102920yesterday, I went back to fremont for the first time in a couple months, and it was familiar and strange, relieving and unpleasant, grounding and overwhelming, comfortable and malaise-inducing. I have such complicated feelings about places... the last time I was in my room was before leaving for my road trip down to LA with Catherine, and I remember being excited but scared... I had been there for so long, grown so comfortable and indolent, and sort of naïve, and I thought that moving away -- even temporarily -- sounded too ambitious for someone of my stature to accomplish. I began to rot there, turning into my high school self, laden with insecurity and inertia, and I couldn't conceive of a version of myself that would actually be able to take to the road with confidence and gumption and figure out a plan as I went. but I did it, with the lidocaine that was Catherine's company, which provided me enough distraction and a reminder of who I used to be that I felt temporarily boosted through the hardest part, which was finally leaving the Bay Area. like a powerup in Mario kart...
when I went down there everything was new and glittery, even the ugliest parts of LA, and after Catherine left I felt the strangeness seep in. I said then that after a trip you expect to be deposited back home, back in the place you left from, but instead of finding myself in fremont after Catherine's early flight to New York I found myself checking in to Eric's empty apartment in Koreatown. the weirdness of the whole covid situation really sunk in then, when I realized I was in a new city and had to fend for myself, create my own fun, while knowing maybe just a handful of people in a 100 mile radius. luckily I only had two weeks or so to myself, and I successfully filled up those two weeks with making a whole new girl group of friends, people that I was very lucky to meet. after that it was a whole nother episode of my trip, when zach and chris flew in and it was again chaos, art, music, drugs, and wfh, albeit with people I know very well, which took a little of the edge off. it is interesting to find yourself again in the presence of your closest friends, and I don't mean 'find yourself' as in end up in their company, but rather literally 'find yourself', understand yourself, realize the version of yourself that was there all along, the version that is exciting, capable, an agent of their own destiny, rather than just a pawn at the whim of Nature and its discontents...
after this strain of thoughts, it makes sense why I was wary to step foot in my childhood bedroom once again, especially after a rather wonderful set of weeks in the indian summer of san Francisco. I guess I was worried to shake things up, when things were going so well, as we garden, eat nice food, meet with friends, and generally enjoy ourselves despite the humdrum of covid life. it's definitely nice to be in fremont, but I think I have to be wary of the black hole that i get sucked into when I am there for a long time, after which it becomes very difficult to tear myself away from the increasingly comfortable routine of life, myriad responsibilities to my family, and the pursuant, nagging, and insistent nature of my own depression and melancholy. maybe there's truth to the tradition of moving out to go to college and never coming back...
it's tough to negotiate all these thoughts, let alone the eccentric personalities and quirks of everyone in my family, which I feel that, justified or unjustified, I have to manage at all times. being in san francisco gives me a kind of critical distance and selfishness that maybe is not all bad, and though I feel guilt for leaving my family, I really don't know if I can thrive there.
yesterday I was in niles and I slowed down for a pair of wild turkeys on the road, and as I slowed behind them, they got out of my way into the other lane, but when I began to accelerate, they decided to too, and then we were all together in communion, them running by my side, me driving 15 mph through the autumn streets.
on my drive back to San Francisco at night I found myself sad and misunderstood, as I do from time to time, and I rode it out to the soundtrack of Workingman's dead (50th anniversary deluxe edition). I cried, of course, a fixture of my nighttime drives ever since I was 16 and heartbroken, depressed, and overwhelmed by the world. I thought even last night that I didn't sign up for this, but the dead comforted me and made me feel like we were all just along for the ride, even though some of our rides are more unpleasant than others. I really feel these days that I'm holding on for dear life -- I can't imagine how anyone weathers the rollercoaster of life, of grief, unadulterated joy, the edges of intense emotion, of responsibility and obligation, of heartache and the pain of love, of loss and change, of loneliness and peculiarity, of danger and risk, of fear and doubt... does anyone have any tips for me? because I'd love to hear them...
when I was younger, I thought people in their early 20's were full-fledged adults, who went to work and made wages and bought things and were responsible. only now, at 22, am I really realizing just how little I know, and just how scary and overwhelming the world is, and the absolutely terrifying, paralyzing, and weighty notion that I am alive...and what do I do with that? I guess life is a scary but beautiful thing, which is definitely something I think the dead understood, and not just understood but celebrated, which is I guess why they give me comfort during these trying times and thoughts -- or at least, something to grasp on to while I drift further and further away...
