seriously, i will break that damn fiddle

Cold Mountain: The Good
-Jack White makes more than a cameo.
-Nicole Kidman is probably the most gorgeous woman alive and, also, a very good actress.
-I can't believe I'm saying this, but Renee Zelweger made this movie worth watching.**
-Jude Law is phenomenally hot, but only during his shaven moments. Those amount to about five minutes.

Cold Mountain: The Rest
Everything else, take it or leave it.*

*I'm waiting for the Movie Critic Gods to smite me.
**I'm waiting for the ghost of Rachel past to smite me.

12-30-2003 10:01 PM - comments (3)

to the east side (of the same building)

In keeping with my inability to stay in one job for more than a few months, I've accepted an offer from within my company, Pulitzer Inc., and have resigned from my current job. I'm now editor of St. Louis' Best Bridal (bi-annual, with a weekly updated web site, bridal shows and other day-to-day writing and editing) and Savvy Family (monthly) magazines. It's with Pulitzer's new projects division, and I've been told it's a challenging, interesting job that involves some creativity. (And an 8:30 a.m. start time.)

Being editor of these two magazines isn't the same thing as being in charge of them--I simply edit the copy, organize content and layouts, do some writing if needed, work with the graphics people and make sure everything is going smoothly. I won't have the same kind of flexibility or creative control as I did in my previous job, at least not in the short run. But I think if I'm there long enough, I'll be better able to help shape the look and feel of the magazines.

I don't want to call it a promotion, because it has little to nothing to do with my most recent job as editor/reporter for two editions of the West County Journals. But frankly, the new job has better benefits, including a salary and possible raises. It feels altogether too grown-up, though I am grateful for the opportunity.

It's rotten that I'm leaving my (now-former) boss in a lurch. But as my new boss said--once I accepted the job--she was the one who let me know about the opening and didn't try to stop me from applying. I think she knew I'd be a good fit for it. I hope she knows I really liked this job and wouldn't have left it had the new position's offer been less tempting.

My new boss told me I can still freelance with A&D Watch for the next 60 days (before things start heating up with the fall/winter bridal issue), and I'll stay with the Journals until my old boss finds someone to replace me.

Oh, and I have to use a Mac.

12-30-2003 9:47 PM - comments (3)

cue the charlie brown music

I wish you all a happy holidays and an anything-but-lonely New Year's.

I don't think I could be any happier this Christmas, and I get to spend my New Year's/birthday with Michael (for the first time. Isn't that weird?).

12-23-2003 8:41 AM - comments (0)

contra means line, i think

Tonight I had to photograph what was essentially a square dance somewhere in Webster Groves. I suppose they waltzed and did the "contra," too, but unless you're familiar with English country dancing, you would be as lost as me when it came down to the details. Also, I can't hear the word "contra" without thinking of A) The Iran-Contra affair (which is filed next to the French and Indian War in my head as far as poorly named historical events are concerned) and B) The classic Nintendo game.

The people there were from all over Missouri and Illinois, dancing like mad to music from a band that consisted of two old guys playing the fiddle and guitar and a 16-year-old girl from Chicago who played the violin. It's hard to take pictures in a room where people are flailing around to bluegrass or old-time fiddle music or whatever it is, and as such, I was hit repeatedly by flannel-covered arms and black Mary Jane shoes, and since I bruise just thinking about running into stationary objects, I'm sure my body will not be in presentable shape for the next couple of weeks.

Men high on fiddle music and promenading kept asking me to be their partner. I told them I didn't want to compromise my journalistic integrity. Then I glanced down at my notepad, filled with scrawlings of the names of the faces I had photographed. I read, "old man, grey hair, hearing aid, wearing kilt and big gold earring. High school son wearing same. Crazy look in eyes."

I waited until after I had left the premises before I started cracking up. You gotta love passion, even if it's for something no fourth-grader has ever not made fun of.

12-21-2003 10:46 PM - comments (1)

my favorite songs

I will do anything not to have to focus on the kind of week I'm going to have.

