The ridiculous items of the Obama franchise Grace Yoo
Barack Obama is a phenomenon—not only because he is the first African American president of the United States (although this is a noteworthy achievement), but also because he emerged as a superstar even before winning the seat. His popularity is undeniable, a factor that the Republicans pointed out and tried to turn against him during the campaign, to no avail. Thus, many have learned to capitalize on this growing phenomenon, creating a veritable Obama franchise. Never has the world seen such an extensive and eclectic range of presidency-inspired items before. But make sure to buy these products today, as they’re available for a limited time only! To prevent abuse, the Obama administration is starting to limit unauthorized use of his image. Obama Commemorative Coins This collection features five quarters layered in 24 karat gold depicting the life of Barack Obama. These commemorative tokens have five different photographs from Obama’s childhood, teenage years, college years, and professorship. Obama is the first president to have his own minted coin less than one month into his presidency. Available on ebay.
The Obama Action Figure Coined as “the only action figure with the power to Featuring the Obama Action Figure! Comes in four different editions: normal, inaugural, HOPE, and Do-It-Yourself! transform a nation”, the Obama toy comes in four varieties: the normal edition, featuring the classic “presidential look” Amazing Spiderman features our very own president, Obama Trading Cards Topps trading cards, a company famous for its with a black suit and blue tie; the inaugural edition, in which as Spiderman tries to prevent the historic inaugural Obama sports a gold suit; the HOPE edition, inspired by ceremonies from being ruined by the evil Chameleon. baseball memorabilia, brings the Inaugural edition Shepard Fairey’s iconic poster of Obama; and the Do-It- The third president to ever be featured in the comic President Obama Cards. These cards feature Yourself, left blank for the artist to paint. book universe, Obama earns the complete trust of his photographs from key moments in the campaign as masked vigilante and looks to repay Spiderman by well as Obama’s childhood. Also included are profiles of Available at www.jailbreaktoys.com creating a safer nation. Keep an eye out for the fistbump Obama’s cabinet members, including the vice president, Obama Comic Book between Obama and Spidey. Joe Biden. A special inaugural edition of Marvel’s The Available at your local comic book specialty shop. Available at www.toppsonlinestore.com
New Beauty for Old Resolutions
New products to help you achieve your 2009 resolutions beauty products will help you cross off at least a couple goals on your already dusty 2009 to-do list. Resolution: Longer, more voluminous lashes Solution: Estèe Lauder’s Turbo Lash The Turbo Lash claims to be one of the most innovative beauty product in recent years. The Turbo Lash has a motor in its cap for an auto-powered vibrating brush. The vibrating motion eliminates clumping and increases volume, length and curl. Since the vibration eliminates clumping, you can reapply throughout the day without any buildup. The only setback to this gem The tiny battery in the cap is the key to the world’s first battery operated mascara, promising is its unfriendly price tag of $32 a tube. But, for dazzling eyelashes this year, it to volumize and lift lashes to new heights. may just be worth it. A month into 2009, most new year’s resolutions have already been either ignored or forgotten. After all, Resolution: Find my perfect lip gloss resolutions are always enthralling at first and forgotten as Solution: Smashbox O-Gloss the fad passes. But fear not this year, for your girly wishes This is by far one of the most unique products to ever may come true. Want to melt off pounds? You‘re on your reach the market. The Smashbox Cosmetics brainchild own. Want an innovative approach to your dull oozes out of the tube as a non-sticky clear gloss, but beauty products? It’s your lucky day. These new reacts with your “skin chemistry” to create a personalized
lip tint. Combined with nourishing Goji Berry-C Complex and moisturizing avocado oil, this is a well deserved treat for your lips. Although a little pricey ($22 a tube), it’ll give you the perfect pout. Resolution: Get perfect skin without much hassle Solution: Philosophy’s Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas SPF 15 This four-in-one delight makes getting ready for a day out as simple as a dip, tap, and swish. This innovative product puts an end to the days when applying foundation and concealer were a hassle. The Airbrushed Canvas functions as a foundation, concealer, powder and SPF, all in a high-pigment powder. The best part is that its lack of talc, fragrance, water, and oil, and skin-friendly sponge applicator makes it safe to use on all skin types. Resolution: Perfectly textured hair Solution: Aveda’s Air Control Hair Spray The team at Aveda’s labs must have the earth crying out for joy, because creating an aerosol that is green is not the easiest of tasks. This eco-friendly spray is constructed of aluminum, not steel, and without any of the corrosion inhibitors that are linked to pollution. The super thin mist delivers a powerful control with the help of pine resin and organic certified flax seed to provide the hold. This green approach to styling helps create flexible looks without the stiffness of other hairsprays.
