Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tough day -- and then the rain passed.

Hadn't been in the bureau in two weeks -- their scheduling, not mine.  It's not as if I didn't offer, and it's not as if they didn't need the extra hands.

Day started early, with my first-ever stakeout in ten years of working in DC -- at Fox, where the Israeli ambassador's security guard very nicely turned down our efforts to ask him a question about the Gaza flotilla situation.  Should made a firm bet with the photog, because I knew he wasn't going to talk, especially to us.  *snort*  Didn't sleep well, because I didn't want to miss the alarm, and miss getting to work early so the photog and I could go over to Fox...  No, can't tell a story to save my life.  Can't believe people pay me to do this...

Anyway.  Told desk no dice on the ambassador stakeout.  Returned to bureau, where I had to endure a very difficult "Hey, how are you?" chit-chat with people I once really enjoyed working with.  Escaped upstairs to read the papers and watch "Face the Nation."  No news in either place, so moved on to the Houston and New Orleans papers.  Oil spill corroding my soul.

Wandered out to get a coffee, and discovered a NEW GUY REPORTER talking to one of the package producers down the hall.  "Hi, I'm xxx, I'll be reporting here for the next month."  You don't say.  "Yeah, I was in the middle of doing training last week when they sent me to Alaska to do an oil story for three days!"  Really now.  Skulked back into my "office," which really belongs to three other staffers, but since I'm cool and have a potty mouth and good sources, I get to hang around and leave my notes in their space.

Efforts to think while working on story pitches were constantly interrupted.  First the photog.  We end up going out to get lunch.  Then I get a request to do lives on the latest wannabee terrorists from NYC.  OK -- guess the staff correspondent in NYC can't be troubled to cover something in her own area.  I figure out that a package can be created, so I create it.  Nice surprise for my NE.  I finish my lunch and cut the package with a very cool editor.  We look at crazy youtube videos of people using iPhones to fly model planes and bad car crashes where no one gets hurt.  (You had to be there.)  I go back to my lair to get ready for a live shot and maybe to write a pitch.

Then my mentee comes in because she's been having a bad week.  Then the guy who hunted me down to work at AJE in the first place comes upstairs to see if I'll give him my side of the story.  As tempting as it is to do so, I resisted.  I have to consider everyone not on my side, a potential spy.  It's a small shop, after all.

Even the studio tech wanted to know whether I was doing okay.  "Uh yeah, but I'm wearing a live mike, I'll talk to you later."  Then I turn on my concerned and informed face to talk about those wannabee NJ terrorists with London.

I can't get out of the building fast enough, but I have to chat with the adorable makeup chiquita and her man, who brought her jacket against the AC chill.  That's okay -- they're normal people.  Not enough normal people in TV news.

The front had blown through, the air was dry and fall-like.  The sky was bluer than it's been in days, and the clouds a reassuring orange.  I opened the sunroof and drove home at 70 mph, the breeze easing my heart a little bit.

And then a blogger whose site I haunt because she puts such pretty fabrics in pretty designs all over it -- sent me a brief note about this puny little space I need to nurture.  I was humbled.  Thanks, K.

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