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.


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.


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.



So I was in a bad mood this morning.

Lack of sleep, being late, deadlines and no coffee in the breakroom and do that to you. That, and watching your money disappear down the drain...

But I think I am over most of it now. Though I do still need the coffee, I've almost fallen asleep twice while sitting here despite the music blasting on my headphones.


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).

I made the front page.

Of the Boulder City News.

Exciting stuff.


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.

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.


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.

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?


Rearranged my class schedule.

For the fifth billionth time in the past two months.

Mondays: 10 a.m. - Econ, noon - Journalism, 1 p.m. - Choir
Tuesdays: 9:30 a.m. - Italian, noon - Core Humanities, 1 p.m. - Choir, 2:30 p.m. - Journalism lab
Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - Econ, 11 a.m. - Core Humanities discussion group, noon - Journalism, 1 p.m. - Choir, 4:30 p.m. - Voice lessons
Thursdays: 9:30 a.m - Italian, noon - Core Humanities, 1 p.m. - Choir
Fridays: 10 a.m. - Econ

The whole "only one class on Friday" thing kinda drives me crazy. But it's better than getting up for an 8 a.m. class twice a week...

My goal is to not overwork myself next semester.

Hahahaha. As soon as I typed that, all I could think was, "Right." In a very sarcastic tone.

And I still hate that choir is only one credit. Grr.

I love pitching story ideas.

I love even more when the editors like them :-)

What I'm currently working on/following:
• The two little girls who helped create a resolution that passed in Congress
• Shriners Children's Hospital feature
• Education trends in CCSD/job fair
• July 4 celebration for this year-round school

Huh, I just realized everything I do/think about is education-related. Works for me, I like kids.

Also, am completely addicted to the Carrie Underwood CD and the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. Just a random note.


The future of journalism.

So I've finished my story for the day, and I'm sitting here observing my fellow journalists, all of whom had to sit through this session with a guy from the Washington Post about multimedia journalism and how to apply it to your paper.

And damn, do they all sound so bitter.

"This is something we could never do."

"He basically wants us to give up on thoughtful journalism, pick up a video camera and act like idiots."

"We'd have to double this newsroom to pull that off."

There's one hopeful voice among the crowd.

"It sounds very exciting and informative, and I look forward to the challenge."

So this is now going to tie back into Mike and Annie's thoughts last weeks on this very subject...

It's interesting how one of them thinks this is going to kill his journalism career. He didn't even sit through the entire meeting. Rather, he left early, disgusted with what this "30-year-old know-it-all" had to say. OBVIOUSLY, if you've only studied print journalism, that's all you should have to focus on. OBVIOUSLY, the Web is a bad thing. OBVIOUSLY, he shouldn't care or give a damn about it because this isn't ever going to affect him, and if it does, he's quitting.

Then there's all the people who think it's interesting, but don't think they could possibly pull it off. It would take too much work for any one person to report and figure out how to present the information in a different format.

This is coming from professionals who have worked at various news outlets for years.

And this is what I have to say to them:

Get over it.

Stop whining, you big babies. This isn't going to kill your careers and if you try hard enough, you will be able to pull it off. It's called versatility and flexibility.

The future of journalism is here, and if you don't accept it for what it is, you will be left behind. You'll be thought of as old-fashioned, with no innovation whatsoever. Your protest of this is what will bring the end for you.

Print journalism and online journalism can co-exist. They can enhance one another. They can bring about ways of creating new venues for information that will appeal to both print readers and Web surfers. Multimedia isn't scary - it's interesting, it's exciting, it's a new way to tell a story.

You still want to get the most relevant information to your readers in the fastest way. You still need it to be concise and well-written, well-designed and well-packaged. The packaging just looks different that what you're used to.

The rulebook hasn't changed. It's just expanded.

Newspapers can still and will continue to exist. There's a feeling of ink smearing on your fingers, a feeling of seeing something on a printed page, a feeling of finality, that the Web can't reproduce.

It's not like with new technology, "old" journalism is going out the window. The world still needs people to report and interpret for them. The world still needs journalists to find the stories that will make a difference.

The world still needs you.



So I got bored about half an hour ago, and was on a friend's MySpace, where a quiz asked, "How many of you are there?" You enter your name, and it's based on U.S. Census Bureau statistics. Apparently, I don't exist.

And because my curiosity was piqued, I tried looking up a few other people and found I wasn't alone in my non-existence.

Then I did something I haven't done in a while - I attempted to google myself. However, I forgot to type the "a" in my last name. I ended up finding a girl who wrote for the Harvard Crimson who has my name without the "a" at the end.

