The Orange County and L.A. area is a breeding ground for independent music artists. One group to arise from the babble is Mind Monogram, a spacey alt rock quartet consisting of Edgar A. Ruiz, Christian Caro, Billy Azzurdia, and Bryam M. Mejia.
In 2014, Ruiz started recording a solo project with help from Caro. Quickly, the project became a full band as the other members were added.
With each member, an aspect of their whole style was added as they each brought their own influences. The influences include music from the 50s and 60s to modern indie and hip-hop. They focus on creating moods and atmosphere in their music, and have created a unique “vibe”.
They can be found on Spotify or Youtube, and their most recent song “11:11” is a great example of their entire style. “Chasing Rabbits” and “Insomniac” are also great examples of their chill sound.
When asked for advice on becoming a musician for a career, they responded, “follow your instincts and the rest will follow. Your sound will develop and everything will continue to progress. As for making a career of it, invest time in your craft to reach that goal. Stay creative throughout life and see where that leads you.”
Reporter: John Servin
On November 12, 2019, Disney released their own streaming service in the form of Disney Plus, which included all Disney-owned films and shows, ranging from the past and present day. With the release of Disney Plus, they created their own Original shows, including The Mandalorian.
The Mandolrian is a stand alone show from the Star Wars universe, about a bounty hunter named Mando, who belongs to a race called Mandalorians. He is seen as nothing more than a man that will do anything to make a profit, being considered as one of the best bounty hunters in the galaxy. As the series progresses, we begin to learn more about our protagonist and his character as a whole. We learn that Mando, is an orphan since his parents were killed when he was a child during the Clone Wars, and was taken in by the people of Mandalore. Although the Mandalorians have a reputation for being ruthless warriors, Mando shows his soft side a good amount within the show. As part of the Mandalorian religion, Mando can never take off his helmet that was welded for him. His mask is a metaphor as it is a persona. When he has his mask on, people only see him as a bounty hunter that does anything to make a score. Underneath it all, Mando has his own moral code, and overall is a caring person.
With only a few episodes under its belt, I would consider The Mandalorian the best television series within the Star Wars universe. The show is also rated highly within the Star Wars film installments. I personally put it with the ranks of the original trilogy, which are the best films in Star Wars. The Mandalorian is a very, very well produced show. The visual imagery and animations are incredible, and the cast is spectacular. Pedro Pascal, who plays Mando, is one of the only main recurring characters, and does an excellent job playing his part. Although The Mandolorian is a great show, the plot isn’t specifically explained or connected to the main Star Wars storyline. Overall, I would rate The Mandalorian a 9/10.
The Mandalorian is a highly praised show, and is a must-see for Star Wars fans or anyone who has or is planning to buy membership for Disney Plus.
Reporter: Andrew Camberos
ABC’s show, The Bachelor features returning contestant, 28 year old Peter Weber . Weber first received national attention after placing third on season fifteen of The Bachelorette. During the first promo released on November 25, 2019, ABC also released the air date which will be January 6, 2020. The promo, features a lot of crying and drama -even more than expected. Host, Chris Harrison said, “ This season there is going to be a lot more drama than the other past seasons on The Bachelor.” The ABC promo hints that Hannah Brown, the bachelorette of season fifteen might be back to give it a second chance. If this is the case, this might be the best season, but we’ll have to wait to find out until January 6, 2020 at 8:00 P.M.
Reporter: Amairani Sandoval
The Estancia Drama students will be presenting a show called “It’s A Wonderful Life” from December 5th through December 7th. The students are working very hard, despite the challenges they face while not having their drama teacher present.
Due to their teacher being gone for health reasons, the drama students were left to step up for their upcoming performance. Senior, Leah Thunstrom said, “Trying to figure out how to build a show from the ground up was extremely hard. I never realized how much work was done by Ms. M until she wasn’t here. Although it's super difficult, every person in the troupe has carried some extra weight and has been patient as we try to figure out how to create a show. I definitely learned a lot about Ms. Maranian through this and I’m honored to be doing this for her so she can get better.”
Throughout the process, many of the students gained a further respect for Ms. M and all the work she does. “Without Ms.M there to direct us, it gave me a deeper understanding of what she does and how difficult it can be,” said Megan James. They are also working together no matter their experience. “The heart of this show is really within the troupe, everyone has stepped up to put it together whether it’s their first show or their fifth,” said Senior, Sarah Reich, president of drama.
The students aren’t completely alone. They have the help of Mr. Williams, a social science teacher at Estancia. He helps the students’ guest director. The guest director is Tony Palermo, who adapted “It’s a Wonderful Life” into the radio-on-stage show the students are performing.
The show will open at the Barbara Van Holt Theater at 7 pm on December 5th, 6th, and 7th. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.
