That image has nothing to do with the post. It's one of the shots I took at NAIAS back in January. It's merely a shameless ploy to grab your attention. Also, I'm too lazy to upload anything new to Flickr right now, so... Anyway! Recent things:
+ So I'm all moved back into San Francisco now. I got here on April 17th. I had a fun trip out. I took a long route, swing down south quite a ways on the way. Visited my pal Vanessa (sharpelbows) and her boyfriend Bryan, and his wonderful dog Chelsea in Dallas. We went all over the city, looking at interesting things, went record shopping, bar hopping, gelato eating, and photo shooting. It was really a great time, and I was actually pretty impressed by Dallas. I tend to live in a bubble sometimes thinking that for me, the only US cities I could live in at this point would be San Francisco, LA, or NYC. I forget that there's a lot of other charming places that are less stressful, and still have a lot going on.
Also on the way out, I stopped in Tucson Arizona and stayed at my aunt's house. Had brunch the next day with her, her husband, my cousin, his wife, their two daughters, and my cousin's wife's mom. It was a nice family reunion. I hadn't been to Tucson since 1997.
From there, I went to LA and stayed with Dawon in Koreatown. We had fun hanging out, and we did some thrift shopping, drinking, and catching up on stuff. After a quick LA visit, I went up to SF.
+ So my new place in SF is pretty interesting. Very different from my old place. I live with 7 (!) other people, in a huge apartment. It's an older building, an old Victorian, and has some charm. My room is super tiny, and has a weird, sort of scary loft bed setup built into it. While it in some ways makes more room, it also takes room away (I have to duck my head in most of the room). Also, it's a good thing I'm single right now. I'd be terrified to have "extracurricular activities" in that loft. It seems like with any sort of rambunctiousness that it would collapse. I'm dealing with the lack of space by keeping most of my stuff in storage. I basically just have two carloads worth of stuff in this roonm and it feels sort of liberating to not be buried in clutter.
There are some major plusses about the place. I finally have a living room again (I didn't at my old place, as we had to rent it out). There's an awesome sunroom/penthouse on the top floor. Since it's on the 4th floor on the top of a hill, it overlooks the whole city. Windows all around, and roof access (finally!) I can't wait to do photo shoots up there. Also, the neighbor hood - Lower Haight - is really sweet. There's more stuff around my immediate area, and it's not annoying and filled with gutter punks and hippies like Upper Haight.
+ This past couple days, my longtime internet buddy / excellent artist Maggie (machiney) has been in town for her art show, and I've been showing her around the city a bunch. It's been fun. Also, I'm going to get to drive her moped while she's here. It'll be my first time really driving one (other than the 10 feet I drove one in the hallway of my old workplace). I'm pretty stoked about that. (Don't tell my dad. He'll have a heart attack of worry)
+ Been busting my ass on the freelance graphic design I've been doing for this start-up. And with the return of constant graphic design work has come the return of my crazy wrist and arm pains. It's either Carpal Tunnel or RSI. Not sure. Probably the latter. I've had to cut down the workload this past few days because my wrist, hand, arm, elbow, and shoulder have been aching so badly. I ordered an ergonomic vertical mouse, so hopefully that'll alleviate the hellaciousness.
+ It's sort of interesting to be back in SF. It's fun, and I'm very inspired to be back, but it definitely feels different. I feel like it's a lot harder to get time with my friends these days, and it's also sort of weird being in a house with so many new people, and not really interacting with any of them that much. I sort of feel like SF is this huge, awesome electric creature, full of potential and new experiences, and I'm just hanging out off to the side, instead of being absorbed into its awesomeness. The old feeling of SF not being a good place for my photography career is also still true, and job hunting is totally shitty right now, but I'm still happy to be back. Come August, I might have to think about LA again, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm at a very odd place right now in that I've really lost my direction. I know a lot of people have this past year. I'm considering some radical changes. Maybe grad school... Maybe working retail again or in a factory / shipping job (graphic design is killing my wrist, and making he fatter, so I need a more on-my-feet job), and supplementing my income with creative freelance gigs... Maybe changing career direction entirely.... Maybe moving off to a new city at some point that I've never thought about before, just for a change of pace for a while... Who knows? I'd really really just like to get a decent job again, with some health insurance, and enough pay to not be terrified all the time.
+ Late last month I had a really awesome belated-birthday party with some friends (Ryan, Tom, Melania, and Oliver). We went out for dinner (okonomiyaki), drinking, and of course, wild drunken karaoke. Man, I love karaoke. It's weird. I'm very reserved at times, and my self-esteem keeps me from doing a lot of things, but I surprise myself at how much I love singing, and how comfortable I've gotten doing it (around friends at least). That's also how I've been about dancing, ever since my raver days, up until now. I was very shy about it at first, but once I got over that, I can't be stopped.
+ Now that I'm back in SF, I've been sort of trying to get back into the dating scene again, after shutting that part of my brain off since August. It's funny because my self-esteem is rock-bottom right now, and I basically have no illusion that the type of women that I'm into would be into me right now, but who knows... I was overweight a year ago, and that's when Queena fell for me (too bad that went to shit). I've started going to the gym again, and all this walking in SF, combined with eating better, is starting to make me feel a bit better... but not fast enough for my satisfaction. Anyway, back to girls. Trying to date.... I'm reminded why I hate that shit. At least when I'm a crazy art-making, video-game-playing hermit, like I've been these past few months, I don't have to deal with rejection. It's usually easiest for me to meet girls online (OkCupid is my favorite these days), but it always sucks when you have a long spirited exchange of emails & texts, and then meet the girl in person at a bar, and you can sense she's not into you anymore. I haven't gotten anymore emails from her since then. In a fit of desperation/curiosity, I've been looking on Craigslist, with some correspondence happening, but no real dice yet. I've also been forcing myself to engage with girls more often at clubs (like this cute blonde yuppyish*ick* girl I was chatting with at a party the other day, just for practice) or even just out on the town (cute girl I was chatting with today, about her dog). I'm just trying to come out of my shell again. I've been very insular this past few months, and I'm relearning how to be congenial. I know there's gotta be more girls out there that I'm into that are into me, and willing to look past my current body type (I've been much thinner several times before, and just need to get back to it). It just seems like in SF, USA's statistically most-fit city, and where there's far too many women that are so-hip-it-hurts, that this is an illusion. Argh. hipster girls... I love/hate you. As for dating, I hate/hate you. And as for meaningful relationships, I love/love you. Ehh, we'll see what happens. I'm still sort of a bitter guy, after the sort of stuff that's gone on in my love life this past 2-3 years, but hopefully I will perk up soon. I'm sure as soon as I get my next lady I will forget everything all over again. For a little while at least.
+ What else? Been playing the 360 a lot. Played through the "Lost and Damned" DLC pack for GTAIV. Playing "Braid" a lot, as well as another indie game, "A Fading Memory" (which looks very pretty, but is a tough as nails platformer!). Finished Resident Evil 5, and have been doing some new game +. Also, just traded my PS3 version of Fallout 3 (which I already put over 120 hrs into in Michigan!) for the 360 version, and am going to download all the 360-exclusive stuff for it.
I bought a HDMI to DVI converter, and now am using my large widescreen computer monitor for video games, (as opposed to my old 13 in. TV), and it looks magnificent!
Again, I need some XBox Live buddies! Add me, I'm "Hell Dimension".
+ Speaking of video games, and how I formerly mentioned doing something drastically different... I've been thinking that I really wish I could be working in the game industry somehow. I've been into it for so long, and it just seems like it would be great. I torrented (shhh!) some rendering software that I'm going to toy with and try to figure out. I dunno if I'd want to go that route though... Again, it would be more RSI and shitty-feeling in front of a computer all day. I'd love to try to go down the games journalist path, but writing is not my strongest point, and I don't have the background. Who knows... Anyone wanna make an indie game with me? You can program it, I'll be the creative director (and design characters and make the music), we'll get another person to do the marketing, and we'll make something great!
Anyway, that's about it for now.