Monday, October 15, 2007

Montgomery Station

I'm just realizing now that it was fate or something like it, but no way could it have been a coincidence. I was running late to meet some friends and the Bart train I'd taken was for some reason stopped at Montgomery Station, one stop from where I normally get off. I needed to transfer onto the Muni to get to my destination, so after waiting a bit I realized I could maybe just transfer from there. So I hopped off not completely certain that there was even an underground Muni station, but at worst I could go up street level and catch it there. To my relief there existed one and as I paid the fee, proceeded to push through the rotating gate I saw the most amazing sight. Black and white images everywhere of the people of Darfur and the world they live in coupled with simple questions asking the reader to think about the situation.

"Are you making a killing on the stock market?"

"Are you invested in genocide?"

"How aggressive are your investments?"

"When your portfolio gains who loses?"

"Are you investing for your future or against theirs?"

"What's your college fund funding?"

"Are your riches filthy?"

I loved it.

I learned three things that night: That Montgomery station is the busiest and has the highest concentration of wealthy traffic, there is an organization that is actively taking action for action in Darfur and last there's hope that people just might start to care.

I started snapping away like mad trying to capture all the images until I was stopped by the Bart authorities, ever since 91l photos apparently weren't allowed. I deleted the last two as requested but I had so many more, deceiving, I know. I'm going back today to get the rest.

In all the years I've lived in San Francisco..I've never gotten off Montgomery to transfer. Fate?

Monday, August 27, 2007


I walked into Wishbone the other day to make a quick purchase when I was engaged in a short exchange about the shirt the cashier was wearing. Centered on the front had the word "Local" in small simple font and above it an image of Sutro Tower (a landmark only someone in who lives in SF would recognize), declaring that the wearer was a San Francisco native. I told him I've lived here for nearly five years and then he said I should get a shirt that I'd qualify as a local. Now he may have been using a very clever method to get me make that purchase or he really thought the mere five years was sufficient enough to be classified a local. I didn't buy the shirt citing that I heard somewhere it was actually six. I lied.

I don't know who has the authority to make that call but it guess that power does lie with those born and raised in the City. Or maybe because San Francisco is such a transient city it doesn't matter how long you've been here. I suppose I could go to the DMV, get my address changed and whip that out each time. I know it took me a year maybe two before I really started using the MUNI system and probably three years to begin to understand how the streets are oriented, and five to still not know all the many neighborhoods. But I really didn't know my status until I called my sister.

She lives in Southern California, it was her birthday, and it was about five in the afternoon.

"Hey what's up? What are you doing?"

"Oh I'm with June and we're at the beach."

Now I'm a visually oriented guy so I need to create in my head an image of whatever is going on on the other side of the phone. So when she said that, I pictured Ocean beach with a slight gloom, cold, windy, the two of them bundled up sitting up on the concrete ledge, watching the foaming water come and go from a safe distance.

"What, you guys having good conversation, sitting in the cold?"

"No, we've been laying out all day."

I was taken a back. Completely shocked that I'd forgotten there actually exists beaches with sun and soft sand. My perspective was all San Francisco. Cold beaches, layers of clothing, close proximity was my reality and that's how I saw everything. I realized at that point my instincts were San Francisco. I then understood that was the factor that qualifies someone as a local.

Maybe I should've bought the shirt..

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wild Rover

Wild Rover is the sweetest drinking song. I think it's origins are rooted in the traditional Irish but the rendition I'm used to hearing is of the Boston punk variety-Dropkick Murphys.

Now imagine yourself in a pub with a bunch of drunk Irish guys, then this song comes on and the entire place starts singing in one massive voice which is pretty awesome but the best part is during the chorus where you're queued to slam your stein on the table four times. Again imagine a house full of drunks all singing and slamming their steins simultaneously, beer spraying everywhere. Awesome sight right? So I've never actually experienced this first hand but I always dreamed of being a part of the drunken hoard.

So this is what I did. Back in college, the ole fraternity days I taught the pledges as they came in every other quarter the song hoping that maybe by the fourth year there would be enough guys who knew it well enough to recreate the scene mentioned above. Picture a bunch of drunk frat dudes singing and slamming their keg cups. Beautiful. But it's hard trying to manufacture tradition, especially with a bunch of Asians who don't give a crap about Irish culture and singing drunken beer songs in unison. So I'm resigned to singing alone. I guess I'll have to go to Ireland to seek out the real thing.

And its no, nay, never *slam slam slam slam* No, nay, never, no more will I play the wild rover no, never, no more.

