For all the positive habits homeschooling introduced into my life, one that I find myself struggling with in adulthood is a crippling inability to turn down playing outside in unseasonably nice weather – especially in fall, when you know any glowing warmth of sunshine could be the last of its kind for the season. So Warsaw’s fairly average conditions last week were a boon in my focusing on work while there. A cloudy and windy Monday-Thursday I spent meeting with the engineering team for Container Engine – the Cloud product I design for – and was largely either in my hotel or at the office. Despite the rocky start of waking up horrifically jetlagged at 2:30AM on Monday, overall the time was fiercely productive. Read More
So you know the United States, right? Shi Shi beach is the essentially where you end up if you go as far up and to the left in the US as possible. Well, OK: technically the official NW-most corner is a few miles north of there – Cape Flattery – but since we visited that too I’m lumping them together and counting it. Read More
“Breathtaking” gets thrown around a lot, and for many experiences which do not, in fact, literally take one’s breath away. It’s the first word that comes to mind to describe my driving 4000 miles from Saratoga Springs, NY to Seattle Washington over a span of 12 days with my friend Rachel, but it’s not quite the right one... For one, with the exception of the several seconds immediately after hooking a cutthroat trout in Glacier National Park, my breath remained unmistakably with me. For another, it didn’t so much get “taken away” as it did altered. Smoothed, like freshly washed sheets spread out on a mattress. Read More
"Where can we go for a week that will be 1) Affordable, 2) Adventurous, and 3) Avoiding Spring Break crowds + prices?" Dirt-cheap flights on points out of JFK to Tokyo and the 6700 mile distance meant Japan fit the bill, so my brother Adam and I got our backpacker on and spent 9 days (less around 48 hours travel-time 🙈) exploring Tokyo, Kyoto, & Osaka. Read More
Unfastening my seatbelt, I contorted myself around and pushed back groceries and sleeping bags to set up a high-efficiency mobile sandwich-making station while my good friend Josh manned the helm of our Renault Kangoo 5-speed diesel. A late shuttle pickup meant we were a few hours behind schedule, but now out on the open road the “kilometers” slid past and carried us easily into our six-day road trip around South Iceland. Read More
As a rule, I don’t listen to in-flight announcements. Nothing useful is ever communicated, and ignoring them makes me feel rebelliously superior to all the people frantically scrambling to remove their headphones so they can hear what the wind speed is at that particular location.
But this flight, August 24th American Airlines 741 from PHL to Madrid, something was announced that changed the course of my life...forever. Read More
I have a tumultuous relationship with the act of making art. Core to the struggles I face is me overthinking things – of getting in my own way – so my hope is that by capturing some of that here in a blog post I might free my mind of excess mental CPU these worryings drain.
Let me start by saying: creating for me is really damn hard. As hard as I’ve tried to correct it, I still have a lingering subliminal expectation that painting or drawing should be this euphoric, trance-like experience where one rises to a plane to commune with Degas and Mondrian in effortlessly originating a masterpiece. It’s a sexy notion of how things get made, but I’ve seldom found it to be true. Read More
Design as a profession encompasses two almost humorously disparate worlds: on the one hand, nebulously “inspired” individual expression, and on the other, the requirement to reliably execute solutions and deliver on time. The more years as a designer I get under my belt, the more I notice as a recurring struggle the delicate balance between these two ways of thinking. Create Upstate 2016 served both ends of the spectrum: it reignited my personal creative elan, but did so in a way that was grounded in professional sensibility. Read More
Cause I never simply wake up and write.
Morning always ships with the trappings of extraneous tasks like putting on clothes and brushing my teeth. Don’t worry: I will get to those before I interact with the outside world, but right now me and a bowl of Barbara’s multi-grain Puffins doused in almond milk have hopped back under the covers to properly slow down this Saturday. Read More
“Aotearoa” is the Maori name for New Zealand and means “Land of the long white cloud.” Flying toward Christchurch to begin my two weeks in the country, some of that emblematic veil parted enough for me to see through to the jutting Southern Alps beneath. We were descending now, so I really needed to get started on my customs declaration form and begin internally debating with myself and justifying my answers (“Well, what is a true wilderness area anyway? Surely I haven’t been in any of those...”), but I was transfixed: the most superlative-worthy scenery I’d ever had the fortune of appreciating was there before my eyes – I’d made it! Read More
I love piano, and it didn’t take me long to figure out it was a vastly more satisfying process to have my Mom learn and play songs for me instead me try to wrestle my way through mastering a new piece (“What! ‘Colors of The Wind’ has two flats!? Welp, forget that then…”). Read More
With nothing scheduled for the day and my friend Bec’s Ducati at my disposal, this was one of those deliciously serendipitous times when the elements for an outstanding adventure seem to materialize out of thin air. Sunday night I got home and thought about where I could go as a destination. After a brief moment of consideration it came to me: Wilsons Prom! Read More
Beach Road wiggles its way up the coastline southeast of Melbourne and efficiently connects Beaumaris to the CBD. With a commitment of face-painting for a kids’ event from 1-4PM to start architecting my day around, I’d tentatively committed to brunch in the northwest suburb of Moonee Ponds, and decided this was the day to put the single-speed through her paces and pedal my way up the coastline to Melbourne. Read More
I’m stretched out in the brilliant mid-morning sun currently flooding my friend’s backyard. Can’t believed I missed the first day of my first ever Southern Hemisphere Spring (Wednesday), but I’m making up for lost celebration now. My first few days in Melbourne didn’t feel very Spring-like, and I couldn’t put my finger quite on why. I realized after some time that for one thing, nearly all native Australian vegetation is evergreen, so there’s not the dramatic starkness of an Upstate NY winter. And secondly, because Spring for me necessarily means melting snow: a liquefying cloak of the landscape drizzling through muddy courses to ice-jammed rivers. Here there’s rain, but not the Vernal Equinox transformation from gingerbread-house frosting to brown squishy terra. Read More
Why hello again, Melbourne. Read More
It’s a Friday morning, and in some circadian shenanigans my body decided six AM was an appropriate weekend hour to get up. After a few futile minutes of staring at the ceiling trying to let sleep again take me, I begrudgingly decided to maximize this early start to the day. Oolong with Tasmanian honey in hand, I step out into the cool morning air and walk the five minutes from where I’m staying to the Seaview ‘shops.’
A long enough Hawaii stopover to get in a bit of tropical adventuring before buckling up and scooting the last 16 hours of travel time toward Melbourne? Sign me up! I wasn’t able to get out exploring outside of Waikiki as I’d [over-ambitiously] hoped, but I’d still rate the experience as a successful attempt to maximize my short stint on Hawaii’s most populous island. Read More
Until recently, I always felt a bit embarrassed telling people I was from Potsdam. It was the uncool, clingy, friend at the party where you're trying to make a good impression. Not only did most people not recognize the particular segment of the geographically nebulous "Upstate New York," those who did typically reacted with the astute observation of its proximity to the Arctic and similar climate. In addition to having grown up there, I stayed and attended SUNY Potsdam, which always felt like a decision I had to defend the rationality of. Read More
For myself and I think many other artistically-inclined, execution is the biggest obstacle to success. Good ideas come to mind – “I love writing: I should start a blog!” – are identified as promising, aaand then for various reasons just gather dust on the shelf. In my case, actual capital punishment 'execution' would be only marginally more stifling to my creative endeavors then the lack of resource-investment they receive. Read More