Semi-Charmed Life

28Jan/112

Pricks on the Radio

Fuck man, shit like this gets me so fucking mad.

I've always hated Rush Limbaugh and now I hate him even more.

People like him don't understand what the big deal is because they have the privilege of being part of the majority.

Link

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Rush Limbaugh's imitation of the Chinese language during a recent speech made by Chinese President Hu Jintao has stirred a backlash among Asian-American lawmakers in California and nationally.

California state Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, is leading a fight in demanding an apology from the radio talk show host for what he and others view as racist and derogatory remarks against the Chinese people.

In recent days, the state lawmaker has rallied civil rights groups in a boycott of companies like Pro Flowers, Sleep Train and Domino's Pizza that advertise on Limbaugh's national talk radio show.

"The comments that he made — the mimicking of the Chinese language — harkens back to when I was a little boy growing up in San Francisco and those were hard days, rather insensitive days," Yee said in an interview Thursday. "You think you've arrived and all of a sudden get shot back to the reality that you're a second-class citizen."

During a Jan. 19 radio program, Limbaugh said there was no translation of the Chinese president's speech during a visit to the White House.

"He was speaking and they weren't translating," Limbaugh said. "They normally translate every couple of words. Hu Jintao was just going ching chong, ching chong cha."

He then launched into a 20-second-long imitation of the Chinese leader's dialect.

The next day, Limbaugh said he "did a remarkable job" of imitating China's president for someone who doesn't know a language spoken by more than 1 billion people.

"Back in the old days, Sid Caesar, for those of you old enough to remember, was called a comic genius for impersonating foreign languages that he couldn't speak," Limbaugh said. "But today the left says that was racism; it was bigotry; it was insulting. And it wasn't. It was a service."

A telephone and e-mail to Limbaugh's station operator Clear Channel Communications Inc. was not returned Thursday. Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks Inc. is home to Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Ryan Seacrest, Glenn Beck, Bob Costas and Sean Hannity.

An e-mail to Limbaugh's show requesting comment was also not returned.

Yee has been joined by Asian-American state and federal lawmakers who say Limbaugh's comments are inciting hate and intolerance amid a polarized atmosphere. A number of civil rights groups, including Chinese for Affirmative Action, Japanese American Citizens League and the California National Organization for Women, have joined Yee in calling on sponsors to pull advertisements from Limbaugh's program.

An online petition has been created on Yee's website.

"I want an apology at the very least," said New York Assemblywoman Grace Meng, a Queens Democrat. "Making fun of any country's leader is just very disrespectful for someone who says he is a proud American."

She added: "He was, in his own way, trying to attack the leader of another country, and that's his prerogative as well, but at the same time he offended 13 percent of New York City's population."

There are about 14 million, or 4.5 percent, Asian-Americans in the United States, more if counting those of mixed races.

In California, Asians make up more than 12 percent of the state's 38 million population.

While Asian-American lawmakers demand an apology from Limbaugh, some are increasingly concerned for Yee's personal safety. Public officials have been put on alert after the deadly rampage in Tucson where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot while meeting with constituents.

Shortly after condemning Limbaugh's remarks, Yee said he received racist death threats to his San Francisco and Sacramento offices. The lawmaker also received a profanity-filled telephone message Thursday.

The caller, who did not identify himself, called Yee a "cry baby" and urged him to resign from office.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard Jr. confirmed the Legislature has launched an investigation and is cooperating with other security agencies.

He said Yee had received similar faxes in April after he called on a state university to disclose how much it was paying Sarah Palin for a fundraiser.

"We need to stand up for civility and be respectful of one another. Otherwise the consequences are dreadful as we can already see in the death threats against Senator Yee," said Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat who represents a large Asian district outside Los Angeles.

Yee, who has a chance to become San Francisco's first elected Asian mayor, said he has no plans to change his behavior because doing so would amount to "stepping down." He said his staff has received additional security training.

"It's just been a disappointing experience," Yee said. "I'm not angry about it, more disappointed that in the year 2011, we still have individuals who are racist."

Threats to minority lawmakers are not new. California state Assemblyman Paul Fong said he was the target of racist comments in 2009, when he introduced a resolution officially expressing California's regret for the way it treated Chinese living in the state.

What's crazy is that he thinks his mockery of the Chinese language was "comic genius."

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27Jan/110

Champion of Champions

What makes Roger Gracie so dominant in bjj and what separates him from others?

This part of his interview was not transcribed by me:

"For me, its much more simple than everybody thinks. Maybe there are people that train more than me. Its not about the amount of training. I used to train at the academy together with about 100 other people and everybody used to train and learn the same techniques - training with the same people. I think it's what you want in life.