Friday, August 17, 2007

One Year

One day a few years back I was in my '97 Honda Passport bound for LA. I get to the Grapevine (the notorious hill that one must traverse to get to the valley -it's always a bad and good sign: bad-because its a huge hill and good-in that it signals home's near) when suddenly my car starts slowing down and the accelerator ceases to respond. So I pull over and find that the car is completely dead. We wait hours for the tow truck to finally arrive, we leave the car at the nearest shop and my sister comes to pick us up.

The initial diagnosis was a simple fix-a single part of the engine had been worn down and needed to be replaced. But upon further investigation it was later revealed that a bolt head had overheated, broken off and bounced around everywhere, demolishing the entire inside of the engine. Although the exterior looked relatively unscathed the inside was pretty banged up.

That may be the best way to describe my current state. Fine on the outside but all banged up inside. It's the way I deal with things. I internalize. I suppose I should let you know that I am an introvert..yes an introvert..I may seem like a social creature but naturally I’m all about the alone time. Anyhow I digress. It don't know how long it takes a mechanic to go in there and fix the engine; a few weeks, a month perhaps, but for me I know it will take at least a year. It will be a long process, one I'm not sure I've even started. So I'm making it official by declaring to the world today that "I will not date for a year!”. And world, you can all keep me accountable. So if today is the 28th of August in the year 2007 then it will be at least until the 28th of August in the year 2008 and if you think this is being too legalistic..well it is..somethings just need to be.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Point One Percent

I didn't have to smell it to know. I approached the car prepared with my weapon of choice. This morning I had to drench my passenger seat with Febreze (reference post below). Febreze-kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria. I went back at lunch.. smells fine, fragrant even but that o.1% is not nothing-bothers me-I mean bacteria multiples exponentially. I'll give it another soaking later when the initial one dries and then one more for good measure. 99.9% of o.1% equals I'm not sure but something minuscule and then another 99.9% of that should do the trick. I can't think too much about it-if you dwell on bacteria and viruses it becomes virtually impossible to do anything, touch anything-so we just live with it. Ignorance in this case really is bliss.


It's 1:26 am and I'm here on the computer blogging. I'm not tired in fact I am drunk..yes I am drunk all alone. The funny thing about drinking alone is there isn't anybody else drunk or sober to reference as to my own state so I'm not sure if I'm just buzzed or completely drunk. I got home from work today finished packing all my worldly possessions and started loading my coche (spanish for car). As I'm doing that an obviously homeless (judging by attire and stench) man approaches me and asks me if;

"You moving? you need help?"

"No, man I'm good."

He said something and it wasn't what he said but the time he gave me to think about it..that gave me the change of heart. it may have been more selfish than opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone..I mean that's what my entire next year is supposed to be right? What an appropriate way to start the adventure.

So I hire him.

"Twenty bucks and you're coming to Oakland with me."

He's stoked.

Robert Delarippa was his name. Age 39.

Anyhow, we complete the moving, I drop him off at his spot and I get home. I box up the last of my things and sit there not knowing what to do, so I cut my hair, shave, shower and I make myself a drink. Way too much vodka and some mango juice.
Would you like some mango juice with that vodka?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Memories of Matsuko

This morning I woke up with a deep sadness. I dont know why. Actually it is and could be from a variety of things; broken relationship, mind preoccupied by thoughts of packing/needing to find a job, taking multiple trips to and fro Oakland, maybe breathing in the dust that hangs in the air of my room did something to my mind, not wanting to leave the City I love (Je t'amine San Francisco), and anticipation of the show coming up tomorrow-where tons of people will see my mediocre work-why I chose to show this mediocre piece of work.. I dont know.

I'm sure having just seen Memories of Matsuko last night doesnt help either. I have this tendency these days to get too involved in the characters or the story-that may or may not be a good thing. It's good in that this fictional creation allows me to experience things in reality that I never would otherwise but if it puts me into a deep sadness -is it good? I suppose so-it starts my gears turning, my soul churning-a discontent that is holy.

I guess I need to explain the movie a little bit at this point. It's a Japanese film, a women is dead and it goes back into her life from the beginning telling her entire life story. I loved it for so many different reasons. It's one to own, I'll get a copy and we'll watch it.

Then to top it off there's beautiful music blaring through the car speakers as I drive to work (over slept..missed the bus). A womans voice, singing breathtaking opera style songs..they're always kind of sad..that doesnt help either. Why are beautiful songs always so sad....

