Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Feliz Año Nuevo! I'll be out of the office (again) celebrating in New York City. Until next year! Maybe I'll try some new things for the blog. What would you want to see?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Social Media & Causes

When Latinos come together we have a voice! When Latinos come together on the internet, we have a stronger voice. We are Latinos in Social Media (Latism). A few days ago Latism and BeingLatino announced they were fundraising for UNICEF. The goal was to raise $1,000 to help Latin American children though UNICEF. 53 million children go hungry in Latin America every year, and UNICEF is the largest worldwide organization providing aid to fight these statistics.

So what happened? We all got together on TweetChat and tweeted away. All types of donations were accepted; even $1. I mean come on? If we can spend $100 on sneakers, why can't we donate $1 to help kids in our home countries. The power of social media strikes again. Thank you to all who donated.

Tweets before the New Year

The year is almost over so people are Tweeting their New Year's resolution, what they plan on doing for NYE and a whole bunch of other worthy causes. Hopefully, next year people won't be so angry on Twitter.

Worthy causes will always catch your attention

Latinos are good for weird traditions. I do love the grapes though

Who doesn't love food?

#justsayin lol

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Memory from the Decade

I was just reminiscing my stroll days and to this date my favorite stroll will always be "Weekend @ Bernies". Oh memories :).

Top 10 of 2010

Since everyone decided to make a Top 10 decade list I might as well too. Although I can't really recall specific events that happened in my life each year, I'll just try to remember as I go along. And no not everything was happy-go-lucky, there were horrible things happening in our lives but we just learned from them.
  1. September 2001 - No one expected these attacks, no one.
  2. June 2002 - Can you believe I graduated from Plainfield High School 7 years ago? Who would've thought this NJ born Colombian would've ended up in Philadelphia.
  3. September 2002 - Why wait? Go to college. My first semester at Widener University sure was an interesting one. Let's not relive those memories haha.
  4. September 2003 - Probably one of the biggest decision I've made, I had to start all over again at Temple University.
  5. February - April 2004 - So instead of relying on alcohol, I spent a good portion of this semester going through my education intake process. Thanks Gamma Phi Sigma Thanks.
  6. February 2006 - We all go through difficult times and unfortunately it takes a death for us to realize what is wrong in the world. R.I.P. Ciara N. Deprill 2-3-06
  7. January 2007 - This NJ born Colombiano graduated from Temple University! Yes there were some hard times but I did it in 4 1/2 years! Luckily, Taller PR accepted me full time after graduation.
  8. August 2008 - Remember, you only live once so take a trip out of the country! Well technically it wasn't but it sure was the closest I've been to Africa. And to think, I went to Puerto Rico again the following year.
  9. June 2008 - Gamma Phi Sigma SILK 08 Stroll Champions. *sigh* lol
  10. November 2009 - Pledgemaster Navaja scores again. 'nuff said
p.s Yes it was all about me. Who cares :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bejeweled: Great Game or Time Waster?

Does anyone know why we love playing Bejeweled? And not just on our computer, but on Facebook too! This favorite application has taken our lives by storm. We always want to get the high score yet for some reason we're always scoring 50,000 or below.

It wasn't until a few months ago when Bejeweled decided to add more features like Blazing Speed and Star supers. Now almost anyone could get scores up to 200,000+. Do you think there is a strategy to the game? Of course there is. But I won't let you know :).

More to do in AC: Believe It or Not

Not what you would expect when thinking of going on vacation huh? My brother wanted to go to Atlantic City to celebrate his birthday and he put me in charge of the itinerary which meant whatever I chose we would have to go. Sure enough I put the strange Ripley's Believe It or Not museum on the list.

I have been to one other Ripley museum but I had forgotten how strange it was and still is. Although a little pricey, the walkway at the end of the museum makes it worth the money. Exhibits include weird animals, crazy survivor stories and a walkway that will make you wish you were never drunk when you got there. There are also a lot of fun facts and quizzes throughout the walls of the exhibits which make you ponder about random facts.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Feliz Navidad

I'll be out of the office until Monday so no "Grinds My Gears" posts! Remember, there's still time to win tickets to see The Spy Next Door.

