I think it was 2:17 am when we pulled into Emporia State’s HPER parking lot this morning. Fitting, because I think I had 217 seat adjustments from when we left Joplin, Mo., following the Hornets’ 38-20 win over Missouri Southern, back to the Flint Hills.
Honestly, as much as I was looking forward to watching ESU open the football season (and, hopefully, have a much better season than what I witnessed last year), I was dreading the impact Friday. The Day After. We had left around 1:30 pm to make sure we got to Joplin in way more than enough time to get set up, test the equipment, get interviews if we wanted to and settle into the broadcast instead of scrambling into it — and trust me, there is a difference in the finished product if you’re scrambling. Leaving when we did also gave me another rather large window to plan how I’d attack Friday’s schedule.
The plan: Get in around 2:30. Skip sleep (because I knew I’d snooze right through every alarm known to man outside of a tornado siren directly in my ear). Shower and be back out the door by 3 am. Write up my morning’s self-assignments by 9 am. Hope the Morning Show doesn’t sound like Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
Oh yeah — Record midday, plop stuff on the website and be unconscious by 10 am. Sleep until I wake up or when Ginny comes home, whichever comes first.
Well, it’s 2:20 am and I can already tell I’m going to be off schedule and not in a good way. I’ll leave it to your imagination what happened. Anyways, by the time I’ve gotten showered, let the dog out and given hugs, it’s 3:10 am. Ten minutes is an eternity in broadcasting, but I’m still in pretty good shape.
Writing goes up to just shy of 5 am before I take a break for caffeine. I’m at the same time impressed and a bit worried, thinking I’ve waited too long to start gulping down the Coke. At least short-term, that worry turns out to be unfounded. I’m still conscious and alert (something you hear on the scanner all the time) — right up until I take a quick break to pause. That’s when nice, peaceful darkness lurks until I snap back to the land of the conscious.
Surprisingly, the Morning Show goes fairly well. I don’t stumble much more than normal during the newscasts and my train of thought doesn’t derail in spectacular fashion. By 9 am, though, I can tell the three cans of Coke just ain’t cutting it.
I still have one more story to write, another to update with sound, two calls to make on a weekend story and the web to update. And the yawns have started. In fact, they can’t stop. I’m actually thinking I could fall asleep sitting bolt upright…or get whiplash if I lean back…thinking….skngxxxxxxxx…
I’m resigning myself to the fact I’ll have to adjust my schedule. And I’m needing something — anything — to get my motivation back to where it was six hours earlier.
What’s In Outdoors ends and I have to walk up and down the hall a few times, doing some strategic air drumming in the process to get the blood going and caffeine redistributed.
9:30 am: Ron comes back and orders Greg and I to find some time to take a nap. No problem there. So long as I get these stories done and posted.
10:10 am: Stories written but putting one thought in front of the other is now getting reeeeeally hard. Listening to Pat Metheny, while relaxing, isn’t helping.
10:20 am: Change of music will have to happen. Time for Dire Straits’ Alchemy. Maybe that will help.
10:25 am: The more air drumming I do, the less work I do. Grrrr.
10:35: Singing helps to keep me awake — and I can type at the same time. I can hear Greg and AJ getting annoyed.
11 am: Web almost done. But I’m missing one picture I wanted for the front — because I blitzed that out two weeks ago. Lengthy bleep.
11:02 am: Now realizing I have ingested enough caffeine to likely keep me awake the rest of the afternoon. Looooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggg bleeeeep.
11:20: Time to resume recording. So much for 10 am. Now the goal is noon. And I have 18 minutes of news loaded for the midday AM cast. And I’m leaving stuff out. Cannot remember what I was doing 10 seconds ago.
11:27: Almost said “partly chucky” in the headlines forecast. If you want to know what partly chucky is, don’t ask. I have no idea. Apparently I’m not totally chucky today, though.
11:28: Puberty returns. That was weird.
11:34: In an effort to maintain a clean working space, AJ starts to dismantle my Coke tower. Said tower falls apart. Chuck’s rendition of Dr. Giggles (hey, we all have one) breaks out.
11:50: Final check of recorded material. Brain alternately hyper and crashy. Saved midday ag report to the wrong cart, but otherwise everything is clear.
11:55 am: Scanner….nooooo….OK. Patient transfer. We’re good.
So I’m out around noon. A busier day than I thought and, frankly, hoped, but there was some worthy news this morning. Accessibility concerns, blue-green algae impact, United Way starting its general fundraising drive and other stories. All told, seven stories today — including two rather hefty pieces — with three of those needing updates as the morning progressed.
Another #bya #sggd day. Now it’s time for pizza and nap..and to tear down this Coke tower. Chat with you guys again when its #darkandearly tomorrow.