Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mail Is Awesome Dot Com

I think I figured out part of the reason people fall in love with catalog and online shopping. It's just super rad to get things in the mail. Not junk mail, of course. But stuff you've been anticipating. Like, you make an order one day, forget about it while it's being processed and shipped, then just when you least expect it, you get a nice little surprise in the mail.

My business cards arrived the other day. Two-sided, rounded corners:

Then, to my delight, my crossfader lube from TurntableLab came in later the same day. Oh, happy day at the shop!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Decision Time

Time, time, time, see what you've done to me? The enormity of moving is in full effect. And that means something will likely have to give. Can't cut back on the fitness/nutrition routine because that would make everything else sucky. Would rather not cut weekend cycling because I've been planning for the century in May since last fall. So, music practice? Art? Grrr... It's only temporary. Plus, I am told that my Boss Loop Station pedal, mentioned earlier, is on backorder at the manufacturer and likely won't arrive before the next gig. Sigh.

Good news is that my cello sleeves arrived in the mail! I'm so excited about these! Bought them on Ebay from UniquePacking. Just makes for such nice, professional packaging!

I've also put in an order for two-sided business cards from And I'm learning to play to the crowd - one side is Perhaps Sutro Tower, the other is The Boom-Bap.

Then, with the place is disarray because of the move, it'll be a few weeks until I'm able to get these mostly finished pieces into the shop. I'm pleased with them.

Speaking of moving, we checked out the new place Saturday afternoon to sign the lease. It's in the burbs. Quiet. A good vibe. Five minute walk to BART. Gets us closer to our homeownership goal. Afterward, we had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Della Stella in Downtown Walnut Creek. I'd been dying to go back there for a couple years. Excellent food and service. Helps soften the blow of moving away from The Mission and it's many, may fine restaurants.

We also started to watch The Thin Red Line, which I only mention because I think it's one of the best war films ever, in that way Apocalypse Now is more than just a war movie. Or at least, that kind of vision and courage that should be required of war movies. That's all. Jus' sayin'.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's InFlux

Valentine's Day! Not only my first as a married man, but also my start-date anniversary at work! Here's to my lovely wife! Here's to raises! (Hopefully.)

Things at the shop have been in flux. Some transitioning. Some re-allocating of time for other matters. A coming move to save on rent. Music practice. A possible bike race in May, for which I need to start training immediately. And then, our neighbors - bless them, they're young - were partying - partying hard as young people do - until 5 a.m. over the weekend. Which in turn, kept us up and turned half our weekend into mush. Talk about needing to move, sheesh!

So instead, Lisa and I decided to extend our pre-Valentine's for the entire weekend. First, a fantastic dinner at RNM in the Lower Haight/Duboce Triangle. This place is up there with my absolute all-time faves, along with Blue Plate and The Last Supper Club. (Other faves Mi Lindo Peru and La Traviata are up there, too, though a different kind of dining experience). I'd been dying to go back to RNM since a group dinner last year. The perfect place to be impressed. Food, drinks, decor, service, location. All outstanding.

Sunday, sleep-deprived and cotton-mouthed, we spent a day stomping around the East Bay imagining a new apartment and neighborhood. Then to watch Pan's Labyrinth, which knocked my socks off. I absolutely loved it. Like seeing the art of Camille Rose Garcia as a motion picture. Horrifying, tragic, bittersweet and strangely adorable all at once.

And that just means everything art-wise was pushed back. Oh, and I still haven't figured out that bit of working on a project and putting things away afterward. This is what my workspace has looked like for the last couple weeks.

So, anyhow, one of the perks of working downtown is the proximity to the museums and galleries, the closest one being the Academy of Art University's gallery on New Montgomery, down the street from my office and a block from the Ultrecht art supply store. A nice way to escape for a moment, which I did yesterday morning before going into work. Just needed it. Also, yesterday morning, I picked up the latest issue of Beautiful/Decay, which I used to adore, but haven't bought lately. You know how it is. Not wanting someone else's ideas sneaking into your own work. Like listening to too much DJ Shadow when making beats. Like that.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Celeb Sighting: "Design Star's" David

Who: David, winner of HGTV's "Design Star"
Where: Britex fabric store at Union Square, SF
How: Lisa was buying thread. David was comparing fabrics. I was along for the ride, on the way to Guitar Center.
Greet: Very gracious - very much the David from the show. Taller than I would've thought. And, hey, me being a fitness geek, I can appreciate his build.

You Take Them Both

Well, Tootie,

You take the good
you take the bad
you take them both
and there you have
The Facts of Life...

Looks like the homebuying project will be reverting back to Plan A, which may take a few years longer than led to believe for a period (Plan B, not spoken of here again). Who knows what the market will be like by then? On the other hand, and this is a philosophy I picked up from running and race training, it'll happen when it's ready to happen and not a moment sooner. Patience.

Tootie's smiling.

So, instead, we turn to the near future. I have a gig shaping up in March, the first in years. It'll be me and Dawgisht noodling with our samplers and a turntable/mixer. There is an element to music making that is sooo totally gear-oriented. I'm currently coveting one of these:

A demo:

What I really want is a copy of Ableton Live so I could do this:

But, it's funny, having worked in the corporate world for the last 10 years (plus, again the homebuying thing), I can't justify "allocating the funds" for once-in-a-blue-moon gigs.

Enough talk! To Guitar Center!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

And We're Off!

Small changes over time, an old geology professor liked to say. Works for mountain ranges, for the goals one sets. And so it goes. Make some of my work available for sale and see what happens. Email friends and family to let them know. Start a blog. Link the heck out of it. Create some more. Write some more. Repeat.

So the initial rush of uploads, test-prints and image editing has passed and I made my first sale. What's next?

I've been thinking about time a lot lately, the scarcity of it, the value of it. How do those super productive people operate? Sheesh, how do parents of young children operate? Where do they find the time? I've always been one to require lots of sleep, particularly in recent years as fitness moved to the center. Workout. Rest. Rebuild. Repeat. Get ripped.

Small changes over time.

Over the last week, I put in about eight hours to two new small paintings that've become way more labor-intensive than anticipated. I should have at least twice the amount completed by now. It's curious. Time. How it just evaporates. How the only proof of the day gone by is the layers of dried paint.

You know how Michael Jordon says that time would slow down when he was in his "zone" and that explained how he was able to make opposing players seem to stand still? Well, I think the opposite is true, at least for me. Time speeds up! That'd make me one of those opposing players standing still. It's like that scene from Close Encounters when all the abducted humans are returned to Earth decades later and haven't aged a bit. That's what the zone is like, really.

Sketch. Paint. Dry. Repeat. Create.

This was my first sale: