Charlotte seems to consist of tons of cranes building office buildings. There were no cute shops and it was very empty at night. I did find some interesting signs and sculptures though.  

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School’s Out!

April 30, 2008

Okay, so it’s only for a few weeks, but boy did I enjoy last night. Monday was my last class for the spring semester so last night I had nothing to do. I just sat on the couch and watched I am Legend and then took a bubble bath. It was pure heaven.

Passover is over too. I had some rough times there though. This past weekend I went to Charlotte to watch Bruce Springsteen. My fiance is a huge fan and since it was his birthday off we went. We ate at a little restaurant that served hot corn bread with honey butter. Can you imagine the torture as he tore through his piece and mine sat lonely on the plate? It was sad very very sad.

For the concert we had general admission tickets. What this means, for those of you who haven’t attended a Springsteen concert, is that we had the honor of paying $100 to stand on the floor. The lucky few who are picked during the lottery can move up to the pit. They also stood on the floor but closer to the stage. At 5’4″ the floor doesn’t do me much good unless I want to see everyone’s hairstyles since the back of heads is all that I’ll be enjoying. We were crammed in but at least by the end of the concert we moved back where there was more room and fewer heads.

I took a few pictures in Charlotte that I’ll post later.

Sexless in the City

April 23, 2008

Here is the link that I promised to The Celibacy Project. It is about the trials and tribulations of a single woman in New York City whose decided not to have sex for 90 days. It’s well written and funny. My explanation may not be the best but trust me and try it out. Let me know what you think.

Passing Over Cupcakes

April 21, 2008

Minty Musingstrip to the Newseum prevented a cupcake tasting for her but I have a higher power to answer to for the next week. It’s Passover again and that means no bread products for eight days. It feels like an eternity. As I sit here eating my chicken salad with matzo I miss my dear old friend bread. The best way to describe how matzo tastes is a stale cracker with no salt or any other flavor added. Not so good. Fear not though, I did get in some last minute bread products over the weekend before the sun went down on Saturday.

 

This past weekend I was again in NYC and I had a creme puff at Beard Papa. This is an odd little place on the upper west side. I have never liked creme puffs because they are soggy with heavy filling in the middle. At this place they’re different. Basically, one of the two Japanese women behind the counter picks up a puff pastry and then impales it on a metal spout. They then pump the pudding like filling in (it’s a bit lighter than a pudding texture though). A dash of powdered sugar finishes the creation. Because the creme doesn’t touch the pastry until right before it disappears into your mouth it doesn’t get soggy. Definitely a must try if you’re in the neighborhood. The ladies behind the counter are also very upbeat and perky.

 

As for this breadless week, don’t cry for me, I’ve got a plan. Before class on Wednesday I’ll be hitting the Sweet Green and partaking of the yogurt with fresh berries on top. That should calm down my sweet tooth and satisfy the no bread requirement. It’s even pretty healthy to boot.

Politics seems to be a vicious circle. The First Campaign, written by an insightful young author, discusses this pattern. One party is in power and nothing is done or something that the public doesn’t like so the other party is elected to office. After 8 years they too lose favor so the first party is brought back. It seems to be a given as it’s happened so many times before. The flip side of this is that maybe the party in power feels too sure of themselves and doesn’t have the same drive to stay in office as the party who is trying to get back into favor.

 

 

Either way it comes down to money. With more money there is more power and power seems to walk hand in hand with official positions. Whichever party, or candidate for that matter, has the most dollars seems to prevail. In the past it was the Republican machine and now the Democratic machine seems to be catching up. Whenever the media reports on how a candidate is doing in the elections it is always accompanied by the amount in their campaign account.

 

When in comes to the internet it now seems that you need to be in it to win it. Ever since the Dean campaign dove into the internet headfirst everyone is getting wet, even if it’s only a pinky toe. Now candidates get criticized if they don’t open up enough on the internet. In a recent blog on TechPresident they discussed how insulted some were that Hillary Clinton sent out tweets on Twitter but didn’t pretend to follow any. In other words she’s not signed up for anyone else’s feed. Obama is signed up for over 23,000 feeds. He must have a lot of time on his hands.

 

Political campaigns are all about perception. Do any of the candidates have their finger on the pulse of the people, probably not. If the perception is there, however, then the race is won.

