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From the Bible Belt to Sin City

August 8, 2008

With both sadness and great anticipation, my “Middle America” experiment has come to an end.

On Monday, I will finish packing up my U-Haul truck and start driving west. Destination: Las Vegas.

I first set foot in Stigler, Oklahoma last December and began working as the sports editor for the newspaper here full-time in January. In the eight months since I first arrived, I have had the opportunity to experience a new place and a new environment.

I mean, people are people. It’s not as if Small Town, America is an entirely different world than the coasts. But there are little things. Little things that I’ll miss.

Part of me thinks that I could’ve lived here forever. I don’t really miss the ocean. It’s not like I’m an art or culture freak who craves museums. A small town really has all that I need. Especially a small town with a Wal-Mart.

But I am leaving. For many reasons, for no reason in particular… I just feel like it’s time to move on.

One of the so-called reasons is that I’m pretty sure I am over journalism. This was probably the ideal journalism job I could’ve gotten. They gave me so much independence, allowed me to do my own thing, and tried to help me out whenever I needed it. But I just don’t love the work. I love writing. I love strangers recognizing me, asking, “Are you Stephen A. Murphy?” That ego stroke will never get old.

But I didn’t love the grind of it, the deadlines, the mundane moments, the design aspect of the job… In short, I just didn’t love the idea of working in print media anymore.

I’m not saying I will never work another journalism job again. I look at my resume and it screams journalism. But for now, I am over it.

So… Vegas. A place where I’ve spent no more than four days of my life.

In the spirit of trying something new, I decided to go to a place that probably least resembles Stigler. I mean, there is practically a church on every block here. In Vegas, there will probably be a stripper on every block. But don’t worry, all of you moral supporters out there, just as I avoided the churches here, I am sure I will be able to resist the strippers as well.

I’m thinking more seriously about law school. I’ve finally cracked open my LSAT practice book, and the test looks manageable. I am a notoriously slow reader, and that’s something I will need to work on to score well. But again, I think it’s doable.

Besides studying the LSAT, I also plan on becoming an Obama campaigner. Nevada is one of the true swing states, and should be a solid battleground state come November. One of my good friends, Robbie, is working with the campaign now and he seems to like it. Since I think I might want to get involved in politics in the future, I feel like now is probably the best time to get my feet wet in the environment.

And finally, yes, there will be poker in Vegas. I do not want to become a professional, but for a short time in Vegas, I think it will keep me on my feet. In my seven months in Oklahoma, I have made more money playing poker than from my real job. Even if I fail miserably, I have enough saved for a while.

I don’t plan on living in Vegas forever. I’m thinking somewhere in the 3-6 months range. But who knows, maybe I will get a job that I love. Maybe I will meet a girl that I can’t get over (just kidding, Meggo). Maybe I will feel at home.

But more likely than not, I will spend a few enjoyable months there, get some great political experience and get a solid score on the LSAT before relocating either back to Southern California or the greater NYC area.

Time will tell.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Sonja's Mom Speaks permalink
    August 9, 2008 7:29 pm

    Good luck with what ever comes next and please, keep blogging.

  2. Ethan Corcoran permalink
    August 9, 2008 10:38 pm

    Hey Coach,
    I’m both sad and happy to hear you’re time there has ended. Sad, because it was fun to talk about you being there and that you were enjoying yourself (for the most part). Happy, because, lets face it, you were in the middle of nowhere. The LSATs sound like a plausible future for you. It worked for my brother anyways. If you ever return to New York City (or at least while I’m at regis), you can always freelance, writing about me. Nothing else, just me. I promise you, you and our readers (oh we’ll have readers) will not be disappointed.)
    Speaking of which;
    The soccer season is heating up, and you are missed dearly by the Regis Guys, myself especially. Its funny to think that at this time last year I was dreading another season of endless miles with Mr. Donodeo. You and Marcoux saved me from that. While it was really awkward being told I had a spot but probably wouldn’t play (that didn’t last long), the opportunity was one I could not pass up. And look at me now, I love the game, and turns out you gave me something I will enjoy for the rest of my life. But, while thats very touchy feely, thats not what I’m getting at. You should remember, that when you’re going forward (whether it be Vegas or what have you) you should try what is being offered to you.
    I know its weird to take life advice from a teen. Especially when its me.
    But I had to say it.
    Best of Luck to you Coach

  3. Bill permalink
    August 12, 2008 12:25 pm

    Hope daddy’s money can hold out till you find yourself. Maybe you can convert to the Muslin faith and get a spot on Obammy’s do gooder commitee. Guess you will always have interesting stories to tell your preppie friends about your stay in the hills of Okieland.

  4. August 13, 2008 11:45 am

    For the record if there is one. You’ve been living in the buckle of the Bible Belt.

    Will you continue blogging ?

  5. Kim permalink
    August 14, 2008 9:25 am

    It will be a long time before I get over your leaving, my friend. I can’t bear to walk by your empty office. I have to turn my head the other way. No one else here appreciates my humor as you did. Good luck, though you don’t need it. You have what it takes no matter where you end up.

  6. Missey permalink
    August 18, 2008 7:10 pm

    sounds to me like you are just a spoiled brat who can’t make up his mind what he wants. maybe you’ll get hitched in vegas and she’ll make you stay.

  7. nunya bizness permalink
    September 5, 2008 1:16 pm



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