Monday, August 29, 2016

Beats for the Blunted, Vol. 9: Homecoming (New Dj Mix)




Beats for the Blunted, Vol. 9: Homecoming


Quantic - Archipelago
Anitek - Tip Toe
Nomak - Spiritual Home (Feet Remix)
Anitek - Burden Queen
Anthony Hamilton - Better Love
Ta-Ku - Trust Me
Victor Malloy - The Girl Who Wasn't There (Quantic Remix)
Four Tet - And Then Patterns
Massive Attack - What Your Soul Sings
Anitek - Mind Growth
Beacon - Fault Lines
Vaults - Lifespan (Instrumental)
Ta-Ku - Sunrise / Beautiful ft. Jordan Rakei
Shapeshifter - Summer Haze
Dj Krush - Edge of Blue
Portishead - Numb
Ta-Ku - Love Again ft. JMSN & Sango


Just recorded a new DJ mix a week or so ago. 17 tracks at a little over an hour. 77 bpm.

The final installment of the series that got me my start way back when at the turn of the century. Airy, spacious, atmospheric beats that remind me (in many ways) of the home I left for 6 years and then returned to in 2015. I started this series way back in 2001 or 2002, first trying to record to tape (as that was the only medium I had available to me then). When I finally released volume 3, I was surprised to find that many people really enjoyed it. Distributing the mix on CD across the city at random events got me my first few gigs in Kansas City, which led to more gigs after both here in KC and in other cities: St. Louis, Omaha, Sioux City, etc.

My life would be very different had I not been forced by my friend Scott to record the first BFTB mix. VERY different.

Sometimes when I put a new mix together, I know the overall vibe I want to achieve. This one, weirdly, started with the last track. Ta-Ku is one of my favorite producers and "Love Again" had been in heavy rotation; in the car, at work, while I showered.

Quantic's "Archipelago" was a track I stumbled upon in my collection a couple months back and the melody never came unstuck in my head, so it seemed to be the best way to open up the mix. Heavy on the drums and soulful saxophone, it turned out to be the right decision.



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Monday, August 8, 2016

A Year in the Midwest



The summer is drawing to a close. It's been an interesting transition, moving from northern California (where air conditioning isn't a thing) back to the Midwest (where it is a necessity). Mine has gone out three times in the last three weeks and, luckily, I live in an apartment complex with a maintenance staff who are not only fast and friendly, but good at what they do. But the nights where the AC has gone out have been the longest as I've been unable to sleep or I've simply been sleeping poorly as of late. I have an active imagination; I play scenarios out in my head over and over with differing results and this is what keeps me staring up at the popcorn ceiling until the alarm goes off at 4am. Sometimes you listen to the voices, sometimes you have to drown them out or suffocate them altogether.

I'm coming up on being home a full year. I have recorded 14 new DJ mixes, all of varying styles. I have had 27 separate DJ-ing gigs, I've done one public reading, two old friends have passed on to other worlds, and I had the joy of a brief summer fling that has since, I imagine, fizzled out. This is life; this is how things go.

I am still broke, despite finally being in a job that has the potential to be a long-term career, but I am happier. I knew I would have to start from the bottom (as I have done over and over and over again, much to my consternation), but it is not the literal backbreaking work of my previous job. I am constantly called on for my brain, which is all I've ever really wanted. I am a "puzzle guy," as my work wife likes to say. I see problems, I offer up myriad solutions. I never approach my boss with a complaint unless I have a multitude of ways to solve said complaints, all with varying degrees of success upon implementation.

I have spent more time in my pool than not, my skin more bronze now than pasty white. My apartment has become a hub for friends and family to rest their heads after spending hours in the water or after a long weekend night out. It has been a good vessel with which I have reconnected to the people of my previous life. It remains the perfect size, allowing plenty of space for sleepovers, movie watching, boozing, and all the various detritus of my life spread out on the bookshelves that line every wall.  i am not displeased by how things have gone this year despite the few instances of dissatisfaction or sadness in the things I cannot control.

I have tried to find a place in my apartment that is conducive to my writing, but to no avail. This weekend, I attempted to revisit some old pieces to update and revise them, to finally finish them and send them out for publication. My mind remained blank as I touched on each of the characters in their respective settings. I worry that I have let them lie dormant for too long, that I have not allowed myself the time to marinate on their worlds and their problems because I have been far too focused on my own world and my own problems. This in itself elicits a whole other host of issues that need to be dealt with sooner than later. The tattoo on my left arm was originally a reminder to myself to never stop writing, yet that is exactly what has happened. Finding the balance between enjoying a real life and creating fictional ones has been difficult.

In many ways, my mental struggle has been the propellant force that allowed for so much writing to erupt out of me. Internal battles necessarily find themselves on the page because that is where I seem to find some measure of closure in them. Those internal battles are now fewer and farther between, though I have no doubt new ones will arise again soon enough.

They always do.



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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

2 Deaths, 3 Weeks

John Stone
1976-2016

Two deaths in three weeks. That’s how my first summer
back in KC has started. Both separate instances, both with assumed different
circumstances, both leaving me a little emptier than before. Both people were
unbelievably friendly and giving and completely undeserving of such a young
passing.

But the great world turns, never stopping for a moment
to grieve for each member it loses. We as individuals get that luxury, but
still…time does not stop, it does not yield its momentum on our behalf. It’s up
to us to carve that time out and steal it, make it our own to do with as we
please.

I personally have been making an effort to reach out
to more people, to let them know I’m thinking of them randomly, to let them
know I have not forgotten about them, to let them know that they still exist in
someone else’s memory and history, that they matter, that they are important,
that they are loved.

It’s worth saying that many of us have fallen down on
that particular job over the years. Life gets in the way and we become
unselfishly myopic. Our own problems tend to take precedence over those of
others' sometimes. It’s an easy trap to fall into; shouldering the weight of
someone else’s problems, even for just an hour, can be exhausting.

But sometimes I wonder if we don’t all exist *because*
of our ability to help those around us handle the things they cannot handle on
their own, like it’s what we’re actually built to do but we lost the
instruction manual several generations ago. I personally have been the
beneficiary of a ton of immeasurable love and support over the last several
years from family here in the Midwest and from family out on the West Coast.
What that kind of outpouring can do for someone's mental is unbelievable until
it's experienced.

22 years ago, when I first moved to Kansas City from
Oklahoma City, I found myself on the precipice. I was 15, I was losing every
person I’d ever known, and moving to a city I knew nothing about. I went to a
very dark place where ambivalence took over; I could jump out the window of my
top floor bedroom. If I lived, I could run away. If I didn’t live, it didn’t
matter.

Now this may have been the overly dramatic results of
being a hormonal teenager, but the emotion was real and it had a suffocating
hold on me. I’m glad things turned out the way they did and that I can be here,
22 years later, writing about my experience personally rather than having
someone else convey their sadness over how things may have potentially gone.

So take this message as a welfare check, something
police officers do when a family member is concerned for the safety or
well-being of a loved one. Whether we’ve talked once or a million times, if you
find yourself moving into that dark place in the brain that won’t allow for
rational thought, that won’t allow you to see the sun shining while you stare
right up into it, unblinking…call me. Send me a message. Tell me you need help
and I’ll be the first person on your doorstep. Never let anyone or anything make
you feel “less than”…

Because I can assure you that you are not. You are most certainly more.


Cheri Jean Sweaney

1982 - 2016


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Friday, June 17, 2016

Sabbatical



This is maybe a weird thing to admit, but I can't write at the moment. I haven't been able to sculpt language to do my bidding since I moved back to Kansas City.

Maybe I'm trying to force it, as a good friend suggested. Maybe I'm just not in the right head space because what I should be doing right now is reconnecting with my Midwest family, which I've been doing with some serious gusto as of late, leading to some pretty great nights out and some very exhausting days in the office. All very much worth it, however.

But it's had me thinking (for awhile) that, perhaps now that certain aspects of my life are back in balance, I am drawing less artistic "pain" from the reservoir, thus feeling less inspired. Other than finances, I really don't have much to complain about at all. I wonder if maybe my agitated headspace for so many years was the reason I was able to produce so much material, much of it dark and surreal in nature. Not because I'm an unhappy or dark person (I'm not), but because I find the dark corners of a room far more interesting to explore than the bright outdoors, speaking from a literary standpoint.

There will certainly be writer friends who say you don't have to be mired in this kind of emotional state in order to write, and they're correct. A writer writes no matter if they want to or not, no matter if they are inspired or not. I often deviate from these schools of thought. I like to be struck dumb by an idea so thoroughly that nothing can keep me from putting it to page. The piece becomes an obsession that I can't seem to finish fast enough (if at all) and many of the stories in my last collection arrived in that fashion. I also had the time to finish them, working two days a week due to a work shoulder injury.

For now, however, due to said conversation with the good friend and another friend's passing, I'm putting the writing on hold for the next year. I may try to rehash and rework a few stories that haven't been published yet, but beyond that, this year feels like one for re-connection more than anything else.

*     *     *

The Kansas City Dj/Club scene got news this week of a dear friend's passing. I hadn't seen him in many years, but we'd exchanged a few comments here and there across Facebook while I was in California and he was in Florida. Truly one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. I actually can't think of a time when I saw him out and about in a foul or sour mood.

I don't know all the details of his death and, if I did, I doubt I'd post them here. But his funeral service is on Saturday. I was supposed to do training for a new job at the same time as the funeral service, so obviously I won't be doing that now. I think the stark contrast of those two events against each other is a pretty great reminder of what's important: people over work, friendship over money, community over self.

There will be many at his funeral service that I haven't seen in a very long, long time. And while the circumstances are sad beyond belief, it'll be good for all of us to reconnect and reevaluate our own lives. Maybe we'll hold each other a little longer next time, maybe we'll second guess our decision to stay at home remaining comfortable and, instead, go out to make a little magic in the moonlight.


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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wishes Can Be Dangerous



The new year has started off in many fantastic ways, but for two and a half months, I've not read a book for leisure, done any work on any of my short stories, or begun any serious editing on my book. This is a problem.

But it's a good problem. Kind of. That which I am most passionate about has fallen to the wayside in favor of finally working a job that I'm not only trained for, but well educated to do. I work with good people in a hyper-positive environment where my ideas or criticisms are taken seriously and then, unbelievably, actually put into effect more often than not. Higher positions within the company open up and my coworkers and I are actively encouraged to apply for them by our boss despite the fact that we may not be the right people for the positions. It's a little disarming, but it is all to the good. All of it.

Currently, I'm editing out-sourced articles written by contracted writers. I tell my friends that the content is typically the kind of stuff your mom would google. Furnace repair, taking care of your pool, how best to rid your home of pests, that kind of thing. I edit, on average, anywhere from 25-45 articles a day, most topping out at about 600 words a piece. On the low end, this averages out to about 15,000 words (or roughly 60 pages in Word). On the high end, this averages out to about 27,000 words (or roughly 108 pages in Word).

Summation: I'm doing a lot of reading and I'm doing a lot of editing during the course of the day. By the time I get home, my brain is fried, but I feel good about the work. Some of the writing is good, some of it not so good. Some articles are edited faster than others and I've been able to pretty easily identify the "good" writers from the "bad" ones.

Once I'm off work, the desire to read more has diminished, which is disappointing as my entire apartment (which I moved into at the start of the year) is completely covered in books. And art. And all the minute detritus that I have collected from years of living. It is a good space, one that I'm incredibly happy and comfortable in. It is my own; the messes are mine, the decor is, in total, the essence of me. After three months, it finally feels like home.

The start of April brings a few new things, the first of which is my team being completely caught up on all our work. I'll be reading less during the course of the day and working more on special projects around the office and with other various teams under the Social Media umbrella. I've also taken off the entire month of April (from Facebook and all but one dj-ing gig) to focus entirely on editing and revising my novel. It will take much longer than a single month, but I hope that this new shift in work duties will allow for more concentration outside of work, thus fomenting some much needed editing habits on my own writing. I also have several books I'd like to read, both for the first time and for the second, third, or fourth time.

In music news, I've been dj-ing a great deal since being home. These have mostly been weekly or monthly gigs playing 80's and retro, but it's been good to play entire nights with my homegirl WestEndGrl (formerly cQuence). In between gigs, I've made a couple new recordings as well, which you can find at the very bottom of the post.

All in all, many of the things I have sought after and struggled to achieve are finally coming to fruition. Like any good thing in life, some sacrifices have occurred, but that's too be expected. Now I've just got to find my footing again and figure out how to balance it all appropriately so that I can have my cake and eat it too. I've worked too hard not to enjoy the cake that I've been baking for nearly 10 years. Never believe your own hard work is all for nought - it may just take a while for the results to appear and there's nothing wrong with that by any means.


New Mixes (since November of 2015): 



From my first gig back in Kansas City. I'm on for the first hour or so, followed up by Elle Vulf and then Oj Shrink.


Disclosure - "Holding On ft. Gregory Porter"
Fouk - "Kill Frenzy"
Teenage Mutants - "Elle (Original Mix)"
Rene Amesz - "Big (Original Mix)"
Dusky - "Dummy (Original Mix)"
Danny Serrano - "Osaka (Original Mix)"
Dj Dep - "Get It (Original Mix)"
Joyce Muniz - "You Always Get Me High"
Miguel Migs - "Little Star"
Rene Amesz - "Like It Deep"
Enzo Siffredi - "Sometimes"
Submantra - "Lilly (Original Mix)"
Spiritchaser - "Ride (Earnshaw's Ride)"
Joeski - "Monkey Funk (Original Mix)"
Sergio Fernandez - "Stone Age (Original Mix)"
Spencer K - "Pandole (Original Mix)"
Harry Romero - "Puma (Original Mix)"
Jay Lumen - "Roots 88 (Original Mix)"
Julian Jeweil - "Meteorite"






Beastie Boys - Shambala
4 Hero - Conceptions
Alina Baraz & Galimatias - Show Me
Alina Baraz & Galimatias - Make You Feel
XXYYXX - About You
Cinematic Orchestra - All Things To All Men
Dj Cam - Underground Vibes
Sir Sly - You Haunt Me (AMTRAC Remix)
Nalepa - Flatlands 
George Palikaris - Woman
Yasume - Sing the Noises
Skalpel - Sculpture
Dj Cam - Mad Blunted Jazz 
Bliss - Reveal ft. Lisbeth Scott
Rae & Christian - Bring the Drama
Slowdive - J's Heaven
Lapalux - Without You
Eric Del Mar - Mykonos Sundown Feelings
Gerd - Seduce Me
MOODORAMA - Behind the Scenes
Eluvium - All the Sails
Tennyson - Lay-By
Dj Cam - Return of the Jedi
XXYYXX - DMT 
Nujabes & Fat Jon - Ole
Simon Burnett - Theme for A New Day
Sigur Ros - Svefn-G-Englar






Gino G - Insidious Soul (D Unity Remix)
Banda Sonora - Guitarra G (Warren Clarke Dub Mix)
Stanny Abram - Shine On (Miki Mad Remix)
VIP Room - Late Night (Original Mix)
Carlo Cavalli & Eros Locatelli - Mexico (Massimo Russo Remix)
Massimo Russo - Gladiola (Dj Troby Remix)
Doomwork - Life Element (Original Mix)
Carlo Cavalli - Welo (Tech House Mix)
Carlo Cavalli - Tanzmania
Fabio Montana & Freiboitar - Bring the Funk (Teenage Mutants Remix)
Rafa Barrios - Daledalehey
David Vasquez - Baila Con Miego (Johnny Fiasco's Unreleased Remix)
Ken Ishii - Traffic
Tyree Cooper - On Tha Floor (Live Element Remix)
Mario Ochoa - Burning (Original Remix)
LxS - Can U
Dj Navigare - Piter Pen
Arda Gencer - Zero (Harun Karabulut Remix)
Rodrigo Risso - In The Forest (Original Mix)
Matals - Tester (Original Mix)






The Bounce Kitchen, Vol. V

Maax 52 - Just Away
Maax 52 - Sidespin
Chus & Ceballos, Dj Chus - Mamasitas (Original Mix)
Detroit Swindle - Figure of Speech
Dj E-Clyps - So Gone
Secondcity, Kydus - The Light (Original Mix)
Jetro - Why I Lose Control (Davydov Deep Mix 2)
Miguel Migs - Heartbeat
Maax 52 - Seehunger Love
Umek & Mike Vale - All I Want (Dosem Remix)
Fifth Avenue Ensemble - Lightness of Living (Fashion Mix)
Martin Villenueve - Uhuru Sunset (Deep Mix)
Detroit Swindle - Ballin'
Luke Hassan - Everything I Need
Le'Funnk - Insane
Michael J. Matthews - Memories
Rene Amesz - Like It Deep (Original Mix)
Dario D'Attis, Yvan Genkins - Afro Call (Original Mix)
South of Roosevelt - This Is How It Is (Deeper Dubstrumental)
Nero - The Thrill (TCTS Remix)
Joeski - Monkey Funk (Original Mix)
Camilo Diaz - XYZ123
Fred Everything - Come On Everybody
Joe Silva - Spam
Tom Lown - And Again (Original Mix)






