today is carolyn kellogg’s birthday.

shes 24.

when hilary clinton wrote her book “it takes a village” many moons ago i didnt think it had any relation to me at all. but in reality any professional success i am currently enjoying is due to the kindness of others.

carolyn and i met in austin at sxsw. i was there to speak on the Blogging While Black panel and she was in the front row. afterwards we chatted a little and then a year later there i was on the panel and there she was in the crowd and we chatted some more – except it ended with her letting me know that she was soon leaving her job running LAist.

she floated the idea that i would be fairly qualified to succeed her but when she told me how little money she was getting paid there i politely declined, saying, damn thats such a great job its too bad it doesnt pay.

two months later Carolyn was on her way to Pittsburgh to get her MFA and i was being fired from Buzznet. within days Carolyn had convinced her soon-to-be former bosses that i was the right man for the job and they should pay me. the rest, as they say, is herstory because without that lucky break i would never have had the chance to really show my stuff at LAist, and thus i would never had ended up here in my dream job less than two years later.

so when the former president Bill Clinton had me do a favor for him, he asked me what he could do for me in exchange. i said, write carolyn kellogg a personal note. he was all, “the Jacket Copy blogger at the Times?” i said yes, and she also is the main writer for the Brand X blog. and because Bill always keeps his word, bam she got a pretty sweet gift yesterday.

happy birthday Carolyn, i wouldnt be here without you!

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