Life is weird... by Ricardo Marquez

I’m currently on a redeye heading back home to Los Angeles. There’s a screaming baby next to me, some people are knocked out and I’m waiting for the beverage cart to come by so I can get a Jack and Coke. I’m exhausted and worn out but ya’ll, I’m tripping out because this is my life now.

This week we flew to New York on our first business trip for Crispy Chicken. We took a redeye on Monday night and just hit the ground running on no more than 3 hours of sleep between the two of us. While here, we met some clients, caught up with old friends/mentors and tried to eat as much pizza as we could devour. I think we failed at the amount of pizza we ate but hey… at least we got some. This baby is going absolutely nuts. It’s amazing.

Screaming baby and all, none of this wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t start this company let alone have people who believed in us and give us a shot. The past couple weeks have been a pretty crazy time and just hearing the excitement people get when they talk to us about the company is an unreal feeling. Even though I’m probably the most tired/nervous I’ve ever been in my life, it brings me so much happiness that people actually give a shit about us.

I used to always joke with Mina when we were doing The Wonder Bat that one day we’d start our own company and just live our best lives cause of it. Flash forward years later and we’re on a plane listening to this baby scream bloody murder (I just found out about this Baby Shark song so maybe I should tell them to play it for her) but most importantly coming away with some great advice and opportunities.

Life is weird. One minute you’re working at a job wondering where your life is headed and the next you’re in the middle of Columbus Circle editing content for clients.

If there’s anyone who is actually thinking about starting something or just shooting their shot, don’t question it and go for it. Draw up the roadmap and hit the ground running. You’re gonna have some failures. You’re gonna have some sleepless nights. You’re gonna want to quit but just keep going. Reach out to people for advice or help with intro’ing to people. Be nice to EVERYONE. If it’s something you believe in, that’s all you need. Ok, you might need some funding but at least the drive is there.

I can’t tell everyone enough how excited I am and thankful that people take their time for us. Even if it’s just favoriting something on Twitter or telling a friend about us. It’s incredible how life can change in such a short time. We’re never going to have our old lives again but I’m beyond ready for what is in store for the future. The beverage cart is here and the baby stopped crying so now I’m going to enjoy this drink and probably knock out. Stay weird. Shoot your shots and above all else, take care of each other.

 

Why I Keep Talking About Mental Health by Ricardo Marquez

GOOD F'ING FRIDAY EVERYONE!

Alright, let us get down to brass tax. The past couple weeks (Probably more so since Anthony Bourdain passed away) I've been tweeting almost every day about mental health. I think it's an issue people are nervous to talk about cause I'm sure when you hear people say they're depressed, it immediately comes with a negative thought process or you think they're just insane. I remember growing up I was like "Why the hell am I so sad all the time when nothing is going wrong" and just assumed it was just all the Saves the Day songs I was listening to. Then I realized "Oh shit, I think I have depression". 

I don't think I've ever really come out and said out loud that I deal with depression and anxiety but I guess this is me announcing to the world that I deal with it on the regular. Now when you hear that, immediately one of two thoughts come to mind. "OH MY GAWD RICARDO IS BRAVE FOR TALKING ABOUT THIS" or "Literally just stop thinking sad thoughts and you'll be fine".

1. I personally don't feel brave for speaking out about it just cause it's something A LOT of us are going through or have felt.

2. I can't just stop thinking about weird stuff when a wave of anxiety hits or depression creeps in. It's an awkward situation and I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on it but there will be times when I'm out having fun or with friends and then I instantly get hit with a "I really don't want to talk to anyone or think".

The reason why I keep speaking up about it is that any time a celebrity takes their life, everyone is quick to tweet about "IF YOU NEED HELP PLEASE CALL THIS NUMBER!" That's great! I am VERY THANKFUL they are doing that. But it's a larger issue then just waiting til your favorite person of note takes their life. When Robin Williams passed away, that was a direct punch to my gut. I absolutely loved everything he did and the person he was even though I've only met him through my tv. Ever since then, I just made it my goal to slowly speak up about it. Then when Bourdain passed away, I made it a goal of mine to just tweet something every day or reach out to friends/family to see how they're doing. 

Mental health is important to me. If we can't take care of ourselves, then we're already taking a few steps back. Also, people are scared to tell someone "Hey, I feel sad". It's tough to go to a friend and be like "Hey dude, looking forward to shotgunning beers tonight but I am not feeling so good". As a guy, I feel like us as men should be a little more open about how we feel instead of hiding things behind our jokes. 

Depression and anxiety sucks. EVERYONE goes through this. Your friends. Your family members. Someone getting paid MILLIONS of dollars to play a sport. A celebrity. Your neighbors. A stranger on twitter. Mental health should be on everyone's mind which is why I try to act as positive as I can.

In closing, please do me a solid. Reach out to someone. Whether you need help or you see a friend tweet some stuff or just have a hunch. It takes all of 5 seconds to just say "Hey, how are you?". Don't force them to talk but just let them know you're are there if they need you. Be positive. Spread some kindness around. The things that get me by are my friends, family and honestly video games and music. Find that thing that makes you happy or can get you out of a funk. We're all going through shit and we gotta be there for one another. 

Song of the Day - "Static Hymn" Tides of Man by Ricardo Marquez

In an effort to actually put stuff on my site, I'm gonna go back to posting songs of the day and probably some photos so that way I GET DAT TRAFFIC INCREASE BABY!!!! Anyway, here's todays song of the day.

I've been a fan of Tides of Man for a hot minute and since their singer left, they've switched to purely instrumental and creating some post-rock jams. Fans are mixed but I ABSOLUTELY love it. They have a new album coming out and Static Hymn has such a beautiful opening and just bangs it out towards the end. The 3:21 mark reminds me of Final Fantasy for some reason and I guess that's why I love it. ENJOY! 

So...I started a digital agency by Ricardo Marquez

Welp. The news is out. After 6 months of sitting down with two of the most amazing, brilliant, creative and innovative people I know...we can announce to the world that Crispy Chicken is open for business.

This moment is surreal to me. The journey getting here has been such a damn roller coaster and the past year has been incredibly tough on me. As you know, I left an amazing job over at Jukin Media back in October. It was definitely something I didn't want to do because I loved everyone there. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the opportunities they gave me. I loved that they kinda let me do whatever I wanted. It was an amazing gig.

Four years ago, I walked in there for a community manager gig and probably gave them one of the best interviews anyone could ever give. I tweeted out to my friends/family to tell Jukin why they should hire me because I would be reading them live in the interview. It was incredible. People I have only met through the internet were tweeting the most awesome stuff. "Hire Ricardo because he's so creative" "Take a chance on Ricardo!" Hell, I even had people sending photos of me cleaning bathrooms, mocking up funny photoshops and the whole nine yards. It was a solid move cause I ended up getting the job.

