My life is at a really "weird" point right now. I'm not really sure what's going on. Here's a big jumble of a post for ya!
I've just moved in with a pretty cool couple, Ryan and Bethany. They have a spunky Irish terrier, named Darjeeling, that seems to love me for some odd reason. Ryan and I have been having conversations going into the early morning hours about music, games, life... The whole situation reminds me of the first moments when you move in with a college dorm-mate and start talking about everything. We're also right across the street from Canopy and the Museum of Human Achievement, which is really awesome if you ask me.
I often wake up early feeling energized, but quickly close my eyes again and try to disappear.
I wake up again, after 12, wanting to close my eyes again - to disappear - but the new stream of text messages and emails that have piled up in the AM hours somehow gets me out of bed. Call it depression, call it what you will, it's just something I've dealt with for the majority of my life. The moment I forget about it, it comes creeping back up again.
I had a pretty long conversation with Ryan about this one night. We figured that the last time I truly got myself involved with something was the first run of Codervox. And for the record I'm done with them. If the founder had any inkling of caring for students or education and not just money, things may have ended differently.
I'm happy I did codervox. I learned a lot about startups, education, and most importantly it gave me insight into just how valuable the skills I have and the friends I've made over the past few years are.
Also since codervox started, it's inspired a bunch of my friends to start thinking of their own coding classes, which I'm helping out with to a degree, and they're free. Be on the look out for them.
I've been spending a lot of time at Chicon. The space has grown quite organically, and I've come to love all the people who work out of there. The level of technical expertise in the 2 rooms that we occupy is extremely, extremely high. On Tuesdays we go out to Tamale House East around 12pm, come by and meet people from the space.
For the past month or so I've been taking a lot of product shots for local clothing stores and helping people build Squarespace sites.
I've been kind of fed up with just being a consumer of everything. I've become so good at just passing by on my bicycle, coming in, saying hey, and plucking the best of the best, and just leaving without really contributing much.
Photography and tech is sort of my way of giving back.
Even though this is all quite rewarding. I find myself still slow and unmotivated to do these jobs swiftly. Why? I really have no idea. One possibility is that I'm afraid of failure, and can't fathom confronting it.
I come away from a shoot thinking the photos are lackluster, and I put off editing them. I jump into a new website, mess around with the CSS and structure, leaving it in a mess, and then I put off working on it.
The reality of it is, I haven't had one disappointed client. Even the couple from wedding that I thought I fucked up ended up liking the photos. The emails that I avoided reading end up containing words such as "awesome" and "excellent." Am I too harsh on myself? What am I running from?
It takes time to learn, it takes a lot to devote yourself to something, put yourself out there, be vulnerable, and accept that failure is a possibility. It takes a lot to recover from failure, to come back stronger. I know this, yet I fear it all, and still try to run away from it.
I've been deathly afraid of bees all my life. Why? The fear of getting stung. Yet in reality the pain from a bee sting is probably way less than the pain I've incurred from falling off my bike all of those times. The difference is I usually see the bee when I'm sitting still. My mind is focused on it, focused on the pain that might happen, and how it relates to my comfortable state of just sitting there. When I'm on my bike I never think of falling, it just happens out of the blue, I never see it coming. My mind is occupied and free from fear.
As an even more recent update into things: This week, I have a bag product and editorial shoot for Esperos Bags. I have a product shoot for Zink, another bag company. I've never done bag product photos before. So this will be something.
I've just started to do some Rails programming work for Camperoo, which is in YCombinator's Winter 2014 class. This is a big opportunity, the biggest I've ever had.
I managed to get their staging site running locally in just a few hours, despite it being a huge 2 year old rails project with dozens upon dozens of gems, some very outdated. I couldn't have done that without working on my past projects and Speakerpedia. I guess I learned some stuff after all.
So how about some photos from the past few months?
Nicolai had a pretty awesome "surpise" Wes-anderson themed birthday party.
Of course it involved cats, a lot of brown alcohol, ad cinco de mayo.
Another one for the record.
I went to Jessica's final presentations over at the Architecture school.
She gave me a tour of their building afterwards.
Their program is pretty killer, I their definitely given all the resources they need to design and create.
"Do the same pose you were doing when you presented. Crossed legged, hands in pockets."
"This is my window. Most days I get my laptop and work from here."
On the weekend I showed her some East Side stuff, and towards the end of it all she spotted a mulberry tree in the parking lot of Mass Gallery.
I introduced Ryan to Las Cazuelas, and their massive chicken quessadillas. Best drunk food.
I saw Kana's new band, Xetas, Perform at Holy Mountain, after a product shoot.
Ramen Tatsuya is still chill as ever. The episode of Vice Munchies that features them has finally come out. I'm in it for like 1 second.
I went back to Houston and found some tenugui's laying in a storage box. I brought them back to Austin and gave one to Darlene and Chris.
Vivian finally turned 21.
Chris introduced me to fernet whiskey shots.
Chris bought a new bike on craigslist, and while we were doing it this girl passed us by a couple times on South Congress. I managed to get her number but forgot her name. The photo turned out well, and I sent her the link, and that was it. Hmph.
