Step 29: The Currency of Kindness…

Do you remember my photo session with Brazilian photographer Osni Omena? It was a good three years ago now and I don’t think I’ve willingly posed for a camera since, but if you want a refresher, you can find most of the shots in an album on the aligilmoremusic facebook page.

From that session came the infamous “peek” image you see on my website, facebook page, etc., and the one on the campaign’s front page, among many others.  I was scruffy that day and sicker than I knew, but somehow, even I’ll admit that he got some pretty great shots of my not so photogenic self.

Osni Omena photographerI met Osni through his wife Jan, who is one of the good friends I’ve met and made during my IT career. She was living in NY and traveling back and forth to our Seattle office, where I was head of IT.  Since then we’ve both moved around a bit, but for the past few years we’ve been in the closest proximity ever.  They in LA and me just a couple hours south, in Oceanside.

Jan has a keen interest in visiting missions while Osni and I have a keen interest in photography, so we meet up on occasion and combine the two which of course ends with a meal and invariably a great series of conversations and much laughter. Yesterday was no exception.

san  luis ray mission

This time we met up at the Mission San Luis Ray just east of Oceanside.  We had a late start and didn’t get there until after 4, so I skipped lugging along my Nikon.  I regretted that decision within moments of arriving.  The place is a hauntingly beautiful kind of eye candy for the soul.  So much work and love has gone into every detail of designing and preserving this historical place and how somber slipped into whimsy when I noticed the overly tinseled Christmas tree shining proudly in the midst of the graveyard left me wide eyed and euphemistic.

But I digress.  Then again, what story is singular in itself?  I think the best ones are usually intertwined with others…  The reason I mention the mission isn’t just that it’s worth a visit, but because it also became the location of another pivotal moment in the making of my music CD.

While Osni wandered off to get in some last minute pictures of the grounds,  Jan and I got to talking…I had mentioned the music CD campaign/project and how I’d hoped to hire Osni for it, but with only 10 days to go and only 13% of the goal raised I would have to re-think how I was going to make it all happen.

I half-assed and rather sheepishly said “I would offer you guyz 2 VIP passes to the event in exchange, but…” and before I could finish that thought she cheerfully accepted on his behalf, which was great, but I was doubtful he’d be pleased when he found out his talents had been traded in for peanuts and a party.  This is a man that can command copious amounts in just a day’s work.


Moments later we hopped in our cars and headed out to the Flying Pig for our after-excursion meal.  Once we were settled in, the subject was broached and I said “Oh, yes…did your wife mention…?” to which he equally, cheerfully responded that he knew and he was delighted.

Before I knew it, I was introducing him to Roddy (the owner of the place) as “the photographer that will be covering the event” and those two went on to chat about lighting and such while I looked on, savoring the words and feeling pretty pleased with myself I will admit.  Jan even made a tongue in cheek comment at one point of feeling like she was dining with celebrity.  Ah, go on.  Let the girl have her moment.

So, the point of today’s story is for those who are running a campaign to fund their dream or are just thinking about it; don’t measure your success by whether or not you make 100% of your financial goal, but by how much actual support you receive and never assume that the mighty dollar is the only form of currency accepted or even wanted by the talent needed to make it happen.  When you create a campaign, you are asking for votes of confidence, not permission.  The response is not and answer to IF you will do it, merely HOW.

So, to recap, I’ve got the design of the cover, covered, a photographer for the studio and CD screening event, the following musicians secured: Brad Rehn on drums, Len Crowley on Bodhran, Jim Steiner on upright bass, Justin Helland on guitar, ukelele, vocals and possibly accordion and David Sias on guitar, vocals, drums and something else quite spectacular…

On our wish list to add is: Russell Ramo on strings, Paul Castellanos on banjo, mandolin and my great uncle’s fiddle and Dermot Mulroney on cello (and those are just the local ones).

What else do we need?  Oh right, a studio to put all the talent in and an engineer to record them.  That would be rather crucial to the success now wouldn’t it?  Good thing I’ve got a meeting setup for this Wednesday then eh?

Stay tuned, more on that to come…


Our goal is to get 720 pre-orders of the CD to pay for the talents to produce a professionally recorded, full length music CD.  To order yours, go to:

Campaign ends December 24, 2013~