Incase you missed it... a fly landed in Vice President Mike Pence's hair during the vice presidential debate tonight. It hung out for a little while and the vice president didn't even notice it. Instantly, all the social media platforms lit up with "flies on shit" jokes & memes. Kamala Harris is lucky it didn't land on her head too.
I watched the presidential debate. It was a shit show but these Snapchat filters made it a little better.
As if 2020 wasn't gloomy enough... the sky was orange all day Wednesday, in San Jose and the bay area, from all the smoke caused by wildfires. I found a satellite image and saw there was smoke all along the coast from southern California all the way up to Oregon and making it's way over the Pacific Ocean. There was a lot of ash coming down so I stayed indoors all day with the windows closed.
It really sucks that while we're over here in California avoiding wildfires there was another incident of a police officer shooting of an unarmed black man caught on camera. This time it was Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI. He was shot 7 times in the back but didn't die though he might not walk again. The shooting naturally led to protests in Kenosha then some piece-of-shit 17 year kid from out of state, openly carrying a rifle, who was protecting a car dealership, goes off and kills two protesters and injures another. After that he walks right past the police with his hands up and weapon around his neck and the police let him walk right past them. He wasn't arrested on site, instead he was arrested at his home 20 miles away. Yes, there is a lot of nuance to both sides but those are the biggest take aways. The Kenosha police shot an unarmed black person in the back and days later let a white teenager armed with a rifle, who just shot people, walk right past them. All of it caught on camera. What a fucking mess.
I read an article posted on Facebook that it made it sound like my neighborhood was being warned to evacuate that got me worried and confused because there were no official evacuation orders or warnings given, from Cal Fire, for my neighborhood.
San Jose officials urged residents on the eastern edge of the city—particularly in the Alum Rock, Berryessa and Evergreen neighborhoods, as well as areas to the south of Evergreen—to “have your bags packed and ready to go.”
I then watched a fire update from the mayor of San Jose and the fire chief. About 10 minutes into the video the mayor says there are no evacuations within the city limits of San Jose. It made me feel a little bit at ease but I still was worried and checking for updates all day long.
The SCU Lightning Complex Fire continues to spread but luckily hasn't moved closer to my home since Wednesday afternoon. Today I pulled away from constantly checking online for updates to work on a design job that's been on hold since the fire started. I'm really liking how it's turning out so far and I can't wait to finish it.
The two affected areas of the SCU Lightning Complex fire have merged. Thankfully it hasn't moved south-east, where I live, but I'm constantly keeping an eye on the this map, the Cal Fire website and evacuation order & warnings page incase we gotta go. Besides refreshing the same 3 websites, I did a wellness check on an old friend, as a favor for his sister who hasn't heard from him in a while. He was home, and alive, so I asked him to please call his sister. I also heard that the flames were visible coming over the mountain top so I drove around and across town to see for myself but I never saw any flames.
What a crazy day! The SCU Complex Fire is still burning over the east hills while the air down here is smoky and unhealthy to breath. I only slept a few hours this morning and I've been checking the map of affected areas and updates on evacuations orders and warnings all day. The fire closest to where I live (yellow marker on the left) hasn't moved closer but it's spreading in all other directions. It looks like it'll soon join the bigger fire to the east. This fire (SCU) is only 5% contained and part of many other fires currently burning in California. What a fucking mess we're in.
I made the animated gif below using 5 screenshots taken over a 20 hour period.
The lightning storm on Sunday morning caused some fires in the bay area. I didn't realize how close they were, or had gotten till, a few hours ago when my friend posted a picture of the glow from the fire on Mt Hamilton. She said her parents, and other residents who live up there, were being evacuated and she was waiting for them at the bottom of the hill. I drove around after hearing about it and was able to see the glow. I'm back home now but don't know if I'll be going to sleep tonight.
I spent hours today trying to transfer the images from my old blog posts from Weebly to Wordpress and couldn't figure it out. All the videos I watched and pages I read didn't help at all. I was able to transfer all the text but, if I don't figure out how to copy the pictures, most of what I reference isn't gonna make sense. I've been frustrated with this all damn day.
I tried using a Weebly to Wordpress exporter to move my blog but got the error message below. The Wordpress dashboard shows that my old blog posts came over but the images did not.
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 did my stretches & workout at home, cooked dinner (chicken & mushrooms,) went for a 3.3 mile walk in the neighborhood, came home, ate left overs and made microwave-s'mores. The only thing that would have made today better would be if they arrested all the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor (only one has been fired)
There's not much for me to report on. I stayed in yesterday and today, cleaned, did some errands and worked out. All things I've put off the last few days. Tomorrow (Friday) there is an NAACP-hosted "Die-In" outide of San Jose City Hall from 4-6PM which I might attend.
A die-in, according to the Wikipedia article, "is a form of protest in which participants simulate being dead... protesters simply lie down on the ground and pretend to be dead, sometimes covering themselves with signs or banners. The point of a die-in is to disrupt the flow of people on a street or sidewalk to grab the attention of passersby."
Friday's die-in is to raise awareness & protest the murder of Breonna Taylor who was shot to death by Louisville police who entered her apartment in plain clothes with a "no-knock warrant" on March 13, 2020. The police were looking for a drug dealer who they didn't realize was already in custody. There was gunfire between Breonna's boyfriend Kenneth Walker and the police. The police shot Breonna 8 times and killed her. Afterwards, her boyfriend Kenneth was charged with attempted murder but the charges were later dropped. Breonna's birthday was June 5th, she would have turned 27 on Friday.
I don't know if this is true, I could be totally wrong, but it feels like the protests in San Jose have become less violent. This afternoon I went to downtown to attend a press conference held by the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP & local community organizations outside of City Hall. It was to address the killing of George Floyd, police brutality, racism, and to get people (us) to go out and make a difference. There were quite a few speakers, all with important messages, but the one that stuck with me the most was the lady who read out a long list of names of black people who were unjustly murdered. She asked the everyone to say "Say Their Name" after she read each one from her phone. I was getting choked up repeating,listening and watching her scroll thru pages on her phone. There are way too many names on that list. It's ridiculous. After the conference I stayed around for a little while before going back home. Tonight, after being off social media for a couple hours I logged back on and saw video of protesters getting tear gassed by police in Seattle. Fucking brutal.
Friday started off great. I met up with my buddy, Jon, at Lake Cunningham and we went on a (socially-distant) walk around the park. After one lap Jon split and I stayed to do one more then ran into another friend, Adam, who was getting off work at the park. He drove up to show me he was rocking my San Jose shirt. That made my day! I didn't realize I was wearing my San Jose shirt till afterwards. On the way out of the park I snapped a picture of this awesome hand-drawn found-dog flyer posted near the entrance. When I got home I showered, ate lunch, did some crossword puzzles, and started drawing. It was an awesome day up until that point. Soon after, I heard about protesters downtown and on the 101 holding up traffic. They were protesting in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police. Soon I was seeing friends videos on Instagram of people smashing car windows, police firing tear gas & rubber bullets, crowds throwing objects at the police, a trash bin on fire in the middle of the street, a car running over people, people looting a Starbucks, a cop getting knocked out. This shit is crazy and there are protests/demonstrations/riots happening in multiple cities across the US. I wonder if this is going to continue through the weekend and what will happen in its wake.
I can deal with the heat but the last couple days I haven't been able to work on my Eyes & Mouths piece because my goddamn arms get all sweaty and I would ruin the paper while drawing on it. It feel like I've been thrown all sorts of curveballs since I've been working on these larger pieces. Now I need to figure out a solution or wait till the temperature drops.
Today sucked. I felt depressed all day and I didn't know why. Maybe the loneliness of sheltering-in-place is finally getting to me. I barely did any work on my Hearts & Stars piece, just made a quick digital mock-up with a black background but didn't lay down any ink. I couldn't get myself to workout or go for a walk. I went for a long drive, took Capitol Expressway from east San Jose all the way to Campbell, but didn't feel any better when I got home. Later that night, still in a funk, I noticed the the note on my calendar, "MLK Exhibit Day One." Today was supposed to be the opening of my art show at the Martin Luther King Library downtown. I wonder if that's why I down all day. I wasn't aware of today's date but maybe subconsciously that's what has been bugging me. For the past few weeks I've kept my head down and worked on my drawings for the show. It was a goal I was working towards. I recently got confirmation that my art show, and all other exhibits, were postponed until further notice. Now I don't have anything to work towards, besides finishing my current drawings. There are no DJ gigs till June, if at all this year, and no event vending opportunities in the foreseeable future. I hope this depression was a one-day thing. I don't want to lose any more momentum and risk undoing everything I've worked so hard to do over these past few months. Wish me luck!
