One person can make a difference. Oh but check out our party pics from tonight!
My boy Jose flew into town today from Miami. We had an event to do with Scion, which dealt with us driving Scion TCs. Our night started off at the NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona. It's a pretty cool place to check out, even if you aren't really into drag racing. Seriously, I was surprised at how much I liked the place.
We were at the NHRA Museum to have dinner with some of the top sport compact drag racers in the industry, like Christian Rado, Kenny Tran, and Matt Scranton, as well as the heads of Scion, TRD, and NHRA. But what I thought was cool, was this old photo of a drag car, which was sideways at the dragstrip. It looks like an old DRIFTING photo! So cool! I want to buy this photo for my wall, but like... it's in a museum.
I took a photo of the photo, and recomposed it to look like more "my style." This photo is so gangster! Look at the rear tire flexing! If you've seen my drifting photos before, then you'll probably agree that the new composition looks totally my style. Right!
If you haven't seen my drifting photos before, You should BUY a copy of my book already! Just so you know what I'm talking about! haha just kidding.
No, I'm serious.
You really need to have a copy of my book on your coffee table.
Wow, what an honor. I got the chance to talk to, and hang out with the legendary Alex Xydias, of So-Cal Speed Shop fame. Incredible. Since most people my age have no idea who Alex Xydias is, this guy revolutionized hot rodding and helped it to become a staple of American culture in general.
Alex was super nice, and he seemed very surprised that a person my age knew who he was, and what he was all about. We talked about how we both wrote books about things we were passionate about (his book is about hot rodding, mine is about drifting) and we even had the same publisher. I was telling him how I saw alot of parallels between the old days of hot rodding, and the current state of drifting. He totally understood what I was talking about, and agreed.
Back in the days, hot rodding your car was something that was frowned upon by society in general. People thought hot rodders were just a bunch of kids screwing around, it was difficult to get it accepted into society. It started out as an underground movement... and today, because of Alex Xydias and people like him, hot rodding is now an integral part of American culture as a whole.
I always talk about how one day, I'd like to make a difference in the world, no matter how small. My ultimate goal in life is to have some lasting impact on people.
Man talk about lasting impact! Alex Xydias helped SHAPE American car culture. Now that is crazy. I have nothing but the greatest respect for him.
Seriously people, get yourself some culture.
Read more about this. Get a copy of Alex's book, "So-Cal Speed Shop" www.socalspeedshop.com and he'll even sign it for you. The photos and stories are amazing.
This photo was hanging on the wall in the museum. I think it's pretty damn awesome. So moody, strong and impactful.
Seriously, the NHRA Museum is pretty damn cool. This is a huge blown up photograph of some guys chillin in their garage... they used to race top fuel dragsters that they would build in their own garage. It was so grassroots back then! Amazing, this is one of those times when a picture is worth a thousand words.
Below the pic is a bench with a ton of vintage stickers from different race tracks and other stuff like that. Again, super cool.
Jose, me, and my boy Chris Rado the rockstar. I was friends with Chris since like 1999, before he ever got famous in the sport compact scene. Now he is a famous drag racer backed by TOYOTA and SCION. He is cool as hell, and is one of those guys who creates his own opportunities rather than wait and have it handed to him. Much respect Chris.
But you're still a punk ass for not coming out to Hollywood with us tonight.
Tonight was the night that they put the first import car in the NHRA Museum as a permanent fixture. And it was a TOYOTA. ZZT231 Celica to be exact, Matt Scranton's car. This thing is hella fast. Over 200mph.
Walking around back there, we found a cool old display of American Racing Wheels, so my boy Jose had to represent. It's funny, the surfboard or whatever that is up there says "In Thrust We Trust."
I thought it was funny because it sounded like sexual innuendo, but they were really talking about their classic wheel, the American Racing Torque Thrust. Still, my mind is always in the gutter.
Man this museum is pretty damn cool. Even if I'm not into those cars, I can appreciate it.
Okay on to the party pics! After we left the NHRA Museum, we went to Day After in Hollywood to meet up with our friends! On my left is photographer Scott Garpot (I'm sure you've seen his photos floating around Myspace), me, Char, and Reiko. These two girls have the best personalities. And Reiko can drift her S13 like nobody's business!
This is my boy Stanley Tran. He is a pretty good driver for a Vietnamese guy, he is one of the top drivers in the Just Drift Series! He has a red RPS13 with good offset 17 and 18 inch Enkei RPF1 wheels, and a zenki front lip spoiler. Also, Stan referred me to NBC Universal when they were looking for a special effects photographer who could shoot drifting, for the filming of Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift.
After looking at everyone's portfolios, the people at Universal chose me as their photographer. Such an honor. Thanks alot Stan! And I'm still flippin him off. I'm such an ungrateful asshole.
Me and my boy Kent Chen from Endless USA were straight clownin! Kent is hella cool. He also has a clothing site, you might not know about. www.grymrkt.com
Andy Yen was pretty faded, but he assures us his newly rebuilt AE86 is gonna be sick! I believe you man! Can't wait to see it!
Well I was chillin with Lisa here, and I was talking to someone so they took the pic when I wasn't ready! Hate it when that happens! But who cares, Lisa looks hot as hell doesnt she!
I like Lisa alot, but I try not to go out with her too much cause I don't wanna get shot by gangsters or anything. Haha SORRY Lisa!
Again, Adam, Tob, Char and I were chillin, and this fool pokes me in the eye with the straw of his drink right as we're taking the picture! Dammit Tob!
My boy John Pangalinan with the Clockwork Crew. Clockwork is a new record label which produces only the dopest quality hip hop tracks. You GOT to listen to their new joint, The Only Way, by their group Johnson and Jonson. Listen to it on www.myspace.com/antonioalvendia cause it's my profile song. It perfectly describes the struggle and how I'm feelin right now.
Here's a bunch of old guys talking.
Haha naw jk Herbrock One and his stories always make Jay laugh... dude Herb has a story about every place you could possibly go in LA!
Whatt!!! This is Julie, I haven't seen her in a long ass time! She is into cars too, and her favorite wheels are from Rays Engineering. She was also a JGTC Umbrella girl for Rays/Volk. Now that's pimp.
Close crew! CMG Everyhere. Everyone in this photo is a good friend of mine, and everyone in this photo owns an AE86 hatchback, and Canon digital SLRs and/or video equipment. Except for Cindy, but we let her in the photo because of her really huge... personality!
Cindy is awesome, she is the one who ships out all the books to people who order off my www.driftingbook.com website! Love ya Cindy!
Rob looks like he's having a little bit too much fun! Where's her right hand man?
Steve aka "86*Starr" and Herbrock One. Some of the most OG AE86 guys around. Steve's kouki is cleannn!
We got alot of good inspiration at the NHRA Museum earlier in the evening, and ended the night chillin with friends in Hollywood. Aside from paying $20 for parking, I love Hollywood.
Now I gotta wake up in a couple hours to go drag racing at Pomona.