Category Archives: Inspiration

I’ve kept it trill: true and real

So here I was, back in my apartment in Boston, hungover, overwhelmingly tired, with no cash, my credit card maxed out and maybe $7  to my name in my checking account. What a bizarre situation. I was ogling my last four cans of black beans, a bag of pasta, and a bottle of ketchup in the pantry. I was certain these food items were ceremoniously awaiting me this whole time to celebrate this special day of finding my new personal low. Doing a little math in my head, I figured that supply could get me through to my next paycheck, so I decided to max out the livin’ in poverty thing and spent my last $7 buying a bottle of 2 buck Chuck and one of those large Foster cans. I kept it trill.

This was back in a transitional period of my young adulthood, when nothing seemed to go my way. I’d guess it was around April 2011. The commonalities that were binding me together at the time were unsteady employment, steady unemployment and a broken heart.

Days before arriving in Boston, my home, I was in the midst of a highly unplanned and strangely thrown together last minute trip to Fort Lauderdale, then LA. Yes, epic indeed. Beaches. Babes. Booze. It was my very own cross-country adventure, from the (non) comforts of an airplane. This journey made little sense financially, since I had about $600 to my name. But fuck it, it felt right at the time. My best friends live in Ft. Lauderdale and LA. This was a good reason to escape the heartache and depression of the past few months and enjoy myself.

ft lauderdale

No money no problems. April 2011

I’ve always lived with a habit of spending money that I don’t have, and always entirely too quickly. So I was ready to have fun. You see, I was raised poor. I moved around a lot. I have an inkling that YOLO was firmly tattooed in my head as a baby, albeit subconsciously. So sure enough, by day 7 of my 10 day vacation, I involuntarily put myself on the Brokens Diet – a special meal plan consisting of Crunchwrap Supremes and McChickens. Anything left over was obviously saved for booze and hookers. Minus the hookers. Either way, we had the time of our life.

laudi nude beach

Found Captain America’s favorite hang out spot – he was rockin’ his USA G-String

While I seriously lack the grownup ability called saving money, I must have a sixth sense for limiting a budget. I started my vacation with $600 in my pocket. 9 days later, I’m on a red-eye back to Boston, not sure I have enough dough to afford the train ride from Logan back to my place. That’s $2.50. I was flying in at 6am with no Brokens backup plan. I figure that’s pretty pathetic from most peoples’ perspective. But that’s why most people are boring. I didn’t care because it would have figured itself out, either way, as life always does.

I did make make it back with a whopping $7 to throw around. I feasted on a dinner of pasta and beans in a jazzed up ketchup sauce, paired with a glass of Charles Shaw Cabernet. And a beer for desert. And I was winning.

Why? Because I always put myself out there. I treasure the story over the money. I’ll thirst for new experiences, unafraid of potential embarrassment or failure. I’ll celebrate life in the midst of craziness. It may come from my upbringing, but it’s my journey, personally and professionally. I value uncomfortable situations because they teach me something. I take incredibly outlandish risks that few seem to understand. And I make mistakes, but I also learn. Isn’t walking down a winding road so much more interesting and fulfilling than trudging along a straight and narrow path? Ultimately, I believe in unconventional wisdom rather than conventional wisdom. And it’s worked out, and it’s quite possibly the reason I am where I am today.

Dylan Shotgun

Drink your beer unconventionally – shotgun it! You my boy, Dylon


Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

Spontaneous Poetry: Onward to Maine

nonsense from the conscience
thirty miles per hour
ultimate distractions
flexing my mind for power

conversing for hours
generation Atari
won’t forgive or say sorry
not mean, just not worried
slow living, no hurry

one focus – living for today
in time, patience is repaid
giving it your best, always
cop a trophy when it comes your way


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“Desireless” – A Song Inspired by Self-Actualization (and Buddhism)

Over the past few months I’ve been ingrained in an almost trance-like psychoanalytical state in an effort to find personal answers and improve as an individual.  I’ve ventured on a type of soul quest that has taken me farther than I ever imagined.  I’ve traveled to personal depths I never thought accessible.  For the first time in my life I’ve been able to fill in the missing pieces.  I’ve found answers to questions such as “Why am I who I am?” – “What are my faults and where do they stem from?” – “How do I find self-fulfillment?” – “What is success?” and so on.  This ride has been nothing short of amazing; I’ve been extremely fortunate to take part in an introspective journey that has changed the way I view myself and the world, for the better.  It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.


