Wednesday, July 1, 2015

LoveWins


I've decided that it's time to tell my dad that I'm gay.  I announced this decision on Facebook and received so much support especially from my older cousins; maybe because I expressed how difficult it felt to do.  I could hear Joe in my head saying, what have you been waiting for?  The answer is that it just never felt right... until now.

Right at this moment, the spirit of love has finally overshadowed all the wrong in the world currently. That right now people are celebrating, people are happy, people are TALKING about gay rights.    People are thinking... "oh maybe this is a good thing."  Right now feels just right.

I just turned 30.  I can get married.  And I don't want to continue to be silent anymore about such a large piece of my life.  I'm not scared of my dad disowning me.  The other day we got into a small argument and resolved it by saying that that we love each other unconditionally.

I was jealous of my lesbian coworker whose mom called her when she heard the news about gay marriage.  I wanted that call...  I was hoping for a call, but my dad liking the new profile picture of me holding a rainbow flag is the best I could ask for.  And it's a perfect starting point.

It's time to put it into words, but how do you say it?  How do you stop from crying?  How do you say, "dad, I'm gay... I know you love me regardless, but this is who I am and one day I'll be okay not being the son that I think you want me to be."

So this is how it's going to happen - My parents are coming to Los Angeles this 4th of July weekend to visit me after I gave them a guilt trip.  I'm putting them in an AirBnB and picked the restaurants.  I bought tickets to a fireworks show at Hollywood Bowl and in between acts I will say, "Dad... I noticed that you liked my profile picture... I'm going to get married one day and I hope you're okay with that."

And... then who knows what he'll say, but I hope that the warm LA night and light from the fireworks will help make this moment feel positive... because it is.

I told my coworker my plan and she started tearing up.  I was surprised that she was so empathetic.  How is it possibly for a straight person to understand the emotions of coming out to their parents.  But then I realize that people are willing to listen, understand and support their LGBT friends and family.  And because of this we're not alone anymore because we have visibility.

Dad, I'm here.  I'm Queer.  And you already know that...  but now we can talk about it.

Desert Adventure

It only took an hour and a half to get to Palm Springs which makes me wonder why we don't go more often.  Something about that desert heat that's so relaxing.

I was excited to use my car because I changed the wind shield wipers and got an oil change.  It was time to use the car that's been so reliable to me.

Before heading out we grabbed a banh mi from Banh Mi Che Cali for breakfast.  On the way to the freeway I thought I tossed my sunglasses in the garbage and made Charles and Phil fish it out of the trash.  They passed the test of friendship and I passed the test of idiocy when I pulled them out of my pant pocket.  Oops.

First stop, Bombay Beach.  A post apocalyptic town of 300 sitting next to the Salton Sea which was essentially sitting water with rotting fish and sulfur.




There was also a piano that could be found on the beach sludge, but it disappeared before we could find it.  Check out this erie video:

A video posted by @yanntiersen on


Next 30 minutes from Bombay Beach was Salvation Mountain.  A structure built from adobe and paint sits randomly in the desert.


I thought the view from the top back was the most interesting because you could see how it was made and how fragile it is.  I wanted to pose with the rainbow flag, but it took away from the colors of the mountain.


We forgot to pack water.  Which is quite dangerous.  Made taking pictures really difficult because we were so uncomfortable.  Thankfully there was a convenient store at the corning of the town near by.


We decided to be frugal on the trip and split a Travelodge among the four of us.  They had a pool, not bad.


That evening we went out to Hunters to celebrate love and it was surprisingly happening.  Four rounds of drinks later and I was happy.



The next day we explored Joshua Tree which was a familiar place since I've been there twice before.


Took some pictures for Jimmy's "Shirtless in National Parks" photo series


Looks at these two creatives.


We conquered it all!  Key's View is wonderful.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Is There a Particular Cake?

My manager asked me today about where I see myself... career-wise.  I told her that my new multi-million dollar accounts that I've acquired present enough of a challenge that I feel engaged in the job and I'm happy with where I am now.  Though with layoffs and friends quitting, the company really wasn't as great as it used to be.  I couldn't answer her; I don't know what my future looks like.  I don't know what the next steps are career wise or even personal.


I'm 30 in a few days and I guess the main question is am I happy with who I am?

Maybe not.  But that's expected, we're not perfect.  

I find myself petty.  
I find myself selfish.
I find myself obnoxious.

And I can tell that Jimmy struggles with trying to handle me.  Handle my energy and expectations.  The other night he told me that he felt guilty for not giving me the attention that I was pining for.  So I just apologized, told him not to feel guilty and left the bedroom because I didn't know what else to do.  He came to the living room and gave me the warmest hug and told me to come back up.

This is a portrait that Jimmy took of me early this month before I cut off 3 inches on the top.  The hair wave is cool, but it was getting heavy and wild and I'm glad Jimmy captured it in a photo.  He captures and remembers everything positive and negative about life, about me.

20 minutes ago Jimmy caught me chatting with someone about not trusting him to get my birthday cake in time.  I was mortified that he saw it. My body got hot.   He was hurt that I felt that way.  And though I explained why.. that I would have ordered the cake a week ago and that I was worried ... it didn't stop him from feeling shitty.  So we're just sitting here in silence while he downloads songs for my party this weekend and I get pensive about what just happened.

I feel selfish.  Selfish for not being able to appreciate him and trust him to do things for me just because he does them differently.  It must be really difficult to date someone who's so particular about random things.... like ordering cake.

One year I told my parents that I wanted a strawberry birthday cake, but they got me a rectangular cake with other fruits... I remember being really upset.  I think I was... 11.  Wow.

I'm thinking about other things that I'm particular about.  One year Jimmy bought me a Moleskine for Christmas and it was the Peanuts edition.  I couldn't just appreciate it because it was not the plain design that I liked.  But I used it any way because it was from him.  But not before inadvertently making him feel bad about it.

And it's painfully ironic because I take pride in being easy going and low maintenance... but birthday cake and moleskine are two things I'm very particular about.... and music at night clubs, haircuts, wasted food, driving to certain places.  Oh gawd....

I'm turning 30 and I could be happier with who I am, but for now I'm just trying to understand who I am and being completely self aware.  I'm quite lucky to have someone who puts up with me... I'm going to go give him a hug now and tell him I'm sorry again...but that's hard to do because he's particular about his personal space.  I guess that's the challenge of trying to fit together.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

DadBod

Everyone is a little body conscious, but to what degree?

I look at this photo posted a few days ago from a Malibu beach trip and say... not bad.  #dadbod.

A slimmer gut which can be achieved by a few visits to the gym and some shoulder presses for a stronger frame.  I flirt with the idea of having an awesome ripped body for my 30th birthday via trainer, but that's all it was - flirting with the idea.

Because.. the gym is hell, working out is hell, exercise is hell and I'm not happy when I'm there.  For Jimmy, for others it's therapy, it's stress release, it's satisfaction.  For me.. it's something to do to wait out traffic.

Take a spin class?  Or sit in traffic.  Okay, you got me there.  I did enjoy swimming in the morning, but it's been so difficult to wake up.

I made this realization when I hung out with a cute couple in the swimming pool.  They both had dadbods with big bellies and they didn't give a fuck.  They didn't make compensating body jokes, they didn't get embarrassed.. they just took their shirt off and jumped in.  And that's what I did at Malibu.  Why should I give a fuck, ya'll my friends.

I guess the point is... I should remind myself to exercise for happiness and health, but to control the spillover and pant tightness. And never to keep myself from what I enjoy in life which is.. eating amazing foods. And moderate the things that aren't that great for me.   I guess, I'm on the right track.

#almost30






Coachella 2015 - Blurry Selfies

Preparing for Coachella was a bit more stressful this year.  Last year was a breeze since we were just tag-a-longs, but long story short, we paid a lot more housing than we needed to, but I need to focus on the fact that it worked out in the end and everyone was comfortable.  Though $1,000 is a lot to spend for a music festival 3 hours away.  (This includes food, housing etc.)  I also didn't know any of the bands which is why I wasn't too excited about it.


But when we finally got there, it was an amazing time learning about new bands being in the desert. I love heat.

We stayed at the Sonoran Suites about 10 minutes from the Tennis Gardens in Indian Wells shuttle stop.  We decided this is the best shuttle stop - low stress, ample parking and quick access.

We had a good group of 9.


I spent two weeks before Coachella figuring out what our group totem was going to be, but at the very last minute I found inflatable noodles in my beach bag.  It was so perfect, no one else had them, they were easy to see and compact.  They stated on the site: no totems this year and people were very well behaved.  I guess no one wanted to spend time and money on things that would just get taken away.  But people snuck some stuff in - nothing as interesting and amusing as last year though.  These things were so necessary to find each other especially since we broke off to see other bands.


I was really excited about transitioning from day time Coachella to night time Coachella.  Something about wiping off layers of sunscreen and looking at the sunset. Something about switching from hot to cool and watching everything light up. This year I brought tons of glow sticks and bought LED lights.  Security made a comment, "you're carrying uranium!"  I laughed.  The goal was to glow like the art installations.  I wanted us to be a rainbow coalition, but only one set of LEDs actually worked in the end.  I used the yellow led rope to tie around the totem which made it stand out even more.  People were so curious.. they thought it was a bong and kept grabbing them.   I had to chase this girl down when she took it from my hands and ran.  I grabbed her by the waist like a fireman while Jimmy called her a cunt.  lol.

I also bought these cute lanterns from the dollar store to try to imitate last years guiding light that Ernesto and Erik brought.

A photo posted by Christopho (@letopho) on



Music highlights:
Yelle - amazing performance!  
Marina and the Diamonds - so fun
Kygo - Charles introduced me to them.  Sad that we caught only the last two songs since we were waiting for Drake who turned out to be a buzz kill

I Saw: Kimbra, Azealia, Ryan Hemsworth, Lykke Li, Clean Bandit, Toro Y moi, Yellow Claw, Duke Dumont, FKA Twigs, SBTRKT, Flosstradamus, The Weekend, RAC, Kaskade, and David Guetta.

It was disappointed to see some of these DJs "perform."  It's like that SNL skit, they are just pressing buttons.  I want singers!!


I wish I saw Stromae, Odesza, Jennifer Hudson during Gorgon City Set), Jack White, Florence, Chet Faker




On the second day we spent the morning exploring sponsored tents.  No spotify tent to recharge your phone, but they had charging stations everywhere.  Instead there was the JBL tent which had this great underwater photobooth!  Other booths included massages, virtual reality, and face masks.


One of the exciting things is running into people organically.  It's impossible to meet up, but it feels so great to stumble upon other friends since so many people go.   When I ran into Sunny she picked me up and spun me around.  My camelbak shot out water from the excitement!




Charles had such an amazing time.  I told him that he's gonna have to plan next year.  As for me and Jimmy, we're still on the fence since it's so expensive and Jimmy wants to save his money to travel.




Though it would be really great to do a 2016 version of this picture.  It was so dusty in 2014 and green in 2015 #whatdrought

Other highlights:

  • Pool time at the hotel
  • Enjoying Hendrix and grapefruit soda
  • Making jello shots (should have made more to share with shuttle friends)
  • Eating at Pho Vu to get our Asian cravings out of the way for breakfast
  • Getting a good nights rest at the hotel vs. camping


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Thoughts


What's new with me?

Nothing really.  Trying to figure out my 30th birthday.  Party favors, food... time coordination.  It's less work than usual since I'm letting this charter boat take care of some of the stuff.

My mood last week was a low, is it residual Coachella withdrawals?  Is it that my company which was seemingly doing very well decided to do mass layoffs.  But I was spared, but have a lot more work on my plate.  Work that is more challenging.  But we moved into a bigger nicer office with standing desks which I love since I dreading getting the sit line; the crease on your stomach for sitting for too long.

I've been blogging a bit less because it seems that being more hidden about my life seems more appealing, but with my low energy and general dissatisfaction with weekday life, I feel like I need to return to my therapeutic hobby.  Also, I'm hosting my pictures on flickr.  My retina display is making the pixelation in compressed photos more obvious.  I suddenly have a thirst for sharp images that cannot be found if pictures are hosted through blogger or facebook... and now picasa which was never updated.  The entire interface of this neglected photo organizing software is pixelated on retina and the Photos App isn't doing it for me without real file control.

Last weekend was fun.  We did a handful of things and the weather was perfect.

N.A.O Ramen



Before we visited the "art piece" we had ramen and pleasantly found that the ramen was "on the house" because we had inadvertently came during a soft opening.


Vincent Lugo Park


After the ramen, we grabbed some boba at Factory Tea and goofed around the monster park.  I love these play structures.




An artist covered the Bate's Motel in Silverlake all white which made for good photos.  This building was such an eye sore since it was abandoned and tagged up.  Many squatters were found here.  They are finally demolishing it ... probably turning it into a mix use building.

Photo courtesy of Mitch

The weather was perfect.  That day was full of sunday funday drinking at the Eagle which was surprisingly fun.  Dinner at Sunset triangle and a movie at the Vista.  Never had I ever enjoyed walking around Silverlake, but it could be the 4 shots of Jameson talking.



This Sunday funday is spent at TomNtom.  With my roommates.  We're resting from a wonderful beach day for Charles' 32 birthday at Malibu.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sail the Twin Seas - 29th Birthday 2014




I never blogged by about 29th birthday last year which is a waste since so much went into it.  I decided to do a joint celebration with James and it took us a month to figure out what we were going to do.  The theme was golden:


It's quite brilliant.  Twin Seas... like twinsies.  Gemini.  Wow.  Above is the facebook event banner that James made.  Bless the graphic designer.  James also found the venue:  The Custom Hotel near LAX.  It had a neglected swimming pool and great rates especially since we were splitting it.



Nautical themed party supplies are actually quite difficult to find, but bless the Toy District in DTLA.  I was able to get fish nets, cute canvas giveaway bags (I should have taken a picture!), sea shells, napkins, balloons and signs.  Also, guests were more than willing to dress like they're going sailing.



We match!  James took care of our outfits.



Joe and Mony even showed up.  I was really happy there were there.



We had five cabanas to ourselves and I was able to set up a photobooth.  The lighting was hard, but Jimmy was able to figure it out with the reflector.  I was actually pretty shocked that people made use of the pool!



Some folks asked me if they could buy me a drink from the pool bar, but I told them that we were giving away about 72 drink tickets which include beer, wine and cocktails since it was ALSO HAPPY HOUR!  So they could just get me a shrimp plate instead!  LOL.  We really got a great deal.  James and I split the following package:

Happy Hour Stationed Appetizers
 (2) Fried calamari steaks with mae ploy sweet chili sauce
 (2) Rock and roll shrimp with shredded cocunut and chili sauce
 (4) Parmesan fries

Hosted Wine, Beer and Sangria Bar (72 Prepaid Drink Tickets)

Stationed Appetizers
 (20) Artichoke, olives, sun dried tomato salad on crostinis
 (20) Roasted fingerling potatoes stuffed with apple and bacon
 (20) Vegatable spring rolls, yuzu soy dipping sauce
 (30) Marinated beef kebabs with yogurt garlic sauce

Yes!  We took care of our friends.




The space by the pool across from the cabanas also provided a cool place to hang out.








Roommates!



Photobooth collage.







At night the place transformed



We all gathered around the fire.  Cindy took this one.  This #hiddenLA venue was all ours!




James' cake is on the left was a Baby Cakes Vegan Chocolate.  My cake is on the right: Ube Red Ribbon Cake with a huge Sail Boat smashed into it.  It reflects our personality.




Being the type A that I am, I grabbed 4 people to present the birthday cakes to me and James and we had to act surprised.  I remember giving a really bad birthday speech.

This year, for my 30th, I'm trying to plan something equally fun.  But the pressure is on; not because I'm turning 30, but because I want to throw an equally awesome event!  Thinking of sticking with the boat theme... but actually being on the water. Hmm!