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Weekly Photo Challenge 2012

January – Simple


February – Down


March – Unusual


April – Arranged


May – Sun


June – Summer


July – Movements


August – Growth


September – Wrong


October – Silhoutte


November – Geometry


December – Changing Seasons


Weekly Photo Challenges

Here I let Weekly Photo Challenges sit for a little as I give way to post prolonged drafts and ideas I had been harboring i.e. a poem post, a DIY post, a bests and worsts post, home residence post, etc. And now I collected enough overdue Weekly Photo Challenges into one super post.

I do suggest participating to Weekly Photo Challenges. It’s a great medium to boost readership and to get to know a good part of WP community. If not WPC, there are other challenges available as well like Jake’s Sunday Post, Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge, IT’s Weekly Images of Life, Frizztext’s A – Z Challenge, Aisa’s Travel Theme and Marianne’s CBBH Challenge. I think I’m done participating to Weekly Photo Challenge. I have so much in my plate, and that I’ve been missing a lot of it or being late for it. Also, for a long time I’ve only been doing an average of 2 posts a week. I don’t want Weekly Photo Challenge dictates the nature of my blog.

BIG: LACMA [Los Angeles, California]

FOREIGN: International Houses [Balboa Park in San Diego, California]
This collage doesn’t do justice to what the location offers. You have to get in to each houses to get the full experience.
Seen: From top left, counterclockwise – Norway, Ireland, Spain, Czech, Sweden China, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, Puerto Rico, Scotland and Philippines

Geometry: Walt Disney Concert Hall [Los Angeles, California]RENEWAL: The Strip [Las Vegas, Nevada]

Las Vegas

GREEN: Sespe Creek [Ojai in Ventura, California]

Sespe Creek in Ojai

THANKFUL: My Community [The Sophomore Slump v. 2] *sticks tongue out*
 My Community
Changing Season: Matilja Creek [Ojai in Ventura, California]

Thank You WordPress geniuses for improving their gallery feature.

EDITED: The new WP gallery is not that great afterall. Now, I’m forced to show the pictures one by one. I’m sure WP will do something about this.
Or I have to settle for a width-length instead of having my widgets to the right.


Weekly Photo Challenge?


Here’s to a very old post from an old-time blogging friend. I remember this photography excellency very well – Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual. Gerry has been an all-over-the-map blogger providing us outstanding posts and being highly visible to many blogging sites. As a matter of fact, he has two blogging sites- Gerry’s Space and Writing Hell. To take great note, he won from participating the National Novel Writing Month Challenge. A blogger, a novelist, a consistent challenge master, and a music composer! Gerry surely is a stand-out creative blogger.


Last Call…

REFLECTION: San Juan Capistrano [Los Angeles, California]

San Juan Capistrano

I’m only going to complete Weekly Photo Challenge this year.

DIY: How to make a Parachute Bracelet (550Cord Bracelet)

Don’t be alarmed, you are still viewing The Sophomore Slump. I’m very excited to compose this special report of a post. I actually planned to publish it 10 posts out before I hit my 200th but I just can’t resist.

550-cord bracelets or Parachute bracelets are usually or popularly worn by military personnel. It’s unisex, mostly men actually. Online, it ranges from $5 to $20 or higher. The coolest thing about this bracelet is that you don’t have to worry whether it’s fake or not, and rest assured that it doesn’t rust. 550 cords are strong and sturdy. It has a minimum breaking strength of …dum dum dum dum… 550 pounds. It was originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II.

What you need?

  • A scissor, knife or a Gerber ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with scissor or a knife.
  • 2 550-cords, one much longer than the other
  • lighter, or a candle ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with fire.
  • Button

There are less than 15 Quick and Easy Steps. I can’t believe I put ‘Quick and Easy’ steps, such a typical tactic to lure people. Seriously, once you get the hang of it, it gets really easy. I can make one for 10 minutes. I do it when I hike, when I’m watching a movie, when I wait for my laundry to finish, whenever I drive …oops, whenever I’m at a Rest Stop.


Take the smaller 550 cord (lanyard – let’s call it fancily as ‘lanyard’ from here) and fold it in half.

The Small Lanyard

Cut it in a way that it fits your wrist or whomever you’re making it for. Yey for me using ‘whomever’. Was the usage even right? Add extra length for adjustments, or for ‘waste factor’. Look at the picture as your guide. If you can’t do that, kindly give yourself a slight slap on the right cheek ….of your face. *BIG GRIN* just lightly, safety is paramount in making the bracelet.


