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My Drug: Music

For as long as I can remember, my love for music has only grown and evolved.  At my core, I have always been a hip hip, R&B, and rap fan.  I’ll occasionally phase in and out of Hawaiian, reggae, alternative, classic rock, and oldies.

Today, I almost exclusively listen to EDM.  I remember listening to Paul Brandon’s Mix @ 6 when I was in high school.  Not knowing who the artists were or what the songs names were, I knew I liked this new “sound.”  It’s hard to remember all the songs I went through during my early interests, but I can easily say these two songs stand as pillars for my foundation of EDM:

Rachel Starr – To Forever (Moonbeam remix)

Cosmic Gate – Exploration of Space

From then till now, I’ve slowly zeroed in on what genres of EDM of enjoy the most.  I’m a huge fan of trance and well as (progressive) house.  But don’t like to restrict myself to only those.  In the end, if it sounds good, I’ll listen to it!  My love for EDM as grown so much, I listen to it when I exercise, study, and when I’m at work.  EDM is so energizing, I feel like I’m on natural high the entire time.

Over the last few years, it’s amazing how the EDM community has grown.  It’s inclusion in mainstream hip-hop has really opened its doors to more people.  I feel like just 2-3 years ago, very few of my friends listened to EDM, and today they are traveling across the US to attend festivals.

I plan on posting some of my playlists from time to time to give you a feel of what I’m listening to.  So to start, here goes:

  1. W&W – Lift Off
  2. Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash – Reloaded
  3. Omnia – The Light
  4. Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound
  5. Emma Hewitt – Rewind (Mikkas Remix)

more to come!

Insomnia? + Random Thoughts

I don’t recall ever running into a problem like this, especially one that lasted this long.  I usually have an easy time sleeping, and typically get in a solid 6 hours before my internal clock wakes me up.  Ever since I got back to Hawaii for break, I’ve been waking up every 2-3 hours.  Although tonight is the worst, it’s nearly 2am and I’ve been wide awake this entire time.

Well since I’m up and not in a Yelping mood, I think I’ll take this time for some random thoughts.

As usual, my Christmas break as been standard to any break when I come back to Hawaii.  A lot of eating, spending time with family, trying my best to see at least 1 (ideally 2) friends everyday, getting in some workouts at the UFC gym, and going to the beach.  Despite everything going pretty smoothly, I’ve thinking a lot about what I’ll be doing in the next 6 months to 1 year.  I’ll be graduating from my MBA program in  June 2013 and then it’s off to the real world (again).  I’ve been telling myself that I wouldn’t mind staying in Seattle, and also would consider San Francisco/San Jose, Denver, and Phoenix.  Of course Hawaii is in the mix, but for now, as my last choice if nothing else works out.  I like to think I’m pretty adaptable and open to living in new cities, but the comforts of Hawaii will always be in the back of my mind.

There are things I feel Hawaii would be the most ideal for me, such as:  starting a family, coaching youth baseball ( the same league I grew up playing in), possibly coaching football at my high school, keeping on touch and being able to see long time friends, and of course being able to see my family.

A lot can happen in the next 6 months, and I just need to take it one step at a time.

Got the Internship!

So many things I want to write about, but here’s a big one…

I got the offer to intern at KPMG’s Economic and Valuation Services department from Jan – March!  I’m pretty excited to get back into work, and apply things that I’ve learned through my MBA program.

To get things started, they’ll be flying me out to Orlando for training.   And yes, I’ll be staying at SeaWorld.  But no, I won’t be able to go!  I know, what a TEASE!

My first NFL Game!

Football, easily my favorite sport to watch.  It’s a shame that it has taken me this long to finally see my first NFL game.  But then again, growing up in Hawaii where there is no professional teams, it’s no surprise.

I was fortunate enough to get picked through Seattle University’s lottery system for $35 discounted tickets.  This ticket would run a minimum of $200 if you were buy it off of ticketmaster, stubhub, or some other platform.  Nose bleed or not, I’ll take $35 tickets any time.

North side entrance

I thought this is a great idea.  I try to avoid at all cost buying any food or drinks at sporting events, the prices are just ridiculous.  But right when I watched through the gates, there were about 5-6 food trucks!  If I knew about this, I wouldn’t have eaten prior to the game *note to self for next game*

After wandering around the stadium for an hour, we decided to start walking to our seats.

