slyvermont: (ritaskeeter)
On Wednesday, I covered my second funeral for The Times Argus. Here it is.

I realized as I sat in the pews that covering funerals is not something I learned in journalism school. What is appropriate? Do I wear black? Do I interview people? Do I sit up front, or toward the back?

This particularly troubled me when I went to the reception afterwards. I mean, do I interview people – or just write about the memorial service?

The couple that died – what a sad story. They died last week. Their house caught on fire, they were in the basement, and couldn’t get out. The stairs were burning. There was no outside door.

The guy I had met a few times – we both took a Hebrew class through the synagogue. It turns out that he was a really interesting person. He was the state auditor of accounts in the early 60s, the first Jew to win a statewide office in Vermont. He was also a Democrat who won, which was very rare in Vermont back in those days. He served on a ton of statewide organizations, and was a professor at a local college.

In the end, I did interview people at the reception. I stuck to either people I knew, or people I was introduced to by people I knew. And politicians – I knew that former Vermont Gov. Phil Hoff would talk. (There were 2 governors at the funeral). But I didn’t interview any family members.

The rabbi left a message on my voice mail this morning saying my story was good, and well-received by the family. Whew.

In other article news, here’s another story I wrote recently, a book review and interview with Julia Alvarez. I loved this book, so if you’re looking for a fun read, consider it.

And I am not, repeat, not, looking forward to the nor’easter coming on Sunday and the 10 to 20 inches of snow it will bring.

Spring!

May. 7th, 2007 09:55 am
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
Yes!!

I just finished writing yet another cover story for our Sunday magazine – that’s reporting and writing four big articles in about three months, which is a lot for me. Add to that the increased number of hours that I’ve been working in the last 2 months because of a coworker's illness – I’ve been very very busy.

Of course, I’m about to embark on another long-term assignment that will take me months to finish. And I have a few other shorter articles I hope to write this summer. But I am going to take a break from interviewing and writing for the next few weeks – my attention will be on dance recital and Celebration IV, and other school-year-ending milestones.

Whew.

More updates:




And the trees are finally beginning to turn green -- this is one of the latest springs ever. I'm ready for some warm weather.
slyvermont: (Valley snowfall)
Normal average high: 50s
Average high the last couple weeks: low 30s
High last year today: 69

It's been snowing since I woke up this morning. The forecast: another foot of snow in a massive storm coming on Sunday/Monday.

Get me out of here!!!
slyvermont: (Default)
Assorted things I clipped in the last couple months from the New York Times:

1. A book review of "The Physics of the Buffyverse," by Jennifer Ouellette. Ouellette (although I feel I should be on a first name basis with someone who writes about Buffy) used episodes from Buffy and Angel to teach physics principles. I think I am more impressed that the Times reviewed this in its Sunday Book Review than that the book exists. Since the nonscientists out there tend to think that learning physics is hell, and Buffy explored the idea that high school is hell -- is this a mixed metaphor?

2. An iPod karaoke device called -- of course, what else -- iKaraoke. Seems like the perfect accessory for filk night at JadeCon, and for only $50! This is a microphone that plugs into iPods and processes the music you own, muting the vocals.

3. For my knitting friends, an exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC called "Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting" that runs through June 17. There are various panel discussions, lectures and workshops in knitting, lace-making, crocheting, etc. "the exhibition ... devotes most of its space to art that mimics the look or logic of knitting and lace and translates it into different materials." It looks cool.

4. A story on a Web site that ended up being somewhat disappointing, but a great idea. Called seenon.com, it allows you to buy the clothing worn by characters on TV shows and movies. Since neither Gilmore Girls or Veronica Mars was represented, I was disappointed. Not that I can wear any of the clothing on those shows ...

5. A list of 2006 buzzwords and buzz phrases. Decider, dwarf planet and macaca I knew about. But I am clearly very out of it, since I never heard of sanctimommy, food miles, impossible is nothing, zeteophobia, vice mail, spaghetti bowl (which is about economics, of all things), Fox lips, hubby-sitter, Hummer house or Internet courage.

(Still snowing, btw, although it stopped for awhile this afternoon so minimal accumulation.)
slyvermont: (Valley snowfall)
Seven inches and counting.

Almost looks like the tree in my icon:



Rich shoveling; that's what 7 inches of snow looks like to shovel:



I don't have to go to work today -- so no driving this time. I'm very happy about that.

