MugShots: A night at the copy desk Vol. II | VailDaily.com
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MugShots: A night at the copy desk Vol. II

Mugs Scherer

Rogers is making those noises again. Wheres your blog? When you gonna write a new blog? So Im going with another Night at the Copy Desk. Sure, what with it being election night for Crossroads, my time would probably be better spent doing actual copy editing work. Plus Im probably going to be distracted by the MLB All-Star Game. On the other hand, Night at the Copy Desks are easy to write. And, like I said, Rogers is making those noises. 12:45 p.m.: I also already have something petty and inconsequential to complain about (or, more properly, about which to complain). Isnt that the only purpose for blogs, petty complaints? Anyway, here it is. I come in to work and my chair has been messed with. Whats worse, the desktop of my computer has been messed with. Someone is going to die. 12:51 p.m.: Rogers is having a good laugh about something in his office. Zalaznick wonders what hes laughing at. Im pretty sure of the answer: Human suffering, obviously.1:03 p.m.: First All-Star Game talk of the night. Stoner says its great that the winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series. I say its silly. What about other sports where its the team with the best record? Im not even sure if this is true. I dont really follow other sports. Stoner makes the point that baseball is different from other sports. Hes got me there. Then how come the team with the best record has home-field advantage in every single other playoff round in baseball? Stoner pretends not to hear me. Then he walks away, leaving me victorious on the field of battle. Winning is fun. 1:09 p.m.: Randy just dropped off business pages for me to edit. Im pretty sure it was him who encouraged whoever it was to mess with my chair and computer. Im going to mark some pointless changes on his pages just to give him some extra work. Thatll show him. 1:31 p.m.: Time to print out the food page. Dawn Beacon lays this out. This is a good thing. Otherwise I might have to lay it out, and I sure wasnt hired for my layout skills. Im just here to write blogs and be a pretty face. 1:33 p.m.: Wow, the picture of the spiced blueberry-nectarine tartlet looks really good. I could really go for one of those right now. I have two peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for tonight. Yay. 1:45 p.m.: Copy desk discussion. Mount vs. Mt. Were always supposed to spell it out. Thats what the stylebook says. I say if a company names itself, say, Mt. Baker Ski Area, we should go with the abbreviation in that case. Evan says no. Fight, fight, fight. 2:29 p.m.: Im done with the food section. Stoner is hanging around. I ask him his opinion on Mount vs. Mt. in company names. He agrees with me. Sweet victory. Mugs is on a roll today. 2:41 p.m.: Were ordering food for election night. Everyone is making fun of Mugs the vegetarian. What kind of workplace harassment does this qualify as, I wonder? 2:45 p.m.: Were gonna get Thai food. Im sure itll be good, but probably not as good as spiced blueberry-nectarine tartlets. Better than PB&J, though. 2:51 p.m.: I dont really like music, but I think it would be cool to be in an oompah band. 3:40 p.m.: Evan tells me our plan for the cover. Lots of Crossroads coverage. Multiple photos, maybe. Im excited. Youre probably bored stiff. Sorry. 4:18 p.m.: Kind of boring so far compared with the last Night at the Copy Desk. Maybe its because everyone is working on Crossroads-vote stuff. Maybe its because Dick Cheney isnt around to get people detained for acting strangely around him. 4:29 p.m.: Zalaznick and J.K. each ask me the style of baby-sit and baby sitter about five minutes apart. J.K. is seems impressed when I rattle it off without hesitation. Then I tell him I had just looked it up for Zalaznick. Its a shame to destroy his image of me as Mugs the All-Knowing Copy Editor, but I just cant be that dishonest. 4:32 p.m.: Breaking news. Ian the sportswriter only dates zombies, apparently. 4:33 p.m.: Zalaznick and Ian are plotting to hit me with little plastic footballs later in the night. The last people I caught plotting against me woke up with AP Stylebooks in their beds. 4:43 p.m.: Thats a beautiful Town Talk page by M. Lyall Scherer. 5:19 p.m.: Stoner and J.K. stop by with ideas for the cover. I tell them to go back to their desks. I also call them smelly reporters. Perhaps I was too harsh. It was all in good fun, though. 