Saturday, May 30, 2009

CARINA 360°: Latinas more likely to become pregnant

I was on when I stumbled on a story by Moni Basu. In the story, a survey taken by Latinas revealed some jaw dropping answers about sex, their belief in marriage, and the answer to why so many girls are becoming pregnant.

It said:
53 percent of Latinas will get pregnant in their teens. That's more than any other minority. And
72 percent of latino teens said they wish they waited to have sex.

The survey also says that 76 percent of Latinos believe marriage comes before starting a family. So then what's to blame for this surge of Latinas becoming preggo?

Can we point the finger at the parents for not talking to their sons (yes the boys have a huge part of this too) about condoms & daughters about taking the pill?

Maybe ...

Now I'm not saying that Latino parents don't talk to their teens about sex, I just believe they are just leaving out some huge pieces of information.

Like what you ask? Contraception! Condoms! The Pill! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe parents are scared to talk about protection because they feel if they bring up the topic of protection; that's an okay have sex.

Parents like to believe their teens will wait until marriage. And that was true in the days of malt shakes and swing dancing, but thats no longer the case in 2009. Parents need to start talking because mom and dad -- regardless of what kids say -- do have an impact.

Also, movies like "Juno" and "Knocked Up" make baby bellies look cute. Celebrities Christina Aguilera and the very young Jamie Lynn Spears flaunt it and make it seem easy. Almost as if it's the new 'it' thing . I highly doubt teenage girls are purposely getting pregnant due to movies, but it does play a part. It feeds the fantasy of motherhood as something that will make them popular, liked, respected, or an adult. But these girls are 16-19 years old. They aren't adults. And don't have the wealth to support a baby like Mrs. Aguilera.

As a Latina, this just makes me sad, because I know this to be true. Teen pregnancy does exist in my family. It hurts to know that my relative was not smart enough or responsible. For her, a high school diploma is out of sight. In fact, 69 percent of teen mothers drop out of high school.

But not everyone has the same outcome. Many teen moms, like a friend of mine, are still pursuing education after high school. Yes of course a child will slow them down, but they are not the sterotypical teen moms.

In the end, it all comes down to the girl herself. Is she doing it because she loves her boyfriend? She wants to fit in? My advice to girls: Wait. Not saying to wait for marriage (although that would be a nice idea) I'm saying wait for the right guy because if the worst happens; not all the boys stay with the mothers. They either deny that they are the father or don't pay up for diapers! And most importantly: Love can wait.

And when the time comes, I highly suggest using condoms and a backup (like the pill) because they do break. As for fitting in. It shouldn't be a factor -- sex should be something special, not something rushed.

Sniff...Graduation time!

..... Ahh, it's been a while since I fired up the old blog-o-matic and produced one of my little animated anecdotes. Of course the preceding "Ahh" was my attempt at trying to re-create an all-to-common sigh on this little keyboard... It's really hard actually to convert everyday expressions into visible words. Take "Ahh" for example. Some might think I was screaming at some sort of satanic snake (Gotta love those alliterations!) Others would think I was alluding to a sneeze and giving them the ol' "Ahh-chhoo!" But alas, this sorry attempt at a blog intro is taking too much of your time, and so I'll get straight to the point. Then again, this blog isn't about getting straight to the point. It's about gallavanting in La-La-Land, stopping and smelling the flowers in the garden, and basically watching paint dry.
..... What does all this rambling mean!? Am I just trying to get you to read further? Actually, that's quite right. Fine, since you're obviously tired at my attempts at conversation, I'll cut to the chase. (Though it would be odd that you would start talking to a computer screen...) My blog is about what's all the rage this past week: Graduations.
..... The goal (or at least it should be) of every student should be graduating from high school. On May 29, I'm proud to say my brother accomplished this. I cannot imagine, however, how sad it is to be a senior. Sure, a senior is free from mindless essays, lengthy homework assignments, and the politics of lunch table gossip and clique recruitment. Then again, a senior must also face reality. At this point, it's you who's in charge of your life. No more registration papers telling you which grade your ascending or which school you must attend. It's all up to you.
..... At birth, one's life is a simple car being guided by parental GPS units. "Turn left at Elementary School." "Make a U-Turn at drugs and violence." "Turn right at potty training." At graduation, a new commandment is heard: "Approaching destination." After graduation, what's a senior to do? He can join the military, the seminary, a university, community college, vocational school, or remain unemployed. There are so many possibilities, so many choices! (Hopefully the last one remains unpopular) It's not concrete like when you were a third grader. After passing third grade, there's only one option: go to fourth grade and so on and so forth. Your decision is pretty much made up for you, unless you want to fail and repeat third grade...
..... This kind of freedom scares me. What will I do? What will my friends do? After high school, our whole lives are technically in our hands. The years succeeding graduation will test our mettle and we'll see if our dreams will be crushed and if so, can we collect whatever's left and start all over?
..... The topic of graduation also makes me think of the mortality of my high school life. What have I been doing these past 2 years? As I saw Chavez seniors walk down the aisle to recieve club awards and tassles and whatnot, I began asking myself have I been making the most of my time at Stagg? Maira Gomez, the CCHS senior class president was right. "Enjoy your time in high school because in a blink of an eye, you'll be sitting at graduation." Hopefully this makes everyone sit, think, and contemplate their future and their past. Life during high school should be spent smelling the roses, but when the garden ends, when the walk in the park is over, where will we all end up?

