{ 30 March 2003 }
11:49 PM |  
Post-DC trip to New York:

"Thursday, Mar. 27, 3:52am"
It's like something out of an old movie about a boy's passage to manhood.

I find myself on a luxury bus headed from one Chinatown to another. Luxury bus yes, but at the cost of $20. We left the D.C. stop 10 minutes ago. Old Southern white gospel music is playing on the bus speakers. I'm reminded of "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Maybe it's the exhaustion from cleaning and packing and leaving this fair city, but I'm in a daze right now as I consider the ramifications of my actions.... I'm on a bus playing 60's Jesus songs, headed to some unforeseen destiny... and it begins in New York.

There are about 15 passengers total on this 100-person bus. Some are cute girls who have yet to speak a word of English. Others are probably people traveling back and forth because it's cheap and/or because they're visiting friends and family in the other town. They haven't spoken much English either, but I think they're German.

This is actually quite convenient, now that I think about it. I mean, it's a cheap bus which is likely to drop my off near a subway.... Technically I could take this bus to Chicago. That would be fun.

Well... regardless of what happens... one thing is sure: The job hunt has begun. Or, to paraphrase Yoda (because, yes, I am that geeky), "Begun... this Job Hunt has..."

"Thursday, Mar. 27 -- Night"
Okay, so I spent most of Thursday day eating and/or sleeping off the exhaustion from sleeping on the bus. I had breakfast with Lily, naptime, mailed out a ton of cover letters and resumes and then had lunch with Iris. By then the day was starting to wind down. But there was one place I knew I had to go. As a journalist, someone who watched helpless along with the rest of the nation, I had to. So I did. I went to Ground Zero. And, my friends, it's something I won't soon forget.

In all honesty, it now looks like nothing more than a very large construction site. The space of seven buildings is now just a near-empty substructure upon a foundation of bedrock. A few flags wave in the wind on the site, and many more wave back at them from buildings all around downtown New York.

It's not like you really can see much anyway. There's a green meshy partition up around most of the construction area. But knowing how important the visual reminder of Sept. 11, 2001, really was, The Port Authority of New York erected a thick, but much more transparent fence on one section of the site. Here hang placards detailing the history of the World Trade Center, every major moment from its inception to the 1993 bombing to its eventual downfall. Also, flowers are placed between the holes in the fence. When I was there it was mostly white and lavender orchids.

Truth be told, it's not about what you see at Ground Zero, it's about what you see around Ground Zero. No longer do the towers dwarf the surrounding buildings. No longer do they keep the sun from getting into your eyes. And no longer do people walk past the site without looking, probably in some shape of a memory, at what once was.

A mural painted up several stories of a nearby building says enough: "The human spirit is not measured by the size of the act, but by the size of the heart." Note that it's both a tribute to the fallen and a threat to the aggressors.

Funny. It's a quiet place now, a place for reflection and mourning. And yet, all I can think of is the screaming.

"Friday, Mar. 28"
Dorm life is no longer for me. I can wholeheartedly endorse such a statement today. While I appreciate the efforts and the fact that I had a bed, it's just sorta not for me anymore. Give me square footage and beds without strangers and their girlfriends on the top bunk anytime. I mean, they were nice and all, but you gotta admit... it's just sorta awkward.

Oh, and clean towels. And that's as far as I'll go into my showering situation.

I'm sitting in YiShaun's "guest" room. It's pretty nice, and her place can only be describes as a spinal cord-ish apartment. It's like one narrow hallway snaking down for several yards, with doors opening to one big room or another. I guess that means I reside in the tailbone. If I had used a gastrointestinal analogy, I could have been in the rectum. Wait, that sounds absolutely horrible. It is a wonderful little rectum, though. I'll stop here before it gets much worse.

So, I had lunch with Justin today, he seems to be doing great, albeit a bit career-antsy, maybe. He showed me his offices, a couple co-workers and his company's trading floor... but nothing compared to the crazy ice cream vending machine. Who would have thought that a vaccuum and an ice box could be used to such effect??? I have a video of it, so ask me for it if you want.

Later, I walked to Rockefeller Center and toured the gift shop at NBC studios when it began to drizzle. Did some shopping at BR (I'm so bad) and bought some stuff for the Lil'ster. She ain't so lil' anymore!!! Almost... 20. Sigh, I remember when she was 7!!!

I kept walking north, and eventually hit Central Park. That is one big mutha' park, I must say. I didn't even walk half of it, and my feet were ;sjkladfaksld.

Sum up the rest of the day: dinner at good Thai place with Spencer and Yix (Spencer's the man), then the Columbia Law Revue performance, then speed Scrabble and Friends and Haagen-Daaz, then turning down a bar crawl, then Ali G, then Conan. Somewhere in the middle of it was a re-enactment of the first six minutes of Aladdin.

Now sleep.

"Saturday, March 29"

Every day a different bed. It's tougher than I thought.

I'm in Poughkeepsie, NY, with my sister. Despite the downpour, it seems like a pretty area. Majestic liberal arts college, surrounded by lots of indepedently run stores... and lots of green space. I can imagine Evanston probably looked more like this 20 years ago. Albeit bigger.

I love Desmond, my sister's mixed mutt. He's got such a personality. And for some reason he keeps thinking I'm going to take his food. Every time I get near his toys or bowl he runs in front of me and tries pushing me away by jumping at me with paws raised. Hehehe... I guess dogs can smell that sorta thing. j/k

Oh, saw the movie Chicago tonight. I must say, it was very good. Although I do think Moulin Rouge was better. Okay okay, apples and apple-pears, I know...

