Change: A Choice

It’s been quite the year.

In the many moments of contemplation, reflection and assessment, a small thought came to mind that I thought I’d share. It followed the discovery of this bumper sticker:

Now I’m going to pull a switcheroo ūüôā

I say: “Struggle is inevitable. Change is an option.

Undeniably, change is a part of life. I think that’s what the creator of the original slogan had in mind. There’s no way to predict the valleys¬†or mountains that suddenly appear on the horizon or even right on your doorstep. As humans, most of us bristle at the unexpectedness we have to wade our way through. Change is not easy. So we struggle.

Remember, I said, ‘we.’¬†I struggle with mental, emotional, physical battles¬†on a day-to-day basis. And I have no doubt that there will be more struggles with every flip of the calendar.

Amid all that, there is a choice. Many, in fact. Those decisions range from “Will I continue to struggle?” to “What can I avoid to make this easier?” The most important question though:

“What am I to learn from this?”

We can choose to change. We can choose to not make the same mistake again that leads to such suffering. We can choose to turn the other cheek. We can choose to fight harder. We can choose to not allow others to struggle like us. In doing so, we can make the choice to change for the better.

A lot of options. They’re yours to select. I’m still working through my choice now.

Advertisements

The First Time I Took Pictures of Food

You know who they are. You may even be one. They’re the person sitting at the table next to you, blinding you with their flash (if they’re fairly new at this) or exclamining, “Don’t take a bite yet! I need a picture!”

I have¬†adamantly¬†refused to be¬†a¬†phood photographer (food fotographer?) despite the many restaurants I’ve patronized. For me, the memory of a meal is powerful enough that I¬†don’t need to hold onto the image. Nor do I ever go back and look at pictures of plates.¬†Food porn? Nope, not aroused.

——————————————————————–

This week, I broke my self-promise.

In two days, I had two of the best meals I’ve had in the Capital Region. Each made up of multiple courses. Each with carefully chosen wine pairings (or beer, if your tummy wanted hops). Each wowing me with the¬†rich flavors and the delicate notes.

(Here’s where some of you might get a little¬†too excited, in my humble opinion):

1st course: delightfulness I still dream about

The rest of the 5 farm-to-table courses

Braised short rib atop celery puree. Fried leeks crown the course.

Yes. I took photos. Gahh!

 

The first meal was a collaboration between Creo and All Over Albany. We heard from local farms in my inaugural farm-to-table dinner. I could go on and on about the food, but just check out the menu here.

Hearing from Creo’s owner & chef and local farmers

Then I attended my first ever dinner party at a new friend’s new home. The Culinary Institute of America graduate took my breath away with her elegance, thoughtfulness and creativity in this event. Truly¬†an event.

A gorgeous place setting. Told you it was legit.

Party of Twelve (not Five)

The lovely hostess serving her selected wine

I couldn’t help but be unfaithful to myself during these meals. Somehow¬†– before the first course was even served –¬†my camera was in one hand, my iPhone in the other.

 

But I wasn’t snapping shots because I had never eaten food like this before.

The plates were unique. The bites, blissful. The gastronomic value, sky-high. However, here’s why I adored these two meals so dearly.

New foodie co-adventurer

Fussylittleblog + me + friend Evan

Hostess with the most-est ‚̧

It’s the people who made these plates worth saving. The love and passion in each dish, the careful planning of all the courses, the fascinating conversation over the cuisine: these are the snapshots of the night that¬†I don’t want to lose.

——————————————————————-

Now it’s time to put away my camera.

 

At least, until the next dinner party.

those three little words

… that pack a big punch.

I’m going to stray away from my random newsgathering-related rambles and tackle one of the most written-about subjects of all time.

yup. you got it.

To be honest, I’m not planning on questioning its significance or how one recovers from heartbreak or any of its deeper profound moments. I just wanted to write an entry as an ode to those three words that can make or break our lives.

Today I learned that a friend¬†heard those words from a man she cares about this past weekend, and for the first time, no less!¬† I yelped in excitement, I giggled, and even ran over to give her a hug. She was, in her words, “on Cloud 9.”

I’ve gone through my share of pain due to love, but when I saw someone who stepped into that place of being deeply and openly cherished for the first time, my heart leapt in mutual joy.

To know love, to live love, and to give it is one of the greatest parts of our lives on earth. Call me a sap, but even if I’m not the one all aflutter, I can’t help but celebrate its¬†vibrancy in those around me. Love is an action. Love is a decision. Love is purposeful. The list goes on.

To wrap up:

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” – John 15:9

and to those of you who know me well:

I love you.

The compromise of a deadline

Last week I had the assignment of covering two debates prior to Primary Day, which is Thursday, September 13.

Reminder: GO OUT AND VOTE! ūüôā

However,¬†debates are not very easy¬†to cover. Here’s why:

1. If the candidates do their job, there is a LOT of information

2. As a reporter, I have to pick and choose which issues to address

3. There isn’t much time to do so

4. It still has to be a cohesive story a viewer will want to watch

—————————————————————-

Unfortunately, the first night I didn’t make my 11 p.m. deadline. I was crushed. It still ran as the top story in our hyperlocal news block because of other political coverage that ran late, but that doesn’t excuse my failing.

So what happened? After racking my brain,¬†I believe it¬†truly came¬†down to wanting to put together the best piece¬†for the audience (Here it is). If you weren’t at the debate, well, by hook or by crook, NOW you’ve got what you need to know on the screen in front of you. In making this my goal, I got caught up in wording and sequencing and most importantly, fairness… and the production just went too long. I didn’t finish on time.

