As the title of this blog post suggests, my job has some perks. Reporting on community news means learning what’s important to each community. In Enumclaw’s case, one of the most important people ever to come from there is Kasey Kahne, a NASCAR driver. He lives in North Carolina now, but he still has fond memories of his home. I got to meet him, just a week and a half after I met Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate on my flight home from Nashville. Like Tate, he’s a real sweetheart. He’s great with kids, and it’s no wonder he’s a fan favorite. It was a bright spot of my day, along with meeting two baby harbor pup seals at the Point Defiance Zoo and taking video. They were born earlier this month and are SO CUTE! So that was what I accomplished today. This was after a visit to the Puyallup Fish Hatchery yesterday, which is a building basically unchanged since the 1940s and home to gorgeous (and delicious) rainbow trout.
Unfortunately, though, I didn’t get this far without some struggle. For one thing, neither Point Defiance nor Enumclaw is exactly close to my home on Mercer Island… nor are they close to each other. The zoo is in the middle of a huge park property, and it took me awhile to find the gate for media entrance. I was ten minutes late and had to call someone to let me in. After filming for awhile, my phone’s hard drive ran out of space, so I couldn’t take any more photos or video, or edit the video on the iMovie app. I had my computer with me, fortunately. That was just frustrating, and I have to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future. Means deleting a few songs.
After I left the zoo, I spent a couple hours at a Starbucks along Pearl Street editing video, then I set off for another coffee shop in University Place to meet one of the LE’s. I thought it wouldn’t take me very long to get between these two places, but I was very wrong. Everyone must have had places to go today, because everywhere I went, traffic was horrible. I hit all the red lights, too. As a person highly concerned with punctuality, that frustrated me a great deal. The same thing happened on the way from U Place to Enumclaw, which is only about 25 miles geographically but took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to. In the rain, I might add. (So much for summer.) But I got to see some parts of the state which I really haven’t before. I drove back home on Highway 169 through Maple Valley. It was calm and pretty! I’m ready to take a day off from driving, though.
Traffic wasn’t the only obstacle I had today. Along with the aforementioned lack of hard drive space, the Patch site was being temperamental with what I was able to upload. Turns out I need to put videos in MPEG-4 format for the site to take them… not AVI. The LE I met with helped me with some editing techniques, and we had a good talk about where we think journalism is going. That was another high point of my day, after we had a staff meeting yesterday as well, at which we threw out ideas for new cities in which we could launch Patch sites. It made me think about my own identity as a journalist (which I’ve been pondering since I got started here, really).
By the time I was in Enumclaw, I was already so tired that there were several times I forgot to hit “record” on my phone when I meant to be filming something. As it is 11:32 pm right now, I’m still very tired. But I haven’t blogged in several days, and my job has picked up steam. Friday will be more restful – all I have to do is edit some video, and then I can try to catch up on some other parts of my life that have fallen to the wayside over the last three days. Saturday I’ll be at Meeker Days in Puyallup, and then Sunday I’ll play catch up again. While life seemed to be fighting me today, I made it through and still produced decent content. I’ll be a better person for it – it takes guts to brave Tacoma traffic. Believe me.