Saturday, November 22, 2008

Half Blood Prince

I can't wait! The new Harry Potter movie is on it's way... Every year my cousins and I would go watch some epic movie... We watched Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and hopefully next year we'll watch Harry Potter Muahahaha! =)

So let me explain why I love Harry Potter sooooo much! First let me give a big ups to the talented JK Rowling for creating this epic tale, a struggling single mother, Rowling was able to break down the aspects of life and create not only a reality for her children but a fictional reality for other children and adults to escape into. Not to mention that she finished each book in a timely fashion even if there were a few delays she got it done and didn't disappoint me.

I started reading this series in boarding school when I was 16. By then she was already 3 or 4 books into the series. My best friend at the boarding school was one Miss Christi Novak (RIP 2005) and this is how she got me hooked:

Harry has always an outcast for as long as he could remember, his parents died as protectors of the world that they loved and died protecting their child. Unfortunately their untimely end left Harry all alone in the world, except for his Aunt (sisters mom), Uncle and cousin, who treated him like a slave and abused him mentally, telling him that his parents died in a car crash, in an attempt to keep his magic life a secret from him. They mistreated him because they feared him and what he may become. (Very similar to many Greek and Roman Myths where the parents fear the strength of their own child and lock them away or vanquish them.)

Harry's always felt that he wasn't "normal" (I can relate) and on his 11th birthday his true calling in revealed. (To bad life doesn't make it that easy to find your true calling) He then begins to builds his own family, comprised of a best friend who is poor but rich in virtue and down to experience the world with him. A home girl who is born from no magical parents and is treated like a secondary citizen amongst those of purely magical backgrounds, but is the star student. This motley crew have their disagreements but they are always down for each other at the end of the day. Not to mention the wisdom and Mystery that you find in Dumbledor, the Weasley's, and the rest of the eclectic cast of characters. And and this story... you see Voldemorts story begin to unfold...and similar to Elpheba in the story "Wicked" good and evil is relative to experience and self.

The story's characters are resilient. JK Rowling pulls no punches as you experience the anxiety of adolescents, the pain of growth, the angst of teenage love and the responsibility Harry has with his life purpose that was prophesized before his birth. Daymn I can't wait for the movie...even though I read all the books already and know what's going to happen...Seeing the story play out on the big screen is still cracken! Especially, since the director and production staff do such an amazing job recreating JK Rowlings world.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nina Parks' Soundtrack of My Life #1:Thats Life

I'm making room for the next "Nina Parks ' Soundtrack of My Life" in my side nave.... ______________________________________________________________

Classic Sinatra... But if you didn't get what he was trying to say cause he's an old white guy =)

Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. Lou Rawls...And if you still don't get how timeless the lyrics in this song blog my agenda LOL =)

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin with Frankie Valli

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nina Parks: Just a thought... in higher education

So blogs are the new big "progress" in the direction in social change.... now we can be inside peoples heads... with out ever having met that person ever....

Friday, November 07, 2008

Now is the time!

I am proud to say that in my life time I was witness to history in the United States, as we all know November 4 was major win for black brown and mixed people in our nation. But what's next?

The fact is, just because Obama is the president elect, it doesn't mean it's changed the state of our nation, there is still so much more to do. This is only the beginning, Obama and his campaign has succeeded in spreading the word and the idea of change and hope on a mass level, but he is still only one man. We can not count on him to make things happen for us, we as a community have to be the Obama's in our perspective hoods.

Now is the time. The old smith saying "Strike while the iron is hot," means more to me now than it ever has.

NOW IS THE TIME! It's time make moves towards the change that we want to see in our communities and with in ourselves.

When I was a youngster I had mad issues, and honestly now that I look back from the perspective of a youth service provider, it's a common Urban story, now 6 years into my legal adult hood, I'm starting to truly see the importance of having a strong foundation as a youth, from family, to school, to peer groups . The importance of self value, and respect on all levels... and perspective... The importance of discipline, diligence, love, comprehension and critical reasoning skills, and name credibility. NOW MORE THAN EVER... at least to myself it counts.

I'm bull-headed and stubborn and prideful... so many things in life I've had learned the hard way and in one way or another it has left scars reminding me that I have to work twice as hard than most to apply those life lessons to my own life.

As a child I didn't understand fully... born into a relationship deteriorating in conflict, and negative energy allowed it to become familiar to me. I gravitated towards others with similar energy (mostly kids from broken homes like myself dabbling in delinquent behavior and getting toasted daily ), although many of those relationships were also unhealthy it was some how comforting to know that I wasn't the only one struggling. It wasn't until I was 15 years old that I became aware of greater struggles.

Oppression, suppression, personal digression, class status, California's prision industial industry; it wasn't until my 23rd year until I began to comprehend the factors that brought my family to the Bay Area, both of my parents came here... as many others have, looking for a greater opportunity than what they had, and I am here for that same reason... aren't I?

I used to bitch and complain at how I was dealt a shitty hand, as time passes I see those things that I had to work twice as hard to achieve are now my strengths. And only hope of progress along with some amazing individuals that did what they could even when they really didn't have to do anything, got me through those times when I thought that I wasn't going to be able to make it thru...

As Maya Angelou said:

Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone.
Those who didn't help me taught me how to help myself, and those who went out of their way to assist me have my respect forever. So now is my time to give that back. Seeing Barack's campaign and his ability to brush off his shoulders when Mccain's campaign did what they could to slander his name, was inspirational. Barack was insulted on a very public level... but you never saw him react like, " Fuck that mutha fucka, Imma get his ass back." or " Fuck that dude Imma beat his ass." Naw you saw him take it in stride kept his eyes on his prize and stick to the issues. That's strength and will power.

So now is the time to Barack yourself... step up and Obama your hoods! I'll do my best... and believe me it's an every day struggle to "KILL THEM WITH CLASS."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

How to eat at a sushi bar.

Gotta love that culture comedy.

Why Women Should Vote

I'd like to share another bit of wisdom that my Lady Bird Sistren passed on to me. Thank you Xuan. WHY WOMEN SHOULD VOTE

"This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920

that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.The women were innocent and unmenacing, but they were jailed for picketing the White House, carrying signs for the right to vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

> > > (Lucy Burns) They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

> > (Dora Lewis) They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

> Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twi s ting and kicking the women.

> > Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, > when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

> For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

> > (Alice Paul) When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks > until word was smuggled out to the press. >

> > >

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- > -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.> > All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.

Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, > saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk > about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought > kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. >

'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.'

The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.' HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in > their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think alittle shock therapy is in order. It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse.

Alice> Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for> insanity.'

> > Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

> History is being made. > "

I've been going over my absentee ballot, and honestly lagging till the last minute now I have to drop it off at the voting station.

I've been dreading election day because I have to be up at 7am on Mission reminding people to get out and vote for the non profit I work for. But after reading this I felt a renewed sense of responsiblity and am happy and proud that I have the opportunity to be able to so.

Get out and vote!!