Category Archives: illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

a mix of painting, drawing, typography, textures
& collage. this is where my imagination really runs rampant, particularly if it’s oil paint. oil paint makes my world go round. began doing it 12 years year when i was sixteen. i love the smell of oil paints and all of the mediums that come with it (well aware of the safe hazards).

a tangent

it’s been four months (four too [f*cking] many) and two days since i last posted on here. i have written entries during this radio silence, but upon later inspection, those entries were mediocre at best. writing an entry from the confines of another home or a coffee shop just, well, it sucks. my creative juices tend to evaporate and i am usually left listening to those around me sip overpriced lattes whilst one-hit-wonder hipster songs play over head (it’s even hard to avoid if you wear a set of headphones which i tend to not wear because i feel antisocial enough and somewhat rude as it were trapped in my world of keyboard-ness). oh and happy new year and merry holidays, by the way! i’ve been so damn neglectful of my dear readers. apologies all around!

YOTPS4

i have not had my own personal desktop computer (i do not own a laptop) online since July. the hiatus was fine and at times quite pleasant (it’s a stellar excuse for missing emails, online bill payments, and the like – though i would never encourage that sort of behavior!). but it has also been a giant pain in the ass a bit frustrating because i realized just how dependent i (let’s face it, we) have become on this interweb luxury that we all take for granted. i have a smart phone, too. so it’s not as if i’ve been living in a remote part of the world without any electronics or ways to “reach” the inter-land. and for the record, i do find it quite pathetic just how exuberant i became yesterday when i realized that my own said smart phone (which i have had well before july) can, with a simple slide of a button on it’s delicate interface, become a “hotspot.” i.e. forget calling your local internet providers for service, just scour your phone for the hotspot option and slide the grey “no” to the blue “yes” and poof! you can get your computers, kindles, ipads, itampons (those exist now, right?) online anywhere, anytime ! hello 2013. my name is jessi and i am a complete dumbf*ck when it comes to technology. it doesn’t matter if i can operate photoshop with my eyes closed, that’s about as far as it gets for me and my competence of computers or really anything that has an extension cord, not to mention an operating system (or OS as you nerds technologically competent folks like to say).

there was a point in my life (as i am sure many people in my generation have encountered as well when computers and cell phones became what we now know them as) wherein i truly thought i was smarter than my parents merely because they appeared to have no clue about how to operate said smart phones, computers, or other new electronic gadgets. coming from a family with a father who worked at microsoft for upwards of 20 years, you’d think some tech-y gene would have landed inside my frontal lobe or where ever things like that land. au contraire, mon frère. my father has little to no understanding of technology and how it actually works, he doesn’t even own a cell phone and i’ve witnessed him, on many occasions, get so fed up with his collection of remote controls i fear they could, without warning, become the victim of his wrath by being thrown across a room or simply yelled at rather ferociously for being so stupid, those poor verbally abused inanimate objects. my mother, however, has a smart phone, an ipad, and a laptop and it’s reached the point where i truly believe she knows more about these gadgets than i do. in fact, when i was home in seattle last june for a best friend’s baby shower, i really wanted to watch a dvd at my mom’s house and we ended up watching television instead because neither us could figure out how to make the damn tv and dvd player align with one another. it was at this point i really had to reevaluate my own understanding of anything electronic. i could blame it on the fact that i haven’t had the luxury of a dvd and tv for over two years(therefore “out of practice”?, but let’s face it. i am a self proclaimed idiot when it comes to this new age of technology where a minimum of three remote controls seem to be a requirement for any television and computers and phones are getting “smarter” and “smarter” by the day. either my understanding for this stuff has plateaued or i’ve grown some seriously dumb cells in the recesses of my brain, which at this point, probably more closely resemble scrambled eggs.

YOTPS1

i remember my father had one of those giant grey cell phones when i was a kid that not only resembled, but also weighed as much as, a brick with a thick black antennae coming out of it (that stayed out at all times, there was nothing collapsible, convenient, ergonomic, or even functional about this big grey eyesore of a cell phone (particularly compared to today’s standards)). i’m not sure how often (if at all?) it was ever used. i remember it collecting a lot of dust. i also remember those beige-ish grey apple computers (that looked more like square plastic loaves of bread) we used in grade school to learn our typing skills on. i really only had an iota of interest in those machines because i would frequent my best friend Heather’s house most days after school to enjoy hours of playing both The Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? i can think of no other reason for those machines now. they were not computers to my generation, they were toys. they were machines that informed me of having died from cholera or that Heather was lost and that cut three days off our trip. i always thought it a bit peculiar that someone who got “lost” in that game could shave anywhere from 1 to 5 days off your travels, but the death of a family member was just a drop in the bucket. no days lost, no apparent grieving or mourning took place, no tears shed. and no proper burial/funeral never once occurred. and i’m speaking from experience. i’ve Oregon-Trail-killed plenty of friends and family members. a death was akin to an announcement like, “it’s 56 degrees and sunny.” all of sudden ‘and then there were two!’

