Wednesday, December 23, 2009

some days, I need reminding.

I texted my friend Kim(bo slice) Bellamy the other day (who is also a reporter) and asked her to please remind me why we had chosen a career in journalism because honestly I can't remember sometimes.
I spent most of last Friday chasing stories, literally. I ran out our door on Main Street after seeing 2 ambulances and 3 fire trucks fly down the road. I grabbed my editor's camera (because they still haven't gotten me one), my notebook, pen, and keys and hit the road. After flying down the street following the sound of sirens and the flashing of lights I found the cause of all the hu-la-bu-lu... a tiny wreck where one car had pulled out in front of another. I took a picture, talked to the cop, and drove back to the office (3 minutes). Then I went to the local middle school to take pictures of the principal dressed up like Santa and ask kids what they wanted for Christmas.
My younger, ambitious self would be kicking me in the butt right now.
I dreamed about covering glamorous stories and taking pictures of beautiful homes, talking about their character and how their owners turned them into masterpieces from real estate nightmares. I wanted to work somewhere that I got to dress in the latest fashions everyday and still be able to afford to pay the mortgage.
Instead... I became a small-town reporter. I cover board meetings, chase ambulances hoping something really horrible happened so I can make a story out of it, and make people angry because I said some girl was there grandaughter when it is actually their step-grandaughter... my bad.
I swear I am not usually this negative. I just CANNOT believe where I am.
I do want to stay around home because I can't imagine raising children anywhere else and I love Edgecombe County but I am getting incredibly burned out churning out 6 stories a week for a weekly paper. The job hunt continues and I know you've gotta start somewhere.

Fa la la la humbug

Christmas is here, and I am not sure how I feel about it this year.
People keep saying, "Oh Lauren, you need to enjoy your first Christmas as a newlywed," or "Enjoy this Christmas without having to worry about kids," but I am discovering that this Christmas won't be so enjoyable.
First of all, I know the season isn't all about gifts, but this year Josh and I haven't been able to afford to buy the gifts we'd like to get each other, or our families.
Luckily, we will qualify for the first-time home buyers tax credit, so we have done a huge no-no and put everything we've bought on my credit card with the promise to pay it off once we get our rebate (fingers crossed that nothing happens between then and now). So, I can see where being a newlywed with dual BIG incomes and no kids would mean having a great Christmas where you could spoil each other with tickets to see Phantom of the Opera in Durham or promises to revisit your honeymoon site in the next year or maybe even a trip to Chapel Hill to watch the Tarheels kill Duke this year. But when you are newlyweds with BIG bills and very, very low income.... Christmas is just like it was when you were unmarried and in college, saving up $50 to spend on each other.
In fact, I think Christmas a newlywed is even harder than it was when we were just dating. When I was still Lauren Harrell we didn't have to worry about hurting our parents feelings because we spent more time at one set's house than the other or pissing off someone's grandma because we couldn't visit their side of the family on Christmas Eve. We slept at each of our parent's houses on Christmas Eve, did the Santa thing with our seperate parents Christmas morning, then made time for each other and exchanged gifts with the other's family. Now, we had a very precise schedule that involves 2 trips on Christmas Eve and 6 trips on Christmas morning (which will begin around 6am!) so that we see as much of our family as possible. When we have a kid, they better be coming to us.
This is also our first Christmas without Mema Kay and without Josh's cousin Michael who took his life on Josh's birthday (5/19) this year. So, Christmas will be bittersweet and stained with memories of those who are no longer with us. One top of all that, Papa Dude is in the hospital with pancreatitis and may not be out by Christmas.
Basically, I am feeling a little grinch-like this year. Hopefully the new year will bring good things. I have already made wayyyy too many resolution but here are just a few.
1) Be healthier, I am not even going to try to say "i'll lose XX amount of lbs." or anything, I am just going to try and stop snacking and eating crazy amounts of things and start biking more
2) Be at least halfway done with my book, no more excuses.
3) Read the bible more (I've gotten too slack about this).
4) Finish painting my table & chairs that i started painting last summer before I busted my knee.
5) Spend less money (hard to spend what you don't have).

I hope everyone has the merriest of Christmases and the best New Year's possible.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Someone must have slipped me some acid as a baby...

Lately I have been having the CRAZIEST dreams. I don't mean dreams where weird things happen, like I marry Robert Pattinson and live happily ever after in a house made of cheese or anything. I mean dreams where colors are psychedelic (like what I imagine the Beatles saw when they wrote some of my favorite songs) and incredibly strange objects are everywhere.
I dreamed about someone stealing everything in our house (as in the floors, cabinets, tv, furniture, EVERYTHING) and making it look like before we fixed it and taking Sookie and replacing her with a baby sheep. So, I looked up the meaning of sheep in dreams and discovered that sheep (in dreams) mean that I am either conforming too much and not being creative enough or that I am going to bed with a guilty conscious.
I think it means I need to finish my book. I am obviously not being creative at work as I poop out horrible hard news stories and therefore feel guilty about not putting my best into my writing, but I am SOOOO tired of writing by the time I get home, so I haven't written anything I want in quite some time.
My other dreams are too weird to even put into words. Trust me.