Tag Archives: san francisco

“a prayer for the wild of heart, kept in cages.”

a homeless man passed me the other day while i was on a break at work. he muttered a few things and as he was leaving, i was able to interpret this much ::

“it’s hard being homeless, with bugs crawling out of your head. it’s not my fault.” and then he wandered off with his shopping cart, in the direction of the fisherman’s wharfs.

we work in crazy town. we see this kind of stuff all the time (and this was one of the more sane encounters that i’ve had). we are on the doorstep of the fisherman’s wharf, the projects, and north beach. it is seriously crazyville around here. i thought i knew crazy from my time in new york city, but this is completely putting the crazy that i once knew to shame. this crazy is so off the charts that i sometimes find myself pinching my arm. did that really just happen ? thank god i’ve got my co-workers to confirm my daily disbeliefs.

and lest i forget this: just a couple days ago, just outside my work, i found a somewhat old pile of what could only be dogsh*t, with a toothpick sized american flag stuck into it. it’s crazy town, alright, but it’s pretty fantastic awesome at the same time.

so, between finding not just one, but two, new roommates on craigslist and the great deal of mess and stress that just seems to be my life right now (and has been since mid march), i’ve been distracted, busy, and overwhelmed. i have reached a point where i don’t really care anymore. bring it on. throw whatever obstacle in my way and i will clear it. and if i don’t clear it on my first try, i’ll hurl myself at it until i do. it’s been a month of “survival of the fittest” and “just make it work” and the like. i do, genuinely, doubt that, at this point, anything will phase me. so, by all means, hit me with your best shot.

so what do i have to say for myself ? honestly, i will not bore you with the details. i am here to share something with you. rather, someone. her name is Jackie. she is one of the most amazing people i have ever met. you must read her blog. she rides horses and makes art, just like me. i met her many moons ago through the horse world. she and i have an age gap of around three years (i’m the elderly one) and because of said age gap, we never mingled while i was still showing horses.

it wasn’t until just about a year ago that she i became fast friends. and i mean fast. over the course of one chat session we realized we are, essentially, exactly the same – save for our names. we’ve been talking ever since and seem to grow closer every day, whether i hear from her or not. we both have a profound love for Thelma & Louise and i am, with certainty, the Thelma to her Louise. end of story.

she’s an amazing artist, but you wouldn’t know it from her blog because she doesn’t post her work up there. but believe you me, she’s one talented chick and not only have i seen her work in person, i have also had the privilege of watching her work (and even helping her work.. like that one time, at Portland’s Art Institute, when we stole a printing press. er, borrowed. we did return it the following day, after all).

so, enjoy her ramblings and what-have-you’s. she’s awesome. exponentially awesome. she’s so awesome, in fact, that i can’t describe her.

just read and then you’ll understand.

jessi

p.s. i have some art to share, but since i am currently in a state of limbo (after having to very last minute shove my entire studio back into my 10′ x 10′ bedroom), it can wait. thank you for your patience. we will return after a brief commercial break.

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happy birthday, still floating, the beats, and your own personal jesus

Lift up the receiver, I’ll make you a believer.

this is a lyric from Depeche Mode’s 1989 hit ‘Personal Jesus.’ i have become increasingly obsessed with Johnny Cash’s cover of the song. i have a really rather annoying habit of getting stuck on songs. i will play them over and over again to the point that i can’t possibly listen to them again for weeks or even months. i play it repeatedly, singing along to all the lyrics which i have, of course, now memorized. i also find myself regularly sighing and declaring, out loud, ‘ahh, this is such a good song.’ i feel bad for my roommates. they are the victims here, poor things. however, i believe i have already established myself as ‘the crazy person’ in the house, so i doubt they are too surprised by my behavior. i do, after all, have this on my bedroom door (and if you are wondering what that strange shape in the top right is, it’s a carcass, kind of. a pheasant skin to be exact, don’t ask questions) ::


i’m not wearing a scarf right now. if you know me, you’ll know that’s weird. i’ve been known to wear scarves all summer long. i love them. yes, they do serve the practical purpose of keeping one’s neck warm and cozy, but they make me feel safe. perhaps it’s because of the cocoon-like factor of being wrapped up in something ? and yesterday, i wore flip flops. it’s january, people. t-shirts, flip flops, and not a scarf in sight. where am i ? i feel like i need to click my heels three times and return from this magical land of Oz i seem to have found myself living in here in San Francisco. speaking of, i really ought to invest in a pair of ruby slippers.