YOTPS3

Carved // Self Portrait // December 2012
however, i have to admit, flat out, that i think my understanding of technologically peaked at that age, hovering obsessively over The Oregon Trail waiting to see just how many people died, got lost, or sick. though my sister and best friend Heather seemed far more skilled at this game (sister, yes. Heather, debatable. (sorry Heather!))(ok, skilled at hunting, that is, because this game has little to do with skill, logic perhaps, but skill – not so much). i can’t tell you, nor would i even want to admit to, how horrible i was at hunting in that game. and an irritating fun-fact :: for any animal you shoot for food doesn’t really matter since you’re only allowed to bring 100 lbs back to the wagon at a time, even if you were to shoot ten 536 LB buffaloes, you would only get to keep 100 of those LBs.  i always thought that was incredibly lame, couldn’t the rest of my family (assuming any were still alive and not suffering from the measles) help you carry back some of your fresh meat? was it necessary to leave all of that fresh buffalo meat behind? wasteful. damn wasteful, especially considering how hungry those people on the wagon always were (it took them about two, maybe three days to consume the freshly killed meat).  and i absolutely loved the gamble you’d have to take when reaching a river crossing. do we “ford the river” or “caulk the wagon and float it across”? taking a ferry was also an option, but i don’t think we once opted for the ferry ride since it cost money. instead, we’d pick our poison, cross our fingers, and sincerely hope that one of our oxen wouldn’t perish in the process. i’ll speak for myself on this matter, but i remember feeling a great deal of responsibility over this ford versus float decision and i really took it quite seriously, as if i actually knew what any of it meant, though i did love to nod in agreement or shake my head in disdain if i felt someone (including myself) had made the wrong choice.
Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 3.11.11 PM
a good present day example to the anxiety that the “ford or float” decision causes :: being placed in the sticky position of being “the one” to choose a bottle of wine for a fancy dinner table and having a penguin-tuxedo dressed server pour just a splash into your glass, looking at you with rather bulbous eyes. positively staring at you with the expectation of your “highly trained palette” to make the call on some wine you’ve never tasted or heard of before and know nothing about (since my only “knowledge” of wine rests heavily on whether or not i thought the wine label was well designed). even when i never much cared for the taste of the splash of wine,  i never once (if memory serves) declared the wine to be “no good,” nor do i have a memory of sending food back (unless a meat dish was visibly expelling blood and/or undercooked).  i prefer my steaks to not actively “moo” while i eat them. under or over cooked veggies and/or sides will never fall into the realm of “send it back” because my standards when it comes to “fine dining” are so low, regardless of how many fancy restaurants i’ve eaten at. i am, after all, the girl who’s known for eating progresso soup at room temperature, directly out of the can, with a plastic spoon, in bed. perhaps my standards are extremely low or maybe i’m just a simpleton who considers food as fuel (though, when given the opportunity, i really do love to cook fancy meals, combining unexpected flavors and colors in my dishes. give me a full spread of food and a great kitchen, food is no longer food. it is cooking :: an art form, after all. however, in my current living situation, i’ve nowhere to properly prepare such a meal, nor do i have anyone to share it with, nor do i have anywhere to properly enjoy it as i lack any sort of dining space. my “dining room” is the side of my bed on the floor. so, now you must understand why i’ve fallen in love with my “Progresso Soup Diet” ?! plus, when you’ve no fridge, where does one store leftovers?
YOKO1

this ramble is so hither and thither. i’d apologize but i have so much to catch you up on. i lost my job at the art supply store i worked at for just over 2 years on November 28th of 2012. just in time for the holidays, as “luck” would have it. i will not go into detail about things because it’ll only lull you to sleep, my dear readers. i’ve made the transition from full time job to unemployed, but i have since managed to keep my head more than just afloat not only financially (by means of selling my work and also handling some commissioned illustration jobs), but also in spirit as well. i strongly believe everything happens for a reason and though i have remained a customer at that fine art supply store, i am relieved to have those days behind me. there were copious amounts of dysfunctional activities and behaviors that took place there that had made it more and more difficult to get to work in the mornings. i’d reached a point of absolute lethargy and also unhappiness which even verged on irritability (which is completely out of character for me) towards different aspects of the job and some of the people i worked with. i miss the customers. i miss the building. i miss some, but not all, of my co-workers. but since having left the place, my mood’s improved ten fold. my energy and spunk has returned. my irritability seems to have evaporated like steam from a kettle. and i can’t tell you how many friends, family, and most flatteringly, former customers of mine have wrangled around me in support (if any of you are reading this, thank you! couldn’t have picked myself up so fast or so gracefully without you! I LOVE YOU!)

nowadays? i am living life happy and free spirited and optimistic. grateful to be alive. skating upon each and every damn silver lining that seems to exist around every corner these days because when one is so dedicated to their 40+ hour a week job, one loses sight of everything else. silver linings become distant memories at best. the two days you spend off are usually a bust since you spend them catching up on both errands and sleep. i had such an incredibly wonky schedule at my last job (my arrival and departure times varied just about every day) and turned my sleeping schedule on its head. in the past few months i’d become increasingly lethargic to the point where i requested to get my blood drawn, assuming i was most certainly suffering from anemia due to how tired i’d become. i took supplements, i went out of my way to eat better and more often. when my doctor told me the only issue i had was a Vitamin D deficiency (big whoop), i was stunned. i was almost disappointed that i wasn’t anemic, because it’s easy to pump yourself full of iron and foods that contain iron. i began taking huge doses of Vit D immediately and felt no huge change in my energy levels, even after a few weeks of taking them. but then i was laid off and it was as if a spell had been lifted. my energy began to return within only a few days and i had to wonder, was all of the negative energy i had been subjected to at work causing my lethargy? honestly? yes, i think that’s exactly what happened. i’ve continued the vitamins and all that good stuff, but i am almost like a firecracker these days with my energy and motivation to work for myself. and thus far, it’s been paying off in a massive way.

YOTPS2

welcome to Year of the Pig Studio!

so, i am signing off here. you will be kept up to date far more frequently of my adventure(s) now that i’ve gotten internet access again ! until then, don’t forget about the silver linings. once you start looking for them, you’ll be surprised just how many there are.

xxx

jessi

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Filed under design, illustration & painting (both acrylics and oils), illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography, Year of the Pig Studio // San Francisco, CA

pink and purple.

pink and purple were my least favorite colors growing up. in fact, i actually recall saying how much i hated those two colors as a kid. the plain and simple reason for hating those colors was because of their “girlie” status. anything “girlie,” from trying on lipstick to admitting you had a crush on a boy, was completely out of the question for me. i would play with the boys during recess, proud to emerge from the playground covered in dirt, with messy hair, and sometimes a fat lip (which i learned to hide under my hand so my teachers and mom would never figure out how much of a trouble maker i really wanted to be). after art class, my next favorite class was always gym. a time when girls will be girls and boys will be boys and when tomboys like myself get to show off just how fast they think they are during their favorite game of all, Capture the Flag.

in the third grade, there was a brief period of time, lasting around two weeks, when i decided that black was my new favorite color (it had previously been blue, naturally). everything from my wardrobe to my bed sheets turned black almost overnight. little known fact :: when i was in third grade, my family decided to move back to Europe, to the UK. my sister and i were pulled out of our elementary school mid spring semester (if memory serves). i even have a memory of a farewell party being thrown, but i think the farewell party i am remembering was for my very first crush on a boy named Pat, who moved to California the same year we were planning on moving to England. my crush on Pat was also happening while i was busy being anti-girl, so extreme secrecy was of utmost importance.

i’ll never forget this one moment my sister and i shared in a hallway at school. she was in the fifth grade and i was in the third grade. we were both at our lockers, with a block of fourth grade lockers between us. i don’t remember if it was the middle of the day or the end of the day, but the hallway was close to empty. for whatever reason, she and i had been bickering about something (just normal sister bickers) and this somehow turned into her yelling down the hallway at me that i had a crush on Pat _ _ _ _ _ _ (i will not disclose his last name so he may remain anonymous, although he is a friend of mine on facebook and the only Pat in the class, so he may figure this out if he ever reads this, gasp!). i don’t know if she actually yelled this. i was going to use the word scream to describe the volume of her voice, but i am certain my child memory is blowing this whole thing out of proportion, just as most child memories do. regardless, i remember feeling intense embarrassment, humiliation, and anger. how could she disclose my most protected secret to (what felt like) the world (a next to empty elementary school hallway) ? if anyone heard this, my reputation on the Capture the Flag field would be blown and people would expect me to start wearing pink and purple headbands to school (headbands of the elastic spandex variety, thank you very much early nineties) and the girls would think i was just like them, a girl – ew. little did my sister know that i would have the guts to throw a stone at her glass house and scream (yes, i do remember screaming this) back at her that she had a crush on probably the most popular boy in the fifth grade, Beau _ _ _ _ _ _. and i do believe this was also her most highly protected secret at the time. man, i miss elementary school. it was the best time of childhood life because you’re not yet old enough to be entirely too self conscious, but just old enough to be taking things around you more seriously (even if those things are just crushes on boys and wondering which girl got her period first).

so, back to the moving-to-England story. my family packed up shop entirely. we had our dogs (if i remember correctly :: two great danes, a lab, and a golden retriever) shipped over and placed in quarantine, we packed up our entire house and placed our boxes on a truck that would cross america and then be transferred to a boat on the east coast that would cross the atlantic. we put said house up for sale and my sister and i were going to enroll in a school that we had already visited and we were all going to move into a beautiful house in England that my parents had already purchased. it was at this point, when moving into our new space, that i requested black bed sheets, pillow cases, and a duvet cover. i was granted my wish and remember feeling somewhat regretful of my decision when i lay in bed at night. it was fine during the day, but by nightfall, the black hole that was my bed felt so dark and gloomy that it made it difficult to sleep. i never complained though because i figured, if you make your own bed, you’d best lie in it. i never thought that expression would ever turn literal on me, but so be it. after about two weeks, i remember stirring in the middle of the night. it must have been around two or three in the morning. i still hadn’t adjusted to the jet lag and waking up in the middle of the night was not entirely unexpected. i saw that the lights in the kitchen, which were usually off at night, were on. i heard low voices speaking to each other so i got up to see who was awake. my mother, father, and sister were all huddled in the kitchen together discussing our relocation. to the best of my memory, i recall my mother saying that she felt she was adapting well to the change and looking forward to living in England again. that is the country in which she was born and raised in, so her feeling “at home” on her home turf was completely logical. i know that my sister was having a hard time adapting, as was my father, but both for different reasons. i recall being somewhat neutral about the whole situation. i was happy there (as long as i got some new covers for my bed), but i was happy in Washington as well. i was two years younger than my sister, so my roots in friendship and school and socializing and sports had not yet developed like my older sister’s had. in hindsight, i know it was easier for me to relocate because i was too young to probably understand the significance of any of the friends or choices i had made prior to moving, unlike my sister, who was in the thick of it. in the thick of all things growing up, adolescence, and coming of age.

