24 March 2009

Tick-Tock Clickety Klack

I am such an amazing person. I'm spending my spring break....at work!
OK, so I'm not spending the entire break here, I'm just doing the same number of hours at the desk as any other week while all of my peers are lounging on the beach and pretending that they don't have papers to write and textbooks to read.

I can't pretend. Life moves too quickly for me to forget about those papers. Oh well.

Time has really been flying by tonight; that is, up until about two minutes ago, when I caught up to everyone else at the desk. I started out earlier doing some editing for a project called "Panorama," a review of really awesome Weld County residents who spend a good chunk of their time volunteering and just generally helping other people. There are about 15-20 profiles in the whole conglomeration, and while the pages were done being put together, Ryan needed me to check styles and stuff and fix a couple of headlines.

It took almost two hours. That's the only reason it takes so long to put together a newspaper (ignoring, of course, the fact that you have to research stories. Psh, who researches stories, anyway? Kidding, kidding...); we spend so much time clicking between programs, checking photographers' names, reporters' names, cutlines, frames on the photos, page numbers, jumps.....that's not even the entire list!

And then, right after I finished that project, I had four pages to check the copy on. And now...silence. Hallelujah. About an hour ago, it was anything but silent, and oh man, I was about to go crazy with Theresa's stapler. Or the phonebook. Something heavy. One of the girls from the little advertising (at least, I think that's what it is) area was on her phone for a good half of an hour complaining to who-knows-who about someone telling her to fix things but not being specific.

I can still hear her whining voice in my head. One of the copyeditors (I won't divulge his or her name) sitting across from me slapped his/her fingers down in front of her keyboard at one point, growled, "That's it, I can't take it any more," and pulled his/her earbuds out of his/her pen drawer/purse. So much for no personal calls at work.

So, yes, this silence is golden, for it is the simple non-silence of a newsroom at work. I've come to love this, hearing at least two or three different TV channels on, along with the police scanner, and people clicking their mice and tapping on their keyboards like rain falling on a skylight. It's funny what sorts of sounds become soothing for you once you get used to them. I used to hate my alarm clock--it tick-tocked so loudly at night that I almost went insane the first two weeks I owned it. Now that I use my cellphone as an alarm, I still leave my old alarm clock on my bedside table. The battery is dying and it never stays on the correct time, but the constant clicking of the minute and hour hands somehow reminds me to relax.

Or maybe the clock is creepier than I think. Maybe it's just saying, "I'm-Watch-Ing-You. I'm Watch-Ing-You." Great. Now I have a stalker alarm clock.

I've run out of projects to do. Two and a half hours left in my "day" and now I can only sit and wait for someone to finish something so that I can look at it. I'm still not cool enough to do much besides putting together the obits page, writing brief headlines, and making minor changes to pages. Someday, someday. I must be getting tired: I just spent a good thirty seconds poking my fingers into Theresa's squisky wrist rest. Wow.

I'm sorry I'm not very copyedit-y tonight. I really thought I would be, since I don't hate being here. But sometimes I pull up my blog page, place my fingertips on the keyboard, and can't think of a single new thing to say. Time it takes to put together pages? Check. Sounds and environment? Check. Current project status? Check.

I could give a play-by-play of the women's basketball game that's going on on the TV across from me. That is, I could do that if I knew the rules of basketball. Now, if it were a soccer game, that I could do. In class last week, the girl next to me was watching a NCAA game on a live feed on her laptop (No, she wasn't supposed to be doing that. That's rude to the teacher. And very distracting, of course), and the guy sitting next to me nudged my shoulder and told me to whisper him the play-by-play in French.

Not until this moment did I realize how creepy that sounded. Interesting. Anyway, I laughed. I don't know any French sports terms, which is too bad. I should have paid better attention. Or maybe sportscasters should stop using "GO-AAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!" as a word for every language.

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