Anyway, that's my random story.

In other news...

1) Went to the Fashion Show Mall today. Miracle of miracles, I didn't buy a thing.
2) Went to Target the other day, and did buy a book. "Middlesex." Won a Pulitzer and was recommended by Oprah. I've read a couple pages so far, seems pretty interesting.
3) Am feeling rather "blah" lately.
4) Need to catch up on history reading. I believe I have a paper due in a week or so.
5) Am fond of the "Next Blog" option at the top of the screen on Blogger. It allows me to randomly come across other people's worlds. But there are a few downsides...blogs come in languages I don't understand, there are people who have the most horrid spelling and grammar in the world and every once in a while, it leads to a porn blog. :-\


What I love.

I need to keep reminding myself that I have a life.

I need to remember everything I love, and I need to remember to let work be and to not let it consume me.

I love journalism, but it cannot just be about journalism.

What I love besides journalism and anything journalism related:
-musical theater
-reading novels
-talking and hanging out with friends
-writing (songs, stories, etc.)
-roller blading
-ice skating
-watching television
-watching sports
-family time
-reading magazines

I have so much I want to do with my life. I do have a life plan, I just worry that sometimes it's too restrictive. I think about internships for next summer, and then I have to remind myself that I'm not doing an internship next summer.

I'm going abroad next year and I cannot reason myself out of it...and funnily enough, I have to reason with myself to do that. I will be working for the rest of my life anyway, and if I want to leave the country, now's as good a time as ever.

And then there's music. My biggest excuse is, "I don't have time for it."

But I do. I just have to make time for it. I may have to force myself to sit down at a piano and learn music and do my vocal exercises. But in the end, I think it's worth it. I really do, even if it feels like torture sometimes. To me, everything worthwhile feels like torture sometimes. That includes journalism, Italian, music, learning...everything.

I can't just be an observer of life.

I need to be a part of it.


No more lists!!!

I don't have to focus on the calendar, blotter, In the Classroom, Around the Valley, births, obits...the responsibilities have been shifted. I will be doing more writing with briefs and stories, and Courtney (the high school intern) will be doing all the stuff I just listed above.

I'm going to help out, of course, when she needs it.

But this does make me feel better. No more being primarily an editorial assistant! Woohoo!

Moving forward technologically.

This link will now allow people to subscribe to online updates of the Greenspun publications.

They're a little behind on the times...okay, a whole lot more than a little...but you give them credit for trying.

I've heard discussions of a Web site from a few of the editors...the new Summerlin managing editor used the phrase "when we have the Web sites up and running" and the old Summerlin manager laughed at him and said, "Knock on wood."

It's just odd, because at the Sagebrush, we're talking about all the interactive multimedia features we're going to have on the site rather than just putting everything from the paper product on the site, and here, the idea of just having content on the Web is just that - an idea.

The contrast between the two publications is interesting, especially considering that we're the college newspaper and they're the professional one. And if I had more time, I would sit here and compare the two more in-depthly. Is in-depthly a word? Oh well.

I think if they got around to hiring a Web team, then they would be just fine. However, I know that they're just hoping to keep staff numbers up too...so for anyone who knows someone looking for another journalism job, let me know, I get an e-mail every other day about positions that are open in this company.

Anyway. I am about to spend my morning searching for briefs. Ain't life grand?


Can it be?

An assignment that requires me to go OUTSIDE of the office and do some real reporting?

Am I dreaming?


I'll be working a late shift on Friday...noon to 9...BUT! I'm going to Boulder City to write a story on this awards banquet.

This excites me beyond words, you have no idea. The prospect of not being at my desk all day besides lunch is just one of the many reasons why I love journalism in the first place.

And now, I finally get to put that into practice at my internship.

Plus, I get free dinner at the banquet.




On the complete set of the "Sex and the City" DVDs...

I know, I know. I was going to save money to pay for insurance and gas in the fall and for my trip abroad next year.

But it was $150. Okay? The entire set for $150. And it came in this pretty case too. I was only going to buy a couple of seasons, but I felt it was a deal.

And this means that when I am bored/depressed/lazy/sappy/etc., I can plop down and watch any of the seasons for whatever mood I'm in.

Besides, that thing typically costs $300. So therefore, I saved money, right?


And even if you think I'm wrong, let me believe.

P.S. I have decided I am waiting for the "grand gesture."
And no, I have no idea what that is.

Update: Today's horoscope - Virgo: Instead of spending money on frivolous items today, buy something that's an investment in your future. It'll pay off in the end.

