Posts Tagged ‘ krystal plomatos ’

an ideal first Monday of a new year

Over the holidays, I completely ignored the internet/email in order to get lost in books, magazines and movies. One of the most poignant articles I came across was ‘Coding for the Masses’ by Clive Thompson in WIRED.

In the article, he referenced Douglas Rushkoff”s book ‘Program or Be Programmed’ which makes the case that learning the basics of coding should become part of mainstream curriculum.

But, while I’m eager to read Program or Be Programmed, I have a feeling it’s going to make me want to do > make > code > create > as soon as I finish the book. Problem is, out of the hundreds of resources out there- I have no clue where to start first. I’m completely uninitiated to all things coding and also highly intimidated by the thought of it. And I thought there might be more n00bs like me; willing but wondering where to begin.

So in the true spirit of coding, I emailed Clive himself  to ask how he would break down the dense process of learning to code into smaller, more manageable lessons.

Amazingly, (admittedly, the whole office heard me gasp when his response popped up in my inbox. I do love that the internet and all her latest platforms basically exist to endlessly dare you to reach out/start something, create something/ or just ask a burning question) he wrote back rather quickly with the following suggestions:

“I decided last year to try programming again and a
friend suggested I try Processing. It’s a very fun language because it’s
a) easy and b) specializes in letting you easily create interactive
visual things on screen.

There’s also an excellent how-to beginner’s
book — — that I’ve been
using; it’s superb for the complete newbie. If you decide to try it I
recommend buying the book in PDF format, because it’s a lot easier to
cut and paste the bits of code than to laboriously re-type them out of
the paper book.

I’m maybe 1/3 of the way through the book and I’m having a lot of fun!”

Hopefully you’ll also find his suggestions worth test-driving, or maybe have other resources to recommend. But because doing something new is usually better with a buddy, my charming new mate Daniel Edmundson and I are planning to form a small group so we can work our way through the books & exercises while co-teaching our way out of n00b status. Bourbon will be involved. If you’re interested in forming clusters of aspiring coders, hit me up. Meanwhile we’re planning on posting our progress and any tips learned along the way, so more to come.

Aaaand because the universe has a dry sense of humor –  my attempt to ‘unplug’ only led me to a new hobby which will require me to spend even more time online and thinking about everything that occurs online, I’m OK with that. Following the Clive’s advice doesn’t exactly seem like a misstep.



Happy online shopping:


Note: Originally I titled this post as An Ideal First Monday Of a New Decade (rather than new year), which would have been incorrect according to Q Blog: “because there is no year 0, the  new ‘decade’ actually extends to 11.” See here:


a hypothetical demon & a brilliant question

starting to read Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and the Introduction references an amazing passage in Nietzche’s The Gay Science:

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you:

“This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in you life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself.

The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!”

…The question in each and every thing,

“Do you desire this once more and

innumerable times more?”

would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight.”


I had to stop and put the book down to really think about that. (And type it out for you to enjoy too)

I am very curious to see how many times tomorrow I begin telling my office mates about this hypothetical demon’s question and see where those conversations lead.

But I’m even more curious to see for how long Nietzche’s idea affects my decisions, if at all. (Might make for an interesting looking-back post, to be written on August 11, 2011).

*On a slight tangent, I think that is so fascinating; especially considering the vast quantity of things we read online/offline, we don’t always know which quotes, ideas, articles will forever bubble up to our memory and which ones will forgotten.

At any rate, if the hypothetical demon ever finds me, I hope he looks like this:

And I hope your tomorrow (and remaining existence) are full of things you’d be happy to do innumerable times over & over again.

Facebook Facts: They’re Appalling, Comforting and… Akward

If extraterrestrials stumbled upon the entire contents of Facebook, would they understand us better than we know ourselves, or would they also be hunting for a giant “DISLIKE” button?

The good folks at have compiled some new and new-ish facts about facebook. Personally, I’m wondering if this is a sign- I’ve been hovering in a cloud of indecision as to whether or not I should shut down my facebook account and spend ‘8.3 billion hours’ roaming the more uncharted internet territories.

Facebook: Facts You Probably Didn't Know

Thanks to Dennis Ma for sending the infographic my way!

from 14 to 9 // ode wk 11

It’s 57 degrees out.

This morning was my last run in my Asics GT 2140s before I replace them for a new pair. (Thanks to my Godparents for the birthday gift card to Richmond RoadRunners!)

In these particular Asics, I ran my first marathon and 35k trail run. They’ve crunched over snow, through freezing streams in Cumberland, darted through mud capable of sucking the shoes right off my feet, and helped me leap over fallen logs while keeping my eyes on trained on the white blazes that mark the trail.

In these I’ve passed fields with stalks of corn taller than me. I’ve caught more of Richmond’s sunrises and sunsets, only because it feels so good to put these 2140s to work. I’ve ran past highway exit signs that I normally blow by at 68 mph.

They’ve graduated from crisp white to the color of laundry water. When I bend them, the sole is so thin they curl up perfectly like a roly poly. <– clear sign it’s time to replace them.

In them I’ve solved brand problems, fixed a bruised heart, remembered to call my mom, noticed houses or trees I need to come back and photograph, and found the right words that seemed to elude me when I sat in front of my computer.

This morning, in my very last run before I trade up into a new pair, I glanced down at my watch and realized that when I first started running in Richmond, it used to take me around 14 minutes to reach a certain Boulevard. Today, I crossed it in 9:45. I’m so happy I glanced at my watch then- that proud little moment is the best way to kick off a new week.

It struck me that I only have 15 more weeks left of university. Knowing it will inevitably fly by- I wanted to do something that would help me remember the bits in the midst of the blur. I decided to write an ode for each week. As a way to teach myself to find the awesome, the simple, the beautiful or the unexpected. 15 snapshots of where my head//where my heart was in the last quarter before the jump-off. I have no clue what will stick out as something I feel compelled to write about – but I like the mystery involved.

chasing the lion

If you’re wondering what I meant by the “chasing the lion’ on my blog – here comes the story…

Here at the Brandcenter – one of our professors, Mark Avnet (head of our Creative Technology track) also happens to be a Media Psychologist and is trained in NLP or Neurolinguistic programming.

You can use NLP for several functions; it’s frequently used in branding because it allows people to trace back to their very first imprint of a brand or experience.

But brands aside for a moment- it’s also a useful tool for teaching you about you.

For example – NLP is a lot like meditation- an instructor helps you quiet your mind to the point where you’re only focusing on one, single thought. NLP essentially lets you see  your truest values, priorities and dreams after you’ve stripped away all the noise i.e. your To-Do lists, social distractions etc.

You’ve probably heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response before. i.e.  Most people when presented with a threat or danger – run away from it i.e. they seek the easiest, calmest Point A to Point B.

But based on my the words I chose to use when responding to his questions throughout several NLP sessions- Avnet pointed out that instead of fleeing from proverbial lions – I run right to them.

I know it’s a long-winded way of  saying I pretty much live for the difficult and damn near impossible, which I probably could have told you. But – to have someone else point it out in me and show me the proof was a lot for me to come to grips with.

While admitting this to you might make me out to seem impulsive, reckless etc., fortunately, I’ve found this business of me wanting to chase lions has been tremendously helpful as I grow into a strategist. I like solving wicked, tangly problems. Adversity interests me. Which I consider good news- because there are plenty of businesses with heady problems that need someone willing to run right into them.  Not only do I enjoy this – it seems like I’m wired for it. Which makes me want to fulfill my own prophecy all the more.

Found this picture on Obviously not a lion – but it’s become a favorite find from the internet ever since.

By the way – NLP isn’t embraced by all the in psychology circles – it’s deemed too subjective and unfalsifiable. But given that I’m also in one of the most subjective industries – I figured it’s not my place to judge.

The icons in my gmail signature…

Hey there-

For those of you that I email- several people have noticed and asked how I got the social media icons that link to my different profiles embedded in my signature:

My techno-savvy friend Clay Hebert at showed me – it’s via an awesome Firefox plug-in called Wise Stamp:



lost in thoughts // ode wk 5

Ashleigh is a fellow strategist and also my partner in attempting to write this beast of an article regarding how the internet is re-wiring and re-programming us and the implications of that, so on and so forth. We got together Friday to continue researching and discussing where we could take this.

Ohhhh Hell. Somehow, something she said reminded me of a concept I had come across a month ago and hadn’t revisited since. Which led me to ask her: “Have you ever looked into the concept of Kairos and  Chronos?

As soon as I attempted to explain Kairos & Chronos, she uncovered this gem of an article:  google “what is kairos by mark freier” and you’ll find the eleven page PDF that took us over two hours to read. (Because it kept dropping links and references to other things we absolutely had to look up right away and discuss.)

Fast-forward 4 hours later, 3 cups of coffee, and 1 Lagunitas Pilsner all in the comfort of our favorite and still-undiscovered coffee shop and she and I were still rolling in the high of this academic, philosophic, quantum mechanical, hedonistic, self-assessing discussion. It was euphoria of the geekiest kind.

There were several moments when we felt like we figured out all of life’s secrets, and paused in that comfortable silence you can get to with good friends, while all these new thoughts burrowed through our minds. And then launched back into babbling brook mode where you can’t get the words out fast enough to form the ideas.

The first time I took the plunge into reading up on Kairos, the deck referenced this watch, called Mr. Jones the Accurate:

Remember You Will Die (which I bought. Simply couldn’t resist. I swear I love it a little more each time I wear it.)

Like high-speed rail, our conversation darted from stop to stop ranging from discussions on comic books, sci-fi novels, neuroscience, tattooes, Dead Poet’s Society, when to say “yes” and when to say “no” to social plans, our favorites memories of serendipity, discourses on productivity and creativity, mention of the book You Are Not A Gadget referencing Frost’s One Acquainted with The Night and whether we’ll leave a legacy or not.

Haven’t had one those meandering-without-interruption conversations in too long. If you’re looking to get lost in thoughts, I’d also recommend watching Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot if you haven’t already seen it.

(Of all the conclusions a man with knowledge of the cosmos can draw, he picks Be Kind to One Another.)

and also: Dr. Quantum’s Double Slit experiment.

(The Universe changes its behavior when it knows you’re actively paying attention to it.)

It struck me that I only have 15 more weeks left of university. Knowing it will inevitably fly by- I wanted to do something that would help me remember the bits in the midst of the blur. I decided to write an ode, for each week. As a way to teach myself to find the awesome, the simple, the beautiful or the unexpected. 15 snapshots of where my head//where my heart was in the last quarter before the jump-off. I have no clue what will stick out as something I feel compelled to write about – but I’m enjoying the mystery involved.