Betting on Gannett didn’t pay off this time
Getting oriented back into a newsroom included working with two laptops and a desktop computer, relying on my old systems while I learned the new ones.
Well I gave it a shot. I placed the bet, rolled the dice and crapped out. I know “crapped out” isn’t the correct term (I’m looking at you, Mary Lawrence) but I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for the right gambling analogy and, well, crapped out.
Just a few days past my one-year anniversary at The Tennessean in Nashville, I joined the ranks of the unemployed. (It also happened just four days after my Continue reading
Posted in Journalism industry, Nashville, Photography
Tagged Gannett, JOB LOSS, journalism, Nashville, NEWSPAPERS, Newsroom of the Future, NOTF, photography, photojournalism, REINVENTION, start-ups, TENNESSEAN, UNEMPLOYMENT
My effort to cook dinner this week became a scary, potentially hazardous event, reminding me that something that has been a big bother could also be deadly. I’ve been dealing with the lack of a sense of smell — anosmia — for about six years now. Because the two are so interconnected, typically with the loss of smell comes a loss of taste.
What’s left of the oven mitt.
Yes, not being able to taste makes for a lot of dissatisfaction in life, especially living in Nashville, with all of its Southern food and home to many premiere chefs. It’s sad when a burger from Top Chef Winner Richard Blais’ Flip Burger is no more satisfying than a thickburger from Hardee’s. Textures become really important — mushy meals don’t cut it for me, I need crunch.
Since I can’t taste most things, I’m using my recent move to Nashville as an opportunity to break some bad habits, to save money and eat more healthfully by cooking more meals. The house I’m renting has little kitchen counter space so the flat surface stove (my first) often doubles as a counter.
On Tuesday I was cooking chicken with rice and beans. With the chicken cooking I threw on some water to boil then turned around to the sink to wash some dishes. A few minutes later I turned to check to see if the water was boiling. I have no idea if it was because all I could see was a huge cloud of smoke — I had turned on the wrong burner and an oven mitt was about to burst into flames.
Fortunately one side of the mitt was made of some sort of fire retardant or heat resistant material. Any other type of material would have caught fire much sooner. Instead this one smoldered longer.
Well, those are the facts, here’s the emotion — I was scared to death. I hadn’t smelled any of the smoke that was billowing from the mitt, and that’s pretty scary. The smoke detector didn’t go off. That’s really scary. What if I hadn’t turned around when I did? What if there’s ever a fire somewhere else in the house and I can’t smell or see it? That’s the scariest. So this weekend I’ll be buying a few more detectors and placing them within a couple of feet of the stove. That’s a $20 investment in the lives of me, Frankie, Alvie.
I’m not one for museums. That’s odd for an artist, don’t you think? I don’t know what it is but I just don’t gravitate toward them. You have to drag me almost kicking and screaming to go to one.
This week a new friend I met at a training session wanted to go to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and she asked me to join her. I didn’t have an excuse not to go other than just not wanting to. And when I thought to myself, “I don’t want to” it sounded pretty lame. So I went.
This post is about a painting and an experience that should forever remind me Continue reading
I have joked about the weather weenies here in Nashville, but I overlooked just how dangerous these conditions can be — and have been — when they occur as rarely as they do in Nashville.
Good samaritans Kristi Clark and her son, Carter Oakley, 10, were killed Monday night as she tried to help passengers of an SUV involved in a crash on I-65 in Franklin. (Photo: Courtesy Chelsea Mattocks)
According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency 18 people have lost their lives in the past five days. As of this writing the entire state is in a Level III state of emergency, with severe cold, snow, freezing rain and rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.
I’m a native Iowan who has dealt with snow and sub-zero temperatures my entire life. So to hear that 18 people have died this week is a bit hard to understand. So I went in search of Continue reading
Posted in Nashville
Tagged 2015 winter, Carter Oakley, deaths, Good Samaritan, hypothermia, icy roads, inexperienced drivers, Kristi Clark, snow, Tennessee, traffic fatalities
Icicles hang from a railing over a highway overpass in the metro Nashville area on Tuesday. (Photo by Jae Lee/The Tennessean)
Nashville is in the middle of an historic winter storm. Now, having said that you might think it’s something of Boston proportions.
You’d be wrong. Continue reading
Posted in Nashville, Photography
Tagged cold weather, driving on ice, driving on snow, Good Samaritan, ice storm, Jae Lee, Nashville, Nashville Tennessean, scraping ice, Snow storm
There’s no easing into my job here at The Tennessean. After a relatively slow day of training on Monday, the past three days have been hectic, filled with news and lots of meetings.
It’s only been four days and we’ve already had a stimulating ethics conversation about a photograph of a grieving widow.
Thankfully these conversations don’t come along often and I’m grateful that my years at the Missouri School of Journalism gave me chances to practice these Continue reading
Moving sucks. That’s a no-brainer.
Moving 11 years of stuff — some of which I never even unpacked — sucks even more.
I think I’ve always been the only African American photographer on a photo staff. As such, I took pride in covering that community, to give them a much needed voice.
Some of the stuff was pretty easy to let go of, like a closet full of clothes I haven’t worn since I moved to Columbia. Other stuff is much tougher. A good friend here told me to purge my old things from my life.
“Remember with affection the part of you that used and even loved those things and those times in your life, and release her, too. I’ll be the first to agree it’s not easy. But you are on to new things, and you need to cut out the dead wood to make room in your life for fresh growth.”
But there’s something I have that I’m not sure I can part with, but not sure if I should keep, and I need your suggestions:
What do you do with more than 14 years of newspaper clips? (I’ve been in journalism since I was 19, so this includes my college years with the Drake Times-Delphic and about 10 years at Continue reading
Posted in African American, Journalism industry, Photography
Tagged career memories, clutter, collecting, film negatives, hoarding, junk, letting go, memories, moving, new job, newspaper clippings, photojournalist, Starting over
This is what I wore for my interview. I always wear earrings for important things.
I imagine that headline may have shocked you a little bit.
Shocked that I would leave the teaching job I have loved.
Shocked that I would go back into a newsroom.
Shocked that I would go to a Gannett newsroom.
I get it. Here’s the short answer: I have a great job, unfortunately it’s in Columbia, Missouri. I’m not quitting the Missouri School of Journalism — I’m quitting Columbia. It’s been 11 years here and I have learned and grown a lot. But mostly at the professional level. My personal life has not progressed and it’s time for a little more balance in my life, balance I haven’t been able to find in Columbia. I wasn’t looking to move on at this time, but an interesting job came along in a much bigger city: Continue reading