Yes That’s Me in That Cisco Ad

andy sternberg cisco commercial internet of everything ad

Cisco Commercial - Next Big Thing - Tomorrow Starts Here

I got a text from Brent yesterday: “Are you in a Cisco commercial?!” And I knew my fraction-of-a-second of fame had gone live, on nationwide basic cable (namely, CNN). It all came about the Sunday after I moved from Echo Park to Venice (in October). I was walking around Abbot Kinney Festival when a young woman with a Flip camera stopped me. It was election season and I was initially skeptical as dozens of people were roaming about with clipboards and Roseanne/Cindy Sheehan 2012 stickers. Then she explained that she was sent out to cast a specific role for a commercial and the director really liked working with regular, man-on-the-street types found at farmers markets and street festivals. I spoke to her casually on camera about how I had just moved to Venice from Echo Park that week and was looking forward to a nice change of pace on the west side.

A couple days later I got a call.

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Two Weeks in Belize (Photos)

Palapa in Belize

sunrise at ak'bol yoga retreat san pedro belize ambergris caye

Late last year I found a two solid weeks to travel in a country that I’ve never visited and I’m very happy to have chosen Belize. I LOVE traveling and I feel unfulfilled if I go a certain period of time without extensive travel, preferably internationally. This was my first such solo adventure since 2007-2008 when I used up my vacation days (thanks Warner/Chappell) to go to Argentina and Chile. I wanted to explore, and get in some adventure along with some quality relaxation and recharging after an exciting but jam-packed quarter running social for The X Factor (among other things).

Belize was an amazing country to visit and I had an incredible experience first near near San Pedro on Ambergris Caye and then in the jungle and at Tikal in Guatemala before rounding out my visit on the paradisical Placencia peninsula.

Read about my travels in the following photo essay (Click on a photo to view captions and scroll through as slideshow). Special thanks to Milio and Kirsten at Ak’Bol on Ambergris Caye and to Paradise Resort in Placencia.

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Living Without a Gallbladder

I feel healthier than ever as I type this. But two weeks ago I was in the worst discomfort of my life and couldn’t figure out why until I eventually drove myself to the nearest urgent care and ultimately had a cholecystectomy — my gallbladder was removed.

This was major surgery, the first (and hopefully last) of my life. What I thought was severe heartburn that would pass was in fact pain from gallstones and a nasty infection surrounding my gallbladder. It never dawned on me that I could have a serious medical issue but in hindsight I had experienced similar abdominal discomfort on 4 or 5 occasions over the course of 18 months or so. It typically lasted less than two hours and I would simply lay down and breathe through it. I was naïve and assumed I had a much lower tolerance for pain than I actually do.

I thought I was taking ace care of myself — I was (and am) in the best shape of my life. I hadn’t even had a cold or flu in years and apparently didn’t even remember what it felt like to have a fever. But I did have a fever and an extremely high white blood cell count as my body fought to contain a nasty infection.

I learned a lot over the past two weeks. Here’s how it all played out…

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