Friday, November 13, 2015

Mrs. Amanda Belin Barradas (2015)

Mrs. Amanda Belin Barradas

My gorgeous wife. Let me love you, if not for the rest of your life, then for the rest of mine. And then my soul saw you and it kind of went, "Oh, there you are. I've been looking for you."

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Halloween (2015)

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

My Grandfather Emilio (2015)

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Update/Photography (09-24-15)

To any of my readers who still read my blog; thank you and I'm sorry. As a victim of my blessed life, I have completely ignored my blog. Originally intended to be an escape for my creative mind and a motivator for anyone who read it, my blog was put on the back burner as life grabbed me by my long curly hair and propelled me into adulthood. I met my wife, moved out of my Pop's house, adopted my wife's two dogs, bought a new car, became financially self-sufficient, got married, accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior, joined my church's platform band, became an uncle, and so much more. I used to type all of my entries on my phone or tablet whenever I had down time in between classes or when I had time at home. Now a days, texting a friend back seems like I'm on my phone so much more than I should be. Keeping a consistent and current blog is a job in it of itself.

But life isn't all work. We all need to take the time to really appreciate what makes us happy. I fell victim to my job and building upon my own family and home. It was all I knew for the longest time. I lost sight of what made me who I am. I've slowly been teaching myself to take time and relax as often as I can. I've also been taking it easy on self-criticism. One of the biggest reasons I didn't post much before was because it was such hard work. I used to edit the heck out of my entries. All of them took so long to finish because I would write and rewrite them who knows how many times and there are STILL tons of errors. So I want to apologize in advance for all the grammatical errors from now on and moving forward.

Also, I have taken a real interest in photography. I will also post pictures I take with my phone. Let's get one thing straight though, I am in NO way a photographer.  I do not dabble with photography equipment. I do not know ANY kind of photography terminology or techniques. I am just a musician/writer who takes pictures on his BlackBerry. I love using VSCO and have taken some pictures that make me feel a certain way, so I have decided to share them with you guys on here as I take them.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my update! Leave comments below!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Coheed and Cambria Music Video Shoot

I'm going to tell you a little secret about myself: I LOVE Coheed and Cambria....

Okay, so it's not that big of a secret after all. If you know me personally, you know how much I love that band. I remember the first time their life-changing music kissed my ears in early 2004. I was getting ready for school that morning and decided to put on the TV while I ate my breakfast. I looked around for things to watch and finally decided to put on music videos. I started eating when a riff immediately caught my attention. I looked up and read the song and artist: “A Favor House Atlantic” – Coheed and Cambria. I put my fork down and focused my full attention on the video. Something about that song moved me. It made me so happy. I could not take my eyes off the screen for the next 3 minutes. After that moment, I was a fan for life. Most people will never forget where they were when tragedy struck on September 11, 2001; Or, for the older generations, where they were when John Lennon was shot. My story obviously doesn't compare to those tragic events, but the significance of it still lingers in my mind to this day. I’ll never forget where I was when I first heard Coheed and Cambria. 

I have tried countless times to describe exactly what happened to me when I watched that video, but I have always come up short, or felt like I didn't do the moment justice. Nothing could describe what I felt in that moment. It was more than just a high school kid watching a music video; it was a whole new stage of my life that began as the video was playing. I was being pulled into my future! I was listening to the soundtrack of my up and coming young adult life. At the time, I was really into Led Zeppelin and bands of that era. Although Zeppelin continues to be my second favorite band, I had no idea that Coheed and Cambria's music would come to define aspects of my life. I was hooked. I've attended every concert Coheed has played in southern California since then. Every concert was better than the last. I used to stay up hours learning their music on guitar and singing along the best I could. Coheed is as much a part of my adolescence as Tech Decks, growing my hair out, and learning how to talk to girls.

I could write about Coheed for hours, but back to the story: music video shoot...

