January 6, 2009

Mourning a Monday.

Monday. I’ve always hated Mondays. Today, a Monday, that belief undoubtedly enough, was a true statement.

Imagine that, kids.

What did I do today? I know, I know, you are probably sitting at the edge of your seat, dying to know what I did today. Hmmph, well, the day consisted of doing a whole lot of nothing.

Imagine that, kids.

I woke up, lounged around the house in, once again, give me a thunderous drum roll please…my Gopher sweats and nappy sweatshirt. I then decided to eat some tomato soup, and proceeded to fill my brain with countless hours of watching the GameShow Network. I have instantly gone from a 21-year-old to pushing 80 in the matter of hours. I probably should take up knitting next. Followed with subscribing to “Readers Digest? and applying for my AARP card. Maybe buy a cat or two or twelve. Perm my hair, what little I have left, of course. I could see this.

Imagine that, kids.

What makes you tick? What makes you get up in the morning and want to conquer the day? What gets you out of bed? These are some of the questions I have been thinking about as of late. Evaluating what direction you want to go in life, where it is headed and discovering what is most important can be a tiring thought process, but necessary. I’ve been doing this while I have been home, considering I have had a lot of “me? time in good old Wisconsin.

Imagine that, kids.

I see the daily struggles. I see the pain, the hurt, the unsure. Yet, I feel helpless, even though I am in dire need of reaching out to help in some sort of way. A perfect example of this helplessness was when I wrote a story for my 3101 class, in which I went to an area Plasma Center to see if business has increased because of the declining economy. My results were troublesome: out of the 15 people I interviewed, only 3 of them had a real job. All of the people I spoke with, were supporting 3-5 children. Money went to various things such as rent, groceries, gas, cigarettes, even booze. Shocking. They looked forward to the $60 they received from giving plasma. As I stood before these people in my white trench and expensive boots, I could not help but feel like a spoiled brat who took things for granted. Living in a society that is so driven by money, social status or what kind of car you possess, does not define who you are. There are far more important things in this world than a cell phone, fancy car or owning the latest designer handbag. Don’t you feel as though all we care about is how much money we have stashed in our wallets? In my case, there’s nothing much but a few spare quarters, some random pennies and who knows what else. It is almost as if we work our entire lives, for money, until the day we die. That phrase that comes to mind, “Money doesn’t buy happiness,? should be plastered on the face of every human being. Branded to your forehead, right arm, big left toe, it is a statement that needs to be reinforced, painted on buildings, printed on t-shirts and be put on a Hallmark greeting card. Money cannot buy you much.

Imagine that, kids.

It just so happens that I watched the Bachelor tonight. Wow, was I ever bored to watch 25 desperate women gallivant around a rather attractive-looking male. It’s like these women were a bunch of cattle, herding around a giant watering hole, looking for love. It seems like we search far too hard, myself include. This is just a recipe for disaster because more times than not, we are left waiting, the unknown resonates, and we feel once again: helpless. It’s like those ever-so pathetic moments where you wait for someone to call you, and they don’t. Or when someone makes plans but does not follow through. I am a firm believer in the statement, “Actions speak louder than words.? Maybe that phrase needs to be permanently pasted on people’s foreheads as well. Legitimate idea, if you ask me. I know that we have been burned far too many times that it’s time to quit searching and start living. So what if that person doesn’t call you back? They can feed you every excuse in the book, but do not fret or buy into their pitiful attempt to redeem themselves. I know how these things work; I’ve experienced both ends, if you will. Realize that you are a wonderful person, regardless, and that one day, you’ll find someone who puts forth that little extra effort. In the words of my good friend Andrew Tincher, “Let the gem come to you.?

And if anyone feels like nominating me for the next season of the Bachelorette, I won’t decline.

Imagine that, kids.

January 5, 2009

Starting over.

The semester is over and phew, let me just say that it was pretty intense, not to mention stressful. However, I survived. Considering my 3101 News Reporting class is over and I am no longer required to blog for this class on hard-news stories, I figured that instead of letting this site “collect dust? (if you will), that I would continue to blog daily. No topic will remain uncovered. And quite frankly, I’ve got a lot to say and a lot to share.

