Saturday, December 22, 2012

Two Months Later, Part 5

Brad and Willen with a water monster known as the musky.
After I got back from L.A., I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Bauschy crew before I headed up north. This was especially fortuitous since it was during my niece-by-proxy Mae's birthday: I love that sassy little girl to pieces, and I was SO glad I got to spend some extended time with her. She grows up way too fast (I like to say that she's a 17-year-old in a 3-year-old's body. That girl is whip-smart, headstrong and s-a-s-s-y...which are also the top three reasons why I love her so much). I spent most of those days (and nights) working at macht speed on launching plans for new projects and tying up loose ends for existing ones. One day Matt walked in, shook his head, and said, "Everytime I see you, you're sitting in the exact same spot, typing on your laptop." Working helped keep that niggling anxiety - about what I was going to do and how - at bay, but it didn't exactly make me super fun to be around. Finally, Chels and Karah dragged me out to happy hour at Cafe Maude the night before I left as a sort of last hurrah. It was that same kind of that thing I'm used to feeling before a big trip or move - I was sad to leave my friends and the familiar faces and places, but I was also a little anxious to just get on with it.

So it was up to the hinterlands for me again. Getting to my parents house felt like exhaling a long-held breath...I had some space to myself, I could relax a little bit, I was in familiar surroundings but was also making a new start. And ironically, it was also there and during that time that everything fell into place, all at once...

Plans with Brad became finalized, and I signed on as - as Brad likes to call it - the Off-Water Specialist for Musky Country Outfitters and the Brand Manager for Primo Tail (among other assorted related roles). As ironic it is to me that the two brands I've helped manage and promote (cycling and fly fishing) are two of the biggest areas that I previously had little to no interest or involvement in (to the point where I had attitude about it/them...which I now believe can actually leads to more success: things get a lot more creative and focused on the big picture when you're branding something from the outside in), it's been a blast thus far to get to know this huge community of fly fisherman that are so into Brad and the stuff he's doing with MCO and Primo Tail. I've also discovered that this particular online community of outdoorsmen are not all that different from the community I got to know while doing social media for Groucho Sports Supply. Generally, recreational cyclists and fly fisherman are pretty laid back folk...but when they like something, they really really like it.

I also picked up a couple of other local clients as well, and suddenly, without even trying to, I had this really spectacular web of clients that were all spearheading local and fascinating small businesses, and whom all had the potential of being in symbiotic relationships with each other. Which offered tons of radical possibilities for cross-promotional opportunities, which is something I really, really dig. Cool people making cool's hard to get any better than that, when it comes to the day-to-day stuff.

The best part, though, of all of this is that it really cemented my motivation to focus on and create my own gigs. Here's the thing I learned about break-ups, amongst other things - they can be really, really fucking's kind of like a tidal wave. Now that one area of your life has been drastically changed, it can propel you to take a look at the other areas of your life that could use a change, too. Writing about my experience and sharing my methods and lessons with others...that was it, you know? It was so cathartic, and it became the answer to the question I had been asking myself: What's the message? What's this stuff worth? And how do I make it worth it not just for me, but for someone else? So I'm working on some stuff. The book was finally finished during this time, too, and sent off to my publishing team, and I also started working on rebranding/revisioning Cyber Dating Sidekick as Very Damn Important (it's going to be fun...a lot of work is still ahead, but it's going to be fun). And the blog...

There was a very particular thing that came out of all of this that I don't know if I shared...I think I might have talked about it when I wrote about vision books, but it was one of those moments when you just finally tell yourself the truth. And the truth is...I love this blog. Over the years, I've used the blog as a vehicle towards other things - do a great job with your blog and then you get another job! Write a great post and you land another client! that kind of storyline - which, in actuality, didn't really make me all that happy.And the truth-telling moment that happened during the creation of my new vision book was...I want everything else to lead back to blogging. I want to do things that will give me more time to blog and write...not blog and write so I can do more things. Because this is what I really love...writing silly posts about nothing at all and then blog series about everything at once. And this, writing and blogging, is My Jam - the thing that, no matter what anyone else thinks or likes, it's gonna get me out on the middle of the dance floor, breaking it to the beat like nobody's business in ten seconds flat. It's the thing I'll do all day and night, without a second thought, without needing any guarantee that anyone will like it or that anything will come from it. I'd do it in the dark, just to do it. It's the thing that fills me with energy when I'm lacking and the thing that calms me down when I'm out of sorts.

So it's kind of a new era in the Amber Colored universe. And thank god for it.

And, to go with my new perspective...I got some new surroundings. I moved into the Penthouse of the Pavilion at the end of October with my friend and biz partner Adam. Some of you might have heard me mention it on Twitter and Facebook, so here's the full deets on the new digs -

It's the third floor of the building on Main Street known as the Pavilion. The Pavilion building is an old historical building with three stories - the first story holds the Wine Cave & Diablo Den (which Adam owns), the second floor holds the Pavilion shop and wine bar (some of you may know it from the fantastic eatery and live music it used to feature on the weekends) which Molly (Otis) Stoddard used to own but just sold to Itasca Leatherworks, and on the third floor you have the Penthouse. The Penthouse space is ridiculous. Ri-dic-ulous. Molly has a very distinctive and creative eye when it comes to interior design, and all the interior beauty of the place is courtesy of her. The space features two fireplaces (one in the living room and one in the kitchen), two bedrooms, a huuuuuuuuge two-room bathroom with jacuzzi and shower, a greenroom, a two-story deck (you kind of have to see it to get it), high ceilings, and a kitchen that overlooks Main Street.

The main reason that Adam and I are living here - besides lady luck deciding to be a hell of a swell girl - is that we're converting half of the place into a coworking/collaborative space, with a soft launch slated for April. We're pretty freaking excited about this new venture - it will both fill a wide and gaping need for the area as well as provide us with an avenue to gather and support the rather-undercover-and-mostly-undiscovered talent pool that Hayward holds. And even though we have a lot of work ahead of us, it's the kind of work that we can't wait to do.

What you see when you walk in. My room is behind the French-and-sliding doors on the left.

The hallway. Along the way from the living room to the kitchen you'll find a walk-in closet, the bathroom, laundry room, Adam's room, and finally the kitchen. The hallway also serves as a majorly fun slip-and-slide when you're wearing woolen socks.
Guess which room this is! C'mon! Guess!
New discoveries: a fireplace in the kitchen is pretty much the best thing ever.

The greenroom. It has skylights!
Greenroom, leading out to the deck.
The view of the deck from the greenroom. The deck has two levels. It's crazy.
So now I'm here. In Hayward. Again. And it's good, you know? I feel like all of these different times, when I kept feeling sucked back into this was for a reason. And something big and huge and great came out of all of those times, so I gotta believe that it's going to be the same this time, too. There's big plans in the works. I've got a lot of work to do, but the work is good and the goals are great.

And so it's two months later, and life just keeps getting better. Sometimes...that's all you can ask for, you know?

To keep updated on the future plans and haps, you can add yourself to the email list and RSS feed - located to the right -and/or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and my new favorite social network, Pinterest.


  1. Dude, this is nicer than the stupid house I own.I hate you, in that way where I don't really hate you, but kind of do.

    1. Ha! The place is pretty ridiculous, but I like to look at it as the universe's apology for all those years when I lived in a creepy winterized cabin and then in my friend's basement. That way it's easier to feel grateful for it instead of feeling a bit like an imposter.


Hopefully it will work out in your favor.


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