It’s My Birthday and I’ll Hub If I Want To

Me, Raven and my mom
Me, Raven and my mom
UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley

Today is my birthday and though I won’t tell my age, I do want to take a moment to share some of my favorite things. I normally keep my hubs in the area of movies and TV, but on occasion I feel the need to share about some things I really love. This is one of those occasions.

UC Berkeley

My name is Vanessa and I was born and raised in Oakland, California, home of the A’s and Raiders and a crap load of homicides. I’ve moved around a lot as a pre-teen, but eventually went back to Cali where I eventually graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Film. I loved movies before, but studying film gave me new insight and perspective when watching. Now I love movies even more, especially horror movies, and have a propensity to annoy the hell out of my husband when I argue that certain favorites of his lacks narrative flow or a protagonist arc. I think he would prefer I go back to my old stand by pre-college, “I don’t know, that just sucked.” I still pull that one out of my bag of critiques, but usually after a theoretical discussion. I love UC Berkeley and almost every professor I came in contact with.

Raven Ann

I am a bi-racial butterfly (™Jade from America’s Next Top Model) and am half Mexican and half black. I have brown hair and eyes and am shorter than Tom Cruise. I know, that’s pretty short, right? I married an awesome guy who is a Michigan boy with Italian, French Canadian and some other Euro countries who has light brown hair and blue eyes. So, what do you think my daughter looks like? Yep, and the irony is that he named her Raven. Go figure. I will say she was named after Edgar Allen Poe’s short story of the same name, but still. I will also note that I fought like hell to keep her name from being Lenore and was a war worth winning.

Raven Ann
Raven Ann

My Raven Ann is now 6 and will be 7 later on this year. She was born with a hole in her heart. More specifically, she was born with no separation between her left and right ventricle. They didn’t think she would make it, but her surgeon performed a few miracles, including a pacemaker since the age of 3 months, and she’s around to terrorize the world like any other kid her age. Just the other day she, along with a few of her friends, took plastic sharks out to hunt vampires and zombies. I think I have an idea for Tarantino’s next movie. What would you guys expect from my daughter? She laughed at death, now she's hunting zombies and vampires. Raven the Vampire Slayer kinda has a nice ring to it.

Raven as Tinkerbell at Disneyland
Raven as Tinkerbell at Disneyland
My husband John and Raven
My husband John and Raven


I mentioned in another hub that my mom is a rolling stone. She likes to travel and is currently going to Costa Rica not too long from now. What I didn’t mention is that she spoils my daughter to no end. Raven has been to Disneyland 4 times and my mom has flown her to Disneyworld twice. Her next birthday will be another trip to Disneyland where Raven will get the special Bippity Boppity Boop treatment. You ever heard of that? No? Well, it’s when a little girl goes to a salon in the middle of Disneyland, gets a Princess dress that’s more expensive that most of my clothes and gets her hair done with so much hairspray that it stays shellacked that way for days…even after showering.

Several years ago Raven dressed up as Tinkerbell and we had people asking us to take her picture. She's not a part of the attraction, folks! Disney doesn't pay us, so just move along. That part is insane, but I have to admit that I have a love for Disneyland, especially after they incorporated Jack Skellington into the mix. Raven’s favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean and she loves to point her plastic sword at the skeletons and say, “arg”. She does make me proud. Now, if I can only get her to not hide when we go on to the Haunted Mansion. She laughed at the movie…

Takayuki Yamada
Takayuki Yamada

My Favorite Actor

I don’t know how I do it, but I always bring up movies in my conversations at home too. So, I think I’ll mention my favorite actor for the moment. I say for the moment, because my favorite actors always change depending on how they progress in their career. There are some that I’ll always adore, like Denzil Washington, some that I’ll like despite themselves, like Tom Cruise and others who I used to like, but have made choices that have made them fall out of favor in my world, like Russell Crowe.

Right now, my favorite actor is Takayuki Yamada. Don’t know him? I’m not entirely surprised. He is in the acclaimed film 13 Assasins, Crows Zero, Crows Zero II and Gantz. If you don’t know these movies, let me do a real quick introduction. If you have Netflix, watch 13 Assassins on stream. It is one of the best movies made last year. For the Crows series, I did a quick review in one of my hubs about high school gang films and that tells you a lot right there. Check it out. He’s an amazing actor that emotes in a way that’s universal. He takes a role that could be hammy (Crows) or almost invisible (Assassins) and not only elevates it to another level, but makes his role essential and memorable. He isn’t the lead in any of these movies, but he’s the one that stand out and the one who you can’t help but be drawn to.

