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The Well-Grounded Yuppie


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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Apartment Finding - Part 2




After lots of work looking for an apartment, I've narrowed the choices down to 2 places.


Mission Oak Ridge (bottom pic)
Downtown Elm Street (top pic)
Feature (Not a pro or a con) * Traditional "Apartment" with typical amenities * Downtown Greensboro, apartment above a shop on a major busy downtown street
* "Mixed" neighborhood with all "types" of people
Pros * 5 min from work
* "Nice" neighborhood
* Sub-urby, but convenient to most of Greensboro, minutes from major high ways
* Basketball Court
* Middle of downtown, walking distance to bars, clubs, restaurants, art galleries and more
* Overlooking a major street from the 3rd floor
* It would be cool
Cons None * 25 minutes from work
* Street parking
* Utilities look "old" or dirty - such as kitchen and bathroom

Monday, December 24, 2007

North Carolina: Best & Worst Cities for Dating in the USA

Earlier this year, I blogged about Washington DC to be "the best city for singles", now I just read an article about "best and worst city for dating" from BestPlaces.net.

It measured a bunch of artificial stats, such as number of coffee houses and bowling alleys. What it doesn't measure are the more "subtle" things of each city, which there isn't hard data for:

  • Openness to casual dating - Repetitive dating without having to be committed to one person only
  • Men's Disposable Income for dating - Are guys barely getting buy and have to take women to the park, or do they usually have 50% of their paycheck left after bills, doing whatever they want with it?
  • Open-mindedness of people and social taboos - Do people give weird looks if couples are very different in age, race, economic class, or anything else that is out of the "ordinary"?
  • Openness to long-term dating - Are people (mostly women) okay with dating long-term? Or do people think "I have to be married by this age or nobody will want me" or "We have to get married within this time frame of dating or this isn't going anywhere and I don't want to keep dating you"
  • Goal of Dating - This blends into "openness to long-term dating" a bit, but do people date for the sake of dating, do dating bring people happiness/fulfillment, or is there a "goal" behind dating, such as marriage, sex, or to have someone to bring for weddings and company Christmas parties?

Personally, I think all the factors above have a higher impact on the "dating scene" comparing to the things that can be measured statistically, such as number of bars and concerts, but I'm sure that data is much tough to accumulate and is totally subjective. But for now, here're the results from the site:

Out of the 80 metro areas measured:
  • Raleigh/Durham came in top 10
  • Greensboro/Winston and Charlotte both came in bottom 10.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Paul Drinks Brisk

Paul Drinks Brisk Iced Tea
Just sitting on my desk at work, drinking a can of Brisk Iced Tea, so I thought I'd write a blog about me drinking Brisk. Some good will come out of it, I'll get ranked in search engines for the phrase Paul Drinks Brisk.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This is America: When Ordering, Please Speak English


I just read this article, about a cheese steak shop in Philly (Geno's) getting controversy over a sign "This is America: When Ordering, Please Speak English". I normally wouldn't have cared much to read the story, but I actually ate at the place once. Great cheese steaks. I don't remember reading the sign when I was there, but according to the article, it's been around since October 2005. But if I was, I don't think I'd be offended.

Obviously, since the customer is at Genos, he would be in America. And the "official language" in America is English. That's the language public schools teach in, the language the US government (outside of foreign initiatives) operates in. So personally, I don't think it's unreasonable to request the customers to order in English.

There were protests about that sign, holding their own signs such as "No Hate in Our Town", and there was an investigation "whether Vento violated a city ordinance that prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodation and housing on the basis of race, ethnicity or sexual orientation."

But based on the "This is America: When Ordering, Please Speak English" sign, what did it have to do with hate, discrimination of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation? The only thing that it discriminates against are people who don't speak English. I DO admit that there's a fairly high correlation between "people who don't speak English" and certain racial groups, but English speaking abilities can be learned and changed, while "race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation" can't.

Lastly, when I went to the place with my racially diverse friends, I didn't feel intimidated or discriminated at all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Disposable Society

I was doing random blog surfing last night and one article caught my attention. It's the mentality of DC professionals, where career is most valuable, time equals money, which can eliminate life hassles. In a way, I'm glad to be back in the Carolinas, where people are simpler (not in a bad way), work their 8 hour days, have plenty of time, energy, and willingness to solve small problems.

The actual article below:

Three years ago I was looking to rent a room in a house owned by a French woman. I’ve never been to France so I asked her how it was different from this country. She pointed to the roll of paper towels in the kitchen and said, “In this country everything is disposable, just like paper towels. Paper towels are everywhere. Back home we use cloth towels, wash them, and then use them again. Here there is so much waste, people just don’t care.”

It used to be that you buy something, it breaks, and you get it fixed. But that’s not how it works anymore. Now when something breaks you throw it away and get a new one. I see this with digital cameras. I’ve broken a few and mailed it to the company to get it repaired. But people I know just break theirs and buy the newest, more expensive model with the half-inch bigger LCD screen. It’s easier to enter a credit card number on some web site then to take the time to call a number, fill out paperwork, box the camera, ship it, etc. Of course everyone is busy now… who has time for that?

Then there are people who buy new cars. There is no good reason to ever buy a brand new car when you can save thousands of dollars by getting the same model that is just two years older. Buy people do it and say things like, “Well I don’t want to have to worry about maintenance.” They end up spending a lot more money so they don’t have to think about having to take time off work, find a way to get a ride to the auto shop, deal with a shady auto mechanic, sit in a waiting room, etc. What a hassle that would be.

Unfortunately this type of disposable mindset has transferred onto people. Now we are disposable. Why put in the effort to maintain a relationship when you can easily meet someone new? Why bother calling someone to work through a problem when it’s easier to call your friend to go out drinking? Broken camera, broken person… same difference. Why confront it? If someone has an annoying habit, why should we learn how to tolerate it? After all, we grew up in the age of Seinfeld, where man-hands and pea eating habits is fair-game to end it. We’ve become a neurotic sitcom character.

There is an article in Details this month by Augusten Burroughs. He writes,

There’s always going to be somebody better-looking than the person you end up with. Somebody funnier, smarter, richer. But if you’re fortunate enough to meet somebody with whom you are compatible, you have to close certain doors. You have to recognize that, yes, you may indeed meet other people you could fall in love with. But by sticking with the person you chose, you gain a level of intimacy that is not possible by hopping from one person to the next every couple of years.

Couple of years? More like couple of weeks. I’ve been here before. I’ve thought about the benefits of the long-term relationship, and I hate the disposable mindset, yet every weekend I’m still up doing the same thing, meeting women who I consider already broken. Fixing something just takes too much work.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Greensboro Apartment Search

I'm currently living in temp housing provided by my company while looking for apartments. I've looked at a few in the past few week or so, and really haven't found anything I liked. Most "normal" 1 bedroom apartments range from $650-$700, depending on part of town. I've lived in Greensboro for about 6 months a few years ago, so I know which parts to stay away from. I've even made a nice looking chart so I can make informed decisions later (below).

I haven't gotten around to it yet, but this Saturday I'm checking out the apartments in downtown Greensboro. They're about 20 minutes from my job, but I think the convenience of walking distance entertainment would be worth it. I'm also having trouble finding 1 bedroom apartments downtown. They're mostly 2 bedroom ones, costing about $1000-$1200.

Oh well, tomorrow is a new day, I have till about New Years to find something.

Name Address Location Price Additional Info
Battleground North Apartments 4048 Battleground Ave. 15 min from I40, 10 min from downtown, 10 to airport 640-700
Deep River Pointe 3971 River Pointe Place, Hight Point By Penny & 68 705+200 for furniture w/ lake
Lake Brandt Apartment Homes 2403 Lake Brandt Place 5 miles from I40, 3 milese from airport 650
Steeplechase Apartment Homes 1338 Adams Farm Parkway 15 min from downtown, 5 min from I40, <20> 660
Woodstream Apts 7 Woodstream Ln A mile from airport $500-700 dep on lease furniture - $100+?
Allerton Place 3201 Allerton Circle Near airport 650 Might have to move at Xmas times?
Abbington Place 1521 Bridford Parkway 1 mile to Wendover & I40 640