Comp Tickets

 

…if every soft focused sepia-toned choppy 8mm dream you had about your ultimate triumphs and devastating failures had a soundtrack for its ending credits…the score would be penned by Sigur Rós;and they would only perform live.

 

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Turning the Point

We have been out of port for two days, and have moved on to the sherry…
The grog that we have been slopping the mates has kept them at barely an arms length from mutiny. Day two in search of her has yielded nary a sight or sound of our prize. She may not have descended below the marine layer, but the whirling eddies of passing clouds prove she is an artist unbekownst of her greatest creations. Soon she will have to be seen. We know not when, but we will be there. I have heard tales of fanciful flights to far of lands without breaking cover of sight for days. I hope this does not hold true. Fruitless for more than a few days and the mates will becoming uncontrollably restless. I too know this feeling of restlessness, yet mine has gnawed at my insides for years. These simple cretins, navigating the rigging while I navigate the globe know nothing of real desire. They crave from her only what she shows, and in this they never see the true prize. I, however, know what lies beneath, under careful guard. We shall not stop, be it foul weather or foul temperament, I will have her. Today we sail on, riding the diaphanous breeze of camaraderie, drunk on the spirits of the unforeseen future. I know full well the clouds will break, the sun will bathe my sails and glance from the waves like stars. For that day, I watch, and I wait.

 

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Treasury

She passes through every day at about this time. If the rest of us are lucky; she stays if but for an extended moment. Today fortune smiles. She glides from the counter; through the French doors and onto the veranda. Her curls bounce behind her like an obedient in supplication and winding into an open chair; she settles.
I sit two tables down; watching her. The ticking from my watch slows to vacant…endless…intervals. Captivating is a word left for lesser moments with lesser subjects. She is…entrancing. Her left leg sits perched across her right. I can see the instep of her feet, the crown on a garnet shoe. Her delicate ankles graciously give way to a sculpted calf. Extended, pronounced lines move gently as she bobs her leg in time with a silent anthem. The hem of her cocoa skirt allows the bend of her knee to flirt with the air; to flirt with me; to coax my held breath. Breathe…Please.
I curse the tailor’s adroit hands for draping such an alluring silhouette with deft precision. She knows. She smiles slyly with the corner of her eye. She certainly knows. As she cradles her book in her left hand, the right glides through to turn a page. Her head cocks to the left again. The tresses tied back, save one gently spiralling tendril at her cheek, flip in accordance with her will. Her florid lips, suggesting a base of softest pink, progress minutely into a placid smile. Lost and forgotten, find me. Find me here, at this table, inhaling every movement and devouring her last detail.
The suns late autumn beams cut through the brise-soleil to mark her lap in alternating hues of cool and warm. Her radiant face casts a light of a different spectrum on colder darker, places, she has not seen. I feel the tension in my chest ease as I feel her simper. I feel it grip me again as the sidelong squint turns into a realizing glance in my direction. Like a lesser being, terrified, I freeze. I am found out.
Her bare limbs carry the slightest sensation of chill. I pray the sun shine full again, do not drive this picture away.

 

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Seagrams

When I emerged onto the plaza it was nearing dusk. In the looming, chilled shade of evening, Mies’ masterpiece seemed to support the highest whisps of orange cloud. I perched on a corner step and watched the throngs of people move in contorted rivulets across the abused pavement. This herd reminds me of the tides, only drawn by a different celestial force.

I waited, content but seemingly anxious. We were not able to meet yesterday. She was occupied. I assume with all of the tireless business at hand, she meant work. Today I would challenge the status quo; I aim to intercept. As the ebbing light morphs into a maze of bouncing and blurring angles, I check my wristwatch again.

The silent stop-start movement mocks me, mimicking my reaction when I see her face. Without fail. With no regard to common place or repetition. When her face paints a smile of purest affection…I stop…If but only for an imperceptible moment, and move again. The pause is shorter than infinite, but tell this to my lungs and heart, whom scream for time to move again, and end their forced halt.

My eyes and ears are flooded with sepia tones, rich and warm. If I removed my glasses, I would see a world muffled in velvet, and sounding a harmonious note. I do not balk at this consciousness anymore, but rather pang for it to return. If not for the occurrence itself, than for the basic truth that she is near.

