Thursday, April 24, 2008

This thing is awesome.

I think even more exciting than watching this whole election unfold is watching John King on CNN use the magic wall. The thing is amazing... touch screen... zooms in an out, can draw, has every statistic you'd want update real time at the touch of a button. He plays it like an instrument. I hope to have one of my very own someday.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The gospel according to John.

Yes, I love John Mayer.

Yes, some people think that's stupid.

But I think he posted an incredibly insightful thing on his blog last week. I think it frankly gets inside the minds of most people my age. (or his age... he's 5 years older).

I hope you just read it.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Starting this week...

I'm going to be on this more. I've said that a million times... but this time it will work. I SWEAR!

What inspired me to write today? Was bopping around to a few of my favorite sites online... came across a scrapbooker who made a minibook called "the book of truth". Contained self-portraits (i.e. pictures in a mirror) and some really honest journaling. I'm going to do this, I think. I used to write all kinds of essays and stuff when I was younger that were so cathartic. I don't write about that anymore... I just spin it all out at my husband. (Sorry, Brad!) So I'm going to write more. Essays... in art journals... just get my truth out there... world be damned. At least that's what I think today.

No pictures to go with this one, but I have some I want to add, including photos of my beautifully pregnant friends, and some cool photos from our state's primary. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In 2008...

I will blog more.

Haha, I can't believe the last time I was on this thing was in October. But then again, the last few months have flown by so fast that I'm not really surprised. The promotion I talked about... well its consumed a lot of my time. Then there were the holidays. Then there were the caucuses. Then, well... there's life. Here's a short version of what's happened in the last few months...

--Wisconsin passed a budget... and I passed my first big test. It was basically the biggest political story of the year, after months of a deadlock, a last-minute deal was struck and somehow I made it through numerous stories unscathed. Bosses at work called it passing the final exam in the first week of class. I'm sure it could have used more work, but I was proud after 110+ hour weeks I was still standing.

--Halloween came and went in Madison... without incident. I was working, doing part of a new type of coverage we tried for the occasion. It turned out really cool, we thought, as a more in-depth look at the causes, effects, positives and negatives of the party. I didn't have a costume... but Brad "brought his sexy back." You'll have to see the picture.

--Rocked out with the Alarmists in Milwaukee!! So glad they did a show down here... those guys are going to be huge. Such great people... and we miss you Jorge and Jess!

--Gave thanks for family. Got to celebrate with both my and Brad's families. It was great to see them, because we hadn't seen them all in so long. Did the annual Thanksgiving-night bowling trip with my family, Uncle Brent bowled the best game of his life. Guess he's been practicing.

--Enjoyed the holiday season. We got our tree the day after Thanksgiving, which turned out to be brilliant because every Saturday of December was a snow/ice storm. Had a nice party with some of our friends, and Jason brought "Rock Band" which totally brought down the house. I think most everyone was there until early in the morning... just like the old days... except we were all playing drums instead of getting drunk. Our neighbors probably hate us.

--Got snowed in. Repeatedly. In one of the snowiest Decembers on record. It was cozy.

--Traveled like mad. To DeForest for Christmas eve mass... my parents were still here because of an ice storm the night before... then to Brad's parents for Xmas eve party... then to his Grandparents' in Portage for Christmas Day.... then back to Madison to pack. To Missouri day after Christmas... to Trav's house... next day to Mema's... next day to Grandmas... then stayed at Carols. SO VERY NICE to see my whole family again. Everyone has babies and they're beautiful... plus got to see Mary and Kristin which was awesome.

--SAW A PACKER GAME!! Which is the beginning of part 2 for the travels... Sunday the 30th we went to Lambeau for the game... which was the first I'd ever been to. Pat and Rob have 3rd Row Endzone tickets... fantastic. Got a lambeau leap right in our laps. Sat behind St. Vince. Go Pack Go!

--Got sick on New Years Eve. Really damn sick. Got the flu from my family in MO.

--Went to the Iowa Caucuses for work... i.e. travels pt. 3. Left New Years Day... still sick... but excited. Went to rallies for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, then to CBS Newspath headquarters in Des Moines which was unlike anything I'd seen. Next day, interviewed WI volunteers, including Olympic Gold Medalist Speed Skater Dan Jansen (possibly the nicest man alive). Then went to a Democratic Caucus... otherwise known as the craziest display of democracy you'll ever see in your life. Live shots and 14-16 hour days. An incredible experience and great way to start out Election Year 2008.

That's the brief rundown... glossing over the fact that the Badgers lost a bowl game and the Packers lost the NFC Championship. Very very busy, but that's life and overall I'm happy. This is going to be a huge blog... but I want to put some (late) goals for 2008. Hey, I was too sick for resolutions.

--Take more pictures
--Relax when the opportunity arises
--Be content with what I have
--Believe in myself
--Let creativity and personality shine through
--Learn to cook more healthy meals
--Do yoga more
--Gossip less
--Be patient, but strong.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"When Autumn comes...

"... it doesn't ask, it just walks in where it left you last... You never know when it starts, until there's fog inside the glass around your summer heart..."-- John Mayer

Friday, October 12, 2007

Seasons Change.

Fall is my most favorite season of the year. So many people who live around here think it's bad, because it just means that winter isn't too far around the corner. I think that's OK... I love Thanksgiving and Christmas both... they're great reasons to be thankful for what you have and appreciate your family and friends. But back to fall, I think it's one of the most expressive seasons. The colors change so drastically in nature, the air turns with a chill so quickly, and (I don't have scientific proof of this) it seems that it's one of the fastest seasons here in Wisconsin so you have to appreciate it while it's here. That chilly feeling making you want to feel cozy everywhere, the vibrant colors that follow you around the city, and the general feeling that most of the year has already come and gone always leaves me in a very nostalgic mood.

I've realized that as the seasons changed this year, a lot of things have changed in my own life. The year started with major changes at work, with the only real "boss" I've ever known leaving... and then some serious turnover at work. It left everything so uncertain... how was this year going to go? Could I make it without knowing someone would be there to believe in me and push me to be better? I discovered quickly that my life would change at work alone... and then trickle down to effect everything else. I don't need to re-hash all the details... but I guess in the end I'm somewhat proud of how it all went. The first time I faced big changes and challeneges at work... I feel into a feeling that I couldn't classify... but I only know it as sad and not fully functional. I wanted so badly to not feel that way this time... and while I can't say that I was completely successful, I think I did some of the best work I've done so far in my career this year... and managed to somehow keep things together at home. (Brad is one of the most patient men you will ever meet and I can't say how much I am blessed to be with him.) There's probably times (and may still be times) when I needed to reach out for more help than I was getting. I dealt with some pretty heavy stuff this summer, and I guess I always felt like someone else had it worse than I did so I should just deal with it. I've decided that's not a motto to live your life by.

Anyway, I can talk about this all in past tense because seasons have now changed for me once again. I was promoted, I guess you could say, at work to be the station's new Political Reporter. It's something I've been interested in and wanted to do for a long time, and I worked really hard this year to try to get it once the position was vacated by the man who is now my boss. Its going to mean a huge learning curve of people to meet, information to know, and frankly, guts and gravitas to grow. I'm excited and sort of terrified at the same time, but its also nice to have a major challenge in front of me to put me back on an extremely driven track. I want to be the kind of reporter that can get above the fray and tell you what's really going on in the state house and why you should care. I don't want to get bogged down by the messiness of it all, but want to expose what's true, real, and meaningful. I know I'll hit my stride somewhere along the way, but its going to take some real work to get there. Thankfully, the new position also means a new schedule and more time at home with Brad and family and friends, which I know now I'm going to need. Its amazing how long you can want and work for something, only to find out that's its a lot more on your plate than you ever thought it would be. Here's to growing some thick skin.

Anyway, I'm trying to scrap my stress away... and hopefully we're going to do some fun fall stuff this weekend. Hope you can pick some apples and pumpkins and enjoy the fleeting season change as it happens.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I remember.

I found myself driving to work this morning trying to figure out where I'd been 6 years ago. What had I been doing... what was I watching or thinking at that exact moment. And the troubling thing is... I could remember it all very clearly. At a little after 9am 6 years ago... I was in a spanish class at the UW... trying to figure out why my teacher was still teaching verb modifiers when our nation was under attack.

Brad and I had seen the second plane hit the South tower of the World Trade Center that morning, as we waited in line for breakfast at the dorm cafeteria. I remember him saying... was that a missle? And I said no, it was a plane. But why would a plane fly into the towers? It was the question we didn't want to know the answer to. So we went to class, because we weren't sure if we shouldn't. And then my teacher yelled at me for trying to talk to the sleepier kids in class who hadn't seen what happened. And then I spent the next 45 minutes confused and terrified.

Why does that matter today? Who are we and are we different? Should we be? Does it let the terrorists win?

I was looking for a photo to go with this post today and I found the one of the "falling man" which I vaguely remember seeing. It was one of the only published pictures of someone jumping out of the trade center that day, because people were outraged that the jumpers were being stripped of their dignity by having their untimely and horrifying death photographed. I agree, that it is awful and disturbing what happened. But as a storyteller, I understand the power that that man's story could hold. It holds the power of outrage, of fight, of the ability for people never to forget what happened that day, to make them different.

I am a different person than the one I was that day by many accounts, and not just because I've aged or gotten married or begun a career. I am a different person because I understand the horror of what can happen in the world we know to be usually safe. I know that we shouldn't stand for an incident like this to ever happen in our country again, but we also shouldn't stand for it to be a reason for other horrors to take place around the world.

As we remember another anniversary of one of the worst tragedies in our history... I hope we don't become numb to what it still means to each and every one of us. It's easy to do that... be jaded by all the years of 9/11 memorials and file footage and somewhat empty rhetoric. But we lived this. And I don't know about you, but I hope to never feel that terror or confusion I felt that day in the cafeteria ever again.