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, smelling all the roses he can!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

RandoMORA: First day of summer break

I woke up in a dreadful atmosphere where the TV in my bedroom sang Dragon Tales. I got up hoping there was some sort of fancy breakfast, but unfortunately I see my other siblings in the cupboard as if they were rats searching for something to eat. So far, today was mopey and I could not understand as to why the first official end of school is letting me hang out to dry when there's no breeze.

As the day continued, I ate toast with my little brother. Again he made a huge mess of jelly on his face. The only action that was shocking was me clumsily spilling my cup of milk all over the table. We rushed to clean it all up before our dad returned into the room from the garage. We scrambled searching for more paper towels while I subsituted with table cloths. I repeatedly told my brother "If dad asks why the table and floor are sticky, tell him you have no idea okay?!" My brother purposely said, "No, YOU did it Alisya."

Lunch rolled by and I caught myself on Myspace commenting pictures and friends. I told myself I was banned from any socializing unless it had to do with summer fun dates. I got off relunctanlty and watched TV in my room. Nothing was on. I thought, "Am I going to do this for my entire summer?" I already felt drained over laziness.

Just then, I grabbed out my DanceDanceRevolution mat for some embarassing fun. Once again, it was like a bus just crashed into my room, and I was forced to do my chores. I cleaned up and unsurprisingly I was back in my bed flicking the channels.

I couldn't understand as to how yesterday was extremelty joyess, but today didn't come close to any comparison. It was like it was the day before school started. Even then, I would do something out of the ordinary.

Now, as I type about this glorious day, I think about how fun tomorrow will be. I will be going to Victory park playing with a cheap frisbee I bought at the Dollar Tree (hopefully). I will eat a scrumptious breakfast and have a home-made dinner instead of a bean burrito from Taco Bell. It will be a day to remember, however, I don't think it can exceed today's oddness at all.

Thumbs-Up! Michy: I'm going to have a '21st Century Breakdown'

First off, I would like to commend these tire-less thirty some year olds for bringing out yet another great album. To anyone that disliked "their newer stuff" before they "sold out," let me tell you, "21st Century Breakdown" will not disappoint, no matter how much you seem to hate them with a passion of a thousand suns. But maybe it will, because some people are just so anti Green Day, it's ridiculous. Anyways, it definitely feels good to listen to Billie Joe's voice again with a brand new style and beat that doesn't differ completely, but mostly from their previous work.

The album opens up with their intro "Song of the Century" with spoken words that seem to be mixed in with some distinctive static in the background. Listening to it makes me feel relaxed and I only wish it could be longer.

Then bam, their second track "21st Century Breakdown" really hits you in the face. This song focuses on the downfall of society right now such as the economy. Billie Joe describes our generation as the ones who have to deal with the problems that our ancestors left us when he sings, "we are the class of 13 / Born in the era of humility / We are the desperate in the decline / Raised by the Bastards of 1969." And since our generation is having to stress about the many problems of the world, we are left with, well, a "breakdown."

I will not speak of every track, but yes, I will bring up Green Day's hit single, "Know Your Enemy." This song reminds me of "American Idiot" with the infectious drum beat and fast-paced guitar riffs. And yet, I still manage to somehow love this song no matter how overplayed and repetitive it seems when Billie Joe sings, "DO YOU KNOW YOUR ENEMY?"

"East Jesus Nowhere" really lures the reader into the song with the pounding guitar riffs in the intro. The rhythm of this song is amazingly contagious and keeps you listening throughout the whole song. This track is definitely one of my favorites, along with "Peacemaker."

"Peacemaker" is one of the songs that Green Day has really portrayed their new style in. I sense some Mexican vibes from this with the distinct maracas, constant strumming of the guitar and the fact that he rolls his R's at the end of this song. The best part of this track is when Billie Joe says "Well call the Peacemaker! Hey hey! Hey hey hey hey hey!" I seem to love that part because like everything else, it IS infectious.

Even though most of the tracks on "21st Century Breakdown" are upbeat and head-shaking, they also reveal their softer, less hectic side. "21 Guns" is definitely the most captivating song on the album, and it isn't just because I'm a sucker for acoustic songs. Billie Joe sings about war, and how it needs to stop because it isn't worth it. It really strikes you from the beginning, when you hear "Do you know what's worth fighting for? / When it's not worth dying for? / Does it take your breath away? / And you feel yourself suffocating? / Does the pain weigh out the pride? / And you look for a place to hide? / Did someone break your heart inside?" The beat of the song in the chorus even sounds a bit like marching, and it's brilliant how they created this song with a light and acoustic tone for a serious topic.

Yes, there's no song about how Bush is an American Idiot here, but instead, Green Day tackles topics such as the problems of the world and portrays them in a way that can make listeners feel what they're feeling. This album is definitely their best yet, and I admire how they can still create music that boggles people's minds. Although their sound has changed throughout the years, it is definitely for the better, and "21st Century Breakdown" won't dissapoint.

-Thumbs-Up! Michy more at

Monday, May 25, 2009

SoReal Jessica: Sleepless nights

... Last night while my family was enjoying a good night's sleep, at 1:38 a.m I was up hearing my dad snore. No that was not the main cause of my sleepless night. If anything I look at that as my distraction. Instead of just staring at a wall I got music, funny comparison I know, to listen to. So it hit me then, I could blog about insomnia. Even though I probably just have difficulty sleeping for this week since it is finals week.
...While most look at the weekend as an opportunity to sleep in, I view it as more hours to have difficulty sleeping.  Most of my friends tell me they have problems getting up in the morning and I tell them how I have difficulty sleeping in past 6:30 a.m. This is a daily thing for me. I actually try to go to sleep at 8:30 or 9:00 p.m, it does not work out I end up sleeping around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. 
... Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both. Insomnia is common and 30% to 50% of the general population suffer from it. Insomnia occurs in all age groups and increases with age. I guess that means more bad news for me, right? Different classifications of insomnia depend on sleep hygiene, medical conditions, sleep disorders, stress factors and other things.  
... Then I decided to look up causes for insomnia and besides coming across obvious reasons like physical discomfort, drug use, or stress, I saw caffeine intake prior to going to bed. Um, shouldn't that be self-evident? But, who knows some do lack common sense. Another statement I saw for a cause was using the bedroom for things other than sleeping. Doesn't that statement just make your mind wonder off? It probably took a couple of minutes for you to come back and focus on the blog. It is ok I forgive you. But the site I went to,, should really elaborate on that. 
... Anyway there are three main types of insomnia according to formal sleep studies. The first is Psychophyslological insomnia, say that five times fast. That is when learned behaviors prevent sleep, for example constant racing thoughts and increased mental thoughts while trying to fall asleep. This represents 15% of people who undergo testing. The next is Idiopathic insomnia, a childhood onset insomnia or life-long insomnia. This is uncommon and only affects 1% that undergo testing. The last is paradoxical insomnia is known  for its sleep state misconception. People with this type might go and complain of insomnia but when tested have a normal sleep pattern.
... Guess I just have to deal with it. I'm sure I won't have problems after this last week of school. If you find that you can relate and need more information just google insomnia all the information you have to read will solve your sleep deprivation. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

ReaLiz: The Bike

My dad has always been physically fit, so it didn't surprise me when he asked me and my little sister if we would want to ride our bikes to Linden. At first, I thought he was crazy, it would be about 20 miles we would be peddling.Then again I remembered that he rode his bike to Sacramento in a race, so this would be a small feat for him. So as Saturday rolled along, I started to feel sluggish. I started to think that sleeping in would be a better idea. But decided that I couldn't let my dad beat me in this one.

