Thursday, December 31, 2009

CARINA 360°: My Top Ten Highlights of the Year

As the year comes to a close, I have written up my top ten highlights of the year. Hopefully you agree!

10. Twitter blew up this year. Seriously, people made a fuss when Miley Cyrus deleted her account. When Ashton Kutcher beat CNN with millions more followers. Pshh. I’m more of a MySpace type of person. *Yawn.

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize??? I know, huge shocker for everyone! Click Here.

8. Lady Gaga, she just came out of nowhere! I don’t need to say much about her, other than her fashion sense is so beyond crazy awesome.

7. FREAKING VAMPIRES! EVERYWHERE! Ugh, I'm so annoyed. Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, Day Breakers, and so on. I hope 2010 is full of wizards and witches. You know, Harry Potter! Gosh I love him.

6. Reality “Stars” seem to have been the new norm. The Kardashians, the Jersey Shore cast. Looks like getting a show on E! or MTV is the new way to gain fame. SCREW TALENT! Also, did you know that in ‘09 you could be famous just by pumping out 8 kids!? Well you could: Octomom.

5. Sonia Sotomayor, The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

4. H1N1 flu a pandemic. Hand sanitizer and tissues were being bought in bulk, and racist Mexican jokes were airborne like the virus itself. So far over 3,000 people have died and the vaccine was in short supply.

3. Michael Jackson dead at 50 due to Heart Attack. The world stopped. No I'm not being sarcastic.

2. Doesn't matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, voted for him or not, you must admit, this was a super huge deal! He’s the first African American to hold office. On January 20, 2009 Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President.

Now what could be number 1 on my top ten highlights of the year? What could beat President Obama? It's Britney B**ch!

1. OMG! April 12, 2009 was possibly the best day of ‘09 for me. This Easter Sunday in San Jose, I saw Britney Spears in concert. (*Angels Singing). Say what you want, all the other thousands of people in the Arena feel the same way. This was a huge deal for me. You see, Britney Spears music has been in my life since forever. So getting to see her was like epic for me! *sigh, I will never forget that day.

And everything else ...

The homeless doll
Balloon boy
Rihanna and Chris Brown (I hate you Chris Brown!!!)
Susan Boyle

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mikeala AxToGrind: Audio Addiction

Hello, everyone!

Allow me to offer assistance in the conquering of the after holiday let-down. With music, no less. In all honesty, this is simply a clever ruse in which I have an excuse to talk about music (under the cover of post-Christmas decompression advice.)

I'm sure you've all encountered that kind of song before. That insanely catchy beat, thoroughly addicting riffs, and ear enrapturing lyrics. Well, while you sit amid the mountains of wrapping paper and leftovers, left in whiplash by the swift departure of Christmas, here are some definite pick-you-up-and-get-you-moving tracks. You know, the aforementioned "insanely catchy" ones:

"She's Got Me Dancing" by Tommy Sparks*:

Straight out of the i-Phone commercial, comes with a guarantee to get you dancing. Or at least leave you with the intense desire to, restrained for fear of looking like a fool. (My advice: dance anyway. Anyone who makes fun of you is clearly just jealous of your moves.)

"Ulysses" by Franz Ferdinand:

From an album chock full of addictive dance beats, this track reigns as one of the elite. Just trust me. After all, when has a song named Ulysses ever let you down before?

"Let's Dance To Joy Division" by The Wombats:

Drenched in a tongue-in-cheek irony that makes for one heck of a great song. Upbeat and most definitely catchy. Give it a chance, I swear it's digital happiness.

"All Is Love" by Karen O and the Kids :

So, so sweet! From "Where the Wild Things Are" soundtrack. Excellent movie, impeccable song. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs gets almost unbearably sweet, and sounds great doing it. Simple, happy, and an all around feel-good song.

If these songs don't get you moving, then you might want to give your legs a good poke, 'cause you just might be paralyzed.



*Strange video, I'll concede.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mikeala AxToGrind:Scrooge (Merry Christmas, Everyone!)

First of all;

Bah Humbug.

Sorry, just needed to get that out of the way.

In the case you haven't picked up on it already, let me spell it out: I really don't like holidays. It's not as though I leave out rat poison for the Easter bunny or wait with a BB gun for old St. Breaking-And-Entering to come struggling down the chimney...I'm not an incredibly active holiday-hater. I actually do quite enjoy the concept of holidays, the picturesque setting of family togetherness and selflessness and gift-giving, all of that tinsel infused goodness. But when I actually get down to the holiday get together, it thoroughly contradicts any idealistic notion I might have conceived beforehand. In order to evade disappointment, I try not to expect very much.

And even then I somehow am let down, nearly every year. It's far from the materialistic disappointment of not getting the Christmas presents I want, that's the least of my concerns. It's nearly everything else. I try not to be too cynical or self-pitying (and if I'm failing at this, please feel free to let me know), but it seems to me that Christmas has simply lost whatever magic it once held for me.

At best, it turns out to be a few family arguments and a few hours of sitting with a painted smile. At worst, full blown chaos and sitting in a room of people attacking your morals and beliefs.

I really do wish that I could believe in that greeting card harmonious family at the fireside backdrop, but I haven't seen anything along the lines of that in my family, or in anyone close to me. I'm sure happy holidays exist, I just can't work out where. And the step beyond that, how to get there.

Or, it could very well just be my pessimism rearing it's Santa hat adorned head. (It has many seasonally appropriate outfits.)

I'm terribly sorry of this comes off as overly-cynical and standard issue "emo kid" perspective. I truly do try to avoid that. I didn't run this past an optimist before posting, which perhaps should be part of the due process?

Anyway, I really would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Eat, drink and be merry.



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

That Religious Guy: The Adventures of Fr. Robin Hood

..... Simony is the act of selling the sacraments, paying for holy offices, or simply making a business out of the Church. Not many people are accused of such a canonical crime these days, but one priest in Mexico has been. Fr. Raymundo Figueroa has been removed from his parish by Archbishop Rafael Munoz for selling the sacraments, being a true Robin Hood in black.

..... Of course, Fr. Figueroa had good intentions at first. He came from a struggling parish, that of Santisimo Sacramento (Translation: Blessed Sacrament, which makes his deeds more ironic...) The church had a bare concrete floor and little heating during cold times. In an effort to raise construction funds for his flock, Fr. Figueroa traveled back and forth from Mexico to the U.S., charging for quick and expensive baptisms, first communions, and confirmations. For first communion, the Robin Hood priest charged $160, but for an additional $20 one could have flowers and chairs at the event! At one point, people from Los Angeles and San Diego were crossing the border in order to receive the sacrament of confirmation, the highest price being $75. All this "fund raising" financed the parish's cushioned pews and loudspeakers. Santisimo Sacramento parish grew to an astonishing 8,000 people, all praising Fr. Figueroa.

