Friday, March 30, 2007

It's been interesting and unusual at work for the past month or so.

First of all, I kinda regret this post. It almost seems like saying "How could things get worse?" after a relatively minor accident, only to see it immediately start pouring rain, comic book-style. A story I'm writing this morning is about someone who won an award, and she used to work with my father. About two weeks ago or so, I talked to someone for a different story, and her high school guidance counselor is my mother. And around Town Meeting Day my dad came to me with a vague story idea, which I worked on a bit, doing some of the online research and calling some people in government. I worked on it long enough to figure out two things: it really was definitely story-worthy, and we might even be able to break state news, which very rarely happens since we aren't a daily paper; and my dad's school is the only one in the county affected by it, so I reeeally couldn't write it. In the end I passed some detailed notes off to another reporter and had a note at the end of the story that I contributed to it, and was relieved to see that my part turned out to be pretty minor in the end.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The way my editor eats, he makes a 50-year-old with food allergies look like a college student during finals.

I just watched him pull a pepper out of his jacket pocket. Not in a plastic bag or anything, just a section of about a third of a green bell pepper. He said he had it because he or his wife had cut too much for their daughter's lunch or something and since his daughter wouldn't eat it, he figured it would go well with his liverwurst later today, so he stuck it in his pocket. I've seen him eat things that I wouldn't consider putting in my mouth, and I don't generally think of myself as picky. And let's be clear: I wouldn't eat this stuff not because it's bad for you or because it tastes bad, but because it's damn gross. The pepper in a pocket that inspired the post just happened five minutes ago, but the quintessential example was a banana so black that it was bent almost double without breaking the peel. That thing was probably fermented.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Heh, um, is this really front-page news?
Workers dismantle Herald press
March 19, 2007
By Gordon Dritschilo Herald Staff
It is the end of an era. More than a year after being shut down, the Rutland Herald's press is being carted away.

Workers arrived Sunday morning to begin disassembling the sprawling machine that has occupied the Herald's basement for decades, making way for a planned distribution center. The six-unit Urbanite press was installed in the mid-1960s and put out millions of news pages in its time.

Front-page, above the fold, with a four-column picture in today's Rutland Herald. Impressive treatment for, you know, a change in their own office machinery.

I dunno, I shouldn't make too much out of this. There's a little in there about changing trends in publishing, and it's not actually a bad story; I've written worse. (Mine rarely get the front-page treatment, though.) There's no reason a paper can't do anything for themselves, like running a half-page feature on a retiring staff member or something. It's just that my gut reaction on seeing that on their front page was, "Slow news day?" Followed closely by "Now why don't I ever get story assignments that easy?"

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I'm really having doubts about living in Middlebury. It has its good points, obviously: great apartment, good job (the money could be better, but hey, I'm an English major:) ), and living about a mile from my parents is convenient for both of us in a lot of little ways.

But right now, it seems like my coworkers Megan and Kara and I make up the entire population of Middlebury between 24 and 42.

Exagerration, of course; especially since there's Middlebury College. But for comparison, I looked up this post again*. The thing that's kinda bugging me at the moment is not the inadequacy of my social life. What's bugging me is, quite simply, I do have friends and a social life, but it takes place an hour's drive away.

Multiple times over the past year I've passed up invitations to do something or other because I'd have to drive home afterwards. Overall I'm not spending too much on gas money, but when I make three 80-mile round trips in as many days, it sure seems that way. I wind up limiting myself to only seeing friends on weekends, because as annoying as a late drive home is on Friday night, it would be much worse when I actually have to get up in the morning. And I just now noticed that I try to schedule only one thing, at most two, for a weekend. My dad's birthday vs. a date vs. hanging out with a friend vs. some overdue work - well, wait a minute, why do I only want to do stuff on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, why can't I make a lunch date the same day as my dad's birthday and stuff? Answer: because I don't have the patience to spend seven hours out of two days just driving all over the place.**

Well, I've made some very perfunctory attempts to find work in the Burlington area, or alternately, a social scene I'd enjoy in Middlebury. Unless something really remarkable happens, then those attempts will become much less perfunctory by my 25th birthday.

*And once I found it, I was a little amused to see that it was almost exactly a year ago. Since then I've killed Onyxia a dozen times and am well into Outland, I probably play about the same amount as back then - possibly even more, without my parents looking over my shoulder these days - but my "main" character is now a different one and I'm in a more serious guild, I go to Drinking Liberally less often but still now and then, I've had date-like events with two different women and used the word "love" in a semi-coherent state regarding a third, I haven't spoken to Gretchen in probably more than six months... not to have a general "year in review," but specific parts of that last post jumped out at me and demanded to be addressed.

** I could always skip Friday Night Magic in this example, of course. And moving wouldn't solve this particular problem entirely, since it just seems to be about wanting more time to myself than I need. But it sure wouldn't hurt.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

They're predicting six to 12 inches of snow between right now and tomorrow night? WTF? At this rate, I'll be a complete stranger by the time I can finally make it up to Friday Night Magic again. Or rather, I'll miss all of Planar Chaos. Three weeks ago, I couldn't go because I was at the New England Press Association conference in Boston. Two weeks ago I maybe could have gone, but it was within two days of the Valentine's Day blizzard, so I wasn't sure roads would be up to snuff and parking lots would be cleared. Last week I almost decided to go, but I had had a late night on Thursday and I was expecting a late night on Saturday, and I wanted to get my sleep* at least one night out of the three. And now, another snowstorm expected? Well, let's hope it's not that bad, and/or it's over with soon. It's good for my wallet that I'm not driving an extra 80 miles a week, I guess, but when I spend 36 hours straight sitting at my computer in my pajamas, the neighbors start to stare**.

* If you think this sounds like an old geezer, especially considering that a "late night" merely means "ready for bed around midnight," well, you're not alone; I've noticed the same thing. On the other hand, though, I'm in the habit of waking up well before work starts at 8:30. And my "late nights" take place roughly an hour's drive away, so I need to be more alert than the average college student. So... meh.

** Joking, of course.