102520Thursday night we went to rasa for dinner, leaving the small town of san Francisco for the hustlin and bustlin big city of burlingame. it was so nice to go get fancy food (not that we usually don't eat fancy food, but this was MICHELIN...) and we talked about life, art, gossip, fame, our aspirations, etc... we drank fancy cocktails with ghee-infused bourbon and tea-infused gin and felt very urbane.
on friday I had a busy day, I stopped by the de young open with my mom, the Frida exhibit, and the AI exhibit and had some thoughts that maybe I'll write down at a later date. I got my nails done on Haight street and I picked colors that were a little too summery for October but I decided it wasn't worth being upset over. in the evening we went back to the Marina, and this time I had a reservation, so I got my $1 oysters and was happy, although they weren't that good but did satisfy the craving. we rushed out just before the workday ended and I was thrilled at the opportunity to drink $5 wine to my heart's content, alongside mussels and tartare and calamari and all the other good foods of the world. we got drunk pretty quickly and left when the server kicked us out, and tried to find another place to drink but everywhere else also needed a reservation (wondering if I'm supposed to make multiple reservations these days to barhop?) but then we got lucky at a sushi place where they chased us down to give us a free table that had opened up. we split a single roll then piper left, we had energy so we decided to go on an adventure to the wave organ (my ex told me about it when I was 15 at Stanford summer camp, and he always talked about taking me but we never went). it took us so long to walk there that we ended up smoking all the weed we meant to smoke at the organ, but there was a couple there who we were cockblocking and the organ wasn't making any sounds anyways so it was fine. Antonio took some pictures of me looking hot and tall and I was thrilled, im waiting to post them on my ig until I feel I need to prove something. haha. we ubered home after all this and ordered Thai food and I was craving egg rolls and they were delicious.
the weed made it so that I didn't have a hangover saturday morning, but we still moved pretty slowly getting ready to head over to Oakland for Darren's bbq. zach did shrooms and I was sufficiently drunk before my set (we were all DJing which was something I was really excited for but also anxious about.) I liked my set list though even though everyone was too tired to dance, and I was gleeful that zach was the DD for once and smoked to my heart's content. we drove back hungry and ordered cheesy bread from dominos, for old time's sake, and realized that we want for nothing. we've been saying that a lot lately, we want for nothing, and it becomes truer and truer with time. a part of me feels guilt at being so lucky and experiencing so much joy during this terrible time, but you only live once I guess and also you do what you can to make the world a better place.
today my mom came again and we were all hungover, we grabbed a bite to eat at blue Danube before hitting the farmers market. there weren't as many cute guys this time as last time but also maybe I was just too hungover to notice. all the hipsters really come out in full force on clement street, and I wonder how many of them make the trek to my part of the city on Sundays just for the fruits and veggies. the line at arsicault was longer than ever and I felt smug that people line up for things that I can just walk to get every morning. clement was really popping today and it felt good to be in the middle of things. we got some fabric to make ourselves a picnic blanket, which is a new project to add to the ever-growing list of projects...my other project is to begin to make extravagant and elaborate dishes for no reason, and I spent almost 2 hours cooking a mediterranean-inspired feast of pan-roasted veggies, marinated chicken, mint yogurt dip and crispy farro. I've been really enjoying my Sundays recently.
102220I just found this article which is absolute gold, about how Ken Kesey was invited to speak at an Apple party in 1993 and got kicked out, just like he always was, from every speaking engagement ever, for saying some whack shit
APPLE DROPS LSD PIONEER INTO PARTY, HAS BUMMER
also, grace slick (from Jefferson Airplane) went to castilleja? literally...what??
how funny is this Grateful Dead conversion story:
FOREVER DEAD by Joe del Priore
can you believe this shit?
the grateful dead performing at the pyramids in Egypt in 1978
wall of sound, massive PA system built/conceived by Owsley Stanley in the 1970s for the dead
ok also lemme just say while im at it that Owsley Stanley's son named Starfinder is a vet in Sonoma County...
