Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
I am a 31 year-old returning college student, and it’s pretty awesome.
Last April I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is, and remove what I considered to be a big obstacle blocking future opportunities and portability of my career. Sure, I know certain folks have been very successful without graduating college, and there’s not really a degree path that fits snugly with the type of online marketing I’ve chosen for my career. However, I decided that this is something I want to accomplish for myself and have one less challenge to overcome should a great opportunity arise. In actuality, I’m pretty sure it was my move to online marketing (or “SEO”) that gave me the drive to do it.
I’ll admit, for a few years I was intimidated about returning.
Would I be “the old guy”?
Would I be the one who can’t keep up and slows the lectures down?
Can I balance paying bills and going to school?
But above all of that was my overall lack of drive, or lack of perceived value in a degree without a clear path forward in my life.
Before I got into inbound marketing, I worked in Customer Serivce, and had what I considered to be a good job, but not one that had a future, or a clear path to something better. Perhaps the best way to put it is, I dreaded when people at parties would ask what I did for a living.
In the past I’ve talked about my career change in passing, but I’ve never really examined the full impact of what this opportunity did for me in multiple aspects of my life. Perhaps the most succinct way of putting it is this; self-actualization is an amazing motivator.
It’s not that I ever considered myself to be a marketer, and I certainly don’t think that I’m a salesman. Selling really creeps me out. Helping people find things they want/need, though, that’s a totally different story. Making the internet a better place, making things easier for customers and brands, and advocating for our brand to offer the kind of experience the customer expects are all things that come naturally to me. In some respect, the work I do is almost pre-emptive customer service; let me help you out before any problem has a chance to arise.
An overview of online marketing. A simple graph that represents the major components of online marketing(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once I got over the initial elation of “working on the internet”, and the natural high that comes with having a better outlook on my professional future, I determined that I needed to do more to put myself in a better position overall.
Some of those items are reflected in my posts earlier this year, while others are in my mind but yet to be pushed into existence. The longest of these steps, without a doubt, was the decision to change my major (I was originally going to school for Fine Art before I ceased enrolling back in 2003) and take on three years of organized study, on top of the learning that has to be done to remain effective in online marketing.
Which leads us to where we are today. I certainly could (and maybe I will) write volumes about my experience going to a major university at my age, the unique rewards and challenges, and several other related topics. For the time being, thought, I’m finding it to be not only a challenge I am up for, but one I am enjoying every step of the way.
After-all, it’s not everyone who lands a job in the career they want, then goes to school for it. Way to be unconventional, Ryan.
Posted: February 25th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Ed note: I’d conceived of a series sometime last year (or was it the year before) where I’d use this blog to elaborate on things I mentioned on Twitter. To keep it thematic and differentiate it from a typical article, I’ll aim to keep the final copy under 140 words (not counting this part). Hope you enjoy the quick read.
According to HowManyofMe.com, which has to be a reputable and scientifically-sound website, there are 530,000+ people named “Ryan” in the US. Meanwhile, there are 1.17 million misfortunate souls named “Brian”, and another 301,000+ named “Bryan”. For this and other reasons, I’ve been plagued by people mis-spelling my name, or asking me to repeat myself all my life.
Were it for any other thing, I’d probably only be moderately annoyed, or even sympathetic that the person couldn’t process a 4-letter word (Off by 25%, homes.). Since it’s my name, however, I can’t help but feel like it’s a more personal matter.
Brian, I am told, means “hill” or possibly “high,noble”, whilst I can attest that “Ryan” means “Little King”. Seems pretty evident to me, one name is clearly better, and the other has an extra letter.
At least I’m not this guy, I suppose:
PS: way to fail on me, Hummingbird update.
PPS: sneaky ad there on your Twitter card, FourSquare
Posted: February 11th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Things I thought I might do
- Join a gym and lose 20lbs just to prove how much my new lifestyle beats my old one where I ballooned during the holidays
- Play a bunch of WoW, StarCraft or LoL and accomplish some in-game goals
- ..or at least finish some of the back-log of games I have waiting for me
- Read some of the books recommended by Wil or Rand or Will to see if I can pick up on some of their great strategic vision.
- Get both of my podcasts back in working order and on a solid footing for the new year.
Things I felt like doing
- Marathoning random shows on Netflix
- Rereading Ultimate Spider-Man
Things I actually did
- Finished every episode of Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors. (Dear Pendleton Ward, please make more, quickly!)
- Spent time with the family and hanging out on the couch with the dog.
- Figured out a way to use Google+Hangouts to replace the soon-to-be-cancelled ability to record Skype calls for easy podcasting.
- Root Canal Day! (2 times)
- Watched half of about a dozen different movies that happened to be on HBO.
- Spent a whole day smoking cigars, drinking bourbon and playing poker. Lost $10 in the end.
- Won the Sacko Bowl in the office fantasy football league. (Hooray for playing the role of executioner.)
- Came up with a list of goals/initiatives for 2014.
Posted: February 9th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
I originally wanted to title this post “I need to stop killing our culture”, but I figured that some folks wouldn’t know right away that I’m talking about the “culture” at work.
Finding a picture of culture (and not events/perks) was tough, but this idea graph seems good.
I was a manager for 6 years before I got into online marketing. I started with a team of 4 people and built it up to a group of 20, consistently expanding our duties, scope and impact. Even when I knew that the job wasn’t something I could see myself doing forever, I loved the ability to lead my team and help hard-working people grow. As I mentioned before, part of my transition to my current role was making sure that all of my folks would be taken care of, then I was able to look out for myself and move on to something I really wanted to do.
During this period, I spent a lot of time learning about leadership and how to understand what people were really saying. I read philosophy, watched programs on psychology, got into anything I could find that looked like it would translate into an improved ideology for coaching the people I was responsible for.
(When I say “responsible for”, I intend for that responsibility to go both ways. In the traditional sense, I am responsible for the output of any direct reports. In my own sense, I am also responsible for making sure that our investment in them yields more and more, but helping them grow their knowledge, experience, self-confidence, comfort and communication. None of us should be able to move on until we’ve prepared someone else to take over for us, and none of us should be happy working with someone who wants to do the same thing every day. We should all be moving towards bigger challenges and you can’t do that with a wingman who’s still back on Level One.)
One of the most succinct statements I made to my team back then was “awesome is the new standard”. To me this means that we won’t accept “good enough” or “nice” or “sufficient”. If we do something, we’re going to do it up proper, or we’re wasting our time and effort and doing a disservice to our customer who could have been better served in a different manner. This means that everyone on the team has to be ready to blow away the metrics, or shine in a unique way that the metrics no longer apply because the stuff they are doing is so excellent that we struggle to define it or box it in. I needed a bunch of commandos who could obliterate what struggles they found.
Over the years, I was pleasantly surprised and greatly assured when my team embraced this thinking. Setting goals that we were told would be impossible to meet and blowing them out of the water in short time, taking on more duties instead of trying to make ourselves look busy and protect our downtime… It was a great squad to lead and a great time to be their leader.
(I recently started questioning this all high-achievers approach when I was thinking about hedonic treadmills and local hierarchies, but I’m not yet convinced that it can’t be a viable long-term strategy when approached from the right direction. )
The culture I was putting in place was:
- We will be better than anyone else can be.
- Being the best is what gives us the liberty to do the job the way we want.
- We have more fun because we get more done and our customers are happier for it.
- Everyone who works for me has a future and we’re going to prepare to be great at that role, too.
These are lessons that stuck with me because it’s not a story about how great I am, it’s a story about how when I really focus on building people up, trusting their abilities and their work-ethic, and marching us all towards the finish line, we are rewarded much more than expected.
(Side-note: at the time I left the department and moved into online marketing, all but one person in management had worked for me at some point. Now THAT is a personal point of pride, that I could help folks not only become high-achieving themselves, but to also be able to pass on those lessons generationally.)
That brings me to today…
We don’t really have a defined “culture“. We have a bunch of things we do, and probably a list of characteristics or attributes that could be drawn from that, but we are just now (2+ years in) starting to get our departmental vision intact and ready to implement (Hooray for strategy meetings that actually lead to something productive!).
So while we don’t have something solid to point at yet, what I have noticed is a pile-up of negative actions that certainly aren’t helping us build the foundation for crazy amounts of achievement and success.
There’s a member of our team who is almost universally unpopular. As near as I can recollect, each individual on the team has a separate instance where they’ve had a bad experience with this person, and I’m sure those negative individual impressions were enforced by the opinions expressed around them.
For a long time I’ve thought “we just need to get rid of this person“, (or as Dharmesh said at Inbound 2013, “cut out the cancer immediately“). I’ve even been a shamefully active participant in lunch-time conversations about the problems caused and liberties taken by this individual. ”Why do we let so-and-so get away with ___?” “Showing us those same poorly-gathered stats again; doesn’t (the boss) know he’s making bad decisions with that data?” Or my favorite, “every time he mentions (that same old project), we’re taking shots“.
If I’m being completely honest, it was easier to distance myself and blame the continued problem plaguing us all on our bosses, who I knew wouldn’t take any action. I don’t at all agree with their inaction, and in distancing myself I was able to ally closer to “the troops” and shirk my responsibilities as a leader.
Today I decided that I need to stop this.
There are other team members who have become discouraged by how few ideas they see making it live. Two years ago I prefaced an interview by saying that working in-house was akin to being part of a slow-rolling machine. Internal politics, insecurities and willful indifference are obstacles we all encounter in business, but as marketers we have to have the confidence to overcome this.
I had a conversation with my boss Friday afternoon about a content development project I’d worked on being cancelled. I never saw the cancellation as permanent because I knew the idea was solid, and if the product owner wouldn’t give buy-in, I’d pivot it to one that would. The conversation touched on the point that had it been someone else’s project, they’d be frustrated, confused, upset, etc.
This is, of course, a natural part of the creative process; sometimes you create really awesome things that just get ignored or aren’t supported. I suppose I take solace in the knowledge that there is no formula for success. Some really awesome, very profitable projects were shelved for years before everything aligned and we were able to get approval. Other times, I’d be invited to meeting with no fore-knowledge of the agenda and come up with a solution we’d adopt that day. The only problem is when we take these struggles too personal and we start sinking into doubt and stagnation.
I need to be the guy to buoy the team until they all feel invincible.
This week I’ve been studying Wil Reynold’s “UNtrepreneur” talk, and a lot of what he’s said resonated with me.
- Be a leader that other people want to work for
- Growth is a retention strategy
- Refuse to have a B-Squad
- Do I know enough about the people I work with?
I’m sure if I published those bullet points in a separate blog post, I could apply totally different meanings to them, so let me try to put them together in a communicable strategy…
I need to put in place a culture of personal growth and opportunity-creation. If I’m invested in staying with this company, I need to put the same investment into the people I want to keep around me. Like Wil said, if there’s nobody to high-five when you do something awesome, what’s the point?
We need to all be growing our own capabilities and those of our team. If we have 3 people who can do X amount of awesome shit today, imagine the output when we have 10 folks who can do X² really awesome shit, and picture how much more rewarding the opportunities that come along then. It’s on me to figure out how to motivate each individual in response to their own strengths and interests, and nurture that progression.
I’ve worked long and hard for the experience I have, and I’m not helping anyone when I don’t pass on those lessons learned directly from our customers. I know growth works for retention, because every one of my best employees is still with the company in some new role as a result of what they accomplished before. The B-Squad-ers will sort themselves out, I don’t need to discriminate or play favorites with my collaboration. When the rest of us are rushing over the hill in our battle-charge, the under-achievers will run home to the farm where they can’t affect morale.
Roles I can fill to help the team.
So I’m sure that I alone cannot provide an ultimate solution, and I’m not even certain I can solve everything that’s causing this deepening schism, but it’s certainly more positive for the team if I’m a force trying to integrate everyone and help us all build our knowledge capital so we can step up and do really awesome shit than if I’m just another voice in the choir of “man that guy sucks”.