[self portrait in u-haul somewhere between the east and west coasts, june 2007]

that night an executive decision was made for the family. we were going to stop that truck on the freeway in the middle of america and turn it around. we were going to get our dogs out of quarantine and back on a one way flight to seattle. were going to put our clothes and black bed sheets back in our over-sized suitcases and book tickets back to washington. we would take our previous house off the market and put our brand new house up for sale. we’d call our new school to inform them, regretfully, of our decision not to attend and call our old school, with fingers crossed, to ask if we would be welcome back into their classrooms.

so, for two weeks, i still feel as if i lived in England. i still wonder to this day what would have come of me and my family if we’d stayed. it’s hard not to ponder such questions when it was so close to becoming a reality. would i have developed an english accent? would i have been divorced by now? would my sister have had kids by now? would my parents still be together? would i have fallen in love with horses like i did in seattle just two years after this “move”? would i have gone to art school in new york city? would i be living in san francisco now? i guess the only answer to those questions is :: “maybe.”

all i know is that when we moved back from England into our original house in washington, my new favorite color was brown.

these days, my favorite colors tend to be pink and all shades/versions of turquoise or teal. but, that said, since my move back to the states, i still believe that the only color that matches and will never clash with another color is the color brown. and as for black? i use black only for line drawings or graphic illustrations. when it comes to oil painting, you will never see a tube of black paint in my tool box. black will only create a black hole in your painting, much like the black hole it created in my bedroom when i lived in England. and i think we’ve all got enough to worry about without painting black holes into our lives.

[nikon 35mm, color film]

jessi

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

hip hip horr-appy new year (of the pig studio) !

prepare yourself for an unforeseen rant ::

i cannot stand those who choose to use a single letter over an actual word when typing text messages.

you is not u. are is not r. be is not b. and before is most certainly not b4. lol is one that i have come to tolerate only because even people who don’t use the r, u, and b letters to act as entire words still tend to use the oh so well loved lol. personally, i do not use it. i have used it, but felt filled with shame on each and every fleeting occasion that i have. but you will never see me using possibly the worst combination of letters in recent history: rotflmao. there never has been, never is, and never will be an appropriate time to type that. if it’s so f*cking funny, simply write hahahahaha. this now brings me to haha and hehe and teehehe and every other god forsaken spin off that “we” use. i use haha when i find something particularly funny because i refuse to use lol. at least haha is phonetic. i use hehe fleetingly. hehe and teehehe are reserved for making cute remarks and flirting. i never seldom do either so it hasn’t become part of my textcabulary (i just made that word up and feel particularly brilliant having done so, so please don’t burst my bubble by saying this term has already been included in the latest edition of webster’s dictionary).

and then there are the smiley faces, the emoticons. first of all, i completely despise the word emoticon because it makes me angry for reasons i cannot properly explain. that said, i will admit to using and possibly even abusing smiley faces. my only defense being that because it is incredibly hard to gauge sarcasm through just a text message, i insert :) these to inform the receiver that no harm was intended and that my snide remark was most likely not to be taken seriously. the smiley face :) is also a nice way to end a conversation. the smiley indicates that your discussion has left you happy and satisfied and, well, f*cking smiling, so there’s no need to say anymore. i suppose what i’m really trying to say is that inserting a single smiley face and nothing else is a great way to cut a text conversation short if you either aren’t in the mood to text, haven’t got the time to text, or if you just didn’t want to text in the first place.

there are many variations of the smiley face. i prefer nose-less smileys not because i am too lazy to type a – dash or the letter o or the number zero, but because i think they look f*cking stupid with noses. exhibit a: :-), :o), :0). a traditional smiley face (you know, that yellow guy we all know so well) never had a nose, so why should i add one now? when it comes to smileys, i say don’t fix what ain’t broken. he never had a nose in the first place and i see no reason for him to have one now. some people choose to use the = equals sign for the eyes instead of the : colon. as long as there is no nose involved, i guess i am not going to judge.

speaking of smiley faces. i’ll never forget the story of a girl who went to her pediatrician with her mother. she was there to receive a shot of some kind. she was fairly terrified of needles and had to be calmed before the needle appeared. the doctor, in an effort to soften the blow, thought she’d draw a smiley face on the girl’s arm prior to the shot. the girl was a bit dumbfounded by this new development at the doctor’s office and was then able to relax a little. the doctor then asked the girl, “so, what’s missing from this smiling face?” the girl replied with a look of confusion on her face, “..a …nose?” to which the doctor replied, “exactly” and proceeded to stab the girl in the arm (between the sharpie eyes and smile) with the shot to complete said smiley face on the girl’s arm.

i find this story to be both gruesome and hilarious simultaneously, which explains why i love it so so much.

i forgot to wish you a very happy new year!, christmas!, hanukkah! and so forth and so on!

the holidays flew by like a hurricane. after having my foot broken at the end of november (on an otherwise glorious monday morning), the chaos ensued. work was busy and then it became extra super duper crazy busy. everyone and their mother was shopping for presents and stocking stuffers, leaving me and my fellow employees little to no down time and a few hours of overtime.

i spent christmas eve moving into a new bedroom. i am in the same apartment, but i am now in a larger room. the upgrade was a long time coming and i am exponentially happier in my larger space. my room is no longer a place that i am embarrassed to say that i live in. i no longer reside in a 10’x10′ shoebox nor do i sleep on a crumpled unevenly spring filled single mattress on the floor. my room is far larger and now contains a lofted double mattress, allowing me ample space to spread out all of my art supplies and desks. 

i spent christmas day alone in my new room in san francisco. this is the first year that i’ve spent the holiday without my family and for that reason it was significant. but to honest? i was fine. i was ok. moving into my new space was incredibly therapeutic and i spoke to all of my important people on christmas day via telephone. a dear friend here in the city took me out to dinner somewhat last minute on christmas day, which made the whole christmas-by-myself experience pretty great. it’s not that i despise trees in houses or boxes wrapped in paper or family members mashing potatoes for dinner, but the holidays tend to represent a stressful time for me. and in an effort to be selfish and remain free of unneeded stress, i opted for a holiday season alone in san francisco.

and then the new year hit. although i did not do much to celebrate the occasion, i was surrounded by a handful of choice friends who made the night (and wee morning hours) perfect. i spent the day before and after the new year cleaning my apartment’s kitchen and back storage area. which was great because those areas badly needed cleaning, but come the tuesday morning after the start of the new year i awoke with some insane allergies. i believe my cleaning kicked up some serious mold and bacteria. i arrived at work about three hours after i was supposed to and was completely useless for the hours that i was there. come the next day i was in bed drugged up on a wicked cocktail of anti-histamines, decongestants, and the like. by wednesday the 4th of january i had a fever of 101 degrees and felt not unlike a limp wet rag – oh, how i hate the flu. by friday i was able to open my eyes, by saturday i was able to walk, by sunday i was able to think, and by monday i was able to leave my apartment feeling less like a zombie and more like an actual human being. 

all this means is that i’ve already used up five sick days and it’s only the twelfth of january. it’s a major bummer, but maybe if i get this sort of thing out of my system now, it’ll mean it won’t hit me later. 

i do not believe in new year’s resolutions, but this year i have decided that i will propose at least a small goal for myself, that is: “no assholes, injuries, or illness.”

may that be my mantra for two thousand and twelve.

good night, good riddance, and a very happy new year to each and every one of you!

xxx

jessi

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

a napkin. some skymall. (& yes, i’d love some cheese with my whine.)

this is going to be a painfully scattered post, i apologize in advance. after breaking my left foot two and a half weeks ago, my life turned into chaos.

i participated in three different group shows (i’ll post pictures of the work when i can, but i don’t have the means to get good pictures as it were at the moment) that all opened on the same weekend (thursday, friday, & saturday). i had a total of five pieces that i had to start and complete in about three weeks time which is no easy task to begin with, much less when you have a full time job (where you seem to be working overtime somewhat regularly (without even meaning to) thank you, holiday season), and when you’re foot is broken which means getting from A to B takes an extra 15 minutes at least (and let’s not forget the pain involved, which, i am happy to report has almost completely subsided at this point).

in addition to that madness, one of my roommates is moving out. which is both good and bad. selfishly, i am happy because this means i get to take over his room. my 10′ x 10′ palace of a bedroom has reduced me to tears more than four times in the last three weeks. between the paintings (one of which was 4′ x 4′), the broken foot, my having a cat, my having the tiniest excuse for a closet, and possibly the world’s most uncomfortable single mattress on the floor – i have finally had it up to here (where ever ‘here’ is). however, i am sadder than sad to see him leave. he is one of my very best friends here in this city and i am going to miss him like a fool. i’ve already cried about his departure even though he’s still living in the room next to me. this also means we may or may not to have to post a listing on craigslist, which is just a nightmare in and of itself. fortunately, i already have two (maybe three) people interested in the space, so if i can dodge the craigslist bullet i will be one happy camper, believe you me.

i spent this past sunday and monday spring cleaning in december. bags of trash for the dump and bags of clothes for good will. my room was a complete catastrophe until i spent the better part of yesterday and will spend the better part of today (and i felt forced to ask for two days off from work just to get everything done) cleaning up the walls, giving it a fresh paint job, and the like. by december 23rd i will be in my new room and i can’t wait for the extra space. as it is right now, those eight days can’t come soon enough. and did i forget to mention the fact that christmas is only ten short days away? my worlds are colliding and i feel like i’m about to spin out of control.

i’m exhausted, my sleeping schedule is in ruins. i’ve been crashing at around 8:45pm only to rise around 3:00am unable to fall back to sleep despite my best efforts.

i haven’t returned voicemails, missed calls, or texts in weeks. shambles, i say! and don’t even get me started on the impending holiday season. cards and gifts will just simply not happen this year, apologies. i will be spending christmas by myself, likely curled in the fetal position clutching onto my cat. and to be honest? that’s all i want this year, even if i didn’t have my two front teeth.

so, now for the fun part. as hectic as the past few weeks have been, i have some things to share that are anything but stressful. in fact, they are down right awesome-sauce:

one of the single best napkins i could have ever received. thank you, allen.

