Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's In The Stars

The other day I read my horoscope as I was paging through the Chicago Tribune. I was instructed that today would be a good day to ask for a raise. Seeing as I currently pull down the large sum of zero dollars an hour, which totals $0 every two weeks, I thought it was good advice. Some day, hopefully soon, when I have a job, I await the return of this horoscope. At which point I will walk into my superior's office, slam down the torn piece of paper and say "I think we need to talk."

Has anyone ever followed the advice of their horoscope?

I'm waiting for the "Today is a 1. Go back to bed." horoscope. Usually the forecasts for the day are at least a 3. Maybe the writers fear their influence on the person anxiously reading their horoscope as they inch toward the ledge of a skyscaper seeking some advice what to do.

I have yet to read an obit that says someone was found with the horoscope section beside them. The grim prediciton: Today is a 1. That sounds like a short film. Who wants to film it with me?
...Go on

Unrivaled

There are people who can play music. Then there are people who can play music well. Above them in this hierarchy are the greats, the legends. Then there are the immortals. The members of Return To Forever, Chick Corea ('boards), Al Di Meola (guitar), Stanley Clarke (electric and acoustic bass) and Lenny White (drums), are those immortals.

My knowledge of the super group that fused jazz and rock in the early '70s is somewhat limited. I grew up listening to their vinyl album Light As A Feather, which contains "Spain" (one of my favorite songs) and "500 Miles High." So, going into the concert held last night at the Chicago Theater I had a decent knowledge of their work and virtuosity. Yet, I had never seen them play.

I've never considered myself a huge rock fan and haven't been to a rock concert. I lean more toward jazz, folk and acoustic songs.

Nevertheless, the show Return To Forever (RTF) put on was unreal. Perched in the balcony, I observed the quartet rock out for the crowd of mostly 50-somethings, who long for the days of having hair. (Note: How do you alter your show for an aging audience? Turn it to 11.) The group hit at 8:15 p.m. and played for about an hour. That hour was chock full of rock: electric guitars, electric bass, synths and all the amplifiers a kid dreams about. I wasn't familiar with the songs they played in the first set but the group was flawless. It is clear that each player is a master and that they share some sort of indescribable bond allowing them to play as one.

After the set break, the group came back and Corea announced how they would return to their original instruments. For my sensitive ears, this was a welcomed reprieve. In a more acoustic setting, the group once again displayed their prowess. Each player took their moment in the warm spotlight, starting briefly with Corea . Corea is an innovator beyond comparison. While he was playing the acoustic piano, he had a mallet which he used to strike the lower strings creating this haunting resonance. Unreal.

Di Meola followed with his solo on acoustic guitar, as the other players exited the stage. His chops are unbelievable. The speed and clarity at which he played was ridiculous. At several points the crowd rose to its feet and applauded in awe of his genius. At times, his playing was frenetic but always crisp.

After Corea and Clarke returned to the stage and played a brief bit, Clarke took his turn. His playing could have been a show unto itself. Earlier in the evening he mentioned how he always enjoys coming to Chicago and how he has a lot of good memories playing here. Clarke managed to make his upright bass take on the personalities of several instruments. At one point he played the bass like a guitar. At another, he coaxed lyrical melodies as if it were a piano or horn. Shortly after, he examined the rhythmic capabilities of the hulky instrument making it sound like a drum set. Soon after he started playing the blues and initiated a call-and-response session with the audience. The audience, at several points, stood up and cheered for his mastery.

Corea and White returned for a number. Then White took a brief solo. The group returned and played a few songs before the finale. They began the encore with "Senor Mouse" and segued into "Spain," the lone song I knew the entire evening.

It was remarkable. It could very well be the best concert I'll see in a long time.

White said succinctly during the first set, "In an age of boy bands, this is a man's band."