"Saturday, March 29"

BURLINGTON, VT.-- Yep, another new location. Courtyard Inn outside of Burlington, Vermont. I wish I could write more, but i really am so tired from the 5+ hour drive through dark snowy wilderness. Never before has "and miles to go before I sleep" had such personal relevance. The drive mostly involved squinting through snow that made me feel like I was looking at that Starfield screensaver thing and singing any number of songs out loud with the radio and CD player to keep awake. Oh yeah, and one long conversation with Lily as I passed through Albany.

And tomorrow I have to get back to Avis by 5:30pm or get stuck with another $110 fee. It's the only that sucks about being under 25.

Okay, good night for now.

{ 29 March 2003 }
10:52 PM |  
Yes Tony, you're the only one commenting... i think it's because you're the only one that reads this blog.

If I am wrong, I dare you to leave a comment. :)

{ 28 March 2003 }
9:11 AM |  
trying a new comment thing....


{ 26 March 2003 }
10:53 AM |  
just realized today that i've been blogging for more than a year... 3/18/2002 was my first post.

happy belated birthday blog. i guess i should take the time to remind everyone that a blog is not really a blog unless it has some links. Otherwise, its just a webjournal. But of course, with comments and things now being added to these so-called journals, maybe the distinction between blog and.. uh... blournal... is breaking down.

10:20 AM |  
hehe... i think i spoke too soon.

on a different note, it's amazing what certain music does for the mood.

"i felt my heart begin to race, as we drew nearer to the place, where they say that death is waiting in the dark..."

{ 25 March 2003 }
11:46 PM |  
this is really weird. i know that i came to DC with two full bags. i know i bought and gathered a ton of stuff while i was here.

so how the heck can i be almost done packing and still have only one empty suitcase?


{ 24 March 2003 }
11:08 PM |  
looking for one moment of clarity
but it comes only after murk
blocks my vision
for just a moment--just enough
to create flames
of something else.
it says yes,
and no one says no
well, almost no one.

10:52 PM |  
i walk among the nothing,
an emptiness with no name,
with no breath,
no life,
except maybe mine.
it's a search for the simple,
for the truth.
it's not a sad walk.
just a bit lonely.
but hardly alone.

{ 20 March 2003 }
6:46 PM |  
it's done. my resume tape is done.

what does this mean? it means i can send out my tapes to potential employers with the hope that i might.. just might.. get a job. it means i can apply for that scholarship. it means i have something to show my family.

but mostly, it means nothing. nothing because it's just the beginning of my career. this is my first resume tape. someday i will look back at this tape and probably chuckle at how silly the stories, which now in my eyes are the best of my work, really are compared to what i might be covering in the future.

now it's time to buckle down... or celebrate... or both...

but mostly--hehe--i need to eat all that stuff left in my fridge.

meanwhile, still craving apple cobbler/crumble.

("meanwhile" is the best word... EVER.)

{ 10 March 2003 }
1:29 PM |  
I wish I had more to write in this thing. More anecdotes and stuff. Hmm, I have been having weird dreams lately, all involving crazy crazy things. I'd talk about them, but I'd rather not.

A couple days ago I was waiting for a bus and this guy in semi-tattered clothing came walking down the street. He started yelling about how no one cares for the sick and the poor, etc., and how this isn't really the American ideal. It's times like that that make me realize how privileged I am, even if I do like to say how little journalists get paid.

And yesterday, also waiting for a bus, I saw a little girl walking with her mom down the street. Oh, first, I have to tell you. My bus stop is right across the street from the White House. So as this family walks by, the girl says, "There's the President?" The mom replies, "Yup, that's the house of the President of the United States." Then she smirked (which I heard more than I saw), and said, "We're going to go and sit down with him and have some coffee." Made me smile. I know, it's no much, but that's the only anecdote I can think of from yesterday.

{ 05 March 2003 }
9:41 AM |  
Overheard in the newsroom: "Sounds like things are getting hectic." -BB

{ 04 March 2003 }
8:51 AM |  
Journalism is increasing my faith. There is almost no other profession I can think of where one is forced daily on such a broad spectrum to read and listen to the suffering of others. The journalism industry bases itself in the world's moral plights, political misgivings, racial inequities, physical wonts, no-win debates, financial scrutiny and gut-wrenching tragedies. We watch people die in droves. Or worse, we watch them die slowly. We watch legislation benefit one group while taking away from another (and often, watch the situation reverse itself down the line). And, being only one person, you still really only "witness" a mere fraction of all of the world's problems.

It's this part of the industry that makes me more aware of how much Jesus actually hoisted upon himself on the cross. Try imagining the suffering of all people throughout time. Can you? I can't. Even as a generally happy person I still have my times of sorrow, and it's enough to remind me how painful life can be. That's where the faith comes in. I wasn't a very religious person just 5 years ago. Now, I place my hope and faith constantly in the fact that there's someone out there who has the ability to take the burdens of the world of our backs.

BUT! I don't want to make journalism (and life) sound completely hopeless, however. There are always the good stories, the ones where someone or some group rises above the rest to accomplish something unheard of. It could be an act of selflessness or a stor of perseverance against all odds. It could be a story that's unintentionally humorous, or better yet, intentionally so. These are the stories that remind us that not all news is bad news. They're the stories that show us the other human side, the side that draws us to crazy silly movies where one person defies some conglomerate of evil or two people find each other despite a series of events set to keep them apart. That's part of why I stay in this job. That, and the ability to witness first-hand events that could change our society.

Wow, I'm getting all gushy and podiumaniacal again. Silly me. But, I hope you understand.




question: What is "onasteek?" answer: a silly name from a silly joke from a time long past. but enough about onasteek. let's talk about me.


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