Hello, Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

For my first real tourist activity of Indianapolis, I went to Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art. Newfields is 152 acres and contains over 50,000 items in their collection. I noticed that Newfields is also one of the most highly-rated art museums in general across the United States.

Throughout my road trip, when I go to a tourist attraction, I usually go in the late morning or early afternoon so I will have a good chunk of time to ex­plore before the exhibits close, then I can pick up food on the way back to my hotel. However, for Newfields, I went with Ed, so unfortunately, I had to do some schedule coordination and didn’t make it into the museum until 5 PM. The museum closed at 8 PM, which meant we only had three hours to view everything; usually, three hours would be enough for a museum, but due to the sheer size of this museum (and because of the fact that it was driz­zling rain), we missed out on all of the outdoor gardens and exhibits.

Here are some highlights from my trip from the various different sections on display:

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Yes, that is me in the final photo standing in front of a really big cloud thingy. Unfortunately, the cloud was a little bright and the rest of the museum was dark at that point because there was dim lighting by the entrance, the sun had set, and it was almost closing time… so even with a lot of editing in post, I still look sort of like a silhouette.

 

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Goodbye SoCal

My two weeks in Southern California are coming to an end—tonight will be my final night here, and tomorrow I’ll be headed to Lake Las Vegas.

When I first arrived here, I stayed in a spare bedroom at the company headquarters in Long Beach, but once we had two game designers fly in for work, I relocated to off-site lodging so our two staff members could stay at the house.

I originally relocated to TownPlace Suites Anaheim Maingate Near Angel Stadium, but that was an absolute disaster. The room I got felt old and un­main­tained, it smelled horrible, housekeeping did an awful job, and the fitness center was closed. I’ve become a Marriott fanboy at this point (and am also a shareholder), and I’ve come to expect a very high standard of quality from Marriott; this Towneplace was nowhere near that standard. Luckily, e­ven though the property was terrible, the staff was great and understanding, and the front desk manager let me shorten my stay to one night without incurring a penalty (e­ven though it was pre-booked at a discounted rate for one week with no cancelations permitted).

I was able to rebook myself to a newly-constructed hotel nearby, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Anaheim Los Alamitos. While checking in, the front desk rep­re­sentative asked me what brought me to Los Alamitos; I told him a brief version of my story of being a nomad for the next half year, and he was amused and impressed. He voluntarily upgraded me to a larger suite so I would have more space to set up my workstation. The quality of the room was an astronomical difference from Towneplace. This Fairfield had everything I needed and nothing I didn’t need (i.e., it had all the essentials that I wanted with­out having any needlessly fancy things that end up being an inconvenience).

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Anaheim Los Alamitos

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Anaheim Los Alamitos

My past week has, in its majority, consisted of working and spending time with Tempo staff members while I still have a chance to do so prior to setting off on my journey. When I wasn’t using my desktop computer setup in my hotel room to get work done as efficiently as possible, I tried to spend a lot of time at the team house. One of the days, one of our managers invited me on a walk through Naples Island, which was good for sightseeing.

Naples Island in Long Beach, CA

While on our walk, I noticed a black crab on the ground. I pointed at it and asked for confirmation that it was indeed a crab.

My employee confirmed, then swooped down to try and pick it up. After trying for literally a minute and a half, he finally managed to grasp it, then told me he was going to transfer it to my palm. I immediately declared that this was an absolutely terrible idea, and that I was probably going to drop the crab. He handed it off to me anyway, so, in concern for the crab’s life, I moved my hand over the grass so that, if the crab were to fall, it would at least land on the grass.

Unsurprisingly, the crab sprinted off my palm and flew straight off my hand. … It missed the grass and landed on the concrete sidewalk.

It died.

Okay, it didn’t actually die. It walked away just fine. But for a fraction of a second, as the crab was plummeting towards the earth, I thought that I had ac­tu­ally committed reckless crabslaughter.

Naples Island in Long Beach, CA

Naples Island in Long Beach, CA

Holding up an anime shirt at tsun scoopsAnother one of our adventures was going to an ice cream shop called tsun scoops. The thing is, this wasn’t just any ice cream shop… it was an anime-themed ice cream shop.

Being a fan of anime and Japanese culture is quite commonplace within the esports industry, so I’m used to being exposed to this subculture often, but I never realized that it would actually manifest into an entire ice cream shop.

The exterior of the restaurant seemed fairly unsuspecting, but once you step inside, you are immersed in an anime world. The flavors are named after references to popular anime series (such as “I-it’s not like I like you or anything, Baklava”; “Notice Me Apple Sen-Pie”; and “The Meloncholy of Honeyhi Dewzumiya”), there is anime art throughout the whole shop, and there is even a little section with anime merch.

They split up the ice cream flavors into “tsun,” which was more sorbet and fruity, and “dere,” which was more dairy and traditional ice cream. I tried a sample spoon of Ramune and yuzu; neither of them were bad, but I didn’t think I could down an actual portion of each one of them. So, in the end, I went with a trusty scoop of honeydew and a scoop of lemon with poppy seeds, topped with mochi.

And no, I did not purchase the shirt.

tsun scoops

For one of my final adventures, I accompanied our CEO reynad to Scott Robinson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, a car dealership, to help him purchase a new Jeep.

Even though they were branded as a generic Fiat Chrysler Automobile dealership, they didn’t really have too many Ram pickup trucks. They had a spe­cial 75th Anniversary edition of the Ram 2500 Power Wagon inside the showroom, which I immediately went up to and hugged (if you’re not yet aware, the Ram off-road trucks are my favorite vehicles, and if I didn’t live in a city, I would have either a Ram Rebel or Ram Power Wagon instead of my GMC Canyon).

I also found a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel out in the lot, which I also hugged.

Hugging pickup trucks

reynad ended up following through with the vehicle purchase, so he is now the proud new owner of a Jeep Wrangler Sahara.

reynad's new Jeep Wrangler Sahara

I’m generally never this active and social, and this trip was far more draining to me than usual because I’m on the extreme end of introversion, but it was definitely also more fun than usual. I’ll have plenty of time to recharge over the next month while I’m traveling alone, and once I make it to my parents’ in the Chicagoland suburbs, I’ll find a week in August to make a routine trip back to Tempo headquarters.

 

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Hello Boston

COVID-19 is definitely a thing right now, so my trip to Boston for PAX East wasn’t really that much of a “trip,” but rather, hiding indoors and away from people until I actually had to go to the Convention Center to do my panel, then scurrying to the Convention Center to speak, then running away as quickly as possible. … But it was still a nice experience.

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That picture of the Magic: The Gathering area is actually one of the very few photos I have of my PAX East experience. After my co-workers and I completed our panel, we stopped by the MTG area so a few of them could compete, and I sat down in the least-populated area possible while waiting for them to finish before going to dinner.

The panel itself turned out acceptably overall, and actually pretty well considering it was the first in-person live panel that a few of my other co-workers did. We let our Content Director take care of the logistics of the panel, and he decided to call the panel “Esports 101,” which ended up not really being that relevant of a title, but we still went over the general basics of running an esports company and finding success in the esports industry in the coming year.

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Our Senior Partnerships Manager actually did an exceptional job at answering questions, which made it a bit tougher for me, so whenever it was relevant for me to speak, I ended up going on tangents and sharing other related advice as supplemental information to the topics discussed and questions asked. I guess I’m happy it ended up that way—me going on tangents is probably the most on-brand thing that I personally could have done.

My favorite moment of the broadcast was when I was captured staring disappointingly into my microscopic water cup as I realized that I was already out of water and there was still about half an hour left to go in the panel.

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After we wrapped everything up at the Convention Center, our team dinner was at a restaurant by the water. I let our other staff members take care of pretty much all the travel logistics so I could just go from place-to-place in peace, so I don’t even know what restaurant we went to, but they had amazing lobster rolls. It also had a decent view behind us, though it was a bit too dark to actually see the rich texture and vastness of the ocean.

