How vicious barbecue withdrawals might kill me before I make it home…

Yeah, It’s gotten to that point now. I’m absolutely 100 percent ready to go back to the midwest.

There’s really no shame in saying it: I was homesick for a few weeks. It wasn’t a conventional homesickness, though, it was more of a constant, drawn out craving for the simple pleasures of Kansas. It took me a month to nail down two convenience stores that consistently sell Barq’s Root Beer (apparently Northeasterners don’t drink it?) and I haven’t seen a bottle of Sun Drop since leaving the terminal at KCI. When my favorite bands would release new CD’s, I always would load them immediately onto the iPod and take a drive with the windows down to listen to the whole album. When I got a hold of Sublime w/Rome, Incubus and 311’s new albums, I had to make do with a stroll from Greenwich Village up to midtown. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same. I see the Facebook pictures every few days of all my friends with the ever familiar wooden-walls and bar banners of the Hawk. I hear all the stories of all my brothers getting rowdy at Summer Chapter. I miss that kind of stuff, but it’s not the incapacitating feeling that leads to quarantining myself with a 12-pack, sack of chips and redbox movies each night. Every time I get a moment to think, my mind’s on how good it’s going to feel to get back to being a kid again. I’ve had an amazing time working at the Huff Post all summer — and I’m not done, yet — but it’s time to go back to having little-to-no responsibility.

"Two Bearfights, please..."

Not to mention how hard I’m going to crush the entire Oklahoma Joe’s/Gates/Jack Stack/Bigg’s/Johnny’s/Danny Edward’s BBQ menu. Whichever I pass by first.

I'm about to shit myself in anticipation

I found out the other day that Saki and I no longer have the responsibility of writing those Patch-collaboration stories I always talked about anymore. I’m kind of relieved in a way, because lately there was a lot of confusion between us and them and things got harder to complete. Apparently he went to a meeting and they figured out a more efficient way, and for now, that way involves us not pitching any more stories to them. I’m happy about this as well, because juggling research for Saki, Patch stories and the story that I’m personally working on would have been really hard on this homestretch, not to mention all the packing I’m going to have to do. Saki’s gonna be out of the office for the next couple of days so I’m going to have some solid time to knock out the interviews for my story.

I’ve been somewhat vague on what, exactly, my story’s about. Initially, I was going to write a 500-worder on Go Skateboarding Day back in June. The powers-at-be decided against it, which left me sitting on about ten interviews that I’d gathered that day. Saki encouraged me to find a bigger story and write something over the course of the summer, so I did. I originally had planned to write it about the power struggle between police and skateboarders, but that story’s been so played out over the years and it wouldn’t really have a gripping angle. I started looking around and got in touch with a few sources within New York that are working to save legendary skate spots, and other professionals across the country are basically doing the same thing. I don’t want to give too many details out, given this mofo is open to the public, but it’s going to be along the lines of that. I know the chances of someone stealing the story idea of a 19-year-old intern are slim, but I also don’t really want to give everything away so you have something to read. I’m waiting to hear back from Tony Hawk and Rob Dyrdek’s publicists, so I’ll hopefully be speaking with them for the story as well (both of which will take the cake of being my biggest interviews yet).

That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you tonight. If you tivo-ed the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, check a few minutes before extra time resumes and pause it when Times Square comes up. I’m on the right side of the screen in the blue shirt and white hat. I saw Taking Back Sunday that night too, and it easily was the best show I’ve ever been to. Usually you see a concert and leave without hearing a few songs that you’d have liked to hear. Their set was an exact 16-song list of every song I would have personally requested to hear. It doesn’t get any better than that.

You’ll hear more as the skateboarding foundations story progresses. That’ll be my last story of the summer, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot more engaging and entertaining than my previous stories on school boards and disability legislature…

All the best
AJ

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