Tag Archives: Writing

Emerging Professionals Meeting Write-Up


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What’s up, fellow readers?  Boy do I have some REAL exciting stories to share this week.  A lot of new surprises have been happening within the entertainment industry these days.  Some good (PR miracles!), some bad (PR nightmares!), and all in between.  This is has truly been an eventful week, especially for yours truly.

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Let’s kick things off – every now and then I leap off from my blog MakeSandcastlesNotWar in order to write for other blog pages.  Ever since creating the blog back in 2016, I have received a wide range of readers from across the nations.  Friends, family members, and mutual acquaintances alike have enjoyed my blog so much that they ask me to get involved in their work.  It’s at this point where I dive into a new topic for their blog page about their special line of work.  One of those special projects was for USGBC MA.

The USGBC Massachusetts Chapter is a membership-based community that advocates for green buildings at both the state and local level.  They provide green building networking, education, advocacy, and even leadership opportunities for the sustainable practitioner community as well as others.  There are over 600 people that are members and active volunteers for the community.

Half a month ago, I attended one of their Emerging Professionals Meeting.  Emerging Professionals Meetings are where members of young professionals come together to provide professional support, advocacy tools, and development.  They do this through monthly programming, active networking, and community events.  The Emerging Professionals hold meetings every 3rd Monday of the month from 6:00-7:30.

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My write-up was about the presentation on the LEED certification for the lab and biotech facility on 828 Winter Street in Waltham.  The presentation was given by Roland Jenkins, assistant project manager of B.W. Kennedy & Company in Arlington.

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This facility measured at 144,000 sq. ft. and would come with a four-tier parking garage that would cover over 155,000 sq. ft.  It would seat over 500 cars total.

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For this write-up, I chose to cover all aspects of the process.  Rather than just provide the LEED score, I wanted to create the story of what the process actually entails.  There were lots of steps taken so that each and every phase ran smoothly.  Documents, security, regulations, and many other things were involved in completing the construction of the building.

After the construction phase was over, the final phase was the LEED verification and certification.  Again, lots of steps were involved during the process to ensure that the design would be complete.  All these steps were necessary for the best LEED score possible.

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At the end of the day, the building scored a total of 51/110 for LEED certification requirements.  The Waltham lab and biotech facility earned a Silver LEED certification for the building.  Many sustainable materials and tactics were utilized to make this happen.  This kind of unique creativity will truly make the building stand out more.

That right there is one of my various side projects I worked on besides MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  A special thanks to Roland Jenkins as well as the Emerging Professionals for making this happen.  The meeting was absolutely entertaining and the material was just enough to craft this brilliant story.  It was truly an honor to craft a blog piece about the lab and biotech facility in Waltham.

Be sure to check out my blog post on the USBGBC Massachusetts website at https://usgbcma.org/blog/epma-presentation-recap-bringing-sustainability-to-life/

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Chocolate Hummus for Chocoholics


Every now and then, I find some unique food product while at the supermarket.  Whether it is a new flavor of granola bars or some tasty drink, there’s always something that catches my eye.  Supermarkets carry thousands of food items and I still manage to find something different to try.  My newest selection I have been buying is Joseph’s Chocolate Hummus.

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For the record, I have had hummus for quite some time now.  I first tasted hummus at a Mediterranean restaurant the night before the PRSSA Conference in Washington D.C.  After dipping it with pita bread, I instantly fell in love with it.  The texture tasted smooth and flavorful throughout.  A few dips of pita bread later and it instantly became my new favorite type of snack.  Since then, I have been buying different flavored hummus during my trips to the supermarket.

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Joseph’s Chocolate Hummus is basically hummus mixed with chocolate.  This product is served in an 8 oz plastic container to dip into.  You can dip all kinds of food into it – vegetables, fruits, crackers, pretzels, and even pieces of candy.  It may act more as a desert than an appetizer, but it is still healthy to eat.

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I have been eating Joseph’s Chocolate Hummus for a while and so far I truly enjoy it.  What I love most is that you can dip a lot of food into it and it will still taste delicious.  So far I have dipped in Belvita biscuits, bananas, and even apples into the hummus.  All of these selections ended up tasting so amazing.  It seems as though you can dip a lot of food into Joseph’s Chocolate Hummus and it will still taste good.

