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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011

Lei Ho Everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their family and friends!  I was invited to my boss Jessica's home for Thanksgiving.  We actually had our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday instead of Thursday because in Hong Kong they do not give any day's off for it, as it is not a common celebrated holiday.  Which, if you think about it makes sense, why would people in Hong Kong care at all about when the Native Americans and the Pilgrims came together and celebrated thanks.  Anyway, dinner was FANTASTIC, Jessica's boyfriend Scott is a wonderful cook and he made every dish that we would have back home and he made them very well. I have never been one to enjoy stuffing at all, however I actually ate and enjoyed his stuffing.  He bought a 15lb turkey and also a chicken and he cooked the Chicken inside of the Turkey and they both came out perfect, the meat was not dry at all! I would have to say my favorite dish was the mashed potato and the yams, the yams especially. He cooked them with brown sugar and put walnuts on top of them... delicious.  I brought a bottle of Glenmorangie scotch which Scott was very happy about and enjoyed it with me.  I also told Jessica I would bring an appetizer so I brought my signature Monday Night Football dip which, everyone devoured so that was nice.  In total their were about 15 people there and I was able to sit and have a conversation with just about all of them, all very nice people and people who I will actually probably see again.  Overall it was a terrific way to spend a Thanksgiving if I could not spend it with my family, Scott even had the NFL games playing!

Jessica and Scott giving the Turkey Taste Test!
After dinner we had some drinks and then most of us continued the night down in LKF. We all had a ton of fun and I got to know a bunch of these people really well.  I almost did not go out with them because, I was stuffed and did not know if I could do a night of drinking but, I am really glad I went as we all had a blast.
Aside from that I have not done anything really different than the past few weeks.  I have done quite a bit of networking, since my last post I have gone to a couple networking events and met quite a few people.  This city is literally networking on steroids, if you go to these events you would have to be blind and deaf to not walk away with at least 10 business cards. So that part is easy, from there its all on you to follow up.  I am finding you can really get a lot out of Hong Kong as long as you are willing to apply yourself and meet people.
On Sunday I actually had my first Lacrosse game with the "Skyers" (no idea what the name stands for or means) which is one of the teams that I will be playing for in the league they have here.  We won

14-1 so it was a good victory.  Most importantly I had a lot of fun, myself and one of the Jordans on the team who plays at Bellamarine actually did a "Ham and Cheese".  I swept over the top with the ball, pretended to do a fake flip to Jordan who then ran hard down the side and acted like he had the ball, when really I had it the whole time and just had to go drop it in the net, because the goalie was not looking.  After we went to this nearby bar called Happy Valley Bar and Grill and had a few beers and a burger, so it was a great way to end the weekend.

So now today is Wednesday and I actually just had dinner with someone I met at a networking event last week.  His name is Diederik Heinink from Holland and he has started his own Public Relations company out here in Hong Kong called C-People.  I actually met him through my old boss and friend Andrew Miller from Global Sage. Diederik has been a great guy to talk to though as he is very experienced in the Marketing/Communications industry, so I have received some solid advice from him. Another reason we had dinner tonight was because he wanted to see if I was interested in doing some contract social media work for his company, so we got together to discuss that and just social media in general. I am actually really interested in doing this contract type work on the side as it is really neat because you get to work with a lot of companies who otherwise I would have no connection.
So that is where I am at right now in my life here, busy busy busy.  I hope everyone at home is doing well, I look forward to hearing from all of you so don't be shy and email me if you have some time.  Also, I am very proud of my newest blog so if you have some time give it a read, also I would appreciate any comments or criticism that you might have on anything I have written.  One way that you can actually help me as readers is, if you read my blogs and find what you read interesting   than go ahead and share them with your social networks to help me reach people that I would not normally be able to.  The buttons below the posts such as the Facebook "Like" the Google +1 and the twitter tweet button are all very clickable so please CLICK! lol
Well until next time, adios and buenos noches!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

This is the artwork we bought for our wall, we call them the laughing brothers. Can you guess which is mine?
   So I guess its about time for a post in this blog, I am sorry if I have been somewhat ignoring it but, I have been pretty engaged in my new blog.  My new blog that I recently just created is called AdChatting, the reason that it really excites me, and I have been so involved in it is because, I actually bought the domain for it, so I own it!  This believe it or not has been something that I have been meaning to do for sometime. Advertising and marketing tactics are concepts that I am really interested in as they are ever changing and can be very different.  So on my blog all I do is take a look at different advertising and marketing strategies and discuss what is good and what is bad about them.  My hope is that professionals in these industries will use my blog to discuss these different advertising and marketing campaigns and tactics.  This will enable me to not only network and engage with these professionals, I will also be able to learn from them.
     Aside from buying my own domain name and starting my blog, a few other exciting things have happened to me in the past weeks.  Along with joining California Fitness gym, last week I went and got a phone plan from the service called 3 here.  The exciting part is not the phone plan, its the actual phone I got with my plan, the Iphone 4s!  This phone is everything its cracked up to be, its pretty damn awesome.  The siri technology is unreal, it's wicked smart and you can ask it just about anything including the meaning of life. If siri does not know the answer to your question, she will tell you and then ask you if you would like her to do and internet search for you which is cool... to me at least lol.  So to say the least I am really pumped about my new phone! Also on Saturday I went with my soon to be roommate Ben to a tailor to get fitted for a new suit.  The place he took me too, is a tailor that he and his Dad have been going to for years.  When I got there I could see why, as the quality was superb and the prices were really reasonable.  In the US you can spend thousands of dollars on a custom suit, here I was able to get the suit with an extra pair of pants for less than $450 dollars.  The service is fantastic as the first time you go, they measure you out, and let you pick all the color and style that you want for your suite. Then they bring you in for a fitting to make sure everything is the way it should be, after the fitting you can pick your suite up in days or, they will ship it to you anywhere; and I mean all the way back to the US anywhere if you want.  The suite and iphone 4s were gifts from my parents, as one would be my Birthday present and the other my Christmas present, so I want to say thank you Mom and Dad and I love you both tons, and... I would give both gifts back if I could spend Christmas and my Birthday at home with you guys. (But if not then I don't mind keeping them)
     During the week I have been on my own as no one is ever here except me but, on Friday's and Saturday's, Ben the kid who is moving in to our apartment has been hanging out with me, so that has been a nice change of pace.  This past Saturday we walked across the street to this bar called "Inside Out."  It's a fairly large bar and on the weekend it is always packed so its actually quite fun.  We went there for dinner on Saturday and to watch Ben's favorite "Futbol" aka soccer team Arsenal.  They won so Ben was pumped and I had a good meal and a bunch of cheap beers, so I enjoyed myself as well.  It is definitely a place that we will be going often as it is literally 2 minutes away counting the elevator ride. Too keep myself busy during the week after work, I have been working out everyday, blogging, cleaning my apartment and reading quite a bit on blogging and of course advertising!  On this past Sunday I ventured to "Gateway Grocery Store" in Shuen Wan, basically it is like a mini version of Costco or Sam's.  It's very small but they sell all American products in bulk, the problem is that items shuffle in and out of there so often that its hard to tell what items will be in the store and when.  It is also  quite expensive because, I only bought a few items and it cost me more than, I spend when I go shopping at the local grocery store.   So I do not think I will be going there very often unless I want to get something that I use a lot in bulk, such as Skippy Super Chunky Peanut Butter.  (I literally eat PB & J everyday during the week for lunch.)
     So this week is the week of Thanksgiving, and as I have mentioned in the past I will be going to my boss Jessica's and her boyfriend Scott's place to celebrate.  After much debate with myself, I have decided that I will bring my famous "Monday Night Football" dip over their house, along with a bottle of wine.  I think they will appreciate it, as most people who have tried it have really enjoyed it.  I am just happy to be going somewhere for Thanksgiving as it will help me not think about missing my family like crazy.  On top of that I will have a chance to meet some new people as they are having a bunch of other people over for dinner as well, so I am really looking forward to that.
     The last thing I want to talk about on this post is how freaking proud of my father I am.  My Dad is one of the most smartest and easy going people I have ever met.  If you know him, you know he is not one to take advantage of any one, or over stay his welcome, he is one who usually gives other people a hand, rather than receive any sort of help.  So in my opinion a time to recognize him is wel overdue! Well this past Sunday exactly that happened, my Dad was inducted into the Watertown Football Hall of Fame, (he actually graduated from Watertown where he was a stud safety!) He received the award due to the countless hours he has put in for over 20 years refereeing pop-warner, High School, and College Football.  Even with a full College schedule he has served on the Hartford board and the CT valley board as President.  Most of all he has been recognized for his love of the game, I honestly don't think I know anyone aside from Bill Belichick himself who has more passion for "America's game".  The best football team I have ever been on in my entire life was actually coached by him, we ran a no huddle offense with a direct snap to the running-back.  We had a whopping total of 7 plays, which we ran perfectly because we knew them inside out, we could go on two and draw the opposing defense offside every game.  We went undefeated the entire regular season and lost in the playoff's to who else WATERTOWN, because of a few plays that did not go our way.  What a great team that was, and some of the most fun playing football I ever had.  My Dad would have made a hell of a coach had he chosen that route upon graduation, he has it in his blood, not to mention he graduated from a school (Springfield College) that breeds coaches (Steve Spagnuola, Charley Casserly, Kevin Spencer, Dave Magazu, Mark Banker, Paul Ferrero and my former Lacrosse Coach John Klepacki who has received National Lax Coach of the year honors, just to name a few).  So today I tip my hat to you DAD, CONGRATULATIONS!

Also I would also like to mention that out of all the Moms in the world, I got really lucky of drawing the best.  I will tell you I miss my family a lot, and she has been her wonderful self sending me Halloween and Thanksgiving cards, letting me know she is thinking about me; which means so much to me.  Also my fantasy football team has won 3 in a row and is starting to get back on track so thats good news as well!
Till next time... ADIOS!