..... Why are his actions so bad? Well, Fr. Figueroa mislead many American Catholics through his administering of the sacraments. He would send deacons to substitute for him or clergy from the breakaway Old Catholic Church. Instead of a holy atmosphere in a church, first communions and confirmations would be held in parks, living rooms, or backyards to the sound of mariachis instead of choirs or organs. All of these ceremonies were treated as simple gatherings, like a birthday party that happens every year. Unfortunately, these sacraments are important because they happen only once in your life. You prepare for them for years because the Church wants you to know your faith in order to defend and spread it. A few months of Fr. Figueroa's catechism aren't enough to prepare you for any sacrament.

.....Yet possibly the worst aspect of Fr. Figueroa's crime is that he made the Church into a business. He made something sacred into something on-sale. Parishes usually charge a small fee for sacraments only when there's an expense involved like books. At St. Luke's in Stockton, I got the impression that one shouldn't make money from holy goods. During one particular rummage sale, I picked up a rosary and was given it for free, possibly because it was a religious item. The bibles sold after Mass on Sundays there are never sold for profit but only to cover the costs of buying new bibles for sale later. Fr. Figueroa tainted the spirituality of his parish by mixing faith with literally, theft.

..... In many ways, the Robin Hood of literature was a good and bad figure. Sure, he gave money to the poor but he also stole in order to get it. Fr. Figueroa should be applauded for his original purpose of helping his poor parish, but should be reprimanded for the way he gained money. Like a thief, he stole the money of innocent people and he stole important events from their lives. It's because of priests like Fr. Figueroa that the whole priesthood suffers bad publicity. His actions just prove that sometimes bad consequences can come from good intentions.
"They came to Jerusalem, and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, "Is it not written: 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples'? But you have made it a den of thieves."
The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching." - Mark 11:15-19 

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

Sunday, December 20, 2009

That Religious Guy: A Break in the Clouds

..... It seems that every day is a cloudy one. The weather outside may be crisp and clear, but on the inside, it's cloudy. In the minds of most high schoolers, this is the daily forecast since we are still trying to discern our vocation, our calling. What will we be in life? A doctor? A lawyer? An artist? And for me, a priest?

..... One of the benefits of being a teen discerning for the priesthood is the feeling of assurance involved in the process. I'll know that by constantly contemplating my purpose early in life, I'll come out stronger. Stronger because I will have known whether I truly was being called to the priesthood or something else. This assurance also manifests itself in different ways. The assurance of support from family and the church, and most importantly, the assurance of guidance from God.

..... The word vocation comes from the Latin vocare meaning "to call." Basically, God calls each and everyone of us to fulfill a vocation, whether it be holy orders or married life. His call, however, might not be obvious or audible at first. This is to say that one should keep quiet and listen closely for a big booming voice from the heavens. If only it were that easy. At times, a vocation might altogether just disappear because of distractions erupting from society. After all, the secular mentality seems to be that the only way to be successful in life is to get married, have kids, and make money. Emphasis on the money part. The power to discourage also plays a major role in destroying vocations. I've personally heard a range of negativity about my thoughts on becoming a priest:

"Don't waste your life!"

"This is just a phase."

"Don't you want to get married?"

..... Then I realize that each one of these comments has a flaw. Is it really a waste of one's life if it's dedicated to serving others? In essence, the office of a priest can be described by one of the titles of the Pope. A priest is a "Servant of the Servants of Christ." In order to be first, one needs to be last.
..... The vocation to be a priest is most definitely a phase. But isn't the desire to be a doctor or lawyer also phases? After all, one doesn't just wake up and say "I'm going to be a neurosurgeon!" No, it's a long and arduous process trying to determine your future profession. If it didn't have stages, no one would ever be able to determine their calling.
..... Married life is one of the highest positions on the worldly hierarchy. That and multi-billionaire bachelor/bachelorette. Sure marriage is a beautiful sacrament, a fruitful institution that represents love and procreation. Holy matrimony, however, isn't for everyone. Some people like Fr. What's His Name and Sister So and So would rather have had Holy Orders instead. I don't see what's all the fuss about. When you're a priest, you're married to the church and will have more kids then every man in your parish since everyone will be calling you Father!

.....If I could describe the process of discerning a vocation to the priesthood, it would be like a cloudy day. The clouds are so thick with doubts, discouragement, and distractions that you can't see anything. So one day, you decide to do something. Research. Discussions. Prayer. You try anything to make those dark clouds vanish until you're rewarded with a penetrating light from the sun. I imagine that this is what it feels like to find purpose, to finally see what's coming ahead.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

P.S. Oh yeah, visit my blog where you can read all my religion posts

Saturday, December 19, 2009

That Religious Guy Wants YOU to take the SURVEY!!

..... Ok Delta Kings and Queens, please take The Stagg Line survey by following this link:

1. Go to Web site.

2. Click Multimedia section

3. Go to Budget Cuts Survey

..... The purpose of this survey is to let SUSD hear the voice of students and what we think of the Budget Cuts. It seems that in this economic recession, the only group not being asked for input on matters of education is the students! Take the survey and be heard! Results will be published in the January issue of The Stagg Line.


Jeremy Dela Cruz

That Religious Guy: Rosaries and Gangs?

Here's an editorial I wrote for (I revised it a little but it will mainly appear the same on the Web site.) :

..... The rosary is a Roman Catholic devotion that some say originated from St. Dominic, who had been given this gift by the Virgin Mary. To many, these simple beads and a crucifix are a sign of personal piety and veneration of the Blessed Mother and her Son. To police officers and school administrators in South Lake Tahoe, California, the rosary is considered a "gang sign."

..... Apparently on Wednesday, a group of predominantly male and Latino students were apprehended by a South Tahoe High School resource officer for reportedly using rosaries as gang affiliation. All the rosaries were confiscated and the students were photographed and their pictures put on a database. Some of the young men had previous disciplinary problems and so the belief that they were misusing their religious articles seemed valid. In our opinion, however, South Tahoe High School was wrong and was violating religious freedoms.

..... This little episode, however, caused quite a stir on campus as an organized students protest took place against the administration's actions. Word had spread through the electronic grapevine of a demonstration complete with signs and chanting. The atmosphere at 9 am Friday in the quad was one filled with banners reading "Stop Discrimination" and phrases of "We are one" being spoken throughout the crowds. Many were complaining that teachers were unfairly taking rosaries away from students, intolerable acts indeed.

..... If the rosaries at South Tahoe High were really being used as gang signs, why would the student population go to great lengths to show their displeasure and side with the Latino students? One student even considered it racial profiling since the administration seemed to be only selecting minority students for confiscation. It seems that the school and police officers in that area misconstrued devotion for deviance. The officers justified their policy because adult gang members had confessed to using rosaries as identifiable signs.

