These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

chris mccandless

i'm still on a roll with reading. it's a high i just don't want to get off of. ever. but i know eventually i will come to a a time when it will stop again. hopefuly it'll be far, far in the future.

i finished reading "into the wild" before going into work. i breezed through the book. once i got my teeth in it, which was probably the first few pages, i couldn't stop. i really couldn't put it down, or keep pressing the play button.

the story of Chris McCandless is too wild to be true. he traversed all over the west and north and alaska.

it wasn't just hitching rides, though. he did that thing where he rode a canoe down the colorado and made it to the gulf of california. crazy shit, man.

i tried to put myself in his shoes and couldn't picture it. i mean, maybe it's the eye sight thing. i guess i could hitch rides or whatever, but i doubt i'd be able to ride down rivers in a canoe without getting my ass lost. and i most certainly would be unable to maintain my sanity without people for the months he did.

ultimately i thought he was a bit of a dick, though.he'd come and go in and out of people's lives, never really sticking around and bonding with them. maybe it was his way. i like people too much to just do that.

i was also imporessed with the journalistic integrity jon krakauer maintained. he researched the facts and created a heck of a book. i still wonder how he managed to track down all of those people to piece together the two years of mccandless' life. i know he had the diary and there were common links. but there is the example of the man who gave him a ride along the alaskan highway. ow'd he managet o contact this man? perhaps the man came forward. either way, krakauer did a great job, much as he did with "into thin air."

i liked hwo he weaved in his own tale of his upbringing andhis adventures to alaska years before to climb up that mountain. what kept him going? why did krakauer live when he could have very well have easily slipped in a cravace or frozen to death? life's weird that way. he lived and he told another tale. a tale where the protagonist wasn't quite as lucky.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

new job title

it was maddening, the walk to work monday afternoon. the temperature rose to the lower 40s and the heavy accumulation of snow began to melt. still, sidewalks were thick with slush, impeding my walk to work. it was taking to damn long. and i had to meet with my boss at 3:30.

the more i tried to walk faster the more it seemed i was walking through mud or muck. i'd try to move and it was to no avail.

i finally arrived, a little late. after awhile i walked in. he told me to close the door. i sat down, crossed my legs, and pinched the webbing between my thumb and forefinger,, ready for what was to come next.

with the rearranging of the news room into a news and information center and new titles, we could apply for three jobs. i decided to go for assistant news team leader, a life&style assistant and then news team member. i wanted a change. i needed a change. i was burning out where i was as night shift reporter. i needed a new challenge. i figured the asst. position would give me that opportunity. i was geeked about it.

i went into the interview confident but unknowing if i'd get the gig. i came out of the interview still confident. but unknowing if i had the gig.

it was the better part of five days waiting to see or hear what was to happen. i decided i wouldn't worry about it and get on with life. dawn and i watched supernatural tv show episodes (which rock!) and we went to kentwood to have dinner with steph and david and then meeting up with them and denise and mig back at their place for a great time. it was what i needed. complete fun, entertaiinment and gabbing with friends.

monday morning i get a call from my boss saying i'd have to cover the state of the nation by making some phone calls to local gov. officials. he asked when i was coming in. i said regular time. he said we can talk about the reorganization. i didn't know what to think. it was do i have the job or is it just to let me know i'm still a reporter.

i talked to dawn and told her. i said i'd let her know when she got in from work. i talked to linda and in the process looked at the clock and realized i had an hour to shower and head onout. that's when i panicked. in ONE hour i'd know.

i scrambled and headed out the door, even fixed my supper to kill time beforehand.

so i sit there pinching the webbing betwen my thumb and forefinger. it was a gentle pinch. i guess i did it to break any kind of tension i might have had. luckily, it didn't last long because my boss said i got the job. i gave a think smile and thanked him for believing i was the person best suited. we talked for a bit and then i shook his hand and walked out.

we have a staff meeting later on today and everyone will meet the new supervisors and assistants. although, as my boss, put it, i'm sure everyone will know who's who.

i'm excited and pleased with this new position. i can't express how ready i am to slide into this new job. call it a rejuvenation of sorts.

as i look at the time on the computer, i realize it's heading onto 3 a.m. this will be a thing of the past now. no longer will i up this late on a regular basis with the shift changing.

i sit here now, dawn long asleep. katrina running around for god knows why. the wind is blowing out, spraying snow everywhere and it's cold. single digit cold. white-out conditions hinder travel and mounds of snow once more pile areas where it had melted over the past few days.

bed sounds good about now. time to get back and, perhaps, finish "into the wild." it seems like an appropriate night to do so.