Me with the new Iphone 4s (jesus my nose is big!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 8, 2011

Hello all been a little while since I have posted, few updates for you all.  Unfortunately since my last post the Patriots have dropped two in a row making my two weeks not exactly ideal.  However I have been able to withstand these detrimental events by living in one of the most exciting cities in the world.  Since being here I have picked up cooking stir fry noodles for dinner.  It's pretty simple and always proves to be a pretty tasty dinner.  Right down the street we have something called the "Wet Market" and it is a huge market where they sell ton's of   fresh seafood and fruit and... they sell it really cheap.  So one day I bought a big bag of fresh shrimp and threw that in a stir fry for dinner.  A picture is below of that stir fry taken by my roommate Tucker is below!
This week I had to head back to the grocery store to pick up more groceries and I ended up buying some chicken breast to throw in this weeks batch of stir fry.  So as you can tell I have been eating a lot of stir fry for dinner.  Lunch has been a similar story as I have been eating Peanut Butter and Jelly almost everyday with an apple or an orange.
Sam actually left at about 9 yesterday so I have been by myself in Hong Kong for a full day now and its no big deal I am keeping myself busy with work, chores (cleaning, dishes, laundry), sending out resumes and of course the gym.  I have been going to the gym just about everyday since the end of last week.  Right now I have a free pass that I have been using, but tomorrow it expires so I will have to officially join.  They gym is called California Fitness and is not bad, they have a ton of machines and the only downside is that after work it is really busy but I always manage to get done what I need to.  It is the cheapest gym that I could find, but is still pricy at about $48 US a month.  However, it has a ton of upside as it is literally a 3 min walk from my house, when you go in they give you a gym towel and a larger shower towel which is awesome for me, because I sweat a ton.  The showers are great as they are all personal, and they have shampoo, conditioner and body wash dispensers in all of them.  Then when you are done showering they have a ton of mirrors with complimentary body lotion, qtips and blow dryers.  So I figure I can save a ton of money on water this month by showering at the gym!!! lol
Our friend Ben has committed to moving in with us, right now he lives with his Dad here in Hong Kong, however his Dad was just re-married and with Ben coming in very late on weekends he is ready for Ben to get his own place.  So Ben will be moving his stuff in throughout this month, staying here on and off, and will officially move in after Christmas.  He is taking his Dad by tomorrow to show him the place and then we are all going out for dinner as they invited me to come along.  More good news, my boss and her boyfriend are planning on having Thanksgiving at their flat and they invited me to come over as they are both Americans as well.  Jessica (my boss) said that her boyfriend Scott said I could come as long as I wore his Jets jersey, I told her I would consider it as long as no pics were taken and it was never spoken of again.  I am secretly planning on cursing it if he actually makes me put it on! Patriots Nation for Life!
Last Friday I had lunch with the man I consider my mentor out here in Hong Kong my old boss from Global Sage, Andrew Miller.  We had a good catch up and he gave me some pointers about my job search in the future and even said he would connect me with some of his close friends in the PR and advertising businesses.  So I have to put some stuff together to send him, which I am trying to do by the end of next week.  That was good to see him and some other people at the Global Sage office that I have not seen in a while.  I also video chatted with Pete on Sunday and was glad to hear that he will be making the trip out here either in February or January.  Lauren and Tara are planning on coming in January, so it might be more fun for him if he has them to hang with while my roommates and I are at work.  The only problem is the sleeping arrangements, we can only really fit one comfortably on our couch, so if he chooses to do that then we will have to find an air mattress or something.  However February might be an interesting time to come as well as it will be Chinese New Year and the city will be quite lively.
That brings us to this week, I have been really busy at work and have not had much time after work to do anything aside from send resumes, workout, eat and chat with Tara.  After all that I am usually wiped and head to bed around 11 or 11:30.  I have been hitting the gym pretty hard and have not been really spending any money aside from the groceries, so today after dinner I was having what I call a "Gloria Craving"meaning I was having a heavy crave for my mother and I's favorite dessert; ICE CREAM.  I was not able to say no so I caved and went and got myself a cup of chocolate frozen yogurt ("mmm that does sound good!!") there was strawberries, peaches and mango on it though so it was not entirely unhealthy.   I guess, the only other really good news I have is that I beat my league leader in Fantasy this week bringing my record to 3-6.  I have already decided that I will be staying up late this Sunday to watch the Patriots play the Jets, I am a little worried since the Patriots have been playing like the pre- Icebox little Giants!  I hope they can find a way to beat the crap out of them, that will make wearing that stupid Jets jersey so much easier.  Well thats it for now, I will once again leave you with some Cantonese phrases.
These are actually really hard to pronounce correctly, as apparently there are 6 different tones when speaking in the Cantonese language!

Take me to (if you were talking to a cabbie) - Dai orr huieee
where is the MTR Station - Kay tik jom hi bean?