On blogging, success, and an $8 peanut butter sandwich

May 23, 2008

Many of you (and by “you” I mean the five people who read this blog regularly and the sixteen people who were Googling for Looney Tunes slash fiction) have noted that this blog has gone un-updated for a while.  You have my heartfelt apologies, but I really didn’t have a darned thing to say for months.  Really.

When I began blogging four years ago, I decided that my little corner of the internet wouldn’t be a forum for my moping and whining.  It’s all to easy to come across that way, and especially given the stream-of-consciousness composition method that I use when I write, I very easily could’ve written quite a few posts that would’ve made a sixteen year old with a sparkling, seizure-inducing MySpace blush.  So when I would consider writing on here this spring, I always demurred, because I didn’t want to talk about the pressing, real-life concerns in my world: unemployment, crime, relationships, disappointment, writer’s block (of course), and finances.  Believe me, you wouldn’t want to read that dreck.

But why start writing now?  Well, I’m employed again (twice over) and haven’t had to talk to the police in almost a month, for starters.  Actually, that last part isn’t entirely true; I have had to talk about The Police.  For those of you who haven’t heard, I’m freelancing at the Houston Chronicle, and one of my recent assignments was to write a review of the Police/Elvis Costello show in the Woodlands.  Somehow, around the office here, this was deemed to be drawing the short straw.  For me, though, it was the first time in the five weeks that I’ve been here that I actually felt like something approaching a real journalist.  So that experience was the shot in the arm that I needed to start writing here again; it was something that I could re-tell here without it being so maudlin or boring that you’d click away to see what was posted on ManBabies today.

The quick timeline of writing the Police review, in chronological order: cracking myself up by thinking of fake interview questions for Sting (“what was it like playing the Goblin King in Labyrinth?”), figuring out how in the hell someone was going to edit my story at the ungodly hour it would be completed, receiving and then returning ALL the media tickets for the event, running into a nemesis,  cramming three people into Vesper for the return trip to town, a gigantic cup of coffee at Brasil, walking through the ghost town that Houston becomes on weekday nights, composing a caffiene-fueled piece while hoping not to be evicerated in the comments, meeting the creepy night editor, and slogging home too hyped up to sleep even though it was 3am.  Whew.

So back to the point, at heart I’m an optimist, and I’ve had plenty of reasons to support a more cheery outlook on life lately.  It even goes beyond the fact that I’ve got what amounts to my dream job right now (it is still a job, after), though.  On Wednesday, my post-deadline haze was rolled back under the influence of a sandwich and a conversation.  The role of the sandwich was played by the heavenly Fat Elvis at B’wiched on Westheimer, a pannini concoction of homemade peanut butter, caramelized bananas, and wild honey. (The King and the Big Puma would both be proud)  The conversation was provided by my dear old mum, who was somewhat out of the loop of recent developments in my life.  As I rattled through the litany of good things that’ve been happening, the act of relating them all in sequence brought to mind just how mind-numbingly blessed I’ve been lately.  As the great poets Chubawumba once said, I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down.

(It’s stuck in your head now, isn’t it? You’re welcome.)

Anyway, on the heels of all this introspection and reflection, I rolled in to work this morning, intent on blogging, when I read this article.  While I don’t think I’ll ever have the attention of a large part of a major American city like she did, her experiences did really help me to coalesce the thoughts on my self-imposed hiatus, leading to the very entry you find here.  Writing has suddenly become not only my passion, but my livelihood, and I’m still wrestling with the implications of that.  Hopefully, it’ll make my writing here more vibrant and more focused, or it could just make this the one outlet for my not-suitable-for-print ramblings.

we. shall. see.



  1. You have five people who regularly read your blog? Thats five more than mine.
    I note you are a journalist and it so happens I am writing what I hope will be a thriller. The protaganist is a free lance reporter who accidently stumbles across a sinister plot. I know zilch about investigative reporting. If you have any time could you send me a few ideas and/or thoughts on reporters? Anything would help.


    I am a resident of Houston also. I don’t how thats important but thought I would mention it.

  2. Jim,

    While I do work at the venerable Chron, I’m not truly a journalist, at least not yet. I’m a biologist by schooling, and a salesman by profession, and the writing gig is a new development for me.

    However, I can get with some of the folks in the news dept. here and see if any of them would be willing to give you some tips.

  3. Thanks a bunch, Rob.

  4. I never thought I’d see the day where Chumbawamba were quoted as “poets”.

    And I still find manbabies deeply disturbing. The only way you should be killing time at work is buy going here: http://www.freeslots.com

  5. You’re back!! 🙂

  6. I got lost…I was looking for looney toons to download…how the h*ll did I get here?
    Just kidding, but now I gotta get that Chumbawumba song out of my head (thanks Rob)

  7. You never seemed like a lifer at the sales gig to me, even though it obviously suits you to a good extent.

  8. . good to read you again.


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