My 80s Flashback

It was pretty sad to hear that Corey Haim passed away last week. He starred in one of my favorite movies from the 80s, Lucas.

While I’ve never owned the movie, I have always loved watching it whenever it came on television or cable. I actually reserve ownership of a DVD for movies that I am fanatically obsessed with, such as Star Wars or The Princess Bride. Movies that I simply moderately love, I just watch whenever.

Anyway, I can remember a handful of Saturday afternoons where I was just chilling at home, flipping through channels and this movie is on. Yay! I’d grab a snack and enjoy a pleasant two hours. It was a decent, well-acted movie with a pre-strung out Charlie Sheen, Courtney Thorne-Smith, and a rather fresh faced Wynona Ryder. Oh, and that one chick that was the object of Lucas’ affections…Kerri Green. Whatever happened to her? She was in the Goonies, too (another fun 80s movie).

And, as a side note, this movie uses what I call the “80s Movie Hand Clap”, also known as the “Slow Clap”, to perfection in the final scene. Usually, the nerdy hero (or heroine) finally overcomes their obstacle, in front of a crowd no less, and one person starts, very slowly, to clap. Within seconds, other people start clapping, until there is an orgy of melodramatic applause.

Lucas is the best example of it, and might even have invented it. And even though I now have the urge to laugh when I see that scene, it is still a little bit moving.

So, RIP Corey H.

New direction for Blog

I’ve been brainstorming inside my head for weeks on what to do with my “Chronicles of a News Junkie” blog. It is just sitting in webland, and it doesn’t really go with what I have going on at the moment, i.e., interracial families, parenting, etc.

Then it hit me yesterday.

Within the last month, I’ve received emails from people who have come across my Examiner column while researching interracial families and Portland, Oregon. While they like my column, they seem most interested in my experience living here. However, the column is supposed to be mainly informational, not anecdotal. So I thought a blog is the perfect partner to the column, hence News Junkie’s transformation into “The CafĂ© au lait Chronicles.”

I chose the name because its French for “coffee and cream”, I love coffee, and I like France. I kept the word “chronicles” in the title as an ode to my reporter background.

The blog will be about my experience as part of an interracial family living in Portland and the Pacific Northwest, my thoughts on news related to race and race relations, and family related topics. I will keep the News Junkie posts on here, as some of them actually sync up with the blogs’ new incarnation.

I’ll post at least twice a month, maybe more, and will also post my examiner columns on here as well. If you want to get Cafe au lait posts by email, just subscribe to it by clicking the orange button on the left here, or at the top of the page.

This is truly a work in progress, and I will be making changes here and there in the coming weeks.

New column on Examiner

I am not going to be posting as many posts on this blog because I have just gotten a column on Examiner.com for Portland. I am now the Biracial Family Issues Examiner. I will post on here from time to time, but it won’t be as often as before. Meanwhile, bookmark this page here and stay tuned for my first post on there. Thanks!

No compassion for you!

Usually people get all giddy when news of a multiple birth gets out. They “oohh” and “ahhh” like it’s a supernatural occurrence when it was just, like, a medical procedure in most cases (people know darn well the female human body cannot naturally become pregnant with more than three babies, please). The freebies abound in the form of diapers, formula, and free homes in some cases.

So last week a Southern California woman gave birth to octuplets. However, this week she is getting trashed in the media because she has six other children, between the ages of two and seven, all conceived through in vitro fertilization. Apparently, people are angry that she is going to get too many freebies; freebies they have decided in their all-knowing wisdom she does not deserve for having too many children. One conservative talk-show host in Los Angeles even said “people are ready to boycott any corporations” that help the octuplets or the mother. Kinda mean.

Okay. Who the heck made these people judge and jury over this woman? Why do these other families that have multiples deserve compassion and help, but this woman does not? Is it because there is no spouse? Is it because she has a total of 14 kids now? It seems that if you aren’t living your life in the way others deem “right”, I guess you don’t get any compassion or empathy. You have to earn these things, because they certainly aren’t free flowing. Wow, who knew!

I’ll co-sign that what this woman did is weird. These are a lot of kids to take care of and our bodies are not made to carry and birth more than three babies at once. It’s life-threatening for both mom and babies.

However, there is one part of the story that is being ignored. After having her first six kids, this woman had left over embryos. She did not want to throw them away. And when every embryo implanted successfully, she did not want to abort any of them. I would think conservatives would jump for joy that she made this decision, and I’m sure some are. But others are judging her, IMO, unfairly. Would they rather have had her throw her babies away? Or abort a few of them? No one is saying.

