Friday, December 14, 2012


There are so many theoretical interpretations of the burdensome quality that "things" bring to a human life.  They tie us down, the create clutter, they free us from the bondage of everyday life.  But, there is a difference between the materialistic consumer, hoarding his Wal-mart possessions in some sort of trophy display case and the artist or the one who wants to create a sense of "space".

The Deputy has been a rolling stone for most of his life and therefore has had to cast off ties to most of his belongings in order to speed up the roll and ensure that he gathered no moss.  But then a point came in this stone age that brought Deputy a new scence of the aforementioned philosphies of "things".  He found himself collecting goods on the streets and bringing them home, palettes and discarded jewels.  After careful reflection and pontification, the Deputy noticed that it was a sort of nesting, a creation of comfort, an establishment of home. 

Now that the Deputy has engaged in a quest to set roots in foreing soil, he attempts to surround himself with things that nuture those roots.  So the "things" have become a comfort blanket, a sense of belonging and security.  As every traveler knows, no matter how much you are on the move, the comforts are the things that really bring relaxation.  Like a backpacker who picks up a candle whose smell reminds him of home, the Deputy is creating a 360 sense of self in his new surrounds.

So dear readers, though the Deputy advocated for years about the importance of being without belongings, he found that belonging sometimes is only created belongings themselves.  Hm, the word itself both exists as a noun to constitute a possession, but whose etymology aligns with the verb to be a part of something else.  Interesting, may the message spread.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Smile Goes a Long Way

The Deputy had a very spontaneous and interesting weekend.  One that became scheduled on a series of whims and turned out to be quite a fortuitous endeavor.  The Deputy specifically wants to account this one Christmas party he went to at an apartment on Saturday night.  With the smell of Swedish Christmas glögg in the air and a number of 20/30 somethings milling about, the Deputy entered as he does every party, with the intent to conquer and win over each and every person at the event.

Some people enter rooms with different agendas.  I know some that enter a room and plan on continuing the conversation with exactly whom they came to the party with.  Encircling their social prowess amongst the familiar, these people tend to either be too shy to engage or too full of themselves to share the love.  Others enter a room and experience intimidation or self-consciousness.  The Deputy enters a room with a goal and a determination as a hunter enters the forest on the first day of the season.  Gun wielded and hunting dogs in place, the hunter flanks his first kill of the season, rendering them helpless and without any hope to find another fate.  Though this analogy has gone severely off course, at the heart of the issue is the essence that the Deputy seeks to win over people, rendering them helpless but to love the Deputy in all his wonder.  This is not an ego-trip or even an ode to the Deputy from the Deputy, since this can also play to a fault.  With every hunt that does not succeed, the Deputy does not react well to it and will actually compromise some very sincere core values in order to restore order, to lure the hunt back into the thickets and start again.

Consider this a lesson.  Full-proof almost, depending on the execution.  You first have to read the crowd.  What kind of party are we at?  A bourgeois gathering of social elite, wishing to rub off culture and finesse with others like their own.  Perhaps it is an alternative array of misfits, celebrating individuality and jagged edges.  Or even a party of burn-outs, wishing to recount war stories on the mushroom battle fields or of trips traveled through acidic means of transportation.  Either way the scene is set for your arrival and one's ability to adapt and camouflage will, as any good hunter knows, mean life or death.  The scene on Saturday night was of the first category.  A bunch of higher ups, dressed to the nine's, and an agenda to see and be seen.

In these type of situations, the Deputy must first find the host.  Since he was invited through a friend, it is always best to establish personal contact with the host or owner of the house so that you are not seen as a threat, as a variable, causing a whisper inquiry of my identity or motives of attending.  Once the host is met and the compliment is paid to the abode, there must be a quick attack at the heartstrings of the host.  A personal connection that only you too share.  The host is the key to the party, they know where the alcohol is but also know the who's who of the party.  Can be beneficial for later hunts.  But the host is a clever hare, one that cannot stay put too much, so the Deputy only holds the conversation for a few minutes unless prompted to continue.  Let the host wander, the contact has been made and impressions are setting.