THE FOLLOWING ARE BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE SINGLE BEST MAGAZINE EVER, SKYMALL:

i could think of a more flattering picture to be used, but that’s just one man’s opinion.

“a must-have for interfaith marriages”

possibly the coolest sweatshirts ever

i have nothing to say about this

just in time for the holidays

i like penguins

words cannot describe the brilliant placement of the these two images next to each other, my hat is off to SkyMall’s design team.

i do not remember computer games being so lifelike

it’s true, there is absolutely nothing ordinary about this.

that is all for now, it’s time to attempt some shut eye.

[napkin. skymall clippings.]

jessi

 

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

gobble gobble & i’m pretty sure god is a woman.

happy thanksgobble!

there is something so darn endearing about this holiday. it’s a lot like christmas, but without the hassle of gift giving, tree buying, and light hanging. plus, it is a holiday centered around delicious home-y food. i can only speak for myself here, but i’ve never experienced bad food on thanksgiving. even when i wasn’t completely impressed with the food, i still couldn’t say it was bad. this holiday is more or less perfect for people who don’t cook because anyone in charge of any main or side dish knows that the pressure is on to perform well. even the worst cooks step it up a notch (or three) at thanksgiving, guaranteeing that you will be content with the food on the table. it may not knock your socks off with flavor or flare, but it is more than edible. and i know from experience, having eaten side dishes cooked by people who tend to avoid the kitchen, that they really do put their best foot forward and manage to put something on the table that is not considered a disaster or even a near disaster. and sometimes that thing that they produced ends up being the star of the side dish show. a true honor for culinary underdogs.

speaking of feet, i have a short story to tell you that involves one of my feet, the left one. this past monday morning i was jogging around north beach. it’s a long enough story as to why i turned my head, taking my eyes away from the pavement for a split second, but i did. the result? my left foot landed on an uneven piece of the sidewalk, rolled left, bounced back to the right, and catapulted me superman style onto the pavement. my iPod and headphones went flying ahead of me. i landed more or less on my right knee (the knee that i fractured during the summer when a pair of heels had a not so lovely love affair with the cable car tracks on market street). i lay on the sidewalk, on my stomach, rather stunned. i felt an immediate pain in my left foot. my first thought was not so much about, “am i ok?” but more like, “are you kidding me?” if i’m a professional anything, it would be clutz.

this is when god spoke to me.

i sat up, gathering my iPod and headphones. i sat on the sidewalk with my back against a wall. my right knee was bleeding and i cradled my left foot while it throbbed with pain. out of nowhere this female voice said, rather soft and sweet and ethereal, “are you ok?” i spun my head around to look for the source of the voice. no one was around. i was surrounded by a big empty sidewalk and intersection. i looked all around me and finally said, “uh. um. yes, i’m ok, thank you.. where are you?” she did not reply to me or say anything more. i just sat there holding my left foot, rocking back and forth, biting my bottom lip in pain, and trying to suppress a bit of laughter. laughter because i am so accident prone it is, at this point, just plain funny. it’s also incredibly frustrating and upsetting, but i have learned (the hard way) that i have two choices in moments like this. laugh or cry? neither will actually get you anywhere, but i know that laughing feels better. so i’ve taken to laughing at myself on the regular. (and a quick word from the wise, if you’ve just spoken to someone who’s fallen, don’t suggest that they try to “stay vertical” from now on. it’s not funny or clever, it’s annoying).

this woman’s voice probably came from an apartment window overlooking my spill on the sidewalk, but i never saw her. i’d rather just think that god was asking me if i was ok and god definitely had a lady’s voice. so i’m pretty sure god is, in fact, a lady (or a man who’s voice never dropped). regardless, i’m going to go ahead and tell people from now on that i have heard the voice of god (even though i don’t believe in god and (probably) never will). life is a lot more tolerable when you live blindly and intentionally in denial, and i really am going for tolerable these days. if you broke four bones in the space of six months, you’d not only understand but also agree with me.

thanksgiving day has finally come to an end. i had plans to do absolutely nothing. as much as i love my family and friends, gathering around a table for a holiday has rarely been a stress free event. it wasn’t always stressful in years past, but just plain meh. even when the night goes smoothly and as planned, i always felt this total sense of depression at the end of the meal. you usually spend the whole day (and probably the night before) cooking and planning for the great feast. if you are anything like me, by the time you sit down to the dinner table (and we have always planned to eat around five, but usually didn’t end up eating before seven), you aren’t even that hungry anymore. it’s a combination of exhaustion (since you woke up at some ungodly hour to begin cooking) and the fact that while you were cooking for seven hours you nibbled on things here and there. by the time all is said and done, the sight of a fresh oven roasted turkey, whipped potatoes, and perfectly sauteed brussels sprouts is not that exciting because you’ve been staring at and tasting it all day long. all i really want at that point is a glass of chilled white wine, a cigarette, and some terrible cable television. forgive me for being so d*mn american sometimes.

so i decided to surpass all of the nonsense this year. no turkey for me. no dining room table. no cranberry sauce. no arguments. no expectations. i painted for the better part of the day. i listened to my favorite music. i elevated and iced my broken foot. i snuggled my cat. i woke up at eight. cleaned my kitchen and showered. i painted. i met a friend at noon for a coffee. i accompanied him to an artist’s studio to view some paintings. i returned home and painted some more. and then i received a phone call from another friend who had, just the day before, invited me to an ‘orphan’s thanksgiving dinner’ at a house in the haight. i was hesitant to accept the invitation because i was adamant about staying home alone, but by the time 5:00 rolled around, i was getting a little restless and leaving my apartment for a free meal sounded pretty good.

i was promised that it would be easy, friendly, simple, and free of expectations. i arrived around 6:30 during the middle of dinner. there were about fifteen people there, i knew only a couple of them (artists and customers from work). i ate a small helping of turkey, taters, cranberry sauce, and brussels sprouts. i met several people and they were all easy, friendly, simple, and free of expectations, just as i had been promised. i did not feel the need to entertain or be entertained. i tasted the best pie of my life (some caramel concoction with a whipped cream top and buttery crust, currently looking into who made it and what it is because i was speechless after trying it).

it was a perfect thanksgiving. i headed home about three hours later, comfortably full (not painfully stuffed like most years) and happy. i am now turning in for bed because tomorrow i am working retail on one of my least favorite days of the year, black friday. i think if it were three years ago, i’d be complaining about and dreading it, fearful of all the target-black-sale-ish customers i will likely be forced to deal with tomorrow. but to be totally honest? i’m excited. i’m excited to watch our store make money. i’m excited to chat up customers. i’m excited because i work in such a beautiful store and i get to show it off tomorrow. i’m excited because i really do love my job, which is more than a lot of people can say. and i’m excited despite the fact that my left foot is broken and i have a feeling i’ll be on my feet crutches for the better part of the day.

i hope you had as lovely a holiday as i did. stress free, friendly, simple, and free of expectations. i am grateful for just being here on this earth. for the wonderful people and animals in my life. for a job i love. for a roof over my head. and for the best pie of my life.

happy thanksgiving from a very content year of the pig studio <3

[35mm film, manual nikon. double decker, london 2008.]

jessi

 

 

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let them eat cake.

you can have your cake and eat it, too.

:: this is most often used negatively, to connote the idea of consuming a thing whilst managing to preserve it. it may also indicate having or wanting more than one can handle or deserve, or trying to have two incompatible things ::

(thanks, wikipedia.)

there was an incident recently, where in, a man with a pink cake box (half open with a plastic white fork piercing a sloppy mess of what appeared to be the remains of a third of a vanilla cake) approached and offered me said cake. the man himself was covered in frosting. and i mean covered. it was everywhere.

was he homeless? i think so, he certainly looked and acted the part. i was minding my own business on the Peter Macchiarini steps, also known as ‘the stairway to san francisco.’ i wouldn’t really call them that myself. it’s basically a really steep street with two sidewalks on either side that are, well, steps instead of flat ground because they are so steep. there’s nothing particularly stunning about them. they provide a nice-ish view of the city, but nothing you’d think the average tourist would wet his pants over (even though tourists tend to flock there with their cameras, but they always look a bit disappointed after they take their many pictures).

he was pretty f*cking serious about sharing that cake with me. i politely and then not so politely declined his offer(s) more than once before gathering my things to move along and find another place to kill the remaining forty minutes of my lunch break (which is more difficult than it sounds because have you ever noticed how hard it is to find ‘somewhere to sit’ when you are really looking for one?). upon my departure of these steps he very loudly demanded a cigarette from me. notice i used the word demanded, not asked. it was at this point that, for the first time in my life, i reprimanded a homeless person. i actually had the what-have-you to tell him to “use his manners” and “say please.” part of me was ready to bolt in the event he didn’t appreciate my ‘tude (attitude, that is) and another part of me was painfully curious to see how he’d react to such a reprimand and ‘good manners’ reminder. he looked a little bewildered by what i had said, but he was entirely submissive. i had, apparently, caught him off guard. he, quite simply, replied “may i please have a cigarette?” i was in such disbelief myself that i blindly handed him one from my pack and proceeded to bolt across broadway, knowing that there was no way he could chase me without dropping that cake box, and trust me, he was gripping that cake box like a mother might grip a lost child she’d just found, holding on for dear life.

