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Puerto Rico – Areas for improvement

If there’s one thing that bothers me about Puerto Rico, it is its incredibly wasted potential.

The island has a tremendous wealth of natural resources that, with a properly motivated workforce, could provide a lot of people with jobs and a stronger sense of nationalistic pride. Currently, there is a severe lack of forward thinking that prevents the island’s potential to be fully realized. Something like 30% of the jobs on the island are government jobs. When the government starts slashing budgets, that number suddenly becomes a huge burden on the rest of the tax payers on the island. Additionally, if the average person in Puerto Rico wasn’t so hellbent on getting money for doing absolutely nothing, and if the exceptionally corrupt and incompetent Puerto Rican government could get its head out of its ass, it wouldn’t take much to make Puerto Rico a center of innovation and growth in the Caribbean, particularly because of its history of economic ties to the United States.

In an ideal world – and let’s be real, the likelihood of this happening is practically non-existent because of the bureaucratic nonsense the government has all but trademarked – there are three main areas into which Puerto Rico could really re-invest its energies to get back on top: tourism, agriculture and green technology. They may not solve all the problems plaguing the island, but they would be a step in the right direction.

Tourism – the island is already a hot spot for tourism in the Caribbean, but it’s primarily for the cruise ships that come into San Juan. The majority of the island remains untapped for tourism so much so that it takes an especially intrepid vacationer to venture out to the rest of island, braving the winding country roads and kamikaze drivers. Investing heavily in tourism would provide a solid foundation for economic growth and could turn Puerto Rico into a tropical destination to rival Hawaii. A lot of the same draws are present – beaches, tropical weather, hiking, watersports, etc. – but the apathy towards ecological preservation prevalent in the local culture has prevented many of those activities from being fully exploited. Were the government to emphasize the importance of bringing in a larger quantities of tourist traffic (rather than blatantly ignoring the large quantity of drug trafficking), there would be an influx of cash from abroad.

Agriculture – At one point, Puerto Rico was a huge agricultural hub in the Caribbean. The sugar cane fields fed the rum manufacturers and the rum manufacturers made huge amounts of money. Castillo Seralles in Ponce is a perfect testament testament of how that one single crop could bolster the economy of an entire region. Sadly, the days of large agricultural plantations are long gone and there is a stigma – particularly among younger people – about working in the fields. The climate in Puerto Rico is perfectly suited for a variety of high-end agricultural products – sugar, coffee, specific types of tropical fruits, spices, rum – that if properly regulated and subsidized, could help bolster the local economy and reinvigorate communities that have dwindled since the decline of the agriculture industry.

Castillo Serralles – a castle built upon rum.

Green Technology -There are large swaths of land in Puerto Rico that would be perfect for the development of solar energy companies. Likewise, there are uninhabited hills and mountains that are prime real estate for wind farms. The island gets TONS of sunlight and its fairly windy, so after taking into account the occasional hurricane, it has more than enough land area for it to successfully transition into a country that would benefit greatly from the advent of companies focusing on Green Tech. The island also has a large workforce of trained engineers that work at the many pharmaceutical factories so it stands to reason that the intellectual capital required to jumpstart the industry is already in place and would just need to be re-targeted. Unfortunately, Green Tech would probably be the hardest area of economic development to gain traction in Puerto Rico because of the government’s involvement. Since so many officials are so unbelievably corrupt, it would take an act of God to get the ball rolling on this one. Changing the prevalent views on recycling (which is practically non-existent on the island) would likely be the first step to change.

I’m sure there are many other areas of development that could pull Puerto Rico out of it’s seemingly bottomless economic downward spiral, but these three are the ones that strike me as the most plausible. They have the infrastructure in place and frankly the biggest hurdle is simply the mindset of the local people. The sad thing is that unless there is a drastic shift, the island’s natural resources will all be squandered on greed and it will just end up as a massive land fill.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Puerto Rico – Caught Between Two Worlds

Since I was recently in Puerto Rico dealing with a rather unenviable set of events, I’ve decided to dedicate the next few blog posts to the Isle of Enchantment. For this initial post, I want to address a few macro-level observations that might not be immediately apparent if you stay inside of the touristy areas of Old San Juan. For all it’s tropical charm and cruise line appeal, Puerto Rico is a country at a bizarre crossroads of culture, language, politics and even, against common sense, time period. I grew up spending my summers with my grandparents, who lived in the San Juan area, so my observations are purely based on gathered experience rather than extensive sociological research. Take them with a grain of salt.

