Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: The Year in Numbers

I was on the other day, and every year they highlight the year in sports with numbers. Basically, they list a bunch of significant numbers and explain why they chose each number. For example, they listed the decimal difference that separated Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant for the Scoring title in the NBA. I really enjoy reading the list and remembering what happened throughout the year. That being said, I decided to do one for my myself that includes highlights of my blog, my personal life and a couple of World events that happen over the year that I found relevant to me.

Ok, it isn't exactly 6 months ago (10 days left), but "Can I Live?" came to life July 10th, 2012. It has been an awesome experience thus far, and the best is yet to come. Truly thankful for everyone who has clicked on my blog. Even if it was just one time I appreciate the support and love. It definitely made the second half of 2012 for me a lot more fun and exciting. For me, "Can I Live?" is a mindset I truly believe everyone should have. From Wall Street to a kiosk in the mall, every level demands some sort of hustle to perform and excel. For me it is to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and go after what you want in life. At times you just have to swallow your pride and do what is necessary to achieve what you want. Forget what the critics think, just stay the course and be honest with yourself. The saddest thing in life is wasted talent- A Bronx Tale

It was one of the greatest, if not the greatest experience I have had so far in my life. On May 17th I walked off Columbia University's campus with a college degree! It really feels as though my time in NYC was light years ago, but I still remember every second of it. I played football, joined a frat, saw and did a lot, but most importantly I met some incredible people. Truly blessed and thankful for having the opportunity to accomplish my biggest goal yet, and everyday I am reminded and humbled when friends and family say they are proud for what I have done. And just like this blog, I am excited about what the New Year has in store for me. Still surreal to me that I can say "I am an Ivy League graduate" and that I lived in the Big Apple.

 I know I am going to get a lot of hate for this, but I don't care. The King Lebron James finally won his first NBA Title, including the Regular and Finals MVP trophy and a Gold Medal at the Olympics. Aside from LBJ being my favorite player and happy he finally won a championship, this entry has a personal story behind it. Last year on Christmas day, me and my friend Andy made a bet with an NBA jersey at stake. After a few drinks and in the middle of a heated game of jenga, I was confident The King would finally win it this past year. Bet: If the Heat win it all I get any jersey I want. If they lost at any point in the playoffs I would have to buy Andy a jersey. Statistically it was a stupid bet. The odds were not in my favor, but I was confident (or maybe it was the vodka speaking) that I would win the bet, and as you know he did! Thanks Andy!

It was the year of MJ for me. Can't believe I am 23, I feel old! Happy I was able to share it with my family and friends back in LA this year. Also, in May, actually 3 days before I graduated my parents celebrated their 23rd Wedding Anniversary. Congrats Mom and Dad! Love you guys a lot and thank you for everything!

On August 27th I released the first installment of my Arch+Details series focusing on staircases. Since that day I have done blog features on windows, doors, sustainability, Tadao Ando, furniture, flooring, swimming pools, landscape and ceilings. I started the series because there is no website that categorizes specific aspects of architecture, so I decided to start a series where I focused on these basic, but important aspects. I mean, you can go on google and search images for each part, but I wanted to give an analysis for each installment. The staircase installment is the most successful blog entry with over a 1000 views, and overall the series has been a great hit. Stay tune for next installment coming soon.

I was fortunate to have the chance to visit the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for Spring Break. For 8 days I experienced P.R. the way most tourists can't. My friend Caro invited me and her boyfriend to stay with her and her family for the week. It was awesome. We went on a catamaran for a day that included unlimited drinks, food and snorkeling in the clearest water I have ever seen. I personally believe traveling with someone that is from that country is the best way, because you get to see parts of the country most people don't, because you can't find them in a tourist guide. I saw live bomba, son and flamenco performances, ate amazing food and of course, got dark as hell under the sun. Thank you Caro, can't wait to go back soon!

It seems like years ago, but the World gathered in London to celebrate the 30th Summer Olympic Games. I love sports, especially big world events because it really shows the power of sports. Even though some countries can't get along politically it is always good to put differences aside and applaud the athletic ability from different walks of life. Like many people, Usain Bolt defending his gold medal was one of my favorite highlights of the Summer Games. Being half Mexican, I was proud seeing the Mexico's men's soccer team take Gold, and also watching Lebron James and the men's basketball team redeeming themselves and taking Gold too. Architecturally, I love seeing the iconic stadiums and venues these events traditionally bring to the world stage. My aspiration is to be part of a team that designs one of the main stadiums at the Olympics or World Cup.

In November America elected Barack Obama as our President for a 2nd time. It was a much closer victory than in 2008, exemplifying the giant riff this country suffers politically. There was a lot protest against Obama being re-lected, but I am glad it has calmed down. I personally think America got it right, and all we can do is work harder than before to turn this country around.

As I really began to go in depth what "Can I Live?" meant for me, I recognized that other young and creative people had their own movement that also embodied mine: The perserveance of following your passion, even if it's going against the grain and neglecting everything society tells us is the "right" way to live. This road at times feels empty and lonely, and many people get discouraged and decide to abandon what they really want to pursue. To encourage people who struggle with staying the course, I wanted to acknowledge those who have pushing their own movement so the road won't seem too lonely. Just as the title of my blog, I found inspiration from another Jay-Z song, "Can't Knock the Hustle." This is by far my favorite series on my blog because I enjoy exploring and reaching out to other individuals that grab my attention, due to their mindset, handwork and the creativity they bring to the table. I call these individuals soldiers of my movement, and each of the 5 embody "Can I Live?" while pushing their own. Issa Mase, Neyson Cruz, Anna Canfield, Denise Hernandez and Tanya Rojas are on the path of greatness, and I am happy they allowed me to share their journey. "Can't Knock the Hustle" is the most successful series and I can't wait to introduce the next soldier.

When I first started my blog I had no idea it would get so much attention, and I only expected a few people to really follow and view it. Well, I was completely wrong, and in the past 6 months, my blog has been viewed 7163 up to today. The overwhelming attention has inspired to come up with bigger and better things for my fans, and I am excited to release the secret projects I have in the works!

The number of new friends I gained this year on Facebook lol. I know it is a random fact, but I  always find it amusing to see the Year in Review from my Facebook every year. 

Aside from football, my favorite sport to watch is soccer, but not American soccer. I respect that it is getting better, but it still far from being what the rest of the world has to offer. My favorite club team is Chelsea FC from England, and every year the ultimate prize is the Champions League trophy. Like a few big clubs in Europe, Chelsea has no problem spending money on big players, and what comes with that is disappointment when we lose because we spend a lot a lot of money on them. But this year was different, and Chelsea went on one of the greatest runs in soccer history coming back from the dead throughout the tournament to win it all. It was obvious it was written in the stars when we overcame a large aggregate difference between Napoli, defeated super club in Barcelona with 10 men and when Bayern Munich missed a couple of penalty kicks to set up Didier Drogba to bring the title home. Number 11 for Chelsea stepped up to the ball, took a second and blasted the ball into the net giving my club their first Champions title in history. On a side note, during their miraculous run, I won a Kettle One bottle from my best friend because we knocked out his team, Barceona. Thanks Sergio for the bottle!


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