#Iblogbecause My Story

office-581131_1920August is Blogger Appreciation, believe it or not. From what I understand is that it started back here.So in honor of this month, I will share why I blog.

In 2013, I was going to move to New Zealand for a year to work in media, producing, editing and writing documentaries. I thought that archiving my experience and my travels will not only help me remember and capture precious moments but also to help people who might be interested what a year in New Zealand was like.

I also love to travel and to write and to read and watch films and tv, basically anything related to story telling. Blogging combined all my passions and allowed me to express my joys and fears, I also thought some others might be able to learn something from what I saw and went through.

So that, in a nutshell is why I blog.

If you are a blogger, tell us why you started! If you are thinking about being a blogger, I highly encourage it!

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The History of Jamestowne

“History is the memory of time, the life of the dead and the happiness of the living.”
~ John Smith, explorer and authorvirginiaplaces.org

Two and a half hours drive from Washington, DC is Jamestown, VA, the first English settlement. For the last 20 plus years, the Rediscovery Project has been digging artifacts to learn more about America’s earliest history. I went in March and they are still working on the project so new information is found and proved all the time.

The Jamestowne Rediscovery Project started in the 90s at the request of Queen Elizabeth II, we have the written works of the first settlers and Englishmen who came such as the infamous John Smith, now we are getting physical proof of what went on back in 1607 when the first arrived.

For instance, John smith and Gabriel archer wrote about the first battle on the island and found the body of a 14-year-old body English sailor who was fighting the Powhatan Tribe. The Rediscovery Project found the body of what they have concluded is a 14-year-old Englishman. This proves what Smith and Archer wrote and that this battle.

The fact that we still speak the same language as they did in the 1600s has helped with the excavating and learning about the earliest history of what would become the United States of America. They also found the trash site, where pieces of animal bones showed their diet, coins from Europe and the jugs that carried their alcohol showed where they were coming from or where they passed through during their journey.

There are still a lot of questions the archaeologists and historians have. At the time I visited, they had recently discovered a wooden book or top to a box that stayed largely intact. They found out that it was made out of copper and that is how it has survived for over 400 years but it being held in their labs for further testing to see what was its purpose. It could help us understand the way of life more. The burial sites also remain a mystery, the direction they are buried in and the kind of coffin they were in sometimes contradict their lifestyle. For instance, religious figures are buried looking east towards Jerusalem but the body was wearing proper navy uniform, why was this person buried in such a position when there is no written record of a person having two positions, as a navy man and as a clergy member?

historic-jamestown preservationvirginia.orgThe Jamestown site is considered one of the top 10 archeology sites in the world. One of their most famous discovered is a teenage girl, around 14 years’ old who had rich nutrients in her bones showing that she was fed the best quality but was wearing working class attire. The archeologists theorize that she was a maid but there is no record of her in any books. At the time of settling into Virginia, the settlers kept records of all names, ages and occupation of who came but this teenage girl is nowhere to be found. The project decided to name her Jane and today, she is considered a top 10 archeology find. The Rediscovery Project as well as many other similar projects around the world continue this important work so that we and future generations can learn about our ancestors, especially for those who did not have a voice during their time, such as Jane.

To learn more and keep updated on their findings, please visit the projects website and if you ever get a chance, take advantage and visit them yourself. Walk the steps that John Smith and Pocahontas took along with Jane and hundreds of other Native Americans and English settlers.

 

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My Favorite Museums 

victoria-and-albert-museumThe Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England

I wont lie, my favorite thing about the museum is the Fashion and Jewelry Collection. Going through time by seeing what the fashion was like is a fun experience. There are other collections especially for artwork including paintings and drawings, glass, furniture, and much more. So much to see and learn, it is definitely worth more than just one visit.
InternationalSpyMuseum-1The International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., USA

Complete with giving you an alias, hidden passages, and lots of history on espionage, I can’t get enough of it! Half of my things are from the gift shop alone including shirts, invisible ink pens, and hidden book safes. The museum goes through important spy tricks and happenings over world history. From Alexander the Great’s secret messages to his commanders, to Japanese ninja’s trainings, to The Cold War, you learn a lot about how private citizens and governments kept an eye on each other.

the-museum-doesn-t-take from tripadvisor

Museum of Sex in New York City, USA

Don’t judge but it is actually really unique and interesting to learn about the history of contraception, different fetishes, and learn about the research and studies that were done to allow the public to understand what is going on with their (and the opposite sex) bodies. Obviously, because of the nature of the subject and it does not shy away from much, it is not much a family friendly outing but it is more than just for giggles. They also have an exhibit on the different techniques and habits of the animal kingdoms sexual activities.

