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.

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I’ve tried writing something here that would faithfully explain what has been going on in my life the past few months, but every time I hit a few paragraphs, I delete it all with disgust and frustration. (Command+A, Delete, repeat.) Partially because I’m unsure how to execute what I want to say in a dashing way, a way that might seem eloquent and graceful, calculated but semi-ambiguous. And partially to avoid repetition, worn meaning, and useless mental masturbation. After numerous failed attempts, I came to the conclusion that we tend to over-think things, taking longer routes for a simple result, waiting for the perfect words, the perfect moment, the perfect shot. The things I admire the most, whether it is people, music, or art or literature and conversations, are the ones that present the most honesty. The ones that act almost on impulse, giving little or no time to hesitation or fabrication.

I read that our gut instincts exist for a very specific reason- they are shortcut calculations computated in our head that automatically weighs in instincts, experiences, and outcomes in a half-second. What interests me even more is that the act of thinking is both a human being’s greatest strength, and greatest weakness. It allows for great advances in almost every area of life, but also limits our potential and actions- many times, irrationally.

I miss feeling inspired, and inquisitive. I miss the constant questioning, the striving towards something great, and feeling the progress roll out right under my feet. My life right now does not allow me to live the way I want to. Work is a daily 12-hour commitment. My friends might wonder why I seem obsessive with building an understanding of social dynamics and creating new connections. The reason being: I don’t work a social job. I don’t go to school, and I’m out 12 hours a day for my job and my commute and my errands, and attempt to sleep 6 hours. 12+6 = 18. 24-18 = 6 hours of leisure time a day, taking that I’m not completely exhausted, which I am most of the time. With that schedule, human interaction screams my name. I’m 21 years old, and I’m living like an ant. Unlike most of the people my age in this expensive city, I fully support myself, with the exception of the times my parents have saved my ass to make rent. But this is absolutely not a complaint, merely an observation. Complaining is silly- either act or forget. The “I’m a victim” mentality absolutely disgusts me, as I believe we are the sum of our choices, so I know I’ve chosen this life. And now I’m choosing to change it.

I will be moving back to the Los Angeles area before the end of June. I will be out of the country traveling from July 1st to the beginning of August. Upon my return, I will go back to school and attempt to live somewhere in the LA area, with the priority being learning, and growing and pushing myself. I suppose it’s time to start finishing what I’ve started… and this is only the first of many things.

San Francisco, you beautiful city. You have been a monumental learning experience. I’ve learned more this last year about myself and about my values than any other year that has come before it. Which is probably due to feeling more uncomfortable and “failing” more than I ever have. I wouldn’t take back a single second. I’ll approach the future with a stronger set of ideals and with a stronger sense of positivity.

Don’t Worry.

April 21, 2008

“I don’t like her.”

“Why not?”

“Because… she’s pretty.”

Well darling, so are you.

You Know…

April 16, 2008

Everyone is someone’s 10.

The Needle & The Damage Done

February 14, 2008

Dearest,

I don’t care about what school you go to, or how many letters your name has. I don’t give a fuck about your car, your school, or what your friends think about me. You aren’t fat, your hair looks great, and I am finished with giving you any more compliments to give you false reassurance. You can be a real bitch even when you don’t try, but I would never tell you how much it affects me.

Fuck you, you’ve taken part of me, and I hate you.

Don’t you understand? You’re gorgeous. When I look at you, I instantly regret everything I have ever done with anyone else. I remember you better than I remember my entire childhood. The curve of your cheeks, the roundness of your eyes, the heat that radiated off your arms. The way the corner of your mouth is uneven when you smile, and how you love to show your teeth. I can smell you on me, and feel you on me. These details, these pieces of scattered memory are what make you important to me, nothing that could ever be expressed on a job application. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. You are greater than anyone I  have ever met.

I hate you so much, and I will tell you why. Last time I saw you, and I looked into your eyes, I secretly snuck into your head. Inside your mind, I walked into a giant room full of mirrors, different sizes and shapes, like a fucked up fun-house. I saw reflections of myself. I saw myself really wide and really skinny, with piercing eyes, and a smashed head. I would look really big and important, and then really tiny and non-existent. Those reflections were all me, and they were all true. Lost in your pupils, I couldn’t find a way out. I was stuck, with time completely lost in the infinity of a real second. As the real-world clocks moved, years passed as I was stuck in your head. Years turned into decades, and I lived my future. I was sitting in a chair, old, and hungry, but it was okay. I forgot what the sun looked like, what a breeze felt like, and how the world worked, and it was okay. I was trapped with hundreds of mirrors, but it was okay. I found a satisfaction in looking at my reflection in your eyes; a satisfaction that was undeniable and different than anything I had ever felt. Being lost in you wasn’t being lost at all. I hate you, because… I actually love you. I always miss you.

 Sincerely, Me.

 *********

Happy Valentines day everyone. Whether you agree with it or not, whether you think it’s bullshit or not– whether you have someone or not. Just make sure you remind yourself that love and warmth are the most important thing on this planet. Step forward, and take your loved ones with you, we are all important.

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.

You’re Number One.

January 24, 2008

The real problem is that I’m addicted to feeling overwhelmed. It isn’t about fear or uncertainty. It’s not about validation or insecurity, it all leads back to this junkie-like urge, grasping at me, begging me to feel completely taken over by a giant wave of feeling. Maybe it leads back to my first leap into love, my sentimental clinginess to the first few experiences I had with it; the magnetic pull, the dramatic giving of oneself. Since then, I’ve been convinced that there’s no value in anything less then 100% perfect love. No room for compromise or negotiation- for convincing and settling in the slightest.

But perhaps it is truly an unrealistic idea, an impractical desire.  Maybe compromise is necessary, even healthy. It’s the great dilemma of lovers, of chasers, of settlers. I don’t know if I’m getting wiser or just older. I don’t know if I’m getting smarter or just colder. I refuse to admit that high expectations are childish, and until I figure out a deal with myself, I’ll keep the door open for adventures, highs, lows, and most of all, the ability to feel it all– like a breeze through an open window.