folk with a backbone

last night i went to tanners coffee in culver city (we used to hang there back in high school) to watch one of my best friends from the good ‘ol days perform his tunes. it was great to see john playing his roots, apart from his full electric band, and the lyrics were very much like the friend i always knew – clever writing, tells a great story that always comes back full circle, and a sense of humor that is all his own and extremely enjoyable (at least to me) if you grew up knowing him.

watching him always brings about nostalgia for me. it reminds of me our days growing up. all the good times, all the bad times, our first band, learning our instruments, playing games, crazy friends. it also is refreshing because it is a reminder that the good times continue, they just change. i also ran into a few other old friends there that i’m excited about keeping in touch with, and john’s family who is always awesome.

lets hang out all day soon, john. lots of catching up to do…

two swedes and a swiss

henrik’s friends christopher and adrien flew in from providence (where they attend an art school in exchange programs) and stayed at my place the last week. its been fun showing them some places and talking about cultures… good times. its also fun to re-discover places nearby that i don’t regularly visit on my own, but visitors want to check out. dinner and beers in venice beach, barbeques downtown atop the lofts. they also apparently had a crazy 3 day expedition to vegas, phoenix, the grand canyon and san diego (with some crazy stories to back it up).

i also met amy’s mother and brother (it was their last night here from hawaii) and they seemed really cool and down-to-earth. we all watched kazu beat shadow of the colossus, and after watching the game and the ending again (rather than playing it) i’m convinced its one of the best games – or works of art for that matter – ever made. i think kazu was right when he mentioned that it was better than most films that are out these days…

thanksgiving in the desert

i just watched baraka at my brother’s house and it depressed me a little. it was beautiful and full of inspiration, but at the same time a stark reminder of our role as a disease upon this earth.

when i left, i was greeted by a ticket tucked under my windshield wiper for parking in the alley… or “standing” in the alley, so the ticket said. i left plenty of room around me for any size car to pass. this is the second meaningless ticket in less than a month, and my third ticket in about 9 years of driving. it makes me believe that people thrive on judgement rather than provide solutions. i used to follow street rules strictly – my friends can vouch for this (i have to go “all the way around” rather than make a u-turn at a no-u-turn sign). but these petty tickets have had the opposite effect on me than i suppose they should have. after following so many rules and getting punished for the smallest things, its hard not to think ‘who cares’ at this point. alas, who am i kidding. i will still do my best. its not the cops’ fault. they’re just puppets of a grander machine of failure.

so, the photo above is of ola’s fantastically tasty dessert. it’s the silver lining to this otherwise bitter post.

music, nucleus, katamari, buddies

we spent saturday afternoon cleaning and re-arranging the studio. its always nice to refresh the space… there’s actually room to move around now. and as a brief reward, nick, steve, marlon, danny, micah and i jammed out some tunes. during the cleaning process, we were interrupted by a dinosaur in a palm tree (pictured above) that was thoroughly ravaging the fronds. there was so much devastation and the aftermath was left covering the yard. it was bizarre.

later that evening we headed out to the ‘three trees make a forest’ show at nucleus, which was probably the most crowded show they’ve had thus far. danny, nick and i manned the bar in the upstairs gallery for about an hour before our replacement took over, abandoning our successful C.A.R.E. system that had been pleasing customers left and right. it was cool to see enrico, though i actually missed tadahiro and ronnie. it seems like the pieces are selling well too.

on sunday i headed over to gnomon to check out kazu, chris and khang teach the character design class but i was absorbed into watching jenn and shaun play katamari. what a weird, weird game. which is awesome. i’ll catch their class in a couple weeks. :|

after that we all headed to grab some curry dinner (about 11 of us) and i couldn’t help but think, this is a good bunch.

three trees make a forest

tomorrow night is the much-anticipated (at least in circles i’m in) ‘three trees make a forest’ show at gallery nucleus. it features the work of three artists: enrico casarosa (works at pixar and i’ve had the pleasure of helping him with a few of his web sites), ronnie del carmen (another talented artist from pixar), and tadahiro uesugi (who’s amazingly simple illustrations smother you with incredible perspective and lighting).

it is a special treat to have tadahiro present at the show (arriving from japan), and there’s been alot of hype and press surrounding the event so its going to be super-packed. i’ll take a bunch of photos and post something after the event. danny (and myself and nick) will be manning the drinks so stop by and check out the show and say hello.

in other news, henrik and i met up with some others at the kings / canucks game at the staples center. i’ve never been to an nhl game, which was actually pretty exciting in person. it went by really quick though (not to mention our period-long expedition to find out how to redeem our free beer / nachos coupon didn’t help). good times!