How I Started Blowing Glass | Sunday Reflection 4/21/19

How I Started Blowing Glass | Sunday Reflection 4/21/19

April 21, 2019

On Sundays I reflect.

I didn't drink alcohol this week. That doesn't mean I didn't think about it.

Following the American Dream

Earlier this week I found out Jarad Kleinstein @jaradrum was on tour as a drummer, and he had a show in Denver. Jarad and I went to preschool together, where we were great friends. After that we grew up at different schools and didn't really see each other. One summer we both attended "Day Jams" a summer camp for kids in bands. We were in different bands so we said hi a few times but never really hung out. As a kid I thought I would grow up to be a rock star. Music was always my passion, and the only thing I could have imagined myself doing as an adult. 

Fast forward twenty years and I'm at a dive bar in Denver seeing Jarad back up Tillie @whoistillie. We caught up backstage before and after his performance, which was the first time I've caught up with a person I hadn't seen in two decades.

We talked about musicians we grew up with that are still chasing the dream, and the ones who made it like our friend who tours with Liz Phair. We reminisced about one afternoon in 1994 or so. Jarad and I were at his parents house where we were coloring on this plastic kids table. Somehow, we decided to take our talents to the walls, coloring all over his folks living room.

I don't remember much, but when his mother saw what we did I remember being terrified at how angry she was. As an adult I now understand I probably caused a few hundred dollar paint job. Jarad and I laughed as adults, but as kids it's probably one of the worst things I ever did.

I should take this opportunity to formally apologize and thank Jarad's mom. She might not have known it, but that was one of our first free artistic expressions, which is pretty significant for two guys who would grow up to become professional artists. I feel bad for the damage I caused, and grateful for the opportunity to experience creating art at such an early age.

But now to pay homage to the holiday we celebrated yesterday; 420.

How I Started Blowing Glass; My Version of the American Dream

Nine years ago on 4/20/10 my life changed completely. I was in college at Indiana University in Bloomington. It was sophomore year, and my apartment on the west side of town had become somewhat of a place of congregation. I lived in it with my best friend, "The Onion" and we had a third room with rotating roommates. A few of our other friends were over every day, and the apartment seemed to be hot boxed 24/7.

I spent the month leading up to 420 visiting "Amused", the local head shop, every day in anticipation of their 420 Raffle. I would buy tickets, and insist to everyone in the room that I was going to win. I think I was the most annoying person they ever dealt with.

That's how this whole thing started. I won my life in a raffle when I was 20 years old...same way everyone gets a job.

Fast forward to 420, my friends and I are all standing in the crowd waiting for the winner to be chosen. They pull the first ticket and say my name and the whole room went wild. I ran up the stairs and threw everything out of my pockets. I was in complete shock. Then I saw two guys behind the counter and said "are you Bob T and Huffy" and they said "yes".

I stepped outside for a smoke with Huffy, before making my decision on which piece I would own. I ultimately settled on the glycerine chamber hookah with middle eastern themed sandblasting all over. As I asked Huffy and Bob "how does a person start blowing glass?" Their only response was "we'll teach you". That's how this whole thing started. I won my life in a raffle when I was 20 years old, same way everyone else gets a job.

Remember 420 in High School?

So I dive even further back in my memory to the first time I celebrated 420. I must have been a sophomore in high school over at my friend Matt's parents. I remember getting stoned as a teenager and just laughing for hours. I remember our dealer brought us herb and Wendy's drive through.

Amidst the chaos, we walk into Matt's room to find the dog spitting out a piece of lettuce. He had eaten my chicken sandwich in one bite, and decided he didn't want the lettuce. After buying everyone's meal I was pretty upset, but I couldn't do anything but laugh.

And yesterday was a super mellow 420. I woke up and threw a round of disc golf with my buddy Vinscent Van Grow. I came home and napped. I went to the studio to melt some glass. I'm feeling rather burnt out lately, and I've been strongly considering taking a break from herb. This feels much more intimidating than giving up drinking to me. I've always preferred herb to alcohol. We'll see how attempting abstinence goes in that area of my life.

It's All About Family

My parents are on their way to Colorado to spend some time with me, which is always nice. My mom helps meticulously clean my room and studio every time she visits, and she helps me run errands I don't have time for like the grocery store or buying me toilet paper. My brother may even join the family even though he was just here. I feel very privileged to spend as much time as I do with my family.

Looking Forward

So there's some insight into my past, and a lot of how I got to be where I am. I am the culmination of all of my experiences, and I truly cherish the people who have been along for the ride and helped me get here. It's an incredible experience to walk down memory lane after two decades with an old friend. I feel extremely grateful to be here.

Enjoy your week!
Ben

Just Curious - What's your version of the American Dream?



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