Day 365: Have a job interview

September 1, 2011 § 4 Comments

Dear Readers,

Today I had my first job interview since graduation. I’m not going to say any more about it because I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I think it seems a more appropriate end to the Novice du Jour than something outrageous like base jumping or zorbing. My first entry 364 days ago was written as I prepared to start my grad program at Northwestern, and ending with a career opportunity makes for a better story arch. So much has happened since then, and there has never seemed to be a shortage of new things to experience. Not that I needed an excuse to get out and do new things, but having the Novice du Jour as a forum to come back and talk about it always acted as motivation. It started as a way for me to connect with friends and family from home, letting them know what I was up to out here in the Midwest, but it ended up being a venue to express myself – through both the serious and the absurd. I’m still in the planning stages of a new blog for Cincinnati, though I don’t think it will be a “Novice du Jour: Cincinnati Edition.” I think it would feel too repetitive. The new blog will have a different spin.  To those of you who came here and followed my experiences through thick and thin, thank you for being there, even if I didn’t know it. This has been cathartic, and I’m definitely going to miss it. Now it’s time for you to go out and experience your own new things. So get outta here.




Day 364: Sing on camera

September 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

I have something special for my second to last post.

In high school I participated in choir and theater. While I sung some solos in musical theater roles, I never had an opportunity to sing a solo in front of an audience as myself. It’s a big regret of mine – there are few things that can make a person feel more vulnerable than standing alone and bearing your sole through music. I was set to sing and play guitar to Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’at a variety show the last week of my senior year, but I was cut at the last minute for not having a particularly theatrical act. So I present to you a video of me singing and playing the guitar to the song ‘First Day of My Life’ by Bright Eyes. I know it isn’t exactly singing a solo in front of an audience, but it’s probably the closest I’ll get at this point. I would hardly call myself a guitarist. “One who occasionally strums a guitar” might be a more accurate definition. Also, my friend Michael used to play (and sing) a much much better version of this song. But enough excuses – here it is.

Forgive me.

Day 363: See a Cincinnati Reds game

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

My new team lost 9-0 tonight.

The Reds were crushed by the Philadelphia Phillies and, in particular, the deadly pitching of Roy Halladay. In all fairness, the Phillies are the best team in the major leagues right now, so that didn’t stop Steph, a friend and I from enjoying a night at the game. We even got a foul ball.

By simply living within the city limits I have become a de facto Reds and Bengals fan. Keeping up with the city’s sports teams is sort of a marquee form of entertainment here. I’m pretty sure if anyone in Cincinnati ever admitted not knowing of Johnny Bench (Reds Hall of Fame catcher) or Chad Ochocinco (former Bengals WR and source of much citywide entertainment/frustration), they would be extradited from the city within seconds. But keeping up doesn’t bother me. Who doesn’t love an excuse to watch sports? I haven’t followed baseball closely since my parents had season tickets to the Rangers back when we lived in Dallas, so it might suit me well to buy some old copies of Sports Illustrated and read up. Despite their utter destruction tonight, the Reds are still better than the Cubs, who served as my home team for our year in Chicago. In fact, we went to historic Wrigley Field and saw a game way back on Day 4.

Funny how things come full circle.

Day 362: Give you a tour of the new apartment

August 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

It feels so weird to say this, but here is my new home. Crazy.

As promised, this is a video tour of our new place. Forgive the poor cinematography, and also the messiness. The apartment isn’t fully put together yet – we’re still waiting on furniture and stuff – but I wanted to show it off before the Novice du Jour expires (or goes on temporary hiatus) on Thursday. Check it out.

Day 361: Move to Cincinnati

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

You say goodbye, I say hello.

Goodbye Chicago, hello Cincinnati. I’m sitting on a mattress on the floor of our new apartment. The SECOND FLOOR of our new apartment. My right foot is grazing the wood floor. The vents in the living room are blowing out central A/C. I’ve already been mauled by mosquitos. Must be Ohio.

I’m now living in my third time-zone in the span of a year, meaning if I somehow find myself relocated to Mountain Time within the next two weeks, I’ll have hit all four. Right now it just feels like we’re housesitting. Or on vacation, though I have no idea who would choose to go on holiday to suburban Cincinnati. I haven’t had time to enjoy it much yet, because we didn’t arrive until 10pm. Moving always seems to take longer than you anticipate, and I didn’t realize how gross the refrigerator in Engelhart had gotten until I started to pull out stuff from the abyss in the back (did you know mold can grow on orange juice?). So we cruised in under the cover of darkness, making it easy for me to disregard the overgrown lawn, and to appreciate the awesome amount of unpacking Steph has already done. Now it’s my turn to lend my testosterone-filled touch to the place.

I’m going to keep it short and sweet tonight, but am considering putting together a video tour of the place for tomorrow, since my photos thus far have been less than quality. Sleep well friends.

Day 360: Say goodbye

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Said goodbye to Chicago and all my friends and classmates tonight at the debut of our newest home brew, Pork Fat Pale Ale. You’ll remember that our first beer, Rough Draft, debuted on Day 213. PFPA is an American pale ale with dried orange peel and coriander, that actually has no swine-inspired flavorings. The name refers to the relationship between Chicago and Cincinnati (where I’m moving tomorrow), and the battle they had over slaughter yard dominance back in the early to mid 1800s. Both cities dubbed themselves “Porkopolis”. My friend and fellow brewmaster, Chris, decided the name was appropriate considering the cities tumultuous relationship, and my conflicted feelings at at leaving one and calling the other my new home. But enough about the name. You’re wondering how it tasted.

And the answer is delicious. The majority of comments on our last brew were along the lines of: “this tasted like beer.” Tonight’s brew actually had flavor, depth, complexity. A hint of orange was noticeable among the bitter – making it the perfect beer for the beginning of fall – and if I had any clue what coriander tasted like, I’m sure I would’ve noticed that too. We’re quite proud of this one, and it’s only the beginning of what I hope to be a long line of more adventurous home brewing experiments.

But really, the beer aspect was all just a facade, acting as an excuse for a get together so I could exercise my last goodbyes. I prefer to be unsentimental, sticking with the mantra “High fives, not hugs.”  If I ever need a place to stay in a city where some member of my Medill family resides, you can guarantee I’ll come knocking. Goodbyes are just a brief comfort for the time in between.

Until next time, for Medill Reports, this is Tyler Moss.

Day 359: Become a true Chicagoan

August 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Chicago flag

It’s taken long enough, but two days away from my permanent departure from this great city, I finally feel like a real local. It isn’t so much about the length of time I’ve been here or knowing the city’s layout, but more about knowing and  following a few key precepts. I’ve outlined them below, to make the experience easier on new Chicagoans. Without further ado, in a (depressing homage) to the comic stylings of self-proclaimed redneck Jeff Foxworthy, I present:

You know you’re a Chicagoan when you…

  1. Pronounce Chicago with a long AH sound between the ‘Chic’ and the “go”, as if you were feeding a baby.
  2. Only eat hot dogs sans-ketchup. As a substitute, try pickles, pickles, and more pickles.
  3. Know that the nickname “Windy City” comes from Chicago’s “hot air-filled” politicians, not from the frigid gusts the city gets off of Lake Michigan in the winter.
  4. Avoid Lakeshore Drive, despite the gorgeous view, because of traffic.
  5. Continue to call the towering black building at the center of the city the Sears Tower instead of Willis Tower, just out of spite.
  6. Have trampled the grass at Grant Park for at least one event.
  7. Hate the CTA, but for some reason love Forrest Claypool.
  8. No longer take visitors to Navy Pier because it’s just a peninsula of sweaty despair.
Let’s enjoy this final weekend, Chicago. I may be leaving you soon, but we’ll always have Paris. And by that I mean Chicago.