July 16, 2012
I was just getting to work around noon and was a few minutes early. I got to my desk and logged onto my computer to kill time for a bit. I logged onto Facebook, as I’m sure people
RARELY do, and saw a post from Coheed’s Facebook page. The post said that they were looking for extras to be in their latest video that they were going to be filming by the end of the week. The post said I needed to include a short message and a picture of myself. I snapped a picture on my phone and sent it to the email address provided. Two days later, I received a response inviting me to join them for the music video shoot! I was STOKED!!! I immediately called my little brother and shared the news. He was excited for me, but bummed out that the video shoot was the same night The Dark Knight Rises premiered. He knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I had to go being the HUGE fan that I am. The video was going to be filmed Friday the 20th at 1AM.

July 19, 2012
As far as the first half of this day, it was like any other day. I had class from 8am to 11am, and then I went in to work from 12 to 5pm. After work I drove straight home. I knew I had to get home as soon as possible and sleep so I could be lively for the video shoot that night. I tried to go to sleep, but I just couldn’t get comfortable. I spent most of the afternoon reading a boo
k instead. The plan was to leave around 11:30PM. That gave me an hour and a half to get to the city where the shoot was going to be, which was 50 minutes away from Moreno Valley according to Google Maps. At exactly 11:30PM, I left my house. The drive there was interesting. By interesting, I mean that there were 3 freeway closings. THREE! Traffic was redirected off of the freeway and onto the street for several blocks, THREE TIMES. What were the odds of that?

I was late.

July 20, 2012
When I finally arrived at the location, it was around 1:15AM. I was only 15 minutes late. All the parking lots near the location were completely full. I parked a block away in a nearby neighborhood. I began walking toward the location where the music video was going to be shot. When I got to the door I saw a couple people standing right outside.
My first thought was that I was not going to be let in. The place looked packed! I stood there for about a minute assuming that there was a line, but I got impatient and found my way inside. As soon as I walked in there, Claudio Sanchez was standing about 5 feet away from me!!

The lead singer of my favorite band was 5 feet away from me. I was completely starstruck. I wanted to shake his hand and tell him how much his music is the soundtrack of some of the most beautiful moments in my life, but I didn't. I just played it cool and stood by as he talked to all of us. Some people asked him how Mic was doing (Mic was the bass player and had just left the band because of a run-in with the law and resurfacing drug problems). He told us that he will be okay, but kept it vague out of respect for Mic's privacy. Then people asked him about the Amory Wars movie (Coheed has just announced that Mark Walhberg's production company is going to make a movie based off of the Coheed and Cambria story). He told us that the whole thing was just a thought at the moment. The ink hadn't even dried on the contract yet. Now that it was confirmed, they could bring it to fruition. He seemed really excited about it. After all the fans' questions, he thanks us for coming out to the video shoot and described to us the scene he wanted us to portray. He told us that the video was about a fighter named Domino who was on his way to the top and gets involved with the wrong people. Our job was to be the audience during the fights. He thanked us all and said that he was on his way to get on a flight to go meet up with Iron Maiden. They were only a couple of days from beginning their tour. He thanked us all again, said a few goodbyes, and he was off. 

It was awesome to see him, but a few people were bummed that during the shooting of this video, Coheed was not going to film anything on that set. Their clips for the video were filmed at another location. Regardless, every was excited to get started. Someone from the crew came and told us that all that was left was setting up the lighting and that as soon as that was finished, we would roll. What I discovered that night was that lighting takes HOURS to set up. We all just assumed that it would be quick... NOPE.... HOURS. A half hour or so after the announcement, a crew member showed up with several bags full of Jack-In-The-Box chicken sandwiches and tacos. After we all ate, we started mingling. It was great to have so many Coheed enthusiasts in one room together. We all speculated about the upcoming double album, The Afterman, and what it might sound like based off of the rough recordings we've all heard online. We also talked about our favorite album and why we chose that one. It was a blast. It was great being surrounded by true fans who knew just as much as I did.

