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state of a union
an intrepid journey
by heather m. millen

When I first walked through the ethereal doors of Intrepid Media, I had no idea what to expect. I plodded around on the Features Page for a while, casually browsed the Gallery. I was seen but not heard. On Valentine’s Day of 2001, in the wake of an admittedly broken heart, I joined Intrepid Premium. This was done mainly to vent my vitriolic rage and declare my freedom in a prophetically schmaltzy piece of prose. It was the kind of stuff that I make fun of most people for feeling, let alone writing… including teenagers who are the only ones that can really get away with such dripping melodrama. Don’t bother digging; I erased that embarrassment of a column long ago.

The dictionary defines “Intrepid” as “resolutely courageous; fearless.” In the last few years, I’ve done many things that I feel fall in that category. I’ve crossed the country and returned. I’ve worked in Corporate America. I’ve given up that stability to work in the theatre -- and loved it. I’ve lived in L.A. for chrissakes! But the one place that I’ve rarely been “resolutely courageous and fearless” is my love life. I’ve had playful flings and fun little flaunts and even affairs with B-Rated movie stars. This, I suppose, is a whole different brand of bravery. For all of it, I’ve taken my Intrepid readers along with me as I’ve carefully carved out my niche as our resident “Sex in the City” correspondent.

And then I got tired and jaded and widely unimpressed with the better part of mankind. To put it simply, I was just fucking bored. And then, for the first time ever, my romantic life became “intrepid.” Quite literally. At IMV DC, when everyone was buzzing about the scandalous photos of me and Intrepid co-writer Michael Driscoll, I was actually taking up with an Angry Young Man. How’s that for fearless?

I refuse to bore you with details, because I hate when my friends do that over their beaus as they gush and gossip and giggle and generally make me want to vomit inside my mouth. But we’ve gotten along swimmingly, and for five months we’ve been running up phone bills and maxing out credit cards on airfare and Philadelphia airport fuckin’ BLOWS but we both like New York style pizza, so it’s all good.

But it can’t stay that way forever because you can’t have a relationship with the entire stretch of Civil War-Era America in between you and it takes eternity, not to mention the pledge of your first-born child, to earn frequent flier miles. It seems much easier to secure a job in Boston as Marketing Manager for a reputable stage company, pack up all my earthly belongings, rent a U-Haul, set out on the 12-hour journey on the 22nd of February arriving the following day to begin work just in time for the next big show opening. It can’t be worse than flying USAir. I’m telling ya, they’re just two steps from charging you for those peanuts!

You know that tag you see every month? Super Happy Fun Gallery Time! Fame! Notoriety! Love! Attention! Better doublecheck what you're signing up for.

But I'm in over my head now and there are things to consider. For starters, the average yearly temperature is somewhere around 32 degrees and the bulk of my wardrobe is strapless in nature. However, I do love fur coats and I can make a damn fine snow angel, so I think winter should be a breeze. And, sure, the theater I’m moving to rarely produces musicals, but Broadway is just mere hours away by train and I do have the entire score of Miss Saigon memorized, so I can still drive everyone absolutely crazy with that. More than anything I’m sure I’ll miss my friends, but they can visit, because we will definitely have a spare room... the boy needs somewhere to watch all that Buffy CRAP.

On paper, I feel like the whole thing looks like the big “C” word (and it’s not “Carnivale.”) Maybe it’s Carpe Diem! Because I really do believe that there’s no such thing as making a huge mistake. Nothing is final; it’s all a learning experience. So, if what I learn is that Mike Julianelle is the kind of guy that leaves toenail clippings on the floor and pees out the bedroom window (I don’t know, I’m just CONSIDERING), then what do I have to lose? Someone once told me that if it wasn’t scary, then it wouldn’t be brave.

Just three years after my Intrepid journey began, I take a new turn. I already have so much to thank (BLAME) Intrepid Media for: countless memories, embarrassing photos, good friends, money lost on a stripper in Vegas, a deep appreciation for Yellowtail Shiraz and a paper trail of columns ranging from exceptional to forgettable, but all a little bit of my life gone by.

So, I’m throwing caution to the 10 below winds and treading north. It’s so crazy that it just might work! And if not, you may one day find yourself browsing through the Intrepid Pages only to find that our resident Angry Young Man has redirected his rage from God and the mass population toward one Golden Goddess. And for me, perhaps you won’t even be able to locate what I’ve then reconsidered to be an “embarrassment of a column.” Either way, it is now and will always be… Intrepid.


Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.

more about heather m. millen


let's get fugafied
they hate what you're wearing
by heather m. millen
topic: humor
published: 7.27.05

constant craving
*the secret* to success
by heather m. millen
topic: humor
published: 8.27.08


sandra thompson
1.26.05 @ 9:10a

Good luck! Committment takes hard work and the smile of fortune. Just don't be discouraged if that life of a great novel you've planned turns into a series of sitcoms and soap operas. If you come away with a few good stories for the grandchildren it will all have been worth it.

But Boston? You really are intrepid, and no doubt hopelessly in love. There really is, after all, nothing better. Sigh!

erik myers
1.26.05 @ 9:13a

Heh. Saw this coming months ago.

