Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rescuing Marcus Claudius

I first became alarmed at the welfare of the inhabitants in the encampments adjacent to the Green Tree Mobile Home Estates at around 7 in the morning of December 15, 2008.

According to various weather sources, there was a substantial winter storm wreaking havoc throughout San Diego County with record low temperatures and considerable precipitation events during the day. By 9:30 a.m., they were forced to evacuate through a makeshift bridge they had fashioned from a felled tree... all except for one, a 49 year old transient named Marcus Claudius.

The water was rising fast and I knew the terrain around his area in the encampment was basically being surrounded by a swift moving, cold, dank wall of muddy water. What use to be a trail leading up to his lonely island is under at least 10 feet of water and a few trees nearby would possibly be strong enough to cling to.

I can pick up his voice in the howling wind. He sounds exhausted, possibly intoxicated, a slight quiver I can barely detect in his pronunciations tells me he might be suffering from being exposed to such conditions. He tells me to leave him be that he is fine but I can't leave that sort of assessment to someone inebriated and incapable to a dangerous degree of processing his current situation.

I called a Escondido Community Officer and requested someone to respond to the scene. After some quick evaluations of the challenges at hand, it was determined that a variety of assets needed to be involved in what would eventually turn out to be swift river rescue.

Ironically, although it is one of the city's most prominent and least endearing features, we have not seemingly considered having this type of training facility in an area along the flood control channel.

Nevertheless, Escondido Fire, Elfin Forest, Encinitas, San Diego, Carlsbad, Del Mar with some of these agencies contributing both fire and lifeguard personnel coordinated at times from the air from an asset provided by San Diego Fire rescued the man in about 4 hours.

Led from his last vestige of dignity and personal space, having clutched desperately to the root(s) within the soil now mounds awash and shifting below and around him. The small encirclement of young trees slightly on higher ground a residence once gathered together from a tent, some tarp and a collection of scavenged items to somehow patch the quilt work of final desperation and surrender to alcoholism together. It seemed that great Claudius was willing to succumb to his life's sufferings here amongst the cold wet wrath, lonely, dirty, drunk, shivering and starving. physically. psychologically. financially. emotionally. Exhausted in so many ways...

It is the King's horses and men in the guise of firemen and lifeguards who lead him to his carriage... a raft accompanied by an entourage set forth to pluck him from his desolations. He is draped in his finery, a sleeping bag set carefully and gingerly upon his shoulders. He chews his gum casually as if to ward off his close encounter with death with a breath of his freshened and recently rescued air.

We could have spent the money exhausted in the rescue on other projects such as a vigorous policing through ordinance improvements of current laws related to vagrancy, loitering, public intoxication, vandalism to say the least.

We may have, in the interest of social concerns and how to adequately address the concerns of grown ups who somehow have lost their ability to function, spent some of the money on facilitating a ranch/ farm diversion program that houses recovering alcoholics. Their manpower can be utilized to help care for injured animals, to farm the land in producing vegetables, food staples and other acquired processes that can render the establishment self sufficient.

Just one idea amongst a host that I have an interest in putting forth and discussing the feasibility thereof. I hope I am joined by many more in the time to come who also share my interest in re-establishing a sense of pioneerism in seeking to promote solutions that are more oriented in practicality as opposed to politics.

We can little and ill afford to continue along a same track that allowed for the rescue to be necessary in the first place and so before we tackle what seems to be the bigger problems, maybe we would be best served in simply mending the hole in a fence that has done little in keeping trouble out. I suppose we can begin with that...

video

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Sprinter to Ruby's



Another added benefit of having the bike path maintained, improved and set as a central theme to this city's revitalization is the efficient, relative ease and environmentally friendly mode of transportation one can employ in reaching destinations such as Ruby's at the tip of Oceanside Pier.

Now we didn't film actually eating there, not this time anyways... the day was so gorgeous and practically in mid-November that I turned the recorder off and ate my burger and onion rings washed down refreshingly with a cold dose of ice tea minus the lemon thank you...

The ride on the Sprinter isn't uncomfortable. I noticed around the campus areas where High Schools and Colleges were in proximity that students are a good portion of the segments in the community utilizing this type of transportation. Coupled with the use of bikes and or scooters, it is a reliable, inexpensive, and practical method of getting to the beaches this summer... to say the least:)

The voice in the video besides me is "D"... he was having fun since he has been a big fan of trains forever. He took most of the footages too with me just doing the editing.

There were a lot of good surfing going on and hopefully this summer since I have acquired POV , I hope to film some pretty good sequences some maybe in the ocean.

Also there is a (request for a) proposal in the works to re-vitalize the Oceanside Amphitheatre in the hopes that it can be developed as a legitimate venue for musical performances. If you ask Lenny Williams, I would say that he would venture to opine that in it's current state, it was a beautiful place to perform as he did so at the Father's Day Concert last summer.



Could you imagine a North County Battle of the Bands with several local cities such as Escondido, Vista, San Marcos and Oceanside involved with it all culminating at the Amphitheatre and everyone would be able to attend the events by using the Sprinter? And yeah the music in the video is Donald Fagan's " New Frontier"... hope he doesn't mind... I just thought it seemed appropriate to the ideas we are embarking on in getting the North County some positive exposure and it sounded good with "D's" narration.

video

So I look forward to, along with all my friends, in getting to the beach to film some surfing this summer via the Sprinter. Oh and for sure we will re-visit Ruby's and definitely give you a close up view of how to take down one of their outstanding burgers...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Sack Full of Balls...

Escondido Public Works has expressed an interest in responding to the concerns. I can not yet give the name of the specific person since I have not spoken to anyone in that department besides over the phone yet it seems promising. They have been very thankful in the involvement and concerns we have presented and although this does tend to be a long term project given all the dynamics, what matters the most is that the trash that has been gathered and bagged will hopefully be picked by the end of the week.

Kudos then to everyone... the transients who want to do their part in dispelling the notion that they are the primary reason for the pollution, the community who monitors the progress of this project and the city departments who want to work together in resolving this problem.

I know there will continue to be differences in how to best approach the many facets related to the issues yet I remain confident that the new year will bring a refreshing and re-invigorated attitude to the ongoing problems Escondido faces. I hope that in such a spirit, we can somehow become a model city in addressing such issues as the environment, the homeless, the gangs and the drugs and all possibly because of the emphasis we all bring in rejuvenating the creek that runs through all of our very lives.

In the accompanying video below, it is an update then from the footages taken during Thanksgiving weekend. I am glad that it is possible I would not have to follow through on my intent to haul the trash up to the maintenance road although Island Suns will most definitely attempt to be there when it is collected to assist and to document that work that we as a community can achieve TOGETHER.

We started off at about 11 in the morning, checked on the status of the debris in the creek/ flood control channel, grabbed a few shakes (and a shot of wheatgrass... yuuuckk! although healthy), topped it off with a nice work-out at 24 Hour Fitness and getting back by 3.

video

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend



To say the least, yes, I am so disappointed. There is a huge pile of trash just 50 yards from the maintenance road that has been there since last week. It is at least 100 bags of trash each weighing at a about 25 pounds each. The day before Thanksgiving, it is still there and some have been swept back into the creek because of the rain. On Thanksgiving Day, I go down at around 7:30 in the morning to video document the water flow and the camp is surrounded by water and inaccessible. Here is the video.
video

As for the run-off from the city from this recent rain, it is abundantly clear that the catchment system employed is ineffective simply since it never seems to get cleared out.



The smaller objects make it through and the transients collected a bucketful of balls to prove the point.



The larger objects for a large part is trapped by the screen yet heavier water flows just results in those items eventually cresting over the catchment to eventually end up downstream. I wonder what Harmony Grove, San Elijo Hills and those communities where some of this trash can eventually end up would think of all this.





But yes, instead of having turkey, I felt like one. It is such an uphill battle and maybe I expect too much but wouldn't it be ironic how in trying to not spend the appropriate resources in cleaning up this mess, Escondido somehow ends up being fined and having to spend that in addition as well. Just the usual bureaucratic shell game and there is so much that can be done creatively to help solve this problem. I am planning on moving the trash up to the road myself though sometime this week. "D" will document it all and although it is going to be some work, I will approach it with an upbeat attitude.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Proposition of H8



I wonder where I would be if my father had been gay unwilling, some societies may say, to have a child, and am instead borne unto a poor and impoverished family, a 4th child, undernourished at birth, bullied as a child, undereducated and underachieving as a youth to eventually become counter-productive as an adult.

A scenario of a life lumped into a recognizable and tangible generalization. Yet isn't that contrary to our fundamental belief in the concept of what, as individuals, makes us unique? Isn't that the very divine nature of our congress? A constitution that in it's imperfections, we as the direct beneficiaries, hold fast to such a bold and true undertaking? To sustain, nurture and evolve the principles of equality so that we can someday honestly epitomize the intentions as stated in the Preamble of the Constitution.