During the three years, I was able to build their O&O's with such an amazing team of like-minded people. It's crazy to see a brand go from like 70k to 8million fans in three years let alone work on such massive digital properties like FailArmy and People are Awesome. But like any other company/start-up, when you grow, the old routines you're used to start to change. 

I've always told myself that once I wake up and regret having to get ready to work, it's probably your mind telling you to move on. That happened last year. After a few months of dealing with it and trying to bottle it up because I loved the culture and people there, a moment came where you know you just have to move on. So...I did just that. 

Once I shed my tears and said my good-byes (especially on a live stream), I was unemployed. It's a weird feeling. You go from having a stable job to sitting on your couch wondering how the hell you're gonna pay for pizza and a roof over your head. For two months I just took a break from life and focused on me (to be honest I should have focused on the physical me because ya boy pound on some lbs). I then dabbled in consulting and started seeing that a lot of companies didn't really have a solid digital plan. Companies in the space were laying off left and right because they scaled just to scale. A friend of mine was unfortunately one of those people who was let go in December. She made this comment of "They got rid of me so they can have chicken parm on Thursdays still" and after laughing/crying to each other, I realized "Shit, maybe there's an opportunity here". Not for chicken parm and her job, but an opportunity to help brands do better both digitally and monetarily. 

I remember approaching Mina and being like "Listen, we've always wanted to be our own bosses and do the thing, so why not?". After pumping each other up, I went to our SUPER SECRET THIRD CO-FOUNDER and brought up previous conversations about also starting something. I wanted them to meet Mina and see what magic would arise. We had dinner so all of us could meet and once we all felt like we got along, Crispy Chicken was born. 

I'm so incredibly incredibly incredibly honored to team up with these two. I wish I could gush about the SUPER SECRET THIRD FOUNDER, but that will happen soon. Mina is hands down one of the most talented people on this earth. I remember her auditioning for the MLB Fan Cave back in 2013 and I was floored by the amount of creativity she put in to her audition tape and her elevator pitch. We became friends there and when we both moved back, we started working on The Wonder Bat stuff. So it was kind of inevitable that we would start something again. She's one of the brightest minds in the digital space, insanely humble about her accomplishments and things she's worked on and I'm very stoked for the arguments her and I will have as co-workers lol. There is no one else on this earth that I would jump in this with than Mina. Also happy we can announce this together

That being said, there's a lot of people to thank. First and foremost I gotta thank my parents. My bank account was like -$129 at one point and not only have they helped me out financially but they've always been there for my crazy dreams or ideas. I know dropping out of college scared them cause "I WANTED TO BE A WRITER/STAND-UP COMEDIAN" but I'm glad they were always so supportive to me. I am who I am because of them. Hopefully I can buy them a house or take them on a vacation when this company takes off. Also wanna thank my family whether it be Jorge, Danielle and Laura or all my crazy cousins, tios, tias and padrinos. I'm so proud to be a Marquez/Moran and our family is so supportive, hilarious and welcoming to everyone regardless of race, sex, religion and everything else. Also hopefully I can visit Mexico more often. I need to brush up on my spanish. 

I WANNA THANK MY GRANDPARENTS. Papi y Mami están en el cielo y espero estar orgullosos de ellos. THANK YOU Grandma and Grandpa Moran for taking the chance and immigrating to America and loving me so much unconditionally. Someone needs to make your life story into a movie and I will 100% hire Mina to direct it ha. 

I also wanna thank EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON who has given me a shot professionally. There are SO MANY PEOPLE at Major League Baseball who let me not only take a year off of life to watch baseball and make digital content but also give me the opportunity to let me work in PR and learn from the best in the business. I am so grateful all of them there let a chubby dork from Covina come and live in the Big Apple. I wanna thank my family, friends and peers at Jukin. Thank you for always having fun with me and letting me be myself. Thank you for the drinks we've shared (glasses we've dropped), stories we told, advice you've given me and ability to just let me run the ship on a lot of big projects. So proud of all the things we've accomplished and honestly, back in 2015 when we were working in that production room was probably the funniest era of Jukin and I miss yelling and firing Jessica pretty much every day for the dumbest stuff like she rolled her eyes the wrong way or she didn't see a movie I wanted to talk about. 

Lastly, I wouldn't be here without the support of my friends and surprisingly enough, the internet. This is why I'm so passionate about the internet. Back in like 2009, I was writing as a satire columnist for LA Angels Insider. It was a home were I could write stupid stuff about the team and strangely enough, I started getting people following it. I made a ton of friends thanks to Angels Twitter which in turn helped out immensely because the MLB Fan Cave had this online campaign element where people had to vote us in. Hell, even The 7 Line (A group of amazing Mets fans and now awesome best company ever) took me in under their wings and I made a ton of Mets friends cause of it. Once in New York, I made even more internet friends thanks to baseball which in turn supported me as I moved back to California and applied for the job at Jukin. Once at Jukin, I started showing up in a bunch of videos/shows and made EVEN MORE INTERNET FRIENDS. OH MY GAWD I HAVE SO MANY INTERNET FRIENDSSSSSS.

SO INTERNET FRIENDS, REAL LIFE FRIENDS, FAMILY, PEERS IN THE INDUSTRY AND EVERYONE ELSE, Crispy Chicken is open for business and we're ready to help out all companies big and small. Please check out our first person about the company and follow us on all the socials. 

I AM A BUSINESS OWNER AND OMG LETS GET THIS THING GOING! 

Why I Marched Today... by Ricardo Marquez

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It was a chilly winter morning during a trip to Mexico visiting some family for Christmas. I remember hanging in my Grandpa's office looking at some carved stones he had from his ranch and talking with my brother about which uncle was going to be Santa that night and how many potato tacos we were gonna chow on. Christmas in Mexico was always a fun time until one moment changed it.

While in the office, my dad walked in and told us to pack up cause we had to head home. We didn't know what was going on but obviously something wasn't right. Then my mom walked in. I could tell she was crying but was doing her best to hold herself together for us. She let us know that my uncle Jerry had been shot while Christmas shopping with his girlfriend Carol. I remember looking at my brother...both of us just in shock. My mom let us know that Carol was able to make it out thanks to my uncle. However, my uncle Jerry did not. I wouldn't see him again until his funeral.

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It seems way more common place that every one of us has a story like this. It sucks. It's defeating. It's heartbreaking seeing my Grandma cry every time we get together because she's missing a son who was taken away from us far too soon. This is why I marched.

I marched because I'm honestly sick and tired of what has been going on with gun legislation. 

