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Photo Fun!

Here are some of the photos I took with the objective set to stop motion. It is amazing to see what happens at certain points in time. Makes you realize that time never stops, except in our memories.


My Plate Runneth Over.

I had two great ideas today. The problem with having a lot of ideas is that you want to chase them and I have chased more than a few. That is how I became a softball player, columnist, improvisational actor, screenwriter, and marketing intern; on top of being a husband, father, and student.

Today I added two activities to the "things I want to do because they popped into my head so now I really want to do these things" list.

Number One:
I would love to give a speech at graduation.  Do I deserve to give any kind of speech? Well, no. I don't have the best grades and I am not the president of any club, nor do I have the connections to make this happen. But that doesn't matter. It's a dream.

I'd love to give a "go forth" type speech that was fun, funny, and entertaining. Maybe add a musical number or an interpretive dance.

Number Two:
I want to write a new column entitled "Ask a Dad" where students could ask questions or confess anything to me, their on-campus dad. I don't really have the time for a new endeavor, nor do we know if anyone would actually write in, but surely I could squeeze in an hour or two a week for something fun.

Yes, I'm crazy and asking for more responsibility and work, but if I don't do it now then when?


Food Network, Why do you Haunt Me So?

I am positive that Bobby Flay's perceived sexiness has a direct correlation with my hunger level. In fact, I made a graph:

Also, I just realized how awesome graphs are. Here is another graph about my favorite graphs:



Blog Fail.

Disclaimer: This blog contains many disclaimers and bad ideas. If you have a weak stomach, or are pregnant, please look away.


The Most Creative Man in the World

I have found the most creative job in the world, but unfortunately, the pay is bad, the hours are long, and you get no respect. Many people have this job and some are better than others, but I am here to tell you that there is no more demanding job on earth than that of the parent.

I know it sounds odd, but someday you will understand and agree that being responsible for a child twenty-four hours a day is the most demanding job in the world. This job demands more creativity than any other because you've got to explain the everyday happenings of the world to someone who is new to it.

Try to explain to a twenty-two month-old why screaming "bad guy" at every scruffy old man in line behind us in line at the grocery store is not acceptable.


Teaching them how and why to use the potty.

Being a parent takes a lot of energy, creativity, and cat like reflexes, but it's a job that I'd never trade for anything in the world.


My Mind Map

The assignment was to create a mind map of your mind. At first, I was so preoccupied trying to do the project perfectly that it just got in the way of doing it right.

My wife loved the final result, but said that it portrayed me as a overly negative person, which could not be farther from the truth. I have no explanation as to why it looks this way, but it was therapeutic to get the ideas on the paper and then leave them behind.

In the end, I learned a lot about myself and where these ideas or concepts are positioned in my mind. 


My Directorial Debut.

This may be the greatest video ever made. I put this short film together about eight years ago and have declined several offers to direct feature-length films since uploading it. Without further ado, feast your eyes on, "Toast the Movie!"



S M U Annoy Me.

This week I have encountered the seedy underbelly of what we know as SMU.  You would think it would be underage drinking, the lack luster football program or just KPNI programming, but NO! I have encountered the unintelligent people that plague every classroom and sidewalk.  Clearly, we have all run into the occasional dimwitted colleague, but lately it has been worse than Drew Carey hosting The Price is Right.

First, to the guy who deems it necessary to practice his competition frisbee twirling skills on the lawn in front of Dallas Hall, stop. You should probably focus less on slinging frisbees around while listening to “Eye of the Tiger,” and more on looking for a lady-friend.

A quick second complaint goes as follows: those Ugg boots are called that for a reason.  They are hideous and no one, and I mean no one should ever dawn that repugnant footwear ever again.  The sad part is, the lovely ladies on our campus seem to think they don’t look like Eskimos on vacation.  Please stop wearing those boots, because I could never imagine the vile odor that emanates from those eyesores after a full day of walking the campus.

Last, and most importantly, please follow the unwritten rules of attending class.  To explain, let me share an experience I had earlier this week.

On a normal Tuesday morning, I walked into my marketing class, excited to have my test returned so I could quell some of my post test anxiety.  As soon as I stepped in the door, I realized that some broad had swiped my seat.   This forced me out of my routine, but I figured that pushing through the minor set-back wouldn’t be a big deal.  So I posted up about four rows back on the aisle, trying not to displace one of my fellow scholars.  As the class started, so did the mouth of the sorority sweetheart who had come in at the last second to sit next to her friend. They began to discuss last night's events and continued to talk throughout the ENTIRE lecture.  At one point, I almost interrupted their discussion to ask them to be quiet, but I decided against my plan for fear that they wouldn’t understand me if every other word in my sentence wasn’t, “like”.  So it only added to my frustration when, at the end of class, as everyone was praising the teacher's assistant for a job well-done, "Chatty Kathy" in front of me ads in, “Yeah, you are like, awesome, Gena.” Now, I am not normally picky, but if you are going to tell someone how awesome they are, maybe you should use their actual name and not something that sounds close enough.

These fifty minutes were a catastrophe and I left hating my life. I have since decided to write the three golden rules of attending class:

1.     Do not take someone else’s seat because, yes, there is an understood seating chart.
2.     Do not in the same sentence tell your TA what an amazing job she is doing and also call her a completely wrong name
3.     Never sit in a class that you attend twice a year and talk through the entire lecture because it is very rude.

I guess the only lesson to be learned here is to never be a Ugg-boot-wearing, inconsiderate frisbee-man and we won’t have a problem.


Bad Hair Epoch?

Let me just throw this all out there and try to paint a picture of why I would do such a juvenile thing. I'm 26 years old, a full time student, and stay-at-home Dad who worked in a jail for 3 years where it was "Standard Operating Procedure" to keep short and bland hair. So why, two years removed from the jail, would I do this to my hair?

Let me show you what I am talking about:


(Despite the angle of the picture, I am not struggling with teen angst or in need of an emo picture for my myspace)

I think many times people alter their appearance for attention, but that's not my style. I don't need attention or recognition as long as I am happy with myself, so THAT can't be it.  I've never wanted to be "quirky". Maybe some people think quirkiness equals creativity and they are trying to show the rest of the population how intriguing or intelligent they are, while in actuality they are just as boring and as creative as the rest of us.

In the end, I honestly believe the urge to change my hair stems from boredom, dollar store hair color, and a wife who gave me permission.

***Dear FTC,
          The before and after images depict typical results.




Dirty Filthy Rotten FTC!

How dare they try to censor the common man while munching on tasty Skittles©. Then again EVERYONE should be able to taste the rainbow!

But seriously,  this is another case of "the man" keeping an eye on me and my beautiful, comfy, new Adidas© shoes. So comfortable and reliable that I may just give them to my family for Christmas. As they say, impossible is nothing!

I say we all rise up and take down the FTC after a nice refreshing Coca-Cola©, because you should always enjoy the coke side of life.

***These messages brought to you by over regulation and a complete disregard for rational consumers.


I <3 America.

Only in America could a person make a living painting pancakes on the faces of world leaders and other cultural icons. That man, Dan Lacey, has branched out to painting President Obama nude. For me, these paintings spark the never-ending debate over what is considered art.

So you tell me. Is this art?


Dan Lacey's work can be found at:



Waiting for you

As I sit on the stairs of Meadows quietly pondering what my next blog will be about, my mind slowly drifts to the realization that I have no friends. Now wait. I have a wife and an overactive child, but as a 26-year-old commuter student, I have no SMU friends. It may be my misanthropic attitude or just poor hygiene, but still I haven’t managed to make a single friend.
SMU is a great place with many different kinds of people; so I really should try to make a friend. So I've hatched a plan. My plan is to put a listing on Craigslist, searching for a friend that attends SMU. It is clearly the easiest way to make a friend.

Here is the posting I've listed:

“Subject: Student seeking friend at SMU.

My name is Matt and I am an advertising major seeking an on-campus friend. Applicants to be my friend should be taller than five feet and have all appendages.  Any applicants must be less attractive,  not quite as humorous as myself, and must also have the ability to change diapers. Attractive females need not apply - my wife will murder you.

To apply, please send a friendly response and a picture of yourself. Pay based on experience."

While waiting for a friendly response, I've received a call from my cousin who was asking how my dentist appointment went earlier today.  After describing to him how the hygienist had huge, um…fingers, my cousin said he was going to a movie if I wanted to come along. I politely declined, explaining to him I was waiting for a reply from a potential friend. 