Please read the Preamble...

Are gays not providing for the common defence?

Promoting for the general welfare as well as ensuring domestic tranquility?

How then shall We appropriately establish the justice of their, in some eyes, imperfect union?

I can recall when Prince Charles and Princess Diane were wed in front of what must have been the entire world. How picturesque and oh so perfect did their union seem. How disappointing it must have been to some, including myself, the portrayal of what seemingly was the perfect storybook fairytale marriage, undignified in it's collapse. Another victim of what ails even the commonest of marriages... INFIDELITY...

In some countries such as Malta and Philippines, divorce is not even permitted so high in regard is the oath that is given considered. And please, what is the argument related to the contention that the basis of marriage is that of propagation?

I would be very interested indeed in knowing about the number of men and women that in some ways could not have children and yet were allowed to marry.

Those with erectile dysfunctions, intrauterine malfunctions, or just plain too old to even have children, why even death row inmates such the infamous Richard Ramirez, the night stalker are permitted to marry and to do so without consummation.

But what really saddens me beyond belief though and yes from both sides of the argument is the amount of money spent on this venture. The many millions and also hours, seemingly wasted resources that could have fed a child or helped provide in the mentoring and or adopting of one, paid for a teacher's salary, helped struggling families and all to just instead re-establish what seems to be a deeper divide.

Doesn't it remind you of Proposition 187? How we choose to spend the time and money litigating something as basic as human kindness and dignity. We could have better spent that time and money reaching out to one another, uplifting through seeking common ground and insisting on social accountability that is represented, maintained, and reinforced by the members of the human community.

To do so in the neutrality of our truest and most sincerest of intentions; educating our children, fostering growth and unity, humbly overcoming the daily struggles and dignified in our successes. Should I believe other civilizations of the human society do not hold onto those basic notions as well?

We all they do, in just another language. I would hope in this day and age where there is so much to achieve, bridges to build and or to mend within the nationale and global communities, let's create more sister cities, beautify a creek, help to care for those with special needs like my lovely and happily married cousin Mimi does. I hardly get a chance to talk to her she gets so busy running the daily operations of 2 households serving people who have special needs. She is at least a decade younger than me and I am so proud of her.

Other than that, if we insist, we will be marching against each other for many years to come. Pointed and unrelentless in eXpousing generalizations only to achieve a greater divide. I for one will be forced then to move for and support a Constitutional Clause that adds one more word to the Preamble where it then reads:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of LOVE and Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Regardless of having been popularly believed by some band of mystical all knowing jurists that the introductory statement has no judicial value, I hope there will be a growing number of people that begin to seriously consider otherwise.

Those who believe that the Constitution is a living document. One that evolves and yet sustains the very basic nature of it's existence where freedom and equality is defended as an individuals' inherent right.

People who are knowledgeable and patriotic enough to exert the necessary passions in defending such a fundamental right for those they love and hold dear.

For how can one appreciate Liberty if there is a lack in the understanding of the very concept of having Love for it? Consequently then, why should a small supposed educated minority define what is and is not of great import in taking into consideration the elements within a document specifically designed to defend the Common People?

A Preamble is a statement of intent and in this case, one considered Great indeed. An introductory statement of the fundamental purposes and guiding principles which the Constitution is meant to serve.

What greater statement of intent is there then that of LOVE?



Is Love not an inherent right?



Love of Country and Community as expressed by Jennifer Shumaker of walkfortogetherness.



A staunch advocate of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in America, she gathered a march seeking public awareness in the movement to repeal Proposition H8. A march of 400 people over 2.4 miles starting and ending at Grape Day Park.

A march where, for the most part, participants were greeted positively and as a resident of Escondido, I can be proud of that.

For how can one seriously hope to hold onto the severest distinctions in considering what is Love for Family?

A Family who loves and supports dearly two human beings and just as importantly, Uncles who are Gay?



What better notion and or noble a lesson is there then? To hold above all else the simplest of decrees. Love, Compassion, and Equality.

Please join the human family on November 22nd for a "Candlelight March for Equality" in Oceanside. You can find all the particular information at http://northcountylgbtcoalitionforce.org/.

Thank you...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Buck a Bag...

Saturday, November 15, 2008... half a mile west of Harmony Grove Road. The Homeless Encampment and I was directed to this area out of a growing concern from the residents about the dangers of the fires that were being lit by the homeless especially during red flag warning days. This would make it the 3rd major incursion into their world and as much as I suspected the potential concerns, I couldn't be so rude as to turn down breakfast. There was a lot of work to do. Especially hauling out the trash.