With Thursdays free, I went on more social rides.
I ran into Chanan on one of the rides, which ended next to Barbs, where I found Eliana. Fun times.
Went to a music performance at MOHA the other night that was themed around thunder and lightning. They had a paper mache cloud where they projected visualizations, and string lights that looked like lightning bolts that reacted to bass and sound.
During the performance, this cat jumped on stage. You just can't blame cats for doing what ever they want.
A photo of Cole, the guy who came up with it all, after the performance.
I've been going to quite a few art things lately. I find the exhibits at MOHA to be the most engaging and raw in comparison to others. Try to make it out to some.
There's an Asian food stall inside The Grand, the pool haul on Airport. I really don't know if I can vouch for their food, but it's incredibly interesting to me that you can find sticky rice in such a place.
I went back to Houston for a weekend. On a Saturday afternoon I bought some fruit and salad from Trader Joes and sat in the park by the Menil.
Curves from outside the Houston Center for Photography. They actually have a pretty decent exhibit now, so check it out if you're close. The Menil also has a great exhibit on the far East wing.
Katrina, minutes before.
I've been hanging out with Jeremiah more. A writer from a Brooklyn based magazine called .Bk came to Chicon one day and commisioned some photos of him and other startup people around Austin.
I like the freedom they've given me.
The happy hour at Barlata, a Tapas bar on South Lamar is really good. It's relatively cheap, and with a party of about 4 people you can order 2 drinks and 2 dishes each, taste a large variety of things, and walk out paying under 20 bucks. That's really nice. Pictured is the Ceviche, highly highly recommended, as it comes with super creamy scallops on the bottom. Also the chorizo behind it is quite good, and acts like a filler since it comes with a large helping of mashed potatoes on the bottom.
Even though it's not on their happy hour menu, I highly recommend the baby squid stuffed with fennel sausage. Even after finishing the dish, there's a lot of ink-sauce left over to mop up with the complementary bread they give you.
A night at the fabulous Eastern.
In a random turn of events I found myself at Qui for happy hour. The dinuguan is delicious, and blows any other pork bowl I've had out of the water.
I'm usually a fan of hamachi collar, but found the one on Qui's happy hour menu to be quite salty.
We first ordered this dish because it came with "uni bottagra" we tried it, and didn't get any uni flavor at all. I ran into Paul in the restroom and told him about the dish, he said it should have been exploding with uni flavor. Being the bold assholes that Nicolai and I are, we went inside after happy hour, sat at the bar and ordered it again. Was it better? I actually don't know and I question my palate for it.
Without a doubt, the ribs, which are sous-vide for 3 days were the best thing I ate this past half year. You may ask yourself, "Whats the point in sous-viding something for 3 days..." But then you try this, and your life changes slightly.
I'm going to shoot myself in the foot again with this blog. It's already been 3 months since the trip I took to Seattle with Madeline. In the days following the trip, I spent a good amount of time with her. We would meet up, go out to eat, try new things and go to new places together. It was nice. Spending time with her on the trip and afterwards, I felt more and more attached to her. She's gorgeous, has a cute and quirky sense of humor, is clearly driven and can be self independent. The more we would see each other, I had less and less cool things to show her. It came really apparent that I wasn't doing much of anything. And anything I did was just digging in an almost empty barrel for something new to show her. I was living in a really shitty house, with no furniture, broken everything, and was sleeping on an air mattress. I wanted to use her as a way to escape from myself. So I clinged and held on as much as I could, even after I told her that I liked her and things didn't progress. If anything. I told myself that I just wanted one good photo of her, and I don't think I have taken it yet. A month ago this thought sickened me. Now it's just a lulled pain. She's an amazing person to be around, and without her I don't really know where I would be now.
I've been eating a lot of Halal Guys recently. You can read about their success in the New York Times.
A cafe/clothing store called Friends and Neighbors has popped up on the East Side. They serve Stumptown coffee, meaning that they probably have the best cold brew in town. There's a 5$ paypal offer for them, so download the app if you haven't already.
For the record. I'm not a fan of El Sapo the new burger place which El Chile opened on Manor road. I don't like it for the same reasons that I dislike Frank. You have to get your burger "cooked all the way" and the drinks are hilariously overpriced.
Even though I don't work for him any more, I still see Jack almost every day.
Jack and Ruby matching for once.
I went to a film night at Farewell Books which featured works by Paul Sharits. It was one of the most painful, seizure inducing experiences of my life. Even though I didn't really enjoy the films, the conversations that were carried after were extradordinarily interesting, which made the whole experience worthwhile.
Cenote has a new dinner menu. I haven't had much of it, but it actually looks interesting.
In an odd turn of events, an older lady who had too much to drink at half-off wine bottle Wednesdays gave me her number. It was really, really weird.
So yeah, there you guys go. Will Patrick survive his newfound work, repsonsibilities, and actually finish some of the quirky projects that he's working on? Stay tuned. (Hopefully I do.)