Category Archives: Entertainment & Food

Letters from Secret Admirers

Messages of Love from our Readers on Valentine’s Day

During the week of February 7-11, we asked our readers to send in anonymous messages to their special Valentine. Here is what we received. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Dear Mr. Wes,

Every day you bring us music and sometimes laughter, but you always bring us L>O>V>E! Thank you for your years of service and for always shouting out to us teachers, reminding us that we are in the right place at the right time to do the right things for the kids at our school. You are inspiring.

-Love, a secret admirer


I really like this boy. He’s in my 1st and 2nd period. We went to the same middle school and we weren’t really close back then; but when we entered high school, I became closer with him. That’s when my feelings started to build up. For a while I didn’t suspect that I liked him but the closer I got to him, the more my feelings started to build up. I finally suspected that I liked him a few weeks ago but he’s moving away soon so I wanna tell him but I don’t wanna ruin our friendship… So I’m saying it here!


Em,

I love you and you make me the happiest I’ve ever been, and you’re so special to me.


I love you Kevin Gonzalez


To Oliver:

Happy Valentine’s Day and 3-Year Anniversary to my love, my everything. Thank you for always being there for me and always knowing what to say when I’m upset. I will cherish you forever and I can’t wait to see what life after high school will bring us<3 I love you.


To my greatest love,

Even with the years we’ve known each other I feel like I’ve known you forever. As the months and years go by, my love for you becomes greater. Even through the ups and downs of our relationship I can proudly say that I have met the one for me. No person will ever be better than you in any way. Your love for me is nothing compared to what life may throw our way. To another Valentine’s Day and many more years of our relationship. I will always love you.

-B.B.


You’d look beautiful when you’d smile, and your laughter was contagious. Two years have passed and this stays true. Despite the fact that you were an irksome individual at the beginning, I couldn’t help thinking about you.


Happy Valentine’s Day ! I love you 🙂

Always ❤


Dear Juliette,

Thank you for doing your work in yearbook. I hope you seek the help we’ve talked about needing!


oh my goonies dear noelani

I am so in love with you please go out with me. I’m on my knees begging. Please because its you, you’re the one that I want. It’s only you until the end of time. Please kiss me right now. I’m just kidding, not here. Not in the public. Wait… actually please do so everyone can see. Also, wanna marry me?

-your true love <33


To my beloved,

The moment I laid eyes on you I knew it was love at first sight. From the moment I wake up to the moment I close my eyes, all I can think of is you. I cherish the times and every little moment we spend together. You keep me going. You keep me happy. You motivate me.

I love you Edmund


Dear Edmund,

The way you look at me makes me feel different, like no other can make me feel. Each time I step onto campus, the I receive fascination from the same air we breathe. I am nothing but devoted to you; you make feel like no other.

I love you.

A Treat for Your Valentine: Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Joseph Kilis

This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself (and a loved one) to some of the best cookies you’ve ever tried. These cookies could impress any crush, or be a great treat to eat alone. My family has made many memories through this recipe, from highs and lows, and holidays. Here’s what you’ll need:

> 1 ½  Cups Butter (softened)

> 1 Cup Granulated Sugar

> 1 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)

> 2 Eggs (Large)

> 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

> 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

> 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

> 1 Teaspoon Salt

> 1 Package (6 Ounces) of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

OPTIONAL:

> 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (Pecans or Walnuts are Preferred)

> Additional Salt for Topping

  1. Preheat oven to 375℉ or 190℃. 
  2. Take Softened Butter, Granulated Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vanilla Extract, and Eggs and mix in a large bowl. Once the mixture is done, it should take on a creamy or fluffy texture.
  3. Once you have creamed those ingredients, add the flour. Do this in increments of three, to fully spread the flour within your wet ingredients. After combining flour with the wet mixture, add the Baking Soda and Salt. Mix until combined.
  4. You’re almost done! Now, add in your Chocolate Chips, and Nuts if preferred. Mix until these ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. After greasing your cookie sheets, take a big spoon (preferably about a tablespoon) of dough, roll it into a ball using your hands, and place it on the sheet.
  6. Placing them about three inches apart, you should have a total of about six cookies per cookie sheet.
  7. Once the oven is preheated, place cookies onto the middle rack, and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until you see a golden color around the edges of the cookie.
  8. After baking, immediately add a small sprinkle of salt to the top of each cookie. Let cookies sit, preferably on cooling racks, for about another 8-10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

