Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just Visiting

I was back in Midland this past weekend. Before I went, and partially the reason I went was, one night while talking to my Mom on the phone she mentioned that my Dad said "wasn't it time for Gabe to visit?" Now, my Dad and I get along more now than we have in the past, but for anyone who might have read the old blog you would know we've had issues. Those issues include him wanting me to be a cowboy, listen to only Country and Western music, and wear Wranglers. Not exactly in that order, but close. Thankfully he never wanted me to be a Republican, because he's not, and seriously that has made my entire life a much, much easier journey. Whatever jokes the universe plays on us, collectively and individually, that was not one of them.

Anyhow, so I know all the family misses me even though it's been a short period of time, and I decided to visit for a bit, and it was good because I got to see the kiddos and spend a lot of time with them. We had a good time, doing nothing really, but talking, coloring, oh yeah and I drew my sister a rough draft for a house plan, and here's hoping her husband, who I won't talk about much at all because there's definitely nothing glowing to report in that history, gets it built for her. I told my Mom if I could win just enough money in the lottery for my sister a house, that would be perfection.

After the visit I drove back on Sunday, this time with David in tow, luring him to Austin and eventually Keith will follow (most likely sooner than he thinks, because I have a feeling when he sees the size of this apartment, and the totality of Austin once again, he'll want it to be sooner).

Of course, I didn't Svengali him. Everyone I know wants to move to Austin now, I think even my Mom wants to move to Austin! I also have to get Amy here eventually. Who can blame them. For me Austin combines all the best of Texas hospitality with almost all the best that LA had to offer (and there was some "bests" it offered) including a bunch of Obama voting bleeding heart liberals. There's no beach and ocean, and I do love that still, but, driving backhere, and passing Lake Buchanan, I got almost the same feeling, so apparently it's a large body of water thing for me. That's not even to mention Lake Travis, also nearby.

But the large body of water thing's not in the cards too soon--it's about 54 degrees now, as a cold front blew in on Sunday night. Supposedly there's a warming trend for the next few days though. Funny--I thought today that it was like LA with the chill this morning, if it were raining, in that odd inversion of expectation vs. reality.

Yesterday was also chilly, though not quite as bad. I took David around the Northwest Austin area, so he could get an idea of the everything surrounding my location. Of course (why do you even ask) I took him to the Church of IKEA. I needed to pick up some things for my Mom and sister, and of course found some other stuff for me. The best thing regarding my religious affiliation with IKEA is that David has a truck right now, so I can plan excursions that involve larger truckbed sized purchases, thus I made a mental note of the items I might need as I passed them yesterday (as if I haven't had a mental inventory already going). Saves the IKEA delivery charge.

I'm also happy to have a solid friend in Austin now, as David will make me cast off my shell, at least sometimes. I jokingly (or maybe not) told him that he and Keith cannot move into my complex or Northwest Austin, and that, indeed, I had already made plans for them to move to South Congress for us to be strategically located. In this way, when they want to come shop in the retail heaven that is my area, they can stay here after an exhausting day of shopping. And when I want to go downtown, I can stay with them on South Congress, and just take a taxi to and fro, not worrying about having to park my car.

Yes, I have it all planned.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Because I should be sleeping

Instead I'll write something. I'm not sure the iPhone business was of tremendous import, but then again I've never really figured out who I'm writing this for, possibly just me, so, I'll write what arrives in my head.

Earlier I was thinking about the changes in my life, quite a few, with not even a year gone by since the "onset" of the changes. Eek...sounds like puberty. No, of course I'm referring to the fact that it still hasn't been a year since, after 3 or so years of plans, I took the plunge and moved to Los Angeles. Within the space of that not quite finished year I spent 6 months trying to make it work, alone and in tandem with others, but mostly alone. Then the Baldessari dropped and I decided yeah, that gnawing, dark, moody feeling really was unhappiness, and since I didn't have anything like a support group, and since LA wasn't the place I thought it would be, I made the decision to make Austin my new home.

