Thursday, December 31, 2020

As I write this post after months of not writing I've been reflecting on how weird things have been. This year I didn't commit myself to any type of yearly project I'd normally force myself to work on to keep myself "busy" or "creative". I was told years ago to always be creative. I don't think that mindset works anymore. Being creative does require you to do the work and practice practice practice, yes, of course. It helped me create new projects along the way, but those past projects just seemed so half assed realizing most of what I've done in these last 15 years have been half assed. I want my projects to have more polish. I want my projects to have more time. I don't need to rush. And I think seeing the progress of how many of these photographers I follow have that issue.

At the beginning of the year I told myself I'd slow down and realize some of my thoughts and feelings before working on anything creative. I didn't know that the world would do the same realizing their own efforts be put on hold. Many of us had to readjust normalalities to a temporary normal. Those limitations insisting on folks to stay home, but go out if need be. Mostly respected, but also rebelled. You have to wear a mask wherever you go. Cleaning protocols have been taken serious for the very first time. Take out delivery always the best option. Go to work, but stay home if you really do feel like shit and then take a test to make sure you don't really have the shit. We thought that working while slightly sick was acceptable. It isn't anymore. Take care of yourself or else you won't work. Kinda sucks huh? I've done my best to abide by the loose rules we need to work around this crazy mess. And when you give certain groups of people rules they tend to make excuses as to why they shouldn't. I've never seen so much stupid in my life. I thought I was stupid, but man some of these folks really have no idea or don't care to have one.

I haven't seen much of anyone this year other than my girlfriend and her family and the people I work with for months. It's certainly a test. Something I'm not very good at. However, I've come to realize the luck I've acquired during these crazy times and how my loved ones have all survived this crazy mess. I connect with my family on Zoom. Folks that I've looked up to give me the time of day to talk online. Friendships have gotten tighter. Toxic folks still kept away. I'm fucking lucky.

I'm not sure what else to say because not a lot has happened for me. But for the few things that happened they became very important to how I would look forward to 2021.

1. I live in a house again

For the last few years I've lived in an apartment of some kind. Earlier this year we were given the opportunity to live in a house. It's been a long time living in a bigger space. Probably the last time I lived in a house was with someone who couldn't afford it. Little by little we've made some adjustments to the house (IE her dad fixing shit) and had added our flair to what we wanted it to look like. It felt like home after a month of buying and adjusting the place to our needs. The home still needs work, but it feels like home.
2. Casually creative. Seeing and listening rather than playing and capturing
I've been consuming rather than showing much work this year. I've only written two songs and casually photographed my experiences here and there. I never realized the burnout I endured until 2020 landed. I couldn't really pick up a camera or write a song. Fifteen years is a long time to feel like you've done minimal, but it's given me something to really think about. I took a year off not knowing I took a year off.
3. Joshua Jorgensen
I recently got connected with a friend I grew up with in my adolescent years. We were huge on playing fighting games growing up and had connected closely with that. I've never had someone like him be so passionate about it. We had a falling out years ago, but somehow found ourselves speaking again and sort of ironing out some things I had questions about. Probably one of the things I wanted to talk about with him is all the shitty things I've done to our friendship. That's something I'll never forget. And Josh if you're reading this... I'm sorry for being unreliable.
4. I actually took time to realize a bit of my mental health
Some of you that know that me casually reads my blog know of my depressive history. As I reflect on these times I've been trying my best to understand my depressive moods in a "working on it" approach. I'm certainly stable, but do tend to dive deep on these thoughts that cripple my willingness to do anything. I've learned that I just need to go through it. I'm sober and hope to continue to be sober or the amount of time I exist. And to be present on the goods and bads are what helps me realize my human mistakes. I'm not perfect. And I don't know how to be. I'm just what I can be.

I want to leave 2020 behind, but I want to embrace what challenges we had to face upon being present in this forsaken year. Bringing what I know from this year to 2021 should help me solve some things I may need to face in the months to come. I'm sure I'll be a bit more creative this time, but damn the year really got me fucked up. I had to reflect and listen and understand and support and honor the folks who really did it this year. Make no mistakes I'm hoping to work more.

Thank you all for being there for me. Especially this year when us asian folk got the brunt of something we never really did. love, Arthur



Sunday, September 20, 2020

It's been such a long time since I've written anything these last few months. Things have been changing quite quickly and frequently, but are changes that may have helped me realize how much progress has been made mentally. I've not had any aspirations to write due to the fact that writing was a way to release a lot of my resentment towards my previous life. I started reading some of the older posts during those times and had no idea how bad my mental condition was. Most of the time I was broke and unable to do much. I had to be around a person who's needs always needed to be met. Of course, I couldn't tend to those needs because most of the time I seemed to not do enough.

I reflect a lot about what had happened to me compared to what I've been doing in this current relationship. A huge shift to what I had to what I have now. It's like I had entered a different universe. I actually have a savings, I'm able to be creative, I'm okay to let my sadness get to me, and I'm eating more vegetables because my lover is Chinese. But when I do reflect on my past life I realize that I didn't have much of an identity. My goal was to support someone else's success and leave behind my dreams. They ended up dying in a box

But now... so many things are different. I'm not forced to do certain things out of my will and am allowed to hang out with certain people without any kind of strange restrictions. Though I don't really have anyone to hang out with here in Connecticut I usually just stay home and try to be busy creating things for future projects. I'm not sure how far I'll get with what I've been doing as of late, but it'll take some time to figure out I'll tell you that much.

I have a new cat, I live in a house, I'm always full, I still need to work out, I need to find another job, I still take loads of pictures, I'm playing a lot of bass, and I just don't really give a shit about most things anymore. I've learned that I've become a bit more introverted over the years and have kept certain people out of life just to make sure that I'm not plagued with nonsense. I don't really talk to a lot of people anymore and I'm not that open. I love my life right now, but I still have those depressive episodes of not feeling good enough. It's a thing that I think I need to remind myself that I'm sober and I have a lot of things I need to work on mentally. Lots of people don't realize how important this is to me... yeah.. depression. It's what I've dealt with my whole life. But i see it as something more that's just apart of me. I see it more as awareness that not everything is alright.

I still have a lot of work to do. But until then I think I'll be doing my best to feel okay for at least 15 minutes a day. It's progress, but a long one that I don't really want to deal with. Oh well.. look at my cat.



Monday, May 4, 2020


I’m one of the rare ones who’s able to go to work and make money. I’m one of the rare ones who’s an essential employee working on location. I’m one of the rare ones who can continue going out and getting groceries. A privilege of mine that most can’t use. I can come home with no problems.

However, It’s not to say I’m scared about what I’m dealing with. Having a slightly normal schedule still gives me a 50/50 chance of being infected with COVID and 50/50 chance of surviving or dying from it. There’s a lot of stress involved in this whole thing and I’m doing my best not to have it get the best of me. Of course, I read and watch some things in social media and I start to shrink a little bit.

Over the past few weeks there have been a number of reported cases of slander and attacks amongst Asian community who’ve been the subject of this COVID-19 mess. I always think about my mom and my family who live in such a place of conservatism and hope that none of them get any flack for being who they are. The world continues to baffle me with such stupidity thinking we are a born disease.

I’ve been briefly monitoring the Church superstars and the people who are on TV. It’s very clear to me that this is a good time for gains. Most notably a good time to make sure their heir to the throne is kept tight after everything blows over. I can’t blame them though. They need this in order to validate their worth. Because without their heir they truly have nothing.

With all this going on, however, it’s helped me slow down an already slowed down life. I’ve been able to look at some of the things I’ve neglected and been able to make time for the things I missed the most. Pictures have been fun to take again. Music has been exciting to write. Video games are still frustrating. But with all that I’ve kept a steady pace even when most folks are at a complete stop.

My hope is that everything changes after we get a better understanding of this virus. I still think that everyone needs to respect peoples’ space even after this is over. I’ll probably keep this mask on just to make sure that if I do end up being a carrier that I don’t give it to someone that may die from it. It’s the least I could do.



Monday, February 10, 2020

I know it's been awhile since I've done any podcasts, but the long break has me feeling a bit more focused than usual and I think that's what I needed. Definitely feeling a bit better on starting these podcasts once again on the regular.



Monday, January 20, 2020

Gawd I have been struggling to get this stupid post up, but here I am right? Funny how I had something written for a first day post ends up being thrown away with my other stupid thoughts. Anyway....

Towards the end and beginning of a new year I write a reflection post on things I've accomplished following concepts I want to work on for the next 52 weeks. Concepts like 365's, year long diptychs, polaroids and blah blah were among some of those approaches. Yes, it definitely helped create bodies of work and yes, definitely kept me busy between projects, but after completing them the images never went anywhere. They just sort of stood still in the bins or externals and fell asleep. And because of this there's a substantial amount of work I need to sift through.

With the arrival of a new decade my feelings seem a bit different upon first landing. The usual anxiety of prepping year long projects is present, but after thinking for a couple of days I decided that this year and ongoing I would need to start looking back and seeing what I've done. I mean what the fuck have I been doing all this time? Its a waste just taking pictures, developing negs (or bouncing digi's on the hard drives) and let them sit for months or even years. That lack of motivation will certainly keep that workflow alive if I don't do something about it.

So yes, this will be the first time in eight years I will not consistently update the blog. The total amount of trash I've put up has been sooooo depressing and just knowing I allowed that amount of work to be put up there doesn't sit well in my stomach. I could at least bite through a couple of images I'm proud of, but still... more trash than treasure. This is the motivator to start working on my past history little by little with proper care this collection deserves. It may not be the best images I've taken, but I could at least give some respect to its history.

With that being said I'm currently working on the LST LVS project I've neglected for awhile. There's been so much overhaul to it that its inception doesn't even come close to what it is today. Originally I've set out to create a song a month in correlation with images throughout that time and let each month be the sequence of both. Unfortunately I found the project almost failing miserably in forcefully creating them especially writing music. Most of the images and songs looked and sounded like it was rushed and I wasted so much time trying to bring something out of me that wasn't even there. Though I will admit *trying* to consistenly exercise both mediums was a great way to open up other avenues of the project. I'm still heading to the original direction in presentation, but rather being a trashy LP it's turning into an EP of songs that have better drawn out plans.

It was a bummer knowing these collections of songs were shrunk down to a handful. At the same time, however, I realized these handfuls are enough to grasp the idea of what I wanted in a project. It was the same result with the images and I couldn't be happier knowing that I'm picking out the best rather be married to images that could potentially crumble the sequence. I've been able to let go the idea of timelining the project and just organize the music and pictures kindly. This will probably be the longest running (and most edited) project I've ever done in my life. And that's precisely why I wanted to take my time with this and other future projects.

realization that I need to give myself some respect, but to be humble about what I have and who's around me. Though I'd like to be a bit more stern about what I want I also need to recognize the consequences of being selfish if asking for too much. It was a tough decade for me knowing how far I've come to get to where I am and I'm happy and thankful for where I am at, but it doesn't offer enough of what I could provide myself, my partner and to the ones who I love and to the ones who are in need. I'm tired of giving a fuck, but I'm also afraid of not caring at all. That kind of mindset led me to almost destroying my confidence as a person.

So, here I am... a new decade and an improved me I guess. It would've been cool to do some youtuber-twitter-esque posi bull about my decade experiences, but I'll just leave it to those who do them properly rather me failing completely. The 10's were about failures. The 20's should have better drawn out plans. You never know I suppose.