 

As this social media course comes to a close this is an interesting question. We’ve got “traditional” media outlets in one corner and “new” media in another. Maybe we should just have a Celebrity Death Matchand see who wins? Now this is sounding exciting. The truth is that I don’t think the lines are as cut and dry as that. There is currently a merging of the two that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Many reporters now have their own blogs in which they go into more detail about a story that they might be covering. Newspapers are going online with video streaming and eventually they’ll get the hang of it. The differentiations that used to exist are vanishing. If reporters are bloggers and newspapers are streaming video it’s pretty obvious that “citizen reporters” are being taken seriously. We the Media includes everyone reporting what’s going on out there in the world.

 

I know I’m rambling a bit but it just seems that there isn’t much difference anymore. As overseas bureaus close at an alarming rate because news organizations are restructuring as they try to save money we the citizens need to get our news somewhere. News stations have been sending paid interns out with handheld video cameras to follow candidates. Aren’t they “citizen journalists?” Basically, what I’m saying, is that both are needed and wanted. The mainstream learns from citizens as much as the citizens learn from the mainstream. We’re all in this together.

Content Provider

April 17, 2008

So, I just found out today that I’m a content provider according to Readwriteweb.  As bloggers we are all content providers. What does this mean? We spend 5-10 hours puttering along web 2.0. Do I really spend that much time? Now that I think about it probably. I mean between writing blogs, reading blogs, researching papers, etc. I’m on here a heck of a lot. Our buddies on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and such are only participants with 1-5 hours a week devoted to social media.

 

I remember back in college being terribly impressed that my roommate had a dial up connection to the internet. I would always forget that she was online and pick up the phone to that horrible fuzzy, buzzy sound that comes through the receiver when you’re connected to the computer. I remember when you had a choice to either use the phone or the computer since they both used the same phone line. Who could have guessed I’d actually be using the internet, if not to its full advantage, at least to some advantage Just a thought.

As I was reading the articles on the Howard Dean campaign it struck me that all of them had one thing in common. Basically, they were saying that politics, like markets should be conversations. I felt like a genius until I got to the last article that I read The Marketing of a President. It said just that so I didn’t feel as superior anymore. It makes plenty of sense though. For years in politics, just as in marketing, we’ve been told what we want instead of asked. We don’t need to buy (vote) for any particular candidate. In fact there are lots to choose from so if we don’t feel like a candidate is interested in us why should we side with them? Just as in marketing a little goes a long way. If a politician can really show potential voters that he or she is listening and reacting to what is being discussed they have a much better chance of being elected. When the poorest candidate has millions of dollars in the bank it’s hard to relate to them. There is already a built in divide. When they ask advice of constituents it makes them, the constituents, feel more powerful.

 

Since we have more people getting involved in the campaign more insights can be made. As also mentioned in the article, our crowd is very wise. Each individual person may have a great idea but the trends that develop will really let a campaign know which way to go. By using collaboration this wisdom becomes a free asset for campaigns. People are motivated to get involved with a campaign that cherishes their ideas and institutes them. It is what web 2.0 is all about. People donate ideas and time based not on monetary rewards but instead recognition.

 

Now candidates are also capitalizing through the gained capital that an internet presence brings in but money from individuals only goes so far. It seems that in order to run a campaign a huge amount of money is needed. If volunteers are born of this open internet forum they each can pull in 2 more people or 6 and then the donations will really begin to roll. If potential voters believe in you and feel that your message is directed towards them and obtainable the possibilities are endless.

I finally tried out Georgetown Cupcakes. I’ve meant to for awhile as it was mentioned in Mintymusings and sounded very good. It was really by accident. I’d passed by a few times but it was never open. Eventually they came to me since I couldn’t go to them. Last week there was a birthday in the office and one of my coworkers brought in cupcakes. Not any old cupcakes either but Georgetown’s finest. The overall reaction was very good. Hazelnut topped cupcakes were greeted by a resounding yum as were the others. I, myself, went for the red velvet. The cake was moist but the icing was a bit too sweet for me. I can’t blame the cupcakes because I just might have been a poor flavor picker. All of the elements were there for a great cupcake so I’ll have to try again when I can hit the store and have more of a choice. To be continued……

I Love This Card

April 11, 2008

So, I was reading Boingboing and they had this fabulous post about cards made of recycled paper with seeds embedded into them. How cool is that? When you get a card it’s hard to throw it away because someone took the time to send it to you and hopefully write something nice inside. I end up saving them and cluttering my place. Now you don’t have to feel bad about getting them out of the house. They won’t even fill up your trash bag. Just read and then plant. Yep, dig a hole in your backyard and bury the card. Eventually a flower will grow. Now you can always remember the sender when you smell the lavender.