Thursday, July 17, 2014

Shifting

I've been on a new shift at work for a few weeks now. If you've read my previous blogs, you know this has been a long time coming. My dual role as line producer and executive producer had ended, and now I'm just executive producer. I start my day at 3am instead of midnight. It may not sound like a big deal to you, but believe me, it's a major improvement.

I used to go to bed around 2 or 3pm and get up at 10 or 11pm. Which means I spent the afternoon and evening asleep while most people were getting off work and having dinner. Now I'm awake when Pmo gets home so we watch Nightly News, or maybe an episode of The Waltons, and have supper together. We've even taken the dogs for walks the past two nights because it's been so cool. Sure, I still go to bed at an insanely early hour (7pm), but I truly feel a bit normal now.

Since this is virtually a new position at work because the job has always had two facets, I honestly didn't know what to do with myself the first full week. When you've produced an hour of news (or more) every day for 10+ years, you get used to the rhythm, the details, the deadline. The first half of my day still has that in a sense because that's when the show airs, but someone else is responsible for putting that hour together and making sure it gets done. I help, tweak, take care of issues, look for new content, etc. After the show, I move on to planning for the next day and beyond. That's where I was a bit lost at first because there's no structure, except what I make of it. And I'm a structure gal!

But I'm in the groove now. It's not that I wasn't doing anything, I just didn't know where to start. I have plenty of ideas and to-do lists that I'm now prioritizing which has helped. I attend the morning meeting. I have time to talk to people about things in person instead of having to send them an email and wait for a response. I have time to take a break and visit Pmo. I have time to plan. I have time to think.

I didn't know what to do with myself at home either. It was hard to stay awake past 3pm at first. I have at-home to-do lists, too, and other recreational things I could do like read a book or watch a movie. But I sat there in my chair for a few days, trying to figure out where to begin. My bedtime deadline was much further away now. Gizmo did not mind me sitting around at all. He was more than happy to help me be lazy. Jack was confused though. He would go into the bedroom at the normal time I would lie down, then come out a bit later, look at me, and trot down the hallway.

The 2am wakeup call is not bad. I wear a Fitbit that has a vibrating alarm so I don't wake up Pmo. Since I'm sleeping right up until the very last minute, I no longer snooze. But I do have a backup, audible alarm on my phone in case I don't get the jolt on my wrist for some reason. I lay out my clothes before I go to bed and try to have an idea of what I want to take for "lunch". I can get out the door in a little more than a half hour.

Weekends are better. I no longer have to take a nap on Saturday to make it through the day. Well, it may still happen if we're not active, but at least it's not as necessary as it once was. And I'm not completely off the hook from the night shift. I still have to fill in when someone is on vacation or sick. But for the most part, this is my new routine and I'm loving it.

I managed to stay very busy today: after leaving work and getting an oil change, I took the dogs for a walk, cleaned out my car, vacuumed the house and wrote this blog. However, I'm looking forward to "sleeping in" until 5 or 6am this weekend ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

You Should Be Dancing

Maybe it's because I've heard "Night Fever" three times in the past couple of days (radio/store/Pandora), but I just read an article in Rolling Stone on Barry Gibb, the last Bee Gee brother, and it made me really sad. And angry. And happy. I'll tell you why.

It makes me sad because Barry seems quite depressed without his family. Although they didn't always get along, and he wasn't on the best terms with each of them when they died, he seems to grieve all over again when he speaks of them. The wound opens up and he has to close it.

It makes me angry because there's a moment when Barry looks back on his career with doubt, disdain even. The article says he will greet a fan at his home every once in awhile. Barry says, "It does your heart good. Makes you realize not everyone hated it." I'm not angry at him. I'm angry at people who worship the Kim Kardashians of this world, who have not contributed one lick of anything to society, yet they are put on pedestals to fawn over and we are supposed to give a damn about their every move. And here is this great, magnificent singer/songwriter who's made such beautiful music...playing the role of Eeyore: head hung low with a "thanks for noticing" kind of defeated attitude.

It makes me happy because Barry is going out on tour again. By himself, for the first time. It seems he became a bit of a hermit after Robin died and some friends/family had to snap him out of it. I understand wanting to be alone, hide from the world, not be "on" all of the time. I totally get that. But he has a gift and I'm glad he's still willing to share it, even if it's only six shows and will cost him as much as he will make. Haters be damned. You've got fans, man.

I'm also happy that I downloaded some Bee Gees songs I didn't have. And I should be dancing with night fever on the way to work later. That's what's important. Not a multi-million dollar wedding. Not a clothing line. Not a reality show. Music lives. Music lasts. Music counts. The rest is just cheap entertainment.

Monday, March 24, 2014

So Much, So Soon

We've had Gizmo for more than two weeks now, and he's fitting in nicely. Jack and Giz have started friendly "sparring" as Pmo calls it, and I even caught them laying on the big dog bed together. For about thirty seconds. Then there was some tussle over a rope.


