Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holidays in the Mission

One of my roommates came upon this Holiday Hours sign at one of my favorite coffee spots in the city, Four Barrel. That's the holiday spirit I like.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Can't Wait for the Weekend

There are few bands out there that will automatically put me in a good mood no matter what. I remember riding in a car with a friend of mine and writing them off initially because of their silly name...Vampire Weekend. what?
It didn't take more one listen from their first album to be immediately hooked. Originally from New York, they released their first album in 2007. Mid January the follow up, Cousins, comes out. It's been a long time coming but I think it will be worth the wait.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wild About Charley

Every year in December I go out and buy a new calendar. As per usual excitement spirals into disappointment when presented with corny options. Calendars with cuddly creatures and bland landscapes are abundant. It's harder to find more clever and unique ones these days. Although I think I'm probably just not looking in the right place. Online shopping I think would be the way to do it.
When I was about to settle for one that didn't speak to me I came across a Charley Harper calendar. For those who might not be familiar, he is an american modernist artist, who died only a couple of years ago. He's best know for his stylized portayal of wildlife, using shapes, patterns, bold colors and textures in simple yet engaging ways. Take a look!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Personal

I like to think that I'm pretty good at keeping in touch with friends who have moved away. After 6 years in this city I have accrued friends all over the globe. If only there was enough money to pay y'all a visit.
Sometimes though, laziness, procrastination and random life events get in the way of staying close with those who are a mere miles away. On what was otherwise a miserable weekend, (where I gained a new appreciation for jello) I got back in touch with an old friend who is an amazing illustrator. Her work has been featured in several magazines like the Times and Mother Jones.
These are my favorites from her website devondoss.net This lady I have known for years and have always been in awe of her talent and imagination. I'm happy to say I have one of her creations forever tattooed on my forearm. And I'm ready for the next one..but before then a dinner date. There's alot of catching up to do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Know Where You Are

I found this on the Mission Mission blog, a San Francisco Terror Map by David Enos. Apparently from what I can figure out I live in the Creature Cantina...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cross Processing

Some pictures here from a roll of cross processed diana shots. There will definitely be more in the future because I'm kind of in love with the intense colors and contrasts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Taken by Trees

Although Animal Collective has been around for years now, they were one of my favorite new discoveries this year with Merriweather Post Pavillion. I recently came across this cover by swedish artist Taken By Trees. Animal Collective's My Girls switches genders and becomes more relaxed in this version called My Boys. A damn good cover I say.

Appealing Design

When down and out and faced with only $10 or so dollars to buy a bottle of wine...how do you choose?
Well seeing as most in that price range are similar in quality what better way to experiment than based on the design of the label. Paying no heed to whether it's cabernet or pinot or the age or it's origin, you can come across some pleasant surprises.
One of my roommates surprised me one day with this bottle. I honestly can't remember if it was superior wine or not, I remember it not being bad. I went and bought another bottle of the same kind later.
But could you resist such a whimsical yet simple design?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jumping Ryan Gosling's Bones

Thanks to my friend Betty Danger the other night I found myself at Bimbos in North Beach going to see Dead Man's Bones. I had never heard of them before, but I was in as soon as she told me it was Ryan Gosling's band. So yeah I went initially for the eye candy (which did not disappoint in the least!) and was presently surprised to find talented musicians and a great show.
Their band has a ghostly theme, with a painted set of a graveyard in the background. Perfect for Halloween their show was a spooky theater production of sorts. Another unique aspect of it is that they include a children's local choir from each city they tour in. These kids were dressed in white cloaks and had skull faces painted on them.
It was a fun, whimsical show where there was talent to spare and I must say Ryan Gosling oozes charisma.
There is more info about the band and how their idea came about in this Pitchfork article http://pitchfork.com/news/34432-meet-dead-mans-bones-ryan-gosling-and-zach-shields/ and here is a video to boot!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Night Time on the Bridge

So I know there's probably a billion pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge by now, as it's probably one of the most photographed landmarks ever. Enough already! But walking it for the first time at night with ghostly fog surrounding it was definitely quite an experience. These were some of the standout pics.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Tight Change of Heart

Scandanavian artist El Perro del Mar recently released a new album Love is Not Pop, of which "Change of Heart" is one of the catchiest songs. I found the video for the song, which is kind of amazing. How do these guys do it?! I wonder how long they had to practice to get it all right and in one shot. Take that Beyonce!

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Album

His new album is out October 27th...can't wait.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Neighborhood SF

Last week I went to an art opening at 111 Minna Gallery, where the show was NeighborhoodSF. A collection of art from local artists who were given the task to represent the different neighborhoods in San Francisco. A lot of people and some very cool art.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Street Art de Chile

In South America, Sao Paolo is considered the epicenter for graffiti and street art. But, I'm proud to say that Santiago isn't far behind.
Two years ago I went to visit and was able to hang out in Barrio Bellavista, which is known for being the bohemian party neighborhood. But I also found here a place rich in vibrant grafitti and artwork. Graffiti and stencil art is present all over Santiago, but in this borough there's a large concentration as virtually every house serves as a canvas.
While the muralist brigades in Chile don't have a set aesthetic, political fires fuel their inspiration. I suppose that is part of graffiti, being a reactionary form of art. A way of protesting in a peaceful manner.
Big issues that are seen in the mural art in Chile are the countries divide in relation to Pinochet-Allende, our September 11th coup, globalization, rebelling against authority and social norms, the marginalized people's neverending struggle against poverty, among so many other social issues that affect the country.
These are some of the pictures of the street art I took.

The Birds

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vintage is Lost

After finding the previous piece one thing lead to another and I came across several "vintage" Dharma Initiative ads. Pretty fucking cool.

Lost Design

In trying to quench my Lost thirst, (it's only been 2 months since the 5th season finale and I still have to make it all the way to next year for next season!) I stumbled upon this ridiculously awesome awesome poster from british designer, Olly Moss.
16 top artists were commissioned to create work celebrating the series' most unforgettable, standout moments. There is limited number of each work and they will not be reprinted (this one is already sold out). I haven't come across the others but will be on the look out. In true Lost fashion the others are mysteriously hidden and will be revealed through time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Summer (Still Not Enough)

The summer movie season in the US is known pretty much for blockbusters, action and adventure flicks whose sole reason for being is pure entertainment and popcorn fun. It seldom seems moviemakers can marry entertainment with something actually smart and clever (thank you JJ Abrams for Star Trek, curse you makers of Transformers, which I refuse to see and looks downright inane). So, often when looking for a bit more substance we must seek out movies that do not have the "Made in America" tag.
But there are hidden gems in the rough.
My by far favorite movie this summer and in a while was (500)Days of Summer. A story about love, not be confused with a love story (enough of those). Wry, clever, moving, relatable and charming, due in large part to the non linear narrative and it's main stars, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.
The films glides along smoothly, aided by a fresh soundtrack and I have to mention the awesome, tongue in cheek dance routine to the Hall and Oates' "You Make My Dreams Come True".
For those of us who left the theater thirsty for more I came upon this. Because you can never get enough Summer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Circling the Drain (Appropiate Response)

After leaving Chile to live so far away I often considered what I would do if one of the members of my family I was closest to would become sick or die. Would I get on a plane and rush down? It's a day or so of flight time and the ticket is a bit more than say, going down to San Diego. What would that phone call be like? What would it feel like?
Well wonder no more.
Last October I wrote a mini short about one of my aunts who raised me during my teen years Chile, who had suffered a severe stroke and was paralized and probably not going to recover. Well she did for a while only to worsen again a few days ago.
I received some emails from cousins updating on her condition and now it seems nothing but a miracle can save her.
I called my cousin I'm closest to, she was in the hospital and needless to say it was an awkward conversation at best.
I remained silent most of the time, which isn't really proper phone etiquette. Since you can't see the person, you need some kind of acknowledgement that they are still on the line. But what do you say? What is the proper response?

Her condition has only gotten worse, for the last 2 days she's been vomiting blood and her condition is so fragile that the doctors can't even perform the appropriate exam to determine where the internal bleeding is coming from.


She's at peace, she's ready. She called us all in and said her goodbyes one by one. We talked for 3 hours or so. She said she loves you very much. She said she wants to leave what little she has to you. She says she'll always be with us.

A gasp, then more silence.

Are you there?

