LIVE, LAUGH, AND LEARN... welcome to the co.

Disneyland: What will you celebrate?

Its been awhile. But lets come back on something happy... Its summer. its hot! well atleast around these parts! and ive been wanting to go to disneyland.... now im a total cornball when it comes to this kinda stuff but damn... if you dont find this moving in anyway ... i would call you heartless...




Forever, Michael

A little over 24 hours ago we were shocked as tweets, updates and queries overloaded Twitter, Facebook and Google with the King of Pop’s death. It was sort of surreal when I first read it in my Twitter timeline. Like many, I couldn't keep up with the "updates." I had heard he suffered a heart attack... and then was in a coma... and couldn’t believe it when the news broke that he had passed. I refused to believe it until CNN or NPR made an official statement and even then it seemed unreal. At the age of 50, the international superstar passed away after suspected cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home.

24 hours later, the news is just now starting to sink in for me. It’s hard to explain, but in my mind it just didn’t seem possible that THE Michael Jackson could die. I had grown up listening to Michael. He sang the soundtrack of my childhood and adolescent life and in my twenties it’s his songs that get me on the dance floor every time at any club (you can’t tell me you don’t get the urge whenever you hear a hint of “Beat It” or my all time fave, “PYT”). I guarantee that we’ve all got some memory that involves a Michael Jackson hit (my memory? My very first junior high slow dance was to “You Are Not Alone” lol!).

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny his talent and the timeless influence he’s had on the music industry. The youngest member of the Jackson 5, he quickly out-shined his siblings at an early age. During his solo career, he went on to earn 13 Grammy awards, 13 #1 singles, and sell over 750 million records... tell me that don’t give the man some braggin’ rights!

In the early 80s he became a dominant figure in the pop world after his breakthrough album, Off the Wall, and
the world's best-selling record of all time, Thriller. And who could forget his "mini-film" for "Thriller" that forever set the bar for subsequent music videos? Oh, and his dance moves? They've influenced everyone from Chris Brown to Usher, and even inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines.

But, as we all know, behind most musical geniuses is often a troubled soul. Michael Jackson, with his unorthodox lifestyle, was no exception. He was by no means a role model and for the last decade of his life, was the center of controversy and scandal. Anyone with his level of stardom would clearly have to battle some personal demons during his/her lifetime, which without a doubt would effect one's professional life and image too. Out of respect, I won't go into those details here. Besides, I'm sure all that-- and more-- will resurface elsewhere as the days go by...

However, despite all that, as we found out about his death, people of all ages everywhere flocked to music stores to complete their MJ collections, hundreds gathered in the streets to celebrate his legacy, and DJs played tribute to him all night long. And if you ask me, that’s a testament to his musical greatness. Although many may try, his legacy is unlikely to be surpassed (or forgotten).

May you rest in Peace, Power and Paradise, Michael Jackson. No matter what, we never can say goodbye.


Back to the Feature

Okay, so my i'm-over-hip-hop phase is kinda over...

If you recall, I've been a fan of Wale for a while. I've been bumpin' his last two mixtapes for a minute and finally, the long awaited Back to the Feature mixtape dropped this weekend via twitter.

From an initial run through, it holds it's own against 100 miles and running, which was my fave. I still have to give it a really good listen, but so far so good.

Sharing is caring, so download it and let us know what you think.

Also, if you're in the Bay you can catch Wale live at PST tomorrow night.


AD NAUSEUM: Her Morning Elegance

I've been going through my usual I'm-over-hip-hop phase. I'm currently uninterested in the new new that's floating around out there and have either completely immersed myself in other genres or gone back to the classic old love-of-my-life hip hop. Recently, I stumbled onto Oren Lavie's video for "Her Morning Elegance" and since then have been absolutely in love with both the video and song. Maybe it's due to my current state of mind, but the melody invokes a sense of nostalgia. "Her Morning Elegance" was featured in a Chevy Malibu commercial that first aired back in February '08:

According to Oren Lavie's bio, he's never owned a car in his life. Nonetheless, I thought the song was fitting.

Now peep the video, which was released on iTunes on January 20th of this year as the download of the week:

It's become one of my favorite videos. I've probably watched it a dozen times since finding it late Friday night.

