Friday, May 20, 2011

New Blog

Maybe it's time to start a new blog. I don't work in the newsroom anymore. Too many new faces. Now I am a snake oil salesman. I still write stories for the paper, but I don't sit at my desk there anymore. I miss the old newsroom. I miss the chaos. My life is more serene now - I guess change is part of being here.

So....I'll start a new blog. I just have to think of a name for it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tales from the Cryptic

I haven't been blogging because of changes in the newsroom and I haven't had the heart. Ryan isn't here anymore...and nearly everyone is really sad about that. I have seen good times and bad times in here. Some things remain constant, like Jeff over there in the corner that I adore even though he drives me crazy...and Brendi behind the desk out front...and Candise in layout that always brings a ray of light to my day...and Safina in the ad department and Teresa in accounting...good friends all of them. Those people are like a comfortable t-shirt or a good pair of boots that has taken years to break in and get just right. Having them around is comforting and makes me feel good. They are family.

But there has been a lot of change in here in the last month or so. I saw it happen a year ago when Michael and Emily left, and I'm seeing it again now. I won't comment one way or another...but suffice to say I will likely be finding another blog subject - if I continue to blog at all.

There is big change in the air all around - not just here. Life was cruising in the same direction for a very long time, then this year it suddenly changed direction...and fully went the opposite way. Many of the changes are good...and some are not so good. I'm learning things aren't always as they seem - even when they seem to be all right.

I know this is cryptic and weird...but that will change too. Sooner than later.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Add a little fire to the mix.

We've been cooking with gas in the newsroom today. There was a big fire that started in the trailer park on Davis and spread down to the West Elementary bus barn and ran next to the Collegiate Station housing. Jeff went down when it first started, but then Patti and I went to take a look-see and snap some photos when we heard a mutual aid call go out over the scanner.

No one was hurt, but there was a lot of destruction. With the drought conditions and high winds it could have been a lot worse, but our firemen (along with firemen from Clinton, Custer City, Thomas and Hydro) were as fierce as the fire and had it under control before it burned more than it did. Pretty amazing stuff, really.

I wrote a story about how our school superintendent was bravely trying to stomp out the fire (along with other bystanders) as it approached the school, and was nearly overwhelmed. Our brush pumper truck had just run out of water and the flames were spreading like...well...wildfire. My editor and I watched in horror and began screaming for the men to get out of there because a gust of wind made the fire lurch around them. Then, just like Superman, a Clinton brush pumper came bursting through the black smoke and began spraying foam around the stompers. They literally arrived in the nick of time.

Quite a day, really, in the land of red dirt and tornadoes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Random quotes from the newsroom today:

"Kirby, if you scream in my office I'll pull your hair" - Brenda

"I only sneeze MAN sneezes!" - Jeff

"There are starving children in Africa and you're throwing away food! Give me those pretzels! What would your mother say?" - Jeff
"Beth (referring to my Moma), we know you're up there listening to this" - Patti

"I am American. I speak American." - Ryan

"Anything you cook with butter, you can put it in. You can put it on your your's awesome." - Kirby

"Quit back talking me today!" - Patti "I love it when you yell at me though." - Kirby

"Today is my day for stating only the obvious. Elton John is gay and this song bites." - Me

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Occulist

I'm not blogging from the newsroom tonight. It's been rough in there the last couple of days...I have wanted to hide under my desk until the madness passes but...

Sometimes change can be hard. Especially if you like things the way they are. For some reason all this reminds me of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby". Giddy fun in the beginning until the eyes of God see everything.

I suppose that doesn't make sense to anyone who hasn't read the novel. Or seen the movie.

So, my boys and I are cooking up a pan of vegetables, drinking a glass or two of red and listening to Etta James - and feeling nostalgic for better days.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Foolishness.

We got in trouble for being too loud in here today. Our publisher said he couldn't hear himself we sit, silently proofing pages and suppressing giggles like third graders.

Writers aren't known for their maturity, sobriety or personal hygiene.

It's Friday, and the weekend edition is nearly complete. It's been a stupendous week. I liked all the stories I wrote...which doesn't happen every week. I kissed my elbow in celebration.

Jeff and I got into a screaming match earlier today over gun control. It was of our better fights. My Aunt B. came in a little later to bring me a magazine with a whole page of dog quotes in it and I was yelling at Jeff at the time. She nearly turned around and walked back out.

But there is a great love in the newsroom. I mean that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Diabolical Plans

This afternoon I am hatching several diabolical plans involving paper clips, a typewriter, a cherry pie and a lawman from Texas. Heh heh.

Seriously, though...some guy brought in some kettle corn for the newsroom today and a couple of us have eaten enough of it to be a little bit sick. Ryan has been on the phone all day. I got in trouble because I yelled at Jeff to shut his mouth and didn't realize Ryan was interviewing on the phone at the desk next to me. Actually, he thought it was kinda funny, too.

Ryan said no one wants to talk to him today - in or out of the office. He said nobody likes him for some reason. Actually, we all love him, but he's having a mini-pity party over there by himself so I'll leave him alone. I won't point out that he's been talking to people all day.

Jeff just said out loud "I am so gay." We are aghast. Someone better tell Mandy (his girlfriend). Really, would be fun to have a little diversity in the newsroom. Unfortunately we're all white, straight and crazy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Princess of Chaos and Cotton Candy

There is nothing new in the NEWsroom. Nothing. Ryan continues to sing and make curious hand motions to all the songs being piped in on the network playlist, Jeff continues to argue with everyone, Kirby is up to her usual antics, Patti is pissed off at her machinery and verbally threatening to throw it against the wall and I am staring out the window - dreaming of cotton candy and pretty pink princess tiaras.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Screaming about Boobs.