Take the longer lanyard, spot the center and make a square knot around the smaller lanyard. Pull it as tightly as you can. See the picture…

Leave a small loop where the fold meets on the small lanyard. Later on, that is where the button is attached to. You can look at the end result (very first picture). If you can’t make a square knot, ask your parents what it is.


Place one side (first side) of the long lanyard over the small lanyard.

The First Side

Just like so. If you can’t do that, go ahead and give yourself a slight slap on your left cheek …


Take the second side of the longer lanyard. Go over the first side and under the small lanyard. Making an “e”.

Make an “e”. The second side.

Again, over and under…

Over and Under

STEP 5 and 6:

Bring the end of the second side and go under the loop of the first side.


Then, bring both sides up and pull both sides outward. Pull it as hard as you can.


It should look like that -like a pretzel. I know pretzels are yummy, but don’t eat this lanyard. This is not a recipe. Once you pull it, you should see that you just made your first design.


STEP 7, 8, 9 and 10

Redo the loops on the opposite side. Keep doing it until you reach almost at the bottom.





You should leave room for ‘waste factor’ or that added length you made in STEP 1.


STEP 11 and 12:

Cut both sides of the longer lanyard.


Then burn both ends using a lighter. We all should know not to play with fire. Do this in a well-ventilated area and free of flammable materials like paper, gasoline, or your partner’s temper.


STEP 13 and 14:

Take the button. Be practical. Get it from a used clothing. Be creative, you can use all kinds of buttons. This is actually the only hard part because you have to scrape off the center of the button to make it into a single hole. Use the knife to scrape off the button. Or, simply find a one-hole button.


Insert both ends of the smaller lanyard into the button. Sometimes, you have to use a pen to stick it in, or any pointy objects.


Then burn the ends together. Whenever you’re burning the ends, don’t your use bare hand but you can use the scissor to flatten it out. Here…


STEP 14:

Presto! You’re done! Just attach the button to the loop that you made on the small lanyard.



This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine. My blog is primarily about my travels. This time I posted something that is MY creation. Well, it was taught to me, and it became my leisure. I’ve given them away to close friends, even neighbors, and other acquaintances. Indeed, it is perfect for gifts, or giveaways. If you can’t keep up with my quote-end quote Quick and Easy steps, 3rd graders proof intructuons, first slap your face on both cheeks and then there are Youtube videos for you to visually follow.

For Parachute Bracelet Advance… You can also mix and match different colors of 550 cords. Instead of a button, you can also use clips or snap ons. You can also attach this to a watch. What I taught is Parachute Bracelet Basics. Maybe, a part deux in the future.

WPC’s: People are poetic…

People are poetic…

People are poetic…


People are poetic…

and the best part is…



People are poetic…


and the best part is…


People are poetic…

and the best part is…



they don’t even know it.



Here is …. (drum roll please) … eliz with Musings: Color me Poetic. Of quotes, inspirational words, fitting wonderful images, engaging discussions, overflowing thoughts, relatable life perspectives, humanity, some humor and a whole lot of characters, Mirth and Motivation is your blog to check out. This blog urges you to think, to feel, to hear your inner voices, to taste life, to see things in a different light, and to speak your mind. Get to know her, and she’ll assure you that you’ll hear from her sooner or later. An all-over, all-around, prolific blogger, Eliz and her blog that suggesting you to Motivate, Elevate, Laugh, Live Positively… This is certainly one for the gold.


Sorry for the flooding of photos, I completely go out of a whim and out of my normal posting habits and rules. I’m way behind my Weekly Photo Challenges, so I took the lazy approach. Hold thy breath, there’s more for last calls…

People are poetic…


and the best part is…



…they don’t even know it.

Near and Far: Europe and California

VENICE – Tops: California, Bottoms: Italy

I badly wish to go back to Europe. But I can’t complain as much. Not only that I’ve been very blessed to have gone there, the place I’m currently in ain’t too shabby for my travel fix. Plus, it really isn’t hard to cross-culture here in California.

Villas – Design of Getty Villa {Bottom) is inspired by The Villa of Papyri in Herculaneum (Top).

