Mar 8, 2023 – Greg
I’m mostly just excited to use my (currently empty, besides a useless CV) “website” as a platform to elevate you, your work, your practice. It would be so much easier if I could just walk into your studio, pick something up off the floor that I thought was brilliant, go off about it, then have you tell me why it was a throw-away. The detritus of your practice at the university sometimes felt so much richer than what I was seeing most others put up on their walls – not to deliberately be such a bastard to anyone else who was there – but your space lacked pretension, and it became an absolute harbor for me. You weren’t just blowing smoke.
Over in my wing of the campus there was a sense of “display” that could have been real, but might also have been really inauthentic… renting out particular books from the library and setting them out in a way to suggest they were ever read, or referenced, or somehow actually descendent from it all. Everything was clean-cut, nothing furious about it, no ugly, no mess, no risk. I wanted sincerity.
I have to laugh though; artiface. Over my shoulder as I write this, I have a shelf that is pretty much the “two truths and a lie” game. Three books sit on top of each other - “Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre” by Walter Kaufmann, Marshall McLuhan’s “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”, and “Experiments in Visual Perception” edited by M. D. Vernon – next to these books are some VHS tapes; one being the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and the other being a home made box set of The Three Stooges my uncle had given me when I was six. We both know which ones held my attention longer and left a more worthwhile impression.
All this to say, I’m dying to open a channel between our two attic studios. I have no idea what format will be best for this, and we might just go back to sending each other Tik-Toks of insidious pranks and extreme sports accidents. I’m hoping this might open space for making public the “idea” conversations, rants, and other important nonsense.
What’s on your floor? What’s spinning on the record player? What do you not want to talk about?
G: I think I wrote the start of this as if I'm interviewing Tony Hawk for The Skateboard Mag. It's a strange tone.
M: It works.
G: It feels a little faux to facilitate a back and forth different from our normal back and forth, especially with the intention of its consumption. It's kinda messed up.
M: Meh, this back and forth can be about art. I feel like when we talk about art, it's a bit less "Look at this fuckhead do this thing." It can evolve too. I think starting something to see where it goes (especially if the effort to output ratio isn't life draining) is a good thing. I've added some pictures to the document.
G: I'll check when I get home. I think I need this as an outlet for loose cannon sorta commentary and criticism. The dialog internalized and continued into my work day at the warehouse as "conversation with the fake Matthew Apol living in my head."
M: I think that's an excellent intro to the project.
Mar 8, 2023 – Matt
You’re such a gifted writer dude. I really want to see an image of your “Two Truths and a Lie” accompanied by that paragraph you wrote. I wish that there was a better social platform from to share images + writing. I feel like IG is too commodity static saturated and focused on viewer scrolling than on disseminating / thinking about image.
(I’m at work right now so this might be a little jumbled.)
I’ll shoot a couple of images on my break to show you what's on the floor. Lots of detritus, it won’t disappoint. I’m excited about my practice right now. Some of the things that I was developing in Cuse that I kind of stopped because I was discouraged to continue, well some of that is back and it's better than before.
I think a big thing is that I decided that it was okay that I wanted to be curious about painting again.
I'm not sure if theres anything I don't want to talk about? Maybe ex’s? Like not just partners but the relationship ex’s, the folks that were pretending when I was hoping for the truth.
THIEF - Fade
NO PRESSURE - No Pressure
HOME FRONT - Game of Power
What’s on repeat in the car disk player? Been to any good shows in the last couple of months? I’m going to Baltimore for GORILLA BISCUITS and BE WELL in a few weeks. I do two shows a year, that will be one of them for 2023.
M: Maybe over time we will collect more people working in the attic.
G: I like that. Mine is going to be more about music since I'm not really working with photographs or the visual arts right now.
M: I think that's great. Maybe you can upload sound clips as you start to record. I have a friend in Jersey that just sends me rough mixes of his music before he releases anything. I don't know if it's for a cold read or what, but I like it.
G: That's doable. I could set up some video cameras too. All the audio gear is in place for the most part. I think seeing music happen helps it in a way. It's going to be an adjustment anyways, not just me hitting the guitar in the attic by myself. I've been using my phone to record myself playing anyways, just in case I stumble upon something worth repeating. I think the trap is in becoming another social media guitar player, another Instagram artist. The rules for that are, "It better sound good for the first two seconds while on mute, or else nobody's going to listen." And you better be hot.
Mar 9, 2023 – Greg
I just got back from the ice arena, been breaking my skates in, playing hockey on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a few old retired guys. We have about forty pucks, a net, and take up one half of the rink. Two figure skaters do their thing on the other. There’s something really refreshing about an old snot-sleeved baggy Volcom hoodie getting put to good use and the sound of skates on the ice, pucks flying into the board. It doesn’t even matter that anyone missed the shot. Everything goes away when you’re out there. Rubber floor all the way to the toilet, so you can shit with your skates on if you really want to, talk about a studio!
Until the end of this winter, I hadn’t played hockey in ten years maybe, and it was on in-line blades at the roller rink down the road from my house in the town I grew up in, in Pennsylvania. I would go there with the track team after invitationals – carpeted walls and rubber floors meant a lot of brushburned bloody arms and shoulders, and the smell of burnt skin peeling off our kneecaps.
The second season of Shoresy is coming out soon, and I know you’re really jazzed about it, having gone through the first season five times now. You hit the nail on the head, pulling your quote from an old convo;
“The baseline is, ‘Fuck you, hell yeah, shit yeah!’ No one is offended, because the bar is so low. The humor is so North. I love how when someone over-reaches, the response is ‘calm down’...”
One of my best friend’s best friends grew up in rural Ontario, and I got to spend some time with him in his lakeside cottage north of Ottawa – culturally, it was pretty adjacent to the region Jared Keeso was from, so when Shoresy and Letterkenny came out I couldn’t stop thinking of Jean-Guy (‘jhawn ghee’) Vaillancourt (what a perfect name for the most quintessential Canadian I know) and these super romanticized winters in the mid-2010’s. I actually made a ton of work from our encounters, I just haven’t been able to package it up in a way I’m happy with yet.
Jean-Guy is a very Kerouacian, mythic figure for me, a “Neal Cassady” born out of the actual Dean Moriarty kinda situation. He’s a lover of fun, playful in nature, and there’s a juvenile lightness to the work I made around him – one of the photographs is at first glance, this beautiful black and white image of a snow-covered Lac Bitobi at golden hour, a lone figure punctuating the negative space mysteriously, then you notice he’s in the middle of trudging out the outline of a dick the size of a football field. Depending on who you are, you either take the next moment to scoff at the boyishness of it all, or you chuckle to yourself because it’s just a funny picture I tried putting in my thesis show.
I only write all of this to make a segway. I don’t think the academic art world is too interested in supporting people who got kicked out of the rec league locker room for slamming the door too hard when they lost. It’s just a hunch.
The most immediately relatable segment of my graduate education was a five minute segment at the beginning of a first year course “APH 561 - Contemporary Art & Photography” – a few critically made appropriations of work under an externally labeled guise of “bro-art” that would have had me laughed out the door if I admitted that I felt warmth from it all.
I learned pretty quickly that I probably wasn’t going to receive the support I was loaning a hundred thousand dollars for, and that that kind of a cohort was coming from a background of completely different experiences and perspectives than I was. Which is a great advancement for the institution of art and the history of representation, but I could have used a disclaimer before I became a paying customer for an investment that was intended to be career advancing, and holy shit, maybe a forewarning that my mental health would dramatically decline.
I have a master's degree and I'm doing emergency snow removal to make rent.
I don't think it's best practice to demand more sensitivity or transparency from a type of person, then snuff out their perspective and illegitimate their experience as soon as they open up about it. Social challenge is, of course, a great space to learn from, but you can only do so much when the work you do to understand others isn’t reciprocated.
To your point, some of the things I was developing at Syracuse just had to stop, because I wasn’t encouraged to continue. My priority was to fit in with and support that community of people, so I had to change some things – that meant growth, that meant camouflage, and some of that meant not staying true to myself, which is a nasty way to survive.
In similar ways to you, the big thing right now, a few years after the fact, is deciding that it’s okay to be who you are and to like what you like – and to be curious about "making", to take joy where you can find it, any chance you get.
G: Post is up, and of course, it's one of the more pensive photos of Jean-Guy from that series, not the snow-art I took the time to describe. I'll get back to you on the music, this took an unexpected amount out of me to write. I want you to expand on BE WELL though, it's been a few months since we talked about their most recent records and Hudson is a little older now, which I think plays a big part in the story that's told through it.
