Monday, October 29, 2007

Ooh... One More Thing

While I'm trapped in an auditorium learning how to log-on to my benefits and sign up for dry cleaning drop off service, enjoy this random soccer story I wrote on Sunday.

The Enquirer sports department was so desperate they asked me to cover the NKU men's quarterfinals. I warned the sports editor I'd never covered a soccer game in my life, but like I said, he was desperate.

I think it turned out pretty well though for a girl who doesn't really write sports.

And I'm Spent

Today was my first day at my new job, except that I was actually in orientation, so it wasn't like my new job at all. But still, I was there.

A few highlights:

• On a tour of the hospital we came upon Gapper (the Reds mascot) entertaining a roomful of children. Gapper proceeded to come out into the hallway, make some squeaking noises at us and then hugged and kissed the girl in front of me. I blushed and it didn't even happen to me.

• Children's Hospital started in 1883 as the Protestant Episcopal Free Hospital for Children. It was located at Park and Kemper (now Yale) in Walnut Hills, had 12 beds and 1 staff nurse. It now has an annual operating revenue of just over $1 billion, employs nearly 10,000 people and had 842,822 patient encounters in 2006.

• My badge doubles as a debit card, which I can use to buy lattes from Starbucks on the main campus. Ow!

• My colleague Steve came to find me at orientation to ask if I want the 17-inch or 15-inch MacBook Pro. Shockingly, I chose the 15-inch MacBook. Hey, I need to make sure I have lots of great bag options to carry it around in, and I know the 17-inch models are more bag-limited!

• Children's is ranked 7th in U.S. News and World Report as a hospital and has the fourth best pediatric program at a medical school. Which is OK. I guess. Buuut the research foundation, of which I am now the senior Web editor, is ranked second among all pediatric centers receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health. ($91 million in 2006.)

In horribly, horribly distressing news of the day:

• Dress code says no dangly or hoop earrings and no open-toed shoes. Um, what? (Me, shaking.) Excuse me, but I need to express myself (Chotchkies style) and wearing giant hoop earrings and fantastic sandals (in the summer) is how I do that.

Hmm... Maybe this job isn't right for me after all. Fortuntely it's nearing winter, guess that means I'll just have to buy some more boots to "fit in."

Tomorrow is another long day of orientation. Woo wee!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Best Dream Ever

I've spent the last week destroying rearranging portions of our apartment.

And that has included finding a lot of old notebooks, photos and letters.

But the gem thus far was finding an old dream journal, or what was supposed to become a dream journal but it has only one dream written in it. Then again, the dream is so fantastic that if I had written any other dreams in it, they'd have paled in comparison to this one.

Monday, July 22, 2003
I dreamed that science had created the perfect baked potato by having it naturally taste like salt and butter without all the fat and calories.

I can't believe in four years science hasn't made that happen yet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Almost Famous

I don't want to brag or anything, but the Best Reporter in Ohio, my former colleague Greg Korte, calls my recent Bob Dylan concert post "eloquent" on his blog and says I "get" Bob.

I'm certain I've never been given a higher compliment. Especially not from the Best Reporter in Ohio.

I also might mention that Korte is practically BFF with my pop culture writer idol Chuck Klosterman, who just so happened to write one of my favorite books of all time, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.

Which is almost as cool as being named Best Reporter in Ohio.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kinda Tragic

Usually my Canon Powerhot SD 600 is within a few feet of me at all times. Except on Saturday.

Somehow I left it at home. What makes this particularly tragic is that my long-time BFF Lori came to visit for a night out and I have no documentation of her being here or the sweet dance moves she brought down on Cincinnati.

But I do have this photo of her from a few weeks ago. Just imagine her not wearing scrubs and getting hit on by some freaky UFC dudes and you've pretty much got the scene down from Saturday night.

The rest of last week was incredibly well-documented, however.

It was my last week at the Enquirer, the highlight being me saying good riddance to the dysfunctional Bagel Stop in the lobby, which also has a sometimes violent Diet Coke machine. Take a look.

And I got to say goodbye to everyone (at least until I saw them all again on Saturday night) at a little happy hour, the highlight of that being I got my very first good-bye cover.

Expect another post on that later.

UPDATE: Ronson has a hilarious post about the sometimes violent Diet Coke machine.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good News

I don't have TB.

Bad news - I had to get a tetanus shot (yeeoutch) and next week a I'm down for a MMR shot (measles, mumps and rubella) then a booster the next week.

Dang. Working for a hospital is dangerous for your left arm.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And I'll Be With You When the Deal Goes Down

Bob and I spent the evening together at his sold-out show at the Taft tonight.

He always makes me laugh a little, cry a little. I sometimes wonder if Bob even knows there is an audience there to see him. I suspect he'd play and act exactly the same whether the house was full or not.

Ol' Bob cracks me up when he turns his foot, points his boot out and moves his leg from side-to-side. That means he's really gettin' on it. And sometimes, he'll kinda bend and swing, maybe raise his arm a little. Look out. Dylan dances.

