“I don’t collect things; I accumulate them”: a 47-year-old artist and DJ’s life on an unpredictable income
Who: Ulysses Castellanos, 47
What he does: A multi-disciplinary artist who also works as a DJ and an actor.
What he makes: Last year he made $45,000. His income fluctuates, though, and sometimes dips as low as $15,000.
Some of how he spends it: His share of rent on apartment in Little Italy, where he lives with two housemates: $600. Cellphone: $50. Internet: $60. Drugs: $400 monthly. (“The thing about pot is that it puts a membrane between you and reality. That’s what I love about it.”) Alcohol: $150 monthly. Subscription to Modern Painters magazine: $114.95 annually. Transportation costs: $0. (“I hate public transit and bikes, and I hate traveling for no reason, so I never go anywhere unless somebody paid for me to be there.”) Books and records: $100 monthly. (“I’m a degenerate. I don’t collect things; I accumulate them.”) Art supplies: $50-$200 monthly. (“My work is made from a mixture of really expensive supplies and stuff I find in the garbage.”)
What he bought in one week: Weed on Sunday: $20. (“I’m not good with weights and measures, but I imagine it’s a gram?”) Weed on Tuesday: $20. Weed on Thursday: $40. (“I’m cutting back on it.”) Weed on Friday: $20. Bag of day-olds and a coffee from Nova Era, every day for six days: $29. (“That’s what I eat every day at 5 a.m. It’s pretty much my meal for the day. My stomach is tiny.”) Big Mac meal and 10 Chicken McNuggets, on two different days: $28. Jerk chicken meal from Jerk King: $11. Two bottles of wine and a micky of Grant’s: $38. Breakfast combo number five from Tim Hortons: $5.50. (“It’s a BLT bagel. It’s so delicious.”) Archaeology books from Sellers and Newel: $50. (“I turn them into art. A lot of my work is based on books.”)
12 thoughts on ““I don’t collect things; I accumulate them”: a 47-year-old artist and DJ’s life on an unpredictable income”
This dude has a life that confounds me, as a “responsible” middle class professional with a corporate job. Beyond the mild disorientation I feel and the existential questions raised by this profile (like, would I be allowed to live like this? What makes me think I am not “allowed” to do what I want? What does it mean to be a grown up?), I feel like this guy is good people. Also, I hate bikes and travelling, too!
Whoa, where to start…..
To each their own though. As long as he’s happy and not harming anyone who gives a sht.
Can’t wait for all of the TL indignation. The obnoxious mortgage guy will go on about how he shouldn’t be renting while a number of others will sneer at his life decisions because he doesn’t work a shitty $50k/year mindless job and bang out a couple of kids while living in a $350k semi-detached in Oshawa.
Guy spends $50 less a month on Pot and Alcohol then he does on Rent. What a scoop!
I say to each their own. His lifestyle seems to work for him, he’s not hurting anyone else (no dependents apparently), so good for him for living as he chooses.
His biggest expense is rent, after that its drugs. No matter how I spin that, it just makes me shake my head. It also makes me wonder what will happen when he’s an old man. Although with all that pot in his system and what he eats, he probably won’t make it. Either way, good luck to him, he seems content so its nice to see someone who has achieved that.
$40 on weed, but he’s “cutting back”…so very next day he buys more.
Day old bread and a coffee, or McD’s junk food as a diet…supplmented by copious amounts of alcohol.
And taxpayers will be on the hook for his heart disease and/or liver disease and/or 100 other health problems soon.
“I don’t collect things; I accumulate them.”
But he doesn’t gather them. Nor compile them. And by any means, he doesn’t stockpile them!
Oh dear. Almost 50 and all the life-skills of a 17 yr-old. Reality is free, mate. Take a bite.
“I hate public transit and bikes, and I hate traveling for no reason, so
I never go anywhere unless somebody paid for me to be there.” – Boss. Keep on doing you man!
He’d save a significant amount of money per month and likely get more pot if he bought a 1/4 once per week instead of all those tiny purchases.
It’s guys like Ulysses that make me proud to live in Toronto. That he can make a somewhat decent income and have such an eclectic lifestyle is a testament to the depth of this city. And his chump purchases of pot are a backhand indication he is not supplementing his income selling.
It’s people like Ulysses who make Toronto a less boring and conservative city than it actually is. He’s probably had more interesting days than some corporate/ad executive type sitting in their office and running back home to their $1.5 million home in trinity bellwoods.
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