The Garcia Family

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

I wake up every morning to FOX 11 News at 6:00am to sift through all the latest police chases, convenient store hold-ups, reality show briefs from the night before, etc, in hopes of catching one iota of breaking news that will send me on my drive to work feeling cheery and happy: never happens but I'm hopeful that someday it will!

Imagine my surprise when I get to work, turn on my computer and read one of the many newsletter mailings I subscribe to, one from my old days of interest and somewhat teetering obsession with cultural anthropology, (In case you guys have forgotten, I'm sure my parents haven't, I was going to pack up and leave five years ago in hopes of saving the world one AIDS and one malaria patient at a time), to find out that one of the last remaining uncontacted tribes had been photographed in the amazon between the border of Peru and Brazil. This is a huge discovery and one that I find myself on both sides of the issue of.

On one hand I would love to be the anthropological linguist that is able to get the first cultural profile of this tribe; on the other hand I truly believe this tribe should be left unscathed. With areas of the amazon being completely destroyed by loggers, and many tribes being decimated by relocation and disease given to them by "aide workers"; I fear the worst. There are roughly 100 uncontacted tribes that have not succumbed to the poisonous "band-aid" the world seems to place over "uncivilized" (perhaps viewed as wounded) cultures, and half of these exist in regions of Peru and Brazil.

Are these tribes about to soon join the ranks of Dodo Birds, Tasmanian Wolves, Caspian Tigers, and Quagga? I certainly hope not but it kills me to think that FOX11 News can't even give this amazing discovery a bit on the morning news; they're too busy with coverage of the Sex and the City movie premiere and the segment on Angelina Jolie now being a mother to 5!

Not a surprise but: Media...On Notice!

El Burrito Jr.

I am sitting here trying very hard not to commit to another project (I probably will, I love a challenge) but in reality all I can think about is El Burrito Jr! That little building on the corner of Ocean and Main in lovely and quaint Seal Beach, has been consuming at least 33.3333% of all my thoughts. I have already mapquested how far it would take me to get there at lunch, and though I'm tempted, I have to accept the fact that it is not feasible.

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I am grateful though that my cravings have moved on from Hot Dog on a Stick (where I ask that they be well done and crispy brown) and Baskin Robbins Chocolate Fudge ice cream, never one...but TWO calorie filled huge scoops! Those of you that know me, understand that this is quite peculiar since I once made a pact to never eat a Hot Dog again (thanks to Mr. Linnastruth's 7th grade science experiment proving the odd and harmful nature of preservatives in foods) and that I dislike chocolate and burritos.

I give up, El Burrito Jr. I'm on my way..."un burrito de carne asada por favor"!

Long story, but everything is perfectly fine and apparently my Mii is no longer allowed to participate until November :) Joddison (Jonah or Addison) was happily doing barrel rolls and waving to the cameras. In one pic you can see Jodi looking straight at you, two eyes, nose, mouth; in the other you can see 5 cute little digits and a shadow of the arm as it lays on its back. Definitely going to be an Olympic Swimmer/Super Bowl winning quarterback, look at those Elvyn hands!

* for those who aren't aware, click to enlarge*

Right from Wong?

I have rapidly been growing tired of Ryan Seacrest on KIIS FM, so this morning I switched over to Rick Dees' Movin 93.9, just in time to hear the segment "Right from Wong" (Mark Wong). On blast, was the recent news that a school in Minneapolis had banned all "touching" from the campus and those who broke the new rule would be reprimanded. As I heard this I was driving past a gas station, of course taking notice at the consistently rising price of gas, it forced me to think that perhaps many of these children leave school to return home to families that may be having severe economic strains (like many in the nation). Do times like these often affect parents' relationships with their children? Though most parents love their children unconditionally and display this accordingly, for many others, times of economic hardships such as these seen by many, can put a barrier between their children (perhaps seen as another added expense) and themselves. Where am I going with this? Though not very eloquently, is that babies, children, teenagers, and even adults, need the simple reinforcement of their friends and peers proving willingness and desire to nurture: the simplest of these is physical touch.

The experience of being touched, has direct and crucial effects on the growth of the body as well as the mind. Touch is a means of communication so critical that its absence retards growth in infants. Certain brain chemicals released by touch, or others released in its absence, are believed to account for infants' failure to thrive. This is not new information, these studies conducted in the late 80's have been proven fact, and are taught in Developmental Psychology classes throughout the world, as well as to newly expecting parents. This not only holds true to infants: adults and adolescents all have the same physiological and psychological requirements: beta-endorphins, (relieves stress and pain and promotes well-being) which are mainly acquired through touch.

I'm not saying that you need to register for the next Cuddle Party, I'm just explicating that for many of these children, the only positive "touching" they may receive is at school from friends or teachers, whether by means of a hug, quick game of patty-cake, or a simple high-five (all three of which are banned - unreasonable, along with the sometimes "you tagged me too hard" game of tag - questionable). I was always taught to shake a persons hand when I met them and that it was always appropriate to greet friends and family members with a hug. Perhaps this is cultural, and others may find the contrary culturally appropriate for them, but nonetheless, banning such behavior is harmful.

