The Red Balloon

Rediscovering this world with the realization of an adult but the nuances of a child carrying a brand-new red balloon as it trails behind them in playful glee.

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Location: Sugar Land; Lubbock, Texas, United States

Living the life of an excentric elfen artist in a world of logic and numbers.

Friday, December 31, 2010

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interaction Design blog:

This blog will also be added to my links on the left side of this page.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Texas Tech: the Come-back Kid (who everybody ignores)

Note: the following post is logically biased and proud of it

It is my honest opinion that Texas Tech fans die young. Probably from alcoholism from living in Lubbock, car wrecks since and I quote “never drive beside a Lubbock driver, drive behind them or preferably in front of them, but never beside them.” (from a funny band director), getting beat up at walmart because all you wanted was a mixer for your hour-long-trip-vodka but you have to wait in line for another two hours…and you are angry, OR a simple heart attack from the Texas Tech football team. (or hernia, whichever comes first). Tech tends to win “important” games at the last minute. And by the “last minute” I truly mean THE LAST minute of the entire game. At the ripe old age of 22, I believe that I will die young, due to a heart attach brought on by the Texas Tech football team.

Driving around Lubbock on a game day, all you see is red and black, Double T flags flying, and the smell of BBQ in the air. Its some serious party time. But Tech fans take this down time as the quiet before the storm. Mike Leach’s Air-Raid is about to begin. An Aggie fan once told me that he was expecting everybody to be rude and mean to him, but once he came up here he realized how nice everybody was, they even allowed him to tailgate with them. It was a shocker to him. I then replied, enjoy it while it lasts because during the game, everything changes. It becomes personal during game time. The pride that you see in the student’s eyes when that Double T flies across the field and the Masked Rider races past the Goin’ Band is seen nowhere else in college football, according to the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts, of Texas Tech. Go check out her stats, she has the credentials to be saying such a bold statement. Not only does that game at that moment become so personal, it becomes a chance to say to the nation, we are here…do not ignore us. From time and time again, I tend to find myself saying, “Texas Tech is the red-headed bastard child of Texas”.

Now the facts…Texas Tech is the only Big12 member to have a winning season each year since the induction into the conference in 1996. It has the largest comeback in NCAA bowl history in the 2006 Insight Bowl. Texas Tech always hold at least a 9-3 season. (rough average). Now, do not get me wrong, we do tend to loose to a team that we should not loose to, and overall the Red Raiders are not a consistent team. BUT they are consistent enough to be considered a strong opponent against teams like University of Texas and Oklahoma University.

You’re Adopted
When little kids bicker and want to hurt one another they tend to banter, “you’re adopted, your mother does not love you”. This is what Texas Tech hears from schools like Oklahoma University, University of Texas, and Texas A&M. Why is that? Because Texas Tech has been trying to start a legitimate rivalry with these three schools. Why doe these schools not recognize their red-headed sibling. Every other school has an official rivalry with each other: Texas & Oklahoma—Red River Showdown; Texas & Texas A&M—Instate Rivalry; Oklahoma & Oklahoma State—Instate Rivalry. Schools that try to make a rivalry with Texas Tech: Nebraska and Oklahoma State. Schools that Texas Tech tries to make a rivalry with: University of Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M.

What I do not understand is why Oklahoma (OU) does not accept a rivalry with Texas Tech. It is a back and forth win, from year to year, between these two schools coupled with heated and very emotional games. Texas (UT) refuses to acknowledge Tech because they are too haughty and egotistical. There is no rivalry with A&M since Texas Tech has beaten the Aggies six years in a row. Getting the Aggies to admit anything new is like making Alabama and Auburn fans to eat at a dinner table together. It just does not happen.

Both the media and the other schools in the Big 12 push Texas Tech aside. It takes Texas Tech double the amount of effort to gain recognition than it does UT or OU. [recruiting is solid, and players are talented in the red and black]

According to, “though not thought of nationally as their state of Texas counterparts the Longhorns and Aggies, the Red Raiders have carved an impressive and unique place within the fabric of college football. The school currently owns the record for the largest come-from-behind victory in bowl history when they rallied from 31 points down in the third quarter to defeat Minnesota in three overtimes.” This is only part of the “Kid”.

