Every Good Story Needs A Cliffhanger…

Good morning.

As forewarned and anticipated in the start of summer, I failed to keep routinely writing here and keeping those who are interested up to date. If you followed along last summer, you probably saw it coming. It should be understandable, though. Work never really wraps up calmly and effortlessly and, by this point, I’ve already shared with you the bulk of increasingly mundane details of my day-to-day life in the city. I’m sure I could have mustered up something to talk about, but I’m equally sure that it would have ended up sounding like a journal entry chock-full of a bunch of things I’ve already told you, only in different words. Just think of it as an unannounced, unexplained break in a rickety, confusing relationship — you can cry all you want, but it was for the best.

Thanks to Frontier Airlines’ blatant disregard for convenience — which, though aggravating, is understandable because almost no one flies from New York City to Kansas City — and their choice to switch my flight by a few days, I’ve had an extra five nights in town. Without fail, I’ve fallen into the same seemingly-natural routine customary with a lack of work or school: I’ve gone nocturnal. This isn’t anything new; for some reason — whenever my life lacks formal, daytime responsibility — my body seems to prefer spending the majority of my awake-time in the night and wee-hours of the morning. I took another relaxing and fun trip out to Long Island to visit Greg again, but since I’ve been back, I’ve effortlessly taken up that stupid biological schedule again. I was up late last night doing fuck-all nothing and tried to go to bed around 4 a.m. or so. It didn’t happen, so I just tossed and turned in bed for a few hours and decided that I’d be better served to just begin my day and muscle through the drowsiness later. After all, my flight takes off at 7 a.m. out of LaGuardia tomorrow morning, so I’m going to have to wake up around 4:30 to get my shit together, I’ll have to get a cab around 5:00 and probably won’t make my way through security until about 6:00. Fuck Frontier Airlines — not only do I have to fly to Denver to wait an hour and a half before boarding my flight to Kansas City; I have to wake up before dawn, which is always pure bollocks.

I figure my body will start running out of gas around 3 or 4 p.m. and I’ll start struggling to get things taken care of. That leaves me with the daunting task of getting everything done that I can before the afternoon, and I have a lot of shit to do. I’m not going to have time to do laundry or much else when I get back in KC because I’ll be headed up to Nebraska to meet up with a few friends before heading to Lollapalooza in Chicago on Thursday. Once I land tomorrow, I only have a few hours at my disposal to binge-eat barbecue and see relatives, so I basically am packing/preparing for the weekend, too. I haven’t driven a car in over two months, either, so hopefully I haven’t lost all sense of pace and direction behind the wheel and make it to Chicago and back alive.

I’m trying to think of how I could best recap the last few weeks of work, but nothing really exhilarating/interesting is coming to mind. It’s not like they weren’t exhilarating/interesting to me; I just don’t know how to phrase things for all you non-journalism nerds who may be reading this. There weren’t any big crises or controversies — they were just kind of normal. The last two issues we put out were fucking awesome, though. At the beginning of the summer, our managing editor, Katy, suggested that I keep my ear to the ground for any ideas that could be translated into iPad-interactive infographics — you know, the things you see on BuzzFeed and the Chive where once boring data and statistics are shown in an aesthetically pleasing manner. So I found some stuff on the value of college education in the recession and before the recession, put it all together and sent it along and it turned into this big, badass infographic that came out in Issue #6. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to transfer the tap-able features available on the iPad into something that I could display on the computer, so you’ll have to settle for a basic screenshot. It’s available on my Tumblr, which I’ll talk more about later.

Last Monday, though, I went out to lunch with Tim. We bonded over our mutual loathing for New York sports teams (he hails from the Midwest, as well) and got to talking about the whole journalism industry, as well as my ambitions and goals for my career after college. It was a really productive, insightful discussion. In the middle of it, he asked me if I enjoyed the work I’d done at HP over the last two summers. I didn’t bat an eye before saying “yes,” and elaborating on how much I’d learned and how much I know I’ll miss it. I told him that this is the place I want to be and this is the place I see myself working, too. He seemed to agree and invited me to return for a third internship in NYC next summer. I graciously accepted and nonchalantly took a drink from my glass of water ­— which thankfully wasn’t spilled all over my shirt due to the school-boy giddiness I was fighting so hard to keep internalized. It was that same feeling all over again — I now knew that I would be able to continue doing something that I absolutely fucking love for a publication that I absolutely fucking love. To keep it understated and blunt: it felt damn good and I’m already itching for next summer to start.

My workload didn’t really endure any seismic changes in the last few days, but it was definitely tough leaving on Friday. I really enjoyed working with everyone on the magazine team; everyone was super welcoming and friendly and whenever I fucked up, they didn’t slit my throat, which is always good. I also walked away with a few good friends who were interning with HuffPost College and sat a few desks down. I really hope they all come back next summer or get jobs at HP, because I really enjoyed working with them and would like to do it in the future. I don’t think I need to worry about anyone on the magazine team not being there in the future, though — they’re all the best at what they do and I’m pretty confident that the powers-at-be will be doing their best to make sure they don’t go anywhere. Tim knows that my strengths lie in writing, but if he wants me to work with the magazine team again next summer, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Not to indirectly kiss everyone’s ass, but it was a one-of-a-kind experience that almost no one my age gets the opportunity to be involved with. I’m lucky. Katy brought me cupcakes that morning and thanked me, and I sent out an email to the team thanking them for letting a snot-nosed, 20-year-old frat boy from Kansas get his feet wet. I made sure I didn’t let them down, and I’ll miss working with them.

So I think that’s where I’m going to leave it for now when it comes to this blog. I’m not going to kid myself and say that I’ll continue to update it throughout the year, because you and I both know that I won’t. I’ve got a lot going on — I’m taking 17 hours in the fall and 18 in the spring; I’m writing humor columns for #CTL and the University Daily Kansan and hopefully I’m going to muster up the balls to finally dabble in stand-up comedy. It’s not something that I want to seriously pursue, but it’s something that I’ve always wanted to try and something that I’ve always thought I’d be decent at. Spare time won’t be abundant this year, so we’ll see if it happens.

For now, though, my daily bullshit will still remain available for you via my Twitter and Facebook. I’ll keep Instagramming (even though Kansas is significantly less photogenic than NYC) and I just made a Tumblr, which is more-or-less going to serve as a running online portfolio of my published work. It already has everything I’ve written for the Huffington Post and #CTL and I’ll keep it up to date as more things come along. That way, if you don’t have access to a computer (what’s wrong with you?) or access to a paper-copy of the UDK, my articles and columns will be readily available there. I promise to keep it straight business — none of the day-to-day, journal-esque stuff. If it’s published and my name is on the byline, it’ll be there. So have fun and follow along. I’ve got some good shit planned and coming up in the humor department.

That’s it for this summer, though. Luckily, I know that I’ll be back, so it’s not like this thing is getting put to permanent rest. We’ll call this school year an intermission and Act III will resume next summer when I return to NYC.

Until then, be good. I’ll see you down the road.

All the best
AJ

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