Archive for the ‘Personal’ category


January 30, 2009

My new laptop came in today – it’s a Macbook and it’s beautiful…..

So the goal this weekend will be to catch up and finish some of the promised posts…


December 2, 2008

Hey all – I just wanted everyone to know that if i post a little sporadically over the next week or two, I promise I’ll be back. It’s just finals week at Grad School and my roommate has yet to get our internet hooked up at our new apartment. I promise once finals are over I’ll be back with a vengeance. I need to finish my “Some Cheese for that Whine…” series, including another post (or a few more) on the book industry, one on newspapers and one or two on magazines.

Thanks for hanging with me.

B2B Publishing

June 26, 2008

As I finish my first month working for a business to business magazine, I have some reflections to share.

First, for anyone who doesn’t know a business to business magazine is a magazine on the industry (in this case the pet industry) for other professionals. Pet Business is a magazine that is written for mom & pop pet stores – small independently owned stores. Our advertisers are manufacturers who sell products to the stores, so that the stores can sell them to the consumer. So the majority of our editorial falls into two categories: how to sell that merchandise to the consumer more effectively, and how to choose manufacturers more effectively.

As my first job in publishing, I expected to suddenly be overwhelmed with how much I didn’t know. That actually hasn’t happened too much. Most of the things I’ve found I know a reasonable amount about, and the things I don’t generally can be excused because they involve knowing the company well and knowing what we, specifically, do – which I will learn as I work here for extended periods of time.

Overall, things have gone fairly well. My first article will be published in the August issue (shipping end of July) and my first feature should go into the Grooming Supplement that is being included with the September issue. I’m looking forward to my first trade shows (Pet Fashion week in NYC end of August and Las Vegas in September).

After the September issue comes out I am going to start working on freelancing again. I have several ideas, and articles I was working on during the school year, and I need to start actively freelancing. So expect posts on that in the near future as I begin writing query emails.


June 21, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve posted; sorry for those of you who check up on the site regularly. I had a lot of major life changes going on – first I went to Europe for the first time ever. Then I came home, got my first real job, and moved into a new apartment … I’ve finally just about settled in so I should start posting regularly again.

Europe was amazing. We started in London, and spent a couple days seeing the sites. I need to go back so that I can spend more time at the Tower of London, because by the time we got there there were no more guided tours and we only had an hour to look around (it’s recommended you spend at least 3). Then we went to Paris and that was pretty cool. I went up in the Eifle tower. Did you know you can repel off of the Eifel tower? You can, and if I ever go back that’s what I want to do. After a day and a half in France we went to Italy – all over in Italy. Rome, Florence, Assisi, Sorento/Capri… it was a lot of fun and Italy is beautiful. It was deffinitely my favorite. I could have spent forever in the museum where they have the David.

Now for the new apartment – I’m living with one of my ex-co-workers from Outback in Mount Vernon, NY. Nice place. Second floor apartment; I’m only here until November though unless I want to take on the lease (and I think I want a place where I can have animals so i dont think im going to).

Finally, the job. I had gone on a first interview with this company the wednesday before I graduated from Manhattanville. They called me back in for a second interview that same week (Fri) because they knew I was going to Europe. When I got back (2 weeks later – they had waited for me to come back before making a decision) I went in for a third interview with them. And now I have the job. I work for MacFadden Communications Group, a business to business (b2b) magazine company as an assistant editor on their pet magazines. So I’m the assistant editor for Pet Business, The Pet Elite, Grooming Business, and The Pet Aisle. In case you don’t know what a b2b magazine is, it’s for people within that industry – for example Pet Business is written for Pet Store owners – not big chains but Mom and Pop pet stores, people with one or two stores.

So that’s an update and my excuse for not being on here lately. But I’m back … and I should resume posting regularly this week. So check up again end of the week and I’ll have more news for you.

I try not to get political but….

April 25, 2008

I know this isn’t a political blog, but I wrote an op-ed piece for my Journalism class and thought I’d post it up here and see if it got any reactions.

Hilary Clinton took shots at Barak Obama for his comments at a closed San Francisco fundraiser, where he said he couldn’t blame small town, economically distressed voters who “cling to” guns and religion, then went out and tried to show her sympathies for those controversial subjects herself.

