It is exactly 1 week since I arrived back in Universitytown, and I have to say that it's going swimmingly. Universitytown and I go together like Britney and cheetohs. Like Gin and my mouth. Like Stephanie Nolen and South Africa (I might rip off your blog, MC, but I will always cite my sources. Heart.).
I'm sorry I haven't had time to update my blarg this week. I have literally been dying of stress and exhaustion, my laptop is still in the crapper, and I tend to pass out as soon as I get home from work. So...ya. Shorry.
But!! Work has been going really well! I really like it at Universitytown newspaper! They work me like an asian child in a boot factory, but I've been told this is what internships are. And luckily for me the paper just had a round of layoffs before I got there, lost about half of their newsroom staff, and yours truly gets to reap the benefits. I have had 8 articles published in my 5 days of work, and 3 of them have been feature cover stories. This isn't so much a reflection of my talent as it is a reflection of the decimated staff at the paper, but hey it works out for me. Clippings! Fame! *or not
But it comes at a price. I show up at 9am (I DO Fauxhawk! Fuck you! There was ONE morning where I was late and Hawk now likes to tell everyone that I don't show up before 10. Bastard). Anyway, I show up at 9. I drink at least 6 cups of coffee throughout my day. If I'm lucky I have time for a cup-o-soup at noon, otherwise I suck down a granola bar at lunch at hope it sustains me. It doesn't. I run all over the city to get interviews and cover events. On Thursday I had 3 events in the same day. I was at the paper until 9pm getting them filed. I go to the bathroom to lean my head against the toilet paper roller and take deep breaths at least twice/day. I read my words out loud as I type them. I'm not the only one. Journalists are a weird bunch. I work through dinner. I answer the angry emails and phone messages that disgruntled readers leave for me. I read the positive comments and weep gently. If I have time, I reheat my coffee. If not, I chug it cold and pray for journalistic brilliance. I file my stories, meet my editor to go through them and see just how many typos I made, and then fix the typos and refile. I stumble home anywhere between 7pm or 9pm. I am fed by TigerCat, otherwise I put on pjs and lie on the couch in a state of delirium until I can no longer stand consciousness.
But I like it. I like being a reporter. Here are some highlights from my week, good and bad.
Fame and Fact Errors
- On my second day I tried to file my story without help. I was very proud of myself. I managed to locate the group "For Wednesday" file in the communal e-files. I dragged and dropped my slain cop story into it. I leaned back and awaited my due praise.
Editor: WHERE IS THE INTERN??!
Editor: I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU FILED YOUR STORY, BUT NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!
Turns out that I had somehow dragged the "for Wednesday" file into my own personal files, which meant that no one else in the news room could access it. At deadline time, not a single other person in the news room could file their stories, and editors couldn't access the stories that had previously been filed. The IT guy had to be called in to fix it. We're getting to know each other pretty well.
- On Tuesday I got sent to do a story at the Zellers. At 7:30pm. I was supposed to wait to do an interview with the president of zellers. At 7:30 I met him and he told me to wait for him by the service counter while he did a tour of the store. This tour took him 90 minutes. The service desk had a "dancing, singing, talking Elmo!" doll turned on for the entire time. After 10 minutes of "Elmo will tell you a story!! Elmo is a monster! Elmo likes to stretch his little legs like THIS!" I was homicidal. After 90 minutes I was delirous. It was like being in Dante's 7th circle of hell. And, after all my waiting, the president literally ran away from me after his tour. Literally ran. I never got my interview.
Fireman Story Does Not go as Hoped
- By the time Friday rolled around I was pretty much dead. As usual, I was working late. All I had consumed that day was 7 cups of coffee and 3 timbits, so at 7pm I wasn't feeling too wonderful. I had a massive, awful headache. My brain was literally splitting. This is a problem when you have to write two more stories before you leave. I got the feeling that this was a common work hazard when my editor walked over and asked me why I was being so slow.
Editor: WHY ARE YOU SLOW??
ThePeach: *screams* I'm sorry...I have such a bad headache.
Editor: COME TO MY OFFICE.
ThePeach: *screams* Ok.
In the office, the editor opened a desk drawer and rummaged through about 10 bottles of pills before he selected one, popped off the lid, and handed me 2 white capsules.
Editor: TAKE THESE. THEY'RE CODEINE. THEY'RE STRONG.
ThePeach: You're offering me...codeine?
Editor: TAKE THEM AND GET BACK TO WORK.
ThePeach: *screams, swallows pills*
Editor: DON'T PASS OUT. WE NEED THOSE STORIES IN AN HOUR.
The pills worked beautifully. I wrote my stories, edited them, and skipped to the car when Fauxhawk picked me up. Only in a newsroom would a drawer full of narcs be normal.
- After work on Friday I decided I needed to make up for my week of stress and hermit-ing. The night started with a bottle of wine at dinner. Then it progressed to the gin at the bar, the vodka at TheCrazy's house as we sang karaoke, and the intensely strong pot at CockDoc's until 5am. At one point TigerCat changed out of her bar clothes and into a grey sweatsuit. She looked like a hobo. We made fun of her. 5 minutes later she ran out of the bedroom in a hockey jersey and sweatpants and screamed "I IMPROVED!!" TheCrazy and I also wanted to improve. I spent the rest of my night dancing around the house in a pair of man's gym shorts, a jean-shirt, a tie, and a cowboy hat. TheCrazy wore a lumberjack shirt, rugby shorts, one rugby sock, and a pair of control-top pantyhose on her head. At one point we managed to squeeze TheCrazy's entire torso into the pantyhose. We literally pulled them down to about her hips. She had to walk around with one of her arms stuck straight up, and we tore a hole around her mouth so that she could drink. I'm not sure why or how this happened.
TheCrazy took my boobs out. I saw TOP's tits, which are truly tits of power. At 5am FauxHawk took me home, where we ate an entire pizza and then raped each other until sunrise.
That was week 1.