Throwaways: Endless Summer

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I really like the daytime now.

I’m not sure if it was the angst or the places I was supposed to be or because my creative time was reserved for after-dark, but for most of my adult life, I’ve always been a night person. In the last 8 or so months since graduating I’ve gained a new appreciation for the daytime. It might also have to do with the fact that I’ve been chasing an endless summer of sorts.

Australia from February to April, traveling South across the U.S.A. from April to June, a surprisingly above average Canadian summer from July to August, and finally a September road-trip to California to top it all off; It’s been great. If I could live like this forever, I think I would (the snow-bird retirees have got it all figured out).

Summer is undefeated. Warm weather, good vibes, and perhaps most importantly (in the context of this post, at least), long days. Something like 13 hours of freedom, but harder to describe; ineffable, unless I’m allowed to start using ‘summer’ as an adjective to describe itself.

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I don’t know, something about this summer was just great. I think I’ve finally found the right set of people to be around.

This photo set was shot around Victoria, BC, and Calgary, AB, and of course was all shot on a few $15-$20 dollar disposable cameras, with a few of my favourite people. I think I’m starting to get a hang of this thing.

I know I’ve been uploading slowly, but sometimes life (read as: summer) happens. There’s more soon though – you know, because winter is coming. (I don’t actually watch GoT, but just play along anyways)

-hospey

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey!

How To Gain 1000 Followers In 1 Week

 Ah, the dream of striking social networking gold – isn’t this the true American dream? …Okay, probably not – but everybody likes to feel noticed every once in a while. Here is a story about the surefire way to (eventually) gain 1000 new followers in a single week. (And stay tuned for a very important lesson in math).

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Here is how to gain 1000 new followers in 1 week:

In the simplest explanation that I’ll ever give you, the easiest way to gain 1000 new followers in a week is to go viral. For those less familiar with internet terms, going viral isn’t some sort of slang for how ill you are, but rather for how ‘sickkkkk’ you are, according to the largest widespread digital audiences; In plain English, to go ‘viral’ means to have a certain piece of content circulate exponentially faster than normal across the internet, similar to a virus plaguing a culture.

But, how do you go viral? This part is a little less simple (in my experience), and a lot more time consuming that many dare to believe:

You’ll start off in high-school without much clue of what you intend to do with the rest of your life. College is coming up quick. Business school sounds good, Right?

Wrong. In less than 2 years you’ll find yourself being slowly slurped into the abysmal black hole that is conformity – your arch nemesis. With a 2.1 GPA, you will pull yourself out, terrified, and consider something “easier”.

Music, art, and culture will be your muse and will keep you hanging on mentally, while academically you’ll try your hand at a new degree – the notoriously “easy” Arts degree. You hate tests, but you won’t mind writing so Communications will be the obvious choice. What do you have to lose after all?

Eventually, school will mercifully start to get little easier and a lot more enjoyable, even if thoughts of quitting still dash across your mind occasionally. In the meantime, you and some friends will start experimenting with a new outlet – a blog, probably. It’ll be corny, and I guarantee you’ll know that it’s corny, but for some reason, you’ll enjoy it. A lot. And people will read it. A lot. About 100,000 times in your first year, to be specific. It’ll grow faster than you could ever imagine, and you’ll produce more content than you ever thought your chicken-typing fingers could output.

Two more breezy years will pass. You’ll have a few big articles – ten, maybe 20,000 hits a piece on a handful of popular posts. Oh, and you’ll have written more than 400 by this point. You’ve edited videos and snapped photos. You’ve written serious letters and some light-hearted jests. Pieces you’ve designed specifically to go viral will flop, and random, content-lacking filler pieces will gain traction. The funny thing about the internet is that it is defined as the opposite of ‘insanity’.

in·san·i·ty: noun – to do the same thing more than once and expect a different result.
in·ter·net: noun – to do the same thing more than once and expect the same result.

(editor’s note: these may or may not be the actual definitions of these words – I’ll check later)

As always though, you continue to work, head down – because you love it. Carpe Noctem is the motto by now, as it seems that every night will become later than the last, just as the ideas will become ever-more vivid. And by now you’ll be out of school, fighting the reality of inevitably having to join a droning workforce at some company that you probably despise, still just making things every day without any real wish to being noticed apart from maybe someone who will pay you for what you do.