Below are two videos of the group:


...Go on

Friday, June 20, 2008

Locksley/Rooney Concert Review

Never in my life did I think The Strokes could be topped as the best concert I've ever been to. I was wrong. So this past Tuesday evening, I attended the sold-out Locksley and Rooney show. (Rooney headlined) Now, the only way I was even able to go to this show was because I called in a favor from Locksley and they put me on the guest list, which was very nice of them. I promised to bring them cookies next time I see them. Now, Locksley is a band from Brooklyn that added ME on myspace three years ago, back when they had four songs. I listened to those four songs over and over and over and never got sick of them. Then they came to Boston to play a show at the Paradise Lounge, a tiny, tiny little bar. Turns out my sister and I were the only ones there to see them, since they were just the house band that night and weren't expecting an audience. I think it was about a 6 or 7 song set and they were so psyched to see us singing along with their songs that they gave us a copy of their album a few months prior to its release. I can't recommend this album enough; it's fantastic as far as real garage-ish rock and roll goes. Fast forward to the show. The Bridges opened, who were actually very entertaining. Mostly because it was a band of four girls and a guy and the chicks were all very attractive. Then Locksley came on and they had this brilliance about them that was clear from the second they stepped on stage. I wish I could explain how intense the next 45 minutes were, but I've been searching for words to describe it since Tuesday (it's now Friday) and haven't come up with anything. They were so perfectly energetic that their charisma and stage presence were instantly soaked up by the crowd and had all of the pre-teen girls who were there to see Rooney jumping around and screaming. It was the closest thing to Beatlemania I'll ever experience. They even covered the White Stripes song 'Hotel Yorba' and it was no less than a million times better than the actual song, which is saying something because I do enjoy the original. OK, well basically you get the idea: they're amazing. This band is about to explode in popularity, I'm saying it here first. And I swear to God if MTV does to Locksley what they did to my beloved OK Go, I will be a very, very upset Patrick.

I urge you to go see this band if you get a chance. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed. I mean, GUARANTEE.

Here's their remaining summer tour schedule:
Jun 20 2008 8:00P
Rams Head Live! (w/Rooney) Baltimore, Maryland
Jun 21 2008 8:00P
Cat’s Cradle (w/Rooney) Carrboro, North Carolina
Jun 22 2008 8:00P
Variety Playhouse (w/Rooney) Atlanta, Georgia
Jun 24 2008 8:00P
Jack Rabbits (w/Rooney) Jacksonville, Florida
Jun 25 2008 8:00P
The State Theatre (w/Rooney) Saint Petersburg, Florida
Jun 26 2008 8:00P
House of Blues (w/Rooney) Orlando, Florida
Jun 27 2008 8:00P
Revolution (w/Rooney) Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jun 29 2008 8:00P
The Parish @ House of Blues (w/Rooney) New Orleans, Louisiana
Jul 1 2008 8:00P
Workplay Theatre (w/Rooney) Birmingham, Alabama
Jul 2 2008 8:00P
Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom (w/Rooney) Little Rock, Arkansas
Jul 3 2008 8:00P
House of Blues (w/Rooney) Dallas, Texas
Jul 5 2008 8:00P
Emo’s Alternative Lounging (w/Rooney) Austin, Texas
Jul 7 2008 8:00P
Launchpad (w/Rooney) Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jul 8 2008 8:00P
Club Congress (w/Rooney) Tucson, Arizona
Jul 9 2008 8:00P
House of Blues (w/Rooney) San Diego, California
Jul 10 2008 8:00P
House of Blues (w/Rooney) Las Vegas, Nevada
Jul 13 2008 8:00P
Hawthorne Theatre (w/Rooney) Portland, Oregon
Jul 14 2008 8:00P
Chop Suey (w/Rooney) Seattle, Washington
Jul 18 2008 8:00P
House of Blues (w/Rooney) West Hollywood, California
Jul 20 2008 8:00P
House of Blues (w/Rooney) Anaheim, California


The above video, which you probably have figured out by now, is from the Jimmy Kimmell Show they did awhile back. I couldn't find a decent video from the night I saw them. They're playing two of their songs "Let Me Know" and "She Does"

So, thank you to Locksley for getting me into the show that I will no doubt remember for years and years, for topping The Strokes as the best show I've ever seen, and for not letting me down when I could have been watching the Celtics win a championship.


Oh yeah, Rooney was OK.

Love,
Patrick
...Go on

Does McCain have an "easy" button?

I'm not usually a fan of Eric Alterman. In fact, I generally think he is downright full of himself for writing a book that cites himself as a source more than once. But (and this is a big but) I think, in this case, he may have a point. Let me know what you think.

Loving John McCain

By Eric Alterman & George Zornick

This article appeared in the July 7, 2008 edition of The Nation.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080707/alterman
...Go on

Racism Keeps On Keepin' On Thanks To Sports Bloggers

Even if I was black, I still think I'd disagree with everything that was said in this Nation of Islam post. Scot Pollard and Scal deserved getting a ring just as much as Nomar Garciaparra did in 2004, even though the Red Sox traded him halfway through the season. ...Go on

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Job Opening?


I'm pretty sure he won't be back. Then again, he's been with the station since 1990, according to Wikipedia. Now, to whom do I send my demo reel?
I could do crazy stuff like this. He should have looked down at his "script" or made some sort of pause. ...Go on

Release a little tension!

Smash bricks with Smashout. It's a game created by my (soon to be) brother-in-law. Great game when you're frustrated with job hunting, editors, etc. Enjoy.

http://smashbricks.blogspot.com/
...Go on

Odd Jobs

As I spend most of my day trolling through the classifieds and online advertisements for alleged openings, I come across some opportunities that seem too good to be true. Such as this posting on Craigslist:

Drive Icecream Truck, Make Kids Happy, Get Paid Daily!!

Here's the full ad:
Date: 2008-06-19, 9:32AM CDT

I am looking for someone clean cut (check) and has a good driving record (debatable). This is a 6-7 days a week job. Hours will be from around noon until dark. Different pay options available. Commission or Hourly. Pay starts at $10.00. Call Jason Today (his last name is Today? That must be rough.) to set up an appointment. Applicant must be at least 18 years old or older (Isn't that covered when you said "at least"?). Male or female (Check). Must live within 15 miles from Elgin (double check) Spanish speaking a plus! Cash Paid Daily (I love cash)! 847-###-####. Do not email me.

A few things here:
  • I had a good driving record until that ticket for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.
  • I think this should be reworded to "This job will be your life."
  • I love making kids happy.
  • There is no mention of being able to tolerate "Turkey and the Straw" for hours on end.
Please post other dream jobs you come across.
...Go on

Taking Pilates Back

It has come to my attention that mentioning my penchant for pilates is construed as feminine. The mere mention that I got my quasi-chiseled physique through the aid of pilates elicits a giggle from the people I tell, mainly the ladies. Therefore, it is time that the record be set straight about the intensity and hyper-manliness of pilates.

For those unaware of the history of pilates, the exercise was developed to keep veterans mentally and physically strong.
"...emphasizing control and form to aid injured soldiers in regaining their health by strengthening, stretching, and stabilizing key muscles."

That's right. Soldiers and veterans. No mention of yuppies or soccer moms.

A cursory glance at fitness/pilates DVDs provides a view to some Arian society, where all the members are slim, fit females. There are very few discs that have a man as the instructor. I'll blame Mari Winsor and Los Angeles for this travesty.

My interest in pilates began when I started going to physical therapy for a hip injury incurred while practicing for a dance show. I attempted to do a dip with my partner and my leg wasn't positioned properly. Subsequently, my leg moved in a way it wasn't supposed to move.

The therapist and orthopedic doctors said I injured my hip flexor muscle, so this wasn't a standard boo-boo. Among my recommended strengthening exercises, were some pilates movements to strengthen my legs and abs. I've never been one to exercise consistently. I'm a walker not a runner. After about a month of rehab I started to notice muscles in places previously characterized as nondescript. These muscles came at a price. Pilates isn't easy. It involves sweat and, for me, a reminder of how inflexible you are and how far your toes truly are. So, I continued to do pilates and the stretching exercises. I bought a Swiss exercise ball and began branching out in my fitness regime.

So, men, rise up. It is time we reclaim pilates as our own. Women, you can keep the tight-fitting aerobics wear, but your theft of our masculine exercise regimen is over.
...Go on

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some Nights I Go CRAZY!



Love,
Patrick
...Go on

Twenty-somethings prefer drinking to learning. Quick! Give them something to drink!

"IHS Journalism Conference , June 7-13 2008: Ahead of the curve since June 7-13 2008."

A guy who may or may not be Fazil's third-cousin on his mother's side talking about moral hazards and unforeseen consequences at The Washington Post. ...Go on

Unforeseen consequences? You decide.

We all came up with a few instances of government regulations and bills that just end up being bad ideas with unforeseen consequences that only make the situation worse. Here are a few current events, in brief, that may spur legislation. Blog about it--what might become of these?

