A special birthday surprise for my dad!
Posted on: Thursday, November 8th, 2018 , Filed Under: Bookish Thoughts, General, Thoughts, With: 0 Comments

It was the year 2015 when things weren’t going all that great for my dad. He was struggling with some rather personal issues that made his depression into the worst it’s ever been. Anyways, my dad’s birthday was right around the corner on November 18, and I wanted to see if I couldn’t surprise him with something special that would at least make his day a bit brighter. After gathering enough courage to actually message a Mr. Joseph Esposito (for those of you who aren’t familiar with Mr.Esposito, he was Elvis Presley’s best friend, best man at his wedding, and tour manager, and was in the army with Elvis Presley.) and basically explained to him how my dad’s birthday was around the corner and I wanted to do something special for him. I also told him that he’s a huge fan of Elvis Presley’s as well as Mr. Esposito’s. I go onto saying that my dad has two daughters who both shares a birthday with Elvis Presley (my younger sister sharing a birthday with Elvis Presley on January 8th), and myself sharing a birthday with Lisa Marie Presley on February 1st. I’ve explained to him that even though my dad is a huge fan of Elvis’ having two daughters that shared birthdays with Elvis and Lisa Marie was completely not planned unlike some may beg to differ. Needless to say, Mr. Esposito thought that was pretty cool that we shared birthdays with Elvis and Lisa Marie and eventually agreed to signing his latest book about Elvis Presley and sending it before my dad’s birthday. Here’s the conversation between Mr. Esposito and myself and the actual picture that I received by my dad’s girlfriend:

Mind you, Mr. Esposito did ask me if I could purchase a book and ship it to him so that he may sign it, but I guess I had purchased the wrong one so he told me to just hold onto that one and he’ll sign one of his own copies and send it over to my dad in hopes that’ll make my dad smile. Unfortunately, I was unable to be there at my dad’s house when the package had arrived due to personal reasons, but my dad did call me to let me know he had gotten a package and opened while being on the phone with me. I couldn’t see the expression on his face, but I could tell that he was extremely impressed that I was able to get a signed book from Mr. Esposito. My dad told me via the phone and through Facebook that receiving that signed book from Mr. Esposito himself was the best birthday present he’s ever received and that he loves it.

After having made my dad’s birthday a bit brighter that year, I’m sorry to inform you all and be the bearer of bad news, but a year later and in the same month of November and a few days right before Thanksgiving, Mr. Esposito took his final breath and went to be with his family up in Heaven or went into his eternal slumber. I, along with the other fans of Mr. Esposito, were told via his Facebook page and through his family that he passed away peacefully in his home. My friends and family were all shocked to hear of this sad news of Mr. Esposito’s passing and shocked that he was such a great man who did a fan a huge favor the year before he passed away. My friends and family have both told me that if I would have waited a year later to try and get that signed book for my dad’s birthday, it never would have happened. Honestly, I have to thank Mr. Esposito as well as his family for taking the time to actually message me back and for actually going along with my plan in getting a signed copy of his book sent over to my dad and before his birthday. This month and year would be Mr. Esposito’s third year anniversary of his passing. May his soul forever rest in paradise.

Creative Bytes First Interview : Lucien
Posted on: Sunday, November 4th, 2018 , Filed Under: Features, Interviews, With: 0 Comments

Lucien is an easy going, extremely down to earth person that I’ve had the opportunity in getting to know over the years. She’s a web designer, collective owner, and also a blogger among other talents she possesses. Lucien is just one of those types of people that doesn’t sugar coat anything or hold anything back. If she feels that it is necessary, she’ll definitely tell it like it is without any hesitation to do so. Despite the fact that we live on opposite sides of the planet, we still manage to keep in touch via email, blogging, and social media. When I asked Lucien if she’d be interested in participating in this new interview series of mine, she did not hesitate to agree and provided me her answers within a blink of an eye. You can reach her via her collective site neon-sky.com or via her blog Hikarimono.net.

1.) You’ve been a web designer for quite a few years now, when did you realize that being a web designer was something you knew you’d be doing long term?
A.) I don’t really remember; I’ve always been fascinated by web design, since the first time I came across it. But if I have to pinpoint a moment, I think it was maybe when I started dabbling in web design and after I finished creating my first premade that I was happy with. I was pretty sure web (and graphic) design would be a passion that would accompany me in the future. :).

2.) Where did you learn how to code and create websites?
A.) I learned how to code through tutorials. I also paid close attention to graphic sites and how the owners did certain things that I fell in love with. I, of course, looked at their source code to see how they created the effect I liked and then searched for tutorials for that particular code. I also looked for tutorials that would explain how the owner achieved that effect, and once I found the tutorial that showed me how to achieve the same goal, I practiced until I felt that I was able to create the same effect.

3.) You’ve been sitting at your desk and were in the process of creating a theme for one of your websites when you start to daydream about chocolate ice cream that never makes you gain weight. A sudden jolt in your body awoke you from your daydream and you’re staring at your computer screen realizing that chocolate ice cream has been smeared all over the monitor. What do you do?
A.) I scream “No!!! F*ck no!!!” And I’d dart off to get some rags to clean it up in hopes that my monitor hasn’t been destroyed and be forced to buy a new one.

4.) How many years has it been since you’ve first created a website, and how many websites do you currently own and maintain?
A.) It’s been 8 or 9 years since I’ve opened my first Anime Graphics Sub-Domain. Since then, I’ve come to own and maintain around 8 or 10 websites.

5.) Knowing you have several domains that are for different things, do you ever find yourself struggling to keep every single website up to date? Or does it become easier after awhile of owning so many websites?
A.) I struggle every day with trying to keep my websites up to date with new layouts and content. But I love every one of them as it allows me to create layouts and keep their content up to date, which is also something I love to do in my spare time. I don’t see myself shutting any of my websites any time soon.

6.) If you could bathe in either hot chocolate sauce or pineapples for the rest of your life and come out clean, which one would you choose?
A.) I’d have to choose to bathe in hot chocolate sauce as I can’t stand pineapples. But to be entirely honest, I’d prefer to drink the hot chocolate sauce rather than bathing in it. xD.

7.) Having been a web designer for several years and owning quite a few domains that are for different purposes, what advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about becoming a web designer and who wants to own multiple domains?
A.) There are two things that comes to mind when I see a person who wants to dive into the web designer and website owning world and they are: Make sure to practice creating websites offline and start relatively small; as the more obstacles you take on the more you’ll feel overwhelmed and want to give up entirely. When and if you’re making a graphics or premades websites, I created several “fake” offline HTML sites before opening my first sub-domain and as time progressed that work gave me a lot of insight on how to organize my thoughts, my files, and my content so that I don’t feel overwhelmed and feel the need to give up. The second piece of advice that I can think of to give is don’t be in such a hurry to get your website up and running with a lot of content. Sure, you admire other websites that may have a lot of content but those websites owners took their time to get that content up and running. There’s really no rush in getting your content up as rushing is never a good idea and it does more harm than good. Remember, you have all the time in the world to make your website grow.

Thank you so much Lucien for being the first participant in this brand spanking new interview series! I really appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into answering these questions.