A professional transient wandering Earth's extreme regions.
I live 800 miles from the North Pole in Longyearbyen, Norway, just down
the road from
where Santa runs his elf sweatshop in an abandoned mine shaf. It's the
home of Polarjazz,
the world's northernmost jazz festival (hosted in mid-winter), and a
mountain housing a
seed vault that will feed Earth after a nuclear war.
I'm a Colorado native who grew up in Aspen before it was overrun by
learning to ski by the age of four and breaking my leg shortly thereafter.
college in Colorado and Washington, deciding as a freshman to major in
watching '60s hippie throwbacks who ran the paper determine story
I took the usual few small-time jobs before accepting one in the Los
Angeles area, mainly
because everyone said it was the place I was least suited for. They
were right, but it was
good for the career. I covered major earthquakes, trials down the hall
from the O.J.
Simpson circus and lots of only in L.A. madness. I ended up at the L.A.
Times for a stint,
but never got over my dislike of the area and shocked all my California
buds by going to
Alaska more or less on a whim.
I spent several years at the newspaper in Juneau before deciding it was
time to get even
more extreme and go to Antarctica. I spent two seasons as an editor at
The Antarctic Sun,
a weekly publication focusing on science projects and life in general on
the Ice, and seeing
the world during the off-season.
A love of squat toilets resulted in my spending the next several years
circling the world in
a quest to find jazz in the most unlikely of places. I contaminated more
than 60 countries
on all seven continents, including such jazz meccas as Greenland,
Turkmenistan, the Inuit
Arctic and Mongolia. I was nearly arrested in totalitarian countries a few
times, but luckily
only almost died once when I passed out during a Gaza-like melee at
My travels brought me to Norway many times, usually to recover from
inflicted follies. That led to my first Polarjazz in 2008, after which I spent
getting rid of my possessions and the rest of my professional reputation
so I could move
there toward the end of the year. I'm hoping to start Icepeople, the
alternative newspaper in early 2009, focusing on polar science, politics
assuming I learn to shoot a rifle so I don't get eaten by polar bears.