As my friend Tony says, life is like a roll of toilet paper — the closer it gets to the end the faster it goes. Yeah, I know. Cringe-worthy metaphor, but that’s why we love Tony.
It’s also somewhat cliche to say, “Where did the time go?” but — holy buckets — it’s whooshing by these days. So I won’t wish away any of what’s left. Then again, it wasn’t out favorite year ever. Not a bad one, mind you — not when I put my political and first-world anxieties aside. So let’s just leave it as this: We’re looking forward to 2018.
That said, allow me to catch you up on the Houston Group:
- CB. She continues to teach at a public school populated largely by underprivileged children, their circumstances in stark contrast to the riches of Silicon Valley. Never mind her three-month’s off, I can assure you she works more than full-time for a pittance of what other professionals get. She’s doing missionary work, truly. She’s continues to indulge her favorite pastime of hiking — and now supplements her passion with a part-time job at REI, which is a pretty amazing company.
- Samantha. Despite her mother’s cautions about the demands-for-the-dollar, she continues to follow her mom’s footsteps. She’ll get a master’s degree in education in May. She’s completed her student teaching at an inner-city school, where, like CB, she spent more time managing behavior and less time teaching. Starting in mid-February, she’ll start work as a full-time sub at a San Francisco public school, where privilege prevails, allowing her to teach more and deal with bad behavior less. Despite the demands of their jobs, I couldn’t admire her and CB more. They’re among those who are really making a difference.
- Zachariah, aka Z. He’s still working at Fox Sports in LA as a production assistant. He began as a part-timer making minimum wage, but worked his ass off, became a full-time contractor, and then, this fall, he was brought on as a full-fledged employee. If you watch NFL Sunday with Curt Menafee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan, and Jimmy Johnson, that’s Z’s show. And dear fellow Pittsburghers, I’m sure you’d be as envious as I was when I learned that Z partied (literally) with Bradshaw during the annual holiday party Terry hosts for the show staff. Z also has a steady gal, named — and I swear this is true — “B”. So, yes, it’s B and Z, together.
- Patrick. I’m now the VP of Strategy Development for a startup called Bambu.tech, which has allowed me to use my varied, across-the-board media and business experiences with a team of highly accomplished team, led by a CEO who was the best man in our wedding 31 years ago. The startup, which offers an Ai (artificial intelligence) audio technology that improves that quality of streamed music, is steadily gaining traction. It’s been a joy to be part of building a real company.
We continue to live in the same house which has presented us with a welcome dilemma: We could cash out to feather the nest for retirement, or we could comfortably age in place since it isn’t big, it has no steps, and it’s the upkeep isn’t demanding.
That’s really the gist of it: Lucky life, long marriage, good kids. We’re all healthy, although I continue to have joints replaced — this time a knee back in April.
That’s the news from here.
We wish you the joy and contentment of the more abundant life — one filled with all that money, fame, power, or the other conventions of success really can’t bring.