See you el lunes!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tweets of the Days Before Xmas

The holiday season is upon us so that means a few things; it's either cold or people are just in a good mood. So right before we get to Christmas, here are some good Tweets of the day.

Sometimes we wish we were at these TweetUps because the outcome ends up great!

Complaining on Twitter is easy. Do you do it?

Contests and questions are always a good idea.

Visuals are always the best

Philagrafika 2010

Are you into contemporary art or just art in general? Then Philagrafika 2010 is just for you! The contemporary art festival will take place in 80 venues throughout Greater Philadelphia, making it one of the largest art events in the country. From January 29 to April 11, 2010, more than 300 artists from around the globe will feature works that engage the visual, intellectual and creative frontiers in printmaking.

Some of the artists include:
  • Jose Roca - Prior to becoming Artistic Director of Philagrafika 2010, Roca managed the arts program at the Banco de la República in Bogotá for a decade, establishing it as one of the most respected institutions in the Latin American circuit.
  • Pepón Osorio is best known for multimedia works that combine elements of popular culture, domestic life and performance in order to address political and cultural issues concerning Latino communities in the United States
  • Over the past 30 years, Self Help Graphics & Art has emerged as the leading visual arts cultural center which serves the predominantly Chicano/Mexicano community of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Congrats NOTA!

That's right, Nota brought it over the top to take the crown on NBC's The Sing Off. Not only did they win branging rights, but also $100k and a Sony Music recording awesome is that?! Granted the show was only a week long, but hey who cares; we claim everything!

What do you think they'll do next? Will the lead singer stay with the group? I'm just happy for the positive portrayal of Latinos.

A Good Heart - AVATAR

Let me start off by saying you have to watch this movie in IMAX-3D, the experience is awesome. And once again a movie (director) tells our species we are disgraceful. In Avatar, James Cameron takes us to a world where humans attempt to take over without hesitation. I'm sure there's a back story where the scientists talk to the native Navi but this movie is about courage and good will.

So what constitutes a good person? A good person knows what's right for others even though it's wrong for your own friends, family, etc. (and vice versa). We always think about the people we meet and whether or not they will be our true friends; sometimes they will sometimes they won't. We always assume people have hidden agendas and sometimes that is right. In the end, we will see what kind of person they are and if they were given a person. In Avatar, Jake Sully realized his true calling and made a choice to become part of the Navi.

Moral of the story: humans suck haha.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Years Eve in New York City

That's right for the first time ever I'll be celebrating NYE in NYC. Not sure what to expect, possibly chaos right from when I get on the bus. Luckily I got my MegaBus ticket early and only spent $17 round trip. I'm not really sure what I'll be doing but I know I'll be with some close people.

I highly doubt I will be with the crazy people at Times Square. I don't even know how people can drink and NOT use the restroom. Apparently once you have your standing room, you can't go anywhere! That just isn't my cup of tea.

Anyone have suggestions for things to do on NYE or New Years Day in NYC?

Friday, December 18, 2009

AT&T Strikes Again

So little did I know as soon as I posted this, AT&T decided to launch social networking sites for Latinos! AT&T Latino channels include Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, as part of its commitment to give Spanish-speaking customers access to the content and services they want, whenever and wherever they want it. Music seems to be a common theme throughout the 3 pages. But is this targeting younger Latinos? Older Latinos? Or just Spanish-speaking Latinos?

The Latism people spread the message throughout the Twitterverse but whether or not we'll become fans is the question. AT&T designed the pages to keep consumers up-to-speed on AT&T's entertainment sponsorships, exclusive content, promotions and special offers, along with the latest in technology trends and tips for AT&T products and services. So far Thalia an Paulina Rubio have messages on the YouTube account; I'm not really a fan of either artist.