So the LA move was November the 2nd, 2007. Around this time last year I was wrapping up my Halloween Saints contest, which went pretty well, though I think it's the first and only "annual" contest, I'm just not caught up enough with myself to do it again, and I don't know if I'd get any responses anyhow.

Also around this time last year, well, actually I couldn't even tell you if I'd committed to the "loft room" (GARAGE not even properly converted dearies) or not at that time. But by the 2nd I was there, gosh golly gee.

Come First of May, 2008, my stuff was headed back East to West (there's another story, the movers, urgh) and then so was I right behind. Hard to believe I did that LA move business to and fro, or that I made the move so quickly out from West to East to Austin as solidly and quickly as I did. I say that since I'm not Mr. Intrepid, and I can sit on an idea or plan for a long time.

In fact, confession here, lots of things in the world scare the hell out of me, more than they should. Undoubtedly I've got some neurons that misfire quite a bit, and they sometimes keep me safe, but too safe, and that fear is far from a crutch, it's a deadbolt on this side of the door, the one that keeps me in the beautiful room of my mind where I hide.

To be sure, this works to create some fantastic realms (at least to me) in my mind, that have been manifest physically. But still, I know the problem I need to solve is unlocking that deadbolt and getting those ideas out. I will say I don't believe LA was the place for them, as my creativity was zero...zero? (deer in headlights blink blink)...zero! Here's hoping Austin sees the better part of that raging creative madman, the one who kept Sarah, Nick and Becky guessing as to what in the world, or out of the world, he was gonna commit from his head, to paper, next.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I woke up yesterday and my iPhone was dead. It's happened at least once before...usually the push mail hangs up or something, and runs the battery down trying to get the new mail it thinks is out there. That had happened once back in Midland, on the Edge network.

The funny thing is I had thought that previous night (two nights ago as I write this) when I went to bed "hope that doesn't happen again." And it did. Uh-oh, is that "the Secret" looming it's ugly head? Meh.

But I didn't panic. Actually I don't panic much anymore. That's another story.

Didn't panic...just figured that it lost all its juice overnight, no big deal, I'd recharge it that morning. Well when I plugged it in and came back to check it, there was no green, the battery indicator was staying red. So I thought, well, the battery's not taking a charge. I tried it out in other places, and no luck.

So I made an apple store appointment to replace it with the new 3G iPhone, which I planned on getting a little further down the road, but since it was on the radar, I thought, go ahead. I'll wait a few weeks more on the iMac purchase. Then I thought, well, let's make sure that it's a real problem, and so I made a Genius Bar appointment for that day (my iPhone appointment was for today, which was not yesterday, at least yesterday it wasn't today). :)

Went to the Genius Bar at the apple store in the Domain at about 3:45. The Domain is a sort of retail/urban utopian trial concept or something. There are high end stores with apartments above and around them. In reality it looks like a movie set, a sort of excluded from reality slice of life. I saw those apartments online, and they were like $1500 for 300 or so square feet. Very LA I thought. Also very SIMON management, and that's another story, but suffice to say SIMON malls are very "Godly" for lack of a specific term, as we found out they don't usually let Hot Topics in their malls carry music or scary Living Dead Doll type things. I'm serious. An interesting inversion of Capitalism, really, sort of like the irony of a Republican administration moving to partially socialize banks. Welcome to Bizarro World, the world is a cube!

I don't know if this concept is catching on or not (the Domain stuff, not socialism and banking, that remains to be seen, it's usually a scary thing for Joe Six-Pack Plumber when progressives suggest degrees of socialism, ignorance being fear, but I don't know how it works when conservatives are planning it...can you tell I'm spending too much time in politics?)...but I do know if you can hear the canned music from below in your apartment, well, I'd jump out the window and land splat in front of something high end. I'm too susceptible to music I can't control, it messes with my mind (5 years at Bealls with their mush for music mostly--I'd learn the cycle--and had to listen to mind numbing country tunes about wife murderers escaping prison with the help of horny bloodhounds while the Dixie Chicks were banned for suggesting what we've all come to know, even those who pretend it's not so!). Whew.