i only bring up the weather because the forecast for this coming thursday is sixty five degrees and sunny. thursday is my birthday. i’ll be turning twenty seven on the twenty seventh, making this my golden birthday. i don’t even know why i’m telling you this because i actually don’t like to broadcast the fact that it’s my birthday. i don’t like celebrating my own birthday. if i can speak to or see a handful of close friends and family on my birthday, that’s all i need. i can’t support throwing myself a party. i also have a hard time understanding why a birthday is grounds for gift giving. i mean, sure, it’s nice, i appreciate that. but i didn’t do anything to deserve cards or presents. i mean, really, if anyone deserves a gift on a birthday – don’t you think it should be our mothers ? i bet i had a pretty chill day when i was born. i was, no doubt, wrapped in blankets, smothered with affection, and told how cute i was. sure, i may have shed some tears at first, but that was as bad as my day was going to get. my mother, on the other hand, had probably been in a hospital bed for no less than twelve hours. she was likely covered in sweat and tears and in so much pain she was liable to break the hand of anyone bold enough to hold hers as they yelled ‘push!’ and to make matters worse, after all of her hard work bringing me into the this world, i got all of the attention, while she laid back recovering from what i imagine was, on some level, a traumatic experience. so, mom, Happy Birthday to you ! you’re getting a card from me this year.

“still floating” is the name of a group show i will be participating in ! it opens in about ten days and will take place at A. Aversano’s Galleria. Anthony, the owner of the gallery, is a sweet guy who frequents our art supply store. he kindly offered up the space to my co-workers and i for half of february. i am under the impression, since it is so last minute, we’ll be displaying a random assortment of works – a hodge podge, if you will – but i am so incredibly excited at the prospect of hanging my work on a wall. this will officially be my first ‘showing’ down here in San Francisco. i am, at this point, at a loss for what i will hang and find myself scrambling for ideas. the impractical go-getter in me wants to create some new pieces specifically for the show, but i fear that will mean no sleep for a few nights and not only can i not afford to not sleep (having a full time job makes this an unappealing idea), but i don’t think i could even pull it off if i tried.

i pulled an all nighter last week – it was more or less on a whim – i found myself deeply involved in a pastel drawing and simply could not stop. i have become somewhat obsessed with The Beats. a generation of authors, artists, and what-have-you’s from the 50’s who seemed, at least to me, to be on a personal mission to flip the world as they knew it upside down. the key figures in The Beat Generation are fascinating characters. most of them first met in New York and later congregated here, in San Francisco. their stories are amazing. there’s a place down here called The Beat Museum, a shop that celebrates these very characters – selling all sorts of memorabilia and art, all Beat related. there’s even a street here called, ‘Jack Kerouac Alley.’ i spoke to the nice fellow who runs the place about possibly getting some of my art on their walls – just a few drawings. of course, they need to be Beat related – i don’t have anything of the sort so i sat down last week and busted out my pastels and got to work. i haven’t worked with pastels in an embarrassingly long time. i actually think the last time i used them was back in 2005. what a travesty, right ?

i’m not sure why i ever put them away. i love working with them and they are, to this day, the only material i have ever used in which i actually like drawing people with. i am so anti-people drawing. graphite, charcoal, paint, ink – you name it – i just cannot seem to agree with any of those materials when it comes to rendering a person’s face. but pastels, that’s a different story. here are the first two drawings i have made so far :: Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, respectively ::