In 2005, Texas Tech played Oklahoma at home. The score is tied at 21-21. With 30 seconds left on the clock in the 4th quarter, the Red Raiders go for the touch down. Running the infamous offensive spread and the Air-Raid, Tech makes the touch down. Winning the game. But wait, it was called back. The Red Raiders, with a 2nd down, makes another pass into the end zone. Another touchdown? Called back again. Time running down on the clock, Taurean Henderson has the ball passed to him, while he jumped over the pile of red and maroon. The ball crossed the line. Touchdown. Third try the charm? OU challenges. The call was held. Tech wins 23-21.

In 2006, Texas Tech travels down to Kyle field to play the Aggies. This is was at the beginning of the Aggies’ fall from any hope of being considered a good team. There is a reason why the last coach got fired and the new coach was told that he had better beat Texas Tech. There are a few things in life that make me truly sick to my stomach: burnt orange and maroon. Having to deal with not even being seated inside Kyle Stadium, and looking straight towards a student section flicking us off, the glove had been pulled. Neck and neck through out the entire game, it came to the wire, once again. Harrell passes the ball long to Robert Johnson for the touchdown. During the last 26 seconds of the game, Tech wins 31-27.

In 2006, Tech accepts the invite to the Insight Bowl against a “Lubbock” no-named team, Minnesota. Who were the gophers anyways?! Well, it was a team that was beating Tech by the half time. I was not ready for another loss, not after the Cotton Bowl, the season before against that “other” team. I was embarrassed to see the powerful Red Raiders beaten by a rodent. After a phenomenal half time by the Goin’ Band, the Red Raiders come back and do not allow another touchdown by the Golden Gophers. Trilica, thus, was presented with a tough job…make a field goal from almost the 50-yard line. This ties the game 38-38, sending it into overtime. Tech wins the toss, and sends the gophers to the offensive. Tech’s defense holds, for once, forcing Minnesota into making a field goal. Taking turns, Tech makes a touchdown making the final score 44-41. Tech makes NCAA history for the largest comeback (31 point deficit) in a college bowl game.

In 2007, Texas Tech plays #4 OU in the Jones. The game was not televised but every media venue had a representative at the game “incase something happened”. That “something” did happen. The power of playing at The Jones happened. Tech, having the vengeance from the season earlier; the craziness of that year’s football season, Tech wanted an upset. And Tech got its upset: 34-27. The student body rushed the field creating a pep-rally that TTU had not seen since its win in basketball over Kansas.

In 2007/2008, Tech attends the Gator Bowl. The quick summary of this game, was as follows: the Insight Bowl. Tech, trailing at the half, and me, being optimistic, told a Virginia fan to go watch the 2007 Insight Bowl. He scoffed at me while I scoffed at him. Again, as history tends to repeat itself, Tech pulls a win at the last minute: 31-28. Virginia had no idea how to play Texas football.

In 2008, Tech plays Nebraska. This was a game that we all thought would be a shoe-in. But as Tech tends to be, big headed and forgets how to show-up for a game. Trailing the game the entire time, I do not think I have screamed so much at a football game, and yet did not loose my voice. It is the second time in my time of being a Red Raider did Tech go into overtime. Tied 31-31, Tech takes the first turn, playing offence. Making two touchdowns, the score changes to 37-31. Nebraska was up, held by the Tech defense, a football supposedly thrown away, headed straight towards Jamar Wall’s chest. Interception, Tech wins.

In my four short years as a Texas Tech Girl, I have learned a couple of things in life: never leave a Texas Tech game early, three minutes in Tech-time is a very, very long time, and fighting for recognition is an every-day affair.

I love being a Red Raider. (I’m the one in the hat) It is probably one of the most fun teams to be a part of. Life is never boring when you are a Red Raider. But, I swear, I’m going to die at a young age if Tech continues to win at the last minute. (or I will have grey hairs by the year 2010). Why can’t we win like all the other teams…with a lead? Because we are Texas Tech.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pepidemiology of Bands


In our ongoing study of the world of college football pomp and circumstance, we present our rundown of our favorite bands. Sometimes denigrated, often ignored, and occasionally hit with thrown objects from the opposing and home stands, the members of college football’s marching bands endure many a travail while earning the 6-7 completely free football tickets they enjoy each year.

Marching bands: they matter whether you pay attention or not.

These include:

1. Wearing wool/poly blends in hostile climes. In warm weather, band members lose gallons of body fluids wearing heavy, double-knit jackets while marching, hopping, and standing around in the sun. In cold weather, the poly kicks in, and never seems to hold heat in for longer than the first quarter. In many senses, the originator of the military style uniform for college marching band members took every possible wrong turn in the design of the outfit, choosing a fabric that’s simultaneoulsly heavy in hot weather and light in cold weather, stitching that ensures a near complete lack of mobility, and hats that require straps, bungees, and occasionally staples through the flesh to keep on a member’s head. It belongs in the hall of historically tragic design with Firestone radial tires,
Happy Time Harry, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

2. Abuse. We’ve seen spitting, the throwing of objects, and on one occasion, a fight between a gay flag squad guy and two rural bon vivants who envied his sequined outfit. The flag guy won, which proves you shouldn’t ever mess with a man who tosses a fake rifle in the air all day.

3. The inability to leave, even when hopes of victory have been all but incinerated. Most people may hightail it to the exits when the other team goes up by fifty. You may not. At its worst, this can induce secondary signs of trauma, perfectly illustrated by the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, where the Florida band was reduced to throwing a rubber chicken in the air in the fourth quarter to amuse themselves. However stupid that may sound, it was far better than what was happening on the field.

Given that, bands give much to the gameday atmosphere. They provde a rallying cry for fans to unite around, providing collective cues to an otherwise disorganized mob. They pump a constant supply of festivity into the environment with songs and, if they’re particularly festive, spastic dancing, as well. More importantly, they give a counterpoint to the cheerleaders, whose charm wears thin after the first ten minutes of any game (especially if they have an amplifier and a mike.) If fans have nothing else to thank the band for, it’s drowning them out for just a few blessed seconds of every game

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I have decided to change the look of my blog.  Even though I still consider myself an elfen muse, I am changing.  I am not the same girl who sat on that couch in Waco, Texas...when my then boyfriend walked into the room and smiled.  That smile.   That damned smile, I could never understand what was behind it...and even now, I probably will never truly understand.  But it was the words behind that smile that told me that I was an elfen muse...I was HIS muse.  Four years have past since that moment.  I took that moment and lived with it, developed it, and hoped that maybe, just maybe that moment would return.  There is still a part of me that will always be that elfen muse...the quiet girl with the glee behind curious eyes.  I was blindly in love...and wanted to be perfect.  I wanted to be his muse.  I wanted to be everything to him. 

Four years have past.  And to be perfectly honest, talking to him is never easy.  The "what ifs" always come up into our conversations.  The ensnaring tenderness so dangerously intertwined with brutality scares me and makes me want more all at the same time.  I listened to his recording of "Believe" by Elton John the other day.  It reminded me why I fell in love with him, why i cared so much about him.  There is a beautiful power he has in his music and in his passion.  I know its dangerous, but I have never gone down the easy path.  THAT path does not exist as far as I'm concerned.  I love him.  I will always continue to love him, no matter what happens or is in store for my future.  He took a part of me and he keeps a part of me that I can never get back, even if I asked for it.  In reality, I am completely frightened of him, but I love him so much.  May this be hard for you to understand, I am sorry, but it is the truth.  

If there has been one thing I have learned in my few 21 years on this earth, (4 years of awakening) is that you cannot deny reality.  Whether its the reality that you have built for yourself or its the reality that knocks you over the head, it is the harsh truth of the world in which we live in.  This is why I have changed my blog layout and title.  I will always be the little elfen muse, but the harsh reality of it all is that I am not her now.  I feel like an adult holding a red balloon and trying to see the world through its red tents.  I feel like I am holding this metaphor of innocence so tightly that it will pop, and all I have in my hands are rubber shards that stretch and bend, but will never be what it once was.  

This is the reality of The Red Balloon.

- Reijn

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sticky Mangos and Flying Bombs...

Its never easy. Actually, I believe it gets harder the older you get...and more frequent. Growing up is never easy, and neither is getting older. I got news not too long ago that my grandfather passed away. We have been expecting it for some time now but it is never easy being actually faced with it.

