The Garcia Family

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

(please keep in mind they are discussing a Female robot about 10" high, and clearly have issues with meeting "actual" flesh and blood women, by flesh and blood I am excluding 9/16ths of the population of Newport Beach - silicon doesn't count).

Today is a sad, sad, very sad day. I have been notified by my local trusted Starbuck's Barista that Chai Tea has a very high caffeine hoo! This is the end of an era, at least until Nov. 22! I bid adieu Mr. Soy Chai Latte, see you when November ends!

It's back! About 3 years ago I went to an Exhibit named BodyWorlds at the Science Center in LA: AMAZING!

I was hesitant at first as the way it was explained to me was similar to this: "you've got to see it, there's human bodies and the skin is removed so you can see the insides and all the organs". Of course, my need to try everything at least once kicked in, so off I went. It's nothing like that, well I shouldn't say nothing, it is exactly that, but not as gruesome as it sounds.

It's back here in LA (new exhibit) and you must go!

The bodies have been "plastinated" (a process you'll come to fully comprehend by the end of the exhibit) and they start you off small. It's not overwhelming and as a matter of fact I was in awe the entire time. I recommend it to anyone and everyone, even the faint of heart; the knowledge you gain is immeasurable. Go!!

Body Worlds 3
California Science Center

The Quest is Over!

For the past couple of months I have been trying to find an old album that I remember hearing in Ms. Moreno's class; ahh to be in first grade again. I recalled a lot of the words and had tried quite a few different Google queries to find it. I even went so much as to ask the oracle that is Steffanie Tomczik; she couldn't give me the name of it but could recite this bit with me: "I am a stegosaurus, I'm a funny looking dinosaur, and on my back are many different plates, and on my tail there's more"

Mission Accomplished!!

Attention inquiring minds: It's called "Our Dinosaur Friends for the Early Years". It is pretty much only on vinyl (which my mom bought for us way back when but since then has donated) I did however find a site that had it available for free download!

I heard someone say in the same sentence this past weekend: "he looks half oriental and half Asian"; it kind of bothered me in the sense that I think the word Oriental refers to a rug and not an ethnicity of people, so being that I have many people of many different cultures from the regions in question at my disposal on a daily basis , I began my research to find out if that "feeling" I had was wrong. Here's what I have found:

A long time ago, people in Europe used to refer to everything to the east of them as the Orient, including for example the Middle East, since orient means "east". This mysterious area was the source of all sorts of wonderful things like silk and spices, so the Europeans attached all sorts of exotic, mysterious connotations to the Orient. As Europeans gained a better concept of world geography, they eventually used "the Orient" and "Oriental" to refer to East and Southeast Asia, where people look "Oriental" in our current usage.

Anyway, that usage of "Oriental" has survived a long time, and it still frequently carries all of the exotic/foreign/inscrutable/mysterious connotations. These connotations happen to coincide with many of the stereotypes held of Asian Americans. Furthermore, by definition, the word "Oriental" is Eurocentric, referring to things east of Europe. For these reasons, some Asian American activist types decided that "Oriental" was a Bad Word, and that "Asian" was more accurate, less Eurocentric, and less loaded with strange connotations. No big deal, right?

Well, a lot of people didn't want to change their language usage. Some people grew up using "Oriental" and saw nothing wrong with the word. Others came from other parts of the world, where hip-activist-American-English-linguistic verbiage hadn't hit. Still others never encountered anyone aware of Asian American politics, so they had never heard of this word usage change. Some people were also exploiting the exotic mysticism connotations and resisted the change as well. (I'm sure you've all seen articles about business and trade in "Asia", whereas the travel articles would talk about visiting the Exotic Mysterious "Orient"). Finally, some people were convinced that this was a typical case of left-wing-politically-correct-thought and decided in typical right-wing-politically-correct-knee-jerk, that the word usage change was intrinsically evil and had to be resisted at all costs.

For a while, you could identify a person as being an American who was aware of and sympathetic to Asian American politics by his/her word choice. Now, however, many exploitation-types have realized that saying "Asian" instead of "Oriental" is the cool thing to do, without changing any of their stereotypes and misconceptions. (You can force a person to change his/her behavior, but you can't force a change in thought.)

I guess in all fairness, one would say that they could use whatever word they felt most comfortable with, or whatever makes your listeners most comfortable, but don't be surprised if someone takes offense.

It seems that the differentiations are from geographical location, which is why you have East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian. All in all, I'm still somewhat confused and never know what box to check myself, being that I am a 50-50 "Mexican, Hispanic, Latina" (who knows what differences each of those identify anymore, by the way) and "Caucasian, White, Anglo-Saxon (not of Hispanic origin)". Maybe we should all just draw a pie chart instead.

Conclusion: Oriental is not accepted as proper verbiage for a subset of people, it very generally refers to inanimate objects, and unless you want weird looks, don't use it: just a suggestion from little old me.

Disclaimer: This was all just a little exercise for my brain and I figured I'd share. If you're offended in anyway, please copy and paste the following into your cerebrum: "Angela is sorry, she meant no harm"

Final Note: In the time you save by no longer worrying about proper word usage anymore (since upon conclusion of this read, you're now officially a member of the newly formed "Cultural Illuminati"), I urge you: try to make the world a better place!

*Update: Dan and I watched "Semi-Pro" as planned, I now revoke my membership as part of the newly formed "Cultural Illuminati". I agree to take my 10 shameful lashings and pledge to never take part in such idle-minded sacrilege as long as I live!

Teatro Garcia

My review of the recent Hilary Swank Gerard Butler movie goes something like this: sob, sob, laugh, snaps, laugh, sob, sob, laugh, sob, "please pass me a new box of Kleenex", laugh, sob, sob, laugh!

Grade: B

Danny looked up the film on IMDB to check out some of the other actors in it (he's a movie buff and enjoys that sort of thing) only to find out it was the 2007 "chick flick" of the year, since marriage is a compromise and though he enjoyed the movie, I have to watch Semi-Pro tonight ( both of us have been putting it off but love Will, he'll probably end up owing me a few after that one; Will Farrell is in a major slump)!

I'm having horrible bouts of heartburn and can't figure out if it's the excessive amounts of hot sauce I put on everything (embarrassingly I carry Tapatio packets in my purse) or the suggestion by many that it's the baby's hair growing. I found this article...but still not so certain, I'll stop the hot sauce and see what the 4-D ultrasound shows next month (supposedly you can see hair).

Pregnancy folklore revisited: the case of heartburn and hair.
Costigan KA, Sipsma HL, DiPietro JA.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.

BACKGROUND: Folklore can originate by detection of actual associations between seemingly unrelated events and perpetuated through oral tradition. The objective of this study was to determine whether a common pregnancy belief that women who experience a lot of heartburn give birth to newborns with a lot of hair is accurate. METHODS: Sixty-four pregnant women ranked the severity of their degree of heartburn during pregnancy. Independent coders rated newborn hair volume using 2 photographs of the infant's head, taken shortly after birth. RESULTS: Most (78%) women reported some degree of heartburn. Symptom severity was unrelated to fetal sex and maternal characteristics including parity, age, or weight. The simple linear relationship between heartburn severity and hair volume was significant r(s)(62) = 0.40, p < 0.001. Categorical analysis by severity score and hair ranking revealed a similar association (chi(2)= 23.93, p < 0.05). Most (23/28) women who reported moderate or severe heartburn gave birth to babies with average or above average amounts of hair, and conversely, most (10/12) women reporting no heartburn had babies with less than average or no hair. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to expectations, it appears that an association between heartburn severity during pregnancy and newborn hair does exist. We propose a shared biologic mechanism involving a dual role of pregnancy hormones in both the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and the modulation of fetal hair growth.

Empirical Data aside, in short: Heatburn=Hair

The later, I have not at this point (hence the Venti Soy Chai Latte sitting on my desk). Danny and I, accompanied by Mat and Steff (Mat coincidently won tickets on KROQ) attended the Coldplay concert at the Forum where our socks were definitely rocked off; Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin, and Guy Berryman, each in their very own ways. True to form Chris Martin put on an electric show, filled with massive bursts of wily energy and invitations to the crowd to showcase our own harmony throughout the night, p.s...they actually make it work, unlike many bands!