But one day, it’ll happen. And you’ll be ready for it.

You finally become the hot topic; the timer on your 15 minutes officially starts ticking away. Hundreds of thousands see your work finally, and some even stick around. You double the following that you’ve cultivated for 5 years, in a mere few days. Many people will be proud of your amelioration, but lots more will wish to attribute this success as a mere ‘overnight’ accomplishment. I guess Sean said it best:

“And then they say it happened for me overnight, shit yeah I guess,
I guess it took ten years for me to be an overnight success”

Getting 1000 new followers might only take 7 days (sometimes), and going ‘viral’ probably will literally happen overnight. One day you might wake up to an incalculable bounty of love from the strangest corners of the world, but more times than not the lead-up, i.e. the humbling preparation was the digressive catalyst all along. It seems that as constant consumers of media, we often neglect to realize the time and effort that goes into each piece of content we gorge upon.

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So, no, going viral won’t make creation feel any more special than it already has every day for the past 5 years – when you get to wake up each morning knowing that you are about to do a little more of what you love – but it will, however, earn you 1000 new followers in one week.


This how-to was inspired by a recent reunion of mine; I got the chance to reconnect with an old friend from high school. Tony was a classmate and a teammate, but in the 5 years removed from high school we went down a couple of very different paths in very different cities, and we didn’t talk all that much.

Every time you get to see someone from your past it’s a cool feeling, and to hear that Tony was exploring his creative side as a serious possibility was great. He asked me for tips to grow his personal brand as a budding photographer, the way I had in the past 3 years as a writer. I’d be remiss to say I had much of anything to tell him.

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The other side of the lens. Tony, aka @mstrwu

When we met up again this past weekend – another month removed – I was proud to finally have some (hopefully) helpful thoughts to share. I told him 2 things.

First, I explained a theory that I am championing as “Dreamer’s Mathematics” (not to be confused with real arithmetic):

Dreamer’s mathematics is an idea that I’ve been employing every day for the last few years, that essentially says there are only 2 options for everything that you want to happen: either it will happen, or it won’t. By my math, that’s a likelihood of 1 out of 2, AKA a 50% chance that ANYTHING in your wildest dreams could happen. Not terrible odds huh? But it goes deeper than that. Take this 50% chance that you are already set out for any goal with (like working for your favourite rapper one day), and perpetually work towards placing yourself in a better position to make a certain goal or dream happen. What this means, is that every time you make a new connection or gain a new skill or share a new piece of content, you are getting closer to having the right people noticing it – eventually, 50% becomes 55%, 60%, maybe 75% – you’ll start to realize that some problems have multiple solutions; Dreamer’s math.

Not only do the laws of dreamer’s mathematics state that ANYTHING is possible, it also states that in most cases there is actually a better chance of you achieving your greatest goals than failing at them. But this also means that there is no in between – if you don’t strive to reach the entire jackpot, there is no ‘almost’ winning. But, in a risk-reward adverse world, I’d say that these odds are worth it.

Finally, I explained to him what I had learned about the importance of brand-building through my multiple (successful and failed) ventures of the past and present.

A degree in communication studies taught me that “Medium is the message“, and trial and error taught me that people actually DO care, if you can package it properly. Being able to communicate yourself and your art in a way that people can engage with, support, and feel inclined to share, is truly the key to growth in a digital age or otherwise. And once you can transform your craft into a community that people can find comfort it, it becomes a lot easier to not only be poised for growth but the continue to do what you love with longevity.

[BEWARE!!! SHAMELESS SELF-PLUG INCOMING]

This week I had the pleasure to finally launch my first real small business, Made by Hospey, where I get to help other young creatives accomplish this very same sense of relatable & marketable personal branding. I’m currently working with musicians, models, and non-profits to help boost engagement across social networks and develop strategies for growth, utilizing branding techniques (with a focus on effective communication – a departure from marketing which typically places a larger focus on metrics) to allow for better return on investments, whether that be time or money.

I’m in the business of cultivating partnerships, so if you are ever interested in learning more about things what you can do to take your creative passion to a professional level, or if you simply want to work together in the future, head over to the website for Made by Hospey, here.