Behind the Scenes at the Rose Parade

By: April Zavala

THE AUDITION: My name is April Zavala and I auditioned successfully as a trumpet player for the Tournament of Roses Honor Band of 2022 which is the official band of the Rose Parade. Being a part of this band has been a dream of mine since freshman year, and finally being able to be a part of the rose parade was a once in a lifetime experience. 

REHEARSALS: Our first rehearsal was on November 7, 2021, and we continued having five hour music rehearsals every Sunday for a month. Once winter break began, we began marching rehearsals at Pasadena City College, Dodger Stadium, and Santa Anita Park to begin conditioning for the 6 mile long parade. The first few marching rehearsals were tough. The honor band as a whole was not conditioned to march (Play Instruments at an attention position while marching) for hours. But as the days went by it got easier and it proved to be worth it because it made the Rose Parade feel easy.

PERFORMANCES: We had a total of 4 performances before the big day. Our Disneyland performance was on the verge of not happening due to the high probability of rain. Thankfully, Disney agreed to having us perform in our “Rain-Day” uniform. When we arrived at Disney we still weren’t sure if our performance was going to be canceled due to rain, and unfortunately we would not be able to know until the very last minute. Finally, at 1:30pm, our performance began, and the rain did not start until half way through our performance. 

BandFest is a performance put on by all the bands that will be performing in the Rose Parade. Our bandfest performances were to be performed rain or shine, and unfortunately we had rain for all three shows. Since we are the host band, we performed at all three BandFest shows. 

 THE BIG DAY: Finally, it was the night of the “Big Day”, New Years Eve. We had a call time of 3am which meant that we all had to be in bed by 9pm to get a good night’s rest before the parade. I left my house at around 1:30am to ensure I got to Pasadena on time. One thing I wish I was more prepared for was the cold. I wore a white long sleeve shirt and double gloves and it was still not enough to bear the freezing temperatures that morning. (If you’re ever going to perform in the rose parade, make sure you have HotHands!) Finally, we arrived at the step off for the Parade and it was the greatest rush we all felt. Nothing anyone said could have prepared me for “TV Corner”. There were thousands of people, cameras, flashing lights, all eyes on us. There was a moment we turned and played facing the audience and it was the most magical moment of my life.

Spider-Man No Way Home: Movie Review

By: Karissa Meno

Spider-Man No Way Home was the most spectacular Marvel movie that “phase four” has produced. We expected so much of the film and it very well delivered that expectation. 

WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS!
With many speculations and accusations going around about the movie, it was hard to tell exactly what would happen even though the cast and crew tried their hardest to keep Spider-Man No Way Home the most secretive movie to appear in Marvel. This web-slinging adventure hit theaters December 17, 2021 and was the greatest end to this year of Marvel movies. Directed by Jon Watts, produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal, and with music by Micheal Giacchino, this $200-million-budget movie along with it’s amazing graphics and visuals comes with an amazing cast.

Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Zendaya (MJ or Michelle Jones), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Jacob Batalon (Ned Leeds), Alfred Molina (Dr. Otto Octavius), Willem Dafoe (Norman Osborn), Jon Favreau (Happy), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange), Jamie Foxx (Electro), and with the incredible Tobey Maguire (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), and Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil).

This incredible cast made an unforgettable and even incredible movie. 