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Being a writer means trying out new things in life.  Even the greatest ideas can come to light after purchasing something like chocolate hummus.  It is things like Joseph’s Chocolate Hummus that keep my ideas cranking each day.  I mean, right now I am currently writing about this product after buying at supermarket earlier today!

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Even if you don’t like hummus, the point is to purchase something new that you may like.  That chocolate hummus led to another random topic of the entertainment scope.  Purchasing the chocolate hummus was well worth the money, being that it tasted great and it led to an amazing blog post for today.

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If you are looking for an interesting treat, be sure to pick up Joseph’s Chocolate Hummus at your nearest supermarket.

Boston’s First Cannabis Career Fair


When I’m not interning or writing posts for MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I am busy searching for full-time position within my field of communications.  I am one of the many 20-somethings struggling to get life together now that I’m done with school.  This ‘Real World’ that I’m in now hasn’t always been easy, but I have been having some fun along the way.  Last night’s adventure to the Cannabis Career Fair was one of those exciting times.

The Cannabis Career Fair, held in District Hall of Boston, was a career fair showcasing potential work within the cannabis industry.  Various cannabis companies across Massachusetts met with job seekers who were searching for work.  From cultivators to marketers, many positions were opening up for job seekers.  Since I’ve been writing about cannabis since legalization made waves on December 2016, I figured I would get in on the action.

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You see that handsome bastard above?  That’s ME, the one and only creator of MakeSandcastlesNotWar!  All that writing gold you read each day comes from me.  I already cranked out a blogpost earlier today about Canadian Healthcare companies covering medical cannabis, so I figured I’d get my name out there in the cannabis industry.

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I was one of many cannabis enthusiasts searching for my dream career within the cannabis industry.  Writing about cannabis each week has been a blast and I would LOVE to do this as professional work.  From Laganja Estranja to Cannabis Chemistry 101, it has been a pleasure covering the range of topics.  There’s always something happening within the cannabis community and I work diligently to cover every aspect of the story.  Keep your eyes peeled on this blog, because the fun is JUST getting started!

Attending the Cannabis Career Fair was amazing!  I had a great time meeting with the employers and hearing about what positions they had available.  It may be a while for the cannabis industry to really flourish, but I look forward to seeing it make waves around Boston.

For those that want to check out the video, the link can be found here

MakeSandcastlesNotWar’s One Year Anniversary!


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With this crazy snowstorm I’m getting here in Massachusetts, there was only one thing on my mind today…it was the one year anniversary for MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  Wow…I have been writing my blog MakeSandcastlesNotWar for exactly ONE year today!

Well then, I guess it’s time to reflect on the crazy journey of how MakeSandcastlesNotWar got its start.  It was fun, crazy, adventurous, and took a lot of hard work to get this blog moving.  There were topics stemming from all sorts of categories within the entertainment realm.  We looked at the ominous signs of condominium being built around Revere Beach, took field trips to various destinations (Boston’s Grown-Up Muesum, Game Over! Boston, Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo), spotted various TV criss-crosses, looked at the PR nightmare surrounding a gorilla (#DICKSOUTFORHARAMBE), and even literally took this blog to pot after Massachusetts legalized recreational use.

So how did we get here?  How did MakeSandcastlesNotWar start from a personal blog to discussing about Weedmaps signs around the Greater Boston Area?  In order to answer these questions, we’ll have to journey back to the very first post on MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  To start this journey, let’s time travel back to the very first blogpost titled The Witness: Solving the Maze Within Your Mind.  TIME WARP! *Swoosh*
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Here we are…March 14th, 2016.  I was about to graduate from Salem State University in 2 months and was about to kick start my career in public relations after finishing my last semester on December 2015.  I had no clue how to make a name for myself in the real world, so my main focus was playing The Witness while brainstorming ideas.  If you haven’t played already, The Witness is an open world puzzle adventure game where you wander around a large island solving puzzles.  These puzzles were scattered all across the island, seeking clues as to what you do in the game.  Besides the puzzle boards that unlock the lasers, environmental puzzles were hidden everywhere you go.

As I was wandering around the distant island, I was so impressed by this game.  It something I couldn’t stop playing since I was having so much fun discovering the world I was in.  There were no enemies or ‘game over’ concept, just complex puzzles to solve.  That was when I realized that I HAD to spread awareness of this awesome video game title.

