A brief, yet triumphant synopsis of early July…

Good evening to all you beautiful people — and you ugly ones, too.

Things got a little wackier than usual over the last two weeks on this blog. Almost every year, I hit a month-long period of debilitating writer’s block, usually in the middle of Spring. Once I can get the pen moving again, though, I get this constant craving to write something, anything, as often as I can — usually in the summer, too, which works out perfectly because that’s when I’m in New York getting paid to write every day (or edit … same thing). For those who follow me on Twitter, that should explain a lot. For those of you who read my exhaustive rant on how hot NYC gets in the summer or my long, column-esque piece on Kansas City professional sports, that should explain a lot as well.

The heat wave rant got a shitload of hits compared to usual, and my piece on Kansas City sports fucking doubled the number of page views this blog’s had since I started it in May 2011. Not to discredit the relative “virality” of that post, but I’d never really had huge numbers here anyway. Sure, whenever I’d plug it enough on Facebook and Twitter or whenever I’d link to my stories at the Huffington Post, it’d get some solid numbers, but the KC sports piece blew up. For a post on a personal summer blog to notch a four-digit number is something else. I knew it’d probably beat out every other post I’d written before, but not by that much.

I’ve kind of procrastinated writing tonight’s post because the reaction was so huge for the last one. I’ve never really tried — or wanted — to peddle this thing to anyone outside my social network, so when something like that happens, it kind of knocks you back a bit. I guess I was kind of waiting around for another idea that could maybe garner a similar reaction, but I don’t really want to do that because it isn’t organic. You can’t force things like that; when they happen, they happen. I started writing here as a form of public therapy — a way to keep the blades sharp and a way to keep those who care in the loop with what I’ve been up to. That’s been the goal all along, and while it was sweet to see my stuff spread so rapidly, I feel kind of obligated to get back to the way things were. Rest assured, though, if I think of something similar to those two posts, you’ll see it somehow.

Before I get into recapping my happenings from early July, I do want to thank everyone who took the time to read the KC sports piece, and more importantly, those tweeted it out or shared it on Facebook with their own personal networks. People I talk to all the time, people I haven’t talked to in years and people I’ve never talked to in my life gave me support and shared my work, and that’s not something that happens a lot. I’m really grateful for it and I thank you for doing that.

SO. Because so much time has passed, I don’t really think I’m going to be able to go into much detail about what I’ve been up to lately. It isn’t as fresh in the mind, but I’ll give it a shot. Enjoy the photos, though. I’ve got two weeks’ backlog of Instagrams to dump off here.

As once guaranteed, the Fourth of July was quite the drunken shitshow. This city is a really unique place on that holiday — the majority of the people who live in the actual city are young, so as you can imagine, everyone’s very drunk, jovial and patriotic, as they should be. My friend Kylie and I met up around noon and drank some warm wine (beggars can’t be choosers, and yes, I’m a beggar for four more months) and took the L train to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. We drank with a few of her friends for a while in their apartment before one of them had to leave to catch a flight. A few of the others knew of a party going on in Bushwick, so we headed there. The party was going on in the “backyard” (a glorified back-lot) of some random apartment building. There was a pretty solid band playing and it was full of people I didn’t know, but luckily, alcohol tends to fix that problem quite easily. Because it was the Fourth of July, I opted for the American flag-adorned Bud Heavy tallboys. Bud Heavy isn’t really the ideal beer for a 20-year-old — I’m in college, and when we drink, we tend to drink a lot — because the advertisement doesn’t lie: it’s heavy stuff. We’d been in the hot sun all day, too, so when you combine that with a belly full of full-flavor beer, you get tired. I should have learned better because this was exactly what happened to me last year, but Kylie was apparently just as tired, so we took the Subway back to Manhattan. The sun was already down by the time we got back to the city and we made the horrible decision to eat — which compounds your drunken fatigue — so both of us called it a day around 8 or 9 p.m. So no, I didn’t get to see the fireworks over Manhattan. They moved them from the East River to the Hudson this year, though, so there was really no point; I would have either had to camp out on the West Side Highway all day or I would have had to travel over to New Jersey. Needless to say, I had no desire to do either.

I haven’t really done too much since then. The weeks get pretty exhausting and it’s really liberating to sleep for 12 hours each night of the weekend. I’m not 21, either, so my options aren’t necessarily too plentiful.

The magazine’s been looking pretty damn good lately. I don’t know whether or not I’m at liberty to publicly (or semi-publicly) discuss logistics and numbers, but we’ve almost notched the same amount of downloads as the Huffington Post’s iPad app — which has been around for a year — in just two months. We didn’t publish an issue on the week of the Fourth of July, so luckily everyone kind of had a chance to get a breath and get ahead on future issues. Because of that, we’ve been on schedule as of late — at least from an editorial standpoint. I get to cap off my summer with a bang this week, too: I’d been gathering and pooling datasets for our “Data” page, which our team of (incredible) infographic designers brings to life in a really aesthetically-pleasing and engaging way. They decided to run with my stuff for Issue 6 (out on Friday, July 20), and I’ll get the solo byline for the whole thing. I’m really, really jazzed about it — I saw it today and it’s definitely going to be the standout piece in the ol’ portfolio.

I don’t know, I felt like I had a lot to say when I started writing this and I don’t really anymore. I kind of just rambled on about stuff. Whatever though, you already spent five minutes reading it so there’s nothing we can do about it now. I’d give you your money back if you’d spent it. If you liked it, though, you’re still welcome to give me money if you want.

 

We’ll talk later.

 

All the best
AJ

 

PS- I know there are probably grammatical errors and typos in these things. I don’t really care — I spend 8-10 hours a day editing stories and checking for errors. I really haven’t the slightest interest to do it to my own work.

 

 

 

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