[iPhone camera][soft pastels on drawing paper]

jessi

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trees & displacement

i always remember the trees when i feel i am in trouble. if i feel as though i am in some sort of mid-life mid-life ‘crisis’ – i look to trees for comfort. i have been doing this for almost three years. it all started in Seattle on one rainy drive home from work. i remember looking at some evergreens and feeling an overwhelming sense of calm. trees are so grounded. their roots reach deeply into the soil and hold them up, even against the strongest gusts of wind that grace the pacific northwest from time to time. from there, i learned to look at the sky and its colors and clouds and shapes. living in a city like San Francisco or New York, i am not surrounded by trees like i was back in Seattle, so i have been spending a lot of my time gazing at the sky from my roof. morning, noon, and night. before work. after work. and during the day when i am not at work. but my favorite time is sun down. when the clouds seem to retreat, slowly. and as they retreat, they catch colors from the setting sun :: pink, orange, coral, red, yellow, and purples and blues when dusk really begins to take hold. *sigh*

i made this painting in honor of all of the feelings above. you know that ‘if you could have one super hero power what would it be’ question ? well, my answer has always been, ‘to fly.’ i suppose flying in a helicopter is as close as i have ever gotten to that feeling. i imagine skydiving is the closest i could get – even though you are technically falling when that happens.. but, i’ve heard it ‘feels like flying.’ what a funny expression by the way, no ? because who actually knows what flying feels like ? if you or anyone you know has been born with the gift of flight, please contact me immediately. i need to speak to them.

why flying ? because i can’t imagine a feeling more liberating than just deciding to pick yourself up off the ground and fly to where ever you want to go. i know that i am not the only person to feel this way, but i know that many people say ‘invisibility’ when posed with the super hero question. so, yeah.

before i say anything else, let me say this :: i am not a racist. i care not about the color of your skin or the country in which you were born. i don’t care where people come from or what they look like – we are all human beings deserving of that rather vague concept that is happiness. that said, the longer i live in Chinatown, the more i feel a sense of cultural isolation. i have noticed that if i am in a deli in Chinatown – regardless of whether i am the first in line or in the middle – i am treated as though i were standing dead last. until i am the only caucasian left standing in the room, i will not be served. this happens nine times out of ten. it has reached a point where i have deliberately stopped frequenting most local delis merely because i am irritated at being treated this way. at first, i thought i was imagining things. i’d heard some stories from people that i know, but figured they were over-reacting. i was wrong. i now know that they were being dead serious and to be honest ? it breaks my heart – not just a little, but a lot.

so this feeling of displacement has slowly begun to seep into my sense of self. i know that i am not a bad person. i also know that if i am first in line i should be served first. so, standing in line at a counter where you are treated as though you have been bestowed with that ‘gift’ of invisibility, i am discouraged. i am not trying to blame the Chinese culture as a whole, though. i know that discrimination and ethnic injustice occurs every day in our country – i have just never been the ‘victim’ of it until now. and though my experience is extremely mild compared to most – i have a new found sense of appreciation for those that experience this on a daily basis. on a regular basis. on an at-least-ten-times-a-day basis. that’s not to say that i never felt sympathy for others before, but now i can say i feel empathy for them because in my own small way – i know what they are talking about and it doesn’t feel good. and yes, that is the understatement of the year.

[acrylic on watercolor paper]

jessi

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cleavage, job, giants, & vinyl

happy halloween ! ok. i’m a few days late. i had an amazing costume, but have no pictures. i was She-Ra (Princess of Power). for those of you unfamiliar with one of the most amazing super heroes from the eighties, see this. it’s a long story as to why i don’t have pictures and i’d really rather not get into it, but take my word: the costume rocked. it was one of my best to date. and for those of you that really know me, that’s a bold statement.

i take halloween very seriously. i don’t think you understand. it is my favorite, and i mean favorite, holiday of the year. for an entire day (or usually weekend), you get to dress up as someone completely different and march around proudly in what is likely some form of your alter ego. like all things, bad comes with good. i believe in the homemade costume. the costume you make almost entirely from scratch. the costume you spend hours sewing, stitching, measuring, fitting, painting, spray painting, and safety pinning. in my not so humble opinion, halloween is not about looking absolutely perfect, it’s about the effort and the concept. now, i understand that She-Ra is a bit scantily clad – but i had on some nude tights and my hand sewn dress was not nearly as short as hers, and if you’ve met me – you’ll know full well that i am not the buxom blond babe portrayed above – and therefore will not be falling out of my dress. i, personally, have never had any interest in wearing as little as possible on halloween; unfortunately, i do believe that i am in the minority [of females] when i say this.

so this is the ‘bad’ i was referring to and i will try and restrain myself from venting on the matter too much, but honestly? i can’t help it. i get so frustrated when i see silly bumble bees, witches, naughty nurses, or cats wandering around on halloween. you know the girls that i am talking about and i am sorry to offend those of you who do fall into this category because i am sure you know who you are (ouch, sorry). it’s these girls who decide that halloween gives them a reason to wear as little as possible, allowing their cleavage to spill out of their costumes and their skirts to be so short that you are left to wonder why they are even wearing skirts in the first place. they likely marched into some halloween store, picked out a costume a size too small, and decided it was perfect. it is likely that these are girls just looking to attract attention while marching around – and it works. all of my male friends will hate me for writing any of this lest it deter you females out there to leave some things to the imagination come the 31st of October, but so be it. these people have put zero thought into their costumes and though they might turn heads – they are turning them for the wrong reason(s). i rest my case and will hereby dismount my soapbox.

in other news, unrelated to cleavage, i got a job ! i was convinced i would arrive in San Francisco and become a waitress – which would have been fine since i was really only looking for a job that’ll pay the bills – but i got something so much better and i can’t even begin to tell you how excited i am to be working at my all time favorite art store ever. imagine a land where all the walls are painted different colors, every sign is drawn by hand, things like glitter and paint by numbers are celebrated, and new sample supplies may be ordered merely because they are shiny and that is the only justification needed to order them :: that’s where i work. it’s like a rainbow exploded in an art store and my fellow employees and employers are colorful, vibrant, kind, creative artists who understand my love of unicorns and why sometimes, at four in the morning, it is absolutely necessary to not only rearrange your furniture, but also slap scraps of fabric and paper on anything you can find because you have to make a collage.

now, about those giants. i’m not talking about really tall people or a certain sports team from New York. i am talking about the Giants, the San Francisco Giants :: the baseball team that just won the World Series. yeah, those giants..

i can’t say i am the world’s biggest baseball fan. i will admit that i only cared about baseball when i was younger – when i was on a softball team and the Seattle Mariner’s were actually a decent team (this is Ken Griffey Jr. era). so, it’s been about sixteen years since i gave much, if any, attention to the sport. however, having just become a resident of San Francisco – it was essentially unavoidable (if not impossible) to not show at least an ounce of interest in this team and their domination of the sport. it was even harder to ignore them because they were the underdogs and who doesn’t love to root for the underdog ? so i actually went to a couple of sports bars and watched a couple of the playoff games, drifting in and out of my attention span for what was happening on the t.v., but that’s not the point – i went, i kind of saw, and i even cheered. i have uttered, “Go Giants !” probably about a dozen times – most of which were to homeless people who were asking for money and upon denying them (there are only so many dollar bills you can give away in a day) their reply, for some reason, was usually, “HEY GO GIANTS!”

sadly, i was napping [accidentally on my floor] when the last game was played and won. this is just how committed i am to the sport, clearly. at around 11:30pm, one of my roommates knocked on my door. i bolted upright (you know, the whole ‘i-wasn’t-sleeping-on-my-floor-when-you-knocked-i-was-being-super-productive’ reaction one naturally has when they feel guilty for sleeping during the hours they feel they should be awake) and answered – they informed me of the Giants’ victory and invited me out to the corner of Grant and Green (the epicenter of celebration) for a celebratory drink. naturally, and in an effort to be a Good San Franciscan, I agreed and ended up sitting outside some random bar only to observe absolute chaos take place on the streets. honking horns, fire trucks, drunks, yelling, you name it. and there was even a massive parade this morning (which, according to my co-workers, completely stopped all traffic) that took place on one of the main drags in the city. i am also convinced that half of San Francisco, thanks to this victory parade, called in ‘sick’ to work today. so, yeah, GO GIANTS !

as for vinyl ? i found this amazing nameless music and record store – i adore the exterior paint job – and the record collection was ridiculous. the above photo is a fraction of their collection. the records are stacked from floor to ceiling in the basement and on the ground floor you are forced to walk through narrow gaps between record players, amps, stereos, and all things music – though, it does appear as if most of this stuff was stolen-  but whatever, i just had to share :: it was too amazing not to.

