side hustle

Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

I’ve been following Guillebeau off and on for a few years now. I bought the digital version of $100 Startup when it was on sale. I decided to support him further, and get in on the ground floor by getting the ARC (advanced reader copy) of his latest book.

I enjoyed the overall conversational tone of the book. It felt like we were having coffee and you could feel the energy and enthusiasm through the text when a dude is hyped on an idea and caffeine. Guillebeau has the pedigree for entrepreneurship, so everything he’s selling you is for real.

Buy the book!

To me, it read fast. I feel like a lot of business nonfiction is all dry facts and figures. They tend to be soulless, heavy on the jargon, interspersing dry platitudes that we’ve heard before in random places in the text. I didn’t feel that way while I soaked up what I could.

The case studies felt timely and relevant to me. I did notice that he skewed to side hustles that accommodate modern technologies, though there were some old school standbys as well. If you’re techno-phobic, you may want to brush up on your computer/smartphone skills to maximize your output. If you’re willing to put it to work, use all of the skills you have, and give yourself the tools to take full advantage of it.

The companion podcast, Side Hustle School, is a succinct look into case studies of folks who have developed their own approaches to their side hustle. It’s a great extension to this book.

Overall, there was great advice from front to back. It’ll be easy to transpose the ideas he brought up to the side hustle you may have in mind or even ones that you already have in play. I needed to find out how others did it. This book gave me tons of ideas. It made me think of what I wanted/needed to accomplish, and the ways and means to get there.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
d23 day at the walt disney studios and archives

D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives

My April 2014 trip to visit the Walt Disney Studios and Archives in Burbank, a perk of being a member of D23.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Photo by Richard Iwaki on Unsplash

Bento Life

It's a life of tiny shards, make it pretty.
Meat, rice, vegetables, fish, sugar, spice.
Everything and nothing is nice.
The culmination inside another wistful dream.
Compartmentalized for a fleeting moment.
Consumed like fire in a pit.
Corrugated cardboard container.
Sectioned off and in manageable pieces.
Been ready to walk the road for years.
Should have turned left at that last fork.
Coasting through the journey,
asking the wrong questions,
Getting the right answers.
Every ounce of me bleeds "no"
The volume on the radio is at eleven.
You can't hear me anymore.
I can't hear me anymore.
Lost in the maze of sharp corners,
Misspelled phrases, and flat tires.
Eat the orange smile, and slog through.
That's all I can do.
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe (The Pearl Theater)

The setlist:

  • Dirty Computer
  • Crazy, Classic, Life
  • Take a Byte
  • Screwed
  • Django Jane
  • Q.U.E.E.N.
  • Electric Lady
  • Prime Time / Purple Rain musical breakdown
  • Pynk
  • Yoga
  • I Like That
  • Don’t Judge Me
  • Make Me Feel / I Got the Feelin’ musical breakdown
  • I Got the Juice
  • Cold War
  • Tightrope

Encore:

  • So Afraid
  • Americans

As you can see, a little bit of everything from Dirty Computer, the ArchAndroid, and the Eephus EP. Her energy level stayed high, and we were out by 11 or so. You can’t ask for more from your favorite artists. During the preshow (I thought St. Beauty was supposed to perform, and I got to my seat around 8, and the tech guys were tech’ing), they were piping in Wondaland artists.

I love it when artists showcase their aesthetic in their live shows. It brings together the soul of the project when they do. Janelle worked in the throne from the Django Jane video, the pussy pants from Pynk (which I wish they sold at the merch table!), and her musical breakdown of Purple Rain after Prime Time, a tribute to her mentor, the indomitable Prince. I was also feeling the kinda blunt hat she’s been wearing this era. Very Janet Jackson circa Rhythm Nation.

I hope she doesn’t think our lack of energy at the beginning was a reflection of her. It was Tuesday night and I’m fairly sure 95% of the crowd came from work as I did. But she’s an amazing performer, and she commanded the crowd and her music like a ringleader in a colorful musical circus. Because that’s what it felt like. A glorious celebration of the female identity through music and lyrics and powerful visuals.

I’m glad artists like Janelle exist for odd little ducks like me. I love her Metropolis vibe because of course, that’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve got plenty of family and friends who are queer, and I’m their biggest ally whether they know it or not. I celebrate their energy and uplift them as much as I can in my own way. Seeing her and supporting her was one way I did it.

All in all, Janelle Monáe puts on a helluva show, and you’re missing out on one of the greatest performers of my generation if you aren’t already feelin’ her vibe. Of all her albums thus far, “Dirty Computer” is the most accessible with its heavy Prince influence and cut to the bone political themes that I hope become irrelevant before I die.

If you love what she’s trying to do, work backward until “Metropolis: Suite I.” I love that she created this character to tell this complicated love story but when you dig deep, we’re all Cindi Mayweather inside. There are universal truths in science fiction, and Janelle shows that in her body of work. She’s an inspiration. I hope I can be that way in my own creative pursuits.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
saint john of las vegas

Saint John of Las Vegas (2009)

What compelled me to watch the movie at CineVegas was Imagining Dante in Vegas: “Saint John of Las Vegas” Director Hue Rhodes. Having read Dante’s Inferno in-depth for Medieval English Lit, I was excited to see a modern-day interpretation of it on film.

For an indie film, a lot of familiar stars were in it: Steve Buscemi played the lead, John Alighieri. John is an ex-gambler and Las Vegas native who – down on his last bit of luck – makes a conscious decision to get away. He moves to Albuquerque, New Mexico as far as his tank of gas would take him to start a new life.

But anyone who is from Vegas or has lived here knows that you can never get the city out of your system. If you think you’re leaving, you’ll find a way back by divine providence or because “the Devil made you do it.” My fair city seeps in like an aggressive form of inoperable cancer and will eat you alive in all the best ways possible. John’s hell is Las Vegas and all the dreams that she took from him. I should say “outside of Las Vegas,” as a few characters were quick to correct him.

Buy the movie!

Romany Malco played Virgil, a clear nod to Dante the Pilgrim’s host. But Saint John’s Virgil was nothing like his literary predecessor. His Virgil does lead John on his journey but in a more hands-off way. The Inferno’s Virgil practically had to drag Dante the Pilgrim through Hell and tell him to quit wasting his tears on the sinners. Also, his ultimate intentions were such a shock to me. The Inferno’s Virgil would never make a conscious decision to do what Saint John’s Virgil did. He was a virtuous pagan and Saint John’s Virgil was nothing like that.

Sarah Silverman played Jill, John’s love interest and co-worker. She was nothing like Beatrice, Dante the Pilgrim’s true love, the one who guided him to Virgil in the first place. But her character was a lovely addition. She has an obsession with happy faces (from her earrings, cubicle, bedroom and down to her nails), like the happy face from Watchmen.

During the Q&A after the show, Rhodes made a point to say that we know people like this. People who have little quirks, where you might be shocked that they do this but for them, it’s completely normal. I loved that explanation.

Peter Dinklage played Mr. Townsend, the owner of Townsend Insurance LLC. He is also Jill’s ex. I literally jumped in my seat when I saw him. His performance was amazing. I wish he was given more screen time, but then, it wouldn’t make any sense. I love everything he is in, period.

The big-name sinners were played by Tim Blake Nelson (Militant Ned the Nudist), John Cho (Smitty the Firelord), and Emmanuelle Chriqui (Tasty D. Light the wheelchair-bound stripper). I won’t give away the ending, but John does go through quite a journey to find himself. I’m not surprised in any way that he had to come back to Vegas to figure it out. Vegas has that power over everyone.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Love Will Tell Us Where to Go

Love Will Tell Us Where to Go

  • Rating: PG-13
  • Category: Drama
  • Summary: Louise Ellison’s past plays a role in her future.
  • Timeline: sometime after 4.9.
  • Disclaimer: Hell on Wheels belongs to its owners, made-ups belong to me.

Ida Greeley felt a surge of uncertainty hit her as the weight of her decision began to grow. She had slipped out of the house, like a thief in the night, her face muddied purposefully. Her long, brown hair hiding beneath a cap she had been given by one of the staff to complete her look.

Continue reading →
After Dark

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Excellent book.

Buy the book!

I like to think of it as a post-modern film noir set in Tokyo, around two sisters named Eri and Mari.

The story follows how their lives connect to each other, an old friend, an abused Chinese prostitute and the keepers of a “love hotel” that found her that way, and the abuser of the Chinese prostitute, all in the course of one night.

The ending was a bit of a letdown, but then aren’t all film noir endings like that? I came away thinking of it as more of a quick peek into people’s lives when the sun goes down. And how our natures change in the dark.

In my mind, I expected a clearer ending, but the resolution we are given is tastefully done and just makes you think for a bit after you close it. It was short, only about 200 or something pages.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
visalia

Visalia

I had been whinging at my best friend for a few weeks that I needed a road trip to clear my head. Visalia’s less than six hours away from Vegas, so I figured I’d get out of my routine and go to a junk show on Sunday. I booked a cheap but decent room (less than $100) for one night, down the street from the show. I decided to leave on Saturday morning.

Ma was overly protective of me during this trip. It was seriously an overnight; I needed to get on the road. I figured out why road trips breathe new life in me which I didn’t really question until this trip, haha. I grew up in Modesto, which is less than two hours away from Visalia. There’s NOTHING there but orchards around you for miles. You HAVE to drive a minimum two hours (one, if you’re a speed demon) to get to anything fun or with any sort of culture.

So sitting in my car for hours on end? Used to it. Period. It’s what I’ve always known. I internalized it and it influences me creatively. I put on music, sing at the top of my lungs, and avoid CHP in both directions! I’m probably the only person who enjoys the journey more than the destination half the time. I love the wide, open road, seeing grain trains. I live my best life on the road, especially California. It’s why it influenced my MFA thesis so heavily.

I stopped for a bathroom break and my anxiety went through the roof briefly, because some old lady parked next to me. First of all, there are tons of spaces with lots of shade too. Nah, this old biddy ended up next to me. I mean, I know my car’s a babe, but really, c’mon, go away.

I stopped at the Tulare Historical Museum and got acquainted with the history there. Tulare – the city – has a great history.

The kitchen display at the Tulare Historical Museum
The kitchen display at the Tulare Historical Museum

They had a bond burning celebration. I think that was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen as part of the fabric of a museum. Overall, it very much reminded me of Modesto, and I know they’re close in geography, so they share that small-town attribute, but still. It was genuinely fun. So roomy! Their museum took over an old high school, and I loved the way they used the space. I really enjoyed the war room. They had an entire room dedicated to every war up until Desert Storm. I was shocked they included the Spanish-American War! Very cool. I was the only person there, but maybe because it was close to quitting time? They also had a lovely art show in their back room. I bought a couple of books because that’s what I do.

The books I purchased: The Indifferent Stars Above and Gold Rush: A Literary Exploration.
The books I purchased: The Indifferent Stars Above and Gold Rush: A Literary Exploration.

I got to the hotel in one piece, and I got an awesome room. They forgot to plug the fridge back in, which I assumed they needed to vacuum. I quickly discovered I hadn’t packed my charger as I told myself a million times. I even have a special wall charger that charges plugs and has USB ports. Left it in a drawer! I really wanted to slam my head into a wall. I told my BFF that it’s been so long since I had taken a road trip, so this was my punishment for not having it.

After a shower and some relaxing, I went to Target to get a charger. I had the cord, cause I never leave home without that! Thank god for Target being the same everywhere. You know what the prices are going to be and you know you’re going to find it where it would be on the shelf at home. I ended up buying a Golden State Warriors shirt too.

