Tag Archives: UCLA

Missing: Nancy Salas

Glendale Police are looking for missing UCLA student, Nancy Salas. I don’t think I knew her personally, but apparently, I’ve been in school clubs wit her when I was at UCLA. I pray for her safe return and for God to strengthen her family during this time.

Anyone with information can call the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911

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Break to Dance

I’ll be taking a break for a couple days to participate this Saturday in UCLA’s Dance Marathon, a fundraiser to fight against pediatric AIDS. I can’t wait to be amongst fellow Bruins! The months of getting in shape to dance for 26 hours has finally arrived and I’m excited! My favorite part of the night consists of all the costume changes every three hours–costumes that you voted for. Essentially, I get to play different identities.

You can follow my adventures on Twitter and see pictures on this blog, although they’ll mainly be posted on my personal blog. You won’t want to all the dancers’ costumes–they can be very creative.

I’ll also be watching movies and writing reviews for “Percy Jackson and the Olmpians”  and “Valentine’s Day.” I’m excited for this fun-filled jam-packed weekend.

The Winter Olympics, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and President’s Day are all within days of each other.

In the words of the famous philosopher, Lady Gaga, “Just dance!” So come on, and join the dance.

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Theme Thursdays: “Discover the Frontier”

Photo Credit: Highlight Kids

Just a refresher: UCLA Dance Marathon is a 26-hour dance philanthropy that will benefit kids with or affected by AIDS. It will be held on February 13th at UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom. There is only one rule: I am not allowed to sit–I must be on my feet for the full 26 hours.  There will also be costume changes every 3 hours and is based off a theme. I need your help to choose a costume so please VOTE! And keep in mind I’d actually like to build the costume–do-it-your-self costumes are a whole more fun.

An update: I’ve reached my goal of raising $208. In fact, I’ve currently raised $242 because of your help. Let’s try to make it an even $300.

Click Here to Donate to the Fight Against AIDS

This week’s theme is “Discover the Frontier.” I’m guessing this is another way of saying “Wild Wild West.” Any ideas of what I could do with this theme rather than the obvious cowboy costume? Or maybe I should just be a cowboy?

Currently getting my country on with Gloriana’s “Wild at Heart.” Check them out!

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All The Right Friends in All The Right Places

A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17

It’s that time of year again, an in-between. It’s the time we say goodbye  to the past–to all that was lost, and embrace the new year again–to start over. Bittersweet. As much as we want to hold on to those glory days, we have to let them go if we want new and greater things to come. And I believe they will come.

2009 was a year of surprises. Sure, it was dominated by vampires and mutants and cars that could transform into robots or even machines set on exterminating the human race (again). But it’s also the year America’s first black president took office and surprisingly (for some) won the Nobel Peace Prize. We may have said goodbye to our loved ones for the last time, or even those we’ve admired, such as Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Ted Kennedy, and Brittany Murphy.

There were definitely great surprises, like Susan Boyle on “Britain’s Got Talent,” who reminded us that appearances don’t matter, as she drew in 120 million views on Youtube and sold more than 1.8 million copies of her debut album. And of course, there were awful surprises, like when Kanye West stole Taylor Swift’s light when she was getting her award or how we learned that Tiger Wood’s pure image became tainted with scandal.

Yes, surprises. 2009 was filled with them. But we say goodbye to all that.

And at this time of year, I have a tradition of acknowledging the people in my life who have affected me in some way. Think of it like an extended Thanksgiving, but I think it’s important that we lift others up because to many times we bring people down.

So here’s to you:

The greatest parents

Troy Aikman graduates with the class of 2009 in Sociology

Mom and Dad. You’ve supported me so much through school–from kindergarten to even my years at UCLA. When I was down over something, you always manage to get my head focus, to realize that it doesn’t matter about my circumstances–what matters was my drive to achieve my dreams. It’s because of you that I get to fulfill my childhood dreams, walking on that stage, receiving my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from UCLA. And hey, I did it with style, doing it with Troy Aikman.

Alpha Gamma Omega and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Alpha Gamma Omega. What a crazy year I’ve had from being an active to being a chapter advisor. I love seeing you guys grow as faithful men of God. And your testimonies and example of service has especially strengthened my own faith, that the God I serve is the God who comforts and the God who loves despite my shortcomings. From those classy date events, to other social events, to engagements, to those late night BBQs,to flag football at Pismo, to seeing Jon Foreman perform on our stage–all of you guys have made my year. Iron sharpens iron. And I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you in the future. And thanks James, for allowing me to see America through your eyes, all the novelty that had warned off since moving here. Looking at it with fresh eyes, I realize more how grateful I am. Oh, and I also love you guys to at USC, SDSU, Berkeley, UCSB, Cal Poly Slo, Cal State Fresno, and UC Davis.

Venice trip with Bailey, Jose, and Jillian (Steven took the picture)

Alpha Delta Chi. Those beautiful, gorgeous, women of God with high standards of what they want in a man. You go ladies! To my lil sis, Bailey, my big sis, Rae’ven, to Jessica, Jillian, Alisa, Kimmi, Jackie, Leah, Ana, Lauren, Amy, Kati and the others who I can’t all name (because there’s a lot of you)…a guy is lucky to be surrounded by such classy women. Thank you! You guys have supported me through the year and taught me many things about women. For example, the only way I’m going to get a girl, is if I become a stone cold vampire and glitter in the sun. Oh, and sometimes, a guy’s just got to sing a little of Taylor Swift or Celine Dion on a porch bench at USC. I love you all.

Ohnine of IVBCF

At fountains just outside Royce Hall

Ohnine and Intervarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship. Thank you guys for being so patient with me. You guys are my backbone. Every time I dwell into the world with you guys, I get so enlightened–perhaps because we study the Bible like no other. Seriously, my mind hurts sometimes by all those thought-provoking questions we ask. And you guys don’t know how welcomed and accepted I feel every time you guys include me in various events.

Sociology

The Class of 2009. That’s you Emanuel, Brandon, David, Jose, Ted, Josh, Arvin, Kim, Shannon, Alex, Kirsten, and all those others I can’t name. We did it. And for those of you in Sociology…haha, we survived the mayhem. You’re going to do wonders where ever you are!

UGADA. You taught me to care about the world around me, and reminded me that we can’t stay young forever. This issue of Alzheimer’s disease is of great importance because it just doesn’t affect one person–it affects the entire family. Others live on through our memories and when we lose that, we lose them. We need to continue to educate people so that one day we will find a cure and by the time we reach a certain age, Alzheimer’s disease will be no more! UGADA find a cure!

Freedom and Fashion. I’ve neglected the issue of human and sex trafficking like it was some kind of bad dream. I was reminded by the capacity we have for evil, and that slavery hasn’t disappeared–it just has taken on a different form. But God’s heart is for all those that are broken, and for the rest of us who can, we must do God’s work and fight for those without a voice. Thank you for allowing me to join the fight with putting on a grand fashion show educating people of fair trade products, as well as the fact that these hidden things are going on all around us. I’d like to think of us as superheroes without masks…and definitely more fashionable and fashion conscious.

And to all the others who I didn’t name, I apologize. But I thank you.

And most importantly, to Christ, the Savior of my soul, who provided me with all the right friends in all the right places. You truly know where to place them and exactly at what time in my life.

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Theme Thursdays: “Discover Outer Space”

Storm Trooper. Photo credit: Halloween Costumes

Just a refresher: UCLA Dance Marathon is a 26-hour dance philanthropy that will benefit kids with or affected by AIDS. It will be held on February 13th at UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom. There is only one rule: I am not allowed to sit–I must be on my feet for the full 26 hours.  There will also be costume changes every 3 hours and is based off a theme. I need your help to choose a costume so please VOTE! And keep in mind I’d actually like to build the costume–do-it-your-self costumes are a whole more fun.

You can also help by donating.
Click Here to Donate for the Fight Against AIDS

Star Trek. Photo credit: All Fancy Dress

By the way, I’m still about $70 short of meeting my goal. Please help me out by donating $1 or more.

This week’s theme is “Discover Outer Space.” Hmm…this is difficult. I’m at a loss with this because there’s so much I could do with it.  I could dress as an astronaut, an alien, a storm trooper, or a Star Trek commander. I could even do something more abstract like being a star or an asteroid or a planet. Any suggestions? Decisions, decisions…

I am currently dancing to “Please Don’t Stop” by Blake Lewis. What are you dancing to?

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Theme Thursdays: “Discover the Dinosaurs”

Go go Power Rangers! Photo Credit: Halloween Costumes

One of the fun things about the UCLA Dance Marathon (DM), which will be held on February 13th is all the costume changes every 3 hours. After all, if I’m going to be dancing for 26 hours, I’ll also going to be sweating for 26 hours. This is where you come in to help me out. Don’t worry, it’ll be no sweat.

Each Thursday, I’ll be announcing a theme from DM. I need your help to choose a costume that I will wear during those 3 hours. All you have to do is vote and/or suggest a costume. And maybe help me figure out how to make it, as do-it-yourself costumes are a lot more fun than store-bought ones.

This week’s theme is “Discover the Dinosaurs.” I’m sure the good folks of DM who chose this theme was watching Jurassic Park or something. So what should I wear?

I could be a dinosaur. Or a paleontologist. Or, I could think outside the box a bit and become what I’ve always wanted: a Power Ranger. If you choose “other,” suggest something else.

UPDATE: I have raised $155. Thanks to those who donated. It’s not too late to donate. Please help out.
Click Here to Donate to the Fight Against AIDS

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Live Free or Twi-Hard: A Guy’s Perspective On Women’s Perspective of the Twilight Series

C.S. Lewis's book looks strangely like "Twilight." Photo courtesy of W.K.

We’re a culture of story-tellers. We’ve been doing it for so long. Homer. Shakespeare. Fitzgerald. And with any good story comes a moral to that story. Stories teach us about ourselves–they teach us about our fears, what we value, lessons we need to learn. And stories, if they are good enough, will pass the test of time. They will be passed on from one generation to the next to teach the next generation where they come from and warn them of what they have the potential to be. Stories reveal our identities.

Like most guys, I find the female world mysterious and complicated. I think Relient K puts it best in their song, “Mood Ring.” They suggest that girls should get mood rings to warn guys of what mood they currently are in: “Mood ring oh mood ring/Oh tell me will you bring/The key to unlock this mystery/Of girls and their emotions/Play it back in slow motion/So I may understand the complex infrastructure known as the female mind.” Now okay, guys are somewhat mysterious too–we don’t like talking about our feelings. However, there are times that we are allowed to show our emotions. The BBC reveals some and Tremendous News reveals a hilarious set. Women often see our true emotion when (and this is some of my own thoughts) 1. Something happens to our genitals. 2. We lost a lot of money. 3. Someone we truly love dies. 4. Our favorite sports team loses. See, guys are simple.

If stories do reveal identities than perhaps those romance novels that women often like to read also reveals their identities. Perhaps it reveals a woman’s fantasy–what he should look like, how he should talk, what she believes a man must do to win her heart.

Books like "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" get kids to read again. Photo Credit: Children Book Blogs

Being a guy and knowing “Guy Land” because I live it and have researched it, I asked myself an age-old question better men than me have asked: what do women want? If stories do reveal identities than perhaps those romance novels that women often like to read also reveals their identities. Perhaps it reveals a woman’s fantasy–what he should look like, how he should talk, what she believes a man must do to win her heart. Enter Stephanie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” Series. Her 4 books have made the New York Bestseller list, and like J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series it inspired children and teenagers to stop playing video games or shopping for clothes and go to a bookstore and pick up a book. The “Twilight” series reveals a certain type of heroine in the main character, Isabella “Bella” Swan, but feminists believe she’s a “villain” (more on that in other posts). So why write anything about Meyer’s “Twilight” series? They aren’t important; they aren’t a special work of literary genius? I could care less about the series, but when a book like that spawns a movie (“New Moon”) that the Los Angeles Times reports as breaking two-box office records in one day, as well as create a pre-teen and teen frenzy during its premiere, or how book publishers have started to change the covers of their book to mimic “Twilight”–to say that the books can or doesn’t influence the next generation is to say that the moon doesn’t influence the ocean waves. I can still hear the screaming and crying girls. I shudder thinking about it.

After 2 hours of reading the first book, I’m on page 212. And what I’m learning so far…well, it’s terrifying.

A couple days ago, I wrote about the double standard with Taylor Lautner being “jailbait” I realized that before I could make more judgments, I should really be an informed reader. I’ve never read the books, but I was introduced to the first movie back in June by my friend, Jillian. She loves the movie, and loves the book even more.  To see her and other girls light up when Edward or Jacob walks into the room–it was interesting. So in order for me to understand what the “Twilight” books were revealing and how they could affect the next generation, I needed to know what the fuss was about–I needed to read the books myself. And the bet was made for me to read the books before the New Year. So I picked up the phone, called my friend Victoria, and borrowed her books. Oh, and if you’re reading this Victoria, I was quite secure in my masculinity to be walking around UCLA with the books in hand. Okay, I was a little embarrassed when I walked by the gym. I wanted to approach the book differently. Other reviews and other websites gave a woman’s perspective on the books. I wanted to give a guy’s perspective on the woman’s perspective of the books. Like I said earlier, we can learn a lot from the stories we tell, and the “Twilight” books aren’t an exception. I want to learn what it is that girls and women want in a man–or at least what they think they want in a man. I want to learn what they want a man to do. After 2 hours of reading the first book, I’m on page 212. And what I’m learning so far…well, it’s terrifying. So you’ll have to wait for the next post–I’ve got to continue reading.

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