Do a lap.  Make one round through the party to spot the key items that will make the hunt a success.  Like a ninja knowing his surroundings before a fight, the Deputy spots the cliques and reads them to know exactly where to strategically place himself to maximize party potential.  The Deputy quickly spots an upstairs, which one friend of the guest graciously showed as part of a tour.  The Deputy sees couch and bed dwellers in an upstairs bedroom.  Spotted.  There are bottles to spare and the leisurely, supine nature of the hang shows that these people are not as stuffy as those downstairs on the main stage.  A perfect nesting ground for a visitor who is not too known by the crowd.

As the Deputy is introduced, he always smiles and shakes hands firmly.  Without a smile, the hunt is lost, the prey starts doubting the trust of the attacker and steps back and to the side until behind a large shrubbery and requiring extreme care of the hunter to bring him or her back out to the open field.  Exposed.  Smile and contact made, the Deputy enlists the help of a few talkative targets to show the room that the Deputy came to befriend and not to beguile.  The talkative ones are never the highest targets, as the Deputy knows all to well that on his home turf, he never seems overly engaging to the new kids.  Their spot must be earned.  So once the talkative ones have landed and begun a conversation show-piece, an exit strategy is immediately planned.  It buys time to look around and determine the next target.  Though this target will not be attacked directly at all, an indirect step or two places the Deputy in a chess game where he must be two steps ahead.  "Oh funny meeting you here," he sneers while pondering that the calculated coincidence has manifested.

The night ended with a pass around of a few business cards and a few friend requests on the Book.  For an hour at a very stuffy, "pinky's up" type of party, the Deputy may have locked some key social pieces for later fun.

Do not think, trusted readers, that the Deputy is using this as a mere manipulation maneuver, in fact it is quite the opposite.  The fault that runs with such social calculation is that it is motivated by the genuine desire to engage, to meet and to later conquer.  Though this hunter does not serve his hunt for dinner to a family of four waiting at a local cabin.  The hunt in this case becomes a dear companion to the Deputy.  And knowing that the Deputy provides the utmost in friendship and loyalty, the hunt becomes all too excited to oblige.  Perhaps one would say it is Stockholm Syndrome.

Until next time, or until the next hunt...

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012: The Year of the Deputy

Every year is rung in with bells and fireworks, with hollering and celebration, yet few really know what the fuss is about.  Instead of empty shouts, the Deputy attempts to bring in each new year with a newfound optimism and respect.  For life, for the future, whatever may be striking the Deputy's fancy at that time is then wished upon and thought about for the year to come.  There is a tale however, for those interested in folklore, witchcraft and wizardry that states that a poor New Years celebration brings in the best of years.  It is funny to think of this tale since usually people equate a good start with a new beginning and a good omen for what is to follow.  Set the tone as you will.  But the Deputy had to lend his faith to this tale so as to make sure that his awful start led to a most fortuitous year.

The New Years:
The Deputy's longest and dearest friend came to Sweden to visit him and the both of them embarked on a journey of exploration and adventure.  The setting was Istanbul, Turkey, where the East and West come together in a clash of culture and livelihood.  A place where one bridge shows two sides of enormous history and a bumbling culture that allows it to live on.  On the eve of the celebration, a few friends gathered together to ensure that the setting was just right in order to ring in the new year to the extent that would make others green with envy.  As the small group set themselves amongst a throng of male guests, they awaited the countdown and the future.  Minutes before, rain started to pour onto the most unprepared visitors, dampening their all to prepared New Year's outfits and desires for a fun and light-hearted evening.  The rain, though, added a sense of whimsy to the exotic destination and even increased the drama as the countdown hit 0 and the immense crowd began to circle and dance and cheer.  The Deputy and his small group of explorers joined in the frenzy.  Fast forward to an hour later. The group decides to clammer out of the crowd and down a street towards a strip of drinking establishments.  In an effort to shield the New Years garb from the downpour, the Deputy grabbed at a broken umbrella strewn on the sidewalk.  Fighting with the contraption and attempting to salvage any of the instrument's use, the umbrella writhed free of the Deputy's grip and shot to the floor.  In a flash, the umbrella managed to break free of its closed position and flap wildly and release all of its wings to unfurl ground-facing.  The impact of the release propelled the umbrella directly upward, plunging the jagged end of the broken metal handle deeply into the hand of the Deputy.  The rain continued to fall and the Deputy's tears added to the wetness.  The pain and lack of solution on how to fix the problem, caused the deputy to delve into his pockets and search for a solution.  As the Deputy made his way to his wallet to find whether there could be something to MacGuyver into a band-aid, the Deputy felt nothing.  The wallet had escaped.  The scene closes and the curtain falls with the Deputy in a foreign country, without a wallet and a hand gushing blood under the downpour of Istanbul skies.

The Year to Follow:
So as the tale suggests, the ensuing year became one of the most grand events in the Deputy's life.  He returned to Sweden with his tale between his legs.  He graced through and graduated his masters program with the accolades of a Moot Competition in which he dazzled on-lookers and judges alike.  The trips around Europe and friends to accompany him along the way was nothing short of perfection.  Then, the trip seemed grim.   The Deputy would have to return from his rise to international success to Los Angeles where he would have to prepare himself for a future.  A week after his return to Los Angeles found the Deputy answering the phone to a restricted number.  The number belonged to a Swedish woman who was a part of a law firm and called to communicate a job offer.  The job was the Deputy's dream and could not stifle his girlish excitement as he giddily accepted the position.  The following summer allowed the Deputy to spend long-needed time with family friends without the stress of having to rush back to some internship or a year at school.  The summer was ever sweetened by the Deputy having to take a bar exam in California in an effort to appease his parent's concern that the Deputy's future would not include being close to his family.  The Deputy just found out he passed!  So with titles and jobs and friends to spare, the Deputy has taken the bleeding hand and the walletlessness to its full potential and has had the year that will change all others.  The Deputy has also found love but this will be expounded on to its faithful readers in more detail.  The trial of this love is tested at the moment but the Deputy always looks to that New Years day and the tale to be followed.  That the poor conditions during an Istanbul winter cleared a path for victory and fortitude.  The Deputy leaves his readers with well wishes and thoughts as they plan their next years plans.  The path is set, but for those who see rain and blood, know that the beaches of Los Angeles may be your reward if you work hard and stay focused.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Linguistics 101 With Professor Deputy

I was sitting in a café with a Swede living in Brussels discussing the quirks and charismatic draws of Sweden when the topic of linguistic metamorphoses arose. Some background is necessary to continue. In the north of Sweden there is a dialect of Swedes that, in order to say "Yes", they simply purse their lips and briskly inhale so as to imitate a caricature of a vacuum. Whoop! Also, in order to agree with someone, a simple grunt suffices lacking any intonation whatsoever. My new acquaintance commented on the fact, keep in mind he was all to opinionated of the most mundane topics to the point of ranting for the sake of hear his Swedish accent resonate throughout the café all-to-forgiving acoustics. He aptly stated however, that the more urbanized a city becomes, the more linguistic differentiations it's population must make in order to effectively communicate.

This got the Deputy to think, which after a few Chimay beers at 9% and a Belgian hugh, did not agree kindly with the Deputy. But contemplate he did.

What an interesting assertion and one that the Deputy would love to see either confirmed or denied. Is the world we live in become so complex that a more diverse language is required to communicate in an accurate manner. Obviously some words had to be invented to keep up with the times, such as "type" and "fax", but before all of that, does the word "yes" and the different intonation we subscribe to these words come from our urbanization. If you think about a farmer on a 100 acre plot of land, his breadth of vocabulary is somewhat underutilized compared to an Ad salesman on 5th Avenue trying to pitch a new scent to Kim Kardashian. How would a farmer in the north of sweden, who lacks a word to even affirm a comment, later pitch a new fragrance to a ditsy celebrity?

"Um, it smells like my cow does after a good wash and then paraded through my wife's daisy garden" versus "the undertones of rich magnolias encapsulate the bursting hints of jasmine mixed with a flirty strawberry". It just doesn't compare. But is this extension necessary? Does fo-shizzle need to be added to the dictionary? No. But doesn't a vocabulary mirror the changing times and inventions of its creators?

Interesting to think about.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scene from a Movie

The Deputy often equates circumstances in his life to a soundtrack or vignette of a popular Blockbuster movie. Usually it turns out to be a coming of age biopic about a young boy making his mark in the world. When these moments occur, the Deputy often steps out of his first-person perspective and experiences this out-of-body sensation of an outsider looking in. It just happened yesterday.

There was a huge storm in London and I was lugging my baggage into the reception desk. After checking in, I had to drag my stuff up three flights of stairs because this place did not have an elevator. It is not the nicest place, but serves its purpose for my means and needs.

A small violin engages the rest of a string quartet...

I pictured this young, 20-something at the curb of finding his success and way in life. He is going through the paces of coming to this success and must first experience what it is like to make it. The saying "to make it" implies a certain amount of effort and due diligence, or else the saying would be "to be made for you". With that said, I pictured myself in this old, wooden London property and a kid bringing his suitcase up a couple flights of stairs getting prepared for his big interview the next day.

They are these moments of which I will remember with fondness in my Park Avenue corner office. I will look down my nose at a 20-something coming into my office, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and account my war stories of what it took to bring me to this stage in my life. For it is a moment where you get dressed in a suit in a shared bathroom with other hostel guests, that really bring to a stage of humility. No one should ever be too satisfied with their place, for stagnate waters go nowhere.

I love it though, I thrive off of this story. It is almost my version of a rags-to-riches, knowing that the story gets better but just not having flipped ahead to that chapter of the book. It is exciting because I do know that there will be an upswing, a change, an improvement. It may be misplaced hope or unfounded confidence, but it is also that hope and gleam in my eye that will catch the attention of some employer. And when the cards fall as they may, I know that I have done my darndest to make them fall in my favor.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Check it

Irving Penn and Lars Tunbjork and Alexis Rockman.

Daily Choices

Everyday I make a series of choices, ones that occur and have formed my daily routine and after pondering the intricacies of its formation, I found it mesmerizing how it detailed so much about me and therefore would like to expound on it for my faithful readers to pontificate.

I wake up with about 45 minutes to get out the door. I set my alarm for a soothing tone that ascends into some crescendo of bells, but in a melodic tone so as not to startle my REMs and gift me into everyday the easiest way possible. I snooze about 3-4 times, of which I have allotted for the night before.

I take my breakfast in the kitchen, something about breakfasting where the food is made is better for me than eating at a table. Plus, considering I shovel my food faster than a hoover on overdrive, I find it will waste time and put me in complacent mood if I choose to sit. I turn on the lights of my closet and stare at my clothes, sometimes I even take a seat. I have been doing that for years. It is something that I do, like an artist who takes a step back at a huge white canvas and allows the canvas to paint itself in some imaginary pattern so that all the artist does is paints by numbers. I don't mean to catastrophically overindulge my view of my own fashion, but the gesture derives from that medium of thought.

As I run out the door, I hit the elevator button even though my shoes are not on. I absolutely detest the morning rush out the door just to sit and wait for the slow elevator to ascend in its routine speed, as though it sensed my rush and decided to taunt my quest. I walk out the door and always wrinkle my nose and squint my eyes. I have no idea why, but it is what I feel I would do if I were an actor in a big blockbuster movie and this was the scene where the ex-football star just exited a strip club after hours of indiscretions. It presents myself as not over-eager for the day, yet with a whiff of perseverance.

I rarely play music on my commute. I find it to disconnect me from my favorite character trait, my ability to observe. If I play music, I engage and sway and even dance micro-choreography so the trained eye would know that I am rocking out some isolations, but unnoticeable to the casual street passer-by. I enter the first subway car, since I know that my final exit to the University is at the near side, so I pre-plan my exit. This is probably paying tribute to my anxiety that my mother so graciously imposed on my at a young age, where a minute late was a minute I felt to be more important than someone else. Considering my life lessons revolved around me becoming more compassionate, I really felt this one.