The downside of all this snow is its potential effect on the flood situation in Montpelier. Montpelier has had two bad floods in its history, one in 1927 and the other in 1992. I was around for the '92 one, and it was memorable. Right downtown, people in boats, businesses were flooded and lost merchandise. There was no advance warning -- and the water rose very very quickly. Here are some pictures. This year, the river that flows through downtown is jammed and experts have figured out that the risk for flooding is really high, especially if it rains or we get high temps and all the snow melts quickly. Because of the type of jamming, apparently nothing can be done to prevent it. The city is on high alert and having all these emergency flood meetings; the paper has been following all of this with front-page stories. Here's the flood watch page for the city. I love this line from the story in today's paper:

"If we have a timely informational source about what's happening, we'd look to get kids and their cars up into National Life area," Moody said of the high school evacuation plan. "If we don't have timely notice, we're looking at moving students only."

Great, I can just imagine my flooded car in the parking lot of MHS.

Anyway, before everyone worries about me -- our house is up on a hill. No risk of flooding here.
slyvermont: (Default)
This is the 10th day of rain. Yesterday it rained all day, with no let up. Today, it’s pouring again, and very very windy. We’ve had no foliage season this year, since the days with the best color have been gray and raining.

So, this weekend I baked. I made two apple pies, two apple kugels, applesauce and a chicken pot pie (which used up an apple too). I only picked a bushel of apples this year, which is much more manageable than what we usually do.

Here’s an interesting story that I can’t decide what I think about:

“The Cell” is a TV sitcom that will probably never get on TV. It’s about a cell of Islamic terrorists living in Chicago, who are supposed to blow things up but fail miserably. The NYTimes wrote an article about it last month, and it sounds hysterical. To quote from the NY Times article: “While the script's heroes are ostensibly out to kill and paralyze Americans with fear, the running joke of "The Cell" is that they quickly fall in love with Americans and Americana. They order Domino's Pizza and heat up Hot Pockets, and get weak-kneed over super-sizes and double coupons and sexy college women. They become Chicago Cubs fans - these are hapless terrorists, after all - and derive their cultural literacy straight from television and the movies: their secret password is ‘Kelly Ripa.’”

I love that they become Cubs fans.

I found the article reposted here: http://www.notworksafe.com/postview.php?fid=362065&f=

One of my favorite shows when I was growing up was “Hogan’s Heroes,” which took place in a Nazi P.O.W. camp. I can’t imagine that “The Cell” is any more offensive than that. The article posits that the difference is one of timing: Hogan’s Heroes ran 20 years after WWII ended while we’re still dealing with al-Qaeda now. And emotions are still raw four years after 9/11.

But it does sound very funny. And pro-American and patriotic in a strange if off-beat way.

More news

Sep. 3rd, 2005 11:28 pm
slyvermont: (Default)
Rehnquist just died.

Two nominees. This could get interesting.

As if the news media wasn’t overloaded already with all the hurricane coverage.

I have to give the man credit for hanging in there to the very end. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that he insisted he wasn’t going to resign the court? This man died with his boots on, so to speak.

Rehnquist had a summer home in Vermont, in Greensboro, so I’m sure we’ll cover his death with a more personal angle.

Speaking of the hurricane, I did my good deed today, and dropped off three bags of stuff that was packed onto 20+ trucks that Vermont sent to the Gulf regions affected by Katrina. The effort here in Vermont was impressive.

Another thing that is haunting me about this whole Katrina disaster is how poor the evacuation plans seem to have been. The mayor asks that the whole city evacuate. Which is fine if you have a car, or the funds to rent a car. But nothing seems to have been organized for the carless, the infirm, the hospitalized. The images of the patients in hospitals really, really bothered me.

The question I have is – do other communities -- mine? yours? -- have plans to evacuate their hospitals, their nursing homes, their homebound citizens? Because between earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and volcanoes, most places in this country are at risk of some natural disaster. And it’s not only evacuation plans, but plans for these people after the disaster strikes. I know that there are emergency drills all the time (I’ve covered them), and I find it unfathomable that New Orleans didn’t plan for this scenario. But if New Orleans didn't, chances are that most other places haven't either.
slyvermont: (Default)
There's a layer of snow outside. First snow of the year.

Snow tires went on the car last week. We brought in the deck chairs this weekend. Hah.

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