Thursday, June 30, 2005

New IR Haven Logos & Old Star Trek Books

Ever since I found a site called Typogenerator, I've been toying around with new IR Haven logos. I think it's nice to have several available, to liven things up from time to time.

Let me know what you think of the latest one!

On an unrelated note, I found both The Ashes of Eden and The Return by William Shatner and Judith and Garland Reeves-Stevens. I read The Ashes of Eden in two evenings! Ironically, it was not my favorite book of the two, though it was an appropriate final send off for the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701A and the original crew in their last adventure together. It was also a great prelude for Avenger and ended on a great cliffhanger!

To me, The Return was what should have made it the movies instead of First Contact. Now, don't get me wrong: I really liked First Contact but the introduction of a Borg "Queen" sort of destroyed the effectiveness of the Borg Collective. If a Starfleet captain or crewmember could outwit the Borg Queen, they could (and later did) do tremendous harm to the Borg. The Return took a much better approach, exposing the Borg's strengths and weaknesses in behaving like the components of one huge machine.

The Return read like a good movie. Just enough character development and action to offset the drama, mixed with a "just right" pace. Shatner and the Reeves-Stevens' delved into and ably represented the Next Generation crew's personalities while still keeping the main focus on Kirk, Picard and Spock. Oh, and I can't leave out the Romulans! They made creepy allies with the Borg. Creepy -- but it worked and made sense. A very satisfying ending that fills in the gaps with Shatner and Picard when Generations left off while still building up to Avenger.

Okay, enough raving about Star Trek!

Best Wishes,

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Some Blasian Links

For those who've never heard the term before, Blasian = Black + Asian

Blasian Forums

Blasian Nation

Blasian World

I'll look for more. It's hard to find well-maintained Blasian sites but they are out there...

Best Wishes,
How The Other 'Hafu' Lives

This article from came out in May 2005. It is a very interesting editorial by Ai Uchida, a singer-songwriter for the Tokyo-based music group AVANT GARDE. This article is her take on being half-Japanese and half-American. It is upbeat, positive and definitely worth a read!

Best Wishes,

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Resurrection of Crossing The Divide

I really hope I don't regret this but I've decided to being back IR Haven's old Delphi Forum called "Crossing The Divide" (CTD). CTD started off as the "IR Haven Forum" but that got tired and didn't necessarily encompass everything the forum was growing into. CTD had its ups (over 20,000 posts over several years) and downs (trolls, racists from both sides of the aisle) but it truly was the reason behind IR Haven's original slogan: "It's not just a website, it's a COMMUNITY!"

For all its flaws and shortcomings, CTD provided an outlet for discussion on IR issues. I met some very interesting people of all different backgrounds and I learned a lot from the experience.

So, I'm going to take a chance that maybe there's still some good that can come of the CTD forum. Check it out and let me know what you think...

Crossing The Divide

I'll also be adding the link back into "Other Sections" in the righthand column.

Best Wishes,
The Ten Commandments
A Brief Thought Concerning The Supreme Court's 10 Commandments Ruling

Question: Is this really about the Constitution anymore?

I don't think so. The whole "Separation of Church and State" argument is an interpretation by a past Supreme Court Justice, Hugo Black, and not in the Constitution. The only thing the Founding Fathers wanted was to prevent a State Religion being established. They did not want the abolition of Christianity or any other religion. Religious freedom was the result of the U.S. Constitution.

Displaying the Ten Commandments is not invoking religion. U.S. Constitutional law is based on the Ten Commandments and the Bible.

Final thought: If it's okay to display the Ten Commandments outside a government building but not okay to display the Ten Commandments inside a government building, does this 5-4 Supreme Court ruling represent an endorsement of the idea of Judeo-Christian segregation?

You be the judge.

Best Wishes,
Sports and Interracial Dating - One Reporters View

Wow. Here's the same topic we covered last week but from a female African-American Sports writer who "gets it." How refreshing! Here's the critical segment of the article...

Best Wishes,

Many African American women feel that "brothers" are betraying the race by dating a woman of another race or nationality.

Please, let's stop the madness and get over it.

Are we really that insecure and hung up on race in this country that the University of Kentucky has to tell one of their star athletes who they can or can't date, let alone marry?

Why should the FBI be brought in because some racists, who need to blame someone because they have no life, send death threats to black athletes who are married to white women?

