Wednesday, July 21, 2004

But everyone else is doing it.

I give up.

It seems like everyone has a weblog. I was prompted to create this specific one for a couple of reasons. First, it is 4:30 in the morning and I really have nothing else to do right now. Second, my editor at the ever popular Journal (Ashland, Mo.) told me to check on the progress of his vacation in California on his weblog that he created specifically for this vacation.

Of course, I made fun of him for a good week, but it seems to be an effective way to let many people know about what is going on in your life whether they care or not.

That is kind of cool, I will admit. So here it is the debut of The Wednesday Weekly.
I am not sure if I will update Wednesdays - as it says in the friggen title - or if I will just do it whenever I feel like it. The latter is more likely.

So, to answer the question on everyone's mind. I can't sleep for a whole array of reasons. Tomorrow morning I report to Jefferson City to take the paper I work for (The Journal) to press. We have it printed at the Jeff City News-Tribune, an afternoon paper in the state's capital. It's a small paper, but it is a respectable one too. Some of Missouri's best coverage of the State Legislature has come out of that paper. 

Anyway, my editor/publisher is on vacation for two weeks. This means I am essentially the editor/publisher of this 12-page, 3,400 cir. paper. I thought it would be fun. Run the show for two weeks. Hell, the first issue went off without a hitch.

Lead story was about the city settling with a big name developer in the area over a lawsuit (I think the city would have lost anyway). We also had coverage on new programs from the police department to reduce the number of kids playing in the streets (this is apparently a problem in small-town Missouri. It was a good paper.

The second week was not as smooth. I found out the hard way that people who advertise in newspapers are dicks. Not so much "I am particular about my ad" dick, but serious to god "scream into the phone about how important their ad is" dicks. The worst (while not a screamer was still annoying as hell) was a local politician running for the legislature in this area.  He stormed into my office and started demanding he get control of how the ad is being built. He then demanded that he get a computer to design his own ad. Keep in mind we only have two computers on which we can build ads. This posed a problem. Already being stressed about making deadline and not screwing up the spelling of some god-forsaken headline, I told him,
"Travis, we are the only newspaper in your district. So you can either back off or start buying more street signs, because we don't have to take you ad."

Realizing my mistake, I stood in kind of a frozen silence. I just yelled at an advertiser who was paying $300 to take an ad out in our paper. I was screwed. Or so I thought. He changed his tune and gave some "critical advice" on how he wanted his ad and then left. My partner in crime, Elizabeth, started laughing so hard about how funny it would have been if we got into a fight. I seem to disagree.

My editor called as he was cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge and I told him the whole story. I sort of figured I was fired. But, it turns out, he is not a big fan of political ads in his paper. He was glad I got to take my frustration out on a local politician and still keep the $300 for an ad (which I think looks damn good now).

After getting home around midnight, I thought I would get some sympathy from some of my friends here. As I was telling my story, I realized a good number of my friends this summer are advertising people (working in some capacity in the advertising department at the University of Missouri or elsewhere).
Needless to say, very little sympathy for my frustration was given. Oh well.

Tomorrow I think I will go play at the driving range while the paper is being printed rather than hang around the NT for 3 hours. Oddly enough, after four years of not playing golf, I seem to have picked up right where I left off; shooting like crap. 

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed the first edition of The Wednesday Weekly. I'm sure I will eventually figure out some of the cool functions and features, but don't count on it.