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The Worst Trip I Have Taken

Have-worst-time-never-admitIt was right after Christmas of 2014 and I went to a popular conference near Pheonix, AZ. My father enjoyed it the year before and wanted me to come this time. The day before he was suppose to leave, he got the flu so I was to go alone. My mother stepped in but drove with her nephews and brother from Los Angeles while I flew. I spent my time alone at the gym, watching TV, relaxing. Despite this last minute change and that we had to cancel our pit stop to the Grand Canyon because Dad and I promised to see it together, things didn’t seem so bad.
But after the four tortuous days, my first day was going to be one of the very few good things to happen. I did end up seeing friends from New Zealand who were visiting the States. Then the conference began, one boring session after another. After a dozen sessions, only two were interesting and noteworthy. This conference has been going on for some 30 odd years so most people used it to be reunited with friends and family. Since my mom and I came for the first time, we had a hard time finding anyone who wanted to meet up for coffee or a meal. They were all busy meeting with family they only see at the conference. Understandably, we went on our own but after a full day together stuck in a secluded hotel, we had nothing left to see or talk about. Enter boredom, on vacation. This is virtually impossible for me, I love vacations and explore everything I can. Well after two days, I had to see everything I could with no car or public transportation near us.

By the end of the second day, we gave up and just stayed in our room catching up on Homeland. When the highlight of your vacation is one dinner and then catching up on a television show, it’s proof that it was a bust.

On our third day, the hotel called us during an afternoon nap break from our Homeland watching. My father and I were suppose to go to the Grand Canyon but we forgot to let the hotel know that we cancelled the plans. Graciously, they found us another room for the same discounted price but we had to scramble and leave the current room because they needed it to prepare for a new family. We dumped everything into our suitcases and dashed downstairs to the new room, our bags barely closed, we were lucky nothing got lost!

Then my cousin was suppose to drive us all back to Los Angeles but he wanted to stay longer, possible. I spent the rest of the time calling rental car companies, airlines, train tickets, etc to find another way to get back but nothing was cheaper than $300 per person. My cousins then said he would drive us only to change his mind the next hour, so I dashed off to get cell reception and wifi but the price went up another 100 or so. Finally, we got a straight answer where we made sure he couldn’t back out of it, my cousin would indeed drive us back.

What’s a family vacation without a fight? Our last day, my mother and Ihad a huge fight and didn’t speak for the entire drive. Other than finishing a fantastic season of Homeland and seeing friends from New Zealand, this awful trip was nothing but heartache and a big massive headache. Boring conference, no one to talk to, nothing to do, then to top it off, so many mishaps with reservations and travel.

Needless to say I am only going to Arizona for the Grand Canyon, not for that horrible conference.

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A Day in Haifa 

Israel_-_Haifa_-_Bahai_Gardens_004If you find yourself visiting the beautiful and historic country, Israel, be sure to take a trip to Haifa. It is an hour train ride from the Ben Gurion Airport train station.

Israel is a small country with a lot to see and is in many religious texts as the place for many important events. In Haifa, it has Mount Carmel, a mountain that is mentioned in many holy texts.

Today, it is where the Shrine of the Bab, Who was one of the two twin manifestations of the Baha’i Faith. The Shrine of Baha’u’llah, the other manifestation, is an hour drive in Bahji. Buses and taxis are well familiar where these two Shrines are. Mornings are open for free to the public and you can take pictures outside of the Shrines and of the gardens.

When you have finished your visit of the Shrine of the Bab in Haifa, you can get some exercise with quite a view of Haifa, going down the terrace steps to Ben Gurion Street where there is a mall and countless places to eat.

