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Roll me down the strasse

April 10, 2013

I just got to Berlin 3 hours ago, and already I’m stuffed. After checking into my hotel (which of course I did on Foursquare), I was immediately tweeted at by the hotel (LOVE this). I knew then this would be a good stay ;)

Hotel tweet

I walked around my nachbarschaft (‘hood) for about an hour, and saw literally 100 Italian restaurants (okay, not literally… it was really like 54) in a 10 block radius. As much as I love pizza and whatnot, I am in Berlin, so I was scouting some sausage, kebabs, or schnitzel. I finally found a nice dive not 2 blocks from where I started. This little place was called the potato cellar or Kartoffelkeller – love it!



I sat alone, with no book, but it was cool because I could eavesdrop on German conversation around me. Okay, I don’t speak German, but I could put pretend words in their mouths… “Oh ja, I love potatoes..” “Me too, I also like potatoes. Let’s drink to that!”… okay, so my imagination was not so great after 20 hours of traveling…

I started with a yummy potato, onion and bacon “Berliner Soup” – perfect to get the chill off my bones…

Berliner Soup



I followed that up with scratch made potato pancakes (hey, it’s the potato celler!) and a dark bier. YUM.

Potato pancakes


Must run tomorrow. We’ll see!


Why I am (anti)social media

January 18, 2013

Disclaimer: If you clicked on this post expecting to read a rant on the evils of Facebook, Google, smartphones, and the like – well, you’re in the wrong place.


I. Love. Social Media.

For those of you who know me, I know what you’re thinking… “shocker!” But seriously, I have my reasons, and they may not be quite what you’d expect.

Social media allows me to be “me,” without pressure… Contrary to what many would believe, I’m actually a HUGE introvert. I hate crowds. I dread parties, clubs, and most social get-togethers. Even outings with friends can ramp up my anxiety meter… It’s not that I don’t like people – far from it. I like making (and keeping) friends.

So why do I consciously choose to put myself all over the social web, champion social networking in my field, and devote a significant portion of my job to it?

Social media allows me a level of interpersonal interaction that I’m comfortable with. I’m not a phone person – never have been (ask my wife!). I’m not much into in-person chit-chatter either. I’ve been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. I’ve been told I have a problem looking people in the eyes (it makes me uncomfortable – notice that I’m wearing sunglasses in most of my profile pics?), and my mind often goes a million miles a minute during conversations. Social media allows me to interact with more people and on a much broader scale than I would ever feel comfortable doing in person. Through social media, I’m able to maintain and extend relationships that my personal hangups (social phobias, anxieties, insecurities, etc) prevent me from doing as effectively IRL (in real life).

Social media allows me to take my time to think through and formulate answers, opinions, and responses (and I occasionally do ;). In person, I don’t feel nearly as confident, and often cannot wait to get through a conversation (no matter how much I like or respect the other person). Moderating interaction through a barrier such as a computer keyboard or touchscreen gives me the time to get my message right.

Some may read this post and ask “Is this kind of social outlook healthy?”. I think it is – at least in my case. The omnipresence and ease of social media have given me an unprecedented comfort to interact with people to an extent that I probably wouldn’t otherwise, and has strengthened my confidence and social skills in the process.

What do you think? How has social media helped or hindered interpersonal communication?


April 12, 2011


So today I began the TEAM Fitness portion of my gym’s 90 day weight loss challenge, and I can honestly say I’m the best fit out of all the guys in the class (and the worst… There’s just me :/)… So aside from Rambo-granny who can bench press me, it’s still a good start, right? See you in 30 pounds (too ambitious, I know ;)

#studyabroad stop-motion flashmob

April 2, 2011

Here is a cool video that we made at API (me and my colleagues Kim, Mark, and most of all our Creative Director Marc). I have so much newfound respect for claymation and hand-drawn animation artists now, as this took a full day for a minute-and-a-half video!

Geocaching battle wound

March 27, 2011


Profiles in International Education

March 2, 2011

I was recently interviewed by the great website Wandering Educators for their series “Profiles in International Education.” It was a fun experience, and an honor for me and API :)

Wandering Educators site


“Bad Romance” – watercolor

February 28, 2011

“Lady Gaga” by Evan, age 4