Good luck! I wish I was moving to Boston. ;P

mike julianelle
1.26.05 @ 9:24a

Snowing like crazy here again! I'm moving to NC!

tracey kelley
1.26.05 @ 9:33a

HA! Wonderful! Delightful! I feel all wiggly!

Intrepid, indeed.

I expect to be the matron of honor, you know.

sarah ficke
1.26.05 @ 9:58a

Nah, they're running away to Jamaica. Didn't you know?

heather millen
1.26.05 @ 11:07a

Thanks, guys. And Trace thinks SHE feels wiggly!

And there's no hidden agenda to Jamaica, other than drinking lots of pretty cocktails and stocking up on warm weather to hold me over to spring (when's that start in Boston... July?)

juli mccarthy
1.26.05 @ 11:27a

"Please come to Boston for the springtime...."

heather millen
1.26.05 @ 12:56p

So, there's a heavy ex-Boston contingent here. Any input? Advice? Must-dos?

michelle von euw
1.26.05 @ 1:26p

I'm with Erik -- I wish I were moving to Boston, too! My hometown needs a dose of Penny Lane, so I'm thrilled that you're a future resident. May-October, it's a fabulous place to live. And during the rest of the year, at least you'll have plenty of opportunities to make snow angels!

joe procopio
1.26.05 @ 1:45p

Publisher's Disclaimer: Intrepid Media makes no guarantees of adventure, romance, or lifelong happiness.

It just seems to work out that way.

erik myers
1.26.05 @ 1:58p


- Drink at Boston Beer Works (both of 'em), John Harvard's, Grendel's Den, The Sunset Cantina, AND the Sunset Grill and Tap. Just for me.

- Learn that the Bus sytem is far more efficient than the T, so long as you know where you're going.

- Eat lunch in the Common in the summer. Beware the squirrels.

- Go swimming at Walden Pond in the summer.

- Enjoy the view from the Red Line as it's going over the Longfellow Bridge.

- Learn the light patterns at the top of the Little Hancock building:

Steady blue, clear view
Flashing blue, clouds due
Steady red, rain ahead
Flashing red, snow instead.

- Go have a beer with my old roommate, would ya?

mike julianelle
1.26.05 @ 2:41p

I don't like Beer Works. never been to Grendel's, where's that?

adam kraemer
1.26.05 @ 3:23p

Don't forget to stop by the Big Apple on occasion to say hi.

Grendel's. Harvard Square. A block from the Garage, across from Brother Jimmy's. Sorta.


sarah ficke
1.26.05 @ 3:31p

Grendel's is underground. If you're standing in the grassy area with the bums, facing Peet's Coffee place, Grendel's is to the left, down some stairs.

jael mchenry
1.26.05 @ 5:33p

In college it was a big deal to have chocolate fondue there. Then it closed and reopened.

You gotta drink at Sunset, in Allston. Have some nachos for me!

robert melos
1.26.05 @ 6:22p

I suppose he couldn't uproot himself and move to NC? Not that Boston is a bad place. Personally I've always wanted to move south or west to warmer lands than the Northeast provides.

I hope it works out for the two you. I would suggest Vegas for the bachelor/bachelorette parties.Heck, I suggest Vegas for the wedding, but you've already done that once. Vera Wang for a wedding gown, and get the Fab 5 from Queer Eye to make over the groom when the time comes.

lisa r
1.26.05 @ 8:35p

Invest in snow boots. Tall ones. They just got 3 feet of snow over the weekend...I know--Stacy sent me pics of her backyard!

dan gonzalez
1.26.05 @ 8:50p

I suppose he couldn't uproot himself and move to NC?

You're talkin' to the gal who declared that chivalry is dead, remember?

Also, and I don't know if you been paying attention, but cocky New England-types get their asses kicked out here in fly-over country. I'm sure she doesn't want him runnin' home to his mammy on day four or anything.

erik myers
1.27.05 @ 10:46a

I don't like Beer Works. never been to Grendel's, where's that?

I don't like their food. I like their proximity to Fenway. I also like the pool tables at the one in the North End.

Grendel's is in the Harvard Sq., underground, right in between Peet's Coffee and the House of Blues.

erik myers
1.27.05 @ 10:47a

Oh.. during the school year you've got to deal with stuffy Harvard kids, but during the summer it kicks ass.

mike julianelle
1.27.05 @ 10:53a

The pool tables are cool, but I don't like tyring to find the nearest BeerWorks equivalent to the beers I like. And the atmosphere and decor are sterile as hell.

heather millen
1.27.05 @ 11:01a

I suppose he couldn't uproot himself and move to NC?

While I LOVE a lot of people in NC and it's a lovely place, I'm not so sold on Raleigh myself. A little too slow for the Penny Lane in me. Inevitably, I'll end up in a bigger city. Hell, why not Boston!?

adam kraemer
1.27.05 @ 11:59a

Exactly what city is Boston bigger than?

mike julianelle
1.27.05 @ 12:20p


heather millen
1.27.05 @ 12:22p

I've done the big city. I'm ready to try a midsize out. And THEN maybe New York. I've got time!

david damsker
1.27.05 @ 9:22p

I know I haven't been around much, but the whole time I thought Heather and Michael Driscoll were together.

Boy. I'm sharp.

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