Friday, October 23, 2009

The worse part of bad things happening is accepting them as they are. You have to accept that some people will never change, they might never love you as much as you need them to, mistakes you've made might never be forgiven and dreams you've had since you were little might never come true. You have to accept that people that used to be in your life may never be there again. But accepting their indefinite absence and the underlying pain that accompanies that truth doesn't mean you have to lose hope. All acceptance means is that despite all of these misfourtanes, you have to keep going and you have to keep believing that it will get better. You have to keep believing that tomorrow will be different than today. It sounds a lot easier than it actually is, though. It hurts to let go of people that mean so much to you because at the end of the day, you want to have hope. You hope that deep down inside, they do love you. That deep down inside, they actually care about your feelings. But accepting that they don't, well that's enough to make you want to chug a fifth of southern comfort. What's even worse is not knowing why you can't just accept loss. I've known people -- members of my own family -- that are able to cut people out of their lives with no questions asked. Most people can when someone does something terrible to them. Some people even have a three strikes rule: first strike is forgiven, second strike makes you recall the "fool me once, shame on you" saying and the third time.. well thats the time to say fuck you, I'm done. Well, that's not how I work, apparently. Not when it's someone I really, deeply and truly love. Not when it's someone I deeply need to need me, or love me.. or just care about me. Not when it's my father.. not when it's my sister who throughout my life has been the only person I can truly rely on. Not when it's my best friend who isn't my best friend anymore because of a mistake I made when I was 15 but she didn't know until I was 19 because I lied about it. I keep forgiving them when I shouldn't and she won't forgive me because she shouldn't. She's a lot stronger than I am and a lot more stubborn than I am. She has the ability to cut people out of her life even though she still -- somewhere deep inside of her, though she'll never admit it -- wants them in her life. I wish I could do that. I wish I knew how to accept that she'll never forgive me and despite me calling her it, she'll never be my best friend again. So not only do I need to accept the people that have let me down but I have to accept that I have let people down. The people that I let down are only doing to me which I wish I could to the people who have let me down. Can I blame them? No. I accept it and do everything I can to never hurt someone again. To never hurt someone like I hurt her and never hurt someone the way they hurt me.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I have been having the absolute worst dreams. Within the last week, I've been a victim in a mass shoot out between an ongoing mob war, my car has been stolen by a young boy holding a lime green ed hardy bag, took a shower in this HUGE warehouse.. like seriously, I can't even describe this warehouse but it was a really scary place.. and a bunch of other crazy stuff I can't remember right now. They're messin' up my shit. I'm serious. I wake up really late because apparently the dreams are so overwhelming that I don't wake up. My dreams have made me wake up late almost every day this week. I know it sounds stupid, but, it's driving me crazy.

But, as for my waking hours, I just finished my first offical week as co-editor of the paper. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm actually not sure what I thought it would be. I knew it would be a lot of responsibilty, I would be really busy and stressed out. But, there are just so many things to keep track of. I think I'm doing a good job so far but I guess we'll see when the first issue comes out.. if we can find a layout editor in time. If not, I'm going to have to learn page design reeaaaal quick.

Ah. It's late. I don't know why I started writing this when I knew I had to go to bed. Psh. I'll write more tomorrow and let you know what crazy ass dream I had tonight.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am sure I've made one of the biggest mistakes. And that is not blogging the entire time I've been in South Dakota. I know I'll regret it when I want to remember exactly how I felt while I was here.

So, here is my last chance.

Today I went to work -- no surprise there -- and it was one of those boring days. These are usually the days I go into work without anything to do. I went to lunch early because I was so hungry I couldn't take it anymore. I went and shot a video, went back to work and read about the craziness surrounding Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and militia groups rising in the country. That got me really pissed off and I stayed that way throughout the day.

I came back to the dorm with full intentions of pre-packing to go home. I put this off until 10:45 because I was on facebook doing nothing. I really hate when facebook does that to me. So then I cleaned the dishes piling up in my bathroom sized sink, packed clothes I knew I wasn't going to wear, threw away bad food, took a lot of boxes to the recycling bin and packed the toiletries I don't need. It's not a lot but it's less than I'll have to do tomorrow or Friday.

First thing tomorrow morning I have to go on a video assignment. Then, I have to rush back the the office, call this guy to tell him sorry I'm calling late, I'll call you after lunch, go shoot another video, go to lunch with Chuck, come back, call the guy back, call another guy, start writing my story and then go to a listening post at Lewis from 4 to 6 p.m. with the exec. editor and editorial editor, all the while shooting video and taking names (and lots of comments, I hope).
THEN I have to meet this lady who used to work for Argus because she's selling me a digital voice recorder for $8. I can't turn it down.. not when it means I can make my very own soundslides whenever I want.

THEN, I come back to the dorm to do more packing. Then, with any hope, passing out for my last day at the Argus.

Hopefully by Friday night everything will be packed because I want to leave by 7 a.m. on saturday. Hmm.. if I drive 12 hours on Saturday and 9 on Sunday, I can get home by at least 5 p.m. Sunday night. MAYBE. I'll either be really excited to get home so drive even when I get tired or be so tired that I don't want to keep driving. I'll keep you posted.

So that's my attempt at documenting my internship.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just finished reading the last Harry Potter book. Now, I suppose, I'll need to buy another one. Actually, I should probably just buy my textbooks and start reading those. It has been an interesting day. It was one of those days when you can feel things shifting around and evolving -- or, feel yourself changing. I walked from my desk, across the newsroom when I, for some reason, thought of what I always said I wanted to be. Where I wanted to be. I might not have forseen being in South Dakota, but, I always said that I wanted to be at an internship. An internship, I thought, would give me everything I needed to escape. As I walked across the news room, I couldn't help but feeling like "It's really happening."
Those moments, when you can acknowledge that you are in them, are extremely rare. It seems that you only recognize these moments years after they have passed. I haven't been able to come up with a good reason for doing journalism yet. At least not until today. I was describing everything I had to do to my mom, and she said, "I guess journalism is more than just writing stuff down. There's a lot more to it, I guess."
I replied to a text message that asked "What is the highlight of the internship." It took me a day to respond, to come up with a good enough highlight, or, to discover the highlight. I responded that it was getting to meet, talk to and learn so much about other people. People that I would have never met otherwise. Stories I could have never heard if I would not have been given this internship.
Every job, or task, is going to have flaws, I think. I have spent most of my time here waiting for my internship to start. Now that next week will be my last in South Dakota, I think that my whole life has been leading up to this point. I am no one special in this unfimilar state. I am not the best journalist or even intern to sit in that newsroom. But I try really hard to be. I try really hard and even though that sounds really trite, it's the best I could conjure up.
Sometimes, if not always, people see things in me that I do not see. They see potential and perserverance and talent. These things, I have yet to encounter in myself, but they must be there.
This, I am starting to realize, is not going to be the hardest task in my life and it really is, just the beginning. I am truly excited to see where I end up, what I end up doing and who I end up meeting, because I have no idea. I can make plans to do more internships and plans to attend certain colleges, but I cannot plan the rest. I never planned to get accepted into AIJI and I certainly never planned to do an internship in South Dakota. I can't wait to see what fate is going to indulge in next.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I am quite proud of myself today: Instead of going to get fast food that I could undoubtedly afford -- well, sort of -- I came back to my dorm and ate Chef Boyardee. In all honesty, I crushed it like it was the best cuisine I've ever tasted. Take that, wormy wormers.

I am really disappointed that John Hughes died last night. For those of you who do not know me, or know my taste in movies, his films basically make up my top 1o lists. I did not grow up in the eighties, but, that's the thing about his movies: They were timeless and even years later, they still had a profound effect on teenagers. I watched Sixteen Candles last Friday and Pretty in Pink on Sunday. (Obviously prior to his death). I'm not just saying all of this because he died and that's what people do: pretend they really loved someone when they died even if they didn't care about them while they were alive. I really, really did love John Hughes. And I am much more sad that he died than I was that Michael Jackson died.

Anyway, I am near the end of my internship and it's quite bittersweet. I am finally getting to do stuff and really be confident in what I am doing, but at the same time, I am ready to see my family and my friends. So, there's that. I am down to my bottom dollar and I'm kind of glad. It's teaching me how to be somewhat of an adult.

My nephew turns 3 on Aug. 17 -- so happy early birthday to my buddy!! I can't wait to see him.
I want to get him a swingset for his birthday but Chris thinks I should start a college fund for him instead. I think I'll go with the swingset.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Because of You.

I never realized how much my mom did for us until tonight. I told her, I don't have any food, I'm tired of eating McDonalds and I basically spent all my money. So she asked, "Ok, well, what do you have?" I told her. She gave me a meal to make: BBQ Chicken, chicken lipton noodles and green beans. I needed some stuff from the store but had less than $30 for it. She told me to know what I needed before I ever went to the store and to buy the absolutely cheapest stuff -- I know it seems like a simple task, but I've never actually been able to do it. I spent 20.61 and bought 18 things.
I'm telling this because this summer, my Dad has enlightened me that I was a mistake. He first said it when he was drunk and I was willing to let it go. But, every time it's been brought up since, he has confirmed it. He said that there was never supposed to be a second child, that he didn't want us to grow up in that environment, that he wanted better for us. I asked him why would he ever tell me that; especially 20 years later. He did not have a justifiable answer for me and I didn't expect him to. He's never been the one for explanations. He's never been the one to apologize or admit mistakes. I asked him if he remembered what he said to me when I was eight years old and he decided he was finished being our father. He said:
"I've washed my hands with this."
"You remember that?"
"Of course I remember that. How could I not remember?"
My father told me he was done with us. He gave up. He walked away.. and the worst part is that you don't care. All you can do is point the blame, saying it's all her fault, she did this. He told me he never realized how much pain he caused and I told him that until I was sixteen years old, I thought it was all my fault.
The thing is, after 20 years of fighting for him, it all makes sense. If he thinks I'm a mistake and I was never supposed to be here, then of course he would be missing most of my life. Of course he wouldn't call to make sure I made it to South Dakota safely, or to see how my trip with, or to make sure I had everything I needed. Of course.
That is why, my Mom, no matter what he or anyone thinks, is the most important force in my life. Despite her fear, regrets and mistakes, she has and always will be by my side. I never feel like I don't belong in my house. I never feel like I'm calling at a bad time. I call her crying because I miss home so much and sometimes, I don't know what I'm doing here and even though she wants me to come home, she gets me through it.
While my Dad was giving up on us, building his self-proclaimed trucking empire and building a haunted and terribly dysfunctional family, my mom was looking through cabinets desperately trying something to feed her four kids. She was working through the night to make sure that we had school clothes every fall. No, she is not perfect and I'm sure there are faults to pinpoint, but at the end of the day, she didn't walk away.
I miss her. I miss Saturday mornings and I miss home. I can't wait to be back home.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Evan Thornton

So, I found this guy on YouTube who is pretty much a video editing beast ANNNND He goes to AACC.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh! Oh! Got my internship assignment!

For six weeks starting July 1, I will be interning at the... Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.!!!!!!

Semi-Charmed Life: Chili Cook-off 2009

My summer break has officially begun and for a moment, I stepped back in time.

I went to DC101's Chili Cook-off and instead of acting like the "mature 20 year old" that I am, I acted like I was still a 16-year-old punk rock chick crashing Warped Tour. No joke. I got dragged into the concert by my sister's friend who happens to be my age. I told her, "DO NOT CROWD SURF, my phone is dead and I'll never be able to find you."

Well, guess what? She crowd surfed which left me in a massive pit of sweaty 20-somethings jumping, pushing, slamming and punching their way closer to Puddle of Mudd. I'm not used to this, I'm way too fat for this, I thought as I literally felt like I was going to die from heat exhaustion.

