Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Friday, May 15, 2009

In Other News...

At the officeNever fails: I get into a good blogging groove and everyday life slaps me back into reality. How real writers foster their muse I don't know, but I'm guessing it doesn't involve forty hours a week of overland recorder portage. No bother, I've been push-button publishing long enough to know when to force it, when to chill and when to turn the damn thing off lest the Missus turn my upper lair into a sewing room. Thus, my output will always fluctuate - or at least until I figure out a way to make a living off dispatches both snarky and maudlin. In the meantime, forgive me if I go missing now and then, for as much I love this time we share together, I live with three females and greatly enjoy sleeping inside. So while I attempt to make this space as nifty as it appears on the dirty windshield of my news unit every morning, take heart in the fact that I think of you dear reader far more often than you think of me. If that creeps you out a little, I understand. Just promise you won't sit there in awkward silence as I rid my lid of residual squibs...

Anyone who wants to know what it's like to be a TV news photographer in a faltering economy should immediately flee this place and read a most prescient post by the great John Dumontelle. Yes, the photog known as 'Lensmith' has a couple of years on me and none of the high-dollar word addiction - all of which makes his latest manifest sad, noble and needed. Newsrooms the world over should display his post where all can see it - at least until half of them go semi-dark.

'What the hell are they looking at?" I thought as an elderly couple gaped and grinned at me during a recent red light. That's when it hit me: the news unit I'd borrowed for the day was festooned in look-at-me logos. It's been less than two years since I joined the ranks of unmarked news-gatherers. In that short amount of time I've totally forgotten what it feels like to pick your nose in a rolling billboard. Can't say I really miss it.

They say a sailor can sleep anywhere and they're right. Back in the Nav I learned to sack out in the ship's empty spaces, during on-deck inspections and while pretending to stare at a glowing radar scope. For better or worse, this ability followed me into civilian life; today i can catch wide-open shut-eye at long stoplights, short press conferences and - most tragically - my oldest offspring's orchestra performances. At least the houselights were dimmed...

I must be slipping. Today I let a fresh-faced photojournalism intern shadow my every move and I enjoyed most every minute of it. That's a real switch; I'm as adept at losing newbies as any other lenslinging lifer. Don't believe me? Hold this empty tape box while I low-crawl to the parking lot. Better yet, believe me when I say that teaching comes easy when your source material is etched in what's left of your soul. The wife is right, though: I come off pretty bitter. It's really just sarcasm soaked in twenty years of met deadlines...

Whenever I grow too satisfied with something I've scribbled (damn seldom as of late), I go back and read a little Rick Bragg. The Alabama native doles out his sordid family tales with Southern aplomb, twisting haunting narratives from everyday skeletons. All Over But the Shoutin', Ava's Man, and Prince of Frogtown make my heart ache and head thrb. Mostly it reminds me of the kind of writer I want to become when I grow up. Now wonder he's got a Pulitzer Prize...

No comments: