This is the part I’m terrible at. I hate talking about myself. I’d rather talk about you—the complex, brave and fascinating lives you lead, the food you cook for me and my friends. That’s what I’ve relished doing for nearly a decade at the Alibi. But talking about me? Not so much. (Although, invoking my inner Jewish grandmother does seem to help ... who knew?)
The long and short of it is, this issue is my last. It’s just time for me to go. Astrologically speaking, I’m cresting a magnificent Saturn Return, answering the call of a wonderfully rude psychic awakening that’s jolting me out of my comfort zone. (Channeling a little Free Will Astrology is also in order, apparently.)
I love the Alibi more than language can communicate. And because I love this paper so dearly, it’s time I paid my debt and made room for the next generation.
Other people did the same for me, after all. It was nine years ago—almost to the day—that I picked up an Alibi and read four words that changed my life forever. They were:
“Gain Weight, Be Famous.”
I kid you not. A budget ad on the back page was ISO an editorial intern, ostensibly to assist Food Editor Gwyneth Doland infuse all corners of this city with the siren breath of applewood-smoked bacon and darling little cornichons. I assure you: This ad was speaking to me directly. I felt it in the very marrow of my being. And I answered the call ... just as soon as I worked up every nerve in the marrow of my being.
My first bylines were to attached to craft-
The internship led to a tour as the Alibi’s calendars editor, where Music Editor Michael Henningsen taught me the fine art of barbecuing the sacred cows of NASCAR and Celine Dion within millimeters of each other on the page.
A bloodbath of staff changes later, and the mentors who had taught me everything I knew were suddenly gone. And in their delirium, the publishers elected that a very freaked-out person become both food and music editor, and oh my God, that person was me.
But I got the hang of it. Eventually. And not at all on my own. Through his singular writing voice and utterly human council, Steven Robert Allen helped me find mine. Christie Chisholm showed me that a gale force of strength can be summoned from the tiniest of packages. Marisa Demarco is living proof that the truth is always worth fighting for, no matter how daunting the task. I will never be able to replicate the feeling of making Devin O’Leary and Carl Petersen laugh, because they are two of the smartest and most delightfully weird people I have ever known. Jessica Cassyle Carr has saved my sanity on innumerable occasions by luring me out of my desk shackles and insisting I finish the rest of her sandwich.
From where I sit today as editor-in-chief, my job has been to engage and empower every person that I come into contact with—colleague, reader or otherwise—so that their voices can become more clear, more honest, more compassionate and more free. I do this through a thousand little threads that, if all goes according to plan, dissolve imperceptibly into the fabric of the better world we’ve created together.
The funny thing is, that’s exactly what you all have done for me. Because what I ended up with at the Alibi was more than just 30 extra pounds and a marginally high-profile job. I got a family. And you’re in it.
So out I go. I love you all. Be good to each other.