The Frosted Cupcakery
A lesson in creative cupcake-ing
The Frosted Cupcakery scarves and coats in favor of shorts and on 2nd Street in Belmont sundresses, be sure to ask for their ice Shore is awkwardly wedged cream cupcakes. Oversized chocolate between corporate outlets and muffins come stuffed with chocolate chip fast food joints. Tucked and ice cream. Eat fast, though—slow eaters hidden behind flashy signs will have to suffer cream covered, sticky for peachy cardigans and oily fingers, a direct result of melty, leaky ice fries, it peeks out with its cutesy cream. Frosted also makes and boxes mini cupcakes in their three classic blue and white color scheme. It is precisely this anonymity flavors, fit for a quaint and tasty birthday that makes the bakery, which gift. For 25 cents more, pick up a small specializes in unconventional blue and white tag with personalized cupcakes, such a find. “happy birthday” messages to stick Frosted’s focus on a certain in the top of a cupcake. These, along type of baked good makes for a with Frosted totes and Frosted cupcake more creative range. Though they cases, can be purchased at the counter play with three cakes—chocolate, along with your pastries. Dog lovers royal white, and red velvet—they that they are, the bakers at Frosted are not afraid to experiment. Cake created a Pupcake. Operating as every flavors include lemon, orange, meatitarians dream muffin, the Pupcake strawberry, carrot and banana. is essentially a lump of meat shaped into Their icing is also a treat in itself, a muffin then baked for a few minutes ranging from plain old vanilla and under high temperatures and salty chocolate to subtle and sweet conditions—available on special request. coconut and caramel. Despite At three dollars a cupcake, the offbeat flavors and the quirky Frosted can seem atrociously pricey. character of Frosted Cupcakery, But after eating just one, it becomes their best seller is a chocolate clear how specializing in an item can cake with cream cheese icing, The Frosted Cupcakery’s best sellers include lemon, chocolate-coconut, orange, and red velvet-cherry cupcakes. make for higher quality specialty food. as is obvious in its dwindling Frosted’s cakes magically balance numbers in the display case. moisture and lightness, while their Frosted is also wildly unafraid of going thematic. ghosts. In December, they make copious numbers of icing refuses to stick unpleasantly to teeth, choosing to Look for peanut butter and jelly cupcakes in September gingerbread cupcakes with green-tinted eggnog icing and melt away instead. With new flavors every month and meant to celebrate (or sooth the anxiety of) the first red sprinkles. February, their busiest season, is home to enthusiasm for every holiday spurting forth from the weeks back in school. October offers pumpkin and strawberry cupcakes and an over-abundance of red velvet. baker’s imaginations, the Frosted Cupcakery will never white-icing cupcakes, with ornamental white chocolate Later in the year, when Californians can toss off get boring or tiring. And most certainly, never too sweet.
Playthings of the Past These days, the toy industry is as much about innovation as it is about entertainment. While FisherPrice engineers a kid-friendly digital camera and parents clamor to buy sentient robots, puzzles and stuffed animals are collecting dust on the shelves. Of course, though toys evolve to accommodate technological advances, some of the old favorites still hold their simple appeal. When you can’t take any more of those techy toys, relive your childhood with these timeless classics:
Toys we used to enjoy Thy Vo
plastic animal as chaotically and arrhythmically as possible.