As a child you always have a starry-eyed view of the people around you. Everybody is a god. Nobody can do anything wrong. I think one of the earliest memories I have is talking on the phone with my grandparents. Me, speaking english, and them speaking japanese. I didn't understand what was going on but I jabbered on about something or other, not pertaining to the conversation. Next, I remember going to Sacramento for New Years when i was about 7 or 8. I remember the beautiful garden and the wonderful food. I also vaguely remember going on walks early in the morning with Grandpa. The dew was just settling on lawns and the river in the neighborhood still had fog sitting on its banks. The distinct smell of dankness still lingers in my memories.

As a child, I really don't have too many vivid memories of the few times I did spend with my grandfather. He, in California (et al) and me growing up in Houston, visits were very rare. I remember Disney World. I remember it being very hot. I remember having tons of headaches. And I also remember Grandpa finding that one spot on my back, applying pressure, and poof, my headache was gone. I asked him to teach me that trick this summer, he just laughed and brushed me off. He probally didn't even remember the trick...but it helped me get through that trip. When we were going on the plane to return home to Houston, I remember him leaning down into my ear with a five dollar bill and a one dollar bill. He whispered, "which one do you want." I took the five dollar bill, smiled and thanked him. I don't remember if i showed my parents or not. He then continued to give my younger brother the one dollar bill. I thought I was very smart and clever...for choosing the bigger number.

Grandpa loved fishing. So does my little brother. I take dad's side...its good to eat but not fun to catch. Grandpa took me on my first and last fishing trip. He and grandma took a trip down to Houston one spring to visit us. There are two things I remember: Grandma's wonderful apple pie and how bored I got during Grandpa's fishing excursion. I wish, to this day, that i had a book. Of course, I didn't catch anything...Peter and Grandpa did...but i didn't. I'm not one to sit for three or so hours staring at the water. Jordan, my boyfriend...and an Eagle Scout, wants to take me fishing...and I remember back to that day on the local lake...shake my head and say, "hell no."

I have taken two memorable trips to Hawaii. One, when I was a Sophmore in high school (16 years) and again just this past summer (junior in college, 20 years). Again, there isn't much that i do remember from the first memorable trip...just afew stories and acouple trips to places that tourist rarely go. Last summer I learned alot though. I learned more about my grandfather than I ever have. I was able to avoid fishing, but spend little time on the beach...where the typical college student wants to go. I ate at restraunts that i probally would have never have gone to. But my fondest memory is him and grandma any couple does. Now, that I'm seriously dating and looking at my elders as examples...I naturally look at my grandparents...people that I adore and respect. We were at dinner and Grandma sweetly says, "Tom, can you get my purse?"
Grandpa, already halfway out the door and 10 feet ahead of the rest of the family, turns around and strictly states, "No, get your own purse."
Very appauled yet still with a little smile in her voice, grandma huffs, "Tom, come get my purse for me...I can't get it..."
This continues with Grandpa, clearly alittle irritated but lovingly grabs Grandma's purse and walks out the door leaving Peter to help Grandma to the car. I laughed. I it was a typical lover's spat (as my coworkers say)...and to see it during 50+ years of marriage...made me feel better. It was adorable. Grandpa was independent to the end...with a wonderful heart. Grandma told us a story of when they still had a garden in Sacramento. Black birds were eating at some fruit they were growing. Grandpa got so fed up with the black birds that he finally was able to catch one with a water hose and trap it underneath a bucket. Grandma walked out of the house into the back yard to the sound of very strict scolding...Grandpa hunched over with his finger out telling this bird how bad of a bird it was. I can only imagine grandpa in his straw hat, hunched over, yelling at a bucket. He didn't have the heart to hurt the poor thing, so he ended up letting it go. I'm sure that bird thought twice before returning the next day for a piece of fruit.

I am proud of Grandpa. Which is backwards...a grandparent should be proud of thier grandchild. But I'm proud of my grandfather. I have always looked up to him. I admired his drive for the research he was conducting...for the findings he did discover...and for the work he did for his entire life. I admire him even if he conned his entire platoon out of thier money before reaching France. I admire him for the impact his research is going to do for the Japanese people. I'm proud to be his granddaughter. I come from a strong that works hard and is hard headed.

