super 888, unthanksgiving, and a stolen penguin

i admit the following :: i’ve been suffering from some writer’s block and it’s all your fault. well, not really, but kind of. it’s hard to say.

someone, actually someones, have told me recently that they ‘like the way i write.’ thank you, thank you, followed by *applause.* why did you have to tell me that? now here i am, tossing and turning in my bed thinking of things to write about and pictures to post and stories to tell. and i have nothing, but at the same time, i have everything. i’ve been feverishly (this, by the way, is my new favorite word – for a while there i was saying hodge podge’ a lot and decided that that term needed to be eliminated from my vocabulary because, really ? who says that with a straight face ?) – back to feverishly – writing down every last thought that comes into my head. i have papers strewn across my bedroom floor (along with clothes, drawings, prints, and nails apparently – i learned that last one the hard way when one of my roommates pointed out to me a small pool of blood circling my big toe) covered in my scrawled desperate handwriting. words, opinions, ideas, etc. and for some reason, even when i think of something i deemed great, something i truly wanted to write about, i didn’t. i can’t decide if it is because i am tired, lazy, busy, distracted, or buckling under the pressure of those six words: i like the way you write.

so, here i am. writing about the fact that i am not writing and it actually feels pretty good, save for the fact that it is two in the morning (now four fifteen) and i am exhausted. i also have a stomach ache, likely due to the pint of ice cream i just ate. okay, i didn’t actually have any ice cream, but i really wanted some so i suppose they are merely phantom pains.

first of all, i really want to talk about Super 888. Super 888 is my new favorite store. it can be found on Powell street and – hell, i forget the cross street – but it’s about four blocks from my house. the cross street, however, is only two blocks south of probably the best/most ridiculous street name ever: Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd. i’m not kidding. i am not sure where this street starts and ends. that sounds strange, but i only see this street sign when i am on Powell. i really think it only exists for a block. you walk to Mason (one block west) or Stockton (one block east) and it is suddenly Green street. how great is that ? it is understandable that that street name would only last a block because who wants to call their friend up and say, “hey [insert name here], let’s meet at the corner of Grant and Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd.” completely absurd – which is why i love that short lived street (name) so very much. in fact, i really wish i could tell people my address was 1247 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd. i have already scoured the block for ‘for rent’ signs, trust me. a person as ridiculous as me deserves to live on a street as ridiculous as that. plus, it’s closer to Super 888 than my current apartment and that is reason enough to relocate.

Super 888 is Chinatown’s version of a 99 Cent Store – and let me rant on 99 Cent Stores for a moment :: there are few things in a 99 Cent Store that actually cost 99 cents. it’s not fair. it’s a complete trap. they lure you in under the impression that the wrinkled five dollar bill in your pocket will provide you with five (likely) unnecessary items that for some reason you suddenly don’t just want, but need, to have. and before you know it, you walk out holding some silly accessory that you didn’t even want in the first place and it cost $3.99. so, now you’re money is gone and you are hereby a victim of the ever elusive 99 Cent Store.

when i first stumbled upon Super 888, i didn’t realize it was Chinatown’s 99 Cent Store because the name Super 888 does not exactly imply, “shop here for cheap sh*t!” – but we were out of paper towel and i saw they had some so i wandered in. in all honesty, i would have likely wandered in anyway because the store is all the things i love :: tiny (as in you can’t squeeze two people into an aisle), packed to the ceiling with unnecessary items, and extremely colorful. as it turns out, Super 888 was not an elusive 99 Cent Store. although most things are not 88 cents, they are 98 cents – but that my friends is one whole penny cheaper (!) than those damn 99 Cent Stores. you can buy dish soap for 98 cents. you can buy a 3 pack of scotch tape for 98 cents. you can buy a sturdy mug or glass for 98 cents. you can even buy a very cute pair of gloves for 98 cents. there are items that do, naturally, cost more than 98 cents. but i can forgive them for this because A. there are so many things that do cost 98 cents B. i wouldn’t expect a rice cooker to cost 98 cents and C. regardless of the price, everything ends in an 8. $2.38. $1.98. $4.58. and the cost of the more expensive items are still far far cheaper there than they would be at any Walgreens or Safeway or, you know, a 99 Cent Store.

so, if you ever decide to come and visit me – i’ll take you there (only if you are on your best behavior) – and i think it may be for the best that i can’t recall the cross street because Super 888 feels like my little secret treasure trove and being the selfish human being that i am, i’d like to keep it that way.

so, i just mentioned the idea of relocating (for not only a street name, but also a 98 Cent Store), but i can’t move. it’s not an option. it just will not happen because i am too damn happy where i am. my room may not have an ounce of air flow (thank god for oscillating fans) and it may be no bigger than the average hamster cage (my ‘closet’ is truly laughable), but i have such an amazing living environment thanks to the three amazing people i live with. i remember when i first moved in, i felt a little out of sorts. how close are you supposed to get to three complete strangers ? clearly, you get close enough since you are sharing bathrooms, showers, a kitchen, and living spaces. i remember keeping my door firmly shut (to my cat’s dismay) for the first couple weeks i was there – feeling somehow fearful of having it open and feeling exposed to three people who (at the time) were neither friends nor family – just three people who i happened to find on Craigslist. and it wasn’t because i didn’t like them. i liked all three of them a great deal from the first time i met them. and they are all such different people, too (our household really runs the gamet in terms of personalities and cultures – i’m German born, then there’s a guy from France, a girl from Greece, and another guy from Italy).

what was i so afraid of ? i consider myself on the verge of being a crazy person. i’m eccentric. i’m, as many have told me, ‘different’ (whatever that means – compliment or insult? i take it as both). my walls are covered in art. i painted a calendar (in neon yellow) on my wall. i have a turtle swimming around in a 20 gallon tank. i have a cat who doesn’t stop meowing and who’s litter box resides in my closet (gross, i know). i have a big white shag carpet. a tiny single mattress on the floor with painfully colorful bedding. i have a mountain of pillows on my bed. i constructed a bedside table out of cardboard and my box of scrabble. i have trinkets everywhere and clothes cover the floor (along with those nails i told you about before). thanks to the nail i discovered, i now also have some blood on my white shag carpet (gross, i know). i was somewhat terrified that if one of these three random strangers peeked into my bedroom, a.k.a. my world of crazy, they would shudder. they would think what a huge mistake they had made in choosing me to live there..

so time has passed and i’ve now been here for just over six weeks. i now prefer to leave my door open so that not only my cat, but also my roommates, may come and go as they please. i love their company and we laugh. we laugh a lot. we talk about everything and anything. there are no secrets in this house, nay, this home. because that’s what it is now. it’s a home. and a d*mn good one at that. i just spent one of the best thanksgivings of my life with them. we had anywhere from 12-15 people come and go over the course of the day. there was not a turkey or bowl of cranberry sauce in sight – only dishes from our respective homelands. we boycotted the whole ‘turkey’ thing and had the best ‘UnThanksgiving’ i could have asked for and, well, i am so thankful for it. oh, we also made a trip to safeway together on wednesday to stock up for the big feast and i may or may not have stolen what became our thanksgiving mascot. a wooden penguin that we named,’Turkey.’

i have so much ART RELATED GOODIES pending. consider this post my way of purging my writer’s block. consider it a filler. consider it a story of sorts. consider it a waste of time. consider it whatever the h*ll you want to consider it, but know that my next post – which will be within the week – will be chock full of splendiferous art related projects, ideas, inspiration, and the like. until then, i hope you all enjoyed your turkey induced comas and time spent with family and/or friends. happy (un)thanksgiving from Year of the Pig Studio !

[misc. google images, iPhone photo]

jessi

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1 Comment

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

One response to “super 888, unthanksgiving, and a stolen penguin

  1. I notice the store you so dearly love is actually called 99 cent Sores – which could explain quite a few of your observations in the store – mmmm love the post and wish I could send mail to someone on Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd – maybe that is where Michael Jackson came up with the name “Blanket” for one of his children – and yes I too like the way you write – it’s like being invited to join your world for a short time – it’s like a ride on a merry-go-round!

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