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The Importance of Digitization for Preservation

Check out my final project on how three different organizations are using digitization to help with their collections and the public! World_Digital_Library_-_Launch

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Binge-watching 2015

binge watchingIt’s a new year and weirdly, I had a bit of a life therefore there are only a few shows that I started and finished in more or less one seating. That was not much the case in 2013 or in 2014.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend these and binging is really the only way to do it:

Bunheads

Don’t Trust the B– in Apt 23

Frasier

Project Greenlight

Vicious 

Thankfully, these will continue but I finished them:

Narcos 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Younger

What are some of your favorite shows that you have binged on?

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A Day In NYC

It’s almost impossible to just have one day in New York City, there is no place like it. But if you only have one day, this is what I recommend:

 

Visit the Museum Of Modern Artmoma_building by fablabelapaso

and it’s near a lot of the swanky eating and shopping areas. Don’t worry about saving money in NYC, it’s one day and you gotta live a little! Plus it’s New York, it ain’t cheap! But arts and drama are very important elements of New York City.

Hit Broadway, preferably a musical if you only have one night, then walk around Times Square at night. The lights, the people, the excitement, it truly is the city that never sleeps! times square

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If You Are Moving To Los Angeles, Watch…

entourage__140219185446Entourage

Vinnie Chase and his gang go all over Southern California it seems in the eight seasons, from Malibu to The Grove and anything and everything in-between. If you are wondering how many movie and tv stars you can spot in Los Angeles, this is a good indication that they are indeed, everywhere.
helLA confidential

LA Confidential

If you want classic Hollywood meets the crime and drama with glitz and glamour, this is your movie. Complete with history and inside lifestyles of the rich and famous, the law enforcement and the movie industry, this brings you to the core of Los Angeles.

southland-2436-2560x1600

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southland

Some might say Crash is a great film of Los Angeles I prefer this show, where cops and detectives are sent all over the wide range of Los Angeles territory.

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2015: The Year of Musical Documentaries

As a music fan, this year was pretty cool with all the different documentaries on some of my favorite musicians. Here are my thoughts on each of the films or mini-series:

Backstreet_Boys_Doc_Movie_PosterBackstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of           I was born in the late 80s and my room and school locker was full of posters and magazine photos of the Backstreet Boys (I was also a fan of N’SYNC too, I don’t play favorites). So naturally, when this documentary came out I had to watch it. When Nick and Brian start a yelling match, I was heartbroken and I wanted to hug them all when they poured their hearts out and I am impressed that I still remember all the lyrics. It was so enjoyable and made me regret that I did not get tickets for their 2012 world tour. I highly recommend it especially for millennial ladies.


cobain montage of heckCobain: Montage of Heck (HBO)

He was the voice of a generation but to me, Kurt Cobain wrote, sang and played music that can speak to any teenager who was full of angst and uncertainty about their surroundings and future. True emotion can be heard in his singing and it was fascinating to see how Kurt’s mind worked through the animations based on interviews and diary entries. No one will fully understand what another is thinking but the end, I do wish there was something more to his last days.

sinatraSinatra: All or Nothing at All (HBO)

In this two part mini-series, we learn about the beginnings of Frank Sinatra’s career and to what were the inspirations behind his greatest hits. Interviews with his closest colleagues, children and relatives also brought more light into one of the most famous voices ever. I had no idea about Sinatra’s philanthropy especially promoting racial equality. He may have had a scandalous life with affairs and rumors working with the mafia but this documentary proves that there are so many layers in one person.

amywinehouse-posterAmy

At Cannes, it was all the buzz, a documentary on jazz singer Amy Winehouse who made headlines with her drug and alcohol abuse just as much as she did with her unique voice and lyrics. She was honest and clearly loved music. The trailer for the documentary left me with goosebumps and tears every time I watched it, the documentary itself was very powerful though I must admit, not as much as the trailer was.

What-Happened-Miss-Simone-posterWhat Happened, Miss Simone? (Netflix)

“How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?” ~ Nina Simone

Passionate, truthful, and daring, the singer through archived interviews and from close friends and family, we learned about a talented woman who never became what she always wanted to be: a classical pianist. This documentary showed the challenges of bipolarism which was not diagnosed until her later years, losing her fortune and family but proving that she was never outdated. This documentary was also personal for me since my mother also is a classical pianist.

 

If I had to choose my favorite it would be Sinatra: All or Nothing, it was intimate, sweet, funny and touching and gave many new insights to a legend. At being four hours total, I still couldn’t get enough.

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