Half a year ago while I was flying alone cross country with my then two year old daughter Lulu, a TSA officer told me to remove my Steven Harringtonx Arkitip scarf and put it in a basket to be scanned. I did. And then I walked through security and proceeded to pick up all my stuff. Kid. Boarding passes. Keys. Wallet. Phone. Got it.
It wasn't until I arrived at the Gate that I realized, my favorite scarf was missing. Where had it gone? Backtracking recent events, it was soon clear to me that the TSA agent never put my basket through the x-ray machine; instead placing the basket on top of the conveyer belt metal casing. How do I know? I always watch my belongings travel safely to the other side of security before walking across the metal detectors. And my scarf was never on the conveyer belt. Sad, I boarded my flight and figured the scarf was lost and gone forever.
My pal Trevor is friends with Steven Harrington. Yesterday I recounted how I lost my favorite scarf to him. Trevor pinged Steven and today the scarf magically reappeard at my work. Exactly as I remembered it. It even smelled the same!
THANK YOU, Trevor. And THANK YOU, Steven! I am super happy to add the scarf back into my wardrobe. So happy -- I put it on right away and Trevor snapped the shot above for me. You guys rule. And believe me, the next time someone asks me to take it off, I'm not going to take my eye off of it!
Wonder woman, cheery gal, pal, and writer, Alissa Walkertagged me in a "learn more about me" blog post along with a bunch of people from her creative cabal after our mutual friend, Gregory was inspired to hijack the idea originally shared by Velokova. In case you were interested to learn a thing or two or 11 about me, thank Alissa.
You must post these rules.
Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.
Go to their page and tell them you have linked him or her.
No tag backs.
No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ You legitimately have to tag 11 people.
Here we go...
1. What’s the strangest or most surprising thing on your desk right now? (You can take a photo if you want, unless it’s too embarrassing.) Umm… Nothing too exciting on my desk these days. Maybe my cup full of designy-utensils I found in Amsterdam. I like the colors and it combines two of my favorite things -- food and design.
If you want to see what else is on my desk, check out Gregory’s Unplggd piece on my home office/bedroom.
2. What is your earliest memory? When I was a toddler, I was playing on a swingset in Ohio and it apparently collapsed on me. My head was bleeding seriously enough to send me to a hospital. I remember sitting with my mom in the ambulance but am not sure the ambulance existed at all. I don’t even know if the ambulance ride was real but I believe that it was.
3. How did you come to live in the city where you currently live? I was working for Arthur D. Little in Boston doing environmental health and safety consulting on the Big Dig, then the largest public works project in North America. I had a science degree, a consulting job, and was a role model Asian kid. But I was also bored.
When I found out a remake of Godzilla was going into production, I decided to pack up my stuff and move west to see if I could get involved with the monster movie.
I moved to Santa Monica in the summer of 1996 and after a short stint near the beach, I ended up working for Slayer in music management. Yes, that Slayer. The rest has been fun as hell!
4. What was the last meal you cooked for yourself? New England Clam Chowder. Having lived in Boston for six years, I often crave the chunky comfort soup. While it’s available in a few restaurants in LA, nothing beats a bowl of homemade soup.
A Tyler Florence recipe was suggested to me and it's tasty and easy to make. Next time I will add more potatoes, chopped clams, and celery, but the recipe's foundation is solid.
5. Where do you fantasize about visiting? Hmm. This is a hard question to answer. Now that I’ve got a two-year-old kid there’s so much I want to show Lulu. For starters, I’d like to visit our friends in Brazil sooner rather than later. I’ve never been to South America so that would fulfill a desire.
I’d also like to run up to Big Sur for a long weekend and go glamping at Glen Oaks. I grew up with a forest as a backyard so being in the woods at night is actually pretty comforting to me. I want Lulu to be able to run through the big trees, not the mish mash of weirdo Dr. Seuss trees we have here in LA.
6. When was the last time you drank too much? I don’t really drink a lot of anything and know that I should. But, I don’t drink alcohol. I’m too allergic. Aside from Asian-flush, I break out in hives and my heart beats wild. It is not a good time.
7. Do you feel as if the way you currently earn money is your true calling? Absolutely. I have the luxury of having a “9 to 5” job that allows me to interact with visual artists all day. I also have a coloring book making the rounds with my lit agent that involves working with 100 artists. And when I can find the time, I tinker on my blogs, Hustler of Culture (about culture and art) and Tiny Iron Fists (about creativity and kids).