Some people mistakenly believe that the homeless are responsible for the blight. In some cases this is true but there are many contributing factors along the aquaduct. Soccer balls, plastic and all forms of Styrofoams is in abundance, run-off from the various neighborhoods and industrial areas in Escondido and it all makes it's way down underneath the Harmony Grove Road overpass where it becomes a natural creek bed again.









From what I have witnessed, these catchments that are employed in order to screen some of this debris, the idea is good but the execution of it seems poor. They are not routinely cleaned and if they are, routinely may mean every 6 months from what I have seen and all that happens in this case is that when there is heavy rain, the trash and debris will just overtop the catchment and end up in the natural creek bed. There then is evidenced the sad and slow demise of this natural and beautiful resource.





As one can see there is practically a whole patch of land littered with prescription drug medicine bottles and capsules. I can not yet with certainty say that these washed down the flood control channel as well. It seems to be just another one of those issues that needs to be addressed in order to determine the contributing factors to this problem and how we can eventually come to resolve them.



Doug, one of the residents of the encampment assures us that no one from the camp hauled it down there since at first I really got some pretty creepy feelings thinking I ran into one of those back in the country meth labs you hear about in those documentaries... the plaque associated to that drug and how people insist on being obstinate in it's manufacture. I am sure that will be something Island Suns will delve into in the future especially when we get to the areas up and around East Valley Parkway.

Back to Doug and to my surprise, he wades into the creek just to show where it seems as if piles upon piles of nails had settled themselves into the creek bed.







I just can't even begin to think along with all the other materials stewing in this creek what health concerns affects the homeless, the wildlife and some of the kids that come down to fish and who as you can see handle them on quite a regular basis.



Thankfully no one has admitted to actually cooking and eating some of these up... yuck... can't even imagine though and on runs like these where it is necessary for me to take photos and document these events, I, on my return, do feel a strong need to employ a form of decontamination where I basically wipe and wash down my shoes, gloves and other equipment including my bike with a mixture of ammonia and hot water.



So if you are not angry yet well you should be. Even in not being a resident of Escondido, who knows what types of neglect and disdain for the environment is going on in your area. This has nothing to do with sitting in trees or flushing the water in your toilet only when the efficient amount of urine is achieved.

This is basic and for those that live in Escondido, it is in our backyards practically. It is in the aquaduct and it eventually is emptied back into the natural creek bed and is not only polluting but basically killing the environment we all live in. We can share and enjoy this environment as should be the case.

With all the bail out-s going on in a seemingly endless flurry around us, who is going to bail out our most precious resource... our environment? Our we going to wait until some famous politician in Washington makes his way to our neck of the woods to finally do something or are we just going to brush aside, out of sight out of mind.

I could go to the Wild Animal Park for some peeks at wildlife no?, but later on in the story as this one evolves, one will surprised to learn all the wildlife that we have here and that is being treated in such a manner. I also look forward to the day maybe in a year or 2 or 3 yet hopefully sooner, I can take my photos in what should otherwise be a beautiful and natural setting without having to worry about stumbling upon some rusting bicycles and or tentatively accepting a meal prepared in a possibly not so sterile manner by those that have found in it a refuge. It was extended to me though in the humblest of graces so I just couldn't outright refuse and I would hope that as this project progresses, we learn to extend to our environment, the concerns and proper respect it is so rightfully due.

Below is a short film of the initial stage of Operation Buck-A-Bag. Please visit also the the Escondido City website and continue to voice your concerns.

video

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So then it begins...


because the Aquaduct is alive. From it's primeval beginnings as it churned out gorges and made possible fertile valleys, majestic groves of trees and all the lives in between, it runs down the city as if an artery, a life blood that in it's beauty can re-vitalize and heal a somewhat divided community.

It won't be easy. There are wounds to mend, some superficial, others deep, ill conceived, partisan, festering even when we sleep. We need a common bond, a central theme, a fundamental leg to stand on. We need leaders from the various neighborhoods and enclaves within Escondido to come together, to have a meaningful dialogue and to come to an agreeable compromise with reasonable considerations. We need the business sector both large and small to be creative in defining their role and to re-invest their efforts and attention to this specific community.



We need a comprehensive approach, one that can only be achieved if instead upon our differences, we focus on and are gracious with our commonalities in order to slowly work at bridging the gaps.



