Thursday, March 25, 2010

More forgetfulness

I've certainly been neglecting friends and relatives this year when it comes to their birthdays.

My friend Carmen, whose birthday was March 3, had to wait until February for her Christmas present and will probably have to wait until June until her birthday card arrives.

You see, I make or buy birthday cards for people. I even address them, but then they get stuck in my car for weeks since I never have time to go to the post office.

Poor grandma, my aunt and my dad. They never got any cards at all. I did remember to call my grandma, though, a day later, but not my dad.

And no, I'm not pregnant.

Today, I was the guest speaker in a journalism class at Middlesex Community College (they had cake and everything!). When I got back to the office, I realized I'd left the power supply to my laptop in the classroom back at the school.

My staff and I scheduled a whole bunch of community meetings for next week, and were just about to publish the schedule in the paper for tomorrow, when - and hour before deadline - I realized Monday is my first wedding anniversary and I'm taking the day off. Whoops.

Oh, and I just pulled into my driveway at home tonight when I remembered I never returned my husband's movie to Blockbuster. It's still in my car.

Can I please order some extra memory for tomorrow? I would only need like 5 gigs or so.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Those were the days

Remember when VHS tapes used to get stuck in your VCR and you had to take a hanger and jam it in there to get the tape out? Those were the days! Apparently, some people still remember how to do this.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Watching a duck die

Just watched a duck die in front of my eyes today on the farm - it was pretty traumatic.

As I got there today, David and Kathleen (farm owners) had just gotten home from the store and they found Buttercup in the pond - lifeless. They pulled her out and put her body on a rock in the sun while they unloaded their stuff.

When I got there, Kathleen just came outside to mourn her baby, saw me, and said "Buttercup just died."

I looked over at the bird on the rock, and she was breathing and moving her head.

"She's moving," I said, and we immediately started getting towels, paper towels and the heat lamp ready so we could dry her off and warm her up - she was soaking, almost dripping, and extremely cold.

Kathleen got her stethoscope and listened to Buttercup's heart - there was a faint pulse!

We sat with the duck for almost an hour, watching her breathe and slowly move her head back and forth.

She kept moving her head around, which gave us hope, and she seemed to like it when I rubbed her chest with a paper towel to get her dry and warm.

We just sat there in the sun, trying to think of what else we could do to help her. Then after a little while, she just stopped moving completely, and she was gone.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I was about half an hour late for work on Tuesday because I made a last-minute stop at the store to pick up some party items.

Tuesday afternoon, I was set to head to Philadelphia for an editor's conference. My first day back to the office - Friday - we're hosting a St. Patrick's Day birthday party for two co-workers and I wanted to be ready.

Dragging along my laptop bag, my lunch and several grocery bags, I stepped off the elevator Tuesday morning to find everyone assembled in the conference room.

"Oh well," I thought as I took a quick peek in there. "Must be just advertising people. They probably don't need me."

I continued to the lunchroom, dumped my bags on the counter, and turned around to find the advertising director right behind me.

"Do I need to be in there?" I asked as I saw his urgent expression.

He nodded.

"Yes, but first I need to tell you that (our publisher) is no longer with us," he said. "Now, come."

I rushed after him into the conference room only to find my former publisher stand there giving out his cell phone number to the staff in case of further questions. In the room was also the director of human resources.

Later that afternoon, we got an e-mail from our new CEO detailing the layoffs in the company. Eight positions in total were cut - four senior officials (3 VPs and 1 corporate human resources director) and four publishers at smaller newspapers.

The scariest thing? They will not be replaced.

Instead of having someone there for us at all hours of the day - someone in charge - we are now left with an empty office and a phone number for our new Connecticut Cluster publisher in New Haven. Of course, he'll only be there for 8 weeks or so, until he moves to his new position in Philadelphia. Then someone else will fill that role, and we have no idea who that person is.

Much to think about at the editorial conference for the past two days, and also much to discuss with the new CEO. He explained the reasoning behind it to me this morning after I confronted him via e-mail about his decision - cutting management in order to put more editorial people on the street, basically trying to undo all the damage the Journal Register Company has done over the past 2 decades.

Will it be that easy? I don't know. But we have been promised at least one new digital reporter in our cluster, and that person will most likely end up in Middletown (as a symbolic gesture since our paper was the one who lost a publisher).

Now I just have to figure out how we go from here. Lot's of new ideas from the conference. I just have to figure out how to get everyone else on board. Before, two of us had a vision. Now, it's just me.

