Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m Home!

I’m Home!  Its been almost 20 months since I last stepped foot in upstate New York.  I am headed back 2 weeks ago. This is a long over due visit back to my family and friends.

The Corporate Life Is Not The Life For Me

After 5 months of working for a surf company designing sandals, I had a stark realization.  Over the past year and a half of being on my own, working freelance, calling my own shots, and going whenever I wanted to go, I don’t fit into a corporate style office job any more.  I don’t think I will fit in ever again.

Now I’m sure many of you reading this are like, corporate job + surf company does not equal up, and you would be right assuming this.  I speak more of the inter office politics, layers of management that enforce artificial limits on what can or cannot be done.  If a process is set up that is not efficient, or harmful, why is it a battle, or simply not possible to change it quickly to make everyone’s job or the product better. Usually the reason is because you are stepping on someone’s toes.  That is the type of corporate inter-working I am referring too.

The fact that the job I took, wasn’t what I expected, or that the company wasn’t structured in a way I would prefer to work may have a part in my alienation from an in house design job, but my inclination is that this feeling runs deeper.  I think I am addicted to being on my own.

I talked to the company and let them know that I wasn’t feeling the gig, and that I didn’t think I would be around long term.  Of course, within a week they found a replacement.  This was a bit of a shock to me, and I find myself scrambling to get ready to head back to the USA.

I am feeling very melancholy about the whole ordeal.  After 10 years of thinking about this around the world, multi-year travel, it looks like my big trip is coming to an end.

Amazingly much of this trip has gone roughly to plan.  I knew I would return broke and ready to get to work.  I was hoping to have clear direction into a business I wanted to get into.  I think I have that. I was hoping to have met some people that I might someday or today start working with.  I might have that too.

I don’t know how to get to where I want to be, and don’t really know the people that will guide me there, but now is the continuance of my search.  I have proven to myself that money is not my motivating factor, and that I can survive with stress and fear in my life.  I am ready for the next step.  Now its time to figure out what that is, and then how to do it.

Into The Corporate Life

After a year and a half of freedom and freelance I am getting back into a corporate structure.  Granted it in the surf industry for a “cool” company, I’m still not sure exactly how I will react to a nine to five.  I’ve come to fully enjoy my independence and the ability to come and go as I please.  How will I react to these new constraints?

I’m excited to work in a team again, and collaboratively solve problems.  I have really missed the interaction between a group trying to think out or into a problem, so being part of a crew again should be a welcome change.  A steady paycheck is going to be nice too!

Back to it!

Funny When They Are Talking About You

I have read this blog before, and even had a friend send me a link pertaining to the section on travel.  There is something very funny when you read something that is close to describing you and is ripping on “that guy”.

The blog Stuff White People Like is very funny and I wanted to share a few posts that touched pretty close to home.

#19 Traveling

January 23, 2008 by clander

hostel.jpgWhite person travelling can be broken into two categories – First World and Third World.

First world is Europe and Japan, and man, this travel is not only beloved but absolutely essential in their development as white people.

Every white person takes at least one trip to Europe between the ages of 17-29. During this time they are likely to wear a back pack, stay at a hostel, meet someone from Ireland/Sweden/Italy with whom they have a memorable experience, get drunk, see some old churches and ride a train.

What’s amazing is that all white people have pretty much the same experience, but all of them believe theirs to be the first of its kind. So much so that they return to North America with ideas of writing novels and screenplays about their experience.

Upon returning home, they will also find an affinity for a particular beer or liquor from a country they visited. They use this as an excuse to mention their travels when at a bar. “Oh, I’ll have a Czechznlishiyush Pilsner. You see, that was my favorite beer when I was travelling through Slovenia and the Czech republic.”

The second type of white person travel is Third World. This is when they venture to Thailand, Africa or South America. Some do it so that they can one up the white people who only go to Europe.

But like with Europe, white people like to believe they are the first white people to make this trip. As such, they should be recognized as special and important individuals.

That’s right, by going to a country, riding around on a bus or train, staying at a hotel or hostel and eating – they are doing something important for the world.

If a white person shows up in your country, you can make them feel fantastic by saying how you’ve never seen a white person before, and that you are amazed by their iPod – “a device that plays many songs? impossible!”

They might give it to you, then you can sell it for profit. Repeat as necessary.

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#120 Taking a Year Off

January 11, 2009 by clander

travellingguyWhen someone goes through a stressful experience they usually require some time off to clear their head, regain focus, and recover from the pain and suffering.   Of course, in white culture these experiences are most often defined as finishing high school, making it through three years of college, or working for eleven months straight with only two weeks vacation and every statutory holiday (“they don’t count because I had to spend them with family.”)

Though you might consider finishing school or having a good job to be “accomplishments” many white people view them as burdens.  As such, they can only handle them for so long before they start talking about their need to “take a year off” to travel, volunteer, or work abroad.

It is most common for the person taking the year off to use this time to travel (see Post #19 for reasons why).   Generally, they will start off with a set amount of money that will use to travel for as long as possible.  This explains why a white person with an $800 backpack will haggle with a poverty-stricken  street vendor about a $2 dollar plate of food.

If you work with this person, be sure to give them a FAKE email address on their last day on the job or you will be inundated with emails about spiritual enlightenment and how great the food is compared to similar restaurants back home.  Also, within the first five days following departure, this person will come up with the idea to write a book about their travel experience.  Sadly, more books about mid-twenties white people traveling have been written than have been read.

Some of the more enterprising white people will extend their time off by working abroad as a bartender, ski lift operator, or english teacher.  Their stories, emails, and publishing plans will be identical to the previous white person but will include additional stories about working and complaints about “tourists.”

Finally, there is the white person who takes a year off to volunteer at home or abroad.  Though they are equally likely to write long emails about their experience, these people are often using the experience as an excellent resume pad for their application to law school.  This way they are able to put off real life without the crippling derailment of a career or education.

Regardless of how a white person chooses to spend their year off, they all share the same goal of becoming more interesting to other people.  Sadly, the people who find these stories interesting are other white people who are politely listening until they can tell their own, more interesting story about taking a year off.

Thankfully,  there is an enormous opportunity for personal gain.  You see, whenever a white person takes a year off  it opens up a valuable apartment, job opportunity or admissions slot. Consider it to be the most pretentious form of affirmative action.

photo by Alex Steffler

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This concept ties heavily into post #7 Diversity and post #19 Travelling, but is important that you fully understand how white people view authenticity and experience.

In most situations, white people are very comforted by seeing their own kind. However, when they are eating at a new ethnic restaurant or traveling to a foreign nation, nothing spoils their fun more than seeing another white person.

Many white people will look into the window of an ethnic restaurant to see if there are other white people in there. It is determined to be an acceptable restaurant if the white people in there are accompanied by ethnic friends. But if there is a table occupied entirely by white people, it is deemed unacceptable.

The arrival of the “other white people” to either restaurants or vacation spots instantly means that lines will grow, authenticity will be lost, and the euphoria of being a cultural pioneer will be over.

Being aware of this can be extremely valuable in your efforts to gain the trust of white friends and co-workers. If you bring a white person to an ethnic restaurant and another white person (or group of white people) shows up, you can lose all respect and trust that you have worked so hard to acquire. Do your best to find a table with a divider, or ask the waiter to put future white people out of sight.

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language_labThroughout history, white people have a pretty poor record when it comes to promises (see Americans, Native for examples).  Thankfully, modern white people are trying to erase the shame of the past by making promises to themselves that they will never keep.

Writing a novel, going vegan, or sending their future kid to public school are just a few of these great breakable promises.  But by far the most common self improvement promise is to learn a new language.

This plan is first formulated when white people realize that two years of college Italian does not confer fluency.  For the most part, these classes will only teach a white person how to order food in a restaurant, ask for a train schedule, and over pronounce words when they are mixed into English. Amazingly this small amount of proficiency is more than enough to warrant inclusion on a resume under “spoken languages.”

For many white people the lack of a second language is their greatest secret shame.  It fills them with so much shame that they will literally spend the rest of their lives promising to learn a new language, but not so much shame that they will actually do it.
When it comes to learning a new language, white people can follow a few paths, the most common of which is to try to learn a language that is popular in their current city.
For example, white people in places like Los Angeles or Austin, TX will often promise to learn Spanish in hopes of being able to ask local taco stands about whether or not their carne asada is grass fed (”¿Ha leído usted Michael Pollan?”).

In order to reach this level of fluency and obnoxiousness, white people believe they must put themselves into a local immersion.  This means a promise to watch only Spanish language TV, listen only to Spanish language radio, read Marquez in his native tongue, and watch foreign films with the subtitles turned off.  There are some instances of white people doing this for almost a week!

When this technique is unavailable or fails, white people will immediately turn to books and computer software as a last ditch effort to make good on their promise. After about a week, most white people will give up and blame someone for their failure (”this software is terrible,” “there aren’t enough people in Portland who speak Farsi!”). But rather than discarding the books and software packaging, white people will simply put them in the most visible part of their book shelf.  This allows white people to believe that they have not failed since they can resume their studies at any time until their death.tacotruck

Since learning a new language is something that most white people fail at, it should be approached with extreme caution. When you hear a white person say that they speak your native language, you will probably think it’s a good idea to start talking to them in said language.  WRONG! Instead you should say something like “you speak (insert language)?” to which they will reply “a little” in your native tongue.  If you just leave it here, the white person will feel fantastic for the rest of the day.  If you push it any further and speak quickly, the white person will just look at you with a blank stare.  Within a minute you will notice that blank stare has shifted from confusion to contempt.  You have shamed them and your chance for friendship is ruined forever.

Finally, though they won’t admit it, white people do not believe that learning English is difficult. This is because if it were true, then that would mean that their housekeeper, gardener, mother-in-law (if   they are an elite white person) are smarter than them.  Needless to say, this realization would destroy their entire universe.

The best technique is to just tell white people what they really want to hear: “You should move to (insert country) so you can really learn the language.” They will agree instantly and lament their employer’s lack of an office there.  Share this lament and you can enjoy a gigantic increase in trust and friendship from that white person.

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There you go, just a few examples of things that are close to what I did or am

I was written up in an Online Article!

So my sis Rachel emailed me one day with a email address for a journalist.  She told me to contact her about my trip.  This is what came of it….. I’m 9 of 12.

http://travel.aol.com/travel-ideas/galleries/i-quit-my-job-to-travel

Thought this would be a good break from Africa.

Cool Vid Edit from Temple Basin NZ Snowboard Trip

This is a cool little video edit from one of the guys that I went to Temple Basin with snowboarding a month ago.  Give’er a look.  This place is just awesome!

Fall in Arrowtown

Right behind my friends house in Arrowtown is a beautiful river running alongside a steep mountain side.  The fall foliage is in full effect, and I gave it a go with my camera, trying to put everything I have studied about photography in he last 2 months to work.

Fall Tree Row

Fall Tree Row

Again

Again

Tree V

Tree V

Yellow Leaves

Yellow Leaves

Check out that 4x4!

Check out that 4x4!

River Comp

River Comp

Flowing Rock

Flowing Rock

Winding Stream

Winding Stream

Mountain Sunset

Mountain Sunset