thought were better than average and differed from the first person storytelling perspective found on this site. I think before I pull the plug on the site I am going to transfer some of the works to this site-so they may live forever and potentially be read. I even built out an IG profile that was embedded to the homepage, acting as a moodboard and easy way to share that new posts were on the site. 

For full transparency, I didn’t push Welcome Progress super hard. I knew it was sub-par as far as the effort I was truly putting into some of the writing, and by the time it stopped getting posted on I was knee deep in work that nothing was getting written for both sites. I could see myself swinging the bat again, but I think it needs a little more fine focus and ideas behind it before the next launch.

KEEP IT ROTATING

Try and expand your music taste outside your normal flavors. Variety is the spice of life. This is something I really try to implement in my everyday life as much as possible. Sure, there are plenty of things I do that are incredibly regimented. For the most part, people could guess the meals I cook for myself, what I do every morning, and habits both good and bad I have absorbed overtime. But when an opportunity strikes to try something new, I am usually pretty keen on it. For me, it’s stuff like this: make a different coffee (both style and beans), pick something new off a menu, ride a different surfboard, try and surf different spots, and switch up workouts/wellness methods. You’ll never know if you are missing out on something until you try it. 

This principle/idea is ever so prevalent in something I do (and most of you probably do daily). Whether it’s working, driving, working out, or even just lounging around, you most likely have music playing. The only time I really don’t is when I am reading and when I am surfing. If I could have it playing while I surfed, I would. “What? Sorry I couldn’t hear you behind me I was bumping Savage Mode II”. Only in a dream world. 

Some may be scoffing at me talking about this, as I have always portrayed the image of a heavy rap listener. This is incredibly true. 90% of the time when you hop in the CR-V, there is some hip hop playing. For some reason, driving to rap is just something I can’t really let go. I don’t know if it’s just the best music for it, and I am sure not everyone agrees on that statement, but for me it’s just right. And if it’s not right, I don’t want to be right. Nothing pumps me up for whatever I am doing to do when I get out of the car like some of my favorite artists over hard hitting 808s and drums. 

However, when I am in the office (whether at the desk in my room or in the literal office), I typically have to keep it rotating. Even with the large amount of good music that has came out recently in the hip hop category, I still have been listening to music in shifts most of the time. An album of this, a couple hours of that, a podcast, and one last vibe to hop into before closing up shop for the day. The rotation keeps it refreshing. I have both playlists and saved albums that can easily take me from one end of the spectrum to the other. As soon as an album finishes or it’s time to flip, it’s a click away.

One main reason this is a really refreshing exercise for me is that in the hip-hop realm, I tend to stay in current times or even somewhat recent eras. Sure, every now and then I play older stuff. But not nearly enough as other genres. The way music was made ten to twenty years ago is so different it’s insane. And that is definitely half the fun for me. When I hop into my blues playlist, I hear Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, and Al green. All their music was made long before I was even born. The sonics and just feel of the music is largely different than that of the music of the 2010s. In other genres, a great deal of the material I listen to is older, and has some little nostalgia to an early time in my life. All the different sounds take me to different places.

My blues playlist is perfect for stretching and early mornings with little caffeine. My reggae playlist is a go-to for window down drives (when not bumping rap) or barbecues at home. My electronic music takes me back to my high school music taste and gets me fired up to tackle whatever in the right setting. My rock/“band” albums and playlist get me into a nostalgic era. Long story short: listen to different kinds of music. While you are at it, there’s not a better time to check out HIMOTHY BEATS, my producer alias. My catalog is growing quickly and isn’t going to stop expanding anytime soon. 

New phone, old me

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This is not my hand ^ but is what my phone looks like.

So I got a new phone. It is super shiny. It is actually a light purple rather than my usual black accessory. While it does have a ton of pretty neat features and I could probably write a whole passage purely about its glimmer, this one is going a different way. You see, there was nothing wrong with my old phone as far as function. It could make calls, send texts, and connect to the internet. However, there was one feature that was absolutely blown: the camera. Everyone knows the iPhones boast huge claims about camera quality, and it’s true. Having an iPhone in your pocket is just a step down from a full blown camera. Everyone is now a pocket photographer.

I was getting by either by flipping my phone around and taking pictures/video with the selfie camera (which sucked and has way worse quality) or I just ditched documenting it all together. I kind of only used the selfie camera to capture if it was something I don’t see as often, like a concert or something that is only going to be there for a moment’s time. Otherwise I would write it off. Funnily enough, I would often see certain things and think to myself, “Damn, I wish I could send that to X Y Z” or something along the lines of that. I would write it off and just go on with my day.

Fast forward to my shiny new phone with two cameras. I have a beautiful way to capture things that pass by, but I am also still stuck in the mindset of my camera being broken. I have even thought that I should snap this or that to someone, and still write it off since I was sans camera. A moment later I would remember I could actually take a crispy photo and share it with whomever. But do I need to?

Occasionally, I would backtrack and document the insta story, snapchat, or text photo because I found it appropriate. However, I definitely have held back many times just because why. Why do I need to share this with someone? If it was not enough to make me take it with the selfie cam, I believed I could pass on it. It is an interesting dilemma, do I jump back into over documentation like a millennial or keep my retracted documentation and keep it more low key. I hope to land somewhere in the middle. It was kind of cool going under the radar, but that just means I was spamming cam rewinds.

It is crazy to think we have these high-powered devices in our pockets, and they can be used for such good reasons and also for such shit reasons. Sending a photo to a friend to stoke them out or remind them that you are thinking of them is awesome. Posting something or sending a snap roasting someone, however, is lame. But we are all guilty of it, no one is completely pure of the posting plague. Let’s use our phones for good. Let’s take some great photos and post things to bring people up rather take them down. Quality over quantity.