Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meet me... in Montauk.

Though this is some crazy science, knew this was one of my favorite movies for a reason...

must be because there are things I wish I didn't have to remember.

Clementine: You don't tell me things, Joel. I'm an open book. I tell you everything. Every damn embarrassing thing. You don't trust me.

Joel: Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.

Clementine: I don't do that. I want to know you. I don't constantly talk. Jesus. People have to share things, Joel. That's what intimacy is. I'm really pissed that you said that to me!

Joel: Sorry. It's just… my life just really isn't that interesting.

I don't dye my hair orange or anything remotely close to that, but there are times when I'd really feel I could relate to Clementine Kruczynski.

You know me, I'm impulsive.

Joel: That's what I love about you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Drops of Jupiter - Train


Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s time to change,
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June,

Tell me did you sail across the sun

Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

But tell me, did you fall for a shooting star

One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Now that she’s back from that soul vacation

Tracing her way through the constellation,
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there’s room to grow,

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere

I’m afraid that she might think of me as plain ol Jane
Told a story about a man who is too afraid to fly so he never did land

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet

Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the milky way
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken

Your best friend always sticking up for you, even when I know you’re wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Jessica, honey..."

(I am finally having the courage to publish this. I probably would end up deleting this later...)

One night, I found myself being buried into a pile of paperwork from someone else's graduate school years. I poured over them for hours, in hopes I'd find something that may benefit me.

I encountered a printed post from a discussion board about Erikson's eight stages of development. Apparently, it was a family development assessment. I will copy a part of this post word for word:

Current Thread Detail: Sir Tim's Life in light of Erikson's eight stages of development

Current Forum: Your family development assessment

When I was born and up to 5 years old, I was viewed as a normal, healthy kid. Thus, I guess I started out culturally hearing. At age 5, my kindergarten teacher conferred with my parents and suggested I get my hearing tested. My hearing impairment was viewed as medically pathological. The recommendation was that I go to an institution for the deaf. My parents would have none of that. "What? For him to go away from a loving home to an institution? No way!"

During my "hard of hearing containment" classes (4 years)... 1/2 day "hard of hearing containment" and 1/2 day mainstreamed (1 year)... and eventually into solitary mainstream (8 years) ... my life evolved from having friends I could relate with to having people around me that viewed me as weird/different. Those 8 years I hated school.

When I enrolled at Gallaudet, I was culturally marginal, not fitting in either hearing or deaf societies. Though I was very confused with the 'rejection' I experienced in my early years at Gallaudet, I also experienced a sense of belonging.

In my later years at Gallaudet, I developed closer relationships with deaf persons who were just enrolling at Gallaudet, who were not aware of my oral background. At this time I had developed extreme anger towards my family and relatives, whom were all hearing.

Now aside from the deafness aspect of my life (there is more of me than my ears, ya know) being an outcast in a hearing society, not understanding what was being said, I had a lot of trouble understanding what "normal" was.

(following is a chart of Erikson’s eight stages of development and some social work technicalities which I think may bore you all to tears.)

Eventually the person figured out what normal was. I would know because this was my father. The paper clearly stated it was:

Posted by Rick Baldi
Date: Mon Sept 8 2005 12:45 am

The thing is that... he graduated with his MSW in 2004. I don't have an answer to this.

Rereading the post, I giggled when I read him saying there's more to him than his ears… such a him thing to say. I'm surprised he didn't end it with, "Alright. Enough of my sob stories. So what were you saying?"

I missed Daddy so much my heart ached. On the other hand, since it has been over three years, I've learned to deal with those feelings. I paused, collected myself together then sat down and thought.

Why now? I mean, I was not in the mood to feel.... but I had an answer right on the spot. I've been learning immensely, so much has happened and I wished I had my father to share it all with. I've been so occupied with school, with being excited about the prospect of becoming an aunt, and everything life has to offer me right now that I let him slip a bit from memory… but, I'm remembering Daddy again. I'm aware of this kind of emotion. Either that, or he is somewhat showing himself. Yeah, yeah how New Age of me. I mean... all of sudden I'm finding his notes, his old e-mails, etc... He was perfectly alive and kickin' once, ya know.

Before I proceed, I want you to be aware I am not grief-stricken. I am not doing this because I still need to cope with his death. Yes, even though I know and understand what a real broken heart feels like, I am not dwelling over it. I have coped with it, I've long accepted it, and it's very much part of my life as my right hand is. Time healed me. I am ready.

Discovering the discussion board post prompted me into doing several things. I've put a lot of thought in this. One of things would be doing some kind of project...