Spider-Man No Way Home picks up where Spider-man Far From Home left off with Peter and MJ swinging through the city together and is stopped by a news report with incriminating evidence of Spider-Man and the reveal of Spider-Man’s identity with a video left by Mysterio. After this, Peter Parker’s life is turned upside down when he is made “public enemy #1” all around the world. With the support of MJ, Aunt May, Ned, and Happy they help to try and clear Peter’s name. All Peter needed was “a really good lawyer.”

Along with fighting the public opinion, Peter, MJ, and Ned send in college applications hoping to get into their dream school, MIT. After a devastating rejection from MIT, Peter hopes to change things to help MJ and Ned get into MIT. He asks for help from Dr. Strange to cast a spell that can make the world forget Peter Parker is Spider-Man. With an intense spell contained from getting out into the world, Peter hopes to talk to the MIT Chancellor on her way to the airport. The freeway is crowded as Peter starts to sense a strange presence. The appearance of Spider-Man’s villains begin to appear due to the fact the villains know who Spider-Man is. 

Instead of sending the villains home, which was Dr. Strange’s intention, Peter wants to help them become better people in an attempt to change their fate. Peter begins to help each of the villains to either help contain or control their powers in good ways. With Peter’s spider senses it unleashes multiple conflicts with all villians causing Peter to have a period of contemplation with himself. Wanting to put an end to the multiverse conflicts, MJ and Ned are met with two very important people to help Peter on his adventure. With the help of Peter’s metaphorical “brothers” he plans to do what he intended and help the villains. With the final battle in place everyone is back in a good place, but Peter is faced with another huge conflict when he decides to make everyone forget who Peter Parker is, including sending all of the” intruders” home. Peter starts a new chapter and begins to live life on his own with his name cleared and his identity secret again. 

Spider-Man No Way Home was possibly one of the most illuminating and has many people wondering what this “multiverse” will do for the MCU. Even though I felt the movie was moving fast they were still able to fit in all the important and creative scenes. The fight scenes were incredibly set up; even though some parts felt awkward, the fight scenes kept me interested. Peter shows a clear reflection of being a kid and being ready to take on the responsibility it takes to be a hero. The story felt off at certain points and felt almost random but it made sense to the movie’s importance. The movie had me mostly excited and amazed as I was watching. The movie gave me so many emotions at once: excited, amazed, and as they say, “on the edge of my seat.” 

Audiences are very excited to see what the adventures for Spider-Man are after this. Of course if you stayed for the end-credit scene you would have seen the special sneak peek at Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness.
Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness shows a glimpse of what releasing the multiverse has done for Dr. Strange. We also see a very special appearance from Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch/ Wanda Maxinoff) and Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez) who are very important characters to be seen alongside Dr. Strange. Even though the trailer shows a lot, it’s hard to tell exactly what this movie will have in store for us. Dr. Strange could be on an adventure to fix what the multiverse’s effects have on the world around them. After seeing Spider-Man No Way Home and seeing the trailer for Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness, everyone is very excited to see exactly what the multiverse is going to do for future Marvel movies.

Music Review: The Weeknd | Dawn FM

By: Orion

Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd’s newest and fifth studio LP Dawn FM was released on January 7, 2022. The album was hyped for with the release of a single in “Take My Breath” alongside a music video in early August of last year, along with teases on social media and another single collaboration with Swedish House Mafia (a producer on the album as well) on their track “Moth To A Flame” on October 22. The producers include familiar names such as Calvin Harris, Max Martin, Brian Kennedy, DaHeala, Abel himself, and even Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys among others, most of whom have worked with Abel before. Dawn FM takes the ‘80s new wave, synth-pop/dance-pop that was used extensively on his last more dreamy LP After Hours (2020) and that he had also dabbled with before on projects like his 3rd studio LP Starboy (2016) and ups it to eleven on this album. The album contains features from Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, and a narration from Jim Carrey.

The eponymous “Dawn FM” title track sets up the listener with the feeling as if they are listening to more of a radio station (i.e. FM), that plays into more self-aware existential themes as if Abel himself knows that he’s being listened to but goes along with the ride anyway. 1980’s style synths are used heavily throughout the album and the title track is no different, but has a more spacey soulful feel, with Jim Carrey narrating at the end. “Gasoline” has Abel picking up where he left off in After Hours, indulging in his usual hedonism in face of sorrow to die but being saved from OD-ing himself completely by a woman. The high synth chords begin again before switching to a more minimal dance beat with Abel’s vocals switching from artificially deep to high to back his more confirmed R&B voice.

In “How Do I Make You Love Me,” Abel is seeking the love of this woman to become his lover, something that he admits is more out of the ordinary due to him normally being able to pick up most women very easily compared to her. The song’s composition has a more of a post-disco undertone combined with a more new-waveish dance-pop overtone that connects to the next song. The lead single, “Take My Breath” has Abel giving to his more hedonistic tendencies with the woman fulfillingly both of their erotic fanasties (in the music video she quite literally takes his breath away). The composition here has more of a psychedelic mix of new wave and dark wave, with some more overt disco and synth-pop. “Sacrifice” has Abel doubling down on his old ways with regret that he is neglecting his woman in the process but does not want to be held down. It has a more of a standard heavy dark synth-pop with a bit of a funkish undertone.

“A Tale By Quincy” has Quincy Jones delivering a spoken word track about his past with an institutionalized mother at an early age and wicked stepmother afterwards which he admits led to a subconscious fear of being too close to a woman (he had been married and divorced three times and has several children with five different women). The track itself has a more soft rock/adult contemporary jazzish tune. “Out of Time” tells of a relationship with a woman and how his neglect did eventually lead them to break apart when she finally left him for a different man; and now Abel wants her back in case the other man messes up, but he knows he’s too late. The track takes a city pop sample from Tomoko Aran and Tetsurō Oda’s Midnight Pretender’s, giving it it’s more city pop/R&B feel with another cameo from Jim Carrey who seems to be playing the disc jockey in this “radio” with talking about the listener being almost reborn by music itself.

“Here We Go… Again” takes more R&B vocalizations from Abel about his time with the woman before and how she ended up with someone lesser than him despite searching for someone better than Abel. The lyrics are more of falling back in love with a new woman, and him being dreamily head over heels in love with this woman. Tyler the Creator features on the track with him asking the person he loves to sign a prenup (just in case the relationship doesn’t work out) and that no one, not the government nor some outside religion can define what love is to them. The track’s music takes a more smooth soulful R&B approach combined with some synthy yacht rock. “Best Friends” has Abel turning a toxic relationship into a friend with benefits one instead but still feeling conflicted as he still loves this woman but doesn’t want to break her heart by getting into a relationship. The track has more of a minimal darkish new wave mixed with a trap beat and ending with an ominous repeating phrase like a broken record on a radio. “Is There Someone Else?” has Abel ironically questioning his lover’s loyalty as he tries to make himself a better partner for his woman and admits he is not really in any position to question her, but is still curious if the other man knows. This track has lighter synths that compliment the high pitched vocals of the song. Musically the track connects to “Starry Eyes” but with more of an urban/futuristic orchestral synths that are almost choir-like in some parts. The lyrics themselves have Abel wanting to comfort a broken and shattered woman who simply wants to push away all of those who get close, even through violent means of which Abel is willing to let happen to him.

“Every Angel Is Terrifying” is a more avant-garde spoken word track where Abel speaks about his existentialist fears on how if he cried out who would hear him? Even if the angels did hear him, he would be overwhelmed and terrified at his fate, and perhaps rightfully so as biblically accurate angels are radically different from what normally pops in our heads, and perhaps that’s what Abel thinks his afterlife may be. Speaking of afterlife, the next spoken word verses are of a radio/tv commercial of some sorts that markets the afterlife like a product and almost like a cheap recreational drug. The music switches between heavy futuristic synths at the beginning to more soulful chords when Abel talks about the angels, and then finally switches to a more commercialized synthpop tune to complement the commercial.