Time. Almost as promptly as I pivot, she moves through the glass façade like a wraith. Smooth, gliding, and exquisitely haunting. Stop. Start. I can feel the comfortable smirk start to push beyond my cheeks. I can not control this. One, two, three steps onto the plaza level. Wrapping my coat tighter, and straightening my stride I move towards her. Before our gazes meet across the paved expanse, she turns to receive his hand in hers. Stop. They fall into unison as they march toward the perimeter, to intercept me, whom they have not seen. Start. The smile. Her smile…and his in return. I am… I still am, but I am not. The couple makes their final approach to my vicinity. A small delicate laugh, countered with a blush and a nod. She glances up, and our eyes meet…I fear, for the last time.

 

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Pantone 293 U

Bernard moves with relative ease through the converging horizon point of the hallway. Passing meters at a stride;  with controlled breath. He recalls the plan of the whole complex; looking to find its ultimate concentricities. The second hand on his watch courses steadily through its orbit, reminding him with every glance, that time is critical and vastly overestimated. Leaning through acute and obtuse changes of coursing in turn, Bernard checks off the stop-motion flashes of alternate routes as they apparate and vanish from his periphery. Only one stop can be made—at the end. He has displaced his weight and resolve forward at a pace unknown to his experience. Continuously, for what seems to be hours, in fuligin draped nothing, the tread of his shoes continue to leave their crumbs as alien palimpsest, the dust settling around them framing their passage. Bernard knows he can not desist, for anything, anyone, anytime.

Emerging from the gradient passage edge and into the arabesque volume of the complex’s center; Bernard eases a smile across his visage, concurrent with the sharp pang of anxiety and fear that roils through his chest. The lactic acid in his body finally begins it’s silent, creeping, wailing assault on his nervous system. Just focus. Allow the vanishing line to converge on itself. Create your point of departure, he repeats to himself; using the reassurance he has crafted over days of struggle.

Ahead of him now; to the naked eye, only a blank space in time and volume, but Bernard knows he must just get to the singularity; the one-point. My God! I have it in my mind, and now just to see it, move! The last five strides take him from the recollection of the past vector to the immediate reality. 5. How did this begin? 4. I have to be here, and in 3 steps time I must be there. 3. I can leave. 2. Push, breathe, move, push. 1. Jump.

As Bernard unleashes the coiled potential energy in his legs, he forces gravity to release him from oppression. The chasm below him gapes with the unfathomable darkness of a screaming maw, inaudibly lusting for the feast of his mass. Below, the cesium-133 atom does not oscillate at the documented 9,192,631,770 per second. There is no second at all. At the event horizon, time does move; and Bernard stays above the line, continuing the trajectory through the dancing, grasping molecules.

At his path’s apex, Bernard is frozen still; in gesture and expression. Bernard feels the water in his body vibrate. The picture frame of his eyes show blue, a deep, beautiful cerulean blue. He remembers the blue from the painting on his grandfathers wall. Comfort. The pump squeezing in his ribs, beats one last time and halts. Even the eyeless organs in his body freeze in awe, drawing the blue through their own psyche, absorbing it like the struggling legionnaire imbibes water with abandon, marking the end of his trek through the seemingly infinite sea of desert. Every pore on his surface spews the color of sky with laser like unbending precision, bathing the great space in tiny pinholes looking out to the seeming meet of sea and heavens. Noiselessly, the blue morphs to cyan to white to brilliance. The edges of every object, wall, column, and person lose their boundary and prostrate to the flash. Pure white, like a virgin space at the precipice of creation. Painfully brief and long. Now black. Left unsatisfied, the pit’s yawning mouth is again mired in ink darkness. One step closer to farther, Bernard is gone.

 

 

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The Radius Resolve

I can’t see them this close, Heisenberg was undoubtedly correct. I can recall every detail. I know the soft-fiber wet-fold, and the French contour it skates. I know the gentle peak at their apex and the concave fraternal twin; arching across her face like the deck shear of a sea vessel. I know the smooth, seductive, fading curve; glistened with anticipation and performed as coy desire. I know the ebb and flow of her bodies tide; as every wave paints blush on my cheeks. I can not see but I know they quiver. The slightest trembles, moving them closer and farther away from me at intervals I can perceive. This is the eve before the eve. I know the attraction and it’s taste is palpable without touching my tongue. I can consume her. The most beautiful snapshot; the passion in the instant before the kiss.