Mar 10, 2023 – Matt
Look at all those shoes with Jean-Guy... I live in such a moderate climate, I often forget that boots are a thing.
Timing is everything isn’t it? I hate it.
I think our misstep was in what we thought the door “in” was. It looks like you figured it out earlier than I did. I spent my entire pre grad school life hiding my sensitivity. I thought for sure that the people in my cohort and in my faculty (who were also supposed to be sensitive?) wouldn’t hold it against me or try to find ways to take advantage of me while I tried to learn. I naively clung to the hope for 2.5 of the 3 years we spent in Syracuse. Who knows, maybe my physical shell was just too white, too male, or too dyslexic for them to penetrate.
I recently had a talk with a friend (let’s call them "Doc”) that really believes in me but also really believes that I put to much faith in community and social engagemnt. Doc and I were speaking about the scene in At Eternity’s Gate where Van Gogh is in conversation with a priest. Doc said to me;
Note the line in the scene, "maybe I paint for people who aren’t yet born", (which of course was true, but then this is a movie with 20/20 hindsight). Still, because his art was for those not yet alive how could he get any “advice” from artists currently alive? Answer: he couldn’t. And while I don’t know “the art world”, I do know artistry— the act of creation. Other people's “perspectives” molest it, water it down, make it less yours. That is my point. We talk ourselves into thinking it’s better because we got the opinions of other people in the field. I think it universally makes it worse. More familiar perhaps… but overall worse, in the cosmic sense. TLDR: less talk, more art”.
I don't think I will ever be able to be so lonely as to seek my art how Vincent did. I love people too much. I want to feel what community feels like. I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had taken the money I spent on grad school and just painted for three years straight...
I love how you feel hockey more than you play it. It seems like you feel life more than you live it. I think that’s a gift. I think you are one of the few. And yes, I am very excited for Shoresy II.
About BE WELL. So, this band is special to me and a lot of other people for a lot of reasons. I’ll try and elaborate on mine with out punk nerding too much. The members are comprised of musicians from a ton of other killer bands. I'm usually not a fan of supergroups because if feels that they rarely deliver anything even remotely close to how big the hype always seems to be. They're different.
Quick history that I think will be relevant to you and our conversations...
Brian McTernan sings but he's also an incredibly iconic music producer and engineer in the punk/hardcore scene. The list of how many seminal albums this guy has made the sound for is pretty endless. The most important (for me) would be Give Blood by BANE and Change is a Sound by STRIKE ANYWHERE. I think you should have a look at the list, I bet he's been on at least a dozen records you dig.
Aaron Dalbec plays guitar. He's also a long standing member of BANE, and if that wasnt enough, he was a member of CONVERGE when they wrote and released Jane Doe. So, he just wins. Shane Johnson was the drummer in FAIRWEATHER. I feel like you would know that band? Peter Tsouras played with them also. Mike Schleibaum plays guitar in DARKEST HOUR – I'm not the fan... but I love when really talented metal dudes drop into hardcore punk because they (usually) absolutely shred. Dude is a maniac on stage.
I obviously think the sound is amazing, they made something new. There might be hints and pepperings of other aesthetics, but it doesn't sound like anything else, well not to me anyway.
Way beyond that, it gives me permission to have feelings, like, all of them. It makes me feel less alone as I grow old and still feel insecure as a human. It makes me feel like I am still allowed to occupy space in places most regularly filled by people half my age. It makes me feel like I still have the opportunity to recover from the mistakes I have made, that I still have time to do something good before I die. It gives me someone to grieve with when I don’t feel that others understand what I’m mourning. I guess, at the age of 40, it gives me a place to turn when I am upset, just like I did when I was in my twenties. Other music doesn't do that. Other music might be nostalgic, but it doesn't meet me where I am right now.
BE WELL does.
It makes me feel like I could be a good dad.
G: I think I can finally commit to the all-caps band name format, which honestly makes sense for us. In regards to dyslexia, it oddly feels very special to me to re-switch the letters when I copy the doc into the site. Let me know if you don't want me to.
M: I don't mind you proof reading. I'm never going to be able to catch what you're catching, my head just doesn't recognize it.
G: If we lived together, it'd be like me asking you to shave the back of my neck. I don't invite just anyone to do that.
Mar 13, 2023 – Greg
You took the bait. I just wanted to see you write that. I feel like you are a great dad.
There are a few very important people in my life who right now happen to be in different stages of fatherhood, and so it's something that's been on my mind. The two more memorable albums of the last few years were written by people who had kids during the pandemic. So many of the songs are simultaneously contending with the standard mental health issues of being a living-breathing human, and the pressures of being a parent. We're entering a societal era of self-aware adults, and so the messages produced by all walks of talent, I feel, is generally more meaningful, or actually relevant. There's less fear to embrace topics that the generation who raised us still so often avoid. We're not afraid to admit that everything's fucked up and we don't know what we're doing.
There's a fear in bringing someone into a world we feel like we cant fix, while we're still all so broken ourselves, a huge part of the BE WELL repertoire, handled aggressively, with intense immediacy, and earnestness. I'm late to the pop punk party – all my friends in undergrad listened to THE WONDER YEARS (by the way, based in Lansdale, PA) and after hearing their most recent record The Hum Goes On Forever, I really regretted not being a part of it all the while. It's a different camp than what's going on in Baltimore hardcore, but it still feels right. We don't want to mess up, we don't want the people we love to end up like the worst parts of who we are.
My daydreams of being a parent are polluted by the anxiety of own my internal world – some days, I don't even know what version of me that I'm going to have to deal with and figure out how to support, let alone lead or teach with. To struggle together, I suppose, might be the most transparent and honest way to grow a person.
Right now, I don't necessarily tie that life path to being the physical outcome of a successful romance, and I think that trajectory has been the inherited, pre-programmed route that so many people have taken throughout human history. It's made some good ones, and it's made some nasty ones. It's the most important job in the world and it's a lot to imagine something so big teetering on the accumulation of something as fragile as good sex and lasting chemistry. Some things have got to transcend that.
I'm nearing that age, and there are very few people I would make that commitment to, maybe only one; the commitment to live for someone more than just myself, to live less selfishly. I would have to be all-in, and while I'm not there just yet, I someday will be, and that's exciting.
I’m losing my shit over here and ended up calling my brother, but it turns out he already knew the McTernan connection to bands I’ve been geeking out over lately. I made him listen to BE WELL on our holiday drive back home.
We shared a bedroom growing up and every time we're back, we always dig through our old stuff. We found some CD's he had either burned for himself, or to introduce to me, being six years younger and still in elementary school at the time. There’s some naturally occurring “sound pixelation” with these little artifacts that I’m really into – they’re at least two decades old, scratched to hell, sharpied-on titles faded to near legibility...
If there’s anything spinning in the car instead of my Spotify, it’s these beautiful, crude, decaying copies of;
AUDIOSLAVE (speaking of supergroups, representing some of the choice alternative-metal palette), Golden State from BUSH (post-grunge sort of gasoline richness, who was highly influential for the early work of a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania based BREAKING BENJAMIN – there’s a mix of them in there too, combining some of songs from their ‘02 / ‘04 records We Are Not Alone and Saturate, that I played to death growing up... they get laughed at now as a nu-metal or djent outfit), a really rattly copy that likes to skip track four a lot of The Penelope EP by SHABUTIE, (the same lineup of original COHEED AND CAMBRIA before renaming themselves when they released The Second Stage Turbine Blade and dedicated themselves to being a sci-fi based concept-band), and last but not least, The Illusion of Safety by THRICE – a full circle back to McTernan.
In retrospect it all connects. When I was digging into THRICE this winter, I found out they had played a ton of shows with THURSDAY, who I had started listening to only months beforehand (independently from my brother) while trying to catch up on all the monumental emo records from groups like MINERAL and PENFOLD. As it turned out, THURSDAY also played with COHEED, who also played with THRICE. I’m sure the connections run way deeper than that.
What astonished me the most, was that I had no idea until today that McTernan had produced work for CIRCA SURVIVE, who’s been my number one band since this last summer. Their 2007 record On Letting Go has meant so much to me since then. The actual music of it is gold, and the lyrical ambiguity is really inviting to just populate the songs with our own worlds. There is just so much substance and quality emitting from these records.