[google images, iPhone camera]

jessi

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the painful details & thoughts on cable cars

as promised, here is the rest of my story. i won’t call it ‘part deux’ because it’s not really related to my previous post about flying cats and teaching my ‘driver’ how to drive my car.

before i go on, i have to tell you a little secret: IT’S RAINING HERE RIGHT NOW. having just moved from Seattle i felt that that weather report was somehow significant. i’m sure a day will come when i am in San Francisco when a rainfall will not seem so absurd. i know that it rains here, of course. but today marks my one week ‘anniversary’ arriving in this fair city and i was not expecting to see rain until, you know, November or something. so for all you haters out there (i’m mainly speaking to those in Seattle who, only upon receiving my text last weekend declaring that it was “80 degrees and sunny!,” replied to me with ‘f*** you’ or ‘i hate you’), well now that i think about it.. to all you haters out there, i’m sorry, ok? stop doing your wicked rain dances up there.. please ?

so i live very near to Chinatown on what is called Nob Hill. yes, i know. get your laughs out now, i’ll wait.. are you finished ? i’m more or less sidled up against chinatown, a bit north of union square (which is a major tourist and shopping hub), and only about a mile south of pier 39 which is the main fisherman’s wharf that tourists flock to like pigeons flock to bread crumbs. the best part about pier 39 is the seals. yes, barking seals on the docks. barking seals who are not even remotely afraid of people or crowds. i was down there last weekend for an airshow – it was fleet week in the city and the blue angels were in town and so on and so forth. the airshow was fabulous, but i still can’t stop thinking about all those barking seals. seriously. if you go to the fisherman’s wharf for any reason, may it be because of the barking seals.

Chinatown is fun and an interesting place to live next to. i’m merely a block away from the main drag of shops and dim sum restaurants (all of them claiming to be the best dim sum in the city). of course i’m well versed with Chinatowns (don’t forget i lived in New York City for four years), but i’ve never lived so close to one. what i do live right next to, nay, basically on is one of the cable car routes in the city. those cable cars with tourists falling out the sides. and apparently cable cars do not stop when going around corners (safety hazard, no ? at least it’s forcing me to turn my head left and right when i cross the street) and even once the cars have passed by the tracks continue to rattle and buzz. i was informed that this was merely mechanical, but i am under the impression that i will be electrocuted if i step on the tracks. so if you ever come to San Francisco and you happen to be in Chinatown riding a cable car and you see some girl with oversized granny glasses leaping through the air as she crosses the street and skillfully avoiding the tracks on the ground – that’s probably me. i guess being in Chinatown makes me somewhat of a minority, so i probably look like a tourist, so leaping over tracks on the ground may not seem as peculiar to the people around me as they sigh and likely think to themselves, “stupid tourist.”perhaps Chinatown was a good pick for me considering my understandable fear of cable car tracks. oh, and lest i forget my passion for Chinese food. i’ve taken the liberty of cutting myself off from such a delicacy except for twice a month when i will allow myself to fall victim to its msg marinated deliciousness.

and i’m not kidding when i say that tourists are falling out the sides of those cable cars. they sometimes appear, at least to me, to be holding on for their lives as these cars careen around turns and fly down hills. first of all, there are car-cars everywhere and i swear, a foot too far out of that cable car is liable of getting severed. it’s much like a ride in an amusement park that warns you to: ‘Ride At Your Own Risk.’ in fact, i’m not sure why they don’t have some warning label of the like on the side of these cars. however, it does make schlepping up and down some extremely steep hills (another very serious fear of mine: i will, one day, topple from the top of nob hill and not stop rolling until i reach the bottom) far more entertaining when you make bets in your own head, like i do, on who will fall out of that car first.

three less amusing observations about these cable cars: 1.) when perched at the top of the hill they are about to glide down – the tourists feel it necessary to scream (and yes, some even take it upon themselves to throw their hands in air) like one screams upon approaching a steep decent on a roller coaster. this gets really really annoying after about the third time you hear it. i’ve taken to glaring at passengers when they do this and imagining them without their feet. 2.) living on the route means we (my three roommates and i) are subjected to the DING DING DING-A-LING of the bells on these cars. i thought the dinging was random until i realized that it is actually all manual. some poor schmuck has to work on the back of those cars ringing a bell all day and he has to be creative, too. coming up with new and different ding-a-lings regularly. i admire his creativity and his gusto, it’s just a shame that sound travels so well and we hear this ringing all the time. which brings me to my third observation.. 3.) these cars never stop. for a city in which things tend to die down around 10pm, unless it is a weekend, you’d think this tourist activity would also die down. i mean, aren’t they all in their fancy hotels sleeping at 3:00am? if not, they are surely too drunk to even consider taking a cable car back to their hotel – that’s what cabs are for. cabs are for drunk people and the airport.  but these cable cars, they go around all night long ringing their damn bells. i had to invest in a pair of ear plugs and having lived in NYC for four years i thought i considered myself quite tolerant of all city sounds. in fact, i love city sounds. i didn’t even hate the drunk people who would randomly and rather regularly go around hitting my buzzer at all hours of the night when i lived in the east village.

but, i am not actually complaining. i am very happy here and it’s things like those cable cars that are only making this more of an amusing adventure and will, no doubt, provide me with a plethora of good stories to tell. i forgot how great living in a city can be and all the crazy people that you may think are homeless – are actually your neighbors. i’m not even being sarcastic, i find comfort in things like that.

[iPhone camera][google images]

jessi

p.s. using my iPhone of late for picture taking as my camera is still in Seattle. honestly ? i didn’t forget my camera. i purposefully left it behind because of the chaos in my car – i was terrified it’d be broken by the time i got down to California. i will be reunited with it very soon, though !

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a very full car, a flying cat, and a cranky turtle

so i did it. or perhaps it did me. i moved to San Francisco. i say ‘it did me’ only because the drive down here and the nights of packing that preceded that drive were nothing short of stressful, but i am already looking back and laughing at all that ensued. it all started with my apartment. since i’d missed out on a few weeks of my life (see previous post), i was a bit unprepared. and by a bit, i mean a lot. my poor mom showed up to my place the morning that i left to retrieve my keys from me and i was in the middle of packing my car realizing, box by box, that even the best tetris player in the world would not be able to lodge all of my belongings into the back of my car (a Subaru wagon which is bigger than the average sedan, sure, but it’s not exactly the size of a moving van).

i am now sitting at my desk (yes, the same desk), but i’m admiring blue skies in October. as expected (or I should say as planned since i heard October is perhaps the best month in San Francisco – hence my decision to move down here during this month), the weather is blissful. it’s been in the high 70’s and low to mid 80’s all week. i even went to the beach yesterday. the beach ! in October ! did i mention that i am happy ? i haven’t been this happy since, well, living in New York City (three long years ago). and that is a fact. i was built for city life it seems. that’s not to say i don’t enjoy places like the midwest, log cabins, or the like (because i really do, actually), but when it comes to my place of residence – cities are what make me happy. true walking cities. cities that do not require a car. cities that bustle on their sidewalks for most hours of the day and night (ok, so San Francisco is not the sleepless city that New York is, but it’s a close runner up). and i will not take this opportunity to say bad things about Seattle because Seattle is not a bad city, it’s just not for me.

so, my car was packed to the ceiling with my belongings. it was packed so tightly that in order to close the back hatch i basically had to body slam my car. on top of this, my dear friend drove me down and had a small backpack and computer case he needed to fit into the mix which, sadly, made an already tight squeeze even tighter (sadly only because a small backpack and computer case really ought not make or break how tight of a squeeze one feels in a vehicle). now why would a friend be driving me down ? i told you about a little health scare i had in the beginning of August that involved seizures – well, said seizures prevent me from driving for six months – so i needed someone legal to get me and my stuff down there. so, my poor friend sits in the front seat of my car on that fateful Friday afternoon of my departure. i could tell he was a little irked by my car’s fullness (which also forced the front seat to be closer to the steering wheel than was comfortable for him) and i do not blame him. it was absurd ! it was embarrassing ! and my poor car was so heavy it was lagging from gear to gear when shifting and to make matters worse more interesting i was bringing my cat down (in her crate) and my turtle down (in a box) so they were both perched on the front seat (because precious cargo rides shotgun). it was just hilarious looking at the situation. so my friend goes to start the car and he looks over at me and says, “it’s not starting.” my stomach dropped. it may have only been 2:00pm, but i’d been having a bad day.