At around 3:30AM, the director came over to us and welcomed us to the set and gave us a brief explanation of what he expected from us. Immediately after, he got us all into our positions. Our job was to cheer as soon as he said, "ACTION," and quite down once he said, "CUT." We did this for hours into the morning. The actor who played Domino had it the hardest. He had to keep faking boxing match after boxing match. Domino went through several opponents before finally reaching the one who would finally knock him out. During the knock out, the actor had to keep putting fake blood into his mouth and spitting it out as soon as his face hit the canvas. The first couple of tries did not come out as the director wanted so they cleaned the canvas and filled his mouth with fake blood once more. After the last knock out, we filmed several cut sequences like the one in the very beginning of the video where Domino is in the middle of the ring with his robe on. As soon as the director yelled, "CUT," we all cheered! We did it. We were in a music video!

We wrapped the shoot around 7:45AM. Everyone was exhausted, sleepy, hungry, and sweaty. We spent the whole night cheering our lungs out on cue. The director thanked everyone for coming out and said we did really good as a group. He complimented us and said we showed a lot of enthusiasm despite how long we stood there. Of course we showed enthusiasm! We're Coheed fans! All we know is enthusiasm for our favorite band! When I walked outside, the sun was just above the local buildings. The morning air was misty and felt fresh against my face. I got into my car and made my way home. On the way home I realized something VERY IMPORTANT. I realized we did not listen to the song! hahaha We cheered on cue but never got to hear the actual song we were making the video for! It was no big deal, because I knew whatever the song sounded like, it was going to be incredible. 

With that, I leave you guys with the video we did. Check out 3:10 in the bottom left hand corner as Domino is about to fight and 4:12 as he's hugging his brother. Those are the clearest shots of moi.

Thank you guys again for taking time out of your busy schedules to read my blog. For all the latest news, music, and merchandise, check out: 

Also, check out their double album, The Afterman: Ascension and Descencion! Legendary music and incredible story telling. Thank you guys again!

One among the fence.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Passion and Love

"The greatest thing about the game of basketball to me is the passion and the love I have for it.  Because when you have a love for anything, you'll go to the extreme to maintain that love.  That's what love does, it drives you to do everything to maintain that connection."
- Michael Jordan

Friday, May 17, 2013

Why Writing?

Why writing?

I ask myself that exact same question all the time. Why this form of self-expression? Why not a painter? A sculptor? A photographer? Why would I enjoy something that cost me so much trouble in the earliest years of my life? I think I know why. My family moved to Southern California from Veracruz, Mexico on December 1st, 1990. I was nine days from turning 3 years old. Up until I was 5 years old, all I was ever exposed to was Spanish. I spoke to my mom and dad in Spanish and rarely interacted with anyone who didn’t. So when I started school a couple years later, that was the first time in my life I was completely surrounded by English.

I remember other kids coming up to talk to me and not understanding a single word they were saying. Things usually had to be repeated a number of times before I could decipher what they meant. If that didn't work, they would repeat themselves about three or four times before the hand gestures came into the mix. I would look at them and try and figure out what they were saying by judging their face expressions. I got pretty good at guessing after a while. As time went on, I learned English thanks to my fellow classmates. For little kids, they surprisingly had a ton of patience with me. They really helped me. Watching the Power Rangers also helped a lot! I remember putting a ton of effort into memorizing and learning new words each and every day. I believe those early days as a student of the English language helped shape my love for it.

When I was 6, I wrote my first story. It was about a kid who drank magical Gatorade that made him fly. As soon as I finished my first story, I was hooked. I became obsessed with writing and reading other writers. While yard sale shopping with my mom one Saturday, I found an old blank journal with cats and flowers on the cover. It wasn't the coolest thing, but I asked my mom if I could get it and she was more than happy to buy it for me. I remember the lady who sold it to us charged us a quarter for it. She probably thought it was a little weird how a little Mexican boy could be so excited about a notebook with cats and flowers on the cover. When I bought it, I had no idea that I would still cherish it 20 years later. I carried that thing around EVERYWHERE. I loved creating characters, scenarios, and plots for fun! I wrote and wrote and wrote. Before I knew it, I had filled up my journal. Not too long after, my mom bought me a composition book and kept feeding my addiction for writing. I connected with writing like nothing before. The rest is history.