I got out of this -- alive -- and somehow found Alex when I pushed my way out of the crowd when the set ended. When I found her, she was missing a shoe, phone and camera and like me, was covered and dirt and sweat.

But, no sweat.

We migrated. Walked around. Looked for people. She asked everyone -- and I mean everyone -- if she could buy their shoe from them. I wasn't amused. In fact, I was irritated, thirsty, hot and every part of my body was soaked from other peoples sweat. I thought it was supposed to rain all day?

So Alex and I found a t-shirt stand and both bought shirts we couldn't afford. She bought a hat to use as a shoe. Actually, she took the hat and used her old sweaty shirt to tie it on with.

We found the Mystic Piercing tent and we were apparently over our exhaustion because we both decided to get piercings. This is when the 16-year-old punk rock chick came into play. We got in line without knowing what we wanted to get pierced. We got up to the table and I realized.. Oh my God, I don't have my ID on me.

This inevitably led to ME asking anyone that looked over 35 to sign for me. They didn't and wouldn't believe that I wasn't a minor.

BUT THEN, I find Kerri.

"HEY! KERRI! Give me your ID, QUICK! I'm getting my nose pierced. Stop asking questions and just give it to me!" Apparently, in that moment, I realized that I wanted to get my nose pierced for the THIRD time because I had had so much luck the first two times.

So, I got my nose pierced and they gave me a lollipop.

"What is that line on your forehead?" My brother-in-law asked when I ran into him.

It was then that I remembered that crowd surfer who crash landed into my head (this BUMP is finally gone now).

Okay so I'm going to skip over the rest because it was pretty uneventful. Well, sort of. No, you know what? It was pretty damn eventful. We found everyone, I got a wristband (because I had Kerri's ID) and was reuniting with people from Berwyn Heights.. at least some of them.

When finally.... THE RAIN CAME!! Oh, it was beautiful. Imagine playing in the rain with thousands of drunk people.. it's a great time.

By this time, Third Eye Blind was about to come on and even though we had missed almost ALL of the bands performing, we all made it to see them.

My favorite thing about concerts is when the entire crowd is singing. The singer stops, the band keeps going, and no one skips a beat. Your forever bonded with those people. You look around and when your part comes up, all of a sudden everyone starts jumping at the same time, somehow managing to jump, throw their arms in their air and sing all at the same time. It's pretty amazing.

And I realized this is the reason I loved going to concerts when I was 16 - Even though it's hot, you inevitably get injured and at some point fear death, it is all worth it in that moment.

And, I have one last question to ponder: Why do people think it's okay to bring babies and children to a rock festival?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peer Learning Partnership Hosts Open House

Peer Learning Partnership, a continuing education community for older adults at Anne Arundel Community College, is hosting its fifth anniversary open house on June 12 at 10 a.m. until noon in CADE219.

PLP was developed in 2004 to facilitate intellectual enrichment for retired people who still have a yearning to learn new things.

“I first learned about it in one of the college catalogues,” said PLP member Randall Pack. “There was a class featuring physicist Richard Feynman and I was just fascinated that it was a course being offered.”

Pack soon found out that the course was taught by his peers and he found that he was extremely intrigued by the concept of fulfilling his intellectual curiosity with peers who are experts in their fields.

It started out with only 12 members but now has upwards of 140 members – most of which are retired, said PLP President Bill Daney.

Enrollment has been steadily increasing, partially because many baby boomers are beginning to retire, said PLP curriculum coordinator, Krista Hamel.

“The concept is very appealing to that age group,” said Hamel. “Really, it’s a wonderful social outlet for them.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Anne Arundel County alone had more than 55,000 residents over the age of 65 in 2006, many of which still have the need to remain active, said Daney.

Though, Pack insists that being a member is extremely interesting in the sense that many of the people involved are former professors or fairly educated.

This is not a group of people who got tired of playing shuffle board,” said Pack. “For example, when we’re discussing a novel, you’ll find someone who knew the author!”

Even though members are not being graded, there is a fair amount of preparation that goes into presenting new information, teaching a class, or partaking in a discussion, said Pack.

For example, one of the benefits of being a PLP member includes participating in “Fridays with Friends,” a lunchtime discussion group that meets once a week. Each week of the month has a different theme: current event discussions, current topics in science, book discussions, a travel group and a film discussion.

Most of the discussions try to reflect what the members are learning in their individual classes and each member takes turns presenting new information.

“When we did current topics in science, I had the chance to present on the 2008 Nobel Prize in Science,” said Pack. “I was just fascinated by the discussions we had. It isn’t like that movie, ‘Ferris Bueller’ when he says ‘Anyone? Anyone?’ You almost have to tell people to settle.”

The social aspect of it is very beneficial too, said Pack.

“It’s an incredible group of people,” said Pack. “When you get a lot of people who have been taking the same classes and meeting once a week, you get to know them!”

PLP offered eight peer taught classes in the spring and hopes to offer more as the enrollment increases.

The open house will allow prospective members to learn about joining, the costs, and get a chance to get to meet other members. Registering for classes offered by PLP requires signing up for PLP membership as well. Each class costs $26 and PLP has a membership of $26 per semester. For more information about attending the open house, contact Krista Hamel at 410-777-1806.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Death of Storytelling

Recently, I have read two different stories in two different papers about student journalism. It is strange to me that the media is covering themselves, that newspapers and journalism are the news. I've only been studying journalism for a short time, but I had the impression that the journalists, were supposed to be read but not ever seen -- so to speak.
Though, as the death of print becomes the news, the media finally has a chance to talk about themselves.

The first article I read was in the Annapolis, Md. paper, The Capital. The reporter told the story of Broadneck High School's newspaper who is putting their publication completely online. The newspaper's staff is afraid that putting their paper online will diminish their presence at their school.

The second article was in the Baltimore Sun and it said despite the uncertainty of journalism's future, enrollment in journalism schools is steadily increasing.

The ultimate question is: What do journalism students have to look forward to? Whatever comes after the death of print, it is sure to be something unprecedented. So, if this is something new and no one is sure what is going to happen, how are we supposed to be taught? We are taught by professors who experience is in print, the dying medium.