So will you join?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Support NOTA

I think everyone agrees that if NOTA does not win The Sing Off, there will be hell to pay. I mean if you look at the Twitter trending topic #singoff, you can see that they are a popular group. Check one of their best performances from episode two.

That Really Grinds My Gears...Our Journey

Sometimes I don't understand what goes on in our lives that make us angry. Yes I am an angry person too, but it's because people make it that way. I know I can easily make my life happy but the reality of it is that there are people out there who just don't want to see you succeed. It's weird how this crazy thing called life works. We're born into this "country" thinking we have so much opportunity. We may have this opportunity but like in video games, there are levels and in order to move on to the next, we must defeat the bad guy.

I put it out there on Twitter than Latinos need to work twice as hard as any other minority group. Do you think this is true? Are we just given our degrees, paycheck, careers, etc?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Start the New Year With a Movie

There's still time to enter to win free tickets to see The Spy Next Door. One winner will be chosen to see an advance screening of the movie on January 9th at 10 a.m. from Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston and Chicago. Don't worry, you won't be going to the movies alone, the passes are good for you and a guest!

How do you win? Just comment on this post or the original entry post with your name city and contact info. Yep, it's that easy. I'll pick a winner by January 1st.

For more info about the movie, click here or to watch the preview, check out YouTube.

Tweets of the Cold Day

Ahh yes Tweets of the day. Not a day goes by that I don't laugh at someone's ranting via Twitter or just complaining about life. @AnaRC said it best, "Still don't say/write online what you wouldn't say/write on tv or newspapers." Yet people continue to curse, demoralize a person's character, etc. Oh well, here are today's TWEETS OF THE DAY!

Is Journalism dying? People are having trouble looking for jobs.

Sometimes all the social networking at your job can get a little annoying.

Read on...Read on.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank You Customer Service

So we all love complaining via Twitter about our cable, cell phone, gas, water, landlords, etc. But what are we to do when they actually answer back!? About a month ago I believe I was complaining about AT&T and out of no where someone replies. @ATTcustomercare was there to the rescue, luckily there wasn't a problem, it was just me being frustrated.

But of course no one is perfect. Today I was duped into updating my BBM software. My cell phone decided to freeze in the middle of the upgrade so I had to take the battery out. When I turned it on BOOM no BBM. Luckily again AT&T answered the call. I was afraid I was going to be given a number to call but I wasn't. In the end I solved the problem but I was glad they were there to answer the messages. I'm glad they know the importance of social media outreach. I mean think about it, don't we always complain about something via Twitter?

Get off Your Cell Phone Señor

Can you go a day without your cell phone? How about an hour without Tweeting? Well apparently Latinos just love to use mobile technology. Although Latinos may not have computers at home, we sure do keep in touch with cell phones. According to a Pew Research Center study, English-speaking adult Hispanics are no more likely than whites to own cell phones: 75% of whites own cells, 72% of Latinos (a statistically insignificant difference).

Think about it though. Does your aunt, abuelita, mom or dad own a home computer? Nope but I bet they have a Virgin Mobile, Cricket or Boost Mobile cell phone? Okay maybe Verizon considering they like to sponsor a lot of Latino events. We're probably always on our cell phone because we NEED to be in touch with our family. There are times where if I don't call home, the parents get a little irritated and think somethings wrong.

At last weekend's Latism conference, there was a session about mobile applications. The message: Marketers should think about using mobile applications to cater to ALL audiences. So what carrier do you think most Latinos have? I personally have AT&T and have been with them for over six years.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Latinos on Mainstream Reality TV

Mainstream reality TV shows strike again adding Latino flavor. Maybe it's been done before and I just haven't been paying attention, but today The Sing Off premiered on NBC and of course we have our Puerto Ricans: Nota. Nota, from San Juan, Puerto Rico is an all-male sextet met in college and have been sharing their passion for music ever since. Although they grew up in Puerto Rico with Spanish as their first language, the guys have been exposed to many American groups and have been inspired by some, such as Boys II Men.