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Time is Near

Moving, moving, moving. Moving is never just moving. Moving is so much more than grabbing a bunch of things and throwing them in boxes. It is an emotional event. I sit there sorting through things, forced to decide what stays and what needs to go, forced to put value on material objects. It's easy if the value were based solely on things like age, make, material, demand but then there's the sentimental element. And that outweighs all other bases of appraisal. It's a tough deal. And then you're forced to look at your own life contemplate what value these material objects add to your life. Or if they've just become a collection of possessions that make moving way more complicated than it's supposed to be.

As I sort through the stacks of papers and piles of junk, I see pieces of my life being kept and some thrown away. Memories-precious and of course the painful ones scattered across the floor. Even a piece of hair might remind me of someone special or that receipt might trigger the memory of the time I was arrested on my 21st birthday or even the very ordinary day when I had an amazing conversation.

I found a card from my mom given to me the day of my grandmothers funeral-the outside envelope reads "David Kim from Grandmother's Gift", the card is one from the memorial service with a bible verse printed on the inside that begins "Dear friend," but with "friend" crossed out and replaced by "David Kim" and on the top right corner "October 2006"-three one hundred dollar bills folded inside. My mom had obviously made those adjustments but it felt like my grandmother had...I mean that was her style; simple phrases in limited English. And for the first time I felt a sadness I hadn't felt before.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Forgive Me

Forgive Me for being jealous. You have a fledgling relationship, a great thing going, and I have but the remnants of something that is no longer. Forgive me.

Friday, August 10, 2007


The sirens in Greek mythology were a trio of female deities who would sit on an island and sing their song. The song they sang was so enchanting that whomever heard it would not be able to resist going towards them which meant imminent death.

There's an older gentleman that works with us who loves jazz music. So a lot of times the radio would be set to KKSF 103.7 San Francisco jazz. One day while carrying out my daily duties I heard this incredible voice singing this amazing song. But I couldn't figure out who she was or the name of the song. The second time I heard it I immediately went to the station web site and saw it listed the play list in real time-Kelly Sweet "Raincoat". Yes! I went out later that week and got the album.

Kelly Sweet, only 18 which makes it even more amazing, is a siren.

Friday, August 3, 2007

It's Moving

Currently Listening:
Album: Miami
by: The Go Find
Song: City Dreamer
Take any great movie moment, erase the background music-then watch it. Not quite what it was meant to be. Actual life works the same way, take a particular moment, add a soundtrack and it becomes something much more (albeit artificially produced). At night, the drive over the Bay Bridge always has the most amazing view of the City, play City Dreamer the instant you enter the tunnel, emerge and you have a living movie moment. Breathtaking.

Three Words: Spirit, Conversation and Story

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Great News and NY

So you know how I submitted a piece for that Yelp show I mentioned earlier well, I got word yesterday that "they are delighted to inform me that I have been selected to display my piece".
Yup so that's the good news. Except I'll be in NY when they have that planning meeting-I'll have to sort that out somehow. did I mention I'm going to Ny, Ny. Flight's today at 4pm and I haven't packed a thing. Although I did get the day off work but I have like 4 hours to get this list of 25 items fulfilled..I wanted to get some studio time in- but that may not happen. We'll see. And why am I sitting on the computer when I have things that need to get done-no idea. Okay gotta go..But I do want to make it a personal goal of mine to at least draw one thing or write something everyday-to keep the creative juices oozing. So If dont make it to the studio today at least I've recorded my thoughts. There- justified.

I just figured out how to post images on this thing. Sweet. check mark on that Note to Self.
So this is the piece, I'm still tweaking with the two characters to the right but this is basically it.

Here's the blurb I submitted with it-it's to do with a SF community theme:

"The piece is actually a moment that happened not long ago. It was the day of Bay to Breakers. My room mate and I walked out of on to our back balcony and find our neighbor below enjoying the warm sun after running the race. Then our neighbors adjacent from us appear and we have this sort of 3 way chat going. It's all symbolism. My neighbor downstairs is a lesbian and the ones adjacent are a hetero couple-so the sexual diversity of SF. The way I can see 5 or 6 different yards from my balcony and have 2 different conversations at the same time talks about the physical closeness of the homes compacted in the limited space. The sun in Sf is so rare that when its out all the people emerge from the depths-neighbor sunbathing. Bay to Breakers speaks of the how awesome our city is to sponsor so many great community events and it creates this festive atmosphere in the entire city. And the dog-San Franciscans love their dogs. All symbolism. "