Like that is nothing out of the ordinary...

Wisconsin. Sigh, Wisconsin. A place that I supposedly call “home? yet I continue to come home to nothing but a plate full of pure boredom. With days spent in my Minnesota Gopher sweat pants and grungy sweatshirt (with the hood up, of course, considering I am part gangster; this comes naturally), I find that my time spent here is pretty much slowly, but surely, dwindling down a toilet of wasted obliteration. I have caught up on my trashy, yet guilty pleasure television shows due to the fact that I am Amish at school and go without cable, ate enough of my mother’s food to feed a small country, and have spent countless hours playing Rockband, mastering my technique on the bass. Sadly enough, I am still stuck on the “easy? level. What an eventful break.

However, I have met some wonderful new people since I have been home, all of which have shown me a great time while I have been home. This most definitely breaks up my boredom and forces me to change out of my sweats and sweatshirt. I still bring my gangster, if you know what I mean.

Update: I have an interview this week for my summer internship for a local newspaper, so I am crossing all ten fingers and all nine, I mean, ten, toes in hopes that I land the position. I have some pretty great communication skills and with my personable personality (ha, no need to toot my own horn or anything), I am pretty confident that I will succeed. I will keep you posted on how that goes.

Two weeks left of break, give or take a few days, before I head back to the Cities. 18 credits? Sigh, here I come. However, coming home has made me realize how much I miss the busyness of the large city, but has also given me a chance to clear my head and take some time for relaxation. Sometimes just taking some “alone? time, a few deep breaths and allowing yourself to take the time to connect in your own way can be rejuvenating. Try it. Life’s only as difficult as you make it.

On that note, I am not going to be as philosophical as you probably am thriving for. In fact, taking a philosophy class freshman year with Professor Nou Nou made me realize that I truly despise philosophy.

Off to watch Hannah Montana. Score.

December 15, 2008

3101 KlineExtraCredit


December 8, 2008

Analysis on records/CAR

I took this story from USA Today titled, “More are employed part time, whether they want to be or not.? Found on this page was what I noticed to be computer assisted reporting through the use of charts, graphs, and other various strategies to further illustrate to the reader the number of unemployed.

In the article it stated, “A record 7.3 million people were working part time in November although they wanted to work full time, up 62% from a year ago and accounting for 5% of the total workforce, the highest proportion in 15 years. They were working less because their hours were cut or the only job they could find was part time, according to the Labor Department.?

There was a poll taken, which data would have had to been entered into some sort of database or spreadsheet to help further declare these findings. The reporter needed to know how to calculate percentages, how to read the data and how to deliver it to the reader, etc.

Man arrested after crack found in vomit

*This strange story was taken from Yahoo! News. I could not find a second source, but the story speaks for itself at how absurd it really is.*

Yahoo! News

A 25-year-old Detroit-area man literally spilled his guts to police and was arrested on a drug charge after officers found crack cocaine in his vomit. Police said the man swallowed the drugs after a short car and foot chase Tuesday about 20 miles northeast of Detroit.

Clinton Township police caught and were questioning the man when he threw up the crack cocaine and other contents of his stomach. The drugs were picked from the mess.

The man was jailed after being arraigned Wednesday on a controlled substance charge. He has requested a court-appointed attorney.

Riots break out in Athens

Rioters rampaged through Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki Sunday, hurling Molotov cocktails, burning stores and blocking city streets with flaming barricades after protests against the fatal police shooting of a teenager erupted into chaos (USA Today).

Youths wearing hoods smashed storefronts and cars in Athens. Riot police responded with tear gas while the fire department rushed to extinguish blazes. Several bank branches, stores and at least one building were on fire on a major street leading to the capital's police headquarters. Clashes also broke out near Parliament.

Streets quickly emptied as word of the violence spread. Local media reported several people sought treatment for breathing problems.