We are blindly preparing ourselves, dedicating ourselves and hoping that whichever path we take is the right one.

On game shows, they sometimes show three doors and say, choose the right one for a new car, or something similar. I feel that is the state of student journalism: We have to choose the right door. Instead of playing the luck game, we as students are told to prepare for it all:

Learn to write in print AND online.
Learn to make/edit video and be a broadcast journalist.
Learn to be a photographer and make slideshows.
Learn HTML so you can build your own website.
Learn to Design your own graphics and layout your own paper.
Be a mathematician, a politician, a caregiver, an educator.

Journalism students are the ultimate students because instead of mastering a specific field, we are expected to learn them all. If we want to succeed in journalism, we must have something that no one else has, and do it better than anyone else does.

And on top of it all, we still need to be good, precise, unbiased and compelling reporters. We still have to learn how to interview someone, how to research and report a story, how to write a lead under 35 words and above all, how to make a deadline.

While print is moving gracefully to the grave, it is my belief that the need for news will never die. People want to be informed, want to criticize their government, read about car accidents, discuss movie stars and hear about a child who won a battle against Cancer -- they just don't want to pay for print when they can read it online.

So, in the midst of mourning print, perhaps we as journalism students should embrace the future. We should be grateful that we have so many different ways to enhance our stories. We don't necessarily have to decide "Print" or "Broadcast" as a major. We can make our words literally come to life and that is something that should be celebrated.

If we are good reporters and geniuenly care about our work, it will be read - one way or the other. So the best we can do as students is to learn, wish for the best and well, hope we don't end up working at Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Notice anything different?

I've apparently learned how to make blogger layouts. Infact, I made everything on here -- the layout, the header -- and It took me all day. I'm super excited that my blog doesn't look so boring anymore! :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Someday I'll get a giveaway

"Someday I'll Get There" blog is giving away (GASP!) free stuff! She is giving away seven handmade cards and a journal -- a journal I hope to use when I go to South Dakota! I strongly suggest checking it out and doing it by tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When I reread stories or poems that I have written, I always wonder where did this come from? Perhaps it is because I use writing as an outlet or perhaps it is because my favorite author to date is Joyce Carol Oates. She just released a short-story collection titled "Dear Husband". Of course I haven't been able to buy it yet, but, New York Times did an Q&A with her and I think the most interesting thing she has said thus far is:

If you’re going to spend the next year of your life writing, you would probably rather write “Moby Dick” than a little household mystery with cat detectives. I consider tragedy the highest form of art.

I think if I could choose a role model, an idol if you will, I would choose Joyce Carol Oates. I love everything about her writing; that she has the ability to start a story telling the reader exactly what happens in the end but still write a page turner. The fact that she can make an one word chapter just as meaningful as a 30 word chapter. The fact that "Where are you going, Where have you been?" has so many different interpretations from religion to pop culture to teenagers independence.

I think I am really biased when it comes to Oates because I've gotten to the point that I don't read any other author now. I'll blame my English 102 professor for that.

Read the interview

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MCASE debates the Death Penalty

One of the main reasons Maryland Citizens Against State Executions hopes to repeal the death penalty is the fear that a death row inmate might actually be innocent, said MCASE Executive Director Jane Henderson.

"It's not reversible," said Henderson. "You can let someone out of jail if they're wrongfully convicted and spent 20 years in jail; you can't bring them back to life if you've executed them."

Despite the efforts of Gov. Martin O'Malley and MCASE, a repeal bill died in the General Assembly this year. MCASE, a non-profit organization, believes that the bills failure had nothing to do with public opinion but with leadership in Annapolis.

"We had a narrow margin and a Senate president who was working completely against us," said Henderson. "And frankly didn't like the bill that came out - he wanted the bill to get recommitted back to committee and be dead for the year."

The bill would not have died if it would have had enough legislature support and until they have a larger margin, the leadership's motives will prevail, said Henderson.

"Maybe one of the lessons from this is that when you're working on hard issues in the legislature, you have to either have the leadership or enough of a margin that you can override the leadership," she said.

Among several reasons why she is against the death penalty, Henderson says that capital punishment gives the government an opportunity to abuse power.

"My personal position against the death penalty is that, you give the state a power to kill, it's ultimately going to be abused," explained Henderson.

Though, she notes, the possibility of an inmate's innocence is a prevalent factor in her opposition.

"I think it's important to note that we often don't know until the very last minute in the cases where people have been exonerated," said Henderson.

Although there are only five inmates currently on death row, Henderson said that the death penalty is dealt out unevenly and there is not a certain formula in determining who is sentenced to death and who is sentenced to life without parole.

"Everyone convicted of murder gets sentenced in some way... we pick a handful of cases in which we're going to invest immense resources with the goal of ultimately seeing them executed," said Henderson.

The legal costs of a death penalty case are astronomical, said Henderson. She argues that putting those resources towards services to a victim's family would be more effective.

"I think most victims families in this state aren't thinking about the death penalty," said Henderson. "They're thinking about how to get through the next day."

The poorest families, who are more likely to experience a homicide, cannot afford to seek mental health services – a service that they must desperately need, said Henderson.

MCASE is not waiting until they achieve a repeal to start helping the victim's family and the recently passed bill had language that would extend services to the families, said Henderson.

The death penalty does not accomplish anything or even deter murder, and until a repeal is passed, other problems cannot be solved, said Henderson.

"I don't think that you can fix these problems - I think all you can do is say we're going to take death off of the table, and then you begin to try to fix these problems," said Henderson. "Clearly issues of racial bias and jurisdictional difference aren't limited to the death penalty, but you know, when life and death is on the line, I think the Supreme Court of the United States has made it clear that death is different."

"I gotta focus on what I can do and not what I can't" -- Jesse Billauer comes to AACC

Just pray to the fragility of life and you’ll be on to something, advises Jesse Billauer, a quadriplegic surfer who came to inspire Anne Arundel Community College students on Disability Awareness Day.

Billeaur described the surfing accident that broke his neck in 1996, recalling that he said “Today’s gonna be a great day.”
He told students that he could have let his accident devour him, but instead he kept going.
Despite his disability, he told students “I am living my dream.”

Jesse Billauer delivers inspirational messages to AACC students.
Video/Editing by Melanie.

This part of the story is just the beginning -- there will definitely be more!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nate and Jesse!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Side of The Road.

Have you ever thought about the things you see on the side of the road? Where they come from, how they got there and what moments in their life led them to be a forgotten part of society?

The things you see on the side of the road are devastating.

On a back road I take to get home, there has been a dead deer lying dead for over three weeks. Everyday I drive by it, it is more gruesome. The deer is so decayed that you can now see its decaying flesh revealing rib bones. No one has bothered to move the carnage.

Now, I know this is road kill to a lot of people and maybe I saw Bambi too many times but I can't help but feeling horribly sad for the animal. I can't help but wondering what the person who hit it was thinking after they felt their car hit the deer.

A dead animal killed by cars speeding on a dark-lit back road is one thing, but, what about the people you find on the side of the road? Some of them are wandering aimlessly, some with their thumb in the air, some just walking with their heads down. Have you ever wanted to stop and talk to them? I just want to ask them what happened. I can't keep myself from thinking: What if that was me?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Town mourns the loss of well-known fire chief

A fire chief is dead after a fatal car crash in Sudlersville Wednesday night.

Officials say Charles "Buck" Clough Jr. died Wednesday after crashing into a grove of trees.

He was en route to a small appliance fire on Main Street.

Residents are shocked by the loss and members of the fire department are still too emotional to speak about their loss.

The firemen are being comforted by women bringing food and plants.

Funeral plans are still underway.


78 words.

Virginia Tech Students Honor Victims on Second Anniversary of Shooting

Two Virginia Tech students are honoring the second anniversary of the mass shooting by participating in a 3.2-mile race.

Katelyn Carney and Derek O'Dell are both survivors of the shooting. They were shot by student Seung Hui-Cho while they were in a German class.

The two students are joined by more than four thousand people.
O'Dell says, "We're celebrating their lives, but remembering, too."

Also, two victims' families are suing the state after rejecting an eleven million dollar settlement.

78 words.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't you put me on the backburner.

Thankfully, I set my alarm clock to The Killers this morning. I hadn't used them for a wake up call in a while and I forgot how much I loved them. I woke up in a good mood, didn't throw my phone across the room or press snooze 2390348 times. This, I think, is reason enough to salute The Killers and their melodic, uplifting tunes that someone can enjoy even at 7:15 a.m.

I also really loved Elizabethtown and I think it is underrated. I mean, Paula Deen is in it - that alone makes it great. Even though the movie was basically a Garden State cover, I still think Orlando Bloom did an awesome job. Plus, it has a "Free Bird" scene that lasts for like 10 minutes.

Back to the Killers, I have to say I really only liked Hot Fuss. I'm not sure if it's because I have memories of my old best friend and I blasting it out car windows or because I actually love the music. Maybe it's the former because I haven't liked any of their music since Hot Fuss. Except.. maybe.. GLAMOROUS, INDDIIEE ROCCK AND ROLL FOR MEEEEE.

I have lost touch with a lot of the bands I used to cherish.. like, The Shins, Bright Eyes (I do in fact miss Conor Oberst), Taking Back Sunday, Brand New.. and probably a lot more.

It's a shame.. because lately, I've really hated the music on the radio. The songs all say the same thing and it wasn't good the first time. I feel like I've been lost when it comes to music and I am looking to find good, moving music that shook me the same way the previous bands did.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Remembering Hunter S. Thompson

Honestly, there is no need for me to explain - but, click the link and read Steadman's story.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You made us regret anticipating your new album.

Okay, so this kid from Canada obviously did somewhat of a review on Eminem's new music video, "We Made You."

I obviously disagree with him - despite my love of Eminem. Though, I must argue that my love of his music comes from his first FOUR albums and does not acknowledge "Encore".

I have had a lot of conversations about Eminem's come back and we all agree that if he wants to be a contender with Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, Kanye West and recently T.I., he is going to have to:

1) Explain where he has been and what the hell he has been doing for all of these years. If he had emotional stuff going on, tell us - but don't release two comedic singles in a row and expect your fans to still respect you.

2) Listen to "Infinite," "Slim Shady LP," "Marshall Mathers LP," and "The Eminem Show" and reflect on what made him so legendary in the first place. This guy once had influence - when he started baggin' on Ja Rule, all of a sudden, Ja Rule's career was over. Also, when one of Em's albums dropped, EVERYONE I knew BOUGHT it that day and that is all they talked about for weeks. When is the last time you a) bought a CD and b) talked about it constantly? I haven't since "The Eminem Show."

4) Talk about something that matters. No one cares that you are criticizing celebrities. We want you to talk shit about your Mom and Kim. Honestly, we are just all waiting for you to come out with something real and until you do, your career will be at a stand still. Monumental moments in history have occured since you've been gone and you need to address them. People are waiting.

5) Keep in mind that your real fans - the ones who know you even have an album named Infinite - HATED Encore and disregard the first single you release from a new CD.

That is all I have to say about Eminem. I have defended him in conversations, saying that when he comes back, he will trump every rapper out right now. Like I said, I'm still waiting.

Cakes and Kisses.

I have been listening to "Cake and Kisses" by John Powell for two straight hours. It is an instrumental song that I heard on "P.S. I Love You" when they first got to Ireland.

I'm not sure why, but this song has calmed me down and helped me think.

Which brings me to this: the simple, seemingly minuscule..

(Now the song is skipping.)

...things in my life are kind of what makes me okay.

The stress of being in college is incomparable to anything I've ever experienced. The feeling of constant pressure and sometimes uncertainty is overwhelming. The fear of the future. These are all very intimidating and sometimes crippling feelings. How does a student explain this to their professors? They don't. Though, if anyone could understand the pressure of college, it would be them. Some, if not most, have more than a BA - so they have to know how it feels.

