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The amount of time I spend behind a camera has gone down dramatically since I left college but sometimes a situation comes along where I can’t help myself.

This is my gorgeous partner Ryan, who recently came out as genderfluid. They did the drive out to DC with me and we took advantage of the bountiful light in my new apartment to do a little boudoir shoot.

Some photo opportunities you just don’t say no to.







My First Week in DC

Ok, first week and a half. First full week. First work week. Whatever.

I am now an employee of the Federal Government in the United States Digital Service, reporting up to the Executive Office of the President, detailed to the General Service Administration to work on

Coming from Google, being a Government employee is a trip, let me tell you, and I’m taking notes for a later post. Right now though, I wanna talk about the fact that I live in a city currently ruled by Republicans and I technically work for Trump.

DC is definitely an industry town, where everything revolves around the Federal Government in much the same way that Silicon Valley revolves around tech or Hollywood revolves around entertainment. That said though, the city itself is incredibly liberal – DC went 92.8% for Hillary. (in contrast, San Francisco only went 85.04%)

In most of the neighborhoods I’ve explored the trappings of progressives are all around, from ‘you are welcome here’ window signs to ‘Obama 2012’ bumper stickers and rainbow flags galore. It actually feels a lot more active/outgoing/concentrated than SF. Perhaps this city is naturally more activism-oriented, or maybe they know the message is going to be seen by people who disagree with it.

Whatever the reason, it’s pretty great:

(That last is from a truly excellent store called ‘The Outrage‘ that you should all check out next time you need something to wear to a march. Or just in general)

So the liberals here are plentiful and vocal, but we all live cheek to cheek with conservatives who, if not as plentiful, are certainly vocal. I’ve seen ‘Blue Lives Matter’ shirts on joggers, a guy skateboarding around carrying a massive Trump/Pence flag, the Republican elephant worn on every piece of attire imaginable, and MAGA hats galore on giant groups of tourists.

I grew up in the American South and I’ve lived in the Bay Area, so I’m experienced in seeing the extremes on both sides, just… not all mixed together like this. It’s weird, and it’s disconcerting, and it’s also quite refreshing. It feels honest, and real.

No hiding behind conflict avoidance, or keeping the peace, or my favorite: the Silicon Valley why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along-and-be-productive-together. The disagreement is blatant and acute and raw, but we all live mixed up as neighbors and there aren’t fights constantly breaking out on the street. I can be walking along in a ‘resist’ shirt and pass a guy in a MAGA hat and everyone survives. Ok, maybe we don’t smile at or acknowledge each other, but we’re both being open about where we stand despite the opposing view being literally in front of our faces, and I find that weirdly relieving. There’s no worrying if everyone is going to find your particular spin on politics acceptable because you already know they’re not, so you might as well just be honest about your views.

Not that there is always such a clear binary distinction, mind you. I was at the counter-protest for ‘Unite the Right 2’ this past weekend and there was a person there on our side of the fence wearing a rainbow flag cape and a ‘Trump 2020’ shirt. I talked to someone who heard someone talking to this person, and apparently they were anti-nazi, pro-queer, pro-BLM… and pro-Trump.




21 Uses for 3M Command Hooks

If you’ve been to my apartment, you may have noticed: I fucking love 3M Command products (those hooks & hangers with adhesive strips that are easy to remove without damaging the wall). They’re perfect for the renter who wants to personalize their home, particularly if you’re like me and redecorate constantly. I use them for all kinds of stuff, including a few pretty creative uses, so I’m gonna document them all here before I move out of this apartment later this month.

(no, I am not getting compensated for this post – but if 3M wants to pay me in product, I will 100% accept)




1. Under-Cabinet Lighting

A temporary solution for illuminating your kitchen workspaces when you don’t own your place but like it to be lux anyways. :)

The medium cord clips are the perfect size to hold standard rope lights in place:

I coiled the lights around under the cabinets and spliced a lamp switch in to the power cord so I wasn’t constantly plugging/unplugging things close to the sink.


2. Scrubbing Brushes

An aesthetically pleasing way to keep your scrubbing options close at hand (they also air-dry cleanly when you’re done with them!)


3. Tablet Holder

Keep your online recipes close at hand but don’t lose any counter space or risk getting splatters on your precious electronics.

No matter what size of device you want to use, it only takes 4 small wire hooks to attach it to a cupboard door.

Easily insert the tablet by sliding it up into the top hooks first then resting it down into the bottom ones. It stays stable even when you quickly open and close the cupboard.


4. Coupons

Continue to make use of that cupboard-front real estate by hanging coupons where you won’t forget them when you go to the store.

Or hang whatever else you want! I don’t judge.

The straight-vertical hook of the ‘mini hooks’ make them really stable for holding things that are slidey and you don’t want to fall off when the mounting surface moves. Throw on a binder clip and you’ve got a ready-made, easy-to-remove hanger for whatever. (I’ve also used this combo for hanging calendars that don’t have holes punched in them)


5. Measuring Spoons

I bake a lot and find it very convenient to keep all my measuring spoons close at hand.

The wire hooks on these are hinged, which is nice in many contexts but is super annoying when you’re constantly pulling small light objects on and off them, so I used a few dabs of super glue to permanently hold them down to the base.

I suppose I could have used hooks that aren’t hinged, but I like the clear+metal aesthetic, plus there aren’t that many options with hooks small enough to fit through the spoon holes.


6. Pizza Peel Rack

Pizza peels can warp if left to dry horizontally, plus they’re quite fancy looking, so why not hang them vertically on your wall?

All it takes is two standard-size hooks. I used the ‘designer’ ones because I thought the curves looked nice with the shape of my peel, but anything this size would probably be fine.


7. Apron Hook

It’s a hook to hang your apron.

What? These can’t all be super clever.


8. Oven Mitt Hook

Just as simple but way more useful, keep your oven mitts out in the open and within easy grabbing distance of your oven.


Living Room


9. String Lights

…otherwise known as ‘christmas lights’ but I like to use them all the damn time.

My place doesn’t have overhead lighting in the living room but it does have one of those outlets tied to the primary switch, so I lined the entirety of 3 walls with white string lights and use them as a very diffuse main overhead.

There are lots of different hooks that would work for this, but I prefer the outdoor light clips that are specifically designed for string lights. They’re sturdy, easy to fit multiple wires into, take up minimal space, and best of all come in a whopping 32-clip value pack.


UPDATE: 8/20/18

Uh. Maybe don’t take my advice on this one, actually. The hooks came away clean, but the lights (which had been up in my apartment for ~3 years with daily use) left this behind:


10. Art

No I don’t have art made with 3M hooks (yet…) but I do like their picture hanging strips.

They’re essentially pieces of homogenous velcro – no hooks vs loops, all the same thing, but stick two of ’em together and you’ve got a pretty good hold. Great for mounting small or light pieces.


11. Keys

It’s a key hanger. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


12. Bread Reminder

That little purple bag hanging above my keys is an omamori I use as a bread reminder. When there’s something bread-related I need to do in the morning before I leave for work (feed my starter, move something to a proofing container, etc) I hang it on the door on a mini hook so I see it before I leave and remember to do the bread thing.

I suppose I could have also used a 3M hook to hang it in it’s non-reminder place, but… I didn’t.


13. Coats, Bags, & Umbrellas

The most classic use of hooks possible. 3 high designer hooks for bags and coats, one low one with an open wire hook to fit a thick umbrella handle.


14. Cat Toy Holder

  • 1 mini hook
  • 1 small binder clip
  • 1 cardboard tube or long thin box

A slight twist on the ‘mini hook and binder clip’ trick – attach a cardboard mailing tube to the clip and you’ve got a holder for those long thin cat toys. If I leave mine lying around in places the cats can get to they get bored with it, so this keeps them accessible for me and rare/interesting to them.


15. Phone Charging Rack

Charge your phone but keep it easy to see and access any messages or music controls.

The actual phone mount is a very specific iRing hook, but I use an outdoor light clip to catch the charging cable when it’s not plugged in. The bread twistie tie adds some bulk to the charger so it doesn’t slip through.

The black triangle there is just a pad of cardboard wrapped in electrical tape which keeps the phone resting at a stable vertical angle – otherwise the bottom gets pushed back against the wall when you tap it.

