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.