Skip-It Trust the 1990’s to popularize one of the most strangely compelling toys of the decade—Skip-it. Essentially just a ball on a glittery plastic cord, one end of the apparatus slips over the ankle while the other holds a counter that tracks of the number of times you “skip-it.” Breeding a generation of powerful calves and bruised ankles, the toy is still made by Hasbro and available online for ten dollars. Even if kids these days aren’t amused by it, veteran skippers hold a familiar tune dear to their hearts--“But there very best thing of all? There’s a counter on this ball!”
Tamagotchi Created and distributed in 1996 by Bandai, the eggshaped, hand-held toy features a digital pet that needs to be fed, entertained, cleaned up after, and disciplined. As it held the attention of children throughout the late-90s, threatening digital illness, dissatisfaction, starvation and death, the Tamagotchi was banned from many schools. The Tamagotchi now sells in a high-tech version with a built-in transmitter that allows Tamagotchis to trade items and interact as well as log into an online community, TamaTown.
Hungry-Hungry Hippos The game, originally released by Milton Bradley in 1978, has a relatively simple premise and satisfies the primitive instincts at the core of child play: the hippos are hungry, there is food available, and the most gluttonous one wins. Still manufactured by Hasbro, the game hopefully continues to teach kids the joys of smacking a small
Baby Born While still a relatively popular infant-imitation toy today, the Baby Born doll was at its height in the 90’s when defecating, wailing plastic babies were a novelty. Hoping to provide young girls with a realistic experience and a “fantastic world of imagination,” the doll by Zapf Creation cries, drinks from a bottle, uses a potty
Despite some newfangled features that let kids expand their Tamagotchi horizons, the hand-held toy is losing out to bigger and better toys.
and wets a nappy—all without batteries! The toy retains all its familiar, “true-to-life” functions today, but can now be equipped with fashionable, infantile favorites like the BABY born Beach Buggy and the BABY born Go On Holiday Luxury set.
Affordable Facebook Notifications a&e
Fulfill your social-networking, video-commenting needs Medha Raj
It’s not fair that Julie Kim has a Macbook and you don’t. It’s not fair that you can’t Skype with your buddy from fifth period English who lives less than a block away. It’s not fair that hipster Louis can leave a video comment on scenester Jillian’s wall, talking about how ‘deck’ his extra-hot, no foam, low-fat, Tazo Tea Chai Latte is. So make haste and run fast to Circuit City. But not too fast. Large companies and their phenomenally manipulative market research teams know that demand for these web cameras is skyrocketing through the recession roof. Here’s a guide that will save you from criminally overpriced webcams, a failed social life and maybe even yourself.
Microsoft Lifecam VX-1000
Price: $23.00 Upside: Microsoft made product, higher chance of the Lifecam running smoothly on your computer. Downside: Microsoft is wildly unpredictable. Stigmas aside, Microsoft’s webcam works well. At 1.3-megapixels, the video quality is sharp, even in low lighting and comes with a variety of Photobooth-style backgrounds to play with. While it lacks a ‘plug-and-play’ feature, the Lifecam makes recording, saving, and transferring easy—few compatibility problems
have been reported. The mike tends to cause some problems by buzzing when it gets too close to speakers. The base is rather
a tad unnecessary. Logitech’s fixed-focus technology can make images soft and fuzzy on the edges and tends to pick up arms better than faces—a problem that is easily fixed by using the camera’s zoom feature. The form factor is certainly a pleasure. With a compact, sleek design, the QuickCam can both mold to support itself on a laptop and perch itself atop a desktop without falling over mid-conversation—a rare quality in even the most expensive webcams.
Philips SC 900NC
unsupportive of laptops, as it doesn’t have a clip attached. Still, it’s a bargain for a novice in both price and quality.
