Sunday, April 22, 2007

July 20, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"Are you pregnant?" That is the question I hear most frequently when people hear the news. I think it is interesting that this, not "congratulations", seems to make more sense to people to say. My fiance Brian and I have been dating for three years and had an original wedding date set for July 26, 2008. Unfortunately, a very real reality for Brian and I is that I have several health issues that we have had to deal with in the entirety of our relationship. For me, it is greater proof that Brian is an incredible man who genuinely loves me. He has seen me through four major surgeries, three simultaneous steroid cycles, a thirty pound weight gain, and premature chemically induced menopause. Not only has that been a lot for me to go through, but the reprecussions for him have been monumental. He, thankfully, has stepped up and been more than involved and supportive through everything. Anyways, three weeks ago at a fertility meeting, we found out that I have a very small chance of getting pregnant and the longer that I wait the smaller those already-small chances get. So, with much deliberation with our families, we made the decision to go ahead and move the wedding up a whole year and get hitched this summer. It has been a very stressful and overwhelming process planning a wedding with 300 hundred guests in three months but thankfully, everything has come together amazingly. With our ceremony at our church and the reception site at Terrace Gardens in Ken Caryl Valley, and securing the various vendors to make it all happen, I can finally take in a deep breath and exhale to the adventure of a lifetime.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Crucify This

The phenomena of "The Family Guy" is spreading like wild fire. The inuendos, the political un-correctness, and character developement make this show one of more recent heavy weight comedies. Most every young person has seen at least one episode or heard someone quote a memorable line. Surpassing even the controversies of Simpsons, many people have dubbed Family Guy to be as shocking as South Park, but with a more cult-like following. Family Guy has projected what people interpret as highly controversial messages, especially regarding religion. My fiance and I have collected all of the series and watch it on a fairly consistent basis and one of our favorite episodes is called "North by North Quahog" and includes one of the most outright jokes about Christianity.
Both my fiance and I are Christians but we still find this to be hilarious. I love all the little details that make it simply hilarious like when Jesus is driving the car and his license plate says WWID (what would I do, a play on the popular WWJD bracelets) and making fun of Chris Tucker, the dork from the Rush Hour movies. I am not offended by the message in the least bit and find myself rewinding and rewatching this part several times whenever we watch it. My dad, though slightly amused, thought that it was blasphemous and thought it was making oververtly offensive statements. I think that everyone will have a different view of what Family Guy means to them but for my fiance and I, it equals hilarious entertainment.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Calvin Klein- Sex Appeal

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In this ad by Calvin Klein, sex is utilized in attempt to sell a product. Specifically, Calvin Klein has intentionally chosen a beautiful model wearing an outfit that makes strong sexual statements. This model is wearing a transparent shirt with it unbuttoned far enough down to inform the audience that she is not wearing a bra. I am not sure whether the ad is effective or not; I think that would depend a lot on the individual. Personally, I am not impressed on a major brand selling product, moreover- eyewear, with a lady not wearing a bra. At the same time, I believe that this type of branding can be very persuasive for a certain percentage of the audience who sees it. The model exudes confidence and sex appeal that many women aspire to. I think there can be something interesting said about the fact that this ad seems aimed at a woman consumer because it is advertising women's eyewear and Calvin Klein decided to use an ad invoking sexual stigma. I think this does use an exaggerated use of pathos because it does connect on a certain level with the emotional esteem of women. Overall, I don't really feel like the ad and the use of the sex appeal is appropriate, especially for something like selling eyewear. Calvin Klein should use more emphasis on the actual product and how stylish it is to sell, instead trying to sell a faux image of the glasses can apparently do.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

No Compromise -- Reflective Essay

My first thought when we walked into the large conference room was that my grandpa must have misunderstood the information. The twelve or so men, who were smartly decorated in name brand suits, silenced themselves and turned to us, with beaming smiles. I quickly turned to my abuelo, grandpa, and quickly observed his large silver belt buckle, dusty cowboy boots, and a suit that was strangely reminiscent of the seventies and wondered how we would survive this situation. Before I knew it, the men were on their feet and candidly shaking hands with my grandpa. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that my grandpa wasn’t speaking English and that these men were making short one- liner jokes in broken Spanish that made my grandpa laugh. He had mentioned earlier that he would need my help during this meeting and all of sudden it became clear what I was needed for. I forced a smile and shook hands with the men. Over the chatter in the room I heard someone say, “And this is Reyes’s granddaughter; she will be translating for us this morning.”