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Enter Woollven Studios

About 2 weeks ago I put out a call; a plea; across the vast series of tubes asking if any kind soul had access to a wood or metal shop that I could use. You see, despite the things that I could be doing: Façadomized (on Twitter) or my own blog project at Blipm-art.com, I am still bored out of my effing mind! I need a job. A purpose, per se, to extricate myself from my air mattress earlier than noon and even change out of my fashionable sleeping attire. In reasoning my solicitation for a shop I figured that perhaps if I could set my mind to building some furniture I could stave off the droves of boredom that are prone to overtake me as I sit in my graciously borrowed room (that, some days, feels distinctly closer to Inuit territory than to downtown Austin).
Enter Woollven Studios. I got a call from a former classmate from good ol’ James E. Taylor HS and she said that she owned/ran a wood shop and that they needed help. I could even trade for shop time. BAM! After meeting the aforementioned Woollven the deal was struck. I show up and help out every morning and I can use the shop. Perfect.

The business end of Woollven Studios complete with Woollven

Here is a little run-down of what we have been doing in the past couple of weeks:

Well, when one signs on to basically be an apprentice; what does one get to do first? You do the basic stuff. Learn the tools and how to take care of them. First task: sharpen block plane blades (the block plane being one of the most oft used tools in woodworking)

Basically, this is the mailroom. The low rung. Sharpening blades for block planes.

Training wheels for newbies upon moving to the Japanese water stones.

Japanese water stones.

Ye Old Strop .After this you can literally shave with these blades.

My spread.

 

Next, I got to work on was building and setting up a little steam box to steam the Tiger Maple strips that we were going to laminate into the curved kick board for a hall table. Unfortunately, we could not get the best pressure out of the “repurposed” cooking pot that was sacrificed. Because of that…the strips did not really get as soaked as the thinner ones that we glued up the day before.

Steam box V1.0

Inside the Temperamental Beast. The before.

After 4 hours…not gonna cut it.

The finished product, the apron (i.e. the first set of steamed strips that were successfully bent and laminated) now has to be planed smooth and even on both sides to about 2.25″.

The apron, post lamination, against the form.

Woollven demonstarting to me how to plane like a seasoned pro. He is using the cabinet shaper to take more material off at the beginning.

My finished handiwork. Pleased to say it passed the Master's muster.

The two curved pieces are the top and the shelf bottom of the table.

Lastly, we are starting work on a 4″ thick solid maple headboard with a compass inlay made of Tiger Maple. I got to use some of my finely honed architecturing skills to create the compass.

Cut out a vertical- and a horizontal-grain compass so we could play with the look.

All of this work has been absolutely amazing. I have learned so much from Woollven about working with wood in the last two weeks that everything I thought I knew before seems paltry. He refuses to merely give me busy work and insists on teaching me the how & why we are doing the things we are doing. A fantastic teacher, indeed. Soon I will be making some furniture of my own with some generously donated (amazing) wood, shop time, and invaluable language. It may not be the best but I can guarantee that it will be built more with my hands than a machine. Very excited.

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Downto(w)n not Crappy

I have been a re-Texas resident now for 3 weeks and I can say that I believe my decision to leave San Diego and come here is still the right one. One can never expect any person or any place to remain unchanged over the course of a decade. All that aside; I still can not believe how much Austin has changed!

Greetings From Austin

Downtown has always been fairly vibrant. Normally a Texas town such as this would be a difficult sell on “downtown vibrancy” tip but Austin does have a few things up it’s sleeve that no other Texas cities have. For one, the seat of the Texas state government. You may not care for them (I think Texas “politicians” are mostly shit-eating boot-sporting fuck sticks with no marketable talents or skills. The obvious exception: The Texas Film Commission — they are all saints) but the fact of the matter is that the Capitol demands accommodations for government and wherever that demand is in play…you get a glut of public works and infrastructure. Just the state capitol complex alone grants the city a nice expanse of grounds (22 acres in all which includes numerous sculptures and monuments) to walk, run, and picnic on. In Texas, the fact of having an urban park is fairly foreign so the reality of its existence alone is a win for people; and no, it is still no Balboa Park.

7th largest building in the world!…at the time of construction…of course

The next boon to downtown; the central location of The University of Texas at Austin’s campus — the main campus in the UT system — is a mere four blocks North of the Capitol. Is there irony in having a major research university with the 5th largest single-campus enrollment sporting a fairly substantial liberal bias just 400m away from arguably the most strikingly conservative and mind-numbingly idiotic state government collectives assembled (hyperbole — there is always Mississippi) in the Union? Why yes. There is. An irony that, at times, is palpable and really entertaining. UT keeps pumping the young impressionable and brilliant minds onto campus despite the best efforts of the Texas government to dumb them down and indoctrinate them into stupidity in the grade school arena. Qualification: considering that the Texas legislature only meets EVERY OTHER FUCKING YEAR(!) they can do little to stop UT from there “liberal agenda”.

