New Year, new-ish life

Alison Bauter
Jan 7, 2016 · 3 min read

Lot’s changed in the month since I last posted: I quit my job in Milwaukee. I moved across the country. I moved in with my boyfriend. I’m now following job leads and searching for freelance opportunities from one of Boston’s prettiest neighborhoods. Could be worse.

What I’m reading

In light of the transition and the timing, I’ve been reflecting on some of the most moving and important reads from last year.

GQ’s “Magnificent Reinvention of Stephen Colbert” still stands out. As a Christmas present, my boyfriend actually framed the cover for me. Colbert is smoking a pickle like a cigar and hoisting a mug with his face on it. It’s great.

Less emotionally powerful, but still enough to adjust my worldview was Paul Ford’s novella-length answer to the question, “What is Code?” I read it in print (it takes up an entire issue), and then realized it had the most amazing web design ever (linked above). So, I read most of it again.

And not my traditional longform recommendation, but David Carr’s autobiography, The Night of the Gun, inspired me in both its writing style and its lesson on the potential for profound personal change.

What I’m eating

All hail Herbert, the humble, 3.845 pounds of sustenance that’s served us for almost the entirety of our first week together in Boston. Yes, we named him.

Sunday night was roasted chicken with a simple salad and creamy mashed potatoes, followed by a vigorous (and strangely enjoyable) de-boning and gutting of the carcass, which we crock-potted into bone broth.

That broth (and extra meat) became the basis of homemade chicken pho. The cilantro and lime garnish easily transitions from Vietnamese to Mexican, leading us to two nights of tacos to finish out the week.

For the first round, I seasoned the white meat with cumin, fresh cilantro, garlic and onion powder, cooked it with black beans and served it on corn tacos with all the fixings and a side of rice. Tonight, I’ll fry the chicken skins to fill the remaining tacos, plus jalapenos I pickled Wednesday, sriracha yogurt and melty, smoky Gouda cheese.

What’s happening

I’m watching the delivery meltdown at the Boston Globe unfold up close, from the initial outrage and competitors’ no-punches-pulled coverage, to the PR-friendly office-wide turnaround (which, okay, I did find very touching) and eventual mea culpa.

The outcry underscores how crucial the print product remains to so many readers, a fact that frankly mystifies my Millennial mind. Each subscriber is entitled to a digital edition, so to me a missed paper seems like a mild annoyance, not cause for 2,000 cancelled subscriptions.

As for myself, in a show of solidarity and a desperate need to understand the basics about my new city, I officially became a Globe subscriber Tuesday. Fingers crossed I receive my Sunday print edition sometime close to, well, Sunday.

Charles River from The Esplanade.

You can find more photos from my first week in Boston on Instagram, here. I hope to collect them all in a separate, just-for-fun blog sometime soon.

Alison Bauter

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Longreads, recipes and reflections on the media industry found here. Home of my podcast, What Journalists Do.

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