On Saturday, Clinton shared childhood memories of shooting lessons her father gave her, and said at the Compassion forum that since she was a child, she’s felt the “enveloping” love of God and that, on many occasions, she’s felt the Holy Spirit has been with her as she took her “journey.” So while criticizing Obama for assertions that working class Americans turn to guns and religion, she then assumes that his statement is true when trying to appeal to those same working class Americans, by trying to show that she likes guns and religion.

Then, to top it off, after branding Obama an elitist, she stops at a local bar to down a shot of whiskey, hoist a beer and eat a slice of pizza – again to show how similar to hard working Americans she is. Does she really think voters will believe this is an everyday event for her? Hilary, after a lengthy debate about what she should take a shot of, went with Canadian Crown Royal. She does it so often she didn’t even know what she liked to have.

Who is really the elitist: The candidate who makes the statement about the people, or the candidate who thinks that taking those stereotyped views and appealing to them will make her more likable?

When we view Obama’s comments in context, as reported by the Huffington Post, he was actually talking about how small town voters have slipped through the cracks.

He said that “they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not,” Obama reportedly continued. “It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

He was trying to say that he recognized there was a problem in these small towns and that he wanted to make things better for them. Hilary, by mocking his comments but trying to appeal to the same sentiments he is recognizing, seems to be saying it’s all going fine for these people – hey she’s just like them and it seems she’s doing well enough…

Finally, as Jon Stewart on the Daily Show said, what’s wrong with an elitist president? Shouldn’t the president be smarter then most Americans? If a candidate doesn’t think they know better then the rest of us, what are they doing running?

Americans have had an average Joe in the White House for too long. Bush is definitely not “elite” (though he may think himself to be). Don’t we want a change?

Who Knew that About Paper?

March 17, 2008

This Thursday, March 6th, Janet McCarthy Grimm from Lindenmeyr,  came and spoke to my Book Production & Design class about paper.

She walked us through the process of making paper. When they start out with a tree they have two choices: ground wood paper  and ground wood free paper.

Ground wood paper includes lignin, which is the ingredient that, as paper gets older, causes paper to get brittle and turn yellow. Ground wood free paper, according to tests, may last 200-400 years. The other main difference between these two types of paper is that ground wood paper uses most of the tree. Ground wood free paper only uses about 50% of the tree, making it more expensive to make. Lignins are broken down chemically during the manufacturing process.

The other important thing to know about paper manufacturing is that hard wood and soft wood are not all mixed together – they each get added at different parts of the process.

For me, the most interesting part of what Janet said was how big of a market paper is for the US economy. Few other markets in the world offer as high a quality of paper as we do. Paper is a major exports. The problem is that few foreign manufacturers pay adequate attention to keeping hardwood and softwood separate. This results in a less dependable quality of paper.

Janet’s other major point  was about recycling. Ground wood free paper and ground wood paper aren’t separated out during the recycling process. This limits the quality of paper that can be made from recycled paper products. Newspapers, sticky notes, staples and cheap paper products are mixed in with paper that is ground wood free – meaning that the recycled paper is NOT ground wood free; it also mixes hardwood and softwood – again creating a lower quality paper.

The ‘best’ part is our government – companies don’t receive any benefits for recycling paper products not sold to consumers. So all those books that a publishing company has sitting in it’s warehouse, that it doesn’t sell … there is no encouragement for companies to recycle them.

Newspaper Project

March 7, 2008

I recently had the opportunity to act a project manager for the production of a 21 page newspaper. The paper, a project for my Writing for the Media Class, involved coordinating 7 classmates, who were each editor of their own section and responsible for submitting 2-3 stories for each other’s sections.

The majority of the students in our group were international students; we wanted to use this to our advantage so we choose to write a paper targeted towards the international base on Manhattanville’s campus.

My group choose me to be the project manger; I was responsible for setting deadlines for the project, which we had a little under 2 weeks to complete. As part of the group, I was also responsible for generating 3 articles of my own.

Our first group meeting we decided on sections, designated who would edit each section, and began to generate article ideas. The next meeting we came up with our title: Beyond Boarders. We discussed layout and decided on the number of columns, etc. For ideas we turned to the campus paper, The Touchstone, and looked at the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Publishing the paper did not go as smoothly as we might have hoped. It took quite a bit of force feeding on my part to make everyone meet their deadlines.

In addition to being project manager, I was responsible for the layout of the paper. I created the paper in Quark Xpress. The final paper is attached below; it takes a long time to download since it is so long, but in the end it came out really well and the project got an A.

Beyond Borders