accidental existence

Life, one sentence at a time

“…I’m gonna find another you…” October 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 10:25 am

This week has been crazy.
Some good.
Some bad.

I cried at my desk the first three days.
This is not the writing I’m used to.
I’ll get it, but it’s hard.
I feel like I’m doing everything wrong.
All the time.

Adam has been great.
All week, at every minute.
He really is my rock.

I feel nervous about today.
This huddle business.
My first real interview.
It’s weird because I know what to do and not what to do all at the same time.

I want to leave early today.
I’m tired of being at this desk.
I guess that’s the life of an editor.
I like being out with the people.

I hope I fit in soon.

Business is not news.
It tries to be, but the thrill is not there.

I need to develop sources.

I park in a parking garage now.
It was pouring rain yesterday.
I would have never known if my car hadn’t been by the edge of the garage.
It’s covered from my door to the car.

Working downtown feels so swank.
Except for the hobos.
Jimmy John’s delivers however.

Chuck ran out as I left this morning.
I had to let Annie out to chase her down.
She got me hairy.
Annie jumped on me with mud feet.

This blog feels down.
I feel low.
I’m climbing, but I can’t seem to get any traction.

I want this to day to be good.
I am not optimistic.

Really looking forward to this weekend.
I want to savor it.
I want to do nothing and everything.
I want to sleep in.
I don’t want to waste a minute.
We’re carving pumpkins.

Annie’s not doing so good with my new schedule.
I’m gone most of the day.
Four hours of lack-luster playtime at night aren’t enough.
She’s going to get a complex.
And be sad beagle.

We got our Hopper.
Thank goodness.
With this new schedule I don’t have time to set things.
On the flip side however, I don’t have time to watch them either.

Thursday is my new Monday.

I count in words, not characters.
I’ve never met someone who counts in characters.
Inches and words.

I edit A LOT of stuff.

Plus side is cute clothes.
I’m going to run out of options.
Trying not to think about that.
Today I wanted to wear jeans.

I have snow leopard now.
I downloaded Chrome.

It’s a whole new world.

Missed both my gym appointments yesterday.
No more appointments on Thursdays.
I haven’t been to the gym all week.
I’m so tired after work.
I need to schedule some time.

My whole life feels so different.
Everything I knew to be true is off.
Not wrong, just different.
Even my AP style knowledge.

Many of my CC friends wished me luck Monday.
It made me cry and miss them.

Puggy knows what I’m talking about.


COLUMN: ‘It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday’ October 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 4:04 pm

This is my final column for the Headliner News as printed in the Oct. 17, 2012 edition.


I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll begin with the end. After more than five years at the same desk, this is my final column for the Headliner News. I’ve accepted a position as features editor with the Springfield Business Journal and Oct. 19 is my last day.

SBJ is a new chapter in my story, a new challenge and a new opportunity, but one can’t look ahead without first looking back.

In the book of life, it’s not the destination, but the path you take along the way. The chapters I’ve written at the Headliner News have been some of the happiest in my life. I became a real reporter inside these walls, I grew up here, I met and married my best friend and I even taught Donna how to tweet. The events I’ve covered, the places I’ve gone and the people I’ve met made my decision all the more hard.

Change isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. Change makes us better, makes us fight and strive and become more than we ever knew we could be. Change makes the world better. But how do I even begin to say goodbye to this place and to these people who have given me so much?

I say goodbye, by saying thank you.

Thank you to people like Spokane teacher Cassandra Bray who I first met after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She let me tell her story to the world, her struggles and her fight and she did it all with a smile.

Thank you to mom Sheri Smith who politely asked me if we would ever consider running her column on homeschool education and five years later has turned into some of my favorite Facebook posts to read as her family of eight travel the country in a RV learning life’s best lessons along the way.

Thank you to people like Ray Weter who made me smile each time I checked the mailbox to find a laminated newspaper clipping. My accomplishments and milestones still adorn our refrigerator thanks to his, and I suspect his wife Sheri’s, thoughtful letters.

Thank you to people like Circuit Clerk Barb Stillings who has become more than just a source, she has become my friend. I first met Barb at the front desk of the University of Missouri Extension Office and she was always there to answer any dumb, new-reporter question I had. I’ll miss our monthly lunch dates and I know she’ll miss my free iPhone advice.

