21 January 2009

The Battle Within

We have a new president. And I worked hard to tell people he was there. I thought the swearing in was going to be at 8AM Pacific. Someone said that and I believed them, even though I had the official schedule in my inbox the entire time. So this morning I was ready (at 8) to watch the words and feel the emotion. But once I saw the important players were still traveling, I had two options. I could have stayed and watched, or scurried to work with hopes of not missing anything. I checked my email and headed out the door.

I got to work in plenty of time to see that the deed was done, and then I had to get to work. I can't begin to explain all that needed to be done. Just understand that there are extra special, (self-imposed) higher standards for media on special occasions. Standards are generally high, but on days when members of the media are allowed to be among the people, I think they put more of themselves into their work. It becomes more personal and therefore more difficult to get right.

Usually we humble media workers have time in between these occasions. There are two years between political races, for example, and you've seen what your local stations do for that. Things have been different lately though, because the political candidates went at it for nearly two years. The campaign brought them to battleground states repeatedly, quintupling the expected number of special occasions. We in the media are tired. Tuesday, it got physical.

I came home from work, washed my hands and saw this. There is blood in my eyeball. I did not panic, this has happened before. The last time was when I was in college. I called my parents and my dad drove 5 hours after work to take me to an ER. The doctor (from what I remember) said it would just go away. I called my dad Tuesday night (in light of the new blight) and he remembered something similar. Both my mom and my dad understood today would be a day for a bleeding eye. That means a lot, since they're still surprised I work holidays.

For now I plan to keep one on the other, and both eyes on the lookout for more of these special occasions.