Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

almost done

You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.com

I have most of my interviews done. I still need something from Heather Wilson's office, and from Pete Dominici's. I asked Renee today how to light a fire under them, so I could get some sound for my story. So, SHE called them in Washington, DC. She was on the phone to Dominici's office, the 2nd she'd called, when Wilson's guy called me on the other line! LOL

I'm having a hard time with this ego business. I'm better served if I speak with authority to these people, but I can't afford to be swaggery and arrogant, either.

I almost peed my pants today, for instance, when I heard Tom Trowbridge tell some military guy on the phone, well, tell the General I'm pretty pissed he didn't call me back when he said he would.

I told Tom, "you're going to have the Office of Homeland Security crawling up our plumbing, if you keep that up!"

I could NEVER pull that off! I'm more the happy-to-talk-to-you type, myself. I'm a little apologetic, for imposing on people's time. It's kind of Southern, rather than East coasty.

But I'll have to get a little pushier, or I'll miss out on a lot.

I'm not predatory.

I am smart; I grasp stuff and learn fast. I can bluff my way through iffy stuff pretty well.

But I always thank my interviews profusely for their generosity and assistance. And it's heart felt; it's not fake or manipulative.

Heck, I actually wore down a crusty nuclear physicist today! He WANTED to be mad at me, cuz I blew him off last night, so I could get a ride home. And I called back later than I'd said this morning. He was a tad gruff and even a bit patronizing at times, during our interview. BUt we spoke for over 23 minutes. ANd I apologized all over the place and explained my situation to him. And he was very genteel and nice about it all at the end of the interview.

I muddled through the best I could. I'm obviously not a nuclear physicist, but I understood everything he said. ANd I'm not a local historian on the two National Labs here. But maybe the fact I can't find my butt with both hands actually makes me a better interviewer: if they can make ME understand it, the listeners should get it, too. So I ask a LOT of questions, and make them explain all the alphabet soup of agencies and all the jargon and buzz words.

I learned a LOT today, and I've got a GOOD report started! And Renee says I can have five minutes, so that's kewl.

I hate nukes. I avoid even learning about them. My 2 older brothers, both long gone before I was born, were Fat Man and Little Boy, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My parents met and fell in love at Oakridge, Tenn. I heard them brag all the time about their dang bombs, and I could never compete!

So, nukes freak me out on a lot more levels than most people! I'm jealous of them! I wished my parents had been as proud of me as they were of those damn mass murdering hunks of crap!


BUT! Nukes and the Labs are national stories; I can access them locally and sell them nationally.

Now, Sandia, in particular, does a helluva lot more than nukes: some of it I find fascinating. Like telescopes, chaos theory, artificial life, etc.

So, I shouldn't get bored nor burned out.

BUt there were times, during my interviews, when I disassociated today. I just couldn't hear what my subjects were saying anymore. It was the same experience I had in those special classes for genius kids. I was math phobic..still am...and would just black out when the pressure was on.

That happened during interviews today: I'd come to and have NO idea what we'd been talking about!

I reviewd the audio and took notes, though. So I know what they said and what time they said it, so I can grab sound easier.

It was embarrassing, though. I felt ashamed, interviewing people and not being able to stay present.

I was pretty well tortured, as a child, for not doing well in math and science, particularly as Dad was an electronics engineer.

The shame makes it worse, of course: the fear I'll get caught, "daydreaming." I'm not daydreaming; I'm checked out; I'm not even THERE! People don't really understand.....

My memory and my black outs haunt me all the time. I'm scared to death I'll burn the house down or kill an animal some how or break equipment at the station or.......

I'm MUCH better than I was twenty years ago, but it's still torture.

By the way: the math phobia and disassociation were so bad, I've never managed to pass high school algebra!

Yet I can explain chaos theory and fractals.

Go figure!

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