Surf Ninja, shyly trying to ride th…

Surf Ninja, shyly trying to ride the waves (and not drown in the process)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

[not a “light” read]

So it seems that I’ve been on a ridiculous emotional rollercoaster lately, and I think it’s because I’ve been working myself too hard. I need to relax. I work all day, then get off and stress myself out on all sorts of other projects. On top of that, emotions seem to have been piling up overwhelmingly, one minute I’m great, the next I’m terribly down. I have been getting a lot done lately, and some really good things have been happening lately, and so have some really bad things, but that’s life. It sounds corny to type it, but I feel I need to just relax and go with the ups and downs better. It reminds me of when I was drowning on Sandy’s beach. A friend (and native to Hawaii) was teaching me how to surf. He didn’t understand that I had never ever encountered waves before. So he took me to the most dangerous beach in all of Hawaii. Things were great for about ten minutes, but then a huge set of waves came, literally I had never seen anything like them, they were three or four times bigger than any of the waves up unto that point. Sandy’s crashes right on the beach, and every time a wave would hit it would slam me against the sand and the undercurrent would press down preventing me from being able to breathe or move. When the wave would leave I tried to fight my way back onto the beach, but would get tackled by the wave again, and then dragged a little bit further into the ocean. What I didn’t know at the time was that everyone else had swum into the ocean where the waves were tepid. They just waited the set out in.

So there have been some sad things in my life lately that I’m having trouble dealing with, but I’d rather just mention what?s been good lately.

I’m renting a dream pad in the mission. I love it here, in this area, more so than anywhere else I have lived. It’s just an instant affinity I feel whenever I ride around the neighborhood. I know many of the storeowners already, and feel well accepted. The house itself is ideal too. Already furnished, low low rent, and I live here by myself. The guy that rents it to me uses it for work during the day, and then stays at his girl?s house in the evening.

Work has been going better, but I still hate it, and I’m doing as much as I can to avoid having a real job next year. I had an audition today at the York Hotel for a new burlesque show they are opening. I did a yo-yo routine and gave some ideas for routines with other performers and COMPLETELY FUCKING NAILED THE AUDITION. Lately, and I don’t know why, I have been able to bring forth great confidence for business meetings. I have been able to fake it before, but now, often when it matters the most, I can bring out this side of myself that often surprises me. Confident, cool, sexy, even well postured and doesn’t stutter or mumble. Last weekend I had a meeting with a newspaper publisher that was planning on starting to publish in the city and I just totally had him eating out of my hand. Where this personality hides within me, and why its not there most of the time is still hard to figure out.

I have two cool things planned for next month, one is a meeting with McSweeney’s/826 Valencia about a volunteer position, the other is a marketing proposal for a large liquor company.

The McSweeny’s thing is a cartoonist workshop that I’m setting up through 826 Valencia creative writing project. They seem as psyched as I am, the format is still unknown mostly, but it will probably be like a 6-week course taught by myself and some other volunteers from the Cartoonist Conspiracy (actually I’m giving the Conspiracy credit for the classes). The goal I believe is to publish some of the works by each artist in the class. I wont be teaching how to draw, just how to make a comic, how the eye moves, and give some feedback/advice.

The liquor thing is a very very big deal! It is the start of me being more aggressive with my talents, all of which up to this point I have completely squandered. If they accept my offer, it will mean me overseeing a large project over three months in San Francisco, with a few employees under my belt. I’m not going to say anything about it other than; there would be enough money involved for me not to have a day job. The best part is, the idea is GOLD. If this company feels they can’t afford it, I’ll move onto the next one. But I do hope this group goes for it.

So now I wait for a call from The York. I feel confident they will call; I hope I can move that confidence when it comes time to tell them how much I expect per show ($350).
It feels good to talk about all the stuff going on lately, I almost forgot to mention the two things that have been really been a key source to my happiness lately. The first is my new friend Temi that has been a big inspiration/conspirator/friend to talk to I’ve been sad or lonely. The other is my art, which I feel lately has been improving so much, and it’s been bringing me such happiness. My next comic book is not coming along very well, but I am working on a zine all about sex.. Excuse me, I mean all about SEX. Speaking of which I have an interview Thursday morning with a prostitute at 7am. Who the fuck is up at 7am? I wake up at 7:30 and I’ve got a day job! What the fuck? On my day off I scheduled a meeting at 7?! Damn.

Did I mention I need to take more time to relax lately?

My First Train

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Riding on my first train, this is too damn cool. I’m going to sit on the top level, lots of room, and a bunch of empty seats, yeah baby; I‘ll take the window and the isle.

Ok, my first thought is, “Whoa, each seat has a power outlet.”
Second thought, “I’m never going to fly again.”
Third “‘Shouldn’t we be moving faster?”
Fourth “There?s a caf? car on this thing?”
Fifth “I could walk faster than this thing is moving, no wonder it takes 14 hours to get to San Francisco.”
Sixth “Hey, if I walk forward while the train is in motion, I’d be moving twice the speed of the train. I could get to L.A. in like an hour that way.”
Seventh “Oh yeah? I’d run out of train cars to walk on.”

Now we are going through some sort of mountain path. On the last turn I could see the front of the train. It’s a rainy day, but the view is still magnifique. Actually, this is the first time is rained in San Diego in over 180 days. Now we are through the mountains and riding right along the coast. All the little creeks on the east side of the track are full of muddy rainwater. I guess they are calling this flood weather.

Pulling up to Solona Beach Station, it looks very Wright inspired. New passengers, some honey?s walking by me like “Check out that handsome Midwestern fellow eating Krispy Kremes and Budweiser.”