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, a territory of the United States and a spoil of war from the often-overlooked Spanish American War in 1898. It is neither a state, nor it’s own independent country and that ambiguous classification stemming from a war over a century ago is the foundation for the island’s odd “will-they, won’t they” relationship with the United States and on a much larger level, I would propose, why so much surrounding the island seems like a contradiction. A lot of the politics on the island revolve around the question of statehood but at the same time the politicians truly seem to truly embrace the corruption that’s commonplace in neighboring Latin American countries. Politicians from all three major parties invoke nationalistic pride, all with the same fervor but to competing ends. Puerto Rico is caught in the middle of two dramatically different international goals – statehood and independence – and the fact of the matter is that the risk/benefit ratio of either is far less appealing to the general populace than retaining and maintaining the status quo. That’s why when you hear American politicians – particularly GOP candidates – talking about supporting Puerto Rican statehood, it’s best just to nod politely at their ignorance and acknowledge that they are merely pandering to get the Latino vote. The likelihood of it actually happening is about the same as one of them knowing what tostones are.

Culturally speaking, Puerto Ricans are some of the proudest people when it comes to their national heritage. If you have any question, just grab a seat and watch the Puerto Rican day parade in New York City. While I may personally be embarrassed by the trashy people that walk down the street blowing whistles and wearing the Puerto Rican flag as bandanas, shirts and thongs, it’s a fairly good indicator that we are not sheepish about our heritage. The aspect of it all that confuses me, however, is that it’s an incredibly mixed message. Puerto Ricans in their current incarnation are descendants of the island’s indigenous tribe the Taino people, the wealthy (or exiled) Spanish land owners and the African slaves they brought with them. As a result, modern day Puerto Ricans are incredibly varied in ethnic background and skin tone, despite being uniformly and vocally of one cultural background. So while there’s a veritable rainbow when it comes to skin color, everyone shares a familiarity based on that diversity and because of the shared language – Spanish. Yet despite this common denominator, there’s a disconnect. Spanish, while being the primary language of the island, has become a hybrid of English and Spanish that ends up diluting both languages until people aren’t speaking either. Purity of language no longer exists in Puerto Rico and it’s a testament to the Americanization of the culture. Pride in Puerto Rican culture as something distinct from American culture, it seems to me, is thus somewhat of an oxymoron because the overlap, particularly in the use of language, blurs the line between them to such a degree that they are quickly becoming one and the same.

Puerto Rico sits at the juncture between the old and the new. Cars are either rusty junkers, kept together by duct tape and prayer, or brand-new brand-name cars. Houses are either dilapidated, hurricane beaten cement block houses or well-kept, high-end dwellings with satellite TVs and and luxury pools. The old Spanish style buildings still make up the center of most of the towns throughout the island, but the incidence of McDonald’s, Burger Kings and other distinctly American locales in the surrounding areas are very much juxtaposed to the Spanish colonial style. And while we’re on the subject of eateries, it has always amazed me the sheer quantity of fast food restaurants throughout the island. Coupled with the criollo restaurants on the side of the road that serve every type of deep fried delicacy you can imagine from meat filled empanadas to cheese filled pastries called quesitos, the combination of local traditional food with the hyper-processed American fast food, there really is no mystery why there is such a high incidence of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. I guess that makes Puerto Rico a lot like Middle America in that respect – only our food tastes infinitely better. This is not a matter of opinion, it is scientific fact.

When I would visit my grandparents, I would spend a lot of time with people in their age group, friends and family that rarely were ever younger than 70 years old, and all of them would feed me copious amounts of delicious food. As a result, when I went to their homes I saw glimpses into the way things used to be. Like many other islands in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico made it’s mark on the world by being a large producer/exporter of sugar cane and it’s highly sought after end result – rum. Agriculture was an extremely large part of the culture, a way to distinguish the rich from the poor, and the origin of so many of the traditions on the island. As the decades went on, Agriculture diminished as Government work became the leading employment opportunity. Both my grandfathers worked in some way for the government. When I think back at the furniture – the desks in particular – and the assorted decorations that filled my grandparents houses, I can’t help but be reminded of the spartan modernist Mad Men feel of the 1960s, a perfectly preserved and still functional microcosm of the past. While there are a lot of places that fervently and desperately strive to be at the forefront of the “new” – especially in the touristy areas of San Juan – there are many parts of the island that retain that Cold War era feeling, which, coupled with the heavy Spanish influences from the colonial period and the almost third world qualities of the the more rural areas in the mountains, makes Puerto Rico is a very difficult cultural cultural ecosystem to describe. The travel websites may sell an image of an island tropical paradise, but there is far more than beautiful beaches and palm trees at play in Puerto Rico – but yeah, we have those too.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Until the next time we meet…

I buried my grandmother last Monday. The night she passed away, the skies opened up, the first rainstorm in over a week, with thunder and massive streaks of lighting tearing up the black sky. It seems fitting now – my grandmother always loved a good show.

She was 82 and my last living grandparent. She was born Olga Lugo Acosta in a small town on the southern part of Puerto Rico called Yauco, which to this day is renowned throughout the island for both its cafetales (coffee plantations), it’s multi-colored houses that run up the side of the hills and a mess of interconnected family that would require a diagram, glossary and Rosetta stone to decipher.  I can only speak from my own experiences with my grandmother, but given the turnout at her wake and her funeral, I can safely assume that she was as kind and generous with her love with me as she was with countless others and that I will not be the only one who will be reflecting on her impact on his life.

My grandmother could be stubborn lady. As long as I can remember, she had been diabetic, taking daily insulin shots with a dexterity only gained through years of necessity. Instead of resigning herself to the health issues old age brought, she faced them head on every day, heading to the doctor’s office on what seemed to be a daily basis. She made friends with the nurses and doctors in the medical offices she frequented and she always took the time to give her saludos and find out how their respective sons or daughters were doing in school.

That was the thing about my grandmother – while she was stubborn about certain things like her health or her insistence on sneaking a little cake or dancing when she really shouldn’t have, she was the epitome of what I imagine a grandmother could and should be. She had an uncanny way of connecting with anyone, usually with her disarming smile, her welcoming laugh or through a reassuring grip on your arm. If you knew her long enough, you weren’t just another person to talk to, you became another member of the family, another child of hers she readily loved – or lectured if the situation called for it. Just ask her next door neighbor, who now goes by Brother Jerry or Cady, my wife, which she unfailingly asked about every time I called. Family was everything to her, so it was no mystery that everyone she knew became family. For me, as her only grandchild for many years until my younger cousin came along, I must have received the full measure of her enormous heart because my earliest memories of her all involve her taking care of me – of her making delicious rice & beans or her award winning pumpkin flan.

She was far too young to be taken. Eighty-two hardly seems like enough time for someone who still had so much left to do. Last year she went to Spain for three weeks with my parents. Her pictures from that trip were incredible and would make even the most seasoned traveler envious. When she got back, she started talking about the next trip she wanted to take – Las Vegas. That’s the kind of lady she was, always ready for the next big thing. She was always talking about how she wanted to buy herself the biggest truck she could find and I’m sure that if we had let her, she would have bought a Hummer and found a way to drive it all the way to the Mandalay Bay Hotel. If I still have half the verve and lust for adventure my grandmother had when I reach 82, I would consider myself lucky.

I will miss her laugh. I will miss her hugs. I will miss how easy it was to talk to her about anything and everything. I will miss how proud she was of me. I will miss how much she loved everybody and made them feel like family.

I will miss my grandmother, and I will not be alone in missing her.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Disneyland and the Promise of the Ideal

One thing they don’t tell you when you’re a little kid is that being an adult is no fun. There are bills, there are pressures, there is stress and there isn’t anybody who’s going to make sure you get a snack at a specific time of day.

I spent last weekend in Disneyland and I was reminded that even though there are aspects of adult life that are a total drag, it’s important to take some time every so often to remember what it was like to be a child. Now I don’t mean in the sense where you digress into a childlike state and disregard all your responsibilities and forget how to feed yourself. I mean it in the sense that Disneyland is one of the few places on Earth where everything around you is meant to evoke a period either in your life (or perhaps on a greater scale, a time in American history) where things were ideal.

It’s abstract, sure, but the fact is that there are a lot of things – whether they’re as routine as another day at the office or as extreme as another war in the Middle East – that make us forget the potential that we as a people (not just as a country) are capable of. Imagine what the world would be like if people actually followed through with the ambition of Tomorrowland or sought out the thrill of Adventureland. Imagine how people would treat each other if they extrapolated the shared understanding and respect that’s involved with standing in a line for eighty minutes for a ride that lasts two. You can wave off Disney as a crass and thinly veiled capitalist enterprise, hell-bent on funneling you into a gift shop to fleece you of cash, but when was the last time you were so unabashedly happy that you didn’t give hugging a stranger in a felt mouse costume a second thought or so uncaring of what other people thought of you that you wore Mickey Mouse ears with your name embroidered on the back?

The magic of Disneyland – at least for me – is not the spectacle of the fireworks, the highly choreographed street parade, the technological achievement of the rides or the plethora of ways sugar can be recombined for maximum deliciousness. It’s the look in a 4-year old’s eyes when Mickey saunters over, drops to one knee and offers a hug. It goes beyond the idea of, “this is the character I see in all those cartoons.” It’s the moment where they realize it’s all real. That’s what I think we’re missing in our daily lives: the willingness to suspend our disbelief learned from years of being bombarded with the harsh truths and horrors of the world and embrace what we always imagined – or rather what we always knew – was real.

It’s easy to get lost in the everyday, to get jaded and forget what could be. I know Disneyland isn’t for everyone, but it helps me remember what it feels like to be surrounded by unbridled potential, what it feels like to discover something new and, most important of all, what it feels like to be a child again.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The “For Credit” Crowd: Tips on Being an Intern

Internships have been on my mind lately, partly due to the fact that four new interns started this week in my department. It wasn’t so long ago that I was in their shoes, walking into DreamWorks on my first day. At the risk of sounding like a cranky old man, let me tell you something about being an intern –  it sure as hell ain’t easy.

Internships, particularly in the entertainment industry, can be a thankless job. It’s easy to fall to the wayside because the reality is that as an intern you’re only going to be there for a brief period of time. There are so many people trying to break in, to get their foot in the door, that companies in the industry can take their pick of the little. Internships are a valuable step in entering the film industry if not just for the work experience but for the connections that could potentially lead to the full time gig, so taking advantage of the opportunity is key. Since I’m now on the other side of the internship equation, I wanted to share a few things I learned while serving in the “for credit” crowd.

1.) Be gracious. I was lucky enough to have interned at two of the coolest places in the business – Marvel and DreamWorks Animation – as well as some smaller companies. At the very least, I got to see how the sausage was made and at Marvel, I actually got to write the recap pages that were printed in issues of The Incredible Hulk. Make sure to stay thankful for the incredible opportunity to contribute, no matter how small the contribution.

2.) Be assertive, not obnoxious. At the end of the day, your boss at your internship is either going to be your biggest proponent or the person who’s going to tell HR to not hire you in a million years. It’s good to have your own opinions and to share them, but know the boundaries of the workplace. Don’t be insistent,  but if someone asks for your thoughts, make sure to keep those great ideas handy.

3.) Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. With so many interns rotating through the office, unless you really go out of your way to meet people, you will be forgotten. Don’t be rude when you do it, and make sure you’re not interrupting some super important meeting, but don’t be shy about saying hello. When I was at Marvel, I walked into Axel Alonso’s office (now the editor in chief) and made sure to tell him how much I enjoyed X-Statix, a series he worked on years ago. Later on, I met him at a convention and he remembered who I was. Simple as that.

4.) Make friends with the other interns. You never know where they’re going to end up and if they’re going to be the gatekeepers to your next job. Not everyone gets hired at the company at which they intern, so by making friends, you’re casting a wide net when you start searching the job market.

5.) Don’t burn bridges. The easiest way to get canned is to complain to everyone who will listen about how you aren’t going to get hired at the company. It’s a sort of self fulfilling prophecy. You’re there to establish relationships, so don’t leave people with a sour taste in their mouths.

6.) Keep in touch. After your internship is over, make sure to keep in touch with the people you met during your time there. If it wasn’t for the fact that I kept in contact with my supervisor at DreamWorks, I would not have gotten a recommendation, much less an interview, to come back for a full-time position. Don’t use facebook as a means of keeping in touch. If you want to establish a professional relationship with someone, use LinkedIn instead. No one needs to see any “red cup” pictures.

6.) Be curious. Ask a lot of questions. Do a little digging. After all, you’re there to learn. Use the resources at your fingertips to learn as much as you can. The best way of going about it is to have a goal in mind for what you want out of the internship and investigate every means of accomplishing that goal.

7.) Keep an eye out for exploitation. This one’s a little hard to accurately gauge. Admittedly, I have been lucky and have not experienced this firsthand but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t the potential for exploitative labor in this industry. If you feel like you’re not getting anything out of the experience and the company is just using your for free labor, then you need to reevaluate if the internship is worth it.

8.) Enjoy the perks. You may not be a full time employee (yet), but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the perks of the job. Special screenings, events and food are all frosting and you should take advantage of them to their fullest. I walked away from my Marvel internship with crazy amounts of free comics and at DreamWorks I got to go to an advanced screening of a movie that wasn’t even out yet.

