Day of the Dead and Goals for November

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!  (I hope that’s right.)

Here we are on the first day of November; a new month with new goals.  Last month’s goals went pretty well. I’ve certainly felt more motivated, and hydrated.  October was the month I decided to take writing more seriously and try to do it on a daily basis.  As a result, this month  I had the most views on this blog since I started two years ago.  Thanks to everyone who stumbled upon this and read my ramblings.   Continue reading “Day of the Dead and Goals for November”

Working at Being Creative

The other day, I was having a conversation with my roommate Steph of The Big Brown Bag about our intrinsic need to feel creative and the pursuit of true passions over what is “safe” and expected.  To an outsider’s eye, Steph and our other roommate Erin Willett are the epitome of born creatives relentlessly pursuing their passions in singing, fashion, etc.  Though I have plenty of prose and paintings to prove my worth, when it comes down to it, I work in advertising.  It’s a business of ideas and sales pitches – or so I used to think. Continue reading “Working at Being Creative”

Zenhabits – the blog that will change your life

My friend Jess told me about over lunch last week.  Rated as one of the top 25 Best Blogs of 2010 according to TIME, Zenhabits is about “finding the simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives.” Blogger Leo Babauta writes one to two articles a week on topics ranging from accomplishing your goals, health & fitness, and living in the moment. Continue reading “Zenhabits – the blog that will change your life”

I Never Thought It Would Come To This…Playing Ketchup

Hi ho everyone,

It seems I have been suffering an existential crisis the past month or so and have been lax when it comes to writing blog entries regularly.  While I am making a transition into the working world and trying to tidy up this site, make sure to follow me on mynameisreb.tumblr for more frequent (and brief) updates on what I come across each day.  Tis terribly inconvenient for you, because now you need to have your own Tumblr.  This is for your own good, I promise.

This. Isn’t.

Joshua Davis Lost Interest In Me

A few weeks ago, I wrote an entry about Joshua Davis, the infamous tattooed web designer, author, and new media designer.    I was the vision of a delighted eight-year-old girl who got a pony when he found my blog (through Googling himself and finding my Twitter), commented, and invited me to his studio.  After a few emails, we decided I would stop by after he got back from London.

In this age, we respond to emails immediately, tweet constantly, publish/upload anything and everything as quickly as possible, and keep going as fast as we can because time is of the essence and nothing should slow us down.

Then real life happens.

Three weeks later, such a visit has not happened, an email was sent from me, and no response.  I might have lost my chance of getting the chance to meet some one AWESOME and having a story about how Twitter can bring good things.

Dear Joshua Davis,

I was so excited at the prospect of meeting you and visiting your studio, not to mention I would have a great story to tell Twitter-haters and blog-bashers.  However, I let time get away from me and I’m afraid I lost my chance.  But as mere humans we cannot control the force of chaos and when it decides to occur, it’s always at the worst possible time.  I must also take into account you are an extremely busy man with amazing opportunities and business ventures in the works, and I am just an unemployed college graduate who was earlier contemplating whether to eat rice & beans that fell on the kitchen floor.

I graduated.

Had dental surgery that became complicated.

myself and my beau

It took myself and my roommates our third offer on an apartment before we stopped the cycle of being screwed over by hidden fees and shady landlords.

Time Warner did a number on me and took four days to tell me they didn’t have service in Brooklyn.  I didn’t have Internet for a week, which is ironic because I spent half of that at Internet Week.

Such are the enjoyable situations one finds themselves the first month of the real world.  Everything is at a state of homeostasis now, except I still kick myself regularly for losing out on such an opportunity.

If at all possible, I hope you stumble on this again, make me the happiest eight-year-old girl who got a pony and together we can  figure out another studio visit.

Por favor?


Reb Carlson

unemployed college graduate who knows nothing of the 5 second rule

Jumping on the Bandwagon: Yay for Facebook, Nay for Twitter

When reading Sandra L. Beckwith’s Publicity for Nonprofits: Generating Media Exposure That Leads to Awareness, Growth, and Contribution , I was struck with how I agreed with the opening introduction of  Chapter 5: “How Will You Say It In Media Materials?”.  The chapter focuses on the process of selecting the best media tools for campaigns.  It doesn’t take years of professional experience for one to understand that certain tools are more applicable and practical depending on the campaign and the messages one is trying to implement.  I find this is concept can be neglected when a certain trend in media causes practitioners to jump on the latest over-hyped tool: specifically, Twitter and other social media fads.

We have seen in the past year how brands have been quick to jump onto the current trend of the moment and the results of an online presence that danced with the fine line of being present and being obnoxious.  The most misunderstood tool of social media today is Twitter.  Twitter is a tool best implemented when one-on-one communication would suffice between company and consumer.  Twitter has proved to be excellent at networking and customer service.  However, I feel that there is better success when an online community is created, especially with nonprofit organizations.  Two necessary components for a successful online community are the abilities to built relationships and share information.  Twitter does not suffice in these two areas; a platform such as Ning or Facebook is much better to encourage dialogue about your company, service, or product.  Such platforms encourage relationship-building and lead to permanent success.

Some companies get left behind because of an imbalance when it comes to having a substantial online presence.  My New Media professor, Tom Klinkowstein of Media A, was discussing online presence with me last week and said regarding social media, on average two years of active social networking is needed in order to be digitally distinct.  While this may be surprising to people who enjoy the instant gratification of popular platforms such as Twitter, it must be remembered that we are moving into The Networking Age.  Meaningful relationships take time to develop and last.

That’s what she said

I’m in my final semester at Hofstra and I have been lucky enough to have the most entertaining, intelligent, and trife friends one could have.  The past four years have been full of challenges, learning experiences, and unforgettable moments.  Sometimes, among friends, you have inside jokes and one-liners that are created during Saturday morning brunches, late night dance parties, stolen moments in between classes, or something extremely witty that came from pure, unfiltered honesty.  Every following statement contains a shared memory I have with some one.  If I forget anything epic, or if you have another saying that you think deserves to be on this list, leave it in the comments.

“When you assume, you make an a** out of you, but not me.”

“I like you a lot, thanks for ruining me for life.”

“maybe if you decide to stick around long enough, i’ll take you to more nice restaurants”

“i LOVE you, but you CAN’T. DO. THAT.”


“Unnecessary touching…”

“if you start to develop butterflies spray em with bug spray”

“Captain Kirk, it’s time to get back to the ship”

“Not valid”

“He’s not a real person”


“It’s good! It’s good! It’s good!”

“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t”

“People died on 9/11 so you could bowl a 7”

“There is a new L word today, LOYALTY!”

“My…. name….is….Reb” (that’s how it all started)

“He’s a tall skinny awkward kid and I don’t know where all that rage comes from.”

I definitely forgot a few epic one-liners, please submit them if you remember!

Take chances, make mistakes

I rip out images from the New York Times and stick them on my wall. You are looking at photography by Irving Penn, a painting by Kandinsky, & some Bento Boxes

“Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”

Ms. Frizzle circa Magic School Bus

I used to be a shy, afraid, overly methodical girl who was never outgoing and never took a risk.  It was because of a fear of what others may think or if I would be the one making other people uncomfortable.  I also used to be overly concerned with what other people thought of me and if I was making the best impression.

Forget that.

These past few years I have learned to take advantage of opportunities that come my way, to say “yes” instead of “no” more often.  While this may get me in trouble by never being able to say no, I have had a better life experience by saying “yes” more often. To relate to my current situation, I find myself overbooked with school, work, and outside activities while running around trying to find a job after graduation.  Yesterday I booked it after class into Manhattan for a job interview about a marketing assistant position and then proceeded to run back for Hofstra’s Association for Graphic Artists’ “Not All Artists Are Starving” networking event.  Friday I have an audition at MTV and all weekend I am picking up extra hours at LICM.  My next three months are already halfway booked in my planner and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

More often than not, I feel that self-doubt gets in the way more than lack of experience or knowledge.  Everyone is their own worst enemy in that your perspective on any given day could make or break you.  When you are at your best and most confident, you produce better work, writing gets easier, inspiration comes from everywhere.  When I am at my worst, all insecurities surface, from wondering if that guy really likes me as much as he says he does to whether my friends feel they can still count on me to worrying about if I will find a job after graduation.

It’s the acceptance that life is unpredictable, unplanned, and unfair that will change your life.  We have just this one life to experience, so it’s fine to try anything and everything,  making mistakes along the way.  I would not be where I am today if I decided I was too afraid to apply to WRHU or move to Chicago for the summer or apply for an internship or speak up in French Literature or tell some one how I really felt.  With all that experience and insight on life you will get by saying “yes, i want to take chances and make mistakes”, you will be able to relate to so many more people.  You are simply being an active, passionate individual who takes the initiative to take their life for what it’s worth – as precious time to gain and grow as much as possible.

Being Proactive and Changing Perspective

Awesome building around Washington Square Park my friend Steph and I passed this past Saturday on the way to Dojo. Can some one identify it for me please?

My bad. My resolution to blog more regularly unfortunately has been placed on the back burner.  By far this has been my busiest semester, but as a whole I’m more content and self-aware than I have been in a while.  Between my capstone course working on a campaign for Pajama Program, doing media outreach for Long Island Children’s Museum, interning with Independent Film Channel, getting my fill of post Cold War Eastern European and Russian Cinema and Literature, developing PRestige Agency, delivering epic (if I do say so myself) speeches in Public Speaking, working on an independent study about the strategic thinking of Google for New Media, having adventures in NYC and spending quality time with my best friends – life is pretty good.

