Six quirks/habits of Raul – Meme November 24, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts.
Tags: friends, meme
I’ve been tagged by Keira-Anne, so here goes my response (sorry it’s SO late!)
1.- I follow exactly the same routine at night, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
– Check the doors are locked (outside and in my apartment)
– Brush my teeth and floss.
– Drink water.
– Choose my clothes for the following day.
– Go to sleep.
2.- In the past year, I’ve started to check my blogging Gmail BEFORE my personal or research emails. Yeah, I’m first a blogger and then everything else. Weird!
3.- I hate waiting for anyone to pick me up, so I’ll walk outside my house and stand there. I know, if you watch the water all the time will never boil. It’s painful.
4.- I lit candles in my apartment regardless of whether I have company or not. Sometimes I do it just for the sake of feeling calm and relaxed.
5.- I prefer to book slots of time for friends than to have a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of schedule. Makes my life somewhat complicated sometimes as I have a pretty active social life. And the tech community loves to do things in the spur of the moment (on Twitter!)
6.- I say “REALLY?” a lot. I think what I actually mean is “mmmmhmmmm”.
This time, I’m tagging people who may (or may not) expect me to tag them. I can’t tag Rebecca as she’s already been tagged, so here are who I’m tagging.
There you go! You didn’t expect me to tag you, did you? 🙂
Whistler’s Cornucopia – Chef’s Luncheon Series with Anthony Nicalo November 6, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, dining out, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: events, food and wine, friends
My friend Anthony Nicalo (Farmstead Wines) is hosting a Chef’s Luncheon Series during Whistler’s Cornucopia. Admittedly, I’d love to attend, but frankly and honestly, I can’t, because I have a grant application and a grant report to submit over the weekend. But Whistler’s Cornucopia sounds amazing, and knowing Anthony like I do, I am sure the Luncheon will be outstanding.
Chef’s Table Luncheon with Anthony Nicalo & Farmstead Wines
Saturday, November 8
12:30pm – 3:30pm
Enjoy a luncheon highlighting local, seasonal ingredients with gourmet selections from around the world. Share ideas and cooking techniques, learning ways to get the most out of great ingredients. Exploring the connection between the farm and table will extend to the wine pairings, with a selection of naturally farmed, handcrafted wines. Guests will move beyond the rhetoric of 100 mile diets and experience the underlying principles for themselves. [Whistler Cornucopia]
Anthony is passionate about sustainability and its implementation within our food systems. While I wasn’t much of a wine addict before I met Anthony, he’s introduced me to some really good (biodynamic) wines, and I think that participants in the event will have an outstanding time.
I actually thought of Russ for this event as he just started a food and wine blog, and while we are at it, I should probably point you out to his blog. I’ll edit this entry once I obtain permission from Russ to link to it, his is a new blog precisely on the topic of wine pairings with food. Russ and Gus are good friends of mine and I think you’ll love both their blogs (Gus has been blogging for quite a bit already!)
Blogging, socialization and social media October 12, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a chance to talk about this topic with Kerry Anne, Arieanna and Lorraine. I’ve also talked about this at length with many other friends from the blogosphere, but more recently with the previously mentioned friends of mine.
You would think that, being in social media, bloggers would be VERY social. Some of us are (at least, I admit that I am!) but some are not all that much. I am an extrovert by nature, I get a lot of energy from hanging out with people. But not all bloggers/PR/tech people are like me.
For me, hanging out with people from the blogosphere is now kind of second nature. There are a few people online that I haven’t met in person yet, although Twitter and our respective blogs, and email do keep us in touch and thus I feel as though I’ve grown to know them (to cite a few examples — Mel, Barbara, Tania, Paul Hillsdon or Dan).
However, it is indeed rare that I don’t *know* some of the people whom I’ve befriended through my blog (in person, that is). I was going through my blogroll very briefly and noticed that, really, only very few of those people I haven’t met in real life (IRL).
I like to think that social media has given me an outlet to socialize, and while sometimes I do enjoy taking off my “blogger” hat and just hang out, have a beer, or go for a walk, have a coffee, or simply just enjoy birthday parties with my blogosphere friends, I have to recognize that it was through my blog that I met them, and for that, I’m very appreciative and grateful.
Congrats to Rastin, Ash, and the RMD Studio on their new offices :) October 10, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, random thoughts.
Tags: friends, office spaces
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My friends Ash Sanieyan and Rastin Mehr have new offices! Their brand spanking new digs are located in Yaletown. I have a deep appreciation for both Rastin and Ash both as software developers, social media gurus and friends, as they’ve shared with me numerous events (including my liveblog of Vancouver Joomla! Day).
