2020...what do I even say?

@StokedCT and I had originally scheduled the Extra-Galactic show back at the very beginning of the year for the end of March. What we now refer to as 'the calm before the storm'. There were soon whisperings of covid-19 on the news, but it seemed so distant at the time. Then it became a real threat. We finally made the decision to delay the show until an undecided date.

Then we were ordered to 'stay-in-place', so I packed up my computers and sketch pads from the studio, topped off all my stashes; food and supplies (believe it or not we had ample TP already that lasted us through July...because...that's just 'how I roll!' Ohhh!!!), and began to hunker down for who knows how long.

I planned to design merch, update the website, edit photos. You know, really catch up on all that overdue computer work...but instead my GF and I watched the news hourly, dashed in with culinary and alcoholic experiments galore, unsure at first just exactly how deadly this virus really was. It left me feeling very uninspired inside, unsure if we would share pipes or joints ever again.

Fast forward a few months later, we started to understand the virus a little better, the future seemed (slightly) less bleak, although social unrest was escalating worldwide. The world was opening back up little by little, with every move seemingly more political and thus more dividing. By this time my saturation levels of social media were through the roof, my screen time averaging between 6-8hrs each day, but often more. My world view was becoming skewed to the extreme negative side of things, and I didn't like what the endless 'doomsday scrolling' was doing to my emotions. I've been no stranger to taking break from social media, so it wasn't a challenge to remove it from my phone once again (although I always keep it installed on a work ipad to answer DM's while I'm at the studio).

If there were two of me, one of me would without-a-doubt be online all day every day, giving away free shit and answering every single DM with a thankful and thoughtful reply. Like the old days! But alas, there is only one of me, and I've become very protective of my energy as I've aged. The time away from SM has been a blessing in disguise, and as we were allowed back to work, my focus and productivity were at unprecedented levels (as hopefully proven by this collection of work).

We called a new date for the show, 7/10, and hoped for the best but prepared for the worst. Most glass/art shows had gone online over the summer, so we planned to keep it online also just to be safe. Lemme just say right now that the crew at StokedCT was insanely prepared and beyond hospitable. It was one of the most organized shows I've ever had the pleasure to be apart of. And the online showing was quite a rush! Zach and @THC_Samuel both did an amazing job announcing the details while showing off each piece as it went live on Stoked's website, and I sat in giving up additional stories for each piece where I could.

The only negative for me was one that we couldn't obviously solve...having people there. My favorite part of any show is undoubtedly catching up with old friends, making new ones, seeing old pieces and sharing the stories behind them, and seeing where the new pieces are going. I admittedly become a mega-introvert in the months leading up to a show, I like to save up that social energy for the main event, but this time I had a TON of energy, and no release. Sigh! ...thanks Corona, or the election year, or Bill Gates? I don't even know what to believe anymore. Another sigh, followed by quiet maniacal laughter.

Overall, the show was a complete success on virtually every metric. Thankfully during these unprecedented times, people still love to smoke up. <3

Until next time...

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