Earthquake Relief 2011

23 Aug

The news of the earthquake was a relief because it meant that for once, the room wasn’t shaking for just me.

Is the planet shaking, or is it just me?



Gray Area

29 Jun

The pale, flour-white sun hangs by a wire over the still waters of the evening bay. In a warm state of gray and ivory, half silhouetted by an overcast 6pm sky, I refuse to believe it is the same sun I’d seen before. The same sun that baked my skin at the beach, when it was young and glared over the ocean. It’s not the same one in the pictures sent from my vacationing relatives in Tahiti. Big, red, heat-heavy, hanging in the background, staying perfectly still and lighting the clouds just right. Posing until the picture was taken, alongside my fat, pale white cousins. So picture perfect, that it could be a postcard. Actually, it was a postcard. The people who I consider to be wading in the shallow end of the family’s gene pool thought their chubby smiles in paradise looked so perfect, that they had the picture made into a postcard, just to send to me in heather gray-skied New Jersey.

This sun in front of me now isn’t the same sun as in those Corona commercials. This sun, homely and lukewarm, has much more character. This is the kind of skyscene you could sit down to have tea with. Have a polite conversation with. A bit more reserved than the “HEY GUYS I’M THE SUN. WANNA HANG OUT, PLAY VOLLEYBALL?” type of light that gets all the airtime and brochure covers. The sun today would be more likely to sit across from me in a cafe, cross its legs and say “Hey. So, it’s not really warm enough to go outside. Kinda overcast. What are you going to do?”

“Well,” I’d say and pause for a moment. This kind of weather calls for a slight stint of self examination. “I think I’m going to write.” Then I’d take a sip of my coffee, in this metaphorical cafe with this personified sun. But since that scene is hypothetical and this weather is weighing my eyes down, I reach for my real coffee and take a sip instead as I drive home along the bay. The coffee is warm. It’s some rare Guatemalan blend with an oak wood color. I let it linger in my mouth to see if I can taste any hint of the South American sun. Then I realize I couldn’t find Guatemala on a map if I had to, and that it’s probably in Central America. But South American sun sounds better so I swallow and pretend to taste the warmth. I look back into the pale, blue-gray eyes of the sky over the bay and wonder what coffee grown under this sun would taste like. Probably more like tea.

Just Write.

13 Jun

penless is totally a word, you silly spellcheck you.

My fingertips struggle to write the words.  Swimming, pushing, struggling through latex gloves filled with thickening rubber cement, dried out from weeks of typing on a desk, penless. My  mind feels frosted over from a long winter, chilly with spreadsheets and tags, emails and formalities, and barely a single ray of sun-kissed creativity has broken through the bleak white winter ceiling. But inspiration calls to me from the same colorlessness of the white page and a whisper of a thought: Just Write.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I just saw the new “Just Write” full-screen update to WordPress. This post was half inspired by the update, and half by the heat of June warming my fingers up. Another Just Writepost inspired by today’s gray Sunday evening coming soon.

Grammargasm on This Week’s Triple Dub

27 Feb

On this week’s very much late Weekly Web Wrap-up, we go back to last weeks posts which for one reason or another all centered around grammar, writing, and other word-related gems. So many of my friends liked the term “grammargasm” to describe these posts that I had to put it in the title; give the people what they want, as they say.

HEY. Woah, wait. Didn’t this blog used to be called something else?

Yep. It did used to have another title. A wordy, slightly generic title (see, it was so generic, you don’t even remember what it was called) which slightly misrepresented this blog’s content, and made me feel like every post had to be about writing and only writing. So, now that it’s officially been re-imagined as Presto Writes, I’m going to post and write about a wider range of topics. Social media, music, writing, culture (web culture mostly), blogging, etc.

Things We Say Wrong

This video will make you very self conscious about how you speak, unless you have very firm footing with your grammar. Also, I want this man as an add-on in Microsoft Office instead of that little paper clip.

My BFF just told me “TTYL” is in the dictionary. LMAO.

OMG kids these days and their crazy texting slang. It is good that new, relevant words are being added to the dictionary, but I  like don’t encourage kids (namely my 15 year old brother) to get into the habit of abbreviating everything. Although, I did witness my friend ROFL once. True story.

Merriam-Webster Ask the Editor — Doozy

Oh, Merriam-Webster, you make me miss my OED subscription I had during college!

