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Yay pressure.

Okay, I need to get my story done today.

Need to, need to, need to.

Will finish any necessary interviews this afternoon. I have two fans, two editors and possibly an artist. And I need to get art from the company. And it needs to be 12 inches long. Do I have enough information to make it 12 inches? Ugh.

I can do this. I’m not going to freak out. I’m just going to finish typing up the scene stuff, then I’m going to do contest entries, then I’m going to do my story. This day is laid out for me.

Gotta be impressed though, no wonder no one stresses horribly over deadline here – they start laying out the pages the day their latest issue comes out.

Update: Okay, I need to clarify this too. Apparently I fail at being clear. Maybe I shouldn’t be a journalist after all.

Anyway, when I say they start laying out pages the day their latest issue comes out, I mean they lay out pages for next week’s issue for all eight newspapers. So unlike the Sagebrush, where everything is laid out on Sunday and Monday for the most part, they do it all day, every day, and thus, don’t run into crazy meltdowns at midnight on production nights (see Mike’s blog for further illustration on the meltdowns).

Capisce?

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I should read this book.

“Why Smart People Do Stupid Things With Money: Overcoming Financial Dysfunction”

Read about it in a press release.

That almost beats this one:

“A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder — How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-The-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place”

Almost.

Not quite.

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I was just invited to lunch.

Too bad I’m too busy to go. I need to finish the contest entries that I have on my desk before I eat.

But still, that’s pretty nifty. I’ve been accepted by the other journalists. 🙂

And I think I almost have all of their names down now. Kirk, Kate, Jeremy, Frances, Michael, Jeff and Jenny – those are the reporters. I still don’t know the guy who sits to my left. Ray is the sports editor, and Tim (who I knew beforehand anyway), Jared, Brent and Jimmy are the sports writers. Craig, Jason and Josh are the copy editors. Then there’s another new reporter and a new copy editor whose names I don’t remember. And there’s Steve, Jean, Nick and John, the other editors.

See! I have almost the entire newsroom down.

And yes, that is how small the staff is. For a place that puts out 8 newspapers a week, I think that’s kinda crazy. Ah well. I think there’s one person on vacation, too. That’s about it.

Anyway. Finishing entries and then getting food.

Update: So it looks like I have to clarify, because Mike was confused and I don’t need anyone else being confused.

When I say they print 8 issues a week, I mean 8 different newspapers. The newspapers are weekly, you see, and they all come out to different parts of the valley. There are the Henderson area ones – Henderson Home News, Silverado News, South Valley News, Green Valley News and Boulder City News (yes, Boulder City falls into this category)- and the Summerlin area ones – Summerlin Northeast, Summerlin Southwest and West Valley.

Because they are community newspapers, they focus on all the different communities, and they only have so many reporters to do that with, obviously. A lot of the content is in all of the newspapers, but there’s a lot of original stories for each paper too.

The staff named above (and I remembered the other reporter’s name, it’s Dave) is the entire staff for all these different newspapers. I’ve also met one photographer so far (Heather, I think). Oh, and Kirk’s the arts and style editor, I believe.

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Budgets.

When I say the word “budget,” a few different things come to mind.

First, I think of the news budget, where everyone is given their story assignments in detail. These don’t concern me at the moment since it is summer and all.

And then there’s monetary budgets. I came to this conclusion around 3 a.m. – I need to devise a full budget for next year to watch my spending habits. I like the two S’s – shopping and Starbucks – a bit too much. So I need to figure out just how much I’m allowed to spend on those two things every month.

So if I set my limit to $100 a month on those two things, knowing me, I would probably spend about $40 of that on Starbucks (two Starbucks runs a week equals about $10, and then multiply that by 4), that leaves a maximum of $60 on other stuff (shopping, movies, all the other things I do that cost money).

The remaining money from my paychecks would go to paying for gas/insurance/food (assuming I finally get a car). I have to figure out just how much insurance is going to cost, and with rising gas prices…well, money will be tight. I’ll be a typical college student.

With the money I save over the summer from work, I should have some leeway (is that how you spell that?), though most of it will go into a savings account for my trip abroad to Italy next year — assuming that those plans don’t change.

I think this all sounds reasonable.