im really geeked reading this blog about Melissa Cargill, LSD chemist and Owsley's one-time girlfriend (and, it seems, other overlooked women in drug history)
Hidden Figures of Drug History: Melissa Cargill
apparently there was just no way to work in the lab without getting some LSD in you and so the lab techs literally just would work and then wait off the 8-10hr trip in a 'cooling off chamber'. what the fuck hahahah
here's some cool footage from the acid test graduation in sf on halloween 1966, from the Bay Area TV Archive which seems like actually a really cool thing to check out
Acid Test Graduation, 10/31/1966
Acid Rock: the candy-coloured story of music designed to blow minds
A Long Strange Trip
Owsley and me, by Charles Perry
NPR: 'Do You Want To Talk To The Man-In-Charge, Or The Woman Who Knows What's Going On?' Stories Of The Women Of The Grateful Dead
Guide to the Macintosh Underground
I think that these are essays by owsley, or at least I have no reason to think otherwise
this treasure trove of stuff about Cathy Casamo, aka Stark Naked, whose departure from the prankster's FURTHUR journey is one of the most harrowing things I remember from reading Electric Koolaid Acid Test
I have no idea what this is lmao but seems_Fun
Owsley Stanley: The King of LSD in Rolling Stone
some info on the 3rd acid test at Muir Beach in Dec. 1965
102120I finally finished the center will not hold yesterday, the Netflix documentary on Joan Didion, and it really put me at a bit of a loss for words. I think you watch that sort of thing expecting to get a kind of happy ending, a sort of relief that puts off the fear of growing old (if she can be so graceful at 87, so can I!). but instead I really felt a sense of gravity and sorrow, particularly towards the end, when, after such a culturally significant and rich life, Joan really is just all alone.. and the sad, depraved, but hedonistic, crazy, hot world she saw and experienced is still there, all along nothing has really changed, but over time all the sexy parts have faded, and now all that's left is the sadness and depravity...
just like with all things lately, I feel like the real answer is that the end of life is not particularly better or worse than at any other point – but I was struck by how hard the film hit home Joan's nihilism, almost in a way that felt like it was showing her just desserts...
I'm still in the middle of slouching towards Bethlehem but I find myself really in awe of her wry wit, her incisiveness, her playful cynicism and contempt. I realized when I was watching the documentary that maybe the reason Im so enamored by Joan is because she is so different from me, and I could never be her, and that fills me with a sort of intrigue and envy. where I am earnest and sometimes overbearing, quick-tempered and opinionated, with a sometimes charming alacrity, Joan is reticent and reserved, intelligent and sort of detached, clever enough to know not to put all her cards on the table...she observes like a fly on the wall, I guess like any good reporter, and doesn't have main character syndrome...she reminds me now of Aditi, now that I really think about it, and all the qualities that made them so cool that I could never adopt, no matter how hard I tried... an unwavering aloofness, a deep-seated wisdom complemented by a quick wit, a sort of casual nonchalance and a sense of humor about everything.
I laughed at the anecdote of Joan walking down into her house silently, sunglasses on in the mid-morning, drinking an ice cold Coca Cola and reading the paper in front of a guest, no words spoken. i would feel so bad, but maybe the point of Joan is that she is in her world, and maybe that is both her gift and her fatal flaw.
the woman has endured such tragedy, it reminded me of my therapist telling me there was worth in negative experiences – she said they give us the capacity for empathy and help us be there for others. I realized that I probably am one of the few people I know that has gone through the level of grief and trauma I've been through, and maybe that does factor into my ability to support the people I care about. it's not something I've ever particularly thought about before, at least not through that lens, and it made me feel better about the negative experiences of life.
Joan's family apparently came west with the Donner family, which I think is a hilarious tidbit given that there is no kid in California that hasn't grown up with the mythology of the Donners. it's like how 'the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell' was a meme some years ago, but here in CA it's 'the Donners were cannibals,' especially every time you drive to Tahoe past Donner pass.
I bought an anklet on Etsy today, I ordered some CBD blunts from Eaze yesterday, and we got some boba delivered via Doordash last night. the amount of times we interface with platforms in daily life as wealthy 20-somethings is nothing short of heinous, and the more money I make the less friction there is when I'm high at 11:39pm and decide I want to order a $15 pint of artisanal ice cream from my iPhone. you just click the button, and then before you know it someone is knocking at your door, ice cream in bag in hand. the guilt is still burgeoning by the time the pint (and my $15 plus tax, service fees, and a hefty driver tip) is gone.
covid exposure is just like money, it seems, at least to me. at the beginning, I wouldn't go out at all, I was so nervous at the possibility I might get covid from the grocery store buying my 100th bag of survival pasta. then, you ease into it a bit, and start doing more and more risky things, and as you don't get covid, you feel enabled. suddenly, you're at Berkshire on la brea with 200+ other people, no one is wearing masks, and you wonder how you got here... dont you have a grandma to take care of? but you go, get drunk with some basketball players, and a few days later, you feel fine, and maybe you don't go to Berkshire again, but you are still far away from the early days when you were content within the 4 walls of your high school bedroom.
