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Lose yourself.

by Gaia on Sep.11, 2010, under Random

The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.  No fear.  No distractions.  The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.

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I’m Selling Out and Getting My Life Sponsored

by Gaia on Mar.25, 2009, under Random

I’m selling out.

Screw 9-5 jobs taking up my free time, leaving me tired with medial pay and nothing to go out with. I am Mr. Gregarious – some even refer to me as a social light. People look to me for trend setting styles – how am I supposed to lead the nation when I’m stuck behind a desk all day?

Well that’s it. I’ve given up. I’m selling out. No more 9-5 jobs for me; I’m going to be out on the town all day and all night.

But I’ll have some limitations if you want to join me.

I can only wear clothes from Saks 5th ave. If you want to be seen with me, you have to do the same. It may seem like a superficial idea, but let’s face the facts: 80% of feeling good is looking good, so I’ll leave that to Saks and focus on the other 20%. Talk about saving energy!

Don’t own any Saks getup? I’ll have Red Cab pick you up for a non-stop shuttle to the gods of fashion themselves. After All if I use Red Cab, I’m guaranteed to get there*.

Thirsty? I only drink Coca-Cola products. Everyone knows Pepsi is garbage. I mean, they call it a “jack and coke” for a reason… right? It’s one of the few beverages that can exclusively be enjoyed.

But if it’s beer – well only the silver bullet satisfies my urges – and it better satisfy yours if you’re coming with me. After All, I only drink lagers frost brewed with a locked in rocky mountain taste – one of the best true american flavors we’ve created. I’d sprinkle rocky mountain taste on everything if I could.

If you’re picking me up, it has to be a Honda.

Yea, I would have preffered an american manufacturer, but Honda convinced me; something about meeting the friendliest people ever in them. I’m really friendly, so it was a match made in heaven. Plus, they make superior cars (as I’m told) so I wouldn’t dare pull up to a valet without handing over Honda keys.

Need to grab some convinience or pharmacy products?

I wouldn’t go anywhere except CVS. Walgreens is great. So is Duane Reade and Rite Aid. But CVS has exactly what I’m looking for that others don’t: CVS products. Why would I want to go premium-brand when I can go CVS-brand? The world may never know.

Want to visit? Well I’ll be picking you up in my Honda at the Delta terminal. Look for the guy draped in Saks 5th ave brand enjoying a refreshing Coca-Cola.

Yea, we’ve all heard the “Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive” acronym, but Delta gets me everywhere I need to for less – so they’ll do the same for you. What, you saw a cheaper fare on another airline? Please, I travel a lot, you should probably listen to me.

Once I get there it’ll have to be a Starwood hotel though. They’re the best.

I’ll be sure to let you all know when contracts are signed…

*eventually.

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Tourists

by Gaia on Mar.19, 2009, under Random

00000812

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Instant. Movie. Blockbuster.

by Gaia on Mar.18, 2009, under Random

Picture it:

Fast and the Furious meets jet ski racing and boat parties in Miami.

Jackpot.

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Scifi Movie Idea

by Gaia on Mar.18, 2009, under Random

Two or three part epic series set far, far in the future:

Huge astroid is coming nothing we can do about it.
Scientists secretly build big base on mars.
Many important industry people leave along with scientists etc.
Astroid hits, world is demolished everyone dies…
… almost everyone…
People on Mars build a life for 700 years; none of them ever mention what they secretly did, the children of children never knowing the truth.
Return to earth, start life again on an inhabitale planet that’s beautiful, very advanced.
But there’s another lifeform lurking.  Once a friend.  Now an enemy, never forgetting once happened.

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Phish Biscuits?

by Gaia on Mar.18, 2009, under Random

Knowing my love for the Disco Biscuits, my friend asked me what I thought of Phish Hampton.  I went to 4 nights of Biscuits in a row, followed by 3 days of work, then 3 nights of Phish in a row.  The following was my response:

Phish Hampton was AWESOME.  And honestly, the awesomeness had less to do with the music, and more to do with the experience.  It was just crazy down there – I have never seen so many people looking for tickets in my life.  Before I boarded the plane in Boston people were coming up to me in airport asking if I had extras.  I saw people buy Friday night tickets for $900!  The sheer volume of fans Phish has is just incredible.  It really makes for such an experience.

