by J.D. Roth
It’s been a strange “twilight zone” kind of week for me. On Wednesday I was interviewed by The New York Times. Yesterday I had my cataclysmic radio interview. And tonight I went roller skating for the first time in years.
I actually felt the Times interview went very well. My first newspaper interview regarding Get Rich Slowly was with the Wall Street Journal last June. The reporter was nice, but I was very wary. I didn’t trust his motives for some reason. I was always second-guessing him, and not very forthcoming. I wasn’t a good interview subject, and I realized that after the piece was published. (By the way, if anyone has a way of getting me a physical copy of the 24 June 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal, I would be much obliged.)
In September I was interviewed for a podcast. I was much more relaxed for that interview, largely because I took the time to listen to all of the other interviews in the series. I knew what to expect. Plus, it wasn’t really live. The host and I both made some gaffes, but he just edited them out. No sweat.
So on Wednesday I spoke with Damon Darlin, who was writing a piece about how bloggers are taking up the mantle of consumer advocates. He profiled Ben Popken of The Consumerist and Gina Trapani of Lifehacker. These are bloggers I respect and sites I admire. I feel honored to be included in their company. I aspire for Get Rich Slowly to be a peer to their sites.
Yesterday, of course, I had my disastrous radio interview. I’ve already written about that.
Today I felt off-kilter from the start. I wrote a short article — suggested by Nick — about how it’s strange that people are so willing to expose themselves to advertising during the Super Bowl. It’s one of those pieces that never quite seems to gel, and yet I published it anyhow. Response has been mostly negative, and it was bumming me out until Kris told me how much she admired it. All the negative comments in the world don’t mean a whit so long as Kris likes it.
Then tonight we went roller-skating to celebrate Nikki’s
30th 27th birthday. I haven’t been skating since Kris was still teaching at Canby. And I’ve always been awkward at it. This time was no different. I was flailing my arms and biting my lip and doing my best not to fall. I was a hazard. But I kept at it. I skated for two hours solid in the middle of a thick crowd at Oaks Park. (I was shocked by how many people were there. It was amazing.) I only fell twice (and one of the falls occurred while trying to avoid a near-collision in front of me). I developed two huge blisters on my right foot. But I kept at it. I just kept skating. By the end of the night I was skating much better.
But what’s most amazing is that for two hours I was completely in another world. Sweat was pouring down my forehead, pouring down my back. I was breathing hard, but in a good way, like after a long hike. My legs were sore. I was parched. But I didn’t care. For two hours I was transported, completely forgetting about blogs or e-mail or bad radio interviews or anything else. I was just caught up in the moment. It was bliss.
When we returned home, I had a message telling me that the New York Times article was out. The three paragraphs that profile me read as follows:
Frugality is a frequent theme among these sites, like GetRichSlowly.com. John David Roth, a 37-year-old office manager at a Portland, Ore., box manufacturer, was an avid reader of financial self-help books when he started a blog to summarize them. “You can find a lot of information on how to get rich quick,” he said, “but I know what it is like to be broke. For years, I struggled with debt.”
His site, which receives about 300,000 page views a month and makes him about $1,500 a month from advertising, reminds people of the simple things in life. For instance, he tells them to borrow books from the library, instead of buying new ones.
He just started another site, MoneyHacks.org, with more common-sense advice as well as links to other sites that save a person money, like priceprotectr.com, which tracks price drops.
Can you spot the huge error there? No it’s not using my full name instead of “J.D.” (I mentioned in our conversation that I preferred J.D.) Nor is it describing my job as “office manager”. (I did say something to the effect that I ran the office, so that’s kosher.) No, it’s much worse: the URL for Get Rich Slowly is listed as .COM instead of .ORG.
Actually, though, I don’t mind so much. I enjoyed the conversation I had with Damon Darlin the other day. He answered some of my questions, and even provided a recommendation for a book on animal intelligence. When I voiced my desire to write a book, he mentioned Gina Trapani’s recent posts about her experience publishing the Lifehacker book. (I’d already read these — and even exchanged e-mail with Gina about them — but it was kind of Damon to point them out.) Sure it would be nice to have the correct URL in the paper (and, especially, on the Times web site), but it’s not the end of the world.
Plus, I just got to spend two hours roller-skating. And that makes everything right.
[The title of this post comes from the “blurb” for dienu.com, one of my new favorite blogs. I can’t explain why exactly, but every time I visit the site I’m inspired. Part of it is the list of 101 things the author would like to do in 1001 days. But a lot of it is that saying: “This day would have been enough.” That is a motto worth living by.]
Updated: 03 February 2007