5:27 p.m.: Zalaznick appears to be jealous about my new Razr phone. Hes started calling me moss-eater.5:35 p.m.: Im explaining the difference between cricks and creeks. Evan and Stoner tell me theres no such thing as cricks. Back home in Stehekin, Wash., we took people like them out back to the crick and whooped the living tar out of them. 6 p.m.: And the All-Star Games starting. I have to say, Foxs introduction of shooting stars over different parts of the country is one of the most stupid things Ive ever seen. Heaven forbid they actually use any baseball in the introduction to a baseball game. Actually, I guess that fits because Ive stopped considering the All-Star Game a real baseball game. Its an exhibition game for the fans, and I sometimes enjoy watching it, but Id much rather watch a Blue Jays game. During the All-Star Game, I pretty much just root for the Blue Jays participating (five of em this year) not to be injured. Id be happy if Halladay didnt pitch at all. 6:17 p.m.: I do like watching the introductions, though. Trevor Hoffman is short. You never notice this when hes on the mound.6:30 p.m.: Dinner break, during which time Zalaznick invents the word mossier, which is like a sommelier but with moss. 7:15 p.m.: Rogers after watching a bit of the game, Looks like David Wrights swing wasnt messed up by the home run derby.7:25 p.m.: Shot of Halladay warming up in the bullpen. Noooo. He better not get hurt. 7:34 p.m.: Helluva throw by Wells to bail Halladay out. He needs to save those for when the games actually count. 7:36 p.m.: The NL just scored on Halladay? I was distracted by work. I would fully support Guillen pulling Halladay here. 7:48 p.m.: Halladays going back out there? If he gets hurt, Ozzie Guillen is going on my list. 7:56 p.m.: Historic Vail Daily newsroom election night moment. With Ian serving as the holder and yours truly serving as the uprights, Zalaznick kicks a field goal with the aforementioned plastic football. Evan is disputing said field goal. He didnt have the best angle, though. And hes a bitter, bitter man who delights in bringing everyone else down.7:58 p.m.: Why the heck wont Selig shut up? Why not let Vera Clemente speak? I have no idea what he’s talking about because the sound’s off, but anyone would be a better public speaker than Selig. We all remember the embarrassing moment in Seattle when he credited Cal Ripken Jr. with more than 400 lifetime RBIs. But then, I guess the commissioner of baseball cant be expected to know the difference between homers and RBI. 8:18 p.m.: Havent really been paying attention here, but are all the groundouts in this game being brought to us by AOL? Fox has really taken selling out to a whole new level. Is Google sponsoring the warmup pitches? Maybe Starbucks can get in on sponsoring the rosin bag. 8:22 p.m.: Results just came back on the Crossroads vote. It won huge, apparently. 8:59 p.m.: With the score 2-1 going into the ninth, Evans rooting for the NL to hold the lead. Hes not a baseball fan at all, but hes done a Photoshop cutout of David Wright to go on the cover, and hell have to do a different one if the AL comes back, and cutouts are a pain, so Go, NL.9:04 p.m.: Troy Glaus up, man on, two out, ninth inning. Me to Evan: If this guy homers, Ill do the cutout. Next pitch, he almost does just that. Ground-rule double to left. Bad luck for the AL there. Lopez probably would have scored if it hadnt bounced over the fence. Maybe not, though; Glaus hit a rocket. 9:06 p.m.: Michael Young triples. Halladays off the hook. Ian and I are ecstatic. Evan, not so much. Half an hour that hell never get back. 9:08 p.m.: Hey, B.J. Ryans in line for the win. Ian on the Youngs hit: For once in my life, I dont mind cheering a Texan. Even though Im pretty sure Young only plays there. I think hes from California. 9:10 p.m.: As much time as Ive spent badmouthing the All-Star Game today, that was a heckuva game. 10:16 p.m.: Everyones trying to kick field goals again. Theyre all failing miserably. Theyre not even getting the ball in the air. How hard can this be? With Zalaznick serving as the uprights and me wearing sandals, I kick one directly between his arms. First try, no warmup. Puts everyone to shame. 10:24 p.m.: Zalaznicks new nickname for me is Moss-Eater Vinatieri.11 p.m.: Lots of work being done. No time for bloggin.11:38 p.m.: Someone just said VIN number on the scanner. VIN stands for vehicle identification number. So saying VIN number is redundant and makes people like me laugh at you. Best to be avoided. 11:54 p.m.: Associated Press punctuation rule of the day. The example is a staff member of Peter Knobel. It should be a staff member of Peter Knobels because 1) the word after of refers to an animate object (Knobel) and 2) the word before of must refer to only a portion of the animate objects possessions (Knobel has many staff members; this is just one). The way to remember this rule is a friend of mine. Mine is possessive, thus Knobel (or whoever) should get an s tacked on. Yup, its a thrill a minute here on the copy desk. 12:12 a.m.: Kaye Ferry just called Rogers manging Editor Don Rogers in her column while complaining about the fact that he changed LionsHead to Lionshead in a previous column of hers. Im pretty sure she was shooting for Managing Editor Don Rogers and not mangy Editor Don Rogers, so thats what Ill change it to. 12:34 a.m.: Paper sent. Not bad for an Election Day paper and me spending most of the time on this blog and watching the All-Star Game. Time to go home and pound some Santa Cruz organic limeade. Maybe with a moss chaser. Daily Copy Editor Mugs Scherer’s favorite cooking method for moss is a quick stir-fry and lots of soy sauce. He can be reached at 748-2924 or mscherer@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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