personal narrative

The Jungle is not for People

I've never been to Yosemite or Yellowstone, but I've been on quite a few hiking trails in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, and been camping a few times. I even once hiked down and up the Grand Canyon. I realize now how well-maintained these trails were, wide and relatively smooth and well marked.

Little did we suspect the ordeal that was to follow when we ventured into El Yunque Rain Forest in Puerto Rico.

I For One Welcome My New French Overlords


Today I started my new full-time job (my first as-such in years) at Hachette Filipacchi Media, publishers of many fine magazines and a division of Lagadère -- an enormous, multinational company based in France which also owns Hachette Livre which in turn owns Little, Brown (among other imprints), publishers of David Foster Wallace and Iain Banks and many other fine writers. So, good company anyway. (Ha, I made a pun. I am the funny.)

At first I was nervous during HR orientation when they told me that they didn't give root access to all computers to their users (so didn't let you install your own software) and didn't allow you to use your own computer (I'd brought my laptop in case they didn't have a computer set up for me yet). I was also nervous they would saddle me with a Windows box and make me use it. But then my superior showed me my desk, which had a PC AND an iMac, both of which I had root access to, and the PC was preloaded with VMWare with which I was able to easily install Linux. The PC has two monitors, so now I have Ubuntu Linux running on one monitor, Windows on the other, and then the iMac which setup looks something like this:

Photo 8