for one, i had not slept and once i realized that not all of my boxes would fit into my car – i just ended up leaving a pile of boxes in my apartment. since i am ‘so great’ at labeling my boxes, i had no idea what i was leaving behind and what i was taking (as it turns out, I forgot all of my underwear and all of my paints – I’m so special sometimes!). at that point i didn’t care. it became a matter of which box will fit into that space? not a matter of which box do i really need? i had only begun loading my car around 6:30am, about an hour after my cat had decided she needed to try her hand at flying by JUMPING FROM MY TWO STORY WINDOW at 5:30 in the morning. i spent thirty long, exhausting, kill-me-now, crying minutes looking for her. i had decided she was gone and was walking back up to my apartment in a wrecked inconsolable stupor when i heard a MEOW upon opening the door. as it turns out, she decided to scale the wall BACK into my apartment during those thirty minutes i was outside calling her name, crying, and repeating one obscenity after another. at least she was safe and sound and i could get back to packing, but i think i had roughly ten years shaved off my life after that experience.

so, hearing the words: “it’s not starting” fall from my friend’s mouth was not exactly comforting. i was just about ready to throw my hands in the air and admit defeat. perhaps i was not destined to live in that fine city 950 miles south ? perhaps this is all one giant mistake ? i mean even my cat was jumping from windows in an effort to keep me there and/or end my life early. so i looked over at my friend and said, “really… ?” (not that i actually wanted him to answer that question honestly), and he said, “yeah.. watch” as he turned the keys in the ignition. so i held my breath and noticed that his foot had not compressed the clutch while he was turning the car on ! silly boy ! he must be so accustom to his fancy automatic transmission he’s forgotten how to drive a clutch ! relief washed over me until i thought a little bit harder and, with hesitation, asked, “you do know how to drive a stick shift, right?” his face dropped. I knew the answer immediately. As it turns out, boys who grow up in the Midwest, apparently, do not learn how to use a clutch. and I thought they all grew up driving tractors ! silly me. silly, silly me.

i did a bit of driving. shoot me. but i had to. you hear me ? i had to or else I was never going to get to San Francisco. so, when the road became straight and less populated I figured it was time for his first Stick Shift Lesson. now, he may have grown up in the Midwest without ever sitting on a tractor, but this boy went to Harvard, folks. so, he’s no dummy. we went to a parking lot off I-5 and i taught him the basic concept of driving a stick shift. started the car in first a few times and handed the wheel over to him and i have never seen or heard of anyone picking up the skill so fast in all my life. within minutes he was starting in first gear without stalling or uncomfortably jerking the car around. so, we were on our way. and although when we reached towns I would take the wheel over when we reached major intersections and/or any sort of inclines – we made it work. sometimes we’d just pull onto the freeway shoulder and i would put him behind the wheel and he would start from there. after all – getting a car into first gear is the hardest part of driving a stick shift. once you’re in first, you can slide all the way up into fifth gear and just glide south on I-5 without a care in the world.

because we’d left so late in the afternoon, we stopped somewhere to sleep around midnight. since the car was so packed and since i’d packed in such haste before i’d left, i decided to repack the car. at midnight. in the middle of nowhere. yes, i am a little crazy. i met a jazz musician whilst repacking – that’s cool, right ? i didn’t hit the hay until 2:15am – it was an intense game of tetris i was playing with my car, believe you me – but i eventually won and we were actually able to squeeze my friend’s back back and laptop into the back of the car ! so, for the remainder of the drive south – i resumed my position in shot gun. a cardboard box at my feet holding my turtle and a crate on my lap holding my cat. i was even so successful in the repack that i was able to move the front seat backwards a couple of inches to allow my friend to sit in the driver’s seat more comfortably – i’m such a good host, aren’t i?