I marched for all those kids who were taken away at Sandy Hook.

I marched for the 17 lives taken in Parkland.

I marched for the poor 20 year old who was shot in his backyard for holding a cell phone.

I marched for all the future lives that will be taken because apparently no one can figure out a solution for kids/people to stop getting shot.

I marched because I don't want ALL your guns to be taken away, just the ones that can take multiple lives away in the blink of an eye. 

Here's the thing with gun legislation, it's not working. Every state is completely different with how they regulate guns and it's tragic how easy we can take steps forward but we just don't. We're the only country where this CONSISTENTLY happens to and enough is enough. We gotta do something.

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"SO WAT IS YOUR SOLUTION YA SNOWFLAKE LIBERAL?!" 

  • Raise purchasing age of guns
  • Ban any military type guns
  • Bump stocks GTFOH
  • Gun registration. If I gotta pay tags on my car, let's get some revenue for you to own a gun. If 2mil guns are registered at $50 a pop each year, that's an extra 100m in revenue that can go into gun violence studies, mental health services and maybe paying teachers a better wage.
  • Mental Health Check
  • Smart Guns - Need to do more research on this but would prevent kids from taking parents guns and accidentally firing it off in a school while showing it to classmates.

Think just the way that this country is built, it's going to be close to impossible in completely solving gun violence but we shouldn't give up on finding solutions to at least preventing as many as we can. I'm just so sick of the tired rhetoric of "WELL IF A CRIMINAL REALLY WANTS TO GET A GUN THEY'RE GONNA FIND A WAY TO GET ONE SO NO POINT IN DOING ANYTHING" that politicians like Marco Rubio keep spouting out. We're better than this. We're better than the NRA. We're better than letting kids go to school wondering if today is the day they're not gonna make it back home. 

And to those who are responsible gun owners, thank you. Thank you for keeping them out of harms way and teaching your kids the importance of not treating it like a toy. Again, I don't think banning all guns is the issue but I think we need to do more to educate EVERYONE about guns and finding solutions that don't involve arming teachers and even having one more gun on campus. 

That is why I marched. 

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Happy New Year! Oh wait it's March... by Ricardo Marquez

MORNING EVERYONE!

Well, it's March 9th and no better way to update my site than this late into the new year. WHAT A FUN TIME WE ARE LIVING IN AMIRITE?! Life has been pretty crazy the past couple months and here's a little cliff-notes version on what has gone down:

  • I left Jukin back in October. Yes, a lot of you know but people think I am still there. I am not and miss my family there
  • Decided to just take a breather and figure life out. I've been working non-stop for like 6 years and needed to remind myself who I am and what I AM WORTH so been getting my creative juices flowing
  • Took a consulting gig for Kevin Hart's LOL Network and that was pretty effing hilarious and a lot of fun. Big stuff going on over there and proud to have given my two cents for 3 months 
  • NOW I AM BACK LIVING MY LIFE

A few people have been reaching out asking what I'm up to professionally and as of right now, can't really say but I will have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on that very soon. I will say that after being in the digital space for 8 years, I'm confident in knowing a few things here and there so I want to try being my own boss for a hot minute and take a chance on that. In the meantime, while I'm putting a lot of my focus into starting that, I also wanted to just hustle and work on some things like my Angels baseball project The Rocks and my photography. I'm in a fortunate position to kind of do what I want for the next couple months (hopefully the rest of my life) so want to use that time to connect back with family, friends and just be creative. This means I'll be launching a personal YouTube channel, probably getting into podcasting, shooting some photos and helping those who don't know where to start or just need a camera guy so you can do your own vlog/projects. 

That being said, this is kind of my call out to the world that if you've ever want to try and get that project off the ground or maybe even just need some new photos for IG, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask for my help! Think we're living in a pretty awesome time in the digital scene that one cool idea could change someone's life and I'd love to help you change yours! Unless you're a big brand and need my assistance then let's talk business. Poppa needs to feed his dog.  Let's end this with some pretty photos and a video I shot of my cousin, Miles Christopher, performing earlier in the year:

Dear 2017 by Ricardo Marquez

Dear 2017,

I woke up a little hungover when we first started and remember saying "This is the year I'm cutting back drinking". That didn't happen. 

I motivated myself to lose weight and actually give it a good try to shed a couple pounds. It didn't happen.

I mapped my career out at a place I loved, hoping to launch something new, inventive and bring back the fun. It didn't happen.

I decided to get back out on the dating scene and maybe finally find my partner in crime. It didn't happen.

I thought I would finally make it to Iceland on my 31st birthday. It didn't happen.

I actually thought this would be the year where I ate eggs again. It didn't happen.

Things.just.didn't.happen.

But every f-ing year is like this. Things don't happen. Obstacles are always placed in front of us and we have to figure out our way around them. 2017, you were rough on me...but literally every year has shitty moments. But a lot more good outweighed the bad...

Did I become an uncle? That happened

Did I witness my brother fulfill his childhood dream of being Mayor of the city we grew up in? That happened

Did I eat Primanti Bros and knock off some baseball stadiums off my list? That happened

Did I adopt a dog who literally brings me great joy when I see him? That happened

Did I share a bunch of pizza, beers, laughs and good times with family and friends? That happened

Did I just spent the last two months of the year creating things? That happened

Did I finally decide to just risk it all in 2018? That's happening.

2017, you were probably one of the most difficult years I've had. I can easily sit here and complain about what went wrong or how you did me dirty but the truth is...things happen and I'm not about to let me roll into 2018 with a chip on my shoulder. So I'm gonna leave you how we started this year. On my couch...in a onesie...most likely drunk. Here's to the new year. 

 

 

Update! by Ricardo Marquez

Hey dorks! So it's been like a month and a half since my "funemployment" has started and things have been PRETTY FUN. Learning a lot about myself, figuring out personal projects and kinda seeing what job is a good fit for not only myself but my future employer. GOTTA MAKE SURE BOTH SIDES CLICK. 

Anyway, couple of things I just wanted to toss out there. The first being I'm making a huge push on my photography game. I came out the gates way too quick and after spending some time just living life, "staycationing" and getting back into my passions, photography was always there. I've been shooting for 10 years and just kinda figured "Hey, I'm JUST OK maybe I should do something about it". So currently turned my site more into photography focused and hopefully it looks good whether you check it out on mobile or a desktop. 

Second, I've always had big ideas for a brand and just never had the time to actually commit to it and focus. Now that I have literally all the time in the world, I'm creating a new brand that is not only going to be absolutely fun but it's going to inject some posivibes into your life. I'll go more in-depth in a week or two but I'm just tired of all the negativity and bad news stories we keep hearing and I wanna make content that puts a positive spin on life. That being side, I've gotten some friends to band together to help me get this thing started but I need YOU to help me when we actually launch the thing in a few weeks. We're creating some hilarious shows and gonna invade the digital scene with some positive shit that you are going to vomit over. I'll leave you with a teaser that it's if Camp Snoopy met a digital publisher that was all about having fun. It's gonna be wild. 

