A Couple Rebel Top Gun Pilots Flying in San Francisco

It's been a rather exciting few months around here. We set up some homemade dynamite and turned our lives upside down, gave up the huge loft in the cushy suburbs and found an amazing (smaller) apartment in San Francisco. I should add that we NEVER have a hard time finding a place when we want to, but SF is an entirely different beast. I know everyone says that, but we went through everything to get this place. We lost $800 on an apartment and we spent our lives to get settled. It was FULL of challenges. One of the biggest challenges was fitting our giant apartment of stuff down into (still a large apartment for San Francisco but) a much smaller place. It was the most stressful and secretly exciting part for me. I love a design challenge and my life is my top design priority. Mariela was amazingly patient during the whole process. She talked to me about dining room tables until she fell into a daytime coma about it. Surprisingly, it was after the table was completely standing in our dining room! She really stuck it out with me. The most wonderful thing she did was to make a giant 11x17 to-scale printout of our new apartment floorplan. It really melted my heart. Most people would think, big fuckin deal. But it really showed how much she cared and how much she really knows how my crazy mind works about this shit.  She even painstakingly helped me make to-scale paper versions of our couch, bed, desk and fantasy dining room table options!!! That's love.

I went to work designing and planning like a madman for the next month. I reconfigured the layouts a million times and the day we moved in -- my plan was completely in motion. I knew where everything needed to go and it was brilliant. It IS brilliant. Our apartment is finally done and it's time for a party!!!

I'm sensitive to my surroundings. I can only get to my creative zone in a creative environment. I've worked myself stupid to achieve that. I never forget where I came from -- a tiny, crumbling shack of cockroaches. My environment is important, perhaps a little too much. But I firmly believe in living for right now because tomorrow may never happen.

Never dreamed that we would end up in San Francisco though! It feels like a dream and I'm scared to wake up. And then I wake up to floor-to-ceiling windows! I'm so grateful for the chances I've been given and the fact that I've leapt onto them at every opportunity. It's the one thing about my unstoppable Granny that I always didn't like -- she doesn't handle change well at all. She fights it tooth and nail. I've always tried to embrace change. I owe that to Mariela. She's the leaper in our family and she pushes me to jump.

We've changed so much during the 16 years together that we're almost unrecognizable from when we met. Somehow we always manage to change and morph around each other. Sure, there have been mistakes and veers off path, but we find our way back to the sea (as Stevie says).

 
 

So now our home studio is alive and well and I'm not fussing over bookcases and dining room tables anymore. I've been focusing my energy on an animation project that I hope to finish this week. But I always get upset and restless when I start to finish a project, like "what's next??" "is there anything else that I can do?" "where do I funnel energy now?"...

It's silly really, I have about 500 projects going at once right now at work. But I'm constantly looking for that path. I know I'll find it if I just keep going. Interests are not my problem, I have about a 100 things I want to learn right now. I just have a hard time figuring out where I should narrowly focus my attention because there are sooooo many things I want to do.

  • I want to get our podcast going again, like regularly.
  • I want to focus on photography again.
  • I want to edit our Europe footage together.
  • I want to tell more stories with animation.
  • So do I dive back into character animator? Maybe that's a great plan for the next stroll down memory lane...

I also need to dive into some code and fix this website theme, upgrade or move everything to SquareSpace...? I'm just not convinced that it can handle all the customizations of Wordpress. I always feel like it's a platform for people that have no idea how to code html or css. Obviously from everything that I've said just in this post you can tell I like a lot of control. :-/

Anyway, I've rambled on enough with this overall life update. These are a few of my favorite photos and events of the past few months, getting settled in San Francisco:

  • Roomba busted up the 18 year old RENT poster frame and carried around shards of glass for a few hours, thoroughly terrorizing the kitties.

