Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eine deutsche Nachricht

Ha! Nur weil mir langweilig ist, habe ich mich entschlossen, eine deutsche Nachricht zu schreiben. Vielleicht sehen einige diese Nachricht und melden sich, haha. Wer weiss, wer mein Blog häufig liest? Es ueberrascht mich immer, wenn ich irgendeine Geschichte erzähle und der Zuhörer zu mir sagt: "Ja, ich weiss schon, ich hab's von deinem Blog mitgekriegt".

Heute habe ich Kekse mit "Trail Mix" (einer Mischung von Nüssen, trockenen Beeren und Schokoladenplätzchen) gebacken und sie zum Standard-Times Bureau mitgebracht. Die ganzen Mitarbeiter scheinen total begeistert zu sein und haben schon die Hälfte davon gegessen. Es macht mich stolz, dass ich etwas backen kann und es mit meinen Mitarbeitern teilen. Noch besser ist, dass ihnen mein Backen so gut gefällt.

Heute abend baue ich zwei Seiten der Zeitung auf: Seite 3 und Seite 7. Seite 3 ist die "Second Front" Seite, und Seite 7 ist die "SouthCoast" Seite, das heisst, beide bieten örtliche Artikel, auf die ich noch warten muss. Die Seiten sind schon im Prinzip aufgebaut worden, und ich muss nur die Artikel durchlesen und in die Seiten einsetzen.

OK, enough German. Dinnertime.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A whale of a paper

It may be a while tonight at work. I was assigned four pages tonight, two of which are done. The other two I have to wait for, because they are throw pages. The Portuguese president came to visit New Bedford and Fall River today because they have the highest concentration of Portugese-Americans in the entire country, and you can imagine The Standard-Times is milking the story to its fullest extent. I'm designing Page 2, where the "throws" (or jumps) for the Portugese president stories will go. Two reporters are out now covering the story, and they (stupidly) left with the president's press entourage and are now stranded at UMass Dartmouth with no ride back to the paper, so the night reporter had to go out to get them. That should put things back about another hour, because then they have to finish the stories, develop the photos and get everything sent in to us. Then it has to all be edited and plopped on Page 1 and thrown onto my page, which I can then lay out. All this on a Friday!

At least I have the weekend off. It's supposed to be nice, so perhaps I can hit up a beach or two and take some more lovely photos. I have some from before that I should put up soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

OK. The decision has been made

... I'm so moving to Providence later. I've concluded there's everything here -- even a culinary museum! It's a city after my own heart. I plan on visiting the museum tomorrow. Until then, make way for me sometime next summer, Providence, because I'm hoping to make you my permanent residence.

Friday, June 08, 2007

... and then there were four

Lieven left us this morning, so now there're four roommates left in the house for the summer. It was sad to see him go. We got along, I thought. At least now the living room will be inhabitable, because Neel can move into Lieven's room.

There was a bit of a scare the other day when Lieven and Jen didn't come home one night after they went flying to Nantucket. Turns out the alternator on the plane wasn't working, so they had to land in Hyannis, Mass., and stay the night. The next morning, they finally got the plane to start, and took off back to Providence. Andrew and I were a bit worried, to say the least, but luckily, Jen showed up a couple minutes after I text-messaged her, and the potential crisis was averted.

As for work, designing is becoming easier and easier, and subsequently I've been receiving more and more pages. Tonight (Friday) is an easy night (as most are, I've heard), so I only have two pages to do, and they don't need to be worked on until later. One is a jump, or "throw" page, which gets done toward the end of the night after all the stories have been placed on the front page. The other is a "slop" page, which fills up space in Classifieds, so I only have a strip of two columns on which to place two stories and a standalone photo. (Sorry if this doesn't make much sense to you nonjournalists out there.) At any rate, designing constantly has given me room to grow exponentially in ability. Pages get done quicker each night, and each night they also look better and make me feel prouder to have made them. I'm really thankful for this internship: Copy editors these days need lots of design experience to get a good job, because more and more, as papers have to cut staff to save money, copy editors must serve as designers as well. Gaining this experience now will only benefit me later, when I begin searching for jobs.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Back in Massachusetts ...

I took a field trip today to New Bedford, Mass., to see The Standard-Times building and bum around the town awhile. I didn't realize that Sundays were such dull days in Massachusetts. Practically everything (except a few restaurants) were closed that afternoon, including The Standard-Times itself -- from what I could see. Will my job be a Monday-to-Friday thing? That would be nice to have weekends off, but somehow I doubt that'll happen. It is copy-editing, after all.

So I walked around for a while and took in the scenery, if that's what you could call it. At least parking was free, and the drive there wasn't that bad. I got to traverse the bridge shown in Emeril's Food Network special about Fall River, Mass., where he's from, and where I pass right through on my way to work. From the looks of it, Fall River is a bit nicer (and larger) than New Bedford. I found the cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways quaint, and the wharf I saw was homey and typical New England fishing town, but something was lacking. People? Liveliness? Maybe tomorrow when I go to work things will be more on the up-and-up, and I'll learn to love New Bedford, even though I'll just be working there.