money is beginning to work similarly, for me: I used to calculate the minimum amount of time I'd have to pay for parking, in order to save a few bucks here and there, and it was just ingrained in my personality to undercut the actual cost. then I'd be stressing running back to my car 10 minutes after my meter expired, hoping I didn't get a ticket. now I pay above and beyond what I think I will need, and if I don't use it, I simply don't care. what's a few extra dollars here and there...similarly, I used to never buy clothes more expensive than, say, $50. even jeans, I'd think it was absurd to pay more than that for one item of clothing. I got that from my mom, who is notoriously stingy with paying money for clothes, and loves to get things 'on sale.' well, I still don't really buy much than isn't 50-70% off, but I've definitely developed a tasted for nicer brands, and slowly my upper limit for a single piece of clothing has crept up, from $50, to $100, to $150... and I'll hit the order button, and feel a pang of guilt, but then functionally, even though I've spent an ungodly sum at Shopbop or Net-a-porter or whatever, the clothes will come, I'll wear some, return some, and it realistically does not make a dent in my savings or affect my quality of life. and then I realize, I can just buy more expensive things, and be just fine? I can just overpay my parking meter, and be just fine... I can buy the organic vegetables instead of the regular vegetables, and be just fine... and believe me, I know class war is coming, and I'm prepared.
Joan says you write what you know. I know the Grateful Dead, expensive clothes, champagne socialism, California culture, dating apps, sex and the city, hard drugs... bass music, grief, being an ugly duckling, insider politics, painting... you know what, maybe I need to know more things...
today I felt like carrie in the marina – I'd been wanting to go to this $1 oyster happy hour for a bit, and we drove up around 5:30, I, obviously excited for cheap shellfish, with a hungry zach in tow. after struggling for a bit to find parking, we made it to the place where the snooty server informed us, after confirming that we had no reservation, that there would be no room for us till 7pm. 7pm! happy hour ended at 6:30, and I was, of course, thoroughly disgruntled. more than the lack of oysters, though, what really troubled me was the feeling of being jilted by this silly cafe, as if I were some ragamuffin off the streets, who didn't understand the necessity of planning in advance. but how could I have known that, now, in the covid era of san Francisco, we need RESERVATIONS to go to HAPPY HOUR? I felt made to be silly, and this made me impudent and embarrassed. of course, this is mostly in jest (although I was pretty upset), but I did find it interesting that now that there's a shortage of places to go, everything needs a reservation. I noticed that reservation culture really was a thing in LA, when we were there, and I thought 'this is so different from San Francisco, where you can wear whatever you'd like, show up whenever you'd like, and have no problem finding a table for dinner, a spot to drink at the bar, or room on whatever random activity you want to do.) but it seems like SF has become also a city of reservations, something that to me always sort of felt like a formality, and never a necessity, and beware showing up anywhere without a reservation because they will joyfully turn you away. (I will say, though, that despite not having a reservation we were sat at the adjacent sushi restaurant after about a 20 minute wait.) a word to the wise!
102020I think I need to take a bit of a break from the Grateful Dead... I listened to Althea maybe 200 times in a row on Sunday and started to go a little crazy. I think it maybe is good to not be in the deep for so long, and experience the lighter side of life... does that make sense? or maybe live in 2020 and not outside of time... on another musical note, I was listening to a bunch of my old playlists to see what I wanted to play at Darren's bbq this weekend, and found that I really couldn't stand so much of the music I used to love. I think something about quarantine (and its resultant lack of high-energy, cokey party vibes) has really dulled the part of me that likes bass house and other hard clubby shit. im sure I could get back into it once that becomes part of my life again, but for now im really just vibing with Joni and tori and alanis and all my other smart angsty singer songwriter queens...
however, the electronic music that I have been feeling lately is kinda the more vibey trappy stuff like Rome in silver... a genre zach turned me on to recently that we can't really place...
stray thoughts on CA culture (a random blog by a SFSU professor that I like)
Grateful Dead (online and in-person) archive at UCSC
I read this interview of Eileen law, the de facto archivist for the grateful dead, and I legit cried when I read this bc I thought it was so beautiful... then I thought, how could I possibly think of myself as substance-less and devoid of personhood or identity when I have (and have always had, as long as I can remember) such a basic and pure and innocent and specific and niche and silly desire to be alive during the California counterculture of the 1960s? if nothing else, that really is at the core of my personality...
