Friday, March 31, 2006

Let's Get This Over With

... because I’ve decided that First Posts are right up there on my hate-to-write scale with resumes, cover letters and those dopey “getting-to-know-you” ice-breakers that kick off corporate training sessions.

Callimachus has very much honored me by inviting me to blog at his place, and under such open-ended terms: I get to write what I want, as often or infrequently as I want, and on whatever topic that strikes my fancy. Given that C knows how I "do go on" (we worked at the same newspaper for years, ending more than a decade ago, which is when I last saw him), this is no small thing.

That said, my intention is to be more selective and mindful than that about posting here. My own blog Either End of the Curve is on hiatus for a while in large part because I became too sucked up into prolifically blogging on a daily basis as an end in and of itself, during a period when I don’t have that time to spare.

(Doesn’t that make it seem as if C’s blog is functioning for me as a metaphorical methadone clinic, where I can get a controlled fix as a way of managing an addiction? Hmmm.)

The single most important thing to know about me is that I love to read: I mean physically and viscerally, as well as mentally and emotionally. I was born to read (I taught myself how at 3-1/2 or so). I read prolifically and as quickly as anyone I’ve ever met on a personal basis. And I will read anything, if necessary; if I'm not already interested, I'll get myself interested. Once, when I was still traveling on corporate training consulting jobs, my rental car broke down in East Gybyp. Because I didn’t have a book, magazine or laptop with me--how rare!--I was deeply relieved to discover that, for whatever inexplicable reason, the glove box contained not one, but three different car-manual sets. Which I proceeded to devour, every word, even the small-type specs, and more than once, while I waited for the tow truck.

And I couldn’t possibly care less about the truly technical aspects of cars, or anything else, really. But in life, for the most part, you can only work with what you have, what is, given the realities of an immediate situation. That's pretty much how I approach everything.

I’m not much for utopian visions, in things great or small; can you tell? They tend to lack essential qualities of skepticism and humor.

I’m also not much for settling down to just one thing. This explains why, in addition to my background in journalism and consulting, I have at various times worked as a full-time employee for a financial services company, a private non-profit social services agency, and a foreign-language television station. These are just the professional “career-type” jobs; listing part-time and temp employment would take another whole post. Amazing how many things you can try if your idea of a hobby, for a significant chunk of young adulthood, is adding second or third jobs to your schedule.

For more than a decade, I’ve been self-employed through a small incorporated entity that belongs to my husband and me. In that capacity, I've written and edited all kinds of material, planned special (or, depending on your vantage point, mundane) events, and helped develop training materials of various types. The work that I most enjoy is editing foreign-policy articles. I'd probably love being a full-time blogger even more--but that's no way to earn a living.

The biggest--though not only--reason that I blog "anonymously" is that, quite literally, I never know who my next client might be. Professionally speaking, I live in perpetual uncertainty with absolutely no guarantees. And I've got a kindergartner's future to consider. (Especially since I've mostly worked part-time since his birth, a situation that it's time to change.)

So you can just call me reader_iam--or RIA, for short.

Thanks for having me.