Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First Day, WPNI

So I'm at WPNI now, my first day on the internship job. It's a bit different than I imagined. We're in an office converted from a meeting room, walled by glass- you can look out on the entire floor. Not that there's much to see- pods of people here and there leaned over their computers working.

The entire office is dark- no lights turned on anywhere, just natural light. It's strange. I think I chose the computer in the office by the window specifically to combat that darkness- from here I can look down over the buses and cars and buildings stretching into the distance.

Don't have much to do now- I'm kinda bored. My boss basically wants me to work on profiles that another intern left off on, but I don't know where he stopped. Thus, I'm trying to go through them all and see which one is missing information...I haven't been successful so far.

I'm also surfing around trying to find out more about Loudon County- my current knowledge about it is zilch. I figure if I'm going to be working on a site called Loudonextra, I might as well start figuring stuff out. I hate not knowing things- I want to be coming up with story ideas, not trying to figure out the demographics of the city.

bleagh. I better start trying to get some work done- I wish I knew more what I was doing. (not that it's hard, there's just nothing to do right now.)


Sunday, May 4, 2008

things you may not know about me

1. I'm slightly addicted to Bejeweled. It's on my iGoogle and I play it pretty much every day.
2. I adore reading memoirs of almost any type. I'm currently reading through the Diary of Kevin Smith, I just finished Valerie Plame's memoir, and over spring break I read Eat, Pray, Love.
3. I get really really excited about things really quickly. Like, even little things. Gummi Bears for example. Or free pens. If I find a song I love on the radio, I'll go download it and listen to it on repeat ten times in a row so I can try to memorize the lyrics. Stuff like that.
4. I am not a morning person. I used to be okay at getting up when I needed to- but this semester....nuhuh. Not anymore. I get very cranky without sleep and am in love with my pillow.
5. Because of my obsessive reporting on most aspects of Mason over the past year and a half, I know a ridiculous amount of information on the school and the people within it. This leads to me sometimes knowing everything about a person who's important in the news, without them knowing jack about me. This can lead to awkward situations....for example, a dude walked in the office that I knew a ton about because he had been important in past news stories. I recognized him and was like, "Oh hey, you're --- right?" He looked at me really weird. I swear I'm not a stalker, I just keep tabs on most of campus. It's one of those things I should keep a lid on probably....
6. I have a weird fascination with celebrity news. People magazine is my drug.
7. I hate pretzels- I personally think they're only of use for throwing at people. Except the big soft ones. Those are amazing.
8. Musicals make me really really happy.
9. I have this weird thing where I tend to always know who's around me- even if they're far away. Like- I can tell when someone I know walks in the room- from the second they show up. I think it's just an observation thing I've picked up- a combination of being vigilant, seeing well, and being attuned to what I hear. But I usually never surprised by anyone- I always know what's going on around me.
10. When I was little, my brother and I talked about having a guinea pig breeding operation, because we both loved them so much. I still really really want one- every time I'm at a pet store I constantly come up with ways I can keep one hidden at Mason (pets aren't allowed in the dorms). I don't think I'd ever do it though- it'd be too hard to keep from getting caught.

And also, I hate homework and studying and I'm trying to procrastinate from it right now....thus, I should probably stop blogging and try to get back to work. Ugh exams. Can't wait 'til I'm back in Texas!!!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Interview with Hanson

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Hanson today. Here's the dish on it.

As I sat in the main hall of the State Theater, waiting to go up to interview the band, I grew more and more nervous as I set up the tripod and checked the video camera. I hadn't ever interviewed a big celebrity like Hanson before- the closest would probably be the politicians I've spoken to. And for a girl whose first CD ever (in fourth grade) was Hanson's major label debut, "Middle of Nowhere," getting to meet them was like, a dream come true.

To be fair, I haven't listened to Hanson's music in many years. The boy band craze started shortly after that and I got caught up in that. Shortly after, I discovered real music (classic and alternative rock are my faves) and never really looked back on what I listened to before *Nsync and Backstreet Boys. The recent music Hanson has released sounds really good though, from what I've listened to. I feel like I should go back and listen to that more now.

Anyways, I'm waiting in the Theater watching the techies set up the stage, totally freaking out (Was I asking the right questions? Would they ask what I thought of their new cd I hadn't listened to yet? What if they were mean or uptight?). It didn't help matters when the tour manager, Tim, came to bring me to the interview, as I had to climb a dark twisty staircase to get to the top.

Tim walked down the hallway and pushed open a door with a sign saying "Hanson" on it. I followed behind.

I thought of a thousand different things that could happen during the interview, but the scene that presented itself before my eyes was definitely not one of them. Two of the Hanson brothers were standing on chairs in front of a window, wielding BB guns, shooting pellets at a trash bin across the parking lot, as another jumped in front to grinningly tell me, "Absolutely nothing illegal is happening in here." As I set up the equipment, the whole band joked with me, introducing me to the backup musicians that walked through the door, most of whom were promptly led to the window to pull off a few rounds of their own at the much maligned trash bin.

It's fair to say that the ice was broken by then. I tried to get a picture of the brothers at play, but they requested that I not, as the BB guns were designed to look fairly real- one an AK-47 and another a handgun.

They shot off a few other rounds, but Taylor, who'd been standing off to the side chatting with me most of the time, got Zac and Isaac to sit down on the couch with him for the interview. The interview itself was great fun, very relaxed. The brothers were incredibly down to earth and very talkative. It was easy to tell that they'd been doing this whole interview thing for quite a while. Every answer one brother gave me, another one would want to chime in right afterwards, leading to a great depth of discussion. The entire conversation really showed me how passionate the band is about what they do. We talked on a variety of different topics relating to their music, their independent music label 3CG, their families, and the charity work they've been doing on the tour to promote concerns about the AIDS epidemic in Africa. I think they would have been totally willing to talk for an hour with me, but after 15 minutes, Tim came in to tell me to wrap it up. As I packed up and left, the brothers began testing out their megaphones in earnest, setting off the siren buttons repeatedly. It was time to take the Walk.

Before each of their shows on The Walk tour, Hanson has been taking a mile long walk with their fans barefoot, to raise awareness of the problems in Africa and to encourage concertgoers to purchase a pair of shoes from Toms Shoes, an organization which donates a pair of shoes to children in Africa for every pair of shoes purchased. I didn't get a count of how many people were there for the walk, but it seemed like a good hundred or so. Some people took of their shoes, some didn't, but everyone crowded around the Hanson brothers, eager to talk to them. The group stopped at a playground at one point, where Taylor addressed the crowd from the top of a slide via megaphone. After ten minutes or so, the walk continued, winding through streets and around parking lots, the brothers and the police shepherding the fans through stoplights and trying to keep them on the sidewalks. I raced around with my camera trying to get every possible angle, gaining a bit of a sunburn in the process.

All in all, it was a wonderful day and a great time. The video from the interview and the walk should be up at Connect2mason soon.

: )