I made a lot of progress yesterday & today preparing my taxes. I got all my 2019 business expenses categorized and entered into Turbotax. It's even showing me, as of right now, that I'm expected to receive a federal refund. It's been a few years since I've gotten money back from the Uncle Sam and that got me excited.
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.
I went on a 2 hour hike at Alum Rock Park today and snapped a few pics along the way. It got dark on the way back and I came across a wild/feral cat, a little bigger than a large house cat, in the middle of the trail. It climbed up a hill and watched me from above as a I walked past. You can see it walk off the trail at the beginning of the video below.
Today I started writing messages on the protesters signs and went for a hike at Alum Rock Park, up to Eagle Rock. Can you see where I fucked up on one of the signs? Also check out the pics of the mutant bug (tarantula hawk) and a plant from outer space.
Last week I hurt my back after working out. I woke up the next day with pain behind my left shoulder. It hurt every time I moved and walked around. It's gotten better, but not 100%, over these past few days. Yesterday I felt good enough to go for a walk and today I did modified work out, to avoid hurting myself again, and went for a run. When I got home I had to cook up some chicken, bell peppers and mushrooms that were gonna spoil if I left them any longer. I threw in a few other ingredients and it came out really good. Better than I expected. Bork, bork, bork!
It's been 4th of July for about a month in East San Jose. That's how long people have been lighting illegal fireworks. It wasn't even the ones that light up, just loud AF and setting off car alarms. Tonight they lit up everything. It was crazier than years before. I stayed home in the backyard listening to the police scanner and ready with the hose in case there was a fire. I'm getting old.
I made a little bit of progress on this today after taking 4 days off. Starting from the left I straightened out a bunch of signs and began fleshing out the people.
I drank a shit-ton of caffeine, stretched, worked out, went out for a walk, ran a bit, cooked dinner, shaved and trimmed my beard.
I was at Home Depot today and made an impulse buy. I picked up a couple small plants that would fit my two empty pots at home. The pots used to belong to my aloe plant, Plantie, that I watered to death a few months ago. I wonder how long I can keep these two alive.
Last night I started reading Lord of the Flies again. I had to read it in middle school or high school as an assignment but I don't remember much besides the general story of a bunch of young kids getting stranded on a deserted island and becoming savages. What I'll never forget is a scene from the 1990 movie where they kill the character named Piggy. He was a dorky fat kid in glasses and I saw myself in him cause I was/am a dorky fat kid. I think that scene scarred me for life. It's a short book and I'm 3 chapters in right now. When I'm done I'm gonna rewatch the 1963 black & white movie and the 1990 color version.
After posting this on Instagram someone commented about a real life "Lord of the Flies," where 6 Tongan schoolboys got shipwrecked and stranded on a deserted island for 15 months in 1966. Their story was a much happier than this book by William Golding.
I finished the first pass on this 11"x17" drawing today. I laid out all the people with signs and then filled the gaps with people holding up their fists. The next step, after a few tweaks, will either be putting the messages on the signs or adding details to the protesters and making them all unique. Right now they all look like bald white men. When I'm done inking this, and if I'm happy with the results, I'll get to work penciling the 18"x24" version.
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.
As I work towards an 18"x24" size drawing of my "protesters" piece I'm doing smaller versions as art studies. What I've been doing so far has been drawing the people holding up blank signs then I'll go and write something in them after. Because I'm going to have so many different people with signs I thought I should figure out what they're gonna say so I started writing & laying them out. Almost everything I wrote is something I've read on social media and on people's actual signs relating to George Floyds murder, police brutality protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
I cleaned the fuck outta my room today. Dusted, vacuumed, wiped, decluttered, & consolidated a bunch of shit. That is all.
I went for a run today. It's been 2 months since the last time. I ran for 10 minutes before my body said "Hell naw" so I walked the rest of the way. I wasn't ready.
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.
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)
As I've been SIP'n for the past few weeks, after protests and DJing a gig, I've been working out less frequently. Today I went to Lake Cunningham to walk a couple laps (4.09 miles.) I had been exercising 4 days a week in April & May but have only gone out a total of 4 times in June. It's time to get back on the horse and drop some more lbs.
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.
Last night I found out that HBO was streaming the Watchmen series for free this weekend and I binged thru all 9 hour-long episodes today. From what I understand, HBO is doing this for Juneteenth to highlight "Black experiences, voices and storytellers." The show is sort-of a sequel to the 80s comic book, not the 2009 movie. This series deals with racism and has superheroes and police wearing masks to hide their identities. The series opens with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre which was a real event that I never knew about until this tv series premiered.
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.