Logitech QuickCam Fusion
Price: $43.00 At 1.3-megapixels and 40 dollars, the Logitech camera can seem a bit pricey. The cost, however, comes from its echo-andwire free audio system that provides virtual surround sound to v-chat buddies. The built-in-mike can pick up sounds from across a large room, which means the attached 6-foot long USB cord is
Price: $57.00 Philips’ camera puts into practice the much ignored rule of “classy not trashy”. One of the few cameras that are Windows Vista compatible, the 900NC has face tracking capabilities, digital zoom for frame-filling images, and an unusually nonirritating auto-focus feature. At 90-frames a second, it1’s highly unlikely that the person you’re Skype-ing with will see an image of you frozen in an awkward position. In addition, the 2-mp video quality makes pictures crisp and clear, bringing background and foreground images into equal focus. The built-in-mike provides for high-quality surround sound, without picking up unnecessary background noises. The most useful aspect of the camera, however, is the attached LED light which provides excellent video quality for your covert 3 a.m. rendezvous. Pricey as it may be, the Philips webcam will certainly give you “your bang for your buck”.
All Too Human: A Political Education
The myth of Clinton explained, as seen from a man Grace Yoo on the inside Before he became ABC’s Chief Washington Correspondent, George Stephanopoulos served as the White House press secretary and senior advisor for Bill Clinton during his presidency. Stephanopoulos’s memoir, All Too Human: A Political Education, chronicles his political involvement, beginning with Clinton’s presidential campaign and ending with his resignation. As a member of the White House inner circle, Stephanopoulos provides insight into the mechanics of the executive branch, painting a complex picture of Clinton. Most of us recall the Clinton years vaguely: as kids, we were uninterested in current events, and thus unacquainted with the ordeals that plagued the White House. All except for one thing— Monica Lewinsky. For those of us that don’t remember, All Too Human succeeds in making Clinton a concrete figure beyond the one incident we often associate him with, as well as bringing us up to speed with the events and changes in policy that brought us to where we are today. Thus, this book is a discourse on modern history, but much more interesting than any textbook. Even though it’s a memoir, Stephanopoulos fashions the events surrounding the presidency into something of a Greek tragedy. Our hero, Bill Clinton, ascends to great heights, overcoming such obstacles as rising from obscurity into the national spotlight and challenging an incumbent Republic president to narrowly pass an important reform bill in Congress. Because of Clinton’s tragic flaw, a hubris that somehow deigned Clinton
exempt from normal conventions of marriage, Clinton’s legacy will forever be intertwined with that of Monica Lewinsky and his resulting impeachment. Stephanopoulos offers a compelling depiction of Clinton, mostly because Clinton is, after all, human. One of the defining qualities of Clinton is his preternatural ability to connect with people, a quality that had a great part in rocketing him toward the presidency. The book talks about one such occasion: Clinton is discussing his economic policy with a crowd and a woman asking a question starts to tear up while telling him of her own hardships. Clinton hugs her. Yet this is the same man who told the American public a bald faced lie: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”, and in effect, jeopardized the reputations and careers of those that vouched for him. It’s alternating warm and cold qualities that make up Clinton, and Stephanopoulos gives his theories as to how this can be so. Critics of All Too Human decry Stephanopoulos as an egotistical yuppie who puts too much weight into his own importance in the White House proceedings. They call him an ambitious upstart who, by negatively portraying Clinton, bites ABC’s Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos used to be the hand that had fed him; Clinton had helped jumpstart his in the White House’s inner circle during the Clinton administration and career. Being a memoir, egotism and the bias that color the wrote a book about it. depiction of the events are only to be expected. As the first Democratic president in a while, Obama can evident: in a failing economy, they both rose from obscure origins take some lessons from Clinton’s presidency. The parallelism is and kicked George Bush out of office.
