Thursday, July 29, 2010


I recently launched my site: It's fantastic, go learn about me. But, I am a little disappointed to see I am not the #1 Candace Nelson when searched! So, I've been researching the imposters. Here are the top four.

1. Candace Nelson
aka "Cupcake lady"
This is the most famous Candace Nelson by far. She's famous for making cupcakes. Great. But, it's funny because she is on Food Network a lot, and my friends Dave and Tony watch it. Whenever they see she's on, they text me to let me know I'm on television. Anyway, thanks Candace for ruining my spotlight.

2. Candace Nelson
Well, this Candace is much less entertaining. She is, however, a window-decorating specialist. That sounds fancy. She does shutters, wood blinds, duettes, pleated shades and verticals. Yeah. Next time I need to decorate my windows, I know who I'll call.

3. Candace Nelson
Maybe all Candace Nelsons are just really creative. We have a newspaperer (me), a baker, a window dresser, and now, a photographer. I might like this Candace more had she not been ahead of me in search results ... without a basic website! Clients are told they have to log in, otherwise, it just says new website coming soon. I've been checking, it hasn't been soon.

4. Candace Nelson
The creativity just keeps flowing, folks. This woman not only has the same middle initial as me, "R," but she also does photography, design, photo restoration, marketing consultancy, print management, writing and editing. Uh, wait a second. Is this me? No, but it's pretty close. Too bad her website doesn't have anything on it except three photos. Like the one to the right.

Disclaimer: I did not include Candaces who spelled their name differently. It is not spelled "Candice" or "Candance." Please try again.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Summer is drawing to a close. My internship with WV Living ends this week (though that may start back up during the semester). USA TODAY ends next Monday, and next Tuesday is the final newspaper. My two business classes have been completed, and I only have about two more weeks left for my internship credit class.

This brings me to five fun upcoming things.

1. Wednesday
Wednesdays are usually always fun because I have the day off, and it's a nice break from the week. The day after tomorrow will be exceptionally fun because Mr. Chris Slater will be here to visit. We have a good time when he visits.

2. A whole week off
This could sound pretty lame to most people, but I will literally have an entire week off - no internships, no newspaper, no classes. After next week, I will be free and will see my friends, cook yummy dinners and have a mental break before school starts back up.

3. West Virginia Press Association Awards
The Daily Athenaeum won a few awards (about 8 to be exact), and we get to go pick them up at the WVPA awards. It's a nice little retreat in Daniels, WV (never been there - I suck with southern WV). We spend three nights there in a hotel where we can mingle with other WV journalists and attend seminars. The last night is where we receive the awards. I also got a scholarship from WVPA, but I'm not sure if they announce that there or not. Anyway, we get a small stipend for food, etc. Also: open bar.

4. Las Vegas
The DA won the best newspaper in our region and then the third-best all-around daily college newspaper in America by the Society of Professional Journalists So, we get to fly to Vegas to pick up our awards. Now, I've never been to Vegas, nor have I ever gambled. I think this could be a match made in heaven.

5. Gwen's wedding
One of my best friends, Gwen Schoolcraft, is getting married. We met as I was just beginning at The DA, and she was my editor. We became close friends. She has since graduated and is off doing far better things, but she recently got engaged. I've never been in a wedding before, and this is for one of my best friends, so I couldn't be happier. I'm a little nervous about the bridesmaid dress she's going to put me in, but it's her day, so I'd wear a tutu for her.

P.S. They just sang happy birthday to someone at USA TODAY. "Sometimes if you're here early, you get cake." I got cake.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

WV Living

I talk a lot about my internship with USA TODAY because it really is an amazing opportunity, but I don't want to neglect my other internship with West Virginia Living Magazine.

WV Living is a great magazine that celebrations a modern West Virginia. It features cities with popular attractions, famous artisans and recipes specific to West Virginia. It's not a typical "WV" magazine; it's very classy and appealing to all ages.

I'm technically a marketing/advertising intern, but I've also been able to do other odds and ends. The magazine just opened up their first store in Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort. It features products made from all over West Virginia in one convenient store. Why Snowshoe? Well, it's a huge tourist attraction for West Virginia, and the owner wanted guests to take a piece of West Virginia home. They didn't want a tacky souvenir shop, so they suggested Snowshoe as the first store.

So, I've been writing author bios for the website, product descriptions and just recently, I wrote a story that should appear in the next magazine (Fall edition; magazine is quarterly) about the opening of the new store and my experience with it.

Yes, I drove all the way to Snowshoe (about three hours) to stay there for about two hours to take a look at the store and all the products and drive back home. That was a long day, especially considering I had to drive to DC the day after. But at least I can say I did it, and I hopefully won't have to again.

They are opening another store in Morgantown in the Seneca Center. The magazine's office is located in the Seneca Center, and the store will be only a few office spaces away. I've actually been working in that office by myself. There's a large room in the back where I can plug in my computer and work on what I need.

Sometimes I get bored and distracted, but I like having the freedom. I can come and go as I please, and I don't like anybody breathing down my neck. I only have about two weeks left for my internships (although I don't know if WV Living knows this yet or not...) but I have to have an internship for my capstone for my English degree. So I was thinking about staying on with WV Living, if they'd keep me, of course. But that's something I'll need to talk with the editors about and, of course, my teacher once that class starts.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


So maybe this blog can be a release. God knows I need it. My day Sunday Monday ended with a three-hour drive home, only to discover my air conditioner is broken. Then, when I wake up, my computer is broken. And to top off that 24 hours, my apartment flooded.

And I know this may just seem like a string of unfortunate events, but it really, really got me down. The flooding of my apartment was just so taxing - mentally and physically. It's like this horrible incident occurred... and I'm trying to deal with it alone. I have friends coming over asking if I'm okay, and that's fine.

But I'm still dealing with it alone. Many care on a superficial level, but few insist on coming over to make sure you're okay emotionally, even when you have a stone exterior. I've always had a problem letting people in, but I never realized how much I push people away too. I only know how to deal with problems one way -- me fixing them with no help from anybody else. Expecting nothing has worked in the past because then I won't be disappointed. But, sometimes, you have to let people in... otherwise there will be nobody left.

Monday, July 12, 2010


It's 4:24 p.m., and I still have one hour until I officially start my internship for today. I'm interning on the print news copy desk, and it's much more fast-paced and intense than I imagined. I'm still trying to keep up, but I feel like I'm missing too much stuff. I had one good catch yesterday and couple not so good misses, but today is a new day and hopefully it will go smoother.

But, why am I sitting here an hour before my shift? Well, I have to check out of my hotel by noon. And unless I want to spend another $100, I leave directly after work 10:30ish. But I begin my shift at 5:30, so I have a gap from noon to 5:30 to fill with stuff to do. I've been coming in early to get stuff done, but what I would love to do is just work early so I am not driving home at 1 a.m. Unfortunately, the copy desk doesn't work that way.

This is my fifth trip, which means I have three more to go. As grateful as I am for this experience, it defniitely takes a toll on me.

Also, I will only have four more summer papers to do. That's exciting, as well. I'm ready for summer to be over, even though I know my school year won't be any easier. The traveling is just what's getting me right now.

Oh, PS, got a tattoo for Justin. I'm pretty sure I like it. It was just spontaneous, so it makes me a little uneasy. It's for him, regardless, so it's important

Monday, July 5, 2010

Three-day weekend

I see how this works now -- when I get time off, I blog. Or maybe it's because someone has been encouraging me. Either way, not a lot has happened since I last posted, but it's enough to make for a short blog.

Yesterday was the Fourth of July and probably one of my favorite holidays (behind my birthday and probably Christmas) due in large part to the fireworks. But, I started off the day with the parade. It was ... disappointing to say the least. There wasn't a single float. Maybe Morgantown doesn't do it up like Wellsburg, and that's sad. There were a few people walking, some firetrucks and a few cars. Lame. The only two worth taking photos of were Cindy Frich ( and Men's B-ball (

After the parade, Heather (who I met on my Spring Break trip to Italy) decided to go to Eat'n Park. We went back to her house, drank a couple on her porch and watched the general shenanigans of college kids mixed with fireworks.

Then we left to go watch some fireworks. Her cousin said we probably wouldn't be able to see them from her house, so we went driving through the campus. We saw a lot of people gathered by White Hall, so we set up camp there. Their fireworks, too, left something to be desired. Fireworks Grand Finale (

I'm back at the paper tomorrow ... It'll be the first time we lay out the smaller edition, so I'm hoping it goes smoothly. Regardless, I'm sure it's going to be a late night. Thankfully, I didn't have to go to DC this weekend. After the last trip, I'm a little nervous to go back. I'm halfway done right now though. Four trips down, four more to go.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


At work when we're waiting on a late story and everyone has been there for 12 hours, we start to get loopy. This usually leads to watching ridiculous YouTube videos at 2 a.m. I have literally 100s saved, but I thought I'd put together my favorites. These are my top 10 videos.

10. Buhlud (this won't embed, so check out YouTube for it)

9. Muffins

8. The Sneezing Baby Panda

7. Show Me Your Genitals

6. Backstreet Dorks

5. Big Mac Drive Thru Rap

4. End of Ze World

3. Nintendo 64 Remix (This won't embed, so check out YouTube)

2. WOW Freakout

1. Crazy Subway Girl

That was a lot more work than I expected. Luckily, I have excellent taste, so they're all really funny.

My new website is running: I'm surprised I actually went ahead and did it. There are a few tweaks that I need to do still, but I definitely have the majority finished. =] I expect this burst of constant posting to wear off soon, so happy Fourth of July.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Toy Story 3

What is this? Another blog post? Sure, why not. I went to see Toy Story 3 a couple days ago with two of my co-workers. I was never crazy about Toy Story, and I'm not even sure if I saw Toy Story 2. Nevertheless, I've heard Toy story 3 was amazing, and people couldn't stop talking about it, so I wanted to check it out.

The movie started out with the main characters I remembered from Toy Story 1, but there were some missing, and it was revealed they were lost along the way. This reinforced the fact that I really don't think I ever saw Toy Story 2. If that's the case, that's sad.

Anyway, this wasn't a happy-go-lucky type of movie that I generally enjoy. Honestly, I hate seeing sad or scary movies because I deal with enough death, tragedy and terrifying crimes in the news, every day. The last thing I want is to see more of it in my free time. No, I want something that will make me feel good.

So really it tugged on my heartstrings. There were two instances in particular that I had to remind myself to keep it together since I was seeing the movie with two boys and I wouldn't hear the end of it if I actually shed a tear. The main thing that was sad to me was that it was the end of an era. I do remember watching the first Toy Story when I was younger, and I even had Buzz, Woody and the Racecar toys. It reminded me I'm getting old, and in the movie, Andy is off to college. I kind of grew up with the kid.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One year

So, it's been one year since I began this blog. I haven't updated as much as a I would've liked, but I'm not going to promise I'll get better -- because I know it won't happen.

I thought I posted about Paris, but I apparently didn't. I really learned a lot about not only myself but about perceptions of Americans. Right now, it's a mess because the school is saying I owe a lot back out of stipend than I do, but hopefully that will get sorted out soon.

I would've liked to have seen more, and I would've liked to venture outside of Paris and into the more country areas, but it simply wasn't feasible. I saw the Louvre, L'arc de triomphe, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. The last night there was by far the best time I had. I really was immersed in the French culture and felt welcome, as opposed to the outsider I felt the majority of the time.

I posted a link in my last blogpost, but we had to change it. The newer one is

I also saw the French AP, which was probably my favorite part. The French school of journalism was nice, but they certainly had their opinions about America.

My article (I had to publish about the trip) is here: I wish I was better at writing columns -- that's something I hope to improve in the upcoming year.

Now, I'm currently interning at USA Today every Sunday and Monday, which means I drive to DC every Sunday and come back every late Monday night (2 a.m. ish) to avoid paying to spend another night in a hotel. A Best Western runs about $100 per night, plus gas, plus food while I'm there... really adds up.

Tuesdays I'm editor-in-chief of the DA, which is up and down. I have great days and I have horrible ones. I like the work I do, but the people are sometimes difficult to manager. Luckily, most have become my good friends who I see even outside the workplace.

Wednesday is my day off! That, and Saturday.

Thursday and Friday are devoted to WV Living. This internship is a little break for me because I have time to myself to accomplish what they'd like me to do. Currently, I'm writing product descriptions and artist biographies for their website. I'll also be writing a story soon, so that will be exciting.

My two business classes for the summer just ended -- Thank God! They were the most inconvenient things I've ever had to deal with. I've learned my lesson: no more summer online classes. I do have another that began this part of the summer, but it's only my internship class for credit, and I write one paper per week. So far, so good.

I only have about four weeks left of this craziness, then I'll have a week off for vacation and the insanity of the newspaper begins and shortly thereafter, school. This year, it will include my capstone for English (which is an internship), beginning grad classes and doing EIC.

Sen. Byrd died Monday. It's a sad day across WV. In fact, the governor declared it a day of remembrance and state employees have the day off. Technically, this includes me, but I opted to continue our training this week since I already took the day off from my internship to train and we also have editors in for the week, and I don't want to put this off any longer because we'll just have to set aside another day to do it.

I just wanted to document my life a little bit, but hopefully if I get some more time, I'll update with more. We'll see how it goes.