As I type this, Giz is laying underneath my chair.

He's always waiting for one of us to sit down so he can plant himself on a lap and snooze. We had one night in the beginning where he did not like being left alone in his cage, and I had to go sleep with him in the guest bed. But since then, we've somewhat trained him that it's "quiet time" when he's in there, and he's been pretty good about not yipping at night.

Now Giz is in my lap. If he sits still, he gets to stay.

His bathroom habits are peculiar. He's pretty much housebroken, but he can apparently hold it for awhile because he doesn't go near as often as Jack does or Bug did. If we're patient and take the extra time, he will eventually get around to it. But man, it takes him forever.

Gizmo's head is on my right wrist. Makes it hard to type.

He's had a few medical issues to take care of right off the bat. Nothing major. I've taken him to Parkdale twice, and we'll return at the end of this week for another checkup. His corneal ulcer seems to be healing nicely with some extra meds Dr. Saxon gave him. He's been scratching and biting himself a lot. Dr. Saxon thought he might have scabies, so we have a few doses of another med to give him every two weeks to take care of it.

Gizmo's head is now resting inside my left elbow. A little more manageable.

We've taken a few walks, the four of us and just me with the fur-kids. We've been to a few pet stores, tried on several soft harnesses and decided on one with purple trim that seemed to fit the best. An emo-looking kid at PetSmart told me in a Napoleon Dynamite voice, "I like your black pug." I let him pet him.

Now Giz is laying across my lap snoring. Which means I can't reach the stereo and skip this song.



He's met "Grandma" and "Grandpa" (Mom and Dad), other members of my family and he even got to see Grandpa Everett already. Everyone gets quite a kick out of him. We can't wait to take the boys to the cabin in the fall and on other excursions. Jack is a great, sweet, loving, gem of a dog, don't get me wrong. But something has definitely been missing in the past six months. I think we feel complete again.

It all seemed to fall into place with ideal circumstances. I happened to have some days off work when we brought Giz home, so I was better able to get him adjusted to a routine, or at least, our best version of a "routine" with my crazy sleep schedule. We have no big trips or plans in the coming months, so he can continue to settle in with us...

...and besides that, it was just time. Time to fill the void. Bug could never be replaced. We know that. We still miss him dearly and talk about him a lot. But Gizmo has filled our hearts back up so much, so soon. I'm so thrilled we could give this little guy a home, and all of my pug d├ęcor and accessories don't go to waste ;)


I think Giz just tooted on me. Time to get down.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Have Pug? Will Travel!

I've been sending Pmo pics of adoptable pugs for several weeks now. Many have been pug mixes, but we've been trying to hold out for a purebred. The regional rescue organization has plenty of pugs. Most are seniors though, and we were looking for a young adult. We considered starting fresh with a puppy from a breeder, but they cost an arm and a leg. Plus puppies are quite a handful.

One day, perusing Petfinder.com, I found a black pug who looked fairly young and was less than two hours away.  I sent a pic to Pmo. He liked him. I also found a fawn pug that was about the same distance away and probably close in age. They were from two different organizations so I applied to both.

I then started an email correspondence about the first pug. I found out that he was surrendered from a divorce, had a corneal ulcer that needed care, was housebroken and set to be neutered on Thursday. The humane society said someone else was interested in him, but they didn't want her to adopt him. I thought that was weird for them to tell me that, but I pressed on: submitted the application/references and explained that we took care of Bug's needs for several years in case they had any doubt about us taking care of his eye or anything else that came along.

Saturday morning, I'm waiting to get my hair done. I check my email and find out the humane society has written back, saying everything looked great and when can I pick him up? Naturally, I freaked out. Did they mean today? Next week? Next weekend? Could we even go today? OMG, we're getting a pug!

I called Pmo, then I called the shelter to see if they really meant to come that day. After a few phone calls back and forth with them and Pmo, I told my hair stylist I would take a raincheck and we were on the road to pug salvation.

His name is Gizmo. The vet thinks he's 1.5 years old. And he's a sweetheart. So far, Jack and Gizmo are getting along fairly well. Jack snipped at him early this morning, but they're still getting used to each other. Gizmo is scratching a lot, so I gave him a bath even though he already had one at shelter. Jack was also due for a bath anyway. Gizmo may also be irritated by his recent surgery. He didn't throw too much of a fit overnight when we crated him so we all got to sleep. He likes to take naps on our laps. And he's quick! Super fast. Pmo calls him "Go Go Gizmo".

We're going to get both dogs out today for a walk and see how that goes. We'll probably stop by the pet store for some more things. I'm also thinking about starting him in obedience training since I've never done that with any of my dogs. But so far, so good. Gizmo is putting smiles on our faces.