I've set a goal for myself that is very high. A lot of people set the goal that they want to be a world champion or they just want to be a good black belt or jiu jitsu fighter. I never had a doubt. I never thought I was going to be great... I told myself I want to be the best in the world. I dont want to be second best, I dont want to be just a world champion, I dont care about titles....i dont care about anything else - I wont lose to anybody.

I used to train with people who beat me and I know that if I train hard, I will beat them. Over time, things just start to happen. It was nothing that I did that was special. There were probably a lot of people who trained harder than me that never got to my level. The only thing I can say about that is because that they didn't really want it. People say they do, but they don't really. I think that when you want something, everything is possible...It's not an easy path. You have to put in your mind, body and spirit in it...and thats what I did. I put my mind, body and spirit towards the goal.

This is why even now, I am 29 years old, I have fought in every world championship since I was 18 or 19. I have never stopped and told myself I've accomplished enough' or 'im going to train less.' Every year since I was 17 years old I have been better. Even until now. It wasn't enough even when I was 24 and had been a black belt for 3 years. I am much better than I was at 24. Every year that comes by I am a better fighter.

I don't see that in other fighters. They become really good and then suddenly they start declining. You see them fighting every year and this year they were worse than last year and suddenly they are not winning anything. You see great fighters that win 1 or 2 world championships and then they disappear. You don't hear of them anymore... In their mind, they set their goals. They were really good and for 2 years straight and they beat everybody. Now they are happy and start doing something else. I never had that. Titles for me? They are nothing. They are medals that stay in your drawer....Thats the difference."

-Roger Gracie

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25Jan/110

Lessons Learned

Okay let's take a step back from the hateful Alvin of yesterweek.

I talked to an AT&T rep who told me that two of the other lines on my family plan were eligible for an iPhone upgrade.

$199 sure beats $599.

The worst part about all this is that I lost all my phone numbers and all my apps. There's something wrong with my computer and I was never able to sync the phone with it so I don't have any numbers. I'm also still trying to figure out how to get my apps back. There were a few that I paid for and I want that shit back! Thankfully most of the apps I use are free (Twitter, Facebook, RunKeeper Pro, Pandora, Meebo).

I'm debating whether to get insurance on the phone. It's an extra $12 a month. The phone is $600 but I do still have another line on my family plan that's eligible for an iPhone 4 upgrade. What to do, what to do . . .

What I AM doing now is making sure that my it's password locked now. I thought it was a major pain before, having to type that thing in every single time I wanted to use my phone (often), but now I'm definitely going to keep it password protected.

Anyway, here's something I'm reposting with permission from my buddy corporate guy turned teacher/coach:

Today, I decided to call one of the parents to COMPLIMENT their child. I called and introduced myself and she sounded very nervous. I was like "I just wanted to call to let you know how great your son was doing in my class. He got 101 on his last test, he always raises his hand, always does his homework etc etc". She responded with "Wow, usually when teachers call me, I get nervous, but thank you so much for the phone call, it made my day". Then she went on to say that her son usually struggles in Math so it's great to hear from. She also said her son has mentioned me and said he likes me and I'm really nice, etc etc. That felt REALLY good! I think I'ma randomly call more parents for good reasons from now on. Certain kids really need.

So we all know teachers call homes to complain about things. Have any of yall ever got a phone call for something good?

Glad to see him doing good things!

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24Jan/110

Something Stolen

I lost my phone recently and the whole experience has been a nightmare.

Last week I went to visit a buddy of mine who is a teacher and also assistant coach of the basketball team at a junior high school. I wanted to do a video interview of him because I thought it was very interesting how he made the switch from the corporate world to becoming a teacher and would make a good story.

I visited him during practice hours in the evening. When I got there I put my jacket down on the bleachers and set up my camera equipment. I recorded a bunch of practice footage and planned to do my interview after it ended. As practice was ending, it dawned on me a little too late that I had my phone in my jacket and that my jacket was on the bleachers, where the kids on the bench were sitting at.

At that point I already knew my phone was gone. A physical inspection of my jacket as well as my bags confirmed that my phone was missing.

Losing my iPhone was not like losing any other phone I have ever owned. I have never been a phone person and never cared whenever my phone went missing. If my phone never turned up, worst case scenario would be to buy a new phone.

The first big difference with an iPhone is price. This thing is fucking expensive.

The next big difference between losing my iPhone and losing some plain old flip phone is the level of attachment I developed towards my phone. Everything from the apps I installed to the notes (oh, the notes!) I've written to the music that I actually bought on iTunes. It definitely left me feeling a little empty.

I was not really angry about it being stolen as much as I was disappointed in myself for letting it happen. I should have had the common sense to not leave my belongings around a bunch of fucking kids.

I'm not sure if the lesson I learned here was to be more careful with my possessions or that kids are the fucking worst.