I really enjoyed the neat idea I came up with when I Merge: Herculanem and Getty Villa. And so, I tweak it a bit for my entry of Near and Far. The images in this post are places in California where you can imagine or reminisce different locations in Europe. Not what the challenge is looking for, but I’ve been known as a notorious  WPC rule-breaker.

Spanish Footsteps – Top Right: Rodeo Drive, California, Top Left and Bottom: Rome, Italy. Related post: Journey

I like to know. Anything around your area, or places you’ve been to, that resembles, comparable to, or is based from another location or site from a different country?

Alcazar Garden – Left: Sevilla, Spain, Right: Balboa Park

The next one is with the help of sister, Analyn. She’s quite a globetrotter as well.

Danish – Tops: Solvang, Bottom: Copenhagen, Denmark (picture courtesy of my sister)

This post is part of Flashback Friday. *sticks tongue out*



Here is Loni. Check out her Yosemite posts. Check out her Venice post. Check out her Mud Run post. Check out the one where she got on TV. Check out her Anniversary post and the different places her and her husband have gone to. Check out her Academy post. Check out food, places of mainly California, and her wide-eye impressive photographs. My favorite however is  her 100th post where she showed her “Loni Exhibit”, These are some of my favorite things. Go ahead and Check out how Loni Found Herself.

FREE SPIRIT: Aaron and his gamut of emotion

This is a long shot for my submission of WPC’s Free Spirit. I did see a lot of children-concept that week, so  know I’m not completely off.

I know he’s my nephew and I may be so biased. But I’m just a big fan of his chubbiness. He looks so nourish and healthy. He has a good size, and good height. A fair complexion too. He has those big clear eyes. It’s sometimes looks lazy that it’s just magnetizing. He’s not flawless, but he’s perfect that way.

Meet Aaron and his gamut of emotion and expressions.


Oh, children. Their words are honest. Their actions are somehow unfiltered. Their innocence are real, and their ignorance are always pure. And their spirits are always free.

I’m stalling, somewhat. This is an off-set post. Something I don’t normally or usually do. This is a quick one. I let my guard down. I let go of the wheel here. I didn’t think or consider much. I Nike just do it. Free Spirit.

Last Call…


Emotions? Free Spirit?


Broken Light: A Photography Collection pools in different people who are living with, or affected by, different kinds of personality disorders (Yikes! Am I suppose to say this? I hate labeling and categorizations!), of mostly depressions and bipolar personality. But that’s not the core focus of the blog. What the blog brings out from these people are their expressions to other means, through artistry, poetry and, like its title, photography.  The most memorable favorite for me, fits very well with Free Spirit, is titled Moving Free. I also suggest “Marry Me”, the one I think is the best entry. Well, every entry brings out beauty, love, passion, and a whole lot of emotions.


Last Call…

Weekly Photo Challenge: WRONG

I enjoyed, from other bloggers, a lot of submissions to this long overdue WPC. I saw some comedic, some provoking, and some interesting photos that week. While many had success in responding to the challenge (kudos to all), I failed to even put the challenges in proper order. Once again, this wasn’t my initial idea or concept for the challenge. To keep things flowing, I decided going this direction instead.

I guess, it is just fittingly well to start with that “ado”. I go through an elaborate process before making a post. I have to sleep on it first. I have to think of some other way to blog every time. There’s got to be at least some sort of deviation from my previous posts. The subjects have to go through 10 different portals or stages before it gets uploaded to WordPress. After everything is done, it has to be tested, proofread, and that it has to garner a stamp of aprroval by a Jejemon first before it even gets published.

The following images are Weekly Photo Challenge rejects, and the different reasons of their disposal to my dump files.

URBAN: I could have squeaked this by but decided not to. Not only this is from San Francisco and that the focus was LA and San Diego, the buildings are closer as opposed to the common from-afar views of that post.

INSIDE: My topic was about The Getty Center. This could’ve been the Last Call, but the petals just didn’t make the cut.

MERGE: Too many pictures already inserted to that post that this, again, just didn’t make the cut.

PURPLE: This is the most purple out of all my pictures from last year’s Crawfish Festival. I failed once again to see it. Newsflash: I’m colorblind.

MOVEMENTS: For obvious reasons, it’s crooked, blurry. I wanted to get something from this angle but the waterside for background was just not pleasant and cooperative at that time. I changed my position. Hence, the pictures from The Lords of Dogtown / Skaters in Venice are from a different angle.