I thought today was Thursday. It's actually Wednesday but it feels like Groundhog Day
That half a house key I pulled out of my tire yesterday wasn't what caused it to go flat. Today I removed the tire, put some air in it, sprayed it with soapy water (where I pulled the key from) but there were no bubbles. I was confused till I looked on the other side and saw the nail head. I videotaped myself pulling it out with pliers. It was a big fucker, as you can see. I had a tire plug kit in my car so I was able to plug it up quick, put the wheel back on, fill all the tires to the recommended tire pressure, then went out for a spin. It was a beautiful Saturday so I drove up the hill and back. Not a smart idea, incase it went flat again, but luckily nothing happened.
This afternoon I found that my front driver side tire was flat before going out for a grocery run. I pulled out half a house key with a pair of pliers. Luckily I was able to borrow a car to run to the store. After disinfecting all the groceries and washing my reusable cloth bags I was still in a shitty mood so I went for a long walk to blow off some steam. I walked over 6 miles in a little over 2 hours. I went to Lake Cunningham to walk a lap before heading back home. While I was there I walked past my friend who happened to be riding her bike and recording it on her phone. I saw myself later on her Instagram Story. After getting back home & showering I had a few cocktails and worked on my drawing some more. I'm so damn tired from the walking and staying up late but I am feeling a little bit better than before. A little. I don't know how much longer I'm gonna make it thru sheltering-in-place without losing my shit. Wish me luck.
No one's buying t-shirts anymore so I've introduced two new items to my online store:
Frankie Mcfly's Reusable Face Mask & Frankie Mcfly's Reusable Toilet Paper Roll. For cooties & poops during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Both items are available now (find them under t-shirts) *Remember to wash before you wear or wipe!
I spent this morning reading over the EDD website (California's unemployment dept) to learn more about filing an unemployment insurance claim. I've already lost 3 DJing gig and 2 vending events due to coronavirus concerns so I figured it was time to file. After reading all the info, I called EDD and the recording said they were experiencing large volumes of calls and I wouldn't be able to file over the phone and to use the website instead. Doing it online took me a while and don't think I filled it out correctly. I'm really hoping someone calls me back. While I was on the EDD website I couldn't find "Mobile DJ" as a work-type, but saw that "Ritual Circumciser" was. Weird. After filing with what EDD I called my bank to discuss my car loan. I also called my credit card company, my health insurance provider, Covered California and my auto insurance provider. Since all events are canceled I'm not going to have much, maybe not any, income for a few months. Every person I spoke to was very helpful and understanding of the situation. Hopefully things get better soon and it's safe to go to events and things go back to normal. If not I might need to start a new side hustle performing ritual circumcisions.
I figured it was only a matter of time until weddings started getting canceled due to Covid-19/Coronavirus concerns. Tonight I found out the wedding I was supposed to DJ in two weeks got postponed. Last Friday the fundraiser I was working got canceled that very same morning. DJ events at this time of year are already slow to begin with. So are the festivals where I sell my shirts. Two events that I was going vend at next month also got canceled this week. I know I shouldn't complain and I will try and remain optimistic, but damn, most of my income comes from working events. I'm going to try and file an unemployment insurance claim next week. I'll also need to contact my bank regarding my car loan and my credit card provider to see what my options are for late payments. Money is gonna tight the next few weeks, or months. Aside from that I'm doing my best to stay healthy and positive during this weird & uncertain time. I hope you and your loved ones are too. Let's hope we get out from under this soon.
I was supposed to DJ an event tonight but I got text this morning saying it was canceled due to Coronavirus concerns. Bummer, because I really needed the cash. This time of year is already pretty slow for DJing. I did wake up to some good news though, an online t-shirt order came in. Before I got notified about the event being canceled I was planning on just bagging the shirt and sending it off. After getting word that I wasn't gonna be working I started drawing a Thank You card for the t-shirt order. I drew my head first then the tentacles & letters with pencil. Then I inked it with a couple Micron pens and fixed a few mistakes with Pro-White. When I was done I threw it in the bag with the t-shirt and a couple SJ stickers and delivered it. The customer lived 15 minutes from home so I figured I'd save him a couple days of waiting for it to arrive by mail.