This will take time. It is all that people sometimes have and yet it has always been generally believed the value is in how one spends it. The wide variety of issues is daunting. How to treat in a dignified manner, the economically disparaged and psychologically displaced people whose only intent is to try and meek out an existence away from eyes that look so disdainfully as well as times suspiciously down upon them.



How to incorporate all the diverse cultures that exist along the Aquaduct where in a community rejuvenation project, all has a voice in the direction of their artistic and functional expressions. How can we convince the California Center for the Arts and other organizations in Escondido to at least begin to look at the feasibility of taking on such a task.



Where we then have groups that pull together to make possible again a boxing gym within an expanded community center that serves also the youth in the hopes of establishing well grounded principles of discipline in exercising an accepted form of competitive development. Where we have sponsors who help make grants possible and awarded to winners of mural competitions, fun runs, bike-a-thons, and semi-pro marathons along the Trail, as well as periodical achievement awards for deserving neighborhoods to nurture, foster and maintain once again the concept of true unity.

Unity whereas a garden of ideas and approaches can make possible something such as a band competition, open to everyone, at Grape Day Park with some proceeds dedicated to the Aquaduct Trail Revival Project to consequently benefit the City herself.



We can come together. We can start now.Let's start from scratch, community zero so we can be proud of being Escondido again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Operation Comm Zero ( Community Zero)...


Community Zero, The Aquaduct Project, I am sure once everyone gets on board realizing how potentially "cool" of an endeavor this is oh so going to turn out to be, they will come up with their own names and deservedly so. To me, on a personal level... it is known also as Operation Thin Line and I am glad to be a part of this adventure.

Others may call it ambitious, misguided, self-interested, whatever coinage such people phrase to maybe excuse themselves from having come up with the idea themselves and giving up on it realizing how difficult such social revival and reinvigoration projects can be.

Hey well, please don't blame me... I just wanted something to do besides the usual over-indulgent behaviour we all tend to get ourselves into but please, I have a funny shamanistic feeling there will be plenty of time for that sorry err I mean particularly sensitive and rather personal story line.

Back to the concept of a thin line and when exactly is it crossed, is it also as convenient a detraction from the real issues as when one uses the expression "people in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones"? Could that have somehow evolved over time to be as sophisticated as the saying "no static at all"? or when John McCain so aptly advised the audience not to give in to the "static"?

What is "static" in the metaphoric sense of the word? Is it when concepts of justice are somewhat perverted out of convenience? Is it the usual business of treating with favour those we on a deep and maybe subconscious defer to as having the most in common with? What fine and or thin lines therefore separate statical and non statical considerations? A cubicle? A certain bloodline, a set of railroad tracks or something as intangible as the amount of a paycheck?

Are those that throw stones in glass houses ones that own a glass house or two for show? Is there a sense of static in the notion of who exactly would throw a stone in a glass house anyways? Wouldn't one disturb the righteous maturation of a benevolent and soon to be delicious foundation to a grateful soul's spaghetti sauce? Or maybe that creation (tomato for those that didn't get it) just isn't as susceptible to the propagandist messages coming from that mysterious frequency some guy named Kenneth seems to know about.

Fact is, static is everywhere, just permeates our very fiber and the only hope I can think of in dispelling it as much as I could from my life was to try and express the love I have for film and photography.

My glass house I suppose one can say then because of urban shots that were necessitated by my first project... to initially put together a video documentary on a group of people called the Beautifiers... my glass house materialized into this monstrosity running through the city of Escondido known as The Aquaduct. Most refer to it as a flood control channel and rightfully so but we will get more into that.

I have a sometimes irritating knack of telling segmental stories, I start at the middle double back and then maybe branch off into a somewhat vaguely related track... it is that HUGE of a GLASS HOUSE for me... the issues are so wide and varied and I am but as of yet one element in this endeavor.

One aspect that seems to be getting resolved though is the litter and the danger posed under the 15 freeway overpass.

On my way back from the 3rd day of preliminary scouting where I finally made it to Foxley in assessing the beginning to the concreting of the creek, I happened onto this scene.







Finally! and a bicycle police officer at that. As far as the pile of refuse along the side of the trail, he had to basically put some gloves on and toss it from the embankment itself since Public Works wouldn't remove it due to the issue of it being Cal Trans problem. We will speak about that more later.

Wow though the anger I must have felt when our officers are regulated to trash duty simply because of the lack of cooperation between 2 agencies, Public Works and Caltrans to work together in resolving the issues.

