Archive | September, 2011

J-Talks on G-Chat

30 Sep

Recently, one of my really good friends started a job in local news out in San Francisco. (Patrick, COME BACK!) As entry-level journalists, he and I have had some very similar experiences–rocky starts, doubts over whether we’ve made the right career choice, elation when we realize we have, and experiencing the ups and downs of working in news. We basically live duel lives.

Thankfully, he and I have been chit chatting via g-chat, and it’s really nice to have someone who truly understands what it’s like to work in journalism, who’s also not your coworker, or your boss. Usually, when I talk about work with people who aren’t in the media, they don’t fully comprehend what is really involved in the day-to-day business of my job. They don’t understand why I work until 9:00 at night, they don’t get why it’s crucial that they watch a piece I’ve been slaving over for weeks, they don’t understand the tiny minutia of making sure we have the picture of the guy in the blue tie, instead of the picture of him in the red tie. Plus, so many of my conversations end up with me defending my job, over cries that the media is too intrusive, that we make a big deal out of nothing…doesn’t anybody understand that that’s the POINT??

My job is basically my entire life, with any spare time relegated to getting to and from. It’s been tough keeping in touch and getting together with all of my friends, who have patiently listened to my moaning and misery, and then my elation and elan. Frankly, without them, I’d probably be blogging from room 4C at Bellevue if it wasn’t for their humor, their ears, and their comfortable futons.  Well, let’s be honest here…my sanity is most definitely dependent on their futons. Totally.


Dear God, Please Make it Sunny Again

28 Sep

Dear God,

Here’s the deal. I’m really, really, REALLY sick of this weather. My hair is sick of this weather. My summer/fall wardrobe is sick of this weather. It’s time for you to let the sun shine, and for the beautiful fall weather I adore so much to arrive. Last time I checked, I lived in Jersey, not the jungle.

I know I tend to ask you for a lot of silly things (like the time I begged you to make someone steal my car so I could collect the insurance money, or my daily prayers for a commute that’s less than two hours) but this is no joke. I am tired of the gray weather, the constant rain, and the disgusting humidity. Please God, make the sky turn that beautiful crisp blue and the thermometer drop below 65 degrees so I can wear my new tweed blazer. I look really good in that blazer.

Here’s the thing, God. People act really dumb when it’s raining, dumber than they usually do, if you can imagine that! (Of course you can…you’re God.) A rainy day means that people drive slower, make right hand turns slower, shift lanes slower…frankly it’s driving me insane. And then, when I finally get to the city, people are doubly preoccupied with the difficult task of holding an umbrella and walking at the same time! I hate to admit this, but more than once I have contemplated poking someone with the tip of my umbrella, which is rather sharp. Fine…I’ll admit I think about this a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

So God, please. Give me fall. Give me sun. Give me one day without frizzy, unmanageable hair.

Love always,


A Heel-High

26 Sep

My daily walk between the port authority and my office is about 25 blocks, which is usually done at a breakneck pace because I am either:  a. running late or b. excited that I’m actually going to be early. This makes the prospect of wearing heels a definite no. I think the highest heel I usually manage is two inches, and it’s a wedge.

However, my cutesy little flats are not giving off the air of an accomplished professional woman, and because I literally wear the soles off, they’re not really in the best of shape. While I haven’t gotten to the ultimate in lameness—wearing my sneakers with work clothes—I figured I needed to step it up. (Ha. Ha. Ha.)

A few weeks ago, I also attempted to wean myself out of my flats, only to discard my heels for flip-flops at 9:59 am. This morning however, I wore flats to work, and then changed into heels, before deciding that heels are HORRIBLE AND THEY HURT LIKE A BITCH.

Not to be deterred, I made a little trek to the Duane Reade this morning and came out with the thickest insoles I could find. My once uncomfortable heels now have an orthopedic amount of padding inside, allowing me to strut my stuff without wailing in pain!

The great thing about wearing high heels is the elevated level of confidence they give you. Instead of padding down the hall in flats, I clop across every tiled surface just to hear the satisfying clicking of heels against tile. I feel mature and look more professional. This is certainly the way to start a Monday! Let’s just hope reduced blood flow doesn’t get in the way of a repeat performance…that six inches of padding is cutting off the circulation to my toes!

Illustration by Rebecca Pry.

Sick Day Duldrums

23 Sep

Yesterday, I was feeling under the weather and decided to stay home. After passing out the night before, forgetting to turn on my alarm, oversleeping, looking at my unwashed visage in the mirror, and feeling my brain pound against the outer rim of my skull, I made the executive decision to take a bunch of Advil, crawl back into bed, and catch up on my shows.

