johnny thunders

On my own

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I went back to NY Saturday night. it took 2 1/2 hours to get back. Some how I managed to get a nose bleed while driving. Fun stuff. Driving in CT is fine until you hit the cities. People who drive in Hartford should be shot. I know everyone speeds, shit I've driven on the NY Thruway enough to know that. For those who don't know the speed limit is 65 on the thruway, which translates to 85, and that's to keep up with traffic.
Still, the thruway is fairly straight, even the curves are gentle enough that you don't worry about slowing down. Not so in Hartford! so yes, four lanes in one direction, hard turns and folks doing 80 in a 50,all after I just got off my Saturday late shift. Yes I really wanted to go see my family.

That's the weird thing, I never used to get homesick. At 19 I left for Americorps on my birthday for god's sake. It seems as I get older I'm less OK with being alone. On top of this work is becoming increasingly difficult, and I'm having a hard time keep with the pace. I'm always behind on the number of stories I have set up or the number I have ready for the next week. It's tough. I've lived in Connecticut for a little over a month, I'm just getting real contacts together. It doesn't seem to matter to my superiors. They're not unsumpathetic, but at the same time they just have too much to do to be bothered with what I'm doign or not doing. In a sense everyone keeps telling me "You're trying really hard and not getting enough accomplished." and when I ask  "What should I be doing differently or more of?" I just sort of get a non-committal "Just try harder."
If trying hard at your job cause physical friction I'd have caught fire and burned to death by now.

My schedule is also becoming a problem. I've written to death about this, but it's on going. I work Tuesday through Saturday, and Friday and Saturday I work the late shift. Often I have my work accomplished by 7 or 8 p.m. This means I've got to sit and wait for people to get killed/maimed/robbed/rob another person/do something crazy enough to write about, for another hour and a half to two hours.  So usually I get out by 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. Last Friday I work until 11 p.m. because there were a bunch of craziness(seriously, one armed robbery, a drug bust, a car vs. pedestrian fatal, and a non-fatal hit and run.) I rarely get to go out because of this. No one goes out on Sundays in CT because, well its Sunday, and Monday neither. I am going to take advantage of the fact that there's a bar right down the street from me, and that I work late on Fridays, which means I can get some drinks in me Thursday evening without too much to worry about.

Overall, I've been better. The lack of a social life and catching heat at work sucks. Being 150 miles from everyone I know also sucks.  On the plus side, Aly from work is really becoming a good friend. Actually she's coming to the bar Thursday, we're going to be buddies in social awkwardness. I also snagged some neat furniture while I was in NY, so I'm paring down on the creative use of cardboard boxes(as end tables, coffee tables and even an ottoman.)
Also a plus, being able to eat and actually pay for things. Having a job and busting my ass at least allows me to live fairly comfortably for a lone 24 year old.

I"m just going to keep going, keep working, and get my shit done. Because, really, I've got nobody to rely on but me right now, so I have to get my shit done or no one else will.
johnny thunders

Writer's Block: Another day, another bandit

If you were a detective (fictional or real), who would be your arch nemesis? Would you have a catch phrase? If so, what would it be?

I like this one.

If I were a detective it would be peripheral to my day job, so I'd be a crime fighting journalist. My stories would inadvertently lead me to a mystery of some sort. Being that I'm a journalist in a small town the mysteries would revolve around small town living. After all the biggest secrets are best hidden in small places.

I think my nemesis would be the town manger. He would be someone I know has his hand in every pot, and is always up to something. However he's  just a little ahead of my research and interviews so i can never pin anything substantial down on him. Of course the town's school superintendent would also be in on the whole deal, maybe even some of the town council. Again, they're the ones pulling the strings. on a lot of the weird things happening in our sleepy little town. And perhaps some of them aren't really bad, who knows?

I would totally have a catch phrase, it would be the first thing I say to everyone when I introduce myself to people while I'm working.
"Hi I'm Charlie, I'm a reporter for the Norwich Bulletin."
johnny thunders

Here we are

So I'm starting to dislike my schedule.

Quite simply, all I do is work. I get Sunday and Monday to myself. What is there to do on Sunday and Monday? Yeah, you guessed  it, fuck and all. Not only that, every other person in the world has a normal weekend. Forget going to visit people. Hell I can't even go get drunk on a Saturday night because I get off work at 9:30 p.m. By that time all I want to do is eat diner and get some sleep. Sundays alcohol isn't served in Connecticut. So here we are.

