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

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

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

"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. 

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13 Things Better Than This Rain

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13 Things Better Than This Rain

It's raining in LA. We can't do anything. Here's a list of things better than dealing with this stupid wet stuff.

1. Building Ikea Furniture 

2. Doing Laundry

3. Waking up in the movie Saw

That last gif f'd me up fam. I'm done. 

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The Walk to Elysian Park

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The Walk to Elysian Park

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

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Tired of politics? Here are some pretty photos...

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Tired of politics? Here are some pretty photos...

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. 

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New Year, Same Me

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New Year, Same Me

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

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Remember This Feeling...

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.

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I Went In A Sensory Deprivation Tank...

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. 

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Baseball: Not Just A Sport

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.  

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Chicago Photos

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Chicago Photos

This past week, I went to Chicago and Milwaukee. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures in Milwaukee because I was drunk off cheese curds. Good thing, I took a ton of photos in Chicago. Check em out:

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Day Trip To Salvation Mountain

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Day Trip To Salvation Mountain

HOLY SHIT. It's been 3 months since I've written on here. I SUCK. Well that is going to change (even though I say that all the time) BUT THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT! I sound like every dude that promises his girlfriend he's gonna change but he doesn't because YOU CAN'T CHANGE US.

Anyway, took a day trip to Salvation Mountain with my friend Shantel and here are some photos. I should call it Saturation Mountain because all you do in post is turn up the colors. It's ridiculous.

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This New Thrice Album

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This New Thrice Album

Before I start spulging about the new Thrice album, I should probably explain my fandom for this band. 

I was introduced to Thrice by my cousin Chris when I was a Freshman in High School. It was right when they released singles for Identity Crisis and very few demos of the First Impressions EP were floating around. I also had no facial hair and wore shit like this. 

Needless to say, I was hooked. Through middle school, I got passed the whole Korn/Slipknot KROQ phase and got into punk like Anti-Flag, NoFx and MxPx. When I heard Thrice, I immediately thought "YO WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS AND WHY IS MY BONER SHOWING. OH MY GOD MY ZIPPER IS DOWN OMG". It was a weird time. 

I continued to follow Thrice throughout the years. Seems like however my music style progressed, they were going down the same path. The Illusion of Safety came out, I was starting to discover more post-hardcore bands that suited my pallet. The Artist in the Ambulance released, I was getting more into the lyrics and meaning behind songs. Vheissu came out and instead of getting into classic college type shit like Phish and other jam band type stuff, Thrice seemed like they were experimenting with a wider arrangement of stuff. AND SO ON AND SO ON.

In 2012 they decided to take a little break and live life because shit, they deserved it. That same year, I was in the Fan Cave (RIP) when it was announced and that they would be doing a farewell tour. I unfortunately couldn't go because of obligations to never leaving that place. I WAS THE MOST SAD. Flash forward to now, and FUCK THE BAND IS BACK. Which leads to this new album.

I honestly can never say a bad thing about this band. In my eyes, everything they churn out has been pretty solid. I always see a lot of "THEY SHOULD STICK TO THEIR ROOTS" or "I WISH IT WAS HARDER" and I think people fail to realize that you still go hard AF (AS FUCK) without destroying your vocal chords and going 2984 BPM. Is this album hard? Probably not as heavy as others but it's still pretty heavy. With tracks like Whistleblower and the stunning opening track Hurricane, you got your heavy right there. 

The thing about this album is that it's a pretty solid representation of their entire discography IMO. It's got the pissed off young adult jams from IC. It gets you to think like TAITA and it even has some of the moistness of water from The Alchemy Index (I just wanted to write moist. I have no idea what the fuck I just wrote). This album has everything. 

The past 15+ years of listening to this band, they have been the soundtrack to every life event I've had. Thrice's music has been around through my teenage angst years (dear godddddd) and I'm beyond stoke to have another album out while I figure out what the fuck a 401k is* and why people say "I'm V hungry". JUST SAY VERY HUNGRY IT'S NOT THAT HARD.

*I know what a 401k. It was for the sake of comedy which I don't know.

Also, please get this album. It's very good. 

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Dating...It's a Thing We Do

Not a day goes by where I don't see a tweet or Facebook status about dating. IT'S A HAWT TOPIC AMONGST YOUTHS. Some of us hate it. Some of us love it. But, it's a thing we all pretty much have to do. And honestly it's kind interesting to hear/read everyone's opinion of it. 

Does dating suck? Sometimes it does but sometimes you get a terrible slice of pizza. Does that mean you should never eat pizza again? Nah, fuck that. One bad slice isn't going to stop me from enjoying god's greatest gift to man. My issue with dating is that no one has any clue what is going to happen. It's exciting but at the same time, I'M TRYIN TO PLAN MY LIFE AND CAN'T WASTE IT ON SOMEONE WHO THINKS I'M #2. If we all knew how every single Tinder swipe, Ok Cupid Message, DM slid into your inbox or even every bought drink was gonna turn out, dating would just be... boring. We'd all have no stories to tell and cry about over some Cool Haus Ice Cream Sandwiches.* 

Dating is fun. It's a good time to get to know a stranger or a friend on a deeper level other than "HEY SO UH DO YOU LIKE PIZZA? OH MY GOD I DO TOO". NO SHIT THEY LIKE PIZZA EVERYONE ON THIS FUCKING EARTH LOVES PIZZA. But thanks to dating, you can find someone who also enjoys pizza with applesauce. 

As a single 30-year old goober who's done this a few times, don't beat yourself over dating. Have fun and don't take everything too seriously. Sometimes the timing is never right, they live in another state/country or shit, they just don't feel the same way BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, all that stuff gives you a new story to tell while you're chowing down on some Cool Haus Ice Cream Sandwiches.**

 

*Editors Note: Cool Haus Ice Cream Sandwiches are the new "Ben and Jerry's" 

**Editors Note: No seriously, go have one of these things. They're fucking amazing. 

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For the 127th Time, I'm Trying to Lose Weight...

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For the 127th Time, I'm Trying to Lose Weight...

Alright. This might come as a shocker to some of you, but I'm overweight. I KNOW! It's fucking ASTONISHING to me. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT IF YOU ATE FOOD AND DIDN'T EXERCISE AS MUCH, YOU WOULD BE OVERWEIGHT.

There's always factors that come in when you try to get back on the healthy kick. Things like when you look in the mirror and get turned on by embarrassed about your man boobs. Maybe it's the time when someone takes a selfie with you and there's literally no angle they can do to make your triple chin look somewhat normal. Or even something like seeing your reflection and noticing that the wind is making you look like you're about to give birth to triplets but then realize immediately there is no wind and your gut literally looks like you are about to give birth to triplets.

For me, it was all of the above.

Before I go on about this possibly failed adventure at obtaining a figure that can actually shop at H&M for once, I do need to point out a few things. I like being a large dude. Like, it's pretty fun. I'm jolly all the fucking time. I eat pretty much what I want and none of my friends seem to judge me too much. I'm surprisingly athletic/agile. And I'm comfortable with who I am. I've been pretty chubby for most of my life and 100% ok with it. IT'S WHO I AM.

So if I'm fine with who I am, why do I wanna lose weight? I feel like a pretty healthy dude (although when I go get my physical next week we'll see about it). I don't get sick all the time like some of my skinny friends. And I can actually tolerate when it's cold because I do have a few extra layers to keep me warm. I wanna lose weight cause of the little things. I wanna be able to play ping pong without sweating like I just jerked off a bison (DON'T ASK ME HOW I KNOW HOW SWEATY PEOPLE GET WHEN THEY DO THAT). I wanna be able to slide behind someone sitting down without my gut sucker punching them from behind. And honestly, I wanna be able to wear this shirt.

My nips are showing. Sorry guys. 

My nips are showing. Sorry guys. 

My sister and brother-in-law gave me this shirt I think like two Christmas ago or two birthdays ago. I don't remember cause I suck. Point is, it's a pretty awesome shirt. It's got pizza on it. If you can't tell already, I can't fucking fit in this thing. It's been sitting around my drawer for two years, waiting for me to wear it to work. BUT I CAN'T WEAR IT CAUSE OF THE GIANT MUFFIN TOP. WHO THE FUCK WANTS A MUFFIN PIZZA?!

Here's my biggest problem. I'm lazy and extremely unmotivated. I know I shouldn't eat like shit, but I live across the street from a candy factory and a Taco Bell so DON'T BLAME ME. I know I need to work-out, but I'm really good at video games and watching baseball while drinking a beer. I've spent 30 years getting this body in peak laziness mode and I'm not about to ruin it. Except, I need to wear that shirt.

Depending on what time you're reading this, I'll be out running jogging walking waddling crying to the Culver City steps. I'm serious. Go check my Snapchat right now and you'll probably see a snap of me bitching and/or moaning about doing that stupid thing. And if you see me complain on Twitter, Facebook or even Snapchat...tell me to stop being a twat and just keep going. I just bought new workout gear, might as well put them to use.
Point is, I need to lose weight so I can take advantage of life more than I have in this plump body of mine.

I'm Ricardo Marquez. I weigh 290 pounds. And I'm gonna try to lose weight for the 127th 128th time.

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Making my way downtown...

Shit, now I have that song in my head. Over the weekend, I spent literally all day walking around Downtown LA shooting some photos. I made my way through 8th and Spring, roamed through the Arts District and went down to the LA river. Yes, that smelly river. Before you judge my work, just wanna point out that if you are in the LA area and want some photos or wanna tag along on a photo adventure then LET ME KNOW! 

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Life Update

Apparently I created this site just so I can update it every couple months so WHAT A SOLID INVESTMENT THAT WAS, HUH? Anyway, figure I'd give a quick update since turning 30 cause I actually plan on writing/posting a lot more on this site. If you want the quick bullet points of my life then here you go:

  • Still have a job
  • Still live in Culver City
  • Still watch a lot of baseball
  • Still single
  • Traveled a bit
  • Created The Baseball Show WHICH IS KINDA FUN TO DO SO PLEASE WATCH
  • Still taking photos

Alright, so that's the TL;DR portion of my life. Since turning 30, it's actually been quite fun. Didn't really throw a crazy party like I wanted but I feel like I'm doing a lot more in my life than ever before. Partly because life is fleeting and I want to feel like I'm young again. I'm trying to take a little more risk in life whether it be something new like trying to eat eggs or traveling to cities I never thought I would visit. I guess this is the part where I write a quick paragraph on the 4 things I probably get asked all the time. 

Work

So for those who haven't figured out what I do, I run a channel called JukinVideo. Our parent company, Jukin Media, has a library of like 20k+ clips which are all pretty phenomenal. My job is to basically program the channel whether it be through single clips, building themed compilations and hosted shows around UGC (User Generated Content). There's no way in hell I would be able to do this alone so I lead a small team of 3 people who help out which is deemed #TeamFun cause we're trying to be cool or something. I have absolutely no complaints about the job because it's honestly a ton of fun to be at. Where else can you duct tape a co-worker to the wall and live-stream it to 200K+ people? SO WORK IS FINE AND I HAVEN'T BEEN FIRED YES. 

Shanley duct taped to a wall

Shanley duct taped to a wall

Love Life

I can make a huge rant on dating in Los Angeles but that should be for a different post. Biggest news is I deleted all my dating apps and just gonna do things the old school way. Just wrapping up Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance and that book has been hilariously interesting. I was actually part of the NY focus group he writes about in the book and it was pretty funny to hear everyone's thoughts on online dating vs how it used to be back in the day. ANYWAY, still single and trying not to Ted my life up too much. Only a few of you will get that HIMYM reference so ENJOY IT. Also, if you wanna date then let me know. HAHAHAHA I'M KIDDING no seriously please tell me cause I'm bad at that stuff. The plus side to not dating someone is all the money I saved to...

TRAVEL

Look at that fucking segue! WHAT A GREAT ONE! The first big trip of the year was going up to Mammoth and MY GAWD IT WAS GORGEOUS. Went up there with a few of my cousins and siblings and man, what a beautiful shithole that place was. If you haven't been, you gotta go then make the detour to Burger Barn. Probably the best burger you'll have in your life.

Second big trip was New Orleans. Never thought I would have even gone but glad my buddy Mike made a mention of it. New Orleans is kind of a weird experience but incredibly fun. Going there, I thought Bourbon St. would be "the thing" that made the city so fun but it was actually extremely depressing. It reminded me of Fremont St's younger little brother who just really wanted to be Fremont which is also depressing BUT FUN TO BE AT! Everything outside of Bourbon St was fantastic. The city is filled with a ton of great food, music and history. Had no clue a fucking pirate would be the coolest historical fact about the city. We also went to this restaurant outside of downtown that was absolutely incredible. The name escapes me and I'm too lazy to google but trust son, it was terrific. Anyway, go to New Orleans and hit up Frenchman Street instead. WAY BETTER VIBES.

Third and final trip so far was VEGAS! Honestly the most random trip I've had there. I was fortunate enough to win a weekend getaway through KOST and iHeartRadio. I won a weekend stay at Caesars Palace and two tickets to see Elton John. ROCKET FUCKING MAN. So Mina and I took off after work about a week ago and drove the 4 hours to Sin City where we held off on the Sin. The following morning, we had some overpriced breakfast and made our way to Fremont St. (Bourbon Streets older brother) and did the zipline, which was incredibly dumb of me for signing up cause of my fear of heights. I found my balls and proceeded to go through with it and it was honestly worth it. Really glad Mina made me face my fears cause I wanna do it again. Once we did our thing there we ate dinner and got dolled up to see Elton John. We were probably way out of our element because 1. We aren't white 2. We were under 60 3. We were way over dressed. BUT HEY, we had some fun and rocked out to Sir Elton then wrapped up the evening. 

Doors to Preservation Hall in NOLA

Doors to Preservation Hall in NOLA

 Photography

I AM TRYING TO DO MORE OF THIS. We recently bought some Green Screen Studio kit which came with some black and white backgrounds. SO IF YOU NEED SOME HEADSHOTS HOLLER AT ME. Also, if you're in LA and wanna shoot photos or have photos taken of you, please let me know. I need all the practice I can get cause I need to step my game up. Yesterday I went walking around Downtown LA and I'm dying. However, I did get some pretty sweet shots and will be sharing those probably later today or tomorrow. 

Exiting the LA RIver

Exiting the LA RIver

 

That pretty much does it for the life update. Being 30 has been pretty rad and excited to see what happens next. Now I just need to get my ass to a baseball game. 

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The Baseball Shows First 24 Hours

Well, the first episode of The Baseball Show went up and hot damn, we have over 1.2k views on both Facebook and YouTube. May not seem a lot but it's 100x more than we'd ever thought. 

First off, I can't thank you guys enough for all the retweets, shares and feedback on the show. Seriously means a lot to us that you guys have great things to say. AND WE LOVE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM! It's only gonna make the show better and better. 

As for the show, please do not hesitate to ask how you can help. The Baseball Show is supposed to be a collaboration with the baseball community. If you think we're not funny, don't just sit there and go "OH I CAN MAKE THIS BETTER". Actually do something. That's what we want. We want the most creative people in the baseball world to have a platform where they can bring whatever talent it is whether it's writing, doing weird photoshops, graphic design, being a "correspondent" etc etc. This show is kind of our way of keeping the MLB Fan Cave spirit alive because players/fans and everyone in between actually gave a shit about it. 

Again, thank you for giving a chance on the show and we're hoping to keep this show going all season long. Every retweet, share, like, thumbs up helps out. New episode next week! If you haven't seen the show yet, THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR!

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