Mar 16 2019

Notes

This is Martin. He is awesome and really brought the “get da fuck outta hea” anti-cornball vibes to our movie screening. Not that there were any cornballs there, but I haven’t felt that old school NY vibe in a while. We smoked a joint. And I don’t smoke so that’s how fun he is.

I’m almost back to LA, it’s been around 4 weeks from SF to NY and back to SF. Here are some notes.

Haven’t shot as much as I like. But that’s normal. I made my IG account into all portraits, so I find myself mostly looking for portraits which is fine. I wish I brought another lense or 2.

I’m getting old. Can’t stay out all night any more. Trying though. Also, it is hard to eat healthy on a tight travel budget.

And I should’ve brought extra socks for the snow. Wearing 2 pairs became normal. But I’m tropical so not normal at all.

It’s cool to meet all these photographers through Hamburger Eyes. I get down on myself sometimes, but this means I am doing my job correctly. These guys keep it going. “Wanna quit but can’t,” an Amart quote that comes to mind.

Lots of homies in transition. Is it something in the stars?

Feb 27 2019

Gone Fishing

In SF now and then NY next week for the Hamburger Eyes screenings and book release, hopefully I’ll come back with some cool photos. See you out there.

Feb 18 2019

Resonance

My friend and I were talking about if she should go to see her friend’s band play tonight or if she should stay home, which is what she kinda wants to do.

A pros and cons list started developing and I couldn’t help but get into all these things I have been reading about and sharing here. The truth isn’t about why or why not, it’s about resonance.

When it comes to choices one option will almost always resonate more than the other so if she really wants to stay home and watch movies, then she probably should. She said the idea of seeing friends is resonating but not the actual show, I said she could see the homies the next day for coffee or whatever.

You might say this doesn’t apply to everything. For instance, eating a bag of Doritos for dinner versus actually cooking something. The bag of chips could be resonating very high but there is another voice saying, “Don’t be lazy..”

These voices, opinions, and commentary in your head are your conscious mind, sub conscious mind, and super conscious mind. I don’t know if this is right, but I equate your conscious mind with your head and ego, your sub conscious mind with your physical body, and your super conscious mind is your intuition which is galactic and multi dimensional in nature. That is for another post one day.

When we practice listening enough we can decipher where exactly these messages are coming from. Maybe you want to stay home because this particular bar is more draining then fulfilling, or maybe you shouldn’t eat that because your body is inflamed and your just 1 Dorito away from permanent damage.

These messages can come in loudly or quietly. So when a decision with options comes up, just sit and wait for the correct answer to start resonating. The idea is simple, but execution not always easy. I know.

Feb 14 2019

Systems

Been getting good feedback on the blog lately. Thanks for reading!

I wrote about it before, self awareness to new habits to new goals. The idea is that discipline will lead to freedom. I am ready for the promised land. So far it is a long and treacherous road.

Part of it is also creating systems. An easy system to discuss would be diet, like making a legit grocery list and shopping schedule on a weekly basis. It sounds robotic to live your life like this, but for some people it could be a life or death situation if these changes don’t happen. (This is a difficult one for me because my schedule is all over the place.)

In these entrepreneurship books, the McDonald’s bros are always mentioned. They made perfect systems for each section of their business and then systems on top of those systems. It didn’t matter how smart or dumb a person was if the perfect system was built to accommodate them. Their systems worked out so beserker mode that they could deliver their food in minutes.

What’s the practical idea though? Not sure, it’s different for everyone. You most likely already have systems in place and it’s about tweaking them for optimization. Health, wealth, relationships, purpose.

This transitions into a conversation about chaos vs order. It’s not about balancing, more about cycles and riding waves. I think if we use systems to create a little bit of order when and where possible, then maybe we will be more comfortable in the chaos when it comes. At those points, expansion happens by virtue of experience. And then onto the next.

Feb 09 2019

Adjustments

This is Jerry. He is awesome.

I post a lot of disclaimers and I’ll stop, but one more. I’m trying to do better while here on Earth, that’s all. I think I can do better by seeking and learning. These posts are just things I picked up along the way. The truth is out there and I know the truth is different for everyone.