To be able to become at least partly self-employed at this early stage in life has been a blessing, and I can’t wait to help more people feel this sense of fulfillment.

And, as for Tony, as you can see by some of his shots highlighted on this post and over on his Instagram, he’s on the right path. Go toss him a follow if you like his work!

-another how-to, by hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey!

Interlude: 📍 elsewhere

There’s something to be achieved by leaving your comfort zone. For some people, this means departing a certain mental destination, but if you’re like me it’s often something a little more tangible that you seek.

Over the 7 or so months that have passed since graduating university I’ve had the pleasure of more than doubling the number of cities that I’ve got to explore during my entire lifespan thus far. What started as a change of scenery in the ol’ outback of Australia (read as: a big share-house 10 minutes away from Bondi Beach), seemingly seamlessly transitioned into a cross-map expedition of the United States – but now even back home in Canada, I’ve found myself making as many mini excursions as possible.

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Schedules are great and all, and finding that ideal routine is nice – but nothing quite enhances the creative experience as much a night in the back of a car in the mountains with your friends, or maybe just a solo expedition in hopes of stumbling on a place that you’ve never been before. (Sometimes I wish I was a real photographer, just for the excuse to be constantly venturing to new, cool places at all times).

Y’see, being a creative is as much about the what you produce, as it is about what you consume. A creative’s “diet” consists of everything we take in throughout the day – from the vlogger you watch in the AM, to the accounts you monitor daily on the ‘gram, and including but not limited to the events you partake in – which is why specific scenery can be so important. Not only can a little day trip act as the perfect excuse to pry your retinas off your iBlackHole for a few minutes, the sheer energy that will radiate off whatever sunset you end up watching, or lake you end up treading in will be enough to shift even the most deadset minds and spirits.


This time around, the Interlude playlist will be focused on showcasing the best upcoming talent from around the globe; some of which I had the pleasure of meeting during my travels like Jake Crocker from Seattle, WA, to some who are popping off in places I hope to venture to soon like Two Another out of London, UK, all the way to, of course, sensational artists that I found out about on the internet (like UK’s Jacob Banks who I discovered on the COLORS Berlin Facebook page singing his heart out). Oh, and you know I had to throw a Canadian in there, so Toronto’s Daniel Caeser is rightfully holding it down for those of us North of the 49th parallel.

follow me on Soundcloud for more playlists!

Check out the playlist below, and leave a comment if you know anyone from your region that I’ve gotta check out – who knows, they might even score my next Interlude.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

How To Work For Your Favourite Rapper

Is it really possible to land your DREAM job, only a handful of months out of college? Apparently so. But I bet you’ve never had a first day like this before…

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Here is how to work for your favourite rapper:

The first day of work is never easy. You hope that your new peers will like you; you hope your new boss will be impressed. Well, today is your first day at your new job… except your job is a cross-country rap-tour, your peers are world-class musicians and your boss, who invited you on said tour, has won a triplet of Grammy awards. He’s 24, and he’s your favorite rapper.

As a 22-year-old yourself, freshly graduated, you harbor the powers of the internet and somehow secure the dream job from your thrifty confines in Sydney, Australia – a temporary shelter from the true responsibilities of the motherland – Canada. Life can happen as swiftly as a resume goes viral, and since your application happened to do so, about three weeks will pass before your first day on the job.

“Welcome to the tour! What do you do here?” You’re not really sure, yet. But you’re excited anyway. “I’m the intern!”

Fortunately, your meager sense of professionalism will protect you from coming across as too much of a fan during your first encounter with your new colleagues, and boss. A littered table, a MacBook Pro (acting as a rolling tray), and several extended hands are the first things you encounter. Don’t say much; being known as that quiet new kid is better than being known as the ‘OMG do you remember the first thing that kid said to us??!?’-guy. Your new boss and his friends will take in the Bulls game before show time, so just chill. You’ll spend most of your first day quietly strolling about, meandering as if a regular – notebook out, diligently note-taking as if this will give the impression of a sort of established journalist rather than the internet-kid-turned-shitty-blogger that you are/were/may well become.

