A Million More Miles

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling recently. I went from San Diego to Atlanta, to Las Vegas to Chicago, and in two weeks I’ll be headed to New York. Two of those trips had less than 48 hours turnaround time between them—resulting in my being so exhausted when I hit Atlanta that, despite having two full days off to explore the city, I never left my hotel room. I laid in bed for two days watching Dominic Cooper movies on iTunes and only coming down for dinner out of the hotel restaurant.

But there are finally a few things worth talking about. Speaking of Dominic Cooper, I met him at this year’s Comic-Con, though I embarrassed myself when I just rambled excitedly in his direction. He had to stop me to ask for my name. It wasn’t my finest moment, but I’m over it now because Colin Donnell told me that’s a guy worth getting flustered in front of. And I trust Colin’s opinion, because I get flustered in front of him every year.

I worked with my friends at ELEAGUE in Atlanta, which I enjoy for the opportunity to stretch myself in a discipline that is largely alien to me. Luckily, I’ve had a few good people there to teach me the ropes, including Richard Lewis and Jason “Moses” O’Toole, the former of whom left the building but the former of whom is still there and was quite complimentary of my work. I also finally met Alex “Machine” Richardson and Janko “YNk” Paunovic, and I’m glad I did because not long after that tournament, Janko went off to coach MIBR so that trip I almost didn’t take became the one opportunity I had to work with him. He just led MIBR to the semi-finals of the London Major yesterday.

Then it was off to Las Vegas for a very overdue family vacation, which involved taking my parents to Hell’s Kitchen and going to see my old friend Criss Angel, who called me out in front of the whole room yet again. He’s done this a few times, and I’m still not used to it. Nor was I used to one of the Chicago Med executive producers telling me he reads my website “all the time” and Dick Wolf knowing who I am, to the point his publicist asked me if we wanted to take a picture together.

It’s been a busy couple of months, and odd ones at that.

I consider myself very lucky to be in the position I’m in. To be able to share experiences with so many good people, and watch them go on to do great things knowing that our paths crossed however briefly. Not to mention to do this for 18 years, and be able to support myself doing it, though it hasn’t always been easy. It still isn’t.

In those four months, I’ve been working 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. shifts, stopping only in the afternoon to grab a Lean Cuisine and a two-hour nap. I had to work on my vacation because there was no one to cover for me. Yesterday was the first full day off I’ve had in a couple of weeks. I turn out about 200 articles a month, and last week I found out that number is going up to 340 if I want to keep breaking even.

That’s 12.14 articles a day, every day. The number goes up to 17 if I don’t want to work weekends. Pretty much an article an hour, once you subtract time out of each day for sleep. I make just enough money to get by, and the older I get, the more it physically hurts.

Sometimes, it really kind of sucks.

But then some days I remember that I get to hang out with Colin Donnell, and that I just got to write an interview with Scott Dixon a few months before he won his fifth IndyCar championship, and that Dominic Cooper has met me now (even if it was embarrassing), and it really is awesome. You find the days, the moments, that make it worth the pain.

And then you sit down, get back to work, and prepare for the next adventure. New York, I can’t wait to see you.