I'm quoting myself-can I do that?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Plan A

So the girls (Grace and Erika) tell me they're going to see someone some Sarah something perform at Cafe Du Nord. I have no idea who she is but I go..only to find out that the show is sold out. In the past I've always been able to show up to this particular venue the night of and get tickets but she must be super popular and plus the venue is intimate (small). So I'm standing outside making calls notifying the concerned of my predictament, trying to figure out what next..I could just go to some local bar and hang for a bit (so that's plan B)...Plan A is..well, I dont quite have a plan A but it has something to do with the fact that I wouldn't accept the fact that I wasn't going to be able to get in tonight. So still trying to formulate this plan I walk up to the bouncer and after being thoroughly ignored for a few minutes I ask if there is any way I could get in..and she says nope but in a real fishy I step away just a few feet still trying to figure out what this plan A is supposed to be.. then the bouncer chick comes up unexpectedly and goes "What up, it's me Audrey".. and I'm totally taken off guard but I pay along clueless as to what the hell is going on. Then she walks away. Ohhhhhh I get it so I pull out a twenty hidden in my hand and go up to Aud, slip it to her in a handshake and play the "yeah its been a long time" game. and we have this made up conversation, name dropping fake names and remembering pretend past's completely obvious..then i get my stamp and walk in. Sweet. Plan A.

So Sara B was good but I liked the songs of Rachel Efron even better..there's something about it that allows you to get lost in the moment.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Few Things

Man, I realized something pretty significant this weekend just by looking at one piece of art. And this isn't really something new-I've known this in the back of my head for a while as a not fully processed thought (or maybe I was just in denial) but I'm not that sweet of an artist. I'm a little behind. Meaning I can't go straight into a MFA program I need to go back to the basics. So how I realized this was I picked up a copy of Drawing Magazine and saw that there's school that teaches people how to draw-there was a before and after picture of drawings this dude did and I saw that my drawings were closer to the before than the after-although I've done and could do ones like the after-my everyday stuff was more like the before. And drawing is this skill that anybody who has half a brain can learn. It's very technical and the concepts are relatively easy to get-light is the key to creating the illusion with that shadows, reflection points, shapes. I know drawing makes the greatest painters. Any maybe I dont need to go that far back to basics but I do feel like I know very little and am only learning from myself. There are so many tricks and tips and things like washes that I never really knew about-and materials- I only continue to do what I know. Maybe I'm just a lazy painter-who knows everything that I need to know but dont apply them since it takes a little more effort. So I came up with a couple of conclusions or maybe half conclusions.

1.)I am not ready for the MFA program-I kind of want to go back and do BFA classes again, I was going through my old notes from Davis and that's all good stuff that I should already know in my heart but am only remembering as I read old notes-what the hell was I doing back in Davis, absolutely nothing-wasting a valuable education-getting drunk-it's times like these I wish I was a better student. Unless maybe the MFA is learning those things but I get the feeling that MFA kids are like pros already just trying go a notch higher. I should call the Acad Art dude and ask him.

Note to Self: Call Acad of Art dude: Scott and inquire about program.

Another thing made me feel unworthy of the program is I saw this pretty sweet painting at Regen yesterday and Steven was telling me that the girl who did it has been trying to get into a program for a while and hasnt been able to until recently and I was like dude if something of that caliber cant get in then I for sure cant get in.

2.)Artist Require a Community- A true artist needs to be in an artist community. I feel like I'm in this community with myself and do all my art myself and self critique and dont learn any new techniques myself and bounce the same old ideas off myself and dont discover new media myself. All I can do is tell myself I suck or am good and play with the same old thing forever looking at it through my same pair of eyes. I feel like I'm behind and dont know all those new tricks and techniques like washes because of the lack of community. And you know how I realized this by looking at the one dope piece at Regen-I saw a crayon sketch dressed with light washes and I was like dude that's sweet.

