Millennials, Maturity, and Jeremy Stoppleman who got caught in the middle

By now, I imagine most people have heard of the story about Talia who was supposedly fired for writing a nasty article about her boss.

The full article is here.

Side note on the whole thing. A Google search for Jeremy Stoppelman returns results littered with the story which totally sucks. Even the Medium article is ranking exceptionally prominently for his name, which I think is actually sort of strange considering the ONLY reference to his name in the article is within a Medium tag.

Medium Article Ranking for Jeremy Stoppleman on 2/23/2016
Medium Article Ranking for Jeremy Stoppleman on 2/23/2016

The good news for him is that a week later and the results seem to be clearing out. Although, have a look at page 2 and you might not be so confident about that. He should probably get that blog moving a bit, and work on a few other assets he has.

I digress.

I suspect everyone has also read the article by Stephanie lambasting Talia for being a winy and entitled millennial. If not, check that one out here. It’s pure gold.

But did anyone else catch the twitter conversation between Talia and Stephanie? A conversation between the girl who got fired from her job and the one who wrote the fiery rebuttal to her.

Check the full conversation out here
Check the full conversation out here

It’s like they just became best friends!

They are cordial, nice, jokey, and basically offering each other virtual hugs and kisses from across the internet. Its remarkable how mature they can be about this whole thing and not get petty about who is right or wrong. They said their pieces, defined the side they want to take on the argument, and then show nothing but respect for each other. Not only that, they are supportive of each other and rooting each other on.

That would be nice if most disagreements worked like that.

Aside from that, the saga continues on, without them, and with Jeremy Stoppelman caught in the crossfire.

I Missed My Fitbit Goal. The Epitome of Stupidity and Laziness

About 3 years ago I bought a Fitbit. I used it to help jump-start an exercise binge and did Insanity (I drafted something about that in 2013 that maybe I will post if it still makes sense). I probably bought it because wearables were kind of new and I just wanted one to be totally honest. Lame reason, I know.

Anyway, as with normal human behavior, I started using it, went really intense and talked about it to everyone how I thought I was so cool. And then slowly got bored and came to a screeching halt and put my Fitbit in a drawer. Well, actually, the band broke, the charger didn’t work well, and the smaller band barely fit my large adult wrist, so I was sort of annoyed and just stopped using it. Lot’s of great reasons. But thats besides the point.

I actually started using my Fitbit again. Why? Who knows. Inspired I guess. But what I have been liking about it more than anything is that it keeps me aware of my health. It’s different from having a pedometer on my phone. My phone is my phone and serves lots of purposes. I don’t want to think about when I am sitting my ass on the couch browsing through Instagram.

No. Stay out of my life phone and keep letting me do my thing.

But this is its own device that I wear on my wrist and functions independently. It vibrates when I set alarms to wake me up and when I hit my goals. I even set this little device to send me a text message when I am slacking off. At 3pm, if I haven’t hit my goal,  I get a text message giving me some motivational pep.


Another thing that has been great has been great is the encouragement from the community. I have been invited to joining workweek hustle competitions, starting daily goal challenges; and they are super supportive and motivating.

And here is the big story about how I screwed up and missed my goal.

Last night, I realized I was about 400 steps away from my goal.

No worries, I stood up and started pacing the floor while on a quick call. Not quite enough, but closer. I am sure I will hit it before I go to bed.

So I sat down, put my headphones back on and zoned in. And I really zoned in. No distractions. Lost all concept of time and just kept working till about midnight. And then I remembered my fit bit.

I am totally going to nail this.

But the time is 12:03 AM I check the device and its back to one dot of progress as opposed to the 6 indicating I am about to hit my goal.

Oh shoot! It started over.

I missed my goal by a matter of minutes and steps.

Actually, it was 18 steps.

I literally needed 18 steps.

If I drank a little more water, I would have had to pee and hit my goal on the way to the bathroom!

So I could blab off a few learned lessons about not waiting to the last second to do things because it could be too late, staying healthy and drinking a lot more water so you have to move and pee, or even when you get a sign to do something you should just do it!

But screw all that. I just feel like an idiot.


Creepy Art Memory Recall in Madrid Makes Me Cultured?

Have you ever stopped to appreciate art? Like, really stopped to appreciate it?

When I was at the Museum Del Prada in Madrid, I saw this guy painting a painting of a painting. Totally meta.

Painting at del prado
It’s not nudity, it’s art dammit!


It doesn’t get more inception than that.

But I saw this amazing piece of art. It really stands out and is creepy as hell.

Meuseum Del Prado Philomenes Recognized by the Old Woman
Meuseum Del Prado Philomenes Recognized by the Old Woman


Its REALLY creepy as all hell actually. It’s full of dead animals, fruit, and people behaving bizarrely. Like those people dressed in white in the departed. Bunch of nut jobs.