To kick things off was a DJ (7:30pm)(displaying the most disturbing imagery I have ever seen), I won't even bother to give it a longer review than two words: never again! Shearwater (8:30pm)followed, whom for all intents and purposes I had no knowledge of (apparently they're a YouTube sensation); half the crowd must have not been familiar with them as well, as it erupted in cheers when Jonathan Meiburg (lead singer) announced it would be their last song...I suppose it could have just been impatience for the headliners, who finally graced us with their musical genius at 9:25pm. Personally, I thought Shearwater sounded like a bad generic version of Arcade Fire sans the violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, French horn, accordion, hurdy gurdy, harp and mandolin.

Back to why you're reading this: Coldplay. I think the set-list needed a little tweaking, though mostly due to my own personal preferences:

Life in Technicolor
Violet Hill
A Rush of Blood to the Head
Viva la Vida
The Scientist
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
Square One
Speed of Sound
Strawberry Swing
Death Will Never Conquer
I'll Fix You
Lovers in Japan
Reign of Love

Death and All His Friends

*I must admit, though Coldplay to me is pretty much infallible, I did miss hearing Til Kingdom Come (one of our wedding songs and the song Danny declared would always be "our song" back in 2006, and Talk (a personal fav)*

The set started off seemingly simple "Viva La Vida" album cover as a backdrop and a giant globe center crowd that projected live images in a vignette type edit to the whole crowd. Soon this globe was multiplied by 4, as well as two side stages that brought the action much closer to us, as well as a hidden stage up in Section 6 of the Colonnade (performed 'yellow').

Coldplay once again lived up to all my expectations and then some!! Had I not sold our second pair of tix for tonight, we would certainly be off to Inglewood again (despite the fact that those bullet proof food-passers at the drive-thru fast food restaurants give me a reality check that I don't really want or need)! I guess doing a show in Las Flores or Sunny Hills might not drive the same attention as the GW Forum.

Coldplay Rating: A+
Venue: C (B for size, B for acoustics, D for the lack of restrooms (worse lines than the Foo Fighters show)

All in all: AMAZING!

I found this while perusing Pitchfork media (music reviews, etc); looks like they've compiled a list of "100 Awesome Music Videos". Anything that has some Lionel, D'Angelo, Pat Benatar, mixed in with the Chicago Bears Shuffling Crew, circa 1986, has to be worthy of a viewing.

Tyson Gay cramping up and straining his hammy has everyone in a tiffy! People keep saying (radio, TV, sports analysts) that the American Olympic trials system needs to be re-vamped: I personally think the system works just fine. He's still going to the Olympics, he's still competing in other events.

Everyone waiting on baited breath for something to change should be reminded of a real problem, the NCAA's BCS system.

In an event where the difference between first and last can be 1/10 of a second, anything goes...cramp or not!

Wasteful Thoughts!

Dan and I were sitting at the dinner table yesterday after his basketball game and were talking about a house that we saw in Montana which we want to buy. It reminded me of what a great time we had but more so how absolutely serene and beautiful Montana is. I've been there more times than I can count (my family lives up there and we visit quite often) but this time was different, much different than any other visit! Perhaps it was the Grizzly and Black Bear warnings posted throughout the area during our hikes in Glacier, the raging rapids from snow melt that sent a fresh and clean mist into the air that made you feel energized and refreshed, or the sudden realization that no man even in his most gifted moments could ever imagine such beauty; whatever the cause the both of us returned a little different.

We both cringed when we opted to look at last months water bill to see our daily average water consumption: we are wasteful people, the bill did not even mention how much trash the city disposes for us. I always remember my mom saying "shut off the light if you're not using it, don't waste water, never throw away food...there are people going without in this world". Once I moved out and paid my own bills, I could have cared less; I guess I never heard the "people are going without part", I always thought it was about saving money: clearly it wasn't: just an issue my mom has with pure unadulterated waste (although she was famous for over filling the pool).

Do I really need 30 minute showers, do we really need to leave the water running the entire time we're rinsing dishes, only to put them straight into the dishwasher? We both made a pact to try a little harder to assist as much as we can to keep the glaciers from disappearing sooner and smell that clean, fresh air for many more years to come.

Are you average, above average, or below average...for once I'd like to be less than average!

(click on the above link to see your average water consumption)

Our Family

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

Colossians 3:14