Sunday, February 28, 2010

Entry 59

Day 59 - Jess took Daisy to the dog park -- Wiggly Field -- and she invited me to come. There were puppies everywhere! It was so much fun.

Lazy Sunday.

Entry 58

Day 58 - Derek and Duran had planned a get-together a couple of weeks back that finally came to fruition. Duran invited his good friend, Miranda, and her boyfriend to come hang out, so I invited my friend, Sarah. We started out at "CiCi's Pizza" to take advantage of their anniversary deal -- all you can eat for a throwback, $3.99!

After that, we went back to our apartment, and commenced with normal adolescent festivities. Jessica came over with her puppy Daisy, we played some Apples to Apples, and then Duran started stacking plastic cups...

...and then Jessica and Sarah found our Nerf Guns. And, well, here's another terrible iPhone video to show you the torture they put Derek through.

Entry 57

Day 57 - The boys had a craving for sushi, so I took them to "I ♥ Sushi" for a small splurge. I ordered a Cactus Dragon Roll, Derek ordered a Calamari Roll, and Duran tried out a Bento Box.

It's always fun having dinner out with my brothers, because we can find humor in the weirdest things; this time around, we thought it was cute that the prominently Japanese staff was sitting in front of a T.V. in the dining area watching the figure skaters from Japan compete. They were cheering quite a bit, and it was awesome. I wish I had gotten a picture of that.

Entry 56

Day 56 - It was a fairly uneventful day, so I swung by my old office to visit old friends -- especially Sophia! Then she drew some animals on the board in dry erase marker, and I went home.

See what I mean? Uneventful. But still fun!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Entry 55

Day 55 - Can you say, "Free pancakes?" Because as starved-for-work (not to mention, nearly starved) recent graduates, my friend Brooke and I know the word "free" very well. Add on the deliciousness of pancakes, and we're sold!

IHOP held their annual Free Pancake Day, so me, Brooke, and my brothers decided to help the cause! Brooke spent the whole night tweeting about the event, including our antics while in the waiting room. Then she tried to record us on her phone, but it backfired on her...

Entry 54

Day 54 - This was the most important day of the year for me so far! I was interviewing with {algo+rhythm} for a paid internship position doing some web-design. I had done a couple of interviews before this with Fortis First -- a company that was assigned to do their recruiting -- and I was anxious to be able to finally meet with someone from the actual company.

I think the interview went extremely well, and their office looked amazing. I managed to sneak a shot of their awesome lobby and the conference room where I was interviewed. I was told that they will make their decision within the next few weeks, and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to hear from them.

Entry 53

Day 53 - After a long day of starting some new freelance projects and preparing for the interview of a lifetime, I decided to relax a little bit. So, Jessica and I went out to see what was apparently Paul Slavens' last show ever. We had a lot of fun, and it relaxed me just enough to head into the interview with a calm demeanor.

Entry 52

Day 52 - Long drive home, but Duran and I stopped in Corpus Christi to visit our older brother, Daniel. I saw him in January, but he moved into yet another new apartment.

One of the first things he wanted to show us was the view of the bridge and the bay...through his ridiculously strong binoculars. It was a nice place. Sadly, we had to hit the road so we finished the long drive back. Collectively, I drove about 21 hours this weekend.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Entry 51

Day 51 - It's always easier to gas up the night before a big trip. We plan to hit the road as early as we can, because Duran has a study session (that he didn't tell me about) in the evening.

He didn't tell me so that he could go hang out with his friends; Thankfully, even if he doesn't make it to his study group, I can't be held accountable for it. After all, I was gassed up and ready to go tonight.

Entry 50

It's hard to believe that I've managed to keep up with this for 50 days now. I like reading the posts that some of my friends are doing for similar 365-blogs; it reminds me that this experiment can keep us motivated to do something every day we can.

Day 50 - I got into town at 2:00 A.M. and did some much needed sleeping. In the morning, my best friend K.C. came into town from Kingsville. We have a very odd tradition whenever we see each other after a long period of time:

We scream each others' names in a tremendously high-pitched voice, and reach out to one another. The irony of it makes us laugh.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Entry 49

Day 49 - Duran had an appointment set up with his dentist for Friday. His dentist just happens to be back home, in the Rio Grande Valley. So we packed our bags, jumped in the car, and I drove him 10 hours -- Denton to Harlingen, Texas.

He got creative with the wires/connections I have in my car, and decided he would watch GLEE on his laptop to pass the time. I enjoyed listening to the music on the drive, but sadly while driving it's quite difficult to enjoy the show itself.

Now that I'm all caught up, I think it's about time for me to get some rest. I've been awake for too long working in the morning, driving, and trying to get things settled. As it was, the journalist in me was agonizing, wishing I could be covering the plane crash while we passed through Austin.

I just want this month to be over, so that maybe I can get some good news for a change. I just hope March is more forgiving.

Entry 48

Day 48 - Sooooooooo, about that date I mentioned...

...I wasn't quite sure if I was even ready to be dating, much less with a girl who recently left her boyfriend of three years. But, considering the person, I didn't think I had anything to worry about.

So I planned a basic date for my friend Jessika and I -- dinner and a movie. I guess we both let ourselves get caught up in it at first, because about 45 minutes into the "date" we started weighing it logically; we discovered that it wasn't a real date at all.

It looked like a date, felt like a date at first, and I set it up to be a date. But as it turned out, she was just using me to get back at the recent ex-boyfriend because he absolutely loathed me. Still, I held my head high and went on with the date (trying not to break a sweat).

It was fun, and it lasted from 7:00 P.M. until almost 2:00 A.M., during which she had to stop me several times because her "face hurt from smiling too much." After that, I went home, and tried not to be depressed over the fact that I had just been used as a tool in a rather unsettling ploy...

Entry 47

Day 47 - Yes, that just happened. It's nothing new for me, being that I have been a nerd pretty much my entire life, but it had been about half a year since I even rolled my die.

A few friends called my up to see how I was doing, and to see if I was in the area. I was feeling better, so they invited me to come join them in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign I had previously participated in.

It was great seeing them all again, playing D&D and Guitar Hero all night. Sometimes nerds just have to nerd-out a little when things don't seem to be going so well. It reminds us that we can still have fun with pencils and paper.

Entry 45 & 46

Day 45 - Valentine's Day isn't exactly one of my favorite holidays. But, my brothers -- Derek and Duran -- and I were all spending it alone this year so we decided to make the best of it.

Our grandparents decided that they would give us a nice surprise treat for the occasion, and sent us all a small handful of spending money. Thrilled, and
now armed with cash, we went to have the happiest food we could think of: Pancakes! Hope you had a good day. Aside from coming down with a fever, I had a delicious and fun day.

Day 46 - Remember that fever we talked about? Yeah, he came back to kick my ass overnight. I spent most of the day fighting off the chills and the sweats as they used my body as the court for their tennis match. The walls of my room were basically all I stared at all day, so I decided I would treat you to their blandness...

...on the other end of the spectrum of irony, I got asked out on a date by a close friend of mine. This marks the first time I have EVER been asked out, and not done the asking...I was thrilled. But more on that later in the week...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Entry 43 & 44

Had a long week, but it's finally winding down. Aside from a huge interview, getting my degree in the mail, seeing a rock show, and playing in a foot of snow, I'd say it was a pretty uneventful week.

Day 43 - The snow started to melt today, but we had a freeze overnight. I bought some extra salt overnight to make sure we had plenty for the stairwell outside out apartment.

My brothers' classes were canceled again, so we ran a few errands around town, and b
egan the relaxing.

Day 44 - Lazy Saturday. Not much else to say. We're all feeling a little under the weather (worth it) so we sat around playing games and catching up on our television shows from the week.

Entry 42

Day 42 - 2Day 42 - 3Day 42 - 4

Day 42 - SNOW DAY! The DFW area got over 12 inches throughout the day, and my brothers' classes were canceled. So, we got a couple of friends together -- Sarah, Jessica, and Jessica's puppy Daisy -- and went to North Lakes Park to play!

Day 42 - 1Day 42 - 6Day 42 - 5

We built an eight-foot-tall snowman, had a frozen picnic, and admired the beautiful snow-covered surroundings. It was a cold day in Texas, and we might have all fallen ill by the end of it, but it was totally worth it.

Entry 41

PhotobucketDay 41 - 2Day 41 - 3

Day 44 - I had heard that one of my favorite bands -- Motion City Soundtrack -- was going to be at The Prophet Bar in Dallas on a rather impromptu tour for their new album -- "My Dinosaur Life". Sadly, while I'm still looking for work, I am kind of short on cash.

However, my friend Elvira came to the rescue! I had introduced her to the band about four years ago (most of my friends learn about them through me). She wanted to hang out, so she treated us to the show!

I got to listen to some great music, spend some time with an awesome friend, and she got the chance to make her sister super jealous because she got to go to the show. We took plenty of pictures as proof, but we weren't the only ones with that idea...

After the band finished, I got signatures from all the members for Elvira's boyfriend (who couldn't make it). I also got to hang around with the lead singer, Justin Pierre; we talked about learning Japanese, the new season of LOST, and one of his hardcore fans gave him a bunch of gifts. It was a great night...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Entry 40

Day 40 - Look what came in the mail today! Now it's official. I'm gonna go watch LOST and take a nap, because my life is complete... (except for that whole get a career, start a family, and grow old stuff)

Entry 38 & 39

Day 38 - Superbowl Sunday! My brothers, my friend Sarah, and I sat down to watch the historic first-ever Superbowl victory for the New Orleans' Saints. We had quite the spread for just the four of us, but we were expecting more people to come. Things don't always work out, but we had a great night anyway.

Day 39 - It was a long day. Not only did I have to stop by the campus to drop off my time sheet for the website work I did last month, but I had to do some "homework" for an interview I had that day for a paid internship.

I suited up again, went in with my laptop, business cards, and résumé. I think the interview went extremely well, and the gentleman who conducted it said he's recommending me for a follow-up. We'll see how that pans out!

The problem with professional favors is that... some point, one would have to ask one of two things:

How can this person ever find the means by which to repay this favor?


Am I willing to -- or can I afford to -- do this out of the kindness of my heart without expectations of any future compensation?

At this point, I really can't afford to do much out of the kindness of my heart; some things tug on my heart strings to the point of crippling pain, but I can only give so much of myself before I'm out on the street.

Unfortunately, I am slowly realizing that I am probably the only solid web designers that many of my close friends know. This comes to my attention, because my last four years have been spent primarily in the company or writers, photographers, reporters, artists, musicians, designers (clothing or similar), models, and a handful of other programmers and engineers.

The programmers find themselves very capable of handling their own web design, but most of them don't have a requirement to sell themselves as an individual product. The same is true for engineers, since both groups would be able to easily work in firms where individual presence is negligible.

Unfortunately for the rest of those people -- the ones who have chosen careers in artistic or individually-competitive fields -- the most crucial tools to them are their experience, professionalism, and marketability as personal product. In today's industry, the fastest way to do this is to make contacts and develop a web presence. I have known this for more than a decade.

But it seems suddenly, many of these people are only just embracing this revelation. That's where I [apparently] come in! In the past 72 hours, I have been approached by at least four different people about the prospect of building them a website. So, I prepared a response which I posted to Facebook earlier today:

"Yes, I know many people want to develop a web presence. Yes, I do know how to build a website and get you the resources people need to make that side functional. But be forewarned: it is not inexpensive to do something that isn't a free blog, at some point you will have to take over control of your site (i.e. I cannot held accountable for user error), and no it will NOT look or function as well as the following:Because you are most likely not a millionaire. But if you need my help, and you are willing to compensate, then yes, I will help you if I have the time as long as you PROMISE not to be like this: How Web Design Goes Straight to Hell"

So like I said, I'm not opposed to doing favors. As I was reminded this weekend, nothing should be beneath me at this point; but it's not that. Right now it's just a matter of finances and demand. And if one person asks the favor and is willing to compensate, then if I have the time to make myself -- as a personal resource -- available to others, shouldn't I rightly require compensation from them as well?

Just some ranting, and food for thought.

Over and out,


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Entry 33-37

Got a little behind in my posts this week. Sorry again guys! I have been cleaning, running errands, revising my resume, sending out applications, visiting family, and just a slew of other activities. Well, I'll just let you read about it.

Day 33 - Today was the premier for the final season of LOST. I set aside the evening to just hang out and watch the three-hour event. Being a big nerd, we have our own miniature holidays sometimes -- this was the first major one of the year for me.

I'm still on "Team Desmond," but Jack is still one of my favorite characters. Oh yeah, and the groundhog saw his shadow. More winter!

Day 34 - Had to go pick up my business cards today. I was going to make some copies of my resume, but I decided to hold off until the weekend. In the mean time, while I was already out and about, I went to pick up my little brother from class.

I love the way the winter looks. I wish that Texas got more snow, but for now the beautiful grey sky and cold rain will do. No sarcasm, I genuinely love it.

Day 35 - I got my first response today for a paid internship. I set up a phone interview for later in the week, and decided that I would celebrate by starting my spring cleaning early.

It's not the normal way I would celebrate, but I needed to empty the closet anyway so my little brother could move his stuff in there. But the end of the spring, I plan to have the entire apartment in tip-top shape.

Day 36 - Our father drove in from Washington D.C. today on an impromptu road-trip back to the Rio Grande Valley. It's always great to see him, since he lives so far away.

He insisted on preparing dinner an washing dishes. We didn't argue, because he is an amazing cook (and we all hate washing dishes).

Day 37 - I woke up at the crack of dawn today to go to the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ) Conference in Arlington. I had been looking forward to it for a while, since I had yet to have an opportunity to do any networking in the DFW area.

The keynote speaker was Nancy Barry, a journalist who is also the author of "When Reality Hits." She gave a strong speech about 'soft skills' that all journalists should have, and I realized just how many I have.

I also had the chance to speak to Robert Francis (left) and Susan R. Petty (right) about magazine and book publication after a breakout session. Robert used to be a writer for trade magazines, including some majro computer publications -- the kind of job I'd ideally like to have someday.

In a discussion about convergence journalism, I had the chance to speak with Kent Chapline (left), Matt Stiles (middle), and Elise Who (right) about their respective careers. The all had quite a bit to say about the set of more specific convergence skills that are necessary to be a viable 'product' in today's industry, not just another writer. I realized just how strong my skill set is, and really hope to expand on it

All-in-all a great day. I handed out some cards, got a few myself, and was able to speak to some very talented journalists. I really hope I can find work soon, because I realized how much I miss being involved in the media!