I'm currently in Montana for my cousins wedding. The last few days I've been clambering over slippery rocks, ridding horses and artfully avoiding offensively greasy food and hanging out with my extended family, I see far too rarely.
I'm leaving Wednesday for Berlin where shenanigans wait for me of the most epic proportions. (During which time I may go on a brief London sojourn.) The next two weeks promises to be a seminal experience one way or another, I'm likely to return a changed man in more ways than one. What am I coyly referring to? I won't say!
I try to keep the seedy details of my personal life out of my 'art' blog. But in keeping with the positive experience that was my previous piano themed silliness, I thought this time I would go looking for legitimate romance... Well not really. It was really more of a creative writing exercise, that if it did nothing else, it would at least help me to articulate to myself, what specifically I'm looking for in the romantic sector of my life.
But to my surprise I got a decent number of responses, including one from a woman in L.A.
Who congratulated me on my internet fame
informing me my post was being linked around the world.
I assured her that if true, my in-box didn't reflect that scale by way of responses.
But a few responses I did get, and proceeded to pointlessly email hoop jump with a few women, and hung out with a few others and similiarly to the women I date in real life, my deliberate character and self aware taste seems to filter for women I will get along with, the same actually appears to be true on both sides. It's as if something about the qualities I'm attracted to and the qualities women find attractive in me, insures we are pre-screened us to get along. Maybe it's just my not being attracted to ditsy big breasted bimbos, and women not finding in me a typical board shorts wearing frat boy helps insure we will get along easily if nothing else.
Nothing specifically romantic blossomed (mostly because I started to get tangled in a real life romance that sort of diverted my attention) And so it was, all the women I met I had a pleasant time with, and I expanded my social network in the bay area, and am non the worse for the experience.
Now that I'm back up in the bay area, I sadly have much less face time with a piano. After a few weeks I started jonzing pretty bad, and began asking clerks at fancy hotel lobbies and in piano stores if i could play their pianos. To my surprise in most cases they were happy to oblige, and even appreciated the gesture. Which got me thinking if i might have any luck appealing to the interweb to satisfy one of my many whimsical cravings.
So I posted a Craig's list personal add under 'strictly platonic' to that end, and to my surprise got a couple of responses. One in fact from a charming attractive young UC Berkeley woman who even offered to teach me theory and songs etc. Whom I met up with and though we weren't allowed to use the piano room on campus at the time we instead took a rather lovely stroll through a hiking trail above the campus and had a really nice time.
All in all it was a surprisingly edifying experience, and taught me the internet is better at promoting real human interaction than i would have given it credit for.
I got nervous this week wondering if I missed a no talking Tuesday update somewhere along the way. But in reviewing the calendar for the last almost two years it seems that I'm still on track, so here is number ninety:
i need you to do something for me YES i need you juuun
to call my mom for me
but it's not that simple
you must ask her to email me my cousins address who's wedding i'm going to
i did but she rarely checks and i must laptop today
also though i have little faith in this part of the plan working: try to get the address from her over the phone,
but i anticipate some communication troubles with that
but between the phone dictation and email i think i can piece the right address together
not that cousin
his address in montana i'm going to have something mailed there
ask her to find out the address of my male cousin how are you doing jun?
will the po box be able to accept a package? i need to mail it out today, so i need to know if i can mail to this po box address and i can't call anyone today to figure this out
ask if she will confirm for me i can have a package delivered there or to a home address
can she call whatever number she wants to give me? i don't
i need to know today. so if she thinks that's the fastest way or her calling and finding out from whomever
thank you jun!
oh my sweet god. That might be the ambient occlusion artifacting at the edge of the u.v's. in the psd it is a different layer anyway so it\ should be a very easy fix. I didn't lay out the u.v's by the way. ok.
my guess is it will look fine once i edit out that dashed outline thing, but we can take a look at the model with the updated texture on it then and see if it's worth re exporting the ao map etc.
its a artifact from ambient occlusions out of mudbox, at the edge of u.v's
is edge bleeding on by default?
ok well it's a easy fix it will take like five minutes
but now that you fixed the overlap, i don't think the painting underneath is going to look distracting and its on the back of the head anyway. but we'll see from a render and if need be ill go back at it
i was 16
Do you have dark slide for mamiya medium format film back?
tofu and avocado if you want half feel free
I put it in now that networks back
no network connection? in any case it's ready
I'm leaving tomorrow at 4 to stay at my cousins place to leave for the airport in the morning
i bought a laptop today and it will be deliver to me while i'm in montana, if it comes soon enough i would love the chance to retreat from family drama to work, otherwise i can do some work the last few days of my trip
also the map is close to completion and is coming out very nice i can finish it up later if there is anything you want me to jump on right now?
It was a long, painful, epic, multi-climactic Odyssey. But at long last I have a record player. And it fits all my OCD'ishly audiophile requirements.
