The Final Post

Karangahape Rd, Auckland 2019 (Photo Credit: Christian Espinoza)

Thank you.

For the past four and a half months, you’ve read my ramblings as I etched my thoughts on here, one post at a time.

Looking back at them I see this has been a practice in sharing and reflecting, which developed into a daily ritual. Posting the blog created structure amongst the empty space I was in. It was a voice I didn’t know I had.

Now I feel it is time to say goodbye. I am grateful for anyone who read my blog, took away from it, and I can say I enjoyed every minute of it.

Go well and kill it in the game 🙂

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

– Albert Einstein

Dust in the Wind

Skycity, Auckland City 2019 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone.

All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity. Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea. All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see.

Dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind. Oh, ho, ho.

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

It slips away

And all your money won’t another minute buy

Dust in the wind

All we are is dust in the wind.”

– Kansas, 1978.

Lethal Ladies

Photo of Daria Smith, 2014 (Photo Credit: Christian Espinoza)

Being tough is not about beating people up.

Being tough is about being fearless, and taking a challenge head on. Knowing who you are and being at peace with your inner self.

Having the discipline and self control to put in the practice, day in and day out, and condition your mind and your body to achieve greatness.

I had created several kickboxing documentaries before, but In 2014, I undertook a personal project photographing some of the Muay Thai fighters from the “Lethal Ladies” camp. They definitely lived up to their name in the ring ! In the studio they were some of the loveliest people I have ever photographed. Some were even a bit shy, but the shoot was a total success and really fun to do.

I learned about the art of Muay Thai and what it means to these fighters.

If you’re interested to know more about the Lethal Ladies, watch the Vice video below, filmed right here in NZ !

Get a Haircut and get a Real Job

Westfest 2015, Auckland (Photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

In 2003 my friend Ross and I formed a band called Trial By Fire and we played heavy metal music. We played clubs all over Auckland and in 2006 we toured the country with a band called Human. By the end of that year we had split up.

The excitement we got from playing on stage, feeling the energy from the crowd, and seeing the hordes of people mosh to the music we wrote in our bedrooms. We were 20 nothing, and it was a moment in time we would never have again.

While Ross still plays in bands, I took a different direction – Photography. I spent many years practicing the craft, and I still do to this day. From Studio lighting to Documentary, I love the duality of the medium, its spontaneity and control.

We are all told we have to have a passion, and if we don’t then I guess we need to find it. I don’t know if I agree with that. I think passion finds us when we’re discovering life.

Do you have a passion ?

If you don’t that’s OK. Just go out into the world and make yourself useful. Passion will find you when you’re not looking for it.

In Tech we Trust

My 13yr old, Ethan (Photo Credit: Christian Espinoza)

Disconnecting from platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is a luxury but isn’t always feasible. I know this first hand.

How many times have you caught yourself scrolling through the never ending feeds of other people’s pages ? Or down a You Tube rabbit hole ? The comments section ? I’m not entirely sure that we know how we got here.

I read a book called Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil, perhaps the most riveting book on mathematics I have ever read. O’Neil poses a compelling argument on how the unregulated misuse (or, weaponizing) of data by organizations, on a mass scale is actually damaging lives.

You could even argue that we’ve gone from a state of being watched (think George Orwell’s 1984) to being manipulated. Our behavioral patterns are being sold as commodity by big tech companies, and perhaps our individual privacy is more important now than it ever has been.

Next time you find yourself scrolling for hours, or in the comments section, ask yourself: Is this adding value to my life ?

If so, scroll away !

I got bitches askin’ me about the code for the WiFi. So they can talk about they timeline. And show me pictures of they friends. Just to tell me they ain’t really friends.

– Drake (Energy)

The Horror

On the set of ‘Deathgasm‘ 2015 (Photo Credit: Christian Espinoza)

As far back as I can remember, I have always been obsessed with horror.

Movies, Books, Posters, T-Shirts, Music and Magazines. My first email address was count.orlok@houseofhorrors.com. I was desensitized from a young age, I recall watching Toby Hooper’s original Texas Chainsaw Massacre when I was 8 years old. My local video shop was my second home, and I made it my mission to rent every single horror movie on those shelves. From Amityville Horror to Zombie Holocaust, I watched them all, one tape at a time. I remember inviting my next door neighbors to come and watch the Omen with me ! It left them distraught. I genuinely loved seeing my friends’ expressions when they watched for the first time.

I later developed a passion for the craft, the cinematography, the make up and special FX, the soundtrack, the script, everything. For my 12th birthday my folks got me a Panasonic camcorder. I started filming my own horror movies with my friends after school and on weekends. I would stay up late, crudely editing my tapes. This was everything to me.

Somewhere along the way, my passion subsided. I stopped watching the films, put away my camcorder, and disposed of my merch. My love for horror got buried 6 feet under and was replaced by work, parenting, bills and laundry. Sad.

If you made it this far, I have a fun and quick exercise for you 🙂

  1. Go back to a time when you were young, free, and you felt immensely passionate about something and just for no reason at all, revisit it.
  2. Then watch what happens.

I will do the same.

“Until the next time boils and ghouls… pleasant screams !” (The Cryptkeeper)

Confessions of a Tiny House Project

Dave Hopkins, Taupo (Photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Q&A with Dave Hopkins.

How long have you lived in your tiny house, and why did you decide to build it in the first place ?

I have lived in Tiny for a little over a year. I built it because I can’t afford Auckland rental prices, that and every other cost of living here in this beautiful city. I have two young girls and they don’t cost me a lot of money now but I know that at some point I’m gonna need to have cashola on hand so meet their demands.

How long did it take you to build ‘Tiny’ ?

It took me 12 months to build it to a point where it was weather proof. I still have to finish the (expletive) interior but that will happen slowly over the course of time (a lot like the stories you tell).

How much money did it cost you to build ‘Tiny’ ?

To get it to this point it has taken approximately $40k. That’s not including the money I lost to the first (expletive) who I paid to build my trailer.

What was the biggest challenge you faced ?

The aforementioned (expletive)

Have you found other people who have also built a tiny house, and how has their experience compared to yours ?

Yes I have – lots. Their experience is very similar. They’ve gone tiny for the same reasons, they’ve met the same (expletives) along the way and now they say they have never been happier.

Does the house have electricity and plumbing ?

Yes of course it does, you (expletive)

What are the Pros and Cons of living in a tiny house ?

Pros – cheap to run, Cons – because its so tiny there’s no place to put my phatt (expletive)

If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently ?

I think I should have converted a bus instead – It would make moving around easier (in the future) 

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to undertake a tiny house build project ?

Don’t be afraid – just (expletive) do it