When you know you've made it

by Peter Rojas

You know you've made it when your hometown paper profiles you, right? I managed to score a little write-up in the Merced Sun-Star, the newspaper of record in the small town in Central California where I grew up (and where my parents still live). I'll cut Carol Reiter, the author of the piece, some slack, since she did chat with me over a cellphone, but just for the record, I wasn't kicked out of my apartment when I lost my job as a writer at Red Herring, I just couldn't afford the massive rent anymore and so broke the lease and moved out. All I told Carol was that I knew what it was like to not have enough money for rent and to have to move out. Also, while I did say that lots of rich people here in New York don't own cars, though the part about them also wearing jeans baffles me since I definitely didn't say that. What is true is the part where they quote my dad about how I used to write letters to the governor. I was probably the only 8-year-old in the US who regularly petitioned the government to change the school year (I didn't like going to school on winter days when it was so freaking cold) or to send me a free geiger counter so I could measure radiation levels in case of a nuclear catastrophe (see, I dug gadgets even then!).