..... Granted that there may be a chance that some teens use rosaries as gang signs, school administrators, however, shouldn't see this sacred symbol as one of violence. Students at South Tahoe are now being encouraged to wear their rosaries under their shirts as a matter of safety. This does not attack the problem, but only reinforces the mentality that rosaries should now be associated with red shoelaces and Old English lettering. If anything, by asking students to hide their rosaries, this is a way for administrators to effectively keep religion off school grounds.

..... For Catholics, we must take offense to this since the Blessed Mother is one of our greatest guides in life. Her rosary is a sign of community, not gangs. Some Catholics may not like the practice of wearing rosaries because of the belief that it should be used for devotion not decoration, but many people wear rosaries as an expression of faith, a faith meant to be seen not hidden.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

P.S. I guess we should start worrying about nuns with guns!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Technology and Teens

Okay so we live in a very complex world with a ton of technology. In society we have those adults that choose to work and those that don't choose to work. Then there are children from ages 6-11 that are somewhat familiar with technology and then there are teenagers. Yes I am on of those so called "trouble makers" that someones grandparent calls them.

Technology is important to everyone in the world. Obviously right? In my eyes there are two groups of teens: there is your technology freak-a-zoids and then there are those who really don't give much of a flying hoot. I am in the group that just doesn't give a hoot. The technology freak-a-zoids can't even live without their phones! I mean come on, are you for real?! It reminds me of my sister, she is in the group that I call the "technology freak-a-zoids" Well her and a few other that I know.

Teens these days are getting way out of whack with their phones, the Internet, and video game systems; practically all of technology. Our age group takes advantage of the technology given to us. Like the cell phone for example, girls or guys take advantage of the "use" of the phone. Some will send nude photos or antagonizing text messages, this is known as "digital abuse." When I was at the mall Saturday with my friend. There was this little girl no older than 11 maybe and she was yakking on her phone and cussing up a storm like it was the thing to do and get this she was doing it in front of her mother in a public place. Now that's embarrassing to her mother. If that was my child "ooohhh" she would of gotten slapped and no phone.

I'm not saying that I am just the perfect person and I don't cuss, because I do. But there is a certain extent especially if you're in public. "You make yourself look like a fool!" My bestest Anayeli said. Nobody is perfect, but I mean come on you should have more common sense. The Internet is a whole different story that we won't even get into at this point.

Overall technology is evil just like money is the root to all evil. Our society was alright without technology. Then again there is your good technology like new medical technology and then there is your evil technology such as cell phones, the computer, etc.. That's pretty much all I have to say for now. Adios mis amigos!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

CARINA 360°: Houston Elects First Lesbian Mayor

A couple of years ago, Houston voted against a ballot that would give benefits to same-sex partners of city workers.

Now following in the footsteps of Providence - Rhode Island and other cities, Houston Texas, as of December 12, 2009, has elected their first openly gay mayor, Democrat Annise Parker.
(Not only that but she has also made history again for being the second female mayor of Houston.)

As a 53 year old mother of two, she and her partner of 19 years have never made an issue out of her sexual orientation. Before becoming the new mayor of Houston, she was city controller for the past five years.

Even though only 16 percent of qualified voters showed up, Parker still won. With 53 percent of the vote, she beat city attorney Gene Locke.

As with any gay or lesbian public figure, Parker did receive protest from anti-gay groups. Residents of the city got mail telling of the relationship with her partner.

"I have always stood up for the fact that I am gay. It's part of the resume that I bring to the table, but it's just a piece of the package," Parker said.

But she has nothing to worry about now, she won!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fabled Faith: ET Can't phone home? :(

              See a U.F.O? Well, I wouldn't waste my time calling Britain, because they obviously don't want to hear it.

I recently read that Britain no longer has a U.F.O hotline. Where's E.T supposed to phone home now? They said the U.F.O hotline had been existent since 1959, but some felt that it was time for it to go. According to, too much money has been wasted.
This organization is estimated to save  about $ 73,000 a year. With all of the prank phone calls, "fake" sightings, and  mentally deranged people calling, they thought that getting rid of  the hotline was the best way to go.

Others aren't taking it so well. In a few articles, there were people who thought it was dangerous. "Where do we go when there's an arial attack?", they said, "What about the terrorists?" 

Oh come on! Seriously? People are getting tired of hearing the same voices calling and telling them they saw a U.F.O when it was only an army plane passing overhead. 

Anyway, I'm just a little intrigued by this, and am actually really interested to see what you guys think.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Clearly Claire: Stuck in Catholicism for a Week

I am not by any means "That Religious Guy," but that doesn't mean that my family isn't religious. My family used to wake me up at 9 o'clock every Sunday morning to go to church and I would sit bored through the whole thing. The only thing I ever liked about church was the singing. I love to sing.

Slowly, though, my parents decided that they weren't going to go every week, then we became Christmas and Easter Catholics. We would go to church on the important holidays, you know, the day Christ rose from the dead and the day he was born. A few years ago, though my parents decided they were too busy making Easter dinner to go to church, so we only went on Christmas. Last year, we didn't go to church on Christmas either. How can God compete with opening presents?

So, you may ask how in the world a person who hates church and doesn't go could wind up in a convent for a week, up at 6 a.m. every morning praying to God that I didn't jump off a cliff. I went to the convent almost two months ago and am still recovering from the horrible week

My great aunt is a nun and I love her so much, but I would never want to be like her. They had prayer meetings everyday that lasted an hour. I could barely get through one hour of church on Sunday and she had to go everyday. I felt like such a sinner.

I also decided to visit the college located near the convent and had to spend two hours watching a play about Jesus and his disciples singing songs about the grace of God. It took all I had to not burst out laughing when some girl started singing a love song to Jesus. But my eyes were open to a whole new world.

I realized that to a lot of people, religion is everything. It keeps their families together and can unity a community, it just isn't for me. I am a sinner, through and through. I was born to be one and I can't change that, but I don't really want to. I like that I am not spiritual. The week was horrible, but it someways it was good, because I learned about a different place where, even though it doesn't make sense to me, it makes sense to others.

So I won't be going to that college, or becoming a nun anytime soon, but I might go to church more....

Okay, Maybe not.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mikeala AxToGrind: (un)Cool.


It's time to come clean.

I like Adam Lambert.

And it's hard to say that I really care what people think about it. It's not as if I'm some main-stream junkie or Idol fanatic, I just appreciate talent, and unabashed nature.

Lambert is a far cry from the usual stock of humanized, modest Idol finalists and, reflecting on contestants of the past, it's a bit of a wonder how he even came to be even accepted as far as Hollywood, as opposed to receiving the ax for, I don't know...over dramatics? (see; Bikini Girl? Hello?) But I suppose that raw talent does count for something nowadays. (Hopefully)

So, Lambert survived the Idol and at the 2009 American Music Awards made his (re?)debut, much to the displeasure of many. In a closing performance for the awards show, Lambert led two leather clad men across the floor by leashes, ground a singers face against his pelvis and kissed a male band mate. Lambert is still suffering the fallout of this performance, having been cancelled from Good Morning America as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Lambert tweeted his response to the ABC cancellations, saying that the station was responding to "FCC heat", brought on by his "racy" performance.

