Thursday, March 29, 2012

Master of my domain

I have a new project that I’m excited about. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for at least a decade, but hadn’t gotten around to doing it – mostly because it’s expensive and also because I’ve been doing a lot of other stuff (like moving around the U.S.).

So what is this new amazing project? It’s my masters.

Yes, I know I already have two BA’s, a BAA and a couple Associate degrees, but even with all these papers, I’m still don't have master in anything.

One of the reasons I’ve been procrastinating is that I really wanted to get it at Kings College in England and study Medieval history. I even got my British citizenship years ago just in case. But then real-life kicked in and I realized because I already had a massive student loan to pay off from the other degrees, it would be crazy to fly off to the UK for the fun of it -- just for more school.

But not anymore. I'm going back. Sadly, I’m not going to Kings College as planned. Mainly because the thought of quitting my job for two or three years and getting another big loan is scary. I mean, I’m spontaneous and a little crazy, but I’m not THAT crazy. Of course, I haven’t given up on Kings College. I figure once I have my masters, I may be able to teach there as a guest professor or something. Don’t roll your eyes at me. It could happen.

Anyway, after researching online master courses (as you never know where I could be living in the next few years and I didn't want to feel stuck in one place), I narrowed my options down to a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kent State or a Masters of Science in Creativity and Innovation at Drexel. One option is practical; the other not so much.

Naturally, I’m choosing the “not so practical” option mainly because the Masters of Science courses are so interesting. Just reading the course list gives me goosebumps. I love learning how and why people think and studying out-of-the-box thinkers from years gone by is inspiring. Also, they also have courses on how to use the way people think to stir up creativity in the workplace and even in hostile situations – because you never know when the DOD will give me a call and ask for my expertise.

Now I just have to come up with the $50,000 for tuition.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The ghostly and strangely erotic side of Old Placerville

Who would have thought Old Placerville would be so cool? My girlfriend and I certainly didn’t. We expected a couple of touristy gold mining shops and that’s about it.

Instead we were in for a treat – a super spooky ghostie treat – and you know how much I LOVE ghosts.

Of course, we came across our ghostly adventure completely by accident. We were checking out this wine shop and needed to use their restroom. The clerk then told us that if we exited through this other door in the restroom we would end up in the Cary House Hotel on Main Street – and that it’s completely haunted.

Turns out it’s not totally haunted even though it’s been featured on a number of paranormal shows and stuff, but they do have one room where people claim to feel strange things, see strange things and hear strange things. The room number? 212. [cue in Twilight Zone music]

Because the hotel was a little dead, and by dead, I mean not busy, the desk person gave us a key to the room to go explore it on our own. Yay!!

Now, let me just say, my friend Kristin and I are not exactly professional ghost hunters. In fact, we know nothing at all about ghost hunting except for what I learned on my Paranormal Haunts story, but Kristin did say the room felt spooky.

Naturally I got out my iPhone and downloaded a Ghost App to check to see if there was anyone in there with us. I didn’t see anything in there even though websites claim that it’s the second most haunted hotel in all of California, but in the hallway there was a weird hot spot.

Then the app scared the crap out of me.

It said “baby.”

Definitely did not expect it to talk!!

It was time to leave this spooky old hotel. Yup, we were out of there.

Next stop was Zia’s Gelateria. After a long day of ghost hunting (really 10 minutes), we needed a treat. But the ghosts weren’t ready to leave us. The guys at Zia’s told us their place was also haunted.

Were they scared? Nope. Instead, they said this ghost was annoying and kept throwing stuff on the floor or throwing utensils at them. They were getting tired of picking up after it all the time.

Then it was off to explore the rest of Main Street which has a bunch of really cool little places. There’s an oyster bar, a couple of wine bars, a dive bar, a few restaurants and a bunch of antique shops.

But the place you have got to go to is The Gothic Rose.

This place is a little erotic and a little disturbing at the same time. It could be because I’m a novice when it comes to Goth culture, but it also could be that the mannequins are all dressed in erotic black lace, corsets or leather temptress outfits – and there was a naked baby posed in a bird cage.

All around are spell books, jars full of hemlock and dried worms, old reaper blacks and scary looking antique scissors. I don’t know why I found the old scissors disturbing, but I did.

There’s also a place to get psychic readings done (cool) and they do embalming in their mortuary. See…a little disturbing.

Everywhere you looked, there was something cool and interesting. Plus, the owners have fabulous decorating taste. You have to see it to believe it as pictures don’t do it justice.

Trust me. This place is worth the drive to Placerville.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mad about March Madness

If you got tickets to the Final Four in New Orleans would you go? What if they were in super nose bleed seats? Would you still go?

This is the question my girlfriend asked me this week when she discovered our Final Four tickets that she ordered months ago (and paid hundreds of dollars for) were not exactly front row.

My answer: "Heck yeah! This is history, baby!!"

I mean, how often will I get to go see the Final New Orleans...the biggest party place outside Vegas in the US? I don’t care if I had to sit on the roof, I would be there. It going to be like Mardi Gras and Super Bowl all in one -- except with basketball fans.

My girlfriend was even able to score us a hotel by Bourbon Street.  I think a little part of my brain is already there as that’s all I’ve been thinking about all day.


PS: Have I mentioned that I have the best friends in the world? I owe her big time for this:-)