View of downtown Seattle

Seahawks entrance

180 pano from my seat (taken with Galaxy Nexus)

Reppin my new Seahawks gear

Fortunately, the Seahawks pulled out a Win.  My experience at CenturyLink was great, the noise level does get pretty crazy too.  At the end of the day I got kneed in the back, got beer spilled on me, and saw a fight.  All in all, I’d call it a successful and memorable day.

How do you do it?

I am sorry, work and school are really taken up a lot of my time.  But that does not mean I’ve forgotten about this blog.  I have a couple of entries I still want to share when I get some breathing room.

But for this entry, lets keep it simple.

A fellow MBA student and friend asked me, “Chris, how do you do it all?  You go to school full time, take an extra non-credit online class, work a a part-time job, play intramurals, volunteer, and participate in clubs!”

my response, “I don’t sleep, and I love coffee!”

Well of course I sleep, but very little.  Here’s an example of what my day looks like…

5:40am:  Wake up, hit snooze a couple times

6am: Get out of bed and drink a pre-work out supplement

6:30am:  Group fitness class

8am:  Make post-work out protein shake, brew first batch of coffee, make lunch, read tech blogs and NFL news.

10:30am:  head to campus to study (usually for readings due that same day)

1pm-5pm:  work

5:30pm:  get another cup, or two, of coffee

6-8:40pm – class

9pm:   head to library for additional hw

11pm:  go home

11pm-12:30am:  Unwind, watch DVRed shows

1am – sleeping

that’s my day, Monday though Friday, for the most part!

The MOOC Movement: Coursera

MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses

Have you ever heard of Coursera or Kahn Academy?  These are two popular MOOC’s that are taking the next step in higher education.  The concept of MOOC was brought to my attention in my MBA marketing principles class this past summer, and I was very intrigued.

These platforms offer free, yes, 100% free, online classes taught by professors from the nation’s top schools (Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Michigan, Princeton…the list goes on) from topics ranging from Biology & Life Sciences to Economics & Finance.  What’s the catch?  You will not earn any credit towards any educational institution (but you will get a signed certificate if you pass the course!).

Since it’s purely an online course, some of you may think the class is easy.  But you are wrong.  The courses recommend you dedicate at minimum of 5-7 hours a week to watch lectures and do homework.  On top of that, most courses are 10 weeks long, which is the same was my quarterly MBA schedule.

Why do this?  My response back is WHY NOT?  I personally have a thirst for knowledge.  Although finance and economics are my main courses of study, I try to broaden my general knowledge.  My latest interests have been about theoretical physics through the readings of Stephen Hawking and general knowledge of astrophysics from Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I feel that MOOC/Coursera is a near revolutionary idea to help spread knowledge once thought to be obtainable only if you could score high on standardized tests and have the bank account to pay for it.

For my first MOOC experience, I chose “Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics” taught by Dr. Eric Zivot of the University of Washington.   I look forward to the knowledge I will gain through this and hope you will do the same!

Below is a screen shot of my Coursera course dashboard:


Still slacking on my end of blogging, but I’m trying!  So I ended up staying up ALL night before my flight.  When I got to the airport I hear that my Hawaiian Airlines flight had been delayed…

…for 3 HOURS!

 I should of known better and checked the flight status before I left my apartment.  On top of that, I thought my 1 check-in bag was at least 2-3 lbs. under the limit, but when I placed it on the scale…

ugh, now I need to pack it exactly how I had it and can’t bring back too much stuff either.  So since I like to arrive 1.5 hours early to my flights, that means I have 4.5 hours to kill, and I didn’t even bring a book.  Thankfully Seatac has free wifi and there little cubicle “work” areas.

So I got a panini (worst panini EVER! and it cost me $10) and decided to watch as many episodes of The Big Bang Theory Season 5!  Not sure if it was just me but the wifi started to get super slow then I just decided to kick my shoes off and try to nap to kill more time.

The flight was 5 hours I think?  I really need to invest in one of those neck pillow things cause I could only fall asleep for 30-40 minutes at a time before my neck started to get sore from the weird angles.  After a ton of random naps and 2-3 episodes of StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson, we finally made it to Oahu!