I’ve recently moved up to San Francisco for a multi generational project with the Angel Island Foundation teaching and mentoring high school kids in filmmaking. The goal of this project is to have the kids completely pull off a film production from lighting to sound to camera to interviewing elderly individuals about their immigration story. With this project, I took the group of kids to Angel Island to experience and learn about the immigration station in hopes to inspire not only interview questions but to hopefully have the kids ask their own families if they would share their story of how they came to America as well. You see, these kids are a little shy. Maybe not shy when they all hang out together. But shy in asking their parents about their past. When I was their age, I was the same. I don’t know if its a cultural thing but that’s probably a topic for another blog. But after our trip to Angel Island, a few kids have now asked their parents/grandparents to share their story and now we plan on documenting their families’ stories.
My question this week is if you know what your families’ immigration story is and if not, maybe it’s time to ask before that history gets lost. Read more...
I can’t believe 2014 is almost over. Time just flew by and Black Friday is just around the corner. The weather is getting colder. It’s getting dark really early. Even California is getting some rain to help our drought. Maybe my neighbors will stop watering their lawns for an hour every night. LA man. But there still is a full month left to make this year rememorable. So what is a goal, place, or certain task you were planning all year to do but never got around to it? Was it that room you wanted to paint? Or that museum you wanted to check out? Or maybe that restaurant you read on yelp over and over but never got around to trying it out.
In the beginning of the year, I was planning on fixing my front window of my car. It started out as a small little crack but slowly the crack has spread almost all the way across the entire window passing the passenger side and into the driver side. I got it priced out and even should have got it done. But I really wanted to use this opportunity to somehow use it in a short film. Have someone get run over by my car, fly right into my window, and break the crap outta it. Or maybe some jealous girlfriend decides to smash it with a baseball bat. I figure mind as well since I’m replacing it right. My last car I had a BMX rider crash and roll over the hood. It was sweet. Well the year as gone by and I’ve finally found time to finish writing my short. I wrote in a scene to give it its glory. So hopefully the wait was worth it. After all, I’m tired of hearing my friends bitch and worry about my huge crack in the window.
With the NFL football season quickly approaching, there will be many men and some women in America that will have their Sundays completely booked sitting on their couch glued to the TV. I never really had a desire to play for a real organized team growing up like in High School but I did love the sport. I grew up watching the San Francisco Forty Niners with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice bringing the city multiple Super Bowls trophies. But recently in the last 5 years, there has been many scientific test and testimonies from older players who have been suffering very bad head traumas and concussions that have left them scarred for life where they become poor paying for medical treatment.. The players union have sued the NFL and NFL sorta swept the problem away by paying them all off. Even though the NFL avoided being blamed for the cause for being a vicious sport and helmet to helmet violence, its still a scary thought to see a player being completely knocked out cold on the field. Football is even one of the worst sports salary contracts for their players compared to basketball and baseball but yet football’s revenue brings in one of the highest in all sports. My question this week to the Offenders is if your kids or future kids wanted to play football, would you let them play? Say it was High School football, maybe even college and you knew the level of competition was high where the chances are more likely for life threatening injuries could happen, would you want them to play?
I’ve been traveling for the last month and one thing is quite apparent, there are HELLA Chinese tourists everywhere I go. I can’t hate on people who want to travel and see the world. In fact, I encourage it to everyone whether they are fresh out of high school/college or retired and don’t have to deal with kids anymore. But what annoys the crap outta me is that tourist never respect the culture or the environment they are in.
Specifically, in Thailand I used to experience European travelers that just complained at everything that wasn’t catered to them like the accommodations, the country’s rules, and even the people. But the European travelers were few or probably not as wealthy. So now its the super rich and over-populated Chinese tourists turn from mainland China. They’ve taken their spitting and snot rockets to Thailand. As rich as they are, they still must bargain for everything including restaurants or normal shops. These are set prices guys! And they also insist on renting/riding motorbikes and causing massive traffic. They’ve even walked into the middle of the highway to take pictures stopping traffic.
