Sunday, December 27, 2009

my hair is gone, and so is my christmas

i cut off nine inches of hair recently. i haven't had the shocked reactions i was expecting. i always thought cutting off that much hair would lead everyone who ever met me to gasp and say something immediately. but frankly, even some of my closest friends didn't even say anything. that means one of two things. it means that a) the haircut suits me, or b) the haircut was looooooong overdue. Maybe both.

the other bit of news is that my christmas events are officially over. all the various family dinners have been eaten, the gifts have been opened, and i had a chance to spend time with most of my friends that were in town. and now it's sunday and I have to work and i don't wanna. I'm feeling particularly bratty about it considering I have all these gift cards that i want to use IMMEDIATELY at j.crew and best buy. but instead, thanks to another needlessly early deadline for the paper, today is essentially my monday and i have stories to finish and dummies to draw. i'm not looking forward to it, mainly because we had so little time to compile this week's stuff.

wish me luck. i'm going to need it. because i'm probably going to end up at j.crew and then go into work panic mode later this evening.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

christmas couldn't come sooner.

if for no other reason than at least that would mean i'm not working.

but, alas, it is not yet christmas and thus i am still working. constantly. i never really had much of a choice on the matter, considering newspapers must come out and early deadlines must be made. i'll be ready for that break when it gets here.

today basically amounted to me feeding a petting a cat that i'm taking care of for a decent period of time this morning, followed by interviews and some work at borders all afternoon. then chris and i did some holiday shopping, of which we were very successful and efficient. then i watched a holiday movie and now it's 7 p.m. and that shocks me. i figured it would be later. i might be a little disappointed because that means i actually have time to finish the work i haven't gotten to yet today.

i should probably do it too because tomorrow will be just as busy. more work, groceries, craft day at the stewarts, and more work. sounds fun.

on a more exciting note, the reviews for the avatar movie (which i've been following for nearly a year now.... that's right A YEAR) and everyone seems to be losing their minds over it. chris and i intend to attend the imax 3d version on dec. 23rd. i'm pretty stoked.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

it happened. officially.

That thing that happened (officially) is actually two things. The first thing is good. The second this is bad, but it was inevitable. Alas, I have survived both.

The first is that my first edition ( came out today. This is a major career marker I suppose, and I was elated that my peers and friends thought it was a major success. They patted me on the back and all that stuff. It felt really nice, and I was happy with my first try. I was even happier knowing that the next edition is going to be even better and I'm feeling pretty good about what I want to try to do with it.

Then that second thing happened. That thing that I wish never happened. I got the first angry reader phone call.

And let me tell you.... it was a doozy.

First I have to say that this goes with the job. It isn't necessarily an attack on me as a person (so they say), but more a gut reaction from someone who is unhappy. It's like having a conversation with those mean (and albeit ridiculously unreasonable) bloggers over at the website. But it still stinks. The worst part, however, was that I sort of agreed with her.

She screamed at me for a full five minutes (that of which I inserted zero dialogue because I wanted her to get it all out of her system) about how sports was only three pages this week and only one of them was manchester specific and I should be ashamed of myself and yadda yadda.

You know what lady? Touche. I'm totally with you... except for the ashamed of myself part...

Unfortunately, I don't get to make that call. The sports editor (not Ed Patino, mind you) is supposedly in charge of deciding on a page count for the sports section and I fill everything else. I don't really agree with having the smaller sections and I get why she would be angry. I mean I'm coming from writing sports in Saline and Milan. I get it. I've been there. But on the other hand, our poor sports editor was covering for someone and was responsible for four sections this week. He didn't really have a choice.

Basically I had to tell her that I get where she's coming from (I do), I want it to change (I do), and that I will do everything in my power to make the Manchester Enterprise better than ever (the verdict is still out... but the incentive is there).

So that's where we're at right now and that's going to have to be enough, because that's all I can muster. I'm going to exercise my muscle on my new baby chair of power and see how far it goes.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

omg look i'm doing it, I'M DOING IT

I did it.

I put to bed my first edition at the Manchester Enterprise last night. It was a long day, but it went much smoother than I expected. Some really great stories in there, particularly about a local legend with a biography coming out. I think I did pretty well for a first run.

Still, I'm adjusting to the learning curve at a reasonable pace and already know what I would have changed. Twice as much stuff is planned for the Christmas Eve edition, and those leads are being more cooperative. Next week will include a story on a local girl running a half marathon for leukemia and lymphoma, a story on the Manchester school's budget after a sit-down with Shawn Lewis-Lakin, a feature on the reopened Black Sheep Tavern, what Manchester residents like most about Christmas, and the token picture of the absolutely adorable child.

Also, I hate spam and junk mail, and thanks to editors of the past our editor@manchesterenterprise email is the most spam-laden e-mail in the world. While building pages yesterday, I gathered roughly 70 spam emails. Roughly 9% were about terrorism, 40% was about our senate and house representatives, and the other 50% were for magazines that I've never even heard of. The other 1% was a repeating foreign email... those ones where they say they have millions of dollars waiting for you in a bank account. And its YOURS, just as long as you hand your life and credit card numbers over. No thanks.

