Archive | August, 2010

Thank You!

17 Aug

As I was checking out my usual blogs today, I found a pleasant surprise. I thank Tina from Read, Play, Love for awarding me with a Versatile Blogger Award. I really appreciate your comments and your wisdom and the fact that you’re from Orange County means we’ll probably meet at some point in the future.

Also, I’d like to thank the many people who read this column (blog) and make insightful comments in the process. I’ll try harder to be more interesting!

So once again:

Justice for Julian Website Now Open

16 Aug

The Justice for Julian website is now open. If you don’t remember, Julian Collender was a 25-year-old man who was shot to death by Brea Police officers in June after a police report led to his home. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the tribute concert on Saturday night as I only found about it yesterday. Hopefully, the website will have more updates on the investigation and/or any tributes.

Keep it here on The Ed Column or the Justice for Julian website for more info on the Julian Collender shooting.

Community College

16 Aug

Today, I have set the odometer back a bit in my life. I’m back in community college*. Why? As I try to look for a permanent full-time job, I think it’s important that I improve on the skills that I need to go a step further. For instance, newspapers, especially local ones, are looking for people with good photographic skills. Even though I post club photos on a regular basis, I need to have the legitimacy as a photographer. So I’m trying to get added into a digital photography class considering I need the time for a part-time job to fund this venture.

As I stepped foot on the campus for the first time in three years, I noticed some significant changes. First of all, I was turned away from the parking structure for the first time ever because it was filled up. Filled up. Nice. Luckily I found parking in the back, so I can’t really complain, but tomorrow’s another day.

I quote Tupac: “Some things will never change.”

*Unless I fail to enroll in the classes I’m petitioning.

Arabian Prince at Continental Room–8/13/10

15 Aug

I admit I’m quite superstitious, but I couldn’t pass an opportunity to see a member of N.W.A (It has no period in the end of the name, so don’t be yelling at me and saying it’s a typo!)–Arabian Prince. So I head to the Continental Room and I noticed that they had a new dancefloor. Nice dark wood paneling I must say. The guy who said he was the owner said that the Continental Room was almost done with its renovation and it’s looking good for them. The drinks are still pricey, but when you’ve got world-class acts like Arabian Prince and 2 Live Crew (I’m still kicking myself for not showing up last month) coming to Fullerton, the renovations are sure as hell worth it.

The music spinned by Arabian Prince and the other DJ’s were mostly 90’s hip-hop and R&B, so of course it was like back in the day when plaid shirts were in fashion (and they’re somewhat in fashion now). While I’m not much of a fan of 90’s hip-hop and R&B, I was ecstatic when they played “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison. Here’s some eye candy for you:









More pics available on my Flickr. If you need my photographic abilities for your corporate function, after party, club event, birthday party or any party, contact me at edfcarrasco [at] Rates are competitive and negotiable.

DTF Nights–8/12/10

13 Aug

I didn’t know Back Alley Bar & Grill had a resident DJ on Thursdays. Usually, when I go to Back Alley, it’s usually to listen to a live band and watch my friends play billiards. Now there’s people who would normally not go to this bar dancing to Top 40 music. i say good for Back Alley for diversifying. Here’s some pics of last night’s action:









More pics on my flickr page (Some pics are NSFW).


12 Aug

I’ve made a few changes to The Ed Column in the past couple of weeks and if you haven’t noticed already, here are a few things I’ve introduced/changed:

More photos: The Ed Column will be more photo-intensive. After an event, I will get the photos uploaded into the system as soon as possible for your enjoyment. More photos means more interesting stuff.

Subscriptions: Like what your read in The Ed Column? The natural thing to do is to subscribe. To subscribe, scroll down to the Email subscription section on your right and click “Sign me up!” RSS is available under the RSS-Posts and RSS-Comments links.

Twitter: If you feel that what I write is compelling, why not tweet it? The tweet button is below every post.

Runaway comments: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called “US Open of Brawling,” which has garnered a lot of hits on my blog and some nasty comments from both sides. The Ed Column is not the place to settle disputes that I have no control of. Settle your differences.

As promised, here’s your David Bowie moment for today:

Middle School Reunion?

12 Aug

This is what I looked like in junior high when my parents sent me to a Catholic school for three years:

Don’t I look so different? I’ve been thinking about this certain topic lately, mostly because a friend of mine was talking about being invited to an elementary school reunion–and she planned to go. I can definitely put that out of the question because even though I made some pretty cool friends in elementary school, it’s been ages since I’ve talked to them. OK, how about going to a middle school reunion. NOPE, and here are some of the frequently asked questions, if any:

The first question is: Why? Despite the last minute camaraderie in the last couple of months before graduation, I feel I have not much connection with any of my classmates. Sure, I would bump into a couple of them once in a while or make a comment on their Facebook pages, but it doesn’t translate into hanging out and making more memories. Plus, I was bullied nearly every day I was attending the school. Did I mention one of the bullies poked me in the a** with a compass so bad I needed a tetanus shot? I think he was trying to express his latent homosexuality (not that there’s anything wrong with being gay–just saying).

I’m pretty sure you had some close friends. I did. However, since high school, we’ve drifted further and further apart. The last time I saw her was when her brother died (it was his 1st death anniversary a couple of days ago–RIP) and I went to the wake and funeral. I mean she’s been quite a good friend for all these year, but it’s just a case of friends drifting apart. As for the others, it’s the same thing.