I now have a fantastic (as well as sexily sleek all black European version) Technics direct drive turn table, properly integrated with my awesome NAD amp and Event monitor speakers. The audio quality is shockingly amazing. Not only do you not hear any of the hissing, crackle, and pops associated with record players, but the sound comes through cleaner, with more warmth, subtlety, and precision than I ever had with CDs.
I decided to re-collect the most essential of my music library in pristine high quality 180 gram records. But so as to not get out of control as I often do, I'm limiting myself to the only the most essential of my music library. And only one album per artist/band.
In making the final cut, I evaluated each choice against the following criteria:
1. Listen to most often 2. Most enjoy listening to 3. Necessary for my emotional well being (most seizure inducing if I want to listen to but don't have ) 4. Most benefited by extra audio quality and warmth 5. Best for when I have a lady friend over
And here is the final cut. Roughly in order and grouped with most important at the top:
Broadcast The noise made by people Radiohead OK Computer The National Boxer The Sundays Reading Writing and Arithmetic Nick Drake Five Leaves Left Beatles Abbey Road Bach/Gould Partitas (or) Goldberg Variations 1981 Joy Division Unknown Pleasures Brian Eno Here Come the Warm Jets Kate Bush Hounds of Love Unwound Repetition (or) Leaves Turn Inside You Grouper Dragging a Dead Dear up a Hill Rachel's The Sea and Bells My Bloody Valentine Loveless
Belle and Sebastian If You're Feeling Sinister Vince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown Christmas Sigur Rós ( ) Boards of Canada A Beautiful Place Out in the Country Brian Jonestown Massacre Methodrone (or) Space Girl and Other Favorites Vincent Gallo When Múm Finally We Are No One (or) Summer Make Good The Sea and Cake Nassau Low Christmas (or) Long Division The Smiths Hateful of Hollow
Billy Holiday Blue Billie Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Waters Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Françoise Hardy The Yeh-Yeh Girl From Paris Michael Jackson Thriller Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde Brian Wilson Smile Leonard Cohen Songs of Leonard Cohen Jeff Buckley Grace Nina Simone Little Girl Blue Vashti Bunyan Just Another Diamond Day (or) Lookaftering The Mamas & The Papas If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears They Might be Giants Flood Coralie Clément Salle Des Pas Perdues John Lennon Imagine Charlotte Gainsbourg 5:55 Polaris Music From the Adventures of Pete & Pete
Even with all this devout organization, my first couple trips to the record store already found me buying multiple records of the same artist, and records not on the list... I'm so weak!
The last couple weeks I've been working until the early morning hours. What little free time I've had I've used to get myself into an emotionally tumultuous romantic drama, the less I speak of the better. My point is that these two things combined have given my recent staccato thoughts a shade of melencholy and anxiousness.
I hung out with a girl recently who said "I don't have time at this mo" Haha. did she say it ironically? Yea sort of I guess. it's kind of hard to tell with my generation. We can be ironic in earnest
I got this Bob Neuhart record recently where he has a bit about a couple of ex war soldiers guarding some remote outpost who were never informed the war was over he went on to imagine how funny it would be if they saw some tourists come down the road and think they are spies or something. But the initial premise of forgotten soldiers frozen in time isolated from the social and technological advances of the world around them seems really interesting.
I was asked a few months ago to write a cover letter for some reason I've forgotten but today I stumbled upon the email draft I never finished, I think at the time I aborted the more artsy version I was working on, and dashed off something clinical and professional. But this early draft bore evidence of my trying to engage in the task in a typically Ali-esque overly naive, earnest way. I thought I would finish it in that same manner:
I paint foxes and ghosts, photograph lonely trees and women who are far too cute for their own good.
I have worked as a concept, and visual effects artist for games, film, animation, comics, archaeological research and film.
My work explores the world of quite emotions. The ones we steep in for years, stain us to the core and slowly change us to the people we grow out of and into.
More simply I'm a philosopher of light, or more aptly still, a student of it. It's literally and figuratively how I see the world. Light is the transport of my quite emotions, that create and are created by me.
I met a girl at a party once who worked as a lighting designer for commercial spaces. I asked her what drew her to that line of work, she said after some deliberation "Sometimes I think light is the only truth in the world." It took everything inside me to keep from kissing her right then and there.
All this talk of truth and purpose got me going down this thought sequence:
truth is simple no truth is complex truth is simple but informed by infinite complexity no the reverse is true, truth is simple and gives rise to infinite variation and complexity it's naive to think truth exists as a fixed point its relative to the observer and is changed by the observer in the act of observation it's all semantic dead ends, as ultimately we define the concepts to make sense of something that exists as a whole not in modular pieces we use words to represent still the search is worthwhile because it develops our ability to understand things more systematically which is useful in observation and problem solving which is ultimately useful in helping us achieve the ends we define as important both in helping us identify those ends, and in their attainment but still we have a vague suspicion that truth exists independently of us and is complete so we give birth to god to represent the sphere of understanding outside of us but as society develops, god and what he represents is further marginalized, as our understanding expands still, the closer you get to the finish line, the more you are aware you are not in fact at the end, at least not yet so as our societies near an almost complete understanding of the universe, we become more painfully aware it is incomplete god has outlived his purpose in calming this anxiety so we reach for what we call "happiness" and it's attainment but happiness hasn't had the thousands of years to be codified as doctrine the way god and religion has so in the mean time we scurry around defining it for ourselves which for most is a transactive process like so much else something to be bought and sold earned or stolen, taken or given for others its a myriad of other things i guess that brings me to the end of this thought train...