Poor Brenda.
The entire newsroom was yelling at once (Jeff was reading about Hooters and telling Patti it has everything to do with March Madness sports and everyone joined in the screaming match) and Brenda walked in and hollered over everyone with complete exasperation in her voice: "How am I supposed to quit smoking when I have to deal with you people in here?"

Friday, February 11, 2011

No more Whitney Houston, please.

Ryan is behaving like a 10-year-old. He's singing the enormously annoying "I Will Always Love You" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" at the top of his lungs (complete with cheesy hand motions and high-pitched voice) and now I have a monster headache. (It might have been different if he were singing the Dolly Parton version...but no). Furthermore, he just poked a hole in Kirby's Styrofoam cup that contained her peach tea, then began laughing manically.

It's Fried-Day in the newsroom.

Patti just asked if we need reminding about Red Ribbon Week (for drug awareness), and threatened to write warnings on the white board if we don't shape up. She is working really hard over there, trying to get the paper out by 5 p.m. because she and I are going to the jazz festival dinner and program at 6 p.m.

TGIF. And warm weather is on its way....
And by the way - I do adore Ryan. He is a constant source of entertainment.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Men and their parts.

CLASSIC snowbound day in the newsroom. Ryan is singing at the top of his lungs (rather badly, I might add) and Brenda just yelled from reception "Could you guys please turn that down. It's horrible!"

Patti has little balls on her snow boots and she just said they were going crazy. Ryan said "mine do that sometimes too," then got so tickled with himself he rocked back in his chair, threw back his head and laughed long and hard.

I just stared at him.

Jeff said "I would have said something about scratching them." Sheesh. Sports editors. Easy to generalize there.

Ryan is about to be slapped around the newsroom. He's saying I can't hear a thing when people are trying to talk to me and they have to throw objects at me to get me to pay attention - but somehow I can hear him whispering something negative about the habits of women. Hello. I told him he'll learn one more (very useful) habit women posess called SELECTIVE HEARING.

We're getting done really early today. I'm psyched.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hey Toots!

Ohhh...there's a storm rolling in - and the newsroom is getting antsy. Ryan is trying to get in touch with our local EMS service but can't get anyone - so Jeff told him to just dial 911.

Patty got bossy with me because she caught me on my email while I was supposed to be writing. So when I finished my good-sized story in under 45 minutes and did a long cutline to boot, I said "there's your story AND your long-assed cutline, Toots." She laughed and said she likes to be called "Toots" because it makes her feel frisky. Then she blushed and her face and neck matched her red shirt.

I'm waiting for our local postmaster to return so I can ask about mail delivery during the winter storm. I'm not holding my breath.

It's getting dark and scary outside. I think it's gonna be a bad one.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Ahhh. Monday in the newsroom.

Ryan is sitting at his desk with his arms crossed, staring into space. He said he's tired. Then he added "or maybe I'm just crazy."

Patti is finishing the front and jump. As of today she has her own music at her desk - and right now she's listening to Bon Jovi. That's our Patti.

I told Kirbs I'm which she replied "awesome" (sarcasm dripping from her upper lip).

Jeff Rob the Heart Throb is gone for the day already.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Romper (news)Room

It's Friday and the newsroom is afflicted with a strange form of kerosene induced dementia because for some reason the pressroom people think they need to stay warm so they fire up an ancient heater that reeks and kicks the noxious vapors right into our sanitarium.

Brenda is broadcasting "drunk squirrel" from her cell phone. I'm sick on hot buffalo wing Bugles and trying to figure out a way to plug my nose and ears with rolled up notebook paper. Kirbs is crunching ice. Jeff is verbally poking at Patti and I offered to kick him in the neck. Patti is alternately yelling...then bursting into manic laughter. The ad department folks are poking their heads around the corner to see what the ruckus is about. Ryan just walked in with his ear to his cell phone (he's interviewing for a story) and promptly walked back out because it's too loud to hear anything in here. Brenda just asked the newsroom "did you guys drink at lunch or something?"

Well, duh.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kerosene Cocktails

It smells horribly of kerosene in the newsroom this afternoon. . Apparently the press room has fired up its kerosene heater and they are stinking us all out - and causing a rash of annoying headaches. Writers with headaches = trouble, right here in River City. We've discussed going across the street to the 117 Bar to take refuge.

We've also discussed the possibility the press room people may be manufacturing molotov cocktails with kerosene and printer rags.

It's been an agonizingly long week. This cold weather has everyone cranky - which is not normal for the newsroom. We're normally a fun-loving lot...but not for the last four days. We're sullen and we eat constantly and we're swearing more than normal (and that's a LOT of swearing).

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hornet's Nest and Creepy Clinton Guy. Neither one is good.

Tomorrow we're supposed to have a huge winter storm, so everyone is preparing for it. We're going to have stew here for lunch, and I will be helping pick people up and drop them off because of my monster 4-wheel drive truck.

The impending doom has made for a very quiet newsroom today.

I don't even think Brenda could get us stirred up today. She likes doing that, from time to time. She has been warned not to stir up the hornet's nest, especially right before 5 p.m. - but I think it provides too much entertainment for everyone else when everyone in the newsroom is yelling.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sweeping up after the dark.

It's a new year - and this is the first post of 2011. I'm glad to see 2010 go.

But...I'm going to try blogging again. The newsroom is just too interesting to NOT write about - and the people in here - Patti, Jeff, Ryan, Kirby, Brenda and Candise - were the glue that held me together through everything. They are still helping me stay stuck together and not come undone.

Ryan just came in announcing the death of John Wayne. We told him John Wayne probably died before he was born. He said "NO! John Wayne just died in the movie I was watching!" He was really irritated.