Should I vote in the Nashville mayoral election if I am moving to San Francisco before the end of this year? That is the question I face on this gray and rainy day. I prefer Karl Dean to Roberto Clemente, but is it fair to vote for either if I'm just going to be living in the Bay Area inside 3 months? I'm not sure that it is. I'd really like to see Megan Barry win a seat on the Council, though, so I'm going to cast my ballot anyway. I've always enjoyed the Barrys. Plus, I think she'd make a great progressive addition to the World's Largest City Council. I've lived in Nashville for nearly 30 years of my life, so I think the city owes me one last say in the matter. Besides, I'll be back to visit.
You see, I've taken a job with the local CBS affiliate in San Francisco, California, the land of godless liberals who have gay sex on the streets while shooting up. The kind folks at KPIX (whose website was voted best in the state by the Associated Press) recruited me to run a blog aggregator much like the one I used to run at WKRN here in Nashville. I took them up on their offer to fly out for two days to interview, and after some negotiating I agreed to take them up on a full-time position. I'll be working from within the newsroom Monday through Friday combing through all the blogs updated daily in the Bay Area, highlighting posts I find funny or provocative or insightful or informative. There will also be an automatic aggregator. Many of you may be familiar with the concept.
If you are wondering why I said I wasn't cut out for moderating a community blog site, only to take this job 8 weeks later, you likely aren't the only one. I asked myself that question many times in determining whether to pack up The Boyfriend and the dogs and move 800+ miles to one of the most expensive places in the country. But, luckily, I learned from my very public mistakes made at NiT, and I've taken them to heart. This new venture will be less about me. I'm not that interesting anyway. What I mean to say, though, is that I will put less of myself "out there" and concentrate more on building a vibrant blogging community in what is already one of the most wired places on earth. Also, there were some behind-the-scenes issues going on at the old station that I never felt the need to air publicly that had a lot to do with my decision to leave. I denied it at the time, because the pain from The Situation was so overwhelming that that was easy to do. But it was a factor. Also, the area out there is just different. My "radical liberalism" that makes me, according to the locals, "as far left as you'll find on the internet" would not raise an eyebrow where I'm going. Crusades by blogging GOP mouthpieces when I dare state that Gitmo detainees might not be guilty (of what they were never charged with) won't set off a firestorm. I've always been a liberal in a Republican oasis, but now I'll be more conservative than most just be virtue of my home state. I relish the thought.
But that site isn't about politics. It's about the people of the Bay Area. It's about mothers and strippers and activists and students. It's going to be what San Franciscans are talking about, so to speak. I'm thrilled at the idea of getting back into the newsroom. There is a hum in the newsroom, a sense of urgency and excitement that comes with daily turns and breaking news. This one happens to be filled with smart, engaging people who seem excited about the new media possibilities that await them. (Or, the ones I met at least.)
And I'm so excited about living in my favorite place on earth. The weather is phenomenal all year long, the people are diverse, the art scene is incredible (indie and foreign films in the theatre 'til my heart's content!) and the opportunities are endless. There is a magic to that place, and I'm about to become a part of it. It hasn't exactly been easy to absorb.
I'm going to miss my friends and family like crazy. I've lived here my entire life, so all my roots are here. But I've always wanted this. I used to drive down the long stretches of bending roads in Ashland City dreaming of taking the subway. The BART is close enough (and now I'm going to sell my car!). Long ago my "about page" on this blog said that I'd be moving to the Big City very soon. It was up there forever then I took it down one day, resigned that it would never happen. It's back now and better than ever.
We haven't decided yet on the timing, but I'm leaving no sooner than 6 weeks from now. I want to get together with many of you before I go for drinks and hugs. And mailing addresses. I'll be 30 in October and everything I have ever known is here. I'm going to be homesick for a while I'm sure. But I can't think of a place I'd rather be homesick in.
P.S. In the time since leaving WKRN I have been working as a copy writer at Magazines.com. I just want to take this space to thank the generous and jovial people who make up that great place. They took me on as one of the family--even if I was the black sheep--and made me feel very appreciated. And I learned so much in my time there. I'd recommend it as an awesome place to work for any copy writer in the area who wanted to earn a competitive salary while building what will be a world-class brand one day. It's an exciting place to work, so if you are interested in doing that, please let me know.