Category: Work

Actions and reactions

Let me tell you a personal story, since I’ve been doing that lately.

As you probably know, I am a reporter for a newspaper. I write stories, take photographs and do web design stuff.
But I also copy edit all the bulk items that go into the paper (we call it filler, though no one likes to know that).

I’m the only one who reads it, unless I’m running behind and hand some off to the only person in the newsroom who has been here less time than me.
Friday, I read a bunch because I had some time. It was great (meaning, I hate this part of my job, and find it so mundane).

We’re running a whole bunch of FFA stuff in this coming issue of our paper, and I had to read all the copy for that.
I made a lot of changes. It’s what I do. Things need to follow our style (which is mainly AP style, but also some of our own style rules), and they need to be consistent in one article.

The woman who types all these articles up just called me a few minutes ago.
She said she wasn’t going to make those changes because it was someone writing those and we should leave it.

My first reaction is: what a dumb reason. Something is wrong, let’s change it. We shouldn’t leave it that way just because someone submitted it to us that way.
but instead of saying that…
I say, “OK, but here is why I made those changes.”
She goes on… saying we shouldn’t change it.
I’m just getting more irritated. I have read the AP style guide. I work in a newsroom. I know what I’m talking about. There’s a reason I am the one who copy edits those! It’s not just because I’m the low man on the totem pole. I am a subject matter expert when it comes to style.
She ends the call. “OK.”
Except she says it ooooooooohhhhh kay.

I was respectful, I explained where I was coming from. I didn’t downplay her experience.
I am just SICK of the excuse “we’ve always done it that way.”
I don’t care about that, I don’t care about what you did in the past. I care about making this newspaper the best it can be.
The best it can be is following style when we should, cutting out style when we must.
An FFA submitted article is when we should absolutely follow style.

When I first started this post I was going to talk about reactions…
but really, I am so just, upset about this conversation. I can’t get her reaction out of my head.

I can’t believe I let people make me feel this way, when I know I am right. In this situation, I am right, and I think something should change.
I can’t let her bring me down like this. That gives her the control.

She’s not even a bad person. She’s just old and set in her ways. (And I’m not saying she’s old because she’s 30. She’s in her 60s for sure.)
I’ve felt this tension since I started working here, actually, and it only got worse when I told her I was Catholic.

I don’t know what to do. I do know that when I walk by her the next time, to go fill my water bottle, I’m not going to appear upset or changed at all.
That conversation DIDN’T change my mood. If I can fake it, I can make it.

God bless.


So upset

Remember what Christ said about getting mad?

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
-Matthew 5:22


Right… I remember. Sort of.


I was talking about something today, with someone. (That’s how it usually works.)
He said some things I thought were crazy dumb ridiculous. In fact, I thought it was so ridiculous, I put my head phones on and started to listen to C-SPAN (did you know you could do that online? awesome).


We were talking about politics.
Remember what Christ said about politics?
And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.
-Mark 12:17


We weren’t even really talking. I asked if he watched the filibuster.
He said, what filibuster? (double take)
Senator Rand Paul regarding drone strikes on Americans on American soil. (backgrounder here)
He said, oh, well don’t you think they should just legislate that? Make it a law?


Interesting, how he automatically jumped to this, not knowing any part of the discussion during the filibuster.
Check this out.


There you go. The Senator from Wisconsin explains the questions Paul was asking, why he was filibustering.


Remember how I work at a newspaper?


Remember how I’m Catholic?


It’s interesting how these don’t seem to be going together right now.

It’s interesting that a journalist would jump into talking about something he doesn’t know. It’s interesting that I have to DEMAND that conservatives that question the president get a fair shake in this newsroom.


He called Paul an idiot.
I would never call the president an idiot. I wouldn’t call any elected official an idiot.
I mean, really. How about a little respect?
How about a little bit of that tolerance for views that are different than your own.

He brought up the oath the president takes when assuming office… to protect the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.


So, the president gets to decide who an enemy of our country is.

What if he thinks “gun-tooting rednecks” are the enemy? What about people who read the Bible, believe in a higher truth, don’t want to pay for drugs that kill children and create hostility toward natural families?


Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.


Don’t be so quick to  give up your rights, you probably won’t get them back.


Some quotes from the Senator:


“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court. That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is an abomination.”


“When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding and unequivocal, ‘no.’ The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that. The president says, I haven’t killed anyone yet. He goes on to say, ‘and I have no intention of killing Americans. But I might.'”Is that enough?”Are we satisfied by that?”Are we so complacent with our rights that we would allow a president to say he might kill Americans?”


“There has been discussion in our country about whether even the courts can sometimes make mistakes. Some states have gotten rid of the death penalty because they have made mistakes and through their DNA testing found that they sometimes convicted the wrong person. Can you imagine with all the checks and balances of our court system, which I think is the best in the entire world, with attorneys on both sides, whether you can afford one or not, there is argument back and forth and you have these procedural protections and you can appeal, and sometimes you can still get it wrong. If we can get it wrong in the best system in the world, do you think one politician might get it wrong? But you will a never know because nobody is told who is going to be killed. It is a secret list. So how do you protest? How do you say, I’m innocent? How do you say, yes, I email with my cousin who lives in the Middle East, and I didn’t know he was involved in that? Do you not get a chance to explain yourself in a court of law before you get a hellfire missile dropped on your head? So I think that really, it just amazes me that people are so willing and eager to throw out the bill of rights and just say, oh, that’s fine. You know, terrorists are a big threat to us. And, you know, I am a so fearful that they will attack me that I’m willing to give up my rights, I’m willing to give up on the bill of rights? I think we give up too easily.”

Find the “Cliff’s Notes version” here.

So, even though I was so upset, even though I wanted to punch him, I didn’t.

I just quieted and left him to his rambling. Sometimes that’s all I can do.

It’s not worth getting more angry. It’s not worth getting red-faced and raising my voice.

He won’t believe me.

God bless.

Great days

I used to have really high

expectations of what a great day was. Sleep in, have a cup of awesome coffee, watch the news, take a long bath. Those kind of things.

Today, is not one of those days, not filled with those kind of things, but it’s a great day, none the less.

I’m going to spend most of it writing, a lot of it reading, catching up on all the blogs I follow (I still have posts from Jan. 11 to read!). It’ll be one of those catch-up days. But at the same time, I’ll be behind at work when I go back tomorrow. It’s not exactly a win-win, but it’s close. I can handle the work catch-up, if I have my other stuff caught up. If you get what I’m saying.

Year of Faith update

My original goals, from Oct. 11:

Attend adoration (1 hour)/attend benediction once a month

TODAY: up to date, 1 hour for October, November, December and January

Attend Mass at a new Parish/Church once a month (somewhere I haven’t been yet)

TODAY: up to date, St. Andrew’s, St. Paul’s, St. Francis de Sales and St. Charles Borromeo

Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church

TODAY: up to date, today’s 112 in the year of faith, can you believe it?

Read six (more if I can) books on Church History, including saints, popes, council documents, papal documents, etc. These should be published with at least an imprimatur. I’m really interested in more on the Crusades

TODAY: slacking on this a little bit, I have read Scott Hahn’s A Father who Keeps his Promises and am working on Pope Benedict’s Infancy Narratives. I’m going slow with this one.


So, yes, I went to St. Charles on Saturday for the vigil Mass. Interesting.

Everyone was rushing, rushing, rushing. Even the priest! And after I resolved for 2013 to NEVER RUSH, it was even more frustrating for me.

I’m also working on my patience, though.

But during Mass, I like reverence, a proper pace, attention, incense. I may make my next “new church” service in my goals an extraordinary rite. At least those go at a good pace.

The closest one to me is not even close to me at all, though.

I also don’t like Saturday night Masses. Because are we just going so we don’t have to get up early on Sunday? Indeed, that was the case with me this weekend. I didn’t want to get up that much earlier to drive out to St. Charles. Lazy, Catholic.

I gave the Knights of Columbus Lifesaver guy $5. He offered me change. No, thanks. This made me smile. They’re collecting for pregnancy resource centers around my area. I tell you what, if I was a man, I would be in the KofC, no contest. I love what they do.

God bless. Have a great day everyday!

Revisited Mass

I’ve posted before about how I miss daily Mass. I miss it again.

I get in a rthym, a schedule, a routine, that somehow doesn’t include daily Mass.

I have the time. Thanks to my (amazing) job, I can work (pretty much) when I want. I can go in late… not that I even need to because Mass is at 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I can still make it to the office by 9 if I go.

But it also means that I have to be up, dressed, presentable for that. And I have to eat well before that for the obligatory fast.

And that’s just been too much work for me lately.

I used to be a morning person. This was me. Well, not really. But close. I was happy in the morning.

But now that I gave up coffee (just until the end of the month!) and I still can’t receive the Eucharist.

Things feel a little off for me, I guess. I’m going to work on it, though.

Year of faith

My goals for the YoF are going great through. I’ve been to Mass in three different parishes so far, and I’ve gone to Adoration three times.

I’m currently reading Pope Benedict XVI’s Infancy Narratives.
I finished Scott Hahn’s “A Father who Keeps His Promises.” I’ll write about it soon. It was great. Beautiful. Just like Infancy Narratives are turning out to be. So much, so great.


I will be back, not as frequently as when I first started this, but more often than the past four weeks. I am still trying to find that balance of things I want to do and need to do.

Sometimes, I just need to not be connected. And sometimes, I know that my pains and trials in faith will help others.

God bless all.

Hope the new year is well.

Daily Mass

I haven’t been to a daily Mass in more than two weeks.

I don’t exactly remember the last time I went. It was right after the Confession that I wasn’t absolved…


I will be at tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Mass, but so will a lot of other people that don’t go to daily Mass.

I’m going to jump right back in and go on Friday morning.

I miss it terribly. It’s worse than missing a workout or dinner (haha).

If you haven’t been to a daily Mass in a while, I highly suggest it. It’s so beautiful and peaceful.


On Writing

(That’s something else you should read if you dabble in writing. By Stephen King.)

I have been writing! Finally, finally.

I just opened a Word document and started typing yesterday (maybe the day before). And I like it, and I’m not being too hard on myself with editing. I’m just creating right now.

It feels sooooooo so good. So good to be writing.

Yes, I write (nearly) every day for my job. And I like that kind of writing, too. But there is something different about the kind of writing that you create yourself. I’m not reiterating facts or quotes. I’m MAKING THEM UP AS I GO ALONG.

In no other place but fictional writing is that OK. Well, life, I guess. 😉

I am going to have something COMPLETE by the time that contest rolls around. I’ll have it finished, and edited and printed nicely and ready to go.

And if I don’t win, OK. But I put my foot out there with a fictional challenge, and I’ll be proud of that.

I haven’t submitted any fictional writing since I was applying for college scholarships.

Which, OK, wasn’t that long ago, but still a completely different time in my life.

Anyway, I’m off to make peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate chips (oh, yes).

Happy Thanksgiving! God Bless.