Art with an appetite for the offbeat
the mixtape Thy Vo
If sitting in a musky chair at the Krikorian to watch Brad Pitt age backwards and Clint Eastwood squint moodily has gotten stale, there’s another cinematic experience around the corner—live theater. The Hunger Artists Theatre Company is an independent acting company in Fullerton. In business since 1996, the troupe’s 2006 production, “The Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday Pageant,” and its 2008 sequel, added a new facet to alternative theater. Based on Pastafarianism, a parody religion essential to Internet culture, the piece centered on the Flying Spaghetti Monster and His Noodlyness’s pirate followers. The small, quirky non-profit theater aims for thoughtprovoking shows and challenging pieces, and is often the starting place for new actors and directors. Its ensemble of 40 unpaid volunteers promises to perform with or without an audience. While you can tell the Hunger Artists run a relatively low-budget operation—the cramped lobby has a few couches and stark green walls decorated with laminated photos—audience members can’t tell the difference once the actors take the stage. The stage is well-furnished and detailed, down to the last candy wrapper and knit throw. Its intimate setting allows the actors to focus on details, like smoking on stage, to give audience members an experience beyond mere observation. The troupe has even won several awards from OC Weekly for performances on classics and original works. The Hunger Artists are diverse, confronting politics in productions like Hardcore: Women’s Reflections on Iraq, and embracing emotion in their recent production, Marsha Christina Acero performs as Jessie on the set of ‘night,Mother. The Hunger Norman’s 1983 hit, ‘night, Mother. The drama follows Artists, who performed The Vagina Monologues and Top Girls last year, often a woman’s calculated decision to end her life and her enjoy producing plays by female playwrights with all-female casts. mother’s ginger attempts to handle the situation. It manages for an entire hour-and-a-half of uncomfortable argument play looking at marriage in the 1960’s, and The Laramie Project, and morbid acknowledgments despite only featuring two actresses. a docudrama about the hate crime against Matthew Shepard, Although the characters are often awkward and emotional produced by Orange County’s gay and lesbian theater company extremists, the venue’s intimate setting emulates the same close- Theater Out. quartered social discomfort that comes with deciding to kill yourself, Exploring theater with unpredictability and adventure, the and telling your mother beforehand. Hunger Artists Theatre Company brings the performing arts to Choosing a challenging line-up of pieces, this year’s theme, Orange County with a twist of humor, veracity and shameless “The Year of Failed Relationships,” features reinterpretations of experimentation. www.hungerartists.com pieces like Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, a classic
There’s a time in every reality show’s life when it becomes, dare I say, annoying. Sure, the first few seasons of anticipating which six-legged creature the contestants would have to eat and how fierce Tyra’s weave would look were exciting, but after ten seasons, it’s seriously time to go.
We’ve seen it all: the burly hippie who captured America’s hearts, the winner who tried to avoid taxes by not reporting his winnings to the IRS, and even Johnny Fairplay, who faked his grandmother’s death to win a challenge. The truth is, producers can’t possibly keep this reality show as exciting as its glory days of Borneo and the Outback without involving legal drama or blazing romances. Its 19th season, Survivor: Tocatins, premieres February 12th without the hype or controversy usually shrouding a season premiere. Yes, Jeff Probst is still the best looking reality show host. But other than that, Survivor has become predictable and has nothing new to offer, which leaves old fans bored and new fans hesitating to catch on. Verdict: Unless producer Mark Burnett can come up with a brilliant twist to revive this once fascinating series, it’s time to put out the embers.
America’s Next Top Model
Okay, we understand Tyra wants to make millions off of naïve young women, but must she do it on primetime television? ANTM was worth watching when Janice Dickinson’s feistiness made up for Tyra’s overdramatic entrances and contestants’
dull photographs. Once she left, however, the contestants got boring, and the show turned into a cheesy hour of melodramatic excuses for what being a model is all about. From the catfighting to Covergirl photoshoots that never actually appear as national ads, ANTM is a cheap representation of a high-class industry. The winners, like the most recent Top Model, McKey Sullivan, end up on the back cover of Seventeen with a pitiful one-time fashion spread. After all, the publication can’t afford to have some D-class model its cover. Even for Seventeen, it’s just not en vogue. Verdict: Tyra should stick to her daytime talk show and finally give up on finding America’s next top model.