The Bounce Kitchen, Vol. VI

Homework - Pleister
Diem & Romano Arcaini - Time (South of Roosevelt Mix)
Wehbba - Common Ground (Original Mix)
Dj Max Mad - Tek My House (Tribal Version)
Sebb Aston - Hold Me Down
Fabio Bacchini - Funk Player (Homero Espinosa & Cubase Dan Remix)
Alex Morgan - El Aquelarre (Original Mix)
Cavalier - Lipizzan
Nigel Hayes - Moving On (Fred Everything Movin' Dub)
Roberto Rodriguez (Manolo) - Giving It All (Original Mix)
Miguel Migs - Runnin' Away
Mettle Music Collective - Glider
Sigother - Natural Tone
Escape - Just Escape (Justin Martin Remix)
Ahautzab - Last Pretty
C'est Moi - This Song (Dario D'Attis Remix)
Danny Cruz - Time to Go Back
Jimmy Chronic - Beans (Swirl Peepz Mix)


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Monday, December 7, 2015

2015 Reading List

This will be my last post for a cool minute for a number of reasons, not that I'm super regular with new content or anything.

This year was bittersweet in so many ways. It began with me getting injured at work. Strained trap, sprained tricep, tendinitis of the bicep, strained rotator cuff capsule, and (after x-rays and an MRI) we found that I'd had chronic tearing of my labrum. For a few months, I could barely wash my own hair in the shower without some serious pain shooting up my back and down my arm. After 6 years of heavy lifting at my job, I was probably due for a serious injury and boy did I get it. The pain has subsided, but still returns on random days. There's no rhyme or reason for its appearance and I've desperately tried to establish the pattern to no avail. It's apparent the pain will not be going away any time soon. This was not a good thing.

What was a good thing was being put on paid medical leave from work for three days a week and not having to lift anything for the other two that I was there training my replacement(s). This afforded my arm and shoulder time to heal (slowly) while also making sure my rent and bills were paid. Once I realized this was going to be a lengthy healing process, I understood that I had been given a gift through the injury: more time to write.

So while this year's reading list is significantly smaller than the last few years, I'm not too embarrassed by it. Especially considering how few books the average person reads in a year (via Pew Research Center: median number of books read by an individual per year is 6 while the average is 15; that's pitiful). I can do better, but with the process of moving back across the country and the amount of really solid writing, submitting, and eventual publishing that got done this year, almost 40 books is still pretty damn good.

What to say about the list this year? Heavy on the Murakami, for sure. After years of putting him off, I finally decided to dive headlong into his work. He is a polarizing author for me, not unlike some of Millhauser's work wherein, I love parts, but feel the author could've tried to step just a little further into the weird without sacrificing the story. Murakami's later stuff is better written by far, however. His early stuff really had me tearing my hair out due to some pretty terrible metaphors and similes, though I wonder how much of that is due to the translation.

The Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series ended this year. Pretty great finish, honestly. It'd be nice to see Riggs put out another book involving that world or one just this side of it. Really fun read, conceptually.

Mark Z. Danielewski's latest project hit shelves. I'm still working through Book 1 despite it being listed below. It's a bit of a slog at the moment and hard to latch on to. I hope others are enjoying it more than I am currently, but I'll finish it by the end of the year.

For now, most of my books remain in storage until I move into my apartment in January. Strangely, it's the bookshelves I'm looking forward to filling the most, second only to hanging all the art I've been collecting from friends and friends of friends over the last few years.



2015 Reading:


December

01.) Gilbert Sorrentino - "The Abyss of Human Illusion" (151pgs)
02.) George Orwell - "Animal Farm" (139pgs)
03.) Kurt Vonnegut - "Slaughterhouse-Five" (215pgs)
04.) Haruki Murakami - "The Strange Library" (96pgs)

(601pgs total)


January

05.) Junot Diaz - "This is How You Lose Her" (217pgs)
06.) Roberto Bolano - "The Secret of Evil" (144pgs)
07.) Madeline Roux - "Sanctum" (343pgs)
08.) Ransom Riggs - "Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children" (396pgs)
09.) Haruki Murakai - "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles" (607pgs)

(1,707pgs total)


February

10.) Joe Hill - "Horns" (397pgs)

(397pgs total)


March

11.) Albert Camus - "Exile and the Kingdom" (213pgs)
12.) Dean Koontz - "Odd Thomas" (446pgs)
13.) Ayn Rand - "Anthem" (253pgs)
14.) C.G. Jung - "Modern Man in Search of a Soul" (244pgs)
15.) Nic Pizzolatto - "Galveston" (258pgs)

(1,414pgs total)


April

16.) Phantom Drift, Issue #1 (153pgs)
17.) Phantom Drift, Issue #2 (159pgs)
18.) Phantom Drift, Issue #3 (155pgs)
19.) Phantom Drift, Issue #4 (160pgs)
20.) Thomas Pynchon - "The Crying of Lot 42" (152pgs)