Krista Vernoff “Commit to Thrive”

Inspiring, true, and very well stated. Watch and digest.

And a little bonus nugget for you literature-minded lover of words,
Howl the Movie with James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.


NJ Connect Panel: Collaborate, Experiment, and Follow the Leaders

9 Feb

Experiment with different sites and services. Keep an eye out for upcoming sites and be an early adopter of platforms you find useful.

Follow the leaders.

Pay attention to what successful social media campaigns do, and use them as a springboard for ideas on your own strategies for creatively driving your content.

Bloggers are very social creatures. Seize any opportunities you can for guests posts, linking, or cross promotion with like-minded bloggers, or bloggers in your field. And always be sure to include tools for others to share your content across their networks.

Thank you to the organizers of NJ Connect for having me on the panel! Follow me at @HelloPresto, or connect to me through

Click here to view my presentation on Using Social Media to Get You Message Out from the beginning!

This Week on the Triple Dub

10 Sep

The Triple Dub is short and sweet this week folks. But don’t panic, they’ll be more coming your way next week. Promise.

Warning: 20% coffee remaining

Clever, yet frighteningly accurate.

I posted this on Facebook around 2:00pm on Monday, and all my fellow office-working, caffeine addict friends liked and reposted it. This may be a very accurate depiction of my personal energy after a full week, or at 2pm on a busy Monday.

Museum of Modern Art Acquires the @ Symbol

This was an article shared with me by the always artistic JenBrown. I read an article earlier this year about the MOMA trying to acquire it, but I much prefer this one because it offers some more explanation of why the museum is getting the symbol, the thinking behind it, and the implications of  the whole endeavor. But I won’t spoil it with lengthy, wordy sentences; just read the article for yourself @

Velociraptor-free Workplace

I can’t tell you how tempted I am to hang this by my desk at work. I probably will. I mean, our workplace has been Velociraptor-free for at least 24 days, and that deserves some signage.

That’s all for this week folks. There was some buzz about the new Google Instant search this week, some clever fictional business cards, and even more cleverly designed 404 pages that are worth mentioning. You can also check out a new post at The Social Media Chef on how Twitter was super useful in the hands of Monmouth County locals during a blackout.

This Week’s Triple Dub – Weekly Web Wrap-up

3 Sep

Music, memes, HTML5, and social media mayhem this week on the Weekly Web Wrap-up. But before we get into all that, let’s start out nice and easy with a minimalistic site around a simple idea:

For those like me who like a good rainy day, there’s The site plays a high quality 30 minute loop of rain and a little thunder, and that’s it. Clean layout, options to share, simple, and no umbrella required.

The Wilderness Downtown

The band Arcade Fire and the folks at Google have whipped up what many are calling the first example of what HTML5 can really do. I just call it awesome. Type in the address of where you grew up, and Google maps incorporates your childhood right into the video in a surprisingly smooth way. A very cool experiment, but make sure you run the site in Google Chrome to make sure it works properly.


Fictionaut is a new social network for writers and readers of short fiction. Which just so happens to be my cup of tea. The site is still closed to the public, but I managed to snag 1 of 100 invites from Mashable (thanks Mashable!). I have to be honest, I haven’t gotten to really explore the site as much as I’d like to yet. But this being a writing blog, expect a full review of the site after I wonder around it thoroughly.


So, this week we’ve seen music, we’ve seen social networks, and now we see a new music social network from Apple. As a new part of iTunes 10, Ping lives right along your music library and purchases and allows you to share what your listening to, as well as follow your friends and favorite artists (or so Apple says). Does it do all that? Not really. You can’t actually share what your listening to, searching for your friends is hit or miss (along with the ability to add Facebook friends being removed), and the number of artists you can follow is still only around 12, as far as I can see. Most people using the feature are echoing the same disappointed buzz, but we’ll give it more than a few days before we shoot it down. I think the feature has a lot of potential, and I can only hope it ends up functioning as smoothly as, only without the subscription fee.

A Guide to Internet Memes

Last but not least, a brief infographic-style guide to internet memes. A great initial explanation to someone unfamiliar with the term, but a bit basic for you seasoned interweb junkies (protip: get your un-ending meme fix at My favorite meme of the moment: Inception memes.

And speaking of Inception


From the mind of Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt who recently starred in Inception also has what he calls a “fully professional, open, collaborative production company.” I call it awesome, and a great thing for a big time actor to be doing.

What’s your favorite internet meme of all time?