Rastin Mehr Design Studio Inc. & Associates is an Internet Software (Web Application) Development company in the beautiful Yaletown district of Vancouver, BC, Canada specialized in developing Custom Content Management and Social Media Solutions using Joomla , WordPress, Drupal , and Ruby on Rails frameworks [RMD Studio About Page].
All the best and I’ll have to drop by for some coffee sometime soon! Their new offices are located at 109-1108 Homer Street (in the heart of Yaletown). Which means, there is a possibility for doing sushi or Mexican food for lunch/dinner sometime!
The challenge of Halloween costumes October 2, 2008Posted by Raul in Uncategorized.
Tags: costumes, friends, Halloween, parties
So, my friend Karen Parker is already deciding on what she’s going to wear for Halloween this year (and I’m really amazed at what she wore last year, I think it’s going to be hard to match!).
I haven’t really thought of what I’m going to wear for Halloween. In previous years, I’ve been “The Death” (dark cloaked guy) and “The Mad Hatter” (with purple hair) but lately, I haven’t really thought very much about what I want to do. I could do a “Geek” costume (with the Technopathy geek t-shirt from Think Geek)
Not sure what to do – so the question is out to you – what do you recommend for MY costume? And have you decided what YOU are going to wear? To avoid spoilers and copycats, you can instead answer – what have you worn in previous years?
Happy birthday, Airdrie! September 9, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: birthday, friends
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So it turns out that I missed a great birthday party, but everyone knows it’s because I was in Mexico, otherwise, not even a hurricane would have made me miss it! Just wanted to wish Airdrie a very happy birthday, hoping we’ll celebrate upon my return with some sort of MargaritaCamp 🙂
Airdrie, you’re a great woman, an inspiration and a good friend. AND on top of that, I love Lip Gloss and Laptops 🙂 Can’t wait to do a guest appearance talking men’s grooming/cologne stuff! Derek and you are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, and I cherish your friendship greatly.
Here is a virtual birthday cake for you 🙂 Happy birthday!
More happy anniversaries! and a Happy Anniversary Registry August 26, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: friends, wedding anniversaries
Man, I really should keep a registry. Just last week, Matt Collinge told me that his and his wife’s anniversary was today (as a result of my recent post congratulating Derek and Airdrie), and Jordan Behan just disclosed on Twitter that his and Alex’s it had been last week. Now, I just heard that Corinna and Adam‘s anniversary is today! CONGRATULATIONS, ADAM AND CORINNA!
Guys, how about a local Vancouver tech registry for anniversaries so that I can say congratulations all in one batch? Yes, I’m talking to you Rebecca and John, Matt and Maktaaq, Ryan and TLO, David Drucker and Pam, Darren and Julie, Ianiv and Arieanna, and all of you married-couples-friends-of-mine whom I am currently blanking on 🙂
Heck even if you’re not technically married (yet), you still get to be congratulated ( yes I’m talking to the rest of you whom are technically hitched, or about to get hitched 🙂 )
At any rate, congratulations! 🙂
Happy belated birthday, Dr. CS! August 21, 2008Posted by Raul in Uncategorized.
Tags: birthdays, friends
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My friends mean the world to me. One of the reasons why it would be so hard for me to ever leave Vancouver is because I have managed to create social networks that have become like extended families, and therefore it would really break my heart to leave all that behind.
One of my current off-line gangs (a group of close friends that has solidified through the past few months) got together yesterday to celebrate CS’s birthday (actually, make that Dr. CS). Not only is she the girlfriend and partner of one of my very closest friends (whom I call my adopted brother), she is also a very good friend of mine (and technically that would make her my adopted sister-in-law).
She’s funny, she’s witty, she’s warm, she’s sweet and more than anything, she is a very loving and caring individual. She has become one of US. She is not only my friend’s girlfriend, she has established a place in our hearts and I’m very proud of calling myself a friend of hers.
Congratulations on your birthday! Many happy returns to you, and we’ll celebrate when I get back to Vancouver 🙂
Happy Anniversary, Derek and Airdrie! August 21, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: friends, geeky, wedding anniversary
I have some more content lined up for today, but this can’t wait as these two lovebirds are two of the bravest, most courageous, sweetest geeks in Vancouver. Derek K. Miller and his wife Airdrie recently celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary, and they are off to a Seattle-based adventure. Yes, like any self-respecting geek couple, they are celebrating by attending a geek conference (Gnomedex)! To you, my friends, I raise a glass of… well, too early for tequila, but how about a glass of orange juice? 🙂 Congratulations!
