Live life with No Regrets Sunday, Mar 21 2010 

While I was spending my Sunday in the comfort of my own bed catching up on some much-needed Sex and the City motivation, someone asked me “Do you ever wish you could hit the undo button?”

I was caught a little off guard for such a deep question, but there was no hesitation in my answer. “No,” I said.  Even after taking some time to look back on my answer, I am still 100 percent positive that I have never wished that I could just go back and undo what I have done.

I am who I am today because I have lived life to the fullest with no regrets. I am who I am today because I have lived through mistakes I have made. Even through all the break ups, failed economics tests, overdraft fees, and arguments over things that didn’t really matter, I never want to go back and undo those mistakes. From every mistake, you grow as a person, build your character and develop into who you are. I am pretty proud of who I am today and that’s because of the life I have lived – right or wrong.

Wishing to go back and do things differently validates why more people should create a bucket list of things they want to accomplish in life. A bucket list helps trigger your brain to achieve the wants and needs in your life. Even if you don’t focus your thoughts every day on climbing Mt. Everest, you have it set in your brain that is something you want to accomplish. Subconsciously you are thinking about it and it will happen. All you have to do is put that thought in your head. It is setting yourself up to accomplish all the things you want in life. It is a recipe for happiness and success.

Through this process, I have developed a new perspective on life–live life to the fullest with no regrets. Even though the moon may be difficult to reach, we always have the stars to fall upon. Nothing is impossible or out of reach as long as you have the right mind-set. Most people want to hit that undo button so they can go back and do the things they never did because they were afraid.

Why not reach for the moon now while we have the chance? There is no undo button and there is no time machine. You can always create those changes now that you wish you would have 10 years ago, but that doesn’t give you those 10 years back. Join the NASA team and fly to the moon. Achieve your dreams and goals while you still have the chance. Want your dreams bad enough and don’t take no for an answer.

This is why I created a bucket list. A bucket list is simply a road map for your dreams and goals so you don’t wish for that undo button. Create a bucket list and work toward those goals so one day you will actually land on that moon instead of floating up in the clouds with no dream map. Landing upon those clouds with no map may just land you back where you started the next time it rains but if you land upon the moon or at least fall upon the stars you will surpass those storm clouds moving in.

So take a chance, do what makes you happy, and don’t dwell on the past you can’t change.

Spring Training 2010 Wednesday, Mar 17 2010 

Baseball. Sunshine. Garlic Fries. Who can ask for more?

This is why attending Spring Training has been on my Bucket List. And I got to check that item off  in March 2010.

Not only did I get to attend the famous Spring Training in Scottsdale, Arizona this year, but I had the opportunity to experience once in a lifetime moments.

It was such a great experience to watch the Major League Baseball players in a small personal setting. You see them on TV or at a Major League Baseball stadium with tens of thousands of people where they don’t even know you exist but at Spring Training, you can actually talk to them and see how cool they really are up close.

Along my trip, I got the opportunity to get Cal Ripken Jr. and Will Clark’s autograph. I am not going to lie, I heard of Cal Ripken Jr. before, but I couldn’t tell you if he was the ‘Iron Man’ of baseball or if he was a cast member on ‘The Bachelor.’ Thank goodness I had one of my best friends by my side to tell me this autograph was more important than my dream of getting Tim Lincecum’s autograph. I was the last person that he gave an autograph to and I keep telling myself it’s because he thought that I looked like a nice person, but he probably signed my baseball because I shoved it in his face and begged him. Those were just some of the amazing moments on this trip that made it more than just a check on my bucket list.

My best friend and I started our journey Thursday morning and headed toward the great city of Irvine to break up the long 12 hour drive to Arizona. We stayed with her lovely cousin and her cute little cat that likes to push open doors. It was nice to just hang out with the girls.

We decided to be crazy the next day and wake up around 3:30 a.m. to head to Arizona for our first Giants game at noon. I think my best friend took most of the heat though because she drove the entire way and even watched the sunrise as the rest of us slept. This decision most likely set our trip up for disaster because we were all exhausted. But I think we pulled it off pretty well.

We did take on the Scottsdale challenge and started out right at our free happy hour at our hotel. While we were sipping on our Arizona Sunrise drinks, we did take a look around and realized that among dozens of 60-year-olds we were definitely the youngest ones around but that didn’t stop us or the old timers from partying it up.

After a couple of drinks, our adventures in Arizona really took off with my fascination of all the cacti. Don’t ask me why, but I loved those prickly little things. It was like L.A.’s palm trees but more suited for the desert weather. My best friend’s cousin and I decided to find as many cacti as we could around our hotel – these desert plants were new to us. And all of this was just the start of our trip to Arizona to watch our Giants start the season off right (they won the World Series this year).

We ended our night in an Irish bar with a stripper pole. Unfortunately between all of us girls, we didn’t take on the stripper pole challenge but we did inherit some robot moves to impress the Scottsdale people. Not sure if it worked or not.

The next day we watched our boys in black and orange from the third base line while munching on some famous garlic fries. This game reminded me of why I love attending baseball games as much as I do.

The food. The sun. The people. And of course, our boys.

I’m not one to know all the players or their batting averages but I do love attending the favorite American pastime. What is better than laying back, enjoying the sun, spitting some sunflower seeds and watching some of the best athletes work their magic?

Overall it was a great trip and I definitely do not regret putting this on my Bucket List. Everyone should attend Spring Training at least once in their life to watch their favorite players amongst thousands of people and maybe get an autograph or two from some Hall of Famers.

Pushing Life to the Limit Tuesday, Mar 2 2010 

Life is a journey, and to some it may seem like a long and miserable journey but regardless, it is a journey we must all take.

So after many obstacles and what I personally would consider hardships, I have realized that this journey of life might as well be fun, adventurous and at least make me smile 95 percent of the time.

So in an effort of making this one heck of a journey, I have created a “bucket list” of items that I want to accomplish before I meet the great God almighty. Some of these items focus on personal achievements, career progressions, facing my fears and also some items will put my heart to the test by giving to others. Lets not forget the items I just want to do to have a little fun of course.

As I go through my never-ending list of things I would like to accomplish in my life, I will be writing about my experiences that will hopefully steer my journey into a more positive light and inspire others to do the same. Life is short so we might as well have fun and rock out while we still have the chance to do so.

This is my effort to live life to the fullest and I hope you all join me.

Here is my bucket list:

  1. Climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
  2. Go skydiving
  3. Rappel down into Moaning Caverns
  4. Go to Spring Training in Arizona
  5. Write a New York Times best-selling book
  6. Go white water rafting
  7. Try sushi
  8. Take Aimee to Italy to celebrate her walking again
  9. Go parasailing
  10. Go scuba diving
  11. Swim with dolphins
  12. Learn how to cook
  13. Adopt a child
  14. Become a Pulitzer prize winner
  15. Cut soda out of my life
  16. Buy myself a car
  17. Buy myself a laptop
  18. Develop and keep the habit of eating healthy
  19. Drink water on a daily basis
  20. Help a complete stranger
  21. Volunteer to feed the hungry
  22. Run a marathon
  23. Run a 5K
  24. Become a motivational speaker
  25. Go to a concentration camp in Germany
  26. Live in a different state
  27. Live in a different country
  28. Speak another language fluently
  29. Get married to the love of my life
  30. See an active volcano
  31. Visit all 50 states (and specific monuments)-
    1. Wyoming-Grand Canyon
    2. South Dakota-Mount Rushmore
    3. New York-Statue of Liberty, Time Square, Central Park, Broadway Play
    4. U.S. East Coast-Boston, Liberty Bell, White House, Abe Lincoln Statue, Washington Monument
    5. California – Hollywood, Disneyland, Universal Studios, California Capital
    6. Alaska – Northern Lights
  32. Have a family
  33. Write a script for a movie
  34. Learn how to dance like a ballroom dancer
  35. Attend a movie premiere
  36. Travel the world (see specific monuments)-
    1. China-Great Wall of China
    2. Egypt-pyramids
    3. Israel-Jerusalem, Bethlehem
    4. Seven Wonders of the World
    5. Paris-Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Mona Lisa
    6. Barcelona- Gaudi Architecture
    7. Switzerland
    8. Japan
    9. Mexico
    10. Canada
    11. Dubai-islands
    12. Italy – Torino, Leaning tower of Pisa, ride a gondola in Venice, Pompeii, Sicily, Naples
    13. Ireland
    14. England-Big Ben, London bridge
    15. Africa-Casablanca
    16. Greece
    17. Sweden
    18. Norway
    19. Denmark
    20. Prague
    21. Portugal
    22. Brazil
    23. Argentina
    24. Australia
    25. Greenland
    26. Fiji
    27. Canary Islands
    28. Bahamas
    29. South America-the Amazon
  37. Learn how to surf
  38. Become a chef at a well-known restaurant
  39. Become a lawyer
  40. Become a journalist
  41. Become a FBI agent
  42. Shake hands with the President of the United States
  43. Backpack through Europe
  44. Get a Master’s degree
  45. Get a Doctorate Degree
  46. Ride a horse on the beach
  47. Ride in a hot air balloon
  48. Donate money to an organization that helps others
  49. Become independent with fixing my car
  50. Learn how to fly a plane
  51. Attend New Years in Time Square
  52. Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  53. Learn how to ride a motorcycle and get my motorcycle license
  54. Be a maid of honor at a friend’s wedding
  55. Be a mentor
  56. Have a mentor
  57. Dance in the rain
  58. Change someone’s life
  59. Be the best supportive parent I can be
  60. Stand up for something I believe in
  61. Participate in a protest
  62. Be confident in myself, my accomplishments and what I stand for
  63. Watch a fashion/runway show
  64. Be a positive and optimistic person
  65. Witness a solar eclipse
  66. Witness a meteor shower
  67. Climb Mt. Everest
  68. Go on a helicopter ride
  69. Celebrate Oktober Fest in Germany
  70. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland
  71. Discover what makes me truly happy
  72. Find my passion
  73. Allow myself to make mistakes
  74. Learn to take risks
  75. Discover my life’s purpose
  76. Learn not to take what others do or say personally
  77. Learn to stop worrying about things that are not within my control
  78. Develop good habits
  79. Attend an Ivy League School
  80. Meet Bret Favre and get his autograph
  81. Meet Oprah
  82. Be Time’s Magazine Person of the Year
  83. Donate blood
  84. Build a home for those that need one: Habitat for Humanity
  85. Create a trust fund for my child
  86. Go whale watching
  87. Go on a safari adventure
  88. Attend a Broadway play
  89. Learn to celebrate life every day
  90. Be grateful and appreciate for everything in my life
  91. Visit the wreckage of the Titanic
  92. Meet the Pope
  93. Find inner peace
  94. Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  95. Send my parents on a dream vacation
  96. Go to a NFL game
  97. Go to a MLB game
  98. Go to a hockey game
  99. Go to a pro-basketball game
  100. Become the best person I can be

The Washington Apple of Media Friday, May 15 2009 

Hot and cool media mixed becomes a great cocktail that does its job and tastes good.

Marshall McLuhan’s hot and cool media theory plays a role in this traditional media fight against new media.  You get the hot media that hands all the information to you.  It gives you the videos, the pictures, the story and you can even interact with it by commenting.  Then you have the cool media that lets you fill in the blanks and create your own images of the story or your own ideas. 

Newspapers and the Internet do exactly this. 

Print media isn’t dead.  It just adds to our senses as readers with actually holding something tangible and having stories laid out for us in importance. 

Yes, I agree that the Internet has been more successful than the newspaper business but that is because the Internet has more to offer.  There is an endless amount of information that readers can access, they can see more photos, videos and can take part in the story by leaving comments.  But newspapers is a tangible item. 

 I know I would rather have my stories picked out for me and put in order of importance.  I would rather hold a newspaper and drink a coffee in the morning.  Most people like grabbing the newspaper on their way to work and reading it on the subway.   Newspapers can also be convenient in this way.   

The Internet is a quick and easy thing to access to get the information you need.  Reading the newspaper, to me, is a special experience that I can look foward to every morning.

Once upon a time, we did live without the Web. Friday, Apr 24 2009 

I was born in 1987 and didn’t start using the Internet until my freshmen year in high school.  Since the Internet came out in the 1990s, I went 11 years without knowing the Web world existed.  I’m pretty sure I still existed within those 11 years without the Web or did I?

Tim Berners-Lee uses the saying “If it isn’t on the Web, it doesn’t exist.” 

Everybody has a life on the Web and for the most part ,that is there primary communication source.  I think I talk to more people online than I do at school or just out and about.  It is easier to have a life on the Web, because you can be whoever you want to be and people would never know. 

Even though people use the Web more to communicate and live their lives, I think our lives outside of the Web is just as important. 