The third constant in the ATX downtown spirit awards is, and hopefully shall always be, the local music scene. It’s alive, it’s prolific, it’s fairly decent in quality, and San Diego has absolutely nothing like it whatsoever. One of the saddest days in my life was, upon moving to San Diego, realizing that it was pretty devoid of a music scene and what little could be claimed was so scattered and fragmented across the suburban landscape that you had to take a bus and a train to get to another venue. I am certainly thankful (at least until SXSW starts up in a month or so) that Austin has the centroid of venues that covers a square mile or so where one can see any type of music you choose. Stock the venues with co-eds from the 40 acres and you have enduring success.

Now, for the new:

You can live downtown now! Holy Christ on a stick! 10 years ago the only way you really got to live downtown was if you passed out in a side alley off 6th street. Now they have “urban” living. I say “urban” with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek because Austin’s fairly diminutive size, lack of a true public transit option, and the non-existence of a central grocery store make it still a bit more of a destination rather than a starting point*. Seriously, downtown Austin needs a viable option as far as acts of daily living are concerned. But; there are units. There are condos. I (assume) there are (a few) rental properties. There is downtown living and it seems to be growing.

You can eat downtown now! Not just BBQ and steakhouses! There are real interesting restaurants with real interesting menus! I have had the privilege of going to a few already and I must say the fare was delicious, the atmosphere engaging, and the experience fantastic. My advice: sit down for a meal and (more than) a few drinks at Peché and Parkside. The first Saturday I was here I had French 75s (a drink that I am betting not many places could make 10 years ago) at PechéSwan Dive (even with the love-child of Sammy Hagar and Ron Jeremy telling us that they “were not serving premium cocktails” that night…well, we did not “premium tip”), Haddingtons (a place whose vibe and menu started whispering to my ego that I would like to be a regular) and The Mohawk. The next Friday 75s were had at: MulberryBar CongressParkside, Ruth Chris’, and Vino Vino (love love love love this place). The second to last place was a necessity to see my good friend Sal. There are places on 2nd street that had only been abandoned building shells when I left. The best part? Downtown is accessible and relevant unlike San Diego’s downtown “entertainment” area, the Gaslamp District. There are, of course, stretches of 6th street that remind me of the entire expanse of Pacific Beach (whoreish, drunkenly depraved, and culturally benign) but at least they seem to have been segregated into a more manageable area for easier college student ambulation. Hell, I even took a little day-time drinking trip to South Congress and they have more stuff there than just The Continental Club now. Surprise surprise surprise. You can also add Jo’s downtownDoc’s, and the Hotel San Jose (amazing patio ambiance) as fantastic places to get food and fare in the downtown area.

My main goal upon moving to Austin as a degreed professional and an “adult”, aside from gainful architectural employment, was to forget everything I know or knew about Austin and attempt to experience it all over again the right way — or at least in a way that is more congruent with my ideology. So far I think I have been doing well. I even some fantastic live music last Saturday from BK & Mr. E, Zeale (Legit Austin Hip-Hop with legit skills), and Zeale’s Spinner — DJ Rockwell 9000!

BK & Mr. E

This company does not front

Next Up: The “urban” neighborhoods.

 

* No, I do not count Whole Fucking Foods as a grocery store (even if it is WF #1). Shopping at Whole Foods is the grocery store equivalent of buying a Mercedes: You insist on paying too much for something that is more of a status symbol and an empty ideology, but you wind up getting something that drives like a bricked piece of crap. I’m with Marc Maron on this one when he said that he tries to steal something from Whole Foods every time he goes in there just because he feels like it should be done. Fuck those guys.

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Eating Humble Pie

After years of putting it off; I have a professional “portfolio”. Have at it. Destroy. Critique. Laugh. Remark. Do your worst; or best.

 

Without Further Ado; Me.

My CV and portfolio as of Winter 2012

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San Diego, I Think We Should See Other People…But We Can Still Have Sex, Right?

My Dearest San Diego,

The rumors you have heard from your friends are true; after more than a decade, San Diego, I’mbreaking up with you. We were thrown together through unforeseeable circumstance and despite the fact that we always had eyes for other people, we made it work. We had a life together that is for sure.

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