I love music, art, photography, and other forms of self-expression. But for some reason, I can best express my feelings and emotions through writing. Writing has, unfortunately, been associated negatively in most people’s minds because of past experiences. Growing up, writing was used as a form of punishment by teachers and educators. When you didn’t turn in your homework, you had to copy a sentence a given amount of times. Or if you did something wrong, you would be asked to write an essay or an apology letter of some sorts. Most people relate writing to something bad. Let me be the first to tell you, it is not. There is something about writing something down that liberates it from your mind and puts you at peace. It almost seems like your thoughts are carried through your arm down to your hand and onto the paper. The feelings and emotions stay on the page. Nobody has to read your writing, it is only for YOU. Try it out for yourself. Write something down on a paper that is making you unhappy. Describe everything about it that makes you unhappy. Write down everything that comes to mind when thinking about this specific thing or time. Once you finish, burn that piece of paper. You will feel a lot better, I promise. Writing has that kind of power.

“But I suck at writing,” you say? It is okay, we all do. Nobody is perfect. That is part of the fun! One of my favorite quotes about writing comes from the great Ernest Hemingway. He said, 
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” 
This is coming from one of the greatest to ever write! Just remember, writing is an art form just like music or painting. There is no “best” way to do it. Just do it! (Unintentional Nike plug). Whenever you get a chance, write something down. Whether it is a sentence or an entire page, it is YOUR writing. You do not have to show anybody. It is for you and just you. In a couple of years, it will be really fun to go back and read what you wrote. I still have my flowery cat journal and read it to this day. It is incredible to have a recorded history of myself written by myself.

So, I ask myself again, "why writing?"

Because it made me who I am.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet

The dark road appeared to be never-ending on this warm spring night. I was exhausted and my eyelids kept coming closer and closer to their embrace. The only thing that kept me awake was the little yellow sedan in front of me that kept swaying side to side in its lane. Through the tint of the car’s back window, I could see an ominous glow coming from the driver’s seat. I suspected that the driver in the swaying sedan was in a heated text messaging debate with somebody. The sentences this person was writing were probably so long and so emotionally charged that he or she needed to let go of the steering wheel occasionally to make sure the point was made with the 145 characters allotted. Or maybe I was wrong? Maybe the driver was in my position and was exhausted after his or her long 14-hour day. Or maybe the driver was on his or her way back from a bar or a friend’s house after a few drinks of the “good stuff.” I could not shake the concern of the ominous glow.

Regardless of the reason for the swaying, I decided to keep some space between my truck and the little yellow sedan. I could see a beacon of safety in the glow of the lights of my town coming up in the distance. I felt a little safer knowing that my turn was coming up soon and I wouldn't have to live in fear behind the little yellow sedan. As soon as I could see the sign that read “Alessandro Blvd,” I turned on my left-turn signal. I was almost back into town safe and sound. But my short lived calm was broken when the little yellow sedan’s left-turn signal began to flash. 
Great… This reckless driver lives in my town
We both turned onto the two-lane road. The continuous swaying of the little yellow road hazard made me want to reach home even faster. But for now, there was nothing I could do but go at its slow and menacing pace.

After what seemed like days, I could finally see a street light where the lane split in two. I could finally come face to face with the driver whose driving reminded me of an ocean current as it crashed into the rocks of the shore. 
I’m finally going to solve the case of the little yellow sedan and see who is behind the wheel. 
I could see the sedan’s brake lights engage as we got closer to the streetlight. I slowly stepped on my brakes as the glow from the streetlight moved from the hood of my truck to my driver’s seat. As soon as the other lane opened up, I pulled up on the driver’s side of the sedan. 
Finally, I have you in my sights. 
The satisfaction of knowing I was right was all I was after. I had no intentions of saying anything to the driver or initiating any sort of contact. I just wanted to look over and see who it was.

couldn't believe it. The driver wasn’t some drunken extremist or angry text message debater. The driver was a young girl with both hands on her steering wheel, bawling her eyes out. From my truck I could see that she had her iPod connected to the stereo in her car and she kept flipping from one break-up song to the next. I finally saw that the glow wasn't a hazard, but a signal of despair. 
Well, that explains the glow. 
She dropped her face into her hands as her body shook uncontrollably. I contemplated opening my window and offering her some encouraging words
Everything will be okay. It must get dark to see the stars
But I couldn't do it. couldn't look away. As soon as she lifted her face from her hands, she stepped on the gas. I hadn't even noticed the light for us to go had turned green because I was so captivated by the scene of the beautiful girl who could not stop crying. I began to drive following not too far behind the girl. She was driving a lot straighter. Maybe she was finally all cried out? We drove for less than a minute before we hit another streetlight.