But honestly, I missed the Disco Biscuits a little whenever Phish would start playing a slower song.  Maybe it was the drugs in me or maybe it’s my love for non-stop energy packed disco biscuits concerts, but Phish just left a little something to be desired.  I honestly didn’t think I’d feel that way, but it definitely made me appreciate the biscuits more.  While Phish is more of a conventional “band,” the disco biscuits are so unique and really leading a path towards new music.  Did you hear they sold out like 27 of their 34 shows this winter tour?  I’m so happy for them.  They are the future of music.

Didn’t make it to Brothers Past in Hampton.  We were staying at the Embassy Suites, which was RIGHT next to the venue, and the hotel opened 3 bars had a DJ and was just the place to be after the show so we never made it to the main road to find a taxi  – and I heard this happened to EVERYONE.

Still, definitely an amazing time – coupled with 70+ degree weather and high spirits it was impossible to have a bad time… unless you were one of the thousands that came down to find tickets and came up empty-handed… but you still probably had fun.

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My First Panorama

by Gaia on Mar.16, 2009, under Photography, World Travel

The Okavango Delta, as viewed from camp North Vumbura in the Moremi Game Reserve of Botswana… can you see the lions?  61 megapixels; sorry if it takes a while to load on my slow server, but Flickr won’t host images over 20 mb – how lame!

The Okavango Delta

I spent a week exploring the Okavango; it is truly one of the most amazing places on Earth.

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Petra, Jordan – A Visit from Israel

by Gaia on Mar.15, 2009, under Random

The following was an email I sent to friends and family about my trip to Jordan. Israel was meant to be the highlight of my 2 week trip, but in all honestly Jordan stole the show.  I share my experience in hopes you will make the trip to this remote area next time you are in the Middle East:

I don’t know where to begin.  Jordan is a VERY different country than Israel.  I found Israel to be quite similar to an eastern European country with hints of the middle east popping in, while Jordan was by far a 3rd world country immersed in the middle east.  It was incredible to see the vast differences in culture between the two tiny nations, which are literally next to each other.  From its strong Muslim influence, to their relegation of women, to their strong arab backgrounds (for example, wearing a red and white checkered turban is practically de rigueur and if you don’t drink 10 cups of Turkish coffee a day, love the local tea, and smoke a pack of cigarettes a day then you’re clearly not from Jordan [even the customs official stamping my passport to the armed guard watching him were literally blowing smoke in my face])  to how the cities were set up (for example, satellite dishes have replaced the solar paneled hot water boilers on rooftops in Jordan), the Jordanians presented a completely different view on what it’s like to live in the middle east… not to mention the FACT that everything except your hostel/hotel and the entrance price to Petra can be negotiated to 1 dirham (about $1.20) – from Shrwarma to a can of coke to a local taxi to an hour on the internet.  And before I forget, the food was soooooo delicious.  I had no idea what I was eating (all vegetables in different sauces) but I must have tried over 12 different dishes while there and everything tasted spectacular.

In addition, it was nice to see a different paradigm on the war between Israel and Hamas.  It was funny to note, that while crossing the border into Jordan, both the Israeli and Jordanian sides, upon hearing I was American, gave me a thumbs up and told me they liked Barack Obama (even though the Jordanians expressed many times how much they hate Israel for what they did in the Gaza strip – even taking already served coffee away from me because I looked like I could be from Israel).  Jordanians told me before the war, they were friends with all Israelis, but after the war started they now HATE them.  But you can’t blame them – their local news spends a solid 30 minutes showing Palestinian families crying, hugging each other, asking things like “why did they destroy my home, my life?!”  Going from the USA to Israel to Jordan, it was very interesting to see how the media portrayed what was going on from all sides of the war.

Jordan is also a beautiful beautiful beautiful country.  The topography is just outstanding if you’re into mountains.  The single lane highway that runs most of the country winds and weaves itself through canyons and cliffs and mountains that top anything I saw while making my way from Tel Aviv to Eilat.