An incomplete list, but not by much:

"H" - Tool
"Black" - Pearl Jam
"Head Over Heels" - Tears for Fears
"10 Minutes" - The Get Up Kids
"Hammering in my Head" - Garbage
"Vow" - Garbage
"Three Libras" - A Perfect Circle
"Soma" - The Smashing Pumpkins
"Thru the Eyes of Ruby" - The Smashing Pumpkins
"Age of Innocence" - The Smashing Pumpkins
"Fashionably Uninvited" - Mellowdrone
"Every Shining Time You Arrive" - Sunny Day Real Estate
"Pretty When You Cry" - VAST
"Letting the Cables Sleep" - Bush
"High Speed" - Coldplay
"Colorblind" - Counting Crows
"Blow Up the Outside World" - Soundgarden
"Late in the Day" - Supergrass
"Lullaby" - The Cure
"I Wanna Be Adored" - The Stone Roses
"The Center of the World" - Bright Eyes
"Wounded" - Third Eye Blind
"Tyler" - The Toadies
"Can We Still be Friends?" - Todd Rundgren
"What's My Age Again?" - Blink 182
"Piano Man" - Billy Joel
"Cause a Rockslide" - Badly Drawn Boy
"Sluttering" - Jawbreaker
"Stinkfist" - Tool
"Goldfinger" - Ash
"Something" - The Beatles
"Mother" - Tori Amos
"Santa Monica" - Everclear
"Linger" - The Cranberries
"Company Calls Epilogue" - Death Cab for Cutie
"Be Quiet and Drive" - Deftones
"Sweet Adeline" - Elliott Smith
"The Wrong Way to Hold a Microphone" - Empire State Games
"Everlong" - The Foo Fighters
"Laid" - James
"Last Goodbye" - Jeff Buckley
"There are Ghosts" - Karate
"Ladykiller" - Lush
"Hey Ya" - Outkast
"Like a Prayer" - Madonna
"80 Windows" - Nada Surf
"Subbacultcha" - The Pixies
"The Big Come Down" - nine inch nails
"Drain You" - Nirvana
"Hail, Hail" - Pearl Jam
"Red and Blue Jeans" - The Promise Ring
"Street Spirit (Fade Out)" - Radiohead
"Under the Bridge" - The Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Fair" - Remy Zero
"Paint it Black" - The Rolling Stones
"El Scorcho" - Weezer
"Undone (The Sweater Song)" - Weezer
"Denise" - Fountains of Wayne
"Lucky Man" - The Verve
"They Say Vision" - Res

12-16-2003 8:23 PM - comments (4)

strom, strom, strom

It is getting so cliched for racists to have illegitimate black children. My only question is, do these creeps really believe blacks are inferior to whites, or is it just a cover-up for their indiscretions?

Maybe it just seems this way, but a lot of times people, especially religious zealots, commit in excess the very sins they claim to abhor. You know, William Bennett and gambling, Newt Gingrich and divorce, Jim Bakker and money, George W. Bush and cocaine*, priests and young boys...Is the stress of being holier-than-thou so taxing that it causes these people to succumb to their worst fears? Or are extremely righteous people just also inherently gigantic hypocrites?

*This isn't completely fair, because Bush used to be all for cocaine, thereby making his illicit drug use totally cool at the time.

12-16-2003 5:43 PM - comments (1)

deal with it

Everyone has their pet peeves. I absolutely hate it when people tell me I talk too fast. It's one thing if they're saying it because they can't understand me. That's fine. But when they're just saying it to be critical, I want to say, "Hey. I don't point out your bad breath, your lack of fashion sense or your weird froggy voice. So shut up and think before you open your big, stupid mouth."

For the first time in a long time, someone told me today I spoke too quickly. He was trying to get me to do a story about him. Well, buddy, there goes your 15 minutes of fame. Maybe Post-Dispatch reporters talk at a reasonable speed, but they sure as hell won't want to write about your boring life. Just because you escaped from Nazi Germany as a child doesn't mean I have to write a story about you. I mean, if I had to write a story about everyone who had escaped from Nazi Germany and who now lives in the area I cover, I'd...

Okay, okay, I'm overreacting. But if you had been essentially criticized your entire life for something that is simply a part of you, you might be a little testy about it, too. Look, if you can't keep up with me, maybe your brain works at a slower speed than mine. Also, I'm from New Jersey. What do you expect?

Also, I woke myself up in the middle of the night with the realization that Ellen DeGeneres and Vance DeGeneres must be siblings. It wouldn't have been so off-putting had I not had the same realization a couple of years ago.

12-12-2003 11:48 AM - comments (4)

setting oneself up

From the weekly e-mail of available jobs and internships sent by the School of Journalism's career services department:

" is urgently looking for an enthusiastic, talented Editorial Assistant. As you might expect, this job involves some administrative duties, but the growth potential is pretty impressive (our edit department has doubled in size in the last year) so if you do a great job, you can expect to move up quickly."

Ha, ha! Doubled in size! Did you read that? Doubled!

12-12-2003 10:20 AM - comments (0)