The first few weeks will be blurry, abstract, and smoked out. Every experience eye opening; some burdening, most reddening. The hotel rooms are bigger than your future. Every time someone asks you “So… I know you’re the intern, but what do you actually do here?” you become less sure of yourself. What nobody will warn you about touring with 90 others is the loneliness. Individual loneliness, but collectively as well – impersonal, half-day rendezvous the crew will make at each venue or hotel will leave much to be desired. As a family though, the growth is rich. Around those deeply eased by each other’s presence, quickly, you will find comfort as well. You’re thankful for this family, even if you are never truly able to externalize these feelings besides rolling out of your bus-bunk each day and greeting everyone with whatever designated handshake you’ve become privy to.

As your tenure continues, the daily happenings (consisting of: movie-club, games 21, chain-smoking Backwoods, and digesting barely-palatable catering) feel like second nature. As routine as the schedule may feel, the lifestyle will be anything but. Unforeseen circumstances constantly arrive and must be dutifully accounted for. Appointments will have to be re-arranged to accommodate story time with Dave Chappelle. You will have to fit in dinner time drinks with Fonzworth Bentley. Physical activity is a must – try hoops with the Migos ft. Myles Turner, or perhaps a private volleyball game at Bonnaroo. Downtime will consist of a quiet New York eve; a casual 5-star meal, family style, followed by GQ’s NBA Playoff viewing party should suffice.

Of these experiences, you’ll want to tell your friends everything, yet you physically won’t be able to tell them about the moments of which words won’t muster meaning, nor the aspects that encapsulated the experience because you still can’t describe them. It’ll take a while.

By the last few weeks, you will be exhausted. You will be fucking exhausted. You will be energized by the amazing creatives and beautiful people in your constant presence. Like Tyler, you will be a walking paradox. While watching your boss –your boss– take the stage in his ‘worlds best dad’ tee, tweaking each sound-check to perfection, the concept of a ‘finish line’ will disappear from mind. Watching the gang roll five, ten, sometimes fifteen deep on whatever miniature motorized vehicle they can get their hands on, like a biker gang beckoning the kingdom, you will understand the importance of your closest circles. Reminders of displacement and trajectory are constant; Skype calls to friends and family remind you exactly how far away from home you are, yet how far you still have to go.

After adjustments, by tours end, you will come to a realization: there’s no right way to work for your favorite rapper. In fact, there may not even be a way to work for your favorite rapper. Compensation won’t come to mind, nor per diems – you would’ve done it for free. After all, a story’s worth a thousand resumes.

Prior to your journey, you will have been bred with cautionary reminders to be wary of your wishes. Post, your outlook will relax. There’s less to worry about than you think. Seamlessly, 32 shows will pass and your admiration will never waver. Hell, you might just come out of the other end with 1 or 2 timeless stories and a new group of people to call ‘family’.


My time as intern for Chance the Rapper is something that could never be justifiably summed up in words (trust me: I wrote thousands of words on tour, scrapped multiple ideas post-tour, and over a month later I’ve finally come up with something I can be proud of). It was a time of transition in my life that marked a shift from slightly hesitant sometimes-blogger putting off getting a real job, into a confident multi-faceted creative with a taste of how great it all could be – and the newfound realization of the person that I’m meant to be.

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In the past I’ve noted my feelings of sorrow for those in life who never truly realize what they are meant to be, but until the Be Encouraged Tour I never truly had an opportunity to interact with so many people who had seemingly reached the level of content in their contributions to the culture that I too hope to reach one day (and yes, I hate the phrase “the culture” just as much as you do). There were many times that I questioned myself and wondered why exactly I was where I was, but I really do feel that I was graced with this opportunity for a reason.

I can talk all I want about my run-ins with various celebrities including the ones I lived with for 2 months, or how a taste of the VIP lifestyle changed me, but the first moment that really left shivers down my spine was a slightly more natural one:

Night 2 at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO.

 The band intros happen nearly halfway thru the show, and after the ovation for ‘Mr. Nico Segal’, ”Sunday Candy” begins. Suddenly, it was if the heavens literally opened up for a second; right as the vocalists harmonized the lines “Come on in this house, cause it’s gonna rain, Rain down Zion, it’s gonna rain”, the most peaceful light mist fell from the sky until the end of the song and as suddenly as they started, ceased. Something about that moment made me realize that I, or rather we, were doing something right, enough so to please our God & Mother Nature & the sky themselves.