At the end he and his band came back on stage and he stood there, like he might say something, but instead he just kind of gestured his hands outward from his sides a few times, like maybe he was pointing to people off-stage but wasn't looking at them. I've seen Bob too many times to think he's going to say anything, but the crowd gets all riled up thinking he might.

My wish was granted tonight when he played When The Deal Goes Down. (The link is to the YouTube video.) I imagine myself waltzing into the sunset whenever I hear it. It always tears me down. Reminds me how mutable, how ephemeral life and relationships are.

Tonight I imagined waltzing into the sunset with Bob. I lead. Because we agreed I'm a better dancer.

I was about seven the first time I saw Bob Dylan. My parents took me with them to Elliot Hall at Purdue University. All I remember is seeing people holding up lighters into the air.

I don't know how many times I've seen him, but it's about 7 or 8. Maybe 9 or 10. Anyway, here's what he played tonight at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati except for whatever song he played third. I wasn't able to recognize enough of the lyrics to figure it out.

1. Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat

2. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

3. Something about a river? Maybe gold?

4. Love Sick

5. Rollin' and Tumblin'

6. When The Deal Goes Down

7. Blind Willie McTell

8. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again

9. Workingman's Blues #2

10. High Water (For Charley Patton)

11. Spirit on the Water

12. Highway 61 Revisited

13. Ain't Talkin'

14. Summer Days

15. Ballad of a Thin Man


16. Thunder on the Mountain

17. Blowin' in the Wind

Saturday, October 13, 2007

You Are My Magic 8-Ball

Thank you, Gina's Blog readers, for playing the role of Magic 8-Ball in my most recent poll.

Twenty-two (or 73 percent) of you chose 'Yes' to the question "Yes or No." And guess what? You were right. Those of you who picked 'No' were wrong, wrong, wrong. Thankfully.

About a million years ago I applied for a writing/editing job at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. When I was in graduate school Children's was spoken about in a kind of hushed tone. We all knew it as the nationally ranked hospital (it's 7th, according to U.S. News and World Report) that was a great place to work but difficult to get into. So when I sent my resume I didn't think too much of it. I figured I'd get a lovely generic rejection email.

And then HR at Children's called me. And I nearly passed out.

I was screened through a phone interview. Then through an in-peson interview. Then an interview with three research doctors. Then yet another interview. It was seriously the most gruelling interview process I've ever gone through. And this led to a lot of pacing and me asking my colleague Tabari's Magic 8-Ball, "Will I get a job offer from Children's?"

After mixed results (Yes, No, Maybe, Cannot Predict Now) I felt his Magic 8-Ball was not very Magical. But a poll on Gina's Blog? That is magic! And accurate!

So... Though I'm sad to leave my job and friends at CiN, I'm pretty excited to work for Children's. (Finally, a use for my master's in public health!) In a few weeks I'll start my new job as the senior writer/editor for Cincinnati Children's research Web site.

Which is a fancy way of saying it will be my job to twist into order the impact of research discovered by brilliant minds but perhaps not such great writers. Many of my new colleagues will be researchers and doctors hoping to find cures and better treatments for sick kids.

And that's ultimitely is what sealed the deal for me. Yes, the benefits and people and pay were all terrific, but was I ready/willing to leave journalism? The question kept me awake many nights.

Then just before my second interview I was sitting in the cafeteria at Children's, which was buzzing with families, nurses, physicians, support staff. And there were all these parents with their kids in tow and I looked at the kids and wondered, Are they sick? Are they having treaments here? Do they have a little brother or sister who is sick? And it gave me chills to think that these families were bringing their kids to Cincinnati in the hopes that they will get better.

And that was it.

Even though I won't work with kids, the bottom line at Children's isn't to shareholders or profits, it's to making kids feel better. I figure that's something I can get behind even if I can only contribute as a writer for a Web site.

I'm pretty excited. And word on the street is that there is a brand-spankin' new MacBook Pro with my name on it, waiting for me to log in. Ow ow!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Best. Montage. Ever.

Pretty much just watching this montage gets you into law school.

And thanks to you, Gina's Blog readers, my montage is set to the energizing words of Matthew Wilder, who so inspiringly sings, "ain't nobody gonna break-a my stride."

I may not be taking the LSAT anymore, but certainly I would have gotten a 170+ with this baby.

Next up: The question to the poll, "Yes or No." Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Western Bowl, You Light Up My Life

Winners of the Hoinke Classic.

You know what time it is? Time to Glo Bowl!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Somehow the bowling pin shape makes the beer taste even better.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Indiana: A Mobile Blog Tour

The Daugherty "Farm"

The Daugherty Farm. Which raises flowers, tomatoes, a stalk or two of corn and hunting dogs on an acre of land. Some people refer to these spots of land as a "yard" rather than a farm.

Shockingly, there is a winery in Grant Couny, Indiana, located in the little town of Converse. Population: 1,137. And just a few minutes from Marion.

Mom's can be difficult when they don't want their photos mobile blogged.


Local honey. Bottled in La Fontaine.

By my count, there were actually 10 kinds of beans.