I want to talk about Rick's story, ones he told me about ... which is a lot. I'd tell as it is, not him as a dad, but as a hard of hearing man who left home to find home.

One of my greatest pet peeves will be when someone asks me, "You family deaf?" or "If your baby hearing, you dodo?" for the sake of *wink, wink* rather than out of honest curiosity. Because, who cares? Who cares... get to know me, not my family. Yes, I am deaf of deaf but I always felt I was different. I had a hard of hearing father, I have a hearing brother.  I think I am able to give our community a kind of perspective I feel strongly about; the dynamics in our community, about being "Deaf, hearing, and something in the between."

My father was something in the between. He hated it, but at the same time, that's what he was most comfortable with. Dad could speak like a normal hearing person; yet, I know he can't imagine life without sign language.

His son is hearing, and his daughter is deaf.

Dad spoke with my brother, and signed with me. Again, here, he was "something in the between"...

There are many factors to this.... and I will take the time to address them. However not now, but I am going to.

Besides, Dad once implied, "Justin is dry. Jessica is wet." Whatever that's supposed to mean. (Sheesh. Not like he's any better himself. Where did you think I got this from?)

Before I go, I'm going to leave you with conversations I had with him, both in 2006. Those two never fail making me smile.  ):

On Sat, 9 Dec 2006 4:34 pm, Jessica wrote:
Found a spot with no problem. A little bit crowded but not toooo bad. ;)

On Sat, 9 Dec 2006 4:39 pm, Rick wrote:
"Not too bad" for you is a freakin mob scene for me! Didja find the teeny weeny shop?

On Sat, 9 Dec 2006 7:51 pm, Jessica wrote:
Hahahahahah you funny... The mall wasn't too bad, you'd be surprised
Am a bit lsot going back home though.. There aren't that many exits in pennsylvania

On Sat, 9 Dec 2006 7:53 pm, Rick wrote:
Where you at?

On Sat, 9 Dec 2006 7:54 pm, Jessica wrote:
Got off on the 309.. In PA.. To philadelphia.. How to get to 495 from there?

(then he gave me directions, and when I told him I found my way, he said:)

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Baldi; rbaldi@tmail.com;
To: Jessica Baldi; femmina@tmail.com;
Subject: Re:
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 20:58:04 -0500


Glad I had a PA map handy.

Tell mommy to drive safe cuz as my aunt martha would say "Mom has precious cargo".

Love You
Good Nite.

You so bet I'm telling this to my kids, "I will drive safely because as Grandpa once told me, 'my aunt Martha would say, Mom has precious cargo'."

RickBaldi [7:48 P.M.]: He lives where?
Pearlicy [7:49 P.M.]: philadelphia but he goes to school in cali
RickBaldi [7:49 P.M.]: Alrightie. Jessica honey I suggest exchange vp info and chat on vp.
RickBaldi [7:50 P.M.]: Meanwhile ill set an investigation team and have this kid checked out in Philly - winks
Pearlicy [7:50 P.M.]: hahaha
Pearlicy [7:50 P.M.]: in this case, cali because that's where he's studying medicine
Pearlicy [7:51 P.M.]: OH!!!!!!!!
RickBaldi [7:51 P.M.]: No prob, I get a California team set up

In this case, if you see some strange Italian men wearing black lurking around in groups, trading suspicious looks, taking notes and pictures, breaking and entering anywhere... afraid not. Don't even worry. It is just my Papa checkin' out some kid.
My father and I on one Christmas in Haddonfield, NJ.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Princess Bride

Every kid from the eighties remembers the first time they discovered The Princess Bride. I mean, come on. You can't be the child of the eighties and not know this movie (it's like not knowing who Zack Morris is).

I recall watching this movie for the first time during one of those weekends at Daddy's. I must have been about 7 or 8 years old when Westley stole that tiny beating silly heart of mine. I actually believed Florin existed and had nightmares about 'em Rodents of Unusual Size.

Today, as I'm two days shy of turning 26, I still love the story as much as I did back then. A true fantasy classic, especially in a society unbridled with none but chick and/or testosterone-filled flicks. Only the most rare special ones can haul the line and be loved by everyone. When a film accomplishes that, I bet you the filmmakers drove themselves insane making it happen, not because they desired to pursue the "course of true love".

Somehow, The Princess Bride was one of those remarkable films that transcended the margins of gender bias. Or so I thought ...

Last year, I was at a party when a girl, intoxicated, went on a rampage about The Princess Bride, of all movies. She swore that only men love the movie. Inconceivable!