Although Afroborike didn't win America's Best Dance Crew maybe Nota can take this home with their singing? I'm actually just waiting to see a Latino on MTV's The Real World...a Latino who doesn't have an attitude or isn't gay.


In case you missed #Latism-DC

Photo by @AnaRC

After attending Latism-DC I realized one thing: WE ARE OUT THERE! Latism-DC was a great experience because I:
  1. Learned a few new tips and tricks
  2. Engaged in conversations with influential Latinos
  3. Got to meet some of the founders/creators of Latism and Latism-DC!
LatISM DC, part of the LatISM Heritage Tour, was a conference that brought together a select group of Latinos in social media and business leaders in the region to discuss current topics related to social media. Everything from social media branding, management and even Gov 2.0 was discussed. I personally enjoyed the live Twitter chat/party (pictured above). Usually on a normal Thursday night, LatISM hosts virtual Twitter parties where we engage in conversation about...well Latinos in social media. It's a great way to learn new things and gain followers. But remember, as @Julito77 says, it's not about the number of followers you have; it's about how you connect with them.

Here's a great recap about how LatISM-DC began.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mi familia y mas

Right now it is 10:42 p.m. and all I can think about is my family. To be honest I think that is a problem. I was taught no matter what you family is most important. Is that true? No matter how old you are is your mother, father, aunt, brother the most important person? After several years, I realized "YOU" are the most important person in your life.

As Latinos, we were raised to remember where we came from. And I totally believe in that, but "fortunately" we are American which means we will do whatever it takes to make "ourselves" successful. We have to remember our parents came here for a reason; they came here to support our future goals.

To read what else I think, go to BeingLatino's blog (it just makes sense).

That Really Grinds My Gears...Stress

Oh boy do I get stressed real fast. I don't even know what it is to be honest. I think my parent's genes somehow messed up my emotions and everything else. There have been studies about stress causing cancer but I doubt I'm that far. In fact, I just read a recent article stating the growing Latino population could place more stress on rural health care.

According to the article, "cultural differences and economic realities associated with those populations have created additional challenges for rural health care delivery systems that are already stretched thin. Experts warn, however, that society will have a high price to pay if access to medical and behavioral health care isn’t provided to immigrants regardless of their resident status."

So how do you handle stress? The easiest way is to "escape". Leave wherever you are and go to a calm setting; think about the happiest moments in your life and it'll work.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Win Tickets to See: THE SPY NEXT DOOR

We all love movies, especially action, adventure, family and comedy's. So what do you get when you combine all these genres? You get The Spy Next Door! The Spy Next door stars (one of my favorites) Jackie Chan as Bob Ho, an undercover CIA superspy who decides to give up his career in espionage to settle down with his next-door girlfriend, Gillian (Amber Valletta). Of course there's always the catch...he has one more mission to complete before Gillian agrees to marry him: winning over her three opinionated kids. If you ask me, all Jackie has to do is lay the smack down right?

The Spy Next Door releases January 15th, 2010 but wait; you have an opportunity to win free passes for January 9th, 2010! Enter to win advance screening passes in Los Angeles, New York, Miami Houston and Chicago! All you have to do is post your name and city in the comments section and I'll choose a winner in each city. Don't worry, I'll let you know which theater you can use the tickets at. So comment away!

p.s. The movie also starts George Lopez. haha

Tweets of the Rainy Day

It's a rainy day here in Philadelphia and people are complaining via their social networking sites. And although it's "Tweets of the Day" post time I'll refrain from linking to people's reactions about the weather. I mean come on, we all know you hate the weather this month...get over it.

Congrats to the folk at Latism. Looking forward to the conference this weekend.

Sometimes people need a reminder of why people choose Philly :)

Just say no to higher bills

I wonder if Temple students follow her back?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Even death can be art

Last weekend I went to Taller PR's new exhibit "La Plena Mortal" by Antonio Martorell. The 2007 print and sculpture installation La Plena Inmortal (The Immortal Plena; plena is a style of folk dance and music from Puerto Rico) comes to Philly after having been inaugurated as a permanent installation at Hostos College in New York City.