I'm not disappointed with life. I have a great job. I'm actually doing what I went to college to do. Even though I'm still learning a ton of shit and constantly feel like I'm behind the ball I like it. Hell I've never been able to say to a cop "so what's happening here" with out the cop getting pissed with me. Now it's more like a mild disdain. 

I shouldn't bitch really. I mean I've got a career started here. This is the beginning of me being a journalist. I'm just lonely. I look forward to work so I can talk to my coworkers. I actually really get along with them, especially Ali, she is really fun to talk with. I miss my friends though. I really wonder if I'm going to make any friends out here. I wonder a lot of things out here.

I guess that's about it for now. I'm lonely, a little bored, but I do love what I'm doing. Weird times indeed.
johnny thunders

I tend to fall back on this thing when I've got no one to talk to

Today was the first day that was hard and unrewarding. I fucked up the other day. I wrote my correction. It happens. I'll deal. I will do my best to not make the same mistake twice. Perhaps I'm growing up.

Then again the same old self confidence issues coming back at me. However I'm begging to think that no one really grows up. You just pretend. I think I'm OK with this.

So what else is new? Tomorrow I'm 24. I guess I'm going to down play it. I don't have anyone around to celebrate with. Ally at work is making me cookies, which is really sweet of her. Honestly I work with two of the best people I could hope to work with on a regular basis.

Ally is a year younger than me, and she's just a really cool person. She gets my weird stories and she laughs at my jokes. Plus she knows what she's doing.

Emily is my direct supervisor, and the bureau chief. She's almost a year older than me, and she's been at the paper for two years. She's got way more experience than me, and it amazes me that we're almost the same age. Emily has the journalist instinct that I'm still developing.

Then there is me. I'm expecting too much of myself. I feel like I should know everything about this place already. That has to stop. I've got to just expect to keep learning about where I am, and what I'm doing. After all I moved to a place I've never even considered living before, let alone come to before. So in any event, I'm going to keep learning. I'm going to keep  writing, and I'm going to keep on keeping on. I'm a journalist, life gets tough sometimes. You deal, you go home and have a drink and relax and get ready for the next day.
johnny thunders

Life in the Nutmeg state.

So it's been two weeks since I moved three hours from NY. I have not made any friends here, and I am not terribly bothered by that. Work takes up most of my time, and in my off time I've been reading and working on my guitar playing.

Life on my own is pretty nice.Collapse ) I keep expecting the rug to be pulled out from under my feet, but so far it hasn't happened. I'm living in a large one bedroom apartment which is literally walking distance from my office. Unfortunately the nature of journalism requires me to always have my car ready at work. My rent is pretty cheap, and I only pay for my electric utility. Unfortunately that means my heat is electric, so i can expect to pay a bit more in the winter. The interesting thing is that each room's heater can be set independently of the others, so I figure I can save money by setting rooms I'm not in to low, and really heating the room I plan to spend time in.  Aside from future planning I love the light this place gets in the afternoon, I'm on the westward side of the building. I'm also just up the street from the local catholic church, and I can hear the bells ring every hour. You might think that would get on my nerves, but it's actually rather soothing.

Work keeps me damn busy.Collapse ) I work a regular 40 hour week, with the exceptions that I work Tuesday to Saturday and I can do my 40 hours however works best for me. While that might sound  like a dream, it really means that the volume of my work determines how late I work. Some days I've worked ten hours, and other six. I pull to late nights a week, Friday and Saturday. This means any hope for a real social life if rather out of the question right now. My one editor(possibly the most straight forward lady I've met) told me flat out that it's bullshit I have to work late both nights. However, shit rolls down hill, and right now I'm at the bottom of the hill. I cover two towns, Killingly and Woodstock. Woodstock if fairly inconsequential, it's small enough to be run by a board of selectmen instead of a mayor or town council. Killingly is my main concern, and also the town I live in. A lot goes on here for a little place. Some might think reporting local issues is dull, well that's a misconception.  There is more intrigue in this little place than old Albany.