Don’t you want to show off how much you’ve accomplished? I’m only 24 years old. I haven’t accomplished much apart from getting a regular flow of readers on my blog, a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA, a (soon-to-be) master’s degree in Journalism at Kingston University and having wonderful, amazing friends. I know there’s people in my 27-member Class of 2000 who has attended prestigious schools such as MIT and has good, stable jobs with defense contractors, financial services, etc., but I don’t feel it’s the time to boast about anything–at least on my part. However, I do know some people who had the potential (like the valedictorian of the class) but are wasting away as bartenders. So much for early potential, eh?

Why do you seem bitter? Perhaps I didn’t have the balls to stand up for myself when I was at that stage. I let people bully me, and it’s largely because of two things. I had little self-confidence and the strict rules of the Catholic school were not in my favor.

So it’s been ten years since I graduated from middle school and no one from that class has bothered to hold a reunion. If it happened, the only people that would show up would be the populars–some of them have kids in elementary school already! Obviously I wouldn’t be surprised at all. The rest of us, should he or she bother to send invitations, would either politely decline or not show up. It wouldn’t have been fun anyway.

“Oh well I guess I mustn’t grumble, I suppose that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.” -Lily Allen


10 Aug

I don’t know why JFK’s assassination has been a theme of some of the TV shows I’ve been watching lately. It’s not even November 22nd. Perhaps it might have been that Mad Men marathon a couple of weeks back before the season premiere with the episode that focused on the Kennedy assassination. Then just recently, I read this obituary of this singer named Bobby Hebb who was best known for writing this song called “Sunny.” Never heard about it–until now. Apparently, he wrote this song in response to Kennedy’s assassination and the stabbing death of his brother the night after. Though he found comfort in songwriting after these tragedies, Hebb denied it was linked to them, saying he was just “looking for a brighter day.” Thus a wonderful song was born.

It’s a great, confident song. Does make me look at the bright side of life. No surprise that many artists, including Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder, have covered this song.

What’s the best supermarket in Southern California?

9 Aug

If you had asked me “What’s the best supermarket?” when I was living in London, I would give you two answers: Waitrose (quality) and ASDA (value). Now that I’m back in Southern California, it’s irrelevant. So one must decide in their lifetime (preferably now) what’s a good supermarket. In Southern California, you’ve got the big three: Albertson’s (owned by SuperValu), Ralphs (owned by Kroger) and Vons (owned by Safeway). Then you’ve got the bit players like Fresh & Easy and Stater Bros. So what’s the best supermarket in Southern California? First, I’ll tell you the worst supermarket in Southern California.

Worst Supermarket in Southern California: Ralphs

Why am I hatin’ on Ralphs? It’s hard to arbitrarily hate a supermarket, but I have grown to hate Ralphs. First, the prices are astronomical. A gallon of milk at Ralphs costs about 50 cents more than other supermarkets in the area. Second, their store brands are of sub-par quality and not worth the price. Don’t get me started with their stick-figure mascots:

Who did Kroger trust to run Ralphs marketing campaign? Some no-name elementary school? Amateurs.

…and now for the moment you’ve been waiting for. The best supermarket in Southern California is…

IT’S A TIE! Fresh & Easy and Vons

Why did I choose two supermarkets as opposed to one? Both have strong qualities that I like in a supermarket. Fresh & Easy has good value at almost excellent quality, especially their ready meals, which they blow all competitors away (even Trader Joes). If a supermarket’s got awesome ready meals like Tikka Masala and Jambalaya rice, then you’ve definitely won my heart. Vons products have excellent quality, especially in its dairy (Lucerne brand) and store-brand products. I give Vons a commendation for its O Organics label for being a more reasonably-priced organics brand. Did I forget to mention their store layout rocks?

I’m sure you want to know if I’ve got any reservations on these choices. Of course I do. Fresh & Easy doesn’t promote itself as much as it should, relying on word of mouth and Tuesday inserts. Mind you that Fresh & Easy is owned by Tesco, one of the world’s largest retailers (in some cases, second to Walmart), so they need to make a good effort to spread the brand. In addition, Fresh & Easy should keep their aisles stocked more often and add just a little bit more products. Just a little bit. As for Vons, their prices are a bit expensive for a mainstream supermarket and they should have more locations (the one in my city closed recently, but they haven’t renovated the location in years).

There you have it. Do you think I’m justified in these conclusions? Am I too harsh on Ralphs? Let me know in the comments.

Should Coffeehouses Get Rid of Wi-Fi?

8 Aug

OK, I think a lot of us have done it before. We find a coffeehouse that has Wi-Fi and spend long hours with one coffee and surf the internet. But now there’s a backlash to laptop guy.

In today’s Los Angeles Times Business section, I found an article by Jessica Guynn about how more coffeehouses are pulling the plug on Wi-Fi and making it harder for people with laptops to plug in their power. Why?  It’s hurting their bottom line. Basically, some people spend long hours using up the Wi-Fi while not spending enough on coffee or other stuff. In short, while many complain about coffeehouses pulling the plug, others praise them because they have no Wi-Fi.

As for me, I try to avoid going to my local coffeehouse for Wi-Fi for these reasons:

Not enough space and/or sockets: It seems like almost every time I bring my laptop for the Wi-Fi, most places either don’t have enough room or sockets to give my laptop some juice.

Slow Wi-Fi: If it’s slow, how can I do my work?

Distractions: Honestly, I don’t get work done if I have easy access to the Internet for obvious reasons.

While I agree that Wi-Fi has the potential to attract customers to establishments, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will bring more money. Perhaps it would be best to stick to guaranteeing a good cup of coffee and maybe, just maybe, some good music.

What do you think? Is Wi-Fi a necessity in the coffeehouse or a burden to the true purpose of it? I’d really, really want to hear from you, so you better comment!