March 18, 2009

Went to the LA Zoo recently.



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.


November 15, 2008

Civil War Re-enactment.

November 10, 2008

I met a man named “Ace” tonight. He had moved here from New York, 2 years ago, and never went back. He’s thirty two, has a wife, whom he’s separated from in Queens, and there resides his three kids. He used to be a mechanic and really into cars, he said it was one of the few things that he misses. For the last two years, he has been living cheaply through money from his mother. Since the exchange rate is so great, 45 pesos to 1 dollar, it doesn’t take much to be okay.

For the last two years, he has been living a life of alcohol induced interactions and grinding. Clubs and bars go until the sun comes up, and the laws are loose. Drunk driving is everywhere, and not really kept under much controlled. Ace totalled a car once, driving drunk, and got away with it, without paying a dollar. The car he was driving wasn’t even his, it was a girl he was with, who was well off.

“Get laid and get paid” he says, the motto being exactly what you’d think it is. He’s been able to live in luxury through rich girls that he meets at random places through out the night, but he can’t seem to approach without a bottle. Liquid courage is his sword on his belt, and it has helped him survive. As he is telling me stories, and we are smoking cigarettes, he looks at his phones and explains that he misses his girlfriend who works in Japan, and that his other girlfriend is coming over to the house. He says he never wants to go back to Queens, and his little brother is sitting with us to, a peculiar smile on his face, eighteen years old, and in a fond admiration of his older brother.

Ace says that living in the Philippines is his escape from real life, and it’s much better here, where he doesn’t have to worry about anything. With him and his crew, nothing can stop them. “Forget about it!” he says. After I leave, he sticks around in my head, like a puzzle threatening intrigue.

When you escape from a life, one of responsibility, when you have children, and you have finally found a destination away, to take you away from it all, how long do care-free feelings last? How long can we run from the problems that face us? I don’t know if there is a such thing as a true escape, maybe even the most care-free lifestyles becoming trapping. But it’s a different kind of trap, a trap that is built on a problem that is much deeper. Is life about purpose, or about blissful enjoyment? Maybe it’s about finding enjoyment in your purpose. I hope he finds his.

Philippines to Bangkok

July 18, 2008

Greetings from the motherland.

I got back from Bangkok last night. So far, I’ve been to Manila, Mandaluyang, the island of Boracay, Bangkok, Thailand and it’s outer regions, and now im in Eastwood City, Philippines, which is the self-proclaimed version of LA’s City Walk. Being lost in translation isn’t bad, it forces you to make contact with other things, like your eyes, smiling, and hands. But I miss my friends, and my crew in San Francisco. As time goes on, with the thousands of miles of ocean separating the past, the last year and a half feels like a blur, and I want to capture it again. I’ve rode in taxis, motorbikes, boat-buses, sailboats, and rode an Elephant in the past week. I watched in a crocodile show and saw Lady Boys, cigarettes and drinks are way too cheap, and it’s fueling excitement, and life.

I have reached the half-way point, and will be coming back to California in a few weeks. I’m ready, more than ever, to hit the next chapter of my life and become a stronger person. There’s a lot of time to reflect when the only person that understands what your saying is yourself. I’ve had a great time with my family, and the conversations I do have with strangers are refreshing and insightful.

I’m a PC cafe, and my hour is almost up. Be well.