I’d been in the audience of The Monti, a live storytelling performance, many times before and always left promising myself that one day I’d muster up the guts to actually do it. On October 16th, I finally did – at UNC’s Forest Theater and before an audience of more than 400. The Monti is modeled after The Moth. As such, storytellers must follow three rules: first, the … Continue reading Storytelling


Authentic Retail Connection

As a retail educator, I spend most of my time reminding store employees how to create/deepen their authentic connections with customers. During my trainings I rarely cover anything revelatory. But I do encourage folks to customize the customer’s experience in a way that meets the needs of the customer, not the employee’s. There’s an obvious difference between an agenda-based customer interaction and one that takes into … Continue reading Authentic Retail Connection


Nothing is Nothing: A Review of Doug Rice’s Here Lies Memory

Fifteen years ago I was a student in Professor Doug Rice’s film class. I remember being floored when he questioned the idea of memory. Its validity, its purpose. Never before had I considered that what I know, what I have experienced, might somehow be compromised by illusory perceptions for which, thereafter, I hold my personal narrative accountable. Safe to say that since Rice’s class I’ve … Continue reading Nothing is Nothing: A Review of Doug Rice’s Here Lies Memory


Love in the Federal District: Getting a Feel For Mexico City’s Coffee Culture

Author’s note: This piece was originally written for specialty coffee magazine Fresh Cup but cancelled at the last minute when their competitor, Daily Coffee News, printed a different piece I wrote about Mexico City coffee. I spent way too much time on it not to share it somewhere. Here’ll do. I stooped to peer through a jagged heart carved into the iron door. It was barely … Continue reading Love in the Federal District: Getting a Feel For Mexico City’s Coffee Culture


Three Cheers for Osteochondral Defects

It’s like the VA hospital just opened. Only two smokers out front and the usual guy looking confused on the bench near the main doors is absent. We say hello to an old vet as we enter. He’s missing both legs from the knee down. Fresh bandages, seeping. A dingy, dark blue USS something hat barely sits on his bald head. Kidney spots. In his mind … Continue reading Three Cheers for Osteochondral Defects


Unpacking My Bags

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to arrange what’s in my mind. On Thursday, September 2, 2016, the 20 year old Stanford student who raped a woman while she was passed-out drunk got out of prison after serving three months for his crime. Three months. During summer break, no less. This young man spent an insulting 90-days behind bars after brutally imposing … Continue reading Unpacking My Bags