Hey Snapchat, I Think I Love You (for now).

Yeah, sure, I may be too old for it but I'm loving the story aspect of Snapchat. Truthfully, I thought Snapchat was used by teens for shit I could care less about. I'm sure that's the main use of it actually, BUT, I'm a story guy and I'm a guy who likes to film. This is a perfect combination.

In case you don't believe me, I made a video about it.... If there's a video that means you have to believe me. Of course, if you'd like to follow my stories on Snapchat, my username is: TheJoshford


Off to London...

Image I’m going to London to meet up with a group of friends. I’ve never been, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to it. Aside from the fact that I like to see people close to me, I also like to get out of the house and explore new territory, and truthfully, I don’t do it enough.

I’m going to cut the shit and get to the chase here because I’m on the verge of walking down a road reflecting on friendship and how life takes us in a new direction and blah blah.

I’m writing this is because I’d like some advice on what to see and where to go in London. I’m not talking about the basic things, i.e.: Big Ben, London bridge, London eye, Windsor castle…  or really anything I can find on the internet in 30 seconds. I’m talking about off the road hole in the wall historic landmarks that I wouldn’t be able to find unless I pleaded for help on the Internet.

Also, and I mean this – If you’re reading this and will be in London over the next few days please don’t hesitate to connect. The best way is to email me: Josh@thebigshoe.tv or twitter: @JoshuaHallman

(Just became that dude asking people to tweet me)

Only reach out if you want to have a drink and talk about life, movies, sports, adventures, conspiracies, travel, and writing. Hope to talk with someone somewhere, it would be cool to connect... I think.

The Beauty Of Creation

Right off the bat we should establish that this is in no way a religious thing so lets not let the title of this post mislead you. I just let my mind drift as it normally does and I got to thinking about the creation of art, entertainment, stories, basically anything that has a human at the helm. It’s incredible for me to think that something doesn’t exist and then a person brings it into existence, possibly altering the mind of someone observing whatever it is. The impact that creation can have on someone is hard to comprehend. Many times we see a work of art or a quote, and it alters our thinking - Literally changing our lives. It makes me wonder about creations that exists in the world that I’ve never seen, or creations that almost never were.

I’m not sure if creation is as appreciated as it should be, especially now. We live in a time where we’re spoiled with information and content. We’re in a microwave attention span time-period so I feel that much of the things we see we take for granted simply because we’re trained to look and move on.

Also, we have access to the greatest site in the world, YouTube, and it allows us to watch an auteur create a five minute story that took him three months along with blood, sweat, and tears, but on the flip side you can also watch a cat jump on a hamster but was filmed by a ten year old in sixty seconds.  Does watching cat on hamster pull us from appreciation of good calculated creation? Also, who's to say what is “good” and what isn’t? But really, that’s the beauty of creation! We don’t know what’s good or bad until we see it. You may be reading this post and thinking it’s the biggest piece of shit of all time, you may be right, but it wasn’t in your life five minutes ago… so wrap your mind around that.

Shall we dig a little deeper and talk about the creation of human life? I don’t think that’s the best idea at this current moment. My mind is overloaded right now just thinking about this subject, when I pull back and try to relax I’m left with one solid conclusion: Creation is amazing, and what you create says more about you than what you’ve probably ever intended, but that’s the beauty of it. As long as people create then people will keep thinking of newer things to create… It’s essentially evolving the world.

Inevitable Wisconsin Reflection.

As I sit in my bed at my mom’s house in Greendale, Wisconsin I realize that I haven’t lived in this state for nearly ten years. I almost can’t comprehend that. Wow, time flies, it really does. People always told me things would go fast, I sort of believed it, but “sort of” is now 100% gone, there is no doubt. The reflection of how fast time moves opens up a waterfall of thought about how I should utilize time, how I should be living life, treating others, treating myself, if I’m living the right way, if I’m happy, and what kind of strides I’m making in my life.

Uh oh, the obvious life-reflection-when-I-come-home moment is in full force. Well, it’s necessary. Sometimes you need to take stock of your life and how you’re growing as a person…or not growing. On the flip, maybe it isn’t normal to reflect as much as I am? Sometimes too much reflection can lead to doubt, for me at least.  The ideal case is that reflection leads to growth, but that isn’t always the case.

The beauty of having a small town like Greendale is that it’s always a reminder of where I’m from. It’s a simple reminder of who I was, and to an even larger extent, how I got to be who I am. I wonder if that’s the case for everyone when they return to their hometown?

The things written above is a stream of thought that I’ve had many times in past. My personal conclusion inevitable. However, now I tell myself to get there faster. I try to avoid the rabbit hole of emotion that comes with reflection. Also, time is flying, life is short, lets just conclude…

Live often, and live fast but do it slowly because life is short. And to echo a mantra that isn’t mine: “seek and find.” 

That One Time I Started To Hate Dogs.

383088_10150957763585005_1679889685_n Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be possible to hate dogs. I love dogs. I’m that guy who goes out of my way to play with dogs. When I’m at a party and someone has a dog, I find that dog. My sister has a dog, his name is Summit, he may be man’s best friend, and when I say “may be” I mean he IS man’s best friend. Greatest dog ever 10 years running, and he’ll continue to be the greatest dog until the end of time. But, lets not go down that road, I can’t think of a life without Summit.

So I love dogs, great, fantastic, who doesn’t? Ohhhhh right. Me! But how, how could this possibly happen? What the fuck? I’m so conflicted in my dog loving life. I’ll tell you how it could possibly happen… Los Angeles happened.

