"Who made that song? Kill him."

I just remembered a time on my mission when one of the other missionaries in my zone (we were in El Tigre at the time) gave a lesson on how music can make us feel and affect how people feel “the spirit.” He played "Donkey Rhubarb" by Aphex Twin which I had on a tape. This one guy flipped out – not seriously, he was joking, but clearly half joking. He said “Who made that song?? Kill him. He should be killed.”

I suppose it turned out to be a great lesson in how music can make you feel. I still think it’s a great song.

“I decided to become an adult.”

I was wondering today, as I started my walk into work, if a way to think of adulthood is simply as the assumption of a lot of responsibility, and if adolescence is a sort of trial period of taking responsibility, and, then, if there’s an historical trend toward prolonging adolescence, or maybe minimizing adulthood. Of course, I don’t know what “a lot” of responsibility is. Maybe it’s when you have other humans depending on you, whether they’re your family or employees or clients or…I don’t know.

I was feeling old. And I was thinking about this line in a Joakim song called “This Is My Life” where he says “I decided to become an adult.”

I have a vague memory of when I decided to become more of an adult. It was about eight years ago, when I decided to spend more money than I had on a really nice desk made by my friend Jared. I wanted a big heavy piece of furniture to tie me down and to show people (girls) that I was a serious person. It’s really funny to think about it now. 

But I do think becoming an adult a decision you have to make, and I wonder if it always has been. Part of me thinks that human development (e.g. cheaper access to food, education, health care, etc) could make becoming an adult easier to avoid, but another part of me thinks that it’s always been something people could avoid. 

I have a lot of responsibilities. They consume me, but I like them. I like pushing my rock up my hill. 


Anatomy of a Murder (1959)



I made an iPhone wallpaper for you.


"I’m writing a play about the nature of truth, and how difficult it is to convey the truth when everybody is speaking a different language. For example, the word ‘terrorist’ and the word ‘freedom fighter’ are used to refer to the exact same people at the exact same time. With everyone speaking differently, truth is almost impossible to agree upon. Yet believing in the existence of truth is the only thing that keeps us from devolving into tribal warfare. Because without the existence of truth, the person who is most powerful becomes the person who is right."

I’d never thought of the value of truth like this.


A few years ago, when the media was reporting about “the endangered state of California,” we screen-printed some shirts with the bear from the flag of the state of California on them. The shirts were gray and the ink we used matched the color of the shirts making the bears intentionally difficult to see. We followed the shirts with a reproduction of the Bear Flag using a gray-blue fabric for each component and allowing the edges of each component to fray. It was a reminder that our state is always a blank slate and that as citizens we have a choice in what our state is and what it can and will be.

That flag led to a series of flags that do some or all of the following, but are still recognizable as the California flag:

  • rearrange or reposition the components (star, bear, ground, stripe)
  • recolor or retexture (through fabric choices) the components
  • resize or re-proportion the components overall or in relation to each other
  • removal of components
  • use anagrams of CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC
  • reproduce another historic California flag

When we travel and when people visit us in our home, the flags are often shared and a conversation ensues about the diverse past, present, and imagined futures of our state. People play with the components of the flag and we inevitably create new flags as a result of their ideas. We call this project Californias, a conversation about our collective hopes and dreams for the place that we have called home for over twenty-two years. These are parallel Californias, Parallelifornias that coexist in time and space. They are not a call for splitting the state that we love for all its contrasts, its imperfections, and its beauty. It’s exactly the opposite, an appreciation for our California, simultaneously one and infinite.

We have several more flags in the works and we’re always on the lookout for ideas. If you would like to be part of this conversation, please contact us with your thoughts. Last year, Sophia and Enzo made a Scratch project that allows you to move around the components of the flag. It’s not the same as sketching or playing with fabrics, but if you make something you like with it, please take a screenshot and share it with us.


I swam two days in a row. I don’t know if I ever did that when I lived here. Today was prettier than yesterday, more sun and more fishies in the water. It’s nice to know the cove will probably always be there for me when I can visit.

In San Diego for business, so got up super early for a swim. Got in at about 6:30am. Swam half a mile in flat, very mild water. Supergloom in the sky and in the sea. Got to stop at Bird Rock Roasters on the way back to the hotel. Still my happy place.

Lucille forever.

(via flux-rad)

I'm Jed Sundwall. This is my blog, which you can follow on Tumblr or via RSS. You can talk to me on Twitter.