The ehxibit is a monumental mixed-media installation inspired by woodcuts produced by Renaissance artist Hans Holbein the Younger entitled The Dance of Death, which pokes fun at human vanity and greed in the face of “the great equalizer.” You notice a lot of skeletons in the pieces and some interesting quotes on the "floor" instillation.

Check out what people have to say about the exhibit and it's dedication (via Al Dia).

What's wrong with Latinos...unfortunately

I'm all for Latino culture and developing Latinos and being equal with everyone else, but one day someone told me something interesting. Latinos don't exceed in life because we don't know how to prioritize. I told myself well yes we is first right? Unfortunately NO! I know this sounds crazy but think about it. Growing up we were always told to never forget our family and where we came from. It's true, I don't doubt this, but we don't get anywhere because we start worrying about the care of others. We fall back in our goals because we want to make sure our brother, sister, mom, dad abuelita are okay and healthy. We forget to make sacrifices. I'm not saying completely forget about people, I'm just saying take a look in a mirror and you'll see who is the most important person in your life.

"The underdevelopment of state systems in most Latin nations led to the dependence on the family for support of the individual. " Don't you think there's something wrong with this. We depend on others. Our mothers are always saying, "Don't worry about it, I'll cook, clean, wash, etc." Yet when we get to college, we get shocked there's not one there to do it for us.

Be wise in the decisions you make in life.

Monday, December 7, 2009

PSPgo? Nope I got the PSP

Remember I asked for a PSPgo? Well now you don't need to worry because I bought myself a Christmas gift haha. Yep as you can see I bought the PSP limited edition Assassin's Creed entertainment pack. The system cost me a whopping $200 but includes the following:
  • White PSP-3000 system
  • Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines PSP game
  • UMD Movie (to be announced shortly!)
  • 2GB Memory Stick PRO Duo
The system also includes a voucher for ten songs so...score! I also decided to purchase the $20 insurance for up to a year considering me + technology (sometimes) = disaster. Happy Holidays Navaja :)

Will you work twice as hard?

The other day I tweeted the message below; random but I just felt like it needed to be said.
Of course there was that one person (who will remain anonymous) who said all minorities need to be equal. Of course I agree with "their" response but I replied back saying, "Latinos need to work twice as hard." She disagreed. Something wrong with this? Yes. Now I know "they" do not have that much experience nor have "they" even graduated yet. However, I find it hard to believe "they" don't think we need to work twice as hard. If we can forget about Greek life for a second we can realize that in the real world, people judge you by your sex, color and age. It doesn't matter where you are you will be judged...especially by Latinos.

Before we can unite with the rest of the population, I think we need to look at each other and stop complaining about every single thing.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Special Saturday Post: El Burrito Sabanero

Remember abuelita or tia would give you these random instruments during holiday gatherings? Everyone would think it was so cute that you were participating in the song. Well during a #Latism party someone mentioned "El Burrito Sabanero". It brought back memories.


Friday, December 4, 2009

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Latism Fiestas

Yesterday was the first Latism party in a long time and it was quite exciting. The creators of Latism host Twitter parties every Thursday in hopes of engaging all the Latinos in social media. In a more enganging strategy, yesterday's party involved "us" commenting on each others blogs.

In order to win the cool prize, you had to visit a blog written by a Latino or a Latina, leave a comment and then retweet the post link with #Bloginaldo #Latism written on the tweet. Howe awesome is that!? It was so awesome that I won the first prize which was sponsored by Target. Hasta la proxima!

Thursday, December 3, 2009 South America?

I finally watched UP over Thanksgiving break and what an unbelievable pelicula. It made me laugh and cry at the same time; usually it's just one or the other. And talk about random; mix a talking dog, a childless senior citizen and an overweight-non-adventurous kid together all in South America? 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America...specifically Venezuela.