So we put on our helmets (safety first) and started our bike ride. At first I thought that this would be fast and easy. Quickly I realized that this wouldn't be the case at all. The first 5 miles were easy-breezy, but everything after that was a burden. I could feel my arms burning from the extra radiant sun, I could feel the muscles in my legs tighten with every movement imaginable, but most importantly I could feel my butt in pain after sitting on a moving seat for about an hour.

Unlike my dad, I had to continually stop to rest my over-heated body, or stop to drink water, or simply stop to catch my breath. I have ran in the past, but it wouldn't compare to this. Every minor hill I would peddle up to felt like a never-ending mountain. So I definitely give props to my dad for proving that he is more physically fit than his 16-year-old, 108-pound daughter.

But while on my vintage 1950's bike, I realized that I was experiencing something that I had never experienced up to this day. I was able to feel the natural breeze against my face; rather than the air conditioner's cold air. I was able to smell the natural scent of cherries still on the tree; rather than the chemically infused perfume of a car freshener. I was able to hear the natural sounds of chirping birds; rather than the commercial music of a latest artist on my Ipod. I was able to fill my vision of a never ending road and growing trees, rather than the blank walls of a confined room. No would have thought that just my rusty old bike could bring so much to me.

CARINA 360°: Cannes Do's & NEVERS!

If I was a hottie/actress/millionaire, and decided one morning I would go to the Cannes Film Festival, I make sure that the next day I'd be on People Magazines best dressed list.

Perhaps a dress by one of my favorite designers. Such as, Marc Jacobs, Stella Mccartney, or Valentino. And right before stepping out of the house, I'd take a good hard look in the mirror.
Something Joss Stone didn't do ...

Now, I'm no Anna Wintour, or a fashionista for that matter, but I know what looks good most of the time! And this yellow dress is okay but is not what someone should wear to the Cannes! It's too skimpy. And the fruity shoes don't belong on Stone ... or on a human for that matter. They don't even match her dress!

Now onto another Stone; Sharon Stone! Can you say muy sexy? She made me think twice about showing off my legs. I mean. LOOK AT THOSE LEGS! She's 51 and rocked her Balmain dress. Compared to Stone I have stubby chubby legs. BOO.

I believe my fashion icon and burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese looked amazing. Teese looked so cute and glamorous in her Dior dress, like 1940's movie star.

But besides the horrible and beautiful dresses at Cannes, lets talk about the movies. You can't talk about the Cannes without the movies.

Now I wasn't able to go see them at the Cannes (I'm guessing my invitation got lost in the mail) but I'm excited! I really want to see the Quentin Tarantino movie, "Inglorious Basterds" with the hunk-hottie Brad Pitt.

And especially "The Silent Army" by Jean van de Velde. It tells the emotional story a resturant owner (Marco Borsato) who goes on a mission to find his son's kidnapped best friend.

Who doesn't want to see that?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

RandoMORA: American Idol shocks but pleases

I apologize for my late blog on the finale last night, I must say I had to go to bed for a busy tomorrow. Now that it has ended, I say in a sadden tone, I cannot stop myself from writing about American Idol. Last night had thrills and when I say thrills I mean heart attack, roller coaster, getting paid from your first job THRILLS. Even those examples are too weak to describe last night.

First off, let me comment on the guests: Lional Richie, Steve Martin, Kiss, Keith Urban, Jason Mraz, Queen, Queen Latifah, Fergie and The Black Eyed Peas, and Rod Stewart as well as new judge Kara DioGuardi all performed! They were jaw-dropping. Excuse if I left a name out, there were so many! Especially Kara's performance.

I always thought she would try to stand up and sing because of her interaction with little miss bikini, but not like that! After Ryan had cheesily gave the award to bikini girl, she sang, and right behind her appeared Kara, and quite amazing indeed. At the end of her performance she opened her dress to show her "hot bod" afront of America. It was so quick and a great comeback. I know she still hates bikini girl. Gosh, what was her name?

My only problem was, these award thingies seemed a little rehearsed, however the crazy Tatiana Del Toro , was quite real and crazy itself. Tatiana got her award, and once again fought her way into singing. She could have been capable of winning, but LORDY, she was the child in the supermarket where the parents give themselves a whooping instead of the kid.

Enough with performances, although they were a huge highlight. Especially the returning losers that continue to tingle in my brains. They were all allowed to sing with the guests, but a few actually did well. It was a nightmare to see those who horribly sung on my television screen. AHHH go away now! My mosted hated contestant is Megan Corkery. She cannot, and will not ever sing a successful note. Also, did you catch her dancing?! What was she doing? She was trying to crunk and jump, and twist in all sorts of ways it was too funny I was unable to laugh! The finale proved once more why most contestants didn't belong.

