the loss of an aux | a fairey tale

so i got a car in august – a 2005 slate-green-metallic honda odyssey – the van from my childhood.

and it’s great, it has a navigation system, dvd player, 6 slots for cd’s

and no aux cable.

there’s a button for switching from dvd to aux,
but no plugin, cable, bluetooth or anything of the sort that lets you play music from your phone without tearing the dash apart.

that means i am doomed to memorize songs from the selection of cd’s me and my friends have made, or i have to listen to the radio.

and 90% of the time, i opt for the radio.

and i have loved listening to the radio,

and it got me tickets to see shepard fairey,

or

“the guy who made the obama hope poster and that andre the giant brand”

asking for money is difficult.

asking for money to fund a project you want to do is even more difficult, because it seems like begging, and no one likes a beggar.

having fundraised before, i sympathize with those who ask me for money. it’s really difficult and plays with my heartstrings, so lately i’ve been giving my money to a number of causes, just because i know receiving money from someone unexpected is an encouragement i have felt and loved, so recreating that for someone else is nice.

basically, i’m spending my money in better ways than probably you are.

i listen to the radio now. the ad’s on the music stations are awful and play more than music ever does and every other channel is static, so i tune in quite regularly to NPR, which is administered through a little orange county station called KPCC.

i drop of my roommate at school twice a week, and i listen to the radio on the way home (because she thinks the news is boring and doesn’t want to listen to it on the way there) and there was an interview one morning with shepard fairey, the guy who created the brand OBEY and made the obama hope poster.

he was talking to alex cohen about his new exhibit in downtown la, and that it was called damaged, and that it was opening soon.

now, this was during the station’s ‘fall member drive’, and after every story, the reporters were asking ‘listeners like you’ to ‘please please please consider donating, because without your support, stories like this one with shepard fairey wouldn’t be able to happen’

it was 8:30 in the morning as i was considering this.

and i waited for the commercial to pass, because the commercials on KPCC are like thirty seconds and have kind of bouncy music so they’re very bearable.
but this time it lasted way longer.

and i drove all the way home with alex cohen begging me to donate, because at 9am this certain grant closed and if they didn’t have enough people then they would lose it, and it was $11,000 and that was so much money and they needed 100 people to just give anything, and right now they were at 50 people and the end of the hour was coming in 15 minutes and that’s not much time, and there was even an incentive, you would be entered into a drawing to see shepard fairey’s new exhibit, you and one guest, you could go for free, and your chances were super good right now, if only you just donated one dollar even, just so they could get this grant so they could keep doing what they were doing and telling these amazing stories, their passion projects, all day and night to listeners like me, that i just pulled over with 3 minutes to 9 and gave $10 on the internet through my slow slow phone, my heart pumping and hands fumbling as i was trying to enter my credit card information before the hour was up.

i went back home, and lived the rest of my day, wondering who i would take to that exhibit should i win, and then got stressed about that, and pushed it from my mind.

i probably wouldn’t win anyways.

two weeks later, i was baby-sitting my friend’s twins, and i got an email from KPCC.

CONGRATULATIONS!

it said.

by now, i was receiving promotional emails from the station and various thank-you’s for supporting them, so i thought this was just another one of those.

but it turned out that i won the contest, and would see shepard fairey’s new exhibit in a month, me and one friend.

so i texted that roommate who i drive to school twice a week to see if she was free, and she was, and i thought i would go with her until i decided i wanted to go with a different friend, so i went with him and felt like a jerk for a split second, but she was ok with it, and then me and that other friend had a grand old day!

we got free bagels, took a funny picture with shepard fairey, and even found $20 on the ground.

and i am so thankful for that fall members drive for it.

visit vsco for pictures

x

thoughts from inside the mosh | april 24, a chance the rapper concert

yeah i’ve been to a few concerts. i’ve seen maroon 5 twice, but our seats were way in the back…

mosh pit? no, i’ve never been in the mosh pit before.

why?

small girls with big phones.
big dudes with small phones.

people furiously text friends blurry pictures of the stage.
snapchat, facebook, instagram messaging every single person
they know
to show off that the are standing and sweating in a forest of people
they don’t know.

peer pressure to smoke the blunt, it passes around me and my small squad.

the hesitant girl who took a drag immediately looks concerned.
what has she just done???
she brings her hands up to her throat.
it hurt and she feels bad now.

it moves further on,
and the air fills with ever expanding clouds of smoke
giving us our very own second-hand high.

during the openers it gets super aggressive.
people are trying to get up to the front by way of jumping.

‘we gotta wait for the mosh then we gotta push thru!’ 
-some guy behind me
 
locked knees, i’m not at ease.
the jumping subsides as the spaces are filled
and the crowd backs up, realizing that they are smashing feet
and getting feet smashed.

the openers finish
random popular music plays on an empty stage
and my discomfort at standing among hundreds of sweaty, overalled, twenty-somethings steadily rises.

i am increasingly more aware of my body
and what it’s touching.

behind me, the in’s and out’s of a guy breathing rocks me like a boat, only i don’t get seasick, just claustrophobic.

i don’t know what to do with my hands.
down,
and i end up touching people’s butts
up,
and i end up hitting people in the head,
because my arms are weak and can’t stay up without support for that long.

i am small

this mosh pit thing is not for me
and just when i think i will reach my breaking point,
an hour with my closest companions,

chance graces the stage.

oooOOOOOoooorrRROOOOOOooooOOoo!

his voice rings, playing with us as he hides in the dark of the stage.

i jump,
i knock into people,
i yell in their ears,
and hit them in the head with my weak arms.

i enjoyed the hell out of that concert.

 

######physicaltouchisnotmyfirstlovelanguage

underneath the colosseum pier | the living water

8 april 2017
jesus, i hope i can play with you tomorrow

9 april 2017
easy acoustic guitar, soft singsongy voices, and citrus lime cake.

we sit quietly in the car afterwards, speechless really. golden hour approaches, the 6pm sun is setting. we are headed to the beach.
when we park the car, the street is sunday busy, so not really busy at all.

we are barefoot before we hit the sand, flip flops in hand.
stephen starts us off as we run to the water, sand slowing our speed, but not our energy.

we jump and splash and kick in the puddles. it’s cold but it feels good

activating

a spring of life, the first taste of summer.

it wakes up the children in us.

we run to the pier,
against the wind, our jackets and towels picking up air like kites and capes.

underneath the pier, it feels endless.
as big as a colosseum, with the sun slowly lowering over white foamy waves, falling over, folding over, each column they run into.
standing ankle deep in clear water, feet playing with the loose sand, and little sand crabs, and tiny baby sand clams,
gently brushing our soles.

we stand there for a while, watching the liquid land in front of us wave in and out
the unblocked sun steadily burning our skin, eyes, the tips of our noses – unable to look away – thinking about how we got to this day.

we walk back, the edges of our shorts soggy from the last wave
smiling, overwhelmed at what we were doing.

stephen picks a washed up stick and runs in a spiral
circling it along the sand as justin, jordan and i chase him
completely careless and stupid happy
children playing tag before supper
this is a life that’s full of color

the wind picks up as we take our time back to the car
the sand behind us, a thin grey haze itching our ankles.

justin grabs a handful and lets the breeze push it from his hand
it follows the wind

we are kid_s
this is wonder_ful

x