Why should anyone but your own family care whom you chose to spend the rest of your life with?

Even during televised sporting events, we never see wives of athletes who happen to be a diffrent color than their husbands.

We see wives of the same race flashing their "bling bling" and acting the fool when their husbands have done something good on the court or ice.

We are never shown interracial couples. Why?

Are the networks afraid that someone from "Down South" or "Up North" will be offended?

Who cares if Mrs. Kobe Bryant is Mexican-American or that Tim Duncan's wife is white American?

Why should some black athletes have to leave the country because of their relationships off the field?

What happens off the field should be no one else's business unless that athlete is doing something illegal like stealing, doing drugs or beating up the wife and kids.

The last time I looked, interracial dating wasn't a real crime in the United States.

Obviously, some people aren't aware of that fact.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

IR-Asian and Hapa Web Resources

Once upon a time, you were doing good to find a 2-year old issue of Yolk magazine online, a non-updated college campus group website, the occasional semi-active mailing list and maybe some personal pages, in terms of Hapa/IR-Asian websites. That's all changed now. Maybe it's yet another influence of blogs or the increased numbers of biracial and multiracial people using the internet. Whatever the reason, it's a welcome change to me.

Here's a sampling of some pretty cool IR-Asian/Hapa websites and blogs I ran across today. I'll be adding them to the IR Links section, too:

Half Korean

Eurasian Nation

Curls - Superb Hair Care for Multiethnic Women


I'm sure there are many other IR-Asian/Hapa websites out there. If you know of some, you can e-mail them to me!

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Yep, last night, I unleashed my "Inner Cajun" (which is interesting, considering my biological heritage is Dutch and British) and made some seafood gumbo! I did have to do some research on the internet to find a few nice recipes to mix and match from. I learned that there's a lot more to putting together a good gumbo than just rice, meat, seasonings and okra-! Oooooeeee! ;)

One surprise for me was to learn that it is almost a capital crime to use imitation crabmeat in any gumbo worth it's weight in shrimp, so I made sure to use the real deal!

There's so much love and pride wrapped up in a hearty batch of gumbo -- and that's just the combination I was looking for.

So, here's my recipe for "Seafood Smorgasbord Gumbo..."


- Creole Seasoning* (2 tablespoons)
- Red bell pepper (1 cup, remove seeds, cut into strips and then cut into 1-inch chunks)
- Yellow onion (1 cup chopped into small chunks)
- Jarred garlic puree (1 teaspoon)
- Long grain white rice (1/4 cup)
- Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
- White flour (1 tablespoon)
- 1 Bay leaf
- Chicken Stock (organic preferred, 3 cups)
- One 10-oz. can of chunk chicken (drain most of the water from can before adding)
- Pre-cooked medium-sized shrimp (1/2 pound)
- One 6-oz. can of real crabmeat (drain most of the water from can before adding)
- Pre-cooked sausage (1 link)
- Frozen okra (1 10-oz. package)
- Diced tomatoes (1 14-oz. can, no salt)

* Creole Seasoning is made of:
Salt (2 tablespoons)
Garlic Salt (1 teaspoon)
Celery Salt (1 teaspoon)
Basil leaves (1 tablespoon)
Oregano leaves (1 teaspoon)
Cayenne Pepper (1 tablespoon)
Black Pepper (1 tablespoon)
Paprika (3.5 tablespoons)
Crushed Thyme (1 tablespoon)
(Blend throughly - makes about 1/4 cup)

1. PRAY. No, I'm not kidding!
2. Add red bell pepper, onion, garlic puree and olive oil to large cooking pot over high heat
3. Blend in flour
4. Add chicken stock
5. Add diced tomatoes, rice and okra
6. Add Creole seasoning and bay leaf
7. Bring to a boil
8. Cover and simmer for 6 - 12 minutes, to soften the okra
9. Add chunk chicken and crabmeat
10. Add sausage and shrimp
11. Cook at low heat for 5 minutes
12. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and cover

Easily serves 5 - 6.

Unleash your Inner Cajun today!

Best Wishes,

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Interracial Relationships In Sports Evoke Various Reactions

I'm not a sports fan but this article intrigued me. About mid-article, the writer gave away that she was African-American, which had definite relevance to the perspective of the article. The author more or less identified with what she felt were a majority of African-American women who feel "like they have a better chance of hitting the lottery than finding a black man to marry."