I want to talk about Adam and Kris. Their performances touched the audience in their special way. Adam performed like a performer! He was loud and unique it blew my mind. The largest event that really surprised me was when Kiss broke out behind Adam and they sung wonderful, legendary songs, TOGETHER. The exploding lights, electric guitars, awesome outfits, it just whirl winded me away I might add that performance to my myspace. My heart exploded and I became hypnotized as I repeatedly kept saying "Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my freaken GOD!" I wanted to shut myself up! Adam is now officially the new idol to my idol list.

Not the American Idol of course. Kris's performance was magical. He sang with Jason Mraz which made me feel jello like. It's that feeling you get when you jump into the pool after sitting in the hot tub for hours. It may be cold, but once you're in there your legs and arms get all floppy, making you the next generation of Gumby. It too also exploded my heart. I felt like I was at an indie concert and sweeping my head rhythmically to the music, deep in another world. Beautiful. His performance wasn't as elaborate or death defying, it was imaginatively sweet and caring.

Kris's win was a shocking one, and that must suck to hear from others saying, "Really, he one?" Well, yes he in fact did. I had a feeling he would subconsciously. It was my psychic ability bugging me in my dreams again. I'm satisfied with the result, for if Adam won, it would have been a mess. He would have haters and forever be known as "the screamer." Well, he will be known as that. However, I feel he'll be better off somewhere else, working with other record companies. I hope he doesn't fade off into the distant like past contestants. All I know is, I'm downloading their versions of the winning song. I can't remember the name, mostly because it's a bit cheesy, but I'll look it up.

This season was unbelievably strange, horrendous, extreme, and fantastic rolled into a ball of yarn (blue and green of course). The best I've seen of any of the season finales. My only question is, how come no "American Idol Gives Back?" I hope this recession isn't killing the most watch television show in the world! Just kidding, the U.S. can be a bit selfish to whom they release their goodies to. And that's a FACT ;D

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

American Idol: Adam and U2, a Dream Come True

I couldn't be any more ecstatic. For anyone who knows my name, I am I deep U2 fanatic. On American Idol, Adam Lambert is my favorite singer. Tonight, a dream has been granted and I can only say, thank you Simon Cowell. The two have combined.

Adam Lambert sang "One" by U2, a song that always gives me chills and it was phenomenal. The beginning created a dynamic chill that I wanted to faint. I must admit, the middle was a bit 80's hair band, but that's what Adam does so it's not a concern.

I couldn't believe that Simon was able to get permission from U2, the band I idolize. No one has ever sang U2 on American Idol because they are a band that you must get permission from them personally. I was extremely happy and in a geeky way I always fantasised U2 just randomly singing on the stage. To have a contestant, one whom I just wish will win it after Allison Iraheta was knocked off, was something unexpected. Grrrr, she was awesome though.

I'm blogging about this because this happens once in a lifetime for people like me, and with my geeky reference to a band students rarely know, I am sure proud of it :D.

Look back and I'll add a video of his performance baby.

What is Love?

It ended early, and began with a few words by Haddaway.

Yesterday was the last late day with the '09 staff. And it was one of the best ... for me anyway.

After finally finishing my two stories, Alisya and I went to Burger King in Travis's car (YES HE DRIVES NOW!) and ordered a veggie burger. (yesterday was the day she lost her veggie burger virginity! yay!)

Later, while waiting for the food, I dressed up like Michy, Maly and Jeremy sang the Pokemon song and countless other theme songs, and Travis was having fun photoshopping a picture of Tito and Michael kissing.

In the famous blog "Roar! Life on Staff, a Safari," Jeremy compares the staff to -- yes you guessed it -- a safari. But I like to think of us more like the Jonas Brothers (and sisters) or Mary-Kate and Ashley, but 20 of them:)

Everytime I leave a late day I not only feel great for finishing a story, but happy. When we sit down to eat dinner I feel as if I'm eating with my brothers and sisters, and Mr. Bott as the adoptive parent.

It wasn't till I was serving myself the delicious cheese enchiladas that Alisya's mom made, that I looked at everyone eating, and Daniel played those beautiful lyrics from his speakers "What is love, baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more..." that I realized, I'm going to miss this! Surely I'll have more days like this, but not with the same people.

