I’ve got my fingers in a lot of proverbial pies right now, some that I’m willing to share online and others I might just chat about over a beer. In the wake of the new year and the wedding madness finally dissipating, I’ve been keeping myself awfully busy in a number of ways, personally and professionally.
I won’t go too into the professional stuff, but one shift has been away from consuming media and toward creating it. When I worked at NPR I reported and wrote multiple stories every day and also kept a personal journal. These days most of my writing is academic, which requires about 90% of the time in research to the 10% of the time in actual writing. For many reasons I want to get the writing juices flowing again, so I decided to start writing occasionally for a few blogs, including The Order of the Good Death and Girls Who Like Beer. Writing my first Girls Who Like Beer post felt very natural in the way writing used to feel for me, so I hope to continue writing in this vein now and then (but probably more tersely than this rambler). Nevertheless, I’m pretty fond of my post reviewing one of the world’s rarest craft beers. It felt really good to write that kind of thing again.
Now that I’m technically a beer blogger, I’m lucky enough to get to go to Los Angeles beer community events, like the Winter Situation at Chloe’s at Golden Road Brewery. Chloe’s is a speakeasy for beer community folks within the confines of the larger brewery, and it is, in my opinion, the prettiest, coziest bar in LA. LA Beer Bloggers had a great event for…you guessed it, LA Beer Bloggers. It was a whole lot of fun learning about upcoming trends in craft beer and writing tips specific to this subject. I left very impressed with all of the smart and friendly folks who are active in the burgeoning local beer scene. In the photo above, eagle eyes might even be able to spy a certain beer-loving celebrity in our midst.
While a lot of doors are opening right now, one has sadly closed. Etan & I have been volunteering at Learning Ally for a few years now (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic). Once a week, we recorded audiobooks of all types, and I always found it to be the most fun kind of volunteering. Unfortunately they’re experiencing massive cutbacks, so they changed their hours to M-F 9-5, which completely cuts out our ability to volunteer there any longer. I can’t count how many times I wanted to volunteer at a certain place only to discover that they only accept volunteers during normal working hours. I’m so sad to see Learning Ally join those ranks, as I think it’s a shame to think that you can only volunteer your time if you are retired or independently wealthy enough to not have a job. I wish volunteer hours were set to maximize the amount of people who could contribute, so that young people could cultivate a lifestyle that always features volunteering as a chunk of their time. We’re hoping something might change eventually, but it doesn’t look good. So we’ll suddenly have more free time on Saturday afternoons, but I’m finding myself mourning quite a bit over this loss.