Monday, August 31, 2009

Work Stuff! CNN Commentary on Racial Profiling

I promise not to make a habit of this, but I'm pretty proud of this media placement. I'm told that my organization has never gotten a CNN commentary placed before. Granted, I'm not sure we've ever TRIED to get one placed before, but the fact that I got our first one in my second week is, I think, pretty good.

If you're wondering what it is I actually do, one of my jobs is to pitch op-eds and pieces to major media outlets. Sometimes I get to ghost write the op-eds myself, sometimes the authors largely write their own. That's what happened here. Then I have to get it published. That's how we do.

Here's the piece on racial profiling, written by one of our attorneys, Chandra Bhatnagar:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

That's the Anthem, Get Your Damn Hands Up (Redux)

Replacing the previous anthem, I give you the genius that is "Constructive Summer," by the Hold Steady

Me and my friends are like the drums on "Lust for Life”
We pound it out on floor toms
Our psalms are sing-along songs

And this whole town is like this
Been that way our whole lives
Just work at the mill until you die
Work at the mill, and then you die

We’re gonna build something this summer
We’re gonna build something this summer
We’ll put it back together- raise up a giant ladder
With love, and trust, and friends, and hammers (This summer!)
We’re gonna lean this ladder up against the water tower
Climb up to the top, and drink and talk (This summer!)

Me and my friends are like “Double-whiskey-coke-no-ice.”
We drink along in double time; might drink too much, but we feel fine
We’re gonna build something this summer.
Gonna build something this summer.

This summer, grant us all the power to drink on top of water towers,
With love, and trust, and shows, all summer

Let this be my annual reminder that we can all be something bigger

I went to your schools, I did my detention
But the walls are so gray, I couldn’t pay attention
I heard your gospel, it moved me to tears,
But I couldn’t find the hate, and I couldn’t find the fear
I met your Savior, I knelt at his feet,
And he took my ten bucks, and he went down the street
I tried to believe all the things that you said,
But my friends that aren’t dying are already dead.

Raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer
I think he might’ve been our only decent teacher
Getting older makes it harder to remember…

We are our only saviors

We’re gonna build something this summer

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog Blackout

Quick word on sporadic postings:

It's not that things aren't happening. Oh, it's happening. The job is awesome, the place is awesome (if a wee bit hot and sticky...hoping things will cool off soon), the city is awesome, my friends are's all good.

Well, almost all good. The movers have decided to hold my furniture and the bulk of my stuff hostage until an undetermined day. I'm now told that it will come this weekend. Maybe. I'd really rather not know the over-under on that.

So I've been sleeping on an AeroBed for the past week and a half, eating Lean Cuisine and sitting on the floor and watching DVDs of Lost on my laptop in front of an oscillating fan when I'm in my place. Which, given the heat and the lack of accommodation, I try to be in as little as possible. The riverside park is my reading room, the various music venues in lower Manhattan are my play room, and work and the 4/5/6 line are where I live most of my life. The only time I have proper Internet is at work, so I can only blog on lunch breaks and the like, if at all. Not ideal.

Despite the heat though, I do have to say that summer's a great time to move to NYC. Everyone's out, there are free concerts all over the place, and people seem to be in a reasonably good mood. Besides, would you rather lug the contents of your life up five flights of stairs in the heat, or in a blizzard? Actually, they're both kinda heinous, aren't they? Never mind.

At least I don't have to join a gym.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Yorker Robyn v.2.0

I moved in to the new digs in New York City on Sunday, and oh, my goodness is it good to be back. I don't even care that I seemed to have timed my arrival just in time for the hottest, stinkiest days of the year. Or that I blew my knee out the day before arriving, making my poor, awesome parents do most of the heavy lifting to the walkup apartment while I popped ibuprofen and offered encouragement and promised that I did not, in fact, do this on purpose. Really really.

Given the limited time and mobility, I've done a lot in the past few days: bagels by the river, dips in the public pool, walks to the Met, etc. I told myself to take it easy, and not hit the gig circuit too soon, as I had all the time in the world.

I lasted all of 36 hours. Here's Bryan, Mac, Jenny, and Alec getting awesome with it at the Red Lion:

and Bryan and Mac killing a Howard Jones cover:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Moving to NYC: Part One

Final updates from OneTwoThreeFour Mass Ave:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How Not to Take a Vacation

So between preparing for a new job, closing out the old one, trying to find an apartment, and quickly moving out of my old one, it was pretty much the worst time ever to take a vacation. But, seeing as the Family Shep had committed to a week visiting Dad's relatives in Maine, and seeing as this would probably be my last chance at some time off for a while, we forged ahead. It was suggested that the time away may be good for me, as I'd have a chance to chill for a bit.

This was an incorrect assessment.

You see, we never actually signed the lease for the apartment before I fled NYC for New England. Nor did we attend to little things like movers, and notifying my old apartment. So all of this had to be done from Grammy Shep's Internet-free house. This involved a lot of overnight deliveries, a lot of imposing on more tech-savvy cousins for printer use, and a lot of trips to the Augusta Staples business center, which happily and unexpectedly featured some choice Britpop and indie music on the P.A. That made things a little better. But really, if you spend the bulk of your vacation like this, you're doing it wrong.

But we did get a few Maine-type activities in, including two days lakeside where I thought it would be a good idea to hoist myself up on a rope swing over the water, and also be towed by a motorboat. And it was a GREAT idea, right up until I realized that these things take a tremendous toll on your upper body, which you happen to use a lot when you're packing and moving. So now, I kinda wanna just marinate in BenGay. That would sound pretty good. And pepperminty. We also ate lobstah. Twice. Including once in a casserole that combined both lobster and Cheez-Its, which are universally acknowledged as being two of the greatest things on earth.

So now I'm back, and getting about fours of sleep a night, and theoretically will be out of DC come Sunday. This is all subject to change of course. Really, after the craparama spectacular that was the first part of 2009, I'm still waiting for something to go horribly wrong and someone to say that there's been a big misunderstanding, and I'm actually going to be stuck in DC with terrible credit for all time. Can't be helped. Disaster's my default position these days. I'll be convinced once I'm actually situated in the new digs.

I'll leave you with some borderline tedious footage of water sports at Lake Porter. The scenery's sure pretty, and there's incidental lingering shots of my posterior in a modest, family-friendly one-piece bathing suit, if that does anything for you. En. Joy.