Halley's Comet - 1986

Halley's Comet - 1986

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel

Happy Channukah everyone!

Here's a video I'm going to share with all of you that was done by my friend Danny who I met on my trip to Israel. It's a short funny clip about a game that we play to celebrate the holiday Channukah, the festival of lights for Jews, which comes around about the same time as Christmas. The game is called Dreidel. Watch...and Learn!

Click this link to watch the short video on how to play Dreidel:

Friday, December 5, 2008

In the world of social media

As many of you may or may not know, my job is in online social media... a place where we take our real live interaction as human beings into cyber realms, where we find places such as the blogosphere!

As one who studies the blogosphere for my work, I have come to find the six labels that we place you under as a visitor of cyperspace. (These labels come from Charlene Li's book Groundswell)We have creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives. Intersting how this is only to approach the world of online social media, or what we might call the 'groundswell', but what about in real life? Can you place yourself into one of these categories?

Do you consider yourself a creator? One who puts ideas out there for others to hear? Spark ideas into realities as your share your knowledge and bring it to fruition? Have you ever brought someting to life? Then yes, you are a creator.

Are you a critic? Do you take everything that comes to you in life and analyze it. Look at its up sides and downsides, and make an overall judgment on it? Or to move on to our next category...

Are you a collector? Do you like to gain as much of something as possible? Do you like to categorize things into your life or break them down into portions? Do you like to pile things up in one place?

Joiners are those of us who like to network. We like to be social. We don't necessarily care very much about going into great detail, but we like to talk to others. We like to be a part of a community, at the greatest or slightest degree.

There are spectators and inactives. Spectators merely watch what is going on, but rarely participate in the action.

And inactives, well you know the kind. Just going from point A to point B oblivious to what is going on around them.

I haven't really told you how these different labels actually work in the realm of online social media. But I think it's more interesting to all of you to apply it to real life. Think about how you interact with the world around you. And to what degree?

The picture in this post is one that I took at O'hare airport on the moving walkway coming on my way back to Austin from Chicago. Thought it was pretty cool.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Strange Overtones"

Hey Everyone ~ I haven't written in a while. To tide you over until my next detailed post, I am presenting you with this album preview entitled "Everything That Happens will Happen Today" which has been provided by the musicians - David Byrne and Brian Eno. The song I fell in love is called Strange Overtones. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not Just Another Blog post on Obama

So I was talking to my brother last night about how optimistic we were for 2009 and how we are looking forward to the good that Obama would do for this country. I noted that although he was criticized for not having a lot of experience that this fact could actually be a really good thing. He will have to take advice from others where he lacks the experience, and this is important for a good leader. Someone who listens and doesn't make hasty decisions without the consent of his board.

But my brother noted an even better point. Did anyone know that Obama taught the constitution for ten years at University of Chicago?? I thought that was interesting tidbit. Wouldn't it be a novel idea for a President to actually uphold the teachings of the foundation of which this countries government is laid upon?


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Unhappy Trails and Halloween Tales

Sixth Street is definitely what it is hyped up to be here in Austin. It's much like a parade, where people just walk the strip in their decked out costumes. I dragged my friend Matt downtown, after he had worked like two hundred hours the past two weeks. After driving through traffic for thirty minutes, and finally finding a place to park, I realized I left my ID at home! So I snapped a few shots, we ate a gyros with potatoes? (the potatoes were part of the keeping Austin weird theme) and then headed back home. Halloween this year definitely made me more homesick than ever, but I'm glad I'll be going to Chicago for Thanksgiving.

The next morning was a run at 7:30AM. We were running the Greenbelt on this particular morning, I was told it was a little rocky. Rocky was not the word to describe this run. It was more of a hiking path, and I'm not one to enjoy jogging through such constraints. Sure enough, I fell, Twice, the second time really leaving a bruise and large scrape on my leg. I really want to go to Yoga today so I can thank my body for its natural healing abilities. That's what we do in Yoga. Twist our bodies in new angles every day, and then reflect on why we are grateful for the day. Who wouldn't enjoy that?

But the highlight of Halloween weekend was pancakes at Magnolias with my roommates. It was the thirty-forty minute wait that made those gingerbread pancakes taste that much better! I will be adding this to my google map of great places to go in Austin. When I finally finish my map, I will be posting it here. So stay tuned!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Machine is using Us

Have you ever thought about how your interaction with the computer is affecting your life? How is it redefining all our values as human beings? Our relationships? How we communicate? Think about how many couples you know who met via myspace or online dating services. The number keeps increasing. And how many of your friends don't have facebook, myspace, or are linked to some online social community? The numbers are decreasing. This paradigm shift in the way we communicate with others means that we are going to have to re-evaluate many other definitions on what it means to be human. Take a look at this video created by cultural antrhopologist Michael Wesch.


