Friday, July 31, 2009

Last day of work

Last day of work! I worked on my book review all day, mostly. Carol and I had lunch and I just ordered my last book for her to have sent to a reviewer.

It's a good day. I'm doing a lot of clean up. I just realized I should save the files I have on this computer somewhere. Had a few funny moments with the peanut gallery and one of the editorial writers said I should definitely send my op-ed in.

Feeling bittersweet. Having dinner with Hillsdalians tonight but kind of feeling overwhelmed and not in the mood. I want to but I'm feeling eh. I just can't believe it's over.

It's been such a great internship. Carol said I can be a freelancer too, so that's really great. I'm excited about that.

It's been a great summer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things I'm Going to Miss about The Washington Times

Tomorrow is my last day. I thought it better to write this out today:

10. My Times e-mail. It's so great and it's really helpful since I have to contact so many publicists. Besides, work e-mail is just so chic and I love seeing the paper's name behind mine.

9. Hanging out at Aaron's desk in the newsroom before leaving the office to say "hi" and IHOPing

8. David coming up from the newsroom to sit on the couch in my "temporary office" (that I've had all summer) to talk politics and ideas and exchanging stories

7. Getting coffee with Krudy in the TWT cafeteria and walking past him on my way to the mail room

6. Saying good morning to the editorial writers; hearing Brett say "Good morning sunshine!"; having them tease and talk to me; helping me with pieces; doing research; hearing they forget that I'm a girl so they "sailor talk."

5. Getting a book in the office after I had contacted the publicist; likewise, developing familiarity with certain publicists and publishing houses.

4. Being part of the peanut gallery, i.e. kibitzing with the managing editor and the letters editor from our respective offices

3. Eating lunch in my office, just listening to the office around me

2. Opening up bags of packages filled with books! It's like Christmas or my birthday. Not that I even want to keep most of the books (yes, a few), I just love opening them.

1. My editor, Carol. She's the best. She's also like my mom and I'm going to miss talking to her.

Things I'm NOT going to miss (this list had to be here too): that annoying security guard I feel has a vendetta against me, riding the shuttle, my cold office, the printer that decides when it wants to work, annoying publishers, transferring calls, telling people that someone no longer works here, bad coffee and the-interns-who-shall-not-be-named.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life is like an ad for the Spy Museum...

Today is National Cowboy Day (I found that out when I was visiting the Shells in AZ and we went to Sedona two years ago) and my “little” (but taller) brother Mikey's 17th birthday. I talked to Mom on the phone this morning. So far, he has gotten a green shirt that says "Irish" and a cap that says "Guinness"-- not a surprise, considering my family.

I finished my book; I'll be starting my book review today. I'm currently working on my op-ed. I feel torn, because I do not even think anything will come of my changes, but it's still a good piece, so we'll see.

I had my last lunch with my first TWT friend Aaron. It was good and nostalgic. We went to IHOP, per usual. Still uber-sketchy. I did not plan on it, but I put aside my peanut butter and jelly and apple as it’ll most likely be the last time I see him this summer. He’ll be at CPAC though, so we’ll be able to meet up then. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that (thanks to technology), it’s never really good-bye-- more of a ‘see you’—especially if they’re a true friend. If they’re an acquaintance, they’ll pop up sporadically and if they’re a not-too-nice person, they’ll pop up at a most inopportune moment.

Krudy had this last day on Friday and now MY last day is coming up…ahh!! Can’t/ don’t want to believe it. I miss him. He was my closest friend and fellow Hillsdalian at the Times (and a good friend in general but fine! go join the Marines! I see how it is. The "real world" beckons).

I’m certainly having a day. Special shout-out to Matt Stone, who always makes me think about good things (like whole pitchers of beer haha) when I’m having a bad one :) Another one to Krudy for not trying to reason with me when it came to hating on publishers.

In terms of the title-- Matt and I were discussing how fast summer has gone and if anyone reading this is in DC, I know you've seen the Spy Museum ads around. One of them is a silhouette of a shoe and below it reads "tick. tick. boom." (Matt: there should be a (weee) as the subtitle to that add) and that's how this summer feels to us. It's been going and going and now it's the endgame: the light at the end of the tunnel is approaching and soon we'll be rushed back to Hillsdale and the great unknown.

Also, if you're interested (especially Hillsdale readers): check out Hillsdale's Princeton Review rankings on the HF blog! Pretty awesome.

So, in the infamous words of The Dude, "Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here." Yeah man.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The beginning of the end

First off, my sister Muffy always has (in my opinion) some of the funniest FaceBook statuses. Here is hers today:
Marianne Robison wants to know something. If you ignore someone's friend request, does a thing pop up in their notifications that says: "Oh snap, you just got rejected!"?

Today is the first day of my last week at work. I simply cannot believe how quickly it has gone by. I of course began it completely behind schedule (as if I'm actually on one, it's usually me deluding myself into thinking I have order in the morning); I took a shower and got dressed, forcing myself to eat part of a banana because I think I should eat something but then forgot to pack a lunch (I'm just not hungry today; or at least, I wasn't for the first half). I make it to the metro fine. I'm carry a semi-empty book bag (vs. my purse or messenger bag) with me now because I'll be lugging books home with me now. Heavy books for my family and friends, but a number for myself as well.

I love books. I remember coming to DC in high school and Mom surreptitiously bought Dad and I matching shirts from the Library of Congress with a Thomas Jefferson quote ("I cannot live without book," which is from a letter he wrote to Adams). I have no clue where it is now, which means Mikey probably has it (along with my Notre Dame lacrosse shirt which is one of my favorites and I will be reclaiming it at home), but I always love seeing Dad wear it around the house.

Today I am finishing the book I am reading "You or Someone Like You" by Chandler Burr. I have been taking lots of notes, so I'd like to get started on it. May finish my op-ed if I have time (dubious). I'm also contacting this one publisher who is annoyingly difficult to get a hold of and we really do need this book in the office ASAP. (Oh! Just got an e-mail. So gratifying.) Also, copy editing, always a favorite pastime.

Last night, my friend Will's family invited a few of Will's friends (myself included) out to dinner. They've been visiting DC the past few days from Texas. I all ready knew Will's sister, but it was great to meet the rest of the family as well (mostly--I think he has an older brother who was not present). We went to Fish Market in Old Town (one of the first convienient things I've done all summer!) and it was delicious. Afterwards we all got ice cream and walked down by the water and talked until the Claytons called it a-night. Then the boys and I went to Murphy's, which was bad beer (Matt agrees; the Guinness was off) and good conversation. Those are four of my favorite Hillsdalians and I am glad I got to share a nice evening with them.

Rach went home this weekend, so I am excited for her to be back. We'll be having Kappa roomie bonding on Thursday with Katie, so I am terribly excited for that. Tonight I was invited to poker by the J-Babe; Hunter and I will get a quality dinner of half-priced pizza and $5 beer beforehand, which will be lots of fun. This week in general will be enjoyable as well, even if it is my last week at work. (next week: research for senior thesis!)

Matt and I always joke about how we go through withdrawal from each other when we haven't seen each other in one or two days, but I think there is certainly something to be said from a notable absence of a good friend. People around the office keep making jokes about how they'll miss me/ they won't miss me. It'll be sad to go, but I have a feeling I'll be seeing them in the future--or at least stay in touch.

Home will be good. I've been thinking a lot about it lately. Not because I want to go home, but rather what waits for me there. I got to talk to Bromley on Sunday, which was so wonderful. She's going home next week, but is not heading back to South Carolina till Tuesday, thank goodness. I'm heading back on the first Friday, because I have my cousin Abby's baby shower (Dad's side) and a wedding of Hillsdale friends (Marybeth and Joe) in Columbus on Saturday. My mom's whole side will be going up to our cousins' lake house, which we do every year and I will be bummed to miss, but it happens. I've all ready made other commitments. I'm excited to meet my new cousin Maggie; she'll still be less than 2 months.

In other news, I work in an ice box.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jesus Christ, Superstar

Today on the metro, I was sitting in the back next to this lady, listening to my ipod. I used to try to read books, but I could never focus long enough because--let's just be honest with ourselves--it's the morning. We're a couple stops into my ride when this pair of ladies gets on, one of which looks a bit older so I offer her my seat. She looks extraordinarily grateful to me (which is better than most, who think I should have gotten up a long time ago or forget to say thank you, although there are always the considerate ones) and thanks me and keeps looking at me. I only know this because I was staring at the window (which is really like staring at yourself because of the reflection), jamming along.

Suddenly, I was struck that this was a good time to pray; not just say a little prayer to myself for others though-- a full-out 5 decade prayer to Mary for her intervention and guidance. I always carry my rosary with me and intend to pray, but I usually don't because of a number of reasons. Today, however, the urge to pray was too great and so I got out my rosary and wrapped it around my hand so that I could easily slide my thumb from bead to bead to keep track. I certainly was not being ostentatious about it and kept my head phones in (although the music was off).

Again, I had a feeling the woman wanted to talk to me because she had just been fumbling through her purse. At first I thought she was going to give me money for giving up my seat, which of course I would have refused because that would have been ridiculous. Instead, she brought out a little card and when our eyes met, I took out one of my headphones and she handed me the card which read "Jesus: Our help for today, Our hope for tomorrow." She introduced herself as Pearl and asked my name. She told me to have a blessed day. I just think it was the nicest thing I've ever experienced on the metro.

The priest on Sunday told us in his homily about working with sisters at this shelter and how he was asked to wash this one homeless man. Not only was he homeless though, he was really, really dirty. He told us how he felt uncomfortable and was not quite sure how to, since that was his first time doing anything like that. He told us how he was not treating the man with fullness of heart and Love like the little sisters were doing and the homeless man let him (the priest) know that. Suddenly, he said he was filled with joy in his heart and he said he knew he was encountering Christ. He ran to his fellow priest and said "I have met Christ! and he was really, really dirty." (I loved that line.)

I think we all encounter Christ everyday. Maybe we don't see it, but it's there. I think perhaps by seeing people, each person, as a child of Christ, will really change the perception of the world around you. Saying that, of course, is the easy part because that is really hard to do, especially living in a place like DC. The Hill interns (or "Hillterns") are especially trying on the nerves and soul.

DC has been a wonderful experience thus far and it really has taken the good, the bad and the Hillterns to make me appreciate it.

Today was a good work day: Quin went over my op-ed with me (point: good research, needs to get cut down) and sent me something from the Senate to help me out; lots of copy editing and ordering of books. I found another book to review, so I am excited about that. I'm babysitting one of the editorial writer's kids on Thursday so that he and his wife can go see Harry Potter and I am stoked for that. Jim is a personal favorite and so nice; he's also from Cincinnati originally! Our high schools are a couple miles apart.

Rushing out now--Carol's given me leave to go so that I can catch the 5:15 shuttle and meet Gina for a bit before heading over to FB to have Indian with a friend. Rachel has stories from Chicago to tell me, but I don't think I'll be able to hear them till later in the week...

I re-read Whittaker Chamber's "Letter to my Children" from his book 'Witness.' We read it in American Heritage and it continues to give me chills at how excellent and profound it is. This is one of my favorite parts of it:

"My children, when you were little, we used sometimes to go for walks in our pine woods. In the open fields, you would run along by yourselves. But you used instinctively to give me your hands as we entered those woods, where it was darker, lonelier, and in the stillness our voices sounded loud and frightening. In this book I am again giving you my hands. I am leading you, not through cool pine woods, but up and up a narrow defile between bare and steep rocks from which in shadow things uncoil and slither away. It will be dark. But, in the end, if I have led you aright, you will make out three crosses, from two of which hang thieves. I will have brought you to Golgotha-the place of skulls. This is the meaning of the journey. Before you understand, I may not be there, my hands may have slipped from yours. It will not matter. For when you understand what you see, you will no longer be children. You will know that life is pain, that each of us hangs always upon the cross of himself. And when you know that this is true of every man, woman and child on earth, you will be wise."

As Pearl gave to me, now I say to you: have a blessed day!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter is worth not going to bed at a reasonable hour for

First off: saw the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night with my friends Tessa, Hunter, J-Babe (who went as "Fratty Potter," it was so funny) and his girl friend Kaitlin. We got to the theater a little before 10:30 (movie was supposed to start at 12:01) and the line was wrapped around the large block and up the side street. The amount of people there was ridiculous, yet awesome. I deal fine with crowds, I just prefer to not. Too many pushy and annoying people. Heather called me though to find out when I was going back to school so that we could move all our stuff (i.e. books and winter clothes, etc.) from Mac to Kappa together. It was so wonderful hearing her voice; the three hour time difference makes it a wee bit difficult to catch each other, but when we do, it is always glorious.