How much more difficult will this project be in accomplishing then especially considering the very wide variety of static and stones that surely will be cast and thrown about?

Remains to be seen and this article will be updated daily so please stay tuned.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Don't just sit there...


What a comfy little existence most of us Americans live in where we can at a whim, pop something in the microwave whenever we have the urge to eat or spend all day in front of the television mindlessly taking in the many various interpretations of the current events, yet what matters the most in my opinion is the simple act of actually doing something about the many ills that plaque this World.

Just last evening, my buddy brought over some food from Taco Bell and there are 2 tacos left that will not be eaten. The shells are now soggy and besides, I already had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and I got to thinking about the children starving in my native country of the Philippines that struggle daily to even eat a bowl of rice for the day. I suppose I felt ashamed and so decided to write about it and also research the organizations that I can trust in giving donations to so I can do my small part in helping.

Here is one of the links one can go to if one feels inclined to assist in whatever way possible whether it be a small donation or in passing around the information to those that can.

http://helpkalibo.com/2008/07/02/helpless-starving-and-dying-filipinos-in-kalibo/.html

Also during this Thanksgiving, one might consider volunteering at a homeless shelter for women and children. I personally have always felt inclined to visit an orphanage in Mexico during the holidays and hope that a good number of my friends will join me in that endeavor this year.

In addition, besides donating money and or time by visiting, one can also help mentor and or tutor disadvantaged children in their community. The link below is an example of such a program in the Los Angeles area.

http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp220898.jsp

Yet there are many resources out there in determining how one can help those that are in need. I know I know, there continues to be that sentiment that some of these people put themselves in this situation by the decisions they made in life and at one point in time, I suppose I even felt cynical in the concept of helping those that in my opinion created the very predicament that they are in and if they were foolish enough to have children, they are not mine so why should I care.

The simple answer is that as disappointed I am at times in the shallowness and materialism exhibited by the American culture, I can not forget the opportunities and education this country has afforded me and so I feel obliged to help not only those that are suffering here but to those in need in my native land as well.

See the link below for a list of homeless shelters in your area and see what part you can play in assisting in some small way.

http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/shelters.html

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The CaliOptix Project


This summer, among the other various projects I was pretty overwhelmed with, I tired to incorporate all the needs of a few people that needed my help. One of the folks who worked with me at another job had gotten fired and so since one of my friends Donna who owned a eyewear boutique in San Marcos needed some added exposure, we embarked on a project to see if we could do just that.

The name of the shop is CaliOptix and the place offered very reasonable prices on high end sunglasses/ eyewear as well as various services that others did not. Donna had been in this line of work for quite sometime and so decided to open a shop of her own. I asked my friend Nikki along with J. Treez to model some of the eyewear and the many ideas we had for the photos as an inside the store slideshow to show off the various brand names and styles was a good start. In addition, these photos would be posted on the website and it would have eventually expanded to include a few other models with scenes at the Oceanside Pier and CSUSM.

Here are some photos from inside the boutique and many people seemed to really like the way they came out...













Unfortunately, there were many more issues at her shop than what I came to expect and or fully understand. Donna ended up selling the place after only having been open for 11 months and I just happened upon the situation towards the end of that period. Wish I could have came upon the scene a little earlier since I believe there were plenty of potential and opportunities yet I do thank her for the opportunity to gain some invaluable experience in putting a photoshoot together especially from a marketing perspective.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Extreme Autofest and Imagine Media


What a good time I have been having assisting in taking video footages and photos for various groups in substantiating my photojournalistic endeavors. I know I still have so much to learn yet being in this type of environment is very exciting especially when you get to meet a few celebrities here and there.

In covering the Extreme Autofest Events, just to see the enthusiasm alone in those who put so much time, effort, and investment in their automobiles as well as the folks that come to appreciate all that work can be pretty infectious. Most of these cars although differing in style are just absolutely gorgeous.

























At the Autofest in Anaheim on August 10th that I had the privilege to cover, along with again experiencing the excitement that crowd brought with them and seeing the beautiful works of art in the automobiles present...











I got to meet and be on stage with the Game and LL Cool J. That was a really big "WOW" for me although I acted pretty down to Earth and nonchalant about the whole deal. One just has so much adrenaline going through the veins that it all just becomes part of the whole scene as if I had always belonged in this type of environment.





Which maybe I do, hehehe, but I got to send a shout to Emil and Ed of Imagine Media for just letting me do this thing ya know. Much love to ya and all that you do. They put so much work into these productions and I am always glad to help out in any way I can.