Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Does It Mean To You...

To be White?

I am taking a Race and Racism class in which we watched a movie called The Color of Fear. It was an interesting video where someone got a bunch of different ethnic groups together to discuss their prejudices and experiences with Racism. At one point in the video someone pointed out that the White guy had no culture and told him to "get ethnic!" So it brought the discussion to be "What does it mean to be white?"

The white people in the video didn't really answer, so the next class meeting we got into a very thoughtful, meaningful, and honest discussion (in a class of over 300 people) about what it means to be white and how other ethnic groups see us. Many people questioned why we have no particular culture, traditions, or language maintenance from our ancestors, and as a result of the discussion I reached the following thought (and shared it with the class):

I don't carry the traditions of my ancestors (British, Finnish, Dutch, etc.) because...well I'm mostly of English descent (?) and come from colonizers who came here to purposefully abandon England. They didn't want English traditions, they didn't want a queen, they didn't want the oppression of the Catholic Church/Anglo-Saxon Church, they didn't want to be English! They became Americans, they became settlers and colonists and the identifying factor then became which Colony (and later which State) you were from. As for my other ethnic descents, I believe they came here seeking better lives, seeking the American dream, and as part of that over time their cultures and traditions were lost as they sought success and acceptance here. My immigrant ancestors are many generations back and something was lost through those generations, whereas some other ethnic groups or people's personal experiences don't have that generation gap to lose traditions and languages.

What it means for me to be White is to be a mix of many different countries and cultures, to be an American, to eat Mexican food one night and Indian food the next, to have Vietnamese neighbors, Mexican neighbors, Black neighbors (I say black because not all blacks are from Africa, or identify with being from Africa as one Haitian student in my class pointed out), etc., my culture is one of strong immediate family, Sunday dinners, and thrift store shopping.

Just as with all purported "races," my experience is an individual one, not a group one. I'm sure that what it means for me to be white is very different than what it means for a southerner to be white, or a Russian, or a French, or and Italian, or a Englishman, or and Irish, etc. There really is no "Race," we are all the human race and just have different personal experiences that shape who we are. I don't deny grave injustices done against those of different color based solely on the fact that they are different than the oppressor, whether currently or in the past, I just deny the idea of Race, or that we are different races. Different ethnic groups, skin colors, or different citizens of different countries yes, but inherently a different Race? nope.

So for you, what does it mean to be white? or whatever you are? What does it mean to be you? Comments are desired but if all I achieve is some introspection on your part, that's ok too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Interview With The Vampire, by Anne Rice

Interview With the Vampire Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a great book. Anne Rice paints a world that you step into as you read Louis' "narrative" of his life. As Louis told his story I felt like some invisible companion to his life, so vivid was Rice's descriptive power through him. The only thing negative I have to say about this book is that the word "preternatural" is overused, but given the subject-matter of the book I let it slide. Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed this read!

Here's a little excerpt of Louis' reflections on life that I enjoyed:

-"...brooding would have been to me the most terrible waste; but rather I looked around me at all the mortals that I knew and saw all life as precious, condemning all fruitless and passion and guilt that would let it slip through the fingers like sand.

View all my reviews.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama must not watch the news...

THIS IS RETARDED so now that our new year and new President is off to a new start, I believe it's time to start saving more.


Ok, for those who didn't read the article from the link above, Obama inauguration is estimated to cost $150 million! By comparison, George W. Bush was given a hard time for the $42.3 million cost of his inauguration .... but that number, as Media Matters points out, did not include security.

So again, now that he is off to "saving our country" from it's economic woes, we had all better hunker down because this does not bode well for me or you...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday at Mom's

Most every Sunday we go over to my parent's house for Sunday dinner. It is always a lot of fun and we are almost always joined by Robby, Jodi, and Aidan. This Sunday we were surprised and pleased to find out that Nicole and her kids, and G-ma and G-pa Fiet had joined us for family dinner. This video illustrates the spectator sport of the evening (not a usual event, but fun all the same)...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bond, James Bond

Casino Royale (James Bond) Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
LOVED IT!! I have always been a James Bond fan and an avid reader, but for some reason I have never joined those two hobbies until now. Fleming's writing does not disappoint and it is easy to see why the movie franchise is so successful and lasting. Fleming is a brilliant writer and I loved every word used in this book. This isn't just aficionado bias either, if this was the first introduction to James Bond I ever had, I would still be hooked! He paints a beautiful literary picture for you that enables one you to really see the story he is telling you. Without further words to describe this event, let me show an excerpt of, what I consider to be, the most apt description of an explosion on paper...

"...Suddenly a few feet away the entire plate-glass window shivered into confetti. The blast of a terrific explosion, very near, hit them so that they were rocked back in their chairs. There was an instant of silence. Some objects pattered down on to the pavement outside. Bottles slowly toppled off the shelves behind the bar. Then there were screams and a stampede for the door."

then from another character's POV (Bond's incidentally): "Then with a blinding flash of white light there was the ear-splitting crack of a monstrous explosion and Bond, despite the protection of the tree-trunk, was slammed down to the pavement by a solid bolt of hot air which dented his cheeks and stomach as if they had been made of paper. He lay, gazing up at the sun, while the air (or so it seemed to him) went on twanging with the explosion as if someone had hit the bass register of a piano with a sledge hammer."

Beautiful language.

And it only took me two days...