It didn't help that the little brat who stole my phone updated my Facebook status with "I got robbed I'm tight."

If the kid dies an early death the world would be better off for it.

Leaving my bitterness aside, there's the whole issue of reporting my iPhone stolen. I wanted to report it stolen because my friend told me his coworker was able to replace her iPhone for only $200 by providing a police report.

So I set out on Friday to the 62nd precinct to file a report. When I arrived, one lady told me that I needed an IMEI number to file a report. Another told me that I could file a report and just call back in later with the IMEI. Ultimately the two of them decided that I would need that number to file a report.

On Sunday afternoon, I went there with IMEI in hand to file my report. It was a different lady this time. She gave me some forms to fill out and made sure I had the IMEI number. After filling out the papers, she told me to wait. It did not look like anything was going on at the precinct. I was the only civilian in the whole place. There were officers in the back watching the game and random officers coming in and out of the precinct, but it was an otherwise slow day. Still, I had to wait 30 minutes until she would finally help me.

When she finally took a look at my forms, she said she couldn't do anything for me because I was missing the address of the location where the incident took place. I had wrote down "Joseph B. Cavallaro IS 281" and figured that would be enough. After all, the school was about a 5 minute drive from the precinct.

I asked her if she could just look it up on the computer and she said she couldn't. I would have to come back with the address. I was fucking pissed at this point. This was the second time I was back here and they couldn't help me with a simple thing like the address of a school that was located 5 minutes away from the precinct? She told me to call somebody to ask for the address and I had to tell her uh . . . my phone was STOLEN.

As luck would have it I did have 2 quarters on me and was able to find a payphone in the precinct. After getting the address of the school, I came back and this time she told me to wait. I waited and waited.

I saw her get dressed to go leave somewhere, so I thought her shift must have been over and that someone else would help me. Whenever I would stand up, she would just ask me to sit down and that someone would help me. After she left, I waited some more. I stood up again and another officer told me to please sit down and that somebody would help me.

After 40 more minutes of waiting, I finally asked another police officer who I could get help from. I had no idea what I was actually waiting for, and it seemed neither did he. It appeared that nobody had planned to help me and that I was waiting for no good reason.

The officer looked through my paperwork and then asked me if I had my cell phone bill.

My cell phone bill?

I told him no, the people who I spoke with earlier never told me I needed that.

Well that's what I need to bring in, and he can't help me if I don't have it.

Well fuckity fuck fuck, thanks for letting me know I just wasted an hour and a half of my day. That officer was a fucking prick, and so were all the folks behind the reception area that "helped" me. Trying to file a goddamn police report for a stolen phone is a worse experience than getting the phone stolen. I know a stolen phone is very insignificant in the grand scheme of things but it would have been nice if the people who are supposed to protect this city acted like they gave a shit.

Everyone at the 62nd precinct can just go to hell.

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18Jan/112

What’s Your Excuse for Not Achieving Your Goals?

Thanks to David Lee for sharing this.

What’s Your Excuse for Not Achieving Your Goals?

ex•cuse
n. ik-skyoos
An explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.

I don’t have enough money.

It’s too hard to find an audience.

I don’t have enough time.

I don’t have the talent.

I started blogging too late.

I don’t have a quiet place to work.

I’m tired.

Nobody will hire me.

Really?

Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace while living in a small house with his wife and 13 children.

Greta Garbo held steady through seven months of hardball silence after negotiating a new (fair) contract with Louis B. Mayer. Mayer eventually caved and she got her price.

Walt Disney was a failed, bankrupt, small-time ad man before that whole mouse thing happened.

J.K. Rowling was on the dole. Her first Harry Potter book was rejected by twelve publishers. It was eventually purchased by the relatively small Bloomsbury in London, and that only because the CEO’s daughter begged him to print it.

Mark Twain sunk $300,000 of his own money (and much of his wife’s) into a typesetting machine that was eventually, brutally, made obsolete.

e.e. cumming’s first book of poetry was rejected by fifteen publishers. He self-published it, dedicated it to the fifteen rejectors, and became one of America’s greatest poets.

Crippled by depression, self-doubt, and living in a cruelly sexist era, Mary Anne Evans changed her identity to George Eliot and became one of the most beloved English novelists of all time.

Abraham Lincoln lost multiple jobs, went bankrupt, and failed in numerous bids for public office before being sworn in as the 16th President of the United States.

Georges Simenon completed each of his legendary Maigret detective novels in an undisturbed, 11-day sprint.

Isaac Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books in his lifetime. Oh, and that’s in addition to being a professor of biochemistry at Boston University.

So you’re going to let your excuses stop you? Really?

Go ahead and drop your favorite excuses in the comments below. Then let us know what you’re going to pull off when you quit listening to them …

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