 

  • The amazing dining room table that we finally bought on our 16th anniversary. I love sitting right next to my espresso machine, working for hours facing a floor-to-ceiling window. We've come a long way, together.
Bliss: Working so close to my espresso machine
SF is so dramatic, I love it.
  • Drag shows are our favorite past-time. We made Rupaul Drag Race Watch Parties a part-time job. Here are some hilarious pictures of our adventures. Talking to Eureka was probably my personal highlight. I love her because she's fierce and hilarious.
  • And I have to say, I was actually terrified at the final showing of Peaches Christ Showgirls! It took me 10 years to make it to a showing. She never disappoints. Only in San Francisco would you find yourself running from a drag show in fear! I love you, Peaches. (Please let me redo your website and work with you on media projects. ♥)

Coming Out of the Darkness with Art

IMG_0858-1.jpg

Website is busted, again. I like to think of it as another robot in my life...roomba, hue lights, sonos...wordpress! I'm not losing another weekend to trying to fix our portfolio. I have another site for that anyway. It seems to work flawlessly, thanks Tumblr. I'm proud of myself for getting our podcast feed working again! We're terrible about making them and that's the only way to be successful at it, I know. But that's not our goal. Each one is a success to me. This is all a longer story, put together in various pieces of media. I won't limit myself to one. --But I've been inspired, a lot lately by a few remarkable podcasters and that does make me want to do them a little more frequently. However, I am trying to get a really long video edit done before we leave for EUROPE! I want to finish it for many reasons. Namely, my travel hard drive needs to be free!

The edit probably won't happen though. I have about a million things to do before we fly around the world. The point of this post is that I want to say what a horribly hard couple of weeks it has been for many of us. I've only found solitude in art. I look to artists to say the things that need to be said and with our support, they will. So support local art and artists!Support public media and real news sources. I am so saddened by the recent Pew research that said most people get their news from Facebook that I haven't even been able to return. There has to be more for us. I don't know about you, but I don't want my news curated by childhood friends from my hometown. Do you?

Don't get me wrong, I really miss hearing updates about the people in my life that are scattered through time and huge distances. The separation has added to the darkness of the days. But I don't want my worldview shaped by a tech company setup to share college stories on campus. I lived #startuplife and it's not for me. (A wonderful life experience, but it ain't me.) I've enjoyed trying to immerse myself in local culture and art, as part of my job, but it's so fulfilling for my life. What an incredible opportunity. California is more than I could have dreamed and we dreamed about it for more than 10 years!

I'm a Capricorn though. I like to be absorbed in work and the more I work, the more it all becomes a melding of what I love to do with my days anyway.  Speaking of, I bought the best book about hand lettering recently. I'll write more about that later. It's kind of for work, but I'll be sure to share any horribly drawn lettering projects here! :) I am a sucker for an artists story--the passion, the drive, the determination to never give up. It fills my heart with drive. I need to fill my wallet with money so I can afford font making software...where's the open source!?

We attended an art event at the Embarcadero last night. Well, it was really a maker event -- people building really cool shit with crazy tools. It was terrific! We are so anxious to move to the city now. There's so much to do. The opportunities are endless. But I have some anxiety about leaving this gloriously soft life. It's a process that is going to take me some getting used to. Until then, I will continue to hack Waze to give me the rich people routes to the city. I'm serious. They route me to 101 every day, but I can beat their time by taking 280...stop pandering to the Teslas and let me drive! I'm Waze royalty damn't!

Speaking of royalty, if you're in the market for a good show about a woman's rise to power and a country that supported her, please check out Netflix's The Crown! That gave me a lot of comfort about the state of women (in other countries anyway). Great Britain has had something like 6 or 9 queens...I'm scared I'm going to love London too much...*God save the queen!

*whatever God that you may or may not believe in.

Strange Times

The point of this - the whole reason I’m writing this is just to tell you to get high and go see Dr. Strange.

 

After the most atrocious thing ever to happen to America, getting baked and watching a trippy film just sounds like a good solid idea, doesn't it? Really cuts through the “what did we do wrong, who’s to blame?, things are going to be the worst, what is he DOING?, maybe he’s alright, let’s give him a chance" soundbite journalism that has taken over our wretched lives.
We'll be raided again!

"A mean nasty republican town."

 

Instead of listening to any more junk journalism, just go to the movies. You’re much better off.

 

After this fiasco, LinkedIn really started a daily news feature and bogus stories are already getting shared. This is the current state of affairs: Headlines for you, courtesy of a job board-business card-networking in a box social site. It’s bad. So just ignore it.
[Cool news jobs in your area - just share this story!]