When we stopped at the next light I looked over to see the girl. This time she looked like she was done crying as she wiped her eyes and turned off her iPod. She looked ahead and let out a few labored breaths. I saw that she counted ten breaths as she lay back into her seat. She was done crying. I kept watching as she began to talk to herself. By the looks of it, she was talking herself into not crying over her break-up. I could imagine her saying: 
He’s not worth it anyway. I’m better off without him. It’s for the best.” 
She even let out a slight grin once she conquered her sadness. I did not know who she was, but I was happy for her.

The entire time she was going through her episode, I was glad that she did not catch me staring at her. She was in her own little world. Whenever we are in our cars we feel completely free to do almost anything we want without the consequences of other people seeing us. Like Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, only she could see it and control it. On one hand, this girl felt completely free to cry her eyes out and play her favorite songs that reminded her of her recently broken relationship. On the other hand, I felt like a bird just watching her from afar without the risk of being caught staring. I was comfortable in my own invisible jet. These walls that we create in our cars hide us from the world. When we are inside these walls, we are free to sing, cry, laugh, and even dance without the worry of catching anybody’s attention. These invisible walls block out the outside world and leave behind only what we want to bring into them. We are the gatekeepers and as soon as we get behind the wheel and drive, we are in full control of our invisible jets. Sometimes we cannot wait to be inside our cars because of the privacy it brings. “Hold on, let me get in my car.” “I’ll call you when I’m driving home.” “We’ll talk in the car.” These are all sentences used and said every day that bind us to the privacy offered by our cars. At times we save phone calls and special conversations for our sanctuaries. They are invisible jets, our private phone booths, recording studios, and counseling sessions.

We act as if our subconscious has embodied itself into an invisible someone in the passenger seat of the car. Someone who can talk back to you, sings with you, and can give you advice. This girl had convinced herself that she was going to be alright, and her invisible jet was the only place she was going to do this.

As soon as the next street came, she turned right and I turned left. The last glimpse I got of the girl was a happy one. She was smiling. It wasn't a huge smile, but it was enough to know that she was going to be alright.

Thursday, December 15, 2011



steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state,etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
Theology continuance in a state of grace to the end,leading to eternal salvation.

"If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward." - Thomas Edison

     On the night of my birthday I had one of the most interesting and motivational talks I have had in recent history. The conversation was with a friend of a friend. We began by talking about trivial junk all young adults talk about like work and school. Then the conversation took an interesting turn. He began talking to me about his struggles, triumphs, fears, and tribulations he has faced in life. This person is only 27 but has faced many obstacles most people never face in their lives. We ended up talking for a long time. From all the thoughts and ideologies exchanged, I learned a very valuable lesson in perseverance. Here are a few things we talked about that night.

     On our path to achieving our dreams, we will undoubtedly run into obstacles which will test our desire for those goals, AND, most importantly, teach us important lessons about ourselves as well. Perseverance is staying with a task and not giving up, being patient and willing to work hard, showing commitment and pride in completing tasks. It is being in a race and when you are near the end and struggling to finish, you find that burst of energy to cross the finish line. It is always finishing what you started and NEVER giving up when things get tough. It is trying something again, even if you failed the first time. 

     Perseverance is one critical element we need in order to succeed. Many people who are not successful are usually intelligent people who gave up too soon. They possibly could have had an idea that would change the world but because of their lack of perseverance, their dreams never came to fruition.

