Two Wonderful Years With You

1004099_10100319015642400_1838414223_n

Dear Nicole,
Today marks two years of us being together. While today is really special to me, I have been celebrating our anniversaries all week: Our first road trip, our first hug, our first kiss, our first picture together, our first trip to Rabbit Hash, etc…

10176232_10152402545034645_2962113555326122232_n

To say that I am happy being with you is an understatement. I know you love me exactly how I am and would never asked me to change, and that means the world to me. You make me want to be a better version of myself. Without knowing it or trying, you have helped me become a better person.

1960900_10152263845759645_1256829340_o

A day doesn’t go by that I am thankful for you taking a chance on a weird coffee drinking, hockey loving guy from Buffalo. I love all the things you’ve been able to show me and share with me over the last 2 years. You have opened my eyes and my heart to so many things.

10730875_10152786638384645_4554598575907240282_n

You are my best friend and everyday with you is a perfect day. I love that you’re a homebody just like me and love all the work you’ve put into making our first apartment together so special. It is easily the most comfortable place i’ve ever lived and I have you to thank for that.

11334162_10153332441984645_2270802505538753831_o

I don’t need an anniversary to tell you how much I love you because I try to show you everyday. Everyday I wake up next to you is better than the last because it’s a new day to share my life with you. I love you Nicole, so fucking much!

1559373_10100559982922040_7529673976964762833_o

p.s., you should read Nicole’s blog http://biscuitsnbluegrass.com because it’s really amazing like her.

On Tour With Lemuria – Part 7

This is part 7 of my photo essay series about touring with Lemuria. The previous part can be found here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 6. Or you can start from the beginning here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 1.

Lemuria screen printing

One of the most important parts of tour is having merchandise to sell.  While it would be nice to have a new record for each tour, it’s not always feasible.  The one thing that can be easily changed tour to tour is the shirts a band sells.

Lemuria Craig Horky screen print

If you have ever seen Lemuria on tour (or visited their webstore), you know they have a constantly revolving line of shirts year round.  They are able to do this thanks to the screen printing company Alex Kerns co-owns called ArgyBargy Printing.

Lemuria sticker wall

When I lived in Buffalo, I spent many days and nights hanging out with Biff (the screen pulling 50% owner of ArgyBargy) while he cranked out various screen print jobs.  As someone who sells many Lemuria shirts on tour, I thought the people who have bought them might be interested to see how and where they are made.

Lemuria screen printing

If you’ve ever tried screen printing, you will know that it’s not easy to get good results.  It takes a lot of skill and practice to perfect, as well as a lot of upper body strength to get a good and even pull of ink over the screen every time.

Lemuria printing shirts

The ArgyBargy screen printing shop reminds me of a dad’s garage that punks moved into and took over.  Most surfaces are covered in stickers and the floor is accidentally decorated with paint and paper scraps. Blasting from the speakers in the shop, Biff is usually listening to everything from Ke$ha to Killed by Death.

Lemuria screenprinting shirts

There’s something about being around other people creating things that sparks creativity. I could fill a notebook with all the ideas and projects i’ve thought of while watching Biff crank out hundreds of shirts at 2am.

Lemuria shirt printed

It’s a weird circle of life type of feeling when you sell someone a shirt and think to yourself “I saw that being printed”. Even though I didn’t personally print it, it was always rewarding when someone would be super excited about a shirt design.

Screen printing dryer

 

When you’ve been on tour for weeks at a time and you load, unload, display, sell, and count 100’s of shirts everyday, you gain a new appreciation for the time and effort that goes into creating and printing the design.

Lemuria shirts finished

 

Next time you buy a shirt from a band, think about all the steps that it had to take to get to you. A lot of work goes into it, especially if it has a picture of a ‘Log Lady’ on it.

On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series:

Tower Bridge in Sacramento, California

After living in Portland, Oregon for three years, I have developed a deep appreciation and love for bridges. I spent a week in Sacramento, CA in 2013 (while on tour with Lemuria) and fell in love with Tower Bridge while I was there.
Tower BridgeTower Bridge was opened on December 15, 1935. The 737 foot long vertical lift bridge spans the Sacramento River and was designed by Alfred Eichler.  At the time of it’s construction, it was the first and only vertical lift bridge in the California Highway System.

Tower Bridge road

The two 160 foot towers on the bridge help make it one of the most iconic landmarks in Sacramento.  It’s hard to walk or drive past it and not admire it’s beauty.

Tower Bridge California

While the bridge is currently painted gold, it wasn’t always this color.  Originally the bridge was silver, but after complaints of the glare it was repainted in June of 1976 to a yellow-ochre color. The color choice was an homage to the gold leafed cupola on the nearby State Capitol.

