Author Archives: Ryan

9/11 changed my life and the world

We’re less than a week away from the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I expect to see special TV programming, and special issues of magazines and sections in newspapers. The media may choose to dwell on compelling images from 2001, or outlets may seek new and […]

LINK: Have a mouse problem? And beer?

A mouse is living in my home. He (or she?) is a smaller mouse that rarely shows his face, but when he does, it’s certainly an event for everyone involved. Gwendolyn doesn’t like mousetraps. Why kill a living creature that’s simply trying to make the best of its life? She bought one of those $20 […]

On grad school and a new journey

During the months leading up to my graduation from the Missouri School of Journalism in May 2010, one of my professors used a class period to remind us aspiring journalists that the industry wasn’t looking for just journalists. Sure, we could find a job as a reporter at a small-town daily newspaper or latch onto […]

Loss doesn’t become less painful

Twenty-four days have passed since I had my last conversation with my grandmother. Like so many final conversations in the world, this one took place in a hospital room. The image will never escape me. An oxygen mask swallowing most of her face. Machines on wheels towering over her bed. Her matted hair carefully brushed […]

Verging on burnout while battling complacency

It’s 6:30 p.m. on a Friday night and I’m still working. I work a lot anyway, but tonight’s a special case because one of my city councils is meeting for a goals retreat. The council will draft long-term goals for the city, so as a journalist, I have to be here. The members are in […]

Self-pity breeds creativity and I want more

When people ask me what I do for a living, I often consider lying. I’m a TV show producer. Barista. Novelist. Journalist doesn’t sound as interesting. It’s not that I don’t love my career—I really, really do—but I can also recognize where it fails me. I was creative once; able to string together short stories, […]

Nerdiness isn’t so nerdy after all

I use my bookshelf as my personal trophy box, full of items that remind me of great books I’ve read, cool Ultimate tournaments I went to in college or awesome video games that I used to play with friends. But on a second look, I begin to doubt how cool the bookcase really is. The […]

Blame game

In a last-ditch effort to attract trick-or-treaters to our apartment’s front door, Gwen strung purple lights and fake cobwebs around the railing outside, and wrapped our door with caution tape. I said no one would show up and she looked more sad than I had ever seen. Then she proceeded to tell me that, if […]

If you could meet anyone …

During a recent dinner conversation with my uncle Richard, he made this profound statement: “If I could meet anyone, it would be Taylor Swift.” (Okay, I don’t remember the exact quote, but you can still understand the meaning.) He liked that she plays music, writes her own material and produces her own shows, or something […]

It’s hard to blog about happy things

The news is depressing. As a journalist, it’s hard for me to admit this. But it’s true. If you want to be happy today, don’t open a newspaper or browse a news site. People say it’s because good news doesn’t sell papers, but I think it’s because good news is often harder to find. And, […]