Honestly I’m not thrilled with this solution. I love having my phone turn into a wall-mounted music control panel when I’m home, but getting it plugged in and hanging is kind of a fiddly process, and the twistie tie tends to get mangled and loose. (plus I just ugpraded to an iPhone X and the iRing doesn’t adhere well to the backing material) I’ll be figuring something else out at my next place.


16. TV Input Cable

For those times when all of your wireless computer->TV devices are failing you, I like to have a good ol’ VGA cable ready as backup. What I don’t like is to have unused cables lying around messily, so I loop it up and hang it hidden behind the TV itself.


17. Temperature/Humidity Monitor

My thermostat is somewhat unsophisticated, but I can’t actually replace it because of that whole “can’t afford to actually buy my own place” issue, so I supplement buy attaching a better temperature and humidity monitor on top.

Just one set of picture hanging strips is enough to hold it in place while still letting me take it down and use it in other rooms on occasion.


18. Overhead Wiring

I mentioned I’m not a fan of messy unused cables lying around – well I’m even less a fan of cables running across the floor, even if they’re taped down.

These are the ethernet cables for my media systems, held up by more of the outdoor light clips. (remember that value pack?)



I barely have any in the bathroom actually. It’s not for any functional reason, like humidity being a problem for the strips or whatever, I just… don’t have many ideas for using them here.


19. Towel

It’s a hanger for your towel. Way more convenient than the awkwardly placed rod hanger that came with the bathroom.




20. Rope Lighting

Same story as the undercabinet lighting in the kitchen, but now running underneath my ‘cat stairs’ and framing the window. Provides a nice softer eye-friendly alternative to the glaring overhead lighting that came with the place.

I always start running rope lighting from where I want the end to be. It’s usually way better to fall short on the plug-in end than the decorative end.

This runs up each cat stair then down and around the big window, ending with a switch right next to the head of the bed for easy night-time access. Each stair has at least two clips to fully secure the lights from drooping and cat pawing.


21. Robe Hanger

It’s a hanger for my robe and occasional other items. Particularly nice for 3M strips because I have it on my closet door (which is hollow) so I wouldn’t be able to screw hooks in anyway.


That’s all, folks! It’s all starting to come down now as I prepare to move to DC. I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to get crafty in a new apartment, I must say. If you have any other nifty ideas for ways to use these temporary hangers, let me know!

UPDATE: 8/20/18

Here’s every single one of the above pieces, after taking them (cleanly!) off the walls of my old apartment:

So much possibility in such a small pile of plastic.

Big Announcement Time

I’m leaving Google and moving to DC to work for the Federal Government.

I’m going to work in the United States Digital Services department, an organization that rose from the ashes of the debacle. It’s headline mission is “building a more awesome government through technology,” which – yeah, I can get behind that.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be doing for them yet but, whatever the details are, I’m going to be using my considerable talents to help make our government better. It’s no stretch to say Washington needs that, especially right now. (technically I’m not entirely sure I even have the job yet, I still need to wait and pass a drug test within 30 days of my start date, but I’ve been clean and sober for over 7 years so I’m not too worried about that) [and yes, the government already knows about my history of substance abuse. Hello there, FBI agent doing my background investigation! ::waves::]

Some of you may be asking, as so many have when I’ve told them, “why the fuck would you want to leave Google?” It’s true the perks are amazing, the pay is frankly obscene, and my job in particular has given me the chance to travel all around the world (in style). You will be unsurprised to hear that none of that is true for my government job, but even when I started at Google 4 years ago I knew I didn’t want to stay there forever. It was a chance to build my career, stash some savings, do interesting work, and have some amazing experiences, but I always felt that eventually I wanted to move on to something I, well, cared about more. Something to do good for the world, if that’s not too cliche to say these days.

Just so you know it’s not entirely altruism, I’ve also been pretty frustrated at Google lately – I feel like I’ve hit a point where I can either stay on the project I’ve been leading for two and a half years and keep working with the people I really like, or I can get paid what I deserve and get the title I want, but for political/bureaucracy reasons I can’t do both. (yes, I am fully aware of the irony of complaining about company politics when I’m leaving to work in the government)

Next Friday is my last day at Google. I’ll be around the Bay Area until the end of July-ish, so hmu if you wanna connect before then. I’ll be unemployed, which I imagine will be dreadfully exciting for a few days and then I’ll just be annoyingly bored and tired of packing.

I also intend to start blogging more (a low bar, since my previous post was about 2 years ago) so watch this space to follow my adventures.

Birthday Forearm Porn

What do you get the person that has everything? Customized porn of their partner, obviously! Actually, It’s a pretty good gift for other people too. ;)

A good friend of mine is really into forearms (it’s a thing) and one of her partners is a weight lifter. For my friend’s birthday we collaborated and made a photo triptych of her partner rolling up the sleeves of a dress shirt.

I’m super happy with the result. (She seemed pretty happy with it too)






The Greater of Two Fears

I’m afraid a lot. I spend a lot of my time battling one kind of anxiety or another – I’ve written about it a little bit here. I’m afraid of saying something ‘wrong’ and having people not like me. I’m afraid of speaking up and ‘causing a scene.’ I’m afraid of starting an argument I’m not eloquent enough to win. Most of it boils down to ‘I can’t do anything to upset anyone or I’m a failure as a human and no one will ever love me.’

Irrational? Yes. Deeply ingrained and difficult to root out? Also yes.

This fear prevents me from doing a lot – from posting online to talking to strangers to sometimes just going outside. I’ve been getting better at working through it for the small stuff, but it still feels overwhelmingly stifling.

On Tuesday, something changed.

I had just returned from a week in Berlin, where I spent some time at the WWII memorials. There’s one in particular that’s basically dedicated to remembering every terrible thing the Nazis ever did, and the thing that struck me over and over (other than the terrifying similarity to conservative rhetoric I’ve heard recently) was the thought that these people were so fucking confident in their bigotry that they committed mass murder, while I’m going around drowning in anxiety worrying what strangers think of me as I walk down the street.

Their victims did nothing but exist and the nazis stripped their freedoms, their dignity, and then their lives, and I’m fucking scared to snap at a guy who’s ogling me on a nude beach.

It put some things in perspective, is what I’m saying.

Then I get home and the election happens.

Trump spouts this vile racist rhetoric all over the place and gets elected to the highest office in our government, while I’m afraid to get political on social media in case I accidentally say something “wrong.”

Trump is caught joking about sexually assaulting someone and his supporters brush it off, while I’m afraid of standing up to sexist behavior.

Trump claims he’s going to undo decades of environmental and peace-keeping politics, and I’m afraid to join in protests.

Well, I’m not ok with that anymore. I’m terrified of what is going to happen in this country in the coming year – even aside from what will happen in Washington, every single racist, sexist, or anti-science asshole in the country just got a huge flashing message that what they’re doing is ok. I can’t let that go, I can’t stomach staying silent, I can’t sit idly by, paralyzed by anxiety.

My fear of doing nothing has overcome my fear of doing something.

I don’t know what this means yet. I don’t know if it will last beyond this first raw emotional surge. I just know that I’m scared and angry and have more power and money and privilege than most people in this country, and god damnit I need to do something with that.

I’m not expecting this will be easy. But as Hillary said in her concession speech: “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

Game of Fauns: Photo Shoot

This is the 2nd half of a recent fun shoot with some friends. It’s a bit different than the first part. ;)


Faun party!!! :D

This one looks like an American Apparel ad:


This one looks like a video game poster:


…actually most of them look like video game posters. :)










“Winter is coming.”

Big thanks to my fabulous models for joining me in ridiculousness!




Photos of a Circus Artist

The first half of photos from a shoot I did with a friend who does circus art, including aerials and body contortion. The pictures already had a surreal quality from the poses and skeleton bodysuit so I amped it up with heavy split toning.








Costume change!


This one makes me think of an Evanescence Album Cover.






Here’s a sneak peek of the next set of photos from this shoot. ;)


My First Magazine Cover!

I am super proud to say that a photo I took was printed on the cover of an actual physical magazine!

A free gay porn advertising magazine, but still!

The April 2014 issue of ‘Cybersocket’ features the gorgeous Connor Maguire shot by yours truly for (yes this is actually old news, I just never got around to posting it)


The scan of the cover itself is hidden behind my NSFW filter because it has racy language in a large font.