But for me, the oddest part about it was that it actually looked familiar like I had seen it before.

About 3+ years ago, when I was working at Spark, we were invited to take a perspective tour at the art institute of Chicago. I had recalled a piece of art that looked the same. A quick Google search and…

Franz Snyder still life with dead game at Art institute of Chicago
Franz Snyder still life with dead game at Art institute of Chicago

Yep, there it is. That creepy ass painting again.

I guess this means I am cultured?

Well, I got yelled at for taking pictures, so I guess I am not really that cultured.


Extending Layovers Is My Favorite Life Experience Hack

When I started writing this,  I was sitting in the beautiful Iberia lounge in Madrid. But I stopped to take a shower and drink bourbon. So here I am, a week later.

The lounge in Madrid
The lounge in Madrid

For the record, I didn’t pay to get in and I certainly do not travel enough to have any status. But traveling is one of the few times that I feel open to talk to just about anyone. It’s a freeing experience for me.

Maybe it’s that I know I will likely never see anyone I talk to ever again.

Maybe it’s the adrenaline.

Maybe I am just a little crazy.

I tend to be put in the position, once or twice a year, where I am going to have a layover. Instead of trying to avoid them, I embrace them! When I am put in the position, I try to extend the layover somewhere between 15- 24 hours. And this time frame is for a couple really important reasons.

  1. It’s a reasonable amount of time that it doesn’t get in the way of busy life too much
  2. It is the right amount of time to send your bags through all the way to your destination without having to claim them
  3. It’s enough time to get a good run through a city

For me, I have some of the best trips and memories because of them. It’s how I got to see Switzerland, and I have a crazy story from that trip ( see below). It’s how I got to see Turkey and party at an exclusive club, and it’s how I most recently spent a day in Madrid.

For me, there are no downsides. I spend a minimal amount of money just to get to the city, and then I plan on walking everywhere else. I mean that. I don’t cab around. It’s a waste. If you are smart and plan it correctly, then you will make a circle from your starting point stopping at the major spots along the way.

Map in Madrid

Get there, see it, and move on. And if you really enjoy it, stop and appreciate it. The time frame we are dealing with above is more than you think.

But don’t rush. My favorite part is walking. And lounging. And observing.

Aaron lounging at park retiro

If you are open to it, you will meet some fun people.

I like strangers. Oddly, I am very comfortable around them during these times. Maybe it’t the unknown and adventure. That’s how I met my friend Ketty on this trip. She was on the same flight and doing the same layover.


But alone is good to. It’s refreshing. Embrace it. When I was in Switzerland. I met this nice couple who gave me a home cooked meal and a place to stay. In the morning, this nice couple was waiting for me with a 5 course gourmet breakfast. And then they walked me to the train and paid for my ticket back to the airport.

That was a little crazy.

I know.

But what an adventure.

My only regret is that my wife usually doesn’t end up joining me and I am riding solo. It would certainly be way more fun if we were together.

One day.

Captain Blue Beard and His Marketing Firm #failsauce

Story time!

On my way to NYC last week for a few business trips, I am sitting in the Rome Airport casually drinking an Amareto over ice with my boss. It was delicious.

And I see this brilliant specimen walk by. Beautifully matching a bright blue shirt, blue glasses, and a marvelous blue goatee. Yes. I was fascinated. And then he left.

The end.

Except not, because as we boarded the plane, one of the last people get on was Mr Blue Beard. And sure enough, his seat was right next to mine. What are the odds?!?! Towards the end of the flight, we started chatting a little, and I told him I was interested to hear the story of his blue goatee. Turns out, the guy has a marketing and branding agency that he owns and he calls it blue beard marketing. Now I am really interested. This is some serious dedication to a brand. He said he has been doing it for the past 15 years. I am beyond impressed at the dedication and envious. I want to be this guy. He is the ultimate. I need to learn everything and emulate this man.

We take a photo together.

So much matching!
So much matching!

I leave in awe.

So obviously, while standing in line at customs, I start stalking him Googling him… and can’t find the guy.

There must be some mistake.

I keep trying.

He is the branding king… STAHP THIS!

I try any combination I can think of. Blue beard marketing. Guy with a blue goatee. Blue beard web design. Blue beard… whatever. I scoured Google Images. Nata! Zip. Ziltch.


The irony of the situation is not lost on me.  The speed at which I go from admiration to dumbfounded is remarkable.

I hope his business is thriving and he is doing extremely well. But I can’t fathom how someone who runs a branding and marketing agency, let alone, brands themselves as the branding and marketing agency in question, effectively doesn’t exist online. He even said to me “this has been a real commitment to my image”.

I call #failsauce. But what do I know!