Yes, I'm here.

The doctors say if she makes it through the night there might still be hope. But it doesn't seem likely.

I see.

Except I don't. I don't see. I don't see what you can possibly say to a conversation like that. What the correct response is. What the fuck do you answer, when someone tells you a person you care about is circling the drain and has been coughing up blood for the last couple of days? And you can't even go and say goodbye? Or support and comfort everyone else who is being put through the ringer?
Worst of all how do you end the conversation?

Yeah I'll call you later and check up. If you talk to her again before...if you talk to her later can you tell her I love her?

Then you hang up. When you hang up you're transported back to your cozy room in your San Francisco apartment. You hear your roommate laughing upstairs. Gone is the hospital, gone is your heartbroken family who is...waiting. Waiting for her to die.
Such a large distance plays such an important role. It's all happening so far away it almost isn't real. There's really no one you can really share this with. No one knows this person. She doesn't exist in your reality. So you can't really mourn her if she dies. Can you? It's such a bizarre mix of emotions bubbling up in that dark cauldron.
After reeling from probably one of the most intense phone conversations ever I got up from my chair and continued my day as usual. Running errands and preparing dinner. There's this strange feeling of cheating. Because I'm so far and not there, there's this odd sensation of feeling like a flake. I was supposed to be somewhere for something important but didn't go. Maybe also of being robbed.
So the day is coming to a close as every other day has. Except that it's different because someone I only know is dying or might have died already. For everyone in Chile everything will change. For me...very little.
There's not much to do except wait for the next phone call...I think a drink is order. It's suddenly really cold...perhaps a hot toddy.

Previously Occupied

Circles and Lines

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cities of Romance

n trying to find the Natalie Portman short (my favorite) from Paris, Je' taime and update it on an older post I wound up deleting the post entirely. So here I'm raising it again because I just like it that much.
After Paris, Je'taime, will come sometime in the near future New York, I Love You, which I am quite excited about. I've become a sucker for any story set in NYC. Not so interested in anything set in eternally sunny LA.
There was a long time last year when I fantasized about moving to NYC, and finding myself anew admist neon lights, skyscrapers, manhattans and endless, moving, concrete roads. While the possibility has never gone away, I've since decided to stay in San Francisco, at least for a while longer. My love for this city has only grown stronger and in the past few weeks of shakespearean woes, random strangers brought to my attention just how lucky I am.
I was doing laundry with my roommate at the Starwash Laundrymat, which is around the corner from our house. As we were there piling clothes in the drier with our frizzy hair and frumpy, laundry day outfits, tourists came in to take pictures of the laundrymat. Its a cute, tiny, clean laundry mat that is plastered to the ceiling with pictures of old stars from the days of black and white.
My roommate and I looked at each other and had to comment on how amazing it is that we live in such a place and do our laundry where others come to purposefully take pictures. I walked in dirty and came out feeling grateful once again.
So yes, I have a long term relationship with SF, and happy to have NYC as long distance lover.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dark Puppetry

simple and beautiful.


About a month ago I went out on a little photo shoot around the alleys in the Mission with my talented musician friend Featherword, for pictures for his upcoming new album. This is the result for a sample cd.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Than Meets the Eye

On NPR tonight I stumbled upon quite an interesting article about a new exhibit at The California Museum of Photography about blind photographers. The exhibit is called Sights Unseen. I suppose I never considered the idea, yes there are deaf musicians (hello Beethoven), so this lead me to research more about the subject.
Quite an impressive feat. But I also wonder.
Leaving the learning curve behind, of being able to see and appreciate your finished product and learn from perhaps poor composition and lighting and all the other nuances that make an interesting picture, there is an element of luck...of serendipity.
Dark room aside, if it isn't studio photography where all the elements are in place to reach a desired result. If it's candid or documentary, many times luck falls into place, especially when not shooting digital, when you can't just erase and retake a picture endlessly. So many times I've had the camera in my hand and have constructed the picture in my mind as I take it only to yield poor and boring results. Other times it will be a haphazard picture that will be the most impressive.
This is why photography is such an adventure in itself. You never really know what you will get, how pictures will turn out. I suppose you could say that about any art form, but when I go to galleries or flip through art books only photography will illicit real goosebumps.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Of Bees and Men

"The bees have a society, but maybe not a government. Their affect makes them seem happy, but how could they be? They're either buzzing toward a burden or burdened buzzing home; if they're light, they want to be heavy, if they're heavy they want to be light. Such yearning."
- excerpt from Report from the
Committee on Town Happiness
by Alan Michael Parker

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Destruction - Catharsis

Also, lately I've been wanting to do this...but with more fury.

