It feels like an adventure, exploring new places with the help of a map. Instead of carrying a sword I got a small pocket knife. My phone’s gps serves as my compass. Grant Park has wild pigs and Hyrule has moblins. Today (Wednesday) I came across a hallowed out tree that looked like the the entrance to level 1 from the original Legend of Zelda for the NES. I was wearing my Zelda: Wind Waker mask today too FTW.
This is my 500th blog post! It'd be cool if I had some profound shit to write about. Instead I'm sharing the collection of maps I've printed, highlighted and carried with me on my hikes over the last couple months. I've thrown them away and fished them out of the trash at least twice now and I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with them.
The whole thing started after Covid struck and my gym was forced to close. I started going to Lake Cunningham Park to walk & run until that got boring so I started hiking the Eagle Rock Trail at Alum Rock Park. I kept hiking the same trail over & over till I decided to explore the rest of the park. In November I decided I was going to hike every trail at Alum Rock before the end of the year. I finished Alum Rock sooner than expected and moved on to the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve and managed to hike all those trails before New Years. Now I'm working on completing Joseph D. Grant County Park and I'm about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way done. Since Grant Park is so big, and has tons of trails, I've been selecting my route and printing a portion of the map (middle pic) to carry in my pocket. When I get back home I highlight the trails I hiked that day on to the full map (bottom.) I'm hoping to finish Grant Park in February and starting someplace new. I'm thinking Ed R. Levin Park.
I went out today and bought three more pairs of toe sock liners. My first pair worked great, preventing blisters after a couple hikes, but I didn’t like having to throw a load in the wash just to clean a pair of socks. Now, with four pairs, I can hike every other day with a fresh set and wash them all on laundry day at the end of the week. And no, this is not an ad. No one’s paying me to write this shit. After nine months of shutdown, because of covid, hiking’s become my jam. I just gotta avoid getting blisters on my feet to keep the party going.
Kept it low key for New Years, cause of covid and I'm old. I made a little animation for those who went out and gathered in groups. If they get covid, fuck em! After 9 months I'm tired of feeling bad, plus we should all know better by this point. If they get other people sick, well then then they're assholes too. Besides folks ringing in the new year with covid, I've plotted a short hike at Grant Park, to do later today with my buddies, and got back to work on the EMN Phoenix project I should have finished by now. Happy New Year... even though not a damn thing's changed!
My family has always celebrated Xmas by staying up till midnight on Christmas Eve so on Christmas Day there’s not a whole lot going on. Usually I’m out of town at a relatives house, just lounging around and hanging out with my cousins. This year, because of COVID, there was no get-together. Today I just hung out at home and didn’t do much besides watch tv and movies again. I didn’t want to end the day without doing something fartsy so I did a quick drawing called “Hail Santa,” cause it’s Christmas.
For as long as I’ve been around, and before I was born, my dad’s side of the family always got together to celebrate on Christmas Eve. It’s always been a big deal for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces & nephews. It’s a long running tradition that had to be canceled this year because of Covid. Yes, it’s a bummer but today wasn’t a bad day. I hiked a couple more trails at the Sierra Vista Preserve this afternoon and got a little bit closer to completing the whole space. I just need to do the Upper Calaveras Fault Trail, east of the Cutoff Trail, and the Lower Calaveras Fault Trail, which is a doozy. Just the Lower Calaveras Fault alone is almost 10 miles round trip and a 5-6 hour trek. I’m thinking of doing one hike to finish the Upper portion and coming back another day, nice & early, to knock out the Lower part. Depending on the weather the next few days, and how much it rains, I might be able to 100% complete the preserve before the new year.
Incase you missed the sign on the front page or my Instagram posts earlier this evening... I put my t-shirts on sale for $25 each (including shipping & handling) by using coupon code IGOT5ONIT at checkout. The offer is limited to t-shirts currently in stock and runs until December 25, 2020. This sale is in response to Black Friday, (which was today) Small Business Saturday, and all live vending opportunities being shut down due to covid. It’s a small effort to make a few sales before the end of the year and get rid of some inventory that’s been sitting in boxes all year.
I also made my FRANKIE MCFLY kiss-cut stickers 2 for $5. No coupon necessary.
I finally framed these four drawings because on Saturday they're going to be on display at Orange Moon Salon in San Jose. My friend, Catrina, is a hairdresser there, and also an artist, and she asked me to hang some work. These were originally going up at my exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in May but covid ruined that. Six months later and they're finally going to be available for others see. Please wear a mask if you go!
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m out of town visiting family I haven’t seen since before Covid shut everything down. I’m still gonna be proactive as to not risk anyone getting sick after coming home but I needed this after 6 months of sheltering in place and not having anyone to talk to openly about everything that’s been going on.
Today I felt like I could stop worrying about the fire coming down the hill and possibly having to evacuate. The weather was nice and the air quality wasn't terrible so I went and walked two laps at Lake Cunningham. This was my first time going out after being locked indoors with the windows closed, and glued to the computer, for the last 7 days days. It felt good to not worry about the fire but I still feel bad for those who were forced to evacuate and even more so for those who lost their homes. I wish we could fast forward past the wildfires, covid-19, racial injustice, police brutality and everything else that's made 2020 the biggest shit-show in my lifetime.
My cousin Reyna sent me this picture earlier today. It's Arely and I standing in front our booth at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest last year. The sales weren't great that weekend but it was still a lot of fun being there and meeting new vendors. I really miss working events. The plan was to do more events this year before the 'Vid fucked that all away.
I picked up another small graphic design job today! I met with my buddy, Adam, (socially distant, outdoors and with masks on) to discuss redesigning his bands logo. We talked about what he and his bandmates have been through over the years and their plans to release their first LP. I also talked about how I've been considering doing more graphic design work for clients now that Covid has taken away my DJ & vending gigs. His band logo, and the other design I've been working on, are good first jobs to help me get my feet wet doing freelance work, which has never been appealing to me before.
I hardly did anything productive today. I've been so frustrated lately building my new website on Wordpress and making little progress so I took some time away from the computer today. I have new items that I'll be adding to my store and the plan was to have them available when I rebuilt the new site but since that's taking me so long I'll probably have them available on my current (Weebly) site soon. I haven't been getting much exercise lately so tonight I forced myself to go out for some walking & running in the neighborhood. By the time I made it out it was already 11:22 PM but it's cool since I've been in vampire mode for a few weeks now, staying up till 4 or 5 AM and waking up around noon. Livin' la CoVida Loca
I sketched this out a few days ago and cleaned it up today. It was after a few days of constantly reading the news on my phone, mostly scrolling past headlines, and reading about all the fucked up shit going on with covid and racism. Apparently it's called doomscrolling.
I started calculating my self employed income & deductible expenses in late December then paid my Sales & Use Tax at the end of January. I then started doing my state & federal income taxes in early February to give myself plenty of time before the April 15 due date. Soon after, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the tax deadline was postponed till July 15th, which is 4 days away. Tonight I tried picking up where I left off 4 months ago. I spent most of the time reviewing the work I already did, going over old notes and taking a bunch of new notes. I was a little overwhelmed at first but ended the night feeling confident about what to do next and preparing to make future tax filings easier.
As things started to reopen during the covid-19 pandemic I chose to stay at home for 2 weeks after DJing a wedding. I'm happy that before the gig I tested negative for the virus and afterwards I never developed any symptoms. What sucks is that during this time there's been an increase in reported cases and hospitalizations. Today, California's mayor, Gavin Newsom, ordered bars to close back up in several counties including Santa Clara. I believe things reopened too soon and a roll back is probably a good idea but I have a feeling we're all going to be dealing with the pandemic for the rest of the year if not longer. I just read about the 1918 (Spanish) Flu pandemic which lasted 2 years and hit in 4 waves, where the 2nd wave was much deadlier than the first. There are a few similarities between 1918's pandemic and our current one so I really hope we can hit the brakes on covid-19 and keep it from getting worse.
I drew this and inked it today. It's a little bigger that 4"x5". The plan is to draw a big one (18"x24") with a bunch of protesters in face mask holding up signs and fists. I got a good idea of how I want them to look but still need to figure out what pens/markers to ink it with. I mainly used a Copic Sketch on this for the varying line widths but it's too big for the small details like fingers & hair. I'm gonna try a Sharpie next and see if I like it better, then maybe a Micron Graphic 1 and other sizes.
Here are a couple sketches I drew over the weekend. Their inspired by the people in the pictures below. They're screenshots from videos I took during a march from San Jose's city hall to the police station a few weeks ago. I wanna draw a bunch of protesters wearing masks & holding up signs like I've been seeing downtown.
I started sketching what will most likely be my next ink drawing. It's a large scale (18"x24") version of the "protesters" drawing I made a couple days ago. It's hard to see in the pic but it's people wearing masks holding up signs & closed fists. Next, I'm gonna draw darker lines with more details and maybe sketch another version with smaller people so I can fit more of them onto the page.
Yesterday, after uploading my "protesters" drawing to Instagram, my friend Catrina let me know that Works/San Jose, a local non-profit art gallery, had a call-for-art and that my drawing fit the theme. I looked into it and found out it's for a memorial exhibition for George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and the countless other black people who lost their lives due to racism.
From the Works website: "Rather than issue corporate statements, Works seeks to amplify creative voices calling for justice. We ask artists to thoughtfully respond with work for a community exhibition respecting those who have faced the ultimate deadly disrespect."
My drawing fit the bill so I submitted it last night. This morning Works/San Jose posted my drawing on their Instagram page.
The show is online only, since we're still dealing with Covid, and officially goes live June 19th (Juneteenth) 2020.
I drew this with a white China marker in my black sketchbook this afternoon. It was inspired by the protesters outside of San Jose city hall who've been demonstrating against police violence, racism & transphobia during the Covid-19 pandemic. I might draw a larger version with a lot more people holding signs.
I went over all 4 of these drawings today and whited-out any mistakes. I probably missed a few so I'm gonna over it again tomorrow. Besides that, they're done. They're gonna go in frames but I want to take some hi-res photos of them before framing them to make prints later. The original plan was to show these at my exhibit at the SJSU/Martin Luther King Library, which would have ran thru May and June but was canceled due to the Coronavirus. I'm hoping there's not a 2nd wave, now that things are reopening, so I can look for a place to hang my work for a future art show. Fingers crossed! I think I'm gonna try and knock out one more piece this size, if not more, while I stay SIP.
Between protesting downtown last weekend, getting tested for Coronavirus on Wednesday, and DJing the event yesterday, I've decided to stay home for the next couple weeks just incase I caught a case of the cooties and to avoid spreading it. I understand there's a 2 week incubation period where it's possible to be infected but not test positive so I'm gonna do my best to be a good boy for the time being. This coming week is also the start of the next phase of reopenings since the shutdown and I'm gonna stay clear from dining at any bars or restaurants. I'm seeing headlines of recent spikes on Covid-19 cases in states that reopened earlier than California. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping a second wave doesn't hit San Jose or the bay area.
I DJ'd an outdoor wedding reception at a private residence on Saturday. It was my first event since the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order started in March. We took precautions to minimize spreading germs: