Well, this pains me to say and do, but after being in the journalism business for over ten years and with The Hot Zone Online for over five and a half years, I’m hanging up my press hat. It’s been a long road filled with twists and turns that kept me on my mental feet.
My career started in grade school as a cartoonist for my school paper, then in high school I wrote upcoming movie reviews, local event reviews, was their cartoonist, then eventually became an editor. I moved into the online world during this time as well, doing scoops for such sites as Ain’t It Cool News and Dark Horizons, and eventually landing a gig here at what would become my home for over five years.
I’ve worked long and hard during my time here and have so many wonderful memories. From attending the 2007 Fiery Foods Show, ripping apart Wendy’s 4-Alarm Burger, Eating The Ghost Pepper, having my pictures published in Chile Pepper Magazine, reviewing sauces from all around the world, meeting so many enthusiastic people and making friends in the industry…it’s been an amazing ride.
But, all good things must come to an end. My private life has become so busy over the past year that I have found that I must give up some of the things that I enjoyed to have a balanced life. I wish I still had the time and creative energies to keep going but that’s not possible. After a long and wonderful career, I’m officially saying goodbye. I’ll still be reading everyone’s blogs, keeping up with the industry, and maybe attending an event here and there. So have no fear, I’m not completely dropping off the map.
There have been so many people that have made my experience so wonderful that I can’t thank them all, but in particular I would like to give a shout out to a few. Joe and Linda Levinson, you picked me up and gave me such a amazing opportunity. Thank you for a long run as one of your writers and thank you for being good friends. John Hard (CaJohn), thank you for being a wonderful sauce maker and a wonderful human being. You, by far, have the biggest heart out of anyone in the industry. John Dilley (Defcon), you are a nutcase and I love you for it. Jeff Stevenson (Crazy Uncle Jester), you will always be my crazy Uncle. Ol’ Benito, thanks for sending me sauces out of the blue. Chuck Evans (Montezuma Brand), may you always be the king of Chipotle. You’ve all been so good to me over the years, thank you.