Heath Ledger Dies at 28

Actor Heath Ledger was found dead today in his apartment in NYC and it seems to have been drug related. He had recently split from Michelle Williams. He plays the Joker in the upcoming Batman Movie.

Daniel just told me about this happening and it made me feel really sad. I don’t remember being this sad when Chris Farley died under also the suspicion of drug overdose. I was living in Chicago at the time and felt almost detached from the whole thing. It was not until the whole documentary about his life came out that I felt a little more connected to the story.

I first remember Ledger from 10 things I hate about you where he played kind of a loner that steals the hearth of the chick that wants nothing to do with boys because of a broken heart. The Movie was a great mixture of a love story and a teen movie without making you want to puke.

Ledger moved on to being in the Patriot which I thought was a good role, and then did the quirky A knights tale which was ok. I had not seen another one of his movies and I am not interested on broke back mountain, but I was very excited to see him as the Joker in the previews for the new movie.

I am sad that his life ended so short because I found him to be a good actor. I am sad for his little daughter that will grow up without knowing a father. I am also sad to lose another great actor to drugs, but it seems like it is not an uncommon thing. Rest in Peace.

Next, What a mess

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I just finished reading Next by Michael Crichton. He is one of my favorite authors, but this book really left a lot to be desired. While I do have to say that I read the book pretty fast and I wanted to keep going, I think it was mostly to see if he could untangle the mess he had created.

The first issue I encountered is that I could not keep the characters straight. Initially I thought it was because he was introducing to many, then later I realized that, while all of the mini stories were connected, they did not flow. I ended up not caring for any character in particular, there was no real hero, no real victim, no real redemption, no main story.

The book tries to bring genetics to the forefront of our mind, but it does so in a very disjointed way. I don’t feel like he was thinking of the reader when he wrote the book, or at least not the average reader. One of the things I have always loved about Crichton is that he makes science seem easy, but in this book we feel very removed from he actual science, catching only glimpses of it. If genetics was to be the main character of the book, it was an elusive character that never quite came to the forefront of the story.

I blame Google for the spastic nature of the book. Imagine someone doing a search on Google about genetics and then trying to fit every link that came back in the first page into a book.

I do not recommend this book, but if you want to read Crichton start with Timeline or Airframe; both are way better written. I am sad to say that this book ended up being an spaghetti bowl that I expected to find meatballs inside of, I searched and searched and in the end I ended up with a bunch of noodles that filled me up, but I did not really enjoy.

Annoying habits

Since I am becoming part of a new crowd, the KC bloggers, Melinda and of my favorite librarians tagged me so I must comply to the peer pressure…

The Rules:
a. list seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself
b. tag seven people to do the same
c. do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag “whoever wants to do it”

I don’t remember the last time I did one of the quirk ones, but I figure I will mix it up with habits… I am running low on facts.

1. I read in the bathroom, yes, I think of the throne as a library seat.
2. I get my wife a stuffed animal during business trip, we got quite a zoo now.
3. Even though I am claustrophobic, elevators do not bother me.
4. I like fettuccine with Alfredo sauce and Italian sausage.
5. I do not like to shave.
6. I like having toys at my desk at work.
7. I have to take my watch off when I am typing.

So, I tag everyone that reads this and has not done it… yes it is a lazy post, but I am tired.

San Antonio Tejas

I do not want to dog on San Antonio because the people I know there are very nice and I was treated with respect in every encounter I had with people. However, I felt like the areas where I was at were super commercialized and all you saw driving through the highway were billboards advertising this and that. I also thought parking spaces were crammed, but as my wife wisely put, its just that the cars are bigger, like everything else in Texas. I did bring back a stuffed animal armadillo for my wife, even though I did not see a live one… and I guess they are not cuddly little animals, but vicious dog killers that need to be shot… as a cop at the airport explained to me.

I was there for work this past week. I did not get to see the Alamo or the River walk. I did get to see a lot of Mexican looking people that did not speak Spanish at all.

I was not surprised that people that looked Spanish did not speak the language, I have encountered that before, I was surprised by the percentage. I would venture to say that at least 70% of the people I saw that looked very Spanish to me, did not know how to say anything but the basic Spanish that is picked up by watching TV.

I was then later informed of TexMex as it refers to language, and it being what I call Spanglish. I was also told that people that spoke TexMex would not be understood in Mexico.

Two thoughts came to mind, one is how sad it is that people in this country are so against letting illegal immigrants into the country, without realizing that a growing percentage of the country is already Hispanic. I did not know how big the percentage was until I went to San Antonio and saw that a lot of people are Spanish there. I also know that many ignorant people in this country see a Mexican looking person and automatically assume they are an illegal immigrant. What some might not realize is that the percentage of the Hispanic population that is here legally or have been in the country for generations but are still of Hispanic descent is probably bigger than the ones that are here illegally.

The second thought that came to mind was how sad it is to lose parts of your culture like your language. I love languages and think they are beautiful. I now I have two languages in my repertoire and sometime can only express my true feelings in one or the other. I am lucky my wife understands both because it lets me communicate better than if I had to rely on just one.

Even thought I understand why so many people lost their language, ask anyone of German or Italian descent, because their parents did not want them to have an accent when they spoke or be segregated because of their other language. In some rare cases, they kids simply did not care about their heritage and let the language get lost.

If I am ever blessed with kids they are going to learn as many languages as possible before they are 10. I know at least inside the house only Spanish will be spoken. I think English is also important, but living in the US it is something they will pick up at school. I also hope that when that happens I have already started to speak French and can also give them that language, I know my wife will.

Speed for calm

What is your favorite beverage?
I really like water with lemon.

Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.
Blank DVDs, Learn French Software, and a Fax/Printer.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?
11. Just ask me 😉 I have been told I am as subtle as a mac truck.

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?
Not sure about this one yet.

What stresses you out? What calms you down?
I think the unknown stresses me out, video games and high speed vehicles calm me down.