One truth for me, embarrassing yet educational, is that I am not a wizard when it comes to putting together budgets and planning my financials.

Reading about writing has gotten me to think about how important words are. Specifically when it comes to self talk. Sure we can talk about positive mental attitude, but I’m talking about statements that are either true or false for you in particular.

For example, “making” money. I woke today up realizing this is a false concept for me. We can’t “make” money. It’s illegal, it’s called counterfeiting.

So when I say something like, “I need to ‘make’ money.” It may be registering in my sub conscious mind as wrong, error, or incomplete. Thus, a huge hangup.

When I change it to, “I need to ‘collect’ money,” it shifts the paradigm. Now trading for products or services is implied. And this part of my working day makes sense to me.

Somehow, it is freeing. Maybe I have stigmas about capitalism in general, but maybe it was just a simple vocabulary adjustment.

I work with people saying things like, “I need to hang this photo right now but can’t until I go buy a drill and some screws.” I’m usually the guy that says, “You don’t need a drill, what you need is a hole. Let’s use this stapler as a hammer and these paperclips as the nail.” Janky, sure. Effective, no doubt. But we didn’t have to go out and spend for one simple task and we can fix it later.

It’s about perspective and knowing truthfully what we really need to make something happen.

On the tv show Shark Tank, one of the sharks said something like, “The difference between us and you is that we treat our money like soldiers. Each dollar that goes out has the mission not only to return, but to return with lost or fallen soldiers.” I laughed but it stuck with me.

On a deeper level, I think we can say the same with our truths. Both internally and externally. We should use our truths to find and bring back more truths.

Feb 05 2019

Miracles

Some ancient cultures believed that every word spoken was either white magic or black magic. That is for or against yourself or someone else. To go even further that included the written word. Spellings created “spells”. To go even further you could say all thoughts, words, and actions create your entire reality. Or just thoughts really since the thoughts bring the words and the actions. So depending on your perspective, beliefs, and ideas your reality could be based in love or fear or a combo of both.

Here is Einstein saying it, “The most important question you can ever ask is if the world is a friendly place.”

He goes on and on but I think he was addressing the atomic age, saying if you believe the world is a unfriendly place then you will go build walls and crazy weapons. If you believe life is a dice roll, then you are living as a victim of circumstance with no purpose or meaning. But if you believe the world is friendly, then you can have power and safety by using technology, scientific discoveries, and natural resources for better understanding of how the universe works.

I like that. Another way I have heard it is that all thoughts are either inviting love or blocking love. And another way, my favorite way, is that all thoughts are either inviting miracles or blocking miracles.

We all have our up days and our down days but if we purposely try to have more up days, then maybe we can string together an up week to an up month, then an up year to an up decade and eventually an up life. Easier said then done, let’s go 1 minute at a time.

Feb 04 2019

Bird by Bird

I just started reading a book called “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. It is a book about writing. I literally just cracked it open yesterday and in the title alone is a lesson worth sharing.

This anecdote is written on the back of the book also in greater detail in the intro of the book. I was going to summarize it but here is the full quote.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.””

Feb 01 2019

Judgement Day

I might have written about this already but I feel like writing about it again.

In the Abrahamic religions they refer to “Judgement Day” as the day God comes down and places a judgement on everyone. This person is going to heaven and this other person is going to hell.

But in some of the mystery schools, they mention that “Judgement Day” is the day that you yourself have your last judgement. Meaning, you no longer have any judgements towards people, places, or things. The idea is that you were born innocent and throughout life you pick up all these bad habits and ideas and lose sense of the truth. You evolve though and sooner or later stop judging and become free. They celebrated this day and some believe this is the symbolism for “resurrection”.

I’ve read that you spend the first half of your life building up your ego, and the second half tearing it down. It’s a similar idea.

I bring this up because of my job, I get emails from young photographers full of self doubt and self judgement. I am guilty of this too, constantly second guessing myself.