Lack of perseverance can also lead to the loss of interest in dreams. People who keep getting shot down repeatedly begin to doubt themselves, their dreams, and their abilities. These dreams that once kept them awake at night eventually become just a thought of the past. Their passion and desire for this dream just vanished into thin air. Eventually, years later, they will be sitting at home wondering to themselves "Why did I ever stop chasing that dream?"

Developing perseverance is not as difficult a task as most might believe. Here are a few tips for developing perseverance:

  1. Follow your dreams and continue to repeat these actions day in and day out until the end when you begin to see results.
  2. Ask yourself: "What do I want? What are my dreams?" Knowing what you want in life is a huge motivator. When things do not work at as planned, step back, and try it again. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. Let the failure fuel your drive and desire.
  3. Visualize your goal manifesting itself into reality. Knowing you are that much closer to making it a reality will be a huge when overcoming failures.
  4. Lastly, have faith and do not quit no matter what. Sometimes when we do not get what we wanted, we allow the negativity to blind us and blur our dreams. Always try and think about whats next rather than thinking if this was a good idea or not. Act as if it were impossible to fail.
I reiterate, never give up and always keep going no matter what. All your dreams can come true if you have the perseverance to pursue them. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes and the one I live my life by.
"I have failed over and over in my life, and that is why I succeed."
 - Michael Jordan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Kobe Bryant

happy birthday to the greatest basketball player in the game today. he has inspired me to never give up on my goals and how to persevere under pressure. he has set a new standard and is a walking hall of famer. the crazy part is ... he's not done yet.

Happy Birthday Kobe Bryant

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Time I Ran From The Police

When I was 18 years old, I ran from the police. Now before you start assuming things let me just say that I was not "on the run" from the police, they literally chased me and searched for me for about 2 hours. It's an interesting story I've only shared with close friends. But now I share it with all of you guys, my blog readers. 

Five years ago I worked at the Pizza Hut on Ironwood. I really liked working there because the people there were super easy to get along with. I remember it was a Friday night and my coworker Spencer (let's just say that was his name to protect his identity) came up to me and invited me to a party at his house. Spencer was 16 years old and was more open with me because I was the closest to his age of all our other co workers. He was telling me that his parents were gone for the weekend and that he was going to have drinks and a few friends over and wanted me to come. So I accepted the invite and told him that I would need to go home and change but I'd be there. Since I was a cook, showering immediately after work was mandatory. I don't like cheese and that's all I smelled like after work. After work I went home and showered and put on some clean clothes and headed to his house. It was about 1am.

As soon as I got to his house (he lived on Climbing Rose) I could see a few cars parked out front so I decided to park a few houses down. Walking up to his house I saw Spencer sitting on the curb smoking a cigarette. He finished his cigarette and welcomed me into his house. The second we were about to walk inside everybody was coming out of the house and saying their goodbyes to him. I even saw a few people being dragged out or carried. That's when I started to think "Wow, they've only been drinking for an hour or two and they're already shitfaced. Damn 16 year olds are lightweights." After he said goodbye to all his guests we went inside his house to see if there were any survivors and any sort of alcohol left. Once inside we saw that his friend "Rudy" (lets just say that was his name) was still there. At this point I decided that I wasn't going to drink because it was late anyway and I had to drive home. As soon as we sat down the house phone rang. Spencer picked it up. As soon as he said "hello" the expression on his face COMPLETELY changed. He just answered every question with "ok." Once he hung up the phone Rudy asked him "Your parents are coming back right now aren't they?" Spencer just shook his head. We started to clean up a little bit to try and make it look like nothing ever happened. As soon as we cleaned up Spencer decided that we needed to leave the house so his parents wouldn't see him drunk. He suggested we go to the mountain behind his house and just hang there and converse or something. We all agreed and made our way out the door.

