Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
I am bleary-eyed as I compose this after working two twelve hour days and all weekend (insert sympathy here). This would be all well and good if I was rescuing orphans in Haiti or preforming life-saving surgery, but I’m not. I work for a luxury lifestyle magazine that just happens to take up my entire (not so luxurious) life. This issue was more of a doozy than usual because it’s our who’s who under 40 issue and we are currently sans a designer to make the magazine. So what do you do in a down economy when magazines are dropping like flies? Free labor! That’s where Erika and Ali come in. Two brilliant college students who we coerce into designing and copyediting the entire magazine in their spare time. Never mind that when I was in college I spent my hours between classes hot boxing my car and painting murals with my feet.
Students today don’t seem to have a second to kill their brain cells or make toe art. It’s a tragedy! In between writing papers on god knows what, they work three days a week at the magazine, toiling over the rants and raves of socialites. Tonight, Erika, our design intern, and Ali, my editorial intern, were the last two in the office with me. They caught typos, designed pages, and actually kept me from trying to stab myself with a butter knife. I’m so glad this bad boy is to the printer, and I am so so lucky to have wonderful, brilliant, over-worked interns who make sweatshop labor fun.
Date: 1/26/10. Time: 10 P.M. Who: Erika and Ali, unpaid intern geniuses who just created an entire magazine.
After Saint/Intern Ali and I left the office at an extremely late hour, there were about six fire trucks attending to a fire we couldn't smell or see. Very mysterious and rather exciting after you have been copy editing for 12 hours.
Sunday, January 24th, 2010
I met Cathie Black, President of Hearst Magazines, years ago when she was in town speaking about her book “Basic Black.” at Trinity College here in DC. I was actually one of very few reporters in the joint. It was filled to the brim with women in their twenties and thirties who wanted to know how to become professionally and personally fabulous. As we all know, it sure isn’t easy. And I’m sure it’s not easy for men either. But I think men share their secrets of success more often, as they like to hear themselves rumble in public. I prefer to hear them rumble in my bed, but that’s a different topic. Cathie went from ad sales serf at Holiday mag to pres and publisher of USA Today and then to Hearst. Not a bad trip.
I always remembered one thing she said that night when I was taking notes while planning my own world domination: “If there is a job posted and a woman has nine out of the 10 qualities, she will say ‘I’m just not qualified’ and not apply. If a man has one out of 10 qualities, he will declare ‘well I have one out of 10, I might as well apply’ and send his resume in lickety-split. I always try to remember this in professional or personal challenges that really intimidate me, but that I could probably work through if I just put my pedal to the metal. It also inspires me to apply for jobs I am completely unqualified for, like Editor in Chief of the New York Times. One never knows!
This is the guide to l.i.v.i.n that Cathie Black wrote. I'm kinda jealous that her name lends itself so well to book titles. But I'm sure that sparkling career thing helped too.