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Waiting for Fanless

Waiting for Fanless, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

Walking for a Cause

(I am copying this post from my own blog. I don’t feel it needs to be rewritten as it says everything I want to say. – Balou)

I tend not to live a life of regret. I always say everything happens for a reason (no really; I always say it) because I truly believe that. Every thing that happens to us in life, every experience, is there to serve as a lesson. Unfortunately, sometimes there are situations that exist outside of us, outside our reach, and we have no control over them. Yet their impact on us is undeniable. And these things, sadly, are the ones I regret.

Fanless’ dad passed away on May 26, 2008. We were at his place hanging out, watching movies or something, when he got the phone call from his cousin in Washington. When he relayed the message to me, my heart immediately broke. It broke for Fanless, for his loss and the void this loss would surely create. It broke for his mom, who would now have to deal with the pain of losing her high school sweetheart, her “other half” of almost 40 years. And selfishly, it broke for me, as the realization dawned on me that I would never have the opportunity to meet this man, this person that had such a huge part in making the boy I love the person he is today.

His dad was only 58 years old. His death was due to an acute myocardial infarction (or as the boy put it “Those are fancy words for a heart attack.”)

A heart attack. At 58. Whaa–?? As it turns out, that’s not so uncommon. According to the American Heart Association’s 2008 statistics, one in three American adults have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Nearly 2,400 Americans die of cardiovascular disease every DAY. Did you catch that? Not every year, not every month… EVERY DAY. That’s an average of one death every 37 seconds. The easiest way to fight heart disease is no big mystery: maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthier foods and exercise. That’s it. Trust me, I know – easier said than done! But I think it’s worth the effort to at least try.

A few weeks ago Tere approached me about forming a team for the American Heart Association’s Miami-Dade Start! Heart Walk. A team in honor of the Fanless’ father. Although I was very enthusiastic about it, I was nervous about asking him. I didn’t know if he would feel weird about it, about the focus it would put on him and his family. I broached the topic with him cautiously, not sure what his reaction might be. Luckily, he was okay with it. And so a walk team has begun to form.

Thanks to Tere, who took it upon herself to captain the team, emails have been sent and friends have agreed to take part in this event. So on October 11th, Fanless and I, along with several of our friends, will join participants from all over South Florida at Tropical Park in Miami to walk in honor of their friends and family members, to promote and raise awareness of heart disease and its impact on everyones’ lives.

And I will be walking in honor of the most important man I will never meet. And that is one thing I regret greatly.

To make a donation to the AHA Heart Walk, in honor of Fanless’ dad, please go here.

“It’s Yust a Yoke!”

OR –

    “Why the Music Industry Needs to Get a Sense of Humor”

Every time Fanless and I go to a concert we see a lot of kids wearing this shirt.

I looked it up online and found the website the shirt comes from and the meaning behind the message. It’s way too long to get into but here is the Reader’s Digest version: some chick is suicidal and drug-addicted, she cuts herself, meets some guy, tells him the story, he helps her rehabilitate, then starts this website to raise money for suicide prevention.

It’s a great story. It’s a great cause. The whole thing is greater than great and I am 100% behind it.

However, let’s get serious. Teenagers are fickle and this is the hip charity trend du jour. A couple of years ago it was Bono’s (RED) campaign. Before that it was rubber bracelets for the disease of the month club. I’m pretty sure this is going to lose momentum sooner rather than later.

But I digress.

So this past Saturday Fanless and I are the Vans Warped Tour and I notice the guitarist from Just Surrender wearing this shirt. I point it out to Fanless and we both think it’s pretty funny. It’s satire. It’s parody. It’s a JOKE, obviously.

Fanless wants to get one of these shirts (of course) and as we walk around the vendor booths at Warped I notice the shirt is nowhere to be found. He looks for it online the following day and finds the MySpace page for the tshirt company, Teenage Hippo Clothing. Along with the shirt, he finds this story from THC:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Adult Cut Plus AKA What Happened on Warped

(This is all subject to first-hand speculation)
I don’t know if you heard, but your almighty teenage hippo crew got kicked off of Warped Tour for our parody of a certain popular industry shirt. Everyone on the tour loved it, even though they couldn’t pubicly(sp.) admit that they did. We took it down and “stopped” selling it after a request from an organizer on only the first day, but even though we complied, we were told the next day that unless we conformed to a set of their rules, paid these extravvagant fees ($250/Day), AND stopped selling that shirt, we would have to leave the tour or find someone to let us sell from their booth. We decided that we would rather leave, than make someone else on the tour a pariah for helping us, but before we left a few bands, that I probably shouldn’t mention, came by and requested the shirt, and lots of merch and crew guys picked it up, too. Apparently, though no one likes the guy who runs the organization that we parodied very much, they all don’t want to upset him at all… to be perfectly honest, niether do we, the shirt is a joke, a very, very, very, very funny joke, and it should be taken with a grain of salt, unless you have high blood pressure like me, in that case take it with your dieuretic and blood thinners. Anyway, go grab one on teenagehippo.com, tell your friends about it, and teach the industry to have a sense of humor, it’s about time to stop hating or cutting and giggle more instead.

P.S. I can’t believe I got my hair cut at Fantastic Sams for this…

Okay, now, to me, this is just ridiculous. Hey, music execs and Warped tour organizers: guess what? It’s just a joke!

[super mega eyeroll!]

Not-So-Extreme Makeover


Watch Travis’ Record-Breaking Double Backflip here!
Saw “199 Lives: The Travis Pastrana Story” with Fanless last night. Holy crap! His poor mom (Travis’, not Fanless’)!!

Watch 199 Lives trailer here.

Twenty-three years of setting and breaking records – and breaking and setting bones – have not stopped this kid from pursuing the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of taking risks. List of injuries to date (per the movie):

– Dislocated shoulder 3 times
– 60+ broken bones
– 4+ broken tibia
– Dislocated spine (luckily, only once… so far)
– 25+ (that’s OVER 25!) concussions

And that’s just what I remember off the top of my head!

I have to say I really, REALLY like the fact that Travis is kind of a dork. He’s a goofy, clean-cut kid (no tats, no piercings, nothing like that), loves his mom, respects his dad, is the apple of grandma’s eye. He’s a humble, unassuming boy. And yet, he is called the “Evel Knievel for a new generation.” And if you’re thinking “he’s an idiot for risking his life so much”, you’d be wrong. He claims that every risk he takes is calculated. And my favorite quote from him?

“If for some reason I don’t make it to the bottom… I died happy.” (Just before jumping into the Grand Canyon with a parachute strapped to his back.)

Now if only I wasn’t such a punkass, chicken-shit, I would totally adopt that as my mantra.

Cuteness totem pole!

Cuteness totem pole!, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

Hi Christian!

Have fun in Orlando. We miss you!!

T., L. & Y.


Forgot to wear this on St Pat’s Day. (Thanx, Fanless!!)

P.S. I also tried playing around with some techniques in ImageReady. Not sure how I feel about it yet.

Boobs on the shoulder

Boobs on the shoulder, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

Fanless w/bartender @ Full Moon Saloon, Daytona Beach, Main Street (2/8/08)

Jesse James bike!

Jesse James bike!, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

Multimedia message

Multimedia message, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

Double Fisting!

Double Fisting!, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

Fanless takes his beer consumption seriously, as evident by this photo.

LL Cool J

LL Cool J, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

Billboard outside Coconut Grove (Miami), 022808



DSC00136, originally uploaded by Balou_SFN.

@ Churchills, 022408