The Hallway by Miranda July

The Hallway from The Hallway on Vimeo.

I found this tonight as I was surfing the web and sipping some wine in my room with no desire to leave. I really like it. If you go to her website you will find haters and lovers commenting on this video. I guess she is one of those love them or hate them artists. A strong reacion either way is better than no reaction, I suppose. Plus, who really wants to be loved by everyone anyway. Boring!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Live Shows

It's been a great season for live shows in SF...in the past few months I've been able to see some of my favorite musicians performing at great venues. The latest two Little Joy and Camera Obscura put on wonderful shows. There's truly nothing like going to a live show. The energy from the band, the sound, live instrumentation and vocals, and when the band plays your all time favorite song it's on!

Artfag Potluck

This past sunday afternoon I joined some fellow fags for some good eating and creative mind melding. It was an awesome experience. The turnout was about 30 or more of us, the majority in the mid twenty to early thirty age range. Several people I knew were there and alot of familiar faces from the more alternaqueer "scene".
Arrival was around 5 where everyone preceded to share their dishes, drinks and mingle. Space in an old Victorian in the upper Haight became tight but made it all the more cozy. After an initial warm up, our gracious hosts welcomed us to the first Artfag Potluck, hoping it will be a monthly event and turned the show over to the presenters.
Included in the Show and Tell portion of the evening was audio (several This American Life style shorts about people in San Francisco with odd jobs. The pieces where "The Masturbation Coach", "The Jizz Mopper", a woman who waxes people for a living and makes SF a smoother place "one strip at a time."
Also presented was some still life, charcoal paintings and mixed media.
The final piece was a 20 min. video called In Their Room. This focused on readers of BUTT Magazine, in their rooms, with the doors closed, capturing an intimate, erotic, often vulnerable portrait of men when they are alone and what the enjoy doing in their bedrooms.
The evening progressed quickly in a current of artistic ideas, projects and potential collaborations.
There was something quite wonderful about being among peers, fellow queers, progressive and artistic thinkers. I didn't eat that much despite an enviable spread nevertheless I left feeling pretty full and already looking forward to the next potluck.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I'm sitting in my kitchen waiting for this bread pudding to cook. I'm making it for an Artfag Potluck I'm going to tomorrow. I should be more excited about it. It's going to be a good way to build more of a community and establish more connections with my queer artist brethren (which happily, this city is bountiful in).

I wasn't even going to write about this, because...well it's alot more personal than I usually am on here. But what is a blog if not a place to write your thoughts and and share your mind.

I guess what I'm sitting here thinking about as my pudding heats and bubbles in the oven is the fact that I might have an unwelcome guest...

You arrived so suddenly! Funny thing is you had been crashing a while before I even realized you were around. I didn't invite you so I got rid of you fast.

But now I think you might be back. Something is weird, a bit off. It's painful. Physically painful. That's the way you announced your arrival before, so I'm scared you've returned.

As much as I try to not think about you coming back it's all it's all I've been able to think about these past few days. Every thing and every part of my day I'm tense because I can feel you coming back. I think you might already be here.

I really want to think that I'm being paranoid. That a part of me is just freaking because of your last visit and what a mess I had to clean up after you left. I didn't realize you left such a dissaray until I started having nervous breakdowns while picking up the pieces. What a trip that was.

And now here I am again. I'm going on monday hopefully to see if anybody has seen you come through town. I really hope they don't. I think part of the reason I'm writing this is because I want to be proven wrong and look back at this and laugh at how silly and paranoid I was. That you got the message the first time and now know you're not welcome.

I just don't know that I can deal with the fact that you might want to come back...best not to think about that and figure it out if/when you do...

In the meantime I wonder if I should clean my room, just in case.

Hmmm, I'll finish this glass of wine first, because tonight I need it.

Friday, June 5, 2009