"moving to the Haight changed everything for me. I would come home from work, change my clothes, and I would go out. All of the artists were living in the area and it felt like a community..." — Eileen law
in case I lose this link, I intend to read all of these articles
summer of love sf chronicle homepage
I woke up today feeling a little simpy... and I thought while walking to get fun coffee that the best way to prevent yourself from actually being happy is to try to stop being sad... I think maybe the shrooms taught me that... I think for myself often when I just stop trying to un-sad myself and make peace with what I am feeling I immediately begin to feel better.. it sounds like a really simple thing, which it is, but it's taken me a while to realize it...
101820on friday, chris drove up from pebble beach to spend the weekend in San Francisco. the previous night we went to milk bar where we talked to the bartender about all the entitled marina boys who refused to wear a mask. chris came up and we walked through the Haight, the lower haight, the Castro, all the way to the mission, and we drank and did ketamine on the street in front of the women's shelter. there was a clown movie playing on a brick wall which scared us, and then we got a margarita slushy. we ran through the sprinklers in dolores, not far from where a friend of a friend was killed earlier during quarantine by a stray bullet.
I can't stop listening to Althea. if there ever were a timeless song, it would be Althea. yesterday we did shrooms in golden gate park. I was overwhelmed and shown everything, nothing, all at once... I listened to Cornell 77 while everyone was exploring and thought about the uses of the erotic. zach and I sat underneath a magical tree, the hearth of the universe, and I again saw everything, nothing, all at once...
speaking felt such a chore. how to say what cannot be said? mirth, joy, laughter... everything serious, everything funny and unserious, then questioning if there was really a difference... the challenging beauty of life laid bare... the darkness and light coexisting as one... everything whole, everything meaningful, everything silly, everything exhilarating, everything terrifying, everything enough... and I, just a creature, gifted with the capacity for wonder, for emotion, for fear, for awe...
maybe I've made peace with death...
101220I've been in a bit of an introspective mood and listening to the velvet underground, notably I Found a Reason, which makes me really sad... it's so strange to look back on my childhood and remember how much I used to project upon the city of San Francisco–youth, vitality, exuberance, freedom, lust. I used to dream about how I'd be a Real Adult and live in the Big City, the place I only went as a child on special occasions, true for so many kids of the suburbs. I wrote a love letter to San Francisco in my old journal when I was young, before high school and falling into the urban 'scene' in a roundabout sort of way. it was earnest and naïve, of course, but also sweet and poetic and simple, all I wanted was freedom and independence and the excitement and hustle and bustle of urban life. and to yearn for such a romanticized city like San Francisco, the subject of so many artists' and poets' dreams, was second nature to me. everyone loves san Francisco, or at least they used to...
walking down Haight street in sweats and a hoodie and Birkenstocks today made me laugh at all the high schoolers that were stunting in the same neighborhood that I similarly I guess used to stunt in. all these well-dressed 15 year olds who looked like they'd be tik Tok famous were passing me by, main characters in their own right. bandanas as tops, baggy acid wash jeans, ornate sunglasses... have I become irrelevant at the tender age of 22?
it feels so second nature to me to walk down into my neighborhood, one ive been familiar with for so many years now, on a mission to run some errands and grab coffee, and remember how much I used to dream about this city that I now call home without a second thought. it was so special to me, the place of my wildest dreams, and now I design mailers for David Chiu that say 'fighting for San Francisco' and it's just a place that I live, a place that I work, a place that I get drinks with friends. it never occurred to me when I was young that when I grew older my simple dream would not only be fulfilled, but would become rudimentary and small. cities are where people who are 22 live – it's as easy as that. san Francisco felt so special and cosmopolitan back then, so cultured and cool, such an object of my suburban desire. now all I do is complain about this city and its people and its culture, and long for the olden days...
last week I bought my very first bong and I felt like a real Adult. it took me 2 years after I started smoking weed to buy my own weed, since everyone knows girls dont have to buy weed in high school. take that, feminism! I finally have a beautiful foresty green bong all to myself now, though, and I feel mature and sophisticated. I have a strong suspicion that the people who really were leeches on san Francisco have left (tech bros, finance kids, and the like) and now who's left is just the people who were always meant to be here in the first place. walking around to grab my new bong, I felt like everyone was jovial and friendly and for the first time I felt a real sense of community in the city. people felt normal, and instead of feeling like a Disneyland, sf felt like home. when I went to LA I was deeply surprised by how heterogenous the city was — all different types of people, from all walks of life, with different styles, cultures, perspectives. it was a jolt to experience that after leaving sf – where so many people are just the same. you see the wealthy white moms in yoga pants heading to soul cycle, you see the tech bros with skinny jeans and puffer vests over their quarter zips and their allbirds, you see every vaguely hipster girl with warby parkers and fjallravens. you see the overly aggressive middle aged biker, you see some angsty skate kids (my favorite group by far), you see the posturing high schoolers in trendy footwear. you see the salt and pepper haired VP-looking guys enjoying coffees with one another, you see the petite asian boys who all are friends and work at startups and graduated in 2019 from uc Berkeley.
but that's really it, here in san Francisco, and you'd be hard-pressed to really find more than a few other types of people in addition to what I've listed above. you can add on the elderly asians who walk down bustling clement street early in the morning – they're homies too.
despite covid-19, we've been making our own fun in this city, our own little autumn of love. on friday we went 'bar hopping' in the mission, and with such a low bar, it was impossible to not have a great time. we met at teeth, where once the bartender was someone I messaged back and forth with on hinge, and I felt silly to see him there, but he gave me a free drink and we smoked a cigarette outside and I decided I wouldn't hook up with him. that same night I took a shot, excused myself to go outside to throw up, then re-joined my party inside. after this cigarette situation I met a random Irish(?) guy who I went to go get pizza with after drunkenly leaving the bar, then I left him at the pizza place and I think he felt jilted because he probably thought we would fuck. but he wasn't that cute, and really I was just in the mood for pizza. anyway– we started at teeth, where everyone was watching the lakers game, but what was really the draw was all the election advertisements, yes on 22, yes on 16, yes on 15... it is so interesting sometimes to work in politics and it feels very relevant, especially so close to such an 'important' election.
we headed from teeth to a restaurant with a bit of an outdoor patio, and I immediately recognized it from a date with my ex, a place called 20 spot, where everyone was hip and they were playing Radiohead. we got a dessert and some hard kombucha, and then left to hit taqueria Cancun which is never amazing but always hits the spot. I prefer el buen sabor, which was the last place I saw Elliott before he died, and I never fail to remember that every time I enter their little corner shop, which is so very often. time is really such a crazy thing...
after getting nachos, we saw beauty bar across the street was really just selling drinks from the storefront - $8 very strong frozen margaritas, and we chatted with the drunk bartender who hated the Haight and liked my shoes, and ordered margs to go. it's crazy how we're just allowed to drink outside now because of covid, whereas before you had to be wary walking down the street with a beer (at least nominally). we stumbled our way around the mission, walked to Dolores where we saw some high schoolers fooling around at the playground (classic!). reminds me always of forest park, and how we'd get stupidly crossed and claim the play structures as our own dominion at 2am when everyone else was asleep and none the wiser. high schoolers just be like...
Antonio's sublet has a view of downtown, and it was so jaw-droppingly beautiful to just be sitting in his living room (mind you, its only $1400/month! the renaissance is coming!) and to just gaze upon the glittering lights of the skyscrapers. it feels unfair sometimes to be able to live in such an amazingly beautiful city, and all I can think of is back in the 60s when everyone could have a piece of the action...and there was action to have a piece of!
yesterday we went on a picnic with an old friend from high school, someone I didn't know too well, but who brought a present for us of some homegrown shrooms! we smoked CBD cigarettes in golden gate park after we sat around waiting for them in the rain for 2 hours, watching the sporadic drops fall on the leaves in a small cove we took refuge in. before that we skated around golden gate park, trying not to act nonplussed by the cheeky high schoolers who were one-upping our skating. our picnic ran late, and we caught a ride with Jeffrey back home, and the damp October air turned chilly as night fell on our beautiful city. Antonio swung by to give zach his key (he left it there on friday night) and we watched the drone video compilation that Antonio made on his first trip to san francisco, during spring break of our 2nd year of college, where I showed everyone around and we had a grand time. im driving around with a nail in my tire these days, so we had to pump up some air, then dropped Antonio off before heading to Darren's house in oakland for some Saturday night shenanigans. these shenanigans entailed listening to really loud bass music, smoking with a vaporizer bong situation, and making margs (again). it's nice to feel such a sense of community here, and I wonder why all this wasn't enough for me back in January or February, when I was in the depths of a deeply depressive episode and existential crisis. I feel like my life is full and I am content, but maybe my bar has just dropped, albeit for the better. we drove back over the bay bridge and, as usual, I was maybe a little too messed up to drive, but we powered through, and I was jubilant at my competence under-the-influence ('king shit!'). I remembered while driving on the bridge– when I was coming down on MDMA when I was 16 and somehow found myself on the bay bridge after having taken a wrong exit at the 80/880/580 junction in oakland, and I was freaking out and my hands had tremors and I was overheated and dehydrated, and there was construction on the bridge, and it was so stressful, and I had to take the first exit off the bridge and just get back on going the other direction, and I was late to get home but I made it there alive, and now when I think about it I really must have been in god's good graces because that was some irresponsible and dangerous shit that I will never do again.
