Artists Pay Back (The Blog)

January 9, 2014

Epiphanies: 12 for $0.10

Filed under: Uncategorized — artistspayback @ 11:49 pm
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I had an epiphany this week.
Relaxing on the patio at our standard summer vacation spot (a wonderful place called mom’s beach condo) looking out over the vast expanse of the ocean. The sky dotted with boats, the beach crawling with tanned tourists, a thunderstorm creeping on the horizon, I started thinking about my place in this world and realized there are things I can do better. Pay more attention to details, procrastinate less, follow through more, focus at work and acheive beyond doing just what is needed or expected, take better care of myself not just for me but for the family that depends on me. All of these were areas where I not only should improve, but could improve if I so chose. That was the epiphany part. I think we all intrinsically realize we are not our best selves, but we indulge in self-deception and defeatist thinking to allow ourselves the luxury of accepting out place, even if it’s not the best we can do or the end result that we truly desire. I realized that my control extends much further than I allow and that change is not only needed, but necessary.
Don’t worry it won’t last. I know this because I’ve had this particular epiphany probably a half dozen times in the last year or two alone. That moment – maybe it’s in the late night silence, or a noisy, crowded place where you suddenly become hyper aware of your existence as a solitary creature among others or perhaps, like me, at some cliche moment where the sweeping vastness of beauty and enormity of the natural world absorbs and overwhelms you and you have no choice but to fight back against the smallness by puffing up and exerting your control and self-realization. The problem is the situation in which these moments occur is often fleeting, at least in it’s impact. It’s often something like an overpowering natural encounter as described above, or a moment of life-altering joy (the birth of a child, graduating college) or one of life-threatening fear (operation, near crash) and once your beyond that moment, life more or less resumes its course and your back in your same environment and the daily routine reasserts itself and strips away the desire, if not ability, to enact the change that seemed so clear and crucial. The memory becomes less powerful until the drumbeat day-to-day routine drowns it out entirely.
That’s why my epiphanies are multitude but the actual record of implementation is spotty to be generous (nearly non-existent to be accurate).
It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that it becomes harder as you realize the things needed to get battle through the thick brush to reach that path you so clearly and easily visualized in that moment of clarity is often more fraught with obstacles than it seemed in that moment of clarity. It seems so easy because you’re not truly thinking of the journey as much as the destination.
‘Yes, I will be healthier,” you say. Then realize that you already do try to get to the gym, but the 10-hour workdays and familial obligations take precedence.
Part of it is just giving up because, dammit, it’s hard and screw that, things are hard enough without adding internal pressure to live up to some idealized existence brought on by sand, salt air and seagulls. The ocean doesn’t care about me, so why should I let it influence my life in return? And really, I’m not doing so bad. Sure, I could be healthier, but I’m in pretty good shape. And dammit, I do work hard. So hard, that all it took to warp my mind into the realm of the impossible is a slight breeze and some sunny skies. My epiphany should be to do less. Eat worse, don’t worry about exercise, mabye the family shouldn’t be so dependent anyway, maybe this is a good as I am designed to be and rather than exerting energy to force change to some unrealistic ideal, I should find happiness in being where I am and letting that be enough. Maybe I’ve reached my destination and the sunset shouldn’t have the power to make me feel otherwise.
So in closing, screw epiphanies.
It was probably the alcohol talking anyway.
I think I’ll take a nap.

August 13, 2009

Fashion Help: Selecting The Right Ed Hardy Wear For Your Special Occasion

Filed under: Advice,Fashion — artistspayback @ 6:12 pm
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It’s a big day for you. You’ve been waiting for this event for months.

Or no, perhaps this is some last minute occurrence that is your best chance to make a great impression. Something that may catapult you into the next level of your life.

Whatever the case, there is one thing for sure – nothing will suffice other than the finest clothing. Clothing that screams for respect. Screams for attention. Screams for recognition. And perhaps just screams period. 

That’s why God made Ed Hardy clothing. (And by ‘God,’ I mean of designer extraordinaire Christian Audigier {and by ‘designer extraordinaire’ I mean the dude who just takes Ed Hardy’s designs and prints them on hoodies and shoes and crap}).

So what do you do? You want to impress but is this a ‘skull with eagle’s wings protruding from it’s fiery visage’ moment or more of a ‘menacing jungle cat preparing for attack’ situation? Should one have prominently displayed cartoon cutlery or not?

What exactly is a well meaning douche to do in this situation?

Relax. I’m here to help.

Here is your situational guide to Ed Hardy clothing:

Baby’s First Day at the Beach:


It’s a momentous day in the life of your little pride and joy. So what better way to commemorate the day than this jaunty yellow number inscribed with the timeless toddler sentiment: “Love Kills Slowly.”

No worries of drowning here, your baby will be cool as an iceberg and we all know icebergs stay (pretty much) above the surface.







Wedding Day (Female):


Something old, something new, something borrowed, something KICK ASS!  Thats the motto for the modern blushing bride. Sure, you can go out and buy a “wedding dress” and get a “veil” and look all “pretty” for your “special day” – or you could tell the world who you really are.

Think about it, you may only get married three or four times in your life, do you really want to do it in some fusty old gown? Hell no, you want this to be truly special and you want everyone to know that you are dedicated to the one you love by wearing this bridal dress that boldly declares you are “Dedicated To The One You Love.” (And note that the non-specific pronoun allows you some wiggle room. You’re welcome.)

And, it’s bejeweled for that extra helping of class and elegance.




Wedding Day (Male):

BeautifulGhostThere she is, the beautiful woman who bore your illegitimate child standing next to the father who told you to get your ass up there and don’t even think about trying to back out on this again. As they begin walking down the aisle and the ushers close and bolt the doors behind them, you smile.

You know what else is smiling? The entrancing skull gracing your fashion-forward bicep-enhancing Ed Hardy wedding tee. Why is your skull smiling? Maybe because it pukes lightning. Or it could be the joy of pink, flower-festooned hair that gracefully cascades and ensconces its bony features.

Why are you smiling? Well, because, uh, actually, that’s a good question. Why are you smiling?





Baby’s Birth:

PantherBirthYou’ve got your cigars. You’ve attended to your wife/girlfriend/chick-you-knocked-up-because-condoms-are-for-pussies every day and night for nine months (as long as it didn’t interfere with a major sporting event or wet t-shirt contest.) And now, you are ready to witness the miracle of your child being born. And Ed is there to wrap you in his comforting, 100% cotton embrace.

Naturally, you can’t wait to greet your baby sporting your Panther Collage shirt. This retina-numbing assault of awesomeness has a tender image at its heart – which is an actual heart gripped in eagle’s talons with an arm jutting out of  the superior vena cava promoting, um, peace from, uh, panthers…okay, maybe the symbolism escapes me but your baby will ‘get it’ (and will subsequently be crying harder than most.)

Even better, if you get any afterbirth on you, it will either blend in seamlessly or work to enhance the overall look. You, your baby, Ed Hardy – you three peas in a pod of lifetime responsibility and badass imagery.



Day In Court (Restraining Order):

BattleThey can restrain you. They can tell you that 200 yards is your “court-enforced distance.” Certain public places may be off limits. Fair enough. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show up for your day of reckoning rocking a bold vision of pure unrestraint.

The battle for independence that rages on your back is one even the mightiest gavel cannot silence. The eternal struggle of the righteous eagle (the symbol of all that is good and God fearing plus flight!) pitted against the evil viper (slithery, satanic, deadly, lisping) as they writhe and grapple over a tongue-wagging, eye-bulging skull that can only represent one thing – eye strain.






Bar Mitzvah:


Today your nephew becomes man. Big deal, every day when you leave the house you become THE man! Still you are ready to celebrate the youngster’s achievement resplendent in your Ed Hardy finery.

And there is no finery finer than a crazy-eyed tiger fighting his way through a baptism of flame, er, maybe a bris of fire. Why is that tiger so wild eyed? Well, fire hurts and he’s pissed.

But you’re not. Sure, your shirt may depict an endangered species engulfed in flame, you will only be showered with adoration.

So who’s the man now, Mordechai?

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