-Requiring sunglasses to have UV protection
-Forcing railways to re-route hazardous material around residential areas rather than through them
-Baseball leagues banning maple bats, which can shatter and fly when they break, but have a bigger sweet spot than other wood bats
-School lunch monitors limiting the number of scoops of food children can put on their plates to offset the cost of food (No really! This is happening.)

I may add a few later, but we can start with these oddball situations.

Another unforeseen consequence? Dave Koz, while performing on alto and soprano sax at the Indianapolis JazzFest this past weekend, may have thought his pelvic thrusts and carefully rehearsed choreography would turn on every 40-something in the crowd. What he did not foresee, however, was a 20-something posting his ridiculousness on her blog for all her friends to laugh at. Nor did he foresee being compared to the love-child of Donnie Osmond and Kenny-G. Take a look.

video ...Go on

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Other 10 Percent

During an IHS lecture by Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle, she mentioned how showing up is 90 percent of the battle of being a journalist. As I recall the other 10 is miscellaneous factors to being a good journalist. Inspired by this, I have decided to show up at area newsrooms ready to work.

The other 10 percent could be actually being permitted to work someplace. Nevertheless, I am resolute in my goal of employment. I wonder what sort of reaction I'd get by simply showing up. My theory is a quick refusal by security or the receptionist, but it certainly would show moxie.

I've also thought of going to local city hall and school board meetings to write briefs about what happened and submit them to the local papers. It would serve as a pencil sharpener for my writing skills and could be a foot in to a job.
...Go on

Germ-o-phobe

I'm no Adrian Monk, but I am a bit concerned whenever I travel. Inevitably, I get the sneezer/cougher next to me on the plane. I reluctantly did two things on this trip that I may regret.

My first quandary was whether or not to share my water jug. Seeing as it was wicked hot, I felt the germs could be killed and the greater good would be hydration for all (wasn't that one of the tenets of the musketeers?).

The second decision was whether or not to use the germ bag, also known as a pillow, on the plane. You might as well lick the gutter. I opted to use the germ bad, since my white man fro has yet to grow back. In its peak, it is like a built-in pillow.

Airplanes are glorified petri dishes with in-flight entertainment, pretzels and mini pops.
...Go on

An Ode to Mario

I found this video a few weeks ago. Little did I know I would use it for some real purpose.



We'll miss you Mario. You made econ understandable and enjoyable.

Kristy also showed me this video:
...Go on

It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary

For some of us going home proved more difficult than anticipated. It was hard enough saying goodbye to the new friends and free beer. While promising to stay in touch as if it were some semblance of summer camp, travel woes exacerbated the pain. For me, it was clinical separation anxiety. It all started...as I said my farewells with Brian. You may have seen the now famous chest bump video, if not it is definitely Must See tv.

The trouble truly began with the chest bump and doing it a second time for Kristy and her camera. Brian and I were going to take the train to the airport with Jen from Seattle, but I wanted to say my buh-bye's and one thing led to another...Brian and I got to the train just as the train pulled up. There was a problem. Neither of us had any cash. So the train system that strands you downtown when it sprinkles, will also leave you out in the heat if you are without cash.

Here's where I may have changed the future. I never thought I had any supernatural powers, but this may be exhibit A. So, I missed the train. I called to see if my flight was on-time, which United told me was on schedule. At that moment, thinking it was possible for me to miss my flight, I thought please let my flight be a little delayed. Famous last words.

We took the next train and switched at 30th Street station. It was on the second train that I had a super gross-out moment. I had stashed some donuts, a half of an egg bagel and an apple in my carry-on for an in-flight snack. On the train, I popped a donut in my mouth. After a few bites, I glance down into my bag. Little ants crawling all over the place. I stopped chewing, reached for a napkin and promptly expelled all contents in my mouth into the napkin.

We arrived at the airport around 4 p.m. and I made it to my gate by 4:30. My flight was supposed to leave at 5:35.

It was delayed...and didn't leave until 10:30. Yeah airlines!!! In my mind, I saw this delay as a cinematic opportunity to say some dramatic farewells. That didn't happen.