But, really now? Of course there's virtually no mention anywhere of Janet Jackson fondling one of her dancers during her AMA performance.

And then there was the matter of the Early show censoring the photo of Adam Lambert kissing his keyboardist before showing a perfectly unedited photo of the infamous Britney Spears/Madonna kiss. CBS responded to the questions raised by issuing the following statement,
"We gave this some real thought. The Madonna image is very familiar and has appeared countless times including many times on morning television. The Adam Lambert image is a subject of great current controversy, has not been nearly as widely disseminated, and for all we know, may still lead to legal consequences.”

I really can't be the only one smelling double standard here.

Female musicians have gotten away with risque performances in the past, not garnering even close to nearly as much controversy as Lambert has in his short time in the public eye. Because Adam Lambert is a man, he simply can't do what women can do (no pun intended). And because he is a homosexual man, people feel that he shouldn't even try.

If a female performed Lambert's AMA "scandal" to the T, there would be no controversy.

and that's what irks me. There's a double standard here, pertaining to female and male gender roles.

People try to put Adam Lambert in a box. And he doesn't like boxes. He puts a nail-polished fist through boxes. Boxes for how as a man he should act. Boxes for how, as a man for American Idol, his performances should be.

Well, I've been criticized and chastised for showing an interest in Adam Lambert (beyond his supposed controversies), because he is deemed main-stream. Because he is from American Idol. And as I've stated before, I'm not an Idol fiend. It's now cool to be a critic. It's now cool to like the uncool, to be uncool.

And that's why it's not cool to like Lambert, because he's popular. You shouldn't talk about him, unless it's about his "racy" aspects.

But if being uncool is only now cool, then I've always been ahead of the curve.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

RANDOMora: Happy Thanksgiving :]

Whatever day you may be having I hope you are sharing it with the people you love most. Eat turkey, mashed potatoes and whatever pie your mother likes to bake. Get ready for a full tummy the rest of this week. Enjoy the football game, and congrats if you caught the parade. Play outside (or rake whatever is your fancy) and enjoy the atmosphere of family friends and feast. I knew I could use alliteration.

Happy Thanksgiving gobble gobble cough cough...I am ill.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CARINA 360°: San Francisco Chronicle Going Glossy!

One of the biggest newspapers in California recently underwent a complete makeover.
Hair, nails, headlines and all.

The San Francisco Chronicle will no longer be printed on that bland, grayish paper - oh no. Now stories of war and celebrities will be read on high-gloss paper.

In the past six months, the Chronicle has been suffering. Losing $1 million a week, it needed to take some drastic measures.

Along with some new gloss, the price on the newspaper itself will rise, and some unlucky staff members at the Chronicle will lose their jobs.

With more and more people relying on the Internet for their daily feed, one could say it's the not best time for newspapers.

However, as shocking as this may sound, it just might work. People like glossy things! And shiny, glossy news is hard to resist ... for me anyway.

I think Stephen Colbert explains it best.

RANDOMora:Ting Tings go GANGSTA?!

According to Yahoo, the Ting Tings have signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label as well as producing music for the two. A shock indeed.

"Jay is hoping to lend his production skills to some of the new material. The Staccato rhythmic style of The Ting Tings sits well with what he does best, so that was the attraction. Jay can make them one of the biggest British bands in America," a source told Britain's Daily Star newspaper.

Really? Well, if anyone can make an indie pop band into superstars it's Jay-Z! I think this will publicize them more, but "the biggest British bands in America?"--I think not. This isn't Donald Trump here who can just make money and fame come true, and they are certainly no Beatles.

One thing is also a question: If the Ting Tings are so tired of flying to different parts of the world away from home, why did they sign? Okay there is money. But being homesick and quote "We've seen the world. God, we've seen it about five times," is a thing they've got coming to them a whole lot more since their 2008 May tour.

What do you think? Will they succeed and become the next big band to be worshiped, or just a dub. Yea or nay?

RANDOMora: Let's WRITE...sonnets

Yes, you've heard from "That Religious Guy" that our class is writing sonnets and having to present them memorized to the class. If not, you need to check in more often.

I am a poem geek myself since I can remember from dinky couplets to haiku of the century--I love poetry. I love writing in general i suppose but poems are something I just like to focus more onto.

Anyhow, this project has made me realize that when writing or studying poetry, you must balance two acts: creativity and structure. Free writing is another thing, but when you're stuck writing a limerick and making it sound "punny," you got to realize the amount of paper you're willing to waste and rip from a 50 cent notebook. It's tiring and exciting, but with this project I think I may have a tougher battle with iambic pentameter. It is the road block to expressing my thoughts. How cruel.

Iambic pentameter is the structure of which I am having a hard time holding without giving my work a bit of pizazz. However, I also realized that just starting is its own road block for some of our classmates. Thus proving that not only kids should read more, but WRITE. Grammar (of which I make mistakes time to time), tone, figure of speech and so forth is important whether someone thinks so or not.

It's our language, the language of humor, heart, and mind.

So let that be a thought and maybe a poem?? -- WRITE. It's wonderful to just write whether it is poetry, journal, or just plain gibberish. Why not open yourself and see what you have inside?

A horrific saying would be: Why not cut yourself open and bleed yourself out onto the paper?
No, not emo, just plain cool.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

That Religious Guy: Catholic Climate Covenant!

..... I took the pledge just minutes ago, the St. Francis Pledge that is. The pledge is part of the nationwide effort by Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) in helping reduce individual carbon footprints and protect the poor from the ill-effects of global warming. The several goals are to:

1. PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.

2. LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change.

3. ASSESS how we-as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations-contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc.
4. ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.
5. ADVOCATE for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.

..... So pledge now on their Web site: and be one of the so far 2,323 individuals who have vowed to help the earth as much as possible.

..... The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling the faithful to act now and do their part for the betterment of the community. “At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family” said the USCCB. Pope Benedict XVI also has released similar statements, urging governments to moilize their citizens to action.

..... So why does the Church care about climate change? After all, is the protection of the environment really a part of Christian obligations? According to the USCCB and CCC, it is. Since God made us all in his image, we are blessed with the dignity to be someone not just something. Climate change will more directly affect the poor and the helpless, so everyone is accountable, everyone is a part of this global problem. As the sanctity of human life concerns the rejection of abortion, euthenasia, and the death penalty, it also influences the Church's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. By protecting the environment, we are indirectly caring for the poor and all of Creation.