The movie was amazing. I would see it again today or tomorrow or the next day in a heartbeat. Even though I read all the Harry Potter books multiple times, I am embarrassed to say I have since forgotten many major components of the sixth, and that I yelped at a part involving something coming out of dark water rather suddenly (dark water is probably one of my biggest fears; there are just too many variables--also, the whole didn't know that was coming element: I can be a jumpy person in general, so that most likely contributed as well.) The plot was not disjointed, there was character development, actual funny parts (not just forced laughing between the three protagonists), as well as elements of sympathy, growing pains (Draco's angst was pretty classic), action and adventure, and great dialogue.

Today I edited the Sunday section (including my own review!) and am now taking a break from reading my second book. I'm also meeting with one of my favorite editorial writers later to go over and discuss the op-ed I wrote. I found a neat book on the give-away table by the Books office called "The Constitutional Presidency;" that would have been a neat senior thesis topic as well! I drank (am still drinking) coffee today but I didn't (don't) like it. I even made it myself and still didn't (don't) like it. I made Ben (an editor) coffee too and his was fine, so I know it is not just me botching up the brew.

Tonight I am meeting up with Matt, Will and Zach at the Press Club for drinks, and then heading over to Chinatown to have dinner with CNers. I think it shall be another lovely night. The weather continues charming.

In closing, I saw an interesting quote and wondered what y'all think about it: "Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it." --Russel Baker.

I'm not sure what the context is or where it is even from, but it certainly made me think I haven't suffered too horribly this summer; in fact, I've kind of liked it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

turn it up, that's enough, so you know it's got soul --van morrison

Today I am wearing my black pencil skirt. I remember buying it for recruitment and thinking, I will never wear this (except for Kappa). Then, one day, I decided to try it with an oxford, and a few weeks after that with a ruffled blouse from J.Crew and now? Well today I am wearing it with a purple v-neck, green cardigan, and metallic flats. I would like to thank Heather for telling me to stop being a baby and wear the black skirt outside Kappa functions because it has become one of my favorite skirts to wear to the office. It is tres chic, and always in style.

Edited two book reviews, checked up on publishers, ordered a few more. I am looking around for books to review for the Collegian in the fall. I have all ready found two: Race and Liberty in America, edited by Jonathan Bean and The Duty of Delight: The diaries of Dorothy Day, edited by Robert Ellsberg. I also found a collection on T.S. Eliot and a fiction--Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. If anyone else has any other suggestions, I am very open to them.

Nice chats with the managing and letters editors this morning; they are definitely my two favorites in the office, outside my editor, who is just the sweetest.

I might be meeting up with Hillsdale pals for drinks tonight but am definitely seeing Harry Potter 6 at midnight. I am thus feeling motivated to be very productive today. I've finished all my work so far, so I think I'm going to read my second book! It seems so decadent to be reading a book in the middle of the day.

When in DC, my favorite tool to use is the DC Metro Trip Planner. For all those unawares, I tend to run on Julie time, which means I either over or under estimate how much time is needed (usually the latter) to get somewhere. This handy dandy contraption tell you either what time the trains will arrive if you get somewhere at this time, or what time you should leave if you want to get somewhere by a certain time (you can only imagine how much I love the second option). It has other dandy variables to play with too (like date and time), which makes traveling a little easier.

This was the reflection today; it is from Pope Paul VI and discusses the call of Christ. It is very, very good. Read here.

Rach passed along this article to me from G. It's called "The Audacity of the Pope" and was published in the New York Times. Very intriguing and a good read.

And finally: my friend Katie sent a mass e-mail with her contact information for the next year because she is going to be a FOCUS missionary at the University of Auburn in Alabama this fall. According to Katie,

FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is a national outreach that sends teams of missionaries to college campuses to meet students where they are and invite them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. We host large-group outreach events such as conferences and retreats, as well as Bible Studies to build students up and encourage them in their faith. We also do one-on-one mentoring, investing our lives into the students we work with, just loving them and offering guidance as to how to live their faith in the midst of the demands and distractions of everyday life. "

Doesn't that sound great?! I wish Hillsdale had something like that. Anyways, this quote was at the bottom of her e-mail and I love it:

"The world promises you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness." --Pope Benedict XVI

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thank You! from the intern

I would just like to thank all the writers out there: people who can't remember comma placement or how to write a sentence properly or do not know that all prepositions are not created or used equally. --Thank you for giving me a job and the hope/ knowledge that I'll have a job in the future!

