Archive for the ‘review’ Tag

Reflecting on 2010

cartoonish. i like it

Random Observation/Comment #252: Writing these year-end reviews always put me in such a good mood.  It enumerates and puts meaning to my accomplishments.  It gives me a burst of motivation to complete my goals list.  It lets me reevaluate my progress and recreate a new list of things to do the next year.  It gives me at least a direction to walk in this ominous path.  Try it – it will free you.

2010 was a different year for me. Compared to last year, I had not done as much traveling or photography, but I had worked on different parts of my personality. I have become more social and tech involved with a greater focus on relationships and learning. In this past year, I visited Cozumel, Key West, Miami, Marseille in France, Cinque Terre in Italy, Florence, and Rome.  I saw her again.  I wrote a few more entries consistently involved in career advancement. I attended at least 50 after hour drinks and networking events, meeting with around 20 valuable mentors.  I became technologically synced.  I learned much more than I once knew about relationships.  I learned to cook better and ate new dishes that were purposefully tasted for the purpose of cooking it at home.  I went sky diving and had the most amazing feeling of euphoria. I helped Komtra get their produced CD recognized and put online.  I helped design and write Ryan’s comic book.  I got into rockclimbing and bought shoes for it. I took the CFA with a certain level (haha) of studying and commitment.  I learned a bit of French and improved on my Japanese. I took pictures for 10 iClick photography events that became published on internal sites.  I made a second home.

This year was really more about career and girls.  Although every year is usually about girls, this one was a little more in depth with the drama portion and finding one that would actually fit into my bigger plan.  Everything seemed ridiculously complicated, but it was probably much easier than I made it.  There were a lot of great memories and a lot of inside jokes that never faded.  My eyes were opened into much more independence and it let me glimpse into a world where my parents were free of the burden of guiding me through everything. I hope they know my decision was made to help them use their time more creatively.

To continue with my tradition, I’ve set up new goals, aspirations, dreams, and fantasies for the next year.  Most of them are revised and redefined.

Goals:

  1. Stop procrastinating – become much more productive
  2. Learn to write more in Chinese
  3. Learn to speak fluently in Japanese, Mandarin, German, and Spanish by 25.
  4. Review more restaurants
  5. Cook more complicated meals and pair with items that complement each other
  6. Finish comic book
  7. Finish writing Love with an Expiration Date eventually
  8. Add more to my bottle cap and labels collection of beers
  9. Finish my side projects list (top secret for now)
  10. Have 50 friends use my pictures as facebook profiles
  11. Travel to Machu Pichu, Hawaii, and Iceland next year
  12. Continue to collect memorable quotes from amazing nights
  13. Make a second home
  14. Stay true to the promises made
  15. Get six pack abs – for reals this time
  16. Become a better public speaker
  17. Create a reputable online identity
  18. Keep a scrapbook of all memories

Aspirations:

  1. Get Engaged and make a plunge towards commitement
  2. Find a career with flexible hours, low stress, and high pay (maybe this should be a fantasy or at least a dream)
  3. Publish a book (autobiography, memoirs, novel, etc)
  4. Make money from photography
  5. Get an MBA
  6. Save someone’s life – change it for the better forever
  7. Beat Edmund in a game of Table Tennis
  8. Own a walk-in closet of suits (like Barney)
  9. Go restaurant reviewing with my brother – he drives the nice car and I pay for the meals
  10. Work for Google

Dreams:

  1. Visit all 7 continents
  2. See all 7 wonders of the world (all of them listed on Wikipedia which makes them like 50 based on different organizations)
  3. Travel to at least 50 countries (currently at 17)
  4. Make my first million by the time I’m 28
  5. Eat at almost 80% of all restaurants in The City
  6. Early retirement
  7. Make a living traveling and writing
  8. Learn to fly a plane
  9. Own a house that I’ve designed (I would build it, but I’m afraid it would fall down while I sleep)
  10. Become as influential as a professor – possibly become a professor
  11. Change the world with something
  12. Get on the Colbert Report
  13. Travel to space – weightlessness would be cool too
  14. Bar owner where all my friends would drink for free

Fantasies: (All new sorts of ridiculousness: see past few years of entries for other funny ones)

  1. Have Force powers of persuasion
  2. Host a TV show about Engineers selling out to Finance
  3. Have my own theme music wherever I go
  4. Open a mashed potatoes restaurant
  5. Live GTA video game in real life for one day without consequence
  6. Be the only one who could lie in a world that everyone tells the truth
  7. Understand women
  8. Control an alien and essentially have mind-sex with animals so I could control them with my pony-tail
  9. Speak to animals in a romantic comedy movie with Scarlet Johanson
  10. Be the Barnacle and Suit Up all the time
  11. Drive a car that transforms into a robot alien with Megan Fox being my girlfriend
  12. I got it! Slick Shoes!
  13. Wear glasses that can disguise me between my split normal and super hero life style
  14. Roam the desserts bringing a book out West. I am badass with a machete and partially blind.
  15. Win “So You Think You Can Dance” and have girls (and probably guys) swarm me
  16. Car chase driving an Aston Martin

As always, Health and Happiness, my Friends…

~See Lemons Look forward to 2011

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My Mid-year Review: Needs Improvement

Waking up beauty

Random Observation/Comment #243: I spend a lot of time re-evaluating my life and making sure I can: 1) look in the past and nod approvingly at my decisions, 2) predict the future career steps so I can nod approvingly at the image of myself in the future, and 3) follow my routine to make sure it has a happy balance of productivity and enjoyment so both 1 and 2 can be maintained (with an approving nod).  I think I need a more organized schedule for these evaluations… I’ll use what I learned from work: let me write a proposal first! Hah…

Writing the list of goals, aspirations, dreams, and fantasies is more of a year-end thing.  I’m usually too busy writing about traveling during the middle of the year to worry about how the year is going to turn out.  I pretty much approached it by walking towards a general direction and hoping that my 3-steps above give enough padding to make it all work out.  It’s the “loosey-goosey,” “go with the flow,” and “live in the moment” type of mentality that I hope gives me a fulfilling life.  I probably analyze my life too much, but I only get one – so it’s probably something I should invest some time in.

This year, however, is a bit different from the past few.  I have started a “grown-up” routine and do adult things, like read newspapers and sleep on trains during commutes.  Even though I don’t seem like I do much living, I am trying my best to stuff things together and continue meeting my life goals.  Unfortunately, 9 hours at work with a total 3 hour commute drains my motivation to do more work when I get home – well, it’s more like, I feel I deserve to unwind a bit and just bombard myself with mindless media.

My to-do list grows as I think of things to do at work, while I’m outside of work and then I go home and feel the need to watch just one – or maybe two – episodes from my favorite shows.  By the time I feel refreshed, I’m only left with 2 hours before I need to sleep to start the whole routine over again.  Weekends pass way too quickly and my attention is split between friends and family.  It seems that my desire to check-off my personal list just needs a more flexible deadline.

This mid-year review is to evaluate my balance and my accomplishments in the first half.  I took a cruise in Mexico; started a full-time job with a great community life; joined multiple philanthropy organizations including Junior Achievements teaching 3rd graders and FIRST robotics mentoring high school kids; learned much more about relationships; saw her again; became a manager for a band; re-enhanced plans for company; re-enhanced plans for comic book; re-enhanced online profile; attended at least one networking event per week for the past 7 months; studied for the CFA; studied consulting use cases books; learned a bit of French and kept up-to-date with German; got a bit more confident with Mandarin; restarted work-out routine; wrote first half of book and planned second half; took event photography for 7 Credit Suisse events; built solid relationships with multiple mentors; and went skydiving (today).

I already knew that this year would be one for building soft skills, exploring relationships, expanding networks, and setting the foundation for expanding to different career paths, but I wish there was more “umnph.”  Actually, given these goals, I think I’ve been doing a decently good job.  However, I’m still planning an upgrade of excitement!

In order to make this year awesome, I will definitely do my best to complete the following tasks: Pass CFA, take GMATs, apply to MBA programs, help Komtra make a profit, help Komtra get a song on the radio, participate in 3 more philanthropy events, have an unforgettable time in France and Italy, Review 6 more 5 star restaurants in NYC, Revamp online persona with travel and food reviews on yelp, take more event photographs at networking events, buy new DSLR, buy new Android phone, release Android app, release first draft of comic book, get a 4-pack, and publish book.

Some of these are easy and some of these require some extra effort, but I think I would end with a satisfactory mark. (y).

~See Lemons Up the Ante

Cooper Grad Reviewing the New Academic Building

Cooper's foundation building from the new building

Cooper's foundation building from the new building

The NAB presents itself as a multitude of different concepts for students, faculty, alumni, and New Yorkers. To some, it is a beautiful architectural achievement which is comparable to the innovation of the Cooper Union Foundation building across the street. To others, the building brings some frustration with functionality and accommodating to new environments. However, with either perspective, the building will eventually become the homes of the students and an icon in Manhattan. It will grow and finally mix the art, architecture, and engineering schools – if not to study in the same space and interchange ideas, then to socialize and enjoy the city location and eccentric personalities.  We’ll all have criticisms, but it really is a change of scenery that didn’t epic fail as many early skeptics thought it would. Everyone from within started with a bad taste in their mouth for the lack of feedback and transparency in the process. For me, being proved wrong in my pessimism makes me slightly optimistic. The dust will settle and the schedules will be more organized with time.

As a recent Cooper graduate walking around the New Academic Building, I felt this strange feeling of being extremely old. It wasn’t that the building looks like an Apple store with less curved edges, but rather the fact that I no longer felt connected to Cooper the same way I was just a few months ago. The Wollman Lounge in the old engineering building really helped everyone mingle and relax, but now it’s just a little disconnected. Walking through the glowing building with the floating staircases and very stylish designs along the walls makes it feel like a futuristic museum that was built to help guide the tourists through the whole building without missing any exhibitions. Although I would love to see this building as a museum, it’s a school and I think the idea of functionality wasn’t the main focus of the design. It was quite a challenging project for any architect with high expectations, high demands, and annoying air space restrictions, so I do applaud Thom Mayne for a wonderful achievement. It’s been a headache for everyone involved to complete on schedule, but I’m sure the small complaints will subside and our familiarity will welcome the new additions.

In the architect’s defense, many people loathe big changes so there will always be nit-picky jabs of criticism. It’s probably because we just get used to our own little hacky fixes – it makes everything more personal when you know all the back doors, little secrets, and interesting stories behind the history of the building.  Hopefully this building grows similarly with Cooper history and will tell its own story in the future.  To all the best.

~ See Lemons Content