BLUE & HANDS: This is one of those pictures that are not normally favored result that when you look at your camera after snapping you just discard it. After some dissection, magnification, and keen observation, this one actually turns out really good. By the way, the Blue and Hands blog post is creeping close to my Freshly Pressed post in terms of the number of Likes.

SUMMER: Scenes from Ocean Beach in San Diego. Nothing wrong with both pictures, except for that one surfer who stumbled to get his bearings. Sometimes, they and these perfectly good pictures just slip by.

Last Call…

Fleeting Moments: My bad, this one is a disappointingly overlooked image from my posts on Venice Beach and Fleeting Moments. Like my submissions to that Weekly Photo Challenge, the scene changed dramatically, so to speak, when I generate it into B&W.

The original set-up is composed of 15 images and, as you can see, it’s shrinked down to 10. I have a personal dilemma with overcrowding a post. I like to keep mine simple.

So, care to divulge one or two of your posting habits, strategies, mechanics or rituals?

MERGE: Herculaneum and Getty Villa

My concept for the challenge: I merged two locations in different countries. This is also the first time that I merge my Flashback Friday with the Weekly Photo Challenge.

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, the Roman seaside towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as the surrounding area were engulfed by volcanic material. Since that time up until the 18th century, Herculaneum was buried under a layer of volcanic material more than 15 meters (50 feet) thick at the base of Vesuvius.
The remains of the buried city were first discovered in 1709 and explored mainly by tunnels during the 18th and 19th centuries. The site’s many richly decorated public buildings, houses and theater have yielded fine marble and bronze sculptures, wood elements, and paintings. Of particular significance, an extensive library of charred papyrus rolls was found at the Villa of the Papyri (a lavish residence that served as the inspiration for the design of the Getty Villa in Malibu, California).

Three short periods of open-air excavation at the site were conducted in the 19th century. Systematic open-air excavation began in 1927 and continued until 1961. Since 1961 excavations within the archaeological site have proceeded intermittently. It is estimated that only one third of the ancient town has been uncovered, with the remainder lying under the modern town of Ercolano.

Source: Getty Website

Having an odd admiration to Mt. Vesuvius, I decided to hike the heart of it. Little did I know that the tour I signed up for also consisted of revisiting the past of what it was like before the volcanic eruption. The ruins showed how the Romans were very established and civilized then. They had stores, bakeshop, pizza place, markets, gardens, parks, or pretty much everything you find in a regular community. Given the periods, it proved that it goes way back tthen that Romans were already decorating their quarters with paintings and sculptures of colors and of variety of designs, placing intricate marble tiles, constructing multiple-level buildings, and were very well aware and knowledgeable with different systems that are necessary to build shelters, cook food, and survive like irrigation, equipments, transportations, etc. I was certainly exploded with compounding fascination, interest and wonder.

Turn the hands of time to present is Getty Villa which I visited last month. Getty Villa location design is based from Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum. The rusted and ancient look of the pillars, walls, ceilings, pathways and materials in Herculaneum can be observed at the Getty Villa in pearly whites, smooth textures and refined designs and more elaborate patterns.



This is such a beautiful feeling. I get to visit these two inter-related locations. I wasn’t aware of such connections. I only discovered it when I sat for two hours on the audio-video station in Getty Center. Imagine my added excitement. These merging images of my waking tours of Ercolano in Italy and Getty Villa in California makes me realized even more how truly blessed I am. Pardon the greediness and over-ambitious desire, but if I could time travel back to 79 CE to Herculaneum before Mt. Vesuvius got mad, that would be exponentially awesome. I’d promise to take pictures to share to all of you. *big grin*

The pillars on both locations are my favorites.

I’ll be posting more of Getty Villa so for now, here’s more of Herculaneum …

Paintings, tiles, and colors



I know this relative newly created blog since it started. Her first post was a simple, yet very illustrative picture of a portion of Getty architechture. Do check that out? Since then, she’s been “focusing” on building designs, flowers, and abstracts with keen eye, obscurity and pleasant randomness. See how she approached the Disney Hall, and see how Rona has such a good eye for often neglected areas and parts.


LAST CALL … I think it doesn’t do justice when I shrink my pictures putting them as part of collage. It’s quite a struggle when you want to share more but didn’t want to crowd the page, esp. With these large images. Well…

The artifacts and sculptures you see in the Getty Villa can also be seen in Naples Archeological Museum.