And then there’s the higher education budget deal that’s been going on in the legislature. I guess the legislators have come to a decision about what’s going to happen, and a lot of funding is going to K-12, including all-day kindergarten.

Here’s what I pulled from the RGJ Web site:

“Although most of the attention was given to the deals for public education, higher education lobbyists also were pleased with the deal.

‘We are pleased with the overall agreement that was reached today between the two houses of the Legislature and the governor,’ said James T. Richardson of the Nevada Faculty Alliance. ‘Especially, we are happy to see restoration of the full 2.5 percent of the merit pay pool, as well as the hold-harmless funding included and the increase in formula funding to 85.5 percent. The support shown for the transfer of the Pahrump service area and the partial support for DRI administration positions is also welcome news.'”

And here’s the short graf that was in the RJ about it:

“As part of the agreement, many of the budget cuts made to the Nevada System of Higher Education approved by Assembly Democrats were restored, including a 2.5 percent per year merit pool for professors that had been cut to 2 percent.”

And here’s the sentence that the Sun had about it:

“Both sides shared credit on more money for higher education.”

And because I searched hard enough, here’s what I found on the Nevada Appeal site…which I think is a lot more helpful than everything else I’ve found:

“For higher education, Raggio said, the deal makes the university system whole by restoring the cuts made by Gibbons to reduce spending when revenue estimates were decreased by the Economic Forum. It keeps the increased per-student formula funding proposed by Gibbons and provides more than $50 million in “hold harmless” funding to protect the budgets and programs at campuses where enrollment is below projections. In the case of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, enrollment is actually dropping.

And for professors who rely on the merit pool for increases in pay, the Assembly backed off its attempt to reduce the merit pool percentage from 2.5 percent to 2 percent this biennium only. That would have cut back the amount of money available to reward professors who perform well with a pay raise.”

If anyone cares to interpret what this means on a university and community level for me, please do.

Anyway, I need to get to work. Even though part of it is me being in charge of watching the channel 8 news to see if there’s an update on this standoff going on in Henderson.

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Today’s to-do list.

Call back the Tokyopop guy who called my cell phone on the way to work.
Finish this cup of coffee.
Go through the Boulder City issues and start pulling for the contest entries.
• Start working on story that’s due on Friday (same day as the contest deadline).
• Call and e-mail the other sources for my story. Maybe I should do this before I start the story.
Get more coffee.
Search for file folders in this office.

Update: Never mind the first one, he called me a minute after I posted this. After the interview was over, I got the time old question: “So how old are you anyway?” And then, “Wow, seriously? You don’t sound that young.” And then the conversation went on, and I think he was trying to flirt with me. Men.

And I’ve already been through my first cup of coffee.

Next update: The guys behind me are having an intelligent discussion on the ending of “Heroes” and other television shows. It reminds me of Garrett and Duggie’s discussions about movies.

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What two hour-long discussions lead to.

I talked to my dad tonight for a couple of hours. It was a general discussion about everything that was going on in our lives, and everything that’s happened.

We used to do this all the time, and I used to hate it.

But not anymore.

You see, I understand why he wanted to do this tonight. My grandma had to go to the hospital earlier today, and might have to get heart surgery tomorrow. It’s a scary thing even though it’s part of life. And it helps my dad to talk things out, even if we’re not talking about the particular subject that’s on his mind or mine.

The biggest general theme of what tonight amounted to was that despite all the crap that may or may not have happened, we’ve got to appreciate what we have right now, and we can’t take it for granted. Dad told me stories of the really dumb things he did in high school and college, and he said he understood it was part of life to make mistakes and to learn from them and move on.

He told me he doesn’t worry about me as much as he used to.

What I appreciate about my dad is that he is willing and wants to talk about everything. You don’t always get people like that, and it’s such a pain in the ass. He calls it “opening the lines of communication.”

Just a year ago, it drove me crazy that he had to talk like this all the time. I didn’t want to talk, I wanted to go out there and just do whatever and not have to deal with discussing what I thought or what I was going through.

I guess I’ve grown up a little since then.

Update: My grandma’s doing better now, she was discharged from the hospital. The good news: there’s no blockage in any of her arteries. The bad news: They have no idea what caused her to feel the chest pains and to get all cold.

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