About two hours later, my computer grabbed my attention with the obligatory “bling” sound and I ran to see the new email.  Disappointing. The new email was a false alarm. It was just my sister inviting me to go shopping. Clearly, I could not go for fear of missing a response from my unknown friend out there.

So far the day has been a loss. Just a little while ago, I had just started to doze off for a short nap when my co-worker busted in the door and said we were going to enjoy a Cowboys game on his dime.  Once more I was forced to decline, due to my need to stay by my computer to answer any replies.

It has now been six hours and still no response.  What am I supposed to do?  How will I ever make friends if no one will email me?  Fine. I give up.  Fate has determined that I will have no social interaction whatsoever.

So next time you see me sitting on the steps of Meadows typing away on my MacBook, don’t just drop change into my coffee cup. Say, 'hi!' and maybe we can be friends.

Got to go high school buddy is calling and he wants to play some golf. Not today Jon, I'm waiting for a friend!


W+K Platform Application Part Deux

The second part of the application asked the question, "Who are you?" So I did a very cheesy video where I look douchingly at the camera for extended periods of time. Here is that video:

Only three days after the deadline, I received this email from W+K.

Hello everyone,

Thank you very much for applying to Platform.  We had over 180 applicants and the standard of entries was truly impressive and the competition very tough.

We have spent the last week going through everyone’s submissions and after some tough decisions / heated debate we have finally selected the candidates for our open day.

Unfortunately, this time around you have not been selected.  If you would like feedback about your entry then please email

We really hope you enjoyed participating in the Platform briefs and wish you every success with whatever you do next.

Best regards,

Sam, Lucy and Donna
The Platform Team

 Of course I wanted feedback! Who wouldn't?! So, they sent me this feedback:

Dear Matt,
First of all thank you for your Platform submission we enjoyed looking at it. All in all we received over 180 submissions in total from around the world. We were very impressed by the standard of work, which was extremely high. From the 180 people who submitted projects we have selected 40 people to come to the Platform open day in London. We are sorry you weren’t selected. We thought the least we could do is offer you our point of view on your work, as we know you put a lot of effort into it. Hopefully you will find our feedback useful, so let’s get down to it. So your problem was the big one, the forgetting the towel when you are in the shower. We loved your film it made us all laugh a lot! It was clearly a totally over the top solution but we loved the way it was dramatised by you. I guess the sticking point for the judges was, is this guy funny and talented or just funny? We needed to see some clear evidence that you had the talent to back up the humour, evidence of grounded creativity I suppose. We had other entries that were high on humour too but also delivered the creative goods and so the decision was to go with the candidate that had both the solid idea, humour and great execution.

Thank you for really making us laugh, there weren’t many entries this funny! I hope that was of some help. Thank you for applying to Platform and best of luck in whatever you do next.

Kind regards,
Creative Director

So there it is. They didn't know if I was funny or funny and creative. Somehow, through two 1-minute videos, they figured me out. Amazingly, they pinpointed the crux of my life and punched me in the face with my insecurity. Thanks for the feedback. 


The Real Effects of Advertising.

Last weekend, my dad and I went to a flea market. This is no unusual Saturday -- we ARE Mexican after all. Upon getting out of the car, I realized that my dad did not bring his normal rolling cooler that is a staple of these bargain-shopping trips. Instead, he brought an over-the-shoulder rig that weighed close to thirty pounds. Realizing that he would be carrying this monstrosity around all afternoon, I asked him if the more convenient, rolling cooler was broken.  He looked at me and said, "I was going to bring it, but haven't you heard the Real Men of Genius commercial?" I had heard the commercial, but the ad-student inside of me told him no. He went on to explain that they made fun of the guy for pulling a rolling cooler, so he didn't want people to see him and think of that ad. I told him that was understandable and let it go, but it was amazing to see the unintended effects of advertising and made me realize that sometimes the industry has more power that it thinks.

Mom n' Dad


Vertical Intertextuality!

In my Intro to Creativity class, we have been talking about 'intertextuality,' which is basically referencing old or new cultural texts and drawing on the "common knowledge" of society. For example, these ads are great examples of vertical intertextuality because they reference the video game genre. By using the video game iconography within an ad, they have stepped outside of their own genre, making this vertical intertextuality. Any further questions can be sent to @wgriffin !



W + K Platform Application Pt. 1

This summer, I applied for a program called "Platform" through Wieden + Kennedy London. It is basically the opportunity to be an intern via satellite.  You gain experience through solving problems with team members via the internet.

The first prompt was to solve a problem in an unconventional way. Here is what I did:


Top 3 Reasons Not to Commit Suicide:

1. With his piercing stare, and endless knowledge, watching MacGyver tops the list.

2. The second reason, only behind watching MacGyver, is returning to your table at a restaurant to find your meal waiting for you. In fact, I would rather the waiter do as his name suggests and wait for me to leave the table to bring my food. Like a mini surprise party... without the sombrero.

3. Family and junk.


My Birthday Again? It's only been a year.

It is my birthday this week and I have started to wonder what that means anymore. Once you turn 16, life is great because you get a drivers license. At 17, you don’t have to sneak into rated R movies anymore. The 18th birthday brings the ability to buy cigarettes and more importantly, porn. Birthdays 19 and 20 are all building up to the point where you can buy alcohol, but after that…then what? What do I have to look forward to? I will turn 26 only to reinforce the fact that my life is over a quarter spent. Since I am almost dead, I figured that a birthday bash is the only way to go. Therefore, I have decided to invite all of you to my party. To save on postage I have attached the invitation:

Since you have all been formally invited I hope you can make it out to the party! Also, if you are wondering what I want for my birthday, the list is rather simple and it goes something like this:

Birthday list:
1. Socks
2. The revocation of the 19th Amendment
3. Yosemite Sam mud flaps
4. “Yentl” on VHS
5. Do-it-yourself embalming kit

I gave this same list to my mom and she said she would get the socks. So anything else on the list would be appreciated.

Since I am getting older, that means my wife is getting older to. She is 26 now, so I'm thinking maybe I could trade her in for two 13 year olds? No, I am only kidding, she would kill me if I only got two 13 year olds for her; she’s thrifty like that.

I have always heard that you’re only as old as you feel and I think that is a bunch of crap! Sometimes, I feel about 120 years old when that alarm clock goes off and I struggle to climb out of bed to get to class. I bet whoever made up that saying never had 6 Mai-tais and 8+ shots of tequila before trying to get up for an eight o’clock Ethics class.

I hope to see you all at my party this weekend, and remember gift cards will not be accepted due to lack of thought on your part. I am not really worried about getting older, because Abraham Lincoln had it right when he said, “It’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years."



First, Last, and Only poem I've ever written.

Let me start out with the fact that I am not a fan of poetry on any level. I can appreciate it, but it does nothing for me. This fact makes the idea of me writing poetry even more ridiculous.

I wrote this poem after the death of my grandmother. She lived with us and we were very close. Honestly, no one has ever seen this. I haven't even told my wife or shared it with my closest friend, but with the "anonymity" of blogging, I am just going to throw it out there.

Out of the Box
By: Matt Villanueva

This is life
Much like a game
When all we have is loss and gain

And the dice we roll always take their toll
especially on the body and soul.

Then you take a chance and hope in advance
that you’re not getting your very last glance.
At life and the love that comes from above
to protect us in this oblivious trance.

Because bad gets worse and the worst get worse
Only then, do we realize were only moving in one direction

Different paths we may take
With the decisions we make.
While the paths only lead you to the next space.
Though the number of spaces is on a case by case basis
It is the same fate that always awaits us.

Now that it is all over with no ticks on the clocks
we see we are just pieces waiting to be put back in the box
This, is life.



The first Blog --- What an awful title...

It is now October 1st and I've completely given up on trying to make a good post. This blog has really been haunting me and not for lack of ideas. Certainly, from the outside it looks like I'm a lazy student or some sort of procrastinator, but this is just not true.

I've been stressing on how to start this blog. In fact, I've already made and taken down several posts. This leads me to my latest idea that I hate every idea I have. Written or spoken, good or bad, I am my own worst critic - to use a hackneyed adage.

Are all creative people this way? Will I ever be able to like and enjoy an idea I have without being so critical that I talk myself out of my latest epiphany? Who knows.  What I do know is that this first blog is done and I hate it already.