Hi, how are you?
So it’s been around 7-8 months since I’ve uploaded anything here. Sorry! My mind is sincerely blown that it has been that long—though to be fair I still think it’s March and here we are in June 2020.
I have to be honest—2019, particularly the end, was kind of rough. I fell off my routine sharing weekly photos, and updating here because of a few factors: travel opportunities throughout the year (all were wonderful but set me far behind my photo workflow routine), day job stress, extra freelance work which took up my spare time (no complaints!), Accutane and my acne “journey” if you will, and then the holidays.
Suddenly it was 2020. Lots of wonderful reflections on the Internet about the last 10 years, where everybody was in 2010 versus 2020, huge milestone, blah blah, at the time it felt overwhelming to look back and say anything meaningful. In the last year, so many friends have had awesome career advancements, are moving or have moved, have new relationships, or are engaged, married, are expecting kids etc.—I have to say that seeing the wonderful nourishing ways that those around me have built their lives brings me joy.
In January and into February, the art collective I’m involved in was busy finishing up our community cookbook (amwa cookbook 01: potluck) that we fundraised for, printed, and threw a launch event to birth the baby into the world.
And in March, well—the pandemic that the US was blindly ignoring and/or actively downplaying finally reached Los Angeles and became a very real thing. I squeaked in two weekends of back-to-back travel, one to see my friends in Tucson, Arizona, and the other to attend a wedding at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. After that weekend, we were told that we were to be working from home until further notice, and reality set that covid-19 was here to stay.
On March 28, we adopted Yeti. Our third dog. Yeti has made life in lockdown fun and unpredictable, and I can say with 100% certainty that he is the weirdo dog that we’ve been waiting for. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that dogs and plants have occupied a lot of my quarantine time. And I’m sorry, I’ve transformed from boring kind-of-youthful-person to boring regular adult.
We adopted him through a rescue in SoCal (and ominously had to drive through Corona, California to meet him for the first time). His mom looks like a yorkie-chihuahua mix, and his siblings look like a chihuahua and a poodle. So we’re not really sure what his is, but based on some googling and reddit, I think he’s a yorkie-chihuahua-maltese-poodle aka so adorable who cares. As I’m writing this he is 5 months old and is bonkers and we love him.
March was also just a huge adjustment period to life with “safer at home” orders from the mayor of LA. If anybody is reading this, I’m sure your life drastically changed too. A project I worked on for Getty during quarantine got insanely popular online, and for weeks my team fielded media requests and extra work which seemed like a blessing and curse at a time when I was worried constantly about my parents’ health and checking in on friends.
In April, I turned 30 (and so did Marie, hbd Marie…) and now I can say as a wise old person that I don’t know shit about anything. I’m humbled every day.
A brief intermission for some food shots:
Since lockdown, Zach has truly been going above and beyond in the kitchen. Grateful that the only thing he doesn’t really like is eggplant (which I still think is a tragedy because eggplant is delicious). It’s been so fun to use cooking and dinner time as a real *event* now that less is going on day to day. What have you been cooking?
In May, the reality hit that we’d be working from home for the rest of the year…or longer. I went to work to pick up my desk chair, because the combination of working from my drafting table while sitting on a pile of pillows caused all sorts of back and shoulder issues. For a weekend my neck even seized up and I couldn’t move without intense pain. Fun! Turns out ergonomics is important, I moved my work set up to another room and now I can stare at the kitchen all day long (unless I close the swinging door ha).
It is nice to appreciate this space though, we used to only use it when hosting game nights or dinners—and since we can’t do that now I can just reflect on the memories and observe any and all packages that come to the front door. I cleaned up a bench we had outside and moved it in to make a little zone for the dogs to sit near me as I work, they can look out the window and enjoy the sounds and smells.
Mother’s Day came and went, and we got to spend it together sharing brunch. Sad that we had to break what had become an annual tradition of spending Mother’s Day with my mom’s side of the family in a big house staycation style, but the zoom call with all of us was a fun treat…
In May it was also Tristan’s birthday—everybody’s favorite Gemini. We’ve found ways to socialize that feel comfortable to us—outside only, masks on, frequent sanitizing, etc.
The end of May also marks the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the start of protests country-wide (and well…worldwide) against police brutality. Black lives matter.
Beyond protesting, I’ve spent a lot of June talking with colleagues from work, how can we make our institution a safer and better place to work for people of color, and importantly Black folks? The “art world” and museum field in general has a lot of shit to work out, all linked to colonialism, white supremacist power structures, exploitation of unpaid labor, *and more*. I’m also grateful to learn about organizing principles and strategies through organizers and technologists online like @lifewithbianca_ and @kifahshah who have been putting together free presentations for poc interested in organizing from where they are. Learning so much and grateful for their energy and time. (The third in their intro series is on July 5 btw if you are interested) More work to continue of course.
All my obsessing over my plants throughout quarantine have paid off, and so far everybody is a happy baby. I’ve been nursing some shiso seeds (I’m not sure why they haven’t gotten much bigger than pictured above…but they are alive) and growing some veggies outside. My indoor plants were repotted in March and have since popped the frick off.
I have been water propagating my pothos and I hope to have a little jungle in the next month or so.
In early June I also opted-in to get a free covid-19 test through the city—and welp…I was positive. I used a symptom tracker shared with me through a coworker to log the experience, and today I am on day 22 since the day I *think* I was exposed to coronavirus.
I feel very grateful that I didn’t pass it on to anybody (the one person I saw who I thought might be at risk tested negative) but it did shake me up a bit—even though I took precautions like wearing a mask and washing my hands, sanitizing frequently, etc. I still caught it. A mild case, thankfully.
The first few days my symptoms were so mild I thought I was totally asymptomatic. But also they came. My symptoms are muscle pain, headache, dizziness, fatigue, cold feet and a weakness and tingling aching sensation in my legs, these have lasted 13 days so far. And though I have a mild case, I still haven’t been able to do much except lay flat on my back for nearly 2 weeks. Please wash your hands, wear a mask, etc.
And so I leave it here. I am nearly recovered from covid-19, I hear fireworks in the neighborhood, Yeti gets his first haircut tomorrow, and life in quarantine continues.
I hope you are well and healthy and happy as we can be now.
Much love friends.