Even when it comes to this blog. I want to write a relevant, journalistic blog. But, I have no idea what to write about other than being a student. That is all my life consists of and when I deviate from school mode, my classwork inevitably suffers.

So, what does a student do when they no longer feel like a student and the only way they remain okay is playing a song on repeat?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My mom actually made me an Easter basket. I am particularly excited about the Natural Glow because I am boycotting tanning beds - ya know, because of the whole cancer thing.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Have you ever have one of those days that everything seems to be going right? Today was like that. Even though it was raining, I was still in a really good mood. So much so that on my way home from Kerri's, I stopped and got my mom flowers.

And then... everything went bad.

I had to clean my bathroom when I got home which is always disgusting.. I don't care who you are. Especially when guys use your bathroom. Is making it in the toilet not a part of potty training boys? If not, someone needs to put it on the syllabus and quick. I'm done with it! From now on, if a boy misses, THEY are cleaning it up.

Moving on, everything was going fine until my little sister's dad called and as usual, we got blamed for whatever he did. Haley and I got in a huge fight, she apparently hates me now and I am out of a really good lip gloss because she took it in anger.

This left me to dye Easter eggs alone.. or, so I thought until my Mom and Donnie joined me. I don't know if they joined me out of pity or because they really enjoy dying eggs.. but, it was fun either way. I for some reason felt like every egg was an empty canvas and I was apparently Van Gough.

I dig the lamb. It adds character.

Anyway, I'm hoping that tomorrow will be fun. We actually have family coming over.

Have a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Like Kathy Lee needed Regis, thats the way they need Jesus.

Heidi Montag of "The Hills" has found Jesus, ladies and gentlemen.

"Lets just say a bible study could go down on the hills since that's all Heidi does anymore besides sing," said Spencer Pratt in a tweet reply to Perez Hilton.

Montag might need some help from the guy upstairs after listening to her new music. Just because you show up on some MTV reality show doesn't mean you are all of a sudden a recording artist. Who do you think you are? Carrie Underwood?

Pratt has apparently found some religion, too.

"Just was in elevator with Mel 'braveheart' Gibson," said Pratt in a later tweet. "I told him that Passion of the Christ helped me find the Lord!"

Is that really his nickname, Pratt? Or is that something you came up with on your own? If so, kudos to you man. Maybe they should have bible study on "The Hills," that way you can find a God that doesn't make obscene comments about the Jewish.

Hopefully these two don't take over the show when Lauren Conrad leaves. Hopefully these two disappear into Colorado instead.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Priest of the General Assembly.

Could someone please brief Andy Harris on the First Amendment? It seems he hasn't heard of it. And, while you're at it, remind him of the state budget deficit and what he should actually be doing with his time. State schools aren't in enough trouble that he has to threaten to pull its budget? "It's not fun and entertainment." Really Harris? Are you actually going to say you've never found some fun and entertainment in porn?

Friday, March 27, 2009

I got accepted into the American Indian Journalism Institute!! They only accepted 8 people so the fact that I got in is pretty amazing. Its going to be completely focused on new media -- so I guess its good that I asked for a flipcam for my birthday.

My spring break was good.. lots of eventful things occurred. Though, I feel like it went too fast (how typical). I think it might have helped me regain some focus. School is definitely almost over.

The good news is that our 3/30 issue looks great and I have two really good stories in it - one on the comptrollers visit and an editorial on Gov. O'Malley's visit/the recession. I'm really excited about both of them and you should definitely pick the paper up when you see it. Also read the story on the Knight written by Julie - it's hilarious. We wanted to do an April Fool's issue.. but... we completely forgot about doing it. I'm glad we didn't because Julie and Nicole rocked this issue.

Ahhh. I am freaking out about this AIJI thing. I'm super excited but super nervous. I'm pretty much going to be gone the entire summer - first to South Dakota and then to where ever my internship ends up being. The internship is six weeks long and it could be anywhere in the country. SWEET!

That's pretty much all I got.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I also heard Brian Storm, the president of Mediastorm, at the convention. He showed three of his videos, but this was by far the most moving one:

You should also look at "Ivory Wars":

What Mediastorm does with these two pieces is amazing.

Pipe Dreams.

New York was an absolutely amazing life changing experience. As expected. No one goes to New York and remains the same afterwards. It showed me a lot.. it showed me what it takes to be a real journalist, what it takes to live in New York.. what it takes to be independent.

First, it did kind of start out as a disaster. I woke up super early Saturday, determined that things were going to go smoothly. Well.. they did... until I got on the Chinatown bus. They started taking tickets and as she looked at mine, she said in extremely broken English that something was wrong with mine. As I would find out after I was kicked off of the bus, I somehow booked my ticket for the wrong day. So instead of letting me go ahead and book another ticket, they kicked me off of the bus - indefinitely - and threatened to call the police on me when I demanded an answer in English. Well.. no one could give me one. There were also approximately 30 people screaming at these people in a small room that was supposed to be their bus station. So I figured since I didn't have a translator, I wasn't going to make it to New York.

So here I am, stuck in Chinatown.. alone in D.C. for the first time and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do or how I am going to get out of there.

I hesistated calling my mom because I just knew she was going to tell me "I knew something like this would happen" and basically freak out. I mean I was freaking out so I knew she would. I answered when she called anyway and told her that I was giving up on the Chinatown bus and asked her if she could find me a Greyhound station. I called a cab, had them take me to the station and paid another $65 for a round-trip ticket. AHA! With the exception of my mom telling me where the station was, I did it by myself.

Of course it didn't stop there. I got a ticket for 11:15 and apparently, they overbooked it and maybe 40 people got left behind. They said there wouldn't be another bus until 1:30. I made some friends. It was quite interesting, really. They got another bus for us somehow and we went on our way. Worst bus trip ever. I was so stressed out about being alone and nervous about going to NYC by myself that I definitely couldn't sleep or read for that matter.

I finally got to Port Authority and of course had no idea where to go. Luckily, the friends I made on the bus showed me where to go. In true New York fashion, I hailed a taxi and finally made it to the hotel.

The trip home was much easier.

As ridiculous as it was, I'm actually glad it happened. I would have never known that I could do that all on my own.

Being in New York was awesome. The staff really got along and we did soo much. I almost don't know how to describe it. The classes were pretty cool.. got to meet a lot of big shot reporters like Byron Pitts - who I think is my new role model - and we learned a lot about new media.. which, I'm going to try to teach myself.

We went to dinner with a freelance reporter from New York Times and he told us how he ended up in New York. He moved from Montana, lived in Harlem when he first got there, worked as an intern with no pay at a bunch of places (including Rolling Stone - which he hated) and basically shattered my dreams within a meal. He said it was the hardest thing he's ever done but would never take it back.

I think I had this perception that you go to New York and just automatically make it. Not so much. I guess that was good for me to.

I'm really motivated though. I can't wait for the Current to go online - though, I don't think it will happen while I'm still here. but I'm going to try really hard to help it happen.

I think the trip changed all of us.. our dreams got amplified and all we could talk about was how to make the paper better, more real.

I know I'm not the best reporter or even the next best thing. I'm not even sure reporting is how I want to spend the rest of my life.. but that trip, I think, will stay with me.

We also went and saw Public Enemy for Flava Flav's 50th birthday. I didn't want to go but it was amazing. Ice-T was there. Big stuff.

I also got more confidence there apparently because I just went up to people and started talking to them. Of course my camera was dead when I was doing this - or else they'd be on youtube now. But, Hess and I had a 45 minute conversation with a NYPD about what it was like to be in New York, what 9/11 was like and what it takes to make it.

No one that lives in NY is from there. Everyone goes there with the same dream of making it.. even a NYPD.

Julie and I got a ride on one of those bikes that pull carriages and I'm telling you, the driver - if you will - was the most interesting person I think I've ever met. We asked him if he was there for 9/11 and of course he was. He said that it didn't surprise him, that this country does horrible things to people and in some sense, we deserved it. He said that he thinks that Pearl Harbor was intentional and so was 9/11 and that the government knew about it. He said that all politicans are full of shit - even Obama. He said that journalists did a poor job of covering 9/11, the Bush administration, and Iraq. He was also a Vietnam vet.

I went up to a man handing out flyers - who gave me his card, apparently - and asked him why he was doing it, where he was from, etc. He told me he lived in the Bronx because he couldn't afford Manhattan. He said he was handing out flyers because it was all he could do to make money and in New York, you take what you can get to survive. I am sure he told me a lot more but, like I said, my camera died.

Now I am back home and my life feels empty. When I was there, I felt like I was apart of something.. like everyday there was somewhere to go and there was someone to talk to. Now, I've been sitting at home, eating and staying in front of my computer.. writing about New York City. I can't wait to go back.

Here is my horrible first attempt at video editiing:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So. I met the Maryland Comptroller, Peter Franchot, today and I met the Maryland Governor, Martin O'Malley.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So. I am going to NYC this weekend and it's either going to be really fun or a disaster. Either way, I am pretty excited about it (even if I'm not exactly organized for it). The upside: I get to see the St. Patrick's Day parade and possibly In the Heights (if I can convince the newspaper staff that it will be better than Chicago).

I'm interviewing the Maryland Comptroller tomorrow for a story. I have absolutely no idea what to ask him because I know a total of two things about him: He's the "executive financial officer" and he hates slots. We'll see how it goes down. I'm going to dress up either way.. maybe even wear my PTK pin.. when else would I possibly wear it? Perhaps to a keg party.

On other note.... I'm kind of curious about what qualifies as criminal harrassment because I'm about to start sueing the f out of an ex-boyfriend - which, out of fear for my FREAKING LIFE, I won't name. Jesse.

I just don't think I should have to block every possible number and threaten to have him arrested for him to let it go. I mean really just let it go. Or... go back on the Lexapro. Either one.

I have, however, mastered making to-do list's and by that I mean actually completing them. Which is probably why I have time to update this. I still haven't mastered keeping my room clean - aka, tilting at windmills a bit.

Oh and by the way.. I definitely failed that gerontology exam... a 58% to be exact.. making it the lowest grade I've ever recieved in college. YESSSSSS!!!! I can't drop the class though.. I already dropped Spanish even though I said I wasn't dropping any classes this semester. The professor just REALLY got on my nerves with his stupid games that only the students who had him before knew how to play because he never bothered to explain it to the rest of us. I'm sorry but I really don't want to play freaking games at 9 a.m. So now, I'll only be able to have 2.55 seconds of a conversation in Spanish. Way to fuck up my life.

I think the problem here is that I still have no idea what I'm majoring in or what college I am transferring to so I really have no idea what classes I actually need. Common sense would tell me to go to adviser and have a dialogue with him about it. BUT, when I did, he just went on Artsys and sent me on my way. I CAN GO ON ARTSYS MYSELF - why do you get paid to go on a public website?

Oh and I got denied for financial aid. Really? How do you figure my family makes too much money? Because last time I checked, we live in a trailor park in the middle of bumfuck and I have to CRIMINALLY HARRASS my father for money he "wipes his ass with," according to him. I guess now is probably the time to get a job.....? Naaah - OBAMA WILL FIX IT! Or... probably not.

I'm also back to not being able to sleep. I would rather have my face covered in oozing pimples than not be able to sleep. Like, being kind of a sleep but not actually sleeping and apparently, having conversations with God with him telling me to "beware of A<3D." Which really freaked me out at the time because I was like no fucking way.. is God here.. like right now? But, I figure I was just really tired from not being able to sleep. Or, I'm crazy and probably shouldn't tell people about the halucinations I have in the middle of the night.

I really, really, want a laptop. I don't know why.. probably because my family is too fucking poor to get me one even though I don't qualify for financial aid. I mean seriously.. how am I going to pay for my tuition? I already have $5,000 in student loans and I'm not at a 4-year yet.. plus, I'm probably going to end up working at Barnes and Noble after college..

It's just scary.. not knowing what I want to do. I can either be a teacher, a writer, or a journalist and from what I understand, none of those options make much money. Of course that is alright with me because I want to do something I love but I would rather not live HERE the rest of my life.

Someone told me they didn't want to live in Maryland for the rest of their life... I think it was Kerri.. which is surprising to me because I thought she always wanted to stay here. I've always been the one who wanted to leave. I don't know now.

Despite all of my ranting, I've actually had a really good couple of days. My weekend was pretty amazing.. not because anything abnormal happened.. but just because it was ridiculously nice out. Whenever it is not really cold but not really hot, I get extremely happy... like Marry-Freaking-Poppins-Happy. Seriously. Someone could slash my tires, punch me in my ovaries, chop a section of my hair off, leave a really fucked up message on my MySpace calling me a fat pathetic whore and then call my phone screaming 1375890347589 times..... and I would still be happy. Which is pretty much how my weekend went.. minus the tire slashing, punching and chopping of the hair. But the rest of it... that actually happened. True story.

I'm also in a pretty good mood because I'm getting shit done and I don't have that OMG! OMG! OMG! I AM SOOO FUCKED! feeling. I think I am gaining a lot of confidence back and finally starting to feel like ME again. Not the me that I had to be for an entire year but the me that is just.. alright with the way things are.. however cliche that might sound.

My birthday is coming up; everyone alway says "eh, turning 20 is not that big of a deal." But it is, kind of. I'm not going to be a teenager anymore which is kind of a bad thing and kind of an amazing thing. I don't know, to me, turning 20 is kind of an achievement. I have changed so much since I turned 18 and my birthday kind of shows that. Essentially, what I am trying to say is that I am proud of what I've accomplished in two years. Sweeeet.

Los padres are going away on March 21..... early "I'm all grown up" birthday celebration? I think so.

Alright. That's all I got.

Your all-time favorite pirate hooker.

Friday, February 27, 2009

So.. I am kind of over this semester so far. I'm also doing pretty shitty. In addition, I am chain smoking like a motherfucker for no apparent reason. TAKE THAT SURGEON GENERAL! The problem with devoting all of your time to 2 classes and ignoring the other ones is that all of a sudden, an exam pops up out of NOWHERE - even if you haven't read the six chapters it's on. Plus, I really don't think I'm good enough to bullshit my way through the exam. We'll see how it goes.
On lighter note.... I got into Phi Theta Kappa - which I'm sure they'll kick me out of once they see how poorly I did on a Gerontology exam. & I am applying to the "American Indian Journalism Institute" even though I only have a LITTLE Indian in me.. and doesn't everyone? If I get accepted, I'll go to South Dakota for three weeks and compete for a six week internship and be gone the entire summer.
What this means is... I can brag about being a good student without ACTUALLY being one.
I'm glad no one reads my blog because it is complete nonsense.
I am supposed to be cleaning right now because my room looks like this:

I don't understand how my room gets so messy.
So I guess I should probably start doing that............. fuck.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I don’t know who I am.
I am a student.
I am a sister.
I am a victim.
I am a fighter.
I am a statistic.
I am eccentric.
I am invisible.
I am a disappointment.
I am a dreamer and a nonbeliever.
I am a realist.
I am an optimist.
I am suffering.
I am determined.
I am a quitter.
I am trying.
I am overwhelmed.
I am sorry.
I am..
No one you haven’t met before.
What do I have to say?
Nothing that hasn’t been heard.
How do I know?
I’ve been told.
I’ve been told to
Let go
Try harder
And to pretend.
I’ve been told I am
Strong but
I have been called worse things.
I am afraid of dying.
I am desperate for approval.
I am angry.
I am sad all of the time.
I am ignored.
I am condescending.
I am a fa├žade.
I am a rumor.
I am all of these things.
I am who they tell me to be.

Friday, January 23, 2009

This semester is not starting well at ALL. I am almost positive I failed a journalism "reading quiz" today. EVEN though I'm on like freaking chapter 5 of the book and bragged to my professor how I couldn't put the book down. What I did not mention is that I read the first chapter back in december and therefore couldn't remember the name of the fake 6 year old herion addict mentioned. Also, I'm pretty sure my deodorant is wearing off because I'm sstarting to SMELL. Thank god no one is in the newsroom. Tragically, I've been in the newsroom since my news media class let out (at ONE!) because Mitch has been doing god knows what and just left me to hang out here. To make things worse, Kerri decided that she is no longer in need of my services and would like me to magically disapear before Amy arrives. Well.. impossible and it is not my responsibility to figure things like this out. I changed my entire schedule to babysit Ryan for ONE night and yet, I've been there since Tuesday. I feel like I've been in this fucking newsroom since Tuesday. There's nothing to do. Nothing exciting anyway... besides working on a story I don't feel like working on. It's friday. I wanted to have fun time tonight. Instead, I'm going to spend the entire night arguing with my sister about how she plans to get me home. This is such bullshit. Okay, so I should probably stop complaining.. but, I've been at school since like 8:40 am and I'm still here and its not because I have something to do or because I am hanging out with people but because my ride forgot I was here.. more or less. Or, knew I was here and didn't care and just took his sweet ass time, figuring, eh who cares if she's stuck at school.

In other news, my classes seem like they are going to be pretty hard and I'm already behind.. or, at least I feel behind. WELL, I'll be home all by myself the entire weekend so I should have plenty of time to fix the "not getting off to a good start because I've been at my sisters house all week because I was doing her a favor and yet I get stuck at school and shipped away as soon as she wants to do something else" problem.

Plus, even though I said I didn't want to do the Admin. beat for newspaper, I am anyway.. which I really don't even care about. Someone left their water in here... I think I'm going to drink it.. hopefully no one has herpes.

Okay well apparently Mitch is almost here.