So Far A Good Year
I have an itch to travel. I need to get out of town every weekend or I’ll go nuts. I may be exaggerating on that, although I sometimes find something to do when I am in town. I guess the real reason to traveling a lot is the many opportunities you meet along the way to your destination. According to the Chinese new year calendar, it is the year of the horse. Those that are born between these dates:
02/11/1918-01/31/1919 01/30/1930-02/16/1931 02/15/1942-02/04/1943
02/03/1954-01/23/1955 01/21/1966-02/08/1967 02/07/1978-01/27/1979
01/27/1990-02/14/1991 02/12/2002-01/31/2003 01/31/2014-02/18/2015
02/17/2026-02/05/2027 02/04/2038-01/23/2039 01/23/2050-02/10/2051
Are getting lucky this year with plenty of opportunity! There is a downside though. There will be a few financial issues and money managing is key. I don’t believe in horoscopes or zodiacs but some of this has already affected me. Hah, I find it funny and I am looking to see what else this year has in store for me! This year has opened a lot of opportunity, all I need to do is execute them quickly and efficiently. The money managing will make sense when I explain this to you.
I’ve developed a new set of hobbies and have sacrificed a few to focus all my attention on ones that show potential in the long run. Some hobbies can be done without spending money, but I was hooked when a friend from Colorado came down to live in Lubbock for a while.
I’ve always wanted a motorcycle, but like any other over protective parent, my dreams were crushed…
…WAS crushed, if you never tell them that you bought a motorcycle that's a basket case from a guy on craigslist. Yea, it can become an expensive hobby.
Learning about motorcycles, rebuilding them, and waiting on a future road trip is all I’ve been thinking of most of the time. That’s why I’ve wanted to go to Austin to visit The Hand Built Show. Oh, and to catch up with friends!
So I left for San Antonio to meet with Zachary Ballinger, an aspiring filmmaker who just picked up a video camera and made his first film called 'Gold Hope.' His inspirations are folks like Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick.
First stop, San Antonio!
Of course I had to stop for a photo during golden hour. I wanted something to capture the essence of my journey. Something that would sum up my whole trip starting with the first photo…it didn’t seem to turn into a pristine, warm, and calm weekend like you see in the picture above. You’ll see how it goes as you continue to scroll down the journal.
I met up with Zach at a bar called the Flying Saucer to try out some craft beers. I wish I can remember what beer I ordered…
A few beers later, we flew down the hills of San Antonio on skateboards that Zach had in the back of his soccer-mom van. This is my 3rd time to photograph Zach and he has been my favorite to work with! Below is a wild and young life. We then grabbed some grub because I haven't eaten anything during my 5 hr drive. Having a beer be the first thing to touch the bottom of your belly can make you feel a little funny. Might as well document these memories.
I crashed at Zach’s home and his mother already had the air mattress set up for me! I had plans for the morning and thought that Austin is merely a 1 hour drive from San Antonio. I woke up to my alarm clock and looked up the address where I was supposed to meet a couple friends in Austin for lunch. It looked like I was going to be late and had to cancel the meeting.
So winging my way through the weekend, I had breakfast with Zach at a pretty good taco shop. We grabbed some breakfast tacos and conversed photography and movies that inspired us. I shared with Zach a quote that continued to inspire me during my days as a filmmaker. I hope this will inspire all of you as well.
There was still a lot of time to kill so we took a stroll to hobby lobby. Zach was looking for backgrounds for his next film brewing in his head. I can just hear all these ideas spewing from his mouth and all of them had personal meaning. Based on his experiences through life. I continued to document the last few moments with Zach. We got creative.
Finally it was time to say goodbye to my good friend and continue my adventure in Austin. I drove there listening to a few bands Zach told me to listen too.
Finally reached Austin and was heading to the Wildfire’s house. Bryson, a close friend of mine from the Midland area was my main host for the weekend along with the rest of the crew of Wildfires. His band and mine used to play shows at The Pine Box in Midland along with a few others that have now resided to Austin. I kicked it at the Wildfires' house and photographed them during a practice session…minus Jeff.
Also Check them out here:
The day was still young, 6pm was when the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show started but they were open for two days. I was wanting to go and check out all the beautiful bikes made by bare hands and also to meet up with the crew from Iron & Air Magazine. Instead, I waited to go the next day and spend some quality time with some old friends. So downtown we go, and entered barbarellas on 80s night. 80s night, oh what a night! Probably one of the best nights at a bar/club with a bunch of friends. 80s music was playing and nothing can go wrong with dancing silly even if you don’t have any dancing experience.
The next morning, I finally met up with my friend Patrick Lu who is a coder, photographer, foodie, and blogger. Follow him on his blog at:
We grabbed some lunch and went on some errands. Patrick had a few things to do for the day so I just followed him around like a lost dog. Patrick mentioned we will be photographing his friend, Madeline Vu for a clothing store. But first we needed to stop by a book store and some clothing shops. Patrick bought his books and we rode again a couple blocks down to a vintage menswear store called Sam Hill owned by a guy whom people call him Sam Hill, but his real name is Kyle.
Then off to Busy-Being and Solid Gold. A two in one clothing store near the commuter tracks of Austin. We went into the store to ask for some clothes for our evening photoshoot with Madeline to provide the store some photos.
I hung out with Patrick all day and headed back to the Chicon Collective, where Patrick works.
Finally, I meet Madeline. She just got off work and was dressed for the wedding. Our meeting was very brief. I usually like to get to know my subjects before a photoshoot because it helps as an icebreaker and photos will look more natural as we work together. We drove to the clothing store so Madeline can change into their products. Madeline was dressed in red pants that have palm trees or something and a light flowing top. Here are a few shots from the shoot and also an additional model whom Patrick spotted in the store because she looked great wearing a sun hat.
Check out Madeline's website:
After the shoot I went to The Hand Built Show, one of the reasons why I came to Austin. I’m new to the motorcycle world and I am throwing myself at it to learn more. I met up with my friend Edgar “Eddie” Ramirez because he too is a motorcycle enthusiast. We took a look at all the magnificent builds in the warehouse and just talked about bikes and squatted down to look at all the details that these hand built machines had. Outside of the warehouse is a circus tent that holds the WALL OF DEATH. This is where motorcycle performers ride their motorcycles on a giant wooden cylinder that stands completely at a 90 degree angle and they ride on the walls. Oh, they also do tricks by having the audience lean over the bar and hang money off the side as the motorcyclist rides up the wall to grab it. All funds go to a donation.
After the show we headed to his house and I caught up with Natalie Stevens. Follow her instagram! She has some cool drawings: @fatalieann
I also got to play around with the household’s pup, Iggy Pup while Eddie tries to pass the star road levels in Super Mario.
On to Chosun Korean Barbeque, I happened to lead Eddie and I in the wrong direction. I really don’t know how it happened but we ended up going downtown Austin and had to walk down a few blocks thinking that that’s where the restaurant was…I was absolutely wrong…The restaurant was really close to where Eddie’s house in east Austin. Eddie if you are reading this, sorry bro for wasting your gas and $2 for parking. My phone deceived me. We finally arrived at the restaurant and caught up with the crew.
I ordered the Haemool Dolsot Bi Bim Bob, this is a hot bowl with steamed rice at the bottom with mixed stir fried vegetables and seafood. It comes with an assortment of Kimchi. When the dish arrives to the table, its sizzling like a hot pan of fajitas from a Mexican restaurant. You then mix it up, stirring all the juices from the seafoods and vegetables, along with a sauce that they put on top. I wish I ordered an egg with it! That would have been fantastic!
We all caught up at the restaurant like a bunch of obnoxious, loud, semi-drunk group of friends. We haven’t had a reunion in a while as a group mixed from the Odessa and Midland area. We all used to go to shows and be in each other’s bands. It was a good time...
...A couple swigs of flavored vodka. And in a flash of light! We are back in Barbarellas! What a night! I’ll let the photos explain.
You can begin to notice that my paragraphs are getting shorter and shorter, hahah I just really want to post this blog already so I’m just going to let the rest of the photos tell the story.
That was the end of my trip in Austin. I had a good time catching up with friends, making new ones, gaining extra inspiration in the world of motorcycles, and Korean food, followed by booze and 80s music. See you in August, Austin.