Saturday, September 08, 2001

OSWALDS MOM...

I have been waiting to write this since I heard the story... it's absolutely crazy. Once again it is the account of a school thing but EVERYONE should read it. I think during the one hour of class my chin hit the ground every 5 minutes or so...

Wedensday was the day of our classes first guest speaker. Bob Shiefer, I think he is on Face the Nation, was our speaker. It started out a bit dry, just his opinions about the economy and its political implications plus a little bit about why he thinks Gary Condit is guilty of SOMETHING... but we eventually got around to questions and he started telling stories... that's when my and all of the classes mouths hit the ground... I think the question was about his most challenging assignments and his most interesting...

Shiefer started out covering the police beat in Fort Worth, Texas. He did night work and anything the cops did, he followed along looking for news. The night before Kennedy was shot the President stayed in Fort Worth. Sheifer, a myriad of Secret Service AND Kennedy went out to an after hours joint. Shiefer stated this as calmly as a I just wrote it. All of us were bug eyed, the guy went out drinking with Kennedy on his last evening alive for God's sake...

Shiefer was obviously tired the next morning so he slept in. His brother woke him and told him Kennedy had been shot. After getting over his shock Shiefer quickly dressed and ran to the paper in Fort Worth. Everyone in the newsroom had run off to Dallas to be in the mix of things. The phones were ringing like crazy in Forth Worth. Shiefer began answering phones. Soon, someone called asking if anyone on staff was going to Dallas soon because the caller needed a ride. Shiefer told the woman on the phone that the paper was not a taxi service. She said, "Oh, well I need to get to Dallas because I think my son just shot the President."

WOW...

At the time Shiefer drove a two seater convertible, not appropriate for picking up the assasins mother. He borrowed a Cadilac from the guy who did car reviews at the paper and got a free car to drive every other week... and quickly picked Mrs. Oswald up. She was a diminuitive woman who was wearing horned rimmed glasses and carrying a blue tennis bag as she stood in front of her house waiting for her ride. Shiefer said she was nuts. She talked bad about Kennedy and why Oswald did what he did to the point that Shiefer censored his article because the public would have been outraged to read such things during mourning.

... it gets better...

Upon arriving in Dallas at the Police Station, Shiefer, wearing his button flap hat like police detectives of the day, he asked the Dallas police where he and Mrs. Oswald could sit to keep her away from the press (remember, he IS the press.) They were ushered into a private office with a telephone. While waiting, Shiefer was able to relay his story and his papers other reporters stories through a private police station phone while others scrambled all over the city to call in thier stories...

Eventually, the Fort Worth police said they were going to allow Lee Harvey to see his mother and that THEY should follow the detective and FBI agent. Mind you, Kennedy has been declared dead, but not yet cold by this point... Moments before the killer walked into the room, the FBI agent turned to Shiefer and asked him if he was press. Shiefer said, "well aren't you?" The FBI agent told him to leave immediately and if he ever saw him again he would personally kill him. Shiefer snuck out apologizing profusely and went home to write his exclusive...

Needless to say while this story was told the class was enraptured. I am sure over the years it has been embelished to a point, but it is certainly the closest I have ever come to Kennedy's death. It really struck a chord that his assassination was not just a moment in history but something real that happened in America.

Gee, if all the speakers are this good I am in for a ride...
SWANA...
I started working on Wedensday. I love it. Insteading of watchign the clock until I can leave I stay until five, by choice. Like my professor says, they can't make you do anything... this is America and slavery is Illegal.

Besides a lovely meal of Mexican to celebrate my first day with the Marketing Department, I designed a flyer that gets faxed to all the members and edited the Monthly Newsletter (If Nancy and Grace at Pillsbury aren't reading this be sure to pass on to them that some of thier detail has been passed on to me, I am not half bad at it.) On Thursday I wrote and designed another flyer and WROTE and article for the Newsletter. How cool is that?, writing actual articles...

I feel like I am really contributing which is awesome. I am learning Page Maker and Todd (boss guy) is trying to get his hands on Quark so I can learn that. I also feel like I am being challenged to do my best writing and become much more effective and detail orriented (No, NANCY... not quite like you.)

Bonnie and Todd, the actual marketing team at SWANA are great. Jen is an intern that's been there for a few months and there are also two other interns working there this fall. One is even and Wash. Semester Student. The only bad thing is the commute... it's close by as the crow flies but the bus is slightly round-about (30 min ride) and the metro is an aweful (60 min) commute. I don't mind it too much, it's time to read and I don't have to be there until 10am, so it isn't like I have to get up early.
Back to RED again... no dad, not my check book... my hair. I went and cut it cut and colored today. It looks great. I am sort of disapointed though because I missed this book thing that Laura Bush was putting on at the Library of Congress. All these famous authors were going to be there but I never made it.

Oh, and HI MICHELLE... for those who don't know, Michelle is a crew friend from Minneapolis who is moving to Annapolis this weekend to work for General Mills (she's a real adult now, congrats Mich)... it's about an hour away from here tops... woohoo, a friend.

Well, I promised to write about 1) crew, 2) first days of my internship and 3) Oswalds Mom.

CREW...
I was planning on making an exhaustive post about crew. I've told mom the tale and I think it might be a little boring and also dwelling on the negative so I will keep the story as short as possible... I got hooked up with the crew team and made plans to practice on Thursday. To put it simply, crew practice with AU is a daily TRIATHALON... To get to practice I had to wake up at 4:30am and ride my bike to the main AU campus which is about 1.5 miles... then I ran down to the boat house in Georgetown. It's all down hill and the team swears it's only a three mile run... NO WAY... It takes 40 minutes and is downhill... unless I was walking, it has to be at least 4. I am not a slow runner, but I do better than a 10 minute mile DOWNHILL. Once there we sit around for about 40 minutes while everyone looks at eachother waiting for a couple people to finally grudgingly get oars and the launch stuff to the river (this is a four person job and out of 16 girls you'd think this wouldn't be to tough.) Finally we row... for about an hour... and not too hard. Back on the dock by 7:30, we then have to truck up the hill and take not one, but two city buses to campus, where I then bike back and arrive home nearing 9:00... ugh... 4 hours of traveling to row for an hour max, and only 20 minutes worth of pieces... I decided no...

I knew the girls wouldn't be up to the same level as under Wendy, but I probably have more experience then the coach. She was a recent AU grad and has never had a decent coach (thier old coach was a doozy I heard). There were only two girls who had more than two years worth of experience... I can deal with all that but it was the lack of dedication on both the men and the women's part that made me sad...

We rowed with the guys the first day (on the second they decided to take a break for a bit since on Thursday am some guy puked over the side of the boat from his drinking the night before-- it was green, eww--...this was a week night mind you...) That coupled with people not wanting to do simple things like get the oars down disapointed me. They weren't very cohesive either... one of the girls lost her wallet and no one seemed to care, including the coxwain who supposedly was seeing over it during practice...

so I joined and quit in two days... It made me sort of sad because I don't like not sticking with things, especially something like crew where I have made a promise to myself not to quit and see through certain burdens... this was just too much... I was totally non functioning in the evening due to early rise and I didn't forsee any benefit.


Friday, September 07, 2001

I bet you all though I quit already Quit journaling, no... but I did join AND quit AU crew in the span of two days. It was aweful and part of the reason why I haven't written in a few days. I am still exhausted and will write the whole account in addition to telling you what kind of car Oswald's mother drove in to meet her son in jail on the day he shot Kennedy, how much I love my job in waste management and how much patience I have for a group of people who convince me that waking up at 4:30am so I can put four hours worth of effort forth for less than a half hours worth of quality river time is a good idea...

See Mom, I am still an expert at monsterous run on sentences...

A demain, mes amis et famille

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

DISCLAIMER: Below is a recount of a "thing" I went to tonight. It's pretty "educational", includes some Bush bashing and if you don't want a mouth full of media psychobable and politics... move on.

Tonight I went to a forum that the school of Communication at AU does once a month. It was called, “Misunderestimating” Each Other? Bush II and the Media. You guessed correctly, just a wee bit of W. Bashing. It was actually really interesting. Richard Berke (cute, young and smart), David Gregory (has highlights to cover the gray and tries way too hard to be funny), John Moyers (just tries to hard), David Winston (umm…boring), and Judy Woodruff (you really have to be way to skinny in order to be a successful TV personality…she had some serious gray defying highlights too.)

