Sunday, March 24, 2013

News in, and of, My Life This Week


"Sometimes, you can just smell a
 horrendously
shitty day week on the way, can't you?"
I started my work week last Tuesday morning by accidentally dropping a capped plastic bottle of diet Dr. Pepper on the floor of my cubicle and then -- mistakenly thinking it would be safe to open since it was half-empty -- spraying my entire desk with soda.

It was pretty impressive, actually -- it spewed in a beautifully symmetrical arc. What could I do? I threw back my head and laughed. And then went to grab paper towels.

Sadly, I returned to find my ergonomic keyboard on the DL.  I unplugged it, drained out the Dr. P. and placed it, in a hopeful manner, upside-down to dry out, while turning to my laptop to work. (UPDATE: The "o" key stopped working. Who knew the utility of a full keyboard would be dependent upon a single letter? One reporter (O'Sullivan) suggested it was a conspiracy against the Irish.)

Apparently, this set the stage for my week.

Wednesday morning, as I was putting on my makeup, Bear cat jumped up on the vanity and, with a flick of his tail, upended my container of loose dark brown eye shadow. Onto my white tile floor. Did I say brown? And white? And loose? Right.

I wiped it up, set off for work ... and got lost.

I was daydreaming, I guess, taken by this random cemetery located on a splinter of land in Belvedere. (Not to be confused with Marin County's town of the same name.)

Upon arriving at the office, I passed one of my favorite reporter's desks and said, "Sprite! [Really, I'm not a soda fiend; she's truly a legendary elf-like creature.] I got lost on the way to work!"

To which our new hire from Louisiana responded, "I feel your pain."

Sprite piped up and said, "No, she's FROM here!"

"But I've been gone for a LONG TIME!" Hrmph.

Meanwhile, I was dealing with an ever-worsening sinus infection (collateral damage from the eye-gouging scene of the Oct. 10, 2009, drama, "The Man Who Tried to Kill Me"). What's that? Go to the doctor, you say? Well, I would, except I just signed up for benefits and my health insurance has no record of me yet.

Oh, and then I get an e-mail from my SF tenant saying he'll be leaving my condo. Holy mortgage payment, Batman!

But enough of this woe-is-me. Because first of all, the above-mentioned thriller reset my "Delighted to be here, God, thanks again for that" attitude, and I'm really just having fun with it.

Secondly, I delighted in my reporters this week. I was thrilled that my nomination for an in-house quarterly award was endorsed for the teamwork of Esteban (Stevie P.) Parra, Melissa (Swell Mel) Nann Burke and Sean (Gumshoe) O'Sullivan in their tenacious ongoing coverage of the so-called Courthouse Shooter.

Thirdly, I was reminded that serious horrors befall other unsuspecting people every day.

On Thursday, we got word from the state police that two girls, ages 14 and 15, had stuffed an 89-year-old woman who'd been kind enough to give them a ride into the trunk of her own car, where they kept her for two days before letting her out -- in a cemetery, where she was found crawling on her hands and knees because she was too weak to stand.
Margaret "Bad-Ass" Smith

A lively debate ensued among the editors about whether we should name the juveniles. Even though the police do, The News Journal doesn't, except for egregious crimes.

There were five in all: Two boys had joined the two girls, and then another girl had been picked up after they let the woman go. No one was older than 17. One of the boys had prior charges (in fact, was on probation) for a home invasion last summer. [An aside, what the hell is it with these kids? And should their parents be held accountable?]

My stance: Hell, yeah.You want to act like adult criminals? You get treated like adult criminals. Name the suckers.

Our executive editor agreed. The only girl we didn't name was the one who was picked up by her friends after all the mayhem had gone down.

So, that was my week. Always trying. Never dull.

And increasingly delighted to be Just a Girl in Delaware.

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