i wanted to share an even longer story with you and describe to you, in painful detail, my new apartment and the surrounding area(s), but this post is long enough as it is and it’s taken me nearly all day to write considering i’ve been in and out of my apartment and have spent much time applying to jobs and making necessary appointments. that said, i bid ye farewell and a fine evening. i will post again in a day or two once the dust settles (weekends are for dust settling – are they not?). in the meantime, enjoy this picture i took of the view from my roof ::

[google images][google images][iPhone camera]

jessi

 

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

eleven days, washington street, and gravy

i am not ignoring you, trust me.

i am just busier than busy than busy could be. i leave in eleven (ok, maybe ten by the time you read this) days for San Francisco. eleven days, er ten days. and for the record, NO, i would hardly consider myself packed or prepared, although mentally – i have already relocated. now it’s just a matter of aligning my mental state to my physical world – which, by the way, is no easy task when you collect obscene amounts of stuff because you had a particular fondness for it and/or you have a particular fondness for who gave it to you and the memory attached to it.

i have been attempting to clean my apartment and pack up shop one square foot at a time, whilst juggling freelance work, riding horses, and trying ever so desperately to spend quality time with my near and dear friends prior to my departure (at this point, let me remind you that i am currently without a car (which would not be such an issue if the public transportation system in Seattle was not, for the most part, completely useless). so i am feeling entirely overwhelmed, unable to haul anything anywhere :: be it the dump, a donation center, storage, etc.

by now i should have held not one, but two, Garage Sales. However, as fate would have it (since I endured a health scare, then spent nearly 10 days in a hospital for a family member’s rapidly deteriorating health, and also/subsequently attending two open casket funerals in the space of one week, and spending an entire week in Montana for the second funeral), i “lost” about a month of my life and therefore find myself in a bit of a panic. these are not complaints, just facts. i had never in my life been surrounded by so much death and sadness and i wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. so, i do have trouble sleeping in the first place, but under these circumstances sleep seems only to wash over me when i’ve completely exhausted myself.


i am currently listening to Aimee Mann in an effort to calm my nerves and although Sylvia Plath once wrote that “there must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure,” for those of you who, like myself, are not particularly fond of baths (don’t ask me why, i’ve not been fond of them since i was kid), i am of the opinion that there are quite a few things a hot cup of tea won’t cure. so, bottoms up – tea cup style.

as for Washington Street (and trust me, the irony does not escape me since I am moving from Seattle, Washington) – this is where i’ll be living in San Francisco – I’ve put down the deposit, I’ve met my room mates (well, I’ve met two of them – there are three in total), i adore the neighborhood, i adore the apartment, and though it was only the second apartment i’d looked at – it just felt right. perhaps because we have roof access (and therefore an amazing view of the city), or maybe because it’s like the International House of People (IHOP for short)(one being from Greece, one from Italy, and another from France). what can i say ? i just had a really good feeling about the place and its inhabitants :: so i canceled any plans i’d made to see other spaces and bit the bullet / pulled the trigger – handed over my security deposit and my first month’s rent and called it a day.

as for Gravy? i am not talking about that delicious sauce one drizzles and/or drowns mashed potatoes with :: i am referring to a bulldog named Gravy. he is painfully cute, expressive, sweet, charismatic, and amazing-in-every-way-possible. he belongs to friend of mine and while at my friend’s apartment one evening, i took a few pictures of him, began sketching, then painting, and here’s ended up with this painting (and yes, i somehow managed to make this look like a paint by number) ::

my apologies for the shine factor.  the light from the scanner caused some serious reflections in the dark areas of the painting.

i have more to share. in fact, i have much more to share, however – i must call it a day and hit the hay (unintentional rhyme). until then, i bid you a wonderful morning, afternoon, evening, or what have you – i’ll be back just as soon as can.

[misc. google image][pencil and acrylic on paper]

jessi

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Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt)