I wake up surprisingly refreshed this morning with enough time to make my usual breakfast, browse the Internet, and watch Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg moderate the ladies on The View. Every morning I fry three pieces of bacon and one egg and put it on a baked cinnamon-raisin English muffin. I couple it with a giant glass of orange juice with pulp, which my best friend says, “is a meal in itself.” Whoopi is hilarious and I love her view but the news is already too “yesterday” for me as I’m on Pacific Standard Time and anything noteworthy has already been highlighted on the entertainment blogs I read while my bacon is frying.
After breakfast, with the television off, the dishes clean, and my tummy full, I turn on some streaming progressive trance music and hit the Web for a job hunt. Every morning I try to find a few companies to send my resume to. The Bay Area is saturated with start-up companies, so I tend to look for community manager positions. With Facebook and Twitter giving users access to praise, and the ability to criticize and question any product with the ease and grace of an angry twelve-year-old, many companies have hired social media gurus to act like really smart babysitters. When I lived in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I took headshots and made websites for actors. There aren’t many actors in San Francisco, period, so my photography and design skill-set has been pushed aside so that I could focus on honing my social media skill-set. Plus, I got held up at knifepoint outside my apartment this summer and the dude took my camera, so I can’t do that for a while anyway.
After my job hunt, it’s studio time. It’s basically time for another meal, so I make some ramen noodles and go back to surfing the Web. As of late, I’ve been fixated on Peace Poles—tall skinny wooden posts with the inscription “May Peace Prevail on Earth” planted outside churches, homes, or sites of recent conflict—so I do some research on the objects. For me, everything religious has a gay twist to it, so the aesthetic of the pointy wooden post nudges me to research The Herndon Climb. At the US Naval Academy in Annapolis there stands a 21-foot grey obelisk called the Herndon Monument which is the site of year-end event known as The Herndon Climb. One thousand young academy plebes attempt to climb the lard-covered monument to replace a plebe hat sitting atop it with an upperclassman’s hat. By the end of the two-hour-ish event, the scene formally looks like last call at a gay dance club—shirtless teens soaked in water and covered in grease, tired from all the shouting, grunting, and physical activity.
Now that I’ve overloaded my brain with wikis and JPEGs, I venture out of my apartment into the real world and walk to the local lumberyard to check the prices of material for this project. I’m planning on making my own gay Peace Poles. Two hours later, after I look at every piece of wood, twice, I decide to make a left outside the lumberyard instead of a right and I end up walking around the city. I’m a flâneur and this is my dérive for the day. One of the most important concepts I learned in grad school was the French Situationist idea of the dérive. Simply put, it’s a “purposeful wandering.” Academically put, it’s a revolutionary means to navigate away from urban capitalism. A great first baby-step (pun intended) is to journey around San Francisco with a map of New York City. Regardless of what percent you are during these trying Occupying times, a simple dérive can help make your day a little better.*
*You would think a cliché graffiti artist or homeless person would know the streets of a city like the back of their hand, but it’s also the 1%, like Bruce Wayne, who can navigate the streets with just as much rigor. Dandies perusing the pavement in Prada have the disposable income to perform this time-consuming and seemingly useless act. More importantly, my asterisk was put here to say, “be cautious.” Sure, a dérive can make you feel better knowing that you walked a totally new and exciting way home and discovered a video-rental store that you never knew existed, but if you wander into a precarious area without caution, you’ll get mugged and die.
With the gorgeous San Francisco sun setting behind the Kink Palace in the Mission, I return home and fry some pork chops for dinner. While the meat is defrosting, I remember that my favorite Los Angeles-based interior decorator, Jeffrey Alan Marks from the hit Bravo reality-television show Million Dollar Decorators, will be in SF this week for a major fall antiques show. I hop onto Twitter and send a blind tweet asking him if he would be up for a studio visit with an artist and by the time I’m done eating my dinner he’s blindly responded “yes” with an exclamation point. My last artwork sale was to a local interior designer so I hope that this is a financially fruitful meeting. It can also be a nice anecdote to the Bravo production team when I audition for next year’s season of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.
I have the hardest time falling asleep. My mind races with too many thoughts. I’ve thought about taking Klonopin but there are too many studies that link creativity to madness and why would I want to live a life where the relationship between Peace Poles and Batman didn’t resolve within three simple paragraphs? Tossing and turning in my bed, I wonder what the hell I’m going to do tomorrow morning when I wake up. I know I have The View to watch and some cover letters to write and some studio time and some Web surfing and some tweeting and some blogging and some dériving and some eating to do, but really, what do I really have to do?