the write stuff

When I was a kid, I used to sit at the kitchen table with my mom, gram and other assorted relatives and just listen. It was never racy stuff about the sorts of things people do that warrant whispers and hushed tones. More often than not it was random comments on the mundane existence of one member or other of my extended family. Yet I always found it interesting.I have to wonder if my early fly-on-the-wall behavior was a precursor to my adult eavesdropping tendencies. Were I a different person, I suppose I’d have headed off for the Hollywood Hills ages ago to nab a gig telling on the famous for some trash rag or other.Fortunately for all the Britneys out there, I’ve turned my attention to everyone around me, which, I think, is even more fun. Well, maybe not for the person sitting behind me on the subway.

Hell, not even always for me, as I don’t really want to know half the things people feel more than comfortable blurting out in public. But, thanks to the electronic leashes we are perpetually yammering into like a horde of banshees with advanced tourettes, I know more about many of my fellow citizens than I ever wanted to.

Yet I never know what tidbit of information I’m going to pick up on. And considering the fact that I bailed on the grey-walled cubicle farm I’d been sharecropping for two years this summer and ran headlong back into journalism, I need to know what’s going on.

Any source of information is a potential story in this 24-hour news cycle we live in.

It’s been a bit slow, I’ll admit. I’ve kept my head buried up to my ears in approved quotes and PowerPoint presentations for so long sometimes I don’t even recognize the world outside. But, I’m getting my news-nose back, and sooner rather than later I should be back in full storytelling swing.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to eke out a few assorted pieces:

Grabbed a page of Men’s Health online, my first foray into the national publication fray. I’d been harassing… er… pushing my editor to let me write about MRSA, the mega bad superbug that’s been infecting otherwise healthy people like gangbusters, for a while. Finally, he relented.

Also wrote a story I’ve been dying to write for several years now. Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, N.Y., is the epicenter of Tibetan Buddhism in the western world simply because it’s the Dalai Lama’s North American seat. The lama’s visit to the region in October, coupled with the construction of a new facility for the monastery, finally gave me a reason to write about it.