I’ll miss walks around the square, the Ozark High School “He’s a Lady” pageant and the excitement on a students face when I take their picture, but most of all I’ll miss my newspaper family.

The Community Publishers team is a top-notch group of people in every way, from top to bottom, left to right and everywhere in between. In the Headliner News office, office manager Kim Bruce always made sure I had cake on my birthday and advertising director Tricia Chapman keeps the pages full of ads and never fails to look sassy in a pair of heels.

When my first general manager, Chuck Branch, left, I remember reading his final column. He too wrote of what he would miss and he wrote about his scarecrow. In “The Wizard of Oz” the scarecrow is the one Dorothy will miss most dearly. That sentiment came back to me as I announced my departure. My scarecrow isn’t a single person, but rather a group—the editorial staff at the Headliner News.

Donna, Amelia, Brady and Brett are not only my closest newspaper family, but my comrades, my partners in crime and most importantly my friends. I know without a shadow of a doubt I can rely on these four people to do their job like professionals every time. We’ve not only worked hard together, we’ve laughed, cried, celebrated and danced in the middle of the newsroom. Friends may part ways, but they never truly say goodbye.

I won’t forget where I’ve come from and I’ll never forget the people who love me. This isn’t goodbye Christian County, it’s just an until next time.

So, don’t worry Donna, “It’s gonna be good.”


“…waiting on the world to change…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 3:54 pm

It’s raining.
Seems fitting today.

I’ve cleaned out my desk.
I’ve turned in all the paperwork.
This is my last Wednesday in the Headliner News office.
I have two stories to cover tomorrow and it’s done.
5+ years here.
Done in a matter of hours.

The staff—my friends—had a going away party for me today.
I think they expected a speech.
I couldn’t.
I’m going to tear up just thinking about it.
As per usual, the potluck was good.
There was cake.
(it was not a lie)
And they made me a sweet signed frame.
I will miss you too guys.

For the first time since I took the SBJ job I am actually a bit excited about it.
I knew it was a good job.
Just the thought of leaving here was hard.
It tainted the mood.
But now, everyone is at peace.
I feel good.

Pottery date tonight with the girls.
I think I’m going to make a pencil holder for my new desk.
I think it’s going to involve chevrons.

Wish I didn’t have to cover one last EDU story this week.
I feel done.
I’m ready to be done.
The news never sleeps and the press rolls on.
I cover the story.

Got the new mattress delivered last night.
SO comfortable.
You don’t realize how bad the old one is until you feel the new squish.
Sidenote: Delivery guy picked up the old box spring and what was under there?
Annie—in her puppy phase—had shredded an ENTIRE Rolling Stone magazine under the bed.
It was super embarrassing.
I told the delivery guy sorry.
He said he’s seen much worse.
I quick swept it up while they were bringing the new one in.

Speaking of Annie.
We all know her pension for digging under to the neighbors yard.
She did Monday and got stuck.
Neighbor wasn’t home to bring her back.
Adam found her whining at the hole, too small to fit back though the other way.
When I got off work and called, things had deteriorated.
He had dug the hole bigger and was trying to lure her with her squeaky pig.
She on the other hand was beagle barking at the neighbors dogs in the house.
Who were also barking.
Surrounding neighbors were yelling to shut the hell up.
Adam sounded like he could cry on the phone.
I hurried home.
Went to the new hole, called her and she came right under.
Not before she stopped to doodle in the neighbors yard.
Thanks Annie.

You know, not new job big news, but BIG NEWS.
Six channels for DVR goodness.
I’m pretty excited.

Attending my first SBJ event on Friday.
Bit nervous.
But, it’s gonna be good.

I cried the whole time I wrote my final column.
For those of you without an online subscription—aka Barb—I’ll post it in a separate blog after this one.

I didn’t work out at all this week.
I’ve just been so busy with everything.
Couple that with the cake I had for lunch and it’s not going to be good tomorrow.

BIG thunder just now.
We have the door open.
It smells like fall.
And rain.
Or frain.

Can I get a binder full of men over here?

I want to get back into trivia night mode.