I hope that for those of you who are still busting your butts in the ‘for-credit’ crowd, this has been at least somewhat useful. It’s easy to feel discouraged sometimes but when it comes down to it, your work ethic and demeanor are what will get you ahead. Good luck, and good interning!

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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My Walk to Work when I Interned at Marvel

It’s easy to feel reflective when you’re sitting on a train on your way to work, watching houses and streets whizz by. In California, there’s a sort of homogeneity along the major transportation ways, a blur of sand colored buildings and red Spanish tile roofs broken up by the occasional strip mall with their standard regiment of Pho restaurants, bike shops and $2.99 cleaners. Unless you’re stuck in traffic, listening to the prerequisite NPR story about gray fog settling in some valley or about the realities of string theory that’s almost expected of you when it comes up during lunchtime conversations, the truth of the matter is that the morning/night commute in the Bay Area can be rather…well, routine.

When I was an intern at Marvel, getting to work was a little different.

It started with the 10 minute walk to the subway station at Borough Hall in Brooklyn Heights, but to be more specific, it was a 10 minute walk to the often-closed and always-flooded Montague street entrance to the R train. Didn’t matter the time of year, there was always a puddle of dirty water you had to tiptoe around that meant either some pipe was leaking questionable water or the hobo that slept in the stairwell had an incredibly large bladder. In the summer, the humid sticky heat brought with it the pungent rotten fish smell from the Chinese restaurant on the corner of Henry and Montague while the winter highlight was the gale force wind so cold that it felt like needles on your skin, regardless of how many layers you wore.

Once underground, the heat from the subway tunnel rushed up through the stairwell, either a welcome respite from the cold or a urine-tinged slap in the face depending on the season. I made my way down the dark, dank and narrow staircases covered in graffiti where the homeless man slept, usually sans pants, and hoped that the rumbling I heard from the distant tunnel below wasn’t my train leaving the station.

A mad scramble down the rest of the stairs, a mad leap through the closing train doors and I found a seat among the rare empty ones that all shared the same scratched up yellow color that Burger Kings had in the mid 80s. The thing about the New York subway system is that you can tell which lines service the affluent and/or tourist infested areas of the city by the level of cleanliness and the cars’ general state of repair. Trains that service the Upper East and Upper West side? Super nice. Ironic given that residents of those areas rarely set foot in a subway. Trains coming out of Brooklyn and Queens generally require a tetanus shot after you ride them, so when I transferred to the 4 train at City Hall, a train that services Union Square, Grand Central and the Upper East Side, it was like traveling through time and social strata just by crossing a train platform.

Things would start to get a little crowded by 14th street. The boundaries of personal space (and my patience) were tested by loudmouth Yankee fans talking trash to each other, glaringly out of place in a subway car full of people, who were often in suits, on their way to their respective offices. The day of the Yankee Parade after they won the World Series – for the 26th time mind you – was the closest I have ever been to murdering a fellow human being by punching them in the neck.

Unfortunately, this never actually happened.

By the time we reached Grand Central, I had been crammed into some guys armpit, nearly had coffee spilled on me by oblivious workaholics clicking away on their Blackberry’s and had at least one troubled drug addict tell me their life story before moving onto the next train to start their story over again with the next unsuspecting rube. Keep in mind, this is the good train. At Grand Central, the doors would open and a flood of people would rush out, bottle-necking at the staircase that led up to the main concourse. There is no place that is more of a sensory overload than Grand Central Station at rush hour – the wall of elbows all jockeying for position, the screeching from the train across the way as it pulls into the station, the unintelligible garbled radio voice of the conductor, the smell of astringent body odor and the general roar of shuffling feat and muddled voices lost amid the din of the train station will turn even the most gregarious of personalities into an agoraphobe.

But the view when I finally made it out from the rat race – damn. Stepping out into the coral colored corridors of the main concourse of Grand Central, with it’s soft gold lighting and reflective polished tile is an odd sensation. It may be different for someone who has grown up in NYC their entire life, but even after months of the same commute, I always felt like I was stepping into an embodiment of the the old notion of what New York was meant to be, from a time back when the city was flourishing with the spirits of Art Deco and the New Deal and the overwhelming sense of human potential manifested itself in the incorrigible attitudes of its people and the lofty, monolithic buildings they created to reach up and prod the gods with concrete reminders of their determination. The astrologically themed ceiling in the main terminal was testament to that perhaps overly poetic feeling, and there was hardly a day that I didn’t stand slack-jawed, if only for a moment, staring up at the ceiling like the dozens of dumbstruck tourists who I so often chastised for being in the goddamn way.

I grew up reading Marvel Comics. I can remember the first issue my dad brought home for me and as I would read it on the floor of the living room, I knew it was something special. These were fantastic characters set against the backdrop of the world’s greatest city and as I pushed open the heavy iron doors onto 5th Avenue, to the streams of yellow taxi cabs and the canyons of gray office buildings, I have to admit that on more than one occasion I imagined Spider-Man swinging from building to building or the Fantasticar jetting off to the next adventure.  My conception of New York was largely defined by the Marvel Universe and though I never actually saw the web-slinger, that walk up 5th avenue toward Bryant Park from Grand Central did little to assuage the idea that I might actually catch a glimpse of red and blue.

What it must feel like to be a superhero in NY

Landmarks are a huge part of New York’s appeal and on my walk to work at Marvel (which has since moved offices), I saw the Chrysler Building with it’s mercurial silver curves and Bryant Park with the New York Public Library (of Ghostbusters fame) from across the street. These weren’t just buildings, these were monuments to a better time in our history. After turning left down 5th, passing some stern looking business women, the occasional crazy person and a weird, out of place liquid nitrogen tank that had pipes going down into a manhole, eventually the quintessential New York landmark came into view: The Empire State Building. Every morning, the rising sun hit the windows of the eastern facing side of the building and man, if it didn’t just glow.

By the time I made it to the office to work on comic books filled with the world’s most polychromatic collection of characters, it was no mystery where Stan Lee and all the other writers and artists from the last 70 years of Marvel found their inspiration. The City was – and is – such an incredible living organism that from the grimiest, lowest part of the subway to the lofty, heaven scratching point at the top of the Empire State Building there is literally nothing else like it in the world…not even the red tile roofs and beige strip malls of California.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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2012 Belated New Year’s Resolutions

In light of the fact that it’s already a month into 2012, the last year of the Mayan calendar and presumably Rapture time, I’m going to partake in the time honored tradition of the belated New Year’s resolution. We all know that the average New Year’s resolution involves some kind of weight loss goal, but frankly if I lost any weight I’d blow away with a gust of wind. My goals this year are a little less health related (because I believe bacon is both a meal and a condiment) and more about getting my act together. So here they are – without further ado – the Victor List for 2012!

1.) Finish what I start. It seems like a fairly straightforward goal, but I seem to be the kind of person that gets really excited about an idea only to end up being distracted by something else.  Drawings, tutorials, classes, writing – anything that I’ve started in the last 3 years now has a big target for completion.

2.) Read more. Fiction, non-fiction, semi-fiction. I need to read more, plain and simple.

3.) Draw more. I love doing it and I don’t do it as much as I’d love to.

4.) Write more. See resolution #2

5.) Post something new to one of my blogs (this one and victorfuste.wordpress.com) at least once a week – They say that if you want to be a writer, you have to write everyday. This is probably true for just about every profession…except maybe murderer. I’m pretty sure if you do that just once, people will still consider you a murderer. Anyway, this resolution goes hand in hand with resolutions 2 and 3. No point in doing all that drawing/writing if I don’t get it out there, right?

6.) No comics or toys until July 13th, 2012 – This is going to be a tough one. Whereas my wife is undertaking a similar challenge by giving up shopping (follow her exploits at brainsandblonde.wordpress.com), there are still enough loopholes in her resolution that it is very likely that I will still have to go to the mall at some point in the next 12 months, which would have been the silver lining to her resolution if it were ever to become a reality. So, in the same vein, my goal is to give up comics and all associated collectibles until July. If you know me, that’s basically tantamount to giving up all awesomeness for seven months. Why Friday July 13th and not the whole year, you ask? Two reasons: 1.) Because it will be my first trip to San Diego Comic Con and 2.) Twelve months is insane.

7.) Keep in touch with my friends on a more consistent basis – Yeah, yeah this is the sappiest of all my resolutions. The tough part about being an adult and no longer in college is that it’s a lot easier to lose track of the people with whom you enjoy spending time, drinking beer and telling dirty jokes. While it’s not as easy as just walking down the dorm hallway and knocking on someone’s door, there’s really no excuse nowadays to lose touch with people given the proliferation of communication methods out there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m going to bust out my quill pen and parchment and start writing letters, but think about it – when was the last time someone sent you a non-work related, personal email message?

So there you have it – 7 resolutions which I hope not to break this year.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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