Monday, December 28, 2009

A Mission of Rendition

I avoid my blog. 

Yes, avoid.  It's odd, I know, but when comes right down to it my blog has become an area of contention with my brain.  "You should post something," my brain hums.  "I can do that," I reply.  "How about this?" "No.  Write something better."  "This?" "No." "This?" "Er - you do know what 'better' means, don't you?"  Insert my head hitting a desk.  Repeat said image until you think you're the Queen of Sheba.

However, as the year draws to an end, I'm tired of writing and not posting.  So tired, in fact, that I'm about to embark on a mission: A Mission of Rendition.

Sounds snazzy, eh?

The concept:  I need to blog more.  I also need to study for the GRE.   Ergo, in the New Year, I will study while I blog by starting each entry with a word - say, enigma - and using that word as a prompt.  By the end of the year, I'll have 365-or so words under my belt, as well as a blogging regimen.

Lofty, yes.  Doable, yes.  Possibly fun, yes.

Time to get that word list going!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cement Wall of Ponies

Ever had the feeling that you're just not very good at what you do?  And by "do," I don't just mean your job, the position that someone somewhere thought you would bring benefit to by adding you to the team; I mean "do" in the broadest, unhelpful terms - may it be laundry, cooking, sleeping, Tweeting, breathing.  And yes, your job can also be included in this category. 

[With the flu going around, it's rather easy to consider oneself bad at breathing.  We're all Darth Vadar this season.  (And, as such, we are all Luke's father. Don't think about that one for too long).]

Back to that feeling: A rather morose sort of, "...woah, really?" that burns like acid on the hotplate of your soul.  It's a cement wall of a realization that something you thought you were good at seems to be floundering in a manner that makes you want to run and hide.  And so, you do - run and hide, that is.  You sprint for the hills and pray that they don't have eyes.  You huddle among the mossy tendrils of dread and pity, crying on the inside for a glimmer of what you thought you knew.  You do this for a pathetic amount of time that doesn't seem pathetic in the moment, but is clearly so when you snap out of it.

And you do snap out it.  Kind of.  Perhaps "you deal with it" is a better phrase.  You smile and nod and work.  But it's still there; the feeling of inadequacy.  Take a lot to blast a cement wall.

Like My Little Ponies.

Today, my blast came in the form of a childhood memory and I'd like to share it.  It made me smile and think, "Tomorrow, I'll be better."


Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Co-pilot's a Coffee, really.

There is a 3-foot tall coffee cup in my car.

I'm sure this is a hazard of the trade - of working in the coffee industry.  I've already had a few hundred bags of coffee in my car (the best air fresheners around - oh, new tagline!), so it was only natural that a giant mug would find a place as my co-pilot one day.

Hm, maybe "natural" isn't the right word.

Nonetheless, I do admit that it strikes me as odd that not 10-minutes before this entry, my lovely coffee cup was sitting in the front seat of my car, soliciting stares, jutted fingers (not the middle one, to my knowledge), and " you see what I see?" connversations from Best Buy shoppers and their small children (AKA soon-to-be Best Buy shoppers).

It makes me rather happy, to be frank.

Truth: There aren't enough oddities in life.  Sure, if you drive down Route 66 you'll see more than a few cockroach farms, large balls of string, and the world's smelliest block of Limburger (which, in itself, says something), but in your hometown?  The odd is missing.  And I like the odd.  I like it a lot.  I like seeing the unexpected, the unusual, and the downright rubber-neck worthy, stop-dead-in-your-tracks, call-all-your-friends-to-tell-them-about-it kind of displays of not-so ordinary life.

Like the 3-foot tall coffee cup in the front seat of my car.

For those who would like an explanation of the mug of a co-pilot, you'll have to do the following:
  1. Go to Burlington, Vermont today, Saturday, October 17
  2. A little before 4:30 PM go into City Hall and then Contois Auditorium
  3. Enjoy the Fair Trade Celebration - and look for a very large, walking mug of (Fair Trade) coffee.  Can't miss it - especially since it'll be giving away Fair Trade coffee samples.  And by "it," there is a very high probability I mean "me."
Oddities: I'm one of them.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Who needs Horror - I have the Internet!

There are certain unfinished blog entries that I stare at for days. Truth be told, I'm sure I have more entries in the cue than I've submitted. There's an apprehension around posting them - a sense of unease around the content or merely the (un)polished nature of the piece. And so, entries sit in the cue as a draft, oozing with potential but lacking follow-through.

But why?

You see, the Internet is scary. We hear this from the lips of many, mostly aimed toward children and the college-aged crowd (which, admittedly, can often be one in the same): "Don't tell anyone where you live, Marvin - it's not safe." "You don't know who's looking at your pictures, Jethro - be careful." "Don't write about your wild party, Gertie - you never know if it'll get around."

[And before you ask: Yes, Marvin, Jethro, and Gertie could very well be children's names - no judging.]

The Internet is all potential - potential for good, bad, and in-between. It's a giant web of points of connectivity and, as such, it allows for infinite interaction: education, laughter, release, pain, distraction, conversation, agony, joy. In one word: sharing.

Ah, sharing. Now we're getting to the scary part, folks.

What to share? Share a new job? Share a new recipe? Share your divorce? What about your traffic accident? Or that mysterious lump under your left arm? One way or another, it's all up for debate because what you share on the Internet defines you in a single click. There are no take-backs - this one's for life, kiddo.

I've been told this over and over again, as I'm sure most of us have. I know the power of Google to ruin...well, everything. Or rather to direct others to one's ruin. Either way, ruin lays ahead if you post the wrong thing.

Yes, the "wrong thing." In that mindset, is it foolish to ask, "What's the right thing?"

So, back to my cued entries. Some are rotting; some hidden gems. Some personal; some occupational. Some one sentence; some a manifesto. And yet, all wait for my courage, my willingness to say, "Forget what others think - full steam ahead!"

But for now, I remember that the Internet is a scary place and retreat back to the comfort of my unplugged life. A place where a mob of dismissed blog copy can't find me.

At least, for now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twitter Guilt

Twitter me this: Do you have Twitter Guilt?

You know what I'm talking about - that nagging queasiness in the pit of your stomach when you check back in with Twitter after a day or two away? That sand-in-your-eye burning when you see how chatty the Twittervese has been since you logged off? That ringing in your ears when you realize that you just tweeted something "They" all talked about yesterday or that you have DMs that you really, really wish you had seen and replied to a day ago?