Sorry Adam. I don’t know what’s for dinner.
I know you love reading the blog to find out.
Made homemade beef stroganoff last night.
With a freshly baked french baguette.
And homemade apple strudel.

I’m in limbo.

I’m excited for the holidays this year.
I wish we could host Thanksgiving at our place.
It’s too small.
Unless people aren’t opposed to turkey and a nice seat on the living room floor.
We have carpet…?

The holidays are a magical time of year.
This year will be new and great and grand.
I wonder if SBJ does white elephant?

I need to remember to sign up for the turkey trot.

Pets and Pumpkins is Saturday.
I have no pet costumes.
I am a horrible mother.

This puggy is thrilled to have such a great mama.


“…say what you need to say…” October 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 4:05 pm

Another Wednesday in the office.
But this one feels a bit different.
It’s my second to last Wednesday ever in the Headliner News office.
In case you missed the FB post and/or tweet—
I have accepted a position as features editor at the Springfield Business Journal.

It may have been the hardest decision I have ever made.
Choosing a college and major seems scary.
But it’s just picking what you like to do.
Getting married is a no-brainer because you love the person.
Switching professional jobs is a BIG deal.
It’s hard to balance the friendships and ease of a current job against the fear and uncertainty of a new position.
Change is hard.
I could never be a ladder climber.
I cried may nights on Adam’s shoulder just thinking about this switch.
I felt guilty about taking the interview.
I felt like I was betraying my current co-workers.
Like I was lying to them.
I still feel like that.
We are a family—a news family.
But a person shouldn’t feel bad for bettering their life.
A family knows that.
It took me many nights to come to that conclusion.
I’m still not sure if I fully embrace it.
But I will.
I have to.
Because it is the right thing for me and the right thing for my real family.

I will miss my friends.

A lot.

I am trying not to cry right now sitting at my desk.
I am failing.

Barbie took me to lunch today.
Our final monthly BYB excursion.
It was bitter sweet.
We will always have Twitter.
And I told her to come visit me in the big city sometimes.

Speak of which—I am SUPER excited about working in Springfield.
I have never actually lived and worked in the same city before.
In fact, I have never actually worked in Springfield.
The lunch opportunities alone are mind boggling.
Not to mention it’s a 6 minute drive from my house.
Just 27 block down the same road.
No turns.
I’ve never driven less than 30 minutes to work in my life.
Big changes my friends, big.

I sent out emails today to my community peeps.
Most said something to the effect of, “Congrats, but sad to see you leave.”
I think they are sad, but more so for themselves then because they won’t be seeing me.
I got one response that made me smile.
(and almost cry)
It was from Dr. K and simply read, “I’m proud of you.”
It was a moment of pure joy from a man I respect.
It was perfect.

I feel there is so much to do before I leave.
I have so much I want to teach the new person.
I wish he/she were already here.
I doubt they will be before I leave.

I have to start dressing up for work now.
And not dressing up in the jeans and a cute shirt sense I do now.
But rather slacks and heels and the whole nine.
I don’t think I even own that many pairs of slacks.
Shopping trip.
When did denim become verboten?
Dark denim should be allowed.

Writing my final column this week may kill me.
So much I want to say.
So many I want to say goodbye to.

Wednesday is my new Monday.

I have to park in a parking garage.

All week people have been buying me congratulatory dinners/lunches.
(I know poor baby)
My dietitian is going to kill me tomorrow morning.
I’m sure I have gained like 5 pounds.
Couple that with the I have been to busy eating celebratory meals to go to the gym and it’s going to be a bad week.
Sidenote: The chicken bacon risotto at the Gastro Pub is ah-mazing.

Tweetdeck just popped up: Cards will 8-0, leading the series 2-1.
Good job boys.

My new office is three floors.
Editorial is on the second.
My trainer will be happy about that.

It feels like people are ignoring me.

Just two block away, my MudHouse card is going to fill up a lot faster these days.

We don’t want to turn on the furnace at home.
It cost so damn much to heat our old house.
We bought a radiant heater for now.
Keeps it toasty in there.
Cost WAY less to run.
Hopefully the persimmon spoons are wrong and we won’t have tons of snow coming.

