Report to Hartford. First one there. Chill in HR for too long, anxiously anticipating that first break into the real newsroom. Finally, up, up, up, fourth floor and an expanse more gorgeous than the nation’s corn belt: computers and papers and people, for as far as the eye could see, in the name of the HC and all that is glorious journalism. Tour, talk, orientate, and then off to our assignments: me, back to Middletown, for the largest bureau that will later reveal itself to include the Shore (“The ocean” in NE-er, my favorite piece of geography.)
Walk in at 10:30 a.m. My editor 1, the male bureau cheif, walks in at 11:15 a.m. Instantly know I’m going to like this job. Whilst waiting, bonded with receptionist Sylvia, 63, orig from NYC, who has a daughter named Laureen (two e’s) and is now my surrogate grandmother. 😀 <3. Bureau chief/editor 2 comes, the woman, and instantly I have two new parents. Strangely turn out like my parents: the guy will reveal himself, while a gentleman, to be very strict about all things journalism, while the woman, while enthused all the time, is very nice all around.
Get a double-byline with a willing mentor who is also a very good reporter and possible Pulitzer, I heard a whisper of that, as this bureau was honored with a 1999 Pulitzer but the authors remain anonymous after even a Google search.
The first story? Two Conn. kids, one former, were killed when their idling Sea-Doo was run over by a speeding catamaran. Driven by a powerful businessman. In a no-wake zone.
Called the Fla.-based family. It was interesting. I hate obits. I hate calling dead people’s parents and relations. I would never want that intrusion and I privately publicly apologize for our craft. I try to look at the part about honoring the dead by getting who they were into the paper. At least 15″, that is the best we can try to do for you, Mrs. X.
Found out the editorial cartoonist works in my office. Well, not really “found out,” a few of his cartoons are blown up around his desk and there’s a drawing studio along one wall of the bureau. More like saw. Met him. Very cool. Very Nate Allen in 37 years. Which is very funny.
Got assigned my own TOWN. Think the news beats on TSN rolled into one. It’s cool and keeps me kind of busy, but out here the towns are tiny, 5 minutes will take you across one. In Michigan, that’s your neighbor’s house. 😀
Go home happy
First real day
Report to THC at 10:30. Talk with “Ben” until 11:30. Ben is the other intern. He’s from Yale. He’s cute, a lanky Prince William. Emphasis on the Lanky with this one, ladies. Think body of Prince (their dad… George? Why am I blanking on this? The one married to Diana? Me = Dumb.)
Ben’s from L.A., goes to Yale after transferring from Princeton, is a skinny Prince William. He’s also: an anthropology major, not sure why he’s in journalism, and has not done much. Begin sharpening knives, please.
Make calls til 11:45/when the guy b.c.hief comes in.
Meet with police chief, eat at an italian joint with cheap lunches, hear some strange babble behind the counter that makes me think I’ve lost it, turn around a brief, it’s all gravy. Get to know my town a little better. Find out the area is like 75% Italian. And not like, “Italian.” Like, straight up gen.1/2 immigrants from Italy. Still speak the language. oh, and btw, they’re not from Milano. They’re from Sicily. Yep. That babble? Straight up gangstazza, yo.
Downturn of the day: Still don’t have an intern-y computer. Upturn: When I get a computer I will have my own laptop and docking station. Rock on that. Go home happy.
+ Bonus + Bond with roommates over too many Hoegaardens after work. Find out a “Nor’Easter” is coming to town, ask roommates, get laughed at too much, still not sure if anyone knows what a “NE’r” is. 😕
What goes up must come down
What no reporter wants to hear: “Well, copy just called, and it seems your story is totally wrong.”
What I heard at 9:30 p.m. after working for 4 hours to turn in a story at 6 p.m.: “Well, copy just called, and it seems your story is totally wrong.”
WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!!?!!?
After crapping my pants non-stop for 10 minutes and scrambling with my limited no-internet in my PJs condition, we discover, NO, I’m not going to be instataneously fired. There was a mix-up in copy and they didn’t realize this was a folo to a breaking story about how the bill was being reevaluated and not voided.
Je-sus. THE BEST PART is that the other editor, who actually read it at 6, (this is not the one who has been rock hard and called me at 9:30), had pulled me off another fluff story for this breaking news folo, I turned it around in about 4 hours, and when she read it, she said “Yeah, it was great, i just had to make minor tweaks. I’m not worried about you anymore.”
Despite earlier words, after the call, this night really sucked even with apparent resolution to the problem. Molly and I just drank, commiserating in our isolation, while going between AI and Ashton and it all sort of helped in the end. If I’m ever in NYC I know where the Hoegaarden is.
Just kidding about that…
Today was a good day at work, despite all my fretting from the previous night. Finally got my computer. Wrote two stories, one ended up in the town briefs but shit if it ain’t in the paper and technically on Page Two, even though that’s where all the briefs go so no glory there. But I slowly inch my way forward… I think for the most part the rough parts have been bumped over and now I have to dust that off and hit it full gear. I get to look forward to next week beginning Intern Sessions in Hartford with some of the Pulitzer editors, etc. Going down to the Old Saybrook (SHORE!) satellite office next week, and shortly helping Greg, an amazing reporter who wore a blue and orange swirly-patterned Versace Sport shirt to work with his newsboy cap (how chic/appropriate) and Paris Hilton sunglasses. Slowly falling in love, which of course would happen because he’s most likely ___. And
+Bonus+ Three day weekend of sleep on my own bed and an overnight trip to anywhere with large expanses of sand and “The Worlds Best Lobster” draws near.
Ciao darling. Too much Haveli’s at too much Bl$ng makes the eyes heavy. Best damn Indian I’ve had in a while though.
On that I leave you with anything Damien Rice.
Hugs and Misses Tons,