Recently we’ve had dealings with some of the folk we knew when we covered the cable TV industry — before we were laid off exactly two years ago today.
We have to chuckle to ourselves when they say, “Oh, Linda Moss. Where have you been?”
We want to answer back, in our best Jersey accent, “Yo, where have you been?”
This summer our lovely BFF Ann McGettigan (left) and The Homeshoppingista visited QVC and rubbed shoulders with famed jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris (did we run this photo large enough?)
Here’s where we’ve been since Jan. 26, 2009:
• Writing 850 blogs for this site, The Homeshoppingista, which some say has become a must-read for the home shopping industry — and sometimes a thorn in the side of QVC, HSN and ShopNBC.
• Writing about New Jersey-related TV programming, such as “Jerseylicious,” and cable-vs.-programmers spats in the Garden State for NewJerseyNewsroom.com.
The Homeshoppingista interviewing Tracy DiMarco of Jerseylicious
• Writing about health care and telecommunications for a fantastic website on public policy, NJSpotlight.com, run by two of our former colleagues at The Herald-News, Lee Keough and Tom Johnson.
• Writing blogs on dementia for a website.
• Writing and breaking stories for TVNewsCheck.com, which is run by a great newspaperman and gent, Harry Jessell.
• Writing market profiles for Harry’s NetNewsCheck.com, which is run by my former colleague Eric Smith, another smart and talented – and blessedly un-anal — editor.
• Crafting blogs for nearly a dozen websites, with most of those pertaining to traumatic brain injury, for a chap, Gordon Johnson, we went to Medill (as in J-school) with. But he was smart, he became a lawyer. “American Idol” candidate Chris Medina got across the heartbreak of TBI lasr night when he told the story of his now-wheelchair bound fiancee.
• Doing a bit of volunteer work for the corporate public relations department of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, New Jersey’s largest hospital chain, as well as its affiliate, Clara Maass Medical Center.
• Going on dates, with more men in the past two years than we had in the prior 10, when we were working 10 to 12 hours a day, and some weekends and vacations.
• Learning how to use a Mac.
• Traveling to Chicago for a TBI conference for lawyers.
• Going to Wisconsin to see a brain injury survivor, Lethan Candlish, perform a remarkable one-man show about his recovery. Lethan is a master storyteller.
TBI storyteller Lethan Candlish
We must say, it’s a breath of fresh air to in many cases be interviewing and writing for people who don’t have a clue who John Malone or Brian Roberts is. Malone, oh non-cable people, is head of Liberty Media, which owns QVC.
You see, the cable TV industry is a close-knit cabal. That has its pluses and negatives. Some cable folk – and we adore many of them — only see the world through the prism of that industry, as if nothing exists outside it. Maybe it’s just natural for people in an industry to have such tunnel vision.
A year ago we blogged about the first anniversary of our layoff today. The past year has had a lot of ups and downs, personally.
Pet lovers will get this, but it was traumatic when our parents had to put down their dog of more than a dozen years, the min pin Max. Our father many a time threatened to kill that mutt, when he would jump on the table and run off with food, etc. But we were all in the vet’s office, and all cried, when Max was put to sleep.
Our nephew Evan (who told us to buckle up), our dad and niece Sydney at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, seven months before our Columbus Day accident
Just weeks later our dad tried to cheer everyone up by taking us to Atlantic City for Columbus Day weekend. On the way back on the Garden State Parkway my sister’s van – with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and us in it – was T-boned by a car that came out of nowhere and flew across several lanes of traffic to crash into us.
We can still remember the shock when we were hit, and had no idea what was happening.
Luckily, we all had our seatbelts on (after our 6-year-old nephew Evan had reminded us to buckle up). But the other car hit the side of the van right next to our dad. The jaws of life got him out, but he fractured several vertebrae. He was in and out of the hospital so many times than we lost count, for both his back and his rotator cuff. He was taken by ambulance to the ER many times.
It truly is a miracle that we weren’t killed. Unfortunately our dad was hurt, but no one else was.
At Thanksgiving dinner, our dad always would say grace. This year, he said something like, “Thank you, oh Lord, for our health. Sort of.”
And we all laughed. Our father is nothing if not honest.
But there was plenty of good during the past year. After more than two years away from our beloved Arizona, we finally returned in December, with a guy. Thanks BJ!
It’s much better watching the sunset in Cave Creek, sucking down a prickly pear margarita at the Spotted Donkey Cantina, when you are sharing it with someone. We also enjoyed huckleberry margaritas, and the famous “Big Ass Burger,” at the Roaring Fork.
Watching the sunset from the patio of the Spotted Donkey Cantina, while sipping a prickly pear margarita, is glorious
We and our bud Ann McGettigan got to meet famed jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris when we visited QVC this summer.
And we’ve enjoyed the writing we’ve done during the past year, as we’ve become mini-experts on topics such as TBI, concussions, Obama’s health reform, Alzheimer’s, heparin, malpractice, nursing and plane crashes.
Our clips are now links to dozens of stories that we’ve written since being shoved out the door at Multichannel News. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us. More on that later.
And we still have this quote from Louis L’Amour on our bulletin board: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”
You were right, Louie.