The worst I’ve heard is that they will buy Thai school uniforms, get dressed in them, and take pictures of each other posing or making out with each other which is forbidden in Thai law. I wish I was up-selling this but no, these are all very true and disrespectful. And according to friends, the Chinese tourist have risen from 15% to about 75%. They have taken over what was once a special place. Read more...
Superbowl XLVIII is just around the corner. Its the Denver Broncos versus the Seattle Seahawks. Denver has the #1 offensive with an explosive receiving core lead by the future hall of fame quarterback Peyton Manning. Seattle has the #1 defense with a scary secondary nicknamed the Legion of Boom lead by the “thug” pro bowler cornerback Richard Sherman. Now I’m pretty sure not all the YOMYOMFers are sports fans but the Superbowl does attract all people of color, size, sex, religion, and diet. And that’s mainly because of the expensive commercials that get premiered. One of my all time favorites way back in the day was the Budweiser video with the frogs saying each syllable over and over. That thing went so viral even though “viral” probably wasn’t a thing back then. Everyone at school the next day couldn’t stop saying it for months. That’s actually kinda funny. A bunch of school kids repeatly saying an alcohol beverage. The commercial was genius! Last year Budweiser still used animals but it was the one where the clydesdale runs and finds his original owner. It was heartfelt and sweet.
Do you guys remember any old Superbowl commercials that you really liked or thought was genius? And if you are a sports fan, who do you got for the game? I’m a die hard niners fan. So I really hope Manning stomps all over Seattle. So I’m going to say Denver 27, Seattle 17. Read more...
Halloween is creeping up really fast. It’s probably been some years since I’ve gone all out and dressed up. Granted “all out” doesn’t really mean too much since all my Halloween costumes are usually ghetto. They’re usually home made, mix and match, or hand-me-downs but sadly in no way does it ever look good. I don’t mind looking silly since I’ll probably be drunk anyways. Probably the best ghetto looking costume that I can remember would be about 8 years ago. Back home in SF, I put together a Cat in the Hat costume. Hat was good and tall, makeup wasn’t makeup, and instead of a cat suit of some kind, I wore some ridiculous clothes with fake fur coming out. It was definite an epic fail. But it didn’t really matter since every hot girl had to ask me what I was, followed by taking a shot with me. So it still became another epic Halloween night.
What’s the most ghetto costume you’ve ever worn for Halloween? Read more...
The summer solstice has now pass and the daily temperatures are setting new records. Summer is in full force and I hardly get to talk to my fellow Offenders. A simple question for this week’s ATH, what are your summer plans/goals?
Mine are pretty simple. I’m definitely hitting the outdoors on hopefully a few camping trips. My friends and I usually do the more hard core style camping instead of the traditional car camping. It’s always good to disconnect yourself from your iphones and emails once in awhile. These plans also would require me to get into shape. Hiking 5-8 miles a day with gear on isn’t always the easiest task. Time to hit the gym and tone up those beer bellies. I’m also excited to go visit my nephews. Since they’ll be on summer break, I’ll be able to take them on day trips while trying not to spoil them too much. I also want to start organizing and archiving all my old footage and pictures from years of traveling. But the main goal this summer for me is to relax and try not to overwork myself. It would be nice to actually finish a good book or just get out and enjoy the sunshine.
Last week I got into my very first car accident ever…and it was my fault. I was rushing to meet some friends for dinner and turned into Han from Fast and Furious and drifted out of the parking lot and onto dinner. As the light turned green at an intersection I was behind an SUV that started to take off. As I gassed the pedal, I took my eyes off the road for a second and next thing you know the guy hit his brake for some reason and I went straight into his back bumper. If I was an observer, I would have probably thought what’s wrong with this idiot. Yes, this idiot being me. Since this was technically my first time in a car accident, I was a little flustered for a second. What do I do? Was it his fault? I actually had a moment where I could have taken off and he would have never caught up to me while we were both pulling into a Ralph’s parking lot. But something inside me thought I had to do the right thing. So I proceeded to pull over and face the consequences. I debated in my head whether to be the guy who would blame everything on the other guy since you’re never suppose to admit fault at an accident. But what I did was a pretty boneheaded move and I just made sure the other guy wasn’t harmed. Luckily, the guy was ok and even though his bumper was bent down, he wasn’t tripping about it since his car was already in such bad shape. He said to me, if I can bend it back up then don’t worry about it. I was quite surprise especially since I live in the land of people suing each other and thought he would definitely want something. But oddly he didn’t care enough. That night alotta things were running through my head like I need to take my time driving and I need to get my own brakes checked. But mostly what ran through my head was how lucky I came out of that situation. Was it because I didn’t drive off? Was it because I was just honest about the whole situation and didn’t try to escalate it? Or am I truly just a happy-go-lucky person? I rather just like to think that everything happens for a reason.
Do you remember the first time you got into a car accident whether it was your fault or not? Did you learn anything from the experience?
Since it’s winter, I usually keep my hair a little longer than my usual shaved head. I think the last time I paid for a real haircut at the barber shop was in middle school. So a few weeks ago when I had to go to a wedding reception, I decided to visit the barber’s chair. I first found out it wasn’t $6 for a haircut anymore. It was a whopping $14. There’s a lot of things I could do for $14 like a good steak dinner or even a movie or three (movie hopping). But looking clean cut was more important at the moment. And to help hide those grey hairs. But the second thing I realized sitting there in the chair was how hard it was to find someone who could perfectly cut the hair the way you want it. My odd shaped football head was quite the challenge. And after 10-15 minutes using a shaver and comb to do a fade, then explaining how my lumpy head works, to finally having her just shave my head clean, I realized this was a completely bad idea. So a few lessons were learned from this experience. One, don’t be bold on some random barber and just go with the norm on important events where there’s cute single girls. And two, I’ve probably saved thousands of dollars with my $20 clippers I bought in middle school.When’s the last time you tried a new hairdo? Was it a great experience or the worst decision ever? Read more...
Back around 2001, our ship was stopped over in an undisclosed location loading up tomahawk missiles. We were about a month or two away from deploying to the Persian Gulf. This would be my second time going. By that point, life sucked ass. I was almost 21 and my innocent childhood was long gone. My motivation for the military and my constant thought of regret weighed heavy on my heart while my buddies who went to college were out partying with cute girls every night. Even the week prior, there were protesters outside our base that bombed my truck with tomatoes as I drove into duty. Sorry people, I don’t really make decisions about war. But the thought of leaving for another six months had me at an all time low. This wasn’t summer camp. We finished loading up the tomahawks and I had the night off so a few buddies and I decided to say, fuck ship food and grabbed a taxi. Read more...
Moving to a new apartment or house can be a great feeling. Finding the right location and getting a bigger place can give you a fresh new start on life. But moving out of the place you lived at for the past eight years sucks big pie hole. Sorting through old junk you randomly bought off ebay, finding weird boxes under your bed, or how dust collects in your room got me thinking, Damn I’m a messy motherf’er. But for the first time in my life I’m going to be living on my own. No more roommates, totally solo. All the mess will be mine. All the unclean dishes will be mine. And all the hair thingys stuck in the shower drain will be mine…but I don’t have much hair, ahem. And I think it’s finally the right time. Hopefully I don’t become super lazy and watch Breaking Bad all day. It’s going to be an odd feeling. Hopefully I learn alot about myself. Maybe it’ll force me to go out more. I’m going to try to cook a little more. Maybe be healthier. Or maybe I’ll get a dog and we can be best pals for life. I dunno. Only time will tell.
My question this week for you Offenders is when did you finally live on your own, roommate free, and what did you learn about yourself? Any advice for me as I start a new chapter in life?