spotless mind.

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often I wonder how life would be if the concept in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind actually did exist. to have the option of completely erasing the memory of a person in a matter of minutes is something I find myself desperately desiring as the ideal solution. despite all the happy times and lessons learned, when the negative outweighs the positive to the point of pain from flashbacks of the past, the last thing I need to keep is the recollection.

the phrase no regrets is something I find difficult to believe as the truth. how can one say that they never wish to take back the mistakes they make? whether it’s a risky outfit choice, questioning how a night would have turned out for the better with one less shot of alcohol or choosing to not cross the line of friendship, I constantly find myself overanalyzing my actions when outcomes don’t go as anticipated. while my evaluation of the past tends to hurt more than heal, I can’t help imagining what could have been if the regret was factored out of the situation.

lately I have been finding outlets to escape with from reality, and the back of the mind guilt from some is starting to become a bit much to handle. I feel much of my recent anxiety is due to the collection of similar situations I intentionally trap myself in, then guilt my conscious into forgetting to move forward. another bad habit I can’t seem to shake.

as my level of cluttered thoughts increases, all I hope is to find a way to organize them all to maintain a balance of self and well being. I cannot allow for the ignorance to scar me.

last week I wandering down to my favorite hill and viewed the world from a slant. the clouds and kites became my only interest, and my head thanked me for shifting focus to nothing in particular for the first time in the last three months. a spotless mind may never be possible to achieve, but taking the time to look at life from a different perspective proved to provide a simple sense of clarity.

sxsw stories.

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it took eight days to recover from my first trip to South By Southwest.

this was the event I had been eager to attend for the past five years. a topic that would always come up in conversation the more I began to hear music industry figures’ stories, I knew it was about time for me to experience what all the buzz was about. with the help of my supporting parents and good friend Drizzy, I confirmed my commitment to sxsw from a few quick clicks on a computer screen and knew then there was no turning back.

four months flew by and before I knew it I was packing my two baby blue vintage suitcases up on Tuesday night with 85 degree weather friendly outfits. the next morning I hopped on the 11:22am flight out of Seattle with the remaining music folks. I remember hearing the flight attendant comment on how much alcohol was being served on a Wednesday morning flight and realized it was going to be a contributing theme to this unpredictable trip I was partaking in.

my first impressions of Austin: very flat surroundings and an abundance of pinata shops. once we settled in and entered the main drag of 6th Street, so began sxsw. clearly margaritas and tequila shots were in order, soon followed by the dashing from venue to venue. in the first five hours of being in the foreign city I saw eight diverse artists in a variety of locations, everywhere from Bat Bar to Stubbs to Dirty Bills. the energy of the city that night was thriving on the impact of sound, and it felt invigorating to be right in the middle of it all.

after a very long night full of unexpected events, I started a warm Thursday afternoon off enjoying outdoor stages and vegan friendly food. with Drizzy by my side we floated through the sea of plaid from the east to the west. made a stop at the bike shop to say hello to KEXP, then moved on to discover my favorite venue Malverde. a loft style corner space with wood interior, floor to ceiling windows and a balcony set stage overlooking the city… amazing. as a sxsw veteran, Drizzy knew all the best places to eat in any given location, which led us to fancy dranks and delicious mexican food. strolled back up to 6th Street and ping ponged from place to place. a pedi cab and BMI party later, I ended day two in a pew to pew packed church with chills from listening to James Blake’s voice resonate off the stained glass and in to the ears lucky enough to have captured it.

sunny Friday morning we energized ourselves at what appeared to be the only legitimate coffee shop in the area and made our way to Copa, home of The SxSeattle Party. it was quite a comforting feeling to see so many familiar places together miles away from the emerald city. five hours of Seattle music later as I stood on a box clearly marked with instructions to do the exact opposite watching my favorite rapper unify the backyard of friends and fans in a movement of undeniable respect, I realized for the first time that I was now a part of this artcentric community.

departing from the familiar and back to the crew, Drizzy, Lindsey and I reunited over local cuisine and referred to the laminates to see what the game plan was for the rest of the night. I was pleased the next move was back to Malverde to see Quadron perform. a group I had never heard of before sxsw, but instantly fell in love with the second the first note of “Slippin” was played. one of my favorite feelings is that instant connection to a song from the first listen, and Quadron did this for me as a whole. hands down my favorite musical moment of the trip.

