Archive for November 2010

Stained-glass divider

I filled out a survey for the local public library system today. I may have gotten a little worked up. I am trying to calm down again now.

About 18 months ago, a new branch library opened in my neighborhood. I had been waiting for that library for something like 10 years, from the days when I lived in the raccoon-infested apartment not far from my current home. There was this sign on an empty lot that promised a new library, year after year, to replace the one in the strip mall. I went to a planning session and I saw a beautiful new facility and I was so excited. I went to the groundbreaking. I went to the grand opening. Look at all the photos I took of the new building.

The grand opening was crowded. Everyone wanted to see the gorgeous glass art and the cozy area for children and the nice meeting room and the impressive collection of DVDs. But something was missing: books. I told myself that the crowds had probably checked out many of the books — the kids stacks looked practically empty — and that in a few weeks or a month, I could visit the branch and browse happily. Read on »

oh, dearie dear

In 1990, I got a year-long internship with the Capitol Bureau of Gannett News Services. It was a big deal. It meant I could spend the summer of 1990 in Baton Rouge instead of my parents’ house in Metry. It meant I didn’t have to take the dreaded hands-on reporting class at the Baton Rouge Advocate, which I heard involved a lot of late nights in a sketchy part of town … or something. (In retrospect I really can’t recall what was so awful about “the Advocate class” at the time.) And it meant I would be paid for an internship, which was a small miracle. I wasn’t sure I could afford one otherwise.

In order to work in the Capitol and have press privileges, I needed press credentials — the badge pictured above. I was so proud to have press creds, you wouldn’t believe. I was extremely excited about the prospects of working as a reporter in the Capitol, even though rumor had it that women still had to wear skirts on the state House and Senate floors.

My year in the Capitol was one of the most bizarre of my life. I worked 60-80 hours a week in the summer and another 25-35 during the school year (along with a full courseload, although admittedly I had as skimpy a courseload as I could manage in my last year at LSU). I drove around a lot of sketchy parts of town at all hours.I bought beer for in-office happy hours with a variety of politicians, including David Duke and Woody Jenkins. I visited state offices every week to pull papers on everything from campaign contributions to the details on the then-governor’s divorce. When my boss got critically important phone calls I had to go to the men’s room and yell for him to come out. Read on »

In an effort to get my act together for Holidailies 2010, I’ve switched this blog over to WordPress and am giving it a little spit and polish. Bear with me. Someday, there may be content!