Any-how, it's nice to have an apple store because they're better than AT&T at the service thing. And I have 2 choices in Austin, but the Domain is literally just down the street. The Genius Bar is where you go up and the apple-store-proclaimed geniuses sit with you and go over your device's problem. Well, it turns out that mine was a bug, it was charging, just not showing it. The Genius guy said he'd seen it once. I should have known--he just reset it and all was well--and I should have done that myself, but this bug wasn't on my radar (I do keep up with some of the news on the iPhone, never saw anything about this).

But I have to admit an ulterior motive: I had already decided to upgrade. In fact, I made the genius bar appointment mostly to see what I might have to do in case I wanted to keep the classic iPhone and use it mostly like the iPod touch (it still works, the apps and stuff, with a WiFi connection, just no phone capabilities). I also made that appointment because it got me there earlier (a genius bar appointment was available for yesterday, the iPhone purchase appointment was for today, don't ask me how that works).

So I upgraded, as I'm sure I had decided to the moment I thought the battery was gone, and as I had planned to eventually anyhow. Thus I'm up to date with the apple iPhone technology, and we'll see how the 3G network acts. It wasn't showing up at the Border's that's at the Domain, but maybe it's not strong in North Austin. Doesn't really matter, most of what I use in that realm I use here at home, and since everything connects to my wireless network now, I'm good to go.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wonder Woman

Wow! As if we (collectively I speak for all geeks of every walk of life) didn't already love Lynda Carter, the original (or new original, or whatever!) Wonder Woman of TV, whose Wonder Woman portrayal in an admittedly (now) campy series is still outstanding and casts a long shadow which any actress (should a Wonder Woman film ever be made) will have a hard time getting out of, now comes this:

Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman on television in the 1970s, slammed Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as the "anti-Wonder Woman."

"In your satin tights...fighting for our rights!"

So as you might guess, this info just made my day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Apartment

I've been busy of late getting my new space completely livable. That's a big deal for me, I know that part of getting my art going is also having a space that makes me happy, which is a happiness that's different for everyone (imagine that, diversity, and imagine that when you go vote, early voting starts October 20th I believe). Actually that happiness can be totally different for me each time I make a new space...or rework an old one. In fact, I'd say it's as much making art as anything else, because what you surround yourself with sends out the vibes that help with creativity.

Hmmm...looks like some clouds are rolling in again...it's really humid right now, one of those "drinkable atmosphere" days. I actually love it, though. I'd rather undress than layer, that's for sure. ;)

Sorry for the break. I was talking about the new apartment, and have already exhibited the couch and coffee table. The bedroom is just about done, I need to hang some things on the wall and make a new piece of art to go there. That's a challenge I set up for myself: I didn't bring anything I've drawdled or painted in the past, and, as I stare at bare walls, I realize I need to make some new things. I've already put color up on one bedroom wall (a color called "Emperor," which is about the same as "Meditation Blue" and works perfectly for the Wong Kar Wai In the Mood for Love ideal I have going there). I'll have to post some pics.

I also painted three(ish) walls in the living area, which is large in this apartment. I say three(ish) because the layout of the room is interesting in that it has lots of corners and angles jutting out, and a vaulted ceiling that slopes into crown molding. If I tried to compare this with any apartment that I've known in Midland, I couldn't. Unless those new ones they are building are better than the usual, this type of apartment I'm in now doesn't exist in Midland. Austin is another world.

In any event, I'm not big on crown molding, but obviously it wasn't a deal breaker. And while my dream is a loft, open type space with light hardwood floors, and this has carpet, well, it's perfect for right now, and I'm not living here (at this apartment) for the rest of my life. I am happy, very happy with it as a starting point.

So I've slapped "Sea Lavender" and "Limeade Green" on the three(ish) walls, and because of their location and construction it actually modernizes the place. As you might guess, I'm going with greens and purples, and all colors of wood in the living area. I was inspired long ago by the silver green-gray, vivid green and light to deep purple of sage in bloom. One thing I will say about Midland is that Loop 250 is well landscaped, and when those sages along it burst into bloom, it's pure magic. I often thought about that when I felt captive in LA. Texas Sage.

