I just got home about 10 minutes ago from a late night out of seeing the movie Juno and hanging out. I would have been here 15 minutes ago if it weren’t for a particular California Highway Patrolman.

The 210 freeway is notorious for speeders. It’s the closest interstate to my house and most desolate and safest freeway on which to speed. As you would know from me, I tend to go the speed of traffic as it’s much safer than going the speed limit. I learned that in defensive driving 9 years ago after getting my first ticket.

Upon exiting the freeway to drive to my house, the car directly behind me quickly sped up before I saw some flashing headlights followed by flashing car lights. It was the cops and they caught me!

I turned right at the light by the overpass and slowly tread by the curb until we both fit in a tiny space between the access road and entrance to a large outdoor garden center. Seconds later, two patrolmen came walking towards both sides of my car with flashlights shining into my car. By the time the patrolman rapped on my window, I had all my paperwork and license ready to hand him. So, I began to open my door to meet him outside.

“Just roll down the windows, sir”

Okay, whatever you say officer. I closed my door and rolled down my window.

May I help you?
“You were speeding. Did you have any alcohol tonight?”
No sir.
“Have you had any drugs or medications?”
No sir.
“I smell something that smells like coconut. What is that?”
I’m not sure what you’re smelling.

He proceeded to hold his dirty pointer finger out, pointing towards my chest. His hands needed to be washed and his fingernails had a little grime under his cuticle ends.

“I need you to follow my finger with your eyes and without moving your head. Do you understand?”
Yes sir.

His finger first went to the left a few inches, he held it there for a couple of seconds before slowly moving it along a plane to the right about eight inches. He held it still for a couple more seconds before moving it back to the left another eight inches. My eyes easily followed his fingers towards both sides, locked on his dirty grime under his fingernail nail plate end that was almost white.

“Sit right here, I’ll be back”
Okay.

The patrolman went right back to his car and I decided to shut my engine off since he likely would take a while to check my clean record and determine whether I had any problems for him to write me up. From the way he asked those certain questions, I think he was trying to find a stupid person to admit something was the matter. I’m not stupid.

As I waited there and wondered what fate had in store for me, I resigned from any discomfort about getting a ticket and paying for it since what was done, was done. Sometimes things just happen and there’s nothing you can do to change the situation. I’ve been in a similar situation before with a New Mexico State Trooper and I walked in between our cars to plead my case. I was lucky enough to get a warning instead of a ticket from that New Mexican. Trying to remember which arguments won that situation, I racked my brain to come up with a few logical, defensive driving arguments that would help me in case this patrolman did want to write the ticket.

A couple of minutes later, a flashlight starts to make his way on my passenger side. Great, the other patrolman wants to see if he can find anything in my car to make me get out. I get another rap on my passenger window. I lean to the door, push the handle to open the door.

“Here you go. Drive safely.”
Thanks.

Bite me. You just wasted five minutes of my life.

For the first time ever, I wanna know what it feels like to spend Christmas away from my family.
For the first time ever, I don’t wanna feel obligated to spend Christmas like I always have.

If my college years were the time to make something of myself, my twenties are the time to live selfishly. I didn’t follow the path many of my peers and friends have. I spent the first 25 years of my life doing what was mostly expected of me without much debate or question. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized my twenties are quickly about to pass without me living a life I see myself living.

I say living “a life” instead of “the life” for a reason. I don’t see myself living one life, “the life”, doing something for the rest of my life. I see myself doing many things, living many lives and enjoying many passions and desires.

When I moved to Los Angeles in 2004, I moved from my comfort zone to the front lines of my ambitions. I stepped out of that which I knew (everything in Texas, everyone I knew) to a place where nothing was familiar. All for a dream. All on a whim. All for everything and anything.

I had no real plans, no real decisions to make, nothing to push me in any certain direction except my degree, my passions and my desires. I was open to anything, hoping for everything, and expecting nothing. Now, treading the beginning of a new year, I realize I’m barely further than I was in 2004.

I decided after a couple of years of being here it was time to live like I was in my twenties. I’ve become more selfish, doing more things I want and pushing responsibility and obligation as far away as I can without it bringing me down. I’ve started to seek out social activities such as dating, something I’m still quite unfamiliar with and don’t know what it really feels like to be with someone I want.

I’ve resigned from security and comfort to pursue the untamed and out of reach. I don’t want a typical life; I want the extraordinary life. “The man” has no more control over me. Not right now. I’m living for me.

I spend my free time dreaming about a music career, a photojournalistic life, a performance to inspire, a production of success, a listing on a site. I see so much for me and I want it all.

2008 will test my will and force my hand.
2008 will reveal my discipline.
2008 will show my weaknesses.

I can afford to be young and stupid, to be twenty-something as long as I want but I need to push myself to live the lives I want to live. I hope I can push myself, turn away from distractions and stay motivated.

No regrets.

  1. Vince Vaughn @ Fred ClausOn the first weekend of November, I had a friend visiting me for her first trip to LA. I love when my out of town friends come into to town and visit me. It gives me a chance to show off the city I’ve spent three and a half years growing to love.

    We did all the stereotypical things one would expect when coming to LA: Disneyland, Hollywood Blvd., and the beach. I asked her if there was anything particular that she wanted to do only to receive an apathetic reply. So, I made my own little tour for the weekend.

    Following a day at Disneyland, we decided to go to Hollywood on Saturday. The most obvious and tourist friendly place for out-of-towners is the Highland and Hollywood center. It’s $2 parking for 4 hours, accessible to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame.

    On this particular day, we had a nice quick lunch before walking out and noticing that Hollywood Blvd. was blocked off. The one thing she had kinda requested was to see the hand and foot prints at the theatre. As we walked over there, we noticed a bunch of lights, microphones, cameras, and slowly people congregating. Then we noticed that the theatre was off limits. Turns out there was a premiere for the movie Fred Claus.

    We eventually decided to stick around since apparently the premiere festivities were about to start. I grabbed my camera and looked like a paparazzo perched to the side amongst a little crowd near the entrance of the red carpet. Eventually, black cars drove up and let out celebrity after celebrity, many of whom I couldn’t name or had no idea who they were.

    After standing there taking photographs of whomever I could, a guy approaches us with a stack full of passes in his hand. “Does anyone want a pass to a screening?” he asked. Sounded good to me. So we both tried fighting for passes not thinking much of it. Maybe it was just some random screening of this movie on another weekend. Our diligence paid off as we were the last two tickets that he had in his hand.

    After receiving the tickets, we looked on the passes to see what date this screening was for.

    Hey, wait, isn’t this today’s date? I asked.

    “It sure looks like it; what time is it?” she replied.

    The premiere start time was 4pm on Saturday, November 3rd. Wait, that was… we had the golden tickets to this premiere! We walked to the entrance of the red carpet and they let us right through! I walked my very first and only Hollywood premiere!

    As we passed on the left portion of the red carpet, we passed all the celebrities on the right as they were doing interviews with the media. I got a good look at most of the celebrities up close and even met a couple. Premieres are all they’re cracked up to be too: free everything and unlimited access to all of it. Hollywood knows how to party in style

    The strangest part of the whole experience for me was after the movie was over. We waited a couple of minutes for the crowd to die down before making our way up the aisle. Then, as if on cue, stands up Vince Vaughn, Fred Claus himself. How many times in your life do you see a movie with the lead star, only to see him in person after the movie is over?

    Only in Hollywood.

  2. Keira and JamesI got a phone call last Tuesday evening for an invitation to a screening of the movie Atonement. Once again, not expecting anything, I got to see a pretty decent movie with some very mature and deep themes of romance, lost hope and lifelong regret.

    The screening finished followed by a Q&A with the director. Then, the surprise turned even better: all the leads were in attendance. It was quite a treat to hear each of them talk about different elements of the movie and how it was all put together. Keira is even more attractive and radiant in person.

In a span of a month, I attended two events which were spontaneous and unplanned surprises. People back in Texas ask me when I’m moving back, expecting me to be ready to go back to what I had before and continue life in Texas. As far as I’m concerned, I’m enjoying the availability of events like this and look forward for more to come. I’m just having too much fun to actually go anywhere else.