A Community Wedding

If there's anyone that's a strong voice of the younger Filipino-American generation in LA, it's Johneric. He hosts the Tuesday Night Cafe projects, and his business, Park's Finest, is taking off.

If there's anyone that's a ninja within the Filipino-American generation, it's Christine. She runs the organization PEOPLE's Core, an environmental justice group, and does kali.

I've known Christine and Johneric for over 6 or so years, I met them thru a friend from Santa Cruz named Desiree. I know them mostly thru activism. They've done workshops on anti-imperialism and community-building.

They got married last November, as captured in this video below.

It was as inclusive a wedding as I ever got into. Like everyone I knew went. My godsister Cheryl, even hosted. They had their reception at the Griffith Park Friendship hall.

Christine + Johneric | Same Day Edit from Loyd Calomay Films on Vimeo.

Incidentally on their wedding day, I'd taken the bus from the San Fernando Valley to the wedding in East Hollywood. I landed in Griffith Park wondering when the next bus was going to come.

While waiting at a bus stop for about 10 minutes, zipping past me in the right lane, a bald man was yelling at me.

"Hey you going to the wedding? Hurry up and get in!"

"Oh shit yeah."

Driving the car, the lady who founded the Tuesday Night projects.

I got in and we ushered Johneric into his wedding.

Kindness Over Genius

I caught whiff of this piece by Kelly Tsai during an open mic, and I was blown away. Her message is something that grabbed me as a graduate student in this world of hyper-competition: what's important and rare to find isn't how smart people are, what's important and rare is to find someone who is genuinely kind.

Once Tongue Tied

A spoken word piece by Adriel Luis about women and their "ethnic make-up" with scenes from Pocahontas. It was mixed by some guy taking an education class named Sam Figueroa.

"Come Home Then"

Reading about students' reflections on their math experiences by Yolanda A. Johnson.

Johnson talked about how in pursuit of her doctoral degree, she called her dad. Her dad said nonchalantly, "come home then." The quote stayed on her mind.

Johnson explained, "come home, then" meant come home to the "safety net", a zone of comfort. The zone of comfort is a place of love and acceptance, but perhaps not a place for development.

Through those simple words, her dad inspired her to do the opposite. He was encouraging her, "Don't talk about it, be about it."

In the end she got her Ph.D and so wrote about this in retrospect.

The Interrupters

Below is a movie about gang and violence interventionists working in the city of Chicago for a program called Ceasefire.

The program's philosophy is that "violence is like a disease", which means that the people suffering from it "need to be treated."

I have watched a shed load of movie trailers. A shed load. And always with a cynical eye. But this is the first time I have ever applauded a trailer. (A trailer!) - perspicaciouscritic

I had the chance to watch it in its limiting showing.

I'm not a big movie watcher, but for me the two hours rolled and rumbled. Maybe it was a combination of a good documentary-making and the message that needed to be sent to audiences.

The program Ceasefire has their critics. Some would maintain that they're promoting gang membership. Or they'll be accused by community members of snitching to law enforcement.

From what I know, they've shown to be effective to the point where prisoners have heard about the program from inside their jail cells. Statistically, they've managed to slow down the killings and ease the tensions between folks.

For me the documentary showed that a lot of violence is fueled by a thirst for revenge, a fire that once raging isn't easily controlled no matter the situation. The revenge could be fueled by anything, for territories or for a person simply bumping into another person. The anger expressed over the "petty" situation is likely the result of a build-up of unexpressed anger over their various situations.

Through their networks and being "in the know", the Ceasefire workers, the Interrupters, found ways to step into those hostile and volatile situations. They relied on their street cred, and their own experiences with violence; they were just out there talking, chilling, mediating, preventing such drastic action.

The Random Black Girl Singin' the Soul

A social commentary on the business of musicals, with the singer, Patina Miller enacting all those stereotypes of black women.

Social commentary done right --- not necessarily attacking one thing or another, but expressing the experience, kicking in doses of humor.

Is It Ever too Late to Go to Medical School?

I ran into this topic last year while in the 1st year of my own grad school program.


If you don't know what reddit is, it's a community where LOTS of users make snarky one-liner comments in response to questions and links.  It's also a place where helpful comments can be made.  On occasion.

Comments, taken from folks who report being M.D.s and medical students:

Well, if you go into medicine now you'll be an M.D. by 36. If you don't, you'll still be 36. - soxfanpdx
No, is was not especially difficult to get back into things. In fact, I personally think being "older" when starting med school was advantageous in that regard. I entered med school with both a sense of urgency and the realization that I was doing what I wanted to do. Both of these things made the long hours of study easier. Also, I was recently married when I began, so I had lost the urge (for the most part) to spend my nights at bars/clubs/meeting people, which was a huge advantage over the younger students who were still on the tail end of the partying years.

In the end, I treated med school like a job, with homework. Lecture from 9-12, study at school until 4-5, come home, take a break, prepare for the next day from 7/8-10 and review what I needed on the weekends. Med school is work, but it's doable. - niridia
When I was an intern, I had three—three—co-residents who were older than fifty. They had all begun medical school in their late forties.
One had bummed around East Asia for a few years, teaching English, and then settled with her husband in the states as an Eastern Medicine practitioner.

Another had worked in medical labs her whole adult life.
The third had a PhD in chemistry and worked as a teaching professor for twenty years before deciding to go into medicine. - adoarns
My best friend in my med school class, I'm currently a 2nd year, is 45.
I apologize if you've mentioned it somewhere else in this thread but where do you stand as far as your prerequisite courses? If you didn't take them during your first time through undergrad then you have to factor in at least 2 more years getting the prereqs and then the mcat.
That said, go for it. My aforementioned buddy was an english professor, nothing to do with medicine at all and he did the same thing you are thinking of except he started getting the prereqs at like 41 years old.
Good luck, if you believe you can do it, you will. - markuscreek24
Of course there were negative comments.  Mostly about being a nurse or some kind of assistant to cut down on costs.  You can read more at the link.

Concerns for cost both time and money, the answer to the question posed above seems to be: non.

Business: Give Money Away?

So, here's an idea of drumming up business in this faltering economy.
This is the first time I have read a blog and of course the first post of any kind. As a 36 year old plumber I have been fired from every plumbing company I have ever worked for. All of them fired me after about a year. The reasons have all been the same, they asked my opinion about their problems and I told them the truth. It seems every company always has some sort of problems they deal with but never know the answers. The last job I had was running a new hospital project and after 9 months I was asked by management to get rid of half the plumbers and replace them with non-plumbers to drive down cost.

The short story is I said no way, it’s illegal and I want no part of it. I then said if they go over my head I will turn them in to the state dept. of health. Well, I was fired….With the economy the way it is no jobs are available. So with a family of 4 and a new house and $300 in checking I started my own plumbing company. Anyone who cares to listen here is what I have to say. Weeks went by with no customers calling and I didn’t know what to do.

We were out of money and my wife gave me a choice of getting a wal-mart type job or get out. That night I freaked out and was up all hours of the night just thinking and thinking. Then it came to me. My problem was simple, I was going about this backwards. Money is a stupid motivator, customers are the real motivator. So here is what I did. I went to a printer and had them print up a 1000 $50.00 gift cards on heavy paper stock all of them with code numbers. The next thing I did was go door to door and meet people one at a time. Ya, it was crazy at first but the people were blown away, they loved it. As of right now I am the number one plumber in a town of about 40,000 people and am looking to hire another plumber.

So whats the secret? Give people what they want. All these years I was right, most people let money motivate them and that creates poor decision making. I let the customer decide. The economy is tough so just give the customers what they want, money. People were so blown away they thought it was a joke. Think about it for a moment, have you ever heard of a business come to your door, shake your hand, and while looking in there eyes tell them you would like to earn the business and by they way here is a fifty dollar gift card that can be used anytime for any plumbing service they need.

When it’s all said and done I wished I would have done this years ago. I enjoyed the article about Mark Cuban but I think money is just a poor motivator, money is the result of good business practice. My wife by the way thought it was crazy to give $50 to everyone I meet, she was wrong, but now she is my biggest fan. That $50 is nothing when you consider a customer spends thousands during the course of a life time, not to mention they spread word of mouth business like fire. Mike

Hmm...so my next question is how do I give out $50 gift cards for writing a bunch of posts.

That One Bob Guy...

And Why He Can

I dunno, I always laugh at this one.

He's embodies a combination of ordinary yet privileged, a distant demeanor perhaps conflated with pretention, which makes him the source of random, hidden microaggression.

The Story of William Kamkwamba

William Kamkwamba is a boy who had nothing but a bunch of spare parts, an old library book on electricity, and proceeded to bring electricity to his village via windwills.

I first came across the story of William Kamkwamba when I heard about this event showcasing these activist-type short documentaries called World Pangea Day. I posted my favorite shorts on my original blog.

Yeah, yeah, you probably heard him talk on TED, and now it's just so cool, trendy, and sophisticated to know who William Kamkwamba is.

Today, he's 22, and a student at Dartmouth here in the United States.  He continues projects to bring electricity to villages in Malawi.

He updates his blog regularly at:  http://williamkamkwamba.typepad.com/

Oscar Pistorius

A runner named Oscar Pistorius with prosthetic limbs could be the first amputee to compete in the Summer Olympics.

There has been much argumentation about whether it's fair or not. Some people thought/think that it would give him an unfair advantage (i.e. the prostheses would make him run faster).  I read this explanation by a doctor.

He highlighted one major disadvantage to having prosthetic limbs.
Even odder are the claims that runners on prosthetic limbs aren't as subject to injuries, given that they are missing feet, ankles and sometimes knees as well. Tell that to anyone that's ever been to a prosthetics clinic and dealt with the numerous complications of fit and form the imperfect technology leaves us with. There is endless tinkering to get things right. The statistics bear this out: Paralympic athletes endure nearly 60% more injuries than able-bodied runners.
What I most liked was a comment on the "normal" body in society.

Every "unadulterated" athlete has different biomechanical properties. Some have longer limbs, denser bones, slipperier tendons and double joints. The speed with which your body can clear the acid byproducts of metabolism and carry oxygen to your mitochondria are affected by cardiovascular training to be sure (confirmed), but there is a basic inequality set up by our very genetics.

In an 2008 NBC Sports promotional video, "Michael Phelps: Perfect Body," Bob Costas took this line of thought to an uncomfortable new level, describing the swimmer's physical features like his long upper body that forms a "sculpted V shape" and his "flat backside" as if he were a prize thoroughbred and praising his "superior genetics." The Olympics have always had this connection to body worship in a way, if only with fewer pan and zoom effects. Costas was in well-trod territory. At least our modern games are not performed in the nude.

Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting

The last post was full of innuendo, probably because she's a female. It'd be barely acceptable to make the same comment towards a man named Bob Ross as an upstanding member of the mostly-straight male brigade, but the point is, it's acceptable.

Like one of the comments below.

imagine him reading harry potter to you while you drink a hot chocolate.
im 19 and i know that would be magical - Mikeybetts

Lita and Massage Clips

Lita's voice.

The first time I heard her, I mentally gave myself up to her.

I wanted to have her kids.

You see why?

She has her website here, which does look kind of infomerical-ly. But I noticed that in watching several of her youtube clips, she actually responds to people.