Today is an editing-filled day, along with plenty of phone calls and e-mails to publishers. There is this book/ publisher we have been trying to track down and get a hold of for a while now, so I feel a sense of accomplishment that I am finally getting this book off to the reviewer. I love, in general, my TWT e-mail box filled with responses from publicists saying yes, the book has been sent, is there anything else we can do for you?! ...Ah, glorious.

I went to IHOP with Aaron and Krudy for lunch today; it was delicious, but too filling. Krudy won the eat more food than everyone else award, closely followed by Aaron. I enjoyed my buttermilks quite nicely, thank you!

I saw on the news that Frank Ricci is going to be sitting in as a witness for the Sotomayor Confirmation hearings. That should be interesting!

Going out to dinner with Jason and Hunter at Froggy Bottom tonight, so that should be fun. J-Babe and I went last week and highly enjoyed the $5 pitchers of American beer and edible pizza. This is going to be a busy week, so I'll enjoy the downtime tonight.

Just got an e-mail from Mrs. O'D (the mom of the twins, two good friends from home) and it absolutely made my day. I talked to Davey yesterday afternoon, which was great, and hearing from his mom today is just delightful. I have a couple friends at home where I can go over to their house and talk to their parents instead of hanging out with my friends and be perfectly happy about it. The O'Donnells, the Besls, the Bromleys and the Malloys were four of the pseudo-families who fed me during lacrosse seasons and continue to let me come over at all hours of the day/night. I think I miss them just as much as my extended family; they are, after all, a type of extended family.

I'm getting called "the intern" and "our intern" now. I like it; when the men in the office say it, it has an endearing quality to it. (I say men because the only woman is my boss and she calls me by my Christian name!--like the rest of the world haha.) The managing editor said "Good Morning, Sunshine!" to me again: love love love it. He is the nicest man, and very smart; I would adore working for him. Or my editor--I would probably pick her first :)

Can't believe how fast the day has gone.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Top 10 Reasons For Loving July 10, 2009

10. I got to listen to Dr. Moreno talk this morning and there were donuts. (His talk was really good too. I'll most likely blog about for HF later.)

9. Dr. Carlton agreed to be my thesis adviser! He's teaching at Hillsdale right now; Dr. Schlueter recommended I ask him, since my topic is right in his field (did not know that--now I do!). My thesis is going to be on the degradation of the family in the 21st century with the expansion of government programs. If you have any material, feel free to pass it on to me!

8. I had a really great talk with the managing editor of Editorial. He told me this story about how this president in the Philippines tried to have him killed because he exposed corruption back in 2003. The article is on his wall and everything--I mean how cool is that?! Also, when he came in this morning, he said "good morning, sunshine!" to me. I said it to him yesterday, and was happy to hear it today.

7. Emilia sent me this NRO blurb that features an excerpt from Reps. Boehner and McCotter responding to the Pope's latest encyclical. Many critics say it's political, but it's really not at all, and I'm glad they came out and made a public statement defending it. Read here. It's really great. This is important that they made a public statement, especially with cafeteria Catholics in America approving of Obama and in light of the Obamas meeting with the Pope today.

6. Since today is today, that means tomorrow is tomorrow. And tomorrow, Matt and I go to the White House for a tour and Hunter gets back from Italia!

5. Tonight I am cooking chicken and eating beer. Yes, at the same time. Cooking and drinking always go hand-in-hand. It will be my first night "in" all week. Excitement abounds!

4. Even though I was suppose to go to IHOP with Aaron (I forgot, like a bad friend), I still highly enjoyed eating my lunch today. It wasn't anything fancy: just a sandwich and raisons. There is still something very comforting about my work area.

3. My editor left early and said I could leave early too, so now I can go hear Fred Thompson speak at the Kirby Center this afternoon! I also get to see Amanda again :)

2. My book review has been approved; it shall be printed on July 19, 2009 in TWT. I'm now starting my second book!

and my biggest reason for completely loving today?...