Perhaps it was the weather that left me hanging. This morning, I woke up to the sound of rain and small rumblings of thunder now and then. After a shower and coffee that had been left from when Lieven made it this morning (I assume), I began to prepare for my trip to New Bedford, and Lieven returned from a morning bike ride. He knocked on Jen's door covered in water. "You want to see a wet T-shirt contest?" he asked. "You better get up and see it quick!"

"I think you take first place in this contest, Lieven," I said, laughing, as he went off to take a shower. Luckily, the rain held off for the rest of the day, and there were even a few breaks of sunshine in New Bedford, but not enough to lift my spirits and fulfill my expectations of that quaint, sleepy little New England town I'd envisioned before my arrival. Where has the weather from this past weekend gone? Tomorrow is supposed to be even worse than today, with rain basically all day and temperatures around 65 degrees, as compared to the sunshine and 80-degree weather I'd enjoyed upon my arrival Friday.

At any rate, I snapped a quick photo of The Standard-Times building before heading back to Providence:

It isn't a very big building (not half as large as The Buffalo News), but I think that'll make things more social and interesting. I'm excited and a bit nervous to start work tomorrow. I'll leave around noon to make the 1 p.m. lunch time my editor and I had discussed. After that, a quick orientation and a bit of work on the copy desk, and an early night.

Another note: I'm working on the parking situation. The police still haven't questioned why I keep calling asking them not to ticket me when I leave my car on the street all night. I figure as long as they don't give me any crap, I'll keep calling until I find a more permanent solution. Tonight I searched Craigslist for parking spaces for rent nearby. I found three, two of which I've queried by e-mail. The third I'll probably call tomorrow or whenever I get a chance. I hope this can be resolved soon, so I don't have to keep bugging the cops.

And so, life in Providence goes on. I'm hoping I can get some time to take the bus to see Scott up in Boston. It's only about 50 miles away, after all, and I haven't really seen much of the city at all, except once when I was little and we went to see the gigantic aquarium there. I can't even remember why we went in the first place. We must have been passing through Massachusetts on the way to Maine or something. That's the only thing I can think of.

I can't wait for my first paycheck. Rent and an impending gas-tank fill-up are going to knock me lower than I'd like. Once I get a steady income and see money coming in again, I'll feel more at ease.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Living it up in Providence, R.I.

After about eight hours of straight driving (stopping only once in a sketchy part of Jersey to get gas), I finally made it to Providence yesterday evening around 5:30. Traffic was horrible going through the City all the way to New Haven, Conn., but I got to traverse the George Washington Bridge, which was an experience. Traffic jams were copious yesterday, which I assume is normal for that area, especially considering the wonderful weather and the fact that it was Friday. It was a good trip, though. I'm realizing the more I travel that the more I love it. Going random places, seeing random things, meeting random people -- it's a new rush that almost beats cooking.

So at any rate, I arrived flushed and exhausted at my apartment. I was surprised to learn how truly close it is to downtown. The roommates are awesome -- after last night, I think we're going to get along wonderfully. I just met them, and already we seem to get along very well. Last night we went to Waterfire, a weekly event during the summer in Providence, where they light fires on the river, and little gondolas ferry people up and down. On the banks, they serve food and drinks. I should have brought my camera and uploaded some pictures, but since it happens every week, I'm sure there'll be more times I'll go.

I finally finished unpacking all my stuff today and went grocery shopping. A new subletter is coming in today, and I have to be here to let him in and show him around. There are two girls (including myself) and two guys on our floor of the house. I thought it would be weird living with/sharing a bathroom with guys, but so far it hasn't been bad. The girls' rooms are on one side of the apartment (my room being very close to the bathroom and kitchen -- a plus) and the guys' are on the other. One of the roommates is a painter, and his stuff is hanging up all over the apartment. It's amazing -- when I first saw it, I was baffled by the talent he has. It's also awesome to have modern art right there in the apartment hanging all over -- and the artist lives right here!

The other female roommate, Jen, told me that we're only about 15 minutes from the ocean. I'm so excited about that -- I'll definitely be taking some trips to the beach this summer -- whenever I get the chance. I suppose they don't call Rhode Island the Ocean State for nothing!

The only issue I have to deal with right now is parking. There's no overnight parking in Providence (at least in the area where I live), and we only have one parking space at the apartment, so Jen and I are trying to work out the logistics of where I could park without getting a ticket each night. Too bad I'll be working in New Bedford and have to commute; the male roommates don't have cars and take their bikes everywhere, which I actually admire. Of course, they need rides when they go grocery shopping and whatnot. Everything is within reach -- either walking or a quick drive, and it's all very accessible -- no crazy directions or anything.

I start work at The Standard-Times on Monday. I'm coming in early, because my boss wants to take me to lunch before my quick orientation. I might even get to meet the managing editor and possibly even the editor in chief, he said. I'm excited about the job. After orientation, I go straight to work for the 5 p.m.-to-midnight shift. It'll be good to have an income again -- all this traveling and shopping for groceries and other needed items has put me a little bit under. Tomorrow I'll have to pay my first month's rent as well.

I think that's about it. I'm excited to meet the new roommate and just bum around Providence. It's going to be one hell of a summer.