Yeah, I have that. Bad.

I try to take the time to log off during the week, to step away from the constant (occasionally annoying, if not entirely overwhelming) updates of not only Twitter, but Facebook, LinkedIn, and my RSS Feed, to name a few. I try to step away and say, "Hey, let's focus people!" And by "people," I do mean me. Oh, and by "focus," I do not mean me.

Just wanted to clarify.

Back to the point, there's a very real feeling of guilt when I return to these series of tubes we call the Internet. I can hear the murmurs of abandonment in my keyboard, taste the bitter bile of being out of the loop for an extended period of time.*

Or I could be overly imaginative. That's a possibility.

Yet, I have it. The guilt. About Twitter.

So, to sum up: I have Twitter Guilt.

My condition makes me wonder: How do other people do it? How do you step away and come back to the Twitterverse with ease, grace, and jazz hands waving proudly in the air?

I'd like to know - even if your jazz hands are more like spirit fingers.

*Which, if I may, is more often than not less than 6-hours.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Of Ms. Johnson

I have a friend. Her name is Ms. Johnson. I have known her since kindergarten. She claims to remember me from a major freak-out from yours truly over a visit to the nurse's office (how was I supposed to know there weren't any needles involved in a hearing check-up?); I claim to remember her from a chorus concert in which we were dressed as Native Americans (in tattered shirts, beads, and war paint - classy, my kindergarten) and we bonded over the matching color of our "authentic" Native American feathers.

Destiny - that's what this was, people. We're friends for the long haul. And by "long haul" I do mean a rather odd shared childhood of oldies music and plaid shirts, an awkward preteen stage of...awkwardness, high school years that sung of mutual angst and change, and finally today, as young adults striving for the stars and believing that Pluto (planet and dog) received the shaft like whoa.

Clearly, good friends. So good of friends, in fact, that I know she will not mind me posting this picture:

Or this picture:

Or this one:

Why am I writing about Ms. Johnson? Because I just got back from a trip to her new Southern abode and thought of how far we've come from the smaller, younger, scruffier versions of ourselves almost 2-decades ago. And she's rather fantastic and seems to be blissfully unaware of the fact. Ergo, ego boost - rock out that new city, Missy!

That's an order. Or request. Or RFP. Your choice.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cupcakes were made to NOT outlast a celebration

I love cupcakes, as a previous entry may suggest. I love their size, their paper wrappers, their ability to make even the most hardened man look a like a little kid. Cupcakes are powerful and wonderful in my world.

But, today. Today, I fear that the all-mighty cupcake and I are reaching a breaking point.

“Oh, no! Why, Kristen? For all that is holy and pure and delicious in the world, why?” you cry.

Three words: Cupcake buffet overload.

For my family graduation celebration, I baked 10-dozen cupcakes. I frosted 10-dozen cupcakes. I served 10-dozen cupcakes. And today, 4-dozen cupcakes sit contently in my freezer, naïve to the pain they are causing me by their very existence.

I know this venture didn’t start in this anti-cupcake manner – it wasn’t always a sinkhole of flour, sugar, and butter. Once it was a beautiful party for my graduation. And I have pictures to prove it:

The set-up:
How Martha of me! Color-coordinated, labeled, and tiered! I just grabbed white bowls, flipped them over, and used Museum Wax to secure white plates for the cupcakes to rest upon. Call me a simpleton with vision.

The Grub: Vanilla

Plain and simple. For the classic palate.

The Grub: Lemon
Yes, these cupcakes are yellow and blue. Think school colors with a zesty finish.

The Grub: Carrot
The first cupcakes to go…because we forgot there was another dish in the other refrigerator.

Silver lining: They were fun to pipe. Dark, death-metal lining: I still have three bags of orange, green, and brown (see chocolate cupcake) icing in my house.

The Grub: Angel food
Loved by those who ate them; loathed by the rest of us. Sadly, 2- of the 4-dozen cupcakes in my freezer belong in the Angel food category.

The Grub: Pina Coloda
My absolute FAVORITE. Fun to make, fun to decorate, fun to eat.

Plus, the dried pineapple resembles a dorsal fin on a shark, so I was able to make a variety of Jaws references throughout the party. “Here are more cupcakes – oh, no! No room…I think we need a bigger boat!”

The Grub: Double Chocolate Chip with Mortar Boards
Winner of the whimsy award for the mortar board hat and tassel.

The hat? A solid wedge of milk chocolate – hello, sweetheart!

Once, these were dazzling cupcakes. Now, they are a slew of hockey puck sized weights in my freezer. Yes, my guests did their part – chatting, eating, and taking my comments of “Remember, I’m counting all of your cupcake wrappers before you leave” as jest. To their credit, they ate heartily, my brave party-goers, and still...

Still: 4-dozen cupcakes.


Cupcakes, anyone?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Everything is China [Video] - repost

From the Camp Champ China Mojo Blog, by your's truly:


I feel like I should have a shirt that says, "It's been three months and all I have to show for it is a 6-minute video."

It's been three months since our little band of MOJO-ers high-tailed it to northwesten China. Three months - good golly, Ms. Molly! I can't say it feels like yesterday, last week, or even last month that we traversed the Chinese landscape and bathed in the generosity of our hosts. It feels entirely like three months. I can say, however, that still feels real, which is more than I can say for my trips to Disney (at age 6 and 17, respectively). And that, ladies and gentlemen, says quite a lot, as I've been staring at the trip footage for, well, three months now.

Oh, yes: the footage. While waltzing along the Yellow River one day, it was brought to my attention by Dr. Rob Williams that even the most mundane activities were instantly cooler as a result of the little phrase " China." I lounged on a rock/seat/crevice and said, "I'm sitting on a China" and it was true! Sitting never looked so cool! Hence, the following retrospective, entitled "Everything is Cooler in China". All edited and ready for your enjoyment.

China. The land of the cool.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cupcakes were made to celebrate

Cupcakes. The mini-pleasantries of love and joy that we remember from childhood. A grade school birthday was never complete unless a plate of cupcakes was ceremoniously displayed, painstakingly passed out, and then ravaged in mere moments.

Reading that back, grade school sounds a lot like the Wild Kingdom.

