Journal Hiatus

I’ve been traveling so much lately, I’m spending a lot more time with my iPhone than with my computer, so I’ve decided to take a break from blogging. If you’d like to keep up with what’s happening with my work and travels, please come find me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Mysteries of Verncular: Ukulele

The Ukulele is as Hawaiian as sun, sand, and surf — or is it? The new Mysteries of Vernacular has the multicultural, musical details.

Mysteries of Vernacular: Bewilder

It may surprise you to learn that the etymology of Bewilder makes perfect sense. Watch the new episode to see what we mean!

This Working Man Day 51

Okay, so I know I haven’t been posting as often as usual, but I just haven’t had reliable internet! I made it across Arizona and am on my way through New Mexico now. Filming and making friends as usual, but the impending conclusion of the trip is beginning to weigh on me. I am going to have a crazy time readjusting to my life back in NY. I think I permanently have sand in my shoes. In more ways than one…

I am going to be heading straight home from Texas as I have to be back on September 1. I am sorry to miss the South, but I have a lot of driving ahead of me! Hopefully I can find a reason to continue the project later in the year.

This Working Man Day 46

Internet and cell service (and time!) have been spotty at best, but don’t let my silence fool you – I’ve been busy!
Filming with an arborist in Oregon was a highlight of the week. He rigged me up to climb high into the tree in order to film him at work. It was a thrill. Later I joined him and his friends for a delicious curry in his electricity-free cabin on a farm above town. We sat up late, drinking homemade Kombucha, chatting by oil lamp about Western medicine and world travel.

Spent a day with a rancher in Northern California – a real traditionalist. Perfect penmanship and a slow drawl, augmented by an impeccable mustache and a penchant for honesty, made for a true pleasure of a day. We sat in the shade of his porch, listening to him talk about ideas, humans and legacy, playing music and reading entries from his rancher’s log. When we heard the meal bell ring, he invited us to stay for “dinner” (lunch) and we joined a bunch of his crew for some hardy grub.

Finally made it to the Pacific coast!

Spent a short day in SF with a few friends and then turned South. I didn’t make enough time for it, but I raced through the Walt Disney Family Museum – it was AMAZING. I can’t wait to go back.

I spent the night on the roof of my car, watching the meteor shower in between the passing fog. I could hear the elephant seals bustling about through the night and in the morning, I hiked along the coast to catch them lounging in the morning mist. I had never noticed how prehensile their flippers were! Astonishing!

In LA, I met with my best friend and we drove back up along the coast a bit, treasure hunting along the beaches and catching up. It was blissful.

Darin arranges our scavenged rainbow of rocks

Will start the trek back to the East Coast tomorrow. Since I’m running out of time, it looks like I will be skipping nearly all of the South. I’m still looking for contacts in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, but past that, I think I will have to wait… Perhaps a second road trip some other time…

This Working Man Day 38

Since I last wrote, I’ve had a great time, but not exactly one of fruitful filming. My contacts in Missoula fell through so I didn’t get to shoot anything. But I did get to spend an amazing two days with a few personal heroes. It was a thrill and a great way to be re-inspired.

More spectacular landscapes driving into Idaho. That’s my trusty KIA there in the corner…

Come weekend, it gets harder to find working men, so I let myself have part of that time off to visit a family friend at her gorgeous lake home. I spent some time editing on the balcony as well as some time writing on the pier. But there was much hilarity and gin rummy playing too. Getting to swim in the heat of the day and then cozy up next to the fire when the power went out during a tremendous storm was truly the best of both worlds.

My editing setup, overlooking the lake.

Early morning on the pier.

Into Washington, I got to spend a day filming a barber (dreams do come true). A delicious meal with an old friend and then home cooking with a new one. Just the little moments of this trip are enough to make me never want it to end…

Sitting on the porch watching the sunset over Spokane, with a glass of wine and new friends.

As always, more (and better) photos on my Instagram.

This Working Man Episode 3

My time in Iowa was full of amazing people like Joe Pyle, the subject of the third installment of This Working Man. Although I only spent a few hours with Joe, it was immediately clear that he excels at everything he puts his mind to — window washing being just one example of his talent and work ethic.

Mysteries of Vernacular: X-ray

Were you hoping the X word would be xerasia, xiphias, or xenon? Once you watch Mysteries of Vernacular: X-ray, we think you’ll be pleased with our choice.

This Working Man – Specifics

Since I am more than halfway through my trip for This Working Man, I think it is time to focus on getting a few of the working men I really want to capture.  Below are a few ideas for the types of work I’m looking for.  If you know of a fit man with an interesting face that has one of these as his profession and lives in one of the following states, please let me know!

– Logger
– Brick Layer
– Shoeshiner
– Fruit Picker
– Mechanic
– Barber
– Tailor
– Glass Blower
– Bartender
– Sandblaster
– Arborist
– Longshoreman
– Sheep Shearer


Located somewhere in or very near:

– Northern Idaho
– Eastern Washington
– Oregon
– California
– Arizona
– New Mexico
– Texas
– Louisiana
– Mississippi

This Working Man Halfway Point

Today marks the halfway point of my road trip across the US.  I can’t believe how fast it has gone.  I’m going a little bit slower than planned, though no slower than expected.  I may have to skip a rather large portion of the South on my way back to NY, but we’ll see…

I continue to be floored by the landscapes here.  Below is the view from a different ranch, farther south in Montana where I spent an afternoon following another cowboy.

From there I drove south over the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway into Wyoming.  I had to pull over countless times just to take in the view.

I stayed in Cody, WY for a few days and was fed contacts by the incredibly generous owners of the Proud Cut Saloon.  Haying, horse shoeing, and, of course, more rodeo.

On our way to stack giant towers of hay.

Behind the shoots before the bull riding starts at the Cody Nite Rodeo

Also had some down time, sitting in the shade on the deep porch of an old cowboy named Bob, just enjoying the cool breeze, as well as jumping into this breathtaking reservoir.

I am back in north west MT for a day or two before heading further towards the Pacific.  I am still looking for working men from Washington down through California and from New Mexico over to Mississippi, so keep those recommendations coming!

Also, don’t forget you can see many more photos on Instagram.