Blog Writing Samples

Writer’s Portfolio (downloadable PDF)
(This document was created for my Career Prep class at St. Edward’s University to showcase my writing and design abilities.)

Travel blog entry (for a mobile app):

Back in the day, if you wanted to anger your parents, you could wander St. Marks Place, browse tattoo shops, shop at Trash & Vaudeville, and then top it all off with a sonic headache at CBGB’s. Trash & Vaudeville is still a great place to pick up supplies for all your alternative lifestyle needs while exploring the curios of the culture war. Housed within is a vast array of quality subculture apparel (this is no Hot Topic), including bondage pants, corsets, skinny jeans, bullet belts, and flame-licked creepers. In addition, absorb the counter-cultural history. Imagine Joey Ramone browsing nose-to-nose with Debby Harry or Lou Reed wandering the neighborhood in a daze. All and all, Trash & Vaudeville encompasses the St. Marks experience perfectly.

Coping with Internet Addiction
(an article I researched, wrote, and edited in ~45 minutes (per instructions) for Winning Health Magazine.)

Excerpt from “A Slacker’s Guide to Fitness”:

I’ll be honest. I don’t like exercise.

It’s not that I’m against working out; I’m just really not that into it.

Still, I understand the importance of maintaining regular physical activities. I’m starting to hit that age when my metabolism put down the dumbbells in favor of a bag of Doritos. There’s simply no room for lethargy in my personal routines anymore.

But that doesn’t mean working out has to be some boring old jock-o-rama weight room ordeal, though. You don’t have to go for the burn. There is another way to stop the inanity.

I understand your pain, though. I’ve got the same laundry list of complaints:

As an ex-smoker, I have reduced lung capacity. My knees are shot from skateboarding, unsafe biking, and youthful exuberance. And to be completely honest, the smell of gymnasiums–ripe socks, sweaty t-shirts, over-used cologne and perfume–makes me queasy.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Scientists remind us that numerous studies have found the average human being requires 30 minutes of exercise a day. I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too. Two to four hours of exercise a week? Ugh…

Excerpt from a review of National Geographic Taboo: Tattoo:

Historically tattoos often communicated information beyond the provisions of spoken communication. Among the Iban of Borneo, tattoos denoted tribal status and affiliation. During periods of inter-tribal warfare, a tattoo could rapidly indicate a friend or foe. In the heat of battle, misidentification often meant death. In specific, one hand tattoo sent chills up an enemy’s spine–the mark of a successful head hunter. During times of peace, tattoos acted a tribal road map. As an individual journeyed across Borneo, each tribe would adorn a visitor with their clan markings as a sign of friendship.

In many countries, tattooing and scarification serves as a rite of passage. In Benin, a young Bétamarribé child’s face is striated with intricate cuts, signifying his transitioning into adulthood. Lacing a child’s chest and stomach with scars indicates courage in the face of life’s trials and tribulations. In societies like the Bétamarribé, individuals without these marks are often ridiculed or even ostracized from the tribe…

Excerpt from “Yelp! Me: Learning to Live with Online Reviews”

Love them or loathe them, the prevalence of online reviews is undeniable. Sure, nothing is more excruciating than watching a blood, sweat, and tears business raked over the coals by some shoddily coiffed hipster with a smartphone and too much time on her or his hands. At the same time, a glowing word of mouth review or five-star rating from the same smart aleck could boost your sales.

The ABC’s of What Not To Do

A recent episode of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares proves once and for all the importance of handling online reviews properly. On the show, the proprietors fought every bad review tooth and nail with added venom. For that matter, they even fought with customers in their own restaurant. Let’s just say that the results weren’t exactly ideal. Sure, each curse-laden retort and vengeful retaliation might draw in the take-no-prisoners crowd, but it could alienate every other low key customer whose money is just as green. Sure, we’ve all thought about creating a third corn-shoot in a snide reviewer from time to time. Who wouldn’t? But common sense usually prevails. In an age where online reviews can make or break a small business, it’s paramount to respond to these cyber-jerks promptly and properly…

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