World Cup Techvolution

Watching the World Cup is always FUN, but this year is especially EASY as well. Coincidentally this four year cycle has matched up with sizable events in my life which in turn, have lead me to develop an enhanced nostalgia every time the World Cup comes around. Since I'm not usually a big live sports watcher, the quadrennial World Cups have become a compelling barometer of the changes in my life and the parallel tech advancements. 

World Cup France 1998 - Visiting Tijuana before starting High School

  • My main memory is that the official song was "La Copa de la Vida" by Ricky Martin. To further date it this was before the "Latin Explosion" in pop & a good decade before he came out of the closet.
  • Casual use of the internet was just starting to become part of my daily life and that usage was primarily browsing X-Files fan sites and AIM chat. I definitely did not have any internet access at my Grandma's house in Mexico.
  • Only saw a few games that I caught live on broadcast TV. Any other info had to come from TV news or newspapers. Ricky was on MTV Latino around the clock, though.

World Cup Korea/Japan 2002 - France, Portugal & Spain trip before starting College

  • At this point the internet was actively part of my life, but still mainly for teen entertainment purposes i.e. Napster downloading with dial-up on my Dell PC.
  • I had a Yahoo email address, but any communication with my family was through long distance phone calls. Americans were not into texting yet & absolutely no social networking was happening. 
  • I did have my first cell phone and point & shoot digital camera by then, but I didn't bring them. I could not afford the extra SD cards or long distance roaming charges.
  • All games were watched live on TV at bars & cafes (usually over brunch because of the time difference).

World Cup Germany 2006 - Graduating College in Chicago 

  • Internet revolution is complete. YouTube, Facebook, Google & Amazon all now official huge & completely commonplace. 
  • Even with broadband, live video streaming is still not up to snuff. Game viewing was still only on the TV.
  • Although you could get up to the moment updates of the matches online, you still needed to by a computer and also near a wifi hotspot.
  • Audio podcast were around by now. I would download those daily in the morning to my iPod to get the reviews and upcoming predictions of all of the games.
  • My cell phone was still used only for phone calls and occasionally texting. I would purchase my first smartphone Palm later that year.

World Cup South Africa 2010 - Living in NYC 

  • Pretty close the experience we now, but everything is the slightly worse version.
  • Streaming is just coming into it's own, but can't quite be fully trusted. You need a ESPN cable log-in or take you chances with a choppy feed somewhere else. I still trust the TV more than my sporadic broadband connection.
  • I had an iPhone by now which I use to get real time scores, updates and other information online, but I still need to sync my phone to update apps, songs, photos & podcasts, no cloud yet.
  • Texting & email are now the main form of communication and planning to watch with friends or comment on the games if apart. Twitter & Facebook posts commenting on the match are typical.

This year I can watch all the games live in HD through public broadcast TV or stream on Univision as they happen (I can also Chromecast that feed to my TV if I want). Afterward the highlights are all up on ESPN within seconds after the matches are over and the videos/graphics all load instantly over wifi or 4G. I'm loving seeing the amazing Instagram & Vine updates as they happen. Now I can't wait for that Tupac/Pele hologram showdown in 2018!

 

I'll Do Me

I just spruced up the résumé section of the site! It now reflects the latest & greatest from the past yearPLUS worth of work updates. Now onto the major design ninja task of tastefully yet effectively editing down all of that into a corresponding 1 page PDF. You know you've reached real professional status when you are able to remove your internships & assistant jobs from the ol' res'. 

woman of the world

 

Welp. It's been quite a handful of weeks. If you had asked me what my plans were about 2 months ago I would have said something about maaaaaybe planning a trip to Mexico. Weeeeelp.... then I got laid off. 

Suddenly I had no plans AND every plan. The sky was this limit, but did I feel comfortable reaching for it? I had savings, but living in NYC, how quickly was I going to burn through that? Should I move? Should focus my energy on securing a new job? But any job? Or should I wait? Should I travel, volunteer or concentrate on making some art? I had a thousand questions with no "right" answers. 

I had a crash course in finding myself. Eat, pray, loving from the comfort of the boroughs. The first few days I was of course bummed, angry, stressed and scared, but as time passed so did those feelings. As much as I wanted to take the time to relax, it is just not in my nature to do so unless I know I've done the work to earn it. So I started up the hustle, reaching out to anyone and everyone by email, linkedin, facebook, calls, job boards, etc. After that things started to fall into place quickly.

Interviews started to be lined up, my budget seemed relatively on track and suddenly for the first time ever I actually had the time to enjoy the beautiful NYC spring. I walked along the waterfronts and across bridges. I went to interviews from Uptown to Downtown and planned lunches, movies and museum trips in between. Spring time in bars, rooftops, tattoo parlors, dance parties, backyards and front stoops.

Answering the stock interview question "so what are you looking to do?" over and over actually made me think about it. The first few times parroting back the typical semi-generic goals, but then I found myself actually internalizing and contemplating the question. I was finally coming to realization that I am no longer a student, an assistant or an apprentice. I am a woman with skills, talent and a career. So what do I see myself doing? 

Then I landed a freelance gig with a magazine called Man of the World. They have a really talented, but small team that just needed someone with production experience to step in and help them out. This projected ended up being a completely awesome reinvigorating work experience for me. I got to tap my skills, creativity, experience and conjure something really fun out of it. Issue No. 4 on stands soon! And yet again it really helped clarify the question about what I actually want to do.

I recently accepted a position with Urban Studio as a production manager. I am super excited about working with another group of talented people and finding out how I can fit in and help create some more great stuff. Since I was laid off I went to DC, Alabama, Vermont and I'm about to go to Mexico for a few weeks before I start the new job. I am happy to say when someone asks me "what do you see yourself doing" I can confidently answer, "This!" 

we're practically twins

The ascension of Lady Gaga inspired many fellow pop stars to strive (and mostly fail) in their attempts to mimic the overly ornate and complex. To her fans Gaga preaches a message of self-acceptance, which is a great cause, but is often weakly interpreted as, "what is the craziest thing I can glue on my head when I go to her show?"

Beyoncé's new video "Countdown" offers a successful alternative to the Gaga-fication of the music industry. She provides a simple, fun, colorful and dynamic piece of visual pop candy. While the song is fairly give-or-take as a single, the video for "Countdown" possesses all of the elements of a classic pop video. Bold costumes, engaging choreography and quirky editing, all done with a simpleness and ease that makes all the elements reliable as a whole.

Similarly to Beyoncé iconic "Single Ladies" video I am sure "Countdown" will be a hit among the under-two baby set. Check out this Time's article analyzing the Single Ladies / Dancing Baby craze that happened a few years ago. This new video's close-up shots of Beyoncé's bouncing eyebrows, million dollar smile and exaggerated staccato movements engage with our most basic notions of reliably we develop as children. The cartoon-y quality inspires a combined sense of modern fun and nostalgia.

I especially appreciate how replicable her stylying is for someone without McQueen in their budget. Sure those Prada sun-hats aren't exactly reasonable, but I can probably spring for a black turtleneck and leggings without breaking the bank.

P.S. Here is an awesome mix: Beyonce - Countdown (Reggae Rewind Remix)

funny ha ha

More Podcast! But now with more jokes! These are my Comedy Podcast Recommendations.

The Nerdist
LOLz! It’s that guy from “Singled Out.” Okay now that we got over that, this is a show hosted by stand-up Chris Hardwick and his two sidekicks Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. They bicker like geeky brothers. The shows alternate interview and “hostful” episodes about all things nerd and comedy. 

The Adam Carolla Show 
This is a throwback to the daily morning radio show you loved as a pre-teen, but without the 90s pop hits, time and traffic updates. Carolla is a master complainer and his side-kicks work mainly to bring up more topics for him to rant about. I don’t always agree with Carolla’s political views, but the show is fast and funny and fits perfectly in my morning commute. 

Doug Loves Movies 
Stand-up comedian Doug Benson is known for his stoner humor. This is an audio recording of his weekly live show at the UCB:LA Theater. He usually gets three guests to come on, tangentially talk about movies, then play a movie quiz game he has dubbed “The Leonard Maltin Game.” The audience wins prizes and it gets oddly competitive and therefor hilarious. 

WTF with Marc Maron
Marc Maron’s show is like a comedian twelve step program / therapist session. It starts with a rant and some introspection then moves onto an in-depth interview commonly with an writer, actor or comedian Maron has offended in the past. Maron maintains an informal and friendly if not some what confrontational style. This makes the interviews unique and challenging and elevates the conversation beyond the standard showbiz banter.

Comedy Bang Bang
Comedy writer and producer Scott Aukerman hosts this mother-ship program on his own growing podcast network Earwolf. This comedy show bring together awesome guest for interviews with various improvised characters. This show almost always makes me crazily burst out laughing on the train or at work. Definitely would appeal to people who enjoy absurdest humor and “alternative comedy.”