Mix in some more talking dogs, a strange bird and a floating house, you get a wonderful movie the whole family can enjoy. I specifically enjoyed reading Geekadelphia's interview with the creators. In the interview Bob Peterson says, "We wanted our locale to reflect and resonate with Carl’s emotional state in the film. The tepuis, or table top mountains, of South America are old, isolated, rugged, and dangerous but with a soulful beauty – a pretty good description of Carl." And it's true, Carl's character goes through some interesting emotions, good and bad. However, he eventually realizes he has to let Ellie rest in peace.

Overall if you are a true Pixar fan you'll enjoy this one. Hmmm if they added a South American twist to UP I wonder if they'll add a Hispanic character?! It doesn't hurt to dream right?

How did I Miss This - Clash of the Titans!

Probably one of the best movies I grew up with, my brother, dad and me would watch Clash of the Titans as if it were our first time. And now a remake! Movies about fictional god-like characters are always a hit in my book.

-Clash of the Titans-

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Me...

Yes as you can see I want the PSP® Go. What I don't get is why the system costs a whopping $250? It pretty much costs more than a Wii, PS3 and anything else you can think of...weird. Well here's why one of you lucky winners should get it for me
  1. It's portable and as you know I'm always on the go!
  2. After you buy it for me you don't have to do anything else. I download the pics, games, movies, etc. straight from the device.
  3. When you buy it, you can most likely play it too! Remember, sharing is caring.
  4. Need me to shut up? Just hand me this and I'll stay out your way.
  5. I love video games...'nuff said.
Okay so maybe these aren't the best reasons but here's a story. I was at Best Buy the other week looking for stuff to buy. I spotted the PSP® Go but instead of purchasing it, I decided to buy something for the brother and parents. Aren't I a nice guy? So now it's time for "you" to think about me.

Tweets of the Day

It's Wednesday and that means I get to put your tweets on my blog! Every now and then I come across some hilarious and interesting tweets that deserve to either be Retweeted or just posted on here. Enjoy!

My fraternity's hermano has made it big! But he didn't need an award to know that.
Race discussions are always interesting.

Sometimes we never state the obvious, but it's true.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is wrong with people today?

Today I asked some people what is wrong with Latinos today and some of their responses were typical. Latinos generally don't like other's just a culture. We are threatened at other events and when we see another professional, we stay away. However, when we find Latinos who are welcoming, we don't really know what to do. I say act as if you were being interviewed, you never know who is connected to who.

I'm glad organizations like the Philadelphia Public Relations Association can provide programming for students. On Tuesday, December 8th they are hosting a "Business Etiquette 101" program with Gail Madison. The program will feature a presentation by the renowned etiquette consultant, as well as an interactive session for students to test their business etiquette skills, plus a networking opportunity with local PR professionals. Simple things like eye contact, web-to-web hand shakes, etc. are important when it comes to business etiquette.

An Influential Latino

Photo by Peter Fitzpatrick/Al Dia
One should never remember a person for what they have did, one should remember them for everything there were and will continue to be. Joaquin Rivera, un plenero del Batey, walked himself into Aria Health's Frankford Campus Saturday just before 11 p.m. because had pain in his arm and abdomen. Unfortunately there are people out there who believe in the suffering of others so as he was in the hospital, he was robbed.

I may have talked to Joaquin once, maybe twice but I knew there was something special about him. Little did I know he was not only a musician, but also a high school counselor. I looked at him as a simple man who just made his living because he "loved" it. And that's what we have to realize in life, it's not about money nor fame, it's because we like to help. This is (in my eyes) what an influential Latino should be. Yes presidents, executive directors, CEOs, etc. are all well rounded individuals, but it's the people who care about the people who deserve such awards.

LuzSelenia Salas, pintora y artista local, said, "Perdimos a un icono en la comunidad de Filadelfia, especialmente en esta época del año en donde todo el mundo espera ver a Joaquín en las “parrandas”."

God rest his soul and I hope we can remember him as a person with love for his people and pure culture.