Stella im Hultberg: going rouge

Stella im Hultberg: going rogue.

Coming from an industrial design background one might think this shy South Korean artist would have be working FOR the machine but instead she is working for her own damn self these days, all the while searching for her next meal and favorite ice cream spot. Born in Seoul, she has slowly made her way to NYC via Hong Kong, Taiwan, and California. She was previously in the toy manufacturing business designing things that share similar qualities to her current work. Stella im Hultberg’s paintings are conceived in varying combinations of ink, watercolor, and oils on paper, wood and canvas. Her portraits of women are rendered in easy, flowing lines with soft hues that transcend the typical critiques of feminine beauty, inherent in today’s self conscious society. Hultberg originally studied Industrial Design at CSU, which naturally segued into work as a toy designer early on in her career. Working in the design industry serendipitously led to her building upon her own natural talents as an artist then a toy designer and then a self-taught painter. Having grown up in Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan, she has a diverse blend of cultural influences to pull from. Hultberg has shown her work with such prestigious galleries at Lineage Gallery (now Joshua Liner Gallery), Roq La Rue, Gallery 1988, Limited Addiction, and Corey Helford. With solo shows ahead at Copro Gallery and Josh Liner Gallery in the coming year, things will only continue to bloom for this young artist.
Now residing in Brooklyn, she explores the female form even more. Pushing its meaning and redefining every part of it in a fantastic fashion.

Never odd or even. 9'' x 12''. Oil & Ink on tea-stained paper. 2006.
beautiful and enchanting. captures a warming side of youth.

Ache. 12'' x 24'', Oil on Canvas, 2007.
gettin' more surreal with a hint of underwater dream scape.

Waiting in Dreams. 20'' x 24''. Oil on Canvas. 2008
passionate, lovely. seemingly devoid of emotions while simultaneously possessing every one.

Whisper. 4'' x 4''. Mixed Media on wood. 2009.
this year she meant minimalist and then did a 360 once again to way heavy expressionism. The faces tell some stories.

Like A Sad Song. 3'' x 2.5''. Acrylic, Wood, Clay. 2010.
Stella now brings us some wonderfully crafted wooden pieces.

Check out all of her stuff at her site Painting.Drawings.Sculptures. (yea..that's right; she sculpts too.)

you can also purchase her prints and original artwork as well at her shop. For first dibs, make sure you check out when she's rolling into a town near you.


How To Embarrass Yourself Thoroughly: Dating Blues

Gregory J. Shaw

How To Embarrass Yourself Thoroughly: Dating Blues

I remember having a 'birds & bees' conversation with my father when I was growing up, but never was there a 'what to do on a first date' precursor.

By the end of High School I had already had sex but oddly enough--I had never been a a date. I wonder why. I had never felt awkward or uncomfortable around women. In fact, my best friends were all girls and in many ways they showed me the ropes when it came to communicating and such. What I didn't learn from them unfortunately was how my ability to talk to women would affect my love life when it came to dating.

There was one girl in particular I knew at the beginning of my college experience that I would absolutely kill to be with. Her name was Hannah. She was smart, sexy and out of my league (in that order). And with a lot of personality, it made her the envy of many women--and men. I had to talk to her. And so over the next few weeks I began to warm up to her and eventually asked if she wanted to get coffee sometime. With just a hope and a prayer she said yes.

That Friday she and I went out for dinner. I had hoped she hadn't eaten yet because in case it had gotten awkward, dinner is easier to deal with then coffee because half the time your mouth is full of food. But to my surprise the dinner could not have gone better. We laughed, flirted and even cozied-up on a park bench. Things were looking good. As the night progressed our conversations got deeper and when I walked her home we even held hands. After a semi-romantic walk home I was sure I would land a second date. After we exchanged the ceremonial 'goodnights,' I went in for the kiss without thought.

"Um..What are you doing?!" she exclaimed. What had I done? The night was going so well!

"What's wrong? I thought that we were vibing!"
I was ever so confused. Maybe she doesn't kiss on first dates?

"I thought we were too, but why would you kiss me? I thought you were gay!"

Hannah had said it with such certainty that I was truly surprised. My ability to relate to women had manifested in such a way that now women thought I was one!

"I only did those things with you tonight because I thought you were NOT into me!"
Apparently I had broken the trust in the now defunct relationship I had with her. And before I knew it I was on my way home trying to figure out to what extent, if any, I was actually gay in the eyes of women. I was pretty sure up until that point that I was indeed a straight man. I had some serious thinking to do.


Girl Talk.


It's Been A While.

I sit and I stare, watching my strange little world go passing me by.

Realizing that one must do, quite the opposite of what one wants to do is like discovering fire.
Dangerous, confusing, and all consuming.
And this discovery is unburdened by personal desires.
A wiser man than I once said, that to be yourself in a world that tries night and day to make you like everyone else is the greatest fight there is to fight.
I agree.

It's been a while since I've felt like myself.
Constantly struggling to manuever through a world that tries not just to conform, but consolidate.
The water is rising. The gap is widening.
Will I float? Or will I sink to the depths of nothingness?
I need to find my way.
For my own sake.

As I stare out into the vast, seemingly endless urban jungle, I'm reminded that there are a million people.
Doing a million things.
For a million reasons.
What's mine?
What's my purpose?

I suppose time will tell.


Get Un-Fat.

An ad I did for Tri-County Medical Center. They exist. But this ad doesn't. Enjoy.

Buy A Dell. Marilyn Says So.

Totally selling my soul to the ad world, but it sure is fun.


Buy The Ticket. Take The Ride.

Seeing the reality of yourself in the harsh light of day can be a bothersome thing.
To gain perspective on what your life is really about, and what you've come to be is never an easy thing.
What have you done? Where are you going?
This crazy world has no answers. Just questions. Long, open-ended rhetorical questions.
There is no right nor wrong.
Good nor bad.
There are those who live. And there are those who live.
And living is something we do to give ourselves order in an otherwise chaotic universe.
I think we're all trying to figure out where we're going. And how long the ride lasts.
For some, the ride will last forever. Long after they're gone.
For many, the ride lasts but an instant. A fleeting glimpse into the sea of infinite but inaccessible glory.
Still for others, the ride is something they dare not get on.
It is a scary and unsettling spectacle. Full of wonder, love, mistakes and disappointment.
Buy the ticket. Take the ride.
Discover yourself awake and waiting on the otherside of a winding adventure.
But be not afraid. The scorching flames and white-water squalls are merely a test.
You will arrive dry and unscathed. The real test is you.
Will you rise to the challenge? Or shall you hide in the lonely chasm of your own despair?
The ride is not for the faint of heart.
There are untold perils. Revelations that may result in the upheavel of your very existence.
But for the brave and the willing, the ride is a magical journey.
One that is an affirmation of everything worth living for.
One that is not worth living without.
So I say to you my friends,

But the ticket. Take the ride.
It keeps getting better.

