Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Concerns

So I just blogged about a Time Magazine article about how Charlotte, NC was on its way up. Well, they may have written that article too soon. Citi Group bought out Wachovia, and I guess we're no longer a financial enter. Well, at least the Bank of America is still headquartered here.

Additionally, I still see plenty of gas stations that do not have gas. The nozzles are still wrapped in plastic, meaning that it has no gas to sell. It has been a terrible two weeks, and if there is no change in lifestyle yet, I'm sure there will be soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Charlotte

From Justin Ritchie's twitter, I found a Time article about the city of Charlotte, NC. It talked about how far along Charlotte has come, and the city now has attractions and venues that come with being a major city. Well, I haven't really experienced Charlotte. I have yet to ride the Lynx, been to NODA just once, and hadn't dined downtown either. I guess I need to get out more.

I'll be in Charlotte for approximately one and a half more years, and I do need to take advantage of what it has to offer, but sadly it takes money. I have been a miser lately. I'll spend on electronics, expensive clothes, etc. but I usually eat fast food and been staying in as of late. Plus there's this gasoline shortage in North Carolina. Heard of it?

Plus I hate traffic and driving downtown due to the fear of getting lost and having to ask for directions in the projects.

But mark my word, I will try to soak in what Charlotte is all about before my time here is done. And when it's no longer a best-kept secret, I can proudly say,"I enjoyed my time in Charlotte, and I miss it dearly." Oh, and my plans of where I want to be is another story.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Top Places to Visit (Int'l Edition)

I compiled a list of places I wanted to visit in the U.S. a few weeks ago, and now here comes the international edition. Also, these places do not include places that I've already visited.

Japan- A close friend and I have talked about visiting the Land of the Rising Sun for quite a few years. I would check out the Tokyo nightlife, Shinto shrines, Gardens, attend a baseball game and ride the bullet train. I heard it was really expensive though, so it's going to take good planning and alot of time to save money.

Singapore- I have a cousin currently living/working there, and I've heard good things. It's the cleanest city in the world, and the majority of the population speak English, minimizing any barriers.

Hong Kong- I do like big cities, and Hong Kong is one of my Dad's favorites. There is a Disneyland there, and i would love to soak in some Chinese culture.

Australia- I've heard alot of good things about the Land Down Under: The best of Europe and the U.S., however, who knows what their worst is. I would love to visit Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef.

Switzerland- I've always wanted to see the Alps, and I'm sure it's going to be just as expensive as Japan.

Now if I could only deal with jetlag.. and raise funds.


Friday, September 12, 2008

My First Silent Film

I have a Reflections of War Class, which is a film class, and we watch war movies. The 1st one we watched was Wings, made in 1927, which made it black, white and silent. My professor helped us get perspective on the significance of this film: it was an ensemble cast at the time, and the cinematography was ground-breaking..

Anyways, it was obviously slower paced compared to today's standards, but many of the themes then are still applicable now. However, there were times when the movie just dragged. And that's significant because I can take slower paced movies. My love for Lost in Translation is a testament to that fact.

I don't want to ruin this movie for my reader(s), so I'll just talk about the most touching part in my opinion.

One of the main characters was saying his goodbyes to his parents, dog and butler, and stumbles upon an old toy.. a miniature teddy bear, that fits in your palm. It was his favorite toy when he was little and was quite surprised that his mother kept it all these years. He decided to take the bear and promised his parents to bring it back to them, it became his lucky charm and he would carry it with him every time he took to the skies (he was a pilot).

It made me wish that I would have taken care of my toys, and have something for my parents to hold onto of me. I'm sure their best recollections of me was when I was little.. and not since 12.

Ok, well it's a great movie, a great class and I'm excited that we get to watch Casablanca in a few weeks.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Toubab Krewe Concert

My roommates and I attended their concert at the Neighborhood Theater in the NODA area of Charlotte on Friday night. It was quite an experience, as I'm not a concert-goer. This is the first concert that I actually purchased tickets for. It was different. Josh Phillips Folk Festival opened, and that was also a unique experience. I'm not too familiar with folk music, but it was a great time. Eventually, Toubab Krewe opened their first set, and that's when the crowds came in. This band incorporates traditional West African music with rock, and it was evident. They used instruments unfamiliar to us, but common in West Africa. We didn't stay the whole time because my roommates got too drunk.

It was fun watching hippies dance though. A couple of people even brought hula hoops to dance with.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Social Networking

There are so many now.. I waste more time (I say waste because school has resumed) now than I did 3 or 4 years ago. For me, it used to be AIM. I would spend countless minutes browsing away messages and buddy infos, more than I would instant messaging, and I know I'm not the only one. But now, I'm in several.. Oh, and I stopped using AIM during my sophomore year of college.

Facebook- I think it's taking over the world. I know former hardcore myspacers who have pretty much ditched it for Facebook. I like it. I definitely spend most of those wasted minutes on there. I was against it at first, but prior to freshman year, I wanted to know how my future roommates were going to be.. In my opinion it rendered away messages useless when it came out with status updates, and AIM altogether when chat was made available.

Myspace- I caved in because friends kept bugging me about it. I hardly use it now, but has its uses.. Celebrities like Jenna Fischer and Taylor Swift run their own site, and I like Jenna's blog. Other than that, it's creepy. But I love browsing through people's photos and look for stupid poses.

Flickr- Are you kidding me? Only 200 pictures allowed? Plus, I've failed to make social interactions on the site, so I've abandoned it for now.. All I have are vacation pictures anyway. I don't know if I ever talked about it, but I went on this trip to the Philippines...

Lastfm- In my opinion, this could be really helpful if you are a music junkie, and unlike me: a person who can learn to like something if played enough.. I have 1 friend on this site.. and he's my roommate.

Twitter- I love twitter. I wish that I had more "real" followers rather than those fake profiles. I also wish that others would have maintained their updates rather than stopping altogether. Perfect for when you're not inspired enough to blog, but have something to say.

Friendster- Yuck. Gross. Just another Myspace, but been around longer. Okay, before you say anything, my dear cousins and the ladies that I met while vacationing all have accounts, and I would love to stay in contact with them. Although a few are starting to get Facebook.

Chatting (Besides Facebook chat)- I use google talk because no software was necessary, and therefore less clutter on my pc. Problem is that I regularly chat with one whole person, but it's fun. Join me now. Skype is for those who have contacts overseas, and would like to hear their voice. One could dial a cell phone from their own pc. I prefer the free pc to pc with the webcam and mic.

But since I'm trying to join the Asian circles here in the University area, I might have to download MSN Messenger.