I understand that perhaps the administration is trying to prevent fighting or other sub-standard behaviors, but formulating such an all-encompassing rule damages normal and positive social reinforcement and development, as well as behaviors that are part of scientifically proven simple mammalian needs.

Are certain school administrators trying to make their jobs easy? Those who become teachers because they love children and want to make a difference in their lives are willing to do it regardless of the effort it takes: trust me I know several (whether this means sorting out if Johhny hugged Mary inappropriately, or if Jimmy and Jack should be sent to the principals office for playing bloody knuckles). Those who are there to collect a paycheck aren't: "you tapped him on the back while he was at the water fountain so you could make him aware that you were waiting in line, because of this, you've got to go to Mrs. Prissypants office". The latter group wrote the letter of this law, I guarantee it! To further the absence of positive reinforcement, lets increase class size: yes that's the answer! Who are the educators again?


"Mrs. Prissypants don't hit me, it's against the rules!"

(Please note: this was not the first school to do this, a school in Virginia enacted a similar policy last year)

Which of these two retails at a higher price?

If you answered the $180.00 burger from The Wall Street Burger Shoppe, you'd be correct! The oil is selling for a "measly" $133.00 a barrel.

I heart America! My father told me that anyone could be president; I'm beginning to think he was right!


Using the Doppler for the first time: from home.

I believe it is only a matter of time before this ends up as a question on all health insurance applications:

Do you or any dependents own a Wii, Playstation, or XBOX (If so, please crumble up and throw away this application and vote for someone who is promoting socialized health care, we can't insure you)?

(the latest from PostSecret)

So as you all may know, I was in NO way thrilled to discover that my sister "Bean-to-the-Izo" will be auditioning for Central High School's tall-flags. First off, it is bad enough that she will be a Central High School alumni, but now a band nerd to boot! Aye Caramba! Perhaps my legendary reputation will save her from the shame of the Scrawny Spartans, or at the very least she may inherit my "Longest Keg Stand" title! (Mom and Dad, I'm sure you're not impressed, well, Dad you may be...hehe)

Good luck Bean!

At 7:30 on a Monday morning, a teenage girl holding a newborn baby approached a bus stop in Sacramento. The bus stop is only a few miles from the California state capitol building, where a law called the “SSB” was enacted—the safely surrendered baby law. The SSB allows a desperate mother to give up an unwanted baby within three days of birth, no questions asked, no prosecution for child abandonment, and hopefully no infant left in a trash dumpster, the kind of tragic scenario the law was designed to discourage.

So when the teenager—strawberry blond and about 16—appeared at the bus stop and asked a kind stranger to hold her baby while she fixed a bottle, perhaps she thought she was doing the right thing as she slipped away forever…safely surrendering her infant son. The stranger called the police. The police took the 7 pound boy to a hospital, where he was determined to be in good health, one to two days old.

But even though the police initially said the teenager tried to “do the right thing”, the law says she can be arrested and prosecuted for felony child endangerment because the only legally recognized SSB sites in Sacramento are hospital emergency rooms and fire stations. Bus stops don’t qualify. So the police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the teenage mother, who could go to jail for essentially choosing a bus stop over a dumpster.

If doing the right thing in this case wasn’t the legal thing, is the greater failure with the mother or the law?

I still can not come to grips with the whole David Archuleta obsession! I admit he has a nice voice, but American Idol is supposed to be about voting for the whole package. David picks the same type of boring ballad; he doesn't even know half of the original artists of the songs he sings. You can not be a superstar in any field without having done the research or be in the know. David, "Another Day in Paradise" is not a happy song like you attempted to explain (it is about homelessness, not a vacation at the Atlantis resort). To be fair, Archuleta is not the only performer that leaves me scratching my head this year on AI:

David Cook needs to lose the flock of seagulls haircut and prove that he's not yet another one trick pony named "Rock".

Jason Castro clearly has his own issues: ganja! He reminds me of someone who gets stoned, plays his guitar for hours and then lets his dog lick his face while he giggles himself to sleep on the couch of a friends apartment.

Syesha Mercado waited way too long to pull out all the stops, but to be honest, she is the only reason I watch anymore and has been very entertaining these past couple weeks. She may not have made the smartest song choices in the beginning or convinced audiences that she was the real deal, she is however the only complete package in my book this season: ballads, theater, rock, and pop, she can pull it all off.

(clockwise from top left: Archuleta, Cook, Castro, Mercado)

Please note: Gut-wrenching pose in Archuleta's photo is exactly what Dan and I do every time he explains his song choice on camera.

"Mexico En La Piel" (This song conjures up some of the best memories a young girl could ever have with her grandparents; dancing around the house singing while enveloped in the wonderful smell of fresh menudo and tamales was every weekend for my brother, cousins, and I)

"Volver Volver" (My friends and family wouldn't expect anything else from me or of this post)

The 9 to 5

These C-3PO-like robots consume my days:

pneumatics + application engineering = Monday through Friday / headaches!

Our Family

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity

Colossians 3:14