The song is off the album The Opposite Side of the Sea (US released 2008). His website includes a brief yet entertaining history of the album, upcoming shows and a "bad reviews" section with Oren's responses to said reviews, which I thought was pretty cool.


Welcome Home Agent Mike: AIDS Lifecycle 2009

(family and friends cheer the riders on as they ride into closing ceremonies)

Last weekend Dee, myself, and a ton of other people welcomed more than 2,000 riders from the AIDS Lifecycle ride into Los Angeles for the completion of the week long ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise $10.5M for AIDS research, aid, and education. Participating this year was our very own Agent Mike.

Watching more than 2000 people ride in on bikes was impressive and the ceremonies to follow were moving. Between the videos of the ride and the speakers speaking on the state of AIDS in the US, there weren't many dry eyes in the crowd. With the many other things going on in the world, we often tend to forget the things that aren't in our face all of the time. Although it is not often in the news, AIDS is still a big problem facing people all over the world. Hearing people talk about AIDS in a very personal way, seeing flags dedicated to those affected, and all of the HIV positive participants (the positive pedaler holding the flag to the right) helped to remind those at the ceremony how real it all still is, and how much more of a problem it is in these economic times (government is looking to cut AIDS funding as a way to save money). It seemed, from all of the riders, that the experience was a very positive one. In speaking with mike, and watching the closing ceremonies, it made me really want to participate in the ride next year.

So in short, congrats to Agent Mike, and the rest of the 2000+ riders in your 545 mile journey through california and in raising so much money in such hard times, the feat is impressive to say the least!

(Agent Mike makes it home)


Another Ozzy clip? Samsung Alias 2 X OZZY OZBOURNE

Well everyone knows we like new gadgets... And well every now and then some voodoo... Thanks to Stacy Stace for this cool little clip of Samsung's cool new Alias 2 cell phone. And to those wondering.. yes we read every single email we do get!

what you want more?



Pacquiao's post-colonial knockout

Although it's almost been two weeks since the big Pacquiao vs. Hatton fight, Pilipinos are still rejoicing and reliving the moment they saw the astonishing knock-out. Even from a hospital bed my dad, who doesn't follow boxing what-so-ever, gushed about Pacquiao's win when I came to visit him.

I can't even front-- I don't know anything about boxing either. However, I was born and bred in the Yay so if anything big goes down involving Pilipinos, I'll hear about it.

That said, I came across this interesting read on wiretap and wanted to post it since I couldn't have said it any better myself:

Why Pacquiao Matters
by Matthew Ledesma

I grew up in Turlock, CA. Born in Manila, Philippines, but I spent childhood and adolescence in a small suburban/rural city in the California Central Valley. During elementary and high school, I was able to count all the other Filipinos on one hand.

College and post-college life was split between San Diego and the Bay Area; both areas are demographically far different from what I experienced growing up. These two cities are political opposites, but have, among others, one thing in common: a critical mass of Filipino-Americans. Having lived in areas where faces were similar to mine, I was able to be comfortable in my own skin. There was no need to explain where the Philippines and what a Filipino is.

How does this all connect back to Manny “Pacman” Pacqiuao, who recently presented Hatton with a post-colonial knockout? Along with others, he has facilitated the process of making Filipinos a common face in the mainstream. He’s had two of HBO’s award winning series 24/7 feature him, and he’s been the topic of conversation on Sports Center numerous times. It’s cool to see Mickey Rourke and Mark Wahlberg be enthusiasts, but it’s even fresher to know that Diddy and Jay-Z threw after parties for him. With the cries of boxing’s decline, considering the current “post-De La Hoya” period, Pacquiao’s left hook resonates to boxing fans and casual observers and prevents the “____ is dead” discussions from inflating.

With all the success, he has been able to stay grounded and humble, fighting not for self-glorious reasons but for the people of the Philippines, the bayan. For a turbulent country that has had little in the ways of optimism, he offers the people hope. One just needs to be reminded of the mythical, yet true, anecdote that crime and gunfire stops in the Philippines during a Pacquiao fight. While he lacks what I wish he possessed, a consciousness of Ali, who spoke against racism and for social justice, Pacquiao sees the inspiration that he instills in the people of the Philippines and the Filipinos who have since been part of the diaspora.