What’s so great about Rock Band? August 18, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, personal life, random thoughts, Vancouver.
Tags: friends, music, Rock Band
The first one, it allows me to tap into my musical past. While I hate my own voice (even when I sing in English) and I have frequently asked Mom why I didn’t inherit her vocal abilities (Mom is a soprano coloratura and can belt anything from an aria to a bolero to a mariachi song effortlessly), I love music, and in particular, love singing. I play piano, and I’m a well-trained dancer, but mostly, I love singing. I’m the guy who will never say no to you if you invite me to sing karaoke (or play Rock Band).
The second one is the inherently social nature of Rock Band. I used to hate videogames, and never understood why my good friend JT was so into them. Until I was first introduced to Rock Band by my friend Tanya. She has this tendency to organize awesome parties, populated with lots of good friends. We frequently play Rock Band, and doing this kind of activity has actually allowed me to get to know friends of Tanya whom I would have probably not gotten to know any other way.
My friends NMcC and her boyfriend R, and my good friend AF (all of them civilians/offline friends) also enjoy playing Rock Band, and some of the most fun nights we’ve had in past months have been singing “Heroes” by David Bowie, “Wave of Mutilation” by The Pixies, “Roam” by The B-52s, “Orange Crush” by R.E.M. and of course, my favorite (’cause I can sing it well now) “Gimme Shelter” by
The song shown below is my nemesis, though. NMcC, R, AF and myself tried to do it but we couldn’t. Me on bass, AF on vocals (both beginner), R on expert drums and NMcC on guitar intermediate. The last time we tried it, we stayed up until 3.30am (we started at 8pm) and we tried to do this one (Foreplay/Long Time by Boston) but didn’t get it right.
Sigh. I look forward to playing some more Rock Band upon my return.
Belated Happy Birthday, Monica Hamburg! August 17, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, friends.
Tags: birthdays, friends
I’m actually not sure if it’s belated or not, but I now recall that this morning/afternoon, a potluck was held in Kits Beach for the lovely Monica Hamburg! I am so sorry I missed it, but I’m sure lots of our common friends will have photos for your viewing pleasure.
Monica, I hope you know how grateful I am to have you in my life, how amazed I am at your talent, your sweetness, your intellect and your capacity to love. You are amazing, and no wonder why you have so many friends. You really know how to be one.
Much love always. Give my best to Chris.
Feliz cumpleaños, ICTM! July 16, 2008Posted by Raul in friends, personal life, random thoughts.
Tags: amigos, friends
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Apologies everyone. My very best friend from Mexico’s birthday is today, so this morning I am not posting in English. Perhaps she’d prefer that I did just for the sake of practice, but there are many subtleties that don’t come across when I write in English, so this one is going to be in Spanish. ICTM and I have been pretty much BFFs since we were teenagers, and the distance has never separated us, even though she is married now, her husband is also a very close friend of mine, and she has an adorable son whom I love dearly. So, the rest of this entry will be in Spanish. Happy birthday, ICTM!
Parece como si fuera hubiera sido ayer que me organizaste una fiesta de despedida allá en la ciudad donde está nuestra alma mater. Recuerdas lo que me dijiste? “Aunque me duela que te vayas, persigue tu sueño, que siempre contarás conmigo“. Eso pasó hace ya más de una década, y nuestra amistad y cariño sigue siendo el mismo.
Espero que sepas lo mucho que te quiero, lo mucho que te admiro y lo importante que eres y que es tu amistad para mí. Siempre has estado conmigo en las buenas, en las malas y en las pésimas, y eso es algo que nunca podré pagarte. Cada que regreso a México, tu presencia me calma y me hace sumamente feliz.
Estoy realmente orgulloso de todos los logros que has tenido y de lo mucho que has logrado, no solamente como individuo sino también en pareja, y estoy sumamente contento de que tu sueño de ser mamá se ha cristalizado y ha sido tan exitoso. Tú sabes lo mucho que los quiero a los tres y lo importante que son en mi vida.
Hoy y siempre, recuerda que te quiero MUCHISIMO, y que siempre estás en mi mente y en mi corazón. Diviértete mucho, pásatela bonito y recuerda que a pesar de que estemos a más de 5,000 km de distancia, hoy y siempre estoy contigo y te quiero. Feliz cumpleaños!
Happy birthday, Derek! June 30, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, friends.
Tags: birthday, friends
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I started reading Derek K. Miller’s blog over a year ago, and I would always come back here and there for updates, particularly as he writes about topics that are rather near and dear to my heart.
In addition to all the stuff Derek has written about, he often provides advice to newbies on podcasting, blogging, photography, even Mac geekiness. Besides, in case you didn’t know, Derek is the co-host of Inside Home Recording, along with Paul Garay. And he has a great sense of humor. Besides, Derek’s even been Scobleized!
Derek’s viewpoints are visionary and I was blown away by his recent interview with the CBC’s Spark on the concept of a digital legacy. I consider both Derek and Airdrie my friends, and had a chance to hang out with them a couple of months ago. Good times indeed.
Today I read on Twitter and on his blog that he is turning 39, and I figured I’d send a big shout out. But hey, don’t drop the happy birthday wishes here – go to his blog and say “Happy Birthday”. Enjoy the bachelor week, Derek, and celebrate as much as you can!
Happy Birthday, Tanya (aka NetChick)!!! June 9, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, friends.
Tags: birthdays, friends
One of Vancouver’s uberbloggers (and good friend of mine), Tanya Davis (aka NetChick) is celebrating one more year on this planet, and in what form! She is heading to Las Vegas! They say that whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I am hoping I’ll have some info on what happens there via the internet.
I met Tanya in person only this year but I’ve been reading her blog for a long while. I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with her outside of the realm of blogging, just hanging out as friends, and I can tell you that she is one of the sweetest people on the planet. She is also the uber-organizer of Third Tuesday! If you don’t get to see her before she heads to Las Vegas, you can give her a big birthday hug on the next Third Tuesday.
Tanya, I am so happy you’re in my life, and here is to you! 🙂 May we enjoy many more Rock Band sessions (although I damn need to fix my guitar/bass skills!).
Happy birthday, Mel! June 9, 2008Posted by Raul in personal life, random thoughts.
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I started reading Mel‘s blog because I am a fan of figure skating. Since I began reading her blog, I’ve followed her exploits on Twitter and we engage in really fun conversations. That’s one of the key requirements for me to have followers and to follow someone on Twitter – enjoy the conversation in and of itself. Even if I don’t follow someone back, I do make an effort to talk to my followers, simply because it is great to be followed!
I think Mel was in Vancouver in January for Canadian (Skate Canada) championships, and I regret that I didn’t know her by then as I would have gladly scooted my way to the PNE to meet her in person and show her around Vancouver. *sigh*
Anyway, recently I asked my Twitter friends for their birthdays and coincidentally, Mel’s is on June 9th. So I just thought I’d say, Happy Birthday Mel! I look forward to hearing what you did for such a special day. 🙂
Restaurant review: Boneta (Gastown) June 5, 2008Posted by Raul in dining out, friends, Gastown, Vancouver.
Tags: blogggers, dining out, friends, Vancouver
Not sure why this review was still on my drafts, but here it is now. 🙂
Phaedra had been raving for a good couple of months about how great this place was, so we decided to finally take the plunge and go there for lunch to celebrate a couple of weeks ago. Phaedra has been there many a time, and I know that Rebecca and Keira have gone down there for dinner and have also raved about it.
Since we were there for lunch and I rarely order shellfish when I dine out, I took the plunge with a spaghetti with mussels. Phaedra had a scrumptions beet salad (both shown below). The service was impeccable. We had some champagne since we were celebrating, and the owner came to talk to us several times throughout the lunch, making sure we were being given the best service possible.
I will have to come back for dinner at some point, but for now I can sincerely say that whatever my expectation was for Boneta, it was fulfilled. It is on the ‘upscale’ side of pricing, but also on the same side of service AND quality of food.
The owner of Boneta with Phaedra 🙂
Overall, it was a great afternoon. I always enjoy my time with Phaedra, and how often do you get to hang out and have a lunch date with one of Vancouver’s hottest bloggers (and newly-minted professional counselor!)? Not very often, so I am happy to seize the opportunity as soon as it presents itself!
Too much information meme – Raul’s answers June 5, 2008Posted by Raul in blogosphere, friends, personal life, random thoughts.
Tags: friends, memes, personal life, tagging
Always lovely and mindful of how busy I have been, Rebecca had decided not to tag me for the “Too Much Information” meme that she got tagged on (originally I think Larry also tagged Matt Collinge AND Jonathon Narvey, so technically, at least three of my friends have now been tagged). Nevertheless, I figured that it would only be fair to voluntarily self-tag and here are my answers 🙂
1. Who is your favorite musical artist?
I grew up in a household where the mother is a soprano, the father plays the guitar, and all five boys (e.g. us) play the piano. Therefore, I am very associated with classical music, and therefore Beethoven would be my favorite musical artist. Always the black sheep, I decided to switch to contemporary dance as my form of art, and from there, I went to salsa and tango. Thus, it is no wonder that some of the musical artists I like are Latin (please refrain from making the Ricky Martin/Enrique Iglesias joke – thank you). Finally, I *love* Canadian musicians – Matthew Good, Sarah McLachlan, Shania Twain, Chantal Kreviazuk, Avril Lavigne, and Jann Arden to mention just a few.
2. Who is your favorite artist?
I think that most respondents have referred to painters/sculptors in their responses. Following the same trend, I am a big fan of Renoir, Michelangelo, Van Gogh. Quite obviously given my heritage, I am also a big follower of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Finally, I consider acting as a form of art (I am trained as a theatre actor) and thus I am also a big fan of Meryl Streep and the late Heath Ledger.
3. Who is your favourite blogger?
TMI. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t think I have a favourite blogger. I make a point of reading *at least* all the blogs in my blogroll, and the majority of those people are friends of mine in real life now. While my blogroll definitely needs some updating (particularly since I’ve started reading the blogs of new Twitter friends, both followers and reciprocal follows), I am usually pretty damn good at reading (and commenting) when I think I can add to the conversation, and no, I don’t think I can prioritize anyone and say “this is my favourite blogger”.
4. If you could meet anyone (alive or dead), who would it be and what is the most interesting thing about them?
This may sound like a really dumb answer, but I really would like to have met Albert Einstein. He was supposedly an outcast and his IQ tests were miserable, according to some reports I have read. I just would like to know how he would see the world as I know it. As for living people – I think I’ve met some wonderful people (famous actors, writers, politicians). That being said, I wouldn’t mind meeting Michaelle Jean in person, if anything just to ask her what does it feel to be such an iconic figure for Canada AND an immigrant.
5. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Originally, I was going to be a doctor. I am now a doctor, but of a different kind, hehehe. My parents were incredibly patient with me. They put me through lessons for everything. I studied library science, criminology, interior design, chemistry, you name it. I think my financial debt to my parents for my education is ranging in the six figures realm now.
6. What is the most interesting piece of trivia you know?
Well, not sure if it is interesting to YOU but it is interesting to me. Did you know that the two major fears of every human (the only fears with which we are born) are the fear to loud noises and the fear of falling? Of course, you could add a third (the fear of making a loud noise when falling).
7. If you could live in any point in history when would it be and why?
My ex was a historian, so I always got asked this question, and my response is always the same: France in the late 1700s. Did you know that the Declaration of Rights was signed in 1789? What made the French people at the time decide that all men (and women) are all equal? (mind you, the actual wording seems to refer only to men – how inappropriate!)
8. What is the most interesting job you have ever held?
I will have to say that hands down, being a professor (instructor, teacher, however you want to call it). I witnessed my students grow with every class, their self-esteem and confidence in the command they were gaining of the material. Learning about local issues and national issues and analyzing them through different theoretical frameworks and using different research strategies was always fun. Although, truth be told, being a bartender really does bring out a whole other side of me 😉
Now, should I tag someone else? Nah – I’ll let you voluntarily self-tag. I am sure more than one of you will do it, sooner or later 😉
Bar review – Stella’s (Commercial Drive) June 2, 2008Posted by Raul in Commercial Drive, dining out, drinks, East Vancouver, friends, local business, Vancouver.
Tags: Commercial Drive, drinks, friends
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Lately, I’ve been a bit more of a hermit. I fainted recently and that was an alarm signal for me. My energy levels are usually through the roof and I’m never one to say “no” to any invitations. However, this past Sunday I had to miss an invitation to a Tweetup organized by Colleen Coplick to meet Tris Hussey. That was on Sunday evening, which was unfortunate as I had some personal matters to tend to. But on Saturday, I did manage to get myself out of the house and meet with my friend AF.
We tend to be more kind of “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” whenever we hang out, so we settled for a leisurely walk on Saturday afternoon around Trout Lake, followed by a couple of drinks at Stella’s on Commercial Drive. I had heard mixed reviews about Stella’s, but after having had a drink and some Belgian fries there, I am not going to complain.
The beer was somewhat on the side of expensive, but since this seemed to be gourmet beer, and AF seemed to like it, I won’t complain. My drink, I think was a Choc O9 Late (Absolut Vodka, White Cacao, Belgian Chocolate) but with amaretto. The drink (a double per my request) was lovely and I got a great buzz. We shared a cone of Belgian fries. The patio is nice although not much of a view (I was looking at the back side of the Grandview Park).
As usual, the company was what made the drinks taste better. I really enjoy “impromptu” hanging out opportunities with friends (when I have the time and can attend!). The thing is, I’m slowly learning to just do the things I have the physical energy, the time, money and resources to attend.