Tower Bridge Sacramento

As most paint jobs do, the color started to fade and in 2001 all residents within 35 miles voted on a new color for the bridge. Gold was the winning color, beating out green, burgundy, and a silver and gold color scheme. The repainting of Tower Bridge was finished in 2002.Tower Bridge over Sacramento RiverIn 1982, Tower Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places which it definitely deserves to be. Iconic and beautiful bridges such as this one should be cherished and preserved as long as possible.

Tower Bridge Sacramento, CA

Unfortunately while I was in town, I did not get to see the bridge lifted.  Hopefully someday I will be able to return to Sacramento and get the chance to see a boat pass underneath it.

As a huge fan of bridges, I’m always looking for more to explore and document.  What are some bridges you think I should photograph?

On Tour With Lemuria – Part 6

This is part 6 of my photo essay series about touring with Lemuria. The previous part can be found here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 5. Or you can start from the beginning here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 1.

On the Fall 2011 tour with Lemuria, we were in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving and found ourselves with a couple days of free time (which is sometimes rare on tour). My one dream going to Los Angeles was to visit Galco’s Soda Pop Stop and I was ecstatic to learn that we’d have time to go there.

Galco's Soda Pop Stop

I love soda, and am constantly looking for new flavors to try.  This lead me to start Thirsty Dudes, a non-alcoholic drink review website back in 2009 with former Lemuria bassist Jason Draper and Mike Literman. I was still writing for the site during this tour so a trip to Galco’s was my holy grail at the time.

Galco's shelves

Inside there were rows and rows filled with soda.  I had never seen anything like it before (and still haven’t since). It was quite overwhelming to be honest, I didn’t know where to start.

Photo by Sheena Ozzella

Root beer, ginger ale, cola, blackberry soda, cream soda, Jolt cola, Hot Lips soda, ginger beer, birch beer, orange soda, apple soda.  You name it, they had it.

Soda shelves

After spending what seemed like an hour, I ended up with a box full of a dozen different sodas, totaling $31.46.  I didn’t have a way to review them on the road so I kept them in the back of the van in the box.

Photo by Sheena Ozzella

I wish I could tell you how delicious each of them was, but I can’t.  They were safely in the van for the next week, until we got to Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to be exact. It was below 0°F in Saskatoon when we arrived and dropped even lower during the night.  I awoke the next morning to find that all the bottles had froze and broke during the night.  I thought about taking a photo of the aftermath, but I was too bummed out.

Lemuria in Galco's

I learned a very important lesson that day, don’t leave glass bottles of soda in a van in the dead of winter. I thought the van would keep them from getting too cold, but I was wrong.

On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series:

On Tour With Lemuria – Part 5

This is part 5 of my photo essay series about touring with Lemuria. The previous part can be found here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 4. Or you can start from the beginning here: On Tour With Lemuria- Part 1.

This brings us to our third and final member of Lemuria, drummer and singer Alex Kerns.

Alex Kerns Twin Peaks

Of everyone in Lemuria, Alex and I are the closest.  I’ve also known him the longest (a couple hours longer than Sheena), and was also roommates with him for a year or so.  We lived above Amy’s Place, hands down the best restaurant in Buffalo, NY.  It’s rare that I make a trip to Buffalo without going to Amy’s Place with Alex at least once.

Alex looking far away

I love Alex because we can talk about anything and hours will go by before we know it.  This lends very well for long drives or long winters stuck inside.

Alex staring in the van

One of my favorite tour stories with Alex happened at the beginning of the Fall 2011 tour.  We just had dinner at Balloon’s in Ellicottville, NY and were driving through the night to Washington DC to pick up Sheena on our way to The Fest in Gainesville, Florida.  An hour into Pennsylvania, we noticed some flashing lights in the distance ahead.

Alex sitting

At first we thought there was an accident ahead, but the lights got brighter and we didn’t approach any emergency vehicles. We slowly realized the lights were coming from the sky.  A quick Google search of local news sites informed me that we were witnessing northern lights, which obviously is very rare in the middle of Pennsylvania. It was amazing and the perfect way to kick off a six week tour.

Alex drumming

Alex is a great friend and an awesome person to tour with.  We share a love for movies and taking jokes too far. He taught me everything I know about selling merch at shows, and is always willing to lend a hand when I need it.

Alex laughing

One of the things I miss about living with Alex is his “down for whatever” attitude.  There were so many times where we’d go to a random show at the last minute or drive up to Toronto at 1am just to get veggie dogs and bubble tea. I love that about Alex, he’s always open to new experiences and new ideas.

Alex and Sheena are goofy
And he’s goofy, very very goofy. Alex can always make me laugh, which is a rare and important quality in a friend on tour.

On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series:

Page 1 of 5