Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reading List

One of the many things I'm looking forward to doing once we get out to LA is reading for pleasure once again.

Not just New Yorkers, but actual books. That I choose. For myself. That do not appear on a syllabus. Or require me to write a review.

I've never been one to read thematically, but I've decided to do just that this time around. In honor of the move, I'm going to read books that have some kind of connection to LA, be it subject matter, setting, or author. I'm open to anything, fiction or non-.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Got My Paper and I Was Free

Sunday, May 18, 2008

On the Spot

I attended my 20th college reunion over the weekend, and it was a kick to be back on campus and to reconnect with people after so many years. I'm a reunion geek, so I love these events and always wish more people embraced them, even though I understand why so many don't.

Most people looked better in their early twenties than they do in their early forties, and that's one reason some folks stay away. Another reason, I'm sure, is that attending a reunion means having to answer the same couple of questions over and over during those stilted conversations with classmates you haven't seen in a decade (or two). And if you're not in a great place in your life, that can be a daunting proposition. Being overweight or going bald is one thing. Who wants to say they're going through a divorce or a layoff or a deep depression?

I hadn't really focused on this until I found myself in the throes of it, listening to other people's well rehearsed responses and struggling to figure out how much of an answer I should give.

Example: So, what have you been up to since the last big reunion (10 years ago)?

Typical Answer: [Spouse] and I are still living in [same city], we've got [two or three] kids, and I'm still working in [same industry as before].

Variation: [Spouse] and I are still living in [same city]. I'm still working in [same industry as before], and [spouse] is home with the kids.

Variation: [Spouse] and I are still living in [same city]. [Spouse] is running a hedge fund, and I'm mainly home with the kids.

My answer is so different from these that I didn't know where to begin. It didn't seem right to recite our litany of past misfortunes. So I went with the sunny summary instead:

My Answer: We're moving to Los Angeles in three weeks!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Walking in Sunshine

While we may be joining the biggest car culture in the country, Zach and I are planning to spend lots of time in Los Angeles on foot.

These were our first two LA-related purchases:

Oh, and you can be sure that I'll be commuting to work via public transportation.

You can take the girl out of the city. . . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Here We Come

It's been an eventful time here in Knowerville these past few weeks. Of the many changes afoot, the biggest is this:

We are picking up and moving to the West Coast, to a little-known hamlet called Los Angeles.

Zach and I have been flirting with LA for many years now, since he was in grad school in San Francisco a decade ago. We always planned to give it a go at some point but just hadn't figured out when.

Turns out this is when.

The looming actors' strike aside, the timing appears to be propitious for Zach's career.

We seem to be experiencing a lull in family crises.

J-school is finally, miraculously over.

And a great job opportunity came my way.

So just a few weeks from now, we will be off into the smoggy blue yonder, embarking on yet another adventure and turning the page on these past few brutal years.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Class of 2006 2007 2008

I turned in my last assignment yesterday morning and got the good news about eight hours later:

I graduate in 14 days.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

At Long Last

It's been nearly two years since I managed, under fire-drill-like circumstances, to produce an essay for a magazine contest I had absolutely no chance of winning.

At the time, I was so happy to have gotten the thing done—and so grateful to the GPO for allowing me to get it postmarked late on a Sunday night, just hours before the deadline—that I didn't focus at all on submitting it to other publications. I just left it on my hard drive to gather the electronic equivalent of dust.

Then, after almost a year and a half, this very nice mention prompted an editor at MAMM, where I was interning, to ask if the blog might provide fodder for a short piece in the magazine.

Along with the handful of posts I gave her to consider, I included a copy of the essay-contest submission.

I found out that it was going to be published—in substantially pared-down form—a few weeks later, on my first day back to work after my father died. The news was bittersweet, of course.

The essay actually appeared in print just after New Year's. So yes, I have been holding out on you. But for good reason: because of technical difficulties, it wasn't posted online until yesterday.

Here it is, my first official byline.