I think just having the awareness of it is half the battle. Gratitude, joy, openness, and hard work next. But what is often left out is vertical thinking vs. horizontal thinking. Vertical thinking is the idea that you have to be better then the next guy to get ahead. It’s competitive. Horizontal thinking is realizing that everyone is on the same level and has something to bring to the table, it’s collaborative.

So I think we just need to remember to bring something anything doesn’t matter what really. And when we do, we will get to eat. It sounds simple, but no need to make it complicated.

Jan 31 2019

Myths

Ok maybe you like your job and working for other people, that’s great. But for some people like me, I can’t do it. I have done it and did a good job but today I think I would have a hard time. I think I would go crazy.

People are quick to say it’s laziness, but I think it’s the opposite. I have ideas and imagination and creativity and feel imprisoned in a regular full time job.

The only solution is either to live on the beach as a beach bum, or start a business. Which is what I have done here. And since it is not that natural to me, I have to study entrepreneurship.

One of the first books I read was “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber. I read it first like 8 years ago and didn’t get much out of it but then read it again about 1 year ago and it changed everything. Sorta. Still a work in progress. I think it will always be a work in progress which is one of the fun parts of working for yourself.

This book talks about the truths and myths of running a business. The “E” in the title stands for entrepreneur. This book is great at systemizing everything so that you can be working “on” your business vs “in” your business. I read a lot of books, most of them unmemorable, but this one probably sits in the top 10.

I’m guessing if you are reading this it is because you found me through Hamburger Eyes. I’m guessing if you found Hamburger Eyes it is because you like photography. If you like photography, I am guessing you have a curiosity about being a working photographer. I know for a fact, talent is not enough. Not because of my talent but because I know of a lot of talented photographers that are having a hard time finding work. If you want to be a working photographer, then you will have to know about selling products or services. So, start with this book. When you’re done with that, I got more for you.

Jan 29 2019

Adaptor

I’m way off schedule. Not off course though. Moving sucks is what it is and all my stuff is either being boxed up or in the storage unit already.

So I gotta adapt. This site is built on WordPress and the Android app is usable finally. This post is being made on my phone right now, while eating dinner and watching “The Interview” with Seth Rogen and James Franco.

Big whoop, I know. But working like this is new to me, it reminds me of when I switched from desktop setup to a laptop.

At this rate, pretty soon all my work will be on my phone, I feel it coming. I edited this photo on my phone with an app called Snapseed.

My online store can be updated with Shopify app. There are multiple pdf layout apps so I can still make zines and books. Google drive for files.

Shipping stuff not so much. Actually scratch that, new printers have blue tooth, so I could create postage and print it from my phone. All bases are seemingly covered.

I’m going to try to see exactly how far I can go with this. I’ll keep you posted.

Jan 25 2019

Atlantis

I saw Aquaman last night. At first I wanna say it’s so bad that it’s good. But I don’t know if it’s that simple.

It’s the story of a man whose father is a regular surface dwelling human and whose mother is the Queen of the ancient deep sea lost city of Atlantis.

The mythology in this movie is great, the dialogue the acting and directing not so much. But about half way through the movie you’re like, “Wait a minute. That entire army is riding on the backs of sharks.” His girlfriend rides an Orca. And there’s a giant octopus wearing war paint playing drums. The graphics are nuts and it gets super psychedelic at certain points.

I give the movie a thumbs up just for the Orca.

Jan 24 2019

Masterings

A while ago, I listened to the audio book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. I listen to and read a bunch of books but this one really slaps you good in the face. It’s about setting up your day to do the one thing you want to do the most to eventually master it.

In it he mentions how Stephen King writes every day for 4 hrs. So then I went and bought a hard copy of his book, “On Writing” which is half memoir and half master class on writing. It’s fun reading about how he grew up and is into scary things. It also got me pumped up about writing every day.

Building on the point of yesterday’s post, do your stuff. Everyday. For 4 hrs at least.

Jan 23 2019

Singing

This is Reuben. He was visiting from NYC and is an awesome photographer and regular contributor to Hamburger Eyes. I am bummed this exposure came out so bad. But we had fun going to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. It happens to be 4 blocks from my place and I had never been.