That being said, check out the site. Please let me know what you think and if you wanna collab on some stuff before I get back to a 9-6 job, please hit me up! Thanks for always being so rad to me, internet. 

A Fresh Start... by Ricardo Marquez

Starting a new chapter is generally a pretty exciting thing to do. Whether you're confident in what happens next or a little scared/fearful about the "unknown" of things, it really does send a jolt to your body. That being said, I'm on to a new chapter and boy am I vomiting from fear excited as hell.

As I'm sure you've heard by now, I decided to leave one of the greatest jobs I had over at Jukin Media. For the past three years, they let me do my thing and help build JukinVideo from the ground up as well as give some advice on our other brands. I was able to grow the brand by 10m fans, gain over 7.7B views and host a bunch of ridiculous shows. I am FOREVER grateful for my time there. That being said, I'm ready for the next move.

Think the main question I get asked about leaving tends to be " IS A HOT DOG A SANDWICH WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE A JOB AND NOT HAVE ONE WAITING FOR YOU?!" and to that, I totally get. I usually preach to people to not leave their job or even test the waters just to be on the safe side. However, no one EVER listens to their own advice. When we see a friend in a weird relationship that they should leave immediately, we do everything we can to get them out. But when we're in the same situation, we have on those relationship googles and think "HEY THIS IS ME! I CAN FIX THIS" only to end up with heartbreak and 3 empty pints of Ben and Jerry's. I DIDN'T EAT 3 PINTS CAUSE I WAS HEARTBROKEN I JUST WANTED TO DONATE TO THE AMERICONE DREAM FOUNDATION!!!

So what is my plan? Since my last blog post (way back in January) my life has changed pretty big. I got a new camera. Got a dog (FOLLOW HIS INSTAGRAM I NEED TO BUILD HIS #BRAND). New roommate (HAI MARK). Now, I need a new job.

After announcing that I was gonna be a free agent, I've gotten some incredible response and I'm so fortunate to be in a position to see where I can help another brand or company grow their community and business. While that is going on and decisions are being made, I need to take the opportunity with the free time I have and be as CREATIVE AS POSSIBLE.

So, if you're in the Los Angeles area and wanna hang, here's what I'm looking for: writers, comedians, film-makers, sound peeps, models, actors and ANYONE THAT JUST WANTS TO HAVE FUN! I have a ton of awesome ideas I want to shoot and if you're interested in ANYTHING or even just need some career advice about the digital field whether it's production or social media, PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME! I'm always trying to expand my photography and video portfolio and just want to collab with as many people as possible.

My biggest goal in life is to make sure this world knows that I was on it AND I want to meet as many people as I can. I think the greatest thing about living is knowing who else is on this giant goofy rock we call Earth and hearing their stories.

This week, I'll be re-launching this site and launching my personal channels. Really excited to show you all the projects I'm working and and can't thank you enough for all the support. Love you guys so so so much. Stay weird. Stay posi.

Don't Listen to @DarrenRovell Horrible Career Advice. Listen to a College Drop-Out by Ricardo Marquez

WHAT A FUN MORNING. So Darren Rovell is tweeting some insanely troublesome career advice and it's incredibly frustrating. ALTHOUGH I KNOW HE'S JUST TRYING TO HELP AND GIVING HIS OWN EXPERIENCE, I still disagree with what he's putting out. Basically he's telling people to work for free and doing so will make you stand out in the future. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. The world is cruel and most people will take advantage of all the hard-work you're putting in and cast you aside. I KNOW I WAS THERE AND EXPERIENCED IT. Here are the tweets and I'll let you know how I, a college drop-out, became a Director of Audience Development plus some BETTER CAREER ADVICE. IT'S A FUN STORY

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WHERE DO I START. How bout I just do cliff-notes of my job experience in Major League Baseball and my current gig at Jukin Media 

- I got outta high-school and was like "I WANNA BE A RADIOLOGIST!", I studied pre-med and was like "MAYBE THIS ISN'T FOR ME". Then I moved around from Business Management to some other dumb idea and finally landing on writing and comedy. I was doing stand-up and said "HEY THIS IS WORKING OUT I GUESS I'LL QUIT SCHOOL". I stopped going to college. Very dumb decision. 

- Around that same time, Major League Baseball held a contest for an insane marketing venture called the MLB Fan Cave. It was ahead of it's time and honestly, wish they still had it today. They opened up this ridiculous online campaign to get a spot and I worked my ass off to be creative and show MLB that I should be in there. I MADE IT IN. A COLLEGE DROP-OUT MADE IT IN. GREAT

- Once I was in, I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity. I didn't have a background in sports aside from watching it. I knew I wanted to be involved in PR and Marketing so I did what you should always do is TALK TO THOSE CURRENTLY IN THE FIELD. I asked them how they got to where they currently were and learned more about their day to day. I asked questions you normally wouldn't ask someone. I didn't ask about school cause I was past that point. I wanted to know exactly what it takes to run social media and PR. I wanted to knew their day to day.

- I'm incredibly thankful that a few people at MLB took me under their wing and introduced me to a bunch of various people in the industry. NETWORKING was incredibly huge. A year later, they offered me a PAID INTERNSHIP in PR. I did it all without DOING THINGS FOR FREE.

- Once my time at MLB was done, I had another opportunity to present digital strategy to the Angels. It was a dream come true. That all happened thanks to one of the greatest people in the business, Tim Mead, and I was incredibly fortunate that a college-drop out was given a chance to present digital to a very traditional team. Unfortunately it didn't work out but that is life. 

- NOW THIS IS HOW I GOT MY CURRENT JOB. Thanks to social media, a friend of mine I only knew through twitter reached out to me when I tweeted I was looking for a gig. He told me that there was a position opened with a company called Jukin Media. He was able to get me a phone interview and that eventually landed me an in-person interview. THIS IS HOW YOU GET THE JOB!

In person interviews are the worst. It's nerve wracking. It's tough to not sound like the cliche applicant. And again, it's the worst. I knew that. I'm sure they knew that and I wanted to make sure this wasn't going to be another boring in-person interview. I did a ton of research to see if anyone pulled off the same stunt before and I couldn't find anything. I'd like to say I'm one of the first to do it, but I don't have those facts. I decided to stand out in that interview by letting Twitter inform my potential employer why they should hire me.

While I sat in that interview, I answered all those cliche questions with enthusiasm and joked around a bit when needed. I actually made them a viral video flow chat showing them why they should hire me. Again, being creative stands out. I noticed their phones were buzzing (probably cause of tweets) so I told them that I had a bunch of people tweet to them why they should hire me and I would read those live (good or bad) during the interview. These are just a few of the responses I got:

73 tweets came in and we were just laughing at every response we got. It was insane. I left pretty happy about it and if I wasn't gonna get hired well, on to the next. 3 hours later I got a phone call that the job was mine. 

Flash forward 2.5+ years later, I'm now a Director of Audience Development. A chubby little Mexican with immigrant parents who dropped out of college was able to work at Major League Baseball for two years, almost land a gig at the Angels and is A DIRECTOR AT ONE OF THE LEADING UGC COMPANIES IN THE WORLD. On top of that, I made this happen without giving away work for free. 

SO HERE ARE SOME CAREER ADVICE IN A WEIRD INTERNET WORLD FROM SOMEONE WHO LITERALLY GOT EVERYTHING THANKS TO THE INTERNET AND STRANGERS:

1. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK - I don't mean like "OH I SHOULD JUST ASK EVERY SPORTS AGENT HOW THEY GOT THEIR JOB" NO. Make friendships. Be nice on Twitter. THEN ASK about the job. People LOVE talking about their job. If a friend or an acquaintance (that I'm used to talking to) wanted some info on a gig, I will go 100% out of my way for them as opposed to someone I don't know or someone that just sends me a box with a resume in it. 

2. BE CREATIVE - Think outside the box. Everyone sends resumes. How you get yours to stand out is tough to do. Darren mentioned the box thing but that's like the bare bones and honestly, offices have a ton of boxes and it's just more trash for us. Instead, put your resume on a bed of fortune cookies and when we eat the cookie THE FORTUNE HAS YOUR NAME AND NUMBER OMG. (I think a friend of mine did that already but she got an interview immediately). Also, call us. If you think your resume doesn't speak for who you are, give us a call and be like "Hey I think I'm a really good fit and would love to see if you can talk to me for 5 minutes). Not gonna say it will work every time but that once little ounce of effort does wonders. When you're in an interview, do something that makes you stand out. Ask them questions. Play a game. READ TWEETS IDK. Just do something that makes you stand out and personable. 

3. DON'T DO STUFF FOR FREE - The internship thing is so weird. I know a lot of companies don't pay interns (lucky to be at a company that actually pays em) and that's TECHNICALLY working for free, but I don't think that's what Darren was mentioning. Don't just send stat reports to teams. Don't just start tweeting random marketing strategies to people cause 100%, someone is gonna read your tweet or pitch then go to their boss and be like "HEY I CAME UP WITH THIS". IF you REALLY want to send stuff to people, MAKE SURE THEY CREDIT YOU. The world is RUTHLESS. Instead, start a blog or site. Be active on Linked-In. I hate that I'm about to say this but you gotta build your brand instead of building others for free. God. I hate myself. 

4. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK - I literally can't stress this enough. Talk to people. I know I already wrote about it but being active on social is HUGE. The sad truth now is that interviews are half who you know and half experience. JUST BE A NICE PERSON AND NOT OVERBEARING. Landing a job in sports and digital is extremely hard cause everyone wants to get in, but if you can meet people currently in the field and develop relationships, that's gonna go a long ways

ALRIGHT, that's it. Network. Get Creative. Be a nice human and talk to those in the industry. I gotta go to work. I AM LATE

I Get It. Political Talk is F'ing Annoying But You Should Give Shits About It by Ricardo Marquez

"JESUS CHRIST CAN I GET THROUGH A DAY WITHOUT READING ONE POLITICAL POSTING?!" is what you're probably saying. I GET IT. I was like you. I still kind of am but I'm coming to terms with it. I used to give 0 shits about politics and now I give a lot. 

QUICK CHILDHOOD STORY. Growing up, my brother was like "I wanna be Mayor!". Being me, I responded "THAT IS DUMB. I WANNA BE AN ASTRONAUT/DOCTOR/BASEBALL PLAYER/ DOCTOR". As we got older, I did a bunch of different things to figure out what I wanted to be in life while I watched my brother get incredibly involved with politics. I've been dealing with political speak since I was like 8 and it's never gone away. Which is why I always hated politics. Every time I heard my brother speak about politics, it always came with an argument with someone in the house or a friend that was over. It was annoying and frustrating to deal with. I felt like nothing ever got done and it was just there to rip people apart. Then, it happened.

Couple years ago, my brother won a city council election and was literally on his way to fulfilling that childhood dream of being Mayor. During the next couple years, I would hear all the issues that he would take care of within the community from my parents. When we would go grab food, he'd have some phone call from a citizen and listen to their issue and let them know he'd do his best to help out. HE LITERALLY JUST GAVE PEOPLE HIS NUMBER AND SAID "YO RANDOM STRANGER CALL ME IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS" AND PEOPLE WOULD CALL. Have you ever been to a City Council meeting? Seriously. Go to your local city council meeting and listen to some of those people that complain about things. It's absolutely insane. I would ask my brother "Jorge, these people are insane. Why would you help them." "Because no one else will" 

OH.MY.GOD.I.NEED.TO.BE.MORE.LIKE.MY.BROTHER

As Trump was going through the whole election, I would hit my brother up to get his thoughts on everything. And...he called it. He knew that the farther Trump would get into the election, he'd probably win. He knew that people weren't as excited for the election as they were for Obama but he was still out there knocking on doors trying to get votes for Hilary once U.S.S. Bernie set sail. He was out there trying to make a difference while I sat on my fat ass tweeting about how ridiculous Trump was. And as fate would have it, Trump won.

So people should give two shits about what is happening right now. People got complacent and didn't vote or make more of a ruckus about Trump running is the reason why he won. This is why you're seeing a MASSIVE SPIKE in political stuff. What is going on is absolutely nuts. We have a President who is literally lying to this nation with "alternative facts". We have a President whose first major act is to hand a construction job to a Canadian company (PIPELINE BABYYYY). We have a President who is telling Scientist that Politicians who have 0 more experience than them should be fact checking their work. We have a President who says shit like "YOU'RE NOT GONNA FIND SOMEONE WHO CARES MORE ABOUT OUR VETS THAN ME" but does a hiring freeze for VA Hospitals and Federal Jobs for those  who SERVED OUR COUNTRY. Like, give lots of shit about this. This isn't normal. Bush was never like this. AND WE HATED THE GUY but not like this. This is different. This is a guy who is content on setting this world on fire because HE DIDN'T LIKE PEOPLE COMPARING HIS CROWD SIZE TO OBAMA'S OR THE WOMEN'S MARCH. WHO.GIVES.A.SHIT. We need a President with a backbone and not busy watching SNL and ripping on it. 

I get it. The constant tweets and Facebook rants about politics is so god damn annoying (including this) but you gotta understand that if people don't speak out AND ACT ON IT, we're gonna make things worse for the future of this country. I wanna be able to visit the Grand Canyon again and not worry about having to see a giant oil rig drilling into the center of it. So please, give lots of shit about what is happening. 

The Walk to Elysian Park by Ricardo Marquez

HEY THERE! Yesterday, a few friends got together and decided to do the dumbest thing ever and walk from Union Station to Elysian Park. Doesn't seem far on paper but you basically just walk up hill during the entire second half of the walk. Took a little photos along the way and here's a couple that I've edited a tad. ENJOY

Tired of politics? Here are some pretty photos... by Ricardo Marquez

Some of you already know this and other's probably don't give two ounces of shit but photography is a huge hobby of mine. I fell in love with it growing up and was hooked in high school taking a few photography classes. Eventually down the road when I retire from whatever it is I do, I'd love to just travel the world and shoot photos. Realistically, probably not gonna happen cause I'm an idiot when it comes to saving money and I need a better camera (SOON). 

ANYWAY, here are some of my favorite photos from the past recent years. I'm a huge fan of candid and landscape photos so it's mostly that with some cool ones that hold a special place in my heart. LESSSSSSS GO

 Mr. Met conducting absolutely no one in Central Park. Summer of 2013

Mr. Met conducting absolutely no one in Central Park. Summer of 2013

HEY LET'S START OFF WITH A FUN ONE! Back in 2013, I was extremely lucky and fortunate to have taken on a role in MLB PR department. One of my responsibilities was to spend an afternoon guiding Mr. Met through Central Park and set up a little photo-sesh. It was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done because 1. IT'S MR. FUCKING MET 2. Walking with him was absolutely hilarious cause kids/grown men were running up and taking pictures with him. Mr. Met was a great sport and conducted the shit out of an orchestra of no one. This photo was featured (or maybe a wider one I took IDK) in a few promotional campaigns for the MLB All-Star Game. I love the photo because Mr. Met being a white baseball made the grass really pop up. The skyline (although a building was being constructed) also gave it that NYC feel. Felt like I did a pretty good job at directing Mr. Met. 

 One in a million shot in Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

One in a million shot in Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

This photo is one of my absolute favorites. Don't know if I like it better in color or black and white but regardless, this shot was pretty quick to take. Mina and I took a trip to AZ because we both have been wanting to see the Canyon. Upper Antelope is known for their wide floors and  narrow ceiling while Lower Antelope is known for the exact opposite. A photo similar to this but taken in Upper Antelope sold for like 1 Million dollars or some bullshit because of the difficulty in getting this shot. Along the canyons, there are narrow slits where the sun can peak through for a total of 1-2 minutes. You literally need to time it right and be extremely fast at getting set up AND taking the shot. Upper Antelope has a few of these but it is super hard to get a shot with no one around due to all the traffic. Same goes for Lower Antelope. Lower Antelope only has like 1-2 slit openings (rest of the canyon is kinda more open air) so to get this in Lower Antelope is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. One we saw the light, three of us quickly set up our tripods and we tossed some sand in the air, giving it that "THE LIGHT FROM THE LORD IS HERE AND WILL TAKE YOU UP TO HEAVEN COME FOLLOW  THE LIGHT TO A WORLD FULL OF ENCHANTMENT AND PIZZA" vibe. I wish I could not have that huge blown out sun spot in the bottom right of the photo BUT I love how it came out. 

 Miles Christopher plays for some shadow demons. 

Miles Christopher plays for some shadow demons. 

I'm a huge fan of live music and an even bigger fan of my cousin who happens to be a musician. He was playing a show at Mrs. Fish (or Ms. IDK if she's single) so I without a doubt had to go check it out. I brought my camera cause I really get an opportunity to shoot musicians and hoped I could get some shots of him. Before the show, you can tell he was nervous about getting up there. A pretty solid size crowd was there and Chris seemed to be battling some nerves. Which to me was weird as fuck cause it wasn't his first show and any time I saw him play, HE WOULD KILL. then I remembered I get nervous AF when I do live streams/host stuff even though I've done it a million times and got what he was going through. As soon as he got on, he captivated the audience and sung some sad folk stuff that made you feel some feels. I feel like this photo represented the struggle between battling some feelings of darkness while trying to find the light. LOLOLOLOLOLOL THAT SOUNDED SO STUPID. I just like the silhouette-effect from the light and smoked surrounding him. Go listen to my cousin if you wanna hear some acoustic folk. IT'S GOOD FOR YA.

 The cliche Manhattan through the Brooklyn Bridge shot

The cliche Manhattan through the Brooklyn Bridge shot

During my last month in New York, I did this all day photo excursion through the streets of Manhattan and crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge. It was an exhausting but amazing day cause of all the photos, food, drinks, sights and sounds I consumed throughout the day. One of the photos I've been trying to take was this. Every time I went to go take the shot, the street would be busy, weather would be extremely shitty or you just couldn't see the building. LUCKILY, everything lined up for me. I should probably blurr that license plate frame but whatever. 

 While leaving Big Bear with Mina and Stephe, we noticed the sky was looking TIGHT AF. We instantly turned around and went to go park on the side of the road and take some photos. The clouds coming off the mountain had this cotton candy look that was amazing to stare at. This photo is getting me hungry now. BRB GETTING COTTON CANDY...

While leaving Big Bear with Mina and Stephe, we noticed the sky was looking TIGHT AF. We instantly turned around and went to go park on the side of the road and take some photos. The clouds coming off the mountain had this cotton candy look that was amazing to stare at. This photo is getting me hungry now. BRB GETTING COTTON CANDY...

 Stranger Helps Stranger. New York City Marathon

Stranger Helps Stranger. New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is one of the biggest events in the world. Next to the World Series. And the Super Bowl. And maybe the Boston Marathon. And LA Marathon. Oh and re-runs of Alf. REGARDLESS, it's a big event. This giant sign caught my eye from down the road and I jogged...well more like waddled...down the road to snap some photos. I think this actually ended up in some giant Tumblr post or something the next day. It was pretty encouraging to see some random stranger giving some motivation to some runners. This almost makes me want to go running but I hate that and would hate myself if I did. 

 Sleeping with giants. Idllywild, CA

Sleeping with giants. Idllywild, CA

I LOVE CAMPING! It's pretty dope. Nothing greater than taking a dump in the woods. Except maybe everything. While sitting around the campground, I noticed the trees were looking REAL PURTY and wanted to see what it would look like if I laid my camera down with my fish eye and snapped a photo. THE RESULT WAS PRETTY. The JJ Abrams lens flare was looking pretty HAWT and actually reminds me of space for some weird reason. I wanna go camping now... 

 A couple breaks up at the beach. Santa Monica, CA

A couple breaks up at the beach. Santa Monica, CA

Yo, Idk who God murdered but damn, it made the sky look pretty. This is pretty much exactly from the camera. No edits. No touch ups. I remember that couple just standing there for hours. Kinda reminded me of that scene from Final Impact where the chick and her dad stand near the ocean and the waves pretty much kill em. Except this time the waves were v small and the only thing that was killed was their shot at love. LOLOLOLOL jk idk I think they're married or something.

Thanks for taking the time to check these photos out! If you're interested in any of my photography or if you wanna get some headshots, hit me up or keep checking this site out. I'll be shooting a lot more this year! Photos. Not a gun. I'm not gonna shoot a gun. 

New Year, Same Me by Ricardo Marquez

IT'S 2017 HOLY SHIT. We survived the weirdness that was 2016. WHAT A WEIRD YEAR AMIRITE?! December was hilariously stressful for me. With work wrapping up our end of the year programming, gift shopping, not getting sleep, political garbage, celebrity deaths and everything in between, I was on the "OH MY GOD THIS YEAR SUCKS" hype train. Then I started looking at old videos/photos from the year and it wasn't that bad. I even made this thing:

So...maybe 2016 wasn't so bad. Kinda weird how one minute you think the year sucked then the next it's like "OH SHIT I WENT TO NEW ORLEANS AND CHICAGO AND MEXICO AND SAW BASEBALL AND ATE PIZZA AND DID THINGS THAT DIDN'T SUCK". I turned 30. I'm a Director at work now aka D.A.D. (Director of Audience Development. Thanks Luis for that amazing discovery). Got to travel. Met family that I haven't seen in a while and a ton of other stuff.

I'm excited for 2017. I mean, I'm sure we all are. The rad thing about starting a new year is brushing off the stank from the previous year and taking time to reflect on who you are and where you wanna be in the next 12 months. I'm gonna turn 31 next month and that's pretty frightening but really exciting. I also wanna create more stuff and I'm extremely fortunate to be at company that's gonna allow me to do that. Both professionally and personally, it's gonna be a huge year of growth for me. Although I still need a vacation, it was good to be one of like 10 people in the office during the holidays so I can sit and think about things for a hot minute. LIKE MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS/GOALS. Here's a quick list:

  • Brush up on my spanish. I suck. I need to do better
  • Lose 50 pounds this year. I'm a big boy and need to shed some weight so I don't die by the time I'm 32
  • Up my photography game. I AM GOING TO SOMEHOW GET A PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK MADE AND IT WILL BE DOPE. Don't know what I'm gonna do but that's been my goal. Which brings me to...
  • SOMEHOW SAVE MONEY TO BUY A CANON MARK IV. I've had a Canon T2i and it's been great for the past 8 years but DADDY NEEDS TO STEP HIS GAME UP. Someone please loan me 3k
  • BOOK/GO TO ICELAND. This is on my bucketlist and I need to finally pull the trigger and just go
  • COOK MORE. Tired of eating out all the time. Well, I'm not really but I just wanna cook more.
  • Get back to hanging with friends/family more and MEET PEOPLE ONLINE THAT I'VE SPOKEN TO FOR YEARS BUT HAVE NEVER MET. 

2017 is gonna be LIT. Are we still saying that? idk. Anyway, hope you had a killer New Year and are ready to get your New Years Resolutions going. Gonna be blogging/vlogging/everything else more this year so we'll see how that goes. 

STAY POSI

- Ricardo

Remember This Feeling... by Ricardo Marquez

Remember this feeling. The one you have right now. 

Happy, sad, hopeful, scared, positive, negative or whatever. Remember this feeling. 

Remember that gasp of air that left your body when you realize Trump was going to pull this through.

Remember that feeling of joy knowing that "Crooked Hillary" doesn't get to run this country. 

Remember the Facebook status's telling Liberals to suck up and not be so sensitive about the results.

Remember the tweets from Latinos, LGBTQ, Muslims, Women and all others who are hurting about the results that just happen.

Remember how you felt when woke up this morning and realized Donald J. Trump was going to be our next President.

Were you excited because you finally sent a message to Washington that you were tired of being over-looked?

Were you petrified because you literally have 0 clue as to what the next four years would happen to this country?

Remember these feelings.

Remember the text you sent to your family saying you were ashamed of being an American.

Remember the response your dad, an immigrant who came to this country and wanted a better life for himself and his future family, said when he told you to not be ashamed but to help overcome what is going on.

Remember all the responses from people who tell you to "accept it and move on"

Remember that there are others that have an entirely different background than you with different set of beliefs, ideologies, morals and thoughts.

Remember that in the end, we're all Americans and need to figure this out together.

Remember the rush of depression that flowed back after being handled for years.

Remember that we can get through this.

It's going to take some time, lot of tongue biting, soul searching and honestly some open dialogue about what is taking place. However you voted, for Trump or Hillary, just know that this entire country is divided right now. Whether you like to hear it or not, this country is hurting. Both sides are angry, upset and lines are being drawn.

So remember this.

Remember how messed up things are at this very second.

Remember that someone across from you whether it be a desk, car, street, grocery line or even a computer screen is feeling different than what you are feeling right now.

Because in 4 years, we're gonna have to remember this moment and decide, did I make the right choice? Was I actually wrong? Is Trump not THAT bad of a President? Was Hillary the better choice? 

The GOP is running this country. In the Senate. In Congress. In The White House

Remember this right now cause in 4-8 years, we're gonna know the results.

Remember this feeling.

I Went In A Sensory Deprivation Tank... by Ricardo Marquez

I really suck at this blogging thing. Seriously, for a guy whose Twitter handle is "iBlogBetter", I am the god damn worst. I kept telling myself I'm gonna do more writing then I just end up watching Netflix or playing video games and boom, life passes me by.

ANYWAY, hey guys. Been a while. Life has been a little crazy lately. So, when life gets crazy, people tend to do crazy things. Like...go in a sensory deprivation tank. Which was cool...and weird...but mainly cool.

Before I go on, I should probably explain what it is for those who have no idea. A sensory deprivation tank (or float tank because that sounds less insane) is a tub full of epsom salt in an enclosed room/tank where no light/sound comes in. So you're basically in a room full of darkness. SOUNDS GREAT, RIGHT?! The whole point of the experience is to take away all the business of life and have you relaxed with just yourself and your thoughts. It's really magical. 

I decided to go to Float Clinic in Torrance thanks to a suggestion by someone who I highly respect on issues of relaxation and just doing cool shit. Before I made the decision to go, I hit up my friend Mina to see if she was up for experiencing the whole thing with me and she was down. WHAT A GREAT FRIEND. YOU NEED THOSE. I booked us an appointment at 10am and there we were on a Saturday morning waiting to experience the upside down. (THAT'S A STRANGER THINGS REFERENCE, YOU GUYS).

At 9:55 (place opened at 10), we walked into what was pretty much the equivalent of a spa lobby. Lot of blue, nice smells and warm vibes. After us joking about what was about to go down, a very sweet woman walked out of the hallway door and greeted us. I feel horrible for not grabbing her name but she made it seem like we knew each other for years. After the initial meet, she sat us down and explained how to float since it was our first time and answered any questions we had. I was a little nervous about some blisters on my hand getting some salt water in it and she pretty much said "IT IS GOING TO STING SO RUN OUT". Once we were done with the questions, she took us to our individual rooms to get us ready for the journey we were about to embark on. Then things got weird.

As I closed the door behind me, I was standing in a pretty nice room made out of some stone tiles. Pretty nice set up. I began to shower up and proceeded to open the door to the tank and hoped to god my body weight would let me float. Spoiler Alert: I was fine. 

So I walk in this pretty nicely heated tank and shut the door. It was pitch black and I was already freaking out about which direction I was laying down. For the first part of the float, I kept trying to get my body adjusted to the tank. I remembered her saying to just let my body relax and let the water keep me afloat so, I let my muscles go and had the water almost to the level of my eyes. It was pretty relaxing but somewhat terrifying. I just sat there enjoying the float with a bunch of rapid fire thoughts running through my head.

"I need to get groceries" "Did I have any e-mails from my boss?" "How many pairs of underwear do I have lef?t"

I tried to get rid of the thoughts by focusing on some breathing exercises and welp, it actually did the trick. This is when things got really really weird. 

Once I felt like my body was in 100% relaxation mode, I tried to move my legs. I couldn't feel them. Like, I literally could not feel my legs. I tried to move them and nothing. I did the whole Kill Bill "Wiggle your big toe thing" and NOTHING. I then tried to touch my arms and for some reason, I couldn't fucking touch them. It was such a strange feeling to know that your hands should be touching but no matter how hard you try, you would never touch. Then I was like "OH SHIT ARE MY EYES OPEN OR CLOSE?! I CAN'T TELL". I had to blink to make sure I was still there. As soon as I did that, some weird euphoria kicked in and I was just insanely happy. I felt at peace. I felt like all the stress and anxiety I had from the past couple weeks was gone. Then...SHIT GOT EVEN WEIRDER.

Now, this is gonna sound strange but this seriously happened. As I'm sitting there just smiling about life, I notice some darker waves kind of floating in front of me. Those waves started to get some color. Eventually they turned green and I was tripping out. I just floated there looking at these green waves then BOOM, THEY TURNED INTO THE NORTHERN LIGHTS! I WAS TRIPPING BALLSSSSSSSSSSSS. Right in front of me. Right above my head. THE NORTHERN FUCKING LIGHTS. That euphoria I had tripled in feeling and I was in the god damn zone. Eventually I started thinking about what made me happy in life. What people who are currently in my life make me the happiest. THEN A CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF ME GETTING A GAMEBOY FOR CHRISTMAS JUST APPEARED OUTTA NOWHERE! I was on cloud god damn nine. It was fantastic

By now, I started to hear some shit. I remember the staff member informing me that music would play to let us know that we should come out and shower. I started hearing some Bon Iver-esque music and just knew that it wasn't it. I could then hear some conversations behind my head but couldn't make out what they were talking about. It was a trippy feeling. Then, silence. The northern lights were gone. The happy memories went away. I was just in darkness. I should also mention, I had never felt happier in my life.

Once some cliche spa chime music started playing, I knew my time was up. I climbed out of the tank like I was reborn and proceeded to wash off all the salt from my body. As I walked out, I told they lady what I saw and just feel rejuvenated. I was ready to get the show going. 

So there ya have it. I did a float tank and it was magical. Mina didn't have the same experience I did but she said her body felt relaxed. I don't expect anyone reading this to feel like they're gonna see some weird stuff but hopefully you do. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. 

Baseball: Not Just A Sport by Ricardo Marquez

I'm buzzed in my apartment and figured I should write something so lets see how this goes....

7 years ago on a cold April morning, I woke up to my phone vibrating near my head. Like many of you, I'm attached to my phone and typically sleep with it. After wiping the crusts in my eyes and drool off my face, I looked at my phone and noticed I had an avalanche of text messages. "Omg I'm so sorry" "I just heard the news" "Dude, I can't believe it..." is what I read. I was confused because nothing had happened to me. I was sleeping in my parents RV because well, I have no idea why and was already confused why I was in there. After logging into Twitter, I found out the news about Nick Adenhart. My heart sank because I literally saw him pitch no less than 10 hours after I got those texts. I remember just sitting there with a knot in my stomach and some tears building up in my eyes. My heart was crushed and just kept thinking of what could have been and remember thinking "I never want to feel this again". 7 years later, I had that same knot in my stomach and hole in my heart.

Jose Fernandez was a breath of fresh air. He was something this baseball community needed and was a beacon of light to a pretty uptight game. Every time I saw him on tv, he was constantly smiling and just having a good time. As I got to know Jose Fernandez the baseball player, I couldn't help but be a huge fan of his. The guy was someone I wish all players would be like. Someone who saw baseball as just a game and not something to take so seriously. Someone who was just happy to be there. Someone who, despite what people thought, just wanted to pimp the hell out of his home run. Then, I found out more about Jose Fernandez, the man.

I've known of the plight a lot of Cuban players face when coming to this country and Fernandez story was just incredible. The man spent a year in a Cuban prison due to a failed attempt of defecting to this country. The man jumped in frigid waters to save his mother from drowning during another try at coming to America. These are all stories you've probably heard and if you haven't, please do yourself the service and read about some of these. It's insane how much adversity Jose and his family had to go through just to get here. And now... he's gone. 

It's always heartbreaking to hear when someone who was nothing but good on this earth is taken away from it. And this one is a tough one to get through. Like most people, I only know Jose through what I saw in games, interviews and through other people who dealt with him on a daily basis. I can't believe he's gone and this one is gonna sting for a while just because of how much of an influence he had on anyone who saw him. When stuff like this happens, you can't help but think how short life really is and what really matters in your life. Baseball might seem like "just a sport" to some but to a lot of us, it's the people that make the game something special. And Jose was that...special.