The author is very frank and honest when she states the following:

The root of our discomfort with black athletes and white women is multi-layered, but it's a result of both sides allowing statistics and fear to play on prejudices.

For African-American women, every time we see a black athlete with a white woman we feel like the Bellagio in Ocean's Eleven - as if something just got hijacked from us.

That sentiment seems twisted, but it's based on the fear that all the good black men are marrying white women.

I have heard this sentiment often, in casual conversation but moreso in television and film. I wonder where the line is between the reality behind the fears and the tensions the media can spark by pushing paranoia (as the media well knows how to do)? A problem I saw in her methodology, however, was depending entirely on statistics. Statistics, especially those derived from surveys, have a tendency to be, well, inaccurate. It's best to match real-life experience with any statistics and see if the two concur.

Taking that into account, the real issue here seems to be a much deeper one, one that has nothing to do with interracial relationships. The issue seems to lie with the declining numbers of African-American men marrying, staying married and taking on the mantle of the head of the household.

If this is so, then perhaps something could be learned in studying why IR marriages of Black men (athletes or otherwise) with White women work and why these men are more likely to step up to the plate for an IR relationship and not for African-American women. I certainly don't have the answer to that complex social issue. According to the article, I was fortunate enough to marry one of the 10% of African-American women who marry outside their race. That is, if you believe the statistics (and I'm not sure I do).

One thing I did take issue with in the article, though, was this remark:

Interracial relationships don't just make black people uncomfortable, either. Several conservative whites have expressed concern over the high rate of interracial relationships because they have this crazy fear it will lead to end of the white race. H. Millard, a columnist for the ultra-racist New Nation News, wrote, "Call it what it is: Genocide and the extinction of the white genotype."

Why, oh, why does the author have to resort to using the racist stereotype of White conservative racist nutjob as the only other opinion besides that belonging to Black people? For an otherwise well-written article, this stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb... As a person who happens to be White and happens to be conservative, I can vouch for the fact that I am neither a racist nor a nutjob. In fact, I've had the displeasure of dealing with people who hold such views (over the internet and not in person, thankfully) in the past and it was extremely unsettling; I'd really like to avoid being lumped in with them and I know I'm not alone in that.

The author finishes on a mixed, biased note:

Chapman should be saluted for speaking out against his former university and having the guts to date who he wanted despite what officials thought about it - and in Kentucky of all places.

But real progress won't be made until there is no worry about who white men date or who black men choose.

I'm not sure if the author intended this but she seems to assume that white men only date Black women and thus, don't marry them but Black men will always "choose" (i.e. - "marry").

I guess my final thought on this article is that maybe we need to confront prejudice in every community before we start judging IR relationships and looking for faults in them.

Best Wishes,
Strom Thurmond's Biracial Daughter:
'Remarkable' Life A Complex Story Of Race, Family Shared By Many

This is a very interesting article, from a historical perspective about a tragic but ultimately positive life. Mrs. Washington-Williams, 79, is biracial but considers herself Black only. She acknowledges that this is because of the culture she was raised in. She is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

It is unfortunate that 'One Drop Rule' mentality, the times she grew up in and the lack of acknowledgment of her by her father, the late Senator Thurmond, prevented her from experiencing the fullness of both cultures. It makes me a bit more grateful that enough progress has been made that my wife and I can raise our boys with full knowledge of both of their cultures and even the Native American heritage that my wife and my boys share without the fear and intimidation of times past. If there had been an internet during the pre-civil rights days, I have no doubt that sites like IR Haven would have been taboo if not outright forbidden and illegal.

Best Wishes,

Monday, June 20, 2005

Post-Father's Day Post

Oops, I forgot to post about Father's Day. My bad...

My own father passed away from cancer in 1997. As time passes, I notice that there has been a shift in my focus from my role as son to my role as father. I'm not sure I like the fact that it's become easier to forget about my own father around Father's Day but I'm not going to beat myself up over it, either. It makes sense, it's logical.

My own job as father becomes more complex as my boys get older and into more interesting social circumstances, at school and in life. I also have the responsibility and privilege to answer their questions regarding faith, prayer, the Bible, God and Jesus (and if I don't know the answer, which will happen some day, I can talk with my pastor about those questions). Equally important, however, is that my wife and I are striving to walk this Christian walk in front of them because everyone knows: talk is cheap.

Concerning Dad, I did think of him some yesterday. It was more reflecting in general, not about specific Father's Days. I think it is healthy to remember him. Sometimes, I dream about him…and it really is like he's alive again. When I do dream about him, it's always in the present or near-future, never past experiences or memories. I wonder why that is? Anyway, I'd like to think he'd be pleased with the kind of father I've become, with the help of the Lord.

We woke up early this Father's Day to go to church. The women and youth of our church put on a spectacular Father's Day program. My wife both sang with the choir and played viola on two of the songs, including during a very long (but appropriate) gift presentation by the pastor's wife to all of the men of the church and the male guests. My sons were in the "Children's Church" segment of the program in which those kids sang one song; then, my boys sat with me the rest of the program. The program was very uplifting, inspiring and powerful, very well-organized. The program was followed by a wonderful Father's Day sermon by our pastor.

After church (and a switch to more casual clothes), we went over to Angel's parents' house and visited with them for several hours. A little while after we arrived, Angel's sister and her sister’s husband and their daughters came by to visit, too. We had a fun time and thoroughly enjoyed Angel's dad's scrumptious barbecue (it was my first time to have barbecued mutton -- which went great with the barbecued chicken, ranch style beans and salad). Although 10+ years ago, things started out pretty rocky, I now enjoy a very good and satisfying relationship with my father-in-law and he has a great love for my sons.

My father-in-law even helped introduce my oldest son, Adam, to golf (when we arrived, he was watching the U.S. Open). A bit later, Adam used his grandfather's putter and knocked a nerf-golfball into a cup – a hole in one! Adam really studied the golfers on TV and his grandfather. I think he got nervous in trying to repeat his earlier feat but he really enjoyed himself. His brother, Josey , also took his hand at the practice golfing. For a 6-year old, he did pretty good! (Keep in mind, this was all in a living room.)

So, by the time we got back home, we were all tired.

It had been a good Father's Day. A belated Happy Father's Day to all the dads (and dads-to-be) in the blogosphere!

Best Wishes,

I feel like I'm late to the game on this one. I ran across a few blogs that referred to "twinkified" this and that, and seemed to relate to Asians. The more I saw it, the more I wondered "What on Earth does 'twinkified' mean?" It only took a few clicks on Google to find out, from What Kind of Asian Are You?

  • Your significant other is not Asian and never has been.
  • You have few Asian friends, if any.
  • You are embarrassed at family events because you cannot speak your language and everyone has to switch to English to communicate with you.
  • You have no idea that the other types of Asians on this list even exist.
  • You think Hello Kitty is dumb and do not know what Sanrio is.
  • You are the only Asian on this list that does not know what Bubble Tea is.
  • You drive a Ford or some other domestic car and if you drive a Honda, it is stock.

How long has this racist term been in existence?! Calling someone a "twinkie" or “twinkified” (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) because they date or marry interracially? That's right up there with "oreo" for black/white IRs! How widespread is this term? Did it start on the Net? I think, like all racism, it’s pathetic and stupid but the fact that people, many of them Asian-American (if the blogs I saw were any indication), find this perfectly acceptable -- even normal -- is very troubling.

So, this really peeved me this morning. Not exactly Earth-shattering, but disappointing and annoying. I wonder if IR Haven could (or should) start a little web-based effort to get that term (and others like it) shamed out of existence?

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Best Wishes,

Friday, June 17, 2005

First Light Update!

I've just finished doing a major overhaul to the First Light website! We also purchased a domain name and web hosting account just for First Light, so it's much simpler to look up! Yup, I personally think is MUCH easier to remember than -- y'know? LOL!

I also signed up for a band profile at You can actually hear some of our band's music there.

First Light on MySpace

Let me know what you think -- about the website redesign, the MySpace profile and the songs!

Best Wishes,
The Next Time You're Ready To Complain, Consider This

I have noticed that a lot of people in the blogosphere like to complain. Actually, sometimes it borders on whining. I may even have been guilty of that a time or two.

If you think your life is rock-bottom horrible or that you're poor, you may reconsider after reading the following true story from West Africa.

Unfortunately, I don't think throwing money at the African governments (some of which are clearly corrupt) is going to solve these problems. All I can do is pray for people in this situation and be grateful to God for what He has blessed me with.

Best Wishes,

West Africa: Impoverished Families Trade Their Children

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
June 16, 2005
Posted to the web June 16, 2005


Thousands of children are taken each year from the poorest regions of West Africa and trafficked abroad for profit. Often, their own families are behind the trade.

It was just after his father died that 10-year-old Dieudonne was put to work farming in his hometown of Zakpota, Benin. But after barely a week, his uncle put him in a car and took him to work at a quarry over the border in Nigeria.

When Zenabou was eight, her older sister working in Gabon sent a friend to collect her from her parents' home in Sokode, central Togo. But the promised schooling never materialised and Zenabou was set to work first as her sister's unpaid domestic worker, then as a market trader.

Zakpota and Sokode are impoverished regions in two of the world's poorest countries, where the majority of the population scratch out an existence on less than a dollar a day, according to UN figures.

Read the rest of the story here...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Continuing IR In Star Trek

Star Trek is well-known for its championing of civil rights. Star Trek was the first show to show an interracial kiss on television (between Kirk and Uhura), despite the controversy. Also, one of the main characters, Spock, was biracial (1/2 Vulcan and 1/2 human). Spock's "death" in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was so heartfelt and shocking that they had to find a way to resurrect him by the next movie. Ironically, even though I enjoyed Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Spock just wasn't the "same" Spock. I'd thought it would have better served the series if he'd stayed dead...but such was not to be. Then they brought Spock into Star Trek: The Next Generation as an activist for Romulan-Vulcan reunification. It was interesting, generally likeable and thankfully, confined to a two-part episode.

William Shatner and Judith and Garland Reeves-Stevens began writing Star Trek books in the 1990s. And believe it or not, they have brought Spock back to life much better than the post-Khan Star Trek movies ever did. Likewise, Shatner brought Kirk back to life (again) following Kirk's dramatic-but-still-disappointing death in Star Trek: Generations. The Shatner/Reeves-Stevens pairing started with The Ashes of Eden and begins just prior to Kirk's Generations appearance on the NCC Enterprise 1701-B. The adventure continues in The Return, which follows the events in Generations. I have not yet read The Ashes of Eden or The Return but I am looking forward to doing so.

I just finished reading the next book in the series, Avenger, last night. Thus far, this is the best, most satisfying Star Trek book I have ever read. That is not praise I easily give out; I wasn't even sure I was going to like this one, especially with it's "environmentalist" theme. Fortunately, the environmentalism was a secondary theme, more plot device than gripping conversation piece. To me, this was a "tying up all the loose ends" book with a dual primary theme involving both Kirk and Spock. One of those themes heavily involved Spock's biracial heritage and it was used well.

Avenger is more of an "Original Series" book than a "Next Generation" book but that's not to say the authors neglect the TNG characters. Shatner and the Reeves-Stevens know how to write Jean-Luc Picard, Will Riker, Deanna Troi, Beverly Crusher, Geordi LaForge and the android Data. Lt. Cmdr. Worf does not appear in this book; he was probably at Deep Space Nine during this time.

Still, this book seemed like a gift to "Original Series" fans.

I don't want to give too much away because I'd like to encourage people to read this book. Do like I did, check it out from the library. What I can say is this: we learn of an early connection between Kirk and Sarek, Spock's father, going back to Kirk's teenage years. The events from that experience not only saved "Jimmy Kirk's" life and helped fuel his passion for space exploration but also directly ties-in to the environmental threat facing the entire Federation.

In the present, Spock is informed that his father may not have died of natural causes from "Bendii Syndrome" as previously thought; he may, in fact, have been murdered. This clearly shocks Spock and puts his human side's emotions in conflict with his Vulcan side's trained reason and logic. Spock is driven to find his father's killer and learn the reason why this occurred and he is willing to go to great lengths to accomplish this.

Meanwhile, Captain Picard is assigned, along with the Enterprise-E, to help maintain a necessary (but to Picard, maddeningly boring) planetary blockade to help contain the devastating "virogen" that has broken out and is spreading throughout Federation space. The virogen is breaking down and destroying all biological life, devastating ecosystems as well as animal and human populations. The Federation's best scientists have no clue how to stop the virogen, in part because the virogen's rapid spread has been exhausting Federation relief supplies and personnel, causing communication chaos and mechanical failures due to lack of parts. Morale is plummeting while death and ecodamage are skyrocketing. Picard would rather his enemy be some megalomaniac in a spaceship than some nonsentient pathogen best left to medical personnel.

Amazingly, everything I've described thus far ties together in a web of mystery and treachery. It's a really great read (I read all 370 pages in only 4 days -- faster than usual for me). I did have some nitpicks and dislikes but they didn't rob me of the overall satisfaction I had with the style, methodology and care with which the authors wove their web. Spock's biracial nature is handled with some surprise (I can't tell you how many surprises the authors throw in, along with the proverbial kitchen sink) and ultimately, an astounding conclusion connected to his relations with his father. I also learned more than I ever imagined I would about Kirk -- and I liked this. After all these years, in the hands of the right writers (of course, including Shatner), James Tiberius Kirk still has life and intrigue.

Time also reminds us why Kirk, Spock and a certain ornery medical professional were the stars of the original series. And that's not a slight at the other actors and characters from "TOS." I can't wait to read about Captain Sulu and the Excelsior in The Ashes of Eden and I loved getting reacquainted with "Scotty" and McCoy in Spectre. Kirk and Spock demand our respect and attention and Dr. McCoy continues to remind us that Kirk and Spock are human after all.

Best Wishes,

Monday, June 13, 2005

Another Library Visit And Some Old-Fashioned IR Cinema...

We took a family trip to the library on Saturday. We've really enjoyed that this summer, going to the library as a family. Anyway, my boys turned in the books and videotapes they had previously checked out and then checked out some more. Likewise, I turned in Spectre and got another Shatner/Reeves-Stevens book titled Avenger.

The more I read these Shatner team-ups with the Reeves-Stevens', the more I like their work. I've read some other Star Trek books that, frankly, were either dry as burned toast or cheesy beyond reckoning. While Shatner's books have mild overkill on "Star Trek trivia infusement" along the lines of "Oh, wow! They remembered that from episode 'yada yada' in original series season 3 or episode 'yada yada' in TNG season 6," it's forgivably written and usually relevant to the story (even if only 1 in 200 readers actually knows what the reference means).

It's impressive to me that, the more I read 'backwards' in this ongoing series, the more I want to go back to the first writings of Shatner with the Reeves-Stevens and read forward in the series. That means I have two more books to read after this one. There have been more books by the trio since, but I'm not sure I'm ready to delve into them yet; they just seem to show "the continuing friendship/dependency of James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard." Shatner has made it seem like the two are symbiotically joined, which is usually a fun read but it's almost like he's literally re-written "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to include himself in it. That's kind of funny...

Moving on, out of curiosity, I decided to check out the videotape of South Pacific. I had never seen this movie before but I had heard praise of it. I was vaguely aware of the IR aspect to it but I had no knowledge of the actual plot(s) of the movie/musical. After watching part of it on Saturday night and the rest last night (it's 157 minutes long!), my wife and I had mixed reactions about it. Considering that in 1958, it was still near-revolutionary to have a musical film about not one, but two IR-themed relationships. It was clearly very important for the musical to be made.

On the other hand, Angel and I both agreed that the the secondary story, the pairing of a White American officer (Lt. Joseph Cable, played by John Kerr) and a (at best) 18 year old Polynesisan young woman named Liat, played by France Nuyen (would also become a Star Trek veteran years later, as the "Dolman of Elaas") was almost completely mishandled. It didn't help that Liat had maybe two or three lines, only in French. The rest of the time, she smiled incessantly and performed the lyrics that her character's mother (Bloody Mary, played quasi-insanely by Juanita Hill) English...which was cute, but made no sense. I thought Liat didn't understand any English and only spoke French? Maybe Bloody Mary used her voodoo to help them understand each other, especially since the song insisted that these two lovers talk about so many things... It reminded me of Disney's Pocahontas where Pocahontas learns English by "listening to the wind." Makes about as much sense, but hey, this is entertainment -- it just has to entertain, right?

Liat was just the sex interest of "Lutella" Cable and everything was fine until "Bloody Mary" started talking about the fine babies Cable and Liat would make when he became Liat's husband. Nevermind the fact that Liat and Cable had already had sex twice by this point in the story and probably had one on the way anyway.

Cable just froze and looked like all the blood ran out of him when faced with the prospect of interracial marriage and children. Soon, after singing (quite expertly) about the injustices of racism and how wrong it is to judge someone on the basis of skin color or looks, does he run into the arms of his lover and soon-to-be wife? Of course not! Lt. Cable has to go on a dangerous mission to clear his head and figure things out... HUH??????

Of course, he gets killed on the dangerous mission and can never resolve his plot. I found this resoundingly disappointing, especially since Liat actually had the character (though she lacked the lines) to demand that she would marry noone except Lt. Cable.

Intriguingly enough, France Nuyen (Liat) is biracial. Her father is Vietnamese and her mother is French. Nuyen is still alive, acting (she played Ying-Ying St. Clair in The Joy Luck Club) and making the rounds at Star Trek conventions.

The primary storyline in South Pacific was much stronger and involved more acting (and singing). The concept (to those who haven't seen South Pacific) was essentially this: a White American World War 2 nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas (Mitzi Gaynor) falls in love with a French plantation owner (Rossano Brazzi), learns about his biracial children from a now-deceased Polynesian wife and has to accept the past interracial marriage which produced the present-day biracial children. The ultimate irony of this whole story was she could accept that the man she loves KILLED a man (in self-defense, he claimed) but she almost couldn't accept his IR family. When the Frenchman goes off on a dangerous mission and very well might not come back, that's when she decides what's important and goes to support the Frenchman's kids. Question: how did she get unbridled access to them on his plantation?

Overall, the acting varied, the Rogers and Hammerstein score was musically and vocally strong but lyrically weak (almost ditzy). The story was all over the place but got the points across in the end. It's definitely worth it to see the musical, understanding that, like many musicals, it gets hokey in parts. Cute and lovable with some odd spots.

As an added bonus, I recognized another Star Trek veteral among the cast. Ray Walston, who played the comedic sailor Luther. I could have done without seeing Walston in "island drag" (it was meant to be pathetic...and it was) but he was otherwise amusing at various times in South Pacific. He proved himself to be a sweet, caring guy under a tough exterior. I think he's a good actor. In Trek, he played the Academy groundskeeper, Boothby, in Star Trek:TNG, a role he revised for Star Trek: Voyager (with a big twist). Walston also has a long and distinguished career (with some less than distinguished cameos and roles, like most actors).

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane, if you were already familiar with South Pacific, or that this raises interest for seeing the DVD, if you've never seen it. It's not everyday one gets to review a movie that's almost 50 years old. Ah, the beauty of blogs!

Best Wishes,

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I'm Back!

This morning, I fixed the computer. The processor had indeed gotten fried the other day but I got a replacement from Goodwill Computer Store. They had my exact processor, and due to a minor computer glitch of their own, they sold me the AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" 1400 Mhz processor at a ripe price of $21.60! Can't beat that with a stick! So, I put the "new" processor in this morning and it works very well.

It was actually kind of nice to have a three day break from the computer at home. It forced us to find other things to do, which led to some creative choices (like going to the library -- not to use their computer! lol).

Anyway, I've been reading Spectre and really enjoying it. I've read nearly half the book in about two days. I really like the authors' knowledge of the Star Trek characters, although some ST canon really doesn't need to be followed (I never liked the idea of Klingons having pink blood, how anti-macho and undignified is that for the mighty warrior race? Geez!). I also like the successful blending of the different characters from the different series, specifically "The Original Series," "The Next Generation" and "Voyager." There's a tossaway beginning at Deep Space Nine but it really doesn't incorporate DS9 characters into the story as a whole.

One thing that is unusual and interesting in Spectre is the use of bispecies characters, specifically the love of Captain Kirk's life, Teilani. She's half-Klingon/half-Romulan, if you can imagine. And within the trilogy of stories, Kirk and Teilani have a multi-species child. Okay, Star Trek rave/rant off...

More later!

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

An "Awwwwwww!" Moment

Last night, I was frustrated because my home PC's processor was giving all signs of going on the fritz and dying. I had been troubleshooting it for over an hour since installing a new processor fan (I'll stop there in my tech description, I can see your eyes glazing over already!).

Anyway, I was taking a little breather and my oldest son, Adam, comes in to the computer room and gives me a hug. Then he tells me "I want to be just like you when I grow up, Papa. I want to fix people's computers and help people all the time."

That had to have been my all-time "warm and fuzzy" moment with Adam.

I have GREAT kids. I love my family!

Best Wishes,