“Desireless” – By Igor Kharitonenkov


It was only last week that I perhaps had one of my biggest mental breakthroughs throughout this process.  I was having a conversation with a friend and he shared a simple tip with me.  It turned out to be some of the best advice I had yet received; it tied everything that I had learned over the course of the past few months together.  It also inspired me to write this song, “Desireless.”  He told me that in any situation in life, Continue reading

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Out With the Old, In With the New: Making Positive Personal Changes

Life is a circle that leads us through light and darkness; happiness and sadness.  But at any given moment, some are happier than others.  Why is that so?  Does the circle spin at random?  Or are we ultimately in control of it?


“It’s Gonna Be Okay” by Igor Kharitonenkov


There are times in life when we are presented with forks in the road that will drastically alter the course of our journey.  Maybe we feel the need to change our career path; maybe we’ve been diagnosed with illness and need to change our diet and exercise; maybe our marriage is falling apart; maybe we became dependent on substances and need to clean up; ultimately, we discover faulty personal characteristics and need to change the way we look at ourselves and the world.

As fate will have it, sometimes these forks appear suddenly and out of nowhere, surprising us.  At other times they have been with us all along but we chose to actively ignore them, content with the way we were, until now.  Either way, the crossroads eventually dawn upon us and we are left with only two options: Continue reading

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What Dreaming Feels Like

I’m a grain of sand on a vast and crowded beach.  You walk around and you step on me.  You don’t feel me.  I’m nothing to you.  I go unnoticed for years.  When the tide takes me in and carries me away, you won’t see me.  You won’t hear me.  But one day, when I’m swept away into the vast ocean and I land on a pearl, you’ll want me.  You won’t know the amount of times I’ve been buried deep in the sand and forgotten.  You won’t know the currents I’ve endured at sea or the miles I’ve traveled.  But when I’m on my pearl you’ll want me, but you won’t have me.

Somewhere between dreams and reality

Creative souls are tortured.  We have dreams and we are bold; we are imaginative and insightful.  Yet the shackles of our social prison bear heavily on us.  We are forced to sacrifice any sense of stability for our vision.  We travel down unpaved roads.  Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

Every Beginning Has an End, But Every End is the Start of a New Beginning: 2010 in a Nutshell.

It’s been one hell of a year: I quit my PhD program. I founded IGORoamandreport. I had my car stolen. I made a documentary. I suffered unemployment for three months.  I worked on a movie set.  I went broke.

Yes, 2010 has been a wacky year filled with dramatic personal highs and unspeakable lows. Leaving graduate school, I was thrilled about breaking the chains of an unhappy future and jumping head-first into unknown waters.  At times, however, I’ve felt lost and alone on my journey. At other times I’ve celebrated incredible breakthroughs.

Drawing by Katie Beck

For good or bad, I feel as if 2010 was a year in which adult life decided to beat me over the head with a shovel on more than one occasion. It was a year in which the comfortable routine of 17 years of schooling disappeared to reveal the inner me, a kid in his early twenties, stripped naked and trying to make sense of the greater world around him.  Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

A Community Bands Together – Premiering “Stories from Boston’s Emerald Necklace.”

The Final Mini-Doc in the Six Part Series!

The past two weeks have been amazing and equally as hectic.  On November 3rd, my full 23-minute “Stories from the Emerald Necklace” documentary was finally premiered at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s annual meeting.  I was told it was met with gasps, sighs, laughter, and applause.  I have no personal recollections of this since I was transformed into a zombie-like state as soon as the screening started – unable to comprehend my surroundings, out of tune with the movie, and generally perplexed and stupefied that the big moment had finally arrived.  Nevertheless, I was assured by those attending that they liked it very much.  In the middle of all this commotion, I have worked as a Production Assistant on a feature film over the past two weeks – 12 hour days and little sleep.  More juice on that experience here.  Let’s get to my last “Story.”  Roger Gottlieb, a master storyteller and author of A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth, recounts a time when city dwellers had to unite to save the west bank of Boston’s best kept secret, Jamaica Pond, from apartment developments.  Roger is a fascinating individual and I hope you enjoy his story.

Only on YouTube: My extended interview with Roger.

See last week’s premiere here – Restoration and Revival of the Muddy River

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Filed under Environmentalism, Inspiration, Video

Tough Cookie: Surviving the Beast of Life

“What the hell do you think you’re trying to do?”

I’m approached by a young man.  One glance reveals the nature of this beast – no doubt he’s a type one old money Ivy League  product hailing from the Northeastern regions of the country.  He is wearing a white polo and khakis, his medium length blond hair is permed to the side, Ray-Ban’s on his head.  I can smell the overwhelming stench of some expensive cologne he probably received from his girlfriend’s family as a graduation gift from Yale.  His fingers have the scars of cracking one too many lobsters in his life; his Blackberry is in his belt holster, ready to be deployed at any potential fear of market fluctuation.

I’m crouched in the far corner of a room, facing the white walls, furiously trying to organize the work in front of me.  I look like a mess.  I haven’t shaved in days and my tired eyes are blood-red.  My white cap and my light green button up shirt have numerous salt stains from continual perspiration.  My khaki shorts are stained and dirty.  Drops of sweat fall on the papers that I’m shuffling back and forth; reorganizing; taking notes here and there.

“Hey guy, I’m talking to you.  What are you doing?” he asks me again.  I turn to face the beast and I give him a hard stare.  Little does he know or understand that these papers I’m dealing with are my only possession.  These papers I’m shuffling are literally my life.  This is serious stuff!  I pause.  Hmm.  The beast probably thinks I escaped the ward, I think to myself.  It’s no secret that my behavior is frowned upon in everyday society.  He’s here to round me up!   Cautiously, I turn back to my work, keeping him in my periphery.  I’m striving to organize these papers in the right order, dammit.  I’m seeking peace and harmony in a disheveled and disgruntled pile.  No luck so far, but I’m working on it, so leave me be man!  Continue reading

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Leaving a PhD Program: Part 3 – From Stress to Success

It wasn’t too long ago when it felt like my world was spinning out of control; when the pressures of life turned the mumbo-jumbo in my head into a full fledged jambalaya.  It happened when the initial rush of leaving my PhD program subsided and my eyes got tired of staring into the unknown.  It happened when I spent two long and lonely months in my apartment updating my resume, filling out endless cover letters, and writing freelance while coming dangerously close to developing a mild case of agoraphobia.  It happened when my stint working part time with the Census was over and the reality of my empty piggy bank confronted me; or when I realized I was alone in my journey and

“Standing on a hill in the mountain of dreams, telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.” – Robert Plant

the problems I would have to solve were my own.  I made the decision to leave grad school so I lived with the consequences.  Still, the instability I lived under was threatening my sanity.  Here I was, in Boston, barely covering rent, without a job, and few friends to turn to.  The pressure was slowly building upon me.  I wondered, was I heading for a catastrophic collapse?

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Backpacking for Personal Growth and Experience: Outdoor Leadership Training With the AMC

Rolling out of my warm sleeping bag nook after another short night of sleep, I woke up to the reality of putting on a pair of cold and wet hiking boots for the third consecutive morning.  I would spend the rest of my day in these boots, trudging through steep terrain, mud, and possibly snow in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  The three pairs of socks I packed were soaked as well, emitting a nauseating fume by today, day five of our trip.

“When the mountain ahead looms over us with a dark shadow of self doubt, we look deeply within ourselves and dig out long embedded personal characteristics.”

I reached into my bag and tried to focus on the necessity of the cold, slimy, and stinky cloth that was sliding over my foot.  I knew I had no chance of finishing the last few miles of our journey without socks to protect my developing blisters.  My socks on my feet, I prepared for the equally cold, wet, and uninviting boots, which would stay that way until I got home.  The temporary sting of cold and the general absence of comfort however were mightily overshadowed by the most important lesson of wilderness adventure: Accepting a mentality of dealing with your circumstances.

[Backpacking for Beginners: Choosing the Best Cheap Backpacking Gear]

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Filed under Inspiration, Outdoor Adventure - Travel