 

I haven’t gone on the big one since the election, shhhh. In the interest of full disclosure I did share some Michael Moore from another site and I think I shared a petition (but I might not have). So it’s officially been almost two weeks since I’ve been in the bubble. Feels good. On a similar note I’m on juice cleanse and everything is starting to feel better there too.
 juice-taste-warm

 

I needed the cleanse because we poisoned ourselves with gin on Tuesday. Everyone in America drank on Election night didn’t they? I don’t even drink (other than margaritas with food and the occasional fancy cocktail with ‘sour’ in the name) and I tried to keep up with F on Gin & Tonics as the states were called. Neither of us had eaten and things were looking grim on TV. Our only food was salad I had picked up earlier so I tried to eat it. Not great but I powered through. Things got bad in our house as they got worse on TV. F mysteriously disappeared during my prayers for Michigan.

She came back much later, but still before Michigan was called and she said she needed a shower, but she couldn’t use my shower? No, definitely not come upsairswithmeIneedaquickshower. So I did and Michigan and Pennsylvania still hadn’t been called and there was still hope for this country but there was no hope for my shower. My toilet was untouched and my shower looked like a salad shooter riot of dark pieces of kale and carrot sticks stuck to every surface. I started feeling sick from the gin and puked in the toilet. Before I flushed I looked at the scene - completely disgusting.

 Vom everywhere: a foreshadowing.

 

what have we done???

 

We passed out, woke up abruptly at 1am, learned the awful truth, bitched, went upstairs and left my shower until morning.

The only good thing that came out of the election was legalization of recreational marijuana.

And what better way to celebrate than to go on a little visual escape. F doesn’t generally do movies, but this was IMAX 3D and I basically spent $47 dollars on tickets a week before, so we had to go. I gathered up all of our weed: smokable, vapable, and edible and met her in the city. We ate cannabis cotton candy (see my secret weed tumblr where I review this awesome stuff) and cannabis chocolate espresso beans and I vaped Pax but F is still too paranoid to vape in the city because “it’s still illegal to do on the street."  No, I am not kidding you.

 

It’s still out. It’s still playing in 3D right now and if I had any friends that liked to do that sort of thing, I would go again and again and pay ridiculously high prices for seats that vibrate and compare the 3D to 2D and catch all the little easter eggs. But I don’t. So you should go see Dr. Strange and get really high. You’ll thank yourself.

 

3d-trip

especially if you can't emigrate right now.

 

Uber for the Rest of Us

Okay, it's time for some real talk about the uber infestation of the world.But first, let me go on record saying that I am all for the sharing economy. I love AirBnB, I take uber and Lyft as often as I can. I share my own creative works to be reused and spread around the world...

However.

Supreme Decision

I was on my way to a marriage equality rally in DC in 2010. Our bus broke down in Ohio and we had to spend the night at a rest stop with 40 other gays and a man that was friends with Harvey Milk. We missed the rally in DC, but Mariela took a gamble on a candy machine. She said to a friend, "if I get the ring, I'm going to ask her to marry me." She asked me if it ever became legal, would I marry her? I said yes...and within the hour smashed it against the table during an exciting game of boggle (QUEER WED actually rolled on at the same time!)!!! Since then we've been civil unioned, domestic partnered and then finally married by the great state of California. We've been together since college. 14 years. I didn't think this day would happen. Now we can even live in Kentucky! :-/ PRIDE PARTIES NATIONWIDE!!

Cat Facts

So, I know that Mariela found "Cat Facts" by some means of her Internet dorkiness, but she really has taken it to a whole 'nother level. It all started when we moved to California and immediately needed to change both of our phone numbers over to local numbers.  We put it on Facebook, but who reads that, right?  So it began...no one knew the numbers we were texting from.  So we turned it into a little game--each new contestant added on new sections, visuals...and now--well, I couldn't be prouder of Cat Facts.

*Please note: the misspellings below are intentional and necessary.

