Tuesday, December 20, 2005

King Kong, anthropology, and more "trash talk"

We went to see King Kong last Sat, and I must say that I did like it (contrary to what Marsha thought-read her post b/c she bashes it hahahaha). I liked it b/c of the effects and the GREAT scene between King Kong and a dinosaur. Makes you wonder what life was like millions of years ago when great creatures were roaming the Earth and fighting each other.... like wooly mammoths and things like that. I don't normally like movies where you have to have an imagination (like awful Harry Potter or that Narnia junk), but I liked this. There is another scene where Naomi Watts is dangling in some branches and so are the dinosaurs and King Kong too-I won't say too much for those that haven't seen it. It is a long movie though- 3 hrs and 7 min. My brother was funny when he said that you have to spend a week in the theater to see it. haha

BUT, I do have to throw in some academic criticism stuff in here. So Jack Black (I forget his character's name)and his team are filming this pretend movie on Skull Island (which is supposed to be near Papua New Guinea if I remember right), and encounter native people. Typical reaction of white people to natives happened when Jack Black offered the little native girl a piece of candy to get in her good graces. DUH, she probably won't even know what candy is, or what to do with it, or even like it. Don't try to corrupt her with your dumb stuff. Here my anthropology is kicking in. So later in the movie, the team is back in NYC putting on a play for the world to see and and Jack Black describes the natives as SAVAGES. Okay, they are savages to YOU maybe, but not in their own eyes. In anthropology classes, we were taught that if you ever did field work, you have to get rid of your preconceived ideas about culture and life in general, and look at someone's way of life through their eyes. For example, just because we think that something like initiation ceremonies or rites of passages ceremonies of the Masai people might be stupid (which of course I don't think), doesn't mean that they do. We have to remember too that this movie takes place in the 1930s when anthropology was not a hot subject in academia, and savage was a generic word to describe foreign people whose cultures were different than our own ("our" meaning the West). It wasn't until decades later, especially after WWII, that people started questioning the whole of human existence and wanted to study behavior even more. This link from the American Anthropological Association tells about how anthropology came about as a true academic discipline, and how it has been categorized (debates over its coupling with departments such as psychology, humanities, sociology... etc.). WWII really caused a stir in academics and how to approach certain subject areas.

I guess I'll stop there b/c I feel people are getting bored. hahaha

One more thing about the movies: everyone knows that I throw out my trash after movies and sports things and I hate it when other people don't b/c there is no reason to be that lazy and leave trash on the ground. Well, upon leaving the theatre, I almost went nuts b/c some little kids were carrying out their empty popcorn bags and their soda cups. THANK YOU TO THE PARENT WHO TAUGHT THEM THAT!

That's it. : P

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Toys for Tots

Every year the Marine Corps Reserves come to where I work and pick up the toys that our office (and the entire college) donates for Toys for Tots. Every year our college is one of the (if not THE) top donors in the city. Here are some pics of when the nice Marines came. They use the town trolley to pick up the presents. We had people donate everything from dolls, board games, tea sets, footballs, and money for new bikes. It's a great thing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I don't understand some women

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone... I have been debating about even putting something up, but I feel that I have to. It's about subservient women. There was a scene the other day in a department store I just cannot get out of my mind:

Marsha and I were at Ross (her favorite place on Earth), and I went into the dressing room to try on this nice khaki coat thing (which I ended up buying). When I was looking at the coat in the mirror, this lady came out of one of the rooms. She said to the sales lady: "Are these pants supposed to be this high?" Sales lady: "Yes, they are high-waters... I don't really like them, but some people do". Lady: "Well I can't buy these-my husband would kill me". And she ran back into her room to change.

** Her husband would kill her?! For wearing high-waters?! For showing like 3 inches of her leg?! (I assume "killing her" was not literal, but taken to mean he would be furious... I hope that's what it meant).

The other story I heard was from an older lady I know (I am not mentioning names) who said that when she and her husband were married, he would not let her wear red. I said why not? And she said that she looked too good in it, and he wouldn't let her be seen looking that good. I was stunned. Needless to say, this husband ended up cheating on this woman, and now, many years later, she is better off without him.

