Incredibly, amazingly, even miraculously, I have survived an entire month in Houston Texas. Not that I have been able to explore much outside of Spring which is about 30 minutes from the office (with no traffic) yet. I put so much effort into getting here that at first I thought the cultural and personal transition would be too much to bear, especially leaving behind my comfortable life in California in order to (hopefully) advance my career further. I hope to make more of these posts more frequently. Monday I am having my 30 day review at the newspaper. Wish me luck!
One thing which has been a big help has been focusing on the many assignments I am juggling for the paper. The latest one has been the most interesting: A community forum at Spring Independent School district (ISD) designed to give staffers an opportunity to share their feedback and address grievances in front of district administrators. I am hoping I will get a good web story out of it for next week.
I am also working on a story about a study put together by the Houston Galveston area council regarding redevelopment in the North West Houston area: Specifically a region called Cypress Creek Parkway which has been lagging behind other areas due to numerous factors including a rapid shift in demographics and older infrastructure.
One big adjustment, besides the weather, (it hardly rains now in So. Cal due to the ongoing drought, whereas it has been rainy and wet here for several days) has been not having enough time to enjoy some of my hobbies like reading comics, writing about superhero culture and happenings and table top gaming and playing mmorpgs, which I hope to change by devoting more time to on weekends, days off and evenings. There will be four days to catch up on it all this coming holiday weekend.
I also plan to find a paper to freelance that covers sports on weekends because I really miss doing that. Last Saturday I attended a playoff game at Spring High School just to be in the midst of prep football once again, though being a spectator is not as much fun as actually covering the event IMHO.
Another change has been that it is hard to make new friends because of my schedule. Back home, a lot of the people I grew up with are still in town or came back to town, including my brother and I missed hitting up my old haunts like the bookstore in Glendora and Frank and Son's Collectibles in Industry. Yet, I think these are adjustments everyone faces in life at one time or another and counting my 2 year stay in Fullerton for graduate school, this is the second time in recent years that I am faced with making these life altering changes. Here we are a mere 6 days away from thanksgiving and less than a week from Black Friday craziness, but I have no plans for the holiday other than watching some football in the AM and maybe joining a gaming group to do some gaming into the evening with, hopefully, a lot of turkey eating in between.
I got my EZ tag in the mail this week, this is a device which allows me to go through the highway tolls and it electronically deducts money from an account, this has saved me quite a bit of time and it is nice not having to worry about looking for money or change for my commute on a daily basis.
CI is having their annual Christmas celebration in Austin near their headquarters in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to the trip. Also, the most joyous news of all is the fact that I get to go home for Xmas for nearly a week on Dec. 23. It will be nice to be in the Covina area for a few days and be briefly reunited with my old haunts.