But anyway, mission accomplished. Mailbox has been cleared. Calendar has been updated. Paper has been finished. That means it's a typical Wednesday. Fortunately that means I only work half of it. Unfortunately, it means the other half is spent cleaning my apartment (why does it never STAY clean), paying bills, and general errand-like housekeeping.

At least this time I didn't sleep through the first half of the day. I stand a chance.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ah yes. The Pivet questionnaire...

Since starting my sort of new job at the Manchester Enterprise... it has become necessary for me to write one of those "intro to me" columns. You know, to make the village feel all warm and fuzzy about my being there... and to generally assure them that I'm not a loony.

So how better to introduce myself than with a good old-fashioned Pivet questionnaire... perhaps better known as the awesome 10 survey questions dished out by James Lipton on Inside the Actors' Studio. Epic interview. Not AS epic as the Proust Interview... but same general idea. I'll follow up with Marcel Proust's version at a later date.

But for now, here are the questions and my answers. I get to actually answer the swearing question honestly online. I can't do it in print. I don't swear in print. Mom doesn't know.

1. What is your favorite word?
Vivacious. It sounds sexy, and the letter "v" is the most underrated of the English alphabet.

2. What is your least favorite word?
Whatever. Anyone who says that word instantly infuriates me. Even the most blase people must be required to do better than that. Coming in at a close second is the word "no."

3. What turns you on?
A huge coffee on a rainy day and Van Morrison's voice

4. What turns you off?
A bully.

5. What is your favorite curse word? (hurray!)

6. What sound or noise do you love?
Laughter, and rain on a roof.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
A ringing cell phone.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Film director

9. What profession would you not like to attempt?

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
"Van Morrison saved you a seat."

Monday, December 7, 2009

so, apparently fans can go too far...

... as if we didn't already know that.

Still, just in case you missed it, the word on the street is that cardboard Edward Cullen cutouts could actually be posing a health risk. While I don't think the swine flu is as big a deal as some people believe it to be and I'm pretty tired of our media (my colleagues included) running stories about clinics, there is at least some amusement to this story. Give it a read for a chuckle. Then go over there to the sink and wash your hands. If you've been groping an Edward cutout, then you really have no idea where your hands have been.

Now the real question is, would you be worse or better off if you groped the real thing?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

what to do, what to do

To my extreme disappointment, there is no snow on the ground this morning. I was really thinking that watching holiday movies last night and putting up my Christmas tree would do the trick. I was so, so wrong.

So now I really only have two options. I can go running in the frigid (but snow-free) cold, and possibly give my lungs frostbite. Or I can do some housekeeping with some laundry, cleaning, bill paying, and writing.

Neither sound that fun, which makes me really just want to sit around all day and procrastinate my last sports column and maybe read some more blogs. But that's certainly not helping my gut and it's helping my state of mind even less. Borders, maybe? Some coffee and pick-me-ups? If I go I'll end up buying a book. There's no way around it, even though I don't NEED another book. I have plenty, and they're all over there waiting to be read. Right now I'm getting cheery or something on Dickens' Christmas Carol. Good shiz.

On an unrelated note, I read a movie review by Heritage's 12-year-old movie critic, Ryan Michaels. Technically I think that makes him my work colleague. But he trashed New Moon, and pretty much all of Twilight. I wouldn't go so far as to say he's a Twilight Hater, but he definitely misjudges the influence the series has on a large group of people. So as a closeted (who am I kidding?) Twilight fan, it is my job to educate him. I'm going to write a rebuttal review that will finally hold this middle schooler accountable. Just because you're cute, kid, doesn't mean your reviews don't have to be good. The bliss period over your uniqueness is over. Now you answer to me...

To be continued...

Friday, December 4, 2009

holiday time!

It is OFFICIALLY December, ladies and gentlemen! That means it's time to break out the Christmas decorations! YayyyyY!

I already have a roughly 7-foot fake tree for our little apartment home and plenty of ornament bulbs and crafty ornaments that I made last year. All we need now is a place to hang stockings, some nice window stickers, and some cute little things for the kitchen table and such. And maybe some holiday pillows, blankets.

But what we REALLY need are to get into the Christmas movies. ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas has officially begun and I'm stoked out of my mind. I love it, almost as much as I love their 13 days of Halloween. I'm also hoping I can have my friend Tom over for some Elf movie viewing and snowflake making. In college, the winter holidays officially began with the Victoria's Secret fashion show. We would watch it while cutting out snowflakes, then we'd pop in Elf and watch that. The snowflakes we made would be hung from the ceiling as decoration for 1125 White Street's annual Winter Prom. It was sweet and I miss those parties.

So yeah, I'm excited. I also saw my first snow flurries yesterday while coming home from a Sharon Township meeting in Manchester. They were slight, but they were THERE!

Any chance we'll get blankets soon for a White Christmas? Here's hoping...