They also used one of the less imposing pictures from the shoot for the inside feature:


How to Install the Emerald Solutions OEM-Integrated Camaro Backup Camera

This is a step-by-step guide to install the OEM-Integrated Backup Camera for the Chevrolet Camaro from Emerald Mobile Integrations. My installation was on a 2014 1LT automatic, but it should work for any 5th gen Camaro with a factory MyLink unit. No dealer re-programming is required, and now that I’ve figured everything out for you, it’s not that hard to DIY. ;)

UPDATE 8/8/17: A commenter informed me that the kit has changed quite a bit since I made this walk-through. More details here.

If you’re confused at any point, I recommend searching YouTube or the very helpful forums for whatever you’re stuck on.

I am not a professional, and take no responsibility if you fuck up your car or hurt yourself by following these instructions.


What You’ll Need:

  • The kit itself (duh)
  • Trim Tools or other pry tool
  • Socket set
  • Drill
  • Zipties
  • Soldering equipment


What’s in the box?


You’ll notice there’s actually two power harnesses included. They have different connectors, and the one that comes bundled with the other harnesses is the one you’d use for a Chevy Cruze/Equinox/Volt. Set that cable aside, you won’t be using it.

It also includes two large zip ties and some incredibly brief instructions. You can set those aside too, the following instructions are going to be anything but brief.


1. Solder the camera power connections

Everything’s plug and play except for the power connection between the camera harness and the camera power split cable, which needs to be soldered.

Solder the red to red and the black to red/black stripe, then wrap the connections in electrical tape.



Before you start routing any cables, hook everything up and make sure it all works. You need to access the MyLink hookups, which means popping out the head unit first.


2. Remove shifter trim

If you want to see this in action, check out this YouTube video, that’s how I learned. In case that link ever breaks, here’s the steps:

Pop up the trim on the bottom edge with a pry tool.

Then grab it and pull the whole piece out and slightly up. (If you just pull directly up you’ll crack the trim)


Gently pull it out and unplug the cable on the back. You’ll need to put the car in Drive/Manual to get it over the shifter, which at least on my automatic meant temporarily putting the car in Accessory Mode.



3. Remove head unit

Again, I learned from a YouTube video, but here’s the general steps.

Remove the two screws at the bottom of the unit.


Pull up and out from under the climate controls until the whole thing pops loose.


Pop the bottom edge out of the retaining bracket (where the screws were) by pushing up on the sides and wiggling it. Fair warning: this is a huge pain and will probably take a while. It was the second most annoying part of this whole process – the most annoying part was getting it back in. :\

Once you get it out of the bracket, you’ll need to put the shifter in Manual again to maneuver the whole unit out.


Unplug the two cables in the back, then you can pull it away completely.



4. Plug everything in to test

There’s a lot of cables involved, so I made this wiring diagram:


The Rosen Box will have 3 things plugged into it: the power harness that also goes from the head unit plug to the mylink screen, the display cable coming from the head unit, and the camera harness. The display cable that’s already attached to the box goes into the mylink screen.



Then there’s this little OBD ii extension cable. This plugs into the OBD ii port just under the dash where the driver’s left knee is, and the little blue wire from it connects to the long blue wire coming out of the power harness.



Start the car and put it in reverse – you should see the camera feed on the MyLink screen.


Awwwww yisssssssssss. :D


5. Pull the trim off your wiring path

It’s time to lay down the wires, which means first pulling apart the car so you can route it properly. Since I knew I had to route a wire to the OBD ii port, I decided to go along the driver’s side.

Pull up the trim along the bottom of the door, then remove the bit along the inside where your left foot sits. I removed the fuse cover in this picture as well, though that turned out not to be necessary. These are all pretty easy pieces to remove, just get a hand under the back edge and pull.



Now the real fun begins – to get the backseat side trim off you have to remove the bottom of the seat. There’s two main clips on the front edge in the middle of both ‘seat’ areas. Just pull up on the front of the cushion to disengage them, pull the entire cushion up towards the back of the seat, wiggle the seat-belt buckles through the holes, then lift it out.


Now you can take off the big side trim piece. Start at the bottom front corner and work your way up and back. You’ll need to do some fiddling with the seatbelt and back of the seat to maneuver it off and out.



Removing this piece reveals the hole into the trunk which a bunch of cables are already going through.


