Where to find me

Chicagoist.com

Tumblr

Twitter

Flickr

Mama and Papa Gaga

These are my parents. You should be jealous. They are all gussied up to attend the Cleveland Lady Gaga show tonight. Seriously, they’re awesome.

Yeah, just your average truck driver and school teacher out for date night. I love my parents.

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm  Comments (6)  

I <3 the internet.

I’ve been in Denver almost two months. I have not had internet in my apartment the whole time. I tried, I swear. I requested a modem from Qwest, and it took over a month to arrive. Technically that was the fault of UPS and that I don’t have a “doorman” or a “roommate” for them to deliver it to. Seriously, I can’t be the only person UPS has tried to deliver a package to that works 9 to 5 and doesn’t have these things.

Once it arrived, the modem didn’t work. I spent all of last weekend fiddling with it and an hour on the phone with tech support. They decided they would need to send a technician. So they ask me, when do you have time during the week, 9 to 5? To which I said, I don’t and asked if they have evening or weekend options. The guy said no. He asked if I had a manager on-site or a roommate. No, no. I can’t be the only one with a 9 to 5 job and no roommate.

That technician scheduling thing turned out to be untrue when I called tech support again to tell them if they didn’t send me someone on an evening or a weekend, I would cancel this internet thing altogether.

So they said someone would come Sunday between 8 a.m. and noon. He got here around 10 and spent about half an hour fiddling with things. Then he said he needed to “run down the street” to take care of something. He came back about 45 minutes later. He worked on it a little longer, told me “we’re close,” then left again for over an hour. At 1:30 he returned, and I still haven’t showered or done my laundry or bought my groceries. It took about 20 more minutes and it was done. He apologized that it took so long and said, “basically anything that could be wrong was wrong.” And my day is pretty much wasted, but selfishly, I’m glad it wasn’t just something I was doing wrong.

So that is a long, long description of why I haven’t gotten around to detailing my new Denver life. Also, when I’m at work, I really want to work extra. Seriously, I’m really enjoying my job.

Now I must get out of this apartment and go for a run in this gorgeous, sunny Denver weather. This happened:

Yeah, that's me and Air Force One.

Obama came to Denver in February. I was on the tarmac at Buckley Air Force Base with the rest of the press. Very, very cool. This is as close as we were, but thanks to my zoom, I got some good photos of the Commander in Chief.

It’s a long way from [Pinedale] to Denver

Just a little update. Since I don’t have internet set up at my apartment yet, I haven’t been online much. I’ve spent so much time in coffeeshops…

It’s been three weeks since I started working for the AP here, and I love it. It’s really, really challenging. Everything I write is ripped apart by ruthless editors. I have to master a whole new writing voice. I have to abridge myself in ways I never had to at the Pinedale Roundup. It’s just really hard. I love it. I think I’m starting to get the knack of it. Well, I say that now, but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll learn something new that will blow my mind.

While the work is harder, the hours are easier, and I have way more time to myself. I can read books and watch TV and cook real meals that don’t involve cereal and milk. I can get a full eight hours of sleep, even if it’s on an air mattress. The rest has improved the quality of my writing and reporting exponentially. I even had a three-day weekend for President’s Day! I did nothing, and it was beautiful. As beautiful as a guitar solo from Benjamin Franklin– h/t Uniblog.

I’m also way more interested in my work. I loved the characters and strange happenings of Pinedale, but it’s nice to write about things that matter outside of a 50-mile radius of the published story. And for them to all be on the internet. I’ve developed a habit of googling my name really often. I’m so vain…

My first big story was about a Mexican drug kingpin‘s sentence. That was even translated into Spanish! And just a week into my time here, I covered the mid-air collision of two planes in Boulder, Colo. The story went national, and my by-line was everywhere.

So go ahead and google me in google news. Just make sure you spell my last name right. If you don’t you get this stripper in Arizona that left her kids at home alone, eating dog food.

Oh, and did I mention I got to see the president? Like, seriously, THE Barack Obama, exiting THE Air Force One. I’ll have a whole post on that with my pictures once I find my dang camera cord.

The Best Back Scratcher

Saturday was my favorite day in Wyoming. I should squeeze a few more of those in while I can. I’m leaving soon for Denver. I took a 19-week legislative relief position at the AP bureau there. Very exciting. I hear they have stoplights there, but they don’t have moose like this.

Don’t worry, Mom. This one was taken with a zoom lens. I was also accompanied by a professional wildlife filmographer, but there will be more on that later.

This was at Grand Teton National Park Saturday. It’s surprising this big guy even has antlers still, since they shed them in the winter. It’s a good thing he has them because he sure seems to be enjoying this back scratch.

Ahhhh…..

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 8:26 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , ,

A nice drive on a winter’s day

Yesterday I spent the day in Big Piney, also known as, “The Ice Box of the Nation,” to do some reporting.

This is the real sign that greets you when you enter Big Piney. It was taken in August, when it was much less icy.

Instead of pausing for lunch, I decided to go for a long drive around the nearby open spaces. After an interview with a local park ranger, I was craving it.

Don't forget to share the road!

So I put my big, green beastly 1998 Ford Expedition into four wheel drive, and I hit the road.

Sam + 4WD = <3

I love when I’m the only one on a road. It happens more often than you’d think.

I don't know what these red stick bushes are, but I like them a lot.

I just drove around until I hit one of these and then turned around. I blasted some quality John Denver, too.

At least this one doesn't say trespassers will be shot.

Some of the roads were a little scary to drive on, but my car never wavered, so I kept on keeping on. That car rocks… now that the heat works.

Yup. This thing on the right is a road.

And it’s all worth it when I see a view like this.

Ahhhhhhhhh.....

Oh, and did I mention that it was so warm in the “icebox of the nation” that I was driving with the windows down. 30 degrees is something to celebrate!

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , ,

At least it’s pretty!

I complain a lot about Wyoming. It’s cold. I’m very far from everyone I know. I’m stuck here for Christmas. There is no ethnic food and no quality live music.

The worst part is that for about six weeks it has been bitter cold, but it hasn’t snowed. It’s a small town, and there isn’t much to do right now if there isn’t enough snow to ski or snowmobile or participate in any of those things I came here to try out.

Well it started snowing, so that’s all about to change. I rode a snowmobile through town on Sunday! Hopefully I won’t be completely alone for Christmas. I’ve accumulated a couple of packages marked “Do not open until Christmas!” from my mom and grandma, so at least I have that.

Having complained with words, I can only praise Wyoming with photography–

Here is a view of the Wind River Mountain Range, as seen from the mesa area, with a bonus sliver of a view of Fremont Lake.

That is all.

Carol of the Bells

This video features my three favorite Muppets. Awesome.

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Strange food violence

I can’t wait until someday I write an odd-ball story like this that winds up being linked to by almost every news network in the country. Today it is all about food violence.

Exhibit A: Raw meat.

The crime?

A 53-year-old was arrested after alledgedly hitting a man in the head with a raw steak. According to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report, the man told deputies Elsie Egan repeatedly hit him with the uncooked meat and slapped his face after he refused a piece of sliced bread. The man said he wanted a bread roll.

Dude, just take the bread.

Exhibit B: Cooked Meat.

The crime?

A 25-year-old Port St. Lucie man was arrested for allegedly rubbing a hamburger on his wife’s face during an argument. Police said Daniel Boss and his wife got into it late Thursday night and started calling each other names. At some point, the woman apparently poured soda on Boss’ hamburger, causing him to grab the sandwich, rub it in her face and start throwing food.

Don’t cry over spilled soda, man.

Exhibit C: Steamy, sticky starch.

The crime?

A 44-year-old woman was booked with second-degree battery after allegedly pouring a pot of boiling grits onto her sleeping boyfriend. St. Charles Parish sheriff’s deputies said Carolyn Brown caused second-degree burns on the man’s face and arms. The man told deputies that he came home from work on Nov. 7, got into an argument with Brown, told her that he was breaking up with her, then went to bed.

Uh, why would he sleep there if he were serious about breaking up? “It’s not you, it’s me. Man, am I tired!” I think that’s something George Costanza would do.

Now I’m going to get a little Debbie Downer on you, [SAD TROMBONE]. These are all examples of domestic violence that really should not be funny. Just like the Tiger Woods [possible?] domestic violence situation now and that SNL skit from last week.

But you know what? I laughed at every one. But then I felt guilty about it, I swear! But really, why are these things so damn funny? And more importantly, why can’t odd news happen near me, so I can have a story posted on every news site everywhere!!

How the Salahis got into the White House

[via my dad's sense of humor]

Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 8:43 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.