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThere is no other way to describe my grandpa other than a vaquero mexicano loco, a crazy Mexican cowboy. He exudes everything typical of a Mexican man: good work ethic, pride, an insufferable machismo- like attitude, and of course, a healthy love for tequila. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, my grandpa lived the first half of his life in poverty. When he immigrated to the United States of America, my grandpa knew that he wanted a different life for himself and his family. From the ground up, my grandpa single-handedly built a multimillion dollar company that manufactures specialized machine parts that go up in Space. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHe has the opportunity to work with clients like NASA and Lockheed Martin on projects like the 2001 Mars Odyssey, Galileo, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The thing that makes my grandpa’s success unique is that my grandpa, though he is able to fluently, refuses to speak English unless absolutely necessary.

I grew up speaking Spanish with my grandparents because my grandpa insisted that “I needed to know where I come from.” I was never sure as child why it was so important to know Spanish especially because my grandpa needed to speak English to some family members, like my mom. It used to be a family joke how my grandpa spoke such eloquent English yet was stubborn as a “burro perezoso”, lazy donkey. The last thing I expected was that my grandpa’s stubbornness transferred into the work arena as well. It was excruciatingly overwhelming to walk into that board room, not knowing ahead of time that I was there to translate a business deal. A million thoughts ran through my head as I prepared for a task that I had never done before in my life. Translating is complicated and takes a lot of skill; most translators have a lot of bilingual experience before taking jobs such as that which my grandpa was expecting from me. The meeting went on for a couple of hours, testing every bit of knowledge that I had.

At one point in the meeting, there was something that my grandpa said and I mistranslated it. He corrected me loudly and more importantly, in English. I quickly looked from face to face of the business men to see their reactions. I was sure that there would be a reaction of surprise, or maybe even an out cry. Perhaps one of them would be upset and feel deceived. To my shock, a couple of the men slightly chuckled but business carried on. No one said anything, not one word about what had happened. I was sure that maybe the men were being polite and would address what happened after the meeting had concluded. I waited for a confrontation that never came. On the ride home I asked my grandfather about what had happened and why he didn’t just conduct his business meetings in English. “It would be a lot easier for everyone,” I asserted, “and would save a lot of time.” My grandpa sat in silence for a few moments. I was nervous that I had said something wrong, or worse, insulted his ego. When he answered his words were slow and calculated. “I am Mexican. I speak Spanish. I am not ashamed.” His words echoed in my head the rest of that silent car ride. There was something about those three simple statements that will forever stick with me.

Since that meeting, I have taken great care to understand why my grandpa does what he does. Maybe it is partly his impossible pride or his fear of making mistakes but my grandpa speaks Spanish simply because it is his native tongue. I think that my grandpa in his own way is rebelling against the push to culturally assimilate. Every time he walks into a board room, it is a reminder to himself that he did not have to compromise his past to provide a successful future for his family. Assimilation is something that is hard for me to relate to. Perhaps that is because at first glance I look as “white” as they come and I have no accent when I speak. I can only imagine the pressure my grandpa has felt and maybe continues to feel on an every day basis to maintain respect as a successful minority. The most important thing that I have learned from my grandpa is how important it is to be true to yourself. You might have to work just a little bit harder but there should be nothing that can make you compromise who you are. My grandpa is thoroughbred Mexican; hard working, proud, uncompromising and completely unashamed.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Bitter Frosting

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingHaving your cake and eating it, too. I can’t help but think of my mother’s voice echoing through my head as a child, in her attempt to somehow make me understand the realm of choices and expectations. It wasn’t until recently that I really stopped and think about what it really means, you know- to eat it and have it all at the same time.

Recently, I had an ex-boyfriend fly in from out of town to spend a long weekend with me. It had been approximately two years since I had seen this guy but we had been able to maintain a pretty candid friendship via phone. Of course, my fiancé wasn’t so thrilled at the idea of me spending a weekend with someone other than him, let alone a Mr. from my past. Despite the concerns, the trip was planned and in came “Guy” for an unexpected weekend of horror.

An unfortunate detail of my life is that my best friend has been unofficially dubbed “God’s gift to men.” (Not my phrase but that of the countless pursuers that had been turned away). There is something about having a gorgeous best friend that seems to alter any hope of having a healthy self esteem and opens a doorway of all those unnecessary emotions and feelings that I wish I didn’t have.

Long story short- he comes out; he ignores me while spending all five days trying to desperately get it my friend’s pants; and proceeds to make the situation overall awkward. My feelings got hurt and I really tried to identify why. I have a man who loves me but for some reason here I felt no better than the first runner up for Ms. America. In the end, I decided I wanted to have my cake and eat it, too. That is a dangerous position to be in and as a girl, has proven to be more complicated that I could have every imagined. I guess I will still never understand why people still want to have their cake and eat it, too.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Post 5- Random Words

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