It’s been a while. It’s been a while because what am I supposed to say? Sept. 13: Still in my house like every other reasonable person. I worked and then watched TV. No one wants that. I don’t want that. Additionally, I write extended intros to my job’s newsletter at least twice a week, and that’s kinda sucked up my creative juices. I thought about making those these entries, but a lot of them are very Charlottesville centric, so it didn’t make a lot of sense to put them here.
Speaking of work, though, there is some news: We’re hiring another reporter, so I’ll once again have four employees, like back in Hopewell. Additionally, we’ll have a winter/spring intern and possibly two summer interns, so there’s a chance that my reporting staff will equal the daily paper’s news staff for a few brief moments in 2021. That’s more of a shame than awesome because I’m watching a daily paper be crushed under bad corporate ownership and it keeps making me not want to tout any of my good news because it feels like gloating even when it isn’t.
That said, my outlet also got $150,000 in funding to deepen a partnership forged over the past year. Also, since the pandemic has ruined everything, I’ve been in a virtual relationship with a news outlet in the country of Georgia and I spoke to a group of Russian and American journalism students a few weeks ago.
I guess stuff kinda was happening after all.
The thing I’ve missed the most this year is seeing friends and family. I’ve stopped by, but I haven’t hugged my mom in a year. I’ve only seen the inside of her house for a few fleeting moments. I’ve only seen a few friends in carefully choreographed outdoor in-person events. The newsroom had a bubble, but the act of newsgathering broke it, and I haven’t seen them outside of Zoom since late October.
Yesterday, I saw a fraternity brother and his girlfriend while sitting on a frigid deck at Legend Brewery in Richmond, hence getting the floodwall shot. He brought up beer I can’t get in Virginia and brought him some Albemarle County brew. (I resumed drinking in the fall. My seasonal allergies were worse than usual due to there being actual ragweed plants growing within spitting distance of the house, and I got a beer after a few days of playing “allergies or COVID-19?”) I had the urge to call up more people and make a day of it, but I didn’t even feel 100% comfortable being across a large table in the open air with a stiff breeze off the James River.
It didn’t help that, a few moments before, I discovered that at least six of my cousins possibly super-spreadered themselves. There attitudes toward the pandemic up to this point is a story for another time.
I know at some point, most likely when the vaccine finally gets around to me (thankfully, I’m probably so far down the list, they’ll know the full range of side effects by that point), I’ll feel OK. I don’t like that I don’t now. I don’t like that, even after getting it, I don’t know if I’ll want to go to a concert again or a crowded event or go to the grocery store without a mask. Maybe it’s for the best that we continue going to the grocery store with masks on. Who knows? I’m not speaking with any kind of authority and I’m not looking for your comments.
Two three two more things: I still might do a post of the year selection tomorrow. I haven’t looked that them closely, but I think there’s something good from between January and early March. Maybe next year will be better. Rambling in this post made me feel a little better.
I also bet you’re wondering about my long-discussed novel. I absolutely did not use any of this quarantine time to knock a lot of things out of the way, but I did complete a draft and, in the course of doing a manual spell check, added some new chapter breaks, moved a section around and also realized something outrageously topical about one of the characters that I’ve decided to not blatantly spell out because, with each passing year, the coincidences don’t look like coincidences. I seriously had to redo another character a few years back because I met someone who was just like that person. Perhaps this is a sign that I need to just wrap it up and get it out there. After I finish these last few tweaks, I’m just going to ship it out to a few friends and tell them that I did not look at it again because I’d wind up writing 20,000 more words instead of hunting for typos.
Last thing: I was going to post my year-end newsletter at the end of this post, but then I realized why I haven’t really posted any of them here: If you’re not aware of any events in Charlottesville, they would make no sense to you. Additionally, although it has been obvious over the years where I work (you don’t have to go through a couple pages on Google to find me now!), I don’t like blatantly saying where I work here because, as I say in my horribly worded and likely toothless disclaimer, this site does not necessarily reflect my past, current or future views nor does it reflect the past, current or future views of anyone/any entity with whom/with which I am affiliated.
I guess that was three things after all.