If that wasn't bad enough, the real fun began when I landed in Chicago. I had to go into the city to meet up with my mom and sis at a hotel near Wrigley Field. That should be a 30 minute trip. I got my luggage, got on the L and was on my way. After two stops the train halted. There was construction on the track. So, I had to take a bus around the construction to get back aboard the train. I ended up taking a taxi from where the bus dumped me in Jefferson Park to Wrigley. I put my bags down at 1:30 a.m. local time. That's right friends, 10 hours of traveling using trains, trolleys, cabs, buses and don't forget the feet.

I would have rather spent time with my friends then sitting at the airport.

Feel free to share your travel woes. I have set the bar. Jump over the bar.
...Go on

Monday, June 16, 2008

Recommended Books

It seems like everyone had a name to drop, even if it was only an author of his or her favorite book. Because we may not have been fast and furious enough when jotting notes, here are some favorites:

-Paradise Lost
-Pilgrim's Progress
-Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone
-Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death
-Orwell's 1984
-Huxley's Brave New World
-Russell Brooks's The Invisible Heart (Econ book)
-Economical Writing (The Elements of Style for Econ, basically)


Plus, I have a few recommendations of my own:

-Dr. Jeffrey McCall's Viewer Discretion Advised (a reader by my favorite professor to encourage media literacy and to make us all critical thinkers and media consumers)
-Compassion Fatigue by Susan Moeller
-Woodward and Bernstein's All the President's Men
-Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan
-Douglas Rushkoff's Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say
-Daniel J. Boorstin's The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America
-Anthony Lewis's Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment
-Pember and Calvert's Mass Media Law (long read, well worth it)
-Also, several articles by Rubin might be helpful if you're looking for more information about TV viewer habits or the link between TV violence and our behavior.
-If you just want to watch a fun but thought-provoking movie, try Network. (think: "I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!")

Please post a comment or edit my post if you have any I forgot (or your own additions).
...Go on

Clothing choices.

I'd just like to announce that while it may appear to some that I only own one shirt, I do in fact own several. Apparently my RHCP shirt is my non-self-conscious shirt and that's when I like people to take pictures of me. I thought the rest of the week I showcased my attire pretty well. ...Go on

Funny Stories... oh, the memories!

So, I thought we needed a good place to tell each other all the funny stories we now have about each other. Plus, maybe a few more people will understand our inside jokes!

Here's one from Patrick to get us started, confessional-style:

video ...Go on

You Can Quote Me

It was bound to happen. One week and nearly 80 witty intellectuals could only add up to great quotes comparing journalism to everything from jewelery to sex.
Here are some of my favorites, feel free to add your own:

Chris Harper:
  • Got to circulate to percolate.
  • The first casualty of war is truth.
  • Why not give war a chance?
  • Be great at one skill. Good at 2. OK at 2-3.
Fazil Mihlar:
  • Don't think each of your words is a little baby.
  • In Canada, bank bashing is more popular than hockey.
  • Our first job is to gather the news.
Carolyn Lochhead:
  • I was on this jihad against farmers.
  • I wouldn't be surprised if I lost my job in a few years.
  • The whole city [D.C.] is a spin cycle. They are PR people. There aren't real people.
  • 90% is showing up.
  • We all make mistakes. It's a lot of fun.
Kevin Williamson:
  • Know something big. Do something big.
  • If I had hair, I'd pull it out.
  • You aren't asking people for their money, you're asking them for their time.
  • All great businesses got started in bars or garages.
  • Trade-offs are a lot less worse than they used to be.
  • You still get to kick people in the shins in that job, which can be a lot of fun.
  • I started in a bar and ended in a bar...story of my life.
  • That's a novel interpretation. (Great euphemism for "Wrong!")
  • Kevin: "With all the things you'll be learning--Flash, Adobe Premiere..." Student: "Paint?" Kevin: "...um, yeah. You've got to have something to say."
Avery Rome:
  • Hold it [your story] up like a beautiful jewel until you find the right angle to view it.
Kristy:
  • Guns don't kill people. Norwegians kill people by making them fly.
  • I saw a window on the 2nd floor open. Eek!
  • Good news is like bad sex: hard and fast.


