There’s an eternal curse for the analog photographer in forgetting exactly what type of film is loaded in your camera after a period of not using it. This is fortunately less of a problem for me these days as I rarely shoot color, but still there are many times in my life I’ve emptied my camera to find I was shooting for the completely wrong medium. It can be quite frustrating, but also comes with the territory.

Then there’s the less frustrating and more bang-your-head-on-any-nearby-object feeling of How stupid am I? when you realize the instant film you loaded was actually rather expensive black and white when, since you’re in the middle of the fucking desert and all the strange contrasts of nature and ruin contrasts best in color, you should have looked closer at the sticker on the package.

—feeling this one big time today—

For a while, I couldn’t write anything here because of the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio and the (disgusting, hypocritical) response from just about everyone involved.

For the sake of my mental health, I avoid the news. I don’t listen to npr anymore, I don’t have any news apps on my phone, I don’t read the Times (New York or Los Angeles). Even then, things like this are unavoidable. While I do believe that it’s important a tragedy such as this should be the headline of every outlet, when the response is just sadism from the state, then it’s less news and more propaganda for hopelessness. The news media, for some time now, has no effect on governance and therefore is simply a public relations firm for the interests of capital.

I was discussing the idea of fear with some folks the other day and so many of mine relate not to the nature of the world but rather the force of economic necessity that has been built into it. The experiences of cultural understanding, social purpose, and self-reliance are all fractured by a system like capitalism. This is the sum total of what it takes from us: our very humanity. A forced relationship between the idea of personhood and the individual’s ability to profit. The understanding that a life is considered meaningful only in relation to its economic value. That achievement is a monetary success.

This is why so much of the news is depressing. Not only in its tragedy, but how that tragedy tends to reinforce all of the ways that we live under inhuman values, where only psychopathic ideologies stand a chance at living comfortably. We can all see that things are going to get worse before they get better, but most days I wonder if they’ll ever get better at all.

Mac goes to Venice

Sup, dude

Numero Showcase, Night Two


MOCA Grand

Skate Venice

Dinner With The Boys

The Original Phillippe

Five months of writing

I’ve been writing less online as I’ve been writing more on paper. When I got into the blog as a form of expression at 16, the internet in general was a completely different entity. Fewer echo chambers and isolated silos of political ideology, no megacoporations pushing products or agendas. It felt safe to be expressive to an unknown audience, and they would respond in kind. Comment sections were once a much better place.

Recently—for the better part of the past year—my life has been in one stage of turmoil or another. I learned the hard way that getting sober doesn’t mean you stop losing what is important in life. Being in recovery doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve already hit bottom. When you must work to fundamentally change who you are and how you think and act, people don’t always know how to handle that. I wasn’t prepared for that part—I guess there’s a reason they say, Quitting drinking is the easy part.

To cope with this, I couldn’t turn to the internet in any way. I couldn’t see or be seen on any kind of outward-facing medium. This site went dark, as did my lone social media account on Instagram. I couldn’t deal with an abstract world while my brain was re-wiring itself. There were weeks on end that I couldn’t get out of bed, as I was suddenly dealing with mental health issues I’d previously just shut down with alcohol. So I began writing.

Since I hit a crisis point last fall, I’ve written nearly every day. I still do—part of the reason I’m posting less here is because the journals take priority. At this point, even though I’m not claiming sanity, I do at least know that if—or, perhaps, when—things get overwhelming again, I have a reliable outlet to lean on. For so many years, that outlet was this site (or some iteration of a personal blog). When my life fell apart alongside not having any way to express it, things got real dark real quick.

It’s strange how I have this entire creative history that is now just that. All the ways I used to work are now being re-examined. Painting and music-making, they’re back to being incredibly difficult practices instead of natural motions. It feels in many ways like I’m suddenly left-handed, or only fluent in a language a fraction of people speak. It’s daunting, terrifying, and brutally exhausting.

So I had to start with the basics. A pen and a page, a routine. I don’t know if I’ll ever even go back to re-read these, as I am sure the writing is madness through and through. But it’s something, and hopefully it leads to more around here. It would one day be nice to feel like I’m walking on two feet again, that I’m not just treading water.