The Real World
Did you know The Real World is now in its 21st season? The series premiere aired on May 21, 1992, making it one of the longest running reality shows in history. The producers’ attempts to make the show more interesting have indeed led to memorable cast members in the past, including AIDS educator Pedro Zamora. Each season’s seven house members bring a different flavor to the mix. Their eccentric personalities, sexual encounters, drug use, and ultimately, exchange of dignity for fifteen seconds of fame, has kept the American public intrigued for almost two decades now. Oh, how reality television has evolved! Verdict: Although currently in its 21st season, which is almost unheard of in reality television, The Real World has become a staple in pop culture, and its presence on MTV would be highly missed. So yes, bring on more seasons of hookups and confessional room shockers.
Full-length tracks can be found at http://8tracks.com/thegamut
Time of No Reply
Genre: British Folk Lyric: The trees on the hill had nothing to say/ They would keep their dreams till another day. Description: Although Drake gained posthumous fame, his influence on Indie music is undisputed. His weeping guitar and soulful lyrics are the soundtrack of late summer days.
Fools in Love
Genre: Pop Lyric: Fools in love, well are there any other kinds of lovers?/ Fools in love, is there any other kind of pain? Description: A whisper against your ear, not warm, but cool; a nostalgic breeze carrying memories, fond and bitter.
Genre: Hip-Hop Lyric: The sunset rides to the end slow/ Same song echoing outside of the window/ You can’t grow if the skin don’t fit you. Description: Slug’s poignant rhymes are accompanied by Ant’s mellow beats, providing a brilliant musical conglomeration.
Matt Pond PA
Genre: Indie/Pop Lyric: If you don’t know or care you’ll be alright/ I heard it’s modern to be stupid/ You don’t need a thought to look good. Description: Thoughtful lyrics coupled with a Dave Matthews Band-esque sound.
Genre: Electronic/Pop Lyric: Hey Boy/ Why you didn’t call me?/ I waited for days/ I can’t believe you didn’t call Description: Amid a background of bouncy beats, The Blow’s straightforward lyrics weave a tale of unsuccessful love.
Genre: Indie Rock Lyric: Creeper in my home/ Crawled in through the window/ I grabbed the kitchen knife/ Couldn’t stick it in. Description: Imagine black bubbles, menacing shadows, repeating violin riffs with an injection of bitter, pink and swirly, and maybe, you’ll get an idea of this Canadian born and bred shot of maniacal (but oddly polite) rock.
Boys Soccer Bounce Back After weeks without a win, the team crushed its seventh opponent Julie Nguyen
After suffering three consecutive losses against and one tie, the boys varsity soccer team was yearning to add its third victory of the season. Despite struggling for weeks, the Patriots proved themselves to be a lethal opponent, beating the Brethren Christian Warriors 3-0. “When we concentrate on our game plan and realize that we excel with high possession and quick passes, we score,” Coach Josh Kronz said. “The talent is there; it is the concentration and discipline that determines whether we score or not.” The Patriots and Warriors remained tied at the half, but freshman midfielder Tim Kilpatrick came out shooting and quickly gave the Patriots the lead. Minutes later, sophomore midfielder Isaac Huitron continued the offense and drilled in another shot. “Sometimes we try to just kick the ball up and the offense wins it,” sophomore Jonathan Berry-Smith said. “With new methods of attack keeping possession of the ball, our offense should do better.” The Patriots got more scoring opportunities, but goalie Remy Bray had four saves in the half. Kilpatrick finally penetrated again and scored his fifth goal of the season. Goalie Gerard Boltron again kept the Patriots in the game with eight saves. He has been heavily depended on this year with over 50 saves.