Nonetheless: Cupcakes. As school has taught us, cupcakes are the best way to celebrate momentous events. Birthdays, weddings, graduations...

Yes, graduations. And by graduations I do mean mine. I submitted my last paper (a 50-page business plan) on Friday night and now I wait until that diploma arrives in the mail.

But I'm not going to wait. I'm going to celebrate - with cupcakes!

The Prep:
Observe: Carrot cake cupcakes in their oozy, sticky form.

The Result:
Observe: 8 dozen (soon to be 10), naked cupcakes.

The Beauty Shots:
Lemon cupcakes (Champlain blue and white)

Double chocolate chip cupcakes

Pineapple cupcakes (destined to be pina coloda)

Vanilla cupcakes

The Big Freeze: Take One
The cleanest my freezer has been in, well, forever.

The Big Freeze: Take Two
Frozen, organized cupcakes!

In two weeks these little beauties will make their graduation party debut - dressed to the nines in frosting and edible decorations. Until that day, I will refrain from freezing any items including, but not limited to: garlic, fish, onions, and Gorgonzola.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

China Diaries: Xinging and Xi’an by the numbers

China Re-hashing Time: The following entry was written for our CampChamp ChinaMojo blog. To read other impressions from the group, visit ChinaMojoVT's blog


June 4, 2009

It’s hard to process the trip on the fly AKA when tired/grumpy/has a stomach that is destined for the Moscow Circus in the high wire act. But numbers are easy to understand, so let me start there.

6 AM: The time I woke up to take a shower on top of the toilet. Yes, on top of the toilet. The shower head was not separate from the rest of the bathroom. An adventure in cleanliness, I like to call it.

100 Yuan: The bill I gave to a storekeeper to buy 8 bottles of water for our crew. She took the bill, looked at me, and laughed. Apparently, the water was only 2 Yuan/bottle – I got a lot of change back.

Two: The number of peach Fantas that were purchased at the Xi’an city wall. A long, enjoyable walk along the top of this wall made us all want a little refreshment. Miguel was the lucky purchaser of this nectar of carbonation with Rob soon to follow. Kat even got one at the Terracotta Soldiers cafe.

Hundreds: The number of parasols that visitors to the Terracotta Soldiers had thrown over their heads to protect them from the sun’s rays. Donna was coveting a few of the fashionable umbrellas – we even saw women wearing matching outfits to go with their parasols.

4D: The number of my seat on the plane to Xinging. A lot of turbulence, but we made it in one piece. Plus, I got a chance to scribble down yesterday’s events.

A lot: The number of toasts made by our host and Xinging delegates at dinner. The food was plentiful, tasty, and beautiful. The fruit juice and dog "pee" bread was a particular favorite. Now, I will roll to Skype and then to bed.

Tomorrow, after all, is spent with the Master. Need to be rested!

-Kristen (sans Twitter, Youtube, and WP)


Fun fact: There are two Great Walls of China. One is the physical one we all know, love, and cannot, in fact, see from space. The other is the Great Firewall of China - blocking the Internet access that I and my companions had grown accustomed. A day or two before our departure, this wall came to our attention and its existence caused a slight panic as it thoroughly blocked not only Twitter and YouTube, but also WordPress and Blogspot.

The solution to our problem was only determined the night before our flight, as we sat in Rob's childhood kitchen in New York: E-mail. We could e-mail our entries to the blog. It would just be text, but that was better than nothing.

Ingenuity - the Mojo way.

China Diaries: Tired is not a 4-letter word…but it should be

China Re-hashing Time: The following entry was written for our CampChamp ChinaMojo blog. To read other impressions from the group, visit ChinaMojoVT's blog


June 1, 2009

While many are far more articulate than I in describing where we are right now (Beijing) and how we got here (we flew – and boy are our arms tired!), allow me to pontificate on something that is hitting me right now, at this very moment:


I woke up at 5:30 AM Est. today after a rather fitful rest in a magnificent room (note to self: post pictures of the green bunny wallpaper). It is now 5:40 AM Est. (5:30 PM, China). And no, I did not sleep like a baby on the plane -although, to be truthful, there was a baby on the plane and I think he/she got just as much sleep as I. Like that baby, allow me to whine: I’m tired. Wah.

Now that’s out of my system. Our flight for Xi’an is at 6:30 PM China. I’ll keep on Skype until the last moment.

Nin’zao, East coast.


I feel that this is the best time to mention an unfortunate little event: My camera died in China. Due to this, you'll see a few "Notes to Self" in my entries that will never be fulfilled. The majority of my pictures survived the Incident**, as as I like to call it, but a few images will never be seen again. I wish the Incident had never happened, that I had all of my pictures and that I could have taken more.


I still went to China. I still flew over 13-hours, stayed for 2-weeks, and experienced a lifetime's worth of wonders. A photo or two would have been nice to document the experience for friends and family, but I'm still here, ready to share a story or two.

**The Incident occurred at a Buddhist retreat. I dropped the camera on my walk up to see the largest Buddha carved into the mountain. It then began to storm and the water added insult to injury for my poor little camera. The screen went white and all of the buttons stayed lit up, no matter what. It was only recently declared dead-as-a-doornail. Have fun in camera heaven!

China Diaries: Packing

China Re-hashing Time: The following entry was written for our CampChamp ChinaMojo blog. To read other impressions from the group, visit ChinaMojoVT's blog


May 30, 2009

It's Saturday. We depart for Newark on Sunday. Our plane (with us on it, one hopes) flies to Beijing on Monday.

What does this mean: Time to pack!

Before: The Chaos!!! Run in fear!!! Maybe not fear, but serious doubt. This is my attempt at packing light for 2-weeks in China...clearly, I fail in a very strong way. I failed so much, in fact, that I went out and bought a new, bigger, better bag mere moments after this picture was taken.


After: Serenity in two petite (as if) bags. My bags are rotund, I admit this. However, I can carry them around like a good independent women (mama taught me well) and will never be bored as a result! Of course, this is China we're talking about - boredom is an unlikely attraction.


T-minus 2 days.


Maurice. At the time I wrote this entry, Maurice was still just "that bag." The big bag that could fit all of my China needs (and more than a few luxuries that turned into needs as the trip progressed). That big bag with wheels, two compartments, and handles.