Petra… I don’t even know where to begin here.  I like to think of myself as a well-traveled individual and Petra has to be one of the most amazing places I have ever been.  I was overwhelmed with excitement the entire time I was there.  I literally felt like the Kabala teacher in knowing why I get up every day: to visit places like this.  I spent 2 full days hiking around the site, a giant national park with over 800 monuments that have been carved straight out of walls by the Nabataeans.  Below is a photo I took of “The Treasury,” just one of the 800+ carvings, this one most notable for being in Indiana Jones.  Petra was just amazing and apparently this is the low tourist season – which worked out well as I was able to take 100s of photos without another tourist in site.

The Treasury - Petra

I have to admit, seeing something like the Western Wall in Jerusalem is amazing, but the more religious you are, in my opinion, the more amazing this wall is.  When we were there, I saw people kissing the wall, people crying, people so excited to see this wall extremely significant to not only Judaism, but other religions as well.  I did not have this reaction.  To me, in many aspects it was just a wall that was appreciated more by some individuals who felt closer to it based on their beliefs.  Petra, on the other hand was a site that had no real religious connotations and could be appreciated by ANYONE with an adventurous spirit.  Hell you don’t even need to hike like I did; there are ample Jordanians trying to rent their donkey or camel out to the less athletic individuals (again, they’ll ask for 3 dirham, but you can get one for 1).

Petra was just a magical place and I cannot wait to head back to Jordan and bring someone with me next time.  I stayed at a hostel this time and met some WONDERFUL people I spent both days hiking with.

Just to let you all know, I went into Jordan from Eilat (really easy – there is a 96 shekel exit tax you must pay), took a taxi from the border to Petra stopping at Wadi Rum along the way (they tried to charge me 70 dirham for this, but I got them down to 50 dirham, and later found out the “local” price was 30 dirham), toured Petra for 2 full days, then took a taxi north of the Dead Sea to the King Hussein bridge (60 dirham for a 3.5 hour scenic taxi ride bringing you along the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side) and crossed into the West Bank (this crossing is MISERABLE compared to the Eilat one) and took a taxi into Jerusalem.  It all worked out SOOOOOOO easily and there was absolutely nothing to be scared about; I encourage all of you to visit – and you can easily take busses if you have the time which cost practically nothing, I was just pressed for time and had to take taxis.

So I hope I’ve conveyed my new-found love for Jordan.  I took loads of photos and some great HD video (even got 2 gorgeous sunsets over Petra) but I’ve just been too busy to sit down and go over them.  Maybe sometime this weekend.

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Brought to you in Living HD

by Gaia on Mar.15, 2009, under Life Commentary, Music, Random

I wonder how long it’ll be until people stop labeling media as “in HD.”  Like when color came out and people labeled shows “in living color.”

I searched Google and only came up with one article on the topic, written back in July of 2003.  David Wilkerson at Market Watch provides an interesting view on HD’s future as compared to the black and white color switch before I even owned my first HD TV (I believe I got my first EDTV in 2004).

Well David, 5 ½ years later we’ve got superior cheaper HD products.  I can get an HD 60 minute camcorder for $175 at Best Buy.  I don’t even watch TV programs that aren’t in HD – thank god TBS remade Seinfeld in HD.  Times are changing; of course, we knew they would.

I give it 4 years.  From David’s article, we clearly haven’t come too far in mainstreaming HD, but 2009 has bequeathed us with cheapass HD cameras making even the budgeted a high quality videographer.

It definitely shocks me when networks like CNN film primetime interviews in non-HD, or that some sports stadiums still have non-HD filming.  Who knows what “middle America” thinks about this though; I have no idea where they are with the HD upgrade.  For all I know no one in Alamaba has even seen an HD TV… but I’m hopeful.

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3/11/09 Telegraph Photo of the Day

by Gaia on Mar.14, 2009, under Notable News

A bomb goes off as Sri Lankan Muslim men celebrate a religious holiday in Akuressa. A suicide bomber attacked a gathering of Muslims, killing 10 and critically wounding a government minister. See the video here and see more images and more about the story here.

sri-lanka-blast_1364126i

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