Thursday, December 18, 2008

Arizona Oasis

Swimming pools are big business in Arizona, where the yearly precipitation rate is actually rising because of the amount of evaporation that comes from all the private residential pools. Leaving the Phoenix airport, it’s crazy to look out your window and see everyone’s backyard- they all have little blue bodies of water in them!

Shasta Pools in Arizona is the world’s largest privately held pool builder. It’s an impressive fact- they stay really busy almost year-round. I believe my aunt and uncle, who live in Phoenix, had Shasta Pools build their heated outdoor pool, and it’s really great. You can change the temperature and it has an automatic built-in cleaning system that cleans the pool using high-powered jets and vents.

I think that if I lived in the middle of the desert, I would certainly have a pool too! Phoenix (and Arizona in general) is pretty, but it’s wickedly hot, especially in the summer!


There is so much to learn about vaccines and what they can do to protect us. It is amazing to think that some people (like Paul Offit) have dedicated their entire lives to making sure that children and adults have the vaccines we need in order to be protected from infectious diseases.

Paul Offit has written many books, most notably (from my point of view), ‘Breaking the Antibiotic Habit’. In college, whenever I would have a cold, or a sinus infection, I would go to our college’s free health care clinic and they barely examined me before shoving a prescription for amoxicillin in my hand. But antibiotics don’t heal everything, and can in fact make your immune system worse. So, this last time I had a cold, about a week ago, I didn’t take any prescription medicine for it- only Sudafed. My cold was gone in 6 days, and now I feel great. What’s more, my immune system knows how to deal with that type of cold, and hopefully will be able to fight it off before it totally takes over my body!

International Education

It’s so weird to think about going to school in another country. But I think it’s harder for Americans to comprehend than it is for those in other countries because people want to come to the USA for college. Mohammed Babangida went to Harvard Business School before eventually moving back to Nigeria, Africa. Before that, Mohammed Babangida went to high school, and then university in Switzerland where he got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

I think that would be awesome to have an international education. I think that one of my biggest regrets from college is not studying abroad for a summer or semester. I should have gone to Spain to work on my Spanish; or Greece- it looks so beautiful!

Owning a Business

There are so many business opportunities out there, especially if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, like Jared Metz does. Jared Metz has had his hands in several businesses, from organizing comedy festivals to creating a program to provide the swag bags at celebrity award shows. What a fun job that must have been!

If I was going to start a business, I definitely think that it would be a freelance writing or media production business. I could never do anything in the financial or banking industries, like Jared Metz is doing now- helping businesses get off their feet with loans.

Anyway, I guess if I wasn’t doing freelancing, I would own a bookstore- that would be my dream job. Unfortunately, I don’t really know a lot about owning a business- I think I’m going to take some classes at Park this spring semester about marketing and entrepreneurship so I’m more educated about business. And one day, you can come visit me in my bookstore, where I’m sitting behind the counter writing the next great American novel!

Vacation Living

With this cold weather, I’ve been dreaming about taking another vacation now more than ever. Since H and I have talked about getting married, I’ve thought about our honeymoon, too. I’m sure he wants to go somewhere tropical, like the Consolidated Resorts location in Hawaii, or the Consolidated Resorts location in Orlando.

I think a cruise would be fun too, but maybe only to the Caribbean, and then they can let us out on the island so we can explore- I’m a total tourist whenever I travel. H likes to relax, but I like to explore and go to all the cheesy landmarks and tourist traps (for the most part- I know a gimmick when I see one though!).

My aunt worked on a tourist glass-bottomed tour boat in Florida when she was in her 20s- I’m sure that would have been an awesome and fun job, just to have for a summer or two. I’ve always thought it would be fun to do that or to work at a beach resort just for the experience. Consolidated Resorts has a jobs website- but I don’t know how competitive it is to get a job there.

Maybe in my next life, I’ll go work in Hawaii or the Bahamas for awhile. ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Africa Stuff

After doing some exploring, I came across the website of Wangethi Mwangi, the editorial director of Nation Media Group, where Linus in my last post also works. Being an Editorial Director of any famous publishing company is certainly a dream job of mine! 

I love editing and writing, and I believe that it just takes time, experience, and a whole lot of networking to become recognized in this field. People can't climb the corporate ladder without knowing people who believe in them and their work. Wangethi Mwangi was in journalism before becoming Editorial Director, which was my original major when I started college. However, it is hard work to become a recognized journalist. A lot of long hours and boring assignments!

Anyway, maybe I'll become the American version of Wangethi Mwangi someday- an important Editorial Director who gives other hard-working passionate writers a shot at the big time! :)

Media Around the World

Even though I'm in the media industry, I don't ever give much thought to the way media works around the world. However, after reading about Linus Gitahi, it has made me think more about media in other countries, like in Africa.

I guess it is more than a little smug of me to just assume there isn't as much media in other countries like there is in the United States, but there is. I guess I don't even think about how U.S. Companies and our media has influence in other countries too. (For example, Linus Gitahi worked at GlaxoSmithKline, an American pharmaceuticals company, before beginning his position at Nation Media Group.)

I'd really like to learn more about the media's influence in other countries. A coworker of mine worked at a magazine in England- but I bet English publications are pretty similar to the United States'. Nation Media Group, where Linus Gitahi is the CEO, has 8 publications. I think it'd be really interesting to see what Africa's newspapers are like.

Properity Ownership = Fast Track to Wealth?

With the economy the way it is, I’ve often thought about what a great profit property management must be. You can be from any background (like Tim Arel) and still be successful, as long as you get a good deal on a house and know some stuff about renting and proper landlord procedures. Tim Arel studied Economics, so that probably would come in handy a lot more than my English degree. :)

I think it’s just a lot of networking and knowing the right people too. Tim Arel is a member of several committees and organizations, so that really helps visibility in the property management community.

Maybe, eventually in my life, I’ll be established (and debt-free!) so I can own properties and make a profit. We’ll see!

Finally- Credit Cards in Cabs!

Whenever I’m forced to take a cab, it’s usually not by choice. It’s because I have no other alternative- mostly because I’m with other people who want to take a cab or I have been drinking and do not want to drive. Besides the added cost, I also don’t like taking cabs because I very rarely have cash and don’t want to go to an ATM. But, a man by the name of Amos Tamam has created technology that will allow cab drivers to take credit cards.

I figured that this has been a long time coming, but I’m guessing that the security of mobile credit swiping was most likely people’s top concerns. Amos Tamam has found a way to make it work.

Amos Tamam has a truly amazing story as well- he came to the United States as an immigrant and is literally living the American Dream. I’ve always heard stories about immigrants that come to New York City and are expected to learn the streets overnight in order to be cab drivers. It amazes me, as I still don’t know all the streets and highways of my metro! Anyway, I definitely hope his technology works and we’ll soon be seeing it in cabs all over!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Cheer

Picture is from

If I had a bigger apartment, I would definitely have a Christmas party. There are so many great ideas on this website I found- They have a lot of Christmas Party Games, including a great fun one with Christmas Songs where you use different words to describe the titles of songs- for instance, "Deck the Halls" becomes "Adorn the Vestibules" (That one is pretty hard, but you get the picture). I am certainly one of those people who force people into creating their own holiday cheer!

Besides games, they also have a lot of Christmas Decorations that are really cute ideas- candy cane theme, natural 'flora' theme, a nativity theme.

When H. and I move into our new apartment next year, we'll definitely have to have a Christmas party. You can never miss an excuse to decorate in themes! Christmas is my favorite holiday, because people are so much nicer and willing to share during the season. If only the world was this nice year-round. I guess it just gets me in the mood to celebrate.

I need a vacation...

Even though I just went to Las Vegas last week, I'm already looking for my next possible place to vacation. My top choices as for right now are Wyoming, New Mexico, and Florida.

I think you should go from saving from vacation to vacation because traveling to different places has made me respect our country and its beauty so much more. I want to go to Wyoming because most of it is so untouched. I want to horseback ride through the mountains and go camping, with no one around. I think I'm looking towards New Mexico for the same reasons. I like how untouched the desert is, and how serene it must be to look across and see cacti for miles.

I eventually want to go back to Las Vegas, but I don't think I could ever live there. I was looking at Consolidated Resorts' website, and they have a great newer Tahitian resort right on the strip. It's supposed to make you feel like you are in Tahiti, and it looks like a lot of fun, and more affordable than some of the more popular hotels on the strip.Interestingly enough, Consolidated Resorts also has 'vacation ownership' properties in Florida. Being able to have a vacation property is definitely a goal of mine. It would be great to have a place to a get away to!