Last winter I was cleaning toilets because the Austin job market was IN the toilet. As a freelancer, I had reached the point where I had no money coming in and it pained me to take a job that paid minimum wage. Cleaning toilets started at $15/hr and had a schedule flexible enough that I could continue to work with clients that were struggling to get by.
Life handed me lemons, I was making lemonade. I moved up cleaning toilets. I started making more money, I was given a false sense of security as I churned out gallons of lemonade. [ I also got a clearer picture of the economic situation in Austin. I was thoroughly disgusted by the fact that dual income families had to have housemates.] Last spring, I realized, if you are going to make lemonade, there should really be a lemonade stand to go with it.
Yes, when you are drowning, you seek out the first thing to keep your head above water, but eventually you have to check to make sure that the thing that you are holding onto isn’t going to get sucked under the current as well.
In May, I resigned from cleaning toilets. I had gone to Chicago for the weekend, and after several failed attempts to get back to Austin, I decided that maybe I was due for a change. I started scavenging for the next thing. I could hit the road with my housemate and go west. Then what? Stay there? Go back to Austin? Maybe Head east and watch my friends kids until I found a job? Move to Dallas? I packed my things in storage and I went west.
The whole process of getting out of Texas and to California taught me a valuable lesson. When life starts to look like the scene in the “B” horror movie where you are squirming in your chair telling the innocent teens not to go into the basement, run back up the stairs and get the fuck out of the cabin in the woods.
I knew exactly how much stuff I had with me, I could call a friend to come and get me or my credit cards could get me a rental car and a hotel. In the end, I was picked up and the credit card paid for lunch. Now to figure out life. I had planned to go back to Austin in August and meet with a bridal client and pick up my car. But did I really want to drive back to California only to turn back around? Meanwhile my Bay Area friends told me that I should look at jobs in the area.
I had too much with me to to just pack it all up and take in on a plane so I forged ahead with both plans, I went back to Austin for the car and the bridal client. I had job interviews scheduled for my return. I spent the summer crashing with a friend. I had given myself until August to figure out a plan to stay in California, or head back and set up camp in Dallas. I was officially done with Austin.
After a month of freelancing, applying for jobs and going on interviews, I got a job offer. After a month of commuting, I found an apartment. Things were looking up. Even better, I am NOT settling. I have a job that is currently using all of my brain, I make more than minimum wage, and I have health insurance.
So lesson learned, when life hands you lemons, if you are only making lemonade, you best learn how to swim or you will drown. Keep swimming until you can get yourself a lemonade stand.
Today’s man in a suit is Karl Lagerfeld. It’s his 80th birthday. Thanks for all of the beautiful suits you have put out into the world.
I’ve been on hiatus. I give you video footage of a man in a suit.
Since I last checked in, the world has kept turning, more babies have been made and I have been in the middle of a million projects. So, if you weren’t directly involved in one of those projects, you may or may not know what the hell I have been doing with my life (I enjoy living a life of mystery).
So yes, I have been taking advantage of this self-employment thing. I intend to do more of it. Is it scary? Fuck yes. Do I recommend it to everyone? No. The hustle is not for the faint of heart. I have freak out moments on how to pay the bills in lean months, how to charge fair prices and still pay myself a fair wage. I am still working on that whole life/work balance since I work from home (I did have a pleasant distraction these last few weeks.)
Today’s head bobbing DJ is Girl Talk.
I happened to find an old picture of him in a suit. I refuse to post a picture of the unibomber beard he has been sporting.
I look forward to his next album. Until then, you can listen to All Day
I <3 mixtapes. I remember when my baby daddy first introduced me to these guys. I also remember the first time that M and I saw them live. My favorite track to date is The XX Gon’ Give It To Ya
Today’s man in a hoodie is going to get me in trouble. We had a “Where are they now?” moment in the studio that lead to a google search, that lead to wanting to see pictures of Curt Cameruci, aka Curt Flossy, aka DJ Autobot. Sadly I could not find him in a suit.
I promise to keep looking though.
Some of you know about my obsession with musicians/MCs and head bobbing DJs. Sadly, many of these men don’t wear suits. The closest they get is a track suit.
Today’s Man in a Hoodie is Slug from Atmosphere.
For some reason, the title to Atmosphere’s 5th album has been in my head. When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. Life is what you make with it. If you don’t like the cards you were dealt you have the opportunity to change it.
Almost every year I pick a Summer Skate Jam. This year it’s Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams. Not only is it a catchy disco throwback tune, but the lyrics hit home as I work on Me 3.0
Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning
The force from the beginning
We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars
Pharrell is also today’s Man in a Suit. I hadn’t planned on posting one, but another baby popped up in my newsfeed.
I have once again taken life into my own hands, shaken it like a snow globe, and I am waiting for the bits to settle. Since I last checked in:
So yes, there is very little time for Men in Suits, or anything for that matter, as I work on Me 3.0
If you are curious about what this version of me is up to. I would check out my other blog at Spinsta.net
So now, let’s talk about Men in Suits. Recent discovery Ryan Lewis. His partner in crime Mackelmore distracted me from his hotness. I dream of men in suits who happen to be DJ/producer types.
Last weekend (April 26-28) I had the opportunity to shoot pictures at Austin Psych Fest for my friend Greg who writes for the Examiner. He posted an awesome write up of the music here. I also got to shoot “bonus” material in the Sailor Jerry air stream trailer, that full slide show is on Examiner here.
I really enjoyed hanging out in the air stream seeing the tattoos getting done, and drinking some yummy Sailor Jerry drinks in between sets. (Shout outs to Dana Dynamite, and Leslie Merinoff for their great hospitality!)
After that weekend, I decided I needed to drink some Sailor Jerry at home. I’ve been making a drink called Dark and Stormy. It’s super easy and very refreshing. Here’s how we mix it at home:
You can find more drink recipes on the Sailor Jerry page. I’m also partial to the backyard tea recipe.
Tons of bands came through to get tattoos from the legendary Keith Underwood and his pal Philip LaRocca. Keith apprenticed with Mike “Rollo Banks” Malone, who was trained by the man himself – Sailor Jerry. So you can imagine the great classic tattoos that were done at Psych Fest. Philip helps run The Austin Tattoo Company, where they’re conveniently doing Traditional Tuesdays. These guys were super nice, I even got a little tattoo on Sunday night.
I got to see a couple of the girls from Warpaint, King Kahn and BBQ show, and The St. James Society all get tattoos. Below are my faves from the weekend.
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