New Media Unplugged: Chatting w/ Technically Philly & 215 Mag @ Uncapped Live

When Christopher Wink asks me to do something, I can never say no.

I was pretty psyched when he asked me to come be a part of their co-sponsored (with 215 Magazine) Vitamin Water #Uncapped event, a sixteen day celebration of music, media, arts, etc. While a lot of #Uncapped wasn’t necessarily my scene (I don’t know / listen to any of the musicians or artists involved), this New Media Unplugged session was absolutely my territory, full of my people.

Lots of cool folks were there as featured speakers, including my pal Tayyib Smith (215 Magazine), Shannon McDonald (NEPhilly), and Adam Schmidt of DrinkPhilly. Danya Henninger (DrinkPhilly’s new editor) was also in attendance and is pictured above, chilling with me pre-show. You can’t see it in the low rez photo, but I totally have a dreamy look on my face. #swoon.

A solid audience showed up to listen to us ramble about hyperlocal blogging and indie publishing. I often feel somewhat out of place at events like this, as Geekadelphia isn’t a for-profit / monetized blog (and likely never will be). When Wink passed the microphone to me to talk about monetizing and sustainability, the guy knew what he was doing. Turns out, several folks in the room had the same mindset as me, and after the talk, we spoke at length about it. It was great, and made me feel less alone in my “this is just for fun” stance.

As for the audience, almost everyone there was involved in the local media somehow. Some print journalists, some fledgling bloggers, etc. There were also a handful of startup folks and curious students thrown into the mix. I met some interesting new people. But at a Technically Philly event, you always do.

All in all, another ridiculously successful event thrown by the Technically Philly boys. Sean Blanda won an iPad in the Geekadelphia raffle during my talk, but since he wasn’t there, I threw it away.

Couple of pictures after the jump. Apologies for the quality. I was using my iPhone.

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Road Trip to South Carolina: Favorite Photos

So my pal Jessica Anne, Kishwer Vikaas and Dan Hafner hopped in a car early Saturday morning (4am!) and made our way down to South Caroline, 600+ miles away from Philadelphia.

We all spent most of the driving part of the trip listening to comedy in standup (I discovered the joys of Doug Benson), audiobook (thank you Neil Patrick Harris for reading The Bro Code), and musical (Flight of the Conchords!) form.

When we weren’t driving, we were exploring local bars, running around small towns (Greer, NC is wonderful!), and eventually, picking peaches. I’ll write a blip about that later.

All the pictures are up on my Flickr, but these are my favorites from the trip. I think I’m going to make it a point to travel someplace with Jess every single year. That gal rocks so hard. Read more

Late Summer Road Trip: Driving to the Country, Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches

In late December, in the midst of one of the worst snowstorms EVER, I hopped on a plane to Ireland with one of my close Philly friends, Jessica Anne. The whole trip was a wild idea brought up by my old college friend (now celebrated actress) Jenelle Sosa. Try not to swoon at her headshots should you visit her website. I warned you.

I was hesitant at first. When I go someplace, there are things I want to do. I like to power walk everywhere. I don’t want to listen to tour guides yapping. I don’t want to spend a half hour looking at the same building. I want to meet people. Explore on my own. Not hit the tourist traps.

I’m a bit of a brat.

But traveling with Jess was amazing. We both love meeting new people and making immediate friends, visiting new places (for a few minutes!) before moving the hell on, etc. And somehow, after over a week together in another country, we still couldn’t get enough of each other. Two days after we came home, we were hanging out again. I think its a rare thing, finding a travel buddy you don’t get sick of. It was awesome.

So when she brought up the idea of taking a road trip to South Carolina to go peach picking, of course I said yes.

Photo by Marisa McClellan, who I will bring peaches back for

Sure, we’re driving over 600 miles. And I have to pick my own fruit and PAY for the privilege to do so. And then afterwards, I’m going to be eating fruit. FRUIT. But still. It’s going to be one hell of a fun trip, and a lovely way to spend Labor Day weekend.

Now accepting road trip music suggestions. I’m planning for lots of happy Summer pop punk. Number one on my list? Yellowcard’s latest, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. Probably my favorite CD released this year. Sorry Jess. Prepare to hear that CD a lot.

Pictures next week. Later!

First Tattoo: Quotation Marks

Ever since I moved to Philadelphia, I’ve wanted to get a tattoo. And having an array of inked up friends didn’t help. Tim and his amazing sleeves, Jay with his musical symbols, Allie and her cute blackbirds, etc. This handsome (and colorful) gentleman pictured, Brian Dicola, did a lot of their work. Also tattoos for my pal Ed, Erich

Well, the list goes on.

Back in 2008, I had an illustrator create an amazing literature-inspired sleeve design that, despite how much I talked about it, I never got around to getting.

There were a number of excuses. I wanted to wait until I finished grad school. Okay, that’s done… well let’s wait until I’m actually a professor. Done? Oh. Well alright, let’s wait until I finish my first book. Ah. Finished. Yeah well… let’s wait til I have a non-corporate non-soul devouring work environment. I’m there? Hm. Well…

Again, the list goes on. Excuses.

In the end, I decided against the enormous sleeve and opted for something a little more simple. A tattoo (which became tattoos) that spoke to me as an aspiring writer, active blogger, English teacher, and all around bookish person.

And here it is. Well, here they are. Does this count as one tattoo? Hm. Whatever. Quotations marks. For all the many words I forget to say and write.

Thanks to Brian Dicola for helping me with this, and for being endlessly patient with me.

Master Chiefing: A Lovely Summer Stroll Through Rittenhouse Square Park

Confession? I didn’t actually take that SEPTA bus. I live way too close to the park. In fact, the woman getting on the bus yelled at me because I was in her way. Sorry dear, but this photo had to be taken. Mostly for Colin Weir.

So after hurricane Irene finished with Philadelphia, we were left with a lot of water and some wonderfully cool weather. I also had the day off due to moving my vacation. Quirk has some key titles dropping next week (Bedbugs & Cookiepedia!), and I couldn’t bring myself to leave. The only logical thing to do… was run around Rittenhouse Square Park in my Master Chief armor.

And read the Wall Street Journal, of course.

A few months ago, when I took the armor out for its first test run, I only made it a few blocks with my pal Linzy. This time, my buddy Britt (the same one who made those beautiful paintings for me) and I made it all the way to the park. I thought I was going to pass out, but we made it. It is a lot easier to handle the suit when I’m at a convention, stopping every two feet to take pictures with people.

While wandering the area, we even stopped at Parc. They offered us a table, but I can’t sit down in this thing.

The highlight though, was during our walk, we were spotted by a camera phone wielding Philebrity reader, and promptly made the blog. Easily one of the funniest titles I’ve seen on the site in a long time. Well done Joey. Well done. And thank you Sean Blanda, for giving me the heads up.

Anyhow, lots of new pics on the ol’ Flickr. I’ll be posting them to the Spartan 215 tumblr over the next few days as well. Thanks Britt for taking the time to stroll with me. Best Cortana ever.

Update: Technically Philly wrote a little blurb about my adventures. Thanks Chris!