Connecticut is a weird place.Collapse ) For one thing, I come from a land that almost requires alcohol to be available every day of the week at almost every hour. Not so in this state. Not only does the Connecticut blue law prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sunday, but you can't buy it after 9 p.m. any day. The moral of the story is stock up on your booze when you can.  It's just quirky here, my town manages to keep a general store open, essentially a sears but locally owned. Things just seem to run a bit slower here, plus everyone talks about being new englanders, I'm really not a new englander. New York just sort of stands on it's own in geographic status. I'm just gonna have to deal.

That's really it right now. I'll get paid this week, which is neat. Maybe I'll buy some curtains and a table. I know I'm going to save up for an Xbox and some games. I guess we'll see where all this takes me.
johnny thunders

Life so far

Well.... long time no write. Funny thing about writing for a living, you don't feel like writing at the end of the day. So where do we all stand?

Not sure about you folks, except Gary, who I've been meaning to call.

As for me-

Kicked ass at the internship at the Poughkeepsie Journal. I pulled off six front page stories, which is not the norm for most interns. I was told everything from, "You're the best intern we've had in a long time" to "I wish we could hire you full time, so we're going to make you a free-lancer until we can." I was told to be wary of the place, but I really shined with my work. It paid off

Last week I got a call from the executive editor of the Norwich Bulletin, which is based of Norwich Connecticut(Who would have thought?) Basically I didn't apply to the job, but the executive editor of the journal recommended me to him. So I sent him my work and got an interview this past Monday.

The interview took all day, and was damn hard. I worked just as hard at the interview than at any other internship. I talked with the editor, then wrote an article. It took all day. I left around 7:30 a.m and got back to my parent house at 8 p.m. I was tired, and thought that I fucked it all up

I got a call the next day at 10:30 a.m. from that editor offering me a job. I'm now searching for a place in CT, I start the day after labor day.

I'll be making a decent amount, and get benefits after three months, plus two weeks vacation and six personal days. essentially I've just started my career.


I look back at everything I've done, and it fits I suppose. I'm just amazed. About two weeks after graduating i was offered a job as a full-time journalist. This doesn't happen anymore. Usually you have to go through grad school. I'm really proud of this, and really damn scared. I think of something my ex told me recently, which is that I wasn't ever going to get anywhere and that I'm just a glorified English major.

To this I say- I will get places, I already have. I love my work, and as long as I'm doing that I'm happy no matter where I am. As for the glorified English major? Well, Journalism has a whole separate set of rules that you follow in your writing, so I'm more like an English major but way more interesting. Sorry lady. I hope you do well and find someone who cares about you a good deal, and I'm sorry I couldn't be that fellow. I know you won't say the same to me, don't bother. I'm happy doing what I do. I like my work, and I realize that I'm more than happy about that.

Don't know how much more I'll write here. I may start a blog about Connecticut and how I am with living them. I'll keep you all posted. Hasta luego
johnny thunders

Fear and Loathing in Albany

I don't think I've ever really been left anywhere before, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday it was decided Cat, Alan, and I would go to Albany. I wanted to be around punk bands, a punk scene to take some notes for something I'm working on. I also wasn't adverse to going to a good show. Well, cat was kind enough to drive us all up there. However about an hour before we go she explains she's not going to the place we are, but she'll be there later. Alan and I aren't much phased by this. So we went to the Stench show and hung outside drinking 40oz' and generally being surly. But it was a good time. The one thing I find difficult to stomach about punk scenes are that like any group of people, it's dramatic and self absorbed. Albany is no different, but at least I had an in through Allen, so I was treated with mild indifference.

The night progressed, we got drunk. good times. We get a call from Cat while we're walking across town to some punkhouse. Cat got her nose fractured and was going to the hospital, and that was all she said.

We got to the house, drank more, I watched kids get tattooed in a living room. Kinda gross, but so are punks. We didn't sleep until sunrise. Much madness in between.

Then after about four hours of fitful sleep on crappy couches, Alan and I get woken up by another call from Cat. She's leaving us in Albany so she can go to Connecticut. There was no haggling, just a couple of miles to walk to the bus station. It was a strange weekend. I regret nothing about it. Maybe that i didn't try to make friends with those punks, but I don't need the drama and they seem to have enough friends.

School is almost done, so am I.

PS.- a quick shout out to my ex-girlfriend. Always nice to hear from you, you have a great knack of calling to tell me how shitty a person I am at the worst time. I guess that's your point. Well remember, its been two years. I don't think about you. Nothing personal, but I do try to enjoy myself instead of dwelling on mistakes that I cannot correct. I hurt you, and I am sorry for that whether you believe me or not. To constantly crucify myself for those past mistakes serves no purpose, why do you do it? I fucked up and hurt you, please move on. You are dating someone, I hope he's better than me. I hope he's a good man. I wish you the best in life, simply because I couldn't give you that doesn't mean you don't deserve it or can't have it. If I'm such a fucked up person then put me in your past and be done with me. I hope you have a good life Jess, honestly I do. please don't let my actions impede that.
johnny thunders

April sucks

Dad's in the hospital again. He managed to drive himself to the hospital yesterday when he was having really bad chest pains. The doctors found that his heart is strong, but has a blockage, so he's getting treated for it. I guess it's good that he didn't flat out have a heart attack, but goddamn it this is scary shit.

I also found out today that even though I'm graduating in august, and just six credits shy of graduating in may, I don't get to walk in graduation. there's no other graduation but may. No ceremony, just a piece of paper and a thank you for giving them money for two years. Fuck.
I realize the ceremony isn't important, it's just a day. regardless, I'd like to be there. That's a fucking milestone for a person, it gives a sense of completion. I don't get that, I'll be getting a piece of paper in the mail.

I don't want to play this game anymore
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johnny thunders

First show and death

Right, so I've be listening to a defunct band called Death. they managed one album before calling it quits. I might have missed them if it weren't for NPR. Honestly I really like their album, it's pretty much what I like about the whole proto-punk sound, hard rocking guitars that are almost the same speed as early punk bands and their lyrics are intense. I highly recommend them.

So I joined a band a few weeks back. We're a Power Violence band. It's pretty much hardcore punk only angrier and our songs are 30 seconds long just about. I "sing", but it's more like just shouting my lungs out. Anyway we were really tight throughout all our practices. I'm not terrible for having never been the front man for a band before, my guitarist and drummer are both really talented, and the other singer(yeah no bass, but two singers) has done the whole front man thing before. In any event, our first show was utter chaos.

We thought we were playing first. Nope, last. Ok, fine, cool. Well the other singer got into some weird ass mood and drank himself silly. I mean he wasn't making complete sentences after a while. So it's about 1 a.m. when we're suppose to go on. one of us for got a second mic and our drummer has to take off to get it. in between this time James our other singer promptly turns drunkenly to me and the guitarist as well as all our friends and says "I go home now." I tried to stop him, he tried to fight me.

So will returns with the mic, and upon finding out about James says "He's fired." We go on with me and one other person who's never practiced with us before. the mic breaks in the middle of the set and I screamed my lungs out for the last half alone.

We got real applause.
johnny thunders

and now the school report

That is report on the school.

Well, lets see. J2 is actually worth getting up at 6:30 for. My professor is actually a working journalist, and he always has really good stories to tell and show us. Also I was worried about having to cover a beat. He tossed that idea out because the class is too damn big for everyone to actually work on things they want to. instead we have a more free form sort of reporting.

Advanced editing is pretty neat, to my surprise. I'm a Multimedia Web Editor, which means I get to do sound and video editing, and think of interesting ways to implement them. I'm also responsible for at least three pieces of original content for the website, and they can be pretty much anything I want. I'm really happy about that, I'm going to do at least one radio piece so that will be fun. It's a ton of work, but in a good way.

Arts writing is.... ehh. I'm a little underwhelmed by the course. I like the idea of music writing, which it should be called. I certainly like the challenge of writing a music review that makes sense. However a lot of the class revolves around what everyone else in the class thinks of your work. This might be a problem because my tastes seem to differ heavily from everyone else there. I guess I'll never get past the reaction people have when I tell'em my favorite kind of music is punk. It's like dropping back into high school for a second. Needless to say my peers there are more into the indie/hipster scene. I do legitimately like some indie stuff, but it's so very broad, and the stuff coming out of NYC( where many of these kids hail from) isn't interesting me right now.

Music of the world is a really calming class about the basics of music(duh) and I can honestly say that spending over an hour twice a week learning this and hearing examples through classical music is incredibly relaxing.

Indians of North America is just as boring as it was last spring.