Now the trunk! Pull out the bottom liner, then take off the big plastic guard right on the inside lip. This bit’s easy, there’s three big plastic bolts on each side you just unscrew by hand.



Remove the side liner by detaching 3 connectors. One screw-post on the bottom you can unscrew with your fingers, and two ridged plugs on the top of the inside trunk and curled into the seat opening that you have to pry out.




Last piece! The tail light cover is held on by three of these funky dual-level plugs. Pry up the center piece before prying up the outer bit to remove the whole thing.



With that off, the path is clear and you’re ready to install the camera.

I was piling all of this on top of my car as I went along, which got me some very confused looks from my neighbors:



6. Install the camera & route the wire

My car already had a hole in the right place with a sheet of plastic plugging it up. If yours doesn’t have that you’ll have to drill a hole directly in the metal.


Pop that piece of plastic out and drill a hole for the camera using the hole saw that came in the camera kit. I don’t have any kind of workshop setup, so getting this thing clamped was problematic. My hole came out a little off center but by that point I gave 0 fucks.


Pull the camera wiring through and push the camera in place. To make this easier, the wire actually comes apart at that thicker black section resting just under the camera in this picture. (of course, I didn’t realize that until after I’d pulled all 20 feet of cable through)



Pop out the driver’s side license plate light to get access, and put the camera in.


If you look into the hole from the plate late you can see a bit of daylight where the cavity opens into the tail light area. Draw the wire up through there with something long, thin, and rigid – I used the handle of a cat toy, because I’m cool like that.


Zip tie it to some of the existing cables in this area, then route it into the trunk by poking a hole in the plastic cover thing the existing cables go through. Note that this does break a weather-proof seal, but you can restore it with some hot glue if you decide you care about that.


Now just follow the route of the existing wiring through the trunk, zip-tieing as you go.


As you can see, this is when I ran out of the shortened camera wire and re-attached the super-long extension.

Keep going along the back seat.


Once you get down to the door trim there’s nifty little raceways, so pop those open and just lay the cable inside those.


Leave the rest of that cable in the driver’s footwell for now.


7. Place the Rosen Box & route cables to it

Time to choose where this box is going to live – it’s not OEM so there isn’t a designated spot for it in the vehicle. After some extensive poking around I decided to put mine inside the dash between the head unit and the glovebox. There’s a convenient little niche there that keeps it hidden and tucked away from any moving parts.

To get there, first you need to pull out the glovebox, which is pretty simple. Disconnect the stretchy cord on the right side, push in on the side walls of the glovebox until they clear the tracks and it swings further down, then wiggle it towards you until it comes out of the latches at the back.

The niche I’m talking about is on the upper left side of the glovebox.


Here’s what you’ll see if you look in there:


And here it is with the box set in place:


Now you need to get all the cords traveling in the right direction. Start with the easy ones, the two that are coming out around the head unit.

The display cable is easy, you can just reach through from the glovebox hole and grab it.


Next the harness on the bottom. This is a little trickier, but there’s a hole behind the console side trim you can snag it from. Add the power harness, pull the Rosen Box connector up through the glove box, and push the new MyLink connector back to the original position.



Now for the OBD II extension. The existing port fits in with a a little snap, but the new one, despite having this fancy connector-looking end, doesn’t. (maybe it fits the Cruze/Equinox/Volt) I solved this problem with zip ties – we’ll see what the dealer says next time it goes in for maintenance…


The blue wire from the power harness needs to go over to the driver’s side, and the end of the camera cable needs to go over to the passenger’s side. Route them both behind the console side trim and through the gap under the head unit.



Everything’s in the right place, connect it all and zip tie it away. You’ll have a ton of extra camera cable, it can be stuffed in that gap under the head unit. Be sure to secure the cables under the driver’s side dash well away from any of the moving parts.

Start ‘er up and admire the view from behind. If you don’t see the video feed, go back to the wiring diagram and make sure everything’s connected right.


If it all works, tuck the Rosen Box in place with all the cables along the front so it’s flush against the piece of frame and use the large zip ties from the kit to attach it. Use some smaller zip ties to secure the cables so they don’t hit the glovebox when it’s in place.



8. Celebrate!

You’re done!…. except now you have to put your car back together.