I’m not sure why, but growing up, my brother and I seemed to accidentally stay away from punk and hardcore. So much of that rich history just didn’t exist to me – but I was also thinking about "bands" as these really isolated occurrences, not active contributors to a community of musicians. Becoming more involved with what’s happening in the local scenes helped me start to get a stronger grasp on the anthropological flow of it all, across time, the world. I romanticize it all as this vast, interconnected moss-like forest floor. Roots are everywhere, and always.
When I finished school and moved to the midwest, I really wanted to find my way back into that sort of community again. At some point I would love to be able to expand on the Edinboro basement scene and my pals MALLORY RUN because it really set a standard for what I expected out of DIY. But anyways, there was a three year hiatus that really hollowed me out. I didn't know what I had until I was missing it.
When I got it back, the big personal shift for me was in deciding that it was time to put the camera down and give more energy directly to the people in the room. What a studio. I made it a goal to absolutely exhaust myself at every show in service of the groups that were playing and the folks that were populating the locale.
It's easy to stand in the corner or against the wall (which is important for the safety of the rough-housers) but I had spent too much time looking at the painting you had given me, feeling like I needed to embody some of the spirit of the stories, emulate what was known. There are traditions to be continued. At a local midwest emo show, I found myself administrating the rules of engagement for a safe mosh, then threw a kid up in the air for his first time. I hope he remembers that forever.
People want to feel like they're a part of something, and sometimes that something isn't there yet. Someone has to start it or it doesn't happen. If it's not you, then who? If not now, when? Plus, it's all really good karma.
Madison is pretty granola by nature, but there are some great moments where everyone shows their teeth.
Mar 20, 2023 – Matthew
You make it sound romantic indeed. Some of those bands you mentioned, I ended up seeing kind of by accident. My buddy and I went to the House of Blues to see CONVERGE and THURSDAY was opening for them. They put on a good show for sure. I’ve only seen THRICE once during the first Illusion of Safety tour. We actually did go to the show to see them. Dude is so good with a guitar.
It’s interesting that you mentioned putting the camera down to invest more T and E into your music community. I am at the opposite side of that spectrum. Once Hudson was in the picture, I kind of realized that if I organized my time right, I could have time for my family and one more big thing. I’m convinced that I am here to make art, so art is that other big thing. Yeah, I’ll go to a show once in a while, but it’s for a break, I have no commitment to that space anymore.
I hope you don’t put down the camera too long. I had conversations with folks at school about how charged and incredibly composed your pictures were. I believe you are as gifted a photographer as you are a writer. I look back through your Instagram almost every time you post something I recall from school. I get lost in the Mizak rabbit hole.
“People want to feel like they're a part of something, and sometimes that something isn't there yet.”
I think this is likely the most important part of the human experience, even if its not what everyone wants. Community can be as dangerous as it is wholesome, and as dark as it is enlightening. People need to feel that they belong and if they are not accepted where they hope to be accepted, they go rogue, they look elsewhere. The more someone is rejected, they more they will look to the outliers for acceptance . . . hmmm . . . this is escalating quickly, it’s only Monday. Lemme back peddle a little.
There is obviously extreme value to in the basement scene(s) you’re in. I hope those places are inclusive enough to keep you (and others) in the mix long enough to reimagine the traditions you spoke of.
I love this picture of you.
Mar 23 – Greg
Tuesday / Thursday mornings at the McFarland Community Ice Arena - only one week left of this, then it’ll start up again in October – I have something to look forward to now! No more car crash summers…
My life catapults between intense seasons of togetherness and just utter loneliness. It’s always so jolting. But I don’t take it for granted when it’s there right in front of me. And it’s so obvious, it’s right there in the name – “community ice arena” – I melt into it, any sensation of belonging. I would bend over backwards to maintain it, to keep myself there, to hold on to the feeling that I somehow contribute something to their lives just by being there. It’s enough just to show up.
(It’s funny, that was my first rule of photographing groups, and the Edinboro softball team specifically; demonstrate that you have more worth than just being another guy behind the glass telescope – “show up”, like actually be on time, be early, be the first person they see – “be there”, be present, be aware, be there for them – see them, know them, see into them, show them themselves, be their mirror. But also; fetch foul balls, carry gear back to the shed, help load the bus, and just care a whole lot. That’s how you start to make okay photographs…)
Some of the older fellas have pulled out since the weather’s changed, but it’s been more active on the rink than before. Bob brought two of his granddaughters and grandson this week. The oldest has been skating since she was three or so, and she’s put eight years on the ice already. The other two have played a little less, as they’re younger than her. They kick ass, get completely geared up, pony tails and pads, and I hope they play for the Badgers someday, or for the US. The young boy is a little more shy, but we have our simple rituals – we can expect a puck to pass back and forth between us, in the off-moments. I always hoot and pound my stick when he puts one in the net.