Is it that these guys are so insecure that they are dominating their women? I can tell you right now that I would rather stay single the rest of my life than live like that. NO WAY would I tolerate having a husband like that. I even know of women whose husbands cheat on them (over and over again), but take them back and do everything they can to make the marriage work even if it wasn't their fault to begin with. They will rush home to make them lunch, or buy them things, or whatever.... anything to keep this marriage alive. And the thing is that these women are intelligent, pretty, funny, and have a lot going for them. Why should they have to put up with some loser who doesn't respect them?

The reason I said that I hope this post didn't offend anyone was that I know there are women out there right now that may be reading this and are experiencing these same issues (maybe even some of my friends, and I don't know it), and I didn't want to demean them or anything. I just don't understand how women can stand that kind of treatment. No one should have to "obey" their husbands, but I know some do for whatever reason or another. It just baffles me to no end, is all. Comments welcome.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Fun with cartoons

I guess I can divert from talking about Espana for one post.......
I just LOVE these things I made, thanks to Marsha giving me the websites. I think I look exactly like the South Park character and my avatar. I picked the backgrounds according to what I love (the sea and the city), and picked my clothes and hair and bag and everything according to what I wear. I must admit I look good. : ) If anyone has a chance, check out Marsha's blog because she made South Park characters of me, her, and our friend Mark, and Mark's was the funniest. I could NOT stop laughing. She put them next to our real pictures, and they are the exact images of ourselves! Marsha has the websites on her blog if you want to make them for yourselves.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I was transported to another world..........

When I was in Barcelona, I went to the best concert I have ever been to in my life. On Saturday Nov. 19, I was walking around by myself discovering the city, and I went to Santa Maria del Pi (which is on my blog for Nov. 30). At this church, I started talking to Ramon, who was an incredibly nice older man. He had lived a while in NY, and I was telling him all about me. Then he says, well, there is a concert tomorrow night given by guitarrist Manuel Gonzalez, and I would love for you to come... it is only 15 Euro which is amazing b/c this man has been all over the world, has performed in Lincoln Center and in Madrid, and gives master classes all over Europe and the US. I said well, sounds like a great deal-I will buy a ticket! Ramon then says that if I go, he will give me a reserved seat. It pays to travel alone I tell you. ; )

I arrived the next night right on time. Ramon had marked an R on my ticket so that the ticket taker would know that I was supposed to be in the reserved section. Well, I guess at first the ticket taker didn't see the R, and I was just wandering around trying to find a seat. Then the ticket taker (whose name was also Ramon) made this sound like a PSST and ushered me to the FRONT ROW OF THE CHURCH. I felt like a celebrity! There it was, just one seat left waiting for me. So, I was there to witness this incredible guitar playing in the front row, and I was probably the closest audience member to Manuel. I cannot describe this concert, and how much I am obsessed with his music now and the sounds it made in this church. Just picture sitting in this 14th century church, the guitar echoing sevillanas and one of my favorite songs "Romance" (Anon. ). Throughout the concert, Manuel led the audience through this journey throughout Espana... from Sevilla to Cordoba to Mallorca, to Asturias and through the Moorish/Arabe influence. Each part of the Paisajes de Espana (selections from Albeniz (1860-1909) and Tarrega (1852-1909) ) was written so that you can feel what it is like to be in each part of Espana. Asturias (Leyenda) by Albeniz is my favorite-Asturias is in N. Espana where the weather is tumultuous and it rains and people live off the sea... so the music is fast and sometimes in a minor key. I love it. I was so taken by this music, and so lucky and privileged to be at this concert that I secretly cried b/c it was like a surreal dream world for me. I know it sounds corny, but being in Espana, listening to this music... I don't know-it could be my entire life living there.

After the concert, Manuel was signing his CDs and taking pics with people. He was SO nice, and he took a pic of me and Ramon (the first Ramon) after too! A celebrity doing those things for me! (The other pics of both Ramons you can see on my Snapfish album). It was an intense, magical night, and one that stands out as one of the best nights of my life......... I play his CD over and over again. Here is the website if you want to check him out: www.manuel-gonzalez.com . PLEASE DO!!