(i have a confession :: although i did not eat that cake, it really did look delicious and i really was tempted.)

now i feel the need to explain my absence from this blog-world because i had gotten into the habit of writing every week (if not more). as we all know, that thing called life tends to get in the way, so let me summarize as best i can ::

i certainly can’t blame cake-man (not a far cry from caveman, eh?) for my blog neglect (er, blogect?). hot d*mn i’m feeling clever this afternoon (stay tuned for more wicked word combinations). my room became uncontrollably messy just as my life did. these two things always seem to coincide with each other and i do not think that it’s a coincidence. halloween happened, which was ok. my outfit was great, but the holiday itself lacked the usual gusto i have gotten so used to on the thirty first of october. the people of san francisco just don’t seem to pray to the halloween gods as much as the people of new york city seem to. it was so bad that i nearly didn’t dress up, which would have meant that for the first time in my life (twenty seven short years) i didn’t dress up. i decided that that was unacceptable, so i dressed up with a friend and had a rather tame evening walking around town in an effort to show off my costume. i dressed as Mrs. Mia Wallace, known better as ‘Uma Thurman’s character from Pulp Fiction.’ her character after she unknowingly snorts a line of heroine (oops). so i donned a white button up shirt, black slacks, and a bloody nose (and a syringe protruding from my chest). a great costume, but not my favorite halloween. sigh, these things happen.

and after the end of october? i don’t really know what happened. i was busy jogging, working, and painting. a friend came into town. my schedule at work changed for a week while my manager was out of town. and then my job title at work changed (and i received a raise)(both of which are terribly exciting!). and then i was invited to participate in not one, but three, group shows that are all set to open in the first week of december. you know, life stuff.

today i sit here at my desk this afternoon wearing a bright blue beanie (gifted to me by roommate, er rather he didn’t want it so i got it), a scarf (obtained from a thrift store in Stockholm), and paint covered sweatshirt and sweatpants with my best friend on my lap (my cat, Alaska). it’s been raining for the last day or two here in san francisco. a seattle sort of rain that makes you cold to the bone, but it feels good. it feels cozy to be inside surrounded by my favorite music and paints. i only realized this morning at 11:30am (after a thirty minute jog, coffee, and hot shower) that it was sunday not monday. which means that i didn’t have a meeting at 2:30, a haircut at 3:3o, another meeting at 5:00, and dinner at 7:00. it means that all i have to do for the rest of the day is paint. and i can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

next week i will tell you all about my plans to ignore this coming thursday the twenty fourth of november, Thanksgiving.

jessi

 

 

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the laundromat (take two)

i complained about discussed the laundromat once before on this blog. if you’ve read that post, you’ll have a very clear understanding as to why i hate it as much as i do. regardless, tonight’s post has very little do with that place. the laundromat was merely a vessel this evening, a vessel that steered me in the direction of the Cable Car Museum. this museum is half a block from my house. one of my roommates once counted how many steps our front door is from that museum and i believe the count was one hundred and eighty one (if memory serves).

this probably explains why tourists flock to our particular street corner(s). that and the fact that the cable car stops directly outside of my front door (literally). it is the stop for Chinatown. at this stop they yell, “this stop, Chinatown, two blocks, straight ahead” and point in the direction of Grant street, east of Powell street by exactly two blocks. i really don’t mind tourism and sightseeing and the like. but when you are barely awake at eight something in the morning and heading for work, the last thing you feel like dealing with is a gaggle of strangers/tourists on your doorstep (a.k.a. sidewalk outside of your apartment). it’s not always crowded, but i swear on some grave somewhere that whenever i am grumpy/excessively sleepy/or something all around blah, that’s when the crowd is gathered on the sidewalk outside of my building.

they stand there like a herd of cattle, looking around for instructions from other people (or maybe the heavens?) to tell them what to do next, regardless of the fact that the man on the cable car pointed, very obviously, in one direction towards Chinatown while yelling, “two blocks, straight ahead!” my roommate’s bay windows overlook this very fiasco which is why i know it so well. we love to watch from his windows and admire the lost people below. my former roommate would sometimes interject during this moment of silence, when they had just disembarked from the cable car, and yell once again “CHINATOWN! TWO BLOCKS! STRAIGHT AHEAD!” with his thick Italian accent. and we’d all bend over in stitches from laughing so hard. the poor tourists below looked at us like we were vermon, which would only make us laugh harder. i suppose it was one small way we could retaliate against the crowds on the sidewalk and the non-stop clanging of the cable car bells at weird hours of the night.

so, this evening, i was at the god forsaken laundromat throwing my clothes into one of the dryers. i had a large pair of headphones on while i was listening to the soundtrack from the movie Amelie. if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand why i was inspired to do what i did next (and if you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading this immediately and watch it now).

i walked across the street to the Cable Car Museum. it was closed, but some of the old and very aged windows were not. and some of the lights inside were still on. and the machines were still pumping their gears. i watched from the outside, mesmerized by the mechanical workings going on within. it felt as if i were staring at a beating heart – watching all those valves and springs work in unison to pump the necessary gases and liquids and what-have-yous to where they needed to be in order to keep things running smoothly. my face lit up and i felt a smile grow on my lips. i knew what i had to do.

i ran home, feeling inspired.

i went to my desk and, using a ballpoint pen, wrote a simple note (in a bold hand written cursive font) on a piece of white paper. it read,

“love and let love.”

i ran back to the Cable Car Museum and placed this note in one of the open windows, next to an old can of soda sitting on the same window sill. upon that note i placed a small white plastic sheep (maybe one inch tall). i hope that someone finds that tomorrow and smiles. i think i might just keep going back there every week to deliver kind messages. i don’t see why not.

jessi

 

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