..... Now, when I say Church, I don't just mean that building that you may or may not attend on Sundays depending whether you want to sleep in. By Church, I also don't mean just its hierarchy, that is its deacons, priests, bishops, cardinals, and the Pope. When I write Church in this blog and in almost every other blog, I always mean the whole universal community of believers, including the common folk or "laity." Seen in this light, hopefully, you can understand that we're connected to everyone regardless of location, family ties, etc. So, the preservation of the enviroment truly is the responsibility of every man, woman, and child.

..... The Church in Stockton, CA, under Bishops Stephen Blaire, has also taken the pledge. Bishop Blaire took the pledge for the entire diocese, to affirm its commitment to the CCC's goals. He has established an Environmental Justice Sunday during Respect Life Month. Parishes all over the diocese are also using energy efficient designs and material in the construction of new buildings. The Stockton Diocese also helped pass California's AB 32, "The Global Warming Solutions Act," which obliges the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

..... As you can see, individuals have already started the work for a cleaner future for the world. The question is, whether your here to help or not?

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

That Religious Guy: It's Not Easy Being Religious

..... I spent yesterday [Friday] afterschool with Celine, the French foreign exchange student and Claire at the Dollar Tree. The topic of eternal damnation came up in conversation (as it always seems to when I'm around, although I didn't start the topic!0). Celine apparently was fully convinced she was going to hell since religious people were apparently telling her so. Oddly enough, she rejoiced with Claire, who also joked she was going to the fiery pit! This would be my response to Celine if she ever reads this blog!

..... It's not easy being religious...

..... Sometimes it takes all you have to believe in something. In my early years, I was a grade-A atheist. I regarded religion as a fable and God as fictional. If you had told me that I would grow up to be a religious kid, I would have called you a liar. Now that I have re-instated my Roman Catholic heritage in my life, I feel more at home in the world. I feel as if I can do anything, as long as God's there to help out. In the end, it doesn't really matter what you do with your life, as long as you live it in a pure manner. At least trying to be "good" sometimes is worth more than living a life of sin. Don't wait till it's too late to be virtuous. Just try.

..... Unfortunately, some people in the world are so focused on condemning people to the fiery pit that everyone else just accepts this theological garbage and convinces themselves that since they can do nothing to escape their fate, they should just keep doing what they do. Only God decides who goes to hell or heaven. Nothing man can say or do can change that fact. It really makes me angry to see people shove the prospect of hell into the faces of the average joe or jane. We're all sinners. Some just admit it while others just hide it.

.....We religious people are so fine tuned to how to live the "right" way that we condemn ourselves more since we know the differences between right and wrong. In a way, just like how a clean shirt can make a tiny red spot visible, living a "good" life can high light your sins. The main point here is that don't be so hard on yourself. God is forgiving and you can always turn back for help.

..... Maybe it is kind of easy being religious afterall...

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

That Religious Guy: Feel Good Moment #1

..... So, I was thinking of doing a regular post on just some of my observances on life. Basically, a blog but more than that. It's my first ever Feel Good Moment post blam blam boom! Read it, feel good, and keep reading the other blog posts. Here goes:

..... Shakespeare Quote: "In sooth, I know not why I am so sad." [Antonio-I. i. 1]
..... Scientists call it a chemical imbalance. Parents describe it as waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I just call it sadness. By our nature, humans are happy creatures. Our joy leads to new discoveries, new inventions, and new ways to live life. Life isn't however, always a game of contentment. Sometimes people lose a turn and must go back five spaces. This is when that little emotion called sadness comes in. No one knows why other people are sad because only the person really knows why. Even then, that person might not know why they're bathing in misery. It could be anything really: nostalgia, pity, or pain. When life drops me into the depressing dumps, I know that it's always important to bounce back. For when sadness has you in its clutches, you'll never escape unless you choose to.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stuck At A Red Light

I have never thought that getting back on the right track would be so difficult. I used to believe that when life hits you hard , you always get back up quick. I miss when I was younger because the only thing I had to worry about was scrapped knees and when my older brothers sabotaged my barbies. Recently, in my life I fell down hard. My life went into a whole new direction. I am lost, and it is so hard to find my way back. I am disappointed in myself, because I have never got anything lower than a B on my report card. At this very moment I have an F in my favorite subject, which proves that something is very wrong. I am not the same person, and I wish I could go back in time and change things. However, I know that in my future I will have problems, and I don't need to let them get in the way of my education. My grade point average is suffering because I haven't applied my true ability in anything at all this year. I know that I need to step up to the plate, and I keep saying that I will but its not as easy as it looks. I have no ambition lately, which causes me to endure many obstacles. A thing I recently learned is that life is like a stop light. When it's green life is good. When it's yellow, you begin to let go of things. You are slowing down. However, red is all bad . You have completely stopped, and you haven't done anything to change the bad things. Right now, I would say that I am still stuck at the red light. My patience for waiting for it to turn green is lingering, however I need to get up and brush off the wounds. Ready, set, go !!!!! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

That Religious Guy: You just gotta love sonnets!

..... So, on one of the rarest occasions ever, I'll actually blog about something not religious. Hopefully.

..... Our upcoming project for Honors Junior English is to compose a sonnet, memorize it, and present it to the class. Being the literary loving word wizard I am (or hope to be someday) I am up for the challenge. Since we've started this sonnet section of the curriculum, I've been entranced by Shakepeare's Sonnet 130, John Donne's metaphysical conceits, and the Petrarchan rhyme scheme to the point that I've started a notebook of poetry! A bit cheesy I know, but my goal is to fill those 70 pages with the best metaphors, similies, and hyperboles all rolled into separate poems. Everyone needs a creative outlet and if I ever want to be that word wizard minus the hat and wand I'm going to need all the practice I can get. Besides, these extra poems might come in handy when I start courting or wooing a girl haha. Old-fashioned words indeed.

..... Everyone is always encouraging teens to exercise their bodies, but strengthening your imagination is important too. In an age of pointless reality TV shows and perpetual cycles of movie re-makes, our generation needs to freshen up society with one big break-the-mold breath mint. The whole "I-meet-vampire-and-we-fall-in-love" routine is starting to get stale. Somebody needs to come up with new concepts and ideas in order to drive a stake through the heart of this bloody genre.

..... For all you readers out there, hopefully the words you read can inspire you to write some words of your own. Get out there and get your hands dirty! Carpe Diem! Seize the day! [Insert Positive Reinforcement Here]

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

That Religious Guy: Hoping for a happy ending

..... And the Roman Catholic Church strikes again, this time against that masked villain, The Abortionist! The RC Church has foiled President Barack Obama's plan to increase abortion "rights," to the general dismay of Pro-Choice advocates, who as The Wall Street Journal put it, had worked so hard to elect him to do so. It seems that the bishops and the parishes all over America gained a well-deserved victory as the House of Representatives passed a healthcare reform bill that would prohibit abortion coverage in private insurance plans, something along the lines of no federal money going to help pay for someone else's abortion.

