My most awkward conversations begin with someone asking, “So, what do you do?”
I try to get away with, “I’m a teacher,” but that rarely satisfies anyone, so here’s the rundown:
1. My full-time job is at an art college, where I split my time between counseling students, Â creating social media strategy and new technology solutions for academic support departments, and teaching courses on ‘Surviving and Thriving in Art School’ for firs-year students on probation and Illustration 101.
2. Beyond full-time, I have adjunct faculty positionsÂ teaching undergrad Public Speaking and graduate-level Art Education classes.
3. I lead culinarywalking tours in San Francisco’s Mission District and at the Ferry Building with a great company called Edible Excursions.Â In September 2013, I designed and launched the new Edible Excursions Craft Cocktails at City Center tour in the heart of downtown San Francisco.
4. I love doing purely creative work when I can find the time, so I still engage in some silkscreen and woodcut printing, furniture design and lately a lot of photography.
5.Â I keep a personalÂ blogÂ mostly about foodÂ with some other stuff thrown in.Â Cooking is one of my greatest passions and stress relievers, so I spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen.
6. My Fascination with cocktails led me to launch Libation Lab, a site for beverage enthusiasts that aims to demystify the booze industry with educational materials on beer, wine and spirits, product reviews, recipes, documentation of my cocktail experiments and printable downloads for the home bartender.
7.Â I recently launched the Libation Lab Store, where I am selling custom bar accessories â€“ Â what I am calling “DistinctiveÂ devices for the discerning drinker“
8. I am also aÂ freelance writer and photographer, focusing on the food and beverage industryÂ for various print and online publications, as well as public relations firms and spirits brands. I also do the occasionalÂ web designÂ orÂ mobile app designÂ gig, just for kicks.
I currently live in San Francisco, but was raised in Burlington, Vermont, where I spent 6 and 1/2 years in undergraduate study, which I managed to overlap with grad school by a week.Â I was a Political Science / Studio Art / German Language major with a Speech minor and I did my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, while getting credentialed to teach Art and Social Studies.Â I never felt like leaving academia, so I just added new majors and programs to delay what I thought to be inevitable.
After college, I spent three years teaching middle and high school students in Vermont, primarily working with kids with disabilities that manifested as emotional and behavioral issues (I love the trouble-makers).Â I moved to California to teach Art and Environmental Studies at a small charter high school for underserved urban youth in SF that was designed around an environmental justice mission, but was led by environmentalists with no business acumen, so it shuttered at the end of my first year, which is when I began everything you read about above.