To be honest, I have thought about blogging for quite a while since entering Salem State University.  Since I had so many interests, it was hard for me to pinpoint what categories I wanted to dive into with this project.  After hours of playing The Witness, I knew that I found my first topic to write about.  The first post would be an insight for what The Witness was really all about.

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What was the main idea behind playing The Witness?  It was a video game that taught you how your brain works and how it operates as a muscle.  Whenever you discover a new puzzle board, your brain starts to map out various solutions for solving the puzzle.  Your brain is doing the grunt work while your hand just draws out the correct path for the witness.  This is the kind of brain game that was educational as well as philosophical because of the many questions you have when playing through the game.

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Ever since purchasing The Witness last year, I’ve enjoyed every twist and turn the game contained.  The Witness challenged me to gain a different perspective of gaming I never thought about before.  While there were no enemies to fend off, the only challenge you had was against yourself.  This philosophical game initiated what would be the first of many philosophical blog posts discussing various events happening.

Now that we’re done discussing the VERY first post of MakeSandcastlesNotWar, it’s travel back to the present.  TIME WARP! *swoosh*

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Ah…we’re back to the present.  Just one year after The Witness: Solving the Maze Within Your Mind was written.  Ever since then, over 200 posts have been written for the MakeSandcastlesNotWar page.  What’s happened since that first idea for MakeSandcastlesNotWar?

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A SHITLOAD has happened, to be exact!  More posts, more views, lots more followers, and a broader range of topics that still stay within the entertainment spectrum.  We are at 78 followers right now (whoot whoot!) and average at 15-25 views a day.  Netflix has graced us with some unique TV series/films that made for inspiring posts for the blog.  Other than original content, TV criss-crosses have been discovered in all sorts of series.  Some were interesting while others were just downright jaw-dropping!

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MakeSandcastlesNotWar has gained some great recognition within the WordPress community and I am very grateful to see more readers checking out the blog.  Whether you’re a TV/film critic or a pot head searching for the latest in cannabis news, there’s always something for everyone to enjoy.  While I may have my head stuck in La-La Land every now and then, the most important goal is writing the very best content for the viewers.

If you thought that this blog is going steady, you ain’t seen NOTHING yet!  This is just the beginning in what’s in store for the world of MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  And believe me…these sandcastles will become MUCH bigger as time goes on!

Let’s jump forward into the future to see what topics will be entering the blog later this year.  TIME TRAVEL! *swoosh*

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This is it…the future of MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  What surprising topics will we find as time goes on?  Would these topics still touch up on the entertainment world?  Since cannabis topics have been popular lately, what mind-blowing discoveries will we find within the provocative industry?

Listed below are some topics that will be posted for the blog:

  • History of Cannabis prohibition
  • Cary Grant’s Relationship with LSD (Working Title)
  • Yooka-Laylee Review
  • The New Billion Dollar Crop
  • Alcoholics Anonymous and LSD
  • Product Reviews
  • JFK: The 1st Late Night President

As an added bonus, here are some notable figures that I’ll be discussing within the blog as well:

  • Denis Peron
  • Bill Wilson
  • Harambe
  • Timothy Leary
  • The Stanley Brothers
  • Victor Maddox

Before I close out, I wanted to say one thing: THANK YOU.  Thank you to all who enter my blog to read some of my posts!  It is YOU who are the true sandcastle makers of the writing world.  I may be the writer of the blog, but it’s all thanks to you guys for spreading MakeSandcastlesNotWar all across the nations.  You guys continue to inspire me to write each day about something of interest for me.

Always remember this: Make Sandcastles, Not War!

Massachusetts Independent Comic Expo (MICE)


Cambridge is one of many Boston neighborhoods that is fun to roam around.  With interesting landmarks like Harvard University and the Cambridge Galleria, Cambridge will make for a great day trip in the city.  Famous speakers pop into Harvard University to discuss a topic that is relevant to the world today.  Other famous universities around Cambridge include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge College, and Lesly University.

Lesley University is a private university that specializes in art and design.  Thousands of students flock to Lesley to show off their artistic skill to their professors.  Whether it is piecing together short stories or painting new pictures, artists from all across the country apply to Lesley University to become an amazing artist.  There are special panel events that students can attend to gain some insight from other well-known artists in the area.  This past weekend, I went into Lesley University to attend MICE.

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MICE, or the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, is an expo celebrating comic book designs from independent creators.  This was the 7th annual event that took place on October 29th-30th at Lesley University.  It was produced by the Boston Comic Arts Foundation, aiming to introduce local readers of all ages to the variety of art and storytelling in independent comics.  There were two levels filled with exhibitors showing off their masterpieces.  Upon entering the exhibits, I have seen some of the most spectacular work ever on comic books, posters, stickers, and other materials.

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Some of the work was so impressive that I just had to stop and chat with them for a bit.  Upon entering the first area, I noticed a big colorful poster that had the movie title Showgirls on the bottom of the design.  That was what drew me to talk with Chris, the comic book designer from Brooklyn.  I mentioned that I really enjoyed viewing the colorful poster and the comic version of The Room.  He mentioned that his love for bad movies inspired him to create an animated comic out of the cult films that flopped in the box office.  Another unique thing I noticed was that all of his business cards featured a tarot-card like design on the back of each card.  This was a really cool idea and praised him to continue making more works of art like this.

Earlier in the same area, I noticed a book showing Peanuts-like drawings in a comic strip design.  While it didn’t feature Charlie Brown or Snoopy, the drawings drew me into that similar environment.  When talking to the comic artist/illustrator Jesse, he mentioned that he was influenced by Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip when creating Year ‘Round Days.  I really liked where he got his inspirations from and was impressed by how familiar the art work was.  It was a cool comic-strip showcasing his lifetime experiences with interesting stories in each page.

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Another exhibit table showed a colorful design of Kirby and his friends, which prompted me to talk to designer Madeline.  It was then that I told her that I really liked the drawing of the Kirby gang and she told me that she really loved Kirby after playing Kirby 64: The Crystal ShardsKirby 64: The Crystal Shards was actually one of my favorite games for the N64 and was pleased to see how that game inspired her!  Other works included a drawing of Rini from Sailor Moon and No-Face from Spirited Away.  Madeline really did a great job drawing the familiar characters and utilizing colors to make them pop out good.  I thanked her for discussing her artwork with me and moved on to check out other areas.

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In another room, I noticed small cards on one of the exhibit tables.  All of the cards were referring to popular characters from cult films/TV shows.  Some of the characters I recognized were Wolverine, The Incredible Hulk, Freddie Krueger, Batman, Jason Voorhees, and other popular figures.  What was unique about the cards were that each character was transformed into fairy creatures.  I spoke with the conart creator Jay about how amazing they were and he showed me a few comics he works on as well.  His fairy creatures were very well done, with each character showing off their flair in the card.

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I was just heading into another room of the exhibit and I noticed some mini comics that were sketched using pencils.  The title was Feeling Worthless? and it featured self-help tip for people suffering from mental health issues.  I spoke with the creator, LB Lee, on how interesting his idea was as a comic.  This was an interesting concept that is entertaining and could give people a purpose to not feel so worthless sometimes.  His idea was amazing and I praised him to continue doing more work like this around Boston.

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Overall this was an amazing comic book expo to attend this past weekend.  I don’t read a lot of comic books in my spare time, but it was interesting to see lots of artists gathering together to show off their finished works of art on display.  The event was free for everyone and you could spend HOURS looking through all of the work people made for the event.  While my specialty belongs with writing, I did learn some things while being in a big room with artists.

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Whether you’re a writer or animator, artists gather together to create something meaningful in their lives.  Being an artist doesn’t mean that you can pick up a pen and draw a picture of pig; it means looking deep down with yourself as how you see the pig being drawn.  Maybe the pig is colored blue or maybe his snout has monster-like features that make him a mutant.  Whatever creative idea you come up with, it was designed from your imagination.

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As the writer of MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I know that I can’t just write a short summary of American Horror Story.  I have to juice up the story with interesting detail, crafting the story to be something relatable to all audiences.  This writing tip applies to many instances when I write about television, movies, music, fashion, cannabis, social media, and other categories.  Anybody can say they are able to read and write, but it takes LOTS of work to write something truly amazing from your creative perspective.  After attending the MICE event, I definitely took away some interesting tips that will shape MakeSandcastlesNotWar to become a better blog in the near future.