Like I said earlier, I lived 11 years without using the Web.  I lived a happy life, playing with my toys, playing with the neighbors and going to school.  Now, I don’t even talk to my neighbors because it is just so much easier to chat them up on Facebook than in real life.  I prefer my life without the Web when I used to communicate outside the frame of my computer. 

After some periods of time withouth the Web, some people actually enjoy it.   They get to live their “real” life with real people instead of chatting it up with online identities on a screen all night. 

We do have “real” lives that do exist outside of the Web.  I think we just forgot about them.

Do you know your Internet ABC’s? Wednesday, Apr 15 2009 

Address Bar. Browser. Cookie. Now that you know your ABC’s, join the world wide web.

There is a seperate language used for the Internet. Not only do you need to know the vocabulary list of web words, you need to learn how to navigate around this online world and perhaps learn to make your own page.

Geez is this complicated.

My father is a computer programmer so I figured that the Internet would come easy to me.  Little did I know, my father had challenges of his own with the computer.  Yes, he knows codes and can make Web pages but Microsoft Word seemed to throw him for a loop. 

I just recently learned how to become friends with code on the Web.  Believe me, it is intimidating with all the symbols, but it comes in peace.  I promise.  I already have one Web page under my belt that I built from scratch and believe me, it was tedious and difficult but it paid off in the end. 

Learning to use the Web has become so difficult that there are classes that can help you become more user friendly with the Web.  They teach you HTML coding, XHTML coding and CSS coding.  All of these help put data on the Web and help you present the data in a fashionable manner. 

There are also plenty of helpful Web sites to help you learn code

Besides code, there are just the basic Web tools that can be difficult to use.  You can sometimes get lost on the Web so it is good to know the basic navigation of the Internet.

The Web is growing in new ideas and popularity.  It can be difficult to use so take advantage of the classes and welcome yourself to the World Wide Web.

Information overload Friday, Apr 10 2009 

When I go to read online, I go for the most interesting stories.  Then I narrow them down by the shortest to longest and begin my 20 minutes of reading which mostly involves skipping words and reading the main points. 

I am a guilty party of skimming.  But who isn’t?

Most people only have enough time to read 28% of the words on a page.  They only spend 4.4 seconds on each set of 100 words.  That time includes people understanding the layout of the page and figuring out how to work the navigation.  If you can’t tell, these are the skimmers. 

There is not enough time in the day to read all the non-stop information we can get on the Web.  There is just too much information. 

I can go read a specific article on the Web then there is a hyperlink that leads me somewhere else, then another and another.  Before I know it, I am looking up information on the San Diego Zoo when I originally started with the article on the earthquake in Italy.  How did that happen?

This is called information overload.  There is too much information on the Web and it is overwhelming.  It is easier to skip over the words the, it, a, he, she, etc.  Just get to the main words like earthquake, murder, robbery, etc.  The readers can fill in the rest. 

Is there not enough time to read the overwhelming amount of information or are we becoming lazy readers?

I think it is a little of both.

Join the wining competition Wednesday, Apr 1 2009 

The “competition” between new media and traditional media has actually become no competition at all.  New media has taken over hands down.

 

Bloggers seem to have the magic touch when it comes to gaining dedicated readers because of the convenient Web. 

 

Bloggers have more freedom than journalists do.  There are no editors to critique their work and most of the time, bloggers don’t have experience as a journalist.  They have complete freedom to write how they want and they can say what they want.  There are no-restraints so it gives bloggers the freedom to show their personality in what they write.    

 

This gives bloggers the opportunity to have a conversation with their readers by sharing their opinions.  Reader participation is key to gaining dedicated readers because they are given the opportunity to voice what their opinion.  Newspapers give readers’ opportunity to voice their opinion in a letter to the editor but the chances of a conversation coming out of that later are slim to none.  Traditional media doesn’t really offer reader participation.   

 

Besides public commentary, bloggers seem to handle corrections better than traditional media.  Usually corrections are written on inside pages of the newspaper where most people wouldn’t look.  In blogs, most people post corrections at the top of the page so readers can easily find it.  Bloggers are also more in touch with their readers so when there is a mistake, a reader will automatically make a post with a correction.  It is more difficult to call a newspaper and speak to someone you are not familiar with to make a correction. 

 

Traditional media needs to join the blogosphere instead of fighting against this new transition.  Joining this new trend will help keep traditional media alive. 