“Our games have been fast paced and all the teams have generated a lot more shots,” Boltron said. “Some games our team is just not clicking and we make mistakes.” Although the Patriots have been struggling, they began the season aggressively, crushing the Warriors 4-0 and Capistrano Valley Christian Eagles 4-1. After two dominating wins, the boys were unable to score against the St. Margaret’s Tartans, Sage Hill Lightnings, and Whitney Wildcats. One reason for the team’s 3-13 record is the early sledding injury to starting midfielder Steve Criss whose ability to maneuver Isaac Huitron rushes the ball down the field. the ball through tight coverage has been absent. He will, however, return to ball,” senior Kenny Kim said. “He’s help the Patriots against their next determined in the game, which is a opponents. really important aspect.” “Although he does not have the Last year the team easily silky skills some of our other players clinched a spot to the CIF with a 7have, he’s really aggressive to the 2-1 record, but to earn a return trip,
the Patriots will need to win their final two games. “It will be a very hard two games to win but Sage Hill is definitely [beatable],” Smith said. “We tied them last time, and with
better offense we should be able to get a goal in and play defense the rest of the game. St Margaret’s will be a harder game, so we will all have to play our very best if we plan on beating them to reach CIF.”
A Saida Defense Saida has consistently stepped up to keep her team in the game Vaibhav Birda
Saida effectively uses her crossover to penetrate to the basket.
With just under two minutes, the Whitney Wildcats point guard had the ball
unexpectedly ripped out of her hands. On her next possession, she was called for a charge, and despite
sprinting back on defense, she was blown past by an opposing player. This opposing player, senior point guard Kelsy Saida garnered another two points and demonstrated yet again her strong crossover and dribble penetration. Her late game heroics demonstrate her role as the team leader this season. This season, the team’s strength is in defense, and its ability to score is largely dependent on the players causing turnovers. Saida uses her quickness to poke the ball away from unsuspecting opponents. A big reason she averages 3.1 steals every game is her ability to catch opponents off guard. “Players underestimate her ability to jump high,” junior guard Alexis Medina said. “So when they try to pass over her she ends up stealing it.”
Offensively, Saida’s role on the team has been relatively constant. Playing point guard since freshman year, she has been distributing the ball to her teammates and creating opportunities to score. “I was always the point guard, so I had to run the plays and be the director on the court,” Saida said. “Nothing has really changed other than that now, I have to be the one who tries to get the team inspired and the team motivated.” Saida’s strong commitment to defense often energizes the team by creating easy scoring opportunities. “She controls the tempo of the game,” guard Marissa Delos Reyes said. “Due to her pressure defense at the top, it usually leads to when we score the most, which would be fast breaks.” As one of the captains, Saida
takes it upon herself to lead the team throughout entire game. She is typically exhausted after every game. “I like playing the whole game, even if I’m [tired] and can barely breathe,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’ve conditioned enough and worked hard in practice to earn all of this playing time.” But to her, something even better than playing basketball is playing it with a close team, one with people who over time she has developed close bonds with. “The best part about being on the team is gaining that relationship with your teammates, on and off the court,” she said. “There’s something different about being able to trust your teammates on the court, knowing that they’re still your friends after the game.”
Why not Whitney?
This year’s Homecoming lacked the rivalry of past seasons William Trinidad
GameDay did a great job drumming up support for our homecoming game, though having to resort to bribing students to go, but the sports organization didn’t have to do so in the Whitney homecoming game held on Jan. 23. Students filled the gym because they saw that it was actually going to be an intense match. Once the game started, everyone was yelling at the top of their lungs, with screams of “C’mon, ref!” and “Defense!” happening almost every single play. In the first three quarters, no one side had an apparent advantage over the other; losing your voice wasn’t for a hopeless cause. The Oxford and Whitney sections taunted each other, as well, with members of the audience yelling “Airball!” Sophomore Joshua Icasas is guarded by a Whitney player while he looks for man open inside the key. Players like Icasas have or pointing and laughing at the cheerleading section. had to step up this season due to the loss of key players last year. The difference in the two homecoming’s atmospheres Yes, it was badly decorated. that it wasn’t just another game school we hated, the school that Yes, the teams playing were not for the school. rivals us in both athletics (sadly) was striking. It helped that the two that good. Yes, the cheerleaders Thus, the question remains: and academics (2nd in the nation, sections were actually comparable screwed up their lifts. Twice. Yes, why did the Whitney Wildcats play baby). St. Margaret’s doesn’t even in number and age. St. Margaret’s yes, and yes. against us at their homecoming, come to mind when we think of only had the players’ parents But at least you could agree but not ours? I thought this was the schools that we have a feud with. and a few students come to our
homecoming. Although the Wildcats won with a final score of 31-51, the Patriots kept the game close 2429 at the third quarter. Both sides played fiercely against their biggest rival. Varsity captain Stephen Chang best exemplified the intensity of the game when he grabbed a Whitney player in a headlock while trying to get the ball. Sure, we can blame it on scheduling problems, but this oversight cannot only be blamed on whoever planned our schedule. Traditionally, Winter Formal does indeed follow homecoming, but when the home team’s audience needs to be bribed into attending, is it worth it? Maybe our Winter Formal should have been held on Jan. 30, where this discrepancy may have been spotted in its early planning stages. Or maybe we could choose to not continue this arbitrary tradition, and have the dance separate from homecoming. Whatever the solution, a win by the opposing team during our homecoming should have been an upset. Not a dismissible defeat.
