Tuesday, June 21, 2011

a month worth mentioning

let me start this off with a confession: for quite some time and in some chaotic execution i thought i would have celebrated my birthday in spain. i wasn't quite sure if i'd have a job, go for law school or just wing it...but i knew i would at least attempt another pilgrimage. then some stuff happened that wasn't encouraging a spontaneous departure:

- 21% unemployment in spain
- protests over bleak economic prospects
- money wasn't necessarily pouring in on this side of the atlantic
- my intestines decided to explode and kept me in bed for six months

so i made the executive decision to stick around here. and i gotta admit that im really happy i did. ive had a really good month.

after my last meal as a 25 year old (my first attempt at burmese food - huge fan btw) i went to eric barela's to help clean his apartment for a little dinner party he was generously hosting at his house. it was last minute and with pride around the corner i didn't want anything too crazy. just a nice, relaxing evening.

well, besides plunging from 10,000 feet, of course.

oh yeah i went skydiving.



diving from the sky

don't ask me why, i really couldn't tell you. it's possibly because i was just thrilled to be healthy and alive again. or it could be a way to make up for not being in spain right now. maybe it was to prove to myself that spontaneity is still in the cards for me as the years progress. either way, whatever - i went skydiving.


the day started off with a drive down to santa cruz with hugh and rahul, my fellow jumpers, and mike and eric, the people who would call our families in case we all perished. we took a mini detour and found ourselves at the santa cruz boardwalk -

a place that was perfect for bringing up some jersey shore nostalgia (the location, not the tv program). everything about it was perfect - the crowded beaches, the rides, the trashy attendees, the misspelled marquees

the sun, but most importantly - the smellllllllls

this man is not representative of how much i enjoyed the location. the smell of the beach mixed with the various fried delicacies that only a boardwalk could supply really rubbed me the right way. so much so that i figured my very last meal would be something i swore never to try again: deep fried oreos.

worth it.

eric and rahul thought it was a good idea to ride some rides but i was like, "o hell no. i just ate deep fried oreos i couldn't possibly ride rides because my stomach would turn."

jumping out of a plane however is totally logical.

my decision making process should not be contested...just go with the flow, please.

what is this ride? wizz fizz? sure, that sounds healthy, go for it, boys.

wait, where are they? is that them?

i can't.

i can't see them.

this is getting obnoxious. let's go stare at the beach dwellers.

oh, there they are. i dont want to tell you how many times i had to take a photo to actually catch them on this thing.

20. 20 times. also worth it.

then we drove to some town nearby town that looked like a testing site for war machines (not comforting at all) and found our tiny base camp area. as we pulled up to the mini planes, i think my body started to realize exactly what it was about to go through and attempted to pull a turtle-esque move and squeeze inside of a shell it thought it had covering it from harm. there was no shell.

the plane was smaller than the car we drove in. the plunge was much shorter than the anxiety that developed leading up to the plummet.

the video will most likely take a while to upload / edit out the embarrassing parts... but for now, look at this photo of me landing


i like to think of this photo as the, "o hey look moms we all survived!" photo.

please note that i wore my lucky shorts underneath my pants during the dive. that was for you, nova.

then off to the quiet party.

uh, yeah it wasn't quiet.

the party was really unexpected and large and full of pizza and liquor and it was lovely. groups from different crowds came and mingled and moments like those are just lovely, particularly when cakes are involved (just for the record, i had four cakes in my honor this year).

blending friendships really was the best part of the party. that and the fact that i loved everyone there. all 30-40 of em... even the random guests i met for the first time. very lovely.

i know what i was thinking at this exact moment - "how do i get rid of these 30-40 people so i can have these cakes to myself?" this same question goes through my head every year. i haven't quite figured out how to pull it off.

sharing is a problem when it comes to good tasting cake. i'm working on it.

not for nothing, but im pretty sure if you saw these staring at you, you'd want them for yourself as well.

dark chocolate and fresh fruit with a white chocolate shell vs. coffee toffee ice cream cake = nobody's taste buds come out alive without new addictions.

it's good to have friends that are filmmakers because this photo is really lovely.

here i am landing on the earth. im in the green

actually im explaining to friends about my gift, the world. well, this globe. dear eric barela got me a globe that was made the year that i was born. HOW EPIC IS THAT?! all of the countries match up to how the world looked when i was just welcomed into it. so insane.

i may be a globe collector.