"Handles?" you ask, a slight frown on your face and a worried light in your eye, as if you don't truly want to know the answer but are lulled into asking by my overwhelming wit and Maurice's intriguing name.

Handles. Handles for hauling onto the check-in scales. Handles for tossing into vans. Handles for lifting up and down (and over and under) stairs in Beijing subways, because escalators are so last century, don't you know? How much I now appreciate good handles.

Maurice - a constant companion in black, silver, and yellow - now occupies my closet, waiting for the next big adventure.

No worries, Maurice. Our adventure is just around the next bend.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

China Logs: Let the Re-hashing Begin

The Travel Channel is running a China marathon and I can't help but to look a little forlornly at the television screen because...

I miss China.

The Xi'an City Wall, June 2009

It was just under two months ago when I joined a group of social media travelers and hopped across the other pond to a completely different, completely disarming culture. If the language didn't confuse the daylights out of me, it was the traffic, bathrooms, and proffered statements of piào liàng (漂亮) that did. But it was a content confusion - a confusion of wide-eyed wonder from an East coast bound American with very little to compare anything to, let alone comprehend in the moment.

Looking back, I think it's time to share a few of my China musings on this blog. My thoughts on the trip were posted to our ChinaMojoVT blog, but I think I'll migrate a few of my entries over here. Add a few comments to my "in the moment" renderings of two months ago.

Should be interesting.

And maybe it will make China seems closer to home, if only for a few minutes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Julie & Julia: Blogs & Letters

I've just returned from seeing Julie & Julia in a full, chortling theatre. As soon as the credits rolled, the applause started - for a movie. It was witty and charming and exactly what it needed to be. Julia was the icon we remember and Julie was us - joyful, struggling, mean, and oh-so human.

But what really got me was the reason we were able to see these portrayals: because of what they chose to leave behind.

[Okay, and an agent or two - but that's beside my point.]

Powell left behind a blog - The Julie/Julia Project. She wrote, cooked, and wrote some more. Gained a following, got media coverage, insert many other landmarks here, and then got a movie made about her endeavor.

The Child's left behind letters - copious letters to friends detailing their daily lives. They were never meant to be seen by those other than the recipients, and yet, the fact that someone somewhere laid their hands on this seemingly innocent pieces of paper makes it so we are able to "know" the Child's better.

And there is the rub: a blog is for the masses; a letter is for a single recipient.

The medium makes for quite the different story - the persona vs. the person.

Is this what we leave behind in the world of Web 2.0 - an airbrushed version of our life? No, it's not perfect - far from it in most cases - but it's not exactly real, either. We choose what we write. I choose to tell you that I saw Julie & Julia today. I choose to refrain from further detail about the rest of my day. I can also choose to delete it all if I want.

Yet, in letters, it's different. In the few (and I do say 'few') letters I've written in the last 5 years, it's easy to pour myself out onto the paper. I know my audience, our relationship, our history. I know that they know more than I write and, as such, I can be a truer version of myself. The letter is a document - historical, if you will. Permanent, save for a fire or water damage or an angry 5-year-old...okay, at least it's not made of zeros and ones.

Or maybe this is just jibber-jabber.

Julie & Julia made me wonder what will be left when we're no longer here.

Will you be a 30-minute meal or boeuf bourguignon?

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Career Formula is Laughable

"I'd like to be happy," I respond. I receive a chuckle and a quizzical look, but I still share a grin with my inquisitive conversational partner. The reaction's expected. I've answered with this sound bite before and I'll repeat it again in the future.

The question?

"So, what do you want to be after you graduate?"

It's not a conventional answer, my "happy" response. As a matter of fact, it could (and may well) be categorized as the wrong answer. I should say that I want to be a strategist or a gaffer or an account executive or a carnival worker. Really, anything would better than "happy" according to the look on most inquiring faces.

However, for me, that is my answer: I want to be happy. No matter the position, no matter the company, no matter the cubicle, office, or flickering light above my desk that facilities says is on the to-do list but has remained flickering for weeks, I want to be happy with my work.

Too broad? Too optimistic? Too sentimental? Maybe. But not lacking in metrics. Happiness, specifically at work, requires the following:
  1. Positively affecting others.
  2. Constantly expanding knowledge for personal, professional, and emotional growth.
That's my career formula. Basic, but mine. Idealistic, but mine. Laughable, but mine,

What's your formula?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My brillant idea: Biking

I own a bike. It is a nice bike: two wheels, a seat, brakes. It is blue.

Might I also add that the tires still have those little caterpillar feelers on them?

Yes, I own a bike but do I use it? That would be a hearty, "No."

Until recently, that is.

This week, I not only realized that one of my internships is next to the bike path, but my friends also realized this fact. And, being excellent people, I was inclined to agree to their request for an evening of joyous biking.

And it was joyous! Like flying, I say! Or flying with wheels. Or flying on the ground, with wheels. Or, perhaps it would be better to say that it was very similar to biking, which was exactly what we were doing.


Nonetheless, it was splendid (save for a rather sore bottom - darn those seats!) and I decided to do it again this morning.

Before: Look at the excitement that thumbs-up exudes!

After: Look at the excitement those...feet exude! Or exhaustion. Either/or.

After an epic 45-minutes (or 30-minutes, perhaps) to the tune of Josh Groban on my iPod, I returned triumphant - and promptly passed out in the garage. It was an elegant passing out, mind you. Only surpassed by the Russian ballet. Or stampeding elephants. Either way, I hit the deck moments after dismounting, fighting nausea like whoa. Note: No vomiting occurred in the making of this Fail Event.

Pathetic? Yes. Ever-so typical of my life? Yes, yes it was.

Maybe fewer hills next time. And yes, there will be a next time. (Maybe a small engine would help...)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Driving Ms. Coffee-Mobile

My car smells like coffee.

Praise be to all that is holy and NOT moldy!

I know, odd opener, eh? Allow me to expound:

Three weeks ago my car flooded. It rained. I was parked over a drain. On the bottom of a hill. To say the very least, the event caused half a gallon of water to make its home under my carpeting.

Silver Toyota smack in the middle? My lovely vehicle...taking a bath. Without my permission.

I vacuumed most of the water out with the Industrial Wet Vac of DOOM (Trademark pending) but there was this - oh, how to say it? - murky smell left over. Now, until this tragic event, my car smelled like a new. Yes, a brand-spanking new car with a brand-spanking new car smell. It was clean and shiny and it smelled awesome...until my precious little Toyota decided it wanted to play Noah and the Ark, that is.