Yeah that’s what I?m eating for lunch, don’t judge me. They don’t serve this stuff on planes; I’m just enjoying the train ride.

Note for travelers, the Busy Signals make great traveling music when riding northbound beside the Pacific Ocean.

Hey, now were moving, yeah. “Fuck Solana Beach, let’s get out of here.” Maybe the conductor has to pee or something.

People shouldn’t use cell phones in these things, but since the lady behind me is talking so loud I have no option but to listen in. “Whatever, I’ll stay another month or two.” she says in a thick accent, “Life is cold.” Is that a Russian accent? Sounds very mono-slavic. Cool, she just worked “the struggle against death’s clock and bleak eternity” into a casual sentence casually. I think she’s booking a flight somewhere.

Golly this is fun, why don’t I just take a train all the way to San Francisco? Oh yeah, it takes 10 times as long as an airplane ride and costs about the same. I miss my bike.

I’ve moved seats now. I decided to find that prick that cut ahead of me in line at the ticket line and sit in the seat in front of him. Ha-ha motherfucker, I’m getting to L.A. before you! I bet he’ll realize it soon, and get pissed of.

Whoa! A train just whizzed right by us. That was actually sort of scary. Next stop Irvine, Now we seem to be pretty inland. They say that because of the atmospheric pressure, one drink in a plane is equivalent to two on the ground? So I should buy another beer. Luckily these doughnuts came in pack of two.

That dude got off in Irvine; I bet he was really pissed when he noticed I got there right before him.

There are military bases all over California. These buildings look pretty old, I bet those hangers over there were actually built for aero-zeppelins. That?s so cool, now that must have been a great way to travel. If I could go back in time anywhere, I?d want to go back and ride in a zeppelin. Pure luxury. And they would actually dock on skyscrapers; can you imagine looking up and seeing one of those floating over your apartment? Hell, they were practically floating buildings themselves, just put on their side.

I wonder if that guy noticed I got to Irvine before he did.

Those girls that passed me earlier just walked by again. I must have misread their looks before, cause that was more like a “That balding Kerouac needs to lay off the donuts” look. Hmmm? They must be upset that I’m technically going to reach LA before they do.

We are coming into L.A. now, and for the first time I’m seeing graffiti along the line. The thing is, this isn’t just graffiti, these are the pieces I’ve seen for years and years. In magazines, graf vids, internet sites. This is some of the stuff that I’ve been seeing for a long time, but it’s all here. It’s so weird, its like running into Tom Waits and Ron Jeremy in the same day (which I’m only mentioning cause I actually did), but some of these pieces are like celebrities to me. I can’t believe they are all so close to each other, I’ve never seen this part of LA before. How cool. I guess this is the end of the trip, what a fun ride.


Leaving San Diego Tuesday, October 19, 2004 I’ve …

Leaving San Diego
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I’ve been out in this town for six weeks and I’m feeling glad to leave, though not really sure what I’m going to be doing when I get back to Minneapolis.

San Diego is a beautiful city, with the most diverse geography I’ve ever scene, at least the parts that aren’t all covered up with military bases and strip malls. If I could move everyone from minneap/st. paul to this little tropical local then stuff would be heck-a pleasant, word.
So, today is my last day working on this yoyo tour for hasbro, and I hate the feeling I have right now. Originally I was asked to work for three full months.. The timing was good, my girlfriend Rhea and I had just broken up after living together for over a year, and a three month tour was a great way to avoid dealing with it. So the tock is clicking, and I can’t wait to get back to minneapolis, but I really feel at this moment I’ve got so little to go back to. Rhea was my only good friend, and I don’t know where I’m going to stay. I’ve already accepted a position at Pulse, so at least the job thing is covered. I’ve never felt so friendless and alone as I do right now right here.

Before I go back home I’m gonna travel up the coast. I’ve got a friend in San Fran that’s got a nice pad in the Mission to stay at for as long as I want. My plan is to avoid coming back to the midwest for as long as I can.
At this moment, the two things I most look forward to are riding my single speed again and eating breakfast at the Seward Cafe…. And the International Cartoonist Conspiracy get togethers…. and the College for the Easily Amused meetings… But mainly riding my bike again, I fucking hate riding my car everywhere, I’m so spoiled.

I left minneapolis on a real creative high, I hope that continues when I get back, I haven’t had time for anything in my life out here. I had plans of returning with a new mini comic book finished, some short stories, and an album’s worth of beats on my fancy ass laptop.
Since I’ve been out here, I have had no time for anything, the little time I had off I spent in the ocean, I am gonna miss that. Waters real cold here, but makes me miss the swells in Hawaii. Speaking of, I found this great restaurant in town called Da Khine, if your ever in SD, check it out, I’ll give you some good directions, just be sure to get the Kulua Pig and Cabage with the macaroni side. Okay, so I guess I’m going to miss San Diego a little, but I never could find anyone to talk to, they just watch a lot of tv here. I guess its like anything else, there’s parts of MSP that would give me a bad impression of the cities.

So by the length of this thread I guess its pretty obvious how much I wish I had someone to talk to. I feel like I’m just exploding with convo.. But who the hell am I gonna call at 12:30 am west coast time… Thats 2:30am real people time.

At the very end of this, I’m very glad this is over, and I’m really glad I did it. What an awesome experience. The folks I’m working with here are such cool personalities, of course all yoyo pros would be. I’m really psyched about seeing my friends Meredith, David, and Kiya in San Fran, and I can’t wait to get back and make some new friends in the Twin Cities. As well as renew my friendship with Rhea, but right now I think we need to take some heavy time off and start all over, rediscover our friendship and non of the relationship guck.

Okay, not so much "new" as they are "new to you". …

Okay, not so much “new” as they are “new to you”.