(Corny right? Oh well.)

Chance is exactly like the man you’d picture him to be, as a family man, business man, and friend, so instead of another biography, the last thing I’ll note is possibly my favourite quote from my entire trip with him. He once forgot to put on his signature ‘3’ cap before a show in the second half of tour, and as his assistant Colleen reminded him of it he turned and said with an insightful smirk, “you know what’s funny? If I didn’t put this hat on tonight, there would’ve been a Complex article by tomorrow rationalizing exactly why I didn’t wear this hat”.

What more can I say? What makes him such a great person is his understanding that while many of us care to sensationalize the few shreds that we get may get from him, he can better use his influence to spread the type of community-boosting positivity & joy that he is now so well known for.

All that is really left to say, once more, is thank you, Chance.

-A how-to, by hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Throwaways: Be Encouraged Tour

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By now you probably have heard a little bit about what I’ve been up to lately.

Thanks in part to my efforts with chancehirehospey.com (my try-hard job resume), and in full thanks to my favourite rapper, I spent the majority of May & June 2017 travelling across the United States with the Be Encouraged Tour. Having to cut my staycation in Australia short might not sound like it would’ve been an easy decision, but trust me when I say this was an opportunity that didn’t even have me contemplating any other options.

As soon as I got the confirmation, my life for about 5 days consisted of: quitting my job and working my last 2 days, packing up my room and effectively getting kicked out of my house the night before I was set to leave Australia (note: my landlord and 9 roommates had no idea that I had been going viral for about a month, or texting a famous rapper… my bad?), flying for 17 hours back to Canada, spending 16 hours getting everything in place, flying to San Francisco at 8am, visiting that big red bridge that I had longed to see for so long, and finally, joining the tour and meeting my new boss for the first time. A semi-eventful week you could say.

I didn’t tell many people where I was going, or where I was – and to this day, about 3 weeks post-tour, I really haven’t written much about it. But I will. Sometimes, even for a story-teller, you have to sit back and put the pencil down and just take it all in. When you’re welcomed into a family it’s an obligation to put just as much into it as you get out of it; They invited me into their family.

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As many Canadians are, I was a little unsure of how I would be treated in America – especially as a young black male – but I honestly can’t say anything but thank-you to the majority of people I interacted with during my 2 months. Sure, it’s not a perfect place, but I’ve yet to visit a country that is.

And I know I’ve said it too many times before, but just wait on it. I’ll share all my stories about that one time I went on a rap tour, as the time comes – some very soon, some not as soon.

Overall, I just want to say thank you Chance the Rapper (I can finally ‘say it out loud, my favourite rapper is a Christian rapper’), and the entire CTR & SoX team family.

more stories incoming,
-Hosp.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Interlude: I’m A Hypocrite

I’m a hypocrite. I’m an internet kid who hates determinism. I HATE being in public spaces enjoying myself, only to see everyone else missing out because they are glued to their devices. I get mad at myself for being on my phone at sundown, yet feel the need to document the sunset anyways.

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A few weeks ago I got locked out of my Apple ID and thought the world would crumble around me (Update: I survived thanks to the miracles of science and medicine, and eventually got back in after 2 weeks #fuck2factorauthentication). Well, one good thing came out of it at least – I had no music on music on my phone for a while. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but bare with me.

I hadn’t been back on my Soundcloud account for quite a while, and having no music on my phone gave me a reason go back in and indulge in some old ‘likes’ that I’d woefully forgotten about, while also giving me the chance to explore some new stuff. [“Tran-“]

[“-SITION” *Anthony Fantano voice*] The theme of the playlist this time around is Soundcloud gems, old and new. So, blast back and enjoy. (Since it’s been a little while, I’ll give y’all a few extra sounds this week.)

HHT Interlude: Vol. 3

How To Be A Good Storyteller

Your grandparents (or maybe even your own parents or older siblings) always told the best stories. It seemed as if their seemingly billions of years on the planet so far had all been encapsulated into an endless number of amazing and awing stories that made you second guess that you really knew anything about them at all.