..... The Wall Street Journal said that the Democratic strategy of running more conservative candidates for congressional seats backfired since about 40 House Democrats are opposed to abortion "rights" (If you're wondering why I'm putting quotation marks around the word rights all the time it's because, well, abortion isn't a right at all). House Democrats who were Pro-Choice tried unsuccessfully to persuade and come to weak compromises with these Pro-Lifers. According to Representative Mike Doyle, the Bishops were so effective in their campaign was because they had a good social justice record and actually wanted to pass the bill. The Bishops also supported the Democrats' efforts to include illegal immigrants into medical benefits.

..... As a Catholic, am I happy with the outcome of the bill? Sure! Do I hope the Senate approves it? Of course! Is the battle for the right to life over? Sadly, no, but with good people working hard to make a difference in the world, I'm sure it will all end with a happy ending and a newborn's laughter.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Audition: A Demented Love Story

Takashi Miike's 2001 art horror film has gained a particularly large cult following in the west, and the following is rightly deserved.

Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), plays a widowed television producer who's son Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki), has convinced him to find a new wife ten years after his first wife died, before he is too old to wed again. Shigeharu is lonely and unsure how to find a new mate, and is uncertain of his future because his son will be moving out and going to college soon. The question posed is how will this lonely man live the rest of his life? Alone?

Not knowing how to approach women anymore, Shigeharu's old friend Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura) has set up an audition for a fake tv drama to help find Aoyama's perfect woman. The winner of the auditions, Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina), is a 24-year-old woman with a broken past, and broken dreams of becoming a famous ballerina. As a young women she had severe hip injury. To Shigeharu she is the ideal calm, delicate, complacent and trained woman, but she turns is too perfect to be true.

In the end her true character is revealed.

The majority of this film is a romantic comedy with tidbits of suspense and drama spliced in, however, the last 20 minutes take a morbid downward spiral into Asami's psychotic mind and frightening past. Also, Shigeharu's sexist ways are revealed to him in one of the final scenes where he's in drug induced unconsciousness. Flash back scenes and figures of women he's used appear before him and show him the ugly truth of his parasitic ways.

Asami is a deceiving fiend, with a past of sexual abuse from her Ballet instructor, which has left her with deep physical and mental scars as well.

Her reaction to Shigeharu's busy lifestyle as a father and business man is volatile. Asami interprets his time away as him trying to leave and hurt her so she reacts upon him in a way that's all too easy and familiar to her. When she feels like she'll be hurt she brutally and mercilessly tortures and maims her significant other so they will be forced to stay with her and depend on her for survival, like a lifeless sack rigor mortise stricken mannequin.

Audition is a riveting film about how a person copes with loss, in the most extreme and terrifying or pathetic ways. The composition helps show the deepening madness of Asami as the two become closer romantically.

The cinematography is beautiful, with many red, blues and yellows lighting's used to create varieties of nightmarish or bright settings.

Takashi Miike is well known for creating prolific films that address social issues indirectly, and also writing original stories that not many would ever create, but with Audition Miike has taken a more traditional approach to horror and refined it to an art form.

I would say this is a movie that cannot be passed up by the avid film buff!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Three Year Old Life Saver

This passed Halloween was probably the most heart capturing. I was invited to a few parties, but I know if I went I would have probably done something that I would later regret. Also my mother would kill me if she ever found out where and what I was doing. I was literally about four minutes from being picked up from an older friend of mine, and then i felt guily. I lied to my mother, and I am just one of those people who always tell the truth. I absolutely hate when people lie, and when I told this lie I felt like a complete hypocrite.

Then I told her that I wasn't going, "To spend the night at my best friends house anymore." She looked at me with an akward look. I quickly texed my friend and told him that I couldn't go.

I then decided to go to anothers friends house, but all we really did was pass out candy. This was actually more fun than i ever imagined. Seeing the smiles on these kids faces made me so happy.

When i went inside my friends house I met a four year old named Oscar, and he definately put a smile on my face. He made my night, and I couldn't believe that this four year old made me laugh more than some of my friends at school. His smile really saved my life that day, and ever since that night something has changed about me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Clearly Claire: Bon Appetit!

On Sunday morning I woke up with a smile. I woke up with a smile because I realized that I had a whole extra hour to watch television or, as I told my teachers, catch up on some homework.

I spent the morning driving in Tracy because my driving test is on Wednesday and I want, no scratch that, NEED to pass it. So, having driven for two hours, while eating terrible Chinese food, I got home in a less that cheerful mood. That is when my father decided to be Julia Child and cook beef bourguignese for him and my mom. Then he decided to tell me that I was chosen to help.

I groaned while I washed my hands in scalding hot water and bubbly soap. I reached into the refrigerator to get out the ingredients: bacon, beef, and carrots. I then opened the cupboard to get out the onions and various spices needed to make this dish. My "Julia" was sitting at the counter while I did this, drinking fruit punch, and telling me that I am doing fine on my own.

I began to follow the steps. Place bacon in a pot of boiling water while you chop onions and carrots. Brown the bacon and beef before adding in the onions, carrots, and seasonings into a big casserole dish (the one dish in the house my parents haven't bought). I continued working on the dish that, oh by the way, takes six hours to make when it hit me. I was making food.

I mean, I had made the odd pasta when my mom had the flu and couldn't make me something to eat. I had even gone through the Play Dough pie phase when I was five, but this was different. I was making something really complicated that could explode, or really mess up, at any moment. It was exhilarating, this freedom of making something myself.

Well, I finished the meal and my dad tried it and said it was delicious. I decided to wait until later to try it since it is supposed to be better the second day around. I never really got the Julia Child movie until now. I never realized how cooking could be so freeing. I would say "Julia pulled me out of the ocean," but I would say that she gave me and my dad a fun couple of hours and gave me a new hobby I love. So before you call the pizza place, pick up a cookbook. And there is nothing else left to say...except...

Bon Appetit!

Thumbs Up Michy!: Jeffree Star, Breathe Carolina and autotune

Well I haven't been blogging as much of late. Here's some music related updates of what has been feeding my ears.. (

I have been slowly drifting away from that alternative, hard-rock sound when I discovered Breathe Carolina's new album Hello Fascination. Their electronica tune mixed with screamo sounds appealed to my ears, and I wonder why I have never listened to them before. I sure have been missing out. So what was my first impression? Well, I love it. It's something new to my ears. Upon obsessing over their new CD, I went back and listened to some of their songs from It's Classy, Not Classic such as "The Birds and the Bees" and one of their songs featuring Jeffree Star. Another point: I have also discovered Jeffree Star upon listening to Breathe Carolina. His recent album Beauty Killer just struck me with its upbeat techno tunes and Jeffree's self-confident lyrics.