Everything seems to be coming together almost too beautifully – maybe I finally realized in my head I need to enjoy the time I have now, because nothing is constant.  Life is going to change once Graduation Day approaches.  Tonight I spent time with one of my best friends Maggie talking about how we were freshmen year and how everyone we knew has changed so.  Tables were turned slightly in that while I talked about my fears of the unknown, she talked about how one has to look forward to the future with excitement.  Every situation one finds themselves in is always subjective and in “the eye of the beholder.”  One’s perspective is the overall deciding factor on whether one is having a favorable or unfavorable experience.  It’s not worth wasting energy being negative – you miss out on seizing opportunities.

So if you are going to take anything away from this unexpected bit of optimism from yours truly (not that I am a Negative Nancy by nature – I’m truly a relatively positive person – but I do run the risk of having moments of cynicism – doesn’t everyone?) here is advice:

– Time and energy spent being stressed and sad is time and energy wasted – there must be something else  you can use that energy constructively on.

– Stop drinking coffee after noon, it is not an “elixir of life”, it’s a death sentence that leads to stress.  I speak from experience, my name is Reb and I am a recovering caffeine addict.

– If there is something you seek, something you must accomplish, take it upon yourself to figure out the right answer.  No one is going to deliver all of life’s answers on a platter.

– Acknowledge what you have, stop thinking about what you have left to acquire.  Figure out what it is that makes you unique and an asset and own it.  Never be ashamed of how you are.

– My mother (who you can call for now Barbara, my friends can call her “Mommy Carlson”) once used this metaphor on me and it has helped me more than I expected.  Imagine that you have a pitcher full of water and a table of glasses before you.  You can only filled so many glasses with so much amount of water.  Would you rather have many glasses barely filled, or a select few filled to the brim?  This is how you should look at the projects you invest yourself in.  Never stretch yourself too thin.

– Get your just rewards.  If you feel you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve, get it or let it go.  Demand the attention you deserve.

– It’s worth spending time finding the things that inspire you and ignite your creativity.  On better days I am able to start my day “combing through” the Internet looking through my Tumblr, RSS feeds, the news, etc. to find something interest and innovating that I can think about throughout the day.  Today’s great find courtesy of Kickstarter was a couple of rough sketches by The Museum Proper of their plans to create a 12-foot tall puppet.

I have a long night of homework and tasks ahead, and then it’s back to the grind in the morning.  However, instead of looking upon it in contempt, I have to admit it’s become characteristic of me to always be busy, always be thinking, always taking part.

Time After Time


After reading this entry, my friend Devin recommended listening to this while reading.  I’m not sure if he suggesting that I’m sounding like a Negative Nancy or that my writing has finally become similar to the Russian authors I idolize.  Who knows.  Give it a try

The past week and a half I have felt more inspired and self-aware than I have been for a while, and it is thanks to the company I keep.  Reuniting with friends that have been gone for so long and having those first “grown up business career” discussions  have strengthened my belief that the company I keep, like-minded creative and intelligent individuals, are more prepared to face life’s challenges than they think.  Our generation has seen disasters that have hit too close to home at an early age: Oklahoma City Bombing, Columbine, 9/11, Iraq War, Katrina, Tsunami, Haiti.  I remember doing bomb and sniper drills in grade school.  The digitalization of information and its accessibility  has created a crowd of passionate individuals who could discuss politics as readily as they would discuss their favorite sub genre from the early 2000’s .  Most of my friends, whether awaiting graduation or become acclimated to life after it, had the foresight to have the experience and skills to land the 9 to 5 gig that will support their moonlighting activities in music, art, writing, design, etc.

Passing an initial judgement or stereotyping at first glance is absurd in this day in age.  Even now, upon first glance at some one, there is a chance I could be wrong about their upbringing and personal beliefs.  The thrifty bohemian actually is a trust fund baby whose parents pay the rent, the body building fraternity bro quotes Kafka, and so on and so forth.

But it’s time to take oneself seriously and speculate whether all one’s experience will lead them to the goal they have been working for.  I’m currently rereading Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being for my Honors College seminar and there’s a beautiful line (among many) that reads “The goals we pursue are always veiled.  A girl who longs for marriage longs for something she knows nothing about.  The boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is.  The thing that gives our every move meaning is always totally unknown to us.” No one wants failure, yet we all fear it.

It’s the apprehension and fear of ending an educational era.  There are two perspectives that students have during school.  The first is viewing a course as a subject to comprehend and understand just to receive a decent grade.  It could possibly be  a stepping stone into a higher level course or finishing up a minor.  Then the realization kicks in – you find yourself applying concepts from one course to another  and what you do in the last few months of school is a final chance to prove yourself worthy of  all the hard work and decisions you’ve made.  After graduation, it’s an abyss.  I like schedules and starts and endings and feeling that life is comprised of cycles, from one school year to the next. For 2o odd years we get used to a comforting pattern of centrifugal force every year since starting school.  At a certain point, the cycle is disrupted and we are flung into the universe.   Life into working adulthood appears linear to me, ascending but not infinite.

That was my fear, of not understanding what new perspective I will gain and how I will view my daily activities.  How will I manage the passage of time?  This fear is disguised; it’s the same realization of your own mortality.

It is a transition from perceiving time, a constant, in an entirely different way.