Wednesday, November 25, 2009

....and when I'm found in the desert place

First off: I refuse to cry at work.

But with a combination of exhaustion and stress and discouragement, it's a close call.

So I've been working on this story for the past month. Pretty investigative, at least compared to everything else I've done. And it was exciting for that reason - lots of information, lots of angles, lots of stress, but exciting.

Now, the story's written, with a conclusion and everything, but I need one more confirmation from an outside source that what the other source has told me is true.

That last source is in China.

I'm not.

Nor do I speak Chinese.

And when I presented this problem to my editor, he said, "I don't know what to tell you. You have to get through somehow, or we can't run it."

I've never felt so inadequate and hopeless and stupid in a newspaper setting before. I was doing so well - I was pwning! And now, I'm just...failing.

I don't like it.

Love always,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

when the sun's shining down on me

I've really got to say it. It sounds horribly egotistical and self-centered and obnoxious, but what the hell--

I'm totally pwning at life right now.

Seriously. I love my job. How many people can really say that? I was excited to go BACK to work today, after leaving for an hour in the afternoon. I want to go to work tomorrow, even though it's Saturday and I don't know what I would do with myself. I have this awesome editor who seems to have realized that I'm a fairly competent writer, so he keeps throwing stuff my way. [This is how it goes down: I'll be sitting at my desk, bored and waiting for China to e-mail me back, and Matt will lean back in his chair and POINT. "You. Wanna do this?" Yesterday it was "You wanna go downtown and try to find the guy who fell eight stories?" Um...YES. Thanks.]

But really - it's so exciting. And it's really encouraging to receive daily confirmation that this is the job I'm supposed to have. I am not destined for an Office Space existence.

Beyond that, classes are going great -- easy and pointless, but great -- and my design chief at the Daily trusts me and likes what I'm doing, and we're ramping up stuff for the DR trip this spring, and...I'm just happy.

Katie says it's like I'm making up for the crappy year I had last year. True dat, yo. And thank God.

Random side-note: Tonight, Roman and Katie were playing Scrabble. Roman was trying to get "slug" down. I'm so inundated with newspaper that when I hear "slug," I don't think of the slimy little creature; rather, I think of the one-word title you use to denote a story. Awesome.

What else is good...I'm going home next week! Mmmm turkey. And mashed potatoes and Disney movies with KaraLynn. And a haircut. And a queen-size bed. And no rain. NO RAIN. I'm so excited.

This is rambly. But that's okay; it's like 3 in the morning.

I texted my mom today (she knows how to text now, but still signs every message "Mom." Sigh.), telling her "BUY A PAPER!" She responded, "I bought 5!!! Mom."

Oh yeah - she bought 5 because my name was on the front page. Above the fold. PWNING.

It's a good feeling.

Love always,

Thursday, November 5, 2009


"Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last." - The Handmaid's Tale.



Paint me in white
white like the snow
pure, they say
of course

and I’ll paint me in red, red ribbons
like nail polish
Snow White’s lips
there’s that white again
white like innocence
like youth
a clean sheet of paper
white like flower petals
strewn on the floor

but the thing about white is
it doesn’t stay pure
I trampled the petals
I scribbled on the page
across Snow White’s lovely face, I
the red from my drying fingertips

red like war paint
like lust
like anger and shame and desire
heating my face
marking me
I can’t hide now

I paint me in red
as camouflage
as a signal flare


I'm scratching the skin off my arm.

Love always,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

and it's only a matter of whom, and it's only a matter of when

Quite an up-and-down weekend.

I went to Port Townsend for Halloween, reasoning that a scavenger hunt on little girl bikes would be more my style than a sweaty dance party in someone's basement. Rounding the bend on the bus where I could first see the paper mill spouting pollution into the air, I breathed a sigh of relief. (I then hesitated to inhale again, as the people I was sandwiched between on the bus both reeked of cigarette smoke.) But it was like seeing the first landmark of town, and it felt like coming home.

How did that happen? I lived in PT for two months this summer, and it feels more like home to me than Seattle does, even though I've lived here for more than two years now. But really - it was wonderful. I've been feeling particularly homesick these past couple weeks (mostly due to the flu; I always miss my mom when I'm sick), and I needed home. PT came to the rescue. I felt so welcomed, so missed...I'd only told one person that I was coming, so I got to surprise everyone else, and they were all happy to see me. What a beautiful feeling.

But then I had to leave again. I don't like leaving! I think I belong there. Even though I get completely fed up with their hippie crap, I love the openness, the generosity, the sincerity of the sentiment of "the more, the merrier." I need the small town. I need friendly.

Then there's the distress (or a new word I came up with today: distraughtion. Use it. It's gonna be a thing.) of being stupid and knowing it and feeling inevitable. I hate it when I don't want something to happen and then it does. How's that for a mood reversal?

Mostly, I'm tired of discovering things about myself that I don't need to know. I never used to think of myself as someone with low self-esteem, but it keeps slapping me in the face. So much of what I do is driven by my need for approval, for positive affirmation. When did that happen? And when do I grow out of it?

Let's get back on the positive. Things I love about PT:
--people playing random background music all the time
--the way the rain sounds during the night
--the sound of the church bells
--friends who are so excited to see me that they pick me up when they hug me
--absurdly frank conversations
--streets named after presidents and trees
--Water Front Pizza.

Still in a funk. What am I waiting for?

Love always,