3.)I had another one but I can't remember it at the moment. It probably was something about me getting back to basics.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Another Friday

Sitting here at my desk.
Finally got this blog to work-its taken me 7 months.
Not Eating today. Had a huge Breakfast.
Life is interesting-how I want to be a part of life is maybe the question that sits at the forefront of my mind.
I'm going to Ny with Ferrier in less than a week. Gotta do laundry. I kind of dont want to go-I'll get too drunk and spend tons of money-I have to redeem this purely recreational trip somehow make it worth more than just pure fun-I have to do a painting for Derek before I leave. That's my goal, you always have to have to have some sort of goal or a point of motivation. whatever you do.
So what to do. I started looking for jobs on Craigslist yesterday during lunch-just to see whats out there for me- I found absolutely nothing- there's nothing I want to do. It did make me appreciate my current trabajo but if I stay here and do the same thing-that's exatly what I'd be doing exactly the same damn thing-living in this lazy world of comfort. I want to make an impact-comfort doesn't help me do that-it helps me be comfortable. I mean I'm not lazy- I go to the gym, sleep little, read a lot, go to work fulltime, go to studies on Thursdays, walk down the street to deposit checks or grab a bite, been going out more on weekends with friends but mostly I'm in my studio-but how is all this going to help the broken and rid the world of poverty and hate. It's not- and so I call that lazy- I do secretly hope to make painting that are inspiring and tell stories, that move people to go-go out and do something-live outside themselves. I dont know though-I'm a little discouraged-as far as creating. My work sucks- you know what though I think I know why-its because I have a natural style but I always try to create outside that natural style-I always assign myself huge projects that maybe aren't necessarily who I am.

Note to self: start creating only for my natural style who cares what it looks like or how it turns out. Who cares what others my think, although it matters a lot because they dictate whether I get in a show or not, but still who gives a sh..

Anyhow I submitted to this show-I later realized after the fact that I can't even invite my friends if I did get in b'c it's some lame closed party for super Yelpers-I didnt even know what Yelp was until I had to sign up for an account just to submit. I've never seen anything like my piece in a show and I dont mean that in a it's super-great-and-unique-kind-of-way, I mean it in a it kind-of-sucks-so-no-gallery-really-puts-up-stuff-like-mine-way. Well, we'll see and I am modifying it so it should be better. I always have great concepts and then I execute and then in the end I can't close the deal-tie it together.

Aw man this is therapeutic. More than painting. Maybe I should write.
I have all my emails saved form The Greatest Australian-New Zealand-Papua New Guniea-Adventure Ever!..I should fix it and try to publish or do a comic or write a book, except i cant write worth nothing- imean I can but my grammer sucks and my spelling is wack as well, I suppose thats what editors are for-except mine would end up rewriting half my book.
I'll do a zine. Yeah that's what I'll do-I'm sort of out or it and behind as far as the latest but I guess that what the new art kids are doign to get their work out there-making 2 dollar zines and distributing like crazy.
Note to self: Do further research on how to do a zine. Then do a lond ass zine on the Greatest Austrailian Adventure Ever!. And then send to all the characters that I've met along the way-none of whose names I will change. Yeah dude that'd be super rad.

That's apparently one of the ways Dave Choe got found.

Dang I havent written like this in a long time and I love it. I love writing. I could make To Do lists, write emotionally, brainstorm, note to self's...this is frikin great.

I started cussing a little bit more lately, I dont know why. I never did before.

I need less money, less comfort, I need it to be just a smiget uncomfortably cold when I go to sleep, and hurt-no not pain or hurt than I'm relying on emotion to fuel my actions- but I just want to be kept on my feet.
Fear keeps me from taking advantage of my opportunites, I've had many, and tons of support for my abilities yet i'm still here doing this because why- fear and ultimately a lack of belief in myself. I can never understand why people sit there and ask me to paint them something or introduce me and add that I'm an amazing artist-they've never really seen my stuff- how can anybody trusts me that much-I dont trust in that trust. "Here I'll pay you tons of money to make me something" what you dont even know what it'll look like. There's too much trust there. Don't you want to see my portfolio first or look at some of the things I've done in the past.

Oh yeah that reminds me I have to send a few sample pieces to Monica so she can assess if we are going be able to do this writer/illustrator collaboration-I hope it works out, I'm actually pretty excited about it.

Note to self: Email Monica photos.

Gotta go get some pantalones this weekend before I take off for NY.
To do:
Go to Gap-shut up I never go there-it's only because I have gift certificates from like 4 years ago that I need to redeem. I'll get some cords. all my clothes are junky anyways-faded, holes, paint-I need to tune up the old wardrobe. Got some new lame T-shirts from Marshalls last weekend-shopping spree-happens only once to twice a year for me. I need a new pair of everyday shoes as well-I'm thinking Sauconys-I dont know though. I'll go online.

Well, It's 1:03 meaning lunch is officially over so back to work I go. Later

Friday, January 19, 2007

New But Old

Do you ever look at something that you've seen for years and see it new for the first time?