Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The year in review
It's been just over a year since I started this thing, and since I'm not working this week, I figured I'd do a little yearly wrap-up/question-answering thing.
Basically, I started this blog last August after my dad gave me a digital camera for my 30th birthday. (And since so many people ask, it's a Canon Powershot SD 300).
I just turned 31 on Friday.
In the meantime, sometime around March I think, I got a book deal with Villard, an imprint of Random House.
Also in the meantime, over a million "unique visitors" (whatever that means) have looked at this blog.
I'm in the process of finishing up the first draft of said book, and these next few weeks are the final push, so I will probably be driving the cab even less while this is happening.
I've decided along the way that I'm not sure what's more difficult: driving a taxi in New York or writing a book about driving a taxi in New York.
Let's see. What else?
Even though I just renewed my hack license last month, I don't plan on driving the cab forever, or even for too much longer for that matter. But, then again, I've been saying that for almost a year already, so who knows. This job is like quicksand in that it just has a way of sucking you in, it seems.
I did my first public reading last month as part of a fundraiser for the Taxi Worker's Alliance. Despite my utter stagefright (I'm more afraid of reading in front of live actual people than I am of driving a cab at night in New York), it seemed to go pretty well and the Taxi Worker's Alliance gave me a free t-shirt. A week after this, a friend of mine took a cab home to Brooklyn and had Kevin Fitzpatrick, one of the organizers, as her cabbie. When she told him she saw him at the fundraiser, he gave her the ride for free and refused to take any money from her at all.
I will be doing another reading on October 17th at the Educational Alliance as part of a series called "Writers at the Alliance." I'm already scared to death.
Anyway -- and this is where it gets a little corny -- I just wanted to say that driving the cab these past few years, and even doing this blog for the past year, has made me feel brave enough to try anything, to embark on other adventures, and to push for a variety of new experiences in my life. That was the whole point of getting my hack license to begin with: I wanted to try something new and completely foreign to me while making a living and without having to settle and commit to some shitty "career" for the rest of my life. And it has worked out pretty well so far, all things considered.
Everyone knows I'm not in love with driving a cab -- I mean, it is indeed a love/hate relationship, but the hate definitely wins out as the more prevalent feeling. Still it's been precisely these ups and downs that have brought me the greatest amount of joy, heartbreak, and of course, aggravation, none of which I ever would have experienced to this degree doing any other job.
I'm still driving, though much less these days, as some of you have noticed. On top of trying to finish the book, I am in the process of trying to figure out what my next step will be job-wise. So, who knows, you may log on to New York Hack one day only to discover that it's the blog of an ex-cabbie turned animal welfare cop, or Red Cross worker, or Peace Corps activist, or weirdo ranch hand, or whatever else I may try my hand at in the future.
So, anyway, this is just to say happy new year! And thanks for reading.
***[UPDATE: Because there seems to be some misunderstanding here, I would like to clarify that I have not quit yet! This was not supposed to be a farewell message or anything. I'm still driving and will probably pick up more shifts once the stupid UN General Assembly is over later this month (even though it hasn't even convened yet), because I no longer have the heart for that kind of traffic (see September 2005 Archive for why). Anyway, yeah. You can't get rid of me that easily.]***