Thursday, July 28, 2011

Surprise breakfast send-off

You know it's going to be a good day when you start the morning with loads of pancakes, bacon, eggs and sausage.

And it was.

The Knoxville News Sentinel machine shop guys wanted to make me feel special and give me a nice send-off on this my next-to-last day at the paper.
So they spoke my love language to me: they cooked me breakfast.

Thing is, it seems just about everyone in the building knew about this surprise but me. I got to the workout room at my usual 6:30 a.m. Half an hour later, machine shop guy Don pops his head into the room and says, "Can you come downstairs in 30 minutes? We thought we would cook for you."

Short. Simple. Sweet.

I was so honored that they would do this for me. (Don and his sidekick Jim spearheaded this.)
It was such a fun way to say goodbye to the pressmen, machinists, mailers and electricians I've come to know over the last few years.

We stunk up the entire building with 12 pounds of cooked bacon - courtesy of my friend Mark - but no one was complaining.

I would have taken pictures but I was too busy stuffing my face.

I got home after breakfast and my dogs could not stop sniffing my clothes.
The look in their big, brown eyes seemed to say: "You smell like bacon but you didn't bring us any. You, tease!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

A lady with a gun has more fun

Yesterday, I found a theme song for the rest of the year. Today, a motto?


I got this gift today from the Knoxville News Sentinel colleague who taught me how to shoot.
A going-away gift of sorts.
It goes quite nicely with the "Got Ammo?" sticker he gave me last year, don't you think? :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

From the inside out

Me thinks I've just stumbled upon what might be my theme song for 2011.
I heard this again today and I can't get it out of my head.

Simply put: I desire to live from the inside out -- always.


A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out,
Lord, let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out.

Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Learning to say g...g...go Vols!

It's been exactly a week since I decided to switch loyalties professionally.
It's starting to sink in.
The University of Tennessee acceptance letter. The Knoxville News Sentinel resignation letter.
Orientation scheduled. Exit interview set.

It's been quite the whirlwind.

There have been tears, hugs and whispers of "short-timer" and "traitor" as News Sentinel colleagues pass my cubicle. Totally warms my heart.

Over the last few days I've been writing stories, going through old emails and creating a lengthy list of to-do's for the gal who will take over my education beat.
I've also been cleaning eight-plus years' worth of paper vomit off my desk and out of my drawers.
It's amazing how quickly that stuff piles up. (Note to self: when in doubt, throw it out!!)

I haven't been this excited and stressed at the same time since can't-remember-when. But I love it.

I feel quite giddy, particularly when I'm corresponding with my soon-to-be new boss.
It makes me smile when she refers to the department where I'll be working as "our staff."
She's already included me - even though I'm still a few weeks from starting the job.
I've been peppering her with inquiries. But there is one burning question I have yet to ask about this new gig:

Does this mean I have to wear orange now?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crossing over to the dark side

I've done it now.
Gleefully, I might add.

After more than eight years at the Knoxville News Sentinel as a reporter, I'm going into public relations.
I've accepted a job at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in the media relations department.
The offer came this morning, actually. I start the new gig in August.
Funny enough, today is my eight-and-a-half-year anniversary at the newspaper.
Journalists often refer to public relations as "the dark side." (I've done it, too. Many times.)
But hey, maybe I can shed some light over there :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Site-specific restroom signs. hehe.

There are some days I open the newspaper and what I see makes me guffaw.
This is what did it to me today.
(Click on the photo to enlarge for a closer look.)


I admire clever cartoonists who sometimes can say more with pictures than I can with words.
(By the way, take special note of the, uh, enhancement on the lady in the Hollywood sign.)