Why don't we exchange The Princess Bride for any sort of gruff and bloody combat film, or at least one that holds the possibility of being over generalized? But the sickeningly sweet true love we see happening between Buttercup and Westley? True love was so flipping palpable in the film that it could have gotten its own character credit.

So, while this girl was talking obscenities, I narrowed my eyes and unbeknownst to anyone, let them burn into her. Nobody messes around with my Princess Bride. I did a swift mental check to confirm I had all the pi├Ęces requises before jumping in.

I stopped myself short. Because seriously, you and I both know there is no good in arguing with people who had a tad bit too much to drink. Plus, I'd admit there's something lovable about a disagreement that linked men's genitals with an adoration of this starry-eyed film. How progressive!

But hey. This is the magic about The Princess Bride I love, that it seems to be enchanted by all. The movie cleverly evenhanded intelligence and humor with deeds, trickery, and romance that could make love fiends melt. Cynical folks could gasp and writhe when Westley plummeted down the mountain yelling, "As you wish..." Vengeance buffs could explode to attention when hearing, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Were better words ever spoken?!  Nope.

Speaking of gender generalizations and for the sake of some chick-giggles about the opposite sex, do read what a friend sent me (a bit of truth in this, I'm afraid):

Things The Princess Bride has taught me about real men:
  • Real men tell their lady “I love you” (but in code)
  • Real men know the powers of looking good (You won’t get a cool name like ‘the man in black’ by wearing just anything)
  • Real men will do anything to save the one they love (including fighting a skilled swordsmen, beating a giant and killing a fool)
  • Real men will keep their promises (and return to you after being a pirate for 5 years)
  • Real men are optimistic (even though no one’s ever survived the fire swamp)
  • Real men aren’t afraid (of giant rodents)
  • Real men don’t lie (and can see through tall tales about being returned to their pirate ship)
  • Real men aren’t afraid of torture (regardless of what the albino says)
  • Real men know it’s okay to cry (especially after having 1 year of life sucked out of you)
  • Real men believe in miracles (for a price)
  • Real men don’t let anything stop them from getting the girl (even being mostly dead)
  • Real men are always ready to fight (even when they wake up and can’t move their arms)
  • Real men don’t give up (even with a danger in their gut)
  • Real men don’t fight to the death (they fight to the pain)
  • Real men know anything is possible (you miserable, vomitous mass)
  • Real men know what love truly is (and know how to kiss so passionately and purely that it leaves all others behind)

Oh, dear. Even our Westley, who always seem to represent chivalry, is a typical male just the same.  Yet, he saved his own ass. Wanna know how he did it? Reading the book might do you good. ;)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask,

"Mother, what was war?"

This picture will stay with me for a long time.

I must say I have this utmost respect for our American soldiers. I don't like wars, I wish and dream for world peace but the soldiers’ courage amaze me. I do believe they have developed the dignity none of us can accomplish. Their love for our country is not something we should take for granted. 

Thank a veteran, hug a soldier, and always speak well of those who have served.

A salute to Pop Pop Baldi, Uncle Bob, Lance Vogeler, and every American, living and deceased, who fought to protect our country.  Bless your patriotic hearts.

A little history lesson for you all: Veteran's Day falls on the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended WWI.
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."
-- Woodrow Wilson, November 11, 1919

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simone de Beauvoir

I stumbled upon de Beauvoir for the first time when I was 17. Since then, I'd collect her work and occasionally read about her. Yet, I am not here to discuss her philosophy, her life, or whatsoever ... I actually have a question.

... recently, I came across a well known de Beauvoir quote, "One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others by means of love, friendship, indignation, and compassion."

I've always delighted it for its dedication to humanity without the need for any over-determining morality, 'humanists,' or even religion in general. On the other hand, reading it again ... I began feeling there is sternness in this: love, friendship, compassion, yes. However... indignation? How? With regard to what?

I'd like to think she meant unconditional love.

Then maybe she was just pissed at Sartre that she lashed out ... indignation.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Last night

I had an odd deja vu when making a stop in Philadelphia.

And I was twenty two again.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Dear Inner Child,

Never ever leave me. <3

Love, Jassi
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My little house.

well, someday, that is...

To say the least...

I want to discuss a legal matter I am most concerned about: children. There are many factors I find disturbing about this issue, but … let's say, sometimes I am ashamed to be an American. First, throughout history, we recognize the values Americans have upon children's rights; we read about service programs, people who contribute their time and money on making lives better for children, charities, poor kids smiling and being happy with their old but new toys during the holidays, we read about adoption successes and how policies on foster care are improving. We see organizations taking action on child molestation, ensuring zero-tolerance policies in schools, re-evaluating parental rights… and so on. America (I'll blame it all on the media but that is for some other time) is so fake, I can't stand it.

