After 25 days mostly in my car and hotels across the country, I can now say I have driven from New Jersey to California and back again. It's so nice to be home until….ah August when I go to Colorado.
If you want to see what I saw, I posted a lot of pictures of the trip on my Instagram account (search for #jeepJAM19 for trip-specific pictures).
I vowed not to work on the trip EXCEPT to write my New York Times newsletter, and I succeeded…mostly. A lot of people have interesting interpretations of what "I'm out of the office" means. For the most part, I held a hard line that I was not working, and I'm glad I did. The trip was fabulous and exciting but also exhausting and I didn't need work thrown on top of it.
Since my return, I've been sleeping a lot. For the first four full days back, I took mega mid-afternoon naps. I don't know if you can catch on sleep, but my body was telling me something. I've been back at my desk since Monday, and it's not as hectic as you might imagine. It's been a lot of answering emails, revising stories that needed to be revised, and reminding regular editors that I am both alive and home. It's been a nice transition back, if a bit slow. I'm walking dogs and an animal shelter today because I have that much time.
This is a part of freelancing that makes a lot of people anxious, but this is a dip in work of my own making (I did a lot of extra working leading into the trip, but I did turn down work – one assignment over the phone just as I got in the car to leave!) I'm glad that I could afford to do so. I consider it something I've built towards in my last 15-ish years of freelancing writing. I worked so hard to build my own business. I might as well enjoy the benefits of that.
"What Did You See On Your Run?," The New York Times
"Three Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Protect Themselves from Phishing," HealthTech
"At Nordstrom, the Next Evolution of BOPIS Emerges," Supply Chain Dive
"Syracuse Reaches for the Future with Smart City Plan," StateTech
"Why the Hospital Pager Withstood the Test of Time," HealthTech
"How Predictive Analytics in Healthcare is Changing Hospitals," HealthTech
What I'm Reading
- More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh. I thought I'd want to zip through a romance novel during my trip, but I found so little time to read while driving. I did get through it though – I have the other books in this series waiting for me. It's nice to be able to grab a romance novel whenever I feel I need one.
- I Don't Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer. I bought this at Goodwill, and I am SO GLAD I stopped that day. I mostly read this while I was in Los Angeles. It was a perfect pairing of book and location in which it was read. She's a GREAT, fun writer.
- The Gods of Guilt. I'm now into my second year of trying to read all of Michael Connelly's novels, and I'm in this decade! Some of the Lincoln Lawyer novels can get bogged down in courtroom stuff, but not this one. I enjoyed it.
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. I can't believe I didn't read this before. I knew this country was awful towards Native American, but this book, told from the Native American point of view, really hammered that home. It's what lead me to go up to Fort Laramie in Wyoming and drive the northern route home. Also, I ddi this as an audiobook.
- Why Buffalo Dance by Susan Chernak McElroy. I picked this up at a Little Free Library located inside a rest stop that ALSO has a giant bust of Abraham Lincoln outside. That's a lot for one spot – and I also got to pee! Win win win. Anyway, nice little competitive book.
- The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. I wonder how different the audiobook is from the print book because sometimes it sounded like they were just talking to each other. No complaints here! It was perfect to listen to at the very end of the drive when I didn't want to drive anymore. It also won the Audie award for humor, so I'm not the only one who loved listening to it.
- Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl. I have loved Reichl's writing, but I didn't fall into this book as I have with her others. That could be because it's about her time at Gourmet magazine, and the magazine world isn't all that new to me like restaurant reviewing was. Also, there's a paragraph about #metoo in regards to chefs that feels as if it was shoehorned in. A few chapters later, she writes about how lucky they were to have David Foster Wallace and Junot Díaz write for Gourmet and…that's it. Nothing about what those male writers did. It left a pit in my stomach, that's still there, even after I finished the book.
- What/If. I don't know if this show is good or so bad it's good or just something I couldn't turn away from. It's weird! But I recommend it!
- Toy Story 4. I'm going to go with what was said on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast about this: it feels like a spin off. I'm not sure that's a bad thing. My (40-year-old) brother laughed his head off, and I thought it was funny too.
- The Lady Vanishes. I'd like to say this a traditional BBC historical drama mystery, but I still can't figure out what's happening (I have it on now). It's available on Hoopla – PLEASE DO see if you can get access to this through your library. So much great stuff on here!