(You can read more about this on my work blog HERE).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Look who's driving

As I stopped at a traffic light on my way home from work Thursday night, I noticed the license plate on the car in front of me. It said "671 GUD." I chuckled and took a photo with my cell phone. "Gud" means "God" in Swedish. You just have to snap a picture when God is out driving around. ;-)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The smell of grandma's freezer

I pulled a couple of hot dogs out of the freezer when I got home from work today and realized that the plastic bag they were in smelled like my grandmother's house.

I paused and smelled it again. Yup, it smelled just like if I had pulled the bag out of grandma's freezer in Sweden 20 years go.

When I opened up the freezer, I found a bag of dill next to where the hot dogs had been.
"Aha!" I exclaimed to nobody. "That's why!"

You see, my grandmother would always keep dill and parsley in the freezer.
"You never know when you'll need it," she'd say.

Perhaps she still does. All I know is that at her old house where I grew up, she used to have an enormous freezer against the back wall of the kitchen for all her baked goods and some extra meatballs. I didn't realize until today that all those things in there had a very distinctive smell.

It's amazing how such little things can bring so many memories.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The joy of being in charge

As soon as I entered the office this morning, I got pushed into the conference room by our advertising director.

"Great, you're here!" he said with relief and kept directing me away from my office and into teh big room.

He then turned to walk away, a little too quickly, and I could hear him mumble "enjoy" under his breath.

In the conference room were two angry black women and my publisher, all looking a bit distraught.
"I just don't understand," one of the women said. "Why you gotta put my background information in? Why you gotta do that?"

Once we established she was one of the people who had been arrested a few days ago, and was accused of wielding a knife at a young man allegedly smoking crack cocaine outside her building, she claimed she'd never been convicted of anything and that everything about the knife was false.

We calmly told her we could check our facts but that the information came from the local police, and if there was anything wrong, she would have to take it up with them.

The friend said "See, I told you so! Why you gotta come here and yell at them for???" and then the real action took off.

We showed them to the elevator door, but the two women argued louder and louder and were finally screaming at each other "You're not the one who's losing the house - you just shut the (expletive) up!)"

Others in our office were hiding in their cubicles, wondering if they should call the cops.

The elevator finally came and off the women went - with a few faded screams as the elevator took them down 4 floors. It could not leave fast enough.

Of course, once we checked the court records online and her arrest report, the woman was indeed guilty of drug violations and violating a protective order and police did indeed say she threatened a man with a knife over the weekend. It didn't make us feel any better about the situation.

As I made it to my office, I had a call from a reader in Killingworth telling me that apparently said in our paper that the New Haven mayor - an outstanding and friendly man - was being investigated for by federal officials for taking bribes from a developer, when in fact it was the mayor of Shelton who was under investigation.

"How could we do this to such a nice man?" the reader wanted to know.

And finally, someone who was named frequently in the comment section of our web site decided to hit "report abuse" on any comment that mentioned his name, which lead us to a long discussion on what constitutes a public person. Is the man who owns most of the company where six people just died in an explosion considered a public person? The story and all discussions and questions around it are certainly newsworthy and it's in the public's right to know. Does the fact that this man is a former city official still make him a current public person? Can you ever stop being a public person? And will this matter in terms of us removing the comments, that in our view were not threatening or libelous?

Tough day today.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Losing my mind!

The new job is going great, but sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind.

Yesterday, I lost my wallet. ME. Lost. My. Wallet.

I rarely lose anything - I'm known to be the founder of lost things.

I first realized it around 4 p.m. when I stepped out to grab some dinner and put my hands in the empty pockets of my coat. Hm! I thought. Strange. Must have left it at home.

I searched the office when I got back just in case. Not there.

When I got in my car to go home that night, I searched the car. Not there.

I got so paranoid I called my husband and asked him to log in to my bank account to make sure no big purchases had been made. He confirmed that the last time the card was used was the day before at Dunkin' Donuts.

When I got home, I searched the house. Not there. I called work again and had my co-workers search the entire office. Not there.

Last step was searching the car - again - with a flashlight. Of course, the wallet had slid in between the seat and the door, just where the seat belt comes out of the bottom of the car. Phew!

But if this was the only thing, I would have written it off as just something weird. However, two weeks ago, I blew off a doctor's appointment when I was supposed to have X-rays taken. My doctor drove to a different office and waited for me there for half an hour.

I didn' t have the slightest idea my appointment was even that week. I had no reminders in my calendar. In fact, I couldn't even find the little card with the appointment date and time. Weird!

This is so unlike me. Perhaps I will just write it off as stress. Anyone else have any other suggestions?