Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Heath Row Goes to College IV

Postmarked Nov. 4, 1991

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thanks oh so much for the letter! Ha. Mr. B. (or B.) called last night to ask whether he could send the contract to our home or my campus address. I said to send it here. He has me in mind for business manager, who is in charge of the camp budget, parent picnic fees, bills, etcetera. I realize I haven't had much experience doing any of that stuff, but I think I could do a good job.

Looking at the calendar, I told him that the earliest I'd be able to start would be the week of June 13th. He seemed a bit disappointed that I would miss the camp staff week and the start of the season, but said we could work something out. Yet, this proposes a quandary. Should I move toward taking this job this soon or sould I hold off until the other opportunities present themselves as I look into the media jobs we've previously discussed, such as the Janesville Gazette, Daily Union, WSJY, and what have you? I;d like to look into these a tad more before writing them off for the camp job, but I don't want to discount that job because it seems rather available and almost reserved for me. I realize it's not, but I don't want to lose it because of a delay that'll have me working at McDonald's for the summer.

Enough of that. Please give me some input. Midterms all went as well as could be expected. A- on my history essay, and D. (my TA) said that he was impressed with some of my insights. I just have to work on my organization for the final. I'm afraid I rambled a bit in the beginning. A (94%) on my statistics test, and I could've done better. The grad student who corrected the test wrote "Good test" on the top of the first page. Perhaps he did this on everyy A, but that's still good. Of course, I got a B on the sociology test. On the American government test, I got a B on the curve. So I actually did pretty well for this first quarter so far. I only have to continue this level of academic excellence. Ha.

Working on my first real city desk story. Yes, I chose the city desk. Why? I like the editor and assistant editors, and the other staff writers on the desk. People have told me that papers respect students that have had city desk experience because the stories are more "real." For some reason, the university microcosm isn't held in the same light as a city. So I thought I'd get involved in the Evanston scene and see what makes the city tick. Heath Row, intrepid reporter. The city is my beat. Evanston is my city.

Other than that, it is extremely cold here. It actually snowed here today. Nothing on the ground yet, though. Very windy and very cold. Ack. All the people here that came from Florida or Arizona are freaking out because they've never been this cold. Of course, I'm used to is and constantly amaze people with my nonchalant attitude to going outside.

Turns out that the FCC changed their ruling to state that people need not pay for educational licenses. If we want, we can get out money back. But if I'm thinking of possible working at a radio station for the summer or in the relatively near future, should I take the refund? Then again, $35 is a nice bit of money to have. Any comments? I think I may take the refund because I can always pay later if I need to get one, and then the money won't be wasted if I never do anything commercial.

How're things in Fort? I called today (11/02/91) to discuss the camp staff stuff more in depth, but you were out. I think it's great that you guys finally have a social life. It seemed like you were always staying home because of B. and I. Classes are swell, all is well. Have a nice day.

Oh, lest I seem heartless and unappreciative, thanks a lot for the cookies. They came as a total surprise and were very good. One cookie, however, had no chips. I was going to send the tin back and demand a replacement, but you know... postage. Have a nice day for real now.

Dad: How do you justify on Appleworks? Do you have to do it at top and bottom or just top or what? Please tell...

I just realized that all the pants I wear on a day-to-day basis are jeans. I need to get some day pants that aren't dressy. Can't wear denim forever. Mom'll be proud. I now wear T-shirts when I wear dress shirts. It's silly, the fuss I made about it in the past (not too far distant, either...)

Udkafjhaskljfkjsaath,

Newspaper Chase XIII

Are you a fan of breathtaking newspaper journalism? Reporter Diana Keough kicked off a three-part series in the Plain Dealer today that blends heart-rending human interest narrative, mystery novel pacing, and award-winning pathos and bathos. Mostly pathos, to be sure, but the cynic in me came up with the "award-winning" gambit -- stories should never be written solely for awards, and there's enough here for me to believe that's not the case.

So what's the story? A young police officer. His young window dresser wife. Their growing family. Financial hardship. Emotional discord. And then a life-changing injury. Keough's creative nonfiction approach is spot on, and the storytelling is superb. Today, the bump: The injury occurs. Tomorrow, the set: Reality sets in. And Thursday, the spike: Life goes on.

Kudos to the Dealer for dedicating so many column inches to a story full of heart and art. And kudos to Keough for capturing the calamity -- and loving connections -- so well. Tonight I wish I lived in Cleveland. For tomorrow, the Dealer runs part two.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Blogging About Blogging LXXIX

I used to joke that I was a C List blogger. Blogebrity tells me that I'm not even that. Harrumph.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Comics and Commentary XII

Poopsheet published another of my reviews yesterday, some remarks on Joel Orff's book Waterwise. Look for more reviews in the days and weeks to come.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Restaurant I Ate at Last Night XXXII

Ruben's Empanadas at 122 1st Ave. Better than my benchmark in DC. If I lived nearby I'd eat here every day! The spinach empanada is great.

Music to My Ears LXIV

I just created a new iMix: June and July Songs. It's a simmering summer soundtrack.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Comics and Commentary XI

Poopsheet published another of my reviews yesterday, some remarks on Supernatural Law #40. Look for more reviews in the days and weeks to come.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Friday, May 13, 2005

Comics and Commentary X

Poopsheet published another of my reviews earlier this week, some remarks on John Kerschbaum's mini "Little Billy Blumpkin." Look for more reviews in the days and weeks to come.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Movie I Watched Last Night XC

Last night, thanks to Clem Richardson at the Daily News, I made my way to the Lower East Side after work for a special event organized by Fangoria magazine. For the last two months, they've hosted a Monday night screening at the Pioneer Theater, one of the better small screening spaces in the city.

The rainy evening's fare included a T-shirt and book/DVD/comic giveaway, the beautifully eerie short film "The Fine Art of Poisoning" by Bill Domonkos, and the 1990 feature-length horror spoof Hiruko the Goblin. Directed by Shinya Tsukomoto, maker of Tetsuo, it's a clever romp combining a Lovecraftian buried terror, a John Carpenter's Thing-like organic horror (same as the first thing, still), and Jackie Chan-like slapstick (the heroes). Equally tension-setting and sappily romantic, the movie made me cover my eyes as much as I laughed. And the cheesy song sung by Megumi Ueno's character! If I had to hear it one more time, I think I may have gone bonkers.

Kudos to Fangoria for staging a solid series. I'll return next month, for sure. Editor Tony Timpone gave a short talk before the screening, and the staff member I met giving away free tickets outside before the show seemed nice enough. Hint: Don't buy your ticket like I did. The theater wasn't crowded, and chances are they'll give away tickets next time, too. Even if they aren't, I bet you'll still be able to get one at the door. Not much better than watching horror movies in a public theater!

Tooth and Consequences

I moved to New York City in January 2004. The last time I went to a dentist was in Boston in December of 2003. Thursday morning, I go to my new dentist for the first time since moving here. I think I deserve a plaque for procrastination. Get it? Plaque? Oh, forget it...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Comics and Commentary IX

Poopsheet published another of my reviews today, some remarks on Musicomics #5 by Matt Levin. Look for more reviews in the days and weeks to come.

Event-O-Dex CV

Thursday, May 5: Pindeldyboz fifth anniversary and fifth issue release party at Galapagos in Williamsburg. Readings by Jami Attenberg, Dalia Azim, Kate Hill Cantrill, Stacey Gottlieb, Joshua Mandelbaum, and Benjamin Swire. Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, a pirate punk rock puppet show, presents "Episode 6: Crabquistador: Scavengers of God." The 12th Street Playboys perform cajun-style. And the 101 wrap up the night. 7 p.m., $5.

Saturday, May 7: Plunge into Death and Big Digits get wicked at the Delancey with Fur Cups For Teeth and Tunnel of Love.