Singing along to BC's "The Dressing Room" and Jeffree's "Lollipop Luxary," I notice that new music is following a sort of trend here. That techno-y electronica sounding beat is just music to our ears right? Well to me, it's sort of magical. Autotune has never sounded so good. Will a new era of music use this futuristic vibe to their advantage? The autotune should be noticeable and effective if used though, because I don't mean that robotic voice T-Pain has. Because that's just autotune gone wrong. If used properly and effectively it can create some new, very catchy and likable music. Hm, I suppose this blog went from my Breathe Carolina and Jeffree Star mini obsession to how effective autotune can be. What do you think?

-More at

That Religious Guy: Dio Mio! Moral Damages?

..... So listen up all you Churchies and God Squad Members, because this is your faith fix of today:

..... Apparently, the European Court of Human Rights has awarded (more like appeased...) Soile Lautsi, a Finnish woman residing in Italy, 5,000 euros or $7,400, in "moral damages." Her complaint? Lautsi says that her children had to attend a state school near Venice that placed crucifixes in every classroom. The European Court of Human Rights said that the crucifix would be deemed offensive against other religions and would "disturb" students of other faiths, especially atheists. Also, crucifixes in classrooms violated the concept of a secular education, blah blah, blah. Of course, the Italians are in a rage because their government has to pay this woman. Even the educational minister, Mariastella Gelmini, decried the decision saying, "In our country nobody wants to impose the Catholic religion, let alone with a is not by eliminating the traditions of individual countries that a united Europe is built."

..... Now, I haven't met a single person who was "morally damaged" by a crucifix. Sure, some clueless individuals (mostly atheists or Catholics in name not practice...) feel uncomfortable with the bloody appearance of Jesus Christ, but never has anyone ever come up to me and said, "Oh my word! I've been morally damaged because of the presence of your crucifix." That is just dumb. I mean I'm not European (Partly because I don't need a bathroom break, haha Carina)and I don't know what it's like there, but here in America, you can't just sue (I think) because you've been morally damaged. If so, many parents in the U.S. should be put on trial and pay fines because of the many morals they may have damaged. Not to knock parents, but surely everyone should pay a fine: teachers, friends, mail men, and the local kindergartner who runs with scissors. After all, all of these people have morally damaged in some way. Maybe I should sue ummmm the abortion clinics, music videos, and society as a whole because I am one morally damaged kid.

..... Italy is a Roman Catholic country and so Italians are angry since they view the court's decision as an attack on their culture, identity, and faith. Indeed it is. The Italian foreign minister argued that in an age where religions are trying to reconcile and get along, this court case has insulted Christianity. I wonder, in another scenario, if the woman had complained of Star of Davids or Bhudda statues in classrooms, would the European Court of Human Rights still rule the same way? This decision was biased and it's totally unfair to make the Italian government waste money just to please this woman.

..... The European Court of Human Rights said that crucifixes undermined the concept of a secular education. Well in that logic, Italian schools shouldn't teach any religion at all in history or other subjects. Why don't we just let go of this whole "education" concept and do without schools, since the Church, of course, started this whole academic revolution? Therefore this court was just biased against Christianity. Period.

..... Then there's the question of whether the Italian education system is somehow trying to convert unbelieving students to the Catholic faith...using crucifixes? How ironic! Yes, why don't we force all the people in the world to convert by using a Roman torture device used against our Lord. That's pretty fine and dandy! There's no reason or logic in believing that crucifixes are in classrooms for conversions. The crucifixes are just a testament to the Catholic heritage of Italy, home of the Vatican by the way. Now, the court is not forcing Italy to remove the crucifixes, but this decision to grant the woman money may just start this practice.

..... So today's lesson boys and girls is that in Europe, you can sue for moral damages. And apparently get away with insulting a religion to get your way.

- Jeremy "Grab your crucifixes and run!" Dela Cruz

Monday, November 2, 2009

CARINA 360°: Luis Ramirez murdered for being Latino

Luis Ramirez was a hard working undocumented Mexican worker living in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.

On July 12, after going out for a walk, he was beaten to death by a group of high school teenagers.

"Go home you Mexican mother f----r!" is what Colin Walsh, 17, Brandon Piekarsky, 16, and Derrick Donchak, 18, shouted at Ramirez before ending his life.

The boys were “good kids.” So say their families. They ran track, were on the football team and grade A students.

These grade A students kicked Ramirez in the head that knocked him unconscious. Once he arrived at the hospital, his injuries were so severe that his brain was oozing out of his skull. He was in a coma for two days.

He died July 14th.

Ramirez was engaged to Crystal Dillman, a white woman. They had three children together. Now she suffers and must raise their children alone.

Like many interracial couples in Shenandoah, racial name calling seemed like the norm.

One would think the charges against these racist teenage boys would be a punishable one. I thought a life sentence would do it.

But no. That’s not what they received. Piekarsky was arrested on simple assault charges. Donchak - also simple assault and three counts of corruption of a minor.

The all white jury cleared both of ethnic intimidation charges. Piekarsky was sentenced to 6-23 months and Donchak 7-23 months in prison. If Ramirez was a white man murdered by a gang of Mexican boys, honestly, what do you think the out come would be?
Completely different, that's what.

This made me so mad. Justice was not served. Instead it feels like they were let off the hook. They kill a man, with a family, and all they got was a slap on the wrist.

Many people of Shenandoah deny this was a racist fueled crime. They suggest it was a street fight gone terribly wrong.

If so, then why do witnesses say they heard the boys call Ramirez a "spic?"
No doubt in my mind - this was a hate crime.

Sadly, hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise. Almost 600 alone in 2007. Up 40 percent from the over 400 in 2003. Racist acts of violence against Latino’s add up to eight percent of all hate crimes. Most crimes against undocumented Latinos go unreported. That is because many are not here legally, and very few have trust in the police.

Dillman strongly agrees the murder of her fiance was not an average street fight. Saying, "Truly, in my heart, I believe they beat him up because he was Latino."

Ramirez's story was featured on CNN's "Latino In America."

Ricky's Piece: Is Halloween Just Justification For Questionable Attire?

I don't know if the general population of high school students value Halloween as a legitimate holiday but legitimacy doesn't define the respect to which we should give others. Sometimes costumes are a little too revealing.

I just think that dressing promiscuous takes away from the real theme of Halloween; fear, fun, and high fructose corn syrup among other sweet treats. But I suppose it's not me to say that people aren't trying hard when they just decide to dress up as a 17+ Alice in Wonderland, because you know, that's creative.

Guys are going to be getting on me for what I'm saying but spooky lingrie just doesn't tickle my fancy all the time, what can I say? You know I even gave the whole sexy look for Halloween a try myself: a red dress, stuffed bra, and a less than attractive mask.. It surprisingly didn't scare THAT many people.

Anyway, I guess I'd like some more original ideas from the ladies, try a sexy ogre next year.

iMissyRae 2.0: Attending college - obligation turned trend

Graduation --  the one day that most teens look forward to. The day that will thereby grant them their freedom. Freedom from the drama and hassle of a typical high-schooler's life. This is the one day where it doesn't matter who you are or where you came from but the day where most visualize who they will become and where they will go.

