Monday, June 30, 2008

Crybaby Goonies

Rachel and I were watching the '80s classic, The Goonies yesterday. I felt like I've wrapped my brain around the reality of our professional situation fairly well. It's very clear though that my brain has unwrapped, or it was never wrapped around to begin with. I knew this when Sloth looked down at Chunk at the end of the movie and said, "!" and I wanted to burst into tears. Over a kids movie with over-dramatic 13 year olds in it and bad 1980's fashion.

On the way to work I was listening to an interview with Leonard Downey, Jr. the head at Washington Post who is stepping down. He was talking about the state of newspapers and such. A truck driver called in and told him how much he loved the WP. How he would always seek it out when he was in the metro area. I became weepy. Someone appreciating what we do.

I never thought about that much before when people told me while I was on assignment, "Oh the Palm Beach Post? I love that paper! That's my paper!"

It has all new importance to me now.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I'm a bit concerned that I am experiencing some denial. I am aware of what's going on at work. HERE'S A REMINDER. Somehow, I am convinced everything will be OK. Perhaps I'm convinced everything will be ok for me, though I may feel differently after a few weeks living at my parents' place should I choose to take the buyout. Not that my parents aren't wonderful, they are. It's just that I'm 32. And single. And living with my parents.

Last night, a Pity Party was thrown in response to the latest shake-up in our building. People talked elusively about whether or not they would be taking the buyout. Over whether or not they would take it should they be eligible.

I have been working a lot which I'm enjoying. I need to remind myself that I may not be doing this for much longer. I need to remember to absorb it, without driving myself into a depressive stupor.

I do love what I do. I would miss what I do.

Looking across the newsroom last week, there were little clusters of people kibitzing all over. Work was getting done, but it was secondary I think, to consoling each other and helping each other through the five stages of grief. Those who are eligible for the buyout and are considering it are finding themselves wondering; If I decline a buyout and make it through the next round of layoffs and perhaps another one after that, what will it all look like when all the dust settles and the rubble is carried away (though I don't know who would be left to clean-up said rubble)? It's not the place many of us were hired to join.

I'm not saying it's anyone's fault. I'm just expressing how completely bizarre and strange this all is. People who have dedicated their entire lives to bringing stories of the community to area readers have to find something else to do to make money because somehow, in the downpour of reality TV, advertisers, celebrity gossip, and society's lack of patience and desire for instant info gratification, most of America walked away from wanting to know the truth.

It is a reporter's job to piss you off. It is their job to show you that things are not what you think they are, that changes need to be made, that the politician you voted for isn't the perfect choice you thought they would be, that you have neighbors living in squalor, that your schools are not doing what your taxes are paying them to do, and so on.

There has been lots of talk about journalism leaving the newspaper business. That all it's about these days is making money, getting advertisers, trying to find a way to get well into the black.

Tell them what they want to hear is not what journalism is. And thus, journalism is changing. Or, journalism is leaving and something else is taking it's place.

And now I am reminded why I feel OK. If I actually think about it, it's too daunting for my brain to "get". So, I just don't get into it.

Florida's Death Row

J. Gwen Berry, multi-media extraordinaire, has been spending months on this project about death row in Florida. I think she did an exceptional job. It's not an upper, but it is interesting.


Friday, June 27, 2008


Debby Just Made My Day

Her "status" on Facebook read "Debby thinks Cydney is awesome."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Holding Hands Home Makeover


The Baby Borrowers

There's a new show on TV. It's too bad that the Gloucester high girls didn't get a chance to participate in this kind of experiment.

It's a great idea, actually.
The Baby Borrowers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Buy Outs

So, the buy outs were offered today to those of us who have been at The Palm Beach Post for at least five years.

Going into that meeting today, one of three identical meetings, was strange.
"Hey what are you all doing here?' I heard someone joke.
Another answered, "It's a magic show, there going to make us all disappear!".

Sitting down between Taylor, another shooter and a friends of mine, and Pat, one of our illustrators,, I watched people file into the room. Looking at the people, some of whom I have been seeing around the building for years but never knew their names, some of whom are from my department - the photographer with a wife and two small kids, the editor with two kids in college, the killer sports shooter with a sick wife. As long as I didn't look at the person, I was OK. I could keep it together.

But man, was it sad.

Through the meeting Pat doodled a perfect storm with a small figure drowning in the middle of it.

To meet the financial goal, an estimated 130 people will leave the building. That's about 40% of the newsroom staff. It's fucked up, is what it is. That said, it is what it is. Times are changing and we have to change with it.

I have some thinking to do.

By the way, I often spell check my writing. I'm a terrible speller and I often spell things wrong simply in typo. Like "photographer" I often mistype as "photogrpaher". When I was spell checking right now and the spell check came to that typo, rather than correcting the misspelling, it said "no suggestions".


Below is a list of what some of my "Facebook friends" have put on their status update today -

Lindsay is really sad about palm beach, and worried sick about my friends there.
Cristella is sending positive vibes to all at the Palm Beach Post. Keep your chin ups,'ll get through.
Elizabeth is zoned out. Today was weird.
Carl is stunned...please someone, somewhere help all my friends at the palm beach post.
Shannon spins it positive and says a new adventure is better than none at all.
Stephen doesn't remember yesterday. Today it rained.
Kristi is crying because of the Palm Beach Post's buyout memo.
Libby is reeling....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Storm's a-Brewin'

As you may already know, the field of newspaper journalism is suffering a great deal these days. In the storm of the poor economy, miserable real estate, and the availability of free information on the web, newspapers have been dying like a sweet little child being slowly poisoned to death by it's mother with a case of Munchhausen by Proxy.

At my paper, we are all anticipating buy-out offers and lay-offs in the near future. I feel OK blogging about this considering a local paper has a column about the newspaper chaos here in south Florida. You can read about what some local newspapers have been going through here.

It seems that all we (my friends at the paper and I) can talk about these days is what's the latest we've heard from the rumor mill. They're getting rid of 40% of us. We'll be working like a "small paper" once the dust settles. If you're offered a buy-out, you'll get 2 weeks pay for every year you've worked for the paper. No, I heard it's only one week per year.

And then there's my favorite announcement, made by my dear friend and an exceptional writer at the Palm Beach Post. Rachel said to me, in an effort to keep her spirits up, as we were walking out the building to get some lunch today, "All I know is, the worse it gets, the more colorful my outfits are going to be. Tomorrow I'm wearing my My Little Pony outfit. It's all pink and purple!". Sweet.

Then at lunch she mentioned that she felt like something was dying. I couldn't agree more with that feeling.

There's a strange level of camaraderie that comes from a situation like this. This is an unprecedented situation. None of us entered this field thinking our skills would ever become unneeded. Every day, clusters of people in photo collect in my pod (and I'm sure other pods, too...oh, a pod is what we call the four cubicles which are joined together), and we talk about what's going on. Talking in circles is human nature, and for the most part it's done in an effort to solve whatever the problem is. Unfortunately, there is no solution yet and if there was, it's out of our hands at the moment. So, we talk in circles to feel better, joking about what we'll do when we're not doing this. Taylor suggested becoming hookers and I envisioned driving down the main street in our city and seeing my former coworkers turning tricks in my neighborhood. That made me giggle.

In all the frustration, I feel I have to give it to "the man" upstairs. They have been sending frequent emails out to all of us, one which you can read about here, informing us of what they know (and are willing to tell us). Perhaps I'm being naive, but I'm OK with being naive, because then I don't think that management is simply telling us the same thing over and over when what we really wanna know is when the hell am we're out of a job. They are often telling us, too, that we are all welcome to visit them to discuss what's going on. Perhaps even make some suggestions. In the end, we can never complain that they didn't keep their door open to suggestions. They'll have every right to point fingers at our disappointed asses later and be all it's not like YOU thought of something better to save money.

All that said, I have taken up a diet entirely of my own cuticles and Dove ice cream bars.


Huggy Sluggy

I met and photographed the creators today. It's too weird and fun not to share!
Huggy Sluggy site

Crazy Prego Pact

Dad just sent me an email pointing out the name of the he Gloucester high school principal. He was the assistant principal at Wakefield high when I went there.

Read about it here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Comfort Food

I will NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.

I will STILL NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will STILL NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will STILL NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will STILL NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will STILL NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.
I will STILL NOT go to the store to buy some of Satan's treat; Dove's Original Chocolate ice cream bars.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Day Off

I was owed a comp day so when my good friend Rachel called to let me know she and her family would be in town for the week, I jumped at the chance to take a day off and have them over my place.

I took them to the Marinelife Center which was just redone this past year. Such a great place. Afterwards, we hung-out at my apartment, much to Oliver's frustration. He simply doesn't know what to make of kids - he'll lick the baby while growling at the same time. Very odd boy. And grumpy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Remembering Tim

Holy crap, this is impressive.

Luke talks about his dad.

My Job

If you are wondering why I haven't been blogging much these days, it's because I haven't been terrible cheery. Waiting for buy-out offers and lay-offs to come down (offers will come a week from today), it's been pretty unpleasant and scary around these parts.

My friends and I never thought we would have to worry about involuntarily leaving this field.

Stay tuned and check this out..

Sunday, June 15, 2008


About a week ago, Dad told me I should sit and watch an episode of "Meet the Press" to see Tim Russert in action. Dad talked about how exceptional he was at his job. How he could question a guest and really put them in the hot seat, but still do it in a professional way. I'm sad that Tim Russert died this past week,a nd not just because it means I won't get to see his show.

Today on Meet the Press there was a panel of his colleagues and friends, looking back on his life and sharing with viewers what an exceptional person he was. I'm disappointed to have to have learned about Russert under these circumstances.

Last night, I was flipping through a book at Barnes and Nobles and came across a quote which said, "The best exercise for your heart is reaching down and lifting someone else up". Today one of the panel said that quote was one of his favorites.

Tom Brokaw, who was on the panel and got choked-up over the loss of his friend a time or two said that last night, while performing in Europe, Russert's favorite musician, Bruce Springsteen dedicated "Thunder Road" to Russert. They concluded the show with sound-bites of Russert talking about his humble beginnings and how grateful he is for his life, while showing photos of him from through-out his life. I don't know if it was a recent clip or one from last year, but they ended the show with a clip of Russert beaming, "Happy Father's Day to big Russ up in Buffalo, and Luke, I'm real proud to be your dad".

Cue waterworks.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Every morning, I check the yard before letting Oliver out, to make sure none of the neighbors are back there (he gets very territorial - very rude!). I leave the door open after he goes out so he can come back in. One morning, quite some time went by and he hadn't returned. When I peeked out the window to see what corner of the yard he was chasing lizards in, I found him on the porch, sun bathing.

How cute is my puppy!?

Monday, June 9, 2008


Oliver walked into my shot while I was photographing my latest today...

I love his expression - it's like the people who wave at the camera's from behind Al Roker while he does the forecast from Rockefeller Plaza.
"Hi, Mom!"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Downed Robin's Egg

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One-Wall Handball

These guys were great fun!

click here to view the video

Monday, June 2, 2008

Last Night's Visitor

And no, he did NOT turn into a prince!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June Masthead