“Don’t Break My Heart” has Abel recovering from a break up and trying again to fall in love with hopes for a newer more devoted relationship with this mesmerizing woman but is afraid of what might happen to him if his heart is broken this one last time. The composition of this track takes more upon post-disco/dance-pop and minimal house music especially during the chorus. “I Heard You’re Married Girl” features Lil Wayne and Abel vocalizing about finding their lovers are actually married women with both artists giving ultimatums to them to either choose their husbands or them as they don’t want to be involved with married women. A more conventional synth-pop is used throughout the track with some occasional funkish undertones.

“Less Than Zero” is one of the highlights of the album, with Abel still having romantic feelings for a lover that he emotionally hid from and according to him, she thinks negatively about him but he can’t repress the feelings he still has for her and wants to rekindle a fire with her. The track’s composition is that of beautiful orchestral and upbeat synthwave mixed with a guitar to give it a more electro-pop rock feel that goes along perfectly with Abel’s more echoed vocals during the chorus, and the guitar becomes more evident near the end with Abel’s almost spoken word vocals. The final track “Phantom Regret” by Jim still has the tried and true minimal synths with Abel having echoed vocals over Jim’s monologue but ends peacefully with sounds of wildlife and nature. “Phantom Regret” by Jim has our narrator Jim Carrey giving a final poem to the listener on reflection about the journey they took to get to where they are now: what grudges did they have? Who did they hurt? Who or what did they remember? Jim reminds the listener of their regret and that despite all their pain, heaven, whatever it is to them, will still be there once they learn to let go of their regret and find inner peace within themselves. Furthermore, heaven isn’t always light or dark, heaven is what you make it to be.Dawn FM’s concept is a little hard to grasp with its more existential, self-reflecting themes than before mixed with a variety of ‘80’s electronic upbeat dance genres from disco to city pop that contrast with the more introspective and even romantic lyrics. It’s a very mature album for Abel as he clashes between staying the hedonistic self of his youth to the more older worn out Abel (as signified by the album cover) who simply wants peace and a stable relationship. Overall, the album has something for everyone with an overall consistent quality in songs and some incredible artistic highs.

Gunna DS4EVER: Music Review

By: Pedro Torres

Gunna’s new album DS4EVER released on January 7th, 2022 is a strong album. Gunna is an American rapper born and raised in Georgia and is popular for his features with other popular rap artists like Young Thug and Lil Baby.

His new album DS4EVER includes features like Young Thug, Future, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, G Herbo, Kodak Black, Chlӧe, Nechie, Yung Bleu, Chris Brown, and Roddy Ricch. 

Gunna is an artist with such a distinctive voice, flow, and rhythm. I believe Gunna has his own style that cannot be compared to any other artist.

In my opinion, the top 3 most upbeat and hyped songs from his new album DS4EVER are “pushin P,” “too easy,” and “alotta cake.” On the other hand, he has some chill and slow songs in there such as “livin wild,” “so far ahead > empire,” and “private island.”

Overall I believe his album is an 8 out of 10 due to his features and unique beats from the producers.

Earl Sweatshirt Sick!: Music Review

By: Isaiah Almanza

Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, known by his stage name Earl Sweatshirt, released his latest album titled Sick! On January 14, 2022 which is a follow up to his 2019 EP FEET OF CLAY. Sick! consists of 10 tracks with 2 of those songs having features from underground rap duo Armand Hammer (Billy Woods and Elucid) and Bruiser Brigade member Zelooperz. While Armand Hammer and Sweatshirt have collaborated in the past on Falling out Of The Sky and Ramseees II this marks the fourth collaboration with Zelooperz.