Recognizing is one thing, and to dissect the American legal system is another. We need to take a notice on whether the system is successive or not. In order to do this, we must be clear on what is the legal goal for children. The goal, to me, is to empower the children and have them being a part of legal decisions that involve them.

We have failed doing so. Failed miserably.

In the case of 1923 Meyer v. Nebraska, reputable that the Liberty Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment authorizes the parents as the primary caretakers of their children. In short, as parents, they have the full right to raise their children. Like I always say, responsibility also comes with individual rights. As a citizen, you are responsible for your rights. So basically, parents are responsible of their rights as caretakers. Unfortunately, there are parents who fail doing so. Also miserably.

Here goes! Congratulations, our justice system. You done us proud! You and them caretakers got something in common. Oh I bet it feels wonderful.

Children have the every right to be of no burden from starvation, violence, abandon, and other atrocious situations. If you think otherwise, you have no soul.

As much as I wish they could, not all children have parents. Many children who do have parents experience neglect and abuse. Now, when ANY kinds of abuse are evident, our system must be effective in providing them proper care and justified privileges. Must. Our system can't just give the parents a slap on the wrist and say, "If I catch you doing this one more time … consider this as a warning." Often times, the unthinkable happens after that one more time.

In many situations, more have done discussing the children's constitutional rights rather than actually initiating them.

Last spring when taking legal classes at Kaplan, I came across a pending case in Oklahoma (D.G. v Henry, 2008), which is one of many cases we face today. According to Children's Rights, a national movement for child rights, because of child welfare ineffectiveness, right now there are 10,000 of children in Oklahoma who are suffering. The state holds the highest rate of disadvantaged children. Also stated by the Children's Rights, orphaned children in Oklahoma "get dumped and left in overcrowded, understaffed, and profoundly unsafe shelters and group homes. Thousands of children have been bounced around to four, six, even dozens of foster homes during their time in state custody."

Not to give Oklahoma (my dear Okies, I still love you guys!) the bad rep considering it's not the only state who been found responsible for child neglect. Class actions against states concerning child welfare programs are happening everywhere, this shows how flawed our legal system is. The state level legislation must adhere the federal criteria when it comes to providing any kind of services for children. The federal government must take those legal actions more seriously.

I have seen authoritative figures saying they are denying the rights to children because to what extent can we trust that they are competent of decision-making? What? Oh! So you are going to leave them on the curb somewhere in that flat and hopeless Oklahoma, only for them to die? If they don't starve to death, many will grow up being the victims of YOUR society.

Gosh. Of course they are not competent of decision-making… they are only KIDS. Do you get it? Kids. Many have not yet understood that the top of the stove can burn your hand. Many have not yet developed cognitive skills, abstract thinking, and necessary survival tactics. Many have not yet learned how to multiply, or to tie their shoes. They are still fresh to the world. Do you really expect for them to … know their rights?

I strongly feel the decision-making competency holds no affliction as to whether the children should receive full legal rights or not. They must, period. They need people to protect them. With professional (and neutral) help, I assure you the children will be able to explain themselves, and of course, on their own behalf. Not only that, but by encouraging children to express themselves, we are also giving them a taste of what it takes to feel good. Also helps them have healthy relationships with others (and themselves, as well). You can never be too young to start doing some self-advocacy. Guide them onto the right path, which I believe is the best survival tactic (empowerment at its finest!).

Let those children feel proud by acknowledging them as people of worth.

Now, how far should we go to allow children to partake in legal cases, ones that will account for their fate? Yes, I know this proves a difficult legal challenge.

Oy. I could ramble all night long on this-- still so much more I want to say. Don't be surprised if I end up adding some more things to this post.

Best if I shut up now. In a nutshell: I am inspired to make a difference.

Derek Walcott: Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Always been one of my favorite poems. I'd quit being discreet, and tell you this is what I'm experiencing now. In the past three months, I've become more aware of myself. I'm seeing things a whole lot more clearly. I won't lie. There are things I wish I could share with some people I care about, but I realize: if it is not about me, why bother? By letting things go, I got myself back. I'm writing again, I feel excited by the thought of accomplishing things for myself and myself, only. ;)

Or like Valerie once said, it's called quarter-life crisis.

Perhaps so, and goodness, I'm still just as flawed as YOU are... but if anything, I'd never underestimate myself or give you the privilege to do so.

Hell yeah, girl got it together. ;)

Oh by the way...

Hello, my November!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Robert Frost: My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.