Sklarbro Country
Identical twin brothers Jason and Randy Sklar host this sports themed comedy, interview and improv show on Earwolf. I am not the biggest sports fan, but I love this show and can follow most of the stories since they cover pop culture. Warning: you might need a moment to adjust to the sound of this show. Since the Sklars talk a mile a minute and their voices sound exactly the same, this show might sound like a man having a Sport Center inspired schizophrenic breakdown at first. 

Who Charted?
Although this show has a pretty gross title it’s actually one of the nicest and friendliest shows on the Earwolf Network. Hosts comedians Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack and a Very Special Guest countdown of the latest charts in movies, music and more. The guest interviews are silly and outlined by a personal chart that is “This Is Your Life” reminiscent.  

Friday Night Comedy 
This feed is actually two different topical BBC radio 4 comedy shows that alternate every few weeks. “The Now Show” hosted by Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis is a totally British style variety show with political and pop culture satirical commentary, songs, plays, etc. “The News Quiz” hosted by Sandi Toksvig is similar to the quiz style of Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me. Be warned: Both are super British. Like Jokes about local Educational Ministers British. That British. 

The Lavender Hour 
Comedians / lovahs Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell record this totally strange, often technically lacking, but somehow captivating show. They tend to rant about the problems with modern day consumerist culture and are very open about their spiritual aspirations. So this can be inspirational or completely tedious. 

The Ricky Gervais Podcast
Ricky “The Podfather” Gervais along with Stephen “SMERCH” Merchant and Karl “He Has a Head Like a Fucking Orange” Pilkington boosted the worldwide popularity of the podcast medium. Their show started first as a radio show on XFM, then as a series of free podcasts for the Guardian and then it was a series of paid-per-episode audiobooks. The show is pretty much on hiatus, but this feed hosts some of the older free content.

But Spotify Doesn't Work on the Subway!

Podcasts! They're all the rage these days. Although the quantity has always been abundant, the quality has grown leaps and bounds recently. Most people know you can download popular radio shows like This American Life and Radiolab as podcasts, but there is much more to discover beyond NPR land. I'm an old school OCDer who needs a constant stream of media stimulation, so I've built quite the collection of subscriptions over the years. Here are some my vetted General Podcasts suggestions for you!  Below are links and descriptions. (Comedy Podcast list to follow).

The Moth
Stories told live, on stage, without notes, relating to various diverse themes and topics. Sometimes when I first listen I am put off by a speakers voice or accent, but if I put aside my prejudices and keep listing I am almost always amazed and glad I gave it a chance. These curated stories are always heartfelt and worth the quick listen.

Savage Love
Weekly sex, love and relationship advice for callers who leave messages asking for help from writer Dan Savage. Although you might think you wouldn’t relate to, say... a dolphin/pie fetishist, give it a try. You will find that the truths in Savages' opinions tend to be universal and really helpful.

Sound Opinions
Two old Chicago music reviewers talk about the current status of the music industry, review the latest releases and occasionally do interviews and musical historical recaps. They cover a huge range in musical styles and do a good job of keeping me up to date. I appreciate Jim DeRogatis’ championing of women musicians, but I tend to agree more with Greg Kot’s tastes.

WireTap
A peak into Montreal based ultra-neurotic writer Jonathan Goldstein’s consciousness. He plays a version of himself, a put upon radio presenter surrounded by a rotating cast of narcissistic characters who are constantly planning wacky Canadian hijinks. I love this show, but you have to spread it out and water it down like a bullion cube. A little goes a long way.

The Sound of Young America
Jesse Thorne is a relativity young broadcaster with a old man deep voice. Sometimes he  does the super hipster thing of trying to be an anti-hipster i.e. overly sincere, but as he’s matured his interview have gotten better. He picks a fun roster of guest. Usually writers, comedians and musicians.

Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review
This BBC radio show tends to be over an hour long and I love every minute of it. The caveat of course being that I'm an anglophile. Simon Mayo is the “straight man” radio presenter and Kermode is the impassioned rant friendly pompadour-ed film reviewer. It’s smart and entertaining. Hello Jason Issacs!

Captain's Log - Star Date: 1

So I finally have some semblance of a workable personal website up and running. Yay! Results! Pat on the back to me. Consider this site smashed on the hull with a bottle of Champaign. My official welcome to my officially official corner of the internet.

I promise to keep the journal fun. I promise to keep the art exciting. I promise to keep the whole site updated. Oh and all promises are subject to change. 

Ciao! Kisses!