Violence often breaks out during demonstrations in Greece between riot police and anarchists, who attack banks, high-end shops, diplomatic vehicles and foreign car dealerships in late-night fire-bombings that rarely cause injuries (USA Today).

The shooting of the 16-year-old boy that set off the first riots took place Saturday night in Exarchia, a downtown Athens district of bars, music clubs and restaurants that is seen as the anarchists' home base.

Sunday's riots broke out during demonstrations moving toward the police headquarters in Thessaloniki and Athens. Protesters in the northern city attacked City Hall, two police precincts, several shops and a bank, as well as vans and cars belonging to several Greek television channels.

Police said the Saturday night riots left 24 policemen injured, with one remaining hospitalized Sunday morning.

Rioters damaged or burned 31 stores, nine bank branches and 25 cars, including six police cars, police said in a statement. Six people were arrested, five of them for theft from damaged stores and one for carrying a weapon, it said (The New York Times).

Four pressumed dead after airplane crash

Authorities believe two small planes collided in midair above the Florida Everglades during the weekend and they were searching Sunday for four people presumed dead (USA Today).

The planes' wreckage was spotted Sunday morning about 25 miles west of Fort Lauderdale after the planes took off from Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood airports on Saturday afternoon. But no bodies had been found by Sunday night in the swampy area accessible only by airboat (USA Today).

Each plane was carrying two occupants on training flights from a local flight school, the Broward County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Man falls through ice in Plymouth

A skater who fell through thin ice was pulled from Medicine Lake in Plymouth Sunday and rushed to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale (The Star Tribune).

The man was found in the water about 3 p.m. after another skater spotted a hat floating in the water and called police at 1:50 p.m., the Hennepin County Sheriff's Water Patrol reported.

When pulled from the water, the man had no pulse and was not responsive to resuscitation attempts, but authorities offered no more information about his condition Sunday evening (The Star Tribune).

Water Patrol personnel found him about 600 yards from shore, said Sgt. Chris Mathisen of the Sheriff's Department.

The area where he was skating, near French Regional Park off Rockford Road, had been open water on Saturday and froze overnight, Mathisen said.

He said ice fishermen on the lake Sunday reported the ice in their area as 4 to 6 inches thick.

Faribault teacher kills self

Students and staff members at a private Faribault college preparatory school are mourning a dorm director and teacher who shot himself to death on campus Friday night (Star Tribune).

Len Jones, 34, was alone in his faculty apartment in Breck Hall at Shattuck-St.Mary's School when he fired a handgun around 9 p.m., said Sgt. Rich Watkins of the Faribault Police Department.

No one witnessed the shooting, but several boys in grades seven through nine were in the residence hall and heard the shot. They were quickly taken to another area of the school as adults rushed to help Jones, said Amy Wolf, a spokeswoman for the school of about 400 middle- and high school students (The Examiner).

Outside the classroom, there was a general awareness that he was dealing with marital issues and struggling with emotional and personal issues, but nobody saw the suicide coming (Star Tribune).

An all-school assembly will be held Monday.

November 19, 2008

Driver loses control after sneeze, hits river

Andrew Hanson, 42-year-old Weymouth man near Boston, told authorities that a sneeze caused him to lose control of his pickup on Soldiers Field Road and plunge into Boston's Charles River on Tuesday (Yahoo! News).

Hanson was able to wade to shore after escaping from the truck, which was partially submerged in 4 feet of water. He was not seriously injured but was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Lawrence Callahan of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation said Hanson told him that after he sneezed, "the next thing he knew he was in the river."

New evidence in Holloway case to be pursued

A new witness has come forward in the 2005 disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba, and prosecutors said Tuesday they are seeking more evidence against the only remaining suspect (Yahoo! News).

A woman told Dutch police this month that Joran van der Sloot confessed to her years ago that he was involved in Holloway's disappearance, according to Ann Angela, a spokeswoman for the Aruba Prosecutors' Office (Star Tribune).
But the Dutch Caribbean island's chief prosecutor said authorities still lack proof they need to convict Van der Sloot, who has been arrested twice and released for lack of evidence.