1. It's Friday!! TGIF, indeed.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hey! Look! A Book Reviewer!

I got to meet one of the reviewers today! John Greenya (pronounced Green-yuh). Very nice older man, such a character. I enjoyed him immensely, but that may have been in part because when I introduced myself, he said my name sounded like a good writer's name.

Today's been going nicely: read the FT this morning, took a walk down to cafeteria with the letters editor so he could get a coke, edited a review, ordered lots of books, meet with a reviewer, and now I'm eating lunch and will launch into the last lap before my own book review is complete. Meeting up with fellow CN interns for dinner tonight, so that should be a good time. There's only a handful of us in the city, so not too bad.

Side note: I do not understand why people where sunglasses on the metro when we are in the tunnels. At night, yes; in tunnels, no. There is simply no need. And you look ridiculous.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Nickname

I have now been dubbed "the peanut gallery." Ha! Love it.

Just one of the guys

This morning, I opened the conference room because I knew where the key was and the senior editor didn't. As a result, Quinn, one of my favorite editorial writers, made a bowing motion towards me because the conference room has the coffee machine and he needed coffee reeeeal bad. One of the editors told me that he's so used to me being here, he forgets I'm there and talks "sailor talk," which I suppose is opposed to more polite talk around the females versus what he says to the rest of the department (i.e. the men). I've decided to take that as a compliment!

I looked over the proofs for the Sunday section, and it was nice to see changes I had made make it into the final copy. Makes me happy that I am doing my small part for the Books section of the paper.

This is just a small story, but I helped Logan with his crossword puzzle this morning and I think it made my entire day. Probably because the last time Logan needed help on a crossword answer, it was a legal term and I could not think of it for the life of me. It super bummed me out, so I think that was a redeeming moment for me haha. The answer was "signet ring" -- classic.

I've decided that if I wasn't in Books or Editorial, I would totally want to be at the Sports desk. They meander into the office wearing Friday casual every day, with half of them wearing plaid shirts and the other half wearing jerseys; I've only seen Phillies jerseys so far, but I am sure they root for other teams too. (Okay, that's an exaggeration--I've seen plenty of oxfords, ties, and khakis in that office too.) They seem to just sit around, type furiously, and discuss sports all day. What a great job to have! I started writing for the sports section my sophomore year of high school, and then was Sports Editor for the next two years. I love love love the Sports section. If I could have a sports beat? I would pick tennis or soccer; maybe football. There's not much demand for lacrosse reporting, I sadly note.

Having dinner with Kappas tonight! Am determined to finish my book review today.

Today's editorial about Sotomayor. Great line: "No judge who says her gender or ethnicity allows her to choose to see only certain facts and not others should come within a country mile of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court."

Also, an excellent article from The Jerusalem Post about a Palestinian female journalist who the Hamas police (Hamas government's Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice security force) attempted to arrest for dressing immodestly and laughing in public. Another reminder for why America is great!

And, for my final shout-out, check out my friend Andrew's blog. He's biking across the country (started at the Atlantic, heading towards the Pacific!) and is logging their expedition. It is a great read in general, but with his pictures it is ever better. I think they are still in Montana at this point (it's a huge state!!).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The French word for apple is "la pomme," i.e. I am eating a la pomme.

Today is a ho-hum day: nothing too exciting, just work. It keeps me busy, but I'm feeling tepid toward everything. I was just given a project by Editorial, so I'll probably put aside my book review for a bit and work on that instead.

Luke e-mailed yesterday and invited me to dinner, so I'm be dining with the FIRE guys as they're coming to DC tonight, so that should be fun. Also, I'll be making a special dessert for tomorrow (dinner with Kappas in Old Town!) and am considering starting either Madam Bovary or Dante tonight since I finished my Graham Greene novel on Sunday.

The weather continues pleasant. I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Great article by Thomas Sowell.

Monday, July 6, 2009

This just in: Hillsdale wants to interview me for a Hillsdale video! I must be a pretty big deal.

Songs of the day:

“In A Big Country” by moe.

“I Feel It All” by Feist

“Quiet Houses” by Fleet Foxes

David gave me the business section of the Financial Times to read this morning, and now I can report to you dear readers that Madoff’s lawyer does not regret defending him and that he would do it again if need be, because he believes in the constitution and the bill of rights. I really enjoyed reading that.

I also learned that Obama will be in Russia today, discussing decreasing defense spending and missile production. Not to burst his bubble, but
A) that seems like a really dumb thing to do, especially considering the turmoil in the world right now and
B) Russia is right by N. Korea. I doubt they will be doing any decrease in defense.

Obama will also be meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Friday, so I will be interested in hearing how that meeting goes. I hope that Pope gives him an earful about the dignity of life and the problem with his appointee to the Vatican being a liberation theologist. Liberation theology is type of theological teaching started in the 1970s, and is essentially Marxist. It is not true to the teachings of the Church, and JP II was a strong advocate against it. President Obama has been very eager to please all people, but with pleasing all he still ignores the wishes of a few. Also, I'm uber-jealous Obama gets to meet the Pope. I could use a little spiritual guidance from him right now.

Having a great day at work; read and edited too extremely well-done book reviews, kibitzed with two editorial writers, and now working on my book review/ talking to the letters editor (really intellectual conversations too, like how his tie brings out his eyes). Looking forward to this week, as something good is happening every day. Tonight, for instance, I am having beer and food with the J-Babe. That should be a lot of fun.

In the happiest of news, I get to go to Marisa’s wedding now. God is so, so good!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Importance of Punctuation

This morning I edited an article that only served to remind me of the importance of punctuation. It can some times be rather annoying to have to re-read a sentence 2-3 times only to realize that I'm not going crazy, it isn't a bad sentence: it only needs a comma or a semicolon or a dash to make everything better, kind of like a band-aid over a paper cut.

I remember in Prose Style two semesters ago, we had a bring in a piece that had all ready been published and edit it, sharing our corrections with the class. I chose a scene from Kerouac's "Maggie Cassidy," which was not nearly as bad as if I had chosen something from "Dharma Bums" or other later writings. My teacher gave me an 'A' on my edits and told me I did well, and then added "but you changed Kerouac's style!" That last blip haunted me for a long time (yes, even in my sleep, because I think about things like grammar and articles and books instead of dreaming--no wonder I wake up so tired!), and bothered me. Was I that type of editor? Was I squelching someone's genius? I was thinking of Kerouac, Joyce...but even they had work outside the realm of spontaneous prose, and to be truly appreciated, you have to be readable. Reading book reviews every day helps one realize the importance of proper punctuation. Not that you can't shake it up once in a while like E.E. Cummings, but there is something to be said about a well-worded, well-punctuated sentence: you don't even notice that you've been reading because it flows well and you are enjoying the work, not getting distracted by what is or is not there.

In closing, punctuation is important and people who don't believe that are usually the lazy ones who don't want to deal with it. Grammar may be boring, but it helps the world go 'round. People are much more likely to hire someone who has excellent grammar and spelling skills (or at least someone who double checks their work before sending it out) than not, and with this tricky economy and job hiring, it's going to come down to the nitty gritty. So don't be hatin' on the punctuation; it just might make or break it for you.

A final shout-out for the Oxford comma: I don't care what AP style says--I like it!! It is very useful in clarifying sentences and should continue to be used, especially in journalism.

My stomach keeps growling and I don't know why. I'm not hungry and yes, I ate breakfast this morning (cereal, mmm). This is going to be a busy day since we have to do two days of work in one (three day weekend coming up!)

Quote of the day:
Zach: for all their search engine prowess, its surprising that Google doesn't know who they are dealing with [him]
(of all my friends, Zach is one of the funniest and quotable :) )

Also, my friend D. from school sent me a random e-mail (it was 3ish in the morning) telling me that he loves to drink and that if I come to CO, he promises to show me a good time. I replied back that he should come to DC instead, and then we'll drink.

Fourth of July weekend: the fourth and final American Studies senior is coming to DC this weekend (the other three are all here), so we're going to Arlington and most likely grabbing a bite to eat somewhere. Somewhere in this weekend, we need to have a DPN meeting in a bar. That would be so classic. What we really need though, is to buy some fireworks...

