Category Archives: Austin

Only The Young – An Honest Review

I had the pleasure of viewing “Only The Young” at Violet Crown in Austin Texas. I love Violet Crown so much that I almost just went on a wild tangent about their wine and beer atmosphere- but that’s not what this is about.

Only The Young is a documentary style narrative about 3 friends who have a strong bond and no fear of a camera crew following them around (or that’s what the movie would have you believe.) If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to spend your teenage years in a small desert town in Southern California, this is all you need to watch.

I went into this movie knowing to expect something a little out of the norm, so I slouched back in my seat, took advantage of the house red wine, and put my optimistic glasses on. Prior to the showing it was announced that the Director, Elizabeth Mims, was among us and would be around to chat about the movie and answer questions. Immediately, I’m like- CRAP, this may be really bad if the director is just chillin out here on a Friday evening. Oh well- my optimistic glasses were on, and I wasn’t going to take them off, rather just clean the lenses and start the movie,

Skip 2 hours ahead…

Holy, mother, effing, OW WOW OH, man. I tried to sit back and really take in what I had just witnessed. I don’t know if there are accurate words to describe it- but I had just seen a wildly masterfully cut narrative documentary of REAL LIFE that spliced correctly served up an incredible story of friendship, trust, love, youth, and internal struggle. It’s one of those “did that really just happen” moments where you have to retrace what you just saw to give it even more credibility.

Elizabeth was kind enough to answer question (of which mine was first) about their experience with the stars of desert town, their initial reaction to seeing the cut film, their actual validity, and the processes of making this master-mentary.

I was SHOCKED to find they spent 3 years with these kids and just literally followed them around and tried to urge them to just “act natural” and “do what you would normally do if a camera wasn’t here”.

Hands down the most interesting and creative way I’ve ever seen a snip-it biography shot, edited, and produced.

I’d like to say more, but I really want you to watch it- if you enjoy these types of films. Hit me up on the comments if you have questions.

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Fun w Chrome

Playing around with some Google Chrome Extentions I found this fun one called GifPal <>


click to see animation

Ramblings of an old job

This is a blog that I never posted… until NOW! (its not very good, think it was a wine-ey night)

Originally Titled: New Gig

*** I must start this blog by saying the views and opinions expressed on this post and anywhere on this blog are solely mine. They do not reflect my employer or anyone but myself. You have to say these things because if you don’t then people can get VERY angry and try to sue. While I think time can be saved by trying to sue little ole me there are certain people who have made a living doing so. Not knocking anyone or anything just stating the opinions of ME 🙂

An era has come to an end for me. My last day at Asmerican Smampus Sommunities (all names in this story have been changed to protect the corporatti) is January 3 2012. While I will miss everyone there dearly; I am very excited for my newest venture! Not going to talk about it yet… as its too soon and thats not what this post is about.



Thats the title?



Well lets go over some thing I learned in the last 5 years:

It’s really fun to work with your friends- I was really lucky to have lots of friends to work with. Most of them came after i began work there, but there were plenty that I already knew and it made things easy to slip into… like a oiled monkey on a greased skillet. It’s also fun to be able to look over at your friends and know the pain beneath their eyes from a WAY too late night that you were enthusiastically participating in at the same time and now regretting. (Why can’t we ever just wait till Friday?)

Going out to lunch everyday is a tasty trap- Other than consuming 2000 calories in chips and salsa alone, going out to lunch is a fun much needed day break. When you have a dedicated crew of lunch lemurs its a great feeling, until your belt doesn’t fit and your wallet is thinning.

Passive learning is THE BEST- You really learn a ton at each job. Ok, well maybe YOU don’t but I sure do. It’s not that I’m learning in the conventional college “I’ve got to cram for this test so can i borrow that 1/2 an addie? and pay you back after I don’t sleep for 2 days and listen to way too much radiohead” its more of a learning about all of your surroundings. People around you- understanding types of people and strengths. The place around you- what your company really does… not really what you tell people you do but what goes down on the inside. The things around you- I found that a desk chair makes quite the napkin when you are in a bind (sorry whoever inherits that chair :?). The multiple personality disorder that corporate America has given everyone… I mean for real— I know a number of people who are two different people: One at work, one not at work… Is this ok? I prefer myself at all times…

Socializing is not wasting time – I am a firm believer that being social, meeting the people around me and listening to them has made me more of an asset than some of my peers. Its not wasting time if you look at the bigger picture. For example. I was able to make some wonderful contacts in my field just by chatting with someone at the water cooler about his hometown… “Oh- you know SoAndSo? Really? Would you mind if I shot them an email and introduced myself?” Ok- that story is better with detail… but I prefer to stay away from real names.

Its HARD to get fired. Provided your company is fiscally sound… its really not an easy task to get the boot. I’ve seen unqualified people who just flat out failed and were not only kept… but PROMOTED?!?! yeah… crazy. This is not at just one company, this has happened at SEVERAL now… and I’m still somewhat young. As much as you hear from older folk… “well just be happy you have a job” or “you better not or you will get fired”… its for the birds. In my experience you can get away with alot before someone even gets the slightest bit mad. But then again… I’m pretty amazing 😉 (I’ve just been informed by my dog, Rally, that I’m not that amazing unless i take off her stilly christmas hooded sweatshirt).

Finally I learned that you are only worth what you make yourself worth. Its much easier said “i’m gonna make over $100K per year by the time I’m 30” than done. You have to put yourself out there and make the tough decisions. At the end of the day, a job is what you make it. If you tell yourself that you can’t leave because you would lose everything then i guess you can’t leave… but if you really look at it, you can probably leave you just need to be prepared first (word of advice… find a new job before you leave the old). I don’t think many companies truly value their employees— there are maybe a handful, but most are looking out for their bottom dollar. Remember that. In conclusion- to each his own. Do what you got to do and don’t look back (unless a nintendo style ghost is after you!).

nintendo ghost

Look him in the eye!

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What’s in a title?

*** I don’t want to start every blog like this, but to CMA— these words and opinions in this blog are solely mine and do not reflect that of any named parties.*** ugh

Moving jobs in a feat in its own… moving jobs and not knowing what your title is… well its strange. I mean I know what it do, and I love it, but I was never clear on what my “title” is.


Does it matter?


It really doesn’t matter. It does matter what I do, but it doesn’t matter what they call me.


Let me back up. I have been a little obsessed with my title since I entered the work place… maybe that’s because I have strived to climb to the top (CMO anyone??? ;)… maybe its because I have a very traditional family. I don’t know, but I was concerend.

Please notice my use of past tense…was

I am no longer concerned. I have hit a point where I just want to be good at what I do.


Take startups for example: I have seen everything from : Chief Ninja, to Social Guy, to Cook for Smart People, to Monkey Wrangler.

At my new company I noticed that the receptionist is the Director of First Impressions. WOW! She really is! And its great!


What not to do:

When I’m browsing LinkedIn and see that some people are “CEO of (Their Name) Industries” yeah… there is only one of you… I guess I am CEO of Ryanhandinc (ok- really I am!).

Go ahead and make yourself a better title. For example if you sell custom shoes… Chief Shoe Designer, or Shoe Monger, or Maker of de Shoes. If you are a cookie baker: Leading Cookie Cook, Lady of the Cookie, Chief Dough Roller. If you paint fences: Painter of all things Primed, Price of Paint, Chief Painting Gibbon… you get the point.

What you do is going to supersede what your title is.


With all this said I need a title.

“Recruitment Marketing Manager” or “Manager of Recruitment Marketing” doesn’t seem to do the trick…

What about “Recruitment Marketing Guy”???

I don’t know. Help me 🙂

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May your Holiday Gifts be Facebook Branded

Man- its been awhile… and rightfully so… I promise… lots going on in Ryan Hand land, but that will be a story for another time. Right now- its time to talk about FACEBOOK! Do you think if I use the word “Facebook” enough in this facebook post that I will go up in SEO becasue of facebook the searchable word? I’m facebook not facebook sure facebook either…

So I get back to work and on my desk is a pretty little box (for the record- not pretty- Brown normal box). I open it up and its another box. This one is actually pretty, white with some social facebook branding

My first thought is that I am so freaking awesome that Facebook has sent a personalized job offer to my current employer! Wow- I must be THE SHIT! Then reality hits me… Facebook doesn’t want me, they want my business… ok fine. Let me just open this box before I make any more assumptions…






ahhhhh! Please… what does please mean? ok now I am getting excited… please please please, and it looks like there is something fun in a jersey bag… EXCITEMENT!







Please share? Please share what? I feel like little Ralphie on “A Christmas Story” with my Little Orphan Annie Decoder, sitting in the bathroom waiting to find out what Annie could possibly need!!!





Ah HA! Please Share the Good Cheer. $50 to the Educational Cause of my choice! Ok- Facebook, I like.

For real, this was a really awesome way to give a really wonderful meaningful gift to your customers. Its not a box of really bad candy or stale trail mix (if you are going to send me these things please still send, I do eat them… usually in one sitting) it was a gift that gets to make a difference.


They also included a really nice reusable water bottle with a filter. A

 really nice gift for a conscious austinite.

Lets take a second and talk presentation: They really stopped at nothing to make this look amazing. From the outter box being very “apple clean” to the easy message of the cards.  They use of less than 15 words to make a HUGE statement. This is marketing. This is branding. This is the way that thoughtful gifts should be done.

I know their resources are high, but if you are trying to win the affection of someone this is a great way to do it.



Thank you Facebook, and may your Christmas be bright!

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8 Easy Steps to Fresh Eggs

That's my Ginger

Yes, its exactly what it looks like. I bought a chicken yesterday and her name is Ginger.

More on the name-

My first choice for the name was Smantics. Its a play on semantics. I like the word, I like the definition and even more I like to tell people “lets not argue over semantics”. I thought is would be a great name for a child or chicken. You could call her Sam… it just seemed like such a good idea and very original. I have been told that isn’t the case.

Before I get ahead of myself let me go back.

Jonathan, Kay, Toni, Sam and I have decided that it would be great to have some Farm Fresh (Phresh) eggs. Cage Free Farm Fresh sounds delightful. Kay has a good amount of land and its perfect for some roaming chickens.

Here are 8 steps to buying a chicken in Austin:

  1. Own land that could house chickens (between .25 and infinity acres)
  2. Go to craigslist and search “chicken coop” (this is where the chickens Roost) Side note: Chickens are AMAZING. The go to the same place every evening right about dusk- this is called roosting. They walk around all day, then head back to the coop… to roost. (I like to say roost)
  3. Go on craigslist again and search chickens for sale
  4. Call and make sure the person isn’t crazy (some crazy people own chickens)
  5. Go view the chickens before buying. Once you decide- place them in a box and take them home (remember to poke air holes)
  6. Put the chickens in the Coop on your land and let roost for 24 hours
  7. The next day let them loose and watch. They will roost in the coop once dusk hits (like clockwork)
  8. Enjoy Free Range delicious eggs!

Chicken Coop

It may sound super weird but its actually super fun! The chickens are a hoot to watch and very friendly. Mine is an Americana and it will produce Blue or Green Eggs. (I can’t wait!)
I will be sure and keep you up to date on this wonderful experience.
chickens in a coop

From front to back: Ginger, Betty, Georgina

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Instagram, an instant hit

Just downloaded Instagram and like many others I took right too it. At first I thought it was just some other app to take pictures. “No Thank you” I said “I have camera +” (amazing photo product for iphone) but I came to realize its much more. It takes the technology of the facebook or twitter feed and goes photo… thus every update has a photo. Think this is overkill? Well its not- they provide filters for their pictures with makes everyone look like a photog. This brings me too my deep emo quote “Everything looks better through a filter” (don’t worry, I’m not slitting my writs or swallowing a bottle of pills- its just an emo line that came out.) for real though… these pictures make a brick wall look interesting. I like to scroll through the feed and say to myslef “oh, look at the attitude of that brick wall they captured, what a statement, we all have walls we must pass to get to out next step”  then i realize I am looking at a brick wall and its not that deep…

Here are some examples of things that are not that great that look great on Instagram:

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or should I say… they look much better than they did thru a filter.

If you are in need of another social network this one is fun and great. If you are already overwhelmed by facebook and twitter then don’t even try…

Happy Friday

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Talk about a SpookTacular Office Halloween

I- like my co-works loves them some Halloween! I will say its on the bit of the overboard site this year but then again… can you go overboard on Halloween?

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Anyones office look better than that?


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The Capital of Texas Zoo

Let me start this out by saying I love animals and am all about rescuing, saving, and helping.


Took a little trip out to the “Capital of Texas Zoo” ( Sunday. I bought a Groupon awhile back and had that Groupon Guilt (the guilt you feel when you realize a Groupon is going to expire but you still don’t really want to go)  so I had to go use it. The weather was nice, Jonathan and Kay joined me, it was set up to be a nice afternoon.


We all went to the “Austin Zoo” ( a few months early and felt somewhat gyped… there was literally a cage that said “Wolf” and it was someones dog… umm… no thanks. I understand that this is a rescue zoo so I will give them a kudos and just take the experience for what it was.

back to the Capital of Texas Zoo…

We drive, and drive, and drive… this place is no where near the capital of Texas… I’m not sure how they get off calling themselves the Capital of Texas Zoo… maybe I’ll start calling myself the fastest woman in the world and see where it gets me (-Tina Fey)

We pull off the road on to a path… “why is this zoo isn’t off a paved road” you can almost hear our inaudible thoughts. Pass by a number of cow pastures and some small back woods houses before we actually find the ZOO sign. It was at this points our dreams of going to a normal nice zoo with diet coke and quarter feed vending machines were crushed. My face went from hopeful excitement to this…



“This is going to be worse than the Austin Zoo” we allagree in unison. Oh well… we drove here, we are going to see some freakin animals and hopefully some energetic monkeys.

Walking into the office there is NO ONE there just a bunch of cages of snakes/lizzards/spiders and other things NO ONE should have PERIOD. The Rattle Snake literally rattled as you walked by it… my only thought was it was PISSED that it lived here and not a better zoo. Finally a maybe 11 year old boy came up and took down my Groupon number. “Its going to be $1 because we forgot to charge tax” he informed me. “ok”, “keep the change” I told him as I handed him a dollar. (ok that may have been mean)

Luckily they have the highlight of the zoo at the very front. Its a Guinea Pig exhibit (no they are not SHOW QUALITY Jonathan and Kay would want me to tell you…) which is a big open area where Guineas can run around as they would in South America. Its actually a wonderfully cute thing to watch and makes me want to have them all over my yard.

Guinea Pig Area


Some other highlights:

Malnourished Black Leopard Cats that wanted to scratch eyes out (but they are super cute)

Black Leopard Kitten

Hump-phree the tortise… REALLY?


Lenard the Lemur (These are consistently my favorite of all the monkeys)

Lenard the Lemur

Then this crazy thing. Don’t really know what it is, but I want one!

not sure

The real problem with this zoo was that the animals didn’t look very healthy. It was also hard to find where their food and water was/would be placed. Sad. I don’t know alot about the owners but I think they are in over their heads. My best recommendation is drive the extra 30 mins and go to the San Antonio Zoo. Please send $8 to me as I have just saved you the trip 😉

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Cows About Town

If you live in Austin you have seen them. Some have even snuck up behind me and scared the MILK outta me… (corny I know but come on people, I’m talking about cows… its utterly wonderful) either way its all art and I am all about that. A certain photographer has done an excellent job of tracking down all of these sometimes not so obvious cows and capturing them. Johnny Stevens has an EXCELLENT eye as these photos are stunning.
Enjoy the Cows!

cow in austin texas

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