For the Filipino American, the past couple years have allowed us to move away from the margins. A lot of work still needs to be done in terms of institutional change, but for the youth growing up today, the change has been seen within whom they are able to identify on television. Jabbawockeez and almost every other crew on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew has provided semblance of similarity. Cherice Pempengco, Arnel Pineda, and more recently, Rin on the Rox [sidenote by agent dee: Rox is from the Vee! w00t! Vallejo, stand up!] made names for themselves via YouTube, gained national attention, and appeared on various television programs. Additional names have also been making waves in other sectors of pop culture.

Growing up in Turlock, all I had was Rufio and Ernie Reyes, Jr. I remember having to argue with classmates that they were Filipino and not Chinese. But what is different today, is that today’s Filipino youth have individuals who are not forced to hide their identity to appeal to a broader audience. Rather, many of the Filipinos currently in the mainstream proudly wear their culture on their chest. We see flags being waved on MTV and t-shirts emblazoned with the eight-rayed sun.

Filipino youth living in pockets with a large Filipino community have been able to identify with people that look like them on a daily basis. For the youth living in the Central Valley or the Midwest and whose parents do not have The Filipino Channel, it is a more alienating experience. The alienation lessens when you see folks that could be your kuya, ate, pinsan, tito, or tita on your television set, offering themselves as a role model who wants you to be proud of your heritage and the country from which your parents had been pushed.

Currently, it would appear that it’s fly to be Filipino. Though, many Filipinos would say that we have always been fly. Whether or not this is a “Filipino renaissance” will remain to be seen, but it’s important to take notice that the margins are not a place where Filipinos plan to stay.


The Making of Lance Armstrong X OBEY X TREK Madone for Giro D'Italia

Shepard Fairey’s Trek Madone being created for Lance Armstrong’s run in the 2009 Giro d’Italia by Trek artist Shane Siedschlag.

Lance’s artist bike series is curated by Jamie O’Shea/Supertouch ( in an effort to raise awareness for the upcoming “Stages” art show to benefit the Livestrong Foundation that kicks off on July 16th during the Tour de France 2009.


Official White House Flickr: A Behind The Scenes Look @ OBAMA

The Official White House Photostream's photostream

This Photostream provides an amazing look behind the scenes of President Barack Obama during his tenure of Presidency. Amazing what this photographer can catch with just 1 shot moments, no lighting, and no setup. Alot of these images are very powerful, and i think due to the improvisation of every photo it brings it that much more to life.

I can really appreciate all that Obama and his staff are doing to find new media outlets to spread the message. Its very effective in involving the people around America and giving us these type of insights on how our administration works. This type of marketing takes some of the edge off what was once known as the all powering Government.


Swine Flu - Bird Flu '09

Well it seems swine flu (also known as influenza A(H1N1)) is all the rage on TV and internet news, this years bird flu. While some, like myself, are not really worrying much about it, others are flooding hospitals at the smallest sign of flu-like symptoms. If you are worried you might have it, check if you have it here before going to a hospital.

While there seems to be more any more cases popping up every day, it seems scientists might be on there way to pinpoint its origin and how to prevent it in the future:

On a more serious note, please realize that if you are going to catch swine flu, you are going to catch it from other people, not from eating pork, so go on, enjoy that lechon!


Mayer Hawthorne Breaks it Down

Lately I've really been feelin' Stones Throw's newest artist: Mayer Hawthorne. His debut single, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out"-- released on red heart-shaped vinyl-- has a charming retro/Motown vibe, similar to that of Amy Winehouse and Raphael Saadiq's latest album.

Hawthorne was featured on BBC 1Xtra with Benji B not too long ago. Peep the show to hear some of his upcoming tracks (my personal faves are "I Wish It Would Rain" and Love's Alright") and find out more about this soulful white boy from Motor City. Don't sleep.


MASH SF haz Vimeo Page On Cycling Vidz

THE REVIVAL from morehartfilms on Vimeo.


our favorite renegade cycling bunch set up a video page to share all videos fixie/track related.. check them out.... lots of great ones on there..


Bay Area GET DOWN! What's Jerkin?

Well.. Another dance craze to report on. Now a few of us from the ¢ollective were in the bay area last weekend for SF BEERFEST, which was totally awesome btw. (Big ups to Agent Adrian for the organization of such a large crew from Los Angeles, San Diego, Irvine, all over CA.)

So here we were, a few of us in the Westfield Shopping Centre SF / Powell Bart Station Mall. and i was headed out of Bloomingdales with a good friend of mine on the way to check out Clarks or something, and i see a bunch of hypebeast/skater kids straight up just dancing in the mall...

I didnt think anything of it and thought it was just some random crazy stuff. But then i passed these two filipino kids on the escalator (they looked young) and i heard them talking about these other kids (the ones i saw earlier dancing in front of the Banana Republic. And as soon as we stepped off the escalator, he proceeded to attempt his dance moves, which was similar.

It was at that moment i was like WTF is going on... When it all hit me like a MACK truck... THEY WERE JERKIN...

Now here in LA my friends and I have this little inside joke about this song JERKIN by new boyz... One of the good homies would always bump this hard, and now in my car i bump this hard... My favorite Jerkin vid is still with the little kid in the playground on the kiddie slide, thats always funny!

So to all those SF kids i saw in the mall getting down... Go ahead! and get ya JERKIN on!

This is how we get down JERKIN in C-ARSON. South Bay Edition!


Im On A Bike! - Lonely Island?

well many of you know about im on a boat feat. tpain and lonely island .....

but since most of us here on the collective dont own a boat.. .we really cant relate... but we sure as heck can relate to riding a bike!!!!

gotta love white people doing they thang!!!! here is another classic white rapper!!!
this one is for you mike..


We're Going To Have To Let You Go...

(a photo of the area where I used to work, taken that day)

Two weeks ago, I walked in late to work on a Monday (I was weaseling my way out of jury duty) and found the rest of my company (all four of them) in the usual Monday meeting. As I walked in and said, "Hi" I received an odd response, one person choked out a good morning. I figured they were just surprised to see me so early as I said I would be out for jury duty.

I sat down, participated in the remainder of the meeting, as usual, and returned to my desk. I cranked out some work (I was very productive that day) until lunch time came around. I called in a Turkey Cobb from Con Pane (some of the best sandwiches in town) and got ready to go pick it up when my project manager suggested that I cancel my lunch order and he could take me to lunch. This seemed odd as we usually went to lunch on Fridays, and he never took me lunch, we went and got lunch together. This seemed odd but I didn't think much more of it.

As we were driving to get some fish tacos from Blue Water Grill (best grilled fish tacos, period) I noticed, in my peripherals, that my project manager was looking at me a lot. It seemed as if he was trying to gauge my mood or get some sort of feedback from me. I thought this was odd but just kept acting as I normally would.

I stepped up and ordered my food and so did my project manager and he pulled out the corporate card. I asked, "oh, it's on the company today?" and he responded with a simple, yet uneasy, "yeah." I walked over to use the restroom while he finished paying. I used the toilet, washed my hands, paused, looked at myself in the mirror and said out loud, "I'm getting fired."

I went out and joined my project manager at the table. We made a little small talk and when we hit a small lull in the conversation, he started in with, "I'm sure you know why we're here." It was pretty generic, but very fitting. We sat and talked for a long while, it was a very positive meeting and I took a lot away from it. I went back to the office, signed the paperwork with my boss, and then was asked to pack up my things and leave that day.

Overall this is a positive thing. I was looking to move on soon and this puts me in a better place financially than if I had quit. Positives aside though, it was a very surreal experience. For much of it (after lunch), I felt very detached from the process, it was as if I was observing what was happening, rather than being a part of it. For over two years they trusted me in foreign countries, a company cell phone, and a company credit card, yet, they spoke of my departure as if I was never trusted to return to the office (even if for a visit). If I forgot anything, just e-mail someone and they could get it for me. I understand they have to protect themselves, but it felt as if I was being voted off the island, rather then respectfully discharged.

Above all though, the oddest thing about it all is a loss of identity. I am no longer a Design Engineer for an environmental company, I am defined by the other things (volunteer, unemployed engineer, etc.). No matter how much you may not like your job, it is still a huge part of who you are and to lose that identity was probably the biggest adjustment of all.

That being said, here's to bigger and better things!