2008

January 7, 2009

I’m late on a New Year’s post. In fact, there has a been a huge absence of writing here, resulting from a generous mix of confusion, hesitation, business, and laziness. 2008. What a whirlwhind. I’m going to try to summarize it, using a list. Because lists are simple. Lists are black and white. Lists are easy. And if I know anything, I know nothing in the last year has been easy. So from beginning to end:

  • January to June : Living my last months in San Francisco. My first, semi-professional run at an actual career winds down. During the year or so I worked at Cinder Block Inc. I was able to get a nice body of work that would fully push my freelance status into effect. I am proud of a lot of the work I did there, and a lot of the skills I was able to work on and learn. This includes: Color seperation, basic screen printing practice and theory, designing with production in mind, client communication, professionalism, Illustration styles, digital illustration, mixed media, and the under-estimated art of RESEARCHING. I was making more money than I had ever had before, but I was not really savvy enough to save or invest any of it.
  • Outside of work, I was struggling to enjoy the last run of time with my friends in San Francisco, while knowing that it would soon come to an end. It took me awhile to tell everyone. I learned what it felt like to have a family away from my real family, a home away from home. Today, I still think about those trips to Reno, getting high and playing NBA hang time, or the endless rides on the 38 Limited Bus. I remember when the weather showed the sun, all the skirts and sunglasses came out, it was absolute heaven.
  • I rekindled a romance with an ex-girlfriend. To see if we really were meant to be with each other, to see if we could actually stand each other. It was all so hopeful, and there was so much pressure riding on it to work. It didn’t work, for a lot of different reasons, and realizing this would prove tough, frustrating, and sad.
  • July to August : I traveled. Manila, Mandaluyang, Boracay, Philippines. Bangkok, Thailand. Cafes with buckets of beer and acoustic sessions. Going clubbing with a stranger-turned friend that couldn’t speak English. Riding an elephant, going sailing, eating the best food of my life, immense culture shock. Intense family bonding, I feel like we made up for lost time.
  • I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The tail-end of 2008 moved fast, and blurry, and there was no mercy. It was about living in the moment, sober or intoxicated. It was about crossing the lines to know where they are. It was about first dates, and getting to know somebody new, and so, so different from what I’m used to. It was too many cigarettes, too much whiskey, being too high and sluggish, being too hungry and eating too much. It was my triumphant return to school, and I killed it, and took names. It was about refusing to get a job and working from home drawing pictures for companies and designing business cards and brochures and shirts. Winter of 2008 was about Living LARGE and fast.
  • I’m having shirts mailed to me. It’s Christmas time. I’m having checks mailed to me. I’m climbing the mountains of Corganville, never missing a Lakers game. I’m going to the hidden caverns in the park, and throwing paper airplanes off the hills. I’m owning at puzzle fighter, and living by the diamond.
  • I learned a lot about myself in 2008. I learned about who I want to be, and who I don’t want to be. Who I want to be with, and who I want to stay away from.
  • I’m going to write up a sketch, so I don’t forget: 540, Geary, 38, CB. The LODGE, the R.A.P.E., Airplanes, Islands, Animals. Lawr, Sister leaves, I miss her. Heart breaks, heart makes. Puzzle fights, Volcanoes, Rips, and Camels. Whiskey, Games, Friends, Close, Close, Close! Crew, Crush, Photobooths, Living in the Moment. Meeting Abraham Lincoln, Gummie Bear Bubbas, Phil’s too smart, B’s too nice, Everyone’s too scared. Porch talks, Coffee Bean, Tea Lattes. Art Shows, camera, back SLIDE.

I’m thankful. 2009, will be 2000-Fine. This will be about REaffirmation, REcommitting, and getting back on. I always thought I’d be different. I have to be. I have no choice. None of this bullshit about blaming the city, the people, the money, the equipment. There are absolutely, positively, no limits.

PS Go Lakers.

Sucker? Free.

February 12, 2008

When I lay in bed, sometimes I think about everyone who has sat in it, every person who has slept in it. I think about the songs it has heard, the conversations it has absorbed, and the souvenirs left behind on it; cigarette ashes, drops of wine and late night food-binges. I think about when I first moved here, and was obsessed with the color brown, and bought that brown sheet, carrying it home on the 38, my first month in San Francisco. And how underneath it all, it resembles a picnic blanket. Sometimes it smells really good and I fly backward, like a time machine.

It’s been a rough year, full of different people old and new. San Francisco, the Big City. The city of missed connections and small ones, real ones and fake ones. Sometimes you wonder if it’s all worth it. Every night, I’m kept awake by the sounds of rushing cars and drunk people on Geary St.

