Tuesday, January 20, 2009


A bright sunshine streaks the faces of the seven million people congregated in the Capitol. It is a beautiful day. In every sense of the word.

January is not supposed to be beautiful. Beauty, it seems, is an elusive thing in a cold winter, a winter made all the colder by struggle and fear, anxiety and worry. But today is a beautiful day, in spite of so much. Because today, there is hope in the eyes of all those seven million people. There is hope in the face of the man we've chosen to place in front of us. Hope is what brings beauty in even the darkest moments. Hope is what made my ancestors survive January in sod houses in Iowa in 1890. Hope is what brought my grandmother through dust bowls and starvation. Hope is what consoled my great-great grandparents when they left everything they knew in a small Norwegian fishing village to till an unknown land far from their home.

And hope is what brings my heart to my throat now, when I see the tide of people in Washington. There is much to survive still. But hope will get us there.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


It's pretty crazy how I can get on a roll when I want to, when I have a task at hand that needs completion (or at least steady progress). So this is why I'm up at three in the morning burning a mix CD for my fiancee and reading my friends' music blog (it's here, and yes, you should read it too).

The project I'm working on right now is rekindling my love for music.

I have two music stories due to The Onion by the end of the month and I was feeling pretty uninspired about both of them so I decided I needed to spend some time with the music I have, remember why I do this, of all journalistic endeavors.

It's helping. Since my music is virtually 100 percent digital at this point, it helped greatly simply to haul the CD box out from under my bed, go through the stacks, carefully choose which ones to upload and fondly remember where I was when I bought each one. Or even better, where I was when someone gave it to me (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was in my Easter basket when I was 15, next to marshmallow Peeps and a Reese's peanut butter bunny). Touching music, the physical manifestation of it, reminds me of the actual work it takes to create it.

The stories are still rough. I still have interviews to schedule, outlines to create, research to do. But at least right now I can remember why I do it.