 

The gist is that--immediately upon receiving a "who's this" text--you start responding with random Cat Facts and photos...set a timer--send them every hour on the hour (for contestants that are upgraded to Cat Facts Premium):

 

Thanks for signing up for Cat Facts! You will now receive fun daily facts about CATS!  >^..^<

Cats use their tails for balance and have nearly 30 individual bones in them! <To cancel Daily Cat Facts, reply 'cancel'>.
(after receiving reply):
Command not recognized. You have a <year> subscription to Cat Facts and will receive fun <hourly> updates!
In ancient Egypt, killing a cat was a crime punishable by death. Thank you for choosing Cat Facts!
(after next reply):
Command not recognized. Cats bury their feces to cover their trails from predators.  To <cancel> please let us know you are human by completing the following sentence: Your favorite animal is the ___?
(reply anything other than "Cat"):
INCORRECT! Your favorite animal is the Cat. You will continue to receive cat facts every <hour>. Would you like to upgrade to premium subscription?
(if reply is "Cat")

CORRECT! Your favorite animal is the cat! Congrats, you've been upgraded to Cat Facts  Premium with Cat Pics!

Welcome to Cat Facts Premium: Did you know that the first cat show was held in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London. Mee-wow!

(after reply):
Thanks for texting Cat Facts (Premium). Would you like to receive an instant Cat Fact with cat pic every time you text? <To cancel, reply 'unsubsribe">
<Command Not recognized> Did you know there are about 100 distinct breeds of domestic cat?
CAT_domesticdishes
(after reply)
Thank you for your feedback about Cat Facts. Did you know cats have excellent senses including night vision and the ability to hear ultrasound?  <To Cancel Reply "Not Meow">
cat_tiedye
(only after they reply "not meow"):
<command not recognized>

CAT_rightMEOW

 

 

Gimme My Fuckin Change Back

Fun to relive old times & talented artists of our past/present/and hopefully future. We woulda never left Chicago without an old friends' music cheering us on...

Young Hines: Gimme My Change

Every time someone was in my car they would ask (more like scream), "WHO is this!?"

--He's our Nashville souvenir...and eventually a removed catalyst in our move to California. His music just shared so much emotion with how the days felt in Chicago, yet it was a reminder of the past and someone that I truly admired.  I don't say that about many people, probably none.  He didn't wait for someone to offer him a way to make his music.  He just made it.  He learned and challenged himself.  He worked days at a time in his little home studio.  He worked a day job to buy more and add to his studio.  I completely adopted his model in Chicago.  He renewed my spirit.  He made me wanna dream differently.  I buried myself in my work and continued to Fail With Pride (our other Nashville take-away).  So when his album released...and it was speakin my language...and Chicago was completely shit, boiling over, and busting at the seams.  I knew it was time for another lifetime adventure. I love every piece of California. And our amazing journey to get here.  Even if I do miss all the amazing people that helped us get here. Every. Single. Day.  But I'm so glad to have found home.

(I know, I know. The video of the move and our Route 66 is soooo far past due--but it's happening. I've been very busy setting up the small studio of my dreams.  Workin. Testin. Workin some more.  The Young Hines way...  :D)

Crazy busy times. Cali is amazingness. (Evernote WP email integration sucks...)

Cleanin hard' drives, workin' on illustrations. And now I'm testing my Evernote integration with our portfolio site. Did it work? Evernote is so wonderful. It's like a culmination of my creative work, my professional work, my dumb thoughts, my stencil & painting ideas, to do lists, books to search, startup car audio companies ...and everything is organized separately, but still--together. However, after testing the email features to Wordpress...I have to say: it sucks.  Evernote, I don't want your brand or any other brand all over my website, thank you.  I do not want it imported with a giant ad banner over my words.  I'm editing my reviews of the Evernote app about this.  Don't be corporate douchery. I don't want your brand where I don't want it. I pay for a service.

It reminds me why I hate television and now Facebook.  It's the ads.  It drives me crazy. I get more sponsored posts than real updates by anyone or real businesses.  Gross.

P.S. Please upgrade the audio recorder because our hilarious stories sound like shit from these Evernotes though...srsly. Dropvox er somethin. Try integrating, playing nicely, and removing the corporate douchery. Thank you.