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Category: Paulandkat

Rainy Days and Mondays

Our weekend at Unique LA was a moderate success, based on the preliminary counts. On the first day, my estimate was blown out of the water since it felt a lot slower than last time, and by the end of the second day we apparently ended up selling more than 500 buttons! If I shut my mind up and think about it, 500 is a damn lot of buttons.

Hello, Buttons

I remember on Saturday night, staying up till 2:40am printing and punching 240 holes on paper. I sat in the middle of the living room carpet and thought about what all this work had meant, how my hands were trembling from using a hand-held paper puncher against very thick and stubborn glossy photo paper. How badly I just wanted to drop dead into a pile of ZZZzz.

At the end of the event, we realize that each dollar that a person spent with us, is a dollar that we truly earned. Not only in the time it takes Kat to design and tweak each graphic, but the time it takes to make each of them by hand. I'll admit that it's not a lot of 'real' money we're making, but the real payoff comes in seeing people's reactions when they browse through our display - a lot hesitant at first - and just like a kid finding a shiny coin in the madness, breaking out into a giant beaming smile. That smile, across everyone who managed to part with their hard earned dollar, is what we ultimately aim to achieve. To allow the tiny capsule of art to be shared, to be part of someone's own experience and stories, and to make that connection with the rest of the world. Thank you, Kat, for being an awesome artist :)

What does FML mean to you?

And so we've been preparing the past few weeks for this weekend's Unique LA show, with the new display setup and a flurry of button design making from (mostly) Kat and I. Today was the first day.

There was this one girl who seemed really friendly, and genuinely interested in how our setup was made. Magnets, and a little bit of glue gun, I explained, which held the buttons neatly against the varnished plywood sitting on an art easel. Cool, cool. So she goes over our buttons, and points to one on the table and asks, "What does FML mean?". And so I basically explained that it meant F ck My Life, borne from this website where people write down the story of their life, and everyone else votes if the poster either deserves it, or if his life really does suck. So she nods, and mentions something about it being funny.

And then she said:
"Those are my initials."

Neodymium Attraction

Another package of super high power magnets (strong enough to to make hamsters sterile and grown men cry) arrived in the mail today. I've always had a fascination with magnets and lighters, so I can't wait to get out of the warehouse and test them out when I get home. Zzzap!

I bought several magnets a few years ago from the Gaussboys already, in a failed bid to create a very cool minimalist picture frame system using masonite and acrylic. Well, it hasn't exactly failed miserably. I just bought all the parts and never got around to completing a functional prototype. Plus the masonite started warping since it was sitting in a dark moldy corner of my room. So I guess that does qualify as FAIL. Sigh.

This batch of mini magnets, meanwhile, is a set we are testing for the retail display of Paul and Kat buttons. If you are my friend or frenemy, please feel free to show up at the UNIQUE LA show on December 5 and 6. I'll give you a free hug. Because I have lots to give! And then I can zap you with some hamster ball-blaster magnets.

Mt. Griffith

Climbing Mt. Griffith Park

Climbing out of a parking lot is a lot harder than it looks. Don't believe the obvious!

Analog Love

Diana Insta-back

Kat and I are big fans of analog. We've always had a thing for vintage and classics, warm saturated tones and colors and what not. This is a print from her Diana F+ Lomo that's fitted with Fuji Instamax film (basically: polaroid) that makes instant prints. Pretty dope, but took her awhile to get a framing technique together (which is still far from perfect). We have dozens of prints in various states of failure, many pitch black, total white, or of our friends with no heads. So basically, its pretty accurate and depicts real life very well.

Meanwhile I'm holding a box contraption that blocks out light of a Kodak Duaflex III, which is a medium format camera. I point my camera through the viewfinder to come up with a picture of, well, a picture of what a person sees when looking through the viewfinder (TTV). It's a pretty big square piece of glass, and really cool looking through it. It's amazing how the image can pop out - it's basically my own portable camera obscura.

We've all been conditioned to think that perfect is always better, that you want clean, pure, expensive, unadulterated. Yet the warm hiss and pop of vinyl, the saturated tones of a lomo print, the struggle of a 79 VW bus traversing a grade, these embody for me the beauty and soul of art. It's more fun making mistakes, it's a lot more beautiful, than being perfect.

Earning money - one hard worked dollar at a time.

Hott Pants

Happy times, are directly proportional to happy pants. Summer days are meant to be shared. Photo by Kat :)

Dear World, you are very random. But thank you for allowing me to realize that we can also choose to be the same.

The Sharpie Loves You
By Kat. :)

Not a day goes by without me saying my thanks for sharing a colorful world with colorful people.. Even if sometimes, it's best enjoyed in black and white.

Team Paul and Kat

Valentine greetings from Team Paul, Kat, and Nickel!

Here's to the lonely finding company, the broken finding hope, and to the happy the gift of forever. :)

Vanessa's New Rug

Paul and Kat's new living room accessory. He he he.

Happy birthday to the newest member of the Paul and Kat lens family! :) Hopefully she will bring us good tidings and cheer in the form of pretentious pixels and incoherent images.

Praying friend

A pencil is useless without it's artist on the other end of the lead. Camera - useless, without it told what to see. Gadgets designed to create, will never serve their purpose without a curious mind on the swing. And a curious mind remains steadfast in its curiosity, as it explores what's on the other side of that rabbit hole.

So we spent the long weekend up along the Sonoma coast. First night was camped out with Kath and Dan at their friend's pad. The setup was three interconnected trailers along a bluff in the coast. My day was spent polishing off Tecates (my new favorite beer), while the other guys dove for abalone. Lots of cheese and beer, and Kat and I slept on the outdoor deck underneath a canopy of stars and the Milky Way. Great stuff!

I didn't take pictures until the second night, when Pat Pel Kat and I transferred over to a designated campground with our tents. I setup the camera to take one shot of star trails as they traversed the night sky, framed by the tree canopy up above. I left it outside for probably 3-4 hours, before Kat closed the shutter again. The problem is, that the noise reduction function processes the image after it's taken, and takes a terribly long time before it writes the final image to the CF card. And of course, it never reached that point. I come in with a full charge, take one massive picture, and the camera dies. I was really disappointed in the morning - that is, until I had my first can of Tecate for the day.

It seems likely that a new camera body is on the horizon within the coming year..

Pretty darn productive this weekend. Laid down the foundations and revamped Paul and Kat.com. Installed WordPress, that stuff is pretty powerful and slick! I might convert to a WP setup in the future and junk all this Blogger madness. I still need to debug against older browsers (i.e. I hate you IE 6.0), and start broadcasting our offerings of custom buttons and our upcoming 'Make Your Own Fan Club' shenanigan.

I also replaced Vanessa's valve cover gasket, to remedy the small leak on the passenger side valve cover. It was pretty exciting since it's the first time I've really opened anything of importance in the bus, even though it's just a simple gasket replacement.

Valve Cover

The mechanic used some yellow adhesive to afix the old gasket, which was an official PITA to remove. Took me some good elbow grease to get the mating surface clean and slathered on a thin coat of number 2 permatex gasket sealant to fix that puppy. While crawling under the bus my left shoulder started complaining, and I felt its weakness from last year's dislocation accident due to unwarranted hand-stand-walking in a parking lot. Ahh, the bragging rights you earn when you get old!

Brevior saltare cum deformibus mulieribus est vita.

:)

Kat and her camera
Kat at Big Sur. Photo set is here.

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