Huh, it's about 24 hours too late.


It's official, I will be speaking with Congresswoman Shelley Berkley sometime during the next week.

I think I'm going to see what I can do about bumping this story of mine a few weeks ahead, because there's an event going on that deals specifically with it at the end of June.

The story on the bicyclist crash came out to maybe 4 inches. Not a lot happened, it was just a standard write-up. The guy from the public info office at the police department was funny though - after I ran through the info I had to make sure I got it right, he was like, "Yup, the people from the Pulitzer office will be calling you any day now."

He used be a reporter for the Sun.

Good ol' journalistic (AKA cynical and sarcastic) humor.

I'm not so busy today, because of the new intern's help. It's nice not to have ten things to do on my plate.

Also, finally got a copy of the 2006 AP Stylebook. I'm now waiting for my copy of the Sun style guide, then I should be good to go.

P.S. Counting column inches sucks.


"So are you a part of the Apple Poppers too?"

The new managing editor is from the Times-News, and he knows Nick and Garrett because he hired both of them. He found out I go to UNR and work for the 'Brush too, and asked me if I knew them. He then proceeded to ask the above question (because I guess Nick put it on his resume).

I told him I just watched, and he said that it sounded like a good stress reliever.

Then he said, "That's quite some school you all come from." A compliment, I'm sure.

P.S. For those of you who don't know, the Apple Poppers is a club started by the Sagebrush guys - they proceed to hit apples with golf clubs and smash them into tiny bits. It usually happens in front of the office and once on the JTSU lawn during the club fair. I tried once, but since I don't know how to swing a golf club, the apple did not "pop" nor did it fly very far (that is why I just watch).

First hard news story here.

I'm writing a quick story on this bicyclist being hit by a car this morning.

Haven't done this before...I'm trying to think of what questions to ask the police...

Also, there's a new intern. She just finished her junior year at Green Valley High. Seems to be pretty nice. Maybe I have someone else to go out to lunch with now.


Today will be a slow day.

-Watch the rest of "You've Got Mail." It's on right now. I love this movie.
-Look up background info on the Shelley Berkley thing so I know what questions to ask.
-Catch up on all of my history reading because the midterm is Wednesday. Why did I want to take summer courses again?
-Haha. Good quote. "Why would you want to meet somebody you're crazy about?" Again, "You've Got Mail" is one of my favorites.

I need to get out of this house for a while. Maybe my lack of a social life when I'm home is self-imposed...oh well.

I was pondering the meaning of journalism yesterday, and eventually, I'll type all of that up and put it on here. But I'll save that for later, I think.


If only.

Pretty apartment in SoHo near Central Park

Wouldn't it be nice?

I'd be content to live there for a few months if that's all I could afford. I think it'd well be worth it.

It's times like this when I'm all..."Oooh, big city"...and I wonder what would have happened if I had gone to NYU after all.

I know one thing. I'd be in a huge amount of DEBT. And completely different experiences.

Finances = having to be more realistic about dreams.

Oh well. Maybe someday.

Besides, I don't think I'd trade what I have right now for anything, dysfunctional as it is at times.

Photos courtesy of craigslist.


Both a bad day and a good day.

Alrighty, so today was half crappy and half good.

For the first part of the day, I felt very frustrated, and then I felt like crying because this copy editor (yeah, yeah, same guy I've been complaining about since day one) challenged my ability to juggle my workload and meet deadlines.

I know I shouldn't have taken it personally, but it hurt. My plan was to go and mope about it during my lunch break, but that didn't happen because I never took my lunch break.

Go on and say it now - "Jessica, why the hell didn't you take your lunch break?"

Well, so I could get everything done. This morning, I did birth announcements. Then I got an e-mail from said copy editor telling me that I had to redo In The Classroom because I didn't have enough info for it. But first, I had to get a hold of someone from Cox Communications for a brief. Then I had to scramble for education news briefs and education stuff in general for the Summerlin editions, which is a pain, because one, there aren't that many schools in Summerlin to begin with, and two, summer vacation started yesterday.

This took up the entire morning and into the afternoon.

When I finished that, I had to do the blotter for three different areas in town. Finding the info was easy, formatting it was not. It was icky to figure out exactly how everything should be. And then my computer starts being a pain in the ass by giving me the little rainbow thingy that means it's processing slowly. So I had to restart the computer.

Then once the blotter was done (it's now 3:30 p.m.), I had to work on the Boulder City graduation story. That turned out to be crappy as well, because it turns out whoever sent me the fax forgot the last three or four pages of the program, thus making it impossible for me to finish said story.

