Category Archives: Life

Baby #2 is on the Way.

At around 5:30am or so, Bev was having a big contraction and we called the hospital.
Bev took a shower, then I took a shower.
I packed up the car, including Ayden’s new Radio Flyer Trike to bring to Lola’s house.

Ayden’s stomach has been upset, he threw up twice this week while eating, so we are not sure if he should come to the hospital.

We dropped off Ayden at Lola’s house at around 6:30am.

Thousands of photos

I’ve been spending the past few weeks trying to get all my photos in order for a super large import into Aperture. I’m hoping by the time I’m ready, facial recognition will be a feature of Aperture because I can’t imagine going through and tagging each photo!

I found out that on average, I take over 1,700 photos a month of Ayden! A large percentage of them are from my iPhone!

Day Review

Took our photos for our parish directory
Went to Red Lobster
Installed my new Firewire Drobo (4TB)
Installed Bev’s new Windshield wipers
Took some Twilight inspired photos

My First time Voting for President

After watching how our economy went from a surplus into a deficit, I couldn’t complain about Bush because I didn’t vote. For some reason, I was pulled into politics this time around. I usually ignore politics on the news like I ignore sports. Maybe it is because on Digg, I kept on seeing top articles related to politics. Then I started noticing all of the Sarah Palin.

Unfortunately, I’m not in a blogging mood, but I did want to say something about this historical event.

My First Pro Football Game

This past weekend was a blast! I’ll try to write this blog post as I’m suffering from a serious migraine right now… Mental note, lay off the sugar in the morning…

Raiders vs Jets
Likha was invited to perform at the Raiders vs Jets game for Filipino Heritage Month. Since I do not follow football, I have never been to a pro football game. Regardless, I really wanted to be there to support Likha and Bev since she was dancing.

No big lenses allowed
The rules for the Oakland Coliseum are strict. They say that you can not bring bags larger than 18″W x 12″H x 8″D or Cameras with lenses larger than 3″. How in the world am I going to take photos of Likha with those limitations? Also, little did I know that they are very strict on who gets access to the field.

Press Pass!
So I contacted my good buddy Al, who was coordinating this and he was able to get me press credentials from Margarita Argente, the sales manager at Philippine News! All I had to do was go to the Credentials to pick up my pass and red NFL photographer’s vest.

You thought New Kids Fans were fanatic?
The day started early since we had to meet at Herna’s house at 6:45am. I must have been half asleep because I typed in apartment number instead of the street number into the GPS, so I got lost. If anyone knows me, I hate getting lost. But I didn’t let it get the best of me.

Herna wanted us to get there before the tailgaters arrived. Man, I poked fun at New Kids Fans, but Raiders fans are several notches above the teeny bopper fans! I was surprised to see a long line already! I’m just glad Bev doesn’t paint her face with I love Jordan, etc. Those Raiders fans are a dedicated bunch!

Soon after we found where we had to park, the fans started rolling in and setting up their grills, tv’s, etc! It was unlike anything I have ever seen before. The delicious smell of bbq was driving me nuts because all we had was some Micky Dees.

Mae, who is also a photographer wanted to bring her gear in so I was able to bring it in with no problem once I got my pass. I went up to the media credential office 3 times. I thought it was going to be open at 8. After then second time, someone told me it opens at 10. I ended up going there when Likha left. As soon as I got in, I was lost!

Easy to get lost
I started off on the Field level and passed the players lockers. The Raiderettes were practicing and I admired the jiggles. I called a few people and was able to reach OJ, but I he didn’t know the exact location. As I walked around, I finally ran into Herna and Scott.

The really cool thing is that with my pass, no one gave me a problem. I was able to weave in and out of sections. VIP areas, Service Areas, etc.

I’m not a sports fan, but I do recognize the privilege I was given. Unfortunately, I had no clue who I would photograph out there. Mae said I should photograph the Jets #4 guy. If the opportunity presents itself again, I will definitely do my homework, and rent better gear. My lens was probably the smallest out there as I was surrounded by lenses that look like Hubble’s little siblings. Shutter speeds that sound like an Uzi firing off.

I stood beside a Reuters photographer and I was just watching where he was aiming his large white lens – just hoping he doesn’t swing it too fast and knocks off my head…

But I was there to photograph Likha and I spent most of my time doing that. My second role was to take some pictures of the VIPs in the Luxury booth in 66L. After all, it was Al who set me up, so that it was my pleasure. I couldn’t help but wonder what a sports photographer enthusiast would do to get this kind of access.

Ana “The Hurricane”

I met Ana Julaton, and if you don’t know her, she’s a rising star in the boxing world. Although she looks sweet and pretty, she can kick your ass. Honestly, I haven’t heard of her before, but I’ll be sure to do some homework and check out some of her fights.

Damn security
After munching on some food, I went back down to the “pit” area on the Field to meet up with Bev and the other Likha peeps. When they left for food, they weren’t allowed back onto the Field because they didn’t have “credentials”. An overzealous security guard was flexing his authority. Herna was able to work things out but damn, these little wristbands they gave us were useless.

Left Early

Shortly after half time, Bev and I left with some of the Likha peeps. I wasn’t sure if I could keep the vest or not. It looked brand new, and I assume that they give them out because Canon sponsors them.

When I walked back to where I picked up the vest, the office was closed. I walked into another office, and they had no clue what I was talking about. Since I wasn’t told I had to return it, I figure I’ll hold onto it until someone tells me otherwise :-)

We ended up shopping at Emeryville and some guy asked us who was winning (I forgot we were wearing Raiders hats). Then he asked why we left early! Fortunately, he was distracted and we moved on…

I had a blast and I’m a little sore from walking around the Field a few times. I’ll try to post some pictures later!

Catching up on my blog

Anniversary
Last week, on October 9th, Bev and I celebrated our 4th anniversary. We decided to try Luneta Bistro in Burlingame.

I don’t know we bothered to set reservations because there were two other tables other than us that were there on that Thursday night.

Bev and I really aren’t into expensive dinners, but we do recognize that we should treat ourselves every once in awhile. The food was good, but I wouldn’t say it was worth what they were charging for it. For example, my Kare Kare was $22. The portions were pretty large, the meat very tender, and the presentation was beautiful… However, $22 for a plate Kare Kare on a bed of bak choy and mushroom?

Our total bill came around to $72 – which is more than twice we would normally spend. Regardless, we had a great evening. Looking at the photos that hung in the restaurant made me want to go back to the Philippines and take lots of pictures. To this day, I still haven’t seen my parent’s house. We’ll just have to time things right.

On the Job Front
I started this job on September 2nd and haven’t felt this secure about my job for awhile. On the other hand, Bev’s job is up in the air. I never really thought this whole economy crisis would affect us, but it did in several major ways.

Since Bev is in the financial industry, it is going to take awhile for her to find a job if she gets laid off.

Second, we didn’t realize she owned a shitload of stock in her company. Let’s just say it was enough to buy a Porshe 911 Carrerra with cash last year. Now we can barely buy an iPod with it.

This prompted a few things. Although we always felt comfortable that we were living well below our means, no credit card debt, etc. We should be more mindful about where our money goes. We now have an eagle eye view on our net-worth. Let’s just say I’m doing good for my age, but falling behind by 50% by income.

This is a far cry from how I was just 8 years or so. I even have the post of when I became Debt Free. I just remember the huge load lifted from my shoulders and I would look back and wonder how the fuck I got into that situation.

Who would have known I should have bought the fictional book: Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford

The sad thing is I had nothing to show for it.

I learned the hard way, and I had no one to bail me out.

I don’t want to come off like I’m bragging or better than anyone. But I guess the debt situation is similar to folks who work out and talk about people who complain that they are fat. The reality is, it takes hard work and EFFORT to get where you want to be. I’ve been slacking off on my exercise and eating unhealthy food, and it is having an adverse affect on my belly. Good news is that I realize that I have a free Club One membership that I’ll be taking advantage of next week. I’ll have to watch what I eat and exercise to get back in shape. There’s no shortcut to it. Just like there is no shortcut to getting out of debt unless you win the freakin’ lotto or have rich parents to bail you out.

As for money, it is simple. I don’t buy shit I don’t have the cash for. Sounds like a simple concept, but I sure didn’t get it a decade ago. I really want a Canon 5Dii, but I’m not going to buy that expensive piece of hardware until I can pay for it with the gigs I get from photography. That takes hard fucking work. Fun work, but very time consuming. No instant gratification of whipping out my credit card and paying it off later. I’ll know that when I can afford it, I’ll be happy that I earned it and then it can make me more money. I’m on my own lay away plan.

I never want to be in credit card debt EVER again. I would love to have our house paid off, but that is just something that is pretty unrealistic. I have been through the trenches enough for me to see the light. The good thing is that I saw it early enough to not get into bad debt – I was at least paying my bills. My lesson learned: I never want to live beyond our means.

In the past, I never paid attention to the drops in the stock market. But for some reason, I’m watching it now and hate the fact that this sub-prime crisis got us in this shit hole. Who do I get to blame? Am I part of it even though we have a traditional mortgage? Do we blame the people that thought they can buy homes with zero down and can pay well below what you would pay for rent? Do we blame the Banks, or even the Politicians?

I didn’t realize that this was going to turn into a rant. I have a meeting to attend…