default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Yes, I have a real job at the paper

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2003 10:00 pm | Updated: 4:16 pm, Sat May 19, 2012.

I really considered going to City Editor Chet Diestel and pleading overwork to get excused from writing my column this week.

However, I used that very excuse, albeit legitimately, two weeks ago.

Then, I thought I could plead with his sensibilities and ask for a pass in consideration of my upcoming vacation.

Theresa Larson

But then I realized I'd need that excuse in two weeks.

I had every intention of writing my column over the weekend. But you know what they say about good intentions. Instead, I gave into other demands: The yard needed work, the dog needed a bath, the kids came home for a visit and suitcases needed packing. I told myself, as the weekend flew by, that I could always come to work early or stay late Monday. If all else failed, I could simply write my column at home Monday night.

Well, my Monday morning bed was simply too snuggly and the work day was too long and hectic. By the time I finally attempted to sit down with my laptop at home, I had no surviving brain cells left.

I've recently developed a theory: We have a finite number of actively working, productive brain cells to use in the course of a day. When they're gone, they're gone. Sometimes, as the supply becomes low, those fading brain cells can be revived with food, a little break from the stress of the day or a jolt of caffeine.

None of this has been working for me. In fact, if you could see my brain cells in the form of a balance sheet, they are now technically in the red. Combine the lack of vital brain cells with an ebb in the creative flow and it spells a troubling combination that is death for a writer. As much as I love writing, sometimes life just gets in the way.

I've been writing this column for several years now. Sometimes, I get the opportunity to actually talk with a reader and they often ask surprisingly similar questions.

How did you become a columnist?

Depending on your belief system, the opportunity to write could be due to the intervention of God or fate. Actually, Publisher Marty Weybret and Editor Rich Hanner made me an offer I couldn't refuse. It's just more fun to believe that fate has a way of intervening in life and God has a real wicked sense of humor.

Do you have a real job, or do you spend all your time writing?

Yep, I have a real job here at the newspaper. A real busy job. A really busy job that requires a really big hat rack and a revolving door to my office. A really busy, really big job working long hours. A really busy, really big job that seems to constantly suck every vital, living, functioning brain cell from my head! A really busy, really big job that … well I digress and you get the picture. Although I spend a lot of time writing in my "real" job, it's not the creative form of writing you see in my column. This column, most of the time, is an escape from the "real" world of my "real" job as administration manager for the newspaper.

How do you come up with the ideas for your columns?

I have absolutely no idea. The creative process is fascinating, and at times, elusive. It's much different that dealing with numbers that you can see, people that you can talk to, or a product that you can touch. The process of expressing an idea, thought, feeling or experience is ethereal and magical. It's kind of like listening to a barely audible a whisper in your ear.

Right now, I think I need a hearing aide.

But there is light at the end of my tunnel. Vacation. It's coming. It's coming soon. I'm all packed. The e-tickets are sitting on my desk. I've already tried out the binoculars we'll use on vacation. I used them to spy on a pair of hawks nesting in our neighbor's pine tree. The cool temperatures of Alaska beckon. Oh, boy, am I ready. I just need to survive the remainder of the week, and I'm outta here. There's just one more thing to take care of.

Hey, Chet! I won't have a column in two weeks. I'm on vacation and, hopefully, I'll be replenishing some badly needed brain cells. God knows I need them!

Theresa Larson is the Lodi News-Sentinel's administration manager. She is married and the mother of five children. Her column appears the first and third Wednesday of the month. She can be contacted at 125 N. Church St., (209) 369-2761 or via e-mail.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 8 hours ago by Thomas Heuer.

article: Letter: Ron Portal’s letters repeat the…

Joanne Its so good to see your name on these boards again. I miss your insightful commentary. Don't stay away [thumbup]


Posted 9 hours ago by Thomas Heuer.

article: Letter: Our leaders need to be better r…

Great Letter Eric [thumbup]


Posted 10 hours ago by Steve Schmidt.

article: Letter: Our leaders need to be better r…

Obama is a socialist in the same sense that Mitt Romney is a fascist.


Posted 12 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Letter: Our leaders need to be better r…

"Conservatives as the culprits in ever human evil that has befallen mankind. THAT is the legacy our political leadership (both Parties…


Posted 12 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Letter: Our leaders need to be better r…

So you're part of that 30%? You (and the rest of your percentage) hate him because his father was black and his mother was white. You thi…



Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists