Sunday, July 06, 2003

Happy Birthday, Scotto. :) Four days ago, anyway.

It’s funny, the Fourth of July. This is one of those days of the year where I can remember where I was almost every previous year for more than a decade- (and yes, sometimes I remember what I wore.) The memories are not always good, but it’s one of the days, every year, that stands out for me no matter what. Tonight I listened to Delilah’s cheesy radio show while catching glimpses of fireworks on the horizon over the highway. Mmm.

Yesterday I drove up to Boston to see Stephen in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I loved it. This is, by far, the best costume Steve has worn yet, though for him- it has to be, by far, the least comfortable. I would like to see it again sometime this summer, for those of you Boston-based people out there. V. fun.

Sigh…. So I have to say, I had a really bad week at work this week. Things have been really strange and crazy lately. A lot of management type people have been making a lot of decisions that just don’t make any sense to me. The decisions relate to the most basic of operations and expectations, and - they just- seem like no-brainers to me, most of them. I am working so hard to make photographs that end up getting published, when some photos run twice by accident in the same issue, and I am exhausted. They are putting more and more restrictions on me while demanding twice the work. I just feel so discouraged. When I was hired, they were all about “diversifying our contacts” and tackling “edgier” topics, and now I’m smacked down right and left.

But do you know why I feel the worst, I think? I feel like I am shouting in the wind, trying to stand up for myself and the other three photographers on this staff when there is no one in management who advocates for us, who understands the potential news value of journalistic photographs or who knows how to use our time effectively. I get so angry when over the most basic and simple things, like when designers credit someone else for a photograph I busted my @ss for, things management would NEVER tolerate if it happened to a writer’s byline. I try to explain my point, offer reasonable solutions, and you know what’s happening? The perception is that I just talk and talk and talk and talk, and in these last few frustrating days, I have been given the word to just shut the f*ck up, that I am wasting everyone’s time. Sigh…

And I am disappointed, also, because I have essentially come to realize that my boss, who I thought was a nice person who backed us up, is essentially completely ineffective. And the one person who gets what I am trying to say also does some pretty unprofessional things, and it didn’t occur to me so much lately because- although this person loses points for style, delivery and tact, she gets it. And- because she is standing up for me and the other people on the staff who are getting repeatedly screwed- her style didn’t bother me so much. It made me feel validated. But…. I think people are maybe lumping me in with her now when she argues on my behalf, which isn’t fair because I’m not the one screaming down the phone and calling people “bitches” right and left.

But the talking too much thing? (wince) This strikes a very deep, long-held insecurity for me. I know I talk A LOT, for different reasons- when I get excited, when I am passionate about something, when I am nervous, when I want to fit in and when I am lonely. But mostly? I talk when I feel like I can make a difference, because so far in my young life, I have had the very gratifying experience of using my voice and seeing tangible results. And, because I have a lot to say, I try to give people equal time to respond to me. But it turns out THAT effort is being seen as my keeping the conversation going, continuing to talk talk talk talk.

What can I say? I’m embarrassed. Really embarrassed. I need to learn to fly below the radar. I try to, and then I find myself in a situation where I know I have something important to contribute, and so I do. And I usually wish I hadn’t, and worry about it, and I get nervous and the cycle continues. I miss the Merald.

Oh, and today I ran over a cat. It was horrible, horrible, horrible. I sobbed, off and on, for an hour. I was on my way to the vet to pick up Bella, who spent quality time with Dr. Pia and the Gang for two nights when I was in Boston, and I tried to save it, to rush it to the vet. And- he was just gone- and... oh, it was one of the worst experiences of my life. The thing is, I have been seeing the little guy around the neighborhood, and a few nights ago I tried to pick him up so I could give him a bath and take him to the shelter where I do pet of the week, so I could visit him and put his picture in the paper, and.... I was walking Bella, and I thought he would be okay because he let me pick him up while I had a hold of her leash, but then he saw Bella and freaked (as stray kittens are wont to do when confronted by a friendly Rottweiler-y dog face) and he got away and I figured he'd be alright until I could get him without her around or trap him in a have-a-heart-trap and- Oh God- it was awful, I saw the car in front of me swerve, and I was watching the back of the car, thinking "pedestrian? kid on bike? what?" and then, and then, it was too late, and I really think he suffered for about 2 minutes, and I thought maybe the vet can just help him along, and I cried and cried and a nice man (let's call him "Robert") watched my running, unlocked car while I wrapped the cat in a towel and... oh, this is too awful.... Poor kitty, wherever you are, I hope that wasn't your 9th life, and that whichever one you are on, it's a good life where you are loved and cared for from the time before you open your eyes.

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