My friend Nick inhabits this pair of Levi's 514s. I choose that word deliberately; he's had these jeans for four years, and judging from the wear, he's had these on almost every single day since then. Keep in mind that these jeans were fairly dark when he first got them. But after years of wearing and washing, the formerly rigid denim has taken on a quality of incredible softness not unlike that of a well-worn shirt.
His wallet has eroded away part of his back pocket, while his habit of pushing down on those pockets with his hands in them has ripped open wide sections of the rear seams. The trademark Levi's stitching is almost completely gone at this point.
If these jeans could speak, I'm sure that its stories would be endless. They could tell of Nick's triumphs, shenanigans, and overall personality - of a good chunk of time spent in this particular pair of denim. These jeans are so particular to Nick; if anyone else was to wear them, they'd probably be met with questions as to why they were wearing Nick's pants.
Knowing the owner of these jeans, I can say that the collection of multicolored patches is a reflection of his character - lively, spontaneous, and with random impulses shown through the lack of any discernible pattern of the patches. I feel like I can see as much of Nick in these jeans as I could through a photograph or video of the guy.
And to be completely honest, these jeans were one of the first things I thought of when I undertook this project.
I've come to really enjoy using the first hour or two of my Sunday mornings to take care of basic housekeeping things - laundry, sweeping, and all those things that I took for granted back home. There's something almost therapeutic of just doing menial tasks that allows me to mentally prepare myself for the week.
One particular thing that I've come to appreciate is shining my shoes. Whether out of a desire to take care of my possessions, do things the "old school" way, or whatever, I love turning on some jazz and tuning out the world while I focus on my sole purpose of making my shoes shine.
Me and a bunch of my friends piled into a car and drove across the United States. We discovered a country that we'd called home for so long, yet knew little about. And so we wandered, explored, and experienced.
Just competed in the 12th United States Naginata Federation Championship this past weekend. That all worked out surprisingly well. You see, I had been training for this tournament since I was twelve, so for this thing to finally happen was a bit scary. But in the end, I didn't choke up like I thought I might. On the contrary, I seemed to have had a damn good weekend.
First place in engi.
Second place in Individuals.
and first place in Team Matches. Yeah So Cal!
So yeah... things went pretty well. Met some amazing individuals at the tournament, had my eyes opened to the greater world of Naginata as a whole, was pushed to my limits and then some, and a bunch of other fun stuff in between.