  • Man, I think I Cheneyed last night.
  • Mario theme music.
  • Three-year-old Gropes Mother, Serves 10 Years.
  • What, Mario's got William's tooth-sneeze disease?
  • Ben: Ecstasy is the heroin of drugs. Kristy: Isn't heroin the heroin of drugs?
  • Transitive Property of Noam Chomsky: Marx = Neo, Neo = Keanu Reeves, therefore, Marx = Keanu Reeves.
Mario:
  • I'm not praising dictatorships...unless I am the dictator.
John Elliott:
  • Was I intimidated by Kevin? Well, I admit he is smarter, better looking, and he's bald, so...no."
William Rinehart:
  • Am I crazy here, or isn't it impossible to have an anarchist group?
Andrew:
  • Ben's a smart drunk. He still quotes philosophy!

Miscellaneous:
  • Headline: Great Tits Might Confirm Theory of Evolution.
  • Headline: Pandas having trouble mating: Zookeepers take over.
  • Sleep Less, Drink More.
  • Drive-by media
...Go on

Sound advice

video

Seminar lecturers gave us some wonderful nuggets of knowledge to use while reporting and editing. Feel free to list more. Here are a few:

-Get an ethical structure.
-Learn new...I mean, multimedia.
-Learn a new language.
-Focus on people, not just ideas.
-Learn cop-shop reporting as a starting point.
-Write to people's tastes to get attention.
-Don't sleep through lectures, or Kevin will bust you.
-Get a second source of income-- TV appearances, a book, freelancing, etc.
-Don't get caught up in pack journalism.
-Use scene pieces to set your writing apart. (Show, don't tell.)
-The best opinion pieces are REPORTED. Use the facts to convince people.
-Always use multiple sources.
-Read all the time. No wait, write all the time. Hmm.
-Keep it short and simple. (I call this K.I.S.S.-- Keep it simple stupid.)
-Either there is risk, or there is BANANA, contrary to popular cartoon antics, which depict the presence of a banana as a risk. (Refresher: BANANA is Build Absolutely Nothing Anytime Nor Anywhere.)
-Always ask about the consequences, both foreseen and unforeseen.
-Read the paper by looking at page A2 first. That's where the corrections are made.
-Compare risks to other problems in society to evaluate their relative seriousness.
-Be edgy/provocative/interesting.
-In editorials, give the moral argument. Then, give the "value-added" argument.
-Have editorial discussions in a hall or bathroom to avoid FOI requests.
-Look out for false logic and bad statistics.
-You gotta be cruel to be kind. (Machiavelli)
-Think critically about definitions and assumptions and include that in your story.
-Report numbers in context.
-Correlation does NOT equal causation. (If you didn't get that one by now, shame on you.)
-Write your own counter-narrative in response to misleading media narratives.
-Pitches should be clear and direct.
-Cut words till you can't cut no mo'.
-It's okay to cry.
-Don't just sit in an office for an interview. Take your subject to a place they usually go, or ask them to talk while they do something they usually do.
-Write vignettes of people you see.
-Ask, "And what happened next?"

That's more than a few. Forgive me? Whatever. You know you liked it. Add more.
...Go on

Are Journalists Mutants?


In the long line of evolution from the Greek forefathers of journalism, Herodotus, Pheidippides, Thucydides, journalists have developed genetic modifications allowing them to write and process information faster.

After several lectures enumerating what it takes to be a journalist, certain traits were repeated. One of the first lectures of the week by former foreign correspondent and current journalism professor Chris Harper emphasized the importance of a resilient liver. In his travels he often had to build confidence with his sources by spending times in the local saloons (not sure if Rocky Raccoon was also present). Story after story stresses the dirt that was uncovered at the local bar.

Another modification is the over-sized bladder. This comes from the Murdoch book I referenced earlier, where the author cites another journalist who covered a meeting with Murdoch. Chenoweth explains that the secret to getting the story is largely influenced by being able to sit for long periods of time without bathroom breaks.

Carolyn Lochead, D.C. Bureau Chief for the San Fransisco Chronicle, professed the benefits of sharp elbows and everyone talked about thick skin and coffee as fuel.

A photographic memory and ability to write concisely have all become part of the journalist's ability to get the story no matter how sloppy their notes or how badly they need a bathroom break.

When I was speaking with someone about my theory, she had mentioned one of the major weaknesses of this "mutant race." Near-sightedness. Journalists without their glasses or contacts are lost. It is their kryptonite.
...Go on