Journalism and Paid Gigs:
Singing for Jesus!
This piece is a lot of fun to look back on, although I found it terrifying at the time. Going incognito to a Christian Rock Festival wasn’t quite what I expected it to be.
Lee Krasnow is one of those guys you just know is going to do something cool with his life. So when he became an award-winning puzzle-maker, I don’t think anyone was surprised. He also used to throw really cool parties at his warehouse in Sand City.
Circle: A Gathering Place for Women
I got a chance to talk about this piece with Joe Carr of the New York Times a few months after I’d written it. He was speaking at the AAN West Coast conference in 2003, and I brought this story up as an example of a time when I wish I’d been more scathing in writing about my subjects. They were such nice ladies, but their false sense that they were doing something when they were mostly just buying things sickened me. I think my contempt can be read through the lines of this piece, but only if you know to look for it. I was only 21, and I learned my lesson. I made a point of not pulling my punches after this.
Nando Parrado and the Miracle in the Andes
I had admired Nando Parrado ever since reading Alive when I was in high school. When Parrado’s book came out in 2006, I jumped at the chance to review it, and was thrilled when I got the chance to interview the man himself. I knew that, since he was on a multinational book tour, he was probably being asked the same questions over and over again. And I didn’t want to bring up cannibalism. So we talked about cars, mostly, and Parrado’s aging father, the thought of whom gave him strength to climb over the Andes and rescue the 14 friends who still survived at the crash site.
My Yelp profile
In summer 2007, I was a paid reviewer for Yelp. I wrote reviews. I was considered “Elite.” I handed out branded lip balm and pins. It was a pretty cool gig.