Thursday, July 30, 2009

Overworking and loving it

So the newspaper wears on you. In the past week, I have definitely worked more than the 8 hours per day I'm supposed to, mostly because I didn't take lunch when the President of the University of Oregon was speaking at a luncheon nearby, or when I needed a story (or two...and a photo) done first thing in the morning and I don't get done with interviews until about 4. It's a lot of work, and most people don't realize how difficult it is on the other side of the presses.

Most of the people in that newsroom are writing for crappy benefits (that will hopefully also be my crappy benefits...I'll nurture them with care), and working many more hours than they are paid. And it's not often we hear good news from the readers. If we don't hear a complaint, we take that as a good sign. It's not often a rewarding or satisfying job, because usually someone must complain.

There are only so many hands to type stories, take photos, copy down quotes and lay out pages. We can't be everywhere at once, which means we'll miss something once and a while. Or a lot. And we might forget about that event this weekend, because the fair has taken over our lives, or football season is about to start. Please don't yell at us -- we appreciate your polite reminders, though, because we really are there for the readers and the public, whether you believe we hate you or not. We try so hard to please everybody, and even though you know that's impossible, you still complain. 

But that means your reading. And that, folks, THAT, we truly appreciate.

I actually haven't had a complainer yet, although I got one polite reminder that the newspaper forgot about a huge garden show this weekend (which wasn't even my fault). But I have heard a few raves about the coverage at The World and how well they do supporting local businesses and events. It makes me proud to be working for them, with as much as I've heard from my story subjects. Fingers crossed that my employment continues upon our return from Canada.

Man, I'm tired, and I love it so much. Thanks for letting me be in the newspaper business.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Early days

Finally John returns from the camping trip and finally we can organize the place that at one time looked like a man in his 20s lived alone with two cats. Oh wait.

The place is starting to look a little better, although maybe still a little college-esque, but we figure we'll want to buy bedroom sets and things that match, so we're not throwing money into something that we're not going to use later. Besides, I'm fine with sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

As John closes down with Summer Academy, I'm just beginning work. 40-hour weeks might be a little much right now, especially since in journalism, 40-hour weeks generally mean 45-50-hours. Especially when this is a trial for a permanent job and I have to go above and beyond. But I can see the sports writing in the distance, so I'm pushing through.

Everyone here has been so nice. We actually met a lady who owns a cute shop downtown who lived in The Dalles for 20 years, so we had a good discussion about the differences and similarities between The Dalles and Coos Bay. What a small world. My interview with a retired lady out in Allegany turned into a drive through her tiny town, meeting people and learning about the area for three hours. She was so nice, invited me inside for a Pepsi and gave John and I so many fresh veggies and garlic that we almost don't know what to do with it all!

Right now, we're just counting down the days until we get to go on our honeymoon. We definitely deserve a week away to not think about anything, but it might be difficult to put out of my mind that the fate of my job will be decided when we get back. And we still have so many thank you cards to mail, name change information sheets to fill out and so many things to switch over and share. I can see why women don't change their names anymore...not because they're crazy feminists, but just because they make it far too difficult.

We couldn't have had a better first weekend as a married couple. It's been a long time coming, and it feels so relieving, and I'm sure he would agree.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Driving home from the airport, I was sad. It was the final move to breaking away from my parents, knowing I'll only be around to visit, as all adults do when they get married and move away. It felt strange and almost crushing, especially since I was only coming home to a couple of cats.

But as I was driving home, I pumped up the Essential Johnny Cash albums as I drove through dense, wild and beautiful wilderness, felt the air get colder as I approached the coast and saw the fog roll in through the tall pines, and I knew I would be okay. Change is difficult, especially permanent change.

And as I sit in a quiet apartment, poorly lit but comfortable, and possibly too expansive for a single person, I feel the change moving through me. Although the marriage is nothing more than paperwork to announce a relationship that felt like marriage from the beginning, I feel more alive and adult than I ever have. But that doesn't mean I'm fearless.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thoughts on marriage

We get married in a week, and many people seem to think that marriage is a chore, a boring necessity, a burden. I think the Bible says everything I feel about marriage, and I think I can speak for John as I quote this:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

We are made perfect in love, and there is no fear. No cold feet, no worry, no concern that this permanent decision may one day backfire like so many marriages in today's society. No thoughts that one day our love may fade, whither up, or die. This is the best decision of my life.