#Read3 + The Week Ahead: Jan. 12, 2014

L.A. City Hall, Wednesday night

L.A. City Hall, Wednesday night

Happy Sunday, America!

January has historically been a pretty dull month for me. Although we are only halfway through the first month of 2014, I have to say that this January has gotten off to a somewhat upbeat, eventful start.

Although my job search remains an ongoing effort — some signs of progress already are beginning to emerge — I have two other things already going for me that makes me feel pretty hopeful about this new year. I can only hope I can keep the momentum going with my PRSA New Pros leadership post and the Mineta graduate certificate program.

Let’s take a look at this week’s #Read3 and what I can expect for the week ahead.

#Read3

  1. Your Career and You: “Start Your Resolution Revolution…Today!” – Kirk Hazlett talks about how to set resolutions for yourself the right way. You don’t have to start at the first of the year.
  2. Openings and Construction Starts Planned for 2014 – Transport Politic lists all of the major transit projects in the United States and Canada that are set to finish this year, begin construction or are ongoing. Whether it is a streetcar, BRT or commuter rail, find out if a new transit line is coming to your neighborhood this year.
  3. Resolution For 2014: “Walk The Talk” When It Comes To Diversity – PRSA Chair Joe Cohen outlines how PRSA members can do their part in encouraging greater diversity within the public relations field. For my part, as the diversity liaison for the PRSA New Professionals executive committee, I will be working with the PRSA National Diversity Committee to find ways to encourage and support young professionals of various backgrounds looking to enter this field.

This Week

  • Mineta program – My second week of class is this Wednesday night. In addition to all the reading I have to do, there’s a semester project I will begin working on soon. It deals with the ValuJet Flight 592 crash over the Everglades in 1996. Watch this space.
  • Touring the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension route – I’ll be meeting up with a friend who is a retired transportation professional in L.A. to tour the segment of the Metro Gold Line to Azusa that remains under construction. We’ve taken a tour of this route before and the construction crews continue to make great progress.

Have a great rest of your week!

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#Read3 + The Week Ahead: Jan. 5, 2014

At a CVS Pharmacy in Los Angeles Thursday. They weren't kidding about the Sriracha shortage!

At a CVS Pharmacy in Los Angeles Thursday. They weren’t kidding about the Sriracha shortage!

Happy New Year, America!

I hope this new year will be better for you as it will be for me. While I don’t have a job yet, there are other things starting up soon that are still worth looking forward to for the time being — personally and professionally. I remain optimistic but I am also excited as well.

Let’s take a look at the first set of stories for #Read3 of 2014 — ironically, most of which are about 2013 — and look ahead to what I can expect this week.

#Read3

  1. Social Media Heroes of 2013 – PRSSA Progressions blog published my list of nominees for the social media heroes of 2013. It is loosely derived from the Winners and Losers post I put out on this space last month.
  2. 2013: A Look Back on the Year That Was – Back on this space, I looked back at the year that was. Despite some notable and remarkable moments, it also is a year I am glad to leave behind.
  3. Expectations for 2014: Finishing What I Started – On New Year’s Day, I listed my set of expectations, not resolutions, for 2014. That way, I won’t run the risk of burning out or losing interest so easily in the goals I set for this new year.

This Week

  • Mineta program – My first class for the graduate certificate in transportation management program through the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University starts Wednesday night in Downtown L.A. This one will deal with emergency issues for transportation professionals. I highly doubt it will involve joke fire extinguishers that shoot out gummy worms or something to that effect. It would be interesting if it did.
  • Jeopardy! online test – “What is Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. PT?” This will determine if I can become a contestant on Jeopardy! I know, it is a long shot and I took this same test a few years back. Still, it’s free and there’s nothing to lose by doing so.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

#Read3 + The Week Ahead: Dec. 29, 2013

Happy Sunday, America!

As we get ready to bid farewell to 2013, the time has come to look ahead to the new year and, by extension, our new year’s resolutions. I do not set any resolutions but expectations instead. Expectations are things that I should do without holding myself to any specific deadlines and tactics that I may not be able to fully achieve as planned. I will list my set of expectations for 2014 on Wednesday.

For the final time in 2013, let’s take a look at this week’s #Read3 and what I can expect for the week ahead.

#Read3

  1. Reflections and Expectations: Hugs – This week, I looked back on the month that was and preview what I can expect for the first month of 2014. It’s been an interesting month and even more so next month.
  2. The Power of Paying It Forward – Jessica Lawlor extols the virtues of “paying it forward” — doing something good for others, especially when it is apparent that they need it.
  3. Most Americans Don’t Realize Incandescent Light Bulbs Are About to Disappear – The Atlantic Cities highlights how incandescent light bulbs will be phased out beginning Wednesday yet few Americans are aware of it. It’s a step in the right direction toward greater use of energy-efficient lightbulbs such as compact fluorescent light bulbs. Now you know.
  4. BONUS: Whatever, I’ll Start My Own Book of World Records! – Not an article or a blog post. I just like this so much because it’s that much funny.

This Week

  • New Year’s Eve – I will be spending this New Year’s Eve with my railfan friends in Fullerton. It’s also only the second time I have spent this occasion outside of where I live. I still miss Dick Clark…

Happy (early) New Year, America! See you on the other side.

#Read3 + The Week Ahead: Dec. 22, 2013

Getting on one of these this morning. This picture is from last year at the same station -- Fullerton -- and same Amtrak line.

Getting on one of these this morning. This picture is from last year at the same station — Fullerton — and same Amtrak line.

(Simon’s note: WordPress suspended this blog Sunday due to anti-spam controls somehow flagging this blog for suspected spam. I do not host any nefarious or unethical content nor will I ever do such a thing. I am grateful to have it back up and look for ways, if any, to avoid such a thing from happening again. Thank you for your patience.)

Happy Sunday, America!

I’m headed down to San Diego today for the Christmas holiday. For the fourth year in a row, I’m treated to another sunny Christmas in Southern California with my relatives and their extended families. From following the same annual traditions to seeing all the old faces again, I enjoy this time of the year the most.

Let’s take a look at this week’s #Read3 and what I can expect for the week ahead.

#Read3

  1. What “The Incredibles” Taught Me About Inequality – Jon Negroni has a fair-minded take on what the Disney film The Incredibles can teach us about inequality in the United States, regardless of your political persuasions.
  2. Why SeaWorld PR is Doing *Everything* Wrong with the #Blackfish Scandal – Lauren Gray details how SeaWorld is poorly handling the backlash against its brand after a CNN documentary exposed how the company mistreats its whales. SeaWorld even went as far as deleting negative comments from critics and blocking them on its Facebook page, which is a terribly bad strategy for any brand facing negative publicity.
  3. IAC’s PR Chief Apparently Tweeted a Bizarrely Tasteless Joke About AIDS and Africa – You’ve probably heard about this enough times to know how deplorable this person’s actions were. If you don’t know, read on and judge for yourself.

This Week

  • Christmas – Needless to say, I’m looking forward to spending this time with my relatives. Amid all the challenges I have endured this year especially as far as my job search is concerned, I hope this coming week will cheer me up a bit. It always does.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy holiday season, everyone!

#Read3 + The Week Ahead: Dec. 15, 2013

Happy Sunday, America!

With Christmas time and the New Year fast approaching, these are some pretty exciting and busy times. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the people that I have come to know all these years.

I should also take this time to mention that earlier this week, I have been selected to serve on the executive committee of PRSA New Professionals next year. I will serve as the diversity liaison in this national leadership board. More on that in my next Reflections and Expectations later this month.

That being said, let’s take a look at this week’s #Read3 and what I can expect for the week ahead — the busiest in a while.

#Read3

  1. The Most Important Things Young Professionals Should Know About Personal Finance – Brazen Careerist shows young professionals how they can manage their money right, especially in these challenging times and in a competitive business environment.
  2. Your Career and You: “It All Starts Somewhere” – Kirk Hazlett (APR, Fellow PRSA) discusses how you can map out your life by first knowing where to begin.
  3. Don’t Let This One Thing Hold You Back From Achieving Your Dreams: Avoiding The Comparison Trap – Jessica Lawlor encourages you to cheer up and have a more optimistic view in life by not comparing the status of your life to that of your peers.

This Week

  • Visit El Dorado High School – For the seventh year in a row, I will visit my alma mater high school Friday to visit my student council advisor-turned-principal, Carey Cecil. She has been a wonderful friend and an early mentor of mine who was instrumental in helping me pave the way to future success. It’s always a joy to visit her.
  • Christmas time with the railfans – Also an annual holiday tradition — this one for the third year in a row — I will be spending this coming weekend with my railfan friends for a Christmas party at Fullerton station. I regularly spent most weekend nights out there with them before moving to Philadelphia. Although I have since moved back, my visits there have been sporadic. It’ll be great to see them again, regardless.
  • Homeland season finale – It’s tonight at 9 p.m. ET / PT on Showtime. Don’t miss it.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

#Read3 + The Week Ahead: Dec. 8, 2013

Happy Sunday, America!

I’m headed back to San Francisco today for a job interview taking place tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes and I’m hoping for a positive outcome.

I’m forgoing the traditional #Read3 today. I will, however, recommend that you check out my inaugural edition of Winners and Losers that premiered Wednesday, focusing on social media heroes and zeroes.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

#Read3: Dec. 1, 2013

Happy Sunday, America!

I spent this weekend in San Diego with my relatives for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s always a wonderful time when I get the chance to spend some quality time with them, holidays and otherwise. Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend as well, whatever your plans might have entailed.

We’re now into the final month of 2013 (already?). As we begin our long goodbyes to this year, let’s take a look at this week’s #Read3.

#Read3

  1. An ode to AP style, and why it matters in PR – PR Daily helps extol the values of AP style, a guiding principle for professionals in the communications field including public relations. Even on this space, I utilize AP style a great deal. It has its worth in both professional and personal capacities.
  2. Find Joy in Your Work By Creating a Business Plan for Your Life – Brazen Careerist has a post on how you can plan out your life in the same way you would create a business plan for your business. Give it a try. It just might work.
  3. Reflections and Expectations: Everything Old is New Again – My latest installment of Reflections and Expectations looks back on the month where I mainly transitioned back into my old settings. I still hold out hopes that December will be the pivotal point as far as my job search is concerned.

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!