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.