“When we ain’t singing, we bringing drama.” – 2pac

2pac is my favorite rapper and this quote just popped in my head. That’s how these blogs start. It’s actually not a lyric, he just says it all pissed off when he’s threatening all other rappers in the song, “Hit Em Up.”

It reminds me of SF. I’m a super mellow person but I have a rowdy bunch of friends up there. I never thought that we “bring drama” but I overheard in a bar more than once, “How does Ray even hang out with these people?” Meanwhile Hong is getting kicked out, Mike has someone in a head lock, and Monkey is about to take off all his clothes.

It also reminds me of a message I been getting a lot recently. I call these messages “downloads” and they come through my intuition, these messages may or may not be from another dimension.

“Sing your songs. Everyday.” That’s it. I get it usually when I am tripping about life in general. I’m not a musician. I’m a photographer, scratch that, blogger. I interpret this message as, “Quit tripping. Make photos and zines and blogs. Everyday.”

To be honest, I am always stressing on how to sell more stuff per month. This message is basically telling me to quit selling and start singing. Everyday.

It’s comforting to simplify it like this. Go back to the joy of making things. And just assume it will all work out if I write new songs. Everyday. That’s it.

Jan 21 2019

Transformation

Did you feel the eclipse? I think I did. It is supposed to be a time of transformation, I am feeling that for sure. Just when you think you got it all figured out you gotta pack everything and stuff it into a storage unit. Again. That’s ok though. It’s part of the process. You clean out your locker, assess your grades, return your books, and then come back on another level. I’m ready for graduation.

Jan 19 2019

Moving

Looks like I have to move again. I think it will be my 5th time in 4 years. It’s annoying. But on the bright side it’s a good time to get rid of stuff and simplifying. I have always been on the west side of LA while all my friends live on the east side. Doesn’t sound like that big of deal but if you live here you know that traffic is not a joke. So now I’m thinking east side. We’ll see what pops up. Maybe slower updates here, maybe not though.

Jan 16 2019

Cow

I missed a day again. “Just busy” is not a good excuse. “I forgot” is probably the worst excuse. I have used that in the past when flaking on people. Part of my transition from derelict to upstanding citizen is no longer flaking. Giving myself daily tasks like blogging is really just exercising a potential higher standard for myself by sticking with a schedule. I know it’s not going to be perfect, just as long as we have some progress.

Jan 14 2019

Programs

More talk on productivity. In order to hit some of these goals this year, I got to take inventory on my habits. Going to need some new ones and cut some old ones.

Most of these habits aren’t even conscious ones. For example, I wake up and pee and brush my teeth first thing in the morn. It’s automatic. We have all kinds of these programs and apps running all day long.

Since we only have so much brain capacity to deal with a certain amount of decision making per day, almost all of these programs have to run in the background, in our subconscious. Some of these programs are seemingly small, like blinking. Others are massive, cultural, and ancient, like worthiness.

So how do we access the subconscious to delete certain programs and install new ones?

This is pretty much encapsulates the entire study of personal development, I prefer the term “self-mastery”. I’m going to start sharing these books I been reading because obviously I can’t explain it good.

One thing that is interesting is our brain’s capacity for tasks at a time. Don’t quote me on this, we can only think about and do max 7 major things at a time. Let’s say 5 in average. Since I have been stressing about my health, I am constantly thinking about what to eat, what time to eat, and going for groceries. If I am thinking about these 3 things all day, guess what now my brain is running at less than half capacity.

Obvious “hacks” would be food prep on a Sunday for the entire week and make an eating and shopping schedule. Making these changes is like reprogramming my diet app. I think consciously “sticking to the program” for at least a few months will then make it available for auto pilot and inserted into the subconscious, thus making it a new habit.

Steve Jobs wore the same turtle neck everyday because he knew that was one less decision that had to be made, leaving more brain power to do other things. In other words he had a very beefy priority program and a light weight mini wardrobe app.

So in summary. To crack this nut shell of 2019 goals, we need new habits. To get new habits, we need new programs and apps. To access these program files, we need legit self awareness. That is using our brains consciously to influence the subconscious.

After writing all this I am certain we have programs to resist inquiry and avoid change. It’s going to be a long night.