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. ♥)

Chrome Niko Camera Bag Sling In Action

I'm so thoroughly impressed with the Chrome Niko Camera Bag sling that I bought over a year ago that I absolutely have to share. I've used it more lately, and especially most recently for our gigantic European adventure over the Christmas and New Years holiday to London, Paris and Madrid. It was my only bag used for the 3 week trip (with a small rolling suitcase that held my laptop). It held absolutely everything that I needed and actually made the long haul home even better by protecting some beautiful artwork by a Parisian street artist! I am just blown away by how much it held, how great it worked, how the buckle made it easy to snap around the pull arm of my luggage...seriously incredible. This small camera bag is a must have for anyone traveling with camera equipment:

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ITEMS CARRIED, at the same time:

  • Joby DSLR Tripod
  • iPad Pro w/Apple Pencil (yay even the cap survived!)
  • Over the ear headphones
  • small moleskine reporter w/blackwing
  • gloves (flip over mittens with fingerless!)
  • Canon 60D
  • Shure Lenshopper DSLR shotgun (mounted!)
  • Osmo Mobile Gimbal (LOVE this thing!!!!)
  • Canon 24mm pancake lens
  • Zeiss 35mm lens
  • analog pencil case & sharpener
  • Peak Design camera strap (must have)
  • lens cloths
  • all the power cords ever (iphone, Apple Watch, Osmo, headphone)
  • charger and extra 60D battery
  • 2TB hard drive
  • California bear hat
  • Art from an adorable little man drawing along the river in Paris, outside of the Louvre.

The only small note is that I would like to see the heavy seatbelt Chrome buckle in black or even a smaller version for this bag--it got me stopped at several boarding gates because it makes the bag seem larger when over the shoulder because the chrome seatbelt is very prominent. They now offer a camo version with the black buckle but I would like the black on black option, I'm not into carrying camo at the airport, or really anywhere for that matter.

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Coming Out of the Darkness with Art

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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.

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!!