Monday, March 16, 2009

It's amazing how busy you can stay when you're unemployed

It's pretty astonishing how busy you can keep yourself despite not having a job.

Today is a pretty good example of how one can keep moving without ever really getting bored. Thought maybe some people would be interested or amused by the itinerary of an unemployed journalist.

8 a.m. -- See Jean off to work, then shower up. Spend some time reading the paper, stopping in at a few web sites I visit daily (several journalism job sites are on that list, of course).

9 a.m. -- Update my blog, including writing Tuesday's entry on Gary Cooper. I also do a few last editing tweaks on a museum exhibit review piece I'm doing for a national magazine, and turn that in.

10:30 a.m. -- Not for the first time, check my doorstep to see if my DVD of "Twilight" has arrived. Since I've gotten in to the video review gig, I've learned that most companies send their review copies out to press pretty early. (I already have the rest of March's DVDs and a couple for April.) But "Twilight" is late. The review is due Tuesday, so I have some time. But, interestingly enough, if a DVD has a lot of extras, it takes a lot longer to do the review than reviewing a new film. If they've got 10 hours of extras, it becomes quite time-consuming.

10:35 a.m. -- I update the fact that I'm waiting for my Twilight DVD on Facebook, and a colleague critic comments that he received his copy last week. Great.

11 a.m. -- Still no DVD. I have a backup lined up: "Punisher: War Zone." I really would prefer to review Twilight, for personal reasons of course, but also because it's the big video release of the week. Since I only review one a week, it makes sense to hit the biggest.

11:15 a.m. -- Time for some food. I don't eat breakfast, except rarely, because my stomach just doesn't like food first thing when I wake up. But I love breakfast food, so scrambled eggs and hash browns are just the thing for lunch. Mm-mmm.

11:30 a.m. -- I communicate with a colleague via e-mail about a project we're working on together. Something will be announced soon. Shhhh.

11:45 a.m. -- Time for some yard work. I get out the Toro leaf blower and get our large back deck (mostly) cleared of old leaves and junk. A strange white dog comes up our driveway to say hello to Sterling the wonder poodle, but then thinks better of it and turns around.

12:45 p.m. -- Success! "Twilight" has arrived. Unfortunately, it has an absolute ton of extra material -- deleted scenes, music videos, a making-of documentary, and a feature-length commentary track. Why couldn't it be like "Australia," which had two deleted scenes and that's it?

5:50 p.m. -- Finished watching "Twilight" DVD and extras. I skimmed through the music videos and some of the trailers. But I feel obligated to experience all the real extra material -- how can one be a real critic if you cut corners? I should mention that Sterling went into hyperactive barking fits every 20 minutes or so. I try Jean's suggestion of picking him up and holding him, but it doesn't work. I have to stop and back up the commentary track several times. Also, somewhere in here I nuke some leftovers for dinner.

6:30 p.m. -- Finish writing DVD review (I'm a fast writer -- 15 years of newspaper deadlines will do that to you). Communicate with friend over some glasses I may have left at her house while watching her kitties over the weekend.

6:40 p.m. -- Write this blog post. Also talk to Jean on phone; she's going to spin class so I won't see her till late.

6:50 p.m. -- (I'm writing in future tense now, since I haven't done this stuff yet.) Leave for screening of movie "Knowing." It's sunny and nice out; think I'll take the Mustang. I filled it up with high test for 28 bucks yesterday, so I don't feel bad about burning up the road at 14 m.p.g. or so. Plus, the screening's at AMC Castleton, so there's a large parking lot where I can park it far away from the other cars and their evil swinging doors.

7:30-9:30 p.m. -- Watch "Knowing." Hopefully they'll start it right on time; I hate when they have promotional people doing little spiels that push things later. Some of us are working here, folks!

10 p.m. -- Arrive home; time to start writing review. I try to take my time with reviews, since it's a lot harder than straight news writing. But even a rush job will take me an hour at least. Two hours is not unusual. I'd like to have three, but after midnight my mind will be mush.

So that's about 16 hours, give or take, of reading, writing, watching and blogging. Except for the lack of a weekly paycheck, it's even more exhausting than working!

1 comment:

  1. That's some fast writing to wrap up "Twilight" by 6:30!