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I like phone calls and I dislike briefs.

Phone calls are great.

Especially when they are coming from mothers who appreciate the work you’ve done and the story you’ve written.

And more importantly, especially since it’s not my own mother.

I am scouring for Boulder City briefs right now, because my editor’s on vacation, so I must find all this stuff on my own. I have a plan…first, I will finish looking through the city desk and entertainment desk e-mails. Next, I will call all the public information officers in that city. Then I will call the library. Then the community college…wait, sorry, college, they officially change their names…Sunday? I think.

By the end of all of that, I should have twenty inches or so. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Then I need to create the Week in Review file…then I need to find story ideas.

At least it’s Friday.

And everyone’s stuck on the iPhone right now. Of course. Did you know they did a report on it, and it’s cost will amount to the same cost as a Macbook if you have the phone for two years at the cheapest plan? I’d rather have the Macbook.

Anyway, back to work.

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Musical theatre moment.

If I can’t take my coffee break,
My coffee break, my coffee break
If I can’t take my coffee break
Something within me dies
Lies down and something within my dies!

If I can’t make three daily trips
Where shining shrine benignly drips
And taste cardboard between my lips
Something within me dies
Lies down and something within me dies!

–“Coffee Break” from How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

I just had this moment where I had this vision of the 16-year-old me singing this song in musical theater class and for the showcase. We acted like zombies because of the supposed lack of coffee. That was fun choreography.

Anyway, the point of remembering the song is because I feel kind of like a zombie today because of my own lack of coffee.

Also, I had a dream about the future of journalism last night (yes, I dream about newspapers, it’s ridiculous), which I will explain in further detail later on.

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How soon is too soon?

I feel rather…well, blank right now.

Writing an obituary on someone who died this morning can do that to you. Because he was this former city official, my editor felt we should get something into this week’s edition. So I had to call the other officials he knew and worked with…I had to call the funeral home…

And that was all fine and dandy with me. I can do this. I can make sure I don’t get emotionally involved, because I need to be objective.

Then I called the family.

I mean, sure, I was doing my job. But…this man. He died this morning from a heart attack. THIS MORNING. And I called his family hours after it happened.

I understand timeliness and trying to get things as up-to-date as possible. And it’s my job to do these things. But this is just one of those personal things for me. I shouldn’t have called. Not yet. Maybe tomorrow, but not the day of.

I mean, it’s not like I was obtrusive. I tried to be as sensitive as possible. But I actually asked, “How are you today?” out of habit, and the son replied with a kinda bitter laugh, “Not so well, actually.”

Forget feeling blank.

I feel horrible. Absolutely horrible, like I am the worst person in the entire world right now.

😦

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What I can and cannot bring with me.

What will be accompanying me home tonight:
My AP stylebook, so I can read it because I’m a nerd like that.

What I am not bringing home with me:
My reporter’s notebooks and my story, because I’m not allowed to touch it all weekend because I need to learn how to not work at home and do it at the office under deadline (such are the words of my boss).

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Retail therapy.

The bad points:
-Spending money I know I should save
-Things I buy aren’t what I wanted

The good points:
-Things I buy do make up for what I didn’t get/accomplish. At least, happy to have them
-Go shopping with best friend and just hang out
-Can usually reuse purchases if they are shoes, clothes, movies, etc.
-Refocus on what’s important and realize it’s not that big of a deal. Will eventually succeed.

I was going to write an essay for History tonight, but the Web site is down, so I am going to watch “The Holiday,” eat ice cream and have a good cry instead.

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Traveling abroad.

So while I was driving around with my mother last night, she asked me why on earth would I want to go to Italy and England next summer, since that’s what I’ve decided to do.

Wouldn’t it be expensive? Do I have to do it next year? Couldn’t I just wait?

And so, I explained to her my reasoning in all of this. She seemed surprised that I had this logical thought process behind it all. You’d think my own mother would know me better.

Anyway, I told her that yeah, it would be too expensive. I’d have to take out loans and hope I got scholarships to help pay for it. But to me, it’d be worth it.

There’s this quote that I remember…”Frugality has its own costs, some of which last a lifetime.” I don’t want to look back and wonder and regret.

If I was to put it off next year, then I’d end up making an excuse and putting it off for another year…and another year…and then I’ll have lost the opportunity, because I’ll graduate…get a steady job…get married…have kids…

I’d like to have some other experiences before all of that happens.

I was thinking about just doing another internship next summer. But then I realized that I’ll be working for the rest of my life. That’s the best way I can explain it.

I’ll always be working, but I won’t always have the chance to go out of the country.

So yeah, instead of working next summer to advance my career and save money for my poor future, I’ll be going abroad, spending thousands of dollars I don’t have.

And it’ll be worth every dime and all the time in the world.

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I just had a thought.

Everyone has a story to tell.

You just have to ask them about it.

Also – what is so hard about my last name? It’s three syllables. There are three vowels in it. Two of those vowels are e’s. Only one of the vowels is an a. The word in the middle of it is “step.” Not “stop” or “stAp.” If you want to put an accent in it or whatever, fine, I think that’s how they say it in Spain anyway. I just don’t see how people butcher it.

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Money and bad news.

A father’s despair over money problems at a family-owned skin-care clinic in the East Bay led him to shoot his wife and their two children to death before turning the gun on himself, police said Tuesday.

What a depressing nutgraf.

Okay, so I’m not blindly optimistic. I know this kind of stuff happens in the world. But I just don’t understand…I read the rest of the story. They were a happy, laughing family. Appearances aren’t ever what they seem. There always so much more going on beneath the surface that most people don’t realize.

What’s the thought process behind doing something like this? I think Mike said the other day when he was telling me about a 15-year-old who had shot police officers, that there wasn’t any thought behind it. And in that case, I guess he was right.

But this man was aware of what he was doing. He left a note for employees at the clinic he and his wife owned, saying they might receive some “bad news.” He left behind a note explaining his decisions. According to another SF Chronicle story, one possibility is that “familicide” is caused by someone believing that there’s no other way out. It’s altruistic to them.

And to think, all this was about money. Money. I hate that money can cause something like this. But you look at other headlines and read other stories, and it comes out – people are willing to kill because of money, whether it’s because they want it, or they don’t have it, or they don’t want to give it away.

What’s this world coming to?

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