If you know where Climbing Rose Ave is in Moreno Valley then you know that it runs along the base of Box Springs Mountain. There is also this little section of the street where there are no houses and the mountain is exposed. We followed a small trail that led behind his neighbor's houses  and eventually up the mountain. As we were climbing we noticed that Rudy was getting more and more drunk. The alcohol really began to take a hold of this poor guy, so we helped him the rest of the way up. We walked for about ten minutes when we finally passed everybody's backyards and got to a view point where we could see the city. As soon as we got there Rudy said excitedly "Look what I brought!" He pulled out a bottle of vodka that he had hidden in his pant leg. He wore really baggy jeans so we didn't notice it at all. We were all so captivated by the view that we didn't really pay attention to what Rudy was doing. I had gotten a text from my friend Taco (that's his nickname but YES that's what we call him) who was at a Kansas concert at Casino Morongo. Once I text him back and put my phone away I looked for Rudy because he had stumbled away for a bit. I found him a few feet away trying to spark his lighter. Once he got his lighter to spark, a giant circle of flames surrounded him. I didn't realize that he poured out the remaining vodka around him to make a perfect circle then he LIT IT ON FIRE. As soon as the circle of flames was on fire he stood up and started to dance! He did the Beavis and Butthead laugh and said "look guys, I'm dancing in a ring of fire!" 

I know what you're thinking... this guy is crazy. Trust me, I thought the EXACT same thing. Alcohol makes you do crazy things. 

As soon as he said that we started to kick dirt on the flames to put the fire out. Right as we finished putting the flames out, the ghettobird (police helicopter) shined its lights on us. A voice came out of the speaker and said "Freeze! Do not move from where you are!"

Spencer then yelled "RUN!" I was so caught up in the moment that I didn't think it twice and started running. I don't think I've ever ran so fast in my life. During the period when this happened I was in my high school's cross country team, and I was in peak running form. I remember looking back and leaving Spencer and Rudy way behind me. The trail that took about 10 minutes to walk felt like it took 5 second to run back, and as soon as we got back to the street, there were two cop cars parked there waiting for us. I remember seeing them from far away and thinking "This is so crazy, I was never so scared before in my life. The police are going to think we are arsonists. They are going to smell the alcohol on Spencer and Rudy's breath and blame me for it because I was older." So many thoughts ran through my head as I approached the waiting officers. As soon as I got close to them I remember I started to run even faster and ran right between the two officers. I could almost swear that they grabbed my shirt but couldn't get a grip on it. I didn't care, I just ran because it felt like my life depended on it.

As soon as I passed the officers, they started to chase me. At first I could hear their footsteps and then they started going in the opposite direction. I looked back only to see Rudy stumbling down the trail and falling down right in front of the officers. I didn't see Spencer so I assumed he found a good spot and stayed hidden in the mountain. I kept running and right when I thought I was in the clear the ghettobird focused its lights back on me. I stopped in the middle of the street and started running a different direction. the lights lost their focus on me so I took full advantage of that and hid the only place I thought I could, under someone's truck in their driveway. I saw a small Tacoma parked in a driveway and ran and laid under it. From under there I could see all the officers running by trying to find me. I could hear the ghettobird's propeller and the speaker telling the police that they lost the visual. I hid under that truck for about 30 minutes when I saw the officers  walking back from the direction they were running. I could overhear them talking "Damn that kid was fast. It's alright though, we got the other one." 

As a precaution I laid under that truck for about 3 hours after I heard all the commotion stop. During that time I called my friend Taco to see where he was and then my friend Justin who I worked with at my prior Pizza Hut. Taco was still at the concert but Justin said he was in town and on his way over. I told him where exactly I was at and came and got me. As soon as he pulled up, he parked in the driveway and I got out from under the truck and jumped in his van and we drove to Starbucks on Day St to let a little bit of time slide and so he could drive me back to my van so I could go home, finally. At Starbucks i explained everything that happened and we both just laughed. I felt good that I could finally laugh about it all. Eventually we drove back to my van and I drove home.

A few days later I saw Spencer at work and the first thing he told me was "Dude! I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYBODY RUN SO FAST IN MY LIFE" and we both just laughed about it. he told me that he saw a hiding spot and hid there. he ended up falling asleep in the hiding spot and got woken up when the sun came out the next morning. I asked him what happened to Rudy and he said the police took him home and talked to his parents. That was it.

In conclusion, it was a crazy night. Everybody was safe and home at the end of the night. But it's definitely a story I will remember for the rest of my life.