California, here we come

What happened since I last posted (it’s been a crazy few weeks) :

I finally made it to San Diego (via driving from Portland, Ore.). I had to cross some mountains in Ashland, but the Soul Train and all my stuff made it. Fun fact: the highest point on the I-5 is in the mountains of Ashland at 4310 feet. My mom ended up taking the wheel for most of California driving after I seriously got freaked out. It’s so true what they say about LA drivers–they do drive fast and crazy. But now that I’ve been in San Diego for two weeks, I’m getting used to the driving style (speed limit is obviously a suggestion — I’m driving 70 in the “slow lane” and I get passed all the time) and getting around and figuring out where everything is. And I had my mom for a week to help get me settled in, which was also fun. My condo also came with a roommate! She seems chill and awesome and I think we’ll work out just fine.

I love the weather in San Diego. It’s sunny, not too hot and just perfect. I think being in places that have not-so-great weather (Portland and Lexington, VA) makes me appreciate it even more. But at the same time, I refuse to freak out over half an inch of rain. We just got some rain (less than an inch) a couple weeks ago, and people kept calling it “a storm” and I kept thinking, “Oh please. Let me bring you to Portland and you can see how we get “mega storms” half the year.” On the day we got some rain, there were also many accidents. Newsflash: you can’t drive as fast when the road has water on it!

I also jumped headfirst into a new gig at a local TV news station that already has me working hard. I will end up writing for both the newscasts and the site, so I’ll be swinging both ways. I just finished up my two weeks of broadcast writing training and now I’m about to start training for the Web. YAY. I’m so amped on that. Web is my main deal — especially multimedia projects (for which there are opportunities). It gets crazy and stressful, but the good news is that it’s never boring.

But not like it was a completely painless transition: some goodbyes never happened. Some weren’t as meaningful as I wanted and some people haven’t quite grown up yet. As much as I love how everything is exciting and new and an adventure, I miss mostly people, but some things like no sales tax, homecooked lumpia, delicious microbrews and evergreen trees.

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Because I never say it enough…

Facebook, from when I went to Germany in 2007

I always told myself to recognize when I’m happy. I feel like our lives get so busy and crazy and there a million more things that make us say, “f my life” that we forget what it means to be joyful.

Today, I went to church, learned something new and now running with it.

I cleaned and rearranged my room for the new year, and I finally hung up my picture frames. I had picture frames full of my college friends and my study abroad adventures and since I’ve been back home, they’ve just been sitting in a pile on my floor.

It took me forever to hang them on the wall because I didn’t think I’d be there for very long. I’d think, “Oh, I won’t be here for long, so what’s the point of hanging them up if I’m just going to leave?”

So instead of enjoying them, the picture frames just sat in a pile. Until now, when I realized that I just need to enjoy whatever situation I’m in. It might not make sense, but it was kind of a big deal.

Then I decided to go for a run by the waterfront, which is the best running spot ever (seriously PDXers check this out), especially in the fall, when the trees look like they’re on fire and it’s reflected on the water. It’s gorgeous.

I drove to waterfront and was about to start running when I was interrupted by a phone call from a long-lost friend, which was completely worth postponing the run after a day of phone tag with a friend I haven’t talked to in like 3 years.

After a very good long talk, I finally started running, put on my music and the most perfect songs I actually wanted to hear played on shuffle as I ran.

And then I got a new 2010 calendar (not this one unfortunately, but something little more sophisticated).

I love it when my days are just full of infectious joy. Absolutely love it. The even better news is that it can last! You choose to create joy in your days, regardless of what happens.

Only in Portland…

…can people feel it’s okay to leave your boss tearful voicemails explaining you didn’t go to work last weekend because you were so exhausted from being “really stoned.” REALLY? Who would tell your BOSS that? Apparently someone (who is a 26-year-old U of O grad) from my job just did that. Hilarious.

Maybe Portland is one of the few places where it’s cool to do that (seriously, anything goes here–otherwise, you will be accused of being a Republican). Living here is a love-hate relationship. I hate living with my parents. But I love not paying sales tax. I hate not being near any of my friends. But I also love not paying for anything. The list goes on.

Oh, and while I’m at it, I’m loving the Portland-speak dialect. It’s full on rad.

Local news, served fresh. Now pick your variety

In Portland, where I’m at, you can have your pick of news websites. You got your Oregonian, Mercury and Columbian. Portland’s a top 25 market, so you’ve got all four major network affiliates represented and ready to give you news: KATU (ABC), KOIN (CBS), KGW (NBC) and KPTV (Fox). Plus, Oregon Public Broadcasting rolls out news and so does Neighborhood Notes, a hyperlocal blog.

My automatic instinct would be to reach for a newspaper site. Blasphemous and traitorous, I know, since I’m interning at a TV station. But one limitation we have at the station site is our stories (and this could apply to most TV station sites) lack the depth that a traditional print site offers readers.