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! (in advance!)
be safe, don't lose an eye or limb

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Facts are useless in emergencies

Day MUCH better:

--coffee helped (thanks Carol!)
--talked to Mom and Dad
--talked to Hunter in Italia
--e-mails from Rachel and Julia
--the letters editor and I had the office area to ourselves (Mary Lou's funeral was this afternoon); we went on a field trip to the cafeteria, he sent me this funny movie review and one he wrote too, talked about the Talking Heads (I swear they are coming up all the time this summer!) and making obscure cultural references in article headlines, and I helped him edit a letter.
--Aaron sent me this hilarious article from The Onion, which is great since we went to IHOP yesterday.
--had a back and forth with two of my sisters-- Katie and Muffy are too funny :)

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers; I definitely felt them. I am working on my book review and laughing listening to the managing editor and the letters editor kibitz.

All Moanday, Tearsday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday." --James Joyce (I think from Finnegan's Wake)

I get an e-mail of the daily mass readings and a commentary--this was today's...I think it fits

Commentary of the day :

Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), Founder of the Jesuits
Spiritual Exercises: rules for distinguishing spiritual influences (trans. Thomas Corbishley, SJ)

«Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called» (Col 3,15)

The characteristic effect produced by God and His angels in their spiritual operations is a genuine lightness of heart and spiritual joy, eliminating all the disturbing sadness engendered by the enemy, whilst his characteristic activity is to resist such lightness of heart and spiritual comfort, alleging specious reasons, subtle suggestions and sophistries without end. Spiritual comfort with no previous occasion giving rise to it comes from our Lord God alone. It is the Creator's prerogative to come into and leave the soul, to move it with inspirations of love for His Divine Majesty. "With no previous occasion" means without any preceding awareness or knowledge of anything which might induce such comfort in the soul...

It is typical of the evil spirit to transform himself into an angel of light, to go in by the devout soul's way but to come out his own way; I mean he introduces sound and pious thoughts, suited to the piety of that soul; but then, little by little, he tries to achieve his own purposes, by dragging the soul down to his secret designs and corrupt purposes.

We should pay great attention to the entire train of thought. If beginning, middle and end are wholly sound, tending to what is completely innocent, this is a sign of the good angel; but the train of thought suggested sometimes leads to something that is bad or at least distracting, or less good than what the soul had originally proposed to do; sometimes it undermines our strength of mind or disturbs us by destroying our peace and tranquillity of mind and the unperturbed condition already obtaining: these are clear signs that the thoughts come from the evil spirit, the enemy of our progress and everlasting salvation... When souls are advancing from good to better, the touch of the good angel is soft, light and gentle, like a drop of water making its way into a sponge. The touch of the evil angel is rough, accompanied by noise and disturbance, like a drop of water falling on stone.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Saturday

Today sucks. I won't elaborate, because that's silly to complain and rant on the internet. I've all ready called my parents; it was nice that they had time to talk, even though Mom was at the hospital and Dad was at the office. They're both usually tied up in meetings and phone calls, so I feel blessed that I caught them in a free moment. They always make me feel better and give me perspective. My editor was also nice and gave me money to buy her some coffee and myself a treat, but I didn't want to take advantage of her generosity, so I just bought myself a cup of coffee too.

I tried praying on the metro this morning to help center my restlessness, but only got through a decade of the rosary because I just could not keep my mind focused, so I turned up my ipod and tried to get through the rest of the train ride. I still held my rosary though, because even though I was having a hard time praying, it was comforting to be surrounded by people and feeling like you're still near Him. I saw a man walk onto the metro this morning with a little Bible. That is the first time I ever saw something like that, and it was really nice. It's one of those signs, in my opinion, that Jesus stands for something. It's like the hypothetical situation of you being in a dark alley and three men are approaching you--wouldn't you be comforted to know they just came from Bible study?

Yesterday, especially by the end of the work day, I was feeling the same way as today, so I went home and watched The Godfather. I think my roommate was a little concerned, but it really is a great movie. I talked to Julia for a bit and we decided to watch The Godfather and Boondock Saints together back at school because she's never seen the first one even though she's Italian, and I told her she must, and that we're going to watch the Irish too after that.

At this point, I just need to keep my mind focused and busy. I wrote out another to-do list for myself, so I think it will be the proper motivation I need to keep going all day. I'm also going to write letters and postcards tonight, and reply to the two wedding invitations I got over the weekend. The letters editor just read me a funny part of a letter he got: ahh, the joys of work.

One of my favorite quotes from The Godfather:
Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.

Kay: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.
Michael: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?