Don’s and Ben’s/ Gabriel’s Design Work

During my time as Social Media Manager for Don’s and Ben’s and Gabriel’s Liquors I was responsible for creating cocktail recipes as a part of their comprehensive social media strategy. Here are a few shining examples of designs I crafted for the client. I am by no means a graphic designer but it was a fun stretch of ability to play one for a little while.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Time, Task, Manage

-Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.-Theophrastus

I recently got a car.

His name is Kurogane. He’s great. I like him a lot.

But I’m not here to talk about car ownership. I’m here to talk about time.

The reason I got the car was for a job opportunity in Austin. I didn’t want to move right away. I made the drive to and from Austin for about a month. That’s about 180 miles a day and about 4 hours a day total just driving in the car. I took it in stride for the most part: it was time to listen to podcasts and just be anywhere but home. I’m from North Texas: 2 hours is a bad night’s worth of traffic from Dallas.

I recently left the Austin job not because of the commute but because I didn’t like what I was commuting for. I took another job in San Antonio and it’s a much better fit and I’m much happier.

Now for a little bit of context: up until this point in my time here in San Antonio I’ve been relying on public transit. I loved busing it. I didn’t have to worry about parking it wasn’t so unreliable. It was nice. I lived on a bus route and it didn’t take me long to get to many places. I did however take a lot of time to get to places I really enjoy but I took it in stride: planned out my weekends more carefully and moved things around. It fed the part of me that is a meticulous planner (and you can find out more about that here) and I didn’t have much to complain about. But my concept of time was radically different. It took me easily about an hour just to get anywhere and that wasn’t factoring in how quickly I walked various places. Nothing was spontaneous. Nothing happened without some planning. Nothing happened just out the blue. I did miss out on things: but not too many things.

Having a car changed some of those things. I can get to the hair stylist without having to take 2 buses and at least an hour. I can get food whenever I want to (that’s a very dangerous power to have). I can leave the city of San Antonio as I’m sure you all can see based on the day trips I’ve taken (I’ll write a blog post about that soon). But now my concept of time is radically different. Everything can be just a few minutes away.

With everything just a stone’s throw away I’ve become somewhat more impatient. I don’t like having to wait. I can just decide to go anywhere and do anything. I also don’t like driving long distances without company. I plan even more carefully because of traffic. I found myself recently complaining about a 20 or 30 minute drive to work and then it hits me all of the sudden that just this time a few weeks ago my drive was an hour and a half without traffic or at least 45 minutes on the bus. Where do I have room to complain?

I’ve mellowed out a lot about traffic and actually now that I have a car I’m actually probably at home even more: I dislike paying for gas despite having a hybrid car. But the idea that an hour is an hour and a minute isn’t always that is an interesting and fantastic concept. Think of how trains made modern time.


Death of a Mall Brat

Nostalgia is, 'Hey, remember the other mall that used to be there-' George Saunders

I’m a suburban girl.

I was born and raised in an upper middle class Dallas suburb and ergo I was a mall brat. I spent hours at the mall, dropped off at times unceremoniously by my guardian and left there for the remainder of the day and often well into the night. I’ve seen malls come and go and it’s been the most exciting aspect of growing up. My first job was in a mall. Most of my other jobs after that were in malls. I didn’t break that chain until a bakery took me in but shortly after that opportunity didn’t quite pan out (pun intended) , I returned to the mall.

I think it’s because of this, the ups and downs of retail life I’m always very guarded when I read sensationalized stories about malls dying. Picture it: the Mall, Romanesque in appearance as it is vanquished by the invading Visigoths. Smaller and digital retailers have been beating out malls for a while now, this is true but I do absolutely believe that the severity of this impending collapse of all things shopping mall are mostly impacted by personal geography.

I’ve seen malls come and go in my hometown, only to be replaced by newer shinier malls. Even as an employee, sure I saw numbers fluctuate radically sometimes between sales and traffic we still regardless made money clearly enough to stay afloat.  It’s been mentioned time and time again that location does matter. Many states have proven to be nearly recession proof and there are certain industries that fail in one place and thrive in another.

North Texas is a particularly capitalistic part of the state is known for its association of pride with wealth. Everyone who was anyone shopped and did so a lot. What mall you visited said a lot about you. For instance, if you were going to the Galleria or North Park, it was assumed you were of a certain income bracket. The Parks? You were a suburban girl like me. Arlington Highlands? Tourist or retail employee. Grapevine Mills? Totally a tourist. Paragon? Stuck up. And we just don’t talk about North Richland Hills.

How much and what you spent on actually mattered as well. And here is where I think the mall is dying. When I was in high school, we would spend HOURS at the mall and spend maybe 40 dollars (which is a lot for an out of work high schooler) but that conversion to the surrounding stores is abysmal. We easily should have been spending that kind of money PER STORE.

Naturally it’s true that going to be rough for business long-term and again some malls haven’t faired so well. And I do think eventually retail giants will fall. However that fall won’t be dramatic, it won’t be loud and it won’t be entirely nationwide. The cities that have been struggling post-recession, may continue to for a while longer and their shopping habits may not bounce back in enough time to save the area Cinnabon. That’s okay, the death of the mall is difficult but it isn’t the end of shopping. Mall culture will just evolve, it has been for years.