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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oh, the new job is lots of fun!

It's life-consuming, but it's interesting and challenging (and you thought those were just meaningless words tossed around interviews), which translate into "fun" for my nerdy (not so) little noggin. I get to study! And they've given me homework! And quizzes! And I get paid! It's like school! But with with paychecks and benefits!

Next week, I'll be released into the wild -- tagged and monitored, of course. The week after that, I'll be run through orientation. The week after that, previously scheduled vacation will wash the newly acquired knowledge away.

I'm giving it another month before I feel steady enough to develop the daily rhythm for the new gig, and another month after that before it feels less like summer school (or summer camp) and more like a career.



Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today is day three of the new job.

Adam: It's the third day. You know what that means?
Sarah: I have to put out?
Adam: . . . We've been together too long.
Sarah: Yeah.

The job is interesting, and eventually they'll let me do it, but the past two days have involved HR paperwork and watching coworkers with longer tenure work. Eight hours. Of watching other people type. And since I'm not stalking anyone of them, it's not as compelling as it could be.

But it'll get better. Today they're letting me file!

The job doesn't quite feel like the job yet. I'm only about 1000 yards from the Journal, and I've had to make a concentrated effort to not turn into the editorial parking lot each time I've driven past. I keep bumping into former co-workers at Starbucks, and keep referring to my time at the Journal in the present tense. "On my desk, we do this" for example -- which makes it sound like I've died and this is the afterlife.

But let's not compare the new job to death. Let's compare it to attending camp: it's summer, it's an activity to get me out of the house and it's not school, but it doesn't feel real.

It'll feel real eventually.

And now, to follow in the footsteps of every other Albuquerque blogger, I give you the WaPo critique!

Washington Post reporter Sridhar Pappu opened a profile on former US Attorney David Iglesias thusly:

At 9 a.m. on the very edge of the dusty, desolate collection of adobe homes and Vietnamese restaurants that seem to form this city, David Iglesias begins his run through the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. This is not easy terrain. The footing is terribly uneven. The altitude can be unbearable. At certain times one can hear the grumbling of mountain lions and the feasting of coyotes.

There are so many things wrong with this lede. Like, dusty? Only in days ending in -y, but is that a problem? Desolate -- I don't think that word means what Sridhar Pappu thinks it means.

Webster's defines it thusly:

1 : devoid of inhabitants and visitors
[That booming population of 750,000? Is all in your MIND!]

2 : joyless, disconsolate, and sorrowful through or as if through separation from a loved one [I'm guessing that to someone from the east coast, we could all be mourning separation from using water with reckless abandon, but c'mon.]

3 a : showing the effects of abandonment and neglect : DILAPIDATED b : BARREN, LIFELESS c : devoid of warmth, comfort, or hope : GLOOMY desolate memories>
[No, no, it's a desert, no.]

And then he hits the pervasive stereotypes of Albuquerque: adobe houses and . . . Vietnamese restaurants?

That's a new one.

The lede further descends into histrionics with the unbearable altitude, and the descriptions of animal noises. Oh, man. Mountain lions scream, dude. The scream sounds like a woman. I know this, because there was a mountain lion den near my childhood neighborhood, and they liked to let loose with blood-curdling screams when they were picking off the house pets.

And the sound of a coyote feasting is less yummy huffing noises and more yummy huffing noises coming out of a city-issued garbage can. With loud thumping thrown in for good measure. Like a happy puppy rolling in trash, only not quite.

Or at least, that's how the west side coyotes roll.

I appreciate the reporter's attempt to throw in some local color, to transport readers to the Duke City and give them a glimpse of life in Albuquerque, but seriously, that version of Albuquerque is totally unrecognizable to the locals, and damn off-putting to anyone who has never bothered leaving the beltway.

Which means, now that I'm in the new job, I can say this:

Damn journalists. Always get it wrong.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

I know. Neglectful.

So, I quit my job. That was the big hush-hush, don't-jinx-it news. Maybe it's not the hush-hush, don't-jinx-it news that everyone is hoping for, but hey! New job! New challenges! New title!

I know!

I'll be an assistant editor for an unnamed company, which means I'll actually use the English degree for professional gain and profit. If I could, I would line up every person who warned me off the major and perform a version of the "I Told You So" dance tailored to their specifications. For instance, my dad's version would go, "I told you so, I told you so, I-I-I told you so, that'll be fifty bucks, please" with some Cabbage Patching thrown in for good measure.

It's almost enough incentive to dig out the sheepskin, wipe off that questionable brown spot and frame it.


Now I just need to survive my last week at the Journal without falling apart into a gooey puddle of panic. I've spent the last nine years here. Nine. Years. I don't know any other professional life.

Yeah, I'll get over it.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Changes are afoot. Big changes. Little changes. Changes which mostly involve collecting boxes and wondering where all this crap came from, anyway.

I need me some Bowie.

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