Here it is not even a week into the new year, and it's already been an eventful ride.
I got an e-mail from my editor late Sunday night asking me if I could come in to interview our Congressman, who would be stopping by the office on Tuesday morning. He's got staff reporters and a news editor who could have done it, so I didn't know exactly why he was asking me, but I was glad to do it. It's certainly a show of confidence in me.
So I dragged myself out of bed Tuesday morning (I was dreadfully tired for some reason), scraped the layer of ice off my car and ventured in. There was a light mist falling, and the temperature was quite low, so I had to stop three times during my usual 20-minute drive to scrape again. Even with my windshield wipers on and my defroster running at full-till, it couldn't keep ahead of the ice forming. Then when I was about 3/4 of the way there, I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed a police car behind me. He was just driving behind me, but there I was, slumped down in my seat trying to see through the ever decreasing clear space in my windshield. Then my coffee mug tipped over and spilled. Then my phone rang - it was the editor. I didn't feel comfortable answering and holding the phone to my ear while slumped down in my seat with six inches of clear windshield and a cop behind me. I was also hoping he wasn't calling to tell me the Congressman had already arrived. Well, I missed the first call, but he immediately called back, so I hit the answer button and then the speaker button. He was just checking to make sure I was coming. No problem.
I managed to make it into town without crashing or getting a ticket, only to find that the congressman was going to be late. Naturally. Politicians are ALWAYS late for interviews. I didn't mind though. It gave me a chance to prep. When he arrived, he sat down ALONE with me for a FULL HOUR in the conference room - no press secretary or other hangers on - and he let me ask him anything I wanted. That's a refreshing change. We had a good talk, and he's a good guy. I've always liked him, and his constituency is quite happy with him.
The drive home was much the same - three more stops to de-ice. I spent the rest of the day writing up a story that was too long, but it was good, so it was a good experience overall. And of course, it's a great clip for my file.
Today I had another big interview, this time with the managing director of the FCC. That's right - the Number Three guy at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC. For me, that was cool. I'm a technophile, and of course I used to write the web column for the papers, so I got to ask him all the questions following up on columns I'd written before. I also learned some things I never knew about the FCC. I'm a geek. I don't care. I thought it was cool.
Unfortunately, I looked out to my driveway this afternoon and discovered that I have a flat tire.
Still, one week in, and I've got three solid positives (including my win with the car radio situation) and one negative so far. I'm ahead.