todd had an art opening on Saturday night

it was a celebration of his entire career which has spanned designing the skateboard decks for several companies, a wide world of art, and his cartoons for legendary magazines like Penthouse

in fact Penthouse was there to interview the man of the hour

the place was packed with family, friends, fans, and even kids who got their decks signed.

what’s amazing about Todd is he is one of the few artists you know who have been able to avoid “real jobs” for most of his adult life. for the exception of the short time that he was roommates with me in Frisco, Todd has always made his living from doing art.

and whats best of all is Todd’s art doesn’t hold back. it’s in your face, it’s dark, it’s powerful, and it’s funny. all the things that will stop you from being able to go commercial, but the thing about Todd is he couldn’t care less about commercial.

he has been put on this earth to let it all out.

he’s here to keep it real.

and if not entirely real, real gross.

the show was held at Shepard Fairey’s gallery on Sunset, Subliminal Projects.

before the show i asked Amber what she wanted to get from the night and she said “inspiration”.

she asked me what i wanted and i said, i hope Shepard is there.

not only was he but he was super nice to everyone and provided the soundtrack to our lives.

i nearly brought this Obama sticker that I wanted him to sign, but i couldnt find it, and anyways the night was about Todd.

while i was thanking Shepard for hosting the night, he said, “oh man ive been a fan of his for years.”

earlier Todd said that Shepard was into the skating scene from way back, which i totally forgot.

Shepard said he first met Todd in the 90s with Tony Gonzalez or Mark Gonzalez, someone, and that guy showed him the Anti Hero Eagle series and Shepard was all

oh yeah.

right there.

a trio of those decks welcomed people into the gallery, which couldn’t be more appropo.

afterwards amber and i watched exit through the gift shop

to complete the theme.

I went to the Obey Sample on Saturday and all I got was this great shirt

and that great shirt and that one and that one and a sweatshirts and sweaters and a free hat because i donated some toys for the kids.

originally i tried to drive down there on Friday after work but when i was in Culver City i took a closer look at the Friends and Family invite I got from a long time busblog reader, THANKS G! and i saw that on Friday the pre-sale was over at 7pm. so i figured id wake up early in the morn and swoop

didnt get to bed until late (dont ask) didnt wake up till 9. Got to Irvine around 10 and look at this giant line. (no pun intended). thank god i had that pass, they let me cut through and i was in.

they give you a sticker that tells you when you gotta get the hell out and on the floor i saw that someone was there at 7am, and i assume that meant lots of people were there at 7am which made me feel good that the kids still know where the cool shit is and how to get it at discount prices.

speaking of, you know i got that Waste Youth shirt. duh.

they had some great designs but weirdly even at 10am sooooooo much was gone. lesson: take off on Friday so you can beat the 7am line.

ladies, the women’s selections have grown over the years. this year they had tons of dresses. i may have gotten a shirt or two for a Christmas gift.

because im old and fat i no longer get Mediums or even Larges. I bust for the top shelf XL. which sadly there werent tons of at 10am. but i got a few sweet ones that i’ll show you one day.

almost got a bag but remembered im not in skool no more.

they call flannels “wovens” now. they call windbreakers “Coaches Jackets” and man were the coaches jackets all the rage.

there was a taco truck outside. a DJ inside. and rows and rows of your wardrobe just waiting to get boughten.

hats too. scarves too. wallets too.

the checkout line wasnt so bad because they were limiting the number of people in the warehouse. i only did $175 of damage. i had a spare friends and family invite so i gave it to this sweet mexican couple and i said this will let you cut the line and they lit up “really?!” and i said don’t thank me, thank Obama. and we did.

my computer is decorated by tiny images from shepard fairey

nothing in here is  true

i got a discount code from one of those companies that makes laptop covers

which are really just huge stickers

that go over the front of your macbook and i didnt know which one i wanted

and i had this zip file of all of these obey giant images and posters

and somehow i just lined them all up in photoshop

and the company accepted it and there you have it.

the little sticker you see that says On Central is a blog we had at KPCC

that was all about central avenue in south LA that used to be the Beale Street of this city

but has changed a great deal over the years.

one of the reasons i joined KPCC as their blog editor was because they had a blog about downtown

and one about south central

two blogs i was trying to launch at the Times but it never happened.

life is a very bizarre gumbo pot of weirdness.

be careful, you might burn your tongue.

even though im a devout Christian, my favorite Christmas tradition is hoarding


once a year my favorite clothing line Obey has a sample sale either in Compton or Irvine

kids get to the warehouse in the wee hours to nab what is often deep discounts

on some of the most stylish, sought-after, and $$$$ clothes out there.

because im a cheapskate and super loyal to my favorite brands ive been going

for years and years and years and years

because i was driving last night till 3am and didnt get to sleep till 5am, i didnt get out of the house until mid-afternoon,

which turned out to be perfecto because there were zero lines when i arrived in the OC at 2:30pm

a lot of the clothes had been picked through but that was ok, there was still plenty of great deals.

but with no lines and no time limit to shop it was such a dream come true

that i even came back after eating lunch to pick up three Obey pillows

that i realized would be perfect on my bed.


as blaring music pumped through the cavernous checkout lanes i asked one of the cashiers if they were suprised by the seemingly low turnout

she said it was busy in the morning, and they all expected today to be the busiest day

but assumed that because Obey/Giant advertised, for the first time ever, that this year’s sale would happen this weekend AND next weekend, perhaps the mad frenzy was killed.

fine with me, if the kids of so cal don’t wanna get $100 pants for $25 and $150 sweaters for $20, then more for me.


no huge surprises in this year’s layout, however it was nice to see that the women’s section is about double the size of last year

which was about double from the year prior.

the accessory table was ok, the hat section was huge, however the tshirts were a bit wanting.

i got some flannels, some sweatshirts, a few tshirts and the famous pillows

$118 out the door.


every year another thing happens when i go to the Obey sale: i feel so fat.

they have some of the best shirts that really look horrible if you have even the slightest belly.

because i look about 5 months pregnant i shied away from the shirts this year

and instead opted for the more forgiving numbers.


obey sample sale: giant success

obey sign outside

if you know me, you know that my favorite part of Christmas is the world famous Obey Sample Sale.

the only nuisance for this 114 year old man is the lines can sometimes be 3-4 hours,

as etienne and i experienced two years ago.

but a nice busblog reader who works at Obey Giant was nice enough to give me a Friends & Family pass for Friday

sadly i had to work late Friday so ali was all, hey lets try to get up early on Saturday and go down there

ali 1

when we arrived there was a super long line, food trucks, and a band playing

but ali said, just go ask the nice man eating the burrito if our pass could be accepted today.

so i thought good thoughts and handed him the pass and he gave ali and i VIP badges  and in 0 seconds we were in!

obey sign inside

after selling the xbi mobile i suddenly had a few extra bucks in my paypal account which is dangerous

because if it has an obey logo, especially an andre the giant logo, i’ll be very tempted to buy it

obey stencil

which is even more dangerous thanks to the fact that the VIP badge meant we had no time limit in the warehouse.

time limit? yes. back in the day Obey realized that the best way to keep the line moving

is to restrict people’s shopping sprees to just 30 minutes.

not only does it let more people in the place, but it creates a tad of a frenzied atmosphere

obey shirts mens

that mixed with the amazing deals ($40 shirts for $10, $120 jackets for $40, etc)

and the dj playing punk rock and gangsta rap

mad house

had people filling the aisles and stuffing their garbage bags with sweet ass bargains.


hats were $10 or 3 for $25, for example.

at those prices who doesn’t want a doberman sitting next to a flaming garbage can hat!?


or any variety of these chapeaus for yr former fro?!

empty bins

needless to say the supplies went fast but the replenishers replenished quickly

baby shopping

this lady got the last baby. lucky.

womens shirts

indeed they had lots of new stuff including an expanded womens area.

happy ali

ali was stoked

baby checkout

the baby was exhausted

for the kids

and everyone who brought a toy for a kid or food for the hungry got a free cap. these were all who were that sweet.

checkout lines

most people had one bag of stuffs. i had two. two bags set me back $230.

which accounted for two hoodies, a varsity jacket, a backpack, a belt, a striped shirt, a thick flannel, a thin flannel,

two tshirts, three hats, and a beautiful sweater.

my booty

merry christmas has a posse!

the worst news of the weekend

for millions of californians the obey winter sample sale means Christmas.
its ridiculously low prices, terrific selection,
and super long lines
allows a community of shepard fairey fans to unite, consume,
and obey.
we stand there for hours in the middle of nowhere waiting to hand over our money.
last year we were subject to dark skies, mediocre food trucks
and the borderline genius heavy metal coverband whose name now escapes me
because im heartbroken
for news just was delivered that the obey winter sample sale 2012
will not happen.
the company is “sorry”.
maybe they read the chat karisa and i had the other day

me: youre not gonna go to the Obey Sample Sale and get stuff for zsa and your sis?
karisa: oh- that line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
when is the sample sale?
and eh
me: the line wasnt bad last year
probably next weekend
karisa: yeah, i wouldn’t really care i guess
i have 25% off for loehmann’s
and another 10% on top of it

maybe they heard that i puked on halloween dressed as the obey giant

maybe they just dont know that this sale is the very heart of Christmas tradition for many here

or maybe its just another way for nobama to make us all give up hope and move to canada

where its easy

and no one cares how cool your tshirts are.

last year i went with a young lady who didnt even try on her pants, just bought em

and slipped them on and they fit like they were painted on her beautiful curves

they fit so well she slept in them that night (to my dismay)

and then ran a 10k in them in the morning.

photo by bicycle mark

a jacket i bought there fit me so well that when a young bicyclist in amsterdam took a photo of me in it

the most beautiful dutch girl passing by fell in lust with me and


my every prurient interest.

we had children and live a secret life i will explain at a later date.

but it all started with that little sale.

that wonderful, wonderful

and now gone,

probably forever



i had quite a full day yesterday

it started off early because karisa and i wanted to go to the Obey / Giant sample sale down in the OC.

the sale started at 9am so on friday she said, lets go early how early you wanna get there? i tolder as early as possible. she said that she gets up at 8am, which she knew would be tough for me to match since i usually dont wake until 11am thanks to my beautiful job which im about to hand over.


so i said i better get used to waking up early so i will meet you at your beach house around 9:30am. she said, no way. i said way, and the deal was on.

at 9am i tolder i was up, showered, and had pockets full of cash to give to shepard fairey and his subversive elves and at 10am there was me and karisa at the manhattan beach starbucks getting some lo fat breakfast and listening to the new steve aoki cd on our way to the OC.

at 11am we found ourselves in the longest line that ive ever been in to buy clothes.

let me tell you a little something about me and clothes. we dont get along. i do my best to get by on items my mom buys me for christmas and birthdays, and clothes of any style find their way on anyone other than me.

the rare exception are the weirdo threads by the good people of obey giant.

last year and the year before i made my way to the sample sale and all was well, but for some reason this year every one knew about the sale and they told two friends and so on and so on.

after 10 minutes the line hadnt moved so i said karisa, fuck. this. shit. and she said we’re here, where else are we gonna go? i said anywhere except this non moving line. but she said, maybe youre just hungry, go get some tacos over at that roach coach and we’ll see if the line moved at all. so i did as instructed and when i returned the line had moved a little.

two dudes came out of the exit door and i said, bros, when did you get here? they said, we got here at 6am. may i remind you it was 11:15am when i asked them that question. i looked at karisa. then they said, but our line was waaaay longer than yours, you probably only have a 2 hour wait.

now again i hate clothes. i love obey and i love karisa. i hate the OC but i hate lines even more. i love tacos. but i love karisa and never get to see her. but i hate clothes. why am i here? but karisa and i can talk up a storm about anything so the two hours went by pretty quickly and the one saving grace was the kids in line were all dressed really cool, and many of them were of the college aged variety and quite attractive. so if one had to be in a two hour line, this was the one to be in, and next to karisa didnt suck either.

sadly it was a three hour line.

when we got in the place had been picked through pretty well, and the prices had increased since last year. $20 tshirts that went for $5 last year were $8 if you bought 4, and there werent really any big jackets or pants. and there was only one skull cap for my sensitive bald head.

still somehow i managed to blow $160 because as i said i hate clothes, so if once a year i stock up then i can have that last for a good long while.

when i got home i went to this art show. it was supposed to be the most offensive christmas art show in hollywood, but maybe my tastes have dulled over the years but it wasnt all that offensive. it was funny. it was good. but not as offensive as i wanted. still i said hi to the curator. took tons of pics that will be on LAist tomorrow, and got out of there.

then i went to my former cohort bree’s 25th birthday. bree and i worked at buzznet together. when i first worked there there was only 4-5 people. after i got hired they hired 3 more younger kids to do a variety of things. all 3 of them are still there including bree. i hadnt seen her in a long time. the party was at the Cha Cha in silver lake next to a really great record store.

i met some of her friends who were really nice, i said hi to one of the original buzznetters, Steve, and said hi to a few other current buzzneters including their PR lady who kept mum regarding a partnership of sorts between one of my favorite music blogs Stereogum and buzznet. why keep mum over something good? dont ask me, but buzznet never made a lot of sense to me, but of course i was fired from there so clearly my brand of thinking and theres were often at odds. whatevs. it was nice to see everyone and since i had never been to the cha cha, it was nice to check it out out.

afterwards bree and i ate fish tacos in the cold outside at King Taco and had such a nice conversation that i thought about it all night.

last week i was on the phone seemingly all week. people were calling me non stop about my new job, people were emailing me, chatting, everything. yes i was very happy to talk to everyone, yes it was terribly exciting, but for a year and a half i had pretty much stayed to myself and only talked to people via email and IM. to actually use my voice for 7 days straight was a bit much.

which is ironic because yesterday chatting with karisa all day in the parking lot of Obey, and then later that night in deep personal conversations with everyone at the bar and the taco stand… i dont know. it was sorta powerful. and then today my bro Kemp came over and we talked about black colleges and bill cosby and dave chappell, the good talks just kept going.

it made me hope that my conversations at the newspaper will be equally thought provoking and actually meaningful cuz isnt that what its about – being surrounded by smart people talking about smart things? it is for me.

it made me grateful that i have good friends, and it reminded me that im not so much a loner in this dark world. there are others who might not look anything like me, but theyre more like me than they think.

ps happy birthday bree. i dont know if you read the busblog but if you do, thanks for inviting me to yr party!