The Guitar.

"He's not coming back," she said.

"He was serious? I’m a little bamboozled by all of this. I didn't think he would take it that hard." I was confused and caught off guard. This news would surely have repercussions on my friendship with Erin, and the one with Andrew was already strained.
"I don’t know. He wouldn't really say...It's just...I guess, he's going through some stuff right now. He just couldn't handle it anymore."
"Can't help but feel I played a hand in this mess. I figured he would have had a few words with us at least before departing."
"I know...”

There was a long silence that followed. The kind that gives you enough time to feel guilty. At the same time Erin and I were apprehensive to point fingers at each other. It was an unfortunate situation but Andrew and Erin were doomed from the start. They didn't work. The fact was, she liked me. She always did. But we didn't work either.

"So I guess you'll have to find a new roommate now. Or become that crazy cat lady. Then I'll have a reason to finally stage an intervention." She laughed. Just the right amount. I knew we were going to be okay. In some crazy rom-com this might be the moment where we try again and get it right. We would live happily ever after and the inevitable fade to black would follow. But this wasn't a fairy tale and although my life might look good up on the silver screen with an all-star ensemble, shit hardly ever works out. We both new given another chance it wouldn't work any better the second time around.

"I already feel like a crazy person. I still have all of his shit here and I don't have any room for my own. He left in such a hurry and from what I can tell I doubt he's coming back to get any of it."
"Well as long his he didn't he leave a meth lab behind I’m sure you could get rid of it on EBay or donate his digs to Good Will."
"Yeah I guess...I'll probably keep his bike though. I don't really want the guitar though. Every time I look at it I'm reminded of him. At any moment I keep expecting to hear him playing it from the other room. It’s crazy I know..." she nervously laughed. I could hear her trying to feel something.
"Well, I've always wanted to be the next Jagger. Maybe I could take it off your hands for a while."
"Really? Yeah...Yeah, that'd be great, actually...thank you so much."
"Actually many thanks to you, I'll come by sometime tomorrow and grab it. And we should talk. This whole thing isn't easy to wrap my head around, and I'd hate to feel like our friendship status was going to be changed to 'it’s complicated.' So maybe some coffee? Chat it out?"
"That sounds really great...I look forward to it." I could hear her smile.

And there it was. Hope. Sometimes losing a friend brings others closer together.


Old Flame.


Fear & Lothing In The Media.

In these trying times, most people derive their daily news intake from blog sites claiming to be news outlets or the latest and greatest and most up-to-date-est. There is a danger in this progression.

Sadly, there remains a sub-culture within the literary world that does not try to be news. We would much rather waste some of your time with interesting stories or perspectives on the world, not revelations from some high schoolers of college freshmen with a complete lack of credible sources. As people, not just writers, we have to stop taking everything so seriously. The news won’t get better. It won’t be different. Everybody has an angle and no bias goes unnoticed.

And yet there is a rise in the number of blogs. A large part of that has to do with the desire of many to connect with others but also to reach a wider audience. Something that is necessary in an ever increasing, infinite internet--something that these days are among the only things that keeps us connected. Without this tool, we'd be alone. Completely lost in the ether.

But there are still those who write just for the sake of writing. Keeping an ongoing journal of events. Transcribed and channeled digitally. What began as a new medium for easier and quicker sharing of thoughts and ideas is no longer just a form of personal expression, but fastly becoming a way to be discovered and for people to gain recognition on topics they don’t understand, and to be the first on the scene, in a place they have never been...I would rather wait three days for a new story then read or watch the first, most incorrect and insincere versions of the truth blasted across my retinas and numbing my mind with horrible and poorly executed insights.

I don’t blame the people who want attention and crave admiration. It’s part of the human condition. And perhaps for a lucky few, it can be a road to riches. But to call it news or to compare it as such is pure hypocrisy.

News, real news is being phased out by a new, wittier generation of writers claiming to have the breaking story and all the facts. When in reality, this reality does not exist. What is considered news is now all biased information angled and aimed at entertaining a stupefied public into submission with stories colored with humor and live audiences. I have not watched the news and been enlightened or surprised by the antics displayed by my trusted news anchors, or the sheep-like callers who initiate landslides and avalanches of moronic discussion.

And yet, the irony continues. As the world becomes more advanced, it becomes less informed, by the less qualified. Take it for what is. If you get sucked into the chasm of false information, then you may never again find your way out.


My Brain Tattoo.

I found this picture and it pretty much sums it all up for me...


Fuck Facebook.

I said it. I think a lot of us want to. At least, I hope. The issue I have with this social site and most in general, stems from the new, constant need to be validated by people or 'friends' that for the most part we hardly know anything about. Occasionally people will write "lol" or something worse. While in reality these cyber abbreviations are not only subtracting from real human language but are in all fairness, completely meaningless. Rarely has it ever meant that someone is actually 'laughing out loud' or 'rolling on the floor.' It just means we have nothing to say and don't want to think. Our attention spans now mere milliseconds. And yet I can't say I am any better than the rest of us. I do it too. I have to. I know I won't change the world and whether I deny it or not, sites like Facebook and Myspace will be the future of mankind, and quite possibly it's downfall.

It seems we Homo sapiens have evolved to use less of our brains for thinking and more for simple reactions. And maybe that's why the world feels so screwed up. Because we act without thought, and respond to stimuli we get on the internet and tv in such a way that we become numb and dissconnected. The world is all business. Calls are now being made for few minutes instead of 'just a few more', texting is the new spoken language, and emotions are being replaced with colons and parantheses. What the fuck.

Call me old fashioned but if you have something to say, then you should use a phone. Easily one of man's last great inventions. Its easier pick up a two-way than typing with your thumbs like some Cro-Magnon man and I still believe it to be way more significant. I don't find it hard to believe that this new generation of mine would rather take two steps back then forge ahead. It's crazy fucked up workd out there. And as a whole we are lazy. Uninspired. Hapless hopefuls who brag about big change, Black Presidents and better days when we can barely wipe our own asses without some new edgy electronic device to do it for us. Technology is reverting back into infants. Desperately reaching for the the unobtainable and improbable next step of human evolution without even having a firm grasp on the basics--like talking to a real person, and making eye contact with a stranger. We can't hide behind firewalls forever.

I'm not suggesting that all technology is evil. I am suggesting my humble opinion, which is that in the wrong hands technology becomes a tool of self-destruction. And the longer we stay addicted to it, the more we will lose what it truly means to be human.


Rainy Day Melodies.

Comprised for your listening pleasure are some real mellow vibes to stroke your eardrums with on those rainy days that seem unavoidable during the annual transition from winter to spring. Check em' out. Chill out. Close Your eyes. Let the rain come.

1.  Sean Hayes - "Fucked Me Right Up" - Black Hole, Little Baby Star
2.  Fiona Apple - "Why Try To Change Me Now?" Then Was Then...
3.  Kaki King - "My Insect Life" - Legs To Make Us Longer
4.  Team Sleep - "Table Of Contents" - Team Sleep
5.  Bob Dylan - "If You See Her Say Hello" - Blood On The Tracks
6.  Bon Iver - "RE: Stacks" - For Emma, Forever Ago
7.  Iron & Wine - "Passing Afternoon" - Our Endless Numbered Days
8.  Jack Johnson - "No Other Way" - In Between Dreams
9.  Kaki King - "First Brain" - ...Until We Feel Red
10.The Decemberists - "Raincoat Song" - 5 Songs
11.The Duke Spirit - "Wooden Heart" - Neptune
12.Wilco - "Hate It Here" - Sky Blue Sky
13.G. Love & Special Sauce - "This Ain't Livin' (Reprise)" - Best Of
14.Team Sleep - "Natalie Portman" - Demos [2005]
15.Kaki King - "Never Said I Love You" - ...Until We Feel Red
16.Bon Iver - "The Park (Feist Cover)" - Live On Triple J
17.The Decemberists - "Sleepless" - Sleepless
18.Oleander - "Rainy Day" - Joyride
19.Jenny Owens Young - "Fuck, Was I Thinking" - Batten The Hatches
20.Feist - "That's What I Say" - Monarch
21.Mindy Smith - "Peace Of Mind" - Long Island Shores
22.The Shins - "New Slang" - Oh, Inverted World
23.Jack Johnson - "Imagine (John Lennon)" - The Mango Tree
24. Madras - "Hollows" - Up From The Ground


Greg Shaw: Is glad to have some upcoming work schedhuled. Only so much to do when your broke...

Conversations In Wunderland

"I can’t believe you'd say that shit to me."
"What the fuck are you talking about? You weren't even there half the time so how could you possibly know?"
"Ya know, the best thing about you, is that you always have some lame fucking excuse. You never take responsibility for anything. It's always the same sob story every time I see you. That’s why I fucking hate coming here."
She meant it.
"Then why do you come here? Just to confuse the shit out of me? Or because you like doing this to me?"
"I do it because...I don’t know. I just thought maybe something might change. That you might change. But you’re still the same arrogant asshole who I thought I once loved. It’s ridiculous! For me to think anything could be different between us."
She collapsed on the couch and buried her face in her hands.
"It can be different. I am different. You just don't want to see that!"
"See what?! That you’re just as irresponsible and depraved as you always were? Every time I see you, you always stink of liquor and pussy."
"What the fuck do you want from me?! You’re the one who left me, remember? It's not like I did this shit when we were together. I loved you and you fucking know it."
"Loved? Loved?! Oh so it's past tense now? I guess it's pretty easy for you to do this to someone you supposedly loved then. You haven't fucking changed at all"
She got up again.
"God! Damn it! I never did anything until we were dead and buried. And you still come here expecting what exactly? I still love you God damn it. But that was never enough!"
"That's all I wanted! That’s all I ever wanted from you! But all you did was drink and blow coke. You'd rather...sit on some…stupid sluts' lap at a bar then even tell me where you were."
Her face replayed the past.
"That's fuckin' bullshit and you know it. And what about him? Huh? You were doing what with him this whole time? You come here just to throw that in my face?"
"We were just friends. But at least he cared enough about me to show it. It would have taken a miracle to get you to notice me. I couldn't even make you happy. You'd just sit there like some rock star wannabe, smoking your cigarettes and drinking vodka all night instead of coming to bed with me."
"As I recall, you never complained about that shit, especially since you liked to partake in whatever was going on."
"The only reason I did that, was because I thought it might make you notice me! God! You think I like staying up till' five in the morning? And of course, you would talk to anyone but me...and as long as they had tits."
"That's fucking bullshit and you know it! And I saw you all the time! That doesn't mean I don't love you!"
"That does mean you don't love me! And according to the rest of the world it would mean the same thing! You never gave a shit at all. And you never had to feel guilty, because you were so nice to include me in your little festivities."
She was being sarcastic, of course.
"No! You listen. You use to say stuff like, 'we'd be together forever' and…'it'll all work out.' But it never did! I was sick of listening to you. Sick of waiting for my happy, story-book ending. You were the one who filled my head with that nonsense...Should have never even listened to you. GOD!! What was I thinking?!"
She got up.
"You act like you're the only one who wanted a happy ending. I tried the best I could! And at least I never dug up the past just to prove a point. What about all the shit you did? Huh?! You were fucking someone for the first 3 months I thought we were together!"
"Well...that's because I didn't know whether to take you seriously or not. And I should have listened to my friends. You were just as fucked up then as you are now."
She started pacing.
"Then don't bring up shit from the past. That’s not forgiveness, that’s fuckin' hypocrisy. And the only reason I'm fucked up now is because of you! You can't keep walking back into my life, tracking shit all over it, whenever you feel like it."
"No, the only reason you're fucked up is because you want to be! God, you're sad...Wallowing away in your little castle…While the world passes you by. You use to be someone I admired. A dreamer. Someone who had some God damn vision. Instead, now you'd rather just snort shit and…and fuck whatever skank happens to get sucked into your bullshit wake."
"You act like I never tried to make it work. I fuckin' tried!"
He deflected.
"Oh? And I didn't?! I tried for years! And I'm not trying anymore! There’s nothing in there that's worth saving..."
"So…What now? Is this the part where you write me off as dead again?"
"I don’t know...But I can't even be around you without wanting to...to…kill myself. Grow up. Get your shit together. And get on with your life."
She grabbed her bag and started to leave.
"I do have my shit together. All that's missing is you."
She opened the door.
"Well I'm not coming back…And you always had me. What was missing was you."

She kissed his cheek gently.
The door closed.

She was gone…

Greg Shaw: Is officially NOT a fan of 'falling asleep WAY before you should try, only to awake at an unreaonably late hour and find you can't fall back asleep for at LEAST another hour or two...' Thanks body clock. You totally rock..
8 minutes ago · Comment · Like · Unlike

Time: 12:20am
Time slept: 2 hours, 22 min
Est. time until unconsciousness: 1 hours, 38 min


Letters To Your Ex-Girlfriend


Dear Marnie.
If you're reading this, it means I found the courage to send this to you.
I have never met anyone like you and I cant begin to tell you how much that scares me. From the moment we met, time stood still. And from the first time I heard you speak, my universe collapsed.

"..Are you trying to get me to stop moving?"
"No. I'm just going along for the ride."

You never missed a beat. But my heart did.
I know that if I don't tell you this, then it will build inside me and likely explode. Leaving me an empty shell of my former self, with shattered hopes and completely broken dreams. I use to think we would be together forever. But I had no idea how to make it work. We were kids. The timing was all wrong. And given the circumstances of our first encounter I should have seen the flashing lights and promptly removed my heart from my sleeve, as I often forget to do, and kept it hidden.

At least for a while.

You and I could not have been any different. But maybe that's why it worked for a time. I don't know.
But you saved me from myself. And I thank you for that. Before you, the life I had lived was empty. Devoid of any of the love and affection you showed me was possible. You didn't care who I was, or where I was going. You only cared that I was around. And for what it's worth I still think that's the best part of you. You live in a world where good and bad don't exist. Just people. People who have stories and who live their lives. And among the masses, there is you--loving and laughing and crying all at once. No matter what it makes you feel. You'll take it all. And with a sunny disposition you made even the darkest days brighter. I dont know where you are going. But I am glad I could say I was there.

Yet we can't be together. We both have a lot of living to do, and I'm sorry I won't be there. But something great lies over the horizon and it is waiting for you. With open arms and a warm smile, the world awaits. You will do great things. So keep on keepin' on woman. Blowing whichever way feels right.

I'm glad I was the one that got to hold you for a little while. It could not have been any more amazing and terrifying; dysfunctional, and inspiring all at the same time. We have been through a lot, you and I. Across the world and back. But somehow I knew I would fuck it up. It was only a matter of time. I can't pinpoint where it all turned but it's better that way. A blur of joy and pain. A book of emotions that keeps rewritng itself.

I love you. I always have. But I don't think I'd ever be able to show you what that love means. And if that's true, then I've already lost you.
So take care out there Marnie. The world has a funny way of losing people. But wherever you go, you will never be alone.



In The Park.

Today I spent most of my day in Central Park. Part of my time was spent people watching, and the rest strumming my guitar. I was able to find a nice little nook on a rocky incline that overlooked a pond and a skating rink, as well as the busy people below. It was odd that I was chosen at random, for many people to take pictures of. Most of them were tourists or what would appear to be photo-journalism students from nearby colleges. I don't know what it is about Central Park, but it seems like the ideal place to observe and capture images of regular people going about their lives.

In the heart of the city, lies peace and serenity for those willing to seek it.

My intention was not to be seen, but considering my location on a rock wall, which was just in front of an even higher rock wall, I just can't imagine these folks were taking pictures of anything else but me--unless there was a picture of Jesus carved into the stone that I was unaware of. I didn't mind. But I wish I had shaved. At least then I wouldn’t have looked so much like Ben Harper.

During my people-watching session, I noticed a lot of similarities within the crowds. As I've touched on before, the citizens of New York are either visibly happy-- being coupled up or in groups--or visibly alone and wishing they weren't. I still can't get past the notion that in this city, being alone is like a curse. But I find solitude has its benefits. Whether it be self-reflection or self-motivation, being alone can be just as rewarding as long as you aim yourself in the right direction. This of course does not mean I am against meeting new people and stimulating myself with philosophical conversations. Quite the contrary. I met a few people today that enjoyed my songs and I thanked them. We exchanged pleasantries and then parted ways.

After a while I laid back against the grass, the warmth of an unusual winter sun caressing my face. I closed my eyes and took in all the things that I have missed since I lived in the suburbs. Children laughing. Dogs barking. The last of the winter leaves blowing and crunching underneath feet, the smell of cool air, and the sounds of bicycle tires stretching and creasing against the pavement.

I almost forgot I where I was...

When I opened my eyes sometime later, the scene had changed. The air was colder, the people had begun to disperse and the faint sound of children had been replaced by taxi cab horns. The dogs replaced by police whistles and crackling leaves replaced by the clopping hooves of Clydesdales. The moment had past and I was snapped back to reality yet again. It was a good day however. Once again a reminder of what spring may bring, and how so many others, like me, are aching for physical change in order to--hopefully--beget a personal one.


Birds are shining. Sun is chirping.

So it would appear that Spring is almost here. You can tell not only by the uncanny weather here in NY, but the attitutudes of the people. Anything above 35 degrees and people evolve. Its the kind of  Fuck you Old Man Winter that we all really need right now. Seeing the peacoats come off, and shorts come out reminds us all that our seasonal awakening will occur any moment now and that it is time to shed our thick coats of gloom and doom. And its a damn good thing.

The winters here can be emotionally damaging; not to mention physically draining, so it's no wonder we take our sunnier half of the calendar for granted. I talk about optimism and determination a lot. But these are not the names of ever-flowing rivers that run down Broadway. Although they do have the tendency to get dammed up often during the gray daze. But to see the look on my fellow urbanites' faces' and for them to know their beloved city is going to bloom soon is what helps spread the creative process.

All hope is not lost.
The people will rise again.

It's strange that each year we forget better days are coming and we choose to wallow in despair and remain confined to our couches watching the flat panel and sipping miso. It can be cozy. No doubt about it. As for being a force flow for creativity though--it remains to be researched.
I'm just glad to be able to walk outside and not want to run towards the nearest living thing and kill it. Metaphorically speaking of course.
It's just that winter has the tendency to turn even the most bright-eyed, bushy-tailed optimists into whiny little toddlers and the already bitter ones into shriveled dry shells. Spring is the season for rebirth of the world and more often than not, our souls. Summer on the other hand is far too damaging and hot to want to do anything else but sit under an air-conditioner and moan about how much we miss Spring already.
I encourage everyone from the Wall Streeter to the Staten Islander to get in touch with the kid inside them and take advantage of these days we can venture outside without being emotionally mugged and frostbitten.

Even as I write this, my burning inclination is to finish this post later and to do something else.
...So I think I will.

The birds are shining and the sun is chirping. Today is going to be a good day.
Repeat this three or more times a day for optimal effect.


New art is up.

Finally got the scanner to stop being spastic and cooperate. Which of course means I can finally put up some sketches I've recently completed.

..Sometimes I just feel like an analog guy in a digital uninverse.

I uploaded them on separate pages for the moment but as I finish more I'll separate them by theme. What we have now are some female themed portrait sketches.

I mentioned in a previous post how difficult--near impossible it is to truly capture the reality of life in a drawing, but the harder we try, the more we become attuned to the finer details of the reality in which we live. Just a thought.

Feedback is always appreciated. I would love to know what you all think of my shitty attempts at a different creative medium. Because life and art are both processes by which we learn and grow.



The Weekend is Upon Us.

So I feel like I am the only person awake or not in an office on Facebook right now according to my 'newsfeed' or what-have-you..So I feel the need to blare some bytes of brain-waves across the interweb.

It is the weekend again. Well, in a matter of hours--technically, and I hope all you people out in there in the vastness of the world try and make the best of it once again. Get your drink on, your dance on and if you got 'sum', get your swerve on.

I know a lot of you are also sick out there and I sincerely hope you recover soon. Eat some spinach or something. Spring is nearly upon us and there’s no time to be sniffling and wheezing like a 5th grader with asthma..So suck it up! Plus being next to you on the subway is awful and the sound your throat makes is not human..You know how you are. Sir..

And to everyone else who is just 'killing time.' Can I please get some before you murder it all? I have a lot of stuff to do and don't seem to have enough time to do it in. Thanks.

Well I guess that is all for now. Stay tuned for further ramblings and orginal art posts. Over and out.



How To Embarrass Yourself Thoroughly.

Being single in the city is a curse. People notice you.
You stick out like a sore thumb. They take pity on you. Trying to figure out what your flaws are and if you’re loneliness is contagious and if they’ll catch it. It’s something I’ve noticed from the moment I arrived. Wandering the streets you see couples and good friends walking closely compacted trying to stick together. When they see you approaching they can’t help but wonder why you are alone.

And when I say single, I don’t just mean dating. It seems that most of the population of New York works on—at the very least—a buddy system. Almost as if you were caught out in the open, untethered to another body, you might just very well float away into the ether.

I get it though. Experiences are better shared; there's no denying that. And I find that even though the nature of The Big Apple perpetuates dependency, it's the reason why it functions so well. Because we all need to be connected to survive. We rely on each other in capacities that we rarely think about in the day to day hustle and grind. But we seek out companionship and love while saying 'I am independent' or 'I don't need anybody.' But just the opposite.

Bill Withers said it best.

Now I didn’t start this post with the intention of getting into some existential discussion of human nature or the universe. But this might get a little convoluted, so bear with... What I am trying to do is explain that being alone in this particular city can be a real bitch. Sometimes you just don't know what to say to people and when you get a chance, and you can end up forgetting. Most of the talking you hear on the streets is a woman talking to her boyfriend about her other friends, or co-workers hashing out job related grievances. It can be a teen on a Samsung screaming at her mom. It doesn’t matter who it is or what the blabs’ about, just that it's communication. Often self-absorbed. But communication nonetheless.

What I have a hard time doing is instant messaging, and texting, and everything that involves 'lol'ing and using parentheses to make smiley faces. I find myself doing it almost unconsciously and I realize that these ridiculous extras are now almost required in order for my meaning to not misconstrued. Whereas if I was face to face with a person he or she might realize I'm trying to be anything but an asshole. 'Face booking' has become a virus that has infected real language creating new ways of expressing ideas that resemble caveman speak a hell of a lot more than real spoken word. And like any virus, it will continue to evolve and spread and probably take over the world killing us all, and in which case... No..The World will not ‘brb.’

I miss real human connection. A good cd and a drink.

But when it comes to finding a date here in the real world you have a better chance at a loud busy Village establishment then the normally quiet subway commute. Liquor helps, but it is at best a crutch—holding up our real desire to meet and mingle in a real significant way. Since I'm new to the city things have been different. My social database doesn’t mean shit, and my old comrades, who do live in the city aren’t really accepting applications at the moment. MySpace doesn’t mean much when you've been away at college for half a decade. You’re either part of the crowd, or you’re not. And I have yet to find my niche here.

So how does this tie in with my original point?—the people who are already tethered are the fortunate ones. I think my past prevented me from securely attaching myself to the real world. I only thought I did. And now having arrived back here into reality, everything I see has changed.
People are afraid of new experiences, new encounters and new information.
With each passing stare I see a little less human nature and more basic animal instinct.
Reactions are now unconscious, and automatic.
External to ourselves.

Am I threat?
Or am I just in the way?

More on this later perhaps…


California Love.

For a long time I've romanticized about the City of Angels. The lights. The sex. The drugs. The music. The mysterious lure of the immortal daze that was promised to me as a kid on the silver screen lived inside my mind like a siren calling to me.

I've had so many life experiences in my own world, growing up on the East Coast with heavy expectations and a misplaced sense of self. A kid's got to grow somehow. And I declined the straight and narrow path. Letting loose and making believe anything was possible. And on the other side of continent, the eternal party raged on without me.

But no matter how crazy my life got, it wasn't as good as the shiny and familiar lifestyles of the Hollywood icons I worshipped. It had all the elements, but no plot. My reasons for seeking the sultry and illicit were still my own and I found reasons to rationalize them. Shit. I've even been to Amsterdam. The Mecca of modern hedonism.

I never really reached out growing up and I spent most of my time during my teen years trapped inside my own mind, imagining what it would be like to snort the good coke at Studio 54 back in the 80's, or be at a swank party in The Hills. The tragic beauty of it all intrigued me. You only live once and for me--that's what the life I wanted was. I didn’t grow up in the bad part of town, and I had no bad influences lurking around a dirty street corner. I was just bored. Stressed out, and bored.
High school couldn't go by fast enough.

However, College was a blur of the profane and absurd. None of it prescribing to a logical progression of events or a reasonable course of personal development.

I did it all. I tried it all.

And like Anthony Bourdain, I was hungry for more. I can't say I regret a lot, but one thing that still always comes to the forefront of my brain is that no one will remember me.

I'll be in their old pictures, and I might come up in a story they tell. And every year some of them will scribble 'happy birthday' on my Facebook wall, but as time goes by, I will fade further out of frame. For a long time I didn't care and with my future so clear in my mind I thought I had all the time in the world that god had to offer. I could do whatever I wanted and the people I met would love me no matter what.

I was invincible. I was loved. I was wanted.

But I didn't matter. None of it seemed to make a difference. What we all did those golden years with our once perfect livers and kidneys was more than I could have dreamed possible. But like most good things it was fleeting. And it all went by way too fast for anyone of us to pay attention to each other. Life goes on and the dream dies. People get jobs, those people have kids and settle down; and forget about the lives they once lived. Most of the people I know and would consider 'friends' have done things that would cause their mothers' to cry and make Amy Winehouse look like Nancy Reagan. Yet through it all, I wished it could go on living my days in sin, and my nights in the frat bathroom with some pretty young co-ed.

Los Angles was my home when I was asleep. I could smell the cool ocean air and feel the scorching sand between my toes. The women were beautiful and the drugs plentiful. The parties never ended and no one got older. And for the longest time nothing seemed better. But my life was moving on. Pretty much without me. Graduation was approaching. My friends--already disappearing into the world—starting new adventures and laying down roots in places I’ve never been. Now anything seemed better than where I was.

The fact of the matter was I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I had lost touch with things that mattered and I had no direction. Life doesn't wait for you. Not even when you take a shit. Or a hit for that matter. Time keeps ticking, you keep getting older and things start to matter more. My dream of living on the beach in sunny California was no more closer to being realized than knowing where I was going to be live after I graduated--let alone what I was going to do. I thought if I could be a writer and live on the Pacific that I would be happy. Now the only task that remained was figuring out how.

I wasn't the daughter of a hotel mogul, and I didn't have a trust fund that kicked in when I hit eighteen. I wasn't the son of a famous actor and I didn’t know the 'guy who knows the guy.'

I was still young, still broke and had tens of thousands of dollars of loans to pay back. I knew I had a ways to go before I would see the West Coast.

To add gasoline to the flame, I lost my first book of exploits when the fine folks at Best Buy forgot to back up my hard drive. Something I thought I would never recover from.
Now I roll with a flash drive.

Soon I graduated.
No one was there.

Still without a real direction I headed south. After living in Florida with my parents for the better half of a year, I migrated back north, to New York City, where I currently reside. Life is far from glamorous and I don't see myself getting to LA any time soon. I still write and I still do what I need to in order to get by. Sometimes when you look in the mirror you don't see yourself. You see what you want to see. I couldn't see how much I had failed myself because I didn’t want to see it. But now, many hard lessons learned later, I see that like everybody else, I have to stop dreaming and start living.

No one said it would be this hard, but then again, no one said it would be easy. All I have now are my words and thoughts. Flowing out of me in bursts, like water from a backed-up faucet.

I hope that I end up somewhere warm and wonderful one day.

But I still have a lot of life to make up for.
Jesus H. fucking Christ.
Some real, fucking life.


Day Two: Food Show Fiasco.

Yesterday was my second day of part-time employment in the great city of New York. And let me just tell you how fucked up this particular situation was..

I was working at the Javitz Center on the Westside, and this particular day we had three shows happening. The Jewelry Show (for which no one from the convention team is allowed in), the Wine and Spirits Show, and last but not least, The Restaurant Show.

Given the fact I was working all day, I had no time to go into either the food bonanza or the spirits expo until the very end of my shift. Which turns out, was almost about the time all the vendors begin to shut down.

After being given the 'go-ahead' from my supervisor, without hesitation I hustled my ass downstairs to The Restaurant Show hoping to procure some incredible edibles. Needless to say, I didn't get in. And as surprised as I was, it was not because I was Black. It was because I didn’t (and still don’t) have tits.

As I approached the gate most of the crowd was already dispersing. engorged and content with their stomachs distended like poor African children, except people were generally happy. Not I. The security staff for this event were some older white guys with walkie-talkies, looking way too important and way too pleased with themselves. They had done nothing to earn the respect they apparently thought they deserved.

I tried to walk in casually, displaying my ID badge on my chest signifying that clearly I am not some random hooligan trying to sneak by. I showed it to the guard-on-a-stool, but this didnt work. After a lengthy discussion with this top-dick with a radio, I was told that 'No ones allowed in. Only out. Were closing.'

..Fuck that.

I could plainly see people still lingering around various concession stands pillaging whatever free cakes and cookies they could carry with their fat fingers.

After taking perhaps ten steps away from the gatekeepers of gourmet, another woman I worked with upstairs struts her stuff right by me and simply walks in with nothing more than a smile and of course, a heaping portion of grade-A sweater meat. Had she been white I might have conjectured that these particular guards were bigoted assholes. But she was blacker than me and so obviously this shit wasn't the case.

I watched as the guard tried to make eye contact with her and like some Jedi master, she waved her hand at him gracefully and continued to vogue her way inside. I contemplated getting back in this guys' face. But then I realized that it was my second day of work and it was almost over. So I mentally flipped a coin.
Tails. Not worth the aggravation.

After I made my way back upstairs, my co-workers noticed that my hands were indeed foodless.
'What happened?' my supervisor said.
'They wouldn't let me in. Apparently they're closing. But that girl...'
I couldn’t even finish my sentence before I saw her approaching from the other end with two enormous, iced, cream-filled cupcakes; each individually boxed and looking like the equivalent of baked-good gold.

'What the hell is this?! That’s so f'ed up!' I tried to play it off like I was joking and humorously agitated, letting out a big laugh in my attempt to channel my real disdain for this women’s' incredible pussy power into something more socially acceptable to my superiors.
'I try to get in and I'm cake-blocked by some ass in a stool and she gets by no problem!' I shouted.
'Well, you’re not a girl' one guy said.
'It's because you’re not a dark enough black girl' another guy said.

At this point I wanted to strangle somebody, but had they not been a hundred and ten percent correct it would have sounded completely racist. So I immediately suppressed my rage because it was true. And I suppose it didn’t help my case that she was in fact, very beautiful.
I think sensing my blood pressure rising, she offered me a slice of the cupcake. And I emphasize the cake part. It was perhaps the most delicious piece confectionary goodness I had ever tasted. Heaven.

After this, the day ended. At least I didn’t go home completely frustrated and empty-handed.
Emotional salvation in the form of a vanilla frosted cupcake. What a day.


First Day.

Today was day one of being employed in New York City.

Not sure what to make of it yet, and I suppose I cant complain.
In a country where the debt is at an all time high, and jobs are at an all time low, I feel pretty lucky.
Beggers can certainly be choosers, but not if they want to get paid.

The job itself is pretty menial, and sadly I was unable to utilize most of my mental faculties.

Like I said...not sure what to make of it yet. But I now know how it feels to be one of those people who stand around with empty faces and feelings of disillusionment.

'Just smile, asshole.'

You know the ones...like, Walmart greeters or airline ticket agents. You know they're not really 'thinking,' but their subconciousness remains vivid and alert. Waiting for something, anything, to happen. A waking life that resembles more of a dream state. During the entirety of the day I can't recall a single tangiable thought of my own. Is that what work is? A way to remove my individuality? The answer should become more clear with time.

When I lived in Florida I worked retail nearly every day for over six months.
During my stint in the massive fluroscent dungeon, it was the little things that made being there worthwhile. Not the money, not the free clothes or discounts...
It was seeing people getting caught stealing. All of us would stick our heads out into the hallways like gophers to catch a glimpse of anything that would make our days more interesting, and pass the time.

I hope that I find my place in the world. My true calling.

But until then, I will continue to plug away and be the good worker ant that I am. That we all are. Providing a service for the betterment of the colony. To make sure that it can function normally, and efficiently.

I don't mean to sound cynical.

Actually, I do. All I can hope, is that whatever I do, means something. Even if just to me.


A Winter Walk In The City.

White Winter Hymnal

The sky is falling... The sky is falling.

The white winter snow flakes reminding me of a peace and serenity that can rarely be found in the city that never sleeps.
I can still remember the days of my youth. Forging into the silent, cold white abyss. Pretending I was the only one in the world. But keeping the imagination and wonder alive is a task that becomes exponentially more difficult as I get older. I think this is true for many people. No matter how much we would love the world to stand still--even for an instant--to recapture the magnificence of our golden days, it remains impossible.

The Earth keeps spinning.

People keep moving.

And the only thing that stays the same are those white, winter flakes that fall gracefully down from the sky. Each one as different as the next, as purposeful and necessary as each breath in my body.

Sometimes I imagine how Heaven would look.

I like to think it resembles those golden years. Standing atop a snow-capped hill, looking out into the grey, endless abyss. A time and place where anything and everything is still possible.

House Of Strangers.

When I was little, my parents tried to explain to me that I was adopted. Of course I had no idea what the hell that meant. To me and any other elementary school child who happened to live in my town it only meant one thing—that I was a different color than mommy and daddy. I knew from a very early age that I was going to live a very strange and probably emotionally damaging life. My brother—my real, real brother who was older, also adopted from the same birthparents said this to me, the day I was delivered to my new white, Jewish family: “Hey lady, you forgot your baby.” He’s only twenty months older than me, but the differences that existed between us were apparent from early on. He was always outspoken, brash, and uncouth. He yelled and fussed and it drove my parents crazy. They even tried to put him on Ritalin but that only seemed to make things worse. We never played much together and when we did, it usually resulted in hurt feelings and time-outs. One time I threw a cast iron model plane at his back and landed him the hospital. One time he pushed me down a flight of stairs and I had to get stitches in my chin. I think we’re even. When he started school and got to ride a big shiny yellow bus off into the morning sun every day, I had no idea he was supposed to come back. I had no idea where it even took him. I lived in a house full of strangers. People who generally don’t get along and have little in common with each other—if anything.

As I got to be a little older and my brother started middle school, the executive decision with my parents was to send him to a private school that also happened to be in our town. It used to be an all-girl school and the year he went also happened to be the first year that the school allowed boys to attend. Kinda seems nice if you think about it…a big school full of girls who had never had any interactions with boys before. Sounds like a crazy plot to some cheesy nickelodeon show, or even a really bad porno. But it wasn’t something for me. Not yet. Turns out I had already been afflicted by the peeling paint, the odd assortment of juveniles and overall mediocrity of the public school system too much to give it up. I was hooked. Something about it just felt normal, and that was fine enough for me. It wasn’t like I felt a burning need to be popular or smart. I didn’t even like being there, I just thought of it as some place where I wasn’t forced to be like everybody else. I could just be me. Fortunately it turned out to be the better decision to stay in public school. I got great grades without having to try; was always on honor roll and felt decently proud of myself. But like I said, I wasn’t popular or anything. In fourth grade I even had a ridiculous afro-mullet. I guess it use to be the style for Blackish-Whitish American Cosby-type kids back in the nineties. It was also a catalyst for several fights—among other personal characteristics.

The lesson here people, is to let your kids pick their own interests. Get to know them without owning them. And for god’s sake, dressing them in ridiculous sweaters and Lacoste polos and slacks then sending them on their way to school is no way to get a kid’s self-esteem up. How is a child supposed to learn about the world if he or she can’t try new things? This is part of the reason I never really got a chance to explore my interests as a kid. My parents were terribly overbearing. Like lions fighting with, but ultimately protecting their young from outside influences. I was just sort of pushed this way or that way by authoritative forces.

Often times it felt more like Stalin’s communist regime than a household. I don’t mean that in the sense that my life might have ended at any minute, but insofar as that I followed strict orders without explanation or ability to think for myself. I had no sense of self. No purpose. No clue even what toys I wanted or even if I liked them at all. I could never articulate my own desires or needs. I just knew I had to do what my parents said I because they said so. No reasons—no sit-downs or lessons about right or wrong, just blunt instructions on how to live life and essentially become like them. It drove me and my brother crazy. In fact he often would run out of the house a lot as if to say he was running away and never coming back. This would also make my mother cry; but my father was very stoic and unemotional. He rarely had a real reaction, and if he ever did, it was usually one of apathy and disbelief, as if he was annoyed that stuff was happening that he couldn’t do anything about. I remember being jealous of my brother. I thought that whenever he did runaway—even when he came back—that he had a plan. That one day all his planning would lead to his freedom. One time, he actually ran away for three days, hiding out in a tree house deep in the woods behind my house, surviving mostly on Slim Jims and Ginger-ale he had stashed away for a while. He had begged me not to tell our parents where he went and I obeyed. When it came to standing up for himself, I was proud. I looked up to him for that. My parents kept threatening me with severe punishment if I didn’t break my code of silence. But I didn't. I just told them ‘I have no idea where he went’.

When I got a little older still, around thirteen or fourteen years-old I use to try to run away from home too. I can recall on more than two hands how many times I tried to run away. My mom would chase me down the street and around the neighborhood in her old gray Saab, driving slowly next to me pleading with me to talk to her. Much screaming would ensue and occasionally other people would take notice. But I always knew I wasn’t really running away. And I think she knew that too. But for some reason it just seemed that serious so often, that maybe—just maybe; had she not chased me that one time, I may never have actually gone back...

[to be continued]


Sweet. Street. Beatz.

When venturing out into the urban jungle, its good to be accompanied by good music that will act as a conduit to your soul, and amplifies your mood no matter what that mood might be..

Today's post is all about Truckin'. Otherwise known as the act of walking with purpose, confidence and perhaps even a bit of arrogance. Not directed towards anyone (or maybe so), but just the kind that lets people know you have swagger.

This first album I'm putting up I have dubbed 'Truckin: Beats For The Streets." It is a compliation of songs that I put togethor that compliment a mood that involves, well...truckin'. If your on the move, this is for you.
1.   Eels - "Love Of The Loveless" - Shootenanny!
2.   Foo Fighters - "Keep The Car Running" (Arcade Fire)- Let It Die
3.   Jimi Hendrix - "Drivin' South" -BBC Sessions
4.   Kings Of Leon - "Fans" -Because Of The Times
5.   The Von Bondies - "Cryin' " -Lack Of Communication
6.   Incubus - "Deep Inside" -S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
7.   Queens Of The Stone Age - "Burn The Witch [UNKLE Mix]"- Burn The Witch
8.   The Kinks - "Powerman" - Lola Vs. Powerman..
9.   The Doors - "L.A. Woman" -L.A. Woman
10. Sneakerpimps - "6 Underground [Nellee Hooper Dub]" -Rewired
11. UNKLE - "Mayday (Feat. The Duke Spirit)" -War Stories
12. Cage The Elephant - "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" -Self-Titled
13. Amy Winehouse -"Valerie [BBC Live 10-01-07]"-Other Side Of Amy
14. The Black Keys - "Keep Your Hands Off Her" -Chulahoma
15. G. Love & Special Sauce - "Free At Last (Reprise)" - Best Of..
16. Warren Zevon - "My Shit's Fucked Up" - Life'll Kill Ya
17. Sean Hayes - "3 A.M." - Big Black Hole, Little Baby Star

This album starts off nice and mellow, allowing you to catch your breath with the Eels "Love Of The Loveless" and the Foo Fighter's cover of Arcade Fire's "Keep The Car Running", before working your heart and soul into a sweat with the Von Bondies and Incubus. Both tracks providing a more upbeat and funky climax of sorts. The Kinks and Doors remind us what era rock swagger really started in and transitions very nicely into the new-age trip-hop sound provided by the Sneakerpimps. UNKLE is a great semi-industrial rock group and usually has a dark club feel, but this particular song feating the British group The Duke Spirit is an undeniably great walking song. Perfect for a hardened walk with a bit of that arrogance I was talking about. Cage The Elephant is a great rockin' anthem that sets itself apart from the other songs due to its alternative sounding production, but nonetheless catches your attention and holds it to the very end. We start to wind down with Amy Winehouse's live performance on BBC Radio and smoothly finish up with a couple of chill jams from the always funky Black Keys and Philly's own G.  Love.

So next time you're out and about, just walking tall, throw this mix on and let the world know what it means to keep it truckin'.

I Decide. (Part I)

I decide that roots are the trees of the ground...and that trees are the roots of the sky..and I also decided that air is the water of the sky, and the water is the air of the ground...

I decide that animals are like people, only usually covered in hair (much like Robbin Williams)..and that people are like animals, only they have the potential to be much more vicious and can talk...

I decide that time and reality are figments of our imaginations...and that our imaginations are a figment of a greater reality...

...And I decided that to be truly free...and to be truly happy, is to not want anything you dont need...

...[to be continued]

Death & Transit.

A few years back I saw a man die.

It was a very existential experience.

It was a warm, summer day and I had just left Grand Central Station. I was making my way downtown, walking of course, as I often do. I find that it affords me the opportunity to observe people, places and life as it happens--something I feel that is essential to cultivating my own existence.
I was not far from where I had started when I saw a man collapse on the sidewalk.

He was alone. But at the same time not at all.

He was a middle-aged, silver-haired man who was simply waiting for a bus.

There was nothing that stood out about him. He was wearing a pair of plain, non-pleated beige Dockers, and a canary yellow polo shirt. Tucked in. And he stood, patiently, and alone.

The crowd of strangers that surrounded him was in awe of such a happening. As if they had been jerked back to a reality where in fact, people do die. I couldn’t help but feel the same at that very moment.

We live in a world where we hear about death and destruction on a daily basis. The media never lets us forget that. But to see it happen is something very different. If we were to think about the possibility of death or perhaps even our own demise on a regular basis, there is no doubt we would drive ourselves into the arms of insanity.

But this man, this unassuming, simple man, was the unfortunate recipient of a fateful reminder of the power of life. More precisely, the power it has to be taken away from us.

And in that instant, we were all reminded of the tragic, duplicitous nature of life as well.

As easily as it comes, is as easily as it goes.

I watched helplessly as two men of a crowd of twenty attempted to revive the simple man. Who was without a doubt—alone.
For almost thirty minutes the man lay there, motionless. All attempts had failed. And all around us and in the distance the world continued to turn and nothing changed. At least on the surface...

I couldn’t help but be reminded of something a friend once told me. When someone dies it is not without significant importance. One person has the capacity to reach out and affect thousands and thousands of people. This man, whose final chapter had just been written, will be in the book of life for his family, their family, friends, their friends and countless other people whom are all interconnected whether they know it or not.

I would like to think that death is just as important as life. And just as with transit, there are many stops we make on our way to the final destination. And along that ride, people get on and off; sometimes without notice. But reach out if you can and realize that along this ride we are all on, the people we meet, and their lives are what make the ride more enjoyable and more meaningful than it could ever be if we were riding alone.

This is the nature of death and transit.

Do Not Seek Yourself Outside Yourself.

      Only through exploration of self, can redemption be found....through self-doubt can trust be built. It takes the love of oneself to shine through to the ones that matter...from my point of view--life is nothing unless you believe in yourself. How can you expect anyone to care if you give up on yourself? Or before you even began to have hope in yourself?? I ask you---no...I implore you...love youself and only then can you love another...you are only as meaningful as you appear to others...'to have faith in yourself is to have faith in the world of mankind....'. And if there is one thing I wish to leave you all with, if anyone is absorbing this...is that you should never expect anything from anything but yourself....you are THE means to the end...and life is too short to sit idely by and pretend nothing matters...or that what does matter, doesnt. God bless us all and I pray we all will find our way through this maze we call life....Amen.


Personal. Development.

As long as I can remember, I have always marched to the beat of my own drum. I was different right from the start and I always knew that. I was adopted from Texas and grew up in New York with two white Jewish parents, my real biological brother and I were one of maybe four Black kids in my town. From a very early age I have expressed myself through art, music, and observational studies. Together, I always found these interests to be a helpful collective in being an objective observer of society while still maintaining a complete understanding of myself. I can recognize and appreciate what other people enjoy while still appreciating my own uniqueness. And when I mean unique—I mean unique.

Right before Middle School, I started to explore my inner desire to be different and independent by trying to break away from the social constraints of suburban living. I’ve worn bright silver pants David Bowie would have been jealous of and t-shirts with strange, ironic phrases (before that trend even existed) and I listened to music that complimented my alternative yet thoughtful lifestyle. From Sneakerpimps to Sublime, or Bob Dylan to the Deftones, I’ve listened to everything and always enjoyed finding new musical and artistic influences.

Teaching myself writing and drawing from an early age, I invited artistic creativeness from all areas. Salvador Dali and the abstract movement cultivated my desire to think outside of the box, while literary icons such as Kurt Vonnegut and Chuck Palahniuk heavily influenced my writing style—making it a much more personal undertaking. Often times I would get lost inside my own head and the consequences were pages dipped in madness, sorrow and hilarity.

Still enjoying my creative pastimes today, I find that I have evolved in such a way that I have become more open and aware of the world around me, both culturally and socially. I'm pretty sure this was a response to being an uncomfortable, restless youth and trying to find my place in the world. For example my fashion sense these days no longer ascribes to just one style and nor should it. Instead, it is an eclectic combination of fashion and functionality that borrows bits and pieces from various aspects of life. As for the musical side of my mind, it does not discriminate against but instead invites genres from around the world—rock, reggae, rap, punk, pop, electronic, trip-hop, trance, folk, funk and everything in-between. I like to think that I am an individual who has forged my lifestyle from the fusion of many ideas. Most recently I have been exploring my creative side even more. In high school and college I participated in bands, fashion design, literary groups and psychological research that has only added to my understanding of the world and the appreciation I have for it.

Phoenix Rises Again!

//This is a mag. article that I created about some incredibly gifted French electro-rockers.
You may know them simply as,

//the layout was fairly simple. Using autoshapes and color gradients in MS Word, as well as some interesting fonts. The article istself is all me. A Greg Shaw original production.

//the band is just fantastic. Featured in almost every music magazine, and many festivals, this band is impossible to ignore. Even reinventing their sound over the years hads only added to the success. I also embedded some of my other new favorite albums of the past in one of the sidebars.

//It was fun to play around with different ideas for the overall feel of the article, and choosing the right images and placements was the best part. It really made the whole thing fall into place nicely. In addition to this 3-page spread, I also created an advertisment for the music and arts festival Bonnaroo. But that I will save for another day...

Let me know what'cha think.