Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Your Next Design Star!

As anyone who knows me knows, my passion is interior design. I've always dreamed of combining my television experience with my passion and having my own interior design television show. I mean, I've dreamed of this like say, one might dream of having a winter home in Aruba and a summer home in Paris. Like, it's a wild and crazy completely impossible dream. Especially because I'm not even an interior designer. But, interior design is not neurosurgery and much of it is instintucal and I've studied it enough to be able to consider myself more knowledgeable about it than the general public- possibly even an expert in some areas. So.... I'm going to try out for the next season of Design Star on HGTV. I'm almost embarassed to say that because it's so far-fetched and seems almost egotistical to say, but I'm not doing it because I have a shot, but because it's a dream and right now.... well, I don't have anything else to do besides pursue my dreams.

The deadline is December 15. And the requirements are many. Like I have to send in a "portfolio" of rooms that I have designed. Uh..... I guesss I'd better get busy on the living room! Is it even possible for me to develop a portfolio in that amount of time? On like NO budget. I guess we're going to see!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Exciting eHow Article of the Day

How to Clean Copper Cabinet Hardware
Chances are, if you're reading this, it's because you don't know about my real blog, where I let it all hang out and talk endlessly about all my problems and personal drama. This is my "professional" blog, which almost seems like a contradition in terms to someone who's life has been exposed on the internet since 1998. But, because of the nature of my job, I have to keep that identity secret. I'm like superman, except my alter ego isn't a super hero. It's a whiney angst filled repetitive loser who is barely keeping things together. But not here. Here, I'm a hard-working creative writer using the power of positive thinking to get through a tough time.

Having a professional blog is proving to be quite a challenge for me. I almost deleted that last post about 20 times. Either that, or move it over to the personal blog, but then we'd have the problem of revealing my professional identity over there. Sigh. Can't win.

I keep flip-flopping about what to write here. I mean, if people are going to read it, which is the whole point, then it needs to be interesting, and to me, interesting means honest, but who's honest when looking for a job?

I'm still trying to find where this new blog and the BWTM empire fits into my life, so if you're reading, bear with me. I'm leaning towards being more casual and open over here, although you still probably won't hear me discussing my sex tape or stalking conviction. Haha.

News Hangover

This morning, I've been reading Live Apartment Fire, former coworker Doug Richard's blog about local news. Unlike Doug, I hope to work again in the future, so BWTM isn't going to be following in his footsteps of critiquing local newscasts- I'll leave that to the experts, but I would like to address the emotional toll that working in news takes on a person.

I started in news early and I was probably around 23 when I realized that the part of me that had once had compassion for the victims of crime or circumstance was no longer there. I was logging an incoming feed from a helicopter that was flying over the scene of a body that had been found in a parking lot and I remember chuckling to myself as I saw the dead mutilated body laying in a pool of blood in..... and this is the funny part..... the handicapped space! Funny, right? No, it's not funny at all. Unless you have done what all people who are faced with death and tragedy day in and day out do, and that's turn off your empathy.

After my chuckle, I dutifully noted in the log-

Dead body- Do not air.

Because they don't show dead bodies on the local evening news.

Well, that's not entirely true. Sometimes, they do. A dead body is more appropriate in the late evening news than in the early evening news. A body under a tarp is fine, as long as the tarp is not bloody. Blood splatter or spray is okay, particularly in the case of a car or sidewalk bombing. Body parts are fine to show, as long as they are mixed in with other debris and not easily recognizable. You shouldn't show a shot with body parts in it for more than about five seconds. That's tacky. And chances are, that if you can't tell if it's a body part of a pile of bloody rags, then it's okay to show briefly, you know, to convey the seriousness of the situation.

But never ever under any circumstances should you show the moment of death. Sure, the photographer had to sit at the scene of a police stand-off for 9 hours with his camera rolling on the suspect in case something happened, but the moment that something actually does happen, say the police open fire on him when he pulls a gun, the video is unusable. You have to freeze the video on the frame where the guy has pulled out his gun and is beginning to take aim, but you can let the audio play.... Bang bang bang scream bang bang. So that it's not quite real- there's just the implication of what it's actually like when a man commits suicide by cop. Or, say if some terrorists kidnap a journalist, one of our own, and decide to video tape his head being cut off in slow sawing motions and then send it out on the wire. You don't show that on the news. But you do watch it. And those images emblazon themselves on your brain- along with the images of innocent beach goers being swept up in a tsunami or people jumping from the 30th floor or a collapsing tower, or a man flying from the window of his speeding ford explorer and bouncing across 285. All these things become a part of who you are and then no one understands why you're laughing in horror movies and rolling your eyes at terrorism.

Since I've left news, I think my ability to empathize is returning somewhat. I almost cried over the death of Dottie the Elephant and the story about the little girl kept in the closet took my breath away and I didn't feel quite right the rest of the day. But I still can't flip back on the switch that I flipped off that made me feel true compassion for these strangers, and honestly, I don't want to. It would hurt too much. And I have a job to do.