Hard to believe that one year ago tonight was Good Friday. My parents were at church. I was at work. My family was at home. And they were right in the path of a tornado that cut across north St. Louis County.
Our house has been under construction, and is nearing completion. We had thought that it might even be ready to move in by the end of October. That didn’t happen, but we will be moving in soon.
At work, I had a special news project that I designed. That was a big deal on its own … but then the Cardinals made a little playoff run that became a World Series championship.
World Series Game 7 was played on International Josh Day Eve. That was a long night, which meant festivities for International Josh Day were delayed in order that I might nap.
I had a couple opportunities for public speaking: talked with a college class on design, and taught some preschoolers the sunday after the World Series.
In case you are curious about some of the projects I worked on for the P-D this month, here are some links:
Deadly Day Cares
Deadly Day Cares was a three-day series focusing on the inordinate number of child deaths which occur in unlicensed Missouri day cares. It has provoked reaction from the public and politicians, which is good. I designed all of this series in print and online. Check out these links to explore some of the series:
As the National League Division series began, I produced an interactive scouting reports for the Cardinals and the Phillies. For each successive round, we produced reports for the Cardinals’ other opponents. Take a look at how they turned out:
I worked late the night of Pujols’ amazing performance in Game 3, putting together a compilation of videos showing 3-home-run performances in the World Series by Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols.
The World Series is in full force! The girls have been following excitedly (except when the games are actually on at night. They would rather watch “Angelina Ballerina” instead) and I have been hard at work at the Post-Dispatch.
I have prior experience working at the P-D during the World Series and the Super Bowl. October becomes a fun yet frenetic and fatiguing month.
The girls know nothing of this of course. All they know is that they see less of their Papá (since he comes home very late and takes naps to make up for it), and that the Cardinals might be champions!
So what about those masks? Well, they are called “Face Cards” and they were created by some of my colleagues at the P-D. Numerous players are available, and you can download them from stltoday.com. Yoli and the girls cut them out and assembled them. The only modification they made was to glue the papers to cardboard cereal boxes for reinforcement before cutting them out.
Working at a newspaper is still an exciting thing to do, even if the future of the industry looks dim.
In the last week, I have had to work during two big breaking news stories. The first was the horrible shooting at ABB in St. Louis. The second was McGwire’s admission yesterday that he took steroids.
My job each time was to design informative, compelling pages. In such situations, there is a lot of collaborative work with my bosses and other designers. Also, important editors are frequently looking over your shoulder. Deadline looms.
It’s an environment I still enjoy and still thrive in. Here’s to hoping that newspapers survive their current morass so they can continue informing the public and serving as a check against abuses by governments or businesses.
The last part of our trip was an overnight in Nashville. I had booked a motel room in Hermitage, since it was close to the highway and along our route from Bristol. At the time I booked, I had no idea the significance of the name “Hermitage.” In fact, it refers to the estate of President Andrew Jackson.
On the first day of our vacation, as we drove from St. Louis to Bristol, we had kept our eyes open for the Hermitage exit we would be taking 9 days later. As we neared it, I spotted a huge dam with four big spillways. It was right before our exit. I made a mental note to check it out when we came back through.
Across the river from downtown St. Louis is the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park. This year they finally completed a scenic overlook tower from which you can take great photos of the Arch and the St. Louis skyline. This past Sunday, we took Yoli’s folks and the girls to grab some photos from there.
Today was a jam-packed day, leading in to a jam-packed next few days.
I woke up early thinking I had an 8 a.m. appointment for a haircut. Turns out it was 9 a.m. But still, that’s pretty early for me. So I went to the barber shop while Yoli and the girls went to Aldi’s. After that, we all met up and walked over to the Ferguson Farmer’s Market where we ate a corndog, two omelettes, and a biscotti.
Then Yoli went to work and I took care of the girls. I had to do some packing. My brother Jonathan is getting married on Sunday night and Jadzia and I are going to fly down to San Antonio for the wedding. But the girls didn’t let me get as much done as I hoped.
Then a coworker called me and asked me to come to work early because she was feeling ill. So I obliged. But I was scheduled for the late shift, so I worked until 12:45 a.m. I still have some packing to do, and I know that my 6:30 a.m. wake-up call ain’t gonna be pretty.
Yoli has also had her hands full, trying to make a dress for Jadzia to wear in the wedding. She basically set out to finish the dress in two nights. All I can say is “wow.”
I used to be a morning person, back in the old days when my mom worked at the cafeteria of my school. But then came college and working late at newspapers.
So I’m definitely not looking forward to yet another even-earlier wake-up call on Monday morning after the wedding, when we drive home with my folks. It’ll probably be 3 or 4 a.m. Yikes.