Thursday, Jan 3

Noah,

I must confess that I find myself so embarrassed that it’s taken me this long to respond, but I do have some excuses—the most recent being that I just got back from seeing Stanford win their first Rose Bowl since 1972 in Pasadena with my father, a Stanford alumnus.

After five and a half years in Chicagoland, four at Northwestern and the past year and a half living in the city, I decided to move away. Not because I don’t love the city—I do, and I could see myself living there permanently—but because I need a change of scenery, as twentysomethings are wont to do. And since I didn’t want to move back to the Bay Area, where I grew up, for much the same reason as I wanted a break from Chicago, I decided to make good on a childhood dream: spending the winter around Lake Tahoe.

My grandparents built a house near the lake in Dollar Point before I was born, and the house has been the site of many Thanksgiving and Fourth of July weekends. Since my mother’s parents passed away, and my brother and I got older and needed our school breaks for sports, internships, summer jobs, and later went off to college—I haven’t been able to get up to Tahoe. But now, with a few freelance writing gigs that only require an internet connection and a good amount of self-motivation, I can finally move to Tahoe to rent my parents’ house for an extended period of time.

But that’s not even the best part: I get to bring my 7-year-old Alaskan Malamute named Dynamite. I always wanted a Malamute, the dogs used in the Iditarod, not to be confused with the smaller, possibly blue-eyed Siberian Husky, and when I was 16 my parents finally relented, and I got Dynamite. I raised him and trained him, but when I went off to college I couldn’t take him with me, only going back to house and dog-sit for my parents after I graduated. Now I finally get to take him back, and move up to a house in the mountains where there’s snow all the time in the winter.

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What am I doing with my time? I’ll continue to write book and television reviews from my secluded home near a mountain lake, and I’ve got a handful of graduate school applications to finish up, but I hope to have a lot of time to walk, think, and work on some creative endeavors.

Dynamite loves the snow, and when I was younger I distinctly remember my family taking our dogs to a cross-country ski area near Dollar Point. A few years back my parents gave each other snowshoes for Christmas, so I’m taking a pair and I plan on walking Dynamite in the snow around that cross-country ski area a few times a week.

Creatively, I’ve got a short story collection that’s been within a stone’s throw of completion for the better part of two years, and I’m going to get it done and start sending stories out. But the bigger fish is a novel about the demise of American Football. To that end, I’ve got a bunch of books I’ve been meaning to read or reread on the subject, from the muckraking Seattle Times expose on the University of Washington to how Teddy Roosevelt may have saved the sport to fascinating articles from Malcolm Gladwell and Popular Science on the current controversies over head injuries. I love football like you Canadians love your hockey, but it’s going to dry up like an oil well in the next 50 years, mark my words. Since my junior year of college I’ve been prepping and researching a book surrounding the topic, and this winter is when I hope to get a good draft down into the nebulous digital storage device on my computer.

But I will always make time for letters, because letters are wonderful. Upcoming letter topics include: my favorite films of the year, and why one particular scene is better than all of them; my family’s tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas and sending out belated Christmas cards; and the greatest 24 hours of my life as a sports fan: January 1, 2013.

That’s all for now, but I’ll have more to say soon enough, I’m sure.

-Kevin

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