When we want to get away, we charge through the Ocean on man-made bridge, doing man-made things. Scenery makes the moments significant, a photograph immortalizes and captures something sacred. It’s never perceived exactly the same among people. We are never perceived the same among people.

And when you look out, you take a deep breath and think, “I made choices to be here, at this exact moment.

Existence isn’t defined by where you are or who you’re with, but the choices you make to be present. We all have ideas of who and where we want to be, but the beautiful struggle is retained in the process of getting there. To be addicted to the process, is to find beauty in life.

Take chances, and whatever you do, don’t be bored. This is the most exciting time we could ever hope to be alive. At the end of the night, taking the train, you ask yourself again, “Is it all worth it?”

I used to be afraid to be myself, to show vulnerability in the warmth of human beings. But I’m not afraid anymore, we should never apologize for who we are. With that said… Yes. It is worth it.

It’s always worth it.

I’ll Never Forget.

January 1, 2008

(Above by Luke Palascak.)

On New Years, we all make heartfelt resolutions at midnight. Most of us break them by February. The enchanting quality of New Years is that we finally have an opportunity to stop procrastinating. The calendar generously gives us this illusion of a fresh slate, a blank canvas, and we’ll start over- creating what we never got to create before, making our lives what we’ve always wanted them to be. Despite it being just another day of the year, we’re all part of a club tonight. We’re all finally on the same level despite our differences, anxious, and full of hopeful desires– and our desires to cast out our flaws, and fight against our insecurities will be filled will ferocity and determination tonight, wishfully resonating through out the rest of the year.

And tonight, as we sing our songs, pour our drinks, and laugh together, we will do so knowing that we exist perfectly as part of something much bigger. We’ll know that we all have something in common– the desire to change and move to greater things than the year before. We’ll reflect the giant trials that we managed to survive, and feel everything… the sorrow, the misery, the laughter, and most of all, the love that we had, have, or are still trying to search for, flash light in hand, searching the corners of our minds. This love, is a much deeper one, a love that we are searching within ourselves and not only other people. Do you love yourself this year? The hopes and the friendships we feel are always worth fighting for.

What a fucking ride 2007 was. It felt like the perfect storm. As we get older, our problems become more complex, but it feels like we become more equipped to handle them. Some things are exactly the same, but I digress, this is still very much an exciting time to be alive.

So here’s to San Francisco, The Raddie couch, and Gordos. Here’s to the state girls and the state boys. Here’s to the OWL, $1.50 rides and Late Night Specials. Here’s to the Fucking Buckaroos, thug mugs, and being allergic to cats. Here’s to rolling deep and taking off, half-naked dances to Broken Social Scene, to Swimmers, and Ice Cream– the cold, night wind hitting our bodies in the back of Alex’s car. Here’s to 28th and Geary and 10th and Geary, Jack In The Box, Cafe Mono, mixed CDs and coffee shop dance parties. Here’s to 24 hour super markets, Baker Beach, Top Ramen, and shitty jobs. Here’s to Nell, Tutti Frutti, tears, smiles, heart break and confusion. Here’s to the Lucky Penny, Power Hour, and the comfy blankets, with close friends sleeping on wooden floors. Here’s to the park, the weekend adventures with my boys, the BART and Muni, getting into trouble and making it out. Mortal Kombat, Whiskey, Camel Lights, making great new friends I never had before, who I will always consider first. New rooms, home-made music videos, Taco Tuesday, and Mad Dog. Walking home, chemistry, mistakes. 6 Hour drives, This American Life, Monterey, rekindling, and rebreaking, Nappa, New York, the Oakland Airport and Cinder Block. The Geary Gang, the Sunset Skirts, and shitty parties. New Records, old records, and more whiskey.

I’m not sure if I’m getting wiser or just older. I don’t know if I’m more open to love, or more willing to settle. I don’t always know exactly what I am chasing, or how long I will be on the run. But I do know, that every person in my life is worth knowing, worth taking a chance for. I’ve made my mistakes, and I’ve hurt innocent people. I’ve been the products of mistakes and been hurt. We all have, but we’re all still here, and I am thankful for you, and you, and you. My friends, my family, and the ones I have yet to meet, thank you.

Take everything you can, hold nothing back. If you have someone close, hold them closer. Who knows what will happen next year.

This year’s resolutions (2008)

  • Quit smoking.
  • Sign up for for a gym… and go regularly.
  • Swear less.
  • Never lie… Ever.
  • Accomplish unfinished artistic goals.
  • Work on being able to talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything.

Rest In Peace.

September 6, 2007

 

Rest in peace, friend. Life can be very unfair, and sometimes it all just feels hopeless. You’ve reminded us to wake up.

 

In memory of Daniel Schirra, 1984-2007.