I am a student at Texas Tech University. I am also taking Japanese so that I can learn more about my own heritage. Upon asking my Japanese professor how old he is, we (the class) gets the reply, "I'm an old man". I immediately think of Grandpa. He used to say that all the time: "I'm an old man". Yet, he had more stamina that I ever did.

Now I look up in the Lubbock sky and see beautiful stars. That is a plus for living in Lubbock, we get a beautiful sky and wonderful stars shining every night...not too much different to the Hawaiian sky. I pray that Grandpa is finally happy, and debating theories he had with God. That he is with me when I graduate and when my personal and professional life takes off. I want him to know that I'm working very hard in my Japanese class and that one day I will be able to talk to him in Japanese. I want him to know that I still admire him...even if he didn't let me inherit that painting/photo.

I stick up for him when i hear at the bar, "all those Japs ever did was bomb us". I can't even imagine the life he led during WWII. I admire him for it.

I wanted him to marry me. I wanted him to take me to Japan so that I could see it through his eyes. But now, all I want to do is go back to Baylor and walk on campus. Thinking. How it must have been for him when he was in college. That is the closest place I can be to him (location) right now. I guess that's ok.

Grandpa lived one of the most fullest lifes I can think of. And for that I admire him and strive for just as fulfilling of a life.

I love you grandpa, and I cry only because I love you.

- Reijn

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Angry White Man

Jordan forwarded this to me. At least somebody has a brain out there to put it in a newspaper.

Editorial from the Aspen, Colorado local newspaper:

There is a great amount of interest in this year's presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates — a woman and an African-American — while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party's nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain.

Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.

There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.

His common traits are that he isn't looking for anything from anyone — just the promise to be able to make his own way on a level playing field. In many cases, he is an independent businessman and employs several people. He pays more than his share of taxes and works hard.

The victimhood syndrome buzzwords — "disenfranchised," "marginalized" and "voiceless" — don't resonate with him. "Press 'one' for English" is a curse-word to him. He's used to picking up the tab, whether it's the company Christmas party, three sets of braces, three college educations or a beautiful wedding.

He believes the Constitution is to be interpreted literally, not as a "living document" open to the whims and vagaries of a panel of judges who have never worked an honest day in their lives.

The Angry White Man owns firearms, and he's willing to pick up a gun to defend his home and his country. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn't bother him.

The Angry White Man is not a metrosexual, a homosexual or a victim. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina — he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter.

His last name and religion don't matter. His background might be Italian, English, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, or Russian, and he might have Cherokee, Mexican, or Puerto Rican mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.

He's a man's man, the kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, hunt white-tailed deer, call turkeys, play golf, spend a few bucks at a strip club once in a blue moon, change his own oil and build things. He coaches baseball, soccer and football teams and doesn't ask for a penny. He's the kind of guy who can put an addition on his house with a couple of friends, drill an oil well, weld a new bumper for his truck, design a factory and publish books. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant on time so that you keep the lights on and never know what it took to flip that light switch.

Women either love him or hate him, but they know he's a man, not a dishrag. If they're looking for someone to walk all over, they've got the wrong guy. He stands up straight, opens doors for women and says "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am."

He might be a Republican and he might be a Democrat; he might be a Libertarian or a Green. He knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner.

He's not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race. He's willing to give everybody a fair chance if they work hard, play by the rules and learn English.

Most important, the Angry White Man is pissed off. When his job site becomes flooded with illegal workers who don't pay taxes and his wages drop like a stone, he gets righteously angry. When his job gets shipped overseas, and he has to speak to some incomprehensible idiot in India for tech support, he simmers. When Al Sharpton comes on TV, leading some rally for reparations for slavery or some such nonsense, he bites his tongue and he remembers. When a child gets charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mistakenly bringing a penknife to school, he takes note of who the local idiots are in education and law enforcement.

He also votes, and the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It's not that she is a woman. It's that she is who she is It's the liberal victim groups she panders to, the "poor me" attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.

There are many millions of Angry White Men. Four million Angry White Men are members of the National Rifle Association, and all of them will vote against Hillary Clinton, just as the great majority of them voted for George Bush.

He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.