As everyone finished their meals, Journey played ... the classic, "Don't Stop Believing." What a perfect song to end a fantastic, busy, fun day right? I thought so, even though Skyler complained the song made him sad:)

Basically what I'm trying to say is, I ♥ this staff.

I hope the entire staff reads this!!! :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Worldly? Normal? Regular? Un-Demonic?

..... "Angels and Demons" comes out this Friday and boy, oh, boy, am I excited! Ever since Freshman year, I have been waiting for this movie to come out, after reading the book version in Ms. Duangsawat's class. Hopefully director Ron Howard doesn't butcher the perfectly exciting story-line with cheap visuals and special effects. I definitely recommend the book, and oddly enough, I am going to recommend the movie as well.
..... I say oddly enough not just because I like the simple phrase but because many in the Church have condemned the film to be anti-Catholic. Sure, the movie will be about how the Church supposedly massacred members of the "Illuminati," who eventually swore revenge against the holy institution. At least in "Angels and Demons," Robert Langdon will technically be on the side of the Church as he helps it search for the missing cardinals, all of them candidates for election for Pope by the way! Makes you want to pray a few decades on the rosary, don't it? So in this case, the Church will vaguely be on the "good side" of things. 
..... Now I'm not promoting the film because it portrays the Roman Catholic church in a positive light. I'm more interested in the movie for the story-line. But every movie loosely-based on Catholicism produced by Hollywood is just that: loosely-based. Hollywood just loves all the visual delights, mysterious practices, and the rich history of our beloved Church. We can offer crucifixes, rosaries, devotional candles, and statues of the saints, all of which make up a great set for a movie. Unfortunately, Hollywood tends to exaggerate Catholicism. Movies involving exorcisms and generally demonic forces bent on bringing hell on earth always adhere to this Hollywood dogma. Actually, practically every film which has an ounce of Catholicism must always be about demons. About the only demonic force in "Angels and Demons" is, well, the title. Everything else is pretty...oh what's the word? Worldly? Normal? Regular? Un-Demonic?
..... It's nice to see a movie featuring priests and cathedrals to be not so supernatural. Sure, one can never separate the religious nature of the Church, but when all you see is rogue exorcists battling hordes of fiendish creatures, you tend to think that that is all Catholics do. Which is not to say we don't... :]
..... Some have accused "Angels and Demons" to be anti-Catholic. Hopefully the spirit of "The Golden Compass" has left movie studios for good, but I have yet to see the movie. Maybe Saturday morning, I'll post a blog whether it is anti-Catholic or not, but when has Hollywood ever produced a movie that doesn't offend anyone? So, I guess I'll see you all at the movies! Friday. May 15. Be there or be sprinkled with holy water.

-Jeremy Dela Cruz, Peace be with you!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The power of childhood memories

It feels like just yesterday, when I gripped my purple Nintendo 64 controller; having sore thumbs and wide tired eyes. As I repeatedly tapped A and titled the joystick forward I can recall the peaceful times of when I made the character swing his sword and do little barrel rolls. The game that became my all-time favorite: Zelda.

The Zelda series really started it all for me. I grew up playing this video-game series, and as a result it has become a part of my childhood memories, and a thing I cannot forget. Ocarina of Time. My first Zelda game. I remember that sunny afternoon in the 1st grade where my dad brought me this game and handed it to me and told me to play it on my nice new console. I recall looking it over several times, asking him "what's this? what's this?" and he would reply "Zelda." And I would still question him because his answer didn't make any sense. So he showed me, and he played about the first 5 minutes of it. By then, I was too excited to watch any longer. I yelled, "I wanna play now!" and was able to try out this adventurous journey. Little did I know that the first 5 minutes of this game would keep me hooked on Zelda in the future. And I can honestly say that I am still an avid "gamer" throughout my high school years.

However, the sad part is, I've been brainwashed into playing mindless, violent, videogame shooters. I currently own an Xbox 360, with games such as Resident Evil 5, Gears of War 2, and Call of Duty 4. The innocent, adventurous storyline of the Zelda series seemed to have escaped me; as I get ready to headshot an enemy veteran with a sniper rifle, or chainsaw some alien zombies with my highly advanced weapon. No more swords and neat little items when I've got a load of technological guns and explosives now, right?

Eh, wrong. Soon after playing these videogame shooters, a part of me starts to realize what's missing. I think back and remember what made me so into this video game thing, and I came to a conclusion: Zelda. After days of mindlessly searching on Youtube, I come across the Zelda songs. And as soon as I clicked play to hear the theme song, a load of Zelda memories rushes through my mind, and it just makes me sad. It brings back so many memories, I wish I could just play those games again. Zelda's "Majora's Mask," "Wind Waker," and "Ocarina of Time" just fulfills that empty void that was created with the videogame shooters. Honestly; nothing was better than the classics, not even the great shooters of today could ever possess the unique elements that Zelda had that drew me into the series so powerfully.

So, as I sit here and reflect on my childhood memories, there seems to be a simple solution for the absence of Zelda. All I need to do is to just play it again. Simple, right? It would be. If only I could trace the whereabouts of my Nintendo Gamecube or Wii, or even Nintendo 64 for a matter of fact. But all of my Nintendo consoles are nowhere to be found, and whenever I look and see that ol' Xbox 360 collecting dust, I just stare at it and think, "where is my old-school Nintendo?"

Beauty is pain...or is pain beauty

As my sister's tears run down her face, cries of agony come with a shaky voice. The protruding brackets have disturbed the level of equilibrium in her life. Only two days after getting her braces, her excitement fades away with her cry of "I want them off, they hurt!"

Just like her, I got my braces at a young age, and actually just got them off back in January. I hated the feeling of pain that would go through all of my jaw. Yet when the waited day of getting them off came along, I remember smiling the whole day. The whole time I had them on, I thought, "It will all be worth it, even having to give up some of my favorite foods." But I as I see my little sister cry and in pain I feel sorry that she must go through this to get a near perfect smile.

This is when I start to think about what is the definition of beauty. Is it having a perfect outer image, or is that just a standard that we have all grown to accept? As a female, I have adopted so many habits that are supposed to make you prettier, and any girl can agree with me.

But I feel that as people, we have only contradicted ourselves. So many times a person says that beauty is defined by what is inside, but they are the first person to apply that first load of makeup, or put on the newest and most expensive shirt they have.

As for me, I must say that beauty to me is a mixture of both, as a big fan of "What not to wear," they always say that confidence is built when you know you look good. I'm not saying that beauty is defined by what we look like, it's just good that as a person we have the extra boost of confidence.

So I ask you my fellow blog members and readers, what is beauty to you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

American Idol have Paula Abdul and No Doubt

Paula Abdul has had the chance to perform for the first time on the American Idol stage, however she chose to lip sync. If you had the chance to perform on the stage, why would you choose to sync it all? Paula also went back to her 80's style, but the young, sexy chick she tried to become, seemed foolish. She tried to prove she was still a hottie, but I doubt she needed to dance in such a provacative manner.

No Doubt also performed tonight. Gwen Stefani on the otherhand took advantage and rocked with her old band. She went back to her beloved roots dancing and singing with her punk attire. The good ol' nineties right? It was said they are back on tour and becoming one again. I wouldn't want to miss my chance to seeing this band on T.V. or in person any time soon!

Overall, Paula Abdul rocked a performance, but compared to Britney Spears; not in a total bad way, I actually enjoy the Spears family. No Doubt showed spirit and, in my opinion, are like U2. Sorry for those who have to hear me go on and on to one of my favorite fans, but when it comes to music, the best time to express it is with others who you love and care for. It's music chemistry!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Beware of the Animals!!

..... It's no surprise that swine flu has become a regular hot topic at Stagg and possibly everywhere in the U.S. After all, it's not every day that one experiences an epidemic that has so much media hype that the Black Plague would blush. The butt of a lot of jokes indeed has become "swine-related," making Porky funny again... Or doesn't it mean that Porky is sick!! Noo!!
..... The animals are indeed after us. First it was cows and the Mad Cow Disease!! Then it was birds and the avian flu. Finally, bacon takes it's turn at revenge with the swine flu. PETA should be happy, right? Animals are finally standing up for themselves... Well maybe not standing since these illnesses seem to generally thin the herd (or flock) of the animals they affect.
..... But let's get serious. Swine flu really has affected everyday life. My mom, who's planning to arrive here in Stockton for my brother's graduation, decided to leave my little brother Tyler back in Illinois because of the swine flu. Then there was the rumors of swine flu at McNair. A part of me thinks that our collective fear is making a mountain out of a mole hill, making the swine flu like the plague, but then again, sickness is a pretty frightening topic.
..... So frightening in fact that U.S. bishops are advising their dioceses to help control the spread of the sickness. At St. Luke's for example, Fr. Joe instructed parishioners before the distribution of communion that he and the Eucharistic ministers would not be giving out the Blood of Christ, only His Body. For the religiously-challenged, that means that there would only be the bread (a.k.a. the Body) passed out not the wine (a.k.a. the Blood). Seeing as the faithful share the same chalice, this plan reduces possible infections. Fr. Joe also said that holding hands during the Lord's Prayer and giving the Sign of Peace should be limited to meaningful glances or nods of the head. I laughed at this one with my friend Dani.  I gave her the best meaningful glance I could muster :]
..... Of course these measures are temporary, but I'm looking forward to the day when swine flue is last week's news and there's another illness running about. Maybe from Canada. Moose flu anyone?

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, watching out for Moose flu!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


All across America, bodybuilders mourn the loss of a fallen friend. A recall has been made of the weight loss pill, & drink mix packets, Hydroxycut.

Used by everyday people alike, the FDA has pulled it from the shelfs. It's one of the most popular diet pill out there with sales of over one million bottles. It's such a shame to see it go. Boo-hoo.

Today on the local news, I saw a story on how Hydroxycut killed a person, and gave severe liver damage to another that required a transplant. In this society, anyone and everyone is looking for a quick way to lose that belly fat and jello-butt. And the Hydroxycut commercials are very convincing! A Physician in a white lab coat & tie, those sexy woman in skimpy bikinis, and the before and after photos. And we've all seen Charlene, who lost 55 pounds on Hydroxycut, AMAZING!

Like any other diet pill (except Alli) it's not evaluated by the Food and Drug Adminstraion (FDA). Which brings me to this question, why do people risk their health to lose weight? Whatever happened to the old fashioned methods of eating right and walking your dog Sparky? If people are motivated enough and don't depend on unsafe drugs, I assure you, many people would not just have a rock hard abdomen, but smiling livers.

As any health official would advise, I suggest you cut the hydroxy and take a jog! :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

End of season brings discouragement

It didn't seem too long ago that I was conditioning for badminton. Now, it's the end of the season and the end of practice for junior varsity. How time flies! It's funny how I never considered joining a sport at all in the first place, because I always knew I wasn't very athletic. Any sport, you name it; I was a complete clutz. I hated sports, but I decided to try badminton.

And well, I'm glad I did, because I absolutely love the sport now. Ever since I made the team, one of the things I looked forward to at the end of a long, hard day was badminton practice. Excluding the fact that I'm probably the worst player on the team, I really enjoy going practice. I don't know what it was that drew me towards this sport so much, but I tried to never miss a single day unless it was for journalism or some sort of doctor's appointment.

The blisters on my feet, the non-stop running around the school and the extremely hard warm-ups at conditioning were brutal. I almost gave up during the first week, because conditioning made me so sore that it was painful to walk. But now, I realize that it was worth it despite the hardships I went through and the games that I've lost.

So, I may not be the best badminton player in the world, but I love the sport so much that I'm more than willing to improve myself. The friends I've made and the games I've played have been a great experience for me, and it's just so disapointing that practice for JV ended today.

I guess there's nothing left to do except to wait for summer to start. Then, I can play again. :)

The burning question

With a foggy memory I can remember the days when I only worried about the next kick-ball game I would play during recess. Another thing that I can also remember is when a person would ask me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Of course I would give answers that would make anybody laugh out loud, I wanted to be a police officer who also played the violin. Can you imagine receiving a ticket from a highway patrol, while she plays you the most depressing songs on the violin? With much certainty I can say that that aspiration is long forgotten. Yet that same question that we have all been receiving still comes every so often. It is rather funny though, that growing up for us sophomores is just about two years away.
With today's current economic crisis it seems that it is all the more important to decide what we want to do when we "grow up." Because an education can not only further us, but it can also help out our family members. But that yearning to help out our struggling families, makes "growing up" even more difficult. Not only must we consider what education might be more accessible, but also what career can give us the most economic security.
So as I start to consider a career in journalism, I begin to consider the fact that I may not have the right amount of financial security. My parents tell me to follow my passion, yet what am I supposed to do with a passion that won't allow me to be economically strong? This is when as still a 16 year old, I start to think, what's more important, money or my passion?
So as the school year continues to move on, and our time to "grow up" gets only nearer, things such as kick-ball no longer ponder in my head. Instead I obsess about what I will answer next to that burning question, "What do you want do when you grow up?"
--Lissette Rodriguez...hopefully the next Elizabeth Vargas when I grow up