wandered back down 6th Street to see a few other acts before making my way to Chromeo. I told myself this was the one show I had to get in to, no matter how long the line may be. fortunately after running into an old college friend earlier in the week I discovered he was working the event, which allowed us to walk right in with minutes to spare. I spent the next hour dancing in the crowd of controlled chaos, and at one point had another moment of realization: this was completely worth the journey it took to get here. such a swell day.

the energy level for Saturday had shifted to carefree mode by the time we made it for our first show in the afternoon, allowing the final day of scheduled plans to be more relaxed. while it still makes me dizzy to remember how many bands we managed to see in a small timeframe, we also took the time to enjoy the portable grilled cheeses and fudgesicles. less walking, more talking with new friends and running into old ones in the middle of the occupied streets. found my way back to Red 7 to witness Childish Gambino prove my skepticism wrong with his well crafted words and intensely appealing stage presence. I left the set wanting more. ended the night early as my body had no energy left to run on, and for the first time of the trip was happy to be falling asleep before 1:00am.

as most Sundays are, this one was a day for recovery. within hours the festival had seemed to disappear, leaving the sound in the air bare and the streets drivable once again. Drizzy and I sank into any hotel and airport lobby chair we could find before departing back home. with the remaining hours left in the lonestar state we reflected on the last four days, perplexed how we made it out alive.

while the words written above reflect my day to day actions as best as I can recall, additional words and phrases must be included to make the story complete: cupcake trailers. Ricardo, our first and last nice bartender. climbing in to creeks. owl buildings. drinkwel. wayfarers. “masverde.” reuniting with the past. Drizzy turning to me and saying, “excuse me, I have to go clean the bird shit off my head.” sunburns. redeeming moments. lost cat signage. check-ins. guacamole made from scratch. Counting Crows celebrities. Cheers shot bar. “swag.” sub-pounding sound in cave-like clubs. life savers. purple pants. GOOD music jealousy. keytar lazer cats. death status.

other music memories that stood out to me most: Walk the Moon. The Vaccines. French Horn Rebellion. The Joy Formidable. Yellow Ostrich. Wallpaper. Campfire Ok. Ravenna Woods. State of the Artist. Shabazz Palaces. Toro y Moi. Hands. Starfucker. Reptar. American Royalty.

after spending so many years hearing about this truly unique experience from others, I am so grateful to have my own to share now. from making connections to validating reflections throughout the adventure, I simply cannot wait to return next year to reunite with it all over again.

what a trip.


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the other day I was asked to write a review on one of my favorite new musicians I discovered in 2010. under 200 words in less than seven hours. despite the disappointment in seeing a few of my sentences reworked, focusing on what it felt like to craft words together again is something I have realized how much I miss taking the time to do.

the evolution in the growth of my writing brings back memories. diaries with brass locks hid under pillows. Rhoald Dahl vocabulary. Shel Silverstein. Haulden Caulfield’s run on sentences that allow you to follow his sporadic stream of consciousness. taking far too much time to compile the complications of high school life on to three hole punched paper folded into intricate notes to pass along to friends that you would talk to everyday. Stephen Gray’s III. e.e. cummings bold choice of the lowercase. William Miller’s innocence. Motorcycle Drive By. LiveJournal. Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. English 101. slam poetry. love letters. essay long answers. rock and roll biographies. hip hop’s rhythm. liner notes.

the influence of my past plays a heavy role in how I choose to convey my thoughts in the present. I overanalyze for proper punctuation, yet deliberately intend to avoid capitalization. I question if my message captures the feeling behind what motivated me to write it down to begin with. I incorporate the elements of design into my overall purpose of the material, and I constantly use repetition to create my own voice through my words.

I wonder what I will think of all this ten years from now… probably laugh at my train of thoughts and what would be considered levels of importance back then, just as I did when finding those locked up diaries from my childhood. no matter what the reaction may be, one certainty is I will never regret taking the time to write it down.

this space will have no purpose than to act as a simple way to let me express and catalog my thoughts. a therapeutic cleanse of my often cluttered mind. inspiration will be a common topic, as will music. I look forward to venting to no one in particular, sharing insight and making things in my mind right again.