There’s something to say about a person who has good stories to tell. Follow these steps and you too will be able to leave a lasting impression with any sub-urban legend that you decide to recite.

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Here is how to become a good storyteller: 

You’re a creative. But you’re a special type of creative. You’re not special in the way that what you make is any more important than any other medium – perhaps even less special in that regards in the eyes of some – but special in the way that your medium is a little less obvious. And a lot less tangible.

You see, musicians make music, singers make songs, photographers take photos, writers write, but storytellers… well, storytellers simply just live.  They live to do things. Sometimes with purpose, and sometimes with luck, storytellers live to share their experiences; professional glorified dreamers you could say. (Disclaimer: these things are not mutually exclusive! Many photographers, writers, poets, etc ARE storytellers.)

Now that’s fine and all, but at the end when you’re old and you’re gray and you’ve been through it all, will you just automatically have these stories? Well, some people will. Some people naturally live more ‘exciting’ lives, simply by figuring out what their purpose was at an early enough age and having the resources to make the most of that execution. You? You will be the special case that has only one resource to coincide with your purpose: gumption.

You’ll be in a position where people question your intentions. You don’t seem to take anything seriously, and you’ll “waste” your time on acts of spontaneity. You’ll be able to see past the foreseeable “risks” on the top row of the eye chart called ‘life’ to focus on the fuzzy yet existent rewards on the very bottom row (‘1, or 2’). You’re not content with living vicariously. This is the mentality that will land you in some VIP section in some club in some city that you’ve only seen on TV, and the same mentality that will leave you wondering how so many people can be content celebrating with bottles that aren’t theirs. If it’s not your bottles, then you haven’t worked hard enough yet – but, you’ll have a story to tell about that night anyways.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to accept that it won’t always work out; sometimes the story won’t have a happy ending. You’ll accept that sometimes the hot air balloon ride doesn’t happen, and sometimes you don’t hit that game winner. But you accept that as many times as it doesn’t work out, it will work out. You enjoy the gamble. You not only trust yourself, but you trust the process – you understand that you can win the lottery more than the Philadelphia 76ers if you put yourself out there.

You understand that you can’t tell the story if you can’t be there to document it. If you weren’t there, did it really happen like that? You understand that if it didn’t happen like that, that you will from here on out have a responsibility to tell it how it did happen – with a few evolving add-ons that are a byproduct of time and excitement.

One day, you know that you too will be a grandparent and that you’ll hold the civic duty of capturing the young minds of kin and taint them with your minimally exaggerated stories that will be maximally exaggerated by their scale-less minds. For the time being though, you simply live and practice your medium with everyone who mistakenly asks to hear you tell the far-too-long-form version of what happened “that one time…”


Like the fresh prince that I think I am in my own mind, my life has recently been flip turned upside down. I keep having to remind myself that yes, this is real, and no, it’s not an accident. Whatever is happening to be as a product of my medium; I’m a storyteller.

In the past 30 days I have been to 20+ cities, in 3 countries, spanning 2 continents. I’ve logged and endless amount of kilometers, and squeezed into far too many uncomfortable plane seats. I’ve enjoyed a plethora of oversized hotel beds, and snapped enough pictures to fill up a handful of memory cards. I’ve witnessed rappers ride miniature motorcycles, and seen comedians roast their own children. I’ve been to playoff games, and stood front row at every concert I’ve been at.

(Above: Only a few of the multiple shots I’ve taken over the last month or so. Trust when I tell you that the next edition of ‘Throwaways‘ will be crazy.)

None of these are embellishments, and none of these statements are meant to gloat. To me, they’re simply stories for me to tell you about, later (and I do plan to tell y’all about them, soon), in hopes that in return you’ll go and chase something crazy that you can tell me about the next time. Thinking about people who never have the realization of the person that they are meant to be is something that is enough to keep me up at night. If the fact that I have been able to materialize all of these dreams by age 22 is enough to do that for you, then I guess I’ll keep telling stories.

Or maybe I’m just wasting my time, and my grandkids will be too busy on their iPhone 42+’s to listen to my stupid stories anyways.

-A how-to, by Hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey