A Lesson for Every Week

I’ve been considering what I would write for this post and it got me thinking—how do professional writers get started? So, I turned to one of my favorite writers, Carrie Bradshaw, for some advice. So here I sit, in front of a window, cigarette in hand, writing. Don’t worry, I’m not writing about sex (this isn’t Gay Q&A guys, sorry), but I am writing about the city.

I have hit the one month mark of living and working in New York City and I have to say that my mind has been in information overdrive for the last 4 weeks and I have spent that time compiling a list of things that I have found to be important for newbie’s my age.

1) 10 o’clock bedtime is necessary, but not realistic

– When you work 9am-6pm (or 8 or 10) you quickly realize how exhausting  a job/career can be. I think back to only 8 weeks ago when I was spending my evenings watching Netflix until 5am with not a single worry about making it to my 10:30 class on time because I had done it for years. It doesn’t take long for your body to get run down and tired. I reminisce on fond memories of sitting in Louie’s Too on the Corner 4 nights a week drinking cheap wells and Bud Light and being alright with going to class hung over because… well just because. Being hungover in an office is not pleasant nor is it productive. People will notice, and they will judge. Besides, going out every night is expensive (I could literally buy an entire H&M in Brooklyn with the money I spent on alcohol in college.)

This brings me to my next point.

2) This is not Monopoly—Money is real, and it is very important.

-Let me start by saying that everyone’s financial situation is different and I recognize that. I have always been somewhat financially independent. I had a job through high school, and I had a job all through college so I have always had money for necessities like rent and food,  however, after 6 seasons with the girls of Sex and the City I had this vision for my new life in NYC. Fun dinners and nights out on the town in the hottest joint opening in the East Village were obviously going to be weekly occurrences. No. They are not. Being an adult is very expensive. Rent, groceries, and other necessities require money. Go figure.

3) Comfortable shoes are absolutely a requirement

-I’d like to first tell you that Carrie Bradshaw and her Manolos can get the fuck out of here.  Cabs are expensive and the majority of people don’t take them. You will walk, and your feet will hate you if you aren’t wearing comfortable shoes. (also, boots are an important investment. It snows and rains here…)

4) Homework is easier than real work

– I hated homework. I always felt like I was doing busy work because I had older people to tell me how the only way to understand having a job in the industry was to actually have one. So now I have one, and I get it. Homework is shit compared to what you do on a day-to-day basis in an agency. I love when I tell people I work in advertising and they reply with the typical “Oh so you’re like Don Draper!” Bitch, no. I don’t get to sit around and drink scotch and smoke cigarettes all day. That’s not how it works. I spend 12 hours a day looking at excel spreadsheets and coordinating with 5 other agencies on how to make a campaign go smoothly. Not the same.

So these are my words of wisdom that have come from a few of many lessons I have already learned and will continue to learn from here on. Post-grad life is tough. Fact. It’s expensive, and difficult, but at the end of the day I walk out of my office, and I see the New York skyline and I remember that the hardships I endured in college and the innumerable hardships that will continue to come my way are all worth it in the end.



I am here in the moment.

People say that your last semester of college is the best semester of your life. Well, I am here to tell you that they are right! I have learned that throughout your four (or however many years you went to college) lead you to a place of awareness and satisfaction.

Let me explain further..

Starting from your freshman year you are immediately submerged into a culture so unlike one you have ever known. You have complete freedom to do whatever the hell you want! In my case, it was staying out late with my girlfriends, talking to boys and going on night runs. (I know– dangerous!) But whatever it was that made you have that sense of limitless freedom, congrats! You have pushed your own boundaries and found a sense of awareness and satisfaction (in knowing you didn’t have to come home by curfew).

So you continue. You like this game of spontaneity. You enjoy the adventures, the people, the stories the next morning.

Three more years pass by. You are now a senior in college hoping to make it out into the “real world” in this crazy industry called advertising. You think to yourself- “How am I suppose to do this?” Better yet, “How can I do this?” There are over 100,000 college graduates right now all vying for a job. Greatttt.

Now you enter your second semester of your senior year. The “golden semester”. The one where you can look back at all the stupid (but fun!) stuff you did while you were in college, the great friends and professors you met all until you leave in May.

And this is where my point meets my story. I am very #blessed for my small achievements of awareness and satisfaction because they have led me to make some of the best friends. (Oh yeah- shout out to my besties!) But really though, I’m serious. I think what makes your last semester of college your “golden semester” is all of the true friendships you find and the special times you have with them which have shaped you to be who are you today. I know that I have learned from each and everyone of my friends in the aspect of advertising, boys, life…really anything! It is these same people, that as I am running around feeling like a chicken with its head cut off looking for a job, console me, and offer up their recommendation to help me get a job. It is these people that are willing to vouch for me, fight for me, and talk to me for hours on end about the job market and “real world” living. Because they know, if the tables were turned, that I would do that exact same thing for them.  All things that have helped me feel as satisfied as I am now and aware about all the great opportunities that surround me. As the young one in the group, and also as a very private person, it is hard for me to ask for help. But they have offered it anyway. So, thank you friends!

So, as I conclude my #blessed and #sohappy post… I just want to say how grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to be surrounded by such hard working people. If they can do, so can I!

Just do it. – OKP


I Am Going To Travel The World

Or at least some of it. 

As I approach the halfway mark of my final semester of college, it’s getting harder and harder to focus on class work. I am currently taking a break to write this post instead of writing an analysis of settlement patterns in the Basin of Mexico during 100 CE…exciting right?

Not really.

Instead, my mind can’t help but wonder to the months that are quickly coming up. First stop is the Rocky Mountains, my second favorite place. Not too long after that I’m going to Europe for the first time to spend two weeks; something I’ve been wanting to do for as long as I can remember. Landing in Manchester, then to London, on to Amsterdam, Prague, and flying home from Venice. Pretty exciting stuff if I do say so myself.


After Europe it’s off to New York City for what will be my new home; job or no job (but hopefully job). There I’ll get to rejoin Colin, Ryan, and Jordan in the greatest city in the world. Pretty excited guy over here.

Now back to Mexican settlement patterns…



Crooked Quest

Currently, I am applying to grad school for advertising and the process is fun yet tedious. There are about 18 open-ended, subjective, questions I have to answer, which really stretch my mind to dig up the truth and creativity within me. Like I said, it’s fun yet tedious.

I have been trying to figure many things out the past four years of life within college. What I want to do in life, who I want to be (career wise and characteristically), where I want to live, what girls I want to date, what toilet paper I should buy, are aliens real, am I real? The beauty of college is you have time to “figure” that stuff out, or at least you think you have time, because college is just dust in the wind. It’s about to be in the past and now I’m trying to figure out the next step in my life by applying to grad school and then onto the real world; which by the way, I feel like I’m in Billy Madison because every time I tell someone who is already in the real world that I’m about to join them, they say, “don’t you ever leave college, stay as long as you can!”

I still have no clue where I am going to end up in life, or even start for that matter. I get nervous about my future and always question how will I get to where I want to be, especially at the times I don’t want to (1:00am when I’m trying to get my beauty sleep!) However, I know I have grown as a person and learned a lot about myself. I’m still trying to figure things out but now I understand that knowledge is a process, a frustrating but valuable one. Also, this grad school application process has made me realize I do know a lot about myself and I have accomplished a lot in order to get this far in life; which gives me confidence and assurance that I will be just fine in the real world. So, I leave you with this poem I wrote that symbolizes the progression of my mindset to get to where I am today.


 Hits in waves it plays,

Consciously can’t you see?

A delicate mind ripples out of sync,

Conjuring memories eliminating chemistry.

Presently I am blessed to be,

A new book published in my name.

Insane inside does not reside.

Lips curling to ears,

Fears are laid to rest.

Straightened my path with a crooked quest.


 – Bradford


Charmin places a commercial into a show, “The Crazy Ones”

I’ll keep my reservations about the show, Crazy One’s to myself. Because the show sucks. However the most recent episode, did provide a great use of native advertising. Subtle? Eh. Cheaper than a 30 second spot during prime time? It’s definitely possible.

The show opened with the Charmin team meeting with the client in a boardroom, reviewing a commercial they worked on. The way this was shown made it look like an actual commercial. I even fast forwarded past the opening credits because I was fooled. When in fact the camera was just zoomed in on the TV in the boardroom, and then zoomed out showing the team.

What happened after that was the crafty part. In the show, the dialogue advances to the Charmin client raising questions about the uses of Kleenex and why Charmin can’t be used for those instances.

“There is no reason people can’t be drying their eyes with Charmin. People need to wipe their glasses? Why not Charmin? Blow your nose? Why not Charmin? Remove a little makeup? Why not Charmin? Stuff your bra before the prom? Why not Charmin? Why not Charmin!?” It goes beyond the reasonable product replacements and gets a bit silly when the client wears toilet paper on his head and says, “You’re outside on a baking hot day. You forgot your sunscreen. Why NOT Charmin?”