"i want to live there." "wait, is that still a country?" "ussr is just russia without a i and proper grammar"

this is mike and michael michel. no, seriously, when i introduced mike to michael michel i said, "michael, this is michael michel, michael michel, this is michael." it just doesn't stop being bizarre/hilarious. seriously, people, there's billions of us and tons of languages, we've gotta look into new names.

this is evan and myself

it was our tribute to the stresses people/GRAD SCHOOL/city life/GRAD SCHOOL fed us over the years.

p.s. - my nose is red from the sky falling, not from the drinks i consumed. moving on.

salvator, evan, michael, eric. i like this because i look tall.

I LOVE THIS NEXT PHOTO - i like to call it "which one of these is not like the other"

chantay is clearly the winner because she's left handed. um, and fifty other reasons.

and you know the party was successful when the boy in heels collapses on the lounge and doesn't wake up until the party ends at 430 in the morning

just sayin'

i had a lovely birthday, but the month didn't just consist of the birthday plunge:

-work has been going surprisingly well. my installations have gone up around the city, and i was told out of nowhere that they would be printed in an upcoming bay area newspaper. for over 200000 people to stare at.

for those of you who don't know what i'm talking about, it's a timeline installation for the 25th AIDS Walk SF, documenting the event's work as well as local, national and global moments of HIV/AIDS activism. t wrote the content and compiled/shot the photos. it's my baby and it's taking over the ciy. getting it printed in the paper was a big surprise. on friday i'll be setting it up in three different major muni/bart stations.

here they are at the safeway on church and market

weird, right? "oh hi, i'm here to pick up some sandwiches - o that thing? why yes, i did do that!"

this one is from the westfield mall downtown where all the tourists go to buy things they could very well buy back at their hometowns.

-dear friend nakhter returned from southeast asia. i didn't want to bother him with the same questions everyone else asked so i simply said:

Me: Nahkter, please describe your trip to southeast asia in five words
Nahkter: everyone is the same everywhere

-delores park is back in full swing

-dear friend angelo took me and some chums to a very epic night of fun, life and adventure. and then this photo happened.

i hope i get elected to office somewhere and this photo gets me fired for being too AWESOME

-i remembered what happened during pride this year

-i bought a ticket to burning man

-my favorite restaurant in the city reopened and i've been able to eat there at least twice, so far

i think i want to keep making far-fetched decisions for my 26th year. let's see where it goes. i gotta say that i'm really liking how things are working out so far.

must continue jumping. go appreciate fountains

love and loyalty

Thursday, June 9, 2011

a few comparisons

#SUMMERinNJ - yoga at sunrise on your roof #SUMMERinSF - hot tea at sunrise in your oversized hoodie and sweatpants

#SUMMERinNJ - NYC,Philly,JC, Hoboken, New Brunswick nights that last lifetimes. #SUMMERinSF - afternoons in the park before the wind comes


#SUMMERinNJ - RITA's italian ice in sandals #SUMMERinSF - vegan, non dairy ice cream in rain boots

#SUMMERinNJ - pack a tube-top/ guinea-t #SUMMERinSF - pack a parka

#SUMMERinNJ - sunscreen and aloe vera #SUMMERinSF - allergy medication and wind-resistant moisturizer

#SUMMERinNJ - sleeping with the window in your apartment wide open and enjoying the light breeze #SUMMERinSF - extra blankets & night sweats

#SUMMERinNJ - short shorts as a necessity #SUMMERinSF - short shorts as painful irony

#SUMMERinNJ - watching shooting stars on the roof of your car #SUMMERinSF - stars?

#SUMMERinNJ - an easy drive to the beach with loved ones and enjoying the refreshing ocean #SUMMERinSF - cali traffic and the frigid pacific

#SUMMERinNJ - county fairs and young love #SUMMERinSF - occasional, unscheduled freak-shows and casual sex at your front door

which reminds me...

#SUMMERinNJ - Make sure you know the number for the free clinic #SUMMERinSF - Make sure you know the number for the free clinic

#SUMMERinNJ - beautiful isolated thunderstorms you can watch from your porch with a lemonade #SUMMERinSF - watching umbrellas flip inside-out from inside your apartment