But of course, this is a more romanticized view of graduation. If I were to truly look at this day in a more realistic, teen's point of view, I would address it more as an escape from reality. Many graduating seniors would see this fateful event as a transition into a summer filled with freeloading and sleeping. I can even recall a fellow friend and senior remarking how he couldn't see himself doing anything in life besides being a bum and many of us know that college isn't an option to too many of our peers -- at least that is what it seems like.. until today!

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of those ages 18-24 are enrolling into college at an increasing rate. Compared to the mere 3.1 million who enrolled into two-year colleges in 2007, this number has risen to 3.4 million as of 2008. Though this increase doesn't seem like very much, the Pew Research Center ties this raise in numbers to the ongoing recession we are experiencing today and claims that "This new peak in college enrollment.. has had an especially large impact on young adults." (Click here for actual survey information)

So my question to you fellow readers/bloggers is why now? College hasn't always been an affordable option for those graduating from high school but it has always been an actual option. It's not entirely impossible to get into let alone apply to college so why is it that young adults are only trying now?

Does the economy have to fall apart in order for graduating high schoolers to apply to college? Has college not been a necessity in the past? Or are our generations just to apathetic to care?

Though I can't truly answer these questions without actually offending someone, I do know that I'm not gonna wait for the world to end before I apply to college -- it would be a waste of the time I spend in high school anyway.

Friday, October 30, 2009

iMissyRae 2.0:"Cirque Du Freak" is not sold out, it's a sell-out.

"Cirque Du Freak" -- definitely not another "Twilight" that's for sure.

Although this book turned Hollywood production has followed the usual routine of other vampire-crazed novels by stepping off the bookshelf and onto the big-screen, I must protest that the plot and book in general deserve much more credit than the movie gives them. Unfortunately, my word means zilch since I have yet to see the movie, but it's on my list so don't hassle me now!

But according to
The New York Times movie review for this film, "Cirque Du Freak" is bound to be placed in comparison with other leave you hanging, fantasy films such as "The Golden Compass" and even "The Chronicles of Narnia" and most of us know that the books are absolutely better than the actual movies.

And as much as I want these books to receive their fifteen minutes of fame, is it worth squeezing three novels of entertainment into ninety minutes of confusion and crap?

I think not ladies and gentlemen. Why must Hollywood always turn a great book series into some mainstream, sell-out, television series? What happened to the actual experience of taking time to read a story page by page? Now we can scroll down a telephone screen to read a novel and flip one finger to continue on to the next page.

Not that technology is bad, but are we seriously to lazy to pick up a book and find out what really happens in the plot of the latest "
Twilight" film? Although I've watched most of the films with great interest, I always refer back to what didn't happen in the film instead of what did, no matter how impressive the special effects are.

I'm just tired of seeing wonderful book series' turn into wannabe, Hollywood remakes. After all, Cirque Du Freak the series is much more complex and entertaining then ten minutes of combatting vampires.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

CARINA 360˚: 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' a must see!

Recently I saw the new movie by my future husband Michael Moore. (Hey don’t judge me, I have a thing for smart guys!)

Dubbed ‘The most feared filmmaker in America.’ Moore has made headlines again with his new movie, 'Capitalism: A Love Story.' And it's about, well, capitalism! In the brilliant documentary, Moore exposes the influence of “corporate dominance” on the lives of the American people.

As we should already know, our economy is corrupt, but in this movie, Moore tells you how and why we became like this. He answers why 14,000 people are losing their jobs everyday. Why the middle class is becoming smaller, and what a derivative is.

The movie was eye-opening, like any other Moore masterpiece. And Congratulations Stockton! We finally made our Moore debut! For a brief second, Stockton is mentioned thanks to all these darn foreclosures! Hey, turn that frown:( upside down :), at least we made it into a movie.

[Want to make a 'contribution to society?' Then play this game on the Moore website! It's so fun.]

I was so excited to go see it, but it was rated R. So I had to think of a genius plan to get my ticket.

I forced my two friends who were old enough to get them for me. (Smart right? I know, only I could think of it!) Not wanting to go alone, I made my friend, who was in no mood to even know what the word capitalism means, to accompany me.

The movie already 10 minutes in when we walked in. I expected a whole mess of people, but it was quite the opposite.

I'm going to guess and tell you there was about 10 people, all over 50 years old! It was total grandma-status!

(And don't say a lot of people didn't go because the movie sucks, a lot of people didn't go because Zombieland was playing at the same time!)

At times I felt like a complete dork, I laughed at all the jokes Michael Moore did, my friend just starred at me like I was a complete loser. I found myself laughing at things only the grandma sitting in front of me would get. I felt like a Golden Girl. (More Sophia, less Rose.)

So if you love truth, and a cute chubby guy with an adorable sense of humor, then I urge you to go see this movie! Moore thinks so to!

By the way, if you work for WalMart, you're in for a big surprise.

Friday, October 23, 2009




Paranormal Activity..At your House..Anywhere Actually 0.o

Okay so I'm guessing that we all know that 3-4 is like the "dead" hour or for religious people the "bewitching" hour of the devil. I know what you must be thinking about, "Pati what the heck is your crazy self thinking about now?" Well actually to be honest I'm not really sure. I was talking to a few of my friends and I also happened to be talking to my boyfriend as well. We were having this crazy conversation one night about the "dead" hour.
It was my best friend Bibyana, my boyfriend Irvin, and this other dude who is friends with Irvin. Okay we are all hanging out just talking about scary stories and Halloween ad what not. All of a a sudden Irvin is like "Do you guys know about the "dead" hour?" We all nodded in reply and said yeah. So he started telling us all this creepy stuff and I like creepy things. Weird right? Wrong. He was telling us that if you drive all the way down eight mile road past Trinity Parkway. they have bonfires there, you will see a little girl sitting in your back seat if you look in your rear view mirror.
In some ways it sort of scared me but at the same time I was like cool I want to know more. Tell me more. Finally we started to talk about the wigi board. For those of you who don't know what that is, It's the devil board basically, you talk to dead people thought the board. Bibyana was like "I played the wigi board before and it scared the crap out of me." I laughed and said "Your a moron." She was telling us that after they were done playing the game she put the board away and started seeing stuff in here house and hearing things. When she tried to get rid of it she couldn't, it just kept coming back. Crazy scary.
I started to tell them about one night when I was asleep and this was when the movie One Missed Call came out. Okay if you've seen the Japanese version of that movie, It's way better and the ringer is scarier. So I had the Japanese ringer on my phone, one day I deleted it. Well around 3:30 maybe is when my phone rang and it was that ring tone. It scared me because I thought I had deleted it. The caller I.D. was restricted and I was really scared. I went through my phone to see if I still had the stupid tone and I didn't. After that night I have had nightmares left and right. I don't even leave my phone on anymore. The scariest experience of my life.