My parents also have sage in front of their house, and it's the same magic. When I was picking colors I actually used the leaves and open flowers. The lavender I painted with is a bit grayer, but as I plan to mix some metallics and grays for neutrality, it was a perfect transition.

So, isn't that thrilling. :)

For this evening I have in my sight the Red Room, otherwise to be known as the DogStar room. DogStar? Ah, yes, more on that later, when I get down to updating my website. I have some new, fun stuff, having immortalized my family's beloved but departed pets (I use "pets" for the specificity, but to us they are quite simpy family memebers).

I hope to get updates done soon--as soon as my space, or at least the basic foundation, is set.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Official Stuff

Ok another way that this is quite different than my move to Los Angeles...I've already changed my driver's license. Yes indeed, it arrived in the mail yesterday. Same old picture with the bigger glasses and spikier hair, and Ares from Xena type chop/goatee combo, which is only about 10 or 15 years old (argh). BUT new address, and since I've also changed my voter registration (those were the first two things I did, this election is pretty damn important) I think I'm officially an Austinite!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Austin Realities

This move is a lot different than the move to California. I feel like I have a long tale to tell, not a tall tell, just a lengthy discussion, and as is typical, I was about to let that get in the way of blogging. I'm such a control freak/perfectionist in that regard, thinking everything has to be staged and timed and calculated perfectly for maximum effect. So I end up procrastinating.

But instead of attempting to tell the lengthy tale and thereby not telling it, I'll just shut up and write.

Today my sofa and coffee table arrived. Yesterday I went on an all-out sofa hunt, determined not to leave some furniture store in Austin unless a sofa of some type, preferably one I loved, was going to be on the way for delivery soon. So I went to a place called Urban Living, very nice store, lots of sofa options, and it was also in a strip mall with four or so other furniture places. I checked out Urban Living for a while, and settled on a couple of couch ideas there, then went to another place and found another option (though the supposed selling feature of "any fabric you want on this sofa--in 5 to 6 weeks" was never going to work considering my determination to get one by this week).

Before I made the final choice I decided I'd drive to a place called motif furniture, which is off of I-35 just a little north of the San Marcus factory outlets. I'd been there once before and had a particular couch fixed in my head, and maybe even a coffee table. So I thought, since it was a mission, I'd use the gas and see about it once more. I checked out the couch again, and really liked it again, pulled out my paint chips (based on the colors of purple sage in bloom) and wouldn't you know it, this couch fit nicely with the two greens I had on hand. It seemed to be a sign. Plus I went to check out the coffee table, and I think I love it as much or almost more than the couch now that I get to live with them. At first it looked like that coffee table might not be in stock for delivery with the sofa, which was (yay!) available for next day delivery. But Stephen the co-manager pulled some strings and made it happen so I bought the couch and table, and indeed as you might guess, they are sitting out in the living room right now, just begging to be accessorized!

The sofa is both modern and mid-century to me, with a textured fabric I just love. The table is very modern but also a bit zen. (The photo kind of creates an optical illusion, as the table's not just a piece of wood on the floor, but has an edge and a base, though it is low to the ground, which I loved about it, even if it might cause me to trip should I be making cross-room jaunts in the middle of the night.)

Which brings us to why this move is different than LA. Well, lots of reasons, one being that I have signed a year lease, and won't be subject to and admittedly untethered by the whims of a lipstick lesbian whose pit bull tendencies exceed the dear Gov. Sarah Palin, even if both are really just that yapping shitzu you want to kick quiet but are too genteel to do so.

Oh man, I really just wrote that, and I mean it, haha.

Also I'm in full "urban outfitter" mode (not just that store, mind you, but you better believe it's well represented in my bedroom!). In just under a month I have almost finished the bedroom, (including paint and a West Elm platform bed), the dining area, part of the "red room" (my creative and computing space) and now I have the couch and table. Since I just unpacked my surround sound system and TV (and thus the definite need for a couch) I'm pretty close to having the major stuff taken care of, and now I can focus on the little details that will make my corner of Austin space my home, until I find a house and really settle down, and yeah, that's the plan.