100720 pt. 2maybe this is a controversial take but im tired of the glut of organizations forming recently that seek to mobilize artists/creatives/'content creators' and 'radically re-envision' society or culture or politics or what have you... I just got an email that pointed me towards:
"THE WIDE AWAKES ARE AN OPEN-SOURCE NETWORK WHO BELIEVE IN THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIETY AND THE POWER TO RADICALLY REIMAGINE THE FUTURE THROUGH CREATIVE COLLABORATION."
like what does that even mean? it feels like this jumble of sexy words with a predictably hip webpage points more to the cooptation of actual community organizing than to some sort of legitimate attempt at changing whatever it is they want to change... the organizer in me thinks why don't they just plug into an existing local network, hundreds if not thousands of which already exist in every city, and do the work that people have been doing for generations?
the honorable yet ultimately feeble goal of voter registration and 'mobilization' also rings hollow to me... the steadfast 'Democrat-ness' of it all reeks of a poorly developed ideology, or worse, no ideology at all...
it all begs the question – why? and for what? and for whom? branding activism, or activism for activism's sake, all seems a bit fishy to me.
I believe in mindfulness, and speculative futures, and community building, of course, just like any other mildly earnest 20something, but I think im particularly wary when it seems like the jargon is just being thrown around irresponsibly, with no real connection to those things' radical roots and with no real call to action to be involved with community. maybe activism becoming sexy in 2020 was actually a bad thing, and not helpful...
on the other hand, I like some of these sculptures by Lynda Benglis on view at frieze London...they are whimsical and kind of odd and pretty, while also just looking like beautified trash...and I love when people just put random stuff in their list of mediums, its so fun
Lynda Benglis, Broken Favor II, 2015-2016, handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, acrylic, acrylic medium, sparkles, 25" × 21" × 15"
I hate it when people over-intellectualize their work... it reeks of insecurity and pretentiousness and makes the artist look not that smart and unrelatable. why can't your abstract colorful paintings just be abstract colorful paintings? why do you have to pretend its profound? this intellectual dishonesty has got me 🙄🥴
that being said, I do kind of like rhizome's art prompt/research q's from last year: Info-Wars, on political radicalization and the internet; Money as Medium, exploring artistic interventions into cryptocurrency, economy, and debt; and Making Kin, on new and alternative communitarian infrastructure in the context of climate crisis.
100720something about San Francisco just really hits...
I woke up early-ish today to get breakfast with Jeffrey in pac heights, and we sat in a cute little orange outdoor dining setup and had mussels, quiche, and French onion soup... it was a chilly cloudy day in the city and as we sipped our coffee and talked about life (Mercedes, wealth, art, Los Angeles, university, peers) I felt such a welcome and pleasant familiarity about us... San Francisco can be so cold but never in a distant way, always in a deep, emotionally resonant way. I felt like carrie strutting down Fillmore in my blazer on my way to grab a cappuccino before my work call, and I could have cried at the beauty of my favorite city in the world, absorbing it all through the rose colored glasses of nostalgia and history. I think about Elliott when Im walking in the city alone, and my dad, and coming up to the city at dusk for family dinners in awe of the hustle and bustle of urban life at the tender age of 8 or 9. I think about the exuberance and naïveté of my first love spilling out into the streets of San Francisco, sleeping and fucking in the back of cars and watching the twinkle of streetlights and fading stars. I think of the parties where I'd smoke a lot of weed and think about how everyone there was cooler than me, where the girls were tall and skinny and wore fur coats even though we were only 16. I think about the quarter I spent at home after my dad died and the blur of doing puzzles with my mom, crying silently in the backseat of my friends' cars, and going to dinners with just 3 instead of 4. I remember when ghost ship happened the December after my dad died and I drove to the warehouse after therapy and stood in the rain just looking and crying, crying, crying, and a news reporter asked me for an interview and I said no, and I thought about how little he knew. josh knew someone who died in the fire and I listened to their band for months, them are us too. the darkness of this city knows no bounds, really. when I see the golden gate bridge I think of Elliott, then I think of myself, then I think about my dad's ashes in the water. he took us once to Murray circle and we ate dinner and looked out over the water, and then in November 4 years ago on the anniversary of Elliott's suicide, coincidentally, we went out on the water to scatter my dad's ashes. I remember when I flew home after he died it was brazenly sunny in fremont, and I thought about how cruel God was to pretend everything was fine. its always sunny in California — even when people die. it reminds of the Grimes lyric where she's like, 'california, you only like me when you think I'm looking sad...california, I didn't think you'd end up treating me so bad'...
