About Me

The things that I value about myself, and those that others might value about me are sometimes very different. That or I struggle to simplify who I am coherently. And because of that my collection of writings and stories is so important to me. I believe that people, when characterized as “the mob”—our communal behaviors; you know, the dissected scientific methodology of who we collectively become on paper, and then concertedly accept as arbitrary truths—are way too oversimplified. Nevertheless, we rely entirely on those defined personas when we are trying to relate with one another. We forget that we are not a compilation of “if x is true, then y = E.”

I'm implying that we’re layered, complex, and presently bare things. There’s no way to present even an idea of who I am, and what this website is designed to be in a simple three-paragraph structure. I, just like everyone else, have to be pieced together. I’m going to try to express the essence of who I am, and who we all are as my experiences and purview allow me to perceive, through my complete collection of essays and stories, of photographs, and of my interest in and love for books and ideas, art, behavior, travel, food, and music.

            I began as a military brat, in the most literal sense. My dad joined the military, but not because he wanted to, he joined because he struggled early in life to find direction. He struggled to see what the sum of his dreams, ideas, and experiences were becoming up to that point. When I was born, he was obligated to find direction and, at that time—in the early 80’s—the military is where people with less than a certain idea of their consequent futures ended up. He hated just about every minute of his experience in the Air Force. Nevertheless, it did give him direction. Nowadays, people with a less-than-certain idea of purpose tend to find themselves in retail, which is exactly where I found myself. I wasn’t always directionless.

I was led to believe that my passion for writing was aimless. I was told writing was little more than a hobby. When I was 18, I took a job at Borders, Books, Music, & Café in San Antonio, Texas, and I enjoyed it. And so, I inherited a passion for books. I have since worked at Hastings Entertainment in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Barnes & Noble in Salt Lake City, Utah, New York City, New York, and Bozeman, Montana; I worked at Op. Cit. Books, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I opened my bookstore in the Texas Hill Country. This website began after I closed my bookstore in 2015. Communitea Books, my online bookstore, writing digest, and photo gallery have since evolved. 

I found myself managing Barnes & Noble’s in Bozeman, Montana, after the Natural Grocers in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I was miserable and angry, this negativity had been consuming me for years. Twenty years had passed since I first took a job working at Borders, and I was starting to feel the depression that resulted from ignoring my passions. I shifted my focus toward working on myself. And that meant to explore my traumas, mistakes, anger, fears, doubts, beliefs, and purview. I began to explore my memories, and more importantly, my gaps in memory.

I came to recognize what I’ve always known that I still have a passion for writing. I realized also that I had passions that I wasn’t yet aware of for travel and food (I don’t like cooking, which sucks because I do care about eating healthy). I started taking steps to realize my passions. The internet seemed as good an outlet as any. I already had the basic infrastructure of this website. Throughout several stressful and challenging months, I incorporated several collections of writings: essays and stories (I dislike even just the word “blog,” let alone the fact that what I’m writing is not a blog) on travel, food, music, and film, as well as editorial and biographical essays and stories.

In between, and sometimes supplemental to working at a bookstore, I have also worked several “odd jobs.” I’ve worked as a caterer, sold aluminum siding door-to-door, worked the graveyard shift maintaining a packaging machine at a potato processing plant in Idaho, was the marketing director for an art gallery in Santa Fe, was a host on an excursion train, I also worked as a staff writer, columnist, and reviewer for magazines, newspapers, and literary journals. While working as a writer and columnist, and earlier in life recognizing writing as a passion, because I had a writing talent, I never actually studied writing: the rules, the grammar, the style, and the structure were all relatively foreign to me.

I realized that if I wanted to explore my passion for writing I needed to make an effort to understand the elements of writing. In the meantime, I started building a collection of travel food, music, and films writing 1.) as a means to measure my progress, and 2.) because I am, and will continue to build not only a comprehensive collection of essays and stories about the above mentioned—as well as new ideas and perspectives on behavior, politics, education, psychology, spirituality, mental health, work/passion, art, communication, people, and kind of life in general—but also an anthology of who I am, and who we all are: explored and dissected, accumulated and matured, and hypocritical and unimpeachable.

I discovered too that I appreciate photography. I love the idea of capturing moments in time, our lives, and the experiences we have frozen as an impression of art, and photography helped me to recognize that beneath our generally unexplored lives, are emotion, passion, and artistic expression. How a single photograph, even a bad photograph, captures what exists beneath the thoughtless, everyday tedium of our otherwise angry, fearful, and controlled lives. It’s beautiful. My mom is a photographer. She began studying independently later in life and practiced photographing people at work.

My mom’s interest in that area started after working as a freelance sports photographer in, and around San Antonio, Texas. She went to San Antonio Spurs basketball games (they’re still my favorite basketball team). She helped me to look with a different perspective, the perspective eventually translated into my life to far more than simply photography. I think differently than most, but still with reason, passion, and balance. I struggle to understand why people behave the way they do, how different our conscious behaviors are from our unconscious, and how in the discontinuity between the two lies the overwhelmingly indifferent and hypocritical. I like photography so much because even the unpleasant sides of us when photographed, come across more often as beautiful than hateful.

So, why do I express so much of my life story online? I think it’s because every page and every photograph is another chapter of my life. It’s not just about the places I’ve been, the reviews (which is another word, and concept in general that I dislike), the products, and the essays; it’s about the experiences, the people, the stories, and the development that unfolds within me, and within all of us. From managing bookstores to capturing these moments in time, this journey is a patchwork quilt of experiences and one that I’m inviting you to explore with me. It's a celebration of the written word, the visual feast of photography, and the serendipity that arises when we embrace the unpredictable. Pour a cup of coffee, flip through the digital pages, and join me in this tale where literature, photography, and the joy of discovery collide. Let the Chronicles continue!