It's been three weeks and after many nights with open windows, one or two additional vacuum sessions, and 90 bags of Green Mountain Coffee** smells, well, like coffee. Which, really, is better than mold, so I put this in the "Way-to-go, girlfriend" column.

Now I drive a cafe on 4-wheels. If only I drank coffee...

**"90 bags of Green Mountain Coffee? Two points, 1)Did you rob a store and 2) May I have some of that jivin' java?" 1) No. I intern at GMCR and needed to transport a number of Fair Trade Organic coffees to a building far, far away. I also hauled the coffees up 2-flights of stairs, if I do say so myself. 2) Well, yes, just not the one's I picked up. Buy it yourself - it smells great, so it must taste pretty good.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Too much to do in too little time

It's in poor taste to complain about good opportunities. Good opportunities that only fall into the complaining category due to the fact that one, such as myself, has too many of them.

Yes, you heard me: Too many good things are happening to me.

I have three - count 'em - three internships: One for agency PR, one for corporate PR, and one for video production. I also have a part-time job and two classes to complete this summer. And now, thanks to wonderful people thinking well of me, I have a chance to work on another video project for a state-wide concert series.

The truth: I never saw any of it coming.

Yes, I worked very hard these opportunities to magically appear - I "stalked" two of my bosses AKA submitted letters of interest in October of last year, pulled out more than a few miracles in my video classes, and lined up good quality work to show whomever I stumbled upon. And yet, this shower of work-oriented blessings blindsided me. Pure and simple.

Now, I find myself looking at the descriptors of "detail-oriented" and "problem-solver" on my resume and going, "Well, I suppose this summer has shown that I really, truly am. But can I be with another item on my plate?"

One more plate to spin. A gilded, beautiful plate, but still, another plate.

Did I mention I really, really like that plate, too?

I suppose this now means that I am in poor taste. Complaining about opportunities. What a silly thing to complain about.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thank you, Amanda at Edelman Digital

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for speaking with me earlier this month to discuss your emerging guru status at Edelman Digital. I appreciate the time and care you put into telling me about your views of new media and listening to my laundry list of questions about the industry. For that alone, you deserve an award.

With you as proof, Edelman sounds like both a challenging and exciting place for young professionals to get their feet wet in the industry. With the growing demand for digital campaigns, I'm eager to see what my education, skills, and experience can add to the this realm of public relations. As someone who just returned from China, a place where social media is only budding, I can say that digital media literally lives on the frontier.

Again, thank you for your time and insights. I very much look forward to speaking with you in the future – with such interesting Tweets, I’m interested to see what else you have up your sleeve. In addition, if you have any recommendations of other professionals that I could speak with at Edelman, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity. Please feel free to contact me here, by email (, or on Twitter (mercurek).

Yours truly,

Kristen Mercure

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

China Disconnect

I knew my return from the Middle Kingdom would be a shock. The time-change (12 hours), the food (...what, no pickled beets for breakfast?), the sheer number of Westerners.

But I did not anticipate my greatest shock: Plugging back in.

In China, I was unplugged, in part by choice and in part due to the location. I did not bring my laptop or cellphone with me; and even when I was at a computer, the Great Fire Wall of China did not allow me to surf the Internet in a normal manner.

Therefore, when I woke up in Vermont yesterday morning (...okay, afternoon), I anxiously waited as my computer booted up and my browser popped up with my bookmarks: Blogs, news, Twitter, Facebook, comics, and e-mails.

[Oh, the e-mails. One address alone had over 100 unread messages, many of which I have no idea how to respond as I've been out of the loop for 14-days. Some face-to-face time with the senders will improve my response time. At least, I hope.]

But I hesitated. I hovered over my Twitter log-in and thought, "Would it hurt to push this off for just a little while longer?" It's difficult to go from such an acute connection to the digital world to an all encompassing one. For two weeks, I blogged on my trip to China via e-mail and that's it. No Twitter, Facebook, or RSS Feeds. I'll admit that the initial severance was disorienting - where was my connection to the outside world? The answer to that question turned out to be, "Right outside your door." I talked to people. I walked, climbed, and Skyped with them. Interpersonal communication was my mode of connection in China and I got accustomed to it.

So accustomed, in fact, that the prospect of reconnecting gave me more than a moment or two of pause. Did I really want to open up the new media can of beans again?

Yes. Yes, I did. I updated my status on Facebook, Tweeted my adventures, and logged on to this very blog.

China disconnect over; Vermont connection complete.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Go West, my friend!

China is only 2 days away. Two days. I can't wrap my mind around it and yet, I've managed to get my packing done. Of course, I had to go out and buy a new bag and the entire thing may weigh that of a small child, but who really cares about that?

...other than my parents, that is.

As I'll be in China very soon, I'm sending anyone who reads along with me to our group's official China Mojo blog:

You'll get to follow our entire journey through our writings, photos, and videos. I know it'll a pretty fabulous/overwhelming/exciting experience, so come along with least, through our blog!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Self Promotion Graduation Style

Self promotion is never comfortable. And why should it be? The act itself goes against our most basic family-taught values: Humility, selflessness, community. To truly embody these qualities when trying to get a job, promotion, or merely make a business connection is to forfeit to the other guy - the guy that steps up and says, "I think I'm rather spectacular and here's why."

The truth is that self promotion is absolutely necessary and yet most of us hate to do it. My solution to this dreaded necessity: humor.

My example: Graduation

I graduated* from college yesterday. I did this dressed in a black gown and mortar board among 438 graduates of the same attire. My parents were never going to find me in that crowd and I was never going to be able to spot myself in pictures in the future. So, I decided to become a billboard.

With yellow electrical tape and a whole lot of glee, I crafted a message on my hat for the world to read:


In these two little words I showed three things about myself:

1. I'd like a job.
2. I utilize the resources I have and know how to use media (see image, courtesy of the the Burlington Free Press).
3. I have a sense of humor and don't take myself too seriously.

This was my 4-hour attempt at self promotion and it paid off in my networking. I spoke to people I never knew, got business cards, and managed to get enough pictures taken of me to make my eyes go wonky. This was my style of self promotion: Short, sweet, and to the point.

Yes, self promotion is not comfortable. But as long as you can find places where you can bring a bit of yourself into the process, it can be bearable. And even a little fun, but don't tell anyone I said that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Business Casual: Don't dress like a pirate


It keeps up warm, fashionable, and, well, clothed. I would go as far as to say that it's one of those bare necessities of life (Oh, the puns), but I feel like food, water, and shelter are more deserving of the title.

And yet, there are days when clothing is just a pain to figure out. Say, for example, on first dates. Or holidays. Or 5AM yoga. For this budding fashionista with a Sesame Street color pallet, nowhere does this pain flare more vehemently than when trying to find a little thing called "business casual."

According to, a business causal dress code "needs to be suitable for the workplace. It should be clean, unwrinkled, and look professional. Also, business casual clothing should not be too revealing."

That's all fine and dandy, but let's get down to the truth of the matter: Business casual is about contradictory conjunctions. It's fancy, but not. It's comfortable, and yet not really. It's beige, though not too beige. In fact, you may even be able to wear a decorative pin shaped like an eccentric version of the Eiffel Tower - however, not too eccentric, mind you.

I'm just waiting for someone to say, "Be yourself...but better/less/without electric blue nylons."

The marriage of business casual and the many versions of "but" makes sense in the workplace. Employees need to feel mobile and professional. Clients need to see happy and qualified employees. The right outfit makes both of these constraints a reality.

Therefore, as I endeavor to find the perfect closet of business casual ensembles (without doubling over with shopping pain), I will keep one wise, credit-oriented jingle in mind:

"They say a man should always dress for the job he wants
so why am I dressed up like a pirate in this restaurant."

Pirate apparel is not business casual. If I can remember this, all will be okay.

I hope.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Internet Brings Me My Little Ponies

I wrote an entry a while back about the new style of interpersonal communication with new media - namely, the lack of personal communication. Frankly, texting, e-mailing, and surfing the net on a PDA during a conversation with someone is a huge pet peeve. I know the academic/business world is wired - I mean, I'm pretty dialed-in, too.

However, there are moments when I see the beauty in the Internet: the series of tubes that connects people.

I have never been to Texas, but in today's mail I received a package from Dava in Waco, Texas. I've never meet Dava and have no idea what she looks like or how she even sounds. But I know of her work - Kimono's Townhouse. I read her updates every week and laugh in a fairly unattractive manner because, well, it's geek humor with My Little Ponies and that makes me very, very happy.

As a direct result of the Internet and its ability to draw people of similar humors together, I received a box from Texas. A very fun box from Texas.

Clockwise from the upper left: A plastic Easter egg, a mini box of nerds, a mini boom box prop from the comic, and a miniature My Little Pony sticker.

This is why I love what the Internet can do - from forums to customer reviews to social media. No, not the free stuff (although, there is quite a bit of it). It connects different people from different places with different lives and puts them on the same platform. The entire concept was once via pen pals and hand held radios, but now it's grown to a tremendous audience of potential acquaintances.

To me, that's pretty cool - even if welcomes people texting in the middle of a conversation.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Internet - a seductive medium of technological wiles and candy

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click. ~Author Unknown

Some days...well, some days I don't get it.

Like many of my contemporaries, I grew up on the Internet. I remember tagging along with my mother to her college computer lab and getting to use Web Crawler to find games. I remember the day we got a Dell computer with dial-up to go in Netscape - so high-tech. I remember when I started my first blog in the 9th grade.

I grew up on the Internet. But now, I'm on it. I'm one with the Internet - plugged into the Matrix, so to speak. I'm e-mailing, Facebooking, tweeting, blogging, uploading, downloading, doing the hokey pokey and turning myself around. Apparently, that's what it's all about.

With this degree of connectivity this is what I fail to understand: When sitting next to me in a cafe, how is it useful to Facebook me on your Crackberry to get me to look at a viral video on YouTube that someone Tweeted you?

Interpersonal communication is changing. Or maybe it's just etiquette.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sharing Trial and Error

As a soon-to-be graduate, my experiences - from work to school to life - tend to fall into the category of Trial and Error (and yes, this category does indeed garner capitalization). I'm a planner from way back, but there's only so much lists, labels, and scheduling can get you before you actually have to do what you're planning. I know, that's a shocker.

My current exploration into Trial and Error land deals with client work. From PSAs and promo videos to brochures to news release, clients make everything real - and hard. I have no problem relaying that I've made some mistakes...okay, many how I've worked my clients. So, allow me to share what little wisdom I've gained so you can look 10 times smarter than the average, pre-graduated bear.

  1. Patience is not just a virtue - it is a necessity. You may have an idea of what you want to do, but your client cannot see through your eyes. Explain everything in a manner that makes sense - JARGON= no. Plus, with patience comes...
  2. Listening skills. Listen and learn, ladies and gents. You are not an Egyptian deity (unless you are, in which case, wow!) - omnipotence is not a skill you have in your toolbox.
  3. Communication: Let it be constant! I'm talking weekly updates, people. And if they're not reciprocating, ask why! Is it the medium of communication? The time of the week/day you communicate? The fact that you use emoticons after every sentence? :(
  4. Rates. Yes, the most uncomfortable thing ever, but you have to put your rate on the table in the beginning. In writing. You don't want to feel jilted and they don't want to feel sideswiped. Let financial transparency reign!
  5. Time lines - have them. Start and end dates (even if they fluctuate later). Period.
  6. Smile and breathe. Smiling helps everything - your mood, their mood, the Ozone layer... Okay, so I can't attest to the last item. Breathing helps you stay alive. Better moods and existence are key to happy projects.
That's my list for now. I have little doubt that there is more to come. Trial and Error is quite an interesting place to be. I only hope that it decides to change it's name to Trial and Success sooner than later.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The lastest Case Study:

Some days, the sight of missed PR opportunities makes me cringe.

And others, it makes me drool.

Today is a drooling kind of day, ladies and gentlemen.

It began simply enough: Shower. Breakfast (...or an apple followed by a mint as I ran out the door). Classes. RSS Feeds. Ah, the Feeds, specifically Tammy Pierce's Blog. And then as many blogs, articles, Tweets, and comments as I could get my hands on.

May I present AmazonFail 2009? Welcome to AmazonFail, where Amazon removes GLBT literature from sales rankings and search results claiming it to be "adult content" while keeping sex toys listed in the search bar. It's a new "glitch," according Amazon reps. Of course, this removal started in February, but sure, it's a brand-spankin' new "glitch."

The funny thing? At this point, it doesn't matter if it really is a glitch that removed this content - the Internet has taken this and run with it. This is Word of Mouth at it's Web 2.0 best - Blogosphere, Twitter, FB, Cafepress.

And Amazon's response?


The statement sent to inquiring news media, as linked to above. Nothing on it's homepage. Nothing in the media room online. No responses to social media. Just the original "glitch" quote to throw around until it gets limp and tired.

All I have to say: Crisis PR. You're doing it wrong.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Marketing: An Understanding

With graduation approaching at a devilishly quick pace, I've been thinking a lot about my future employment.

"What shall I do?" I ask myself.
"Something that will make you happy," I reply.
"...that's not a very helpful answer, Self," I say.
"Hey, I'm not Buddha, okay. Deal," I retort.

Clearly, my internal ramblings don't get me very far.

However, this topic has forced me to evaluate whether or not what my preferred field is actually what I think it is.

(BTW, thankfully, it is. At least, from what I've gathered.) Through my research I've stumbled upon the typical, "Understanding Marketing" analogies, AKA advertising is a sign about the circus.

I knew the Circus analogy. I did not hear the dating one:

"Understanding Marketing:

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them and say, "I’m fantastic in bed."

That’s Direct Marketing.

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a fabulous girl/guy. You have one of your friends approach them, point at you and say, "She’s/He’s fantastic in bed."

That’s Advertising.

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them to get their telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I’m fantastic in bed."

That’s Telemarketing.

You’re at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. You get up, straighten your clothes, walk up and pour them a drink. You open the door, pick up their bag after it drops, offer them a ride, and then say, "By the way, I’m fantastic in bed."

That’s Public Relations.

You’re at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. They walk up to you and say, "I hear you’re fantastic in bed."

That’s Brand Recognition." (Glomped from Jokes-O-Matic)

Use this for college students and all marketing questions will be solved. And put into practice outside the classroom...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Amy's Remix

Stumbled upon this video...completely out of the blue...not like I made

Not my best work but a great experiment in chroma keying and motion. I can't wait to get to play with it more!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Mystery Revealed!

Twitter. I may be closer to understanding you.

"How?" you may ask. Well...

1. I read things like this (Press release for The Cookie Diet) and go: o_0

2. I think, "People must see this messaging insanity!"

3. I go to Twitter and share the Link-O-Insanity.

4. People share in my disgust and pass the link on.

Ah, Twitter: I may just get you yet!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Talk What You Like Radio Talk Show

I just finished my 2009 MOJO Student Ambassador's radio interview with Hector Guzman, the Student Ambassador Maestro and web extraordinaire! It was a lot of fun and I hope that people will take a listen - even if my nervous energy resulted in "Vermont is not Canada" and/or "Vermont is small" jokes.

Kristen's Interview (30 minutes)


Thursday, February 12, 2009

E-Pitch: The first round of editing

Against my sense of self-preservation, I signed up for Champlain College's 2nd Annual Elevator Pitch Competition. For those who do not know, an elevator pitch is a brief persuasive overview for a product, an idea, or, in my case, a person. "Brief" literally refers to the time it takes to ride an elevator, less than 90-seconds.

So, what am I pitching? Myself, of course. Or, more specifically, I'm pitching myself to a "Suit" for a job opportunity in PR. It looks deceptively simply, but it's anything but. In fact, it's rather difficult. I've been working on my pitch since I signed up in January and there have been many, many drafts. Below you will find my most current version (still in need of cutting/reworking). It's my most likely candidate as the preliminary round is next Tuesday - *insert worried sound here*

Could you hold the door, please? Thank you.

Excuse me, but are you John Doe of John Doe and Company?

-Yes, I am.

It's wonderful bumping into you. Hi, I'm Kristen Mercure. I'm a senior (graduating?)Mass Communications major at Champlain College. I believe we spoke briefly at the (internship fair/job fair/lecture) on campus last semester/month. Thank you, by the way. You helped to point me in the right direction for my current internship at XYZ Inc. It's exactly as you described - extremely hands-on with plenty of writing and client interaction - plus, I've learned to make a mean cup of coffee. Who knows, in this job market some quality barista skills may be helpful down the line.

Actually, I've just started to search for positions in the public relations industry for when I graduate in August. It's never too early to start looking and making connections, especially with media relations, which is what I'm interested in. I've had some invigorating client experience with a few local organizations in the food and higher education industries, as well as professional organizations. The public relations materials I've creared have shown me that being a communications architect for small, deserving organizations that need to get their message out there and have no idea how to do it is extremely appealing. And scary, admittedly, but that's half the appeal. In the end, I'd like to find a position where I can work with a variety of clients unaccustomed to the benefits of public relations and to upgrade their communication with the public. It's about shaping a message, I suppose - creating new industry for a new world.

Oh, I see that your floor is coming up. Would you mind if I call you next week to continue this conversation? I’d love to hear your perspective on the industry. Here’s my card, and if may have your’s?

Wonderful. It was nice running into you, ______. I’ll be in touch with you next week. Have a great day!

Now, to rip this thing a part and practice, practice, practice!

Monday, February 9, 2009

China Stress

China stress is in full bloom. Rotating dates, upcoming deposits, dwindling numbers, and a soliciation letter that refuses to reach it's conclusion has attacked this blogger in the last few weeks.

This blogger is not content.

However, I rememeber: China. China and Ningxia. China, Ningxia, and monks. China, Ningxia, monks, and international schools.

It's worth it. It'll be worth it.

On that note, here is my offical China Info/Fundraising page. I especially like the color combination.

Now, off to continue the stress via family soliciation. Perhaps I should bring something to protect myself...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kristen Goes to China

Living in Vermont, I've been to Canada (namely, Quebec, or more specifically, Montreal) a handful of times in my life. I love Canada as any quality person of French-Canadian descent should. I eat goulash, have been to the Biodome far too often, and feel that, if necessary, I could return to my ancestors’ homeland to flee for my life and/or save the world.