Up-time and down-time; so much culture comes from the “down-time” interactions, puts all the “up-time” in context.
The older guys are like adopted uncles to me, a casual familial relationship I wish that I still had. I daydream of Christmas morning pond hockey in another life. Bob’s grandkids feel like little cousins – being on the younger side of my family, it’s a peer relationship I never really got to experience. It’s an important one.
Two summers ago, Nathaniel got married – his little cousin Dale was at the wedding, (my photograph of him is the print that was put in the group show at Governor’s Island by the way). We were all swimming in the ocean, the waves were getting pretty big, and he was tired. I carried him around the water on my shoulders because he couldn’t fight through the current on his own. “I’m being strong for you,” like a little taste of parenthood. It meant so much to be able to provide him a tangible form of protection, to be trusted, to be able to keep him safe.
I watched Interstellar last night, and “fatherhood” is just tearing me up lately. It’s a powerful film about love between him and his daughter, across impossibility, distance, and time. It hurts.
The shows I’ve been to this month have shifted from the basement at The Rigby to an “actual” concert venue… It’s the funny thing about what happens when your favorite DIY bands get a record deal. THUMBS UP RECORDS is hosting a “festival” of sorts on Saturday featuring the local basement stars. The lineup is AMERICAN BEAUTY, BEN QUAD, BICYCLE INN, ARLEN GUN CLUB, I HATE IT TOO, HONEY CREEK, TINY VOICES, EXCUSE ME WHO ARE YOU, AND NOSEBLEEDS. I’ve got a lot of friends that will be there and I’m acquainted with quite a few of the people that will be playing. So I’m gonna give them my all, and skip the KNUCKLE PUCK and REAL FRIENDS show I accidentally double-booked my evening for.
The other week I saw FREE THROW, CAN’T SWIM, and EARLY HUMANS at the same venue, which really shook. Come to think of it, I’m going there tonight too, for ENDSWELL, a local supergroup composed of members from some of the aforementioned bands. It’s a little more on the post-hardcore emo side than the metal groups going on after them.
Support, support, support!
Yes, the photographs… always composed, rarely staged. “Go over there, into the light. Don’t move, look at me. Breathe in, close your eyes. Breathe out. Okay, open.”
Mar 27 – Matthew
I have moments like that with Hudson. Moments where I’m just happy he’s clinging to me. I never wanted to be a dad, but it gets better all the time. I don't think I could go back to not being a dad. I guess it's good that those moments are available outside of traditional parenthood. I don't know the last time I was close enough to feel that connection outside of my immediate family.
The way you write about it makes me think about Fight Club. As if there are precious moments that the world tells us will be in abundance. Later, you realize that those moments are super scarce and you were stupid to take them for granted. Maybe I'm just old.
(I gotta find a new word for interesting) Until then, I find it interesting how opposite our positions in relation to people and community are. I have very little extended community, but am with my own little community (my family) almost all time. My daily routines have more to do with their needs and schedules than my own. I still talk to people about music, but the time that was spent in basements and venues is now spent in my attic. I do prefer it this way.
That said, it sounds like you’re on a ride, and I would never dissuade you or encourage you to get off. The summer of '02 I followed Warped Tour around the midwest. Sometimes I knew folks in whatever city I was in and would hang/crash, but on most of the dates, I would just watch the bands, mosh, find a body of water to jump in, and sleep in my Champaign '95 Ford Taurus. Pittsburgh, Dayton, Cleveland, Detroit, and Randles Island. I had to find everything with a map.
I used to watch my (other) friend Greg play rec hockey when we were in college.
Other than that, Shorsey is really my only experience with the sport. It does seem like midwest religion. I remember watching that Pixar film . . . I think it was called Emotions. The little girl moves from Minn to San Fran and has a hard time adjusting, she was a hockey player. It made me miss New Jersey. You can miss the place you came from even if it is somewhere you never wanted to be.
I think I paint my friends because I'm scared to lose the connection. Like, if I have a painting, I'll remember how I feel/felt about them . . .