View all my reviews.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Well, now I see the importance of keeping a journal...
1. Amanda got her Associates degree from Chaffey College! Congrats Amanda!
2. I received some great contacts with the CEO and CFO of the bank I work at, which panned out to nothing in the end, maybe it will go somewhere this year, or be helpful in the future...
3. We got a new couch in April
4. Dad (mine) graduated from Cal Poly with his Art Degree and we got to go to his Senior Show
5. I received a scholarship for school
6. Amanda turned 21 years old!!
7. I turned 23 years old!
8. I attended my first ComicCon with brothers-in-law and Amanda (what a noble act of wife-dom)
9. Amanda and I completed our FIRST year of marriage!! Woo hoo!!
10. Amanda had her weird hospital stint and became the 9th wonder of the world
11. I met my favorite author R.A. Salvatore at a book signing event of his in Pasadena
12. Amanda and I went to the Getty for the first time and loved it
13. Amanda and I went on an amazing cruise of the Mexican Riviera
14. We finished of the year with a great Holiday break filled with fun and family

BEST MOVIE (that I saw in a theater)
I had some indecision on this one (between the first three), but

1. Quantum of Solace
2. The Dark Knight
3. Iron Man
4. Wanted
5. Valkyrie

Other great flicks: The Incredible Hulk, Prince Caspian, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Australia, Cloverfield, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Traitor

WORST MOVIE (and worst seen in theaters maybe ever)
No trouble here, definitely "In The Name of the King"


1. Night, by Elie Wiesel
2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

1. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

1. Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
2. Point of Impact, by Stephen hunter

-Fantasy Series
1. A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin (book 1 "A Game of Thrones")

TV SHOWS WE WATCHED (this is pretty much all we watched)

1. The Office
2. 30 Rock
3. Survivor
4. Heroes
5. House
6. Lost, season 1
7. Firefly

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 Preview Revised

It seems that there are even more new movies coming out than I put out the first time. So here are some new additions to the list, followed by the original list...Also, HERE is a slideshow of 2009's most anticipated movies

4/24/2009 - The Soloist (info)
7/1/2009 - Public Enemies (info) Johnny Depp as gangster John Dillinger and Christian Bale as the gov't agent pursuing him
7/24/2009 - Funny People, has Adam Sandler...that's about all I know
8/21/2009 - Inglorious Bastards (info) A Quentin Tarantino film with Brad Pitt and Mike Myers about Nazi occupied France
10/2/2009 - Shutter Island/Ashecliff (info) Martin Scorsese directs Leonardo DiCaprio for the fourth time in a thriller about U.S. Marshalls pursuing a female escaped convict.
10/16/2009 - Where the Wild Things Are (info)
10/16/2009 - The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (info) directed by Terry Gilliam, and starring Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell
11/6/2009 - A Christmas Carol (info) Jim Carrey plays Scrooge and all of the ghosts in a digital 3D motion-capture movie from director Robert Zemeckis (creator of Polar Express)
11/6/2009 - The Wolfman (info) I don't know about this, but basically a remake of the classic (I guess) with Benicio Del Toro as the Wolfman
11/20/2009 - Sherlock Holmes (info) Robert Downey, Jr as Holmes, Jude Law as Watson and Rachel McAdams
11/28/2009 - The Lovely Bones (info) Peter Jackson's newest film starring Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz
12/18/2009 - Avatar (info) James Cameron directs this 3D sci-fi action epic that features ground-breaking, eye-popping special effects
12/25/2009 - The Princess and the Frog (info) a new hand-drawn Disney film, this is here cause Amanda will drag me to see it...

and Nottingham doesn't have a release date, but I talked about it in my last post...

Most Notable of the following is the movie 9, check it out here

1/9/2009 - Bride Wars (link)
1/23/2009 - Inkheart (link)
1/28/2009 - Blessed is the Match (link)
2/6/2009 - Coraline (link)
2/20/2009 - Fired Up (link)
2/27/2009 - Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
first I've heard of it was making this list but Kristin Kreuk is playing Chun-Li, here are two pages where you can check out the movie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Fighter:_The_Legend_of_Chun-Li

3/6/2009 - Watchmen (link)
3/13/2009 - Race to Witch Mountain (link)
3/20/2009 - Knowing (link)
3/27/2009 - Monsters vs. Aliens (Dreamworks) (link)
4/3/2009 - The Ugly Truth (link)
4/17/2009 - State of Play (link)
5/1/2009 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine (link)
5/8/2009 - Star Trek (link)
5/15/2009 - Angels & Demons (link)
5/22/2009 - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (link)
5/22/2009 - Terminator: Salvation (link)
5/29/2009 - Up (link) (Pixar/Disney)
6/5/2009 - Land of the Lost (link) (starring Will Ferrell, who knows?)
6/12/2009 - The Proposal (link)
6/26/2009 - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
7/10/2009 - 2012 (link)
7/17/2009 - Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince (link)
8/7/2009 - GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra
9/9/2009 - 9 (Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov,
dir. of Wanted; this looks way interesting) (link)
9/18/2009 - The Informant

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Addition

Well, a couple posts ago I put out a awaited movie's of 2009 blog, and I must amend it with this entry. It's just a little blurb, but this sounds great to me.


Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe are teaming up again (they did Gladiator, Body of Lies, and American Gangster together) to make a new take on Robin Hood with a movie of this title for release in 2009. The twist: Crowe is playing both Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham! To find out why, go here. Sounds like great news to me!