36M Studio

It’s a funny feeling walking into the parking structure by our studio at 3:00am… the only cars in the entire structure at the end of each night are the same: mine, Ben’s, and Kazu’s. If parking structures housed bicycles as well, you’d see Chris’ Bianchi in there as well. Maybe it’s not funny.

No, it’s funny.

UPDATE: Chris’ car was just stolen, stripped, and found decomposing in East LA. This post is not funny anymore.


Tortoise at El Rey

On Thursday night Jamie and I went to see Tortoise play at El Rey. I haven’t seen a show there before and it’s really a great venue… great atmosphere and good sound, and it’s open and comfortable. Not to get too nerdy, but it reminded me of the inside of Setzer’s airship from FF3. Anyway… Tortoise was awesome and super-tight. Having dual-drummers was pretty impressive, especially when they were playing the same beat/fills. I sweat every snare hit sounded like 1 drum… so tight. Overall it got a little boring, the songs don’t really go anywhere and they are very similar to each other, but taken individually they are great little pieces of contained-mood. The photo above is from someone’s flickr stream of the show.

Happy birthday, Wally! It was good having you around, even for just a couple days. Man our house has been so packed lately. I think we had about 8 cars on Friday night, and we had to rodeo a bunch of them over to the Park and Ride just to store them overnight. Last night it was 2 in the garage, 4 in the driveway side-by-side, and one perpendicular behind all of them (we can’t park on the street). Sheesh… but it was all worth it for some great ultimate frisbee action, and in-the-pool three flies up. That’s what a Saturday should be!

Today was a fantastic future-of-Kotori meeting, with everyone in one place (crazy). It was surreal to meet people that I’ve only known through email before, and all-in-all we came away with some great concepts and direction. I had prepared some mockups and samples and everything was relatively well-received. We video taped it all for certain out-of-state contributors. Can’t wait to get started on the production (in between everything else).

Time to go pick up some furniture for the studio. Pictures to come, I promise.


East Coast, West Coast

After quitting my job I still haven’t been able to remain in one city for more than 5 days at a time. It’s been a few years of this, though for good reasons.

Last weekend I flew to Miami for the day (!) for my cousin’s wedding, which was fun. Welcome to the family, Lilly! It was awesome to catch up with everyone, even for a brief moment. Suheil and Lilly drove across the country since they are leaving on a cruise from Long Beach, so we got to see them again this weekend. Their rental, due to unforeseen circumstances, was a hummer. So we drove down Sunset and Hollywood blvd in a white hummer. If you know me, you know that’s weird.

Some tidbits: if you’re flying, that liquid-security-thing is for real. I had to dump my whole bathroom bag on the way back to LA: toothpaste, aftershave, shaving cream, conditioner. Funny enough, they left my razor in there. Go homeland security!

On Friday Ben and I went to check out a new gallery that opened up in Korea Town, Mobius. They had a pretty cool show with some familiar faces, books and vinyl toys. They’re also right next door to a Pink Berry, which I’ve heard so much about so we were hard-pressed to leave without trying it. I didn’t realize that it was actual frozen yogurt… like, not the ice-creamish kind, but actual plain yogurt that is just cold. I had some with chocolate chips and strawberries. It was pretty tasty, but also very weird for me because I’m so used to plain yogurt with dinner (an Arabic thing). But yeah, it was tasty.

This weekend I drove to the parents’ and we went to oceanside for some beach-side lunch for father’s day. Happy father’s day, dad – you’ve taught me by example!

Today I went to Art Center with Khang to watch him and Kazu give a presentation to a class about color theory. Even after being around them all the time (and helping paint Amulet), it was cool to listen to and I learned a little. Go see them talk somewhere! Ok, enough plugging friends.

Other than all that, I’ve been very much enjoying my new-found freedom and self-employment. My plate is completely full but I love being able to tackle the tasks on my own time. I’m keeping busy with the new Nucleus system (this thing is major), various freelance design & development projects, painting for Amulet (more this week), decorating the studio space (pictures to come), wrapping up another issue of Kotori and drumming.

Next weekend I am not going anywhere. I resolve to stay in town, somehow.


On a Cloud of Sound

Lots of things going on. Little things, big things. There is a bag of “stuff” filled with these “things” and I will describe them here as I randomly pull each out:

After five years, I quit my full-time. A week ago was my last day. It was an amazing place with some of the most intelligent, open-minded, creative and hard-working people I have ever known, and it has been a tremendous ride from start-up days to corporation. There has been too much pulling me in other directions, and they’ve all come together with a loud bang, and I have to start this new chapter, so it is a bittersweet departure, but a departure nonetheless. Technically, my services will remain available (in a limited fashion) to close out a big project, but no more driving to Santa Barbara! Holy moly…

To celebrate, Nick, Jamie, Danny, Tanya and I headed out to Kober Port in Long Beach. We hoisted something, battoned down some stuff, and set sail (via motor) around the harbor. The adventures were plenty: sea lion dances, fishing lines-snagged on boat incidents, chips and salsa, beer, near-misses with the Queen Mary, red water (?), pirate-sightings and dog-captains. It was awesome, it was fun, and best of all it was relaxing. Here are the pictures.

After that, we headed back to the Nucleus to catch the Edwin Ushiro Gallery Exhibition. His artwork was truly awesome, especially displayed all together in that setting… and he’s a swell dude! Definitely good stuff, I would only expect amazing things from Edwin’s future.

Then, it was catching the tail-end of Khang’s birthday, which included watching our very own White Lightning take it all in the end during some high-stakes poker, and a couple games of Settlers (simultaneous!). The next night was a Patagonia party at our place for a couple of Jamie’s coworkers who were leaving town – this of course involved the Wii as a popular attraction.

My plate is already full and I feel like I was unemployed for about 1 day. And that day was Saturday, so I guess that doesn’t really count. I have a few big projects at the moment, and I’ll get to them in a post this week. Tomorrow I’m heading out to Miami for some cousin-wedding festivities (can’t wait to see them!), and I’ll be back on Sunday. Going with the flow…


Little Room

When you’re in your little room
and you’re working on something good
but if it is really good
You’re gonna need a bigger room
and when you’re in the bigger room
You might not know what to do
You might have to think of
How you got started sittin’ in your little room

– Jack White