Voting

The New Zealand 2017 General Election officially falls on Saturday, 23 September 2017, but early voting is already taking place. Noel and I decided to vote early this election cycle as the polling station in Northwood is no longer around — it was really nice to be able to walk down and vote — and it was one less thing to do on a precious Saturday.

When I was a senior in high school, there was a big movement to register younger voters and encourage them to vote. MTV even had “Rock the Vote” going during that time. I vividly remember Jamie Royal coming to my classroom (Sociology, I think), and she registered me to vote in the hallway across from my locker. I was so nervous and scared and excited at the same time.
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“Look for the Helpers…”

Being 11 September here in New Zealand — even though the infamous 9/11 happened on 12 September 2001 here — some of my news feeds are showing images and sharing articles about the anniversary of 9/11.

Every year, I feel something different. Having been through our own set of natural disasters — the initial quake occurring a week before the 9th anniversary of 9/11 — something struck me quite strongly today as I saw this image:
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25 Years Ago(-ish), I Started College

Around 25 years ago, in late August 1992, I started college (erm, university for you British English speakers out there). It’s a right-of-passage many Americans go through every year when they’re 18, and I’m sure there are many stories about how that first year went for a great many people. Maybe my experience was unique, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.

What I can tell you is I remember my Mom crying when I started college at Northern Illinois University. My excitement due to my freedom was tempered by how upset she was. Being the very anxious person I was and continue to be, I wondered if I’d made the right choice. As an aside: my counselor keeps telling me I do things to please other people instead of myself, and I’m not living my life authentically if I keep doing this. On the other side of this argument, I stayed at college because it was what I wanted, even though it did hurt my mother initially (and maybe it was more of a, “Oh my God, my oldest son is 18 and leaving home and I can’t protect him any more”, which I understand but I’ve never been through so I can’t compare that experience to my own experiences).

Sorry. I digress. You should be used to that by now if you read any of my blogs.

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What Type of Tattoo Would I Get? My Mom Got One…

I speak with my Mom every week to every two weeks.  Living on opposite sides of the world is hard, but it’s a little bit easier with the invention of Skype and FaceTime, WhatsApp and Apple Messenger, Instagram and Facebook.  Communication is so much easier now than it was when I first moved to New Zealand 20 years ago.

Anyway.  My Mom has been talking about getting a tattoo.  We’ve had this discussion a few times over the last few years: what type of tattoo would she get; where she would get it on her body; how big it would be; and so on.  It was something on her bucket list of things she wanted to do.  And, of course, I love her, so anything she wants to do, I support 100%.

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I Am Ken Kato

A few days ago, I wrote that My 40 Year Love Affair With Star Trek… Is Over.  The final straw, as you may remember, was CBS and Paramount issuing rather draconian Star Trek fan film guidelines, which saw several of the fan films I really like shut down and possibly fan audio series, like Henglaar, M.D. that I voice act as Ken Kato in, wound up as well.

I am still out of love with Star Trek.  I still am angry and sad about their draconian fan film guidelines, among other things.  Their approach towards the fans is as if we can be pushed around, not consulted, and we’ll continue to throw money hand over fist at Star Trek with any product (good or bad) they put out there.  And I have a choice on what I do with my money, and by not spending it with CBS or Paramount, whether by not subscribing to CBS All Access to watch the new Star Trek show in 2017 or by not snuggling up to a huge tub of popcorn and watching Star Trek Beyond in the movie theatre, I’m objecting with my wallet.

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My 40 Year Love Affair With Star Trek… Is Over

Anyone who knows me knows my love for Star Trek.

As a child, I remember my parents introducing me to Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones, and the Enterprise, these complex characters and graceful-looking starship soaring from planet to planet.  I think some of the weekly aliens scared me, especially when they flashed them up at the end of the credits.  (Balok, anyone?)

Balok

I didn’t understand the cerebral and more thought-provoking parts of the episodes because, as a child, you usually don’t have those parts of your brain developed until you start hitting adulthood.  So it was good to watch as something fun as a kid.

It was one of my introductions to science fiction, and one I will always be grateful to my parents for introducing me to it.

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Every Day is White Pride / Straight Pride / Men’s Day in America

I originally wrote this blog on 17 September 2015 in response to two different Facebook posts.  I was hesitant to share it, but since the mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando, with the shooter allegedly in conflict with his sexual orientation emerging as one of the possible motives of the shooting, I feel it actually is more important and more relevant than ever.  In addition to members of the LGBT community facing higher rates of suicide and homelessness, I need to add we also face a higher risk of violence towards us.

Yesterday (16 September 2015), I saw two different posts on Facebook that inspired this blog.

One was a post by a friend of mine, who is African American, in which she was invited to a friend’s house for a gathering, and ended up talking to another attendee who was Caucasian. Well, I’m not sure I should say “talking to” as it seems, from what she posted, she was being “talked at”.

This man “ranted” at her for a while and ended this rant with: “…And where does this leave the white man?”

Um, what?

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