I Turned in My Self-Review, Then Booked a Trip to New Orleans


Last week, I spent approximately 475 hours drafting my self-review at work. I’d write a section, realize I’d forgotten something I’d done that fits under that section, rewrite it, edit the rewrite, think of some positive downstream effect of the new thing I’d remembered, add that, edit that, second-guess if I was exaggerating the downstream effect, edit that, second-guess my second-guessing, edit again, and then – only then – would this section be how I wanted it.

I repeated this cycle six times on a Word document, which matters because the survey sheet I was posting this on had a character count and I’d soon find out I was way over it. The details of that editing process are too gruesome for this website, but I submitted my self-review three hours before the deadline and trimmed to the exact character count.

Why do I bring this up? I hadn’t realized just how much I’d accomplished in a year’s time until I had to think back through and type it all down. I don’t mean to brag, but I had a hell of a year! It was enough to make me think, “Wow, so this is why they keep me around.”

Do you keep track of your accomplishments throughout the year? If not, you should. You might be surprised how much you’ll have at the end. You also won’t have to spend 475 hours drafting it on the week it’s due.

It was also a hell of a year at The Minnesota Skinny. We’re seeing record highs in readership, near-records highs in fun had, a once-thought impossible quantity of donuts consumed, and podcast procrastination shows no sign of stagnation (shrug emoji). But let’s not dwell too much on that because I’m going to New Orleans at the end of this month! Not for nothing, the making of this decision involved leftovers of a beef rib lunch from Tinucci’s, some misguided panic about flight prices on Google, and possibly the ghost of Anthony Bourdain.

Some of the people I’ve spoken to have very specific memories of New Orelans, but what I keep hearing about it are “it’s like a whole different country within the U.S.” and “it changes a person.” I haven’t been to a different country since I was a teenager, when my family drove through Canada to reach upstate New York. Sad, huh? And yeah: I think some change might do me good.


When you don’t have any photos of New Orleans, you resort to measures like photographing a visitors’ guide and pasting Vince Vaughn office ClipArt over it. (Sorry Getty Images, sorry Fox, sorry New Orleans Official Visitors Guide 2019)

I’m be spending 11 days in the Big Easy. There will be work days, so to speak: COOLinary New Orleans will kick off about halfway through my stay; I need to make a friend who can get me into a some ridiculous blocks-long barbecue party; I’ve already got feelers out there for interviews; and seriously, you’ve heard about the food and cocktails in New Orleans, right? But I’ll have hours on end of walking, too, with a relaxed buzz and a fraught stomach.

All I have set in stone right now are the plane tickets, so you’ve got three weeks to hit me with recommendations – food, drink, or otherwise.

Coverage of this trip will likely dominate the website through fall. If I really get after it, that will carry us through September and October with some Twin Cities write-ups sprinkled in. Thinking about it some more, it should probably be more than sprinkled.

I have to problems that can be solved together: a lack of My Twin Cities coverage, and a low post count overall. If this little blog is going to take any next steps, I need to write the stuff. It’s difficult sometimes because I want every piece to be an unforgettable smash hit, but sometimes I need to just write the stuff.

Otherwise, we’re in a pretty good spot here. Here are some closing notes:

  • Between then and now, the only burger-focused post I’ve written was a write-up of Jersey’s Bar and Grill. You can thank my doctor for that. Panicking over cholesterol levels does wonders for your dietary decisions!
  • I was asked for a single post with all the restaurants I recommend in the Twin Cities, so I wrote one. I’ve heard some great things from people who’ve gone on to visit those restaurants. What can I say? I choose well.
  • I took last year off from the Great American Beer Festival, but I’m feeling an itch to return. Maybe. We’ll see how I feel when the application period begins. There’s also the whole matter of “I barely ever write about beer anymore,” so we’ll see. that itch might just be Euclid Hall calling me back.
  • I declared myself a kayaker after kayaking once at the start of last summer. I haven’t kayaked even once since.

As always, everyone here at The Minnesota Skinny (so, me) appreciates your continued readership, shares, thumbs, hearts, and all that. Should I survive eleven days in New Orleans, I’ll throw a few logs on the fire and share some interesting stories with everybody who keeps stickin’ around. Until then, enjoy your shady tree seat or umbrella-ed patio table, stay hydrated, make sure your objectives are S.M.A.R.T., and focus on your core competencies.


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