My Favorite Director

So, what do 13 Assasins, Crows Zero and Crows Zero II have in common? My favorite director, Takashi Miike. He doesn’t always make great movies or movies that I would suggest to everyone, but he makes movies that stand out for better or worse. He is a new variation of Stanley Kubrick, a director not committed to genre, stylizations or content, but you always know when you’re watching a Miike movie. Not only that, but the director is prolific. He’s the Samuel L. Jackson of directing, sometimes pushing out 4 movies a year. He’s no joke, though. These aren’t color by the numbers movies. Each film is unique, like Audition, and shows the amount of thought it takes to make them, like Izo. I think it’s funny that Miike thinks that everyone could be a director. That may be true, but not everyone could do what he does. If you think Tarantino and Rodriguez are risky directors, they both take a back seat to Miike.

About Me in a Hub

So, that’s a little about me and some of the things that are on my mind on this February 7, my birthday. The age of Aquarius is never ending in my household and though I am one year older, I am that much happier. I don’t live in California anymore, but I’ve adapted to having 4 seasons here is Washington state quite nicely. I plan on doing more hubs on film history, TV shows and movies this year and now that I’m thinking about it, I’m going to do one on my top favorite Takashi Miike movies. I might do another one on Kubrick or on Disney, but I know I will do more. If any of you have a movie hub or a top 10 list you want done, just tell me. I love writing and that’s an awesome thing to do, especially on my birthday.

Thank you Hubpages and all of you who have followed me and read my hubs. I very much appreciate it

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Comments 19 comments

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

Happy Birthday!

I am an American mut. When I tried to run my family tree, they had a brown out in Salt Lake City. That is what I love about America. It is truly a melting pot. No one can deny that mixed race people are the most beautiful.

You said, ". . . she spoils my daughter to no end." That's her job. How can she resist those eyes?

I used to watch a lot of Fench films in art school at a hippie theater. I think they do the most with the least. They wear out the Femme Fatal a little, though.

ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 5 years ago from Chennai, India

Wishes you a very Happy Birthday! Nice to hear your personal story,your cute daughter Raven Ann and your likes in films- your trademark genre in Hubpages! Interesting. Vote up. Have an amazing day! Take care.

vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Thank you WD and ishwary!

My mom has good reason to spoil. I'm her only child and Raven is her only grandchild! My girl is a princess to the core for that reason. Adding to that my husband is also an only child with divorced parents. So...let the spoiling begin!

I plan on having a perfectly lazy and carefree day today! Thank you both!

rabbit75 profile image

rabbit75 5 years ago

Happy Birthday...wonderful hub! Voted up and awesome!

vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Thank you rabbit!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Happy Birthday! You have a LOVELY daughter! And both you and she have a LOVELY spirit. God bless, keep well, and keep happy, my hubber friend.

I'm looking forward to viewing 13 assasins on Netflix. I missed the movie when it came out but it got quite the buzz in certain circles around here.

Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England

Happy Birthday Vanessa.

Nice family you have there, cute daughter.

Takashi Miike eh, I have 13 Assassins here on disc but haven't watched it yet, my forum buddies had been recommending it to me.

Voted Up!

vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Thank you so much Paradise and Steve!

You have 13 Assassins and haven't watched it? To quote another wonderful movie, Blazing Saddles, "you must, you must". I can't praise it enough.

I appreciate the well wishes so much!

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Happy Birthday Vanessa !

Nice family you have and a very beautiful daughter,thanks for sharing this wonderful hub !

Vote up !!!

vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Thank you so much Kashmir!

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Sueswan 5 years ago

Happy Birthday Vanessa!

You have a beautiful family. Raven is adorable.

Raven the Vampire Slayer does have a nice ring to it. ;-)

Voted up up and away!

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bri36 5 years ago

vmartinezwilison I would like to wish you a very happy birthday. Since I have been following you I have been informed , entertained, and always you have taught me something with your visits to my pages. for this I say thank you. make a wish on those candles...bri36

vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Thank you so much bri36 and I plan on making a wish, a doozy of one and you better believe it!

I appreciate it!

daywriter 5 years ago

Happy Birthday, Vanessa! Liked you Hub - style and contents. A little hug to your sweet Raven!

vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Thank you daywriter and so far it's been great.

Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago

I can't believe I missed this hub earlier. Well for what it's worth, happy late birthday. :) I hope you had a good one. I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter earlier in her life, but I'm glad to hear she's gotten better.

I like the name Raven, as it reminds me of one of my favorite characters from an old TV show that I used to watch called "Teen Titans." I don't know if you saw that show or not, but I'm sort of like Jerry Seinfeld in a lot of ways when it comes to cartoons. lol.

Anyway, thanks for sharing all this with us, as it sounds like you lived a fairly interesting life. Be sure to keep up the good work as always. :)

vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Steven, I appreciate it! My birthday was really nice and I had a wonderful time with the family yesterday. I've never seen Teen Titans, but my husband was always an X-Man sorta guy, so there's that link there too.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Happy birthday. Enjoy your special day. (Mine is on saturday.) And Raven is a real cutie.

Best wishes on your birthday,


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Thank you,

We Aquarius' rock, don't we? :D

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