A little video from me and my dog.
Let’s be honest: one of the major gripes about any relationship that I have is the feeling of being left out. Be it friends or family, I feel alone and isolated when I’m not included in something, particularly with certain individuals I feel close to. Initially, it gets me depressed and makes me wonder why the fuck I’m not doing the same thing or seeing the potential of outside/unfamiliar places, events, and people. Of course, these sentiments have made me stronger – at least in my own head – and have forced me to become more independent and less co-dependent. I want to see what this world has to offer, and even if I feel left out, I push myself to explore outside the comfort zones of my city (New York) and the known world (America).
When I went to Tokyo a few years back – the only foreign country I’ve visited, other than the Philippines when I was 4 – I got a taste of outside Midwestern and New York culture. I’m forever grateful for that trip, but with the stresses of life and my un/underemployment of 2012 to 2014, I’ve been financially and emotionally hindered to travel anywhere, much less go to a concert or nice restaurant or whatever the hell most people do.
And so, since I’ve been able to settle a promising and permanent job, coupled with some of my friends who went outside of the country this past winter, I made it a goal to travel and experience life more, with or without the company of other individuals.
For instance, I went to Montauk by myself as soon after I visited my family in Chicago for Christmas. I was inspired by this article and subsequent psychological paper, both of which proposed that experiential purchases are more memorable and fulfilling than material purchases. At this stage of my life, I feel I own enough shit to be comfortable, so why not spend my money on travelling – be it outside of town, a museum or concert, or any other fucking shit other than a new TV or a piece of furniture?
Anyway, after arriving at La Guardia airport in NYC from O’Hare, I rented a car and picked up my dog from my friend who was watching her in Manhattan. I drove the 3+ hours (sidenote: I miss driving), straight into the night, and booked a pet-friendly hotel right by the Atlantic Ocean. For the next two days, I was able to reflect and relax, completely removed from any and all outside factors and forces in an otherwise completely deserted Montauk. I know that it was winter, but this kind of solitude gave me piece of mind and further enforced my wanderlust. I was a stranger in unfamiliar territory, and without the stigma of obligations or people I know, it felt good to fucking travel. I felt refreshed.
Here are some of the photos I took:
Ultimately, this is the first step in me traveling more – a newfound wanderlust, if you will. I feel I’ve wasted the last 31 years being sheltered, sticking to my own comfort zones, and being completely emotionally invested in the people and places and things that, in retrospect, don’t bring me definitive happiness or fulfillment. So cheers: to living life.
As most of my friends know, I try to be a little crafty — almost to the point where I’d make an excellent, domestic housewife. This past Christmas, I used the great services at Spoonflower to print out pictures of my friends’ dogs onto fabric. I then constructed pillowcases using the printed cloth swatches and materials that I got at this affordable fabric store, Trumart, as well as some old Ikea pillows my roommate has been wanting me to get rid of (two birds, one stone: making presents and getting rid of furniture). I used a combination of hand-sewn stitching and a cheap-ass, hot pink covered sewing machine my mom got me before I moved to New York to create what I consider one of the more thoughtful gifts I’ve ever produced. Let’s just say that the skills I learned in 6th grade Home Economics have helped me immensely (shoutout to Mrs. Schaudt), and with a little hard work and a budget of 40 dollars, I was able to create something my friends loved.
A part of me thinks I should open my own Etsy shop or sell a bunch of shit at Renegade Craft Fair (the latter, I did once back in 2008). Hipsters and twees would eat this shiznit up.
I started my first blog in 1996. It was originally called G.I.M., which stood for “Guatemalan Insane Mediocrity” – some sort of immature, oxymoronic tribute to The Simpsons’ episode with Johnny Cash as a talking coyote and Homer eating Guatemalan Insanity Peppers. The blog served as an outlet to my angsty and depressingly lonely high school years where, as a young, quiet, and otherwise anonymous teen I was able to express myself through art, writing, and humor. AOL’s dial-up was the bane of my existence, but I was forever grateful for the services of both Internet Explorer as proxy and Geocities’ free hosting capabilities. Looking back, now as a designer, at how I openly loved to use them, I want to throw up.
Fast forward to college, where I renamed my blog Bluegoomba. I still wrote, I still drew, but with my college comic career keeping me preoccupied and secretly pouring shots of Jack Daniels from my dad’s liquor cabinet and into water bottles, my interest and enthusiasm for updating Bluegoomba.com eventually faded away.
And then — between 2007 and 2011 — came both the hunt for work and — after failing to find a suitable job — grad school; aside from constantly updating my Facebook status, my will to write and create stuff online was pretty much non-existent.
So the years passed, I grew up. I moved to NYC nearly 6 years ago, and now as a modestly successful designer within the web and technological sphere, it’s time I re-upped my internet game. I mean, if I do want to possess a career in UX and new online media, I should maintain some internet presence. In other words, I should really improve my SEO rankings and fucking blog more. And swear more. Fuck, welcome.