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These are my takeaways from Boston:

  1. It’s way too cold in the winter, and my brain literally stops working if I’m outside for more than like a minute and a half.
  2. The Boston Convention Center has quite literally the worst convention food I have ever tasted out of all the convention centers I’ve ever been in… and I’ve been to a lot of convention centers.
  3. The city feels anciently old, but it’s like a clean and well-maintained old, so it’s actually pretty pleasant. That may be surprising coming out of my mouth, because I’m someone who likes ultra-modern aesthetics. I walked through a random alleyway to go to an Uber pick-up area, and even the alley looked and smelled clean.
  4. Boston is the first big city where I haven’t seen homeless people, which is surprising because every other city of this size seems to be layered with homeless people.

With that trip complete, here is my updated travel map:

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Visiting Jordan King in the middle of nowhere

I hate traveling, and that’s a pretty well-known fact by those who are familiar with me, but I feel like a disliking of travel should not stop you from gaining new and unique experiences. So, I decided to adventure out into the Midwest and visit Jordan King (known online as Genserik) in Nebraska, and take a road trip to Oklahoma for some work-related tasks.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really do a very good job taking photographs and videos during this trip (and the ones I did take give an inside look at Jordan’s family, which is not something that I would want to share online on my website for the world to see). But, I have a few highlights, the first one being eating Runza for the first time.

First time at Runza in Lincoln, NE

Runza is apparently a restaurant chain only available in Nebraska that sells what appears to be wrap-like sandwiches. I got a beef and mushroom Runza sandwich, and it was quite intriguing – the oiliness and “heaviness” of the meal made it feel like I was eating one of the unhealthiest foods I’ve ever had in my life.

I also held Jordan’s 1.5-month-old baby, which (to my knowledge) is the very first interaction I’ve had with an infant so young. I’ve always had an issue in the past with me not liking children (even though, for whatever reason, they seem to like me), so because of that, I’ve never really bothered to go out of my way to learn about how to handle a tiny infant. Jordan captured this moment for me – here is a photo of me looking very confused that a baby is laying in my arms:

Holding Jordan's 1.5-month-old baby

That baby isn’t Jordan’s only child; he also has a 4-year-old daughter. I let her use one of my spare cameras while I was there and had her take a bunch of photos. She seemed to particularly enjoy snapping pictures of regular household objects and walls, but then she realized that she could photograph people as well. She told me to look into the camera, but the height difference still made it a bit difficult for her:

Photo taken by Jordan's 4-year-old daughter

During our Oklahoma road trip, Jordan captured a few interesting moments. Considering his uncontrollable laughter, his favorite seemed to be while we were on the phone with Doug Wreden, one of the former executive producers at Tempo Storm, when, seemingly in an effort to ensure my voice would get through the microphone properly, Jordan angled the phone towards me and blinded me by reflecting the sun straight into my eyes:

40,000 lumens

On the way back from Oklahoma, we had to drive through a massive blizzard, which was not exactly what one would consider a great travel experience. Luckily, Jordan was driving (the drive was just over 6 hours, and I took a 4+ hour shift at the beginning and gave the final 2 hours to Jordan, because we knew that a snowstorm would be coming up). He’s far more experienced at driving in snow than I am, so he (literally) slid and drifted us to safety back to his home.

… I was in too much of a state of panic to actually remember to photograph the snowstorm.

 

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I took an e-selfie with a one-day-old newborn

Jordan King, one of my co-workers at Tempo Storm, had a newborn son who was born yesterday. He video called me from the hospital today, and I had my very first chance to interact with a human so young (assuming that interacting with my own self when I was born doesn’t count). Of course, I had to capture this memory, so I decided to take an e-selfie with him.

Taking an e-selfie with a one-day-old newborn

Yes, my hair is messy and I am still in my pajamas, as I had just woken up, but I couldn’t miss out on this opportunity.

 

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