I switch stations at a station that has an outdoor platform, even in the dead of winter. I find the few minutes with some breaths of fresh air to be perfectly timed and always welcomed. Also, I get a great view of Stockholm at a great sunshine angle. I also take this stop because the doors open at the opposite end of the train from this stop on, so if I am the last to enter the train, I will never be disturbed by boarders and exiters until my stop.

I get off my stop and am immediately confronted by a mountain range of escalators. It is Swedish custom to stand on the right and take that 5 minute ride. But never one to shy away from a 30 second workout, I usually stomp my boots up the left hand side, become a little winded and sore and show everyone that they should have kept to their new years resolution of losing weight.

I stop off at my usual coffee spot where I am greeted everyday by Thomas. I hate when you go to a coffee shop and the person taking your order has already drank their coffee and talk to you as if you had as well. Screaming in your face with a beaming smile and disappointed that you don't engage even 50% of what they give out, these employees make me want to shove a mocha in their pie hole and ask for their order. Thomas, oddly enough, is the worst at doing that as I have ever encountered but it doesn't bug me. Probable because I get every other coffee for free and he usually throws in a banana. The Deputy found out, actually, that Thomas is so engaged for his shift that usually runs about 9 hours, that he returns home to his apartment and sits in silence and darkness for a few hours in order to regain balance in his life. Rough gig.

Our choices we make to define who we are should not stop at how we dress ourselves or what music we listen to, we should create a persona so authentic and true that each phase of your life should emulate that person you want to be. Some may criticize the Deputy and say he should relax and hold off on manipulative gestures that place his audience where he wants them, but he disagrees. For these choices are not for others, they are for yourself and every moment should be an opportunity to express yourself and make you feel the most comfortable.

See you on the outdoor platform faithful followers~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Home Is Where The Roots Are

I was on the subway on my way back from an evening soiree at a new friend's place when I was overcome by this sincere weight of displacement and frustration. It was the type of situation where a caricature representation on the silver screen would represent something of a Alice in Wonderland cut-away, with myself as a small figurine amongst flying buffalo or elephant balloons. It had this destabilizing effect where, in a moments notice, I abandoned all plans and jumped out of the next subway stop, which luckily was my own.

In a blind effort to put my finger on this sentiment, I realized this newfound emotion. I have been traveling since I was 17, living abroad, constantly traveled becoming rolling stone of the new century, a caballero andante of sorts. I have never looked back and never, ever looked down. It was my motto to expose myself to as many things as possible, from meager new foods to extravagant parades. I was functioning under some immature infatuation with the ability to recall forlorn adventures to the far east, starring absurd characters in some tangential interference with my life. But, when I return to look at a cast of characters, everyone seems to be guest starring and only I retain the headline as a starring role. So who is there to share in the box-office reviews?

But I digress. I finally find no problem with returning home and guest starring in the role of my family, in growing roots and nourishing the relationships I started with. I always find that I am comparing and contrasting to my roots, so why not just return to the roots and find out for myself.

My new year's resolution has been to become more authentic, in fact it has been for the past two years, in fact it probably has become more of a life goal. But the essence of that goal has been where I had least expected it, at home, with family and old friends. The more I stay out in different countries and meet different people, the most attractive thing about it is what makes me who I am, all things that I have learned growing up. I wore a Lakers jersey the other night to a bar and became a total hit.

It is ironic since the past few years I have tried desperately to fit in and immerse myself in a culture the was never mine, when all along the attractiveness I possessed came from red-white-and-blue self. My ex-pat friends who have lived abroad for years still feel, especially in time of need, that they are never fully embraced. That when a Christmas or New Years comes around, they are always invited under pity votes. So why do we continue to force ourselves? For the story? Who cares? My story is that I am going to have a family and group of friends with deep roots that grow to an unwavering tree.

So let's go back faithful followers, let's venture into known territory, let's stir a home-cooked meal and kick our feet up. Let's take grandma out for dinner and kick the ball around with Uncle, let's get latin on our families and local on our friends.