Saturday, September 26, 2009

Good communication is important

Ha. So, I almost got into a fight (not really, but close) with the Wendy's drive thru lady yesterday. I wholly claim my blame, but she was just as feisty. I wanted to order three items a la carte, and she ordered me a combo without warning. I said, "No, I don't want the combo, I just want the three items." And she came back with, "Oh, no it's cheaper." And I'm thinking, how is it cheaper for me to buy a combo AND a Frosty? I don't think so!

We exchanged a few more words and I drove up to her window. We got into a small argument about the math of a combo versus a la carte. After a minute, she finally clarified that she wasn't trying to sell me a combo plus a Frosty, but that I could get the Frosty substituted for no extra charge. Wtf? In my own ignorance, I thought they charged for that crap, so I've never subbed. I told her so, and all was well. But, jeez, she couldn't have just said that at the beginning? Lesson: good communication is important.

Oh, and not snapping at the Wendy's lady is good too. Believe me, I felt this tall when I realized how stupid and immature I'd been. Good reminder to always have a hold on my temper.

Like tonight at the football game when I have to face Sloppy Joe and restrain myself from punching him when he tries to walk into my suite holders' stands to talk to them. I may regret this, but I hope he repeats his disappearing act from last game. That was the most helpful. I have to go get ready to leave for Athens, but I will give an update of the game tomorrow, I hope.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My time in the spotlight

Or, I'm just overindulging. Betsy, one of the editors assigned Amy and me several small pieces to write for the December issue. Yay! I'm excited that I get to write even some small pieces. Now, if only I could come up with some brilliant pitch for next year...hmm....I'll get back to that sometime.

And, I passed off my super complicated story to our editor so he can look over my fact checking. I really hope I didn't miss anything. I've gone over the story so many times and I've had it for so long that it was hard to catch stuff towards the end. And, oh yeah, a third of it is unchecked because I can't get in touch with some sources. Because I'm me, it makes me feel as if I have done something wrong, when in fact, there's nothing I can do if people don't want to talk to me and/or turn their phones off.

I think my computer is really in trouble...I will have to ask Ben to take a look at it. Besides being my selectively mute brother, he is our resident tech support. I think I have everything backed up elsewhere, so he will have the green light to wipe the hard drive. (I think that's what he said he would recommend.) I'm so over it, and my laptop is so ready to be retired. We're done.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, despite it being my day off. Bleh. But hopefully it will be spent doing things that will further my career. And, maybe some personal reading. We'll see. I'm looking forward to this weekend...Dawgs vs. Arizona State!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I love Hump Day

First, because, really, someone came up with that awesome name! Second, I only have one more day of work this week. And last, it's my free day.

I sent off my (re)application packet for the Southern Progress fellowship today. I'm pretty nervous about reapplying so soon, since I haven't had the chance to write any more clips or do any more tangible work. Yeah, I fact check for Atlanta but it's not the same as a final product.

I found out that Amy, one of the other Atlanta interns is also applying to SP. I thought, man, maybe I could have snuck by, but nope. Pretty sure even more people will apply now than did this past spring. In any case, wish me luck, and God willing+my great resume, etc. = an interview!

Also, my uncle put me in touch with a really nice guy who works for a publishing company. The company is H&A Media Group and they do a lot of things that I would love to get experience in. Kudos to my uncle Lynn for going out of his way to get in touch with said media guy!

I'm in the midst of reading a new book, Ghosts in the Snow by Tamara Siler Jones. It's like a medieval murder mystery with a taste of the supernatural. It's set in an original world where a older gentleman, Dubric, can see the ghosts of the murdered. Not coincidentally, he's in charge of security for his castle and someone is murdering young women. And his motivation, other than morals? Their gory ghosts haunt him, and they won't move on until he's solved their murder.

I really like it but gosh darn if Jones isn't leading me on a goose chase! My only complaint is that the world's history and the social network of the castle comes out in bits and pieces in conversation, so it can be hard to catalog past events and characters. Another update coming as soon as I finish!

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot! I went over to Bath & Body Works today. They're having their fall scents sale. Room sprays are $3 instead of $5 and I got Leaves (my favorite!), Autumn Apple, Spiced Cider and Fresh Balsam. Leaves is spicy, musky and really reminds me of the holidays. AApple is very much a crisp, clean apple scent; I'm not sold yet on Spiced Cider but I liked it better than some of their other scents. Fresh Balsam is, in my opinion, better that last year's Tree (also by Slatkin). It's less harsh that Tree, and more complex. I think the card in the store said it had pine, musk, apple and cedar scents blended in.

Their big candles are also on sale (2 for $20) and I got my mom the Vanilla Caramel (rich and sweet) and Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin. I like this one better than their Pumpkin Patch, which I really have no words to describe. I just think it's kind of bland and not pumpkiny or spicy at all. The other stand outs were the Ginger Vanilla and Harvest Berry. They're something unique, yet appropriate for the holidays, than the classic pumpkin, vanilla and spice based scents.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm an me, it's more important than it sounds

Yay, we got all of our positions filled! Okay, this was a week or so ago, but when you're only in the office two times a week, it seems like yesterday. Amy, Sarah and I are editorial and Jackson moved on to be the interactive intern for the fall.

I've really enjoyed all the stories that I've gotten to check so far. There is one in particular whose sources were hilarious! Thanks, Harmon, for the stories, and I loved picturing Jeryl sitting in his well-kept retirement digs reminiscing about the crazy '70s. Hinty-hint, look for this one in November.

My most recent story has been challenging, to say the least. Not only is the current copy twenty-five pages, but it's an incredibly detailed story that is a source of anguish and hurt for a lot of people. It really bummed me out at first -- it's hard to understand sometimes why people are dishonest and hurtful, and sometimes, there aren't any answers. Only speculation, which is probably far from the truth.

But I had to tell myself that this is just a job, and I can step back without feeling (too) bad.

It's frustrating because a lot of people don't want anything to do with the story now that they've done their interview. Um...I just want to confirm what you already said! I promise, no more than that! I can understand their reluctance in this case, but if it's that big of a deal, then don't give an interview in the first place.

This story has also been a perfect opportunity to see how much work goes into an investigative feature. I have a stack at least three inches thick of documents and records to help me, not to mention a huge folder of MORE docs on our server. Plus live sources...who don't necessarily like me by virtue of the topic I'm questioning them about.

We'll see how it goes...check back!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Am I gonna need an ark or a rake?

Tomorrow is the first day of fall, and as tired as I am of summer, I can't help but gush about it.

Speaking of gushing, we had what I'm going to assume is record rainfall in Atlanta this week. It's been so bad that schools and roads have closed. There are some really humbling pictures on, twitter and Atlanta and the metro area are not known for their high rainfall, so this is doubly big news for us.

Back to fall -- the leaves actually aren't turning yet...oh yeah, because it's still in the 80s. Probably will be until into October. Oh well. However, I'm sad to report that three of our mock cherries (which drop nice leaves) have already dropped their leaves. Dead, ugly brown ones.

My brother Ben has pointed out that this might indicate the trees are dead. I'm totally bummed because cherry/mock cherry trees are some of my favorite. We have six total spanning about 75% of our front yard, so those three make a difference. We won't know until spring, and I'll continue to be optimistic.

This turning point in the seasons is one of my favorite during the year. Everything starts to cool off finally. I love knowing in my gut the changes happening. Probably still won't break out my sweaters and jackets until well into October, but it's nice to start thinking about cold weather again.

Being a homey, decorating, crafty type, I'm also excited about the onslaught of fall home goods. Decorative gourds and pumpkins? Yes, please. Delicious fall scented candles and room sprays from Bath & Body Works? Where's my coupon, BBW? Cheap, cheesy decorations from Hobby Lobby? Oh, yeah, 50% off!

And the food gets exponentially worse for my health -- good thing they're only around for three months at my house. My mom breaks out her best desserts and treats for family events -- lemon bars, pumpkin cake and pie, sweet potato casserole...must stop, I'm getting hungry.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Formal Intro -- this is it!

Hey guys, this is Brianne (pronounced brie-anne) and you're probably wondering what's going on here.

Well, there's several reasons this blog exists. Firstly, I've been swearing up and down for a year that I would get a personal blog. Not one for employment purposes (shameless plug here) or for a class.

I'm sure this blog will evolve over time, but for now, it's one where I could share my thoughts -- and instances when my name and my nickname are butchered by well-meaning strangers and even people who should know my name.

Now, all that stuff about how everyone gets my name wrong? It's my way of saying -- hey, this is actually my name, these are actually my thoughts, and not just what someone else thinks. It's not Brianna, it's certainly not Brian, it's not Bri (rhymes with lie), and it's not Marie.

Speaking of, I called and left a message with a lady this week who called me Brielle. Of all the name variations, I have to say this has been the prettiest. Unfortunately, my best friend promptly pointed out that Brielle sounds like gazelle, so I probably won't be using that name for a future daughter. Thanks, Stephy;)!

So in going forward, I welcome comments about my musings and especially stories of horrific/amusing/confusing name butcherings. Take care guys, and remember to enunciate!