This may not be totally accurate but it seems as though 95% of Los Angeles owns dogs that are smaller than the size of my 10.5 foot. These little dogs are running crazy, they’re maniacs. Never have I seen so many Chihuahua’s in my life. For the record I just had to auto spell “Chihuahua” – even the spelling seems insane. But it’s not just Chihuahuahuhhauha’s, it’s other small dogs. How could there be so many small crazy dogs. Well that part is kind of obvious, to me at least —

I live in West Hollywood / Hollywood area. It’s so small and condensed. People who want dogs end up getting small dogs and since there are so many people BOOM there are so many dogs, simple. But still, that doesn’t add up to why I hate these things. So let me peel back another layer and try to save face. It’s not the dogs that I hate… it’s the owners of the dogs.

As of right now it seems as though my anger is unjustified and is totally all over, it is, and that’s only because I feel bad writing this. I feel bad hating things. So here we go, here’s my justification:

My problem is when dog owners find it okay for their dog to just jump up on you, bark, run past your office door, or really anything that people find cute just because. The things that people find cute, I find it totally annoying. I don’t care about other dogs, and PEOPLE don’t care about other dogs. I don’t think. But really, why do dog owners think just because their dog is cute then everyone thinks it’s cute? What is that?

People treat their dogs like they’re the second coming just because it successfully sat down or didn’t take a shit on the street. These dogs are getting away with societal murder.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on people being able to travel with their dogs on airplanes as “helper” dogs because they need “emotional” support. Fuck off. What an insult to people who actually need a dog with them. It’s a slap in the face. Emotional support? Really? You’re not emotionally equipped to be without your dog for a weekend?

Taking a breath…

Trying to make sense of why I even started to write this…

Oh right! So my problem is with dog owners and it’s starting to transfer to the dogs. I know it’s happening and I can’t stop it, that’s the scary part. Sometimes when I see a dog minding its dog business some negative thought enters my mind and I try to stop it, trying to think of other reasons why I like dogs, but negativity takes over like some kind of virus. But I guess that’s what negative thoughts do; they can easily take over so much faster than anything positive.

Maybe I need to get out of this bubble that is Los Angeles and get back to seeing what I consider normal dogs — Dogs that you can actually play with, dogs that I feel like I can’t physically harm with my one hand just by petting it, dogs that don’t have a size complex, and dogs that sound like they’ve hit dog puberty when they bark.

I remember Bob Barker used to always sign off the Price is Right by saying, “Don’t forget to get your dogs neutered.” My God was he ahead of the curve.

What a strange rant this has been. I was hoping to talk through my current day totally-out-of-the-blue-dog-hate. I kind of did, it’s the owners…

For the record I need to say that to all my friends with small dogs. I love your dogs.

The Cloud

The Cloud

I’m flying over Utah, maybe Colorado. I just stared at a series of clouds that are scattered, one stuck out. This cloud (pictured above) seems so random; I can’t help but wonder what he’s up to. Maybe this lone cloud got into a fight with another cloud and he’s being punished. Maybe he’s old and doesn’t give a shit. Maybe he’s lost. Maybe he’s brand new and is looking down to earth for the first time ever… Or maybe it’s just a cumulus cloud formed from heat rising from the surface of the earth and connecting with a cooler atmosphere.

Damn. Science wins again.

Ignoring science for one second…

If this cloud is anything like me he’s being stubborn right now. He’s by himself trying to prove a point to someone, maybe himself, and he’s simultaneously wondering if he’s just being a total asshole and doing more harm than good. Either way, he’ll figure it out. I have faith in this cloud.

Being Grateful?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend, he was talking about someone he knew who passed away (I swear this is the most depressing it gets) and we were talking about the time and how fast it goes by. We were wrapping up the conversation and I made a comment, something along the lines of --

Be grateful for what we have, be careful not to take things for granted.

Annnnd then the can of worms opened up. I should also note that I have my own issues in life, it’s not like I’m the guy who tells people how to life. This conversation was with a buddy, not some random guy.

After my comment our conversation went a little something like this:

Him: “You know what dude, I am grateful, and I don’t really take things for granted, but how does somebody stay aware of not taking things for granted?”

I kind of thought about it for a bit and then I thought about it even longer until he jumped back in --

Him: “Honestly, I know I’m lucky to have an active mind, working legs, and working arms. I don’t get sick, I’ve been fortunate with my health. But how the fuck do I show that? How do you do something more than just remind yourself?”

I was about to answer until he said --

Him: “How do you not take things for granted? I mean listen, I wish I could travel the world and see amazing things so I don’t waste life, but how can I do that with no money?

He then proceeded to say he’s just blurting out thoughts and that he really is appreciative, he was trying to justify what he said, but I basically blacked out because my friend had a very good point. I was busy trying to find an answer and a proper segway into more conversation but it wasn’t happening. We said our goodbyes but I’m still thinking about it.

How do you stay grateful? And how do you maximize life if you don’t have a lot of money but the things you love cost money? Listen, I know you can do fun things in life without money, and you can be happy as shit doing them, but you get what I’m saying, right?

I haven’t come to a conclusion on this conversation but I really wish I could. Do we need people to constantly tell you “hey, you’re doing a great job!” - we shouldn’t. But, it still feels good when people say that, and I wish I knew how to bottle that feeling. I wish I knew how to contain the feeling of total happiness. A few weeks ago after the Boston tragedy I was just happy to be alive. I had total appreciation for everything around me but truthfully; I may have lost that feeling of appreciation. I wish I didn’t lose that feeling. I hate that terrible things have to happen in the world for people to be reminded of how awesome it is to be alive.

I’m currently sitting in an office looking at a palm tree on a 70-degree day in Los Angeles. Let me say that one more fucking time so it can maybe stick to my head, I’m currently sitting in an office looking at a palm tree on a 70-degree day in Los Angeles. How could anyone take this for granted?

I have some thinking to do…