100620the anniversary of my dad's suicide always creeps up on me, and I always forget if it's the 6th or the 7th...
in Miami we drank mimosas on Claudia's yacht and jumped in the blue green water off key biscayne
we went to eleven and waited until 4am to see dj mustard and we flashed a tit for the camera
Claudia threw a party the day before we left and I actually blacked out maybe for the first time in my life... I remember sitting on a lawn chair in the sun and playing an aggressive game of soccer and jumping in the pool and, again, flashing a tit on a dare from her balcony
in LA I went to someone's birthday party who We didn't like (the collective We since I didn't know him) and I met a bunch of basketball players and random girls
we talked about how random is just a throwaway word or a proxy for any number of semi-negative adjectives, you can use to describe whatever you want, from ugly to inconsequential to uncanny to arbitrary
I swam in pule's rooftop pool and we saw some girls who we later learned were from uchicago, how random (gross) is that?
we lied to the server when we were celebrating zach's new job at Margot and told him that it was his birthday, then he checked his id since we ordered alcohol and said 'that's a good fake'
I ordered oysters almost every time we went out in LA because it felt like I was on vacation
I ordered a $300 Claire Barrow hoodie and its going to be the most expensive item of clothing I've ever owned in my life
kusshi oysters are the oysters I decided I liked
in LA on New Years we went to a rave in a warehouse near skid row where we saw Pearson sound and dj stingray on acid and chris recognized dj stingray in the crowd next to us
on a gray day in pebble beach we went surfing and boogie boarding and there were tons of rocks that made us unstable and hurt and gave the whole experience a risk factor that made it exciting
once we drank vodka from a water bottle and took the bart up to a show at the fox in Oakland, I think we saw the new pornographers and I was 16
in aptos earlier this summer we went to chris's friends house and it had a beautiful balcony patio in the sun and we walked to the beach and drank white claws and threw a football around talking about nothing and I was happy
on the fourth of July I was at Darrens new house in oakland and I sat on the steps in the backyard and felt life was beautiful and special, I smoked a ton of weed and we drank wine and watched the fireworks explode above us in the dark blue sky, later we went outside and we saw the neighbors light up huge fireworks right in front of us and everyone was joyous and in communion
when I did shrooms with the new girls id just met a few weeks ago in LA I went to Bella's room and just laid down in her bed for a while and it was quiet and white inside and outside was a grinding noise from some construction and it felt like the world was ending but everything was still just fine
a year ago my ex came through San Francisco on tour with his band and we went to see their show after eating fancy Mac n cheese and it was crazy to experience and remember all at once what it felt like to love someone, now Fitz says he misses 'love' and its such a simple sentiment that I haven't been able to name for myself
in SLO we went wine tasting and talked about womanhood and eroticism and love and relationships but in a serious way, sort of like sex and the city but all of us were Cynthia Nixon and too smart and insecure for our own good
we went boogie boarding in sunny beautiful Avila where everyone is good looking and fit and I couldn't believe how much fun I was having and I thought why dont people just do this all the time? the waves carried us back to shore every time
in chicago I tried out a new app that was supposed to put us on guest lists for stuff and we went to an infected mushroom show and it was terrible but a funny experience, and I made Nikita take a picture of me to post on my instagram because I was trying to make my ex jealous
100520writing from chris'(s?) parents' house in pebble beach, where they just moved and it is so foggy and nice
our LA trip has come to a close, for now, and we are heading back up to san Francisco tonight.
when October started I realized that Im so close to 23! this felt like a wasted year, but I feel like I've had enough experiences (as a whole, in my life) to make it worthwhile...
100120I wish covid were over. we binged sex and the city last night and life in New York in the early 2000s just seems so different and fun. chris made a comment - whats really maddening is that we were too late for the 50s,60s,70s sure but we were EVEN too late for the 90s/00s? that actually fucking blows. imagine meeting so many people and being part of a scene and not relying on apps to spark romance... imagine courtship! in the 21st century! imagine having a vibrant dating life solely staked on your day-to-day in-person interactions with strangers or friends of friends...I hate it here...wonder if the people who created dating apps realized what a blow they were doing to romance. I guess there's some take that's like 'accessibility' but the cost is just so high. now it would be weird to talk to someone at a bar, flirt with a cashier (at their WORKPLACE!), be set up by friends... romance is dead...