8. What song do you sing to yourself when you need to psych yourself up? ‘Track 20’, an unreleased Money Mark song from the “Beautiful Losers” soundtrack. If you’ve seen the movie, it’s the song that crescendos when the movie turns from what the movement was to what it is. I know this sounds wacky, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know the song. It’s the one that lifts your heart in an exciting way.
9. How do you manage your to-do list(s)? I have a few methods to manage my To Do List, but I mainly use Twitter to keep me straight. It’s an unorthodox method, but it works for me.
I “own” the Twitter handle @checklist. It’s a locked account I can access from anywhere online. If I have something to do, I log in and tweet my notes. If I finish a task, I delete my tweet. I play a game with myself to see how low I can keep the tweet count. In case you’re wondering I currently have 58 tweets. FYI, my To Do’s range from the mundane to bucket list items.
Can anyone reading this please help me cross this off my list?
10. What new skill would you most like to learn in 2012? Since I already know how to ride a unicycle, maybe I’ll give whistling a shot, again. I never learned how to whistle properly and now that Lulu can, it’s embarrassing I can’t keep up with her.
11. What is the view out the nearest window? Take a photo, please. The view in front of me: All new construction/box architecture in my Dogtown neighborhood.
The view behind me: An itty bitty balcony oasis.
Thanks Alissa for including me in this fun activity!
My 11 questions for 11 people are:
What made you really happy last week?
Please post a favorite photograph of yourself from at least 25 years ago. Why is the photo significant to you?
What is the last thing you bought online?
What dish in a restaurant do you always order no matter what, if it's offered on a menu?
What is your middle name? Any special meaning?
Is Los Angeles where you'll stay forever? If yes, why? If no, why not?
What is a trick an adult taught you growing up that you'll remember forever?
The first five websites I visit daily are _____________.
Post a picture or copy the text of the last IM/SMS/PIN/DM message you sent. If it's incriminating, please just state, "too embarrassed, pass."
What was the last party you organized and hosted?
What high school activities did you participate in, have actually impacted your grown up life?
Big bro Julian lives down the street on the Venice side of Dogtown. He's usually flying all over the world speaking at some something-or-nother conference, but lately, I've been seeing him check in on Foursquare at skateparks all over the country. Wasn't he just at the Venice Skate Park yesterday? There he is, documenting the variety of life that is living and breathing down by our oceanside, outdoor, skatepark capturing everybody: locals, tourists, old pros, next gen's top skater and their families. He's even shot us a few times, hanging out.
Julian's always got some awesome project happening and when he told me about Hello, Skater Girl I got really excited. I've always been a fan of thesport. Silvio was the lead artist for the blockbuster videogame, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Lulu's godfather is a former pro-skater, and much of our community including the one reading this post are life long friends and family from the sport.
It's no secret that I would love for Lulu to be an astronaut-pro-skater someday. She's got her first deck, so really, nothing can stop her, right?! I think the Hello, Skater Girl book would be a great addition to Lulu's bookshelf. I hope you enjoy this interview I put together with my photographer pal:
Tell me, what's this photo book you're working on?
I'm doing a photography book project. The subject is girl skateboarders. I told myself I was doing a book project because that was the easiest thing to wrap my head around. What I really wanted to do was understand skateboarding culture more than I already did, and I basically didn't really understand it at all — so the project was a way get to know what skateboarding was all about.
Why focus on girl skateboarder?
At first I naively convinced myself that no one else was trying to capture and document girl skaters through some sort of visual medium. That was stupid to assume, because of course it's not true. But — if you look at much of the core skateboarding communities and magazines and the big brands, you don't see much photography of girl skaters at all. That's just the way it is and I understand the systemic issues as to why, even if I don't understand why not — the lost opportunities.
That's what drew me to the project because I love creative projects that go against the grain — that do something that "no one" else is doing. And, of course I know that's just a creative start. As soon as you think no one else is doing something you immediately start finding all the people who are doing that thing. The creativity comes in finding a way to do what other people are doing in a unique, individual way. That's much more fun to be amongst a community of similarly motivated folks and find your own style and technique.
Okay, so..how would you describe your style?
It's easier to "see" than describe but — what I'm trying to do is a bit photo-geeky and technical but I try to set up portrait-like photos of this very dynamic, very kinetic sport. I'm shooting for a look that is studio-like — something with big, curated light and the background fall-off you might see in a portrait shoot. I think this is atypical in the canon of skateboarding photography where you often have very big compositions: the big skater/ultra-wide/fisheye look; or the landscape shot with a small skater amidst a big street/urban-concrete setting. I guess I was going for something different just to be different — a wide-ish lens with little distortion; no motion blur; strong visual separation between the skater and the background. That's geeky.
How'd you get into skateboard photography, anyway?
I moved to Venice Beach awhile ago. The town got a skatepark right on the beach a couple of years ago. Going there and shooting was a better way to learn about the history and culture of this place I'm now living in than reading about it or going to town council meetings.
I can't believe we've been hosting our summer kick off barbecue for nine years now! But there you have it. Nine years of post-E3 fun. The crowd has changed from electronic entertainment industry folks-only to a big ass party for our creative cabal.
Thanks to Toby and Michael for hosting our party for the third year in a row. Thanks to Kiino and Matt for hooking us up with tunes. And thanks to all our friends that made the day fun and special. We are looking forward to the 10 year anniversary party, next year! See you then.
Here's a sneak peek at Lulu's Dogtown digs (it was totally inspired by our surf/skate neighborhood and all the outsider artists we know). I'm not exactly sure what constitutes a nursery, but I guess it's that too. Lulu's room has been a work in progress for over a year and we finally finished it this week. While there are still a few things to tweak, it's pretty much done now. I've never seen another room like it and I'm stoked with how it's turned out.
If you follow the kick ass kid's shelter blog, ohdeedoh, they'll be profiling it soon. I'm also trying to catalog everything in her room for a future post, but since some of you have been following the room's progress, I thought you'd enjoy a look now.
Thank you to all our artist pals for the art on her wall and to all our friends for picking up such unique gifts for Lulu. It goes without saying that our kid is loved and one lucky little gal!
OsGemeos are in town getting ready for the big "Art in the Streets" opening at MOCA in a couple of weeks. The stars aligned and we ended up hosting their birthday dinner at our home with new and old friends in tow -- nearly a decade after we first met during their inaugural trip to America. We've been lucky to catch the twins over the years, but what made the evening incredibly special was our reunion dinner included photographers Louise and Ig from LostArt, who were also with us 10 years ago (see related link below).
I found my original photographs from the 2001 visit and we happily took the trip down memory lane together. Back then, we were much poorer (the twins crashed on the floor of our 150 square foot sublet in New York City) and aside from a lifestyle upgrade for all of us, not much else has changed except that OsGemeos is now more of a household name in the contemporary art scene and we're all a bit chubbier.
As seen in the slideshow above, here we are hanging with old pals, Ig and Louise from LostArt and Gustavo and Otavio of OsGemeos and Wendy, Arnaldo, Koyo and Ray. We celebrated the twins' birthdays and 10 years of friendship. Cheers to many more years ahead...
Our beautiful Maine Coon kitty Godzuki changed cosmic addresses yesterday. It was unexpected as he had been acting normal all morning, even patiently hanging out with us while Lulu "pet" him (as seen above). If something was wrong, he didn't lead on. I'm shocked and sad our little lion's gone. When I posted the news of his passing, it
was only seconds before condolences started trickling in. I wasn't
surprised. Godzu was well loved and had friends all over.
Godzuki joined our family in April 2002. We got him to keep our other adopted cat, Atari, company. As a kitten, we couldn't tell he was a Maine Coon and we definitely had no idea he would become as big as he was -- in personality and size. Everyonewantedtoholdhim. And he wassupercool about it. Some of our friends loved him enough to want to breed him, but alas, he was fixed.
For my 38th birthday, I went whale watching with a handful of friends. Big brother Julian took this kick ass photo capturing a damn fine day. Why a whale tour?! Whales are magnificent beautiful creatures and if you've never seen them in the wild, you are missing out. It is a humbling experience to see the largest known mammal to ever exist on planet Earth (blue whales are bigger than dinosaurs) and with a worldwide population estimated at 8,000 to 14,000, we are lucky to even see one. Whale watching on one's birthday is also a great reminder, that we are only but a blip in this world.
In 1994, I was graduating college in Boston and I had almost every single t-shirt, dress, and skirt New York-based street brand, X-Girl sold at the time. Even when designers Daisy Von Furth and Kim Gordon sold the label to the Japanese, I remained faithful to X-Large's sister label for another decade. I rocked the simple downtown street style before eventually graduating to A.P.C. Nearly two decades later, I've recently gone back to my X-Girl roots happily rocking old wares I saved or inherited from other friends (note: I feel like my dad owning almost 20 year old t-shirts now. I never thought this would happen to me, but it has)!