Related Posts:
Mt. Vesuvius
The Getty Center

URBAN: My LA and SD Tips and Tricks





  • VENICE: It’s a MUST go to place in California. Bring quarters or dollar bills. Pay your parking especially the hourly parking on the side of the road. Parking ticket is expensive. Or just make it a practice to always bring change whenever you travel. Art vendors don’t like their crafts and art pieces getting photographed. Check out the skate arena and street arts.
  • If you decide to go to Cabrillo National Monument Park, check out the Rocky Intertidal Zone. See my post here and find out what you’re missing if you don’t.
  • If you want to try an African cuisine, go to City Heights in San Diego. They have a street row full of no-untensil-required African restaurants.
  • Wait for the sunset when you decide to go to Griffith Park Observatory. It has one of the best views of LA cityscape, LA sunset and the HOLLYWOOD sign.
  • Make Fairoaks Pharmacy your automatic first stop when you drive the California portion of Route 66.
  • A lot of people go to Getty Center and not go to Getty Villa. It’s a NO-NO!
  • California is a diverse state. It’s easy to cross-culture. You might know about Chinatown in LA, but what about Hsi Lai Temple?
  • You might also like:
    Balboa Park is an Absolute MUST | See the seals and birds in La Jolla | You don’ have to go North to see jellyfish in MBA, go see Birch Aquarium, they also have a great display of seahorses | Going to Universal Studios? It’s a family theme park. To me, honestly, it’s a lot geared towards for kids. Make sure you ride the studio tour. | Looking for a leash-free beach, Ocean Beach, aka OB or Dog Beach, is what you seek.
  • It is wise to bring a GPS when driving. In case of traffic, a GPS can provide you alternate roads other than being stuck in a traffic jam.
  • Museums and parks offer free admission on a specific weekday. Check out their websites first before going.
  • Always be early.





If you want to know where I took each of these landscapes, just point your mouse to the pictures.


LA? What about NYC?


Here is Ms. Elena on traveling. There is no need to explain why this post is a major success. Elena composed the best New York blogpost I’ve ever come across. She captured amazing night photos, artistic random pics, clever shots and with a combination of B&W. She compared LA to NYC, then smartly segued it to cultural and social insights. Scroll down her Categories and you will be floored by the number of places she’s been to. Her blog header remind us to: Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don’t forget to breathe.


Last Advice: Before visiting California, check out this blog first. *BIG GRIN*


Last Call …

This is not LA nor SD. The picture above is taken from Cissy Field in SF.

GROWTH and other Weekly Photo Challenges

First and foremost, Welcome to The Sophomore Slump version 2 point O. My blog is now a .com site, in case you haven’t noticed. I’ve been debating it inside my head, and I finally executed it in action. I always dread that the blog would load slowly or that I wont have a Follow and Likes buttons as it does to others upon changing their blog to a site. So far, I don’t see any glitch. Please do tell me if there is.









Since I once again lack the creativity to submit something for that week’s photo challenge, I decided to make a collection of my previous entries instead. Yes, I finally figured how to make a collage.


People who know me are aware that I’m quite receptive to change. The major factor why people suffer from sophomore slump is that they always fixated, torn by and affected by wanting to grow, to make progress, or to add more. That’s completely natural and thumb up A-okay. With outside expectations and against inner dictation, we are bound by it. We imprison ourselves to it. You can hug a big tree, just don’t forget to look down at the flowers. I say do not focus so much on the big things when wanting to progress. Growth doesn’t always mean higher, bigger, and it definitely doesn’t substitute into better. I’m not saying stay in one place and be monotone, that makes you boring. I’m just saying, never forget about the subtle, little things. This is the major mistakes movie and album makers make. I’m echoing Vinnie Jones with this one – if you gonna change, you gotta have balls for it.
Weekly Photo Challenge? What about A – Z Photo Challenge?


Here is frizztext and his blog, FLICKR COMMENTS. This guy is a lean mean Photo Cahllenge machine. As well as an active participant to WPC, he also organizes the widely popular A- Z Photo Challenge. I have many favorites, but his submission to Indulge is what stuck most in my memory. To top it all, he is also a very talented musician. Do check out his recording and his youtube videos. Be floored by a gallery of pictures and a band of sounds at the same time.
Last Call…
This is the collage my girlfriend, Edith, made. It can be found on my submission of Two and Together.


Related Post and Page
Weekly Photo Challenge


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