Let me recap my last two days for you. All times are approximate and actions abbreviated.
6:45 a.m.: Start designing pages. Eat a bagel and drink some orange juice. Begin answering random questions for people because I'm supposed to be "in charge" in Eric's absence.
9:30 a.m.: Finish laying out pages. Send them to print.
10:30 a.m.: Finished with Tuesday's paper. Update Web site. Start story about basketball playing entering plea for marijuana charge.
11:45 a.m.: Meet Greg at Arby's.
12:30 p.m.: Start thinking about Wednesday's paper. Lay out editorial page. Look at all of the pages I'll be responsible for tomorrow.
2 p.m.: Talk to defense attorney. Work more on marijuana story.
2:30 p.m.: Go back to getting head start on pages.
2:40 p.m.: So much for head start. Receive fax from state police, saying Murray State employee was arrested for DUI and theft of seven lap tops from campus. Start working on that story.
3 p.m.: Pages.
3:30 p.m.: Story. Fax jail to get mug shot of employee.
4 p.m.: Pages.
4:40 p.m.: Off to meeting at city hall, where the planning commission will discuss its proposed sign ordinance with city council, business owners, and whoever.
5 p.m.: Eat peanut butter and crackers as meeting starts. Chat with city council members.
6:45 p.m.: Meeting ends. Electronic reader boards were the hot topic. Off to public forum about state employees' health insurance at school district's central office. Teachers are fired up.
7 p.m.: That meeting starts.
8:15 p.m.: Meeting over. Chat with an attorney for a few minutes.
8:30 p.m.: Jaclyn came from the meeting to my house with me. Talk to mom on my cell phone.
8:45 p.m.: Jaclyn leaves. I rest for two minutes on the couch. That's not even long enough for a power nap.
8:55 p.m.: Publisher calls. Drama. Demoted MSU athletics director's good friend who happens to be the state's finance cabinet secretary comments to The Paducah Sun about demotion. MSU president releases statement about the personnel issue not being political. Drama turns into more drama. I'm suppose to "get on that" in the morning.
9:25 p.m.: Start teacher's forum story.
10:15 p.m.: Realize I may get to watch David Letterman. That's something new, at least something I haven't done in a long time.
10:35 p.m.: Turn to CBS. Start sign ordinance story.
11:30 p.m.: Finish story. Go to bed. David Letterman was sort of a let down because Dr. Phil isn't my hero.
11:55 p.m.: I think that's the last time I looked at the clock.
5:30 a.m.: Alarm sounds.
6:05 a.m.: Unlock door at work. Read The Paducah Sun story about MSU athletics drama.
6:15 a.m.: Eat cereal bar, drink milk, drink orange juice. Turn on lap top to email my late-night stories to myself.
7 a.m.: Start trying to call people for MSU story. Leave messages, which were returned later in the morning.
Pages. Story. Pages. Phone call. Pages. Story. Story. Phone call. Pages. My blood sugar drops. Pages. Phone call. Story.
9:50 a.m.: Still pages. Get Kris to help with pages.
11 a.m.: Paper done.
11:20 a.m.: Off to hospital board meeting. At least they serve lunch, including steamed broccoli.
12:07 p.m.: Meeting starts.
1:30 p.m.: Executive session. I'd leave and call later, but CEO announced he fired CFO and CFO said he'd comment publicly after executive session. But CFO would not talk to the press so that would be the only comment I'd get.
2:15 p.m.: Open session again. CEO decides to update board (and me) on the pharmacy drama. Employee confessed to stealing $25,000 in July. She was fired. Hospital audits pharmacy. More money, maybe narcotics missing. CEO trying to decide what to do with pharmacy operations.
2:55 p.m.: Get back to work. Breathe.
3:03 p.m.: Stories. Three from hospital meeting. Follow up on MSU employee because MSU president told me employee was drinking on the job.
4:15 p.m.: Off to board of zoning adjustments meeting at city hall. Planning
4:30 p.m.: Meeting should start, but power goes off. Lots of jokes. "Mayor, did you pay the bill?"
4:48 p.m.: Meeting starts in fading daylight with generator powering the PowerPoint presentation.
Sometime power comes back on.
5:45 p.m.: Most exciting part of meeting over. I leave because I've been there so long and they only finished one full agenda item. On second. But there are like six more to go. More about signs.
5:55 p.m.: Talk to Michael and Eric. (Thank God Eric is back in town.) Minor workplace drama.
5:57 p.m.: Greg and I go to Backyard Burger. To go.
6:11 p.m.: To Jaclyn's. Eat.
6:30 p.m.: Talk. Play dice game called Farkle.
7 p.m.: I win. More talking.
7:45 p.m.: I leave, with a new Jack Johnson CD in hand. Thanks, Bryan.
7:48 p.m.: Pajamas time. Browse Internet for first time. Send a couple of emails.
But I want to say that even though I feel like my eyes may pop out of my head and I'm having trouble breathing, thanks to changing Kentucky weather, I feel good. I'm worn out. But I looked at today's paper again, and even though it was late getting out, it's full of some pretty good stories. I worked my butt off. I'm anal and task-oriented, though, so as I sit here, I feel good about doing what I've done. I like the reporting part of my job. I like the people I work with in the community. I love writing. I am confident in my news judgment. I can lay out a page, but I'm looking forward to giving that duty back to Eric in the morning. The morning that will again come too early because I have more stories to write.
On an unrelated note, I've been subpoenaed to testify in a juvenile-related hearing next week. Drama. But I guess such things happen in the life of a reporter. Somebody mentioned my work world slowing down. Maybe a little here and there, but I have a murder trial to look forward to covering next week.
And now I'm going to take my place under the T-shirt quilt on the couch just in time for the new CSI.