It will be a struggle for me early on. I know I have a tendency to favor people based on their production and accomplishments, but to not always offer a fair path for someone to ascend after a period of under-achieving. I also know that I can’t really put anyone’s work-ethic or desire to collaborate onto my own shoulders, but I can lead by example and create environments that encourage them to join in and get on the same path that everyone else is on.
In the end, it may turn out to be too little too late to solve this problem, but I know the actions I take this week can stop it from happening to someone else later on.
I’m going to grab the flag and show these folks how we can shrug off bullets and bayonets.
Posted: February 8th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
What follows is a brief paper I wrote for my Microeconomics class a couple weeks ago. (I was the nerdy guy that turned in the writing assignment weeks before it was actually due, so I’ve been waiting to publish this post for a bit.) I thought I would post it here because the topics discussed in the Malcolm Gladwell talk I reviewed were pretty fascinating, and sparked both internal contemplation and a few workplace conversations. Hope you enjoy.
One of the basic tenets of economics is the assumption that people operate in a rational manner, typically in a manner that is in one’s own best interest, given all available information. In the video we watched, however, Malcolm Gladwell argues that this rational decision making can be interrupted, especially when there is an opportunity to attach/align oneself with what he calls an “elite institution”.
Having previously read both “Blink” and “The Tipping Point”, and integrated the learning received from each of those books into my professional life, I was very intrigued to see what Mr. Gladwell had in store for this lecture. Comparing the graduation rates of students among top universities, as well as lesser known institutions, he makes the case that achieving one’s goal (graduating with a four-year degree in this case) is not reflective of one’s universal aptitude, but rather one’s position within the local hierarchy. As shown by the case of students with similar Math SAT scores, those who attended schools where they were among the top ⅓ of their class graduated at a far higher rate than those who attended “better” institutions where their scores placed them in the bottom ⅓.
My initial thinking was that perhaps the fault laid with the admissions office, that possibly the higher institutions had gotten too lax in their requirements, and students who had been accepted were actually not sufficiently competent to handle the rigorous coursework once classes began. This idea dissipated, however, as Gladwell went on to give the example of post-doctoral productivity among economists. Given these multiple supporting data sets, I am confident in the trend as analyzed, and highly interested in the applications this could have in other areas.
For example, earlier in my career I was in a managerial role where I was allowed to hand-pick my staff, building the team up over a number of years. I had observed a trend whereby the newest team members typically out-performed their peers. This trend held true for a number of years and several additions to the team. Thinking now of Gladwell’s argument, I wonder if it is possible that employees who were previously among the “Top ⅓” had their performance impacted by bringing on newer staff at a higher aptitude, even though the existing employee’s skill set would not have been diminished. In this case, it would seem illogical to strive to build a team of top performers, as it would inevitably push very competent team members down the hierarchy and reduce their productivity. (Of course, this could also speak in favor of specialization and diversification among the workgroup, so that such direct comparisons could not be made, and top performers could continue to excel by moving in directions where they were uniquely suited ahead of their colleagues.)
Bringing it back to Gladwell’s assertion that elite institutions can cloud our more rational thought processes, however, I am not entirely convinced. While the data sets provided do demonstrate the power of relational deprivation within the academic setting, they do not build a strong enough case for elite institutions as an interruptive force. As we learned from Gary Becker, rationality is not the same for everyone; it is constrained by many factors, including access to information. I do not think that many Americans would have said the graduation rate trends described by Gladwell were what they expected. Rather, I’d think that most students and families would presume that, all other factors held constant, the difference in how likely they were to graduate didn’t vary that much between institutions, and that any marginal difference would be out-weighed by the prestige provided those who attended a top university. In the absence of empirical studies such as those cited in this video, the students and families involved did perhaps make the most rational choice.
Posted: February 4th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
I haven’t really used this term before, but for the purposes of tonight’s rumination, I’m thinking of “peak patience” the way we think of “peak oil“. It doesn’t represent the absolute end of the resource, but it does mean that after this point all new allotments will be smaller and harder to find. In classic terms, maybe its when you’ve “had it up to here” with something, but apply that to the summation of all activities and responsibilities for the day.
I think that for the most part I am a much calmer individual than I used to be. I’m not certain if other people perceive me as calm or fiery; suppose it depends on who’s around me at a given time. At work I used to thrive on stress, I’d be the guy who could accomplish any goal or endure any busy spell, but then I’d have trouble winding-down afterwards. Nowadays I rein in the fiery speeches for times when they are absolutely necessary, and look to accomplish as much or more through negotiation and mediation. In my personal life, though, I’m pretty sure that I’m more even-keeled and patient than is required for most situations.
That’s why it’s surprising to me when I can feel the stress levels rising, and I know that eventually there is going to be a straw that breaks the camel’s back. As my stress rises, my vocal filtration diminishes and my mind goes into triage mode. In order to de-stress, I retire some of my ability to compartmentalize, and instead just aim to check things off my list in the most efficient manner possible. This is probably not a welcome change for those around me, as I’m sure that it’s tiring enough being around me on a normal day, much less a day when any time spent together represents either an effort or an escape on my part.
And that, folks, is where I find myself tonight. Tons of things done or to-do today, and my mind reached peak patiences some time hours ago.
I’ve always had spells where I just felt like being anti-social. Maybe that comes from being an only child until I was 5, or being more of a nerd/bookworm and able to deal just fine on my own for large swaths of time. Regardless, I feel like this isn’t the same old anti-social behavior, though maybe it’s the same cause expressed in a different symptom.
It’s been my experience since starting back at university that my stress levels start to rise around exams, as one would expect, and that these times have not always been the easiest to navigate in conjunction with my other commitments. The list of stressors I had today were by no means awful, and were I reading this on someone else’s blog, I’d probably be thinking “that dude really ought to suck it up”.
- Carry-over oral pain from yesterday’s dental procedures
- Calculus Midterm in Tempe
- Economics exam in Downtown Phoenix
- Literally zero time between exams meaning I had to wrap one up early in order to get to the second one
- Cross-town commute instead of usual train ride erased any study time en-route
- Working-from-home to keep dog from being locked up for 11 hours while we’re at work today
- Crazy levels of micro-management, and all the over-communication that comes with that
- Having to deal with line above via IM, email and phone calls because of working from home
- Trying this VeggieFeb thing and not making the best choices because Meal Prep Time vs Study Time vs Mentally Unwind before I Blow a Socket Time
- Said dietary change not jiving with my body in the best way possible
- STILL having work I have to get done tonight because someone wants to talk about (ie: butcher) it in a meeting tomorrow.
As I said, the list isn’t awful, but it’s still a lot to deal with/process in a few hours. This combo resulted in me reallocating resources, and at a certain point my mind decided that interpersonal relationships is an area we can depreciate until things calm down.
This is not cool of me, I know that. I know that society expects you to maintain your relationships and find a way to communicate, but if I’m being honest, when I have a lot to accomplish, my first reaction is not to look for allies, it’s to remove person-to-person obligations so that nobody else can pass judgement on my time/resource allocation. When I’m making value-based decisions, the last thing I want to do is justify them, because oddly the idea of having that conversation is more stressful and disruptive than the action would be.
And that’s when the door opens up to arguments that aren’t really about what you’re arguing about…
This post doesn’t really have a conclusion, just a termination point. Sorry for the rant, but maybe someday this post will offer solace to someone experiencing something similar and make them feel like less of a villain.
Her Secret Is Patience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted: February 1st, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Last month I set-out my goals for 2014, and a few strategic initiatives that should help me work towards the major goal in an
Goals (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)
incremental/measurable way. It may seem a bit early in the cycle to be checking up on my progress, but I figured that it’s better to make a regular showing of it to keep myself accountable and on-target.
(As a reminder, the BHAG I set for myself is to get in a better position for success in life and career moving forward. Tough to get much more big or audacious than that, right? To make this goal less vague, I’d calculated that two core ways to attack this is to focus on my health/fitness as well as maintaining my performance both at school and in personal projects. )
Get back to the size/shape I was at 25:
This one is a source of frustration for me. As of today, I am 1.45% closer to my goal than I was when I started. I’ve developed better habits in terms of activity, but either have not pair that with adequate changes in other areas, or have yet to hit the next tipping point that can get the results to match the effort. In truth, much of the irritation with this initiative comes from how much fluctuation there has been throughout the month, though that probably speak to lapses in discipline I need to reign in. I am still determined to work on this one.
Walk/Bike 100 miles by my birthday:
Totally underestimated my abilities on this one. After only 4 weeks I’m already at 51 miles. It helps that my Tuesday commute (Home -> Work -> School -> Home) is over 7 miles, but I also owe some kudos to the gf, for helping to get both of us out of the house on a regular basis. Twice already we’ve gone on walks where the dog was ready to lay-down and the two of us were going strong.
Maintain 3.0 or Higher GPA:
This one isn’t really something I can report a monthly progress on, but at the time of this writing I have solidly completed all assignments with on-time or early this semester. I do admit to an increased amount of stress from my online courses, but I just need to develop better habits that will get enough work done before I start to stress.
Blog/Podcast 52 times this year:
This one may be interesting, depending on what sort of standard I want to hold myself to. Today’s post is the 10th update this year, but some of them, like the Tweet 140 or Random Thoughts, aren’t exactly feature length. So, in the most generous method of counting I’m at 10 blog posts already, but I’d say it’s really more like 4 or 5.
Plus I haven’t recorded a single podcast, which is actually pretty irritating. Need to get back on that horse.
Posted: January 29th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
(I wanted to call it Veg-uary, but got shot-down in committee.)
28 days, including at least one weekend away from home, where I won’t eat any meat.
This will be my first month-long challenge for 2014, though the credit for the concept belongs entirely to Anie.
In the past I’ve suggested that we practice weekday vegetarianism, but that wasn’t very successful. The hope this time is that our increased use of local produce over the summer and fall have given us enough experience to thrive, even without delicious, tasty pig meats.
The Expert Advice
To try to prepare myself, I sent a text to my good buddy Logan, who’s been a practicing vegetarian since the 90′s. I suppose his lack of response is caused at least in part by the diminished amount of energy his body has due to carne asada deficiency.
All jokes aside, I am interested in proving successful in this challenge, not only because of my sense of self-determination, but also because I know it will be a net positive to learn more/better ways to prepare local produce and expand my idea process.
Yield from a regular trip to the Public Market last Summer
We didn’t really discuss these, but here are the principles I want to put in place for myself:
- “Nothing with a face”
- I’d like to say no eggs, but I may compromise on this point to maintain nutrition and make it an easier social transition.
- The challenge is about eating vegetables, not just eliminating meat.
- This means not replacing meat with faux-protein.
- This means not eating more bread/pasta/noodles/cheese/grains just to fill up.
- I need to remain open-minded about the type and kind of vegetables I’ll eat.
There are some question marks that remain around how well I can balance this diet change while still trying to eradicate my diabetes, but I’m hopeful those can be resolved without too much compromise. When I previously discussed an all-juice diet after watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead with my healthcare provider, they said that I’d still need to eat nuts or beans or get some source of protein to smooth out the blood sugar. Good thing I just got my pearly whites all checked-up, because here come the almonds.
The “no fake meats” rule is just my personal belief that since we are going into this from a health stand-point, and not a moral objection to eating animals, we wouldn’t really be experiencing it if just tried to make the same food we’ve been eating. Plus, using Monsanto-tainted soybean curds in place of animal products seems like a very poor choice. We’ve already made commitments to eat meat that is naturally raised and humanely processed, getting all of the rBGH, antibiotics and other crap out of our systems, so why would I want to start ingesting Round-Up via tofu?
As with healthy eating in general, I think breakfast & lunch will be my biggest challenges. Our present lifestyle minimizes time awake at home before leaving for work, meaning that breakfast is either just coffee or something from the cafeteria at work. Dropping breakfast meats will be rough, but doable. Avoiding all the sweet breakfast pastries when I’m hungry and have minimal other choices, that will be the real challenge. As for lunch, it usually comes down to a social dynamic; finding a place where I can get something good and my friends/colleagues can enjoy the rest of the menu. Plus, truth be told, lunch around my workplace is pretty much boring and over-processed anyways, but it’s often the most productive part of the day for managing tasks and bonding.
Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, OR. (credit: Wikipedia)
Win, lose or draw, at least I’ll get to book-end this challenge with a few really good meals. Friday night we’ll be celebrating a birthday at Clever Koi (described by someone I know as the best restaurant in town), and March 1st we will be driving from Portland to Seattle, so wake-up with a bacon VooDoo donut and end with a lobstah roll. Probably even cram some beef-jerky in for the road, though in Portland I presume they’ll have to pickle that. (ewwww)
Posted: January 28th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
It’s a little bit weird to admit, but I may have reached the point that events in my life cannot be properly digested until I hear Chris Hardwick mediate other people’s impressions on the topic, almost like a nerdier version of Vulture or Buzzfeed.
Let’s check out the facts:
- The Walking Dead is awesome, and Talking Dead is the best possible companion show for it.
- I never watched Breaking/Talking Bad, but I’ll presume the same applies here.
- The Nerdist/Dr Who cross-overs = supercool
- @Midnight hilariously rounds up the interwebs and throws it all at me in 30 minutes.
Image via CrunchBase
Given that, it seems reasonable that other “smart” television should have an aftershow now too.
- Talking Sherlock
- Talk of Thrones
- Orange is the New Talk (Netflix team-up, yeah!)
Just imagine if we’d gotten on board with this earlier. Talking Frasier would have been the best.
Posted: January 26th, 2014 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
It’s been a fun, stressful, productive, hectic week, so in lieu of writing something longer, more organized and inevitably feeling like I left something out, I’d just
- When people tell me they don’t watch things on YouTube regularly, I stare at them like they just stepped out of the Stone Age.
- There’s a “shortage” on Sriracha and Velveeta now. Trying to make your own version of the Hostess rush? C’mon guys.
- Also, how the hell did Hostess come back but they left the Chocodile behind? Sad days.
Amazing Arizona Comic Con
- Meeting artists and writers is pretty damn awesome. Got to talk with Wook Jin Clark (Adventure Time), Eric Esquivel (Bravest Warriors) and Mike Vasquez (Cryptozoic), among others. All the creators I met this weekend were super cool, approachable and keen to engage with fans, which is far better than I anticipated.
- Awesome custom sketch I got from Wook Jin:
- Tumble-Weed Accent backfire: mumbled too much and had to spell my name twice. And there’s only 4 letters…
- Tons of folks in cosplay at a con I barely heard about less than a week before. By my estimates, about 1 in 3 were there in costume, and the vast majority were doing it well. Are these folks who really knocked it out of the park at Halloween, or did I crazy underestimate how many folks are great at cosplay?
- Why did Pharell come out wearing that guy from Curious George’s hat? Did he hire Andre 3000 as his stylist?
- Why didn’t anybody warn Lorde when there was a giant Weeping Angel behind her at the Grammy’s?
- First Jay-Z got us to take the hustle from street-style and class it up, and now he’s becoming a role model for putting family front and center while still being wildly successful.
- Was anyone else kinda hoping we’d get to see a Dave Grohl/Ringo Starr drum-off for Paul’s affections?
- Bolero tie; who knew it would be Bruno Mars to steal your Grandpa’s style actually?
- Quick throwback to that time AniePHX & I went as “Royals” for Halloween. Best Costume by a Duo or Group: check. Just mail me the statuette:
Tiger on a gold leash, and clearly I’m wearing my King hat. (photo-bombed by @marcmontezphoto)