I got lost on the way to a restaurant called Crawdaddy’s for dinner. Lots of one-way streets. I hate them, haha. Had a lovely Filet Mignon Rossini with steamed veggies and mashed potatoes. The quality of the food wasn’t that impressive but when you’ve been driving all day with no food, you enjoy what you order. Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve treated myself to a solo dinner, so I savored it. I also packed away their beignets, which I really need to learn how to make because I could eat my weight in them.

Afterward, I trucked across the street to the Regal to watch Pacific Rim: Uprising. It was a solid next step in the series, and I can’t wait to see where they take it because they obviously left the door open to go deeper. The mango margarita hit me hard towards the end so my senses were amplified because of it. But I would’ve enjoyed it, regardless. The edge went away as the movie progressed so I was sober by the time I got back to the hotel.

I got a good night’s sleep, and I was up at my regular time: 5 AM. Laid in bed for a bit. I couldn’t get a late checkout, so I was kinda mad about that. For two additional hours (which is all I needed) was equivalent to my one night stay. I started packing and then promptly forgot my charger and cord again. Which I didn’t realize until after second breakfast (more on that later).

The continental breakfast offerings were slim, which I was warned about in the reviews of the hotel. I had some yummy waffles because you can’t fuck those up. It put something in my stomach, and it was free. I waited until the last minute to pack up the car and check out. I checked my bags a million times thinking I put the charger in a pocket that I normally wouldn’t have. That was my first mistake.

I got to the junk show, called Rusty Roots, and walked around a few times, waiting for my BFF to arrive. She was also bringing me a cheesecake, yay! A lot of the stuff was super cute, but I didn’t see any wants OR needs. I ended up purchasing an embroidered California plate which is now on the wall in front of my desktop workstation at home. California will always be home, and I miss it very much. But it’s financially impossible to live there as a single person. So it’s a little slice of home for me.

My plate by Willow Tree Embroidery
My plate by Willow Tree Embroidery

A’s heart was not on her side, so she decided not to go to the show, even though she came all the way down to Visalia. We ended up at IHOP (the aforementioned second breakfast). Turns out IHOP was down the street from the hotel, not like I was even looking for it, so I went back to the hotel to see if they had found my charger and cord. They had already turned over the room, and thankfully put it aside for me, and the lady at the front desk remembered me. Whew.

The drive home was nice. 80 all the way past Tehachapi but after the state line, I tried to chill. It would be my dumb luck to get a speeding ticket, and it’s not like I had a reason! I like driving fast when there’s a wide-open road in front of you, and there’s no weather holding you back. I stopped at Murray Family Farms for a bathroom break and to buy goodies. I brought back chile mango dried fruit thingies for my boyfriend because I couldn’t get to a proper candy store for taffy-like he asked. I scored a strawberry cake for my family. I probably should’ve put it in my cooler but I figured it would be okay because the trunk is air-conditioned. The frosting melted, but it was so good.

All in all, a good trip. I’m waiting for inspiration to strike but it was nice to get out of my comfort zone for a quick overnight trip. I need to do it more often.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Dwelling on Eternity

Dwelling on Eternity

This is the last beginning. I will not move
forward from here.
Draw the line, straight and
perfect, use the ink I bleed from my fingertips.
Onto your skin, into your head, and out of
your heart.
Dig in and hold the line, retreat is
not an option.
It's too late.
The light continues.
Won't you stop and listen to me?
Manipulate the King and move
the Queen.
Checkmate. I've failed.
Nothing I say will tell
me the truth.
I lie to you every day but I
refuse to see it myself.
Timeless.
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
au revoir, 2008

Au Revoir, 2008!

The songs that got me through 2008.

  1. “About a Girl” by The Academy Is…
  2. “Black & Gold” by Sam Sparro
  3. “Boys” by Ashlee Simpson
  4. “The Call” by Regina Spektor
  5. “Click Click Click” by New Kids on the Block
  6. “Knights of Cydonia [HAARP Version]” by Muse
  7. “Let It Rock” by Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil’ Wayne
  8. “Lethal Enforcer” by We Are Scientists
  9. “Losing Touch” by The Killers
  10. “Love Lockdown” by Kanye West
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean