Category Archives: Life

With SXSW Comes Great Responsibility

“It matters not what rank [the reporter] has, what revenues or garnitures. The requisite thing is that he have a tongue which others will listen to; this and nothing more is requisite.” – Thomas Carlyle

Playing a Game of Telephone with the Whole Internet

In just a couple of days Tomorrow, I leave for the mega-conference called South by Southwest, a multi-track event with a focus on interactive media, music and film. I’ve wanted to attend SXSW since 2007, but am just now in a position professionally and financially where it makes sense. I’m paying my own way, as my focus and goals while there are geared towards making the best connections and absorbing the most knowledge I can for my future endeavors on Mouth of The Border.

I frequently share live updates from public events I attend, whether it be a food- or cocktail-focused event, tech or social media gathering or one of my company’s conferences. I don’t do it just because it’s fun. I do it because it might be interesting or useful to someone, and also because sharing live “on the scene” it what I was trained to do. Continue reading

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Killing the Ifs

Bleeker Street, 1.25.2010I was on the C Train, dressed up for a viewing party for the Oscars at a nice bar called Greenhouse. I was meeting a girlfriend of mine there.

I was reading something on my phone, then I looked up and electricity passed between my heart and his. You know that feeling. When you see someone in the crowd and your heart flip-flops. You get a chill that starts at the base of your spine, spreads to your stomach and ends with the hair standing up on back of your neck. You just know. I know within seconds if a person is going to be a real part of my life.

I looked back down at my phone. Tried to avoid his eyes. Looked back up, and he was straight up staring at me. He was gorgeous. A head of dark, thick curly hair and curious eyes. Tall. And still staring. Continue reading

Hate Me Now

I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback and encouragement recently in my personal life and in regards to my career and my writing.

I enjoy genuine compliments, but I’m much more interested right now in finding out who hates me. Somewhere, someone in the world thinks my ideas are stupid, thinks they can write better than me or thinks they can do what I do but better. I have silent haters, and that sucks. Not because they hate me, but because I can’t hear them.

People admire celebrities because they have so many devoted fans. I’m only jealous of celebrities because they have vocal haters. Fans buy their music, read their books, wear their clothes … but haters are the ones who help them take their game to the next level.

I can’t wait until the day when someone shows up here to hate on me. I’m trying to take what I do on this site and on Mouth Of The Border to a different level. I want to create content that’s valuable for you and make you feel as excited as I do about what I’m living and experiencing. Leave reading the things I share with you having learned something new or seeing a situation in a different light.

And when the day comes when haters start showing up in my comments and in my inbox, I hope that people let them hate. I want to be challenged, I want to provoke. Let them hate because I need to hear them to make the best possible writing I can.

It’s inevitable that at some point in my journey there will be people who hate me as much as other people love me. I can’t wait until that happens.

Music for the Haters (Click song title to listen)

Hate Me Now – Nas
“Best storyteller thug narrator my style’s greater
Model dater, big threat to a lot of you haters
Commentators ringside try watchin my paper”

Some People Hate – Jay-Z
“Raw rough and rugged, when addressin’ the mass public
My attitude is fuck it cause motherfuckers love it
Got a, chip on my shoulder the size of the Golden Nugget in Vegas
And fuck bein famous, I came to get the butters
I came from the gutter, my success in this game”

Know What I’m Sayin’ – Mike Jones
“So do me a favor, and recognize that you a hater that couldn’t see me if I was your neighbor…
Shiit, middle fingers up (haters down).
We ’bout that drama, so if you don’t want it bitch don’t bring us up…
(Know what I’m saying)”

Can’t Fuck With Queen Bee – Lil’ Kim
“I know you wishin’ that you wrote this song
But these same words comin’ from you, would be a joke
You better off takin’ heed from your boy Jada
I know you, hate dyin’ – but you gon’ die a hater
I got a vision, I think for the future baby pah
Y’all nearsighted, lotta y’all, can’t see that far Lil’ Kim”

Give Me Tomatoes or Give Me Nail Polish: How American Apparel Missed a Handmade Opportunity

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bottle of nail polish at American Apparel. I’d noticed how shiny and red my friend Sarah’s nails were while we were out to brunch that morning. She’d just bought that color along with a one of the grey hues from American Apparel. Given that we’re both design/branding nerds, we wound up talking about the controversial brand for a little bit.

Sarah told me the line of nail polish had just come out. It sounded unique because the colors were textile-based or had some other industrial influence, so people would see some shades in the line not typically found in other polish lines like OPI or Essie.

There happened to be an American Apparel in the neighborhood we were in, so after walking Sarah to her car, I headed over to check out the nail polish.

I picked up a color called Factory Grey. (I love the color grey.) It’s the second bottle from the right in the top row in the photo below. I snapped the shot with my phone and posted it to my microblog.

American Apparel Nail Polish In-Store Display, Jan. 18

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The Narrative

You have no power or influence over any person or organization until you become part of their story.

You have no real relationship or kinship to someone if they haven’t woven you into their narrative.

This concept drives trillions of dollars every year. Word of mouth marketing . . . have you heard of it?

Stepping away from business, though, I have had occasion to think about this again and ponder it for quite some time over the past few weeks.

It’s something I started thinking about last year, and now that’s come up several times in just a few days, I’m taking it as a sign to pay attention and internalize it.

Playing around on the beach in Isla Holbox (in the Mexican Carribbean) August 2009

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Hit House

“Yes, that’s it. Guys, I just want you to pay attention here, okay?”

It was Saturday morning and I was in practice with the junior dance company. I was 11 years old, in a room with girls ranging from 10 to 14 along with my dance teacher, Mark.

I stood with my back to the mirror, a short distance away from the barre. A couple of fellow dancers to my left, Mark to my right. Hands lightly on my hips, I pulsed my ribcage so my chest stuck out and my back curved. Then I showed the girls what the move looked like when I pulsed my ribcage inwards, sucking my belly in to meet my back, chest sinking. Mark laughed, “That’s exactly right.” Continue reading

in bloom

Photo by me on 8.16.08, Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Photo by me on 8.16.08, Dumbo, Brooklyn.

“…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

~ Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy in Ulysses, James Joyce