Anyway, I learned a lot. Basically the discussion revolved around how Bush has isolated himself from the media thus making him “accessibly inaccessible.” At one point, Berke told a story of Bush while on the campaign trail interrupting a live interview MSNBC was doing with Berke. Bush seemingly looked the jovial accessible candidate, but in truth all he said to Berke was to “get on the plane (which was in the background) so you don’t miss it.”

It also seems that Bush has really alienated the national media while courting the local medias of target places he visits (like Green Bay this past weekend.) The Whitehouse seemingly feels like this is a better way to promote the president to his constituency. I wonder? Could it backfire? Part of me thinks it is probably a really good strategy, but can he stretch himself that thinly and focus on so many small parts of the country effectively? Not to mention, the characters of the evening, all from powerful national mediums are getting a little pissed from being overlooked… and one interesting comment asserted that the various local media, while good at their job, are not used to “asking the hard questions” and end up focusing more on the fact that Bush is in town versus his actual agenda. The contrary to that asserts that by focusing on the concentrated areas Bush is able to get a complete message to a target audience as local media usually covers the President from arrival to departure instead of just paraphrasing the event, in theory being more effective.

There was also an overwhelming agreement that the stupidity that Bush often exudes is working to his benefit. We never expect much from him, thus when he can articulate effectively it works much better than Clinton who was expected to know policy thoroughly and make well though out decisions. Supposedly when Bush used “Misunderestimating” it was a joke that flopped. The media in the room figured he was just being himself, when in truth it was a planned error… HA HA.
I have had a pretty relaxed day today. I went to a horrible yoga class. It was at the gym at school. It was nothing like what I used to. VERY easy… it was basically stretching with a weird ex-hippy man. I literally yawned the whole time. Some place in Georgetown is supposed to send me their info next week; hopefully someday I’ll find a good studio. I miss Sara and Keung at Training for Life.

BUT, I was able to stop in the Rec Sports office and find out about crew. The more I think about it, the more I miss it. On one of my bike rides I saw lone scullers on the Patomac and really wished I was out there. I talked to the captain on the phone and it sounds like they could really use me… I think the team is a lot like Minnesota before we went Varsity. I really enjoyed that atmosphere so it might be fun, albeit frustrating after the ease of the Varsity program. I also would like something a little lower key than under the direction of Wendy. I don’t want my time in DC to be rowing focused like so much of my college time in Minnesota was. It should be a good transition into being a non-collegiate but still active rower.

I got another call about an internship today. I am keeping a list of people who were interested in me this fall so when the spring comes around I already have interested companies with my resume on file. It’s kind of fun, this whole internship getting thing. I feel like I have actual qualifications which is pretty cool… granted it’s probably just giving me a big head that will be crushed some time really soon.

Sunday, September 02, 2001

I'll keep this short today... I talked to Grandma and Grandpa and they are already getting a back-log of stuff to read... okay, that and it's been a fairly low key weekend so I don't have much to write about.

I cleaned out the fridge... how exciting. These people obviously are not very food centered... I found yogurt and creamcheese the expired in May?!?! Yuck and ugh... the mold was no longer green, but orange... eww.

Besides the fridge??? I went to the gym at school to workout. WOW, I was right it is an incredibly nice facility. I decided to do one of those eliptical cardio machines. The whole time I kept my eyes on the ergs (rowing machines) hoping that I would see someone who knew what they were doing get on. Nope, just the usualy, five minutes on until they think they are going to puke and then moving on to a new piece of equipement. I finally talked to some girls who gave me the room number of a couple of guys who row. I am going to call them. Then I moved on to a new thing, sorta like running, sorta like stepping... did this until I saw a guy who looked like he knew what he was doing start rowing. I went down and sat next to him and kicked his butt on the erg... hrm... if he had kicked my butt I would have asked him if he was a rower... I hope I was right and that he wasn't, otherwise I really hope the women are better than the men. If you can believe it, it was sort of exhilirating to be back on a rowing machine...

I also went over to Otto's and played playstation... I am AWEFUL at video games, but I was just thrilled to be doing something with a 'friend'... I wonder what he would think if he knew he was my ONLY friend in DC. I also convinced him to go to that movie with me...

I am sure the Kate Spade stuff is getting old, but Grandma-- you wondered if there was a website so you'd know what I was talking about... THE REAL BAGS oh and Hi to Jim and Wendy who just got this address and sorry Dad for leaving you out...