Saturday, March 16, 2013

Visit With Ed Candelaria Of The Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour

Marc & Ed. Facebook Page of the UBBFT.

Marq Smith's and Ed Candelaria's Breaking Bad wall of memorabilia.

On the hunt for the filming sites! LRG (Lydia Rodarte-Quayle) directs the equipment trucks to the filming site!

Filming was indeed occurring near Alameda & Rio Grande Blvd. on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, but in a gated house. Here's the film equipment parking lot.

New Mexico is struggling to keep a little bit of water in the Rio Grande (at the old Alameda Bridge).

Chris Lake & Lazy Rich feat. Jareth - Stand Alone

The Bloody Beetroots & Greta Svabo Bech - Chronicles of a Fallen Love

Visit With Aunt Senaida

My sister, Michelle Browning, my nephew Aaron Christopher Browning, Marc Valdez, and my 93-year-old aunt Senaida (Sadie) Aragon.

Cousin Ernie "Flintstone" Aragon's Services

Our Lady of Sorrows (OLOS) in Bernalillo, NM, where services were held for my cousin Ernie (Johnny; aka 'Flintstone') Aragon, on Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

A rosary was held on Monday night, and a service on Tuesday morning.

They included a package of Ernie's favorite snack, Oreos, in his casket. Nice!

Since Ernie was active in the Matachines dance group associated with the Church, there was a solemn dance in the central aisle too. The dancers were colorful with their bright, colorful Catholic-themed capes, carrying symbolic wooden representations of vegetation and flowers. They shook their rattles in a dirge-like rhythm.

The priest, Father Bill, wore a cream-white blanket robe that featured a geometric, Native-American-inspired ribbon-like edge to it. He was a calm, comforting presence. Nevertheless, I was disturbed by his emphasis on AA's 12-step program: he said something like it was the greatest advance in spirituality in the last century. I tried it once in similarly-modeled GA, and could see why a priest might like it: it calls upon one's childhood spiritual upbringing to restore balance to one's life. But I had a haphazard religious upbringing, and something like a 12-step program won't work for people like me. And his talk about people suffering unseen damage in life just struck me as wrong. People by nature are kind of crazy, prone to addiction, and easily bored. No need for damage to turn to addiction. Tedious Saturday afternoon TV programming is enough to do the trick. In any event, the congregation listened politely.

Father Bill concluded the service on a light note:
Today, the cardinals of the Catholic Church are meeting in Rome. Later today, or tomorrow, or Thursday, we will learn whom they have chosen to lead the Catholic Church. Do not be surprised if he chooses the name "Pope Flintstone"! Mark my words. You heard it here first!

I wanted to say a few words regarding Ernie, but that role was reserved for others. What I would have said had I spoken would have been something like this:
I know all of you here knew Ernie at different times in his life. I knew him best as a playmate. In my mind, no matter the decade, he was always a bright, curious, energetic eight-year-old. He was five months older than I was, and always a little more robust. I looked up to him. We did things together. We spent afternoons circling our Gramita's house, over and over, precariously balanced on a thin edge of house foundation concrete. We chased the ice cream truck together. We went swimming together at the Valley High School pool in the North Valley. We helped each other out. For example, I remember once helping him with a hard task: removing a wood chip that had fallen into his eye. And he returned the favor. Once, at a birthday party following a swimming expedition, he pulled me out of a ugly mess. I was directly underneath a breaking pinata. Candy rained down on me, and every kid in the room rushed in and attacked me in order to get at the goodies.

I respect Father Bill's 12-Step message, but disagree with the idea that Ernie was 'damaged' in any way. I think it's the world that's damaged. It's easy for a bright, energetic eight-year-old to lose their way. There is sometimes a mismatch in what a person can bring to the world, and how the world responds to him. In my mind, he was always pure of heart.

El Santuario de San San Lorenzo, at Our Lady of Sorrows, Bernalillo, NM.

El Santuario of San Lorenzo.

Honor guard from America Legion Post 69 in Alameda fires their rifles into the air at the conclusion of cousin Ernie's services.

Reception after the funeral at Sandoval County Posse Rodeo Grounds.

Outside the Reception Hall.

In the Reception Hall, with the Aragon clan.

Rand Paul's CPAC Entrance

I was channel surfing recently, when I stumbled across Rand paul's entrance at CPAC. His speech soon lost my interest, but the entrance was notable. For some reason, the organizers of CPAC chose to play "Enter Sandman" by Metallica for entrance music. Seemed oddly appropriate, somehow:

Say your prayers, little one
Don't forget, my son
To include everyone

Tuck you in, warm within
Keep you free from sin
Till the Sandman he comes

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit: light
Enter: night
Take my hand
We're off to never-never land

Something's wrong, shut the light
Heavy thoughts tonight
And they aren't of Snow White

Dreams of war, dreams of liars
Dreams of dragon's fire
And of things that will bite

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit: light
Enter: night
Take my hand
We're off to never-never land

Now I lay me down to sleep
Pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I die before I wake
Pray the Lord my soul to take

Hush little baby, don't say a word
And never mind that noise you heard
It's just the beasts under your bed
In your closet, in your head

Exit: light
Enter: night
Grain of sand

Exit: light
Enter: night
Take my hand
We're off to never-never land

Friday, March 15, 2013

Breaking Bad Filming At The Grove Restaurant, March 11, 2013

"The Grove" Restaurant.  Filming for second-to-the-last episode of Breaking Bad".  March 11, 2013.  About 75 crew and cast members were swarming over this building. I came down to observe, because it was the only time that I've ever been in Albuquerque while they were filming Breaking Bad.

Suddenly, someone just arrogantly drove into the parking lot while they were filming inside.  The security guard (Jamie Mason) got excited and started peering more closely at the intruder.  Who was this intruder?  It was Bryan Cranston, dropping off a bag on his day off!

Bryan Cranston, with Marc Valdez. Instead of putting my arm around him for the photo, I insisted on shaking his hand.  "Oh, like we're opening a restaurant together," he said.

Bryan Cranston autographed my list of Breaking Bad locations. I had pulled my pen from the back of my sister's kitchen drawer that morning, and it failed mid-signature. "This is a crap pen," Cranston stated.

Bryan Cranston, with Sam Martinez and Jenica. Both Sam and and Jenica were very kind to me. At some point, I lost my bottle of water. Standing in the direct, warm sun for about five hours, this loss was very inconvenient. Not only did they buy me a new bottle of water, but they gave me a pen to replace the crap pen I had. (I also got a second pen from other fans present). Sam and Jenica (and their friend Desiree) are just the best!

Bryan Cranston with Milissa Ross Greenberg, fellow member of the "Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour" Facebook group.

Bryan Cranston, with fan.

Bryan Cranston, with owner of Mexicanismo Restaurant.

Jesse Plemons (Todd).

Jesse Plemons (Todd) with Marc Valdez. I told him, "We have something in common - we both like large spiders." It took him about five seconds to turn towards me with a quizzical look and softly say "r-i-g-h-t!"

Laura Fraser (Lydia Rodarte-Quayle).

Laura Fraser (Lydia Rodarte-Quayle), with Marc Valdez. Laura was very friendly. I told her: "You know, Walt can be outwitted." She stood upright for a second with what appeared to be surprise, and then she let go of a deep, dark laugh.

Bryan Cranston, with fan.

At Mike Faris' Used Car Lot

Mike Faris' Used Car Lot sign, 6714 4th St NW # A, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107.

Possibly the most enjoyable time of this trip was spending time at, and talking with, Mike Faris. It was the first time I ever met him. Mike Faris is a distant cousin of mine - by marriage (he's related to cousin Cynthia's mother Arlene's side of the family). He descends from several of the great Syrian and Lebanese merchants who settled near Santo Domingo Pueblo and Bernalillo in the late 19th Century (among Old West merchants represented indirectly by Rodger's & Hammerstein's character of 'Ali Hakim' in their musical 'Oklahoma!')

His and her caps at Mike Faris' Used Car Lot. Mike Faris provides cars for the TV series "Breaking Bad".

Beauty salon pictures used as set dressing for "Breaking Bad" at Mike Faris' Used Car Lot.

Jesse's car, for sale at Mike Faris' Used Car Lot, 6714 4th St NW # A, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107 (photos taken on March 12, 2013). "Make an offer"!

Typically, two identical cars are provided by Mike Faris to the Breaking Bad cast and crew.

Jesse's car, for sale at Mike Faris' Used Car Lot.

Fat Max's place, behind Mike Faris' Used Car Lot. Cars are stored and worked at there.

Max's Plymouth.  I wasn't sure who Max is.  My cousin, or someone else?

Second cousin Jose's Plymouth.  Starting on a big restoration project!

[UPDATE] Holy s***! First time ever that information that I placed on the Web was considered important enough to carry on TMZ!

The photos on TMZ aren't mine (I posted my photos in this post). The information got picked up by a Toyota Tercel specialty Web Site on Saturday, then somehow got over to TMZ on Sunday. Now, the UK's Daily Mail has it! Hot information can sure travel fast on the Web!

Mike Faris also showed me another famous Breaking Bad car that he was keeping for resale later this summer. He swore me to secrecy regarding the exact identity of this car. Nevertheless, Mike Faris decided to release that information on Sunday to TMZ. Why did he do that? Well, because the 800-lb gorilla of Hollywood, TMZ, was calling! I'm sure he wants to make a killing with his two cars, and there is no better way to do that than talking to TMZ!

Flight from San Diego to Sacramento, California

Downtown San Diego, as seen from the SE end of the runway at Lindbergh Field.

Mission Bay.

Mission Beach.

La Jolla.

Downtown Los Angeles.

Oil Fields of Los Angeles.

The Hills above West Hollywood, CA.

Sylmar, CA.

Castaic Reservoir.

The triangle at the westward end of the Upper Mojave Desert.

Crossing over the Tehachapi Mountains into the Central Valley.  What I like is that new green grass is evident in the Central Valley on the left, but not in the Mojave Desert on the right.

Rancho Seco power plant.  Old plant (left) and new (right).

Mokelumne River, just downstream of Camanche Reservoir dam.

The Pocket Area, Sacramento, CA.

Sloughs near Coon Lake.

Sunlight reflects off the Sacramento River.