And thus began the longest day EVER. Usually, my day is split into several chunks of time: 2 hours for my commute, 3 hours of work before lunch, 4 hours of work after lunch, and 2 hours to get home. When faced with an unbroken swath of time, the hours just drag. Even though I woke up around noon, eliminating those first five hours, the afternoon crawled by, a seemingly endless expanse of time that Oprah no longer fills. I watched Glee, read a book, searched the internet, practiced piano,  took a nap, read some more….and it was only 3:00! By dinner, I was going absolutely stir crazy–my poor mother knew I was feeling better when I started singing her my dinner request. “Eggs with mushrooms, la di daa, is so good in my bellyyyy.” Yea. That definitely happened.

I just have a really hard time managing free time these days–an hour doing nothing is pretty much an hour wasted in my book. Even when I’m not feeling well, I expect myself to operate at high-octane levels. I just feel I need to make up for all the time I spend at work and getting to and from. Granted, I’m not the Tasmanian devil at work either–there are plenty of days when I’m not exactly making the most of my workday, but at least I’m getting paid for that!

Thankfully, I’m feeling better today. And thankfully, because it’s a Friday, the office is quiet and I can catch up on what I missed with limited distraction. And then it’s the weekend….two whole days of free time! I better start planning now!!

People Are Cranky Today

20 Sep

Phew, it’s only Tuesday and people are already in their Thursday afternoon moods! I walked into work this morning to a scowling security guard, rode up in the elevator with someone fighting with their boyfriend, and ran into a coworker racing down the hall cursing under his breath! Then, the printer ran out of paper, sending another coworker into a flurry of irritation. Seems like today might have been a day to wake up on the other side of the bed!

I, on the other hand, am in a rather good mood today! Possible reasons:

1. Traffic only gave me a partial headache this morning, instead of the usual full-blown migraine

2. I like my outfit

3. My hair looks good

4. I got into work on time

And that’s pretty much all it takes, apparently. Give me a good hair day and a semi-taxing commute and I’m as good as gold! But don’t think I have any plans to flaunt my good nature in front of all the sour-pusses in the office today …when my coworker started pounding the printer in frustration, I simply said “It’s one of those days,” with a sympathetic eye roll. I do not want to be at the receiving end of anyone’s printer-pounding-spurred anger. I’ll keep my chipperness inside, and savor my mood until it too sours. A perfect coif doesn’t last all day!

A ‘Grizzly’ Dream

15 Sep

I had quite the dream last night, and after spending the last hour attempting to interpret it, am sufficiently freaked out.

In my dream, I was taking a walk with someone, and suddenly see a grizzly bear. I start running away, and it starts to chase me. The person I’m walking with tells me to put my hand down, so I hunch over and basically drag my hand on the ground. The bear’s nose is right next to my hand, and the second I go to stand up, he nudges me. However, as long as I stay hunched over, the bear seems perfectly friendly. I walk up to my street, and the bear is gone. I start running, but the bear appears at the bottom of my street and starts running up the hill towards me. So I once again hunch over. Then I woke up.

Ah. Woah. While I am the queen of over-analyzing, dream interpretation is not exactly my forte, so I left it to the pros (ahem…Wikipedia). The great mystics there said that being chased by a bear meant I was facing an obstacle in my life that was giving me a sense of competition, possibly making me feel threatened.

Uh, HELLOOOO–that’s my ENTIRE LIFE. I’m surprised I haven’t been dreaming of bears every single night for the past 15 months! However, the past few weeks have been particularly stressful because I’m reaching the end of my contract here and am once again faced with unknowns completely out of my control. I’m applying for a job along with a ton of other people, attempting to banish all daydreams of actually getting said job, and am DYING TO FIND OUT ABOUT IT. It’s left me a bit wound up.

I’m just thankful I didn’t have my dad’s stress dream–he once dreamed he killed someone. Yikes! I think I’ll take those bears any day!

September 11

12 Sep

I’ve been thinking a lot about this date over the past several weeks. At work, plans for an anniversary special were in the works for months, and last week, I spent every hour of my work day completely immersed in footage, photos, and video recordings–day in and day out, it was an emotional overload.

They say seasoned journalists learn to block out the emotion and do the job, but I’m far from being that experienced, and it was tough. It was tough to watch, tough to hear, tough to make the decisions on what to show and what to cut. At the end of the day, I was left feeling sad and overwhelmed by the horror of that day.

I was just 13 when it happened, really too young to feel the true gravity of those events. I felt sad on the anniversaries because everyone was sad. But now, as I get older and see the names of people barely older than me who lost their lives on that day, I’m struck by the enormity of such a loss. Now, as someone who has lived and worked in New York, it was a powerful feeling to walk those streets yesterday. The sense of pride in this city, in each other, was heartwarming and genuine.

Watching our show last night, I was also proud to be a journalist. Honoring the people who died on that day, and the people who survived, was emotional, but it was also important. I felt lucky, once again, to be a part of it, in some small way.

Obviously, September 11 is a day no one will ever forget. But it is also a day to recognize our good fortune, the lives we have, and the opportunities we’re given. Someone on the radio this morning said it well: “It should be a day to remember, but also to laugh, and live. They would want that for us.”