Reporter: Viviana Arroyo
On November 8th, 2019, Dr. Sleep, directed by Mike Flanagan, was released in theaters around the country. Flanagan, known for his horror movies which he both writes and directs, was given quite large shoes to fill as he tried to follow Stanley Kubrick’s highly praised film The Shining. Though Dr. Sleep is not as critically successful, the film is a satisfying, modern follow up to it's 1980 original. Though both the movies are based off of novels of the same names by Stephen King, they should be regarded and admired as their own series. Dr. Sleep is a mix of an adaptation from the book, and a sequel to The Shining, but leans heavily towards Kubrick’s work. This movie works in several genres, though most would define it as a thriller. It has several elements of horror, including jump scares, mild gore, and long tense scenes that draw the viewer closer to the screen in anticipation. However, there is greater on the characters and how they develop throughout the story, which a lot of horror movies seem to leave out in favor of more fear factor.
In the film Danny Torrance, a person with a psychic power he calls the shining, grows up and attempts to cope with the trauma of what happened in the previous film. He turns to alcohol, just like his father, and ends up in a small town in New England. There he is contacted by a girl with his same powers and they discover a group of very dangerous people who also “shine”.
Ewan McGregor, a Scottish actor famous for roles in the Star Wars series, the Danny Boyle black comedy Trainspotting, and an upcoming role in DC’s Birds of Prey, acts with palpable sincerity and pain. He plays the tortured soul of Danny, and delivers a convincing performance, topped with a New England accent, that is extremely immersive. Opposite him is Rebecca Ferguson, a Swedish actress who was in recent installments of the Mission Impossible series, Men In Black, and The Greatest Showman. Her performance doesn’t hinder the film, though it is quite unremarkable. Her accent occasionally makes it through and displaces any accent buffs. She does, however, deliver a menacing performance as the antagonist, threatening the viewer by merely appearing on screen. Sadly, Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall did not appear for the sequel, and instead Henry Thomas and Alexandra Essoe played Jack and Wendy Torrance.
Dr. Sleep reaches much further into the magical elements explored in The Shining and explains all the events of the previous film. There are many explanations that are not told to the audience, but shown. The powers don’t seem to overwhelm the viewer, even though most of the plot revolves around it. The cinematography is nothing to sing songs about but it's cohesive and beautiful. There are some shots that succeed fantastically at building suspense. However, there is a sequence where there are many crossfades between shots that are jarring and out of place. Though these are meant as an homage to Kubrick’s film, it simply does not achieve the same effect as it is overused. There is also a sequence in which a young child is subject to unspeakable actions, and it is displayed gruesomely.
Though Rotten Tomatoes rated the movie at 76 out of 100, I believe the movie deserves a higher grade of at least 80. At a run time of 2 hours and 32 minutes, the movie does not bring anything revolutionary to the art of film, but it is still a great thrilling movie. Critics and box office numbers may disagree, but I say it's a movie definitely worth watching.
Reporter: John Servin
The Fish Fry opened on September 20th through September 22nd; 5-10 p.m. Friday, 12-10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday. It has been around for 72 years at Fairview Park. Money that is raised by Fish Fry is being donated to Children's hospitals in Orange County, Knots of Love, Project Cuddle, Some Cares Soup Kitchen, Costa Mesa Boys and Girls Club, Save our Youth, and local high school sports. The Costa Mesa Fish Fry has raised more than $6 million for the community. Students that are Costa Mesa residents came to The Fish Fry to see what they had to offer. Miriam Arriaga, a student that goes to Estancia High School came to hang out at The Fish Fry on September 21st and saw some friends of hers that she hasn’t seen in 2 years. She said, “I got a funnel cake and I was wishing they had strawberry toppings but they ran out.” Estancia, Costa Mesa and Early College High School students were in attendance. Most of the time many families are having fun with their kids and walking around the area. On the other side of Fairview, where the parking lot was at; music and food stands were displayed everywhere. Older couples could be found near the stage and danced to the music. Others were sitting in chairs, watching the couples, listening to T- Bird and the Flock. A 10th grader Dylan Park from Early College said, “It was pretty alright. I had fun with my friends”. The park was filled with laughter, joy, and smiles all around as many look forward to this event in years to come.