I fucking love this video. It's a time capsule of downtown New York City pre-reality TV socialites. It's especially awesome to see a young and very fresh Sofia Coppola (pre-Milk Fed, marriage to Spike, and Oscar nomination) and Spike Jonze (pre-Oscar caliber film career). Linda Evangelista and Francis Ford Coppola make an appearance as well as the who's who in the hipster bible, but the real kicker is seeing a very young "it girl", Chloe Sevigny (pre-Kids!) at 2:28 modeling the X-Girl wedding dress. Thank you, YouTube for existing!
I am thankful you come here every day and pay this little piece of the internets some attention. Thanks for the kind words -- they really keep me going.
I am thankful for my good health and fortune and mostly for my amazing family and friends. Thanks to Silvio who reminds me that we live a fulfilling and fortunate life and thanks to our newborn Lulu for showing us what love can be.
Right before I got on a plane to San Francisco, my next door neighbor noticed my swollen ring finger. She said, "You better get it off soon or you'll have to cut it off, like my other pregnant friend did." That was ten days ago.
- Iced water (tried to shrink my fingers) - Ace bandage compression with hand above heart level (tried to squeeze blood out of my fingers) - Warm olive oil - Baby oil - Coconut oil - Soap - Lotion - Silicone sex lube (thanks M, it was worth a shot!)
Manifest's made some HOC tees for Karmaloop! Not for me. Not by me. Not endorsed by me. Not anything related to this site. My friend Susan found it and well, had to send me the link and then of course, buy me one. Brownie points to anyone who knows where "hustler of culture" originated from. Clue: Shepard Fairey knows.
Sinden took this photo of me because she thought my outfit was ridiculous. I'm too frugal to buy maternity clothes. So I wear what I can still squeeze into. In this case, vintage X-Girl tee, American Apparel undershirt, Four Star skate shorts (hijacked from Silvio -- cause they were gifted to him and he never wears), WESC socks, and cinnamon slippers from Viet Nam. It should be noted that the only thing I've paid for in this outfit is the American Apparel tee. If you run a clothing company and you want to send me some wares, I'll wear them and document on Flickr!
I actually don't have a lot of photos of me with Spawn. So, enjoy!
A minor earthquake occurred at 7:42:44 PM (PST) on Friday, January 23, 2009.
The magnitude 3.4 event occurred 2 km (1 miles) WNW of Marina del Rey, CA. The hypocentral depth is 7 km ( 5 miles).
Magnitude 3.4 - local magnitude (ML)
Time Friday, January 23, 2009 at 7:42:44 PM (PST), Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 3:42:44 (UTC)
Distance from Marina del Rey, CA - 2 km (1 miles) WNW (288 degrees)
Santa Monica, CA - 4 km (3 miles) SSE (166 degrees)
Culver City, CA - 7 km (4 miles) WSW (248 degrees)
Inglewood, CA - 12 km (7 miles) WNW (285 degrees)
Los Angeles Civic Center, CA - 22 km (14 miles) WSW (249 degrees)
Coordinates 33 deg. 59.0 min. N (33.984N), 118 deg. 28.2 min. W (118.470W)
Depth 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Location Quality Fair
Location Quality Parameters Nst=113, Nph=113, Dmin=4 km, Rmss=0.5 sec, Erho=0.5 km, Erzz=0.9 km, Gp=46.8 degrees
I believe that birds of a feather, flock together.
Thanks to all my readers who told their friends about Hustler of Culture over the past five and a half years. Much to my amazement, HOC's readership is still growing. To help broadcast my posts, I've relaunched the Hustler of Culture twitter feed and in the past couple of days, hundreds of subscribers have hopped on board (thanks, guys)! This is all due to the fact that I'm a part of a pretty supportive arts and culture-based community. Recently, the sassy C-Monster (name purposefully withheld), Barry at Bloggy, and Christina at Glowlab re-tweeted links of mine. And in the past 48 hours, Marc at Wooster Collective gave my feed a shout out and the lovely Jean at NOTCOT blogged about my awesome EG win. Welcome, everybody!
Oh, and for the record, I've had a separate private Twitter account for some time now with over 3,630 random and personal observations. But please don't try to add yourself to that feed unless we're IRL friends. Otherwise, I'm going to have to reject you and feel a lil bad about it. Nothing personal, if I really don't know you, right?!
As always, mega thanks for all your support. And for those of you that read through this and said to yourself, "Huh, what's Twitter?", check this out.