Either from quick VOs and VOSOTS in the newscasts or reporters’ 1:30 packages, the script is boiled down to only the essential bits of information, since there’s no time for anything else.

It’s just the nature of the medium, and the fact that web staffs on TV sites seem pretty lean across the board, so there’s not enough time nor energy to churn out a more in-depth version of a reporter’s story or a VO.  Or even sweet interactives. NOTE: this only applies to what I’ve seen in local TV outlets, not the giants like CNN and FoxNews.

But, counters my web boss, TV station sites have easier access to more visual elements than newspaper sites. Compelling video is literally a couple clicks away, which is great for the majority of the population that is visually-oriented.  Our CMS has 4 fields with each blank story for inserting whatever video you can possibly imagine. Plus, I don’t think newspapers would send out a photog with a reporter automatically.

Just something I’ve been thinking about, because I have time to do that.

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta (and also back)

So since the last time I posted, so many things happened. In no particular order (except for maybe loosely chronological), here we go:

Finished the in-depth reporting project

indepthshot
At my university, all journalism majors (professional sequences, so print and broadcast tracks, not mass communications people) must take a six-week in-depth reporting course in the spring. Teams of three to four people report on one topic of importance to the community and put together a website with multimedia elements and also mini packages. My group’s topic was the county landfill closing in 2012 and the preliminary plans for the county’s trash. It wasn’t the most urgent or pressing topic, but it was interesting to see how a landfill works. It was less interesting to wade around through trash and flies to get that good sound and pictures of a compactor.

But finally, after countless late nights in the J-School, it is finally finished and sexy. I’m happy with it for the most part, especially the colors and the header graphic.

Graduated from university

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(photo courtesy of my friend’s dad) I finally did it! I now have a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and History (though the BA stands for Bad Ass). My degree is framed somewhere in my messy room. I never thought I’d admit this, but I miss college already. Or, I actually miss my college friends already. It sucks not having them 5 minutes away and more like 2,000 miles. That’s the worst.

Started my summer internship for a TV news station in my hometown
It’s been good to me. I’m not a broadcast girl (sorry De) after discovering that I liked the Web side better (and after Fahey or someone telling me that I have a great face for radio) and that’s where all the news is going to end up anyway. Thinking ahead. At my internship, I’ve been basically a web producer for the station’s website for the past month or so, repackaging broadcast elements into something a little more readable and print-friendly with clearly the chillest people in the newsroom.

Apart from the web desk, I sat on the assignment desk for a few traumatizing times (seriously, 5 police scanners going crazy freaks me out a little), went on a few shoots with reporters and photogs (hilarious and outrageous times), logged interviews, gave scripts to anchors and pretended to be a reporter and read things off the prompter to help with some training thing. Oh, and I work nights, so I never see my friends, which sucks.

But being in the newsroom itself is just great. I hear the most random stuff (today: “THE POWER OF REGIS!”) because I always pick the worst time to eavesdrop on a conversation. Working on that. People at my internship are so different and their own characters interacting is so entertaining that this experience would be great fodder for some sort of The Office-esque sitcom. Once I ride this through, I’m going to conceptualize and pitch this. It will be epic and make me lots of money because maybe I’m not the only one sick of cop shows on TV (except for Law & Order: SVU, obvs). It will be called something like “The Newsroom” or something like that. Watch for it.

PS: I am now on LinkedIn, hire me please if you’re a media company on the east coast.

live from Portland, it’s thanksgiving break!

Finally, a quick breather before the finish line of Christmas break!

And I almost didn’t make it. I left on Saturday morning, flew to Atlanta, then Minneapolis (Minnehhh-soooohta, you betcha), then finally to Portland. On the way from Minneapolis to Portland, my flight disappeared from the monitors. Tiny freakout ensues. Then I reexamine my itinerary and it says my flight is now on another affiliate flight, but my boarding pass still says it’s on the original one. Oh airlines, you could at least get it together. 

I really love being home right now. Yay for home-cooked meals (my mom just made the most AMAZING bean soup), healthy and organic food that you can’t find in my college town (I ♥ Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods; they’re also cooking our Thanksgiving dinner because my mom doesn’t want to cook it herself), and my mom is using the wood stove to heat our house instead of conventional means (I’m not sure how much energy that saves, but I guess it’s cool if rustic is your thing). 

This week, I get to finish an art history paper, finish reading Swallow Barn (the mind-numbing, gag-reflex inducing tale of happy slaves in their wonderful world of slavery, a lawsuit over the “Apple-pie” region, and a really cliched love story in Virginia), and write a paper on that, and write a paper critiquing the New York Times code of ethics. Whoo. But I’m so not thankful for all that work. 

Okay, let’s Swallow this Barn.