Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite

Friday, June 19, 2015

Knight Rider Time Out - Take an Internet Break with Michael Knight and KITT

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Stop what you're doing because it's time for an internet break with Knight Rider! 

I reference Michael Knight more often than most but the Knight Rider conversation volume escalated this week and I ended up with a collection of Knight Rider images begging to be shared.


Michael Knight looking handsome in his tuxedo.
Not bad for a guy who had facial reconstructive surgery.

He's so undercover, even his driver's license contains confidential information. 
Knowing the complexities that surround Michael Knight will help you understand his crusade of aiding the powerless. 

Michael Knight giving us provocative stare as he reflects on his past life as Michael Long, a Green Beret and Intelligence Officer, and his rebirth as Michael Knight, an atypical hero and Field Agent for FLAG.

The true star of the show KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), a black Pontiac TransAM, also the best friend and car a man could ever have. 

(Earlier this week I received an arbitrary KITT electronic vehicle "recommended purchase" email from Amazon, which contributed to the creation of this post)

KITT flying. Duh.

KITT flying again... and racing a Dodge Charger, an homage to the General Lee.

Michael Knight had a smart watch WAY before the Apple Watch.

Michael Knight with a great disguise, no one will ever recognize him... ever!

Michael Knight in that signature red turtleneck shirt and his leather jacket, just being chill and looking devilishly handsome.

Special thanks to The Rockfather who inspired this post and made me laugh with this awesome Instagram post.

Read Other Ridiculous Posts I've Written: 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Why My Trips Are Better Than Yours... Because I'm (not) Chill Like That

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My vacations are better than most people's vacations because of one reason and one reason only. 

I vacation like a pro. I don't take travel lightly, it's a serious job and someone's got to do it. 

Hyperlapse of Kids Playing on Venice Beach

Why My Trips Are Better (or not)

I've been traveling for a LONG time. I think I mention it in my bio (somewhere on this blog) but I boarded my first international flight when I was 9 months old. I took my first solo trip when I was 18, I was with my high school and spent three weeks in living in France as an exchange student. And then I never stopped. 

I was born to travel, I knew I wanted to see every inch of this planet before I knew almost anything else about myself. I take travel very seriously, I don't mess around, and if we are traveling together, you're either with me or you're against me. This is also why I tend to travel alone almost all of the time. Let's face it, a trip wit me doesn't sound fun, I sound like a real jerk. 

My Travel Style 

1. I hate downtime. I would go insane in the membrane if someone forced me to take a relaxing beach vacation. In fact, I'm angry just typing the words on this page. Unless that beach has ancient ruins I can explore, rare fish and exotic birds I can watch, or some sort of mood altering cacti I can ingest, I'm not going. 

Surf Venice Beach

Early A.M. Surfer on Venice Beach

This past week I was in Los Angeles for work and then took a few extra days to explore Venice. On Friday morning, I was up by 5:30 a.m., I forced myself to stay in bed until 6:00 or 6:30 and then headed to the Venice Farmer's Market, ate breakfast and walked over to the beach to watch (and shoot) the surfers. On my way back, I went shopping on Abbott Kinney, snapped more photos along the way, and finally I walked home to shower and change for my evening festivities. There will always be evening festivities on my travels.

venice beach vw truck

I saw this awesome truck on my way down to Venice Beach (and I fell in love). 

2. I need culture. It is imperative that my destination has some component of culture and that I am exposed to this culture, whatever it may be - art, music, dance, food, fashion, history (preferably all of the above). I will not waste a moment, there is work to be done, places to see, people to meet and I must do, see and meet them all. 

I met this guy (South Side Slim) on Friday morning around 7:00 A.M.

He was just playing his guitar watching the waves come crashing in, we chatted, apparently he played with Paul McCartney once and it's on YouTube (I haven't looked yet). This was exactly the type of culture I was looking for in Venice, some dude who brings an electric guitar (with no amp) to the beach at 7AM. 

3. I need to coexist with the natives in their natural habitat. This is why I prefer Airbnb. I was able to rent a tiny apartment about a mile from the beach and in one of the best areas in Venice. I spoke to the locals as if I were one of them. I adapted to their habitat and they accepted me as their own. 

One of my favorite houses in my neighborhood. I picture a crotchety old gypsy living there, or ME, when I'm older. 
I make my husband sleep in the camper when I'm mad at him, or better yet, maybe that's where I go to paint!

4. I document every moment, in writing and photos. I started my first blog in 1999 (deleted it quickly) but prior to this electronic medium of web logging, or blogging, I recorded every trip detail in journals. I have travel journals, letters and photographs that go back decades. I still sometimes take a travel journal and write down notes, directions, or things to help me remember - I like paper and a good pen. I once had to draw a map for my tuk tuk driver to get back home to my hotel in Chiang Mai, thank god I had that journal, and thank god I still have that badly drawn map. P.S. I was drunk.

Take a photo of the art exhibit you visited so you won't forget.
Get a signed copy of her book too. 

Maybe I heard an awesome song and I want to remember it in relation to that moment, I write that down on paper, a screenshot is OK but it's not the same. Plus, I'm much more funny when no one is watching (or reading), my travel journals are really funny(ish). If no one read this blog, it would be really funny too, but for whatever reason, you all keep coming back. There are not a lot of you, but WAY MORE than I ever imagined. Like thousands of you.... who are you? Why do you read this? I'm grateful, because you are my people, yet confused.

Take a screenshot of the song you were listening to before bed so you won't forget how that day made you feel. 

Random photos of strangers who may have triggered a sense of emotion that you couldn't quite explain, make sure you get those too.

And don't forget this one, the one who stole your heart.... and your dreams.

This little boy carrying all his gear on the Venice Fishing Pier, trying to keep up with his dad as they go to work, don't forget to capture that or you might forget about it. It's an important piece of the story, don't forget Leyla, you can't forget that little boy! 

How about a screenshot of every spot on the map you visited, did you get those too? Oh good, because it would be terrible if an inch of land you covered were to go undocumented. 

5. I am a novelty seeker and I crave adventure. On this trip, I went paddleboarding in Marina del Rey, in South Africa I went paragliding, but it doesn't always have to be a sport - or sporty. Sometimes, I will just get in a car with a random local and head off to a whiskey distillery. 

May not sound too safe but that's a risk I am willing to take as a "novelty seeker" - someone who is always searching for the unfamiliar, the unconventional and the unusual. So far, so good. I've only had the best of luck by putting my trust in others, locals especially. However, I don't advise you do the same. After all, I am a professional and I've been doing this a long time! We wouldn't want you to end up in the back of some Eastern European man's Citroen... now would we? 

Enjoy Some More Of My Venice Photos 
And be sure to see more on Instagram: @leylaruinseverything    

Venice Canals

Venice Canals

Venice Skate Park 

Change is Mind Blowing - mural by Jules Muck a Venice-area local street and graffiti artist, she's kind of a big deal.

Not certain of the name of this mural but I love it. I tweeted a photo of it when I saw it and @seldomawake told me that the artist was Cannon Dill - a Bay Area street and graffiti artist. Check out this article with images of  work that he and another artist created as they traveled across the US making art and stuff.

Thanks for reading... please leave a comment, no one ever does anymore and it makes me sad. Now people just comment on Facebook but I like reading them here (below) in the context of the darn post! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Up Late Working... And Then This Happened!

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Whenever I'm up working late, I uncover ridiculous things, but then again, I work in social media and ridiculous tends to be the norm here.

I will keep this short, but when you see what I stumbled upon while putting together a client presentation, I trust you'll be amused.

instagram analytics
My Instagram Analytics 
Pulled from SimplyMeasured

Social Media Presentation 
I am writing a client presentation on social influencers, who they are, where we find them, what they do, and most importantly, what's their ROI. The social influencer presentation is due tomorrow and I've been having trouble finding good stats around Instagram engagement. I need to show the client that the influencer's followers (or supposed reach) is not as relevant as it appears, because those are easily purchased (for like $3), it's engagement that should be valued above all. You can't fake engagement (you can't fake comments but you can fake likes). 

Finally, I logged onto SimplyMeasured and pulled my own Instagram stats (that fancy graph up there, that's me). I found a few number that back up my 1:10 ratio theory that for every comment there should be 10 likes. Screw the number of followers, so long as they're within reason. 

Next I head over to Twitter to pull some analytics benchmarks, and again, I log onto my own page. Not because I'm that important but because I can pull my stats very quickly... and it's late and I'm tired. I scroll past last month's snapshot report, the month previous to that, and then finally I get to February and there I find a popular post. I'm not sure what this post is yet, so I expand the stats and it's confusing but I finally figure it out.

@Leyla_A's Tweet With High Impressions in February 

To give you an idea of what the page looks like, I've attached a visual from the top of the Twitter analytics page. As you scroll down, you get breakdowns by top content, most impressions, most engagements, etc. So, now that you an idea of what I was looking through to get my stat, keep reading. 

I kept scrolling and I saw a smaller tweet with just a portion of my face and it said, "Top Content" because in the month of February the Tweet with the photo received the most impressions of all my Tweets or posts. I dig deeper and expand the Tweet details... and much to my surprise, I find this.  

leyla responds to Washington Post
My Twitter Analytics 

So the snapshot above is what the full expanded version of Tweet analytics look like. But when I looked at the photo, I still didn't get it? Did Washington Post Tweet me? What happened, why is this stupid photo of me up here? So I navigate to the actual post that still lives on WP's Twitter page. 

I see this photo of Jihadi John

The first photo started to make sense, I could almost hear myself laughing. I more info, so I clicked through to extend the tweet in order to gain more clarity. And I immediately understand what's happening. Take a look at the timestamp - 4:53 AM. I decide to expand the full tweet to get the whole story. 

Here is My Theory 
I have trouble sleeping, a lot. I can usually GO to bed but not STAY asleep. My prediction is that I woke up around 4:AM and started to scroll through Twitter, reading the news just like I always do in the morning. That's when the Washington Post article about Jihadi John went through my stream. This photo (apparently) resonated with me and I immediately reached for my phone and found this one out of the 2000 images I store on that thing. I then sent it to Washington Post with no context and somehow never thought about it again until now. 

Now, I don't know what you would do, but I'm TOTALLY putting this into my client presentation!