However, this appreciation for Canada also highlights a reality of my life: I've never left North America. Truthfully, I've never left the eastern portion of North America (Fun fact: I've driven through every eastern coastal state in the United States). There are plenty of reasons for this, of course: Lack of time, lack of money, lack of...time. Okay, so the reasons are more like excuses and are rather poor ones at that. I suppose, the public deserves to hear the truth of the matter.

It all comes down to this: travel abroad concerns me. Okay, perhaps terrify would be more appropriate. The thought of embarking on a journey - getting on a plane, landing in a country, exploring the land - sends shivers down my spine. I am the first person to admit that this is not a rational fear, but it is based on facts.

Fact 1: Foreign countries are new, ergo full of possibility, the bad kind.
Fact 2: There is no safety net abroad - no family, no friends, no police who would understand that, "No, officer, that cocaine was NOT in my purse when I entered the airport. Clearly, I have been used by a drug ring" (See Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason).
Fact 3: I know this place, I know these people, I speak the language (fairly well, although that are days in which I feel as if I have lost my mastery) - three things that I do not have abroad.

But I do dream of it - being a woman of the world. I don't want to be a tourist. Yes, I am trigger happy with my camera, but that's for documentation purposes only. I want to live the culture, be the country for a time. I want to take my Facts and use them for good: To embrace the unknown, to find new safety nets, to learn about the place, the people, the culture.

Of course, this was just a dream. I was never going to do anything about it. It's like imagining winning the Oscar for Best Actress - I have my acceptance speech ready ("Oh my, I never imagined this day would come..."), but I'm not exactly preparing to procure a role in which such a speech would be awarded. To be a woman of the world - a beautiful, intangible dream.

Until now.

In the winter of 2008, China fell from the sky. Metaphorically, of course. My Contemporary Media Issues professor at Champlain College, Rob Williams, presented an opportunity to visit northwestern China in the summer of 2009 through the New Student Ambassador's 2009 MOJO Service Camp experience. This is not a normal trip abroad - it's an adventure with a mission:

First, we're visiting untouched, rural China that is facing major migration issues.
Second, it's a trip of service and goodwill, including assisting a monastery, teaching English, and setting up the groundwork to establish a private school in the region.
Third, we're going to China as mobile journalists (MObile JOurnalism - catchy, no?) to share the experience, the people, and the culture with our North American colleagues.

China is an expansive country that has managed to maintain a sense of mystery to Westerners. However, in the world economy where intercultural communications is key, that shroud is no longer acceptable. It's time to learn, to see, to understand. Through the MOJO Service Camp, this is a possibility.

And so, with the appearance of the Chinese Ningxia (Ning-shay) province at my doorstep, it made sense to face my fear and make my limited North American travel history, well, history. I can travel abroad with a group of dedicated, passionate, and intrigued individuals and start my woman of the world journey.

But I need your help.

Remember one of my travel excuses - money? It's still a valid excuse as the trip to China will cost $3,000 in total. I can cover some of that, but, as a working college student, that "some" is not enough. So, to paraphrase the ancient Chinese curse, perhaps if I "get everything I ask for" I "may live in interesting times." For this experience, I welcome such this curse at my doorstep.

If you can, please make your contribution securely through this Chip-In widget to my PayPal account. From a Canadian-traveled girl from Vermont, I thank you so very much.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Looking Down

I look down when I walk alone. It’s a habit I picked up in high school when it was a lot easier to focus on the floor than make awkward eye contact with a complete stranger (or worse, someone I vaguely knew) in an empty hallway. Despite the positive or negative nature of my little habit, it does help in the observation of the world around me. Or, more honestly, the world just below the ankles of my fellow pedestrians.

So, I notice footwear. From shoes to boots to sandals to nothing at all, I instantly look to people’s feet when I walk. This is an entirely self-preserving practice, one that was again cultivated in my early teens to look somewhat normal in a crowd – or, better yet, not to be noticed at all. For instance, if I noticed enough people wearing sandals in March, I knew that it wouldn’t be entirely foolish to pull out my Tevas. If I saw classmates with barn boots in November, I could wear mine without too much fear of scorn. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that anyone a) really cared about my potentially embarrassing footwear, and b) looked at my feet at all, as shoes are one of the last things that most people seem to notice on a daily basis. Nonetheless, my search for proper attire below my ankles has flourished to this day.

With my eyes to the ground, my internal footwear catalogue has blossomed – too bad my shoe collection hasn’t followed that trend.

I wonder what other people see when they look down.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Big Bird, China, and Me

My first glance at China was through the eyes of Big Bird. With CTW's production of Big Bird in China (and the magic of VHS player and my patient parents), I went to China over and over again and saw magic. There were mythical phoenixes, dancing monkeys, beautiful writing, and stone lions that came to life. To my elementary mind, China was magical, plain and simple. And that still holds true today, just in a different light. A light that, ironically, Big Bird himself mentioned in the movie, saying:

"Well, what a good thing it would be if a great big American bird went to meet that beautiful Chinese bird! I mean, she could tell me everything about China, and then I could come home and tell everybody here!"

I'd like to be Big Bird. I never thought I'd utter or write that sentence for the whole world (okay, that's a hyperbole) to read. But in this instance, it makes sense to me, to be Big Bird.

And it's possible - The 2009 Spring Student Ambassador MOJO Experiment makes it possible. It's almost too much to grasp - me, in China? But it's real, tangible.

Now, I may be able to see China through my own eyes, all thanks to Big Bird.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

And the fat lady Tweets

Ever since finishing this article about the expansion of social media in 21st century life, I've wondered. Yes, wondered. I've wondered about this idea of ambient awareness, virtual connectivity, and the addictive nature of micro-blogging, Web 3.0, and creating your own identity defined by 0s and 1s.

I've wondered... and realized that wondering does very little to confirm or deny my curiosity. Action is where the answers lie.

In my life, I have acted as a member of the "9" in the 1-9-90 rule (90% of users are "lurkers," 9% of users contribute from time to time, 1% of users participate very often and account for most of the contributions ). I maintain two blogs (one for 7 years, the other here), contribute the occasional video to YouTube, and finally created a Facebook account last year. And yet, I'm not truly active in creating content, in my own opinion.

So, why not do something that requires little attention to create a lot of content?

It's called Twitter and now I tweet here. 160 characters to make the most mundane elements of my day worthy of 15-minutes in the limelight. Maybe now I can start to get some questions answered.

But I still think I'll be wondering by the end of this...