Thursday, May 10, 2007

Working Stiff

I got a new job! Starting next week, I'll be a newsroom assistant at the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The main (and most important) responsibility of my new gig will be...(drumroll? Uh, organ dirge? "Taps"?) writing obituaries! Yes, that's right--like my friends Janaka and Joe, who cut their teeth in the undertaking biz, I'm crossing over to the dark side to become intimately acquainted with dead people. Considering that it's a struggle for me not to end every short story I write by killing off at least one of my characters, I'm quite comfortable with the idea of writing obits. Must have been all that Stephen King when I was little. Mom was right to worry, I guess.

Second bit of business: Please say hello to the newest member of our family--Bailey!

Bailey's a baby, but he's already almost as big as Kevin. The animal shelter people suspect that he's a Flemish Giant--the largest breed of rabbit known to man. If everything goes as planned, by this time next year he could weigh as much as 30 pounds. Like this fellow, a Flemish from Germany, weighing in at a piddly 22 pounds:

Oh please. You call that a rabbit? I call it Bailey's midday snack.

Obviously, our lives are becoming stranger by the minute out here, in a good way, of course. Maybe that's the biggest difference to me between New York and the Midwest. In New York, everything is so fast and furious, it's all you can do to hold on tight and maintain a normal routine. In Iowa, everything expands outwards and you get to indulge in the weirdest experiences. It's pretty awesome. But if you'd told me two years ago that I'd be a giant-rabbit owning obituary writer by the time I was 30, I would have been skeptical, to say the least. Stay tuned for next week, when Brad and I explore the ins and outs of training rodeo monkeys! Just kidding. I think.