I think this brings to light the complicated situations we’ve created with assisted reproduction. I read a book on this very subject, called Everything Conceivable, by Liza Mundy. A great read on the history of assisted reproduction, a billion-dollar industry, and its impact on relationships. Mundy raises a lot of interesting questions and highlights the moral and pragmatic decisions would-be parents have to make. Terms like “left-over” embryos certainly make me uncomfortable.

As for the SoCal woman, yeah, she’ll cash in on her notoriety. Like none of us wouldn’t cash in, too. Those babies gotta eat somehow.

Are you okay???

This part tongue-in-cheek article from The Atlantic about the nature of introverts was hilarious, but true. It was written in 2003, but I highly recommend reading it.

Being an introvert myself, I’ve had my fair share of questions like, “Why are you so quiet?”, “Is something wrong?” and the ever so popular “It’s not that bad, is it?” I like socializing, but it tires me out. I’m not good at, nor do I like, small talk. Sometimes, I don’t feel like talking at all. People always think my husband, also an introvert, is so serious.

If you’re an extrovert, you’ll definitely get some insight into what makes the introverts in your life tick. And no, they are not just shy!

Nurse Kitty?

A hospital in Taiwan has decided to help birthing moms relax by plastering Hello Kitty decor all over the facility, according to an AP story today. There’s even a giant Hello Kitty figure dressed in a pink doctor’s uniform in the lobby. Seriously. I’ll admit my first thought was that this is a bit nightmarish, yikes. But I backtracked; I think it’s a neat idea.

A lot of girls and women love Hello Kitty (I’m partial to Chococat). The running constant in all birthing literature, whether you use drugs or not, is to relax. The more relaxed you are, the faster your labor will progress. Even with the presence of a supportive spouse/partner and medical staff, a bare, uninspiring hospital room filled with machines that beep alarmingly might make a lot of women tense. Many moms here in the U.S. are opting for home births, which is the ultimate place of comfort and calm for some.

One criticism of what this hospital is doing said the Hello Kitty decor will make people think the “hospital is like a theme park”. Do people really think a woman in labor will forget she is in a hospital and suddenly get a hankering to ride a roller coaster? Or the doctor will take off his/her gloves and start skipping around the hospital in child-like delight at all the pretty pictures?

I’m guessing no.

Another answer to this criticism is: so what? Maybe a woman in labor feeling like she is in a theme park will relax her!

Perfectionist-in-Chief

I was talking to a girlfriend yesterday and she asked how I felt about Barack Obama becoming the first black president. Being from Guyana, she said she was used to having black presidents and was curious about how I felt as a black person born in America.

For the most part I am still in a state of disbelief, for the obvious reasons. But I am also happy; but not because we now live in a nation where a black dude with an African name can become president. But because I really think the most competent person, out of the choices we had, got the job.

Aside from a few mistakes, Obama ran the tightest campaign I’ve ever seen. The man always seemed calm and chill. He took the time to do something right, instead of doing it fast and wrong. Obama used the Internet and other technologies in a way that left everyone else in the dust. His campaign website was aesthetically pleasing AND organized well. He is always prepared for the next step. I mean, literally one minute after 12 noon today the Bush White House website turned into the Obama White House website. Whaaat?

Bottom line: Obama seems to be a creative and critical thinker (both of which are in small supply these days). A nerdy, overachieving perfectionist (who collects Spiderman comics). And I like it!

So, yeah it’s cool that we’ve made history and are closer to the dream that King imagined. But Obama has definitely earned this job.

Thanks for coming!

When I started a blog for our family, I also planned to do a blog of my own. Even though I am currently not writing for a newspaper (as I did for almost 10 years), I still have, uh, not sure what to call it…urges? Other than writing fiction, I just love writing and reading the news, basically. Any kind of news. And sometimes I read something so ridiculous (in my humble opinion) that I rant to Craig about it. So I figured I needed to make those rants organized, enlightening and entertaining to read.

My topics will cover just about anything I read about in the news. I’ll probably post just a few times a month, at least to start (I do have a baby, after all). Maybe you’ll think my opinions are funny, on point, stupid, inane, intolerant, not well thought out, or all of the above. But that’s okay; I welcome your comments and opinions, too.

Well. I have a post idea that will be on here soon. Stay tuned.