Oh, and the person the humane society didn't want to adopt Gizmo? Turns out she has adopted three dogs over the past few years: one got ran over, one was shot and one mysteriously disappeared. Thank goodness we got the Giz!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#blessedbutstressed

Sunday was my 10th anniversary at 14 WFIE. I didn't post anything on Facebook, because honestly, I wasn't feeling too good about the place. It's been a rough start to the year. There have been at least two occasions, fairly close together, where I have felt in over my head and desperate for help. Since I dwell on things, I let those events get me down.

There are good days and bad days in news. I'm sure it's that way in most jobs. But when the bad days start to pile up in a row, you start to rethink what you're doing, if you're any good at it and whether you want to do it anymore. My problem is I want to be able to handle everything, all at once. Know the answer to every question. Solve every problem. Right every wrong. And when I can't, I take it way too personally.

I explained these feelings to my friend the other day. I call it my #redneckblowout which my friend, in turn, also dubbed as a hairstyle. There are certain ways you are supposed to handle stressful situations; in a professional manner, don't be condescending, try not to accuse or point fingers, etc. I don't have that skill. I blurt out whatever I'm thinking or feeling at the time with #nofilter whatsoever. It's not necessarily that I'm yelling at everyone, at least I'd like to think I've gotten better at that. It's more like I'm airing my frustrations out loud, and there are people around who are forced to witness the hot mess which is myself. #peopleskills

However, I hope things are looking up. I think today was a pretty good work day for a change. Switching to a later schedule, doing more big picture planning and less tedious detailing should happen for me within the next few months. I keep telling myself that will help.

At home, we have some fun events coming up, but they feel so far away. We have Motley Crue tickets for an October show in Louisville. I'm seriously looking into flying us to Hawaii for Christmas now that the flight calendar has extended into the end of December.

I purposely haven't made any plans for us on weekends so that we can relax, get things done around the house and just be still for awhile. I may just have to arrange something for us to look forward to soon though. We get into the doldrums if there's nothing exciting on the horizon.

On the go or cabin fever, which is worse?

Plenty of things are worse actually. At least I have a job. I have my health. I have a home. I have friends. I have a family.

New hashtag: #blessedbutstressed

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Movin' and a Shakin' Things Up

This past Friday marked my third anniversary as a vampire...I mean...the executive producer of 14 News Sunrise. Early next month, I will celebrate ten years at 14 WFIE. I can't believe I've been there that long. I'm extremely lucky to have had two other jobs and been employed steadily since college. But in my business, it's not normal to stay in one place for too long,  Every two years or so, you fly the coop if you want to move up. I never managed to spread my wings and get off the ground. I've said it before: I love my house, I like this area and I'm happy right where I am.

However, my role on Sunrise is about to change, and I'm very excited about it. We are getting another producer. The extra body/brain will allow me to fully come into my charge as EP. I can step back and look more at the big picture instead of being bogged down with the nitty gritty details of my hour of news. I've been in a hybrid role for the past three years. My hours will shift, too. Instead of coming in at midnight, I'll slip in a few hours later, like most of the rest of the crew, and have much more time after the show to take care of issues, brainstorm and get involved with the dayside element.

On the homefront, I recently invested in a Fitbit Flex wristband. One of the perks: it has a silent wake alarm so, hopefully, I won't be disturbing Pmo too much when my new schedule starts and I roll out of bed in the middle of the night. I've reduced the 10,000 daily step goal to 3,500 for now, with plans to increase it about 500 steps a week. I can't go from 0 to 60 in one day. But the Fitbit is pretty cool. It transfers my steps and sleep habits automatically via Bluetooth to my phone. I have to log other details like my weight, calorie intake and water consumption if I want, but so far it's kept me motivated to hit that daily step goal and feel the buzz on my wrist. Yesterday, I got buzzed at 1:00 p.m.! From the bracelet, not alcohol.

I prefer winter cleaning to spring cleaning, so I've started a mission to purge things from the house little by little. We took a small load to Goodwill yesterday. I've been doing some general rearranging as well. The spice rack above the microwave was a hot mess, so I repurposed another contraption we already had sitting on the counter and it seems to be working so far. We also trekked to Lowe's yesterday and replaced two light fixtures in the house. We haven't done a ton of remodeling or updating since we moved in five years ago, because the house was in good shape. Still, little updates like that go a long way and make you feel good. There are plenty of things we'd like to do in the future if we could just stop traveling.

On that note, I'm starting to think about planning our trips for this year. We've talked about going to Hawaii for Christmas, so our remaining vacation days may have to be spent as regional trips over four day weekends to offset the costs. Next weekend is our work Christmas party which was delayed from a winter storm early last month. I'm also going to one of my bi-annual "summits" with my college friends and sneaking in a brunch with another bestie. But besides the upcoming mega-party-weekend, I'm trying to keep things pretty low key right now. We had a jam-packed end to 2012 and I want to relax a bit.

We'll see ;)