Then my editor asked me to count all of the ad space in the newspapers. Each newspaper. 8 newspapers and all of their ad space. Seriously.

And that is where I am left at now.

So what could have possibly made this a good day?

Well, first off, I got a very nice and encouraging text message from Rachel, who saw the thing about me wanting to cry. It made me feel a lot better after dealing with the copy editor.

Next, I pitched a story idea about education job trends in the valley, and tying it in with this job fair going on in a couple weeks. Editor liked the idea, it's now on my budget.

I also got this really cool story assignment about Shelley Berkley and this resolution the House passed about women's suffrage that was started by a couple of kids here in Vegas. I think that'll be a good historical and personal lesson for me.

And finally, I got this phone call from a reader who saw my manga article in the paper. She wanted to ask me more questions about it because she felt very interested after reading it and wanted to send her niece to the event because she (the niece) is an aspiring artist. She then said it was nicely written, and asked how long I had been a reporter.

It just kinda goes back to how people really are out there reading your stories that you thought were insignificant and Mike saying how they do appreciate what you do, you just don't hear from them all that often (see "Quote of the Day").

Anyway, I haven't eaten in 12 hours and I have to set up an Excel worksheet before I head home for my "ad space counting" project. So I'm off.

I don't know who makes the coffee first thing in the morning.

But whoever it is, bless their soul.

If they have one, anyway.


This is the way the world works.

In terms of how the "media" deal with one another.

1) Company hires a PR firm to do all of their marketing and press relations.
2) PR firm supposedly does that and get paid a lot of money to do that.
3) Firm sends out press releases to the news outlets and never include enough information.
4) News outlets call firms to get the information - firms take all day to find it.
5) News outlets eventually get something out based on the original press release.
6) Advertising people don't appear to do much of anything at all from one side of the newsroom to the other (This was thrown in because I felt I was leaving them out).

Here is how this applied to my life today:
1) A press packet arrives through e-mail, is printed out and handed to me to add to the calendar. This is one of my projects for the day.
2) I go through and add all the information I have to the calendar. This takes an hour.
3) A nitpicky copy editor goes through and finds all of my mistakes and demands more information that was not provided in the first place.
4) I call the PR firm to give me info. Get the answering machine and leave a message.
5) PR firm calls me back, and the woman gives me information on a different event I'm doing.
6) I ask for the calendar information, and she thinks about and says when SHE did the press packets, she ALWAYS included that information.
7) I ask again for the info.
8) She says, "I'll get an intern right on it. It'll be their new project."

I totally know how that intern will feel when they find out about their "project" tomorrow morning, seeing as how it was mine in the first place.


You know those days where you have too much to do, because five billion different people who obviously haven't spoken to one another give you a task?

This is one of those days.

I am taking a two minute break from this to figure it all out.

To-do list:
• Boulder City graduation story. Needs to be done today. Need principal to call me back.
• Henderson Scene corrections. Needs to be done today. Also need to make additions.
• Education briefs for Summerlin. Should have been done three minutes ago, but the press release for one of them is lost.
• In the Classroom for Henderson and Summerlin. Needs to be done today.
• Birth announcements in the northeast part of Summerlin. Needs to be done today.
• Go over story assignment on Shelley Berkeley with the deputy exec editor. He'd like to meet today.
• Pull issues for the Suburban Newspapers contest.

First story.

It's in the Arts and Style section of the Henderson editions that came out today.

And if we had an electronic archive, I'd link you to it. But since we don't, here is a copy of the page...I had to open the InDesign file in InCopy, PDF the page, open the PDF with Preview and export it into a JPEG format. Sheesh. I think it's readable.

Oh, and for the record, my computer made the page look funny because it doesn't have half the fonts they use. Click to enlarge, of course.

It's pretty nifty, because underneath my story, you can see my phone number and my e-mail. It makes this desk feel a little more permanent.

Anyway, I need to finish typing lists and then start on this story I have about Boulder City graduates...


Not done.

How many newspaper contests can there possibly be?

The Suburban Newspapers of America has one...

Which means I have to pull issues again for contest entries.

Not nearly as bad as NPA...but I still have to go through the boxes.


Grad school.

So after talking with this girl I work with during lunch the other day, I'm suddenly considering the possibility of grad school. It was a thought that I had in high school, but dismissed when I got to Reno.

And now it's back.

A couple thoughts are floating around in my head...

Everyone has a bachelor's degree, and that's why it doesn't really matter where you get it from.

And I know that it's all about the experience you have that will get you the job.

And it would be horribly expensive.


It's just a thought to consider over the next couple years.

P.S. I think I use the word "so" to begin a lot of my sentences. BUT according to this one editor I was talking to, it means I have a more conversational style when it comes to writing. I can definitely go with that thought process.


How sad.

So while writing obituaries, I noticed that some of the names seemed to be repeated.

It then dawned on me that two people from the same family died with days of each other.

I don't know these people, and chances are I'll never meet them...but I just feel like sending my own personal condolences to them. I can't imagine what they're going through.

It's like what Ryan, my J102 professor, said - if there's one thing you don't ever want to get wrong in the newspaper, it's an obit. It's that person's last little piece in this world, and something for the families to have.

It just kind of puts everything into perspective.

Obits and blotter.

We could pretend I'm moving up in the newspapering world with these duties.


Oh well. You've gotta start somewhere.


I really want to clean this desk.

It's just got all this stuff I want to get rid of...budgets and Post-Its and folders and even an unopened drink...all not mine.

I mean, I am by no means an organized person. However, when it's not my stuff, I'd prefer it to be put away or at least stacked in some sort of nice pile.

However, I have no idea how long I'm going to be at this desk for. I was told I would be the "nomad" for the summer and probably switch computers every couple weeks.

But it bugs me that there's so much random crap that looks pointless to me. The most I can do is organize my stuff, and kinda put all of her stuff on this little shelf (whoever she is, there were three other reporters that sat her before me, one who's working for the Sun now, one who was nominated for some reward and one who got a phone call today and I had to say she doesn't work here anymore).

I think I'll do that tomorrow, first thing.

Update: So it was the last thing I did today, but I did clean it. I've got all my folders fixed, I've got my calendar for June taped to the desk, my map of Vegas on the desk next to my weekly schedule, all of the various colors of Post-It notes lined up, my pens and pencils in this little container, the stuff in the plastic shelves are organized...I didn't get to behind the computer yet, that's for tomorrow morning.

Blah, I sound so anal.


So if you're a stupid philanthropic and educational organization and you keep the meaning of your name "secret" and you don't have any listings for contacting local chapters because "we don't give out names and phone numbers", why the hell would you send out press releases to announce the good deeds you've done?

The one phone number I did have led to a doctor's office answering machine. And when I called the "national chapter," that woman went on about how I can't be calling requesting that kind of information.

I just want to know how they picked people for their scholarships (which they spelled wrong on the press release, by the way).

I feel rather bitter this morning. They have this woman's name in the press release, and I found her in the white pages. Should I call her? Is that too invasive?

I'm going to do the other briefs for now, and if that woman hasn't returned my phone call by the end of it, I will just call the number I do have and ask her to put me in touch with someone. Hope she isn't angry that I found her, like that one time I called a doctor at her house...

I appreciate it when people get back to me ASAP.

Because it makes life much less complicated on my end.

And I hate bureaucracy.


Story ideas.

Courtesy of Calvin and Hobbes. I think it's great. And very, very true.



I'm done with contest entries!!!! Woohoo!!!

Well, sort of. I have to put them in envelopes now.

But you know what? That's it! This feels great.

And it happened right as I ran out of tape and arrows too.

Now I remember why I like journalism.

I like the editing process.

Weird, huh?

I like going over stories with an editor. I like knowing that I have a "good story," but that my editor thinks it can be better, and I like working on it to make it better. I also like it when I'm treated like a fellow reporter, not some kid who doesn't know what she's doing.

I dunno, I'm just kinda content right now. The coffee kicked in, the story is done and needs a few organizational revisions (as always with my stories), I got my first paycheck and I think the arts and style editor's a really cool guy.

I have an hour to do corrections, so I'm going to get on that right now.

P.S. The following sentence will probably define my journalism career for the rest of my life - "I hate leads."

In order of importance.

1. Get coffee. Lots of coffee.
2. Finish story by 10:15 a.m.
3. Type up the scene list.
4. Finish contest entries.

So random thought before I go crazy. All the sports guys have such nicely organized desks. Same with the copy editors.

Then you get the news reporters and two of the editors, and it's all haphazardous piles of papers and notebooks from there.

One more random thought. You know what really bugs me? When people think I don't know what I'm doing.

"Do you know the numbers rule?"

"You know, it's okay to do double spacing in academia, but in journalism, we don't do that."

No shit, Sherlock. I'm just slightly bitter about that. I know he meant well and all, but it felt like he was talking down to me.

"Poor little intern, she doesn't have a clue what she's doing."