(769pgs total)


May

21.) Horowitz, Derby, & Moffett - "The Silent History" (513pgs)

(513pgs total)


June

22.) SK Kalsi - "The Stove-Junker" (334pgs)
23.) Jean-Patrick Manchette - "The Gunman" (155pgs)
24.) Dia Felix - "Nochita" (242pgs)

(731pgs total)


July

25.) Amelia Gray - "Gutshot" (207pgs)

(207pgs total)


August

26.) Sjon - "The Blue Fox" (115pgs)
27.) Roberto Bolano - "Tres" (175pgs)

(290pgs total)


September

28.) Madeline Roux - "Catacomb" (330pgs)

(330pgs total)


October

29.) Haruki Murakami - "Kafka on the Shore" (480pgs)
30.) Imre Kertesz - "Detective Story (112pgs)
31.) Mark Z. Danielewski - "The Familiar, Book I" (839pgs)
32.) Ransom Riggs - "Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children" (458pgs)
33.) Catherine Fisher - "Incarceron" (442pgs)

(2,331pgs total)

November

34.) David Young/Keith Hollaman - "Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology" (519pgs)
35.) Haruki Murakami - "After the Quake" (147pgs)
36.) Haruki Murakami - "The Elephant Vanishes" (327pgs)
37.) Miyuki Miyabe - "Brave Story" (816pgs)
38.) David Young/Keith Hollaman - "Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology" (528pgs)

(2,337pgs total)


December

39.) Matt Bell - "Cataclysm Baby" (105pgs)

(105pgs total)


Total Pages: 11,732



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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Settling In to the New Version of the Old Life


So. Kansas City. I made it back amid some interesting hurdles and yet, here I stand, about as pleased as one could be after being unemployed for two months in their home town. And the Royals are in the World Series, so...that's pretty damn rad as well. This city is straight up electrified right now and the vibe is awesome everywhere you go.

The journey back was tough. Issues with low bank accounts and overly heavy luggage caused some minor stresses, but , as things tend to do when I'm forced into a corner, it all worked out. I made it out of San Francisco and into Phoenix where I got some really solid family time in with my father, step-mother, brother and sister. I really can't say enough good things about my times spent in the desert climate. Pops and I travel down to the bottom of several bottles of vodka, talk politics, and basically just rap while out on the patio for pretty much the entire time. Weirdly, I really only spend time inside the house when sleeping.



That week in Phoenix was a good way to clear my head before getting back to my hometown of Kansas City. Ease into the new manifestation of my present, if you will. I started off with a job, then landed and found the job had been given to someone else. Weird, but okay.

Went back into job search mode. Some 300+ resumes sent out during my last three years in San Francisco and I get no response from any of them. Somewhere near 50 sent out in the two months I've been back in the Midwest and I've had 14 interviews (!), one of which culminated in a job that I'm very much looking forward to, a job that requires all the skills I learned in both grad school and undergrad. I cannot tell you the absolute joy I feel at finally being out of the blue-collar industry, at using my brain rather than my brawn for once after working so hard on my education. I start that job on November 2nd.

Meanwhile, I've done a reading since I've been home. A great experience put on by an old friend at his wife's pop-up art salon surrounded by other word nerds who contributed some great conversation on all the pieces read by the spotlighted readers.

I've also done some dj-ing. Riot Room, MiniBar, Ruins Pub...and more to come at those places with another Thanksgiving themed party in St. Louis next month at The Upstairs Lounge. Playing records has been a good release while I rectified my job situation. It's also given me the chance to reconnect with a lot of the old crew, who are many and spread out across the entire city.







I will soon have my own place, an apartment I share with no one where the messes are my own and the solitude a perfect place for my future creative endeavors to start brewing again. It will be the first time I will live on my own as an adult and the amount of art I have to hang in order to make the vibe entirely my own is ridiculous.




The transition back to the land of seasons has not been without its struggles, but each struggle seems to be easily overcome either by luck, chance, or simply my years of being prepared for the worst and planning ahead. Whatever the solution, it's becoming clearer every day that my move back was absolutely the right decision and that my original hypothesis of finding work in my particular field being easier here has been proven correct in a short 8 weeks.

I miss my West Coast degenerates, without a doubt. But I'm at the point now where I need to be selfish about my career goals and follow them wherever they may take me. This is simply the first step of many more I expect will come in the years to follow.
















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