 

Newspapers need to provide more ways for readers to connect with the stories.  Giving readers the opportunity to comment on stories and getting involved in the news helps maintain dedicated readers.  They want their voice to be heard and if they aren’t given that opportunity they will go elsewhere like the blogosphere. 

 

The Sacramento Bee started publishing blogs in their paper to give readers the opportunity to voice their opinion.  Publishing blogs shows bloggers that they are important and that their opinion doesn’t just matter on the Web. 

 

Gannett newspapers started feeling the digital divide and they created “mojos.”  “Mojos” are mobile journalists that carry ThinkPads and work from their cars as they write stories to upload them on the Web as soon as they are finished.  Their office is their car.  This has given the Gannett papers a slight advantage on the new media by constantly and instantly updating their Web site with stories. 

 

With new media, one thing that has become popular is the online communities.  These are communities for people to join with common interests where they can share their opinion with others.  This is forming a niche.  Traditional media can become a niche instead of being wide-spread with information to target a specific group.  Magazines target niche markets and it keeps them in the loop of readers. 

 

As technology continues to grow, there are some people that are refusing to join in.  Neo-Luddites are refusing to follow this new transition and they are sticking with traditional media.  Even though traditional media is important, the have-nots are being left behind in the dust of new media.  If they don’t catch on to this new transition along with traditional media, they will be out of the social loop. 

Yes, it’s true. There are rules on the Web. Friday, Mar 27 2009 

Telling someone how you feel in person is difficult compared to writing a quick email expressing how you feel.  Many people revert back to the online world to express themselves just because it is easier than “real life.” 

Well it really isn’t that much easier than “real life.”  The online world comes with restrictions as well. 

Using the Web comes with some rules that must be followed.  There are copyright issues, invasion of privacy, issues,  trademark issues and libel issues. 

Through every Web page you are joined in on such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or Flickr, these issues are present.  They have the right to delete your account because of these issues so if you want to continue to use their service, be aware of the rules on the Web. 

With Twitter, it is difficult to copyright because of the 140 character limit but the risk still exists.   Short postings are protected under copyright, but posting on Twitter does have the risk to violate copyright issues.   The posting can give out secrets about others that would lead to invasion of privacy. That could also lead to libel issues damaging a person’s reputation.  Most people think they can write whatever they want on the Web, but that is techniqually considered published which leads to these rules of the Web. 

Violating these rules, potentially puts the hosts in a bad position.  This is why they have the power to delete your account without notice. 

A user’s account on Flickr was deleted without notice because of copyright issues.  The user wrote to Flickr asking about the deletion and they replied with copyright issues.  Just like that.  A click of a button and the account is gone forever.  All pictures were deleted.  Everything.  Gone. 

People think the Web is a get-away from “real life” avoiding rules and living in a life of freedom by saying what you want with no consequences.  Well there is consequences and they will never go away.  There is no such thing as a world where there are no restrictions or consequences.  The Web is definately not one of those worlds.

I’ll meet you at 3 p.m. on Facebook Friday, Mar 13 2009 

Since when did hanging out with your friends consists of practicing how fast you can type in a chatroom?

I remember when I was in high school and about ten of my friends would come over every Friday for movie night.  Now every other day or so, I meet up with them on Facebook or a text message conversation.  It is funny how impersonal things have become. 

No one takes the time to drive over to someone’s house and dedicate two hours to watching a movie and chit-chatting.  Is it about time restraints or is it just plain laziness?

The new technology has made things more convenient but it has also made things too convenient.  There are social networking sites that people can join and form a social life online.  They don’t even have to step foot out of their house.  Just connect, join and communicate.  Facebook added a chat function so users can send a quick im when they are on the run but is that all they really use it for?

I am guilty for using Facebook chat and it isn’t just for a quick “see you in a few.”  I find myself spending hours chatting it up with friends I am too lazy to go see in person.  It is my easy way of keeping connected with friends. 

You think Facebook chat is an easy way to communicate, well what about the new mobile upload of the chat room?  You can always be connected to the Facebook chat and many others on your cell phone.  It is capable of being connected to Facebook chat, AIM, Yahoo, Google, Myspace IM and MSN all at the same time. 

Wow.  Being able to avoid people in person has become so much easier.  I wonder how many hermits this new technology has created.

Next Page »