Earl released “2010” in November as the lead single followed by “Tabula Rasa” Ft. Armand Hammer in December then “Titanic” in January. My favorite songs individually are “Tabula Rasa,” “Old Friend,” “2010,” “Titanic,” and “God Laughs.” 2 of the 10 tracks were produced by recent producer The Alchemist the other 8 tracks were produced by others such as Black Noi$e, Alexander Spit, Navy Blue, Samiyam, Rbchmbrs and Theravada.

The album was conceived as the world’s state-of-mind was compromised during the Covid-19 pandemic. Earl stated in a press interview that, “Before the virus, I had been working on an album I named after a book I used to read with my mother (The People Could Fly). Once the lockdowns hit, people couldn’t fly anymore. A wise man said art imitates life. People were sick. These songs are what happened when I would come up for air.” This shows how Earl Sweatshirt has grown as a artist and as a human with past works such as 2015 I Don’t Like S***, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt with Thebe rapping about his darkest demons and feeling like that was his first album he can stand behind. 

My overall review of the album would be 8.5 out of 10, as some of the songs are unique to Earl Sweatshirt such as “Titanic” or “God Laughs”. Each song has its flaws but it is countered with the great lyricism and beats made that fit the songs titles.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One): First Look at New Trailer

By: Yael Ventura

After the box office hit: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, released to theaters on December 1st, 2018 and grossing over $375.5 million world wide, the movie introduced non-comic book readers to the Spider-Man multiverse. The movie brought along characters like: Penny Parker, Spider-Women, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, Miguel O’ Hara and the protagonist, Miles Morales. The movie left viewers amazed with its animation, soundtrack, and references, cementing Miles Morales as a household name among new and old fans alike.

It is now three years later, and both Marvel and Sony released a teaser for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) on December 4th, 2021 giving the fans a first look into the new movie.

The trailer starts off with Miles laying in bed as a portal opens with Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy) coming out and having a conversation with Miles. They decide to go out, cutting to Miles as he zooms through the web of multiverses and lands into a new universe and a new visual style for the movie. As he’s catching his breath, a portal behind him opens up as Spider Man 2099 (Miguel O’ Hara) comes lunging at Miles, catching him. As both Spider-Men are falling, Miguel opens another portal, bringing the two into a new universe along with a new visual style change. Miguel catches up with Miles as the teaser cuts off introducing the name of the film: Spider Man: Across the Spider-Verse as the title glitches to show that this film is only part one. Yet another glitch and the release date is shown, October 7th, 2022.

It appears that a long wait is ahead for fans as they excitedly wait for the release of the new film.

Food Review: Sake2Me in Cerritos

By Noelani Discipulo

Sake2Me is a Japanese styled sushi bar located in Cerritos. They’re open from 11:30am – 10pm seven days a week. They are mainly known for being an all-you-can-eat (AYCE) restaurant, which is limited to their menu and is priced per person. However, that is not the only dining option they provide. Sake2Me also offers a la carte, which means you can order specific items off the menu for the listed price. 

Sake2Me offers a variety of different sushi types. They have regular sushi, sashimi, no rice rolls, fresh rolls, tempura rolls, classic cut rolls, hand rolls, baked rolls, and deep fried rolls. If you want more than sushi they also offer soups, salads, a variety of tempuras, tapas, and noodles.

In general, Sake2Me is on the more expensive side, but would be a good place to go to for a special occasion or to treat yourself. I would recommend ordering what you want early on since the workers do not check on your table as frequently as they should. Their customer service was not terrible, but it could have been better, but that could just be because they always packed.

Some of my favorite things on their menu are their salmon and scallop baked rolls, garlic butter edamame, and their peppered salmon sashimi. 

A word of advice, since the popularity for this establishment is high, I would suggest getting there at least 30-90 minutes in advance to place your name on their waiting list. When I had gone we still had to wait for about thirty minutes before we were seated. They are also much busier during weekends, evenings, and holidays.


11454 South St, Cerritos, CA 90703 / https://www.sake2mecerritos.com/ / IG: @sake2mesushicerritos

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