Reporter: Leslie Ventura
What if you knew when you would die? The amount of anxiety and nervousness you would get if you don't live your life everyday with no worries? What if you could find it out easily by just downloading one simple app? The exact date and time you would have till your death. Countdown comes out on October 25th. Justin Dec is the director of the movie. Actress Elizabeth Lial, is the protagonist and is a nurse who downloads an app; where you can find out the exact time and date for your death. Once you open the app, it asks if you accept the fate; knowing the consequences of what’s bound to happen next. She accepts it and it shows she has three days to live. Time is ticking faster and faster. A figure follows her every step of the way and she has to figure out what she has to do to stop the time before it runs out. No matter what happens, such as getting a new phone and a new service, it’ll still follow you and keep continuing to countdown until you actually do something about it. I think it’s a cool way for viewers to watch this movie because it’s basically social media displayed in a movie and I would think people can relate to wondering how they would die. Student at Estancia High School, Lesley Hernandez said, "it's a pretty cool app and it would be exciting yet scary to actually have the real thing.¨
Reporter: Leslie Ventura
The OC Fair/Event Center had the pumpkin patch located in LOT C. Entering the pumpkin patch was free, while parking was $9. All activities and pumpkins varied in price. There was a petting zoo, inflatable bounce houses, obstacle courses, and games. The event started on October 6th - 31st. It’s open on weekdays from 1- 9pm. While on the weekdays it opens at 9am - 9pm. Families with kids ran around the pumpkin patch and jumped around the bounce houses. Kenia Rocha and Lesley Hernandez joined along in the fun. The two girls had the best time taking pictures and just having fun with whatever was brought upon the conversations they we’re having. Walking around the pumpkin patch with them was pretty entertaining actually. Senior at Estancia High School, Kenia Rocha said, “The pumpkin patch was cool, but it didn’t really have a lot of things.” which then again, it could’ve been set up better. It was great but if they added more for young adults, maybe it would be more appealing to them. Lesley Hernandez stated, “The pumpkin patch was fun but they didn’t have many activities.” There were small games, but it was more geared towards a younger crowd.
Reporter: Leslie Ventura
The 2019 LA County Fair was located at Fairplex, Pomona CA. The theme this year was Pop Art! It was first held on October 17, 1922, and ran for five days through October 21, 1922, in a former beet field. This year’s fair opened up on August 30th through September 22nd. On wednesday and thursday, they tend to open at noon and end between 10pm through 11pm. Then, on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday they open at noon and end near 10 through midnight. The tickets on the weekdays range from $8 - 14. The weekends and holiday tickets were $12 - 20. I went along with Jessica Espinoza and Nancy Diaz. Initially, our plan was to go and have fun since Jessica and I worked at the OC fair. We didn’t really have enough time to go on rides and actually enjoy the fair. Parking was $15, which was very pricey and crowded. A lot of colorful art was pictured throughout the fair. Lots of people were around this one art museum called, “Pops of Color”. There was tons and tons of beautiful architecture and they even had a pop up of the famous LA landmarks such as the hollywood sign, Randy’s Donuts, LACMA, etc. Vintage items were also at the fair; A cassette tape wall, a Volkswagen Beetle, and a wooden Volkswagen camper van. Majority of the time, we walked around looking at how different it was from the OC Fair. I saw a lot of my old supervisors, talked and hugged a lot of them. Supervisor Megan, said “It’s very cramped here in LA, other than the OC fair everything is so spaced out”. Inside the LA fair, each game was together unlike at the OC fair they had space in between each game where you can pass through easily. Nancy said, “It was pretty interesting. I would love to go back to go for a strawberry horchata that I got over there.” The night was filled with memories and joy that others would never forget.
Reporter: Leslie Ventura
HAWAII IS A STATE OF THE U.S. LOCATED IN THE CENTRAL PACIFIC. LEONARD’S BAKERY IS WIDELY BELIEVED TO HAVE THE BEST MALASADAS IN OAHU AND HAS BEEN OPEN SINCE 1952. MALASADAS ARE PORTUGESE DONUTS THAT ARE FRIED AND COVERED IN GRANULATED SUGAR. IF YOU EVER VISIT OAHU YOU’LL WANT TO TRY THESE DONUTS.
ON MY VISIT TO OAHU I WAS CONVINCED TO VISIT LEONARD’S BY MY FAMILY. MY AUNT GENA ORTIS SAID, “THEY WERE DELICIOUS, SOFT, AND WARM WHEN I BIT INTO THEM”. LEONIDAS RAMONE CLAIMED, “THEY WERE BOMB”. THESE ARE SOLD AT $1.30 EACH. ANOTHER FOOD WORTH TRYING IS THE HAM AND CHEESE WRAP. THIS IS ROLLED UP HAM AND CREAM CHEESE INSIDE OF BREAD GOING FOR $3.50 EACH.
THE SHOP WAS SMALL AND THEY TOOK ORDERS REALLY QUICKLY, HOWEVER, THE WAIT FOR THE FOOD WAS LONG. ALTHOUGH WE WAITED 20 MINUTES FOR THE MALASADAS IT WAS DEFINITELY WORTH IT BECAUSE THEY WERE REALLY HOT AND FRESH. THE MALASADAS WERE LIFE-CHANGING AND YOU WILL LIKE THEM AS WELL IF YOU ENJOY PASTRIES THAT AREN’T REALLY SWEET. ONE THING THAT I FOUND TO BE INCONVENIENT ABOUT LEONARD’S IS THAT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SPACE TO WAIT FOR YOUR FOOD. THERE IS LITTLE TO NO SPACE TO SIT, SAVE FOR TWO BENCHES AT THE FACE OF THE BUILDING. I GIVE THIS BAKERY AN A+ FOR THE DELICIOUS FOOD AND IT’S GREAT SERVICE. LEONARD’S BAKERY IS LOCATED ON 933 KAPAHULU AVE, HONOLULU, HI 96816.
Reporter: Makai Walker