I would certainly speculate with confidence that this is not a coincidence for Charmin. If it is, they benefited extremely well. The Charmin twitter handle played it off as if they had no clue.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 12.13.41 AM

But I have to think that it was too well played, scripted and intentional with the way they mentioned the realistic ways that Charmin could replace KleenexKleenex, how do you feel? If anything, this is another great example of how brands are integrating with their audience’s regular entertainment.

I would not be surprised if next week’s episode opened with a tricky Kleenex commercial. Why use Charmin when you can use Kleenex? Why can’t Kleenex be the only paper in the bathroom? Why can’t Kleenex takeover the napkin and paper towel category as well? What a sneaky way to get people’s reactions and thoughts on Twitter. I’m a genius.



Colin’s Daily Affirmation (When Alone on V-Day)

Hello World. Colin here. Happy Valentine’s Day to those who care. Although a snowstorm grounded my girlfriend 1500 miles from me, love is still in the air, and I’m keeping positive.

Now, please kindly play this video before (or as) you read the remainder of this piece for the full effect. Because everyone could benefit from some daily affirmation.



Look, I can be a shark! (Watch out, Mark Cuban.)

Now… my whole apartment is great! (After getting kicked out of the first.)

I can do anything good. (But I like to do hoodrat things with my friends.)

I like my job! (Because I like a challenge.)

I like anything. (But pickles and mustard.)

I like my dad. (I owe that Cubano everything.)

I like my cousins. (Super artsy, know how to partsty.)

I like my aunts. (Shout out to Gayle and Dré.)

I like my Allisons. (I only have one of those, and I love that girl.)

I like my mom! (Mama’s boy for life.)

I like my sisters! (All three of them, fairly equally.)

I like my dad! (Again, because he’s brilliant.)

I like my… AHHH?!?! (I party.)

I like my hair! (When I wash it.)

I like my haircuts! (I do them myself.)

I like my pajamas! (Because clothes are overrated.)

I like my stuff! (But who needs stuff?)

I like my room! (And view of the Marcy projects.)

I like my whole apartment! (That’s true, now. I ain’t movin’.)

My whole apartment is great. (Especially the rooftop.)

I can do anything good. (As long as it’s mental, not physical.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. I can do anything good. (Try me.)

Better than anyone. (After a few beers.)

Better than anyone. (Try me.)


It may have taken a few months for me to get the hang of this city, but now it’s mine. I’m home, and this… right here… is livin’.


+ Colin


The Real World is Snow Joke

So here we go. I’m one week into my first “big boy” job out of college and I have a long career ahead of me. I got on the plane from Oklahoma City to head to New York City thinking that I was going to touch down, walk out of the airport and there would be a crowd of people waiting for me at the cab line cheering me on because I finally got to join the ranks of great New Yorkers. I was going to get to my apartment and Colin was going to be sitting in a dark mahogany room with books,  pipe and velvet jacket waiting for me.

Boy was I wrong.

I arrived at Chicago for a layover, with 4 hours to wait around—tequila shots, anyone?  Instead a brutal blizzard was there to welcome me to the North. SO, a cancelled flight, and a small panic attack later I jumped onto a new flight excited that I was going to reach my new home earlier than expected (more time to smoke pipes and discuss literature with Colin, right?)

I finally reach my destination after 4 hours of waiting on a runway. I call my cab and head to baggage claim. I am ready to be a New Yorker! A small part of me knew that when the carousel started moving that my checked baggage was not going to appear. And I was right. They never came.

A week later and I have my baggage (Do you even know how stressful it is for someone as glamorous as me, in New York City, without all my clothes? Carrie Bradshaw would understand), I have my desk, I have my team, I have my future.

My welcome to post-grad life was a very bumpy one, and it was very challenging. This is something that I feel is relevant to all of us going into the advertising industry. In college we are used to the routine of every day. Monday/Wednesday/Friday you go to the classes that go quick, Tuesday/Thursday you go to the classes that you feel like you should have a drink before you walk in. They’re never ending. It’s easy. Its routine. Not the way it works in the industry.

Everyday is different, you have different projects to complete, you have different meetings to attend, and along the way you are going to hit some major roadblocks and you are probably going to scrape yourself up a bit. That’s OK. The point is that at the end of the day, in advertising, we all have something in common—we are smart people, we are strong people, and we are all willing to put serious elbow grease into reaching our career goals.

So while I don’t get home from work until 7:30 or 8 some nights, I do get to spend those long days with talented people who have already taught me how to set my mind to a goal and get there (and that there is always a place for red wine and beer in late meetings!)

– Jordan