What do you think?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Across The Finish Line

My race time: 1:03:39 = 10 minute 40 second mile time!!!!

It was a beautiful Fall morning, one where it is still dark outside when you wake up, and you have to use your wipers to wash the dew off your car wind shield. I didn’t know what to expect. Driving into the lot of IBM felt like I was entering a world of the unknown. I literally saw tents all around me and people milling about. But I cold not find my team.

When I found Sharanya at the Team Asha Table I felt ready. I pinned my number onto my bright red Asha shirt, and it was time to run my first race ever. The IBM 10K would be 6.1 miles, with about a mile of a warm up run totaling seven. I never in a million years would have pictured myself at the starting line of a running race, but here I was.

What brought me to train for the half marathon in the first place was the thought of doing something for myself, something where I would have to depend on no one but myself - for a sense of purpose and power. I was responsible for the first spark of energy to begin training, and I was responsible for carrying my momentum across days of training and through my first finish line without giving up on myself. In a world where we are constantly grappling to maintain a sense of control over a life which tosses us endless curve balls, running a race makes the journey seem worth it!

It was the best feeling in the world coming around the five mile marker and speeding up to push my hardest for that last 1.1 mile. When I saw the finish line I began to sprint, feeling the adrenaline pumping my heart, arms, and legs faster than they have ever gone before. I thought about all the negative feelings I had from the week, and threw them away at that last stretch. I was nearing the finish line, and all I wanted to feel was pure gratitude.

They called my name and number and at that moment I felt a sense of accomplishment that nothing else in this life has every created for me. I slapped my team members high fives and grinned one of the best smiles I had ever felt. The happiness came right from my heart and went right back to it. It began with a simple step and ended with a more complete sense of life.

Me running toward The Finish

Monday, October 6, 2008

On top of the World

Yesterday was quite the day, and it began with a 7AM wake up after a long night of drinking and networking. I ran six miles still a bit hung over, and it felt amazing afterward! The great thing about running is that any bad stuff you've got built up in your body/mind/soul can just burn away during the run. After that I went to Yoga, for a mental relaxation and to remind myself of this months intent: To get a job!

My room mate Anna and I got a chance to also hit up Mount Bonnell later Sunday. It's a great view of Austin, and it overlooks the lake with these amazing houses that maybe one day I will be able to live in. There is also a cute little hole-in-the-wall bar nearby here which would be nice to visit during sunset. You can sit outside, grab a 2 buck beer, and chill in the great hills of Austin. the name is Dry Crek Cafe.

Anna and I on Mount Bonnell / Dry Creek Saloon

Last note: As many of you may or may not know, both my desktop and laptop computers have failed me as I have been working to get my life together here in Austin. Thus, complicating the already complicated situation I am in. The great news of today is that I have gotten my desktop fixed for under $2oo, (I think I did pretty good!) and now can get the ball rolling a little more smoothly. My next task after I get a job is to get the laptop fixed or buy a new one. But first and foremost, my job. If anyone has any contacts in Austin who are looking for a marketing/PR person, please let me know.

Thanks for reading! Peace, love, and Austin.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

One month Anniversary of Being in Austin

It is now October 2, 2008, just about one month from the day I moved to good ol' Austin, TX. What I love about this city is the laid back atmosphere, the flourishing arts and music culture, and the perfect balance between old fashioned southern comfort and contemporary urban spice. My days here have been filled with job hunting, networking, yoga, training for a half marathon, and exploring the lively sites that this city has to offer.

Here is a list of some sites I have enjoyed this far:

1. Running along Town Lake - there is an amazing runners community out here in Austin. And rightly so. There is a beautiful 25 or so mile trail with different paths that border the city's lake, and it makes for a great morning or early evening run when the air is usually cooler. There are runners everywhere, dogs jumping in the lake, and even rowers and canoers to see.

2. Swimming in Barton Springs - From 9-10pm you can visit this very large naturalspring-like pool for free. It's not really a pool, and it's not really a natural spring either, it just looks a little like both. There is a diving board and no chlorine. I went on the night of the full moon, and they showcased live music...we also joined in the spirit of the event and howled at the moon...How many times have y'all (yeah that's right, I said y'all) howled at the moon in unison with about fifty or so other people?

3. My apartment - I have been living with a strange combination of four(including myself) girls who come from completely different backgrounds, yet we mesh so very well. Emerald is the rebel from San Antonia, who is a lesbian and likes to skateboard. Anna is the Southern Bell from Houston, who is a really cool artist and likes to draw tatoos in her free time while watching movies. Maribelle is Mexican from a small town called Dimmit in Texas who is studying to be a social worker. And myself, the free spirited Jew from Chicago. It's great to have a place to come home where I know I am in good company.

Well that's all on Austin for now. Stay posted, because I have much more I need to share with you!