Friday, December 18, 2009


As I cross the state line I find myself on a street I've never driven before. It's pitch back and due to the late hour the traffic is light. I make my way in the direction I feel will take me home, looking for the interstate. To my right stretching for what seems like miles is a vast and eerie field of railway cars dotted with brilliantly lit cranes that in busier times are loading trucks. It's a modern marvel - an island dedicated to moving goods. As I continue forward increasingly fearful I'm headed in the wrong direction, the surroundings become more residential. Passing through intersections with street names I see in the paper associated with murders and robberies I move to lock my doors. The mechanical "click" adds some measure of security as the journey continues. The streetlights are few and far between; however, lights from gas stations and fried chicken joints increase my visibility. The neighborhoods off the main street are dark and neglected. You can almost feel the poverty and hopelessness in the air. The streets are not beautiful and nothing about the surroundings feels homey.

My anxiety subsides as the interstate becomes visible in the distance. I head east, towards my suburb. From the interstate I can see a nice hotel standing proudly. I'm glad it's still open, but saddened by the knowledge the surrounding area is severely blighted. Less than 15 minutes later my exit appears and I head up one of the cities main corridors. It's a part of town that has miraculously survived "white flight" and continues to thrive. A few minutes later I leave the city limits and enter my suburb. It's safe and quiet and I'm oddly relieved at the sight of a cop with flashing lights writing a speeding ticket. Meandering through the wide streets decorated for Christmas, past the boutique stores and library my street appears. I pull into my house which seems a world apart from the desolate place I saw 30 minutes earlier.

My city is poor. So many people are broken and hopeless and have no inkling of a greater world of opportunity existing. They are trapped in a cycle of poverty and lack the educational and financial resources to escape. To make matters worse, the opportunities for unskilled labor with decent pay are slim. Entire communities continue to struggle if not collapse. It's tragic.

I was born lucky. I must never take it for granted.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Well, it's been a crazy past few weeks. I've got a few stories to share, but for now I'll give an update of the happenings here.

I headed to Colorado at the end of October to visit my aunt. It was absolutely beautiful. I found a lovely duplex in Aspen for $4 million. I'm still debating. It might be a bit out of my price range. My mom came with me and we had a fun time traveling around seeing the sights. I hope to get back that way in the near future.

November saw me fail at NaNoWriMo, but it was expected. I don't have a story that needs to be written yet, but maybe one day. I've got some ideas rattling around.

November also included a visit from my old roommate. I chauffeured him around the city and we had fun reuniting with old friends.

I've officially hired a personal trainer but our schedule has been complicated with the holidays and my travel. However, I'm meeting with her for three months initially. One of my primary goals for 2010 is getting fit. Ideally I'll have a shirtless profile pic on Facebook by May. Just kidding.

Last night I co-hosted the biggest party in my entertaining career. It was a success! We had a great crowd and mingled 3 groups of friends. The food and beer selection was superb and a good time was had by all (at least that's what I've been told). It was a big effort as neither my cohost or myself had any Christmas decorations. Therefore we had to start from scratch! Our tree looks great though. The LED lights are bright!

This week I'm off to NYC for vacation! It's my first time and I plan on being as touristy as humanly possible. Heck yes! I've "budgeted" a decent amount of money for shopping. I guess I'll complete my winter wardrobe update while I'm there. New coat anyone?

Finally, I was able to successfully obtain tickets to Lady Gaga! I'll be headed down to New Orleans at the end of December. It's okay to be jealous.

I know this post is relatively shallow, but I'll post some of my better anecdotes and observations later. For now I'm off to get some work done (on a weekend, blasphemy!). I hope all has been well with you.