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. ♥)

Adoption Workshop #4

So we attended the longest adoption workshop yet--in the East Bay (IAC). Surprisingly, it was the best.  The best of FOUR that we've attended over the years! We are in love with this place. It was so open and honest about everything. It is the polar opposite of isolated, infertility treatment darkness and the strange uncomfortable other info sessions we've attended both in Chicago and here in San Francisco. When the meeting started, the facilitating woman shared her own story of a very difficult closed adoption.  It was nice for me to hear.  Even though I love & live with someone everyday that is the result of a very closed adoption, it is good to hear of others experiences.  It's also nice because I am of an unusual "open" adoption where I have two families that I love very much--but making it all work, in reality, is sometimes very difficult on me.  I don't want that for our kids.  I want them to feel home.  I want them to know that they are here to stay, that they belong.  --Honestly, feelings that I did not have as a kid.  I definitely have had some processing to do and I've been working on it over the past several years as we've stepped closer and closer to the adoption process.

But after this session, I feel absolutely ready.  Now, it's just the large sum of money necessary to begin.  Ultimately, that is what it has always been...It's hard to invest in a business, and at the same time, afford adoption.  And now that I've stepped out on my own with freelancing, I feel that I really need to find steady, stable work in order to fully jump into adoption.  Freelancing is just too uncertain.  And honestly, I miss working with people--surprising, I know ;-).  But I know that will happen soon enough.  Why?  Because this place is magic.  Absolutely magic.  There are so many interesting startups, companies, and organizations here.

Back to the waiting room: Then...then the nice lady put up a ppt screen and said that we would all get in small groups and openly discuss our experiences with infertility, and what has led us to adoption.  My heart jumped in my chest.  My palms started sweating and a rare feeling washed over me: FLIGHT.  I focused my gaze on the door and started fantasizing scenarios to make a break for it...Openly discuss this!? With strangers!! my inner voice was screaming!  I looked into Mariela's eyes and I knew I just had to do this and that she was with me.  We turned and just jumped right in.  The most amazing thing happened.  It actually felt good.  I felt like I could breathe.  The people were so open and warm, nonjudgemental, inquisitive, and openly shared their own stories.  For the first time at one of these awkward things--I actually felt connected to the people.  Imagine that.  It was a place that I would actually look forward to attending their day long workshops, etc. etc.

I can't wait to get started.  So it's back to job applications for me. Wheeeeeee!

We Shipped Our Hearts to San Francisco

sanfrancupid.jpg

Whew! Starting out on my own freelancing is a big undertaking.  We've crossed so many barriers to get here and I'm glad to report that we are finally "settled" in the San Francisco Bay Area!  My only regret is that I didn't come out here sooner.  It is truly a magnificent place. I've lived a lot of different places and I've never called them home.  This...this is our home.

Please be patient as I get our new site up and running.  I have loads of new projects coming.  Shipping our storage pods across country was a bit of a puzzle to put back together.  But we're here...we're buying the equipment that we've spent years preparing for and I can't wait to show you what we can do with it.

If you've never shot with a Carl Zeiss lens, I highly recommend it.  We upgraded to a 35mm F2 and I cannot take it off my camera.  It's amazing. Lights? Who needs 'em with this fast of a lens. (Which is fortunate since one of my bulbs crashed to the ground and broke during a shoot at work before I left Chicago!)

Also on the horizon is a new Leash & Capture from Peak Designs. I'm thrilled because I carry my camera everywhere.  Surprisingly, I want to do weird things like hike and climb mountains now that there is just so incredibly much to see...

And last, but certainly not least...we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Rhino Carbon Slider!!!  I love photography gear Kickstarters, what can I say.

I can say: I love you San Francisco. Every single part of you.  You were worth the wait.