These lines were inspired by the song Elephant Woman, by Blond Redhead:
Feed me from your heart cause an accident unfortunate tear myself through you my loose arms snag on your sharp brambles i shed no tears for broken me.
*There is a tip of the hat to my favorite Microphones song if you can spot it.
I wrote this for a girl a while ago. I closed my eyes and imagined her, and wrote whatever came to mind in blind uneven scrawl on the back of a scrap of mail on my desk:
we got back much too late our mouths stained wild with berries our hands sore with secrets we smile over in our sleep
I thought of her tonight as I felt an unusual craving for camomile tea. I'm a tea purist and don't believe in herbal teas But while I was with her in Paris I got in the habit of drinking camomile tea with her and her roommates at night huddled around each other in a dimly lit kitchen before bed there was something beautiful about that now when I come across camomile tea I no longer snobbishly turn it down and when I drink it I think of her and Paris and get a weird mix of emotions
I always argue that I'm impenetrable to moods that my feelings always exist in an objective, consistent space but right now I'm in a blue mood this much is certain there are many things to justify it at this particular moment but I've had similar trying moments where I've been able to maintain my characteristic jovial bearing but right now I feel an impulse to be destructive or be destroyed it's curious how foreign yet similar both impulses feel i think because sadness is about anxiety of the unknown and destruction whether it's inflicted or received has the satisfaction of resolution
I've been thinking about this episode of Married With Children where Al is obsessed with some long forgotten song he can't remember the name of. He tries to track it down to no avail until he finally gets down on his knees and prays to god to show a sliver of mercy for him and this one desire in his otherwise cursed miserable existence, and at that moment the jukebox in the room begins playing the song and he's able to buy the last remaining 7inch of it, of course before it gets destroyed at the end of the episode.
I've been thinking of this scene from Kids in the Hall where two French Canadian type hunters canoe through a urban office building setting traps and clubbing business men, the payoff at the end being that they sell the nice Armani suits and whatnot to a department store as they would beaver pelts to a colonial era merchant. The part of the scene that sticks with me though is where Kevin McDonald gets away by chewing through his leg and one of the hunters stops the other from perusing by saying in a calm admiring tone something to the effect of "No Francis, let him go, he has heart..."
I've been thinking recently about the Pete and Pete episode King of the Road where their Hoover dam odyssey is contrasted against a perfect rival family.
The scene from Vampire Hunter D Blood Lust where a vampire dies in the daylight to say goodbye to the mortal woman he loves and who loves him in return. The scene offered a really interesting reversal of the normal emotional composition of a vampire mercenary scene in that you had more sympathy for the villain and the damsel in distress, than for the hero, in fact the emotions in the scene all play in symmetrical inversion of what is expected.
I've been thinking of the film Gattaca and how in the future when you can select your child's genes, it will be possible to date people by fads in gene selection they bear evidence of. Much in the same way you can determine what year classic American cars are from by the shape and size of their headlights and presents of tail fins etc.
I love the scene in Punch Drunk Love where Adam Sandler confides in his sister's husband that he cries for no reason, then cries for no reason. Then his little remaining trust for that group of people is broken when his sisters husband tells his sisters, he smashes the patio window. Also later when the female lead tells him that she knew she was interested in him when she saw a photo of him as a boy surrounded by his sisters. I so perfectly imagined what that photo would have looked like with a sad little boy overwhelmed and surrounded by throngs of hyper little girls and how that might have appealed to her sympathies and mirrored the sentiment expressed in the prominently placed song in the soundtrack titled "He needs me."
Though I'm a big fan of Darren Aronofsky, I didn't like The Fountain at all. That being said I still have to own that the scene where his wife is in the bathtub and he talks with her after loosing his wedding ring is really incredible. The two parts I like in particular are where she notices his ring is missing and makes a bad joke "Just can't wait huh?" (Because she's dying of cancer) and he gets upset and gets up to leave. The expression on her face when she realizes her joke was in bad taste and pulls him back with this look of sadness and regret is so amazingly genuine. Also the way the heavy current of the scene is re directed to something light and playful when she drags him down into the bathtub fully dressed and they laugh together is really beautiful and plays through my mind on a almost weekly basis.
There is this amazingly good burn In the film Searching For Bobby Fisher. The boys father, annoyed to listen to his sons teacher complain to him that the boy spends too much time playing "that game" (chess) instead of studying or something. He responds to her by saying "My son is better at this game then you will be at anything in your entire life." It's a great scene but the idea he expresses in burning her is really intriguing and though it's been many years since I've seen the film I think about that line regularly.