Angry at myself, I went on to the next night’s debate, determined to have my package in before 11.

I did.

Though proud I had met my goal, I realized there was a sacrifice made. As I was writing, editing, regurgitating, I kept telling myself, “It’s not going to be perfect, but¬†just get it done.”

—————————————————————-

Therein lies something deeper.

As a journalist, meeting your deadline can often become the highest priority. The news needs to be released IMMEDIATELY.

If only newsrooms were like http://www.savagechickens.com (yes, check it out)

But in the process, are we losing quality?

I know that I did. Before I went to bed that night, I admitted to myself¬†there was a better way I could’ve wrapped up that debate recap. The ending I used? Not horrible. Was it fluid? Could’ve been smoother.

It makes you wonder just how much good storytelling we lose because of the need to be first/prompt/within a certain time frame. Because we definitely do.

In the end, it comes down to whether you value the immediacy or the quality of the information. News… is news.

Too Much Snooki?

A colleage of mine posted this on Facebook: “If you worked at a station that makes… sure to do a story about Snooki having her baby, would you be ashamed?”

A solid, solid question, as I ended up being the “lucky” anchor who read the story.

For those of you who are wise enough to not know who Snooki is

I think more than my opinion, I’m interested in yours. However, I’ll share mine to get the ball rolling.

As much as we hate to think that personal developments in the lives of reality TV stars deserve airtime, they will get it. What has Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi done to be on news outlets? Nothing on the level of politicians, heroes, leaders, entrepreneurs, learners, teachers and others. Yet TV stations (and other media outlets) cover her life because she’s wormed her way into ours. Her obsessions, quirks, outspoken words and sometimes complete ignorance have horrified and captivated us to the point where any action of hers demands our attention.

As a journalist, I hate that her child’s birth gets coverage. As a subscriber to bad TV? I yelped when I heard she went into labor.

Managers who decide not to address Snooki’s son in their newscasts should be lauded and admired. However, I guarantee the majority will choose to make mention because they will receive the ratings and the attention from the general public. Not to mention… they were probably¬†just as fascinated.

Do we blame the media? It certainly is an easy out. But before we¬†shake our heads at¬†the networks, let’s take a look at ourselves.

———————————————————————-

I’m the first one to say I need to change my interests before I judge that of others.

One last look (for now)

By the end of this month, YNN.com will become enhanced for Time Warner¬†Cable subscribers.¬†To clarify: those of you who are not TWC customers will only have access to the print version of our news stories… and not video.

Here’s the warning on our websites

This¬†means those of¬†you who follow me and live miles and miles away from an area serviced by TWC will no longer be able to see video clips ūüė¶

As a result, here’s a final barrage of clips that you can check out now, while they’re still accessible.*

Anchoring

Plane flips on Saratoga Lake

Camillus’ new triathalon

A call for a tax compromise

Couple killed in car crash

College Financial Planning

Dinosaurs at the library (!)

Paraplegic dog recovers, is adopted

Coast Guard rescue on Lake Ontario

Reporting

The dangers of ‘checking in’

Community replaces stolen bikes

Troy’s National Night Out

Local Sikh temple responds to shooting

Local businessman killed, area responds

New licensing law has bar owners up in arms

A rally against the Cabaret Law

Post Time at Saratoga: Going Off Broadway (special)

——————————————————————

As always, thanks for watching! For your enjoyment, the following photo.

Who doesn’t love pie? Especially 3 kinds of it?

—————————————————————-

*I am working hard to try to get an online customer plan so that people who are unable to have TWC can still access YNN.com . It’s apparently in the works, but may not be for awhile. Double frowning-face ūüė¶ ūüė¶

The ‘About-Face’

It’s been just three days since a dozen people were killed and¬†58 people injured in¬†the movie theater massacre in Aurora, CO. That same day, NY State Police charged two teenagers in Montgomery County with the murder of two other teenagers.

You know what else? It was also Opening Day for the 144th season at the Saratoga Race Course.

I didn’t work that Friday, but I was constantly refreshing Twitter, checking my YNN emails, and I was proud of how my station covered these events. As much as the track is an important part of our region, our news team knew that such pain needed to take precedence.¬†At the same time, they chose not to¬†ignore¬†the lighter stories.

I call it the ‘about-face.’ As an anchor, you want to be solemn when speaking of the details of grievous moments. But two minutes later, you could be seeing a story about a county fair.

(Note: To be fair, there usually is a wider gap between such content. Props to good producers)

While this¬†back-and-forth is difficult to¬†adapt to, we can’t deny that all sorts of news can happen at any and all times.¬†Yes, there are¬†points where you¬†deliberately back off the fluff. But¬†refusal to accept the more palatable stories isn’t realistic either, seeing that¬†a balance of¬†both sides is¬†reflected in human life.

In one week, one of my closest friends will be getting married. I’ll be standing inches away from her as she commits to be faithful to the man she loves, and guaranteed, my heart will be overflowing with joy.

Yet a few days ago, this same dear friend’s grandmother was hospitalized. In her words: “Barring miracles, she won’t last too long.”¬†Tears were streaming.¬†How does one deal with a deeply rooted grief when¬†a long-anticipated celebration is on the horizon? Do you have to choose?

I wish I had the answer to help her cope. I don’t. What I do know is that you can’t cold-shoulder one or the other. The two impacting moments are part of her, and my life.¬†As they unfold, we will do our best to address them.

We’ll do an about-face. But we’ll turn around, over and over, as often as we have to. At some point, the spins will blur.