A Fresh Start This year’s starting line-up includes four freshmen
With a league record of 3-2, the four freshmen starters have proven themselves to be a dominant force and given the girls varsity soccer team a shot to play in the CIF. Despite a crucial 2-3 loss to the Sage Hill Lightings, defenders Kayla Williams and Alyssa Ancheta, sweeper Alex Moctezuma and midfielder Erica Rios helped the Patriots crush the Whitney Wildcats 5-0 and showed they could play at the varsity level. The team sought to improve its defense this season, and in their two victories against the Wildcats, the Patriots were impenetrable. “We got almost an entirely new defense this year, and as goalie, I was worried how comfortable I would feel with all these new [players],” senior captain and goalie Lisa Gray said. “Williams and Ancheta are my left and right defenders, and they’ve grown into their positions.” Although neither of the girls had played high school soccer, Coach Al Fernandez saw potential in these players who quickly showed
their skills in the Patriots dominating 8-1 win over the Brethren Christian Warriors. “I never paid attention to their grade level. The four freshman players were added based on their talent, athleticism, and working habits,” Fernandez said. Even though these players are vital assets, they do not mind following the traditional roles as freshmen on the team. “There are certain levels of respect and duty. Since I am a freshman, I have different duties then the other girls like [taking out and] putting away the balls and taking out the water,” Moctezuma said. With already huge wins over the Warriors and Wildcats, the Patriots have raised their expectations for themselves. “[Our goal this season] is to get second place in our league [behind St. Margaret’s],” senior captain Christy Han said. To accomplish this goal, the girls will need to beat the Sage Hill
The Water Polo Experience The water is calm as six girls on each side of the pool eye their opponents, and for once, utter silence fills the Cypress High School gym. Then the whistle blows, fielders dive into the pool, and crowd erupts into a thunderous cheer. Seconds into the water polo game between the Cypress Centurions and Loara Saxons, a playoff atmosphere is palpable. The game continued with much of the same intensity as the girls treaded back and forth in the 30-meter pool. It is clearly a game of endurance and skill as players must continually egg-beat their legs just to stay afloat.
Despite being soaked with water, players had complete control of the ball as they caught, passed, and shot the ball all with one hand. Although last year you may have heard about adopting the oldest continuing Olympic team sport, it has become clear that the hopes of some students never came to fruition. “There were three main reasons we could not start a water polo team. Our first concern was that we could not find a qualified coach, our lack of interest, and our lack of facilities,” Principal Kathy Scott said. These problems may appear
to have easy solutions, but with our current state and district budget adding sports in general seems to be unrealistic. “We have been asked to look over our current sports and choose some that we could do without,” Scott said. With the score tied 10-10 the Centurion fielder somehow launched herself from the water for a power shot. The Saxon goalie threw herself to try to save the game, but the ball slipped through her fingers. After swimming relentlessly for over an hour, the Centurions had pulled through and defeated the Saxons.