Holloway, an 18-year-old from Mountain Brook, Alabama, was last seen in May 2005 leaving a bar in the Aruban capital Oranjestad with Van der Sloot on the final night of a high school graduation trip to the island. Extensive searches have found no trace of her (Yahoo! News).

Investigators reopened the case earlier this year based on hidden-camera recordings made by a Dutch TV crime show. On the video, Van der Sloot says Holloway collapsed on the beach after they left the bar and that he called a friend to dump her body at sea.

He also said the witness would lack credibility in court unless she explains why she waited so long to come forward.

Attorneys for Van der Sloot did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment and there was no answer at his parents' home in Aruba.

November 18, 2008

New York man charged with killing girlfriend on due date

*I could not find a second source for this story, but this story was way too absurd to not write about*

Prosecutors have charged a New York City man with stabbing his girlfriend to death on the day she was due to give birth (The Star Tribune).

Derrick Redd was held without bail Tuesday after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree abortional act. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say Redd repeatedly stabbed Niasha Delain at her home on Oct. 25. The attack included six stab wounds to the fetus (The Star Tribune).

Prosecutors said test results are pending to determine whether Redd would have been the father.

Girlfriend of suspect shooter makes public plea

Jayna Emerson, girlfriend of a suspected shooter, publicly pleaded Monday for her boyfriend to turn himself in to police in Sunday's fatal shooting of her 15-year-old cousin in St. Paul (Pioneer Press).

Police said Sunday the suspected shooter is Alfredo Gutierrez-Gonzales, 19, of St. Paul. He has been dating Emerson for three years, and he sometimes stayed at the home where MacKenzie was killed.

Investigators want to talk to Gutierrez-Gonzales to find out what happened and why, said Peter Panos, a St. Paul police spokesman.

Officers were called to 582 Concord St. after someone there reported gunshots fired at 12:27 a.m. Sunday, police said. MacKenzie was on the floor with a gunshot wound to his upper body. Paramedics tried to revive the teen
but he died at the scene. About 10 people were in the home when MacKenzie was shot, Panos said (Pioneer Press).
A police dog tracked the gun used in the shooting, a semi-automatic rifle, to a wooded area about five blocks away, off U.S. 52, and officers recovered it, Panos said.

Gutierrez-Gonzales is on probation for a year for a July conviction in Dakota County for misdemeanor theft.

In July 2005, when Gutierrez-Gonzales was 16, he was charged with motor vehicle theft in Ramsey County. He pleaded guilty, was put on supervised probation and ordered to do community service (Pioneer Press).

Former police officer charged

In Mankato, Minn., a former police officer must pay a $200 fine and be on probation for a year after pleading guilty to faking the arrest of an 18-year-old woman (The Star Tribune).

Steven Patrick Boyle, who had worked part time for the police department serving Amboy and Vernon Center, resigned in August after the July incident (Pioneer Press).

Authorities say Boyle, told the 18-year-old woman she would be released if she flashed her breasts. He was in uniform and driving a squad car at the time.

Assistant Blue Earth County attorney Chris Rovney says Boyle was sentenced for just a misdemeanor crime.
Rovney says it will be difficult for the 23-year-old to be hired as a police officer again (The Star Tribune).

November 17, 2008

Analysis of diversity

I will analyze the following story regarding diversity:

Sudan and rebels trade accusation over violence

This article was found on Yahoo! News and discusses Sudanese and rebel forces. In particular, the article focuses on accusations that occurred Sunday about initiating a new wave of fighting in the ravaged Darfur region just days after the government had offered a cease-fire.

I do not know anything about the Sudanese people so I cannot really pinpoint if the reporter was being stereotypical or not.

By reading this story, I was able to learn something new that I did not previously know. I learned that there was a conflict that broke out in 2003 when mainly ethnic African rebels took up arms against the government, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. The story later concludes that five years later, 300,000 people are dead and the conflict has widened into inter-tribal violence and has brought in an international peacekeeping force.

It was really interesting to read about a culture ethnically and culturally diverse than my own.