I’d like a Candy House caramel apple for dinner.
Yes, an apple is healthy.

Annie escaped into the neighbors yard.
For the third time.
She so skinny and slick and diggy.
She’s under before we even know.

Thanks John:
Take out of your wasted honor

Every little past frustration 

Take all your so called problems

Better put them in quotations 

Say what you need to say 

Say what you need to say

Walkin’ like a one man army 

Fightin’ with the shadows in your head

Livin’ up the same old moment

Knowin’ you’d be better off instead

If you could only 

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Have no fear for givin’ in

Have no fear for givin’ over 

You better know that in the end

It’s better to say too much

Than to never to say what you need to say again 

Even if your hands are shakin’ 

And your faith is broken

Even as the eyes are closin’

Do it with a heart wide open 

Say what you need to say 

Say what you need to say

I think I’ll clean out my desk when nobody is around to see me cry.

Office pug knows what I’m talking about.


“…so young and full of running, all the way to the edge of desire…” October 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — emletterman @ 1:48 pm

Another Wednesday in the office.
Another afternoon of waiting for people to call me back.
Story of the last 5 years of my life.

I’m happy today.
I think life is starting to fall into place.
I may be growing up.

Adam and I took on the 2.1 mile mountain trail at the Nature Center this weekend.
It wasn’t that bad.
Until we hit the GIANT hill on the way out.
That almost killed us.
But we did it.
And the walk was beautiful.
This weekend we take on the American Diabetes Association 5K.

Annie has found her voice.
She howls at everything these days.

Chuck is still lump.
I think she’s gotten fatter despite the indoor formula cat food.

Fall in the Ozarks is so great.
I wish I had someone to take a lap around the square with me.
I’m looking at you KW5.
Craft festival is this weekend.
May drag Adam out after the walk.
With 1,000+ people in the park, it would be easy to convince me to stay home.

Backyard Brawl is this weekend.
I spent half the morning pimping it on social media.
The other half I listened to our prosecutor talk to teens about sexting.
Any day you get to her the prosecutor say skank is a good day.

Pumpkin spice latte for breakfast.
Don’t tell dietitian Dave.
He doesn’t like when I do that.

They are building an IKEA in KC.
Words can’t describe how happy this makes me.

The first presidential debate is tonight.
I looked up the drinking game.
If I played by those rules, I would pass out in an alcoholic coma.
I prefer to pick one word and just go with it.
Official rules are really too much work when drinking.
Tonight’s alcohol of choice—a nice glass of red wine.

There are two people in the office right now.
I’m one of them.
It’s beyond silent.

Change is good.
Change is scary.
I don’t know if I’m ready.
I have to be.

I think Nick and Jess on New Girl should date.

Went to the dentist for my 6 month cleaning yesterday.
I have early onset gingivitis.
I was freaked out.
Dr said about 70 percent of American’s have it.
He told me to floss more.
I hate flossing.
My teeth as too close together.

Tweetdeck just popped up.
I have no idea what a legal 5 Mississippi rush is.

If you follow me on Twitter, turn your phone off tonight.
I’m live tweeting the debate.
You have been warned.
I’m looking at you Barb. :)

It’s hard to believe it’s already October.
Where did this year go.
Time has a way of rushing forward in the newspaper business.
The holiday season is almost upon us.
Adam, you should start preparing for Black Friday now.

Just ripped it yesterday and my desk calendar is already full up.
It’s that time of year.

The bulb under the stove hood vent burnt out.
It was a way old school 100 watt bulb.
We replaced it with a 60 watt energy saver bulb.
It’s good for the planet, crap for me.
It seems so dim.
Thankfully, it’s only guaranteed to last for 12 years.

Ozark needs a Panera.
I could use a chocolate pastry right now.
I’d settle for one in Nixa.

Visited Cashew Inn Cashew Out Monday.
It was the 25th anniversary of my old stomping grounds.
I got a free egg roll.
All was good in the world.

If you read to the end of this blog, I’m sorry.
I’m not feeling it today.
I wrote to clear my head.
My thoughts are all fixated on non-suitable-for-blog-talk issues.
I feel I have accomplished nothing.

Here is a pug photo.

Happy fall